Married Life

Being married is just like being in any other type of cooperative relationship. There are times one or both people involved are not too happy with the current situation. But because there are goals to be met (not just financial ones), each individual agrees to work past these incidents and continue the team effort.

Okay, enough adulty, hoity-toity, therapy session talk. Lets, get down to the nitty gritty: Married life can be difficult. It can also be wonderful. Oddly enough, it can be both of these things at once. I’ve recently run into people that I haven’t seen in years. They ask how I am, how my family is doing, and if I’m enjoying married life.

That last question always confuses me.  I want to say, “Well, not always,” but I’m afraid they’ll take it the wrong way. My husband and I are what many would call “Happily Married”, but “happy” is such a relative term. We both work hard at making it work. We both appreciate what the other does. We both go out of our way to lift the other up.

On the flip side – we’re both lazy, selfish, and can be overly demanding. You know why? We’re humans. Neither one of us is a super powered spouse whose every move is perfect and doting. We all have various forms of needs, wants, and outright tantrums. It happens.

That being said, I wouldn’t give this up for anything. My husband is my best friend, my confidant, my support. He’s always there to make me laugh (especially when I don’t want to), listen to me even when what I’m talking about has no relevance nor substance, and I know that he will always be there if something should happen.

And yet, being married usually requires sharing things. We share living space and sleeping space. We share utensils, technological gadgets, vehicles, and sometimes even clothes. We share the affections of our pets, our families, and our friends. Sharing can be very good.

And sharing can be very frustrating.

“That’s not where that goes.” “That’s not how we organize that.” “That’s not how I do it.”

I have found that even in the most mundane of daily events, we have to stop and find the best way to do something for the team. Where do the kitchen utensils go and why? What is the best way to organize the filing cabinet? What kind of furniture should we get for the living room? We often spend more time than we should discussing (or compromising) the ways we do various, daily tasks.

In the past, I made decisions on my own. I might hem and haw over them, or I might make them on impulse. Either way, I was the one who made the decision and it left me feeling empowered (or regretful). Now, we both make decisions. It empowers the relationship when we work together to find the best solution. And when we make the wrong choice, we both deal with the regret together. (Or both chime in to convince one another that we did the best we could).

So if someone stops me to ask how I’m enjoying married life, I’m just going to smile and say, “Pretty good.” I know they may not understand, but that’s alright. The only other person who needs to understand, already does.

 

Worth It

Please understand that this is not meant to be advice. I will not get on my lectern and point fingers at those people who “aren’t doing things right”. Instead, this is just something I have learned along the way that I wish to share because I feel like we are in a good place to do so.

I have only been married for going on four years. Hubby and I were friends for about three years before becoming romantically involved, dated for a laughably short time, and we lived together for a year before getting married. It has been a “never a dull moment” relationship with lots of ups, downs, loop-de-loops, and gorgeous vistas. I have been exceedingly fortunate to have someone in my life who is so dedicated to our relationship. He has fought for us even when I was ready to throw in the towel, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Hubby and I met at work, where our jobs were in different departments. We kept it a secret and maintained our professionalism so that no one at work even knew we were dating.  We never showed PDA, we used eachother’s names instead of romantic nicknames, and we maintained avenues of appropriate communication (paging for something instead of texting). No one even knew we were dating until we showed up one day – married.  Let’s talk more about that.

We were planning a Spring/Summer wedding but I became fed up with other peoples’ opinions about what I should or should not do. The scheduling was also an issue. By the time we had appeased everyone’s schedules, we would have been getting married in October or November. That was a “no” for both of us; I didn’t want to get married when it was cold outside and Hubby didn’t want to get married on Halloween – like I suggested.
Lying in bed one night, Hubby joked around (for the millionth time), that we should elope. He said that Leap Day was a couple of days away and it would be fun. I said, “Hell yes.”
Certain family members were well aware we were getting married, but none of them knew of our last minute plans to elope. My Mother-In-Law had even taken us dress shopping so I could find a nice outfit to get married in (I didn’t want an expensive dress that I was only going to wear once). No one knew at the time of this excursion that I would be wearing that dress much sooner than anticipated.
The interesting thing is that his mother worked at the County Clerk’s office, at the time. We didn’t tell a soul about our plans and she was pretty shocked when we showed up all dressed up at her office and asked for a marriage license. (She was even more shocked that we weren’t shaking. Apparently, most people have wobbly signatures from shaking so hard while signing their marriage license.)
Since we got married on our lunch break, when we got back to work all dressed up, people knew something was going on. They were floored that we had been dating and living together for so long and they didn’t even know. One coworker even rushed out to WalMart to pick up some Bridal gifts. It was a pretty neat moment.

