Archive for Observations

Moh-Jiy-Toes

Lately I’ve been trying Mojitos. I say trying, because I’m learning that they are the Klimpaloon of the mixed drinks. Perfection is impossible, and anyone that’s told you they’ve seen a perfect one is a cartoon character. It’s not a perfect metaphor. I’m getting better at them. The trick is less rum than you’d think, more sugar than you’d think, and muddle everything.

Spring is almost done cooking, and the roasted heat of summer is starting to show. As of press time, I have two fans blowing on me to keep me cool. Albeit, I am a bit of a slavering meat beast with many sweat creases, but it is getting warmer out. I’m considering turning on the air conditioner, but am worried that in runs on pure green money. Sadly, I only have currency in the form of cardboard boxes and vague whispers of future favors.

It’s easy for me to give in to sloth this time of year. Looking for jobs has becomes more and more demoralizing the more I keep looking. I can see opening just outside of my driving radius. Well, not just outside, I’m not commuting to the Miles City every day. I’m considering Roundup. Add to that the time vacuum that is the Comedy Bang Bang podcast backlog, and watch my brain goo coagulate.

In fact, I have it on right now. I’m slowing down, and I can feel my brain

Community Update Written Radio

There was no post last week. Because, there was no last week. The calender went straight from the 24th to the 1st. If you think thought that there was a week there, then you were the one they were trying to trick. They know that you were fooled. And we are all laughing at you behind your back. Welcome. to GiTH.

But seriously, I got nothing. Other than trying to stave off Marc Maron levels of depression and self-judgment. Though, I did help out at a Women’s shelter last Saturday. I did it for my body weight in barbecue and sushi, but still.

Garage sale didn’t work out. I got everything from the house packed up and in the garage, then I realized that things you want to sell need prices on them. And when Emily left town, so too did all my motivation. We’ll see if I can get back on track. Though, knowing me it will take a while. Garage sales

Hmm, what else… I got that Dark Souls game at one of those charity video game sales. You know, the one famous in nerd circles for being impossibly, infuriatingly difficult? So, I basically paid five dollars to be frustrated for a week before giving up. It’s rather profound, like a metaphor for good intentions.

More of the same. Sometimes, I guess everything old is just still old.

Sail

Let it never be said I don’t give the people what they want. And I know what they want: me talking about my upcoming garage sale.

This weekend I have one coming up. Going to try and trap me that memorial day weekend money. Totally planned it that way. On purpose.

But that means I have to finish what I started when I moved in, and pack up the rest of the rooms downstairs. I started today. Oh man. The dust and the smell of old cat pee are stifling. And why was there so much fabric? Just loose fabric. Did Nana intend to sew it later? Into what? She never sewed. She just had six trash bags worth of fabric on the off chance something needed poinsettia print fabric sewn into it.

That’s what I have to root through for this garage sale. So, if you’re not doing anything this weekend (and why would you be, it’s only memorial day), come on by and see if there are any old clothes, candle holders, or Christmas decorations you absolutely have to have.

Cheers

Some days you get it right. Turns out that today, “right” meant having friends over, getting Chipotle, playing video games, and drinking Jagermeister out on the deck. Also, Captain Morgan Tattoo was in there somewhere.

I’m still new to this whole drinking thing. I stayed away from it during college, because no one seemed to do it in a way that wasn’t stupid, and I didn’t want to get sucked into that wormhole. I stayed away from it in grad school because it was a habit by then, and well, who had the time. Now that I own a home, though, and all the problem drinkers are now far, far away in bad decision land, I can comfortably give it a go.

It’s actually pretty empowering. I spent a lot of emotional energy over the years either afraid of the stuff or trying to compensate for the void tee-totaling leaves in adult social interaction. Drinking, and doing it responsibly, is a middle finger to every bro/drunk I’ve ever met, and has the added benefit of making it easier to blend in a crowd.

You should have heard Dan squeal when I told him I’d started drinking. Like, actually squeal, like a piglet in a room full of theremins.

