Category Archives: Blog

Cake Recipe – Sad Puppy Edition

There would’ve been a lovely cake recipe here but Alyssa didn’t get it in before she left for all her adventures.

Enjoy this Sad Puppy instead.

Podcast Lost in Games Episode 9

This week Alex Pann and I discuss pre-release content. We dive into topics such as pre-orders, betas, and early access and how they are being done right and wrong. Due to some laziness issues, there will be no intro or transition music. Deal with it. It’s a fun show and I hope you enjoy it.

The American Dream: Comfortable Expectations

By Doc Von Derwin

What is the American Dream? The founders of our great country dreamed of building a new nation, occupying and working the fruitful land that became so freely available after committing a mass genocide of the original owners. For the past couple hundred years, life has been about working hard to build a better country. The American people have fought bloody wars both abroad and at home, instituted a democratic system of government, and made massive leaps in industrialization and technology, all with the goal of making life easier and more comfortable for their descendants.

Now, we are so comfortable that we are looking for ways to be less comfortable. The release of every new product reminds us that our current device is a piece of shit, and we need pills to solve our restless leg syndrome. The American Dream has shifted from progress towards fulfilling the petty desires of its citizens, and these days we don’t know what we want or how to get it. Or the problem is that we want everything. I don’t know.

You put in your time in, you pay your taxes, and you retire. That’s what the American Dream was for my parents. There were fewer expectations for them: they were supposed to be college graduates, home owners, and breeders of tiny fresh humans. Maybe “fewer expectations” isn’t quite right, because the men were also expected to fight in a war at the drop of a hat and the women were expected to stay home and take care of the family and sleep with the milkman. Remember when milkmen were a thing?

Anyway, our society has progressed to the point that we’re now leaving the terrifying and sexist traditions of the past behind. There are so many people enlisted in the army that a draft is extremely unlikely, and women (lingering sexism aside) are free to be what they want – including, but not limited to, professional hacky-sack athletes. We have evolved the American culture in a way that grants its citizens maximum comfort and opportunity. When our parents complain how “Well back in my day, bak a brak booka brap,” it’s because we have it so much easier than they ever did. They can’t help but be upset about this very comfortable life that THEY made for us. Imagine how comfortable our own children will be, born with record deals already signed, and with Lexus’ instead of Hot Wheels.

Our American Dream has shifted because of this rampant consumerism. We have constant access to free content, we can socialize with people from any country with internet access, and our phones can access porn. Did you know that? What a time to be alive. With so much entertainment at our fingertips, we begin to mirror the personalities to which we’re exposed, which is why you can’t hire a millennial to work at a coffee shop un-ironically. “Hey, look at me making coffee like on TV,” he says as he puts soy milk in your drink that you didn’t ask for. Any college student has at some point heard someone in their class comment that, “Our apartment is like a TV show.”

This means that the modern American Dream is centered on creating an actual dream world for ourselves. Many people seek fame and admiration by constructing social media presences with no purpose except to describe everything they think and wear and eat. Go to YouTube and look up unboxing videos, and try to deny that we are trying whatever we can to be among the elite content creators of our society. Where do I fit in to all this? Well, I just wrote this article to be posted online so people can read it. I’m not here to change your thoughts or give you a fresh perspective; I’m just creating free entertaining content. I am just another millennial. Please notice me.

Fast Friends to Lost Friends

By Alyssa Pereira

Think back three years ago, who was your best friend?

Now think back seven years ago and ask yourself the same question.

Now ten years…

Were they the same person? If yes, go you! Hang on to that friendship for dear life.

For the rest of us, we are still in search of our forever person. We are the ones who have had at least had one person in our lives that played major role one moment and then in the next moment, they were completely gone. This happens and it is a normal part of growing up. Friend groups change because the people in them change. However, personally looking back, this aspect of life blows my mind because in that moment that person is your everything. They are the first person you think of when you need help or just need to talk. Every day of your life (for a period of time) is filled with things you do together. You become two peas in a pod.

