[20210523 Untitled]

I’m on day 43 of sobriety. I don’t like counting days but the r/stopdrinking subreddit has this nice little feature that tracks the days since your last drink. I don’t remember the actual day of my last drink, I only know it’s been 43 days since then. I don’t care to do the math.

My last extended period of sobriety was eye-awakening. I was happy. I was social. I felt like my old self, whatever that meant, like I had solved all of my mental health issues. Like shit, you stop drinking and life is perfect! Not to cover that again but I started drinking again for a month or so, stopped, and here we are.

My mood was about what you’d expected; the first week my mood was awful (due to the lack of booze) and then I was great. Fucking riding in the clouds and finding happiness and purpose with my life. Until the past week that is.

For the past week my mood has been shit. Utterly depressed, unable to fall asleep, unable to wake up, unwilling to get out of bed. The only thing that does get me out of bed is the need to piss and to get some coffee in my system. Besides that there is no grand goal or purpose to going through my day. Going to work has been a struggle and I’m surprised I haven’t called in in the past week. It’s strange, it’s like my mood is so damn shitty there is no reason not to go to work and be miserable. Like why not go to work? It’s not like there’s anything else for me to do that’s enjoyable.

Doing physical exercise is mentally exhausting. Playing video games is mentally exhausting. Writing/blogging is bullshit and what’s the purpose? It’s been such a deep depression that I can’t even do those little productive things that make you feel better. Go for a walk, lift some weights, do something you enjoy doing. No, I don’t enjoy doing anything. And I don’t feel like pulling myself out of my current mood because my mood is crappy and what’s the point of doing things that will make you feel better.

It’s hilarious in a way. I don’t remember ever being this depressed. It’s not even a deep and suicidal depression, it almost feels deeper. Suicide is a way to escape your shitty life and the pain you feel nearly all the time and for me there is no pain or no point in trying to escape. There is nothing so damn bad and torturous that I want to escape, life is just fucking boring and useless and not exciting. If happiness is a loving doggie that you want to pet, and suicidal depression is a lion that is constantly chasing you, my depression is an annoying fly in the room. It’s there, it sucks, it’s annoying, it’s harmless, and it’s boring. The fly isn’t nearly as wonderful as a dog but it’s nothing I need to escape.

What’s even more hilarious about this is there is no cause to it. I have zero reason to feel this way. Nothing has triggered it. Nothing has set me off. Last Sunday I woke up to this blah mood and it’s been around ever since. Even with total and brutal self-honesty I can’t come up with a single thing that’s causing it. I haven’t drank in a month and a half. My mood is stable. My life is okay. Things are great actually. But this feeling? Eh, I have no clue.

It’s not all bad, operating on this ultra-basic level of existence. When you feel like you have no drive or purpose it’s pretty easy to convince yourself to do random shit without reason which feels like living life in a more natural way. It almost feels like the dry-erase board that is me has been wiped clean. I’m a blank slate and can do whatever the hell I want, like I’m starting fresh and new. Feeling like life and everything is pointless does give you a good foundation with what to start with. When nothing matters, what do you choose to do in the meaningless of it all?

I’ve had this random urge to bake bread. I’ve never baked bread before but it’s been a goal of mine during the Week of Depression. Life is pointless and shit, but damn I want to bake some bread! (My first loaf turned out nearly perfect by the way…) I also made tofu because that sounded stupid and fun to try even if life is pointless. (This tasted kinda funky…) I’ve worked on a new book with this blank mindset and my insomnia; life is shit so — oh, it’s 7 a.m. and I can’t sleep — maybe I should write to have something to do? Hell, I’ve even been eating healthier somehow; life is shit so what’s the point of blowing money on fast food that ‘tastes good’ when I can eat a fucking avocado and drink some water? I’ll be outside wandering the yard and find tiny bugs and flowers to take pictures of. Not to post on Instagram to farm social cool points, just something to do because there’s nothing more appealing to do. I even took a picture of the new Chinese space station on Thursday as it flew over. I’ve knocked out a book as well, Buzz Aldrin’s Magnificent Desolation only because why not?

The Hustle Sucks

God, how I hate the word ‘hustle’ and it’s cousin ‘side hustle.’ All side hustle seems to refer to is your shitty side ‘job’ where you rake in pennies on your own terms. I’m thinking DoorDash here because I’ve been seeing their ads on YouTube for quite awhile now. It’s such a shitty ad and maybe you’ve seen it. Some girl wanting to make cash on the side while ‘not being stuck at a 9-5 job’. They show her playing guitar — her real ‘job’ and ‘passion’ — writing down lyrics and chords and smiling and shit. Because she’s following her dream with DoorDash making her money on her own terms! One thing that really bothers me about the ad is how she says “I used to make money with DoorDash” or something like that. Notice the past tense. She used to make money; why doesn’t she still make money with DoorDash? It’s a small thing and maybe I’m putting more weight to it than I should but I can’t get that past tense out of my head and notice it every time the ad plays for me, which is about seven times per day.

I suppose DoorDash is a legit job/gig so that’s good. Let’s ignore the MLMers out in the world like my cousin. Or doge traders. Neither of these should be considered a ‘side hustle’ at all.

I really don’t like the r/blogging subreddit. I think I’ve bitched about it here before, maybe in passing. I don’t know what I expected from the sub, but I’m constantly disappointed by their focus on the ‘business aspects’ of blogging. Most of these people only care about SEO, views, referral links, promotional partnerships, and ad revenue. They’re trying to make blogging their side hustle and to me it misses the point of blogging which is to write. Maybe I’m an old and bitter blogger who is jealous because he isn’t making shit for money and doesn’t care enough to seriously attempt to make money. While I’m happy blogging for no pay whatsoever it would be nice to say the hours a week I put into is actually worth some monetary value.

I still have shitty WordAds running here (notice the tacky Duck Duck Go ads?!) and that’s fun. I earn about a penny a day. $3.65 per year, unless it’s a leap year! Then I’ll make $3.66! Getting rich off this hustle, am I right? I noticed something interesting yesterday regarding WordAds though; they only pay out once you reach $100. Let’s do some math, shall we? 100/3.65 is……………………..27.39 years. After 27 years of blogging I can transfer $100 to my PayPal account. Yay?!

I think I’ll shut it off soon because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(What’s with company names that are two words smashed together with the second one being capitalized? WordAds. GameStop. DoorDash. YouTube. BlackBerry. AdSense. When is Papa John’s going to rename themselves PapaJohn’sPizza?)

