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10 Weeks In... by Ian Hill

Hello Internet, Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I love you all <3

We are ten weeks into our pregnancy now and we finally got the first picture of our growing baby. I don’t plan to over-share a lot of baby photos in the future but since this is the first photo of it, I had to share.

The ultra-sound technician labeled this… In case we were not sure what it was..

The ultra-sound technician labeled this… In case we were not sure what it was..

Obviously a still image does not do justice to the experience of actually seeing this little peanut move around inside of my lovely wife live on the ultrasound, but at least it is a glimpse we can hang on to for our memories.

I know it is a standard thing to say, but I cannot really describe the kind of joy I felt getting to look at our little alien creature for the first time. I read somewhere that the pregnancy feels real for the mother as soon as she finds out she is pregnant but for the father it is when you see the first ultrasound. I thought maybe this was not accurate but based on how my thoughts on this changed since seeing it, I think maybe that old advise is correct.

Anyway, we are happy. If you have any naming suggestions leave them in the comments below or send me an email -> ian@greenglassesproductions.com

<3 Love Ian

The Seed Shall Come by Ian Hill

Consider this an announcement of sorts. Since I have sworn off posting anything too personal directly to social media I have not talked much in length publicly about the news that I will soon be a father. Honestly it is hard to know what to say that has not already been said by countless fathers countless times.

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All I know is that I am super excited, and that feeling is strange. When I was younger I never even thought I would have children. People always tell you that when you find the right person you will change your mind. Those people were right. However finding that common wisdom is true is a double edged sword to me. Another common bit of wisdom you hear often is that men are destined to become their fathers. If that is true then I fear for my child. Those that know me already are aware of my own struggles with my family, if you are not one of those people I will just summarize it as follows. I have been on a lifelong quest to prove that not all men are destined to become their fathers. Take that how you will.

My wife, Kim, and I only just recently started to try to have a child. We were told by the doctors that it may take months for her hormones to balance after removing her implanted birth control device. It turns out they were either way off on their estimate or my sperm and her eggs were just raring for a chance to re-produce. It only took a couple of “attempts” and suddenly we were pregnant. To say that we thought we would have at least a little more time to figure this out would be an understatement. It was good news nonetheless. Sure there are worries and anxieties about the process, the same ones I am sure every expectant parent has going into this adventure but those concerns pale in comparison to the joy I get when I think about the beautiful baby that is brewing my my best friends belly. I really don’t have the words to express how trans-formative this experience has been for me mentally even this early into the process. Every decision I make now is suddenly made under the consideration of a completely new and un-born life that is on the way. How will this effect our plans for the pregnancy? How might this impact or finances after the baby is born? Questions that I never considered before now flood my head and interject their way into my thought patterns. This is a good thing, I can sense the positive change in my mind and body taking form.

I will likely write much more on this subject in the future. We have not even had our first appointment with the OBGYN yet so we are still early stages to be sure. Plenty of more news and excitement to come. If you are friend or family and you want to wish us well feel free to give us a call or drop me a text. We are happy to share our joy with all.

Our First Child… Peppy, in his natural environment..

Our First Child… Peppy, in his natural environment..

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Five - It's not Me, It's You! by Ian Hill

Social Media, at its inception, never seemed like anything more than a silly distraction to me. Yes, it was cool that so many more people were getting into this thing I loved called “The Internet” but to me I never saw these people as really getting what was special about the Internet to me so I never took sites like that seriously. At least that was the case at first. I had a strange love for the Internet but over time I learned how to stop worrying and love The Facebook. Sure the interactions were more vapid and self serving and less thoughtful or self-aware. I just figured that most people did not have a need to find themselves the way I did online, and good for them for already having their shit together. Instead I looked at social media as a place to get a hold of people I wanted to chat with that no longer used AIM and I would continue using my own website and Livejounral to continue loving the internet like I always had before.

That did not last for long.. Unfortunately Facebook became so popular that it more or less killed almost every other site that people used to connect with others online. Including blogging sites like Livejournal and any chat service that was not Facebook. As the world I loved online began to dwindle I too leaned harder into Facebook and started taking the content I would have previously posted elsewhere and started posting it on Facebook.

Only, things were not the same. You cannot post a long blog post (like this one) to Facebook and expect anyone to read it. At most people are going to read the title and maybe a few lines throughout and then make some kind of comment about the part that they read while ignoring the rest. Over time I stopped writing blog posts as instead of the thoughtful conversations I would get into on Livejournal with other writers I got nothing but homogenized life advice from people who did not even care enough to read what I had posted. The catharsis I had from the internet was going away. I could no longer be myself online as I had no place to do that anymore. Sure I can still post to my own personal website (and still do occasionally) but there was no longer any community to interact with. Meaningful conversation vacated the internet to be replaced with nothing but self-promotion and judgement. Online Ian no longer had a home and Family Ian had to move online to keep up appearances.

