Just Another Day

I squeezed the tip of my left thumb mercilessly before I remembered that I had spent the previous day elbow deep in Old Bay coated crustaceans. It was not a splinter, it was a small crab-inflicted puncture. Oops. My hands take a lot of abuse. Relentless washing to fend off large-scale office cooties. Hours coated in clay. Dishes. Keyboards. Scrolling. Flipping pages.

Friday Happy Hour, dinner on the town, home in a stranger’s car for an early night. Two glasses of wine flattened me. Why do people drink? It’s fun for an hour and then I just want it to go away. Up early, breakfast, hours of pottery. Someone delivers decent tacos to my house now. It was hard to leave. Took a nap, played video games, watched a movie. Lazy days at home with the Mr. are some of my favorites.

Sunday we slept in, made breakfast, went for a short hike in the nearby park we’ve never managed to visit in nearly 3 years since moving into our place. We grabbed salads, showers, I chopped fruit, sat outside in the woods with friends and future friends to eat crabs and drink beer and hang out. Happy summer. Man, I wish I had a yard. Spent a good 30 minutes looking up into the trees at a bard owl. So cool. Got to pet lots of dogs, talk to  people, eat more food than is reasonable. Bailed on the second party, too tired. Again with the drinking, I really don’t like it. Trying not to fall asleep at 9 p.m. is a real thing.

Monday! A bonus day. To clean and relax and wonder if I can fit an entire apartment of stuff into our bedroom for a new floor. Popcorn for late lunch was totally unintentional, trip to the grocery store, sorting through books, killing monsters on the xbox. I could relive this day several times. It means a lot of time in my pajamas with my forehead pressed against his making stupid jokes and hanging out. I already know I will miss things like this at some point. My personal anxiety is trying not to preemptively miss them.  Sad for things that will be gone that have yet to occur.

It’s been two months since our bedroom water explosion. Sorting through stuff feels not unlike moving, but we’re not going anywhere. I hammered people with email this morning. Waiting. Waiting on the insurance company, waiting on the condo association, waiting on the flooring guy(s). It’s going to cost more than the insurance company will give us for what we want. How much more? At this point the pain is less about the money than it is about the status of purgatory. Stuck. It’s exasperating to send email after email and hear, I’m sorry I’m so busy, etc… these are all people who are paid, people I pay, condo dues or insurance I’ve invested money for a service that right now, is fucking useless to me. I don’t even necessarily expect to hear good news, I just need information. It’s been two fucking months. I can’t put anything away. My bedroom smells like mildew. I have a bunch of crap that I need to rent a truck to haul off to a dumpster. Speaking of which, if my insurance company didn’t suck they should probably be paying for that shit.

My stomach is pissed, fucking alcohol and fucking wheat. Why did I eat that shit. My knees hurt. Garbage complaints. Remember. No one is sick, or dying. Enjoy that nice car and the hipster office and your husband. Go home, do some yoga and make some dinner with your overpriced groceries. Try not to let this petty shit eat at you. You have no real problems. You had free lunch today courtesy of work. Crank some Slayer in those earbuds on the bus and keep moving. Write your stupid blog post on your laptop. Consume. Obey!

Meat suit.

I sat on the floor last night and my knee ached. I can’t sit cross-legged with both legs equidistant from the floor, it’s like a wire pulled taught. It’s not always the case but I think the 7 miles of hiking the previous day may have had something to do with it, or the cheeseburger. Wheat and I don’t always get along. Joint inflammation, bullshit.

When I was 19 I drove around in my first car, empty Mountain Dew cans rolling around in the back seat, smoking menthol cigarettes, sleeping 6 hours running on stimulants at 120 lbs of furious energy. I was tiny and intense. Like a thin wire vibrating with current.

Before I get in bed I try to remember to smear a thin layer of vaseline over my eyes so this tiny spot of rogue eyelid eczema doesn’t reappear. It’s not on both eyes but why tempt fate. The non-steroid medication I have from the dermatologist makes my skin burn like it’s on fire from the inside. It’s a great sensation so close to your eyes. Eyes that randomly water, so once every few weeks I’m holding a steaming hot washcloth to my eyeball to make sure my tear ducts do what they’re supposed to. Maybe it’s the lasik? Or hey, apparently the warm memory I have of my grandfather always carrying around a handkerchief was not because it was a classic gentleman thing to keep in your pocket but was, in part, because he had perpetually watering eyes. I wonder if no one told him about the washcloth trick. I remember he and my Grandma used to sit on the floor with us, I’ve seen it in old family VHS tapes. I wonder if he ever got old enough for that to be too hard. He died right after his 65th birthday so I hope not.

