621.4 Miles Later

I downloaded Pokemon Go because it was popular and I sold my soul to Pokemon many years ago with Pokemon Ruby. I added the app to my phone because I was sold on a trailer that promised me Pikachu in my apartment. The early parts of the game were…buggy. And I admit, I stopped playing for a while. But then, after being laid off, the game became a way to reconnect with friends and gave me tangible goals that helps me deal with some of the darkest moments of the depression that followed my unemployed stint.

I’ve given this game plenty of time, none of my reason money (as of now) and it’s caused conversations, arguments and rivalries both friendly and less than. I’ve taken the long way around to find a Pokemon not in my Dex yet. I’ve ducked out of places early or late to find something new and I’ll stop to take over a gym or to get more items.

So as I get my “Jogger” badge: which is claiming over 1000 km, I wanted to talk about Pokemon GO and being committed to a game.


Let’s go over a few basics first:


Favorite Pokemon: In the current gens available for the game probably Eevee.

Most Worthwhile Catch: Girafarig probably.

Favorite Event: Halloween Ghost Event!

Favorite Starter: In the current gens available is probably Squirtle.

Pokemon That You Want the Most: I want another Lapras.



But my feelings around the game have not been all positive. I struggle with how disconnected I feel from the rest of the world. I admit I think it’s rude when people play in front of others and I feel rude when I play in front of others. I don’t like the divisions people created by the team designations. I dislike how I’m now sort of tied to the game and hit a bit of a pay wall. I’m now an advanced enough level that getting items and things is actually sort of hard without putting money into a game I didn’t initially pay for and there is a lot of opinion in the gaming world about paying for free games.

But a year and a half on and 622-ish miles, I’m still playing Pokemon Go. Despite flaws, arguments and catcalling and turf battles: I’m still playing and still racking up steps, gym battles and eggs.

Here’s to many more gym takeovers and more raids. Here’s to questionable night time catches and going out of your way to hit a PokeStop.


Catch on, my friends.



What You Need

God gives us relatives; thank God, we can choose our friends. Addison MiznerRead more at- https-%2F%2Fwww.brainyquote.com%2Fquotes%2Fkeywords%2Ffriends.html.png

The past few weeks have been interesting. Really, since last year my life has turned upside down and then right side up once more. I’ve never considered myself luckier to have the friends that I do while simultaneously feeling like no one listens and by extension: not cared about. And as I struggled with anxiety, depression and the demons of negative self-talk, I was struck with a strong reminder: sometimes the support of the people you care about most is exactly what you need and not exactly what you want.

My anxiety sometimes takes the form of mostly needing to be coddled and supported. I need adulation and attention. I want someone to tell me:

Everything will be okay.

But sometimes I get tough love. Sometimes I get stirring speeches. Sometimes I get loving cynicism. Sometimes I get told that I need to stand on my own. Sometimes I’m told to be strong. Sometimes I’m told that I need to just be positive and look on the bright side. Sometimes I’m told to buck up.

None of those are invalid forms of expressing care, love and concern for someone who is struggling with the evils of mental illness. None of those things are, in theory, wrong to say. Some of them, probably, are the best things someone like me actually needs. Sometimes.

It’s important to keep in mind that what sounds encouraging to one person is dismissive and damning to another. What is meant to be supportive often can sound diminutive.

Be kind to each other and know that sometimes what you want sometimes isn’t what you need.



Et Tu, Fidget Cube?


I like many at times struggle with generalized anxiety. And my anxiety tends to manifest with obsessive hair brushing, nail biting and other “self-mutilation behaviours” that anxious people exhibit. Like a stressed out parrot, if left to my own devices, I would likely bite my nails to an unattractive length or over-style my hair to finally fit the look of the anime character that I really am on the inside.

I’ve been playing with stress balls, small toys as well as doodling, drawing, pen spinning and just about any other “fidget” activity that you can try. It was actually my therapist who encouraged that I try a d fidget cube. She thought that maybe it would help curb some of the bad habits that I’ve dealt with since I was young.

I waited for a while to get a fidget cube but then they and their spinner partners became popular. Suddenly, mostly fidget spinners became very en vogue. Even my boss had one. He, of course, said it was for “business men like him who sit in meetings” to which I promptly corrected him on the true origin of the fidget spinner. But since they became popular tools of the zeitgeist, it puts people like me in a strange position. I either look like a hipster by not adopting what became popular or I look like I’m part of a movement that I’m not by having one. And truthfully, I even separate out that I have a cube rather than a spinner. To me and those like me that have these toys to help them cope with stress or anxiety, the spinner is a pretentious toy. The cube became the secret handshake of those who actually intended to use the devices as they were patented: as therapy devices.

Amber, my dear teacher friend, at first was dismayed when I showed her my cube. She said her school children have been causing quite a fuss with their spinners. Some even light up now and are being used like new-age hipster Beyblades. When I explained to her why I had mine, she accepted it. Most do when you explain that you have a cube or spinner for any reason that isn’t puffery or just for fun.

