Vacation Retrospective

June 24, 2017

 

It took so much effort, not to make an effort.

“Florida” by Modest Mouse

Alternatively titled, “Why Do I Have To Go Back To Work Tonight?”

It was a good vacation.  I had hoped to be done with the inking of Order of the Dragon #1, I am about four pages short on that.  Working on lettering the fourth page right now, redoing a bit of dialog that’s been bothersome.  Hopefully the next day or two and I will get that done.  I’d like to be getting something printed off in actual book form, but I’ll see where I am at that point.  I’m posting the pages I’ve got lettered.  Couple of minor things I’ve got to fix on those, but it is underway.

Wanted to go kayaking more.  Rained almost every day.  Never really got around to a few outdoor projects I wanted to.  vigilante lawncare and such.  Oh well.

Applied for a couple of jobs.  Mentioned something about the soap factory to my Mother, who said it was probably a good thing I didn’t go there because it “might bother my allergies.”  And all the cleaning chemicals I’m around every night at work doesn’t do that?

 

 

That song lyric from Modest Mouse has been bouncing around my head for a few days.  Basically sums up my thoughts on a few matters.  One of the things I think people like to say is that they put so much effort into something when it seems obvious they did not.  Not really.  In those cases, I do think people put more effort into trying to convince people they did make that effort in the days after rather than trying in the first place.  Trying to buy solutions rather than getting into the problems themselves.  I will admit to cases in my life where there was more effort spent to convince everyone else of the effort put forth.

Effort is obvious.  If you’re making an effort, there won’t be much question.  One of the things I tried to avoid doing is talking too much about what I did to make things work in a variety of areas because it is or should be obvious.  I have gone into detail about a few things, but it was nothing I thought was not obvious.  And I don’t deny there were times I could have made more of an effort.

In any relationship, professional or personal, effort works on reciprocation.  At work, I think it is clear I have made efforts to make my situation and make it better to no avail.  I think people know I’ve made the effort and am focused on getting into a better situation, but at this point there has been little matching of my effort.  With LMCBW, I think people know that I made a lot of efforts in that situation that were not necessarily reciprocated by her.  Business or professional, relationships are in trouble if one side is buying solutions or avoiding effort.

“Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”  I think Yoda nails it.  Point is, people can tell when you’re not making that effort.  I’ve been in a relatively bad situation in one way or another for most of the last four or five years.  As much as I’ve stalled out and had to make some adjustments, I’m continuing to make those efforts.  I won’t be wasting a lot of time explaining that I’ve made an effort.  If it isn’t clear, people need to start looking again.  I have no interest in explaining the obvious to people.

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Problems are just opportunities that haven’t presented themselves.