Suddenly 65 seems so young I want to grasp my entire life with both hands and never let go.

Waking up every day knowing that some part of this body will ail me, a twinge in my neck, a slightly upset stomach, an aching knee. Never anything intolerable but like a quiet pulse of mortality. My body is wearing, irreversibly. Another day older and closer to death. Is it fucking scary to read that? Sure it is. But only because it’s like a bucket of ugly truth water in your face. We are dying. By tiny degrees. Slower, less efficient. The peak of your physicality behind you, it’s where that lovely sardonic expression “youth is wasted on the young” comes from. That learned knowledge of just how fleeting and ephemeral everything about being human is. You change the oil and maintain the tire pressure and wax the whole thing but it’s still going to fall apart, require tune ups, eventually be a still hulking rusted shell. Parked.

I try to get 8 hours of sleep, if I don’t for more than a few days I start to feel broken. Emotional, unable to handle the more complex mental tasks that involve working, living, acting like a sane functional human being. I gave up sugar in my coffee with the occasional deviation. With my weight the highest it’s ever been pushing me from medium to large in clothes in a sick combination of vanity sizing and actual sizing reality, I try to be selective about where I throw sugar into my face. If I got to choose where that extra padding went perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. If I eat poorly for an entire day my lower abdomen inflates like a balloon and my digestive system typically stages a riotous protest for 12 to 24 hours. It makes me tired and hungry and annoyed. Vegetables, they’re friends.

I try to drink 2 liters of water every day. Sometimes that water comes from coffee, or kombucha or flavored mineral water. If I’m being evil it’s ginger ale or strong sugary tea but that’s rare. Alcohol in anything more than tame dinner party quantities has the potential to eat into both the quality or mere existence of the next day. An actual hangover is a punishing and frustrating affair that feels like throwing my precious and most valuable commodity into the toilet, my free time. The relief only truly arriving after 24 hours of “system” processing and another round of blissful sleep.

Sometimes I have issues with sciatica, usually if I’ve forgone exercise for too long. I’ve had the same knee surgically repaired twice, by and large it feels good. Sometimes I really miss soccer but the prospect of yet another surgery and the trauma of 6 months of rehab is just too significant of a hurdle, it’s humbling to realize that something you once enjoyed is beyond your reach. I guess age does equal wisdom in this instance, thinking about a third major ligament injury feels like inviting long term disaster. I like hiking and walking and running and generally being able to use my legs. I take the stairs whenever I can, two stints of crutches really drive home an appreciation for mobility that I try to be mindful of.

Mercifully I still sleep well and without difficulty. Camping in insane weather with my beloved but loud-snoring spouse notwithstanding I can sleep when I want to and insomnia is a demon that has never visited it’s suffering upon me.

When I’m outside exposed I coat my entire body in sunscreen, repeatedly. Skin cancer is not an obscure punchline anymore. I’m glad my forays into the land of the tanning bed were short lived, now my idea of color is just more tattoos. As my skin texture changes the incentive to decorate grows, it’s my party and I’ll color it if I want to.

Before I go to bed every night I eat two biotin gummies, who knows if it’s working but they’re like candy and I like having thicker hair, my nails are an afterthought because I’m always hacking them off to keep them out of my way on the pottery wheel. I dissolve a sublingual b-12 under my tongue and swallow: a capsule of turmeric, probiotic, vitamin d, fish oil and just introduced magnesium into the mix. If I add anything else I don’t think I’ll be able to get the whole lot down in a single mouthful.

Last month I finally had a troublesome tooth dealt with: root canal, temporary crown, permanent crown. It was creepy to feel that tooth ground down to a little nub and the permanent crown is this smooth alien object in my mouth, like a polished stone that I can tell is foreign when I run my tongue over it. My original equipment has started with small failings. It made me uneasy when I thought too hard about it … but like most changes it’s already faded to a footnote in the larger narrative of living.

