hit counter

BoldUlysses.comBoldUlysses

quite a catch

July 14, 2016

Loving the Pet Shop Boys’ newest album, Super.

Turns out Luke likely has some form of diabetes. Diagnosed last week. D made dietary changes and he’s doing fine, praise God. To say that we’re feeling overwhelmed is an understatement. Would like a success story. Every new and existing thing in our lives seems like it follows the same trajectory from bad to worse and we’re just hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

We had another epic meltdown last night. In fairness, he was hit with a few disappointing events, but his inability to control his anger or process his disappointment is so integral to his personality that it feels like things will never change. The Lord can do anything, but…just another area where it feels like we’ve gone ages—years—without any sustained, measurable improvement. I’m 37. Is this how it is indefinitely?

I’ve been running on fumes the past couple of weeks. No time for existential or nostalgic reflection.

Happy Bastille Day, by the way.

into the morn

June 30, 2016

Iona’s “Everything Changes” took me back to our trip out west in 1996. I miss that little Walkman and the case of tapes I took along. There were only a dozen or so slots, so I had to select my traveling music very carefully. The album wasn’t that great overall, but “Everything Changes” stood out for its slightly more industrial, electronic feel. The hotel in Jackson Hole had orange curtains and high ceilings and felt like something out of Jackie Brown. I don’t remember what I was reading then. The wheels of our eventual breakup were turning 1,500 miles away, unbeknownst to me. I was immersed in blue skies, clear air, idealistic pinings and long, long car rides.

I knew I wasn’t secure. I told myself I should buy something for her during the trip. I wanted to, but the thought that it’s something I should do—a sense of duty, almost—weighed on me more heavily. It was almost the idea that “This is what you do in a relationship,” and I went through the motions. Odd, though, because I did want to; it was a bizarre combination of obligation and effortlessness. I was confident; I didn’t feel like an imposter, a fraud, but I think I had a kind of subconscious awareness of the ephemeral quality of it, like it could be snatched away from me at any moment at the same time my conscious mind very much believed, if not that it would last forever, that at least it was open-ended. That probably stemmed from the quasi-unintentional way it started, how I backed myself into it and then slowly came to realize what an absolute treasure had fallen into my lap. It’s ironic that it was that lack of self-consciousness that fostered the attraction in the first place, and as my affection and insecurity increased in lockstep, the demeanor I first showed her withered away. And there was nothing I could do about it.

yesterday, today, forever the same
you are

you don’t care a bit

June 29, 2016

the dust has only just begun to form
crop circles in the carpet

Back in a different life I used to work at GNC. While on a shift, when things were especially slow (or even when they weren’t and I could sneak a spare second), I jotted down journal entry ideas or poetry fragments on bits of register tape. I need to do that again—not with register tape, mind you, but on any of the assorted stacks of blank post-its I have here in my cube.

I’m frustrated with and disappointed that as much as I told myself otherwise, it appears that a huge source of motivation for me to write, back when I did write frequently, was the attention of an audience. It takes the roof off a bit, metaphorically speaking, forcing me to admit to myself that maybe my online persona didn’t completely match my real-life one. As soon as I say that, though, the retort is that I didn’t write or discuss anything that was ever contrary to the way I really felt or thought. So it wasn’t a qualitative difference so much as a quantitative one. The quality is still there, albeit somewhat atrophied from lack of exercise, but I don’t believe it’s anything that can’t be resuscitated (triple negative?).

So, status check:

  • 37, still 6’4″, still have red hair (with a bit of gray now), still have the same rectangular glasses Leslie helped me pick out in Durham in early 2004.
  • Diane and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this November.
  • Luke is 12; Penelope is 8.
  • Still out here in Chattanooga.

Those are the all-unimportant (for the purposes of this journal) facts. Hopefully the daily anecdotes will serve as springboards for the recording of the internal dialogue. Which is how it ever was.

blood and tears
they were here first

wishbone

November 9, 2015

Remembered Sarah Masen a day or two ago, and binged on a whole bunch of songs from her self-titled debut album (admittedly the only one I owned). I remember buying that all the way back in 1996. I was a rising senior, if I remember correctly, and we were still attending South Durham Bible Church in Parkwood. It must’ve been the waning days of that church (my dad locked the door the day it folded), and I let Leslie borrow the album, and she really liked it. It’s a shame Masen didn’t go on to greater success; she was (and is) a very talented songwriter, with a kind of diary-like quality to her lyrics.

twelve gauge

November 4, 2015

Absolutely exhausted. I should be in bed now, and I’ll head that direction as soon as I finish this and take care of a few other things.

