Author Archives: Ben

What do you see me as?

Character study by Kevkai on FA, showing all aspects of how I see myself through my fursona.

You may have noticed I changed the title of this blog, along with adding a tagline. To be frank, I have not been an undergrad for almost two years as of this post, and I don’t think I’ll be attending college again in the near future. I won’t go into why that is; I’ve discussed it with numerous friends and acquaintances and it’s a difficult topic for me to talk about without getting emotional. In short: I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had during that time with personal growth and the friends I’ve made, but I did not like how my academic path went, per-se.

During the one and a half years I’ve been out of school, I’ll admit, I don’t feel as stuck as I was during college. Yet, even after moving to Madison in late August/early September and after getting myself in a routine, somewhat, and having a life again…I still feel stuck.

In short, there are three interests of mine I want to pursue and dedicate time towards: writing, nature, and boxing.

Writing is something I wanted to do, and majored in, during my second semester of college. It’s an aspect of me I hold dear and identify as, and I still write to this day when possible. It’s a skill that I’m naturally good at and want to perfect and share with the world (and, in a way, I have). One goal I’ve always wanted to shoot for was to write a novel, regardless if it gets published through a publisher or I self-publish it; it doesn’t matter to me if it “sells” or not. I know I may not be the best writer, but many have come to enjoy the stories and academic papers I’ve written over the years; that’s…something that’s kept me going.

The topic of nature is just as broad as writing, if not more so. But I’m specifically covering Biology and the general appreciation of what’s outside your window. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been so…fascinated by nature, to some extent: from it’s aesthetic appeal and spiritual significance, to the macro and micro interactions species have with each other and their environment. I used to go on walks every so often to just clear my head on whatever nearby trail I know of that was close; it didn’t have to be at some huge park, just a small trail surrounded by trees, flora, and fauna. I also used to take a lot of pictures with a digital camera and, sometimes, my phone on these walks; thankfully I still have them. It’s no wonder I went for a Biology major and got involved with the furry fandom.

A beautiful YCH I got of my fursona by aoiairon on FA. This one’s easily one of my favorite pieces I’ve commissioned.

Boxing is an interest I’ve had off/on for…quite some time, actually, the same can be said with wrestling. Thing is, I’ve never done either in high school or college (though I did try out a student-run boxing club at college for a couple months). I don’t have a favorite fighter or wrestler, or watch matches very often; I just…like it for what it is, you know? Though, I will admit, within the past few years, this interest sort of…took over. Now, I wasn’t able to find a place close enough to properly train boxing while in Platteville that was less than a half hour away; thankfully the furry fandom provided that outlet, somewhat. I did role play (RP) matches, got art, wrote stories, all centered around wrestling and then boxing. Over time, many viewed me less of a writer and nature-lover, and more as a boxer and wrestler, neither of which I am in person.

I did try boxing again a few months ago, this time taking a couple classes at Ford’s Gym in Madison; it’s definitely what I expect a proper gym to look and feel like and not one that’s part of a chain. I do not regret trying out boxing again and I would’ve gladly continued, though a couple things turned me off about going to that gym in particular:

  1. You were required to register with USA Boxing to spar there. Granted, it was the Wisconsin Golden Gloves “training center,” so to speak, so I can see why. But I invested so much by this point, I didn’t want to spend even more money in case I dropped it again. Also, I have zero interest in competing, but it’s one of the few gyms in Madison that offer boxing lessons/equipment and sparring. Believe me, once you get over that initial fear of getting punched in the face, it can be tons of fun. However, I’m not looking to compete or go pro, and I don’t want to risk getting roped into something I might not enjoy being a part of in the long run or unable to dedicate time towards.
  2. The construction going on around the gym. Good! Lord! I can deal with having to park on the street due to limited parking spaces due to a nearby construction project. What I can’t deal with every time I go is the whole road and then some being torn up end to end, and the route to get on said road changes almost every week. I don’t have a clunker car, but it’s not some mid 2010’s or newer model either; I simply don’t feel comfortable driving through a construction zone to go to a gym with limited parking.

Maybe once the construction settles down and I figure out how to find time for boxing, I might put the gloves back on. Still, just like with writing and studying the natural world around us, boxing takes time and dedication, even if it’s just for workout purposes or learning and practicing some self-defense techniques.

This is why I feel stuck and lacking a sense of purpose; three parts of me I quite enjoy all require dedication and discipline. There’s no way I can balance all three; two would have to take lowest priority over the one I choose to pursue. However, that’s not to say I can’t continue to dabble in the other two every so often, or even incorporate the other two into the one I choose.

I guess what I’m trying to figure out, really, is which of these is more “me”? Which of these would I rather have others associate me with or see me as? Some see me as a writer, most see me as a boxer, few see me as a nature guy. Regardless of what others think of me, what do I see myself as?

