The Brumby Poll

My personal top 10 Spikeball rankings, post-regionals edition. More info to come in a later post or possibly on Spikeballers.com!

1. Chico Spikeball – Skyler Boles & Shaun Boyer
2. Handsome Beavers – Buddy Hammon & Bryce Clifford
3. Frazzled Navels – Austin Fraker & Tyler Griffin
4. Life From Mars – Kyle Kirkman & John Schumacher
5. Nashburgh Spikeball – Joel Graham & Scott Wilson
6. McCarthy Industries – Peter McCarthy & Danny McCarthy
7. V2 – Tom Cortesi & Patrick Drucker
8. Ball Blasters – Kit Ryan & Chadwick Wickersham
9. Interracial Lovin’ – Dennis Phan & Matt Maddox
10. Fluff – Ian Golembeski & Cole Parker

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Exit Clovis

The most ironically perfect sign I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve been living and working here for almost 3 years. That’s something…I don’t know what it is, but it’s something. It changed me. Will I be able to change myself back?

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Rules and roadblocks

Social media play a big role in many people’s lives today (mine included, admittedly). Sometimes they create situations which probably wouldn’t have arisen in the past. To set the stage: I’m old enough (over 30) and have lived enough different places (7, only counting locations where I’ve stayed for more than a year) that I’ve gotten acquainted with a large number of people (for one measuring stick, I have 1,657 Facebook friends). On the other hand, my current whereabouts are remote enough that the chance of running into anyone I know from a previous time/place is virtually nil. I’m also single at an age where more and more family members, friends and acquaintances are getting married and/or having kids if they haven’t passed those milestones already.

The unwritten rule that I generally obey is to not seek regular contact (much less “reconnect” by phone, email, etc.) with any female friend whom I know to be married or otherwise spoken for. Some might find that policy extreme, but I’d prefer to avoid any potential misunderstandings; I’m certainly amenable if and when anyone wants to contact me or wonders how I’m doing, and I’ll leave it at that. What becomes a real gray area is the less direct form of connection that can be found in certain social media.

Example 1: I got an auto-email the other day telling me “someone you may know is now on Twitter” and suggesting I follow her. I do indeed know the person because I dated her, albeit in a period which sometimes seems like another lifetime. We haven’t been in contact the past few years, but my normal action would be to follow her because I’m genuinely curious as to where she lives, what she’s doing and all that. However, practically the one thing I do know about her is that she’s married. Thus, does following her equate to breaking that unwritten rule?

Example 2: I have another acquaintance–not an ex, just someone I thought well of in high school when I could barely talk to a girl–who’s now a teacher and the author of an interesting blog. I commented on it once, back when I joined wordpress a couple of years ago and found her journal (or perhaps I’d already read it from a Facebook link, not sure). Just tonight I clicked back onto it as a link from another blog which i sometimes peruse. I was momentarily moved to write another comment or two since I honestly identify with some of her material and find it useful to consider in relation to my own life. Once again, seeing as how she’s married and has at least one kid, the unwritten no-contact rule reared its head. 

Oh well…call them #firstworldoldsingledudeproblems I suppose!

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It’s amazing

…and I’m sayin’ a prayer for all the desperate hearts tonight.

No really, I think it’s amazing how different my life is from how it was 3, 6, 10 (take your pick) years ago, from how I might have guessed it would be, and from the lives of many of my peers. I don’t consider that divergence as inherently good or bad, it’s just a thought that I find compelling.

I forgot if I’ve used the intoxication analogy in this journal before, though I probably have at some point. Anyway, I occasionally compare certain life situations, experiences and emotions to the state of drunkenness. As a gross simplification, booze makes me (and, it seems, many/most people) “feel more”. It heightens mood changes, exaggerates both the highs and the lows. I can think of many times, mostly between 2005-11, when I felt such strength of emotion that it seemed equivalent to deep inebriation.

Conversely, a lot of things about my current situation in life remind me of sobriety. In a literal sense, yes, I’m unimpaired as I write this and probably spend more time stone-cold sober than I did in certain past “lifetimes”. My deeper message, though, is that there’s less emotionality, fewer dramatic highs and lows. One could argue that the past 2.5 years have been one near-continuous low, but one could also make the case for the same era as, if not a high per se, at least a “higher than it could have been”. Perhaps a plateau is the most accurate description.

