Dump Post #2 of Too Many: Writing

Is it just me or do I suck at writing? It’s weird, I’ve been both praised and condemned by professionals in writing on various occasions. On one hand, I’ve won awards and, on the other, I’ve barely gotten a passing grade. I don’t understand why writing can be so hard. When I was a kid, I really admired the authors of the books I loved. They were my heroes who created my heroes. No surprise that I always wanted to do the same stuff they were doing. As I got older, I came to realize something vitally important to my success as a writer: I suck at writing. Although I post things on here and I get papers with A’s on them, I’m still not a good writer. Even when my short story was chosen to be featured in my school’s paper, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it sucked royally. Am I just missing something? Is there some great conspiracy amongst the people in my life to constantly leave me in a haze of confusion? Do I suck? Probably. I’m a nobody in the world of writing. Literally a nobody, I have never published a work or done any significant writing. I hold no sway over the common conventions of writing. I’m nobody.

Part of my college major is English. The reason behind this is that I love to read and write. I would never survive in a labor intensive job or thrive in an office every day. Studying or teaching literature would honestly be my only hope for a somewhat happy life. I probably won’t make any money, but at least I’ll be having some fun, right? I always imagined that I would live out some sort of Cinderella story. Poor guy, he spends every day slaving away at his job only to be miserable because he doesn’t live his dream. Suddenly, his fairy wish prince arrives to fix it all and he lives happily ever after as a greatly admired author. The end. Sounds nice enough. Fleeting dreams, that’s what they are. These wishes have become the fragments of dreams dancing in a haze around my head after waking from a long sleep. It’s ridiculous. I’m not proficient or interesting enough to write anything valuable and yet I’m still hoping that it’ll come true. I while away the hours imaging what could be even after 15 years. I don’t want to waste away my life wishing for things that can’t be, but, at the same time, I don’t want to waste my life wondering why I didn’t try harder. In the end, I still suck at writing. At least I know that for sure and I’m not doing things like auditioning for American Idol and embarrassing myself because my friends can’t tell me the truth, I suck.

I didn’t mean for this post to get so depressing. I’m not usually a depressing sort of person. I’m actually quite optimistic. I just know my limits. Maybe I’ll post some of the person writing I’ve been doing just for the heck of it. No one reads this crap anyway so why not, right? Here, have that bad short story that got put in the school paper. It’s a “scary” story so settle in and get in the mood.

 

I glanced at my phone. It was later than I had planned to be there. It was already dark.  It was my night to lock up the library so that meant I could use the computers to work late on projects. I sat at my desk double checking my paper before leaving. The head librarian had left about a half hour ago and the library was completely silent. I was really tired and I just wanted to get out of there so I hit print. I signed out of my computer and headed over to the printer. That’s when I heard the knocking. It caught me off guard and I let out a yelp then whipped around to look for the source. The library was completely dark except for the light from the computer screen. I could barely see, but I looked in the shadows for movement. Another knock.

“Hello?” I called out into the darkness. I thought it was another student working late or that had left something behind. It had happened before. I fumbled my way through the dark to the source of the continued knocking. They were loud like someone was slamming their head against the doors, shaking with the power behind the hits.

“You’ll have to come back tomorrow morning we’re clo–” I was cut off by the blows followed by a sharp scratching sound. It was like something metal running along glass. There was a quick glint of something in the window before I saw the door open a crack. I hadn’t locked the doors! I stumbled back to the other side of the front desk and ducked just as one of the doors slid open. I heard the click of the lock. My phone was sitting on top of the desk above my head but if I did that he would be able to see my arm. I looked to my left and saw my backpack. I pulled it close and got my keys. They held my car keys and the library key all on one so I pocketed that. I was listening for footsteps but heard nothing. The library’s silence had returned but held a more menacing feeling this time. It weighed heavy on my chest. I crawled across the floor to the other end of the desks. I knew the doors were only about seven feet away, I could make it. I peeked out around to see the open study area. I couldn’t see anything. This was my moment. I threw myself forward and ran to the doors. I stuffed the key into the lock and turned and threw the doors open as headed for the stairs.

