I bought a new laptop

And it has been wonderful. Truth be told, I felt a little foolish immediately after the purchase, since I have a completely serviceable laptop. It was just one of those moments where I thought to myself: “I want to buy something rather extravagant as a way of asserting my existence in this consumer-driven society.”

So, like what happened when I bought my ipad mini, after I unboxed it I sat and stared and basked in the strange non-warmth of Apple product glow. I think most people know what I’m talking about. It has a very particular smell. I imagine Apple spent no insignificant amount of time or money developing whatever that just-opened box aroma is.

After a half day of transferring files, I booted this new guy up and it’s been a rare moment when I’m not using it. It’s probably my brain tricking me, but I always feel a spike in my creative output immediately after purchasing a new piece of technology. Well, the potential increases. But here I am! updating my blog and thinking all sorts of thoughts!

Get ready, Internet, for the creative onslaught.

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For the betterment of [a thing]

I have a thing about lofty goals and aspirations. Making them is like slugging back an espresso: instantaneous energy boost followed by inevitable disappointment when the effect fades, but feeling really cool about yourself in the moment. In this world, and by that I mean the world of the online, it is especially difficult to refuse an opportunity to pet one’s ego by offhandedly remarking that you’ve started your training to climb Mt. Everest or are learning to see with your third eye.

These kinds of utterances in the nebulous webspace are like secrets whispered into a hole in a tree. Vocalization gives credence to otherwise fanciful wishes. But hey, maybe there’s a squirrel or a wizard hanging out in that tree waiting to reward boastful types with a high five or “Right on, guy!”—the facebook like, in other words.

Before I give too much of the wrong impression let me be clear: I think boasting is fine. You’ve done something cool, go ahead and tell people; you’re about to do something few other sane people would dare undertake, proclaim it to the metaphorical mountains (or real ones, if you’re geographically situated to allow for that). To me, when you say you’ll do something to a crowd, you’re giving yourself that crucial touch of social pressure to see you through to the end.  Sure, other people might get irritated reading about your uh-mazing life, but it’s probably because they (read: this person) are incredibly envious of your ability to put yourself in a potentially dangerous (physically and/or emotionally) situation for the sake of self-improvement.

The furthest I’ll take humble bragging is with food I’ve made. The reason? I’m still in that fledgling stage of the culinary arts where if something comes out tasting like anything other than slightly burned oil it’s a beautiful victory. The more I share my successes, the more encouragement I get, the better I get with my cooking.  The positive feedback loop.

And on that note, time to get a second round of some pretty tasty fried rice I made.

Mapping the ancestral tree

So, just a few months ago I was swept up in piecing together the family genealogical record. It is the kind of activity that at the start would offer maybe mild levels of fun, but as I quickly made my way into the grandparents and great-grandparents and fourth cousins 3 times removed, it became clear that my family relations could’ve been the subject of a great Russian novel, or perhaps even a Greek classic. These folks got around, and with such appellations as Creed and Leonidas, they weren’t just whistling Dixie.

Though my particular branch of the family has elected to stay within a certain fifty square mile radius for several generations, my other relatives ventured far north, west, and occasionally overseas.  They left it all behind for the promise of something better, even if that something better turned out to be death by massacre (RIP cousin Crockett).  It’s inspiring, to say the least.

I suppose I’ll have to achieve some kind of greatness; wouldn’t want to disappoint the ancestors, after all.  Changing my name to Luther seems like a good start.

playing the waiting game

I have approximately one and a half hours to go until setting out for the LAX airport for an early morning flight.  I wish I could allow myself to say with utter conviction that we’ll be there in plenty of time, but my superstitious nature forbids it.  My hope is that I’ll fall asleep for a while on the drive, then again during flight/layover, and finishing up with some more sleep after arriving back in WA.  It will be a day of sleep, fantastic sleep.

And that’s all I have in me for now to write…

Give me entertainment

So, I have to come clean about a serious issue in my life: I am completely fanatical about television shows.  Now it’s a bit of a strange thing, since I don’t watch television, to be obsessed with shows, but with the internet and Netflix and all that it’s simply easier to watch lots and lots of shows.  And the best part is that you don’t have to suffer through nearly half an hour of commercials for every hour-long episode block (in Math, this means you’re watching pretty much the same amount of commercial as you are actual show).

Can you tell I'm obsessed with Smash lately?
Can you tell I’m obsessed with Smash lately?

Lately (this past weekend) I stumbled across a show called Smash, an NBC concoction about the creation of a new Broadway musical.  I have to be honest and say it isn’t the best show ever created, but for the small part of me that loves musical theater and romantic fluff it’s like pure grain alcohol.  You really only need a sip of it to be satisfied, but the more you drink the more vivid everything around you becomes, and you can’t stop.  Then you go blind, or just make very poor decisions like drink more.  Or draw embarrassing fanart.  No one wins.

On the other hand, watching a show that’s currently airing on television does nurture a sense of camaraderie with my fellow tv-goers whom I’ve never met.  Makes me feel less bad for being so anti-social because somewhere out there I have people who understand me and potentially share my madness.

The world didn’t explode and it’s 2013

Happy New Year to all the internet.  I am thankful the world didn’t implode or explode or get swallowed up by the Leviathan, as it leaves me the ability to keep authoring this nonsense.  Perhaps I should map out a year-long plan of achievements, so if another apocalypse blips across the radar of the collective conscious then I’ll have some skills under the proverbial belt.  I wouldn’t want to be the fool who went into the end of the world without knowing how to tie my shoes doubly fast (something I learned how to do a few days ago — skills!), because if there’s anything I know about evading the mass extinction of everything it’s being able to get in some shoes and sprint until always.

Actually, this talk about escaping Earth brings up an interesting bit of news I heard from a Highly Credible Source (hereinafter referred to as HCS) who told me about a program that is taking applications for persons interested in pioneering the colonization of Mars.  So, Mars in 10 years seems feasible to me; plus I’ve watched Cowboy Bebop enough times to know that Mars is the happening place in the 21st century, and you’re a rube if you disagree.

And, not to make any sweeping, mildly offensive stereotypes, but this group has a Japanese component, which as everyone knows is vital to any and all successful space-like endeavors.  That’s just reality.

I guess now I just need to work on skills that would do me well for life on Mars.