I’ve certainly been knocked way down off the high horse I rode during several stretches of my twenties, but at least on the good days, I can accept and be grateful for the fact that I’ve even made it to this point. I went through some horribly down periods in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and I don’t feel good at all about some of the ways I got myself through the lows. I could have used my reassignment to Clovis as an excuse to go off the handle in any of several ways. However, although my behavior hasn’t been unfailingly above reproach even since then, I mostly took the involuntary “new beginning” as a sign that I needed to respect myself and respect others to a greater degree than I had been. A few years ago, I was reckless and I hurt people. Now, there’s not really anyone I can hurt. There are correspondingly no breathtaking highs, no plummeting lows, no intoxicating illusions. I’m on a nice little plateau…or maybe it’s a flat island. My own little island plateau.

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Bruises

And I wrote a whole post, mostly inspired by this song, that apparently disappeared when I hit “publish”. Thanks wordpress!

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pageturner

Is it time yet to start thinking about those things which I referenced a few posts ago only as daydreams? Perhaps it is. Not to say that I haven’t been getting by just fine here or that I can’t continue to do so. As I mentioned to someone earlier today, a part of me doesn’t even want to leave. A part of me just wants to continue quietly going about my business and not bothering or being bothered by anyone. In a way it will certainly be harder to return to any place that’s not a de facto deployed location; a place (both physical and mental/emotional) where I interact more frequently with more people, especially people outside of the day-in, day-out (or sometimes night-in, night-out) workplace crowd. But of course some things in life are hard. That’s part of why we do them, right JFK?

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Corrections

The disjointed and ungrammatical conclusion of the previous post can be credited to the less than stellar quality of the iPad version of the WordPress.com website! 

Forgiveness

it’s a subject that’s spent a lot of time rattling around my brain in the recent past, even before someone explicitly invoked it in (what else?) a Facebook message. Now is not the time for a full exploration, but I want to at least break the no-posts ice that has accumulated for what seems like a couple of months at least. in terms of shareable content, I definitely feel like I’ve been receiving/consuming.

much and producing/giving little. Time for some service before self? Ok, not super soon because I need to sleep, but 

To Be Forgetton

When the rest of the world goes away; when I find myself on nights like this wondering whether it’s fate, whether it’s chance, whether it’s a just desert or whether this is simply me coming to terms with who I really am. I can be more honest with myself now, which is good because I have little aptitude and even less affinity for lies. I can process all the things that happened during an ephemeral era when the exchanges of words and actions meant so much more than they do now; I can view them through a lens of sobriety and the far remove of both time and distance. I also feel the relief of not having to pick and choose exactly what I say and don’t say in order to initiate and then cement just the right impression of myself in someone’s mind. Of all the things I intermittently miss, the game is not one of them.

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Add 9

I’ve been working a bit on a new song. I think it started to come to me a few weeks ago in New Orleans when I randomly came across an art-gallery type area adjacent to my hotel that had a perfectly usable piano and no discernible reason why I couldn’t play it. At that point it was just the just the beginnings of a tune, and I think it totally slipped my mind for a while afterward, but lately I’ve started to mess around with it again and developed at least a good chuck of the first verse along with the instrumental intro. So far it seems to concern a similar theme as my previous post here: that of peace, quiet, and lack of any momentous happenings or emotional extremes (good or bad). I don’t feel any unbearable sense of discontent. I have a good life, all things considered. The only problem is that I know too much; my memory, despite my own efforts at times, is too good. I’d be fine with this if it were all I knew.

And really, I am fine with it. I generally project a positive demeanor to those around me rather than whining or taking a “woe is me” attitude. This journal and my previous one probably show a less happy version of me only because writing here is how I vent. I don’t really have a best friend or confidant, at least not in the sense of someone to whom I always turn when the going gets rough. Now there certainly exist people who would do, and in actuality have done, what they could to help me when I asked. I can think of a good few times when I did share a problem with someone, explicitly or implicitly, and truly appreciated the support I got. However, in general that’s not my style. For a combination of reasons, some likely intrinsic and some relating to specific experiences I’ve had, I don’t tend to lean on anyone else. When something is making me unhappy and I have no immediate or direct means of fixing the issue (yes, this usually means relationship or failed-relationship problems), I get myself through it. Partly by choice and partly by necessity, I continue on as if completely unaffected.

All that said, there’s currently no need for me to persevere through any such difficulties. I have a very simple life with few absolute responsibilities aside from doing my job and paying my bills. Though no one is perfect and I’m certainly not anywhere close, I think I’ve done a decent job trying to balance my primary commitments with spending time with my family (all of whom live over 1000 miles away) and doing things that I enjoy. As I wrote the other day, I could still do more in terms of helping others both locally and on a bigger scale, and I’m actively pursuing such ends. No one really criticizes the way I live, possibly because no one is “in my life” to an extent that he or she could offer informed criticism. That seems odd, and sometimes I wish it weren’t the case, but it’s the way things have worked out.

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