Churning Heart

Shattered by the dawn,
Dancing fire of first light,
Stumbling into the world,
Pinched by reality–
Of sober cold tomorrows,
Encounter with fantasy,
The redundant heartache,
Hours become days,
Crushed under regret.

A dance by moonlight,
Green eyes that shine,
Hands clutching close,
Turn and together,
Awoken, vanished–
Her fragrance still wearing him,
Palm heat fading,
The moment recedes.

Hearts with wings,
Held back in cages barred,
The taste of sky–
Days become years,
The yearning goes silent,
A key neglectfully lost.

Rushing into the void–
Left by the sickness of want,
Churning deep chests,
Flutter to be bound,
Whispered kisses,
Tears, sighs–
The brutal seconds peeling,
Destined to despair,
The wish of remembering–
A starlit love undone.

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Shiver

Boy am I glad to be done with today. I was barely hanging in there. The boredom was severe, and the tasks were few and far between. I handled 20 calls, which is about half yesterday’s volume, and most of that came in the beginning of the day. The afternoon was dreadfully dull and the evening was dead. In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t like having nothing to do at work. It sucks. I’d much rather be busy with things to do. Not only does that help me feel more productive and useful, but it also makes the time fly. Which I like. Today felt like 14 hours of staring at my computer screen waiting for the next call to come in. Not a fan of that.

Well, even though today was not very productive, it is still a mini Friday for me, as I do not work tomorrow. It’s the first day of 2015, and what better way to kick off the new year than to not be at work? I can’t think of anything is rather be doing. I’m going to go see the third Hobbit movie tomorrow, The Battle Of The Five Armies. I am a resident expert in all things Tolkien, and so far I have been somewhat disgruntled at how Peter Jackson has added so much mindless, ridiculous action to this story. There was no falling down a crevasse in Moria riding a destroyed goblin bridge. There was no orcs attacking the dwarves while they rode the barrels out of Murkwood to safety. There was no orc attack on Bard’s house in Laketown with Legolas showing up to save the day. These things are fabrications, and are implemented by Jackson to make a short narrative into a lengthy, sprawling epic. I imagine the next film will have a new preposterously off-base moment that I will be critical of. Hollywood fucks everything up.

It’s frightfully cold in my apartment. I have given some thought to sleep, but I don’t know if I can. I caught myself singing in the truck on the way home, which is how I know my mood is headed back in the right direction. Things are improving.

Tonight I’m thinking about my life, and wondering if I need to spice it up somehow. I’m content with things being boring. But is that going to last? I’ve pooped out before, but I have never before been in so stable a place as I am now. My job is still fun, if not challenging sometimes. I get to solve problems every day, and for a fixer such as I am, I take great joy in that. But between work and home I do very little. My evenings are short and capped off with an early bedtime. I don’t drink. I don’t go dancing or go to clubs. I don’t watch TV because 95% of it is crap. I read articles on science issues, the curiosity rover, and I frequent the USGS website to keep track of what earthquakes have happened in my region. I do live on the pacific tectonic plate, you know, the one that’s moving northwest? I sit in front of my computer and watch the weatherspark radar when a storm hits town. I go to Wikipedia and read about our recent history of large meteors that have exploded in the atmosphere. I’m basically the most well informed boring person you know.

Goodnight blog. Happy new year.

The Footsteps Of Rain

Stormy weather continues for us today, as the rain has been falling all night and the snow accumulating in the mountains. I would go drive out there and throw myself on it like I did last year, but I remember how bad it hurt when I landed on that rock and bruised my rib. Besides, there’s no one to share it with.

I’m doing better today. I had a nice long sleep and woke up in the cold, but ready to go. I shaved and used my new French press to make coffee, and it was delicious. Thick, frothy, warm, and tasty. I finished writing a post about a good Age Of Empires III game I had a few nights ago. When I was feeling depressed I deleted it and got discouraged about finishing it. I tend to shut-down when I get sad. I don’t reach out and I don’t have any desire to say much of anything. Sometimes I go through cycles: I feel good for a week or more, then dip down into depression for several days, then back out of it. If my downward journeys become long stays I know there is a problem, and I should start being proactive about correcting it. So far, I have only had to wait a few days and then I come back out of it again.

I think I’m just reeling from the long break and loads of family I had over the holidays. That whole thing was just so much fun. It was awesome to see all the kids running around smashing each other with those inflatable hammers my sister bought. And all the baby news from my cousins that are now expecting. I’m not really interested in having one, but other people having one is fine by me. I can play with their kids and not have any of the responsibility of raising them. Sweet!

