Category: Life

May 18, 2024

On Guarantees Or The Lack Thereof

You are guaranteed very, very little, bordering on nothing at all, in this world. There are guarantees of certain, axiomatic truths. Tautologies. So, nothing worth a shit.

You’re not guaranteed the sun will rise tomorrow, and you’re certainly not guaranteed that you will rise tomorrow. You’re not guaranteed peace, happiness, unhappiness, war, pestilence, or the winning lottery numbers. You’re not guaranteed that you’ll be able to finish a list of guarantees.

And you’re damn sure not guaranteed that the next thing you write will be any good.

How would you go about guaranteeing such a thing, just logically? You’re gonna know your next thoughts are gonna be good before you think them? Be fuckin’ for real. And just as there’s no idea too bad that it can’t be saved through amazing execution, there’s no idea so powerful, so moving and transcendental, that it couldn’t be sabotaged by the brain farts.

So, realistically, this shouldn’t be on your mind. Why waste cycles on an impossibility? You won’t know how a creative work goes until you do it any more than you won’t be positive your car will start the next time you try to go get a burrito.

Take the cap off the pen. Take the metaphorical computer cap off the computer pen. It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about what you’re going to write and fucking go. Write something people aren’t supposed to see, and put “if you’re reading this fuck you, I don’t like you” somewhere in there to let them know. Just go. Go in with no plans, go in with no thoughts and see what happens. You have my permission for it to be bad. You should extend yourself the same courtesy.

Just go. Write about your day, or the chair your sitting in, that it’s … (More) “On Guarantees Or The Lack Thereof”

June 26, 2023

Stuff that helps (and doesn’t) ADHD, from someone with ADHD

For no reason in particular, I felt like sharing some tools and methods that I’ve tried since my ADHD diagnosis and how they’ve gone.

Things that help and are (comparatively) easy:

  • Slowly building a morning routine. I really think your morning and how prepared you are for your day at the end of your morning routine has a huge potential to shape your day. Building habits is much more difficult for us than the general population, and it’s harder than we give it credit for ourselves. The best thing I’ve found is to build it piece by piece, and not even considering adding more pieces until the existing ones are no longer an energy drain. Once they feel completely natural, you can build. Brushing your teeth and taking your meds should be at the top of the list. From there I added a set time to eat and a skin-care routine. Once those are established, I want to work on journaling and exercise. Go as slow as the situation requires, and don’t feel anything about the stuff that you want to add on to it until it’s time.
  • Breathing exercises when you’re overloaded. This is one of those things that caught me completely off-guard with how effective it can be. At any point in your day you can do this, even during meetings, because it’s pretty invisible. You can google “breathing exercise” and Google will pop one up for you: six seconds in, six seconds out, repeat five times. One minute elapsed and I’ve seen my heart rate drop 20-30bpm in that period. I’m not a fan of the “box breathing” technique where you hold your breath for some amount of time, it seems to add more stress than it takes away. You can also do a YouTube search for
(More) “Stuff that helps (and doesn’t) ADHD, from someone with ADHD”
June 11, 2023

This site was broken as hell for an undetermined amount of time.

Sorry about that.

I’m very much writing on a consistent basis, or at least getting back into the habit. Just not here (obviously). I’ve got some anonymous blogs and projects I’m doing.

Something that I haven’t touched on publicly in this setting is that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago, a diagnosis I have mixed feelings on. It perfectly explains behaviors going back 20 years. The cycles, the starting of new projects and having them crash and burn when the anxiety of failure gets to be too much. It puts a name and, significantly, a plan of action, to what I thought were simply my shortcomings. It’s something that is there for the rest of your life, to be mitigated and fought daily.

We also diagnosed me with ADHD a few years back, a diagnosis that surprised me because it never occurred to me. My mental image of ADHD is simply hyperactive children. It turns out that’s a common misconception, and there are two distinctly different subtypes of ADHD; Predominantly Hyperactive, which was my mental image, and Predominantly Inattentive, which isn’t a great title for what’s going on under the hood.

It’s not so much that you can’t pay attention. It’s that you have very little control of what you’re paying attention to. I would probably call it something closer to Executive Dysfunction, an issue with the systems that execute thoughts and motivations. Any number of times that a coworker could be talking to me, and I could hear every word they were saying clearly, but the words were just bouncing off the front of my head. Sorry, Jason.