When I wake up the idea of leaving the house without concealer is no longer an option. Being told you look tired gets really old after the 4th or 5th polite inference. I get it. Thanks. So I shower and shave and pluck and moisturize and perfume. Generally unless it’s freezing or special I don’t bother to blowdry. Special leave in conditioner for my hair so it’s not a scratchy pile of hay and now I’m up to three products to fill in my thinning eyebrows so I don’t look like a sleepy mole-faced ghost.

Beauty is fleeting and time consuming. And less and less meaningful. The chase is on. Hopefully with age the appetite for vanity wanes and my gaze shifts farther outwards and inwards. To what’s inside and to everyone else. House of cards, castle on sand, etc… No sense is driving yourself into frustration for a thing that will be increasingly elusive. Appearance pales in favor of function.

I just want to FEEL well and BE HERE and holy hell FUCK ALL THE REST. I know so many beautiful unhappy people.  I just want to be engrossed and enlightened and engaged. How I look doing that is a currency I don’t want to spend too much time managing.

I refuse.

I don’t know – but that’s ok.

I don’t know where it’s coming from. Actually that’s inaccurate, it’s always kicking around upstairs, it’s just a matter of taking time to giving voice to what I’m thinking. I want to tread the careful barrier between usefully “blowholing” and thinking critically and writing as a useful form of self-evaluation and analysis, versus turning garden variety normal human stress into a giant mountain of oppressive bullshit.

Transition does this to people. It’s normal. Talking about it is normal. Thinking about it a lot is normal. Notice I didn’t say too much because really what is too much if you’re not walking face-first into a legitimate self-inflicted disorder.

I am in such a heavy engineering environment. I am out of my element but with each new job I guess I sift through the contents of my professional career and ask myself, what is my element? I mean how am I rounding the bend towards 40 and still completely up in the air about what I want to be doing. I have a decent length of professional continuity but in hindsight it feels like an accident. “And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?”  I feel like I’ve done things “right” atleast in protecting myself from ruin or having too disjointed of a resume. I put myself through school. I made what I wanted professionally happen. I used my skills and experience and education and found a way to marry those things into a path that so far, I have enjoyed. In hindsight it’s kind of amazing to me that I was able to actually do this. It seemed really abstract and complicated when I graduated 7 years ago. I feel like I decided to do something and was actually able to exert my will over the outcome. It’s kind of a big deal to me when I stop to savor it.

So without rehashing all of the crap I was rambling to M about last night basically I find myself in a new situation. It drives me to a lot of questions about the things I’m learning, what the motivation is, if I’m wired correctly for the type of environment I find myself in, if any of that even matters.

At times I miss my old job, but not because it was good AT ALL (parts of it were good, I feel like I did make the best of it and learned a lot…), only because it was familiar and I felt capable and confident about what I was doing, what I knew and my ability to contribute. It’s just that outside of the actual “work” it was a totally poisonous, negative, terrible environment. I am *very* glad to find myself in a situation now where the vast majority of my energy and thought and the stress I deal with is related to the “work” I’m learning about and how to do things and NOT on the mountain of politics and personal bullshit that seemed to completely overtake my last job. It was so unbelievably exhausting to be in that environment and have so little of your time spent on the work that you were supposed to be doing.

I guess the “key takeaway” from this ramble, for me ….is to stop beating myself up for not knowing what I don’t know. The people who hired me knew this. I did not falsely represent myself, my intelligence or my abilities. Not knowing how to code or the lingo or having the same background as the technical people here does not make me dumb or less capable. It has nothing to do with me being an intellectual equal. I am a smart capable person who has always found a way to thrive in any job I’ve found. I make friends, I make a point to be an asset, I learn things quickly (yes even on this large and varied of a scope) and I will be a useful and valuable member of the “team” so to speak once I have a better idea of what I’m doing. It does me and the people around me a huge disservice to spend any time disparaging myself for not knowing things. There isn’t anything wrong with that and I have got to stop thinking of it that way.

I have NEVER been the type of person who would want to waste time lying about my abilities or knowledge to save face, because I wanted to look knowledgeable, that’s stupid and unhelpful and will only be a wall between me and actually learning anything. What a sad self-defeating way to operate.

I can only be patient with myself and with the so far, really friendly and helpful people around me. The rest of all these large existential questions can wait. I’m enjoying it, I will learn things. There may be no massive lightbulb moment of “this is what I want to do exactly” and that’s ok. It’s ok that I don’t know. Everyone has to start from somewhere.