Productive day at work. The air conditioning died in the office (happened with my last job as well) so it was sweltering in there near the end of the workday. At least it’s not July. I tried to articulate to Marie what makes the nature of the design work I do at my new job so much more fulfilling than what I did previously, and I think it comes down to the fact that the types of displays I design now are one step closer to actual objects (being smaller in scale) and have less of a built-in, architectural quality to them. It sounds simplistic, and it probably is, but most industrial designers go to school to design thimble-to-vehicle-sized things; if we wanted to be involved with larger, environmental-type structures we would have been architects or landscape architects. And of course there’s more to it than that (a boss that acts like a normal human being helps a lot), but that’s part of it. Eh.

he has done a great thing

November 2, 2015

  • We sang “He Who Is Mighty” in church on Sunday. I’ve had it going through my head all day. I’m not complaining. It’s Christmas-ish and beautiful.
  • This site is live again. I’m trying an experiment, much like I did when I had that rash of posting a few years ago, of trying to write something, no matter how trivial, at least once a day, and hoping that will spark the habit. The fact that the first page on here spans more than 2 years is really sad, but… I can’t do anything but move on from that. I’ve privatized a bunch of entries, so there are about a dozen additional posts in that period, and…I’m the only one who’s really bothered by this, aren’t I? Stop talking about it? Probably a good idea.
  • Hunter is curled up on a blanket behind me. Oddly, Phoebe isn’t on my lap. She’s the newest addition to our three-cat collection and is a lap cat par excellence. She normally takes up residence here when I work in the evening, which is most nights, but she must’ve found another cozy spot somewhere else in the house.
  • My new job isn’t without its quirks, but it’s light-years beyond my old position. It’s been a breathtaking answer to prayer. I feel productive, valued, like my contributions are appreciated and matter, and (this is huge) I don’t dread going to work any more. Sunday evenings aren’t the slow emotional downward spiral of anticipation they used to be. It’s taken me a while to get used to the new mindset, and I hope it will only improve from here, to hopefully where I was, emotionally, when I worked at my job in NC. I’m actively trying to put the pieces in place.

words on a screen

November 1, 2015

Stumbled upon my repository of old poetry while looking for Halloween pictures for Diane. I flipped through a few. Some are okay; some are pretty bad; but my overarching feeling when reading them was a strange feeling of detachment. Most were ostensibly written with a specific subject in mind, and now I realize that they weren’t really written for that person at all, but were in large part a kind of exercise of my own romanticism. I hesitate to call them vanity projects, although I suppose, like most of my writing endeavors, I feel an added stab of motivation when I have an audience; my private journaling has never been consistent. Still—I don’t feel any connection to or longing for the subject of the poems’ words. They’re strangely mechanical. There’s a feeling of wastefulness, too, but who really knows in those moments what will last? You give of yourself because you want to believe, and because the idea of being in love is easier to wrap your mind around than the jigsaw puzzle reality. So it is with my formulaic expressions of romance, recently rediscovered.

dominoes

March 26, 2015

  1. I love the word “mend.”
  2. I don’t know whether to be excited or depressed that retropop is growing in popularity. I guess I should be pleased the style is getting more exposure and inspiring more bands to create music in that vein. Is there more crap? Sure, but there’s also more quality music. Can’t have one without the other I suppose.
  3. I’ve got the White Horse Inn podcasts since the beginning of the year loaded up on the iPod in preparation for the trip back to NC for the weekend. Not really looking forward to the driving and being away from the family, but all in all it should be alright.
  4. D found this link a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to get enough of listening to the sermons online.

my aim is true

March 25, 2015

How did I end up here, stumbling at the end like Pip and Estella? Only not quite the same—la seule chose contre qui je cogne, c’est moi-même. It just works better that way.

Maybe I do better with an audience? I don’t know. And it’s not that I didn’t chronicle anything privately—I did—but the consistency was lacking, to say the least. I think the slight restriction of nominal anonymity is worth enduring for the added motivation of public exposure. Regular (I won’t say good) writing requires a comfort zone, and I cultivated one over the years here. It would be easy to maintain that the consistency was a function of the audience, but the two-month burst of quality posting 5 or so years ago belies that. Quoi qu’il en soit, me voiçi.

After my run last night, I held my arm out to block out the neighborhood below and reminded myself that it’s the same sky I saw 10, 20, 25 years ago when I first read the H.A. Rey book and learned the constellations in Auron. If at least one of my senses can experience that familiarity for a moment, that’s a good thing.

Funny to think about the ebb and flow of LJ. It was really the only game in town during its early years, the only semi-permanent alternative to instant messaging. Folks who wouldn’t otherwise have written anything felt shoehorned into the blogging mold. Then Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites arrive on the scene and offer users what they really want: Cheap, disposable communication. Don’t get me wrong; those things have their place. I think it was just nice to see folks, for a year or two at least, forced into expressing themselves longhand, so to speak, however reluctantly. And after the diaspora, here I am again.

boom clap

July 16, 2014

Yes, I have the unfortunately-named Charli XCX’s latest going through my head these days. It’s a good pop song, though, and I’m not above embracing the occasional dose of plebeian music; heck, most (all?) of my enthusiasm for ’80s tunes encompasses music that would fit comfortably under the “pop” label.

I had some good themes in my head earlier today, but they’re gone now. I’m downstairs, typing on the netbook with the TV muted, kittens scampering around the room. They’re full, so they have energy to burn at the moment.

More soon.