Friday, December 31, 2010

Gaming with the Nieces

Most little girls are into the usual things. Candy, dolls, coloring, etc. My nieces Nakiah (6) and Ava (3) are no exception, but surprisingly, more than anything else, they share an interest in what is easily my favorite hobby, video gaming.

My sister had already told me the girls were into video games but I never knew just how much until I had actually sat down and watched them play. I mean, the two of them are still very girly to be sure, but of all the things for them to take a liking to, gaming is the last thing I'd expect. My brother-in-law Charles is a gamer himself so that probably has something to do with it. At the same time, not every child is into what their parents are into, so it still amazes me that they dig the vid games.

Nakiah, is usually pretty quick to pick up on how a particular game works. If she loses a few lives, she may ask for help. Ava will immediately ask for help if she has trouble. I feel kinda bad for helping because I want them to be able to do things on their on, but I don't want them to fail either. So yeah, I get conflicted at times, silly as that sounds.

The best thing about my nieces being into gaming is that they are very flexible about it. They like old and new-school games. Perhaps it's due to their age but visuals are never even a factor on whether they can enjoy a title or not. So they can just as easily go back to watching their uncle R play some original Super Mario Bros. after beating each other down in Street Fighter IV.

Just as much as they enjoy playing, they like watching me play games as well. I wouldn't be fulfilling my uncle duties if I didn't show off the game skills for the kids.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back Blogged: The Road to Virginia Beach

Let me get the bad out of the way first. The trip to Virginia Beach was LONG. Even though we left a little bit before 10PM, we didn't arrive until sometime after 1PM. The funny thing is that my dad actually told me that we made good progress by departing at the time we did. By leaving during the night hours, far less people were on the road. Of course we still weren't spared the curse of idiot drivers. Some crazy lady merging on the highway nearly ran my dad and I off the road.

The trip also took a lot out of us physically. I'm not used to getting sleepy at 12 and 1AM, so you can imagine my surprise when my eyes get heavy and the rest of my body starts shutting down quicker than what I'm used to. I was also disoriented for the rest of the week, constantly forgetting what day it was. I ended up taking a few naps during the week to get my energy back, which is rare for me.

Now for the good. The sights were awesome. Virginia is loaded with wall-to-wall mountains that seem to stretch on forever. I wish I could have seen them during the day time, but even at night, they still looked pretty. Maybe I was so awe-struck because I don't see stuff like this everyday. I only wish I had a camera! The image above is one I pulled off the google search engine.

Back Blogged: Visiting Old Friends

Before we left for Virginia Beach, we attended the Christmas service at New Life Worship Center, a place that has for years, been a second home to me. Most of the people there have known me since I was in Huggies so it's kinda hard to believe it's been nearly four years since I saw any of them.

We were surprised to find out that only a handful of people knew we would be coming. I mean, old friends coming to visit, you think that kind of thing wouldn't really stay a secret. We weren't expecting it to be, anyway.

In a way, most people not knowing we were coming made it that much more enjoyable. I don't think I've ever gotten so many hugs in my life. We were greeted with smiles, laughter, and love. I always draw strength from the people at New Life and the visit there was no exception. It was like no time at all had passed since we'd last saw everyone.

As I said before, the people at New Life are like family to me and they always will be.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back Blogged: Last Day at Work

Ah, the last day at work. The final hurah. If you despise your job with a passion, you're only more than happy to walk out that door and never look back. I guess that's the voice of experience because I once worked a job that I loathed for years, despite the good pay. Or it could just be the voice of common sense. But I digress.

December 17th, 2010 was my last day working at Boulevard Haus. I was only there for nearly 10 months but my time spent was memorable, thanks in large part to the people I worked with, many that I knew from my previous job at a place called Cena. Of course the new faces were just as awesome as the old ones.

Like any job, there are times were you just don't feel like going in to make the bread, but even when I felt that way, working at Boulevard Haus was still a good time for me, even when I was bored out of my skull or slammed with so much to do. Liking what you do for a living is very important to me so I'm glad I'm able to say that I very much liked working there.

