November 19

@SHO_Dexter, I’m quitting #TV, but not until your season is over

Dexter (TV series)
Dexter (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m usually watching TV at this time, but instead I decided to write an entry, and I’ll probably go to bed early – well, early for me, anyway.

I’m quitting TV. Yes, it really is like quitting smoking or maybe even heroin. OK, I went too far there; it’s nothing like quitting heroin, but I’m not taking the smoking remark back. I remember when I quit smoking several years ago. I probably quit more than 20 times, and I only smoked for about 5 years.

I’ve tried to quit TV a bunch of times over the last few years, never successfully. Right now I’m weaning myself off TV. I’m only watching Dexter at the moment. That’s a difficult show to give up. Giving up smoking comes with a lot of benefits and so does giving up TV. I’m not overweight to begin with, but when I stop watching TV, I go from average looking to lean. The idea when giving up TV is to replace it with worthwhile endeavors. There are many people who don’t watch TV, but nothing is gained if they are spending their days and nights playing computer/video games.

I plan on replacing my TV time with writing, a bit of meditation, more house work, better quality time with my kids, time with friends, and more time outdoors. The writing, housework, and meditation come in to play around the later hours when my entire family is asleep. I know more housework sounds like a terrible endeavor, and I don’t really enjoy housework; however, a clean house means that I’m not mentally distracted. It actually helps a lot with my writing.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spending an hour a day watching TV. In fact, I did that yesterday. Ideally, for me, I would like to spend no hours a day watching TV. I watch it as a way to relax and unwind. It doesn’t do a very good job of either, but it’s a great distraction from what’s actually on my mind. I’m at the point where I’m willing to make big changes in my life. This is the time to nix TV and regain hours of my week.

Stay tuned to see how this ends.

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November 17

Does @DCComics know that real #life is better than fiction?

Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent
Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It feels official now. I met with a key member of a local charity yesterday, and I’m now writing for that charity. I’m offering my services mostly to help with their newsletter, but I’ll also help out with the website and probably some communications.

I couldn’t ask for anything more ideal than this. To me, this is the launch of my writing career. The next big milestone is a paying job. I know that’s a lot to ask, but I’ve seen real human beings that actually make a living off of writing. There aren’t many of them, but they do exist. I could be one of those people. By day, I could call my self Clark Kent, and at night . . . well at night I write on here, so the alter ego thing would actually go away. I would write during the day and at night. Sometimes real life is actually better than fiction, but I would love to fly and burn crap with my eyes.

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November 15

#Tomorrow makes me more happy to be alive than @PrincesComedian

Happy Tomatos
Happy tomatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This might be a crazy notion, but I feel that any day I’m alive is a good day. I’ve had many bad days in my life, but they’re still good; I’m still alive.

Today was an average day overall, but it stands out as an exceptionally good day because of the promise of tomorrow. Staying alive means that I get a tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’m starting some volunteer writing jobs, a way to build out a portfolio.

My portfolio is part of my tomorrow, and I’m finally going after exactly what I want in every way.

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November 13

@LeeHirsch and my 5-year-old know that #Bullying is bad

Seeing my 5-year-old on the playground has been an amazing experience for me. Usually, the popular girl is the worst bully in the school. That popular girl bully might not hit, but she will always choose who is good enough and who isn’t. She will make others crumble to her social pressure.

My 5-year-old is an example of how I wish everyone could be. I’ve seen other girls try to exclude her on the playground, but she just grabs their hands, puts a huge smile on her face, and plays with them. Her infectiously happy attitude catches everyone else. Instead of her being out-of-place, all the other girls her age ask for her. They all want to play with her, and when there is a girl that nobody else plays with and nobody else likes, my 5-year-old grabs her hand and makes sure that she gets to play along with everyone else.

It’s such an unusual thing that one parent is telling me that her daughter always talks about how great my 5-year-old is while another parent is telling me how inclusive my 5-year-old is.

Now, if I can just get her to get along with her older sister, it would be a perfect world.

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November 11

I give really biased reviews about #plays my nephew is in because he is the best actor ever. Take that @tomhanks

Warburg [wedding] bridesmaids

I watched Mary’s wedding recently. It was amazing. If you live around the Ottawa area, you need to go see this play. The actors are amazing, and the play is awesome.

