Anachostic

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Category Archives: About Me

A Ghost Of Christmas Past

Last night, the GF and I were eating dinner at home, a rare occurrence, and my phone chimed, also a rare occurrence.  We were both surprised by it.  Who could it be?  My asshole brother?  AK?  T-Mobile?  I don’t get a lot of texts from anyone, and especially later in the evening, so I was curious.  I went over to the counter and got my phone, then opened up the messages app.  It wasn’t any of our original guesses.  It was an unexpected contact.  It was my ex-wife.

When I first saw the name, I was shocked.  I read the message, but it didn’t really sink in.  I read enough individual words to make out what it was about.  The message was benign.  She didn’t care about me or wish me a happy holiday or life or anything.  She just wanted to know how the cat was doing and maybe get some new pictures of her.  My immediate reaction was, “Nope.”

I have not had a single communication with this woman since I got all her shit out of the house 18 months ago.  I will admit, I had a morbid fascination of following her DUI trial through the online clerk of court records, but that wrapped up in March of this year and I haven’t cared since.  Life has been excellent ever since I got my house back and never had to think about her again.  Yes, I still get mail addressed to her, but that’s no different than getting mail for the house’s previous owners, which also still happens.

There’s countless ways I can handle this situation, and I’ve thought through quite a bit of them.  There’s plenty of replies that could be made.  I could say fuck off.  I could say, “who are you?” and pretend my phone number is no longer valid.  I could say the cat died just last week and make her feel terrible.  I could say the cat died last year and make her feel bad for not checking in earlier.  I could put her number online and let the Internet have its way with her.  All these different ways of retribution for contacting me out of the blue on such a stupid premise.

But, despite the schadenfreude of seeing her life go down in flames from a DUI conviction, I am not a vengeful person.  I also actively avoid conflict.  And, as I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve found myself to become a minstrel, always focusing on the positive.  So, after recovering from the shock of being contacted by an unpleasant memory of my past, I try to empathize.  She is probably not having a happy holiday.  She is probably alone.  She is obviously having nostalgic memories of her former pet.  So, her life is certainly not as good as mine is.

So, should I cheer her up and send her some recent pictures of the cat?  Be a Santa Clause and brighten her day?  Be the better person and engage in holiday cheer?  No.

While all of those things are laudable and good and kind, every person has an obligation to self-preservation.  And in this case, opening up a line of communication and engaging would threaten that delicate bubble of happiness I have in my life right now.  The received message alone was like an incoming projectile that rattled the defensive walls I erected over a year ago.  Why would I open up the gate and lower the drawbridge?  Likewise, why should I fire back?  The best course of action is simply to not respond. 

Nowhere is it written that says you have to sacrifice your happiness for another’s happiness.  In fact, it is a common truth that providing happiness for another should provide happiness for yourself.  If that is not what is happening, you need to re-evaluate.  This is the Christmas holiday and there is a lot of pressure to spread joy and happiness.  But, if you can’t do it without causing yourself grief, you should scale back your glad tidings.

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If You Can’t Feed The One You Love, Feed The One You’re With

This idea came to me the night I was in charge of running my local Blimpie.  The customer in there was complaining about women.  You know, you can’t live with ‘em and whatnot.  He’d gotten himself in a bind because he had a girlfriend or maybe a wife, and one of his other female friends slipped a phone number to him of her friend who probably wanted to get with him.  The fact the guy was unattractive is completely beside the point, but does bear noting.

This guy thinks he’s going to get in trouble from one of these three women involved.  I’m thinking to myself, “Feed ‘em!”  You’re here at Blimpie and I’m in charge, wait, the owner’s back, so I guess I’m second in charge now.  Get an extra sub for the woman, whichever woman you’re going to see next.  That will show you care.

I made a promise to my GF a long time ago that I would always make sure she would be fed.  There was a period of time where she was schooling full-time with no income.  I kept my promise.  I cashed in tens of thousands of credit card reward miles for Longhorn gift cards and with those, she ate and studied at the local restaurant.  It was such a frequent thing for her that the wait staff gave her a corner of her own so she could eat and do schoolwork unbothered.

