#253: The Hunter, Part 2

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This post is a continuation of my previous blog post, titled “The Hunter.” If you haven’t already read that, maybe check that one out first so this makes a bit more sense.

Pretty much everyone knew my grandfather at the lodge there, no exaggeration. I went with him to the lodge once or twice and immediately developed a reputation as “Vinny’s grandson.” I never feel too welcomed when I’m known only by my relation to someone else, in the same way that a wrestler probably feels awkward when the fans only cling to their heritage as their gimmick. I don’t want to be known only as so-and-so’s grandson or nephew or whoever; I prefer Anthony in those cases.

But that’s besides the point. I inherited my grandfather’s car from him when I turned 16, though it took a few months for me to eventually get my license. He was gracious enough to give it to me, even though he could still drive at the time.

I remember one time being asked to handle my grandfather’s ammunition. I think I was around 12 at the time. He was very polite about it, and he showed me everything I needed to know about how to load a gun, how to reload, and how to clean off your ammunition supply. Not that I ever really needed to know any of that, considering I’m not a hunter these days and I don’t much care for the hobby in practice, but still, those are sweet memories that I have with my grandfather. They won’t go away any time soon.

This post was originally going to be about Monster Hunter, but instead I decided partway through writing it that I wanted it to be about my grandfather instead. He was a good guy, and at times like these I do miss him a lot.

#252: The Hunter, Part 1

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A hunter is, according to Merriam Webster, “a person who hunts game” or “one that searches for something.” Being a hunter means having a designated objective in your sights, whether that’s the prey you are after or whatever object you are searching for. Hunting involves a lot of material and natural skill and the ability to think quickly on your feet. You have to know so much about wildlife, the outside world, the outdoors themselves. I know a decent amount about computers, but nothing at all when it comes to nature. I’m more of an absent-minded hiker. A few of my friends became boy scouts when they were young, and they could probably take me through the forest and point out the name of every little flower and beetle we pass by.

My grandfather was a hunter, and he regularly would take trips out westward with his friends for the purpose of hunting game. He’d drive his Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport from 1999 out to Oregon or Montana or wherever their hearts were set on. I wouldn’t see him for a week or more, and then he’d come back with some new stories. He had a room in his garage full of guns and ammunition and assorted game mounted on the walls that he had hunted throughout the years, from all of his various trips. He would take me into this room from time to time, show me around, and marvel at some of the heads he had displayed on the walls. I never really knew what to think of them, aside from that they were obviously impressive in the sense that it must have taken a lot of skill and gall and wherewithal to take that on by yourself. He was a trusted and notable member of his local hunting lodge in East Haven, and people there knew him by his first name.

#249: The First Con

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My first comic con, technically, was in 2012, when I was a part of Anime Club at Quinnipiac and I helped out with QuinniCon, the semi-annual Quinnipiac-centered convention. We had all kinds of artists, shops, panels, activities, tournaments, and more going on throughout the day, and I remember getting some classic Super Smash Bros. Melee time in against complete strangers. Melee isn’t my preferred Smash title, but at the time it’s the one I knew best. I also remember picking up House Stark-themed shot glasses. They were tinted blueish, and I remember using them as a freshman in college because I was introduced to Game of Thrones that year by one of my good friends. That’s when that whole journey began, but that’s a story for another blog post. Perhaps the next one.

My second con was Connecticon, though, and I have fond memories of going there with my friend Bryan for the first time and being amazed at the sheer size of everything. It would pale in comparison to Anime NYC, but that took three years for me to get there and I wouldn’t want to compare the two experiences in the first place.

The reason I’m mentioning all of these cons is because recently I visited Connecticon with two people who haven’t been to it before: Alex and Bella. Alex has been to cons in the past, but this was Bella’s first true convention. As a fellow nerd, it was about time she got the chance to visit one of these. I wish we had the chance to spend more time there, but we got done what needed to be done and picked up some sweet loot in the process. Alex and I grabbed a Persona 5 poster, a Cowboy Bebop poster, and a Joker Funko Pop.