Uh-Oh, Online Dating!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen (mostly ladies), it’s time again for our protagonist to throw himself into the dumpster fire of online dating. What could possibly be different this time than from all of my past failures? Well, for one, I created an account only because I thought of a hilarious tag line and it’d be a shame to waste it. I think it’s hilarious anyway. I suppose one would need to know the context to think so.

It turns out it’s kind of working, too. 1 hour in and already 11 likes (but no matches so they’re not from women I’m actually attracted to) which is far more than I’ve ever received during an entire month-long run of using a dating app. Perhaps I also look healthier and happier now than I did in my older, post alcoholic photos. I feel like I’m over that hump of early sobriety where I identify as someone in recovery and now I’m just a normal guy. I also had a theory that you look more genuine when you smile if someone else is taking the picture. It’s difficult to just smile for no reason, but if someone else is there it looks like you’re actually smiling at a person instead of taking a narcissistic selfie. So I’m never posting a picture of myself that wasn’t taken by someone else again. Or at least, not one in which I’m smiling, haha.

So, I’m not taking it seriously at all. I did answer the “profile questions” honestly for a change instead of being a creep and trying to put what I think women would want. It was interesting to actually think about my answers for once. I skipped a lot of them because they were either extremely sexual or extremely political, and I’m not trying to be that person anymore. If you go on a dating site and start talking about feminism and transgender rights, well, that might be why you’re single, homegirl.

I didn’t do much today and I’m okay with that. I finished my chapter quiz for college so I won’t have to do any schoolin’ tomorrow. Sunday is laundry day for me so I’m working on that right now. I’ve gotten back into the hygiene routine I had last year which consisted of an exfoliant and moisturizer and I have to say, it’s nice to have a perfumed face all day. For me. I don’t think anyone else can smell it. That’d be way too far into my personal space.

Social Consolidation

Thank God many of you like Jen, Ashley, and Hillary check in with my posts from time to time because on days like today, those notifications are the only reason I remember to write something! I straight up forget WordPress exists for most of my week. I have a daily reminder in my planner but, again, I have to remember to open my planner. 🙂

I’m rounding out the end of this cyber security program and actually starting to learn some practical things. I was worried for my first couple years in college because everything I was being taught was very generic stuff that I learned when I was 17 just by using a computer. I get that not everyone is a computer nerd like me so classes do need to touch on these things, but I feel like if you’re in a cyber security program and you don’t know what Ethernet is, you might want to re-evaluate your career plan.

My current school-related side project is to get familiar with Microsoft Azure, their cloud service which gives AWS a run for its money (and then some). They give you a year-long trial period but even though you get to play with all their tools free of charge, if you want to actually deploy anything to the Internet it will cost you. It’s pretty affordable, depending on what you want to do. I’ve been thinking about migrating my blog to their servers but every time I do that I lose touch with everybody because I don’t get archived on WordPress Reader anymore for some reason. I’m sure I could figure that out if I really put my mind to it.

I have been really locking down my social networking accounts lately, not only because I’d been super careless about it back in the dark days but because I don’t use most of them anymore and it’d be a bit crazy, given my degree focus, to just have unused accounts that link to all of my personal information chilling out in the open, relying on people with less than stellar service records to keep it safe. Yesterday I found out you can bulk delete every YouTube comment and liked video you’ve ever made, so I did that. That was also partially because I don’t like the same things I did 3 years ago and I’m tired of seeing those kind of recommendations pop up in my feed. How many Minecraft videos do we really need?

My Facebook friends are unfortunately holding me hostage in that case. Some of them are old and stubborn and refuse to switch to something more useful like Discord. Since I began using that a few years ago with a group of gamer friends, I’ve rarely checked in with Facebook or Instagram. They’re ugly platforms, ethically and in terms of their user base. Lately I’ve been realizing that I don’t talk to those people that much anymore anyway so… maybe there’s no harm in just never speaking to them again. I mean, if they miss me I’m not hard to find. My full name is on this blog and I have two websites.

Speaking of which, I had an extra domain that I registered last year just because I liked the sound of it and I finally put it to use. Trapdrum.com will host my Twitch music streams from now on. I don’t have a regular schedule yet but I’m far more likely to do that than write about music, I’ve realized. I’m just not smart enough to write things about music theory that you couldn’t get a better idea of elsewhere. 😀

Light Trauma

People enjoy using “trauma” to refer to just about everything that happens to them so when I’m using it in the context I’m about to, it’s quite flippantly and I don’t at all intend to make you believe that this situation causes me to cry myself to sleep every night. In fact, once my work day ends, I rarely think about it.