For years this has felt like a betrayal of myself. If I am not being authenticate online then what is even the point? I told myself I needed to keep up appearances so that if I ever got around to finishing a book I was writing I would have this large audience of online friends to share it with. I told myself that having a well kept online persona would help people get to know me with my best foot forward. I thought that these things mattered, but in reality I was just jamming myself back into a closet that I have always hated being trapped inside.

Now Facebook is a company that is actively harming the world. Nobody can question anymore the harm that the site inflicts upon democracy. It enables our worst tendencies as humans and silences voices that are not mainstream. So I have recently begun to really question why I am still on this site, can whatever I gain from being here actually make up for what I am supporting financially by allowing Facebook to sell my data for profit?

I don’t know that I can make that case. I don’t think there is enough to gain to make it worth it to continue to be on social media.

So with much pain I am breaking up with Social Media. I am sorry Facebook, it is not me, it is you. I fell in love with the internet when the internet was different. Back when it was accepting of who I was and allowed me to flourish as an individual. But as the internet has changed me so to has the internet changed, it is no longer the accepting place where I can be myself. I don’t really have any place I can be myself any longer (other than when I am home alone) and that is very sad. I would love for their to be a day where someone like me can find a place in the world again. However that place is certainly no longer Facebook or Social Media. So I must say goodbye to my online life, and move on to being myself in other ways. It was a good long run while it lasted but unfortunately there is nothing really left for me here.

I imagine my Facebook profile will still be online for a while but I have already removed most social media from my phone and I do not spend enough time online at home to really have any sort of presence anymore. If you are reading this and want a way to get a hold of me here are some great options!

Email: Ian@GreenGlassesProductions.com
Phone: (616) 841-5527
Google Chat: Ian.Bulock@Gmail.com

I hope this was an informative look into why I am quitting social media. If you want to know more about me check out my blog (you are reading it right now) there are plenty of other things to learn about me here. I would love to get some feedback from anybody that might have read this far. Maybe we can start our own online support group return some of that former glory we are missing online!

With Love <3 Ian

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Four - Becoming Ian by Ian Hill

Over time I matured, and the internet matured with me.

Another huge change in my life happened that also forever changed me much like my love of the internet changed me in the years prior.

I mentioned how I had grown up in a small town that more or less repressed the person I felt I was inside. Well, in 2001 that all changed as my Dad decided it was time to move out of that small town and into a very liberal college town instead. This move happened as I transitioned from Middle School to High School. At first this felt completely traumatizing to me, as my personal anxieties have never made it easy for me to handle large changes in my life. However as I began to meld into this new school and this new life something kind of remarkable happened. I found that I no longer needed “Family” Ian while at school. People here accepted me for who I was. Being gay, or nerdy, or a weirdo were no longer things that I would be picked on for. Teachers would encourage these types of behavior and push me to be more of myself, I found new friends who were into all the anime and video games and computers I was into.

Online Ian met the real world. It was glorious and possibly the best time of my life. There is nothing more affirming than to be able to be yourself and be loved for it. This is what I got at East Lansing High School and is when the version of myself that was born and developed online really solidified into that main version of myself that I would become.

I still spent a lot of time online during this period, but almost all of the socializing I would do would be mostly with people I knew in real life. The popular method of online chat by this point was AOL instant messenger, which I used constantly when I was online at my computer. I had built my own websites before, but now I was building websites together with real life human friends that I knew in person. I began to become very self reflective during this time. Being accepted by strangers, again, but this time in real life made me start to question what had gone so wrong in my hometown, and question what was so wrong with my family. I had always loved to write and so when I found the site Livejournal I knew it was time to start getting all of my shit out.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

I started a blog where I would talk about my feelings, my thoughts, my fears, my anxieties. I had discussed these kinds of things in chats with people before but never in a long form method like this where my thoughts could fully form and develop. This was again, a very trans-formative thing for me. I met even more new friends on blogging sites that also had an interest in figuring their complex emotional shit out, and we helped each other with encouragement and support to navigate what was going on in our minds and our lives. Having a place you can go where you can go as deep as you want to into your own messy mind and be still be accepted by other people is amazing. I cannot imagine the kind of person I would be today if I never stopped back then as a teenager to try to decide who I was as a person and discover why I thought the way I did about the world. In a way Family Ian was still alive when at home and at Church, Online Ian became just Ian and that version of me would continue to develop further with these new outlets for self-analysis.

At this point a new presence was starting to take hold on the internet. The advent of social media websites was upon us, and things would change forever.

