Sunday, December 14, 2014

Living in the St. Louis area during the moment of the Michael Brown Protests


I am not going to intentionally post anything that will ignite flames. I don’t even really want to talk about who was right and who was wrong, because, frankly, I don’t see this as a binary issue. There was wrong on both sides of the argument, and Michael Brown supporters and Darren Wilson supporters both truly are fighting over something incredibly deeper than the particular act of the shooting. 

Do I have an opinion on it? Yes. Will I share it? Absolutely not, publicly. I don’t want to touch the core of the debate with a 20-foot pole. People are losing friends over this by making statements they know too little about. I want no part in it.


Perspective.

What this blog post is about is what it’s like to live in the St. Louis area during all of this. I’m a white man. I’m privileged. What I write here is not a generalization of what everyone’s life is like; this is what my personal observations have been. I’m not even in the city. I live across the river in the nearby Belleville. That’s about 18 minutes to downtown. 
 

Fear.

Many of my white friends and family are scared to go downtown because of the violence. They’re afraid that the protests will come over to this side of the river. They’re scared of talking about anything with black people, because they don’t want to say the wrong thing. Obviously, I harbor that, too. Who wants to be accidentally offensive? Most of my white friends are intelligent enough to understand that there’s no way they could ever understand what it’s like to be black, and so to speak about it with a black person is going into a hot-button topic with a layer of ignorance.

Racism.

White people in STL, it seems, are less scared to say anything they want behind the keys of a computer. On the day that the indictment was decided, there was a slew of blatantly racist garbage posted to social media, by people I would have never thought to feel the way they apparently do. Let it be known, I hate racism. It is ugly. I deleted several people because of how nasty some of the postings were. It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on about this; there’s no reason to be racist. 


Accusations.

I remember when #NotAllMen and #YesAllWomen were trends on Twitter. Men wanted to come out and say that not all of them were nuts after a crazed guy with a non-existent lovelife went on a shooting rampage at a sorority, and feminists responded to those men by saying that it doesn’t matter how good some men are because all women have to face the bad men. That same sort of thing is going on in STL, but instead of women and men it’s black and white people. White people want to say, “We’re not all racists,” but black people respond, “It doesn’t matter because all black people deal with racists.” I can’t speak for black people, but white people feel accused (not me, but in general). They feel like all black people hate them now over something one person did. I can understand why black people might not care how white people feel, because this moment, they probably feel, is about them.


Personally.

Of course, I believe that there is a race problem in the USA. That is an obvious fact. I believe black lives matter. Something needs to be done about it. What that is, I don’t know. I’m not saying anything about the shooting specifically, however white people still have special privileges in all aspects of everyday life. That needs to change. There is no freedom until all people are treated equally. I suppose that is the most important part of all this. I think the conversation is a good place to start. This is my contribution to keeping the talk alive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Coffee Challenge Ended + Talking About Personal Writing


So, my 37-day No-Coffee Challenge ended. I was successful in not drinking any caffeinated beverages (knowingly, at least) for 37 days. This is the first sip of coffee, which I took this morning:



TOPIC CHANGE: personal writing


Awhile back, my good friend and I were discussing how our lives got to the places we’re at, and he mentioned that he had been writing something every day, sort of like a journal.

I’m the kind of person who writes about my own life. I have f o u r blogs here on Blogger, and this one, A Poet's Revolver, is a monthly blog about the happenings in my life. But those are the public blogs under my name; I also keep two others. One is a secret blog that is public but anonymous, the other is a blog that I keep in a Word file on my computer. The secret blog is a place to publicly express my frustrations about dating, and the Word file is a private one that I go into detail with specifics that I will never want anyone to ever see (like a private diary). These last two blogs are infrequent to the point that I only write in them when I need to feel better (writing is my outlet) or something big is happening in my life.

