I have a chance to go see a presentation of Danny Elfman music on Halloween in LA, with a special appearance by Elfman to perform some of the songs from Nightmare Before Christmas. I did some casual fundraising on facebook, but I ran into some snags. Other people requested I put up a crowd-funding page, so I did.
If you can imagine some work I could do for you in exchange for help attending this show, please consider helping.
I think it's the mixed spiral of dubious motivation and internet fixation.
- Dubious motivation: So much in my life is in flux right now. I have my two oldest kids in the house for the summer, my podcasting/youtube work is in this limbo right before something really big is due to happen, my web design work is mostly on hold while I fix some server stuff, POC is over and the new planning stages have started, and a system administrator position I was going to fill requires me to do some pretty significant PHP work that I'm having trouble beginning. I could pick up one or more of these projects, but the fact that the kids are in the house really puts a damper on things. See, I take a while to get motivated... and I have to have gotten my distractions behind me... then I can pick up my work... but I'm also waffling pretty hard on what I should actually be working on. What's important? What means anything? How can I turn something I'm doing... ANYTHING I'm doing... into something that earns me some money. It all feels like housework... doomed to be instantly repeated once the initial task is done.
- Internet Fixation: So I do a sweep of social media, consume some clever internet content, drop some comments here and there, read my political debate communities, and skim the comments on our latest videos. Once that is done, I can dig into my project, right? But if the kids need something, I get pulled away, I get distracted, and then I return with a "quick" sweep of those tasks. And heaven forbid I comment on a political issue and get someone challenging what I've said! Because if that happens, I have an hour's worth of reading and research to do so that my reply is both accurate and poignant. And if I get into an extended debate, that will call me away from whatever else I'm doing repeatedly throughout the day.
And so, if things go as usual, I'll start getting stressed around 2pm that I haven't gotten anything done... and with my workout coming up at 4pm, I'll have 2 hours to cram some work in. This is also, ironically, the period of the day when my kids have gotten tired of their self-entertainment. And so I get pulled away... repeatedly... with the most trivial and banal of requests... and then I start getting grumpy.
I have been staying on the workout thing, though. For about two months now, I'm working out for about an hour, four times a week. I'm doing a mix of cardio and muscle building, and I'm increasing all the things I'm doing as I get more fit. I'm up to 18 minutes of mixed elliptical and rowing machine, 2 sets of 10 reps on 13 different weight machines, and 200 yards of mixed swimming. It's done good things for my energy level, but I still haven't lost any noticeable weight. I'm pretending that it's all because of new muscle mass... that's my story. But regardless of whether I lose weight or not, this should help counter what the high cholesterol and slightly elevated blood sugar are doing to my body. We'll see if it's working when I go back to the doctor next month.
ANYWAY, something just feels out of whack... and I feel I'm not my old boney self... I'm hoping that once the kids get back into school I can fix it. But I might just be projecting. :)
So the emergence of an LJ Nostaglia group on Facebook has inspired a lot of people to renew their interest in Livejournal. The loss of "long form" journaling and the lack of unique comraderie that developed in this medium has apparently even effected me. Is it possible to renew your interest in old social media? Can I double-dip into LJ and walk out not feeling like I'm simply trying to recapture old glories? We'll see.
As it is, I've been apparently missing my old glories pretty seriously. Play On Con was last week, and for the first time in a long, long time, I kept up with pretty much everyone...and it made my weekend. I got less than 4 hours sleep each night, drank like a fish, stayed in the pool till the sun chased me out, flirted like a madman, and hosted events with my "host personality" in full effect. I seriously felt 10 years younger, and got a renewed sense that my existence held the ability to effect my world. At home, with the kids, things can feel petty and small... like the entire world is encompassed in one or two wants that need to be fulfilled. When I'm feeling strong, I feel like I can serve elaborate and complex interests, giving people something they didn't even know they wanted. It's kindov magnificent... and I certainly missed it.
So now I'm back to my regular life... where my kids bicker, my time is squandered, and drinking much of anything give me an abominable hangover. So we'll see if I can maintain my sanity till the next time I feel potent and able to mold my own reality with any efficacy. There are some changes on the horizon for me, and I might be leveraging my small amount of e-fame into a full-time job. That would please me greatly.
