I shall write

I was on the receiving end of a blast email from entrepeneur and Iron Yard investor John Saddington encouraging the list to blog. I had been inspired by John before when I first began at the Iron Yard in June and he encouraged the cohort to write. I adopted this Bull City Dave moniker and decided I’d be bold and transfer the old blog here, despite the obvious risks. As the summer went on, I found it difficult to reconcile being authentic and writing regularly. It was a rough summer, for a lot of reasons, some of which I could have attempted to write about publicly and others that just would not have been appropriate to write about. Heck, I received some secondhand feedback that my tone in job interviews and networking schmooze events would trend negative just long enough to counter the enthusiasm and positivity I might have initially projected. Or, I speculate, these people actually looked me up later and read some of what I’ve written, and that’s what countered what I truly believe were, overall, far more positive self-presentations than I’ve been capable of in the past. Whatever the exact truth is, I’m well-aware that authenticity is a big risk. My theory is that my mixed success in attracting people is a combination of my own difficulties projecting a greater degree of self-confidence and other people’s problem exposing their own vulnerability. How dare I say what I really think about topic X when they’ve been taught to and religiously practiced avoiding such topics in professional. I’ll try to be clear that I’m not referring to topics that should be taboo in professional informational interviews–politics, sex, religion, etc. I’m referring to topics such as what truly interests you in your career and what’s sucked the life out of you. And I don’t mean being insulting or disrespectful when touching on negatives. I’m unfulfilled when I am desparate to build and create things, and I’m left watching the work outsourced and having to be the one to assign out that work and later correct it. Anyway, I’m rambling, which I’m going to do if I take up writing again. This was meant to be an introduction.

 

I’m using, for the first time, John’s Desk app for O.S X, which I was relucutant to pony up the $30 for, and there’s no trial version, but, after reading his post today, I recalled how anxious I was to try this a few months back and that I do trust that I’ll enjoy the experience of writing. And I really do. Apple did give a Best App of 2014 award. Writing within the bloated WordPress website can add stress to the writing process. Desk is crisp and clean, and I feel like a writer. (Not that I am; and I ought to stop saying things like that.)

Anyway, it’s 4:14 in the afternoon on a day off, and I am overwhelmed with the number of things I want to accomplish. One of those things was getting some blogging in, and I’ve done that now, though I haven’t gotten to any actual content.

 

Indeed, I even interrupted by little recap of thig blog. So, I was apprehensive about blogging anything all that personal. Posts were sporadic. Coding problems. Pet posts. Meta-blogging posts. Top 379 posts. Years ago, with the pseudonym-authored blog, I’d blog several times a day. I miss that. I miss not having much of a filter. I suppose, back then, the blog wasn’t associated with my name, and even if it was, I had bigger problems, like being a dialysis. I had so many days when I just didn’t give a shit.

 

Yeah, so, even before the move to Bull City Dave, my blog had withered. I wasn’t writing, and there were so many topics worthy of writing about. (Not that one needs to find “worthy” topics. Someone who feels the need to write should just write).

 

I’m going to rattle off some topics that I’ve failed to adequately expound on over the past couple of years. That’s not a promise to write about them now, just an acknowledgement that blog posts are always churning and just never leaving my mind.

 

Improv – It’s been over 2 years now. Still taking classes yet no idea where it’s going and, to be quite blunt, I don’t think I’m very good at it at all. And I didn’t intend to actually write a blurb about these topics that I very quickly wanted to list, so let’s move on.

Running – I started taking improv classes in 2012. 2013 was the year I started running. And stopped running. I felt good at the end of 2013 that I was slowly geting myself into shape. And then 2014 was the year (like all the years prior to 2013) that I sat on my ass. It’s terrible, really. It’s always been so difficult for me to find any exercise regimen I could stick with. I have no 2015 plan as of now.

Kidney health– Ah, the missing element from my career story. “I did something very specialized for a long time but could never get out of it and do something else.” Or something like that, my story goes, when I tell someone how I arrived at The Iron Yard and my front end development career. I leave out the whole health-gradually-deteroriating, two years on dialysis, subsequent kidney transplant and nephrectomies that ate up years and years in which just surviving was all I could handle. And how’s my kidney health now? Good. 3 1/2 years post-transplant and 2 years post-second-nephrectomy, my one kidney is doing quite well. But, like I said, I haven’t done any exercise for a year, so I’ve treated my new body badly, and I’m not happy about this.

Pets – Yeah, I post pics and videos of my pets and a blurb when a pet dies. But I wish I had taken the time to write about what it’s like to mourn the loss of an old pet. What it’s like to adopt a pit bull mix. What it’s like to take in foster cats. What it’s like to have this life that revolves around pets. What it’s like when you’re very aware that you sound ridiculous talking about your pets, particularly when virtually everyone else has actual human children who are, I’ve heard, somewhat more challenging to take care of than cats and dogs. There’s real stuff to write about there. I wish I did more of that.

