May 29, 2016

Public Venting About Private Matters

Please forgive the momentary diversion into LiveJournal land.

I've never considered myself to be a "catch."  Growing up, I was awkward, lanky, and had the physical attributes of a string bean without the nutrition.  My voice has always been nasal.  Even when I drop my voice an octave for public speaking, it's still torture for anyone who listens to me.

I was even worse personality-wise.  Until I was in my mid-twenties, I was a complete and utter asshole.  The laundry list of shit that was wrong with me could fill multiple pages, but I'm going to skip that for now and just say that I was surprised that I got married back in 1994.

I consider the first five years of my marriage to have been essentially karmic payback for the shit I did before then.  My late wife had chronic pain and used alcohol to self-medicate.  Unfortunately, the alcohol shut off her filters and, well, I got my comeuppance.  During the first five years of my marriage, my wife accused me of cheating on her nine times...including once with a guy.  Mind you, it's not like where I was at any time was a secret.  My work schedule was on the fridge at home, and since I either walked or used public transportation to each job, every moment of my day could be accounted for.  Didn't matter.  She'd been cheated on before, and so she saw a cheater in everyone. 

Having that feeling of distrust aimed at me was a large part of what led me to change my own behavior for the better.  I basically tried to be the person that I should have been all along.  I helped my friends out whenever I could, whether it was financially or by giving them a place to stay for a few months.  I tried to always help my neighbors, whether it was ingredients, batteries, babysitting, you name it.  I didn't always succeed, and I could tell that sometimes I was being taken advantage of, but helping others made me feel better.  It eventually stopped being a conscious decision and just became second nature.

Being a better person didn't stop the distrust, though.  After fifteen years of marriage, I told her that if she ever accused me of cheating on her again, I'd actually do it.  She then accused me of cheating on her with an employee of mine.  I never did actually cheat on her, but I stopped wearing my wedding ring then.

Now let's fast forward to last November.  My home was a total disaster area before my wife died for a variety of reasons, and while I was trying to get it taken care of, I was too close to the problem to make more than a token dent.

In late November, I met a single mom who needed a charger for her MacBook Pro through NextDoor.  Well, I say "single."  She's still technically married, but is separated and the only reason that she's not divorced is so that her kid can stay insured.  One thing led to another and we became friends.  She needed some extra cash, so we drafted a contract and I paid her part-time hours to help me get my house in order.  While the contract was supposed to end in March, I extended it to April 22 to help her out.  We've still remained friends, though.  She's storing some stuff in my garage temporarily while she moves, and has used me as a sounding board when she needed to.

In late January, I started to dip my toes into the dating scene and after a few dates with a few different ladies, I eventually started dating one lady exclusively.  My biggest concern was that she kept reminding me of parts of my late wife that I hated.  Her biggest problem was that I was telling her that.  She didn't think it was fair for me to constantly compare her to my late wife.  I came around to that point of view and made a conscious effort to stop it.

The lady I was dating didn't like the fact that I had a female housekeeper.  Turns out that her ex-husband cheated on her with the help.  Oh, can see where this is going.

The two finally met last Monday before my trip to Utah.  The meeting lasted less than a minute.  Today, I was accused of cheating as well as other things.

The funny part of all of this is that I can see exactly why she'd think I was cheating on her.  I haven't been, but I can see the dots that she's connecting.  The weird part of all of this is that there are three ways that I could have stopped this from happening, and I don't think I'd do any of them.
  1. I could have stopped my friendship after the contract ended.  I wasn't going to do that.  I don't turn my back on friends.  She helped me get my life back on track, and turning my back on her would be a foolish thing for me to do.
  2. I could have not let her store stuff in my garage.  I could have done this, but it goes back to point #1.  I've got a lot of space that I'm not using...why let it go to waste?  Let her save her money for her new home.
  3. I was told that moving out of this house would effectively stop the accusations.  My lease doesn't expire until November 2017, and while I'm looking at candidate one-bedrooms to move to, I'm not going to start looking in earnest until mid-summer of next year.  I'm not going to break my lease now even though I'm in too large of a place for me.
Regardless, if I have to choose between living a life of suspicion or a life of solitude, I'm going to choose solitude at this point in my life.  This may change in the future, but this is where I'm at now.