Throughout my grade and high school life, I used to write in physical notebooks, all of which I’ve kept and am still keeping in my box-o-memories. Gosh, I remember how this started. A girl named Christine started keeping a notebook and listing random goofy things, like rejected Snow White-dwarf names. Stinky. Wasteful. Fuzzy. Most of the names were not PG, if I remember correctly, so I won't list them here, but you get the idea. I still keep physical notebooks, but they're all dedicated to making art and sketching out ideas for my books.

from Camp, after a day of mud-sliding, I'm the redhead in the back
I remember very specifically buying a notebook and writing in it while I worked for the Boy Scouts at Camp Joy. I wrote a page for every single day during the two months I worked there, and I've even outlined a potential book I could turn it into someday. I worked at the camp in 2007, and this was a weird time in my life. I had left high school in 2005, and so during 2007 I was in my college-days, feeling lonely and wondering what I was supposed to do with my life. Camp was so random and I didn't know anyone that it became a real period of growth and crazed adventure for me.

When the Internet grew, 

a photo I took from last month on an orange morning
I began keeping public blogs on some of the old blog-building websites. Most of those I have since deleted because they are embarrassing. When Facebook became a thing, I started writing notes (also now deleted). Haha, that was my political/religious angst phase, where I was exploring all of the different philosophical ways there were to be. Those were fun because I had some crazy conversations with random people.

I quit talking politics and religion once I decided to fully commit myself to becoming an author, though, mainly because I wanted to have a public face that would be welcoming to anyone. So, instead, I created an education blog, along with my book and nerd culture blog. I’ve since deleted the ed blog and replaced it with this life and another blog about creatures from my book. So, that’s where I am today.

But a few months ago, I got a calendar from my work, and it was about the size of one of my old notebooks, so I began writing every day in the day-slot. I write things I do, or random observations, or things my friends have said, or weird dreams, or… anything, really. It’s cool to see EVERYTHING I’ve done for the past few months in big blocks of text.

Now, when I ask myself if October was a worthwhile month, I can look back and say:


giant ketchup bottle
I went to a science fiction convention.
I put up awesome decorations (see them here!).
I started seriously lifting weights and eating healthy.
I was a monster in a haunted trail. (I vlogged this)
I survived being in the middle of a tornado.
I went to a pumpkin patch.
I went hunting for Cakeway to the West cakes at the Giant Ketchup Bottle and Cahokia Mounds.
I went to The Darkness haunted attraction.
I hung out with random, awesome friends.
My goldfish died.
Had lunch with a friend at a local coffee shop.
Had a dinner with family that I haven’t seen in 3 years.
Went to a wicked Halloween party and met a bunch of new people.

 

(the above video is a vlogged account of the aforementioned haunted trail)

So, yes, I had a good month. My life’s time was well spent.

taken from Cahokia Mounds
I like knowing that for a fact. October was a fantastic month filled with doing stuff. This month, November, is already 11 days through. Weird, huh? It hasn’t been all that eventful, but that was meant to be the plan. November is a month I’ve dedicated to working on my book. I really want to get it finished.

I did have an awesome time at my sister’s birthday dinner the other day. We went to Shogun's, where they cook Japanese food right before you on a giant stove in the center of your table. They shot drink into my cousin’s mouth and my sister had to dance with a dragon. It was fun.

I suppose that's all I have to say for today. This has been a bit of a disjointed blog post, for sure, but I write all this for myself more than anyone. I thank you for reading, though. It's nice to think that someone out there is listening.

Leave a comment and tell me something cool from your life! Also, you can follow me on Twitter @Oxyborb

Saturday, October 25, 2014

R.I.P. Ludwig the Blackmoor Goldfish. 2005-2014.



Got him in my first year of college by winning a campus freshmen carnival game. He stayed in my dorms for those years, outliving Hedwig, the goldfish I got with him, and several others I tried to put in his tank since. He also outlived several gangs of snails, a gathering of ghost shrimp, a countless population (literally about 1000 born and died during the many years) of guppies that I bought in high school (the guppies finally died out about two years ago). 

Ludwig was a good fish, no question. He loved swimming into upturned coffee mugs, making poop strings, and eating rocks to regurgitate them later. He will be buried today in the backyard in a shoebox at the time of whenever I get to it. All memorials can be made to Flakes for Fortuneless Fingerlings. Stray cats be warned: He will be sprinkled with hot sauce.

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Coffee: Week 1


coffee pokemon
So, one week ago my evil friend assigned me 37 days of torture.

