Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it’s a good (and scary) day for you. I don’t do much for Halloween since I’ve been in Australia. Australia tries to get into the spirit, but it does a terrible job.

(Not my weenie dog, unfortunately.)

My Mac Journey

Once upon a time, I had a HP laptop that I bought in 2007. I used it up until early this year. There were no speed problems with it, but it was starting to run really hot and noisy. It ran a few different versions of Windows and for the most part, I was a happy guy. It worked well for me and I am still amazed that it lasted as long as it did. (It was a fairly expensive laptop though. I don’t do cheap computers unless I’m desperate.) The hard drive died in it once and the mic/camera was a bit flaky, but its performance was absolutely solid. I could run everything I needed on it up until the end. (Gaming got a bit iffy though. The graphics card was getting to be obsolete and unsupported by just about everything.)

I retired that old laptop and replaced it with a desktop. I was trying to decide whether I wanted a HP desktop (I know, right???), a Surface Studio, or an iMac with a 5k display. It came down to how many pixels I could get on the display. The HP desktops weren’t really that impressive to me. I knew I wanted an all-in-one design and the power and resolution I needed just wasn’t available. The Surface Studio was just a bit overpriced and I was thinking, would I ever use it for what they’re built for? Probably not. Also, while I was considering it, I remembered how anxious I’d get because I got a lot of bad updates from Windows. I never knew whether the upgrades would go smooth or not. Some of them had left me without a laptop for a day or two. That left me with the decision to get a Mac.

Why Mac?

The award for my most favourite computer ever goes to the iMac G4.

I am no stranger to Macs. I got my first one around 2003 and it was great. It was one of those lamp-looking ones (the G4) and it, probably to this day, was my favourite computer (with the one I’m using now being #2 and the HP laptop being #3). After that one got a little too old, I gave it to my nephew and got one that wasn’t as visually stunning (the G5). That last one ran hot and I don’t think I got to use it much because at the time I had planned to move to Australia and I wasn’t going to bother bringing it with me, so I let my sister have it. If I’m not mistaken, she used it for a really long time. I bought one of the last PowerBooks, and headed off to Australia. That one was rock solid, but I got it right when Apple was transitioning to Intel processors. (The last time I checked, this one still works. Someone begged me for it, so I gave it to them.) To replace that one, I got one of the white plastic MacBooks that kind of picked up every bit of oil off my hands. I’m a very oily man. Not good, but the computer was good. No problems. I donated that one to a kid in The Philippines.  THEN (this story does end), I got an iMac that started failing less than a year I got it. I was just about to go to the USA, so I thought I’d come back and take care of it. I called AppleCare who said that the warranty had expired 3 days before. So, it sat around gathering dust. (The graphics card was defective and the hard drive had already failed.) This jaded my decision to get another Mac. That’s when I got the HP laptop.

After the HP laptop’s hard drive failed, I didn’t have time to replace it (and I thought that the insides had melted anyway) so I got a MacBook Pro. I still have this one and I absolutely, 100% hate this piece of shit. It is the slowest computer I’ve ever used and it was slow when I first got it. Nothing I’ve done to it has speeded it up. I use it now when I HAVE to. I don’t use it because I want to. I got it with the impression that it will be as reliable as the other Macs I’ve gotten. It hasn’t had any major issues, but DAMN is it slow. When it isn’t cripplingly slow, it’s okay. I’ll give it that. I should have sold off that thing a long time ago.

The new iMac

8 GB of memory isn’t enough, but don’t buy your memory from Apple. Just don’t do it, you’ll pay out the nose for it. (It’s also why you shouldn’t get a computer from them if you can’t change the memory yourself.)

So here I am. No technology has been 100% nice to me. I’m certainly not a Mac zealot. I have Windows 10 on here, but I use it only when I have to. I end up going back to macOS when I possibly can though because it’s been more reliable for me. I don’t get strange “An error has occurred somewhere” kind of messages. I don’t get error messages about drivers. It just works out really well for me. As far as programming goes, it doesn’t really get in my way. If I need to, I can just head over to my Windows 10 Bootcamp install. The display is gorgeous. I love all the millions of pixels. Everything’s crisp and clear. (It makes pictures on Facebook look terrible though.)