Concluded in Part Five…

WWJD by Ian Hill

Over the past two years the vitriol that has been built up in public discourse in our country and the world has left many of us blind-sided. Every body believes that they are correct in their beliefs and a large amount of other people are not. Of course, as every body seems to be involved in this the chances are that every body is wrong. I know in your head you are reading these words and thinking to yourself, “well, not me, I am the one who can see the truth that the rest of these other people cannot see.” I get where you are coming from, with so much insanity out there how could you be the one who has incorrect beliefs?

 

I am not here to tell anybody what the truth is, or what to believe. That is neither my job, nor something I am remotely capable or qualified to do. What I do want to say today, and trust me I realize the irony in this statement, we should all be a lot more like Jesus.

 

Yes, it is true that I in no way believe that Jesus was ever a real person nor do I believe there is an almighty presence looking down on me right now. That does not mean that Jesus as he is portrayed in the Holy Bible is not someone we cannot learn from in order to enrich our own lives. I did grow up in a church and for many years may have slightly believed in the words of this man. The biggest take-away I had from those teachings were Jesus’ ability to accept others even if he did not agree with them. That is the part of his teachings that seem to be lost on almost everybody these days.

 

In my opinion, we could all learn from this. What would the world be like if instead of immediately judging each other for the things we believe in or how we behave we instead approached everybody with love and acceptance even if we believe they are vile? I realize that does not sound productive in every situation but in the end of the day we are all victims of our own circumstances. The rich man who thinks he knows everything and wants to rule the world did not become that way in a vacuum. If he does not know what he is doing perhaps that is due to how he was raised and the sheltered life he lived until this point. If you were raised in the same exact way would you be just like him? If so, would you react well to everyone hating you for how you are? It may be easy to judge because he is so wealthy, but it is possible he truly has no way to comprehend how horrible his ideas are as he may not have the base knowledge needed to understand his own psychology. His victims are numerous, however, so there must be something we can do to show him the error of his ways. I believe the way we do this is to be more like Jesus.

 

Instead of shouting on social media or yelling at our family and friends who think differently than us perhaps we should instead just live our own lives in the best ways we can. Let us be kind and compassionate to every body else we meet. Lets not preach to them, or berate them for their thoughts or opinions. Lets instead lead by example. If our kindness and love looks appealing to others they may just want to join us in our quest to love our neighbors and accept our enemies. You do not have to be religious to love, and you do not have to be perfect to show compassion. These are things that everybody can do. The more we do them, the more these ideas can spread.

 

Unlike fighting with each other, the rewards for loving one another will not be immediately apparent. This may make things less satisfying for you in the short term, but I promise the long term effects of this will be well worth it. At least in this crazy mans opinion.

Alien Encounters of an Ian Kind by Ian Hill

When I was younger you could say I had a fascination with Aliens.

For a period I consumed as many books, TV shows, movies, and documentaries about aliens as I could get my hands on. I explored parts of the early internet that had discussion boards about alien encounters.

Then I had some of my own, and it terrified me.

Read More

2018 Goals - Ian's Personal Blog by Ian Hill

2017 was a hell of a year for just about everyone it seems. While most people had horrible years I personally had a pretty good one. I married the love of my life, continued working at a job that satisfies my desire to educate the world (even if the pay is less than desirable) and continued to make progress towards getting out of debt and back into financial stability.

I still have a long way to go. I am not yet to the point where I actually have enough money coming in each month to both pay my bills and eat. So I usually decide to eat and not pay all of my bills every month. The main culprit for this over the past few years has been the large garnishment of money from my paychecks from some ancient debt that finally came back to haunt me. Thankfully that will be resolved in the next few months and I will actually be able to take home more than 20% of my gross income for the first time in years.

I hope that over the course of this year I will be able to get more of my debts paid off and get my credit score into acceptable ranges. The overall goal is to be able to buy a house in the next few years so my beautiful new wife and I can have a place of our own (we have so far been dwelling in the basement apartment of her parents house, millennials right?)

Me and my amazing better half, Kim :)

 

I am going to be approaching this from a few different angles and I am confident my plan will succeed. Being forced to tightly budget because you have no other choice is a good way to learn that you can have financial discipline if you really work for it.

During this year I also am going to become established as a patient in the medical industry. I have never really seen a doctor in any sort of regular way. Mostly because I had a lack of insurance during most of my 20s, combined with the fact that we never really saw doctors much as children due to our fathers aversion towards them. Going to a doctor makes me nervous but now that I am paying $330 every two weeks to have a top-tier insurance plan I tend to get use out of it. I have enough money in my HSA to cover my small deductible at this point so I can get pretty much any medical treatment this year at no out of pocket cost. I plan to take full advantage of that and have every test I can get run. I have been ignoring my apparent sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and crazy brain for far too long. Time to get all three looked at.

