Monday, October 22, 2012

Everything looks neat today.

I have no idea what the title of this post is going to be. I'm just going to write for a bit and see what I make of it all later.

So my last post was in June... It's been a while I guess. Well, at least it seems like it's been a while to me. In many ways, it  feels like I'm coasting through life. In many other ways, it feels like my life changes drastically from day to day.

I'm becoming a lot more clean and organized as a person. A long time ago (I don't remember when) a wise man once told me (I don't remember who) that ... that... Well, it wasn't really a quote, it was just an idea: The cleanliness and organization of the spaces in your life reflect the life in your mind. If you feel like your life is one big insane mess, your bedroom probably reflects that. So I've begun making my environment (both at home and at work) clean(ish), and I can't tell you how much more calm I feel as a result of it all. Anxiety rarely rears its ugly head as long as my desk is clean, my room is clean, this shop is clean.

I never thought I'd grow up to be this person one day.

I've also developed an aversion to people whose life and problems seem petty to me. I've been encountering people (both new friends and old friends) whose time and energy seem wasted on absolutely ridiculous things. Allow me to clarify what I mean by this: Basically, my philosophy in life is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. You might say, "What about hurricanes? Or cancer? Or God?" Yeah, those are pretty powerful forces, but You Are in Control of How You Handle Things Outside of Your Control. So basically, if there's someone in my life whose problems seem to bother them but who don't feel the need to make any attempt at taking control of the situation, it kind of drives me crazy.

No, not drives me crazy .. It's not like I go "AHHH! I CAN'T HANDLE YOUR BULLSHIT!" and run away. It feels more like we're on two separate boats and as soon as I hear them bitch about something dumb that they do have control of but choose not to fix the problem themselves, I put my hands on their boat and lightly push myself away from them. A slow drift occurs as the tides of time gently move us apart in different directions. I'll stand and wave slowly while they talk to themselves about something dumb that they can get over if they just tried.

That being said, if you feel like you and I are drifting apart, reader; don't take this too personally. Sometimes my boat and my friends' boats drift apart naturally. Sometimes our boats drift apart due to neglect, either intentional or unintentional. Sometimes we drift apart because because I get lazy, or busy, or selfish. If you ever want to talk, I'm always up for it. I've been getting a little ... homesick? Nostalgic? Not sure what it is. A strange combination of those things. Basically, as a result of me planning the rest of my year recently in which events include engagement, marriage, grad school, and moving away to God-knows-where -- I've been pensively looking back at past experiences and people and just been very grateful to everyone and everything that's gotten me to where I am today. It's true that not everything has been 100% ideal, but I wouldn't change anything for the world.

Glad I wrote all this down.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I could talk for hours


It sure has been a while. I didn't even bother checking when my last post was or what it was about. But I figure there's no harm in just .. writing something.

Not sure if life is ever going to stop feeling like it's in a transitory stage. Right now I just feel like I'm waiting for the summer to be over so I can start my next year at BC. But before that I need to put this show up. Before that I need to unpack my truck ... But after BC I'm gonna have to find a place to live in KC, but before I even start BC I need to find a new place to live in Atchison ...

Yeah, it'll never stop feeling like I'm in transition.

But you know what the saddest part of all of that last paragraph was? I quote: "I just feel like I'm waiting for the summer to be over". How incredibly sad is that? Ridiculous.

Well, I'll do my best within my budget to make this summer a ... well, a summer.

And I'll do my best not to think of things in terms of "transitory". So what if new things are on the way? Doesn't mean the time I have right now means any less.

Catcha later,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So the other day I wrote a blog post. But I was very drunk and decided everything I said was ridiculous. It had to do with my decision to remove myself from social networks. I'm sure this is cheating, even keeping up a blog, but hey. Maybe it's fine.