All right, in fairness, I have to disclose that my (hugely talented) nephew is in the play.

The entire audience was crying, even the manly men and soulless women. Obviously, I can’t objectively review it, since someone I care about is in the play. Best play ever! Go see it now, now, now!

The play is very fitting of this time of year; it’s a good reminder of what young men and women go through for war.

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November 10

Changing #careers when you have a wife and kids is like juggling flaming swords while on a high wire . . . one wrong move . . .

It was another day at the office today, as cliche as that sounds. I’m having difficulty just finding volunteer writing jobs. I do have some writing experience, and I graduated from university with an English degree, yet I’m somehow still working in a web development job, even though I never studied it. I’m even a better writer than a developer.

It frustrates me sometimes that it is so difficult to get writing work, but I’m pushing forward, and I’m going to keep trying. At this point, I’ll take volunteer, freelance, or whatever. I would even work overnights if I had to. This is the career that I want. I do well at web development, but it takes a little piece of my soul everyday.

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November 6

Retail #Christmas is being pimped already; I expected Santa to pull out his red nosed reindeer and shoot a big load of snow in my face.

Christmas gifts.
Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Christmas, and even though I’m not religious, I still enjoy the feasts, the tree, and spending time with family. I don’t like how Christmas seems to begin the day after Halloween.

Stores, lined wall to wall with Christmas crap, try to get a ton of people to start their Christmas shopping. Christmas is almost a full 8 weeks after Halloween, 55 days. To put this in perspective, Valentine’s day is just over 7 weeks after Christmas, but I’m not hearing about people making their Valentine’s day plans on the 26th of December.

It’s fair to say that Christmas requires more work and planning than Valentine’s day, but do we really have to start shopping for Christmas almost two months ahead of time?

I have kids, and I get them presents for Christmas, so it’s not that I’m altogether against the gift giving side of Christmas, but I don’t rack up a ton of credit card debt purchasing two month in advance. I buy presents in December, usually about 3 weeks before Christmas, and I’m usually done about 2 weeks before Christmas. This gives me plenty of time to wrap presents. I don’t spend so much money that I lose sleep at night, and more and more I’m trying to buy thoughtful gifts that mean something to the person. Yes, my daughter would love a new huge flat screen mounted on her bedroom wall, but I’m getting her an art desk; she’s an artist. She’ll love the art desk. She would be more elated at first by the flat screen, but the art desk encourages her life goal of being an artist – invaluable. The flat screen in her room only teaches her antisocial behavior and laziness. If my daughter looks back at that moment 10 years from now, she won’t remember how awesome it was to have a huge TV in her room 10 years ago. She will remember how her parents always supported her dream of being an artist.

Yeah, I’m going to continue doing Christmas my way. Christmas isn’t a rap video.

November 5

Lust brings 15 minutes of intense joy. #Love brings a lifetime of calm, deeply rooted, happiness.

Kodak Tmax @ 3200
Kodak Tmax @ 3200 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I see so much attraction between people, even though it “should not” be there.

My wife likes a close female friend of ours. That close female friend used to like me, and I used to like to her. There is another woman who I sometimes work with; I have recently developed an intense attraction to her, and at the same time she has developed an intense attraction to me.

These are everyday attractions that most people aren’t even aware of. I think a lot of people guess that someone might like them, and they might like someone but deny it because of a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, or whatever. It’s the man who constantly tries to talk to you, even though he might have nothing to say. It’s the woman who laughs at your terrible jokes, especially when they aren’t funny.

I’m that guy who can see what’s written plainly in front of his face. I don’t hump the beautiful woman who I sometimes work with, grabbing on to her leg like a dog, not because I’m married, not because she’s in a serious relationship, and not because I’m afraid to stain her favorite pair of pants. I don’t engage these attractions because I love the woman I’m with, and she loves me.

Yes, I still want to rip my wife’s clothes off with my teeth, take her from behind, spank her, turn her over, and frost her cupcakes; after all, I’m still a filthy dirty man with filthy dirty man needs. I don’t want to do this with other women. I’m not some gay guy pretending I’m straight, and I’m not super sensitive to the point where I believe that cheating is the end of life itself. In fact, I kind of see it as mostly insignificant, but it’s not something I’ve ever done, and it’s not something I entertain at all.

