Punch Me In The Face And Call Me An Idiot - Day 142

EDITORIAL / MORNING ROUTINE

Don't read this, because I am not qualified to be making opinions about something I've only known about for 15 seconds. The views expressed here are not my own. Well, they are, they come from my body, but they're not mine, because the idiot in me sometimes (more times than I'd care to admit) gets the floor and spouts off crap like this. So allow me to introduce my inner idiot...

I typically say that violence is never the answer. To anything. Killing, destroying, shit like that doesn't solve anything. It just gets you in deeper trouble, because there's way more of THEM than there are of US. THEIR numbers are infinite. OUR numbers are limited. You can't win. The best course of action is to blend in and/or avoid THEM altogether.

I also don't typically pay any attention to the news. But the girl who chooses to live with me watches the news every morning while she gets dressed for work. Normally, I'm off in another room listening to Ticket AM or doing something not related to watching the news. But this morning, my belly was full of diarrhea sounds, so I laid in bed and stared at the TV.

They did a segment on the thing in Ferguson Missouri, where some asshole fucking racist cop shot an unarmed kid for no reason other than the cop has a gun and the power to shoot just about anyone s/he wants. And I guess whoever is in charge of making sure cops don't get away with going around shooting whoever they feel like shooting decided that this particular cop didn't do anything wrong. My speculation is, if the kid he'd shot had been white, the cop would already be in prison for life. But since the kid was black, well, who fucking cares, right?

The deeper story is why we allow cops to carry guns at all. And why, since there's no fucking way we'll ever be able to take the guns away from the cops, do we continue to defend ANY cop who shoots ANYONE? And further, why do we need cops in the first place?

You're saying, "well, we have to let 'em carry guns and shoot back because what if the bad guy has a gun and is planning on using it?" To which I say, "why put yourself in a position to get shot at in the first place?" To which you may say, "well, because we gotta keep the bad guys off the street." To which I say, "they're on the street regardless of if the cop is out there 'protecting' US or not, so why bother?" Cops are reactionary anyway. Why not clear them off the street, where they only make situations worse, and only "deploy" them when absolutely necessary? And yes, I know, the solution is way more complex than my over-simplification.

OUR best bet is to stay as far away from cops as possible. If you get involved with them, you're asking for trouble. Sometimes it's unavoidable, in which case you roll over and play dead.

IDEA

I think I have an affinity for getting stuck in the idea phase of creating a business. Maybe it's because I've failed before and feel like I need the most perfect, unique, can't miss idea in order to get started. What's wrong with working with the things and skills I already got? What's wrong with doing something that's already been done 1,000 times over successfully? I don't know. That's how I seem to work. And making the decision that I'm going to start a business (it's one my goals for the next few months) only adds to the paralysis of the idea phase.

Regardless, or in spite, of my obvious disability, I came up with an idea for starting a mobile gym and being a mobile personal trainer. I've seen these guys around town on occasion just set up shop in a park. They drive a truck that houses all the equipment and the people come to him. Every time I see them I think, "I could do that."

The only logistical problem is I don't have a truck. And I don't have any equipment. So I'd have to either buy the equipment and rent a truck, or I'd have to get creative and work with things that will fit in my car. And also, I gotta get the fuck in shape first, before I start preaching to people how things should be done.

I also thought I could create a website and put up "workouts of the day," and start an email group (that maybe people pay for) that sends a workout every day to their inbox and asks them to fill out some online form after they do the workout, for accountability. And if they don't fill out the form for X number of days without a good excuse, they get dropped from the program. This would definitely solve the whole needing a truck and a shit ton of equipment problem.

I've already got a name for it. Engineering Fit. Pretty good, huh?

EVENING ROUTINE / TACO PERIOD

I found a cool little music app by Propellerhead called Figure. It's got a kick ass UI and can actually create some interesting snippets of techno music. It's not anything that can create full scores, but I think it's good for creating loops that can be used as part of a larger project.

I've been jambling around thinking about how to create backing music for my upcoming new podcast, Taco Period. I don't have a format or a particular subject or structure in mind. I'm pretty much just flying by the seat of my pants, doing things as they come to me. Sometimes it's the best way to proceed, instead of floundering around and getting nothing done. If you haven't already done so, or you've already forgotten, re-read the first paragraph above under IDEA. Getting stuck trying to decide between different options is something I'm really fucking good at.

Anyway, I'm still going back and forth with either using the guitar or using some techno synth app drum machine thing to create the backing music. Since I suck at guitar now (out of practice), and since it's not really fucking easy to record acoustic guitar well, I'm leaning towards the pure digital approach. I'll most likely wind up mixing the two, because that's the way I like to roll.

Drowning In A Pile Of Inifinite Being, Or Whatever, FUCK! - Day 141

It feels really hard to write. Like, it's a real struggle; my own personal mount Everest. All I want to do is curl up in a ball, lay on the couch, and watch Maury Povich re-runs until it turns me into a moronic mush. My will to do anything productive has drained to almost zero since touching back down in THE United States of American less than two days ago, when I had all the plans for getting back into the groove. Isn't it funny how real life has a way of knocking you back down before you can stand all the way up sometimes? No, it's not funny.

MORNING ROUTINE

The hardest thing about the first work day after a long vacation is waking up and finding the strength to carry on. It's like, you know you have to drag your ass out of bed and show up to a place you don't really want to show up to and do things you really don't want to do despite an overwhelming feeling of dread. The body has a hard time adapting from amazing to, "ugh, fuck me, fuck this day, fuck this real life." But bills have to be paid, progress has to be made, yada, yada, yada.

I woke up around 5:30 am and got up to take a piss. I thought for 3 seconds about staying up and getting my week off to a productive start. Instead, I decided to go back to bed and sleep some more, which felt so right. The dogs seemed disappointed in my decision.

I woke back up around 7 am and laid in bed wondering where the fuck I was. The room was cold and dark. The air tasted like, whatever, dust and wasted dreams. I couldn't help but think how disappointing it is to be thrown from waking up refreshed and ready to do something exciting to waking up tired and dreading another day spent bumping elbows with the tragically comfortable drones who make it all too easy for me join them.

I also felt The Progress Machine gaining ground on me. Pretty soon it's going to scoop me up and throw me off the cliff onto the other souls waiting in line to check in to their coffins.

Nothing like a little over-drama to start a fresh work week, eh?

SLAVE / TIME WASTE

Vacation hangovers are hard to get over. I mean, knowing that I could be walking the dirty streets of some third world country in search of a food that won't kill me instead of sitting at a boring desk, typing into a boring computer, staring out a boring window that faces a boring street that contains boring cars with boring people inside of them going about their boring lives makes me not want to do anything.

So I didn't, and it felt great.

Actually, I didn't do any work work (I did a little, but not enough to count). I did work on a couple of things that I ran across on Quora (here's the question) while I was consuming the beauty of someone else's country. Hopefully things that will help me stay on target and get me out of this imaginary rut that I've fallen in for the last month or so.

I did two things:

  1. Started a "What do I want to be?" list.
  2. Wrote down a handful of 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goals with the intent of reading them twice a day. Once after getting up. Once before going to bed.

You may be asking yourself, "why in the fucking hell did you do this?" Because I'm a bona fide procrastinator who has a hard time choosing from multiple things I want to do. I have a hard time prioritizing and an even harder time sticking to "the plan," which has been non-existent for most of my life. Writing down goals and keeping a "want to be" list will hopefully help me not get stuck in these mental ruts.

It's still not easy to pick a direction, because I want to be so many things. A writer/author, a musician, a karate expert, a yogi, a multi-millionaire, etc. And I tend to want to do them all RIGHT FUCKING NOW! And I know I just don't have the bandwidth to do them all at the same time. I at least don't have enough time to get good at them all at the same fucking time. And I hate feeling like if I choose one over another that I'll be somehow missing out. What am I missing? I don't know, that's the fucking dilemma!

So I'm going to keep this list and add to it whenever I think of something I'd like to be. And I'm going to keep these goals, review them twice a day, modify them as necessary, and do my best to stay focused. At the very least, I hope having these goals will help me get back on track quicker when I fall off whatever cliff I'm bound to fall off again. 

EVENING ROUTINE

I zoned out in front of the TV, switching between football and basketball. I also started a new show, Olive Kitteridge, which was pretty good.

Oh, and I started a list for Black Friday, which I have a feeling is a big scam to get people to buy. You know, the whole promise of HUGE SAVINGS. If they're so huge, why is still called BLACK Friday? Answer: because they're still making HUGE profits off our psychological weaknesses. If you want to save money, don't spend it at all on shit you don't really need. And now I will insert my smelly foot in my mouth and join hypocrites anonymous.

Vacation Hangover - Day 140

I'm a spoiled, fat American who takes everything for granted.
All of it.
Running water, electricity, internet, infinite food choices and supply, organized, paved roads, safety, health care, money, abundant shelter, air conditioning, heat, hot water, gadgets that make my life “easier,” freedom, and everything else that supports our continuing climb out of the food chain.

In all of my 42 years on Earth, that's 15,330 days, I’ve spent a total of 14 of those days in 3rd world countries, where most of the things I listed above don’t exist.
That’s about 0.09% of my life.
I’ve spent more time farting, probably a lot more, because I fart a lot, because I consume more than my fair share, because, read the first sentence again.