When I got this thing, I wasn’t impressed with the pre-installed memory of 8 GB. I also wasn’t impressed with the cost that Apple wants to charge for memory either. It is incredibly horrible. If this thing didn’t have user-serviceable memory, I wouldn’t have bothered. Seriously. I got an extra 32 GB for about A$400 and eventually, I’ll get another 32 GB. Right now I am standing on 40 GB.

I would have preferred the i7 version, but I don’t think the difference between the i5 and i7 will affect me that much. It hasn’t really been a problem at all, not that I’ve noticed anyway. The graphics card was the highest I could get with this model of iMac. The storage is at 2 TB. The OS is installed on flash storage so it’s speedy. The rest of the junk is on the hard drive part of the Fusion Drive.

So far it’s been a solid machine. It’s totally restored my confidence in Macs. It’s also made me happy that I no longer have to subject myself to the mysteries of the Windows operating system (unless I want to).

Oh, and I totally hate the Apple Magic Mouse 2. But you can read about that here. If you’re too lazy to click the link, basically it is the most uncomfortable mouse ever and the “scroll wheel” on it is so incredibly sensitive. Also, the charging port for it is ON THE BOTTOM. Do yourself a favour if you get one… get a better mouse that feels better in your hand… and one that works a lot better too!

Oh, and the Microsoft Surface?

Thinking about getting their Surface Pro? It’s really good. That’s what I usually suggest for people who are okay with Windows or they’re used to Windows. If you’re thinking of getting a new “laptop”, they’ve been pretty solid. I forgot to mention that I got one of these too, but it was the RT version. I liked it. The rest of the world didn’t. I’ve also suggested this so many times to people (who bought one and they’ve been happy), Microsoft should pay me!

My Age is Showing

One of the reasons I have been able to post so much lately is because I am taking some time off right now. I am also pretty bored, so a lot of thoughts enter into my head. If everything I thought about came out as a post, I think I would drive you good people crazy and I try not to do that.

Once these candles are ablaze, this is going to be one waxy-ass cake!

It’s no secret, my birthday is coming up and like every year, I think about how old I am getting and how next year will be my 20 year anniversary of graduating high school. I think about how much has changed since then and how different my life has turned out. In so many ways, I still feel like that 17- or 18-year-old who just left high school. I still want to go places and do things. I’m not young anymore though, so it’s a lot harder.

But again, something always comes back to haunt me and that’s about my future. Where am I going to end up? One of the hardest things about living away from the country you were born and raised in is the fact that though you don’t always speak highly of it, you still want to go back sometimes. That is where my family is, after all. I don’t know if I will ever live in my hometown again, but I am pretty sure I want to try to give New York another go. I do miss New York. I think that it will be much less likely to chew me up and spit me out. (Not that it happened in the first place. I loved living there. It was hard, but it was exciting and fun.)

Every so often, I think about this. It doesn’t mean that I am going to pack my bags and leave tomorrow but I think at some point I will. I’ll get there and then realise how much I miss Australia, and come back here. Then I’ll go to the USA. It’s just so hard because I honestly love Australia so much. I am pretty happy here but I also wished that I had my family a little closer. That’s what bothers me the most and as I get older, I am wanting to spend more time with them, but right now, I can’t. It’s incredibly frustrating.

I just don’t know when any of this is going to happen yet. It’s also a little bit harder when I have a partner who may or may not want to stay in the USA just in case. I haven’t really discussed it much. Where we are is closer to his family in India, and really closer to his family living in Australia (who live in the same suburb as we do, and who he visits often). I know what it feels like missing my nephews growing up and because my sister won’t be having anymore (that I know of), I won’t have that opportunity anymore.

It’s just something to think about. I want to make us both happy but we have a lot of planning to do and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of compromising to do which might actually veer towards some uncomfortable consequences. I don’t know that though. We will see though.

Is this a normal part of ageing, by the way? My sister told me the other day that this is the age where she really started thinking about things and how she’s probably more than halfway to her death. Yeah, we’re a morbid family.

I Miss American Breakfast Places

I miss the all-day breakfast places in the USA. As far as I know, Australia doesn’t have them. Yes, Macca’s does all-day breakfast but it’s not the same (plus, 90% of the time, fast food breakfasts make me very ill and that’s probably a very good thing).

These are some of the places I’d go to when I lived in or visited Texas. If you’re Australian and you’re looking for a place to go, go to these places once at least. Either you’ll be in love or totally disgusted.

