Rebs McDuxler :)
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Rebs McDuxler :)
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Yeah, I've been thinking about it all day, so why not write about it? Today's rantriffic mood will tell all! And yes, this is kind of long, but I'm a writer what can I say?
That moment when the word "belegarth" crosses your vocabulary in a sentence among a bunch of "normal" people… such as your 40+ year old coworkers in your oh so lovely corporate office job. Obviously at first, they're going to be like a deer in headlights, but that's the reaction that most people have when they see what we do.
So what the heck is this "belegarth" thing anyways?
Pronounced just like bel-garth, it's basically a medieval foam sword fighting buffer combat sport. Long story short, you're playing some crazy awesome game, trying to kill people (in the game of course), whacking each other with these foam weapons while dressed in medieval garb and possibly some armor… yes, it is legit armor. The people MAKE THESE THINGS THEMSELVES for crying out loud. The craftsmanship that goes behind things such as leather tooling is absolutely insane! I wish I could do that, but you can of course buy your gear too! The most intricate thing about this game is completely based on the honor system (there is a referee though).
When someone asks "is this LARPing"? Technically, the answer is no (belegarth doesn't specifically LARP, but you can do it on your own or there are closely related games, such as amtgard and nero, which are more along the lines of LARPing). To make it easier on people who probably don't want to listen to a rant, I just answer "yes", and they pretty much get it to an extent after that.
Inn case you're wondering why belegarth isn't necessarily LARPing, LARPing has a story to it while you're playing the game and belegarth you can do it on your own, but the only object of the game is to hit people! And it's a ton of fun!
When someone asks "do you just beat the crap out of each other", same as above, I just answer yes while of course giggling after I say it. But this so called "sport" represents a lot more than beating each other with foam weapons and wearing garb.
I've only been in it for a little over a year now, I've been to several mini events and 3 camping events, going on 4 (Ocfest yaaaayyyy!!! :D) and I can honestly say it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. It's also pretty gnarly that martial arts translates very well (thanks Shotokan Karate), and I've been doing that for about 7.5 years total now… with that plus my contact sports background, it at least gives me a little bit of a heads up. Martial arts experience or not, stepping on the field for the first time was scary and stepping on the national event field for the first time was so scary that I basically almost cried, but was happy that I managed to kill someone!
When I mention the honor system, you "admit" when you get hit. Your reputation carries throughout the game, which teaches you about life. Yes, you learn all of these super handy life skills that you could never imagine, such as vanilla extract and water to ward gnats off. I wouldn't have even thought of that. Not only that, but I've been able to very well utilize my fruitful amount of leadership experience to a great degree. There's even a "guild" that promotes leadership and service (which I of course joined). There's so many ways to get involved! In my opinion, it's better than any college party I've ever been to because people know how to handle themselves and aren't total dumb idiots. People watch each other's backs to ensure all safety. People also craft their own Meade, beer, apple pie drank, and other tasty concoctions (food and drink) and it's soooooo good unlike anywhere else. If you don't choose to partake in "those types of activities", no one will ever force anything upon you and is very respectful of your decisions. The camaraderie is amazing as well! Oh, and you're camping for days! ;)
But life skills is the least of it… it's the PEOPLE that makes this such a special place for me and probably thousands of other people all over the world. And in case you're wondering if there's a party and nightlife, absolutely yes there is!
What types of people even do belegarth? The honest answer is that nerds do it because the game is a fair neighbor to Dungeons and Dragons, and I would even degree that it has a close relationship to chess. Am I a nerd? Yeah, of course I am. I'm a freeking web developer, was in band from 5th grade throughout all of college, and the list goes on for a pretty long while. But I'm also a sorority girl… and not your typical young lady either. People from all walks of life join in this awesomeness and everyone is welcomed with open arms. That alone blows me away because I've never walked into a place on day 1 and been treated so well. These people are seriously the most genuine people I've ever met. When you live in a world of people who try to fit a certain mold, it's nice to have people who are actually comfortable being themselves… as am I. I've always been a nerd… I've always been different… but it takes a fair amount of confidence to enter this newfound world because it's nothing like you've ever seen before… but as I've been told, everything happens for a reason, just like joining belegarth.