Based on my simple observations, the common person in those countries can’t just put their hand in the void and take out what they want, any time they want, like I can.
They live in a shack surrounded by pathetic looking livestock, wild dogs, mud, and chaotic traffic.
They probably eat whatever they can, whatever they can either grow and sell or afford to buy.
The women are mostly fat, the men mostly skinny.
They’re neither happy nor sad; they just are; they’re just existing/surviving without much aspirations for anything better.

I can’t help but wonder if I were to take a handful of those folks living in squalor and give them a cushy office job with a decent salary, a nice apartment or condo, and a suitable vehicle, how they would feel as opposed to their “old” life of living in the mud?
Would they think it was better? Worse? About the same?
I don’t know, but I’m thinking of writing a fake book about what I think might happen.

Anyway, it feels good to be back in the land of over abundance.
The first thing I did was over consume the internet and the infinite supply of food.
So much so, I almost gave myself diarrhea, a tummy ache for sure.
After spending a week eating good, clean, fresh food (mostly), sweating my weight every day, and hoping to not run across a bitter squalor-dwelling zealot who hates the white man.
That last part is a huge exaggeration.

The truth is, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty, because, compared to them, I have more than I could possibly ever need and they don’t have enough.
I probably throw more food away than they eat in a year.
And I don’t know how to feel about that.
Grateful is probably what most people would say I should feel, but that’s not it.
Unfortunate, maybe, because their experience is more in tune with how nature wants things to be, consuming only what you need, sparing nothing, throwing away little, survival of the fittest.
Of course, that’s my own little fabrication of how I think they live, free of the burden of too much choice.
And burden is not even the right word.
I’m too lazy to figure out a better one.
“Shackles,” perhaps?
I don’t know.

Time to hook back up to the grind.

They're Letting Me Out Of My Cage For A Week - Day 130

MORNING ROUTINE

I woke up dreading the day. A) I knew it was going to be balls fucking cold. Winter cold. And that I was most likely going to be walking around with cold, dry hands, cold, dry lips, and my eyes were going to feel like they were submersed in ice water. I hate it. B) I had to face the plumber again, for the third time in less than a month. And C) I have a lot of shit to do before we head off for a week of vacation.

The plumber came and did his thing. I felt embarrassed when he said, "rice and peels are a no no, all they do is make me money." Then he laughed maniacally and left.

I didn't get my warm up routine in today, because the plumber was the first human face I saw for the day. And after he left, I took a shower and went to work, freezing my nut sack off. I hate getting into the car first thing in the morning and the seat is cold and the wind is blowing and the sky is all depressingly cloudy. It makes me question my decision to move back to a city that has four seasons instead of two, hot and not that hot. I'm seriously considering moving back, but I love Dallas.

EXTREME COMFORT

The girl that I continue to choose to live with was making fun of me for going to workout at 24 Hour Fitness. She said, and I quote, "they cater to dead people, like you." I'm pretty sure she's attempting some kind of psychological coup leveraging her liberal agenda to control my mind. It worked, because I almost spent the whole day thinking about it.

I've almost always held the opinion that buying a house in the suburbs is the equivalent of running out the clock in football. It means you've given up "trying." It means you're done trying to improve yourself; you're content being a person who wakes up, goes to a job, piddles around the house (a house that always seems to need attention and money), says, "hello and goodbye" to their significant other, and relaxes into a soft, comforting, reclining chair to watch the latest whatever CBS show is the most popular. In other words, life is over and you're just waiting around to die.

I thought about what it means to not be considered part of that walking dead crew. What is important in life? What matters the most? And I'm not talking about "what's your passion?" nonsense; everything, when you distill it down over a long enough time line, is a colossal waste of time and doesn't matter. And I think when you take that literally, when you say to yourself, "why bother?" that's the moment you die. It's doing all the nonsense that YOU think is important, in spite of truth that everything is meaningless, that keeps you alive. At least that's the conclusion I came up with while staring out of my office window while fighting the desire to jump through it and run off to some remote part of the world to wear loin clothes and live off the land.

HIATUS

It's all about experience, right? All that previous bullshit in the last paragraph about doing what you need to do to feel alive in spite of knowing it doesn't matter is all horse shit, right?

I'm going to an undisclosed location out of the country for a week. That means, a) this blog will be dark for a whole week. I'm sure all my ZERO readers and followers will be upset, but fuck 'em. And b) I get to partake in the no-thought-required comfort of packaged experiences.

Pretty much every vacation, every trip, fuck it, pretty much everything in life, is a no-thought-required packaged experience. It's impossible to escape. When you are born, every experience you're ever going to have in your life has been planned out. Most of them anyway.

Think about it. You're going to experience birthdays, where there's fake smiling people congratulating the day you were born. You'll get gifts and cake and whatever. You're going to go to school, where you'll experience the misery that comes along with feeling like a caged slave being force fed the capitalist manifesto, until you're ready to be released into the real world where you'll follow your programming and seek out new masters (jobs, money, all of it). You might get married, have a kid or two, buy a house, a car, take vacations, retire, then die. It's all been wrapped up in a nice little box and all you gotta do is get on the rail and keep moving forward.

So for the next week, I get to partake in the natural, packaged gorgeousness of a foreign land. Gorgeousness I have to pay to see and experience. If I didn't have the money, I would never be able to see it.

I suppose I should be grateful that we, as technological capable humans, have developed the ability to travel to (almost) any part of the globe within a few hours and experience it. If we were still carrying around sticks and killing each other over a dead Mammoth and putting bones through our noses, we would never know these foreign places existed. We'd never have the urge to want to experience them. We'd probably fucking fear them even if we did know about them. But through the miracle of pictures and interweb and facebook and stuff, we can know experience jealousy when we see someone kicking back for a temporary break from their otherwise boring lives.

So this is goodbye for a week. Maybe when I return, this thing will turn into something different. Maybe it'll turn into something good? I doubt it.

Until then, suck it, and ragonk!

Slow Deterioration & The Workaholics Mindset - Day 129

I hate trying to remember what I was thinking. Like, I have a thought about something that seems really good, and if I don't capture it immediately, in the moment, it falls right out of my head onto the floor. Then, one of my dogs comes along and shits on it, then the other dog eats it.

I remember laying in bed thinking about my squishy body, and how I've treated it like a thing that can be easily replaced, and how my whole life, I've chosen pleasure over pain/deprivation/long term well being, and how the short term rules my day. That's about as much as I can remember. Basically that's been my background thinking for a while now, and how I need to make a change in my consumption habits to preserve what little healthy body I have left. I'm just not sure I'm ready, or willing, or able to make those changes now.

MORNING ROUTINE

I woke up around 5:30 am, magically, using the power of my brain. I've given up the notion of trying to go to bed early so I can get up early. Instead, I've opted to just bite the bullet and get up early, thinking that this will force me to go to bed early. And plus, I always feel better when I get my ass up and go to the gym to do my workout. It doesn't have to be to the gym, but, you know what I fucking mean.

And speaking of the gym, it hasn't changed much in the years since I first started going, some 20 years ago. 80% of the people in there have no business doing some of the things they're trying to do. I have no idea where people get their information, if they get it any at all. There's the guys who load up as much weight as they can barely move and then struggle through horribly formed repetitions. Then there's the meat heads, the loud talkers who congregate around whatever body part they're beating into submission for the day, and grunt, and yell, and high five, and generally just douche out. Regardless, I like going. I like lifting weights. I just keep my head down and get in whatever I need to get in.

I came home and the sink was clogged. Fuck me. I feel like if I ever lose all my other skills, I'll always have the ability to clog a drain. Now I gotta call the fucking plumber again, who thinks I'm a 'tard, and have him come out and unclog it. It's these little moments in life that I feel like a complete waste of matter. But I gotta keep charging ahead.

IDEA

I was listening to Ticket AM on the way to work, which should be a given. If I say I'm driving anywhere, I'm most likely listening to Ticket AM. Anyway, they were doing a segment on a documentary about how college has become a very poor investment. With all the debt it saddles a person with, and the questionable quality of the education, and the other alternatives available, it's probably not a wise investment. However, it is still considered the safest. Meaning, over the course of a person's life, college educated people make almost double what high school educated people make ($1.3 million vs $2.3 million).

My idea is not really anything new. Basically, create a structured, online thing that people can use to educate themselves instead of going to college. There's a shit ton of resources already available to learn just about anything a human needs to learn to function in the modern world. And a lot of it is free. So my idea is just to research all the various sources and pick and choose which ones are the "best" and put together an itinerary, a guide, to help people un-college themselves.

This may already exist, but I figure I can focus on what I know best, Computer Science. Start there and grow.

Another idea I had was to make t-shirts with Ticket AM sayings on them. Not as societal contributing as putting together educational resources, but, fuck me, I like to party! I've already created a couple on Custom Ink. I'm thinking this might be a pretty good marketing project, as I already know where my target audience is and how to reach them.

SLAVE & EVENING ROUTINE

I hate work spillover. That's when I unplug myself from my work machine and decide I've put enough effort into whatever it is I need to accomplish for the job, but I continue thinking about whatever problem I was working on, to the point it interferes with "my time."