The Joys of Adulting

Tuesday   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First day of summer it’s like the DC Elder gods heard us. It’s the kind of oppressive heat that starts early early in the morning and is only appropriate and pleasurable if you’re in a caftan with a good buzz anticipating a visit to a body of water within the near future.

Walking to get coffee, riding the bus to work, being outside FOR any reason that is not to travel between air-conditioned boxes is so unpleasant. I can’t even. But here it is. Season of my birth, which hey when I don’t have to worry about my appearance (by worry I mean not be a sweating nasty mess) is fiiiine. Otherwise this is when moving to Norway or Iceland or Maine seems like a swell idea. So that’s the small talk out of the way.
I feel better than yesterday. In fact I didn’t even feel bad all of yesterday, it’s rare that a single mood dominates an entire waking day in my life but I imagine that’s true for anyone. Work being slow and not keeping me occupied but at the same time requiring that I can’t tune it out to tackle other things leaves me in a weird limbo.
I started back on reading the book I’ve had (took a break over the weekend), it’s Joe Hill’s latest (the Fireman) and so far I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s end of the world stuff, one of my favorite genres. I think largely because that sort of scenario creates such a fertile landscape for the best and worst of people and resonates with my constant thoughts about focusing on things in life that really matter. Death, chaos, and hardship serve as irrefutable elements to forcing people into shedding whatever bullshit they surround themselves with and get to the core of who and what matters to them, or they unravel like poorly made dolls but it’s a thought-provoking spectacle in either case. 1984, Anthem, Oryx & Crake, Dogstars, The Stand, Hunger Games, Brave New World, The Road, The Girl With All the Gifts, Blindness, Hyperion and on and on and on.

Riding the bus to work today was the variation of experience where I am calm about being in the middle of the diverse crush of humanity. Sometimes it’s less than thrilling.

Today (Wednesday)

Things went slowly downhill yesterday. I left work on time and got home and got everything moving for my ideal evening. Sweet potatoes in the oven, cleaned up a bit, found the yoga series I wanted to start doing on YouTube, sat down on the couch to read and wait for M to get home.  He calls and let’s me know at almost 6 that he’s just leaving work… I’m disappointed but it’s not a big deal. The rain kicks in for a real show and then the fun begins. Water starts pouring through the existing hole in the ceiling and walls from our first major issue back in the first week of May.

I scramble to get the sheets and blankets off our bed. Email our HOA president. Grab pots and pans and towels. We ended up sitting on the floor picnic style to eat dinner and just chill. Nothing else happened. No yoga, no little household chores. Stupid bullshit with this condo eats up another evening.

Today we already had an appointment to have the leak source assessed and I’ve been planning to work from home. M took the day off and the damage assessment guy is early but really nice. Says to him the cause is obvious (gutter and downspout and masonry issues.) You can even see the dark streak along the building where the water has been permeating the masonry. I can’t help but feel that our condo people and insurance spent all this time delaying because they were hoping it was a cheaper problem. At this point I don’t care. It’s been almost two months. Now I have ANOTHER insurance claim open because these additional damages have to be dealt with separately. The water mitigation people came back and I have industrial fans in my room and MORE missing drywall and insulation. At least this time they were able to just tear off the pieces of nasty smelly carpet that were damaged.  Now we’re out $1000 so far in insurance deductibles.

And to top it off the tasks I’m getting into at work now are more complex. I am feeling intimidated and overwhelmed with the amount of new things to learn. I feel like I should have been a developer for the last 10 years to understand half of this. I know my current negatively swayed emotional state is not helping matters but this entire day has felt like an enormous trial.

I just want my apartment put back together. Keeping things clean an organized here lends itself to my overall feeling of sanity and control. I realize it’s fake and illusory but not having it is really making this entire shit show worse.

It’s never “just…”

Bubbling up from the well of the fitness and nutrition aware, I spot this snack I grabbed from a local cafe once. I’m still hungry for reasons I don’t comprehend. It’s “just” five grams of sugar. Really “just”?

