Paper: A Very (Un)Important Thing

Paper is the least important it has ever been, making it more important than ever in my eyes.

Computers are the way the world works now. News used to come on newspaper, but now there are websites and Twitter and Facebook, all delivering the news directly to us and faster than the newspaper could. Games are no longer on paper or on a board, they are played on your phone or tablet. Even books, the things that are embodied by covers, where you flip through the pages to find a new life to live, even if only temporarily, those are no longer necessarily in paper form. They are just as commonly found in digital form as they are in physical form.

We’ve slowly been moving to this throughout the use of paper. Way back when, there were monks who did nothing but handwrite copies of books and decorate them, quite obviously adding much more value to them than any book nowadays. Eventually, using a machine and movable type, printing became a thing. Rather than handwrite anything more than the rough draft, you simply line up the letters you want and rub ink on them, press the paper to the type, and presto, a printed page.

Over the course of time, you get a much fancier machine, one with many more moving parts: The typewriter. Rather than having to reset the type for each page, why not have the page be stationary and add a continuous roll of ink, then make it so with a single button push you can have that particular letter be inked on the page? It’s amazing just how effective these machines were, churning out books faster than ever!

Then the computer came around and blew the typewriter out of the water! With editable pages without the need for whiteout, you could draft entire novels without the need of a single letter removal, because the backspace button was the best part of the keyboard! The digital age allowed for mass production of books. You could have hundreds of pages, print them in sequence, and bind them so quickly that the initial monk wouldn’t have finished half a page of writing, much less the calligraphy and decoration that would initially follow.

But, why stop there? If it is digital when you write it, why transfer it to the physical? Why not just make it into an eBook, viewable and readable on millions of portable devices? That would give you the potential to be in everyone’s hand or pocket instantly, similar to regular web pages. (Here’s looking at you Google!) Why wouldn’t you? I mean, there’s no material cost, making your profits go up. There are entire devices made exclusively for reading eBooks! (Here’s looking at you, Paperwhite!) Wait, Paperwhite?

That’s right. Paperwhite. A device was made to resemble the color of a piece of paper as much as possible. There is still and always has been something special about a book, about reading that book. There is something significant about turning the pages, which is why almost every eReader has the option for a page turning animation as you scroll. Mostly, though, there is something significant about reading through a book, being three quarters of the way through and knowing you are getting to the really good part, the part the entire book has been building towards, that a progress bar at the bottom that goes away just doesn’t seem to convey as strongly. There’s a note of finality to closing the back cover of the book after you have finished the story that exiting an app can never give. As much as you want to keep tapping the right side of the screen to keep the story flowing, good books will still be called page turners because of the physical nature books should continue to embody, on paper.

Isn’t it amazing how important something so thin and flimsy can be in an age of rigidity and digitality? Reality matters. Physicality matters. Paper matters.

Paper

Stoane

Bottled Emotions: Saving for Later?

I have an anger problem. This isn’t news to me. I have known since around the fifth grade. Pretty much the entire year I was in fifth grade, I saw a counselor for anger management. Sometimes I was taken out of class for it, other times I went to the actual office location of the therapist. Do you want to know the worst part? None of it helped. None. I spent a year learning coping mechanisms, controlled energy release techniques, things like that, and none of them kicked in.

Well, that’s not true. Most of them kicked it, but they waited until I was a decade older and had no idea what took them so long before they did so. I’m not saying they were a day late and a dollar short, but… their timing was imperfect and they had not the currency required. I used to hit things, throw things, hit things, attempt to break things by throwing things at them, often hoping to also break the thing that was flying in the process. I wasn’t a happy child, right then.

So, you may be wondering what changed ten years later when the “education” kicked in, and it’s really simple. I realized something about what I was being taught that I never caught on to when I was with the therapist: none of the things I was being taught, and encouraged, to do were to suppress or remove the anger. They, instead, funnel that anger into a specific activity, hopefully non-violent, to remove it from the equation as much as possible. They were trying to let me know that anger isn’t just inescapable but expected, and in many cases acceptable. Anger will exist, often more so when we try to run from it, but if we decide to release it in non-devastating ways, it can be effective as a motivational tool, or the push to do that thing you’ve been putting off. On the other hand, if we bottle it up, we risk detonation, and whether that explosion is internal or external will determine the fallout.

