Friday, December 15, 2006

Life is too precious

What do I write about today?

I have no clue. Sometimes, a topic is easily apparent. The words just flow. But today. Foggy morning, Friday morning. Right before Christmas. Not much really happening. I could write about some current events I suppose. Then again, no. I have no desire to become just another current events blogger that nobody reads. (Simply being a blogger that nobody reads is enough for me thank-you!) Current events commentary would be more of a waste of my time than rambling on and on about not having anything to write about. Seriously. My job? No, I have nothing really interesting to write about there either. No complaints about management, no office politics intrigues that would be interesting to write about. Plus, if by some slim chance, someone ever *did* read this, I wouldn’t really want to tick anyone off. So, no work.

Family. Perhaps today will be the day that I write about my family. In the most generic terms of course. I am paranoid about putting to much information out on the Net about my kids. Too many weirdos patrolling the ether looking for something to satisfy their sick cravings. Not willing to hold my kids out for their sick satisfaction. So don’t expect to hear much about them.

They are the purpose in my life however. This may seem somewhat unfortunate for some folks, but in my case it has been a conscious decision. I do feel trapped sometimes, and quite often my mind wanders off to imagine what it would feel like to just drop it all and leave. The specific image is me at the Harley dealership, cash in hand from selling off my responsible adult car. The new cycle is shiny and loud, and the matching helmet has one of those silly spikes on top of it. (You know the ones, the crusty old Kaiser helmets with the single spike sticking up in the middle of it.) Along with about thirty pounds of black leather and silver rivets I am set to escape this dreary existence. My destination used to be Canada, but dismay at their superior attitude towards America bent my thoughts to the southern border. Then again, reading about the widespread and commonplace crime in Mexico causes me to decide that I can deal with disdain better than crime. Canada it is. I have only the cash in hand, and intend to make money at odd jobs along the way. Never staying too long in one place. I want to be anonymous and alone. To sleep in as long as I want in the morning, and stay up all night watching Cheers re-runs if I want. To drop the strict moral code I have chosen for myself, to forget about societal norms and standards and live a completely hedonistic life. When I reach Canada, I will find a small country town where I can eke out a living doing something completely mindless. There I will live out my days simply existing. No goals, no responsibilities, no future, no past.

Then, of course I come back to reality. When I am away from my family, I miss them. Bottom line, they are a part of who I am. To tear that part of me out and discard it along the road to Canada would cause much more damage than my idle daydreams take into account. Being alone sounds like a good idea when I live in a house with five other humans who constantly invade my space, even when I try to escape to that last porcelain refuge of human privacy. In reality, I am not really comfortable being alone. When I find myself alone, I get nervous. My paranoia becomes nearly debilitating. I retreat into reading books and watching TV. I plan activities out in the public space, but more often than not they are abandoned before completion, or are entirely unsatisfying because I have nobody to share with. Apparently, my brain is hard-wired to be a social person, at least with those few I am intimately acquainted with.

So no, abandoning life as I know it is not the answer. A solitary life on the road would prove unbearable sooner than later. And hedonism has not provided quite the enjoyment my imagination pictures, at least in the past. I have previously lived my life in such a way that I had little or no moral barriers to my behavior. Guess what? It was not as much fun as I thought it would be. I was the same insecure and paranoid person as before. The only difference being the associated problems that come from not following any kind of a moral code. Side effects of this lifestyle are much more difficult to deal with than those of my current choice.

My family is what makes me happy. When I see those three kids (The youngest is not yet old enough to play just yet. Give her a year or two…) playing in the back yard and they are not fighting, not yelling or screaming or crying or arguing. My heart swells with happiness and love. They are the most awesome things I have ever done. I can’t for the life of me understand how such intelligent and marvelous beings were brought into existence because of me. Or how they can still look at me with such love after the rotten way I treat them sometimes. Minutes after losing my cool and yelling at them in a way I would never dare to a person at work, they are trying to sit on my lap and cuddle up to me. Their loving and forgiving natures are quite an example for me. One day, I hope to be the man they seem to see in me.

