Who Writes Short Posts? I Write Short Posts!

Well, today anyway. I know most of my posts here aren’t really what most people would classify as ‘short’.

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight, I will be busy! While I’m sure I would have a tiny bit of time late, why put it off? Tonight is a baseball game!

We’re going as an early present for The Wife’s birthday. She’s a big sports fan, and she is actually totally responsible for any sports enthusiasm I might exhibit. Baseball is definitely her favorite though. She could live without pro football, and basketball is a take it or leave it activity  for her. She enjoys college football quite a bit, but nothing beats baseball.

So that’s where we’re going tonight. It’s a lot of fun going to the game, but it’s just far enough away that we don’t get to go as often as we’d like. They are really trying to keep cost down, so that really isn’t as big a deterrent to us as the time. We both just get pretty busy right around this time of year, and between the drive there, the time at the game and the drive back, sometimes we just can’t make it. Especially since if we want to be on time, I have to leave work early. I can do that sometimes, but not as often as we’d like to go.

Quick subject change, remember yesterday when I said I might have a surprise for you? Well I do! But not until Monday. Mwahaahahaha. Remember, don’t actually peel your eyeballs. I’ll feel bad. Do, however, get totally excited for Monday’s post.

On that note, I will see you next week!

And The Crowd Goes Wild!

What’s that? A second post in the same day?! WHAAAAAT?!

I know. It’s totally insane, right?

Straight Jacket

Straight Jacket (Photo credit: marcus_jb1973)

I said earlier that I’m doing this for me. Putting a second post up, makes me feel like I’m not slacking off writing here. I want to write, but I have a bad habit of putting things off. I don’t make time for what I want sometimes. That wasn’t really the case on Friday and Monday; Friday I was busy at work and then we had to drive in the evening and I was away from home, and then Monday I thought it was a weekend day. So I didn’t have time Friday, and Monday was a complete whiff.

Forgetting and running out of time don’t really bother me until after the fact. The days that bother me are the ones when I think about writing something, and then make an active decision not to. I haven’t had one of those days since I started back up.

I’m really proud of the fact that I haven’t actively missed any weekdays since I came back full force on this. I connected with some crazy, awesome, and crazy awesome people. I have put together some of the best thoughts and writing that I’ve ever done. I have gotten fantastic feedback.

So Thank You all for helping me keep my head in the game, whether you know that you helped or not. This has been wild, and it’s only going to get better as I keep growing. I think I might throw a surprise your way soon, keep those eyeballs peeled! (But not really. Please don’t peel your eyeballs. I will TOTALLY feel bad if you injure yourself peeling your eyeballs.)

Oh, Snap!

I just realized something! I didn’t write anything on Monday either!(yes it’s already Thursday and I’m that dense. Sue me.)

I left all you poor people out in the cold without anything new to read, written by me that is, for 4 whole day and I am very sorry abou- HAHAHA I can’t even type that with a straight face. It took all my willpower not to burst out in hysterical laughter on this end of the computer.

I know that I write for me, and you guys are along for the ride. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride though it may be. I appreciate having you all here to offer insight or advice. It’s nice to be typing and knowing that SOMEONE will eventually read it. I’m not just sending these posts off into empty space.

Until someone tells me otherwise, I’m really only letting myself down by not writing everyday(Weekday. Weekends are for partying!Or napping. Mostly napping) I just want to push myself to put something out there, for you and for me, everyday so that I don’t treat this like any other project I give up on after a couple weeks.

The lunatics have taken over the Asylum

The lunatics have taken over the Asylum (Photo credit: phill.d)

It’s important to me that I use this to explore deeper themes, and to put up nonsensical pictures of myself. I want to write tiny bits of fiction, and whole stories that I share here. I want all this to be in the same place because that’s all of me. I am deep and philosophical. I am wacky and insane. I am scarred and I am radiantly beautiful. I am flawed and perfect in my incompleteness.

I am all of these things in whatever crazy combination they happen to take. That’s why I started this, and that’s why I came back to it. That’s why I titled it “Inkling of Asylum”. This is that safe place where what will be, will be and I’m just going to see where it goes.

You’re welcome to come along.

Fin.