My Amazon book sucks dick too. During the GameStop frenzy I thought it’d be a prime time to advertise the book on Reddit and Amazon. I actually sold some books too! I think I sold like 20 or so and was super excited about it. People actually bought my book! Amazon gave me $20 in royalties and that’s almost real money that you can actually use. How much did advertising cost me? About $200. Huh…

I’m proud of my book and think it’s a good introduction to options trading so I tried to advertise it again a week ago. So far I’ve pissed away $150 and have sold zero books. Yikes.

I really think anyone who’s successful selling books is that one in a million person that is stupidly stubborn. They don’t give a shit they haven’t sold anything; they’re going to keep churning out book after book until they blindly strike it rich (or find moderate success). Keep throwing shit at the wall until something sticks sort of deal. Is this who I am? Probably not. I’m more bored than stubborn. I find myself not wanting to publish books or blog posts or do any hard SEO work, but out of boredom I do get around to being somewhat productive.

What was my point here? Oh yeah, fuck the side hustle, especially with blogging and Kindle books. These two make DoorDash seem like a legit, career-defining job. At least DoorDash pays you money without you being lucky or doing everything perfectly. Better yet for a side hustle: McDonald’s. Seriously. Rake in the $12 per hour with set scheduled shifts. It’s easier cash than any other side hustle. Sure you’ll be miserable and unfulfilled, but you’ll have a few extra hundred dollars every week.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

May Vidya

“Stay busy at all costs! Don’t become bored!” This is one of my ‘rules’ I’ve been following when I decided to stop drinking. I’ll toss a list together whenever I get the motivation to do so, but this one I found is key to not drinking. Boredom leads to misery which leads to drinking. Obviously it’d be best to do something useful and productive to stay busy, but sometimes you need to do whatever you can to get by. When motivation is near zero, when your mood is trash, when you don’t want to actually do anything productive, what can you do? Video games!

So here’s a little bit about the three games I’ve been playing as I get back into sober swing of things.

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program deserves it’s own post; it’s one of my all-time favorite games ever. As a kid I loved the Flight Simulator series, have always been passionate about spaceflight, and enjoyed building Legos. This game combines all three into a fun and accurate game about spaceflight. You build your own rockets/spaceplanes and explore the solar system; the only limit to what you can do is your own stubbornness and creativity. Kerbal Space Program also has a fairly accurate physics system; you really learn orbital mechanics in a hands-on way. Seriously, you’ll understand why we can only launch to Mars every two years, understand what the hell delta-v is, and learn the massive difference between orbital and sub-orbital flight, among a ton of other things.

Kerbal also has a way of keeping you playing even if you’re done with the game. It’s really easy to screw something up like running out of fuel or becoming stranded on another planet/moon which naturally leads to the inevitable rescue missions! No Kerbal left behind! There is no real need to rescue stranded Kerbals — they live forever — but something about fixing your screw-ups is immensely satisfying. So even if you’re done exploring the solar system there are usually a handful of Kerbals that you can rescue. Sometimes your rescue missions also get stranded meaning you need to rescue the rescue crew as well. Kerbal Space Program is rescue missions all the way down!

In my current game I have a crew of Kerbals stranded in a very high orbit around the sun. In terms of our real solar system, these Kerbals orbit between Mars and fucking Pluto — they’re way the fuck out there — and I just now got a rescue ship to them. They’ve only been in space for 70 years so I think they’re happy to see the rescue ship! Sadly the rescue ship doesn’t have enough fuel to make it back home, so I’ll have to piss away another 20 in-game years doing gravity assists until I can actually get them back to Kerbin, the home planet. After 100+ years in spae I’m sure my Kerbals will love to finally walk on the surface of the planet they call home. Those poor guys…

A bit about PS Now…

We somehow ended up with a PS Now subscription. It happened the way all things at our house happen; one of the kids wanted to play one of the PS Now games and only played it for a few days sticking me with a recurring $10 per month subscription charge. I figured since we had it maybe I should see what games are on there. I can always cancel if they don’t have anything.

PS Now, in case you’re not aware, is PlayStation’s game streaming service. You don’t download the games onto your PS4/5, you play them over the internet. This sounds like a great idea — you can play a fuckton of older games that you might’ve missed without purchasing them or storing them on a limited space hard drive — but has some glaring downsides. You might already be aware that latency comes into play here, and you’d be correct. By streaming the game, all information, button presses, audio, video, has to be sent over the internet. Can this even be done fast enough to yield a playable game?

No. At least not with our totally ass internet. I’m blaming Comcast again. Let’s say I want to open the menu on a game. I hit ‘O’. The signal goes to the PS4 via Bluetooth, via the PS4 to our Wi-Fi router, via the router to the modem and onto our ISP, then it gets sent to the PlayStation servers where the ‘O’ button press is actually received and processed. Shit happens there and the “opened menu” command gets passed right back along via the same path back to my TV. Sure the internet is fast, but even a few hundred millisecond delay is painful. PS Now works great if you can deal with the slight delay to everything. I could not imagine playing a Dark Souls-esque game via streaming though.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Ace Combat 7 is a one of these PS Now games I’ve been playing. For some reason I’ve been wanting to play one of these shitty flying/shoot shit games for awhile and it scratches my itch well even if it isn’t realistic at all.

Not that I was expecting it to be realistic. I knew what I was getting myself into: a dramatic and chaotic shoot-airplanes-down game with zero realism to it. Sure the planes are real — you start with an F-16 — but beyond this the game is a joke. You have 70 missiles for some reason. Your radar only locks onto enemies within a few thousand feet (or meters, does it matter?) of them. Dogfights only happen at 5’000 feet. Hell, there isn’t even a button to retract your landing gear, it goes up automatically when you take off. Flaps, speed brakes, fuel management, what the hell are those things? There’s a ‘go fast’ button and a ‘slow down’ button. That’s all you need to fly a technologically complex fighter jet.

If you’re looking for an accurate combat flight simulator, don’t play Ace Combat 7. (I played Jane’s F-15 a long time ago. That game was accurate and therefore boring. You take off and fly for two hours before reaching your target. You lock onto airplanes 30 miles away and lob a missile at them. If you blow them up you don’t even notice anything beside the blip on your radar screen disappearing. Targeting a tank with a laser guided bomb is a pain in the ass. Most missions you get shot down by a surface-to-air missile because that’s what really fucking happens IRL.) If you want to pretend you’re a badass fighter jet pilot zipping around the sky with no regard for realism, go for it. It is a fun game, but please don’t sign up for the US Air Force after you play it for a few hours.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the precursor to Skyrim and the sequel to Morrowind. Most people have played Skyrim and this was the sort-of-popular game that came before it. And Morrowind? One of my favorite games of all time. When Oblivion came out in 2006 I was super excited — finally a new Elder Scrolls game! — only to be sorely disappointed.

