Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Black Box.

I can get into a good mystery. I make a really good sleuth; a crime is committed, various parties come and go into the situation, and someone has to come into the crime scene and sort out all the clues and piece together the truth, and what happened. It’s like putting together a plane crash after all the dust has settled and the black box is recovered.

Mysteries are good fun, simple ones at least. Sadly nothing is ever very simple; even more frustrating is when the mystery is your life and through all the sleuthing and deducting you come to the conclusion that the crime cannot be solved. The last year has been a crime scene where I have picked every nit and examined every piece of burning wreckage that was my relationship with Erin.

I came to the conclusion last year that I will never get closure from that relationship, and that only one person who could tell me the truth is the one person whom I had written off and someone whom I could not trust. Even now, I debate with myself if I asked her to tell me the truth, would I be able to trust its validity.

This didn’t sit well with me, nor will it ever. I needed to know what happened. I was consumed by the absence of that knowledge. Honestly I have been obsessing over that for longer than I want to admit to myself, some of it while the relationship was still intact.

Putting on my detective’s hat for a second, here is what I have pieced together what happened with little clues I have to work with. Erin cheated on me about halfway through our relationship, and covered it up and lied to my face that she loved me and needed to slow down the relationship. We got back together, got engaged, but she was still seeing her suitor on the side. The situation eventually exploded and the other man presented himself and I chose to believe her over his word. Things oscillated between better and worse while our sex life was on life support.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was one of her high school students. I have a picture from her journal where she curses me for wanting to improve our sex life, and on the same page claim that she had fallen for one of her students. Couple this with an uncommon amount of time she spent with him, hundreds of texts between them, and that she flat out did not come home one night from a student study session. I started to think that I picked the wrong horse when her previous fuck buddy came out of the closet.

But what to do? I was at an impasse with myself; the worst rock and hard place that I have ever had to be between in my whole life. I think Captain Ahab and I would be fast friends and have a good time over beers.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was not only breaking up with a girl, but I was also breaking up with an idea. My view of the world has changed since then, not by choice but by necessity. I’ve realized that my view of the world pre Erin was extremely idolized. I pretended to live in a world where nobody cheated on their partners, where honesty is the best policy, and where people treated each other with respect. If you don’t believe me, go read the news. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

The end of my relationship with Erin was also the end of my innocence.

That sounds really dramatic and hyperbolic, but it’s the way I feel. I don’t look at people the same way as I used to. Everyone I meet is a just another liar, cheater, or just in general bad until I get to know them. The world has shown its true face, and that presentation process has been painful, but educational.

In and ironic twist, I empathize and feel a strong connection with her mother, whom she has been a shoulder to lean on through the hard times during the relationship, and after I discovered that she was married and pregnant a little over a year after we broke up. Gretchen and I are somewhat casualties of infidelity. I’m also curious how much or how little her mother knows about what really happened.

She emailed me last year, and I have considered responding. It was short, sorry, and probably made her feel really good about herself for sending it. It ended with the mother of all cop outs:

“I honestly am sorry about how things ended with us, and I sincerely hope that you find the happiness you deserve.”

Sorry doesn’t even begin to make up for what she did. No admission of wrongdoing, and just a hollow apology in a pithy little statement. Finding happiness that I deserve? I was extremely happy with our relationship until she shit all over it and stopped being honest with me and honest with herself. I want to be happy, but that is all in the past now, a past where nobody cheats, and where truth is the currency. If anything that’s the happiness I deserve and I know I will never have it. It might very well be dangled in front of my face for the rest of my life taunting me, and haunting me. I don’t think I live in that world anymore.

I’m happy with my life though, and I don’t want to make it sound like I am going to go cut myself after posting this. Like I said, my life view has changed out of necessity, not by choice. I will find a way increase my happiness over time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Warm Bodies

Talking to friends in fresh places really has a profound impact on ones thought processes.

I'm good at WoW. In fact, probably too good at the game. I could take 24 warm bodies, unskilled players, mouthbreathers, windowlickers and fartsniffers into a raid and we would be successful and get loot. Call me arrogant, but if you have played the game with me, you would agree that it is true.