I guarantee that man is not the one in the spiky motorcycle helmet steering his brand new Harley towards Canada. That man does not and will never exist. And he never should.

Life is too precious to waste it on ourselves.

Friday December 15, 2006 - 11:06am (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The nature of Resolutions.

The nature of Resolutions.

I am not talking strictly about New Year’s Resolutions, although they certainly fall into the same category. I am talking about any resolution made by a hopeful and optimistic person wishing to change their life for the better. (Specifically, me. And I suspect, many others, if my observations are correct.)

See, here is how it usually (always) works. I have a great idea! I am going to (fill in the blank) every day from now on! It will help me get my life organized, I will feel more confident and happy, I will have more energy, I will gain experience and practice, I will etc. & etc…

Sound familiar? I am sure most people, at some point in their lives realize that there is something that they could be doing to improve themselves. Except for those whose own gaseous emissions do not carry an odor of course. Those folks are already perfect and have no need for silly resolutions to improve. Of course.

But the rest of us, with all of our silly faults and follies. What do we do when we are suddenly faced with the weakness of some facet of our personality? Why we Resolve To Change! (Hereafter referred to as RTC, in homage to my love for acronyms.) This RTC comes in many forms, but is always an idea to make our lives and our selves better by changing something about our lives or our selves and making the change permanent. Except it never is. Permanent I mean. Examples? Sure!

I take the kids to a park. It is an awesome playground we call the “Choo-Choo Train Park” because of its railroad theme. The kids love it, especially playing tag among its labyrinthine structures. So I start chasing them. Or running from them, depending on who is “It” of course. This goes on for less than five minutes. At which point, I sit down panting for breath and realize that I am seriously having a hard time breathing. My heart is pounding, and I can feel a serious headache coming on to boot as my head begins to pound in concert with my heart. The kids say: “Daddy, you’re It! Come and get us!” I wave a hand weakly, not enough breath to even explain that Daddy is afraid that he is about to collapse to the rubberized walkway and have himself a well deserved heart attack. Wouldn’t want to scare the kids anyways. Wow! I am seriously out of shape! When did this happen? It has been a long time since I could run two miles in under twelve minutes, in fact has been a very long time since I ran at all. I need to get in shape…

See! There it is! That moment of realization. I AM NOT PERFECT! I have a flaw! (OK, so this is not really news, most of all to me.) I need to do something about it! Right away, before my hypochondriacally inspired belief in a pending cardiac event becomes reality. OK, so I need an exercise regimen! A brand-new (recycled) RTC!. Past RTCs have included getting up early each morning to take a walk and going to the gym with a friend after work each day. Both RTCs went well for a week or two. Then, real life interferes and the RTC goes away. My heart, and my dogs groan in disappointment. (The dogs because they no longer get to poop on strange lawns in the pre-dawn darkness.) The RTC was nice while it lasted (Except for the gym thing. That just made my body hurt.) but they are now over. My fitness level came up for a week or two. I found that I had more energy and motivation. I enjoyed life more. Why did the RTC fail? What was the tipping point that sent me back to my couch potato ways? Well, in this case it was a baby who refused to sleep. Getting up five or six times in the course of the night makes it hard to get up in the morning. So when the alarm goes off, I say to myself: “Not this morning. I can’t get up this morning. I need my sleep so that I can be functional at work. I will walk twice as far tomorrow.” The alarm is turned off, and I go back to sleep. This is the death knell for an RTC. The first failure to stick to the new RTC is like the torpedo that finally impacts the hull of the ship just below the waterline. The ship is not instantly destroyed, but begins taking on water and listing slightly.

The next morning, I may have gotten enough sleep, but I remember how much trouble it is to get up, get dressed, find my shoes (why do the kids have to carry them all over the house?) find the leashes for the dogs (ditto on the kids carrying stuff question here.) dig up a couple of used grocery bags to contain the inevitable poop deposits on that very desirable strange lawn, then go out the door. Or, I could roll over and get another half hour of sleep. Hmm… in my half conscious state, the decision is deliciously easy.