Personally, I have had a few people in my life who were like this. But now, those people are gone. For whatever reason, our paths parted and we moved on from one another. Our pod split in two and we have become lonely peas. Life sometimes gets the best of relationship.

Luckily, my path led to a place where I met someone who is now my best friend and second half. I have found a new person who is truly better than any friend I have ever had or could have imagined.

But, then I think about the people before and I can’t help but wonder, is this just a never-ending cycle? Will history just repeat itself? Or did the fall of the last relationship lead me to my new one? Honestly, with the person who is my best friend now, I truly feel that we will be in each other’s lives forever. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy but because of what has happened in the past, I have learned what a true friend looks like and what is important.

The thing is can forever’s really happen?

I sure hope so.

The future is so unknown that all you can do is just enjoy today. This is just what I plan on doing.

It is still unfathomable to me that one second you can be so close to someone and the next second it is like you never even knew each other. You can think you know every detail about someone but actually know nothing about them at all.

What I am choosing to believe that yes, it might turn out to be a cycle but cycles can end. There is always a chance that some day someone will come into your life and break that cycle and start a new forever.

So for all those lonely peas out there looking for their new pod, stay hopeful. You will find your person and they will be ten times better than you could ever imagine. Sometimes you have to dig through some dirt to find a treasure.

How Boy Meets World Depressed Me

 

By Alexander Pereira

Television, books, video games and Taylor Swift’s first album lied about Romance and dating to all of us. We were promised and taught to expect a certain type of future that was so incredibly unrealistic that it’s amazing any of us would’ve been stupid enough to fall for it. Except I did. This is what it did to me.

I’m an unfortunate mix of the bitter cynic, chronically shy person and a hopeless romantic all jumbled into a great bundle of angst and social awkwardness. I grew up with my head wedged deeply between the pages of Tolkien and Tamora Pierce, of Fantasy and Science Fiction with its might heroes and star-struck romances. I took to the idea of being a fantasy knight seriously. True love and fate became a part of my expectations for life in a way that still affect how I approach romance to this day. That stuff? Not really that bad. It makes things like casual dating or the idea of casual sex really hard to stomach for me personally but I don’t feel like it’s hurt me, just put me in hard mode.

The stuff I really want to talk about is the nonsense television shows like Kim Possible, Lizzie McGuire, and Boy Meets World ingrained in younger me. Those shows all promised you that no matter how awkward and social weird you were; you could find your soulmate in high school. Even more importantly, that soulmate was your attractive best girl/boy friend who you’ve known forever. The lessons were that you both know you like each other but neither of you wants to admit it. So I came to expect that the path to true happiness was to realize my soulmate was that best friend I’d grown up, fall in love with her, date through college with a series of sickeningly adorable adventures, get married after graduation and have 2.5 kids by the time we were 28. Simple. Easy. It’s exactly what everything society was saying happened after all. Now, I don’t know if I’m just an idiot or if this happened to a bunch of us but I got really invested in this model for life. I knew in my bones that I was destine for a story of true love and early life bliss. Everything would be perfect and we’d choose our colleges together, figure out our careers and build our life together. I became so married to this idea I could hardly conceive of a world where this wasn’t my life.

It goes without saying that this plan for a perfect life didn’t happen. It didn’t even come close. The first real love of mine broke up with me after three months (summer time fling), and we spent our entire senior year of High school sniping and claw at each other. It took us years to figure out what it meant to be friends and not ex’s and work through the anger and hurt but eventually we figured out how to be friends. We’re best of friends now. – Yes if you’re wondering, I wrote really bad angst blog posts and some fiction about it too here go check it out: redbreardsmusings.wordpress.com)  — This shocking state of affairs left me genuinely feeling like something was broken with me. It was as if I wasn’t a proper person because I didn’t have the same romantic arc of Lizzie and Gordon; Ron and Kim; or Cory and Topanga. I just knew that since I didn’t find that perfect happiness in high school, I’d lost that entire future forever. No family, no adorable daughter or beautiful woman to come home too (or hell, to have come home to me). Not even the white picket fence. I was heartbroken and I started panicking as I rolled into my freshman year of University because I didn’t know what my life was supposed to look like anymore. I thought my life couldn’t have meaning any more. There is another post to be told about me dealing with the depression I faced, and may still face, through my freshman year of university but I know for a fact that this helped contribute to it.

