And no one suspects a thing
They’re all hiding just the same
They ache for an outbound train
And the wheels stopped turning in their brains

“Dance on Stilts” by Blue Oyster Cult

  • Started doing some layouts for the superhero comic I’ve talked about, the one centered around dichotomy.  Reread the poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade” as I began to clarify my outlines.  Settling on it being called “The Brigade” for now.  Using that as a bit of a loose influence for where my themes are going with.  So it is basically that and Overwatch as influences.  Hoping to start some serious work on that as I get Order of the Dragon’s first story closer to done.  Hopefully going to have the first issue pretty down to only lettering and touch-ups by the end of the week, inking page
  • Is just me, or does it feel like the White House is keeping the Russia thing alive longer than it ever should have?  I mean, if there was nothing illegally or morally questionable done, couldn’t Trump have laid all this to rest with his tax returns?  Or by simply keeping his mouth shut?  I don’t know, just feels like we’re getting conned all over again.
  • Made it to the meeting for the Vermont Comic Creators thing.  It was good to be social again.  Hoping to do more with it in the coming months.  Kind of fun that we have this going on in Vermont.
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Sometimes you just have to think about those odd little things…

  • Finished reading a biography of Nikola Tesla.  He was very complicated individual, struggled a lot because of his complexity.  A lot of what he theorized about has come to pass, so you can’t help but wonder what might have been.  Three day weekend coming up, so I might head over to the bookstore and pick up a couple more books.  Also right across the street from the cookware store, so the rice cooker might happen.  The books will probably be the priority.
  • I had a dentist appointment the other day.  Nothing terribly exciting, although I will admit that the hygienist scolding me for not flossing enough was a bit of a turn on.  Probably helped that it was relatively attractive female–relative if only because beauty is defined by our own perceptions.  The field of dentistry does seem ideally suited for some odd fetishes.
  • I feel like there have been a lot of little things building up to something lately.  Not sure what, not sure if I care.  I just see these odd little events that seem to be pointing in one direction or another.

Just learning something new everyday, it seems like there are just as many questions as answers out there…

  • Got my Deadpool mask.  Very pleased with it.  Bit more difficult to see out of than I had hoped, but I’m getting more used to it.  Here is a picture.
  • I’ve been thinking over something I’ve observed lately.  I call it the “Hurry Up and Wait” mentality.  Basically I’ve noticed people have a tendency to take what they believe to be a faster approach that isn’t necessarily so.  I’ve observed this in a number of cases where the time gained with the perceived faster approach doesn’t necessarily gain you much time in the long run and at best it provides more idle time that could be used to complete tasks more effective and efficiently.  Might try to do a longer post about this at some point, trying to oversimplify it in a blurb here.  I do think people get in such a hurry they don’t take the time to appreciate the progression or the steps.
  • Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  Or Single’s Awareness Day.  Or Lupercalia.  I personally prefer Lupercalia.  Those ancient fertility rituals are really a lost art.  Always seemed like such a weird day that shouldn’t be necessary.  Admittedly I did spend most of last Valentine’s Day resisting the urge to send my ex a topless picture of myself with the caption: “This could have been making you waffles today, but you’re a bitch and I don’t like Waffles.”  Or something along those lines.  One of my more douche-bag ideas as I processed things–might still do it someday.  Point is, all a special day devoted to showing our love for one another proves is how much we have left to learn.
  • I think back on a lot of the projects I wanted to start, but never really got a chance to.  A lot of it would have been getting in touch with a more “redneck” side.  I kinda took some steps in the direction–getting the chainsaw, some odd yard projects, kayaking, etc.–but there were a few more I still have yet to really parlay into.  A lot of it is more dependent on getting into a more independent living arrangement.  Right now, I don’t necessarily have the space or resources for getting a dog, ATVs, archery of some kind, livestock…  all the other things I want to mess around with.  I have a coworker who keeps suggesting I buy a gun, but I’m pretty meh about it.  I’ve thought about it before, but it has never been something I’ve been terribly excited about.  Point is, there’s a growing list of things I want to try but have yet to do and I’d like to start in on that.

