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Elusive happiness

Writer’s blog,  bar date 66161.58*
*I’ll explain this soon enough

I’ve spent the past couple of years thinking about what happiness is, how I can have it and how I can’t let it get away from me.

Yeah, yeah, it’s your point of view and your attitude. But honestly, when you think about it, we’re also influenced easily by who’s in the room or what movie/ tv show you saw. Sadly, a lot of my attitude in 2011 was watching the news, far too much of it. Now that I have streaming, watching more Onion and Daily Show allows me to see that others see the absurdity of things I see.

I also listen to Adam Carolla’s podcast. When I rant and complain, a few people laugh and it took me awhile to focus on what they’re laughing at. People love a good Seinfeld– type breakdown. Unfortunately when I’m in it, I’m already pissed and my immediate reaction is being pissed at the person I thought was close enough to allow me to vent about what’s really bothering me. Now, I can look back and use those things.

Of course I have tough loved others for complaining about less. I feel sorry for the others with no jobs, living in shelters. I don’t feel so bad about people getting into accidents on ski trips, mountain climbing, the polo field or cruise ships. In an instant I think my humanity suffers, but I think I also fall into enable mode and write it off as they got themselves there instead of spending wiser.

Even when I had money in the bank and making the most I ever had, I kept things to simple pleasures. We still shopped at the dollar store for disposable basics, I still at a lot of groceries that had the least chemicals I accept. Las Vegas is so damn great with the free entertainment. And there’s always a contest in every business you enter that doesn’t cost anything to enter if you don’t do the up sells and spending “in the area” that casinos excel at.

Happiness is all about money? I have read about plenty of Zen and Buddhism the past couple of years. I’m not happy with the way western influence has damaged my body and my mind. Thoughts still creep in my mind that buying something or taking a costly vacation somewhere will make me happy. I want to live simpler and yet enjoy where I work, the dream.

I have observed that in the past, when I get a job I go out more and buy more things. And I see other people spend like drunken sailors. People find ways to treat their paycheck away and then realize bills are due after their big nights out.

I see how Buddhist monks and even the Amish are happy, living simply and sustainable. I also understand the reality of living in the United States in the 21st century. I have to succumb to some sparing technology. I spend a lot of time trying to decide what “future” technology I will accept. For the most part, I see what industries that are closing because of what can be read online, downloaded or uploaded. I understand I need to be a factory and not a warehouse to live life.

Also, I’ve spent the past couple of years going thru old boxes of shit to see what made me happy back then. I did buy a lot of crap with some job. I also accumulated a lot of boxes of free stuff. Whenever there’s something people are getting rid of, if I can use it “someday” I’ll take it. I’ve noticed I’ve been a box hoarder.

It’s not as bad as the clips I’ve seen on the hoarder shows, but everything was in boxes. It’s too much for me, 1 person to have. I got that from my mother and I fight it every week, not to buy anything. I’m on a Brewster’s millions spending plan. And it includes limiting getting stuff for free.

There are things that I see that will make me happy that I don’t have the money to do. I want to hang out with co workers for a few happy hour beers. I want to go for a walk late at night without a coat or fear for my safety. I want to take my weekend trips and I have my plan on how I can incorporate that, with a trade down the line.

Good food makes me happy. I have learned to cook and enjoy my bulk food in my unemployment. I spend more time with my cat that I love. She’s very old now. This is her retirement. I hope she can be with me after I’ve saved and can leave this place. It’s a trap to compare yourself to others. It think it’s also bad to belittle or gloat those “below” you. I know where I was at my best, I try week after week to get myself at least back to that place, regardless of how long I see it taking now. I have no other direction to go.

There are ways I’ve been happier than I have in years. It’s different. I feel for the Tibetans. They’re happy, but they get taken advantage of and I worry something socioeconomic is happening to me the same way. I want to be happy where I am now, but I also want to make money again. It’s conflicting. It’s an argument for materialism and the joneses I’m not happy with. I want to be self-sufficient the way I was a few years ago, money in my pocket. Not describing money as what I have “to my name.”

Writing makes me happy. I can revisit places I’m not finished with. I can laugh with people on our adventures that have gone on without me. As I pare down my possessions, I pull memories triggered from them to hopefully support my ambition as a writer and yet pack another box for Savers.

2012/02/28 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writer’s Blog: bardate 66153.04

Writing is about one of the last things I have that is all mine. Sometimes I question whether or not I’m a control freak. I think I put up with a lot, I “give up” too much control until I’m backed into a corner, and that is something I have to work on. Western tv/ film influence calls the reaction taking a stand. However the reaction I see is different when I am put in a situation to speak up. It turns into what’s called a Larry David moment.

I have in the past I come out fighting after taking so many daily indignities, be it work or noticeably holiday customs/ business/ politics that bring up the same irritating questions every year. I’ve noticed “thick skin” or “going with the flow” seems to mean get back to your cubicle and shut up, sheep.

