So Old

Turkeys in Folsom

I’m definitely getting old.

I get sleepy super early. The problem with this is, If I go to bed too early, I wake up way earlier than I need to be up for work. This in turn makes me sleepy earlier. You can see my dilemma here.

It also make nights like tonight very frustrating. I still have things that I want to do tonight, but I am very sleepy. I have to fight being tired, just to do a few things, so I also will not be too tired tomorrow.

this happens quite a bit, and definitely on Fridays in particular. A long week really contributes to my being wiped out. That’s why my Friday posts are usually short and occasionally pointless.

So I’m off to try to figure my next hour or so out. Likely I’ll continue fixing my tablet that I somehow screwed up(which makes me feel like a computer hacker, so not all bad.) Maybe watch a little TV. I know it’s only Wednesday, so sorry for the Friday quality post.

Happy Turkey Day tomorrow! Gobble Gobble Gobble!

Old School

There’s something I need to make some times for: reading corner.

There are a lot of things that I enjoy. I am a man of eclectic tastes, and I have a lot of room for enjoyment of a lot of different things. One of the things that I have enjoyed the longest, has been books.

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egidio Forcellini: Totius Latinitatis Lexicon, 1858–87) in a table in the main reading room of the University Library of Graz. Picture taken and uploaded on 15 Dec 2005 by Dr. Marcus Gossler. Español: Diccionario de latín (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My family always read to me and with me. They said it was important that I enjoy reading. I always did. It was my favorite part of school. We would have silent reading times, and I always looked forward to them. I was always reading something new.

As a child with no siblings for the first nine years of my life, I had a lot of free time. I wasn’t involved in a lot of activities, and even when I got older some medical things prevented more athletic activities. Reading was something that was always there for me.

I just talked about the escape. That was something that was always special about reading. It was easy for me to project myself into the story I was reading. It still kind of is. I had no trouble finding myself to be a part of what was happening. It made reading more real than the things I was doing everyday.

It did result in probably a few less friends than if I had been involved in something more social. I was always more content to sit quietly in the corner and read than to spend time with the other kids. My parents had to force me to go outside, because I would rather sit inside and read a story.

I still enjoy reading, but I don’t have as much time to do it as I would like. Some of that is due to my nature. I have a high inertia, if you want to think of it that way. I tend to slowly ramp myself into things, and then I want to keep doing them for extended periods of time. That isn’t really how it works being a grown up.

I can’t just wake up and decide ‘I’d like to read today’ and then spend all day curled up reading. There are other things that I have to do. That’s something that I’ve always had to deal with. That’s a part of who I am. I’m slow to get started and hard to get stopped. It’s also my preferred method of playing video games.

I need to find some time to read. I need to make some coffee or tea, find a snack, get a comfy blanket(I have one that I made in college that’s 8 feet wide by 12 feet long), and find a safe spot to just get lost in a story. It would do wonders for me.

Reading was always something that was special to me. Because of my tendency to project myself into the story, it was like the books were written just for me. Books make me feel like I’m the most important person in the world. Real life doesn’t often make you feel that way.

I’m hoping with the holidays coming up, I might be able to find some time. I’ve got a book or two waiting for me, but if any one has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

High Fantasy

I mentioned the other day that I had an idea brewing, but I was a little tire to get into it. Here goes.

I think I may have figured out why I enjoy spending so much time watching movies and television, reading books and playing video games: They’re easier than real life is. Let me explain, because that sounds weird and possibly concerning.

Fairy tales are something a lot of us are exposed to very young. Every society has different versions, but a lot of them are still similar. Quite a few even come from the same basic source: The Brothers Grimm.

Monument to brothers Grimm on the market place...

Monument to brothers Grimm on the market place in Hanau. (Hessen, Germany) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of these fairy tales are designed to communicate something to us as children in an easily digestible fashion. Many of them are structured very similarly; The prince, who is handsome, brave and righteous gets the princess by saving her from something bad. They’re all trying to show us that by doing the good things, even if they’re difficult, we’re in the right and will be rewarded.

This is kind of an oversimplification, but it sort of applies to all of the things I mentioned before. The good guys, get the girls and the reward by defeating the bad guys, even though it’s hard to do. That’s what makes them so entertaining to watch ,and so dangerous at the same time. Most of our everyday lives aren’t anything like that.

or the average person, the most courageous thing we do all day is getting up and going right back to work. It could be to look out for your family, it could be due to a sense of responsibility, or maybe you just need the money to get by. There are no dragons to slay, no wizards to defeat and no armies of evil doers to fell in battle. Entertainment is easy.

All these forms of entertainment make everything so easy and clean. It’s simple to see the good guys win when it’s a battle to the death between ancient enemies. It’s easy to see who is good and who is bad when the good guys are the ones you root for the whole time and the bad guys are looming large over the heroes. That’s also what makes them dangerous.

