Because sometimes I'm just fucking right...

Category: Blog

Just general ramblings

Books of 2022

Below is the list of books I’ve both read and listened to over the course of 2022. I’m disappointed because I felt like I did more reading this year. I also feel like I’ve missed a book or two in this list. This upcoming year I will keep track as I read them. These are listed in no particular order. I will also update the list as the year finishes out. As a side note, all the eBooks are books I’d never read before but in the Audio Book section, only The Midnight Library was a new listen.

eBooks

Audio Books

Welcome Back, Old Friend

True creativity only seems to come when I am deeply sad or distressed. Times of emotional turmoil and utter despair wring out the best of my creativity. I find myself inspired to write more, sing more, create more. At times, it’s the only way I can get out the feelings welling inside, even when I don’t know what they are or why I’m feeling them. I’ve gotten better over the years of recognizing when I’m upset, but it’s rare that I know why, unless it’s a reaction to something that happened just then. Often times though, when I’m driving home from work or sitting watching TV or making dinner or whatever, a tightness will grow in my stomach, like a vice tightening on my inner soul. It grows tighter and tighter and eventually I think, “Huh, I’m upset about something. I wonder what.” Sometimes I’ll try to figure it out. I’ll go through my day, think about what happened and who said what and, in general, what could have upset me. Sometimes I figure it out, most of the time I don’t. Those are the times when I grab my guitar and sing a few songs. It makes me feel better, the tightness goes away. Problem solved. Though not really. Since I never knew what was wrong, I never addressed the issue.

When I was young (14ish) a friend and I were picked up for shoplifting. My mom, as moms are want to do, overreacted. Decided it meant there was something seriously wrong with me and sent me to a therapist. Nothing really came of it except learning one thing. I repress my emotions. Shove them way down deep and hide from them. I do it so well, I don’t know I’m doing it. It makes for the most fantastic explosions of anger and rage when you least expect it over the dumbest of things. Combine that with my issues with anxiety and for much of my life, I’ve been a bit prone to angry outbursts. That changed about 10 years ago. Suffice to say, I made a change in my life that removed a huge part of the anxiety. That didn’t fix the suppressing of the emotions but it did take away a lot of the continual rage.

My therapist at 14 (and also later therapists in my adult life) attribute my emotional suppression to the environment I was raised in. Not to say that my parents didn’t love me. They did. They loved me and my sister immeasurably. However, love is not enough to make a good parent. They parented as their parents did: with rage and fists. I never doubted my parents loved me. Of that I was always sure they did. But I also never doubted their inability to control their anger and rage. Dad was much worse than Mom though they both used their hands to solve problems. Never with each other though. Only with us. I learned to hide what I was feeling no matter what because the wrong expression could cause so much more problems. I can sum up my emotional childhood this way: In the 5th grade, when I was 10, we went around the room and shared with the class the thing we were most afraid of in the world. Most of the kids said things like nuclear war. When it got to my turn my response was simply my dad. There was nothing more terrifying or immediate to me than my father’s rage. If you’re wondering why this didn’t trigger any calls to social services, this was 1984/1985. Child abuse wasn’t really a thing back then. As long as you didn’t come to school covered in bruises or with repeated broken bones you were considered fine. And, for the most part, we were. I learned early on how to take care of myself and not to trust anyone. Ever. It made for a very lonely childhood but I survived. Unfortunately, that trait carried into adulthood and it’s one I still hold close. Mainly because every time I’ve loosened up and trusted someone, I was forcefully reminded why I adopted that stance on life at such an early age. Humans can’t be trusted. They will always disappoint. Maybe not today or tomorrow but at some point when you least expect it, betrayal rears its head and the pain you thought you’d left behind in childhood wraps you in its loving embrace and whispers in your ear “Welcome back, old friend. Oh how I’ve missed you!” And what’s really sad, is that somewhere deep inside, you feel relief at the familiarity of the pain.

Online Presence

I’m trying to up my online presence lately. Not for any real reason. Perhaps just to assuage my own ego? Not sure. Either way, I’m trying to be a bit more consistent in posting content. To here, to instagram, I’ve considered posting to Twitter. Why? No particular reason other than I’m bored. It gives me something to focus on other than video games and watching TV. I guess the point is that I’m trying to flex my brain a bit more than I have been for the past several years. It seems I’ve let my interests and hobbies atrophy. I rarely write anymore. I only occasionally pick up my guitar and play or sing. I have plenty of time in the evenings for these activities but I tend to just sit and watch TV or play video games. That’s it. I haven’t even been reading much. It sounds like depression but I assure you it’s not. I’m not depressed. I think with the pandemic and the lock down I’ve just settled into a habit of just being present but not really doing anything. I feel the need to change that. I’ve considered writing again. I’ve not done any creative writing in a very long time. I’m also trying to play music more. I need to get myself back into a bit better order and then I am hoping to start writing music again. I’ve not written a new song in a very long time. It all comes back to lack of desire. My life has become sedentary. And I think part of that is dissatisfaction with where I am and where I want to be. I need to get my shit together…

When does it get easy?