[I really hope that Desk autosaves, because I’m just typing, and while it feels good to run my fingers through the keys and see thoughts transferred to the screen, I actually do want this out there. Well, I hit Save; not sure if I needed to or not.]

The music site – “The music site”? What, am I embarrassed to even mention it by name? Yeah, I am. Top 379. I’ll cringe thinking about it, feel like it’s a poor representation of who I am, that it’s a silly project, that the lack of actual coding behind it is embarrassing and I ought not share it, and then I persist in updating it now and then. Because I hate the idea of quitting something. It’s a countdown. By definition, it is finite and should end at some point. It was supposed to end sometime in early 2013, but I didn’t stick with it. Because it’s ridiculous. And I no longer want to be known as that guy who listens to horrible music and has such limited horizons. But then I do go on the site, and I hear some very cheesy song from 20 years ago, and I think, “I do love this shit.”

The pet profile site – I’m not embarrassed to use the name. pett.io But it is the trademark of a Chinese company that makes pet strollers, so I should change it. I have a couple of an ideas. But I have far more to say about the site.

Front end web development – I have far more to say about this, overall. I wish I had been logging every programming challenge I’ve encountered and how I resolved it. I’m curious to observe my evolution and not afraid of exposing my shortcomings. Ok, somewhat afraid.

 

This is sufficient for now. I’m not going to read back over what I’ve just written. I’m not going to proofread. My brain doesn’t always do the best job of getting the correct words done, and some errors are downright baffling to me when I read things back. But I’ll leave this unedited and get it up there.

 

Top 379 bonus begging

Hmmm…10 days without a post. You’d think I must have a lot going on to neglect my blog. Well, not “you”. “One” might. So, not really. The music blog just takes up the hour I might have once spent blogging here.

And no one wants to hear a guy who got a kidney last year complaining about his health, or anything else, for that matter.

And so I only blog about something that, also, no one wants to hear about.

Anyway, I’m doing some bonus begging tonight. I want some ratings for #286.

Apple stuff and self-confidence

Ever watch an Apple commercial and think, “I’m not hip enough/happy enough/good enough to own Apple stuff”?*

I do.**

* What the correct way to punctuate that sentence?

** I was just going to dump that onto my Facebook wall/timeline/whatever it’s called, but then I recalled that I once had a blog to post my thoughts, and I’ve been quite timid for awhile. Maybe there’s a metablogging post coming.

That is all for now.

Dare I break out the depression tag? Why not. I don’t pay over $100 a year to have a website just so I can post harmless pictures and links to some harmless, silly other blog I have.

Note to self

You do need to take a sleep aid from time to time because your medications can cause insomnia. However, you should not blog after you have taken the sleep aid. Unfortunately, this advice may go unheeded, since at the time of publication, you have no idea that you’re blogging something you’ll wish you hadn’t the following day. Seriously, you’ve got dozens, if not hundreds, of unpublished drafts. They remain drafts for a reason.

Stuff circa January 12, 2011

Dating. Noting to add here. The topic enters my mind every day. I thwarts any potential enthusiasm. I could not even string together three words to a woman I might be interested in merely beginning a conversation with. I wonder if 35 was a strong magnet that accelerator my descent into myself to the point where I will soon fit the conventional wisdom’s definition of the loner. I have a very honest, blunt, occasionally humorus OKCupid.com profile that should appeal to someone. Fair enough, it does, on occasion. Women pushing forty with kids and women who selectively read my profile will tend to thing I could be someone fascinating for them.

Housekeeping. I have not neat back from them this week. I left a voicemail today and a website message tonight. I stressed that my parents were visiting next week, and that I was having surgery, and that it would be so fantastic if I had strikingly clean home to present for the first time, almost ever. Perhaps they’re not too excited about taking on the screwed-up-single-guy client who had the nerve to ask if his dishes could be done even though that’s not on the official price list. Do they realize what heroes they might be too me if they can add some sparkle to my cat-urine-themed pad? If I don’t here back from them, I don’t think I’ll have it in me to start a new search for immediate housekeeping help. Mom, Dad, and Stepmother will see a grotesque abode, and my recuperation will be complicated by constant anxiety. Should I get the cleaning service after all, the remaining clutter will still prompt judgement that I want no expression of.

Dialysis. Dialysis is so hard. It never gets easier. Working full-time on a new job where you are expected to tackle important tasks and keep you dialysis schedule…this is hard. This is draining. This is a purgatory. My life won’t get anywhere as long as I’m going to dialysis. This is just truth. There’s no way around this reality. It doesn’t help matters when I leak blood after being taped up. It doesn’t help matters when the techs around at 7:00 spend their time bashing the other techs and the management It leaves me feeling that, any day now, I’m going to be leaving in a body bag.