Oblivion is boring. Nearly everything about it is boring. I know I should consider it on its own merits but if the company that made Morrowind churned out shit-ass Oblivion how can you not be disappointed? I was also an angsty teenager so this transgression by Bethesda was especially egregious.

Morrowind has a varied and alien landscape, Oblivion is trees and mountains. Morrowind has a unique culture inspired by Eastern and Native Americans, Oblivion is Middle Ages 2.0. Morrowind had gameplay that could be used and abused, and you can’t even levitate in Oblivion! Morrowind had boring faction quests making you feel like some unknown piece of shit (which you were), in Oblivion you’re the hero of everyone you introduce yourself to. (Oblivion didn’t go as far as Fallout 4 or Skyrim though, thank God.) There are more examples but I need to stop otherwise I won’t play Oblivion anymore.

It’s actually fun though. I’m looking through some nostalgia goggles to be sure but Oblivion does have a few perks to it. Sure it’s shitty and boring, but in retrospect Oblivion pulls off questlines like no other Elder Scrolls game has. Morrowind’s faction quests were shitty and boring, and Skyrim’s a bit over the top (that whole you show up on day one and the entire group fucking loves you for some reason), but Oblivion hits that perfect middle ground. There’s good progression in the questlines of factions; you show up as a nobody and slowly turn into a somebody and it feels like you’re contributing something to the group. I also have fond memories of the daedric quests in Oblivion while not remembering any of them in Morrowind or Skyrim.

A big gripe though: PS Now fucking sucks. The slight delay makes combat in Oblivion nearly impossible. You slightly move the stick and it doesn’t register. You move the stick a bit more and your aiming cursor moves 45 degrees across the screen; try shooting a goblin with an arrow as he’s charging at you with those wonky controls and tell me how it works out. It doesn’t. Anything that requires precise aim, like bows, magic spells, and magic scrolls are nearly unusable. It seems I’ll have to have a melee build because when you’re smacking someone with a mace you don’t have to be as precise with your aiming!

As I write this I realize I haven’t played Oblivion in a week. Am I already burning out on it? Maybe. But maybe I’ll play it later today, we’ll see. If anything it feels like I should make a dedicated post on this game someday because there is a lot to bitch about and to praise. It’s a conflicting game to be sure.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Personal Growth Sucks

Do you guys ever hate being human? It’s so damn complicated. I have on my ever-present and ever-growing to-do list to “write a blog post.” Easy enough but seeing as I’ve been up since noon and am just now getting around to writing something it’s hard not to ask myself, “What the hell is my problem?”

So I went about trying to trick myself into writing something. Opening the computer, opening WordPress, playing some music, and making myself some coffee. Still nothing. Motivation is at zero today. I busted open my journal Google Doc and wrote in that, trying to get into that “The hardest part of anything is starting!” mindset and damn it actually worked.

But why’s it so hard to write? Why do I have to go through three hours of tricking myself into writing? Being a human sucks. And doesn’t it feel like I’ve beaten this dead-horse of a topic enough over the past few years?

We listened to an Oprah podcast at work this week. I was skeptical because it’s Oprah but it was actually really good. I don’t want to get into the podcast itself because it’s a mess — a bunch of stuff about self-actualization, intentions, values, and everything about ‘living your best life’ — but it was a good mess. It all made wonderful sense and was enlightening.

My supervisor/fwiend asked me after the podcast what I thought about it. I said I needed some time to think and process it all. Luckily she took notes on it like it was a school project or something and I took a picture of the notes for future reference. My brain still feels fucked and my memory useless (I’m blaming the drinking from a month ago by the way) so a reference page with the main points was great.

My immediate thought after the podcast was, “Why is being a human so fucking complicated?” Seriously though, do we need to listen to podcasts and experts to get a grasp on how to live as happily as possible? I want to say no — life should be as easy and as natural as anything — but I’m going with a resounding ‘yes’ to that question. Being a human is complicated as fuck, maybe unnecessarily so, but complicated. Especially for people trying to actually grow and live as happily as possible.

(Another guy was there and listened to the podcast. His immediate reaction was to say, “I’m going to go eat my food” and walked away. He totally got the point of the podcast! His “I am” statement: I am hungry. His intentions? I intend to eat my food.)

We had a guy at work who didn’t seem very bright. He seemed like he lived life to his base needs; he worked to get money to pay for his shit, liked going to the race track and watching cars drive in circles and crashing into each other, and apparently loved to drink Mt. Dew and Jack Daniels. He could’ve been an alcoholic but he didn’t seem too worried if he was. He lived his life and didn’t get a shit about anything I seemingly worry about constantly.

He’s dumb as a rock but I have the suspicion that he’s probably one of the happier people I’ve came across. He never seemed overly happy, but he never seemed overly miserable either. Hell, his wife passed away a year or two ago and he seemed upset for a few weeks at most. I’m not trying to trivialize how other people cope with loss, but it didn’t seem to bother him outwardly. And six months later he had a girlfriend and seemed as happy as he’s ever been, once again not outwardly happy but living life like it wasn’t hard or challenging at all. He exists day to day and that’s just what he does, seemingly without deeper thought to anything going on around him.

I’m conflicted here because, well, what is the point of all of this? I mean life by the way. If it’s to be happy and content with the day to day humdrum of it all, this guy probably has it made. Dumb as a rock, but content and happy with his Jack and Dews and his new girlfriend. Something smart and wise about The Allegory of the Cave here to illustrate my point. How important is ignorance to being happy?

And what in the hell am I doing? I’m writing a big rambly blog post about happiness, ignorance, and wondering what the hell the point of it all is. Who’s really the flawed human being here: me or the dipshit from work? I’m always bothered by everything, wondering about everything, trying to discover the deep secrets of existence, trying to be my best self — as enlightened as Buddha himself, stressing out about how my life is always running out of time and trying to do something important with the rest of my time. Objectively my life is pretty damn good but I can’t help thinking there is more I could be doing and I’m not living up to my protentional or something.

Maybe we’re just two different people: he’s living his best life because he doesn’t give a shit about anything ‘deeper’ whereas myself is fixated on ‘deeper meaning’ so I’m continually needing to gain new information and insights for how to live my life. Maybe it all makes sense given who we are as people. I still think it’s bullshit that life — or maybe my life — apparently requires me to listen to podcasts and go to a therapist and make lists of values and intentions to feel like I’m making personal progress, but I can’t help but feel like I am making progress and maybe this path is the path I gotta take. Sure it’s painfully slow progress but it’s progress none-the-less.