I could hear him. His feet were slamming against the carpet of the library while mine crashed against the linoleum of the stairs. I didn’t dare turn around as I ran. I could hear him behind me and he was giggling. He was laughing at me while he gained distance on me. I exploded through the school doors and whipped around to an empty hallway. I was terrified! I ran to my car and didn’t hesitate to slam on the gas.

The security checked the footage and found a hooded figure who chased me to the first floor but had seemingly vanished when I reached the exit. They never found the guy and I never stay late at work anymore.   

 

Embarrassing, right? That got put in a public paper that people read and it had my name on it. I cringe just thinking about it. Looking back over it, I can see so many errors.  Truly horrifying. Well, I hope you enjoyed this little pity party I threw myself. Reach for your dreams. Good night.

Feeling a bit down,

Aartrium

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Dump Post #1 of Too Many

Have you ever really just push through on something insufferable just for the sake of being strong enough to pull it off? That’s me right now. I’m not a traditionally manly man. I don’t have huge rippling muscles. I don’t purposefully change the channel to a sports game. I don’t find cars interesting or fun to work on. So, over the years I’ve come to find ways to roll over my insecurities through personal adversity. Or I just go out of my way to prove myself. There are a lot of psychological issues underlying this, but I’ll deal with those when I hit my mid-life crisis. Anyway, I’m living this feeling right now through a class I’m taking. Right now, I’m deciding what battles I wanna fight.

My freshman year of college I had this gen ed computer class in my spring semester. We used one of those cash-grab websites that require you to purchase the class code in order to turn in homework. Essentially a middleman company that sits between students and teachers who are in the same room as each other. A clever way to get money, but an overall horrible idea for everyone else. Well, I’m really cheap okay? I didn’t want to pay $200+ just to prove I can use Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. I’d been using those for years. Our professor introduced the class by telling us some students had been able to finish the course in the two-week free trial that the website provides. All the work for the class was already uploaded to the site just waiting to be finished. My spirit had been broken by my first semester and, at first, I paid this idea no attention. A week goes by and I’ve been sluggishly fighting my way through computer bugs and software problems on the school computers and I was getting really sick of being there. You can imagine what I did next since I’ve set it up so well. I went home for the weekend and began the journey. I set up a little area in my room for my plan and cleared my entire schedule for the weekend. I only left my room for food, drinks, and the bathroom. I was finished by Sunday night and I had almost exactly 48 hours logged into the class. Needless to say, the professor was impressed. I ended up acing the course and the prof. invited me back as a student instructor. A lot of pride in that for me. My mom told just about everyone we know about what had happened. I had chosen my battle well and conquered my foe. This new class though is a butt and I hate it.

Political Science 101. Why is it that 101 classes suck so hard? Any class I took with a 101 tacked on the end was always horrible. Either the course was too boring to even show up or the professor teaching the class made it the goal to get as many people to drop the course as possible. I don’t understand why 101s function like this, but they always have (at least for me they have). This 101 is definitely the latter. Just to give a good idea of what it has been like in the two 75 minute blocks I’ve spent in the course so far. The syllabus comes with “the only trigger you’ll get for this class” and goes on to state “the entire class is a micro-aggression and I’m proud of that fact.” I’m not someone who gets easily offended so this didn’t bother me one bit. I’ve taken both physical and verbal beatings before and an organized class doesn’t scare me one bit. Then the prof. started talking. Most of what was said that first day didn’t bother me too much, but some people didn’t even make it through that first class. By day two, at least half of the class was gone. No big deal, I’ve been in classes like that before and I made it through just fine. I consider myself a pretty chill person and I was at a good level of ambivalence. Somehow, that teacher managed to crack the surface of my rock hard will and poke around at the squishy stuff underneath. Some truly terrible things and I think the worst part is the educated evidence given to back up the claims. For example, the logical usage of f*g rather than gay to address homosexuals. It was said outright to the class multiple times and used as an insult by the teacher. The only reason we spent time discussing it was because there were gay students in the class and some other students were willing to fight back about the usage.