-Wilson Fisk, Daredevil

  • Hear good things about the Wonder Woman movie.  Gal Gadot looks fantastic.  Early reviews are positive, which is a nice change for a DC movie.  And controversial.  This whole thing about a “female only” showings is amusing to me.  You have groups made exclusively of men deciding what is legal and illegal to do with a woman’s body and people are going to get worked up over women only showings of Wonder Woman?  Shove it up your ass.
  • Also finally started watching the Netflix Marvel shows.  Only about halfway through Daredevil Season One, but it’s been good so far.
  • Inking away on Order of the Dragon #1 while drawing out issue #2.  Loving where the art has gone.  Actually feel like I’m getting somewhere with this.  Trying to focus more on inking as I prepare to make an attempt at getting an actual comic published, but also want to make sure I pencil a page a day.  Trying to find balance..  Starting to revisit the storyline I talked about for a superhero story where the hero and villain are the same person.  It’s a story that’s evolved a lot since I first thought it out, one I feel I’m more ready to delve into than I had been.  There was a lot of complexity that I only just now feel like I can really parlay into a page.
  • Doing a new  version of that Skyrim/Dragonborn drawing I’ve toyed around with in the past.  Was never 100% happy with the version I did, so I’ve been revisiting the concept.  Felt too cluttered and complicated, stepping back and simplifying it a bit.
  • Between what I’ve been doing with eBay and simply just being smarter with my money, I think I can actually follow through my plan to pay off a loan or card each month for the foreseeable future.  I’m going to post a couple more things on eBay tomorrow after work, try to post four or five things each week.  For the most part I’m going to repost the books I’ve posted already, maybe switching to a Buy It Now option instead.  Basically just trying to create flexibility and opportunities later on.  I’m still waiting to hear back about the jobs I’ve applied for, so the plan will be to continue with building up my financial cushion a bit more.
  • Read an article or two about relationships that were interesting.  This one was particularly interesting to me in that I keep hearing people say not to change who you are.  Got news for you:  Life is change, Love is change.  Make sure the person you’re with is somebody you want to change for and willing to make an effort to change yourself.  You want to stay the same for the rest of your life, there’s a probably a nice little rock out there for you to hide under.
  • This one also caught my attention in that it covers a lot of the primary reasons why relationships don’t work.  As much as life is change, we should understand the true reasons why things don’t work out.  I will admit one of the biggest things I’ve disagreed about was really the reasons why things didn’t work out.  Unraveling and truly understanding those reasons can be difficult but vital.

I like just posting a few links to avoid overloading people with these things.

  • Toxic habits in a relationship that most people don’t realize are toxic.  I will admit that this does describe some situations I’ve been in.  Hints and passive aggression?  Done and had it done to me.  Holding the relationship hostage?  Yeah and she effectively killed it.  Loving jealousy?  Oh yeah.  Buying solutions?  Definitely and I’ve observed others doing it.  To be blunt, this article basically describes a past relationship and it was exhausting.  This is really a big part of why I’ve chosen to remain single or avoid a standard relationship.  There are a lot of bad habits we are conditioned into believing are healthy and positive.  One thing I’ve tried to do is identify bad habits in myself and in past partners to better understand their impact and address them when I can.  Part of the problem is we’re conditioned into believing these are acceptable behaviors and that makes it difficult for relationships to work.  Also a reason I recommend Stranger In A Strange Land to people.
  • The GOP and Trump can’t seem to wrap their heads around healthcare.  Describing their repeal efforts as zombie is an apt comparison.  It will eat them alive.  Personally, I always considered the ACA a good starting point.  Not a finished product.  It does a lot of good and could do more if the glaring flaws are addressed.  Get costs down.  Stop letting the providers hold it hostage.
  • Dairy-free diets might not that good for you.  I’ve heard about how milk being not that good for you as it contributes to clogged arteries, but dairy in other forms has its benefits.  I stick to cheese, whey protein or Greek Yogurt for the bulk of my dairy.  Seems to work for me.  I am usually skeptical of Vegetarian and Vegan diets, if only because I’ve been of the opinion that our diets evolved the way they have for a reason.

It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.

-Erik Selvig “Thor”

  • I see a story floating around about how the guy on that United Airlines flight was convicted of trading drugs for sex and was not actually a licensed doctor.  Question:  does that really matter?  I mean, his argument for staying on the plane might have been bullshit, but isn’t it kind of ridiculous that airlines overbook like that in the first place?  And that they handled themselves like that?
  • Saw the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.  Watched it five or six times.  Trying not to judge much based on it.  I wasn’t a huge fan of opening with narration like that.  Overused technique really.  Kind of continues the general direction of the Thor movies, although I do think they tried too hard to make it look more like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Guardians of the Galaxy worked because it stuck to being what it was.  It didn’t try to be like Captain America or Iron Man or the Avengers.  Making Thor more like GotG isn’t something I’m overly interested in seeing.  We will see what the movie turns out to be.
  • Tried making Garlic French Fries the other day.  Basically the recipe for baked french fries I know, only seasoned with crushed garlic and parmesan cheese.  Acceptable results, although I might try adding some cheddar cheese to try to avoid drying out the garlic as much.  A tweak I’m going to try.
  • I’ve posted various segments of novels, one of which was centered around bodybuilding.  In this scene I’m toying with, the characters are discussing the idea of submission and/or dominance in a relationship.  The idea I’ve been crafting for that scene essentially is that while one person may be stronger, it should be their job to raise their partner to their level in all aspects.  And if the one person isn’t as strong… well isn’t the point of life to grow?  To become stronger?  If someone drives you to be stronger, isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Ice-age heat wave, can’t complain.
If the world’s at large, why should I remain?
Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.