That being said: if you see someone with a cube or spinner, I think it’s important to halt judgement briefly. I know it’s been difficult for me to not immediately judge the children on the bus wielding two light-up spinners for some odd reason. But I’m doing my best to reserve that judgement because I know how much I don’t like being judged and lumped in with all the people that got these because they want to be hip with the young kids. Most people now have them because they’re popular but they’re already starting to wane in their popularity. Soon, once more like with so many other appropriated things, people who intend to use them as first created will rise again.


A Letter to Idea Channel

Hello, Mr. Mike Rugnetta.

We’ve spoken on Twitter before. I’m a big fan, really. I’ve used countless PBS Idea Channel videos in blogs before. I’ve shared them with friends. I’ve commented on them in my panels. I have had real life discussions and talks about your videos and the theories posited by them.

I heard about you winding down and ending the channel.

I had lots of feelings about this.

I do agree that at times, the channel wasn’t always best. I’ve lovingly called it PBS Semantics Channel like everyone else. I have considered that you may be overthinking rather simple things. I may flat out disagree with a thesis you pose. But I’ve always appreciated the theories, discussion and you, the host.

I wanted to get my feelings out. I wanted to write this little letter to you. I want you to know that even though I am emotional over the end of an era and the loss of one more much needed voice in the muck and mire of the Internet: I’m mostly just grateful.

I’m thankful for the discussion. I’m thankful for the memories. I’m thankful for the videos.

Wherever the Internet may take you, I hope it’s a bright shiny place full of delicious content.

Thank you for the Discourse.

Yours truly,


Drive Away


Not all those who wander are lost.J. R. R. Tolkien.pngA former partner used to comment on my wanderlust rather frequently. I’d go for long walks. I was constantly dreaming of a place anywhere but where I was. I wanted nothing more than to walk into the woods and sometimes, just sometimes, never have to leave the tangled mess of Grendel’s forest. All of these are very atypical for the average Cancerian.

We had a shared passion for astrology when it was convenient to us and both of us being Cancers, it was a common topic of discussion that I had such a desire to “get lost”.

Cancers are supposed to be homebodies; my partner certainly was. I absolutely have it in my character to be a homebody and my friends can attest to the fact that sometimes I am often heard and seldom seen. But upon further research, an interesting concept did appear.

A Cancer, like a real Crab, often picks up its home wherever it goes and if it feels it has no home to return to; a crab will wander until it finds a suitable home.

Now for some context, this was during a time of my life shortly after the passing of my mother and during one of the most tumultuous phases of my home life. My aunts were at times unsympathetic, the economy was bad and my grandmother was sick. And even though I was physically at home in North Texas I felt very far from being anywhere that felt like home. I had returned from San Antonio after graduating from college and hoped to find myself in North Texas. That didn’t work out for me and I returned to San Antonio to start my life.

I left behind plenty of people in that move but I did what felt right.

I wanted to find my home. I wanted to build a home because I embraced that the nostalgic view of home I had no longer existed. My nuclear family had died, my aunts struggled to deal with a melancholy college grad. We were no longer in the home I was raised in: we were far from it. All of the things were of value to me were either movable or didn’t exist anymore. Friendships don’t usually just vanish over miles and I’ve managed to keep many of my North Texas friends since I moved: sure, things have been difficult but not impossible.

I built a happy home in San Antonio and even though lovers, partners and friends have come and gone I did find home. I found routine. I found security. I found stability.

But every once in awhile a pang of anxiety will coax me from my bed. Every once in awhile a twinge of fear will stop me from my sewing. And before I got my handsome car, usually in those moments I’d either hop on the next bus to anywhere but home or I’d sit and distract myself until the negative thoughts went away.

Now that I have a car, I find that I go on drives. Amber and I are known for our weekend trips. I for a while drove back and forth to Austin daily. The drives to North Texas have gotten easier and easier. I am a bit of a road warrior. Give me a good playlist and most road trips are pretty easy to manage, even alone. They get better with company. I’ve even considered a few trips on my own to find myself.

So now if those same invasive negative thoughts creep in, despite the time of day or night, I can hop in the car and go for a drive. I can go to the park and go for a walk. Go to the mall and just people watch. I can go to the museum and embrace a culture that isn’t mine. I can go to the library and get books I no longer have self space for but will never turn down.  

Despite my pugnacious personality, I rather dislike conflict. And when things are less than kind, I much rather walk away. I much rather distance myself from a bad situation than stay in a non-productive argument. Like a hermit crab, I will pick up my shell and walk until I find more hospitable waters.

Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a conversation that isn’t going anywhere. Sometimes it’s okay to avoid pain. If a crab has a home, even one it likes a lot, it will leave it behind if it is repeatedly shocked or subjected to torments or acidic waters.

Home is where you set up camp and home is almost always inside of you and those you care for most.