Category Archives: Random

The New Year Sucks Part One: An Arbitrary Date

Most of our calendars and time measurements are based off obvious natural phenomenon: the time it takes the Earth to rotate once is called a day while the month is roughly based off the moons orbital period (29.5 days). There are also some random time periods like the week having 7 days for some reason (from the “seven planets” apparently), there being 12 months, and a day having 24 hours, but the year is one of the obvious ones. The year is just the time it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun and serves as a pretty good value for a “long timescale”. The year also corresponds nicely to the Earth rotating about 365 times which makes perfect sense that the year has 365 days in it. Even if things do get silly by realizing you need to have orbited the sun 21 times before you can drink ethanol, and some movies require you to orbit the sun 17 times before you can see them, I don’t really see a better way to measure this arbitrary period of time outside of the Earth zipping once around the sun.

I suppose my gripe with the year is the random time where we choose to consider it “starting”: the New Year. Obviously the Earth’s orbit requires you to specify something as the start so we all can be on the same page with regards to dates and calendars and shit, but January 1st seems really damn arbitrary. Consider the fact that the Earth’s orbit already offers a few “special” points that would make better sense for the “start” of a new orbit, and hence a new year.

And we’re already familiar with them. We all know that the days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter (confirming my northern hemisphere bias) and this is due to the Earth’s axial tilt. Since the time of day varies by season these orbital points would make perfect sense to consider as the  “start” of the a new year. There is a point where the Earth is most tilted towards the sun and we call this the summer solstice: the first day of summer. This is the longest day of the year for us northern hemisphere folks. There is an opposite point on the shortest day of the year called the winter solstice that serves as the first day of winter. From this point on the daytime length becomes longer. And in between these two days are the two equinoxes where day and night are of equal length: these serve as the first day of autumn and spring.

Earth's Orbit
I made a picture.

It would make sense to plop the new year on one of these important orbital locations and adds a sort of whimsical touch onto what a year really is. I really like the idea of starting the year on the winter solstice as it does seem like a new beginning with the days getting longer. The winter solstice is also around December 20th or 21st and would only make the official start of the year a week and a half earlier from the current which isn’t a big deal.

What adds another layer of frustration to this is the fact that our calendar was started by the Romans who were very aware of equinoxes and solstices. Hell, the Greeks before them knew that the Earth was round and loved science and math. Being the Romans and basically making the calendar, why not plop the new year on one of those dates? They didn’t and you can read about the detail by Googling it if you want.

year
From here. This is a chart of how long the days are at whatever latitude you live at. This chart also shows where the equinoxes and solstices occur and how they correspond to day length. And as you can see, January 1st is nothing special at all.

Obviously we will never “move” New Years. We are set in stone with our lame ass calendar. In our modern synchronized world it would be impossibly complex to move the start of the new year to another day even if it is close and “makes more sense”. It would involve a massive amount of adjusting and coordinating and would lead to quite a few headaches with regards to birthdays and anniversaries. Like I realize this is something that will never actually occur but it’d be nice having the new year on some remarkable point in the Earth’s orbit. January first doesn’t mean shit in the Earth’s orbit; it’s just some random ass point chosen to be the beginning of the year. This makes such an “important” date seem rather boring and unimportant. This helps play into another gripe I have with New Years: people are fucking stupid about it.

Everything Sucks: An Update 2.0 (Or Something…)

If you’re a hardcore fan of this blog you might’ve realized that I’ve seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth the past half year or so. But since I don’t actually think I have any hardcore fans let me state that I’ve basically dropped off the face of the Earth in the past six months or so. This is due to a ton of things but it boils down to a basic lack of motivation. Keeping with the tone of this blog, this Sucks and I’m going to bitch about it.

