Now I know what I need to do
Become the man I believe I am
Now I know that I’ve got to try
Become a man, lay down in the quiet
“Sinatra” – The Fire Theft
There’s something different, but I can’t put my finger on it. Something more urgent, more long term. Something maybe ready, something maybe done. Like I’m nearly finished with the slowest amputation ever, and ready to attach the prosthesis. But what is the prosthesis? And how much more is there left to amputate? What if it really is like cancer and if I don’t get it all, it will just come back? But then again, what choice is there? Make a plan and a list of things to do and do my best to do them. Step, step, step, step, step, step, stepstepstepstepstepstepstep.
So let’s check my grades on the old New Years list. Yes, I kept it.
1. be physically active
2. attend at least 50 shows this year
3. finish the house
4. start a vegetable garden
5. go to europe
6. meet new friends and new ladies
7. listen to music constantly
8. play fewer video games
9. volunteer for some charitable organizations
10. do something musical 30 minutes a day
11. fix my posture
12. visit every national park in washington
1: B – Doing okay. I walked a lot in Europe. I can start to see a little definition to these muscle things. Just need to keep it up and I’ll be 100% Ancient Roman statue style.
2. B – Sort of on track. I’ve skipped a few shows I meant to go to. I’m up to 21 so far. There are lots of good ones coming up, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get close to this arbitrary number
3. C – I’ve set aside working on the house for more important things, just like I should have done three years ago when I trapped everyone here. But I’m almost done with the last bedroom remodel, the upstairs bath and the downstairs kitchen. I won’t finish everything by the end of the year, but I should hopefully finish next year sometime so I can put this burden on the market.
4. F – who cares? I don’t want a vegetable garden.
5. A – yes!
6. B – I have too high of expectations for this. Many of the goals I’ll set tonight will be focused on this concept. I am having a get together at the lake on Friday if you want to show up, though.
7. C – I am not listening to music right now. Sometimes I just don’t turn on anything. But I always have a song close by, so this may be a less useful goal.
8. C – I haven’t played any games on my computer in a long time. I played a game on my phone a lot in Europe while riding trains. I play games with my friend. Ben Snakepit plays video games, why can’t I? This will be something to work on and ponder for a long time. It’s like not watching TV for most Americans.
9. B – I have done this, but I’d like to do more.
10. D – No, I have been terrible at this. I need to get my 10,000 hours in on songwriting so I can feel awesome at it.
11. D – Europe sort of ruined my work on this. Wearing a backpack or a shoulder bag all the time made posture correction difficult. I’ll get back on it.
12. F – File this with the vegetable gardens. It was sort of optional anyways. Maybe my future long term relationships can help me on this one.
So, overall that’s about a 2.17, or a C-. I need to work harder. I’m capable of working harder. I think I’m in the right mindset to start getting my life back in shape after the apocalypse. So here’s a new list for the last 4+ months of the year:
- Meet women (personal ad, real life)
- Make friends (real life, networks)
- Be a more active friend (invite people to things, take social risks)
- Talk to strangers (say hello on the street, be more like BFF)
- Get out of the house (most Fridays and Saturdays are required, how do non-religious teetotalers socialize?)
- at least 30 minutes a day, no compromises
- buy a small keyboard and portable amp, start doing street performances
- open mics
- be ready to send out demos and play shows in 2010
- (optional) form a band?
- buy more records
- listen to more music
- see more shows where I don’t know any bands
- finish the last bedroom
- finish the upstairs bathroom
- finish the lower kitchen
- all the little things that aren’t done
- clean up and landscape
- find two more roommates
- physical activity every day
- regular doctors and dentists
- restart vegetable delivery
This list seems overwhelming, so I categorized it. That way, it’s really only four things with multiple steps. I can do this. I have to do this. If I don’t, then I might as well start listening to The Smiths and continuing to write about how my life used to be so awesome and now it’s crap. When God gives you lemons, find a new God.
I realize this isn’t the Europe summary you were looking for, but it actually sort of is. I went to Europe to escape and to prove that I could survive in a world where I would be completely alone and to follow through with things I’ve wanted to do for years and to have stories to tell. All of that happened. All of that changed me in some minute way that I don’t fully realize. But part of it is a renewed desire to believe in myself again instead of just believing in some dream I had no control over in the first place. So that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m having a party at my parents’ lake house to show off all the pictures and stuff and to just hang out with people. And to prove I can take social risks and people will actually show up or that I won’t be disappointed when they don’t. Swing on by. In the meantime, here’s the funniest or second funniest video from my Europe trip. It will be ready to view at 12:45 AM on 8-20-09, so if it’s before that, you probably won’t see much.