Turning 29…, Messianic Judaism, The House, 29 Again…, iPhone Apps, Fame?

Turning 29…
I made the joke on Facebook and Twitter that I was turning 29 this year – I liked that year.
That really wasn’t an arbitrary joke.  At that point I had bought a house, had a cool car, made $42/k a year (though didn’t really know how to properly deal with that money), was ultra social (and fearless socially), and had someone I loved in my life.
I liked that point in my life, and in some ways, I’m on the cusp of it again.  Parts for the Cruiser have finally been found for a reasonable price.  I’m buying Doc’s house (yes, you read that correctly – I’m buying the house – more on that in a minute, and why), and while I’m not exactly floating in cash, I’m on the cusp there too in many ways.  And while I’ve not overcome social fears completely (Synagogue for instance), I’m social and out quite often (still spending a little cash as possible on going out though.)
I’ve rest to just before 29 really – I suppose I should say just a few years before that, 27 maybe, but that doesn’t quite feel right.  I’m on the edge of having almost all the things that matter to me.  Well, except love – that one is missing still.  But who knows – my story is a long ways from over, and something that truly catches my eye again may come along, or the past may resurface again.  I’m not holding my breath, but, it’s life’s too long to believe I won’t have something happen on that front again.
Messianic Judaism
OK, I’m gonna say this: I’m not quite ready to commit just yet – I’m just not there mentally yet.  But yeah, I’ve found the path that works for me.  All I have to do is say “Yeah, OK, I’m ready.”
Learning Hebrew is a slow process.  I’ve actually been going at it two directions at once – twice before services started, I pulled out the songbook (that no one uses) and read the translitteration (Hebrew with roman characters – sort of) and matched it to the Hebrew (easy, though they each go opposite directions), then cross referenced that with the English using some pattern matching.  Works, sort of – I know a few words here and there (Oooh, I now know that Barooch is “Blessed” 😉  Not exactly the sort of thing that comes up in conversation, but for the primary use I have for Hebrew it works just fine.)  
Synagogue is still a bit socially unsettling still – I’m working on that.  But the people there seem to go outta their way to talk to me, so I can’t sit down and hide in plain sight.  The youth minister sort of guy walked up and started chatting last time, and asked about this being “an experiment”  In a way, he’s right – but the experiment is close to having run it’s course.  
Somehow, I’ve managed to find both a religion and a church (well, Synagogue) that matches with me.  It’s an oddity – neither quite Christian, nor quite Jewish.  It’s steeped in traditional religious materials, yet has a new age feel (there’s a prayer in there that’s 3,500 years old, for instance, yet there’s a full band backing up the songs – drums, guitars, keyboard, etc.  Talk about a bit of a fusion.)  The religion is somewhat obscure – finding source material is hard.  It’s…. it is it’s own thing.
I couldn’t possibly describe it all, and all the reasons.  But, I guess, I have a Faith now.  There’s a place I belong.  
So I started looking for a Messianic Bible – not exactly as easy as I expected, really.  You can’t pick one up in the religion section of Barnes & Nobles.  And as much as I want to be so damned stubborn and independent of everyone else, I finally broke down and asked Kat on Facebook.  After some discussion back and forth, she’s finding out what book is used at Synagogue specifically, and also giving me copies of her Hebrew learning sheets.  
She gave me a bit more help than I expected – I dunno, somehow (here’s those social fears) I expected derision over asking the question.  Like, “Really?  You’re interested in this, but you can’t figure it out on your own?!”  But there was nothing like that.  She was happy to help.
I will mention, by the way, I’ve been walking this path completely solo (or with God, depending on your perspective on things – this is a very religious journey, after all) – in the last three weeks, Kat has had other things going on (Overtime, family, blahblahblah) so I haven’t actually seen her at Synagogue.  I never took Devvi with me either.  So it’s been very much a “Davis, you can do this on your own” thing socially.  And it’s been good for me, really.
The House
Yes, I’m buying Doc’s house.  How this came about is well… it’s Devvi’s fault, sort of.  It was actually a comment she made – I mentioned “Doc’s house”.  See, it’s not My House.  It’s Doc’s House.  And she pointed it out, that it’s never my place really.  She finally asked “OK, if Doc doesn’t live there, and hasn’t for a while, but you do, why don’t you feel it’s your place?”
Because it’s not my place.  I have no place.
Aaaannnndddd…. you can see what just happened.  An epiphany.  I have no place.  It wasn’t a whim sort of thing that brought about the idea of purchasing it – it was deep reflection.  It was something missing, something so deep and fundamental to my being.  See, I’m a home base sort of person – until the end of Gamer Zone, I had a base.  I had a place that was “mine”, though I quite willing shared it with someone I loved (in fact, in some ways, that made the place even better, even if it was “Ours” then, not “Mine” – “Mine,” by it’s self, implies a sense of loneliness, the lack of someone to share with.)  I lost it.
