Saturday, January 22, 2011

The best time to get insomnia

Its now the second night in a row where I cant get to sleep. No particular worry, no particular stress plaguing me, just perhaps a bit of eagerness to get things done, especially writing.

Not the fiction kind, unfortunately but the blog posting kind, particularly of my food blog Hungry, Smart And Poor. Sure, its a long simmering project from back in my days working for a cable company when I was tempted to dwell into getting a cable access show, teaching those cash-strapped and untutored to cook home food on a budget.

Sure, there are shows like that, like Rachel Ray's but I'm not a fan. There are also Home Ec classes, but they leave a lot to be desired, and I cant say that moms have been teaching their kids to do it, especially on a budget. To me its such a basic need that there are things that should be taught to anyone leaving the family nest so that they can survive without starving.

Anyways, here I am, hunkered down on my laptop at an uncomfortable position (on purpose, as I would waste even more time of all kinds of distracting trivia otherwise), trying to think and plan on the next few entries. It is keeping my mind busy and distracted from the other big project, as the apartment needs cleaning and organizing. And I am randomly skipping to organizing the grocery budget for this week, while maximizing what stuff I already have.

As I deal with such mental workouts I am brought to be thankful that I am not a family man. I can barely deal getting my own life together I cant conceive being responsible for a bunch of toddlers. I don't see the reward in that, I really don't. Its just not part of my emotional and mental makeup I guess. Several years of working in customer service probably aren't helping.

I can barely stop myself from moving around furniture and putting some nails in the walls at four in the morning, so I have my own issues to deal with. I have too many projects on the back burner, its probably not healthy for my sanity, but that's me, I have to have all those options available for those days when I really feel like I have to get things done.

Like sleep. I guess its one of those projects that just took the back burner tonight.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sadness and sorrow

After his cage mate died of lung problems, our boy Errol got into a depression, being left all alone without a buddy to cuddle with. In no time, he also developed lung problems, going into a round of antibiotics. He looked like he had recovered, but unfortunately for rats, they all carry some lung issue; they are a sort of time bomb for the poor buggers.

We had been looking forward to finding him a new mate, a nice friend he could cuddle with once more. We had one prospect lined up, but before we could get in touch with her current keeper, he fell ill again. The treatment did not help, and as his state was deteriorating, we needed to visit the vet once more.

It turned out to be the last. Given that he was not responding to the treatment, the recommendation was euthanasia. There was just no bringing him back, he was suffering so much. After a quiet and tearful time for the last goodbye, he was first sedated, then his pain was taken away permanently. He died peacefully, and is now resting with his cage mate, while we await the cremation arrangements.

He was with us for such a brief time, but he was such a loverboy. He enjoyed company and all he wanted was to cuddle up and snuggle.

Dear Errol, our fine boy, you will be missed.
Errol 2010-2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If at first you fail...

In my exercises in creation I follow Robert Rodriguez's advice about film making: if you want to make movies, then grab a camera and start shooting. Push yourself to film any and all scripts that come to mind, as the early ones are going to suck, so better get them out of the way now, so that you can move on to the good stuff.

Now, while its a sensible advice, its easier said than done when you're have several outlets for your creative spirit and you have multiple (and tempting) sources of distraction.

Fortunately, I seem to be getting a handle on thing, of sorts.  I have been focusing a bit more on the music aspect, even if I am not going as full bore as I'd want (or fantasize.) I have been writing the food blog, which allows me to regularly spend some time writing and dealing with my other main creative outlet, cookery.

I may not be getting the results I am pining for: the recordings are nowhere near something I could call songs, more like rough riffs that might lead somewhere; the writing is non-fiction, which isn't bad per se, but I do want to write fiction again, so getting the blog going on a regular basis might get me to eventually scribble some made up bits and so on.

I had been holding myself back, by using circumstances to put sand in the gears, but really, I was just using whatever was at hand to distract me from my goals. I certainly cannot use work anymore, as I am more and more comfortable in the new environment, which is also a constant learning experience, so this will also serve me later. The gains are more than material. I am learning things that will let me properly showcase myself and get the attention that is required for my endeavours to succeed.

I once wanted to join the air force;


while I stayed away from the stuffy structure, I have kept a love of uniforms,


and bomber pinups.

Oh, and the motto " Aim High."

Onward and upwards.

Friday, January 7, 2011

When in doubt

Just say fuck it.

Making music happen was something that seemed to come naturally not that long ago. Given a couple of hours, a method of recording and a bit of an opportunity to make some noise, I could crank out a track or two.

Even before that, when I had a band going, we could crank out two or three tracks in a session, with lyrics and all.

Nowadays, its something of a miracle if I can get a sixteen step beat going enough to make me want to preserve it. I fell into the trap of super technology. It seems that as of the moment I moved from a taped-together hodge-podged desktop to a netbook, the creative drive took a hit. I felt like I couldn't run this program or that and that was what was causing the rut.

Then I went and upgraded to a laptop that packs some serious power, got my hands on some serious software that should, according to mythology, allow me to build whatever track I want, and I'm completely trapped by the seemingly endless possibilities, ending up pretty much incapable to getting nothing done. That I have the bastards connected to the internet only compounds the problem, as I have a constant access to distracting material, like say Facebook.

Having shit to do, and too many toys to do it, I had to revert back to the olden days; I unpacked a basic electric guitar (because I can plug it in the boards and play nearly noiselessly at two AM) and got half a dozen basic tracks down.

Oh, its very crude stuff, probably off-beat and so forth, but its still more stuff than I've been able to commit to memory since the material I've done for Bone Structure... and that was a while ago. I can probably get a couple of songs out of those recordings, maybe three, of while one will not be too bad and I can get others to listen to them.

It could happen. It has to happen. When I make commitments, I sort of feel the need to pull through now, especially to friends. Especially to myself. I have projects that are just gathering dust, for no other reason than maniacal procrastination.

Too many things to do. Too many things "demanding" attention. I have to make myself filter them out. I have to decide what the filters will be.

I have to get my mind back.

Everything else? Just fuck it.