Ok, erm…

I decided that I needed a break from coffee. I was drinking too much. It was giving me an upset stomach and making me feel paranoid (not like dangerously or anything, just over little things). Now, I really, really love coffee. Perhaps Seattle had an effect on me, but I drink it every morning. I drink it when I write and when I play video games. I drink it when I draw and when I sit on YouTube. It makes me feel creative and motivated to work. I knew I needed moderation, but I’m bad at moderation. I needed some sort of quick action to expel me out of my routine.

What I randomly decided one morning was to ask Facebook to give me a number between 1 and 50, which would translate into the number of days I would abstain from drinking coffee/soda/caffeinated beverages. The first person to comment said, “37. I've always liked that number. XD” and so I charted off 37 days of torture.

That lead me to November 11th. That will be my first day I’m allowed to drink coffee again. It’s convenient that that day is also a day off for me. What I do plan to do is start on moderation. Instead of using this giant red cup, I’ll use my coffee mug. I’ll limit myself to one mug per half-day (so once in the morn and once in the evening), and that will cut my consumption in half.

So, week one is finished for me. My first day without was not great. I had a head ache. The next few were fine, actually. Sunday was the biggest craving for it I’ve had, and I quelled it with some cocoa.

My stomach has felt better. I have not felt paranoid. I’ve actually started a few other dietary habits in the last few weeks, including weight lifting and vegetable-only lunches, so I’ve been feeling good in general. My muscles have been weak and sore, but that has nothing to do with coffee. I have been excessively tired lately. I went to bed on Wednesday and slept for 12 hours.

That’s pretty much it for that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weird Dream Tattoos and Going On New Adventures


I just re-read my last entry, and I’d say that the last month has been hard. I’ve just been lonely recently. I’ve been sort of clueless as to what to do besides continue working on my novel.

I’m on a huge upswing right now, though.
I decided to take some action and now I have a bunch of plans to go out into the world and do stuff over the next few weeks. I’m making plans for a hike, to go hang out with a bunch of video game nerds, and to go play some tabletop RPGs with a meetup group. I plan on going to a convention that is happening next month. I even updated my OKcupid, haha. Maybe I’ll actually man up and go on a date.
 
So, that’s the update on that. I’m doing stuff. I've lined up some adventures, and it's changed my mood in positive ways. Life moves on, hopefully gets better, you know, the human experience. It’s Halloween; I’m destined to enjoy myself more than usual. I bought a skeleton, haha. If only I could find someone to go to a haunted house with this year!

In weird dream related news (why is this becoming a thing?), I had a pretty good one the other week and I drew a picture to go with it:

"In my dream, I was tattooing a pretty girl at a state fair.

The tattoo was a centipede with a long body crawling down her back, but at the opposite end of the head was a lion. The last leg of the centipede was the lion’s reaching claw, and the lion’s tail made an S up her shoulder. On the bushy end of the tail was a tiny toy King with a sword reaching out the same direction as the lion’s claw. The woman I was tattooing kept shivering and telling me that my ink was cold.”


I wrote the words above before making the drawing. The brain is a weird place, isn’t it?





Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Can't Buy Happiness

So, I bought a Playstation 4.
Unboxed it. Set it up.
Played on the menus for about 5 minutes.
Then it died.


No joke. It crapped out on me and became unusable. When I push the power, a blue light flickers and it beeps once, then it dies. I called Sony, and ran their tests. They tried to boot to safe-mode, but it wouldn’t go past the first beep. The only solution was to send me a box coffin to ship it back to them with. They’re going to fix it for free and all, but it still sucks.

I’ve been really, really missing Seattle lately. 

I had been doing so well—making herds of friends and all while I was out there, but then I had to leave it all and return to the cornfield that is Southern Illinois. Most of the old friends I had here moved elsewhere, and I suppose I will move away again someday, but…

My Playstation 4 was supposed to take me back.
I bought a game called Infamous: Second Son, which is set in Seattle. You can explore the city freely—it’s an open world without the linear restrictions of normal games. But, my PS4 died 5 minutes after the unboxing. Figures.

