Moving day creeps ever closer. Meanwhile, I'm up to my neck in assignments and appointments. They keep coming, and they don't show any sign of slowing down. I decided to take four classes over summer term so I could finish up my AA, so I knew what I was getting myself into. Still, it doesn't change the fact that my life is now almost 100% grind. I literally wake up at 0700, work for eight hours, do school until about 2300, rinse and repeat. I'm considering getting one of those shirts from the apparel section at Walmart that says "caffeine queen" in Pinterest letters, because that's truly what I've become. On the bright side, I'm able to listen to music while I work. It's nice to be able to get more well-acquainted with albums I've had on the backburner until now.
This weekend, my family wanted to squeeze in one last outing before I go off into the real world. I'm in the car on my way there right now, as a matter of fact. I have been growing more and more anxious about leaving the only place I've ever called home. I know it has to happen at some point, and that I'll have a good time over there-- still, I have never been somewhere so far away without an immediate family member close by. I just wish I could freeze time for a second and have a proper goodbye with each person who has brought me up. I suppose that's what this mini-vacation is supposed to be. I know I won't be gone forever-- and that everyone is only a phone call away, but from moving day onward, I'm my own person for the first time. It'll be different.
I hope I can find my place once I get to where I'm going. I've been separated from large groups of people my own age for so long, I'm afraid I won't know how to socialize. It doesn't help that I banished myself from the digital plazas that my peers frequent most: Instagram, TikTok, etc. I'm not saying I would ever go back-- but I'll admit I lurk Instagram every once in awhile, just to see what people are up to. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing by leaving. It certainly doesn't feel good to be on the outside looking in, while I sputter and scream in an airtight bubble made of my own self-righteousness and pseudointellectualism. I know that I just feel this way because I'm not out living my own life; not yet, anyway.
I'm honestly not sure how to feel about living on my own- it's hard to even wrap my head around what it'll be like. I went and visited where I'm moving with my friend, who's moving with me. Coming from a town that has a population of roughly 2000, and one main street, it's pretty jarring to see buildings that are taller than 3 or 4 stories. We hit one of those expensive street markets that people just take Instagram pictures at, and it made me realize how not used to large crowds I am. I guess that's what happens when you never leave the house.
I'm worried that my homesickness is gonna hit me all at once when I actually move. I also predict that it'll be brutal when it does. I mean, I hate to write a self-fulfilling prophecy- but I feel like that's just what's bound to happen when you move out of the only house you've ever lived in. I try not to stress myself about it too much; it's not like there's anything I can do about it anyway.
I am gonna miss my family, though. I feel so terrible about not spending as much time with them as I probably should- my grandparents in particular. It's not like I'm just screwing around, though. I'm pretty much always either studying or working. Well, spring term's over, so I don't have much of an excuse anymore.
Cell phones are such cumbersome little things. I don't really wanna be an insufferable hipster and rock a Nokia n900, and given the progress (or lack thereof) I've made on making mine usable as a daily driver, I don't think that'll be an option anyway. It might be a little more realistic for me to get a midrange or slightly older device with LineageOS support and just use that without the Google services. I also need something with a removable back, expandable storage and a headphone jack. See, these would have been basic no-brainer phone features 5 years ago, but it's almost impossible to find something like that nowadays. All I want to do is be able to look at my files, listen to my music, and replace my own damn battery. Jesus Christ.
I'm conflicted about putting my most private thoughts on the internet for random strangers to see, especially because this is where I send people when they ask me for social media. On the other hand, though, I don't think anyone reads this fucking thing so whatever.
I recently started a new, more physically demanding job- and my schoolwork took a dive as a result. My head is just now reaching the surface again; in other words, I haven't had much time or energy to spend on existential dread or post-breakup moping. Some might view that as a good thing- but to me, it just feels like I'm skimming the pages of my life and not retaining all the important information.
I want to learn guitar. I need to learn guitar. For some reason, I feel like it's my biological imperative to be a musician. Not a famous one, although there were points in my life where that was the goal. I've reasoned it out in my head now so that it's a little less about getting attention from people and more about self-fulfillment. I really just want to be able to express myself. I like to write poetry and I'd love to turn some of it into music if I could.
Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or say, you can never escape the pre-conditioned responses that are baked into your head? Do you ever say something to someone and immediately wish you hadn't said anything at all- either because it was such a non-statement that it might as well have not been uttered or because all it did was make you seem more and more like a know-it-all prick?
Yeah, I feel like that all the time.
