Existence or Lack Thereof

I spend a lot of my time pondering one simple question: if I were to suddenly be the victim of some catastrophic personal event and had only minutes left to live, who would be the one person I would ask for? Who would suddenly become the person so important to me that they are the last face I’d like to see in my life?

I’ve wondered this for years. Some days I go with mom or dad, of course. Others I want to see a friend I recently had a fight with but hadn’t yet apologized to. So what wins out in the end? Family? Unfinished business? Or perhaps nobody at all? It certainly wouldn’t be uncharacteristic of me to avoid human contact.

But then again, who cares? Why does it matter? Five minutes later, I’m dead and gone, no memory of what just happened, leaving behind everything and everyone I knew – including whomever became the most important person to me. I guess in the end, ultimately, nothing matters. But in the here and now, every little detail matters, every decision I make has an impact. I suppose there’s no reason not to make it all worthwhile.

But there’s also no reason to forget that nothing matters. I suppose I’m torn.

This month I turn 27. Next month will be the anniversary of my move to Georgia. What have I accomplished down here?

1.) I pretty much wrote an entire book, decided it sucked, and never looked at it again.

2.) I quit two jobs for almost no reason, and in applying for more work I came to realize that I will never get hired anywhere that isn’t a restaurant.

3.) I’ve found that people generally aren’t as giving as I am. No matter how often I do (or offer to do) things for others, that thoughtfulness is never, ever returned.

4.) I’m strongly considering staying in this bed until I literally rot away. I’m certain nobody will notice until the smell becomes overpowering. Perhaps I should coat myself in lye.

P.S.: I Hate You

1.) I feel like I’m going to have to start watching How I Met Your Mother because of everyone’s insistence on always saying “Legen…wait for it…dary!” You can tell how widespread this is, for example, by my knowledge of knowing what show that’s from. I’ve never seen it, not a single episode, and yet everyone’s constant overuse of it is so goddamn irritating that I think I have to watch it because none of you will shut your goddamn mouths about one simple stupid fucking quote. “Har har har, that guy said sumthin funny, I better repeat it nonstop for THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS.” This same rule can be applied to all you pieces of shit that say “Bazinga.” Bazinga? Fuck you, shut up, go back to your hole and keep watching your stupid show so I don’t have to deal with your unoriginal ugly ass.

2.) Sometimes I forget how much I like the R.E.M. song “Daysleeper” and then it comes on my shuffle and makes me happy.

3.) WordPress automatically shares my posts on my Facebook page. I don’t have a problem with this (if I did, I never would’ve gave it permission to do so), but I do sometimes wonder if there are people who read this without commenting. This thought is especially prevalent when it comes to people I may mention in passing and I silently wonder if they read it and understood I was talking about them, then chose to never mention it or say anything about it. This same train of thought often prevents me from saying what I really think, which is hilariously ironic since I initially started this thing as a free place to write down whatever I wanted without worrying about people judging me. Funny how that works. Speaking of which, I’m going to talk about you people immediately after this paragraph.

4.) Do you think it’s…morally reprehensible (for lack of a better term) to have feelings for more than one person at a time? I’ve had a pretty big crush on a few different people throughout the years and they often overlap, some of them even coming and going while one remains constant and unchanging. Also, the following sentence will apply to…probably at least two people reading this: Yes, this applies to you, deal with it.

5.) I wonder where my stuffed animals are, the ones I had as a kid.

Enough for now. More later, maybe.

Perseverance vs. Desperation

I originally thought up this post last night in regards to human relationships, specifically my own (obviously) and my often sad attempts at chasing after women that have no interest in me.  However, as I typed that title, a new subject burst into my mind.

I decided a few days ago to quit smoking when I ran out of cigarettes, so clearly every topic that comes to mind now reminds me of smoking. Since I had three packs on hand, it took a while to run out, but it finally happened this morning. So I went out for my morning cigarette, savored it, and threw it out. Never again, I told myself. No more smoking, no more buying cigarettes, nothing.

So that’s obviously where perseverance comes in. It’s a strange thing, not smoking anymore. It’s not even that I’m really going through withdrawal. I mean, of course I am, but I expected worse. Instead it’s a matter of…well, what am I supposed to do, then? I finished eating, and now I…don’t go smoke. I went for a walk to the store, and now…my hands are empty. I feel naked, in some strange way. The habit became so natural to me that it was a part of me, much like when I stopped wearing my rings and I couldn’t stop subconsciously rubbing my fingers for weeks afterward.

