Category Archives: Society Sucks

Streak Day #27 Sucks (and some stuff about the economy)

We went to Meijer on Sunday as it’s my shopping day. The whole ‘drink on Sunday’ resolution has also meant that I have a regular grocery shopping day as well. This has been working out nicely since the start of the year. No more late night post-work trips to Walmart to get a box of crackers, milk, or whatever other random shit we need. I keep a list throughout the week of items we run out of and buy them Sunday. It’s a good system.

The store was unsurprisingly empty. I got the best parking spot in the lot and there was only ten or fifteen cars there total. The place was dead as you could expect. This was shocking because despite the statewide quarantine I assumed people would still be blowing up the grocery store. Apparently not.

The drive to the store didn’t give many clues about the quarantine. Traffic was nothing like it usually was, although the streets weren’t barren of life. When I drive anywhere it feels like a Sunday. Few cars on the road and it feels like constant sleepy, weekend mornings.

But apparently the economy is grinding to a halt. People aren’t working and are only buying the bare minimum that they need. (That still hasn’t stopped me for dropping $100 a new solar panel; I’m going to charge my phone via solar no matter what I have to do!) I’ve heard stories on Reddit and Facebook (yeah, I know this sounds bad) about polluted and smog-filled cities clearing up now that humans have mostly shut down their economies. Animals are out and about because we’re laying low. The world is getting a break from us humans for once. And for the time being were mostly doing good, right?

I think lately I’m struggling with this whole idea of a ‘booming economy’ and how it’s required for society to function. It seems with everyone chilling the fuck out the planet isn’t being destroyed nearly to the degree it usually is, and isn’t this a good thing? In my idealistic mind I can’t stop thinking “Can’t we do this all the time?” Of course not: once people run out of money and start starving things will get very bad very quickly.

One thing I’ve learned from reading a few basic, shitty, introductory economics books is that the economy is linked together in a complex web; what affects one part of the economy affects the rest. With society grinding to a halt this past few weeks, everyone will be hurt eventually. I have some safety net by working at UPS (the whole ‘life-saving medication thing) but if people run out of cash where they can’t order a fuckton of trash off Amazon, UPS can and will cut the workforce down. And then I’m one of the people not buying shit and causing other people to lose their jobs and so on.

Now that I really think about it my anxiety is starting to tick up once again. It feels like we’re on a timer set to trigger a bomb to the economy itself. I’m still an ‘essential employee’ but I’m only essential for some undefined time going forward. Not that I’m condoning Trump’s plan to get everyone back to work by April 12th — that’s a terrible idea and would nuke the economy with possible millions dying — but I do hope things kinda get back to normal, or some sense of normalcy, soon. The plan working its way through congress won’t do shit in the long run either: how long will $1,000 last an adult in the United States? Maybe a month, at most. Don’t even get me fucking started on these corporate bailouts. Motherfuckers can’t save some cash as an emergency fund and now us taxpayers have to bail them out?! Come the fuck on. I know, jobs and all, but still, fuck them.

This post was boring and uninspired and I have to leave early to borrow my dad some money. He has some medical issues and is off work the rest of the week. Having no savings, any disruption to his income requires me to help him along. If that isn’t a fitting end to this post, I don’t know what it is.

Streak Day #25 Sucks (and some stuff about choice)

I stopped by my dad’s house Friday to get his phone payment from him. We have some shitty system in place where I pay for our phones and my parents are supposed to pay me back. Supposed to. I see it as a win-win for everyone involved. We get a slightly cheaper phone bill with me autopaying the bill, and dad’s military service also nets us a $10 monthly discount. They don’t have to worry about a due date, so no late fees to worry about; I don’t mind floating the charges until they get around paying. No fear of having the phone shut off because I’m taking care of it like a responsible adult.

Anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be about my parents’ debts to me or how irresponsible they are with money. No, it’s meant to be about TV and choice. Which fucking sucks.

I used to love TV. I remember watching TV as a kid where I was a huge fan of educational channels such as the History and Discovery Channels. I also recall my grandma shitting all over me for it. She didn’t have cable and had to watch the shitty four local channels. I told her how awesome cable was and that I didn’t know how she managed to survive off four shitty channels all the time. All she did was watch a single shitty soap opera in the day as well as the local news at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. I can’t believe I used a variation of the word ‘shit’ in each sentence I had written.

Sure I watch stupid cartoons and Power Rangers, but in the evening I loved watching the History Channel and Discovery Channel. I learned a lot of random facts from them and consider myself an armchair historian regarding World War 2 due to all the History Channel shows I watched as a kid. Hitler invaded Russia on June 22, my birthday! Cable wasn’t just something to vege out in front of, and as I tried to tell my grandma, I could learn stuff. I watched the Weather Channel during hurricane season and became a child weather expert. I knew hot and humid weather ahead of a strong cold front meant we’d have storms. I knew southwest winds carried the hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico thousands of miles away. And so on just collecting random and mostly useless knowledge about airplanes, history, weather, and whatever else was on.

As I was visiting my dad I was greeted by the show Two and a Half Men on the TV. He was watching it passively, not really engaged with the show and simply had it on to have something to watch. I used to watch Two and a Half Men years ago when my ex-girlfriend and I lived together. We, like my grandma, had a shitty antenna TV and had to watch the four local channels. I was a ‘fan’ of the show back then I guess with Charlie Sheen actually shitting up the show as he was supposed to be doing. Charlie was meant to be a total douchebag and Sheen played the part well. It was funny and witty enough and was better than anything else I could find at the time.

The Two and a Half Men that was on as I visited my dad was the shitty new version with Jake being all grown up and Ashton Kutcher playing, uh, I forgot his characters name Walden (what the fuck sort of name is ‘Walden’ anyways?). And for some reason, either me maturing to where I didn’t give a shit for the show anymore or the show actually being shit now that Charlie Sheen was gone, I didn’t find it funny at all. I mean the grating laugh track was giving me social cues to laugh at the jokes, but they weren’t that funny. In fact it seemed like the show was making the same jokes it always had been making. Alan being a bum. Rose being crazy. The housekeeper being a smartass. And so on.

My dad laughed passively at the jokes and I just sat there feeling dead to the world. Was this what TV was? Was this what American life has devolved into? Has it devolved at all or was this simply what ‘normal people’ like my dad did with his entire day? Stare at some unfunny TV show because doing fulfilling and life-improving things is too much effort? I can’t even blame him the coronavirus for him devolving this way either; for the past two years he’s sat blindly at his couch and watched TV. He used to enjoy photography and taking walks but has given them up over the last few years, probably due to depression (that he won’t acknowledge). Maybe TV isn’t the cause but the symptom here.

