Archive for January, 2010

Snapshots

So I got the camera, I got the lens, and since yesterday, I got the pictures to show for it. I think it’s time to reflect (no pun intended) for a moment.
I haven’t used a reflex camera since school, exactly ten years ago. I did one year of audio-visual arts and failed (though not in photography), and went on to do something else. As a result, I know the mechanics of a reflex, and a few tricks of the trade regarding framing. I know of how “bokeh” works and the relation of aperture, exposure and ISO. Also,… Well. That’s about it. But that’s all there is to analog photography, if you don’t count the development stage. If you then take that knowledge to digital photography, there’s numerous blanks to be filled in. I still haven’t figured out who the fuck Nyquist is and what he has to do with anything.

Ever since, I’ve been using point-and-shoot camera’s. I’ve had two, and while the first one was a 12Mp sensor bathing in junk, the second was quite the pleasure to work with. I think that here and there, I managed to take pictures that looked good regardless of the gear.
I’ve grown used to looking at the screen for framing, a loud but practical zoom, a wide angle of view, and custom settings all around since this thing had the tendency to over-simplify for the tourists among us.

 IMG_1466  IMG_1479 086 Great Glen Way

First of all,
The camera.
When it first arrived, I have to admit, I was a smidge disappointed. It didn’t look as impressive as I had expected, in other words it didn’t have an ass with sunlight beaming out of it. It was lighter and smaller than I expected, which much less buttons (even though I knew perfectly what it would look like). This all changed rapidly once the batteries were charged, and I got to use that baby. Already it has grown on me like a second limb [sic] but with more options. It’s smarter than I am and any “issues” I’ve had with it were mostly from my end.

The Objective.
I chose to get me a cheap lens first, photograph the fuck out of it, and then decide what kind of objective I want. So I went with this one, which cost me €130 and, in good light conditions, it should provide a crystal clear image. It doesn’t zoom, it doesn’t tilt, but it’s a good lens and that’s kind of the point. Any further purchases are the first thing on the agenda when I’m content with the basics, which won’t be before a second battery and external hard drive, so probably not before summer.

The Results.
IMG_0074 I tested a number of settings on the actors of a theater play I do voluntary work for. But the real test came later.
I left home yesterday with the intention of thoroughly testing both my equipment and myself. Some people might have noticed I am going through an increasing obsession with gargoyles, and how they peacefully watch those beneath them, in plain sight but seldom noticed. In that regard, the trip was a success in all fields. The only moments when I was spotted was when I first started climbing. Soon, they would loose track of me as if they were incapable of tracking something above eye level, and for the next hour or so, I was invisible to the city, despite being in the open.

Here’s the things I noticed.

IMG_0131-My camera rocks. As I said, it’s smarter than I am. Since I’m used to my point-and-shoot, I still have that urge to drastically meddle with the settings. If I want a shallow depth focus, I’ll jerk the aperture to the widest possible setting even when dealing with subjects respectively 50cm and 250m away. I have yet to learn to be subtle.

-I’m going to need that one year warranty. Already, I’ve had my camera wet and coated in dust. My objective drum isn’t airtight so there’s a good chance some of that made it into the body. I tend to put my equipment through the worst abuse, whether it’s my bike, rucksack or camera.

IMG_0117  -Custom setting are for the pro. I set off with my camera set to “aperture priority” and all sorts of fancy options, with the results shown to the right here. I quickly changed to the “landscape” setting and let my camera do the work, apart from a number of shots where I used manual focus. Auto settings make me feel like a retard, but they keep me from making dumb mistakes. If I set my aperture wide open like I tend to, my camera isn’t always doing to be able to compensate with ISO and exposure time. I think  I’ll check around with others if that’s just me being slow.IMG_0141

