24 July 2017

Dreamer’s World July 24, 2017 – My “Cat-itude”

    Monday has begun. It promises to be a very busy day for me since I have far too many meetings to wrap around my work on my personal goal for the job. This is the writing task that I mentioned a few days ago in this blog. I am getting close to completing it and should finish before the end of this week and I will be extremely glad to see the end of it. The sad part is that this same writing will carry forward into the next reporting period since I have apparently inherited this role for the future. It makes me wonder if they are reading my blog?
    At any rate, I still take daily inspiration from The Stooges. There are times when I feel like I just want to go back to bed and let the world screw itself up without my help. Hal The Cat often chooses this approach and it seems to work very well for him. This is a very attractive option, but not very practical for me.
    Then there is the Stevie Nicks approach of exploring everything around me, even if I have seen it a million times before. This is the path I choose most often and it gives me a sense of wonder and appreciation for the people, pets, and places that surround me every day.
    And finally, there is the Spartacus approach. This consists of combining Hal The Cat and Stevie Nicks approaches into something entirely unique. Relax, enjoy the world around me, but make the world come to me for me to enjoy it properly without interrupting me any more than absolutely necessary. I am old and wise enough to have earned this privilege.

23 July 2017

Dreamer’s World July 23, 2017 – Seeing My Past

    I went to lunch earlier today and almost directly encountered my past. When I got to the fast food restaurant, I found a table for myself and began to eat. Then I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation from a few tables away. It was the type of conversation that is supposed to be held in hushed tones so the sound doesn’t carry, but in this case, either the acoustics or my own keen sense of hearing meant that I was inadvertently listening in.
    There were 2 men, each around my age, conversing at a table at least 3 tables away from me. Within a minute, it was obvious that they were meeting each other in person for the first time. It also sounded as if they had met online, so this was the proverbial “gay first date”. I know the routine well from my own experiences years ago, before I met Hal.
    They were feeling each other out as they spoke. Neither one wanted to give away too much information about themselves, and the conversation constantly floundered. It was inevitable that would drift back to the gay scene around DC, and how both despised it so much because it was so shallow. I understand everything that they were saying to one another, although my own personal experiences happened in places other than DC. The sense of wanting to find someone was palpable in each of them, but they handled it in different ways. One of them was constantly talking, apparently afraid that if he stopped, the other man would vanish. The other man was not attempting to say a word, either from boredom or from fear of interrupting and saying exactly the wrong thing so he would just utter the occasional agreement with the first man as he rambled on and on.
    Because of the layout of the tables, the man who wouldn’t shut up attempted eye contact with me several times. I suspect that he knew that I could hear them without being obvious. At one point, the other man turned around and glanced at me. It was at this point that I gave them both my most disapproving stare and they went back to their own attempt at getting to know each other.
    I found myself thinking about the times I had been in their positions in the past. Wondering if I was ever going to find that special someone, or was I doomed to constant “first dates” that ended up with nothing. There was a part of me that wanted to go to their table and shake them both by the shoulders and scream that they were doing this all wrong. Luckily, that impulse faded quickly. No good ever came from anonymous matchmaking. I did find myself thinking how they might be able to salvage what was obviously not going very well for either of them.
    The first guy needed to shut the hell up and let the other guy talk. He was coming across as desperate and needy and clingy. I would have told him that this is the worst approach to take unless he wanted to be taken advantage of repeatedly. He should have let the other guy talk, and if he wasn’t willing to talk then he should have gotten up and left without looking back.
    The second guy should have taken the initiative to speak up during the conversation. His reluctance to do so gave me the impression that he was bored and not really interested unless he saw the opportunity for a quick fuck. If he had been serious, he would have attempted to get more than a word into the conversation. If I were him I would have been thinking that the first guy was a loser who wanted someone to listen to and that he was hauling around far too much baggage from his past.

    The strongest feeling that I left the restaurant with was a relief. I have not had to play those games for nearly 18 years and I am thankful each day for that. I hope that both men find what they are looking for, once they take the time to really figure out what that is.