Finally I do plan to get Green Glasses more off the ground this year and that is one that I have already made strides towards. You may notice you are reading this on an entirely different website than you may remember. We have re-launched the site and now feature a beautiful donation button on the right of this blog page (wink), as well as a store button at the top where I am selling custom digital artwork for anyone who dares to pay me for such a thing. These are small steps for now to see if I can make any money off this at all (instead of just paying money into it as I have this entire time.) Also, getting these things established will allow me to find more ways to monetize in the coming months. Building my own personal brand will be a part of this so expect more social media and outreach from me personally over the course of the year.
 

I don't believe in resolutions or strict guidelines for goals. I feel when you set such strict terms for yourself you become more likely to not do those things as they may become overwhelming resulting in you just giving up. I do, however, believe in having hope. So I hope that I can make my dreams come true or at least get a bit closer to them over the course of 2018. It helps that I have a whole new set of confidence and belief in myself so if I can take that power and push it into further development I will be off to a good start.

If you read this far, thanks for sticking around. This was mostly a post about me and my dreams but I am glad you were interested. I would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave me some feedback and if any of you want to collaborate with me on any future creative projects I would love to do that with you. Leave me a comment, email me, sign up for my newsletter or just give me a call. I want to open the doors of this site for more than just me if people want to be a part of what I have going on in the future.

The world is what we make of it, so lets make it a good one!

Brain Bad! Sleep Good? by Ian Bulock

Unlike many people I know I have no issues at all falling asleep at night. While common sense would dictate this is due to mostly biological reasons I found myself pondering tonight the neurological reasons behind this. More specifically my perspective on the neurological reasons based on my own understandings of the science and my own understanding of myself. (In better words, read this at your own risk, I am an expert in neither neurological science nor myself.)

First off, I may not have a very typical brain. Which is, probably, fairly typical for most people to believe. That being said, I do think there is something.. off.. about how my brain works compared to what I have been conditioned to know as "typical".

My entire life I have experienced "shocks". I do not know how else to describe this feeling. It simply feels like every electrical switch in my body is being triggered all at once. The feeling starts inside my brain and blinds my senses from within before washing over my entire body with electrical stimulus. It does not hurt, nor does it ever last any longer than it would take for an electron to signal a nervous response across your body. (Basically no time at all.) Overall the entire thing feels most closely like a wave of static electricity that bursts from within my head and spreads throughout every nerve in my body, never jarring enough to entice an outward physical response but at the same time being completely overwhelming for me internally.

 

It is a feeling I have never been able to contain, nor control. Yet at the same time it has never been something that has given me any cause for serious alarm as the symptoms are almost pleasurable, if but for that precise moment.

 

It is a whole body catharsis that happens in an instant and is gone before you have any trouble with it at all.

 

So.. that is a lot of preface... I guess I meandered there for a bit but I thought having a longer explanation of that in writing may have been good for me. In any case I do not seem to be the only person I know who has experienced this as both my mother and brother have reported similar experiences in the past. Most likely this is some sort of genetic neurological disorder that I am neither qualified nor able to diagnosis. Either way, it is a part of who I am.

But how does this relate to sleep?

Damn... sometimes I start typing but have no idea where I may end up.

I guess my initial point was going to be something along the lines of...

My brain seems to be extra active almost all of the time. Whether this is holding multiple conversations with multiple facets of my own personality with myself in my head at all times, or it be just rambling into incoherent spaces of non-linear thinking, or just imagining worlds and storylines that only I will ever see or know... there is always an unbelievable amount of non-sense going in in my head at any given moment. I really cannot ever honestly keep up with myself sometimes. I am not trying to say that having an active mind is necessarily a good thing, I am actually starting to wonder if it is the sign of pending mental anguish. (mental health does seem to go pretty quick in my family, and I think I read somewhere once that people with active minds tend to go all dementia/Alzheimer's quicker than most, which is fitting with family history..)

Actually, once again I am not sure I know my point with this whole thing. Right, back to basics.

Strange neurological symptoms may help explain constantly active mind which may then in turn explain sleep.

There I was... sleep. I keep losing track of what I was thinking of. Actually I never quite lost track of it, it was just fading into the background noise of the countless other threads of mental processing happening in my chaos pool I call home (my brain.)

The moral of this story is this.

I exert myself physically much less than almost any other person I know. Yet, I fall asleep much easier than almost any other person I know. Even if these people exert themselves physically to the point of utter exhaustion I can always fall asleep easier and more quickly than most.

I don't think that my ability to fall asleep has any relation whatsoever to how tired I am. I am starting to think that my philosophy on sleep may just be different.

Over my life I have heard many people tell me how they long to sleep easy at night and stay asleep for an entire night.

I long for the opposite. I long for enough time awake to finish all the things I am thinking about. Only the things I am thinking about (much like this story) never seem to end. Instead I spend all of my time fighting to cling to consciousness. My mind only ever succumbing to sleep after it is battered down, defenseless, and ready to submit to it.

