[Time Travel Toxicity] Journey To Zero-One

I time travel daily. My mind plans my future while replaying my past. I watched an episode of a show for the first time in over ten years; when I last watched it, I lived a different life. Does that count? Or is time travel more the physical act of being there? In my mind, I just walked down the street with an old acquaintance of mine on our way to get dinner. Felt real…

Chapter 1: 5am Monday, August 12th

//This would normally be it for today…

I wonder if we merely want to redo the past?

Whenever I’ve thought or will think about the idea of what I’d change about my past, invariably I’ll go through hypotheticals of helping others and when arriving at myself, I’d claim to change nothing, and sometimes, mostly, even mean it. I like where I am. I’m sitting in my car in a parking lot illuminated by my smartphone’s screen with 25 minutes on the clock for potential writing time before I go into work.

I split my day into four two-hour chunks to ellievate the pressure of the day. Eight hours is a daunting task for something necessary but not quite my favorite thing. It’s favorable enough to where I’ve structured my life with as many safety guards as possible to avoid risking it. Perhaps top many? This isn’t a sacred opportunity. However, I treat it like one because if I succeed here, I’ll be thanking my past self in my best future.

The last time I watched that episode of Samurai Champloo, I was living at my parent’s home. I can still picture the general layout. As you walk through the door, my bed was on the left and my computer was between the door and the window. I sat at this computer for nearly all of my free time during high school and part of college.

I am now back in my car with some 15 minutes left on the clock. I learned on my antepenultimate noteworthy contract that if I wrote abroad and edited at home, I’d have a much more flexible lifestyle. During those winter months, I used a gaudy, underpowered tablet to write. That unlocked a sort of understanding that I didn’t need to be locked away [for some kind of control, or maybe just out of fear] to live a good life.

What will I do after work? This is my “Friday,” itself a calendar “Monday,” which you could be reading on any day of the week, and my normal routine would be stopping by a grocery store for things I would need throughout my workweek or taking a nap and doing more things in the evening. I’ve had a draining week. I woke up tired. I’ve been waking up tired for years. It’s just I thought I kicked that sort of grog in the past few months. It’s picked up again over the past few weeks.

Tonight, I will skip the store, unwind, and go to bed whenever I’m tired with the goal of running those errands tomorrow. I have my plan in place: drop off donations, sell off some games, and get groceries. The theme for that essay will be modeled off “Thirty-Three Years Young,” itself the template for my new writing consideration. I haven’t applied the chapter formatting yet in my actual writing, but I’ll go back and edit them in now thanks to the magic of editing.

There. Now I might consider writing these out into chapters based around time, since that’s the theme of this essay. How does that relate with downsizing?

Where am I going to spend my time today? Other than at work, where on my breaks I might wander around or browse random social media sites I would rarely use for socializing, when I get home on this “Friday/Monday/last workday” evening, I might normally catch up on things I wanted to do throughout the week.

Now, I’m not so sure.

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Chapter 2: 6am to 3pm, Monday

//Murakami’s mesmerism mesmerizes…

I walked up the same stairs as I’ve done many times before. How many more months or years will I repeat this routine? Hopefully, all that I need, and never cut short without my consent.

I’m in the same chair in the same spot I’ve been in for a while and should be in for a while longer. It’s a good spot. I don’t want to photograph it because when I have in the past, it’s always because I’ve known they’ve been temporary spots. This is a spot I can stay in, learn, and be able to write more frequently.

Now I’m standing outside on first break. Just enough time to catch some fresh air before I go back inside. I have time for a sentence or two. I think I’ll focus this afternoon’s time on relaxing with maybe a focus on any errands I can run tomorrow.

Now I’m sitting in my car at lunch. It’s a nice day but there aren’t any comfortable outdoor locations to sit on. I’m still also rather tired. The day has had some rough work and some easy work. I’m in my car because if it were any other gig, I might reset my timer, sleep for a bit, and maybe get in a little later than my lunch allotment, but here I always get back early because there’s nothing that can be pinned on me from a tardy perspective. I would like more freedom here but there’s nothing I can do to change that.

Eight minutes left off the clock.

I’ll try to sell some games tomorrow. I wouldn’t be able to do it today because of this fatigue. If I get some good sleep, I can deal with much more. I got enough sleep last night, but maybe I’ve just been needing more sleep. Maybe that 45-minute rowing set recently burned me out more than I realized? I checked my clock. Five minutes left. I’ll head back in a minute. I don’t think I’ll work in the spare bedroom storage room tonight. I would like to row, at least…

Now I’m wrapping up my second break. I wanted an easy few bits of work and got that. Nothing too challenging or stimulating at work. Time to travel back to finish my day.

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Chapter 3: 4pm, Monday

//Didn’t I want to go right home?

I am now sitting in my car waiting for gas.

The errands I’ll run require me to drive around more. I’m picking the cheaper gas station in price but not in time. Am I time traveling by writing this on the road rather than at home? You’re reading this at a different place and time. Now onto my next errand. [45 minutes, Monday]

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Chapter 4: 8am, Tuesday

//I got home and slept for 14 hours…

I think this will turn into an on-going travelogue of my adventures. I’m not sure why, but it feels alright.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran those three errands.

The first errand was to get gas. As I mentioned, it was weird spending time to save money, but it’s done. I guess if I consider the social aspect of going into a gas station, buying an energy drink and having a simple interaction with the gas station attendant versus waiting in line to add maybe an additional dollar’s worth of gas, there should be no contest. However, I want to get out there more, and the more times we have these simple interactions, the more we can do with them. I had a routine job concluding my penultimate day of work this week where I went so fast I was fumbling through some things but both the customer and myself had a good time so that’s all that matters.

The second errand was to get space. I brought a box of computer things I didn’t need to my local computer reseller. I’ve been over there twice [or thrice?] since I’ve moved into the apartment-mansion to drop things off. Going through their warehouse of wares is like time traveling back to the height of my computer repair days, my computer enthusiast days, or my hoarding days. Nothing has ever caught my attention enough for me to want to purchase the item, so I haven’t. It’s a nice practice for me since the day will arrive soon when I will go to other stores to sell CDs, video games, or books, and will have to resist stronger temptations.

The third was to get groceries. I have a boring routine now, which is just the mind mesmerizing itself into a pattern so it won’t have to think as much about the finer details. I park, I grab a cart, I wander, I collect what I need, I pay, and I leave. This allows me to capture the nuances. Someone was seated just past the gardens, itself smelling of pleasantries not yet capable of censoring the vulgarities, complaining to someone on the other end of their phone call about, “all the people I’ve dealt with over the past few weeks!” You and me, both, and us all together.

I got home and put away my groceries. At some point during this process, I hung up my jacket sideways. I didn’t have the energy to row, even with an energy drink, because it was both physical and mental exhaustion I was combating. I slept for nearly 14 hours. I awoke a few times to trivialities, including one deep-seated fear I have around intimacy, and another about professional nothings.

I woke up with a headache behind my left eye. It’s a dull sensation. I’ve had many like it and will have many more. It feels like I want to stab myself to relieve the pain. If I plug my nose, breathe in, and expel air, it helps. I think there’s just pressure behind the eye.

Today is my first day off in what feels both like five days and five months. I don’t experience time the same way everyone else does. I think through my writings, I’ve learned this sort of past-present-future thinking where I can experience past events, present events, and future events simultaneously. It’s great for party tricks where I can recall certain events thoroughly but taxing on the mind.

I am deciding where I will explore with a few hours of time. Years ago, on days like this and destinations like where I will go, I would have parked my car somewhere innocuous so as not to get a parking ticket, then go explore. I haven’t done that in probably a year with the city I’ll be going to just because my project of moving out of the old rental house was so oppressive to not allow me such leisure and formative in that I didn’t want to retread materialistic grounds.

I’m free of that so why not return to past adventures? [[August 12th [45 minutes, mobile]]

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Chapter 5: 9am, Tuesday

//My mind explores my future perhaps too much?

What shirt should I wear?

This is a time traveling question. Let’s say you wear an offensive shirt. Most people will look down on you, but some will appreciate your power move. I’m going with a Gogol Bordello shirt. It says… Gypsy Punks …and through the magic of literature you wouldn’t have known I wrote that statement a few minutes after the end of this sentence. I bought that shirt the second time I saw them because the first time I saw them the only shirts they had available after the show, as I recall, said “fuck the world,” and although that’s a sentiment I take with me now to imply the sort of do it yourself mentality, I was not intrigued or interested in promoting that some years back.

I am now cooking a proper breakfast before I go have lunch in the city I haven’t explored leisurely since before my Moving Zeal writing project. I made a shepherd’s pie and grits on my skillet. I don’t want to own a microwave because it represents a sort of cooking laziness. I’ve cooked everything I’ve eaten at home on this skillet and on one of two burners: my favorite, the front left burner.

My headache undulates between being there and not. I drank my morning coffee, one energy drink that wasn’t terrible, and not enough water. I should drink more water but the only downside to the city I will be exploring is that bathrooms aren’t too common, clean, or comfortable.

There’s a balance between saving the time by not shaving and being clean-cut enough to blend into the cityscape. I shaved my moustache and the parts underneath and around my mouth for the sort of large sideburns effect I might want to try later. I might not proceed with that because I will list off the spots I want to go to, besides my lunch adventure: the library, one or two big corporate bookstores, some of my old local haunts, and I suppose that’s it.

It’s going to be warm. Perhaps too warm for a jacket. I will stand out more with this shirt so I will need to find a place to park my car where I won’t invariably attract attention. This city is not a big fan of walk-offs, even though it’s also not a big fan of having parking that’s open for exploration. I guess unless you count exploring their stores with your wallet as your compass.

I’ll go without my haphazardly hung jacket or any baseball cap. I shaved as thoroughly as I could and will not drink any more energy drinks today since my left eye is now twitching with a sort of oscillation that hasn’t yet been calmed down with naproxen.

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Chapter 6: 11am, Tuesday

//Time traveling isn’t about saving time…

I forgot to make time to stop by my PO box. I’m parked next to an old truck. I have plenty of time writing this paragraph. It was a bit of a detour but good for three reasons: the jacket isn’t that warm, I needed to pick up the mail, and it reminded me of something I won’t do. I won’t walk and text. That will save time and is mostly not dangerous but with my extreme focus, it can be, since I’ll write without focusing on the world around me. I’m sitting in my hot car wrapping up this paragraph before driving into the city.

There was a Studebaker on the roads on the way onto the highway into the next city. Do drivers drive cars like that for their time traveling properties? Traffic was standstillish. A driver was playfully aggressive until I stopped suddenly showing that I wasn’t playing around; still pulled in behind another car and held her distance.

After I parked in the parking garage, I walked into a fire alarm as I walked up the stairs to the veranda, and now I’m writing this outside as the library staff are counting employees or assessing the mess. I walked off to the side and then they let everyone back in. They didn’t do a head count or anything, so I’m free to explore.

Lunch was nice. We talked about this sort of time travel, Proust’s involuntary memory, and nostalgia.

I’m now seated next to a rusted, nearly full cigarette with a copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov I bought for 50 cents with 5 cents tax at the library bookstore. To my left is a part of town I often walked around, to my right is a part of town I never walked through, and in front of me is one of the two places from my memories – a corporate bookstore. I walked down the two ramps of my memories to that “left” part of town and am now exploring a part I thought was here but was not advertised. It’s underwhelming. I’m riding the escalator to go to that corporate bookstore. I skipped the even more corporate bookstore and even this one feels too clean. Its lived-in feel is manufactured. I don’t like it.

But why? There are books here I have read and want to read. The wax on them feel too clean. It’s like how my shirt is unwashed; it’s too clean. Their manga selection is robust, though.

I am now seated at the foyer just a few hundred feet from one of my favorite parts of town. It’s an apartment complex that reminds that would be where I could see a year or two of “The Story” taking place, where John and Trishna would live in a quiet neighborhood with forests and flowers. It’s a little old, so it might not have the best amenities, and it might be expensive since it is in town. Still, whenever I’ll be in this town, I’ll always and have always walked through.

It’s a beautiful day. My jacket is superfluous. Where I sit, there is a water fountain drowning out the sounds of cars and a door opening and closing, mostly, and the breeze prevents sweat from collecting too much. I can freely set down this book, which bumped its way ahead of Murakami’s Underground, without worrying about water or dirt damaging it.

Its first sentence states something shocking and basically says that it will be explained when it’s more relevant.

I took some photos and a video of this apartment complex for my future writing reference.

I’ll now walk over to the library. My car should be fine but I know now I’ll be in the thick of afternoon traffic even if I left now…

The park outside the library is the same as it always will be, which is a relief, even with those sleeping on park benches. Everyone now looks at the same kind of smartphone I look at as I write this. Look where people’s attention are and market to that, right?

The library is the same as it is different. They moved the manga section but it’s structurally the same. I found a new manga to read physically on a twice-weekly basis along with books on self-improvement, writing improvement, or fiction in general. They had volume 1 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. A fit security guard, or policeperson, vaguely feminine despite being mostly masculine, watched as I keyed in my library card number, code, and scanned my temporary book, or maybe not.

I am in my car, which does not have a ticket even though I walked past a “no walk-offs” sign, to conclude this thought before I drive back home. As I walked between the bookstore and the apartments I like, and as I left the library, I think two people might have observed my shirt. The first was a punk rock chick throwing out some recycling at a coffee place, but I don’t think she knew the band because she paused for a millisecond and kept going, maybe more noting that someone was there than anything. The second was an older punk rocker that maybe noticed too but said nothing. If I wanted to stimulate conversation, I should wear my Tool, Metallica, and more well-known band shirts. Today, I felt like Gogol Bordello.

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Chapter 7: 3pm, Tuesday

//I waded through traffic, now, I’ll wade through swimmers…

I’m at the beach now, even though I have a perishable item, and it’s midsummer, but I’m not too worried about it. How many more summers will I explore this beach this year? This is my second trek.

The seaweed in front of me is a light green, contrasting against the dark green underneath the psychedelic blues, light, full, and dark, that undulate along the surface. Eleven months ago, or so, I stood on the near-empty docks of the lake in another state. Here, I watched five fit men pull their mini-yacht boat onto a new truck, and there’s another – this time, one man, and one speedboat – unloading soon. Next to it, a family’s boat. A duck eats at the algae near lilli pads. I’m standing on a pier, not quite in summer attire.

The beach is closed.

Written in Verdana typeface is the answer: high bacteria levels. I am not dressed for the beach. The lifeguard office is open though there is no lifeguard on duty. There are many picnickers picnicking. I found a breezy place in the shade to write this sentence. Oh, and the family from before had to reattempt their boat launch at a different point, and though the truck had stickers proclaiming badassery, he could not back the truck down the ramp well.

The water there was more green. I’m back at the moors. More people are offloading their boats. If that’s my final visit to this park this year, that was a good mini hike. If that was my last time in that city for two or three months, that, too, was a good mini hike. We don’t have to make big adventures out of things. Just stopping by for a few minutes or hours is oftentimes sufficient either for a change in pace or attitude.

Let’s go home.

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Chapter 8: 4pm, Tuesday

//A relaxing evening reading and drinking an energy drink with vaguely medicine tastes…

I put away my groceries, cooked up some franks and beans, did my laundry that includes washing and now drying my Gogol Bordello shirt, switched into a Clutch shirt, and am now seated to read some books. I drank a Bang Energy drink I probably won’t get again. Their Black Cherry Vanilla was too clinical. Speaking of which…

== 4-Hour Body, Ferriss

I am all but one of the chapters through the “sex section” of the book. Ferris is definitely leaning into the academics a little too clinically here, with good results. I needed to take a break since I’d been reading for over 30 minutes and I haven’t rowed yet today or for the past almost three days.

The rowing set was good. I’m more tired now and the anxiety from that energy drink has faded so I’m more relaxed. I forgot a few things:

I forgot why I don’t like taking that freeway when I can help it. There are a few dangerous on-ramps where people don’t know how to merge. Someone cut off the van in front of me, so I stopped suddenly as well, and the guy behind me had to stop suddenly, causing a drink of some sort to propel itself all over his driving console. Poor guy. He wasn’t aggressively driving or anything. Just made the mistake of accelerating in the wrong spot.

I forgot how many moments throughout the day we forget. I’ve been enjoying capturing them here.

I forgot about writing any other essay. I think I’ll just focus on this one, conclude my reading, and go to bed. I shouldn’t have had that caffeine. I thought I had promised myself this morning I wouldn’t have, but that’s my life.

I forgot about how much stuff I have in external storage yet. I may not be able to move into a smaller place by next year, certainly if I keep compulsively checking stupid social media sites and overextending myself in life and caffeine. Well, that’s about all I’ve forgotten to bring up, I think, so now I’ll continue my reading.

== 4-Hour Body, Ferriss

My motility toward being a better writer means being a better reader. I have to focus more, but when a word like motility comes up – self-mobility – then I get distracted with learning a new word, applying it, then, oh, hey, the news.

Now I’m caught up to myself. Ferris is probably one of my favorite writers now. There’s a little too much grab bag globetrotting celebrity pranksterism about him at times, but that’s just the appeal I like. He’s a fascinating almost character. Speaking of characters…

== Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Otsuka and Yamazaki

Chapter one, or should I say “delivery one,” introduces us to a motley cast of characters that complete their first job. I’ll read more of this. It will probably be two weeks of reading on my weekends, then I’ll plan to pick up volume two at some point in the near future.

I’ve seen the title around for a few years and a friend of mine may have recommended it. What caught my eye was the opening panel of Aokigahara Forest with both the mountains and then the corpse hanging from a tree. Morbid, beautiful, and mysterious was enough to capture my interest from other manga or manhwa. I might lose interest if it continues to be a monster of the week formula without much more character development or overarching plot, though.

== Spark Joy, Kondo

I finished reading the kitchen section. As I read, maybe it’s this habit I get into where when I read my mind wanders or time travels but I thought through my kitchen and all its excess, of which there probably are many. I can put my rice cooker away since I never really use it anymore, except to cook broccoli. I may make a thrift store run sometime this week since I have half a box ready to go already, and another with a final once over once again, but it’s just a matter of doing that versus writing this – which took away another essay but continues my daily writing habit and throws me in a direction closer to my writing intentions than a pithy essay – or anything else I could be doing.

I’m tired now.

[1 hour, 58 minutes – August 13th]

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Chapter 9: 4:30am, Wednesday

//Not much sleep so I can get back on track tomorrow.

I had trouble sleeping. I woke up to use the restroom at 11pm and had an upset stomach until I ate something. It was probably the energy drink. Or doing too much too late. I’m seated cross-legged in my bed, hunched over my phone, tapping away at its keyboard. In the background, out the window, an engine revvs across the highway. The roads are never empty. Tomorrow, I’ll be part of the way to work by this time, 4:45, no, 4:46am.

I think it was an insatiable hunger that kept me up. I just had some crackers dipped in refrigerated water, am cooking some formerly canned clam chowder, and have been debating what energy drink to have, if any. If I do, then should I clear out some of the bottom shelf? Or one of the other new Bang flavors? Or my favorite Rainbow Unicorn? Or none? When I was up last night trying to sleep, my stomach felt like it did when I drank constantly. Am I vicariously re-experiencing that now? I know I have to be careful where I buy these cans and what cans I buy. I can’t buy Four Loco, for example, even if it’s available somewhere.

My soup is done. I’ve used up nearly all my cumin, so I should probably buy some more. I can buy some cheap cumin or more expensive cumin. They might taste the same or might be worth the difference. I like Allspice and a few others, but as individual items in my spice rack approach their expiration, I won’t replace certain items. I cook everything I eat at home on a skillet, from a can, thawed, or otherwise semi-prepared. I don’t care to spend much more time learning to cook from base ingredients.

For now, I’m just drinking water. I feel awake enough to power through this morning. As I explore my future this week, I may try to include trips to the post office to ship out a box of bargain bin CDs sold at below bargain bin prices and I may sell the first of many videogames. If I can prepare both sets today, I will, and if not then it’s another thought that will linger longer than needed. Oh, and I’m drinking water at my reading area, so let’s begin.

== 4-Hour Body, Ferris

I made it two pages in before I lost concentration and concern. I suppose more sleep overall is needed to correct this sort of fatigue. I’ll decide if I should drink any energy drinks after putting on some pajama pants, a coat, and beanie cap, since the early morning breeze coming in from outside is nice, but cozily cold.

I’ll sleep for one hour.

It took maybe a half hour of exploring my mind for all of one topic over the years, but then I fell asleep, and woke up with a few minutes to spare. Then I proceeded to nearly fall sleep again after I wrote that sentence.

I ended up wasting time reading trivial news articles, but I remembered something. Earlier this morning, I thought of how I enjoyed going to that bookstore. At the time, I did not, but through my time traveling toxicity, I did. Isn’t it funny how memories and nostalgia twist the truth? I liked going to see the sights now, but then the sights were underwhelming.

I went with a Rainbow Unicorn since it’s a taste I’m familiar with. I will need something to keep me awake throughout the day. I’m sitting back in my reading chair, which I’ve been sitting in more lately than my writing chair, mainly because I’ve been writing everywhere. I spent two minutes shy of two hours yesterday writing in all matter of places.

My calendar is updated now. I wonder what I should do with my reading? I think I’m oversaturated with reading Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body.

== Spark Joy, Kondo

I’ve finished the bathroom portion of the book and before I move onto the sentimental items, I want to pause and reflect on a sentence that Kondo wrote and how it relates to time travel.

At the beginning of the book, Kondo says that letting go of sentimental items is the hardest part of decluttering and downsizing and such. We proceed to go on a journey with Kondo as she explains how we can get rid of everything else in our house that we can part ways with for their ubiquity. If we have supplies of something for six years, we can share with friends or donate. This activates the generosity in ourselves so that when we’ve gotten rid of everything wasteful, we can now finally tend to matters that most certainly aren’t ubiquitous but might be superfluous.

I do feel like filling some boxes of things to donate this week, so I’ll be back in the next chapter with my results.

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Chapter 10: 8am, Wednesday

//The opposite of quiet hours doesn’t mean banging pots and pans…

The apartment complex has quiet hours starting at 10pm and ending at 8am. My work requires me to wake and leave before that time. As long as I’m quiet, I feel like I’m fine. I’ve yet to have anyone bang on my door or their ceiling. That said, I feel more autonomous during the non-quiet hours.

I was going to start by clearing out my VHS tapes almost completely, but here’s where the time travel comes in: Unless I’ve already made peace with donating or selling something, I can’t do it. So I’ll separate everything into two categories: instantly want to keep and queued up for later donation consideration. [The time it would take me to invest in selling a tape even for $20 isn’t worth it to me, personally, because I could just work for that $20 at my professional job or not waste another $20 by not buying something stupid.]

I now have a shelving unit shelf with three boxes filled with VHS tapes I decided I would rather keep even if I can find their contents online. After taping up this box and censoring its original advertising, I put a label with the month and year I boxed it up and its contents, roughly. It has oddball disc-based movies along with it to fill in the space. Through that process, I’ve filled up nearly a third of a box of tapes to consider donating or if there’s a community sale, seeing about selling. I am more interested in reclaiming space since I have plenty more to shuffle. I’m not sure how I’ll proceed with the remaining VHS tapes.

I cleared out one of my boxes of CDs I sorted at the old place. Once I’m at a good stopping point with the VHS tapes, I may switch to the next book, or may consider with putting together a box of CDs to sell. I think I’ll savor the sentimental downsizing section of Kondo’s Spark Joy for later, especially since I have so many things in the kitchen to rearrange. It’s 9:13am now. I should drink more water but having another top-shelf and a bottom-shelf energy drink both seem appealing. My stomach is gnarled with some kind of abdominal sensation, so maybe not. For now, I’m drinking water.

Twenty minutes have passed and although I have drunk some water, I have wasted time browsing social media, perhaps because I feel lethargic? I’ll return to those VHS tapes while listening to Digibro rants after using the restroom. See you in the next paragraph.

It’s 10:44 now. Time flies by and it crawls along. I returned to those VHS tapes, nearly have two full boxes to consider donating, with an ever-decreasing shelf presence of VHS tapes, and I made lunch of salmon and broccoli. It’s a little dry and I halfway feel like I should eat this outside for a change of pace.

As I look out into the mild forest outside my apartment-mansion’s balcony, the steam from the broccoli rises, and a plastic grocery bag sits, disheartened, in the sun. It is a nice day. I had wasps under the railing of the balcony, but after spraying the corners under the railings enough times, they’ve gone. I almost wonder if I should go out and explore the stream, but I have too much to do, I suppose. The salmon is overcooked and a bee examined my lunch.

I put some soap spray in the balcony closet and there was a spider caught red-handed, or legged, midway through its walk from one side of the closet to the other. I don’t use the space for much more than auto detailing stuff, tables, and old painting tools. I remembered this almost uncomfortable folding chair in my second hallway that I’ll store out here and sit on.

The weather is as perfect as I can perceive perfection. Why I’m not out here more often is due to fear. On days like this where I can shelter up at home, I fear conflict. I am in constant conflict, mild of course, throughout my workweek. I am in conflict whenever I meet another person, even friends, because by me being there, I am acquiescing parts of myself to arrive at a common ground. Here, I am nearly squatting. If my next-door neighbors tend to their balcony plants, they could see me, but otherwise I am in solitude.

I’ve been entertaining the notion of staying here another year, even with rent hikes, because I can see this as a comfortable enough spot to explore the mild forest, overcome my fear of humanity, and all of that. I have so much left to do inside the apartment-mansion still. I suppose the two big ways of overcoming that is by spending the necessary time doing that processing and not wasting the time on superfluous things related to indecisiveness.

A wasp is exploring the branch between me and the creek and the sounds of heavy machinery that once destroyed a dilapidated house, are rebuilding the land, so that we will have more apartment complexes nearby. I’m thinking of my uncle in his cheap efficiency apartment. He complained a lot about his neighbors in the way we complain about loved ones. Their actions are obtuse yet we still endure them. I think that’s actually the garbage truck. Yes, it’s causing a big ruckus.

I still have salmon skin and assorted things to deal with. We don’t have composting out here unless it’s throwing things into the mild forest. I wonder if the blue bicycle that was out there when I moved in is still there. Next, I will put away my cooking supplies, and… I thought of putting away more VHS tapes, then CDs, but I’m indecisive.

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Chapter 11: noon, Wednesday

//I’ve cleaned just about well enough…

The weather is hotter now.

I cleaned and put away all of my cooking supplies. I’ve filled one box ready to go out for a donation run, with two more boxes strictly of VHS tapes yearning for a second-pass, and a box of cassettes I’ve been debating for months whether I should donate or try to sell for maybe a few dollars. The sales route has the risk of wasting time and I suppose embarrassment, although I don’t plan to often go to used music stores anymore, and my thoughts about other people’s opinions about me I suppose should worry me less than it currently does.

I’m out here in the heat to read.

== after the quake, all god’s children can dance, Murakami

As a brief aside from reading, a neighbor is learning to play the trumpet. They are a much better player than they were a month or two ago. It blends into the background noise of the birds, the stream of water, and the stream of traffic just enough.

There were a couple, perhaps, that might have received something from a truck driver. Maybe some new furniture? My legs are in the sun. It’s too warm. I’ll move them now so if I get sunburned it might be minimal. My legs have always been pale. My water is nearly empty.

I left the patio after putting the chair away. I don’t know if I’ll go out there more often. It’s a nice object to facilitate collecting more sun on nice days ahead.

After bringing a box out into my dining room downsizing bookshelves, I am now laying on my back in the living room, it being just after 1pm, with plans to wrap up and go to bed by, say, 6:30pm. I felt an invisible hand as I crouched to put that box out here near, so I should stretch more. The last time I lay here, I wrote “Thirty-Three Years Old,” then saw ants underneath the carpet as they crawled onto the linoleum floor. I’ll move.

I see no ants on the floor.

I imagine no ants on the floor, also. What I enjoy about Murakami’s writing is how abrupt and strange it is. He doesn’t shy away from controversial topics and instead uses them to share some universal truths. I like how vague his stories, three short stories, have been.

There are no ants under the carpet as there were before, either.

I brought out more boxes from the spare bedroom storage room. I’m not sure how many boxes I’ll feel like filling throughout the week. I’m going to read some more then make a bunch of sandwiches.

== Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Delivery 2, Otsuka and Yamazaki

This story does highlight a certain cultural aspect and poignancy that makes this series worthwhile. I thought of dropping it between when we last discussed the manga. If it keeps up, I’ll continue reading.

== The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

The detail of character is perhaps too exquisite, or perhaps, I’m hungry and crave easier satiation.

Time to make my lunch for the next six days, and some additional sandwiches for snacking throughout the week.

That took about 45 minutes or so to make six days’s worth of sandwiches and some leftovers throughout the week. I got some text messages, messages, and two spam calls during that time.

I’m trying out some better bread I got yesterday and so far I like the taste difference. I may buy more of it in the future. I’m debating how much more I want to do. I could publish the essay I wrote yesterday and write another in WordPress. I could parse out another box of CDs to sell. I should row. It might be good to get out there and throw away some trash and recycling. But it’s safe here in my apartment-mansion…

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Chapter 12: 4pm, Wednesday

//One hour to wind down, I suppose.

My fastest laptop takes a while to boot up everything. I have five tasks I want to do before I need to start preparing for bed. It feels like a while since I started up my computer, but it’s really just been a day and a half.

It’s now one hour and twenty minutes later. I did most everything I wanted to do except write my daily essay. This can take some time to conceptualize, which is why the notion of skipping that to just keep on writing here was so appealing, but that would not work long term. I have the title, “Avocation’s No Vacation,” I just need the visual element and away I go…

Done and scheduled for publication. Not one of my best essays but it certainly conveys the point. I could have been doing so much else with my time, but I’m not lamenting because this will lead to my brightest future. As much as I appreciate the ability to afford my rent and other things, I simply hate my vocation as a whole. If I were able to time travel back to that pivotal moment when I started studying this vocation, what would have happened had I knew then what I know now? I’d be over a dozen years ahead of the curve, or would I? My life’s experiences have helped me become myself, the author of “The Story.” No one else can write this. To do so, I’ve had to agonize for years to even get to that point of wanting to follow my dreams.

Maybe I’m lamenting that wasted time?

To avoid wasting time in the past, you have to avoid wasting time in the future, which requires you to plan out your days so it’s easier not to waste time. I learned this from an 18-year old that is going to college but already knows so much. His idea is to eliminate those distractions that waste time. It’s fine to have leisure time, but if it’s wasted time? What’s that worth but nothing.

I’m done bathing. I shaved my hair down to an efficient buzzcut with a shorter trim along the side for both additional style and to get the parts around the ears a little cleaner. It wastes some time every week but feels good. I could do every other week but I’d forget.

To conclude this evening’s festivities, I will proclaim to stop watching anime in the morning. Samurai Champloo is a great series but not a consistently good show to wake up to when requiring full patience. Instead, I will use that additional 20 to 25 minutes to read more. If I wake at 1:35am and leave by 4:30am, then with 45 minutes on either side or less to wake up, I have plenty of reading and brainstorming time. I may split these up so I edit every other morning. I’m not a huge fan of editing for half of a day off. It’s 6:49pm. [August 14th, 2 hours, 4 minutes]

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Chapter 13: 1:30am, Thursday

//My Monday, Thursday, and big review day

I woke up without much fatigue but I still checked my email and YouTube subscription feed subconsciously. I unsubscribed from two channels so I’m making progress weening myself off. I’m cooking frozen vegetables and percolating coffee. After I’m done with breakfast, I’ll read for my usual amount of time plus the time I would have spent on the computer. Watching anime is less of a priority now. Should I read one book or multiple?

It’s 2am now and I’ve finished eating my vegetables, cooked on my skillet, eating favorite dipping cracker cookies, drinking some water, and am now at my reading chair. I’ll read some 4-Hour Body and The Brothers Karamazov. I have until 3:30.

While I was cooking breakfast, I was looking forward to my trip to the International District in two weeks. If the weather is nice, I imagined continuing this essay while seated in its various parks, purchasing new energy drinks for my collection which I suppose supplants buying random crap, and trying to soak it in so I can write it here and elsewhere. Will writing this esssy a weeklong experiment or my new norm?

== 4-Hour Body, Ferriss

Every time I don’t know a word, I read around the sentence to see if I can understand it, and even if I can, I might still look it up, then I’ll try to apply it in a sentence. Ferriss talks about a physical therapy doctor that treats the proprioception of patients, which is to say, the sensors in and around the sore muscle. That’s an oversimplification.

This chapter on muscle repair is helping me notice the aches and pains in my legs and back. I’ll go over my muscles with my PVC pipe I’ll occasionally use for stretching.

That was a good idea. It’s just a body-tall PVC pipe I bought at a hardware store, taped off at either end, that I roll along my muscles. It helps push and pull muscles in directions they should normally go but can’t, don’t normally go but might want to, and just feels good especially when it’s just mild pressure. I would wrap up this chapter, but I want to savor the muscle exercise brainstorming tomorrow as well.

== The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

The importunity of my pauses to look up words or otherwise get distracted could be frustrating, except this is no race. I’m reading for knowledge, comprehension, insight, and maybe for a sense of worldly understanding. The more experiences lived, sure, the better. Are half-lived experiences worthwhile?

My mind passed by all the chickens hanging in the restaurant in the International District between the main grocery store hub and a videogame store I used to frequent. I’ve always been curious about that place since the time I went on a class field trip in college with a group. Some of the group stopped to look at the restaurant but we did not stop in. Remembering through other group scenarios and I realize I’d always been a bit imperceptible toward situations. I think I only gained that skill through writing.

I read through chapter one, which provided an enlightening character study on a man perverse yet childish, and as Dostoevsky says, naïve as we all are, paraphrased from the memory of a translation. A saying twice removed. After I finished my reading for that time, I let my mind explore my living room. It is full of things to parse. I thought of where medium-sized boxes should go, where other things should go, and what should happen to my storage room.

I think I’ll fill my own bedroom with my books, as I already collected there some months ago, since then I can begin to parse through boxes and shelves in the storage room. After I clear out more boxes and make more room, I will deconstruct the storage room, turn it into my reading and writing room, before deconstructing that and moving all that into my bedroom, as the final step before knowing I can move somewhere quainter, and cheaper or closer. I was thinking of dedicating an essay to writing that, which I may do later on this morning.

It’s 3:25am. I have less than one hour now to fully prepare myself for the day. When I get home, I will do the laundry, sort through some clothes, row, and assuming I have budgeted enough time to sleep at a decent hour, I might even try to parse through some clothes or things to donate in a new donation box. I’ve only filled one box so far, which isn’t worth a trip to a thrift store to drop off, though it will be one less box cluttering up my living room.

It’s 3:58am now and I’m fully shaved, cleaned, deodoranted, dressed, and ready to face my fears, I suppose. That Dostoyevsky line was: “As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naïve and simple-hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too.”

It’s 4:01am now, and with this time, I’ll expunge these plans from my mind, place them here, so I may have a more concrete schedule throughout the week. So I wake up at 1:30am to leave for work by 4:30am to arrive in the parking lot at around 5am to write then start work at 5:45am. I am off at 2:15pm. I get home between 3:15pm and 3:30pm depending on traffic. Let’s suppose to get a good night’s rest, I should be in bed by 6:30pm. Seven hours isn’t terrible; I think I got about five and a half and was woken up once, momentarily.

If that’s the case, let’s plan out those three hours, like I’ve planned out my morning routine. My morning routine is:

– Coffee percolation
– Vegetable cooking
– Peeing
– Vegetable eating
– Water drinking
– Coffee pouring
– Biscuit dunking
– Coffee drinking

Then I’ll sit down to read. I used to work on the computer but as I’ve removed more time from that and reallocated it to reading, I’ve noticed an improvement in my overall lifestyle.

When it’s around 3:30 or so, I’ll poop, wash up completely, dress, pee once more, before heading out the door at around 4:30am.

OK, that’s my morning routine. Let’s brainstorm out my evening routine.

I’d like to schedule 15 minutes to row in that time, which means about 20 minutes or so total including photography for tracking results and prep time. I need to similarly make dinner, and probably start that winding down process at 5:30pm so I can be in bed by 6:30pm, like I want to aim to leave by 4:30am. [As a doxing note, I am open with my schedule currently, and you can probably figure out my days off, but by the time this publishes, details might change.]

