At Snikt’s For New Years

I did in fact take off for parts south this morning, as I’d intended. I knew I was heading south because I was (and am) aiming for places where it’s a bit more comfortable to sleep in one’s car. I won’t need to do so tonight, however, as I ended up wandering over to my friend Kevin’s for his New Years Eve festivities. I’d had some intention to continue further south, just drive into the night, but after some frustration, spending some time with friends and family (my brother is here too) seemed like a reasonable excuse to stop. It’s good to see everyone (some of whom I haven’t seen in more than a year).

This is going to be a short post, but I did want to wish everyone a happy new year. May 2007 be full of happiness and joy for everyone. Still planning on updating tomorrow, but chances are good it’ll be a late in the day post, since I’ll be on the road for a chunk of it.

The Title is Often the Hardest Part

It’s true. Coming up with a reasonable title is far more of a pain in the ass than just rambling on about my life. Mostly because I generally don’t really know what I’ll be writing about when I sit down, just a general sense of things and a vague notion that writing something might be a good idea. Today, I’m going to open by saying my nice shiny new replacement keyboard, the third on this less-than-a-year-old laptop, has a borked ‘B’ key. It’s not unusable, but I do have to pay attention to my writing to make sure it registers, and have to hit the key pretty hard. For the record, this laptop has given me more troubles than all my other computers combined (my 15″ 800MHz Powerbook might give it a run for its money, but that was also across 3-4 years of HARD use). I still recommend the line, I know this is just a string of bad luck, and they’ve been very responsive to my issues, but damn is it frustrating.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I’m doing for the next few days, concerning New Years and all that. Without getting too cryptic nor too personal, what I would like to have happen isn’t going to happen (I’d give it about a .0001% chance), and so I’m very much of the sentiment of going wandering for a few days to a week. I don’t know where I’d go, maybe south, maybe west. I’ve been feeling the wanderlust incredibly badly for a while now, and in fact was strongly considering wandering off back when I broke up with Erica at the beginning of September. I was asked not to go, and so I stuck around, because I’m a sap and like to feel wanted. I don’t really have that motivation anymore (unlucky at cards, unlucky at other things), and so the wanderlust is back in full force (it even brought reinforcements). If I were in a slightly better situation for doing so, the idea of taking off for an extended period and working as a freelance writer/photographer is immensely appealing. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to disappear off the radar, if only temporarily.

I still haven’t really decided whether I’m taking off tomorrow or not, but if I do, I may miss a few days, or have only some short posts, or have them delayed (or conversely, I may find wireless and muses wherever I end up going, and start writing profound, beautiful, lengthy entries every day). Just fair warning, since I really would like to keep up this regular posting thing, and would like to build a level of trust with the readers I have that they can expect a new entry from me on a regular basis. (For the record, if anyone is curious as to how many readers I actually have, Google Analytics records an average of roughly 30 unique visitors a day, with a total of roughly 300 uniques a month. Broken down a bit more, this means I have maybe 20-25 regular readers, and then a chunk of people who get referred by search engines or a link in a comment or forum post or by another post linking to me, but don’t really stick around. This doesn’t touch AT ALL on people reading via feeds, but still, I am what would be called small potatoes.) Regardless of whether I post much or not, I do still plan on finding a way to launch my new project on the 1st, so I’ll at least be making a quick post about that. If the 1st is the first time I get to post though, let me say in advance, Happy New Years! I hope it’s a great time for everyone, and heralds a new year full of love, growth, and happiness.

If I Ever Leave This World Alive

Now everything should be alright. This is take-two for a post today, as I was testing something with my father and forgot to save the post before quitting the application. Definitely a D’oh! moment. I will endeavor to to not repeat the performance (though if I do, it’s not like you’ll see this, hah).

In case you’re wondering, yes, the title is a Flogging Molly song. It was followed by Fugazi, and now it’s Decemberists, and no, I don’t actually write that slowly. I do, however, pause and reflect before continuing quite often. Or get distracted and wander off. It’s pretty rare that I just toss words on a page, generally by the time they’re written, they’ve been through at least a revision or two in my head. Happens with conversations, too, even when I’m talking a mile a minute. I think about the things I want to talk about, else why would I be talking about them?