Denny’s

One of my favourite places to go is called Denny’s. Not only did they have really good, greasy American breakfasts, but they had fried cheese sticks and lots of other fried stuff I love. The other thing is that the one that I went to was between my house and work. It was also open 24 hours a day, so when I’d leave work at 2 am sometimes, I’d go. If I wanted scrambled eggs and cheese then, I could get that. If I wanted a burger, I could get that too.

My Memories of Denny’s

My best friend and I would go together a lot and there was a waitress who was like the best waitress when she started but as time passed, she got worse and worse. We still joke about that sometimes. (I miss the both of those women!)

It was actually a place where a few of us would meet up and I have to admit that I really miss that at my old age. It makes me a little sad thinking about it, but I guess life does go on. Right?

IHOP

I think everybody knows about IHOP but I hardly ever went there. The gays would usually go after clubbing and stuff though. I got invited to go a few times. I do remember that they had really good pancakes. Unfortunately, I can’t remember anything I had there besides pancakes. (Give me some slack, it’s been more than 7 years since I’ve been!!)

My Memories of IHOP

I went out on a date with a guy there. This guy was notoriously well-known for singing show tunes every chance he got. He was a sweet guy, cute too. Still cute, but I don’t talk to him much anymore.

My best friend and I went here a couple of times and we’d order unlimited pancakes. She had a peculiar habit of eating her pancakes inside out. Good idea, but I’m still amused that she did that.

Waffle House

I saved the best for last. My feelings about Waffle House are split down the middle. In my hometown, it was a place where people could smoke inside of it. It was a one room place, so going in was quite stinky. I’d go in there for waffles. They aren’t like the waffles you can get here though. Most of the time, here in Australia, you get waffles loaded down with fruit, ice cream, and syrup. They’re really good. The waffles in Waffle House are well, just waffles. Optionally, you can load it down with butter and syrup. Still, really good. Very sweet, and very tasty.

My Memories of Waffle House

Seeing that this was a place you could smoke in, and a lot of my friends smoked, it was a place we’d go to a lot. I’d go in for unlimited cups of coffee and hash browns with cheese. I’d end up spending later in the bathroom from coffee overload. I liked their coffee though. It helped me get over the stench of cigarette smoke.

One night (on a trip to the USA) it snowed and my friend and I went. I saw a few high school friends for the first time in forever. I got home, played in the snow (I made an army of snowmen on my dad’s truck), waited for my parents to wake up (they’d wake up really early) and my dad and I played in the snow before he left. Little things like that make me miss my dad a lot.

While I was visiting and before I moved, my dad would wake up early and bring me here to have breakfast. He was always like “Order anything you want.” I wasn’t a big breakfast eater (and I’m still not). He’d chat with the people there because he was a regular. He went there every morning before work so he knew everybody. It was a little embarrassing because I don’t like to be considered as a “regular” somewhere. Especially when the food isn’t that great for you. Something he’d do is bring a little container of sugar-free syrup (which gave him really bad gas) and a LOT of butter. I never got that.

I kinda ran away from home once. I just didn’t go home after school so I could meet up with someone I had a little crush on. We went here and from there I called my parents to tell them that I wasn’t dead. I just think they weren’t happy that I was out socialising.

99 Things You Don’t Care About

Yes, it’s another one of those questionnaire things. It keeps me from having to post real stuff. You might learn some really useless trivia about me that you can use against me for your own advancement. Who knows?! Well, here we go:

1: Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Closed.

2: Do you take the shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotel?
I am more of a coffee and tea thief when it comes to hotels.

3: Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
I tuck them in, but do they stay tucked in?

4: Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
Maybe a stop sign. I don’t remember.

5: Do you like to use Post-It notes?
Not real ones. Digital ones are okay.

6: Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
They don’t really have them here, but I do use some vouchers for restaurants that are buy one, get one free.

7: Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
Bees. No allergies, but it would totally suck. The bear could maul me to death.

8: Do you have freckles?
Not many.

9: Do you always smile for pictures?
Never!

10: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Idiots.

11: Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Strange but I count 8 steps at a time. I don’t know why.

12: Have you ever peed in the woods?
All the time. It’s one of the perks of living in the country and being a guy.

13: What about pooped in the woods?
Yes, but don’t think I’d try that these days.

