The calm after the storm Dreamed 4391 days ago | | 1455 words

The Storm

Last night we had a horrible thunderstorm. Flashing and booming and shaking the glass on my balcony door. It was marvelous, gorgeous and beautiful. :)


I watched it from my balcony. It made me realize more than ever how much I wanted to Digital Rebel camera. While I love my little digicam, it’s no longer doing as much as I want to do with it. It’s time to upgrade since it’s beginning to hold me back.

Tonight, the sky is peaceful and calm. The pinks are just ow fading from behind the flashing spire of television. The city is beginning to stir to life with the ant-like cars scurrying across bridges. I love living on the waterfront. I love living high up enough to get a panoramic view of the city and the world.

It’s the nights like this I miss sitting out on the deck in Berryville. I miss laying in the hay field with my love. Gazing up at the stars. Promising each other the future. Thinking and worrying about it all the same. Those nights would never end. The darkness went on forever punctuated by tiny pin pricks of light a billion miles away.

That’s how that all feels now. A billion miles away. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life and not all of them good. I’ve made a lot of choices in my life and not all of them good. But I always did what I thought was best for me, and what was best for those it affected. Often times, putting them in front of me.

I’m bad about putting me first. I always work for others and put their needs in front of mine. Maybe that’s what’s left me alone, sitting on my balcony typing into Snowflake, my MacBook, instead of conversing with a real live person.

The Soundtrack

NIN’s Year Zero plays on the wall inside my place, while I sit outside, soaking in the cool dark breezes and feeling very thoughtful and contemplative. I wanted to write but was not sure what I wanted to write. So this is very much a stream of consciousness.

The Band, Splintered Reality.

I’ve been hard at work this past week getting the new Splintered Reality site together. (Link goes to old site.) Setting up the store. Putting together the audio preview. Making sure all the tracks had lyrics. Designing little things like error and search pages. Assuring my new email addresses were working. Turning an eye to the forum next to hopefully grow the community around us.

The band. The band I’ve taken a self-imposed backseat to. Which now features four fantastic people and for the first time, a full live group. I’m really excited! Our second album is out and while this one doesn’t have my voice, it does have my words, performed by the amazing Rick Wise, my best friend and my Splintered brother.

I have high hopes for the band, and the site, and the gigs to be played this summer. (Anyone looking for a band? Drop me a line!)

I wish I could share with you the site and the album now, but it’s not time yet. Just a little bit more. It’s worth the wait, I assure you.

Once the SR site launches I’m going to focus on building out the rest of this site. Adding a proper search, contact form, proper error handling. Things that all good web geeks have.

The Portfolio

Then the portfolio building happens. I’m looking to get out of my current job. It’s 25 miles twice a day. And thankfully, it’s the opposite way of traffic on I-95 but it’s still a long haul. And one that doesn’t pay enough.

I’m going to try to land a real, design job. Something I’ve not had since college really. A real place where I can go to work and think about, read about, and build designs all day long.

Design and the web consumes my life as it is, I might as well make some money from it, right? If that fails, I hope to at least pick up some freelance gigs here and there to supplement my income.

The Emptiness

Then maybe one day after that I’ll try to find someone to spend my life with. Someone to hold and to hug. Someone to sit up and talk with late into the night about anything under the sun. I miss that. I miss conversations.

I also need to get my weight under control. I’m a fat, fat man. I need to eat healthier, though I’ve gotten much better about that. I need to exercise. I need to find the motivation within me that will allow me to stick with it. In the past I’ve gone hard for a couple weeks, then my perpetual lack of sleep will catch up with me. Or work will get busy. Or I’ll just feel ill. And the gym will fall by the wayside. I’ll stop getting out and going to the park. I’ll return to my reclusive lifestyle which I’ve become known for.

On that topic, something else that’s been on my mind. The “social scene” specifically bars and clubs.

The Social Scene

I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I’m not straight edge or any identifiable group. My reasons for this are varied and fodder for another couple hundred words.

As to not avoid the topic completely I’ll say this. I don’t drink because I lived with an alcoholic stepfather who literally drank himself to death over the final years, yes years of his life. He died laying in a hospital bed choking on his own blood.

I don’t smoke because my mother smoked for a long time, my late-stepfather also smoked. There’s nothing attractive about it. Go huff a fireplace if you want to inhale smoke.

Drugs. Drugs are just fucking stupid. I put them in the same category as I put people who drink to get drunk. If you need a crutch to deal with life or to “relax and have fun” then you’ve got far more serious issues than I do.

I don’t dance. Well, I can be provoked to dance. With someone. To make them happy. And it is fun. But I don’t dance in public. I’m not comfortable in clubs and bars. Why would I want to dance if I’m already not comfortable. So I don’t go to night clubs.

Online Communities.

Yes, I hold accounts at Myspace, Facebook,, Digg, Flickr, and a plethora of others. But that’s not the communities I’m speaking of.

9Rules which is a semi-private community. What I mean is part of the site, The Network, is a submission-only group of sites now numbering into the hundred. Filled with content from all walks of life about any topic you can dream up, the network holds a ton of interesting information.

Then there is my.9r. Launched as part of the Ali redesign it gives everyone a chance to converse and discuss. What is basically little more than a glorified message board, it is so much more than that. The design is engaging and friendly. The Notes style is more of a post-it notes discussion than a big ominous board filled with overwhelming amounts of data.

It is this part of the site I’ve been living much of my online time for the past few months since I finally made an account, after lurking there for so long. Their approach to building a community is the best I’ve seen in a while and it can be summed up by my profile page.

Instead of asking me to fill in information or post photos, they use the services I already know and love. They integrate my flickr stream, my delicious links, recently played list, my blog postings, and the most recent posts on my top 9 friend’s blogs. All in a neat and well-designed package.

I keep saying they and I feel the need to point out that they is Mike, Tyme and Scrivs who we have to thank for building this mecca of intelligent and civil discourse on the internet.

It’s an amazingly close a caring community that I am very pleased to find myself apart of. I want to say Thank You! For all the hard work you’ve put into the site and building an amazing community.

Mind Cleansing

My head feels lighter now. So it is time to bring this post to an end. Year Zero comes to an end, I’ll leave you with the finals lyrics from Zero Sum

Shame on us
Doomed from the start
May God have mercy
On our dirty little hearts
Shame on us
For all we’ve done
And all we ever were
Just zeros and ones


  1. Scrivs · Jun 10, 03:56 PM · #

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