Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Courage to Sleep

Posted: July 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

As I think about the fact that this year has already crept well past the halfway-over mark, I think about how the rest of 2018 will go. Not like, in the world view, but in the personal sense. Some things aren’t going so well, other things seem full of promise. Balance is….not really here yet. I keep trying to force myself into doing a little bit of everything instead of just gorging on the one thing that I feel is most important, but it’s a process. And then since I’m not feeling totally well, it’s a little too easy for me to check out early today. But I feel like….well, I’m an optimist. I think by New Year’s, I’ll love where I am. But I recognize that if I want to be doing well by September, this is going to be a long summer even if it’s mostly gone now.

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Mr. Brown, Jr.

Posted: July 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

Towards the end of Saturday, I started to feel sick, but I started to feel like I was getting over being sick. And that’s weird, because I thought, I’m not sick. And it’s a respiratory thing, and those things are my Achilles heel. So without being too wiped to be unable to function, I’ve spent almost the past week feeling like I’m on the tail end of being sick. Unproductive cough, dry/sore throat, and a weird one, a tightness of the upper torso. The whole thing feels sore and feels better when I press on it or squeeze it from shoulder to just above the stomach. Done my fluid flush, and it got rid of the sore throat part, but the cough is still there as is the soreness. I’m not a fan of it, but it doesn’t feel serious in any way shape or form. I just want to be able to sleep through the night and also not feel mildly irritated.

Uncommon

Posted: July 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

I did something just now that, uhh, I probably should be a little ashamed to admit I don’t do very often. I took an hour and I just did nothing. Really, not a damn thing. I moved some files around on my computer while listening to a podcast and it was glorious. I wish it had rained, I have a lot of things to do today, but I saw an opportunity to just sort of occupy a moment of peace and I took it. I used to be a lot better(?) about…not spending my time productively. And I think under the right circumstances I could be again. I’ve read a lot recently about the importance to not just run the engine in the red all of the time, and I could probably be better served in terms of my energy levels to do so more often. But it was helpful, and I feel good. That is all.

Apostrophical

Posted: July 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Rain has been in the forecast every day this week, and most days next week. The meteorological prophecy has only held true about 60% of the time, maybe more. I’ve been asleep at times. It’s made productivity pretty decent, and sleep schedule deteriorate into fine powder. I’ve been up for about 14 hours now. I’ll be up another two to four. Mt. Books-to-Read has been dropping ever so steadily, with some assignments left to be done before their deadline and the rest of the time spent reading most likely. There’s still a LOT that I want to do, big plans that I have for some fun projects that I hope will be fruitful, but I’m forcing myself to eat my vegetables first, both literally and figuratively. Once this book mountain starts to get a little skinnier, and I start sending out some more articles that I owe clients, then I’ll make the move to start some activities.

Critique

Posted: June 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

I should be better at failing. Not that I want to be, not that I haven’t done it enough that I should be already, but I should be better at it. I bristle at being told I’ve done a bad job the exact same way I did when I was probably, I don’t know, 5 or 6 or 8 or 11. Even when I can look at the facts and say, you know what, that’s a matter of opinion, I’m proud of the work I’ve done, it still affects me the same way emotionally to be told that I’ve messed something up in a fashion that it freezes me. It bums me out to the point of damn near ending my day whether I get the feedback at 11:30PM or 3:15AM. And so I’m sitting here, staring at an email, knowing the validity of my work and what I put into something, and to be told that it’s not good enough, and maybe I need to take less on, and this, and that, and I want to stand up and defend myself but I know my position in this series of events. I sit back, I wait for the playcall, and then I go out and do what needs to be done. But for now, all I can see scrolling across closed eyelids is a million knee-jerk reactions to simply not being able to let “this was a poor job” roll off my back.

This is my platform. I use it for things, mostly inconsequential. I spend an exorbitant amount of time here writing about sleeping schedules, or work that needs doing, some scheme I’ve cooked up to take all the ducks of my life and conscript them into a neat, tidy row. These things are evergreen topics for me because I’m bad at sleeping, and only slightly better at organization and task management. When I took up daily blogging almost half of my life ago, I spent that time doing things like pining over love, or dramatizing my woes and covering myself in depression the way a pig does with mud. For a few years, it was a place where I dropped my hot takes and spoke my mind about all kinds of things. Some of it still matters to me, most of it doesn’t. Then I fancied myself a full-time writer and I began to write fiction here, as well as the occasional long-form journal. I was introduced to the concept of flash fiction and I said, hey, that’s basically a daily writing exercise, why not compile it here? So I did. Then I grew resentful of it, not coming up with ideas so readily, realizing that it was a path to literary muscle but no real financial benefit. The blog goes on my resume. It’s there to say yes, I do in fact write every day. Yes, I know you won’t click it.

Anyways, the point is that blogging to me is a purer form of the internet soapbox than that which social media provides. It’s right there in the name – social media brings with it social constructs. One should be considerate of what they say because certain things are not polite conversation. At least, that’s what’s baked in. We’ve gotten away from that, long before 2018 but certainly now that we’re here, yes, we are akin to Neptune from the sun in terms of social niceties and considerations. And I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing, but know that I will post something to Facebook in the least offensive fashion possible: there is a social contract in place there. Then I will turn to Twitter and complain about the people on Facebook. The medium is different. Your endorsements are limited in scope: you can like it, you can parrot it, or you can comment. And in Twitter, the game is different. If you comment dissent, you’ve lost. The tweeter won the game of no-blink chicken and got you to say something under their post, but the original post always sits on top. If you disagree with someone on Twitter, you @ them. It’s a glove slap, a public challenge. But you lob verbal artillery from your own walls, staying out of the trenches. On Facebook this is viewed as passive-aggressive. Cowardly. On Twitter it’s the only way to war.