If so, then I have roughly thirty minutes for dinner, thirty for rowing, and one hour for other recreation. That’s probably where I’ll slot in my editing and publishing time. I’m not sure if I’ll publish daily. Maybe I’ll clean up the apartment-mansion on one day then publish on the next? That seems like a good way to ween myself off the dependency of sitting at my computer while keeping my publication obligation going. I do have a backlog of essays ready to publish, so at least I can be more casual now as opposed to years ago where I didn’t have a backlog automatically ready to publish.

It’s 4:19am now. I’m sufficiently satisfied with my calendar exploration. I’ll draft up the schedule on my calendar then plan to leave here soon. I don’t think I’ll make a chapter break here just because it’s kind of tedious, actually.

Calendar: Dinner, Laundry [gray, or obligatory] – I’ve prepared sandwiches for my week since I noticed otherwise I would loosen my figurative dieting belt loop and allow my stress to guide my diet. I need to do some laundry, so I’ll use this time to put away things I’ve laundered but not yet put away.

Calendar: Downsize, Laundry [green, or potential writing topics] – As I’m doing all this, I’ll start another box of things to donate based on what I see and don’t care about.

Calendar: Row, Bath, Bed [gray] – As I’m coming up on my second hour at home, I should be winding things down…

It’s 4:31am now. Time to put on my socks and shoes, quietly open and close the door, throw some trash away, and bring my lunch bag and CD bag with me to work.

It’s 4:49am and I’m parked at work. A battery-esque object spiked out of the freeway offramp. I swerved to avoid it. Before that, I thought of how, though police don’t patrol that part of town at this hour, I don’t want to chance it. Before that, Dostoevsky clicked with me. Between the sentence about a man that had a voluptuous attitude and chased petticoats and the aforementioned “naïve and simple-hearted” line, I am enraptured by these thoughts. Oh, I should write my daily essay. I’ll call it: “Storage, Library, Downsized.” I’ve written for 65 minutes so far today.

I wrote that in 22 minutes. Officially 23. I had a random thought of walking to work with an acquaintance. We past a rough patch of road. I held out my hand and cut my palm. It bled for a moment but scarred for months. I don’t see it in my smartphone’s dim light. It’s time to head inside. I’m fearful over a big meeting that will happen after first break.

8:29am, first break. There’s one thing I was told will be discussed but I’m told things like this happen frequently and it’s early corrective discussion. We’ll see. That auto-suggested to “corrective disciplinary.” There’s that fear creeping in.

10:36am. I’m hunched over my phone in the park near work. It’s a wonderful morning. My sandwich of higher quality bread, non-sugary peanut butter, and pepperjack cheese was particularly nice. I didn’t drink any coffee this morning. I will leave my cup empty for when I need it, however, it feels good not to have it. The meeting wasn’t as worthwhile as what I will write about next.

Actually, I’ll put a feather in that.

I’m not sure when I’ll write “Caffeine Gut Punch” but through this process of collecting energy drinks, I’m almost less interested in caffeine. If I wrote any more, it would be its own essay.

I have about five minutes left for writing. To my right, the sound of traffic nearly creates an ambiance perfect for any secure phone calls. To my left, someone slammed their car door and is walking while checking their smartphone. Work is ahead of me. I am two-fourths of the way through my shift, or since it’s lunchtime, halfway.

I am underwhelmed by my deodorant today so I may buy some new ones later, if I can’t find any I can use. I’ll do that while I’m doing laundry tonight. Better to look for what you have and confirm you need it than to buy it on a whim like this.

The weather is nice. I didn’t tan or peel. I have about a minute left before I need to return. On my next break, I might write about more mundanity.

12:23pm. I’m standing on a curb with my toes on the curb, the balls of my feet taking in the sun, or rather, my shoes and back. It’s a wonderful day. I have three minutes to get back to my desk. It takes about two and a half minutes.

12:27pm. It took less time than I thought.

2:25pm. Rude attitudes, man, but at least that’s all done with the end of my shift. Now it’s a matter of getting home, doing those three calendar items, and getting to bed early.

3:11pm. I had a headache outside. I’m doing laundry now. I’ll tend to those laundering and downsizing things now.

It is now just before 5pm.

I went through a container of clothes and found one item I could donate and three I could see about donating. I sifted one book I’ll never read out of a box. I’ve filled two boxes of things to donate to the thrift store now. I have two empty receipts I may never fill out. I’ve forgotten what I’ve donated and I don’t regret it.

A dog barks outside. Someone is talking outside in another language, they laughed, and I hear the downstairs neighbors a little bit. I read two pages from The Brothers Karamazov since it was so compelling. This doesn’t really have a strong narrative outside of a meta commentary on my day.

My laundry is done. I put away my laundry then compulsively started sorting through a large box of art supplies and random things I once wanted to craft into art. All of the dried up art supplies and most of the random things went in the trash. Most of the remaining art supplies went into a donation box.

I have to actually stop myself.

It’s a compulsive thing. Once I start, I want to see it through to completion. I’ve made good progress today, but it’s time to start winding down with a brief rowing set.

How much longer will I write in this? I’m at over 9,400 words. One hour and 54 minutes minus 22 minutes for the other essay, so 92 minutes just tapping away. I feel tired. This is a good stopping point for today. [August 15th 92 minutes]

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Chapter 14: 1:30am, Friday

//Wherein my head hurts too much…

I woke up and nearly went back to bed. It might have been low blood sugar. It might have been the colder bath I took before going to bed. It probably was only getting about six hours of sleep, if that. My eyes sting just slightly right now. My upper legs have felt occasionally stiff for the past few days. I had a dream about exploring some sort of building. It wasn’t noteworthy so nothing burdensome happened yesterday.

I’ll have breakfast and read.

I had breakfast and will read. I just want to write about some thoughts, first. I made a bunch of sandwiches to eat throughout the week and I think I’ll split them in half to eat one toward the beginning of my afternoon and one toward the end. I always have hot baths, so this colder bath was new to me, which could explain why I was a little more tired than yesterday. I did also have yesterday’s work in my subconscious, even if I threw most of it out with the dried up art supplies. I set my alarms 15 minutes earlier, too, since I noticed my time kept regressing past my “bedtime.”

My mind flashed to part of yesterday’s commute. No, that was two weeks ago. There was a patch of summer small town road that compulsively and involuntarily appear in my memory. Memories like that are almost like overlays that cloud my mind and shape my reality.

This most certainly is not a lazy job. I guess I have to learn to accept the throughput of work more and I dunno. If it gets to be too stressful, then I’ll leave. For now, let’s read.

== 4 Hour Body, Ferriss

His topic on medical tourism brings up another reason why I’m enthusiastic about downsizing. I feel like I’ve wasted most of my life not getting out there and doing more stuff. It’s a web to untangle yourself from clutter. I think this afternoon I will try to fill a box of CDs to sell while listening to the Pro Crastinators Podcast. I won’t get much more than chump change and I’ll have to figure out where I can print the shipping label, maybe the library, and then stop by the post office to ship it out and say a little goodbye. If I do that tonight, go to the library and post office tomorrow, I can clear out some more space. The less stuff I have, the more I may feel like traveling.

I should, for example, get my passport. I’ve been meaning to do so for years and my commute takes me past a place where I can do it all. I guess when I look past my smartphone’s screen to see clutter everywhere – two half-empty art supply boxes, among many others – I can’t focus on Ferriss’s Nicaraguan beaches. I also haven’t been to a doctor in “so long it’s a sin,” to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix.

I might just pick away at this box of my old art supplies each morning. I have half-filled a box that I could give to some halfway aspiring artist. The stuff I donate is usually useless in a greater context in that they’re so ubiquitous like a jacket or something too big that there’s no point trying to wait to find it a new home. Art supplies, though, now that’s something if I put together well, that could go to a good home and actually be used. Once it’s empty, I’ll clean it and some other plastic bins I’ve picked up over the recent months. My patio is a nice place for washing and drying such things in this late summer heat.

Yesterday, I heard the word “veracity,” or truthfulness by way of its etymological root words verus or verax meaning truth, and today, the singular-l “instalment” in, oh yeah, I’m reading…

== The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky describes a character as “a vicious profligate” and at once you know more about the character and vocabulary, a profligate from profligatus or ruined, is a ruinous sort.

The thing that is captivating about Dostoyevsky’s prose might be how he keeps running with the joke, in a sense, where he describes this profligate then gives example upon example of this sort of debauchery and how even his servant, in this contemporary common, undermined him. Also of note are the long paragraphs with uninterrupted sentences. It’s easy to get distracted. On that note, it’s time to get ready for work.

I’m ready for work, but not quite. I have fourteen minutes left to troubleshoot this headache. I took some naproxen and have tried stretching. I wonder if I’m hunched down too much? I don’t know a better angle to write. I guess I can develop more of my arm muscles and back muscles by holding my dumbphone up toward the ceiling as I write. This isn’t terrible. I might feel goofy or tired doing this at first or in public, but I should work on this since I do feel a bit better now.

I feel better in that my headache has subsided but my nose has started to run and my gut doesn’t feel great. I’ll probably take it easier this evening. I almost wonder if it’s the art supplies since I stored them in a basement for so many years… probably, and if so, I’ll clean more of it out when I get home, unless I’m tired, then I’ll just clean. I don’t think I’ll do much CD sorting this evening if this keeps up.

I don’t feel much better now that I’ve had some twenty-five minutes to think about my stomach ache, the potential mold at the bottom of that plastic box, or my fatigue-inspired headache. Still, it makes optimal conditions to write “Caffeine Gut Punch.”

Written. Now I’ll go inside, pee, wash up some more, and get some caffeine to have along with a half sandwich. I’m early but I don’t feel great so a 5-minute nap in my car won’t help much…

1/4th of the way through my day. I’m not feeling fantastic, but I’m feeling good enough for now. I drank some coffee, about one cup or less, and that did help. I’ll probably skip doing much when I get home to focus on sleeping earlier.

Halfway done. My head is still aching. I’ll skip rowing tonight and probably anything related to cleaning unless I smell anything weird. The base of my head hurts. It’s like I was punched between my head and spine… and punching it did help a bit but it’s still a bit overwhelming.

Sleep is probably the only solution. I do my weigh-in tomorrow, no, Sunday, so I guess I was thinking from a health perspective or something. My head hurts in my upper left forehead area now. I almost wonder if it’s allergies since I had a runny nose this morning. The fresh air might not be that great.

I could head back inside but I still have some time. Tonight, I will just take care of my necessary chores to prepare for tomorrow’s day at work, then rest. I don’t like feeling like this. It may be caffeine withdrawal in its most subtle form. Actually, that’s probably it since rewind a few paragraphs where I said “I drank some coffee, about one cup or less, and that did help.”

I’m feeling better now on second break. Between some positive feedback at work, not having these weird brainbuster type problems to work through, some goofy jokes, good conversations, and deflecting some haters, life is good. Still not going to push it since my mind is still exhausted.

I’m at home now. I read four pages of 4-Hour Body and I’m winding down to go to bed soon. I’m feeling better now but that’s just because work was so stressful today, hopefully, that it’s just a matter of learning to adapt and pace more, I suppose.

I’m in bed at a perhaps record 5:22pm. It’s still daylight and my back feels good with my head propped on my pillow. Should I write like this more? When I get the storage room cleared out enough to start using it as a living space, I’ll probably have a blanket on the floor with a pillow for writing like this. It feels good to write at different angles and I am not tied to paper, typewriter, or physical keyboard.

I do feel sick. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or just fatigue. I am exhausted right now. I’m going to write for another two minutes so I can get a solid hour clocked in for today’s writing.

Any last minute thoughts for this evening? I guess the big one is I’d rather rent or sell back books than have a large library. The title I thought of was “books shouldn’t dust.” [[August 16th 1 hour]]

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Chapter 15: 1:30am, Saturday

//Bloody hell, another bout of bullshit.

My 1:30am went off, I hesitated to do anything, then let my 1:35am alarm remind me that although I’m feeling better, I’m not out of the woods yet. It must be the mold in that art supplies box. It’s possibly the bag from my college capstone class. I’m not sure when I want to address the rest of that mess. Maybe I’ll do some brief cleaning tonight. I guess the best thing would be to empty the plastic box into a cardboard box then spray down the plastic box entirely.

There was a car alarm going off after my own alarm went off. Did the car need to be woken up before it could go for a drive…?

It’s 2:13. I’m not sure where the time goes, but it’s time to read.

== 4-Hour Body, Ferriss

There are times when I’m reading where my mind is stuck in hypotheticals far removed from the readings. This happens far less often. Years ago, I could barely read a page, let alone a paragraph, without needing to write a page of unrelated notes. Through ten lifetimes of experiences over those past ten to fifteen years, I’ve become more capable of pushing through those hypotheticals. This was a voyage, concluding here.

I read a few paragraphs before a minor distractor obscured my concentration. I don’t want to blame the material. These are great flexibility and stability tests. These also require thinking about how I can incorporate them into my lifestyle. Maybe having an external focus is inspiring me to think of x, y, z, then a?

Oh, and I read more Dostoevsky or Dostoyevsky before finding myself a few minutes later than I prefer to leaving the apartment-mansion, but, having cleared out the musty art supplies box. It was the bag with minor mildew, mold, or miscellaneous malaises minding it. I’ll clean it. It represents too much to throw away.

Time to drive in to work, park, write “Books Shouldn’t Dust,” and go to work.

Along the drive in, two thoughts: Why is a student driver, proclaiming with a loud bumper sticker, driving past the speed limit on the highway at 5am on a summer Saturday morning? Lies are not favorable. We misspeak, we misunderstand. We should seek clarity in communication. I write fiction but that is an exaggerated truth, not falsification of the truth. Second, whenever I see boats, like this other driver towing a family boat of some sort, I wonder about my life and how I have not enabled myself the opportunity to take a boat out for a spin on a leisurely Saturday. I am not obsessed with boats, rather what they represent: a freedom from landlocked responsibly. My spirit lives abroad and is chained to the apartment-mansion, possessions, and job that allow my body to continue being itself as it is.

I was nearly late to work.

What a rough morning. Difficult, complex work, rude people, and more so: I had a cut bleed a large blot of blood. I caught it on first break, padded it up, and hoped for the best. I checked a little while ago and it stabilized so I should be OK, but that was enough blood loss to knock me down. I have to go. I hope the second half isn’t too bad. I’m going to go home and try to sleep, similarly, by 5:30pm.

Oh, I have to do laundry and clean out the blood.

I’m at home now. The blood washed out well with just soap and water. I’m doing the laundry now. Drank a bunch of water, which might increase tomorrow’s weigh-in, but I had a stressful day, and better than a bunch of snack food.

I wonder: why do I feel like I don’t belong?

Now I’m just feeling mad at the world. I don’t feel much like conforming right now and I’m not sure why but I have an insatiable sensation for something dark right now. Is this full ennui? Am I imprisoned to the people today that hated on me? I am picturing them. I am engulfed with frustration. I don’t feel great.

You know what?

Let’s row.

I rowed and it was good.

I haven’t written too much today and I still kinda feel shitty. Let’s explore why while I listen to something… what comes to mind? Gogol Bordello has been on my mind frequently but I should listen to something else.

I’m listening to Wormrot now. This is the first time I’ve listened to it with headphones in a while. My float tank experience listening to Voices was edited out of wider circulation but I think back to that and really this was the music that would help me reach out and consider what’s missing or why I’m not feeling great.

It’s not mourning over art supplies. I wonder if it’s not publishing more frequently? I have three essays queued up. I guess I can write here but it doesn’t feel productive unless I’m publishing. This essay, whatever it will become, is a weird sort of thing I’m plugging away at between doing other things. I guess I’m feeling good about finding a stable routine.

I need to develop a new sense of thick skin. I still care what other people think of me versus doing what’s most comfortable. I’m awake much later than I should be, so I might be too tired …yesterday… I mean today. Yeah, just yesterday I was writing about feeling sick.

I had too many stressful things going on yesterday that bled over into today, figuratively and literally. I’m taking comfort in The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I should read some of that or the 4-Hour Body and go to bed.

I kind of hate that I can’t carve out more autonomy or creativity in my day.

I hate that others take so much from me. What if I don’t want an overly thick skin? I just want to experience reality. I’ll do that by escaping into escapism, I suppose. [40 minutes]

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Chapter 16: 1:30am, Sunday

//It was nearly an easy day.

My weigh-in weight is almost back to last week. I guess I went too hog wild with eating last week. I’ve through that process found water drinking based coping mechanism rather than food, so in that way, it was useful stress to endure over the past few weeks.

I do feel like I want to go back to bed. My thoughts are flooded with past and future thoughts about work. I’ll follow some of those intuitions and for others I’ll be more careful. I read two pages of 4-Hour Body and might have read more without this mental clutter. I think I’ll focus on editing and publishing. See you after I’ve concluded work there.

I’m now wandering the streets of the International District in my mind when I’m not at work thinking of how to not so much “get ahead” as not fall behind, and I’m reminded of how anxiety happens partially when we’re not living in the present. Past and future fears can manifest into physical stress. I’m going to try to just focus on having a nice drive into work where I’ll think about what to write about in relation to fitness and health. I’m not running late like yesterday, either.

The commute in was nice and I just wrote “WALL OF HATE.” It’s not a usual Rowing Machine column entry but represents my hot take on hate, I suppose. It’s all absurd. I should go into work and just have a good old time. If someone’s rude, as I concluded that essay with, figure out how to not even start to digest it.

Someone yesterday told me: “I’ll try giving them a call since they’ll probably have more of a clue.” Sure, man, you talked to me because you didn’t have a clue. I told you upfront what I knew and didn’t know, but here you are thinking that we’re all this one mass of hivemind that knows how to fix what you’ve got going on. Yes, we do. Your attitude fucking sucks.

There. I’ve expelled that one from my mind palace. Time to go to work and not let anyone else get in past the front gates. They’re fuckin zombies, man, and I’m Zombiepaper.

In a way, that helped.

It’s like you can’t control anything except yourself. If you’re sweating up a storm but can keep your cool, what can happen except taking the next step? You do all you can from what you know. I think I fear external situations because of all the unknowns. If instead I adopt a fluidity where I can adapt to anything – make those witty remarks – what’ll happen?

I believe in Zombiepaper and I believe in Anthony. They are one in the same. Zombiepaper is just my more realized, self-confident, and well-rehearsed self. Anthony is the core meat puppet that drives the Zombiepaper mecha.

I had a bunch of easy work, which felt great. I can do some difficulty but over the past few weeks, it’s been a grind. I’m halfway through my day and feeling good.

My day ended with a bang there, and it’s one of those situations where you make some mistakes, then realize: why fucking worry? You don’t know what you don’t know.

I’ve already left that behind. When I get home, after I’ll check my mail, and then maybe either put together another donation box or maybe start another CD box to sell? The drive home will determine that.

I picked up my mail of nothing important, I just decompressed for the past hour. I picked away a bit at the art supplies box. I’ll keep the best and donate the rest. Otherwise, I’ll row then go to bed.

I rowed but I did not go to bed yet.

I’ve had some thoughts lingering in the background this afternoon. Chief among them: I don’t like where I am and I don’t like where I’m being placed. It’s only natural in certain regards to rise through the ranks, but certain ranks that I’ve been in before are about as terrible now as they were then. There’s this superior complex ruminating in this job that I dislike. Knowledge is power and though no one hoards it, some are passive aggressive or otherwise subversive. I guess people are all terrible

Better to look at the positives. I have a stable place and job. I have hobbies. I have dreams and ambitions. I suppose if my current job were fantastic in all ways, I’d grow complacent. There will soon be great benefits. I’m getting into a healthy routine.

I guess my main concern is that it’s not an easy groove. It might be helpful for developing a thicker skin. It’s just part of it is I want the change to be more natural. If I, as Zombiepaper or as Anthony, become thickskinned enough to deal with people, at what cost to myself will that be?

I cleared out some art supplies but kept most of them. I got really tired when I got home but listening to my two favorite writers put me into a better mood. I’m not sure when I’m going to edit and publish my Better Zombie essays. I think it should be tomorrow. Maybe in the morning? Reading in the morning is nice, so maybe I’ll do that the day after? It would be nice to get a nice alternating schedule of on and off.

It would be nice to have some more time to be Zombiepaper. Not that I hate Anthony. It’s just Zombiepaper represents my more ideal person. [August 18th, 38 minutes]

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Chapter 17: 1:30am, Monday

//Three changes in routine made a big difference.

I had a few powerful dreams interrupted by my alarm. I don’t remember much about them but I was drooling on my pillow.

This job is too overstimulating. It’s overwhelming.

I’m sipping my coffee, looking over all my stuff pending a second-pass before I donate it, letting my mind explore all those thoughts that might be muddling up my mind. That could be it. My brain has a weak throughput of information. I can’t observe that the child screamed, for example, I have to process “why.” My curiosity might then be overwhelming.

I also thought of how Walmart is like my idea of what New York City is like in that it’s just a bunch of people doing their own thing without much concern for others. A girl was selling cookies outside the store last week. Not official girl scout cookies. Just ones you’d buy in the snack aisle. I appreciated that particular work ethic unlike the actual true blue cookies being sold by the parents of kids because here she was just one to one making that dollar.

I think what it actually is for that lingering dissatisfaction is being away from WordPress, in the sense that when I’m on my website writing, uploading pictures, editing, or publishing, that time feels productive. Even right now as I write this, I feel somewhat productive, but it’s not the same. I’m only half “in the zone,” whereas there, I am engulfed in the Zombiepaper entity and aesthetic. I guess it’s good to balance both but to know where my truest passions take roots. I don’t enjoy spending superfluous amounts of time on things that take away from writing, so it’s good to see that I might just need to have a screenshot of my WordPress designs with me at all times so especially when I feel low I can rekindle that Zombiepaperian spark.

The drive into work put me into a negative headspace. I don’t think it was the drivers as much as my mind going into dark places. I do have a headache behind my right eye. I’ll write “Don’t Need More.”

Didn’t finish it. I was tracking down too many thoughts. I’ll have to finish it throughout the day.

The headache behind my right eye is even worse now. At least I’m halfway through my day now.

Things are better now that I’m done with my writing of “Don’t Need More” and I’m halfway through my schedule. I work tomorrow, which throws off my workflow, but was an interesting challenge.

Done with work for today. Time to go home.

I’m at home now. I went to a different grocery store than my usual one. This one has slightly more expensive food and rarely has any creative energy drinks. They had discounted Reign Energy, by the creators of Bang Energy, so I might go there more often. My fridge has a cornucopia of high-fructose corn syrup and less toxic drinks.

The time goes by when you talk with friends.

I’ve still gotta row, bathe, and get to bed. I could wake up later since I’m working a later shift. Or I could find somewhere to park and write for a few hours in my car.

I rowed. I might just wake up at my same time, work until 6am, then leave for work.

I think I’m feeling good now because I see that I have nothing to prove. There won’t be any promotions in my future. There will be offers. Yesterday, I was seduced with a future by a man whose future was grinding away at a reasonable framework. That’s not me. I can do it. It just doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure if there’s much of s market for this kind of writing for money.

I was briefly enraptured by The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A #@%. It wasn’t the grawlix. I might have read something by this writer before, or at least, the title is familiar. It’s the sort of book I think I need. I have it on my library wishlist. I am in 387th place. They have 75 books but they estimate it will take some 11 weeks to become available. I halfway want to see how far people get or if the copy I borrow is mint. It will mean 11 weeks or more to gain the knowledge within, but that’s OK, because if I really want it, I can just buy it.

I bathed and soon I will go to bed. I still haven’t decided how I want to go into work tomorrow. Probably not too early. If I start at 7:30, I should leave by 5:45 so I can have about 30 minutes to write and 15 minutes to get in. If so, I should wake up at … I suppose I’ll keep my current alarm time. I can always drink an energy drink.

Here’s my plan:

Wake, breakfast, read, publish, drive, nap, work, nap, and maybe groceries before driving back home. I guess I’m too used to this early schedule? If only traffic weren’t so terrible.

I talked earlier with a friend that recommended Phoenix, Northern Arkansas, and Cincinnati as three cities I could move to since I’ve been disinterested in the whole ratrace here. I could get a decent apartment, get any job, get a gym membership, get a library card,cmeet new friends, and have a lower pressure lifestyle, maybe. Seattle is nice but if you’re in one place all the time, you can’t tell diverse stories.

Some folks return to live in their home towns while others only visit. I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Seattle. At least until the end of my lease. I might stay longer because of certain obligations.

I hope I’m not too exhausted throughout the day tomorrow. [40 minutes]

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Chapter 18: 2:30am, Tuesday

//Saying goodbye to many minor movements…

I woke up at 1:30am, thought about it, changed two alarms to 2:30am, and went back to bed. My dream before waking up involved uncharacteristically volunteering to help with something at work, not so much because I don’t typically help people as much as I don’t typically help corporations, even though dream-me was tired in this dream’s narrative, and I woke up realizing that I can go to any coffee place in the area and order crazy coffee drinks and add it to the Energy Drink Experiment document. Done.

I will leave between 5:30 and 5:45. It will be a different commute from the norm. I’ve been leaning into this work/life routine well enough. I’m still a little disappointed and dissatisfied that my life is 80% work, 20% life, and that’s the balance we typically all have, but that’s probably why we show so much of ourselves at work. We want to even the scales.

That book yesterday captivated a thought in my mind that had been evasive for s while: I want to be a writer because even now a book has the power to inspire. Bold color choice, typeface, and wording will get the “filthy casuals” to buy the book and leave it unread. I’m a filthy casual in many hobbies and disciplines so there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s just cool how books can take us out of this reality and place us in other places, whether it’s Ferriss’s gym or Dostoyevsky’s fictional analogy for his experiences in Russia. Speaking of both…

Ferriss spends his two pages writing about the NFL and his time with a trainer for the NFL. His approach to writing is personable yet he has this superhero quality to him, almost like he just gravitates toward other cartoon characters. He might punch it up for the audience. I lead a similar life to that, where weird things just happen all the time. He just happens to be a globetrotter that can find himself into cleverer and more noteworthy situations than our mundanity.

Dostoyevsky spends his two pages writing about one character, an affable and innocent boy, and how he became the person he was in the narrative. It’s not about the word choice specifically but how it evokes a lingering feeling. Reading this book is like understanding a character completely as an archetype for how people act. Phrased more directly: Dostoevsky uses Aloysha as a case study of getting along well with others. Take things positively and don’t get weighed down in the sink of sottish sods.

How do we not get weighed down? I struggle with taking things personally and seriously perhaps because of my lack of life experiences. Today would normally be my social day, tomorrow my unsocial day, and since I’m going into work it’s kind of like an extension of my usual social day. I feel like yesterday I wasn’t as social as I could have been in the meeting we had, maybe let on too much that it was a trivial thing, but it’s all good because it along with everything else just reminds me that this job, though good, fulfills a means toward my own endeavors. I am happy to have this stability in my life to sort through my possessions because when I hit the road, whether local, national, or international, I will have chaos surrounding me, so I must cherish this perhaps last IT job before I travel abroad and work wherever I can to gain more of those life experiences that will prevent my writings from being one-sided.

Sammohini’s arc of “The Story,” for example, represents a version of a technology department that does not exist today. If I were to join the upper ranks of this company, the nuance would be different. I don’t want to just be a technology fiction writer. I am a charlatan for never having built a computer – researched parts, weighed pros and cons, and budgeted. I’ve built and rebuilt prebuilt computers. Never have I, or will I ever, build my own equivalent to a souped-up hotrod. She, similarly, stumbles into the role, because back then having some social acumen would put you ahead of the pack. Now the social acumen is required in addition to requiring technical aptitude, which is something I have, but I’d rather read fiction and write junk than read documentation and write tickets.

I don’t think I will ever get a technical writing job. Nor would I probably want one. It would be nice to type away all day, write procedurals, receive editing feedback, and feel productive from a writing perspective. The problem with that is it only somewhat gets me closer to writing “The Story.” Not much faster than where I am now, and actually further back because here I can talk with all sorts of people, pick up on personality quirks, and capture crazy concepts quickly. There would be more insular. Where I move and when depends on how well I can say goodbye to the random things that might have a dollar’s value but cost hundreds in rent to store.

Giants In The Trees are performing tonight. They’re a band that I only know by way of Nirvana’s bassist. I liked the music I heard and might have gone had I had the day off, but considering the number of bands I’ve skipped seeing out of a similar “I’d like to see them, but I wouldn’t take time off for it” mindset, if I never meet the bassist of my favorite band and tell him how much his old work means to me instead of acknowledging what I like about his new work, I think I’ll be OK. Autographs only mean something if they represent something. My Marcus Lindbulm autograph represents meeting my literary hero, of sorts, as the localizer of EarthBound. My Tim Schafer autograph represents meeting someone important in an industry I’m not really following outside of tim rogers’s work at Kotaku. My Nature Ganganbaigal and Tengger Cavalry autographs, along with any other signed merch, represent meeting people whose work I respect. My Schafer, Ganganbaigal, and most other autographs may eventually fade along with their ink as I meet more people. For now, I keep them as memories of knowing that although I’m not the most outgoing or social guy, I do get out there when I want something.

Today, I might stick around the area near work to wade out traffic. I might go get some coffee and write in a coffee shop somewhere, as a sort of practice for getting out there, being more comfortable around others, while also doing what I love to do.

It’s been just about one year since I started downsizing to any serious degree. Other than “Destroying Old Desk,” I didn’t do much until late November, but it takes time to change. I think by doing these small steps of donating frequently, getting out there more, and trying out new things still while holding onto my values, I can become the sort of traveled writer to write with nuance and brevity.

Is this my autobiography?

Better Zombie is my autobiography.

Last year, I essentially lived with more than two bedrooms’s worth of stuff. This year, two bedrooms. Next year, one bedroom. I’m bringing another box of things to be donated later today then I will find somewhere to write until traffic subsides. That box with its contents removed from my possessions, even if added to the pockets of some fat cats, is one less variable of concern in my mind.

That third donation box is prepped. I’m ready to go. Except for one thought. There’s only one line I remember from Catch-22, and it’s more of a thought, but Yossarian lays down to sleep then feels like he has to wake up immediately, having got no rest, and those sorts of thoughts linger longer than troubleshooting solutions. Oh, and I’ll be writing “Musty Art Supplies” when I get into work.

I find it curious how much one hour can make a difference. Gas stations are open, there are more drivers on the streets, and the sun is out. I’ve arrived way too early. I think I’ll take a nap after drivers park their cars between mine after I write “Musty Art Supplies.”

I wrote “Musty Art Supplies” and I’m feeling good again about these Downsizing Zeal essays. Their points are to address what sorts of hang-ups I have, perhaps to help my readers, but certainly to help myself. If I keep up this progress, I still might not be able to move out by February 2020, but maybe I can do a six-month lease to clear out almost everything? If I can move it all in one mid-sized SUV, towing a small trailer, then I can move anywhere, set up shop quickly, and continue writing without skipping too many beats.

The big thing about work is not taking it too seriously but doing well enough where you can roll through the mistakes. As an example, I couldn’t figure out how to spell faux pas and I was away from a wifi connection so although I don’t like to use my data, I had to use it. Stuff like that, communications stuff, and everything is all under the same root of embarrassment that is just another flavor of life.

I get about 19 minutes now while I wait for a meeting to start. It’s not often that I get paid to write like this, in that for this amount of time, I can use my time however I like, and I like to write, so I’m using this time to think through some things through words.

I might stick around around work or I might go home. If I stick around, there might be enough to do or might not. I guess the plan would be to drop off the three boxes of donations, grab a coffee or energy drink, and write for one or two hours. Will I just focus on writing this essay further? If not, what should I write? I still have too many distractions to focus properly on writing fiction. It would probably then be essays. I’m good on battery life. I might be able to write some essays. Alternatively, I could drop off those donations then go home to maybe wrap up everything early so I can keep my same sleep schedule.

That seems like the better route.

Tomorrow, I will publish everything that I can, read for a few hours, then clean. I could make a donation box or two with the stuff I do tomorrow, so it might be a waste to drop off the donations today. However, it feels like I’m making progress with each thrift store run. Though there still might be many more boxes of things I can donate, the more I can build it into my routine, the better.

For my days off, I try to rebuild the infrastructure, in a symbolic sense, for my lifestyle that I maintain throughout the week. Recently, I figured out a good system for reading. Before that, the downsizing process. Before that, still, this writing discipline process. I have 8 minutes until the meeting, for example, which means I had a good amount of time that might have been wasted on other activities otherwise.

So, tomorrow, I’ll clear out the processes for publishing, reading, and writing more consistently, since I’ve been reading more than publishing, which is weighing down my days off.

I think I’ll wake up at 4:30 tomorrow.

That should give me enough time to read and publish my backlog.

I don’t think I’ll waste time at a coffee shop. No point yet and I’m not sure about the boxes. It gets it out of my hair although I like batching drop-offs to save trips to the thrift store. I guess we’ll see how I feel when I’m off work in 4 hours.

How long will I stay employed here? Assuming there are no major life or career disruptions, and here’s the point that I look out the window at a trail below with its wood railing and serene forestry, at least through the apartment-mansion’s lease and maybe a year’s renewal. That should let me move out of the apartment-mansion, find more places to hang out, meet more people, and develop my writing skills by way of developing observational skills and life skills.

There was someone talking a little crazy in the parking lot. I’m not sure if this individual was an employee or not. I went into my car instead. I should go walk around, maybe say hello, and return back since I forgot to put my lunchtime timer on. The individual was sitting viewing anyone that could approach and was talking on the phone, so no hello. Instead, I opted to stretch my hamstrings in a spot nearby a tree.

I don’t get outside enough.

I wonder if I should try to arrange some better patio seating arrangements? I have a chair out there now, but it’s more of a stool. I don’t have any fancy patio furniture, nor do I want any, so probably nothing that fancy. I should duck tape the feet so it doesn’t scratch. Then I could use it anywhere outdoors.

I added reading, publishing, and patio chair repairs to my list of tasks tomorrow.

I should probably try to fill up a box of CDs to ship out as well. That’s added onto the list as well. With those four, I should have a decent portion of the morning called for, but how about anything else?

It took longer to get out than I wanted.

One of my good buddies at work left today. It was nice talking with him during the brief time we had talked. Now it’s onto the next thought. I’m sufficiently tired out so I might like to close my eyes for a minute.

There was a sudden relief as I released my tension in that first minute. Now I’m in that debate phase. If I do too much, I’ll be tired, but I also have to drive home. I should be fine. I think I’ll skip the thrift store and just head home unless traffic is too gnarled.

The back roads are just gnarled enough to be acceptable but not enough to where I’d tolerate it if I were to take a different shift. I am eligible for promotion after one year of employment, so that’s another reason to move somewhere: closer to work means less time in commute. However, in one year, there may not be a promotion, and living for work is not an attitude I enjoy. I work hard and don’t take my job for granted, yet once I’m physically out, the amount I want to think about work is next to zero. Sometimes I’ll even forget my work stuff when I go on break or leave for the day, which makes for interesting work.

So I’ll start planning how I’ll get out and write more. I drank a Reign energy drink and am now feeling that sort of comfortable hyperfocus where I can do a lot but my Internet is down. My Internet is back online, it says, but I can’t connect to my router from my phone. It’s not a big deal right now.

I duck taped the feet of my patio stool. I think this will be a good option. It’s portable enough to use while comfortable enough to keep. Mostly. If I stay here for a while or can clear out more space, it’d be nice to have a reclining chair of some sort or at least something with a back.

I’m tired but also restless. I should probably go to bed. Yeah, I’ll do that. Troubleshooting my Internet, potentially, can wait until tomorrow. [94 minutes]

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Chapter 19: 1:30am, Wednesday

//Rain and water wets where it does, and it’s okay…

I woke up at my second alarm, wasn’t sure if I wanted to be up, so I just decided: Why not?

Well, I spent the past few hours doing what I wanted to do, and it was great.

I fixed my router. When I tried my old smartphone, which I primary use now to watch videos and sometimes as a backup writing device when I’m at an all-day event, I had to set up the router information. I live in enough of a metropolitan area where my Internet service provider has their own network signals as a backup line, so it wasn’t bad, just annoying.

