I write for the wrong reasons. I write because I like the tactile feeling of keys depressing beneath my fingers as they dance across the keyboard writing contrarian nonsense. I write because my brain begins to overflow with rushing, buzzing thoughts that won’t go outside and play except through the timely thrust of lettered buttons pushing back against the tips of my digits. I write because no one wants to podcast with me, spar and commiserate with me over the myriad problems facing the United States and its dysfunctional form of democracy (plus I hate the sound of my own voice). I write because it functions as low-level creativity and seems to at least temporarily satiate my yearning to share a bit of my ghost with someone else, assuming, of course, I don’t simply delete what my keyboard cages.
“When you’re not blogging, where do you go and what do you do?” asked no one, ever. So I’ll tell you. I’m usually consuming media. That includes watching American TV shows, listening to podcasts, or even music on Spotify. I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m a very happy MLB @ Bat audio subscriber, so I try to listen to at least part of one baseball game every morning when I roll out of bed.
I suppose that doesn’t actually answer the first part of the imaginary question, but contrary to popular school myth, I do get out and about quite frequently. I often walk to nearby (within 2 miles) grocery stores at least 3 times per week. On weekends, when the weather is nice, I try to walk a little further, visiting a shopping mall I like or a sporting goods store to peruse their selection of sports socks (with wicking action) to combat my sweaty foot problem (TMI?).
Occasionally I’ll take the metro downtown, but due to the invariably large crowds found on the walking street, I tend to avoid that area for the most part. I’d rather focus on the overwhelming insignificance I feel while sauntering between skyscrapers or the cultural and linguistic isolation I choose whenever I walk among the ancient parks dwellers through surprisingly well-pathed botanical gardens.
It’s also quite unknown that I play various video games on my PS4. I have Monster Hunter World, MLB The Show 18, and GTA V to keep me busy when I’ve got nothing better to do or if I need to escape this world for a while.
I only have about 12 minutes before my work day is over, and I can leave the office here at school. So I thought I would take a few (five or less) minutes to write a quick micro-post about recent developments in my life. There have been few.
One purchase I made on Taobao this week has made me temporarily quite happy has been a new phone case. The first case I bought for my S9+ was just OK. Although it felt good in my hand, I found that it restricted the use of the health sensor on the back of my phone because it had a plastic bar located between the camera and the sensor. In order to measure my blood pressure or to take an accurate heart rate measurement, I needed to remove the case first. With this new Spigen case, such measurements are no trouble whatsoever. In fact, I like this case so much that I ordered another one of the same model only black and bronze instead of dark blue and silver. It’s nice to have options.
I’m not a fanboy of any particular company or operating system, but I’m super critical of headlines that are clearly in service of fanboyism. Here is a prime example of the lameness I’m referring to:
Come on. This is hyperbole at best, and rubbish click-bate at worst. The phones that are iPhone’s strongest competition are not copying Apple in any meaningful way. Samsung and Google’s phones are ahead of the iPhone and IOS in many ways, and consumers know it. That’s why iPhone’s market share is flat while Google and Samsung’s are increasing. Both the Pixel2 XL and Galaxy S9+ can boast of better cameras than the iPhone X has. THAT is a headline. The fact that an Asus (yes, Asus makes phones) has copied Apple’s ridiculous screen notch is NOT worthy of a blog post.
The fact that other phone manufacturers also have face-unlock is NOT an example of copying Apple. iPhone was not the first phone with face-unlock. Apple copied Samsung. Who was first with face-based emoji? Google’s Allo messenger began turning selfies into emoji’s first. As for the “vanishing headphone jack” (which pisses off most new phone buyers to no end), Samsung, Apple’s biggest rival, is NOT copying Apple’s terrible decision to replace excellent, proven analog tech with sketchy, low-quality Bluetooth audio and dongle-life. Apple copied Android phone makers by making phones with larger screens. Toshiba was first with the fingerprint to unlock technology, also used by Motorola in 2011, which Apple copied on the iPhone 5 more than a year later. Apple also copied Samsung by using AMOLED screens (which they buy from Samsung).
Do you know who is embarrassing themselves? Journalists who write ridiculous non-stories to pump up Apple products and services when competing products and services are obviously more advanced, superior, and less expensive.
After careful consideration, and after having read reports that all new Twitter sign-ups require registration of a phone number, decided to bite the bullet and hand over my Google Voice phone number to Twitter for the sole purpose of using that social network to promote this blog. There’s nothing social about it, I assure you. But because I have so few followers on Twitter these days, I don’t think it will make a difference one way or the other.