So I was at work and somebody brought up a couple of our coworkers that are in the process of purchasing a house.  Good for them.  It brought to mind my own situation a bit, reminding me of a post I did last year about whether or not it would be better to buy or build a house.  Mostly I just want to think about anything but Donald Trump and politics.  As I said at the time, the financials of it are a set of wildly shifting factors that could skew it either way.  So I had more or less reached the conclusion that it would likely have the end cost of being about the same.

However, I have come to reevaluate that a bit.  The situation described in that consideration–and with my ex in general–was obviously an emotional maelstrom.  There really is no other way to describe it.  And that probably did slant the opinion of the house in general.

I don’t necessarily question the financial conclusions I reached in that first exercise.  However, I do have to speculate on standards and how best to reach them.  I like to think I have some high standards.  So the idea of buying a house and then immediately planning to redo the kitchen, basement, back porch, whatever else comes up… that makes me think “Even if we do all this work, will it meet our standards?”  That’s a hugely speculative question, but one worth considering.  I mean, yes I would love a huge kitchen where I could do a myriad of things.  But I would also love a large room devoted to being a library where you could read and lounge, maybe have that connected to the living room?  A real studio where I could draw or write in productive environment.  I had a few sketches and general floor plans drawn out, some of which I’ve posted online.

Point is, I like to think I have fairly high standards.  And the case of a home, I would prefer to think that can be a good thing.  In the course of looking at houses, those standards were the primary factor I struggled with.  Does this house or that one meet the standard for a place to start a family?  To build a life?

One of the things I’ve speculated on is the question of who’s life I’m living.  Who’s hopes and dreams am I trying to fulfill?  And how do those dreams become reality?  I do still have that dream once in awhile, where I wake up and get breakfast started while the dogs and cats are bounding behind me… do a little drawing or writing or reading as its cooking… feed the animals as my other half comes down–or bring breakfast up to her…  There are shifts here and there.  Obviously the leading lady has yet to be determined.  And I do feel like I’ve narrowed down the possible breeds of dogs to an Australian Shepherd or a Husky of some kind.

Point is, that dream is still there.  And I’ve figured out that the best way to meet those standards would probably be to build.  If there was one thing that I felt in the past was there was a lot of sacrifice of standards and compromise for convenience and emotion.  Not to criticize my ex’s sister or the brother-in-law, but the things I was looking for in a house were things that their old house wasn’t necessarily going to embody.

Resolution Post?

December 31, 2016

I suppose this could the “New Year, New Me” post, if the meteor doesn’t wipe us all out before midnight tonight–this year has really softened us up for it, so I wouldn’t be surprised.  So yeah, I really question the validity of a post detailing any real resolution for the coming 2017.  I mean it really shouldn’t take the arbitrary determination of the passage of a rotation around the sun to get your shit together.

I do have some ongoing goals for the coming year.  Some of which are more realistic than others.

  • Get to more family gatherings.  Strangely enough, I miss going to family gatherings on a regular basis.  Working nights disrupts most human interactions on a variety of levels and I’m feeling like that’s been one of my biggest issues is the lack of person to person connection.  Family gatherings in specific, I’ve come to like those more than I used to.  I would like to make sure I get to more of them in the future.
  • Somewhat related, try a new vocation.  While I am ramping up the job hunt in recent weeks, I’m also tempted to… inquire about some part time opportunities.  Farming is one that sticks out to me.  One of the bigger eye rolls I had about my ex and the farm was that she never took the hint that if her parents had made a real offer on a job with the farm, I would have taken it.  Kind of a ridiculous thing, but I took that whole dynamic seriously and did not feel right initiating that process.  So I’ll see if there’s potential for some kind of part time gig.
  • Continue to get into better shape.  I’ve accomplished a lot of goals in the last few months, but I’ve no intention of stopping.  Kayak more too.  I still have an interest in archery that I would like to explore a bit more.  I have a coworker who keeps trying to talk me into shooting guns, but firearms don’t really hold that much interest to me.  I acknowledge my politics might influence that, but I honestly think guns are overrated.  If I’m messing around with weaponry, I’d rather it was something I was putting more effort into than a flick of a finger.
  • Do more art.  I’ve made a lot progress and I’d like to continue with that.  On me to keep that going in the right direction though.