They had a local realm (place to practice) where I went to college, but to me, and for most of society, they'd take a gander… just long enough for a short glance, and just continue walking. And that is exactly what I did for all 4 years of college. Most people see this as "weird" and would never even dare go in there. I was also pretty busy trying to graduate and get a job, but that's besides the point. My friend at school invited me to come practice a few times, but I was too busy with the over-involvement cycle I was already in, which meant that the timing wasn't right. With the strong desire for a new beginning and to get out of my post-graduation slump, another invite from the same friend was suddenly brought to my attention… my response this time? Sure, I'll give it a fair chance. I had never done it before and deemed that I had no right to prejudge this before actually trying it… and I have never looked back since.
I feel like most people find out about this sport through either word of mouth or being a passerby in the park where people are practicing, but someday I want this to be more widespread than that :)
Belegarth is the most family oriented group I've ever seen in my entire life (and I've been involved in plenty of groups and organizations). People view their unit-mates as their LEGITIMATE family. I am dead serious. It is that real. I was told in my sorority that "in order to receive much, you must give much" while all having a central focus on love being the highest pillar in life. All of that heavily translates to this sport, which is why people have been fighting for most of their lives and even bring their kids into fighting. I am literally happy EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to a practice, even when I'm in the worst possible mood. Everyone helps the new people get adjusted, tell them the rules, and make sure they're comfortable, while everyone immerses in a cycle of paying it forward.
Not only is this community more welcoming than anything I've ever seen, have the most genuine people I've ever met, and have a very heavy focus on family, honor, and moral values, everyone is always willing to help everyone. There's always a bad seed somewhere, so don't feel alarmed when you see some, but don't let those people turn you away. But for about 99.5% of the time, people have your back and will want to be there for you if you "seriously needed something" (the .5% accounts for people being people, but I'm of course being generous about it). After first joining, being overweight and such too from college, I was still in a pretty big slump and felt as horrible as can be… going to work was even difficult at that point (but I still managed to pull through regardless). At my first camping event, during line battles on that Saturday, I totally got full on nailed by a spear in the face. I didn't cry, but it felt bad enough to make me need to walk it off bracing pain while he felt pretty bad and took an "honor death" because face shots aren't legal shots. A series of events from the past coming back together means that belegarth is definitely a very small world (I had known him from high school fencing and ran into an unexpected person totally out of nowhere).
He introduces me to one of his realm leaders, who I encounter at one of my practices, ask him for advice totally out of the blue, and he tells me to come talk to him. Me being like, "um I did NOT expect this reaction", pauses for a second and nods. By "come talk to him", meaning that he's a holistic doctor and owns his own business. You definitely meet people from all different walks of life, but this oh so wonderful person helped me kick my poor mental health to the curb, lose over 35 pounds, and become far more motivated in general than ever. I have never been this happy, and it is in a large portion thanks to joining belegarth.
Now do you know what belegarth is? It's family, friendship, fun, and honor all wrapped up into some crazy fun nerd game. Yay for nerd bring the new cool!
I never introduced myself, but if you got this far, my name's Maron McNight (my fighting name of course), and you can find me up in the windy city (Chicago) and practice most commonly at the lovely realm of Nightfort, located in the northwest burbs.
Here's some Facebook groups of the surrounding area realms in case you're interested in joining this awesomeness :D
Here's the wiki page for the sport in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belegarth_Medieval_Combat_Society
Here's the most up to date map of active realms in the US (or close): https://maps.google.com/maps/u/0/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=107125570793823288790.000452cfe9579612b42af&z=4&dg=feature
And here's the most up to date list of realms (on the main website, which is geddon.org): http://geddon.org/Category:Realms
If you're not from Chicago, have no fear, see above and you can find somewhere to go play. Now do you know what belegarth is? I hope to all who join find amazing pleasure and fun in this lovely land of play sword fighting for adults!