-I am NOT SATISFIED with my lens. It’s cheap and it shows. It might not be immediately evident, but if you click through to the original of the one to the left, you will notice that every individual out-of-focus point of light comes out as a little pentagon. This is because the meager five aperture blades inside the objective are not rounded, something which theoretically wouldn’t even bring up the price.
It gets worse. Without changing positions, I then focus on the background, with this as a result:
IMG_0142 A huge fucking pentagonal blue blob straight smack in the middle of my photo. A potentially successful picture, completely shot to hell. I climbed a forty meter crane for this shit? It would be somewhat acceptable, but lord IMG_0218was I disappointed when I wanted to capture the blinding sunlight reflecting off wet cobblestones. For some reason, I am getting solar flares half the size of the picture, with no way to predict it.
On top of that, I seriously miss my zoom function. A cheap zoom lens is many times worse than a cheap fixed-angle lens, I know that. And it’s not that I miss zooming in as much. It’s zooming out. To compare, I brought my old camera with and shot the same church with both.

IMG_0278 IMG_2148

To the left, my new camera. On the right side, my old.
Note that I did not zoom in, I couldn’t if I wanted to. I’m sure you can imagine how annoying this can be. The thing is you see, I’m dealing with a portrait lens, and it’s supposed to be treated as such.  Landscapes are out of the question. I think I might just get a different objective pretty soon, after all. The gear I have now is the equivalent of a dockworker with a small dick. (The dick is the lens, thankyou)

-Further issues: Where should I start…
I got the feeling that my first pictures were never quite focused well, a IMG_0084problem that seemed to lessen over time. It might be the lens, it might be the habit that I lost of shooting with wide aperture. Or it might simply be due to the fact that I gradually let the camera make more decisions for me, rather than ask the impossible of it.
Also, I’m far from confident about my framing and technical details. I know of the 2/3 rule and I use it often, and I (should) know about portrait framing. But that’s where it ends. I need to do a lot more research on that.

 

 

Since I have little contact with “real” photographers, it’s hard for me to say where I stand. I know I’m an amateur, but just how much of one, I can’t really tell. I would ask others but I seriously want to avoid running into that “well first of all, change your lens” advice. I’ll get there eventually, but in the mean time I would like to know how to take a decent picture. You don’t learn to drive in a Ferrari either, do you? This kind of penile compensation only makes me want to give up.

Still, when my bandwidth clears up (overdid it on the downloads a little), I think I might find me a forum or two. I’m not that arrogant to think I can’t learn from the experience of others, even (especially!) when it comes to equipment.

All in all, I think I’m off to a good start. The only thing I am not happy with is, not surprisingly, the part I knew least about, which is the objective. But with my limited budget blown to bits, I’m stuck with it for quite some time to come.


Shots

It ain’t easy being single. My dishes aren’t getting done, my palms are empty and all my sweet sweet love is going to waste.
Nope, I still haven’t grown the nerve to address the opposite sex. But, at least I learned to live with it. I always say,
There’s two methods of handling a problem. Fixing, or coping.
And yes I do mean that seriously.

The shittiest thing is not having someone to dream of, or ponder about. I really need that: some comforting, soothing someone or something to think about when I have nothing else to consider.
Instead, I’m stuck with the concept of “ex-girlfriends”. Fucking, great.

We’re not talking anymore. I screwed up that bit, much against my expectations when it first began. I kind of have a double feeling about that: I didn’t mean to allow things to escalate this easily but god damnit, I am right. About what, I seriously don’t know but that’s not the point.
Still, I think it was worth it. That is to say; the brief relationship wasn’t worth the wrecked friendship, but the possibility of what could have been, definitely was. Near the end, I was really confident in our relationship and could see it continue for a very long time to come. I hadn’t had that vision of the future in an annoyingly long time. It may not have been worth the ending mere hours later, but it was worth the risk of such. Because that’s what you work with, right? Every relationship has the chance to end overnight, and you have to decide whether you want to risk it.

I’m afraid this whole ordeal is turning me a little bitter. Please fucking shoot me if I ever pull that “I’ve been hurt too many times in the past” card, because as things are currently looking, I just might. I was talking to someone I just met the other day and I found myself describing how lonely my days were as if I was the Little Prince him fucking self. That’s not how I feel, and more importantly, that’s not how I want to feel, let alone come over as. I am quite happy as things are, and having worked for it as hard as I have, I don’t want to forget it one fucking moment.