Can it be a digression if it’s how you open your post? Would anyone know that it’s not simply a tangential lead-in unless you tell them that you were planning to talk about something else? What I was planning to talk about (and what I’d been talking about in the now eradicated previous attempt at this entry) was resolutions and goals for 2007.

I know how I like to be. I like to be self aware without being self conscious, comfortable with my role and present in the moment. I like to be creatively productive, constantly learning new things and continuing to grow. I like to feel I’m contributing something valuable to the people around me. I like to feel needed by those I care about without codependence in either direction. I like to feel that even if I’m not flush, I at least have a handle on my finances. I like to feel independent and capable.

Lately, I haven’t really felt like any of those things. That is where I want to be, however. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I could do to work towards that. This is a living document to some extent, but here are my goals for 2007 thus far:

  1. Fill a DVD a month with photography. This translates to roughly 4gb of photographs, every month.
  2. Write every day. Doesn’t matter what. The point is to make time for it.
  3. Finish at least one creative project by the end of 2007. Finished means done and polished and presented to the public.
  4. Take at least one class. Doesn’t matter if it’s a dance class, tai chi, or sanskrit. And I don’t mean “one session”. I mean take one class regularly.
  5. Go at least one place I’ve never been before.

Those are the goals, the things I have that are concrete and definable to call goals. There are a lot of things that aren’t nearly as clear or precise, more of a destination than a resolution. I want to get a handle on my depression. I want to get a handle on my finances. I want to improve my self image and get a handle on my insecurities. I want to meet more friends and peers. I want to travel more. I want to learn another language (maybe a living one I can use to chat with other people this time). Lots of wants, lots of desires, and I sincerely hope they come true as well… but they’re simply too abstract to call a goal.  What are yours?

The Half Moon Hung Low Tonight

I spent the evening out with Mike and Mariah, driving around and chatting. They were both pretty tired, so it was a pretty mellow chat. Still, it was nice to see them, as it’s been a while since I really went and hung out. The holidays are an excuse, since nothing is open and/or it’s absolutely crazy in the commercial districts, but mostly I’ve just been hiding out at home. Sometimes it’s good to do that. And sometimes it just makes you insane.

After dropping my two cohorts off, I wandered into Hanover and hung out in my car, leeching bandwidth in front of the closed-for-the-holidays Hopkins Center to get some work done that really properly needed bandwidth to complete with any semblance of speed. I finally got around to catching some videoblogs I’d been meaning to catch, notably Sexerati’s Future of Sex video blog, put together by the lovely Melissa Gira (who, upon reading, sounds like an incredibly interesting and cool person that I’d love to sit and talk with). I first found Sexerati through Warren Ellis’s blog, and have been pleased with the posts on it thus far… for the sex nerds among you, I’d definitely suggest checking it out. (And if you’re curious but worried of being scandalized, don’t be: it’s geeking out about sex, not sex itself, ie there’s no porn or anything.)

Now I’m back home, because my battery was low and I didn’t want to dig out the inverter just to sit in my car and browse the internet, though I’ve been known to do similar before. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about finding a way to essentially live out of my car for a while, and just take off wandering. Realistically at this point there are very few places you can go where you can’t find a wireless network within a reasonable distance (if you know where to look), so I could even continue to work on things and stay in touch and just roam around for a while, do some writing and some photography. The main issue is that I can’t really afford to do that right now, because of already existing bills. Still, think positively and a way will open itself up. I know there are a lot of freelance photographers and writers who do exactly this, the question is how to get into that loop.

I’ve missed my goal of posting today, but only by maybe half an hour, so let’s all pretend this was posted on the 27th, shall we? I don’t feel like modding the timestamp for something as silly as that. (Really, the only time I modify timestamps is when I’m using it as a method to write posts in advance… which doesn’t happen often, but may in the future.) As I’m sure some of you might have guessed, I’m trying to do the whole “post every day” thing, but I don’t want to jinx it by calling it a goal or a resolution or anything. It’s not an exercise or a project, it just is what it is.