So I’m trying this new thing, where either I give a friend of mine an idea, then he draws something then I write, or I take a drawing of his that he already did, and write about it. Here’s the spectacular art.

Copyright Eric Meister 2013

Click on that bad boy to go to his Tumblr and see more artwork so that when he’s famous, you can say “I knew him when…from a blog from that famous writer that I knew back when.” It’s convoluted. Sorry.

This particular drawing reminds me a bit of a quote I read recently as well:

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
― Rumi

Another good friend of mine directed me to some quotes from the English translations of that poet. She thought that it might give me a little insight into someone else who thinks a bit like I do, or I think like him. Whatever.

This little skeleton certainly doesn’t look too upset that he’s not a living person anymore, does he? His expression seems whimsical, and combining that with his stature makes me think that maybe he used to be a little boy. He doesn’t look very sad about previously being a little boy and currently being a skeleton because he’s accepting of the changes going on. He is excited for the new things that change will bring about. He has accepted that sorrow has swept out the house and he is waiting for new things to grow.

That’s why he doesn’t look sad. That’s why he’s waiting with his hand bones on his thigh bones. That’s why he looks so content next to that leaf that seems to contain more sadness in it’s cup-like shape that he does even though he’s no longer living.

How many of us can truly say that? How many of us, still living, with few cares in the world(relatively speaking of course) can say that we’ve accepted the sorrow and are ready for the positive change it has made room for? I certainly can’t.

I am not one to let things go. I have never been the kind of person who lets something like sorrow or anger fill me up and then let it all drain out. I am the kind of man who experiences his emotions deeply, and I try to process them. After that is all done, what is left is a processed, concentrated bit of that emotion. I bottle that concentrated sadness and that concentrated anger and that concentrated fear and I save it. I put a stopper in the bottle, and I label it, and I put it on the shelf. What happens to glass bottles when the shelf gets shaken? They crack and maybe leak a little.

Everyone is created by the events that occurred in their past. We are all formed, sculpted, cast, and forged by the events that make up our lives to this very point. Any time anything happens, it creates a point of divergence where any of the possible outcomes could have resulted in a change to the over product that is us. Some people let these moments flow through them. Some people keep that history in them as scars. Some people flow with those moments. I bottle those moments and their emotions, and when that foundation is shaken later on, some of them begin to seep back out.

It would all be so  much simpler if we could let our sorrow sweep us clean for the new things to grow. That takes leaving the doors and windows open for the wind to do the sweeping. It’s hard to leave yourself that open. Can you?

Does It Matter?

I say no. I say the form that it takes makes no difference to… I never told you what we’re talking about, did I? Whoops. Let’s back up.

I know it’s late, and for that I’m sorry. I also know that I missed Friday. I suspect no one was waiting desperately by their computer, refreshing over and over again waiting for my post. It is a goal of mine to post something every weekday right now, and I’m annoyed that Friday got away from me, even if you aren’t. So let’s get back to my original point.

Does the form that a story take make any difference in regards to the quality of the story being told?

I say no.

Cover of "Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pi...

Cover via Amazon

I just finished reading the whole first compendium of The Walking Dead. I also just finished the 3rd book in the Scott Pilgrim series which I am just now getting, one book at a time as they are released in color. These got me thinking about if the fact that they’re technically comic books has any effect on the story. I claim that if I enjoy they story, then it makes no difference if it’s a graphic novel, traditional novel, young adult books, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, television show mini-series, short film or feature length film. What really matters is the quality of the story, and more importantly, how I feel about it.

I love the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Movie. I also love the Graphic novels. I really think it’s got an interesting blend of story, and whimsy as well as a large amount of pop culture references. I also happen to think that the humor is especially hysterical in a way that only causes me to laugh harder when someone thinks that it’s stupid. The movie seemed aimed at a more generalized young adult crowd, while the graphic novel seems more specifically targeted. The main point being that the story is excellent.

If you’re an adult and you really seem to get the most enjoyment out of young adult or teen fiction books, who cares? Did the author write an engaging story that entertained you enough that you wanted to keep reading and enjoyed the entire time? then who cares what section they keep it in at the bookstore?

Do you feel silly reading “comic books” because you’re an adult and “those things are for kids”? Doesn’t matter if the author captures your imagination.