So dies another RTC. The ship fills with water and capsizes. There may be a valiant last battle to save it. I might even go walking a few more times. But each time I am reminded of what a pain it is, and how nice it would be to just stay in bed. Nonetheless, the RTC is dead. As a doornail, to borrow an old cliché.

So here is one of those last death spasms. My RTC to pound out a thousand words a day and post to my blog is listing hard, the sump pumps unable to keep up with the rushing water. The holiday season impacts like another torpedo, and the hull begins to crumple under the pressure. Will the sailors be able to right the ship in time? Can they beach her before she capsizes?

Is it really possible to change one’s life for the better? Or is it all we can do to not regress and drift backwards?

I’ll think about it the next time I go for my morning walk…

Thursday December 14, 2006 - 10:08am (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Monday, December 4, 2006

Waiting for computers... part II

Waiting for computers... part II

Actually, this would be part three, but the second version never got posted. The computer I was waiting for finished before I finished typing the post, and so I never posted it. Too bad, I seem to remember that it was rather amusing.

Anyway, here I am again, waiting for files to copy. (48 minutes remaining.) If I keep this up, writing a little blurb every time I find my existence all wrapped up in a slow moving computer, I may become the most prolific writer in the universe. Of course, the lure of Solitaire or Luxor is strong, and many times cancels out my motivation to do something constructive rather than simply sitting there like a lump staring at the screen. But I am accomplishing nothing rambling on like this. NaNoWriMo is over, I no longer get credit for incoherent rambling. It is time to write something worth reading. How about poetry? Nah, I have lost my taste for poetry writing, for the most part. That was a part of my life when I was a tortured soul, and I needed a vent for the pain. (sob....) Life is now much better, and I spend much less time feeling sorry for myself. I guess not all poetry is about pity parties and heartbreak, but I just don't seem to be in the mood right now.

I guess I could choose to get out my NaNo novel, and finish it up and get some polished slapped on it. But then again, maybe not. I think it needs to sit for a while, and ripen. I don't really want to do anything with it right now. It is still too raw, and the whole thirty days of writing immersion is just still to recent. Let my scars heal for a while, let the story solidify itself in my head somewhat, and then I can go back and tear it apart and fix it up a little.

(70 minutes remaining? Just goes to show how much faith you can put in those stupid little countdown timers.)

Why would I just continue to ramble like this? Shouldn't I be writing something entertaining? Nah, no worries. What I am doing now is little more than the time wasting that I would be doing if I was playing Solitaire right now. At least my typing skills are getting a workout, and my writing skills are... well not really working out but at least not becoming atrophied. The very effort of forming complete sentences must have at least a minimal amount of beneficial effect on my actual writing skills, right? And the bottom line is, that in order to become a better writer, I really do need to write often. Whatever I write, I am excercising that skill, and will gain something, if only the avoidance of reverse progress.

(Wow, that last sentence almost hurt. I really must find something more substantial to write about. Plus, I just did a word count, and I am only at about five hundred words. Ouch!)

Ace was an aging space pilot with a problem. His new commander has it in for him, and he is not really inclined to make nice and try to gain his favor. He has been flying in the Confederated Space Forces for too long to worry about the opinion of an arrogant young officer. Finally, Ace disobeys orders to save his squadron, and while he is hailed by the troops as a hero, the commander finally has his excuse to force Ace to retire. Discouraged, Ace finds a job as a public transport pilot, where he runs into Nochonis and The Tinker. Nochonis is the proprieter of the largest space craft graveyard in the galaxy, on the desert moon Rocu-Su. The Tinker is a technological idiot savant with a talent for manipulating warp and gravitational fields in unorthodox ways. When Ace learns that his old commnader has turned traitor and helped the seven headed dictator of the Emdee sector slaughter his old squadron, Ace vows revenge. Together with The Tinker, he rebuilds an old mining tug into a fearsome space fighter, and enters the Great Galactic Race as a cover for his mission of veangeance. Together, they overcome insurmountable odds as they find that winning the race may be even more important than exacting revenge, but they may be able to accomplish both!

OK, not 1000 words. So sue me…

Monday December 4, 2006 - 12:26pm (EST)© 2006 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved