Friday, May 1, 2009

Musings on presence, and value.

Remember when you had to buy a CD to listen to a song? Or when you had to be at home or in front of a TV at a specific time to be able to enjoy your favorite show? Or when you had to be at home to get a phone call from a friend you haven't seen in ages?

Now everything is within reach 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Everyone you've ever met, given a shit about, not given a shit about, loathed, or even had a passing thought about is within reach instantly through Twitter, Faceebook, Text, IM, Myspace, whatever. Every tv show, every song, and every film is available to download to any device with internet access or a USB cord, and you dont even have to go to the theatre to see it, you can just torrent it and watch it at home by yourself at 3 in the morning while you sob about having no life.

Of course, all of this is ludicrously convient and very very useful, and honestly as a proponent of new media and an avid downloader of everything under the sun, I really shouldn't even discuss it. But I miss the presence things used to have. A phone call was the primary form of communication, and it had a certain warmth. I own a top of the line cellphone, and I believe I have made a total of 20 calls on it so far, seeing them as an inconvenience to my gogogo lifestyle that is "much more suited for texting or Twitter". I have friends who's voices I haven't heard in a year, but often text. I see more movies On Demand or on my laptop than I do in theatres.

What I'm getting at, is instead of seeing these kindof things as events, be it phone call, communique, television program, film, etc, is , we tend to view them as background activities. Things not requiring real attention, or value, or "giveashit". We as a society have moved towards convenience versus value. Everything used to have at least some semblance of presence. A record, a VHS, a friend's face, but now its just a file, or pixels on a screen.

And that's terrible.

When everything is placed in the background it doesn't get anywhere near the respect it did when it had that presence. Nelson Mandela is just a guy in a room if nobody's listening to him talk. I fondly look back at my childhood and think about how much I valued the VHS tapes I'd bring home from the store, I'd lovingly take care of them and keep their boxes in pristine shape. Because after all, that wasn't a bit of tape inside of plastic, that was the damned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how dare some punk kid like me allow them to come to harm? But now it all seems to just be so many MBs of memory. It lacks the feeling, the depth.

You tend to value something more when you can actually put your hands on it.

I guess time's change though. But I'm not sure I like the way this change took us.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My birthday is in about 5 days. I'm going to list random crap I'd like for my birthday here, so I can send people to a link in case they ask. Because I can never remember what I'd like to get. So. Here. Bold means BUY THIS SHIT FOR SERIOUS.

T-shirts. Size L / XL
Tupac Shakur
Ice Cube

  • The X-Files Series
  • Firefly
  • American Psycho
  • Saw 4
  • There Will Be Blood

Crap nobody will buy me :
  • Nintendo DS
  • XBox 360

  • Pots and pans, good quality.
  • Knives
  • Red towels
  • Spices, whole, not ground
  • Expensive vinegar

  • Babybel cheese
  • Turtle Chex Mix
  • 6 packs of Shiner
  • Count Chocula

  • CAO LX2
  • JFR
  • San Cristobel
  • Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown)
  • Arturo Fuente (Pretty much anything)
  • NUB Connecticut

Comics / Toys

  • Sandman (Any of the trade paperbacks)
  • Absolute Sandman Volume 1
  • Absolute Watchmen
  • Any Frankenstein toys / statues
  • Hellboy Talking Board (Ouija Board)
  • Hellboy Coasters
  • Wormwood Gentleman Corpse Pint Glasses


  • The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens, Neil Gaiman / Terry Pratchett
  • Any Alton Brown Books / Cook Books
  • Freakonomics


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Monday, January 26, 2009

Lazy January.

Well, January has thus far proven to be mostly a bust. I've kindof stagnated, and haven't really moved forward at all. It to an extent feels like I'm just "going through the motions" of a regular life. Of course I have a good life, but it's not really "going anywhere". I'm making less money now, as my desire to move forward grows, so I am subsequently unable to do said moving forward. It unfortunately looks as if I'm going to need to be getting another job in the coming months if I intend to move forward with my current plans, which at the moment seems to be concerned with getting a single-wide trailer, building credit, and having my own living space. My current psuedo-plight is mostly related to the fact that I don't have my own space. I need to get more money, and move forward.

In other news, Twitter seems to be becoming mofe popular amongst second or third wave adopters, and a lot of people I know have been getting it, which is a mixed blessing because of the fact that yes, its nice to have the system be more valuable, but it also exposes the fact that Twitter needs to get grouped messaging in order to slightly privatize the whole process, while allowing the open user interaction that has been the hallmark of the project thus far.

