Timing and Circumstance

Timing can make or break a song. Timing is the difference between being stuck in traffic and ensnared by the accident. Timing happens on its own. We plan for so much in the understanding that the factors we have to account for become so numerous we couldn’t hope to reach what we thought was the final consideration without losing the first. You leave work one day to go to a concert. You leave early but not as early as you would have liked because earlier that morning you felt a little under the weather and therefore were slow getting to the building. You curse your hours younger self for being lazy and causing you such delays. The delays themselves continue to stack up and you begin to feel anxious and start apologizing to your wife who by this point in the relationship is very aware of your inability to be on time (which is ironically coupled to a reasonably sharp ability to guess the time). She is patient though and assures you that no one else is sweating it. You take a shower and get ready as the anticipation of the event starts to build against the flu that has been trying to beat you down all day. Chills and sweats and aches make lifting boxes that much harder, but the hot water and the extra steam from the cooler air help to relieve some of the congestion. Menthol and camphor paste with its minty scent and color tackle the rest on the way out of the bathroom. A quick run to the bank for parking money and then a dash across the street for dinner before we venture out onto the longest least exciting straight road ever engineered. A mix up at the bank causes another delay. Credit cards all look the same when you use the same bank and what do you mean my pin is wrong? Dash back outside to swap cards, withdrawal the requisite funds, acquire the aforementioned dinner and we find ourselves well on the Way.

Looking out the windows that you haven’t used in years you see sights from your childhood that have grown right along side you. Age paints the landscape more vibrantly as the clusters of warehouses and airports and towns start to come together in the complex systems they compose. The airport comes out further than you realized, but it makes sense in proximity to the large rail yard below the highway overpass. We change the radio and it seems to be aware of the extra passenger present. Odd things sometimes, but all ultimately just coincidence of various degrees. Songs and talks of the hubris of man to lay out these stone canals when water failed to keep up with our ambitions. As the meeting is crossed we are joined on the stone river by more colorful characters in twin-seat highway race cars and ponder if we saw a glimpse of the act or a fellow member of the crowd. These musings go forever unanswered, but enjoyably pass the time as we travel. The organism of societal movings is becoming whipped into a frenzy as we approach the local epicenter of activity. In this opportunity for human to shine as a cooperative species we are reminded of our selfish and distracted natures at every turn. The cell directions service warns us of approaching congestion which has managed to work its way out of your nose and into the system at large. In a city you realize that engineers don’t look at a landscape the same way. The highways ignore what we see as slopes and curve through the air like intricate flight paths to guide the swirling masses of people around and through the spaces where we congregate. A separate roadway exists behind a fence along the waterway and we jest that the locals must have a secret access point to avoid the mess we find ourselves in. A building in the distance displays a familiar scene of a flowing river and your mind wanders back to the radio’s playful sentience. The lights show fades from the building and for a moment you await it’s return. A new pattern is displayed and the coincidence is enjoyable. The highway drops into a low trench as you slowly round a bend and witness some incredible displays of assertion as the wielders of steel bricks swerve to cross the road in the deadliest version of frogger. Traffic slows to a crawl and flashing lights can be seen in the distance. A sign indicates that an accident has occurred. Not all of the players were able to maneuver safely through the flow. Glass and fluid remain to be ground into the pavement by the unyielding river of vehicles. Briefly you wonder how far back in time the accident happened and when you might have been crossing the path of that collision if you had been more on time.

Parking in a city designed for horses is an adventure in alertness. A location is selected based on convenience and we enter the car dungeon through a bizarrely reminiscent concrete ramp. This is likely not the first time you’ve ever parked in this garage and you dismiss the thought. Signs and arrows lead us astray but a hipster with a hybrid advises us to be more perceptive and check the middles rather than the edge. This labyrinth provides a transformative mindset. You enter and in losing your car decide to loosen up and embrace a more present aesthetic. Bicycles and cars compete for space with the former slipping into equal balance. She calls you a nerd and you agree. Shown all the sights to see and a metal frame is what catches your eye, she’s not wrong. The energy and the crowd along the street are refreshing after so many walks along comparatively dim and abandoned sidewalks. The people are as varied as the storefronts and though there was tension most of it seemed positive. Seekers of joys and of love laughed amongst themselves and for a moment it seems like the area has forgotten the surrounding storms building around the world. This amnesia is comforting for a while.