What bothers me most about TV is the lack of choice involved. Watching TV for him is already a lack of choice — he only watches because there is nothing else to do, at least in his mind — but TV pushes it even further because you don’t have a choice what to watch on network TV. You get what they give you and the eight channels or so offer him no real choice for what to actually watch. Cable TV, as shitty as it is, offers hundreds of channels so if you’ve given up and want to watch TV you at least have a choice what to watch. It’s all about choice for me, I think. If you choose to watch TV, that’s fine, you do you, but if you’re mindlessly watching for the sake of watching something, anything, that’s where the problem is.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a fan of the internet: you can choose almost endlessly what to give your attention to. I can watch anything fulfilling or interesting that I want to watch on YouTube. I can watch total shit on YouTube if I want. In many ways I think YouTube has taken over the role of TV, at least the educational show aspect which I used to love so much as a kid. That’s probably it’s own topic on its own though. The internet is a great tool, but it comes at a price. Since you can find almost anything to occupy yourself, you need to have a great deal of self-control to not let yourself devolve like my dad has done with TV. The power to choose comes with responsibility, the responsibility I don’t think many of us have. I myself am not perfect and this is probably why I’m on Reddit until the early hours of the morning. But what about the people totally addicted to low-quality social media drama, and shitposting memes on Facebook? They’re like my dad in a slightly different way, only social-mediaing it up because there is nothing else to do and people are scared of boredom. Keep busy at all costs, even if you’re not consciously choosing to do so.

Think about what you’re doing and what you choose to give your attention to. This is your life, and it’s always up for you to decide. Is this what you really want to be doing? Is this what you want your life to be? Are you really happy reading this shitty low-quality blog post? Have you learned anything? Is there something else you’d rather being doing?

Streak Day #23 Sucks (and some stuff about Trump and Truth)

At least it’s only 1:30 p.m. and I’m working on this post. It’s much better than starting it at 11:30 at night.

I still don’t feel inspired so let’s talk about this goddamn coronavirus some more.

I’ve hated Donald Trump for a long time, but with a cold indifference and not the burning passion that appeared within me during the 2016 elections. I don’t want to be political here, and I don’t think I have to be, because I don’t like him as a person. Like if he was some guy I worked with, just some normal guy, I’d still despise the man. The early hatred I had for him was primarily because he was some rich, reality star. All I really knew about him was his random cameos in various movies/TV shows and that he had his own show The Apprentice. He said, “You’re fired,” a lot. I have a burning hatred for anything reality oriented (mostly because reality TV killed the Discovery Channel and the History Channel) and he was a natural extension to this. Cheap TV created for mass consumption. Packaged drama. Totally devoid of anything worthwhile or fulfilling. The TV equivalent of diet soda. Cheap, tasty, but nothing of value nutritionally. Refreshing but in a way that only makes you crave more.

Donald Trump has a tenuous relationship with the truth, and I think this is what I despise most about him. I like to think myself as a scientific-minded person. Someone who is open to facts, data, and willing to be proved wrong even if I am stubborn sometimes. I try to admit when I don’t know something and use the opportunity to learn about it. You can’t gain knowledge unless you acknowledge that you’re ignorant in the first place. To fill a void you must know there is a void to be filled in the first place.

Not that I need to get down to data and all of that bullshit. His relationship with the truth is so corrupt that he doesn’t seem to know what he said two weeks ago. Using the coronavirus as an example, he said it wasn’t that bad and that it was a hoax or some shit. Two weeks later he claims that he knew how dangerous it was all along and gives himself a fucking 10/10 score on how he’s been handling it. Once again, I don’t even need to praise or criticize his response to the outbreak to prove my point: he can’t even acknowledge what the fuck he said fourteen days ago. The man is a walking contradiction and you don’t need to attack his policies or anything to prove this.

I used to know a guy at work like this years. One day he said he was a pilot. He didn’t seem to know shit about airplanes even if he claimed to own an ultralight. There was just this feeling I had that he didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about, nothing to really prove he was full of shit but still knowing he was full of shit. I’m a pilot and can tell another fellow pilot when they start talking about flying or airplanes. There’s some shared experience training and learning gives you to where were all mostly on the same page with the topic. He didn’t have this quality at all.

An even better example was when this guy claimed his dad owned a Dodge Viper. Yes. My dad (who worked there at the time) tried to call him out on his bullshit. “Really?” he said, “I’d like to see it. You should drive it to work someday.” The guy then replied with, “I’ll drive it to work tomorrow!”

You can probably guess what happened. Or what didn’t happen. Obviously the guy didn’t show up with his dad’s Dodge Viper and when asked about it he said something so ridiculous, but not quite ridiculous enough to where you could call him out on it. “The car was in a wreck today and it was totaled.” Really. Surely this Dodge Viper existed, and surely he was going to drive it to work, but that damn car wreck messed up the entire plan!

It’s this level of bullshit that is classic Donald Trumpness. The ability to lie and bullshit to such disregard for the truth that it is painfully obvious. I wish I could talk to the guy one-on-one with a printout of some of his tweets. Just ask him, for once, “So what the fuck is this? Can you acknowledge you said this? And how goddamn contradictory this is?” I’m sure he would just say something like fake news and deny the entire thing and that’s the whole problem with him. It’s really okay to admit you’re wrong on things, but this aspect of truth does not exist within him. At all. And it’s shocking to see someone with such a total disregard for the truth as him. It’s so dissimilar to how I am I can’t begin to comprehend it.

I know I’d said this would be about the coronavirus and that’s what I initially started with. My idea was to circle this back around to him now calling it the Chinese Virus, which is another level of bullshit. But I think it isn’t the same as his failed relationship with the truth. It’s him trying to lay the blame on China somehow. Sure it came from there, but who gives a fuck? It’s been called the corona virus for the past half-year and sometimes COVID-19, but sure let’s just change the name to blame China in some twisted fucking fashion.

Let’s just continue the Trump hate some more.

His supporters also have this fucked up relationship with the truth. People who can’t see his two-week contradictions from his own Twitter page infuriate me. (I’d link examples, but fuck linking to Donald Trump’s Twitter page) Like I understand people can change their minds, but I don’t think he’s changed his mind on something like this. How can you claim it’s a hoax and then credit yourself by realizing it was a pandemic before anyone else did? And how can his supporters hear stuff like this and say, “Hmm, oh yes. He’s the best guy for the job.” Doesn’t anything click in their minds that perhaps this guy is a total bullshitter that can never admit he’s wrong? I’m really curious how no one notices this or if they do notice it how it doesn’t bother them.

Well, that’s enough I guess. If you’re a Trump supporter please leave me some hate in the comments. Maybe share this on Facebook to your rabid Trump-support friends so they can shit on me as well; I need the views. Like, subscribe, and comment. Day #23 is finished.

COVID-19 Anxiety Sucks

During the past few years of utter bullshit I’ve periodically heard a supposed Chinese curse that goes something like this: “May you live in interesting times.” It’s great because it sounds like a good thing at first — no one likes being bored and living in some bland period of history (like the early 1900s or something) — but upon further inspection it really is a curse. For the past five years at least I think the entire world has been living in “interesting times” and they are fucking terrible.