Back to this guy and his woman issues.  Showing affection with food is something that works on every relationship level. It keeps the relationship healthy (even if the food itself isn’t healthy).  Obviously I feed the GF well, but I also have a close friend that I gift food to, and another co-worker that I treat specially as well.  And it’s become a two-way street with gifts of snacks and candy going back and forth between all of us.  In addition to that, there’s social interaction over work cake (and it’s curious to see who participates and when and who huddles together devouring the spoils).

Although I consider myself more of a financial provider in my relationships, I can totally understand how women, mothers especially, get so much satisfaction from feeding people.  With the holidays here, I’ve somewhat taken on some cooking duties.  I’m not complaining, it’s a great thing to be able to do.  My skills are limited, but I am becoming a specialist in mashed potatoes.  I will not apologize for choosing such a specialty.

Evading Death

Story time.

It’s been very cold here recently, which makes me think of snow.  As I was working on my previous post regarding driving, I remembered a story that I shouldn’t have lived to tell.  This was a long time ago when I was in “college”.  Let’s see how many of the details I can remember.

Back then, I would have been driving… what?  It was probably a 1987 Dodge Lancer (turbo, of course).  I probably had recently gotten rid of my 1969 Mustang (fastback, of course).  The car is sort of important if you want to imagine what the result of my youthful stupidity could have looked like, but it doesn’t factor into any details of the story.

I was “going” to “school” at The Art “Institute” of Pittsburgh (for music production, of course) and we were coming up on a holiday break.  Probably Christmas, considering the weather.

I never really got close to anyone at school.  I never made any friends.  I was pretty much a loner and I had an apartment kind of distant from the school.  Other students were all in a common apartment building near the school, downtown, so they had opportunities to socialize.  But whatever.  Me being a loner is nothing new.

Fate was doing some weird shit that holiday.  The last day of class, before leaving, I happened to talk to the class burnout.  This guy was a major acid user and always complained about his back hurting.  (Minor research says that the pain was nothing involving spinal fluid and was probably just muscle tension, contrary to what we all believed at the time)  So, after a very uncommon decision to have a discussion with him, I found out he lived in a city less than half an hour from my hometown.  And I learned he had no way to get home for Christmas.  So I made the very uncommon decision to offer him a ride, since I was driving almost two hours that direction anyway.  And he accepted.  We’d never really spoken before and now we were going on a car ride for a couple of hours.  That’s not exactly normal for me.  Further, I’m probably going to be driving with someone tripping on acid.  Again, not normal.  I mean, I was the only person in my entire circle of friends that didn’t smoke pot, but acid?  That’s another plane of existence (for both of us).

School’s out, we’re loaded up in my car and we headed north.  Winter in the wasteland means it gets dark early.  Like nighttime at 5:00pm dark/early.  And it’s interstate driving the whole way.  And it’s winter.  And… we enter a blizzard.  There’s hardly any way for me to really explain the gravity of this.  I drove, me and this burnout doper, we drove through this blizzard in near white-out conditions, at full fucking highway speed.  I drove at 60 miles an hour or more, for at least an hour.  There was not a single car on the highway.  There was not a single snowplow truck on the highway.  There was nobody out but us.  For at least an hour.  If there was anyone – anyone – out on the highway, we would be dead.  Snowy roads with near zero visibility at 60 miles an hour.  No one would be able to avoid a collision or swerving off the road to their death.  For most of the drive, I don’t think we spoke much at all.  The snow flying over the windshield was like a hypnotic screen saver (in the days before screen savers).  Maybe my passenger was tripping, I wouldn’t know.  But if he was, the visuals would have been stupendous.  I don’t even know how I navigated turns.

I remember not taking him directly to his house, but dropping him off somewhere along the way.  He said he was going to meet someone there who would drive him home.  This is pre-cell phone era, so I don’t even know how this was planned.  I don’t remember much after that.  I don’t seem to remember him coming back to school after Christmas break.  I didn’t stay long in school after that incident either.  I’d become a little suspicious about how there would be jobs for all these music production graduates, so I eventually dropped out.