On the car ride over to the video game store, I even said, “I’m just trying to buy myself happiness.”
I guess I’ve been super lonely recently. In some ways, I guess that’s by design. I’ve been really reclusive lately. I’ve felt like doing things but I’m so annoyed about how there’s nothing to do without driving a million miles away that I’m frustrated. I went to the STL Zoo recently, attempting to go out and do something by myself for myself. A self-date, I guess. I wanted to see if I could have fun alone, so I went to the STL Fair and then walked to the Zoo. It was boring. I bought myself a root beer float and sat alone eating it. It sucked. At least I know that I hate being alone, now.

The other reason I’ve been a recluse is because of my writing. I really, really want to be a writer, and I know that I have to work at it full-time, even though I already have a full-time job, if I even have a hope of ever being published. I’ve been working extremely hard at it, and writing is a lonesome activity. All of people you hang out with while writing are characters that you’ve made up in your head. Those characters are all bits and pieces of you. So, writers really are a weird sort of introvert. Self-examining, social creating, but only with fictitious copies of the self. Err.

Well, that’s my life recently. Also, more weird dreams.

I posted the other day, but I had another last night. Here it is:

I was in a giant observatory, and I walked through a painting. On the other side, the painting had become solid and so I could no longer go back. I was on the top floor of a tower, inside a room that looked like Dumbledore’s office. A tall pale man in a pinstripe suit was there, and he spoke to me about how to become immortal. Suddenly, the floor collapsed and I fell into a room surrounded by spider webs. Spiders trickled out from all the walls and gripped me. I wasn’t afraid, though. Suddenly, my dream cut to a giant open field of hilly grass and flowers. Tall women, with thin purple legs were striding over the hills singing. I was walking under them but they kept going. I woke up and Enya was playing on my computer—I guess that’s where the singing came from.



Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I typed this out as soon as I woke up


Last night I dreamt that there was a huge car accident. Spots of the Earth had sunken in and the cars were toppled over inside of these craters. Cars were slammed onto the sides of buildings. Figures and limbs everywhere and the red ink--

I was with the cops, walking through, trying to find my new apartment. I opened the door and I was back in Seattle. A huge apartment, spacy and empty. There was a bed the size of a swimming pool but I didn't want to sleep in it because I was afraid of being alone and getting lost. Also, it was by the window and I was afraid that a car might slam through it. So, I locked all the windows. 

Empty, the house was so empty and then I needed to take my car and get out. I had to meet the ghost at the restaurant. I could only turn left and I drove a broken square out and out, spiraling until I found the place. It had red brick shutters and the music was like if you could play a woman's scream on a violin.

I saw the blood soaked bedsheets of the ghost and then I knew why the craters sank and why the apartment was so big and empty and I woke up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Self-Improvement

Last month I talked about the meaning that buying clothing has had for me. Overcoming the challenges of the last few years of my life has be very difficult, to say the least. But the change has been about focusing on myself for once. Thinking clearly about the things I want, not what other people want or what other people want for me.
took this pic accidentally, lol

Like a camera coming into focus, I'm starting to see myself. When I moved out to Seattle, I didn't do it for me. I loved Seattle when I got there, but moving out had been like a train crashing into the station. It was all so fast, unplanned. I felt like the man was checking tickets and told me I was on the wrong train. The forces were propelling me away from my goal, making me a pillar for others to step on.

So, buying clothing was for me. About 90% of my clothing was bought in the last year. I've tossed so much out, it's crazy. I've been working on my looks as a part of my self-improvement momentum. I have never been an incredibly attractive guy. In some ways, I feel like that was the downfall of my efforts to start a rock band, but I digress. Lately, I've been buying tighter-fitting clothing. I have been using a new teeth-whitening gel (and it's really working! my teeth have really improved!). I've been doing yoga and working out every day for the last few months. I've made beginning efforts to eat healthier again (beginning, but there's way more to go on that). I want to bring my weight down, for health and dating reasons. 

I think the next big step for me is immersing myself into the social world again. I was sort of going through a recluse-socialite-recluse-socialite phase for the past few months, just depending on whether or not any of my friends were in town. Now, I'm feeling like my reclusive period is almost over. I need to get involved in something. Something nerdy, hopefully. I might go join the STL Writer's Guild or something.

Well, that's as update as I've got for this month. The other big thing for me is the fact that I bought an amazing camera, which I blogged about here.