Which, with a mind like mind, is almost always.

So from this weary traveler to you dear reader, thanks for sticking around. :)

Fairwell MS Paint! by Ian Bulock

This morning I read some tragic news. MS Paint is dying. One of my earliest memories of using the Windows operating system was as a child at school. In the computer lab in my elementary school we had some Windows 3.1.1 networked PCs. They were likely IBM clones, as most PCs were back then, and used 5.25 inch floppy disks which were endlessly amusing to flop around when you are young.

The first thing I did on that computer was launch MS Paint and scribble out a crude work of art. Knowing myself it was likely of a penis with some balls (I have never had a very mature sense of humor, after all.)

I fell in love with computers as a child and my life has been guided by that love ever since. I would not have ended up working in IT or having my current life at all if not for my early love of computers. I can't help but think a lot of the charm that I fell in love with came from creativity apps like MS Paint which were built into the system on every single PC. So when I found out today they are getting rid of this classic windows feature that I love it saddened me.

Of course MS Paint has had another large impact on my life by way of Paint Comic. The whole idea of that comic originally was to help me get out of a creative slump. I am an endless perfectionist when it comes to creativity which has resulted in me starting hundreds of projects that I have never even come close to finishing as I can never get it "just right." Paint Comic was my answer to try to end that cycle of bad behavior. I set out to create something I could do on a daily basis that would not take me more than 15-30 minutes to create from start to finish. I think the first comic I did took me around 5 minutes to complete (and it shows.)

paintcomic1.png

The comic was created in MS Paint so I went with the lazy title of "Paint Comic" surprisingly some Google searching at the time indicated that nobody else was using that name so it became mine.

While I never ended up doing the comic daily (other than maybe for the first few days) I did keep coming back to it over time as it was nice to be able to make something and have no obligation to myself to make it be good. Over time I did fall back into the trap of trying to make it actually have quality and not surprisingly that is around the time I stopped making it altogether.

While I would like to say that I continued to use MS Paint to create the comic I actually had moved on to a different application called Paint.net after a while which is about as close to MS Paint as you can get with support for layers. In the days of MS Paint being removed from Windows I would suggest anyone with a longing nostalgia give Paint.net a try, you will find it refreshingly similar (only with some added features that make it more usable.)

With all of that being said, farewell MS Paint. You helped me find my lifelong love for computers and you will be remembered by at least this one nostalgic geek.

Cash Me Outside by Ian Bulock

Did you ever see that movie, Gladiator, and think “man, how could a society gather in a crowd to watch the weakest among them be torn to pieces for their entertainment?” I saw that movie too, but I was never as surprised by the shocking nature of the content displayed. Unfortunately Gladiator is as much a critique on our own society as it is on the ancient Roman society that is depicted in the movie. For proof of this we need to only look at the latest viral meme to spread through our collective sub conscious.

Last year an emotionally unstable 13 year old girl was in need of help. Instead of helping her, however, she was instead brought out into the public arena, and torn to pieces. For the most part everyone laughed at her misfortune as a corporation profited from the destruction of her life. She was in need of therapy after some tragic events in her life left her mentally ruined. Instead of therapy she was put into a room full of strangers who were there to judge her every action. She was then forced to perform for this crowd, being backed into a corner until her defensive nature kicked in and an extreme emotional response was pried from her young mind. The crowd booed at her for her inability to handle the situation. Her mother sat nearby and wept as her daughter was humiliated live in public. Meanwhile television cameras recorded the event to broadcast it nationwide, and eventually would take that footage and share it online for the world to see.

The world loved it, the footage spread like wildfire. People could not get enough of a young girl being exploited publicly. The sickness of humanity reared its ugly head and did everything it could to prove we have no sympathy as a whole. The story was shared and mocked endlessly on social media. The troubled childs inability to communicate effectively was used as proof that she was below us and thus deserving of any kind of torture we may inflict upon her. Nobody stopped to think about what this girl may actually need or what may have caused her to act this way.

A child needed help from a mental health professional and instead was mocked publicly by someone pretending to want to help her. I am not sure the details of why she needed her therapy to be on TV. If her mother was simply too poor to hire an actually therapist then Dr. Phil exploited both the mother and the child for profit. Perhaps the mother just wanted the attention as well, however, in which case this girl is being actively whored out by both her mother, and a corporation eager for profit. Does that make us better than her? Are we justified in our contempt for a girl who has no say in how she was raised?

The whole situation sickens me and the fact that nobody seems to give a shit about a child who is being exploited publicly makes me lose faith in humanity more than most things that have happened in the past year. Howbow dah?