(I did some Googling and came across this Reddit post from someone who gave some good criticisms to the whole “self-development trap” as he calls it. It’s interesting to see the counterpoint, the idea that you will be you no matter what you do. I’d still like to disagree but oh well.)

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Infinite Choice Sucks

One thing I learned from my vacation and sobriety is that are tons of things to do. I’m a huge proponent of the “boredom leads to drinking” theory but maybe that’s misplaced. It might be a “lack of motivation leads to drinking” or something like that. If you have a bunch of shit you need to do but no motivation to do them, it feels really similar to boredom. When you’re bored you want to do something fun or exciting and writing a blog post or cleaning the cat litter feels more chore-like than anything else. Drinking gives you a little (TEMPORARY) boost to motivation and that can help you get the ball rolling on being productive.

Today is one of those days where I have a list of stuff to take care of but it already feels like I’m woefully short on time. It’s only 2 p.m. too! The entire weekend feels this way; I used to be ‘bored’ on the weekends but now I feel like the weekend isn’t nearly long enough for all the crap I want/need to do.

Here’s todays to-do list: Write a blog post. Change the description for my Amazon Option Trading book. Advertise Option Trading book. Make a rain barrel for our garden. Buy supplies for said rain barrel. Make a YouTube video about making a DIY rain barrel. Make a solar YouTube video. Buy my mom Ice Mountain water because who the fuck knows why I have to do this really. Deliver her Ice Mountain water. Take down my wind generator because it has a broken blade and vibrates annoyingly when it’s windy. Shave. Shower. Cook. I’d love to get off my ass and go for a jog/bike ride but this is obviously low-priority given everything else. At this point I feel like if I went on a bike ride I’d only be doing it to procrastinate the real work I should be doing. Real work takes mental effort whereas bike riding is, well, riding a bike. Somewhere in all of this I’ll probably have to eat or make food for the kids, you know, just little random shit that can derail your focus.

TMI, but the coffee just kicked in and I have to use the bathroom. See what I mean?

There’s also the non-zero possibility that I become derailed by YouTube sometime today. Most days I somehow end up watching two hours worth of YouTube, mostly educational, sciency videos where it feels like I’m learning something, but I’m still pissing time away doing absolutely nothing I’d be proud of. When I’m dying I doubt I’ll be like, “I lived a good life. I watched so many YouTube videos and learned so much!”

I suppose this blog post is about choice. I’ve been fixated on it the past few days. Think about it: there’s nearly an infinite amount of things you could do right this minute. You could run outside naked and play in the street. You could hop in your car and drive to California. You could go rob a bank. You could take a nap. You could look for another job. Anything (Obviously within reason)! You’re about as free and as conscious of this freedom as any living being has ever been and it’s pretty crazy to think about.

And if you’re reading this you’re choosing to read this for some reason. And I’m very appreciative that out of the millions of things you could be doing, you’re here. I’d say you’re using your time terribly and should be doing something else, but thanks!

I’ve never forgotten this quote from Anthony Bourdain. I don’t even know the guy much — he did something about food and traveling, that’s all I know about him — but the quote stuck with me like few others have. Here ya go:

Choice is a pain in the ass. We’re all human, and therefore we’re all animals, prone to all those animalistic tendencies. Our minds wander around, thoughts just appear out of no where, and most of the time we don’t even know why we do the things we do. I have a strong urge to piss away three hours playing Kerbal Space Program, and why exactly do I want to do that? Do I want to waste time doing something fun or do I want to procrastinate the real work I feel I should be doing? Basically being human and trying to be effective with your choices is like herding cats.

But I suppose choice is what defines our lives. Given the wide range of possible things you could be doing right this moment and with the limited time you have, your options are stupidly, dangerously, and maddeningly limited. It’s stressful to decide on what you should/want to do. I have ten hours left in the day before I’ll be tired and go to bed. What will I do with those ten, and only ten, hours? Will I piss it away on YouTube or do something better, something I’ll be more fulfilled by? I’m hoping for the latter, but herding cats and all.

A lot of people seem paralyzed by choice, floating along in life where things only happen to them like a raft passively floating down the river. This is bad because it robs you of agency to decide and dictate your own life. You might feel like a passenger in life, floating along and reacting instead of acting. You could be reacting to your subconscious as well, making choice even stranger to think about. Random cravings for Taco Bell that piss away an hour of driving without any thought behind whether you’re actually choosing to get shitty Taco Bell or you’re just on a raft with your subconscious calling the shots.

Choice, you have near infinite things you could be doing, but you’re reading this. What are you going to do after you read this? I hope you give some thought to your actions and realize your choices define you as a person, they write your life story. Be proactive and choose well. Thanks for reading!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

On the Quest for Skittles

A friend at work just got hired at the Post Office. Good for him and I’m glad he’s gotten out of UPS. Sadly, he only found this out Wednesday and he starts next Monday. Wow, so much for the two-week notice. So much for giving the rest of the crew time to actually adjust to this guy leaving soon. Two full work days and he’s gone! It’s kind of shocking really.

He’s a cool dude, and over the past year I’d like to think we’ve become pretty good work buddies. He’s one of the guys that I was going to miss with our dreaded crew shift change this week, and I guess I get to miss him some more because he isn’t even going to be there after tonight. Eh, enough crying from me; I really do wish him luck and am glad that he’s found something bigger and better. I always admire when people live up to their potential. Not that his potential is to be a Postal Worker but I hope you get the idea. He’s moving forward in life.

I like to get people going-away gifts if I care for them enough and can actually think of something to get them. The last time someone left I bought a fifty-pack of Pilot G-2 pens from Amazon; she was leaving to be a hot-shot supervisor and what better gift for a supervisor than a metric fuck-ton of G-2s! (I only use G-2s, preferably the 0.03mm G-2s. The 0.05mm ones are fine while the 0.07 and 0.1mm pens just have too fat of a line when you write. They’re smooth, but they’re sloppy. I’m not joking here either: I only use G-2s and refuse, REFUSE! to use any other pen. You can take your shitty Bics and fuck right off because I have about three G-2s in my pocket at all times.) Despite this, I couldn’t really think of anything to get this guy. Nothing at all.

BITCH, YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING? WELL I WASN’T. #G2LYFE #G2GANG

Then inspiration struck like lighting. Where do thoughts come from? No one knows, they just kinda appear out of nowhere and you have to be aware and lucky enough to grab one out of the ether when it appears. It’s the essence of creativity! My great idea: Skittles and Gardetto’s. Seriously.