Thanks for reading, caring, etc. I love you, whoever you are. Don't be a stranger. I could use more random conversations in my life, so feel free to message me.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

About A Poet's Revolver

This is a personal / daily life blog written by Harrison Aye. It's just about whatever is going on in my life, but sometimes I might talk about world events, education, my random observations, and whatever else is on my mind.

I write this blog more for myself than anyone else. When I am someday feeling nostalgic, I can go back and remember my life's twists and turns. However, the shared human experience is important, so I made this public.

It's nice to feel like someone out there might be listening,
even if it's not true. If my blog was private, then I know that nobody would be listening. It's just a nice thought to think that perhaps someone who goes through a similar problem to me might stumble upon my blog and feel better.

So, that's what this is. Just me talking to myself aloud. You can follow by hitting the buttons on the link bar! Thanks for stopping by!




Get to know me in other ways! Check out my links!


harrisonaye.com - This is my welcome splash page, which you can use to navigate to my other pages.

Unraveler Blog - This is my official writing blog. I post about my writing process and my thoughts on other literature.
http://www.unravelreads.blogspot.com/

If you'd like for my writing blogs to show up in your Facebook newsfeed, "like" this page: https://www.facebook.com/unravelerbook

Oxyborb - This is my nerd culture, video game, Halloween, and anything weird blog. There's a variety of stuff on here, so check it out! 
http://www.oxyborb.blogspot.com/

If you'd like for my nerd culture blogs to show up in your Facebook newsfeed, "like" this page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oxyborb/112019158940464?ref=ts&fref=ts

Unraveled Sketches on Tumblr - Where I post the sketches I make as I write, and also apparently where I talk about Muppets too often.

 Weird and Creepy Pinterest - A collection of strange images that inspire me.
 
My YouTube - Sometimes I feel the urge to make weird YouTube videos. They are pretty random.
http://www.youtube.com/oxyborb

My Twitter - For random revelations under 140 characters:
http://www.twitter.com/oxyborb

My Facebook - This page is more... up-and-coming. I have it set up so that when my writing career takes off, it's ready to go and official. Feel free to "like" it (then you can be there before it was cool, you hipster), but I don't expect to post on it until my novel is published.
https://www.facebook.com/harrisonaye

My Gumroad eShop - If you want to support me in a financial sense, then I have a Gumroad eShop where you can buy my music, videos, and other digital files. Thank you for the support! It helps me fund my creations! You can buy all of my songs individually for $1, or you can buy the entire CD for $5 (there are 11 tracks!).
http://www.gumroad.com/oxyborb
 
Contact me!
oxyborb@gmail.com
@oxyborb on Twitter
https://www.facebook.com/harrisonaye
or feel free to leave comments on my social pages! I read them!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Clothing

First off, I’d like to introduce my new car:

She’s beautiful and blue and as small as a shoe. 2011 Hyundai Accent.

Most of the last month has been car shopping, for me. I went to every dealer under the sun. It’s amazing how similar each salesperson’s pitch is. “I just sold my son a car, four weeks ago.” They like everything you like. They like to change the topic from car buying to things you like. It’s annoying. I guess, as an English major and communications minor, I am prone to see tactics in interpersonal speech and persuasion. They did not work on me. At the last minute, I managed to talk them down another 500 bucks. Party.

I have a car loan, now.

When I was in Seattle, I hoped that soon I’ve never have to deal with paying for car stuff again. I thought I’d be getting rid of the one up there, since the bus system was so good. It’s not so good in Southern Illinois.

Things change. 


I bought a new video game system. The Wii U. I love it. I have been doing yoga on it every day. I’ve been eating vegetables. After I moved back from Seattle to here, I fell off the health wagon. I want to get back on it.

I have a list of things I want: A new hat. A hat specifically for work. HD camera. PS4. Wii Blue Remote. CD case. CD car for car mirror. Burnable CDs. New notebook. New professional artist grade drawing pens. Binders to sort my novel notes. New Dry erase marker holder. Other, more embarrassing, things that I don’t want to list publicly on my blog.

I cross them off my list as I go. I don’t buy the first items I see. I am frugal. I shop around.