The next few weeks the information spread around work. I was asked on an almost daily basis about it and I got to show off my ring (that I don’t wear anymore because, apparently, I’m just allergic to jewelry). I was never one to walk down traditional paths so I didn’t want the attention of an engagement or a big, fancy wedding. Still, it was kind of nice and gave me a few weeks of no bad days at work. Who could be upset when you get to flaunt your diamond ring? This quieted the naysayers who kept telling me that, “I should have had an official wedding because every Bride deserves her special day.” That shit made me cry so thanks for that people who supposedly care.

The thing is, after the novelty of all of this wore off, the real issues began to rear their ugly heads. I was distracted with working full time and going to school full time, so it took a little longer than usual. About a year after we had gotten married, I started to notice things and I reacted in a not-so-loving way. It’s a long story and I’m not getting into the particulars. What I have to say is more of a general lesson that I have learned over these short (but seemingly long) years with my husband.

I am a strong-willed and independent woman. This is one of the things that not only attracted my husband, but has also almost caused me to lose him on several occasions. Let me set something straight before I go on – Hubby is exceedingly supportive. He has not been jealous of my independent streak. He has not tried to tame it. He has not put me down for it. Rather, this quality caused some interesting reactions from me to situations beyond my control.
Being independent, I hate codependency. I don’t do things or behave in ways that will prevent people from feeling certain things. I am of the mind that we are all adults and responsible for our own feelings and behaviors. Having said this, I do not go out of my way to be callous towards others’ feelings, I simply do not tip-toe around them. In other words, I am not an enabler of negative behaviors. Hubby does this and for various reasons. Mainly, it was a coping mechanism growing up. It is ingrained in him and I have tried all these years to convince him to stop doing it. It drives me crazy! Whenever I ask him a question about his opinion, he tends to pussyfoot around the answer in the fear that it may upset me. That’s what upsets me.

Not to worry, I have my own “quirks”. My coping mechanism of super-independence has lead me to having a “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” mentality. Why should I wait for someone to hurt me? I can just be overly paranoid about their behavior and dessert them first. Problem solved. I am not hurt and have moved on with my life. Afterall, I have conquered every other obstacle in life this way. Why should this be any different?

Oh, but it is.

This type of mentality is the actual problem. I’m not saying that Hubby was an innocent angel. He has behaved in ways that have compromised our relationship, as well. But you know what? He has been working at that and his improvements thus far are impressive.
Basically, my paranoia that Hubby will behave this way again led me to a “No man hurts me” way of thinking and this simply reinforced the already present “I’ll ditch him before he ditches me” mentality. Several months were spent where it was difficult to be in the relationship. To say we struggled is laughable. We basically clawed our way back to where we are now.

Trust is a huge thing in a relationship. Some people feel, for many different reasons, that once this is lost – the relationship is over. Hubby and I had to work hard to get trust back, from both of us. He had to learn to not cross certain lines, and I had to learn that being apart of a loving relationship did mean trying to say and do things in a less hurtful way. We both had to learn to love one another, again. We still have our bad days, but we are having more and more good days. Hubby is learning to curb his “humor” and I am learning to curb my “Fuck you” attitude.

It’s so nice to go through that initial infatuation stage, but that is not love. It is infatuation. Life will throw things at each of you and at both of you. Love is a purposeful decision to stay together even when you’re both not feeling so loving, anymore. As I said in the beginning, I am so lucky to have a person as my companion that fights so hard for both of us. Even when I’m trying to push him away, he’s trying to hug me. Whenever we fight and I “go for a walk”, he hunts me down. When I say I don’t know how much more I can take, he reminds me of how wonderful life is with him. Marriage is many things, but easy is not one of them. This isn’t a lifelong vacation. It’s a lifelong “Stay until the job gets done” kind of place.