And then the desperation. Don’t get me wrong, I want one. I want ten. Badly. I’ve been forcing myself to do a combination of jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, and static holds every time I really wanted to go outside, but now my body is incredibly sore and I can’t do more than about four sit-ups before my stomach dies. I want to just keep eating because if the end of a meal never comes, then I won’t want to smoke. Clearly not the best idea, so instead I went to the store and bought some spring mix, dressing, apples, bananas, and nuts with the intention of eating a bit healthier and not gorging myself on crap every day. Granted, I won’t be strictly eating just this kind of stuff now. I honestly don’t think I have the willpower to handle that much change all at once. Just a meal here and there, a bowl of ramen replaced with a salad – that should do me some good, I think.

I’ve been told the first three days are the most difficult. I wish I had looked at what time I had that last one today. It was probably between 11a-1p, so let’s say it was at noon. That puts me eight hours in, and I am a terribly unpleasant fellow right now.

The strange thing is, I have absolutely no desire to quit. I like it. It gives me breaks from anything ever. It is a permanent excuse for five minutes of alone time, which anyone that knows me knows I am in dire need of when in the company of others. Especially lately. My god, especially lately. But that’s a story for another day, if I feel like telling it.

You Are Not Excused

Everyone knows by now about the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent aftermath. Despite the tragedy, it is nice to see people standing up together instead of fighting for a change.

Having said that, I’ve seen a disturbing trend in the last few years.  It is very likely it existed long before I noticed it, but now it’s all I can see. I am talking about select people’s need to use current events to further their own goals.  In this case specifically, I am referring to the connection people are making to the Boston Marathon bombings and America’s gun control laws.

These two things have absolutely nothing to do with one another, and yet I’ve seen dozens of posts, memes, images, and articles proudly displaying that there would be no fear for citizen’s armed with assault rifles. Good job, you’re retarded.

Why, you ask? Let me count the ways.

1.) Just because a person owns a gun doesn’t mean they know how to use it.

2.) A person filled with fear is far more likely to have an itchy trigger finger, which would cause more problems in this case, not get results.

3.) You can’t cry about your constitutional rights to own firearms while simultaneously saying the suspect(s) should be shot on sight.

Now to drift away from the subject of Boston and focus solely on gun ownership in America from my point of view.

There are very, very few people I know that I would trust with a gun. By that statement you may assume that there are many people I would not trust with a gun, and you would be correct. The problem is that a lot of gun owners I know fall squarely into the second category. If you want a gun, I don’t care. Go for it. Just learn how to use it. Learn everything about it. If you don’t know every single piece and their functions, you have no business owning that weapon.

Why do you want to own military-grade weapons? “Home defense”? A pistol can do that, arguably much more effectively due to its smaller size. Because you’re “a collector”? I get that, I really do, but if you choose to be a gun collector then you should be fully aware of how dangerous these guns are and act accordingly, i.e. not keeping a loaded AR-15 in your hands on the off-chance a terrorist walks into your house (see point 2 above).

What it really seems to come down to is that they’re cool, and I won’t argue with that. Guns are cool, Hollywood has been pounding that into my head for decades. They’re also fun to shoot, they give quite the adrenaline rush, and their wide array of types makes them a hell of a hobby. But you know what else is cool? Hm. Smoking, perhaps?

Yes, that seems fitting. You tie your constitutional rights to a bombing attack, and I shall compare the girth of your hard-on for guns with my disgusting black lungs. Each topic is about as closely related to each other, I think.

The only real problem in my opinion is that imposing restrictions on these kinds of guns would make it way too easy to further encroach on a citizen’s rights and eventually be able to not only disarm the entire population, but also tell us exactly what we can or cannot have. It’ll be like that scene in Demolition Man where Sandra Bullock explains what the government has made illegal: “smoking is not good for you, and it’s been deemed that anything not good for you is bad; hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat […] bad language, chocolate, gasoline, uneducational toys and anything spicy.”  It may sound far-fetched, but it looks like we’re already taking steps toward a parallel future.

