busy relaxing

Been a pretty busy week in Mikelville.  Not busy working, you understand.  That’s silly.  No, I’m on a bit of a breather from my day job as the restaurant is closed for a few weeks for the slow season.

It’s bittersweet.  On one hand, I get to recharge from a busy season and focus up on writing projects and promoting Coming of Mage.

On the other hand, the money dries up pretty quick.  I’m sort of a veteran of these slow seasons by now.  My first time around I was buying video games and movies right up until the day the restaurant closed.  But this year I made sure I had savings, spent wisely, and paid off as many bills as I could upfront.  Still, that only goes so far.  Luckily, I’ll be getting back to work tomorrow as we gear up for a busy summer.

Last week, I took a break from, well, pretty much everything.  The girlfriend and I took a trip down south to our respective stomping grounds–mostly for her sister’s….party.  Did you guys know there’s this thing where you reveal the sex of a baby to the family via a colored cake?  Like, you cut the cake and if it’s blue, it’s a boy!  Apparently it’s all the rage these days, although this was one trend I hadn’t heard of.  It did build a lot of hype.  And I’m all about hype.

That was the main event, but there were plenty of coming attractions, so to speak.  Kate and I were able to spend an evening with my dad and grandma.  My grandma recently had knee surgery so she was less mobile than usual.  So instead of her usual home-cooked feast, we all had the opportunity to try Annandale’s new take-and-bake pizza.  My grandma maybe felt a little embarrassed by this, but, honestly, it was fun just to relax with my favorite food and a beer to celebrate my impending book release.  Even Grandma took a swig–one swig–to show her support for Mage.  You can’t hope for a better memory than that.

The following day was spent with Brett and Joe.  If you could do a search for how many times I’ve mentioned those guys on my blog, it’d probably clock in at 8 billion.  For Brett, at one point, being my mortal nemesis and Joe, at one point, being my boss–those guys have become two of the bestest friends a guy could ask for.  There’s no pomp and circumstance with those guys–it’s wake up, grab a burrito, walk around the mall, hit up a couple video stores and talk shop, and–in the case of last Thursday–wait two hours for Brett to pick out a new smartphone.

But, I tell you what, man, I’d trade a few parties I’ve been to for those couple hours of conversation with Joe, sitting in the plush chairs of the Verizon store waiting area.  Nobody makes me laugh like those guys.  Nobody.

im3 cover
As a matter of fact I *did* make some child-like fingerpaint pictures to illustrate my review of IM3.

On top of that, I saw IRON MAN 3!

I love Iron Man.  Typically, I’m a DC guy–but I’ll take Iron Man any day of the week.

And this third installment took Iron Man to a whole new level, creating a more relatable Tony Stark.  I was very concerned how they were going to handle Iron Man post-Avengers.  After all, Iron Man has always been a franchise rooted in realistic–albeit, futuristic–technology.  No aliens, nothing supernatural–pretty much all the elements introduced in Avengers.

stark

So how do you make a cocky, larger-than-life rich boy more humble?

Why give him PTSD, of course.

asleep w pepper That’s right, the movie opens with Tony Stark reduced to an anxiety-ridden insomniac, torn apart by both his near-death experience in Avengers and, for the first time, having something worth losing: Pepper Potts.

I found that I could relate to this version of Tony Stark more than his party-soaked predecessor.  Crippling pressure.  Meltdowns in plain sight of others.  Granted, I didn’t barely survive a suborbital fall from an extra-dimensional wormhole–but I do suffer from anxiety.

So for me this was a character I could really get behind.

Right down to watching his friend become his replacement.

iron patriot

With the world’s eyes all set on the star-spangled “Iron Patriot”–formerly “War Machine”–Tony’s feeling a little obsolete.  I think we can all relate to that, especially in the workplace.

Cross all that with a great villain, the Mandarin, a cast of secondary characters that steal the show, and a special effects team that will leave you breathless during the credits, Iron Man 3 ends up being a big win.  Now I just gotta get my hands on some of them action figures.

My movie instincts aside, the rest of the trip went swimmingly.

Filled with trips down memory lane…

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…cocktails…

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…small towns…

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…and with nothing more important to do than show up for dinner on time.  That’s something everyone needs.  Vacations really are in the eye of the beholder.

So now, before it’s back to the grind, I’m going to try and hash out a manuscript.  I still have dragons on the brain.

imagine dragons

When did it get to be noon?!?!

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