All posts filed under: Journals

Retreat

~ The Morning Muse #12 ~ Note: This was supposed to be posted a few months ago (mid-October to be exact), but for some unknown reason I let it sit longer than intended. And come to think of it, yesterday’s Resolution: Regain and Retain Attention is a great companion piece to this one, actually. As life and the world become increasingly disappointing, an increasingly cynical fella who once was brimming with optimism for the future now wants to retreat and self-indulge even more than he normally does into books and writing and music — Read|Write|Rock. The key word is retreat, though, not escape. It’s more like a strategic mental regrouping of oneself amid the unending battle in the war that is, arguably, the social (and political) decline. As I immerse myself in books, my goal is to attain a better perspective on human psychology, the ever-perplexing human condition and the ways of the world. As I engage in writing, the goal is to not only to unleash the never-ending flow of ideas and stories that …

Resolution: Regain and Retain Attention

~ Lifebook #19 ~ Like many, I consume a lot of media. Be it social media, websites, research, daily & weekly podcasts, television, music, books and comic books — altogether it’s too much. Something’s got to give because I need my own damn attention back. I need my focus. I need to make a change, like pronto. Of course it won’t be books and certainly not music that I eliminate. However, I’ve already cut back on my weekly/monthly comic book/graphic novel reading. Over the recent years my television consumption has increased quite a bit because we are in a new golden age of television after all (although I’m still under the national average, at only 2-3 hours per day). Yet, still it’s too much. I could probably cut back on a few podcasts, but really those lovely things get me through my workday while I do very repetitive and monotonous work at the Day Job. That means the obvious place to make a drastic change in consumption (read: time suckage) is in social media and, …

2018: What Will Be, Will Be

~ Lifebook #18 ~ So I exited 2017/entered 2018 in a rather foul mood and before turning in for the evening (which was not long after midnight because apparently I’m an old man), I wrote this rather sour New Year’s Resolution. Usually I go into a New Year with a positive outlook and attitude. I go in with a plan and mindset to do new things, better things and simply be better at everyday life. Well, this year I’m not doing that. For 2018 I’m going into it with a negative attitude for once. I’m embracing a certain realistic cynicism where usually there’s an idealistic optimism. In its place is a fatalistic realism? I’m done trying to make things be what they should be — or what I believe they should be. I’m done trying to make things right that don’t want to be right. The one exception might be my heath. I’ll do what I can (as a diabetic) to make that better, I suppose. But everything else? What will be, will be. Or …

Words and Concepts for the Year

~ The Morning Muse #11 ~ HEALTHIER Some things have to change for a better state of living for me, personally, as well as for my family. That can best be achieved starting with nutrition and diet. I need a low-carb diet (and really, lowered calories as well). It’s very hard to stay on this course when the people you live with–these enablers!–refuse to either get with the program or stick with it when we embrace it.  I may have to simply lone-wolf it myself. That’s so much easier said than done, of course. Hey, I’ve jogged a couple times in the last few weeks. And I didn’t die. CONSOLIDATE That concept has been on my mind quite a bit this past week. Given how scattered I tend to be mentally/creatively/productively, I think that has to be a condition of great concern and goal. Also: EFFICIENCY Yeah, that’s really important and goes along well with consolidation. You could probably add PRODUCTIVITY to that, but that’s a given (can’t achieve efficiency if you’re not even productive). And naturally, those two …

In Full Swing in Spring (it seems)

~ Lifebook #17 ~ Spring always brings turbulent weather and this year’s season of renewal has been no exception. A monsoon season in both April and May? C’mon, now, that’s going a bit overboard. May is usually my favorite month of the year because of a few reasons, such as it being a period of time (usually) beyond extreme weather, a time of moderate temperatures (usually), the flowers are in full bloom and the NBA Playoffs are happening. It’s arguable that May, along with October, is the most beautiful month of the year. I do like beautiful things. This Spring brings things that seem to represent my getting back into the swing of things. To wit: Started a new job recently, effectively returning me to the mortgage business. The new position comes with my highest salary yet. That’s kind of the idea as you progress through your working life, whether transitioning to a new industry or remaining in the same one. It’s rare that your cost of living decreases over time in this society, so continued growth …

Brother, Can You Spare Some Prose?