Friday, July 25, 2014
These all may sound cliché, but if you’re tired of feeling stagnant and crave progression in life, here are 7 magical and simple ways to create better opportunities for yourself:
1. Be proactive. Opportunity doesn’t usually just come knocking on your door when you’re sitting on your butt doing nothing. The more you actively pursue opportunities to better yourself, such as attending training courses at work, attending networking events, and pursuing leadership positions, you need to drive the bus! You're in charge of your career and don't take no for an answer... meaning if someone says no to what you want, find another way to grab it if you have the drive and perseverance to do so!
2. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and seek endeavors that are beyond what you think you are capable of, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Try something new and take risks... even though everyone else and their entire friend circle of successful people would say. If you think you want to be the president of a club at school or the CEO of your own company, don't sell yourself short with self-doubt or think you'll suck because you've never done it before. Of course you're not going to be perfect the first or second or even third try, but trying just means you're growing and learning from mistakes!
3. Feel comfortable asking “how can I help” to show initiative and interest. Similar to being proactive, this moreso involves finding a task, objective, or role that you have a strong desire to fulfill that someone else is doing and ask how you can help. This is especially beneficial if you're in search for further experience in an area that you want to learn about and don't know as much as you'd like to yet, as well as at a job. Who knows, maybe you can fall in love with something you never could imagine all because you offered to help someone! Also, asking to help someone is always a benefit to you (if they say yes) because it's always a learning opportunity, meaning more invaluable knowledge for you to pocket away and another category of experience for you to add to your arsenal of awesomeness!
4. Be excited to learn from challenges that you accept… with or without reluctance. Yay learning and yay challenges! Challenges foster learning and learning fosters bettering yourself, so why not, right? So what if you fall or even fail. Get back up! You can do it!
5. Embrace and be empowered by change. Change may be scary at first, but change also means new experiences, overcoming obstacles, and self growth and awareness. For example, magically turning from college student to adult was one of the most daunting life changes I've ever made and is probably #1 on my list, but changes like these are 500% inevitable. If you resist change, you will make yourself miserable. It's not easy and will never be easy, but if you want to better yourself, taking a risk or leap of faith in life means you're going to just have to accept change!
6. NETWORK!!!! I can thank the Association of Information Technology Professionals for advocating this handy tip. Networking doesn't just mean dressing up in a suit to hand resumes out to potential employers, but it means trying to get your name and your word out to as many people as you can. Networking also doesn't have to be just for "professional endeavors", but can also take place when immersed in a large group while trying to meet people in a more social/laid back setting. Just think of it this way, the more people who know you and the more people you've handed your business cards to (vistaprint sells nice ones), as well as any cards you receive (or contact info that you exchange), the more people that can possibly meet to help you find where you belong or even give you a recommendation to help you land your next big gig or job!
7. Stay positive and never give up when the going gets tough... If the timing isn’t right for something, don't worry about it too much. If you're young like me, realize that even though life is short, you have plenty of time to make awesomeness happen. When people tell you that everything happens for a reason, it's absolutely true! Rejection also happens... a lot more than you think. The chances of you getting accepted to everything you apply for are slim to none (unless you're super duper lucky). Don't let rejection bring you down or make you quit. The stories you hear of people triumphing after being homeless, getting tons of sorry letters, getting cut from the team several times, etc. are absolutely true! Rejection means to either keep working towards what you want or that there's a better opportunity that's waiting for you and you'll find it in due time! Giving up just means you're never going to see accomplishment... and trust me, the gratification from the "yes" answer you've been craving is worth the wait!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
2. IT Field Success -- itfieldsuccess.blogspot.com
3. #adultproblems -- hashtagadultproblems.blogspot.com
4. Anime Luvers -- maronsanime.blogspot.com
5. Random Thought Blurbs -- randomthoughtblurbs.blogspot.com
6. Healthspiration Station - healthspirationstation.blogspot.com
8. Cheapity Cheap Noms -- cheapnoms.blogspot.com
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Here's the URL:
Happy adult-ing! The funny complaints are for hilariousness and humor only! Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Hey... so... I almost got mauled by a skunk once...
