A journey of 20 years - poem

Been clean off weed now nearly 20 years.
Looking back I see so much more clear.
A divorce-framed childhood with traumatic fear.
Two parents with their own childhood issues dear.

Picked up my first beer two years ago after none for 18.
Changed my world view instantly after being so clean.
I now drink more often and pray far less, it would seem.
Reconnected me to social drug use, a happy American scene.

I'm a father now, a husband now, and a working creative freelance.
Tried to work in corporate awhile and succeeded, more or less by chance.
Had managers threaten me, fire me, say "you don't belong here" askance,
But I survived past all of them, then quit that unhealthy dollar dance.

Pursued my dream for both wealth and health; to tell stories and get paid.
I got to shoot a bunch of projects, did well with some, so I stayed.
Then the economy collapsed and my sweet production business was unmade.
I went jobless for almost 2 years, supported on unemployment, and I played.

Joined a group filming shorts, made a few, screened in contests, and won prizes.
But my heart wanted bigger projects, seemingly far out of reach due to the sizes.
The risk of making feature films and failing horribly paralyzes.
The risk of not making my dreams burns as my new mid-life crisis.

I'm happier than I've ever been in so many ways, it's hard to believe.
Committing to a marriage and having our first child (and another coming) has so expanded me.
My inner turmoils has become entertainment rather than pending insanity.
I've left much of my isolation behind and rejoined the rest of humanity.

Yet I must acknowledge that what I've gone through has changed me to the core.
Besides seeming perma-stoned to so many, I'm also so much more.
Only a few see how the power of experience and faith combined have helped me soar.
I've left behind so many flaws that defined me those 20 years before.

The largest victory, however, is to be free of that compulsion to go numb.
I smoked to turn on and trip out, but the overarching effects left me so dumb.
The value in accumulated memory, not wiping the slate clean of nearly every crumb.
Is what has helped me persevere on this dream walk, helped me not to succumb.

So many obstacles in life rise up to stop us from success.
The biggest however, comes from my most sensitive inner recess.
I fear that I'll be revealed as a failure, a fool, a sick and repulsive mess.
But now that I've shared that fear with you, it can be rendered powerless.

It's now time to take the journey I've dreamt of since I can first remember things.
To tell stories and inspire visions beyond anything anyone has ever seen.
I've narrated dreams to my son before he sleeps, but very early he'll say, "The end".
Someday I know we'll journey together in my manifested dream, my friend.

AppsWrap - Mabinogi Duel G2 + work CYA

Just finished first take at AppsWrap write up of Mabinogi Duel.  Wow, this is an excellent Android game!

(I'm trying to break off Apps reviews from here onto separate blog, AppsWrap.  This one is about my LIFE, not just software.)

Please read the write up and provide your feedback?  I can say this -- it's one of the best free to play CCG's (collectible card games) I've encountered in Android, it has animated bouncing boobs, generally nice artwork, and it's got some strategic deck design.  It's Korean, so there's some funny mistranslation and some really interesting cultural crossover stuff here.

Some confusion at work, can't elaborate much except to say it felt like another arbitrary management thing where I got the short end yet again.  Unthrilling, to say the least.

When I screw up, I am accountable.  When managers screw up, what happens -- obfuscate, misdirect, blame someone else.  I've seen this so many times now.  Blech

Update -- back to that previous work thing -- now that I've been laid off, I'm more free to say a few things:

1- that job sucked.  I liked the concept, but the execution was failed.  I could list all the failings, but the simplest way to summarize is that the management was erratic, questionable, and unprofessional. The only upside to their direction was there was no up-front harassment and there was no completely illegal management (which I've seen at other places).

2 - the Director was, to be political, rather unusual.  He'd say things like, "I'm not known to be a micromanager", and then require everything on workdesk to be velcro-taped down in specific positions.

3 - I got laid off again; "We were contracted to video tape 1000+ meetings, but now the [govt organizations] say they only want to film 100 or so this year, so we have to downsize.  Again, this is due to no fault of your own." etc.  Well, last time it was due to automation (ie computerization), and this time it is due to poor management by weirdo Director (see #2, but I will add some more).  Here's a suggestion -- how about laying YOURSELF off, you buttwipe?!?!

