Too many books.

Posted by me on Wednesday, the 28th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:21 PM, local time.

Having come home for Christmas, I am spending several nights in my childhood bedroom. Now, it certainly looks nothing now as it did in my younger years, but it still contains the same items, just now they are stored away in boxes and the like in the closet. What currently occupies the vast majority of the room is books. Books on bookshelves, books in piles, books stacked up neatly, and books stacked completely haphazardly. I recall that at one point, I had planned to remove my bed from the room to make more room for books. I would merely sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag, said I. I was ignored. At any rate, there are still a lot of books in here. As everyone who has seen my apartment in Rochester knows, I have a lot of books there as well. But, there is simply not enough room to bring all the books that are here back to Rochester with me. They would have to sit in boxes somewhere, waiting for a time when they could range free on bookshelves and possibly be read sometime this century. (By someone. I have long since given up the hope that I would read all my books. Its simply not possible. Especially since the rate that new books are purchased currently exceeds the rate that books are read. I now only hope that someday, someone of my line may find a given book useful for something. Hopefully not burning…)

While thats all very interesting, you might say, why should I care? Well, for the sole purpose of having a place for all my books, I think I need to buy a house. It will most likely not be the house I will live in until my death, or even until my retirement, or even raise a family in, but I need to buy a house. And I probably should do so somewhat soon, so that my hard-earned (oh, who am I kidding?) money will stop going down the drain in the form of rent. Of course, I do have some time before my lease is up, but at the very least, I should probably begin looking relatively soon here. And the first step there is to leverage my current finances a tad better, by refinancing and consolidating loans and the like, so that when the time comes I know how much I can afford in a down payment and mortgage payments.

Again, I’m sure there are many people who couldn’t possibly care less. And thats fine. I never claimed you had to read this thing. :-)

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Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:48 PM, local time.

Not even 10 minutes go by and up pops an IM window: “So you think I’m stupid?” I would just like to point out at this time that, regardless of how I feel about the level of Patrick’s intellect, there will often be made on this blog comments which are not meant to actually be derogatory to anyone, rather, just harmless jibes and sarcasm.

So, please, don’t assume I hate you because it seems to imply that on my blog. Come ask me first :)

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So, uhm, yeah. Take that.

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:41 PM, local time.

So, yeah, I updated my blog with several new postings. And here I am again with another meta-post. Thats just the way it goes. I need to put up a disclaimer that merely says, please do not mock my attempts at self-analysis here. I’m sure I’ll hear plenty for it, and it doesn’t need to be as negative as I am currently expecting it to be. As much as some of you may find it strange, I am a person, with feelings and everything.

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My lack of Discipline.

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:32 PM, local time.

Recently, I’ve been backed into a corner and forced to take stock of my pitiful life. Not that I’m not a generally happy person, with a good family, good friends, and a good job. But rather that I have no discipline, lack direction, and just generally am not good at doing the things I want to do and am fully capable of doing.

Now, as I have said, I have been forced to see this about myself, and definitely see it as a Bad Thing. More difficult, however, is figuring out what to do about it. And even more difficult than that is to actually do something about it, since, as mentioned previously, I lack discipline.

Now, one might wonder, what are the sorts of things that I am not doing that I wish I were doing? Why, says I, a wide variety of things, both boring and less so. Call me a dork if you wish (though really, ahem, thats not actually necessary, I do believe…)…

I want to read more.
Now, now, I know what you are thinking. I read too much already. But I disagree. I think that I need to read quite a bit more. More specifically, I need to read different kinds of things. I already have the books to do so, I just don’t. I need to be reading the Bible more often. I need to be reading my math and physics books (I don’t even want to hear it) so I don’t start losing it all and end up as stupid as Patrick. I should be reading my history books, and actually spend some time learning the languages I am so fascinated by. I should be reading my books on sociology, and my books on psychology, and my books on music and art. I really need to read more.

I need to exercise more.
Again, I know what you are thinking. Surely a buff, in-shape, jock such as myself need not exercise even more! Alas, I surely must. I rely entirely on my overactive metabolism to keep me as fit as I am, which is really not fit at all. In the winter, I should be taking walks and utilizing the exercise and weight room in my apartment building while I still have it. In the spring, I need to be jogging and running and rollerblading on the trail that goes right past my freaking apartment!!! And all year long, I need to be walking to work, since its not going to be next door forever. I should be doing calisthenics in the morning and walking in the evening. I used to do these things, why do I no longer?

