Ian

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

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. :)

Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 9 - The End by Ian Bulock

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Hello all, This week we explore the end of the world and how we all feel about being dead and tortured in hell right now.

Enjoy my excessive ranting about religion, cults and alien invasions while Jon cringes in horror at the apocalypse we now both inhabit.

Also, check out this list of end of the world themed songs to go along with our pointless jabber.

Song Selections;

Johnny Cash 'When the Man Comes Around'

R.E.M. 'It's the End of the World as We Know It'

The Doors 'The End'

 

Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 8 - Bag End by Ian Bulock

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This week on the podcast Jon joins me once again for another delicious piece of ear candy. We discuss how to troll people using Google Docs, the new release of the Hobbit movie and a terrific new movie going experience.

Please do not mind our overall lack of focus, we do have fun when we record these and this does lend to a bit of random nonsense. Of course we have songs as well, like usual.

The Hobbit: Official Movie Site | IMDB | Wikipedia

Song Selections:

'Where In This World'  by The Notwist From the Album The Devil, You + Me Band Site | Buy Album

'Get Confused' by Fisherspooner From the Album Odyssey Band Site | Buy Album

'All the Little Pieces' by Louis XIV From the Album The Best Little Secrets are Kept  Band Site | Buy Album

FLAC Version of this podcast can be found here.

Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 7 - Live Long and Prosper by Ian Bulock

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Hello Again! Here we are once again with another brilliant podcast. This week Jon joins us as the official unofficial co-host.

This week we discuss the upcoming movies Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit as well the state of scientific documentaries on cable television.

Of course we also selected some music for the occasion.

Featured Tracks;

Nobuo Uematsu - 'Prelude'   - Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack More Info | Purchase Album

Leonard Nimoy - 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins' - Space Odyssey More Info |

The Vines - 'Paint it Black' - Highly Evolved More Info | Buy Album

Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 6 - Podcast 2012 by Ian Bulock

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(Also available in beautiful lossless FLAC!) We are back again with another stellar episode of Green Glasses Weekly. Can you believe it has been only one short year since we had this chance to get together and enjoy great music while hearing a guy ramble on about pointless things?

This week I discuss the past and future of Green Glasses Weekly as well as give you my views on the already pretty old Nintendo 3DS. It is not an episode to miss!

Oh, and there is music of course. Hand picked by the greatest song selector on earth, Ian.

Don't Forget to Subscribe to this Podcast!

Featured Tracks;

Tycho "Ascension" - From the Album 'Dive' Bands Site | Buy the Album

The Knife "Marble House" - From the Album  'Silent Shout' Bands Site | Buy the Album

Beats Antique "Skeleton Key" - From the Album 'Contraption Vol. II' Bands Site | Buy the Album

Along this Winding Road... by Ian Bulock

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I have been meaning to update my site with a new blog post for a long time now. I haven't written a blog post because I just could not think of anything witty or clever to write about.I thought about writing something angry again, something intended to just piss people off. However I just have not been that angry lately.  I need to write something though, I cannot just keep waiting for inspiration to find me. So let me write once more about my life, and the winding road I find myself traveling down.

Last year was not a great year for Ian. I started the year dirt broke and working at Mcdonalds. At least when I worked at Mcdonalds I still lived in the Lansing apartment. Then summer hit and against all odds I actually got laid off from Mickey D's. It was something completely unexpected and it came at the worst possible time. I was in the process of finding a new place to live and the sudden loss of income made my choices very limited. So I ended up moving in with my mom. I intended this to be a very temporary situation. It turns out my laziness was much stronger than my good intentions so I spent most of the rest of the year sitting alone in Olivet.

This ended up being mostly depressing for me and had a large impact on my self esteem. It was good to get close to my Mom and Step-dad again as well as to just have some time to relax, however every time I thought of my life living at home being jobless I would slightly hate myself on the inside.

Just writing about my life can be depressing, thankfully this story actually has a moderately happy ending.

Once winter fell things started to turn around for me quite drastically.  It started at RedditGifts.com of all places. This is a website where you can join a Secret Santa program with other fine folks across the internet. The site sorts everyone out and selects a random person to give you a gift and another random person who you must give a gift too.  Nobody sets any limits on how much can be spent, or not spent. It is all meant to be just good fun.

The person who I was selected to give a gift to was a gay man who used Reddit mostly for looking at "Bear" porn. At first I thought this was funny because back in my days as a gay man the bear community seemed to have a keen interest in the young and furry Ian. Then I started to realize I had no idea what to buy for this guy. I thought maybe he would appreciate some self pictures of me, but then I realized I was just being full of myself again. I didn't know how I felt about buying a stranger actual porn and sending it to them through the mail. I wasn't even sure if that was legal, though it would have been rather funny. Instead I waited to the last minute (like usual) and sent him an Amazon gift card. It was not creative but everyone can find something they like no Amazon.

I waited for a while for my package and when I received it in the mail I was quite excited indeed. It was like I was a Kid again, over time I had grown to know what to expect from my family and friends in terms of gifts but this was new. This was a stranger who did not know me personally but he knew more about me than most people probably ever could if he researched my Reddit profile closely enough.  So when that truck pulled up to the house and the driver got out with a box in his hand I was brimming with anticipation. I spent no time taking the package back to my room and promptly tearing the box open. Inside of it was an Amazon gift wrapped box. At this point I knew I had spent to much on the gift I sent out, the gift card I spent couldn't buy a gift this large not to mention the additional cost for gift wrapping. No matter how much anticipation had built up what lied inside of that box still blew me away.