The past few months at work we’d sit in the crew van and eat Gardetto’s and Skittles. They’re somehow the dream team of vending machine snacks. You eat the salty Gardetto’s and wash them down with the ever-so-sweet Skittles. I don’t know why this combo is so damn good but it is. We bonded over our love of Gardetto’s and Skittles!

After therapy I drove to Schnuck’s to find two massive bags of these snacks, the bigger the better. And what better place to go than a legit grocery store? Apparently I was wrong. I only found a couple of ‘large bags’ of Gardetto’s; 8.6oz bags containing a measly eight servings per bag. I bought two of these because they were so damn smaller than I wanted. The candy aisle was even more of a letdown; they didn’t have any large bags of Skittles. What the fuck Schnuck’s? What a shitty fucking store. I wasn’t about to buy the smaller vending machine sized bags in the checkout lanes and was also stubborn enough to not give up. I had only two hours until work to find a big fucking bag of Skittles and I was more determined than I’ve ever been. No one was going to fuck up my plan. No one.

Onto Walmart. Luckily Walmart being a total dogshit store has a massive selection of candy and chips. Schnuck’s is too far up their own asses being a proper grocery store to stock total bullshit items like bulk bags of Skittles. Walmart (for the first time in my life) did not disappoint. I found my big bag of Skittles — a whopping 1lb 11oz bag with who knows how many servings and calories — as well as a bigger ‘family sized’ bag of Gardetto’s. Mission Fucking Accomplished.

So this was kinda a silly and stupid post, but please appreciate how even your best and simplest ideas and plans somehow get fucked up. I’m not trying to get into a big spiel about how hard work and persistence is the key to success, but that’s actually what I’m saying. Look at me, today I’m the perfect example of it. I faced untold hardships and struggles and somehow accomplished my dream of getting a giant bag of Skittles and Gardetto’s for my friend’s last day of work. He’s gonna be eating this shit in his mail truck for weeks!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

An ATM Trip (and It Sucked)

Another day where I wanted to write something good and life shits on me.

My dad called and asked to borrow $20. Again. He borrowed $20 last week after finally paying me the $200 he owed me with his stimmy check/BidenBux™. I don’t mind borrowing my dad money because he pays me back. It might take awhile, but he’s good with his debt. My mom on the other hand…

I checked my wallet and I had seven $1 bills on me; this is not $20. I didn’t say anything about going to the ATM because I figured he’d find out soon enough. He showed up, I hopped in the passenger seat, and told him I didn’t actually have $20 so a trip to the ATM was on the itinerary. And yes I made him drive me there because I’m doing him a favor so he can work for his money. I always try to have $60 cash on me at all times to make these random, “can I borrow some money” situations easier, but no one is perfect.

We get to the ATM and there are two cars in front of us. The first dude left, circled around and parked in the parking lot. I’ve seen many people do this at the ATM and don’t really give a shit what they’re doing. My dad on the other hand: “What’s he parked over there for?” I said I didn’t know and continued to jam out to Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me; it’s their best song. Poison can fuck right off — I despise hair metal from the ’80s — but that song is a fucking bop. “Do you think he put something on the machine to steal people’s information?” No, I really doubt that. Who the fuck would install something on an ATM in broad daylight and then sit forty feet away? These people are sneaky — jail time isn’t fun and defeats the purpose of robbing people — and clever. They’re not going to sit there and manually steal shit. If you’ve programmed a device to steal info from cards you probably also programmed a ‘memory’ feature where it just, you know, stores the information for later.

I also didn’t have to try very hard to know what he was really thinking: “I bet this guy is going to sell/buy drugs.” Everyone on the West Side of Rockford in a parking lot is looking to buy drugs. Obviously. Luckily, he didn’t say this so I didn’t have to cringe and wonder what the hell happened to him over the years.

The second guy was fucking around doing his thing at the ATM and dad called him a “stupid motherfucker” for some reason. Not to him directly, but said it aloud in the car. For what reason, I don’t know, but shit, how dare this guy use the ATM? We’re also sitting in line waiting to use the ATM so what’s the big deal dad? Just let me listen to Poison for fucks sake.

I didn’t care so gave him my card and told him my PIN. (Never say ‘PIN number’ by the way. PIN stands for personal identification number so saying ‘PIN number’ is like saying personal identification number number. It’s the same with ‘ATM machine’; the M in ATM is already for machine, you don’t need to say it twice!) He fucks something up so I get out, walk around, and get the money for him.

He then proceeds to circle around and park in the exact same spot that the first guy was parked in. You know, the guy stealing card info/dealing drugs. I became excited; we’re we going to steal some shit or buy some drugs? Sadly, no. His car was overheating.

So there we were standing outside with the hood up looking like two basic white dudes looking at a car engine. All we needed was a few beers and grease all over us and we’d be a stereotype. He pops the cap off the coolant reservoir, pours in the remaining coolant he had (it wasn’t enough), and slams the hood. We were on our way.

I gave him the remaining coolant I had in the garage. I don’t even know why we had two bottles, maybe I’m just obsessive about having fluids stocked, but it was nice to get rid of them. Dad opened the hood, filled up the rest of the coolant reservoir, and pondered what the hell was wrong with his car. He recently changed the thermostat so it wasn’t that. He asked me what I thought was wrong and after ten seconds of silence I said, “I have to think about it.” I was serious too; let me mull over the problem for a few hours, let my brain percolate it in my subconscious. Let me sleep on it, maybe I’ll have a dream where the solution is obvious. Hell if I know what it is currently; I hate cars. They’re complicated and fixing them is bullshit.

Anyways…

Sometimes I wonder when my parents went off the rails. Maybe they’ve always been this way and I’ve never noticed. Maybe I needed to get away from them and have my own unique personality and life before I realized how flawed they are? As a teenager I saw my parents as adults, people that have their shit together and have life pretty much figured out, and sure I complained at the time about how fucking stupid they were but it was mostly me being a stock, basic, edgy teenager. Somewhere between then and now my view of them has changed. They don’t have a fucking thing figured out! I don’t either, but I’m further along in having shit figured out than they do. When did I become a more functional adult, even with all my fuckups and issues, than they are?