Reading “parenting time complaints” is a big part of my job. I don’t have to understand or do anything about them, I just have to get the gist of what they’re saying so I can correctly file them. Still, I have to read enough of them for my day to become extremely frustrating and depressing. It’s not pleasant to know that so many parents in my county alone are complete and utter failures. To make that situation worse, they always blame everyone else for this and it makes me dizzy to have to try to comprehend the intricate web of conspiracy they believe is ruining their lives. In reality they just need to pay their child support and act like adults.

One has to have some level of sympathy for divorcees, of course. People change (not that much, I have to say) and sometimes you don’t realize you married a psychopath. However, in most cases, both parents are the psychopaths. The depressing aspect is that I know from experience that this all but guarantees that their children are going to end up the same way. When you look up someone’s social security number in our database, there are often cases stretching back through their ancestry as far as our records can go. Losers beget losers, in reality.

The most common and thus anger inducing letters we get are from parents who want us to somehow raise their children for them.

“My ex won’t let Tommy join the baseball team!”

Sorry, that’s not something the government cares about. People love to complain about how much involvement the government has in their lives, but those same people pull this shit every day.

I’ve trash talked divorcees on here before and have had some of their membership try to rebuke me for it but I know from experience, even if they are blind to their own habits and behavior, they are exactly the people I’m talking about.

It Doesn’t Count…

OKAY OKAY! I missed two days of blogging. There were extenuating circumstances! Monday, I felt like diving in to the capstone projects in my course textbook to get a better mastery of the concepts and this involved upgrading to Windows 10 Pro so that I could use Hyper-V. The purchase went swimmingly but the upgrade itself did not, go figure. I had to wait to talk to someone from tech support for almost 3 hours before I could use my computer. For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft “tech support” are really just contracted employees with varying levels of skill and mastery of English. Fortunately the second person I spoke to was an absolute legend and had me up and running in 5 minutes. Somehow the upgrade process glitched and installed Windows 10 Enterprise instead of Pro. Enterprise technically isn’t even able to be purchased by consumers because it’s for large businesses. Too bad he didn’t just give me an activation code for that.

Yesterday I’ll fully admit I was just lazy, haha. I took a bunch of photographs Monday and Tuesday and spent a pretty good amount of time yesterday trying to find my SD card reader. I still don’t know where it is but as luck would have it, the TASCAM mixer I just bought has an SD reader and can function as a USB drive if needed. I was able to turn on its USB mode and get the pictures that way. Then, I was a bit bummed because I didn’t realize I had my camera in JPEG mode, so all of the photos are pretty bad quality and don’t have all of the info stored that CR2 files have, which greatly limits what you can do in Lightroom. Ah well, lesson learned. It’s not like those trees are going anywhere.

Photofolio ->

Adobe’s Creative Cloud plan has an optional portfolio site included, which I didn’t know about until tonight. I set up some initial folders based on work I’ve already edited, but I plan to use it much more efficiently in the future. You can find mine here. I could say that its design is temporary and I’ll update it eventually, but I’ve been saying that about my blog for four years. 🙂

I did some e-housekeeping tonight by going through various social media platforms and unfollowing inactive accounts. It makes no difference, but for some reason it feels like I’m organizing something. WordPress was particularly alarming. I only unfollowed blogs which hadn’t been updated in a year or more but that was most of them! The majority were sobriety blogs so, well, you know how that goes. It just emphasizes how rough 2020 was for everyone. I know we’re all tired of hearing people say “THANK GOD 2020 IS OVER IT WAS SO HORRIBLE” but for some people it probably was quite horrible.

Things I Bought This Month

Wow, yesterday was a bad day! I re-read my post from yesterday and I don’t think I was fully lucid because now that I’m back to normal, I recognize how sick I was! It was almost like a dream, and coincidentally when I slept both Thursday night and last night I had very vivid and horrifying nightmares which I don’t have very often. Many psychologists say that dreams are a method your brain uses to process unconscious information you picked up on throughout the day and I don’t explicitly disagree with that; I think dreams do a lot more than just one thing. But in the case of nightmares, I think the voiceless parts of your mind need to scream once in a while.

