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.

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The Whispers

I used to hear the whispers all the time. It used to be quieter, easier to hear them. Not so much anymore

 

They’re still there. I know they are. They’re always there. Mumbling and grumbling and hissing just outside of my range of hearing. They used to be easy to hear. Now it’s all too loud

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s too loud at work and at home. Everyone needs something from me and I can’t sit in the quiet. It never stayed quiet for long, the whispers always came.

 

Whispers came and gave me ideas. They explored and fleshed out those ideas. They talked and talked while i listened and remembered.

 

It was easier to hear the whispers as a child. I realize that now. It’s just one more thing children can hold over our heads.

 

I miss the whispers. They were always pushing and prodding me. They encouraged me to grow.

 

Now all the things going on around me distract from the whispers

 

I wish they would come back.

 

4 Things My Childhood Screwed Up.

I thought a short list might suit me today. So, here we go!

This week's plan to do list

This week’s plan to do list (Photo credit: the green gables)

Things my childhood ill-prepared me for:

1) Relationships do NOT happen like Disney movies.

Not every woman wants to be treated like a damsel-in-distress every minute of every day. They do not need you acting upon what you think is best for them all the time. They don’t appreciate the assumption that your job is to fix all their problems. They do not sing their feelings. Most importantly, it does not always end well. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be. It doesn’t always matter who loved whom how much. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.

2) School is nothing like work.

About the only thing that school and work share, is the fact that you don’t get to choose when to go, when to leave, or what you’re doing. The rest of it isn’t even remotely the same. School is very structured and task-oriented. Work isn’t usually like that. You usually have 6 things to do, all of which needed done yesterday, and no one is ever happy with the result. Nearly every project is like a group project where you have to do all the work. If they graded work, we would all fail.

3) No one has the same group of friends forever.

I blame sitcoms. Especially the ones aimed at young adults. They told me I would have 3-5 friends and we would be the best group ever, all the time. Not so. People grow up, things change and everyone goes their separate ways eventually. There’s no reunion show where everyone meets up and it’s just like old times.

4) Not every situation requires a hero.

Every book, Movie, TV show and Video Game told me that I was the hero. I was good at everything. It was my job to save the world! Sometimes, it’s just your job to clean the fuzzy shit out of the brush bar on the vacuum. Sometimes, it’s your job to dump spoiled milk down the drain. Sometimes you spill hot water on your bare feet and burn them. Not every situation is glamorous, and you can’t always be a hero.

I’m sure there are more things but I realized reading a different list this morning that my childhood lied to me a lot.

Anything your childhood didn’t adequately prepare you for?

Itch to scratch

I’ve got a wicked itch to play video games. I mean PLAY video games. You have no idea what I’m talking about. STORY TIME!

I’ve been playing video games fro as long as I can remember. Some of my first memories revolve around sitting in my playroom on a beanbag chair watching Eureka’s Castle, or playing on my Nintendo Entertainment System(NES). When I went to the babysitter’s house, before and after kindergarten, and all through the summer, we played Mega Man 2, or swam in the pool. I wanted more Mega Man. 

At one point in my childhood, between my mother’s house, my grandmother’s house, and my father’s house, I had an NES, a SEGA Genesis, an Atari 2600, a Super Nintendo(SNES), a Nintendo Gameboy, and a SEGA Game Gear. I was a bit spoiled. I’m sure that in no way factors into my current lack of impulse control and lack on financial responsibility.<insert eyeroll here>

I watched people play games, and I found watching people play them almost as exciting. Sitting in someone’s living room playing and watching video games is probably the thing that I did the most over the course of my childhood. Not playing outside, not using my imagination. It was video games, and reading.

I used to play soccer. I was pretty good and I really enjoyed that. When I was 9, I was diagnosed with Legg-Calve Perthes. My father and step mother noticed I was limping a lot during a soccer game. After a trip to the ER, a referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon and lots of x-rays, it was determined that I needed to be on crutches and in traction. No weight on my left leg. That kind of put a damper on any possible desire to enjoy the outdoors. It was a pretty small desire, mind you, but I really did enjoy soccer, I swear. I practiced at home and everything.

This diagnosis only cemented the reading and video game thing. They have been my two favorite activities for quite some time now, well into my adult life. I purchased a video game at midnight in college. I skipped class to go buy and play a new video game on release day. My good buddy and I once had to stay at college through a spring break and we spent the first day playing Def Jam: Icon for 16 hours straight. We stopped only for food. The bulk of which was delivered to us.

