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2010 [Jan. 1st, 2011|09:29 pm]

This has probably been the most eventful year of my life.


Looking back, it would be easy to say "fuck 2010." A lot of really awful stuff happened. I was kicked out of a good friend's house and out of his life over an extremely simple misunderstanding.  My girlfriend cheated on me for months in front of my face with my best male friend.  I spent an awful lot of the year unemployed and I had to watch my mother deteriorate and die before my eyes. 


I learned things about myself that I wish so much were not true, depths of anger and hurt that I never knew existed.  I learned that in a lot of ways I am weak and cowardly and insecure. That I am capable of inflicting terrible pain upon those I love the most.


I had my first experience with physical drug dependency, recurring insomnia, 24 hour death watches, the Swine Flu, and the loss of contact with the best friend I ever had.


It would be very, very easy to condemn the entirety of the year to a horrible fiery demise.


But there has been another side to the year.  I met wonderful new friends and rediscovered some who were standing in front of me all along.  Most importantly, I have learned who I want to be. I learned that I don't have to be the person I have been, and that it is okay for me to fuck up along the way.


I have spent countless hours laughing and singing at karaoke. Went to two weddings, both of which were glorious. I have experienced incredible amounts of love and  had some of the most intense intimate experiences I could ever have dreamed of. I have learned who my real friends are.


At first glance, it seems as though the bad heavily outweighs the good, but I don't feel that way at all. I feel the past year has been very good for me. I endured difficult times, made many mistakes, and suffered a lot of heartbreak... but it was necessary. Many of my illusions and many of my delusions have been stripped away, and I know what I have to do.


I am not too proud to admit I will need your help.


2010 broke me down to the foundations. In 2011 I rebuild.

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Things [Dec. 4th, 2010|06:32 pm]

I feel really good tonight.  Peaceful. 


For a long time now, things have been happening to me.  Things over which I had little to no control.


Thanks in large part to my therapist, I have been slowly sifting through the aftermath.  In my anger and frustration, two major things happened.  The first is that I attempted to take control over any tiny thing I could get my hands on, so that I could feel like at least here were a few things that I could predict, that wouldn't come out from under me unexpectedly.


The second, paradoxically, is I became passive in many important ways.  I never actually thought to myself "well, there is nothing I can do to change what's going on around me so I give up."  It was not that simple.  It was a much slower process.  The end result was the same. I have been lax in searching for work, lax in taking the next step toward realizing my dream of teaching as a career.  I have stopped exercising.


Lately I have even been giving up eating and sleeping nearly as much as I should, although neither of those were necessarily conscious decisions. 


My circumstances were, at one point, terrible. Some people did some really awful things to me, and some very awful things happened that were no fault of anyone's.  I recognize that my reaction was normal, and that, normal or not, understandable or not, I now have to deal with the consequences of those reactions. 


I have, at times, acted in ways that were unseemly, careless, even cruel.  I tried to convince myself that it was a result of my circumstances and not my fault, while at the same time becoming more and more furious with myself for what I had become. As such, I have a lot to answer for to several people. 


There are also some who get to answer to me for their wrongdoings. 


The anger is gone.  The anger at those who wronged me, and the anger at myself. The time for anger is long past, and the time for positive, constructive action is long overdue.  Now that the storm is over, it is time to center myself, take command of my own life again, and begin moving in a positive direction. Not all of the decisions will be easy, and some of them will require swallowing large amounts of pride or endangering dear friendships. 


However, I feel like I finally understand what has to be done to get on with my life, and for the first time in over a year, I feel like I am in control of my own destiny. 

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[Camarilla] Marking the territory [Oct. 5th, 2010|01:20 pm]
"...and how will you help our business if we work for you?"

Diego rolled his shoulders, the billowing cloak of shadows surrounding him echoing his movements.  Self interest.  He could work with this. His voice echoed off the warehouse walls as he responded.

"I am a man who has influence.  Resources.  Work for me, and I could expand your markets.  Additionally, I and mine can keep a watchful eye out to ensure that there are no more unfortunate incidents involving stolen property."

Diego's reference to the stolen truckload of Setite drugs clearly hit home. 

"What makes you think we need insurance?  We are entirely capable of managing our own affairs," one of them rasped, "we have no need to be subjugated by the likes of you, Lasombra." 

Diego shrugged slightly, allowing a note of wry amusement to touch his voice. "Well, there is also the minor detail of being completely destroyed if you refuse to cooperate.  If oblivion is preferable to gainful employment, then I suppose there is nothing I can offer you."

