Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dapper Fat Dude With A Beard

I found this Tumblr last night and it's struck me. You can see the original here.


I am a handsome devil, who happens to be a fat guy and have a full beard. That being said, I don't typically feel that way when I shave. I've always assumed it was because my beard covered my giant man baby cheeks (which in the past I've not been the biggest fan of). Looking deeper into that though, it makes sense. I'm more boyish without my facial hair and therefore not a manly man man.

Do I think this is the only reason these things are "required" of fat gents to be found sexy, no, but I think it might be a big part of it. To be sexy in the eyes of society we have to be immaculate gentleman. I find this thought particularly troubling, because I don't like prescribed gender roles and the toxic masculinity that often comes from it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going home and shaving my beard and I'm definitely not putting my oh-so-dapper suspenders away, but it's interesting to to see what brought me here. These days I do this because I want to. Honestly, I give zero fucks if those around me think I'm attractive, because as previously stated, I know I'm a handsome devil. I've finally found a style that makes me happy, if others like it cool, if not fuck it.

Okay, there's the perspective of one fat guy. Ladies, do these sentiments ring true to your ears as well? I would guess so, but I dare not presume too much.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Selfie Sunday - It's Good To Be King

I wanted to be a consummate professional when I did my interview with Mikal kHill earlier this week so I wore my inflatable crown during the chat session.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

#SulfurSelfie

I didn't plan on doing two music related posts in a row, but this is too cool not to. Today, my homie, Sulfur, dropped his video for Take Shots. It's a great track about having a good time with good people. It's from his album, Re:Birth, which you should immediately go and buy after watching the video. The big reason I'm sharing is that I'm in the video. Around the 1:19 mark you'll see my slightly less beardy mug with Sulfur. I know several of the other cats in the video too (Mikal kHill, his lovely wife Laura, Tribe One, and my dear friends John and Shelley Hancock).


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Interview With A Human Disaster

Recently, I sat down and did a chat interview with my homie, Mikal kHill, about geekdom, music, mental health, and his new album Human Disaster. Because of the content, I'm posting it here and on my other blog, Halls of the Nephilim.


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Me: Okay, and I know this sounds cheesy, but for those unfamiliar with you, who's Mikal kHill?

kHill:  I am a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, father, husband, and excellent pancake maker from North Carolina, presently living in the mountains near Boone.

Me: Right on, so since my blog, Halls of the Nephilim, is a gaming blog, what's your geek pedigree? I hate the term "geek cred," because I think it's dickish and elitist. I'm just kind of curious what sorts of geeky things you're into.

kHill: Ummmmmm, my biggest geeky thing is probably that I am an avid collector of Nintendo stuff and I am probably safe to call a "Nintendo fanboy."  I even have a Virtual Boy and all the games.  Haha.  Also, I am sad a lot and read a lot of books in High School when the other kids were drinking, so I guess there's that. The joke I always make is that I spend so much time making nerdy music that I don't really get to keep up like I'd like to with the nerdy stuff i like but the joke is that it's not a joke it's true. 

Me: I know you've played Magic (because you did that dope Planeswalker EP) and have played D&D? What are your thoughts about those games?

kHill: I've played magic since 3rd edition.  I learned to play with my former guitarist, Kevin Morgan, and his brothers.  We would play for hours every day and it fostered a love for the game that waxes and wanes (but mostly because I have to keep myself at bay or I’ll spend hundreds of dollars on cards).  

D&D is something I truly loved, but I was mostly into the story telling, roleplaying and narrative elements, I truly loathe combat in D&D to be honest. Haha. My D&D group met for several years and have moved to various places (and befallen various tragedies) so I dunno if we'll ever truly get to play a game again.

My old DM apparently brought back one of my characters as an NPC in their game...  I like the idea that he's still adventuring somewhere.

Me: It's a nice legacy. I have a few character that my friends have used in their games. 

kHill: Yeah, it made me happy. Haha.