We’ve had our ups and downs, and we will continue to have them, but neither one of us is clocking out early.

Family Outing

As luck would have it, Hubby had to drive out to Ohio in order to get the ball rolling on the hiring process. Well, that’s not entirely accurate.. he’s been hired: he just had to go get all the screening things done. You know, physical, tax forms, finger printing. Finger printing? Oh yea, it’s a Gov’ment job, so he had to get finger printed. He’s in the system now! *evil laughter*

*cough*hack*

Well, at any rate, he had to go to Ohio. In fact, his trip would be very close to the cemetery where my father and his parents are buried.  Mom, Hubby and I decided to make a day of it.  I asked Brother, but he has stable work right now, and that is very important. So, I promised him that he and I would make a special trip next Summer. I can’t wait!

I know, I know. I just went, but it’s fun and I want to go again. Some of you may think that is a little morbid, but visiting dead relatives for me is like visiting living ones. All of the good memories and vibes come back. If it’s as sunny out as it was today, it’s even better.  Of course, the cemetery was just the destination, getting there was quite an ordeal. I guess I’m not the only one who finds humor in these things:

Click picture for an hilarious animated short!

Click picture for an hilarious animated short!

First of all, we had to get to all of Hubby’s appointments. It was a good thing that Hubby printed a map out wrote all of the directions down because we didn’t get lost once. Okay, maybe once.. or twice. Oh bother, we we got lost all day long. We had a hard time finding the right highway to get onto, and then the parts we needed were closed for construction so we had detours. Long detours. On the way to the cemetery, the detour took us halfway back home before bringing us around again. It was kind of funny.  Good thing we had a full tank of gas!

Ah, but we did finally make it to the cemetery. Only, we couldn’t find the marker. Mom kept saying it was by the flagpole, but that was a Vietnam Memorial site. We were a little perplexed until I knocked on the office door. After searching through the card catalog of markers, the cemetery groundskeeper had one thing to say, “Wrong cemetery.”

Yea, we went to the wrong one. Hey, it’s not our fault, we hadn’t been in almost 10 years.  It’s hard finding time, scheduling agreements, and resources to travel so far to visit dead relatives. Still, we should do it more often.

I digress, we found the right cemetery. It was about a mile down the road. We had to visit the office to find out where the marker was because they were all flat to the ground. It made it impossible to read any of them from a distance.  The office lady was helpful, although a might terse. She was probably used to dealing with dead people. Us living can be so trying, sometimes. To ease her pain, her office was totally tricked out. She had an olden timey desk, filing cabinet, and even an old phone. BUT! She had a very nice computer with a flat screen monitor, a printer on steroids, a portable flat screen tv, and a satellite radio receiver. Wow! Grandma must get a lot of work done at the cemetery office!
At any rate, she was kind enough to give us several maps so we wouldn’t get lost and then come back and bother her again. We found the marker and took some lovely photos!  However, I’m not showing up close photos of the actual markers because names and privacy.
A picture of a stone statue of a giant bible open to the ten commandments

Giant Bible

Their markers were by the giant Bible statue, which was open to the Ten Commandments. The carving work was really impressive when you got up close to read it:

BibleStatue

The whole cemetery was split into various sections, and each one had a statue or marker of sorts that it was named after. There was one across the way with a beautiful statue of, I’m presuming, the Virgin Mary because it was titled “Immaculate Conception”.

A picture of  a statue of the Virgin Mary

Immaculate Conception

I was a little bummed out when we found the right spot. The office lady told me it was between two trees, but she failed to mention that one of the trees was now a stump.

A picture of a tall tree stump

Stumpy

Then again, Dad would have thought it funny that the only dead tree in the whole place was next to his grave. Not to fret, he had a beautiful bush/tree growing right next to his marker.

A picture of a bush

Bushy Grave

It almost looks like someone buried him with seeds in his hands. The bush is actually a combination of three different leaf types.  Sweet.  He was also facing inwards, and had a nice view of a lovely old shag bark tree.