I'm beginning to become grossed out with how much of my individualism I assert onto others, which is kind of what I was getting at. See, even that feels like such a pretentious string of words, you know what I mean? Ugh! It's just inescapable man. I don't even know what I'm trying to say anymore. I'm just uncomfortable with myself. More than I initially thought I was, I guess. I don't know how to be honest; it feels like everything I do is so people will think that I'm cool and interesting. Being a person is so difficult.
I may as well put the punchline up front; I mean, that's the main thing that's happened since my last post. I was swapping around computers for a while and didn't have access to my site for a few months (boy what fun that was). I'm back now, though- and quite a bit on the site has changed. I had a bit of a crisis about my work ethic back in February or so and since then have been trying to steer my boat in the right direction. I've never been very good at sitting still and focusing, and for most of my life I've just been like "oh yeah, I think I have ADD or something lol". That excuse only goes so far, though. I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it, and my ability to focus is starting to manifest itself in a lot of different ways- my site being one of them.
In other news, I continue to struggle with my identity (hence the eyebrow piercing I suppose) both online and offline. Not being able to go to school and talk candidly with anyone certainly isn't doing me any favors. I don't know if it's the lack of social interaction or what, but I've been feeling like I'm just somebody piloting Connor Brown's body. In other words, I feel like who I am is just a caricature, and everything I do and say is just what I think I probably would do. This isn't a constant thing by any means, but I have noticed myself feeling this way from time to time.
Recently, life has been pretty hard for me; I haven't been the biggest fan of myself and it's really hard to ignore the little voice in my head that tells me I'm never good enough. I've even taken up writing poems again just to have some kind of outlet for it all. Luckily for me, I happen to have really great friends that I can always count on to make me feel better. It's just really comforting to know that even if I've had a pretty shitty day at work or whatever, I'm at least gonna go hang out with David and Helena for a few hours.
I can say the same thing about my friend Tate, too- facetiming them is something I genuinely look forward to. I'm happy we talk as much as we do. I know I say shit like this all the time, but I felt like a gushy blog post was necessary. The only people I'm sure read this thing are them, so anyway shoutout to you guys! I don't know what I'd do w/o you :)
Congratulations! You successfully found my website! If you're reading this, you're probably wondering what I've been doing since I ditched social media (I mean, you must care a little, since you're here). Well, besides figuring out how to get this whole thing up and running, I've been doing what most people have been doing in the midst of covid-19. I mean, what can be said about this thing that hasn't already been said? You'll probably notice my hair's gotten a lot longer since the last thing I put on Instagram. This has been a long time coming- I plan on growing my hair past my shoulders and then we'll go from there.
What about Snapchat? Isn't that social media?
Yeah, Snapchat is social media. My justification for keeping it is that it's the only way I can stay in contact with certain people. I suppose I could text them over SMS (that's just regular old green-bubble text messaging for those unfamiliar with the term), but who in the fuck wants to use SMS when there's a better option available?
This is all super pretentious bro, what makes you think you need a whole website to yourself?
Trust me, I know that this comes across that way. I mostly made this for myself because I wanted a place to put my stuff but didn't really like what likes, comments and followers turned me into. I didn't go into this with the idea that it needed to be made because lots of people care what I'm up to. It's there for those who are curious but it doesn't really matter to me if tons of people are visiting the site or not.
How did you do all of this?
I might make a separate post sometime in the future about how my site works and all of that. It's a pretty simple setup. I have a VPS that I pay like $5 a month or so for, I remote into it and my site's just a collection of files that I can modify as I see fit. I use Luke Smith's rolling blog setup, which you can find here
I was watching this video about different music players on Linux the other day, just to see what all was out there, and the guy was talking about his reasons for keeping a personal music library on his hard drive when streaming services exist. One thing he said that I found really interesting is that he doesn't like having his music taste curated for him by an algorithm. Now, first of all, "algorithm" is kind of a buzzword at this point. Anti social media people use it all the time "Aw, dude you gotta break free from the machine man! Don't let the algorithm control you bro!...etc." But then I started thinking about how many of the things I'm interested in now were decided for me by Spotify or Instagram or whatever and it really started to freak me out.
While I think it is a little cliché to just detest algorithms because it's the "machine", it makes sense to be bothered by it. Not because having songs recommended to you by a robot is worse than having them recommended by a person, but because if there's a way to manipulate what large groups of people like and dislike, that can very easily be misused. Maybe it already has?
The 3rd was my 19th birthday, and I got a bit of money from relatives. I decided to use this money to finally take the plunge and get a high quality music player and pair of IEMs. It definitely felt like a reddit moment ordering so much stuff from Amazon. I had been wanting to make the switch from Spotify to having my own music library for a while now, though. When I was younger, I used my brother's old iPod touch and I really liked just having all of my stuff locally stored. The problem with these music players from China is that they're usually running some homemade firmware- and there's no guarantee that it'll be super responsive. So, a player can have excellent hardware but if selecting your music is a pain, forget about it.
