shitebook

I have been trying to wean myself off of Facebook for more than a month now. I started with once a day then got to the once a week stage where I currently find myself. I usually get it done during the week and by get it done I have to check a few things for work as well as keep tabs on one particular nefarious character in my life who can’t help but post his every everything. (sorry that is so cryptic but this is one of the few things in my life I won’t write about publicly)

The reason I hate it so much, aside from the load of crap related to selling, is the posts from my “friends” are all complete bullshit. Its this neverending rose colored reflection of their lives that makes me cringe. One fella who can’t stop sharing his terrible home situation with me over the phone posted a no exaggeration four paragraph soliloquy on how great things are. I read it twice and took a picture for future reference. I wasn’t really sure what was happening but you can bet the next time he brings up problems I’m going to ask about it.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here as I am not the someone who hates the happy person. I love watching people have a good time. I love posts about old friends getting together and laughing their faces off or pictures of running into someone you loved from your past out of nowhere. It’s the constant, staged, look at me and how great things are posts that get under my skin.

Sundays are the worst because all of my religious “friends” check in at church so they can feel a little better than. I also like when they paraphrase a nice bible quote just in case I didn’t get the whole I WENT TO CHURCH TODAY message. That is usually followed by the family fun or the meal or whatever rounds out their perfect day.

I’ve written before (don’t bother looking it was long ago and no longer on the site, sorry) about my alternative platform called shitebook. It’s a place where you can only post unfiltered reality. Like a forced family fun day gone sour or videos a salty older relative acting like a fly in the punch bowl at a party. Shitebook could still have some fun in it but the pictures would all be taken with wide angle fisheye lenses so you see the three old friends smiling grouped together but you also catch the one not so old friend glaring at them during the shot.

If I were being honest I would post something about now every week about the Sunday Scaries. That time when the day is over (usually when all of the days football games end and I only have a single night game left) and I enevidably start thinking about my week. I truly love my job but staring down the barrel of what I need to get done in the next five days is rarely pleasant. Once work starts its all good but my broken brain begins screwing with me somewhere around seven on Sunday nights.

I know I’m rambling but I already mentioned that the week is weighing down on me and I checked Facebook like an idiot. Time to make a list and calm myself down before another week. This is one of those posts that feels like I just hot burped on an electronic page. oh well.

so many questions

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Came across this little gem during a post dinner stroll in scenic Michigan. There could not be a good reason for this thing being here on the ground out in the open on a busy thorofare. (I thought that meant a path or walkway but the damn red squiggly line of shame says otherwise. Oh well, you now know my meaning)

Right behind me is an open air wedding reception happening a a very hip brewpub restaurant type place. Just after I stopped to click that pic I noticed a couple of the guests straining to see what I was looking at. I should have shouted back that my brain is broken but its really hard to type this while I walk.

Nothing says good luck quite like an exam glove locked in prostate probe position. MAZEL TOV

I demand reconsideration

I have always had a simple dream of being stuffed and mounted when I die. Specifically, I want to be posed in an attacking bear pose complete with the snarl on my face, teeth exposed, fingers acting like claws, you get the picture. When I brought this up years ago in front of our lawyer my wife came down with a hard NO and I was crushed.

Lumbering around on reddit yesterday I came across this picture and it gave me renewed hope…

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* if this is your picture and or your relative or friend I apologize for not giving you the proper credit for this amazing image. The internet is the Wild West of stolen photography and I will gladly give you all proper credit in exchange for a little backstory and this man’s incredible life.

Dead as you can get but style for miles. The crown, the tux, the shoes, the shades, the throne… Holy crap the THRONE. It’s amazing and I fully expect him to be entombed on it. This fella is a king beyond compare and he is either surrounded by people who love him this much or he found some badass way to force his relations to comply.

Our lawyer was trying to diffuse what he perceived as a tense situation when he mumbled something about human taxidermy not being legal. So maybe I’m using the wrong word, change it to whatever his highness requested. And if I need to get welding a rebar support structure just let me know. The only thing I don’t understand is the velvet rope. My pose is precisely so my friends can all come up and take pictures with me.

I will live on forever with stories that start something like “you won’t believe how this idiot I know looked at his funeral…”

 

Zombietom

I had to run to the store last night as our current fleet of vehicles has some players out with injury so I get to use a car when one is available. I am a targeted shopper. I like to know exactly what I am going for and don’t meander around much. I started my shop and everything was going great as two items out of ten were crossed off of my list. As I put that second item in my half-cart-special-needs-clown-trolly or whatever those things are officially called I happened to look up and see what I could only imagine was patient zero in the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

His eyes were so red that they appeared to be bleeding. The skin around them including his cheeks and  nose were a striking combination of pale and freshly scratched pink. Glancing at his lips immediately made me thirsty and then he inhaled long and deep but with a distinct styrofoam rubbing against another piece quality.