But that shared moment was something that just defies reality for me.  Primarily that we didn’t die, but also that this was a connection with someone that I never talked to before and never talked to since.  And the circumstances of that chance meeting delivering us safely to our destinations despite all efforts to the contrary.  I realize just how stupid I was and how I could have been just another headline in our shitty local paper.

It’s definitely an overused saying, but someone was watching over us that night.

Lack Of Drive

The other morning, I was in RaceTrac getting my usual breakfast and there were a couple of kids in the store.  I say kids, but I don’t mean like little kids.  Probably teens, probably 16.  They were milling around and eventually bought some stuff, then milled around a bit more.  A few things struck me as kind of odd about that.

First, there weren’t any parents with them.  I’m not sure why I thought this, since they’re old enough to be out and about on their own.  But the idea that they didn’t just go in the store, buy stuff, then leave made me think they were chaperoned.

When I was growing up, when you got to your teens, you wanted to be independent.  You demanded independence.  Because I lived in such a tiny town, I would drive almost 45 minutes just to eat at Wendy’s.  I would drive over an hour to go to a decent mall.  Even today, I still don’t see any problem driving half an hour for food.

As a completely-unrelated aside, this current era is nothing like my youth.  I distinctly remember standing alone in a checkout line and the cashier wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence because I didn’t look old enough to buy anything on my own.  Kids now have purchasing power and don’t get ignored if they want to buy something.

But back to these teens, when they made their purchase, I expected them to head right outside and leave.  One probably just got his or her driver’s license.  But, because they remained in the building and just hung out, it was pretty clear they didn’t have their own vehicle, which is another oddity to me.

I’ve read plenty of articles saying that the new youth have little care for cars, which completely boggles my mind.  Having a vehicle is freedom.  It lets you get out and see more things, on your own terms.  I must assume that because so much entertainment is at hand via phones and TV, there is less desire to find entertainment through exploration.  Also, since everyone is so isolated in their virtual worlds, there is also little desire to get away – because they are always “away”.

The GF is the same way.  Maybe it also has to do with growing up in a small town, where you had to have transportation to do anything or see anything interesting.  But that desire to see and explore continued long into our lives.  On a vacation a while ago, while driving on some random highway, I observed that unlike other couples that sit at home and watch TV, this (identifying the car seats) was our couch, and this (identifying the windshield) was our television.  It’s not like we couldn’t see other places and other things by sitting home on the Internet, but that’s unsatisfying for us.

Recently, we wanted to go to touristville, which ended up with a crazy meal at a steakhouse.  Instead of taking the interstate, which would have been a minimum trip time of an hour (with no defined maximum due to traffic), we chose to take all back roads, which gave us a more predictable, although longer trip time.  But more importantly, it gave us something to experience other than stopped traffic.

Similarly, when I moved from the wasteland across the great commonwealth, I would sometimes return home to visit friends.  The first (or last depending on direction) leg of the return trip, I had a choice to take an interstate or take a smaller, alternate route.  Without fail, whenever I chose the interstate for time concerns, I always regretted it because the drive was so uninteresting and fatiguing.

Driving is embedded in my being.  If I lost the ability to drive, I think I would have a very difficult remainder of my life.  Driving is freedom; driving is experience; driving is risk and reward.  America is a big country and deserves to be seen down low, not from far above.

Back To The Fringe

It’s been over five years now that I ditched Opera as my browser.  In that time, I’ve been using Internet Explorer and everything has been going quite well.  Believe it or not, I’ve never gotten a virus or malware using IE.  And I’ve also gotten it to do everything that I needed with JavaScript and custom protocol handlers.

