Moolah

It appears I didn’t actually finish my last post. I got distracted by not going someplace and totally lost the thread. That happens, sometimes.

I left off at not buying an iMac and admitting that my excuse is now that I’m waiting to see what Apple announces later this year with the Mac Pro and, a remote possibility, something about new Minis.

Rather than explain everything, let me, instead, walk you through a typical purchase decision. Let’s say it’s for a new Widget and it costs $500.

The first thing to do is say, “Gosh! That new Widget is really fucking awesome! Boy, what I couldn’t do with one of those!” Then I start investigating into it more and read other impressions of the Widget.

“Let’s see,” I say to myself. “Seven thousand people think the Widget is really awesome. Six people think it’s garbage. Those six people must know something…” I trail off in my mind.

But I still kind of want that Widget. So I start talking about it at work. Constantly. “Hey! Did you see that new Widget? Is it the bee’s knees, or what?” I say. And my co-workers gently, but firmly, leave. Because they’ve been through this before, where I talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about buying something and then I never do. They’re married with kids and houses. They’re lucky if they can get away with buying a candy bar at the grocery store check out line. I have no wife, no girlfriend, no kids, and nothing that really costs me a lot so they wonder why I’m not walking around with gold teeth, hair extensions and driving a really nice car. So all this kind of annoys them.

For the record, I have a nice car. I love my car. My car is my penis extension. And nobody wants to see that either.

So, after everyone walks away I bring up my spreadsheet. Because I have a spreadsheet. It contains all the money that comes in and all the money that goes out. It’s got calculations, forecasts, graphs, running totals and Year To Date totals. And I stare at it. I stare at it wondering how that $500 will affect me in the coming months.

It won’t. Not a bit. Then I start thinking, “But what if I need that $500? What if there’s an emergency? What if I get fired tomorrow? What if…” I think of all the things that could possibly go wrong that will cost me so much that whatever $500 I spend will impact me so horribly that I’d rather kill myself than buy a Widget.

Eventually I get over it. I realize that it won’t affect my finances too much if I spend $500 once. Then I remember that I had to get the car fixed (the other one, not the good one that I love so much) one month and that cost way more than $500 and, look, here I was with another $500 to spend. Or Christmas presents for family that doesn’t care about me. Or this that and the other thing that cost about that much, if not more. So, yeah, I could spend it.

But do I really need it? No, I do not. I have a lot of other things that do the same job as a Widget. This is strictly a luxury Widget. Just something that would make me happy.

Make. Me. Happy.

Do I deserve to be happy? Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’m afraid to be happy? That’s kind of a weird thought.

Anyway, once I get to the happy part that’s when I finally decide to not buy whatever Widget is looking interesting.

Besides all this you may be wondering why I want an iMac at all. It’s mostly for the 5K screen. At the time, I was taking a lot of pictures and it would have been infinitely spiffy to be editing those photos on a giant 5K screen. These days, though, I don’t take a lot of pictures so it makes even less sense to get one.

Instead, maybe I’ll concentrate on not upgrading my Windows computer.

 

Money

Due to the way my life was going a few years ago, I find that I have peculiar habits today. Back then I was always short of money (for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with how I manage money but I won’t get into those reasons right now). After my life got worse, it got better.

I still remember the first time I went to the grocery store without checking to see if I had money in my bank account. It was a such a monumental feeling that I nearly cried walking to the car. It may not sound all that exciting but before then I had to check, make sure of how much was in there, what was due to come out, and then spend frugally, keeping track of my total down to the penny.

One might think that I went on a wild spending spree at that point, buying up stuff that I wanted and putting myself back into a hole. But, no, that’s not what happened. Instead, I ended up keeping most of the same habits.

You see, I can spend a lot of money if it’s on something I need. New tires for the car? No problem. Groceries? Also not a problem. Usually. Sometimes I’ll think I’m being a little too ‘gourmet’ and start putting things back that I don’t really need.

