Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Had a fabulous time with Josh and Maja at Undertow. It was lively. We went back to our house and had enchiladas and played Quiplash. Nick G. came over also. He and Josh talked about music, most of which I'd never heard. It was a good time.

Work has been hectic, and I worry that I am being less patient with people. I'd prefer to be patient. I'd prefer to be many things. Then, how to build upon those traits.

Josh and I talked about writing. I told him how I was worried that the writing I'm doing now is dulling me, and that I need to attempt to do something fictional. Rip free of the dull trappings of idle conflict. Or something.

Surgery tomorrow. What will I see?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

You there, boy! What day is it? 

Why, it's Day After Christmas Day!

And I'm at work. It's not so bad. Working today, tomorrow, and then surgery on Thursday. Oh, that reminds me, I have to make an appointment to get my nose hair waxed tomorrow. Tear it right out, I say. Maybe I should get my legs done while I'm there. For gam-strutting purposes.

Christmas was good. Kelly had to work, so we'll open presents sometime tonight. We've got a double-date with Hagler and Maja at Undertow.

We went out for a drink with them on Friday night, I think? Yes. It was fun. We talked art, religion, politics, and the soul. All the usual artist stuff that comes up, I suppose. Also that time I was drunkenly crawling around the backyard at a party and Josh rode me around like a horse, whooping like a cowboy.

He didn't remember it, but agreed that it sounded like him and in fact had made it a point at that time to do inane things at parties where everyone else was drunk and he was sober. 

I got a little drunk yesterday from some pineapple rum. It was really good, and my tasting turned into drinking. It happens. Sometimes you drink the rum, and sometimes the rum drinks you. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Watching a child I cared for take care of another child is illuminating. Part of me feels like I did a good job training them, and part of me understands that they may be succeeding despite my own failures in trying to train them. Grandparents must be in constant existential crisis.

My friend Josh Crohn surmised that's why grandparents give so much toys and sweets. I think it could also be that it's so much easier to make little children happy. Making adult children happy is a lost cause.

I do a little soft-shoe shuffle for my nieces and they think it's hilarious. Or I pretend to be asleep, and they scream and I startle awake. They love it.

* * * * *

I walked faster yesterday. 3 mph at an incline of 12%. I need new shoes already. Wearing out quick these days.

It might actually be worth it to go to a specialty runner shoe place and get fitted. Must protect feet.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Look, we're all reasonable people here and I think we should be able to talk about these things openly so here goes: Get yourself a good set of headphones. If you enjoy listening to music at all, you owe it to your ears. I'm a huge fan of the Bose SoundLink headphones. They're over the ear. Also, the Parrot Zik 2.0 are pretty sweet. They have an app that lets you select different preset sound profiles (created by artists like La Roux and DJ Jazzy Jeff) and it's crazy. I listen to songs I've known for years and suddenly a preset brings out subtle things I've never noticed before.

And the Parrot has noise-canceling that will be very handy when everything goes to hell.

I stayed up way too late last night listening to music through my Zik's. All those presets. My preference seems to be for pop settings. I'd call it more of a wide-spectrum of sound, vocals usually towards the top, punchy, low and high. When I tune it for indie rock it gets higher, and sounds kind of tinny to me. I have yet to try that setting on any Iron and Wine. I'm looking forward to it. Maybe some Lisa Hannigan; she recorded her album Sea Sew in a barn. Maybe I'll hear a rat dodging a barn owl.

Countdown to Surgery: 7 Days. I haven't gotten an audio sample yet. I have plenty of audio of my voice, but I want to specifically try to read a page of something, like "Moby Dick", and then read the same page afterwards.

Also, if perhaps they accidentally slice through my vocal cords, I'll want a voice sample so I can get one of those sign-language-to-voice devices like Amy the gorilla in the movie version of "Congo."

Hell I want something like that now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ah, more end-of-year administrative mires. I've worked here for almost five years. Every anniversary marks how much farther I am from when I was truly happy, doing animal rescue. No, not happy, but passionate. There was a lot of pain. I wonder if it would have destroyed me, eventually.

Now I'm killing time until I'm old, grizzled, and living in a remote cabin. Then I should be called out of retirement for one last animal rescue.

Basically the movie "Logan" but with puppies?

I've started filming the opening montage now. Soundtrack will be "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" by Ida Maria. Running around the forest, disarming hunter's traps, exposing polluters, swinging from trees, that sort of thing.

Might not have a choice. The GOP tax plan is poised to go through. I'd better start picking out loincloths.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Yesterday I was here, staring at the laptop. Didn't write anything. Why not? Questioning habits, maybe.

Time is the river, not the canyon.

Christmas is troubling me. Previous success at avoiding unnecessary purchases is now faced with the kraken of consumer enticement.  Its arms...are everywhere.

Maybe books. Books for all.


Did I sleep well, I wonder? I felt I didn't Sunday night. Part of that may have contributed to my sullenness. That bell curve of despair, before it drops down and becomes reckless abandon.

I don't believe that the limits in our lives are the ones we impose on ourselves. I also don't believe there's anything wrong with believing in that when trying to achieve something. It's only harmful when one encounters failure. Limits are imposed on us, and we need to know them.

And to know which ones to forget.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bit of a brain in my damage. Head hurts a bit. Maybe I slept dehydrated. Dehydration, my greatest weekends. I remember this one time in Basic Training where I slurred some random greeting to passing Lt. Colonel. At the time we all had an ingrained fear of officers. I was so dehydrated I felt no fear. I was drinking at a drinking fountain in the mess hall when he strode in through the door. I don't know what garbled nonsense I spouted at him but he was startled for a moment. Too puzzled to be angry, he quickly resumed his stride and was lost from my sight.

Maybe when I die I should be put into one of those Dune-style human juicers to extract all my water. For science?

The Star Wars movie is out. People are excited. I'm excited too, I think. I don't feel like I have to see it as soon as possible. As long as I see it in the next couple weeks I'll be happy.

There's going to be a Star Wars film every year forever or until they become unprofitable, it seems.

My head feels better now. Good, good.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Going back through my walking history, such as it is. February 2017 I averaged 3,827. April, May, and June I start hitting 12-13 thousand daily. Now I'm up to about 16,000 on average. Not bad.

It's not perfect, since I walk at an incline. I'm up to the full 12% my treadmill can do. I think I started around 6%. So whatever maths need to happen to factor in the same amount of steps at a steeper climb.

It feels good. I'm in a place where I can walk for quite a while, play my video games, and not be in too much pain. All injuries are currently manageable.

The other day I forgot how old I am. I was sure it was more than 33. I'm 35 years, 7 months, and 2 days old.

This blog began in 2003. Fourteen years ago. Fascinating.

I'll have to sit down and read through them. Maybe I'll do that while I'm recovering. Put it on the list of things to do.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The alarm clock beeped and I passed out.

Cement Leaf Grotesque Blessing Grim Plant
-Random Word Generator.

I made the mistake of reading an article about an anti-abortion bill that specifically outlaws abortion after a diagnosis of Trisomy 21. It's an interesting strategy, certainly. I personally believe abortion is a human right. The motivation for the abortion are a separate consideration and do not over-ride the right itself. 

