Hooked by the SCA

Two Saturday’s ago, I went to my first SCA event. Now knowing me, you’d think that I go to these all the time. I’m a history buff, love get-togethers, and especially love sharp pointy things. I trained for SCA heavy combat when I was in college and was ready to take my place bashing people with sticks. What kept me from joining was money. While membership and event admission is cheap, things like armor are very expensive. I was just a poor kid out of college. I didn’t have 400 bucks to spend on armor. So I gave it up. I wish that I didn’t.

This first event hooked me. Everyone is so relaxed and chill there. I got to watch the two martial tournaments: HEMA fencing (historical, not modern), and armored combat. I got to throw hand axes and daggers at targets (I’m awful at it.) and there was awesome food.

I also found out that there was a local shire, which I didn’t expect (the event was in another shire, my shire is currently called Norden Fjord, but we’re changing it to Stone Bridges. It’s in the East Kingdom). So I joined. So far, I’m glad. There’s even a lot of sewing, which got Katie interested. There are also bardic competitions, and while my singing leaves something to be desired, like quality, storytelling is part of bardic skill. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s tell a damn good story.

Does this mean that I’ve reached a new level of geekdom? Yes…yes it does. I’m cool with that.

Any SCA members out there that read my blog? I’m looking for further info or garb ideas (I was going to make a necklace out of wooden toggles, but I found that they’re not historically accurate. I thought about making one from claws or teeth, but that kinda skeeves Katie out.

I’m looking forward to plunging in. I just hope that I don’t get super obsessed the way that I usually do and blow all the money that I don’t have.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux


RIP Gramma

At 3:52PM yesterday, my grandmother Frieda Epstein passed away in her home. Gramma was a truly extraordinary woman, and not for the extreme length of her lifetime (one month short of 101 years). She was the matriarch, the leader of our family. She made things happen.

Gramma and Grampa raised three children in Washington Heights, Manhattan. They lived in an apartment so small, my mother said that she got an F on an assignment describing her place because the teacher didn’t think it was real. In addition, my great-grandmother lived with them. Six people in an apartment unrealistic enough to get an F.

Through hard work, set backs, and successes, they were able to move across town to the new Promised Land, Co-Op City, in the Bronx. Her three kids grew up to be successes in their fields and raise families of their own. Later in life, she became president of the Co-Op City Jewish Center, the last temple in Co-Op. She held this position until she was too sick to keep it anymore. Without her, the temple closed down.

My gramma has been sick for a while. She’s been in a lot of pain. So while I mourn for her, I also realize that this is a release and relief. I grieve for my family that now has to go on without her. My gramma is at peace, and Death is much harder for the people left behind.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

In Dreams…And Nightmares

The nightmares have started again.

If you don’t know, I have nightmares about my late fiance. I was there, completely helpless, when she died a horrible death. I relive it at night. It used to be every night and the day too in the first year after she died. The only thing that has kept the nightmares away is sleeping with someone next to me. But now the nightmares are finding a way through.

Combining that with waking up at 4am (because my brain demands it), means that I’m mentally exhausted all of the time. I also think that this new wake up time is caused by the numerous concussions I’ve received as a special ed teacher. I’ve developed Old Man Brain.

Things aren’t great here, but at least the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is coming out soon. BTW, it’s 99 cents right now. Pick it up. It’s worth your dollar and more.

Yes, that was a shameless plug, but man’s gotta eat…and sleep.

Watchmage black

That Time I Drove Off A Sexual Harasser With My Dick…

This is a funny story, but not a joke. It really happened.

I was at a small pool party at my friend “K”‘s house. It was mostly girls, but a creepy guy that was K’s acquaintance from facebook was there. For most of the afternoon, he was creeping on the girls, flirting and asking inappropriate questions. Nothing so bad that he earned the door, but enough to be weird.

Night came, and everyone left until it was Me, K, and creeper. Now he goes into full harassment mode. He’s talking about how hot and fuckable K is, and then suggests that she go skinny dipping (not him or me, just K). K and I are both hippies and have skinnydipped together, so normally we would have no problem with it. But K was weirded out and asked me how to get rid of him without physically throwing him out.