Eyes widening, the Setites hissed in anger and began the transformation which left their skin scaly, snakelike. 

With a sigh, Diego flexed his will to create a globe of absolute blackness encompassing the three Vampires.  "I guess what they say is true.  Good help is hard to find." 

When the darkness lifted no more than a few seconds later, Diego was standing alone, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles in his jacket.  The staked bodies of the two Setites lay still, pale flesh reflecting the moonlight through the windows.  Diego, having dismissed the shadows that had engulfed his person moments before, frowned down at the shattered remains of the third stake. 

"I missed.  It seems I am growing rusty.  Unacceptable."  He glanced down at the two bodies, adjusting his gloves. "I suppose, though, that I will be getting plenty of practice in the nights to come.  That is, unless the rest of them are more... receptive."

After checking to ensure that the room was secure, Diego knelt down beside the first Setite to begin his work.  After all, though these creatures had certainly fallen far, they still clung to the last scraps of their humanity. Such ignorant weaklings were fit only to serve as nourishment to the Enlightened. 


Man, it has been too long since I have written anything.
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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [Aug. 18th, 2010|12:46 pm]
This is an unusual one.

It appealed strongly to me, because I am a lifelong gamer.  To anyone who is not, chances are this movie makes no sense at all.  It is extremely surreal, wacky and over the top, chock full of awesome references to every video game that has ever blessed screens large or small. 

There is, quite simply, far too much awesome and far too much funny to consume in one viewing.  That's right, I have found a movie that is worth watching in the theater.  Twice. 

During the movie I found myself uttering three phrases over and over again.  The first was "What the FUCK?!" The second was "Oh my god..." and the third was hysterical laughter. 

I did feel it was just a touch too long; the ending dragged on a bit, especially when compared to the incredibly fast pace of the first 75% of the movie. 

Still, well worth seeing if you have not yet.  However, if you are going to see it, see it soon.  The very specific target audience means that it is not likely to be hanging around in theaters for very long.


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Brainstorm: Advertising ideas [Jul. 18th, 2010|06:34 pm]
Come August, it will be time for me to start advertising for my tutoring service again. I need to explore as many avenues as i can, because money has been extremely tight lately.

Here are my ideas so far:

*Distribute business cards at high schools, particularly during Back to School nights.

*Posters at SSU and the JC. I may also be able to get my cards out there to math professors.


That is about as far as i have gotten. I may be able to use Facebook as an advertising medium? Maybe? Any ideas?

Posted via LjBeetle
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The Unexpected Hanging [Jul. 17th, 2010|09:27 pm]

A prisoner who has committed a heinous crime is before a judge. The judge sentences the prisoner to death by hanging, but adds a cruel twist to the sentence (the prisoner’s crime is particularly heinous). The prisoner is to be hanged on one of the following seven days – but it must be a surprise which day it is. The prisoner is not allowed to know.

Returning to his cell the prisoner is a bit disturbed at the prospect of being hung without knowing when (presumably it worse when you don’t know what day you are to die) – and confides his fear to his lawyer. His lawyer tells him not to worry.

“Look,’ he says with a smile. “They can’t hang you at all now. The judge has made it a condition that you must be surprised. But think about it. If you make it to Saturday without being hung then Sunday is the last day they could do it. But then it wouldn’t be a surprise would it? So that makes Saturday the last day they could possibly hang you. But hang on – if Saturday is the last possible day then it also can’t be a surprise to hang you then. So that make Friday the last possible day – and so on back through all the days of the week. They can’t possibly hang without breaking the judge’s orders."

The prisoner is comforted by this line of reasoning and stops worrying about the prospect of being hung at all. When suddenly on Wednesday, much to his great surprise, he is taken from his cell and hung.

This is a great puzzle, not so much because we have two different kinds of legitimate reasoning in conflict with one another, but because one strand of reasoning is shot down by reality itself.  It seems a catch 22.  If the prisoner realizes the "solution," then he rests easy in his knowledge and is taken by surprise anyway. 

I love stuff like this.  Totally pointless, but a nice little brain warmup.

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Red light [Jul. 16th, 2010|03:18 am]
The journey toward self improvement has been very slow going after the first week.  There have been a lot of pitfalls and setbacks.