Despite this, the writing has been on the wall, in kind of an inverse fade where the message grows bolder as time goes on.  The final straw was when Flickr displayed this message:

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So, I guess that’s it.  IE is starting to get the same treatment I was getting when I was using Opera:  You are not welcome here.  So I figured the natural replacement would be MS Edge.  I didn’t like Edge initially because it seemed to be a very stripped down browsing experience.  But then again, it’s been a few years, certainly they’ve made improvements since then?

I launched Edge and immediately got to work writing Extensions (which weren’t supported before) to add the functions I needed.  I was successful converting two of the three functions, so I was satisfied for the time being.  I started using Edge as my default browser.

Within a week, I became disenchanted with Edge.  The thing that kept brewing and finally boiled over was the bookmark management.  Can you believe there is no way to edit a bookmark in Edge?  After over two years, you still can’t edit a goddamn bookmark?  And more than that, the bookmarks aren’t anywhere outside the browser where you can edit them either!  The whole “modern” app design that Microsoft has adopted where everything is self-contained completely works against Edge.  So, I went on the hunt again.

My options were the same as before: Firefox or Chrome.  I’m not using Chrome out of the same distaste for Google that Chrome users have for Microsoft.  Firefox just never seems to have their shit together.  Firefox is a great backup, but I can’t see it as my daily driver.  So, given those two options, I went back to Opera.

No, of course not.  But I kind of did.  I downloaded Vivaldi, which is made by a company of the former Opera owner.  It’s the spiritual successor to Opera.  You want options, you got options.  Everything can be changed, and some in ridiculous ways.  But the things I really needed, Vivaldi gave me.  And it’s built on Chromium, so I get Chrome without being beholden to Google.

If there’s a testament to make here about going back to your home, here’s mine.  I downloaded Vivaldi and started setting it up like I used to when I used Opera.  Within two hours of using the browser, I started using mouse gestures like I was back on the classic Opera browser.  The gestures were already built in (no plug-in needed) and worked just as I remembered them.

My previous post’s argument about having tight integration with the mobile environment turned out to be the biggest letdown, since Microsoft abandoned Windows Phone.  Microsoft seems to be embracing Android, so I guess at some point in the near future, I’ll get some non-Google Android phone and put all the Microsoft apps on it.  but on the desktop environment, I guess I’m going to return to being independent and use Vivaldi.

My Asshole Neighbor

This is Grover.

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Grover, a gopher tortoise, chose my property to build on.  He’s dug two burrows that I know of.  Grover’s name is a portmanteau of “ground rover” and has no affiliation with Sesame Street.  Anyway, he’s an asshole.  If he’s not hiding from you, he’s hissing at you.  Let me tell his story.

The screen on my screened-in pool enclosure on my house was getting a bit shabby.  The roof had a hole in it, the spline was falling out of multiple panels, and finally, a panel fell out because of the missing spline.  So I made an appointment to get it all replaced.

A couple days before the company came to give me a quote, I walked around the patio.  In the back was a large hole.  What the fuck.  Because my GF is knowledgeable in such things nature, I knew what this was.  It was a gopher tortoise burrow.  If this were the GF’s blog, she would insert at least five paragraphs here on the importance of gopher tortoises in nature.  And I’d heard it all before, so I understood what needed done.

Gopher tortoises are a protected species.  Don’t fuck with them.  Knowing this, I called a wildlife trapper (not a pest removal company) and asked him if he could take care of my unnamed-as-of-yet problem.  He told me that I needed to contact a trapper who was specially licensed to trap gopher tortoises, of which there were few in my state.  That’s something I didn’t know yet.

I found a licensed trapper and called him up.  Trapping was no big deal.  It would cost probably around $300.  Sure, no problem, let’s do it.  But there’s other issues.  You can’t just take the tortoise and drop him off in the woods.  Anyone could do that, right?  Gopher tortoises have a strong homing instinct.  There’s a better than good chance he’ll just show up again and reclaim his burrow.  Also, to rehome a gopher tortoise properly, you have to grant them enough land to claim as their own, without other competing tortoises.  And they like to roam.  So, what’s that mean?  Finding a new home for the asshole would cost me $3000.  Plus the trapping fee. Plus no guarantee he wouldn’t come back.