I did some digital cleanup and published some of my backlog. I need to alternate between reading for longer periods of time and reading briefly and publishing in the mornings because although editing can bring out more, more comprehensive thoughts and denser word choices, it also takes time. Most of these essays are not going to be life changing material so it’s okay that they only get a preliminary edit for now. When my operations streamline, I’ll read in the mornings, write throughout the day, then edit and publish in the evenings. Perhaps.

I’m being more honest with myself about some of these energy drinks. It’s okay to pour things down the drain that you don’t like. It’s just a matter of accepting that. For one drink, I wanted to like it since I liked the graphic design of the can, but it had a bitter aftertaste that I didn’t like. I can probably have one more energy drink today. The time is 4:17am. I’ve had a coffee-based drink and a top-shelf Bang today and last night Reign, so I will conclude with… an overwhelming tasting beverage, more sugar than caffeine. Pungent. Pass. I took 100 burst shot photos as I poured it down the drain. I cropped my favorite for the photo for “Caffeine Gut Punch.”

That was not favorable, so let’s go with… my favorite, Rainbow Unicorn. It nicely concludes this batch of energy drink experiments. I’ll edit for a bit and return after that.

Instead, I was reading an essay by tim rogers. I felt horny for unrelated reasons. I couldn’t concentrate on editing. He wrote about getting some Scottish soda, Irn-Bru, which reminded me of when I went to the grocery store and bought that discounted Reign. Among the energy drinks was an alcoholic beverage. It sat mid-height. I noticed it was alcohol so I put it in the upper-most shelf. They just had a small energy drink side-cap, I suppose is what it’s called, often neglected and under stocked, so maybe someone will notice. I don’t like handling alcohol. The Rainbow Unicorn was underwhelming. I’m thinking of having another of something else.

I’m drinking a bargain bin energy drink that tastes like a soda like Mountain Dew with a lime taste like the smell of soap in a clean bathroom. It’s not bad. I probably won’t pour it down the drain. At least not just yet.

I read for a while, wrote for a while, and poured the energy drink that tasted like Mountain Dew into the sink. It cleaned the metal with that fizz that probably is toxic for humans in some subtle way. The conversation between a forceful man and the demure woman from yesterday is wracking around my memories. The man talked quickly and without concern for clarity. When she asked him to clarify, instead of talking clearly, he talked louder. He was yelling at the end of his question. His eyes bulged even after his question received a flustered answer outside of the script. I smiled in that sort of way you might when you see something absurd. We made eye contact. I held it for a second longer than we do when we feel guilty. It didn’t feel like ten centuries of time. I changed my thoughts from “this guy is absurd” to “I’m absentmindedly smiling,” and he diverted his crazed focus elsewhere.

I think I’ll finish reading, switch to water, then conclude my computer usage with publishing all of my backlog.

I finished “a coincidence of jungles,” my first of maybe four or five 1.5 liter containers of water, and all of my backlog including today’s essay. I felt listless until I returned to this essay. People probably feel that same way in life. There is a lingering sense of inconsequential living that we have when we aren’t around our social groups. I’ve entered and left so many that now I’m more comfortable with my own thoughts to the point where I miss out on that sociability, sometimes.

I thought of walking to the mailbox after recycling the 6 cans of drinks I’ve mostly consumed in the past sixteen hours until the subtle splattering of rain bathed the mild forest and patio where I planned to read before going out perhaps later today. Instead, I will read where I have read, or maybe I’ll move the fourth chair into the “Zeal” spare bedroom slash storage room slash office slash library slash maybe gym to see how that feels.

Instead, I set out my clothes for work tomorrow, prepared my coffee machine for percolation, filled up enough water to stay hydrated today, and cleared off a new reading chair by moving the CDs I haven’t bothered to catalog into a single pile. It’s a decently comfortable chair. Now, let’s read.

This can be a good chair for reading. I enjoy slouching but this wingback chair in a gaudy 80s baby blue discourages that. I stopped to look up a joke that Ferriss included in 4-Hour Body that represents the sort of thing I want to include in my fiction when I return to writing fiction. He misheard someone and so in his dialogue he leaves in the misheard statement.

I fucking hate apartment chihuahuas and other small dogs that bark and bark. I will need to make sure to ask the apartment management people wherever I move to next about that.

I am less than 200 pages away from finishing this book. It is an easy read except for the complex physical fitness routines and hard science. I figure if I get into this stuff more seriously, I’ll read certain sections again, and until then this almost casual read should suffice.

Monday afternoon, I was the 387th person in line to read one of 75 copies of The Subtle Art Of Not To Giving A F Asterisks C K [F*ck], after seeing its Pound Sign, At Sign, Percentage Sign [#@%, grawlix] at the store. Wednesday morning, I am the 379th person in line. We have some fast readers!

I was reading about bragadocous gym rats when my phone screen showed someone was calling. I answered. I left radio silence for a second to avoid the robocaller that will launch into THE ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY I won, in English or Mandarin, and then said, “Hello.” “Yes, I was wondering if I could speak to Anthony.” “Hmm.” “I’m a recruiter here and shows here that you’ve recently worked with us and I was wondering if we could connect to see if there’s any roles out there that we can help you fill today.” I spoke quietly. “No. Thank you.” Here’s the part where you listen for filler words, unconfident word choice, and other variables that show when attempting to return to a comfortably trained pitch. “Oh, uhh, well, we’re glad to hear that you’re doing well for yourself and, uh, if you have a quick minute, I was wondering if you know of anyone else that might be looking for work?” “Not at this time.”

They say you should always entertain offers given to you. What if I regret turning this once in a lifetime opportunity down? The company had never taken care of me in any regard and let me collect unemployment rather than fill me in a new role for one, and for two, I’m already employed somewhere firm but fair. There are greener pastures but not at their meat factory run by bragadocous charlatans.

Back to reading about similar bros, except they can actually perform rather than just pretend.

I am in the ultraendurance section of the book. I may just skim through it depending on how interesting the advice becomes. I skipped through those two chapters and may skip the swimming portions. I have roughly six or seven more hours of being awake before I need to be in bed. I could probably finish the last 67 pages of content if I skip through the materials that aren’t quite my fancy.

I need to do some laundry, make sandwiches, shave, and if I could put together another box of CDs to sell, well… that’s not happening any time soon. I might put together another box to go to the thrift store. I should probably do that after I’m done reading.

I read some more then reached my thinking limit, I suppose, since then I went and started downsizing some stuff. When you get rid of one thing, it’s easier to get rid of three others that are similar.

I’m doing laundry now. I’ll read then do more laundry. I wonder if I can complete this book today?

I’m nearly done but I’m also skimming through the technical parts. I think I’ll write a review of the book for the next Rowing Machine column entry. The foundational chapters are fantastic. The remainder focus on general sports, with each chapter focusing on a particular discipline, all of which can be useful, especially if you’re unsure of what you want to do with your fitness.

I’m nearly done with the book. I skimmed through the baseball section, skipped parts of the swimming section, but generally know that they are there, and am confident I got over 80% of what’s relevant to me; the remaining 20% is not.

I spilled water on the carpet and blotted out 80% of it. I think it might be enough.

I ended up taking a 15-minute nap because that was a bit too anxious for me. I should learn to process those emotions quicker or maybe rest more throughout the day.

I’m reading Spark Joy now. It’s funny how this is just a rewrite of The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, but then again, I’m constantly rewriting the same things in Downsizing Zeal, I suppose. The difference is that this book has more applicable examples. Instead of saying that it’s okay to throw out some sentimental items, Kondo gives an example from her life that was missing from the original book. I read through that section. Next is either the next short story in after the rain or the next manga chapter.

The manga is fun, fast-paced, and full of dark humor. I’ll keep reading. I’ve got volume two shipping out to a local library. I think what I’ll do is after I wrap up 4-Hour Body is finish reading Spark Joy then after the rain, and see where the book queue sits when The Subtle Art Of Not To Giving A F Asterisks C K [F*ck] arrives. I’ll be reading The Brothers Karamazov for a while. I have so much I’d like to read.

I am standing out on my patio now. It’s been raining since before I stood out here and wrote the last paragraph, and throughout the day. The architecture of the apartment-mansion’s roof allows me about two feet of clearance to stand without getting wet, unless the rain rains toward the sliding glass door.

I’m reading Thailand from after the quake. I slipped off its slipcover. Inside its colorful koi photo is a bright red. It reminds me of the font color of the original Mother game for the NES. It’s a nice color red. My distraction, besides the increasing consistency of rainfall and a message from a friend, was looking up what a thyroid is and finding a brief medical overview. I own a copy of Grey’s Anatomy. I won’t read it for a while.

The rainfall sounds wonderful.

I suppose I need to wrap up my day soon. I must prepare sandwiches for the next two or five days, bathe, and eat maybe some eggs. I didn’t do as much as I wanted today but everything I did was what I wanted. I should shut the window to the spare bedroom and move the errant hard drives off the second shelf I can disassemble with time and engineering.

Wrapped up reading, downsizing stuff like the aforementioned thoughts, and am now making my sandwiches for three days before I go row, bathe, and get to bed at a decent hour.

Rowed, made three bags of sandwiches for tomorrow- Thursday and Friday, along with a bag to either have enough for Sunday, since I have off on Saturday, or, for snacks throughout the next few days, and am now just about ready for bed. I should have started this process one or two hours ago. I might not get great sleep. However, I think it will be sufficient.

On my days off, I am not usually that hungry, at least if my caloric intake spreadsheet has anything to say about that, so I’m trying to keep a good balance of not over- or under- consuming food. I keep a weekly calorie average. Today’s energy drinks throw a bit of a wrench into that but it’s nothing significant.

I will focus on finishing up reading Thailand before proceeding through the scientific essays concluding 4-Hour Body. As fun as it is to have a wide variety of books to read, I’ll read to fatigue and not do anything else. I don’t want to procrastinate on everything else while I build other skills. Noticing this and commenting on it here helps prevent that from happening. We’ll see how tomorrow holds up to that. I have it on my calendar. Although I will defer tasks I can procrastinate on, like paring down my CD collection significantly, my dailies besides rowing I’m good at following.

The rain is falling heavier than before, I feel restless perhaps from the nap I had earlier along with one in the early morning, and my bedroom smells vaguely of my downstairs neighbors’s curry. It would be nice to see a doctor sometime soon to get a checkup, run some bloodwork, general diagnostics, and see how many check engine lights have been suppressed over the years. I made a note for tomorrow to start the process. I have no great place yet to sift through confidential documents. I’ll probably start that tomorrow- I know where, too.

I’m not sure why I have some fear about going into work tomorrow. It’s probably the usual slacker sensation of not wanting to go through hours of obligation and stress. Maybe I’ll work a 15-minute nap, or eye-closing session, into my lunch breaks? I can just see that my timer has time left on it, set it, nap, wake up, and head back in. How much coffee will I need tomorrow? Hopefully, not much. [August 21st, 110 minutes]

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Chapter 20: 1:30am, Thursday the 22nd of August

//I’m tired in that sort of life is a dream sort of way…

My third thought after waking up was, as I realized later, my brain trying to be clever. It needed carbohydrates and caffeine. My first thought was “it’s early,” and second, “oh yeah, I’m wearing socks instead of slippers.” I’ve been wearing these slippers for years but only just recently have they caused my toes to feel dirty. I’ll probably replace them soon or adopt wearing socks around the apartment-mansion as my new footwear motif.

“Grew tired of reading” is a feeling I experienced yesterday concluding my readings of The 4-Hour Body, and before that, seemingly every time I read in years’s past. We are too technologically dependent. I am writing this on a smartphone, yes, but I mean our entertainment is completely digitized. It’s fun and I love it; there’s just this sense that we’re eating exclusively simple carbohydrates with movies and videogames.

If life is like consuming a well-balanced meal, reading, too, is incomplete. It has complex carbohydrates and takes a lot to digest, especially when reading challenging work. The rewards are significant. Through lines of dialogue, monologues, or even just two sentences thrown into each other, we see special effects in our minds that awe more than any cutting-edge graphics teams’s work, yet it’s not so much that we need to turn our brain off as much as we need to sometimes see those high-fidelity spectacles. Just like we need diverse hobbies, yet ones that don’t suffocate us.

I finished reading “Thailand,” and although it has cues of stories as old as time, it represents fully a sort of vacation that truly helps the mind vacate parts of the inner mind that are pained. We all have things inside ourselves that we do not know. When we go places, talk to people, experience life, and let parts of ourselves become vulnerable even in the lightest sense to others, we grow.

Everyone is hurt. Everyone carries demons with them. It’s never something easy to assess. We can’t logically deduce their presence through the swing of weight they cause in tension with other situations. The most we can do, like this morning’s chaotic attempts at trying to outsmart invisible forces, is to try to figure out what it all means. We all have a white stone with black lettering stuck inside ourselves that can be eaten by a green snake. The lettering on the stone could represent multitudinous concepts. It’s our mind’s perception of our gravest sin, which is probably just not letting someone cut in front of our multi-item purchase at the self check-out with their single item.

I thought autocorrect, which I use primarily to correct typos, sometimes to speed the typing process, other times if I’m timid with my word choice, had previously recommended “our mind’s fedora,” but instead it was suggesting a misspelling of fear. Bizarre. I still have enough time to read some 4-Hour Body.

Instead, I caught up on some digital stuff. I’ve been procrastinating on sorting through my CDs, so I started that ball, however slow, and sorted some things. Time for work. I feel that fear, still. Hopefully, it’s nothing.

I found some fear along the commute into work, so I wrote “Where’s Your Fear.” I’m looking forward to my International District daytrip. I’m figuring out the logistics like I were going as a tourist. You’ll be going along with me. I’ve bern thinking about how this essay, novel, or writing practice thing, will help me observe the present faster. Each paragraph represents a minute or so of time I’ve spent thinking about something and two to five minutes spent tapping away at it. The more we practice, the faster and more comfortable it becomes to do these sorts of things. I’ll write it on my spare smartphone since I can write without fear of theft if I just upload it whenever I have wifi. Or just don’t appear to be a target. As I sit tapping my right thumb on the bottom part of this phone on this wet, dark summer morning, I probably look weird, but not too weird. It’s ubiquitous for all of us to tap away at our “idiot rectangles.”

I fear forgetting to lock doors. I’ve never had a break-in and the one time a neighbor forgot their keys in their door lock, I just knocked on their door, saw their Zombi 2 poster greet me, and I just pointed out their keys. They were thankful. Otherwise, no aggression to prompt that fear.

Nothing stressful at work. One stressed person but otherwise it was all good. No fear there.

Inside baseball jokes: “That’s going to be a P for Pneumonia.” turned into “We should have it be the last letter instead of the first.” “Like, N for sun…? That’s good. I should use that.”

I’m at home now.

The drive can be stressful and coordinating with others just as much. That’s more frustration than fear. I fear the wrath of my supervisor but he’s always just communicated clearly rather than in a fear-enducing manner. I fear that my work will be terrible or critiqued harshly. I should fear nothing.

I’m tanning out on my patio now.

I’m sitting on my stool and I have my Powerman 5000 shirt just in case I need to dress properly to speak with anyone. It’s warm. If I had today off instead of yesterday, I would have been reading out here. My laundry is going through its wash cycle. I was going to look through my benefits for the doctors business, but I received a letter in the mail with the basics, so I’ll start there.

The sun has moved.

I put on my shirt, looked at my phone some more, finished my water, and upon opening the door to put the stood away, I saw the photographic subject for the “Where’s Your Fear?” relaxing from its web. I took some photos. These photos are better than any sketch or random art thing.

I’m turning in early. My back tweaked in that peculiar way that, if untended to, will wreck havoc. I’m tired, too. I fell asleep for a bit in the bath. I need to put my clothes away for tomorrow then I’ll head to bed.

I’m in bed. I probably didn’t get enough sleep last night. When I don’t feel like writing, it means I need to sleep. [65 minutes, August 22nd]

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Chapter 21: 1:30am, Friday the 23rd of August

//Fear is just an illusion like the stories we tell others or ourselves…

I had a nightmare about a burglary. I woke up right after the tides turned and the burglar was possessed by a demon. No cliffhanger or two-parter there.

I hunch over my phone checking social media or whatever because my body isn’t awake. It can’t handle this early morning sometimes. I should sleep in tomorrow. Time to get up.

I read more 4-Hour Body. I won’t complete the appendices in short-order, but they’re worth reading because I also spent some time looking for a primary care physician. This website’s only choice are forced quality and proximity. Most people must not care about choosing a doctor that’s right for them.

I wrote “Drink More Water” and concluded that I must be becoming Dr. Zombiepaper. Now I need to pee.

I peed, I worked, I laughed, I hydrated, I “dehydrated,” I rehydrated, I ate, I socialized, I troubleshot, and now I sit on a park bench reflecting on my day today and tomorrow. Reading is a great way to start the morning. Between that and writing, everything else can go wrong, but if I read and wrote, I’m ok.

I’m still ok. Knock on wood that the rest of the day goes well. Should I go see about buying more energy drinks?

I dropped off the three boxes of donations by driving behind the sketchy side of the thrift store, bought bizarre energy drinks and passed on goodies in languages I don’t speak, and am now leaning on the gray countertop of the post office. No mail. I still keep it for an official place for my website and in case I need to receive official mail. As I went to my mailbox, I realized these paragraphs missed observations. The walls were painted mud brown, then seafoam green, before their chipping white paint was painted on. There are cobwebs and it smells governmental in here.

The smell of urine outside lingering between the multi-generational brickwork and restaurant with good food was not much better.

I’m at home drinking an energy drink listening to the Pro Crastinators Podcast while tending to some things. The drink is peachy in flavor but not as peachy as the lemon in taste. I should soak up some sun but I’m also deciding what to do with my evening off: row, relax, and maybe publish today’s essay?

I rowed, finished the PCP, cleaned up enough to fill up my trunk for another thrift store run later on, and am now looking out over my patio to the plastic bag that limply lays under the tree. An ant is walking across my patio railing, painted many coats of plastic brown, as electronic music with a hip hop beat or hip hop music with an electronic music style plays from someone’s apartment. It’s nice out. The heat is over. Within a month, it’ll be cold, and people will get sick at work and around. Someone sneezed at the grocery store. There are people hanging out in the mild forest probably smoking pot. It’s Friday afternoon and I don’t have any obligations tomorrow either, and yet I do. I plan to wake up early to read, publish, and catch up on some digital stuff before the sound curfew, when I’ll row, bathe, do laundry, prepare for another donation run, then hang out with friends.

I’m in bed now. I was too hungry, tired, and unable to concentrate. [28 minutes]

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Chapter 22: 1:30am, Saturday the 24th of August

//In which the friction over what is real and fake battles what is easy and what is hard.

This dream had me and two others take a cross-country bus to a cold area where we were going to do something. I forget.

Wasted time on Twitter to wake up. I should just start moving my body. I guess my mind needs to wake up and feel coordinated first.

I drank some canned coffee, a bad energy drink, some water, ate some vegetables, and am now drinking a good energy drink while I’m trying to get comfortable in my reading chair to go through, well, I was going to read more of 4-Hour Body, but let’s finish Spark Joy to get it out of the queue.

I read for a bit about Kondo’s apprentice and how tidying up can help get one’s life and love affairs in order, felt a momentary fatigue, rested my eyes, and a scene from “The Story” popped into mind. John and Trishna are sitting somewhere. Trishna tells John, as she idly moves her finger around John’s half-hand, with its missing fingers and scar tissue, “I like your hand.” John shakes a little. “I mean, I don’t like that this happened to you, but I like… I like you and everything about you is so cool that… I…” she slowly moves his hand up and she kisses it gently. These scenes happen so frequently and subtly that they distract me from advanced troubleshooting, or really, do the advanced troubleshootings distract me from “The Story?”

In my imagination’s version, Pollyanna rests her snout on John’s lap, too, but that was probably overly saccharine, so while manifesting it into reality, I expanded out Trishna’s words and let Pollyanna be wherever she wanted to be for that scene.

Spark Joy is like a more lived-in version of Kondo’s first book, so both have their place. I realized that as fatigue kicked in, so I’ll nap for 30 minutes to hopefully knock those cobwebs out? It may be time, also, to return the blankets to the bed. Maybe soon I’ll buy new blankets to replace these ones I’ve been using for over… twenty years?

Maybe closer to fifteen. I slept in 30-minute chunks for two hours. I’d set my alarm, discombobulate my way toward resetting the alarm, and continue sleeping. It’s definitely colder now.

Spark Joy definitely feels more complete, in a sense, than her previous book. The first is more of a general instructional guide where this book uses specific examples to draw out the points. Now that I’m done with the book, I’ll take a photo and write a review of it, maybe today, but next, I’ll wrap up that manga, so I can check out volume two or volume one of another manga.

Done with reading for today. I’ll clear out the living room floor of its clutter that accumulated from a few random boxes, then focus on publishing yesterday’s “Drink More Water,” today’s essay which will be something about errant clutter, and

Done with that. Now I’m launching everything to take care of my writing work for today.

Done with the digital errands, edited everything for “Drink More Water” and have it ready to add on the weight and concluding thoughts to publish tomorrow, and will write “Befores And Afters” now before rowing, doing laundry, bathing, and cleaning.

Done with all that and now it’s time to head out on a bit of an adventure.

The adventure has been nice so far.

The adventure took us in different directions than we thought. We went to a cool part of town with apartments or condos within walking distance of stores and entertainment, and found ourselves in a city-sponsored fair with a mild videogame aesthetic. The warm late-summer afternoon was surprisingly warm.

I’m now at home. I don’t think I’ll sell any videogames in a few days when I go up to the International District. I think I’ll avoid carrying around much more than my jacket and paper notepad, and if I buy anything, it will probably be a consumable or some kind of object that will add significant value to my life. I nearly have another trunk-load of donations, after all, and after this box, I certainly will. Should I make another drop-off tomorrow already? Why not?

Either tomorrow or Monday, maybe leaning closer to Monday, I’ll drop off the donations, drop off volume 1 and pick up volume 2 of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service manga. I’m not sure if I’ll head home after that or hang out up at the library for a while. I guess it depends on how tired I am. I’m up too late again. Yet it keeps getting later. I’m just about in bed. I spent 35 minutes writing today but over one hour browsing stuff on the web, and the truth is, I’ve forgotten what I did for both. I can usually recall what I write only somewhat so. It’s not a photographic thing. I just write like I’m riding the waves of my mind. Alright. Almost time for bed.

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Chapter 23: 1:30am, Sunday the 25th of August

//Stuffed day, except, I don’t have a stuffed stomach. Just satiated.

I dream of a conflict of some sort. All I remember was that it was a “personal personnel” thing.

Otherwise, it’s the same sort of morning, except it took me one hour to wake up enough to get to my reading chair, and my concentration is just below book reading, so I was reading news articles.

Instead, it might be about decreasing the challenge of reading materials I read. Tim Ferriss’s writing style in 4-Hour Body is just technical enough where looking up words like malfeasance, or wrongdoing – in regards, specifically, to public figures, isn’t a common distraction.

I wrapped up some CD cataloguing and published “Drink More Water” for Wednesday. I am still deciding how to catalog my thrift store donation receipts since I have two where I can’t be completely honest about what I donated; I forgot. My memories have vestiges of objects; nothing solid enough other than “three boxes or so.” Even then, I forgot to write down the date.

I have enough time to read more 4-Hour Body before I leave for work. Alright, another appendix essay down, a few left to go, and then after I finish this book, I’m not sure where to go next. I suspect that The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Bunch Of Grawlix will arrive soon from the library, maybe within the next month, and I don’t want to juggle multiple books like I have been. I think four is a good maximum. One self-improvement, one fiction or narrative-focused book, one book about writing, and one manga or manhwa just to keep it light-hearted. I may focus on reading The Brothers Karamazov until the library book arrives, especially since I have a summary guide shipping out to my nearest library, too, and I’d rather not have this book on my reading list for months and years.

It’s 4:26am on a Sunday morning and one of my neighbors has been moving a few loads of things down the stairs. I am sitting facing the front door. I wonder if I’m loud, too? You couldn’t hear that from the bedroom or barely from the kitchen, I suppose, so I think I’ll join my neighbor in leaving my apartment-mansion soon for work.

The old plastic I brought to my car crinkled more than I liked, but hey, at least the new neighbor didn’t scratch my car despite parking dangerously close to me. The drive in was nice, the writing was easy, and now time for work.

I’m at work on my first break. I’ll drop off this trunk load of stuff on my lunch break. I don’t think I’d have enough time to stop anywhere to look for new energy drinks to try. Instead, it’s just clearing one errand off the list so I could go home just a bit sooner, maybe.

Instead, I decided to sit under a tree and write. There is a toxic person at work that gets mad over semantics and linguistic pedantry. I am on the opposite end of that. Language is fascinating to me because of how much it can be changed. This man, an English major that found himself stuck here, maybe doesn’t like my style, but who am I to be concerned about that?

13 minutes left on the clock. I didn’t drive over there because if traffic were disagreeable, I’d be late, and although while I was first shift at the thrift store, I don’t recall us making a special event out of starting to receive donations. They could still be opening. I think I’ll stop over there today, bring the library book tomorrow and clean some NES games to sell, too. I have three boxes and one shelf full, but I really only care about 20% of the cartridges, if that.

9 minutes. It’ll probably take four minutes to get to my desk. I liked sitting out here. I normally will walk around but this was a good change of pace. I’m halfway through the day. I’m tired and that pedantry really fatigued me. Oh well, he’s not my friend.

7 minutes. I also have to get more groceries. Maybe I’ll just pick up the book today and keep it in my car for my next library visit? That’ll do. Then I can focus on groceries tomorrow.

5 minutes. Okay, I’ll jump back in and return at maybe second break or before heading to the thrift store and library.

I’m actually a few minutes early back to my desk.

I have a few minutes on second break. I’m trying to figure out a good visual element for the essay I wrote this morning, “Trunk-Load After Trunk-Load,” and I’ve always felt weird about talking too much about what specifically I’m donating. I try to give stuff to friends because it does give them something to sell, but right now, it’s all just been stuff no one wants. I could go more abstract, too, or photograph some boot or something. I guess that’s the question of this paragraph.

Done with work. Stayed a little late to button things up but you win some and you lose some. Thrift store drop-off next.

Four cars in front, one behind, now three in front. The CRT TV of the day sits out on the back lot near the electronics dumpster. It’s a warm late summer day, the breeze is cooling the area outside the shade well, and now that I’ve pulled ahead more there are three older TVs that won’t be used again. Make that four. One actually looks just like the one I donated a while ago, and it’s actually an electronics locker goldmine. The vehicle in front of me was filled with stuff. They’ve been emptying it throughout this sentence and there’s still more. That is a fully-stuffed vehicle.

Was. I dropped off everything and they nearly took my trusty 2×4. I stopped in at the library and along the way I saw there was a car show. Not really my speed. There were two books on Parisian taxi routes in faux black leather. I briefly considered getting them as gifts, but no. I picked up volume two of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. The page the receipt bookmarked was a vulgar page. Oh well. I kind of feel like walking around a bit, since the weather is nice, and the day is young.

I walked to the dollar store. I skipped on two energy drinks called Stacker 2 because they have high fructose corn syrup. I spent the last 30 seconds trying to find the caffeine count on the can. I opted for more expensive but rarer energy drinks inside of a gas station. Three cans I’d been seeking are now mine.

Now I’m looking at a main attraction of this city. I haven’t been here, exactly, in years, though it’s across the street from the library. As I explored, I wondered, when would I see it. Desperation. Then I heard the rustling of some guys, worse for wear, and the telltale tap, tap, tap of someone doing something that maybe they shouldn’t… maybe it’s nothing, but the loss of innocence is everywhere, and though I’d rather hear the subtle cries of a baby in this family gathering area, these lost souls are, too, crying babies.

The smell of dried urine stayed there as I looked at the apartments some would call cute. I like how they look, too. They feel like they’d be nice to live in. Even weighing out the honks of horns over horrid driving. I should go home, put these drinks away, row, bathe, and rest.

I’m at home now. I picked up my mail and since it’s junk I put it in the outgoing slot. The drinks were nice and cold still but I’ll save one until tomorrow and more throughout my weekend. I’m making sandwiches, then will row, bathe, then go to bed.

Actually, my throat hurts in that sort of way where I feel like I could get sick if I’m not careful, so I’ll skip rowing, plan my tomorrow carefully, then go to bed.

I’m done with almost all of that and now I’m done with all of that. I’m happy that I went on that side trek through parts I’ve seldom explored. I need to do that more often, even if I feel sick because of it.

Is this sore throat just because of all the talking I did today? We didn’t get much of a break at all but it was mostly easy work.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll skip selling the NES games, since I still need to clean them, so I may just read a bit of 4-Hour Body then publish today’s essay, or defer that to tomorrow when I’d have three days’s of content to publish, then after work I want to get some soap, vegetables, bread, and maybe more peanut butter, energy drinks, and maybe tea? I noticed that on my days off, I’m not getting the warm factor of my coffee satiated by these chilled energy drinks. I’ll skip travelling too far if I feel worse tomorrow. We’ll see.

Oops, accidentally drank too much water before bed. I wasn’t expecting to go to sleep so soon… or wake up so soon… [90 minutes]

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Chapter 24: 1:30am, Monday the 26th of August

//Buying energy doesn’t mean having more energy

No dream there. Yeah, I think I was just in the resting phase. So I had the app open – Writer P, it’s reliable – from last night as the first thing I’d go into after waking up and instead of mindlessly crouching and browsing, I’m laying back on my back, and other than the light sting in my eye of the screen’s light against my eyes, this is working out well.

23 minutes between that sentence, written in bed, and this sentence written in my reading chair, and I’ve already time travelled through various parts of my next few days. As I brushed my teeth, my mind went into the future of where I’d go this afternoon. I was thinking of going to another computer recycling place, but I don’t have the donation box set up for it. One of my focuses for tomorrow will be clearing out the downsizing wall in my living room so it can be used more. I have some cassettes and CDs that are clogging up the workflow. I guess I won’t be able to sort through these yet even though I’d like to clear it all out. I think my hesitation is that I’d like to see about selling them, then donating those proceeds, because they were a person’s property he wanted to go to a good home. I liked having them but now they’re just kinda cool but I’ll never listen to them given ten lifetimes.

My mind travelled to a scene where, in “The Story,” Trishna would be brushing her service dog Pollyanna. Maybe Trishna’s sister Sammohini would be there, too, maybe John, but I just thought to how she might be brushing Pollyanna’s coat and how much the two would appreciate one another. I want my mind to have more scenes like that and less about work or life situations.

Instead of reading more 4-Hour Body, I read an essay by Mark Manson, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, and I think I may like the book when it arrives. Sure, it’s a filthy casual, conversational writing, but he presents good arguments about how the more we care about everything, the less we can care about what matters to us.

I finished reading 4-Hour Body. I skipped through most of the last three essays because sex and particulars of diets don’t interest me at the moment. I’ll review it for next week’s Rowing Machine column, but I like it, and will recommend it to friends. It’s 3:09am now, so I may jump over to publishing so I’m not just reading only today. I’ll decide as I’m putting the book back in its slipcover and as I finish my coffee.

I reclined my thoughts in my chair. There’s so much left to sort through; the only real hurry is structuring everything so I can assess sections at a glance. Nothing more I could do there, so I prepared for my day earlier.

While I was washing and dressing, I thought about how I could turn my trip to the International District into a travelogue, which itself could be its own category on Better Zombie. I don’t have a decent alliteration yet, but Travelogue Tales might be OK. I’ll write on my phone, upload it, then besides keeping the original, I’ll work with J.D. to edit and flesh it out.

I’ll also start reading Art Of War while I wait for The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Grawlix arrives, focusing mainly on The Brothers Karamazov throughout the week, especially after wrapping up after the quake. I’ll plug away at one of J.D.’s screenwriting books on the side, too. I’ll have enough time to read two or four pages of Karamazov.

Not as much time as I had estimated, but I got in two pages. My gut doesn’t feel great. I suppose that was yesterday’s throat concern. I’ll drink more water throughout the day and if I feel this way at the end of my workday, then I’ll plan to get groceries another day. I am unusually hungry right now. I suspect that’s relational to my gut feeling gnarled. Time to go to work. I’ll write “Given Ten Lifetimes” once I park.

I thought it was going to be a Downsizing Zeal essay. It ended up being a Sober Living essay. I’m going to head in early. My gut is not feeling great.

I’m feeling better with coffee, water, and a half-sandwich.

That guy from yesterday is still annoying. I look at people like that almost with pity. All their hopes, dreams, and identities are surrounding perfecting their job. Any failure on our part is a massive oversight, even when we do things correctly. I hate pedantry. I stopped concerning myself with correcting stale typos from long ago written essays because how much does that matter online? Now in a book, there are professional editors, but here, it’s just me, man.

Maybe he just wants to pretend to be my supervisor or something? Whatever. It’s lunchtime now. Time to get some water, coffee, and get in some walking around.

“I’m trying to find the SOLO cups.”

“Maybe they’re all together…”

No coffee. I did get some water and am now stretching my hamstrings at my favorite nearby spot. As I recline in my driver’s seat, I’m thinking about what to do for tomorrow. I might stop into a gas station to get an energy drink along the way home – I was tired on yesterday’s drive home – and then will go to the store for groceries. I’ll get home, relax, then go to bed around my usual time. Maybe sleep in tomorrow?

Done for the week. I’m kinda tired. I feel a bit burned out, actually…

So I went to one grocery store, picked up three cans of energy drinks, and drank one throughout my commute. By the time I went to a second grocery store to pick up my weekly groceries, I was feeling it, and picked up even more in addition to my weekly groceries. I probably have a problem. I’m going to cruise it out until I’ve tried them all or get bored. I’m at home now, resting on my stomach in the living room, glasses off, and just relaxing.

It’s 5:02pm and I’m in bed now. I probably should brush my teeth, take my vitamins, and return to bed. Two minutes later, done and done. Three, actually. So I think I’ll set my alarm for my normal time tomorrow, spend the morning reading, publishing, and writing, then spend the afternoon cleaning up the apartment-mansion and preparing for the week ahead, since I’ll be busy with “[Travelogue Trivialities] International District, August 2019” on Wednesday, and might arrive home late.

Should I finish after the rain tomorrow? It might be worthwhile to keep my reading queue more manageable. I would put it on hold, but I’ve done that for years now.

That’s about all the mental energy I have. [47 minutes]

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Chapter 25: 1:15am, Tuesday the 27th of August

//Energy drinks almost drain more energy than provide…

I woke up at around 10pm, which usually happens if I go to sleep either too early in the evening or am not tired enough, and then just before 1:30am. It was a quiet morning. Between my first and second alarms going off five minutes apart, I was already up but not fully awake.

I’m reclining now at just before 2am with a Birthday Cake Bash Bang energy drink. It tastes like I’m drinking a birthday cake. It’s somewhere between the flavor of a “diabetes inflicting sugar coma”-style cake with the white frosting and the pure sugar balloon blobs and, as I take another sip and reply to a Discord message, maybe one of those cheap sugar cupcakes that you might get for a colleague, if you cared about putting on such impressions. I like the childishness of this flavor and was disappointed by my previous Rainbow Unicorn.

I should probably cook some breakfast now at 2:27am that I’ve been browsing Twitter for the past while. Maybe vegetables? Maybe grits? Maybe something heartier? I’ll be cooking salmon and broccoli for lunch which isn’t that weighty in calories.

There was nothing entirely appealing in my pantry, so I went for a meal replaceable or perhaps accentuate coffee drink. Its taste is underwhelming. I think I’ll finish the two short stories in after the quake to clear this out of my queue.

I would almost call it “The Story” Noise where I might be partway through a story and think about “The Story.” Yesterday, as I walked through the bargain supermarket, I thought of how hermoso [Spanish: handsome] and hermosa [Spanish: pretty,] as they relate to John and Trishna, specifically their physical impairments. John has missing figures from an accident in his early childhood, so he has overwhelming insecurity over that. He might get a tattoo over his hand to help explain it, at a glance; IDKFA had thrown the idea of a funny tattoo like a construction tag out. Trishna might have a malformed foot or maybe persistent issues with a foot. She would feel insecure about it so she might get a pretty tattoo so she wouldn’t feel as bad about it. These sorts of thoughts distract me from heavy technical troubleshooting and sometimes reading, but usually when I write them out like this, my focus returns. I might use the restroom, snack on something, get another energy drink, and should be good to continue.

