My Regrettable Decision

I’m not above admitting when I’ve made a mistake, which is exactly what I did, earlier this week, on a Tuesday. Since I had to work on Saturday, I only had to work from eleven to two on Tuesday, so I spent the morning writing and drinking coffee, and then perusing my bookshelf for the next book I would read, since I just finished Lust and Wonder, by Augusten Burroughs the day before. When browsing a bookstore, I wait for the spine of one of the books to interest me, then I pull it out to read the back to see if I’m interested, and only then do I make the purchase, and that is the same way I choose what to read at home, looking at my bookshelves until something jumps out at me. I’m not sure why, perhaps I liked the style of the font on the spine of the book, or something about the author’s last name, Navarro, spoke to me, but for whatever reason, I decided to start reading Story of a Sociopath, and now I regret it immensely.

Don’t get me wrong, the book so far has been fantastic, but my timing couldn’t have been worse. A week from today, my wife and I leave for a weeklong vacation on the Gulf of Mexico, along with my brothers, my mom, and grandmother, and I’m not at all confident that I will finish this book before that time comes. It may seem insignificant that I finish the book before vacation, and perhaps I’m a total nut job in the way that I think, but I absolutely don’t want to take Story of a Sociopath on this trip, and it has nothing to do with what the book is about. I grew up going to the beach every summer, and one of my favorite things was picking out the books I would take, interesting books that I had restrained myself from reading, reserving them especially for week where I had nothing to do, and could lose the day, sitting in the sun and reading them.

For me there is something special about the books I read on vacation, picking them up years later and being transported back in time to those wonderful days of summer spent at the beach, and for some reason, taking a book that I’ve already started before vacation just doesn’t have the same effect for me. I have 708 pages left in this monstrous book I’m reading, so now it’s a race against the clock, to see if I can finish it in the next six days, which given that I have to work forty hours, write six more blog posts and ten thousand words in my book, and somehow find time to get the sleep necessary to have the energy to perform all of these tasks, it’s seeming more unlikely by the minute. I’ve consulted my wife, the resident expert on all of my personal problems, and she suggested putting it aside, and resuming it when I return home from vacation, but that too doesn’t appeal to me. I’m too invested in the story now to put it aside, while reading something else, my mind will likely wander back to Thomas Spencer and what is happening in his world, so it seems that I have no choice but to read on, trying my best to finish the book before we leave next Saturday. Wish me luck.

A Big Problem

There is a persisting problem going on in Memphis, and I suspect throughout the rest of the world as well, but since I’ve only lived in Florida and Memphis over the past five years, I don’t feel comfortable making that assumption. It’s something I didn’t really notice when I first moved here last July, perhaps due to the huge increase in traffic that I was unaccustomed to living in a small Florida town, but lately the problem has become unavoidable and it’s driving me crazy. A lot of people here drive so freaking slow, and it seems like every time I drive anywhere I’m surrounded by cars moving at aggravatingly low speeds, and it’s not just older people as one might stereotype but people of all ages, in no hurry to get where they are going but content to waste time in the car. I really hate driving, in fact it’s one of my least favorite things to do because to me it’s an extremely boring task that has to be done, and I’m not really able to do anything productive while driving so it’s essentially a waste of my time. If teleportation ever became existed I would sell my car and never look back. For these reasons it makes it pretty difficult to fathom people who drive along in a lackadaisical manner, and it frustrates me to no end every time I’m caught behind one of these selfish drivers.

It wouldn’t be too big of a problem if the slow drivers followed the rule of the road and kept to the right lane, but apparently unbeknownst to me a new real has been put in place that says anyone driving any speed can drive in any lane, and it’s absolutely infuriating. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been behind someone, gaining on their bumper going under the speed limit. I feel like in those cases I should be allowed to bump into the back of their car and they should be considered at fault because driving too slow really is a danger to other drivers on the road. Surely I can’t be alone in feeling this way right? I’m sure some of you out there have noticed this terrible trend that is taking place, unless of course you’re part of the problem. We are all adults here and no that we are going to die someday, so you should be spending as little time driving as possible. All driving accomplishes is getting you from point A to point B where theoretically you can do something meaningful. Driving is waiting at a restaurant between looking over the menu and ordering the food and when the food arrives and you get to eat it. It’s just a necessary stepping stone towards accomplishing something else, it’s not the main activity but something you are forced to do before you can do the thing you actually want to do. So please, in the spirit of ending this trend ASAP do you’re part and honk ceaselessly at people who are driving to slow, and most importantly you need to lead by example. My philosophy is that if you don’t slam on your breaks when you see a police officer, you are driving to slow. Feel free to use that for yourself.