I don’t waste money. 


I do not make a ton of money. I am a teacher, after all.

I bought clothes. I haven’t bought clothes for any other reason than work over four years. I have four new polos, three new T-shirts that are only for social occasions. I have twenty-five pairs of new socks. I trashed my old socks. I have two new sets of gym wear. I have four new pairs of shorts. I have new sneakers and new flip-flops. I have thousands of dollars left over in the bank. I pay my bills on time. My list is almost completely crossed off.

Is there a point to me saying all of this? Yes, and it's not to brag. This is, after all, not an insane list. This is normal stuff people need every day. My point, I guess, is that money doesn't make you happy. I am happy, but not because of the fact that I can take stuff home. It's the control. The feeling that there's only one person who sways my destiny, and that's me. I can buy a shirt because I know I am smart enough not to bounce checks. Four+ years and I finally have a new shirt that I can wear to a bar and not look like a dunce. Four+ years and only now is my savings reaching a peak. Things changed for me, and I am happier for it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Politics and me

I've had a falling out with political discussion.

I just don't like it anymore.

I used to enjoy debating politics with people, but there have been a few changes in my life that made me... not necessarily apathetic, but... I just don't want any part in the discussion.

For one thing, I want to publish books, and I don't want anyone to not purchase my books on the basis of my political orientation. I know that's a cop-out, but it's true. I want to write books for children, and I don't want ______ political person to hate me so much that they won't let their kid read my work. My work is non-political; I just want to tell fun stories and get kids reading. If anything, literacy for kids is my personal mission. I think there comes a point where a writer needs to decide if they want to be all-encompassing or politically motivated, and I want to be all-encompassing. I want liberals and conservatives alike to buy my books and enjoy them. I plan to never donate money I make off of books to political causes (FYI, the thing I want to donate money to is clean drinking water charities for poor people in other parts of the world). I want buyers to be at-ease with me. I really do.

The second motivation I have for being a-political is the bigger reason: I just want to love everyone.

My oldest friend told me once that she didn't like certain people on facebook because they were always angry about politics, and it enlightened me. Who does like someone who is always angry? Not me. Slamming other people based off of their values and feelings is useless and makes you hold anger in your heart. You see this sort of thing a lot on twitter trends. Hashtags like, #SayThreeWordsAbout(insert political group). That kind of thing does nothing but spreads hate. Pulls us apart. I think the only way for any good to happen is to come together, and political debate does nothing for unity.

I might not agree with someone, but the path to political understanding comes from seeing their perspective, not from broadcasting your own. That leads me to my third reason:

Most people don't care if they're wrong. This was a huge realization for me, because I truly care to know when I'm wrong/mistaken about things. I like to be corrected if I get my facts messed up. I like to see where other people are coming from. I admit when I'm wrong. Truth is, though, most people don't want to know if they're wrong. Even if they do know, most people don't care. Most people don't care if the logic doesn't flow; they'll keep on debating the point long after it is disproven. This is the essence for why debate does nothing, I've found. People want to be heard, not to hear.

So, although I'm not apolitical or apathetic, I have chosen to back off of it completely, for my writing career and for myself.


Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A year since the split


I began writing a blog post about being a teacher again, cooking, and other boring mundane stuff, and I deleted it all. It wasn’t interesting. I wouldn’t want to read it. There was nothing worth writing about. I tried to think about an interesting aspect of my life to add to this blog, since I’m trying to do at least one post a month, and I realized that today was exactly one year from when I split up with the girl I was married to.

It’s a little taboo to talk about divorce/breakups/splits over social media. I had a goal from the day we split that I would not write anything I would regret over social media about the whole thing. I did well to reach my goal, mostly. I had a few moments where I wanted to pour my angst out over facebook in the beginning, but my friends Matt and Clayton kept me in check and reminded me about the kind of person I wanted to be.

The one thing I did do was write a blog post, mostly to quell the curiosity of my friends who wondered why everything happened. I thought a simple post would serve well to keep people from pounding me with questions, and I think it did. The post was fairly simple, with not many details, but a statement of my hopes for the future. I just reread it a minute ago, and I still like it. I think the words were right for the time. Heck, it was even trying to show empathy to her.