A picture of a tree

Shag Bark Tree

All was not lost, afterall.  The ride home was uneventful and I got much further along on my “Weekend” Blanket. I hope to have it done by next week. It was great to spend time with Mom and Hubby, though we were all a little out of spirits having had to get up so early in the morning. Still, I would do it all over again. It was great fun!

 

Quabache

No, that is not a typo. That is the English misspelled version of a French translation of a Native American word.  I know, right? I swear it’s the truth, I couldn’t make this stuff up. Okay.. well I could, but I didn’t. I swear.  Apparently, it is known as Ouabache, which is the correct spelling, but most people say it like Quabache. Kwah-bahh-chie.  It’s supposed to be pronounced Wah-Bash. Look HERE for etymology.  HERE is the park’s website. See? I wouldn’t lie to you.. about this.. right now.  Ahem, anyways.

So Hubby and I took a little day trip and went to Quabache. . . Ouabache . . Wabash, whatever. We went there. It was fun. I took lots of pictures to share so get ready for some nature eye candy.

First off, I didn’t know they had bison there but they do! There’s a tiny nature preserve where they have about 7 bison, all ages and both genders, apparently.

Bison1    Bison2

There were two, younger bison scraping their horns against a few trees. I guess they were coming in.

bisonhorns

The tree was completely stripped of it’s bark from about halfway down.  There was also a much younger bison. A calf!

Bisonbaby

He was a cutie and stayed pretty close to Mom. The enclosure was very large, but was split down about halfway. On the other side of the split, there was one, solitary (and very large) bison. We assumed he was an older (maybe aggressive?) bull.

bisonbig  Whatever his story, he seemed to be enjoying just lying in the shade.

We walked halfway around the whole enclosure and then ventured off into the trails. We opted to start on the short leg of the longest trail, to see how we’d do. We had forgotten to put on (or even bring) any bug spray. By this point, neither one of us had noticed many bugs and weren’t too worried.

trail2

The trails were wide and mostly sunlit. It was gorgeous. We just walked in silence, taking in all the stress busting that nature had to offer. Every now and again, we would stop and point at mushrooms, strangely shaped trees, and funny looking insects and spiders. It was nice. We were starting to notice the bugs at this point, and I was swatting a lot. But it was still fun and we didn’t pay much heed.

The trail veered off and we decided to continue on the shorter route. Some of the trees had been cut down recently, and for good reason. A couple of trees hung precariously over the trail.

trail

By now, I was swatting at the bugs so frantically that I ended up clawing Hubby.  I “borrowed” his hat and spent the rest of the walk constantly fanning my head to keep the buggers away. It wasn’t just mosquitoes, it was also flies, bees, and butterflies. I don’t know why flying insects like me so much, but as soon as I’m outside, I’m usually getting buzzed at.  Anyways, I did get some good shots of flowers. Of course I have to take pictures of flowers when I’m hiking! Mmm, flowers.

lace whiteflower flowerpurple flower

When we finished our hike and the bugs were done feasting on my flesh and blood, we came out by the fire tower.

Firetower1 Firetower

The fire tower is used to keep an eye out for smoke (and fires starting) during the dry season. Hubby was surprised no one was manning it, but it’s been raining a lot lately, so maybe they don’t have to right now.  At any rate, I decided to climb it. Yes, you can climb it. However, there is a sign that says you do so at your own risk. Oh well, here goes nothing!

Firetowerstart

The stairs and landings are wooden, but the rest of the structure is thin, light metal.  It looked pretty sturdy, but once I started to get up higher, it started to sway with my movements. Yikes.  Oh well, yodo!

ermie

Hubby has a ghastly fear of heights, so he stayed on the ground and waited, very patiently.  I took pictures of him at each level, just to see how high up I was getting. It was pretty fun!

Firetowerermie Firetowerfirstlevel Firetowerermie1 firetowerermietop

Yes, that is him in the middle of the third picture. He’s doing the same thing he was doing in the first picture. During his long wait, he went from the tree, to the sign; from checking his phone to looking around. He was such a great sport to let me have my fun.  In the final picture, he’s standing at the base of the tree. I was scary high, but it was cool!

