Tuesday, May 26, 2015

For the Sake of the Mask

No, I haven't forgotten about this blog.

We all do things that we know aren't necessarily good for us, but nor do they necessarily harm us. We're not sure why we do them, we just know they help us along.

We also put on masks. We don't suppose the world at large, or the select few we share space with, could handle all our shit in its raw form. Or maybe the thought is that we couldn't handle ourselves that raw. Maybe we're faking it until we make it. Maybe we want the security that comes from being behind something.

I had a  thought coming out of the shower that the two phenomena are related. Some of our masks get so familiar, so essential to our daily lives, that we can forget we're putting them on. We stop feeling the mental motions we go through to quiet our facial ticks, reign in that urge to speak our true minds, and otherwise present someone that the world won't ostracize.

Whether that mask is made of silk or cast iron, putting it on takes work no matter what. It's still a chore that we do, and eventually what was once a tantrum-inducer becomes muscle memory. A little thing you don't notice until one day you noticed that you stopped noticing, but it still takes effort.

Where do we get the energy to do something we forget we're doing? Maybe it's from the little indulgences that aren't problems until they become problems.

Seems like the two share some things. That's all.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I haven't posted war updates in a while. This isn't because there haven't been any, but because they've just been a little too complicated to articulate.

Wars have a lot of stages. One of the best is when the parties remember that they have more things in common than different and begin the process of negotiations.

There are things that've happened that led me to believe the universe worked against me. Time may be that I believe that again. Today I'm remembering that I 'm part of the universe, and that I carry a piece of it in me. This doesn't let it off the hook, but perhaps we can work together more on setting things right.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

White dungeon from the sky

It's snowing a lot. It makes getting out of the house much less of an option. I'm undecided how I feel about that.

I'm back onto my normal work schedule since the fall, which is good. I am NOT back to my previous stamina, which is not good. It means an average day at work exhausts me, and an average week pretty much destroys me. It makes my weekends more focused on basic recovery than anything.

This hurts my creative projects because they're what I do after I've taken care of everything else, and by that time I have pretty much nothing left in the tank. It's been almost two months of this. It's frustrating.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


In some ways, breaking my arm has altered my life in permanent ways. I've got a wicked scar. Wearing short sleeves shirts will not be enough to keep a passerby from noticing and from that point on, no matter what I've done with my life, for some people I'm always and only going to be "that guy with the arm scar". Even when I get my strength back, I'll probably always be cautious of what I do with it.

But there are a lot of things about me that have not changed, and likely won't ever. For instance, sleeping on my stomach still appeals to me, but trying it just sets my arm on fire. And while on the subject, I still don't sleep well. Since I wasn't sleeping last night I tried meditating, and it worked to a point. Instead of feeling wearing and unmovable, I can move around fine but am sporting a wicked headache. I'm also not going to every be bodybuilding champion of the world, but honestly I let that dream die a while back.

There are crepes in my near future, which makes me happy. Fat Tuesday's fun no matter how you celebrate it, but depending on how this turns out I may start a movement to bring the pancake tradition to my corner of the States. I can think of many people that would have no problem with this at all.

There's also a bar with hundreds of styles of gin on tap promised for tonight. Thinking about it, I think these "vacation" dealies might catch on.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


While there's no such thing as gentle travelling, especially over oceans and continents, I have to admit so far this isn't so bad.

CONTEXT: My dad flew me out to visit him in England for a little while, see the sights and the accommodations he's getting used to. They're pretty swank.

Lugging luggage (band name trademarked) with one arm is less fun than it sounds. I put my sling back on mostly to remind myself not to do anything stupid like try to lift anything, but also to play up some sympathy with the airline staff. Officially there's little they can do, but I did find myself alone in my row of seats, which is just about the next best thing to First Class. I liked it!

Dad and I have been roaming the area a lot. The day I got here we walked through Grantham to pick up the essentials, Thursday we went to Melton Mowbray and toured St. Mary's and the Anne of Cleves Pub. Neither one had the souvenier Dad really wanted (his missing glasses), but both were fun. Saturday we just barely made it into York, seeing as half the country was going in that direction, but we had a good time. The York Minster is one of the most spectacular churches there is, I challenge anyone to walk the Viking wall and NOT want the Visigoths to invade just so you can fight them off, and the rest of the city is lovely (though crowded).

But there's also the grand estate that is my dad's home and place of business this semester. It's like a vacation home planted in the 1850's - all the settings of a romanticised aristocratic lifestyle without sacrificing modern amenities. Today's goal is pictures. Lots of pictures.

And getting to London. But other than that!

It's been difficult to feel relaxed with so many trips to go on, but it's a different kind of stress and I haven't thought about my normal kind in a while. My right arm is much more flexible to, able to reach almost as far as my left again. I suppose I'll be spending this week getting the last 1-2% of mobility back, because next week is when the doctor tells me how to start rebuilding strength. It's pretty exciting!

Friday, January 30, 2015


Yeah, it's been a while. In my defense, I'm having to relearn how to type with the right side of my body, which isn't fun.

The staples are out and I've transitioned to the phase of my recovery where I'm working the arm to restore its mobility. I about three weeks, I should have that down to the point where I can start rebuilding functional strength.

It hasn't stopped hurting, but it's to the point where I can feel the weight of the plate inside my arm. It's stiff, unyielding, and right now it interferes with moving the arm around. It's a bit creepy.

But on the other hand, this should be a temporary thing. And when it's all said and done, I'm going to have a titanium-reinforced skeleton! I will be a living union of man and machine!!


...Okay, so just one bone has the plating, and the machine parts are as simple as they come, but for as big a fan of comics as I am this is still kind of cool.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Still Swinging

Posts about deep personal reflection and the value of life lived versus the life unlived seems like low-hanging fruit, still. So in an effort to avoid being maudlin, here's a fictional couplet:

Here I sit, broken arm-ed,
Thought to fart, but rather sharted.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Unused Munitions?