The older me, looking back at that time is really glad things worked out the way they have. I’ve seen a few classmates marry the high school sweethearts and it feels myopic. Like the people of Plato’s Cave ignore the existence of an outside world. Not that I don’t harbor a quiet mourning for that childhood dream but I know I’m a better me for having had to grow past it. I thought for years that I was the kind of person who’d be happy staying in the same town for ever. I thought about how wonderful it would be to raise my future kids in the same place. I’ve been slowly learning that this isn’t true. That I’m not actually someone who enjoys stagnation like that. I have a tendency to let myself become stagnated but I don’t enjoy it.

I’m also thankful that I didn’t end up falling in love with my childhood best friend because guess what? We’d have been (still would be) an awful couple. The things I’ve learned I need from a partner and the things I know she needs don’t remotely match. This post-knowledge didn’t keep me from confusing genuine, almost familial, affection toward her for romantic feelings several times over the years though. Every time I realized I was trying to force a square peg into the round hole of my expectations before I genuinely damaged our relationship but it was a near thing at times.

I’ve moved beyond the expectations for a high school soulmate, for obvious reasons of course, but I’ve also managed to uncouple my sense of self-worth and identity from the ideal.  I’ve become self-aware enough to figure out where other unrealistic expectations are come from. Things that Romantic Comedies have hammered in with their stalking ideation or even the idea that College is a sexual banquet for everyone. That last one did its own number on my ideas of self-worth but I’m running out of space. I’ve very careful to be mindful the media I consume, especially as we move in on Valentine’s Day because I know it can still knock me into a depressive cycle. I don’t like being single and the upcoming deluge of happy couples and “only couples are complete people” is always dangerous. For all of you, I hope this made you feel a little less alone.

Operation Respec Weeks 1 to 3

Hey ya’ll,

That’s right I’m finally updating everyone on Operation Respec and in video form! Why Video Form? It kind of just felt like the best way to do this so drop me some comments about your thoughts!

How to Deal With Despising Valentine’s Day When You Have a Significant Other

 Two things before we start todays how to.
One: I am a self-admitted girl who despises Valentine’s Day, and I have a boyfriend.
Two: I do not hate it because I think it is a social construction or a way for the card market to get some more cash before the next actual holiday.

Now… Some of you may be wondering “If she has a boyfriend and is happy with him then why doesn’t she like this holiday?!” Well, the answer is simple. I don’t have a taste for the chocolate you get in those heart shaped boxes, I have no room for stuffed animals with hearts sewn into their arms, and fresh cut flowers make me sad by the next week when they die. Add in the fact that I share the burden of this holiday (my boyfriend and I trade off each year), and the fact that the lines for any decent eatery on Valentine’s Day are absurdly long… Well, you get the point. I just don’t see much merit in it and as much as I’d love to love the holiday of love… It is very unlikely that my mind will be changing anytime soon.

Since we’ve gotten that whole kit-caboodle out of the way let’s get down to the real how to portion of this article!

Firstly – If you have a significant other and you don’t like Valentine’s Day. TELL THEM. If you don’t tell them they probably won’t know. Men, women, lobsters. They aren’t mind readers and if you don’t tell them before the big day of L-O-V-E you’re likely to either be assaulted by the holiday or be a little confused they didn’t act with the normal overly stressed and lovely behavior that seems to come with the holiday.
When you do explain it to them, be honest. Hell, before my now significant other and I got together I ranted for probably a good hour about how much I hated the holiday. Poor guy didn’t know what was coming and he still deals with my weird antics about the holiday, honestly honesty is the best policy when it comes to not liking lovey-dovey things with the person you’re supposed to do those things with.