I just had to learn one thing. Anger, in and of itself, is not bad. Making poor choices while angry, that’s bad. Blaming your actions on your anger, as if that means you don’t have to take responsibility for them, is also bad. If you are angry all the time, that is also bad. You can’t use it as a crutch, or rely on it to help you do things you don’t think you can do otherwise, because anger is just an emotion. It is often fleeting, and whimsical. Pinning your hopes and dreams on temporary emotions is not something I would ever advise, just as I would never advise you to rely on an emotion to be there when you need a boost, because there is a good chance it will not be there. Emotion is illogical, and emotion makes us human. Embrace it, but do it the way that funnels the extremes out.

Bottle

Deuces.

P.S.: Sorry this is out a day late, and that I missed a day. That is what terrible sleeping patterns will do to you… I’m going to attempt to make up that lost prompt.

What Blossoms Wakefulness?

The simple answer is this: Coffee.

Coffee and I have had a long-standing love-hate relationship. I will go through periods of time where coffee is just about the best thing on the planet, and without there is no functioning. I will then follow those with similar periods where coffee is so far from my mind it is ridiculous to think I ever needed it so badly. It has never been steady.

For me, there really isn’t ever a need for coffee, at least not anymore. There are some mornings where I feel I need it, but more than anything it is just a part of my routine in the mornings. I get a shower, get dressed, get my Tervis of coffee, go to work, and I continue my day. If I don’t get my coffee, am I grumpy? Yeah. A little. Part of that is the lack of caffeine, I’m sure, but I know for a fact that part of it is simply a break in my habits. I am a creature of habit, for sure, and that is why it is so hard for me to create a new one or break an old one. I do things a certain way, and I always do them that way if I can, and any change it that disrupts my obsessive compulsive tendencies.

And while I will often drink more than one cup a day, it has more to do with enjoying the taste of coffee how I make it and less to do with needing caffeine. It’s a comfort to me to have a cup of coffee. I often keep the cup in my hand to create a miniature barrier between me and the person I’m talking to. I don’t do that consciously. I have just noticed I do it.

Side Notes:

I apologize for this one being technically the next day. My evening ran long and I was almost asleep, but I got up specifically to type out this post. That’s also part of the reason this post may seem a little different, and maybe shorter. I’m too tired to know for sure.

I got a new pair of glasses today. I got used to the new prescription much faster than I thought I would, and I didn’t even end up with a headache from them. My only complaint is they are constantly falling off of my nose.

I’m going to actually go to bed now, and I hope anyone who is reading this sleeps/slept well. People who read things willingly are a rare breed, anyways, anymore. You guys keep it up.

Blossom

Deuces.

Creation: An Everyday (Non)Occurrence

This post is a creation. The keyboard I’m using, on the laptop it is built into, while sitting in bed, is a creation, as are the pieces involved. Absolutely everything about everything you ever do involves creations by someone. There isn’t any way around the fact that any tool you use, anything at all, was created by someone else, using tools created by someone else, the ideas for which were created by yet another person. It’s an endless cycle. Humans create every single day. To be fair, they also break things down every single day, but that is a conversation for another time.

When talking about creation, my mind often goes to creativity. These blog posts are supposed to be helping me with that. I hoped, with the influx of thoughts with channels to direct them, I would be able to more organize my thoughts and hopefully even speak without making so many mistakes. I was completely wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed writing these blog posts more than I can say. I write them usually after eleven at night and then I go to bed, feeling less than confident that I have made a difference in someone’s life, and less than confident that the words I put on paper actually make contiguous, coherent sentences, and then I wake up hoping to see some numbers next to my post. Likes are a great way to know that something I did was correct in some way, though they are very non-specific. In their own way, that’s the beauty of the like button.