I love my woman, and I love my life. All things are in a constant state of change, but I want to continue to learn, grow, and age with the woman who I’m crazy in love with. I don’t think marriage is the reason not to have sex with other people. I think love is that reason. This lasting, life long, love is what has kept me from pulling my “money” out of my pants and sticking it into any “roast beef wallet” that has come along.

I have to stop writing now. All of the sudden, I’m hungry for a sandwich with lots of meat and extra mayo.

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November 4

Take a Picture it Lies Longer

Video Camera
Video Camera (Photo credit: pursuethepassion)

I was listening to the radio on my way home from work the other day. I know it’s crazy not to listen to music that I spent hours selecting and illegally downloading off the internet, but sometimes I like to listen to news or talk. On this station, they were discussing the idea of documenting every aspect of a life. People spend all sorts of time photographing and taking videos of their lives. These photos and videos make great memories, and they are nice to share with family and friends. The woman on the radio argued that this fanatical over documenting that people do doesn’t allow them to actually live in the moment. Instead of being the person in the moment, you become the person documenting the moment.

I have to say, the idea of living in the moment and not documenting it is not a new concept to me. Most of the reason that I almost never photograph a moment or record something to video is because I want to actually enjoy the moment, live in it. Now, I don’t think that taking a 30 second video or taking 1 or 2 pictures is going to spoil your fun, but I do agree that recording an entire birthday party means that you are not truly living in that moment.

The biggest problem that I had with this radio program was that they never mentioned the idea of documentation as an outright lie. A real documentary is to stage nothing, be impartial, and show things fairly. We document our lives and our families lives not as a documentarian but instead we stage moments, we are completely biased, and we only show what we want. Even for those of us who actually take candid shots, most people aren’t keeping the pictures where people look unhappy.

I think most people stage photos. Nobody smiles 16 hours a day. Even people who are ridiculously happy spend most of their time not smiling.

All of these thoughts lead me to a very sad memory. In the summer, my beautiful nephews (identical twin boys) turned 2. I was so happy, excited, and just completely involved in the moment when they got to open their presents. The first 2 presents were given to them by my wife and me. They had huge smiles on their faces, and they were about to rip into the presents. Most people would see this as a perfect opportunity to document it by taking some candid photos and video taping it, but my very typical family/extended family decided to stop the boys from opening their presents because the video camera wasn’t yet ready. My sister even grabbed their hands and told them to wait. One of those boys almost cried. I put up a serious protest with my sister and told her to let them open the presents because I could see that she was ruining the moment for them. She wouldn’t listen to me, and everyone in the room made me feel as though I was being ridiculous.

After the video camera was finally figured out, the boys had no interest in opening the presents. They had to be coaxed into it by everyone in the room. In ten years from now, the video camera is going to tell the memory of 2-year-old boys opening their presents. Yes, they will have unaffected looks on their faces, but people will just say that’s how they acted when opening presents. Who really knows with a 2-year-old anyway? The video camera will tell the lie that everyone wants to believe. The video camera will never tell the story of how their mother completely ruined the first time that they’ve ever really cared about opening presents in their lives. Spoiling the moment and creating a lie was worthwhile to everyone in the room (except for me and the birthday boys), but missing the true moment and allowing the birthday boys to enjoy their birthday was completely out of the question.

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October 27

Meeting Goals

Empty Net
Empty Net (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For the last few years, I’ve been struggling to meet goals. The goals are simple, become a writer and get into shape. Neither goal is particularly difficult; they’re both just long and time-consuming.

I’ve never been what you would call overweight, but getting into really good shape would still take a lot of dedication, maybe 12 months of working out 6 days week. Well, I’m about 6 months into this schedule already. This wasn’t an easy task for me, since I’m not, by any means, a jock.

It’s easy enough for me to sit down and write here, but to make it my life and career is a longer goal. I need to treat it like exercise and just keep devoting time to it, no matter what. Right now, I’m going to volunteer for some writing jobs to build a portfolio.

As for this site (sonofsappho.com), you can expect to see stories, writing tips, and perhaps just general musings in the weeks to come.

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