I need to eat more.
Shut up Adam, I have a high metabolism. But seriously, I really do need to eat more. Not irregularly, as I am now. There are days that I forget to eat lunch or supper, when left to my own devices. Since I hardly do anyting, it doesn’t actually matter. And when I do eat at home, I eat cereal, or yogurt. Seldom anything nutritious and substantial. I should be making my bread at greater volumes and eating it every day. I need to be bringing home more fruit and meat and eating that every day as well. The cheese that I love so much and sits in my refrigerator needs to be eaten as well.

I need to shave more.
I am a lazy lazy bastard, and the fact that I grew a pitiful beard is really just an expression of that laziness. Its easier to occasionally maintain a beard than it is to actually shave every day. How sad is this? That I find this extremity of laziness and flock to it? I need to shave more often. No more of this beard nonsense.

I need to water my plants more often.
Scarcely relevant right now, since I only have about 6 plants indoors through the winter that need to be watered since they are not dormant, like the other 30. And I will grant that last summer I did keep almost all of them alive. But I think they would have grown much better and more regularly if I had kept a closer eye on them all and watered them as often as I should have and fertilized them regularly and properly instead of just buying more plants. Of course, this brings me to my next problem:

I need to finish more projects that I start.
I have such wide ranging interests that I find myself starting many projects all the time, often with no real hope of finishing any of them, since I just start more. I had a great plan to help me water my plants more regularly, but I apparently just lost interest in the project and there it sits, doing nothing for my plants but mocking me with its unfinishedness. As well it should! In the wood shop, I have even more unfinished projects:

I need to spend more time in the workshop.
I enjoy wood working so much and have invested heavily in being able to continue doing so, yet lately I just have not done much at all. I have so many projects that I outline and would be wonderful to work on and finish, but I just don’t give them enough time. I need a new tool to continue, or I need more materials, and I just put the whole thing on hiatus for months. My plant nursery/growing box has been 70% finished for a month now, and my stool just needs some stain and varnish, yet I do nothing. And my experiments into the joinery necessary for my wine cabinet and bookshelf need a new miter gauge to continue, which I have even located and confirmed will work, yet I don’t buy it and use it, because I am lazy.

I need to spend more time cleaning.
Why is it that I always wait until I am completely out of clothes before I begin cleaning the old ones? Why do I wait until there are no spoons before turning on the dishwasher??? Why must the dust make the television unwatchable before I actually clean it off? This makes no sense! I may have had a breakthrough recently with this one, and hopefully it keeps on, but some may have their doubts.

I need to spend more time sorting through old records.
I have piles and piles of old bills, receipts, statements, purchase records, etc., etc., sitting around waiting to be sorted, collated, and filed away into the proper folders in my filing cabinets. By doing this, I would gain more room around my apartment and also would be able to start the next stage of this project: analyzing my old receipts and bills to see where my money goes and how to better leverage it. The problem is that I am too ambitious and want to enter it all into a database, see, where I can easily query all sorts of information, such as how much money did I “invest” in Barnes and Nobles in the year 2003? Or how much money do I spend in a typical March on food? This would be invaluable information in the formation of a dynamic, accurate, and streamlines budget for myself. Instead, I am left to simply guess and estimate, making my budget fat in places where it could be far leaner, and making it lean in places where I could do to spend more. Surely this is a noble ambition, if a rather ambitious one (yes, I know).

I need to paint more and draw more.
Ha! Bet you didn’t see this coming! Once upon a time, I took great pleasure in pencil and ink drawings, and would like to once again. I also would like to learn to use the watercolors that sit on my bookshelf to do some simple paintings or letterings. I have blamed my non-doing of these things on my lack of a suitable table on which to do them, but, as was pointed out to me, that is utter crap. I need instead to just sit down and begin to paint.