So, asshole got a name.  He lives there now.

Back now to my total screen replacement.  The crew arrives and I point out the very obvious burrow right next to the patio wall.  I tell them this is a gopher tortoise burrow.  It is a protected species.  Don’t fuck with it.  Everything went swimmingly well with the screen replacement.  They called me one day and said they were all done and cleaned up.  After work that day, I got home and saw that they really cleaned up.  They filled in Grover’s burrow.  What the fuck, indeed.

Of course, I immediately broke the opening up again, even though I’m pretty sure he could have burrowed back out on his own.  That’s what they do, right?  And by the next day, Grover the asshole had made his entrance even bigger than before, probably out of spite.  Did I mention this illegal activity to the screening company?  Yes I did.

Grover’s been there for years since.  For our Hurricane Irma lockdown party, we put out a bunch of watermelon for him, which was gnawed down to the rind in short order. 

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He’s an asshole, but he’s part of the property now.  These bastards live 40-60 years.  He’s going to outlive me for sure.

The Roller Coaster Meal

Over the weekend, the GF and I were out in Touristville and I made the decision to eat at Kobe Steakhouse.  Kobe is a place we used to go frequently, and one I still manage to eat there every once in a while.  It’s at a location we hadn’t been to before, like I said, right in Touristville, near the premium outlets.  Don’t ask me why we chose to go to the outlets on Black Friday weekend.  Some things can’t be rationalized.

So, we make our way to the restaurant through traffic that moved like sludge through a sewer pipe.  I mean, it was shitty traffic.  When we got inside the restaurant, it was unsurprising that there were plenty of people waiting already.  The hostess says the wait is going to be 40-45 minutes.  We’re only mildly hungry right then, so this will be fine for us to build up some hunger.  We get the pager and sit down for an extended wait.

Five minutes into our wait, the pager goes off.  Hooray for being a rockstar!  Well, that’s not true.  They never asked who I was, so my frequent flyer status wouldn’t have anything to do with this.  Doesn’t matter, getting to eat now!  We get seated at a table with another family of four.  Each table seats ten, so there’s four empty seats between us.

I’ll take a moment to explain Kobe policy.  You don’t get considered for seating until your entire party is present.  It’s pretty obvious this family is dining with another family, so our table has a party of 8 and a party of 2.  But the party of 8 is only half-there.  There’s an actual business reason they won’t seat you like this, which is going to become obvious, very soon.

The server takes our drink orders.  He asks about the people not there yet, and it is determined to just bring waters for them.  The drinks are served and now orders are taken.  The missing people can’t place their orders as they are not there.  The GF and I are starting to think that we’re going to have a half-full table, which sucks for the chef.

The soup is served.  The empty places get a bowl of soup each.  The salad is served.  The empty seats now have a soup and salad sitting in front of each of them.  Soon, the chef will come out and these people haven’t even shown up to place their orders.  Is this considered abandonment yet?  The server consults with the family and they don’t know where their friends are, but they are sure to be here soon.  I commented to the GF that our 45 minute wait was still in effect, it was just being applied after getting seated.

Then, a holiday miracle.  The other family shows up.  There’s a flurry of greetings and everyone takes their seats.  There’s a small issue though.  There’s five people.  The party of eight, which was seated as a party of four is actually a party of nine.  See, this is why you wait for the whole goddamn party to show up before you seat anyone. 

Despite this, everyone crams the fuck in there and the server talks with each new person to get their drink and food order.  Karmically enough, the issue of being short one soup and salad is never resolved.  The chef finally comes out and tries to confirm everyone’s order.  There’s confusion because he has two tickets, because the second party arrived so late.  The chef is struggling with the orders and the number of people and I say to him, “You have 11 here.”  Whether that helped or not, I have no idea.

He begins with the sauces.  The table is designed for 10, and everything is planned for 10.  He has 10 sauce trays.  I try to help by saying I don’t want any sauce, so he pulls one tray back.  Now he has 9 trays and there’s 10 people that will want sauce.  This is simply not working out.