Me: Switching gears a bit, other than producing and such, how many solo projects/groups are you involved with.

kHill: Um, man, that is a suprisingly hard question. Haha. Let me think… Maybe....  5 or 6?

Me: Obviously, you have your solo stuff and my favorite, ThoughtCriminals. 

Sulfur, me, and kHill at the NOFRIENDS Family Reunion show
at the World Famous Milestone Club 
kHill: The ThoughtCriminals, NOFRIENDS, Super Duper Group, Mikal kHill, The GladYerDeads, Two Weeks Notice.... That might be it? Haha. I guess Malibu Shark Attack, but I'm only involved in the live version.

Me: I love NOFRIENDS, how'd you guys come together? Also, for those unfamiliar, who are NOFRIENDS?

kHill: NOFRIENDS is myself, Sulfur, Tribe One, and Adam WarRock.

Euge (aka Adam) and I talked about doing an acoustic project at some point.  That idea evolved into a crew.  Silver Age was his and Niles (Tribe One) thing, ThoughtCriminals was me and Sean (Sulfur).
We had such similar idea and became such close friends as a group that it was natural to do that.

Me: I like that origin story. Could use more radioactive spiders and Ultimate Nullifliers, but it's good.

kHill: LOL

Me: Your music has a reputation for the heavy nature that tends to be the focus.


kHill: It has been said that I can be a bit of a downer.

Me: Of course, that's not what I'm saying, but I've heard people talk.

kHill: Haha.
Me: I guess maybe this should have been my first question, but why do you make the music you do?

kHill: I think I'm the same way in real life that I am in my music, I just tend to be a bit of an...  open book. Whatever is affecting me personally, whatever I am thinking about at the time is going to go into the music. That affects even the "nerdier" things I do, like the Slytherin House Mixtape. I just have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Me: Me too, which could be while I enjoy your work as much as I do.

kHill: A big thing for me is I try to make the kind of music I would like to hear, and I try to make music for other folks to relate to.  I am open and honest about myself so that folks don't feel alone dealing with whatever nonsense they are dealing with.  I am always trying to be for someone else what Elliott Smith was for me.  Haha.

Me: That sounds very noble, actually. 

kHill: Eh, maybe in some ways it's selfish.  It means I get to feel less alone, too.  haha
Me: I try not to be this cynical, but even when we do good deeds, there's always a selfish aspect (even if it means we feel good because we've done good). As weird as it sounds, I think it can be both.

kHill: Yeah

Me: Tell me about Human Disaster.

kHill: This is an album I've been working on for several years.  I've released several other albums over the time I've been making it, and when The Snuggle is REAL came out it was actually outtakes from THIS album.  Haha.

The original concept was to make a record that would start out extremely bleak and then gradually build up to a happy ending.  I don't think that's exactly what happened, it's honestly (at times) my angriest work to date. It does deal with, for the most part, coming to terms with myself as an artist and dealing with my depression in a positive way.

Me: I know you talked about it earlier, but I respect the way you deal with depression in your music. 

kHill:  Thank you.  I don't think depression is something to be like...  ashamed of, so it doesn't bother me to talk about it candidly.

Me: People should be able to. Growing up a fat guy, I've pretty much always had issues with it (for various reasons that I don't need to go into here), but not one ever seemed to want to talk about it. In my experience people will acknowledge physical things, but don't want to talk about mental or emotional issues. 

kHill: Yeah, absolutely.  There’s much more of a stigma about things that way.  Which is silly.

Me: To be well, we have to take care of all three.

kHill: Absolutely.

Me: Looking at the preorder track listing for Human Disaster, I see you have several guests on the album. For those of us that aren't on your side of the music business, what's the process of that goes into that?

kHill: When it comes up with guests for the record I just think of my friends and try to imagine who would work best for the track, in terms of voices and stuff. I think of it the same way as adding another instrument to a part. I also tend to try to push people out of their comfort zone while still staying true to what they "are." Usually, I just reach out to someone and say "Hey, I think that you would sound good on this" and then we go from there.