 

 

I may get a job.

Holy shit.

Again.

I may get a job.
A real one.
Part-time, but eat shit motherfucker, it’s a job.

At a cd store. The only job I would accept. It’s a long shot and generally those don’t work out for me, but I am seriously holding my breath in this case. Not just because this was the very first job I applied for back when I quit school, but also because we’ve come a long way already.

The chain has gone bankrupt. One month ago, the situation was as following:
-There might be a buyer.
-My colleague’s girlfriend might want to become store manager.
-She might actually be hired.
-He might choose to work there, as well.
-They might be allowed to hire their own personnel.
-He might ask to hire me.
-They might agree.

That makes seven questions on pretty much all levels of the Belgian economy to be resolved, that would result in me getting the job. Assuming that each of these has two possible outcomes (yes or no), that would mean I had a 1 / 2^7 chance of getting the job, or as Google claims, 1/128.
One in one hundred and twenty-eight.

Currently, we have arrived to logarithmic step numero six. That is to say, he already gave me the promise that he’d hire me, it is now a question of being allowed to do so. SO that means I beat the odds of 1 / 2^5 or 1/30. What I have left before me is two more issues or a 1/4 chance.
What do you mean, obsession? I’m just wondering out loud. I doubt these numbers are correct, anyway…

This would be my first real job since I quit the army, 5 years ago. And because it’s part-time, I would be able to keep my current job and the steady supply of crew shirts and bed-time stories. The only thing I’m worried about is the vacation I’ll have left. I wasn’t planning on any long-term vacation, but still. With my voluntary work all around the year and tendency to go twitchy if I stay in the same place for too long, I just might test these people’s patience more than they are prepared for. Contracts and I go together like testicles and battery acid.
Fingers crossed. I’ll just have to be so awesomepants throughout the year that they can’t fire me without going bankrupt again. The perfect scheme.

 

 

So I went and bought me a camera. A case, that is, without objective. It’s a Canon Eos 500d and if I would have gone one step higher, I’d be in the “professional” category. It’s the best thing since sliced bread and soon, it’s mine.

They go in the stores for up to a nearly €1,000, but I found one on eBay for €535. On top of that, it comes with a 4Gb memory card, SWAT looking camera bag, mini tripod, LCD screen protector and a thankyou note from Борис Ельцин him fucking self. That’s over €60 worth of arguably essential equipment on top of a dirt cheap camera, one of the best of its kind, on top of a one year warranty. I think I did a real bargain here. Also one thing I think I should mention:
It’s imported. Which means that it doesn’t go by its standard “500d” name, but instead on the case it says, “Rebel T1i” Beat that.

The next step is the objective. It doesn’t come with a kit lens, which I don’t regret because generally they suck balls. You end up paying for something you will replace anyhow. Instead, what I want to get is a decent, all-round lens that will last me a while. In due time, I think I’ll get me a wide-angle objective, I always figured they would be quite interesting to experiment with.

Now that I got exactly the type I wanted, I intend to know it inside out. I don’t want to end up in a situation where I find a setting on there and not know what it’s for. The problem is, that I’m quite familiar with analog systems, but not digital. To say that the possibilities have increased would be an understatement. Already I’ve been doing some in-depth research and I don’t think I have ever used Google’s “define” anywhere near as much as this weekend.

Regardless, I am very confident about the purchase. As stated above, it’s exactly what I’ve had in mind for several years and all it came down to were the details, which ended up precisely to my liking.
Choosing a lens will be a bigger challenge. I think the best way to go about it is to practice until my fingers bleed, and then determine what kind of lens I want and what I want it to do. It may be second in importance compared to the case, but very closely so. The problem is that I don’t have the first clue.

Anyone willing to educate me?


Imaging

I want to pick up photography again. Again, because a lifetime ago I followed Audio-Visual Arts in school. I know the basics and I have an exceptionally good camera – for its price category. And now I want to take it further, becoming more and more determined.