It’s no real secret around here that I am a giant child, and I am unapologetic about that fact. I devour stories, in all their forms. Almost everyone has some form of media that seems to speak to them in a way that the rest don’t. Don’t let someone’s arbitrary cataloging turn you off to something that you enjoy because you’re worried what someone else might think. Be a man who reads romance books, or a lady who likes high fantasy. Be a teen girl that likes aliens or a young boy who likes Agatha Christie. Doesn’t matter.

Let whatever kindles your imagination start a fire that never truly dies. Keep that fire burning in embers until the next thing comes along to help you stoke it back into a roaring blaze. Most of all, don’t let anyone else tell you what to stoke your fire with.

Anyone ever tell you that what you were reading/watching/listening to wasn’t for “people like you”? What was it?

Different Versions

All this talk about Cover Versions got me thinking about something else: Different media types.

Promotional poster of The Walking Dead.

Promotional poster of The Walking Dead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suspect most of you have at least heard of The Walking Dead. I am (per usual) a little late to that party. I’ve seen the first season of the show on Netflix, and I’ve got the first 6 Graphic Novels in the Compendium that I’m working on now.

This is not a “Books are better” rant. I was just noticing some of the differences between the Graphic Novel version of The Walking Dead and the television version. The story lines diverge pretty quickly. It sort of lends itself to choosing which version of events you like better. Not so much about which one is objectively better, but more about which version you prefer.

This shows up in things like Dexter too. It seems like it’s more common in adaptations from one media type to another, and more specifically when the original version is in a series and it’s just used as inspiration for another series.

I have to say that I find this type of comparison infinitely more interesting than the standard “They left so much out of the movie from the book.” It’s true that this happens a lot, but that’s kind of just an unfortunate side effect of translating something into a timed visual media like film.

Are there any things that strike your fancy in more than one type of media?

Super Talented

Three different VHS-family video cassettes. Fr...

Three different VHS-family video cassettes. From left to right, MII, VHS, and S-VHS. From this angle, VHS and S-VHS only differ in their markings. The VHS tape is a T-30 tape, and so uses larger spools than the T-120 S-VHS tape. Otherwise, the spools would be identical. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, so I just found out about these guys yesterday. They are super talented with awesome videos.

EDIT: switched the video to a link because youtube didn’t want me to embed the video. FINE!

Go ahead and watch a little of this video, even if this song isn’t your favorite. More importantly, go check out the youtube channel and see if there is a song there that you like.

They do awesome covers, in a super cool way. I don’t know any of these people, so I’m not really trying to shill for them, I just saw awesome and thought you guys might wanna see. I know this is a short post, but I’m busy being distracted by their youtube channel and such, so I leave you to this video.

P.S. I just realized that this technically dovetails with my previous post about cover versions. Well that was unintentionally convenient. Cool.

I Need Your Helpful Input Here.

How do you feel about covers? No not the kind on your bed. Weirdos. Musical covers.

I mean this is really a multi-part question. I also suspect there will be a lot of answers akin to “Depends on the song.” I’m looking for an overall viewpoint on covers though.

I support the concept of covering someone else’s song. I do feel like if you’re planning to release a cover for commercial gain, and not just because “you love that song so much” That you should get permission from that artist, unless it’s considered no longer copy-written for some reason.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great example of a well done cover, that doesn’t just use someone else’s song as their own work would be Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt”. “Hurt” is a song about a personal and dark subject for writer/front man Trent Reznor, that Cash took and made his own in style and meaning. Cash had some well-publicized substance abuse problems and the lyrics from “hurt” meant something similar, but still profoundly different coming from him. The whole song took on a different tone when performed by Cash in a stripped-down acoustic number, in his classic deep, raspy, voice. Reznor even admitted in an interview that it was more Cash’s song now than his own.

It’s times like that that really illustrate to me what is possible with a correctly done cover version of a song. Some covers use different instruments or a different arrangement to create almost a completely separate song. When it becomes a song separate from the original, and they can actually be enjoyed as unrelated musical performances instead of different versions, I think it allows for more musical expression for everyone.