It's probably easiest, mentally, to argue with people who believe it isn't a human right at all. Pretty straightforward disagreement. 

The rest of the spectrum is exhausting. Sometimes okay, sometimes not, and when and for why. 

Exhausting and interesting, because every abortion discussion along this spectrum is in fact a deep dive into another human being. It's like a philosophical idea that's also a 7-course meal. Presentation, past experience, and how hungry a person is can change everything. 

But I read the article and my thoughts began branching out, surrounding, and prodding the arguments of the proponents and opponents. Wondering how to make a rational argument for what is fundamentally irrational because they don't share a common language. 

Maybe I should just learn to work cement. Build concrete things. It can be different colors too! What a material!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Drinking stale chicory coffee and smoking an imaginary cigarette. The florescent strip lights overhead throw sepia shadows instead of sterile office white. Slouching under a crumpled brown trilby and reading telegrams that tell me all the things I don't want to know. I throw them into the wastebasket and toss in the imaginary cigarette. Flames shoot up with a "FOOM" and I sit back in my black rolling chair. The telegrams are full of unsaid things, and should burn forever. Or at least until the janitor puts it out. The rotary phone I use to prop up my cell phone rings loudly, like it always does this time of day. I never answer it; I'm pretty sure it's me on the other end. Probably calling in a favor, or maybe I've gotten into another jam. I strike a match against the rough surface of the desk and light another imaginary cigarette.

The phone stops ringing. Problem solved.

The copper mug on the desk still has some rum in it, I think. I reach for the glass and sniff its contents with my one good nostril. A sound of footsteps in the hallway outside, and I freeze, my nostril in mid-flare. The footsteps stop outside my office door. Silence.

I take my chances and gulp down whatever's in the mug. It burns my throat and kicks my lungs on the way down. One hop over the desk and I'm at the door, squinting at the shadow of the person on the other side. I straighten my tie, clear my throat, and knock.

Monday, December 11, 2017

This day feels like my shoes: a little too loose. It's possible that I'm an unknowing practitioner of the ancient art of foot-binding. I've always like my footwear to be almost painfully tight. There are dancer shoes, I think, that have what I'm looking for. Maybe not as armored.

Wonder where a guy can get a decent pair of combat boots around here?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Somebody in the office building ordered pizza at 10 am and they are my hero.

My savings have broken $20,000. This is uncharted territory for me. I try not to think about it. It's invested, after all, so another recession could wipe it out. It's a concern, but what other options are there? Start an off-shore tax haven? Bitcoin? Meh. The meat grinder keeps on grinding. I'm still in it, and maybe if I get lucky I'll be able to hop out before it's too late.

The TV I purchased is one of those listening TV's. Voice-activated, it says. I avoid saying anything incriminating around it. All my careful plotting and scheming to ensure that I avoid world domination are done in silence. Things are going well, very well. I'm in an optimal position to ensure that I never achieve real power and influence. What a nightmare that would be.

I remember Livejournal had a field to enter what music you were listening to while journaling. This makes me wonder if I should note it. For the last week, I've been listening to Tom Waits, New Orleans blues, Gogol Bordello, that sort of thing. If there's a theme to the music, I'd say it's like being dressed in a once-fine suit out in the frigid cold, cradling an ember in your arms and blowing gently to keep it alive.

And occasionally flipping off the fat-cats as they look down upon you from their penthouse suites. It changes nothing, but their look of indignation makes you chuckle.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Random Word Generator.

Proof. House. Poetic. Sexless. Disturbance. Executive.

Hmm, that's a lot of random.

Proof makes me think of evidence, then alcohol. Also a little bit of the proofing oven at the bakery in which I once worked. Little croissants went in, and then big beautiful croissants came out.

House. Home. Close yet so far. Projects and opinions, grand aspirations and neglected details. My disorder.

Poetic. Not really.

Sexless. Without sex, like no sex chromosome? Bacteria-type living organisms, and inanimate objects in a language that doesn't engender them?

Disturbance. The current president. Ha-cha-cha. He's cracking.

Executive. The executive washroom, with golden fountains and marble sinks, with lush personal hand-towels and an aloof wandering peacock.

All stepped up.

Bonus word! DEFECTION

Where you say no, I won't be part of this world. And then magically transform into an aloof wandering peacock.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Random Word Generator go!

Pipes Companion Skull Rough Candy Starfish
Celebrity Parallel Analytical Deletion Crew

Deletion: Somewhere in the library of lost novels are all the words you've ever typed out and then deleted. Literary cherry blossoms raining down, changing the whole world for a moment, an ephemeral season, then swept away.

Celebrity: It's everywhere. Plenty for everyone. I suppose there may not be enough money to pay everyone for their celebrity. I feel like celebrity is presumed to come with profit. If it didn't, would it still be as desirable?

Pipes: Versatile building material for people too lazy to weld, and perhaps hamsters. Pipe mansions.

Companion: Partner in crime. Adviser. Strange bedfellows. Bulwark against despair.

Analytical: Yes. Reveal the connections, shared electrons, overlapping desires. Intent and the actualized. The tedious set-up before the punchline of irony.

Starfish: Radial symmetry. All arms, no legs. Named after the representation of the idea of stars. Celestial bodies with arms spiraling outwards. Radial symmetry.

The pain is less today. In my feet. The annoyance is less today.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Walking a lot. Not much else. The office is bustling today. Difficult to concentrate with all these lives swirling around me. Need my sensory deprivation suit, aka my winter coat and those horse blinders.

Tom Waits on the Pandora station. Grim and jaunty, just how I like it. 

Went to the online Random Word Generator. The words it gave me are as follows: crutch, approximation, vast, geometry, elbow, amoebic.

Reminds me of story cubes. 

Crutch. I've got one of those. Sometimes I think I'm mostly an elaborate exoskeleton of crutches around one working limb. 

Approximation. Everyone is an approximation. People have too many dimensions for us to sort them easily, so we flatten them out, prop them up. Organized and unknowable.

Vast. It's all vast. We are made of oceans. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

It was 4 am when I was pulled from sleep by a vestigial feeling of responsibility. In the dark and the cold were shadow shapes bobbing their heads to silent music. I knew these guys. They only hear unspoken things. They knew me too, and turned their heads toward me, still bobbing. I strained to hear what they weren't listening to, but I was too awake now. They drifted silently, in single file, out of the bedroom and down the hall. Still bobbing.

I cocooned myself in blankets and fell back asleep.

* * * *

The family has a relatively new tradition of getting pictures with Santa. I've not been a part of this tradition. This time, I went. It was fine. I was wary of becoming overly-emotional and making things awkward, but my family was just entertaining/annoying enough that I couldn't dwell on it. Also, I was carrying my niece, Noel, and she's only a year old so she doesn't give a baby poop about my personal temporal narrative. She was just trying to grab everything she could in Santa's workshop. It's a good instinct; I'm sure we'll get along great.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Another National Novel Writing Month has come and gone. I have written no novels. Maybe I'll write one on my week off. I won't be able to waste time with my favorite pastime, sleep, so why not write. I think I owe people a few short stories anyway. Genre stories. Maybe I'll dig up those requests.

My mother is not-so-secretly excited that she might get the chance to take care of me while I recover. Mothers must mother, after all. Perhaps I'll let her dote on me a bit. Maybe she'll get lucky and I'll be too weak to be an ass.