May 27, 2016

May 26, 2016

When Are We No Longer Ourselves?

This post is going to be a bit more philosophical and involve quite a bit more navel-gazing than my normal posts, but please bear with me for a bit.

This week, I traveled back to Utah to see my granddaughter graduate from high school.  Years ago, both my late wife and I promised her that we'd be there to see her graduate, and while my deceased wife was understandably not able to fulfill her part of the agreement, I made sure that I was here to help celebrate this important milestone.

On an entirely different thread, I've had a plan for the past decade about how I was going to handle my eventual retirement.  I've got a decent savings goal, and when I hit that goal, I was planning on moving back to Utah, buying a new house, and spending my remaining years making small indie games.

I bring this up because, well, my visit for my granddaughter has thrown a large monkey wrench into my retirement plans.  Essentially, while I had already been questioning my plan to return to Utah because of some absolutely moronic political decisions that the state had been making over the last few years, this visit pretty much helped me decide that unless something drastic happens in my life necessitating my relocation to Utah, I would never move back.

To understand why, we need to briefly walk through two thought exercises.  You have a car that has a lot of reliability problems. You replace a part. Is it still the same car? You replace another, and another, and another.  Is it still the same car?  You replace every single part.  Is it still the same car?

Likewise, every cell in the human body is replaced every seven years (approximately).  Are you the same you that you were a minute ago?  A year ago?  Seven years ago?

I think this trip gave me my answer.  You aren't the same you.  You aren't even the same you that you were when you started reading this.  You have changed...and so have I.

What led me down this road of thought was this trip.  This was my third trip back to Utah over the last decade, but only the first one where I got to spend time exploring.  I'd never felt like I belonged in Utah, but I also had never felt as alien as I had on this trip, so I decided to try to figure it out.

Geographically, a lot has changed.  Eight of the eleven jobs that I had in Utah are no more.  Three of the houses I lived in are gone.  The restaurants that I had both of my first dates in are gone.  Jewelry stores where I bought the engagement and wedding rings are gone.  My peaceful alcove in Adams Canyon is gone.  Favorite stores, restaurants, friends, gone.  These are just surface level changes, but they add up.  Enough has changed over the last decade that while I recognize the basic contours of the state, it's no longer the same state that I left.

It's the same for me personally.  I've changed significantly since I moved to Texas to try to find my fortune.  While there are plenty of physical changes, I'm also quite a bit different mentally and emotionally.

I think the big difference is perception.  You don't notice that you are changing day to day unless something drastic changes.  The people you are with don't notice the changes either.  People you haven't seen in a bit do notice the changes, though.  It's just that the level of change from sighting to sighting has increased.

Utah has changed to the point where it feels alien to me.  The odd part is that I feel like I've changed enough since leaving that the me who was me when I lived here also feels alien to me.

At this point, I'm going to need to start from scratch on determining what to do when I retire.  I've still got time, but I like to be prepared.  After all, who knows who I will be then?

May 24, 2016

In Utah

I'm in Utah through the end of the week.

I may not be very responsive.

May 22, 2016

RomTerraria 4.0 released for Terraria 1.3.1

  • Removed unneeded options.
  • Made the UI look semi-decent on a 4K monitor at 150% UI scaling.
  • Tested with Terraria 1.3.1
Download now.

Oh, and the source is on GitHub.

Terraria 1.3.1

Looks like Terraria 1.3.1 was released while I was out getting a haircut.

I'll look at what it will take to get RomTerraria updated later this afternoon.

May 16, 2016

Terraria 1.3.1 Release Date Plans

Terraria 1.3.1 is expected to be released on Sunday, May 22.

I'm going on a trip on Tuesday, May 24.

If I can get RomTerraria updated for 1.3.1 before I leave, you'll have it.  If I can't, I'll try to work on it evenings during my trip and have it out as quickly as possible.

Sorry about the lack of clarity here.  I have no idea what is changing, so I can't make any guarantees about my ability to quickly update RomTerraria to support it.

That said, I've got a nice 4K monitor hooked up at home now so it will be easy to test...