14: Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing?
Nah.

15: Do you chew your pens and pencils?
No.

16: How many people have you slept with this week?
Only one.

17: What size is your bed?
Queen.

18: What is your song of the week?
Because of the 7-year-old, this…

19: Is it OK for guys to wear pink?
Totally.

20: Do you still watch cartoons?
All. The. Time.

21: What’s your least favorite movie?
I don’t like to torture myself by watching bad movies. I usually don’t bother watching movies that have Adam Sandler or Jack Black in them. I’d rather be blind and deaf.

22: Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
It wouldn’t be a treasure if I told you where I hid it, would it? (But if I had to bury treasure because my life depended on it, I’d probably bury it in a cave off the beach. Ready? Go find it!)

23: If you’re a girl, bra size? If you’re a guy, pants size?
I usually hover around the low-30s range… 30 or 32 inch waists.

24: What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Good USA BBQ sauce.

25: What is your favorite food?
Fried chicken breast pieces. Popcorn chicken. Chicken nuggets. Good stuff.

26: What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
IT, the one from 1990. I would also watch the new one a few more times if I could. I also liked watching Fantasia. Heavy Metal.

27: Last person you kissed/kissed you?
My partner.

28: Were you ever a Boy/Girl Scout?
I was for a few years. The scout leader and his family were a pack of weirdos. Not in a creepy way, they were just strange people.

29: Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Would anybody ever subject their readers to that? Maybe after a year of going to the gym.

30: When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
My grandmother on Christmas. She never acknowledged it though.

31: Can you change the oil on a car?
I have a few times. I learned quite quickly that it’s easier to pay someone else to do it though.

32: Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Actually? No! Unbelievable!

33: Ever ran out of gas?
No. I’m surprised with this one too. I’m sure there were a few times I almost did.

34: Favorite kind of sandwich?
Roast chicken and lots of fresh veggies (and beetroot!).

35: Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Muffins and/or pancakes.

36: What is your usual bedtime?
10-11 pm.

37: Are you lazy?
I’m one of the laziest people I know. I should work on that.

38: When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
A cat! My last was a compulsive gambler. I threw on a hat my parents got in Las Vegas, wore a fanny pack, and wore shorts and a Hawaiian T-shirt. (Actually, I might be making the shirt up.)

39: What is your Chinese astrological sign?
Sheep/ram…

40: Are you horny?
No. My libido is kinda dying. It’s really sad.

41: Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Nope.

42: Which are better, Legos or Lincoln Logs?
Legos. I played with them up until I finished high school. I’d pick one day a week to play with them. My favorite day of the week!

43: Are you stubborn?
I can be.

44: Who is better…Leno or Letterman?
Never bothered to figure this out.

45: Ever watch soap operas?
Nope. Too boring. I don’t care what happens to fictional characters.

46: Are you afraid of heights?
Not super afraid. It could make me a bit sick though.

47: Do you sing in the car?
Sometimes. Like this:

(Seriously, I used to sing a lot better. Not so good now.)

48: Do you sing in the shower?
I do. (My favorite songs to sing in the shower are by Tori Amos.)

49: Do you dance in the car?
I did.

50: Ever used a gun?
Sure. When you’re from the South, you have to learn.

51: Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
Long ass time ago. I was a kid.

52: Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Sure I do.

53: Is Christmas stressful?
My Christmases are a lot less stressful in Australia. In fact, I rarely even realise it’s Christmas because it’s so damn hot here at that time of the year.

54: Ever eat a pierogi?
No…

55: Favorite type of fruit pie?
Cherry pie, yaw.

56: Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a weatherman.

57: Do you believe in ghosts?
Sure.

58: Ever have a deja-vu feeling?
Sometimes

59: Take a vitamin daily?
I did, but it didn’t seem to make a difference, so I stopped.

60: Wear slippers?
Yes. The bottom of my feet are really sensitive.

61: Wear a bath robe?
Yes. They’re quite handy to have around.

62: What do you wear to bed?
Depends how cold it is and it depends how lazy I am.

63: First concert?
Tori Amos.

64: Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?
Target. They usually have the coolest stuff.

65: Nike or Adidas?
I have only worn Nikes.

66: Cheetos Or Fritos?
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos + Coke. Fritos with chili + cheese. (Basically either.)