I need to become more musical.
Such lofty ambition for one who has never played an instrument other than a recorder in my wee years. I have long wanted to learn to play the cello, as many people surely know. But I have made no effort whatsoever to actually begin to do so. And the piano! I love the piano, but I have not even tried to learn. Many times, my sister has offered to help me learn, but each time I was too busy. Even now she plays softly downstairs. Perhaps later, Alaina. Perhaps next time I’m home. Perhaps when I’m old and grey. Perhaps when I’m dead! Why should I wait? The window where I could actually learn to play well may have long since passed, but at least I could gain some semblance of ability even now. And really, if I learn to play neither piano, nor cello, nor anything else, I will never learn to write the music that I so love to hear and that constantly plays in my head. Will my whistle forever be my only instrument with which to share the music I love so dearly? Perhaps I am better off merely listening to what has already been created, but I had so long hoped not.

I need to write more.
I still remember the days of my youth, when it was assumed that all the days of my life would be filled with writing. In grade school, a great number of my teachers encouraged me to no end in my writing and were certain that I would become an author one day. But what to write, said I? Scattered everwhere in my room at home are half starts at fiction, poetry, philosophy, and other such writings. Volumes I have written, but nothing that is coherent, nothing that is finished, nothing that is worth reading, nothing that has been written in the last five years! What has college done to me, that I no longer wish to write each day? That I no longer wish to ignore all else for long stretches of time and simply commit thought to paper? Now even this “blog” is sparse and empty. What I do write here is barely worth reading and is more of a general complaint than anything else. The most I have written, other than for school, are my detailed accounts of my beer making, and even that is formulistic and mathematical.

Where, I ask, is my ambition now? Where is my motivation? Why do I nothing? Why do I go nowhere, seek nothing, and merely exist? I lack discipline, but where can I find it? Where has it gone? Surely once I had it. I had such plans, such loft goals. I would do research, I would start a company, I would make millions. I would travel the world, I would be famous. Such foolish goals. I am a simpler man now, but I still have goals, I still have things I would like to do, things I should be doing, things I must be doing. Why do I do them not???

A simpler man, who seeks only a good life, a good family, and the discipline to take those things as they pass me by.

Lebe, du Narr, da dir Leben gegeben worden ist.
God put me here for a reason, but rather than seek it out, or in fact do anything at all, I sit here and wait for him to take me away again. At that time, I will say, “See? I am a good little boy, who sat still and waited for his Father to come retrieve him from where he was left for a while.” So deceptively simple to say that. So pat and perfect. And yet, and yet, the parable of the Foolish Steward comes to mind, it surely does.

Leben, Lieben, Dienen, Sterben.

For so long, I assumed that the first step on der Weg was a given. But I see now that I am wrong. The second step I assumed would come in time if I just waited. It seems that is also not the case. The third step was the one I knew all along would be difficult, and it has not proved otherwise. The fourth is out of my hands, I assumed, and would come when it came. Well, surely it will, but to have completed the other three in time may prove more difficult than I had originally assumed.

My my, what a strange and twisted path this post has taken. An interesting introspective though, and I thank The Instigator for sparking it off.
I still have not yet discovered how to best get a move on with all I wish to do, but Wish me Luck! And wish me luck also, as I do my best to follow the way.

Its funny, that a bit of fiction can be so relevant to der Weg, but it surely happens from time to time:

The Way comes but once. Be Steadfast. (With apologies. I like it better this way.)

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While I’m on the topic…

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:14 PM, local time.

While I’m on the topic of Uncle Orson, I just thought I’d bring up something I realized the other day. Many of you likely will think it foolishness or boring, and rightly so, for it is foolish and boring. That is why it is in this category. If you don’t want to read about foolish and boring things, then move right along.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was recently reading Uncle Orson, whom I have been notorious in the past for agreeing with wholeheartedly, and thought to myself, wow, I really do agree with him on a lot of things. But, then I thought, thats not really all that good, for if he thinks all my thoughts, and I have no new ones of my own, what is the point of my own existence. Why not just hand the whole show over to Orson and let him take it from here? Seems simpler, really. Then I could just sit back and relax and do nothing. But, I realize that that is not a Good Thing.

So, I have decided that I do not always agree with Uncle Orson. By decree. (Note the previous post for an example, if you don’t accept my simple decree.)