Secondly – If you don’t like the holiday but still want to do something special with your significant other, do it. I tend to reserve Valentine’s Day itself as a friends holiday, a habit from before I had my significant other and tradition I seem to be sticking to three years later. If you want to change the day you two do your version of the holiday, do it. Usually I move our version of Valentine’s Day to the Friday or Saturday closest to the day so that we can still do something nice around the day.

Thirdly – If you have a traditional partner who wants to do the whole nine yards you do not, I repeat do not, have to go the whole nine yard with the cards, flowers, chocolates, fancy dinners, etc if you do not feel comfortable with that. Instead figure out what works best for your relationship. An example would be in my relationship. If my significant other wanted to get me flowers and couldn’t do Valentine’s Day without that I would note that I didn’t feel comfortable with fresh cut ones, but I would appreciate dried ones, paper origami ones, or something flower like (cacti, succulent, air plant) in a proper container. Meeting in the middle will keep you from pulling your hair in anger at the holiday and will also allow your partner to feel like they can meet their needs for the holiday.
Added bonus: Having your personal unique twist on the holiday will make it feel extra special. Rather than getting the classic Valentine’s Day starter pack you’ll have a personalized gift from your significant other. (Or vice versa if you’re the one giving the gifts.)

Fourthly – Enjoy it if you want to, or ignore it if you don’t. There is nothing worse than being forced to enjoy a holiday you cannot abide, or forcing yourself to ignore it if you adore it. Keep true to yourself without forcing the issue. If you just want to have an excuse to order in pizza and watch movies, or go out and get heart shaped balloons… Do it. Really, holidays are just another day to do things we enjoy and don’t let ourselves do every day because of that silly thing called common sense or budgets.

Even if it is a silly holiday, enjoy a day to tell your significant other you care in your own special branded way.

Belated Snow Days

As a kid I have very fond memories of snow. What snow meant for me was that if there was a lack of ice my father would brave the intrepid 2 inches of white cold fluff (which is apparently worthy of screams and fainting around these parts) to take me to a park; so that I could run around screaming into the bright blue sky about how exciting snow was, learn to make snow balls, and generally be prepared for the foot or more waiting for me over winter break when we flew off to see one set of the grandparents. When the snow inevitably turned into black ice in our damp region my father encouraged snow days be spent as days of rest with lots of snacks, big books, and that we enjoy the perfect day to rest up for the mayhem that would be coming with one day of canceled responsibilities.
As I grew my feelings on snow seemed fairly similar. However soon I learned the danger of snow and my feelings of delight turned into a stomach flip flop of checking my schedule before leaning into the familiar practices of snow days. If my classes were canceled, friends could walk over (or vice versa), and I had boots with traction—I was fine. In fact I was more than happy to relish my increasingly rare days of rest. If I had places to drive to, a massive hill to climb to get to a class that a professor deemed worthy of attending despite the ice, or really anything that I could not cancel my heart skipped a beat and I shuddered with horror rather than cold.
I still enjoy the snow, in fact our most recent (and may I mention late for Christmas) visit from Jack Frost I learned how to drive down a steep icy drive way, spotted raccoon, deer, and stray bird foot prints in the snow; and I even enjoyed a snowy evening with my significant other. As I’ve aged I’ve lacked the propriety to lose my childlike delight at snow as long as my schedule allows.
What can I say, being an adult (some days) has its ups and downs. Sometimes snow days are horrid days where all you wish is to be at home with a book looking at the beauty that the snow can gift without the cold sinking through your layers and snow chunks that manage to slip into your boots. Other days, you actually get to stay inside and pretend that it really is a snow day.

Operation Respec

By Alexander Pereira

Welcome to January! The month of new beginnings – well on the Gregorian Calendar, which is just the Roman Calendar with some holidays renamed. Other culture’s calendars may beg to differ – Sorry my anthro major got away from me…. Where was I? Oh right, the Month of the New Beginnings, a clean break from the slothful you of last year and a fresh healthy start… until March. And then everyone sorta just goes back to what they were doing before. I’m not making fun of them, not really. I’ve certainly been guilty of doing the same thing, going to the gym takes effort. Eating healthy is just so… so… well you know. All of which is to say, hey I’m taking advantage of this mental and temporal ‘fresh start’ myself! If you’re a fan of the podcast, you’ve heard me talk a bit about this on episodes 14 and 15 [Links] but I’m going to set it in stone, as it were, here.