So I walked up to him said, “that’s a great idea! I’ll go first.” He was sitting, I was standing. I strip down right in front of him, my dick maybe three feet from him.

“Okay dude, now it’s your turn.” I gave a little hip check, just enough to make things wiggle. I’ve rarely seen a face with that much fear and embarrassment on it.

And suddenly he changed his mind. Shocking, right? He left five minutes later. The perv so intent on seeing a naked woman wasn’t brave enough to put up, so he ran.

Predators are cowards. How weak do you have to be to be scared of genitals?

The moral: If you won’t do something yourself, don’t demand it of others.

It’s a dick move.

The Watchmage of Old New York: Only 99 cents for a short time only!

Watchmage black

doge in space card redux

You Can’t Save Everyone…

There is someone very important in my life who has been in a downward spiral for…well…for all of their life. They’ve always been…troubled, but it’s gotten worse. I’ve spent most of my life looking after this person and bailing them out when they get into trouble…which is always. And I am so messed in the head that I shouldn’t be looking after anyone. I can barely take care of Shelvin (my turtle, see the previous post).

Shelvin watching

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m mentally exhausted, and they are only getting worse, more self-destructive, and potentially dangerous to others. We used to be so close, but now I only hear from the person if they need me to help them. Mostly I hear about them from their friends, who message me about how worried they are about the person.

And I want so bad to help the person, but they aggressively refuse all help and then blame you for not helping enough. I’ve seen, heard, and have been the recipient of it for 25 years. I’m not a babysitter.

And yet, I know that I’ll keep trying. You can’t save someone that doesn’t want to save themselves. But it’s a lesson I’ll never learn.

I suppose I don’t want to save myself either.

The Watchmage of Old New York: Only 99 cents for a short time only!

Watchmage black

Happy Adoption Day Shelvin

35 years ago when I was 6, I got a little Eastern Painted Turtle from the local pet shop in Co-op City (in the Bronx, where I lived until I was 10). That little turtle, Shelvin, has been my companion for 35 years. For 35 years I’ve watched over my friend. 35 years! Have you ever had a pet for 35 years? Can you even imagine it? I hardly remember a time where I didn’t hear him splashing around his tank. He’s a part of me. You might call him my familiar if you have a head for fantasy.

Shelvin watching

Shelvin’s old. 35 years is a long time for his species to live in captivity. Usually, they live for about 25 years. He doesn’t do much. He’s as picky an eater as a cat addicted to wet food. He won’t touch leafy greens or brine shrimp anymore, only his food pellets. But when you walk by his tank, he gets excited and pecks on the glass. He’s friendly for a turtle, but only because he knows that I’m the Great and Powerful Food Giver. Maybe I’m his pet.

I don’t know if today is his actual adoption day. I know that it was in April, and today is close enough. Happy adoption day, Shelvin. You’re kinda boring, but so am I. We go together.

I like turtles…

doge in space card redux


A guy that I knew from my childhood died on Friday.

We were not close. He was the older brother of my friend and two years older than me. When you’re six, two years is a canyon, practically adulthood.

When you’re forty-one, it’s a crack in the sidewalk.

I lost contact with my friend about twenty-five years ago, but I heard about the death through the grapevine. If I wasn’t for the hive mind of the internet, I would’ve never known.

Still, I sad for the family, but I’m also self-centered. “Oh my god, how did he die? Can this happen to me? I don’t want to die young, and he was my age! Ahhh! *starts doing cardio*

I don’t think I’m abnormal in this way. People are naturally self-centered. Usually, the first thing anyone asks after someone dies is “how did they die?”

Do people want to be immortal? I don’t, but I don’t want to die either, at least not for another forty years. In The Watchmage of Old New York (Just 99 cents for the Kindle copy or free with KU), the main character does not age, and he constantly suffers for it. He’s not quite part of society, and he grieves for all the loved ones that he had to watch die.

As someone that lost their fiance five years ago, I can tell you that the only thing more fearful than death is a loved one’s death.

So I grieve for the deceased and his family, but I can’t help grieving for myself. I know that it’s weakness, but part of strength is admitting your weaknesses. Shine a light on your darkness. Be self-aware.

But you can still fear the Reaper.

Watchmage black

doge in space card redux