Want to know something that sucks? Whenever I’m writing these posts I have four or five more posts burst forth from the ether into my mind and I think “oh wow I’ll be set for two weeks with all these ideas!”. But the next time I sit down to write, I draw a blank. “You know, you can write more than one page a day” I hear you all saying. Get out of here with your logic.

I bought a TASCAM Model 12 a couple weeks ago and it finally arrived a few days ago. I paid for next day shipping because it only added a dollar or two onto my monthly fee (financed, baby!) but thanks to the unexpected collapse of our shipping infrastructure last week, that was a waste of money. Anyway, I got the mixer to have a brain to my audio setup. I don’t have all of the cables required yet, and I’m in no rush, but ideally everything will be plugged into the TASCAM and I’ll be able to control the volume and whatnot in one central location. It ends up working for more than just my songwriting because it has Bluetooth connectivity (which I didn’t know when I bought it, so bonus!). I can stream my phone to it and have it come out of my speakers. Time to throw away the Amazon Echo!

Photography is something I’ve always wanted to be good at. Not great, I just want to understand it and be able to capture things as I see them. I’ve been lacking on expanding my photography toolkit… I bought some cheap, almost useless filters and magnifiers last year that I used once. I finally did some research and picked up a 50mm prime lens from Yongnuo. Cheap Chinese knock off crap, right? Nope, I read a lot of reviews (deep reviews, not the first page of Google which we all know are advertisements) and in most cases the Yongnuo 50mm is as good as the official Canon prime lens and in a couple categories it performs better (bokeh and edge distortion). I’ve snapped a phew photos with it so far but nothing to show off. I was feeling under the weather for a few days even before I got the second vaccine dose so I haven’t found the energy to get out and really use it yet but I think next week will be a good week. It’s really starting to warm up here.

Even though I was sick, I managed to fill out my planner yesterday. I’m trying to hit a 30 day streak of filling it out every day. I have been normally using it 4 or 5 days a week but the weekends are really a challenge to stay on top of everything. 2020 was the year I really understood how important a work schedule is to keep me productive! I know it’s not the same for everyone, but if I don’t have to jump out of bed and get dressed right away, I won’t. I’ll sleep ’til noon. Especially if I’m taking an SSRI. Lol. The Full Focus Planner’s goal section has me write in a “reward” for hitting the goal which is difficult for me to come up with because there aren’t a lot of things that … make me happy. Haha. Wow I felt kind of sad writing that but it is true. So for the 30 day streak, I’m not allowing myself to purchase any more music gear until I accomplish it. That’s actually really motivating because I already have my eyes on a few things.

A Rest Day

I received my second dose of COVID vaccine yesterday and this morning I awoke feeling sicker than I have in a long time. Definitely better than actually catching COVID, but I’m taking the day off from trying. I called in to work and threw on some sweatpants, and I’ve got nothing on the agenda except trashy TV shows. I didn’t want to fail my month-long blogging adventure before the month even started, so consider this my post for the day. 😀

The Netflix Burn Pile ep. 1: I Care a Lot

Netflix is a dumpster fire of daft, substance-free wokevision which is at once tragic and illuminating given its beginnings as a ideology-free DVD rental service. I haven’t been able to finish anything produced by Netflix without my eyes rolling out of my head in about three years. Prior to that, I was a collossal alcoholic and would watch anything. Incidentally, judging by the reviews of their original productions, I’d wager that is an apt description of their average audience member.

I Care a Lot is a story about how mean bitches are the best, even when they’re irredeemable shells of human beings. That’s not my interpretation of the film based on subtle yet brilliant writing; the main character explicitly states this repeatedly (three times by my count but I stopped counting). Rosamund Pike plays Marla, a con-artist who owns and operates an elder care service in which a doctor she’s in cahoots with gets a court to place the elderly in Marla’s care and then Marla milks them dry until they die and she has to give whatever is left to their inheritors. It’s an alright plot and when she inevitably goes after the wrong old lady, shit gets real real.

Dianne Wiest’s Jennifer is, by all appearances, a lonely and but very successful elder without a family who falls prey to Marla’s scam. Unfortunately for Marla, she does secretly have a son and her son is, naturally, the leader of a Russian mafia outfit (Peter Dinklage, the only saving grace in this entire grease pit). The two go at each other for custody of Jennifer back and forth and back and forth. I could describe what happens but it’s banal and predictable, and I don’t want to be writing much more on this.