-Modest Mouse “World at Large”

Just a few more articles I came across that were interesting.

Some interesting thoughts on how open you should be about past relationships on a first date.  Given how much I’ve discussed past relationship or two here, this seemed relevant.  One of the reasons I’ve discussed a lot of details about how things went down was to be more open and honest about it, while still taking responsibility for my own mistakes.  Never really thought of myself as being right nor wrong about anything.  I like to throw that Obi-Wan Kenobi line about the truths we cling to on that.  Working nights, I’ve only gone on a real date or two since then–kind of blew it in that case–but I would be more than willing to discuss any of what happened in the past if only to make sure there is a clear understanding of what expectations are and how best to proceed going forward.

An interesting angle on Tomi Lahren’s recent dismissal from the Blaze.  Apparently the Blaze owns her Facebook page and could post in her name or just delete it altogether.  She’s apparently trying to get control of the page, but that won’t likely be successful.  Just as we need to be careful with who is given a platform, I think it is equally important to be clear about who’s in control of that platform.  You hurt the integrity of all involved if there is ambiguity about who is actually speaking.

Apparently Michael Bay thinks there could potentially be 14 more Transformers movies.  Overkill.  As much as I like explosions and action sequences, I think they are already taking this further than they really should and wonder if there is much more to offer other than racially insensitive caricatures.

Ghost In The Shell Movie could lose money.  Not surprising, given the controversy surrounding it.  I was kind of surprised when Scarlett Johansson took the part.  Seems like she would have been much more aware of the controversy involved and have avoided taking part in this film.

Grokking Truths

February 16, 2017

I like to occasionally take a moment to reflect on why I’ve been really trying to do a regular blog.  As I said when I was talking about the idea of Truth and how we struggle to speak them sometimes, one of my goals was to better understand the Truths in their fullness.  To grok them, if you will.  I will admit I did get sidetracked at times, but that was really the fundamental goal.  To grok what it is to be human and how to be a better human.  To better grok our world.  There has been some success and some failure, things I was right and wrong about.  When you understand the Truths of the world you live in, it becomes easier to develop the ideas necessary to build a better one.

A Truth I’ve come to accept lately is that humans are in too much of a hurry.  Like I said about the tendency to “Hurry Up and Wait” in people, we get into such a rush sometimes that all it leads to is waiting for the next thing to happen and the inaction can be worse than anything.  When I was in a relationship at about the two year mark, my ex and her cousin got together and planned out a whole wedding–best man, groomsmen, bridesmaids, color arrangements, etc.–and texted me about this when I was at work.  I believe it concluded with the message: “All you have to do is propose.”  At the time, I wanted to make sure we had a clearer plan about our future–housing, her family’s farm, etc.–but I had been giving some serious thought to proposing around that time.  After that exchange, I chose not to out of annoyance.  I think I shot back, “Why doesn’t your cousin just do it for me?”  I was annoyed, but then again, I was being pressured into something I had simply waiting for the right moment to do.  My own annoyance there might have been a bit of self-destruction on my part.  My point is, you get into a rush, you miss details and then you wonder why things go to pieces in the end.

Truths are important to acknowledge and I like to think I have come to realize many.  I’d like to touch on a few.