Despite this ridiculousness, things worked out really well for me and the GF.  The other parties turned down a lot of the food.  Extra rice, extra noodles, extra veggies – we were loaded up.  Maybe it was for the best because I’m not sure they prepped for 11 at a table.

However, even though we were fed heartily, even good food can’t make up for your meal running into 2 hours.  That’s just way too much.  So, it was hard for us to tell if we were happy with the meal or not.  The food was good, the experience was not as much.

The server brought my check, and fortunately, I had a $10 reward that was applied to my check.  I sent the bill off with my credit card and the server came back to talk to me.  The manager felt bad about us being crammed in on a table of 11 and took an extra $20 off the bill.  That was unexpected and quite pleasant.  So the bill was paid and we got the hell out of that shitshow.

The rise and fall of expectations and reality left us completely confused as to how we should be feeling, other than full and tired. 

A Good Time, Spoiled By An Explosion

During the holidays, you are supposed to be reflecting on how your year has gone, for better or worse.  Then I suppose you make future plans based on that evaluation.  It’s like how it is at work for me, with my annual review being in December.  I don’t really have much to worry about in my professional life, and my personal life has been pretty good for a solid number of years.

The GF and I have pretty much been loners throughout our coupledom.  We share a friend here or there, but this year, we are both very grateful for new friendships.  Well, one is new this year, and one was budding almost a year ago.  It’s really weird to actually analyze how friendships form as adults, especially when you’re not really a person, you’re a collection of you and your partner.  But suffice to say, the GF and I have been very fortunate this year.

And, like so many of my posts, that’s not even what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about the time where there was a lot of promise and it just blew up in our faces.  Literally.  This couple was neighbors with the GF, and there was a huge falling out over an incident (not this incident) that is not my story to tell and these neighbors have since moved away, blah, blah, blah.

Now, it was a fall or winter evening, a cold night, and they had invited us over for a evening around a fire pit.  It’s an activity I never really understood – staring at a fire and getting smoke in your eyes – but I know people love doing it, so I’m not opposed.  And so we went over and hung out with them in their driveway, with what I assume was a brand new fire pit.

The pit was metal and round and was pretty ornate.  It sat on the ground and had the decorative cut outs in the upper portion of the flat-bottomed bowl.  The neighbors had built up a good fire by the time we got there and some drinking was involved.  It was cold enough for jackets, despite the fire.  (Another thing about fire hangouts – one side of you roasts and the other freezes.  Fun!)

The night wore on and nothing was terrible at all.  We got along pretty well.  But, without warning, the fire pit exploded.  Yeah, nothing more to say.  It just blew up.  The thing launched probably about 5 feet in the air and it began raining fire and ash down on all of us.  No big deal, really.  That doesn’t happen often to me, if ever, but in this specific case, my jacket bore the brunt of the cinders, melting holes in multiple places.  The GF took some cinders to the hair, which lit on fire.  It was fine, we got the hair put out without any disfiguration.  And after the panic subsided and some neighbors came out to find out who dropped a bomb on the area, we took note of the damage.

There is a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is, don’t put a flat-bottomed fire pit on the ground and especially do not put it on a concrete surface, like a driveway.  Elevate that fucker.  I deduced what had happened pretty quickly and it was confirmed later.  The fire pit, resting flat on the concrete, heated up moisture and air that was trapped inside the concrete.  With nowhere for the heated pressure to escape, it eventually exploded like a cheap pressure cooker.  This is actually what launched the fire pit into the air.  And underneath, where the fire pit had been, was a substantial hole in the driveway.

Fortunately, we have had no explosions with our new friends and as for those old friends, it was probably prophetic as to how it would turn out in the long run.

Anyway, Here’s The (Wonder)Wall

When I went to bed last night, the word counts for my NaNoWriMo buddies were 539, 447, and 0 (granted, he’s west-coast, so I may not know).  Me? All of 78 words added.  Beginning week 3, Sustain week, the grind.  And judging from all our performances, it’s the wall.