I'm halfway-excited to suffer. I blame my Catholic upbringing. No, not really. I'm intellectually curious about how much me I'll be able to be when I'm not in control. More me, or less me? Jorge Luis Borges wrote about his experience with a bout of what sounds like sepsis, after he was cut by the edge of an open window. He marveled how his friends and loved ones would come and talk to him so calmly, while he, he was in hell.

I should contact my surgeon's office. They'll probably want money and whatnot. I didn't write yesterday because I used my work break to contact another physician's office about a billing discrepancy. I'll be getting a refund.

Oh, I set up my 4K TV. (Samsung Electronics UN40MU6300 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

It's pretty. The higher resolutions appears to mean higher sensitivity on the controls and I am currently terrible at Destiny 2 PVP. The input lag is pretty low for this TV, but it might be that. There may be lag from the PS4 Pro itself, since the game is not a 4K game, but has some up-scaling thing happening.

I'll suffer through, and learn. Well, suffer definitely, and learn hopefully.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mundane tasks are of vital import. Showering while barely awake, standing outside in the cold while the dogs deliberate on the best spot to pee, idling in the car at a stop light, all of these things are half-open doors to inspiration.

Then work comes and drains that inspiration. Sucks the color out of rose-red dreams and leaves a dull-grey husk. Left with just enough energy to work on whatever it is that makes someone else money.

I dreamed pretty well last night. My friends Donovan, Lauren, Matt, and Alan were all playing a game with wide, flat stones that they held in their hands. The stones were no wider than of the palm of my hand, except for Lauren's. She had a stone the size of a baseball mitt. They weren't all the same stone, either. No precious stones. The stone size did not seem to be the deciding factor in the game they were playing.

Still feel like I'm waiting. Maybe because of the upcoming surgery. I speak, and I sneeze, and I cough, and I sing in the shower, and I wonder if I'll do all these things differently afterwards. Will I sound more serious? I hope not. It's become important to me that I not be taken too seriously.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

And what. Energy siphons everywhere. Stick to established paths to avoid them. Still, what else would I do with all this energy?

Pain is minimal. That's good. Relative freedom. Also good. Walking every day. Growing stronger.

I'll be ready for any long walks that might come up.

Maybe even a challenge.

This enveloping feeling of tasks to be done. The edges of the soul where the mortar is flaking away and needs attention.

Eddie Vedder and Cat Power singing "Tonight You Belong". It's adorable.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Every morning I stare down at my handful of pills and try to wonder what I'm like without them. Then I remember: hurt, angry, and impulsive. Also my blood pressure would be a little high.

Thanksgiving was pleasant. My family lunch was good, and I also went to Kelly's family dinner. So many children running around at theirs. The Lopez family only had a couple. We're slacking.

The full weight of consumerism is upon me. I cracked and purchased a 4K Samsung tv. It's been difficult to find smaller 4Ks. Hopefully this will complete my TV collection. 

I've been walking a lot. I'm back to where I was last year, before the heel pain became too much. Now it's still there, but it's minor. I'll take a break when I have my surgery. I'm not supposed to move much while I recover anyway. 

We'll see. Everyone tells me that the pain is vast. From what I remember of pain, it changes the brain. I'll keep writing and try to anticipate myself. Should be interesting. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Let the festivities begin.

Today I will grudgingly help my mother move tables and chairs and set up other tables and chairs. It never hurts to help.

Stayed up way too late last night watching Bloodborne GMVs. "Hunt You Down" by the Hit House featuring Ruby Friedman is perfect.

And what, then? Listened to "The Whisperer In Darkness" read on the Horrorbabble channel.

I do miss my Bloodborne cosplay. Perhaps it is time to remake it. Better this time. Out of materials that aren't so hot. Or maybe Destiny 2 cosplay. I play a Titan, but it's probably more my speed to do a Hunter. Cosplay mix, maybe. Destiny Hunter/Bloodborne Crow Hunter. Yeah, that would be fun.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Not feeling very productive today. Years of desk jobs have taught me that the day before a holiday is a blow-off day, and that the day before the day is for somewhat slacking off.

Despite not feeling productive, I have been productive. Did nothing creative. No attempt to art. Some minor organization at my home. Closet, mostly. They confound me, those things.

My mother invited me out to eat last night. I grumped a bit, then went along. It was pleasant.

For me, I did socialize quite a bit this weekend. Still felt unproductive. Not sure of anything.

Working and working. Towards something, but I forget. Two more years, I think? No, less. Whatever it was is less than two years away. Grr. Forward, march.

Head down, bull forward, stay dumb. Stop wanting everything.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I'm in the mood to be in a mood. Lonely and angry and hating myself, not for the feeling but for the inability to channel the feeling. Humans make bad decisions in the throes of passion, or maybe they make less genuine decisions when they consider themselves the most level-headed. Or this is a false dichotomy and there's more here that I'm not seeing.

Perhaps what I'm feeling is the result of all the great deals I found and purchased on Amazon. After the initial surge of satisfaction for getting neat things for low-prices, I fell into despair. Technically, I now owned the things, aside from the slight temporal disparity. Yet, I was no different. Still me, just with a few more things that flood and fire could still easily take away.

I did purchase Star Wars Battlefront 2 for the nephews. It's their birthday present, but it didn't come out until today. I suppose I'll have to set an EA online account or whatever so they can play multiplayer. There's much ado at the moment about Loot Boxes and pay-to-win. However, the nephews don't have a reliable source of income to spend on loot boxes, so grinding it is.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ah, it's that wonderful time of year for employees and employers everywhere: Annual Reviews.

Smiling at each other with bared teeth while shoving piles of BS back and forth. Long-simmering rage sublimates into passive-voice aggression. There is much copying-and-pasting of last year's review because nothing has changed except the ever-higher expectations and the ever-increasing workload.

It's not a good time to point out the myriad new processes that have been implemented, many of which directly contradict the others. These reviews are linked to pay increases, naturally, and it's super important that the employer/investors feel like all their attempts to improve the employee are worth it.

Under no circumstances must the employee let on that they are doing the same thing they've always done. The employer MUST believe that what they do makes a difference.

The true function of the process, of course, is to provide the cheapest relief to a symptom without having to resort to curing the disease. Cures are expensive, bandages are cheap, and offices are kept cold because everyone is wrapped up like mummies.

Time to dress up, put on the old dancing shoes, and do the Right-To-Work State Shuffle. Don't let the name fool you; it's mostly a two-step, with a lot of bending over.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Stayed up too late and dreamed about having superpowers. I could talk to cats. It wasn't that useful.

My surgeon is trying to get me scheduled before the end of the year. Allegedly, I'll be mostly incapacitated for a while. Much suffering awaits.

One concern is my dogs. They like to jump on me when I'm in bed. That could be extremely painful. Probably the easiest thing to do is get a dog cone and put it myself.

It will be prime time for brooding, watching scary movies, regretting lost loves, planning my bathroom renovation, staring wistfully into the distance, not talking, reading, and maybe even some writing.

Organizing/shedding non-essential items. Contemplating the institutions that exist solely to squeeze money out of a human being, then drop them back into the work bucket until they absorb some more cash and are ready to be squeezed again.

