[x]Year In Review 2013.

Nine Inch Nails - "Find My Way" (Album - Hesitation Marks)

Ghosts of who we used to be, I can feel them come for me...

I have been in Florida for 6 years now.  This was another upswing year, with huge improvements on my home and professional life.  For the first time in my adult life I now look forward instead of looking back.  My life isn't about would could have been anymore, it's about would could be.  That is a welcome change.

A few years ago (2009-2010) to be exact, I was pretty broken.  Several bad relationships in a row had derailed me.  I was simply existing, going through the motions, or drifting.  Whatever you want to call it.  Right around fall 2010, I simply said "No more".  I grabbed life by the throat and squeezed as hard as I could.  I manifested my own destiny.  

There will never be another Allison, and there will never be another Alyssa.  I will never let anyone hurt me like that again.  I will never hurt myself like that again.  I am better and stronger than who I used to be, and above all - I have ridiculous standards now as a fail-safe.  Unlike a lot of people around my age, I'm not going to settle for the mundane.  I would rather be 40 and alone than in some half-ass relationship.  

Leading up to my birthday this year (Turning 35) a huge wave of depression hit me square in the heart.  Everything felt really bleak all of a sudden.  It didn't help that HHN had just ended, either.  I was tip-toeing the abyss of bitterness that most my age fall into, when their lives do not turn out exactly as they had hoped.  I almost fell in.  This was something I have feared my entire life.  I expressed this in a phone call to my buddy Joe, who wouldn't hear any of it.  "Man, your stock is rising" to paraphrase - and he was right.  Not many (single) people get to my age without bitterness, crushed dreams, STD's, shitty credit, huge debt, no money, no career, errant children, etc.  I have none of that.  I somehow have most of my life together.  

Though I am nowhere near perfect.

What I realize as this year ends is that my stranglehold on my life may be so tight that small aspects are starting to slip through my fingers.  As my focus has shifted solely to my job, I have let my health slip a bit.  I have put on some weight.  That needs to be fixed.  I also let too many things simply "Ride" - like Cody for example.  Scared me to death when I was 1200 miles away in Michigan and he had to be taken to the pet hospital with stomach problems.  It was probably something that could have been avoided with regular checkups.  If I want to keep the things that I love, I need to better maintain them.  It won't happen again.

Categorically - here are the major talking points of my life in the last 12 months:

THE JOB - I feel like a rock star at MFRMLS.  After interviewing for the position (and crushing it) - I was promoted to Trainer in early 2013.  

February 22nd was my first official day, and I was out training by myself within a month.  I adore my company, my team, and my job.  I love teaching, and I bring a different approach than the other trainers.  I get to bring my own style to what I do.  Watching people learn is addicting.  I have done extremely well for myself, and I am now in a position (with many others) to shape the future of my company.

I also fear for my job.  Not really in a negative way, I just have a healthy fear that keeps me from being lazy, and pushes me daily (sometimes too hard).  I stress about my job because I simply don't want to lose it, and more so because I don't want to let anyone down.  There are many perks that I get, Company Car, Credit Card, etc.  I love it.  It has created a huge change in me.

HOME - I lived in the North Orlando area near the MFRMLS office for most of the year, and decided to get an apartment with Mike in the early fall.  We moved in on September 13th.  With my work consisting of driving all over central Florida, it became really hard to have to deal with downtown Orlando traffic almost every day during rush hour.  I am a bit more centrally located now, on I-drive between Downtown Disney and Sea World.  We live at Cumberland Park.  There are a lot of amenities here, such a gym and movie theater, which I haven't had the chance to utilize yet.  The gym has been being remodeled for the last few months, and the theater just opened.  I am going to have an organized movie night soon.  I love it here.  Cody really seems to be happier here.  Did I mention the hot tub and pool right outside my door?

THE WOMEN - I have become steadily more and more ruthless dating these days.  I'm not exactly young anymore.  If I meet someone (I do meet the occasional girl online) and they don't bring something special to the table immediately - what's the point?  It's not that every single person I meet has to be some long term solution (Marriage) but I'm done with the games.  You don't know what you want?  Cya.  Lurking Ex?  Bye.  No real prospects?  Peace.  There were several dates that I straight up walked out on this year.  Once the little voice in my head asks me why am I wasting my time - it's over.