I removed myself from social media for a lot of reasons, but the most prominent was that I had a lot of complaints about them, such as the fact that there was so much negativity pumping through their swollen veins. I had a lot of "friends" who I didn't care to know every detail of their lives about. I found myself not only getting angry at most of the posts that I saw, but judging people for silly reasons. For a while, I tried to monitor myself and my posts carefully. I did my best to hide peoples' posts whom I didn't care for or who were "sharing too much" for my taste. I did my best to make sure if I was posting something, it was informative or positive. But eventually, I realized that, despite my efforts, I couldn't help but continue to fall into the same personal pitfalls I always had. I still ended up judging my friends and family, I still ended up posting stupid or negative crap, but each time I assured myself that I wasn't wrong this time, that this time  I had to do this, but next time I'll get it right. After realizing what I was doing -- how much I was lying to myself -- I decided enough was enough. If I can't get it right, if I continue to contaminate the internet and my social media circles with negativity and mindless garble, then remove yourself.

Take away the temptation to make the world a shitty place with all your mindless bullshit.

So here I am. 23, I love my work (for the most part), I live on my own, I'm single (my own damn, stupid fault), and I have no idea where I'm going. But for now, that's OK. For now, this is fine.

There's a rambling explanation of where I've been for the last long while for those who only kept up with me through social media. I don't think very many people outside of my social media circle actually read my blog, but for those that do, well -- here we are. Here I am. Hello.

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year. I remember exactly where I was at this time of my life last year. It's like after I graduated, I was born again. I have so many fresh and wonderful, scary and terrible memories of 2011. Let's hope for more of the same as I continue my trek through the amazing and splendidly fucked up world of "Not College."


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sometimes, when your life gets so complicated that half of it is lived in secret, it's hard to be honest on a blog.

I've got nothing I could say to you that isn't shrouded in some way. Ambiguous. Unclear.

I don't like making posts that are ambiguous and unclear but that's pretty much all this is and all it can be.

I'm fine. I guess. But I can't talk here.

Step into my office. Grab that bottle. Pour me some. Take some yourself. Let's chat. For reals.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

bread crumbs.

Lately I've been struggling with how it is that I've been living my life. My "philosophy" if you will. Not to mince words, it's fairly simple: I find myself most easily coping with and most strongly throwing myself into tasks and things that are directly in front of me. I feel most comfortable and alive when I "live in the moment."

What about the future? What about my long distance relationships? What about the world with all its peoples and problems outside the sphere of my work?

I don't know.

Sometimes I simply won't focus -- can't focus -- on things that aren't right in front of my face. I get so absorbed in my work and feel like I need to put all %100 of myself in my current endeavours that I forget to give some of that energy to my friends, my family, my God, etc. Lately all of these things have become difficult. Family's a bit easier at the moment because I still currently live at home, but that will soon change. Prayer is becoming exceedingly difficult to focus on, I can barely bring myself to focus on a good 5 minutes of prayer a day. I feel like relationships in my life are suffering a bit because of my current theatrical endeavours ... endeavours I love and hardly consider "work" at all. Taking on a role in theatre becomes a very big deal in my head, probably bigger than it needs to be, and I feel like a very heavy weight is on my shoulders and I must do my best to carry it. That sounds like a very negative analogy but I assure you I love every minute of it.

How bad is it that I live so much in the moment? How bad is it that I'm simply not focusing at all on any part of my future past the current day I'm in? How bad is it I have no idea where I'm going but all I know is that my path will most likely just be the result of pursuing whatever it is that I happen to be in love with at the moment, day after day, until those days become years and those years become my life?

I dunno.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm just picking up God's bread crumbs day by day.

Sometimes, planning just seems like a lot of energy wasted on uncertainty.


Friday, July 29, 2011

I suppose there's nothing wrong with a little update


So every once in a while I go on blog reading binges, where for a few days I do nothing but tirelessly comb through the blogs I've subscribed to looking for inspirational nuggets upon which to gorge myself and call it good. This isn't necessarily a good thing, because I don't subscribe to that many blogs and the ones I have subscribed to don't really update that much (you KNOW who you are). None the less, I have just read a post from one of my favorite blogs and it has, in a way, inspired me to shoot the shit here on the blogisphere.

To start, my favorite blogs (as exampled above) incorporate illustrations, the like of which are brilliant and hilarious. I wish with every part of my being that I could make an illustrated blog.

