Winter Break is over, for me at any rate. I played a lot of video games (damned Steam holiday sales). I played (am playing actually) Mirrors Edge, FTL, a little bit of STO, a lot of Minecraft, replayed The Walking Dead, and fell in love with Closure. I, surprisingly, didn’t play much in the way of Guild Wars 2, though I thought about it a lot. I also added quite a few new games to my to do list (I won’t list them that would get pretty tedious).
I did some stuff, such as going to my folks house for Christmas, with the kids.My folks have lived in the same place my whole life, well my father has any way, there was a divorce and my mother and I moved around the state a bit, then they got remarried and once again live in the same place. They have some pretty nice views now. That wasn’t the case last year. Over the summer there was a forest fire, one of the largest in the country and the deep forest around my folks place was pretty heavily burned back. There were quite a few neighbors who lost their homes, and my father who lost his paper boxes and that’s it gained some survivor’s guilt. Funny that, he fought in World War II, he is roughly of an age with my wife’s Grampa Santa, he never liked to talk about the war, but I never got the impression he had any survivor’s guilt from it, though to be fair I don’t think his ship really lost many men, but this fire in which nobody was killed (one person received some minor burns) has deeply affected him.
We have some family drama going on with the house, there. I am the youngest of all-told nine kids. I have no full brothers or sisters, they are all the children of one of my folks or the other, except for me. My youngest sister (on my mother’s side), who is older than me by 14 years lived in the house from a year or two before I was born, I think I wasn’t there, until she moved out at about eighteen or nineteen. One of my brothers (My father’s other son) stayed with our dad for a few months, when he was going through a divorce. When my father passed eighty he had lost most of his eyesight, his hearing, and not a small number of brain cells from when he repainted his El Camino in the backyard under some plastic tarps one winter. In my family on his side we tend to live until our early nineties he figures in his condition he doesn’t have quite that long so he has become concerned with his estate. I don’t know what my sisters want from him, though I’m sure he’s already given whatever it is to them if he knew. My brother told him that all he wanted was the El Camino. When my father could no longer see to drive he just gave it to him, he checked with me and I have fond memories of it but I didn’t really want it. Everybody (including my folks) always figured I would get the house, It was my home, I grew up there I’ve never been away from it an entire year in my life, not even when I was in the Army. Now it turns out my brother figures he’s entitled to that too, well I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, I live 250 miles away from it, but I don’t think my brother needs it. He lives in Washington and I imagine he’ll just sell it and pocket the money, he has an expensive wife. While I was over my folks asked if I would mind if they put me on the title with them so when (I’d say “if” but lets be realistic they are both in their eighties) something happens the house will pass directly to me without going through the estate.
When we managed to get home after the holidays, we wanted to take the kids swimming. We called everybody we knew with kids until we got to one of my gaming buddies, everybody was busy doing something else, except he and his wife wanted to take their son sledding, this was last Thursday, and they invited us to go with them. We did, we had a great time, all the kids had fun, right up to the point where my buddy’s wife broke her leg. We game at his house on Thursdays so that was pretty much that. Also the GMs kitty was going into renal failure, so game called on account of sad kitty and broken leg. This week it will be our cleric’s anniversary so he won’t be there but we’ll probably play with out him.
That reminds me. I used to like to draw, but I was always self conscious about it because there was, without fail, always somebody handy who was a much better artist than I. It got to the point where I hated doing anything related to art. Then I went back to school, and I registered for Public speaking, just so i wouldn’t have to do an art class. When I got my graded Biology Lab Notebook back there was a notation that my illustrations were excellent and if I wanted to pursue that I could probably make a good career of it. My wife saw that and figured that it was a shame that I don’t really draw anymore (probably at least a decade since I’ve really drawn anything) so she got me some art supplies for Christmas including a fountain pen with some drawing nibs and ink. I like to use fountain pens, and I know none of that stuff was cheap so I decided to give drawing a go again. Being the nerd that I am I used the Pathfinder Bestiary as a reference and drew my Pathfinder character. I’m a perfectionist so I keep seeing things I’d like to add or that I wish I’d done differently, but I’m told it’s good. I was thinking earlier today, that if I really wanted to improve on this skill, I should make time daily or weekly to do something like this. I find drawing kind of stressful though so that’s a pretty big “if”.
I am all in all pretty happy to be getting back to class. I am taking Anthropology 101 over winter-session, it’s only one class but it is three hours a day every day for pretty much the whole of January.
It seems like the class is designed to be an easy pass. I’ve heard that that is true with most winter-session courses. I’m not really sure what to do with this class though. In class I furiously take notes, I hand write down all the major points of the class, I rarely refer to them again, but the act of writing things down seems to be more the point. My professor has kind of made that superfluous though. He has already provided us with all of his lectures for the course, all of the study guides, and all of the handouts, in simple easy to read PDFs. I know that the furious note taking is part of my learning routine, and so far it’s worked very well and I don’t want to screw up the formula, but the practical person in me hates to write down something I already have written down.