My mantra is - "If someone isn't adding something to your life, then they are just subtracting."  

This is the life that I have built for myself.  If someone wants to jump on the Johnny Bronto bandwagon and be a team player, so be it.  I'm not carrying anyone anymore.  Several of my more recent relationships have been about being the sum of the parts, not more mind you - just trying to even each other out.  I want more than that.  

There is only one girl in my life right now that I can picture myself with.  She is absolutely amazing, beautiful, smart, inspiring, optimistic, and probably has no idea how I feel about her.  She's one of my favorite people, ever.  She makes me feel dumb when I talk to her.  She has a measure of grace that I have never seen in anyone before.

I know if I don't say something in the near future she will be gone.  The thing is, I don't like who I see in the mirror these days, and she deserves better than who I am currently.  Right now I am some dark thing...  and I want to be amazing and love myself again.  Once that happens - I might be able to find happiness.  I think I would be good for her, and she would be even better for me.  She brings out the only romantic in me that I have left.  

Though, maybe she will only ever see me as a friend.  Maybe we are horribly incompatible.  Who knows.  For now it's just a nice thought.  Realistically I may just be in the friend zone forever (AKA the lowest level of hell) because I refuse to risk it.  This may very well just be denial.  I'm not retreating, just advancing in another direction.

Maybe you are reading this right now and can put two and two together...

It's funny the way life works.  Michelle came back into my life for a few months last summer, and the same exact thing happened the last time she came back.  Deja-vu, all over again.  I care about her as more than a friend, yet I realize that it would never work.  That is a weird place to be with someone.  I want her to be happy, but I don't want to be that lurking ex.  We both deserve better.

I ran into Alyssa a few weeks back at complete random (She works at a Best Buy that I used to work at) who big surprise is working on her second divorce.  Go figure - Womp womp.  After a short exchange, I realized that she is either the exact same person or has regressed, where I have evolved.  Her simple skill set doesn't really do much for me where I am.  I suppose some things come standard.

There have been a few blips on the radar this year.  The stowaway will probably get me into trouble, but she's fun for now.  Hopefully if I continue to date I will get a little more patient.  I'm in a really lonely place in my life right now, yet some people are going to find themselves phased out this year.  I have been keeping too many plot threads open, spreading myself too thin.

Loving a little bit of a lot of women doesn't really add up to much, so it's going to stop.  Too much of me is too tied up in things that are never going to happen. 

Some people are going to be phased out of my life in 2014.

I'm extremely guarded these days.  It would take someone extremely special to get through all of this armor, but it's something I need right now.  I sincerely hope that some soon reaches into this shadow and finds my heart, because I know it's in there - it's just atrophied from lack of use.  I've gotten too good at hiding.  

THE SHOW - If you haven't heard (You should have) - we started a weekly webcast called the Hump and Bronto show.  www.thehumpandbrontoshow.com - We discuss movies/shows/geek life in general.  The website is a few months behind, but our old shows can be found 24/7 on youtube.  We had been talking about it for years, and finally got around to starting about 6 months ago.  Looking forward to getting the show going again, hopefully with some better organization/formatting/technology in 2014.  We have a LOT of fun with the show, and our guest stars Tara, Tarl, and sometimes Johanna.  Please tune in.

Thank you's 2013.

My mom and family - Thank you for allowing me to find myself.
Mike - Thanks for all of the help and backing me up.
Noel - Thank you for suggesting Dragon-Con I had a good time.
My Friends - Thank you for being there when I need you, and putting up with me.
MFRMLS/My Team - Without the company my life wouldn't be possible.  Someone could offer me twice as much money and I wouldn't leave.
HHN - Even though you sometimes feel like a part time job, you give me about a month and a half of distraction every single year.  

So how did I do on my last year's resolutions?  Pretty good.