All these stories don’t prepare us for the basic living that most of us do. I may want to be a hero, because that’s what  I see during my leisure time. I’m not trained to be a hero, and I am also not going to come across moments to be a hero in my everyday life. Entertainment has given me a false sense of things.

It isn’t like I didn’t know that this was the case. It’s easy to see that life isn’t as grand as the stories we tell. That’s why it’s easier for some of us to live the entertainment. Staying wrapped up in a good story where evil is vanquished is nicer than vanquishing the evil of unwashed dishes. Getting on the computer and slaying evil minions is simpler than slaying the grass with the lawnmower.

We live our lives, and we sometimes do great things. Sometimes the things we do that aren’t so great are still us doing what needs to be done. Sometimes, we just have to sit back and let the simplicity of a story tell us what it could be like. Maybe if we lived a different life, in a different time or a different world.

We need that escape from time to time.

Long Goodnight

Old Clocks

Old Clocks (Photo credit: servus)

So begins the long weekend.

I have a long weekend ahead, and it started this morning. So I wasn’t around much this evening.

There will be plenty of fun things, but there will be a lot of them. Also, as I’m generally a sit at home and enjoy quiet time person, the running around will wear me out.

Just glad Thanksgiving is next week. A day off with lots of food will do me good.

Wish me luck!

Now you see me…

Now you don’t.

I have an idea brewing about my desire to spend large amounts of time watching television shows and reading books. It’s a little bit about how I might prefer characters to real people.

However, tonight I am tired. My brain is not going full speed. I worked late and I have a long weekend. So I will need to ponder my post later.

For now, I’m just going to go veg and watch more ‘Chuck’.

English: Logo from the NBC television program ...

English: Logo from the NBC television program Chuck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a Secret!

Do you ever feel like something you enjoy is some big secret that no one else has heard about?

I was talking about rediscovering ‘Chuckthe other day. That’s one of those great secrets I’m thinking about. Nobody I know seems to have heard about ‘Chuck’. I know that enjoyed a strong following, because it was a fan campaign that kept it on the air for the last 3 years. It just seems like every person I mention it to has missed out.

It’s the same thing with the music group ‘Cake‘. I discovered ‘Cake’ several years ago. around 2004 when I was still in college. I never investigated them much, I was content to just

Cover of "Prolonging the Magic"

Cover of Prolonging the Magic

listen to the one album my friend told me to buy.

Now, we have things like Pandora and Spotify, and I was able to find a little bit more of their music. I like pretty much all of it. They do happen to be one of those groups with a relatively consistent sound from song to song, and album to album. I don’t mind that. I know some people don’t care for that kind of consistency in their music.

The thing is, I feel like I’m the weird one because nobody knows about these things I enjoy so much. I’m always one to share the things I enjoy, so I like to tell people about these wonderful things. All I get in return are blank looks, and a half-hearted ‘Sure, I’ll check it out…’

Am I the only one this happens to on a regular basis? Does this, in fact, mean that some of the things that I like that I think are normal are as weird as the things that I like that I acknowledge are weird? Did that previous sentence make any sense?

 

Not Quite Enough

English: Street clock in Globe, Arizona, USA F...

English: Street clock in Globe, Arizona, USA Français : Horloge à Globe, Arizona, États-Unis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is not quite enough time in the day.

There is just not enough time to get caught up every day with all the things you want or need to. We’re probably also short a weekday. We spend most of the weekend getting caught up on the things we weren’t able to do during the week.

I had a day just last week where I felt like What I wanted to do, What I felt like doing, What I needed to do and what I was going to do had absolutely no commonality. That’s very frustrating. Nothing was going to work itself out.

That’s another one of those times that you end up feeling helpless. Things feel out of control. It’s especially bad when you really don’t feel like doing anything, but you don’t want to be doing what you’re already doing.

If we had a few more hours in the day, and an additional weekend, we’d be ok. For awhile anyway. What really needs to change is society. We’re too far gone though. No way that we’re going to get our current society to back down from the run run run, go go go lifestyle we’ve created.

We could always shorten the work day. That would allow us a little more time each day. Trouble with that is, people are blinded by money. We all think that the more we work, the more money we’ll all make. That’s completely untrue.

As a country, the USA is less productive per hour than other countries. It’s because we’re all unhappy at work, we’re stressed and overworked, and we put a higher value on working, than efficiency and results.

Maybe one of these days we’ll stop being stubborn long enough to see that other countries have it figured out. Until then, we’re going to keep having days with too few hours.

Metal!

I was recently asked to expound on some of the things I found when I went into my Metal-world. So here we go.

First, the basics. I was truly having trouble figuring out what sub-genre of Metal I was looking for. I have always been a fan of Rock. My dad got me started on classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s at a young age. It’s always been my go to genre.