I grew up in the 1990s and those were really boring times. Looking back I should’ve enjoyed them more. Sure I was a kid so have some naivete going on but even looking back as an adult the 90s were boring. There was the Persian Gulf War (which wasn’t even a war like the shit we had in Afghanistan/Iraq) but there were no collapses of society, mass unrest, no stock market crashes, or major recessions. Oh, and remember Clinton’s impeachment over a blowjob? What quait times we were living in….

Then the September 11th attacks happened and that caused a decade of “interesting times” but even that seemed to wane into boringness around 2010. Looking back the 2000s weren’t even that interesting in comparison to today. Then there was more boringness for at most five years (the magical year of ~2015) and then the world spiraled out of control again. And in my life this year has been the most “interesting time” I remember living in: 2020 is total shit. Fear and dread and anxiety and uncertainty. Especially with COVID-19 going around causing society to grind to a halt, I’m reminded of a quote from J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.

‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.'”

-J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Another Reddit “theory” that seems rather silly but also interesting is that maybe the Mayans and the “world ending” in 2012, well, maybe they were onto something?! Not that 2012 is when the world spiraled into chaos, but what if we shifted into some alternate reality where things don’t quite work the same as they used to? And we’re all left with a pre-2012 mindset stuck in this strange, new, and terrifying world that is the post-2012 disinformation age. I don’t take this idea seriously but man it seems that in 2012 the world got shifted into a parallel dimension where terrifying stuff happens.

I’m having more anxiety than I’m willing to admit, but I still am rather calm and collected about the virus. It’s not a big deal, personally, but I acknowledge that it is a dangerous situation. Every day I wake up to see another few hundred dollars wiped off my stock trading accounts, and the prospect that I could be out of a job soon is terrifying. The stock market is especially frustrating as I was shorting in the past two month and rolled into long positions way to early. Had I held onto the shorts with diamond hands I could have earned a few thousand dollars as society collapsed around me. Not that I’m hoping millions of people die so I can make money, but it’s happening and I might as well try to benefit from it somehow. God that sounds terrible; feel free to shit on me in the comments if you want.

I’m reminded of this post from the New Year (I can’t find it and I’m out of time). My ability to live perfectly in the moment one minute and hour at a time. Most of my current anxiety is looking ahead to the next few months just wondering how this entire crisis will play out. How will it end? Will society be back to normal in a few weeks/months or are we going to collapse even further into stasis while every waits? I hate waiting. I’m impatient. I’m insecure. As much as I bitch about the grind of everyday life, when it has been altered I feel myself on the very of some great unknown and it terrifies me.

Looking closer to the present, ala Alan Watts/buddhist style, things are okay. I have plenty of food, no one I know is sick, and I still have a job. I get to leave in a half-hour and load some airplanes. Luckily UPS and package shipping in general hasn’t been totally shit on yet especially as people might turn to online shopping for their fucking economy packs of toilet paper rolls. UPS keeps shipping packages no matter what. With all the excess around the holiday season I’m surprised to find myself in a “safe” sector of the economy, as if the excess in December also has a counterpart to it being essential. Not as essential as truck drivers, but still needed. “You are safe.” In this moment of my life — the one that is actually happening right now — I’m perfectly fine. I have food, I have water, and I have a year supply of nicotine because now is not the time for nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine also kills your appetite making the food situation even better going forward!

I’m not saying that things won’t get worse in the upcoming months, but as my therapist said regarding my anxiety, “Think if a thought is useful to have.” All this worrying and anxiety about the future isn’t useful at all and only degrades the part of my life that actually exists: the ever-present Now. And if/when something bad does happen? If I lose my job? If myself or someone close to me gets sick? Well, I can worry about it when it happens. I’ll scrounge up money where I can, maybe sell my stocks, max out the credit cards if I need to do so, and maybe negotiate some deferred payments with them. If society utterly collapses around me? I’m sure my instinct to survive and my creative DIY mindset will naturally kick in to where I start problem solving whatever comes up. Squirrels are edible I guess, and I know where to find fucking mulberries, but once again I’m reminded to think, “Is this thought useful to have?” Absolutely not. Stop rambling here and get on with your life. I need to leave for work now. Do I need to dress warm or wear a raincoat? Do I have my badge and my timecard? What is happening Now?

I hope everyone remains safe and healthy, and maybe most importantly of all, in a positive mental state during these strange and frightful times.

Coronavirus Hype Sucks: Social Media Devolves Even Further

If I hear another goddamn thing about the coronavirus I think I’m going to snap. While the coronavirus itself has a mortality rate of around 2%, the mortality rate for people who mention the damn thing around me could be much higher. I can’t get away from hearing about it. At work, on social media, around the family: everyone talks about this goddamn virus.

It’s not so much the general worry about the thing — it is kinda a big deal — but of all the utter bullshit floating around about it. The shitty memes about toilet paper. The fact that people are stocking up on toilet paper/bottled water in the first place. Comparing the flu to the coronavirus. The damn conspiracy theories going around about it. The entire thing is so damn aggravating I don’t even know where to start with it. This post will probably be a rambling mess of me bitching and whining about the people whining about the virus.

But the flu kills more people!

First off, the virus is a serious problem so let’s start there. It’s been a popular saying around the social media sphere that the flu kills more people than the coronavirus does! Why, yes, it does in terms of raw numbers, but this itself doesn’t make the virus less dangerous. I read somewhere did the math from the CDC website that the flu, compared with those who actually catches it, kills only 0.01% of them. That’s really low. Out of 1,000,000 who catch the flu, it kills roughly 1,000 people. Consider the coronavirus that has a still ‘low’ death rate of 2%. This would wipe out 20,000 people out of a million. This makes it about 20 times as deadly as a flu. Yes, while the goddamn flu kills more based on raw number it’s not as lethal. It just pisses me off when raw numbers are used. Just because a gunshot to the head doesn’t kill as many people as the flu does in a year doesn’t make it safe.

Toilet paper, hand washing, and hand sanitizer memes

Not that anyone on social media has any sort of brain for this sort of thinking. All that’s there currently are fucking stupid fucking memes about toilet paper. While I love memes, I hate these stupid popular ones. Yes, it’s stupid that people are stocking up on toilet paper for some reason, but the memes making fun of it are even dumber than those stocking up, albeit in a different way.

I don’t even know why anyone is stocking up on toilet paper. It doesn’t make sense at all. Quarantined at home and can’t wipe your ass? Just go take a shower and clean up; it’d act like a really overkill bidet. It’s not that big of a deal. It only makes it worse for those people that aren’t batshit insane and just need to restock on toilet paper. What are these poor unpaniced souls supposed to do if you hoard all the wipes?