67: Peanuts or sunflower seeds?
Are the sunflower seeds already cracked open? If not, I’m not interested.

68: Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?
No.

69: Ever take dance lessons?
Nope.

70: Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
I hope he gets a job doing what he wants to do. (Can’t discuss because we both are in the same field.)

71: Can you curl your tongue?
Yes.

72: Ever won a spelling bee?
I used to win them all the time. I think we all rely on the spelling correction built into browsers now, so no one has to spell well.

73: Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
Probably.

74: Own any record albums?
I have one. It was in a deluxe edition of BioShock. I love BioShock.

75: Own a record player?
No…

76: Regularly burn incense?
Not regularly. Partner’s got some serious allergies, so I only burn it about once a week or two.

77: Ever been in love?
A few times, sure.

78: Who would you like to see in concert?
I’d really like to go see Imogen Heap. I’m surprised I haven’t already, actually.

79: What was the last concert you saw?
Tori Amos, I think.

80: Hot tea or cold tea?
Sounds weird coming from a Southerner, but I like it hot… with milk.

81: Tea or coffee?
Coffee gives me the shits, but I still like it.

82: Sugar or snickerdoodles?
They taste like nothingness. Reminds me when I was a kid and couldn’t taste anything (see #84).

83: Can you swim well?
My swimming abilities are awful. I swim a lot better underwater than above water though.

84: Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
Sounds like what I had to do all through my childhood because I had allergies. I was a seriously bad mouth breather. After I got some allergen immunotherapy, it got 50% better. After I moved to Australia, it became a LOT better… better to the point where I don’t think I’d move back if I had to.

85: Are you patient?
SOMETIMES.

86: DJ or band, at a wedding?
My wedding? Just give me some Macs and I’ll do it myself!

87: Ever won a contest?
I used to win art contests a lot, but then, I didn’t anymore. Probably something I should continue doing, right?

88: Ever have plastic surgery?
Not really. I got a mole lasered out though.

89: Which are better, black or green olives?
The green ones with the red thing in them.

90: Can you knit or crochet?
Nope.

91: Best room for a fireplace?
Living room, maybe? I don’t really like fireplaces though.

92: Do you want to get married?
Sure I do, I guess.

93: If married, how long have you been married?
One day it will happen.

94: Who was your HS crush?
I tried my luck with a few girls and after a while, I was like “Who are you kidding?”

95: Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
Not really. Sometimes you just have to compromise… or get walked all over.

96: Do you have kids?
No.

97: Do you want kids?
I’m not sure yet.

98: What’s your favorite color?
Blue.

99: Do you miss anyone right now?
My dad and my family back home.

Don’t Read the Comments

comments
How to make your day at least 32% better. (You can get this pattern here.)

People leaving comments isn’t really a “thing” here, so I’m not really talking about the comments left here (Thanks by the way, Romo.). I’m more talking about the comments left on news stories at Facebook. You could see a news story about an elderly lady winning the lottery, and someone would have something really shitty to say. This morning, I was reading how the “Yes” vote on our little, tax-wasting survey of the marriage thing is ahead. Boy, does that bring out the crazy people. I’m not talking about the people who vote no, but both sides. People are generally being terrible to each other. I mean, it’s just awful.

On one side, the “No” voters, you have people saying dumb things like how legalising same sex marriage (SSM) will make everybody gay and no one will want to have sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. Then, you know, no more populating this planet to join religious cults because those people are the pure ones. You have people who are equating SSM to the “end times” when it’s been happening in places since the early 2000s. You have the “Yes” voters saying the most incredibly horrible things to people who are voting no (and they said they’re voting no very politely) that their family is going to be set alight with hand sanitizer and a match. That kind of thing.

After a while, I just decided not to read comments on stuff because there’s a lot of stupidity out there, I’ve noticed. You put a computer connected to the Internet in front of some people, and they have a new way to spread their stupidity. I like to make up statistics, so I’d say most idiots have access to Facebook now. It’s hard to have an educated opinion that isn’t based on fairy tales without getting jumped all over for it now, especially when it comes to my American friends and family.

Not reading comments has made me a little happier though. I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s a bit infuriating though to keep my mouth closed when people say something ridiculously idiotic. It’s hard for me to stay quiet sometimes. I’m not saying people should be completely quiet though, all I’m saying is that a lot of people could have all the education and scientific evidence you’d think they need to prove their point wrong, and they’ll still believe something (world flatness, anyone?).