On my days off, I’ll shave off yesterday’s moustache stumble and my neck into a sort of large sideburns look. I like the smooth shave around my face, if it helps remove the skin preventing the hairs around my mouth from growing in fully then even cooler, and it’s easy to do. I wasn’t hungry so I cracked into this cherry flavored C4. It has a cool graphic design aesthetic and its fizzy cherry flavor isn’t overwhelming. I think I’ll get another. That coffee drink was a one and done.

It’s 3:27am now. I don’t think I’ll read my other books just yet. Maybe I’ll read until 5am, use the computer until 8am, then prepare for my day from there?

“As Nietzsche said, the highest wisdom is to have no fear.” “As Joseph Conrad once wrote, true terror is the kind that men feel toward their imagination.” Here I thought “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” was going to be campy and bizarre. Instead, it has psychological depth. Since I wrote “Thirty-Three Years Young,” I’ve been thinking about fear as an abstract concept frequently. Why do we fear? Why do we let fear control us? At work, I fear the retribution of my supervisor’s disappointment and disapproval, and Chihuahua Man represents that as well since he seems comfortable with tearing people down. I only want to work in peace. If I were fired, I’d still be financially stable for the short-term, so the fear of losing this aspect of my personality might be disrupted. I don’t want to go back to contracting with the agency I didn’t give the time of day to last week. They did not treat me well. That might be my career fear. There, my only fear is coming in last, I suppose.

I don’t fear everything. Caffeine overconsumption is not a concern of mine. I suppose I am concerned what strangers think of me. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’d been bullied so much as a kid that now it’s hard for me to trust… that’s a weird thought. Why should I be concerned with trusting strangers? Maybe I just need to get out into public spaces anonymously more? I went to that fair event on Saturday and no one laughed at me. It’s all in my head, then, and whatever fear manifests as insecurity just needs to stop. This will need to be my life’s focus.

Finished “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo,” an absurdist tale, and a chapter of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. The taste of some green beans I’m cooking took me back to a bad memory, and now I’m back here, at present, leaning against my sink, looking at another energy drink to my left, vegetables cooking in front of me, and to my right some lentils I’ll cook next, illuminated by the soft light of the oven overhead light.

The lentils and vegetables went well together. I’ll cook up combos like that more often. Now at 5:21am I’m reclining into some computer writing, editing, and publishing, my body sore I suppose from moving around all morning.

Just past 6:11am, I have not written, edited, published, or done anything other than watch half of tim rogers’s Timprovisational prereview of the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake on the Switch by way of recalling from memory the first 30 minutes of gameplay of the original Game Boy game for a total of nearly 60 minutes of content, the likes of which are productive for imagination stimulation. Maybe not so much for content creation. But I’ve been consuming rogers’s work for years now and it’s enthralling. As a side note, I’ll finish off after the quake probably tomorrow, or maybe today? I could do the same with this video…

I’ll pause the video and return to it at the 35-minute mark as a rowing distraction later tonight. Instead, I followed a curiosity with Adam Savage’s book Every Tool’s A Hammer and put it in my library queue. Oops.

Where did the time go? Certainly not into anything more productive, so I’ll sleep for 30 minutes to see if I can capture that post energy drink slump energy that should sustain me through the rest of the day, and if not, I’ll edit later this afternoon.

I napped for a second set, of sort, and will now just write and edit this afternoon.

It is 3:37pm and I am on my apartment-mansion patio, sweltered with the perhaps final hottest day of summer, overlooking the plastic bag that earlier this month saw its triumphant nature under a tree sequestered to a rained-on lump to eventually disintegrate into nothingness or be picked up by some passersby. I took off the shirt I got visiting relatives last year, myself earlier today considering asking for another since I can’t go this year, allowing my pale skin to soak up the sun. My arms are well-tanned. There is no one walking along the mild forest’s path. No one on the other patios. If so, I’d say hello as I put on a shirt.

I weighed in at 219 pounds on Sunday. I want to burn off another 30 or 40. Will that help me feel more secure about my body? Or is it a mental thing?

I’m standing to face inside the apartment-mansion to get some sun on my back. Two spiders are hanging from their single strands of webbing in the shade. It’s much too warm out here, but I should be getting more sun.

What should I do today? I need to write, edit, and publish my backlog. I need to row and make peanut butter and cheese sandwiches for the week ahead. I need to bathe and go to bed early. Everything else is optional. I don’t have an essay idea about what to write about. I’ve been outside for ten minutes.

What’s next on the agenda? Rowing is an exhaustive process, physically and mentally, so I usually wrap up, bathe, then sleep. Sandwich making might be good.

I brought my water cup out, which fits roughly 750 milliliters of water. It’s still cold on this boiling day. Eighty degrees.

Let’s make some sandwiches and think about what essay I’ll write about.

I made the sandwiches, did laundry, shaved my head as part of my weekly shave to keep it a consistent-enough length, and am sitting down at my computer to write one essay from scratch without any inspiration, figure out the visual element for another, publish a third, and prepare my itinerary for tomorrow. I’ll start light with the itinerary, I suppose.

I’ve figured out where I want to go for the first part of the adventure, but the second part will be up for chances tomorrow. I wrote today’s essay, finally, but it took all of my energy, so now I’m in bed just before 9pm. I think I’ll wrap this up now.

10pm pee awake at minutes. Annoying. [68 minutes]

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Chapter 26: 1:15am, Wednesday the 28th of August

//Is a day of rest something that can be spent abroad?

I’m awake but I’m not sure this was a good idea. My mind is..

Well, it’s 3:45am. I set some alarms but must have slept through some…

I’ve finished one energy drink can, realized its toxicity so switched over to water, then finished after the quake. Will I keep buying more energy drinks? I may have found my end of this tunnel. I know I still have many cans and many days left to go. So maybe not. I know that feeling like this, with a sort of fatigued headache where time distorts, compresses then evaporates, is the psychological side effect of consuming too much caffeine. It’s the feeling of time undulating that still captivates me. I can’t help it. Or maybe, that’s me just playing the victim? Either way, I’ll be going into town today to write that Travelogue Trivialities essay. If anything, it should be a fun experiment in developing observational studies. I’m going to prepare for that now, so I’ll cut to that essay until I return home. [9 minutes]

I wrote about 2,500 words then went to write some more in “Cans Can Crush,” but that essay wasn’t turning out well and then I had to stop, so I’m scraping it and putting it here:

“”After I try out all the flavors of energy drinks I’ve bought, I’ll start downsizing their fridge real estate. If our clutter made us feel as terrible as some of these drinks have made me feel, we’d throw them down the drain without a second thought. Why, then, do we hold onto our bad memories, fights, and conflicts with others? Why do we buy things we’ll never use? Why are we so wasteful and frivolous?

I had the opportunity to buy many things today.

I passed on a book I eventually want to read because I can borrow it at the library. I didn’t buy some capsule toys because none were characters I cared about. I didn’t need some unique variants of carbohydrates, except for what I did buy: more energy drinks.

I admit this is addictive behavior.

I’m buying things that make me feel good in the short-term and drag me down in the long-term. I don’t feel that guilty about it because at worst I feel “caffeine gut punches” that reset this sort of craving for excess that is the hallmark of addictive behavior.

It’s better this than other things.

I saw someone smelling of cheap beer at 9:36am on August 28th in Seattle as he drank from a poorly concealed beer can. This is nothing uncommon and from the perspective of autonomy, if that’s what he wants to do, and he’s harming no one else, what’s the harm? What if he’s not leeching off the system?””

At that point, I started to not like the writing direction.

I’m home now. It’s time to prepare for work tomorrow, maybe row, bathe, then go to bed. I’ll charge my phone now. I started at 100% and it’s at 58% now.

I prepared myself for the workday and workweek ahead. I spent, maybe, too long in the bath to soak up all the summer sweat and subtle stress of the day’s adventure. I won’t get enough sleep. I need to do a bunch of paperwork to find that doctor, still. It’s too warm in my apartment-mansion. Yet, I had a nice day out. I wrote something that could help me become a professional writer today. All I need to do is put it into Google Docs, edit it throughout the next week, then publish it and see how it does. I think that’s it for me for tonight. [34 minutes]

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Chapter 27: 1:15am, Thursday the 29th of August

//What makes you happy when you’re a bird in a cage but pretending to fly?

I dreamt I was somewhere like a sports gym with a hockey arena. I had asked to borrow a hockey stick and someone else told me: “Are you going to mix this up with a $20 computer? You should just buy one.” “Nah, I only opportunistically will play.”

I could barely keep my eyes open writing that. I’ve since read bits of Art Of War, 101 Habits Of Highly Successful Screenwriters or as I’ll call it 101 Screenwriters, and reread the plot beat of The Brothers Karamazov that threw me off. I may try reading for 30 minutes in the morning, these three books or books on self-improvement, writing improvement, and fiction or literature respectively. That way I don’t lose focus or interest. I borrowed the Cliff Notes book of The Brothers Karamazov, which just arrived yesterday, so I’ll plan to pick it up maybe on Sunday.

Now, though, I want to see about figuring out that whole doctor’s thing.

Got the whole doctor’s thing started. I’ll have to do more research but that should be good for now. I’ll look into making an eye exam appointment, too, so I can get that done soon enough. I also have related notes for my auto insurance and assorted bills coming up here at around the first of the month, so I’ll tend to these things soon.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of writing about a pun. Knowing what’s on your shelves will give you shelf confidence. How do you develop that skill? By knowing what you have and deciding what you don’t absolutely need. I’m not sure what I should do for the picture of “Developing Shelf Confidence,” like my essay “Given Ten Lifetimes,” it seems easy enough but I’m a writer not an artist, mostly, even if there are observational overlaps and such.

I finished writing “Developing Shelf Confidence,” with time to spare.

My new neighbor has left a wooden dog on the stoop outside his door for about two weeks now. He hasn’t moved it so today I put an empty box on top; the kind that’s more for displaying fruit than moving. I figure if that’s not a clear message, then I’ll start piling cardboard boxes there. It’s fine to leave stuff overnight, and it shows that the neighborhood is secure, but the kid is in his early 20s. I said hello to him as his family had a housewarming party. He probably doesn’t understand that he’s gotta take out his trash like that, or, put it somewhere else. I know that was a bit of complaining, but I tend to think it’s okay to complain if you’re acting on it [putting the box on top] or asking for advice. Otherwise, if you don’t want to hear advice, I don’t wanna hear your complaining.

I have some time before the start of my shift, especially while my computer loads everything, and I remember how to do my work. Time, in my life, distorts in ways where like yesterday, I felt like I had a long vacation, even though I was only away for a day. I wonder if my perception of time is based on the amount of things done?

It’s lunch time now. My mind is empty. It’s nice. When I get home, I’m not sure if I’ll do any cleaning or if I’ll just do some rowing and go to bed early. I think I’ll tend to a doctor’s note I received, probably congratulating me on registering, and see to some publishing. The whole laundry thing sounds good, too.

I think people go get coffee to talk to upbeat baristas. One pleasant conversation can really just make you feel your best.

Depending on how I’m feeling, when I get home, I’ll do the laundry, and if I feel like it, do the computer side stuff before bed.

It’s now after 5, 5:12pm to be precise enough, and I did not do the laundry or the computer stuff, but I did the rowing stuff, and I am reading the 101 Habits… Screenwriters book. It’s a fast read. Does that mean nothing is thought provoking or challenging? I feel like this book is written for pretend. Do screenwriters really care about originality? Yes. Do audiences care about originality? Return of the Part 2s invade cinemas. Dostoevsky is dense by comparison, and even The Brothers Karamazov is lightweight. Sure, it’s dense, but it doesn’t feel difficult. You just have to practice reading it then it’s fine. This screenwriters book feels like the dictated notes of many conversations, which it is, without the sense of urgency that might make it feel less talking headsy.

I have 8 hours until I need to wake up. I have “Developing Shelf Confidence” awaiting publication, “Given Taken Lifetimes” awaiting a visual element, “Travelogue Trivialities: International District…” awaiting placement into a Google Doc to send along to J.D., and this essay, awaiting 1,000,000 words. I thought about how I’d do that. This essay is currently around 27,444 words. I should split up this esssy, split it up into chunks, digitypeset each chunk into WordPress, then move onto another file. I’ll figure out the details soon. Until then, I’m backing this up daily.

If you’re here, let me tell you my secret plans for this essay. If this reaches publication, I will tell people to just observe their lives for one million words, because even at this point into writing this thing, I’ve noticed some parts where I’ve captured information well and other parts where I’ve felt inadequate. That is life. Do above the average, better than your expectations, and don’t let anyone bring you down, and you’ll be fine. I think it’s time to bathe and go to bed. I’ll read more tomorrow, publish what I can, and reply to those nurses or whatevers.

I bathed but because I drank too much water, I’m partially through some reading. I went ahead a chapter in the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, where I’ll read a manga chapter each day I have off and I missed Saturday, and was partially through reading about the wanish monk progressing the plot in The Brothers Karamazov until I remembered that I wanted to look up how to report potholes. Seems surprisingly easy. I’ll call sometime soon.

I finished my reading for tonight. My mind is exhausted. I haven’t done much downsizing. I’ll be writing a bit of a eulogy for the jacket I used to wear daily. It’s still a nice jacket but I’ve replaced it and I’m still attached, so I should hang onto it. I’m not sure if writing about it in the dark will be best, however, so maybe I’ll write it another day? If I keep reading like this, then I really should downsize more on the days where I have the time to downsize. Why let the wheels slow down just because I’ve found something that makes me happy? [55 minutes, August 29th]

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Chapter 28: 1:15am, Friday the 30th of August

//Time expanded and shrinked throughout, leading to hours-long minutes and where’d that hour go?

My dream concluded with a Mario Kart variant where I kept sabotaging the start of the game. I had flu-like symptoms.

I’m figuring out a good workday routine. After I eat breakfast and drink some coffee, I read for between 15 and 30 minutes. For days like today, less, because I replied to the doctor’s message and will soon do some publishing.

If I wake up at 1:30am, am done waking up by 2:15am, then I have until 3:30am or so, right now it’s 3:49am, to read or do computer stuff. It works well. On days where I don’t have much computer stuff to do – no bills, no maintenance tasks like doctoral things, no editing, no publishing – and feel up for it, I can just focus on reading. This is my time. Throughout the rest of the day, I’ll perform for others. Actually, this is a good topic for an essay… probably a Sober Living essay?

When I write, my mind imagines several paths on where I’ll go, and when I actually go to write, the words will oftentimes take me in unforeseen directions. It’s fun. That essay was going to be more clinical but as I got into it, “”No Performance” Time” really went in the direction I had been wanting. I arrived early and am still tired, but I figure even if it all goes to shit at work, I’ll still do laundry, listen to The Pro Crastinators Podcast, and try to look for that insurance stuff. OK. Time to go inside.

I haven’t left the building in 7 hours…

It’s slightly humid outside. This is the sort of weather where wearing a light jacket might be too warm while walking, but while standing under a tree, the cool breeze massages you with a bit of a chill. The sky is white from cloud cover with just the subtlest hints of gray.

I needed to get gas, so I’ve decided once again that time is less valuable to me than price or convenience, so I’m waiting in line in the gas station. There are at least three cars ahead of me. I started waiting at 2:33pm. Work stuff creeped into mind there. I crept forward by easing off the gas, moving the wheel with my right leg, above the knee, and kept my hands on my smartphone. Probably not safe. That might end up being the title of my autobiography…

I’ve always been fascinated by the depths of impatience and greed. People at gas stations act like it’s a matter of life or death that they get through the line as quickly as possible. I mean, it’s been 7 minutes already. But still, it’s a bit much.

Eleven minutes every week and a half isn’t terrible. I’d rather cut that down, but what’s the cost of driving out of the way for that?

After filling up on gas, I grinded through a long commute home, ate too much spinach with parmesan cheese, rowed, and am now past 5:10pm without anything to show for those past two hours, I guess, other than rowing and getting ready for bed.

30 minutes have passed and I put away laundry, peed, tweeted my rowing stats, and ate a whole bag of these coconut things. I don’t feel as great now. I guess I wanted to feel different…

I read a few more pages of 101 Habits… Screenwriters. It’s a fast read. Part of it isn’t relevant to me, most of it is generic advice, but some of it is good. I keep thinking back, while reading it, to this. This 1,000,000-word thing. When I surpass that number, what’s next?

My new neighbor has left a dog house out on his side of the stoop for a few weeks now. He’s a young kid so he probably assumes someone will pick it up for him. I’ve been putting garbage on it lately. An empty box here, gum wrappers there, an empty toilet paper roll this morning, and an empty soda can this afternoon. I have more things to leave. The old neighbors were terrible so I don’t really want to complain, and it’s annoying in that sort of absurdly distracting way, like someone that you just wanna punch in the face so you just look at them like they’re crazy, and you realize they’re the sort that is oblivious so it’s a fun sort of game.

At work, we talked about VR and AR games being so realistic so as to remove risk. I said that would be boring. I continued by positing that it would be like a tutorial where you might have unlimited health, but you can’t progress in the game, and you get bored. The idea was “what if there was a 0.000001% of something bad happening?” “That kinda keeps it interesting.”

Maybe that 0.000001% is the thrill that keeps me trying? I should do more to prepare for that in life. I suppose reading helps with that. I have some books pending my pickups of them. If I get them sooner, then I can dig in, but I think I’ll try to knock out this screenwriters book here first. I’m already over 10% done? [39 minutes]

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Chapter 29: 1:15am, Saturday the 31st of August

//It started with a healthy shit, turned into nasty shit, then settled into acceptable shit.

I had a dream that I can’t really even remember any of the details about. It certainly didn’t feel nice, however. It was one of those dreams where you wake up feeling grateful for being in this reality. Shit sucks here but it could be much worse.

This Screenwriters book is hit-and-miss largely due to the “mentors” and this urgency the author keeps imbuing into certain lines about doing this and not that. The main reason why I write as much as I advocate is that it helps me think and write with congruence. If I can think about the start, middle, and end of a problem or story, solve it, and have it be reliable, then wasn’t that a well tested formula or story? Some of these people seemed to have lucked into their lifestyle or lack the freshman perspective.

I’m 14.7% done. I’m skimming.

My library copy of The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Grawlix and the Cliff Notes on The Brothers Karamazov arrived recently. I should pick both up tomorrow, but I might wait for Volume 3 of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service to arrive as well. We’ll see whether I pick them up on Sunday or Tuesday. I might prefer picking up all three, although if I can’t, it’s not a big detour.

Time to tend to my doctoral paperwork and publish some backlogged essays. I have no idea what to write about in two hours, but it will happen.

I have my healthcare card scanned in with some potential days of going to the doctor. It’s been around three years since I’ve last seen a primary care physician, and I’ve never really had one long-term since I was young, so hopefully this will turn out well. I need to finish sorting through this large stack of medical paperwork, probably later today, while listening to the conclusion of this week’s episode of the PCP.

Wrote “Full of S…peculation” and I think for my visual element, I’ll start photographing my weigh-ins. For “Given Ten Lifetimes,” I’m idling through some Zelda UI heart meter thoughts. I sorted some of my medical paperwork, got my pharmacy card, and recycled all the generic envelopes. I’ll have to shred the HIPAA stuff.

On the drive into work, I thought about the Travelogue Trivialities essay. I realized that my observations lacked context, which may just be how it will go for my next entry into the series. My second draft of it will include historical elements and context as to what I saw or how I remember it looking.

Two guys near me here are talking about a game. One is telling the other about how he executed a victory in a first-person shooter. It was a good story. He talked about the strategy he and his team did to take the victory before having to return back to work.

We got slammed with work. I’m exhausted. It’s muggy outside. I’m not wearing my jacket and it feels nice. I have a little under 10 minutes to walk around.

All three books are available now to pickup. I could either get them today or on Tuesday. Tuesday seems more ideal since I can explore the area more, so I’ll do that.

I do feel a slight need for a late summer exploratory adventure. Maybe I’ll walk around the complex a bit? Or check the PO box? Yeah, let’s do that, or both.

Had to stay late. Hopefully, traffic isn’t terrible.

It wasn’t, mostly. I parked at the library since my nerves were still anxious from today – a buncha shitty people – and dropped of volume 1 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, which I’ll just call Kurosagi to save words, to park there and take a mini walkabout. While I was entering the library, someone from my memories was exiting, or maybe, someone like him. He was an influential person in my life in positive and negative ways. If we focus on those positives, he encouraged me to get out of my shell and showed me more of the world. It’s a 60% good, 40% bad kinda situation.

Now I’m leaned up against a park wall. I used to go around here when I was younger. It did not smell like urine when last I traveled down there. I won’t take the same path.

I walked past two buildings that aren’t there anymore, or rather, their memories in my mind reappeared as I walked by them. One burned down. I saw the fire on my way to work at the newspaper and it did not make their news. The other, an old gas station – “did you call 911?” “nope” as a momentary interruption in reality from two paramedics – is now a series of newer buildings. I can’t say I prefer the one-story inefficiencies of run down establishments. Their charm is only so alluring to me. That said, it was alluring enough for me to capture this moment…

It started to rain so I dodged into the arcade. Astroids is broken. The same angry old man is playing Galaga, hitting the cabinet, and swearing at himself. I haven’t played Galaxian in a while. “Sir Duke” plays in the background just louder than the arcade and bar sounds. I didn’t do well and the dial felt weird and obtrusive against my left thumb.

There was a quarter jammed in the Pac-Man machine and I wasn’t interested in the other games. I didn’t feel like playing anything else, or real life Frogger, so I’m headed over to the post office.

No mail. I’m leaning on the same gray countertop as before. At least I could take some of that stress off my mind.

I returned home and I’m just going to get some lounging in before bed. I don’t feel like rowing, so I won’t. I did bathe and I’m waiting for my bladder to feel less of that midnight squeeze. I don’t feel like reading or doing much of anything, though, so I might just go to bed soon. [42 minutes]

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Chapter 30: 1:15am, Sunday the 1st of September

//Rabbits everywhere

It’s weird waking up before my alarms. Nine extra minutes? My dream wasn’t noteworthy and I’ve forgotten it. There was one scene with incongruities at work where one dude that I get along well with, the person that inspired the barista comment a few days ago, was uncharacteristically working in my area.

Everyone was pissed off yesterday that called in. I had to tell someone, “you’re talking too fast for my brain to keep up,” another similarly fast talker guided me down the wrong rabbit hole because she was going faster than her brain, and it was just a high pressure situation overall. On the drive home, I swore at something and felt immediately better. I was reminded of that catharsis when I read about my monthly good luck charm of saying “white rabbit” as I’m waking up at the first of every month on the Wikipedia article “rabbit rabbit rabbit.”

I’m not sure how much I want to read. – It’s 2:03am and I’m hearing sounds similar to a tow truck outside. In two hours, 30 minutes, hopefully my car is still there. – I still feel tense in my neck and shoulders. I’ll read two pages then go use the computer if I’m feeling this book is as immersive as I’d want so my brain can relax while my body does its thing. I’ll get some naproxen first.

I took that time and sorted through most of my backlog. I’m down to one small essay and the Travelogue Trivialities rough draft along with this thing and today’s essay, so, not too bad. I’m not sure what I’ll write about today. Either my dwindling interest in energy drinks or the allure of free stuff. Depends on my temperament and inspiration after parking at work, I guess.

I wrote a review of 4-Hour Body instead and am now walking into work a few minutes early.

I talked with someone living in Columbus. Maybe I’ll move out there or somewhere nearby for a year in a few years?

I received a 20-sided D20 dice today at work as a gift from a coworker that went to PAX. I was going to write about the lime green icosahedron with dark green letters, “that’s my aesthetic!,” but I went on a Wikipedia rabbit hole, and got distracted.

The thing with chance like that is it’s difficult to differentiate what will happen with what did happen. If I bet the likelihood of something happening on the roll of a die, flip of a coin, or anything else, it does typically work out, but not always.

I wrote that on my second break, had a slam of a last part to work, got home, slept for a bit, had a friend over, and now I suppose I’m too tired to do much of anything. I’ve been procrastinating in doing anything. I should go to bed now.

While out on the patio, I did see a brown baby bunny rabbit. I took photos and recorded a quick video. [24 minutes]

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Chapter 31: 3am, Monday the 2nd of September

//I’m not sure if I was tired or sick, but I wasn’t both.

First dream concluded with me receiving instructions on something trivial and important, but I had my arms up, folded, with my hands rested behind my head. I was stuck. I woke up, set my alarm for 30 minutes, napped, and am here.

A few more alarms and now it’s 3am.

I was living in some paradise, talked to someone about glasses, and went to the computer recycling place. Well, I’m in three-day weekend mode now.

I’m still hunched over my phone in bed ten minutes after scrolling through social media. I don’t feel the motivation to get up yet. I’ll nap for another hour.

I woke up, drank sips of some disappointing energy drinks that I poured down the drain before switching to coffee, and am now idly staring at the shelving rack I have in the living room. My mind must be in exhaustion since it’s just passively thinking of things to do. I don’t feel sick or anything but I don’t really feel like doing much of anything at all. I am dehydrated and I forgot to take my vitamins, so it’s probably a physiological thing like that. I’ll read for a while, though.

18 minutes of casually sipping my coffee, thinking about junk – materialistic and strategic – and now I feel ready to read.

50-some pages and 6 chapters into 101 Habits… Screenwriters hasn’t been too much of a waste. Most of it is obvious. Some of it showed me why I am bored by movies. The screenplays themselves must be formulaic because of time constraints, among other constraints, so you have to kill the creative freedom of fiction for the practicality of business ventures. The Holy Mountain exists outside of that. When Alejandro Jodorowsky refused to compromise on a scene George Harrison of The Beatles, then still the biggest band in the world – not that they aren’t still, that sort of strength is not possible within Hollywood.

Still, two golden nuggets so far:

First is the notion of blocking out key scenes. When I write “The Story,” I will probably just write a brief outline and then go hogwild. All my notes, all my research, that’s all in my mind. That takes up a majority of my imagination’s real estate. If I can tie it down somewhat, then I can afford to write as it must be written while not going into costly asides.

Second is the notion of travel. Do you meticulously plan a road trip from Los Angeles to New York City or do you wing it? I think the middle ground is preferable. Figure out what you want to see most, plan to see those sights, but let the rest unfurl before your eyes.

Now onto writing. I’ll write a review, maybe more of an impressions, of Tidying Up by Kondo Marie.

I ended up inadvertently writing about my new Pennywise shirt, perhaps representing downsizing as a whole? If so, I should wear it when I do heavy bouts of downsizing, like I will today.

I’ve moved a carload of stuff and have three boxes to donate. I should try to fill one or two more by tomorrow to have a substantial thrift store run. Should I go to one of the usual drop-off haunts? If I can put together a box of CDs to sell, I can donate the ones that won’t sell there. I’m exhausted right now, though, so I could always drop them off another time.

I’m concluding today’s activities early because I was exhausted in the morning, afternoon, and now. I don’t have much more I want to say now. Tomorrow, I’ll go to the library, meet with a friend for lunch, and donate the boxes in the trunk and maybe one or two additional boxes, depending on how much energy I have tomorrow morning. [26 minutes]

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Chapter 32: 1:30am, Tuesday the 3rd of September

//Clearing out the apartment-mansion and mind-palace.

I dreamt about botulism. I was a person tasked with hunting down and finding these bad cans. Before that, I was trying to find the person I’ll be meeting up with today for lunch in a huge shopping mall.

I feel less sick now. I think it was getting less than 8 hours of sleep and pushing myself to exhaustion so much over the past while finally catching up. If so, I should be able to concentrate on reading for a while.

I read for almost one hour, there, and the reading process was much more natural. I would pause every few pages to close my eyes and let a scene or two from “The Story” flourish in my mind. They were of Trishna’s service dog Pollyanna, the most prominent scene being where Trishna and John have gone off to college, leaving Pollyanna at home, and she goes over to Trishna’s mom, Bridget. Bridget calls Trishna and puts her on speaker phone so she can talk to Pollyanna. After Trishna talking to Pollyanna, she walks away. This is what dominates my mind and imagination. This prevents me from focusing on overly complex corporate work. I’ll keep reading after refilling my coffee.

It’s 3:35am now. I like to keep my same work schedule on days off. When I’ve been seduced by sleeping in, too often I’ll have trouble readjusting, especially when I’ve had a difficult previous few days.

It’s 3:54am now. The thing with scrolling through galleries, such as an acquaintance’s gallery of books read and things done, is that you vicariously experience other people’s lives, so that when you return to yours, you can keep plugging away.

I’m not sure if I’ll drop off anything at the thrift store today. The trunk is only half full. I can get another few boxes in there. It’s just partially I don’t know where I’d want to go to drop it off, and second, I don’t really overly feel like doing that. I guess at least right now. Someone was wheeling something like a rolling suitcase outside just now. I should go back to reading. Once I go to the library and pick up those books, I won’t feel much like returning to 101 Habits… Screenwriters.

It’s 5am. I rent to sleep for 30 minutes. I was walking past a dumpster with some friends in a tunnel outside of reality, saw a cooler with the aesthetic of my cooler with the shape of a toolbox. It was leaking. I stopped. They called over. I took it, opened it up, and, it was full of clean-enough ice water. My alarm went off quietly. It’s 5:04am now and I want to go sleep some more.

It’s 5:39am. I was reading when one of my neighbors slammed their door, twice. I could feel the vibrations from my living room, so it was probably the neighbors with the doghouse sitting outside their door. My neighbors across the way did just leave, but they’ve been here for “over four years,” so it’s hard to say.

It’s 5:58am. I guess I needed to distract myself for a while after that. I’ll read some more. I’ll need to then write and pay some bills.

It’s 6:08am. There are parts of this book that are enlightening. Habit “57: “Be Open To Outside Criticism.” “Don’t mind criticism. If it’s untrue, disregard it. If it’s unfair, keep from irritation. If it’s ignorant, smile. If it’s justified, learn from it.” – Old Chinese saying” To give the book its best credit, it’s like a shortcut for learning what you’ll need to know as a full-time writer. I guess I’ve been part-time for enough years to catch all of this. I’m thirsty for some Mr. Coffee.

It’s 6:54am. I read some more after drinking that Mr. Coffee, peed, then got the inspiration for “Former Favorite Formal.” It’s 7:01am now. It took me a few minutes to decide on formal being the alliteration for jacket.

It’s 8:52am. I wrote for just shy of one hour, paid two thirds of my bills, and did some other stuff. I’ll take a bath now and decide how much stuff I want to bring down to my trunk to donate, whether that donation run will be today, bring down some small cardboard boxes to the recycle bins, and decide whether I want to clean up around here, read here, or read on the road. I’m more than halfway done with that Screenwriters book. I can leave it for now, now that I don’t loathe it, and so I think that’s what I’ll do. I can probably focus my efforts on The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Grawlix.

It’s 9:30am. I think it’ll be easiest to donate what’s in my trunk today after I go to the library but before I go grocery shopping. I could fill the trunk more, but that’s procrastination talking. If I get it when it’s 80% full, then it’s not a big deal, and I can fill it up with more for the next batch. I might donate it at the one that’s along the way to my library, since it’ll give me an empty trunk sooner. That’s the biggest weight on my mind right now, which is kind of luxurious, isn’t it? Better than worrying about professional work or writing.

It’s 10:02am. I’ll leave soon, drop off stuff at the recycling bins, drop off stuff at the thrift store, pick up the books, park, and read.

It’s 10:59am. I donated the trunkload of things. “What’s in here?” I looked at the box taped up with “fragile” along the side. “Cassettes. Tapes.” I’m at the library now. They had Kim by Rudyard Kipling. I passed on it because I probably wouldn’t read it for another few months. The two taxi map books are gone.

It’s 11:08am. I picked up the three books after holding the door for a mom and two bratty boys that wanted to grab a book on the way out. She put the book back, got her stroller, and booked it. Maybe I should have gone through the door. Children like that are feet or kick hazards so it’s best to stay calm. All three books were there, along with some old guy wheezing at the opposite self check-out. I’m back in my car on my way to the parking lot to read for a bit before going to lunch. It’s 11:10am.

It’s 11:24am. I nearly ran into someone that stopped at a left turning intersection as it was turning yellow. If he had been going at around the speed limit, he would have been far enough to easily drive through. I honked my horn after slamming my brakes. My book went flying. He looked at me through his side view mirror. I looked at him. He went around the speed one might go in this town after that. Now I’m parked not quite where I should be, but there are no alternative spots. I’ll circle around once more in a few minutes, after people leave for the lunch rush, and if no one does, then I’ll try parking elsewhere. It’s 11:28am.

It’s 11:40am. I had to park in a visitor stall. I’ll know it 20 minutes if I have to move it. I saw a spot of what might have been oil discharge. I’ll have to park somewhere dry to see if it’s my car. I think it might be because I see a few puddles underneath my carport. It’s 11:41am.

It’s 11:49am. I read a few pages of The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F Asterisks C K. The full title is fuck and that’s what’s in the inside cover. Is it worthwhile to call it Fuck from now on? Maybe. I don’t have the Grawlix edition. It’s 11:51am.

It’s 1:51pm. I parked wrong. I was late. Lunch was great. I, then, had an urge to go to a thrift store. Here I am. It’s 1:51pm still.

It’s 2:06pm. Walking around this store reminded me of something Jeremy, my sponsor, once told me: “This is all dead people’s stuff.” In a way, yes. When I donate something, that part of me is dead. I texted him to see if he’s doing ok. They had two Tom Waits CDs and two Hunter S. Thompson hardcovers. I could have went for one of the latter books, but at $2.49 for something I won’t read for a while, I’d rather not. I’m sitting in the shade on this warm late summer day. I almost feel like exploring more. That’s probably why I went to the thrift store. A great conversation will leave you feeling like you’ve explored mental realities so it’s almost like I want to physically explore for that same sense of adventure. What if I found something cool? I thought about that on the drive over. It would be like if someone recommended me something. It would come up next in queue. I’ll finish reading The Subtle Art then The Brothers Karamazov, so I won’t have much time for distractions, but really, there is no timeline for life. Even these one-month holds can be renewed twice. If I’m partially done with either one, I could just buy copies of either one. Maybe I think I’ll find either one? Maybe I’ll buy something to make me even more interested in reading? Doubtful. Let’s go grocery shopping. It’s close enough that I’ll just write when I’m done, unless something more interesting happens. It’s 2:15pm. More time in the thrift store than outside it…

It’s 2:31pm. I just walked past a device that was about aisle tall, thick base, with a thin rod from it. It moved back and forth. I must have looked at it curiously. A shelf stocker said, “Robots…” “Interesting… What is it?” “It, uhh, checks the counts of the aisles, I think.” “We’re definitely livin’ in the future. Thank you.” It’s 2:33pm, in the future, but in your past.

It’s 3:44pm. I bought some frozen peas and fish oil. What I like about Walmart is that you really see some weird people there and you can be as weird as you want. I’m home now, drinking an energy drink out of a nicer glass, tanning a bit, and will soon read more Subtle Art. I guess that might be my shorter title for it. TSANGA might work, too. It’s 3:47pm.

It’s 4:30pm. I’m about 30 pages, precisely 30, into Tsanga. I’ve been sitting outside on my patio, reading, texting, reading, texting, then watching two squirrels jump between impossibly high branches. They don’t care. Or maybe they’re just exploring. I switched over to water. I’ll need to get some tissues for out here if I’m going to be out here more often. It’s 4:34pm.

It’s 4:48pm. I taped up my second toolbox that I kept. I’ll slowly transition some key paperwork to both toolboxes. I figure storing such items in metal cases, and then obscuring them in person, outweighs the risk of stating this is what I’m doing online. I’ll read some more. This is 212 pages long. I’m already… 14% done with it. Can I complete it by tomorrow? I could, but do I want to? Not particularly. I forgot the tissues and bag to store it in inside. It’s 4:51pm.