When did my dad get so paranoid about strangers? When did he become scared of every single thing in the world? When did he start to see evil everywhere? Does he see a different world than I do? Is he living in an alternate reality? I saw people at the ATM getting money for whatever the fuck they’re getting money for — I don’t really care — and he sees threats. When did my dad’s health spiral out of control, and why? Why doesn’t he have a job and why can’t he support himself? Health issues obviously, but why doesn’t he give a shit about his health? Why doesn’t he want to fix anything in his life? Why’s he so passive and willing to live in his shitty current state? Why does he have no will to improve or be proactive? Why won’t he just go see a damn therapist for once? He doesn’t seem like the dad I had a decade ago and that is both confusing and scary. It’s hard not to reflect this back on yourself; what if I lose my fucking marbles in ten or twenty years? What if I go off the rails and stop making sense? What if I stop being a dad around the kids and turn into a kid myself where they have to support me and my fuckups? I don’t want that to be me.

Shit, that got deep at the end. Thanks for reading.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Comcast Sucks: The Worst Company Ever

Today I was going to write a high-minded post. Maybe tips on how to stop drinking. Elaborating on how I have video-making “writers block” or whatever you’d call it. Or a post on why I don’t want to go full-time at UPS. So maybe these aren’t amazing mind blowing posts, but they’re better than this one.

I have my laptop open and ready to go but I’m writing this on my phone. Why? Our internet is down. Why? Fuck if I know. Everything is plugged in correctly, the modem and router’s LEDs are all lit up, except for the ‘internet’ light on the router. Why? I don’t know, but I’m blaming this on Comcast.

Fuck Comcast.

There are few no companies I hate more than Comcast and I’m going to put all my hatred of the company into this post. Say it again with me, fuck Comcast.

First off, cable TV should be dead by now. It’s not a viable business plan. I haven’t watched TV in years, literal years, and I couldn’t be happier. There’s YouTube and streaming services and almost anything you want or need to watch can be found there. Local news? Internet. You don’t need to watch the news. The same is true with weather, just look that shit up. My local news stations even have video clips online if you must watch them. Local news is probably a bad example because you could get a fucking antenna and watch it for free anyways. But the rest of the 300 channels I pay for every month? I watch none of them.

TV is also insulting when you realize they still have commercials everywhere. Like the stations don’t realize that cable is basically dead and still try to cram ads down your throat. That’s a great idea and people will totally be fine with that and not migrate to streaming services. Sarcasm obviously.

We only have cable because my mother in law loves to binge watch MSNBC. I think she also watches shitty Hallmark movies but from what I’ve heard the TV is always on MSNBC. That’s seriously the only reason we still have cable; she loves the news. We’re paying to watch like four channels at most.

She’s also the reason we use Comcast for our land line phone. Yes. Land line. In case you don’t know, these are phones that are wired to your house just like was standard in 1992. She has a cell phone, but has some fear that people who need to contact her at the house number won’t be able to if we get rid of it. Nevermind transferring the number. Nevermind telling people your new number. Let’s just keep the landline. I’m not really bitching about her but bitching about how Comcast is somehow relying on shit like this to stay in business. Like their entire business model is preying on people who are set in their ways and won’t change anytime soon.

More bitching about Comcast: bundles.

Hang on. Our internet is back on. Let me migrate from my phone to an actual computer and keyboard. Fucking Comcast internet, fucking piece of shit!

Ah, that’s better. But where the hell was I? Fucking Comcast breaking my concentration and shit. Oh yeah, bundles! We only need Comcast for internet really, at least that’s the primary reason. As I’ve said, the phone and cable can fuck right off (if my MIL didn’t love them so much), but we need internet. Internet is basically like electricity and gas now, it’s a utility. But when you call and ask Comcast for internet, they do some voodoo shit on you. “Ah, yes sir, we can get you internet. In fact we can get you the Comcast Triple Play with Xfinity™ XD Bullshit for only $79.99 for the first twelve months! Only for you sir! You see internet by itself is like $60 per month, so for $19.99 more you can get cable and TV!”

“Okay, whatever.” And then you forget about it. You got your phone, internet, and cable all for cheap as shit and are saving money. Then the ‘introductory period’ is passed and your bill skyrockets up to $170 per month: only a 112% increase, totally not a big deal. They even raise the price slowly over a few months so you don’t get spooked. $20 here and there and that’s not too bad until it settles near $200. It’s some shady shit.

My point is Comcast bundles this shit to make it harder for you to leave. It’s bullshit too. Let’s say we did want to cancel our landline phone; then we’d probably be in the Comcast Double Play Xfinity™ XD plan and it’d probably still cost like $150 for some reason. It’s almost not worth the effort to try, and that’s coming from someone who is super fucking cheap and loves saving money.

Let’s also acknowledge how stupid Xfinity™ sounds. Xfinity™. It’s like they tried to create a fancy sounding word, the -finity in Xfinity coming from the amazing word and concept infinity and plopping an X at the front because X is by far the most unique letter of the alphabet — but damn does it sound stupid. It reminds me of when Verizon purchased Yahoo and renamed the company Oath. Seriously. Oath.

And let’s talk about when you do try to lower your bill. Some people have success in calling Comcast threatening to cancel their service and can sometimes get back into the introductory plan. But this takes effort and talking on the phone and I haven’t had luck with it. I usually try to be nice — “Times are tough and is there any way I can lower my bill?” — but they call my shit each time. They know I’m a passive little bitch who doesn’t like confrontation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they troll through my internet history (like what I’m writing now) to know my weaknesses. (Maybe that’s a bit over-the-top paranoid, but it’s Comcast: you never know!) We went to slower internet last year and I shaved off like $20. Sure, money saved, but it doesn’t feel as successful as locking in that $79.99 for another year.

Another fun fact: you can upgrade your plan on their website — it’s really easy! — but you cannot downgrade it. Anytime you want to downgrade you have to call Comcast’s customer service. Because they know most people don’t want to fuck around with calling them and talking to someone on the other side of the world. Of course Comcast has outsourced all customer service to foreign countries — it makes sense business-wise — but sometimes it’s pretty fuck hard to understand what they’re saying. I’m not hating on people that have difficulty speaking English here, but you know Comcast is aware this makes calling customer service slightly more of a pain-in-the-ass than it already is.

I’d say my biggest gripe about Comcast is how they lord over their customers and business. They act like you don’t have any other choice, and if you do find a better deal you can fuck right off, they don’t actually care about their customers or keeping them, only tossing out introductory deals at the very last moment before someone leaves. They’re abusive as fuck. Introductory prices, bundles, all of this shit to gaslight you into thinking you’re getting a good deal and then they fuck you. Hard. In the ass. You could probably find a few videos about Comcast in the BDSM section of Pornhub. And if you don’t like being violently sodomized you can find another provider except there is no other ISP in the area! Oh, poor customers, we’re sorry but we’re going to have to raise your bill another $20 because reasons.