And this stupid survey? I’m still not confident. People have been voting for some really stupid things and stupid people. You’d think that people had a bit more sense, but they don’t. I’m not getting my hopes up (look what happened when “we” voted for president). I will be really glad once the results for this thing are in next month though.

Claustrophobe!

Oh look, someone’s growing a foot plant!

Something I fear is being in a confined, tight space. I guess you could call it a mild case of claustrophobia. I have recurring dreams of me being stuck in a small space and can’t breathe. If you’ve watched the movie “Buried”, you’ll see what makes me really, really uncomfortable. Actually, this scenario scares me a lot . (PS: I liked the movie but it made me really, really ill watching it.) I have a big fear of being buried alive (called taphophobia). It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to be buried after I die. Just incinerate me until I turn into corpse dust and scatter me around here and in Texas.

Every so often, like last night, I dream about being in a small space and I feel like I can’t breathe. That’s usually when I can’t wake up, so in my dream, I am gasping for air and there’s no telling what I’m doing while I’m sleeping. I remember being in a car with a really low roof, and the windows and windscreen/windshield was covered. That’s all there was to it. I basically broke out of there (quite easily too) and tried to catch my breath. I woke up a few minutes afterwards, out of breath. It’s kind of weird because this is the first time I’ve dreamed about that, and really, that isn’t such a confined space. My dreams usually involve me in some kind of dark, watery maze where I can’t find a place to get air.

I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was younger (and thinner), my friends decided that they would put me on a sofa bed, fold it up, and stick it back down inside the couch. Unfortunately, when they did that, the sofa got stuck down in there with me in it, and my face was pressed against the mattress, so I couldn’t breathe. It was probably the most scared I’ve felt before. I came out of it with most of my brain cells still intact, so I guess it wasn’t too bad but that was really scary to me.

I don’t know if this is what brought on my bad dreams. It’s not a nightly occurrence but it happens a little more often that I hoped it would. My sleep quality isn’t that great to begin with. Oh well, it’s just one of those minor things that happens in my life that I thought I would share.

(This was one of those weblog posts that was written in advance, so by the time I post this, it would have been a few days ago.)

I Didn’t Want to Meet You (Again) Anyway

What constitutes masculinity? (PS: This body type will never be me. lol) (I grabbed the pic from Homotrophy but it’s got wieners showing. Interested? Google it instead.)

Something funny happened last night. And by funny, it makes me think how shallow some people can be. It’s not a secret that my partner and I both have profiles at sites that are used to meet guys. We both basically like to look at other guys and sometimes chat. I make it very clear in them that I am partnered and not looking for any kind of relationship other than a friendly one (plus I’m not wanting to lose this special little gem I have).

A guy who I chatted with on and off during the day, decided he really wanted to meet me. He asked me what I was doing on Tuesday and I said that I was working in the afternoon in Melbourne. So we were planning to meet then (but I don’t think I would have–you know, anxiety gets the best of me sometimes). He chatted with me a bit longer, called me a “really nice guy”. His messages though were just really stale. Not very exciting. He didn’t want to reveal much about himself but he wanted to know all about me. Fun stuff, I guess because I do like talking about myself. I found him a bit boring and uninteresting. He then asked me to meet him today at noon. I said “ok” though I wasn’t really interested. (This is a really bad personality trait about me.) He asked to chat with me on the phone, so I talked to him about five minutes. Boring conversation. Oh, and he lacked a little thing called chat and/or phone etiquette.

Then he said that he had to go to bed and that was okay. No problem. It was a blessing. Then, he said that he had met me before. I don’t really remember him but he said that I wasn’t masculine enough for him when he met me last time and how I’m not his type (same from this side). Anybody who has heard me knows that I don’t have a deep voice. I’m not muscular. I’m just hairy and bald (and damn it, we’re hot!).

I very, very barely remember meeting someone a few years ago who I didn’t feel any kind of connection with. I didn’t really feel that connection then either. I remember him just being really boring, how we seemed not to be into each other, and how much I wished the meeting would end. That day, I had removed his contact number from my phone. (Same thing happened this time, though I didn’t bother making him a contact in my contacts. I just added him to WeChat (which I hate). I removed him and hopefully I won’t run into him anymore.