I also hate it when I have a deadline to make and I have to cram a lot of work into a short period of time to finish it. It's moments like these when I question my whole "don't work hard, except for yourself" mantra that I preach to others who feel compelled to put in their best effort for their job. I guess I'm no different than average Joe Blow who wants to avoid being criticized/reprimanded/whatever by their stupid fucking boss. I guess we all have been programmed to do whatever it takes to not disappoint the boss.

That's the only explanation I have for beating myself up trying to finish this little piece of the project. Maybe it's because I'm taking a slight risk, taking the stupid project in a slightly different direction, without permission, and that always comes with scrutiny. The bobble heads in charge always want to know, "what's the schedule impact?" and "why?" They always want me to quantify the different approach, so they can then manage the shit out of it and make sure their boss understands that it was HIS (my) decision, not his own. Accountability runs downhill, always, no exception. If you're on the bottom rung of the org chart, then you're accountable, because you have no control and no insight into what goes on between your boss and his/her boss. You're an expendable foot soldier.

I think another thing motivating me is, if I fail, if the risk doesn't pay off, then I look like an idiot. And since I have the supplicating/people pleasing gene, everything I do must be acceptable to those I feel I need to please. In this case, my boss and the chain of command. I just don't feel comfortable flopping on my face. I suppose that's normal, that no one feels comfortable when the risk they are taking has a chance of making them look like an idiot. I guess maybe I should get comfortable not being comfortable. Isn't that the only way to grow?

Anyway, I hate it when I can't stop toiling over a work problem, because it feels like it takes away from me and the work I really want to do. When I'm sitting on the couch watching South Park and I'm Googling for solutions to work problems, then maybe it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate my priorities.

The Glamour Of Anonymity - Day 127

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN

I'm thinking I'm sick of doing this blog thing. I'm thinking it's all a fucking waste of time. Like, it's so draining trying to write good stuff everyday. Not that anything I've written since I've started this thing is considered "good" by any standard, but still, trying to think up good stuff to write about every day is a beating.

By now it's a habit though, something I feel like I need to do every day or the day just doesn't feel complete. I feel like I'm responsible for making sure the Chinese Internet bots have something new to look at every day, because that's about the only traffic this thing gets. Which I guess is fine with me. It's fine because I don't have to answer to a stupid audience who complains about everything and demands the same 'ol song all the time. I should be happy that I don't have anyone to answer to.

But it would still be nice to get some validation. To get something, someone to say, "hey, I like what you're doing here, keep it up." Or an email subscriber or traffic from a source that doesn't seem to be a robot from China. I guess it's only been 127 days, and I've done zero promotion or marketing (I don't really know how to market this thing).

I suppose keeping going is more important than whining about not getting any recognition. One of my big problems is I want everything RIGHT FUCKING NOW. And if I can't get it right fucking now, then I have a tendency to give up. If I write something I think is good and publish it and nothing happens, I say to myself, "welp, that didn't work, time to quit." I'm trying to fight that urge with this blog. I'm hoping one day in the future I'll re-read this and think, "man, good thing I didn't quit." Or maybe one day I'll read this and curse myself, "why didn't I fucking quit then? I'm such a fucking idiot."

MORNING ROUTINE

I woke up thinking how I wasted my Saturday afternoon watching the horrendously stupid Intersteller movie. The more I think about it, the more I hate it.

I was trying to sleep in today. I've decided that I need to get up earlier every day to get my workouts in. Since waking up whenever my body gets up doesn't seem to be working out for me, especially in the winter time when the sun doesn't come up till after 7 am. But this morning was a day I decided to take "off" from the workout grind, because my shoulder hurts a little and my muscles are a little sore. I failed in my desires, waking up around 5:30 to piss and couldn't go back to sleep.

I got up, let the dogs out, fed them, and did my usual warm up routine. Regardless of whether or not I workout, the warm up routine is an every day thing.

I sat in the bed and played a game of two dots before showering my anus hole and going to work.

IDEA

I've had a couple of ideas recently that revolve around putting together contests. Like, charge people an entry fee and award prizes to the winners. I don't know the legality of this, so this might be a fart in the wind.

The first idea was to put together a series of "hacking" contests for programmers. Although I wouldn't use the term "hacking" because it's become so cliched, and it implies that someone doesn't know what the fuck they're doing, they're just stabbing in the dark.

The contest would be to build a turn based game and pit the competitors against each other in some kind of tournament format. I did this in college for a class, and my application won. Partly because I sort of cheated, but mainly, because mine was better than everyone else's. I think something like this would be fun, but might be difficult for someone like me (an introvert with almost zero social skills and no connections) to pull off.

The second idea I had came to me this morning. Like the "hacking" contest, I would like to put together a speed writing contest, where the contestants have one hour to write the best story they can come up with, centered around a premise that's presented to them right before the timer starts. Actually, I've been thinking of doing this myself, for fun, writing a book 30 minutes to an hour at a time, as fast as I can. Sort of like I write this blog. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with my thoughts.

Maybe I'll spend this week researching the legalities of running contests for profit and see about the logistics of it all.

The Making Of A Nobody - Day 126

How do you change bad habits?
I don’t know.
How do you go from a generally unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one?
I don’t know.
How do you make temporary, short term changes stick?
I don’t know.
How do you stop the behaviors that move you further away from where you want to be?
I don’t know.
How do you get over being uncomfortable when someone is standing over your shoulder possibly reading what you write as you write it, but probably, they’re just going about their boring life?
I don’t know.
What do you want your life to be like?
I don’t know.
Are you too old to make a change?
I don’t know.
Do you just want to continue being a person whose going through the motions?
No.
OK.
What’s the first thing you can do today to move towards where you want to be?
I don’t know.
Where do you want to be?
I don’t know, somewhere better.
What is better?
I don’t know.
How do you tilt the balance of pain in favor of change and away from staying the same?
I don’t know.
Why do you feel the need to be anywhere other than where you are?
I don’t know.
Are you not happy?
No, I am.
Then why the need to change?
Because I’m scared.
Scared of what?
I don’t know.
Would it make you feel better knowing that everyone else feels this general fear?
No.
Why not?
Because I don’t give a fuck about everyone else.
So you want to be different?
Yes.
You want to be the example, to set the standard, to pull others out of the pit?
Right.
But you can’t do that until you pull yourself out?
Yes.
You want to be a pioneer or sorts?
No.
A leader?
No.
An example?
No.
You want people to envy you?
Yes.
Do you think that’s the best motivation for making the necessary changes?
I don’t know.
Do you think that motivation is important?
I don’t know.
So you’re comfortable not changing at all?
I don’t know.
What do you think you’re life will be like if you were to become what you (vaguely) want to be?
I don’t know, better.
Better than what, it is now?
Yes.
So you think having everything you think you need, being everything you think you need to be, will somehow transform your life into something that’s better than what it currently is?
Yes.
And what’s wrong with what it currently is?
I don’t know.
So how do you know the alternative is better?
I don’t know.
What’s the most important thing?
I don’t know.
What would you rather have or be over all the other possibilities?
I don’t know.
Don’t you think you should be a little more specific?
I don’t know.
Don’t you think, in order to get to where you want to be, you need to be more specific and at least have a rough plan?
I don’t know.
Do you even care?
Yes.
Are you willing to put forth the effort?
I don’t know.
You think change is easy?
I don’t know.
You think that doing the minimum, or nothing, or putting in the least amount of effort is going to get you anywhere?
I don’t know.
Don’t you think going all in is a better action than only dipping your toes in?
I don’t know.
How do you feel about getting specific?
I don’t know.
How do you feel about doing things the hard way?
I don’t know.
If the easy way has gotten you no further than where you currently are, don’t you think trying something different can only help?
I don’t know.
Are you willing to do things the hard way?
I don’t know.
What if you found out you were going to be dead in 3 years?
I don’t know.
What would you change if you knew your time left on Earth was limited?
I don’t know.
Would you live healthier if you knew that you could extend those 3 years to 6 years?
I don’t know.
Is there any point continuing this nonsense?
I don’t know.

Fuck you then for wasting my time, for not being wiling to make any effort, for not really wanting to change, for only being willing to put in the minimum amount of effort, for not wanting to get specific.
I guess remaining highly nonspecific and totally unmotivated and completely unwilling to do anything different keeps you safe and comfortable.
Why not let the shroud of extreme comfort cover you?
That sounds good.

Interstellar Sucked - Day 125

MORNING ROUTINE

Yesterday, I printed a thing that gets me a free pass to 24 Hour Fitness for a week. It felt good to print it. I felt like I had already achieved my goal/dream/delusion of having a lean, strong body. It almost felt like I didn’t even need to utilize the pass, that just printing it and having it in my possession was enough, and I could go back to consuming mass quantities of garbage. Which is what I did for the rest of the day.

I woke up around 5:45 am, feeling groggy. I let the dogs out to do their thing then got dressed and headed to the gym to utilize the free pass.