***

I signed up for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service a few months ago. Service isn’t offered in our area yet but the email stated “mid-2021.” I happily paid the $100 deposit and will happily pay the $500 for the antenna when service is available. Hell, I’ll happily pay the $100 per month for the service too. Why? Because it’s SpaceX. They’re innovating. They’re doing some crazy shit in rocketry. They land rockets! They’re literally trying to get humans to Mars! This is some cool shit and I’d love to dump money into them rather than Comcast because Comcast is such a shitty company. What’s Comcast’s lofty goals? Fleece their customers as much as they can for as long as they can before they wise up and jump ship. Like my personal economics don’t even matter here — I’ll take the more expensive internet option just because Fuck Comcast. I seriously fantasize about the day when I get Starlink internet and can call Comcast and tell them to go fuck themselves. Sure we’ll have to figure out what to do about cable and phone — maybe Comshit can get us a cheaper deal on those two — but even this will be a victory.

From the seething hatred in the bottom of my blackened and dead heart and soul, with all the rage and latent anger that has slowly built up over the years:

FUCK COMCAST.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Work Sucks: Losing Friends and Imposter Syndrome

Yesterday I accidentally posted for the fourth day in a row. As before I wasn’t trying to start a blogging streak and was posting crap when I had it finished. Not drinking has put my brain into overdrive so I’m just kinda going with whatever mood I end up having. Todays mood: lethargic. I don’t really want to post anything and don’t think I have anything to post. It’ll be fun to see what happen though.

Yesterday was my first day back at work after having a week off for vacation. Yesterday was also the first day of out ‘new and improved crew rotation schedule’ and that put my anxiety into overdrive. You know how people say your mood dictates your day? Like if you’re in a good positive mood you’re more likely to have a good day? Well, first problem right there; my mood was shit from the start.

My friends tried to talk to me in the parking lot but I didn’t have much to say. I tried to carry on conversations but a week away from these people made me unable to talk to them properly. I felt like some stranger who just randomly showed up in the parking lot. That I didn’t really belong.

I’m always anxious after coming back to work from taking time off. You wouldn’t think you’d adapt to being away from work for only a week but you do. I walked in feeling like I had no idea how to do anything; it felt like ages since I was there when in reality it was only nine days. My Supervisor’s Supervisor asked me if I could train another employee how to marshall in an airplane. This is where you have two wands and wave your arms around to tell the airplane, a large cargo jet aircraft, where to park. I said, “You know I’ve been on vacation last week, are you sure you want to trust me with this? I forgot how to do everything out here.” Not really, it was my lack of confidence and anxiety at work, but I didn’t really want to train anyone on my first day back.

We got split up into our new crews and I sulked away from my friends without saying anything to go to my new crew. Another anxious surprise awaited me; my supervisor wasn’t even there! Not only was I working with a bunch of strangers/people I don’t like, but we didn’t even have a supervisor. As someone who likes order and knowing exactly where they’re supposed to be (I’m insecure as fuck) this was awful. What were we supposed to do? Just roam around without direction and find stuff to do? Luckily our Supervisor’s Supervisor took us for the first half of the day.

(Fun story: At this time we were having a ‘meeting’ going on and in my stressed-out state took a hit from my vape. We are not supposed to vape out in the open, but I needed my nicotine! One of my new crew members is a lady who’s been there for probably twenty years. She said, “Are we allowed to do that out here?” aggressively and I knew I fucked up. I said, “No…but…eh?” and she didn’t seemed too amused. It’s always fun pissing off your new crew members within the first ten minutes of work. It really cemented the vibe of the day.)

I sat in the back of the van while Supervisor’s Supervisor sat in the front with this other dude. He’s like 20-years-old and always in a positive mindset. Always happy and talkative. Apparently this guy has never drank, did drugs, been stressed, or been depressed ever. He’s just one of those guys seemingly immune to mental health problems. We probably don’t have a lot in common. He also likes country music (which I despise without any good reason) so we got to drive around and listen to that. I’m on a big Green Day kick currently, my mood is shit, and I quit drinking a week ago. I’m depressed and stressed and insecure. Country music is near the top of my ‘ten things I can’t deal with right now’ list. He’s a cool enough guy but the country music was killing me slowly. It was like an annoying paper cut on my finger that, while not too bad on its own, just made everything else in life slightly more miserable.

They did their best to talk to me but I was zoned out and depressed and couldn’t be bothered to actually carry a conversation. I replied with quick one or two word replies. I appreciated the effort from them but I wasn’t in the mood for socializing.

Break was also trash. I went back to my “old van” to see my friends. It was fun to know that you can imposter syndrome yourself with friendships as well; I never knew that was a thing! I hopped in with them, sat in the back, and noticed I didn’t lounge around like I used to. I wasn’t relaxed. I was tense. I was on edge. I sat upright on the very edge of the seat closest to the door and kept my head down. I was acting like I didn’t belong, like I wanted to be invisible, that I wasn’t supposed to be there, that these people aren’t my friends anymore, and that I’m intruding on their space. I had my own crew and van and it wasn’t there. It was twenty feet behind us and maybe I should get out, sit by myself, sulk, feel bad for myself, and listen to country music?

It’s depressing because I know that’s exactly how I am. One of my friends (one of them in the van) mentioned that whenever she feels like she’s going to be abandoned she will cut ties first to save herself feeling abandoned and damn if that isn’t spot on for me as well. Ever since we got the new rotation list I’ve wanted to cut ties with these people and isolate as much as possible. But I’m well aware that this is good old Jeremy sabotage tactics and I’m never happy when I’m inevitably successful. A tiny part of me was saying, “No, they’re your friends; quit acting like everyone hates you! You took a big step by inviting yourself into the van, not being awkward, and just being around people! Good job!” It’s a very tiny, weak voice, but I guess it’s good I hear it in the first place.

I started talking a bit and acting like my regular old self and then their supervisor showed up and I had to get the fuck out.

And the rest of the night was trash but whatever. By that time I had no expectations to be crushed. I found my friends at the timeclock after our plane left and took the ride to the parking lot with them. I didn’t say anything feeling like the imposter again — the only guy in their van that wasn’t actually on their crew, some bum just hitching a ride because they don’t want to walk — but tried to feel like I was doing something right. Taking some sort of risk or going outside my massive comfort zone to actually improve myself.