It’s going to be another busy day today. People are calling in to pay their January bill, and have other issues that they put off until after Christmas, I suppose. I have been quite busy, really only letting up sometime after 4 pm. Most people on the east coast are done for the day, and will probably just call back the next day.

I’m here in my truck listening to the rain drops falling on my roof, and I’m happy. I don’t have any bad thoughts in my head right now, and I’m keeping a close watch on my feelings. Something that Feminine and Feline posted on her blog really hit home for me. The devastation of being forsaken by your lover, and the pain of a dying relationship. Yeah I totally get that. I just lived it, and basically still am living it. My heart is not done breaking yet, because I still loved her, even though she didn’t love me anymore. Sometimes I sit here in my solitude and wish I had her back. Or that there was something I could do to win her love. In truth, I know that being involved with Jax was more bad than good. I didn’t do enough research on her before combining my life with hers. I know she has moved on to a better place, and so have I. Wherever she is, I hope she has found happiness. I struggle, but that’s what life is about: the obstacles and the way we get through them. And so on.

**UPDATE 11:45 am**

So instead of busy it has been very slow. I have had under 10 calls all day so far. And a lot of guys are stepping out early to go home for the day. I’m going to stay until the end, as I need the income. And I’m one of 3 guys on after 5, so it’s kinda important that I stay. I would love to be able to get up high and look east at the snow-covered mountains, but there is no vista anywhere nearby. I was talking with Will earlier about the Edain mod, which we are both getting excited about. I’m also going to go see the third Hobbit movie tomorrow with my parents. Should be good.

Anyway, today is simply crawling. I have a short list of websites to visit as football season is over, and there’s no need to check those pages anymore. The bracket game is starting up, and at least in that contest I have done well. I have 4 victories, tied with my sister for the lead. I’d like to win this year and be all alone in first. A boy can dream.

So adieu for now. I should be around this evening for a New Year’s Eve post. But I won’t stay up to see it. I have a bedtime to keep.

**UPDATE 3:30 pm**

Just ridiculous how slow it is out there. Things are moving along at a molasses drip. I’m so bored, and have been reading various articles to keep myself occupied. I’ve handled one call in the last several hours. I really can’t wait to be home. I just want this boring day to be over. I’m not going to bail out early, but holy shit am I tempted.

The Americans on Large California (Age Of Empires III – Game Notes)

This one started off on shaky ground, but with a little help from a standing army protecting the perimeter, I was able to stomp the AI into the mud. The computer tends to send many attacks as a native civ, and early, which is where I was caught off guard. I had enemies in my base at the 8 minute mark and they foolishly ran right to my town center and were devoured by the structure then garrisoned with all my frightened villagers. I had very few standing troops at that time, and resolved to change that in case new attacks were on the horizon. I used a home city shipment to get myself some outlaw pistoleros, and had the barracks working double-time on marines and colonial militia. Once I was protected to some extent, I built my command post and proceeded to ship (over the course of the game) 11 armies of 6 redcoats. With a ranged attack of 25 at age 2, they were one of the more powerful units I had at my disposal. By the time they had mustered and were ready to march (in age 5) their ranged attack had gone up to 48, with a hefty siege attack as well. Riflemen at the same age had a ranged attack of 25, just to put things in perspective. I believe there are 2-3 home city cards which boos all ranged unit’s attacks in the American deck, and possibly more to come once the export cards are removed.

 

Victory was well in hand when I made the turn at age 4, and I was soon to sent 3 battalions of (mostly) ranged infantry into enemy territory to finish the job. Even though I made it to age 5, I did not buy any unit upgrades. I was managing my offensive and figured I had the thing won, with or without the unit improvements. I had two factories cranking coin and food, so my unit supply was always peaking. I had 3 total town centers, all with an envoy gathering fame, so those precious redcoats were easy to amass. They went in and annihilated standing units in the enemy base, killing a great deal of villagers who were trying to flee the fighting, but ran into my western approach army first. Rapidly, the two town centers the AI had constructed were down. I had two gatling guns but they were hardly used. In all, I believe I could have marched late age 3 and met just as little resistance as I did when I sat back and gave the AI time. They continued to attack with less than a full battalion of melee cavalry and archers, which were all met with death and removed quickly from my side of the battle-line. I don’t understand the AI moving in on my town center with only 3-5 cavalry. There’s no way a force that small will even survive the defensive capabilities of my town center, let alone destroy it. It was a foolish gesture, in what was a resounding victory. Seeing all hope lost very early into the demolition, the AI surrendered after losing only 7 buildings, 2 of which were town centers. I am starting to long for a human opponent, because the AI is disappointing, and on Expert difficulty, it must surely cheat and attacks very, very early and goes into “rapidly kill all villagers” style gameplay, which I hate.

