Life Update

Welcome back to Concreate Chaos, life preparing for and with an infant has been crazy. I started wrapping up my commitments early last year. I was going to devote much of my attention to our new family member.

I said goodbye to my dear furry friend, Rocket. He died of cancer in October 2016 and it had profound effect on me. I found myself unable to write. Whenever I sat down to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, my thoughts drifted to him and the cat sized hole in my heart. I miss him still. It took over a year, but I’ve healed now.

I signed off of podcasting. Culture Conquistadors was a labor of love for many years. Movies remain a favorite passtime of mine. Though these days, they’re seen months after release via streaming or Redbox. Now, my former co-host and dear friend launches his solo venture, Iconography. You should definitely have a listen as he starts into season two.

I left two D&D campaigns. My regular group continued on their journey in Wander-Lost without Chase Starryeyes. Despite my desires, I was never able to return to play her again. In a few sessions, Wander-Lost will wrap up. Operation Phoenix concluded last year before Babels was born. The play time of the campaign doesn’t lend itself to my participation, but even so I haven’t made an effort to rejoin.

I gave up watching sports live. My Saturdays in the fall were often filled with Florida State and Florida football games. There’s a lot of things wrong with football at the collegiate level. I will always love it in some ways, but I won’t dedicate every Saturday for months to it. Instead, I spend my Saturdays with my new family watching Babels grow.

We did manage to make it to DragonCon. Babels was a hit as Salamence and my Brendan cosplay looked sharp. We went to the Marvel photoshoot for the first time in a few years. It was a far better experience this time around. Nova is a much lighter costume for the summer Atlanta heat. But the event ran far smoother also. I spent a day playing D&D with my brother, my best friend, and another good friend. It was an amazing experience. David enjoyed it so much, he asked if we could find a way to play again.

So, I started an Adventurers League legal Tomb of Annihilation campaign. With Babels’s schedule set, we were able to carve out some time to play some Dungeons & Dragons. I wanted this group focused on a regular, exciting experience for my family. I set expectations for schedule and commitments and invited the players. It’s been a resounding success.

Amber started an in-person Adventurers League legal Tales from the Yawning Portal campaign. We play roughly monthly. I wish it were more frequent, but scheduling is difficult. With two new players, it’s always fun watching them discover bits and pieces of the game.

Blog Update

With the last year of my life highlighted and recapped, what does the future hold? My hope is, a lot of reading, gaming, and writing. It’s been fun being back in the DM seat for Tomb of Annihilation. I haven’t ever run a published adventure cover-to-cover. Despite the monthly game, I miss playing D&D more frequently. I want to run a modern day urban game later this year. And for DragonCon, I have a new costume in pre-planning.

I’m hopeful that all this will lead to more writing, here, at Concrete Chaos. I’ve already added a few new pages to my notebooks for the last few years of books, games and films.

Goodbye 2015!

It’s been a great year but I’m excited for 2016. 2015 was a year filled with growth and change.

In April, I asked the woman I love to marry me.
In June, I moved to Tallahassee and in with my newly minted fiancée.
In July, I said goodbye to Gainesville for one last time.
In September, I returned to Atlanta for our now yearly pilgrimage to DragonCon.
In October, I helped two of my dearest friends get married.
In December, I built my third video game for 2015.

There were many more events. Seven weddings in total. Numerous holidays. Travel throughout the Southeast US. And a decent showing at the gym.

In about a month, I’ll be traveling to Atlanta for Dragon*Con and I’m super excited. Earlier this year, I attended my first con, MegaCon in Orlando, Florida. I had such a great experience between the panels, the exhibitor’s hall and the special guests, I couldn’t imagine a better time. Well I could, I could be going with a bunch of my closest and geekiest and nerdiest friends. Previously, I had made half-hearted plans to attend PAX or PAX East with a few friends. But one of them moved to Atlanta just before summer and it all clicked. We’d go to Dragon*Con!

It didn’t take long to convince my friends to join me. The stories and pictures I had from MegaCon were more than enough to prove that it was a worthwhile venture. But there was something else that I felt could make the experience even better, a group cosplay. For the unfamiliar, at these fan cons, people dress up in costumes from their favorite games, books, movies and genres. Some go as individuals, others as couples and some as groups. The detail and effort people put into their costumes is amazing. But the group cosplays are the best. The effort and detail of the individual cosplays and then you mix in the coordination for five or more people!

So, with about ten of my close friends, we’re traveling to Dragon*Con as characters from Red Dragon Inn. The coordination and selection was difficult. With a diverse group of friends, finding something that appealed to everyone proved harder than expected. We’ve got D&D players, video game lovers, Whovians, Trekkies and others. We were voting and a couple of us suggested “generic band of adventurers” and then the light came on, Red Dragon Inn! They’re generic enough where we’ll be a merry band of adventurers to most people in small groups or alone. But when we’re together, and the right people are around, it’ll be easy to pick us out as RDI.

I’ve got most of the materials for my costume at this point, I just need to start putting it all together. A subset of my local friends went out to Goodwill, JoAnn’s Fabrics and Play It Again Sports to gather our materials. I’ve decided to be Remy from the upcoming expansion. I have pants, a shirt, a jacket, a sword and material for a cape. I’m unsure about how to stud the jacket and at this point I won’t be wearing blue paint or a wig, though elf ears are a likely addition. So next weekend I’ll be working on making a bunch of progress in putting it together. Then I’ll have about three weeks to put on the finishing touches. I’m excited and I’ll write a follow-up post after next weekend.