About Me

There's something special about being eight years old. I'm not sure what it is exactly, and maybe it's not this way for everyone, but I do know that eight years old is when, for me, it all began. We had an Atari 2600 that we upgraded to a 7800, and a PC running Xtree Gold which gave way to Windows 3.0. Moon Patrol, Pole Position, and Xevious along with War in Middle-Earth, and The Secret of Monkey Island were the great and entertaining ways I spent my time.

It was around this time I also watched my first baseball game, and was instantly hooked. Back then the Atlanta Braves were in the NL West (makes sense, right?) and they made frequent trips to the West Coast. I will forever be thankful that instead of forcing me to miss those games my parents made me a deal, if I didn't drag my feet getting ready for the school the next day I could stay up and watch. If I didn't watch, I listened. There was something magical about baseball on the radio, it doesn't seem to translate over to other sports, but a warm summer night with a ballgame on the radio is about two-thirds of the perfect night.

Do you remember book fairs at school? Two times a year they would cart a bunch of books into the school library, and they SOLD them to you! During my third grade year I bought Stephen King's Cujo. At an elementary school book fair, they sold a third grader Cujo! When I proudly came home with my newest purchase I was told by my parents, as I often was from then on, “If you have any questions, ask us.” There were no scoldings, complaints or laments as to my rather adult reading choice. Just support for my early affinity for reading. It was that year I got my first comic book subscription, to Iron Man, and found another hobby that would continue, abate, and then come back even more prevalently.

Back then they showed actual movies on network television. Sundays were not dominated by the animated, reality television shows neither voyeuristic nor 'extreme' would exist for another decade. Many weekend nights would feature a movie for the family to sit down and watch. If you missed a movie at the theater, and didn't subscribe to HBO, you either bought the movie on VHS or you waited until one of the networks aired it. This was how I saw some of my all time favorites for the first time: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back, Beetlejuice, Predator and Jaws to name but a few.

Years went by as they often do and my interests kept expanding. The classics such as Huck Finn, Robinson Crusoe and Moby Dick, along with Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, were now part of my daily routine. I read at school, on the bus, during car rides, and at home. I must've cost my parents a fortune in batteries for my flashlight. I insisted on reading under the covers at night, hiding my light from my parents. I suspect they knew I was reading all night, but who in their right mind would dissuade a kid from reading?

My interests broadened and grew over the years. Everything Star Wars, especially after Timothy Zahn released his Thrawn Trilogy, was fair game. I devoured the expanded universe books, played the Star Wars CCG, owned some of the strangest toys (an aquarium like container filled with clear gel, so that you could suspend starships in mock dogfights? Yes, please!) I had followed some Sci-Fi type shows in the past like Quantum Leap and Knight Rider, but it wasn't until The X-files that I realized the type of stories that could be told on television. Another hook in me, forever. 


I grew up, played Dungeons and Dragons in various incarnations. Lamented the quality of the prequels, and saw every possible movie that I could on opening night. Then, somewhere along the way, I strayed away from it all. I still watched some movies, and caught a baseball or football game occasionally. I was still reading, but the reading wasn't for me. I had bills now, and a full time job, and classes to attend; no time for all that. What had changed, I can't say for certain, but I'm sure that some where in my subconscious was a voice telling me, “You're an adult now, start acting like it. New tires are expensive, next semester's books are expensive. What do you need all that stuff for anyway? It's not like you can possibly still be interested in it.”

For a while I listened to that voice. I did 'grown-up' things. You know, all those adult things like working a ton, paying bills, and getting into debt. I went out, drank, had and attended parties. There's something to be said for all of that stuff. You can learn new lessons and meet new people. It's trite and cliched to say it, but I learned a lot about myself through those years too, some of it was good to know and some of it not so much. The most important thing I learned though was that most of that stuff wasn't me.

I re-embraced my geeky side, some would say plunged to new depths of it. I've been happier ever since. What, you might be asking, is the point of this story?

Off to my first Dragon-Con!!

You are never more you than you were at eight years old. Before adults told you that you couldn't be that way forever, before your peers picked on you and made fun of you for the things you liked, before your own insecurities prevailed and attempted to drive you to something you weren't, before all that you were eight years old. You were an eight year old that pretended to be Indiana Jones, or a wizard, or a professional basketball player. You did things because you enjoyed them, not because you had to.

That's why I started writing this blog. Because I was a damned cool eight year old kid, and so were you. Maybe you can't be eight all the time, but give yourself a few moments everyday to do it. It's worth it.

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