There are people I see with blogs that also do their own thing. They make money off them and I have to pay attention to all that crap in the sides, headers and footers to see who may be giving a cut to the content in the middle. I’m fascinated by some of these bloggers/ vloggers. They do great consistent work and have a following.

I think my big blog following was on MySpace until they fucked it up. I tried a couple of other web communities with mixed results. I came to word press because I researched blog communities that have been around a long time and you could follow, comment and connect to other bloggers. And at some point I could eventually transfer it to my own domain.

It’s tough writing a book, that has turned into outlines of 6-8 others that can run either in tandem or sequence. There’s a lot of privacy to a point, so our shit doesn’t get ripped off. But you do have to put some “A” material out there to test reaction like a stand up comedian trying out riffs, making sure the narrative/ language works. I sit on a lot of things I’m proud of for hopefully a pay off later, to allow me to continue doing this thing that allows me to be my own boss.

DVD commentaries about movie/ tv production and the lives of writers? Yeah, I‘m a whore for that stuff. Writers’ block hasn’t been one of my problems, I have binders and stacks of notes. Hoarding is my problem and I spend a lot of time whittling down now to just what “will make an income” at the end of the day.

There’s a list I have of all the things I want to do and am chipping away at now. It seems that I can “launch” a bunch of things when I get an income. I do go out there and walk around without much to my name. Confidence is a heavier weight for me to carry without a job.

Never before have I had so much time to realize confidence isn’t just the image I have of myself, it’s a lot of carrying the weight of supporters. It’s hard to believe whether or not I care what naysayers think is controlled by a bit ion my brain that is either switched to 1 or 0.

I was often put into positions of responsibility or leading with whatever random group of people I’m with. Now, I struggle with letting problems go instead of owning every damn thing. I try to ration now by what I’m getting paid to do. It’s been freeing.

I’ve been writing every week about my early years of discovering Vegas. Problems are not only laughable, I seek out the best ones. I think what separates men from women is that we men will do a lot of shit just for the story.

When I write, I can bend time and space, since my day-to-day isn’t much fun. I can talk to people I can’t talk to now, I am filled with so much pride, or embarrassment. Or shit, right? I can see and bring people back when they were at their best. And I as well.

For a few months now, I’ve been restless. I’m ready to go out there and live life, something besides trying to find an employer to accept me. I’m so tired of seeing events go by without being able to join in.

2012/02/25 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Advanced Wikia Sociology

I know, I flaked on you guys last Monday, so I’m writing this now and will start writing the next blog right after to hopefully have it up by Friday. 2 blog corpses for you to feast on this week.

What “ha’ happent” was like a mad scientist trapped in my project, I got caught up in writing about writing. It just exploded to a bunch of chapters I’m writing for my 2012 projects. I didn’t want to interrupt that flow. The original outline I still want to do after this, but this is about the cultures, tv cultures I got caught up in. It triggered a lot of personal memories and situations I couldn’t stop listing and typing about.

You guys have a lot of favorite tv series, like I do. There are some on tv I don’t understand and I focused on tv series, favorites and otherwise, that go well beyond the magical 4th/ 5th season that gets the 100 episodes required for syndication.

I think it started out as me asking myself what the differences are between Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy. I think I watched Simpsons w/ the original writers the first few seasons before I stopped, I got rid of cable after 9/11. I never got into South Park when the topics were more random. Now I actually like how focused their episodes are on a satire/ parody topic. I never got into Family guy, it seemed too random cutaway joke tangents to me?

All of those have wikia sites, I also looked a lot at Memory Alpha (every trek series wikia), How I met your Mother and I’m sure I can think of others. (Don’t get me started on this seasons HIMYM, it’s circling the drain.) I am obsessed with how detailed the timeline scrutiny holds up with those shows. And in studying all the recurring things in people’s lives, I got flooded with plugging in my own experiences I’m writing about.

I don’t think I had much writers block before, but it was tougher for me to discipline my self to produce a x amount of words every “”work” day.

But all those wikia sites have a lot of cool things I raped ideas from with people I know. Everyone has family members, a job, they live somewhere, they have vehicles. Most went to or are in school, they have jobs, financial and social statuses. They all like teams or participate in competitions.

Non fiction writing has interesting liberties I’m allowed to take. I can change a few identifying facts and names about people to protect them, like listing oh, where they eat as an example. I’m allowed to mish mash some facts as long as I have a point and a direction I’m going.

There are a lot of cool things tv series have that keep people coming back to, like lists of things. What are all the things on Earl’s karma list? How many ways can you say Legendary? What are the other Ferengi Rules of Acquisition? How many hundreds of shuttles Voyager wrecked? What are the other conditions of the rental agreement in Big Bang theory? How many ways can you kill off Kenny? How many chicks has Charlie Harper (and Sheen) banged? Oh, I have Vegas lists, certainly nothing like in any guidebook I’ve ever seen before, of any vacation spot.