Maybe I'll get those space station curtains for the game room. Those are neat.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Whirlwind! Just the usual, really. Time flurries, reality storms, memory hail. Typical weather this time of year.

The radiologist says my knee has no glaringly obvious damage. There is a "tiny" Baker's cyst, aka fluid-filled pouch (bursa). Maybe it's tiny now, I wonder, but could it increase in size when I run? Hmm, a quick Google search says there's also something called a popliteal aneurysm that might look like that. I remember that long flight to Hawaii I experienced crazy knee/leg happenings. Maybe a clot that pushed through and didn't kill me.

I'll go to a specialist next and see what they think. Have them try to drain the cyst, and if it's full of blood I'll make sure to shout "HA! TOLD YOU!" before I collapse into brain failure.

It's easy to be right when I'm not the one who can do anything about it.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Move forward, gather materials, tinker, make something you don't like, tinker, find something you do like about it, build on that, give it legs to stand on, let it run around a bit.

Might be nice to build a little office. Lots of screens. Because I like screens.

Multiple compys. Research one, the other not online at all. Only for typing in the green screen typing program I have. I could pull that off. Somehow.

I was reading a story about the effect of the proposed tax overhaul. There are people with incomes of $150,000 to $200,000 per year that are concerned about the loss of deductions. My instinct is to scoff, which is wrong of me. This whole system is designed to get me to live slightly above my means, regardless of what those means are. It doesn't want me to save money, it wants me to pump every cent into some material possession. Which makes sense, because that's what I kind of want to do anyway.

We make more money, we incur greater costs. More expensive cars, bigger houses, every gaming console. So yes, I imagine life would be easy if I made $200,000 a year. Meanwhile, my teen self making 5.25 an hour working part time at a thrift store and making like $300 a month would be astounded by my current pay rate and wonder how I ever run out of money.

Teen-self didn't have a mortgage or have to buy food, just pay for car insurance and gas.

Now here I am, making more than triple that and still feeling about the same in regards to my bank account. I feel broke, despite my luxurious lifestyle. Because there's more to be had.

Money doesn't solve money problems, I've heard. I'll try to remind myself of that more often.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Helped Remy with his math homework. It went well. Made me feel like I could actually learn to math like a normal person. Someday, perhaps.

The placebo effect is wearing off.

What's been going on? Feeling like I'm in stasis. Waiting. For what, I do not know. Maybe for profound inspiration to lead me to my true calling. Or maybe waiting to accrue vacation time. Why not both?

I have a day off on Monday. I'm going to celebrate Schmeteran's Eve, the holiday involving prancing, grilled meat, and several naps.

Washing dogs and doing their laundry is also on the menu. Gotta have clean dogs, for winter snuggling.

Some part of me feels like I'm supposed to learn how to plant clover. Not actual grass, because I refuse to do any landscaping on a matter of principle. The principle is that I don't like it. No, clover for the backyard so the dogs have something pleasant for their paws. And track in less dirt. After they go outside, they have decided that it is their sacred duty to immediately leap onto my bed to make sure it's still there.

It usually is.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

This new medication is working. I can tell by my increased productivity at work and my decreased desire to write. "I can give you the ability to accomplish your daily tasks," it says. "All it will cost is your ability to dream."

Jokes on you, medication; I still dream a little.

And I'm still training to fight, even though I don't fight anymore. 

My grey stallion rests...

Part of me was hoping that these pills would work no better than the others. The part of me that doesn't like paying for the increased cost. It's a lot more. I've developed an ingenious test: If, after a month, I'm still able to rationalize not paying so much for brain pills, then clearly these more expensive/effective ones are not working well enough to justify the cost.

In your face, brain.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

What a ride!

Saw Thor: Ragnarok on Sunday. Delightful. I also took Monday off and got an MRI on my knee. You can really feel the magnetic field! Or I imagined I could feel it. It's an extremely loud machine, and was probably just vibrating as my lower half was engulfed by the massive gray device, like being stuck in the blowhole of a whale. A magnety, robot whale.

I also saw my ENT. Going to get my septum un-deviated. And my tonsils removed. Doctor says I'll be in horrible agony for a couple weeks. I did not say "There are many types of pain, and the physical is but one," but just smiled wryly.

Probably get that done in January. I expect I'll be less haughty about it when I can't eat ice cream because it's too painful. But until then, I will haught it like t'is hot, verily.

Friday, November 03, 2017

"Please, remember me
In the car behind the carnival"
-The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine

This song is painfully beautiful. Also it mentions dogs that love the rain and that makes me happy.  Have I mentioned this before?

The speaker is remembering this young friendship and it's over now. He's talking to no one, I think. It's more like a prayer. He's never going to be anything more to this person, and he wishes that they can be together in memory. Their memories of each other are a heaven, with pearly gates, although he's locked out of it. He doesn't want his memories, he wants to be in hers. 

The speaker may believe that entering Heaven will take away his sorrow and loss, but I don't think he's ready to let go of it yet. He wants to draw on the walls, things that represent duality at first, boy and girl, sinner and angel. Then he ends on frightened trapeze swingers. People that come together, but if someone doesn't let go of their trapeze and reach out, they will swing away from each other. 

It's frightening, letting go. 

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Spend so much time wondering what people are really like. Maybe I should stop assuming that everyone has a "true" self. My non-human friends, in this example my dogs, don't need a complex theory of mind to know me, or themselves, to have a good time. I'm not sure how a dog would go about deciding to change their own behavior, absent any external influence. Luckily, we all have plenty of external things to respond to.

Can't enter the heart of every sun if you want to see the entire galaxy, I suppose.

I'm listening to "I Feel It Coming" by The Weeknd and Daft Punk.

Can't listen to melancholy introspective music all the time.

My car has a new battery. Mine is on back-order. Not sure what to do until then. Get to a great height with the energy I have, spread my flying squirrel-like wings, and glide as far as I can. Take a nap wherever I land.

Or build something. At least measure things, imagine things, picture this and explain that. That's good exercise. Then I can continue to carve out space.

I dropped a crescent wrench while changing my car battery. There's a secret tool in the plastic frame of my car now. For emergencies.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Dead car battery this morning resulted in my being a few minutes late to work. At least I hope it's a dead car battery. Easy fix. I can even do it myself.

Halloween was quiet last night. Not very busy on our block. The hounds behaved themselves. Marceline was a pirate ship, and Watson was a devil. He looked very dapper.

I too am feeling worn-down. Time to replace my battery. 

Kelly and I watched "The Addams Family" and "Coraline" while we passed out candy. 

There are rumblings in the back of my mind. Kind of want to organize things, get rid of other things, streamline processes. I should make a list. Lists can be useful, if you make sure that the few things at the bottom are probably never going to get done.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! I'm going as nothing. This year, anyway. An idea came to me yesterday to make a jellyfish costume out of those big clear umbrellas. I think I would be a moon jellyfish, or a purple-striped jellyfish. Blue glowsticks would work well, and I'm sure I could find big frilly clothing for the oral arms, and a gauzy material for the tentacles. Bonus, it shouldn't be too hot.

In my searches, I also came upon some umbrella hats. That would be extremely handy. For catching prey, and dancing.