THAT’S what I mean when I say I’ve got an itch to play some video games. I have always been a binge gamer. Not necessarily at the expense of any responsibility. It’s just that my chosen way to enjoy games involves large chunks of time. That doesn’t happen much anymore.

As a mostly-responsible adult, I just don’t have the time to sit down in front of a PC or TV for 10-14 hours in a stretch. This has given me the opportunity to appreciate games that favor smaller bites of gameplay. I’m grateful for that, since I’m a creature of habit and wouldn’t normally expand my playing options. 

Sometimes, I really just want to binge on games without feeling guilty about wasting time. I need a gamecation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Do you have any hobbies or activities that you need to take a vacation to do?

My Whimsy

I’m feeling exceptionally whimsical today.

Felt food Easter cookies

Felt food Easter cookies (Photo credit: ivers)

Don’t have a panic attack I’m not going to go into my deep person feelings about why I’m whimsical. I just got to thinking about what a weird concept ‘whimsy’ is once you get to be an adult.

 

  1. whim·sy

    /ˈ(h)wimzē/

    Noun
    1. Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.
    2. A whim.
    Synonyms
    whim – caprice – fancy – vagary – fad – whimsey

 

As a kid, whimsy is practically the default setting. Everything gets approached as new, fun or a game. Things aren’t thought out. Everything happens very spur of the moment as a child.

I love this feeling. As a child, you do what you want when you want. Within the rules of course. It’s a very free feeling. Kids do need and appreciate some structure, and I get that. Daydreaming and being spontaneous are the beauty of childhood though.

That all tends to go away as an adult. Everything is scheduled for you. All of your time is no longer your own. Daydreaming and spontaneous action is usually considered immature.

I love feeling playful and spontaneous, wild and fun. I love to daydream and do weird or silly things just for fun. That’s probably why I seem so at home in Toys R Us. I don’t really care.

So is anyone else feeling exceptionally whimsical today? Maybe you should be!

Time To Get Down

Apple fruit

Apple fruit (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

By down I mean crash into a bed or other possibly soft surface and lay down. I’m beat.long day, that didn’t give me as much time to work on something for you all as I maybe should have. I feel like I owe you something. How about an embarrassing story.

When I was in 1st grade, we had to line up for the buses to leave school with our whole class. Our teacher would lead us out there. I was outside waiting for my bus. It had rained that day. The asphalt was still wet, and it was doing that thing asphalt does after a rain where all the little pebbles on the planet show up and stick to everything. While I’m standing there, an apple with one bite taken out of it bounces in front of me. So I punted it.

It bounced under one of the buses. This little kid come running up to me crying yelling, “I was gonna EAT that!” So obviously it turned into a big thing.

I was forced the next morning to walk to his kindergarten class to apologize for kicking his nasty, pebble-covered apple. I walked all the way down the hall to the room, and in a combination of fear, and righteousness, I never knocked on the door. I went back and told my teacher I apologized.

There. Does that count for anything?

Got an embarrassing story to share with internet strangers?

Innocence Lost (In Which Growing Up Is A Bad Thing)

The best part about growing up is getting to do all those adult things you always wanted to do as a kid. Everything looks like so much fun! Not to mention all the time you spend getting told ‘No.’ by someone older and ‘wiser’.

The worst part about growing up is realizing how much you hate everything that you have to do as an adult. Parents spend so much time hiding all the real life work, projects, chores, bills, and pain from their children. Now that I’m here, all I want to do is go back to when the bulk of my responsibilities revolved around homework and making sure the trash got to the curb on the right day.

Guess what I had to do yesterday. That’s right, I had to make sure the trash got to the curb on the correct day. The difference was, first I had to drag myself out of bed, then I had to get ready for work, find my own breakfast, drive to work, work for 9 hours, drive home, figure out dinner, fix dinner, clean up from dinner, and then make sure the trash got to the curb.

The real tragedy isn’t that as an adult I have to do all those things, in addition to what I had to do when I was 15. The real tragedy is that I thought it could only get better when I was 15, and the only way to find that out is to no longer be 15. I can never go back to when my portion of the housework took about 10 minutes. Realizing you can never go backwards is when the innocence is really lost.

There isn’t much to do besides feel jaded once you make both the realization that you can never go back, and the realization that you might actually want to.

Of course, it isn’t the end of the world that you can’t ditch all your responsibilities and act like a teenager again, but it might be the end of the world as you knew it before.

-Chris