It’s 5:33pm. I made a sandwich of peanut butter for dinner and will drink a liter and a half of water while reading TSANGA before rowing, bathing, and going to bed at a reasonable hour, but one of those things is a lie: the reasonable hour part. We’ll see. You before me, since the next few paragraphs will go by in a flash for you, but will be hours for me. It’s 5:34pm.

It’s 6:16pm. I’m 33% done with TSANGA. I started this morning and continued for a few hours here and there between living and such. I like it. I’m not sure if it has the substance to make me want to reread it enough to want to buy it new, but I think it’s a good book. Much of it is just, I suppose it isn’t obvious, and I suppose it’s not overly easy. I don’t know. My thoughts are still forming. I think it’s worth reading. I’m happy the deep orange book stood out to me on August 19th. I’ll read more tomorrow. It’s 6:21pm.

It’s 8:16pm. I rowed, bathed, and have now procrastinated for a bit toward going to bed. I think now will be the time for me to go to bed. I think waking up at 4:30am will be ok. It’s 8:19pm. [80 minutes]

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Chapter 33: 1:30am, Wednesday the 4th of September

//Filling the potholes of the mind with books and getting out there, even if to burn.

It’s 1:34am, or something. I decided to wake up earlier. I woke up at around 9pm like my alarm went off. I didn’t dream, or if I did, the dreams weren’t noteworthy. It’s 1:36am.

It’s 2:20am. I spent most of that time looking at my social media accounts. It’s an acceptable way to get to your senses when your body is exhausted, I suppose, but I should try to get more sleep. I’m now in my reading chair, having finished breakfast, but with my coffee still too warm to drink, or, my body too cold to accept it. The weather is cold in the morning then hot in the afternoon. It’s weird. I’m not sure if I’ll put on pajama pants or not, since my shorts feel ok, but not great. Yeah, I’ll put some water in this coffee, too. It’s 2:24am.

It’s 3:36am. I read up to page 100 in TSANGA. It’s good stuff. I’m too tired to concentrate, so I’ll nap until that 4:30am stretch. Was it worthwhile to sacrifice a few hours of sleep for a few minutes of reading? Yes, because there were other good thoughts mixed in there besides what was in TSANGA. It’s 3:38am.

It’s 6:55am. I went back to bed for about one and a half hours there, published my review of 4-Hour Body as a Rowing Machine column entry, and will probably do my writing and editing after eating some sustenance. It’s 6:57am.

It’s 9:42am. I feel mad at the world. I’m done with today’s writing, didn’t edit any of Travelogue Trivialities, and feel exhausted. It’s probably all those energy drinks. I’m reaching my saturation point with them. I’m going to brush my teeth, nap for one hour, then decide how I want to spend my day. It’s 9:44am.

It’s 11:17am. I’m less pissed now. Maybe they’re too anxiety driving? Well, I should cook some food. I’ll go with tofu and then either read outside, edit about the outside, clear out my living room, or do a mix of all three? It’s 11:19am.

It’s 12:28pm. I was mad earlier because of the whole doctor thing. They are so flippant with healthcare and now I might not even see a doctor until mid October? What a bunch of garbage. I let that cloud my mind over the good things going on. I reported the pothole near the apartment-mansion and that might have been filled within two hours of my report. The tofu was good. I had it with the bagel crisps that are like croutons. I read three chapters of the Kurosagi manga. I’ll read more TSAONGAF while my stomach settles. I may not edit today. At least I’ll make my sandwiches for the week, rearrange the living room a bit, and try to get to bed early. It’s 12:32pm.

It’s 3:51pm. I wrote that guy an email telling him how I felt about my healthcare. I read TSAONGAF almost to completion, but a surge of exploration hit me. I fixed s major problem with that pothole. I want to photograph it and write about it. Not really for glory, although it would seem that way, more about doing the community good. I also need to overcome my fear of people, go actually outside rather than on my patio, and take out some trash. It’s 3:54pm.

It’s 4:08pm. I took out some trash, went outside, and didn’t meet anyone along the way, although one family was walking somewhat nearby, another was smoking under a carport, I saw someone new in the apartment-mansion area, perhaps my neighbor with the doghouse, and someone off in the distance just past… two filled-in potholes. I was annoyed by it, as I’m sure others were, and I’m happy that is done. Time to read. It’s 4:11pm.

It’s 5:08pm. I’m done with TSAONGAF. It’s good. I want to write a review about it tomorrow but tonight I want to write about that pothole. I need to make lunches, row, and bathe, too. It’s 5:09pm.

It’s 6:11pm. I wrote “Fill In Potholes,” sent out two emails, watched Sunken Cruise Ship which might be one of my top ten favorite Casey Neistat movies after the motivation and studio tour ones, and will now crank out those sandwiches, row, then bathe, hopefully not wrapping up too late into the evening. It’s 6:13pm.

It’s 7:49pm. Made sandwiches. Rowed. Shaved my hair. Bathed. I have sunburns on my shoulders. I hope I don’t hurt too much. If so, it’s a necessary part of thickening my skin. It’s just about time for bed. I’ll review TSAONGAF tomorrow morning and drop it off in the afternoon. It’s 7:51pm.

It’s 8:00pm. Yeah, if it’s not too tiring, I’d like to drop it off tomorrow. There’s a library I seldom visit that I could drop it off with, or at, but if I don’t write that review or it’s a terrible tomorrow, I’ll just go back home. It’s 8:02pm.

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Chapter 34: 1:30am, Thursday the 5th of September

//A walk in the park.

I forgot what I dreamt about. I’m now starting my workweek a little more tired than I prefer, but at least I feel content that I had a good three-day break. It’s 1:40am.

It’s 3:11am. I read the Cliff Notes of The Brothers Karamazov and I’m not sure if I expected more, but it was most certainly more akin to a high school report than anything worthwhile as a literary guide. I think I’ll return it and just casually continue reading. Or, I suppose, I can keep the book around so I don’t procrastinate in finishing it. Karamazov isn’t a difficult read. It’s just dense. Some of the material is like where you read it, then return back through to find your place, and only half remember it. I find those reads to be the most frustrating. I guess they are full of disparate details that might add character to a scene but don’t make the scene. I’ll read more 101 Habits… Screenwriters. It’s 3:16am.

It’s 3:40am. 100 pages left in 101 Habits… Screenwriters. It’s sometimes great, sometimes mediocre, but mostly, it’s just kinda neat to see that a lot of this is just fairly obvious stuff. Like TSAONGAF. I don’t know if I feel like writing a review of it today. I feel ahead of schedule but also tired and slightly unmotivated. It’s 3:43am.

It’s 5:22am. I went in on that book review. Even if the day goes to shit, I will try to drop off the book at a library. There might be a new book to catch my fancy. If not, passing the book along, and not letting it stay in my possession out of procrastination, should help guide me along toward a happy afternoon. Time for work. It’s 5:24am.

It’s 8:35am. My work schedule will change. Whether drastically or not, I suppose, depends on how the dice rolls. I got a 19 earlier then a 5. It’s 8:36am.

It’s 10:31am. Follow your passions while you hold down a stable job, then try to bring that passion into your job. That’s the summary of a conversation I just had. I’d prefer having my own passion pay for my lifestyle, but until then, it all works out. It’s 10:33am.

It’s 3pm. I dropped off the book at the library. One of my acquaintances will start at the company soon and I may work nights soon. We’ll see. The day turned out well. No good books to buy at this library. I’ll add Dracula to my hold list. There’s a park near this library. I think I’ll take a walk around there. It’s 3:02pm.

It’s 3:07pm. The park here is nice, even with the telltale signs of vagrancy – discarded hygiene items, tattered clothes, and smells that the dogs in the nearby dog park might enjoy. There were two “lending libraries” here, where if you take a free book, you should leave a book. Nothing good. There were two RL Stine books, but I have one already from my childhood. My tan from yesterday set in nicely. It’s hot out here. I’ll go home, read a few pages outside, and go from there. It’s 3:11pm.

It’s 4:37pm. I took the long drive home through town, picked up mail with no additional junk near the main office, and read a few pages of The Brothers Karamazov out on the patio. The sun isn’t as tanning today. The weather looks better tomorrow. I’ll try to read more of this book and when I want something easier, 101 Habits… Screenwriters and The Art Of War. Sure, I’m not cleaning up as much stuff, but when I do, it’s more decisive. If I think that I could be reading, writing, or exploring instead of doing something trivial, I’ll dump it faster and more efficiently. I’m thinking that although the sun is coming out more, I should row, bathe, and go to bed soon. I’m going to bring out all the eRecycling stuff I want to donate over the next day or two. Maybe I’ll do a donation run on Saturday? Or I could probably get everything into a bin tomorrow and go then. It will be out of the way and if it’s nice out tomorrow, maybe Saturday or Monday? Having it in the car will give me more options. It’s 4:43pm.

It’s 5:23pm. I wrote an email asking for another healthcare coordinator. A tree branch seemed to crash down, or at least, I heard it and saw some branch moving downward, but did not see it land or tip. I read more of 101 Habits… Screenwriters and The Art Of War. I rearranged my library wishlist to invite Dracula into my reserves after I finish the remaining 90% of The Brothers Karamazov, perhaps. I should read something lighter. Time, soon, to row. It’s 5:26pm. Oh, yeah. I was thinking about John and Trishna while I was walking through the park. The park had many beautiful flowers that she would enjoy and pathways that she could access. John, it seems, is more silent than I’ve imagined. I suppose he would prefer not to run his mouth into trouble, especially after finding himself in a good situation for once in his life. Although the library itself has subpar parking, I like the library, and may plan to attend next weekend’s book fair. I’m not sure how much I’ll buy because I have so many books already. I glanced over the books I own and just as I feared. I will probably donate more than one, maybe to a lending library thing, or maybe I can sell them online? I should row. It’s 5:31pm.

It’s 6:58pm. I’ve rowed and bathed. Now I should probably stop procrastinating and go to bed? Will I? For you, it will be seconds. For me… well… uhhh… I hope it’s not hours. It’s 6:59pm.

It’s 7:23pm. Tomorrow, I’ll get home to listen to the PCP outside. Saturday, I’ll drop off that electronic junk. Sunday, dunno. Monday, groceries. I’ll go to sleep soon. It’s 7:24. [40 minutes]

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Chapter 35: 1:30am, Friday the 6th of September

//My sleep schedule is about to get weird.

It’s not 1:30am. It’s 10:35pm on Thursday and I’m not sure how but I forced my way through my morning routine without noting my alarm hadn’t gone off. I guess I was hungry? I’m laying back down in bed. My coffee is done, I have lids on both cups. but it’ll probably be cold in 3 hours. If so, so it goes. It’s 10:38pm.

It’s 1:30am now. I dreamt of living and working in really swanky cool locations. My eyes are burning from the light. I wonder if my coffees are cold? It’s 1:33am.

It’s 1:56am. My mind was so tired that I, once again, scrolled mindlessly through colorful social media imagery. I feel more awake now. I’ll read lightly. I have an essay to publish, some stuff to download, and I think I’ll take it easy since that mid-sleep morning routine messed up my rhythm. It’s 1:58am.

It’s 3:49am. Maybe it was Lindsey Stirling’s new album playing in the background while publishing my review of TSAONGAF, but I felt great about the review, like my skills as a writer and reader are coalescing into something bigger for myself than my current obscurity and compromise. My head hurts. I think I drank too much water before bed and it hit me at the wrong moment, which caused everything to go astray. I’ll take some naproxen. When I see the doctor in a few weeks, I’ll ask about headaches, among other areas of inquiry. I’ll need to call the dentist today on break, lunch, or at home. My headache is somewhere behind my right eye. It’s a dull pain. If I crack my neck, it disperses slightly. If I touch my eye, by touching my eyelid, and press down slightly, it feels better. It’s 3:55am.

It’s 5:41am. I’m feeling better with some coffee in me and some social interaction to distract me. I wrote “Headaches and Sobrieties” which continues my uptick in my perception of my writing. If all goes well today, I’ll go home, listen to the PCP, and try to get to bed sooner rather than later. This coffee is bitter now. I might dump it out and focus on water for now. Another swig will do. It’s just the aftertaste, which is more fatigue than anything. It’s 5:44am.

It’s 8:12am. My headache feels worse. It’s manageable. I’ll still plan to go home after work. I could leave a little early, too… we’ll see… It’s 8:13am.

It’s 10:56am. The stress was psychological. Everything is fine. It’s 10:56am.

It’s 12:20pm. Everything is still fine. I rolled a D20 so it will be good. My 90-day review turned out well. No major issues and the minor issues are preferential rather than punitive. Dentist appointment next week. All’s good. It’s 12:21pm.

It’s 4:48pm. I just woke up from a nap thanks to a terrible headache that began preventing me from thinking clearly. Have you ever been driving and forget certain aspects of your work before you got in the car? Or how about details about the drive? It’s not fun. So I fell asleep for a solid half hour during the talk about reincarnation while listening to the PCP, woke up to the parade part, went back and listened from the meeting a celebrity part, and now am deciding whether to stay in bed and sleep more or get up and do stuff. My only obligations for tomorrow would be laundry and bathing. I can wait another day for laundry and I can take a quick shower tomorrow morning. At least this memory-reducing headache is gone. It’s 4:53pm.

It’s 5:29pm. I tried to sleep. I couldn’t. Let’s do that laundry and take that bath. It’s 5:30pm.

It’s 7:21pm. I have some clothes in the dryer, I have taken a bath, I listened to more of the PCP including figuring out that it was Endless Jess ranting about having opinions and sticking to them that woke me up from my dreamless slumber, and I read more of my three books. As much as I like reading The Brothers Karamazov, it is perhaps too challenging for me. I may try to knock out some easier fiction books. I’ll finish this chapter and if it feels too much like a challenge, then I’ll plan on reading other books.

A phone call came in from Las Vegas just now. I answered but did not say anything. They hung up. This was their third time trying to reach me today. They must not be desperate.

So, I will be working nights by the end of September. If I look over my calendar, that’s… some 17 more days, minus the last few to finagle the switch. It will be an interesting transition. I will gain more time for my three objectives: read, write, and process everything in my apartment-mansion. I won’t be gathering as many story ideas, per se, but I will be processing more things. I might use this or another space to write mundane observations of the office – probably elsewhere, so I can publish it years later, after I’ve moved on from the company, so I don’t risk my job – to practice writing. Socializing and such will just require different finagling.

As far as what to read if not The Brothers Karamazov, I’ll dig into some lighter classics, like Dracula and Frankenstein. We’ll see, though.

I’ve also fashioned a sleep… “eye blocker sleep”… sleep mask out of a concert shirt of a band I don’t care much about. If this does well, then I’ll rotate in shirts like this, or even buy a legit one. I’ll get my dried dress shirts, hang them up, then go to bed. It’s 7:34pm. [44 minutes]

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Chapter 36: 1:30am, Saturday the 7th of September

//It was like hitting every red light in town.

It’s 2:13am. I woke up at 1:30, let my second alarm at 1:35 wake me up, scrolled through my Twitter long enough to recall some long-forgotten game last told to me almost 20 years ago, if not longer, and then at around 1:50 tended to my morning routine. Instead of frozen vegetables, I had an underripe avocado, and will now read for a bit. I might put The Brothers Karamazov on hold because it is good but requires so much mental focus from me. It might be good to tackle in chunks or something. It’s 2:16am.

It’s 4:20am. Dude, I don’t feel great. I debated between staying home or not. I weighed the pros and cons. I decided that it was better for my Anthony persona to go in today rather than stay at home and practice my Zombiepaper persona. I can always leave early. I feel bloated, my right eye has a significant amount of pressure behind it, and I’m feeling starved, though. These are probably all psychosomatic symptoms of stress and anxiety. It would be good to have a day to unwind from this stress. Maybe it’s reading too much? Maybe it’s writing too much? Maybe it’s thinking too much over giving one’s self over to a vast nothingness of vapid entertainment for a time, emerging with a relaxed mind and body, having not bent one’s mind over understanding the peculiarities of the English language? My stomach is still turning. I don’t feel like going but I figure it’ll be better if I went. I can always leave early. It’s 4:26am.

It’s 5:20am. My gut is still disagreeing with me but writing always improves my mood. Essay writing. Fiction writing. This is good, but it’s just records keeping. Its insubstantial nature doesn’t satiate me. It’s 5:30am.

It’s 10:42am. I’m feeling better after eating some of my sandwiches, drinking tea, doing some work, drinking water, and going for a walkabout. It’s surprising how thinking outside myself can really help my self. It’s 10:43am.

It’s 4:58pm. I got home, rowed, wrapped up the PCP, and fell asleep in my reading chair, so it is time for bed. It’s 4:58pm. [20+6 minutes]

It’s 8:21pm on Saturday. We’re having some intense lightning that’s illuminating the sky and thunder crackling in the background and shaking the earth a bit. It’s 8:23pm.

It’s 8:37pm on Saturday. “The thunder outside is intense.” “Storm is moving fast. Was right on top of me a couple minutes ago, about 2-3 miles away now. At least the lightning part. Still rainy as fuck.” “I think I’m getting your Storm’s sloppy seconds.” There’s always room for these sorts of double entendre “if you know what I mean” jokes with IDKFA. The thunder has lessened. The lightning is gone. The rain gives a nice ambiance. I’ll only get a solid chunk of sleep of less than 5 hours now. Oh well. It’s 8:41pm.

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Chapter 37: 1:30am, Sunday the 8th of September

//Two days of gunk in the tank…

It’s 2:32am. I had a hard time sleeping last night, waking up this morning, and being mentally cognizant currently. I’m reaching the edge of my mental fortitude. My neck hurts. I’ll read a little and use the computer. If I feel about the same, I’ll call out sick. It’s 2:34am.

It’s 7:38am. I read two pages, couldn’t concentrate, so I called out sick. My first dream involved being sick. I wanted to capture more of the details but I’ve been awake for about ten minutes. My second dream had many of my personal objects being stores in a park. The depths of this clutter debauchery extended to the point where my clutter caused the park to shut down. I’m not sure how that happened. There was a side bit about how I owned some cursed objects, which haunted a particular area, but we got that sorted out. My third dream had me in this weird Pokemon world where I was adventuring, found some Pokemon at a church, and one of them asked if I wanted to take a vacation there since there was a pool at the church or not. I chose not and woke up. It’s 7:44am.

It’s 10:45am. I’m feeling better but it sure isn’t a 100% health day. I am catching up on backlogged stuff, which is helping me feel better, but it’s one of those days, too, where I wish I were in better spirits. I guess I needed the day off. It’s 10:46am.

It’s 1:28pm. I’ve been just wasting time, which I guess is my way of resetting my autonomy. I think part of the reason I wanted to stay home is that it’s such a battle doing this line of work. You have to fight for information and fight against personalities. When you’re not at your strongest, you can lose. It’s rough work. Especially when you have to be The One That Knows The Answer, or you’re judged for Not Knowing, and it’s like, come on, man. I want work that’s less like that. Less ambiguity and judgment. Writing is only about going from start to finish in a provocative way. It’s 1:32pm.

It’s 4:14pm. I haven’t written today. I’ve barely read. I feel more back to normal. In the “Clutter Is Dishonest” essay, I included a pessimistic note in the endtable, which put me in the headspace where I could pull myself back up. I fried some tofu and used crackers to dip it up. I’ll now read for a while. It’s 4:17pm.

It’s 4:51pm. I’ve only written for about 18 minutes so far today. I feel really depressed. I’m not sure if it’s a general ennui kind of a thing. I kinda feel like I want an energy drink or something just to elate me slightly so, but it’s also late enough in the evening where that wouldn’t be good. I’m deciding what to do tomorrow. I still need to drop off that computer stuff. I left some cassette tapes at the bottom since they could sell them, but maybe not. I don’t really need any groceries. I just need to get out of this rut. Maybe I’ll write something on the computer. This sort of mood better fits a Sober Living essay. It’s 4:54pm.

It’s 7:41am. I grueled my way through writing “Library Book Sale” and arrived with a comfortable way to go about it. I’ll summarize it here: Buy one, read it; Buy many, dissect a box, fit it all back in, donate anything I won’t read in the next year. It was worthwhile, like taking the day off. I didn’t really take advantage of the day fully, but I got all that gnarled gunk out of my system. It’s ironic to you as the reader that this would have happened. I just write it as I feel it. It’s unbiased writing. I don’t really interpret the word choices in the moment. But yeah, I think drinking all that water Thursday too late into the evening tricked my body into waking up too early, which threw off my body on Friday, which didn’t repair itself for the Saturday rush. Funny how all that falls into place with hindsight. Well, I’ll take a bath and hopefully get some good sleep. It’s 7:48pm.

It’s 8:44pm now. I took that bath then finished volume two of Kurosagi. I’m in bed now. I won’t get much sleep tonight but at least all those psychological toxins are purged out. I’m not sure how they got in. Was it my customers? Was it that water? Was it the thunder and lightning? Was it being more Anthony than Zombiepaper? With my new schedule, hopefully I’ll have more breathing time throughout my night shift to unwind. I can’t live a life of continual stress like these past few days. I have many more years in me if I can avoid that bullshit. It’s 8:48pm. [34 minutes]

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Chapter 38: 1:30am, Monday the 9th of September

//I was in the dumps, I endured dumps, then I went to dumps.

It’s 1:47am. It just started raining about 10 minutes ago with a torrential downpour that may be overwhelming to swim through. The weather reports haven’t picked this up yet. In fiction writing, I think that’s what would get noticed – disruptions or anomalies. If it rained for three days, it wouldn’t be as noteworthy as how it just started. I remembered a dream, too: I was dropping someone off at the airport, so we went to a fast food place that was slow, so I asked for my money back and got it in change. We had trouble finding parking. I’m not sure what any of that means. It’s 1:53am.

It’s 4:57am. I’m in the parking lot at work. My stomach feels just as gnarled as yesterday and the day before, but at least my mind is mostly clear. It has its quirks going on. I’m fuzzy on some minor details so I know I’m not feeling the best. I brought two library books to return – Kurosagi volume 2 and the Karamazov Cliffsnotes – in case Post Office by Bukowski is in. If not, I may drop them off tomorrow since today I’m likely just to go home. It’s 5:00am.

It’s 5:22am. I wrote 3/5th of “Daily Dumpster Dive” but my gut is disagreeing with me, and my mind isn’t sharp. I’ll plan to go home unless I get a notification that the library book arrived. Maybe even if it does. It’s 5:23am.

It’s 10:42am. I’m feeling better. It’s either drinking more water, eating some food, or distracting my mind. I’m at lunch now and halfway through my shift. It’s 10:43am.

It’s 12:42pm. I’m feeling much better. If this continues, I could be ready for an adventure. It’s 12:42pm.

It’s 2:54pm. I rolled a D20 when I asked myself if I should go on an adventure, so here I am to drop off those library books across town. We had a sudden rain storm at work. “That’s the end of summer.” At least my car is clean. I’m going to look for Bram Stoker’s Dracula here, see what else is around, and maybe get an energy drink before maybe heading back home? It’s 2:56pm.

It’s 3:14pm. Oops. I bought one book I’ve been curious about reading, Meditations by Marcus Aurilius, a Bukowski book of poems called The Last Night Of The Earth Poems, and to round out the pack for an even $2 purchase, Rabbit, Run by John Updike. A child screamed like a brat as I looked for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, of which they had a knock-off that knocked off the A, and a Gojira CD since I’ve had “To Sirius” stuck in my head. All three are gone. I might read a bit of Meditations. It’s 3:18pm.

It’s 4:03pm. I read the inside overlay bio and then left. After cruising the cans, without anything noteworthy, I got home during a dry spell, and will finish writing “Daily Dumpster Dive.” It’s 4:05pm.

It’s 5:39pm. Actually, it was just a few seconds ago that I concluded that last paragraph. I forgot to conclude it. I’m tired now. I probably won’t row tonight. I might read a little bit then go to bed early. It’s 5:40pm.

It’s 7:32pm. I read my evening dailies. Now it’s time for bed. No rowing or bathing today. I’ll wake up early, read, decide where I want to go – if it’s just the dentist, or if I also want to drop off those electronic junk items, or if I also want to send some CDs or books over to the online store to sell them for a rip-off. I’ll decide tomorrow. It’s 7:35pm. [27 minutes]

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Chapter 39: 1:30am, Tuesday the 10th of September

//If I drove to many errands, did I run around?

It’s 2:08am. I was going to start reading, but I’ve lost my beanie somewhere. Yesterday, I wrote “My 1,000th Essay,” and made a quip about not wanting to write a review of 101 Habits… Screenwriters. I think I said everything I wanted to say about the book offhandedly in that essay. If I change my mind, it will be after I find my beanie and finish reading it. It’s 2:10am.

It’s 2:47am. Finished. I took a photo of the book with my writing chair as a backdrop. Now I’m onto reading Writing Tools by Roy Clark, as my third of four books borrowed from J.D. back in February? It’s 2:48am.

It’s 3:45am. It could be the lack of caffeine or it could be reading saturation. I feel exhausted. It feels nice compared to most exhaustion because it’s that mental sort of exhaustion where you could go to sleep and feel rested after a spell. I might do that. Writing Tools is almost immediately better than 101 Habits… Screenwriters, but we’ll see how it turns out. It’s 3:47am.

It’s 3:56am. That fatigue was due to biological physiology. I ate a sandwich, peed, drank some water, and am feeling refreshed with my coffee. I will probably take a nap at some point before 8am. I’m debating still whether I want to run those errands. It’d be nice to clear out space in the apartment-mansion. I don’t have quite enough for anything other than the electronics junk run. Maybe I’ll put together a box of CDs to sell, a box to donate, and go exploring? I didn’t quite wince to that. It didn’t quite appeal to me either. I think working night shift will inspire me to get out more. There will be less social friction at night. I’ll have time to decompress at work. It should be nice. It’s 4am.

It’s 9:15am. I slept for about three hours and am feeling sluggish but not terrible. I’ve been sitting in bed for a while, unmotivated. I should probably get some food, bathe, and decide on a course of action for today. I need to get gas and groceries, so I might as well drop off that electronics junk. Unless it’s raining, I suppose, and I can just leave it in the trunk until the next time I go, which, I’m going to see Arkona next Sunday at the end of my workweek, so I might as well go today. It will be raining somewhat in the evening. I think I’ll go to the dentist, get gas, stop that ejunk off, get groceries, and git gud. It’s 9:21am.

It’s 12:10pm. I’ve been waiting in the lobby at the dentist for 10 minutes. Filled out the paperwork. Appointment was noon, frantically rescheduled from 12:30pm, and I filled out all the paperwork. There was a clamorous pothole in the parking lot. Not a great first impression. It’s 12:11pm.

It’s 1:35pm. A quote from 12:30: “She’s good at, like, writing.” I’m fine with this dentist, overall. I’m going to find an energy drink then go get some gas. It’s 1:37pm.

2:03pm. I’m waiting in line for gas. The two energy drinks I got were underwhelming. One tastes like a skim milk creamsicle, except more mechanical, and the other an acceptable blueberry concoction. I picked the slow line but it’s still going acceptably fast. I might even get a spot soon. It’s 2:06pm.

It’s 2:35pm. I filled up on gas no less than 30 seconds after that paragraph’s conclusion and went to the attached supermarket. No good books for new prices. Got some Vitamin E. As I was leaving, a person from my past was 90% checking his phone, 10% walking toward me. Sometimes in life, some people aren’t worth rekindling friendships with. He is by no means a bad person. Quite the opposite. It was just, concluding one phase of my life, I had inconvenienced him in a way that ripples out into my life today; insignificantly. He seems to be doing well. I’ve taken care of most of my errands. I’ll go explore some more. It’s 2:39pm.

It’s 3:34pm. I browsed through my first thrift store since “One Free Book” looking for other books. Nothing piqued my interest. I may start doing that more when those sorts of wanderlust itches need s scratch. I didn’t look elsewhere in the store. I went to another supermarket, this time to buy that new Lindsey Stirling CD, and also to get groceries. I’m consumered up for the week, although even with my frozen vegetables slowly thawing out in the trunk, I still feel like looking around a bit. But to where? I don’t need anything else. I didn’t need any of this right now, except the Vitamin E and toilet paper, and even that still has enough time where next week would be when I would have needed it. I don’t need any more books. I’m hungry. I suppose I should go home now. It’s 3:39pm.

It’s 5:56pm. I picked up the olive green hat I’d been thinking about for the past few days in the background, along with some energy drinks and some bread, put everything away, and have been loafing about. I’m actually fairly tired. I don’t feel like rowing or reading. I should fill in my calorie numbers for today. [It went from 5:58pm to 6:02pm.] Now I’m debating whether I should go to sleep early or not. Most likely will, since I don’t feel like doing much else today. I’ll wrap it up here. It’s 6:03pm. [34 minutes]

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Chapter 40: 1am, Wednesday the 11th of September

//I was as productive as I wanted to be…

It’s 1:11am. I woke up before my alarm. I thought of how I wanted to spend the day: reading and writing before 8am, then cleaning until 4pm, then be in bed by, say, 6pm? It’s 1:13am.

It’s 2:43am. Writing Tools is fantastic. Now onto Meditations. It’s 2:44am.

It’s 3:28am. I’ve wrapped up my first pass of all my weekend books. I think reading a few books at a time works well. Meditations is somewhat boring. Art Of War is dense. Having things to mix them up prevents the reading from getting tedious. Having a manga in there is nice to mix it up even further. I’m not sure if I want to take a second pass through. It will make processing books easier if I can practice this reading muscle more by reading more, but also, it’s a balancing act. I have until 8am to be quiet, so I’ll probably do all my writing and editing before 8am. Will I take a crack at editing Travelogue Trivialities and this very essay? The former needs more research. The latter needs adaption. We’re at… some 38k words out of the 1000k or one million I’d like to aim this toward. I don’t see any degradation of this app’s performance while writing this many words, but I know it can happen. When I decide to start adapting, I’ll start a new WriterP document. Until then, I’ll take care of biology and decide how I want to spend the next few hours. It’s 3:35am.

It’s 9:45am. I spun a coin and landed “heads” for bed, slept, and pulled myself away from lethargy just well enough to get back to my reading chair, having figured out a better way to cook tofu along the way. I should focus on clearing out my living room. I don’t have the energy for this. I don’t feel like doing much at all right now. I don’t want to engage in any active voice verbs like reading, writing, or cleaning. I just want entertainment to be inflicted on me until this wave of, I suppose, exhaustion carries me elsewhere into a state where I’m more interested in doing something. It’s 9:49am.

It’s 5:05pm. We’ve been apart all day, haven’t we? Well, I was exhausted from either reading or that general fatigue I’ve been feeling, so I slept until around noon. I cleared out enough recycling to justify throwing out all of my recycling and one bag of garbage then decided to explore the mild forest. I went down to the stream and walked over to the other complex, accidentally through someone’s backyard, and arrived at a storage locker of some kind before turning back. I like the area back there but I’ve explored it all now, basically, other than a part that leads to the main road. I think on days like today, where it’s nice enough to sit out on my patio in my folding chair, where I have the day off, it will be nice to walkabout for maybe 30 minutes, like I did, and to forget myself and technology. I took a photo of some American shorts along the way. I still haven’t written my daily essay. I’ll do that out here. It’s 5:10pm.

It’s 5:32pm. Done with writing. I’ll shave, bathe, and read until exhaustion. Tomorrow and Friday, I don’t have any particular errands to run, other than checking my mail. I don’t even need to take out this recycling I have half-filling a bin or my half-full box of donations. I can pick up Post Office by Bukowski at any point between now and next week. I might prefer to pick it and the next Kurosagi volume up at the same time. Saturday afternoon will be the library book fair. Sunday afternoon is Arkona. I have off on Monday, then I start my big week for having done that shift swap. No, I have two days off. It’s the week after that will be tough. I don’t know if I feel like stopping by a thrift store just to drop off one box of things. Otherwise, I think this week, one of my final on days hopefully for the duration of my time with this company, should go well. It’s 5:38pm.

It’s 7:25pm. I’m about one and a half hours overscheduled for sleeping. I did shave, bathe, and read enough Meditations until I was tired. I’m in bed wearing my XXXL Clutch hoodie over my sleeping jacket to keep my head warm. I wouldn’t be able to use this as an eye mask during the days when I’d need to sleep. I’ll figure something out. Tomorrow, I’ll meet with my supervisor to plan my time for working nights. It’ll be nice not having constant overstimulation. It’s 7:28pm. [29 minutes]

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Chapter 41: 1:30am, Thursday the 12th of September

//I’m tired but sometimes it’s not bad.

It’s 1:55am. I didn’t really dream, if I did, it wasn’t really important enough to remember. I had some trouble waking up and the XXXL Clutch hoodie was a bit too hot. It felt good. I’m now making breakfast and will read Meditations for about a half hour then catch up on my digital stuff. My veggies are nearly done. It’s 1:57am.

It’s 2:10am. That dream was my hesitation toward selling my spare NES games. I’m still not mentally ready to do so. I have about twenty minutes of reading time. It’s go. It’s 2:11am.

It’s 4:05am. That’s all done. Published yesterday’s essay, took care of some other digital work, and before all that, read. Now it’s time to head to work. I’m not sure what essay I’ll write today. It’s 4:07am.

It’s 10:15am. I’m on my lunch break. The problem with knowing exactly what you want out of life is that you end up changing people’s expectations of their perception of you. You may say: “I actually don’t want to do that, I want to do this.” Then they may have to put you in a different box. For shame, right? Well, I think I’ll go pick up Post Office from the library today, and if the Kurosagi manga and Blood, Sweat, and Pixels arrives later, well, that’ll be another trip. I’m feeling good and made some decent rolls today, so it should be fine. I am still rather tired, so maybe I’ll take an alternate route back home that won’t be terrible. We’ll see. When I get home, I’ll need to clear out some stuff since one of my main living room lights burned out and it’s easier to get this replaced in the middle of the month. We’ll see. I am tired right now, so I might just get home, prepare for tomorrow, row, bathe, read, and sleep in short order. I feel a little ill, so I should take care not to push myself. It’s 10:21am.

It’s 3:40pm. I chatted with an old colleague that’s now working in the same building as me for a while then picked up Post Office at the library. There was a book, an Alan Moore comic, that I might have bought in another timeline or lifetime, but this me? Nah. I bought two Bangs, a Birthday Cake Bash for the road and a Purple Haze for later. The cashier winced at me, like he was embarrassed that I bought these. Who cares? Now it’s time to probably get home by 4:30pm? Not too much later than a month ago. It’s 3:43pm.

It’s 5:20pm. It did take about one hour to get home. I don’t feel like reading or rowing. I should prepare my clothes for tomorrow and bathe. Otherwise, I think I’ll call it in early tonight. It’s 5:21pm.

It’s 6pm. I put my clothes out, bathed, and am now in bed. I spin a coin or roll a dice or roll a random letter generator when I’m unsure of what to do in life and generally follow that randomized future. “Heads,” head to bed, “tails” read and do laundry. I spun heads. Tomorrow, I’ll read probably Post Office, then catch up on my daily essay. Tomorrow’s will probably be about buying stuff that’s cool but not essential and how I’ve stopped doing that. Maybe. I’ll make a note so I don’t have to remember. OK, it’s next to the photo, so I should remember. It’s time to wrap it up for today. It’s 6:05pm. [22 minutes]

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Chapter 42: 1:30am, Friday the 13th of September

//Obligations don’t offer distractions of delight. Only doing organically dreamy options delight.

It’s 1:31am. I was walking around this old museum I had gone to as a kid. The plastic ice cream cones and other wild things had degraded slightly. I was on a tour with someone personal and mildly manipulative. I’ll read Post Office in a bit. It’s 1:34am.

It’s 3:29am. No editing or publishing. Instead, I’m about one-third, no approximately one-fourth, of the way done. Bukowski’s vignettes are vibrant! I should want to buy more of his books to study his craft. I read some of Writing Tools. It’s good to know the academia but I’m disgusted by that writer’s obsession over adverbs just as I’m disgusted over formality. There is a time and place to play dress-up. We all do it. Any time you undress from your pajamas and wash up to go to work, shaving away yesterday’s sins from your face, washing off the grime of free time, you perform. Literature is at its best when it undulates between precise formalities and experimental freakouts of unfathomable depths, exploring aspects of psyche unavailable to us in movies and videogames. One writer, like Bukowski here, can show how sin begets sin, and just leave it there like a sentence without a It’s 3:36am.