TV shows have an artery of exploration. In M*A*S*H, you’ll have tons of patients that come in. Most shows have date of the week, cop shows have criminals and suspects, Cheers has customers to get drunk, Star Trek has aliens, ships and planets. It’s why I started watching Voyager & Twilight Zone on netflix, I missed mind challenging TV.

With all the one camera shows on now, the handheld, moving camera shows, with people sitting in the same living room or office every week- I can’t stand those shows. What’s sad is I love some of the actors and I can’t get thru a whole episode. thankfully, I don’t have cable to rot my brain with anything Kim Kardashian, Jersey Shore, or housewives. I sacrificed History channel and animal Planet to save, though.

Vegas has so many worlds in it, they all barreled in my mind in flashes when I can relate each place or event as a television episode. It’s why I reviewed on yelp. I also read books on writing short stories on how to condense stories, get the most out of each character, keep things going, involve all senses, take advantage of even the most minute conflicts. It’s all been real inspiring to me the past couple of months.

And I have my favorite writers and directors giving me DVD commentary “seminars” on the writing and production process. Don’t get me started on you tube, there are people putting out some impressively consistent things on a weekly basis.

Part of being unemployed is dealing with feeling like you’re not producing anything. This way, I can produce the best of what I want, my favorite things. Hopefully this year, I can start get paid from my writings.

2012/02/19 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I saw you in an alternate reality the other day…

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve read a lot articles about what we were promised in the future. After the 50’s we were supposed to all have jet packs and hover cars. Honestly the way people drive on land vehicles now, I’m kinda happy about that. And I’m still scared about a commercial airline smashing on my apartment- NO! better yet, space junk crashing down on us.

In movies like 2001 & Blade Runner, they imagined technologies that were cool (as well as greenhouse acid rain), but apparently couldn’t predict how companies were bought out or even became obsolete before their fictional dates.

In 2011, I kept seeing society turn apocryphal pretty quickly having watched admittedly too many documentaries and politics. I easily imagined the U.S. turn into a Mad Max future, or like Robocop or Aliens. Corporations and governments are with a bullet on displacing it’s citizen majority to live a rag tag homeless life.

The past couple of years, I also saw the world turn Battlestar Galactica re-imagined, a world making itself vulnerable by networking our monies and our own thoughts online, to be hacked or preyed upon by auto searching technology. Remember the 80’s-90’s, when all the futuristic gadgets people had were autonomous and not dependent on a pricey monthly to use? Corporations, did. It was influential on me wanting to wean off the net, certainly not to post under my real name or “too much” personal information.

Being unemployed, I had to battle with the internet every week. I get paranoid about putting my social out there and all my personal info when too many company sites are hacked. When I first got online in 1997-ish, the net was a place you could post with friends and have world wide web diaries. Now businesses suggest I network more to find work or even make money online, which also means professionally. I can’t have a profile that (potential) employers can read that has my rants about many, many things.

Now, facebook takes every words you type as market research, finding out what all your “interests” are, even recommending ads based on what you type. As much as I hate illiterate typos, I’ve intentionally misspelled brand names on fb when I’ve visited, just to throw off their ad filters. Last time I went to my dusty account, it was to lurk, pull private message information and just see what others are up to. I don’t feel like posting much. In fact, I want my words to mean more than ranting comments. It was a bad road to go down. It’s why you’re reading this.

Before I moved to Vegas, one of my favorite tv shows was Star Trek Next Generation. Aside from the weird aliens that may have dented ruined their dramatic credibility, I loved that it was a streamlined ship. It was clean, the crew was efficient and represented the “best” people of cultures getting together, exploring their world (universes). Even on the Enterprise, people were not on the net all day, although the bridge crew did watch quite a bit of their big screen skype.

That’s what the future was. In my writings, I was reminded I was at Star Trek experience the night of it’s Grand Opening and the week of it’s closing. I had been to the employee offices and got a tour of the computer systems and access areas as a ride mechanic visiting another sister park, at the time. To walk thru the most efficient version of the future I saw affected my nervous and respiratory systems. In movies when incredible things happen to people, if they don’t react like I did that first time on the bridge of the Enterprise, I call bullshit on their green screen acting.

As you may read, I allow myself  Netflix as 1 monthly frivolous entertainment, aside from my web access. I have a post it note on my monitor frame to remind me the internet is a tool, not a toy or “hangout.” I am currently watching Vegas CSI and wondering what to rent after that, what I could benefit the most of. I decided to cue up voyager after as best representative of my situation. I have been in a rut.

I rented a random Voyager dvd from the library and for the first time saw the crew members as individual parts of me and how they work together to get the ship where they want it to go. I’m a big fan of ship captains, space and sea. P.S. I have problems w/ how Voyager wrapped everything up too neatly. I do love Korath in the finale, he was the reason what there was a Klingon Encounter at the Experience. But they shouldn’t have come home, just as the demand to know what happened to the Passengers and crew of the S.S. Minnow kept Gilligan’s Island popular for over a decade after the series.

Next time I’ll have to blog how this helped me control time and space.

did you see the Superbowl?

2012/02/07 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , | Leave a comment