I’m not completely against faithful cover versions, but I think it tends to leave listeners in a place where they have to decide which version is objectively “better” and that’s not a good thing. On the other hand, some covers with very different arrangements really take a song in a different direction that could ruin a favorite song for someone. Of course it could be argued that that arrangement just doesn’t appeal to those people so there’s no harm done.

So, your turn. Am I crazy? Are cover songs the bane of great musicians everywhere? Stifling creativity and ruining great music? I’m just not sure what’s more correct here.

Does Anyone Have Any Water?

Oh geez… It’s so hot. I know I’ve talked about how the sun and I don’t get along before, but the sun’s friend heat was no fun today either.

Deutsch: Raumthermometer mit Fahrenheit- und C...

Deutsch: Raumthermometer mit Fahrenheit- und Celsiusskala (USA-Standard). Svenska: Inomhustermometer med Fahrenheit- och Celsiusskala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My desk is in a warehouse at work. I think I’ve mentioned this, but I’m not sure. Anyway, due to the size and ceiling height in the warehouse, it is typically much closer to the temperature outside than it is to an indoor, adjusted temperature. Today, this was the case.

Also today I had some suits to logo. Which means one of my absolute FAVORITE perks of my job was in effect; The heat press was on. Now we logo things made of a few different materials, so they require different heat transfer inks. the required amount of heat for the stuff we use ranges from 305 degrees Fahrenheit, up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Today it was 330.

Needless to say, the heat doesn’t exactly stay contained to the heat press. So while I was working today, I was significantly hotter than the surrounding areas. Being as I’m not much of a fan of the heat, this is less than desirable. Obviously this particular feature is a bit more exciting in the winter…

The point is that I was hot all day today, and this makes me sad. I don’t like to be hot. I’d much rather be cold. So cold that I require a blanket. That won’t be happening anytime soon.

I didn’t help that the retail area happens to be having a sale at the moment, so there was other work that needed done. Running around from the front to the back, lifting and climbing, they all tend to cause one’s temperature to rise.

Oh well. the rest of you(in a similar climate) are probably enjoying this weather and trying to figure out just why I would call an exterior temperature of around 80 degrees “hot”. Because I was hot. Duh. Geez.

Does the thermostat at your work/school constantly thwart your efforts to maintain an ideal internal temperature?

Pro and Cons

So, furniture delivery tomorrow! Hooray!

A table set for two people.

A table set for two people. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Furniture could be delivered anytime between 7:15 am and 10:15 am. On a Saturday. BOOOO! Hiss!!!!

Whatever. It’s fine. I’m getting old so I’ll probably want to be in bed by midnight anyway.

I reblogged something earlier about insecurities. It got me pondering earlier. I am definitely my harshest critic.

I also have to think that I approach this in a fairly negative way. Some people use criticism as a way to improve. They take a step back and evaluate and allow positive changes to result. I have always taken criticism hard, and self criticism even harder. I can sometimes ignore someone I don’t respect as an authority when they give me some feed back that I don’t agree with. It’s damn near impossible to ignore that voice when it comes from inside my head.

I’ve also always had a brain that was turned up to eleven. I’m not trying to brag about intelligence, I’m just talking  like functioning speed. It was always most evident in grade school when I would think faster than I could write or talk. I would leave multiple words out of sentences when I wrote or get tongue tied trying to explain something. It’s the same thing that bothers me about my writing, and my drawing and computer art: I’ve got a fully completed, beautiful image inside my head, but I can’t get the damn thing out in an intelligible representation.

So having a brain that always seems to be running on jet fuel means that once it gets going on a self criticism binge, I tend to end up in a pretty dark place. I can never seem to use anything that I recognize as constructive criticism. I ‘m not particularly good at perceiving external criticism as constructive either.

I think that it’s my own self-doubt and overly critical view of myself that makes even external criticism hard to handle. If I constantly feel like I’m not good enough, that I can’t do anything right, and that I’m a failure of epic proportions, on every level, then hearing any criticism tends to feed that monster. It’s as if The Monster is just waiting for any scrap of critical thought to creep in, so it can latch on and distort it into the most damaging perspective.

I’m not really sure what the answer is, but I do know it starts with self perception. The question is, if I don’t think I’m good enough, and the person I need to convince that I am is me, and the only person who can do that convincing is me, where does that chain break?