Then and Now

I’m gonna make an effort to feel Christmas this year. Without going into details, the past several years have thrown a lot of stuff at me, Mom, Dad… hell, most folks in the family, as well as many of my friends. It just seems like the past several years have gone out of their way to shit all over everyone. πŸ˜• Whether it’s on Facebook or from what I see and hear during the rare personal appearances that I make with friends and family – life just has this gloomy film all over it, that even the best “fake happy” can’t camouflage.

I’m glad that most folks are better able to get through the gloomy times than I am. I mean, I’m glad for them… heh… that they aren’t like me. 😏 But some of my friends and acquaintances… some of them I really worry about. I’ve watched as a couple friends have essentially become alcoholics, a couple others who frantically cling to awful relationship partners, and some who have just stopped trying over the past couple of years. πŸ™ Facebook is great for introverts like me, who don’t regularly “hang out” or whatever, but it sure gives you a window into people’s lives that even they might not realize they’re giving. (Yeah, I know… “… says the guy with the endlessly rambling personal blog.”)

Anyway, my point is that the more “bleh” a person is exposed to, the more difficult it is to be resistant to it. (Obviously)Β I don’t want to completely miss Christmas again this year though, so once I get my medication situation taken care of I’m gonna focus my efforts on that. I don’t think I even put up any decorations last year… I’m not even sure I still have a tree, as strange as that sounds.

It helps that recently I was going through some old family boxes and found a bunch of Christmas decorations and stuff from when I was little. Each significant ornament or decoration has some sort of good memory attached to it, and I need to keep reminding myself that just because things are “how they are” now – I can’t let that stop me from thinking back to all of the better times. Just because me and a lot of other people have countless reasons to feel miserable, it doesn’t mean that we can’t allow ourselves to feel good about the things that are worth feeling good about. πŸ€”πŸ™‚

Granted, this is something that non-screwed-up people already know and do… but right now it just doesn’t come naturally to me, hence the constant reminders to myself. 😏 I’m sure that in the 19 days between my birthday and Christmas there will be plenty of things that will challenge my efforts, so I just hope that they’ll be mild.

I want this Christmas to feel like Christmas.

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Prepared

Cassi sent me a text a couple of days ago to ask if I’d wanna join her for Thanksgiving again this year. First thing that flashed in my head was that it sure didn’t feel like an entire yearΒ could have passed since we made our premiere attempt, throwing together a (surprisingly edible) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in the house there. (With neither of us having any bird cookin’ skillz to speak of.) 😏 We were pretty proud of ourselves.

This year she stepped up her game. 😯 She did her research and the bird was prepped, seasoned, in the oven, and half-way done before I even got there – so she alone gets the cookie when it ended up turning out amazing. πŸ˜ƒ It’s weird how the turkey was almost half the size of last year’s bird, but we somehow ended up with way more “good” meat this year… and it was every bit as good as anything that we used to have at family holidays. I was impressed.

Honestly the only tasks that I had were making the cornbread and then making the gravy, and most of the rest of the time I just tried to stay out of her way. πŸ™‚ Oh, I did the carving too… but even that I can’t take much credit for, as the bird basically fell apart in a way where all of the “good stuff” separated itself from the “ick” in nice big chunks. I didn’t let them know that though. 😁 I mean, I gotta appear useful for something.

I’m glad that I went. And it wasn’t a definite. It’s not easy to leave the bubble and go out for something uncertain, even if I know it’s gonna be at least an okay time. 😐😟 But agreeing to it when she asked “locked it in” so that even if I wasn’t feelin’ it today – that alone would have made it harder for me to cancel. Oh, and Aunt Sharon left a message about our local family’s gathering today – but she left it at 8:00Β am, I didn’t get it until I woke up aroundΒ 1:00Β pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Another example of how my inability to conform to human schedules kinda messed things up. But, while I love my family and love that they still invite me, our family gatherings are just shadows of their former selves these days. 😟