Operation Respec is about me, Alexander Pereira, making myself into a better version of me, the version I want to be. This is bigger than a weight loss goal, or aiming to run a 5k, although holy crap if you can do that I worship you.

For years I’ve felt like I’m not quite the person who I am in my self-image. I don’t feel like I look like I should. To the point where I’ve written videos about how my mental image of a hero doesn’t, and can’t, match with who I am, physically — and racially — in the past. I have an ideal for how I should act that I regularly don’t meet, interpersonally or just in how I go through life. You’ll hear me say “cause I’m lazy” a lot and, arguments with mom aside, I hate that I do. I’m not actually lazy when I care about something, as this freaking WEBSITE proves but I need to break several years of bad habits. I also have an annoying social confidence issue that hits me at weird times. I spent the better part of my two years in university not thinking my school friends were friends with me, just friendly strangers. Because I was afraid to make an assumption and maybe weird them out. Now of course, they’re the biggest group of people I tweet at on Twitter.

As for who I want to be? Take Commander Shepard, Honor Harrington, Aragorn and Admiral Anderson, blend them up and throw in some healthy realism and you’ve got me. Or just check out my friend Giselle Gonzalez. I want to be living my life as fully as she is. Or my friend Keezy Young, who’s a badass artist who is really leaning into her art and that’s brave and awesome. Those two are the ones who are really inspiring me to push toward meeting my own bars. Wil Wheaton and Rooster Tooth are the ones who made me realize public accountability is something I can use to motivate myself and others.

So what does Operation Respec entail?

Be Healthier

  • This is traditional. I weigh 213lbs. I want to weight no more than 190lbs. I can’t keep the level of activity I used to be able to do. I want to change this. What does this mean?
    • Go to the Gym. No really, I’m a former black belt gone to seed 5 years running, I HAVE to get myself back in shape.
    • Eat Healthier
      • I’m not going to diet. I hate diets. I love good food. Calorie counting makes me mad.
      • I am going to modify my current diet to cut out the crap foods.
        • That means no more M&M packages a week, no McDonalds, try to cook and prepare my lunches better.
        • Instead of a diet, I’m going to work to be more mindful of my food.

Be More Disciplined

  • I procrastinate. I avoid work. I play games when I should be writing. I’m bad at scheduling things or planning ahead… in some very poignant places. I’m still going to do/be all of that. But I’m going to work on doing it less.
    • Write 30mins-1 hour a day
    • Apply for that job, or message that person on OKC with a day of finding it/them
    • Schedule the Website, Podcast and personal life better
    • I AM GOING TO LEARN TO BUDGET
      • I’m bad at money. I am so freaking bad it’s not funny. I’m going to actually try and change that this year.
    • Help with cleaning and cooking around the house more.
    • Be more helpful in general