As for the other big American social networking behemoth, I’m referring of course to Facebook, not LinkedIn, I’m currently weighing the pros and cons of cross-posting links to my WordPress posts there. However, to my mind, the negatives of linking this very personal blog with my real name and very impersonal Facebook “friends” far outweigh the positives and probably isn’t the best idea for someone who prefers to remain a ghost, unknown, so nobody can touch me now. I prefer to remain a ghost or a shadow on Facebook at least. I don’t want random former school chums or co-workers creeping into the comments or worse yet, secretly stalking me in the attempt to discover how I take my coffee (cream and 2 sugars) or where I shop (Uniqlo). So, a ghost I remain.
Used to be that for me, blogging came fairly easy. I’d just sit down and one of my computers and bang away at the keyboard until enough words had appeared upon the screen that I could click post without batting an eye. But nowadays, it seems I’ve become too serious about my blog posts, too nervously reserved about my choice of topics and words, self-censoring and redacting to the point of silence.
I haven’t yet regained that old elation the freedom of unleashing my thoughts onto the world used to release within me. I haven’t yet broken completely free from the curse of she who shall not be named. Although I feel like I’ve excised that cancer, one never knows when it might once more rear its evil head and fuck up one’s life all over again. But I’m working on it and getting better every day.
I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been unable to find the right words to accurately express my thoughts and feelings. Why is that? I’m sure that my new role as a literature teacher, has a great deal of influence on me. I spend a good deal of time explaining to my students that they must consider several things when writing, including their audience, the organization, and structure of their writing. When I take my own medicine, I find I hold back, censoring myself here instead of just letting the words fly.
My students know that each of their writings should have a thesis supported by paragraphs with their own main ideas and supporting information. I find when I blog, that I don’t like to follow this rule myself. I’d rather ramble on and on, following my stream of conscious awareness of my mind’s contents at that moment without forcing myself to hover over the keys while I consider the proper organization of the paragraphs. And I’ve certainly never been known to structure the information contained in my blog posts in any order of importance; no upside down pyramids here.
Which brings us to the main idea of this blog post. At the risk of oversimplification, I’d just like to point out that my life is really good. Actually, my life is great! I’ve landed on my feet with a new job in a great new city. With a lot of help, I’ve finally recovered emotionally from the train-wreck that was my marriage. I’ve been shown just how happy I can be if I let myself choose it and stop clinging to the anger and destructive regrets that had been dragging me down. Life is good because I’m ready to move on, advance, embrace happiness.
I know I’m burying the lead, but that’s just the way I roll. Life is good because I’m ready to move forward with a new mindset, a new outlook, and a very different perspective than I had before. There’s a whole world out there to explore and experience, and although I was prepared to fly solo, I now realize I don’t have to.
I’m an enemy of President Trump in the sense that I’m one of the many types of people he professes to absolutely loathe (if he new the meaning of that particular word). I’m here to confess that I am indeed a leaky leaking leaker.
I’m like that package of frozen steak you take out of the freezer and set directly on the top shelf of the refrigerator to thaw overnight only to find a large pool of beef juice covering the base of everything on every shelf when you open the fridge door to get half-and-half for your coffee the next morning. Just like the steak, I need to warm up a little before releasing personal information in drips and drabs all over the surface of this here bloggy blog. Eventually, the truth will come out, making a mess and requiring some cleanup.
Unlike those leakers in the government, my information isn’t classified, and won’t land me in prison were I to be discovered. The worst thing that might happen is that more than two humans may read my words, and I think that’s the goal, if I’m being honest (which I almost always am here).
Some people like to drop the cliché “My life is an open book.” but they only leave that book open to the pages containing no sensitive, burn-after-reading content, only the sanitized, safe-for-consumption, nuggets of pyrite, washed clean and polished for all the world to be dazzled by. In contrast, my life is a package of frozen beef.
It’s the 10th day of my new life in Shanghai, China. Although I’ve been to Shanghai a few times, everything here is quite unfamiliar to me; new neighborhood, new people, new school.
Although I haven’t been blogging, I have been writing about my experiences every day. It’s high time I begin transferring some of those daily journal entries over here for others to read.
“When is a good time to blog?” is a question that has been asked me by absolutely no one. But if they (real people, not the voices in my head) were to ask me such a thing, I’d probably respond with, “No one should ever blog for any reason, ever, but if you are serious about disappointing literally tens of people, then I say, ‘Just do it, go for it, write what you know,’ and a few other trite cliches before suggesting you choose a time when no one is likely to bother you, a time after you’ve sipped, chugged, or guzzled multiple cups of a caffeinated beverage and have an idea in your head about which you want to write. But then you should delete that draft before you post it.