But I fear it leaves me one small step away from mowing the lawn in knee-high black socks and sandals.
So I guess I ought to post this everywhere, and even though I'm seldom posting here, I read LJ every single day.
The link to the actual fundraising site is here: http://gogetfunding.com/project/play-
I grow increasingly attracted to the idea that I should respond by turning my voice into a giant piece of performance art. I imagine that I could craft some rather magnificent lies with remarkable reach. If people are so eager to relinquish their sincerity and muddy the public discourse with easily disprovable propaganda, maybe I should increase the pressure by adding nonsense of my own.
But then I remember that it's usually the same people... with the same nonsense... almost all the time. And as much as I'd like to see them floundering with incredulity over some fake quote they know their hero never said, twitching with disbelief at some patently untrue "fact" that anyone could google, and totally innundated with the same misinformed image broadcast for months and years on end.... the odds remain slim that such a performance would actually impact those who need to learn that lesson most. The people with true intellect and character are reachable by far more constructive means, and trolling the trolls would make those people casualties of a war I'd never truly win.
Still... it's appealing... and I daydream about it... and I imagine a world where research and sincere discourse could trump ideological talking points...
It's when you've been warning your child not to do something for quite a while, and they just won't listen to you. Like, for instance, when your son is swinging around his bed on the 3 foot bedpost. And despite informing him that it's dangerous, that it's unsafe, and that it can break his bed, he keeps on swinging around.
And then, one night, while getting ready for bed, you hear a crack... and you know exactly what happened. Entering the room you are faced with a choice between the merciful and the righteous. The merciful answer is to pick up your kid and comfort them... tell them how sorry you are, and how it's all going to be ok. But even if that is the path you choose, you will still feel the nagging call of righteousness... where you remind them how many times you've warned them about this, and point out what their folly has cost them.
So that confusion sets in... where you ponder where the teachable moment begins and ends, and where ignoble "I told you so"s take control. In tonight's case, I think I handled it pretty well. But it really is impressive how your children can make you ponder how much of a douchebag you could be if unchecked...
So my new computer hardware ended up being a huge pain to install. But not for the normal reasons... in this case, it was because I forgot my DVD drive was an IDE device.
Most new motherboards are leaving off IDE controllers. Those are the things that tell your PC how to read older hard drivers. Modern drives are all SATA, and while I was prepared to lose control of one of my hard drives, losing the DVD drive was an unforeseen issue.
To top that off, I had my computer set up to dual boot either into Visa (on one drive) or into Windows 7 (on another). But the way I had it set up, I needed a bootable disk in the DVD drive. Once I got all the new hardware in, and I powered up my PC, I had no boot disk... and no DVD drive to install one from. I was in a bit of a bind.
So I needed to build a bootable USB stick with Windows 7 on it. I downloaded the tool from the microsoft site, but it required a ISO (exact copy) file of a windows disc, and all the mirrors were predicting one hour download times. I tried using Wendy's computer to rip my existing disks, but the tool had didn't recognize them. I didn't figure out till the one hour download had completed that the problem was with the microsoft tool, not the ISO. It wouldn't recognize any of the ISOs I fed it.
To add insult to injury, it told me I needed a 4 gig memory stick. I fed it one, it said it couldn't use it, so I reformatted it. It still didn't like it, so I put in another with a different file system. It didn't like it, so I reformatted it, it didn't like it either. So I ended up purging three memory sticks of their information before I figured out the tool was busted.
I ended up using this site to create my stick and it worked perfectly:
But then I realized it didn't install any of the drivers for my network devices. This meant I needed to copy over drivers... so I copied over the entire driver disk that came with my motherboard (another 40 minutes). When I installed all that, the stupid motherboard company decided I needed a wide array of preposterous utliities that faked improving my computer, so I spent 30 minutes cleaning all that up.
But now, my computer is running... my computer is running fast... and my computer is relatively clean of unnecessary digital junk. Now to install my old mobo/processor into Wendy's computer.