1.  Kick even more ass at my job. I was promoted to a Trainer in February and have been kicking ass ever since.  I even framed the email that went out:

2.  Try get a little more discipline and get myself healthier.  Cut down on soda, etc.  Well I did cut soda out of my life in early 2013, will be trying to switch to 99% water in 2014.
3.  Try to write more - if it's movie reviews or poems, get some more words out there.  I did write some in this last year, not as much as I would like.  We did finally start the show, so I have had a good amount of creative outlet over the last 6 months.
4.  Find someone so I don't have to spend the next New Year's Eve alone.  Well, not JUST for that reason.  I wasn't very successful at dating in 2013.  I guess this remains to be seen about NYE.
5.  Get some breathing room financially.  My job has helped me get ahead of the financial curve, and I have been able to save for the first time in years.
6.  Do HHN right this year, maybe even HOS.  I went to Halloween Horror Nights 22 times this year (You read that right) with express.  I ended up the #1 person in my faction (I was the Strengoit King) for the Legendary Truth game.  Met Mike Aeillo, the creative director for Halloween Horror Nights.

I was also able to go out alone to Tampa and enjoy Howl-O-Scream for the first time ever.  Great year for haunts all around, and I had a lot of fun and met a bunch of new people.


1.  Be even more of a Rock Star at my job.
2.  Lose some weight and start taking better care of myself.
3.  Get my book out.
4.  Try to get a bit more organized with the show, movie nights, etc.
5.  I would like to meet someone, but I am resigned to focus on myself this year.  Would be nice to finally spend a New Year's Eve with someone.
6.  Have another great year at Halloween Horror Nights 24.  9 and a half months away!  :)

2014 - Finding my grace and gravity.


[x] The Dirge and Dorian Gray

there is no depth to my love
and it scares me to death
becuase in it's absence that very same endlessness
just becomes a void
when left to my own devices
that abyss has to be filled with something
so i tried my hand at villainy
only to have it consume me from the inside out
sometimes i am not even sure
that i am the hero of my own story anymore
small conquests to get me through the day
today i just want to be evil spelled backwards
in the romantic myth of myself
i have suffered sirens, slain dragons
and distressed many a damsel
yet the measure of me is how tall their tales have become
their only power over me i know now was simply my own weakness
the truth of it is i let the drown me in that abyss
and was too broken to do nothing more than drift away
into the nothingness that was left
thought i love nothing more than to be smitten
i'm not exactly sure it's possible anymore
and that makes me very sad
like lamenting something i'll never have again
let's just hope, for the sake of this story
that someone proves me wrong
because if i ever stop believing
then i have no power indeed
in this long absence of fire
there is only darkness to light the way
and i fear forever being lost
when i was never meant to be left alone
what i'm trying to say is that i worry about my soul
i've never been a humble singer of songs - 
but when it comes time for my very own dirge and wake
if someone could ever paint me like dorian gray
i wonder what my portrait would look like


[x]the end.

the words - they come and go as they please
it's not something i ever have control over
keeping me up some nights, not letting me sleep
not until i give them the form they desire
sometimes i let the exhaustion win
only to feel as though my genius was left to dreams
so now i try to get every last word
because my night writing is to hope as my days are to despair
so much as a letter escapes me when i go chasing them
and thus luckily i cannot force myself to write
it's a good thing too when i cannot find the words
because i am the harshest critic of their authenticity
i write simply because i have to 
the only want involved is to purge and give this away
time doesn't heal all wounds 
you just get used to bearing the scars
the shadow is something i will never escape
and i have come to terms with that
there are days where i could almost feel myself dying
until i remind myself that life is for the living
out of pain i scribe in spite of the four
within my soul i can feel pestilence, war, famine and my old friend
though it remains to be seen what the pale horse will claim first
the end of my life or the end of my words?
truly - I do not fear you, my old friend
only never being heard, or never being found
being as self aware and as human as they come
I i know the only immortal part of me can be voice
there are things that i know in my temerity
the last thing a every poet pulls from the well 
is an empty bucket
so i have to wonder - how finite is my expression?
one way or another, someday I will be gone
someday who i am will be forgotten
yet if my my poetry is ever over
someone please remember - to turn on the lights

...so i can find my way to the end


[x]rubber band.