The core issue with this film is that Jennifer never truly suffers. I know that sounds cold and malicious but she’s just a character in a movie, not a real person, so it’s okay. You watch her destroy the lives of society’s most vulnerable class of people, all the while being celebrated by the cinematography, and then she just… well, is a spoiler of a shitty movie still a spoiler? She doesn’t win in the end, anyway.

The identity-politics undertones are all there, as with everything Netflix releases. I’m not a psychopath who is obsessed with the evils of feminism or the queers turning our kids gay, but it’s difficult to ignore in these movies. There’s no subtlety or broader message. Movie after movie is just about white men being evil. It’s boring. Further, if you do truly believe white men are evil, does portraying them as moronic and impotent serve your message? Wouldn’t that lead impressionable young minds to underestimate how dangerous and manipulative men are capable of being?

Blogarch

I know some folks do “Blogtober” and such things but you know me, I’m completely original and nobody in the world who has ever or will ever exist is anything like me so I’m doing a month-long blogging spree in March. I’m not going to wait until the 1st to start because I’ve found that puts you into a habit of using specific days as an excuse to not do something yet (which becomes ever inevitably). So this is day 1 of however many days are in March plus however many days are left in February. This would be easy to figure out but I’m not gonna do it because, as I said, I’m very unique.

There are a lot of topics I want to cover but have been putting off because they’d take a lot of preparation and energy to write about while simultaneously not hating what I wrote. Maybe this will give me an opportunity to just touch on them without going full doctoral thesis. I’d really love to write more about film and music but I am plagued by the feeling that art critics are completely worthless. Perhaps one could say this wasn’t always the case but it is certainly the case in 2021 when we can be fairly certain all critics are compensated for their positive reviews in some way.

I’m a big fan of horror movies. From the critically acclaimed (bleh) to the horrible no-budget indie variety (double bleh), I’ll watch them all (and probably have). So last night I couldn’t find anything to watch which I haven’t already seen twice or wasn’t interested in seeing more than once. I took to Google, as one does, and queried the top horror films of 2020. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was a bad idea and clicking the link to Rotten Tomatoes was a worse one. But I did it, like a kid who can’t resist putting his hand in the campfire.

Imagine my surprise (shock would actually be more appropriate) when I saw that 100% of critics said that “His House” was the best horror movie of 2020. This quickly turned to triggered outrage from my more conservative subpersonalities but I quashed them with a dose of “well, maybe this isn’t a case of a bunch of rich white yuppies saying something is amazing because the crew is from Africa”. I can’t really fathom any other reason, though. I’d watched this movie months prior and immediately upon finishing filed it away in that part of my memory where experiences queue to be deleted. It’s not a bad movie by any means, it’s just completely forgettable.

His House is a pretty stereotypical haunted house story with the exceptions of it being about an African ghost (which I can’t remember the term for) and that the ghost doesn’t do a damn thing throughout the entire film. The reviews were full of words like “terrified” and “shocking” but I must be completely dead inside because I was entirely without emotion throughout the entire experience. I’m going to watch it again tonight through a much more biased and critical lens and maybe I’ll be able to pick up on what these almost certainly shytty reviewers saw. Here’s hoping.

I’ll see you tomorrow, loyal follower. Winks and kisses.

Galentine’s Day

This morning I decided to write an essay on the portrayal of Satan in contemporary art but after realizing it would actually take a fair bit of research to back up what I wanted to say, I put it on the ever growing stack of drafts that WordPress so kindly keeps for me.

If you’d known me from Facebook circa 2017 or prior, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m about to launch into a triggered tirade about Hallmark holidays and faux-Liberal marketing campaigns disguised as progressive virtue signaling. That’s not me anymore, though. I still open my Facebook feed every couple weeks or so. I logged in today expecting to see the remaining friends I’ve kept from my alcoholic days launching into “sarcastic” (read: defensive) tirades about Valentines day; I wasn’t disappointed.

Galentine’s Day is a hot topic this week because it has to do with women and God knows we can’t possibly let women have something that men can’t be a part of. If you’ve read my blog at all over the last few years, you’ll know I’m not at all in favor of modern feminism or progressive politics, but if those people weren’t occasionally correct, nobody would listen to them. You have to call a spade a spade. Single internet incels can’t abide women having a club that they aren’t allowed into because that’s one less place they can sexually harass them.

Instead of bitching about how fake Valentine’s Day is or about how the word Galentine shatters your perception of reality, try buying someone some flowers. It feels great.