So, it has been a bit of a down year all around.  I was going to wait until after Christmas to reflect on the year as a whole, but I get the feeling December is just going to be going through the motions and mailing it in.  The United States and Britain seem destined to complete their self-destruction as the icons we grew up with continue to pass away.  So 2016 really has become the year where we lost ourselves.

Bowie, Rickman, Prince, Castro, Cohen, Glass, Henderson…  We have lost a lot of people who defined who we were and how we feel about ourselves.  People get annoyed when people get upset over celebrities dying, but it is important to remember that these people form a part of our culture and how we regard ourselves.  After a bad at work I’ve been know to put on Bowie’s Hunky Dory and listen to “Kooks” and that usually makes me feel better.  Or unwind to an episode of Serenity.  Or quote any number of Rickman’s memorable lines.  And so on.  Even Fidel Castro, in his own way, had his role in the formation of our culture.  So it is reasonable to feel something significant when people of their presence in our lives pass away.

2016 was really a wash year.  We were so self-destructive this year.  Even in my personal attempts to turn the anger and angst into something productive were heavily caught up in the waves of… whatever.  For lack of a better way to put it, we drowned ourselves in our own bullshit this year.  This whole year was about self-destruction.

Some predictions:

  • I think that on a global and national scale, we are poised to see a lot more instability.  I just look at the players involved and some what’s unfolding and those do not bode well in my mind.
  • I think I will be in some kind of relationship in 2017.  How serious of one, I don’t know.  I’ve gone on a date or two, but things have been a bit too hectic to really get a read on anything.  Who knows?  Somebody was telling me that it sometimes takes a up to a year and a half to get over a break-up, depending on how long and serious the relationship.  Part of the reason I’m glad I haven’t gotten into a relationship yet.  I think I did need the time to figure out how responsible I was for the state of things there and I do feel I’ve reached a point where I’ve shouldered my share.  I’ve taken responsibility for my mistakes and learned from them.
  • Probably will be getting a new job next year.  I’ve been ready to move on for a long time and I’m feeling more and more like it has been dragged out longer than it should.  I’m not foolish enough to state a time table without a plan in place, but I’m thinking it will happen.
  • I will be doing something more productive with artwork.  We will see.

I’ve started rereading Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. I’ve read it all the way through two or three times, must have started it three or four more times.  In the last week or two, I’ve come to start thinking about a lot of concepts that have been nagging at the back of my mind.  The story is essentially that a man was born on Mars and raised by Martians, coming to Earth as a young man.  As a result of being raised by Martians, Michael Smith follows their beliefs and practices, bringing strange abilities and philosophies with him to Earth.  One of the early episodes of Star Trek in the 1960s–Charlie X–dealt with a similar premise and themes and was likely influenced by the novel.

The overarching philosophy of the story being grok, which sort of means to understand and know intuitively, as though it is a part of you.  To drink of, I think is one of the more literal definitions in the novel.  It is intentionally difficult to define, as it is designed as a Martian concept.

Mostly I’ve just been thinking about how… little of what’s going that people are able to grok.  So many problems in the world seem to have a baseline in just failing to reach a deeper understanding of the world and how it functions.  On this planet, there is a growing interconnectedness about our cultures that cannot be ignored and we’re going to have accept.  You can resist, throw around ideas about making countries great again, but our concept of the world is changing everyday and you have to grok the things you don’t like about that as much as the things you do.

Politically, I think one of the biggest failures of our elected officials is to take too much of a… religious approach, for lack of a better term.  So narrow they cannot fathom the connections they would see if they grokked the entirety of this country.

And this isn’t necessarily a global or a national thing, it can be a personal thing too.  As I’ve said in the past, one of the more frustrating things about my break-up last year was her lack of personal responsibility–just one more brief anecdote about LMCBW.  A lot of the issues with us could have been resolved by simple efforts on her part to grok our situation as one of equals.  I like to think I understood her better than she wants to admit, albeit not perfectly.  I made mistakes and I take responsibility for them.  I’ve been wrong about some stuff, but I do think I grokked the big things.

Point is, I’m going to try harder to take more responsibility.  To realize how connected everything is and understand those connections.  To grok the world around me.

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