That’s where it all falls down, see. I have to need it. If it’s something I don’t need, but want then it’s a whole thing. For instance, four years ago I decided to get an iMac. I didn’t need one, I just wanted one. I had the money. I could have bought several. I started looking at the Apple website and figuring out which one I wanted and how much I was willing to spend. Then I waited because Apple might have introduced new ones or done some upgrades. Then I waited to see if some place would have a sale. Then I waited because it was nearly time for Apple to announce news models. Then I looked at the website again to look at prices.

I still don’t have an iMac. I still want one, but now I want the iMac Pro because it’s the most powerful one they have. There’s no way I’m spending $5,000 on a computer, though. So now I’m waiting to see what the new Mac Pro is about. Which I won’t get, either, because it will also be expensive, just like the last one was.

And that’s just how it is. I want an iPad, but I won’t get one. My mom wants an iPad and she’ll be getting one for her birthday. That I can do.

That’s why it’s a shame that there’s not a woman who wants to date me. I’d be all about going on trips and dinners and doing things and whatever. I won’t do them for me (if it’s just me), but it would make me happy to do things for someone else if it would make them happy.

On another note: I disappointed myself today. I was going to go on a drive, take pictures, pick up some bagels and, generally, do stuff. I even got up early to do it. Then I decided I didn’t feel like it. Then I went out grocery shopping at 10am and saw that it was 93F already. So… probably a good thing I didn’t go. It would have been a six hour trip, all told.

Memory

I’m sure that there are certain people who believe that I don’t think about my dad very much. They’d be wrong. I don’t talk about him much or post on Facebook about him. One of the reasons why I don’t talk about him is because I think other people have gone through deaths of their own and don’t need me to air out my own.

This may be uncharitable of me. It might be that it’s just the thing that other’s like to know about it because it creates a kind of bond. Kinship through hardship. That sort of thing. But, as we’ll all see later on, I don’t think I think like other people.

Another person I don’t talk about is my wife. She’s been gone for almost a decade, but we didn’t have a common group of people we both knew so there aren’t a lot of people for me to talk to about her. And, I’ll be honest here, she pretty much made my life very difficult. That doesn’t mean, though, that I didn’t love her.

I also don’t talk about my cat. You may laugh, but my cat was the most important ‘person’ in my life for a number of years. He was a very good friend.

The most important reason why I don’t talk about them is because I miss them. A lot. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them in one way or another.

That may seem like a lot of loss to go through. It’s about half, but they were the closest to me.

Now, I’m not saying this is the best way to deal with grief. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Hopefully you have people to talk to and to support you and make you feel better when you’re feeling down and low.

Famous

I’m not. Maybe I could have been. I don’t know. Many people wish they had time machines. I know I do. Actually, what would be better would be the ability to go back in time in my own body with my knowledge of the future intact. That is, go back to when I was about seven and be a seven year old but still have all the knows I have now. Like of English. It sure would make school easier. I could also fix all the stupid things that I’ve done that led me to this point in life. Alas, it is not be.

The other thing I would like to have is an alternate Earth machine. I’d like to slide to all the alternate dimensions of Earth and see what was different in each one. Like the show Sliders, except controllable. What would the world be like today if Atari hadn’t been mismanaged so badly by everyone? Who knows?

I’m writing twice today because I have nothing better to do. That’s a lie. I have a lot of things I need to do, I just didn’t feel like doing them. Being an adult, I can say things that like. Take out the garbage? I don’t feel like it. Wash the dishes? I would, but I really don’t feel like it. I should take a shower, except I don’t feel like it. And there isn’t anyone to know the difference because I am alone.

Since I had four days off again (for the third time in the space of 30 days which would normally seem pretty cool, except it’s only just screwed up my sleep/wake pattern. Indeed, having two days off work so many times has just made it even more difficult to do what I want to do because I’m so tired I need the rest so by the time I feel like doing something, I’m on my way to work). Oh my God, that long parenthetical derailed my train of thought.