4 - Bad management example #2: after the strangest interview I have EVER had, I was hired for a DIFFERENT job (lower paying too) than the one I interviewed for -- PART TIME WEBCAST DIRECTOR.  Another 5 guys were also hired (all of us white males btw).  We all got phone training for 1 month, followed up by on-site training for a month.

Just as we are all up to speed, the Director calls each of us up individually, says the client has decided they'd now prefer to have fulltime employees rather than part timers, so he tells me this and asks, "Would you be open to working full time?"  I said sure.  OK.  The next day, only 3 of us come in.

The Director announces the other 3 were let go because they didn't want to work full time, and congratulations!  2 of you are now fulltime, and you (REkzkaRZ) will remain part time.  WTF?

Although the Director tried to make it seem like the client had just changed their mind, the other supervisors said things like "congratulations, you made the cut.  Get this gig is harder to do than getting into Harvard" and one mistaken 'potshot' comment, that the Director deliberately "decided to try and hire more compliant and flexible people who would commit and stay with the role, rather than the stars".

And then a few weeks later the Director emailed the fulltimers that work hours would now start at 7am.  Since he didn't email me or mention it to me, I didn't acknowledge it and kept working @ 9am.   Then the Director stopped them from being allowed to leave when there was nothing to film (ie no meetings), but I kept on leaving since he never informed me of this.  Then he voided the fulltimers contract offers & made them sign new ones with the new terms -- after already working there for 5+ months.

Anyway, despite the generally weird experience at that job, it did provide me with a title I wanted, 'Director', and they paid me for 6 months to do one of the most simple jobs I've ever done.

Magic Puzzle Quest (& Marvel Puzzle Quest)

Ooooh, a new Puzzle Quest!  And it's a blend of Magic: The Gathering (ie MTG) and Puzzle Quest! Made by D3 (makers of Marvel Puzzle Quest) & Wizards of the Coast!  What could go wrong?

This was my thought as I dloaded Magic PQ, somewhat concerned that it might affect my addictive daily playing of Marvel PQ.  Well, I now doubt that, despite the fact that I think Magic PQ is a 3-4* game on track to be a 5* game.  But Marvel PQ already is a 4* game, IMO.

The Good:
Lots of Plainswalkers, lots of cards.  Deck building mechanic.  CCG.  Strategic play.  Looks very nice.

The Bad:
10 card decks?!?  Really?  Meh!  Plainswalkers get first weak power at Lvl 2, next at Lvl 14?!?  Tiles in match-3 game look very similar (esp Blue & Black), esp when a 'support tile' is in play.  While art looks great, not much animation here.  Lots of cards, but can be hard to know what's going on, and I haven't found a 'recap' / log button to see what opponent's action was.  And lastly -- this is an F2P game w/2 currencies, and despite getting both just by playing, clearly the emph is on spending real money for premium currency to buy boosters.  (And I won't be spending anything, most likely.)

My Tips/Tricks:
I'm a newb, but I'm a veteran MTG & Marvel PQ player.  I will likely update these as I play more.

1 - Spend your currency well.  I dropped 50 crystals (premium) to add all Planeswalkers (PW's).  Rationale: the game is new, and I can see their costs soon jumping.  Also, when new PW's arrive, I'm sure they will also cost.  And for deck building, you can't play cards that don't share a color w/your PW.  I like Green, but also like 'em all.

2 - Get an early booster or two, but then start saving for the rates.  I didn't want all my cards to be 'standard', but my first 2 boosters didn't offere much of anything interesting.  Oh well.

3 - UI Tips:
3a - Deck design is on the Planeswalkers menu.  And, if you are new to Magic, there's a Quick Update option which has the AI do it all for you.  You can also empty  your deck and it will autobuild for you. Not bad!
3b - Support Tiles - to distinguish between your Support Tiles & opponent's in play, the counter will be on that player's side.  The color is the color of the glow (this took me forever to figure out).

4 - During play, check your hand frequently (ie every round!) & strategically rearrange cards.  Also don't forget to use your PW's powers, even if they suck.  And don't mana-charge up Support Cards that need creatures w/o 1-2 creatures in play.

I wish I had more tips, but if you post yours I will happily include them here (on my Apps review blog, AppsWrap --  http://appswrap.blogspot.com/2015/12/magic-puzzle-quest-marvel-puzzle-quest.html (and in my gameplay!!).
Thanks!  Happy Holidays!