Bottled water is another hot commodity for some goddamn reason. Once again, given a mild pandemic I’m sure the tap water at your house will still work. And if the disease gets so out of hand that no one can man the city pumps in the first place, well, you have more issues to worry about than drinking water. If this worst-case scenario did happen, what are your five cases of water going to do in a collapsing society? When people are killing each other for food, are the bottles of water going to help?

Here, let me see how fast I can find a shitty meme from Facebook. That didn’t take too long:

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH

They’re funny but not that funny. I don’t even know. Some of them are even worse by trying to prove a point about it, as if there is a point to prove. I’ve seen one smartass one saying something like “Maybe if y’all run out of toilet paper you’ll have to start washing your ass for once.” Haha. Good one…

Conspiracies Gone Wild

I saw one post today, well, let me find it.

As before, I don’t even want to fact check this garbage. I did look up the Zika Virus outbreak of 2015-2016 and that should tell you all the information you need to know. Apparently the virus was around much earlier, but for some reason only 2016 is mentioned here. I also don’t recall as much hype of Zika in 2016, especially not enough to interference in an election.

It screams of a US-centric mindset. As if the only thing these viruses (and the people supposedly manufacturing them/releasing them on the masses) only give a fuck about are US elections. Going a bit further into this logically, this implies it has something to do with politics. I don’t know what the point even is here. Is this a way for Republicans to steal the election? Is it a way for them to shut down voting even if it hadn’t happened in the past? Is it a Democratic conspiracy to undermine the Republicans? And the party in power each election year hasn’t even been the same. I simply don’t know what this is even trying to prove. I don’t know, maybe something about The Deep State.

One ‘possiblity’ is that someone outside the US created the disease; this sound really fucking unlikely. I don’t even know if we have the power to manufacture a disease, let alone release it wildly into the world for some reason. Considering this originated in China, what would they gain by infecting their own citizens? Sure, it’d be a great tool if it only fucked up the US or anyone they’re opposed to, but a virus doesn’t give a fuck what your nationality is. If someone did want to purpsefully fuck with the US, a virus seems like a really terrible way to do it.

I can’t believe I even gave that stupid picture as much time as I just did. I feel terrible.

Anxiety Skyrockets

There are rumors going around at work that we might be temporarily laid off over this ordeal. Well shit. With all the stuff I worry about and struggle with a global pandemic is not one of them. It simply isn’t in my mind as something that needs to be worried about. My anxiety is a personal thing. I’m worried about writing, struggling with depression, finding a career maybe, and trying to figure my own shit out — I do my own thing day-to-day — and tossing the slight possibility of losing my job was not part of the plan! In reality I haven’t really worried about anything yet, but still, there’s a tiny part of my mind worried about it now.

It was okay when news about quarantines came out, or the cancellation of the fucking NBA season (or whatever, I don’t know), or the cancellation of our St. Patrick’s Day parade, or hearing about concerts being cancelled, but I don’t give a damn about these things. About 98% of my time consists of me being holed up in the house or at work, no parades for me, thanks. This blog should be just fine even if I am laid-off and quarantined. I think everyone wants to be left alone to do their own thing and luckily doing my own thing doesn’t involve many other people in large groups. But losing my job sort of does directly affect me and that’s worrisome.

I’m really conflicted by how I feel. Yes, it is a big problem but is probably being blown out of proportion. But goddamn are the memes annoying. And the social media posts are annoying. Everyone is trying to prove their own points about the virus (myself included thanks to this post) and damn is it grating on my nerves. Maybe it is a nice break from the other bullshit that is spammed on social media, but I’m really sick of hearing jokes about toilet paper. Isn’t there anything better to do?

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing.

Or my Facebook page where I don’t do much of anything at all.

Streak Day #14 Sucks (and some stuff about writing and The Wheel of Time)

Two weeks. Two weeks I’ve been at this shit and I’m almost starting to regret it. Things are great if you have something to write, but I’ve been in a funk the past few days. The writer’s block is getting especially bad and while I can still churn out a daily post I can’t for the life of me think of anything to write regarding any of those fictional stories I’m supposedly working on.

One thing to note: I’ve started reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I was weary to begin because apparently it’s a massive thirteen-book series, so had only purchased the first two books months ago. The first one is like 700 pages long too. By starting on a fucking thirteen-book series each with a conservate 500 pages means I could be committing myself to reading a massive 6,500 pages at least. Did I really want to get myself into this project? It’ll take like a year.

People say that creativity comes from branching out and trying new things. Reading Hunter S. Thompson nonstop sure helps get the honest, no bullsit, and vulgar tone down in your writings, but it doesn’t help you branch out very much. I hope by delving into some high fantasy stuff that I’m not used to maybe the creative juices will start flowing again. But I don’t know.

The problem with what I write is it shirks the entire idea of high fantasy and stories in general. I think it’s my bleak mindset on life shining through. If I believe that life is not a big and grand adventure and that we’re all looking for some big grand adventure to add meaning to life this is certain to leak into my stories. What I seem to write about is the pointlessness of everyday life, as bleak as that sounds. I don’t even want this to sound edgy or anything; this is what I seem to write about. Strangely I notice I also write about those magical moments in life where things do make perfect sense and everything is wonderful. Little bursts of light here and there in the total bleakness of the grand story (which doesn’t exist) itself.

I read 100 pages of the first book last night. It was great. I was absorbed into the world and the plot, while slow for the first two chapters, quickly took off. I was hooked. The tension that the plot was about to devolve into a shitstorm was palpable. As one chapter ended I found myself eager to start the next chapter, just waiting for some mild break in the story to finally quit and finally fall asleep. I think I finally passed out around 5:30 a.m. Holy hell.

One thing I despise about reading intense fiction stories is the shock that I receive when I stop reading and come back to the bleakness of the Real World. It’s shocking and I’ve noticed this feeling before while watching movies. I clearly remember seeing Apollo 13 in the theater as a kid and the shock I felt walking back to the car on a bright and sunny day realizing that, yes, it was just a movie and I was back in Reality was terrible. I’d have to go to school later and I’d have to do homework and I’d have to grow up and I’d have to get a job and I’d have to grow old. Consider the harrowing adventure Jim Lovell and crew had to contend with over a few weeks as they whipped around the moon not sure if they’d survive in the dark inhospitable environment of space. It’s a fucking Adventure. And it was engrossing and exhilarating and it was a shock walking into the parking lot and realizing that in a way it was all a dream to you.

The same thing happened yesterday when I stopped reading The Wheel of Time. Mind totally blown and fixed on the greater themes in the story. The Light. The Wheel of Time. The impossibility of stopping past events from repeating themselves in the future. The grand battle against The Dark One. The promise that every character in the book has a purpose, some key role they’re going to play in the Grand Tale. I put the book down, blew out the candle, and walked upstairs to eat peanut butter on crackers along with a glass of milk. Only wearing my underwear. I looked out the window and the sky was turning a dull greyish color. Thanks Daylight Savings Time. I slept until 1 p.m., dragged myself out of the bed, and made some coffee. Now I’m writing a blog post. This is my Grand Adventure. Yay.