Oh, right. What I should have done was grabbed the camera and gone off to one of the towns I’ve been meaning to go to. I like taking pictures of small towns. I think they’re neat. I wish I could move to a small town that had a restaurant and a bar and where my house was close enough I could walk there. I would never cook dinner and I would seriously try to get drunk at least one night a week. I’d be around people, presumably. Hopefully people who wouldn’t want to hit me on the back of the head and leave me in a ditch.

I also should have done some editing on my two remaining stories for my other blog. Maybe it would be nice to put some effort into them for a change, rather than just dumping them out and letting them loose on the world. The three people that read it might appreciate that. On the other hand, those three people rarely understand what I’m trying to accomplish, anyway, so maybe they wouldn’t.

What does any of this have to do with being famous? Not a lot. I could have played football for my high school. Maybe it would have been a way for me to get into college. Maybe I could have gone pro and made some money before my knees gave out. I could have been having sex all the time until meeting someone to settle down with in my mansion paid for by Japanese soap commercials.

Maybe I could have really buckled down, gone to college, and started writing. Really writing. With, like, a circle of like-minded friends who would be a kind of inspiration or competition environment. Maybe I could have written a best selling book about a boy who turns out to be the most powerful wizard ever and then had movie deals out the ass and be a multi-billionaire heroically funding the exotic car market.

Perhaps I could have gotten into photography earlier and had started taking pictures of models and having sex with them and then getting all pissy because I’m an artist, damn it! Everything I do is art! Soup cans my ass! Let’s go to a rave!

I’m not any of those things. Hell, I can’t even work up the energy to be a kind of lovable villain who commits crimes and the public loves them. I’m just a sad old fart writing an incognito blog. I don’t even have a Patreon account.

Maybe I should find something serious to write about. Something that people might actually look at when they’d like to know something. But what?

MOB

Most of what I know about anything comes from television. I don’t mean things like… Well, I’m not even sure how to describe it. Let’s say general life things. What I get from television is more of a… unusual knowledge. Trivia, sort of. It’s probably not even what I’m supposed to take away from what I’m watching, but there you go.

My dad was a fan of the classics: The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, the “Road” movies with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and more. He encouraged me to watch them and, probably, like them. So much so that when I was young (say, 7 to 9 or so) and the local station was playing a Marx Brothers movie at midnight or 2AM or whatever, he would wake me up if I asked and let me watch for fifteen minutes until I fell asleep again.

I don’t know anyone that would do that for their kid, especially knowing the youngster would just fall right back asleep again. There were a lot of reasons to love my dad, and that was one of them. I don’t think he ever knew just how much that meant to me.

Anyway, one of the things that would crop up occasionally (aside from all men wearing hats, ice being delivered to the home and other things that we don’t really think about these days) are ‘mail order brides.’

Mail order brides tend to crop up in westerns. Women from the East coast moving out West to marry some guy they’ve never met. The man would, from what I can tell, select a woman from a catalog and then they’d write letters back and forth until it was agreed that they’d get hitched. I’m not really sure what the woman got out of it or why they would sell themselves that way.

One day, I wondered if they were still a thing. Do women still list themselves in a catalog in the hopes of getting married? It turns out that some do. Technically, I guess all dating sites are sort of mail order bride/groom sites. Women from different countries can be part of a ‘dating’ site in the hopes of moving to a different country and getting married. The first few that I found were set up to match Ukranian women to men in the west (what a coincidence). In this case, though, it was western countries and not the Wild West.

I looked at a few profiles and saw some very beautiful women with college degrees and what sounded like very good jobs. For the most part, they could speak several languages (with English being one of them). It was at that point that I realized that I really had nothing to offer these ladies except for a ticket to America. I mean, they were pretty, they were smart, they had good jobs. Coming here to marry me would be a step down.

So, my idle curiousity sated, I forgot about it for several years. I was married twice to women that could only be described as mentally unbalanced. I mean that in a very serious sense. One of them was only slightly off, but the later one was bi-polar and, probably, suffered from borderline personality disorder.