Me: Haha. You know shit gets real when an artist uses quote marks. 


kHill: Hahaha

Me: That makes a lot of sense though. The new album is being released in a few formats. I've got to ask, why cassette?

kHill: My last album, I decided to do it on cassette because (at the time) I was driving this old Cadillac with a cassette player and I just wanted more tapes to play in my car.  Hahah. But once I had the tape, it really reminded me how much I loved the sound of rap on cassette... There's something about it.  I can't explain it, but it just sounds good.
Sulfur, kHill, Me, and Tribe One at
Super-Fly Comics and Games

Me: My last van had a tape deck, and it was fun listening to Snuggle in it. Sadly, my new one doesn't.

kHill: The irony is that I was not a person with a ton of nostalgia for cassettes but once I had a tape of my own, it made me remember the joy of making cassette mixtapes and stuff.

Me: Props for the geeky references with the pre-orders.


kHill: Hahaha. Yeah, I knew the CDs would be totally not-rare, the tapes would be impossible to get once they were gone. So common and mythic rare seemed like the way to go. The tapes are half gone already and the presale has only been going a few day.

Me: I think the pre-order went live around midnight and by 12:05 I had mine pre-ordered (and the common cd). 

kHill: You were one of the first folks who's name I saw in the orders list. And thank you!

Me: You're welcome. It's weird, but I think back to your track "The Moon" and I never hesitate to snatch up whatever you release.
I can't help myself with this one, so I've heard you're probably the anarcho-socialist in nerdcore. Would you care to briefly comment on that?

kHill: Well, it's just my politics lean...  a little past left. Haha. I sorta can't believe it, but you are maybe the first person who's ever actually mentioned politics or that line in an interview. I think I'm sort of politically agnostic, I don't believe in anything.  Everything looks nice on paper, but power corrupts and ruins everything. That said, my idealist side leans towards socialist.

Me: Makes perfect sense to me. Alright sir, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. In closing anything you'd like to say?

kHill: If anyone wants to peep the new stuff http://howcouldyoudothisto.me is a direct link, and all the other stuff (and links to my social media and stuff) can be found at http://mikalkhill.com

Me: I appreciate you talking to me!

kHill: You're welcome sir. It's been a pleasure.

Me: Likewise.
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Seriously folks, kHill is an awesome guy and a great musician. Do yourself a favor and go listen to his music, including The ThoughtCriminals. You won't regret it. While you're at it, check out Sulfur and Tribe One too.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Selfie Sunday - The Inaugural Selfie

If you're familiar with my other blog, you know that I love alliteration. Mastermind Monday, Friday in Freeport, and Succubus Sunday have all been regular postings. BTW, Succubus Sunday is still on-going and you should check it out.

I've decided to make Selfie Sunday a thing. I'm kind of cheating for the first. Here's a topless selfie of moi. However, as you can see Jes Baker's awesome book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls is obscuring most of me. I'm sure I'll have more to say about the book when I finish it. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Feel Good Jams: Professor Elemental - All In Together

Professor Elemental is the premiere time-traveling chap-hop artist that you should be listening to. Most of his stuff is (unsurprisingly) humorous. All in Together is one of tracks, however it isn't just funny, it also has a great message. It's a song about being yourself, loving that, and lifting others up.

The first part of the chorus is probably my favourite part of the track:

Celebrate your oddities, 
Your work, your sexuality 
Celebrate your urges, celebrate humanity, 
Celebrate your fetishes, my message is clear, 
There's no such thing as normal, everybody's weird 

Though this is pretty on point too:

All in the spot light, none in the margin 
More unicorns and a lot less trolls 
We'll never rest, and we'll never get old 
We'll never get gold, but the airs so fresh 
Just be you, I'm incredibly impressed 


You can download the track here for the astounding price of free.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I'd Love to Call My Self An Egalitarian...

