Christmas.

I love Christmas.

I love putting the decorations up. They’re so beautiful and makes the house fill with happiness.

But as the actual day inches closer, I’m feel a little low.

Maybe because it doesn’t feel like Christmas. It always feels weird when there’s no snow outside for Christmas.

It’s either been raining or really sunny and cold.

Just doesn’t seem like the time of year. Or feel like it even.

Sometimes I wish there was a big family coming over. That we were all getting together. I haven’t done that in a few years, not since my dad died. Having a small nuclear family has it’s ups and downs I suppose.

I see people rushing to visit everybody and feel sorry for them. But I’ve never had to do that so it’s kind of lonely at times. But I have my mom and that’s enough.

I gave a Christmas card to someone and I don’t think they were expecting to get a card because they gave me a big hug afterward. I’m glad I could make her happy.

Today’s a stream of conscious post, if you haven’t noticed.

I hope tomorrow I can think of something better to write about. Don’t worry, I’ll get back into the swing of things eventually.

Was I even in the swing of things?

Who knows. My posts have always been random.

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Finding Thankfulness

Sometimes it’s hard to feel thankful when you’ve been faced with the bottom of the barrel for a while. And yet tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in America and we’re having to be thankful for what we have.

So what am I thankful for?

  • A home
  • A job
  • Books
  • Internet access (last year I went for a couple weeks without it and it was horrible)
  • A bed to sleep in
  • Great stories to listen to on YouTube
  • Family and friends who care
  • A few days off
  • Starting a new day even if the day before was horrible
  • Being alive
  • Being healthy
  • Getting most of my shopping done (I don’t have to get the other things I want to get but I want to get it anyway)

I could complain about things, but I won’t. Today’s not the day for it.

To write and to feel.

I prefer to write in black pen.

I don’t know why, but it seems more solid and official.

Don’t get me wrong, I like blue pens and I’ve even written in blue pen before, but I prefer to write in black pen.

Black pens seem more official, you know? And there seems to be more of them around. If I started writing in blue pen, I’d have to keep that blue pen around because if I sat it down and lost it, chances are I wouldn’t pick up another blue pen, it’d be a different color (most likely black) and it just wouldn’t look the same and I’d be bugged about it and eventually throw the paper away and end up writing it all in black pen anyway. I’m just that type of person.

Also, I prefer pens over pencils. When I was a kid, it was the other way around. When I was a kid, pens felt weird in my hands and didn’t seem to write smooth. Not only that, I could erase more easily with a pencil. Obviously.

These days, I avoid writing with a pencil. The led always lines the side of my hand and I’m not even left handed. Maybe I press too hard, maybe I sweat too much when I write. A combination of the two. Who knows. I just prefer pen. Because you can’t really smear pen, can you? Unless you’re writing with an inkwell and feather. That’s just weird to me. A nice aesthetic, but weird.

I’ve been in solitude for a while now. Don’t ask me why. I just like being in solitude. I prefer solitary activities. I thought I wanted to be more social a while ago but it just depleted me terribly and now I just want to be alone.

What have I been doing?

Listening to YouTube. Reading (a little, but not much, to be honest.) Playing mandolin. Writing a poem a day. Working my designated shifts. The usual.

Trying not to feel lonely.

Everybody has somebody to love. Even if they go for months without speaking to anybody else, they still have that one person to give body warmth to next to the couch. That’s all.

The older you get, the harder it is to date. And I was never good at dating to begin with. I’m mostly good at being single, but when the majority of your friends and acquaintances have significant others, it’s hard not to notice being the odd one out. Nobody wants to their perceived faults to be pointed out.

And nobody wants to help you, you know? They say, “You’ll find someone who will love you!” And when you say “Oh yeah? And do you know of anybody I can go out on a date with?” They say, “No…”

I thought so. Then don’t bring me hope when it doesn’t work. I’ve been on that road a long time ago. I’m in that weird purgatory of enjoying my solitude and hating it at the same time. Don’t destroy me.

Go somewhere else unless you know someone worthy of dating me.

I’m not sure where I was going with this. Just to write. And no, I’m not sad, not really. I just want to find something different.

Red Tom of the Hills

I’ve been sporadic with my music playing. I went two days without practicing and then for only ten minutes a day for a few days. It’s not good but I knew I wanted to bite the bullet and learn how play melody and I didn’t want to learn it. Someone was giving me horror stories about how playing melody was only for “advanced” players and I was scared to start trying.

