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So Sorry

There is nothing. nothing. more depressing in life than watching someone you love destroy their life.

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Anxiety!

For what it’s worth, I wrote this months ago and never finished or published it. I’m just putting it out there now to close the thought process. I’ll revisit it when I start thinking like a human being again.

I used to have some pretty strange nightmares. I still do, I guess. These unsettled me because they didn’t embody an event/person/experience that I can still fully explain. But I’ll try.

I’ll try to lay some groundwork. I don’t think I’ve ever been a calm person. Granted, a comfort level is a very personal thing, so it’s tough for me to tell, exactly, how I stack up compared to the rest of humanity. What I can tell you is that I’ve frequently found myself overly anxious about things that don’t seem to matter.

For instance, I’ve had nightmares about the following:

  • Forgetting my PIN at the ATM
  • Hitting snooze one-too-many-times
  • Accidentally transposing my social security numbers on a job application, thus delaying my first month’s pay
  • Having an extra drawer of underwear/undershirts when, in reality, they’re all dirty

These are all things that could legitimately happen. In fact, they DO happen. All the time. So why would I panic about them? I think the answer lies in my childhood dreams.

I used to have dreams where time would run very fast around me. Nothing would happen, exactly; I would just get the sensation that life was speeding by, and I was stuck, wading through a snowdrift and bundled in way too many pairs of damp, heavy sweatpants. They were terrifying to me, and I never figured out why.

When I was younger, a doctor offered my parents and me medication to help focus my attention. I decided to decline. I still think that I made the right decision, but I’ve always noticed when I let myself slip away from productivity, noticed when I go to bed late and wake up early, notice when I zone out on a long drive and focus again minutes from my destination. If anything, that diagnosis just helped me realize that concentration might not be my strong point.

I think it’s that lack of defined focus that affects me when I’m very tired or stressed. Little things, common-sense things, suddenly become anchors for nervous tendencies.

Wait. Where was I?

See? This still isn’t going anywhere.

Dancing Animals.

“Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”

– my hero, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

If you’re like me, you’re easily frustrated when your ipod is missing album art. Sometimes iTunes is able to find missing artwork through the “Advanced > Get Album Artwork” drop down menu, but other times, you’re out of luck.

Fortunately, iTunes “Smart Playlists” feature can help you track down the ones you’re still missing.

iTunes Smart Playlists - Missing Album Artwork

iTunes Smart Playlists - Missing Album Artwork

From there, you can hit up Google Image Search to find what you’re missing, copy the image, select the album, right click, edit info and then paste in the missing artwork. It’s still a pain in the ass, but at least you don’t have that big, sad empty spot where a pretty picture should be.

And voilà! Crises averted. Now you can go back to focusing on projects that really matter, instead of obsessing over trivial artwork you can barely see on a 2″ screen. You nerd.

DIY Bilk

Bilk (Serving Size: 1)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Parts Caffeine (Black coffee or Diet Coke, whichever is in season and readily available)
  • 1 Part Alcohol (Optional)
  • Equal Parts:
    • Turkey Dogs
    • Peanut Butter
    • Wheat Bread

Preparation:

  • The best Bilk is a distracted Bilk. Make sure you prepare him in an active environment full of bright, shiny objects.
  • Let sit over night, occasionally agitating until 2:30 a.m.
  • Awaken at 6:30 a.m. to start again. Enjoy in the company of others!

I’m trying out a new experiment for 2011.

This year, I’m doing two separate photo projects. I figured the normal 365 photo project was fairly simple, so I decided to step it up a bit. I’ll take at least one photo every day, but at least one of those photographs will be a self portrait.

Self (01/01/11)
Self (01/02/11)
That’s right. I’m documenting my degradation through 2011.

I can’t promise it will be pretty, interesting or amusing. But I can (tentatively) promise it will be consistent.

I’m on of those flighty people who can’t seem to figure out what they love most about their facial hair: that I always have it in abundance, or that I can shave it all off at a moment’s notice.

The 'Stache

My epic mustache of days past.

Yesterday, I nearly had that decision yanked from my beard-fearing hands. Here’s a little background info:

I share an apartment with my brother, and we’ve had a pesky sink since we moved in this past October. Any given morning, the sink will either allow water to pass through freely or build up with sad, sickly remnants of our shaved faces and discarded toothpaste. It’s pretty nauseating, to say the least.

While I’ve been mostly content to stare at the backup and sigh loudly and repeatedly each morning, my brother has decided to wage war. He’s poured no less than three bottles of Drano (or whatever the cheap, equally-corrosive store brand is) into the sink in the hopes that the caustic solution will dissolve whatever gunk is backing up our plumbing. When the last bottle failed to even sluggishly meander down the pipes, he took the battle one step further and began to plunge the sink.

At this point, I can only speculate what happened based on deduced evidence and my pain threshold.

What I think happened is that my brother clumsily spilled the Drano mixture all over the sink in his efforts to force the solution down. My reasoning for this assumption is that the immediate area around our sink is devoid of dust, link, bits of hair and dirt. It almost looks like someone mopped, or, as I suspect, wiped up the spilled mixture with, say, a hand towel. That brings me to my second bit of evidence: the wet hand towel, reeking of Drano, dumped next to the sink.

All of these observations came secondary to my first inkling of what had occurred, though. You see, as I combed my luxurious beard, as I am wont to do in the wee hours of the morning before getting ready for the day, I became aware of a tingling sensation. Tingling quickly gave way to burning, which quickly gave way to me looking at my comb in confusion. After noticing a dried chemical residue on my beard-tamer, I realized that the smell emanating from the device was reminiscent of the poisonous mixture clogging my sink.

Conclusion: brother either slogged Drano all over my comb or accidentally dropped my comb in the sink full of water that could easily recreated the Joker.

Either way, I ended up panicked and desperately scrubbing my beard to get rid of the potential disaster. Thankfully, the burning stopped after a few hours, and all I was left with was severe irritation, both on my skin and at my sibling. Well, that and the nightmares 😦