WHAAAAATTT?!?!? But that's so absurd!
Oh you know... I'm just going for my night run as usual and right when I think I'm home free, surely enough, I see that goddamn white stripe and bushy tail that surely isn't squirrely...
It looks super cute on a screen or video game and turns out to be quite ferocious in person... eeeewwww?!?!?
Because it literally looked like it was going to chase me down the street and spray me with its grossness...
I don't wanna get that nasty stench all over me... and if I did get it all over me, I'd be like "haaaaayyy", but that's definitely not what I want!
I decided to run the other way with my entirety vanishing into the night sky as I find a new path that will better suit me...
One where a certain kind of danger doesn't lurk....
But at the same time... wait a minute!
I soon realize how lame it is to have a fear of something that actually isn't stronger than you! No more of that dumb garbage...
No more dealing with repulsive figures who only cause you to feel bad about yourself or feel any sort of pain... in a way where someone claims the world is going to end and it's all your fault... But meanwhile in the back of your head, you're like "this person is full of shit" in some angry screaming metal voice...
And definitely no more surrendering to someone who doesn't deserve to win because you feel like you "have to"...
No... you don't have to throw your hands up in the air like you just don't care and then you know you'll feel so damn bare! You're allowed to play the game too... you know, right?
Hmmmmm... so how do I play... step 1... ACTUALLY PLAY!
You need to take control of situations instead of them letting them overtake you as you miserably surrender without even putting up a fight...
But it's just a skunk, right?
Whenever people see something they fear or see someone that has recently upset you hardcore or whom you resent to the max, instead of actually approaching the problem, they run away from it...
Hey I'm guilty of it too, but it's time we stop running and start doing!
In order to win the game, you have to take control of the game... not let it control you.
That's how I win my karate sparring matches or any kind of play fights... If I'm too defensive and wait for the other person to attack all the time because I'm "waiting for an opening" instead of making one on my own, 9x out of 10 I'll lose...
But if I'm aggressive and fight for that victory I'm craving oh so much, the chances of me winning are significantly higher!
What if this situation actually happened with something important?
What if a skunk's spray gland was removed and then you saw it... would you still run away?
Why do people always ask all of these what-if questions instead of actually living and trying and NOT being consumed by fear their whole lives....
But the entire time, just to let you know, this ridiculous skunk figure is mostly a metaphor! I did seriously see a skunk that really did start chasing after me when I went for a night run... and it was actually quite terrifying!
But the moral of the story... just live, damnit!
Who cares about some lame skunk anyways?
The only one stopping you from living YOUR life to the max is you!
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Too bad life doesn't have a restart button or item to use to take a moment over again...
But that's ok, that's what starting over is for, right?
There are 5 major reasons why starting over to make new friends is beneficial:
1. You're making a major life transition and don't have time or the desire to keep everyone in your life
Maybe you've just graduated from college or have just begun your career, but time is generally scarce. When you get older and work full time, it's more scarce. When you hit that point, you have to determine who's a friend and who's an acquaintance. With that, you also need to figure out who's "actually" a friend and who isn't. You may end up learning a lot about your friend circles as soon as you begin truly evaluating. They may not be who you think they are...
2. You've been hanging with a bunch of good for nothings aka "the wrong people" and you're tired of getting treated like crap all the time and have finally decided to put your foot down
You realize the true colors of your so-called "friends" and have decided that it's time to part ways with them... though you do so civilly, of course! If you don't fully decide to leave, you share how you've been feeling lately and tell them that what they've been doing is uncalled for and they better stop. If that doesn't work, you stop putting up with their actions and leave! It may be difficult, but necessary if you want to be in a better environment! Respect must also come from all parties... not just you!