Lying

I lie a lot, like every day. I’ve done it so much throughout my life that I hardly even think about it anymore, I just do it, and you know what? I really don’t even feel bad about it. I’m not sure that I actually ever did. Everybody lies, that’s a fact, so why shouldn’t I get to do it too? I was told growing up that lying was bad; every week I went to church and that message was hammered into my head time and time again, but still I couldn’t help myself. I was told that lying leads to more lying, which seemed pretty obvious to me, but supposedly that was supposed to keep me from doing it. The people telling me not to lie were hypocrites, they did it every day. Whether you want to admit it or not you lie too, and that’s just a matter of fact and there’s really no denying it.

Even the most sanctimonious people lie; Gandhi, Mother Theresa, the Pope, I know he lies constantly. Why is something that is so natural considered to be so morally wrong. Jesus said not to lie, but I’m willing to bet that in the days leading up to his death he did so on multiple occasions. I’m not trying to commit sacrilege, I’m just trying to expose the truth. Every human throughout history has been caught lying, and that doesn’t make them any less of a person. I actually look up to people who admit that they lie, rather than trying to hide this obvious truth. If someone says that they don’t lie I want to laugh in their face and call them a liar because I know with one hundred percent certainty that they do.

I didn’t wake up this morning with the desire to shed light on this subject, but over the course of the day it has eaten away at me, and I think it’s about time that the truth is out in the open. Just admit it, you lie as much as I do, maybe even more, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Lying is as natural to humans as eating, or using the bathroom, it’s something that we have to do to survive. Don’t you get it? You wouldn’t be able to make it in this world without lying, so I’m calling everyone to just be honest about it. I honestly don’t even remember the first time, but I know that in some way I was lying from the time I was born and now I continue that refreshing habit on a daily basis. The truth is about six to eight hours of each day I spend lying. I do so in the comfort of my bed as I sleep soundly. Heck, I’m even lying right now as I type out this blog about lying, because for me, maximum comfort is achieved when lying down. If this seems controversial to you then you are just lying to yourself because I bet at some point tonight, you too will lie in bed until it’s time to wake up in the morning.

Another Month, Another Failure

At the very beginning of this year, January 1st to be exact, I publicly made four resolutions here on the blog, and I promised at the end of each month to give an update on home I’m doing, in theory to hold myself accountable and to keep me motivated, but as it turns out it hasn’t really worked out. At the end of January I had already failed two of my four goals in a pretty spectacular fashion, but I thought the two I’d still kept up with would be the easiest moving forward, but unfortunately it is with utter regret that I tell you that another of my resolutions has fallen victim to my lazy nonchalance. Last month I wrote a blog all about the books I read in January; my goal was to read one a week, but I managed to read ten, the overachiever that I am, and I waltzed into February, confident that I would keep my good pace going forward, but then for a myriad of reasons which I will give in the form of excuses, prevented me from reaching my goal of reading four books last month.

I guess the most obvious excuse for my lack of reading in February would be the Playstation 4 that I got early in the month. I think I’ve played it every single day since I got it, so it was a good investment, but terrible for my productivity. It’s so much easier and requires very little thought to play a video game rather than to read a novel and exercise your mind, which is unfortunately the trap I have fallen into. I had this same problem last year with television where I would turn on the tv at night rather than reading a book, but I cut way back on that at the beginning of the year and found that I actually feel happier and more fulfilled when I am reading more often. The other reason I failed my goal this month is because of a book called “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh”, written by Michael Chabon. I picked up a copy at a used bookstore in January and was really looking forward to reading what was called a prolific novel written by an acclaimed author, the perfect start to February. The only problem is that the book just wasn’t all that good in my opinion. It wasn’t downright terrible or anything, but it was just okay, which is why that is the only book I read last month and I didn’t even finish it. I wish it would have been terrible, then I could’ve given up on it weeks ago, but since it was just okay I stuck around, not even mildly curious about what was going to happen next. Guess what, when you don’t care what happens next, if a book doesn’t draw you in and compel you to keep turning the pages, yearning for answers, you in turn won’t be compelled to open the book in the first place.

The other goal I had kept was writing a blog every single day, and today I almost failed that one too. Sometimes I get the feeling that my writing the blog is useless, more trouble than it’s worth. Some blogs that I write and feel absolutely great about once I’m finished, get very few views, and I know I shouldn’t care about that, but it does bother me sometimes. It is a lot to expect of readers to come to my site and read what I’ve written every day of the week, but I’ve had whole weeks that have been way down in traffic and today I really thought about not writing anything, but fortunately for the three people that click on this blog, you have something to read today and I truly hope you enjoy it. Since I read ten books last month I’m still on pace to hit my 52 for the year, and I think I might shelve Chabon’s book for now and sink my teeth into something more fulfilling, and as for the blog, I think I can commit to another month of writing daily. Thanks for reading.