I took the class so I could finish the dumb prerequisites necessary for my degree. I don’t want to spend 75 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday listening to a bunch of people fighting over politics. And yes, I’m aware it is a political science class, but the course name specifies it as a course about American Government, not personal opinions. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it is logically unfounded and the person can’t defend it. That professor can believe all kinds of wild things and back them up with all the cynical evidence he wants to, but I refuse to use the position of an educator to hurt people.

It was rough for me to make a definitive decision to drop the course. I was a bit of a quitter growing up and I’m kind of ashamed of it. Quitting things has become a difficult task to undertake. I wanted to fight this battle and come out on top once again. Just to show that I have an iron will and have persevered, but some battles are not worth fighting. This was one of those battles. Following my second day of the class, I subsequently went to my academic and scheduled a meeting with her. I am currently enrolled in a new political science class about the Olympics, so I believe I came out on top here.

The Olympic Rings

Kinda triggered,

Aartrium

fotos:

dump – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/europe/oslo-copes-with-shortage-of-garbage-it-turns-into-energy.html

rings – https://sk.pinterest.com/pin/191473421637027221/?lp=true

30 Days to a Better Man – My Day 23 – I Know Things about Kars, Promise!

Welcome back to the most consistent place on the internet (lies) with the most consistent series ever: 30 Days to a Better Man. Which will totally be finished in a single 30 day period, for sure. I think the biggest joke on this blog was the last post I made before I went away for the summer. The one that was supposed to be about posture, but became a short rant about committing to things. So sorry for that stupidity. I feel really guilty about abandoning this sad little corner of the internet for so long, but I hope to at least continue some sort of effort to keep this going. Well, let’s just get into it already.

So, today was about learning a manual skill. For some reason, I forgot I started an effort on this one back in May (probably has something to do with my long break). Before I left for the summer, I had a talk with my dad. I asked him to invite me out to the garage whenever he was working on one of our family cars. He was all for it. Okay, so my car is a piece of junk. We bought at this small local dealership and it has regularly cost us large sums of money to repair. There was a freaking time I was driving home and the line for the brake fluid just split! I had to roll home and it was horrifying. There was also a time my car just broke down right in the middle of the highway when my alternator cut out. Broken CarI’m just making it known my car has it out for me. Now the a/c doesn’t work anymore. Needless to say, my car sucks. I’ve come to the realization that my dad won’t always be able to fix my car for me and one day I’ll be left on the side of the road scratching my head. I’m not the kind of guy who is very interested in cars. I can recognize the appeal, but it has never naturally arisen within me specifically.  But I’ve kinda decided I NEED to be interested at this point. I don’t make enough money to pay someone else to fix my car every time something goes wrong. Anyway, next time he switches the brakes I can check that off of the list.

Speaking of lists, the Art of Manliness article has a quality list of manual skills that are good to know how to do. I was surprised to find that I could already do a couple. I was not surprised to find that it was all stuff my dad had taught me. It’s good to know that my dad has been looking out for me. He taught me some genuinely useful things and it seems to have taken me too long to finally realize it. I owe him a thank you. It got me Ron Swansonthinking how we often take this stuff for granted. We live in a world where it’s easier to shirk responsibility and get someone else to do something for us. We’ve really lost that old American spirit of getting things done ourselves and the joy of creating something or finishing a big project. The best exemplifier of this belief would be the everpopular Ron Swanson. He truly embodies this spirit, although he can be strongly opinionated and he can often go a little too far. I don’t believe we need to mirror his hate of government or his opinions on feelings, but we do need to revive his desire to do things himself and get something done and to do it with pride. It’s rewarding, but difficult work that it seems many people are not cut out for. I just hope some changes can be made to the overall attitudes of most people.

Honestly, this was a cool day. I like the meaning behind it and I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that rides the back of manual skills. I might do a couple more entries on that list just to check them out. They sound pretty interesting.

