Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Aug 13

A List Of Things That Are Bothering Me

We’ll start small.

My apartment is full of flies. I’ve never had more than 1  or 2 the entire time I’ve lived here. I’ve killed twice that in the hour I’ve been awake and a dozen were taken down last night. I don’t know what to do with them, and it’s not like it’s disgusting in here (aside from the flies). No room seems off limits. Sigh.

Then get big.

One of my best friends died three weeks ago. I suspected it was coming and we even got extra time with him. But it sucks. Period. He was younger than I am, and it seems so unfair. You can argue that he died as he lived — fearless and on his own terms — but it doesn’t make me feel much better. And I feel guilty in ways. That I don’t feel bad enough. That I maybe didn’t spend enough time with him when I could have. That I let discomfort prevent me from visiting him. That I checked out of our friendship during his last days because I couldn’t handle it. That I should be stronger. That I am letting this affect me too much for someone who was not romantically involved with him. Basically, if you can feel bad about it.. I do.

On the subject of loss.

Two of my close guy friends decided to move this year. One to another city and another a few miles away. It shouldn’t be such a big deal, but that’s 3/4 of my guy besties who aren’t accessible, two of them when I might especially need friends who will go on miles-long walks with me. And I’m not entirely sure these decisions are wise (though I recognize that it’s definitely not my place to say so). I can’t help but wonder if some of this pain — on both sides — could be mitigated by not leaving to begin with.

One friend’s move is only a reminder of how our friendship has atrophied over the past couple years. So while he might finally be moving, that era perhaps has already seen its end. And that’s difficult for me to come to terms with.

It would perhaps be easier to deal with these things if I weren’t so painfully single. That’s something that’s been weighing on me lately but only because there is someone who I like. And that terrifies me. Admitting it is scary. Trying to make something come of it? Terrifying! I’m pretty much in preparing-for-it-to-not-work-out-mode while simultaneously putting off acting on it more because I don’t want to usher in the inevitable end.

I’m pretty bummed that my eclipse plans seem to have fallen through. The friend I assumed I would go with can do it. I realized I made hotel reservations for the week after. Ugh! All the trains to the place where I wanted to spend the eclipse are booked, not to mention hotels. I don’t see how I can make it happen now. And that sucks. I was so looking forward to it.

Add to that loud, thoughtless friends, selfish people, pettiness, weird weather, missing out on legendary Pokemon, a potential foot/ankle injury and weight gain and.. everything is just sort of “meh” right now. =/


Jun 15

Where In The World Is Cole?

I meant to post about my trip to California, which happened in April, but seeing how it’s been over a month since I posted anything here at all, we can just agree that I’m not. It’s been too long for me to write about it in-depth, at least to me, but I will give you the rundown on what I’ve been doing.

April

So, yes, I went to California in April. I began tossing the idea around in my head in the beginning of the year but put it off due to money and nerves. Finally, I picked a date and booked myself a train ticket and flight. I decided to take the train from Chicago to California (after hopping a bus from here to Milwaukee and another train to Chi-town) to simultaneously save money and see the country. So.. I did that.

It was a long train but interesting. I saw a bit of the country – not all of which was worth seeing. Some of it was gorgeous and interesting, but restlessness prevented me from enjoying parts of the trip (I’m talking to you, Utah). I was super nervous because I’d never been on an American train before, but I survived and learned a bit about train culture, namely that there is a demographic of people (retired, limited income, wants to travel, has nothing better to do) that just loves trains in a way that I think I can’t.

My trip to Cali was short, shorter than I should have planned it and made even shorter by my purchasing a ticket from the wrong airport. All was okay, though. I saw the beach, took walks, enjoyed good food, bonded with my aunt, her husband and cat, saw the tech museum, visited rose gardens and the Egyptian museum, hacked 400+ new portals in Ingress and caught a new Pokemon. Not a bad little trip.

I flew into Minneapolis, spent the night with a friend and took the bus back after one long week.

May

I was super excited to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last month and, well, it was okay. Just okay, you know? Not terrible but certainly not worth the time I waited, and that’s a shame. I saw the original three times, but the sequel just didn’t hit all the right spots.

I took a day trip to see a sculpture garden, shop and attend a cultural fest in the next town over, which was quite enjoyable.

Last month, one of my very good friends also got married. I was in the wedding, which was cold and hectic, but I wish them all the best. In April, my friend was finally able to move in with his fiancee, so I’ve had to adjust with not having him around. This has been, at times, quite the struggles.

I also struggled to walk as many miles per day as I wanted to last month.

Before the month wrapped up, I finally got myself to see the MC Escher exhibit at the art museum, and it was better than I could have anticipated!

The end of last month also marked my 31st and golden birthday. I wanted to do something different.. so I did nothing at all. I released myself from expectations and had an interesting day with friends, cupcakes and lots of sun. It was fun and low-pressure if not entirely memorable. But it certainly was different. Go me.

