Tuesday, January 28, 2014

But the Olympic Rings are RAINBOW colored!

First, an explanation. I haven't done a whole lot of new creative things for my blog lately for several reasons- the holidays, followed by studying. As you might know, by day I live the life of a mild-mannered architect, drawing buildings and reading through code books (and not the fun up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B A start kind of codes). 

I'm not a licensed architect, however. In America, to become a licensed architect, you have to have an accredited degree, complete a several year long internship, and then pass seven (!!!) exams. I'm attempting to prepare for my first exam without getting so intimidated by the whole process that I have to design a tall building to throw myself off of. 

That said, there's always time to speak truth to power, especially when the power in question in horribly bigoted. 

The 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia begin in a few weeks. Ahead of the festivities, Russian president Vladimir Putin has put into place harsh anti-gay laws that make punishable by imprisonment crimes such as "spreading gay propaganda". 

This puts countries like America in a difficult place- do we boycott the games and deny the talented athletes from our country a chance to compete? Do we participate in the games, knowing that our presence equates compliance with the harsh laws in the eyes of many?

America has decided, for one, to attend the games. However, among the delegates from the USA will be three openly gay American Olympians of years past. 

One can only imagine, however, what the games are going to be like once the athletes start arriving. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thirty-Something Weekend Warriors

As some of you may or may not know, I just turned thirty-one. And so far I have no idea how to deal with it. 

Don't misunderstand- I'm not having an emotional breakdown or an early midlife crisis/ delayed quarter-life crisis (which is totally a thing for my generation- that actually wasn't a joke). I just don't have a handle on the whole "being a thirtysomething" thing yet. 

Take this weekend for instance. My twin brother came to visit on Friday. I love when we get to hang out- since we stopped living together (and even moreso since I moved an hour or so away) the long weekends of getting to hang out just don't happen often enough anymore.

We had all the time we wanted to goof off and just be silly, the way we used to. We got up on Saturday morning, I made a pot of coffee, and we played video games. Just... not the way we used to. 

Each of us was at out own computer, playing his own game. 

This didn't strike me as out of the ordinary until today. When we were kids, we would spend hours sitting on the couch in front of the Super Nintendo, playing through Super Mario RPG for the fourth time, couch co-oping through the players guide. It was just how we spent our time together. But we didn't do that this weekend. We have practically every video game pre- N64 at our fingertips thanks to the internet now. We could be chugging through games we only dreamt of owning as eighth graders. 

But we didn't. It didn't even occur to us. Even later, when we tried to co-op a game that neither of us had ever played (Curse of Monkey Island, if you must know), it just wasn't the same.

Mind you, it isn't as if this whole scenario snuck up on me. I long ago accepted that some things I used to enjoy as a kid would fail to hold  my interest as an adult (the pawning of my anime DVDs is proof enough of that). However, I guess I never anticipated how that might affect mine and my brother's weekend activities. 

For a brief moment I worried that Graham and I were growing apart. We never would have played separate games if given the opportunity to play something together as children. It can't be the case that we've just grown apart, as so many childhood friends do, can it? 

After some soul searching, I've concluded that no, that's not it. We enjoyed doing those things together as children because that's what we enjoyed doing as children. That came naturally to us because we'd be doing it anyway- it only made sense to include your best friend as part of it if you could.

However, as my tastes mature with my age, I'm at a loss as to what to do for fun with my friends, especially the ones I've known since childhood. Those very activities that I find myself aging out of are the only ways I learned to share my time with my friends. I still desire sharing the time, but the same methods that we used as children just don't work anymore. 

So what's a thirty-one year old twin to do?

Well, the obvious answer is to share the activities that I enjoy as a thirty-one year old with my brother. Which works just fine- we shared a run, and it was great. It's just not the same, that's all. And it shouldn't be. I shouldn't be eager to jump right back into the life of a teenager every time I want to hang out with my old friends.  But I can't lie- it stings a little bit that I'll never be able to recapture the simple joy of wading through a stack of Super Nintendo cartridges with my best friend.

 I'll never love a game as much as I love Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past because I'll never be 14 again. Likewise, the best I can do as an adult is to re-learn what I thought I already knew; how to spend time with the people I love and start to shape a whole new set of experiences that, twenty years from now, will seem bittersweet and poignant in retrospect.

Of course, by the time I get it figured out as a thirtysomething, I'll probably pass into another life stage and have to start all over again. Damn, can't this life thing slow down for just one minute?

(edit: no, I did not get rid of my Cowboy Bebop DVDs. I'm an adult, not an idiot.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fear the wrath of POLAR VORTEX!!

If you live in the Lower Forty-Eight anywhere north of Key West, odds are very good that you've either been shut in your house for the last seventy-two hours or ruing the day you decided to take a job that required you to get out of your bed.

Temperatures have been plunging to record lows all across the country, and for a few days Americans got a feel of what Canada is like in the winter (without the superior healthcare or Tim Hortons). They're calling it the "Polar Vortex", which to me sounds like a lame super villain from a short Hawkman run in the late 1970s. 

Which led me to the only logical conclusion: draw a cartoon about it.