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Reflection, Renewal, Change, and Trying to Keep a Lid On Emotions

meditating tiger

Ever since I first saw this on my Twitter feed, it’s really resonated with me…a lot lately. Might also be fitting with what I hope to achieve and what I’m struggling with lately. | Art by Tasanko

There’s been…quite a lot going on with me as of late and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I am now, where I have been, what the hell happened in between, and what I want my future to be. In no way am I saying I have this all completely thought out or planned out, but due to recent events and unforeseen circumstances, there’s a lot I need to change about myself, how I typically handle things, and how I can be truly happy.

Much of this is on me. I bitch too much. I talk about myself too much. I explain myself too much. I get angry and distressed too much. And I have no healthy way of expressing or releasing that. My typically solution is to just bitch and moan on social media or directly towards friends, even though they’ve heard the same shit time and time again; this has lead to people either distancing themselves from me or not wanting to do anything with me entirely. This has also been a major cause of breakup in my “relationships,” including my current one. (I put relationships is quotes because I’m realizing how on/off they were and they really shouldn’t have been in existence to begin with; a close friendship doesn’t necessarily mean it will lead to a good relationship).

So what is it do I need to change so I quit acting this way and allow the same shit to happen time and time again? Well, thanks to two, long, very emotional talks with Yarred, who reminded me the two most simplest solutions to this, which I keep failing to recognize: 1) What is it that I already have and do that makes me happy? 2) What are the things that are making me unhappy?

The following is a list of answers to these two questions; I’m mainly using these as my own reference/brain dump, but maybe some of you could relate to this as well.

What is it that I already have and do that makes me happy?

  • Currently living in a town home where I have my own room, meaning I have my own, personal space for the long-term.
  • Currently living in Madison, a large city with plenty of opportunity and better environment for me overall.
  • Aside from student loans, bills are cheaper, due to living with two people and in a more energy-efficient home.
  • Cheaper gas prices and somewhat less hillier roads.
  • I have an actual bed for a change, with a frame, box spring, and mattress.
  • Bigger furry, gaming, and possibly writing community to be involved in.
  • Job has much better pay than previous job, plus allows me to take part in making a product that is practical and can save lives.
  • Much closer to college friends, high school friends, and some family.
  • 24/7 WiFi connection at home.

What are the things that are making me unhappy?

  • Getting tossed on second shift and doing the type of work I’ve been wanting to avoid (as in just working in packaging and not doing any assembly work whatsoever).
  • Seeing little to no opportunities to try jumping back on first, even though I was told repeatedly these opportunities show up frequently (it’s been a month, and even then, there’s barely been any change).
  • The fact my mother and grandmother, the two people who more-or-less raised me, are getting up there in age and declining in health; this is especially true for my mother, though more due to her personal life choices. There’s no way I can take care of myself and them with what I’m struggling with, period.
  • Not feeling like I’m part of the family on both sides, which I’ve felt as such my whole life, regardless of the fact my family is a mixed bag of political and religious views. There’s very few family members whom I can find solace in…as in, like…two or three.

What are some things I can do to make me happy/eliminate that unhappiness?

  • Obvious answers are:
    • seek out new employment if things do not change soon at current job
    • leave my mother and grandmother to their own device and only have contact in case of emergencies
    • seek out solace in friends rather than bitch to them
  • Try to remember the good things you have and what makes you happy now, even if it only brings you a little bit of happiness.
  • Seek out healthy, wholesome ways to release and de-stress, starting with what you can do for free or cheap; examples include:
    • writing: be it on this blog, a story, working on a commission, editing an old RP log, a poem, etc.
    • improving physical fitness: there’s a small gym on the property that’s free to use for residents; just need to have the access card to get in and has a wide range of hours for availability
    • improving physical fitness: there’s a Planet Fitness just down the road a little bit that could prove useful, however, membership cost will be a factor
    • train in boxing: several boxing/MMA/kickboxing gyms around the city, though membership cost and route will be big factors
    • visual art: this is rarely done to begin with, but it still is possible to draw, paint digitally, or take part in something like origami or making stuff out of duct tape
    • clean: clean, organize, sort, be it the bedroom, the rest of the house, car, MTG collection, files on computers, files on phone, laundry, whatever; if it’s something that needs to be cleaned and/or organized and sorted through, work on it
    • improving diet: see what types of foods and nutrients may be needed, along with taking a multivitamin daily

I’ll be honest, this last list could go on and on.

In any case, that’s the short form of what’s been on my mind and how I’ve been feeling lately, at least with life in general.

As for my current love life, I’m not going to go into that here; it’s relevant to a mistake I’ve made frequently in the past, especially early-on in a relationship: being too “out there” about it. You know the drill: changing profiles on social media or elsewhere to say you’re in a relationship with so-and-so, changing your profile picture(s) and/or header image(s) everywhere, changing the background to something relevant and cute on your phone, tablet, computer, etc., etc. That kind of “out there.” That’s the type of person…I really don’t want to be and don’t like seeing; it’s too shallow and too naive.

As for the furry fandom and my current involvement? Quite simple, really: step back, reflect, and remove any aspects you’re not currently interested or involved in.