22 July 2017

Dreamer's World July 22 2017 - The Quiet Has Returned

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Saturday morning is here at last. I slept last night, but it wasn’t the deep, restful sleep that I craved. Instead, my dreams were vivid and yet I cannot remember much about them once I woke up. I made sure that Hal got off to work on time this morning and now I have the place to myself, well with The Stooges at any rate.
After a morning filled with wonderful nothingness, I ventured out for a quick lunch and then came immediately back home to bask in the quiet once again. Sadly, the Chromebook battery is almost dead so I will let it charge up for awhile before continuing this post. I feel like there is more to write about, even if it is somewhat boring to some readers.
The afternoon has passed by without incident. It has rained and that has finally cooled things down, at least for awhile. I personally won’t mind more rain to help cleanse the air, but I am thankful for what we got so far. I suppose that Hal is still about an hour or so from getting home from work, and I hope that he doesn’t have to drive through any storms to get here. I don't know that we will be doing anything after he gets home and I won’t worry about it right now. I am still enjoying the quiet time as long as I possibly can.

There are a few things that I would like to do this late afternoon or early evening, but the main thing is to be here with Hal once he is home from work. The things I have thought about doing can be accomplished tomorrow while he is at work just as easily as they can this evening.

Dreamer's World July 21 2017 - Different Types Of Writing Affect Me In DIfferent Ways

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I am done with my project for work, at least for this week. Initially, I thought that it would be something that I would find enjoyment in, since it involves a lot of writing. To my disappointment the task is heavy on structured format and short on real personal input. I have come to dread the time that I set aside each day at work to dive into this project, and that dread has had an affect on my personal writing as well. There have been days when the last thing I wanted to do was to write in this blog. That has been a terrible feeling for me, words cannot adequately describe it. Only someone who loves to write will understand what I am trying to say without my having to try anymore to elaborate.
When I began this blog several years ago, I told myself that I never considered myself a professional writer. I love to tell about how things are going in my life. I love to write about Hal and The Stooges because they mean so much to me. I will post articles that I find interesting on this site in the hope that others will find them interesting as well. I never thought of myself as a professional writer in any way at all.
Perhaps it was my own vanity that made me take on the assignment that I have come to dread. Perhaps I thought that through daily edits and endless quality-control meetings that somehow I would emerge as a better writer, but I don't feel that has happened. I am not disappointed by this lack of enthusiasm about the task, it is what it is. What really struck at the core of my being was how it affected my personal writing. That pain will take time to fade away.
I cherish the responses that I get to this blog. It means the world to me when someone finds some enjoyment out of what I have written down, sometimes far too hastily. People who love to write are fundamentally different that writers who do this for a living. I admire them and wonder how they manage to not go insane at times. The pressure of writing on a deadline isn’t something that I enjoyed.
I know that I still have learned something valuable from this experience. I know that I now have the knowledge to write on the technically professional level, I just don't enjoy it. Deadlines are simply evil to me, especially when they reach into something I love as much as writing.
I retreat into the more freeform style of Google Docs as often as I can to escape the tyranny of Word. I find myself more at ease without the software trying to do everything possible to stifle my expression.

Am I crazy? Or are there others out there who read this and feel the same way?

21 July 2017

Dreamer’s World July 21, 2017 – Finishing Up This Week

    This week of work is nearly behind me. I am looking forward to the weekend at last, and a chance to relax and get some things done around here that have been put off as I toiled on the project as the deadline approached. I still will finish early, but I am really tired of writing for a technical audience and want to let my mind run free once again. I am feeling great after a visit to the chiropractor and acupuncturist last night, although I could have used a bit more sleep. I was guilty of staying up later than I should in order to read.

    Perhaps Hal and I will make what we hope will be our final trip to the local thrift store with items that we want to donate after I am finished with work. This will help us to clear up the apartment even more than it already is, and make the place a more comfortable home. I know that this has been the most successful moving purge that we have ever had. All of the old clothing items are being doated to help those in need because that is the human thing to do.