Sea animals are always fun costumes. There's still time to go as a reverse mer-man, with the fish half on top and the legs on bottom.

I could do this.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Delightful times were had by all at Caitlyn and Ben's wedding this weekend. The wedding was quite nerdy, just how we like it. There were Dungeons & Dragons models everywhere. We were seated at the Diablo III table. The signature cocktails were "Health" and "Mana". I made sure to stock up on both.

After the reception, we went to a bar called "The Grid". Lots of video games and the staff was in costume. The food wasn't bad either. Might have to go there again when I have my wits about me. I played an Atari game that I'm pretty sure was unwinnable, but I'd like to be sure.

On Sunday, there was a brunch at Caitlyn's parent's house. Also delightful, although most of us were hungover. At least I got out of bed at 9. Gotta keep moving. I didn't walk yesterday, which was probably good. Rest days are good for muscle recovery or whatever.

And I feel good now, which is more than I expected. Pleasantly surprised pessimist.

Friday, October 27, 2017

There are weighted blankets for people with anxiety. As if I needed help staying in bed. I've used conceptually similar vests for dogs with anxiety. Supposedly the pressure helps them relax. It seems to work sometimes. Why, I don't know, and I can only suggest them as anecdotally effective, and they certainly don't seem to hurt.

Anxiety being a broad term, of course. There's no blanket for existential dread, or a weighted shawl that can snap the paralysis of indecision.

Colored birds flying in circles round the steeple.

What does a star feel like before it crushes itself into a black hole? Smaller and heavier, everything outside becoming inside.

Man you turkeys are bumming me out *stuffs mouth full of chips*

In Robot Uprising News, an robot has been made a citizen in Saudi Arabia. I haven't read beyond the headlines because from what I understand, women are barely citizens in Saudi Arabia and this is likely more of a "dick move" than a significant step in Robo-Human relations.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"I'm on a roll...this time. I feel my luck could change."
-Radiohead aka Classic Rock.

I have an MRI scheduled. It'll be my first. Just checking out my knee; the one that's been hurting since I ran the Whiskey Row Marathon a thousand years ago. Up to now I've been treating it by avoiding running. Mostly works.

The scheduler at the imaging office asked if I had any metals in my body. I told them no, but now I wonder. I guess I'll find out.

They also asked if I was claustrophobic. I am not. I'm regular-phobic of enclosed spaces in my mind. Wait, once I felt claustrophobic when I was putting on a new motorcycle helmet. I had tightened the wrong strap and suddenly I couldn't breathe. It took me a second to get my gloves off so I could loosen the strap, and after I did, I still felt that sense of panic and tore off my helmet. I remember that panic well.

Practicing while panicked is something I should do more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Listening to "Penelope" by Pinback. I'm in love with the bass line.

Last night, I listened to a reading of "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Melville was a big fan of Hawthorne. Me, not so much. The story isn't bad. Except the last line: "In trying to improve his lovely wife, he had failed to realize she had been perfect all along." It's particularly heavy-handed in an already lead-gloved story. Lugubrious overload.

Perhaps he just knocked it out and didn't give it a second glance. My previous post about baby names was written hastily, as it started as a Facebook comment and then grew out of control. I re-read it and I can see where I had set up some jokes and then failed to deliver a punchline. Ah well. I think I got my point across, even if it was done in a less entertaining fashion. I hear it's good to be stupid once in a while and just create. Too many good reasons not to attempt amazing things.

...I just turned on my Pandora station and it played "Penelope". I was previously listening to it on YouTube. They know too much...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hecka Baby Naming

How to decide what name to saddle a human being with for the rest of their lives or until they change it:

1. Do not name your children the same name as yourself. Seriously, that's the name your significant other shouts out during your passionate love-making/getting-it-on. Naming your kid that is weird. Also, it only contributes to your illusion of yourself. I'm okay with names popping up along generations, as long as there is little chance of being in the same room together when someone calls their name.

And really, it totally screws up stuff like insurance, medical records, all that bureaucratic stuff in which our lives are hopelessly mired. I've seen huge problems with health insurance especially, because a parent has the same name as the kid. It's a nightmare.

Don't do it.

2. Be aware that your imagination is simmering in a stew of cultural trends. To be blunt, the more we hear a name the more likely we are to think it's a good name. That's why you get these name explosions. It's nothing for or against using the name, just something to be aware of. To be blunt, your great idea for a name might not even be your idea.

3. Yelling the name. Can you yell the name? You're probably going to yell this name at some point. If you expect to do it a lot, practice the name by yelling it.

4. Avoid common sounds. Like the same-name thing, don't name the kid something that begins the same way as another family member. My niece is named Genevieve and her mother is named Jennifer. The beginning of their names sound the same, and their shortened forms sound the same too. Yell "JEN!" and see what happens. It's a good name for yelling though, in short form.

5. Cultural Bias. It exists. I use "William" on all my job applications. It works. Also, women with more gender-neutral or masculine names earn more money and attain higher leadership positions, it seems. Morgan, Madison, names like that. Fight the power.

6. Spelling. I am constantly spelling my name for people. It's annoying. And in a world of computer files (going back to that bureaucracy) a misspelled name also leads to problems. Paper check? But this name doesn't match your drivers license. RIIIIP.

7. Names that are also things. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, what have you. Again, good for a name if you want to be harder to search for on Google. Strange because whatever that word meant before, the child with that name will ironically never be able to hear it for its meaning, without identifying with it. That's why there are websites devoted to looking up the meaning of your name; so you can pick the website that gives you the meaning you like, and ignore the rest. It's harder to argue with literal dictionaries.

8. Nicknames and ease of pronunciation. Be aware of it, I guess. I have lots of nicknames because people can't spell/pronounce my name, and it's produced good ones, but mostly people default to "G", which is boring to me.

9. Common names are common. It's fine to have a common name. Best not to pair it with a common last name, because when there's a bunch of Davids, for example, we revert to adding the last name. Then you run into two dang Davids with the same last name and you have to just give up being friends with them altogether.

10. Middle names are a good place to go nuts. Don't waste it with another common name. That's a good place for your name, so when the kid gets yelled at and you have to use their full name, you also end up using your name, because you know whose fault this is.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Feeling a little distant. Observational? Sleep more, or maybe start drinking coffee again. Ooh, tea. Split the difference!

Probably just the internal struggle of curbing impulse buys. Can't keep running around pretending I need things. I do need to get my suit dry-cleaned. I'll do that today. Also gas. Maybe a blood-pressure cuff. That's it.

Halloween costume? Piece something together out of the bits I have. Uninspired.

After all this time I should have learned not to rely solely on chemical reactions.

A shroud, like the lead vest that's placed over you before you get an X-ray at the dentist.

On Sunday morning I went over to my mom's to get breakfast. I had slept in until noon on Saturday and felt lousy the rest of the day. At 8 am I sauntered over and grabbed some food. My niece was there, Genevieve, and we played for a bit. She found a pad of paper, and we drew imaginary pictures on the pages. We had no drawing tools at the moment, but she didn't let that stop her. I drew a whale with a top hat. I don't know what she drew.