In the meantime, learn how to take those “Like if U Agree!” banners and shove them up your ass. Clicking that button is not an act of supporting your own rights, it’s just feeding into the ego of some anonymous asshole that has no say in the matter at hand and only wants to win some sort of faux popularity test.

Feel Free Not to Read This, I’m Just Whining

Do you think that there is only one person out there for everyone? You know, the one, the love of your life, the person you could never let go. Or do you think there are multiple ideal matches, with no single person ever being perfectly compatible with you?

I’m torn on the subject myself. I like to believe in “the one” but all evidence seems to point to the contrary. The idea of it just sounds so nice in my head. The perfect match, an undying mutual love that never fades. But that’s all bullshit. I can’t even confirm the existence of mutual love. It always seems lopsided, with one person having much stronger feelings than the other, an imbalance that weighs heavily on my shoulders.

I have felt this way in nearly all of my personal relationships, and I look back on all of them with regret. I always get attached unbelievably quickly and then get annoyed or upset when my feelings aren’t matched. In the event that the other person says they feel the same way, I find it impossible to believe them. I do not know why. Perhaps it is inconceivable to me that someone could have the same feelings as I do. Perhaps I deem myself unworthy and insignificant, telling myself that they can and will do better. That is a debilitating fear, constantly being under the impression that you are an inferior human being.

My previous girlfriend and I followed a similar route, though not identical. I was crazy about her from day one, and was shocked to learn of the reciprocation. Then we each moved to different cities and I rapidly felt like I was holding on to the past and strangling her future. The feelings waned as the weeks passed, and I grew more fearful than anything as time went on. It ended eventually, and despite it being my choice, it is yet another moment of regret, though I do still feel it was the right thing to do.

Looking back I can see how incredibly awful I was. She put vast amounts of work into the relationship and I did virtually nothing. If I had tried harder, been more vocal, maybe it wouldn’t have gone this way.

My point is, was she “the one”? Or one of the many possible outcomes? It gets confusing for me here because she is not the only woman I care about. In fact, there are several in my life that I can envision a future with, each of which I see a different outcome with.  One is a happy friendship that lasts forever, each of us comfortable with the way things are. Another is more of an undying, endlessly exciting adventure.

Like I said, I really like the idea of there being a perfect match. But I also hate it, because it brings with it the possibility of completely missing your shot at true happiness at any given moment, even if you don’t realize it. How do I know the girl that was my server the other night wasn’t the right one? Or the girl at the coffee shop? I suppose I’ll never know.

The other part of me wishes there was only one person. Then I could stop searching when I found that one and not waste any more time. Doesn’t matter, though. I’m sure I would’ve just screwed that up anyway.

As America Succumbs to a Government-Provided Plague

All of us have heard a few examples of dumb laws in our time, ranging from a law in Oregon stating that dishes must “drip dry” to Canada placing a ban on any comic books that contain images of illegal acts.  While amusing, I don’t find these to be the truly stupid laws.  My examples are much worse.

Abortion Laws

Let’s start with pro-life versus pro-choice.  Everyone knows the argument and takes their own sides.  I’m not here to tell you who is right and who is wrong, nor am I here to explain my feelings on the subject.  Instead, I wish to present some facts that prohibit one side (either one, doesn’t matter) from practicing their beliefs, and how the government sometimes seeks to place firm restraints on its citizens that are far beyond what We The People should deem acceptable.

For example, Kansas made a few headlines recently when the Republican-driven Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill defining life as beginning “at fertilization.”  In layman’s terms, this renders all abortions illegal.  Period.  No argument, no discussion.  As soon as Governor Sam Brownback puts his name to paper, abortions will be considered illegal in the state of Kansas.

Duchovny Arrest Scene

Maybe we should start with locking up all the sex addicts first?  Nah, that’s crazy…

This is not the first state to pass such a bill; in fact, it’s the eighth (or thirteenth, depending on your source).  I understand why it’s such a hot debate: is abortion murder?  It’s nearly an impossible question to answer given people’s varying perspectives on when life truly “begins” inside of a womb, but to have a government impose laws telling us how we should view any subject is just wrong, pure and simple.  It is one of many steps this country’s leaders have taken to establish supreme control over its people.

North Dakota also recently passed an abortion-related bill into effect in a campaign spearheaded by Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple.  This particular bill states that abortions are declared illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected through a transvaginal ultrasound, which occurs about six weeks into a typical pregnancy.  Although this “Heartbeat Bill” has little chance of standing up to the Supreme Court, it is still a very clear effort to restrain the individual freedoms of the American people.

