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I exist

Punk Duck
I know, I'm as shocked as all of you... assuming you remember me at all. I've been living the life of a reclusive hermit for a while, not doing any of the things I love or talking to my friends or anything like that, for the longest time. Oh, I have my reasons, but that doesn't excuse my silence. Times have been trying, and though I'm not in any immediate danger of losing it all, the repercussions are sure to be felt for some time.
I'm nervous about next year's DragonCon. Both my wife and I really want to go, but so much is up in the air right now. For instance, will I have a job by then? Will I be able to take time off from said job? How are things between me and certain members of the group from last year going to progress? Will I be able to hang out with my friends at all, or will I refrain because I want to avoid conflict and hurt feelings? I just don't know.
I certainly don't want to close out my new friends. I know that I was an idiot last year, and did some real stupid stuff. And while I believe my friends from DC will be able to forgive, and probably already have, I don't know if I can say the same for my wife, and i certainly don't blame her. A year is a long time, though, thankfully. And there is a lot of time to cure rifts. I only hope it is enough...
To my friends at DragonCon, I want to apologize again for all that happened because of me. I didn't mean to make any of you angry or sad or upset. But, what can I say... emotions at DC were running wild, and everything grew out of proportion. But I guess that's part of what makes DragonCon so special. I only hope you remember me, and remember me fondly.
That said... I'm back! (And once my iPhone gets back from the shop, I'll be back full time).Hope to hear from all of you again! And thanks for putting up with me, you all are really great people!
Punk Duck
So, here's the thing. I've worked in the food service industry pretty much by entire working life. It's hard work, but the cameraderie that comes working in this kind of evironment really makes it worth it. The worst part about the occupation really can be the customers. Let me explain.
We get treated with night respect, people act like we are automata. I'm not even talking about the rude I'd surly customers. Every job has those, and they come with the territory. But it seems to me like far too many people talk down to those across the counter from them, even if they aren't aware that they are doing it. As if because we work in food that must mean we ate uneducated slobs who can't find a real job. Never mind that some of us are working on college degrees, never mind that some of us are earning more than some people in "white collar" jobs. No, we must be earning minimum wage and never be able to amount to any more than that.
Thankfully, most of the time I'm okay with that. I don't need you to feign interest in me or my life. I don't want to hear you ask me how I am doing, then not wait for a reply but launch straight into your order. Especially not when there are twenty people in line behind you waiting to do the same thing. All I ask is that you remember that we are people too. We have our good and our bad days, we have feelings and ambitions, we have peeves and preferences in how we like to do our job. We appreciate a smile and a pleasant tone if voice as much as you do, we like having your undivided attention fir the few short minutes it takes us to make your order. And we absolutely love a simple "thank you". It makes our day when you act like a guest in our house and not like the emperor of your domain. We applaud you, literally, if you make our job easier by cleaning up after yourself, and by taking the time to learn our menu so that you can quickly and efficiently order what you want, and you know what? It will be reflected on how good your sandwich is.
The truth is, I will gladly go the extra mile for a customer who treats me like an equal. All you have to do is remember: you worked food once too!

First post

Punk Duck
So... I never really like to blog terribly much. Which is kinda ironic since I kept a diary, ahem, I mean, daily journal for years. I also podcast, which is like blogging, but with my voice (check out my show at, and Tweet, and god knows what else. But actually sitting down and writing what happened to me this day, week, month... it's hard to muster up the enthusiasm for it.
But here I go. Why start now? Well, the passive nagging by new friends from Dragon*Con didn't hurt, but in reality it's that same group of people from Dragon*Con that made me decide to start posting. Seeing as many (if not all) of them are on LJ, this makes for a good way to keep in touch with them as a whole, so here I go, LiveJournaling.
I finally got home, after what seemed like three days of traveling (because that's what it was, though honestly I lost track of time somewhere between driving through the whole night and waiting ten hours at the Amsterdam airport), was able to unwind and let the whole weekend seep in. Already I'm having a hard time going back to my mundane life. It's not so much that I felt like a different person at Dragon*Con as that I really felt more myself than I ever have before, and the feeling that I have to subdue that side of my personality in favor of one that is more "agreeable" to the people I interact with on a daily basis just fills me with disgust and, because that's just the kind of person I am, depression and sadness.
It's not even just the friends I made there that I will miss, though i really do miss all of them deeply. I feel like I was just introduced to my whole extended family... and then told I couldn't see them for a year. While I am looking forward to next year, and certain... differences in the experience next year from this one, I still look ahead and think to myself, I have another 11 months and two weeks before I can feel alive again.
The solution is, of course, obvious: Live my life how I want to live it, not how I'm supposed to live it, but that is easier said than done, with so many commitments, both financial, scholarly, and personal, that make it difficutl just from one day to the next to declare, you know what, this is the real me, so put up with it or screw you.
Hmm, I'm sad and pissy and ranty... not bad for a first LJ post, I'd say. I intend to make good on my promises to myself to stop pretending, but it's going to take some time. First to make sure the DragonConDorphins have worn off, and this really is what I want, and secondly to lay the groundwork that ensures that my new me doesn't cause too much damage on the way out. I fear there will be damage done one way or another, but as a very wise person told me recently, if I don't be true to myself because of people around me, I'll only end up resenting those around me for it.
So here goes, wish me luck, see you on the flipside. Or at DragonCon 2009, whichever comes first!

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November 2008


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