My mom wondered aloud if my niece knew that she loved her. I told her I think so, yes.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Went to pick up my nephews for school this morning and on the dining room table was a plate covered in foil. I pulled it back its shiny shield and revealed waffles, eggs, and sausage. My mom is substituting today and she had made me breakfast before she left for work.

Her mom-sense must have known I hadn't slept well last night. Or rather, I slept well, but probably not enough. I found a YouTube channel called Crypt TV that makes short horror films. It's fun.

No scary dreams after watching. Not like those got-dam Oompa-Loompa's from the original Charlie And The Chocolate Factory film.

Horror is tricky because how fear can shatter a person's reasoning. Speaking of YouTube videos, you can watch thousands of people getting scary-pranked and see how impractical (in a tactical sense) their reactions are. Some people punch, some will run, but so many just fall apart.

If I were in a horror movie, I'm sure I'd make a bunch of rookie mistakes, so I'll avoid stumbling into any for now.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wading in the shallows, toes sinking in the mud.

Unpredictable tides mean we can't go too far from the shore. The challenges of a planet with no moon.

I remember imagining shapes in the shadows.

Now I know there's nothing exciting in there. Unique and dull, like the back of my hand.

I told Ender and Remy I was thinking about getting a new car. They cried out in mock horror, saying this car has two many memories. I reminded them that memories live in our mind, but I didn't disagree. They are also getting bigger and I want them to have more space. I told them we didn't have to get rid of this car entirely; I could teach them to drive a stick shift, as long as they promised not to drive without a license. Not like I did. They asked if I was afraid of getting arrested. I told them yes, but mostly I was afraid of hurting someone and not being able to help them. Any driver can make a mistake and that's why we have to have insurance. If I got in an accident and hurt someone, I'd need my insurance to cover their medical bills.

If you hurt someone, and you're sorry, you should show it by helping them feel better.


* * * * *

I made the mistake of checking They had some sweet headphones on sale, and a 4k TV, and a myriad of other electronic marvels. I want it. I almost bought the headphones; I was well into researching them when I managed to shake off the impulse. I asked myself how long I want to work here for this stuff. I didn't need to know the answer; the idea of purchasing more cool toys dims. It's like forging another link to this desk. Not the writing desk, the other desk. I kinda like the writing desk, and if I was chained to it I might actually accomplish something.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I was excited to hit the blog today. Just a feeling that I might have something to write about.

Nothing specific. I had a dream about a man with a ray gun that could remove a part of your body, any part, safely and painlessly. The ray gun could later replace that body part just as it was before. He would go around stealing people's arms usually, sometimes legs, as a form of blackmail. Everyone would just do what he said, because he was the only one that could work the machine. They could go to the police, or kill him, but then they would be forever without their limb.

Work is having an End-Of-Year dinner. Perhaps I'll go. I don't see most of them now, and I haven't gone to work events before. I'd kind of avoided mixing my work life with my personal life. We'll see.

Lying on my back and staring at the stars through tinted windows.

"Don't you think you'll be better off without me tied around your neck"
-To Belong by Daughter

We all think a lot of things. Our personality is in the patterns, our self in the vortices between.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Baroque, right? Repetition with variation that grows until it changes everything."
-From a conversation with a fellow writer

I took yesterday off to go the doctor. Also because I wanted to. The doctor took a bunch of my blood. I wonder what they'll learn from it.

Over the weekend, Joese, Brian Y, and I went went in search of delicious tacos. We traveled far, ultimately ending up in what Brian referred to as "Downtown Chandler". Previously, I was not aware that the city of Chandler had any such divisions. The tacos were good, and as a bonus on my way out there was a little Chihuahua/Dachshund aka chiweenie tied to a post outside. She stood on her hind legs in greeting. She was black and glossy and had beautiful blue eyes. I cuddled her for a bit. She was so cute I was tempted to steal her away. She obviously liked me, although there may have been stray taco meat on my face.

I didn't pup-nap her. I can't have every beautiful thing I fall in love with.

We trekked home, full of tacos and yearning, and played the SNES mini. Kirby's Dream Course is one of my favorite two-player games of all time.

The controller cords were really short, though.

Friday, October 13, 2017

This building is a scent-free environment. In a small act of rebellion, I put on a single spray of Dolce & Gabanna "The One" and then another spray of "Intenso". Subtle scent is what I'm going for. Someone would have to be very close to smell me. Despite my insensitive nose, I can appreciate how those who have working honkers might dislike walking into a cloud of Italian extracts.

I'm going to the doctor on Monday. My experience in medical billing has taught me much. I have printed out copies of my insurance card and typed out my current medications, symptoms, concerns, and steps I want to take to address them. My knee, for instance, will probably need a referral to a specialist. A leftkneeologist.

Have to make things a simple as possible for the physicians. Elevator pitches for all ailments must be prepared. And try to be as male as possible. Physicians don't listen to women very well.

I am weary. I don't feel bad, just weary. Not tired, just weary. Maybe I feel like a charmander when its tail-fire is low. I'll never know, but I can imagine.

My brother and sister (in-law) are coming into town today. I wonder what we'll do.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Feel like I don't need all these scars anymore. Maybe I should get them removed. Just looked it up; it can be a bit expensive. Even more expensive than a customized PS4 controller. Well, I know which one I'm getting.

It's not a big deal; I've simply grown wary of symbolism. Imbuing meaning into my skin feels inadequate. I'm also over tattoos, although I will touch up my existing ones if needed.

I talked to my pharmacist last night. She's been having a hard time; she said she was carjacked at gunpoint. I expressed sympathy. She also got married at 18. I expressed sympathy about that too.

Pharmacists are interesting because they know all my ailments. Bank tellers see all our money problems. Writers see all the problems they can imagine.

Statistically, I should be average. My concerns should be the average concerns, my aspirations too. Statistically.

A living, breathing, regression to the mean.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Properly primed and ready to make a mess.

White cliffs and white walls. A yellow ball rolls down a wet asphalt street, bumps against the tire of a parked car. No one chases after it.

A blue door with no locks. An ash tray that only holds keys now, and spare change, when there is any.

The fireplace is orange-tinted plastic over a heater. It's not cold enough to use it for heat.

Trees with tear-shaped leaves shimmer in the morning breeze. Standing underneath we can pretend it's raining.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

There was some art I wanted to talk about but now I can't find it. It was bright, so bright. Like roses in winter.

Something else, then.

My nephews went to Colorado this morning and I didn't have to take them to school. I still got up a little early and went over to my mom's house. I've gotten used to seeing her every morning. I love that infuriating woman, and for some reason she puts up with me when I'm a grump in the morning. My father is often up as well, so I say hi to him too. Yesterday morning, he asked me if I had any beer. I told him no, and he told me to get some, and make sure it's German. I promised nothing. It seems I'm not the only with dreaming of German beers.

I wonder what Polish beer tastes like.

I need to polish my shoes. I haven't polished them in a week and they're losing their luster. For work, we have a casual dress code. I wear dress shoes, dress pants, and a t-shirt with an animal on it. Shiny shoes are key. I suppose I could keep an emergency button-down shirt and tie. Just in case some other office around here says "You there! You've got an interview in 10 minutes!"

I'll be ready.

My mother spoke to me with great concern about the wildfires in California. She didn't say we had any family specifically in the area of the inferno. General concern, I think.