Comments are a different story. When someone comments on my creation, they are giving specific details into the things that got them thinking, or made them feel a certain way. It gives people a chance to really respond to the words they read, and possibly even invites a response from me in the process. Views are simple. How many people saw that I had words on the page? Look at views. This is how many people SAW my creation, though maybe not for what it was. Creativity is often viewed not as what it is simply because perceptions vary person to person. I am unable to guarantee that the vision I had when I wrote these words will be the vision you see. In fact, I could more

I am unable to guarantee that the vision I had when I wrote these words will be the vision you see. In fact, I could more easily guarantee that you will have a vastly DIFFERENT vision from mine. Perspectives change. Perspectives are given to us by our upbringing, by the people in our lives, by our own actions, but also by our body’s chemistry. You could have two people raised identically, but body chemistry will always reign supreme, no matter what training it undergoes. This means, in multiverse theory, that there is a universe where I am built exactly the same as I am now and yet, I don’t see the same thing I see here. I don’t have the same feelings, the same desire to write. It gets kind of crazy when you go down the rabbit hole of multiverse theory.

Here, though, is where the entire post thus far becomes, if not null and void, at least paradoxical. We have never created a single thing in our entire lives. Not. One. Thing. How have we created all of the things in this world and yet never created a single thing? That’s ridiculous! That’s ludicrous. That’s impossible. And yet, the answer: The Law of Conservation of Mass, discovered by Antoine Lavoisier. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. That means that all things that were, are, or have ever been, will all be made from the exact same atoms we already have.

Rather than create something, we simply transform it. We piece it together, we shape it into the visions in our minds, but we don’t create anything. Even the thoughts in our heads aren’t creations, but rather the firing of electrons in our brains causing arcs of energy that our other five senses are interpreting in a way we understand. To be fair, we all think in our own language, which is just a construct built to be an audible barter system: the exchange of thoughts for the exchange of responses.

This got a little more “out there” than I intended it to, but I don’t mind that.

Create

Deuces

The Paradox of the Paragon; Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today, I tried something new. First off, I remembered the notebook and actually took it to work with me. Second, rather than just wait until the evening came, such as right now at 11:28 PM, to think of my ideas, whether they be for my Journal entry or for the daily prompt, I decided I would do well to write down a few interesting tidbits as note to use for when I did sit down to write. It didn’t work out so well.

While I did take out the notebook and write down the topic of my ideas, all of the details that I thought would pop back up after I reread the topic did not resurface. If I think about them really hard, I might be able to get back into that moment, but the smart thing to do would have been to write down as much as possible right then and there. If I could have fleshed out the thought process I could have refined it later on, simply making the words sound better rather than inventing the wheel to begin with.

I do remember one of the things I was thinking about, though. Surprise surprise, it was me. I was at work, putting things away and cleaning up, when I realized that I was a paradox of sorts. I love organization. I will put things away and color code and label and straighten to no end. Simultaneously, I will have fourteen unrelated orders stacked up in front of me in no particular order, waiting for me to do something, with details for each of them scattered all over the desk. Pens, pencils, highlighters, all strewn across the papers. My stapler was upside down, my tape was backwards, and my computer mouse was facing the wrong way. Somehow, I was able to function like this.

I put my work on hold; I started to clean up. I started hole punching the orders, I started stapling relevant pieces together. I place all of these pieces into the necessary binder behind appropriate tabs. That’s about when it hit. I can work in the most seemingly disorganized mess, but I love to organize, and I love to see things after I’ve organized. I love knowing that I did that. I made it look good. I made it easy to find things. All those positive feelings are because I did my job correctly. I call it the cleaning afterglow. It lasts only as long as it takes for someone to screw your work up.

Regarding the paradox of the paragon: I see paragons as a relative thing. Perfection, similar to beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Another piece to add to that is that our perspectives change, so as we age and encounter new experiences, our definition of perfection, and therefore what would constitute a paragon, may change. Nothing in this world is constant, at least not for very long. Even the sun isn’t constant. It’s pulsing, burning. It is constantly changing, and ever so slowly dying. I definitely remember having more on paragons when I was at work, but sadly, in my failure, I didn’t write most of this down.

One final thought for the day: House of Cards has started to envelop my soul. I have watched entirely too many episodes in entirely too short a span of time. I hate how I love you, Netflix.