You see, I’ve written a ton of shit about motivation and for me at least it does seem to be in short supply. Even if I intend to blog, if anything more important or taxing comes up I will immediately drop blogging (unintentionally) to focus on what is most stressful/important/whatever. It’s sort of a theory I live by but continually try to sidestep; like I believe the whole “finite motivation” idea is true but continually try to overextend myself into tons of different matters. It’s even more insulting considering that I’ve written a few blog posts about blogging, consistency, motivation, but still seem to drop the fucking ball on writing and posting blog posts. Like the dude preaching about motivation and consistency continually drops the ball on actually making consistent posts.

Currently I’m taking flight lessons, writing like two or three books (depending on what you consider “writing a book” means), trading stocks and options/dealing with a fucking terrible market, working peak season at a delivery company, being a father/husband, and trying to cope with depression/alcoholism. My life is a fucking hellish mess where I don’t seem to have any time to recoup, find myself, or to just relax and listen to music. There’s always something I feel I should be doing even if I don’t end up doing a damn thing.

Obviously given that mess it’s no surprise I haven’t fucking made a blog post in a few months…

What has changed recently was that I made the mistake of checking this blog a few weeks ago. Thinking that the blog had crashed and burned and that no one would give two shits about what was going on here I found myself pleasantly surprised: I was somehow netting about ten views a day even though I haven’t posted anything in a half year! This somehow bolstered my motivation in regards to my blogging and — I assume — bumped my blogging priorities up quite a bit.

So I suck at keeping a schedule and I guess I have reasons for that even though I’m a slacking piece of shit, but seeing how this blog has had consistent views even while I have been neglecting it gets my inspiration up. It makes me want to work on it. Maybe this blog isn’t something to let wither away and maybe I should keep working at it? I’m not looking for inspiration or justification or for anyone to spur me on to keep posting — because fuck that — I just wanted to make a(nother) post about how much of a bitch inspiration and motivation is and how priorities suck. But if you hang in there maybe you can still start over and that even if you have pissed away quite a bit of time you can still jump in and make progress. But what the fuck do I know? Everything Fucking Sucks.

Snow in April…

It was around 50 degrees here in Northern Illinois about a month ago. It was a sure sign that spring was upon us and I was even able to get out and enjoy a bike ride and a run or two. It was what my sickly, atrophied, SADdened, and vitamin-D deficient self needed: some nice weather where I could be outside enjoy life again. That apparently wasn’t to be because despite being about two weeks into official spring it’s still cold as fuck outside. It’s actually been cold as fuck ever since spring started! Making things even worse, we got snow today! It wasn’t the snow that flurries a bit and then instantly melts once it touches anything either. No, it was snow that actually sticks to the ground. We got a damn inch or so of the stuff. You know, the snow where you have to clean your car off, and where the roads need to be salted, and where people forgot to drive, and where all the flowers coming up in the yard are having a shitty time.

I’d also like to point out that it is April in case you weren’t aware. April 4th to be exact. As stated, the Earth’s northern hemisphere is now tilted back towards the sun and should be getting much more sunlight and heat than it was a few months ago when daylight was non-existent. I’m to the point where I almost forgot how far into the year it was; it gets cold in November and stays cold until it isn’t cold anymore. That’s when you think “Oh shit, it’s spring again!” Not this time. This year I’ve noticed the date on my phone — April 4th — as I looked up and seen that snow was coming down. Seriously? April fucking 4th. Indepence day is 3 months away and we’re getting snow? Come the fuck on.

Radar

At least the everyone’s having a shitty time…

But we’ve had snow in April before, I’m sure of that. I recall my grandmother saying that we can have snow as late as May, and while I don’t doubt that I’m sure it is a rare thing indeed. I wouldn’t be too upset by snow in May because it would probably be pretty warm beforehand. You know snow in May is sort of a joke that isn’t to be taken seriously because it’s May. Go ahead Old-Man Winter, have one more go at it. It’s May and in a few days it’ll be 60 so who gives a shit about your snow. Snow in April is just fucking stupid though. It’s not special enough to be amazed at but it’s special enough to be a rare pain in the ass. Snow in January is typical, snow in June would be unique and something to remember, while snow in April is a fucking piece of shit.