June

This month started impatiently. First, I was walking my ass off to level in Ingress. I am now 14 but probably won’t level for the rest of the year. Boo.

I was also awaiting the second weekend, which I had dubbed Wonder Woman Weekend. Robyn and I headed to Minneapolis (I’ll return next month to see Adam Lambert and Queen in concert) to stay with Wendy with plans to see the Pixar exhibit at the science museum, visit the zoo and see Wonder Woman. I didn’t see it opening weekend because I was waiting for this, so there was alot of expectation.

Wonder Woman was great, the zoo was nice and the museum was interesting, but it was hot. I didn’t get enough rest and returned home pretty grumpy. I also had a very busy work week last week that technically ended yesterday morning, so I am feeling little swamped.

Right before I left, I tackled making some galaxy bottles for decor. They looked amazing in the beginning but have since muddled. I think I know how to fix it, but it’s a bummer.

Throughout all of this, I’ve done the norm – walked all the miles, entertained a guest a time or two, read all the books (I’m over 52 titles on GoodReads if you count comics and audiobooks!) and comics (I’ve read my first ever Marvel titled in 2017), went out to eat, attended a few game nights, fires and birthdays parties and (binge?) watched plenty of Netflix. Judging from the length of this post, I’ve been a busy little bee. Perhaps I should add relaxing to my calendar!


May 03

The Definitive Ranking Of All the Shitty States I Traveled Through On My Way to California

So, guys. I did a thing! I went to California (San Jose). I went via train (well, technically, a bus and three trains that sucked away 55 hours of my life!). Thanks, California Zephyr!

California Zephyr Map

Considering traveling cross country by train? I’ll tell you when to sleep.

I haven’t written about it yet for some reason (hint: I suck at blogging). I plan to eventually post a couple photos here with some comments.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the album on Facebook if you’re my friend and have missed it. Though, I don’t see how you could, given that I had to upload in multiple posts! LOL

I also think the following ranking of the states I traveled to and through will help you navigate your own travels in the future. You’re welcome very much!

6. Iowa

It’s really fuckin’ hard to decide whether Iowa or Nebraska is worse. But Iowa was a flat, empty shithole devoid of cell service and we didn’t even stop in the one city! For that alone, Iowa ranks lowest on this list. Sorrynotsorry.

Also, the state was humid as fuck. What gives?

I highly suggest Iowa change its slogan to “Abandon hope all ye who enter.”

5. Nebraska

I really thought I was going to see the country and think, “Wow, how beautiful!.” But I took very few photos in Nebraska or Iowa. There’s just nothing to look at. We made a few more stops in Nebraska, and at least the state has multiple cities that I can name. Buuut that’s only good enough to rank slightly higher than Iowa. Nebraska is a shithole. I am not sure why anyone would visit the state let alone live there. I really feel grateful to live in a lush state such as Wisconsin after seeing this hellhole.

If Iowa’s slogan should be straight out of Dante (and it should), then Nebraska should strongly consider going with “At least we’re not Iowa.”

4. Utah

Listen, Utah is spare. Bare. Desolate even. But you can’t really appreciate it until you’re in it. The only thing it has going for it is Salt Lake City. And did you know their population is something like 200,000 people? That’s it?! That’s it! It’s smaller than Madison. I know, I know. It’s not very populated, but I figured maybe the one place that did have people would, you know, have people. Nope.

I do have to give Utah some credit where it’s due. The rock formations are nice. But it was hard to appreciate them because Utah was mostly no service, and I was traveling through it during the period when restlessness really set in. It wasn’t my own, either. Everyone in my train car felt the same. Okay, we’ve seen Utah. Can we get the hell out of it or at least to the next smoke break (and I don’t even smoke!).

3. Colorado

I was so excited to see THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS on my trip. This is the big draw, right? You go through them and, for a six-mile stretch, under them. And as the mountains grew, changing from rocky to wooded to snowy, it was an interesting view. But it was a little underwhelming. I think this is due to two things.

I awoke in Colorado on the first morning to a super pink sky and a sliver of moon. I was ready to do this! We pulled into Denver pretty early, and I noticed that there isn’t much in Colorado. The parts that aren’t a city or the mountains are, well, nothing.

And going through the Rockies just wasn’t what I expected. I think I might have been more impressed looking at them from a lower elevation to really get the full impression of the mountains looming in the distance.

I didn’t hate Colorado, though, it just didn’t do as much for me as the next state.

2. Nevada

Nevada is a desert, right? And you can see it with a wide expanse of scrub brush that someone from the lush state of Wisconsin might find laughable to call “plants.” But it makes the perfect juxtaposition with the Sierra Nevadas in the background.

I woke up in this state on the second day and was pretty much in love. The sky was pink, and I could still see the moon in the distance. The snowcapped mountains were slightly closer, and the desert lay right outside the train.