Seriously, I'd love to call myself an egalitarian and leave it at that. I believe that all human beings are equal in their fundamental worth. However as a bisexual* man, I find that it's better to say that I'm a feminist. Why? I want equal rights for all, but I recognize that the system still favors men.  By saying I'm a feminist it doesn't mean I don't want equality for men. It doesn't mean I only care about women. I acknowledge there's an an inequality and use a word to bring attention to it. I don't like the patriarchy. I don't like the system we live in.

It's like #blacklivesmatter. By saying that black lives matter, you're not saying that other lives don't matter. You are drawing attention to a serious problem. Just because I talk about wanting to save the rain forest, it doesn't mean I want to burn all the others down.
_________
*I consider myself bisexual, despite the fact all my relationships have been with women. I'm definitely open to a relationship outside of what I've experienced though.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Body Positivity Week and Two Kinds of People

I just found out that it is Body Positivity Week over at Buzzfeed. I'm going to be honest, growing up, I never thought body positivity could exist. If you weren't "normal" you changed yourself to be that way. There is much ignorance and hate in the world, but we're working on the change.

Modern philosophers at work
This actually reminds me of a conversation I had the other night with some dear friends.  Why things like transgender rights, sexuality, or race are issues is beyond me. It's 2016, we should be living in an egalitarian society at this point, but we're not because people can't just mind their own damn business. John put it perfectly (and I'm slightly paraphrasing because there was wine and 150 proof bourbon involved):

There are two types of people in the world: people and dickheads. People might not understand things, might not agree with them, but if they don't directly impact their lives or hurt anyone, they don't care. Dickheads have to feel superior and use things like religious beliefs and false fear to keep a group in a inferior social place.

I would add that people don't hurt anyone that isn't okay with it (because some of us like pain), but otherwise he's totally on point (and he agreed with me when I made the addition).

You should definitely read some of Buzzfeed's body positive articles this week, but if you only read one, I recommend What Body Shamers Say Vs. What Their Words Actually Mean. I leave you with the final bit of the article.

What they say: 

What they need to hear:

Monday, May 16, 2016

My First Graze Box

Today I received my first box from graze. I only had to pay a dollar shipping to receive the four individual serving snacks. I don't want to eat it in one sitting (obviously), but I did try the pumpkin spice flapjack. It was absolutely delightful. As I mentioned previously, the normal box is 11.99 and comes with 8 snacks. You can have it shipped weekly, every two weeks, or monthly. Eventually I want to receive a shipment every week, but for now I'm doing every other week (because I'm saving up for a short vacation next month).

In addition, to the things pictured I also received several promo codes to give to friends. If anyone is interested, send me a message through Google+ (or something else if we're friends on other media) and I can send you one of the codes.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Never Stop Learning

I don't know about you, but it seems like daily I'm bombarded with advertisements and articles that tell me what I need to do (or not do) to be healthier. Unfortunately, most of these focus on physical health. I think mental and emotional health are often overlooked in today's society.

At the beginning of the year I mad the decision to be healthier. I didn't do this because of a New Year's Resolution, my decision just happened to coincide with the beginning of the year. I realized that I'd been very hypocritical. Seriously, I work at a library. Inspiring people to learn new things is my job, but I wasn't doing that myself.

It's very easily to become complacent. Most people operate on autopilot. I get it, it's comfortable. Problem is, it's also stagnant. This is my challenge to you. Go to the library. Try to cook new recipes. Take a trip a museum. Learn a new hobby. Do something to stimulate your mind.

I'll leave you with a how-to video made by my awesome friend Sulfur.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sympathy for the Devil

Lucifer by Wen-M
"Awake, arise, or be forever fall'n."
Lucifer
Paradise Lost. Book I Line 330

I'm not a religious man. I have no problem seeing the positive lessons that can be learned from religion, but living life totally by one, not for me. That being said, I still have remnants of that life in my psyche. These days, it's twisted though. It's given me a love of blasphemy (in humor and kink). This has nothing to do with wanting to offend others. It reminds me that I was a fool and that I can change.