As I was working out, I remember how much I hate gyms. It wasn’t crowded at all, but there was one guy grunting and running around like an idiot just doing anything and everything. I’m trying to stretch by myself in the corner and he comes over and starts jumping around and grunting and generally being a douche ass face. It’s almost as if he came over to my little space just to show me how awesome he was. He had the whole fucking gym to perform his nonsense, but no, he had to do literally 3 feet from where I was laying. I wanted to kick him right in the sack and piss on his stupid face. But I kept my head down and got my stupid little workout in.

It felt good to get up and get moving. I think it’s important to get the most important things of the day done first thing. And generally, exercising and practicing health are the most important things, right? I mean, if you’re not healthy, how can you do anything else? Not that I lived the rest of the day healthy; I didn’t. But it’s setting the tone, it’s the routine, it’s making sure I train my mind to mark training and exercise as a necessity, something I need to do every day to feel alive. Hopefully I can keep it up.

I got home, ate 3 bananas, then got dressed and headed to a very popular coffee shop, where I encountered a man who laughed like the Joker while reading the newspaper (I know, right, who fucking reads newspapers any more?). My first thought was, “hmmm, this guy is a retard.” Then my next thought was, “oh, he just wants people to notice that he’s laughing at something funny in the paper so they’ll ask him, ‘what’s so funny?’ then he can tell them and feel good about himself, as if he created the funny thing and did them a favor by sharing it.” But no one asked him what he was laughing at. Even the chick he was with (I assume they were together) just looked at him with hate, as if she’s witnessed this behavior before and there was no way in hell she was going to get suckered in today.

TIME WASTE - MOVIE REVIEW

Going to see a movie, especially a 3 hour movie, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon feels like wasting a perfectly good Saturday afternoon. You only get 52 of them a year, so it seems important to make them all count.

I wouldn’t feel so guilty about wasting a gorgeous afternoon if the movie had been as good as I was expecting it to be. Maybe I should have lowered my expectations? I don’t know, but Interstellar only delivered slightly what I was hoping for.

It sort of promised itself to be as great as the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece, 2001. It even had moments where it felt very 2001-ish. But in the end, it was just another overblown Hollywood hunk of garbage with a contrived story line and a reliance on sappy emotions and cliched fight scenes. I don’t mind so much the sappy emotions, because Nolan is pretty good at tugging our heart strings and getting us to care about the characters, but resorting to Karate on a planet in another universe? C’mon man!

That was about the point where I almost walked out. That was the point where I decided that this movie sucked. And after that moment, after I created the expectation of this thing sucking, it didn't disappoint. I mean, you’re the last resort of mankind, you travel across dimensions or whatever, through a worm hole that was purposely placed in space by “them,” you land on a frozen planet, unthaw Matt Damon, who turns out to be in disagreeance with McConaughey's plan of heading back to Earth, and in so much disagreeance that he lures Mathew out into the middle of nowhere and tries to kill him. Really?

And then it turns out that the whole fight thing, then resulting chase scene, then Matt Damon destroying part of the space ship after making a dumb fucking mistake (even though he was made out to be some super intelligent scientist man), was exactly what was needed to fulfill the saving of the human race. Had Matt Damon been in complete cooperation, humanity would’ve have died. Or so we think.

I spent the moments after Matt Damon dies sighing, laughing, and thinking, “just end it already, I have to piss and shit really bad.” Between the space sequences, that were pretty good yet somehow unfulfilling, and cut backs to the people on Earth devolving into chaos. And not all the people, just McConaughey's daughter and son who seem be at odds with each other also. In true Hollywood style, Nolan resorts to manufacturing time constraints to ramp up the drama and the feeling that if something doesn’t get done RIGHT FUCKING NOW, everyone is going to die. Like, the end of the world is about to happen unless McConaughey and the rest of the cast figure it all out, even after putting McConaughey into an unlimited time situation (yeah, fucking stupidly complex and only loosely (very loose) based on actual physics). Then comes the Eureka! moment, where all the characters “get it,” they figure it all out, we are “them,” “they” are us, and everything is revealed all at once. Then, surprise!, mankind is saved and everyone who wasn’t aligned as a bad guy lives happily ever after.

Suck it Nolan. Suck it hard, for luring me into this 3 hour bullshit. Never again will I be suckered in by your crap. You’re no genius. You’re a glorified Michael Bay. I’m out.

The only good thing to come out of this whole experience is that I discovered a true IMAX theatre in Dallas. And although this IMAX experience wasn’t as great as I’d anticipated, it’s the only way to see movies shot in true IMAX. Don’t waste your money on that overpriced digital knock off crap.

You're Going To Regret Reading This - Day 124

MORNING ROUTINE

I fucking hate the cold. I mean, if it was legal and/or possible to murder seasons, I'd most definitely murder Fall and Winter, because they fucking suck. The drastic move from warm, long sunny days to dewy cold ground and dry, cold hands suck big nut sacks. It fucks with my routine to the point where I almost break down and do nothing. It could be the new house, the move still punishing me, but I suspect the cold weather has something to do with it also. I just don't feel as motivated to expose my body to the cold air in the mornings any more.

Regardless, I did my warm up routine after dealing with the dogs. I stayed home today, which I think is another reason I'm slipping on my routine, because I just don't have enough room or equipment to do everything I want to do. And when that's the case, when I can't go 100%, I have a tendency to not do anything. So I have to make sure I push myself to get it in. Plus, I think it's about time to ramp up the routine. In other words, I need to do some more intense exercise. I'm thinking I might take up basketball again.

EXTREME COMFORT

Days can’t get more ordinary than today. I woke up, did some stuff, went to work, did work, came home, and did some more stuff. It feels almost like a lost day. Like, I’d been drawn into the throws of extreme comfort. I imagine this is what it feels like to be a member of the walking dead. This is exactly the thing I feared the most moving to the suburbs. But I know it has nothing to do with the suburbs. It’s just, this place makes it way more acceptable to check out and move according to The System’s plan. Work, spend, sleep, shit, consume, repeat.

It was still a good day. Like, I didn’t feel blah or whatever. I actually felt good. But I think that’s the danger, that’s what extreme comfort is all about. It mesmerizes you into thinking everything is all right. “It’s OK, little boy, you don’t need to worry about anything. All your needs are taken care of. Just relax and stop trying to fight it. Stop thinking you need to work on those things you feel you need to. Just check out and let me handle everything.” Then you wake up 20 years later, staring death right in the face, and the rush of regret takes over, then you die wondering, “what happened to all my time?”

Yeah, that’s what today was. One of those days where it felt way too easy to take a knee and let my original programming take over. And I didn’t even realize until now. Maybe most days are like this and I just don’t realize it? Maybe I’m distracted because I think I have good thoughts to share, but on these days when I don’t have good thoughts to share, it feels like I wasted my time? Or maybe I’m just fucking crazy and over analyzing the shit out of it? Maybe this is all filler?

Forget everything you’ve read and go back to your boring life.

That Old Man Hunched Over With Diarrhea, That's Going To Be Me One Day - Day 123

MORNING ROUTINE

Information has become a necessary part of life. I mean, a person needs to have the ability to acquire, process, and utilize gobs and gobs of information on a daily basis. We need to be able to use the information to make decisions, thousands of tiny little fucking decisions every day. We have to be able to get the information, and deal with the billions of nuggets of information that are blasted into our face every, single, fucking, day. And when we don’t get the information we need, our lives break down, WE break down. Some of us even freak out, "WHERE'S THE FUCKING INFORMATION? I NEED MY FUCKING INFORMATION! GIVE IT TO ME!"

I didn’t receive the information I needed in order to take an action. I didn’t know the new house’s hot water heater and furnace ran on gas. I thought it was all electric. I thought it was all taken care of when I told the company that supplies the electricity to make sure they keep the route from the power plant to my new house open, and that I’ll gladly pay whatever rate they say for this service. But I had no idea I needed to repeat this process with the company that supplies the gas. And because of this, I have no hot water and no heat, and it’s fucking balls cold.

I haven’t showered in a couple of days because I’m too much of a wimp to stand in a cold stream of water. Maybe if it was Summer and a billion degrees outside, I wouldn’t mind. But 40 degrees in the morning is not a good time to be voluntarily wet. Fuck those idiots who go “swimming” in ice water. I don’t think the human body was designed to deal with cold so well. But I guess cold is all relative, so what the fuck do I know?

Despite the hardships I’ve been facing, I got up around 6 am, did the thing with the dogs, then went looking for a park with a basketball court. I found one, but there was a problem. I got out of my car to go through my warm up routine, then I saw him. The guy wandering around the playground. It was just me and him. We made eye contact, and that’s when I turned around and got back in my car, pretending to be consumed by something on my phone.

For one, he looked like he was waiting for the kids to show up, so he could either kill them all or lure them into some seedy van with candy. After sitting in my car and watching him in my review mirror, I realized he was just working out, same as I was about to do. Regardless, I fired up my car and went to another park to do my thing.

SLAVE

Every now and then I get excited about doing something at work. For some reason, I get excited when I get a new idea, or come up with an easier/simpler/different way of doing something I was doing before. Today was one of those days. I like being the hero.

STICKING IT TO THE SYSTEM

I have a couple of student loans. You know, the debt The System likes to lump on your shoulders to begin your adult life so you have to constantly be in a situation where you need to work and make money so you can pay them. Those kind of things.