 

P.S.: I just realized that the prompt of the day changed part way through the day. That’s totally not fair. I would have written a totally different prompt. Completely uncool…

Paragon
Total

Deuces

Variety, Puncturing Homeostasis

I’ve moved my computer. Now, that may not seem crazy in and of itself, but think for a second. First off, it is a desktop computer, not a laptop, though that doesn’t always matter. Most people have their computer somewhere comfortable. They try to keep it in the same place, especially desktop computers, mostly out of convenience, but also out of comfort. I am a guy that likes when things change a little bit. Not a crazy amount, just a little bit. A tiny amount of variation can go a long way when introduced correctly.

Now, starting with the easy part, I moved my computer to the left about four and a half feet. There’s nothing crazy there. All is well. The crazy part is where I went from sitting at a desk to standing at my dresser. That means that this post, right here, is written while standing at my computer. “People stand at their computer all the time! What’s so crazy about it?” Let me tell you. I am a lazy, lazy man. If I don’t have to move, I usually don’t. If I can roll my chair over there to pick that paper up, guess who is rolling their chair? Yep. Me. But, that is half the reason I did it. I need to get up. I need to exercise more. I need to stop sitting and laying around. I need to stand, to function, to use my legs and back.

So, here I am. Bettering myself. At least, I hope I am bettering myself. I mean, to be fair, I am writing these words for the internet, and the internet has a really bad habit of finding something bad, something wrong, with anything you put there. To be fair, I do have a complaint. I hate this keyboard. It is an almost useless keyboard. I mean, sure the keys have a large travel distance, meaning they don’t push on accident. You have to mean to push the key before it is pressed. And sure, I like that it lights up and stuff. Sure, it’s cool. But comfort wise, it isn’t there.

Because I am the type of guy that can do this, I just swapped out my keyboard. I went from a gaming keyboard, all bright and shiny and cool, to a super simple, super cheap Logitech keyboard. Dramatic improvement. Sure, the keys don’t have lights around them (because the lights don’t even penetrate the keycaps, cheap bastards), and sure, the keys don’t have to depress as far before activating, but the overall feel of the keyboard has dramatically improved. The responsiveness of the keyboard, probably because it is designed to be used for typing, is dramatically improved. I guess everything has its place. These are the things you learn when you move your computer, don’t ya know?

Puncture

Deuces

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Today, as that is the purpose of this post as advertised by my overly informative title, is Tuesday. Tuesday in my work schedule is like the average cubicle dweller’s Sunday. The end of my weekend. It has come, and now it goes. My room is significantly cleaner than it was when this weekend (Monday-Tuesday) began.

Okay, so let’s talk about my room. I have a single room to myself. I do not live alone. I have acquired the possessions one would expect of a 24-year-old, assuming you skew your expectations to the tech end of the spectrum. I have acquired those possessions, and have crammed them all into a single room that has no closet. Unfortunate side effect? My room is never truly CLEAN. It may be more organized than normal, and I may be able to move around a little more effectively than normal, but I have never, in the years of being in this room, managed to find a way to become truly clean and organized within these four walls.

I’m getting there. I am working slowly towards getting things in order. Getting the right shelves, drawers, desk, etc. to put all the things I have, working towards getting rid of old stuff, and repurposing even more, all working towards an end goal of cleanliness. I have found out that my cleaning style is not the best, but it is the best I can manage in these four walls. I have also realized that if I try to tackle the whole thing at once, I will break someone. I must go slow to win the race, if the tortoise is to be believed as I think he should be.

It’s actually a really good way to work if there is a mountain of work to be done. You wade into the middle of this version of hell, and clean yourself a circle. It doesn’t have to be a large circle. It has to be a circle you can begin to feel comfortable in. Then, you slowly work your way out from the circle. Every time you get tired of cleaning, or you feel overwhelmed, retreat to the circle. Keep that circle pristine, otherwise, your safety net is gone. Slowly work your way out in every direction, always making sure to pick up after yourself in the already cleaned areas, and eventually, you will be doing maintenance rather than repairs.