Mixed Emotions

While Genesee was here we were of course talking about all sorts of memories, and we even watched some old home videos that I’ve got uploaded to YouTube in an “unlisted” area. As we watched some of the Atlantic City videos we got to talking about the story behind how I found and got her a key from The Continental motel for Christmas last year, which just so happened to be a key to a room that we actually stayed in – with video proof, as I walked up to and recorded the number on the door (like the nerd that I am) with the camcorder. 😏 It really was amazing…

That then immediately made me remember how I made an awesome, lengthy blog post about it… but then due to certain people reading my blog and giving me shit about the choices I was making in my life – I ended up deleting the entire blog without archiving it. πŸ˜” So unless I find some internet archiving site that managed to capture it, that post (and all the others from that short era) is gone forever. And if you know me, you know that’s not like me at all – just impulsively wiping out a significant chunk of my own history. 😠

That’s what happens though when you’ve got someone who’s words meant everything to you, suddenly and repeatedly getting really fucking shitty about things. πŸ˜’ Rather than leaving my words up here to be picked apart and used against me, I just instinctively made them go away – theorizing that without a detailed view into my life, there’d be less for anyone to be shitty about. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… I still deal with internal mental fallout from that (and other things) every single day. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ In fact, it’s usually the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think about before falling asleep. Good times.

But anyway… speaking of memories… another fun thing to come from going through the old photos was discovering a stack that focused on school parties, birthdays, and holidays with friends when I was little. And thanks to Facebook, I’m still linked to a lot of the friends that were also in those photos – so it was a good time when I scanned and posted a bunch of them. πŸ™‚ My god… the outfits and haircuts are so embarrassing, but everyone was excited to see them and laugh.

That’s one thing that I’m glad of, and one thing that a lot of friends are jealous about… how Mom and Dad documented and saved so, so much stuff from when I was little. 😊 Tons of photos, stacks of old school papers, favorite books, favorite stuffed animals, baby books filled out with all sorts of details about me… it’s just an amazing amount of stuff from my birth onward that I’ve got here – stuff that a lot of people’s parents never bothered doing/saving. I’m lucky to have it all.

Yup

Some days can surprise you and end up being better than tolerable, and then some days you have to literally expect absolutely nothing from yourself if you intend to survive the day. If people can’t understand that, or at least be politely sympathetic towards that struggle, it’s their problem – not yours.

Okay, Maybe That Was A Bit Bleak

It’s utterly miserable outside today… and I’m so glad. 😏 I think I may have explained this before, but when I know that I’m not going to be able to leave the house (for whatever reason) I’d much rather it be gloomy and awful out than sunny and 70 degrees – because the day doesn’t seem nearly as wasted that way.Β  The clouds are so dramatic looking that I considered doing some sort of time-lapse video, but it’s also been raining pretty heavily – and I can’t be arsed to get soaked just to make another time-lapse that looks like half-a-dozen of the other videos that I’ve made over the years.

But I just wanted to come back in here today to make a lighter post, to balance the somewhat heavy feel of the one that I made last night. (ie: even when everything is horrible, everything isn’t horrible.)

Even though this past week has been challenging, I did still complete some more work towards sorting through shit here in the house that can be sold via yard sale or auction or whatever. It’s hard to explain how an excess of inconsequential “stuff” can feel overwhelming at times, but it does. And it’s not just my own stuff that I’ve compiled over the years, but also all of the stuff that was already in this house when I moved in. 😐 But yeah, I filled up another big ol’ U-Haul moving box full of random goods, which felt like (and was) a nice small accomplishment.

Another non-bleh thing from the past few days was that I volunteered to watch the fur babies again for a couple of days while their house was being fogged for silverfish. πŸ™„ It is a πŸ‘πŸ» huge πŸ‘πŸ» friggin‘ πŸ‘πŸ» painΒ inΒ the πŸ‘πŸ» ass –Β getting them here, housing them, and then getting them back home… heh… but as y’all know, I try to help out friends when I can, plus it was nice to see Dad’s kitties again. Lily is really starting to show her age, but she is soooo lovey when she sees me now. 😊 Maybe she knows that I’m responsible for her getting soft food while the others get dry.