I haven’t made a single payment on any of them in a long while. I’d say, at least 5 years. I keep putting them into deferment or forbearance, because I think student loan debt is a total scam. I think college tuition is ridiculously high because it’s so fucking easy to get student loans. Then, after you get the loans which go straight to the school, you have the rest of your working life to pay them off. And if you don’t pay them? Well, they show up in big bright red on your credit FOREVER and EVER and diminish your ability to purchase a home, a car, or anything else on credit. No matter how you slice it, student loans are an albatross around your neck.

I’ve made the decision that I’m never making another payment ever, unless I make a whole shit load of money where I can pay them off comfortably. I don’t have a great reason for this logic, other than, “fuck The System.” And also, I don’t like the idea of getting suckered into easy money at a young and highly susceptible age, only to be saddled with possibly (most likely) crippling debt later on. The stress of having it always looming over my head. The threats of, “if you don’t pay it, your credit will be ruined FOREVER.” I don’t mind having ruined credit. Who fucking cares? But I do mind he threat of having ruined credit as a tactic to get me to pay.

Plus, it’s all a scam. College, work, jobs, the promise of something “better” if you get “an education.” It’s all a giant funnel to keep the money flowing through you. Not to you, through you. Into your pocket then directly out into someone else’s, the student loan companies, the government, all of it. It’s all fucking bullshit, so I choose to not participate in that aspect for now.

EVENING ROUTINE

I got a glimpse into the world of old-lady-hood. And I have a theory about old women. The older they get, the more jewelry and other "pretty" things they decorate themselves with to try and distract people from the fact that they're old and used up.

I was the only guy at the table. There were about 8 cackling hens going on about, whatever, things that old ladies care about. I tried to keep my head in my phone and block all of them out. I was scared I might get infected with the, "holy shit, this is going to be what I have to bang in the very near future" syndrome. That's not a good syndrome to be infected with.

I've already been scoping out old men and trying to figure out if that's what I'm going to look like in 10, 20, 30 years. I've already got the whole, "am I going to be like that guy" syndrome. I guess I'm so obsessed with being that old, lonely man who ain't got anyone, who has to rely on the morons who work in cheap nursing homes to take care of me. It still feels like it's in the future, not the distant future, but some time that's still pretty far away, but it's close enough that it's bleeding into my life. I don't know if everyone's brain starts become aware of this fact about this time in their life or what, but I know I'm already thinking of what I'm going to look and be like as an old man. And sometimes, it scares me.

Voting Is Stupid - Day 121

MORNING ROUTINE

The good thing about the time going backwards is the sun comes up earlier now. Well, it doesn't really, but time wise, it does. And I like that. It keeps me from sleeping too much. It helps me get off my ass and get the day going. Although, when it's cloudy and fucking cold and fucking rainy like today, it's a little harder to get moving. When it's like this, I just want to flop on the couch and play video games and sleep all day.

But I resisted that urge and followed the routine, almost. I let the dogs out and tried to take the not hurt one out for a walk, but he didn't want to go. It wasn't that cold, but it was a little rainy and wet, and he just said, "nope, fuck you, ain't going." So I didn't walk him.

Instead, I loaded up the kettle bells and went looking for a park with a basketball court. I didn't find one, but I did find a park that has a little covered area, where I wouldn't have to stand in the rain and do my thing. I think I had grander plans than just doing the warm up, but I have a thing, one of those sore spots you get in your neck and/or shoulder that make it hard to turn your head a certain way without tremendous pain.

I did my thing then came home and ate some bananas and played a game of two dots. I got to thinking about how I can edit down the audio I recorded last night for Human Harvest. I mean, how can I edit it across my Mac and my work Windows machine. I'm thinking of looking into using Audacity instead of garage band, just so I can fuck with the audio at work. Or maybe, I just keep the audio editing and recording and shit to when I'm home? That's probably what I'll do.

TIME WASTE

Voting. I mean, seriously, who fucking votes? Who fucking goes out of their way, on a Tuesday, to drive to some elementary school or library or whatever, stand in line, talk to some retired old school teacher who believes in "the American way," stand in a curtained booth and digitally select between smiling political figure A and smiling political figure B?

I think my life will be just fine if I don't subject myself to the nonsense. The political arena is for people who think they're making a difference by voting, who think that choosing between a guy in a wheelchair and a semi-hot 50 something woman is important. How is my life going to be any different if the smiling republican or the smiling democrat gets elected governor? Answer: my life will be effected zero percent.

I want to be able to vote for my boss. I want to be able to vote whether or not I should keep paying taxes. I want to vote on giving myself a huge raise and a fat bonus. Whether or not Mexicans are pouring over out borders illegally and killing everyone doesn't concern me. Either political candidate is capable of handling that issue by doing whatever the previous political candidate did.

I'm done with voting. I'm done with the whole picking the lesser of two evils. I want none of the evils. Let chaos reign! Fuck it all.

EVENING ROUTINE

I spent the evening editing down the first episode of Human Harvest: Taco Period. I'm excited to see how it turns out, even though I'm sure it will suck.

The Perfect Ass Should Be The Pulitzer Prize - Day 120

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN

I started this blog about 4 months ago, after coming back from a city where I met a person who had so much drama in her life, yet found a way to hustle up some extra income. In other words, I met a person who lived her life, provided for her own, for herself, in spite of her circumstances. I started this blog to document my progress through my own attempts to follow in her footsteps.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way. This thing has morphed into a daily diatribe outlining the minutiae of my day and my life, and all the little things that rattle around in my head that now have a place to go besides the floor. I'm not sure if I like this evolution or not, but, it is what it is. I'm glad I have an outlet to experiment, to dump things that otherwise wouldn't have a medium to travel. Whether or not anyone else on the planet will ever give a fuck has yet to be determined. Maybe when I'm dead?

Regardless, I'm plugging ahead. Who knows where this thing will lead. I'm thinking eventually to a Pulitzer Prize and a full body massage every day of my life by that hot girl, Sofia Varga.

Here's one more just for good measure...

MORNING ROUTINE

I've finally gotten back on the routine horse. Get up, let the dogs out, take the not hurt one out for a quick walk, feed them, then do my warm up routine minus the pull ups, because I don't have a reliable place to dangle my almost 200 lb mass. Hopefully, I'll get a little gym membership soon and can start lifting weights again. If not, I'm going to develop a quality kettle bell routine. And by quality, I mean a really fucking simple but really fucking challenging routine, like swings followed by snatches followed by swings and on and on until I collapse.

I ate four bananas for breakfast while wondering what I should be doing for my next software project. Yesterday, I put together a rudimentary website for Human Harvest, which I think is going to be my umbrella "business" for all my activities as A-ron. I took over the old Knorbi site (R.I.P.). Moment of silence for the dead app Knorbi...

HUMAN HARVEST

Finally, I got started. I have no idea where this thing is headed, and it looks like it's turning out to be a bit dark, but I've kicked off.

I've realized what a horrible musician I actually am. Like, my guitar skills have atrophied so much, I feel like I can only play one speed and only a handful of chords and stuff. Plus, it hurts my fingers. I've lost all the callouses on my fingertips. I'll get them back, IF I don't be a dildo loser and quit again.

Stay tuned, because I know all my ZERO readers are eagerly anticipating listening to the first horrible episode.

MISS WIGGLES

She doesn't seem to be getting better as fast as I had anticipated. Plus, her paws are really fucking irritated. I'm going to have to do something better.

I ordered a couple of child gate things to block off the living room, where she likes to get on the couch and sleep at night and when we aren't looking. They're supposed to come in tomorrow, so I think I'll be locking her in the living room a lot so she can't be wondering around the house. Hopefully, this will help her rest the legs a little more to let that scar tissue build up.

She's still in good spirits though. It's like she never lets on that she's uncomfortable or hurting. So that's a good sign.

EVENING ROUTINE

I hate this whole time change bullshit. Why do we do it? Arizona has it right. They ignore daylight "savings." And why is it called "savings?"

I remember I had an argument with a guy I used to work with who thought there was more daylight when the time went back. Like, he believed the sun stayed out an hour more when we turned the clocks back. He was an idiot. I couldn't explain to him that the fucking sun doesn't honor our stupid fucking human time rules. THERE'S STILL THE SAME AMOUNT OF DAYLIGHT! It's just now, instead of being light when I leave from the slave ship, it's fucking dark. And when I have to turn on my headlights to drive home after work, I want to skin a baby and wear the skin as a mask. You read it here first.

Living In The Vortex Of Extreme Comfort - Day 119

There’s a certain comfort in staying stuck.
I think it’s where everyone expects everyone else to be, somewhere between doing something amazing and doing nothing.
The further one travels towards amazing, the harder it becomes to keep going, and the harder it becomes to fight off the people trying to drag you back towards nothing.

I think being in the dead middle of the spectrum is the worst place to be.
It’s where extreme comfort is, that fucker that’s always sucking you and me in.
It’s where most people reside, for most of their lives.
Once the newness of being an alive person on this amazing planet wears off, that’s where we all tend to settle.