Maybe that's why I feel burned out and unchallenged. I have no peers that play this game currently. I'm reminded of a quote from Big Bang Theory:

Leonard: Do you realize that if Penny wakes up there is no reasonable explanation as to why we're here.
Sheldon: I just gave you a reasonable explanation.
Leonard: No you gave me an explanation; its reasonableness will be determiend by a jury of your peers.
Sheldon: Don't be ridiculous... I have no peers.

I am the Sheldon of WoW. I make it rain.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I talked with a friend recently who wondered why that more people weren't smarter in general; not that people are stupid intentionally, but don't take that marginal effort to learn or be better people. We both came from serious relationships and grasping at what kind of person we wanted to be with next.She is extremely smart, going to be a doctor in fact, but felt slightly isolated from the world by her intelligence. Even though she wanted to find someone awesome, she wouldn't compromise herself in brilliance in order to find someone she wanted to be with.

We argued, and came short on understanding what exactly she was looking for, but it got me thinking about myself.

Smart people generally are a little arrogant about how smart they are. They take solace and shelter in the fact that they are better thinking than everyone else, probably similarly to how really attractive people take refuge in their good looks. The rub is that if you are especially gifted in one area (looks, brains, personality, endowedness) that almost everyone you meet will fail to measure up in that area to you.

I compared it to a bell curve. Sure, I am smart. If I had to give it a number, I would be in the 95th percentile of people around me; there are very few people that I know who are as smart or smarter than I think I am. So, if that is the thing I value the most, then I will only be looking in a small bandwidth of people around me for smarties, not to mention other attributes that I want (physical, chemistry, emotional).

This is who I am. I'm a funny, smart, decently attractive guy who is dynamite in the sack (or so I have been told). The stars could align and I could find someone who is looking for all those things. All the things I feel about myself are all at the very tip of the bell curve. Great, but I don't think that is what people are looking for; if I want to catch the most fish, I gotta fish with the best bait. You don't want to wait for someone to perfectly match.

So I ask a question of myself.

Who do I want to be? Do I want to be less smart, but more common?

Do I shoot for the masses, where the venn diagram has the largest intersection? Tailor myself to be what the most people are looking for: a marginally smart, marginally funny, very physically attractive with nice clothes and always looking like I have something that I can offer or give them? This person can sleep with whoever they want, talk about vapid or topical stuff with anyone.

Or do I shoot for something similar to me and take the road where I already know I will be more isolated from the world. I feel my friend's pain too. I feel that I'm imbalanced, too much brain, not enough in other areas.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When a song hits it on the head.`

What do you do if there comes a day when I lose my way? What will you do?
Oh I would stand by you (Word?)
Pray for you (Oh yeah?)
If it would help I’d even die for you?

Oh yeah? That’s what the last one said
Unfortunately I was mad misled
I ran on E until no more gas was left
The most I got from her was ass and bread
The trust was lost like Kanye’s fashion sense
Accidents happen when you live with the weak
But it’s not an accident when you make a conscious decision to cheat
That’s enough reason to get into beef
Throw all your spouse’s shit on the street, quit and retreat
But these are the breaks, it’s told by Kurtis Blow
So please for my sake, stay by me, this earth is cold
And I’m freezing like I’ve been laying in dirt and snow

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time is on my side.

Time is so weird.

When I was working, I felt like I had partitioned my time into buckets and that things had to happen during those designated times. Work happened during work time, and I would use my off time for whatever I tagged as off time activity whether it be catching up on podcasts, playing video games, reading, or whatever else I could think of. Sleep happened whenever. That non work bucket felt like a catch all, and I was just doing stuff to pass that time that I had allocated to it. There were things that I wanted to spend my time doing more than others, but I was content with how much each bucket held and how I had decided to allocate my non-work time. There never is enough time sadly.