The Echo Chamber by Ian Bulock

For the past year I have been going through some stuff. After losing almost everything I had I buckled down in an attempt to regain some semblance of my former life. In the process I have found myself trapped inside the nightmare of my own mind. It started as a self-defense mechanism. It is something I did a lot as a child to escape the horrors of my reality. These days my reality is not as horrible yet I still find myself running from the world. I am not sure if it is a cycle I will ever break out of, or if I even want to break free from it. It is the only coping mechanism I have ever seemed to develop.

While disassociating does help me cope it is far from a healthy thing to do. Knowing this has not been enough to prevent it from happening. Unfortunately, the consequences of spending so much time reflecting inward is the madness that it stirs up inside of me.

I don't really talk to anyone anymore, all of my thoughts are dark and terrifying. I do my best to spare others the pain I inflict on myself. This means the only person I really ever talk to about my issues is myself. Over a year containing my thoughts to mostly inner dialogue I feel I may be losing sight of who I am.

Even typing this now I feel bad for burdening whomever may be reading this with my unfocused ramblings. I just had this intense desire to express myself even though I have no real clarity as to what it is I need to express.

 

I want to break out, but I don't know how. I fear that if I don't I will continue to lose everything that I love. I wish I knew how to proceed.

The 4th of July and You by Ian Bulock

America, Fuck Yeah!

Last night I was planning on releasing a video to YouTube talking about the 4th of July and our country's addiction to nationalism. However after doing two takes of the video I soon realized that it was turning out to be rather hateful and kind of missing the point. While I normally do not mind being hateful and missing the point (especially on YouTube where this is truly what the audience craves) I just could not get into being that way once again.  So instead I figure I will just throw some words in my blog to see how that makes me feel.

As we all go to celebrate the birth of our now fairly old nation please keep in mind some of the lessons we learned from history. Over the past year many people have been bringing up socialism due to Bernie Sanders and his campaign to be president of our country. Obviously much of the talk about socialism comes from the type of people who  have never read a book before but since they are a majority of our country it is still something that needs to be addressed (as opposed to my normal reaction to people who choose to be ignorant, which is to ignore them.)

The talk I am referring to was people expressing how Hitler was a socialist so therefore socialism must be evil. Clearly this is a bad argument to begin with but also very perplexing as we live in a socialist country ourselves.

Somehow a large group of people in our country have totally missed the lesson they were supposed to learn about World War II. Instead they have come to the conclusion that Hitler's desire to build roads and provide welfare to his people (his CHOSEN people to be more specific) was somehow the thing that he did that was evil. The thing I took away from studying World War II was that committing genocide was the thing he did that was evil.

Do people think that Hitler's desire for social programs was what fueled his genocidal fervor? Is it not much more likely it was the other thing he was known for, his nationalism?

Nationalism at its core is the idea that a group of people will band together to have pride in themselves, specifically a nation of people. Usually this results in that group of people also thinking they are better than those not included in that group. In Nazi Germany it was the German people feeling nationalist pride that led them to believe that the Jewish population was the enemy that had to be eliminated. Nationalism was the tool that Hitler used to convince an entire country to comply with his insane machinations.

So the thing I think we all should have taken away from that is that nationalism is something to be avoided in order to stop ourselves from falling into that pitfall again. As a country we have unfortunately fallen victim to our pride too many times. Whether it be burning witches, lynching people, rounding up a large ethnic group and putting them into concentration camps, eliminating an indigenous population or just jailing those with differing political beliefs we have a record of letting nationalism convince us to hurt those that live within our own country. That is not even mentioning how pride in america has convinced so many that killing children overseas is something we should definitely be doing.

When you are out today eating your hot dogs, drinking your beer and blowing shit up. Just try to remember the danger of inflating a nation's ego.

Being Me... by Ian Bulock

Let me, for a moment, attempt to explain my life as of late. Imagine you are walking down a path and you seem to have a good idea where you are going, you even have a nice pack of food and supplies to help you along the way. Now imagine that the path under you suddenly falls away and you find yourself falling endlessly down a hole with no clear way to stop yourself. There is no footing to find, everywhere you reach or attempt to step is just more dirt that crumbles away as soon as you find it.

You find yourself spinning out of control, losing everything you carried with you as you fall. Somewhere in this fall you begin to figure out how to stabalize yourself a bit. You are not spinning out of control now, but you are still falling and the ground below you still continues to crumble away. Everytime you get hope that you may have finally found stable ground, it just seems to slip away.

That is,  more or less, the position I have found myself in as of late. While I continue to do my best to remain optimistic I also have a hard time seeing a way out of this fall I find myself in. I may not be spinning completely out of control but I still have no stable ground to stand on.

I am not trying to be dramatic or get your sympathy. I just want people to understand where I am at. I am not a great person, I am hardly a good person and at times I don't know if I can even call myself that. My greatest challenge of late is simply maintaining the shallow facade that maybe I can be stable again someday.

Or perhaps I am just overthinking everything, that would be par for the course in my life.