Not that the characters are on grand adventures all the time. I’m sure they had to deal with the same mundane bullshit I have to deal with, but this doesn’t bother them in the story. It isn’t even discussed really and only appears in vague ways. Wanting to leave the comfy town in order to “see the world” or to “go on an adventure.” But they seem happy enough and you can’t help but feel bad for the everyday person being caught up in the shitstorm. Tam, one character in the story, can’t wait to get back to his farm and tend to his sheep, even if things are going to hell around him. He likes the quiet life. If they are like me though, maybe the want the world to fall apart in some huge crisis between Light and Dark just so they have some reason to break away from the pointlessness of everything else. To be a part of something greater than themselves.

Sometimes I do think I’m on the brink of my own Great Adventure, kinda waiting around to the world or myself to totally snap in some way to set me out on it. Maybe I am a future best-selling author? Maybe these stupid posts are all the hard work I need to do to get to that point? I doubt it. This fragment of hope exists as a tiny and miniscule glow tucked deep in the back of my mind. I’m not writing because I think it’s a step on the path to greatness, no. I’m writing because there isn’t jackshit else to do and I need to kill another hour before I sulk my way to work. Another day in my fourteen-year career at UPS. Another post in my fourteen-day streak on WordPress. Jesus Christ.

I really think these tiny glimmer of hopes for a better future are what keeps people from going insane. The tiny glow of possible being an author is what keeps the darkness at bay. I know it’s likely bullshit, but if I really gave up hope, what else would I do? I think if everyone gave up hope there’d be no other choice but to string a rope from the ceiling and end it all.

Streak Day #13 Sucks (and some stuff about “networking”)

It’s 3:51 a.m. and I’m once again unable to sleep. I think this is partly to blame on daylight savings time. My body feels like it’s 2:51 a.m. not that it makes much difference anyways. I feel adrift in time, and yesterday was especially terrible. We were at the store at 7 p.m. and it was still daylight out. It felt really late, like 9 p.m. for some reason but also really early like 5 p.m. for some reason. Just nothing to anchor you to any sense of temporal security.

Every blogger has the same basic goal: get more viewers/readers. It’s so obvious it feels dumb to even state; isn’t it the reason anyone would take up this hobby? While I’m sure there are some “purists” that write and blog for the sake of writing and blogging, or to undergo some personal growth in a writing adventure, I’m guessing these account for like 10% of blogs. Even if you do blog with that purpose, I’m sure most have a close secondary goal of having others actually read your stuff.

Now that I think of it, maybe I’m wrong here. A friend of mine is working on some massive three-book fantasy story. She’s built an entire mythical world and it sounds wonderfully complex. I continually pester her about when she will make these writings public while she seems completely happy with the project being for herself. She doesn’t seem to care if anyone ever reads the story, it could be a total masterpiece but she’s doing it for herself. If that makes sense. Maybe purists do exist? Maybe I’m too pragmatic and egotistical where I don’t want to write and have no one else read it. It seems like a waste of time to me. In a way I wish I could be like my friend. The quality of what I write would probably be better.

The problem is trying to get people to read your shit in the first place. We all start from nothing, and how do you even get somewhere starting from nothing?

Post A Lot/Be Consistent

One blog I was a huge fan if years ago was waitbutwhy. Go check it out. The author Tim Urban, seems to be a total nerd and wrote many long and detailed pieces about Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla, as well as many other high quality, enlightening, terrifying, and hilarious posts.

I say ‘was a fan’ because something happened a few years ago where Tim seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. So when he started posting a few months ago I was surprised, mostly by the fact that I had totally forgotten about the blog when he wasn’t posting. (Note: what he was up to in the meantime was mulling over a massive post attempting to figure out what exactly happened to American society in the past five or ten years. Increasing hostility and polarization in America, wondering when we exactly went off the rails, shit like that. Namely, but more of a symptom and not the problem itself: how the hell did Donald Trump end up as president? I guess he was struggling to make any progress on this amazingly complex topic, and finally decided to make an entire series about it. It’s ongoing and he hasn’t posted in like a month but I hope he keeps it up. It’s fascinating.)

My point here is simple: to get readers you need to be consistent and actually post. Duh. People simply forget that you exist if you stop posting. Maybe we like to think that we have a legion of loyal fans wondering when the hell the next post/chapter will come out, and maybe this is true for some people, but we’re forgettable. I have this complex idea in my mind for a few months about how the internet only rewards action and not inaction. I want to write some big epic post on it but can’t pull it together. It goes something like this. On social media people only see you when you post and no one notices your lack of posting. Contrast this to the real world where your absence is noted, like at work. People miss you if you’re not there and this doesn’t happen on the internet. I think the same is true with blogging. People notice you if you do something while few notice if you don’t do something. If that makes sense. You need to stay in people’s minds I guess.

I had a first hand learning experience with this cactus recently (somehow my phone put the word ‘cactus’ there and it’s too hilarious to fix). My other blog for short stories and stuff hasn’t had anything new posted in a month or two. I recently plopped out a really shitty piece that had a single view. No one gave a shit about it. But when I was posting a chapter or two every week I was raking in the views. You can’t just hop back into the game and start where you left off. Nope. Rebuild the readers and don’t fuck it up in the future.

“Networking”

There are certain words that I just hate with a passion and networking is one of them. It’s right up there with synergy and scripture for some reason. I hate the word and I hate what it stands for. Basically, it’s a professional form of ‘socializing’ which I’m fucking terrible at. Not even socializing in the casual aspect but socializing with the purpose of building contacts and making progress in your endeavors. It’s socializing but with a goal.

One of my posts a week or so ago talked about how this streak I’m on is really getting me readers. This is because of what I talked about previously: being consistent and posting keeps you ‘out there.’ The more you post the more people will notice you and read your shit. One person commented (I’d link to his blog, but I don’t know the protocol behind that. Do you need to ask first?) that the real way to pump numbers up is to, you guessed it, network. That really got me thinking about the process and how terrible I am at it.

Last post I talked about my supposed “genuineness” with blogging and how I’m legit interested in what others write. Being genuine is the main key to proper networking; we’ve all seen the random comments on posts that usually go something like this: Great Post! Check out my blog here [link to post]! These aren’t genuine at all and anyone can see right through them. These people are networking on the most basic and fundamental level, forcing themselves to comment only to market themselves. There is no real interest in what you had written, and it comes across very pathetic and self-serving. People have a very sensitive radar for disingenuity. It’s painfully obvious and does you zero favors. If you network, or force yourself to network, don’t fucking do this.