Here are my rules for responsible drinking for adults. First, don’t drink and drive, dummy. To me, that means no driving after any drinking. Second, don’t drink to get drunk. Alcohol is not a coping skill, and using it that way is a highway to bad decision town. Third, no beer. I already don’t move enough. Add beer to that, and I’ll be shocking internet photo fat in no time.

Fourth, rum. That is all.

Nostalgia Ranting

I was a morning person when I was a young, young kid. I couldn’t have been older that five; I remember still living in Texas, which I moved away from when I was seven or eight. I had a Sega genesis back then. I used to wake up early, before my dad had to go to work. I would play Sonic the Hedgehog, and generally do pretty well, except for one or two that were too tricky for my tiny mind. I would try, get frustrated, and would hand the controller off to him. I would eat a bowl of cereal and watch in awe as he effortlessly glided through the spike traps and the bosses, and handed the controller back to me before heading off to work.

It’s what sports must be like for cool people. Where some people played catch or football with their old man, I played a Sega. Where some people got dunked on and outrun, I had my high scores unceremoniously destroyed.

There’s something fatalistic about it. I like video games because I liked them yesterday, and I liked them yesterday because I liked them the day before. I think that’s why most people like most of their hobbies; they can be traced back to something their dad got them started on.

I bring this up because yesterday I was introduced to the concept of speedruns. The games that took up entire seasons of my childhood, completed with mechanical precision by people who more or less do it for a living. It’s strange to see the most nostalgic parts of my life distilled like that. I feel a weird mixture of jealousy and pity, the same feeling I get when I watch “pro” video game competitions. The fact that you’re that good at this and the fact that I admire it are why we are always going to be on the bottom rung of the social totem pole.

If I say it judgmentally, it it mostly in judgment of myself. Well, that and me not being an idiot and knowing what society expects from a full-grown man. Pro-tip: A career in video games will not land you on the cover of Esquire. Or Forbes. Maybe Rolling Stone.

But that’s all right. It just means we were destined for what we got from the start, the second our collective dads popped in Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Green Season

I’ve started fixing up the outside of the house. At least, the green things around the house. This is somewhat worrying, as most green things I own die instantly. I can’t even keep salad in my fridge. The second I put it the crisper drawer, it starts screaming and catches on fire.

I spent most of the day clearing out dead leaves and worrying about how much I will still have to do after that. See once upon a time, my grandma had flower gardens, ferns, bushes, shrubs, and lilacs, all perfectly managed in rows and allotments. Now, as it happens, I have all those things but with a bunch of weeds and dead grass on top.

A bit much for a guy who’s never cared for anything bigger than an office plant.

And the pool. That was a problem for years, back when nana was still around. It kept leaking, she said, and became too expensive to keep filling up. So she put a tarp over and left it for later; a philosophy I can generally get behind. In the intervening time, however, the tarp tore and the water left in the pool became black and, well, alive. I can see foul, lovecraftian things moving in that pool. I would try and get rid of them, but they’re probably so advanced by now they’d just rise to make war on the surface world.

I’m going to try to have a garage sale in a couple weeks. Which means braving the cat pee basement again. If I don’t write next week, it will be because I have died from the pee fumes. If that is the case, do not mourn for me. Just burn down this house like a funeral pyre; it’s safer that way. Preferably with as many ceremonial cats on top as you can find.

Also: reading.

Oops-es and Updates

First of all, I owe the guys an apology. Last week I blamed them for my stuff, and they rightly took offense. I meant it to be a joke, sort of a “ha-ha, I’m blaming you for my actions” kind of thing, but it just came out dickish. For that I am sorry.

I may not have much of a sense of humor these days. Not that it excuses being a dick.

But things are looking up. I had a job interview last week. Tumbleweed, which is the kind of job I should have been looking for in the first place. So, fingers crossed.