My last day was pretty routine stuff. The thought crossed my mind that my co-workers might do something special seeing as how it was my last day. We were a bit busy so I figured they wouldn't really have the time for cake and what have you. I figured wrong. While I was talking to Ethan, one of the cooks, I heard the rest of my colleagues chanting my name. Didn't take a genius to get what was going on. After some reluctance, I finally walked out to find everyone smiling at me. We partook in cake, ice cream and I got a lovely card signed by everyone that sings a bit of Otis Day and the Knights' "Shout" every time I open it. Even though I didn't want them to do anything for my last day at work, looking back on it, I'm glad they did. It really is nice to know that you'll be missed by people you've known for years or even a few months. Makes you feel like you have value in other people's lives. If anyone from BH is reading this, know that the feeling is mutual.

The ride at BH was short, but sweet. I'll be lucky if my next job is half as fun as this one was.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not "Goodbye." More Like "See You Next Time!"

Due to the move taking place in a matter of days, this is the last night I'll have internet connection. So this will be the last time I blog in Dayton, Ohio.

The boxes are piled up and my one bedroom apartment of five and half years is looking pretty bare. It may not have been the most pretty-looking place but it was home to me and the neighborhood was really nice. Lots a good times were had in this place. Of course there were bad times too but mostly good, I'm happy to say. For my very first place, I think I did pretty well.

It isn't easy to say goodbye. I've had several people I've known over the years move and they'd had to say the word. Now it's my turn to say goodbye but I'm not gonna say it. I'll be keeping in touch with my friends via Facebook and I plan on coming back to visit when I get the chance. So instead of saying goodbye, because it really isn't, I'll say something else.

Until we meet again, in the words of an immortal plumber...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The People I've Known in Ohio

The way things are going, I figure I have a few more weeks here in Ohio before I move to Virgina Beach for a new beginning. I've done a lot of thinking about the way my life has been over the years that I've lived here. I remember a lot of experiences but what I remember most is the people I've met.

Many of the people I've encountered have said they either dislike Ohio or hate it outright. Those that say that are perfectly within their right of free speech to say so. More often than not, the reason for not liking life in the Buckeye state is "There isn't anything to do." At least, that was the one I'd always heard. I never really understood that. Maybe it's because I'm one of those weird, old fashioned types that's fine with having things be super simple in his life. As much as I want to visit New York City someday, I'm perfectly fine living a "boring" life as I've got nice folks to share my life with.

The people you let into your life can have a positive or negative impact on you. I've had some people I've had to sever ties with, but for the most part, I've been blessed to know some truly awesome people here. When I was a child, my parents took my sister and I to a church called New Life Worship Center. During the years I spent there, I grew up with some of my best friends. A few of them are married now, but whenever I see them, we pick up right where we left off. Many people at New Life are like family to me, which makes the decision to move a tough one.

Some people say co-workers shouldn't be counted as friends, but over the last four years I've worked with some truly great people. It wouldn't feel right if I didn't call them friends. It feels as if I've known them all my life. A few of them even helped me land a job at a time where finding work is tough. To have some of them tell me that they'll miss me after having only known them for four or five months is pretty touching. Four years ago, when I left my previous job, my attitude was more along the lines of "So long, suckers!" That isn't the case with my current job. Though I'll still be keeping in touch with everyone via Facebook, it doesn't making leaving them any easier.

So, yeah, as much of a wuss as saying it might make me seem, one of the main reasons life in Ohio was good was due to fact that I had good people in my life. I've no doubt good people live in VA Beach as well. I mean, I've got family out there, so I already know it to be true.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life Changes

I've lived in Ohio all my life. Although I was born in the city of Cleveland, I'd always considered Dayton to be my true home and I thought I'd spend the rest of my life here. Funny how life throws you all sorts of curve balls and things don't turn out the way you'd expect.

In about a month or so, I'll be moving to Virginia Beach to start a whole new life. My father, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces and nephew live down there, so family is my primary reason for moving. My second niece Ava is 3 and I've never seen her in person, the same goes for my 6 month old nephew, Samuel. Sure, seeing pictures of them is nice, but I'd take seeing them in person any day, the same goes for my dad, sister, and brother-in- law.

The move does have me pretty nervous. Have to find a new place to live, get a new job, familiarize myself with a whole new city. I was scared about moving out on my own 5 and half years ago, but I knew it was something that I had to do. It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot and I'm sure I'll learn some new things in VA Beach. I feel like I need to take a chance and see what else lies in store for me outside of Ohio. It can be kinda tough to make a move like this when you're so used to saying in one place, but sometimes you just have to learn to let go.

It's sorta funny that I'm moving to VA Beach because I've never been to a real beach in my entire life. One of the things I'm looking forward to the most? Seeing the beach.