Photography, to me, is quite like writing. Whether it’s fiction or not, my focus is to grasp an idea, an image if you will, and describe it so that you can see the details clearly before you. Often a single word is enough to steer you in the right direction and imagine the unsaid.
Photography follows the same path, but in the opposite direction. I want to capture something so that you can fill in the context. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the right one, but it has to make you pause and think about what you see without having to strain yourself wondering “what is this supposed to be?”

I think the whole photography scene has become too technical. It seems like the whole world wants to jerk off over expensive equipment and in their yuppie attitude, forget what the bloody point is because that happens to be something you can’t buy: insight.
To bring up the writing metaphor again: It’s like typing a story on the world’s most expensive computer, that’s about nothing at all. People buy cases and lenses costing fortunes, and then go out and photograph a fucking tree. Or a piece of furniture. But only its leg, to make it artistic somehow. And they add a vintage looking filter with a bigshot editing program to make it seem like they’re not so full of shit that it’s seeping out their ears.

The image is your story.
Technical skill is grammar.
Equipment is your typewriter.
These are in order of importance.

Right. So.
Interesting things are all around, if you go look for them. Nobody can teach you how to see. But the other two things are available at a price. There are three things I want to invest in: A camera, lenses, and so on; a portable hard drive; and education. For once, I intend not to fuck around. If I’m doing this, I’m doing it until it pays itself back somehow. I don’t care if I’m doing strangers’ wedding pictures or selling porn (in fact that just sounds fucking awesome), I don’t want to do this to become yet another facebook group contributor with pictures of a dead pigeon. I want to make people look twice and ask, “where did you take those?” And I think I can. All it takes is the decision to go through with it, which I am reluctant to take.

 

 

 

 

“I write about life, not because I think I’m so interesting, but because I think life itself, is.”

Privacy works in funny ways. My translator defines it as following:

Privacy, n. Seclusion, solitude, reclusion; state of being private, secrecy, confidentiality; freedom from harassment or disturbance.

Would that be how you define it? I don’t believe so. To me, it is more something like a state information is in, that keeps it from being noticed by anyone unintended. When you want your info to be private, I think you simply don’t want others to be aware of it.

I used to moderate a game in which it was quite easy to find out disturbingly intimate details about its players. And I did, just because I could. I found it entertaining to follow them around and observe as they spilled their most secret thoughts to those they trusted. And that which they didn’t, I would find out through other means. The internet is vast and I seem to have a knack for digging, finding out things like their marital status, home address, web site and even phone number. Not all searches were equally successful, but I’m sure they all included information not meant to be discovered by a stranger.

Mind you, I never used any of this information. I didn’t share it, save it, didn’t speak to anyone (including the parson in question) about it, and certainly didn’t use it for my own gain. I just had fun seeing how far I could go doing the simple math and building on that to reconstruct as much of their profile as I could.
Doubtlessly, they would have minded at some stage. I don’t think I ever broke any law, but my behavior could have been mistaken for that of a stalker, sooner or later. The difference is, that they never knew about it unless they asked me directly, which happened once. I think I might have scared her a little when I listed the things I knew about her, and I was far from finished.

IF YOU PUT SHIT ON THE INTERNET, ladies and gentlemen, CONSIDER IT PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.
Duh.
If you put shit up, someone or something is going to look at it. If you give out information, anywhere at all, at least think about the fact that it will most likely be stored somewhere. If not the recipient, then some server in between keeping a log of its traffic. Assume, within reason, that everything is recorded and potentially reread. This includes chat sites, social networking, even the games you play.

Facebook.com changed its privacy agreement recently, which caused an uproar of protest. Suddenly, all this private information became available to the whole world wide web by default, and changing it back became such a complicated procedure that the owner of Facebook himself suddenly found his personal pictures in public.
If you would have read that agreement to begin with, which none of these whiny dickmonkeys ever did, you would know that anything you put up on Facebook, becomes their property (which is also the case with the previously mentioned game, by the way). Which is only logic: where did you think you were uploading it to? Let me shed some light: Those servers? Not yours. You literally give these things to them and they put it up on a website, for free. It’s called a service, not an attempt to infringe on your personal space which you just put up on the fucking internet.

