All posts filed under: Journal

Full-time

I can vividly recall the moment I decided I wanted to become a writer. I was sitting in a tan corduroy chair inside a cramped college dorm room. I was rereading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It was at that moment that I realized I saw the world just as Huxley did. And I thought this might mean I should write novels, too. Of course, at the time, I was also very interested in photography and film and understanding that a degree in Creative Writing might not pay any bills, I ultimately decided to study Mass Communications. It took me some time to come back around to writing books, but ever since then, I’ve wanted to write full time. Even then, I understood writing novels would most likely mean writing other things in support of that endeavor. But the reality is I’m not entirely sure I want to write articles for a magazine like Cat Fancy just to say that I’m a full-time writer. (I’m allergic to cats.) At times, I fear this means …

Christmas in July

Christmas in July seems to have experienced a bit of an uptick as a commercial gimmick in the past few years and has become a stalwart of the Hallmark Channel for at least that many. But it’s not a new idea. There’s a 1940 film with the title Christmas in July. It may only be referring to unexpected prize money, but the concept is there. We’re talking about a windfall outside of the holiday season. That being said, I’m just now starting to take Christmas in July seriously. According to my wife, the reason is our daughter. She was born in April, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate Christmas with her, so I started a few months early. It must’ve been subconscious because I don’t recall making that decision, but it makes sense. I never thought twice about Christmas in July before she was born. Therefore, I hope it’s obvious that my celebration is not centered on conning folks into giving me presents. The first thing I did was try to find out where I …

The Lesson of the Replacement Flip Flops

Last summer, my flip flops were stolen, and it made me think it might be best if I kept a loose grip on my possessions (and my dreams). I still think that might be a good idea, but this summer, I realized the thought needed to be expanded upon after I bought myself a pair of replacement flip flops. I went the entire year without replacing my flip flops, which was a mistake because I bought some new ones at the last minute—waiting until the last minute meant that the ones that I ordered were designed for someone with a foot like a Sasquatch, not mine. There wasn’t enough time to return them. Granted, they worked in a pinch, but they were generally uncomfortable, and there were numerous times when I chose to walk over asphalt in bare feet rather than wear my new flip flops. The sand under the loose-fitting strap was more painful than a sharp rock on the ball of my foot or heel. They were a bad purchase and a poor …

Surfing

I might be interested in learning to surf because it’s one of the few outdoor sports I’ve yet to engage with fully. I’ve kayaked, rock climbed, spelunked, mountain biked, and more, but I live just a bit too far inland to take up surfing. Surfing, like most other sports, has its own culture. But the culture displayed in, say, rock climbing doesn’t have quite the same allure to me. I mean, there’s no Beach Boys for rock jocks. The closest thing I can think of is maybe John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” which isn’t exactly on point. Don’t misunderstand. There are elements of surf culture that don’t interest me. Supercharged testosterone can be annoying in any arena, but the truth is that I typically imagine myself surfing all by myself. I’m alone on the glassy water—rising and falling with the swells and riding the wave break into shore. I’ve heard the ocean described as a temple in a surfing flick before, and I can relate to standing before the sea and experiencing something spiritual. And …

Shark Attack

About six years ago, I began having access to a beach house on the coast of North Carolina for one or two weeks a year. I’ve loved extreme sports for a much longer time than that, so I immediately began considering surfing as a new pastime. Unfortunately, around the same time that I started going to this beach house, I began paying more attention to the news related to the coast. This meant I started hearing news reports about sharks. And, for some reason, these reports gave me an irrational fear of shark attacks. So much so that one year I avoided the water almost altogether. The strange thing about my reaction is that I am aware of the mass communication theories that account for this effect. Exposure to repeated news cycles of shark attacks can impact your view of the likelihood of it happening to you or, at least, its prevalence in general. At university, I studied something similar—the impact of views on violent crime that makes people stay away from downtown and urban …

Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in catastrophic levels of death and illness. Fortunately for me, the chaos and extreme loss of this illness have remained far away, at least for the time being. However, I have not entirely evaded the impact of this virus. Whereas I consider myself to be an introvert, I–like many others–have been feeling the strain of semi-quarantine conditions. Although I consider myself fortunate to have escaped the worst of the pandemic, I have seen many of the good habits and practices I put into place start to wane or slacken. I can see how many might think that good habits are unimportant right now, but these activities tend to lessen my anxiety and lead to greater stability, which makes them all the more essential in times like these. It might be clear why I’ve been unable to stay on track. Despite having more opportunities than ever to institute good habits and make the most of my days, I find myself overindulging in some practices and neglecting others. I’ve also miraculously revived …

Apps

I only keep apps that I use. And I keep those apps all in one folder on my phone. That folder is aptly labeled “Apps.” Admittedly, that’s a bit on the nose, but I couldn’t think of anything better. Collecting phone apps I don’t use frequently is not something I like to do. So, periodically, I search through them and decide whether or not I need them all. Then, I trash them. (I should note that it aggravates that my phone doesn’t allow me to delete all of its apps.) When it comes to displaying applications, I oscillate between form and function. I know someone who goes so far as to color coordinate his apps, arranging them in a rainbow-like pattern. That’s just about as form as it gets. I tend to put my most frequently used apps on the front pane and arrange the rest alphabetically. It’s an attempt at function, but it’s not ideal. When I delete an app, the others can no longer be found via rote memory. I may not have …

Beer

I sometimes wonder if there will be a point in my life where wine becomes more important to me than beer, but I’m not there yet. And I think there will always be a place for a beer after a long week of work. Unfortunately for me, most beers are out of my reach due to a gluten allergy. So, gluten-free beers and ciders are my mainstays. However, I can also drink rice beers. And of those, Sapporo is my favorite. I’m just lucky that this Japanese beer with the gold star on the bottle was one of my favorites before I learned of my gluten allergy. It could be seen as depressing to have such a limited beer palate. And there are certainly times when I wish I could try the latest beer on tap at my local brewery. But I think–and I may just be making the best of a bad situation–it’s not so bad to have one goto brew. I don’t drink frequently, and when I do drink, it’s rarely more than …