It's also given me a healthy admiration for Lucifer. It may sounds strange, but when I'm at my best or worst, I like to channel my inner devil. I have a modern interpretation of the Morningstar. He made a choice. He chose free will. He chose to be his own person. He is confident. He's charismatic. He's what I strive to be every day.

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You say I am a child of God. Well some claim the devil's hand. Oh, Lucifer... what have you done to this man.

"I gave you life."

-William Control - Revelator

William Control - Illuminator (my favorite song about the Lucifer)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Life is Too Short To Be Uncomfortable

I came across this video by musician, Meghan Tonjes, and had to share it.


She fucking nails it! 

Life is ephemeral. It’s your body. Be comfortable in it. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, let society deal with their issues with your body. You don’t have to deal with it. You just have to live and enjoy yourself.

Outside of soccer conditioning (before I decided not to play) and gym class freshman year of high school, I didn’t wear shorts in public from 5th grade through freshman year of college. It started as a way to be “modest and get closer to the Lord.” That’s what I told myself. Seriously though, that wasn’t the case. I did it because I was fat and felt like I needed to cover my body. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t wear shorts until I dressed as Walter Sobchek for Halloween in 2010. Fourteen years, I went fourteen years without wearing shorts in public because I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. There were many hot days in those years. Two trips to Florida, two to Atlanta, one to Virginia… plus Hell, Ohio may not be in the south, but we have have some hot summers. Yeah, I did wear swimming trunks when I went to the pool or beach, but I always wore a shirt, because again, gods forbid someone sees my fair flabby skin. That’s ridiculous and I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that.


Now full disclaimer, I don’t really wear shorts often these days. It’s different though. I not to, not out of modesty, but because I’ve finally found a fashion style that I really enjoy wearing.

Seriously though, ladies and gents, wear what you want. Be you and be awesome!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Subscription Boxes

Subscription services seems to be a really popular. It just feels good to get fun stuff in the mail. These are the ones I have experience with.

Loot Crate
Basic Cost: 19.95 (including s/h)
Frequency: Monthly
Description: Loot Crate is a a monthly mystery crate service for geeks. Crates include collectibles, shirts, and other geek memorabilia with a value of $45+.
My Experience: I only had Loot Crate for a month, but it was neat. It's mainly just a bunch of geeky knick-knacks. Their exclusives are pretty cool. Here's the kind of items you might find it:

Mythoard
Basic Cost: 25.00 (including s/h)
Frequency: Monthly
Description: Mythhoard is the tabletop rpg subscription box. It's a mixed bag of old and new rpg materials. The value of the items are 45+ (just like Loot Crate).
My Experience: I've been a subscriber for three months and I really enjoy. There's always at least something in every box to make it worth price. That being said, this is for serious table top rpg players only.


Basic Cost: 19.95 (including s/h)
Frequency: Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly
Description:  NatureBox is a healthy snack services. All of the snacks have simple ingredients, no artificial junk, high fructose corn syrup, or MSG. In addtion, each snack is 200 calories or less a serving. You can also double the snacks you get by paying 32.95.
My Experience: I really liked NatureBox. The snacks were typically really tasty. You can choose what you want or have them randomly selected (which is exciting but occasionally disappointing). Some of the snacks are still loaded with sodium and sugar though, so be warned they aren't necessarily as healthy as you might expect.
Basic Cost: 11.99 (including s/h)
Frequency: Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly
Description: Like NatureBox, graze is a healthy snack service. Unlike NatureBox, all of graze snacks are single serving. In addition, some snacks require microwaves. The thing I really like about graze is that you can picks the style of box you want. Need energy boosters, go for the "Afternoon Pick-Me-Up" box.
My experience: I'm actually waiting on my free sampler box of graze, but I'm excited about it. It's cheap enough that I can do it weekly and not feel a big hit to my funds.