The only thing that keeps the stockholders from cutting the hardline and walking away with all this information, including phone numbers, addresses and sexual preferences, and selling it to the highest bidder (can you imagine the price tag??), is their written promise not to do so. You know, the one you didn’t read?

This very text is no different, I know that. If I even save the draft on my site and then delete it again, it will still be traceable for a long time, possibly even long after I died. Kind of makes me wonder how much longer my internet persona will live on than my meatspace one.
Anyway. If Mr. Obama would have written and posted what I have the past few years when he was my age, he would never have become president no matter what he would have done with it. They would have found it, and made it public. Luckily I don’t plan on a political career, but is that something you plan at all? The suspense is killing me.

The real problem here, and the reason why people wouldn’t want me or anyone else finding out their little secrets, consists of two parts.
First of all, and this matches the dictionary’s definition, people don’t like being harassed. I can totally understand that, especially since some hamsucker found my phone number and decided to stalk me for two weeks. Or was it four months? I don’t remember. That doesn’t explain why people simply don’t want others to find out the spicy details, though.
The real issue right there, is that people are afraid of being judged. That’s why they don’t want strangers to see their drunk pictures, or would most likely make a fuss about me doing some background research. I really think it’s as simple as that. Why else would everyone go apeshit the very moment their “privacy” is invaded?

As you may have guessed, I’m not big on privacy. I have to admit, once in a while I rather not be too aware of who reads the things I write, but all in all I generally don’t mind having my personal life out in the open. Whether it’s my personal information (although I’ve gotten a little more careful with that since recently), income quite far beneath the poverty line, sexual fantasies that might be a little… out there (actually I tend to keep these for myself for the sake of others),… pretty much anything, I don’t mind talking about it as long as you don’t start giving me shit. I won’t judge your ideas (within limits), so if you must judge mine, at least keep your hole shut about it.

So do I have less secrets than others? Am I more open about them? Am I a closet exhibitionist? I can’t tell. A mixture of all of the above, perhaps. Or maybe it’s the conviction that I have a strong moral compass and don’t make excuses for what I do or don’t. Judgments would be at the expense of the one passing them, not me. I seriously don’t think that nowadays, between lying, cheating and stealing, I do anything against my principles. On top of that, I don’t think these principles are antisocial in nature. So what I guess that means is that I think I’m a good person, and have little to regret or hide. Whether I’m right or not, is up to you to judge and for some deity, if there is one, to decide.

One little P.S.
I do have secrets, however few. Some things are better left unsaid (you look like a cow in that dress btw) but at least I have the common sense not to put them on a world-wide medium. At all.


Unpopular thought

George Orwell described in his book “1984”, written in 1948, a dystopian world in which government control is close to absolute and even thoughts are regulated. It is accepted, and even common, for politicians to say one thing and mean another (“WAR IS PEACE”) and under the guise of patriotism, the people are made to buy and even participate in their own spoon-fed abuse.

In several ways, our society creeps nearer that “Orwellian nightmare” with every change we accept, but there is one aspect I’ve been walking around in my head with ever since I had a couple of American teachers sleep over in my home. They described how their education system spends years and years describing their civil war to them, while the Vietnam war got little more spotlight than a page in a history book.

Orwell proceeds to describe in his book, how the nation’s only political party fundamentally changes history books and records, up to the point where no one could possibly make out if a certain event occurred or not. Wars are made up, others are silenced. Not a single written source can be trusted anymore, up to the point where newspapers are changed on a day-to-day basis to deny things that obviously occurred, but in retrospect simply believed not to. If the newspapers say a riot did not take place, it did not take place, despite the fact that there is blood on the streets.

My colleagues and I were driving to work earlier this year, and the radio told us that the last, first world war survivor had died. The others in the car didn’t get why I found that a terrible thing. This officially means that as of that day, no one on the planet saw what had happened. From that point on, we would have to trust the writing of someone else and the government’s approval. Original sources will inevitably fade over time, and so will the testimony of one of mankind’s most gruesome events.
God forbid, we will forget.