Jack Dalrymple

Hell, I can barely hear his heartbeat coming through those cholesterol-clogged arteries. Maybe we can still abort him?

Let’s change the subject, shall we?  Nobody likes talking about dead babies for too long.  How about…

Drug Testing For Welfare

Ah, this issue seems to have really exploded over the last few years amongst cries from blue-collar America, screaming about how drug users can still apply (and receive) welfare while they spend all their “free money” on drugs and alcohol instead of life necessities.  It got so hyped up that many states began working on legislation to pass bills addressing the issue, including Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, and a dozen others.  The most notorious of these instances involved Florida, however, in which the state legislation signed into law the mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients.  The entire affair lasted only a few months before a temporary – and still currently standing – ban was placed on the program, and in the span of these few short months, a groundbreaking 108 people tested positive for drug use, most of which were for marijuana use.  That may sound high, but considering the state tested over 4,000 people, the number is hardly impressive.  Another interesting bit of information is the fact that any person that passed the test was refunded the cost of the procedure, which resulted in costs of nearly $200,000 – all in the span of only four months.

“Well, maybe they knew the tests were coming and decided not to take them.”  A good theory, and one I certainly wondered myself.  It should be noted, then, that only 40 people actually canceled their tests.  So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt: let’s say 148 out of 4,126 people would have tested positive for drug-use.  That’s…what, 3.5%, if my math is right?  WOW.  Good job, guys.  Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just pay the benefits to the drug users in the first place?  Actually, yes.  Yes it would.

heroin

Not pictured: someone worried about getting on welfare.

And while we’re on this subject, how many of you smoke pot?  Because I’m 26 years old, and pretty much every single person I know has at least tried it or become a full-fledged habitual user.  Not only that, but the most common reasons I personally hear when asked why you smoke pot is “It just helps me mellow out” or “I had a rough day and just need it to relax.”  Fair enough, we all have our vices, and I am of the opinion that marijuana, while not my cup of tea, really isn’t that bad.  I’d even say cigarettes and alcohol are infinitely worse, and I have experience with both of those things.  But anyway, let’s say things in your life take a turn for the worse and you find yourself in a position of applying for welfare to help get through the tough times ahead.  Is your first instinct going to be “I better give up that thing that makes me happy for a few hours a day!” or will it be “this sucks, everything sucks, I’m depressed, I’m gonna smoke a joint and chill out for a bit.”

….Yeah, I thought you might go with the latter.  So, are these people heathens that deserve to be denied access to money they would most likely spend on food, clothes, laundry detergent, shampoo, and electricity (and maybe a dimebag)?  I would say no, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

Marijuana Machine

$15?!  There goes all my food money.

I’m simply asking for everyone, no matter which side of an argument to stand on, to stop and take a look around at what’s happening.  While we’re too busy having our petty squabbles with each other, our individual freedoms are getting destroyed by those that we elected to preserve them.  Maybe instead of blindly reposting the same images on Facebook and Twitter every day, you can go do some research on a given subject and weigh the pros and cons for yourself.  All I’m saying is, don’t get caught up in something just because it sounds nice in your head.  At the risk of ending this post with a cliché, even communism looks good on paper, but that doesn’t mean it works well in the real world.

Just a Day in the Life

As some of you surely know by now, I’m a frequent contributor to www.techcircuit.net (I’m even listed on the Staff page, woot woot).  I was just bored, considering it’s 6:30 and I have nothing else to do (and even if I had friends, they wouldn’t be awake right now anyway), so I started rereading some of my old articles.  Man…I’m kind of terrible at everything.

I know I was “hired” to write about literally whatever I wanted, thus explaining my overly-opinionated pieces there, but sometimes I kind of want to smack myself in the head and point out how bitchy I sound.  Seriously, there are numerous pieces I wrote in regards to games I quite like, and they all make it sound like I hate them.  Maybe I focus on the cons too much, or simply fail to mention the pros.  Probably says something about my state of mind.

Regardless, if you guys like sites like kotaku, you should probably go follow us or sign up for the newsletter or whatever.  I could always use a few more readers.

In other news…

Well, I have no other news.  This is literally all I do, all day, every day.  I should probably get back to working on that book at some point.