A few years ago I was running everyday. Even in the middle of winter I’d run at least a mile. At least a mile. Obviously once it was warmer I’d run farther. In 2015 I was doing 6-8 miles by April meaning it wasn’t cold and snowing, and in 2016 I was doing 6-9 miles by April which also meant it wasn’t fucking cold and snowing, and in 2017 I had quit running so whatever. My point here is that in the past three years I was out enjoying the beautiful springtime weather well before April 4th. Thanks 2018.

I can wait, sure, but since it’s been cold for so long it’s getting to where I need it to be nice outside so my mental health can improve. I don’t see how anyone lives further north than 30 or 35 degree latitude enjoyably because it seems so unnatural. Humans need to see the sun, be outdoors, and enjoy nature. Sitting inside for months upon months because you could get hypothermia and die outdoors is brutal and the longer it takes it to be nice outside the worse it is. Maybe it’s just me and others love the winter and the cold, but fuck, it sure isn’t me. I can’t wait to get outside and run, bike ride, or just be outside when it isn’t cold. Snow in April Sucks.

Selling T-Shirts Sucks (and Update 2.0)

This blog was started with an actual idea and a central theme: Everything Sucks. I started a shitty personal blog a few years ago just to get into blogging without any idea of what to do with it and as you can guess it was a fucking mess.

After a near meltdown a few months ago I decided to work on this blog in a dedicated manner: Everything Sucks 2.0 if you will. If you check the posts I’ve been tossing up one, two, or even three posts a week and I’ve been keeping the tempo for awhile. I feel proud of myself because I’m finally doing what I believe is the key to success: hard work and practice. Even if I don’t think the post is perfect I won’t let that stop me. It’s all about progress and success. The fun fact is I don’t know what “successful” means in the case of blogging.

I guess I’d like followers or people to read the site because duh, but besides that? I don’t really know. Let’s say I had 10,000 people who read this blog. Then what? I have no idea. Sitting back and being comfortable sounds silly as there’s always something that can be done. I still don’t know the answer to this because there’s never been a “plan”, but I’ve always thought it’d be cool to sell shirts. That’s right. T-shirts. Not as a get-rich-quick scheme or some overarching plot to make a brand for myself, but just because shirts. It’d be cool to know that others have a shirt that says “Everything Sucks” on it. It’d make me laugh. It sounds really trivial and stupid but why not?!

I finally sat my ass down and created a shirt after dreading the impending failure for a few weeks. I set a price of $15 per shirt and a goal of 20 shirts. I shared it on Facebook and and purchased myself a shirt because that’d be cool. I checked it today. Guess how many shirts I’ve sold? One. And that to myself!

Well fuck. This reaffirms what I believe success and goals are: it’s throwing yourself at something over and over until something works and weathering failure after failure. Things never work on the first, second, third, or even the 75th try; they only work when you blindly toss yourself at something over and over again you find that magical formula. I never really expected to sell any shirts the first time but once you finally decide on a course of action you get your hopes up a bit. Failure Sucks but it isn’t game-breaking although it sure doesn’t feel good.

I shouldn’t be so hard on myself though because I got off my ass and tried it. No one can fault you for that. I did think of making a t-shirt “business” on Facebook to spam ads targeted locally. Maybe shirts that are themed off my hometown? Hell, I might be able to sell tons of t-shirts that way. This initial experiment might be the beginning of something new.

If you want to buy a shirt, feel free to click right here. I’m pretty proud of them and they’re available in like 5 or so colors (but not grey 😡 ). But if not it’s no big deal because I wasn’t expecting to sell any in the first place. Selling T-shirts Sucks.

Hangovers Suck: Existential Anxiety

Hangovers Suck. Obviously. If there was ever a “low-hanging fruit” post on this blog it would be about hangovers. What is really shocking is that it’s taken over a year for me to actually acknowledge that Hangovers Suck. Why’s that?

The fact is that since hangovers are so obviously shitty there’s little point in writing about it. And like most things in life you probably have to experience one to fully enjoy appreciate how shitty they are. I could go on and on about headaches, aversion to light and sound, dizziness, shaking, nausea, and all around “feeling shitty” but that won’t make you feel how physically awful a hangover really is. And even if it did, most people probably know it anyways so whatever.

