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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Monday, September 12, 2005
Broken dreams...
I grew up poor, had a criminal record, stealing bikes, shop lifting, doing all manner of drugs - and generally being the sort of person that no one wants their children to turn into. I was a smart lad, but that only made it worse.

One of the interesting things that happened in my life was that my older sister began dating a role playing computer nerd. He was well over six feet tall, and a very bright fellow - in fact he was the fellow who taught me to solve the Rubik's cube. He built his own computer from a kit before the commodore 64's were even out - and he seemed to me too be much to bright to be dating my sister. I was fourteen at the time.

One day we were watching television together and one of Tom Hank's early low low budget efforts was playing - "Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters." In the movie Robbie (Tom Hanks) plays a "role playing game" (RPG) with some college friends - and true to the fears and propaganda of the day (it was 1982), he loses himself in his character - that is, his real world personality is displaced by the imaginary persona he is playing in the game. The story is a chronicle of how he slowly deteriorates into his character.

I remarked out loud that I think it would be pretty cool to play a game like that - to which my sister's boyfriend (who was obviously disgruntled at the way the movie portrayed Dungeon's and Dragons (called Mazes and Monsters in the movie)), explained that the movie game was based upon the Dungeon's and Dragons game in real life. He offered to bring me the rule book so that I could see it.

I was in love - as soon as I could afford the rule books and dice I bought them, and I played that game daily for the next seventeen years solid. Sure there was a day or two here and there that I missed, but I was hooked. My entire life revolved around this "other reality." - I branched out from medieval games into all sorts of genres - horror, occult, cyberspace, regular space, super heroes, cartoon characters, spy stuff - you name it. We role played it. I was often the Game Master (the story teller, referee guy) but I played many characters as well. My characters were always dark and powerful. I like to play fallen priests, or abused avengers etc. You know, the guy who was kicked in the teeth one too many times, then climbed out of it all by virtue of extreme personal machismo and/or toughness. A psychologist might argue that I was compensating for the boundaries that I was rebelling against in the real world - and they probably would have been right - but the fact of the matter is I was hooked. All my friends - all of them, were role players.

When I came to the Lord I came under conviction - and one day I understood what a drain these games were on my relationship with God. That day I tossed out (literally!) thousands of dollars worth of gaming supplies. I have never played a role playing game since. Truly, I saw that I had allowed the Devil free reign in this area of my life - and when I understood it, I repented of it just like that. I haven't played a role playing game since that day I threw it all out - and I haven't had a desire to do so since. Which is pretty remarkable considering how thoroughly saturated my life had been in the stuff.

It is actually in connection with role playing that I remember how my first pair of glasses were broken. We all had a friend named Aaron. He lived with his mother who was a waitress. She was never home, and when she was she liked to drink and party. Aaron was at that age where he could be left alone for days on end (14), and his mother had no problem with that. We knew the rules, you weren't allowed to take any food from the fridge or cupboards, but you could bring in whatever munchies you felt like. We would all of us (five to ten kids at a time) sleep over at Aaron's and play Dungeon's & Dragons. We would play all night Friday and well into Saturday night - then one by one we would drop off so that by Sunday morning there might only be one or two die hards still playing - then we would crash all day Sunday - play a bit more Sunday night until Aaron's mom got home - then we would go home - get up early each weekday - go to school and play an hour or so before classes - meet again at lunch, and after school we would meet at various houses throughout the week - until we could meet again for the big weekend game.

Aaron was the typical kid whose father left him - According to Aaron his dad owned an airplane and a porché, lived in Las Angelos, and was rich. Aaron was always talking about how he wanted to go and visit his dad, but his dad never seemed to have time for him. It was a sad story since most of it was made up. Aaron's Dad was not much better off than his mom - but we were kids, so we didn't care.

One Friday, as Aaron and I were waiting for a couple more people to show up for the Friday game, we decided to play with his "slotless" race car set. We were putting it together when we noticed that some of thepiecess could be hung from your belt loop and dangle there just like a six shooter...

In no time we were doing the standard shootout scene - where one of us would yell draw, and we would see who could grip this thing the fastest and launch it from their hip - spinning as it hurled towards the other guy. After a few times we became quite proficient at it, and with the word, "DRAW!" we would both get our shot off mostly off target because of our wild attempts to draw first. That was when Aaron got the luckiest shot conceivable. We yelled draw, and he tossed his little plastic road thingy, which spun through the air like a ninja throwing star (that was part of what made it cool actually), and it impacted perfectly with the glass on my glasses - shattering the left lens into my eye.

For a second I couldn't believe it. I wanted to rub my eye, but I knew there were several slivers of broken glass in it. So we flushed my eye with water, then Aaron rode me double on the back of his bike to the hospital which was about a mile or so south of his house. I saw a doctor right away, and they put a dye in my eye - but it looked pretty good - no lasting damage.

In Senior High School, Aaron fell in love with a girl whom he sent one day to play Dungeons & Dragons with us - Tammy was her name. Physically speaking, she was one of the more "mature" girls in our school. She was a nice enough girl, but one day Aaron could make a game, and giving Tammy some instructions on how to play his thief character, he sent her to play for him. Well, she ended up playing the character exactly the way that Aaron would have played it - which was pretty dumb. See, while my characters were always heroic, Aaron's were always backstabbingthievess. He would always, in every game, play a character whose sole reason for accompanying the group was to wait till they were weakest then kill them all and take their stuff. Aaron wasn't really good at it, but at least he was subtle about it. Tammy on the other hand played the character with all the same ear mark "darkery" - yet she was like a bull in a china shop.

As the game in question was a campaign that was being chronicled in the school paper (we were such geeks), and as I was the fellow who wrote the chronicles (Okay, I was such a geek...), I was ruthless in my written assessment - referring to the actions of the thief in a less than complimentary way - in fact I made such sport of it that Tammy was sorely hurt by it. This became the sort of beginning of the end for Aaron and the rest of us. He wasn't interested in playing with us much after that. He dumped Tammy soon enough - which was kinda mean since she was such a nice girl - but after that he became infatuated with is own image. He would stretch for hours each day so that he could do the splits at the school dance - and he started wearingGothh makeup and what not - you know the whole punk trip at the time. Most of us weren't into that so it was really the breaking point. My house had become the gaming house anyway, so it wasn't a great loss.

After high school Aaron got in early on thesleazee/porn market in our city. Within only a few years he owned a chain of porn shops in town. Most of my friends went on to be doctors, but I couldn't afford university, and I just couldn't see my way to selling porn. So I became a Janitor and tried to put myself through school. That is another story though.
posted by Daniel @ 12:12 PM  
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