I think this is what holds me back from selfishly networking. To network you have to be selfish to some degree I think; that’s what gets you out trying to promote yourself in the first place, but I’m so selfish that I don’t want to spend my time forcing myself to read people’s stuff that I’m not interested in, if that makes sense. One good thing about this is that I don’t think I have the “genuineness” problem when I do network. If I am commenting or something it means I really have something to say and actually read your post. And I sure as hell aren’t going to leave a link to my own blog in the comment section trying to bring people over.

Networking seems to branch into other areas as well outside of “pure” networking. You really need to be creative and play the game of self-marketing. Make as many social media accounts as you can, spam your links anywhere you can on the internet. Find forums and like-minded individuals and send links to people that might be interested in your stuff. Some of my video game posts I could probably share on game forums, but no. I don’t want to be pushy. I’m terrible at networking in all its forms. I’m getting a severe case of deja vu here for some reason.

Part of me thinks if I could get my shit together this blog could really take off. If I could stay focused and churn out high-quality posts everyday and actually spend time networking I might find success. But part of me simply doesn’t care. That would be too much work and what is the grand goal of this blog anyways? Get a million views and start advertising? I doubt it. Do some affiliate marketing? Once again, I doubt it. There is no grand plan. I think this rambly post has worn itself out. Goodbye everyone. Day thirteen complete.

Manic Bluetooth Etiquette Sucks

Etiquette’ is a really screwy word to spell by the way.

It’s 7:17 p.m. and I’m on break at work. Sitting in a van listening to whatever music a coworker is playing over the bluetooth stereo I bring into work. This allows us to listen to music streamed from our phones without the hassle of using a physical aux cord. Before he started playing music, I was playing some Beach House. I hopped out of the van to use the bathroom and when I came back he was camped on the bluetooth, dictating our music for the next hour. The only issue I have with the music currently playing is that it doesn’t fit the vibe of the day. It’s cloudy, chilly, and the wind is howling outside. The van slightly rocks around from the breeze. And he’s playing some hardcore music that is semi-upbeat and angsty, a far cry from the Beach House vibe that I think is more accurate for the night. But maybe this is just my current mood and no one else thinks the vibe is as Beach Housey as I do.

I’ve been on antidepressants for 2 days now. They told me it’d take two weeks for me to notice any changes, and I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I definitely don’t feel like I usually do. I drove to work in a kinda sleepy and dreamy haze, going through the motions in a perfectly blah mood. This is typical but I was surprised to see this mood continue even at work. My job assignment this week is operating the k-loader: a large multi-ton machine that physically raises and lowers the containers the fifty or so feet to the airplane’s cargo deck. Usually this job requires a ton of attention and keeps me on my toes and mentally engaged. Nope, not tonight. I was up there operating it with the usual professional skill that I always have, but in a sleepy and detached haze. It’s like I wasn’t really there or engaged with the equipment, but somehow I was also more aware of what I was doing. Like I was in someone else’s head as they were operating it. But damn were they doing a great job at it.

It’s disorienting in a way. I feel like I’ve taken a handful of Benadryls without the complete sleepiness that they have. I’m laid back and don’t care to talk or to interact, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I do think of something to say I’ll say it in a totally detached way, like I’m just saying something because I want to say it without any of the anxiety I’m used to. No thought how it’ll be received or anything. It was also disorienting looking at myself in the bathroom mirror; I looked perfectly normal. I thought I’d look totally dead and expressionless but there I was. The typical everyday Jeremy with a vague smile on his face like usual.

And I’m also equally…jittery I guess? It’s hard to explain. A half-hour ago I was sitting in the van having a good discussion with my friends and I noticed my hands and legs were shaking. Jittery, antsy, but still tired, detached, out of it, but very aware of everything. Was it the nicotine? Had I been hitting my vape too hard? Or was it the meds? Or was it neither of those?

Many of these things were listed as side effects, but they’re easy enough to deal with so far. I don’t feel like the jitteriness is turning into a full fledged anxiety attack and the sleepiness isn’t so crippling that I can’t do my job safely. So I think it’s normal. It’s enough to deal with and I don’t think I should jump ship just yet.

To further prove my point, listen to what my coworker is now playing. This is not the vibe for today. And now this one. Maybe the jitteriness will manifest into an anxiety attack?

The social laws involved with sharing a bluetooth stereo device at work are strange. Yes, it’s mine — I physically own the damn thing — so you’d assume I should be in charge of the music all the time. No, no fucking way. Despite owning the bluetooth thingy, bringing it into work primarily for my own enjoyment on break, I don’t think this gives me free reign to force a van full of people to listen to my music the entire shift. Depending on what I play, it could be seen as an extreme form of torture. I also bring it in as a favor for my coworkers so we don’t have to listen to the shitty radio; it’s like a community favor and the joy of the community overrides my physical ownership of the device. I think that’s why I put the vibe of the music over anything else. Like if someone is playing music and you want to recommend a song, request something with the same general vibe of the current music. Don’t upend the flow by demanding songs that have nothing to do with the current mood. Don’t try to force your musical tastes upon everyone else. But also be courteous and mindful of everyone else’s requests and needs. If you’re the one playing music, accommodate them to a degree even if they do break the vague social etiquette of van bluetooth music usage. Never sync up without being invited to do so. Once invited, you can sync up anytime in the future. If no one else is synced up for a period of five or ten minutes, feel free to do so, but only if you’ve been allowed to sync up before! And so on.

Sometimes I wonder if these pills have put me in a manic state. I think I’m in a manic state but maybe me thinking this is what’s putting me in the state to begin with? This post does seem rather…unhinged though, doesn’t it? Either way, I’m writing and I’m going to post it and to hell with how it turns out. Maybe it’ll be a good reference to compare what happens before and after you start taking SSRI antidepressants. You lose your goddamn mind. You write endless rambling things. You stop caring if what your writing is good and has a point. Maybe that’s a good thing after all?

Worst of all, two weeks? Really? Part of me thinks this is all some awful placebo effect and nothing has really changed. Maybe I’ve always been this way and taking pills for a few days is leading me to think I’m sleepy, out of it, and totally rambling on a blog post not because I’m naturally this way but because I can blame it on the meds. What if it’s all in my head tricking me for some reason? And if this is the case, what the fuck is going to happen when the meds really do kick in?

Smoking Sucks/Vaping is Awesome

Now that I got that unintended long introduction out of the way about how I ended up vaping in the first place, I want to explain why it’s fucking awesome for someone totally addicted to nicotine. There are just so many reasons that make it more appealing than cigarettes. In fact the only downside I see to vaping is the slight and minor inconvenience of charging the damn things. I suppose you don’t have to charge a cigarette to smoke it?

Instagram Pics

Vaping and it’s ability to “chuck fat clouds” is wonderful for your Instagram pics. I’m serious. You can blow these beautiful clouds in strange lighting conditions, filter the hell out of them, and you’re left with a masterpiece of artistic photography.