  • It is necessary to move beyond the binary–male/female, gay/straight, liberal/conservative, etc.–and think in terms of just being human.  Maybe an oversimplified approach, but it does prevent the traditional labels from interfering.  All of the words for human do little to add to the conversation, only muddling up what should be a picture of progress.  It will take a long time, but I like to think we’re getting closer.
  • Humans are too self-destructive.  I’ve covered a lot of the ways I’ve done damage to myself and I realize how hard it can be to stop self-destructing.  And the worst thing about that can be how we keep trying to tell ourselves how doing these things will somehow make things better even though we know they won’t.  And chances we don’t take out of fear where the stagnation only makes things worse.
  • One thing I’ve noticed is how nothing is really private in the sense that ripple effects hit a lot of people and everything goes outward.  When I went through a break-up after a three year relationship, I actually spent some time talking to her mother and sister in part for their input on her actions and in part to make sure they knew it wasn’t really my decision and if she was willing to listen and work things out we would have.  I felt like that was a half-way decent human being thing to do as I thought of them as family.  This last December, her mother actually sent me a message on FB wishing me a happy birthday.  I didn’t reciprocate for hers, but I wish I had.  However, I guess my ex never really felt the need to make contact with my mother after the break-up, despite numerous declarations of how “if we break up, I’m keeping your mother.”  My mother actually has expressed some offense over that and even declined to go to a wedding just to avoid seeing my ex.  My point is, the ripples will have an impact.  Not just in relationships, but there are ripples and aftershocks to almost every action we do.  I could probably come up with some work stories, but this is the one that springs to mind.

Another week.  I ordered a Deadpool mask.

  • Did a job interview a couple of weeks ago.  Thought it went pretty well, but it doesn’t look like I’m getting the job.  Oh well.  It was a local coffee company.  One of the things that stood out to me was the specification that applicants aren’t smokers.  I’ve speculated at various times that where I am currently might implement such a ban, especially after they reduced the areas where employees can go to smoke.  People leaving cigarette butts on the ground outside has always been a problem, and I even found one in a trash can in the area where we box cheese–likely left thrown their after someone went out for a smoke, just sitting right on top of the trash.  Given that some of the higher ups smoke and half the workforce smoke, it would likely be some time and effort before such a ban is implemented.
  • So I was at Home Depot the other day, looking into a number of ideas for projects.  Mostly just getting a vague idea of what type of gear I can or should get to do a lot of the projects I have in mind.  Big one I was drooling over was a table saw.  I’m thinking of building a few bookshelves and eventually a couple of desks–one for a computer and one for drawing.  More of a project for when I’ve got a house of my own situated. The desk might end up being built into a wall, so I’m planning on that being after the housing saga is close to its conclusion.
  • I was thinking about how other people working nights make relationships work.  A lot are married, but there are a few people who are still single.  Everybody is a little different, but I do think being in a relationship while working nights can be tricky.  It seems to require a high level of patience, understanding and commitment.  Part of the reason why I’m glad I remained single.  In the past I’ve pondered the usefulness of a rebound relationship and have tried to avoid getting into anything based in desperation.  People are fond of saying, “You’re 30, blah, blah, blah…”  but isn’t the point to not rush and form better long-term plans?
  • My father and uncle are in the process of getting a solar company to put panels on some of the farmland–the farm I grew up on until I was thirteen.  It has been controversial in a myriad of ways.  While I’m all for expanding solar panel usage, I do have some doubts about the situation.  My family and the surrounding neighbors aren’t necessarily… “progressive.”  Solar energy is something I’ve been very interested in though.  When I was a heartbeat away from farming, something I had thought about was seeing if it would be possible to use part of a field for some panels.  Nothing too elaborate.  At the time I was thinking that they were pretty heavy into dairy and it might not be a bad idea to diversify a little–solar energy, pigs, maybe bit more foodstuffs, lately I’m thinking about goats, etc.  Anyway, solar energy is a market I think there could be a lot of potential for.  I’m sure there will be a fair amount of excitement with the process my family has set into motion.
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