A little more skilled,

Aartrium

NOT dic pics:

Thumbs up – https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/thumbs-up-mechanic.html

 

Fixed Car – http://www.strathcom.com/2014/06/marketing-with-internet-memes-dealers/

Ron Swanson – http://swansonquotes.com/image-gallery/#.WZ4HuSiGPIU

Image result for ron swanson

 

Lol I’m Back Y’all

After a really long hiatus, your prodigal son has returned. I know! I’m just as surprised to discover that I’m not dead as you are, but it’s not quite my time to go yet, guys. Anyway, all jokes aside, I am back from my summer job. It kept me much busier than expected and a majority of the time that I could have been writing was spent in bed…sleeping. That job had me whipped, but I’m really glad to be back. It feels like an ache in my heart is being filled. No plans have changed. The series I promised will eventually be either finished or started in the coming months (that’s what I thought last time too so we’ll see how that goes lol). Goal: Finish 30 Days to a Better Man, Start 30 Days to a Better Woman (neither of those will happen over a consecutive 30 days), and finally more Trivial Matters. Not going to lie, I’m just happy to be back and I’m ready to work my way to the point where I run out of ideas because I can totally tell that is on its way (if any of you have a topic you’d like to hear from me feel free to leave it in a comment [not that anyone ever does leave a comment] ).

Slowly going insane,

Aartrium

30 Days to a Better Man – My Day 22 – Posture? Nah.

So today (lol not even close) was supposed to be about good posture. But this is my blog and I’ll write about whatever I want and I definitely don’t want to spend three hours of my life writing about posture. Just check out AoM‘s article about it instead if you’re really that interested. I, on the other hand, have zero interest in talking about that. Instead, I’m sure you’ve noticed the infinitely wide gap that seems to grow between posts. The short answer is that I lack commitment. Once I get bored of something, I’m done with it. I mean, the origin of this recent influx of posts was just me at midnight saying, “Screw it” and starting this whole thing up again while totally reimagining the layout. But sadly, I have come to realize that this blog is hard work and I don’t like forcing myself to do things. Oddly, I’ve ignored my natural instinct to end it all and I plan to continually post on here but on my own schedule. I like what I do on here, but I have a whole life outside of this computer that I’m also trying to focus on. This isn’t my what I want to spend a majority of my time on, but I have a lot of value in this. I don’t want to give it up so I won’t. This will instead be an exercise in self-control and commitment. The last two years have been about changing myself for the better and life has just given me a fantastic opportunity.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with commitment. I honestly don’t know why I struggle with it, but it is a problem. I start out very excited about something, but once the initial interest dies out so does my desire to continue doing it. Some examples, schools, games, books, this blog, karate, and tumbling. I feel so guilty every time it happens, but it’s like I can’t stop it. My options have come down to stop starting things, force your own commitment or deal with the guilt. None of these options seem very appealing but I don’t’ really have too many choices on this one. So I’m just going to have to stick with some things or find new ways to make it exciting again. I better get good at commitment or else my eventual marriage won’t do very well. So my current plan is to start small with something insignificant, like this blog, and get some practice in. No one may ever read this blog, but I’m going to keep posting in it until death do us part (or at least I’ll try). Wish me luck.

A little more committed,

Aartrium

Pictures:

Posture – http://www.qiwellnessblog.co.uk/bad-posture-5-signs-to-watch-out-for/

30 Days to a Better Man – My Day 21 – Inevitable Death

About three years ago, my sister and I were driving home from the mall. It was mid-December and we had just made the 45-minute trip out so we could finish our Christmas shopping. We were about half way home and I was talking to her about our coming exams and about Christmas while she drove. I remember we had left a movie in theChistmas Family PicDvd player in our car and I could barely hear Emporer Kuzco whining in the background. It was about 9 pm and the Christmas traffic was just subsiding enough that we could be going about 60 mph (96 kph). I was blabbering on when I realized it had started snowing. It was a light snow at first, but it suddenly turned thick. We were all the way in the right lane smooshed between the shoulder and a semi-truck. In front of us was a red pickup and behind us was another semi. Suddenly, the pickup began to slide. I remember peering above the dashboard and seeing the back end of the truck just barely missing the front of our car. He spun out onto the shoulder and my sister swerved into it as well before coming to a soft stop. We were catching our breath when I realized that if the truck had hit us, we would have come to screeching halt only to be decimated by the semi that was going 60 behind us. Out of a stroke of luck, my sister and I avoided serious injury or more likely, death.