View this post on Instagram

ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space

A post shared by Jeremy Jordan (@jjwritestuff) on

The Smell and Taste

Cigarettes are fucking disgusting. Even though I smoked for about five years, I never did not find them disgusting. The smoke smells terrible. The smell lingers on anything it touches. My parents smoke and all I have to do is walk into their homes for a few minutes and I’ll leave reeking of cigarette smoke. They don’t even have to be smoking; it’s that prevalent in the atmosphere of their homes!

As for vaping? It smells great. This is slightly complicated though given the nearly endless varieties of vape juice flavoring. I’m sure some smell awful (and I’ve always found the fact that they have tobacco-flavored vape juice to be really strange) but with vapes you have options. You can find some fruity pineapple grapefruit flavored juice, or some coffee-flavored juices, whatever the hell you want you can find.

The Convenience

Smoking during the past twenty years has totally been shit on by society in general. Here in Illinois a law was passed banning smoking in workplaces; you couldn’t even smoke at a restaurant or a bar after that. This was great though; eating food in a smoke-filled restaurant was fucking awful. Even if there were separate sections for smoking, the smoke always diffused throughout the entire place. And after that? Laws and statutes banning smoking in hospital parking lots, in cars with children, and other various inconvenient minor things.

This makes having a cigarette a pain in your ass. If you’re at work you need to go outdoors, usually to a designated smoking area, sometimes off property, that might be far away from your work area. It might be cold out, or rainy, or whatever.

Not that vaping is clear-cut to do everywhere legally. It does fall into the category of ‘nicotine usage’ but it isn’t really smoking either. In fact I don’t know what the Illinois law even says in clear legal language. [SEE NOTE BELOW!] But my workplace lumps vaping in with smoking; you need to go to a smoking area to vape. No vaping while working! But the fun fact about vaping is that it’s very easy to hide. Smaller vapes can fit in the palm of your hand and don’t emit much vapor; I find myself totally disregarding the rules at work and vape wherever and whenever the hell I want. There is no stinky smell of burning plant material to out you and no open flame to create a legitimate safety hazard around fuel or other flammable materials. There is no constant plume of smoke giving your location away. Basically, even if vaping is lumped in with smoking, it’s stupidly easy to hide. You can easily vape in stores, restaurants, work places, and anywhere else without anyone noticing or really giving a damn. Just don’t be totally obnoxious about it that is.

[NOTE: I looked up the language of the “Smoke Free Illinois Act” and in the “definition” section provides this:

“Smoke” or “smoking” means the carrying, smoking, burning, inhaling, or exhaling of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, hookah, weed, herbs, or any other lighted smoking equipment. “Smoke” or “smoking” does not include smoking that is associated with a native recognized religious ceremony, ritual, or activity by American Indians that is in accordance with the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C. 1996 and 1996a.

Note that this doesn’t say anything about vaporizers. In short, at least in Illinois (your state laws can and will be different) vaping is perfectly legal, at least under the “Smoke Free Illinois Act”. I also don’t know if there are other laws in effect. This was the Big One though; the one to ban smoking nearly everywhere in public.]

Even More Convenience

Vaping supplies last a lot longer than a pack of cigarettes do as well. A single pod and bottle of juice lasts me about two to three weeks meaning I don’t need to continually restock my nicotine supplies. Consider the pack a day smoker; sure you can buy a carton of 20 packs and this might last you 20 days, but that’s a huge expense. A pack a day smoker who doesn’t stock up must stop at a shitty gas station whenever they run out and buy another pack, usually every day. This is a total pain in the ass that vaping skips right over. For the price of two or three cartons of cigarettes you can stock up on enough vape juice to last you nearly two months. Which I suppose is a good segue into the next topic…

It’s Cheap as Fuck

Once again consider the pack a day smoker: $8 per day, $56 per week, $240 per month, and $2,920 per year. This isn’t a trivial amount of money! Smoking is ridiculously expensive, made this way by the hefty taxes on the products and by the price gouging of cigarette companies who can price gouge because you’re addicted to their product and will pay nearly anything to get the nicotine fix. This was actually the main reason I quit smoking in the first place: I’m too cheap to smoke. It’s too much money wasted. And it’s the main reason I would never get addicted to cigarettes ever again.

And now consider vaping. A bottle of juice might cost, and let’s be generous here, $30. This lasts me two weeks but your mileage may vary. Still, this breaks down to only $15 a week — about the price of two packs of cigs. This equates out to about $800 per year, a third of the cost of smoking. Once again, if you’re going to be addicted to nicotine, you’d save a ton of cash by vaping instead of smoking.

I’ve recently started to make my own vape juice. I bought nicotine, the ‘filler solution’ and some flavoring. In total this cost me $35 and some rough math tells me all of the supplies should allow me to make around 40 weeks of vape juice. For $35! This is basically nothing! You can never get the expenses down to zero unless you can somehow source your own nicotine, but still these are crazily low numbers to support a raging nicotine addiction on.

There is also the fact that you need to periodically purchase pods, and while the costs of these will add up, you’d still be nowhere near the $3,000 expense of smoking. Just a rough guess, but I’d say a yearly supply of vape pods might total around $100, or you can be a heathen and use the same pods over and over until they cease to work.

Health Reasons?

So these are bit less clear cut and I can’t find any clear medical shit to say vaping is healthier. This page right here from the John Hopkins Medical Center seems to sum up the health effects nicely. In fact most medical places seem to insist that vaping is “bad for you” but can’t give any details as to why it is; section two of the article even says this gem: “People need to understand that e-cigarettes are potentially dangerous to your health.” My emphasis on potentially dangerous — we don’t know how dangerous these things are. Really I don’t think it has been studied long enough to even have good data. To discover cigarettes caused cancer required decades of good data and vaping hasn’t been around long enough to provide this yet.

That being said vaping has had a bad rap the past year with people actually dying from it. (Part one of the link above beat this into the ground. Which is a bit dramatic and missing the point entirely.) The media ran with this hype and scared a ton of people but the real problem it seems was from people using shitty, illegally-purchased, black market pods for smoking THC. Something about a buildup of vitamin E acetate in the lungs or something. The best way to avoid dying from vaping is to not use shitty, street-bought pods or juice. I mean that makes perfect sense so it shouldn’t really be news, but here we are. And the public still doesn’t seem to know much about this fact. In short: as with any other chemical/substance, don’t vape with shit you buy off the street!

I assume vaping will be healthier than smoking because it seems logical that it should. Obviously logic doesn’t make it true, but I think it points in the correct direction. Smoking is terrible for your health and vaping would have to somehow beat it to be worse long-term. I just don’t see this happening. While it might not be good for you, it shouldn’t be nearly as dangerous as smoking.

Smoking involves inhaling burning plant material. It’s never a good idea health-wise to inhale anything that is burning. I vaguely recall hearing that cooking on a charcoal grill too freqnetly is bad as the smoke from that causes cancer. In house fires smoke is a big killer, because humans aren’t meant to inhale fucking smoke. Smoking is literally this with the burning process changing and altering the already shitty chemicals in tobacco to even more dangerous chemicals.