I have another hour until I have to head on in for Day Two of Shit Week. My mood is mildly better than yesterday. I always have anxiety about going back to work so part of it is expected. The first day of anything new, like the new crews, is also the worst; at least I have some idea for what to expect today. Thanks for listening to this rant guys. I know I usually don’t post rambly journalesque shit but it’s kind of therapeutic to write about the shit that bothers you the most.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Driving Sucks: The Boredom of Traveling

My sister had her gallbladder removed last week. It’s not a major surgery as far as surgeries go but it is removing a fucking organ so it’s kind of a big deal. Anyways, she’s off work because UPS (Yes, she also works at UPS. My dad worked at UPS. My cousin worked at UPS. My wife worked at UPS.) doesn’t want her working a week after having an organ removed. As I won’t shut up about this week, I’m on vacation. She always visits us so why not return the favor and visit her for once?

Davenport, Iowa is exactly two hours away from Rockford. My family likes to take I-39 to I-80 but if you look at a map this takes you unnecessarily south from the straight line distance. It’s wasteful and the highway is boring. I plotted a new route that is both shorter distance-wise, the same time-wise, has no tolls, and is half winding country roads and half interstate. I might be blowing this out of proportion but this route — my route because I ‘invented’ it — is the perfect way to drive from Rockford to Davenport.

I present to you Illinois Route 2 to Dixon and then to Davenport via I-88. Circle the quad cities to the north via I-80 and you’re there. The optimal route.

Don’t be fooled, “Best Route” is really like 1 hr 55.

About 20 minutes into the two-hour trip I was already pissed off. I hate driving. It’s boring. It takes too much attention but it’s not mind-challenging attention. It’s driving. You follow the lane. It’s just enough to keep you occupied but not enough to keep you entertained. Cruise control takes a bit of the bullshit out of driving but you still gotta follow those fucking lane lines! I imaged owning a Tesla and letting it drive you wherever you tell it to. I wouldn’t sleep but it would be nice to sit and think, enjoy the scenery and the music, and just exist without the distraction of having to constantly stay in your lane.

Illinois 2 is a beautiful road. It follows the Rock River southwest, and by following the river I mean it hugs it for major portions of the road. It’s windy, it’s wooded, and it’s picturesque. It’s a fun road to drive on. It’s not a mindless interstate filled with trucks and jackass drivers. It didn’t matter. Even 20 minutes of Il. Rte. 2 had me bored and this only became worse on the interstate.

60 mph is a good speed because it means you drive a mile every minute. It turns the road distance signs into time. 72 miles to Moline? 72 minutes: 1 hour 12 minutes. Sure we were going 75 mph, but the math is still close. 72 miles is nearly an hour. An hour on the flat, straight interstate surrounded by endless corn fields.

I remember my North Carolina friend and his recent trip back to Rockford. 15 hours, right? Something like that, it doesn’t matter. Once you’ve driven for 4 or 5 hours nothing really matters anymore. You’re zoned out and exist in some realm outside of everyone else. Just the road, traffic, and the sun slowly making its way across the sky. He drove this in a single shot and took four 15-minute naps when he stopped for gas. Fuck that. Fuck everything about that, it sounds awful. This is a scenario I image to be similar to hell. “Sit here tired and sleep deprived and follow the lane lines. For how long? For forever!” My North Carolina friend is apparently built differently than myself.

Music is nice and we listened to Green Day’s Dookie (one of the best albums of all time) and Insomniac. Even this wasn’t perfect as you gotta focus on the road and traffic! Music is best when you can listen to it without distractions; anyone who writes knows you can’t really listen to music without it turning into background noise. Even this minor pleasure was stolen from me as my Bluetooth thingy (it plugs into the 12 Volt outlet and broadcasts a radio signal to your car) kept fucking randomly cutting out. I eventually unplugged it and tossed it violently into the backseat when it cut out in the middle of London Calling.

The radio station was on some right-wing talk news channel when the Bluetooth shit out and I tried to listen to it for shits and giggles. Nope, it was infuriating. They were talking about aborted fetuses and how they’re used for scientific experiments and the condescending moral overtones to the whole thing made me uneasy. I vaguely understood how someone listening to that for a few hours each day would become radicalized and that was all the insight I needed to change the station. What did I change it to you might ask? Static. I listened to static because it was better than talk radio. After a few minutes my wife was sick of my radio static and found a proper radio station that was playing Somebody to Love by Queen. Thank God! I belted out the final verse or whatever and noted silently that Queen kinda sucks to listen to in the car. Freddy Mercury has such an intense and badass/beautiful/bombastic voice that you cannot sing along to their songs. You just can’t. It ruins the song. Queen forces you to sit there and listen to Freddy while you feel like shit at your own (lack of) singing abilities.

Green Day. Gun’s and Roses. Metallica. AC/DC. And so on. You know the deal.

My wife drove on the way back and being a passenger was nice for the first half hour, but then I was bored with that. Following those damn lane lines earlier was a pain, but at least it was something to do. As a passenger you just sit there and while it was nice to look around at the scenery we do live in Illinois; what the fuck is there to actually look at? It was also night so that didn’t help. I looked at the stars but as an astronomy nut I’m not too excited by stars anymore. I wanna see SpaceX satellites, the space station, galaxies and nebulae. I’ve seen the fucking big dipper plenty of times. Did you know the big dipper is next to the constellation/zodiac sign Leo? Yeah, after the car ride I was aware of it.

To wrap this all together, America is a huge country. If you look at our route from Davenport to Rockford you’ll notice it’s nothing compared to the country itself. It’s a tiny fragment of coast to coast. Two hours of mindless driving to go nowhere at all. California, Florida, Washington, so fucking far away. And it’s not even the entire US either, think of the entire planet; Earth is a big fucking place. 75 mph feels fast when you’re in a car but it is painfully slow.

I can’t help but think of the American pioneers covering the same land I was traveling, only they did it with wagons and horses. That had to be hell. What were they thinking? Or people that sailed across oceans on boats slightly bigger than our Honda Civic. What were they thinking? You also can’t forget the Native Americans and how they walked across the Bering land bridge thousands of years ago and populated both North and South America, all from walking. Sure they didn’t do this in a single lifetime and it was more of mass migration over centuries, but still they fucking walked the whole way. And here I am bitching about being stuck in a car for two hours complaining about how my Bluetooth thingy didn’t work right. I suppose it’s all about perspective. And these guys probably weren’t traveling for the sake of traveling, they were on an adventure with a greater purpose. And maybe adventures are more exciting than boring trips on an interstate. It’s not about the mileage and distance, it’s about the unknown. And driving cross-country in the US is not unknown at all. It’s mindless driving to places that people have already pioneered and built roads to. There is no adventure. I fucking hate driving.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.