It was a Blue Snowball USB microphone. The person who sent me this gift had bought me the perfect gift. I had been podcasting for years but had always just used my cheap headset microphone. I had thought many times about upgrading to something that sounded better but I always opted instead to spend my money on things that seemed more important. This cycle would never have ended, and I might have never known what a good mic can do for my voice. Now, thanks to this stranger somewhere on the internet I would be able to get my voice out across the network in the clearest way it had ever been heard before. I was blown away. It was something I had always wanted that I never would have bought for myself. It filled me with a sense of goodwill I thought I would never feel again. This feeling is what prompted me to sign up on redditgifts.com to be a regifter, to buy some other new stranger who got nothing from their first match the gift they deserved (which is another story altogether, this post is about me.)

About a week after getting the amazing gift I had gotten an email from a local web hosting company which I had been applying to for a job. I had an interview scheduled for the day after my birthday. This did mean I could not be completely hungover that day but it also meant I might have a chance at a completely sweet job. The interview went well enough, I was completely nervous and thought I had screwed the entire thing up. They told me they would be in touch and I expected that meant I would not hear from them. The last time I had interviewed at this company they called me two weeks later to tell me I had not gotten the job. I figured it would take at least that long to hear from them and decided to go out to a movie with an old friend. Not even 3 hours later as I was walking into the movie theater my phone rang, I thought it was my brother calling at first since his name popped up on the screen so I answered in the most inappropriate way possible. Turns out it was the HR department at Liquid Web letting me know they had decided to hire me and that I would be started the next week. My brother works for the company so the corporate number was assigned to him in my phone, thankfully they said nothing about my strange greeting.

It was the day after my birthday, I was spending time with an old friend I had not seen in years, about to go do something I love and had just recieved some of the best news I had gotten in a long time. It didn't even matter what movie I was about to see, I was going to enjoy the time I had that day. This was the start of something new for me, a chance to get out of the rut I had been in for so long. I could see the path ahead of me start to brighten up again. After years of jobs that would go nowhere and opportunities squandered I had this chance to prove I was worth a damn.

The next few months went by slowly. The job was going great, as I expected it would. I was able to buy a truck with the help of my Mom and I started having money coming in every week. Slowly my confidence was building, slowly I was starting to feel more like myself again. After almost 6 months of having gainful employment, and a ride, I decided to finally make the move to getting my own place to live. I must say my decision was guided by the fact that my little sister was moving back home. Not that I do not want to live with her but she was going to kick me out of the room I had been staying in which meant moving into the camper, something I did not want to do. I found a place fairly quickly and moved in that same week.

That leaves me where I am now, sitting here in my shiny new apartment writing a blog post that is long overdue. This is the first time in my life I have had my very own place. Sure I decided to bring on a roommate as well but the lease is in my name and I can actually afford to pay for it on my own. Not once in my life have I ever been completely self sufficient and it feels fucking fantastic.

Life is good, at least for now.

 

The Umbrella of Doom by Ian Bulock

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Back when we used to make videos all the time, this little gem came into creation. We basically had a camera and dug through the back of Jesse's car for other props and threw this puppy together. The original version which is lost to time itself had severe audio problems which is why there is now voiceovers.

Catch it on YouTube after the break...

The Murder at 8809 by Ian Bulock

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The video can be viewed on YouTube after the break.

 

Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 3 - Unstable Political Mines by Ian Bulock

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Hello Hello again good world! We have another brilliant podcast for you to massage your ears with this week. This time around we fiddled with the format a little, increased the bitrate and stereo-ized the whole production so it will be like an orgasm for your mind!

If you want a summary of what you will be hearing check out the song selections below. We also talked a bit about an epic independent game called Minecraft that has been rocking our collective world lately as well as some serious government-shit that has been pissing us off. We allowed you fine folks to comment on our question of the week and even went so far as to read your responses on the show, so keep an eye out for that.

Question of the Week: With all of the crazy budget cuts going on over in Wisconsin these days and similar budget cuts being proposed by Michigan's own Governor Synder, how do you feel about education funds dropping and teachers salaries being cut? Is sacrificing the schools worth balancing the budget?

http://www.minecraft.net/ - Where to go to buy and play the most excellent independent game, Minecraft! http://www.minecraftwiki.net/ - The best place to figure out how to play Minecraft. Tutorials, Crafting Recipes and Descriptions of everything you will find in your new blocky land. The Daily Show for March 03, 2011 - The inspiration for our epic question of the week. Upgrading from MSDOS 5.0 to Windows 7 -  A pretty awesome video about Microsoft's amazing backwards compatibility throughout the years.

This Weeks Song Selections:

1.) "Courtship Date" by Crystal Castles from their Self Titled Album http://crystalcastles.com/

2.) "Try it Again" by Mark Spurlock from Creepers Gotta Creep http://www.squidrock.com/creeper/

3.) "1724" by Sohodolls from Ribbed Music for the Numb Generation http://www.last.fm/music/Sohodolls

 

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Green Glasses Weekly - Episode 2 - Ganon FTW by Ian Bulock

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 Alright, second podcast in the bag! It's a good feeling and only 8 weeks too late!

Yeah, I completely meant for this to be a weekly podcast. I failed in every sense of the word. However we are back for round two and with new determination to boot! This week I am joined by my good friend Jon Brandt. Jon has been a friend of mine for a long time now and it was great to be able to get him to throw his opinions in for this one. Seemed so much less lonely.

In this episode we talk about the future of GGP a bit, and look back a little about the past. I implore you all to watch the show Fringe. Then we talked Fallout for a while and had a nice conversation about who would win a battle, Ganon or Bowser, thanks to our call in guest Cameron Bulock!

Don't forget about the songs you can enjoy while listening, check out this weeks playlist.

Twilight Omens - Franz Ferdinand

The Last Man in Space - Violet Sedan Chair

The Origin of Love - Hedwig and the Angry Inch