Now that I am unemployed I still feel like there isn't enough time, but I am getting much more accomplished and much more miserly with what I will spend it on. Things that I used to do in my non-work time seem very useless now. I will skip entire podcasts that I used to listen to beginning to end when I had a job, skip to the meat of a video game without doing all the stuff around the edges. I am reading more and working out a shitload, and actually looking forward to it. I will whip up a dervish applying for jobs, doing stuff that has been on my to-do list forever, and catching up with old shit that needs to be done. How I look at my "free" time has changed drastically, and I hope that I can keep that point of view when I finally land a whale of a job.

Working out especially has gotten a ton of attention. I'm after results, and already I can feel myself getting stronger. The goal is to lose about 50lbs by the summer. It's one that is a little out of reach, but it will be great to see how close I can get by the end of this. Lifting has been great, as a friend turned me on to a simple, effective lifting schedule. I am adding cardio stuff on as I think I can handle it, but my lower legs get really sore if I start jogging for more than a couple minutes; I had shin spints back when I played football, and I would rather not overdo it and develop them again. Researching new workouts will be the next step.

I'm tracking my diet much closer than I have in the past, and putting myself in situations where it would be hard to violate my intake rules.

I'm not sure if this is just me getting older, and valuing my time more, or if it is a paradigm shift of who I have become over the last month and last year (Seriously, fuck 2011. Complete shit show.) I don't really care too much about things outside my personal bubble. This self improvement kick has gotten in my blood, and everything that doesn't make me a better person gets cut. Some things that have taken the sidelines are even giving any thought to dating. I want to be the best me that I can be, because I have learned that however awesome I am and I know I am, my confidence sucks. I need to feel like a better person, and that will help me feel better about who I am on the outside; many people have told me and I already know I am spectacular person in my heart and mind.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Self Investment

The heart of investment is putting resources into something and hoping to get a higher return that what you put in the first place. This could be time, money, affection, thought, whatever. Last year, I spent way too many of my resources for other people, and I did not get much back, or as much as I was expecting.

As I look back at my life over the last few years since I graduated with my masters degree, there has been a lot of me overextending myself and investing in others expecting a positive return on my investment. There are a lot of people whom I squandered my time and money needlessly; I was chasing expectations that seemed reasonable at the time, but in hindsight not the best use of my resources. I didn't get nothing for something per se, but I think I ended up getting much less than I wanted out of it.

The past few years, I have been a very complete person I think. Sure there were areas for self improvement, but I chose to invest in others because ultimately, my needs are met, and I want to make others happy. There is no such thing as a selfless act; by making other's lives better, it made me feel great in return. I took a lot of people to dinner, spent money and time on others, spent my downtime thinking about others and what they were doing/thinking/were they thinking about me too? One person in particular was a complete and total bust, where I got much less out of the experience than I put in.

I started thinking about this today after I started a new workout routine, enjoying things for myself, and starting to plan the next part of my life; all of this has been implemented over the last month. I thought, what if I took all that time and energy and worked on myself. Could I realize the expectations I have of myself, if I directed all that effort inward rather than into others? What is my personal ROI (Return On Investment for all you non finance people)?

Ultimately I am not a selfish person. At some point, I would get negative satisfaction by directing my energy inward. I want to be a great person, not for myself but for others; more specifically one very special person in particular whom I would very much like to find in the near future, but I can't really worry about that right now. I got my own shit to do.

My goals for the next three months:
-Eat better, and less. I have rediscovered cooking as I have more time to enjoy my own time. I make a couple good meals over a week and dine on delicious leftovers as the week progresses.
-Work out, and do work son. This goes with the first goal, lose weight, and try to be a good lookin' gentleman and not be so much of a fatty. I've always had a belly and weighed more than I should. This needs to change, for myself.
-Travel and get out of my basement more. I am planning on going to Peru for Nate's wedding, and I want to go to Hawaii and see Ty and Cyrus and experience a little of island living for a bit.
-Play some damn video games. One of the avenues I over invested in the last year was through WoW. I'm going to shift my focus from playing that game into other games that I have been wanting to check out and neglected from not having the time to diversify.
-Read/Listen to Moby Dick, and some other classics. Moby Dick seems to be an important book and is referenced so much in American media and culture. I want to discover that world for myself and get into it.

I has plan.