The top of the fire tower had metal walls full of graffiti from sharpie markers. It looked like it got painted over every season because nothing looked very old. Still, it was cool to see the names of all the people that had made it to the top.  There was writing on the first step after each landing, also. It usually said something like “Keep going!” or “You’re almost there!”  I didn’t stop to take a picture of these because I was desperately holding onto the railing.

At the top, there was a grid of metal to act as a support but still let people see out. There wasn’t any glass, nor sign of there ever being any, so I could stick my camera out and get a good shot of the view.

firetowertop  firetowerview Firetowerlevel2

From way up here, I could still see the bison. There was just one difference: they looked like ants. I had to zoom the camera in all the way to get a shot of them.

firetowerbison

I stayed up for only a few minutes because it was getting hot and I was starting to feel the ramifications of climbing four or so stories on rickety stairs.  The way back down looked a little less promising than the way back up, but I swallowed hard and took the first flight in stride.  By the time I had gotten to the top, other people had gotten the idea to climb as well. I passed two couples and a few groups of kids on the way down. Thank goodness those landings had a little room on them!  I also got a better look at the actual construction of the tower on my way down.

firetowergoingdown ermiewaiting

After that, Hubby and I both needed a good rest. We grabbed our packed lunches and headed to the nearest picnic table, under some trees.  I was extra precautious with the sandwiches and packed them between two ice packs. Don’t do this. The meat was totally frozen. We both only ate half our sandwiches and decided to let the rest of them thaw. It’s a good thing we packed crackers.

I was ready to pack up and leave, or go find a shorter trial to hit, but Hubby had a surprise. Canoeing!  The park has a smaller lake on it with canoes and paddle boats, so we walked down there.  The sky had started to rumble a little and a few, stray drops of rain fell, but we decided to see what it was like once we made it to the lake. Afterall, this is Indiana: you drive five miles or wait five minutes and the weather will change.

lake3

At first, we were going to do paddle boats because we didn’t bring a change of clothes. We didn’t want to flip in the canoe and then have to drive home in soaking clothes and shoes.  Still, as we both sat in the shade looking out at the lake, we decided that our legs were just too tired for a paddle boat. Canoe, yes!

lakecanoes

As we set out, the sky was starting to get a little darker. We weren’t worried, though, it was moving away from us. We had initially planned that Hubby take the rear and steer, but as he tried to get in the boat almost flipped. So I became the rudder and Hubby the navigator. It worked out pretty well.  The rental was less than $5 and it came with two life jackets and two oars. Awesome.

lakejackets2

The lady said we didn’t absolutely need the life jackets if we knew how to swim. I tried mine on and found it was really in the way of my arms movements, so I took it back off.

Finally in the boat, we headed out around the lake. There were spots where the seaweed was so high and thick, I thought it would get us stuck. It didn’t. It just gently brushed the bottom of the canoe. A lot of little minnows kept popping up as the jumped around the stalks of seaweed, it was neat.

lake lake1 lakeseaweed

We took our time and piddle-paddled around the lake a few times. It.Was.Awesome. It was so relaxing to be out on the water, paddling around. There was a large family there that had rented several of the canoes and we had fun watching them joke around. A couple of them raced, a few of them bumped into one another. It made me want to bring my own family next time.  I took a ton of shots of the view, but they all pretty much look the same, so I’ll spare you.

lakedark Except for this one.

It looked like the dark, thunder clouds were starting to inch closer so we opted to get off the lake. There were still quite a few people having fun in canoes and paddle boats, but we didn’t want to be a fricasseed paddler, so we headed for the shore.  Let me just say that Hubby and I completely understand why people use kayaks, now. We both enjoy canoes, but it isn’t the best team work workshop for marriages. We were able to laugh at ourselves, but I can see people getting upset at one another. It’s nothing major, everyone just paddles differently.  A few times, though, I thought it was good we brought along those life vests – I was eying them and the water. Was it worth it?

lakejackets lakeermie lakeermie2

We found out that the same shack that rents out the boats also rents out bicycles. We eyed a tandem bicycle and I thought it was a good idea, but Hubby had a convincing argument: “We would kill eachother.”  There’s no arguing with sound reasoning.