Since then, I’ve been alone. I don’t get out much since going out alone doesn’t excite me. I have no friends, so there’s no one to go out with. I work in an industry that is primarily (and stupidly) male so there’s no one to meet. I’ve been signed up for dating sites but I’m hesitant to make the first move. Most of this stems from a fear of finding another person like my second wife because that was the most trying, and worst, time of my life. I could literally write pages upon pages of what I went through. I am still deeply damaged by that time and I don’t even realize just how deep it is.

But I’m alone. And it sucks. So I started thinking about those Ukranian mail order brides again. Would it be such a terrible thing? Even if they’re sole purpose in latching on to me was to get citizenship here, at least I would know that up front. Maybe if I married young enough and kicked the bucket they would get my life insurance and have a fairly decent time of it. That wouldn’t be a terrible thing, would it? They would get a foot into the US, and I would have a reason to go out and show them all kinds of things, have dinner, watch movies, and who knows what else. Because I’ll do all those things for someone else, I just won’t do them for me. That would be something, right?

Unfortunately, it would involve taking trips out of the country. I don’t have a passport and I lost my love of flying when the airlines decided they should pack people on a flight like cattle and then treat them like shit by staying out on the tarmac for hours at a time with no regard to life, limb, or sanity. Maybe, though, that would be good for me, too.

Holiday

In the US, we’ll be celebrating Independance Day or, also known as, The Fourth of July. It’ll be a day full of families and friends gathering around to picnic, grill, and watch explosions in the sky.

That’s great for people who have families and friends. I don’t. So I’ll be doing a lot of nothing except for being happy that I live in the US. I’ve never lived anywhere else so I’m kind of fond of it for nostalgic reasons.

I was never big on fireworks, though. They’re neat and all when you get to see them, but I don’t go out of my way to see them. I guess it’s a bigger thing when you have a family and take them out and the kids enjoy them. The universe has made it quite clear that these are not meant to be for me.

No, what I get to do is to enjoy my day(s) off and look at Facebook with everyone else posting pictures of what a wonderful time they’re having with their families and what-not. I probably sound bitter. I am.

I mean, I’m not overly bitter. I don’t walk around muttering to myself about how shitty life is and how I wish everyone else was as miserable as I am. I don’t even think that and I’m genuinely happy that other people appear to be having an enjoyable life. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to look at what other people have and not wish that I could have something like that, too.

People may look at my life and think that I make a good living, I can afford to buy stupid things. I don’t have to worry about spending money on family things or kid things or whatever. Or, maybe, they’re envious that I don’t report to anyone; that I can do whatever I want, when I want and don’t have to explain it or justify it. I get my ‘alone’ time.

Except, I don’t want my alone time. I’ve had enough of it. I’d rather be out doing something with someone, enjoying them enjoying themselves. I won’t do things for me, but I’m more than happy do something for someone else. That’s the way I’m wired, I guess. It’s a shame. I could, I think, make someone very happy and secure. But somebody would need to take a chance on me and that’s never going to happen.

Nothing

Another Saturday of doing not much. I get to have another long weekend on account of the Fourth of July landing on a Tuesday. The nice people at work decided to let us have Monday off as well.

For the past couple of days I’ve been posting stories up on my other blog. I guess people are reading them, although no one has said very much. I never know if people like things or not. It would be nice to get some kind of feedback once in a while. Or maybe even once.

I’ve got two more to post. I thought about putting them up today and tomorrow, but I figure with the weekend and all nobody would see them and then they’d be forgotten about by Monday. And, since Tuesday is a holiday, nobody would see it then, either. So I’ll hold off until next Wednesday.

Now, my normal style of writing is to just write shit down and be done with it. I never re-write things. I never re-read things, until years later. Then, when I do, I’m usually amazed that I was the person that wrote it in the first place. Anyway, I figure with the time off I can actually read the two left and maybe make some improvements.

This probably seems a little weird since I’m sure I said the other day that I wasn’t a writer. I went from not writing anything new in years to suddenly writing five short-short stories.

Now, I’m sitting around getting the shit scared out of me watching The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. It’s weird, because I’m familiar with Ed and Lorraine Warren through various books and things from when I was younger.