Circus Rambles - On another year's vacation and GenCon 2018 and maybe some other stuff I dunno

I feel like I haven't done a good ramble in a while, probably because I've been trying to buckle down and get the whole selling books thing figured out. But at heart I am one who likes to go on and on about anything under the sun, and what better to talk about than my recent vacation? It is all I ever wanted, after all. (Ha ha song reference.)

This is the third year I've made a trip of both going to GenCon and visiting my brother and his family, who conveniently live not too far from Indianapolis. I'm not sure how many more years it's going to take before I feel comfortable calling it a yearly tradition. For some reason it still feels odd. Another couple years, perhaps?

As far as GenCon itself...This is the only gaming convention I've ever been to as of yet. (I am currently considering attending Portland Retro Gaming Expo though.) I'm always trying to mentally compare it to anime conventions, since I've been to more of those. They're definitely different and they have their own merits. Thankfully, they both have an artist's alley (It's called something else at GenCon but it's pretty much a traditional artist alley), which is good since that's my favorite part of any convention. Also, as some of my coworkers joke, I have a habit of going to GenCon and coming back with something to say about a really weird board game. Last year it was Orphans and Ashes. This year, nothing grabbed me enough to buy it, but I do remember a game that I'm pretty sure was called Death Wish, about trying to die in the most interesting way possible. I also caught sight of a game about surviving in the Donner Party, and it is apparently completely unrelated to the OTHER board game about surviving in the Donner Party that was made by American Murder Song that I really want but can't afford.

But...I don't know. For some reason this year, there was very little that I felt any urge at all to buy. Nothing grabbed me. I wonder if this is because I'm getting old and starting to think about the future or something. Or maybe I'm just becoming boring and hard to please in my old age. Whatever the case, the only thing I ended up purchasing was an Ampharos doll. I guess that isn't really a bad thing, since I do really need to save money. But it just makes me a bit sad for some reason. One of my nieces commented that she wasn't as excited for the convention itself this year, so maybe it isn't just me.

As far as seeing my family, of course I love seeing my family. If I wasn't making these trips, I wouldn't get to see my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces very much at all. They're all awesome and wonderful people and I love them dearly.

Indiana itself is a whole lot of corn and weird memories, as it always is. I spent the first twelve years and two days of my life in Indiana, so visiting is always kind of nostalgic in a weird way. My memory of my childhood isn't very good, so I'll see a place and then kind of remember it but not really, you know? We drove by my Catholic elementary school, where I lost a tooth on the playground and was occasionally bullied and wrote the school pledge in a contest. We drove by the house where I lived as a child once or twice, and getting a glimpse of that was certainly strange. The shed was still there. I wonder if the glue stain on the playroom carpet is still there. We drove by the pancake place that I swear used to be a Hardee's, and my Girl Scout troop leader used to live next door and maybe she still does. yeah, that kind of thing.

Towards the end of the trip, I started getting the usual post-vacation depression. I don't like leaving people I love, at all. Even if I know I'll see them again. I guess I'm not great with goodbyes. I also wasn't great with my flight home being delayed by several hours, which resulted in me getting home at 1 am and then going to work seven and a half hours later feeling very sleepy. But eh. It is what it is. I'm feeling slightly better now.

I know that money doesn't buy happiness, but I would love the ability to be able to travel to see my family any time I wanted. I would love not having to think about taking PTO from work, or how much plane tickets cost, or having to be back somewhere within a week. I would love just...being able to see them whenever I felt like it. I think that's what's really making me sad. When I was younger, I didn't appreciate it enough. Now I'm like, holy crap, I used to live in the same town as them. And now I don't.

Well. Trying not to let things get me down too much. The current severe heat advisory in Portland is a helpful (read: painful) distraction. And I have a book to get back to finalizing, after all. Life goes on.

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