My Biggest Failure of the Year…So Far

So it’s the first day of February, one month has gone by in 2017 and as promised I am here to reflect on my new year’s resolutions to help hold myself accountable. I had four goals coming into the new year and I have stuck with two of them, and failed rather spectacularly on the other two. They may sound terrible but I honestly don’t know a year where I’ve kept any of my resolutions for more than a month, so I feel good about where I’m at now. Let’s start off positive, with the things I have done so far before we get into my failures. I said that I was going to write a blog every single day this year, and so far I have. I’ve been doing this for a little more than five months now so you may think it has become pretty easy for me to do, and while that is the case on some days, on others it’s incredibly challenging, and I can’t think of anything at all to write about. You may be thinking to yourself that perhaps this is why I’m writing a post reflecting on my resolutions but I assure you this was the plan all along.

The second goal that I’ve stuck with to this point is reading at least one book every week. I’ve actually been averaging about two and it’s been a lot of fun. I find that I enjoy my evenings more when I am reading rather than sitting in front of the TV, plus I’ve read some incredible stories that I was definitely missing out on by not having read them. I’m not going to re-list everything I’ve read this month but you can go back and find my list along with some recommendations on the blog from three days ago. So far, reading more has been the most fulfilling of the two resolutions I stuck with.

Let’s move on to where I failed, shall we? Okay I said I was going to write 1,000 words in my book every single day and guess how many days that lasted? Two. It was far too ambitious of a goal and while I haven’t completely given up on it, I am revamping it starting tomorrow and will be writing 500 words per day, Monday thru Friday. I get an hour lunch break at work, which is unnecessarily long given I usually don’t go anywhere, so I figured I could use the back half of my break to do my writing, something I’ve already done a few times already. If you think that sticking with this resolution for only two days was my biggest failure of the year so far, then you are sadly mistaken. I vowed to only drink water, tea, and coffee this year. January 2nd I bought a soda and haven’t looked back. I now drink a Sprite zero every day at lunch, and while I’m giving up on the resolution to completely cut out soda, I am drinking it more moderately. If messing up this resolution on January 2nd is my biggest failure of the year, 2017 is going to be pretty awesome.

Taking Advantage of the Time Change

In less than twenty-four hours daylight savings time ends, marking this one of my favorite days of the year. The time change generally brings cooler, winter weather, a general air of excitement about the upcoming holidays, and my personal favorite, darkness. There’s something that just makes me happy about driving home from work in the dark and it only being 5:30. Early tomorrow morning at 2 a.m. the time magically goes back an hour and becomes 1, a gift from father time in the form of a whole extra hour tomorrow, and what you do with that time is very important. Let me be clear right from the start, while we do get an extra hour, it isn’t like a do-over that replaces the previous hour. That being said, if you commit a string of crimes from 1 to 2 tomorrow morning and then one the clock goes back to one you expect for everything to be forgotten, you will be in for quite the reality check along with some prison time.

It’s unfortunate but I bet most of the country will use the extra hour to sleep. How responsible. That’s like getting some money for your birthday and sticking it straight into your savings account. Live a little people! Don’t waste the gift of time sleeping. In fact, if you are unsure what you can possibly do between the hours of 1 and 2 tomorrow morning I have compiled some suggestions for you. Before you do anything else on my list it would be helpful to first of all, when the clock strikes 1 for the second time, call everyone in your phone and get their lazy butts out of bed. You would be doing them a huge favor by not allowing them to waste time and they will be really grateful that you, a true friend, had their best interests at heart. It’s probable that they’ll want to thank you in a monumental way like taking you out to dinner or giving you their first born child, and while it’s perfectly okay to accept these gifts of gratitude, just remember that you aren’t doing this for the personal benefits, but you are selflessly calling people at 1 in the morning as a service to them.

I don’t know where you live, but if you live in an apartment complex like mine, there are squirrels everywhere! They’re always running around and climbing trees and generally creeping everyone out and while they deserve to die, up until this point I haven’t had the time to shoot them yet. That sounds like a task for the early morning hours when the tree rats won’t see me coming. I’m sure my neighbors will be extremely appreciative that I would take the time out of my extra hour to shoot squirrels from my balcony in the middle of the apartment complex.

