Saturday, June 08, 2013

This is turning into a monthly thing.  I don't watch television as much as most people.  I have my computer, I have my hobbies.  Television isn't interactive enough, I guess.  Too much idle time and I end up feeling guilty about not doing something else. 

Anyway, my eyes are always bigger than my proverbial stomach.  I record stuff that I'm interested in, but I never seem to have time to watch it all.  The DVR gets full and I have to watch it or stuff gets deleted.  I'm not one of those guys who can sit and watch tv all day.  I'm still burned out from watching two seasons of Game of Thrones a couple months ago.  Let's not talk about how many episodes I'm behind in that.

So, for the next few days, I'll be all about the DVR, trying to get to it to stop screaming in pain every time I change channels.  Then I'll be burned out on it again and go back to reading and writing.

- Jim

Monday, June 03, 2013

This is all old news, but permit me to indulge myself in my past for a moment.  It's not a pretty picture, but it needs to be said.

After the oft-mentioned "Month of Hell" in May of 2006, there was a year where things went mostly downhill.  It took a long time for the factory I worked for to admit that I was injured and meanwhile they forced me to work around it.  Not quite through the injury, but close enough that the injury got worse.  The surgeon who eventually saw me was surprised the damage was as bad as it was even after she got the x-rays and MRI results.  Meanwhile, as I was in both the fog of pain and painkillers, my Mom was steadily getting worse.  I tried several times to pick myself up during that year, but reality was what it was.  It just wasn't time.

Shortly after my Mom died in 2007, I lost my job.  The factory I worked for was tired of the injury and found an opening they could exploit for all it was worth.  At the height of the recession, no one wanted to take a chance on a guy learning new skills.  I was cocky about the whole thing too - I may not have had a lot of experience, but I could do everything I applied for and figured it'd be pretty easy to get a job.  I spent more than a year being cocky, never doing more than play video games because I figured I'd go back to work any day.

Well, as you know, that day never came.  Still, between the Month of Hell, the following year, and then the stagnation of the year after that, I let a lot of things slide.  The few years since have been a mishmash of periods where I tried to catch up with life followed by periods when I shut life off.  The pile of to-do stuff was just too big to handle and I eventually would just quit and play video games or something.

I'd like to say now is different, and it both is, and isn't.  On the one hand, this is probably the longest sustained effort I've made to "catch up".  I'll be honest here, depending on how you look at it, it's impossible.  I could live forever and always find stuff to do.  And therefore, my reading list will always be several years long.  My video game list will be similar.  But there are other projects that just bug me because they shouldn't be as behind as they are.  Magazines, for example. Writing.  At this point it's probably safe to say that I could live forever and never run out of writing ideas.  But at this point it's just as likely, given my track record, of never finishing any of them anyway.  Life too often gets in the way and I lose the train of thoughts rushing toward a literary conclusion. 

And so here I am.  The most I can say is that I'm trying harder.  I hope I succeed.  I don't think I've given any hope of doing so, but this has been the best effort I've put forth on it all.  Don't expect me to be done with anything by tomorrow, but the last couple months have seen progress.

There is one more point I want to make - progress is a double-edged sword.  I am notorious for underestimating the time and effort needed to complete a project.  It doesn't matter what it is - writing a book, making an RPG adventure, reading a magazine, or doing a virus scan on my computer.  It simply does not matter.  Oh, I can put a hard drive in a computer, but it'll take twice as long as I thought it would.  In that particular case, it was because I cleaned the computer case, moved some wires, and had to hunt down my regular screwdrivers because my power driver was dead.  Damn thing.

Anyway, there you go.  I'm still mostly working on the pile of magazines that keep calling me.  I am working on other projects, but the magazines are where I spend the bulk of my current time.

- Jim