In my 20s hangovers were primarily a physical phenomena. I’d feel like shit as described above but that was it. I would take some pills to help the symptoms, drink some water, take a nap, and I’d feel much better. At the very worst I’d just drink more as that instantly cures hangovers if you can believe it. Something happened when I made it into my 30s though; hangovers have suddenly became much worse and not just physically worse. Now they have shitty mental effects too. And boy, those make the physical effects seem like nothing.

Alcohol, being a depressant, makes it quite a bit easier to fall asleep. Hell, the term “passing out” is what happens when you just randomly fall asleep because you’ve gotten to drunk, although you probably wouldn’t qualify it as a healthy normal sleep. Alcohol is a depressant and it makes you sleepy. After a few days of drinking I find I that can’t fall asleep as easily for the next day or two. I’ll be tired and sober but unable to sleep. What happens is usually this: I lie down and then I think and eventually a thought like this comes into my head: I’m going to die someday.

What?! Where did that come from?

What’s worse is that the train of thought, once started, continues down the tracks towards total and soul-crushing existential anxiety:

I’m going to die someday. What’s that going to be like? I’m not going to exist? What? What does that even mean? What will not existing feel like? It’ll be like before I was born I suppose. Huh?!? Do you know you’re dying when you’re dying? Will I die in a surprise accident or will I waste away from cancer fully aware of my impending doom? It seems so far away but it will happen eventually. Hell, I could die at any moment, even right now. I could have a heart attack in the next few moments. What if I do? Listen to my heart, it’s beating pretty hard and fast now. Oh shit, what if I do die right now? What happens to my family and friends? They’d be destroyed like I would be when my loved ones die. Oh shit, when’s that going to happen? My family will die someday. Even my kids. HOLY. FUCK. LIFE IS TERRIBLE.

It’s not a fun time. Try to fall asleep after that flies through your mind.

I mean I’m aware of that stuff because it’s simply part of life but usually I don’t think about it in that way. Usually it’s there as a sort of background or backdrop to everyday life and I continue on aware of my mortality but not burdened by it, if that makes any sense. I know I’ll die but I just don’t worry too much about it. In a way I think it’s nice being aware of your mortality because you enjoy life a bit more. You don’t sit on the couch and piss your life away if you know you’re going to die eventually. It keeps you motivated and it shouldn’t leave you crippled like my random overnight, hungover thoughts do. They’re just a whole new level of anxiety from what I usually experience.

I blame this on being hungover because there’s nothing else to explain it. When I haven’t recently been drinking I go through life pretty happily. I go to sleep at night. If I can’t sleep for some reason I go play video games or read a book until I am tired. I don’t lie in bed and think about how and when I’m going to fucking die. It only happens a day or two after drinking so of course I’m going to blame the alcohol. I always feel “off” a few days after drinking so it’s no surprise that my existential anxiety is probably due to drinking. And I should probably quit drinking.

Everyone knows hangovers suck and they usually bitch and whine about the physical aspects of it. The physical aspects of a hangover aren’t shit though. The really terrible part of a hangover is the feeling of being “off” and the random existential anxiety I get at 3 a.m. that makes it impossible for me to sleep or feel comfortable. Once again, I’m pretty average so I assume this happens to other people as well and it’s no surprise if no one really talks about it because it’s terrifying. Hangovers Suck.

ATMs Suck: Cash Deposits

I’m a fan of automation. Some people bitch and complain about our increasingly technical world, but I revel in it. With every leap in technology there seems to be fewer people for me to actually have to talk to. I don’t give a shit about talking to a “real” person because I’m deftly scared of talking to people. Talk to a computer? Okay. They won’t think my voice sounds funny or something. I can’t wait for the day that I can order a fucking Big Mac by pushing buttons on a kiosk. Thank you Redbox, Netflix, and Amazon for making it possible to not interact with other humans. It probably doesn’t come as any surprise that I love ATMs because they finally accept cash deposits!

