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.

Somehow.

* * * * *

I made the mistake of checking woot.com. 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.