I’m not planning on going into more details now, or ever. Not over social media. But, I thought I would give an update to that blog post, since it quickly became my most-viewed post all-time. I want to write about it because it’s obvious that my friends were concerned for me at the time, and I wanted to update in a more substantial way than a facebook status update. I am going to try and hurdle the taboo aspect of it, since my life experience might help you if you ever get forced into this situation. I haven’t talked about it much, so really it might be nice to just freewrite on it, now that an entire year has gone by.

So, my update is this: I’m happier now than I have ever, ever been.

I want to be honest about something. I do hold anger about what happened. You know that feeling where you’ve been greatly wronged by someone and you wish you could just yell and yell at someone, perfectly spouting all the right words? I have that, packed away somewhere inside me. I also carry embarrassment for putting my friends and family through a wedding, and that I put them through a marriage that was destined to not be much better than a Britney Spears’ marriage. That may sound crude but I’m trying to be honest. I am not proud of those feelings. I don’t feel them often, but I do feel them sometimes.

I have those feelings in the pit of my mind, yet the person I am is still overwhelmingly happy. Life, all in all, is better than it was, perhaps better than it has ever been. I have hardly thought about my split up since returning to Belleville, truly. I haven’t talked about it with people much because I haven’t thought about it much. Because I was in Seattle and then returned to Belleville, it never felt like I was going through a breakup/divorce. Seattle was another world, an alternate universe, and my troubles stayed there. The end of my marriage felt more like a TV sitcom rerun that I had once watched, and I only realized that I was a cast member when someone would occasionally ask me what happened.

And the first half of the year-long span of time was spent constantly being surrounded by friends and people, so I didn’t really get a chance to feel alone. January of this year was a harder month, since I had just gone through a traumatic experience (not related to the breakup) and the two friends I had been hanging out with moved far away, so I was missing companionship.

But that all quickly melted as the snow did, and I’m feeling better than ever. Really, my life is just working on my book and teaching at the moment. It’s nice to be on a teacher’s schedule again, which means that I have SPRING BREAK next week! Party! I’m excited.

I guess that’s all I care to say, really. Having just reread this, I don’t really say all that much. Certainly not the juicy, gossip-worthy topics, sorry to tell you. I guess the takeaway is that I’m fine, and I have been fine. I hold a little anger but I haven’t felt any pain. I have hardly even thought about it, to be honest. Most of the promises I made to myself in that previous blog post have come true, to which I am thankful and fortunate. Right now, I’m more focused on the future, and I am happy about my life and the direction my life is going in.

Thanks for reading. Keep up with me at:
my website my twitter

Friday, March 7, 2014

Budweiser’s Make Opening Day A National Holiday Campaign


Baseball makes Budweiser a ton of money. Do I need to say more? Yes? Alright…

It seems like everyone is being shuffled into another dumb viral marketing campaign. My facebook is clogged with people talking about making MLB’s Opening Day a nationally recognized holiday. Meanwhile, all of the shared links, pictures, and videos of Ozzie Smith are plastered with Budweiser, Budweiser, Budweiser.

Before you start calling me a commie, please note that I think Opening Day would be a fun sort of holiday. I love baseball. I really do. I have the STL Cardinals, and who could ask for a better team to root for? (I used to own an Ozzie Smith baseball card collection!)



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But the idea of a major corporation purchasing a nationally recognized holiday sickens me. It really does. Corporations already own the entire government. Political leaders might as well have endorsements sewn onto their suits to display all the companies that own them.

Do we really need for our national culture to become marketing propaganda any more than it already is? Because that’s what it will be. If Budweiser can throw money at this, purchase a national holiday, it will not be baseball’s holiday… it will be Budweiser’s.

Every year, we will have a nationally recognized holiday that will have been bought and paid for by a beer company, and they will never let us forget it.



MLK vs. BUD

I don’t want Budweiser in the same league as Martin Luther King Jr.. I don’t want to decoration for Budweiser Day the same as I do for Christmas. No. No, no nononoono.

No!

If you want opening day as a holiday, America, do it on your own terms, not a beer company’s. Please. Have some self-respect. Don’t sell out our cultural significance to marketing propaganda.