The cough that followed was longer, louder, and had more base than anything I had ever heard before. I was like an animal barking that only consumed metal shavings its entire existence. They were whole body coughs as well. He had to let go of his normal full sized cart just to finish the process. I am pretty sure some internal parts of him were ruptured during that event. When he finished he happened to glance in my direction with his one eye that wasn’t glued shut by his industrial strength conjunctivitis and I panicked.

I closed my mouth and tried to hold my breath but my internal defense systems had already sealed the bulkhead doors a good thirty seconds prior so now I was reaching my limits of unprepared breath holding. As I took advantage of the mini-cart turning radius I realized that my system probably sealed everything up without taking one last gasp of lifegiving air. By the time I made it to relative safety I was seeing spots. The last thing you want to be in a potential pandemic exposure situation is the guy who died passed out on the floor behind an embarrassing partial cart.

After I regained my faculties I had to rethink my whole shopping plan. The rest of the trip was spent avoiding the plague and anyone my brain said might have been within cough shrapnel range. I got out of the store in roughly double the normal time but with reasonable certainty that I was not a carrier. Also due to the Purell station that I basically bathed in on my way out. Side Note: Purell is kind of tolerable in your nose but I do not recommend oral rinse and spit decontamination.

I did not mention any of this to the wife just in case I woke up “turned” and needed a quick snack. If all the Zombie lore is even part true you slow down a bit in that state and I am not fast to begin with…

Football

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This year’s NFL football season is proving tough for me. Not only is my youngest child who I coached since he put on a uniform no longer playing, (completely his choice and his life to lead, I am not one of those vicarious asshats) but he is not around to watch games with me. College schmollege. It’s not like we were locked in to the couch for 7 straight hours but Sundays usually meant at least a couple hours watching NFL Redzone and eating whatever crap sounded good at the time.

We could sit in relative silence only speaking when necessary so this isnt a case of calling him on the phone to enhance the viewing experience. Aside from the fact that it would be annoying it’s just not necessary. The sport itself is still my runaway favorite but I’m having a better time going to High School games on Friday nights followed by college games on Saturday. I have a hard time recognizing games that break my childhood format of Friday nights/ High School, Saturdays/ College, Sundays and ONE game Monday night/ NFL. I ignore all non conforming contests unless there is a reason to actually attend or the game means something to me. (I am nothing if not complicated)

I love his mother, my first wife, but she only has two modes while watching sports. The first is by far my favorite and is commonly known as asleep. The second more exhausting mode is a constant barrage of questions. The aren’t just generic queries to better understand the game. This is an avalanche of non sequiturs that most people couldn’t come up with if they were trying. I started last Sunday to write some down

  • Why are their hats (helmets) different shapes?
  • Who decides the color schemes for each team?
  • Why are some golf carts fancy and others plain?
  • Are any of these names made up?
  • Do the announcers get to eat during the game?
  • How old do you think that referee is?

You get the idea and I stopped keeping track at that point. If you think that’s strange (record keeping on the things your spouse says aloud) you might be right but I’ve been doing it for years. And in her defense she wants to love football but just can’t. The questions are an attempt at being entertained not realizing it’s my mental equivalent of a woodpecker. I refer her to Google so often that they called me and asked if I could slow her down a bit. Something about server load.

Anyway, this is about me struggling with the NFL as a disguised way of saying I miss my son on Sundays. In a weird act that only punishes me I didn’t even order RedZone this year. I immediately regretted that decision but after a couple weeks I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. That’s a lie, I will have it by this Sunday.

What’s up?

I am all over the road like a drunk with somewhere to be. If you landed on this writing for some reason other than a blind-squirrel-nut scenario, then, welcome. Quick recap for those who might be reading here for the first time and you were also unlucky enough to have this be the first thing you read… sorry. I wrote one of these for a long time. From 2001 to roughly 2013 long until I ultimately burned out. I tried unsuccessfully on and off in the years between then and now but that is neither here nor there. (I really wish I knew if that ending made complete sense context wise. It might help if I actually knew what it meant. oh well, pressing on.)

If you read down to the eight or so posts I imported from Blogger you will see a weak attempt at getting back into a rhythm. Not so great but in my defense that platform stinks. This is how they expect you to post from the bullshit iphone workaround…

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Yes it is completely free but you get what you pay for in every way. The biggest blockade preventing my posting was complete lack of a mobile way to post. They discontinued their own app, the third-party solutions are infuriating and don’t get me started on the aforementioned mobile web page. So that is what brings us here back to my old friend WordPress.