You know what? What's stopping me today?! Nothing. Therefore, for the remainder of the blog, I'm going to stop periodically and sketch out some of the crap. Why not? We have a scanner here at the bank! Let's go!

Ahem. I shall now attempt to recount one of the craziest, most traumatic scenarios I've ever been in: getting robbed. But I shall do it light heartedly, because as FUBAR as it was, it really wasn't all THAT bad.


Monday. July 25th. Mondays are typically pretty busy. Lots of deposits. I always find this humorous because typically Fridays are full of lots of withdrawals. So essentially people take a bunch of money out on Friday and then put a bunch of money in 3 days later. I've never understood.

Probably because I don't know what it's like to put money into a bank. I just use it all up til the magical paycheck rolls in and replenishes my account.
 But this particular Monday was especially slow. I was staring at my computer screen like a zombie (as is often the case) when a customer came in. We have a little door alarm thing that I only vaguely acknowledge in my subconscious whenever I go on a 9gag or stumbleupon binge. These binges occur more than I'd like to admit. A few hundred clicks and BAM, suddenly 3 hours have gone by and my day just got a whole lot shorter. Can anyone fault me for that?


Anyway, that customer came in, but he came in pretty quickly and without much acknowledgement to anyone. He grabbed a few deposit slips, said "This is all I need," and hastily made his exit. I only really know this because everyone else behind the counter with me pointed out its unusualness, especially one of our tellers who worriedly informed us that her husband told her he just had a dream our bank was going to get robbed.

I laughed it off, assuring her and everyone else the odds were ridiculous and that no one was going to rob this bank. The construction around here has created a variable labyrinth of round-a-bouts, detours, and orange cones that would make even the savviest stunt driver dizzy. Who would be dumb enough to rob this bank?

Minutes later (or longer, I can't really recall exactly) I would eat my own words as I came face to face with ...

My thoughts were a bit numerous. Mostly they were "Oh. We're getting robbed." Then it turned to "Look at the size of that fake beard. That thing is ridiculous. Who is this guy, Father Time?" Then it was "That gun is so not real. At least no one's going to get really hurt." But mostly it was the first one. "Oh. We're getting robbed." Fortunately, though, my expectations for getting robbed far exceeded what faced me at the moment.

Why Russians? Why not?

I assured myself the gun wasn't real and put my hands up like a good little hostage. I wondered if it would be possible to remain calm, despite the situation. After looking around at my poor co-workers faces -- faces painted with pure, unadulterated terror -- I knew the challenge had arisen to remain calm as a Hindu cow.

No, I didn't draw this one, but I couldn't resist putting at least one Meme in here.
And remain calm I did. As scary as the whole situation was, everyone involved handled the situation with as much calm and professionalism as could be asked out of any human being. As soon as he had collected what he came for (instead of just filling out a withdrawal slip like every other normal person) I whipped out my cell and dialed the authorities. Soon (but not soon enough to catch him) men with much bigger guns arrived and surrounded the place with blue, black, and badge-totin' security. No one was hurt, he didn't get away with much, and everyone was safe.

But the tremors of the traumatic event remain felt, and the emotional wounds left on some of those involved may never really go away. Myself included, to an extent. Every American has felt to one degree or another our nation's economic plight, and perhaps those in the deepest pits of disparity go to extreme degrees to doctor their putrefying sores of debt. Maybe this guy has a family to feed. Maybe this guy has a mother in the hospital. Maybe this guy runs a freaking orphanage and the children will get evicted if he doesn't come up with the cash, pronto.

Timy with only one "m", stop being so selfish.

Or maybe he's just a desperate lunatic supporting his drug habits who goes home to a shitty apartment, greeted by his mangy, flea infested mutt Reginald, barely coherent enough to take a shit in the morning and take a shower without forgetting to wash his hair.

I have no idea. Who am I to judge anyway. All I know is; it was a reckless, desperate act of stupidity and I won't let this guy ruin my day.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first "illustrated blog". I doubt there will be any more in the future, but you never know.

Stay classy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Killing ourselves.