I’m only thinking of this after moving from the middle of a big city to the suburbs.
I’ve been talking to my girlfriend about this and telling her it feels like giving up.
Like, the suburbs are where people move to when they’ve quit living and are just content to run out the clock.
Whether this is an actuality is up for debate, but if you’ve ever made the drastic transition from hustle and bustle, aliveness, to cookie cutter land, then you might know what I’m talking about.
If you’ve spent your entire life in the suburbs or the country or where ever, then you probably don’t matter at all and should stop reading and go throw rocks in a pond or something.

It’s not that the city is a more alive place.
It’s not that the people who live in the city are doing amazing things.
There’s plenty of examples of walking dead in the city.
There’s plenty of people living in extreme comfort who also live in the city (I raise my hand and lay claim to that label).
And there’s no, “but …,” it is what it is.

It’s more about the contrast between what it means to live in the city and what it means to live in the suburbs.
The stereotypes.

In the city, things tend to move faster.
There’s more noise.
There’s more traffic and more people stacked on top of each other, which means there’s more opportunity to be a little too close to someone else’s experience.
Like my bedroom window in the my old apartment that faced the main entrance to the apartment complex, and all those Saturday nights where the fucking idiot drunks would line up outside my window and scream drunken nonsense into the night.
That’s me being a little too close to someone else’s experience, and not wanting to be a part of it.

There’s more opportunity to meet someone who isn’t a copy of a copy of a copy of some stereotypical suburbanite who owns a home, has 2.5 kids, 2 cars, and a well manicured lawn on some street that has a pleasant sounding name, like "Mystic Rainbow," or, "Flowered Plateau."
Things are close.
Sometimes a little too close.
Sometimes it feels like those things are right on top of you, like they’re specifically there just to fuck with YOU.
Like, the city planned this elaborate construction project that’s going to take place right outside your bedroom window at 5 am every morning just to fuck with you, just to piss you off.

There’s the constant feeling of being at the center of it all.
Like, when I’d leave the city, then come back, the skyline, the lights, the density of it all, the constant movement made me feel happy, alert, awake.
It’s like you can’t rest on your heels.
You can’t kick back and put your feet up for a second.
You have to always be alert.
You have to always be prepared, for, whatever, a bum who jumps out of a bush and tries to stick his dick in your mouth.
Who knows?

Then to have it all stripped away, to be cast into a world where all the roads run straight, in a neat grid, spaced evenly apart, and every intersection is infected with big box stores and shopping centers, and people all seem to be living the exact same life, following the exact same script, all with the exact same personality.
In a way, it feels good to be the sore thumb.
God knows that me and my girlfriend stick out like a fucking thumb that has stage 9 Ebola.
But you know what they say, people who hang around other different people become those different people eventually, or something like that.
I don’t know who actually says that, and I don’t know if it’s true, but there’s gotta be something to it, otherwise, why would they say it?

I’m stuck here for the foreseeable future.
I like the quiet.
I like the slower pace.
I like that people aren’t drunk in the street at 4 am screaming about the Taliban and Obama’s liberal agenda.
I don’t have to give up my personality, or sacrifice my quest to do something amazing.
I just need to be more cognizant of extreme comfort.
There’s way more people infected with it here than in the city.
I just hope they don’t cough or sneeze on me too much and infect me any more than I already is.

Fuck The Treat, Give Me The Trick - Day 117

MORNING ROUTINE

I don't know if it’s the time of year or the move or what, but I just can't seem to get going again. I almost feel like I've taken a step back. Like, I've gone from being a successful middle class human to being a poor, borderline middle class loser. A loser who drinks and smokes and parties his/her life away when they're not working. And I’m not even reaping the self destruction those activities provide.

I woke up around 6:30 am and literally sat at the kitchen table listening to Ticket AM and played two dots. When my lives ran out on two dots, I looked at the Twitter. When that got old, I got on Quora. Then the plumber showed up, again.

He did his thing and got the washing machine drain working. And this time, he didn't even roll his eyes at me. I felt like a not so worthless man for the first time in a long time. But after he left, I went back to staring into my phone.

I ate two bananas, put the trash out by the curb, then washed my ass and went to work.

I feel like my brain is stuck in an infinite loop and can't figure out how to proceed. I suppose I'll "figure it out eventually," but this limbo mode is draining. I want to do so many things but almost feel like, since it's getting close to Christmas and stuff, I can't get started until the new year, which I know is total bullshit. The best time to start is right now. RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

EVENING ROUTINE

I hate fucking Halloween. I mean, why do people want to celebrate all the creepy things we’ve invented, things we created to scare the shit out of us? Why? I don’t fucking get it. I don’t think celebrating death is such a bad idea, but ghosts and zombies and leather face? Fuck that, it’s fucking stupid.

With all that said, I still like to give out candy to all the stupid little kids who come to my door and say, “trick or treat,” then hold out a bag that I’m supposed to fill with candy. I had fun doing it as a kid, why should I deny them the same pleasure?

But today was a day where I didn’t feel too much like dealing with the whole, “woooo, let’s fucking party, it’s halloween!” crowd, so I avoided it all together. I went to Targets instead and got some things for the house, and a box of Cheez Its that I ate for dinner. I drove back to the house and the swarms of candy takers were everywhere. I pulled into my driveway and shut off the lights quick. I ran in the house and sat in the dark and played tow dots until I thought it was safe to turn on lights again.

Stuck - Day 116

MORNING ROUTINE

I got out of bed, let the dogs out to do their business, felt sad about Miss Wiggle's knee problem, fed them, then sat on the toilet and played with my phone.

Robb Wolf is one of the "leading" "experts" in the ways of Paleolithic eating. I'm subscribed to his mailing list. He sends about 3 emails a week, which has conditioned me to automatically delete just about everything that comes from him because I usually have no interest in wasting my time reading, for the eleventy billionth time, about how eating like our paleolithic ancestors will cure me of everything and pretty much make me immortal, or something. And also I'll probably never develop the fortitude or discipline or whatever to eat like that long term. But the email he sent this morning made me unsubscribe from his bullshit.

The email was titled something like, "Don't Miss Out On This!!" Then began with, "Don't kick yourself for missing this opportunity..." Right then, I knew the email was going to ask me for money so I could be a part of some consortium of "experts" who were going to teach me how I'm doing life wrong and how they're doing life right. I clicked the unsubscribe button and felt good about having one less thing in my inbox that I have to delete every day.

Then I got to thinking about how everything is scam. All of it, all the stuff and things. Everything is just a great big marketing pitch. Everything is one big lure that leads to some big funnel where everyone is trying to get permission to put their hand in your pocket. All of them, all the websites, all the emails, all the telephone calls, everything, the whole Earth. It's all an intricately designed scam to get you to shuffle money from your side of the table to theirs. The people who you believe are genuine, the "experts," are all liars. They don't have the cure, or the thing that's going to make your life easier, or the whatever other magic formula is going to rid the Earth of everything that ails it. They got nothing but a flimsy premise and a payment gateway.

I was close to throwing my phone in the toilet and flushing it down with the rest of the crap that came out of me. The crap I paid money for, that's destroying my body. But then I felt the need to get on Twitter and see what was happening. I can't live without that.

MISS WIGGLES

"Nature is awesome." That was a thought I had when thinking about the email the vet sent me, encouraging me to opt for the surgery because it's the only way to get my poor girl better. Here's that email in its entirety:

"Thanks for the update, Aaron.

I'm glad she's feeling a little better, but I wish she was putting more weight on that leg.  She likely has injured her knee ligaments more seriously than she did previously.  In that case, she is probably going to do best with a surgery.  

We can give her a other week and see what happens, but please let us know if you'd like us to get you to the surgery center sooner.

Gloria Johnson, DVM"

The pressure sales pitch is always an indication of a charlatan. It's the "best" option. Best for who? For me and my poor dog? My pocket will be a lot lighter and I'll still need to go through the whole rest and recovery phase, except she'll also have a horrific and painful wound on her leg to deal with. And there's no guarantee the surgery will "work" as good as conservative management long term. Scar tissue still needs to build up. She'll still have the possibility of re-injuring it, and even more so if she re-injures it while still recovering from the mutilation the vets want to do to her again.

Nature is awesome, and I'm confident that it will, in time, get her back to at least some level of normalcy. She may not ever be able to run and play again, but even with surgery, that's a high probability.

And I'm so mad that every vet is in it for the money and can't make any other recommendations or help in any way outside of, "get the expensive surgery so you'll be dependent on us for a while to make her better, which means you'll also give us more money in addition to the surgery, but fuck you if you think we will guarantee the surgery will work. Are you fucking crazy? We're vets, not miracle workers, except right before you give us the money we'll do our best to make you believe we are."

EVENING ROUTINE

I laid on the couch all evening, worthless, like a slug that knows it's about to get salt poured on it. My body and mind seem to be resisting crafting a new routine, one that involves doing productive stuff in the evening. One that involves not laying on the couch watching sports that I have almost zero interest in. At least not laying on the couch doing nothing but watching the digital mens do sports things.

When I went to bed, I started thinking of what my next move should be. I really need to get back in the groove, especially in the morning routine. But I started thinking about what I should be doing, or what I need to be doing, and I couldn't come up with anything solid.

