Friday, April 22, 2016

Thought Purges

I've felt weird lately. I'm not sure how to explain it. Not quite myself? Different? I don't know. I've had trouble expressing myself lately.

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I had ideas in my head recently to write two satirical pieces but the creativity and enthusiasm just wasn't there after that initial spark. So, I guess I'll just write about writing.

The first was going to be a piece looking at life after baseball for that Chicago White Sox player who retired after he was told to stop bringing his 14-year-old kid to practice every day. He talked about how much he loved his son and how that was worth more than the $13 million he was giving up. I just had this image in my head of them two weeks later sitting on the couch together watching tv, with the dad slowly looking down with this sort of disgust in his eyes.

I was either thinking of taking it that way, or going the opposite route and having the dad be obsessed with the kid and fast forward to when he turns 16 and gets his car and stops playing catch with his dad to start dating girls. The kid would be like "This is creepy, Dad" and he would be like "I GAVE UP 13 MILLION DOLLARS FOR YOU!!!"

The other one was about that NC "bathroom bill" transgender nonsense that's going on. Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert there and it was a big deal. Others followed suit. And more people did. It was like the law of diminishing returns. It's like a concert, you can't follow Springsteen. I thought it would be funny to write something about a band booking a gig in North Carolina just so they could cancel and get in the news. In my head, a band to the effect of Pearl Jam would be one to do this. Then I read a news article a few days ago about Pearl Jam canceling their NC concert. I was just in shock that I figured a band like Pearl Jam would cancel their concert, then they did.

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I've been thinking a lot about life lately and where I'm at. Where I've grown, stuff like that. Facebook has that "memories" feature you can activate, where it will show you what you posted on that day throughout the years. A couple weeks ago, I realized that a pretty big event was coming up, based on where Facebook was telling me I was at in life. It was a very negative anniversary.

On Monday, Facebook told me "one year ago today, you posted this, which isn't necessarily telling the world, but it reminds you of said moment." And, knowing me, I'll talk about it eventually. Just not right now.

April 18, 2015 I was at a very low point. I remember the 19th and 20th not being good either. It was the start of a bad time for me.

April 18, 2016 I was sitting in my office writing newspaper articles. On the 19th I was given a breaking news assignment about a fire that killed some people and was given a lot of compliments about how I handled that. On the 20th I basked in that feeling of knowing I wrote some good newspaper articles.

A couple weeks ago I interviewed a United States Senator. It was something that had popped up in the days preceding. We didn't talk about anything important; it was mostly good p.r. for him than anything. I had to drive nearly two hours to do the interview. On the way up, I was mostly worried about where I was going and what I was going to experience. On the nearly 2-hour drive back, I got more reflective on my life and where it's gone.

It was a Monday. A year prior, I waited tables at Outback Steakhouse. I was in a very negative place. Outback has a NASCAR sponsorship and depending on how the Sunday races went, Monday was usually "Bloomin' Monday" which meant you got a free Bloomin' Onion appetizer. When things are free, it usually brings in a certain crowd. When things are NASCAR-related, it brings in a certain crowd. Combine the two, and Monday was never a pleasant day.

But that Monday was a great day, professionally and personally. I felt like I was doing something important. I felt like I was being treated with respect. And if you've ever worked in a restaurant or retail setting, you'll know that you don't often feel like you're doing something important, nor do you get that much respect.

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I always roll my eyes when people announce on Facebook that they're going to delete a lot of their friends. At three different points in the last year, I went on unannounced friend purges. It took me a while to realize why my blog readership was down, even though I always tell people that my main goal for Facebook is to promote my blog.

Instead of rolling my eyes at the political views of people I went to high school with that weren't really my friends, or seeing baby pictures of former co-workers that I didn't even like, it's easier to just get rid of them.

On the other end of that spectrum, I realized that I was trying too hard to be friends with some people. Girls, mostly. Not like those creepy guys who like all of their pictures and leave vaguely sexual comments posed as a joke. But, like, trying to become friends with girls who I have hung out with at various points in my life. 

And, I realized that it was really a one-way street. Like, they were my friends. They were bad about responding to texts, but if we saw each other at a party or something, we would have a fun time. And the cycle would repeat itself.

Finally decided to say "fuck it," or as my iPhone would say "dick it" and just get rid of those friends. I know I'm doing better without those people in my life. But, it does feel sad that none of them have reached out to me. They won't notice that we're no longer Facebook friends for a while, but I stopped texting these friends as well. And I quickly realized that I always initiated the conversations. None of them texted me first to say hi or what's up.

Perfect spot for one of my favorite memes: a picture of a beluga whale whose fins make it appear as though he's shrugging with the caption "Oh whale." I thought it was funnier to describe it than actually post the picture.

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That's all for now. I'll come back with something substantial at a later time.

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