 

There are some more games that will be coming out here in the next couple of months. The Edain mod will soon release Edain 4.0 which is a complete overhaul of The Battle For Middle Earth II: The Rise Of The Witch King. It completely changes the resource system, building mechanics, and units. Total conversion, and a lot based off the heroes and legends of the J.R.R. Tolkien lore in the appendices of The Return Of The King, and other historical publications. I just got the game reinstalled on my PC, a fresh install, so when he mod comes out, I can just patch-up and play.

 

I will, no doubt, have many a tale to tell once that adventure gets started.

 

FINAL SCORE (42:37 gametime)

Egregious (Americans) = 1011

AI Hard (Sioux) = 145

 

RESOURCES GATHERED

Egregious
Food: 38170
Wood: 25812
Coin: 30206

AI
Food: 24045
Wood: 11780
Coin: 11323

MILITARY

Units: 252 (66 Redcoats)
Units Killed: 312
Units Lost: 107
Buildings Razed: 7
Buildings Lost: 0

The Snug Is In

I’m at the end of a long and busy day. I took 38 calls, which is above metrics (and the goals don’t really apply to me since I have the closing shift and my call volume is automatically lower) I’m pleased to say. I kept busy, mostly with billing issues, as that queue took well over 500 incoming calls. DTOC’s busiest queue was under 200 on the day, if that puts things into perspective. My contribution is necessary, but only a tiny fraction of the total. Anyway, today was a fast day. The trouble was, that I was feeling so depressed. I still kinda do, but I retreated to my bed as soon as I got home and generally feel better about things. Between my sheets is a magical land of warmth and harmony. I feel most safe here, and somewhat detached from the suffering of my disposition. I can tell you that I’m struggling, but managing.

I’m committed to being a solo project for a good long time, and that has the part of me that wants to be in love again all wrinkled up. It remembers how good it felt to love someone. Hey, it’s kinda hard to forget. But that part of me is yearning, and I figure that’s what it is supposed to be doing. I can’t be mad about that totally legitimate reaction to being alone. All things in perspective: I’ve come a long way and I don’t intend to set aside my goals in order to be in love. It’s not an option. I’ve seen only the calamity and none of the stability. I would need there to be a massive deviation from history in order to consider anything else. And I’m not looking for it at all. So that’s pretty final.

I know my mood will lift back up again as the days go by. I get a mini-break for New Year’s Day and then right back after it. I also work 3 additional weekends this month, so my paychecks should be healthy. I have a lot of things going for me: I have a loving family who always seems to have my back. I have a job that I enjoy and have not grown tired of. I have financial independence and I lean on no one to hold myself up anymore. I have a great apartment in a place I enjoy living, even if the driveway is crazy steep. I have a good life, and I really should be thankful for it. And I am. However, this does not make my feelings just poof away. I would never expect that to be the case. Instead, I respect my sadness and my loneliness so that even they have a chance to be understood or expressed. I’m not trying to live on one side of the coin.

It has been nice to sit here and rehash some thoughts. It’s going to get frigid tonight, measurably below freezing. Snow expected in the mountains. Winter is coming.

Encroaching Cold

A storm is on its way into my part of the world. It will bring cold rain and snow to many parts of the desert southwest.

I’m not doing so great. I feel a heaviness in my heart, and my disposition is gloomy. I feel sad, isolated and lonely. I’m not really interested in rectifying that with a relationship though. It seems like everyone around me is pairing off and finding their partners, while I am not. I don’t want this, but also don’t really like being so alone. I guess I’m complaining.

It’s always a big let-down after Christmas. With all that fun and family reaching a peak, then sliding away. Back to the monotony of life, with its occasional distractions. I am holding on to a few things which still make me happy: I have my rocks in the tumblers which will be done this Sunday. I also have bought myself a French press which I will use daily, I’m sure. I have my family, who are going to be in town for a bit before hitting the road again in the spring. I have my games, which are kept interesting by a vibrant modding community. I have my blog, which I have been trying to post to but found myself rescinding previous posts because they were abhorrent and negative.

I have a lot on my mind. I guess this is part of the process. Everyone at work here is sick or getting sick. I’d rather not go through that. But I may have no choice in this regard. If the bug is going to get me, it will. I’m trying to keep my spirits up, but it’s hard. I’m an effusive guy and I have to put a cork in it most of the time. I have no one in my inner-circle. Everyone who has been in there has later decided they’d rather be somewhere else. I’m the kind of guy who would rather be right than liked. That generally alienates me from most, but also insulates me against the rampant stupidity of the world.