It was like real life parallax. I didn’t mind when I didn’t have reception,

1. California

I know that California has terrain that’s different from anything I ever experienced, but the knowledge wasn’t the same as actually being in it.

As we left Nevada, the mountains became rolling, green hills. The snow thinned, and the trees grew taller. Boy, did I miss trees! The further inland we moved, the more farms we saw — a few vineyards, too.

Then, came the cities. Big and uniquely laid out around bodies of water like the SF Bay. Everything was so large and alive — and there were so many portals!

But that wasn’t everything. California had museums and rose gardens, and you can’t forget the ocean! The Pacific from California (Half Moon Bay, to be specific) is so different than anything I experienced in Japan. And California had it all, which is why it tops my list.

I just realized that I didn’t include Illinois in this list. I’ve traveled through the state both east-west and north-south. It’s definitely less aggravating when you’re going the short way and you see fewer wind farms. My feelings from Illinois have changed from “Worst state ever” to “Not half bad when compared to Iowa.”

It sure as hell no Wisconsin, though.


Apr 29

A Sentimental Saturday Morning

I guess it’s not often that I post anything really personal, but I’m feeling sentimental, introspective and morose, so here I am.

I spent some time with friends tonight. It was fun. Different. During the process, someone said something that jogged a hazy memory of an inside joke. I muttered the words, and Ashe knew it immediately. Soon, we had laughed ourselves to tears. I needed that, I think. It was so unexpected. Wonderful. Truly.

I couldn’t recall who we had shared the joke with or when. My brain brought up a person and a time that didn’t jive. I think, perhaps, that we had thought about this a few years ago, and that’s the connection that my brain made.

But, no. It didn’t start then. In fact, this joke had started in high school if you can believe it. It was a commentary on A Streetcar Named Desire. Yep. In the lunchroom, a friend that I had long forgotten donned a faux southern accent and motioned while making a joke that could only happen once. A joke that would have us laughing yourself to tears some 15 years later. I mean, damn.

I found myself reminiscing and in a good mood as I walked home. I wanted to look up this friend. We haven’t talked for a few good years. The last time I saw him, we were in a bar, drunk. We were excited to see one another, but he was so drunk that he kept telling me how cool his friend Cole from high school was. A weird experience but talk about flattering!

I looked him up on Facebook, excited to reconnect. But my hopes were dashed when I saw that his page was a memorial page. He passed away in January. I was three months too late to tell him that I love him, miss him, wish we talked more.

I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out how (diabetes). In the process, I saw how loved he was. People remembered his wit (yup!) and love of music.

I went back further than this year. I wanted to see what he talked about (politics, HRC, puns) and how. At one point, I saw him reply to something with “lololol,” the response I use instead of “lmfao” more often than not. I couldn’t help but see our similarities, and that made the hurt all the more real.

So, I’m feeling pretty sad right now. I wish I had made more of an effort to be his friend as an adult. I think we would have gotten along swimmingly. I would have enjoyed him and hope he would have felt the same.

But, you know, judging from our last interaction, I impacted him pretty strongly. That’s something that I appreciate immensely as I remember him.

I wonder if he ever thought of me, remembered our good times. Perhaps he didn’t even remember the inside joke. That’s okay.

I did for a minute, and it made my life better. I think I can only laugh and smile at the memories, no matter how foggy.

Because no matter how much I look at his profile and his photos or try to piece together his life from posts on social media, it can’t bring him back. It won’t make us closer.

But it does teach me a lesson about my time here and how I need to use it. So I’m going to wrap up this post and send a few messages to people who are here to see them.

Oh, by the way. I love you, dear reader.


Jan 19

Merry Giftmas to Me

Christmas 2016 was interesting, not in that I did anything other than usual. Rather, I decided to be proactive and help people who wished to buy me things do so in a way that would be satisfactory for us both. They wouldn’t see the disappointment in my face when they took a stab in the dark.

The result was an Amazon wishlist from which almost everyone shopped (those who didn’t lucked out, fortunately). Perhaps because I made it easier, more people than normal purchased me presents. And I found myself excitedly trying to guess what people had purchased from my list, no less surprised and excited by the results.

My Christ loot included:

Christmas Loot

nerdy things and games and books, oh my! (For Christmas)

  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy BBC Radio Play on CD
  • Punderdome
  • King of Tokyo
  • DC Bombshells Coffee Table Book
  • DC Bombshells plying cards
  • Epic Mickey 2
  • $50 to GameStop, which I used for Paper Mario, Yoshi’s New Island and Professor Layton
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas Clue

I’ll be entertained for quite some time thanks to all these gifts, not to mention games and comics that I recently purchased myself!

I’ve started two of the video games, finished the DC Bombshells coffee table book and fell in love with the H2G2 radio play. I’m on the third phase (season) thanks to my library’s ebook system. Bonus: I’m marking it off as a book for my GoodReads challenge!

So, yay, me!


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