It’s a well known fact that on the day that daylight savings time ends, the suicide rate increases dramatically, and more people kill themselves on that day than any other day of the year. It’s a national tragedy and Obama and the yuppies up in Washington don’t seem to care, or want to do anything about it. Most people who struggle with depression have trouble making it through a twenty-four hour day without feeling the crushing despair but when you add another hour into the mix, all hell breaks loose, and tragically a lot of people don’t make it through to Monday. Why are you telling me this horrible statistic that is completely legitimate and not made up at all? Well my friend the theme of the extra hour so far has been giving back and helping others and I want to continue in that thinking. So for an hour, early tomorrow morning, go to Walmart and seek out people that if you looked like, you would be tempted to kill yourself and try to console them. Look for ugly people and lie to them about how much they have to live for, It will do wonders for your self esteem, knowing that you are responsible for saving possibly dozens of lives.

A lot of people are unhappy with their lives and struggle with depression and for those people I have a solution too that will prove to be a good use of the extra hour tomorrow. I have discovered a foolproof method to getting a better life and because I’m such a nice person I’ll share it with you. Tomorrow morning at 1 all you have to do is go to the worst, most dangerous neighborhood in your city. Take a video camera and film all of the illegal activities going on; the drugs, robberies, shootings, everything. Then, and this is key, make sure those doing the illegal activities know that you filmed them and are on your way to the police station now and will testify against them in court. The police will be very thankful that you put yourself at personal risk to get the evidence they needed to put these scumbags away and as a way of saying thank you and also out of necessity they will put you in a witness protection program. There’s that new life you’ve always wanted. You’re welcome.

I hope this list has been helpful and you are able to fill your extra hour with a productive and helpful activity. Whether you decide to shoot your gun in the middle of an apartment complex to help with the squirrel problem or film a drug dealer angrily shooting someone in the knee, just know that you are a great person and everyone else should strive to be like you. Whatever it is you decide to do, just don’t waste the gift of time you are receiving by sleeping through the extra hour.

What’s the Point?

The alarm went off at five this morning, an hour earlier than usual. It didn’t matter that I’d gone to bed later than usual, I had to be up at five because I have to be at work three and a half hours earlier than I’m used to, so if I wanted to have time to write my blog before work I didn’t really have a choice. I have a very full day today, starting with work, then after work going to a Grizzlies game which means if I didn’t get up to do my writing before work, I wouldn’t have a chance to do it until I got home late tonight. If I chose to do the easy thing and wait until later or take the night off it would make me feel horrible and completely throw my day off. I love my routine of doing my blog first thing in the morning, before I do anything else so here I sit, on the couch struggling to stay awake and for what? When my alarm was blasting this morning ruining my perfect sleep that I didn’t get enough of I remember thinking “What’s the point?” It seems ridiculous that I deny myself of sleep, I never get enough sleep, to write a blog that seems like hardly anybody reads or appreciates. My analytics have shown that the number of daily readers I have has dropped drastically over the past week but what it doesn’t tell me is why. What’s the point?

Why get up early every single morning and make an effort to write something that most likely won’t even be read at all? As I lay in bed, contemplating my next move that is when it hit me. I had completely lost sight of what is important and was allowing the menial fact that fewer and fewer people were reading my blog to potentially impact my commitment to writing it. I love the fact that people, anybody at all takes the time out of their day to read the words that I’ve written, but this blog isn’t for them. I write this blog for me. I started doing this almost two months ago with the goal of writing every day, not to see how many page views I could garner but to practice the craft of writing and work at it daily to try and improve on it. I wanted to force myself to start from scratch each day and write an entire blog post about anything, which would in turn hopefully help me whenever I run into roadblocks writing my book. Over the course of writing the blog it has provided me a great source of comfort and relaxation each morning, and much like people who run each morning, I hate to miss one of my writing sessions and in fact my day feels off if I don’t do it first thing.

The people who read this are not the goal, but rather an added bonus for working towards my goal. I’d become so focused on getting more page views and acting like a business man that I lost sight of the point and consequently became upset over the last week as the number of visitors decreased dramatically. I had been constantly thinking and searching for ideas, not about what to write but for ways to draw more people to my page. The point is that while I love the fact that anybody cares about what I have to write, but I need to get back to the approach and belief that I started with. It doesn’t matter if one person reads this or a thousand, I’m still writing for the same person, me. Rather than constantly checking the analytics, seeing how the post is performing I’m going to delete the app on my phone and only look at the stats on the computer once a day in the evenings, and no matter what, whatever the results may be, I will not allow them to impact my thinking. I’ve got a goal to work towards and I don’t have time to let negative thinking slow me down.