So I ran the numbers.  I know what I’m coming up on with Butler and Pixel Time as jobs – I now have consistent base income.  I know what magic I can do with that (for instance, I’ve started pricing jobs at their real prices, not starving artist “I must get this job or risk starvation” prices, and trust me that makes a huge difference.)  On top of that, I’ve got stuff coming down the pipeline – but I can’t count on that.  All I can count on is the base income, then everything else is a bonus.
I won’t tell you how insanely low my basic bills are.  I keep slashing them here and there, optimizing and tweaking – at this point, I can survive just fine on a pittance.  But I keep mentioning that kick over from survive to thrive.  I need roots.  I have to have fertile soil to grow in.  Where I’m sitting right now?  It’s a good choice.
So I made the offer, then followed up on it.  I’ll follow up on it again tomorrow with some new information too.  I won’t discuss specifics, but, I found a very mutually beneficial setup. Doc’s comment was “I agree with it, in principal.  But we’ve got to go over the specifics.”  So we’ve gotten to that point.  
Here’s the thing – I have a home now.  I know the deal will happen at this point.  I have a place to put my roots.  For the first time since the end of the Gamer Zone saga, I have permanency.  It’s Mine.  And. not to beat a dead horse, but some day I hope it will again be an Ours.  A home is important.  Someone to share it with?  Even more important.
The house comes with challenges – just like the first one did.  But I look forward to it, and this time I know a lot more about what those challenges will be – I’ve owned one before.  I’ve mapped out my course of action for it.  
29 Again…
Looping back around to the start here, you can see why I say I’m turning 29.  I belong again.  I’m becoming my own man again.  A year ago I had very little.  Now, I almost have it all back again.
It’s just shy of a miracle to me.  But could I get one full bore miracle please?  I want Her in my life, and soon.  That one perfect female, that one match that I’d swear I’ve met before.  That person that stands up and makes me take notice.  That unique constellation of attributes that meshes with me.  That face that makes my heart go pitter patter every time I see it.  
I’ve met a few of Her before.  But I want that one.  The one that it works with.  The one that I end up staying with.  I want Her.  That forever Her. If I could have one birthday wish when I blow out the candles, that would be it.  Not the house, the car, or the money – those are important, and necessary for my health and well being (and even my ability to maintain a relationship), but to be with Her?  That would be my true wish.  Anyone happen to know Her name and phone number? 🙂
iPhone Apps
Since I’m teaching a Rapid App Development class for the iPhone, iPad (still don’t have mine) and Android, I’ve been “speed developing” – sort of like the old Game In a Day thing that we used to do in the Garage Games community.  Except faster.  It took a couple days to get the first app in the queue this last week – the Task Management 8-Ball.  The second one was done and submitted in 4 1/2 HOURS.  And 30 minutes of that was discovering a miss-typed the app name when submitting for a certificate from Apple.  The next one my goal line is around 2 hours – I may program it tomorrow.  
The implications get interesting – it means I can pump out simple apps in nothing flat to get them into the App Store (and at the end of next week, the Android Market) and sell ’em for $.99, even if they are simple items.  Later, I can do an update, and refresh them on the app list that way.  Then drop them to free for a weekend to pump them up the list, then back to normal price.  In other words – I’ve got extra income streams to play with!  (the Task Management 8-Ball already needs an update before it’s actually hit the app store – it’s not a BIG error, but if you keep shaking it too long, it starts doing funky things with the text display since it randomly rotates the text. Easy fix, but wasn’t discovered until after I submitted it to Apple.  Best to let it release, then update it later.)  
I’ve got a few more “simple item” designs setting on my desktop, and at some point I’ll throw them out there too (one of them uses the Task Management 8-Ball engine in a VERY unique way 🙂   So, I’ll hopefully fall into an “app a week” habit, just so I can start increasing my base of small income streams. And here I wanted to do “cool things” that were so much bigger 🙂
Here’s a fun thing to do:  Go to google, and type the following, with quotes:  “Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr”  Results will vary a bit from day to day (hour to hour even – it’s based on Google’s re-indexing) but you’ll see something interesting:  usually my (very unique) name hovers around 1/4 MILLION entries now.  Cory McFayden, a guy who did a million dollar book deal, only has 144,000.  And this is also only for my FULL name.  So, try THIS (again, with quotes:  “Davis Ray Sickmon”, since some sites end up dropping the , after Sickmon.
2 1/4 MILLION hits.  
WHAT?!  THE?!  HELL?!  A lot of it is repeat data.  The Horror Game and The Story of Gamer Zone, for instance, listed on tons of sites.  
But… 2 million hits for my name?  Holy crap.  HOLY CRAP.
I’ve actually been “branding” myself by my full name lately quite intentionally (The Horror Game is released under my name, rather than Midnight Ryder Technologies who handles the website and app publishing services), to slowly build up a level of online presence.  But this… this was way out what I expected.  And with the upcoming app releases, well… that number is just going to go up farther, since the App Store and the Android Marketplace are both syndicated to so many sites.  
It’s time to capitalize on that.  I’m just not completely sure how.  Yet.  But when I send Muse to a publisher, the fact that I’m that identifiable on Google is definitely going to come up.  I suppose the best way to become a famous author is to already be a famous author 😉

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