What I really WANT to do is get the Human Harvest podcast and musical project underway. I'd really like to spend some time every day, the same way I do writing, doing something musical and/or podcasty, but my mind seems unable to grasp how to squeeze it in to my busy schedule of sitting around playing Two Dots, laying on the couch watching sports, and mindlessly wandering around the house like an eight year old that can't find its mother.

I'd also really like to start an app project. I was thinking about creating a fantasy football lineup generator for daily fantasy leagues. The app would generate a bunch of potential lineups based on projected points and the player's cost. I thought of this yesterday while I spent the better part of an hour coming up with a lineup to use on Fan Duel. I've been wanting to do something in the fantasy football space for a while, a garage start up "disruptor," if you will, that is different than the traditional fantasy that's so popular on the big three sites (CBS Sportsline, Yahoo!, and ESPN). Maybe I'll kick this idea around a little the next week or so and see if I can get excited about it.

The Irony Of Being The Idioit Who Calls Everyone Else The Idiot - Day 115

MORNING ROUTINE

The plumber had to come this morning because I'm an idiot. The faucets in the laundry room were leaking when I turned them on. I couldn't figure out how to turn them on so they wouldn't fucking leak. So the plumber comes, takes one look at them, then looks at me and says, "these old ones, you have to turn them on all the way." I said, "I thought I had turned them on all the way." He rolled his eyes, let out a "this fucking asshole" sigh, and tightened the things up then turned them on all the way. No leak. I felt shame.

With the washer now available to use, I filled it up and started a load. About 10 minutes later, I went to check if everything was working, and, no. There was a huge puddle of water in the laundry room, where all the water had leaked from somewhere. I don't know where. Fuck me.

So I gave up, took a shower, and went to work.

SLAVE

Every time we have a process meeting at the job, I go into meltdown mode. There's nothing more depressing than sitting in a meeting discussing how I, and everyone else, should be doing their work. I firmly believe that a one-size-fits-all process is used mainly to drive the average production of a group down to some baseline so that (mostly) mediocre talent can be used, because they're cheaper and much easier to control. But that's just me, what the fuck do I know?

I also can't help but think about that scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden is sitting in the meeting with his boss and some generic salesman/businessman guy while holding in a mouthful of blood. His boss asks the salesman guy, "can I get the icon in corn flower blue?" That's what a process meeting feels like. Like, let's dive down into the minutiae of how things should be done so that we, as management types, can have a way to feel somewhat in control. Even if it's all an illusion, management needs to have some kind of metrics and measuring system to justify their existence. I mean, we as smart, capable individuals couldn't possibly be trusted to get shit done in a reasonable time frame without the constant threat of managerial consequences. Unfortunately, they're absolutely right, because most of the "talent" management types hire either sit right at the top of the bell curve or somewhere to the right of it and need all the managerial interference they can get.

But again, what the fuck do I know?

EVENING ROUTINE

I decided to try and figure out where the washer was leaking, so I started another load. Again, like an idiot, I made the largest load possible, which means it uses the largest volume of water possible, which further means, if it leaks again, it'll make the biggest mess possible.

The washer starts the drain cycle and the drain pipe immediately fountains water out all over the place. I press the pause button on the washer and say to myself, "fucking shit hole." That was superfluous, you didn't need to know that.

And just to prove I'm an even bigger idiot than previously was thought, I decided to cancel the washer load thing entirely. As soon as I did that, the washer decided to drain its contents, and I had no way to stop it. So again, I had to clean up about 13 gallons of water that spilled all over the floor.

Right then, I understood the need for managerial interference and the necessity of process.

Defeated, I planted myself on the couch the rest of the night and watched game seven of the World Series. Fuck Madison Butt Farmer.

Living In An Ancient Opium Den - Day 114

MORNING ROUTINE

I seem to be in a constant state of agitation and/or anger. I don't know why. Maybe it's the change in location. Maybe it's the stress associated with worrying about Miss Wiggles. Maybe I'm fucking crazy (I am). Maybe I just need to get back to being me, being in my routine, working out, eating relatively healthy 80% of the time, doing this and that, twiddling with projects.

This time of year has a tendency to make me want to take a knee on doing things in life. Like, my motivation to do anything just drops to damn near zero until after New Years. I feel like I gotta find a way to fight through it. I gotta find a way to get back on course and stay the course. I gotta find a way to accept that I no longer live in a vibrant place. Instead, I now live in an old, outdated house that smells like stale cigarette smoke and feels like about 80 old people have died in it. I'll get there, I think. I just gotta find my routine again. It's all about the routine, following the process, and mitigating dilly dally time.

Once again I woke up feeling like I have no idea what I should be doing. I'm like a robot whose lost it's programming. I literally just laid in bed and looked at my phone for 30 minutes waiting for something, whatever, some kind of spark of inspiration or something to get me going.

I'm used to getting up and taking the dogs for a walk, which means getting out of the house and doing some physical activity. I think that's what I need to get back to, even if I go for a walk by myself. I need to get up, deal with the dogs, then take a 15 to 30 to 45 minute walk just to get the juices flowing and out of my head. It's probably the reason I'm so agitated and seem to stay that way for the rest of the day. So that seems to be a good place to start. Get up, around 7 am, take the dogs out to the backyard to do their business, take the not injured one for a walk, then feed them and go through the "warm up" workout I was in the process of defining (push ups, pull ups, squats, swings, snatches). Then I can work in some more intense workout, like sprints or weight lifting.

I ate a couple of shitty croissants, washed my ball sack in the midget shower, then drove to work.

EARN 1K - MODULE 2, LESSON 2: DEFINE YOUR DELIVERABLES

Yesterday I had every intention of going through the second lesson in module two of the Earn 1k bullshit, but the internet got in the way. As promised, here's my notes from the module 2, lesson 2 video:

youtube vortex again. I'm sorry.

MISS WIGGLES

I let her out last night to go piss and she saw a rabbit or something run across the backyard, and of course, she couldn't help herself. She chased after it and looks like she might be back to square one with the knee. I'm probably going to have to restrict her activity a little more. That means more crate time. I'm thinking of buying an x-pen or a baby gate or something and allow her to roam in a confined space, where she doesn't have to be laying down all the time.

I also researched some holistic bullshit on the line. Some of the descriptions of these products makes me think that we haven't come a long way in the field of natural healing. They use words like, "balanced energy," and, "open up healing pathways," and, "rejuvenate and nourish." It's all fluffy bullshit. Whether or not it works, I don't know? I'm thinking there's a strong placebo effect, but does that work on a dog? Like, if I believe strongly that giving her some witch doctor herbal formula will make her leg heal faster, will it? Is the placebo effect transferable?

"A-ron, she's a fucking dog!" you might be screaming into the screen right about now.

EVENING ROUTINE

The house we live in is old. The carpet looks like it hasn't been changed since 1950. It's disgusting and it makes me feel dirty to just be in its presence. Plus it smells like stale smoke. But the house is cheap and in a good neighborhood, so, there's that.

I put together one of the beds while watching the World Series (go KC), the Stars, and the Mavericks. It was a good sports night. The only thing that would've made it better is if I could time travel back to Monday night and tell Tony Romo to stay his ass on the sidelines and let Weeden win this bitch. And also, to bitch slap Jerry Jones, just cause. He's had it coming for a while now.

This Is The Worst - Day 113

MISS WIGGLES

It seems she's made a very, very slight improvement. She's at least using her leg when she walks slow and when she's standing still. She's toe touching, but not much else. Her spirits are high still and she doesn't seem to be depressed or anything, which is very good.

The vet gave me some Rimadyl to give her, which I have been as directed. It's made her poop really soft and I think it's upsetting her stomach, because she's not eating as much as she usually does. I think I'm going to give her the usual dose today, then back off to half a dose for the next couple of days, then stop altogether. From everything I've read about Rimadyl, and even the vet has said, it's very hard on their stomachs and could cause liver damage. I think she's past the initial "it's painful all the time" phase and now she only has pain when she tries to use the leg.

I'm also thinking of getting her a brace to wear, since she's prone to being spooked real easy. It might help her recover a little better, and also make me not to have to keep her in her crate so much.

MORNING ROUTINE

The new house is so fucking quiet. Almost too fucking quiet. I mean, so quiet all I can hear is the constant ring in my ears.

I rolled out of bed and wandered what I should be doing. If the dog was healthy, I'd be taking them for a walk. Since she's not, I just broke down and sat on the couch and played a stupid game on my phone. I hate this being out of routine bullshit. I guess I need to be more adamant about sticking to the usual regardless of where I'm at.

I took a shower, enduring the shower head that seems like it was built for a race of midgets instead of normal size humans. The water stream strikes me right in the middle of my fat chest, even when I'm standing inches from it. I have to power squat down to wash my hair. A year of this and my thighs should feel like steel.

I drove to work under zero stress. I didn't have to get on a highway, or get on a tollway where I pay the state government a nice fee to sit in traffic. I was able to get to work in about 15 minutes without much fuss. I didn't even have to break out the virtual machine gun that I use to virtually, in my head, blow cars away that are driving like assholes. And even better, I get to go home for lunch again. Yeah for me!