Do you remember when you were a kid and you looked at your parents and thought they had their shit together? Like, they knew what the were doing and how things were going to turn out? I vaguely remember that feeling. It went away at a young age for me. I do remember thinking that at some point a clarity of adulthood would settle upon me and suddenly all would be made clear. I would know exactly what to do and how to handle every situation. I was wrong, of course, but this is also the kid who thought the trees made the wind so that’s not surprising. I saw a TikTok the other day of a young woman in her early twenties asking when she was going to start feeling like an adult and it made me smile. The thing is, I still don’t really feel like an adult. I do all the stuff I’m supposed to do. I pay my bills, have a job, provide for my kids, etc., etc. So I know I’m doing all the adult stuff but it still feels like someone else at times. Mainly because there are BIG things that I need to face and deal with that I just don’t want to. Things that impact not just me but others in my life. And so far, I’ve not had to address any of it because of reasons. Bu those reasons are starting to come to a close and I’m close to having to be an adult in how I handle the next portion of my life. And frankly? I don’t want to. I just want my fairy godmother to swoop in, wave her magic wand and “Poof!” it’s all taken care of. Silly? Yes. Childish? Yes. What I want? Yes.

Funny thing is, I’m terrible at making momentous decisions. I tend to make really big decisions at the drop of the proverbial hat. No forethought, no planning, no eye on consequences. Just done. And so far, that’s worked out pretty well. Wait, no. That’s total and utter bullshit. It’s not worked out well. My marriage was one of those momentous decisions. No, I would not change it if I could but I certainly would have done things differently. Same with the end of my marriage. I would not change the fact that it is over, but I would definitely have handled things differently. So this past year I’ve been trying to be thoughtful and really consider my coming choices and I just don’t want to. I just want throw the gas on the fire and yell “FUCK YEAH!” and see where it goes. But I can’t. Mainly because there are too many people tied up in the decisions I need to make. Too much potential blow back… Anyway, yes I’m being vague and I realize no one actually reads this so it’s probably fine but still…

Life is hard but being an adult was supposed to be easier. I don’t know why I thought that but fuck me, did my parents fool me.

COVID-19: Almost There…

I’ve not written at all since the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world. Since I’ve been work from home since March of 2020 and have pretty much only left the house to go get groceries or pick up/return my children from/to their mother, I’ve not had a ton of desire to add more time in front of my computer screen. However, after a full year of lockdown, the end is finally in site. Last week I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. I’m due for my second one in a few weeks. 2 weeks after that second one, I’ll be safe to return out into the world. To go to movies again. To go to bars again. To see my friends again. I can’t even begin to describe what getting the first shot felt like. OK, yes, it was a vaccine shot, but I mean emotionally. For the very first time, it seemed real that this nightmare might finally be closing down. That the ever present specter of death looming over me and my loved ones was finally going away was almost overwhelming. I was able to get the vaccine in the earlier stages because of my role in the IT industry. My parents are all in the final stages of their second shots so their risk is almost gone now as well. I’m honestly not sure what it means though. The world has changed dramatically over the past year. We’ve learned that many modern industries can survive and even thrive with a 100% remote work force. My company went 100% remote a year ago and have had one of our best years ever. There’s talk of returning to the office full time sometime over the summer but there is lots of rumbling coming in from my coworkers who definitely do not want to do that. Personally, I’m of a mixed mind on it. On the one hand, working from home is super nice. I can sleep later, stay up later and wear pajamas most of the day. But I miss the social interactions with my coworkers. I miss going out to lunch. I miss the happy hours after work. I’m honestly not sure where we’ll end up at work. I wouldn’t mind working from home a few days a week and going in a few days a week. I’m pretty sure the CEO wants everyone in the office. We’ll see how that goes. All I know is that soon I will be able to go out and have a drink with my coworkers, go see a movie with my friends and actually get back to some semblance of normality.

The Blog is Dead

As evidenced by my lack of writing the past year and several other blogs that I used to follow, the personal blog seems officially dead. No one seems to have the time or energy to update their personal blogs on a daily basis anymore. Facebook and Twitter status updates have taken the place of the long, utterly boring diatribes of days gone by. Is this a good thing or have we sentenced ourselves to a literary loss of epic proportions? Yeah, right.

So, obviously I’m not writing anymore. This begs the question: what am I going to do with this website? At this point, I haven’t decided. I will keep this blog up as the main page for now but it will eventually be relegated to a sub folder of the site. What will be on the main page I have no idea. I honestly have no idea. It may just stay a forlorn forgotten blog. We’ll just have to wait and see.

New Layout!

“What new layout?” you’re saying right now. Well, because I’m so cool, I dumped all the html tables that my pathetic WordPress theme was using and it’s now all 100% CSS driven for layout and beautifying. There’s still a few kinks to work out like spacing between posts and such but I’ve run out of steam for the evening. Plus, I’ve only tested it in Firefox and IE so there’s no guarantees that it looks good on any other browser.

Again I find myself speechless

Over and over I start blogging and over and over I stop.  It seems silly that I continue to try but I have this idea that someone out there wants to hear what I have to say. The only problem with this is that I never seem to have anything to say. Isn’t that a contradiction? So, what I’m really saying is that I honestly believe there a millions of people dying to hear me say nothing at all! Wait…so that means everyone wants me to shut up? That doesn’t make sense! For people to want me to shut up they have to know what I’ve been saying, which is nothing so why would they want me to shut up? Maybe they’re waiting with bated breath for me to say something, anything. Something profound that will rock their world! Well, guess what? Today’s post ain’t it. Night!

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