A Momentary Detour.

To be perfectly honest, October was a very difficult month for me.

It started out well enough with my roadtrip to Texas. It was a very pleasant reconnection with family and friends that was long overdue, and it gave me a lot to think about on that long drive home. I’ve said numerous times in the past that I have lived many lives during my time on this planet, but I find it very important to have an overall recurring theme throughout that timeline, meaning that my past is still very much who I am today, or a part of who I will become tomorrow. I’ve never understood those who have attempted to run from their history. For better or for worse, it defines the very core of yourself, and those lessons have to retain value even in your present. They are, after all, what got you this point in your life. I find my personal history to be a very valuable teacher for the parts that I can still incorporate and use. For lack of a better phrase, it keeps me honest. Each part to this day is still very much “me”.

But the past can backfire against you as well. In this case, I had to pay off a very ill-mannered debt collector that tried to sue me this month.

An old mistake on my part, one that I did owe, but while there is a never a “good time” for these instances to spring up, this was the worst possible scenario.

The debt collector was as expected: unpleasant, aggressive, and unreasonable, “time” and “available funds” not being of any reality-based concern, but after launching my own legal-based chess moves against him, I got the matter settled. His office was… interesting, to say the least. The sort of office that you could easily clear out in less than an hour if push came to shove, and the reception area had a huge bulletproof shield where you had to communicate through a tiny drawer. I’m thinking he doesn’t make too many genuine friends in his line of work.

Understandably, the experience put me into a deep funk this month, and in many respects, forced me to question things even more than I have been the past few weeks. A lot of self-realizations, deciding what it is that I want/need, and even a “fan” stalking that I tend to get from time to time. As I’ve said, the past is a very helpful tool, but one still needs to grow. Some people tried to make a joke out of the situation. Others tried to snap me out of my isolation and help me back on my feet. One of said friends was a newer friend of mine by the name of Kevin.

We went hiking one Saturday morning on the Nevada/Arizona border. Our group consisted of Kevin, his two dogs and myself. We hiked the Liberty Bell Arch, going through several deep canyons, and finally reaching an opening that led directly to the Colorado River.

It was there that I discovered my love of hot springs.

Truth be told, my only real knowledge of hot springs came from Kid Icarus during my Nintendo days:

Not the best of real-world examples.

Not the best of real-world examples.

A long hike in.

A long hike in.

Just a climb away....

Just a climb away….

But as we got closer, the water got warmer. I was ready to be refreshed, and splashed my face as we got to our destination.

“Uh, you might not want to do that”, Kevin said as I cupped my hands and flushed my face with the warm water. “What? Why”, I asked, and immediately saw the reason as I readjusted my glasses:

Oh, come on, man....

Oh, come on, man….

You’ve got to be shitting me at this point. Don’t even bother looking this thing up. You can splash water on your face all day, but don’t let it get up your nasal passages. These brain-eating amoebas can kill you in a little over a week, and have a 95-99% fatality rate. Considering that I am here to write all of this and not in my potential death throes at this point means that I have nothing to worry about. I could drink a glass of that water and be fine. Just don’t get it up the nose. But if I were to go, that would be a “Well, that’s just Guy” sort of thing that would fit well within my idiom.

Still, the springs were just lovely and relaxing:

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On the hike back, I learned that while I am a good walker, and am in reasonably decent shape, I am just not a power climber. Slogging up hills, I was wheezing like an old man, also having drank too much bottled water, my stomach was acting up and sloshing. As we got back to the main trail that led in to our earlier hike, I took a moment to pause, and rather forcibly got that water out of my system. Let me tell you: I will hike until I puke. I am that hardcore. In my defense, it was a lot of miles.

But you know something? I had a great time. I needed this particular conversation to happen. It helped me remember what lasts for a lifetime versus what lasts for a moment.

The rest of the week was spent getting ready for the Las Vegas Halloween Parade, of which I marched in again this year. Surprisingly no photos of myself, by I did wear a toga.

As always, Downtown had some great vehicles and costumes:

Steampunk car.

Steampunk car.

A Mini Trek.

A Mini Trek.

An old friend from my past....

An old friend from my past….

Rhino car.

Rhino car.

Dragon car.

Dragon car.

With flames, naturally.

With flames, naturally.

After the parade, I headed by the Museum for a quick “Hello”, and ended up serving drinks for a while. You know, if I’m going to end up serving wine, there really was no better choice of an outfit than a toga.

The day after, I went to the open house of Lonnie Hammargren, a former brain surgeon and Lieutenant Governor. This year is said to be the last year he is ever doing this, and I just had to go. I’ve been wanting to for years.

I can’t… I can’t even begin to describe this house. It was everything that I could have wanted, and nothing that I could have prepared for. Three houses combined into one giant frankenabode, it is a collection of uncountable stairwells, trains, submarines, spaceships, casino decor and signage, rollercoasters, dinosaurs, observatories, shrunken heads, a full stage, an underground mine(!) I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff in my time, but I was trying to wrap my head around how unabashedly awesome this house is.

Pictures fail to do it justice:

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One of the many pools.

One of the many pools.

Another view.

Another view.

Casinos and rollercoasters.

Casinos and rollercoasters.

Trains.

Trains.

One of the many rooms.

One of the many rooms.

Jungle rooms.

Jungle rooms.

More jungle.

More jungle.

E.T. Dinosaurs.

E.T. Dinosaurs.

Dragons.

Dragons.

The stage with performers.

The stage with performers.

The underground mine.

The underground mine.

Lonnie himself.

Lonnie himself.

This is only a small sample. I could have taken hundreds of pictures and never covered everything. Lonnie himself is a hoot… and took quite a shine to Jen. “If you leave me for him, in this case, I’ll understand why”, I conceded.

At the end of my adventures, I realize that I am still on the path to “Happy”. There will be setbacks, and moments that I have to really take into consideration, nurture, and in some cases, change, or simply let go. But I am hoping for less setbacks and faster recoveries, and my resolve is set more than ever to find out both the moments and lifetime that I am searching for.

As always, I move forward.