That has been the majority of my day, to be honest. If I wasn’t cleaning, I was watching Sherlock on Netflix, because Sherlock is one of my favorite shows ever and it takes too damn long to make a season. Normally, on a typical day off, I would be playing Minecraft, because I have a problem, and Minecraft is the name of that problem. Minecraft is a post all by itself… I’m not going there right now. Today, though, it couldn’t hold my interest. I believe it is because I have decided to start playing it standing up. I think that affected my desires to play games in general that weren’t on my phone. Anyways, I managed to be rather productive. That’s the point I was trying to make. It was a day off, a day where I didn’t have to do anything, yet I remained productive.

Go me.

Deuces.

The Tapering of Relationships: The Ending, or the Beginning?

I don’t get it. I mean, I would like to think I understand people. I feel I normally understand people pretty well, but I just cannot seem to wrap my head around this. I don’t know if it is something I have done, or if it is something on their end, but there is a massive disconnect for reasons I’ve not fully discerned. I have thoughts, and possibilities, but nothing certain. I just wish I could fix whatever it is. I mean, I know I have issues with them, but I do my best to not let it affect the normal everyday functions of life, because that would feel too much like this: stressed, unsure, distant, erroneous.

It could boil down to something very simple, such as we’ve lived together for 24 years and we need to stop doing that, but that’s not an option if I want them to still have a place to live. It could be that there was more stress in the house than normal, though I don’t know where it would have come from. It could be something like waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but I thought I woke up okay, so hopefully, it isn’t me if that’s the problem.

Look, everyone has problems with other people. There’s never a single person on the planet that you know that you don’t have at least one problem with, no matter how small. It’s not possible. However, instead of letting that problem be the only thing you see, instead of letting it rule the relationship, you push it to the side. You move it out of the way so you can focus on something better than that one problem. If you really care, or you are in a long-term relationship with someone, you should work on the problem, in my opinion. Your wife hates that you burp in her face, so maybe, just maybe, you turn away from her to burp. Now, that’s not the most massive change, but it is a change, and I’m sure she would appreciate it. And maybe, once that problem is solved, another pops up. Welcome to humanity where that is bound to happen.

The problem arises when there is a problem, or maybe even problems, and there is no desire to work it or them out. Then what? What can you do? Do you keep trying to work it out, even if you have for years already, or do you call it quits and move on to a different relationship to focus on? I don’t know. I don’t know what to do, or what the right move is. I don’t know what I would do after the initial decision, no matter what that decision was. I have absolutely zero ideas as to what I’m supposed to do here, and I don’t know how to achieve that which I have yet to figure out, and I don’t know what path to take to determine any of the answers to any of these questions.

I feel stuck, and mentally I am stuck. I want to get out of this scenario, this overly complicated, problematic scenario, but I am the only person to blame for me being here. This was MY choice, and if I abandon that choice now, I will have ruined everything I’ve done up until now. If I was just going to give up now, why not before and save myself a hell of a lot of trouble? It would have been so much simpler… I don’t know. I simply don’t know…

Taper

Deuces…

Monday, June 12, 2017

I have already failed myself. I’ve been doing this for less than a week, and already I have missed not one but two days. Consecutive days, at that! I understand what happened fairly well, and I’m working to fix the problem, but I need to not let this happen. Let me explain. I went to work on Saturday and I left the house in a rush. When I did, I forgot to take the notebook with me, meaning I didn’t have it to take notes in all day. When I got home and I hadn’t seen it all day, I forgot that I needed to write here, because the first part of the habit had already been messed up. I went to sleep that night and didn’t write on here, and I didn’t write in my notebook. No words, all day, nothing. Sunday, I got up and forgot the notebook again. This time I wasn’t rushed at all. I simply forgot that I was trying to keep that habit going. I was sitting at work before I realized what I had done. By the time I got home I had forgotten again, and the cycle repeated.

Now, I am having a day off work, and I still didn’t write in the notebook. That is not at all what I wanted, but at the same time, I am doing this. I am still writing here. I am still getting my words out in a way that helps me to think. I am able to form full thoughts and get them out and let my mind do the talking where my mouth so often fails: the formation of full coherent words and thoughts. I don’t know that this will even help me. I mean, I would love it if I could somehow translate this from “Hey look at me! I can’t form a full paragraph of speech without having to stop and remember the words!” over to “Bask in the eloquence of my terminology and phrasing, and know my wonder!” I mean, I don’t see that second part happening. I can’t give myself that much credit, but I will happily accept something in the middle of those two.