For awhile they would only take deposits for checks. If some asshole wrote you a check you could stop at the ATM and toss it into your account without talking to anyone. This also helped you circumvent bank business hours which was handy. They never accepted cash though. If someone paid you cash in a drug deal, changing their oil, or whatever you’d have to spend it or manually haul it to the fucking bank, once again talking to people, fucking around with deposit slips and your exploded pen, and dealing with 9-5 hours on weekdays. Fuck that shit: Banks Suck. This is part of the reason I hate dealing with cash.

Another fun fact: I’m in charge of my parents’ cell phone account. We have a deal where I pay the bill monthly and they repay me for their share. It’s a good system. They can be late and I won’t blow their phone up or charge them late fees and interest. Anyways, they pay me in cash, so every month I have to haul the cash manually somewhere. Checks would be nice because you can deposit those on your phone! You can deposit checks while you take a shit if you want. But nope because they use cash. Cash has to be taken to the bank…until recently.

The ATMs finally accept cash deposits! You pull up and feed the ATM your cash like it’s a hungry beast and, bam, you have cash in your bank account. It’s rather easy and Chase ATMs are all over the place so I can conveniently toss money into my account on my way home whenever or wherever I want. And it always works flawlessly. I count the cash beforehand, deposit it, and the screen always counts the correct amount. This was the case until it wasn’t.

I went to the ATM yesterday in a shady part of town around 11 p.m. I had $264 to deposit from phone payments and drug deals (just kidding FBI!). I did the usual stuff: insert card, enter PIN, select “deposit,” and insert the cash. Then the machine just froze up. It had the little circly icon that means the thing was “processing something” and it just kept doing it. Then the screen went black and, holy fuck, a command prompt window came up followed by a Windows loading screen like you’d see on a PC or laptop. And my money was still in the machine…

This was the fear always in the back of my mind: I gave the ATM cash — cold, hard cash — and it just shits out mid-transaction. What the hell was I supposed to do now? Call the cops? Call the bank? Drive off and hope that maybe it accepted it? Eventually I thought that calling the bank would be the best course of action.

Then the automation that I loved backfired. You see Chase doesn’t like to pay people to talk to you, so it’s a pain in the ass to figure out how to talk to a person. Automation doesn’t give the option “if the ATM ate your cash deposit, press 5!” so how do I talk to a person about that? I was a little shaken up at the time making it even harder to think logically. Eventually I just smashed “0” on my phone and wouldn’t you know it, but that did the trick. I talked to a real person.

It being 11 p.m. Central Time, I was talking to someone (probably) halfway around the planet. That’s fine with me, but motherfucker, accents are a pain to deal with. I found myself saying “uh, yes?” after what I could guess was a question. One time the dude even said “I credited your account for the $254 that you deposited” and I corrected him that it was really $264. I check my account today and only $254 was credited. Mother fucker. He was nice enough though and seemed to have fixed my main problem at least for now.

That’s it. ATMs suck because of random glitchy shit like this. I still love the bastards though because it’s way more convenient than talking to a person between the hours of 9-5 ON WEEKDAYS. And will I quit doing cash ATM deposits? Hell no. They’ve worked 98% of the time and I’m not going to change my habits because of one incident. Because then the terrorists win.

That doesn’t mean they don’t suck though. Fuck ATMs. I mean I’ll still use them but thanks to a damn ATM my Friday turned into an anxiety-fest from hell. Thanks ATMs. You Suck.

Streaming Music Sucks

I’m sad to admit that I just recently got into the whole streaming music thing. My sister was kind enough to sign me up under her Spotify account so I wouldn’t have any excuse to not listen to albums and songs that she suggested. Seeing as it’s 2018 and I just now started to stream sounds really bad, so what the fuck have I been doing this whole time?