But I finally did it because some other musicians encouraged me to just jump right in and try it out. Anyone who tells you that something’s for an advanced player only isn’t being very helpful. So the other day I watched a little bit of the melody for Cindy and when I got the idea of how it was supposed to go I branched off and found an Irish reel called “Red Tom of the Hills.” There’s a guy on YouTube who shows people how to play melody to various Irish songs and this one was the first one in his “for beginners” playlist. I printed off the tabs he provided and listened to him play it a couple times and followed along a little bit and then branched off and just followed the tabs sheet.

I’m not good at reading tabs (or regular music to be honest) but I think it’s my security blanket because when someone is showing how to play it, I like to follow along so I can get the hang of it. I need to learn how to listen to a song and learn how to pick it out, but obviously I’m not that brave yet. At least I’m trying out a combination of reading tabs and listening to it at the same time, right? In the very least I’m listening to how it’s supposed to sound like first so I know I’m doing it right while I’m practicing?

I’ve been watching more mandolin players on YouTube. It’s fun to watch how quick their fingers dance across the fretboard. I want to be that quick one day. And hopefully it’ll come sooner rather than later.

National Novel Writing Month, or Something.

It’s National Novel Writing Month. Or National Poetry Writing Month. Or National Blog Writing Month. Or whatever it is your writing month. I don’t even know anymore. People have so many ways of writing it’s not even funny.

I thought about it last night briefly. I don’t think I’ll participate in it, though I did write a poem in its honor. I don’t think I could write 30 poems. Or 50,000 words. Or even 30 blog posts. It just doesn’t seem logical. I like the idea of it–it doesn’t matter what you’re writing as long as you’re writing but when did we stop caring about quality in favor of quantity? Maybe quantity yields to quality? I don’t know.

I have this crisis every year. Should I participate? Is it worth it? I want to participate!

…and then I don’t because I’m lazy.

Maybe I just never understood why people would want to do it. I just think it’s weird. I tried writing a blog post every day once. That was weird. And hard. And annoying. I can’t even do it for a week. Because it’s dumb and takes away from everything else. That’s all.

‘It Follows’ — Some Thoughts.

The Blurb:

After carefree teenager Jay sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh, for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.

My thoughts:

I was actually impressed by this little film that is apparently low budget. While the director uses a typical cliche of horror, he amped up the horror by not explaining exactly what “it” is that follows Jay and how it knows when someone’s had his (or her) first sexual experience. There is no slashing, no blood and guts spilling over, no dramatic climax of Girl vs. Demon. The angry spirit (or whatever it is) is slow and meditative, almost like a zombie, walking casually towards the victim as if it had all the time in the world.

The characters were smart, too. They actually made smart decisions and thought logically about what to do in order to get rid of “it.” And when the one person dies, it made sense to me why that person died.

My criticism of the movie is that the parents seem to be non-existent throughout the movie. They are there in the beginning, concerned by the terror that her new boyfriend thrust upon her and then they disappear. Aren’t they concerned by her running away in the middle of the night and seeing people that no one else can see? And why doesn’t the curse affect adults? Seems strange to me. Also, what was the purpose of them going to the pool towards the end of the movie and placing lamps and such around it? I suppose it pointed out to her friends that this thing exists, but why couldn’t they do that elsewhere?

This doesn’t have anything else to do with the rest of the movie, just a personal annoyance of mine:

There is one part towards the end of the movie where one of the characters is sitting in the hospital bed reading off her compact e-reader thing and eating a sandwich. I’m one of those people who can’t stand listening to people eat and this flipping girl was chewing so loud and so fast that I wanted to jump into the movie with her and chuck a chair at her or something. I very nearly fast-forwarded through this little bit because I couldn’t take another second of it. But I plugged my ears and turned my face away until it was over. It was an obnoxious scene that could’ve been taken out but it’s not something that bothers everyone so I endured it. If anything was scary that was.

I hope they make a sequel to this movie, just so I know more about what “it” and why it follows.

Review: 4 Stars.

Coming Round the Mountain.

I learned a new song yesterday, “Comin’ Round the Mountain.”

The person who arranged it had it both in the Key of G and Key of C and I tried out both of them. I liked the sound of it in G better but C was easier because I didn’t have to do D in the middle of the song. It’s more awkward than the other chords that I’ve learned so I have to pay more attention but it will get easier, I’m sure.

I’m definitely procrastinating on learning melody, but at the moment I don’t care. As long as I learn a couple songs and practice scales occasionally I’m good. I have a feeling melody is on the scales that I’m learning but I haven’t made the leap yet.

My callouses are coming and I can feel the hardness of them when I type and they still hurt a little bit. I wish we didn’t need callouses to be able to play but that’s the way to go. It’s so weird to have them on a couple fingers but not on others.

I have “Man of Constant Sorrow” to learn. Now that will be a disappointment if I can’t learn the chords to and even the melody. For now I’ll learn the chords.