This is going to sound a bit funny, but before, I’d let something like this really bother me. Maybe I’ve matured since then. Maybe I can’t be bothered to meet new people who are totally ignorant that I am partnered. Maybe I just don’t like uninteresting people. Maybe I shouldn’t even be on these websites (other than just perving). I am happy with who I have at the moment though I give him a hard time sometimes.

It made me realise something though. Gay men can be a little shallow (and boring and a wee bit dumb too). Yeah, we have our preferences but I’m not looking to impress anybody and even if people were looking friendship, why would something like “masculinity” matter? (By the way, he is the only guy who has complained that I’m not “masculine” enough.) This also made me realise that I really don’t like to meet people and probably shouldn’t be on those stupid sites.

Cards of Life and CBT

The cards I’m dealt with… (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite cartoons…)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Call it laziness. I haven’t been sitting idly though. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about life in general and tried to find some way to explain it to people and finally came up with an explanation. Life’s like a never-ending game of cards.

Sometimes people get good hands, and sometimes people get bad hands. The good thing about the bad hand is that I think it’s possible to discard some of the “cards” and hopefully get better ones. For example, one of my “cards” has been that I am getting weaker, strength-wise. Well, should I hold on to that card? No. I should replace it with another that will make me stronger and that’s what I’ve done (or rather, in the process of doing). Instead of holding on to the more negative “cards” in my life, I have tried to replace them so that I am a better “me” in future.

What seems like a terrible card or hand, doesn’t really have to be so terrible. I really believe in finding the good from the bad (and sometimes, I go in the opposite direction). I think that it’s good to come up with something positive to replace a negative. If that’s not possible, I try to replace a negative with a neutral. Focusing on negative aspects in my life won’t do any good, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. I am one of my own harshest critics. Sometimes I am absolutely brutal, but as long as I develop that kind of thinking where I am replacing bad thoughts with good thoughts about myself, I think I will be all right.

I think that my life is as miserable as I allow it to be and this kind of thinking has saved me many times getting myself really down. My depressive episodes have gone down a lot and generally, I am a happier person from it. I’m not insanely happy or anything, but I am much, much better. It’s a huge improvement from where I was ten years ago.

It’s still close to impossible for me to take compliments or really understand that I am appreciated in people’s lives though. I’m getting a little better though. I do feel like I mean something to many people and when you get to that point, it’s a really good feeling. Even when I thought no one really cared about me, I know that people do care. It might not come from the direction you want or expect it to, but I really think it’s there floating around or something.

What I have been talking about is actually called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT – don’t giggle). For me, it’s worked like a charm. If you’re interested, there’s a little program I have done a while back that helped. It made me sit back and think: “Yeah, I could try to stop thinking so negatively about myself. It’s not doing any good.” It’s called Moodgym.

I’ve been pretty big on mental health lately because I’ve seen what being in poor mental health can be like and looking back, I really wouldn’t want someone to suffer the same way that I have. I think that it’s really important to nip this stuff in the bud as quickly as possible so it doesn’t become a huge problem later.

The process of feeling better about yourself isn’t an easy one, but I really feel like it’s important to start as soon as possible. If you’re feeling miserable, try out the CBT stuff. It really helped me out.

Goodbye, Yellow Running Man

AOL-Instant-Messenger.gif
It has been fun, running man. See you in the afterlife (or Hell)!

Another part of my childhood destroyed by AOL. AIM will be shutting down on 15 December 2017. It’s actually okay though because I haven’t sent anybody a message using AIM in over 5 years (if not longer). It was actually the first messenger I used to chat with people on the Internet (including the AOL chat rooms).

Chatting back then was so much fun but I met some really weird people on there. I didn’t dare meet them in person though. At the time when I was around 15 or 16, I would chat with a lot of people. I was pretty popular because I’d pop into the gay chatrooms that were basically for older guys and they’d see me as fresh meat (and some of it was really creepy, thinking back). Of course, back then I don’t think that I had any sexuality at all. I was probably more into myself than I was in anybody else. I guess you could call that curious or questioning or something.

Years later, I met some really nice people. Some I am still connected with on Facebook. Some, I’ve lost contact with. I guess that’s okay. Not everybody is supposed to stay in your life forever, I guess.

So, goodbye AIM. It was great having you in my life for a while. Thanks for the memories.