Monday, January 26, 2009

reading too much politics late at night

01-26-09 | 4:53a

some random thoughts

Took the weekend off. Didn't really plan to (had a to-do list in my pocket from Friday that included "make a to-do list for the weekend"), but ended up fucking off to my brother's house to spend two days playing video games and watching funny videos on the intertubes. Time wasted, but I feel magnificent.

This is the microcosmic corrollary to the past two months. In early November, Barack Obama won the election. A week later, I lost my job. Since then, I've been rather aimless; nothing to do, no real income, received unemployment but then got kicked off and will likely have to pay that back, gained ten pounds, have a totally crap sleep schedule ... you get the picture.

Yet I feel rested, focused, and all in all I feel I accomplished my single resolution from last year, which was to get my proverbial shit together. Even if it only happened on a psychological level. For instance, it was only when I lost my job after a mere eight months--and thus abandoned all hopes of pursuing that as a career--that I was able to admit how much I hated it. I was in over my head trying to learn a new skill set on the fly, and it just wasn't working. Also, it was pulling me away from the solving-people's-problems aspect of administration, and that is the shit that gets my eyes lit up.

The loss of the job, and the loss of all income, has fairly completely closed the circle of failure that my life appears to have become. My marriage fell apart, but we've been dicking around doing other things for three years and haven't got the paperwork finalized yet. My last romantic relationship was two years ago and an unquestionable disaster. My daughter, often the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning, I only see on the weekend. I had to move back in with my parents to take care of a few debts that had built up and to fix some terrible habits with my finances. Now I'm totally dependent on them for food, internet, whatever. I had to borrow money to pay my phone bill, because no self-respecting job seeker can get by without a cell phone. And now I've been looking for work for two months. The only real lead so far is currently interviewing internal candidates, so I'm not really holding my breath.

I'm twenty-seven, I live with my parents, I'm broke, and I'm unemployed. I'm at the point where I'm sifting through my possessions to see what I can sell (although to be fair, this ties into my compulsive urges to tidy up by constantly purging possessions. I wouldn't object to being able to live out of a backpack if I could get around the need for lots of good shoes). By all objective standards, my life has been in the shitter for three years.

But here I am, and as I said above, I feel magnificent. I know who I am with a clarity that simply didn't exist two months ago. I know what I want, where I want to go, and what paths are decidedly not the right ones for me. I'm largely stress-free for the first time in years. I've practically stopped smoking (thus far, I've had two since Inauguration Day, which is as good an arbitrary quit date as any), my desire to eat healthy is up, my desire to exercise is way up, and although I feel lost and a bit helpless, I don't feel like it's inescapable. I know there's something good coming. I just can't see it yet.

Anywho. My morning alarm is ringing, so it's probably time to get some sleep.


Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 in retrospect

is really a big blur. I guess this is the time of year where everyone sits down and looks back on the year and says "This was great, this was alright, and this part here isn't invited back to 2009, or in fact any other year ever". And I'd kinda like to do one of those, because I have fairly particular tastes in music, movies, books, and other media that the kids like. And I like to think that I have a unique voice to offer the world; a way of seeing, a way of turning the phrases, that allows me to say something that other folks aren't saying already.

But I can't. There are two reasons.

One is that it all seems kind of pointless to me. Because you're either running on memory, in which case it's really an exercise in what you liked for the last three months, at which point I really wish you'd do this every three months so it's a seasonal thing (for example, I try to make a mixtape that defines my mood every few months. I inevitably grow tired of that tape as the weather changes, but then once the year comes full circle I'm all "OMG HOW DID I FORGET HOW AWESOME THIS TAPE IS" because when it's cold and grey and winter's coming, you just need to listen to a lot of Aphex Twin and wear huge black boots while you stomp around in the puddles). If you're not running on memory, then you're basically compiling a list of things you've already written about, and unless you're adding new details because you're approaching the Killers' new album from a fresh, post-2008 perspective, and face it. There aren't fresh perspectives on the Killers, you either love them or wish everyone would shut up already, and since you've already declared what side you stand on, please write something new. So in a way it's kind of pointless, and I wish folks would stop doing them because I always read them eagerly and then get disappointed because there's 50 new items in my google reader and they're all crap I already read.

But the other reason I don't do these posts myself, and perhaps the stronger reason, is that I really just can't remember anything except this Jesca Hoop CD that I've been listening to on repeat for days. This is not to say no other albums matter (and there have been some great albums this year) but just that they were all in the past, and I can't pick out the awesome albums from an arbitrary time period and separate them from other awesome albums that were from slightly before that time period. There's what I'm listening to NOW, and there's what I've already had, great or otherwise. And if it didn't spur me to write about it before, then it's not going to spur me to write about it now, because meh.

On the other hand, this gets into why I get along with Tumblr so well, and why I ultimately realized I hated Wordpress, which is that I am always like this, about everything. I read a really great book three weeks ago, but I never got around to writing about it, and now I might never because THAT WAS THREE WEEKS AGO. OMG. Tumblr is great because posting is nearly effortless. You're looking at something, or that song comes on that you get up and dance to every time even at work when people are watching, and you just click a few times and it's up there and you can show people exactly what's getting you excited at this moment. And I kinda forget about the stuff that's not on the front page, but that was ten posts ago and now I'm listening to this song and can't stop tapping my toes. So in a way Tumblr is a truer blogging experience for me, because it's more akin to what it's actually like in my brain.

But this is the part where it affects you, so listen up, internet: what I'm really getting at is that same kind of thing Warren Ellis has been hinting at for a while, which is that we need more content on the web, and less filler. Top-Ten lists are fun once in a while, but the reason I read your blog is because this one time you said something about that one album and how it made you feel, and I had a "me, too" moment, and I wish you would write more of that kind of stuff, because those moments are awesome.