I’ve challenged myself to create something every single day. Sometimes that means at work, sometimes that means drawing (I’m currently practicing on my iPad and if there is every anything I don’t immediately hate I will post it here) and then there is writing. I will not be posting every day as a rule because life gets in my way. Also, I came back to the service and paid the lowest possible price ($48 per year) so I could point my beloved domain name somewhere other than a FOR SALE page for the next 4 years. (in my defense I got a screaming deal on a bunch of ownership years)

I hate paying for this thing but it makes me happy when I write on the regular so it is a relatively small price to pay. (say some form of “pay” again you idiot) I’m currently in the midst of doing all the boring behind the scenes nonsense so don’t look for much until that crap is complete. Give me five days or so.

 

my organs are assholes

I have been on a bit of a bender as the drinking season started early this year and never really stopped. This culminated last weekend with the annual summer guys weekend at the lake and driving home yesterday my internal workings were aching as if they were asked to sing out their names in some kind of pain attendance list. A full day later I still find myself belching fire and performing the seated version of toilet dry heaves slash monochromatic Jackson Pollock painting. This is going to require some kind of drastic detoxification. Not sure what quite yet but I’m about to google “self imposed medically-induced coma” as an option.

As I drove home I got flicked in the nuts with traffic almost immediately as I entered the highway. Forty Five minutes and roughly 15 miles later I came upon a pillar of jet black smoke that I thought would be a horrible accident. Instead I found out that we were all crawling by to get a load of the go kart track burning out of control. Two of the cars were on fire and from what I could tell some of the tires that make up both the course layout and safety dividers.

I couldn’t figure out why all of the people standing and watching seemed to be armed with sticks until I noticed the abandoned putt-putt mountain right next door. Holy crap in a canister I just wanted to get home and all lanes were blocked by rubberneckers. It took an extra hour and I could have used every second of that to recover. Even my new beard of power and ridiculousness hurts. Wait! That sounded like the end… But the whole reason I’m writing this is that all day while responding to emails and typing work assignments I have been randomly squirming and crying out.

It would seem that I have injured my beer opening finger as well.

a new low

Pffffttttt check check check. Is this thing on?

Screwing around with Blogger again as I find myself missing the act writing online. I wrote one of these for a lot of years and one of the reasons I did it was to show my kids a different side of their dad. As my youngest prepares to go to college I am getting ready to present him with the archive of that writing in PDF form and it has me thinking about blogging again. For the record I hate the word blog and all of its derivatives but online journal or diary is no better. I like the online bit because jotting things down for only me to read seems pointless. The things I like to read are about peoples everyday boring lives, a peek behind the curtain, so that is what I write.

I have dabbled in almost every platform available and ended up hating them all for one reason or another. Either hating the service or the blog itself. Doing this vexes me, I’m terribly vexed. I love to write and I love telling stories. What I hate is all the stuff that comes after. The comments, the clicks, the themes, blah blah blah. I think what I hated he most is dealing with the various behind the scenes garbage of maintaining your own site. If you don’t want to do that you usually have to pay someone to do it for you and I have wasted enough money on this nonsense over the years so here I am at Blogger.

I wrote on Medium for a while but the five dollars a month stared to annoy. I don’t write enough and no one is really reading it anyway so the money makes no sense. Plus, I was paying them for the privilege of providing content for their site and that felt a little off. If I reread any of the stuff I posted and like it I’ll port it over here with the original publish date to make this post extra confusing.

Anyway, I was just putting something up while I figure out what I want it to look like. If you stumbled across it and didn’t like what you read just keep it to yourself and move along. There is a World Wide Web for you to try and finish, cross this blip off your list.