I’ve been trying to write all day. It’s been a struggle to get through, but I am. I will be in work-mode, coffee, work, eat, sleep, coffee, work…

I hope your day is going better than mine.

End Of The Line

The weekend of family and festivity is now over, and back we go to the proverbial grindstone to labor away long into the next year. I am not disparaging, just commenting. I lost last night in the fantasy football championship, as I predicted I would, but only by 1.4 points, which is a tough one to swallow. That’s just one play, one catch, one fumble from victory. But it was not meant to be, I guess. My cousins were quick to comment on the stinging defeat, though I didn’t even think it would be that close. My opponent’s team was a juggernaut and I really never had a chance from the get go. But it’s not official until Thursday, in the event that a stat correction could swing the score. But the probability of that happening is next to none. I should just accept my defeat and get ready for next year.

 

My break was relaxing, yes, and had lots of cool interactions with family from far off places. It was nice to see everyone again. One way or the other, we all find a way to get together for Christmas. Just about all of us, anyway. There is another big family reunion scheduled for early May back down at the beach house like it was last year. The family really liked that whole thing, so they are going o do it over again. I will try to sneak away from work for long enough to enjoy it, but I have a full time gig, and probably can’t afford to spend much time not working.

 

I’m doing fine. A little sad to have come so close to glory and fall short. But that’s life for you: unpredictable and unforgiving. We just have to smile and move on, as that’s the only option other then to pout and waste time lamenting. Work is going to be slamming again today, as no doubt everyone with an issue will be calling in to get help, after having waited until the holidays were over. I don’t really count new year’s day as a holiday because who takes that day off anyway?

 

We turned the rocks over in the tumblers and got them going on the aluminum oxide polish on 3 barrels, but the fourth barrel will have to wait because one of our tumblers is dying and needs it’s motor replaced. We were only able to set up one barrel on that one, and will have to wait until next week to finish the other. But 3 barrels to look at next weekend will be very nice indeed. I have already seen how rounded and colorful the stones are, which is well beyond my expectations for beach-gathering. There’s no telling where the stones came from, only that they are beautiful and have come out looking splendid. I am eagerly awaiting next weekend, and a chance to post some photographs of the stones. I believe you will agree with me about their quality and color.

So blog: it’s the beginning of a new week, and I’m getting off to a somewhat slow start, but will surely be busy as the influx of calls is already email worthy. Mike sent out a message to get us on task and in the queues to get the volume handled. I haven’t even clocked in yet and already there’s a rush. It’s Monday for sure.

Take care blog. I’ll see you after work today.

**UPDATE 12:45 pm**

I’m feeling pretty exhausted. Today has been pretty non stop since I clicked in. I have had something to do every second until just now when I stopped to eat my sandwich. I have been on the phone all morning solving problems.

I guess I’m feeling deflated. All the cool hanging out with family raised me up, and now that it is over I’m crashing back down to reality. Fantasy football is over, and I won’t get another shot to redeem myself until another year. Poop. Also, I am back to living my solitary life, which I guess is a little sad. Meh. This is my lot. Work hard, quietly.

I don’t have much to look forward to anymore. The events have gone by, and the celebration is over. I am holding on to my desire to see the rocks come out of the tumbler, which should be fun. And shocking. But really, that’s about it for the fun. I maybe need some more things to do with my life so that I don’t feel disappointed by it. I didn’t get to hang out with Will. He is sick. All the family have gone home. The party is over.

I have more than half of my day left to go. I’m wishing I could be home curled up beneath my sheets and blocking out the unforgiving world. But I can’t go do that. I have to get up and go handle my life like a responsible person should, no matter if it sucks or doesn’t.

**UPDATE 3:05 pm**

Today has moved by pretty fast. I had my head down the whole time, going from one task to the other. I’m in a poor mood overall. I’m not ready to be back cranking at 100% speed like I had to today. I really had no choice. I could either quit and be ashamed or prevail and swallow the pain. I don’t have the luxury of being able to sulk. My mood will change as the days go by. It just sucks.

**UPDATE 4:15 pm**

I’m going over to my parent’s place tonight. I can’t stand the thought of being alone with this mood. I’m struggling through the slow half of my day. I can’t seem to think a happy thought, even though I keep trying to concentrate on positive things I have going for me. I want to be excited about my life again, but right now I can’t really see it. There is a cloud in front of me and nothing gets through it. This will change as soon as I get off work. I will be in a better state of mind and be fine again for tomorrow.