Like the article I read earlier decrying the environmental perils that industrialized animal farms inflict on the land and it’s unsustainable… I agree… but my body and my hours of reading suggest that my animal product heavy diet is healthy. I silently thank the universe that I am comfortable in my station as a non-reproducing human. It’s JUST the planet, but what about the diet I view as healthy for myself, for a kid… it’s JUST your kid. I spend the next half a block wondering how quickly I might make myself insane with internal debate about what a kid could survive, I’ve seen 3 year olds clutching sodas and hot fries on the bus, that would make me feel cold with nausea. That word doesn’t work anywhere.

I realize that grey area inhabited by “just” is the field of madness, where an overpowered brain may just work itself into a frenzy and push a typically camouflaged sane person into the realm of medical emergency. Madness.

I feel like that a lot of the time. Like I’m just one unexpected experience away from Sylvia Plath. I should then feed myself some misguided ego trip about the border between inspired genius and insanity. In the scheme of things I’m comfortable being dull, so fine I have no problem saying it.

I think honestly it’s my aching tooth but I dreamt last night, the main arc of the story is lost but in it I was dealing with fatigue and some unnamed illness. As the narrative progressed (I have foggy memories of it just being a dream about me living my ordinary life) I found out that I had some fatal auto-immune something or other and 5 years to live. I was immediately preoccupied with what the average quality of that remaining time would be and my husband cooperatively drove me to the studio so I could make pottery.

The obvious lesson about the fragility of your health and unknowable duration of your life aside, I think as far as art goes I’ve found a true love (third time’s the charm) with ceramics.

January Reads

So I finished….

  • Tigerman – by Nick Harkaway which was ❤
  • The Wasp Factory – by Iain Banks, which was… O_o, but I enjoyed.
  • Blood Kin – by Ceridwen Dovey – also very good !

I am currently reading:

  • The Art of Asking – by Amanda Palmer
  • Fragile Things – by Neil Gaiman

& I have… Stone Mattress – by Margaret Atwood in the hopper!

Diversified Pursuits

I worked with a girl once who was in the process of losing an extraordinary amount of weight. A whole person’s worth. She was our office manager/admin/front desk person. She ended up leaving, spending more time at the gym, working on a certification here or there and is now a personal trainer. By all accounts she appears to have been made for it. She turned her personal journey and determination into a career, she found her niche and restructured her entire life around this pursuit. She looks healthy and happy and awesomely pleased in her new gig.

My mother is surround by over 25 pairs of small, grabby, sometimes-dirty hands all day. She teaches these little hordes how to read and write and negotiate the world. She’s met every spectrum of parents and taught kids, mostly your typical little kids and others who by all accounts were complete psychopaths and future serial killers. She’s been doing it for decades. She still calls each new group of little maniacs her “kids”.

I have a friend from high school who had an energy level that was unparalleled. He also seemed to have inherent talent for 99% of the things he tried. Skateboarding, drawing, and then suddenly cooking. His enthusiasm was so infectious I remember, early on when he just started the first of multiple culinary schools, we talked animatedly about mushrooms… for half an hour. He’s the “chef de cuisine” at an award winning restaurant downtown.

I could easily pen another dozen examples of family, close friends, and acquaintance who all share this sort of quality. They have a professional niche. They found their passion, their skill, their calling and they’re doing it. By pointing this out I’m not attempting to reduce the sum of their lives to their professional pursuits, or to suggest that each of these people wouldn’t excel at something else, but they’ve all found some level of satisfaction in a singular activity. In compliment I’m sure I could also compile an overlapping list of people who, perhaps not professionally, but personally, have found a variant of this passion. Maybe it’s too obscure or impractical to make a living at, but they’ve found a way to become an accomplished… gardener, baker, seamstress, wood worker, etc…Basically the common thread is that each of these people has found their “thing”. A defining skill that drives them, more so than all others.

I… do not feel like I am one of these people.

To clarify, from a professional standpoint, I am good at my job. Like most motivated empathetic souls I like being good at what I do, helping people, and being seen as both competent and valuable. I’ve never been fired. The vast majority of my colleagues have always remarked that my presence and contributions were both positive and useful.

But I have no specific niche. Or there is none so strong that I maintain that space indefinitely. Like human plinko, bouncing from one peg to the other until I find the end of the board. I don’t do “bored”. Save for the times where I’m trapped in an office with nothing to do, I’m a restless soul restricted only be resources and time. (Read that: money and time not spent at work).