The worst part is the waiting.  My mom is in a place where we need to monitor her 24 hours a day.  Yes, I am still looking for work, because right now a salary is more important, but nothing is coming up.  On the other hand, the fact that I am actively looking for work, and can prove it, means that EDD gets to take another look at my Unemployment benefits. 

I sent that paperwork off today, along with the rebate form from my new phone.  Every little bit helps. 

As much as I hate to admit it, it kind of feels like the situation with my mom is holding me in place.  Like I cannot move forward with my life until this is resolved.  I say this, of course, with no malice or resentment whatsoever.  I am proud and happy to be there for my mom as she has been for me for so many years. 

I just don't like the feeling of spinning my wheels. 

...and here I was hoping to go to Disneyland in November.  Bah.
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[Geocaching] The beginning [Jul. 10th, 2010|03:41 pm]
Now that I have a GPS device, I have begun to happily delve into the world of Geocaching.

If you have not heard of this, Geocaching basically means someone hides a box with a sign in sheet and a few trinkets in some out-of-the-way place. They then upload the coordinates of the location to a web site so others can find it.

The challenge is to find the box using the provided coordinates, sign your name, and, if you like, add or remove a coin or some such.

It is a great way to explore the area. I have attempted two, and found neither. Once in the general area you are of course required to rely on your own observation, which seems to be lacking for me today.

Lots of fun! Anyone who wishes to join me should let me know. I can always use an extra pair of eyes. :)

Posted via LjBeetle
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Commercials [Jul. 8th, 2010|05:25 am]

I just saw a commercial for a "no touch" automatic soap dispenser. 

Why would I want such a thing?  Because apparently my soap pump might have germs on it. 

You know, the soap pump that I am going to push right before I wash my hands with said soap? The soap that is supposed to kill 99.9% of germs?  How stupid do they think we are?


While I'm at it, let's talk for a sec about the latest battery of Coors Light commercials.  First they decide that drinkers of Coors Light are too stupid to pick up a can and decide whether or not it is cold before drinking it, so they put color-changing mountains on the cans and bottles.  We would not want someone to grab a beer, thinking it is ice cold, only to find out it is lukewarm after taking that first sip. 
They call this "high-tech."  Yep.  Very cutting edge.  It's not like this sort of "technology" was being used for Happy Meal toys in the mid 80s or anything. 

It gets better.

Now they are cutting windows in the cases these cans come in, so you can see the color changing mountains from the outside of the box. 

So you can see that the beer is cold before you buy it.


The commercial honest-to-god shows the guy pointing out the box to his wife and saying something like "see? This window shows me the mountains on the cans so I know the beer is cold." 

He says this, then opens the refrigerator and grabs the case. 

Hey, you never know.  If you can't tell by touch whether or not a beer is cold, how are you going to know if the fridge is working? 


One more, since I seem to be on a roll here. 


Look, I realize they are comfortable, and soft, and warm.  As a good friend of mine said, "Wearing a Snuggie is like cuddling with a chinchilla that wraps around your entire body." 

What blows my mind is the fact that this product already exists.  More specifically, a product that is superior in every way has existed for hundreds of years.

...it's called a robe.  Not only can one get a robe that is every bit as soft and comfy and warm as a Snuggie, but it also has the added bonus of having a BELT so I can close it and walk around.  Even if you do put a belt or velcro on a Snuggie, you would have to cinch it closed in the back

How is this convenient again? 


Any products or commercials that strike you as particularly absurd?
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Happy 4th! [Jul. 5th, 2010|02:16 am]
My 4th of July was spent thusly: 

Woke up pretty early (for me), spent some time with Jess watching the Giants game, then took Catie to Bodega Head.  We climbed down to a small secluded beach that is difficult to access.  We explored the rocks, looked at shells, then spent a good deal of time just sitting together staring out at the waves.  Absolutely beautiful. 

After that we ate sandwiches, drank champagne and talked for hours.  When we got back in the car, the Giants game was STILL on (in the 14th inning, no less), so we listened to that on and off on the way back.  Once home, we spent another hour or two together before she had to head off to her mom's house.

Jim went and picked up Jess, and we went to a local park to watch the Fairgrounds fireworks.  Most of it took place behind the trees, and we had to take off a bit early when the sprinklers came on, but it was still captivating.  I had not seen a fireworks show since my last trip to Disneyland. 

We swung by Safeway, picked up a cherry pie, baked it, and have been laying in the den eating pie and watching Dr. Who. 

All in all, a most excellent day.  I am so very grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.
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