The ADHD diagnosis actually complicates the Bipolar diagnosis, as they actually resemble each other a great deal in a great many ways. My psychiatrist and I … (More) “This site was broken as hell for an undetermined amount of time.”

September 9, 2021

Maybe there’s something to it after all.

Interesting that I’m feeling like writing through things again. Two straight days for the first time in what, five years?

I was writing in this “Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You” book and the topic of choosing the harder path came up. Now, for context, I’m currently sick with what I suspect is the flu, but despite this being the third day of it, I’ve managed to accomplish a surprising amount of stuff around the house. I’m doing what I can to dig myself and Diana out of what I would consider a mildly serious state of neglect of the house brought on by parallel depressive episodes. It was in this context that I thought about what the harder road would look like today, and I felt like that was letting go of that momentum and listening to my body and how tired it is.

Of course, I can’t sleep. That would be too convenient. So I’m here instead, reflecting on the concept of self-care.… (More) “Maybe there’s something to it after all.”

May 4, 2020

May the 4th

…be with you, and all that.

There’s been a lot going on but the two biggest things would be that I got a new job, and that I started seeing a psychiatrist. It’s taken a bit of trial and error but I think we’ve hit on at least one useful medication with minimal side effects, something that has been more trouble than it has a right to be. One of the reasons I suspect it’s working is that I’m getting a renewed interest in things that I previously enjoyed, like writing. I have a ways to go and some more motivations I need to pick up, but for the first time in quite a while I feel like my mental health is trending in the right direction. When that’s happening in the face of a global pandemic I think it’s worth a lot more.

 … (More) “May the 4th”

July 12, 2019

Leaving Earth

It was 107 degrees today, and this evening I had the closest thing to a spiritual experience I’ve had in at least 15 years.

My weight as of late has been yo-yoing between “almost there” and “good lord, put the burrito down you absolute unit.” The triggers on both sides of the yo-yo have been really consistent. I will diet, exercise, do all of the stuff you need to do, and make awesome progress. Better than a pound a week in general. This has managed to proceed all the way to about 147 pounds (my first weight goal is 142, the second is 135, and the third is 128, each time stopping to see how I feel at that weight or if I should keep going). Somewhere along the way, I will either get sick or injured. Ankles, knees, shin splints, calf strains, flu bugs; whatever the culprit, I put things on hold. Then the yo-yo starts back up until some thing makes me realize I’ve let it get away from me again.

This time, it was those hard-fought belt loops. I’ve had the same belt for a decade, and this year for the first time I totally ran it out of holes and had it still feel loose. Now, I’ve legitimately been dealing with tendonitis in my right ankle, initially brought on by running for my life after Dad died despite not knowing how to run. That was two years ago now, maybe to the day. It still flares up every few months and then any little aggravation really weakens the stability of the ankle and also hurts like hell. One of those flare-ups put a stop to my newfound, still fledgling interest in distance running. It drove me absolutely crazy, and then it just annoyed me, and then … (More) “Leaving Earth”

January 15, 2018


I’m so used to balancing good news with bad, that I’ve spent a couple minutes trying to think of bad news.

  • The good news is I’ve made it to 30 in reasonably good health.
  • The good news is I had the best birthday of my life.
  • The good news is we both have stable, well-paying employment.
  • The good news is the bills get paid every month, uneventfully.
  • The good news is I’m working through many issues in my life and I feel like I’m making good progress everywhere.

Now, here’s a thing.

  • The good news is I don’t have a plan at this point.

I really had no plan for what I should be doing at 30. Everything kind of led up to age 29 and stopped. This is a good thing. I’m left with the ability to write my own script, and it’s a feeling I’ve never really had before. I can set my own priorities, set my own goals, and it’s more than that. I can explore the things I’m passionate about, or things I think I would be passionate about if I gave them a try.

Astute readers may point out that I could do that whenever I wanted. I’d argue that’s not true though; there are expectations placed on you from every direction. Right now I think I am meeting or exceeding those remaining expectations from work and home.

