Monday, December 6, 2010

Sleep? Where are you tonight?

     I wish I was a better storyteller.  I'm sure that I must have some amusing stories to share with people, I have stories that I find amusing.  However, when sharing entertaining stories with others I always seem to fall flat.

     I can write stories.  Or perhaps, I should say, I can start writing stories.  Fiction, that is.  I'm not too good at finishing them.  Somehow I always get stuck, not knowing how to get from point A (which is an awesome premise) to point B (which is a great ending).  Everything I can come up with for the middle is crap.

     But I digress.  What I was referring to is my inability to tell a good story about an event that I witnessed, participated in or heard about.  I can't even properly convey someone else's awesome story.

     I had hoped that this blog would be entertaining in some way, although all I really wanted was a place to get some of the crap out of my head, it was a hope that it would be enjoyable.  I will endeavor to make it more enjoyable in the future (note - expect failure at first).

     Maybe I'll start putting sections of fiction I have written on here.  Not tonight, obviously, as the title of this post should indicate my current state of mind, but soon.  Don't expect the fiction to be particularly amusing, as I'm not really funny, and tend toward dark melodrama in my writing, but I hope you'll be entertained at least.  Maybe it'll even push me toward completing a story.  Or maybe I'll create something new, and use this as a testing ground for my attempts to learn to write humor.

     I'd like to learn to write humor.  I even tried it a couple of times, but vampires, ghosties and corpses kept trying to fall out of the shadows.  My imagination is a creepy place.

     So, yes.  In the future expect creepy segments of short stories, and lame attempts at funny stories regarding my rather boring life.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Work Like You Don't Need the Money

     So I think I've mentioned before that I'm a geek.  As part of that, I play D&D with a group of close friends on a fairly regular basis.  The schedule is twice a month barring catastrophe that is all too common for us.  We're scheduled to play this Saturday, and I realized today that I have not prepared.

     Without going into all the geeky details, I'll say that a couple of weeks ago I agreed to type up my campaign notes before our next gaming session.  Needless to say, they are not yet completed and are on my screen even now calling out "Finish me, please!"

     I treat things like this as work.  The reason I am behind is that I have had so much work of late.  I've been working on some oil paintings that have to be finished and delivered no later than a week before Christmas.  I've been working on new ceramic projects at the ceramic center I belong to.  I've been working on creating some new jewelry for an upcoming sale next week, as well as some commissioned requests.  And in the evening when I've used up adequate daylight for painting and suchlike, I knit, working on some scarves that I'd like to have completed before the holiday.  I take breaks throughout the day, read some blogs and some webcomics, occasionally even writing a blog or two, I run errands and schedule in social time, I search for and apply for jobs, but on most days I work in some form or another from the time I get up until I go to bed.  And I don't have a "job".

     So I got a phone call from my friend Tracy earlier today while I was furiously typing away, and she mentioned that I'm a workaholic and posed the question, "how can someone without a job be a workaholic?"
I dunno.  I can't deny the accusation, reflecting on it she seems correct.  I work all the time.  And I don't have a "job". When faced with an absence of work, I create more work to do.  I take on extra projects, labeling things in my mind as work to do and then do my best to complete it.  I don't know how not to.  I like to feel productive, like I've accomplished something.  Perhaps the absence of a regular paycheck simply means that I must do even more work in order to feel that I've accomplished something.

     I think that's it, really.  Since I don't have a "job" with a regular work schedule, there is no set time for the work day to end.  So if I haven't scheduled in other activities, my natural state remains "at work."

Huh.  I learned something new today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Blues

I really hate Christmas.  I enjoyed it as a child, but as an adult it is a time of year I truly dread.  People often ask me why; it seems strange to them that I should have such negative feelings about a holiday most people enjoy.  My dear friend, the Little Pecan, wrote a set of blogs recently that have clarified the foundation of my distaste.  You can read them here, here and here.  Interestingly enough, in them she explains why she celebrates and enjoys Christmas.  Though what she pointed out may be the foundation of my feelings about Christmas, there are also layers on top of that.

As stated, I enjoyed Christmas as a child.  It was fun, spending time with family, picking out presents for other people, receiving presents, eating too many special holiday goodies, getting time off from school.  It was great, all of the enjoyment, none of the responsibility.  Strangely enough, although my family claims to be Christian, the only nod to religion at Christmas was the nativity scene on the mantlepiece.

As I got older and started hearing more about the "keeping Christ in Christmas" thing and whatnot, I was like, sure, okay, Christmas is a time for celebrating family and friends.  That's Christian, isn't it?  Which probably shows that I was never particularly religious.  I'll explain a bit of my relationship with religion:

My family claimed to be Christian, but we never attended church regularly.  I was sent to a strict Christian school for my elementary years because they had a good academic curriculum and my mother wanted me to have a good education.  In school we had chapel service and everything, so I was more than exposed to religious beliefs.  Some people think that children believe wholeheartedly and without question, but I was not one of those children.  I was plagued with doubt at the inconsistencies of Christianity until I got older and realized that I had never truly believed in God. 

However, I respect that other people do.  Celebrating the birth of Christ is something that Christians like and that's cool.  But where is this celebration of Christ?  Hell, where is the celebration of friends and family?  What I see is more of a celebration of the shopping mall driven by the majority of people who claim to be shopping because of their love of Jesus?  What does rampant consumerism have to do with the birth of a baby in a barn a couple thousand years ago?  I don't get it.  However, not celebrating Christmas is treated as both un-Christian and un-American.

Religion aside, society still expects me to participate in the holiday season.  My loved ones, both religious and not, celebrate this time of year.  And I feel pressured to participate as well.  I normally don't cave to peer pressure, but in this case it overwhelms me from all sides.

I cave to the pressure, and go through the stress of frantic gift buying or gift making, frantic visits with everyone I can possibly make time to see, and generally never get a chance to actually relax and enjoy the holidays.  There is nothing fun about it for me.  I don't even really enjoy receiving gifts anymore, because they make me feel immense guilt that I am poor and cannot afford to purchase gifts for everyone.  I make gifts for people, and although I personally love handmade gifts, I am always worried that people will look at the things I make and give to them as "less than".  So it becomes a time of year that points out my lack of financial success as well.

But I do it year after year because I WANT to enjoy it.  I want to purchase gifts for my loved ones to show them how much I appreciate them.  I want to spend time with those loved ones, and celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another.  I really do, it's just Christmas never seems to work out that way.  I keep doing the same thing every year expecting a different result.  It exemplifies insanity that I cannot break or change.

And so I hate Christmas.