I have made soap and attempted to learn to sew and partially mastered half of knitting and hope to return to that. I’ve taken photographs since junior high, it’s one of the only reasons I have a smart phone. I’ve lifted kettlebells and played dozens of seasons of soccer. I’ve helped apply zombie makeup to a group of 50 people for a music video. I know a lot more than your average citizen about insulin production in the human body and the latest on dietary science. I make jewelry and more recently started pottery again for the third time in my life. I blogged through my entire bankruptcy filing nearly 10 years ago, through my step-father’s alcoholism, through a really broken relationship with a decent person but I still can’t figure out how to write fiction.

People have told me I’d make a great: lawyer, advice columnist, nutritionist, personal trainer, professor, paleo-chef, and that I would pen a great work of literature.

The truth is I don’t like any of those things enough to want to make them the sole focus of my life.

If I won the lottery I imagine I’d live a bit like Anthony Bordain. Travel, food, family, recreation, writing. And until then I try not to beat myself up because I can’t ever seem to simmer down enough to focus on a singular thing.

I take care of myself, my people, and my mind in whatever ways seem plausible, or necessary, or keeps me sane. Sometimes the fact that I don’t have one shining characteristic or pursuit that I am awesome at makes me feel somehow as if I am missing a particular accomplishment, but mainly, I realize that’s insane. And I will go about my life with the dial cranked to 11 and fit in as much as I can.

The State of Things…

  • So I moved officially, to here.  Neither of the two most prevalent LJ export tools have worked for me. I don’t really want to move all of that noise here but a non-dubious archive would be nice.  I tried out Medium, and I guess if I were a writer/writer, other kind of writer that might work but the lack of fluidity to read the content of others and the lack of comment driven interface were… not exactly what I was looking for.  So here we are.
  • I also re-skinned my writing portfolio since it lives on this platform, but the content is in desperate need of an update. Though… I need to generate more original creative content because I’m not really seeing that as a place to pimp my wares as someone with a talent for style guides, user guides and other techie instructional materials.
  • Floodgate 2014 is still puttering along. At this point I am merely grateful that the damage wasn’t in a more problematic area. As I started writing this I stopped to call the insurance company because we’re still waiting on our estimate to be finalized and apparently the *awesome* owner of the unit (and the HOA Prez) has yet to respond to four phone calls requesting information about the cause of the leak, meaning our claim is stuck with the insurance company until he decides to cooperate and provide the details they need to complete the claim with the information about the source of the leak. I’m worried that this will drag on endlessly because of his horribly uncooperative demeanor, once he figured out that I was not going to allow him to estimate and repair the damages outside of the purview of insurance. Keeping in mind that he was never apologetic and has been evasive and passive aggressive as soon as I mentioned our insurance, trying to bully me into doing things his way. He also looked me in the eye after I told him that water ran *through*  my HVAC and I was concerned about damages and said that the unit was “designed to handle moisture and it shouldn’t be an issue”. The HVAC tech knew immediately that there was water, the motor had water spots and one of the electrical panels was friend. He told us it wouldn’t have lasted through the winter and the repairs put us out over $2K. I can’t imagine that the owner of the other unit would have been eager to write me a check come winter when our unit stopped working and we were stuck replacing it. Ugh.
  • Prior to Floodgate 2014 was parking brake debacle 2014, which luckily resulted only in the destruction of one portion of a minivan bumper and either our safe driving records are blanketing us, or it hasn’t caught up, but we just got our annual car insurance renewal and it hasn’t gone up. So YEAH, I’ll take that very small victory.
  • I renewed for pottery class, I’ve been out of the studio for over a month so hopefully I still have some basic idea of what I’m doing and I can renew my quest to make awesome mugs for people (and then move on to other specific vessels- see also, berry bowls, kittie bowls, anything larger than a medium sized bowl :P)
  • I did not, as of yesterday morning, want to drag myself around the city solo to see Amanda Palmer. It’s weird because I have *no* problem doing things alone – if that was my plan. I guess I am just like a fucking tortoise sometimes when dealing with changing circumstances and situations where I had a certain idea of how things would transpire. My inability to roll quickly with the punches can be really frustrating. But I rallied and went. I was able to walk, get myself delicious ramen in a typically crowded restaurant and get in line early enough to get a ridiculously awesome seat and a free cookie while I waited outside. I enjoyed the show and walked out feeling a lot better than when I’d gone in. I have a lot of abstract observations about the crowd, but in reality I was not there for them and I think I’d rather sit on those thoughts some to let them marinate. I will say thought, that when dealing with a truly indie artist you get a lot of interesting people…