I'm talking out my ass right now, but thats okay, I just felt like expressing myself.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Horror, Twitter, Day off.

Tomorrow, or more appropriately I suppose, today, is my day off.
I don't know what I will do with said time, but its going to be a good day.

Most likely, I'll spend a fair bit of my day working on a design for Dean Toland (@realjamesdean on twitter) and his soon to be existent tech consultation business. It'll be nice to do some graphic design work again, and it'll be even nicer, to be compensated for it. The last time I did any graphic design work, it was from the goodness of my heart, and the design was lauded, then butchered and I didn't even recieve a copy of the final product as payment. No names, but my eyes are being cast towards a certain high school's Student Council.

I'm doing my usual thing, which is sitting in bed too wired from waking up too late, whilst Madelaine sleeps and I watch the cats fight, all the while Stumbling, Wikipedia-ing, and reading blogs. Also, Twitter. Goddamn do I love Twitter. Anyway, but the current time-waste objective is looking up films I'd like to watch. Upcoming, old, recent, obscure, mainstream.

For Christmas, I recieved a 750 gig hard-drive, so that will be the home of a lot of those films in the near future.

In other news, through a series of comical and interesting stretching techniques I have safely and slowly stretched my ears past a half inch and am now comfortably sitting at 5/8" (16mm).

Madelaine has decided to undertake her first act of body-modification and stretch her earlobes as well. Its cute and I look forward to picking out jewelery with her in the near future for her next stretch, and mine as well.

Work has as of late, been a bit surreal. Its like I'm not so much working as going to hang out and roll burritos. Which is good. If I think about it like that and still manage to work hard, I think I 'll be able to fully enjoy work quite a bit more than I have previously. But, unfortunately we are slowing down quite a bit, and as such the incredibly large staff is having to more or less share hours. Its beginning to grate on some people. I don't count myself among them because honestly, when labor costs are the concern, the squeaky wheel doesn't get the oil, it gets changed and a less squeaky wheel gets put in its place. I fully expect some cut-backs on hours, and eventually, potentially a cut-back in the amount of staffed workers at all. Hopefully if that happens, I won't get the axe. Time will tell, I suppose.

Hmm. Its about 4 am which means I need to get some sleep. Good night, all. Tweet me in the morning.


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Monday, January 5, 2009

So this is the new year.

So, its 2009. Another year's gone, and here comes the new one. This one promises a lot in the grand scale, whether it can live up to its hype or not is another question, but we can always hope. This year the theme seems to be shaping up to be "Change." (Thanks, Obama!) On a world level I hope that's possible, and on a personal level I hope so as well. 2008 started out shaky but ended up being a pretty good year for me all things considered, I moved forward in life, I now have a wonderful girlfriend who makes my life a lot better and easier and loves me honestly, as well as getting a pretty sweet gig with Freebirds. I'm hoping to keep the trend of good things happening to me rolling onward this year. Here are my New Years Resolutions. I fully intend on following them, and I take these very seriously.

  1. Write more. Be it blog posts, be it story ideas, be it actual written pieces, I haven't written too much since roughly 2006, and I'd like to change that, I miss it.
  2. Draw every day. I love to draw, and I need to refine my process, which means daily practice would definitely be a good thing. Drawing is a good way to relax, and it makes me happy, so, I should do it more often.
  3. Save Money. I indulge my vices quite a bit monetarily, and that's good and all, but it'd be nice to have some "reserve money". Especially considering I intend on getting a place of my own within the coming year, which brings me to 4.
  4. Get an apartment. My current living situation is good, but it doesn't afford me a sense of ownership over the area around me. No matter how you slice it, I'm a guest in this house and as such I don't have complete freedom nor complete control over what and who surrounds me. I'd like to be able to have a place of my own sometime this year. Be it with Madelaine, Bilal, Craig, Batman, or just by myself.
  5. Start my tattoos. I fully intend on using tattoos to claim my body and make it a vessel I am fully comfortable travelling in. I believe there is a power in taking control of your body through marking, piercing, and stretching. And as someone who has never fully been comfortable with his appearance, having complete control over it, is empowering.
  6. Spiritual and philosophical growth. Not in the traditional "Find Jesus" regards, but more in the realm of expanding my understanding of the world, the human mind, the human condition, good, evil, death, love, hate, passion, fear, and so forth.
  7. Get more accomplished. Wake up earlier, go to bed earlier, have more time for the people in my life, see my friends more often, be more prolific, and just generally, do more than work.
  8. Take a vacation. I haven't travelled in a few years, and I'd love to go somewhere just for the fun of it, and to just be able to relax and take a load off. Hopefully this year, I'll be able to make that happen, due to my increased cash flow.
  9. Eat healthier. I have a tendancy to avoid "healthy" things, because in general, things that are worse for me, seem to taste better, but I'm going to attempt to eat a healthier diet. Less starchy unhealthy foods, more fruits, vegetables, and organic products. I could stand to lose some weight, and I know I'd just feel better in general.
  10. Make 2009 the best possible year it can be. This sounds a little cliche, but I have a bad habit of making my world rather unpleasant. I tend to push my friends away and then feel bad that I don't have friends, I tend to not go do things with anyone for a laundry list of stupid reasons, I tend to ignore phone calls, and so forth. I just need to make sure that I allow myself to be open to the possibilities around me. That's going to make 2009 a better year I think. I also need to get my stupid foot checked out, and uhm, get a haircut. I'd also like to be less down on myself, and respect myself and my talents more. No more talking bad about myself and feeling ugly and useless. Basically, I just want 2009 to be pleasant. Which it should be, considering I have a fantastic girlfriend, wonderful friends, and a loving family. I just need to open up to all of the above, and things should stay good, and get better in the New Year.
I'd also like to find some magical portal to break into the comic book industry. But thats unlikely.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Weather.