Speaking on my own experience, I opened up the document, looked at the outline, which ended with “Chapter 33 – Lin And Steven Negotiate”, typed “Chapter 34 – ” and stopped.  I had no idea what the next chapter was going to be.  No idea whose perspective it was from or any sort of plot.  After a couple minutes of staring blankly, I walked away from my computer.

It’s not like I couldn’t write.  I was inspired to do a blog entry that day, when I was expecting to go dry for a while.  And I’m writing this blog entry now.  I’m doing all of this instead of working on my novel.  Recently, I commented on how writing the novel wasn’t really fun anymore.  And I gave that emotion some thought and had another realization.

My NaNoWriMo profile identifies me as a “Pantser”: writing with no planning and flying by the seat of my pants.  And that has worked out very well for me.  I am always excited to see where my characters want to go.  I only have detail in my head for one future scene and how to get there, and I have various long-range events that may or may not ever come to fruition.  They all depend on how the short-term scenes play out.

However, lately, something has changed.  In prior weeks, I would always be thinking about the story and what was coming up next.  These last couple days, I haven’t given a single thought to the story.  Yesterday, I only had my thoughts about the upcoming scenes from a few days ago.  Today, I sat down and I had nothing.

So, how did I get over that?  I chose to do some editing.  I jumped back three chapters and read what I had written.  In the process of doing that, I learned that my story isn’t actual shit, which I was increasingly convincing myself it was.  I fixed some basic typos, changed some phrasing, and ended up with an additional 78 words for the day.  More than that, I encouraged myself that this is a story and the story isn’t over yet.  These characters still have things to do.

Today will be a long day at work, but when I get home, hopefully I will have the refreshed energy to take on another two chapters.  Verbum Vomite!

Dove’s Target Market

Today at work, someone randomly gifted our department with a bunch of bite-size Dove chocolates.  That’s cool enough, but the candies seem to have been specially made for our department.  Within each wrapper was an inspirational message, written just for us.

In the field of inspirational messages, there are some that are universally accepted as positive and constructive, and then there are some that are less so.  And these messages fall into the latter camp.  I began my discovery with what seemed like genuine concern for me.

“Accept a compliment”

Why, thank you, you fattening and diabetic mini-monster.  I assume you are complimenting me on my fine taste in chocolate (dark chocolate, for the intelligent and refined palate).  Encouraged, I opened the next one.

“Wing it”

Well, this is my second piece, so you could say, yeah, I am doing so.  In fact, I have one more from this handful to go.

“Don’t apologize”

Fuck no, I won’t.  I just ate three of you bastards and I’m going back for more.  At the candy bowl, a co-worker comes over and huddles next to me.  He’s either encouraging me or shaming me as I paw through the bowl looking for more dark chocolate pieces.  It doesn’t matter which it is right now.  I’m winging it and I won’t apologize for it.

I score four more pieces and scurry back to my desk.  My newly installed and operating white noise generator on my desk hides my hissing, “preciousssssss.”  I open the next piece, toss it into my maw, and absorb both calories and wisdom.

“Ignore the clock”

And so I do and begin live-blogging this feeding frenzy.  The next piece is unwrapped and maybe I’m starting to regret grabbing four more pieces.  But this is for the education!

“Take a run on the wild side”

As the dark chocolate melts in my mouth and slides heavily down my gullet, I wonder if these chocolates are prophetic.  Will the next one predict my death?  Will the next one be my death?  There are two more to go.  Ignoring the clock and running – or not – on the wild side, I open the second to the last piece.

“Take a run on the wild side”

Oh my god.  I hate running.  And I’m beginning to dislike Dove chocolate.  But, hey, I can use my newly-found wisdom to my advantage.  Let’s see, what I will do is open the last piece, consume the wisdom it proffers, then ignore the clock and not consume the actual chocolate.  Dove knows what they are doing, most assuredly.

“Improvise”

I just have.  That advice would have been better if given a little earlier.  But right now, the chocolate will remain open and exposed as I recover from my sugar high.  What a ride.