maybe i stretched it too far or too long
because the past snaps back like a rubber band into the present
and when the shock wears off
the life that i am living starts to feel vaugely like my own
i've lost track of the times
that i had given up hope
walking around every single day with my shadow 
following me like a perpetual chalkline
it's hard to reconcile now
the sequence of events
all i remember is fighting my way out of the rain
for a single victory among a sea of losses
i know now that one less drop of blood
or maybe one less tear in the process
and maybe none of this would have ever come to pass...
but that doesn't make it hurt any less
this has to be some kind of cruel joke
becuase it's distressingly hilarious
that when life decides to come and get me
i seem to have forgotten how to be found
sadly - because things are going so good
that i cannot help but look over my shoulder
in a conditioned anticipation - 
of letting it all be taken away
maybe my eyes are still closed
out of fear of them not being able to adjust if i open them
i'm stuck in a place with people screaming
telling me the lights are finally on
i hope someday that i can learn to accept happiness
for the life that i sometimes feel is not mine
because everything that just snapped back
feels like something that was stolen from me


[x]The soundtrack and the rogues gallery.

All of the greatest hits of my ex's 
are married and gone
Even some of the B-sides
Even some of the one-hit wonders
So here I am, 34 and alone
even my rogues gallery seems to have found permanent henchmen
All of my best battles behind me - 
and I myself seem to have trouble just holding on to a sidekick 
I know for the majority of them
the only thing worse than not having them
Is being stuck with them
for the rest of my life
Yet when there is no one to look forward to
I cannot help but look back
Back to when my battles with my arch enemies
were broadcasted in black and white
United in common cause
simply to bring me down
I am thankful that their chaos in my life has died down
as my former debris have settled
I have eluded their capture
yet in being so free I am even more imprisoned
I do not miss any of them or the time we shared
yet I cannot help but wonder
if bullet dodging is my super power
and yet my kryptonite as well


[x] The contrast of desire and pain.

Every girl that has either come or gone
has instilled, and left me with one of two things-
When things are good it's all about desire and gain
when things are bad it's all about loss and pain
And when that picture gets more and more refined
from every victory and even more defeat
When you lay one over the other-
it results in the portrait of a perceived perfection
The chaos, white noise, drama of the background
just makes me long for the person
Who becomes, one battle at a time
clearer and clearer in the forefront
She made me want her
simply because I couldn't have her anymore
Such a simple devastation
to such a complex salvation
She knows and is sorry that we could not free each other
regardless if we bothered to try
She was my victory and then she up and left
before we even had the chance to get started
My only spoils in this war
are the things she couldn't take with her
My only trophy - the certainty
of her knowing that I was the one that claimed her first
She was such a long time coming
and such a short time going
that time neither seems to relent nor pass
refusing to let me move on in this time of peace
If I cannot have her then I need someone to save me from myself
because I am going to love her
until someone else claims and forces me to love them instead
and I am more than welcome to it

[x] The Ostrich and the lightest dark.

I could see from afar 
the red flags as they hung from crosses
So in hindsight I ask myself now
why did I even bother?
While contemplating atonement
I see an echo of my past in her heart
and this particular time the arrogant hero
decides to offset these things that he has done- 
Way back when I had to save my own soul
I had to find the lightest dark to do it
Yet to try and save her
I needed to show her the darkest light instead
Yet she would have none of it
and on my honor I would not press
So there we stood, polar opposites
her shroud was bliss and numbness
My hand outstretched and hers unwilling 
or unable to reach beyond her bubble
Something in me turned off when I watched her cry
when I watched her bury her head and heart in the sand
I wanted to yell at her
There is no redemption when you are an ostrich
You can only run, and run, and run, and run-
and never ever fly 
So to pre-empt my own pain
I pushed her bubble away...
I do not have the ability to chase anymore
and even if I did I could not keep the pace


these aren't monthly meetups
this is a monthly support session 
so that i don't go crazy
when i speak a language that fear 99% of the world hears 
but doesn't truly understand
trying to justify - 
if love is what dragged me under
then maybe a little hate will keep me afloat
so i am not sure
am i the recovering hero?  or am i the recovering villain? 
i'm just trying to get past the first step
and these are hard lessons to learn
when i'm still a gentleman
ashamed that i am capable of being ruthless
but make no mistake
just because i would never raise a hand to a woman
doesn't mean i sure as hell wouldn't withdraw it
and leave you to settle with the masses 
this is control as a defense mechanism
this is flight as fight
and i am not thing more than caught up in a war with myself
someone, anyone - 
just please grab me and slow me down
i just want, need - someone to break me in a good way
save me from myself
and this armor that i have been wearing so long
that I forgot how to take it off
because i know am in pain
but lost on the wound underneath
lamenting the present 
is just mourning the future in disguise
and when the ones that i love
don't light the way anymore
it's time to extinguish these old flames one by one
and as everything get dimmer and dimmer
just keep telling myself over and over
that i see better in the dark anyway


[x]The spots in her eyes.