In any case, that is what was on my mind.

Melting Down by Ian Bulock

Dreams for me seem to always uncover the underlying issues that I try so hard to avoid in my day to day life. Last night was no different as I found myself in a complete mental breakdown in the middle of a dream. It is no surprise to me that I would have a dream like this but it may mark the first time I can remember crying uncontrollably in a dream.

The best way I can classify my experience last night would be "anxiety nightmare". I am always battling my own anxiety and for the most part I have it under control. The issue of course being that the more I try to control it the harder I melt down when I lose control. Usually people say it is best to attack the underlying issues of your anxiety instead of just pushing it down into your sub-conscious but unfortunately there is really not much I can do about my life situation as of late other than power through and hope that I can last until things start to improve.

In the dream I was moving from my current residence, something that will be happening in real life in about a week or two. While moving I came back to the apartment to find that I had somehow left one of the cats alone for two days without feeding her. She was sick and clearly not doing well. Being that my cats are the only creatures that I have any genuine feelings for this hit me pretty hard. As the cat food had already been moved and I do not own a vehicle my first instinct was to try to reach out to my friends Kim and Jon to help me get some cat food to her as quickly as possible. Unfortunately being a dream my phone was not quite working as expected. I was trying to open Facebook messenger as that is usually the quickest way to get a hold of people in my life but I could not get to the home screen on the phone to launch the app. Every time I hit the "home" button it just closed the app it was in only to bring me to some other random app that was open underneath it. I furiously tried just hitting it over and over again only for the home screen to never appear. This is when I snapped.

I simply broke down (in the dream) and started bawling. It was all the anxieties of my mind manifest and I could not take it. I cried for what seemed like hours in the dream before waking up to realize we had not moved yet. I could not get back to sleep as my mind could not stop thinking about what had happened. I have been feeling a need to let loose emotionally lately but have been unable to do so while awake. In a way this dream may have provided the release my mind so desperately craved. However at the same time it made me face some of the troubles that I have been trying so hard to bury within my mind.

Life is not exactly great at the moment, I will not lie and try to say that it is. I am alive and I do have food and shelter so it is not as bad as it could be. However with my third move in under 6 months coming up here soon it is clear I am starting to lose control over my anxiety a bit. While parts of me are excited about moving (having a bed to sleep on again will be really really nice) most of me is dreading it completely.

All I can do is keep hanging on. I may not be getting anything that I want out of life but that is just how things have to be right now. It may take me years to be back to a point where I feel comfortable again in my life but those are years I have to face. There is nobody I can blame for my situation but myself and as such I have to keep pushing forward. Someday I will have a place to live again where I feel like I am at home, it may take a lot of hard work to get back to that but it will be worth it in the end.

For now I just have to focus on getting through the day without really getting any sleep, wish me luck!

Motivation by Ian Bulock

For the past month I have had an issue with motivation. It is hard to say if it is due to depression from losing my job, the stress of having to move and suddenly being thrust back into a massive amount of debt, or simply due to my screwed up head which seems to have left me lacking in this area from a very young age. At first I was allowing myself a bit of reprieve from lifes responsibilities. Abandoning my apartment really sucked and will continue to suck for a long time to come (I have already started getting the debt collection calls about that, what fun.) I suppose that since I was already ignoring such basic responsibilities such as paying bills (due to the fact that I literally had no money to pay them) that I thought that I could let other things slide as well such as personal hygiene or human interaction. The Face of Depression When I think about it both of those things certainly do sound like depression, though I never really feel sad when I think about it. I just do not feel like putting in any effort into life.

So this week has been my quest to re-find my motivation. Unemployment does run out and I need to find a way to become self sustaining before that date comes. I go back in forth in my mind from finding some shitty Mcjob or trying to go into business for myself. Office jobs are likely available for me considering the type of job experience I gathered at my most recent post however I really do not know if I want to do that type of work again. For whatever reason I have a hard time forcing myself to be "sane" enough to work among other people in a quiet professional environment. The service industry has always suited me even if the pay is generally shit.

The road ahead forks into many different paths, all of which are now open to me as I am free from any shackles that bind most people. I just need to summon the courage to walk any of those routes. Away I go.

Terminated by Ian Bulock

"We will no longer be requiring your services" All Job Prospects Shall Be EliminatedAll Job Prospects Shall Be Eliminated

That was how I found out I was losing my job. It was the end of my shift at the end of a fairly normal night for me at my most previous job. I did have some warning about this as I had been put on probation at said job two months prior but the news still hit me like a slap in the face. My first reaction was shock and later that day it turned to relief. After living for multiple months with uncertainty about my future at least now I finally knew my fate. During that time I was also dealing with some rough conditions brought on by previous bad life decisions which made the uncertainty about whether I would continue to have income even harder to endure. The stress was getting close to breaking me but I stuck with it the best I could and continued to try to improve at the job that I had grown to love. Unfortunately my best was simply not enough and the relief of knowing my fate was at best, bittersweet.