Conflicting Advice

So I read a Buzzfeed/Jezebel/Lifehacker article. It told me that repeating the positive things I wanted to accomplish would help me feel more positive and happy. No wait, it told me that if I focused too often on those things I would end up feeling worse. It told me to not compare myself to other people, to keep things in perspective, to write lists, to not write lists because it would give me anxiety to stare at a heaped up pile of incomplete tasks. Fuck… now I can’t remember what it told me.

Is there such a thing as being over-informed? In the burgeoning days of the internet I developed a reputation with my mother’s colleagues as an oracle. I would know. I could find you the best deal on a printer, the best website for cheap airlines, articles about health. And if I didn’t know I could find it.

Maybe that tenacity for information had backfired.

I consume consume consume information all the time. Technically I’m paid to write it. Sometimes because I work in a smaller business I end up performing the glorious task of back end data entry into other entities online presences. A repetitive cut and paste of information that after four hours makes me wonder how long it will be before I have arthritis in my wrists. They can add their whining voices to the chorus of my knees.

I took a month long vacation from Facebook earlier this year. I’m still struggling to figure out why I can’t bring myself to delete it. And why knowing that I want to delete it I can’t force myself to regulate my interaction with the site. I hate Facebook. I’m sure most of the people who ever spend more than five minutes talking to me have heard me complain about it. Maybe it’s the lingering pain of disappointment that it never shifted into anything cooler than the LiveJournal posse I had a decade ago. At first it seemed better than Myspace, initially I missed the information about music but then suddenly everyone had abandoned Myspace and everyone you’d ever met was on Facebook.

Sometime last week I realized… like a shitty light bulb exploding on a badly wired lamp. Facebook was like a great dive bar, you go there with your friends, sometimes you invite a colleague and you all talk to each other frankly, unedited. It is dark and funny and the drinks are strong and you have interesting meaningful conversations. And then suddenly you look around five years later and you hate the bar and realize it’s devolved into something like a soulless chain restaurant and your whole goddamn family is in the bar and every coworker from the last 8 years and a bunch of people from high school that practically ran to get away from you want to line up to paw over every detail of your mundane life. And you wonder what the fuck you’re doing there at all. That sounds like some sort of deviation from the plot of the World’s End, but you know what I mean.

And it becomes just another distraction. Because it’s not giving you anything meaningful. You’re not connecting or sharing with real people. It’s a cacophony of Buzzfeed links and memes and “What Drink Are You?”, punctuated by people with some pathological desire to thump captive audiences over the head with deliberately inflammatory topics. Some newly evolved form of the drunk guy picking a fight in a bar. A conga line of irate under-informed assholes shouting at each other without any real facts. It’s contagious. I’m sure I’ve been one of those assholes myself at some point.

So I’m fleeing. I posted an entry of a shitty meandering train of thought “thing” I wrote weeks ago when I was still grappling with the mechanics of death. It’s two weeks later and I feel like I’ve been shoved through a threshing machine. I cleaned out a dead man’s apartment, my car’s parking brake failed and it rolled away in a parking lot and hit another car. Then my ceiling exploded with water from another tenants apartment, a situation brought to my attention at 3 a.m. So I made 400 phone calls and then spent most of a Saturday standing around with friends so I could ride roller coasters. And then Halloween came and went and here I am trying to make peace with the infinity of mundane routines that are required for me to live my life in pursuit of eking out every minute of good, positive, happy, interesting, enriching things that I can cram into the non working hours.

Probably the busiest month of my life in years is over. And I have a lot to say about nothing. I’ve learned about the nuances of water mitigation. And that my floor is actually wood. And that creepy old men will say they love your Halloween costume even if they have no fucking idea what it is… no wait… I knew that bit of wisdom already. And that going through a dead relative’s stuff makes you feel like you’re on tv, but only because half the carpet has been cut out and it looks like a post ax murder Law & Order set. And that some of your black humor is actually from your unfailingly upbeat mother.

I’m just writing because I’m restless. It seems like the thing to do, even if no one is listening.