WorkI’ve got a 1-on-1 with my manager tomorrow, the first since shortly after I began this position. I’m nervous. I have no idea what he thinks of the job I am doing or what he expects me to be doing. I am too afraid of saying the wrong thing to press these issues. I don’t want this cloud of awkwardness hanging over my job. But I don’t want to rock the boat. I need the job.

Metablogging I’ve made a small effort to write more about my health over the last couple of weeks. I have done this in part because I will be a session panelist at a conference this Saturday. I shall say more tomorrow or Friday…or after the fact. I was invited to this conference because of this blog, and so I could discuss what it’s like to blog about my health condition. I doubt I will spend much time preparing, and I don’t even know how I would go about preparing. I plan just to be relaxed and blunt with my answers when the time comes. It will either be an hour of enlightenment or pained awkwardness, but then it will be done.

Weeds etc.

Thanks to streaming Netflix, I’ve just wrapped up five seasons and 63 episodes of Weeds in 55 days. (I had seen Season 5 on a free Showtime preview last year, but it’s much better viewing with four seasons of context).

There is so much in this show I could’ve done without:
– the massage parlor
– drugging daughter with laxatives
– death by sandblaster
– 13-year-old’s threesome
– random alley sex
– cockatoo killing
– Kevin Nealon masturbation
– Mary-Kate Olsen

But the show had me hooked. Mary-Louise Parker. Her facial expressions are one-of-a-kind. Mesmerizing.

Elizabeth Perkins is great, even if Celia Hodes turns cartoonish in later seasons.

Oh, what’s the point of writing about a television show you’ve watched as a solitary experience? Getting rid of regular TV means I don’t watch anything at the same time as anyone else. I can’t say to anyone, “Did you see Weeds last night?” Anyone with Showtime has seen Season 6, and I already accidentally saw too many spoilers.

Geez…the more I think about it, the 63 episodes in 55 days is not something to be particularly proud of.

Ugh. Suddenly very self-conscious about the blog…about myself…I already took one post out of the public domain today. I was complaining about my old bank. Upon further review, it seemed quite…unseemly…and I cared that it made me seem petty and bitter and…being a viewer of 63 episodes of Weeds in the span of two months makes me seem what, then?

Ok…if I’m going to do stream-of-consciousness writing tonight, I should at least complete my thoughts.

I should write about something a little more important. I have kidney news to share. That should go in another post.

Sorry, folks. I am finished with work for the year, and it’s just dawning on me…and I’m not overcome with a feeling of grand relief…more, the enormity of a lot of things are sinking in…and shouldn’t be writing as that happens, at least not here, like this…

Turbo

I’ve fallen into this trap of feeling like posts here need to be meaningful, and spontaneous thoughts and sharing should be relegated to Facebook. Also, posting to Facebook is quicker and easier. But I’ve got the blog. I pay for web hosting. And I know I worry way too much about what I toss up on this site, particularly when there are times when I post intensely personal stuff not seeming to be worried in the least.

Important to me in the moment = Worth putting in here

Time to see what I’ve starred in Google Reader recently and what I’ve posted to FB that deserves a place here.

UPDATE10:32 PM – I see all of the assorted political items I wanted to share, but now I’m indifferent.

I’m starting a new job in a few weeks. That should be excited, and I should write about that…but it’s not so exciting. I’m still entrenched in my current job, and I don’t want to write about that, because there’s a lot of negativity beneath the surface that doesn’t need to come out right now. And I’m not feeling so great about not really getting a break in between these two significant chapters in my life. I desperately need a break. I’m not getting one. Frankly, I can’t afford one.

I still have plenty to say about dialysis, but I don’t want to say it, because it’s really just more of the same. Dialysis continues to suck, and it will continue to suck until I get a transplant, which is still a long, long way away.

Back to politics, again…I don’t think anyone much cares what I have to say about politics. I don’t DO anything politically, so I’m just a guy complaining. I’m a guy complaining who will vote and that’s it; my action should probably be more proportionate with my anger.

I’m back on an online dating site. I could write about that. Or not. Online dating sites are daily rejection subscriptions. Then again, that’s pretty much how life is, too.

So this post is picking up steam now…stream-of-consciousness now…tuning into the type of post where I am saying and will say things I’ll have wished I censored.

And right after I say that, my thinking hits a wall.

New disclaimer

My revised About page beings with a disclaimer about the name Toastie:

First of all, the moniker Toastie has nothing to do with smoking anything. I never felt I needed to explain this, and, in my naiveté, I only realized in recent years that such a conclusion was one people commonly arrived at. Sadly, there is no known origin of my nickname. It was given to me my freshman year in college for reasons that had nothing to do with pot but were otherwise completely random. In an atmosphere crowded by Davids, Toastie seemed as harmless an alternative as anything else.