This is the player I decided to get. It's called the Shanling m0 (catchy name, I know). It's basically just the one that all the neckbeards on the internet told me to buy. As much as I dislike the culture of Reddit and especially the "hobbyist" subs like /r/mechanicalkeyboards, they know which products are the best ones.
In other news, David's girlfriend, Helena is back in town (Hi Helena) to do Nutcracker. Since 1. this is going to be my last year here before I go off to college and 2. David and Helena are both doing it this year, I decided to do it too. I've been in lots of shows but never one completely centered around ballet. It's interesting acting out a narrative with no words.
Right now, I'm drinking this expensive ass coffee that I got from Safeway. I decided to splurge and get the 1lb bag of Stumptown that they had from Ethiopia. That little bag was $15, but holy shit is it worth that amount. Opening the bag, not only were all the beans intact, but all of them had silverskin. Once it was brewed, it was a much lighter color than I was expecting it to be. To make a long story short, it's a good cup of coffee. African coffees are usually very vibrant and fruity, which is what I like most.
I'm finally more or less satisfied with the layout of my site. I'd like to do a little more with the homepage but I really like how everything else is formatted. For a little while, I'll probably just fill up my blog. I had an idea to draw comic strips every week or so and post them here as well. It's been a while since I've had a platform like this to stand on. I don't think I've ever written out complete thoughts like this on a regular basis either. It's interesting because it takes a lot more looking inside than, say, posting a picture. It's a lot more satisfying and because I don't get likes or even views on here, the motivation comes from just wanting to express myself.
I've been listening to a lot of Machine Girl lately, more specifically, U-Void Synthesizer. When I was 14-15, I went through a bit of a Vaporwave phase; I actually burned the two Blank Banshee albums that were out at the time onto disc because my mom's truck only had a CD player. Even before that, I was always into electronic music. Growing up in the 2000s, all of the top 40 pop had super heavy autotune. All of the adults around me never seemed to like it, but computerized vocals have always sounded cool to me, and it seems like I share that feeling with many of my peers. Hyper-pop, shit like 100 gecs and Lil Tracy, is more than a niche genre now. It's all over TikTok, all the Kool Kidz know what it sounds like. I'm more into electronic as a whole, I also had a pretty healthy Dubstep phase when I was 11 or 12, accompanied by some deadmau5 and Daft Punk.
I was riding my electric board up a hill a few days ago when one of the motorized wheels started locking up. Now it's stuck like that whenever it's on, so that's kind of a bummer. Luckily, it happened within the warranty period so I'm still good if it requires replacing parts. God, that thing was still a worthwhile purchase. I have more than gotten my money's worth out of it and I've only had it for a couple of months. It's so nice to speed around effortlessly in my middle-of-nowhere town, there's never anyone around so you can ride in the middle of roads most of the time. Playing music through bluetooth earbuds with a Yerba Mate while riding around in the sunshine is the closest I've ever gotten to pure bliss.
Mon, 28 Sep 2020 07:19:05 +0000
The eternal work in progress that is my website (among other things)
Inside my brain, it feels like there's an adult me that wants to be productive and sees the value in sitting down and continuing to develop my skills, and then there's a child who just wants to eat Chef Boyardee ravioli and watch road rage compilations on YouTube. Seriously, I don't know what it is about those videos that has me hooked on them, but it's not an uncommon thing for me to pull up while I'm vegging out. There's something about people who are clearly in the wrong being really mad and then at one point realizing that they're wrong. Maybe that's not a good feeling to chase, it's a little alarming that I actively want to watch people argue with each other. Whatever, I guess you can pick anything apart like that if you try hard enough.
Recently, I've stopped drinking Yerba Mates and switched to Java Monster. I'm not sure how I feel about this new phase, but those things sure are delicious.
I switched Desktop Environments from KDE Plasma to XFCE on my desktop, because I realized that I might as well have the exact same setup on both of my machines. Plus, XFCE runs insanely nice on my desktop. As it often goes with me and Linux, some shit decided to randomly break and now my Steam games won't play. For those who don't know, Steam has a tool in the Linux version called Steam Play, which basically runs a Windows compatability layer over games that don't have native Linux versions. It can also be run on games that DO have a native version and in some cases, it runs better like that. I've gotten it to work on multiple installs before, including the one I'm on right now. It stopped working after I switched Desktop Environments so now I have to figure out what the hell is wrong with it. Once I do, though, I'll have another tool to add to the belt. That's the way I always look at it, anyway.