Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This last Saturday I got to spend the evening with a couple of old friends, and some new friends, at a bachelor party. In many ways this bachelor party was typical of others, but it many other ways it was not.

The venue was a cabin, on some lake north of Spokane, whose name I really should find out so I can answer all the people who ask me. There were no strippers, but there was booze and other bachelor party accoutrement. Quite a few things have stuck with me since this joyous event, some good and some bad, but one thing in particular was something said by a guy named Brad Baxter.

Brad Baxter had another claim to fame that I learned about that night, but I won't go into that. Instead I will speak to how overtaken I was by the gravity of a very small moment.

Choosing to not be much of a drinker lately I spent the evening in a camp chair sitting around fire with my buddy Matt. We kinda held it down as people came and went for poker, more booze, or apparently to jump in the lake. At one point, Brad Baxter pulled up a camp chair and with a simple smile and nod to everyone around the fire said, "I'm there man, I'm there."

At the time I remember thinking how cool it was that he had arrived where ever "there" was. His "there" was not my "there" but you have to be happy for a guy that made it "there". After that I was kind of distracted by other conversations and shenanigans so I didn't think much more of it.

Since Saturday, there have been at least three times where I have remembered Brad Baxter's proclamation of arrival, and each time I feel a little sad. See I am not "there" in much outside of my new family life. I want to be "there" with my hobby, but I don't know if I remember how. I was pretty sure I was "there" once, when I was painting and playing my Dark Angels. Does one only get to go "there" once in their hobby and that is it?

I spend and hour each week night painting my Tau and counting down the 59th minute until I walk away from my table. I am pretty sure it isn't supposed to be like that. I have 3 months and 16 days to get this army done, and I am in entirely the wrong head space to do accomplish it.

So what is the trick? How does one get "there"? Maybe I just need a few beers like Brad Baxter and the path to "there" will clear. Either way, I got to do something to get my mind right.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Stop worrying and just do it. We paint toy soldiers so we can take road trips and dork out with friends we've not seen for a long time. Trying to find some mystical zen spot is the surest way to miss it and only psych yourself out entirely.

  2. Hi Tony ~

    You don’t ask the easy questions do you. I thought I would take a stab at answering this because for the last year or so I have been bouncing off a very similar problem and maybe if I somehow succeed and helping you find “there” I might find “there” myself. So I’ll probably ramble a bit but please bear with me.

    I think when it comes to gaming there is a calling of sorts for us gamers and of course that calling is a bit different for each and every one of us much like “there” is different. With that in mind yes we always have to respect when someone has achieved “there.” It’s such a fucking difficult place to get to.

    I think maybe the reason your “there” is not there for you is that it boils down to a couple things.

    First off I do not think you have the same passion for the Tau that you had for the Dark Angels. You admitted at one point that you were playing the Tau because of wife and family responsibilities. You could not justify playing another army when you have all these tau kicking around AND you have a brand new baby.

    Second I think when it comes to painting you are still in the Dark Angels zone so consciously or not you are comparing what you are doing to the DA. By that I mean the colors you are using are well DA colors, your guys are Dark Green. True the second and third colors are different but I still think that is in there somewhere. It could be that for you 40k will always have that DA Green mentality. Which I get. Completely.

    So I guess the question here to ask yourself is do the lil dudes you are struggling to paint come alive for you when you paint them up or do they stay two dimensional for you. For me sometimes I paint a model and all I have at the end is a bit o painted plastic. Other times I finish a model and in my mind they are ready to take the trenches or commence a duel or what have you.

    The last thing that struck me reading your post was that you truly do hate the thought that you will not have this army finished to your normal standards in time.

    If you find those reasons I wrote about are true I can see why you are struggling to be there. So what can you do to fix this?

    The easiest answer in terms of “There” is don’t run Tau. Pick something you feel some passion for, not fiscal responsibility. I honestly think you can’t truly be fiscally responsible and play a GW game.

    So if I am completely off base on this which is likely, just pretend all I said up above was boobies, boobies, boobies, ad nausea. 

    Or take Deke's advice. Much shorter less Zen and probably works better.

  3. Good stuff Mike, I got somethin' to think on. TA

  4. Damn I hadn't stopped in here in awhile and here's a post I shoulda have commented on weeks ago!

    So a couple of things

    --Glad you guys came up. Sorry I didn't really sit and hang out with ya beyond the small time at the fire.
    --Hope nothing bad that stuck with you was of the serious variety?
    --Name of the lake is Sacheen. Its a small ways from US2 between Spokane and Newport.
    --Brad is 'there' as far as hobbies and not just inebriation (at least in my observation, perhaps I will ask him sometime). I know he quite enjoys his time spent film making and playing in a band. I am sure it has its own tedium though. I am actually curious to talk to him more regarding this. Perhaps he has more zen like statements to reveal.
    --For me I am only ever 'there' as far as the hobby when I am with friends playing the game or just hanging out with them. I am 'there' when I have a painted army that people seem to appreciate but I am not 'there' when I am actually working on it. Try as I might, I am not 'there' when I am on the internets reading and posting regarding the hobby (which is sad considering the amount of time I waste on the net).

    I guess for me I can relate to the situation you are in but at the same time I have never been 'there' painting or modelling. I wish it wasn't that way cause then I could get a lot more shit done. It's always when its finished and I am drinking beers and playing games and travelling with buds that I am 'there'. Which does suck, so if you figure out the secret lemme know!