Its December now. I haven't written in this journal since before Halloween. Which is kindof funny seeing as I've actually WRITTEN some story outlines and stuff like that, but I havent been able to find the time to write here.

Hell, I haven't been able to find the time to do just about anything.

I work. All the time. Not even a lot of hours anymore really, just...everyday. And I'm in near constant pain while doing so. My ankle is debilitating at this point and it gets worse with each passing day. I suppose I need to go see a doctor about that in the near future, but I keep putting it off because I haven't had a single week-day off since probably September.

Everything is a bit of a blur now. Life is moving so quickly, the days are just flowing away, and there is never enough time to do anything, get anything accomplished, or do anything but work. Its about to be Christmas, and I havent bought anyone anything yet, I suppose thats okay because I've got 20 some odd days to get that accomplished, but, still. December used to feel so long, waiting and enjoying every day, moving towards Christmas, and now it just feels like Christmas is going to be just another day, albeit one I probably won't have to work.

Growing up kindof sucks. Hard.

I'm going to start looking for apartments and I intend to get one in early March, I think.

Thats going to be interesting. Bills.


Lately I've been feeling a little down. Well occasionally...VERY down. I just kindof feel like I'm squandering my supposed gifts by not doing a damned thing with them. I also feel the societal pressure to go back to school even though I don't honestly have a drop of desire to do so. I'd love to learn a bit more, but I really don't want to spend all my money going to school and then have a degree in something that I don't really love. I suppose I could do both by going to school for art, but those are the kindof degrees that are completely and utterly useless in the real world, but if you want to own a comic shop and do graphic design, I suppose those are the kindof degrees you'd need. Perhaps a rudimentary business degree? I just feel like I've let myself, and everyone around me down by not going to school. When I tell people I'm working, they just usually make "Ah" noises and then trail off and ask when I'm going to go to school. I don't know.

I just don't know what I want to do right now. Grumble.

I'm going to totter off and read some comic books, as I always do when I intend to write about my feelings or state of being.

Next time you see me, give me a big hug, eh?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The State of the Nathan Address.

Work, is hard. I've begun to work a full time, and then some, schedule. I have thus far worked over 40 hours every week since we've opened. We're at week 4. The work is usually stressful, but good co-workers and wonderful, caring managers makes it a pleasure. Over the next month, they're going to begin to screen and interview potential shift leaders. The position would involve a pay-raise and would be a wrung up the managerial ladder. I'm excited, and I hope I could potentially handle the responsibility.

Outside of work, I dont have a tremendous amount of free-time which in to really do too much, I have a couple evenings a week free, Saturdays during the day, and usually Sunday completely off. So if you'd like to get together, contact me, and I'll see if we can set something up.

I've been watching a lot of movies. Both in theatres, and on DVD. I've bought a shit-ton of horror films in the last few weeks. I've been on a bit of a Hannibal Lecter kick, heh. In theatres, however, most recently I've seen "Religulous", which was hilarious, and at turns depressing, and "W." which was depressing, and at turns hilarious. I'd recommend seeing both. Religulous not so much if youre in the Bible-Belt camp. But not too many people reading this are. W was a really poignant and even-handed film, and it was fantastic. Go see them both. They're both playing at AMC, I know for a fact.

Bleh. I don't really have much to talk about seeing as not too much has happened, save that I've been working a 45 hour work week. So. I suppose I'm out.

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