EARN 1K - MODULE 2, LESSON 2: DEFINE YOUR DELIVERABLES

I've punted the whole recording yoga classes thing, because a) I don't have a fucking video thing, unless I use my phone, which I don't want to do because I don't got much memory and I'm not ready to upgrade to iPhone 8+ C Ultra, or whatever. And b) the logistics don't seem plausible, because I can't be in two places at the same time. What I may do however, and maybe I should focus on this stuff rather than wasting time with Ramit's fat dumb face telling me what to do, is approach these places to see if I can come in a record classes whenever, then present them online to people looking for online yoga classes, and just cut them in on the proceeds? I like that.

IDEA

Since I have a fucking yard now, I need to either mow the fucking thing myself or hire someone to do it for me and pay them. The latter is probably what I'll go with, since I don't want to buy a fucking mower, but I might if the cost is ridiculous.

Anyway, I had the idea of creating an online portal where people could setup a lawn maintenance thing and then I could farm the work out to local landscaping companies. Win win, right? I mean, instead of going through and doing all the research online about which company is cheapest and which one is the best and what services are offered and blah blah blah, I could create a single place where you could go sign up and have someone show up at your house at whatever interval you need and do you stupid lawn. Fucking genius.

EVENING ROUTINE

The Cowboys lost. That's it.

My Dog's Ligaments, TPLO, & WAIT, DON'T DO IT - Day 112

Yesterday I had to move from one location to another.
Which means I had to pack all the shit I’ve accumulated over my life.
Shit that I have because I work a job and have extra money leftover, after The System takes it cut, to buy things that don’t matter.
I had to pack all that shit up in boxes, then pay someone to come over and put it all in a truck and drive it to the new place and unload it all.
It’s such a fucking beating.

During the move, my dog busted her knee while she was hanging out at the dog park with a friend who had come over to baby sit the dogs while the movers were doing their thing.
She busted the good one, the one she hadn't busted yet until yesterday when she busted it real good.

The last time, when she busted the one that is now considered the not good one, I got sucked in to getting some really complicated, really fucking expensive, really fucking destructive, really fucking risky surgery to “fix” it.
The surgery is called TPLO, where they cut part of her bone, the tibia (T), rotate it a little to create a plateau (P), so that the joint, which used to contain a functioning ligament called an ACL, can stabilize, heal, and cause no more pain.
And also, has the dog back to 100% in “no time.”
I believe those were the actual words used by just about everyone involved in this scam, “no time.”

I got the surgery done without putting much thought into it, which costs me around $3700.
I love my dog, and at the time, I thought I was getting good advice from people who had done the surgery for their dogs with great success.
Looking back, I think they had good intentions.
I just wish I had done my homework before putting her through this horrific experience.

I dropped her off in the morning, they did the surgery (I never met the surgeon, who was supposedly, "one of the best"), then they kept her overnight for recovery.
The next day I picked her up.
As soon as I saw the horrific injury they inflicted on her leg, which was literally an incision down 3/4 the length of her leg, I knew I had made a huge mistake.
Despite the trauma she’d just experienced, she hobbled over to me and acted like she hadn’t seen me for days.
I felt so terrible for her at that moment.

The next couple of weeks, I struggled to keep her calm.
The stitches on her wound came undone.
I took her back to the vet, where they tried to put staples in place of the busted sutures.
That same night, I had to take her to the vet ER to have them removed because they wouldn’t stop bleeding.
They put her leg in a huge bandage that she wore for the next several days while the incision healed.
Which it never did fully.

In order to keep the shaved and rotated bone in place while it heals, they have to screw in a metal plate using screws that go almost through the entire bone.
They showed me on x-ray, and they were very proud of their work.
All I saw was my money poured into their pockets, and unnecessary trauma and pain, all to fix the job of a tiny little ligament.

Her incision never really healed because of the metal plate.
Her body rejected it.
They told me that she could probably spend the rest of her life with the metal plate in her body.
They told me that most dogs accept the plate just fine.
I found out later, after having the plate removed for another $700, and another month of trauma recovery, that most dogs reject the plate and have to have it removed.

$4400 later, plus the numerous visits to the vet at about $50 a pop, plus pain meds and such, my poor baby was left with a giant scar on her leg and a knee that only recovered to about 65% functionality.
She still favored it.
She still had pain in it from time to time, when she’d step on it wrong.
It makes me want to blow up all those fuckers who roped me, the big fucking sucker, into doing this extremely invasive surgery.

Not this time.
I’m not making that mistake again.
It may be rough to watch her limp around for a while.
It may break my heart to have to put her in her crate a lot.
But I’m not getting sucked in to these fucking money leaches again.

The conservative protocol is pretty simple.
Lots of rest, lots of fluids, no running, jumping, stair climbing or anything else that puts undue stress on the joint, for at least 2 months.

A couple years ago, I took her to a different vet because I thought she had busted her good knee, the one she busted this time, then.
He explained the difference between not doing anything and doing the TPLO.
Of course, his opinion was highly slanted towards TPLO, because, who fucking knows, maybe they're all in on the scam.
He explained that the recovery protocol is almost exactly the same; you have to restrict the dog from any activity that puts any undue stress on the affected joint, to allow scar tissue to build up to "repair" the area.
But his pitch for TPLO is that, without it, scar tissue builds up all zigzaggy and uncontrolled like (he drew a bunch of squiggly lines over the drawing he was doing on the board), and TPLO makes the scar tissue build up all nice and organized and pretty (he drew some circles and straight lines that made it look all professional or whatever).
Right then, I knew surgery is pretty much bullshit.
The only time to opt for the expensive, highly traumatic surgery is in a worst case scenario, if the joint doesn't heal well with lots of rest and rehab.

I always feel stressed when I don't know what to do, where there's no clear cut answer.
After I reminded myself of the last experience with TPLO, and did some research online, I feel better making the decision to not put her through the horrific surgery again.
And I hope by writing this that Google picks it up and shows it to people to dissuade them from getting the fucking surgery as a first option.
But I know Google is stupid, fuck them.

I'll keep you posted of her progress under the tag, Miss Wiggles (that's her nickname because when she gets excited, she wiggles her whole body).

This Tiny Fucker Of A Man Tried To "Ruin" My Day - Day 110

MORNING ROUTINE

I woke up to the sound of some ass fucker on a loud ass motorcycle just fucking revving it in the parking lot, which is literally right outside my bedroom window. One more fucking night in the this shit hole apartment. Expect my review soon.

It was about 6:30 am. I rolled out of bed, took the dogs for a little walk, and cursed God for guiding me to this uptown ghetto of a place to live. I swear, it's like I'm living inside an obnoxiously loud cracker box surrounded by obnoxiously loud idiots. It's the perfect place to live if you can't afford the good uptown neighborhoods but still want to be considered "uptown." Suck it fuck faces. Hopefully you won't see me on the news this weekend being stuffed into a cop car in cuffs.

I got back from walking the dogs, did my little warm up routine, took a shower, then got dressed. I drove to the place where I'm supposed to now send money every month for rent on a house we're moving into this weekend. It's a nice office building occupied by people who wear suits to their jobs. I feel sorry for them. I imagine if I were to bust one of them open, I'd be able to bring in a hefty price by auctioning off their robot parts on the ebay.

I take the elevator to the 8th floor, totally feeling like a scumbag. My hair is longer than it should be, and a little shaggy. I haven't shaved in days. I'm wearing shorts that haven't been washed in a couple of weeks, and they're covered in dog hair. And all these assholes on their blue tooth things talking into the air while doing their best to ignore my presence. In my head, I'm exacting justice by reminding myself that I probably make more money than all these fucks. Not that that's any indication of superiority or anything (it is, but only in this highly specific context).

I go the office I'm supposed to go to and tell the little receptionist dude that I'm here to give them some money. He says the person I need to see is on the phone and he directs me to wait in a small conference room.

I sit there. Then sit there some more. Then some more. I'm really good at sitting and doing nothing.

10 am strikes, after waiting about 20 minutes for this trick to get off the fucking phone. Agitated, I get up and tell the little receptionist dude that I'm leaving and she'll have to meet me in the morning at the house. He apologized and went and got the chick he was supposed to get 20 minutes ago. I kind of feel like he did it on purpose, but oh well, fuck him.

I gave them my money and cursed The System for it being the way it is. Then I drove to work so I can sit at a desk and type things into a computer so the company I work for will give me money that I can then turn around and give to the people I just gave money too so I can keep my body inside a house on a street with a lawn and stuff. I longed for the return of Ebola. Maybe one day I'll get my wish and the Western world will devolve into absolute chaos.

SLAVE & HUMAN HARVEST

I was standing at my desk thinking about doing some real work, the kind of work they pay me to show up to do everyday. But sometimes, I get sucked into this youtube vortex, where I’ll watch one video, then see another in the sidebar or think of something else related, watch that, then another, and so on and so forth. Today was one of those days, but it was for a good cause.

I’ve been thinking about how my musical palette has progressed through my life. It started with Quiet Riot, so I watch the Metal Health video. Then I got sucked in to Ratt, then Motley Crue, then whatever. All the horrible music that I remember listening to when I was a kid. I considered it “research” for the upcoming podcast/audioblog thing.

I did get actual work done eventually. It was a pretty good day. But those damn youtube vortexes, they’re so easy to get sucked into, and they fucking know it!