We headed home and picked up some ice cream in a little town called Berne. It was great to just sit back, relax, and spend quality time with Hubby.  We even beat the rain home! Who woulda thunk it?

Lemon Cake

A few days ago, I baked a cake. This is no easy feat for several reasons. First off, my kitchen is small. It’s so small that it makes a closet feel rather comfy. Being in it to do anything cooking related is frustrating when there’s only one person in it. Add two cats and it’s nearly impossible. Lots of tripping, stepping on paws, and cursing.  Secondly, I haven’t been exactly dying to cook or bake, recently. In fact, I’ve been downright slacking on my end of the whole cooking thing. I’m sure the marriage “contract” makes a good point to emphasize just how jointly cooking should be done. Along with house cleaning, feeding cats, and taking turns driving.  Still, I was slacking. I blame work but the truth is that I have a wonderful husband who is also a great cook. I digress.

The reason it has really been so long is that my taste is different from Hubby’s. I want extra, extra chocolate and he wants something more simple, like yellow.  He is always so giving when it comes to food, that I had to make a point to get a cake he was going to like. So I bought his favorite, a lemon cake mix.  Mmm. It is actually very tasty and goes great with a vanilla buttercream frosting. Mmm.

At any rate, the cake came out wonderfully!  It was tall, moist, not overly done, and the icing was spread thick.  The only problem now is that there just isn’t enough of it!  Since only Hubby and I were eating it, I figured it was pointless to cut it into tiny little squares, so I just cut myself out a big hunk. By hunk, I mean I mentally cut the cake in half and then in thirds.  Yes, a very large but yummy “slice”.

A picture of a slice of lemon cake

Darth A’s lemon cake

The next day, I went back for another slice hunk, only to find that it must have been a good idea. Hubby had cut himself a slice of the same proportions. Things only escalated from there. At one point, I took a piece that was two hunk put together. Mmm.  Cake.

Now, there sits a rather large hunk in the pan. It seems solitary and I am left at a crossroads. Do I eat it? Did I eat more than my fair share? If I ask Hubby he will say what he always, lovingly says, “Take what you want. I’ve had my fill.”

God I love this man. *shoves cake into mouth*

10 of the most wonderful things..

..in my life.

I figured that since I did a top ten list for annoying things, I’d counteract it with this one. You know you love it.

  1. My Hubby.  Oh  I know, gag me with a spoon.  It’s true, though. Without my hubby, I wouldn’t have anymore sanity. He keeps the humor going and that’s a difficult thing to do with my overly serious attitude. Not to mention he’s a wonderful cook!
  2. My cats. I love my little furballs, despite the littler box fiascos. They are always there for me when I need a good cuddle and provide plenty of antics for me to laugh at.. or to yell at them over.
  3. Books. I love to read and don’t do nearly as much of it as I would like. Good books can help you forget your sorrows altogether, or give you some insight into better ways to manage them.
  4. Crafst and hobbies. Oh my, this should be a sub-list. Let’s see.. crochet and knitting, drawing and doodling, writing, crossword puzzles, and the odd bit of wreath making now and again. I wish I could devote all of my time to these wonderful activities, but I must make a living. Unfortunately.
  5. The outdoors. Again, something I don’t do nearly as often as I should. Being outside on a wonderful day (or a gloomy one) can really lift the spirits. Even better is time spent outside with people you like being around.
  6. Food. This really should be number 1.5. I love food. Seriously, I am addicted to all the wonderful morsels of yummyness.  If ever I’m in a bad mood, food will set me right again. Especially chocolate. Mmm, if chocolate were a person I’d do very naughty things with them all the live long day. Chocolate..
  7. Sci-fi and fantasy. This could fall into the “books” category, except that I also like movies, games, and other sci-fi and fantasy oriented things. I’m not a diehard fan of anything in particular so I don’t consider myself a geek, though I truly wish I had the attention span to be one. Still, absolutely wonderful.
  8. Comedies. Specifically, Britsh Comedy. I love to watch BBC shows. I am currently watching (and re-watching, and re-watching, etc) The Vicar of Dibley.  I adore Dawn French. I wish I could find a good copy of Murder Most Horrid, but haven’t had any luck. British Dramas are just as much fun. Although a bit dated now, the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth is absolutely scrummy. Mmm.. Colin Firth…
  9. Sleep. I’m a daydreamer so I love to just lie back and let my mind wander. Well, when it isn’t mulling over stress and worry.
  10. Technology and all that. I am fascinated by coding languages and troubleshooting computers. I am still working on my comptia A+ certification (more slowly than I should be).