Protect the self from wildfires, dig a wide moat that the fire cannot cross. Stand ready to stifle any embers that may alight, like roses in the winter.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Summer lingers long here, well into fall, until it breaks like a fever. Today was the first day I didn't turn on the AC as I drove to work this morning.

I reminisced with methinks (she doesn't capitalize her name, remember?) and we decided that she was still she, and I was still me. We likened the blogging days as a Parisian cafe. With Facebook and Twitter, now it's more like a crowded school cafeteria. Which is no knock against cafeterias; more of a comparison of volume, in noise and quantity.

I saw Blade Runner 2049. I liked it a lot. Enough to go see it in IMAX at some point. I never go straight to IMAX; gotta see if the movie is good first. Then I bury myself in it.

Don't really know how I'm feeling today. Sometimes I feel good and am productive, and sometimes I feel bad and I'm still productive. I rearranged some furniture over the weekend; maybe part of my brain is still Tetris-ing furniture.

However, I do have some ideas for some custom floating bookshelves made out of pipe, with a writing desk extension.

Friday, October 06, 2017

I knew I was dreaming the moment I sipped a glass of Hefeweizen and my mouth filled with smooth citrusy clovey flavor, with a hit of banana. It was delicious. I put my glass down, surprised, because I don't like Hefeweizens. This was certainly a Hefeweizen,, but I loved it.

That's how I knew I was dreaming.

There wasn't much else I remember, except sitting in a small classroom having to take a test, and one of the test questions was "Scream in terror" and another was "Start a conversation about Thor."

I did actually scream in my sleep, and woke myself up. I always did test well.

Walking every day has been going well. And my Destiny 2 character is up to a power level of 277. Not bad.

I haven't been sleeping well this week, according to my sleep tracker. Not enough deep sleep. Not enough overall sleep. Too much screaming in my sleep or talking about Thor. Ah, technology. I never would have known to worry about this stuff without it.

I'm going to see Bladerunner 2049 tonight. I hear it isn't terrible, which is good. I've already guessed the spoiler: everyone is a replicant, and they've been hunting down all humans. It's probably something like that.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Provider of constants.

Once I had an idea to rent an office building, fill it with cubicles, and call it a writing job. It would have "employees" who had a set schedule, as close to a normal work schedule as possible, and they would have to dress up like they're going to work and then sit and write. There would be two basic tasks: Writing and editing. Treat the art of creation like a job. If it helps, create some small menial meaningless work that they have to accomplish each day as well, so they can feel like the time they spend writing is "stolen". Fight the power.

Even have meetings, which would be short lectures and PowerPoints about obscure literary topics, grammar, philosophies, really specialized knowledge that might mean something to somebody in the room, even if it that person isn't you. Like normal work meetings.

Oh, and vague threats about getting your pages in.

Ha, and no internet! Not for everybody. One person will have the internet, and people will have to get up and go ask them to use it.

I'm not sure what to do about phones. They connect people too much. Writing requires the terror-sweat of isolation much of the time. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Set phones to emergency calls only, and they can use them on their breaks and their lunch.

I think I'll throw in occasional projects, like "compose a poem in iambic pentameter" or "write a short screenplay", so that everyone can get good at writing in different forms. There will be Skill Certificates of Merit once someone becomes proficient in a certain form. "Oh, you'll have to ask Jerry; he knows how to do Petrarchan sonnets."

I don't think I could pay people, not exactly, because paying people for something they're supposed to enjoy can interfere with their passion for it. I think it needs to be like Youtube, where the more work and the higher quality being produced starts to create a stream of revenue, one that can't be attributed to any one thing necessarily. Creating a mindset of a body of work, that is also banked to create a return.

That's roughly my idea. But I'm not independently wealthy so I can't do it, not yet. I may have to get creative.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Oh, refurbished Chromebook, you have been good to me. Do I love you as much as my clunky old laptop? No, but we had been through a lot together. The Chromebook has a way of keeping me on track. When I switch to this from my work computer, I'm struck by how not having all those desktop icons and folders in the background clears my mind.

The Chromebook feels like a blank sheet of paper.

Brought to you by Chromebook! Go Chrome yourself! TM

I turned off all ads on my Youtube channel. I didn't even know they were on. There were also some copyright issues because of songs playing on the radio in the background. Hilarious.

Blogger has been pushing ads for a while, too. Maybe I better check these settings to make sure there isn't some secret ad settings I need to take out.

Profit. Ha. I don't need that idea rattling around in my head.

The past couple weeks I've been listening to Daughter while I write. Two albums, "If You Leave" and "Not To Disappear". On a loop. Trying to condition myself, I suppose. They're like a darker Sigur Ros, for me. Except where Sigur Ros makes me feel like you're soaring, Daughter makes me feel like I'm running on a tight-rope stretched over a nameless abyss. Interesting feelings. Some songs I think, "Yeah, I can relate to this" while I fight a creeping doubt that I never really knew myself.

I mean, I'm 35 years old now, which is roughly half the human male lifespan. I've done all the becoming, maybe, and now it's time for the understanding part. Maybe. There may be more to me yet.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The work deciders have discouraged my use of over-the-ear headphones. My beloved Parrot Zik 2.0's now sit quietly in their case while I use earbuds. Allegedly my earbuds are more approachable, or something. As if I wanted to be approached. I listen to music because I don't want to know everyone's life. No more than I usually pick up on, anyway. People talk about dinner and pick-ups and drop-offs and weekend plans and I don't want it taking up space in my brain; this thing is pretty much full.

Also I could keep the earphones on without listening to music and it would serve at least to dull the office thrumming and hawing.

These earbuds I'm using now lack the sonic quality of the Parrots. The parrots sounds like I'm sitting in the middle of the band and they're all playing directly to me. More than once I've turned suddenly because I thought someone was speaking behind me, when it was only some surround sound magic.

Bose makes earbuds too. Might be justified. I'm fortunate to work in an environment where I can listen to music, after all, and I spend my money where I spend my time. Also on toys, although not much lately. Not since we got the house. Now I have to buy house-things.

There's also my money-saving scheme, which is the opposite of buying toys. I only have one credit card now, and it was at 15% interest. Screw that, I sez, and I take a loan out against my 401k for like 4% interest, and pay off the entire balance of the credit card. Now the credit card is still there for emergencies (and movie tickets because the app hates my debit card for some reason) and the loan payment comes out of my paycheck as a contribution to the 401k, so it's pre-tax. It should end up saving me something like 1,000 a year.

So now I'm broke, but not poor. Clawing my way towards not owing nuffing to nobody.

Except for the all the soul-debts. I haven't checked on those in a while.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Spent this morning thinking a little bit about the latest mass shooting. This one, last night in Las Vegas, was particularly lethal. We may have to create a new category for what we experience. The US could end up having over a hundred words for mass shootings, akin to the fable of the Eskimo and their many words for snow.

I'm going to see Bladerunner with Jake on Friday night. I hear it's not bad, which is good new

Beyond that, I have planned nothing. There is a wedding coming up this month, the weekend before Halloween. It is not a costumed affair, but still. I can wear a superhero undershirt and pretend I'm in my civilian disguise.