I can definitely appreciate a lot of Hard Rock and Alternative Metal. Those would probably be my kind of ‘everyday Rock’. When I got my craving though, I was looking for something a little heavier. I ran into a roadblock though.

I can appreciate a lot about music. I can acknowledge things about music that maybe I personally don’t care for as much. I don’t always like Country music, but it tends to tell very good stories.

I don’t like not being able to understand vocal in music. This particular preference made it hard when I went down the Metal rabbit hole so to speak. There are a lot of sub-genres with difficult to understand lyrics. Sometimes it’s the vocalist, and sometimes it the sort of growling or screaming way that they are sung. That wasn’t the kind of thing I was looking for.

I did know that I was looking for something with fast percussion and precise melodies. I looked into several sub-genres of Metal, including: Black Metal, Speed Metal, Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Viking Metal, Hardcore, Thrash Metal, Grindcore, and Horrorcore.

I mostly used Wikipedia to get example groups from each of these sub-genres and then went to Spotify to look them up. I listened to some longer than others. Certain ones I could tell weren’t what I was looking for right at the moment. Where I really started to find something I could latch on to was in the Symphonic Metal and Power Metal sub-genres.

Symphonic Metal Uses the chords, structures, and thematic elements of traditional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, but blends in symphonic elements. There are usually soaring vocals and classical string instruments involved. The group I enjoyed most was Apocalyptica. I have a soft spot for heavy guitars and cellos together.

My favorite sub-genre was definitely Power Metal. Power Metal combines elements from traditional Heavy Metal and Hard Rock(think Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne) with the speed and technical precision of Speed metal, and the grand sweeping arrangements and vocals seen in Symphonic Metal. Some of my favorite groups here were Blind Guardian, Edguy, Dragon Force, Dark Moor, Elvenking and Nightwish.

I really enjoyed the powerful, energetic and precise nature of the melodies, combined with the speed of the percussion and the soaring vocals. It really captured what I was looking for. It was uptempo and energetic, and I could still understand the vocals. Some of the imagery was a little fantastic, but I’ve never been one to shy away from fantasy.

So that’s where my Adventure in Metal led me. I still enjoy some of the more popular groups too, like Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Pantera. I think that with all the sub-genres to explore, Heavy Metal was something I needed to really get deeper into, to find the stuff I really liked.

Discovery

I have made a discovery.

I just found the television show ‘Chuck‘ on Netflix. I have seen ‘Chuck’ before. I am familiar with it. I was, however, unaware that it was on Netflix.

English: Logo from the NBC television program ...

English: Logo from the NBC television program Chuck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know how long it’s been there, but I have been missing out. I love that show. Something about a nerd being important. Something about the nerd getting the girl…sort of.

It’s Friday, and that’s a day I should be writing. I suppose I am here and writing, but I’m about to take off. I’m going to go melt into a puddle of person shaped goo on the couch and binge-watch more ‘Chuck’.

In complete good conscience, I can only recommend that you do the same.

Uphill Both Ways

Sometimes yo just never get to the top of the hill.

English: Footpath junction on bridleway in Div...

English: Footpath junction on bridleway in Divan Wood The bridleway leads to Gravel Hill road, from Kettle Hill Road. The footpath goes uphill through the wood to Stalisfield Road, near Valley Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes everyday feels like a struggle. You just keep trudging up the hill. At first you didn’t mind, this hill just happened to be in the way of where you were going.

‘No one is going to stop me from getting where I want to go!’ you thought to yourself. You packed a bag of supplies and figured it would all be over by nightfall.

It wasn’t over. Every corner you turned led to a new bit of road going up the hill. Sometimes it was easier, there might be stairs cut into the hillside. Sometimes it was harder. The path was narrow and uneven and the gravel made it hard to keep your footing. You just kept slipping back down.

Then night came. You were forced to spend the night huddling under a cloak by a tree. It was cold and wet and dangerous. A fire was out of the question

The next morning the sun rose. It brought warmth and hope with it. Everything seemed to be looking up. There was still a lot of hill in front of you though. So you kept climbing. There were more stairs and more gravel paths. It never seemed to end. Night was coming again.

You had to spend another night on that hillside, wondering when you would ever get to the top. ‘It must be soon, the hill never looked that big when I started.’

The sun rose again. The same heat and hope warmed you again. There was still hill. That’s where you are now.

Now, after days of thinking it would be over any moment, there is still no sign of the top. Every corner is filled with potholes to turn an ankle in. every small path is frought with danger and frustration. Night comes again.

There is nothing but the growing darkness. The cold ink that follows the sweet dusk. Every morning has brought sweet sunlight and hope.

Tomorrow will surely bring the light, but will the hope still follow?