One thing that does seem to be bad about smoking/vaping is the nicotine. Duh. Nicotine raises your blood pressure and heart rate so if you’re inhaling it nonstop (like smokers/vapers do) you’ll probably have a consistently elevated blood pressure/heart rate which isn’t good for your cardiovascular system. Once again, if you’re going to full-send a nicotine addiction at least skip the burning carcinogenic materials and keep yourself as clean as possible. Vape juice is about as simple as it can be — nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavoring — and would appear to be miles better than cigarette smoke. Sure, it’s not as healthy as not inhaling anything into your lungs at all, but no one is perfect.

Maybe I should’ve tried to get some affiliate marketing for this post? Rake in some of that sweet Big Vape money. Oh well.

Quiet Introspection is Awesome

This week I’ve been in a strange mood. The total emotional vomit of the weekend has been replaced by a hollow yet comforting feeling. It feels like I’m myself in my most fundamental way, not trying to search for anything or trying to discover anything, only existing. This is me: nothing.

I don’t recall the last time I’ve really closed up, introspected, kept busy, and was dead to the outside world. It’s strange too, because I’m a huge fan of closing myself away and existing. Maybe that’s part of myself I’d lost in the past few years? My tendency towards “growth” usually forces me outside of my comfort zone into socializing, being open, etc. and maybe this isn’t how I really am. Under the guise of “growth” and “challenging myself” I can ignore the fact that maybe I’m just trying to be something that I am fundamentally not. I’m a quiet, unsociable hermit, so why am I trying to be anything else?

Or maybe it’s just depression. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think my realization on Sunday might’ve spooked me or something. My tendency to rely on others, constantly seek social approval, and wanting to be ‘special’ or ‘part of the in-crowd’ might be another way for myself to play right into my own insecurities. To recap slightly: my mom wasn’t very loving so I think I carried that right into adulthood as insecurity, self-loathing, and a lack of self-esteem. My thinking goes like this; do I feel pressured to socialize to feel accepted? Just in a general way? Even if I don’t want to interact, do I force myself to (once again under the guise of “self-improvement” or “putting myself out there”) be someone disingenuous because of my insecurities?

I don’t know, but I’ve been embracing a “minimalistic” approach to myself lately. I feel naked as a person, totally exposed, to where I don’t even know who I really am as a person. Am I the person who makes silly jokes at work? Am I the person that is quiet and sulks? Am I a reclusive writer? And I bipolar who is very sociable/quiet depending on my mood? Who am I really? I don’t know and I’ve gotten to the point of exhaustion even caring about it. I am who I am. I show up to work and fucking sit in silence. I don’t ignore people — that would be forcing myself in another disingenuous needlessly hostile direction — I just don’t try to force anything. If I have a question, I’ll ask and if someone asks me a question, I’ll answer. No elaborate replies, not big complex stories, no obvious fake smiles or anything. Just me. Or the most basic and genuine me that I can find, whoever that even is.

We have plenty of downtime at my job. Yesterday we had a three hour break. Yes. I sat in our crew van — a normal 15-passenger Chevy Van — and listened to music. Most people were off socializing or sitting in their own tugs (tiny little tractors we use to pull shit around), and I was able to listen to four full albums. Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist, and Radiohead’s In Rainbows, OK Computer, and Moon Shaped Pool.

As a side note, I’ve really been embracing punk music in my current state. There is something so visceral, cold, and fun about punk music, especially the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra’s lyrics are always cynical, sarcastic, and political. What better way to give up introspection than to blast heavy, fast, loud, violent music with lyrics that don’t give a shit about anything emotional? They contrast wonderfully with all the introspective, emotional, and difficult to listen to music I’ve been playing lately. It’s a form of beautiful escapism and I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Dead Kennedys because of this.

Even after we start loading our airplane we have at least a half-hour of downtime. What do you do with all this time stuck in an airplane? Most people talk — people seem to not be able to escape the need to fucking talk to each other, even if the topics are about the boringest, blandest, most unfulfilling shit possible — and obviously I had zero patience or need for it this week. So I sat cross legged in the airplane and stared at whatever object I could find to stare at. Kinda like a loose form of meditation, just accepting that this is me and this is who I am for the next 30 minutes and there was no escape or even purpose to escape. This is Water, I thought.

People on my crew (in general?) can’t seem to stand still or to not talk. One girl walks to the rear of the plane and back, over and over, getting her “daily steps” in or some shit. She’s kinda a health nut so I understand. Another two people can’t seem to stand still — even if they’re not “getting their steps in” they’re still nervously pacing around the plane for some unknown reason. Another few people feel the need to socially interact every moment of their lives. Their conversations are always about the, once again, most boringest, blandest, most unfulfilling shit possible; usually the unholy trifecta which is work, weather, and sports. These people constantly roam around going from person to person or group to group trying to find someone, anyone to talk listen to them ramble. And a few people I consider friends stand and talk in a small group of two to four people about whatever topic they’re talking about at the time. No judgement to them because you can tell they’re having a fun, laid-back, mutual discussion about whatever they’re talking about. There isn’t any twisted social reasoning for their talking; they’re just talking like normal healthy human beings do.

And I sit there and stare not wanting to be apart of anything. I don’t have the urge to. It’s not me being anti-social or depressed, I just don’t want to talk. Or to force myself to talk. Or to force myself to be apart of something. I’m aware of my insecurities and don’t want to play into them or worry about them. So I’ll just sit, thank you, and exist as I am for a half hour. I make a point to not appear too sulky or depressive or happy or introspective. Keeping as blank of a stare as possible is part of the loose meditation. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, even with a facial expression.

Sometimes I am curious how this appears to others. “Jeremy this week seems a lot more quiet and reserved than he usually is,” maybe some think, but most likely no one notices or cares; this is how people are. That’s freeing in and of itself. I don’t feel any social stigma for sitting and being withdrawn. I’m doing my own thing and fuck anyone for thinking of it strange or weird, and if it makes me more unique by being totally accepting of myself and my actions, isn’t that what I’ve been after this whole time? The ability to embrace myself, without worry or care, and be appreciated as the naked and raw person that I am deep within?

I’m sure this phase won’t last long. Sunday was me realizing something about myself and wondering what the hell I even do with the realization. A half-week later I’m already embracing myself and reflecting on it all. And I’m sure in a week I’ll be back to socializing for some fucking unknown reason. Sometimes I hate everything being in flux; I kinda like to exist in my current mood for the rest of my life, but that won’t happen. Moods always change into other moods and if there is one thing that is true about life is there is nothing for you to hold onto. You can’t grasp happiness and hold it forever, and as comforting as depression sometimes is, you can’t grasp that either. Something about learning how to surf the waves, “go with the flow,” or some other trite bullshit you’ve heard countless times.