3. You're moving away (per your own choice) because you're tired of how things are going or you've found an opportunity to better suit your needs and career
That one time when your "friend" asks to share an apartment with you. You're super excited about it until the major epiphany hits. This epiphany wakes your ass up to realize that you're going to get stuck paying ALL of the rent and your rear end is going to get ripped off hard. NO THANKS! Unfortunately, every time you hang out with these people, you get stuck pulling out your wallet and end up staying out until 3am while you're the only one who has work at 9 in the morning. The majority of the group either works very little or not at all. People don't always care that you're the only one who has "real adult responsibilities" to take care of while everyone else is acting like a child. Not only that, but if you found your dream job in LA and your friends all live in Chicago, chances are that you're going to have a decent number of goodbyes to say. In the end, you will be much happier, as difficult as saying goodbye is!
4. You've moved on because you know you're better than that and deserve better people in your life
After you realize how much your wallet is crying, how much your heart is crying from being screwed over so many times, and even when your real friends who have been helping you tell you to stop hanging out with these people, you eventually have your own personal wakeup call and you end up deciding to vanish from that circle of friends... and never looking back. If you're successful and landed a job right out of college making nice money while they can't even land a job at Starbucks, stop wasting your time. You deserve to hang out with people who will go see a movie with you and actually have enough money to pay for it themselves. The only concert with $30 dollar base tickets that should cost over $150 dollars is one where you either make a road trip out of it or decide to splurge or getting front row, pit, or VIP tickets. You don't deserve to be used or drained by people who you call your friends. If you EVER feel that way, it's time to go!
5. All of the above
The person who's the most important in life is you, closely followed by family and friends you hold dear to you. If anyone is ever holding you back, it's time to let them go. It's one of the most difficult things you can willingly choose to do, but sometimes, it just has to be done. Don't waste your time with ignorant fools mooching off of you to hang out with them to fill your boredom void. Find other ways to entertain yourself than hanging out with clowns who use you. You're a PERSON and PEOPLE don't deserve to get used... only things do. Now go out there and make the best for yourself while surrounding yourself with people who truly care about you and give you a big hug every time they say goodbye... even if you're going to see them the next day!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
How do you entertain yourself during those annoying and inevitable commutes? All of these are based on what myself and my friends have observed while riding public transit (bus, subway, train) within the past year. Here is what we've noticed (in no particular order):
1. Play candy crush/go on Facebook -- Oh Candy Crush, what a notoriously addicting game you are... enough to pass the time during your long morning and evening commutes... especially if your poor brain is fried!
2. Listen to music - dearest music player, I'd feel totally bored out of my mind and become madly disturbed by all of the irritating noises I'm randomly surrounded by, such as popping gum, people coughing, etc. Without my earbuds in blasting some Avenged Sevenfold to get me pumped for the day or some Muse to cool me down and keep me awake on the way back, I'd go nuts... and I don't miss my stop from dozing off!
3. Stare at their phones - People are always so glued to their darn phones that they don't stop and take a second to look at the scenery (if there is any), but texting people definitely keeps me entertained, passes the time, and keeps me social. It also helps when the train is delayed and I need to email my manager (courtesy of my smart phone) saying that I'm going to be late as I'm stating at my phone begging for the train to move and time to stop. Reading online articles is also quite nice as well!
4. Read a book/magazine/ebook - Don't have time to read? Why not entertain yourself with your reading medium of choice while you're just sitting (or standing) there? Reading is productive, right? And learning is fun too! Knowledge is power!
5. Stare into space - This is what happens when your phone has no service (or dies), you don't have anything to do or read, or you just don't feel like doing anything because your you want to relax for awhile... Definitely acceptable as long as you don't miss your stop or run into "unsafe people"...
Not even talking makes this list because so many people are in their own little world's that they don't take the time to talk to others. Stop sticking your head down and go talk to someone... though I'm guilty of staring at my phone writing this on the train too :P