There’s a psychological theory called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I don’t recall where I first heard about it, but the idea is that certain needs are more important than others, and as those needs are met, like a pyramid, loftier goals at the top become feasible to work on. The base is physiological needs: Food, Water, Shelter, Clothing. Then you have safety: Personal Security, Financial Security, … (More) “T.B.D.”

December 22, 2017

604 Days Later

Write something.

There’s been no lack of time, opportunity, or content. And yet this is feeling like an immense struggle. I’m having to really pull the words out from myself.

My dad used to read this, it was the way he followed along with what was going on in my life. Learning that he was still following along was first concerning, then comforting.

Dad died on June 22nd, and I suspect that brought the readership numbers back down to zero.

Is it strange to have the wind taken out of your sails thus? That the writing might seem less valuable for lack of an audience? Who am I writing for, here?

I never really thought about an answer to that question.

It’s always been that I just write, and then I’ve written and then it’s over.

You know what, that’s not true. Diana reads this when I update it. In fact, the times that the blog has gone the longest without updates coincides with the absolute lack of people that might give a shit to read it. So that’s interesting. The content doesn’t really change with the readership, but the lack of readership makes this feel like a waste of time.

This is getting a bit easier.

I launched three websites today, and I’ll probably talk about that some other time. But the net result as it relates to this place as a writing space is that I can use it to work through problems and generally heal. The fragrance-related stuff is going to another blog. The sysadmin stuff is going to another blog. The DDR stuff is going to another blog. The diary stuff is…here. And it’s perhaps the sensible way to go about it.

Or it’ll be a huge mistake when some future employer (or, hell, my … (More) “604 Days Later”

September 26, 2016

Terminal Tennis Elbow

Despite best efforts this morning, Diana and I got to the train station later than we hoped. All the open tables were gone, and now I’m using the new MacBook in a position that the Surface Pro was really having trouble with. Huge improvement, and this was just the test it needed with a couple of days to go in the return period.

Normally I’m working on websites in the morning. Honestly, the past few train days it was more planning and getting various tools installed, like Laravel Valet. I decided on two projects, one to be worked on at home and one to be worked on while on the train.

The home project I’m calling Rings, after the Aesop Rock song of the same name. It’s a wheel reinvention, but a necessary one. It is meant to reproduce much of the functionality of the CoreManager package, which is a web package used to manage private World of Warcraft servers. CoreManager does work, but it’s pretty ugly, very insecure, and generally in need of a full rewrite, and I’m happy to give it a try. So far I’ve got the ability to register a new account for the server, and you can log in on Rings and be taken to a dashboard that, currently, doesn’t do squat. But that’s fine, the logon was a heck of a thing to figure out since I had to replace Laravel’s authentication stack with a setup that would work with my WoW server.

The project I’m working on while on the train is called Kirby, also after the Aesop Rock song. This is a project that Diana and I discussed months ago, and was sort of tabled without a resolution. Now that she’s on a new career path, and I’ve had a change … (More) “Terminal Tennis Elbow”

September 16, 2016

Stole a Mac, Call that an Apple Jack

I’ve been out sick for the last two days, and I’m pretty sure whatever I got was contagious because there’s been a ton of people out. It’s been a lot of sitting with the dog, half-watching nature documentaries and half-hoping my head would stop pounding. Not sure what it is, but I feel mostly over it today and I’m mostly just irritated I had to burn two days of sick leave.

Went ahead and grabbed a 13” MacBook Air last night. I was hoping Diana would make use of the Surface Pro 3, but it doesn’t sound like she’s terribly interested, so I’m gonna put it up for sale I guess. I think I’m going to try to get her to use it at least a little bit, see how she likes the stylus and such before committing to that. If she doesn’t want it, it’ll offset almost all of the cost of this machine. Initial impressions are really good, I’m really happy that it’s got an SDXC slot, that simplest route to expandable storage.

I have no regrets about buying the SP3, it was the nicest laptop I’d ever owned, except for its inability to actually sit on a lap. Now that using it in that manner is more and more likely, and given the change in workload, it’s just not the right tool for the job. Not getting hung up on buying new gear to help me either be productive or relax on my own time is important. Diana pointed out that this could be seen as an extension of keeping work at work. I have a very good test lab setup on my computer at the office. There’s no reason anymore to extend that to what I’m doing on what little off-time I am afforded.

I also … (More) “Stole a Mac, Call that an Apple Jack”