Monday, May 9, 2011

I am a son

Sorry that this post didn't come on Mother's day. I was busy packing up, moving home from college, and celebrating Mother's day with my family. We got her a package of Lindt Chocolates. They've become a default present we all give each other on occasions where gifts are expected but there isn't anything in particular anyone has in mind.

Fun fact from “Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts—like spa treatments—and another $68 million on greeting cards.”

What did you all get your mothers for Mother's day?
Coming up soon... I am a video gamer

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I am a brother

I am the middle child of three. My older brother is about 3.5 years older than me. My younger brother is almost exactly 1 year younger than me. My entire life I've been very close to both of my brothers, and have many times been confused with the amount of distaste I see in friends of mine and their siblings. Now that I'm older, I really am almost uninterested in people besides my brothers. We all have similar tastes, and provide each other with almost instant availability when we need a friend to join us in doing something. I live with my brothers in a three person apartment up at college, and it looks like it's going to stay that way for a while. My older brother just graduated, but it seems as though he'll be coming back after the summer and finding a job around here so that he can live around us longer. I have a feeling that we may all end up living near each other when we become much older, too. 

I've often contemplated what decision I would make if I was offered two jobs, one high-paying and far away, and the other lower-paying but allowed me to live near my brothers. At this point I've come to the conclusion that I would most likely choose to live next to my brothers, as one's decisions in life should really reflect their greater goal. I'm not necessarily looking to be extremely rich, I just want to be happy. What makes me happy? The camaraderie and fellowship I get from being around people I know and trust.

So my question posed to you followers, do you have siblings? Are you close? Would you chose living near them long-term over a high-paying job?  
Coming up for Mother's Day, I am a son. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I am a dungeon master

As you can see, I've been posting "I am..."'s so far, pulling from the list written in my initial blog post. 

Once i've posted one of each I will determine what niche I want to have this blog fulfill. (I think it will fill probably 2 or 3, and i'll blog about those subjects)

I wrote this out for some players returning this summer who will be joining me in playing Dungeons and Dragons. We're an alright group. (Not quite the covered in funions and guzzling mt. dew type of people one may expect)

These are the first two adventures we had. I wrote them out for nostalgia purposes. I've got quite a few more adventures to write up, but I figured today's blog post could serve to give the reader a view into some of our earlier, less developed, adventures.

Anyway, feel free to comment about the two adventures, though if you prefer, feel free to look at the list of "I am"'s and predict which two or three I'll end up continuing on with once I've done one of each. 
-- I'd bet on fishing, video games, and counselor... at least for the summer  --

All of our games take place in the same world. Some take place during the same time, but others are hundreds of years apart. These are in the order that we started playing them, not necessarily in chronological order (in game).

Players: Jesse, JJ, Johnathan, Samantha, Jason (Dungeon Master)
In the town of Timble, The Mayor asks our adventurers to pull the boats (besides his) off the dock and move them into the forest. Later that night the town is attacked, and the mayor's boat is gone. JJ, the Fighter, runs off as Samantha, the Druid, sees her mother killed and her father turn into a dire bear and run into the forest. JJ disguised himself as one of the raiders, and assumed the position of a soldier. Sam and Johnathan, the Ranger, are knocked out and taken prisoner. Jesse, a cleric taken hostage by the raiders, heals the
wounded as everyone is carted to the raider's city.
The captured adventurers are forced to partake in gladiator battles until, with help of JJ disguised as a soldier, and Jesse, who wants to hurt his captors, they destroy the Colosseum and free all the other slaves. Faced with the information that there was a traitor in Timble that sold out the town, and that the raiding city mercilessly murdered him regardless, the adventurers come to the conclusion that the Mayor caved into pressure from the evil nation. Before escaping a giant bird swooped down and picked Sam up, returning her shortly after. The Adventurers also learned that the nearby city of Talmar would come under attack soon (while also reading that any information on “Dwemer” must be quickly destroyed without question). After some discussion where JJ wanted to head in the opposite direction to a City much further away that would beeventually attacked, the adventurers decided to head North, along a highway of bridges strung along trees, to the Elven city of Talmar.
Along the way they discovered the highway to be abandoned, with signs of recent combat with Orcs. (Our adventurers were engaged by an Orc on the ground throwing axes upward) They rested on a guard tower section of the bridge, but were attacked, and eventually thrown from the bridge, by a giant spider and its young. They defeated it and headed onward to Talmar (Samantha, whose animal companion had been killed by now, spotted a bear and its child, which Jesse managed to dispatch with a swift flick of his sword)
When they got to Talmar they attempted to tell the Mayor that the nearby nation would attack soon, but the head of guard refused to let the adventurers speak with him. The prison of the city had been overrun by its prisoners, and the Mayor was too busy worrying about that. The adventurers negotiated that for council with the mayor, a sum of money, and boat, they would dispatch of the unruly prisoners. They headed into the prison and started working their way through its labyrinth, and that is where we left off.