It occurs to me that one of my best counter-offensives in fighting the universe, which has levelled some genius volleys in my direction recently, is one that the medium of blogs was more or less designed for. Tonally, it may seem out of place, but hell, it's not like much has been IN place lately.

So here it goes. The highlight of my day:

I pooped A LOT! Like, in a toilet. Bunch of times, too!

Thatt genuinely makes me feel better. Ah, the internet. Where were we as a society without you?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's the Word?

I have the sense that I want to do something (not just be able to move my right arm), but I also have the sense that I want to do nothing. Or maybe I want to do some particular kind of nothing.

Some language or another has to have a word for that? Right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Broken Cycles

Got off track for a few days, didn't I? My excuse? I broke my right arm Friday night, and didn't get out of the hospital until Sunday.

Alright, *I* didn't break my arm. The fall did, from the roof I was on trying to fix a leak.

So I'm going to be much less efficient for the next week or two. Typing with my left hand is annoying.

On the one hand (see what I did there?), I want to applaud the universe for delivering such a mighty blow. On the other hand, it's unsettling to think about how easily the universe could've finished me off right then.

Ugh, the next few weeks are going to crawl so slow! Anyone want to take dictation for me for the next month?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I've heard a few people say that it's important to write in a project every day, even if it's just a couple of words, to keep the momentum up.

This is one of those days when I try that euphemism out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good Days

Every so often, the universe doesn't fight me so much. I have a good day.

Today's felt pretty good. I woke up pretty positive, and got a lot done at work already. There's plenty of the day left to go, but there's nothing in particular I'm feeling anxious about.

To reward this good turn of fortune, I'm pulling out a gif about the dark side of mattress testing. Enjoy!

Monday, January 5, 2015


I managed to not write anything in this blog yesterday. Instead of declaring the experiment (and by proxy, myself) a failure, I'm gonna let that little blip happen and move on.

Lots of aspects of the human condition work on a scale, not the binary systems that are easier to wrap a head around. Sexuality is one, self-perception another, and I'm ready to add sleep cycles to the list.

I'm a weird kind of insomniac. I'm not a morning person, but I'm not much of a night person either. Usually I'll hit a wall sometime around midnight where I just know I'm not going to do anything until I get some sleep, but then I'll sit in bed for hours not sleeping.

If I get up and try to do something with my sleeplessness, about all I can manage is watching the wall paint age. It's not nearly as rewarding as watching wine or cheese age, in fact it's pretty thankless, but it's got to be done and dammit I am stepping up! I am the fucking master of watching paint age, and all y'all better recognize!

But as skills go, yeah, this is kind of a lame one.

And I'm not the sort of person that can get by with just a few hours sleep, either. Too many nights like the one above and the fatigue I feel (spending my days generally fighting off the relentless onslaught of the universe's forces) makes it a lot harder to get my head together.

So a few years back a doctor prescribed ambien. I don't take it every night because it doesn't work if you try to use it every night, and I don't want to be the kind of person that needs something every night to sleep. And even if I space it out, there's the occasional night where it takes a few hours to kick in versus the less-than-an-hour it's supposed to. But when it works? Glorious.

In order to achieve a similar night's sleep without it, I'd have to push myself through two workouts involving heavy cardio, spend two hours in deep creative work, and have something with alcohol in it. And not have slept for a few days beforehand.

Well played, universe.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Days Off

I often feel like I should be doing something "constructive", If I'm not, something inside my head chides me for sloth, it doesn't matter what I've already done on a given day. That makes trying to sleep fun.

So on days when I don't already have something scheduled and I know I need to rest, actually resting feels... icky.

So today I'm binge-watching The Walking Dead and awaiting a delivered pizza. Let's see how that goes.

Friday, January 2, 2015


I don't have a medical regimen per second to aide me in my struggle with the universe. Maybe I should, but for now I manage without.

I am developing a series of habits that give me intermissions, chunks of my waking day that don't feel like I'm fighting through the day. They include:
-Meditation. Regulated breathing in a position between relaxed and controlled, not interacting with reality but vaguely aware of it.
    This is like a diplomatic summit where we negotiate,a cease-fire. It doesn't last, but it is refreshing.
-Yoga. A semi-aggresive program that forces me to use most of my body in a taxing way all at once. I like this a lot better than weights because it feels like I'm working out whole muscle systems instead of one group at a time.
    This serves two purposes. 1) I train for the next volley the universe throws at me, and 2) this helps my body feel as worn-out as my brain by the end of the day, which makes me feel a bit more balanced at least.

Now I've got this blog. This blog reminds me that I am fighting. Sometimes it feels like I'm just getting beaten, so it's nice to have something that proves it's not a one-way fight.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


"Social anxiety" as a term bugs me,only because I don't understand how some people seem to not have it.

Any time I'm with a group of people, part of me takes the scene in and checks a few things out.
1) There are more people here than me, and the consensus is probably that I should keep my pants on.
2) I probably don't know these people as well as I think I do, and most wouldn't want to hear talk of pants.
3) They are human, just like me, and each have their own unique relationship with the universe.

At this point, I figure everyone is on the same page, but there's still plenty of room for variation. Trying to figure out who in a given room is willing to talk about how much pants is a universal source of anxiety. If a person isn't anxious about it before striking up a conversation, they usually are after.

But with people that deal with "social anxiety", there's at least one more criterion. Some variation of
4) The universe probably likes these people more than me.

And when one considers how many entities are in the room or the world or the universe, that's a real concern. Or it seems that way to me.

So if it's real, why should anyone be anxious about it? And if it isn't real, how do so many notice it in the first place?