I've been musing on building a Wall-E costume. Cardboard is inexpensive, and versatile.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Spoke with my 65-year-old co-worker about partying. We both agreed that we don't party much anymore, but we used to back in the day.

Last night I lay in bed listening to music. I used to do that often. Lucid drowsing.

Erect a scaffold around myself to grow into. Who better to make me better. A pole in the ground to entwine and travel upwards. Have to grow up, that's where the sun is. I'd grow along the ground if not for the crowds.

Position on things 2017:

Vaccinations: Pro.

Climate Change: It is and humans are doing it.

Minimum Wage: Raise it; the companies that pay people that amount will continue to find ways to screw their workers out of it later, but at least the poor fools will have it in their hands for a little while.

Protesting: For it.

Super Nintendo Classic: Mixed feelings. I'd like to have one, but I can also set up an emulator (I've done it before) and play that way. Still, my first SNES was gifted to me by my parents for Christmas, and it's possible that somewhere embedded inside my soul is a need to establish that I am an individual, that I am not my parents, that I am not bound by their mistakes, or even obligated to achieve their levels of success.

Also the controller cords are really short on this one, too. Seems like that would be annoying as heck.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In my idle fancies, I imagine tracking down all the blogs and sites I linked to before my blog template crashed and I lost them. Somewhere buried in my gmail account is the HTML, I think. I could learn HTML, tinker and polish, try to restore. Internet antique restoration.

The librarian in me, perhaps. Whenever I read a book, I wanted to own it. To be able to hold it in my hand as proof that the experience I had reading it was a real thing. It happened; I lived it. This is folly, I know. Experiences ripple outward forever and cannot be contained, even by our memory of it.

My friends who are writers, who wrote and were read by me, are everything they always were, maybe even a few things more. We lived in the daylight, in a vibrant dormitory of ideas, with many windows and no doors.

I come to this web journal with no links and I see an empty building, dark hallways, and dust drifting upwards.

I kind of thought it would last forever. Or at least longer than everything else that never lasts.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kelly and I went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. It was neat. The aquarium is big on letting you touch animals. There was a touch pool for horseshoe crabs, another for rays, and even one for jellyfish. The jellyfish were stinging us, we were told, but the nematocysts couldn't pierce our skin. Still, I didn't touch my eyes after touching them.

We also went to Disneyland. That was fun.

Oh, and authentic German food. Strong, meaty, and sour. I liked it.

I slept poorly last night. Lots of dreaming. Felt like I was too aware of myself, stubbornly conscious of my unconscious. My sleep schedule has been a bit erratic these past few days. Lots of time to reflect. It's been harder to spout my "time is an illusion" quips, anyway, as I feel further away from certain moments. Misery markers and joy divisions.

My fifteen minutes are up, time to distract myself in a less obvious manner.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There is an instrument called a handpan that is essentially a small steel drum you can hold on your lap. The appeal for me is that the it makes me think I could play parts of the soundtrack to the film "Solaris" composed by Clint Mansell. The handpan can be made to a specific tuning, just like regular steel drums, I guess, so maybe I could get all the notes played on some songs, like "First Sleep" and "Don't Blow it".

Then, in times of uncertainty, I could sit and play "Don't Blow it" as I ruminate. Fortunately, playing the instrument looks a little silly, which should prevent me from slipping into full-on brooding.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Productivity tip I just read: When you're in a productivity slump, do "bad work."

This my explain my entire life...

Still, the tip got me here. I've been working out of the satellite office and it's beautiful. The building has lots of glass and I can watch the day go by. And see the streets that this job keeps me off of. So far, frayed jean vests have not come back in style with the local toughs which is a deal-breaker. My idea of a cool gang is 80's futuristic, and I'll swear no allegiance otherwise.

Dreams are something I used to have. Recently I dreamed I was a volunteer coordinator again. There was a lot of yelling.

My days are passing idly, work during the day, walking and playing PS4 in the evening. My hours also changed, and I no longer get up at 4:30 am. It's a little strange; I've been used to being up and about when the rest of the world was not. My circadian rhythms are more aligned with this schedule, which means I no longer have to fight my body's natural urges. I hope I don't fall out of practice.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

We entered the lobby of a massive building. The guard told us to hit the button and the we elevator would take us to one room and one room only.

He was right.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The main thing to take away, at this point, is that we're still alone.

The threads of connection that held us all in place were torn asunder by the image of ourselves. We can lie, I suppose, but the voice spinning yarns is still our own.

We'd betray ourselves eventually.

Images cut through our doubts, replacing memories and conversation. I try to love the true flawed you, but it drifts farther away from me, without you to give me my flaws again.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seven years ago, my little brother died. His life I remember well. My grief after his death I remember less well, or rather not in the same way as my memory worked before that point. The week in the hospital I remember clearly. The angle of the hospital bed, which wall the chairs were against, the faces of the nurses and doctors as they hunched over the machine that was oxygenating his blood and returning it to his body.

I remember my father gently arranging Luis's favorite pillow (which Luis had had for years and served as a sort of abstract teddy bear that he had named "Pika" ) against his side. As he did so, I had remembered that same image from the first year of Luis's life that he spent entirely in the hospital, from the perspective of the child that I was, my father seeming so tall, bending over his pale infant, and the tears on his cheeks. The first time I had seen my father cry.

Endings are foretold by the beginnings, I'd read, and it appeared to be true this time.

That's the last period of time that I remember linearly. The images in my head that followed after Luis's death are rippled and warped, like a stained-glass window. Then that window shattered and fell into the ocean, colored shards dancing erratically into the depths, a glimmering swallowed by the darkness.

I imagine now, that grief is an ocean planet, with no solid core, a sea with no floor. Those broken pieces sank all the way to that center, fell through, and began to rise.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My father fell ill a couple weeks ago. He has always been reluctant to seek medical treatment and this was no exception. Eventually, he was convinced.

Seems better now. He came over last weekend to hang out. We watched The Force Awakens. We've spent more time together this past year.  He doesn't like going out, but I guess I'm just across the street so he makes an exception.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The beauty of the internet is that is reveals how much we live in our imaginations. Stories we tell ourselves, repeat to each other, and treat as "real" as all the other experiences that don't require a power source.

We stare at pictures of people and imagine they're looking back at us. Maybe I should take a series of photographs in which I look at the camera and think of specific people. Would that come across?

Donaldo is doing fine. The final analysis is complex migraines or something. A pain in the ass, certainly, but it shouldn't kill him.

Kelly got snowed in at work in Raleigh, North Carolina. The hotel lost power and they were shuttled to another one. She is flying back now. Watson L. Dog seemed pretty concerned last night when she didn't come home. I think so, anyway. He can tell the time of day pretty well, (having woken me up more than once when I slept through my alarm for work) but I'm not sure how far that extends. He moped all evening and didn't sleep in the bedroom like usual. When I got up to check on him he was curled up by the front door. It's possible he was clued in to my usual Sunday routine, like laundry. Maybe.

I dreamed a lot this weekend. More than usual. My medication limits my dreaming, I've noticed. In almost all aspects, the stuff makes me about 50% less interesting. Since the Venn diagram of "Interesting" heavily overlaps with "Being An Ass", I've come to accept it. For now. WINK.