I’ve been pirating music like it’s 2005. You know, living in the past. You see I’m really fucking cheap and paying $10 a month isn’t a whole lot, but when I compare that to getting music for free, well, $10 is more than free. I also doubted that I would make that $10 worth while. It’s basically equal to purchasing an album every month or so, and I would probably never purchase 12-15 albums a year, so it’s a net loss for me even if it isn’t that much money. If I wanted to listen to something I’d pirate it or use some stupid Google Play credit or Amazon credit to purchase an mp3 version. Like I said, I’ve been living in the past.

So now that I got Spotify, how is it? It’s pretty damn cool, but it’s also pretty shitty for a few reasons. It has me nervous about music in the future, and while I’m probably overreacting I’m still nervous.

Spotify gives you an amazing amount of music, music that I’d never dream about trying to find and listen to. When I was pirating music I was limited to well-known albums, and full albums at that. Sometimes I’d torrent an artists entire discography and just select the albums I wanted. Other times I wouldn’t even be able to find a copy to pirate. I was recently trying to find The Lion King Soundtrack and The Lord of the Rings soundtracks but couldn’t find them anywhere. Would I purchase them somewhere or just go without? Pirating is cool because it’s free but it makes your choices rather limited. Sometimes you just couldn’t find what you wanted.

Spotify has the total opposite problem (a good problem to have but still a problem): now there’s too much music to listen too! I seriously have access to whatever the fuck I want to listen to and it’s rather overwhelming. I couldn’t find The Lion King or Lord of the Rings before but now I have access to both (or all 4 because LoTR is really three soundtracks…) as well as everything else in the world. I hop in my car to drive to work and I have no idea what to listen to now. LoTR, Death Grips, my sister’s playlist, punk music, rock music, Disney music, podcasts, and basically what the hell am I going to listen to now?

It’s like my post on how video games are too long: there’s now too much music for me to listen to and I don’t have the time or the focus.

My ADD seems to flair up quite a bit too with all of the choices I now have. I drive 20 minutes to and from work for a total of 40 minutes 5 times a week. I could listen to a single album each day if I really focused on listening to just a single album. But before work and after work I have differing moods. I want to listen to some upbeat shit on the way to work and some depressing shit after work. Focusing on a single album is nearly impossible unless it’s something like Animal Collective’s Feels by having the upbeat shit on the first half and the ambient, spacey shit on the second half. With the nearly infinite choice of music to listen to I find myself jumping from song to song and not enjoying a single artist or album in all its glory. I just go from favorite song to favorite song and hit after hit not giving two fucks about the “deeper tracks” that are out there.

That leads me to my concern: is The Album dead? Back in the 1950s and 1960s music was focused on hit singles; artists and companies would sell 45 rpm “singles” with a “b-side” and no one gave two shits about full length albums (LPs). This changed with some massively glorious albums released by The Beatles (Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, etc.) and The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds) among others. Those albums are meant to be a single album and experience and people started to make good albums and not simply good singles. I’m talking Ziggy Stardust, The Dark Side of the Moon, and other albums that are a single, solid piece of artwork. Hell, you can even go all the way to The Suburbs and The Lonesome Crowded West because those are fantastic. Oh shit! I forgot Doolittle! Obviously there are tons of other good albums besides those so don’t shit on me if I didn’t mention your favorite album ever. I was just making a point.

With streaming music I think things could change back to how they used to be with the focus on singles. This already seems to be the case with popular radio and has been for the past however the fuck long. The kids seem to know Taylor Swift’s newest song word for word but don’t know shit else from the album. They don’t give a shit about overarching album themes, deeper tracks, or the artist’s “purpose”. I guess The Album was still there holding strong even with radio and its focus on singles but now I’m not so sure. With so many choices, good songs, and our collective inability to pay attention at all I can envision The Album going the way of the CD and cassette tapes and becoming a relic of the past.

Or maybe I’m just a pessimist.

Streaming is pretty damn cool as long as my data usage doesn’t get out of control. But with all those choices of songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists, I just can’t sit down and focus on a single artist or album. That part kinda Sucks, but it kinda Sucks in a good way if that makes sense. I just hope people keep making quality albums.