Have you ever noticed how in movies and computer games, there is a distinction in value of life? How children are never killed, for example. The only beings that can be mindlessly submitted to a full-blown genocide are aliens, robots, and Nazis. Because nothing can be as truly evil as one of these. Right?
It gets my goat a little how people can deeply believe that all Nazis were heartless, because while doing that, they not only assume that such a thing is impossible to re-occur, but also let themselves be told to fundamentally dislike a “competing” regime. It’s a major theme in “1984” and if more people would read that book, maybe they would see how heavily influenced they are by anti-fascism propaganda.

I know this for a fact: the percentage of Nazis that was truly evil does not exceed that of the average country; just like Nestlé employees never asked for their company to pump up source water from underneath native tribes and sell it back to them in bottles.
Try this on for a change: What if the holocaust never happened? What if the Germans were struggling for survival just as any other nation, and got mauled? Wouldn’t it be awfully convenient for our governments today to divert attention from modern infringes of human rights by creating a much more evil, common enemy? Wouldn’t it be practical, to compare your political opponent with Hitler, and obviously down and deeply evil tyrant?
Is there anyone reading this, who can claim otherwise through first hand experience? I didn’t think so.

I would like to point out that I am not denying the holocaust, because oh the irony, it is illegal to do so. Now wait a beat, and think that through.
It is, illegal, to claim history did not happen the way our government tells us.
I seem to be the only one who thinks that is a reason for concern. Now, again, I am not saying it did, because I simply don’t know. I too am in a position where I have no other source of information than state controlled education and approved books. Anyone denying the holocaust would not even get the chance to come up with solid proof.

On the other hand, this does not mean it is all untrue. There are still enough second world war survivors to testify what really happened. And even if there weren’t; a common mistake to make is to assume falsification of information by the government, and then blindly swallow every single shabby conspiracy theory they throw at you. Skepticism should be maintained at all times, including in the search for alternatives. In fact, it is much more counter-productive to call undue bullshit, because it distorts the actual truth all the more.

In Orwell’s book, the protagonist believes, just as I do, that there is a truth “out there” and reality can not be changed to something else. It can however, be rendered irrelevant to today’s situation. If every living soul believes one thing, it simply doesn’t matter anymore if something else happened. If a tree falls in the forest, it certainly makes a sound, but the problem is that no one is aware of it. It could be the very last black oak on the entire planet; if no one cares, it doesn’t matter.

So, care. Know. Remember.
Think for yourself.
Question authority.
Think for yourself.
Question authority.
Lest we forget.

Disclaimer:
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, it technically doesn’t make a sound. It does cause vibrations in the air and ground, but these aren’t defined as “sound” until they are perceived and identified as such.
Now you know.

 

 

A series of discussions recently have made me reconsider my views regarding the things I fight for, or in this particular case, the things I fight against.
I am an anarchist. It was the political view I found closest to mine when I was still a child, I did not adopt its name and icons because I wanted to be part of some group or other. In fact, in boarding school, it was safe to say it was a very unpopular opinion to have.

Some things within our society are very wrong. I brought them up before and I’m not going to again, but I am soundly convinced that my arguments are not just “cafe politics” and would indeed realistically change our society for the better. If you want to hear them, ask. I will take questions afterward.

I fight for these ideas. I refuse to vote, I support squatters and anarchists where I can, and try to live a lifestyle with a bare minimum of consumerism. But the one thing I don’t do nearly as much as I would like, is protest.

What bothers me greatly is that both those on and off the streets don’t seem to realize what protest is about, what its effects are, and why they are relevant. Countless time I have to hear that it’s not worth it, things won’t change, and today’s society has different interests than idealism. They call us naive, in their ignorance.

In response, I call them blind. They fail to see further than today, or their own porch. They take what they have for granted, without even considering how they got it. If only they would bother to see things into context, they would see how rich in change our history is. If you just consider a brief period like the last 100 years, the amount of change that came to pass across the whole globe is staggering.

Voting rights for women.
Equal rights for every race.
Education in our native language.

Do you think these came with the package? Do you think these rights were obtained by passive observance? Can you, in all honesty, say that today’s society has reached a point in which improvement is no longer necessary, or even favorable??