Be More Social

  • When I was living in Calgary, I was rooming with my only friend in the city. I knew literally no one else. I had to go out to meet people because I need more than one friend locally. I got to know some really cool writer people in Calgary but my other attempts to meet people ran up against my own anxieties or a general freeze from the board game scene. I Started playing World of Warcraft again, I STARTED PLAYING WORLD OF WARCRAFT AGAIN.
  • Here, I fell back into the comfortable cushion of childhood friends and the network I’d grown up building. I mean I live with the family of my best friend. We hang out weekly-ish and play lots of games online together. It’s good, I love it. It’s also really safe and not helping me grow at all. So I’m going to try and change it up.
    • I’m going to find or found a Writer’s Meetup Group. It’s going to help me write more and be more social.
    • I’m going to try to find and go to a Board Game group or dabble in local board game store communities. Seattle tabletop gaming community is so much more diverse and welcoming than Calgary’s that I need to take advantage of it.
    • Participate in the communities I’m already in. My dance studio has a pretty healthy community that I’ve been sort of skirting around being a part of because there isn’t a lot of people my age there. I need to actually take up getting to know people there.
    • Find Friends to go on Adventures with.
      • Adventures are fun but a lot of my close friends aren’t the sort to want to go do random adventures and the few who are don’t live nearby. I need more friends to do adventures with.
    • SEE MY SCHOOL FRIENDS MORE.
      • COME ONE GUYS WE ALL LIVE REALLY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER THIS SHOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM.
      • I mean, yeah. It’s a problem. I might see them more than once this year. Or like, ever. In the case of Doc. Seriously, Doc and I haven’t seen each other outside of a convention in like 3 or 4 years.
    • Last but not least? I’m going to actually try and use things like OkCupid to meet some people… rather than use it as this weird pseudo-meat shopping site it seems to have a tendency to feel like to me… there is an article on this.
      • Am I admitting that I use a dating site? Yup. Is it a big deal? NO. Meeting people is hard after school. Hell meeting people was hard BEFORE school was a public thing. That was the point of all the nobles holding balls and parties in the Dark Ages.

Be More Adventurous

  • Given no push, I will stay at home and play video games, read or write before I do anything else. I don’t love travelling and I’ve been bad about going hiking cause summer camps are exhausting work. So this year I plan to:
    • Travel More
      • I’m already flying down to visit Newman in San Diego and I’ve already hit up Portland but I also want to plan a Vancouver weekend visit and go visit my friends in Bellingham. Maybe more? I want to remind myself to go see the world.
      • I’m not going to go on a crazy globetrotting tour because that’s not me, but I’m going to work harder to take even small trips outside of my own haunts.
    • Take Advantage of the fact that I LIVE IN SEA-FREAKING-TTLE!
      • I mean seriously. I live in Seattle, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I’m going to try to go hiking more, maybe go kayaking again or find a trail riding place for an adventure. Things like this.
    • Work in fields I’m not intimately Familiar with
      • I’ve worked childcare/after school programs for most of my life. Maybe it’s time I try something else?
    • Do things I’m not comfortable with
      • Humans have a tendency to prefer things they are familiar with and know. I’m human. I want to do things that stretch my comfort zone.
      • If that means I’m doing things like taking a yoga class at my gym or going to see an opera, then that’s what I’m doing. I started this one a bit last year because I asked a freaking classmate out to do stuff. I actually talked to people.
      • I am doing the Spring Showcase at my Dance Studio.
        • I REPEAT I AM GOING TO PERFORM A WALTZ IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.
        • I DO NOT PERFORM. BUT HERE I AM

I’ve given myself quite a job, haven’t I? Yes. Yes, I have. But like I said, I don’t expect to hit everything here but I expect myself to try. Because if I don’t I’m not the me I know I am.

What can you expect from me?

Weekly Updates.

  • These aren’t going to be long updates or big ones necessarily. I will check in with reports about any social or adventures I manage and more importantly, I’m going to be posting regular updates about my Exercise, Food and Writing Habits. Those are the biggest pieces of public accountability I want from this program.

An Example to Follow… or a Warning learn from

  • I’m not an expert at any of this. That’s the whole point of the website. We don’t know what we’re doing but we know are doing something. This is just another example of that. I can’t promise this will go well, but if it does I hope someone decides they want to do a Respec of their own. If this crashes and burns, well the lessons we find can make the next go around better.

The Crew’s Resolutions

Here at Podcast Lost in Space we are a mosh posh group of millennials at different stages in our lives trying to figure out how it all works. One time of the year when nearly everyone is working on themselves is the New Year. So we thought it was only fitting for us to share our resolutions for 2016.

 

Doc’s resolution is  to film and upload 1 youtube video a month. Totaling 12 videos by the end of the year.

Alexander’s resolution is to get in shape and start having adventures. He will even be working on a series of blog posts on his experience doing this called Op Respec.

Alyssa doesn’t make new year resolutions.

Newman’s resolution is to be better with finances.

Seneca’s resolution is to go on more adventures and spend more time with friends.

 

What are your resolutions for 2016?