Now, I am having a day off work, and I still didn’t write in the notebook. That is not at all what I wanted, but at the same time, I am doing this. I am still writing here. I am still getting my words out in a way that helps me to think. I am able to form full thoughts and get them out and let my mind do the talking where my mouth so often fails: the formation of full coherent words and thoughts. I don’t know that this will even help me. I mean, I would love it if I could somehow translate this from “Hey look at me! I can’t form a full paragraph of speech without having to stop and remember the words!” over to “Bask in the eloquence of my terminology and phrasing, and know my wonder!” I mean, I don’t see that second part happening. I can’t give myself that much credit, but I will happily accept something in the middle of those two.

I spend so much of my day focusing on things other than my thoughts. I mean, meditation is a thing many people use simply to stop the outside world for a few minutes and focus on putting their mind in order. It’s an invaluable skill to have, and one I am working to possess. I love to write, oddly enough, but I never know WHAT to write. I want to be one of those people that can just sit down and words flow, but as of now that is not me in the slightest. I know that when I get my creative juices flowing and allow my imagination to work, I am a much happier person. I want to use this weird diary/journal thing to hopefully inspire some ideas. I’m not expecting anything like a novel or a short story or anything. I just want to be able to think and follow a story progression in my head and have things in order chronologically, even if I can’t find a way to put it down in print. There’s likely at least one moment every day where my imagination completely overflows the limits of what I can put into the world.

I like the idea of writing because I think up stories and progressions in my head and I would love to be able to throw them down into written form. I like the idea of drawing because so many times I’ve designed something in my head, similarly to using AutoCAD or Autodesk Inventor, with all the dimensions coming off of it, relative spacing, attachment points, and more, but when I go to put pencil to paper I do a great job if I even get the general OUTLINE down. I just don’t have the skill in drawing to put my imagination on paper like that. I like the idea of coloring because rather than having to draw the shape, I just have to fill in the colors. On an abstract drawing, or any drawing without meaning, that means I can focus on color organization, and that gives me a modicum of control over my creativity, but not enough. Coloring never holds my attention for long. That didn’t stop me from getting a coloring book and some colored pencils, though, did it? Nope. To be fair, It’s another way I’m hoping to get my eyes off of the computer from playing games so much, and hopefully, create a Zen space in my thoughts.

I noticed that WordPress has these daily topics, but I consider them an almost word of the day. I’m rather curious if I’ll be able to find a way to do something with them or not. I would like to. I mean, if it can give me a topic each day that has nothing to do with my life specifically, then why not? It should (theoretically) get my creative juices going, but in such a way that I don’t have to prime the engine. I don’t know, but I’m curious to find out.

I noticed that WordPress has these daily topics, but I consider them an almost word of the day. I’m rather curious if I’ll be able to find a way to do something with them or not. I would like to. I mean, if it can give me a topic each day that has nothing to do with my life specifically, then why not? It should (theoretically) get my creative juices going, but in such a way that I don’t have to prime the engine. I don’t know, but I’m curious to find out.

 

Deuces

Multi-Volume Book Series

Multi-volume stories are some of the better things I’ve been exposed to. I’m a book lover by nature. I really appreciate a good fiction novel, preferably either a Sci-Fi or Historical Fiction, though current fiction works well, too. The biggest problem with a book, though, is that you are reading this fantastic story and suddenly the book is over. The characters are gone. Their lives, their loves, their hates, everything, gone as soon as you close the cover of the book. Everything you were rooting for, everything you became attached to, the feelings you get as a reader towards every detail of the story, all of those can’t just disappear. That is one of the worst feelings reading a book.

Enter the multi-volume story. Not only do you get to continue to love and hate along with the characters, but you get so much more time for character and plot development. You get so much longer to empathize with the FICTIONAL characters. I know it sounds crazy, but as a lover of fiction, you don’t read it just because there are words on a screen. You read it to immerse yourself in a world different from this one. Whether you are trying to escape or explore, you still want to be a part of a world other than the material world we are currently on, and what better way to do that than with our own imaginations? Let them provide the fuel for our happiness, just like they used to when we were children.

Volume

Deuces