I haven't seen her in forever - 
she sits across from me
I smile, she laughs, we play our parts
I try to be witty and clever
we function 
as if no time has passed
I can't even look at her
for fear of being caught staring
Yet those spots in her eyes see right through me
and bring out the things that I've tried to hide
I try to reason out 
if she's more dangerous than beautiful
my eloquence always seems to fail me
in this, with her, in the real world
mercifully she never presses
she just knows
That this is a conversation that is ongoing
like a subplot in our lives
I wish I could just tell her that I love her
just to see the reaction in her eyes
...but this is an exercise in restraint
one that we never dare speak of aloud
lest we give form to the tempest again
the way she handles me - 
I could swear she's part animal
yet this politeness only magnifies the tension
everything between us has always been so raw, so unrefined
she is the only storm I would ever let take me
this is longing without the specifics
she tears me apart as much as she puts me together
when our eyes meet it actually hurts
and I feel bad when I think she realizes that
because there is nothing that can be done - 
when I care too much to interrupt her life
for the sheer sake of want
so there she goes again, out of my life for who knows how long
and when she leaves
she goes back to being the only could've been
that I actually wish was




Every time I go home
it becomes less and less so
Here are my loved ones
and more so, the ones I used to love
when I stopped looking
This place dared to move on without me
like some unkempt graveyard
all wild and overgrown
I'm not here anymore to keep the grounds and affairs in order
and now the ghosts run amok
like the one that just walked past me
this is deja-vu in real time
as I suffer the moment again long ago
the one that changed everything
now just one of many tombstones
in this cemetery of a place where I used to live
where i'm buried with the rest of them
at least the parts of me 
that are dead and gone
to the ones i left behind
[x]Digital Ghost.

Emails, chat sessions, voice mails
I'm hearing her say she loves me
and in that moment
I know she meant it
With a click of a button
as many times I can take
I can be as much of both a 
Sadist and a Masochist to myself at the same time
This isn't a photograph, letter, or recording
Or something else
that is both designed and meant to fade
These are things that cannot be lost or burned or discarded-
Sure, I could hit the delete button
to make her stop haunting me in binary
- in megapixels and MP3's
But I am too scared - 
not of her digital ghost
but of accepting the fact
that I am too much of a coward
to walk away from the only place
where she is still alive


[x]Year in review 2012.

Paul Banks - "Summertime is coming" (Album - Banks)

Can we waste some more time, just colliding in space -
no matter how high we set the bar.

I've been in Florida for 5 years now.  Yeah, I know - crazy.  Seems like so long ago that I moved down here.  MI seems so far away.  I miss my family and friends sometimes, but I am not as homesick as I used to be.  I've been on my own a lot lately (well, with Cody) - to try and get some things figured out.  I think I am doing a pretty good job. 

2012 ended up being a year of upgrades.  Job, location, car.  :)

Without further delay - Here is my 2012 Year in review...

HHN - Halloween Horror Nights - Got pretty involved in the event this year.  Followed all of the developments - Spent a lot of time on the HHNrumors site (and bought the t-shirt to support the site).  Went 9-10 times (I think it blurs together) - Took one of tours, got a blinky cup (Thanks Lindsay).  Was kind of bummed when Margarita didn't get to come down due to my scheduling :( - there is always better hope for this year.  Next year I am getting the express pass - waiting way too long in too many lines this year.  Might go less days in 2013, will pretty much break even in haunt volume. I've gone every years since I have been down here.  It was insanely busy this year, which kind of took away from the fun.  This year will be better.

The Women - Was kind of a quiet year on the girl front.  

Meredith - I met Meredith at a film festival to see the shitty movie "Lovely Molly".  I don't know if anything was ever meant to come of it, but it's nice to have a movie buddy (and someone to talk to).  I admire how passionate she is about a lot of things, because it reminds me of something that I have lost in myself.