And then this year’s county fair came and went this week. I can’t remember if I already mentioned it… but meh… it’s something where I could honestly take it or leave it right now. I know some of my friends went, and I’m sure that there’d be plenty of other people there that I’d know as well – but honestly I just didn’t have the oomph to deal with any of them.Β  That sounds so awful, I know… but introverted people with anxiety issues are like “Dude. I know exactly what you mean.”Β I’m just bringing it up here because it makes the empath in me smile to see many of my normally-unhappy friends making happy posts from the fair on their FB walls and such.

Another One?

If I hadn’t already bought the tickets a couple of months ago, and had to decide yesterday morning if I wanted to go that night, there’s a really good chance I would have stayed home – but as it were, it was off to Dayton for another Skillet concert. 😏 I’m glad to have been there, don’t get me wrong, it’s just another one of those “Man I wish I could just snap my fingers and be there / be home.” deals.

I swear, each time I do whatever “fun” thing I decide to do, it gets more and more difficult – without any real reason that I can tell. 😐 For this concert road trip, I was honestly only “good” for the hour or so that Skillet was on the stage. Before that it was “hurry up, hurry up, hurry up…” and after it was “Ugh, really wanna be home, really wanna be home…” 😬 And that’s on top of feeling like I’m dying today, since I have no chill and can never keep myself from flailing around too much when I go see a band. (And trust me, it doesn’t take much to bring the pain.)

Okay, but other than all of that… heh… the Skillet performance was amazing. Probably the best show that I’ve seen them do, and I bet it’s close to a dozen times that I’ve seen them in person by now. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€˜πŸ» Originally it was gonna be me, Dez, Athena, and Sean… but Sean went back to Canada, Athena changed her mind, so I substituted Cassi on my end and then Dez brought Ashley. πŸ€” Even though that had two of my different worlds bumping up against each other a little more than I’d like, it ended up being a really good time. 😏

EDIT: (Really impressed with the iPhone 7+ audio, that close to the speakers.)

Whatever Gets You Through It

I’m slowly succeeding at pulling myself out of my latest mood. It helps that I’ve got a scheduled appointment with the estate attorney, so that doesn’t have to be one of the bits of noise whirling about inside my head for now. 😟 But now I’ve gotta get my head right for some fun coming up this week… something that was scheduled literally months ago, something that I know will be fun once I’m in the middle of it – but I’m gonna have that same issue that I always have, of being able to gear myself up for it in the preceding days. 😳

Dez was a planned participant when we originally made the plans, but with the way I’ve gone off the grid for the past month or longer, I was worried that when I reminded her about it (on super short notice) that she wouldn’t be able to arrange her schedule, or that she might just not even want to go anymore – but thankfully she was able to make the needed changes, while also letting me know that she’s missed me since I’ve engaged my cloaking device. 😏 It’s nice to know that you are missed when you aren’t sure that you are missed.

So now I’m transitioning into “get ready” mode, which usually involves a certain amount of cleaning up around the house along with things actually related to whatever activity I’m going to be enjoying soon. πŸ€“ I’ll definitely have to clean out my car tonight or tomorrow, and I’m thinking about getting a haircut. πŸ€” Meh… if I can’t get motivated to go into town to do that, I’ve always got one of my dozens of ball caps to fall back on. We’ll see.

But the past couple of days have been spent quietly working with one of the nerd toys that I’ve previously mentioned. I’ve gone back to the 3D simulation of my grandparents’ house, and I’ve been doing tweaks to the model and to the program to give me much better results in the resulting rendered images. Many of the models allow manipulation of the individual components… like, for the cuckoo clock, I’m able to change the textures on nearly all of the faces, allowing me to use a dark wood texture for the clock body, gold metal for the pendulum, and you can also manipulate how shiny the finish is for all the parts, models, walls, floors, etc. πŸ€“ (And that’s not even discussing the ray tracing, the number of bounces allowed for each ray of light, etc… heh… such awesome nerd brain food.)

I’m totally just doing this for my own benefit, to see what I can learn and what I can do, although I’m sure I’ll end up throwing some resulting pictures and/or videos up here in case the world wants to see what I’ve done. Some people might say this is a waste of my time, or that it would be better spent elsewhere, but right now it’s doing wonders to calm my brain and keep me in a good place.