Dreamer's World July 21 2017 - Another GIfted Artist Dies Tragically

Yesterday, we lost another brilliant musician and artist to personal demons. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide yesterday. He was only 41 years old and left behind 6 children. I find it hard to understand why someone would do such a thing, but then I have never suffered from depression, nor have I faced the struggles associated with fame and fortune.
The important thing is that if Chester had not been a famous person, we would never had heard about this tragedy, but the impacts on his family and friends would have been just as devastating to them. We always try to find reasons for suicide that relate to some type of defect with the person when we should be looking more at the deeper issue of depression and how it can literally destroy someone’s life. We often wonder why someone like Chester would feel so desperate and are more than willing to blame drugs or alcohol and that somehow absolves society of the issue that depression actually does exist and that is really does destroy lives on a daily basis.
I don't know for sure if there were drugs or alcohol involved, but that isn’t really the point. Drugs and alcohol are means for people who suffer from depression to attempt to self-medicate because of the stigma that admitting to suffering from depression would place upon them.
People like Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, and now Chester would seem to have everything that one could possibly want. That sentiment is the first sign of the problem. When we believe that success equals happiness we have instantly ignored the condition of depression. When we see or hear of someone having a problem with drugs or alcohol, we morally judge them and then walk away instead of trying to find out why they feel that they need those things to cope with their own lives.
The real tragedy is that we will hear from Chester’s friends and family and then the “experts” will put together all of the warning signs that led to this awful event. Why don't we focus more on looking for those “warning signs” in everyday life so something can be done to help that person before it becomes a tragedy?
Opening up to someone about inner demons is never easy. People feel that an admission of such things will cause rejection and ostracism and they are often right. The problem with suicides caused by depression is that everyone is responsible, not just the victim. Any opportunity for human interaction on a deep personal and friendship level that is missed is just a step towards the ultimate destination. We need to care more about each other as people, and quit caring about what a person does, or what they have accomplished. We need to quit believing that “success” is the panacea for all problems. We need to love one another as brothers and sisters.

20 July 2017

Dreamer’s World July 20, 2017 – The New Doctor Who

    I have been a fan of the BBC television science fiction series “Doctor Who” for 40 years. Living in America, that is quite a statement because I can remember hearing about the show through friends who were interested in science fiction. Several friends from places like Chicago told me about this great show that was available on their local PBS station. I lived too far away to see the program, but their descriptions fascinated me. An alien who traveled through time and space in a phone booth. I quickly learned that it was a police box, something that Americans never really had as a part of our daily lives.
    I was fascinated by the idea that the character could be portrayed by different actors through the years. It was a brilliant idea to keep the series alive when the stars grew ill, or wanted to pursue other acting opportunities. It added an infinite level of possibilities to the concept that the program was built around. I doubt that American TV would ever have come up with such an idea because American TV was built on stars and their followings more than on continuous storylines that spanned multiple seasons and were less dependent on an individual to carry the program.
    It was not until the mid-1980s that I saw the program for the first time. I was not disappointed. The special effects were cheesy, but that it because the BBC operated on a budget that American TV was unfamiliar with. I thought that the brilliant part was the stories that carried the program. It didn’t need special effects to make it interesting to me. Access to the show was still spotty at best because American PBS stations operate independently of one another, and when Doctor Who was available in one city, there was no guarantee that it would be available in other cities with different PBS stations. Now, I thought that PBS made a huge mistake in not making Doctor Who available nationwide as they did with a handful of other BBC programs such as Masterpiece Theater, or Mystery.
    I was sad when the show was canceled unexpectedly in the early 1990s. It seemed that it was gone and would never return. Being in the States meant that it wasn’t perceived as important at all, as opposed to what the people in Britain must have felt. I remember the 1996 movie with Paul McGann playing the lead and hoped that it would lead to a revival of the series. I was somewhat surprised that the BBC didn’t begin with a new series at that time. Once again Doctor Who faded away until 2005.
    The new series was fabulous and it has been on ever since. We have gone through Christopher Eccelston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. When Capaldi announced that he was stepping down, the search for a new Doctor began. I was totally surprised when Jodie Whittaker was announced as the new Doctor. I have never seen her act, but I am really looking forward to it.
    Immediately, the trolls began to attack the choice of a woman playing the part of the Doctor. For the life of me, I cannot understand the uproar. I look forward to the new Doctor and her adventures. Her gender isn’t an issue to me at all. The armchair comedians have tried to use this new Doctor as an excuse to try out their dated and tired sexist jokes, I understand that because it is only human nature. The thing that was the most annoying to me was that apparently a British newspaper has released photos of Whittaker that would never have been released if she were a man. The double standard for women still exists. Apparently, Jodie Whittaker must be both a sex symbol and an actress. The release of the photos also shows that the objectification of women is still a major problem that we need to address.

    The double standard is that a woman is supposed to allow herself to be exploited to a degree to succeed in ways that male actors are not. Leave her alone and enjoy her portrayal of the Doctor!