I got rid of my second monitor and I am better as a result

I have been on a simplification mission for a number of years now. That sentence made me seem a little more special needs than I am in real life but this really has been a constant multi year struggle. I try to boil all parts of my life down to what I consider essentials. This is easier said than done depending on which part of your existence you are working on.
As an example I no longer have any collections. The books I used to hoard in some weird hey-look-at-me-I-read-books show off have all been donated and my reading is almost exclusively electronic. Comics, cards, action figures (dolls don’t carry weapons) all sold or donated to someone who will get more enjoyment out of them. You get the idea.
My major struggle comes from the people around me who attach great significance to any manner of things. Case in point; we have one coffee drinker in the house who consumes one cup every morning and at last count we have 17 coffee cups. Not a condemnation just an observation of clutter that could easily be corrected if most of the cups didn’t hold varying degrees of sentiment. I suggested pictures of the true treasures and was looked upon as if I were crazy so I backed off. You really need to pick your battles.
And don’t get me wrong those mugs don’t really bother me. I think the thing that drives me nuts is our house never seems to get clean. Like proper everything in its place picked up and put away. The steady stream of loved ones, friends, and pets, have a lot to do with that and I would only change a couple those given a magic wand and plausible deniability.
Before I stop boring you with this slow moving train of thought three factors have greatly influenced my desire for less stuff. Number one is the TV show Hoarders Buried Alive. I cant even watch it because it makes me so crazy. We lived next to a hoarder for more than 10 years and she would never let any of us in the house even though we were friends and helped out as much as she would allow. After her death the family called me over to help open the garage door. She stored her newspapers out there and over the years water had leaked in and basically Papier-mâché’d (looked up and copied that fancy spelling from Wikipedia) the door to the floor. We had to use multiple pry bars and levers to break it free.
Number two was an article that I read about self storage being the number one growth industry in this country. I’m not sure if that is still the case but it got me thinking. We buy so much useless crap that we cant even store it in the places we live anymore. I don’t know why but that really bothers me.
This lead to the third and final factor which is my obsession with Tiny homes. I am a larger than normal human being so its not the small size that has caught my attention. It’s the fact that to live in one of those you need to take your life down to the things that matter most. I will not be sleeping in a loft by choice any time soon but having just a few things that I love and need seems right to me.
It is with all that in mind that brings me to the original point of this story. I was working on my office last week and for some reason I started to ponder my second screen. I have a laptop and the monitor was on an arm suspended above which made for a pretty cool setup. The problem was when I asked myself why I had it the answer was because everyone else did.
I use an iPad exclusively on the road and I find I get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time with that thing. I think its because I don’t and in some cases cant have multiple screens open and distracting me. When its time to sit down and write its just me and the blank white page. No email going off or that abysmal Skype dinging in the background. What I need to get done front and center.
So I decided to try the same approach in my office with the laptop and so far so good. I even turned off the email notifications to stop myself from wanting to look every time the Outlook Pavlovian ding sounds. I’m not claiming any sort of deep thinking here just the opposite. Ive had a second monitor at work for seven years because everyone was doing it. I am an idiot.
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Why is everyone obsessed with happiness?

The title of this might be misleading because I understand the concept of happiness and the desire to feel that way but the part that escapes me is this pursuit of constant happy. I don’t know about you but to me that sounds exhausting. I need to rewind a bit before I get past the point of making sense. (I know, why start now…)
I read quite a bit because it calms my brain down. I like pleasure reading more than business or self help but I have to constantly tackle those areas in an effort to stay relevant in my work. But I have to admit that I cheat. I’m a subscriber to a spectacular service called Blinkist. This is not an add or hidden fluff job as I am just a paid subscriber who loves the work they do. Basically they boil down the mountains of books that seem to just keep coming out to their best points or “blinks”. This allows yours truly to grasp the concept of a book without having to speed read them all.
Then if something grabs my attention I can buy it and add the title to my ever growing backlog of things to read. I am also an Audible subscriber but that is mostly for pleasure listening. When I read a business type book I like to take notes and figure out how I can make concepts relate to the people I work with. This is hard to do while driving, cutting the lawn, or listening to something as a way to keep annoying strangers at bay.
Anyway, I tell you all that as I spent last week catching up on a bunch of that backlog while I was on vacation. I noticed a trend in the things I had saved which was an unending quest for happiness. Like I said before, I get the concept but I don’t really understand it. I think most people are confusing a search for happy with a feeling of peace.
Peace to me means contentment. Happy is awesome, and fun, and the best, and you never want it to end… until it actually never ends and then you are either in an asylum or Hell. Peace is that feeling that no matter what personal ass pain you are currently enduring things generally work out. Not always for the better as the closes a door opens a window crowd will imply. By the way, as a larger than normal human, I always felt that the door window trade was ridiculous. I am not climbing my fat ass out a window unless the structure is on fire and even then I might consider crashing through the burning door Hey KoolAid style…
I also think that people from my generation and younger have had things a little soft in this country. No major conflicts or catastrophes that have caused widespread trouble so nothing to toughen us up. Way too much time to think about how our relatively cushy lives aren’t living up to the fairytales in our minds. The bullshit “perfect lives” we see on tv and in the movies don’t help much either. I think this constant happiness thing also has a lot to do with social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, are a constant best of reel. People posting their lives in a near perfect light hoping to keep up with or surpass their online friends. There are some people who post not so great things but most of them are fishing for some sympathy. I would sign up for and participate in Honestbook or Screwedupstagram. Places where you post some of the everyday hemorrhoids of life. Picture of me standing in front of a crunched up car wondering what the hell this is going to cost.
Anyway, I let this train get off the tracks and head down the street so I should wrap this up. Stop reading all of the same thoughts on getting happy and try just being okay with everything you are right now.