It’s 5:33am. I think I’ll read fiction early into the morning so that its creativity permeates into the day, and when I reach a good stopping point, I’ll switch over to reading about writing or self-improvement and read that into the evening so I can conclude the day with the drier materials. I felt like I got a good number of hours of sleep but my slower reflexes show that that amount of sleep wasn’t really great quality sleep. Tonight, I’ll do some laundry, row, bathe, and read. Tomorrow will be the library book sale and the day after, Arkona, with the two days after that being for rest and resorting. Until then, I’ll just keep an even pace to avoid burning out by the show. I might try to cut the book fair short if I can. It’s 5:39am.

It’s 10:35am. I’m standing out in the yard on my lunch break. When I switch to nights, I’m not sure I’ll still do this, unless I want some excitement. I have less than 9 minutes before I need to be back at my desk and back to work. We talked about Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’m interested in buying a copy, either at the book sale, or soon. I’ve gotta schedule my optical appointment soon, too. I’ll do it now. It’s 10:38am.

It’s 12:30pm. I’m still planning to get home, do laundry, row while listening to the PCP, then bathe, read, and go to bed. Nothing too exciting. At least it hasn’t been too stressful today. It’s 12:31pm.

It’s 5:17pm. My last few calls of the day were terrible. I’m in a bad mood, mostly. I’ve had enough of the pittering of Aurelius in Meditations. I’ve dropped it at 90 pages of 170. Not officially yet, but soon. He’s got some good points but that translator is awfully dull. Writing Tools is even more pedantic than provocative. I guess all is tame compared to like likes of Bukowski. I’ll read more of Post Office tomorrow. No rowing today. I am nearly ready for bed. It feels like a waste having not rowed today but I’m not feeling that great. I think I was hyping myself up too much today. I’ll normally have my own pittering of excitement over rowing that won’t need external validation. I think it’s time for bed now. It’s 5:22pm. [27 minutes]

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Chapter 43: 1:30am, Saturday the 14th of September

//All it took was ephemeral fun to disembowel the fury.

It’s 1:33am. I woke up at 1:10am, having learned to check the time before I begin waking up, having woken up from a dream where I was at a version of work with a significantly bigger lobby. I had cheated my way to a longer lunch and then through some unrelated processes was caught. So, I woke up. Now I’m starting to feel the value of getting more sleep since I don’t feel that usual morning fatigue. I wonder how that will change after I switch to nights? It’s 1:36am.

It’s 1:57am. There was a knocking at a neighbor’s door and a dog barking, but just barely audible. I looked through my peephole and saw nothing abnormal. I slid my sliding glass door open and heard nothing. It might have been a fairly routine thing since I’ll hear a dog bark in the mornings for just under a minute at around that time. I’ll read more Post Office now. I don’t know if I’ll hop onto the computer today. I should write something rowing related today. I’ll figure it out. It’s 2am.

It’s 2:42am. I read Post Office at a good clip for a while, but it’s time to mix it up. The small of my back is a bit sore from reading and half of my coffee is still in its cup rather than caffeinating me. I’m looking forward to that library book sale today. I hope it will either be a glorious disappointment or I’ll get a small handful of books to read. Everything’s loaded on my laptop now. It’s 2:45am.

It’s 5:43am. I completed my publishing and listened to the new Calabrese album before listening to some PCP. My essay this morning is mixing the sobriety stuff into my other topics. I’m not sure if that’s oversaturation but at least I’m being honest with others and helpful for myself. It’s 5:44am.

It’s 12:22pm. I wrote a bit more of what was “Becoming A Salesperson” but is now “Battery Buyback Bonanza.” I’m late to get back. It’s 12:25pm.

It’s 3:55pm. I had to stay late. I went to the wrong library. The right library had the wrong kind of book sale: one of those cozy, friendly, rambunctious affairs. They had two books of mild interest. The post office’s lobby was closed. I’m sitting at the Q*Bert cocktail cabinet of the local arcade, looking to blow off all that steam. It’s 3:58pm.

It’s 4:24pm. I learned the mechanics a little for Q*Bert on my first quarter. I learned the mechanics a little more on [haha] my second quarter. I practiced a bit on Bubble Bobble on my third quarter. I played a run where I got to round 19 with 411,970 points on my fourth quarter. I blew off all that steam better than if I had purchased that mammoth Call Of The Wild hardback I’m not interested in reading. Tonight, I’ll row, bathe, and read, unless bigger plans happen. It’s 4:28pm.

It’s 7:43pm. No bigger plans happened. I rowed, bathed, and read. I have 69 pages left of Meditations. I’ll slog through it yet. I’ll bring Post Office with me the next time I’m there to take my review photo. I’m actually kind of happy I didn’t buy anything today because then I will have more focus on the books I own and can borrow from the library. I’ll slowly add more books into my keep boxes and filter out the rest. Tomorrow, if I go to the used music store before the show, I’ll sell off some CDs and look for Nirvana stuff. It’s bedtime. My mind is as tired as my eyes and body. It’s 7:48pm. [30 minutes]

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Chapter 44: 1:30am, Sunday the 15th of September

//51 pounds down doesn’t mean no more bullshit

It’s 2:17am. I was exhausted waking up because I was working in my sleep. I’m 51 pounds down as of today. Now I’m cooking veggies and making coffee before reading or maybe writing since yesterday’s rowing essay is more general. Coffee’s done. Veggies’s sizzling. Reading’s awaiting. It’s 2:20am.

It’s 8:12am. Read two pages of Meditations, two or four of Writing Tools, then published the Rowing essay, before going into work. Started easy then all the stressful people called in. Easy for you, Aurelius. You didn’t have people screaming at you about inane bullshit. But, your meditations are worth considering. I’m just too tired right now for too much inanity or insanity. It’s 8:15am.

It’s 10:56am. It’s worked out a bit better now and I’m halfway through my day. I’ve had a headache lingering around. We’ll see if it persists or, like yesterday, immediately goes away after I clock out. It’s 10:58am.

It’s 3:15pm. I’m home now, without that stress headache, ready to sleep for two hours before the show. It’s 3:16pm.

It’s 5:54pm. I’m in my car wearing my Chthonic shirt waiting to get picked up by IDKFA for the show. I’ll wrap here. It’s 5:55pm. [11 minutes]

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Chapter 45: 7:30am, Monday the 16th of September

//I got outside my comfort zone but I didn’t do everything I wanted.

It’s 7:46am. I have a dehydration headache and fatigue. I woke up about 10 minutes ago. My alarm is scheduled for 8am. All is as expected. I’ll get some breakfast, bathe, read, and write. Thoughts on the show in a bit. The dreams I had were the usual explorations of vestiges not of reality but simulacra that imply this reality. It’s 7:49am.

It’s 9:29am. The show was good. Kerr Ring played good Zeuhl rock. Wind Rose played good metal. Metsatöll played great folk metal. Arkona played great death metal with folk elements. I passed on any shirts, accidentally passed on getting a Kerr Ring sticker, and bought the newest Metsatöll album. Glad I went. It dislodged some psychological frustrations I had lingering in my mind. It’s easy to let life take advantage of you, but when I go to shows, I’m reminded of the power I do have. I got breakfast, later than I anticipated because that fatigue was still oppressive, and am now in my reading chair. I’ll read for a bit. Later today, I’ll collect some boxes to bring to the thrift store, look around at books, get groceries, and then arrive home to write and publish. It’s 9:35am.

It’s 3:04pm. I had lunch and put together two boxes of things to donate. I’m now in my car ready to drive over to a thrift store to drop off these boxes, look at books, pick up some frozen vegetables from the grocery store, return home to read, write, row, then with what little time remains of the day, go to sleep at a reasonable hour to wake up early enough to rinse and repeat. I should be back by 5pm. It’s 3:06pm.

It’s 3:58pm. “Was there anything over there?” “Hmm?” “You took a pi-cture.” “Oh, there were some tools, which was weird.” “Hmm.” I bought my bargain bin, no high fructose corn syrup-laced energy drink, and left the bodega to walk past the tool bag – chisels, screwdrivers, and pens in a bag – next to an overturned couch on my way back to the car parked at the thrift shop. The nearby restaurant, a family favorite, is now closed. The thrift store had overpriced everythings: anime statues, nerdy hats, and some books of assorted interest. Kondo Marie’s book on tidying up landed there for $2. I’m sure she’d be happy about that. There was a book by Richard Feynman I nearly bought but I already have another one and $2 wasn’t a great deal. Others were of even lesser interest. I donated everything except the colorful little boxes with miniboxes, which I might use for LEGOs, and the guy who handled my donation looked almost like Dr. Mindbender. Time to get groceries for the week and go back home, maybe by 5pm still? It’s 4:06pm.

It’s 4:48pm. I won’t make it home by 5pm. I stopped into one grocery store to get some frozen vegetables, left without any additional energy drinks, but there was another store; an international grocery store. These places are great. They had expired kvass, which I nearly bought until I found out it has 0.5% or less alcohol, which is too much for me. I don’t drink kombucha. Passed on that. They did have other cool drinks I last saw at Uwajimaya, so, the next time I’m in this part of town I’ll stop by for cheap Bang energy drinks, at least. It’s 4:52pm.

It’s 9:44pm. I got home just before 5:22pm, which is around the time I recall putting away my energy drinks, my own energy being depleted. I’m not sure what I did until 7pm, when I wrote until 8pm. I unwound for a bit, procrastinating with apartment tour videos and other dumb stuff. I still feel exhausted. I should sleep in tomorrow. I will. It’s 9:47pm. [27 minutes]

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Chapter 46: 4:30am, Tuesday the 17th of September

//Exploring old stomping grounds…

It’s 5:10am. I still have that lingering headache and subtle fatigue. I’m going to read until 6am then edit and write. I think I’ll try to get home by 1pm so I can make sandwiches, row, bathe, and sleep by a reasonable hour. I don’t need to go in until later tomorrow but traffic is always bad, and I’ll need to make sure I can find a parking spot. It’s 5:13am.

It’s 7:23am. I read Meditations until I was tired, Writing Tools until I was tired, two pages of Post Office then Art Of War, and ended up needing to sleep for nearly one hour. I should write an essay soon. Either on the Kondo book at the thrift store, maybe tying into her second book, or maybe something else? I’ll have to decide shortly because I need to wrap that up, maybe processing my medical paperwork, bathing, and departing for IKEA before 10am. It’s 7:27am.

It’s 10:46am. I wrote about the concert and my guidelines for buying souvenirs. I’ll have to call about the medical paperwork because even when you’re employed, benefits are a pain, so hopefully I can get this sorted out. I’m now at IKEA and would write my before thoughts but I’m meeting a friend. It’s 10:47am.

It’s 2:13pm. IKEA represents that sort of plasticine lifestyle of those young, hip digital nomads that write vapid materials for minor publications. We hung out in one apartment for a while. “This looks exactly like my apartment!” Three women entered the apartment, wandered around, and gathered ideas for their next decoration sensation. After that, I went to the bin store. It’s been over a year since the pungent stench of urine, body odors, and debris filled my nostrils. No books of interest. One Hulk type creature – just its upper body – and a Captain America without its head and with weird paint marks. I might have once bought both and more. Now, someone else can, or no one else can. I might go to the thrift store and library near here just to check those boxes off. As I was leaving, two people were loading up their car as a third stood nearby a trash can. “Yeah, about a week ago, I found a Versace sweater with the tags still on it! You just gotta-” and the wind, rain, and road noise obscured the rest, but it was probably something about attendance or diligence. Let’s go. It’s 2:20pm.

It’s 2:43pm. Along the way from the previous thrift store and the next is a library. This is the rough part of town. Not just because businesses will use Comic Sans on their storefronts but because there are people doped up, crouching in alleyways, loiterers scoping out sights, if they’re not walking around high. As I walked into the library, a security guard walked out to tell some people they couldn’t loiter. “We’re just waiting for a friend.” They were gone by the time I returned. It’s 2:46pm.

It’s 3:12pm. I just explored this last thrift store that had been in my mind for a while. Its furniture is rearranged and now it has a “thief wall of shame.” I nearly bought an overpriced copy of Carnegie’s book about enjoying life and work, but I have so many self-improvement books to read, and they didn’t have Dracula. I thought of buying a Satre book. The library had a retro toy shop and comics shop nearby it, but I wasn’t feeling particularly interested. If I don’t want to buy anything, why go? It’s 3:15pm.

It’s 6:43pm. Drove home. Had to leave a voicemail about the medical stuff because it was still broken. Did a load of laundry. Started a new donation box. Made six days of sandwiches using hummus instead of peanut butter. The experiment seemed good before. If that works, there are three containers of guacamole to go through; one in the fridge, two in the freezer. Meditations is good but poorly edited. Almost done. Maybe a week more of reading? More Kurosagi manga after this aside. It’s 6:47pm.

It’s 6:49pm. I’m going to try to remember the day’s events that I forgot to mention. At IKEA, there wasn’t much more. I am surprised there are people out during the day. That’s what I hate most about a 9am to 5pm. I can’t do anything during the day. At the bin store, as I was looking over books, there was a guy hanging around some old encyclopedias almost mocking me by miming opening a book and licking his finger to read each page. Or he was high. Considering the area, the latter might be more likely. At the library, this dude was walking across a road, head fully tilted down looking entirely at his phone, and nearly stopped in the middle of the street at something. Across the street was a woman appearing young with a walker hunched over in a corner in the middle of some sort of daze. At the other thrift store, I made eye contact with someone I thought I recognized, but no. Otherwise, other than not really properly unwinding, I suppose, I feel fine. I might wake up early to edit, shave, bathe, then leave. I’d have to bathe right at 8am, leave by 8:30am, hopefully to account for traffic. If not, I could be in for a nasty commute, inability to go to the library, or no parking at work. It’s 6:56pm.

It’s 8:18pm. I blasted through Meditations and Kurosagi. Tomorrow, I’ll edit, shave, bathe, drop off Kurosagi, pick up Kurosagi and Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, maybe even a new book to purchase, park at work, write, work, go home, row, bathe, and sleep. Should be fine. It’s 8:20pm. [37 minutes]

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Chapter 47: 4:30am, Wednesday the 18th of September

//A lucky break or stressful situation? Lean into your favorite.

It’s 5am. I woke up with the thought about how I’m not an antimaterialistic monk. Thanks, Kurosagi. It’s also much easier to sleep in until 4:30am than waking up at 1:30am. I wonder if I’ll have that same notion waking up at 7pm versus… 6pm if I needed to do something in the evening, I guess. I’d have less traffic and more time for my own stuff, too, so it wouldn’t be such a fight like it is now. Less than two weeks now… Now, however, it’s time to slog through more of Meditations for 30 minutes before hopping on the computer to edit until about 7:30am. It was 5:05am.

It’s 7:54am. I did all that and registered my rower. We’ll see if they will help since I should have registered with 30 days. Oops. Now that I’ve shaved, I’m nearly ready to bathe, then get outta here. The library doesn’t open until 10am, when I’m scheduled to start, so I’ll either go tomorrow after work or tonight if traffic sucks at 6:30pm. It’s 7:55am.

It’s 9:32am. No parking stalls open at work. I circled the lot twice. The landscapers had blocked off five stalls to park their truck. I worried about where to park then they moved it. I circled around for a third time and asked “Can I park here?” “Yes.” “Thank you!” “Welcome.” The commute was a terrible hour of precise driving. I drove behind a slow company truck with a fast contractor truck behind me. I’m glad to work nights. Maybe I’ll switch to evenings next shift bid? It’s 9:36am.

It’s 4:22pm. I finished “Hands In Pockets.” I might have to skip Michale Graves since no one will shift swap with me or I could go to the show then do a half day. I’ll have to think about it. I did three D20 dice rolls. Split shifts could work out OK. Not too sure yet. It’s 4:25pm.

It’s 7:09pm. I’m sitting in the library, slouched, with my right leg over my left knee. I have both books in my arm and am considering buying a Malcolm Gladwell book for a dollar. If I buy it, it will slot in after Meditations, after Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, and after 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Maybe before Hagakure? I’m more interested in Hagakure. Pass. If no one wants to shift bid, then tomorrow I may pass on seeing Michale Graves. A split shift might be OK, but I don’t want to chance it. I’ll go home, work on the rower, maybe skip rowing, bathe, then sleep. It’s 7:13pm.

It’s 9pm. The rower’s backlight is nearly dead. That pisses me off. Tomorrow, I have to call the medical company to get my paperwork squared away. I’ll only get about 4 hours of sleep tonight. I’ll wrap it up here. It’s 9:01pm. [42-21 minutes]

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Chapter 48: 2am, Thursday the 19th of September

//Too tired to sleepwalk through life

It’s 2:50am. What a rough morning! I’m only now settling in for coffee and reading. I’ll skip the computer, read until 3:30am or so, then get ready for work. Both my cups of coffee are almost full. It’s 2:51am.

It’s 5:21am. Finished Meditations. My benefits are all squared away except for my account, which I’ll email in about today, so that’s a relief. I think I’ll finish Post Office then finish reading Blood, Sweat, and Pixels since I was reading that at the Seattle Indies Support group I used to attend. After that, we’ll see. Tonight, I’ll pick up my mail, tend to the rower, and maybe get more than 4 hours of sleep? It’s 5:24am.

It’s 10:23am. I’m sitting in my car on my lunch break. It’s hectic in there. I may luck out with one or two of the days off, but I’ll need to take PTO for one day. I should go get that squared away shortly after concluding this paragraph. The rowing company is helping me out. Without Twitter and the photography, I’d be in a jam. I have no other thoughts currently, besides using the restroom. It’s 10:26am.

It’s 12:28pm. Everything is nice and boring. I think it was because there was so much stress that now things have calmed down. I’ll try to get some sleep tonight so hopefully things will stay good for a while. It’s 12:30pm.

It’s 2:29pm. I’m getting gas. The next time I do will be on my new schedule. 213.3 miles since my last gas fill-up. I found someone that could shift swap. We’ll see. There’s a box truck fueling up along with one other car. I might need to wait for both. Things are working out ok. I’ll get home, photograph the rower receipt, row, bathe, then read more of either Post Office or BSP. I guess it’s a coin toss for either one? It’s 2:34pm.

It’s 3:22pm. This will probably be my last library visit in a while. Yes, I have less than two weeks before my night shift starts. I’ll finish everything and turn them in when I can. I felt like getting a fiction book so I’ve added Mindbend by Robin Cook to the mix after Updike. The park near my childhood library is full of vagrants, or maybe, it always had but we were distracted away from that unfortunate truth. I’m watching, or was before I started writing, one and now two bike tricksters. There was a pool here once. Now it is two pools never filled with water. The kids are doing well. I’m enjoying the sun but I need to get my mail and play some Bubble Bobble. It’s 3:26pm.

It’s 3:40pm. I’m leaning over the same post office table I always lean over when I’m here. The white paint is still peeling. Bukowski would be neutral to it. I think I’ll take a photo of Post Office here before I return it. No-name pawn shops are a great spot to learn self-confidence. The people there are looking for money in – buyers – and money out – thieves. There is a – I’ll move outside – sign outside the shop that says no sunglasses. I walked in with two people watching me. “I hope you don’t mind. They’re transition.” I took off my glasses so they could see my eyes. “…We just put that up there to see if… people can read.” “That’s a good one there!” I looked over the DVDs. I’m not sure why; I have no use for $2 DVDs. If I want to watch a specific movie, I’ll borrow or stream it. I can buy it if I love it. [The reason I went in: looking for any books. None. Videogames were individually marked.] The arcade won’t open for another 15 minutes. There’s really nothing else of interest in the area. I guess I could wander. It’s 3:48pm.

It’s 6:53pm. I walked past the arcade at 4:04pm but kept on walking. I wanted to read Post Office, row, do laundry, bathe, and get to bed early. I’ve done all but the last one which may no longer be possible. I just can’t do it. My rowing machine monitor’s blue backlight is dead. I ate over 3,700 calories in one session by eating an entire box of guacamole estimated at 2,700 calories with four pitas and two mini sandwiches. My stomach feels full. I haven’t gouged like this in over four months. I’m not even stressed. Maybe I just felt nothing? I wasn’t particularly sad or anything. This sort of lack of portion control is why I ration things so precisely. I’ll eat everything I’m allowed to eat. I can only manage my impulse controls. I can’t stop them. I guess I did just to feel something. Ennui may be too powerful a sensation. I’ll put away my laundry, read, and try to get around 6 hours of sleep. It’s 7pm.

It’s 8pm. Oops. I took too long. I’m most of the way through Post Office. I almost feel like rereading it before I return it. I’m only going to get about 5 hours of sleep. It’s 8:02pm.

It’s 8:06pm. I’ll conclude with a breakroom conversation. I saw one of the supervisors, an innocent young man whose name always evades me, getting coffee at one of the dollar brewers. I’d just filled mine with the corporate mud and filled my second water bottle of the shift. “How’s it going out there?” I didn’t let the passive aggression, poor communication, and poor communication come to mind. “It’s going alright. Just fine.” “I know it’s really busy,” he leaned in, “we’re really understaffed… by like ten people…” and he returned his voice, “but that’s a good problem to have!,” he continued on a triumphant note, “I’m on the hiring side with,” well, let’s omit his name here, shall we? “Oh, know people. I have friends!” [I don’t know anyone with the particular crazy required for this job.] We parted ways. We met again washing hands in the restroom. We both were in neighboring shitters. “We keep meeting!” “Well, if I don’t see ya, have a great one.” I don’t know what that means, but that’s what I tell everyone. This scenario came to mind because I wonder. Bukowski probably just wrote about his life and experiences like this. This encounter was rather mundane. His are always borderline fantasy. Maybe I’ll get there, or maybe I’ll go my own way? It’s 8:15pm. [45 minutes]

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Chapter 49: 1:15am, Friday the 20th of September

//Wherein time distorts, undulating realities

It’s 1:42am. I woke up about 30 minutes ago in that sort of stupor where I should have went back to bed, but I was feeling well enough rested. My head hurts a bit and I have no appetite. I ate too much instead of drinking water. I guess I was really stressed out from the multitudinous overstimulation yesterday. People screaming at me from all angles? That’s probably why I needed to walk around; to regain some calm; then overeat; to further regain calm. Coffee is done. I’ll pick up Blood, …Pixels again. I was on page… 32 back in May. It’s 1:45am.

It’s 5:29am. I read a chapter of Blood, …Pixels. I don’t want to be a game developer now. I wrote “Dysmorphic Calorie Binging.” I don’t feel right about it, but it’s from a good place. I’ll edit it later. Time to, well, put on my best smile and bounce back from getting yelled at for answering the phone. It’s 5:31am.

It’s 10:25am. I’m reflecting on my binge eating session last night. I think it was because everything was “nice and boring.” I need conflict in my life, I suppose. It’s not good for me but I thrive on it. I did like the notion of going somewhere after work. I may do that again. I don’t yet need more frozen vegetables or energy drinks. Books are easy to buy. Maybe I should just find somewhere to explore? If not, going home and listening to the PCP might be better… yeah, I’ll do that, row, bathe, then read. I’ll be going into Seattle on Tuesday, yeah, so that’ll be exploration enough. It’s 10:31am.

It’s 6:26pm. Work knocked me out. I got home, rowed while listening to the PCP, then passed out in the bathtub for at least one hour, if not two, so no additional reading. I think I’ll go to bed soon, so let’s end it here. It’s 6:28pm. [15 minutes]

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Chapter 50: 1:30am, Saturday the 21st of September

//Anxiety makes life too tense.

It’s 2:15am. I woke up tired again, no dreams, just not well rested. I’m in my reading chair. I’m not sure if I want to read much or publish much. I may just distract myself after I read a bit until I need to go to work. It’s 2:16am.

It’s 5:41am. I’m tired. I wrote about corporate bullshit books. I may need to read one or two here at work soon. I’m sitting at my desk at work, soon a sit-stand workstation, waiting for the clock to change so I can clock in. I was thinking of either going to the grocery store or Jimi Hendrix’s memorial as a second Travelogue Trivialities essay after work. I’m also interested in going to bed at a reasonable hour. Time to clock in. It’s 5:45am.

It’s 10:41am. I’m on my lunch break, standing under a tree, stretching my hamstrings. I should be going back in soon. I think I’ll check to see if there are any interesting videos online first. Between grocery shopping and Hendrix’s memorial, if the weather’s nice, the latter, if not, the former. It’s 10:43am.

It’s 4:17pm. I’m in bed. The wind is knocked out of me entirely. All of my energy is drained. I know it’s not hunger. It’s anxiety. I know this feeling well. I have a tightness in my chest, my thoughts are hyper-focused, and all I want is to release this pressure. This is probably why I turned to addiction. This is a pain that debilitates me. All I want is for this to stop. I need to get this fixed because if I can’t handle days like today, I will have a hard life, or rather, continue to have a hard life. It took all of my willpower to hold my pee in for the 30 minutes of overtime I had to work. That money is not worth this. I didn’t even want it. It’s 4:22pm. [20 minutes]

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Chapter 51: 1:30am, Sunday the 22nd of September

//The anxiety receded back, mostly.

It’s 2:06am. I went to sleep there, woke up once at some time but went back to bed, and woke up feeling mostly better. I’m still at the making coffee and cooking breakfast part of my morning routine. I don’t know how much I’ll read today. I have to do some publishing but I’m also exhausted, overall. I weighed in at 214 pounds, so that’s cool. My vegetables are steaming. It’s 2:09am.

It’s 3:26am. Ate and read. I still have more coffee to go. Yesterday’s anxiety is today’s soreness. When I get my new schedule, I think I’ll go up to the float tank place more often. I can go there after my workweek to decompress, maybe, or on the equivalent of my Saturday morning, which is like Wednesday evening. This lingering pressure is like having random sensations throughout my body, like a stiff ankle, shortness of breath, and inability to just feel good by myself. I hate the overstimulation of the day shift now. It really is tearing me apart. Fortunately, I have five more days of this now. Five more constant screamfests from mad lads. I couldn’t keep switching my mind so quickly. We’re understaffed but “it’s a good problem to have,” taking that quote slightly out of context, because while internal promotions are good, at what cost? I’m approaching burnout. I did last week or whenever it was that I called out sick. I slept for 9 hours and it felt like 4.5. On Tuesday, when I see the doctor, I’m going to ask about anti-anxiety medication. It’s a dangerous thing to get into but I know this feeling too well. I know it must stop soon or I’ll have another panic attack. My right wrist is now the tense one. My ankle is under control. This is the hardest job I’ve ever taken for the lowest amount of pay, and I may be crazy for staying with it, but otherwise I’d be doomed to have a death by 100 needles with mediocre helpdesk or other technical jobs. This death by 1000 needles for 5 more days, then down to maybe 100 needles, for another year or three, can get me out of tech support for good. A year or three of pain for the chance for escape? There is no other option. I’ll get ready to go, write about something in my car at work, put on my best smile for and at work, then return home to summon my last remnants of energy to maybe read, row, and bathe before bed. It’s 3:40am.

It’s 5:42am. I’m at work. They have the air conditioning on colder than it should. I need to wear my winter jacket for a while. I’m exhausted but writing “Work, Anxiety, Anti-Anxiety” felt good. If I break into success soon, will I be able to write essays like that? Time to start working. It’s 5:46am.

It’s 10:23am. I’m drinking green tea underneath an awning, listening to the rain, traffic noise, and the gentle generator buzz just audibly whirling in the background. So far so good. I don’t really need to get any groceries. I have enough frozen vegetables, energy drinks, and lunch items for the next week, but I’ve run out of the gtocery plastic bags. I might be able to find some others and it feels like such a ubiquitous thing to run out of, but considering that’s my only acquisition-based concern, life is good. It’s 10:26am.

It’s 5:56pm. Life is still good. The rain washed away the debris from yesterday’s yardwork incident, where a worker up in a cherry picker and his apprentice blocked me in with their truck and covered my car with pollen, along with other anxieties. I drove to the thrift store, found three books I briefly considered buying, but decidedly against. When would I read them? Not now and not for those prices. They didn’t have much else. I bought some Vietnamese power drinks, another can of Mr. Coffee, and passed on the expensive frozen vegetables at a cheaper place. I went to a bigger box supermarket for LEGO minifigs, found none, but they had more Bang energy drinks and those frozen vegetables. That Lindsey Stirling CD from before was gone so I’m glad I bought it. Finished the latest PCP at home, cooked three potatoes, and will probably read more Post Office; either to completion or close enough. Then, my next fiction book might be Mindbend, just because it was interesting enough to buy on an educated whim. I’m tired though, so I don’t know how much exploring I’ll do tonight or tomorrow. It’s 6:03pm.

It’s 8:04pm. Finished Post Office. Excellent book and will read again. Started then dropped Mindbend. Amateur. I can only read so many duplicating adverbs. Spun three pennies: heads for Murakami’s Underground; tails for Updike’s Rabbit, Run. Three tails. Starting Rabbit, Run. Tight but the basketball stuff is esoteric for me. The chihuahua is barking like crazy downstairs. It barked last night as I was going to bed. We’ll see how this goes. It’s 8:08pm.

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Chapter 52: 1:30am, Monday the 23rd of September

//Mindbender headache ruined the day.

It’s 2:08am. I’m still in bed. I let my three alarms go, then scrolled through social media, and set a 14-minute alarm. I am just barely feeling like I can start my day now. I’m not sure why I’m so tired. There is terrible pressure behind my right eye. Hopefully coffee and food will help. I think it’s sinus pressure. It’s 2:11am.

It’s 2:34am. I feel better with vegetables and coffee. I’ll read and, I don’t know, I don’t think I’ll use the computer at all today. I guess I’ll edit tomorrow. It’s 2:35am.

It’s 2:48pm. I went to work with a no real headache, wrote, worked, then at around my first break the headache developed into a real monster. I had to leave at, I believe, 9:22am. The stress of the headache caused massive discomfort on the drive home. I went to sleep and woke up 30 minutes ago with remnants of that awful feeling. I’ll be going to the doctor tomorrow so that will hopefully help heal this headache havoc. I installed the Grammarly app on this nearly 47,000-word document and it’s equally overwhelmed. It’s 2:53pm.

It’s 8:13pm. I wasted the rest of the day. I’m exhausted. It’s 8:14pm. [15 minutes]

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Chapter 53: x am, Tuesday the 24th of September

//Not all doctors want to fix you up.

It’s 5:55am. I woke up at 1:30am, needed to sleep in, did, woke up, ate and made coffee, drank a bit, nearly fell asleep reading, and here we are. I feel terrible. The headache is gone but the nausea is still here. At least I’ll be going to the doctor today. This new keyboard is difficult. It’s 5:58am.

It’s 8:07am. I’m waiting in the doctor’s office. I still feel sick. Hopefully, this will help. It’s 8:08am.

It’s 10:02am. The doctor isn’t quite as good as I’d like, but just like how this new keyboard has some getting used to because there is no better alternative, this situation will do. I have a prescription for a over-the-counter humdrum medication, but it’s better than nothing for now. I have to wait for them to fill it. I drove through my first apartment complex between then and here. The complex is the same. There were many discarded pieces of furniture, the speed bumps were raw, and construction crews blocked off everything they could. I could see it being a poor part of town, but for what it was, it was nice. I could wait here 40 more minutes or I could fill up on gas, look for Dracula at one or two stores, and return. I think I’ll do that. It’s 10:07am.

It’s 11am. I went to my former favorite materialistic merchandiser, where I bought many CDs, DVDs, toys, and books over the years. It’s lost its luster. Now, even seeing Dracula for $5 doesn’t excite me. I’m back at the pharmicist. I don’t think I’ll go back to that doctor. He was not concerned in the slightest that I had to call off sick yesterday. I’ll ask for another doctor either through the insurance or with them directly. It was 11:04am.

It’s 5:01pm. I just messaged my care facilitator that I want a new physician and explained why after writing “Patient’s Favorite Color.” I was madder than I needed to be over that. I’ll edit and publish for a while, read, then sleep. It’s 5:03pm.

It’s 6:32pm. I wrapped up everything I could and now it’s time for bed. It’s 6:33pm. [18 minutes]

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Chapter 54: 1:30 am, Wednesday the 25th of September

//I guess I wasn’t interested in journaling today.

It’s 1:37am. I woke up at 10:30pm or 11:30pm to something, probably the downstairs neighbors’s chihuahua, and went back to sleep rather effortlessly. My shift starts at 6:45am instead of 5:45am because I did a shift swap to have Friday off after Amon Amarth. I’ll leave at the same time and maybe stop by for a coffee somewhere or just park and write. It looks like traffic will be tolerable only if I leave immediately, otherwise, it may be too much if I went to the library. Turns out the two libraries I’ve been going to have had Dracula, but in their teen sections. Odd. I’ll have to borrow a copy on Saturday or maybe Sunday. Sunday is my last day on days. I think I’ll transition to nights just fine. My headache is back. That fucking doctor didn’t give a shit. Fuck him. I’ll take his stupid ibuprofen with my breakfast. I’ll wrap up that chapter of Blood, …Pixels I’m on then publish for a while. People are shouting in the background in the minor forest. They’re probably high, adventuring, or goofing around. It’s 1:49am.

It’s 1:19pm. Busy day. 1:20pm.

It’s 4:19pm. I went to the library in search of Dracula in a most auspicious location. The app said they had it under teen classics. I searched around and around but it was not there. I’m not sure if I’ll skip Rabbit, Run but I definitely won’t be reading Dracula if I can’t find it. There was a car accident I may have enabled by letting someone in along with someone else. He darted out three lanes of traffic and ran into a truck. His front left light remained on the ground feet from me. It was too bad. It was a nice day otherwise. It’s 4:23pm.

It’s 8:08pm. Tired now. It’s 8:09pm. [20 minutes]

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Chapter 55: 1:30 am, Thursday the 26th of September

//Archy anxiety amidst the chaos

It’s 2:09am. I wanted to sleep for a bit. My mind was tired so I just browsed through all my social media sites, made breakfast, and am still feeling hungry, but I know that insatiable appetite is more residual. I wonder if my sleep will improve working nights? This schedule is not great for me anymore. I think it only worked for about a month. I used to dream. Now, it’s only sleep and then wake. It’s 2:12am.

It’s 3:19am. I finished Blood, Sweat, and Pixels. Between this book and my experiences in the indie gamedev community, I know that is not something I want pursue. I will write about that in a review, instead. I am exhausted. The day ahead will be rough. I don’t have the energy to keep the high-pace, dominant personality moderation required for the day shift, but I only have three more days of it. It’s 3:23am.

It’s 5:38am. Wrote that review. Now it’s time for non-gamedev work. It’s 5:38am.

It’s 10:25am. Anxiety for me is having to think and process disparately and desparately. If I’m in a crowded concert venue but don’t have to troubleshoot an issue, I’m fine, but when I’m trying to figure out something, it will cause extreme tension. I just have to control that. I feel uneasy through that tension, however. It’s 10:28am.

It’s 5:52pm. I just woke up from a nap, the second of two pretending to reclaim a large chunk of time, before the Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy show. The Showbox page has has a “Archy Enemy” typo for maybe months. I think with some food and caffeine, I’ll be feeling well. It’s 5:55pm. [16 minutes]

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Chapter 56: 7:30 am, Friday the 27th of September

//Drawing blood, reading books, and procrastinating.

It’s 7:48am. The show was worthwhile. I’m still sore but I need to get a blood draw so I’ve been laying in bed to gather the strength to go. It’s raining out. I think I’ll start getting up to go. It’s 7:50am.

It’s 9am. I’m sitting in the lab, having fasted since yesterday evening’s sandwich before the show, waiting with a patient ahead of me waiting to get my blood drawn. There are many magazines to my left. I think I might be up soon. It’s 9:02am. Nope, false alarm. The carpet is a beige with small boxes in a pattern to soak in any mild malaise. The filing cabinet to my left – “Anthony, are you fasting?” I looked up and over. “Uh-yes.” – is

It was 9:04am. The blood draw was “painless,” I told the nurse, then went to get gas at a local station. These places usually have a better selection of energy drinks. This one was fu
ll of mediore options or I could have bought more Rainbow Unicorns. I’m back at home just after 9:36am. I’ll break fast then read 7 Habits for a while. I’ll write this afternoon about waiting in line and skipping on buying any merchandise. It’s 9:39am.