Wrapping things up, a few other things I wanted to point out: 1) my friend Dano has a new site up:, so go check it out when you have a chance; 2) a Battlestar Galactica pen’n’paper RPG game was just announced, done by the same folks who did the Serenity RPG, for those who might find that nifty; 3) in the tidal wave of social networking sites (I’m on linkedin, facebook, myspace, friendster, orkut, okcupid, gdconnect… *thinks*), I just added yet another, called Consumating, found through Sexerati, because it sounded like a neat idea (if higher maintenance than some of the others). I’m still not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it, since (barring a very small select few) I’m not really looking for a relationship (or casual flings) right now. (If you’re wondering if you’re that small select few, you’re probably not, since I’m pretty sure the ones I’m interested in already know I’m interested in them. I’m not one to beat around the bush, for better or worse.)

That offer of heading to wherever I’m invited for New Years still stands, though we’re fast approaching the cutoff date for heading to the west coast and still making it in time (it’s already kinda pushing it). Failing that, I may just go wandering and see where I end up. (And before you say “Hey, I thought you were broke,” I am broke, however if you’re willing to camp or sleep in your car, you can travel for remarkably little money. I find it’s also a productive time for me, in terms of resetting myself and having time to process ideas, feelings, stress, etc… the wander down to the Cape was remarkably cathartic on a really low level that I’m only starting to become aware of now.)

Television as an Update

The television is on at the moment, and Carlos Mencia is on, doing his shtick. He promised to answer any woman’s question about guys honestly… he was asked “Why are guys dicks?” His response was: “Because you only f*ck dicks.” He goes on to explain that the nice guys, the ones who’ll stick by you forever and are devoted and loving, get dropped and ignored. I wouldn’t go so far as to say always, but I do agree that it happens that way a hell of a lot. I’m not really going anywhere with this, it was just on.

I meant to post yesterday, but I ended up finding myself thoroughly engrossed studying the fabricated mythos developed for the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. I’m a latecomer to the show (some have even said they’ve already jumped the shark), but I’ve been enjoying what I’ve caught so far. Sooner or later, I’d like to pick up the DVD sets, but I can’t quite justify it yet. That whole “spend money once you’ve got some rather than before” thing.

I’ve also caught a few episodes of Scrubs lately, pretty fun stuff. As a random sort of “six degrees”: the actress who plays Elliot in the show also played Becky in Roseanne. The other actress who played Becky on Roseanne went to school with my ex-wife. And thus, connections! Or something. Guess what that means? Absolutely nothing! Which is sort of the point. I’ve been watching a bit more television over the past few weeks, and my opinion of it hasn’t really changed: it’s largely meaningless cruft, but sometimes entertaining or engaging. My general rule of thumb is that if it’s on, I’ll watch, but I’m not really inclined to turn it on myself. If I want to watch something, I’ll grab a DVD, or (when I have broadband available) find what random niftiness is happening with YouTube, or Homestar Runner, or Red vs Blue, or Weebl.

I’m still on track for a launch on the 1st. Other than that, another non-day. I’m more than a little stircrazy… if someone invited me to come visit for New Years, I’d probably take them up on it… and I don’t mean around here. C’mon west coasters, southerners, mid-westers, give me an excuse to get the heck out of Dodge.

Of Web Design and Writing

Let me say for the record that web design and writing copy don’t mix. Maybe they do for other people, but for me, it’s totally a change of gears and a derailment. This is, of course, my way of saying that I spent this afternoon and evening working on the website for this “undisclosed project” of mine. I’m keeping the design as braindead simple as possible… small footprint, easy design. But the text in it is just filler cruft. Tomorrow, hopefully I’ll be up for sitting and writing some snappy copy for this thing.

All in all, a pretty mellow Christmas Eve. Had brunch at Shryl’s Diner, and then dinner at home… about the extent of activity I’ve really done today is taking a walk with the dog. I’m not feeling too badly about that… I must admit, mucking with html and css is a guilty pleasure of mine, and can happily sit and fardle with it for hours at a time. It’s when I have to start fiddling with javascript or php et al that I start having conniptions.