~ Notebook #11 ~ When you’re looking to reincorporate lean muscle to your prose and you turn to the maestros of the minimalist, clean, no frills, straight-to-the-point (and straight-to-the-heart) narrative technique. I have a tendency in daily speech and writing to use a lot of complex sentences (and parenthetical asides) and when I’m not mindful of it, I tend to let that creep into my prose, especially when I’ve not been writing fiction narratives for a good while (an obvious drawback to mostly writing in a nonfiction capacity daily for so many years now). I’ve been reading both Elmore Leonard and Bob Thurber since the late 90s (starting with Thurber at an online workshop just prior to his entering award-winning publishing success). Both of these authors cite Ernest Hemingway as a major influence on them. Only makes sense that I finally dig deeper into the guy at the top of this literary family tree I’ve adopted, so I hit up my local public library for Mr. Hemingway’s collection, and since I don’t (for some odd reason) …

A Perfect Date

~ Daybook #10 ~ The wife and I had a rare night out sans children last night and what we had to show for it was a nice Mexican dinner (with dessert — fried ice cream) at a place we’d never been to before, and the other thing we had to show for our evening was an armful of books because as bookworms our evening consisted of trips to two different bookstores, Half-Price Books and Barnes and Noble. A total of seven books — 3 books for her and 4 for me. Though we definitely should, it might be a good thing that we don’t procure books more often from the bargain bin/clearance and half-price stock, otherwise we’d have fare more than we have space to accommodate. Amid the bargain finds I also finally nabbed Normal, the new novella by my main man Warren Ellis that was originally serialized in 4 parts digitally last summer/autumn. At any rate, according to my better half, this was the perfect kind of date, dinner and books. I owe her …

In Lieu of Flowers on Valentine’s Day

~ Lifebook #16 ~ Some guys go for the flowers and chocolates. Me, I get my wife, who is an avid reader, books on the major holidays. The reasons are obvious, but also because they last longer than candy and flowers. Healthier too. The permanence of books can represent the longevity and permanence of a relationship. Remember that, fellas. And you’re welcome 🙂 P.S. Of course you later follow it up with a nice dinner out and some fun and games at Dave and Busters 😉

Bibliophilic Bookworm

~ Notebook #10 ~ bibliophile – a person who loves or collects books. bookworm – a person devoted to reading or studying. Guilty as charged. When you can swoon at the olfactory interaction of books–burying your nose in them to inhale their great scent–then you (I) might have a book-loving problem. I can’t get enough of them. I also can’t read them fast enough. I’m a bit of a collector–not quite a hoarder, but I do: 1 — prefer to have things in a physical, tactile form, and 2 – physically keep the things I like. I’m that person who would, if he could (and maybe someday) line a room in his home with nothing but bookshelves filled end-to-end with books, a collection of mostly yet-to-read books. Nothing represents potential quite like an unread book (just like an unfilled, blank page). And of course this all naturally extends to what I like to call my Comic Book Fetish as well. Speaking of comics, I saw this the other day (ignore the 2015 date — there’s no expiration on this kind …

I Nearly Died a Year Ago Today

~ Lifebook #15 ~ Well, not quite (however, June 1st, 2013 was a different story), but, let’s just say I was lucky to survive this event relatively unscathed a year ago today. So I was involved in a car wreck on my way home around 6:30 PM on February 2nd, 2016. The 2014 Kia Forte EX sedan I’d been riving at the time was rear-ended by an elderly fella who seemed a bit out of it (onset of dementia, I suspect). I was at a stop light, perhaps 4 cars back when BAM! My world was jolted, jostled, rattled, rocked – whatever synonym you want to use. I was unharmed, miraculously, I suppose because he obviously wasn’t going too fast, but unfortunately/fortunately the rear of the car took the brunt of the impact and the collision forced my car into the SUV ahead of me, hardly even damaging it, yet crunching the frontend of my car pretty good. Long ordeal short, my car wound up being totaled (the estimator got up to $10k in damage and knew …