It’s 3:39pm. 7 Habits is kinda dull. I’ll read Writing Tools, too. I’ve put a library loan request for the Journey To The West and Dracula, so those should be arriving soon. I think I’ll take out the recycle, edit and publish, row, bathe, then go to bed. I thought about reading more but I’m actually kinda tired, even after drinking a Bang Energy Purple Haze. It’s 3:42pm.

It’s 8:52pm. I stayed up too late. I finished my writing but didn’t row. The promised rowing machine console was delivered to “a locker.” Where, we may never know. I should bathe before bed. I’ll call it here. It’s 8:54pm.

It’s 11:50pm. I’m writing this to document that about one hour ago – almost exactly – I awoke with the adreniline that you would feel after ten thousand energy drinks simultaneously, or, an anxiety so fierce that would make a heart attack faint with vitriolic hatred toward that doctor. I wrote and wrote then had to listen to some PCP to calm my nerves. I have one and a half hours until I wake. If I must power through it, and I’ll know in the next thirty minutes, and you’ll know in the next paragraph, then either way, I wrote draft number one in passion and will edit in precision. It’s 11:56pm. [20 minutes]

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Chapter 57: 1:30 am, Saturday the 28th of September

//90 minutes of luxury

It’s 2:30am. I probably got about two hours of sleep. I woke up at 1:30am and had the concentration of a Golden Retriever, so I went back to sleep for 15 minutes. I ate too much leftover chicken pot pie for breakfast so I’m stuffed. Time to read some 7 Habits then publish an essay. It’s 2:33am.

It’s 4:24am. I feel better now although I made a few typos in this sentence before I cleared them up. I’m stressed about work. I don’t have the energy to combat people and their problems today, because for two types of calls, it will just be a battle. They call up pissed. They vent on me. It’s terrible. At least I’m just about 10% done with 7 Habits and two more day shifts before I switch to nights. I’m as ready as I can be for today’s battles. It’s 4:27am.

It’s 6:18pm. My day was just focused on powering through. 90 minutes of broken sleep is no luxury. It’s 6:18pm. [10 minutes]

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Chapter 57: 1:30 am, Sunday the 29th of September

//

It’s 1:46am. I had some dreams, actually, that were all comsumerist, somehow. I was tired enough to sleep in. It’s my usual weigh-in calorie and water fasting. Oops. Let’s do that then get breakfast. It’s 1:49am.

It’s 5:30am. I did that, weighed in five pounds more than last week so I wrote about that, am having trouble adjusting to the cold front since my head was having a bit of an ache about that, and will go in to work shortly here for my last day shift in hopefully a while before these stresses can be something of the past or something like that. I think coffee and some easy work will take my mind off these aches. Maybe some warm weather, too? It’s 5:33am.

It’s 11:33am. “I dunno if I should stay up for 24 hours or what…” I’d probably need to be up for 36 hours. I think I’ll play it by ear. If I stay up until noon then I’ll get a good night’s rest. Maybe I’ll sleep from 11:30pm to 1:30pm, too? Concentration will be key. It’s 11:35am.

It’s 8:51pm. I’m losing concentration from the fatigue of being awake since 2am. I may just need to sleep for one hour. I’ll do it. This energy drink just didn’t do it for me. It’s 8:52pm. [12 minutes]

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Chapter 58: 1:49 am, Monday the 30th of September

//I did it all wrong but I achieved the correct outcome.

It’s 1:49am. My alarm either didn’t go off, or did and it fell to the floor. I guess I was tired. I’ll need to figure out thid switch to nights, then. It’s 1:51am.

It’s 6:03am. I dreamt about moving, as I always do. I had rented a huge place and was trying to move stuff but then some old friends set up a hospital there. It was almost realistic. Back to sleep. It’s 6:06am.

It’s 11:19am. My mind is back to normal and my headache is lingering in the distance, but I must be at work in 11 hours. I’ll probably skip caffeine for one. I need to go to the library to print a shipping label for a box of CDs I’m selling then over to the shipping company to send it off. I think I’ll do that soon, return to row, write, then read until maybe 2pm? It’s 11:22am.

It’s 12:53pm. There was a muscle car parked in the Do Not Park lane blocking me in. Nearly. I had an inch of clearance on either side, which I had to check every inch or so to make sure I didn’t hit this car parked about a half foot from the curb, no hazard lights, so when I was checking on my final adjustment, I poured some water on the hood. There were open stalls mere feet away. This library always has good things for sale. I bought Dune, Cujo, a book of ten short stories of travelers going through India called Beyond The Three Seas. I didn’t just go there to spend time, gas money, and $1.50 on books. I needed to print out that label. I did. The shipping company gave me hassle for not having a high quality box to ship out. I used some of that cheap brown tape to secure the lid. I’ll need to wrap it all up with my next shipment out, whenever that is. On the drive back, I took a right and this car was riding probably inches from my trunk from that turn all the way until a threeway intersection. An older lady and her elderly Golden Retriever were crossing the street. The lady crossed quicker than the dog. The dog was walking at as fast of a pace as it could while still enjoying the walk. It was nice to see. The dog looked so happy. I’m glad I took that route. I drove forward after the dog stepped onto the sidewalk and waving to the lady and the car behind me sped to the other road. I got back and the car was gone. Time to row, write an essay, and read until I’m exhausted. It’s 1:05pm.

It’s 3:39pm. I’m going to bed hours later than I wanted but it’s OK. I’ll wake up at 7pm. I don’t know how I’ll split up these chapters now. It’s 3:40pm. [24 minutes]

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Chapter 58: 7pm, Monday the 30th of September

//Adjusting to my new sleep schedule wasn’t terrible.

It’s 9pm. I got some good sleep. I woke up at 5pm but was able to get back to bed. 7pm wasn’t too harsh to me. I rowed, ate too much food of some spicy Indian food and potatoes, finished up this week’s episode of the PCP, shaved, and did some laundry. I figure if I leave by 9:20pm, I should get in just before 10pm, then I’ll have time to use the restroom, get coffee and water, and situate myself before my 10:15pm start time. Better start wrapping up now. It’s 9:05pm.

It’s 9:53pm. I wrote 9:05am there. My hours are so mixed up. I may need to go with military times to keep it straight, but I don’t care that much. The roads were busier at 9:30pm than 4:30am so I’ll have to adjust to that. It feels a little weird but not too bad. 20 minutes until my shift starts. It’s 9:55pm. [33 minutes for the 30th]

It’s 3:02am. I’m on my lunch break. The calls are overall more, shall we say, personality driven? One rude dude made the day salty, but then with my next caller, I just injected some of my personality. I took some black tea with me outside. It is freezing cold. I forget the last time my jaws chattered. The cold did help with the anxiety I was feeling, especially now that I’m back inside and warmed up. I think this will work out fine for me. I got in my writing for today and I’ll read when I get home. I have an early start tonight, maybe around 5pm, to go to the Korpiklaani show. Should be fine. Less than 4 hours left on this first new shift. It’s 3:06am.

It’s 9:09am. I’m at home now. It wasn’t bad. People just lack manners. I met up with a friend from a few contracts ago for coffee. He’s bored at work and applied elsewhere. The rower company “accidentally” blocked me on Twitter but says I need to hunt down the part they sent me. I quoted the shipment site that said “This shipment was transferred to the local post office for delivery. Please contact the shipper for further assistance. [UPS:E014]” We’ll see. I’m going to bed soon for a 4pm wake up, so I’ll call it here. It’s 9:13am.

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Chapter 59: 4pm, Tuesday the 1st of October

//Not feeling too bad yet…

It’s 4pm. I didn’t sleep well at all. I’m not sure how I can get a solid amount of sleep during the day without some sort of sleep aid. We’ll see. The Korpiklaani show in a few hours. I’m tired but nothing can be done about it besides caffeine and discipline. It’s 4:02pm. [12 minutes]

Chapter 60: 10am, Wednesday the 2nd of October

//I’m sick and wiped out, but I’ve made progress.

It’s 10:46am. I had a scratching of a sore throat before the show. It was a full-on feeling during the show. I slept from midnight-ish until 7:30am, when I got a call from my dentist, and then until now. During that brief awake period, I saw that Dracula and Monkey King arrived at the library. I’ll go there soon then pick up some diphenhydramine to kick this and wake back up tonight. No caffeine. I’ll need to drink a bunch of water, though. It’s 10:50am.

It’s 1:33pm. “7816. That’s my number. It works.” The man walked away from the rowdy section of the library. This area is not for the bookish. It’s full of cigarette, weed, and body odors. There is no police officer around to keep these non-patron guests in line, but there are many homeless or vagrant or seemingly sos around here. I picked up Dracula, and now they’ve rattled and rambled off, in a worn-out gray hardback, Monkey or Journey To The West in a fresh print, and I bought Succeed And Grow Rich Through Persuasion through the Wikipedia-proclaimed conman Napoleon Hill based on the strength of its title. Before that, two cars drove in the wrong lane, one nearly causing a collision at the apartment complex. I met my neighbor. “Do you not have room in there for your doghouse?” He continued taking off his shoes without looking at me. “Does it bother you?” “Just a little bit.” We’ll see if F moves his doghouse. I need to get some sore throat stuff at the supermarket next. I’ll know for future reference to get this stuff when I’m feeling well, but I needed to get the books, too. It’s 1:43pm.

It’s 2:45pm. I took two diphenhydramine now that I’m at home about five minutes ago and haven’t felt the old familiar sensations yet. I went to my apartment-mansion complex’s mailbox only to discover the missing rowing machine monitor console! Now I have room to experiment. If the console burns out every two months, then I’ll have a backup. Well, my nose is still runny and my throat is still achey, but this should help me feel better. I’ll read Monkey until I’m exhausted then sleep until 7pm. It’s 2:50pm.

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Chapter 61: 8pm, Wednesday the 2nd of October

//I’ve recovered after some slumbers.

It’s 8:31pm. I went to sleep about one hour after that, having read some of Monkey and Dracula. I like Dracula more. Both are due in less than a month, so I’ll prioritize my reading of Dracula then Monkey, and may read my other books on my days off. I feel better after that diphenhydramine-induced dozing. My mind was still a little d-lagged when I woke, but now I’m mostly fine, with only remnants of a sore throat and runny nose. I’ll get to writing and publishing everything through midnight then switch over to cataloging CDs until about 6:30am when I need to get ready to go to the dentist. It’s 8:36pm. [27 minutes for October 2nd]

It’s 6am. I awoke from a dream about a package being delivered to the old house by a charasmatic man driving a muscle car. I was awake from 8pm until 3am when I was too tired and sick to go forth. I still feel sick and weak. I may sleep for another 15 minutes. My dentist appointment is at 7am. It’s 6:04am.

It’s 7:18am. I’m in the dentist’s chair, just having got two parts of my gums numbed, and they’re waiting for the numbness to take hold. My right hand feels a bit numb, too, along with now my lower jaw. It was a good choice not to distract myself with a movie because although this was uncomfortable, it was good thinking time. It’s 7:21am.

It’s 9:53am. I wrapped up by 8am or so, paid out, and went back home for an extended bath. Now my clothes are bathing in the washing machine. I’ll read Dracula until they’re ready to hang to dry or go through the dryer – hanging shirts and pants, while putting more disposable items through the dryer. My mouth is still numb. I’ll try to drink some water to help. My throat is parched and my lips are chapped. It’s 9:56am.

It’s 10:31am. The first load is hanging and in the dryer. The second load is in the wash. I think F, with his doghouse and shoes outside their door on the stoop, is running a power saw. I’d check, but… Nope. It’s someone doing some power washing or sawing at the street. While it’d be fun to check, and I do need to grab some bleach, I don’t care enough to see. I’ll read more Dracula. It’s not great but it’s good enough. It’s 10:36am.

It’s 12:16pm. I’ve concluded the first section of Dracula. I’m happy I borrowed rather than bought this because although it is good enough, it is not yet impressiveve enough for a rewatch. I’ll be dropping Kurosaga. It’s a good manga, but I don’t want to be a mangaka. I’m also losing perceptiveness, so it’s time for bed. It’s 12:18pm.

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Chapter 61: 5pm, Thursday the 3rd of October

//Still sick, but at least I’m productive again.

It’s 6:15pm. There was construction going on all throughout the afternoon, where heavy vibrations from cement machines and rabid rat-dogs barking created a collage of noise to wake me every few hours. I declined sleeping in past 5pm since I had been fasting since before 6am. I made two cans of chicken noodle soup and coffee, and have been reading through Dracula. It is surprisingly trivial in its mundane details. I’ll read for a while more. It’s 6:18pm.

It’s 11:47pm. I read for a while, wrote, published, and sorted through my Watch Later backlog at random. There is no easier way to handle those sorts of things than a randomly generated number telling you to address that number’s thing. I should be awake for another 8 hours to keep my sleep cycle in good shape, but I’m also tired, too, so I may either get an energy drink or try to do something more active. I’m not sure what I want to write about in ten minutes for my daily essay. With these sleep patterns, I’ve felt like multiple days have gone by without writing anything. It’s weird. I don’t know how I’ll manage to publish things throughout the week. Maybe I’ll use the computer when I get home from work? I quite like reading first thing and having my writing done in the morning feels nicer than in the evening. I have two drafts to complete and one essay to write. I have 20-some in my backlog, along with many more. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but it will happen after I track my writing time in this essay for today. It’s 11:54pm. [31 minutes]

It’s 3:36am. I spent the better part of the past three hours going through old drafts, salvaging what I could, and writing about the experience. I have so much digital clutter. My mind is just such a mess. I’m debating between whether I want to sleep for a solid 8 hours and wake up earlier than my 7pm goal or sleep for a short amount of time and hope for that second nap during the day. I’m going to guess I won’t get much daytime rest. The crews are working on the parking lot, so I’ll get my sleep now. It’s 3:40am.

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Chapter 61: 9am, Friday the 4th of October

//Just a light few hours of mild procrastination.

It’s 9:02am. Just woke up about five minutes ago. I’m not sure how I’ll get back to sleep for the 7pm wake thing. Not having caffeine would help. Maybe I’ll just read Dracula until I’m exhausted? It’s 9:04am.

It’s 12:19pm. I took care of some doctors stuff instead, and listened to some of the PCP, otherwise not being productive from a Zombiepaperian perspective, but, I have all my work clothes set out and I made my sandwiches for tomorrow. I’m debating whether or not I want to shave my pre-beard stubble. It’s not there yet but it’s nice having it. I guess it’s just a matter of quick explanations. Probably a Halloween thing will do. I’m back in bed with some diphenhydramine coursing through my histimes to hopefully sort out all that funk. I’ll awake later tonight – I turned my fan on so that should drone out any minor sounds – to tend to biological chores, read Dracula to tend to that reading chore, then go into work. It’s 12:25pm.

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Chapter 62: 5:30pm, Friday the 4th of October

//Through hard work, or work at all, my sickness, it did cure.

It’s 5:36pm. I woke up with no reason now and at around 3pm. It’ll be a rough time if I can’t go back to sleep. But I really can’t sleep any further. It’s 5:38pm.

It’s 9:49pm. I woke up shortly thereafter, made coffee and breakfast while listening to the PCP, rowed, coughed up pleghm related to that which has settled in my throat, bathed, decided not to shave, and read Dracula. I admit to skimming over the naval interlude since that was just filler and Stoker isn’t that interesting of a writer. I’m about 26% done now and then back to the library it shall go. I start work at 10:15pm. I think I’ll wrap it up for tonight here. It’s 9:53pm. [21 minutes]

It’s 12:55am. I haven’t had a call since I started at 10:15pm. Kinda nice. This is my Monday morning and I had some emails to sort through. There was an official email sent out about using personal devices and how it’s not permitted unless of emergency. I think we get an exception on the night shift. I also won’t chance it. 3am is when people filter in. That’s when I switch from writing on the clock about my own stuff to editing their stuff. I’m on the mend. I would like to get some good sleep today. I’m thinking of calling my auto insurance company to see about them helping me get into my online account. They must not have many people move addresses. I might get that rowing machine console in the mail, so I should check that, too. I wrote and edited for today. I didn’t feel much like going through old emails. The guilt of that email crept in slightly. The big thing was not to stream stuff, probably to save network bandwidth, so my little emails and essays should be fine. Especially if I use my phone, here, more. I may need to develop strategies so I can sort through things with minimal effort. I could get a call at any second. It hasn’t happened yet, but that means I can’t do too much involved thinking right now. This is probably the time to clear out some eclutter. I’ll do that. It’s 1:03am.

It’s 1:50am. I sorted through many of my cluttered Trello boards. I think I’ll move my emails there so they’re easier to manage. I won’t use Trello on my work computer but Yahoo email is probably OK. It’s 1:52am.

It’s 7:44am. After lunch, I switched over to work mode, and talked with my supervisor. He says that if I’m at work, I should be working, but if I do work, he’ll advocate for me. I’ll consider that a good metric: take care of my own obligations to myself, namely do some writing and have some time to sort things out in life, and work hard, and I’ll get results. If not, I can probably do this for a few months or more. I’m at home now, having filled up on gas with no wait time, and being in such a fatigue state that I just want to go to bed. However, if I sleep now, I won’t be able to get enough good rest. I suppose I should read more Dracula before heading to bed. It’s 7:48am.

It’s 9:14am. I read from this borrowed Dracula book, bathed, and am in bed. I’m liking parts of this book. I’m not sure yet if I’ll reread this, but it’s a book that’s nice to have read. It’s 9:16am.

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Chapter 62: 3pm, Saturday the 5th of October

//Too long of a day to reset my schedule…

It’s 3:13pm. I was better about not waking up sooner. I got too restless, so I’ll read more Dracula, then go back to bed. It’s πpm.

It’s 5:23pm. I haven’t slept yet, though I’ve fashioned a sleeping mask out of an old concert shirt tied sleeve to sleeve and read a good ways further into Dracula. I may need to pack some energy drinks with me for that 3am exhaustion since I fear I will not rest for any seconds more than I have, laying idly in bed. It’s 5:26pm.

It’s 5:37pm. I’ve given up trying to sleep. I’ll make breakfast, weigh myself, and just try to manage. I should aim to nap for a few minutes at work either before work or on my lunch break and remain caffeinated enough to be awake until noon tomorrow. 13 hours until the end of my next shift here and 18 hours until I will be in this bed next. It’s 5:41pm.

It’s 8:18pm. T-minus 16 hours until bed. I ate, caffinated, rowed, and will soon bathe then read Dracula before going to work. I will consume an energy drink at work instead of my usual cup of coffee during my first fourth of work, have another before lunch, brew coffee for lunch at 3amish, and stay awake long enough to crash in bed at as close to noon as possible. That should fix my schedule. It’s 8:22pm. [29 minutes for October 6th]

It’s 12:50am. No calls since the start of my shift. I wrote my rowing essay for the week and talking with others helped my fatigue. I might go back over in a little bit, I dunno. I have another two hours before I should shift into a more productive employee. I have some things I can do to help my employer. I’ll have a meeting with my supervisor on Wesnesday morning, my Friday afternoon, to talk about more of the details. If all goes well, this could be a comfortable balance. I’m not sick anymore, which is nice, and I’m 40% done with Dracula, too. I think I might write another essay to give myself more content. It’s 12:54am.

It’s 1:16am. I wrote a long-overdue review of the 4-Hour Workweek. I might write more but I’m also fairly tired. I’ve finished my tea, spilling it on my shirt, so I should drink more water, then an energy drink. That whole writing instead of dabbing the tea reminds me of bits in Dracula where Stoker implies people finish their sentences and thoughts when emergencies come up. A patient escaped? Better write a segway sentence. The tea doesn’t matter and if it stains, I’ll be going to get some bleach at the end of my shift. I’ve spilled coffee on these white dress shirts and had a minor blood stain wash out just fine. It’s 1:21am.

It’s 7:01am. Where that time went, uhhh, I dunno. Into work. I’m tired. I should get those groceries. I’m also tired. I also need to be awake for 5 more hours to get back to normal. It’s 7:03am.

It’s 7:59am. I went home. I skipped the scenic fog resting on the autumn trees, the grocery store, and doing anything else but sleep. Yet it feels like I can’t sleep and yet all I want is sleep. It’s a terrible sensation. I’m hungry but there’s nothing I want to eat. I’m dehydrated but I’m not thirsty. I can’t rest enough to sleep. I thought about sleeping for one hour but it’s all or nothing. I can’t concentrate. “I’m so tired I can’t sleep.” It’s 8:03am.

It’s 12:41pm. I napped for one hour, woke, ate a sugary snack, and between publishing and watching videos, am now feeling better. I should wrap it up soon. It’s 12:42pm.

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Chapter 63: 3:30pm, Sunday the 6th of October
//I find respite where I just left.

It’s 4:16pm. I woke up about 45 minutes ago completely awake. Enough was enough. I taped up a room darkening drape and cardboard. I should be able to sleep soon. Or… tomorrow… It’s 4:17pm.

It’s 6:20pm. I don’t wake up; I just stop trying to go back to bed. My throat is feeling sick from the dust that drape had so I’m eating more to compensate for that. I’ll bring in more energy drinks, another container just for tea, and I’ll stop drinking cold water at work since it makes me feel sick. My soup is boiling. It’s 6:23pm.

It’s 8:07pm. I finished my large breakfast, prepared my caffeine, my tea container, and laid out my clothes to wear after bathing in a hot bath. I still need to prepare this shift’s sandwiches. I was too sick for my weekly meal prep. After the soak and preparations, if I have time, I will read Dracula until 9:20pm. An exit ramp has been closing at 10pm so I should not gamble more than I already am through three or six hours of sleep. It’s 8:10pm.

It’s 11:30pm. I have my schedule cleared up for Clutch next week. Two long weeks but it’ll give me more time in the short-term, which, hopefully should get my health sorted out there with sleep and all. I had the threats of a headache as I was driving in. I was almost worried I wouldn’t have any now that I’m on nights… Writing “Desperate And Disparate” was helpful in me addressing my stress. If it’s a disparity issue, don’t dispair, right? My calendar is up to date. If I don’t feel terrible after work, I’ll get those groceries, do laundry, and hopefully with the dusty blinds up – I still feel that dust on and in me – I can start to feel better. I’ll wrap it up here for now. It’s 11:36pm. [31 minutes for October 6th]

It’s 3:07am. I’ve caffeinated decently but I’m still tired. I may just go home again instead of do a grocery, post office, and library run, or any of the three. I should want to stay up until 11am but that want is outweighed by this feeling of stiffness, soreness, and coldness. My mind is tired. If I’m not feeling well when I get home, I’ll take two diphenhydramine after a bath and that should help me cruise toward a nice night’s nap. Day-night… Phew. Three and a half more hours… It’s 3:11am.

It’s 5:50am. Rough call. Had to hold in using the restroom for 20 minutes longer than I wanted. Willpower was shot. Now things are better. It’s 5:50am.

It’s 8:29am. How I got home is not so much a mystery or a concern as much as a show of willpower. Now I’m wasting time to go to bed by maybe noon, but really, I’m so nuked, but I just don’t want to wake up at 3:30pm again. I want to get a full amount if rest. It’s terrible otherwise. It’s 8:31am.

It’s 9:13am. I watched some Casey Neistat videos and, finding no pleasure in them at all, resigned my fate to the construction work going on outside the apartment-mansion, not nearly directly but close enough, to take three diphenhydramine to ease me into a hopefully acceptable nap. The old familiar gnawing at my stomach is reappearing. It won’t be long now. I’ll wrap up this chapter here. It’s 9:17am.

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Chapter 64: 7pm, Monday the 7th of October

//More like myself again.

It’s 7:08pm. It was the light! I got sleep! I don’t know how it is possible, but I feel normal again. I’m a new man. It’s 7:10pm.

It’s 11:20pm. I was nearly late into work, having found my new vitality. If I should want to row, make my breakfast, bathe, read, and recline all before work, I might need to wake earlier. Maybe I’ll sleep from 11:30pm to 6:30pm, with three hours instead of 2.5 hours, and depart at 9:20pm or so with an arrival time at around 10pm before my 10:15pm start time? Yes. I’ll adjust my alarms now. All alarms set. I sorted through emails, read Dracula, and will continue through midnight, to then write, then edit things for work. It’s 11:24pm. [18 minutes for October 7th]

It’s 3:07am. Work was busy so far. I’m feeling better since tea tastes disgusting again. I’m not too cold either. As I always do, I hope that these last few hours on my shift are OK. My D20 dice rolls aren’t promising, but also, too, they’re just numbers and not actual reflections of what will happen. If things go well, though, I still need to get groceries. I might not be able to go to the post office and library, unless traffic is bad and my shopping times are long. I have no real need to return these books except to clear them out of my queue and browse for more, so I may wait. I would want to make my sandwiches for tomorrow, read, row, and listen to a previous episode of the PCP when I get home. Maybe I could do some of those tasks then go to the post office and library? Depends on how I feel. It’s πam.

It’s 10:01am. It wasn’t a bad shift. The drive home isn’t great. There are no good routes that I’ve found yet. All have their bad choke points. I arrived home at around 7:45am, having driven through a parking lot thinking it was closed… But, having arrived home, too tired, and bored of Dracula, to want to do more than sleep. So I will. It’s 10:04am.

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Chapter 65: 6pm, Tuesday the 8th of October

//I have a good routine, now.

It’s 6:51pm. I woke up just before my alarm, slightly perturbed but not too much, and just finished my breakfast and meal prep. I think waking up earlier will work better because I grow loathesome when I’m tired from work and still need to do more things. It sounds like it’s raining out. It’ll be nice tomorrow when I bus into Seattle. I’m still not sure if I want to go to any bookstores at Pike Place or leave later. I’ll look over the schedules, read Dracula, row, bathe, read more Dracula, and leave at around 9:20pm if I don’t add in another entry before work. It’s 6:55pm.

It’s 10pm. I got into work early and found that everything was broken, which is too bad for them. I’m in the break room now. If they’ve seen me or not, it really doesn’t matter, because there will be much to do about ado for enough to make the day just another day to pull through. I’m feeling good right now. I haven’t felt this calm in what feels like forever so I’d rather let it out here than let it picked away slowly by the vultures of culture. That’ll be tomorrow’s essay title. I will go to sleep early when I get home and take the buses into Seattle early. The maladjustment to my sleep cadence might not be good, but going into town during the daylight should be soothing. I’ll then focus my evening and overnight on publishing, maybe nap for one hour somewhere in there if I need it, otherwise, I think I should be fine. I don’t look forward to this beat-down of morale, but there’s not much else I can do but charge along against my chagrin. It’s 10:07pm. [24 minutes, October 8th]

It’s 12:58am. Everything was fine. I even joked with coworkers about how I walked away rather than volunteered to help. Nah, man, that’s not me. I’m here to help but not as much as it might be demanded, because they’ll burn you out then work you harder. It’s actually boring now. Let me think through something. So now my major blocking point for Better Zombie is publishing time. I could almost get a cheap laptop to bring in for that purpose during times like these, but I like having some control during that process. I haven’t been interrupted yet during my essay writing, but it will happen. I just have to be careful. It’s the same as bringing in Dracula yesterday. I got in my reading time and am over 50% done now, but it’s better quality time spent with the material at home. So light-thought stuff is better done here: email, paperwork, and essays. I have much paperwork to process still. I was going to write about that, but I forgot. I’ll build a Trello board instead. It’s 1:05am.

It’s 3:48am. I built and edited some more Trello boards to give me things to do for nights like tonight. Should help me manage life better, too. I’m tired now. I’m not sure if I want to bus into Seattle too early in some 14 hours. We’ll see. I’ll get home, set my alarm for early, crash, see how I feel, and go from there. It’s 3:51am.

It’s 6:48am. I’m outta here. It’s still that time.

It’s 8:21am. I found a good route home. I got some groceries, passed on a Marvel Legends Nightcrawler, and am now in bed for an early start. [I didn’t record my end time.]

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Chapter 66: 5pm, Wednesday the 9th of October

//A productive enough day, all considered.

It’s 5:10pm. I woke up to pee at 12:30pm or so and received a text changing up the plans to not meet in Seattle. Fair plan, so, I got more sleep and here I am, mentally waking up in my bedroom, before I percolate coffee, bathe, and go. It’s 5:13pm.

It’s 11pm. The change in plans turned out well. We went out to dinner, looked around at some things – I nearly bought a snowglobe, which was a thing I learned in my mindfulness studies, but it wasn’t the right one – and had a fun time. I may be going to a play of Dracula on Halloween. That should be fun. I’m not feeling 100%. I have a headache going so I should drink some water, read Dracula, and after midnight, do some publishing. It’s 11:03pm. [18 minutes for October 9th]

It’s 12:01am. I took a 15-minute nap which felt longer than that. I’m still a bit drained on energy. I may just read some more Dracula for a bit then move over to publishing. I also need to turn off the scribble keyboard. It’s back with this Grammarly keyboard thing and it’s awful. It’s 12:03am.

It’s 12:06am. Swipe To Type is off! Fuck that! Same time.

It’s 1:39am. I drank my last Reign energy drink. I may buy more to keep along with my Bang collection since after the caffeine hit, I made a good stroll through Dracula. On these night shifts, time becomes more important, or rather, timing. I think when morning rises and settles, I’ll sleep early. I want to go to the post office and library, but I also have the lethargy of night, even with my living room heater steadily beating along. Since I didn’t go into Seattle, I feel a wanderlust unfulfilled, perhaps, because I’ve imagined sights of Capital Hill and the U-District. I must remain focused. I am 286 pages of 402 complete with Dracula. I’ll continue then start publishing. It’s 1:44am.

It’s 5:16am. I got in my writing, structured my editing, and redid my Trello boards for next week. I think this all will help. I’m getting to be almost comically far ahead with my publishing schedule, dipping my toes into December while it’s still October. I am writing more Sober Living essays because they help me out and the essays seem to be the most popular on WordPress. I may try to do more publishing for another hour or two. If I get fully caught up, I think I’ll spend tonight and tomorrow morning sorting through things, but of what, I’m not sure. I took a second nap in there, too, and ate too much. It’s 5:20am.

It’s 8:05am. All publishing complete except the Post Office shot and editing that first Travelogue Trivialities. I think I’ll stay home tonight, after going to the post office and library soon, to finish all that up so this week at work I can be productive. I don’t know when I’ll start on publishing this beast. Definitely after that’s all cleared up. I’d like to start a new WriterPro file since Grammarly is not happy checking… 54,228 words. It’s 8:08am.

It’s 11:54am. I’m tired. I’ll sleep until about 8pm or whenever I want to start my day, then do all the homebound stuff and go to the library and post office tomorrow. It’s 11:55am.

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Chapter 67: 7:15pm, Thursday the 10th of October

//It turned out swell then my head’s pressure did swell until I was unwell.

It’s 10:18pm. I woke up just after 7pm like my health bar was fully rejuvenated. I was lethargic because, uhh, wow. I felt no issues. So I rowed and made my breakfast leisurely. I am now sat in my living room, breakfast nearly settled, and will probably tweet about rowing before reading for a while. I want to get that Travelogue Trivialities essay done so I can start figuring out my next trip. I’ll look, too, at beginning to sort through my backlog of paperwork. I have a bit of a headache, though, so hopefully I’m not inpaired too much by that. It’s 10:22pm.

It’s 11:11.11111pm. The pressure behind my right eye is too much for me to take at times, including one minute ago. I had learned in elementary school that I could dispell pressure in my head by exhaling with my nose closed and not letting the air out through my nose. The air must escape so it goes to other orifaces. I use this to depressure my ears and air that escapes through my eyes releases the pressure from behind my right eye. It’s 11:15pm.

It’s 11:29pm. I was reading some of Dracula and had to stop. It wasn’t the tedious melodrama, rather, my right eye hurt so much I had to stop and close my eyes. I thought of a sad scene in “The Story” where Trishna apologizes to her old service dog Pollyanna for moving off to college. Pollyanna is able to understand Trishna’s speech but can’t talk herself so she listens and positions herself to receive a hug from Trishna, herself crying almost wildly, with John in the background of another room overlooking when hearing this and not disrupting. A tear of my own rolled down from my left eye. I’m feeling better. It’s 11:34pm. [33 minutes for October 10th]

It’s midnight:02. I went to use the restroom and realized I had a migraine. I had to find sunglasses. These older pair have darker lenses. I’ll need to get an eye appointment soon. It’s 12:04am.

It’s 2am. I will finish off Dracula. My only delay will be biological or through headaches or fatigue. I may want to return this and the other books in 8 hours’s time. That will give me plenty of time for that and writing, should my health be in good standing. It is only a short walk there and back to the library. I should focus on that over all of life’s hurdles. I will eat some food then continue reading. It’s 2:04am.

3:40am. I napped once more for another 15 minutes and woke with the startle that it was the right path to take. I don’t want caffeine. Should I skip the post office and go to the library this evening, early, to drop off these books? It’s 3:42am.

It’s 7:02am. I’ve finished all of Dracula. The gray Penguin Classics hardback has pages and pages of supplemental materials that I will not read. I will do my publishing and writing until about 9am. Then, I will decide if I want to adventure to the post office and library. I ate too much food this past evening, so I should include exercise of rowing and walking in there, too. It’s 7:05am.

It’s 9:41am. Now is the best time to get ready to go if I want to take out the trash, go to the post office, and drop off those library books. I should do all that but I don’t feel like it. If I went, I wouldn’t return before 11am and I’m already exhausted. There’s no external reason for me to go through all that effort right now except to complete those objectives. I’m indecisive. It’s 9:45am.

It’s 10:12am. I’m going to bed. The marks of my migraine have not gone away. It’s a shame that I wanted to go but did not. That is the true pain of headaches. It’s an invisible disorder. I’m done for today. It’s 10:14am.

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Chapter 68: 6pm, Friday the 11th of October

//Was it better to have overcome the headache or been productive multitudinouosly?

It’s 6:30pm. I still have a bit of a headache and a pimple on my forehead no doubt from it. I’ll relax a bit, maybe just put in a light rowing set, and leave for work at around 9pm, if I don’t write more. It’s 6:32pm.

It’s 8:58pm. The headache has been around long enough that I am wearing sunglasses and will bring them into work. The pimple softly discharged a clear goo twice. I washed my head and face thoroughly when I bathed, using excessive soap and scrubbing tenhold more than usual. I did not row. I may pinna tweet about it just so I don’t have guilt. I read Monkey [Journey To The West] instead and finished chapter 1. This will be a fast and fun read. I’ll tweet then read then go. It’s 9:01pm. [28 minutes]

It’s 1am. I brought in some paperwork to sort through. Most of it, I recycled. This will be a good way to mix up the first-fourth of my shift. I wrote my Rowing essay on this second-fourth of my shift. Before I take my 2:45am lunch, I’ll have put everything away, so none the wiser, but I’m bringing in my Escargo Express bag to do all this paperwork tending and so I can bring in a book for some mild reading. It’s 1:03am.

It’s 8:52am. I’m standing out on my patio to get in some sun, I guess. Work turned out well. If every day were that easy, my life would be solid. I skipped taking photos of the pink and orange sunrise. I will pack along a bundle of paperwork to sort through at work until it’s all sorted. I should go back inside to read more Monkey, row, finish eating my potatoes and vegetables, call up for an eye appointment, and go to bed by 11am. All of that should be doable. It’s 8:55am.

It’s noon. I’m going to bed later than I wanted because I was indecisive about the eye appointment. I was thinking of scheduling it on Wednesday, which is the same day as a concert I wanted to go to, but it would be $70+ to see two bands, and I only care about one, so I passed, but that took a while to decide, plus I ate too much, so my stomach had to settle. Plus, I had to watch the new LGR Thrifts. I’m tired now. Sleep is soon.

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Chapter 69: 6pm, Saturay the 12th of October

//My headache is back.