Gaming with Hubby

Hubby and I have been working on a few Savage Worlds campaigns for quite some time, now.

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, Savage Worlds is a Role Playing Game – or RPG.  It’s along the same lines of Dungeons and Dragons in that it’s tabletop oriented. You play at a table either imagining the scenario or using miniatures to act it out.  You get a book that has the basic and complex guidelines and rules. From there, you create a world and situation that the characters are found and use set-up sheets to sort of map out the characters.  It can really be anything you want to come up with, as long as it follows the game mechanics set out in the rule book.  There are also a sort of extension books that can create these worlds for you, sometimes with twists the to basic rules.

There are many different types of RPGs out there – Dungeons and Dragons, Savage Worlds, Pathfinder, etc.  Some are genre specific from the get go, basing the rules in a world of fantasy (vampires, zombies, etc) or sci fi (aliens, steampunk, etc.).  Hubby and I were working on a fantasy based world with different species and settings. However, he decided to switch gears over to something more sci-fi related.  Specifically, superoheroes and villains.  He and I spent a week or two coming up with possibilities for my viallanous character.

I started out wanting a villain character that had a split personality where one was female/magic based and the other was male/melee based.  But the character set up was complicated and Hubby didn’t know how everyone at the table would feel about a gender switching character (which shocked me because he’s usually pretty open minded about such things. )  Next, I wanted to have a character made of rubber in the same way as Luffy from the OnePiece anime.  Hubby started mapping out the character. With a rubber based body, it would either have to be on all the time or I’d have to turn it on each time I wanted to be rubber. Then, I would have an intolerance towards electrical based attacks because rubber is a great insulator. However, rubber melts so I would be prone to fire attacks. It got to be a little complicated and all the power points I would have to put into it didn’t seem to make it worthwhile.  We did this with a lot of different characters until I gave up.

As a side note, I wanted to make a character called Brass Balls Von Klakken who had testicles made of brass balls.  He would smack them together to launch lightning attacks.  Hubby said no because the world was supposed to be gritty (like Batman) and not silly.  That also meant that I wouldn’t be able to use the character Sweet Cheeks McTushy who was a female character that had a rubber ass and could shape it into different shield-based things.  She would also be able to use it to travel faster, kind of like Tigger.  Alas, too silly.  I won’t even get into what I thought Fluffer McNutter Muffin could do.  Ah well.

Finally, I gave up thinking about it.  All the characters would require too complicated set ups and I was getting stressed at work.  One day, I came home strung out from work stress and Hubby was all alight. He had the perfect villain character.  A heavy metal bard.  Yes, a heavy metal bard. She would have the Boots of 1,000 Mosh Pits, the Choker of Screamo, the Leather Jacket of Punk Rock, and the Steel Axe of the Thunder Gods (a guitar).  The attacks could change up (lightning from the guitar, sound based attacks from the choker, stun/quake attacks from the boots, etc).  The jacket is armor, obviously.  I was super excited.  What an awesome character! I decided that I needed to draw her up.

Unfortunately, my hand is killing me from work.  Not only is crocheting very difficult right now, but holding a pencil and sketching for an hour is pretty much a nightmare in pain waiting to happen.  Despite this, I decided to try and create a mock up of her head.  The results are horrible.  I wanted to go with an anime-styled character so I watched some tutorials to refresh my mind. No help. The character keeps coming out looking all sad and Emo. Punk Metal Rock, not Emo! Ahhh!

I think this is just a reflection of my current state of mind. Oh, I am plenty angry about current situations in life, but it seems I am more sad than angry.  I had better start channeling more anger if my character is going to look convincing.  Here’s hoping to a speedy wrist/hand recovery so I can draw more.  Aaaannnddd.. once I get the printer working again, I can post these god-awful sketches for all to snicker at.

Mmmm, Snickers.