Here’s your answer: We are the many. We have the power. No tyrant, let alone democratic government can ignore the call of the people who rise. We will have it our way, if only we unite and agree on a cause worth fighting for. It is the first and last step towards the perfect society: a goal that can’t be reached but is still worth striving for. Even those companies supposedly only in it for the profit, will listen. Not because their eyes will be opened and they will spend fortunes on sustainable and ethically justifiable products, but because we are their target audience and they will give us what we ask for. The same goes for the media, who is not out to control us or keep us dumb, but show us what we want to see. Our government cannot ignore the call of its people, not without grave consequences in the next elections, something they won’t risk.

If we want it our way, we will have it our way. Those that rather sit and watch are the naive ones, to think that the whole world will proceed them, and demonstrate how it’s done like a flock of sheep they only have to follow. They are so used to doing as they are told, that they forget to think for themselves and see that this world will not improve or even stay livable, without those raising their voices and igniting public awareness. They are the heroes of tomorrow, and to call them naive is to boast your status of herd animal and render yourself utterly useless in the progress of humanity.

It is not as important to protest, not by a long shot, as it is to realize why protest is important. Public awareness is _everything_. At least realize that before spending time and energy denying the effects of those who sacrificed for your comfort.


boo hoo.

During the relatively short time I’ve been single throughout the years, I have pretty accurately kept up the average of one to one-and-a-half girlfriend per year (not counting my one night stands, which are zero). All were potentially long-term relationships as far as I was concerned, and lasted from weeks to months. In my opinion, that’s not even that bad a score for a tard like myself. But up until recently, I failed to see that. It took someone else’s remark to make me realize that all this time, I was counting in terms of breakups, instead. I do love it when someone else does my thinking.

The main problem is that, in between, I spend my days obsessed with me being single. This is not a good pick-up line, so the result is a vicious circle, not exactly playing in my favor.
Why is this? Let’s sum it up.

First and foremost, I detest being alone. Ironic, one might think, considering how much of a loner I tend to be. But seriously, if I can’t have someone to talk to, I at least need someone to listen to. I’m not exactly sure why, but if it has an external reason, it could be because my ex was talkative like sugar is white, or the fact that I grew up in boarding school among others. I don’t think I was ever truely alone until I moved to this very house about two years ago.

A close second is my tendency to go batshit. I think too much. It has helped me to soundly define the world, both inside and out, and allows me to see certain things more clearly than most, but there is also a huge drawback: I second-guess myself. Constantly.
I know what I consider righteous. I have a sound set of ethic rules and more importantly, I know why. What I don’t know, is what is considered normal. It’s not something you can decide for yourself, society makes that decision for you. So when I, upon doing or saying something, I wonder, “Am I making sense at all?” I get no answer. You need other people for that, and measure their reactions. I’m particularly bad at that, so I need a lot of input to confirm that I am, in fact, sane. And as the case happens to be, I need a lot of confirmation, as well.

All this greatly amplifies the feeling of loneliness and threatens to make me a very pessimistic and cynical person. Now that I’ve figured this out for myself, I plan to change that. Aside from blocking out the occasional wave of melancholy, I have put myself on a regime of productive action and the simple gesture of leaving the house for whatever reason. Every day I go out, the only exceptions being the days after a workday. Not only does it help keep my house clean and well stocked, but I also see some faces.

Exactly one year ago I was in Galway, Ireland, alone and desperately looking for a new purpose in life. Shortly after coming home, I quit MUDs, and rolled into a short but frighteningly intense depression. I made the promise to myself to hang in there until the planned hike to Scotland with friends, seemingly the only bright point in the months to follow. It must have been the best decision I ever made, because the night before departure, I did find that purpose.

I lost her now, but that doesn’t mean I lost my love for life again. The easy rules that I am following now, work. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my days anymore, which in return gives me a sense of value of myself. What’s more important, it shifts the focus of my life away from my dependence on others. It gives the confidence that I badly needed.

Anyhow. Enough of this sappy shit. On your feet, soldier.