What are your experiences with subscription box services? I'd love to hear what you think.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rockabilly Style For Fat Guys

I'm a rockabilly boy at heart. There's something about a standing bass the calls to my soul. And the look, it's fantastic. It's not really something I ever felt like I could pull off. That was until I discovered the wonders of the web.

If you want authentic mechanic shirts, Red Kap's website is the place to go. My shirts tend to run 5XL (yup, fat and tall), but these guys have stuff that run my size. They have several items that run up to 6X. They also do custom embroidered name patches too. That's how I got my kickass, Pun shirt. They have really good prices too. They also regularly send discount codes if you sign up for their discount club.


You can get some nice customization by adding a patch or two. Etsy is a great place to go. Rockabilly Hoodlum on eBay is a great source of patches (and clothing) too.

Lucky 13 is another good option if you want something less plain. They are a bit pricey, but they have some big and tall stuff. A majority of their items run to 3X or 4X, though I've seen some 6X shirts on their site. They aren't always the classiest, but that's not exactly what the style is about, is it?
purchase here

purchase here

purchase here
As far as pants are concerned, I've found that you can't go wrong with a good pair of Dickies. I occasionally wear black dress pants, but honestly, black work pants are more authentic and they're a hell of a lot sturdier. If you don't order from Dickies, Amazon has them for a great price, as does the Red Kap's website that I mentioned earlier. I have a pair of these and I love them.
purchase here

As far as shoes are concerned, any good work boot or skate shoe will do. I'm an all black kind of dude, but whatever suits you best.

To complete the look you need a good stylish haircut. I suggest finding a good barber. If you're in or near Columbus, Ohio, I'd recommend Old Familiar Barber Shop. These folks rock! They do good work.


















Finally, you need the right attitude. You rock. 'Nuff said. You're style is just amplifying that.

Now listen to some tunes and let the music sink into your soul. I recommend these:

Introduction and What the Hell I'm Doing Here

So as this blog's description says, I'm Pun.

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I'm a 30-something librarian. I think that knowledge is the great equalizer and my goal in life is to give others tools that can help them succeed.

I am an Ohioan. I grew up in a rural Appalachian area now I live in a very diverse metropolitan city. To be honest, there are things about both that I love and hate. I don't call myself a Buckeye and I'm not an Ohio State fan.

I'm a big geek. I have been my entire life. This is actually my second blog. My other blog, Halls of the Nephilim, focuses on table top gaming. I also love comic books, music, horror movies, and video games. I have a love hate relationship with "geek culture." I love when people are passionate about things (which is how I define a geek). There are definitely some toxic elements though.

I'm a father. My amazing-mega-super-awesome-genius son lives with my ex-wife, but I do see him regularly and he's always in my thoughts. My ex-wife and I get along pretty good and we both have our son's best interests at heart.

I'm a fat guy. I've been a fat guy since I was about four. I struggled with that for many years. Feeling like Frankenstein's monster or Beast (which could be why I love Beauty and the Beast so much). These days, I'm wiser and have got past that. I've always been body-positive about others, but it's only in the last few years, that I've come to accept myself.  I am taking steps to be healthier, but it's because I want to feel better, not because of society.

I'm a feminist, socialist, and bleeding heart. I don't think it's crazy to want to see people treated equally. I don't think it's crazy to want people to have an equal playing field. I think the system we live in is flawed. Down with the Patriarchy and corporate bastards.

I'm agnostic. During my tween years, I started going to church. It was a holy roller, go to Jesus or go to Hell, sort of place. College and a really special person made me rethink that mindset. Reason guides me these days. That being said, my astrological sign is Pisces, and fit that signs profile closely.

I am working on improving my mental health. I've never seen a medical professional about it, but I've fought with depression my entire life. I have anxiety issues that affect me on a regular basis. That being said I'm doing what I can to be happier and live life.

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Okay, so for those of you that don't know me personally, now you have a better idea of who I am. I made this blog to talk about body positivity, physical health, mental health, music, society, fashion, food, and whatever else strikes my fancy.