It’s 6:08pm. I woke up to more of a shock, so I didn’t get much sleep. I’m feeling good enough, though, so I should be fine, but I should aim to sleep by 10am, normally, since when it creeps past 11am, I’ll still be in the clear. My coffee is done. I read and wrote earlier. Should I edit? Or downsize? Probably downsize. I do need to stop by a library soon to drop off all but Post Office, because Kurosagi is due soon, but they probably won’t be open late on the weekends, so, Monday? It’s 6:12pm.

It’s 8:41pm. I ended up tending to my rowing things. I’ve edited and scheduled Wednesday’s essay and gotten back to my stats sheets again, this time with an archive so the main sheet won’t get bogged down. Tonight, I’ll sort through my paperwork, write something – not sure what yet, maybe about sorting through paperwork? Yeah… – and read Monkey. When I get home, if I’m up for it, I’ll get another bag of paperwork going and do some sorting. I feel close to selling videogames. I might need to put together another box of CDs to sell. Their 10% additional coupon is tempting but it is a dollar to stifle progress. Maybe I should try going to a music store to sell some CDs? That might be something to do Wednesday evening. It just seems like such a waste to make a special trip, spending maybe $3 in gas, to sell some CDs for maybe enough to cover gas and get a different CD out of the mix. I can waste money on worthwhile endeavors. That is not. So probably I’ll work toward closing out this second CD box I’ve sat on for months since that will be the biggest help, along with clearing out old paperwork. Cool. I have a gameplan. Time to put it on my calendar and then try to leave here by 9:20pm. It’s 8:50pm.

It’s 10pm. I thought I had lost my badge. My mind panicked. “Don’t panic.” I thought through wherever it might be and found it where physically and mentally it had landed. Saturday night traffic is bad. I wonder if I should go the back routes? Otherwise, I’ll cut it off here for tonight. It’s 10:02pm. [28 minutes for the 12th]

It’s 2am. I took one call in three hours and 45 minutes, which would be nice, except I have a monkey of a headache. I’ve sorted through and deleted hundreds of emails. I’ve cleared out some pictures. I might have to do that more later to encourage me to back up more. Maybe I’ll buy two new external hard drives sometime soon for tandem backups? I think I’ll go use the restroom. It’s 2:02am.

It’s 7:43am. Let me rewind to how I arrived at this parking lot. I booked it after leaving work. I talked with one of the guys on a more advanced team for maybe a half hour. He reminds me of Hank Ospfry, a minor character in “The Story,” and this Hank simulacrum is a fantastic storyteller. He told me all about his life as an EMT driver and working full-time at the company. In such a way that a person can inform fiction, this guy helps me figure out Hank. I’ll be lending Rabbit, Run to a coworker that loves basketball. If he digs it, I may pierce through the technical aspects of it. My last caller was confrontational but I controlled the situation even if my voice waviered. He asked for my name – in the respectful way. My headaches are getting more frequent and debilitating. I feel good now but I need to be careful. I’ll run my errand here, maybe see if the local thrift store is open – 9am to 9pm; another opens at 11am – so I’ll see the sites here and probably go home unless it approaches 9am and I feel jazzed. I may make weekly stops to visit with Hank. It’s 7:51am.

It’s 8:14am. Groceries done. Engine still warm. /

It’s 10:35am. My back is done. It hurts to lay down. Two more shifts this week. I got a tip from the Rabbit, Run guy to get a yoga ball or something for my spine. I think it’s a back problem causing my headaches. I’m laying in bed and I have no light sensitivity issues. It’s a little brighter now. I should sleep now. It’s 10:39am.

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Chapter 70: 6pm, Sunday the 13th of October

//My headache went away along with my patience and sociologial respect.

It’s 7:18pm. I woke up without too much effort, except, now I don’t believe I’ll be using my phone to wake me up. My eyes hurt from the light at first. I just went through my waking up chores, did some laundry, and I have potatoes and veggies waiting for me after the end of this thought. I won’t be seeing Dracula on Halloween. I might go see it the week after and see Earth instead? At least it’s not $75. It’s 7:21pm.

It’s 8:47pm. I didn’t do much productive activity, only a photo for the monkey headache essay and some rowing I’ll tweet about later. I think I’ll continue chopping down my email queue at work. It will probably be worth writing about, too, since it’s universially applicable. Maybe I’ll write more about this headache, too. It’s 8:50pm.

It’s 10pm. I’m feeling uneasy. I don’t like this headache. Hopefully I can distract myself enough to take my mind off it. Or maybe the eye drops I bought will help? I should lay down on the floor once or twice to let my back stretch out and figure out a time to go back to the float tank place. It’s 10:02pm. [23 minutes for the 13th]

It’s 2am. Buncha rough calls with one bastion of humanity. I told someone “you keep interrupting me.” I’m kinda done with compassion for now. My anxiety level is not in a good place. Less than 5 hours. Lunch approaches. I’ll meet up with A soon. He may be leaving to go back to B. Good on him; not just because of these calls. One has to go after one’s own values. If not here, there. I walked with someone here that is looking to start an ecommerce store but is aprehensive. She likes the job more than the freedom. I am a caged bird. At times, this cage is spacious. Othertimes, it is constricting. I don’t know what I’ll write about yet. Now’s a good stopping point. It’s 2:04am.

It’s 3:20am. I wrote up an essay, had one nice caller, and some coffee to all soothe the soul. I’m worn out still. I may just get home, call the chiropractor or defer, and go to bed early. In states like this – oh, the caller asked if I was from Texas [and my keyboard stopped working there], which was the first time I’ve got that – all I really need is respite and rest. It’s 3:24am.

It’s 3:33am. I thought of cutting my lunch short so I could get my timecard processed. Instead, I’m writing this. I think we jump into work situations readily at our own expense. Caffeine is helping my brain. I may get coffee with A. I may also stop by a thrift store to drop off a box of stuff if it’s late enough. The call should be fine before bed. I’ll aim for 10:30am again to be in bed. I might take a bath, too. Yeah. That all sounds good. It’s 3:37am.

It’s 6:56am. I really feel tired now. I scathed by with my last call and am now waiting on A. I should want to relax but I’ve gotta get home. It’s 6:58am.

It’s 10:23am. I had coffee with A. Mine was a terrible fall drink of sugar and pumpkin spice, which is “ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice” and it was like a dumptruck of spice. I threw it out after about four gulps. I preferred a dry throat to it. I got home, non-trivially, ate a bunch, and will soon partake in slumber. It’s 10:26am.

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Chapter 71: 6pm, Monday the 14th of October

//I figured out that my education had made it difficult for me in some regards…

It’s 7:03pm. I woke up with a sore back and laid down until my second alarm. I check social media junk on my phone because I can’t get out of bed on days like these. I am not looking forward to work but I guess there are pros to outweigh the cons. I can write, read, and clear out my inbox. I’ll bring in a laptop soon to start editing, maybe. I don’t feel great, overall. It’s probably continual sensory overload. If so, I need to book a float tank session. It’s 7:08pm.

It’s 9pm. I rowed, rearranged some things, and took a long bath. Through it, I realized that if I can’t develop enough of a tolerance against these corporate clowns, how can I defend myself against the public scrutiny of being a writer? This realization was like slotting the key in the right hole and turning one of thousands of doors into a subtle enlightenment not unlike a float tank session. Besides, with all these gnarly callers, I have the time to write these things down, rather than complaining to my coworkers as I have been doing. Oops. I’m learning. I think I’ll try to read through a chapter of Monkey before heading into work. I’ll tweet at work, sort through my emails, write, and read with any time remaining until lunchtime. That’s my plan. It’s 9:05pm.

It’s 10pm. Social engineering is just a matter of saying “hey, [greeting], I’m [name] of [place].” Introduce yourself with a smile, handshake, remember their name, and they’re much more likely to help out. Funny how often we forget to be polite. It’s 10:02pm. [30 minutes for the 15th]

It’s 12:54am. It was super busy, but I was also social with many people. Hopefully I can tend to some emails and tweet. I can read and write when I’m at home. It’s 12:55am.

It’s 3:12am. I tended to those emails and tweeted out. I had some tea that was left out at the tea area near the coffee machines at work and now my stomach is upset. It was ginseng tea and I wasn’t much of a fan. I would write today’s essay now but I don’t feel like trying to condense an essay into now 8 minutes on my lunch break. I think I’ll mosey back over to my desk… It’s 3:16am.

It’s 6:56am. Mind cluttered. Feeling light OCD. Or just overloaded. It’s 6:57am.

It’s 9:10am. Got home, finished writing, now it’s sleep time to wake up at 4pm to get ready to go see Clutch. It’s 9:11am.

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Chapter 72: 4pm, Tuesday the 15th of October

//Clutch yet not

It’s 4:20pm, y’all, I guess, uhh. So modifyinh my hours like this wasn’t so bad. Percolating coffee now. I may just slam it down before heading over to IDKFA’s then the show. It’s really dry so my knuckles and lower lip have chapped. Running the fan in my bedroom was great. I turned it off, opened the bedroom door, and I heard kids playing across the way. I got solid sleep instead of interrupted sleep. There’s a dog yipping, too. This is my Saturday morning. When I get back home, I’ll publish everything, go through my CD backlog, read, then maybe go explore tomorrow morning? It’s 4:25pm.

It’s 10:33pm. Clutch was fantastic, as usual. We skipped the Dropkick Murpheys, so I could have actually gone to work but it’s better that I didn’t. I’m brewing more coffee. I will tend to my emails from today and then publish most – if not all – of my backlog. I must decide what to do with that Travelogue Trivialities essay. It’s rotted in the queue and I don’t have the interest to edit it any further. I should start on that whole CD project again and then I may go to the post office and/or library. We’ll see. It’s still early. It’s 10:37pm. [17 minutes]

It’s 1:08am. I haven’t made any progress towards my goals. It doesn’t feel terrible. I just know I could be doing better for myself. It’s this weird contradiction, I suppose, because I believe in myself but I sabotage certain opportunities. I just removed myself from the Discord chats of my old social group. I may do the same for Facebook. I don’t feel like they’re friends anymore. If Downsizing Zeal is about anything, it’s becoming honest with myself. Do I want these friends? Obligations? I think I’ll write about it. It’s 1:12am.

It’s 4:04am. After napping and having no real desire to do much of anything, I think I’ll go to bed to kick this cough and whatever else sort of bad juujuu has been gunking up things in the background. It’s 4:06am.

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Chapter 73: 9am, Wednesday the 16th of October

//A brief daycrawling interlude…

It’s 9:11am. Oops. I’ve become a daycrawler. I think shows take out too much energy to stay awake like normal. I felt the same after Korpiklaani and Eluveitie. I think my trick to switching back will be using a full amount of energy with no caffeine. I’ll go to the post office, library, make calls, and start by doing boring email-type stuff. I also need to throw out all the sugar that was enticed me a few hours ago. I still have plenty I did not consume and I cannot reasonably be expected to cook something healthy if I have sweets of any kind around. My gut feels rotten. Time to do shit now. It’s 9:17am.

It’s 11:03am. I put together stuff to drop off at a food bank. I blanked at the name on that one. I was going to go out for a drive, but it rained heavily, and I feel tired. I think it’s that lack of caffeine tired. I don’t feel tired enough to go back to bed, though. Laundry is done. I should do another load. What I want to do is just sit and do nothing. It’s 11:07am.

It’s 12:24pm. I made a call to my old chiropractor to get my unused funds in a check back. I felt motivated by that, somehow. I’ll go to bed now. I’ll work on publishing and cataloging throughout the night and during the day, throw out my trash, drop off that food, go to the post office, library, and maybe even thrift store if I feel like it. I think I’ll sleep in until 8pm to get my nightcrawler schedule back on track. It’s 12:27pm.

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Chapter 73: 8pm, Wednesday the 16th of October

//Clearing out some minor blocks in my backlog felt oh so good.

It’s 8:26pm. I actually set the alarm for 7pm but then wanted to sleep in more. I haven’t felt like this in a while… I have sweet potatoes and veggies cooking in the rice cooker. I feel lethargic, still. It’s 8:28pm.

It’s 9:35pm. Taking a bath and eating non-sugary foods helped. I think the muscles relax in the bath, including the mind. I read more Monkey and will soon write, publish, catalog, and read more Monkey in the early morning hours. It’s 9:37pm. [23 minutes]

It’s 2:11am. I’m not sure how I got on this kick, but, I’m nearly done editing out all the references to, well, Blah Blah. I have 30-some to go, then I’ll probably do some publishing. I have no interest in the Travelogue Trivialities so I’ll probably publish it as is. It’s 2:13am.

It’s 3:3333333am. I finished all that and am going through last week’s essays before getting to the big trouble maker. After that, I may switch over to publishing some backlogged essays, or, deleting a bunch of Better Zombie emails where I’d send myself drafts but never deleted them. If there were any historians interested in my writing process and growth as a writer… This would just be too tedious. Just like how that auto-capitalized T back there after the elipses and that probable misspelling are less culturally relevant than the finished product. I’m reusing this evening’s coffee grounds for some possible fuel. My right hand’s fingers are cold. I will probably head out at around 9am since that’s when the post office opens. I have no further tasks than that and the food bank. They also open at 9am. Maybe I’ll go closer to 9:30am? Depends on whether I can finish all my editing and writing. It felt good to clear that Blah Blah off my list. Maybe I’ll write about that? It’s 3:39am.

It’s 5:22am. Instead, I wrote about selling some stuff on Steam and cleaned up a few hundred emails. I should want to go to the food bank at around 9:30am to drop stuff off, but I really don’t feel like having any sort of verbal argument over any open packages, or the bars that aren’t in an unopened box, I suppose. At least not today. I could bring them with me, leave them in the trunk, and drop off such items at work’s cafeteria, I suppose. Then I can make a thrift store run, too, maybe? It’s 5:26am.

It’s 8:51am. Oops. I went to bed for “30 minutes” and it ended up being two hours. I had my first dream in a while. First, I was a girl that was vlogging in a new parr of town, then I was back to me, and two other people were looking for weed. I was dressed up as a blue power rangers-type character, saw a kid waving through a window so I did a tokatsu pose, and I found in a corner of a forest a gnome that sold us $400 of weed. So, yeah, cool. Soon, I’ll go to the post office and library, I guess. Maybe I’ll go to a thrift store and buy a book like that? It’s 8:57am.

It’s 10am. I made sandwiches and wrapped up a Digibro and Don Jolly conversation about Gamera, which was where that tokusatsu dream character came from. I should go to the food bank first so I can clear out this queue then go to the library and post office. It’s 10:02am.

It’s 10:25am. I’m leaned up against the post office bench I’m always leaned up against when I go here. I got my two shots for the review. I may stop through the antiques store… No. I’d only be faffing through. I will buy books to read soon, but I don’t idly need more now. It’s 10:27am.

It’s 10:45am. When I arrived at the library, browsing this library’s mediocre selection, I walked past a sign that said “no bicycles allowed in the library or lobby.” I heard a bicycle being walked in. A rough-looking individual walked toward the restrooms before being stopped by a librarian. “I don’t know why you’re bothering me. I’ve been here three times before. Three times. Don’t bother me.” “We can’t be responsible for your bike.” This library has a terrible problem with homeless people or vagrants holing up camp with a spineless staff. I’ve written about this particular one. I used to go for proximity, now, entertainment. The lady asked for and received a supervisor, who suprisingly, walked her out. “I would have let her prop up her bike if she was nice.” It’s 10:50am.

It’s 11:39am. I saw the lady with the bicycle on my way out of the library, empty-handed but satisfied over that, where a librarian handed her back her cell phone and charger. Guess she had to use thr outdoor restroom down the way but could still get a charge? I’ve swapped shifts so I’m working tonight at 11pm. I’ll still wake up at the same time. I think I’ll be ok. I’ll probably leave at 10pm… Oh. I’ll be working until 7:30am. I should sleep in a bit. 7pm should be good. It’s 11:43am.

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Chapter 73: 7pm, Thursday the 17th of October

//I went from bring misanthropic to procrastinating, maybe from external to internal loathing?

It’s 7:25pm. I woke up at 4pm, I think to the neighbors, and went back to sleep. I’m making coffee then will read Monkey. I had a dream about driving around and talking to directors. I’m also mad. Mad at the benefits company – they’ve sent me four emails today – and mad at my last caller – she kept wasting time, wanting more, and was rude about it. Fuck all them. It’s 7:28pm.

It’s 10:10321pm. I’m feeling better but still kind of just dismissive of people in general. Hopefully, work won’t be too bad. I meet with my supervisor in a few hours. If that turns out well, life could be swell, and if it doesn’t, it’s just as well. It’s 10:12pm.

It’s 11:16pm. Got into work. Made coffee. Now just settling in for work. / [54 minutes]

It’s 3:58am. Busy day. Understaffed but manageable. The first two callers were terrible then everyone else was terrific. I wrote about this whole customer service lifestyle. Will I still need that when I become a professional writer? Probably, but to a different degree. The skin thickness will be in relation to commenters rather than callers. My meeting with my supervisor may be rescheduled, but, when he stopped by he asked how I was doing on nights, so he probably doesn’t have any big concerns. I wonder if I should take any detours since I’m off work later in the day? I thought of doing a float tank session but I might rather just go home, unwind, then sleep. I am tired. The midnight coffee only cut through the midnight bullshit there, rather than any sort of fatigue I may have now. I think the green tea at my desk will help. It’s 4:05am.

It’s 5:42am. I am energized now. My meeting comes up soon. Hopefully, it’s uneventful. /

It’s 12:16pm. That meeting was mostly uneventful. I got home then just lounged for too long. I wanted to hear the new PCP at 11am then procrastinated to go to sleep. Well, here I am. //

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Chapter 74: 6pm, Friday the 18th of October

//The day went by such that without records it would have been forgotten.

It’s 7pm. I woke up a bit tired, napped until my second alarm with eyes that were ultra-sensitive to light, and cooked too much tofu with some curtons. If my weight spikes up, well, oops. I have all those snacks in my trunk but no food bank to donate them to easily. It’s not like I want to go in somewhere unlabeled and negotiate the pleasure of dropping off food. I just want it to be like a thrift store donation. Maybe that’s why it’s not much of a thing? Well, I’m letting my stomach settle while listening to the PCP and drinking coffee. After a bit, I should row, bathe, read Monkey, then go to work. It’s 7:05pm.

It’s 10pm. I read a chapter of Monkey, nearly completed this week’s episode of the PCP, and, was honest with myself in terms of a CD I had bought on someone’s recommendation rather than my own volition. I listened to three tracks and decided, “you know what? This can go.” So it shall. If I lost money on that one, I found more money elsewhere, so it doesn’t matter. I think my next essay will be the start of the 1000-word per day writing bump. Now that I’m at a point where I have over 40 essays scheduled for publication, I’ve learned the skill of writing discipline. Time to go bigger. It’s 10:05pm. [21 minutes]

It’s 3:02am. I went in an interesting direction with that essay, “Donating Excessive Food,” after the 500-word mark. I thought of more counter-arguments, so there will be more to edit to tighten up the word choice to allow me to include thoughts on dropping food off to churches, if non-religious, or whatnot. I feel comfortable upping the number to 1000 words per day, since 1666 words per day is the NaNoWriMo standard for writing novels. If I can get up to 2000 words daily for long enough, no matter if I’m employed here or elsewhere, I can crank out essays, short stories, and more. Until then, I’m just over here clearing out more stuff. I deleted correspondence with a person that offered to be my life coach but didn’t care much about my life. That will just be a footnote here unless I remember it elsewhere. Maybe that’s why we fear deleting old emails? Memories irretrievable, right? Sometimes… There’s no point to that. It’s 3:08am.

It’s 7:35am. I forgot about that email until I reread that sentence. Stuff like that isn’t worth keeping. Better to keep the positive memories. I’m going to do some computer stuff for a while, so my next entry will probably be my last of my day. It’s 7:37am.

It’s 9am. A quick note. I’m doing laundry and will wrap up my publishing for today in the next half hour then prep what I need for paperwork tonight. I’ll pay for my car tabs, sort through more paperwork, and write about something tomorrow. That’ll do. It’s 9:02am.

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Chapter 75: 6pm, Saturday the 19th of October

//I’m tired of having all this old junk mail.

It’s 7pm. It took me about 20 minutes after awaking to get out of bed. I’m using up the last of my medley vegetables for now for cooking along with two sweet potatoes. I haven’t timed it yet, but “quick rice” is taking over 30 minutes, but it’s easy work. I was reading some Monkey. I think I’ll save the publishing for tomorrow morning. It’s 7:03am.

It’s 8pm. I read more Monkey; now Monkey has rejoined the story so the interludes with Tripitaka and others makes more sense, though was still a sudden departure. I’m still lethargic. Rowing, finishing breakfast and coffee, and bathing should help. It’s 8:02pm.

It’s 9:59pm. I only rowed for five minutes. Bathing did help. I don’t have much else to say right now. It’s 10pm. [18 minutes]

It’s 2:41am. I sorted through a bunch of paperwork to give to A, recycled a bunch, wrote about that, took a call, went on break, cleared out a few hundred emails, took another call, and am now a few minutes away from my lunch time. I took 17 calls on Thursday night, 12 yesterday, and 2 so far. It’s nice. I like being at home when there’s daylight out. I’ll take my lunch break now. It’s 2:44am.

It’s 4:55am. I made a mistake at work but quickly fixed it. I had someone call up with a few lies I disproved and then “it seems to be working now, you have the magic touch.” Better to be honest. I may want to go somewhere after work for a bit of a drive. I could go home to edit, though, too. My mind is otherwise blank with thoughts, so instead, I should probably go to sleep earlier than later. I could try for 10:30am today. It’s 4:58am.

It’s 6:49am. I rode that last call to its limit but was able to switch into available just long enough for it to be ok. Now, I’m on my way out. I wonder if I should stop by and chat with Not Hank Ospfry? I may peek my head over to say hello and if he’s busy then go elsewhere into the world. It’s 6:51am.

It’s 10:26am. Not-Hank had headphones on so I drove to the mailbox, skipped on two seemingly-good shelves, then went home to unwind and publish everything except my backlogged drafts and edit what I’ve got of Time Travel Toxicity here. Will I go back through and re-read everything? If not, hello, stranger. It’s 10:29am.

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Chapter 76: 6pm, Sunday the 20th of October

//I’m not sure that it was procrastination or fatigue.

It’s 7pm. It also took me about 20 minutes to get out of bed today. I was thinking of doing a float tank session tomorrow morning after work. A couple argued on the stoop outside – “a LOT of MONEY” she said, emphasizing “LOT” and “MONEY,” to which he said “I know,” in a weak voice. My coffee is too hot. Decluttr sent me another flash coupon so I may do another sale with them. It takes a good amount of effort to bundle something together, and I’ll be busy the next few days, so I added myself onto their coupons watch list. I’m going to put some water in this coffee to cool it down then read Monkey for about 45 minutes until 8pm? It’s 7:06pm.

It’s 8pm. I read Monkey for less time than that. It’s not a difficult read, just slightly tedious, I suppose, but I’m glad that it does its own thing without censoring or covering itself. People die. Bad things happen. It was a rough journey for them. They are finally, halfway through the book, embarking on that westward journey. I’ll row, bathe, then embark workward by around 9:20pm. It’s 8:03pm.

It’s 10pm. I may typically wait a minute to write since it’s easier to write 10pm than 10:00pm, but this was right on time. I left late but arrived about on time, even hydroplaning through parts of the commute. I’ll end it here for now. It’s 10:03pm. [24 minutes for the 20th]

It’s 3:09am. I added typically to the previous entry. Otherwise, it’s been a busy night. I wasn’t able to write 1000 words nor read a page, though I did sort through some emails, and deleted over 150, so there is that. It was so busy I even took a later lunch than normal. That’s the 311.

It’s 11:50am. I decided that when I got home at just before 8am that I wanted to do a load of laundry, check my bank account – all is good, then finish my 1000-word essay. Done. I’m tired. I drank a sip of some popular organic energy drink, spit it out, and poured the rest down the drain. Doing what I can to crush the rest of these energy drinks I experimented with and lost interest in. I must conclude this experiment to reclaim my fridge for, well, my limited diet of foods, I suppose. I’ll only get about 6 hours of sleep, no, less than that. Don’t pity me. I could have went to bed sooner, but sometimes, you’re trapped by procrastination and determination. It’s 11:55am.

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Chapter 77: 6pm, Monday the 21st of October

//National Not Writing More Junk Month

It’s 64. I haven’t been sleeping well the past few days. I’ll wake up randomly. It’s not fun. I usually wait for my alarm before I wake. Maybe that’ll change tomorrow? I’ll go to bed when I get home, wake early, see Michale Graves, then go to sleep at night. It’s 6:08pm.

It’s 8:26pm. After breakfast, I read Monkey, will probably do a quick 5-minute rowing set, bath, then leave for work. I feel a bit sick. It should clear up tomorrow. I’ll sleep before and after the show, then I have my eye appointment, then I’ll sleep some more. Going around in the afternoon might be good for me. I better row and bathe soon so I’m not running late. It’s 8:29pm.

It’s 9:51pm. I ended up being early. The roads were delirious with rain. I’ve probably been feeling that change in weather in my sleep patterns. I have a topic for an essay. I think it will be a Downsizing Zeal and Sober Living crossover called “Burning Your Cave,” based on a scene from Journey To The West. I’ll research it for a bit before writing about it. It’s 9:54pm. [17 minutes]

It’s 3:06am. I was perturbed over someone’s edits where they removed the periods at the ends of all of the sentences in an article I edited. This individual probably values aesthetics over grammar. Whatever. I wrote “Burning Your Cave” and though I ended up not including the Sober Living angle, I think it turned out well. I had some blood stain on my white dress shirt but through the magic of soap and cold water, I rubbed it out. I joke about when one of these shirts wear out, I’ll wear it to a GWAR show. I missed my chance of going a few hours ago, but I didn’t want to go. It’s 3:10am.

It’s 5:09am. I had someone yelling at me and telling me they definitely had a network issue. I definitely didn’t give an inch. Shit like that, man… At least other calls tend to be nicer. One vendor was telling me he was really tired. So there was that. Otherwise, I’m off in less than two hours and in bed within three. Should… It’s 5:11am.

It’s 8:50am. Bed time. I talked with Z today about businesses. She recommended I participate in NaNoWriMo. I should. It’s 8:52am.

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Chapter 78: 4pm, Tuesday the 22nd of October

//This project is in full swing now.

It’s 5:35pm. IDKFA may need to bail from seeing Michale Graves, which took most of my motivation away from waking up early. I’m tired still so I must be going to bed too late or not getting enough sleep. I’ll find out at 7pm if I’m going. I may just bathe so I can factor in the go timeline and no go timeline equally into my life. If I don’t go, I’ll start editing part 1 of Time Travel Toxicity for publication, research NaNoWriMo, and sort through some old drafts. If I go, then that just gets done later. It’s 5:39pm.

Zbignev

Zbeeg niev

7:49pm [14 minutes]

It’s 1:39am. I went to the show. I was thinking about things to write about, considering Zbigneiv’s Teriyaki, but because I haven’t worked in a teriyaki place or any restaurant, I can’t write to it. I’ll write about Eville Medical instead. 30 2,000-word short stories should be fine. It’s 1:41am.

It’s 4:33am. I spent the last few hours unwinding a bit then preparing Better Zombie for this influx of fiction writing plans. I’ll write more about it there. Since I have my eye appointment in the afternoon, I’ll need to wake up early tonight. I think after writing 2000 words over two essays about my plans, I’ll be sufficiently tired enough to do that then wake up at 2pm? 3? The appointment is at 5:30pm so there will be plenty of time. I guess I’m just excited to explore since I’m never awake or outside when anything is open. It’s 4:37am.

It’s 6:18am. First essay done along with the template so I can dig into the next topic. /

It’s 7:47am. Second essay is done. I think I should be done, too, until 2pm. As a final thought to wrap up this day of mine, I could have focused on old drafts, but I’m feeling excited about NaNoWriMo because after 1000 essays with no results, this should get me something, at least. It’s 7:50am.

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Chapter 79: 3pm, Wednesday the 23rd of October

//I wrote so much I forgot to write.

It’s 311. I’m awake, but at what cost? Ugh. I will need to make coffee and breakfast, row and bathe, and depart for the thrift store then the eye appointment. It’s 3:13pm.

It’s 5:25pm. I’m at the eye clinic. I feel sluggish. I didn’t go to the thrift store. Maybe later? If not, maybe the library to print out some things? I think I’ll plan to be awake until 5am or maybe 8am. If that… It’s 5:27pm.

It’s 5:46pm. They did a quick eye and glasses check then told me it would be about 15 minutes, so I looked around at frames. Nothing too exciting. The floor model glasses they had that were most appealing – the only ones that were appealing – were most like mine. I saw some neat sunglasses. I suspect I would find my Zombiepaperian pair of sunglasses elsewhere. I’m now waiting in the stuffy lobby. It’s 5:49pm.

It’s 10:05pm. I got a new pair of glasses and sunglasses. The glasses are more normal but the sunglasses are a style. Whether they’re my style or not is to be determined. The guy filling out the glasses paperwork either recognized me from long, long ago – I may have once got glasses from him, or, I might have the appearance of celebrity. I shouldn’t think that highly of myself. Now I’m standing off to the side in a supermarket. I forgot to get bread. This is the time to get a second green hat, since I like the first so much, and one will become my Zombiepaper hat while the other will be my regular hat. The lines were too long since the side doors closed at 10pm, so rather than wait in line, I waited nearby the bread to write this paragraph before checking out, going home, making sandwiches, then using the computer. It’s 10:09pm.

It’s 11:43pm. On my way, I heard a child screaming in the supermarket in that sort of exasperated way someone might scream when they’re in danger, not, if I said the name of the place you’d know it before I started spelling it out, for fun. That was annoying. What wasn’t was knowing I can drive over to the store and back. My old place was not convenient. I got the bread I needed to make six days of sandwiches for work. I did so while listening to Digibro’s old Q&A at Crunchyroll Expo before he shittalked them enough to get his referral and their good graces cut, but good on him. We need more icon burners. If someone like him were inside of Corporate America, he would be very hard to work with “professionally” by most, but he’d be a great worker. He just suffers no fools. I do. I’m learning to be more like him, IDKFA, and others that have fools that bother them, but let that shit roll off. I have some essays to write to prepare myself for NaNoWriMo. The more I write, the further ahead I’ll be… And I just looked over the writing pace I’d need to hit to make that possible. I… could do it. As scared as I am changing up, maybe getting into the industry, well, there is no better option. I cannot survive Corporate America. I will be too miserable. Missing GWAR this past week and Strung Out soon is fine, but doing it too often, with this night schedule compromising for the incredible pace of day shift work doesn’t appeal to me. If I can be more like Digi, why not? I only have this job to lose, which did get me updated glasses, among other affects from career causes. It’s 11:55pm. [36 minutes]

It’s 1:49am. I took two 10-minute naps. I still feel unproductive and lethargic. I don’t want to brew coffee so maybe I’ll just have another energy drink. It’s 1:50am.

It’s πam. I’m writing a demystified writing essay but it’s harshly cynical. I think it’ll be fine. It’s 3:15am.

It’s 4:34am. I wrote my first essay for today. I’ll need to write one or three more to give myself a good head’s start to the rest of the month of fiction writing I’ll be doing soon. I tested my Google Docs app on my phone. It’s reliable. I’ll use WriterP for this and Gdocs for that, and migrate things over once I’m done. I have a feeling this can turn out terribly if I don’t prepare and pause. I tend to work too much sometimes. I’m feeling good enough but I’ve noticed I feel just a little anxious all around. It’s 4:37am.

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Chapter 80: 6pm, Thursday the 24th of October

//I pushed myself too much.

It’s 6:56pm. I forgot to write here but I wrote 3000 words, in total, I think, for the whole NaNoWriMo thing. That takes priority. Except for this lingering headache of mine. The priority should be fixing it… It’s 6:58pm.

It’s 8:53pm. My headache returned as soon as I finished writing “Sharpen Your Axe.” I was thinking of rowing before work, but now that the headache is back, I think I’ll just soak in the tub for a while. It’s 8:54pm.

It’s 10:33pm. I’m nearly a half-hour early arriving into work. I think I’ll cut off for the night with this entry. I’m brainstorming Eville Medical and Eville itself. It will be like Seattle in many ways. Founded by settlers moving out west, Sneaker, Wiles, and Scribe. Eville Hospital might be in downtown or on the outskirts of town. I don’t think I specified that in the other short stories and it’ll be up in the air until it’s go-time to write for publication. I almost like the idea of this being formally called Eville Hospital #2 or something. Having it take place in the suburbs will be easier but too on the nose, and ideally, this should be the Eville Medical in “The Story,” not my own experiences, though I can fill in my own experiences in for these side characters and side stories. I’ll research hospitals and maps for such tonight if it’s not too busy. If it is, then it’ll have to wait. I may also book a float session. I think it will help. I may do so midway through next month on one of my days off if I’m making good progress. It’s 10:40pm. [19 minutes]

It’s 3:51am. I’m on my lunch break. It’s been a weird and hectic day. I did get my writing in and some research. I’ll be brainstorming more ideas as I go. There’s one. When I’ll get to a point where I need to start rejecting ideas, I’ll be fine. I was going to have Sammohini’s manager’s manager as one of the main six, but that’s too much. I’ll need to figure out her 5th coworker on the team. I have 8 minutes until I’m back to work. Headache is still here; I’ll do some car insurance stuff today when I get home, write another 2019 novel essay, then try to sleep early. I think I pushed myself too hard yesterday, even know I was writing about not and knowing the consequences. You’ve gotta live it to heed it. It’s 3:57am.

It’s 5:43am. The pressure behind my right eye is more intense now. This is probably tension. It’s probably stress. I can probably feel better soon. //

It’s 10:49am. Head aches. In bed. /

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Chapter 81: 6pm, Friday the 25th of October

//A near wipe-out for this young lad.

It’s 7:10pm. My headache is still here. It’s like Charlie from Flowers for Algernon. It’s tough to focus. It might be related to my vision. I started feeling worse after getting bright lights and blasts of air shot into my eyes. I couldn’t sleep, either. Well, at least I have enough time for some writing. It’s 7:13pm.

It’s 8:54pm. I wrote for 50 minutes. My headache has recessed a bit. It’s still not pleasurable. I’ve gotta bathe before work still. //

It’s 10:03pm. It started hailing when I went back up to get some recycling, poundee by the time I got into my car, stuck by the time I got to the main road, and I nearly wiped out into the four-way intersection just down the hill from the apartment-mansion. My emergency break saved me there. Life comes at you quick. It’s 10:05pm. [14 minutes]

It’s 2:47am. I feel numb. Maybe it’s all the standing? I wrote about headaches but now I just feel tired. I couldn’t write that well. I should try to get home and sleep. I’m overall ahead of schedule with writing to where I can take a self-care period off. We’ll see. It’s 2:48am.

5:08am. I’m feeling better. My knees are tired, but otherwise, I’m feeling good. It’s 5:09am.

7am. I’m tired. If I don’t have any good writing ideas on the drive home, I’ll go to sleep. It’s 7:01am.

.

Chapter 82: 6pm, Saturday the 26th of October

//Hiatus to write elsewhere

It’s 8:35pm. I will migrate my writing barfs from here to my 2019 Novel writing from here on, so expect shorter entries, unless it’s minor or major life changes like yesterday, because that writing will take priority. I’m running kinda late, too. Headache is gone. It’s 8:37pm.

It’s 10:03pm. Roads were clear. Life is precious and peculiar. It’s 10:05pm. [8 minutes]

It’s 5:06am. Made good progress with the 2019 Novel prep writing. My brain is on standby mode now. All feels good. I may row later today. It’s 5:08am.

It’s 10:34am. I will be going on hiatus here until December 1st. I need complete focus to crank this thing out. If there are any noteworthy sights between now and the end of the month, I’ll dump them below, otherwise, it’s all going into the novel. See ya in December. It’s 10:36am.

///

Endtable:
Quotes: Cited in-line.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Hemingway’s quote about it taking 1,000,000 words to become a writer, so I thought, why not try it? Writing 63,000 words like that was helpful.
Related: Check out my first novel, then.
Photo: Some calculator from the computer recycling place I stopped into on the first day I started writing this.
Written On: The days listed above.
Last Edited: December 27, 2019 [This took time to render on my poor laptop.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.