And then on the blog, I keep it antiseptic largely. This is because I’m in my thirties now, I’m not in the mood to swap hot takes lacking nuance and understanding in my areas of expertise. Come to me with something interesting to say, or a question, or open ears. It’s an arrogant way to operate, but again, the medium is different. Here I can say what I like because I’ve registered this domain. It’s mine alone to use. There are other bloggers, many of whom use WordPress as well, but this is my picket fence. My property line. My neighborliness extends only as far as the welcome mat that is the comment section; again, a social nicety. You may ring my doorbell, but I am in no way inclined to answer said door. This is my house, with opaque walls and open curtains. I may look like I’m doing the dishes, but you can’t see the lack of pants. There are freedoms here that I get away with, but also, I am a citizen of the internet. Not wearing clothes while doing the laundry is a bit different than firing off a gun into the ceiling every 20 minutes. Some things disturb others.

I’m rambling. I have a larger point to make and that is that your feeds are not your own. They are comprised of the people that you have chosen to listen to. And you can also choose to stop listening. But it’s reckless to cut somebody off on the highway and slam on the brakes to let them know that you saw them eating McDonald’s and it doesn’t seem like a heart-healthy choice. The feed is about listening. The wall is about talking. And while it may seem like a two-way street, it’s not. I’ll let you do an experiment. Think about someone you admire: an athlete, an author, a celebrity or comedian or world leader or anybody at all. Now, go comment on something they’ve said on social media. You could even try posting directly without tying it to a comment. Now wait for a response. 99% of the time, you’re not going to get one. And the reason is that it’s not a two-way conversation. It may look like one, it may have all the promise and allure of one, but it isn’t. It never has been. If that person reached out and says something back, it’s either because they’re bored, they’re argumentative, they’re trying to appear down-to-earth, or they’ve hired a pro-active social media manager.

So when I do comment on someone else’s status, or @ them in a Twittering fashion, I always try to don the moniker of the guest. Before the days of blogging as a term the world knew, we had websites. And on these websites, eons and eons ago when the dinosaurs roamed the internet, it was a common occurrence to install a guestbook. It was a simple means of allowing people to write a simple message that amounted to “Hello, I have viewed your website, I like these things/you could also add this” and that was it. The name was really intelligently chosen but maybe it also informed the kinds of interaction it created. Maybe all websites do that. Because a website does not stir the senses the way spoiled food or the roar of a predator does. They can be seen, theoretically, and maybe even heard, but then….all marketing can be. Social media has us under its spell that because its intention is to bring people together (it’s not really that anymore, hate to break it to you), we should be able to roam in and out of each other’s lives like vagrants, ready to drop judgment on some arbitrary point of view and then leave again to go watch a music video or get sports highlights.

In order to get a handle on itself again and right the ship, social media must either declare itself devoid of marketing, abandoning any hope of profitability in the name of human interaction, or it must embrace it wholly, setting the expectation front and foremost that brands are more important than people, and that if you want to feel important, you too must play the game. This is how it is now, really, if you consider what you consume and what you scroll past, but we are still trying to have it both ways. And neither one of these extremes will be adopted by your social media companies because in all the years of the internet, that is not how the internet has worked. The big fish don’t eat the small ones, they simply swim in front of them, preventing them from being seen until everyone looks at the big fish. And then the people get bored of looking at the same big fish, and they go to another aquarium. And all those fish start jockeying for position and size trying to figure out how to best leverage that new platform into something that makes them famous, rich, important.

So, all that being said, my earlier point still stands. This is the place I come to speak without ever really considering that anyone might comment (and if you do, I’m not even really thankful. I’m not even really interested in reading it. You want to communicate, message me directly. You want to stoke my ego, retweet me.), and can speak my mind mostly freely. So hey, grumpy old fucks I’ve never met before who would rather discredit me than have a conversation about something — go choke on a dick. There, I said it. And maybe a little more succinctly than I would have liked to, but that’s fine. I know how the internet game works. If I thought for a second that you’d A) end up here and B) work through 1500 words to get to me speaking my mind, I probably would have just bottled it up and tried to move on. But then they say that sort of thing isn’t good for your health. So I’ve chosen the correct medium to say something entirely unfriendly, and I’ve even taken into the consideration the likelihood of your attention span. I look forward to reading your response, correctly posted on a blog of your own design and curation. Good day.

Bait/Switch

Posted: June 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

There’s some baby birds in the nest again this year, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow on another batch of kids. As a result, I’ve had to hose a lot of bird shit off my front door and front step, and as a result, the hose water has attracted a (for New Mexico) healthy amount of mosquito activity to our front door. Which I’m not thrilled about, but I’m trying to take the positive spin on it and hey, maybe the birds will eat the mosquitoes. Do birds eat mosquitoes? Will they? I have high hopes. As a result, I kind of view my front door a little more warily these days, hesitant to go out and brave bug bite potential. Yesterday I opened the garage door to go out and get the mail. My external (spoken aloud to nobody) reasoning: I don’t want to upset the newborns or the parents. Internally, there’s no kidding anybody. I will be using the garage door again today for the same purpose.