Lindsay - Lindsay was the only girl I officially dated in 2012, red flags and all.  She was a proximity girl.  I don't really have anything negative to say about Lindsay.  We were just fundamentally different.  I think if she would have possessed the ability to allow our relationship to evolve (In all aspects) - we could have been okay.  We had some fun, she just didn't read the Scorpio manual.

Sue - Oh, the legendary Sue.  I remember when Eva first mentioned her years ago when we were at EBG.  I have seen her in passing - but we never really got to hang out until opening night at Halloween Horror Nights this year.  She came out of nowhere and volunteered to go with me - I will admit, we rocked it out and (unlike every other time I went to HHN) - got to do everything.  We got to hanging out here and there for a bit.  She reminds me a lot of my friendship with Margarita in MI.  She has the same type of dangerous beauty.  

There are others.  There have been some girls down here that I have been in love with (apparently I love everyone) - that I decided to let go of towards the end of this year.  They probably didn't even know it.  Maybe they did, who knows.  One thing I learned is that loving a lot of women a little DOES NOT add up to loving one person the way that I want to, even if the percentage ends up being the same.

Work - At the end of 2011, I was miserable working for Comcast.  Capped off by having to work NYE until midnight.  I told myself I needed to get out of there.  The job quickly started to stress and burn me out towards the beginning of 2012.  Thankfully, a friend who I had worked before (Both at Barnes & Noble and Comcast) - got me into the help desk at MFRMLS. For the first time in a long time, I have a good job that pays well, that I am good at, and I get to do something that I love.  I love the company and I am really lucky to be there.  Everyone is great, it's like a family.

Home - I spent most of 2012 living on the west side of Orlando (Near Metrowest).  While I was thankful to have a roof over my head , as the year wore on it started to stress me out.  The location, the commute, a lot of things.  At one point we started to put some effort into the house to make it a little easier to live in - it quickly regressed back to the previous state.  That was really hard.  For the most part, I liked the people that I lived with - but it was too many people in too small a space.   Finally it dawned on me that some people are just set in their ways, and it isn't my responsibility to change that.  It just became too much and I started to look for somewhere in a nicer area that was closer to my work in Maitland.  I lucked out and moved in with Stephen and Christine in the college park area, exactly one exit down from where I work.  It's nice having a 8 minute commute.  It's closer, MUCH quieter (on the end of a dead-end street), in a nicer area, way more cost effective, less people (Actually, my housemates are barely home it seems).  This situation is much better for me and Cody for now.

The Car - I fought my 92 Honda Accord all year long.  I was told the car's name was "Kiera" when I got it.  Well she was a complete bitch of a money pit.  Almost every single month the car broke down for something - it was my reasoning that you can only replace so many parts on an older car before it's newer - but it just kept dying on me.  Finally the transmission went (Again) and after a month long ordeal where the problem somehow got WORSE - I decided to get a new(er) car, a 2009 Pontiac G6 on October 30th - so I named it D.N.  The entire reasoning behind owning my own car was to avoid a car payment, but honestly I was dumping $300-$400 a month into the thing anyway and couldn't rely on it.


1. Get some kind of direction. Any nudge would be great.   Upgrades!

2. Get healthier, I laid the groundwork for losing more weight and feeling better overall. I need to cut down on the Red Vines :)  Cut down on the red vines.  Feeling better than I did in 2011.
3. Figure this job thing out. Get out of a call center - somehow, someway.  Sure did.  MFRMLS is the best thing to happen to me job-wise since I moved to FL.
4. Find someone. There is only really one girl that I know right now that I would date (yes, you) - but I might need to meet someone else who I don't know yet.  Thought for a fleeting moment that I had found someone - but alas it didn't appear to be sustainable.
5. Let things go. I need to let many loose plot threads in my life go.  I did a lot of letting go, still working on the rest of it.


1.  Kick even more ass at my job. 

2.  Try get a little more discipline and get myself healthier.  Cut down on soda, etc.
3.  Try to write more - if it's movie reviews or poems, get some more words out there.
4.  Find someone so I don't have to spend the next New Year's Eve alone.  Well, not JUST for that reason.
5.  Get some breathing room financially.
6.  Do HHN right this year, maybe even HOS.

Special Thanks - Mike for all of the rides when my car was down.  Luis for getting me into MFRMLS.  To my friends for being there.