Right off the bat, one aspect I’m going to put a stop to is being open for RPs; I cannot do those anymore, bottom line. I’ll still edit RP matches in the past and post them to my galleries like I have been, but I cannot do any new ones. I still have yet to decide on the ones I currently have going, which, sadly, I may just let them die off.

Another that’s semi-related to RPing is my involvement in the furry fighting sub-community of the fandom. I haven’t really been active for the longest time, and even if I make an attempt, it’s minimal. I’ll still share and favorite related art, maybe a commission here or there, but in terms of being part of groups and such? Well, a lot of it boils down to priorities, time, and energy.

I want to go back to what my original intentions were when first joining the fandom: writing stories. I desperately need to get back on working on commissions regularly and offering those more frequently. I also need to improve the quality of my writing in my stories as well, regardless if they’re personal work or commission work. And, somehow, someway, I want to get back into poetry: the one thing that infected me with the writing bug almost 7 years ago. I love writing about goofy animal people, and I sure as hell love writing about nature…a lot.

Yes, I do admit to enjoy personifying a boxing tiger…

Or a wrestling tiger…

Or just some fighty tiger with a sexy physique and sexy hair…

But that’s…that’s not me, only mere fantasies that could be realities. That is, if I oh so wanted to be that type of person.

But I also like being an earthbender tiger…

Or a Jedi tiger (still need to get a pic of this)…

Or a tiger ranger straight out of D&D or Magic: The Gathering (which may have a pic of this)…

Or a weretiger…

Or just…a tiger…who likes nature, writing, some geeky stuff here and there, dabbles into tarot and oracle cards here and there…

…and just wants to be happy with his life and the friends he’s made…and wants to show he cares about the people he truly loves…

Yes, I do admit to enjoy personifying a boxing tiger…

But that’s…that’s not just me…

Because people are more than what they seem at face-value

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On Tarot: A newbie’s dabbling into card reading

Alright…this is gonna be an interesting one, maybe a little odd, as even I myself never expected me to get into this or even try it.

For whatever reason, I’ve been wanting to dabble a bit into Tarot cards. I’ve always wanted to get a deck for the hell of it, but…for some reason, I wanted to at least try to get into doing readings. From what I’ve found about doing them so far, the process seemed more complex initially; after trying out a self-reading and doing a little research, it doesn’t seem quite as complex, though very stimulating. Continue reading

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Embracing Her Role as Queen by Joshia Warbaum

Been a while since I’ve posted one of these, though that’s mainly due to life taking over what little free time and energy I had for the longest time. In any case, I do hope you guys enjoy the review and, if you do decide to check this book out for yourself or have already read it, let me know what your thoughts are! Continue reading

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Positive life changes happening (Part 2)

Hey guys~

Figured I’d give you guys an update/continuation on my last post about what all has been going on with me lately. Again, all positive, though it was a bit overwhelming at first. Continue reading

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Positive life changes happening

Hey guys~

Long time, no talk, eh? Apparently I haven’t posted anything on here since the beginning of April…sorry about that. As mentioned in the title, there’s been some positive changes happening in my life recently, but between those and my job becoming hectic these past couple months, I’ve been quite busy (and tired) as of late. Continue reading

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April 9, 2018

Basically me mulling over some things and just wanting to get it all out of my system. Feel free to comment or message me about this if you wish, even though I know I’ll sound like a broken record having to explain the same thing over and over and over again to everyone who does. Continue reading

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Got myself a new hoodie

Hey guys~

A friend of mine by the name of Houndsytooth (who can be found here on Twitter) had this hoodie on at the Madison furry bowling meet last night. When I saw it, my first thought was, “I need this; why do I not have this yet?”

You can probably guess why 😛

Also, it’s been a while since I’ve used my digital camera to take photos like this. It was also hard for me to find a good spot in my apartment to take them, so bare with me here.

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Thoughts on going forward in the fandom

In a way, you could say this is my follow-up post to Fur Squared 2018. All in all, I had a great time at the con and was glad to meet and hang out with a few people I haven’t seen in a while, along with meeting a few new people. To be honest, my main goal for this con was just that.

As much as I would’ve loved to have Sponsored or Super Sponsored this con, things weren’t going great for me, financially, prior to this past weekend. However, after I was hired on to permanent employment status at Emmi Roth (a cheese factory I work at here in town), I gained a better pay rate, benefits, and paid time off; so, in the end, things worked out for me enough that I could at least attend. I believe this makes my second year where I had to register at the door, the first year being…well my very first Fur Squared and furry con back in 2015. Otherwise, I would’ve pre-registered as a Sponsor or Super Sponsor. I feel I’ve been attending this con enough times where I know it’ll be a good con each year, and I want to help it grow. Continue reading

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Thoughts on my newest hybrids, Jackie & Roy

This has been something I’ve been meaning to write about, now that I’ve had my tigoat, Jackie, for a while. I have posted her ref sheet I whipped up and the only two art pieces I have of her on my art gallery sites, as well as Twitter and Tumblr. Continue reading

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