So there. I am a different person (with a different name and everything) and thus my existence is partially justified. Now if only I could figure out what to do with the stupid thing…

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My God, what was she thinking???

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:00 PM, local time.

So, I have previously read all of the fantastical works of Robin Hobb, a female fantasy writer who only (relatively) recently burst on the scene with three great series, the Liveship series, the Assassin series, and the Tawny Man series. All three were great. A great cast, plots that were worth reading about, and while you might or might not come away from reading them with a new sense of wonder about the world you live in, or feeling closer to the core of your being, at least you got some enjoyment out of it!!

Now, coming off of all that greatness, she has released a new book. Shaman’s Crossing. A standalone novel in a new universe about a boy’s childhood and early adulthood learning to be a soldier. And to do so, he must defeat the evil tree woman. Yes, thats right, the evil tree woman. Now, throughout the entire book, I was hoping for a bit more, and just not finding it. There was a modicum of enjoyment, but the cast was shallow (really just one main character and a few supporters that you actually might give a crap about) and the plot was extremely stationary. The first several chapters were told in what appeared to be flashbacks, and so maybe you would expect to eventually get to the real story, but no, the last flashback just turned into the rest of the book and then you were done. The End.

So, really, I don’t know what she was hoping to achieve in this meager offering. I think she should go back to what she is good at: High Fantasy! Stop experimenting with this tripe and use your talents for good, not for evil!

Ok, just to step back a bit, overall, I didn’t completely hate the book. At no point did I fear that I would keel over for boredom, nor was I made a worse person for reading the book. But it didn’t change me in any good way either. Also, before you just take my word for it, you should probably know that Uncle Orson actually liked it quite a bit, which is saying something. Overall, I placed the book in the “That which need not be read” category (which wasn’t really intended for books to begin with, but here we are) and not in the “That which must be mocked” or “That which must be stomped upon” or “Those books which must be burned” categories.

But, it was also not placed into the “That which should be praised” or “Those books which must be read” categories, so, that says a lot too. It takes a lot for me to not really like a book. (Which very nearly calls into question the very existence of the bad-book and bad-movie categories on this site. They could, quite possibly, be rather empty of content for some time to come.)

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Good Enough, says I

Posted by me on Saturday, the 17th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 7:08 PM, local time.

Ok, this is likely to be the final form of the page. Depending on the levels of ridicule I receive, it could possibly change, but thats unlikely, due to my extreme lethargy. The single image in the header will change at whim, a la Google. I’m still working on the default image, which will likely be a simple 印章. Know of any good carvers of stone? My own attempt is a bit slow going.

At any rate, this will hopefully be the last meta-content post. I would like to start posting real articles so people don’t get quite as bored with this, but I wanted to get the site theme squared away first.

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How sad

Posted by me on Thursday, the 15th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 8:14 PM, local time.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Only the second or third day in, and already he’s out of things to say. It’s sad really. But, mostly it’s cause I’m lazy. I might have things to say. Really. It could be possible…

But, really, I blame work. For some reason I stayed a bit late today. I actually got things done, since everyone else left, ya see. Though some of that time was spent eating various food things since it was the area’s “Goodie Day” (I hate the word goodie…) and then there was cheesecake…

To meander back to the topic for which this post was supposedly written, I don’t have a lot to say. Or rather, I have lots to say, but just very little of it can actually be said, for a variety of reasons, which I won’t go into here. I’ll save that for some other time when I have even less to say.

As a final note, please bear with me as I rip this blog’s theme apart and reconstruct it more to my liking. Until then, the place will be pretty much the very minimum required to still convey information.

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Es Schneit!

Posted by me on Wednesday, the 14th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:12 PM, local time.

It’s snowing! Itsn’t it wonderful? I love snow…. It’s so white and fluffy and purty. It makes me so happy.

I know that not everyone agrees with me, but who cares?!?! It’s snowing!

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Just messing around

Posted by me on Wednesday, the 14th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 4:50 AM, local time.

Trying to get acquainted with this thing. Bit better theme now. Might not still be perfect. Not in love with that shade of blue, actually.

Meant to add a link in the last post to test out the inter-blog linking stuff, so here it is now. Number 9 in that post and the degradation of the English language.

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