 

An Old Letter

While I was cleaning out my grandma’s house, I found an old letter from my grandpa, addressed to me. I only have two memories of the man. The first memory was him taking me out to Applebee’s for ice cream. The second was of the day he died, though he wasn’t really there for that one. After reading this letter, I wish I had known him better. It reads:

January 10, 1990

Letters to my unborn grandson

Dear __________ ,

          I don’t know your name because your mother, my daughter, and your father can’t agree on a name for you. I suggested several, but kids never follow a parent’s suggestion. Maybe you ought to make a note of that profundity for future reference, which brings me to the point of these and other letters which are to follow. Anyone who has reached my advanced age wants to insure that his progeny (look it up) doesn’t make the same mistakes that he made, as he at least makes an attempt to allow the possibility that his grandson will have a chance for a better life than he has had. It is not that I had a bad life by any means, but we always want something better for our kids and their kids. Beside that, I think it is a good idea to tell you something of the way your predecessors lived. That way you may better appreciate whatever advantages may come your way. Also, I might not be around when you reach the age of understanding.

          In my short life I have seen an enormous growth of technology. Some of these are talking movies, technicolor, T.V., radar, dirigibles, which I used to see fairly often as a small child in Dallas, jet planes, rockets, nuclear power, and a myriad of wonders in the areas of chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, medicine, and so on too numerous to mention and most of which I don’t understand anyway.

         I have lived through three major wars and never served in any of them. I was too young for World War II (look it up, it was in all the papers); Korea came along when I was old enough, but three of the armed forces didn’t want guys with flat feet. Incidentally, if you have flat feet, you get them from me. All of the males from my mother’s side have, or had, flat feet. I used to fret about not having been in the service, but I have since come to the conclusion that it was a blessing in disguise. I don’t think that you will ever be called upon to serve, much less actually see combat. Events in the last six months have pretty much excluded the threat of any major conflicts in the United States.

The letter ends there. He probably intended to write more. Whether there are more letters hiding in that old house or not, I don’t know. I hope there are.

-Austin

‘Till We Meet Again

Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth for a couple weeks. Dan did it, then Clark did it, then I got infected by it. It’s no excuse, but it’s what I got.

To be fair, it’s been a rough couple weeks. Between the pity party I’ve been throwing myself and the moving into what was once my grandma’s house, I’ve been running on an emotional empty. A few friends have been helping me move stuff, though. It’s always powerful to see who comes through in a pinch.

My grandma is fading fast. Last time I saw her she tried to talk, but words wouldn’t come out. She still figured out how to say “I love you.”

While I was cleaning I found a gift she left for me. It was a necklace, with two pieces. A cross and a dog tag with the serenity prayer on it. on the back of the dog tag it reads: “Love you always. Till we meet again -Nana.” That was rough. It was also beautiful.

I don’t know if we will. Meet again, I mean. I don’t think I believe in that any more. But she believes in it. Maybe she can hope for the both of us. Maybe that’s enough.

-Austin

Some Kind of Medicine

It’s been two weeks since I left my job, and it still stings. Fiercely, if I’m being honest. Most of my time and mental energy is spent staving off the unhealthy. This is on top of my grandma’s failing health, car trouble, money trouble, and who knows what else. Understandably, I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But let it never be said I can’t take my own medicine. I’ve worked with people who were in situations as crappy as the one I’m in now. Crappier, even. I have a new appreciation for what they went through.

There’s something I used to tell my clients who were down, out, and unemployed. Coming back from something big isn’t something that happens. It’s something you do. It’s a habit you create. Right now, the dark thoughts and the listlessness, those are the things I have to fight. Not letting them get a foothold is a habit I’ve used before, and will use again. It’s a bigger job than I thought it would be.

That said, I’m taking a couple weeks, before I start looking for work again. I think I’ve earned that much simplicity. It might be hypocritical, it might be spot-on. I’m not sure.

I’m trying to stay busy, at least in spurts. Dan and I have big things coming out this week. In fact, there are going to be a few announcements this week explaining that better. And it’s going to be something We’re very proud of.

So there’s a silver lining at least. Stay tuned.

-Austin