Happy Humbug to everyone!

Caution: Contents Under Pressure

There are currently 375 posts, 303 comments, contained within 13 categories. If I’d been writing daily, that would mean I’d started a little over a year ago. The reality is that I started writing a blog back in 2002ish, so we’re fast approaching year five. How novel would it be to actually post SOMETHING every day? Would readership increase, or would it drop off from people getting bored with what would inevitably be a lot of “neat link!” posts. I’m not going to set it as a goal… yet. Need to think about things some more. I went back through and reread all the posts a little while ago. A lot of the links need fixing, but the non-link posts (ie the ones with actual writing) are still reasonable. Not sure how many people have actually read the whole blog… I imagine it’s a relatively small percentage. I know I’m guilty of picking up on a blog basically from when I find it onwards and not hitting up the archives as often as I should. I’ve started slowly going through the blogs and journals I read regularly and starting from the beginning, so those of you who’ve bothered letting me know about your sites, you’ve been warned. It’s going to take a while though, dialup is le suck.

I’ve got a new project that I aim to have up and running by Jan 1, 2007. I’m not saying what it is quite yet, though some of you that I’ve chatted with recently probably already know what I’m talking about. But yes, it goes live with the new year. That gives me… well, essentially 7 days to get everything ready for it. Plenty of time, I’m sure, as long as I keep motivated on it.

That really is the hingepoint of most of the things in my life right now: if I keep motivated, it’ll work out. I won’t say all things in my life, of course. When it comes to romance, it takes two to tango, after all. Trying to remain positive about everything, though. There’s this undisclosed project I mentioned, and then it turns out my timing for the approach about the game design major was good, and so something may still come of that (not in a “hold your breath” sort of way, but in the “still worth pursuing that avenue of inquiry” sort of way). I’ll be attending the Apple Leopard Tech Talk in January in Boston, which I’m really looking forward to, and it also has given me a firm “not leaving the area until at least” date to base any other plans on, which is good. I’m sending out resumes again, following a brief “what the heck am I doing with myself” period where I wasn’t. So, yeah, thinking positively.

Doing some digging around for information for a friend of mine, I found out my college alma mater is going to be listed in the US News and World Reports 2007 best schools, so that’s cool. Nice to know it’s getting some recognition, considering how often I have to explain it to people. “Yes, it’s off campus. No, it’s not a correspondence course. Yes, it IS accredited. Yes, you DO design your own coursework. It’s based off a Socratic pedagogy. No, I’m NOT making this up.” Grargh. It’s the sort of program that I think would be a lot more popular if a) more people knew about it, and b) if there was an easy way to actually explain the program to people. Once you do it even once, you say “Oh, neat, now I get it!” but until then, you just have to “trust the process” as they say, and that’s not exactly an easy way to get people to enroll and spend money with your school.

Christmas is in two days. This doesn’t mean much to me, other than it might be hard finding a place to eat lunch (I think the plan is chinese buffet). I’m really hoping 2007 turns out to be an amazing year for everyone (myself included). The past few years really kicked my ass, and I’m hoping this is the year I make a comeback. Methinks sometime between now and New Years, I should actually make some (clear, measurable) goals/resolutions for myself for the coming year, and post them. Helps keep you honest when there are others out there who can pipe up and say “Hey, wait a minute, what about your goals?”

Oh, and one of the bright sides of not celebrating Christmas is that I don’t have any buying moratoriums. On that note, I picked up volume 1 of Animaniacs the other day. It’s been a few years since I last saw them, and I must say: really quality stuff, totally a worthwhile purchase.

More Links

No, I’m not trying to turn into a linkblog. There’s just been some interesting things out and about lately, and thought I’d share.

Setting Your Night Photography Goals

I found this blog through my father, and have been enjoying the photography and writing he posts. While he’s primarily focused on the topic of night photography (as fits the topic of the blog, and a subject near my own heart), what he talks about with keeping yourself motivated and on track by setting yourself good, clear, reasonable goals is really worthwhile no matter what sort of creative work you’re endeavoring to do.