I know, I know -- I've been blogging a lot lately. I go through spells like this where my thoughts seem more clear than usual and my inner voice cries out to be written down coherently before its sentiments are lost in the mundane nature that life can sometimes take on... Anyway, I wanted to address something I've noticed about my life up to this point, although I'm not sure I'll come up with a conclusion. That being said, either skip to the end or walk away now.

Here we go?

[What follows is a personal history. It's more for my benefit than anyone else's -- masturbatory even. You can skip it if you'd like.
I've been told a handful of times in my life (hah) that I over-stretch myself. I suppose I can trace this back to as far as I can remember. I used to make claymation movies for hours as a kid, pain-stakingly creating little characters out of clay and legos, moving them half-inch by half-inch for hours, and after an entire day of working I'd have a 5 minute film, maybe. Then when I had access to better movie making technology I would spend hours filming and editing movies with my siblings and friends. Then I got into martial arts, and from a student I became a teacher, going straight from high school to karate school and staying until 10 o'clock every night. Everything up until karate were just fun things I occupied my time with, but with karate my hunger for working my ass off really started to over-power my better sense of judgement. At the tail end of my karate endeavours came theatre, which blind-sided me and re-directed my ravenous hunger to its bountiful table. Karate was one thing -- all the techniques, forms, teaching all kinds of students -- but theatre presented within itself seemingly endless varieties of work to be done. Lights, sound, acting, directing, props, costumes, stage managing -- and subcategories for each! -- there would always be something I could do! It fascinated me then and continues to fascinate me today.
Anyway, my parents had always tried to instill in me a strong work ethic in school, but nothing in school really interested me (besides the occasional English or Creative Writing class). Then, with karate and theatre, it was like the 15 years of dicking around in school reversed itself all at once. I became a machine. And I don't know if I've stopped running since.]

Where and when do we draw the line between being a hard worker and killing ourselves? How long will it take before I realize the sweat on my brow I'm so proud of might just be from all the digging I've been doing into a possible early grave? That's a little exaggerated, I know -- but there is truth in it. I see conflicting things and people all around me -- for example, I was reading the biography of the last days of Tom Dooley recently ... Here was a man who didn't even let cancer stop him from his world-wide humanitarian efforts. I think to myself, "Damn, if this guy had it in him to set up and run hospitals in third world countries while he was dying of cancer, I can certainly go without a few hours of sleep and a meal or two to help put up these shows for the good of the artist endeavours of theatre." Subsequently, one of the shows I've been working on -- "Proposals" by Neil Simon -- brings up an interesting point on "hard work". Burt Hines, the father of the family, destroyed his marriage with his hard work. He opened up shops retailing televisions, one after the other after the other, constantly on the road and away from his family, until his wife couldn't take it anymore and left him. Here's an excerpt from an argument between the divorced couple:

ANNIE: ...There was no way to stop you. The minute you had one store, you had to open another. Why wasn't it enough, Burt? Two, three stores would have been plenty. We had enough money. Why was eight stores so important?
BURT: Because I was good at it. If Babe Ruth could hit sixty home runs, why should he stop at fifteen? ... I wasn't as smart as the kids are today. I had no special gifts. The only talent I had was to put in the time.

A remarkable and admirable sentiment, but somehow flawed all the same. The question I've had to come face to face with recently has been simply: Just because I can do something, does it mean I should? When did life start becoming how high I could build my list of accomplishments? When did life get to the point where I didn't feel like my day was worth anything if I didn't crash into bed at an absurd hour absolutely exhausted? When did I turn my exhaustion and pain into pride and worthiness?

I just don't know anymore. We need hard workers for the society we've set up to function, don't we? We need Wal-Marts to be open 24 hours a day, we need late night fast food joints, we need warehouses to ship out products all day and night, we need stores to be open 365 days a year -- and yes, that means Thanksgiving, yes, that means Christmas, yes, that means Easter -- no sir, YOU have a happy holiday, because I actually have the day off, thank you.

Well, that just got really cynical really fast.

Anyway. Our work-a-holic society continues. I'll take a box of sleep deprivation, a carton of achy joints, and a twelve-pack of not-seeing-my-friends-and-family. That's the combo meal that comes with a feeling of self-worth, right? Supersize me.