Also, opening day can’t become a holiday before Halloween.





Thanks for reading! Keep in touch; follow me on Twitter: @Oxyborb or visit my website!

Monday, March 3, 2014

My life, marching on… Tax goof and piano learning

Yeah that was a pun. It’s March. No, I’m not planning on doing standup.

So, my life. Let’s talk about taxes. Haha.

I am an idiot. I sent my taxes to the wrong bank account. I did that direct deposit thing for my return. Typed in double six instead of double five. I felt horrible when I clicked the IRS website and realized that they had sent my return to me on Feb 10 when it was Feb 20, my bank account still empty. I even paid to do that Turbotax thing.

Luckily, I called my bank and they fixed the situation. My smart friend who does banking explained to me about…. no, I’ll just post it in her own words:
Automatic Clearing House. It's an electronic network in which financial transactions are processed. What probably happened is that the system routed it to a non-existent but valid account number at your bank. Since the account number failed, it most likely went into an exceptions account that the bank could pull it from. The ACH system was smart enough not to return to the IRS. Yay!

Banking is so cool.


That it is. Cool. I bank with Catholic and Community Credit Union. God, I love credit unions. Anyone who wants a community run, wonderful alternative to greedy too-big banks should switch to a credit union. There are so many advantages to it, truly. When I lived in Seattle, I was with BECU, which was also great.

So, that’s all I’ll talk about banking. The other part of my life has to do with learning piano.

There’s a keyboard at my house, and I’ve been playing it when I need a mental break. It’s very relaxing, and I think I’m improving! I can play the Game of Thrones theme! It’s fun!

I used to play guitar and bass in a few bands, but I got to a point where I was satisfied with my skill level. I never wanted to be any better than I am now at guitar, so I think I lost interest. I didn’t have any goals to work toward. I was good enough. Piano is new and fun. I can feel myself getting better every day. I want to learn how to play a bunch of songs that I can bust out at parties randomly, lol.

I got to jam with some of my old bandmates recently, and it felt good. Makes me want to play music again. My voice is rusty, to be honest.

Anyway, that’s been my life this past month. I hope your life is going well! If you want to know about the writing stuff I’ve been doing, mosey on over to my Writing Blog.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

This is January. This is Sparta (morelike madness, truly).


So, I do two separate blogs at the moment that talk about my month. This one you’re on is about my personal life. If you care more about my writing life, head right over here.

It’s hard to talk about my month without talking about the writing aspect, but I’m going to try.

January was a bad month, but I don’t think February will be. I don’t know why, but all month I’ve been in a funk. I nearly died at the beginning of it, and I mean that literally. I was in a car-sliding-race-to-the-death during the icestorm, traveling home from DC. It was awful and traumatic. I think that started me off wrong.

I’ve been doing nothing but reading for the past week. I’m working on the Song of Ice and Fire series, AKA Game of Thrones. It’s awesome, but I’ve hardly wanted to do anything else. I went out for coffee with a horror photographer, who was way cool but I just don’t feel like I’m in the mood to date anyone right now.

I’ve been teaching myself piano. No, really. I’m getting better! I think I like it because of the challenge. I stopped playing guitar much because I felt like I hit the level of talent I wanted. I didn’t have a care to learn how to be better at it, so the fun of growing in talent left me. Piano is new and I have to learn from the ground up, so it’s fun. I hope to come out knowing a few fun tunes to bust out at parties.

What else? Man, I’m just looking forward to the future.

I’ve decided to go back and get my masters in the fall. I want to work the summer job with Clayton again, and then get back in school. I hope to work an assistanceship, go to grad classes, and then work at the AMC up there by night. That should keep me plenty busy, anyway! I want to move onto campus if possible. Depends on the costs and availability.

I am probably getting a car soon, so hopefully that should make me more mobile. At the moment, I think I’m feeling a little trapped by my situation. But, I have a plan to get myself out of it all! I also need to lose weight… ehhh… Lots to focus on, but I’m serious about the weight thing. Lots of fat people like me say that they want to change, but won’t. I don’t want to be that person.

Anyway, that’s all for January. Good riddance! I plan on having a better year from here on out, though! I hope you have a good year, too.