Celebrity Celebration

So I just went to check the news this morning.  The first story I see a headline for is North Korea preparing to test a missile launch.  Legitimate news that I’ll read.  Fair enough, what’s next.  Oh, I’ve got a real winner on my hands here: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson (I definitely just had to google them to make sure I spelled that right) were “lovey-dovey” on their lunch date!

There are so many things I could say right now.  And I will.

Why in the hell is this on par with news of a potential nuclear attack in the future?  Do you seriously think I’m going to read about this country’s possible annihilation and then say “Oh man, I wonder what those fucking Twilight stars are up to these days”?  No!  That’s got to be the most retarded, confounding thing I’ve ever seen.  Not only that, but this is far from unusual; conversely, I’m mildly surprised that their lunch date didn’t take top billing over the world news.

Why are celebrities so…worshipped, for lack of a better word, in today’s society?  I’m half-tempted to click the link to see if they have a list of what they ate, but I’m honestly too afraid that there will be.  Why?  Why would anyone care what those people do in their free time?  Do you like their movies?  Good for you!  That does NOT mean to need to know every facet of their lives outside of the silver screen.  Sure, it’s fun to know about their work and what they do on set, but my brain starts hemorrhaging when I’m reminded that there are thousands upon thousands of people in the world that are personally invested in what these people, these total strangers, do with every single moment of their lives.  Why?  What is the point?  Who gives a shit about their lives that much?  They’re human, they have the same bullshit drama that you and I do.  These Twilight stars, for instance.  Relationship drama.  Only difference between them and you?  Their job is acting, which for some reason translates into headlines for every petty argument, squabble, lunch date, or whatever else they do.

Did you know that scientists have recently made new advancements on proving how life may have originally formed on Earth?  Or that four Americans were killed in a car bomb in Afghanistan yesterday?  Maybe not.  But I’ll bet you were fully aware about the way Ryan Gosling suddenly stood up for animal rights a few days ago.  Do you not see anything wrong with that, or is it just me?

Look, I respect when actors, burdened with all this fame and glory, use their “power” to try to do the right thing, like Mr. Gosling is doing.  But it’s hardly front-page news, and it’s definitely not more important than world politics and constant (read: needless) loss of American lives.  You know what I think would be just peachy?  If every morning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt got up and read the world news every morning in front of a camera.  Just for ten minutes a day.  I guarantee you, your facebook walls and twitter feeds and whatever else will explode with reposts of that video every day.  Not my ideal solution, but hey, it would certainly get the job done.  Clearly I’m not going to beat this fascination society has with celebrities.  Might as well try to make it positive.

Speaking of twitter….if you got a twitter account just to follow celebrities, then fuck you.  You disgust me.  That’s just the shortest possible way of telling me you needed to be able to tune into that object of your affection any given second of the day to see what mind-numbing bullshit they had to share with the world.  I was going to post some of this morning’s tweets from these celebrities, but I honestly can’t figure out the real accounts from the fake ones.  How do you people use this disgustingly convoluted, glorified messenger service?  You know what, no, I really don’t want to know.

I still think my Joseph Gordon-Levitt idea is a good one.

Solitude

I don’t think I’ve spoken out loud in over 24 hours.  If I have, it was only to say hello to the dog or tell her how cute she is.  I even went to Walmart this afternoon, but I kept my headphones on the whole time since everyone there knows me and there’s no need for verbal communication.

How sad.

But I can’t complain too much.  This is the life I’d always envisioned for myself.  Sometimes I even actively seek it out.  Nobody to bother me, nothing weighing me down, freedom to do as I please.  There is, however, one huge thing that’s really holding me back: money.

I started working from home some time ago in the hopes that freelancing would keep me above water.  Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I’ve made a few hundred bucks, sure, but I just don’t think it’s going to cut it in the long run.  I’m already late on my rent, so I have to do something about that.  I’ve drowned my pride in the river (note: there are no rivers here because I live in the middle of nowhere) and sent a few applications out today.  I guess my daydream is over and now I’ll have to actually talk to people again.  God help us all.  Let’s just hope I don’t get stuck working with a bunch of people that can’t speak English again.  They were nice and all, but not understanding the surrounding conversations might be worse than being dragged into them.  Maybe.  Jury’s still out on that one.