I hate traveling, and that’s a pretty well-known fact by those who are familiar with me, but I feel like a disliking of travel should not stop you from gaining new and unique experiences. So, I decided to adventure out into the Midwest and visit Jordan King (known online as Genserik) in Nebraska, and take a road trip to Oklahoma for some work-related tasks. Unfortunately, I didn’t really do a very good job taking photographs and videos during this trip (and the ones I did take give an inside look at Jordan’s family, which is not something that I would want to share online on my website for the world to see). But, I have a few highlights, the first one being eating Runza for the first time. Runza is apparently a restaurant chain only available in Nebraska that sells what appears to be wrap-like sandwiches. I got a beef and mushroom Runza sandwich, and it was quite intriguing – the oiliness and “heaviness” of the meal made it feel like I was eating one of the unhealthiest foods I’ve ever had in my life. I also held Jordan’s 1.5-month-old baby, which (to my knowledge) is the very first interaction I’ve had with an infant so young. I’ve always had an issue in the past with me not liking children (even though, for whatever reason, they seem to like me), so because of that, I’ve never really bothered to go out of my way to learn about how to handle a tiny infant. Jordan captured this moment for me – here is a photo of me looking very confused that a baby is laying in my arms: That baby isn’t Jordan’s only child; he also has a 4-year-old daughter. I let her use one of my spare cameras while I was there and had her take a bunch of photos. She seemed to particularly enjoy snapping pictures of regular household objects and walls, but then she realized that she could photograph people as well. She told me to look into the camera, but the height difference still made it a bit difficult for her: During our Oklahoma road trip, Jordan captured a few interesting moments. Considering his uncontrollable laughter, his favorite seemed to be while we were on the phone with Doug Wreden, one of the former executive producers at Tempo Storm, when, seemingly in an effort to ensure my voice would get through the microphone properly, Jordan angled the phone towards me and blinded me by reflecting the sun straight into my eyes: On the way back from Oklahoma, we had to drive through a massive blizzard, which was not exactly what one would consider a great travel experience. Luckily, Jordan was driving (the drive was just over 6 hours, and I took a 4+ hour shift at the beginning and gave the final 2 hours to Jordan, because we knew that a snowstorm would be coming up). He’s far more experienced at driving in snow than I am, so he (literally) slid and drifted us to safety back to his home. … I was in too much of a state of panic to actually remember to photograph the snowstorm.
I’ve never really been an active voter because I move around so much. Since turning 18 and being eligible to vote, I voted once, as the other elections happened to fall during times when I was out-of-state and never requested an absentee ballot (e.g., when I was in Madison, Wisconsin for my undergraduate studies), or when I was in California and never registered to vote again because I didn’t know how long I would be staying there. But, since voluntarily moving to Las Vegas and picking this city as my preferred permanent residence of choice, I decided to register again when switching over my driver’s license to Nevada. Now, when I vote, I generally lean towards the Democratic Party, though I’m more of a case-by-case-basis voter. As a result, when registering, I marked myself as “non-partisan” to remain neutral. That was a catastrophic mistake. Since registering, I received pretty much non-stop political spam from the Democratic Party of Nevada trying to convince me to vote in their favor (because, according to my registration, they assumed I wouldn’t be voting with them already, and wanted to “convert” me into a Democrat). Leading up to the election, my mailbox literally became a receptacle for garbage. And of course, when I originally registered to vote at the DMV, they never took the initiative to give me a form I could fill out to withhold my information from these campaigners, so the paper just kept flooding in. This ended up becoming so annoying that, at one point, I literally considered unregistering to vote, but I realized that would be a very un-American solution to the problem, so I decided to just deal with it for this election season, then fill out that privacy form later. Today, I went to my local polling place and cast my ballot. When I voted in Illinois (and when I see other people showing their “I Voted” stickers on social media), the sticker I received was a small round one with an American flag that says “I Voted.” Apparently, Las Vegas doesn’t mess around when it comes to voting, and they gave me this monster sticker instead:
With BlizzCon Opening Week and BlizzCon 2018 coming up, I’m back in California to do press and media coverage of the convention. I drove from Las Vegas to Southern California a little bit earlier than originally anticipated because I had some tasks to take care of, but that extra time in California meant I got to do some other stuff as well. One of my aunts and uncles from my dad’s side of the family live in Southern California up in the mountains. I’m usually not a huge fan of driving to their home there because there are a lot of winding unpaved roads on the climb up, but since I got a pick-up truck a few months ago, I decided to try out the drive again. In the past, my drives up and down were moderately intimidating because I was in tiny, short rental vehicles with poor engine power, but the drive up this time felt like a breeze.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157674963463678
All my life, I’ve absolutely hated going to the dentist’s office. Even worse, I seem to have been cursed with weak enamel or something, because I’ve had an absolutely insane number of cavities that had to get filled. Whenever I went to the dentist of my parents’ choice, they would shove bulky things inside my mouth and make me bite down on them so hard that the inside of my mouth would become numb. The entire office would always have this strange, musty smell that would make me keep yawning. When I had to get work done inside my mouth, they would tilt the seat so far back that my own saliva would start draining into my nose. And of course, the worst part of it all is obviously the ridiculous number of injections I had to get to numb my mouth, seemingly for even the smallest tasks. After I turned 24 (I think), my dental insurance plan ran out because I was too old to keep qualifying under my parents’ plan. So, since then (or rather, since slightly before then), I hadn’t gone to the dentist. I enrolled in my own dental insurance plan after I moved to Las Vegas – I figured a day of suffering is way better than just living with bad teeth. I finally set up an appointment with a dentist in Summerlin South for my cleaning (for which I actually ended up waiting 6 months, because I assumed I already had more cavities to get filled, and my insurance only covers fillings after being enrolled in the program for 6 months). After my appointment, I feel like I’ve just been deprived of a proper dentist experience my entire life. X-rays? I literally stand inside a machine and it takes care of everything for me. The dentist? Looks like he actually enjoys his job, instead of being someone who is on the verge of retiring. The office? Miraculously, it’s not about to collapse. I don’t know if the technology has just advanced so much in the past 3 years that everything is easier now, or if my parents are just terrible at picking dentists, but this was actually literally a pleasant experience. There were multiple different specialists who took care of the different kinds of work that I needed done, not just one old person who looked like he just went through his second mid-life crisis. In case you’re curious, yes I did get two more fillings. I have 13 total now. lol