Players: Amy, Johnathan, Michael, Samantha, Jason (Dungeon Master)

Our adventurers, Amy, the Fighter, Johnathan, the Paladin, Michael, the Rogue, and Samantha, the Sorcerer, were on their way to the town of Tombstone on a task assigned to them by the Adventurer's Guild. They were to address the issue of the town being raided at night by the undead. On the way they met a caravan trader who needed a message to be sent along that the downed bridge needed to be repaired for him to make it to Tombstone. Along the way they were engaged by a group of goblins, hobgoblins and a two-headed ogre-like 
beast being retrained by the goblin-kin. A chase ensued and the adventurers made it to Tombstone unscathed.
It was discovered that by order of the mayor magic users were not allowed in town for some reason. That night the adventurers engaged the undead horde, and destroyed what they learned to be a magically summoned apparition of the nearby wizard. After receiving orders from a very confrontational and frantic mayor, the adventurers discovered that to deal with the undead they must deal with the nearby famous Adventurer's guild wizard.
They scaled the tower of the wizard, dealing with elemental themed rooms, locks, and a large hall of some sort with gargoyles. They rested in a guest room, where they discovered items left by previous guests. They later read the journal of the wizard, from which they concluded his turn to evil may be a result of his interactions with the mayor, who never seemed to like him because he and other magic users would be able to discern what he really is. When they encountered the wizard (Merlick) they discovered he was weakened from the failure of his apparition, and after dealing with his summoned monsters they incapacitated him. His book of evil spells was quickly stolen by ethereal creatures who teleported in and out of the area. They tied him up tightly in their bag of holding and rested for a night. They then returned to the mayor, who lead them into his basement for their payment. Amy killed a doppelganger, and they discovered there was actually a horde of them, all keeping the mayor captive. We left off with 4 “mayors” in a sub-basement and the adventurers trying to determine which one (if any) was the real mayor.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am a political scientist

As I mentioned in my last blog, I have recently been working on a final paper for my class on Canada. My professor assigned groupings of chapters in our class text "Canada and the United States, Differences that Count", told us to pick four groupings and provide an analysis of each type of difference, reporting whether or not it was actually, indeed, a "difference that counts".

(Courtesy of

I chose to look at how Americans and Canadians perceive one another, how the general values are different, how the university systems are different between the two countries, how both the health-care and welfare systems differ, and how the federal governments are different. 

I wont bore you with all the minor details, but I will point out the main facts that I assessed in my comparison. 

According to our class text, Canadians perceive Americans to be both fat and amazing at the same time. Living among Canadians an American may receive some prejudice for unrelated American problems. Canadians view their powerful southern neighbors to be extreme in most aspects, where as they see themselves as moderates. Americans on the other hand, generally don't think at all about Canadians. On the fringe of America's mind, Canada is simply thought of as a Winter wonderland filled with french lumberjacks and maple syrup. 

The general values of each countries are noticeably different. Americans tend to be more conservative, while Canadians are more liberal. While a minority opinion in both countries, 10% more Americans believe both that men are superior than women in all cases, and non-white immigrants are ruining the quality of their nation. 

The university systems in Canada are unlike the commercialized and nationally famous universities in America. Instead they are all the same cookie-cutter public universities that provide no real incentive to choose one over the other. In America the universities are filled with frats and fun; an environment for people to move away from home and experience new things while learning social skills. In Canada they are apparently continuations of High Schools (That cost much much less than American colleges).

As for health-care and welfare, the author indicated that Americans care much less for their indignant and less-fortunate. We all know about universal health-care and all, (I definitely wont be dealing with this as a simple paragraph in one blog entry -- If I talk about it, it's going to be an entire post) So I wont be going into that much more. Essentially it was observed that Canadians love the poor and Americans love to line their pockets with the tears of those less fortunate. 

As for the federal governments, the book merely noted that irony in both of the nation's current power systems. Both countries initially set out to be the opposite of what they are now. The US wanted strong states and a weak federal government, where as the Canadians wanted a strong fed and weak provinces. Unfortunately for the respective founding fathers, neither ended up how they wanted. 

As you can probably tell from the change in my demeanor on the seriousness during this post, I felt the analysis provided by this book was a bit one sided. I wasn't entirely upset, nor did I start to wave my American flag around my living room. I simply noticed how a Canadian author was offering backhanded compliments or faux compliment sandwiches to point out the presumed failures of the American government. I recommend this book as an interesting understanding of a Canadian's perspective on comparative politics, but I suggest its contents be taken with a grain of salt. 

I am a student

And  man-oh-man am I a student right now. Hour upon hour I am clacking away at a keyboard, cranking out 10 page papers like they're nothing. Final exams have really gotten me down lately, and it seems they just keep coming.

I'm only a few days away from the end of my second year at University, and I cannot wait for the finish line. This summer is going to be a ton of fun (finances permitting) and I just can't stay focused on my exams for more than a few minutes at a time.

Within the last week I've had an exam due for my Supreme Court Case-Law class... I've had to speak in front of an audience of hundreds for my public speaking final (Well, essentially a final, it was actually an award I had been nominated for, but didn't get)... I'm almost done with a comparative analysis of Canada v. The USA... Once that's done I've got just one more paper on the Constitution and Criminal due process and I'm home free!


Anyway, a little more background on myself and my current college living conditions. I'm living in a three person apartment with my Senior brother and my freshman brother. We all get along very well, and love it up here at college, but just like anyone else right about now, we're ready to just go home!

My next blog post will be less of an introduction and more of an analysis of either a section of one of my "I am..."'s, or an observation of mine in one of those categories.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My blog is your kinda blog...

Starting now, I will be regularly updating this blog. I will be posting some of what I think (and hopefully you will too) are the most interesting thing I can produce. This blog will reflect who I am. In fact, this blog will present the multiple people I am. So to begin, a little about myself:

In no particular order...
I am a student.
I am a fisherman.
I am a video gamer.
I am a counselor.
I am a political scientist.
I am a brother.
I am a son.
I am a boyfriend.
I am a dungeon master.
I am a critic.
I am a dog owner.
I am me.

I intend to write blogs that illustrate just how I am each of these things. If you are interested in any of these things you'll surely find this to be an fresh perspective on these things. Once I've posted on all of these different elements of my life, I'll continue to blog; maybe more in depth on these things, maybe on different things.

Stay tuned, and i'll eventually peak your interest.