The irony of this near-death experience is that I’m not really even supposed to be alive anyway. I was a science baby meaning I was born by insemination because my parents couldn’t get pregnant. The day I was born, I came out backward and got stuck. I almost suffocated and died. Two months later, I spent a week in the emergency room because my body refused to remain hydrated and they had to acclimate my body to water in some way. I don’t ask a lot of details on that one. It freaks me out pretty good.

It’s pretty prideful of me to think of myself as some sort of miracle baby, but I do it anyway. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my own mortality a lot again today especially since today’s task was to write your own eulogy. This already cheerless activity just augments my sad and creepy mind. I’ve stated my love of everything horror many times on here and I just want use my knowledge to give an example of what I mean. My sister had a friend at our house about a year ago who is just one of the sweetest people to walk the earth. During her stay, I watched my favorite Final Destination movie (#2) because itFinal Destination has some of the raddest death scenes of any horror movie (in my humble opinion). This girl walked in and sat down and started watching the movie. She was pretty horrified by it. We began to talk about the premise of the film series a little and I brought up my favorite deaths. She exclaimed that it was quite horrid that I would ever have a “top deaths in a film” list. I wanted to explain myself, but I couldn’t even begin to describe my motives behind doing such a thing without sounding completely insane. I hadn’t thought there was anything wrong with having a list because it is so commonplace in the horror community. Just look up WatchMojo and you’ll find a playlist dedicated to just horror movie top tens and a good number of those have to do with the deaths. It wasn’t until I took actual time to think that it stopped making sense.

I said earlier that I often picture myself as some sort of miracle baby, but it’s a miracle that anyone survives on a day-to-day basis. Final Destination is a great reminder that ANYTHING can kill you. Just one mistake and you’re done. And you would have no idea you even set your death in motion until it happened. If I hadn’t boarded that plane, if I hadn’t eaten that burrito, if I had left the house one minute later. Life is full of what-ifs that could result in our untimely demise. But the really amazing thing is that we are still alive. I remember a gym teacher at a nearby school was just jogging across the gym when his heart just stopped beating and he fell over dead. The autopsy revealed nothing. No one knows what happened, but he died. You and I are still alive right now and that is something to truly celebrate. Out of everything in daily life that could end us, we are still here. I am personally very happy to be able to sit here and type out this post for no reason because I still can do it. The coolest thing may be that after all this morbid thought, I’m still going to live my life like normal. People are amazing because we recognize the danger that life regularly sends our way but we don’t let it stop us from being who we are. I love people. All in all, I may not have written my eulogy (I want an elegy anyway), but at least I feel like I’ve done some quality thinking today. Sorry for being so totally morbid.

A little more conscious of my mortality,

Aartrium

Pic-a-lics:

Grim Reaper – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/178173728977335222/

Goths – http://emgn.com/entertainment/16-weird-christmas-photos-even-confuse-santa/

Final Destination (I know it’s the poster for #1 and not #2 but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Destination_(film)

Burrito – https://giphy.com/search/everything-burrito

30 Days to a Better Man – Day 20 – I Humbly Serve

It’s going to be a short one today since I don’t want to sound like I love to brag. The goal was to find a way to serve other people. Not like as a butler, but as a do-gooder. Heres where it gets kinda braggy. I’ve been a part of a youth group for many years that is just stellar at volunteer work. When we return to volunteer spots, they purposefully assign us the hardest work because we are so fantastic at getting work done. We’re very proud of all the kids involved. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have this day covered.

It has been immensily rewarding to be part of a group that has done some amazing work all over the country. It is extremely wise for anyone to search out an outlet for service work, especially in the community. I was just recently at a work day for a summer camp during which we helped landscape by the horse barn, the paintball course and cell tower. It was really hard work, but it felt great to see all the help we were able to provide for all the kids. It really does make me happy and it always feels like I grow closer with the people I work with. I’m making a hard suggestion to everyone that they find that outlet.

Feeling a little too prideful,

Aartrium

No nudes this time:

butler – https://github.com/h2non/butler

Sorry for the shorter post, but you can check out these other posts that could use some love (they are also my favorites): Junji Ito, Day 18 and Day 12