When I asked about why I was being terminated I got a generic "at will employment" response that offered me no solace. Without knowing exactly what I had done wrong it will be hard for me to improve in the future. I want to believe that I was simply not good at my job. I may have been delusional about my job performance for a while as I did feel I did good work and as far as I know I never had any complaints from fellow co-workers or clients about the work that I did. It was rare that I would get negative feedback about the work that I was doing and customer praise seemed to come in regularly. These factors may have contributed to me having an inflated sense of worth to the company I served. When I was put on probation however I was given a rude awakening. The reason for my probation was due to poor job performance. The circumstances of which were a bit muddled and I never got a clear answer on what I could do to improve said performance however this was the only negative feedback I had really gotten that seemed of substance so it is all I have to go on now when trying to understand where I had gone wrong.

I have a more crazy theory that there was something else about my place in the company that caused me to be let go. It was strange that after being put on probation for poor job performance the people who were in charge of rating my job performance and training me to be a better employee seemed to refuse to help. Pleas for more understanding fell on deaf ears as my emails for clarification about what I was doing wrong were ignored. Meetings that were supposed to take place during my probation to review my progress also never happened and my termination came about at 1 month before the end of my probation. All of these factors do make me think that there may have been a different reason than job performance for me to be fired. Perhaps the probation was just a bit of red tape that was required to get the process started of getting me out the door. However theories like this are full of paranoia and narcissism. I am trying to be a bit less self involved so I am choosing to not delve too deep down this path just now. Even if the evidence is there to support such thoughts.

So where does this leave me?

I am 30 and I have been down this road enough times that I am almost not even phased by making big life changes any longer. However I am also getting to the point that I do not think I have the energy for too many more of these. So I don't know exactly what to do. There is either something wrong with my work ethic or my personality that is causing me to only work places for about 3 years at time before moving on. Historically I have quit jobs after about this much time, this time the choice was out of my hands. Still it seems I may be looking forward to a life of constantly shifting jobs/homes/lifestyles. I may have adapted well to constant flux over the years but I crave stability now more than ever. I have had plenty of adventures in my life and I just want to sit back and enjoy the simple things. I just wish I knew where to start. I suppose as usual I will start at the only place I can, at the end. My time with this company may have come to an end but my journey continues on.

Onward, to the next adventure!

Becoming one with the darkness by Ian Bulock

Lately I have been living a different lifestyle than I am used to. Due to my the complexities of my life and my own inability to manage money I have been living without power for about three weeks now. At first I was fairly optimistic I could handle such a lifestyle I bought some battery powered lanterns, a battery powered radio and some other battery-related supplies to try to make sure I at least had a few comforts left. The water is still on as well, both hot and cold, so I figured there was no real risk of things getting too bad.

The thing I did not anticipate which would become the hardest thing to deal with was how the absence of the endless distractions in my life would effect my mental state. To say that my main method of coping with emotional issues is avoidance would be an understatement. I realize now that the reason I fill my life with movies, video games and other distractions is so that I never have to deal with the darker thoughts going on in my head at any given time. If I feel sad I just put a movie on, if I need to vent I go to play a game. Without these comforts in my life I found myself with no coping mechanisms at all.

Sitting alone in a dark apartment with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company is one of the scariest things I have ever done. I try to cope with this still by avoiding being home, spending as much time as possible at friends houses or just driving around town. However there are still days spent sitting there just thinking. Thinking all the hateful, depressing, self loathing, shameful thoughts that come natural to my twisted mind. The thoughts I have avoided for years that now brim to the surface in my time of desperation.

I am slowly learning to cope, but it is one of the biggest challenges I have faced. I wish I knew how other people can stand to be alone with themselves.

 

Wayward Pines - MidSeason Review by Ian Bulock

I am a fan of TV. Anybody that knows me knows that I spend a lot of time watching and then talking about the TV shows that I watch. I have not been in the habit of sharing my thoughts in too much detail online. I am going to change that starting now. "Butter Rum"

Thanks to a suggestion by a close friend I have started watching the TV series Wayward Pines. I am 5 episodes into this show now and I must say I am completely blown away by it.

I am going to avoid spoiling anything in this quick review but my friend summed it up best, it is like all the plot twists of a full season of Lost in each episode. The show is constantly challenging your perception of the reality that it is presenting in the most delightful ways possible. As soon as you think you have a handle on what is going on with this shows story you quickly realize you are absolutely wrong as the story shifts constantly. If you like plot twists, science fiction, or mystery I highly suggest this show.

Now, on I go to finish watching this season. I will likely have to check out the books as soon as I am done :)