We arrive at the venue and you discover another small joy as she has a keychain confiscated for the safety of the other attendees. A silly pride warms a small part of your chest as you laugh and await her by the door. Light ribbings about our mutual bad influence distract us from the building nerves in the changed scenery. We find a corner and proceed toward a flight of stairs. Lead astray by a desire to escape the crowd we originally sought to join. Guided by a sweet voice to an overpriced can and a woman could could provide us with exclusively roped off stools or chairs we eventually seek an exit. Forces of odor and a ginger with something on his mind drive us toward the front of the show. The first act of hypnosis is completed and the crowd buzzes with excitement and what can be assumed to be various intoxicants. The floor grabs as your feet and attempts to trap you here for ever. The main act prepares their stage. A father and son join our space and we rearrange to accomodate the shorter. Comfort is found in relatable conversation and a tingle works its way through you. The King of Sludge arranges a tall sleek metal stand and we are left in wonder as to its function. Jazz musicians always dress so sleek. As with everything else, all convention seems to be cast aside and the end result remains complementary and pleasing.

We are told later that the first portion of the performance is a gift. We are all drawn in by the trios ability to dance along it and bring us along with them. The lights covering their armor flash in rhythm to the sound. To close one’s eyes is to miss the flash but it remains easier to follow without the distraction. We are told we are all just one thing in a bigger thing. All just one part, our rhythms following the flow cast out by their signal. A local solar system guided by the gravity of the bass and the balanced chaos of the horns. The frequency rises and falls and then breaks to silence. We exit into a frozen night, now colder than before in our sweat soaked outfits as the heat and people swarm away from the scene. Our evening folds itself up neatly into the next adventure.

Cut where the knife goes through, forcing it will dull the blade. Just go with it.

Don’t do it that way, you’ll never make a dime.

This one can also be called, how to make the transition from saying that you are starting a blog into actually trying to run one. I started this one with the idea to write as often as possible. Offline there are numerous hardcover, leather (or pleather) wrapped notebooks and journals that I use to document various musings, dilemmas, and ideas for general improvements. Some of the time, I brought that into my computer and started just typing 3-5 page papers to nobody in particular. As most people brought up these days, my thoughts can be translated into readable forms much quicker with a keyboard than a pen and paper. At the insistence of a few people and my own self-nudging, I decided to take the first step and make a free website. The domain was free, as was access to the tools needed to blast my obscure thoughts out into the internet.

Mind you that jump from people insisting that I should do this, and my actually doing so was not an immediate process. As with any project, research must be done to understand what is it that needs to be done. There’s also a fair bit of dilly-dallying, getting distracted, deciding that maybe a podcast would be a better format, more rambling into my voice memos, and typing more letters to myself that would all probably make decent blog posts but they remain locked away on my computer. Mind you, this isn’t my sole career function. I work in a warehouse for my primary income, and believe me I have plenty to say about that experience. This is something new for me. And some of the things that I have to say might cut across the grain for some people in person, but in person that doesn’t typically hold me back. There’s something about branching out into this vast cyberspace that both excites and frightens me. This is coming from someone who grew up with it as it developed into what we see now. At some point though, as I have said, I’ve got things to say. The graphic artist who married me would say that is an understatement. So here we are, typing away and just hoping that someone will stick around through all these meandering trails. I swear, it all leads somewhere.

So, research. There are definitely times were just looking stuff up is way more entertaining than actually doing anything. There’s so much redundant information available that you can spend weeks looking through other blogs trying to find out what exactly you should do to start one and always feel like you are finding some new twist along the way that keeps you from taking any definitive action. At the same time, discerning helpful information from advertisements disguised as help articles becomes a challenge. Which, to be fair, if the intent of the author is to create useful information to direct people towards a website-based income stream dependent on people who visit the site or click on through links then ultimately they can’t be faulted. I’d be a hypocrite to do so. The difference comes in the content itself. Most of the websites about trying to start a blog that one encounters are just an instruction manual for navigating the wordpress.com site with a casual suggestion to use one of about 4 hosting services. All of the time I spent looking up how to start a blog just put off the actual doing so. Every time I got into the math of trying to put thoughts on a website so that people could read it, I eventually lost interest and just moved on to something more rewarding than trying to figure out whether you really need domain information privacy or why someone would pay for that when others are just including it.

Eventually, I took a step. That’s the key point in anything. Once you have information, make an action. You can’t really have too much information, but you can also simply have enough. I had fallen into a loop of thinking there was something I was missing, some secret that hadn’t been uncovered, and the secret was that I was telling myself that looking all of that up was doing what I needed to do. And so I figured out the common first step and I downloaded wordpress. And then I found out that I misunderstood how that worked, and I went to the .com and started a free blog. And now I’m telling you this without being paid for it. I just wanted a thing to type out thoughts and hit enter and make them appear on a screen that wasn’t my own. All that was required was a typing interface, and a url of my choosing. Simple and straight forward. And it helps to have something to write about which all of the how to start a blog websites did not have much to say about other than “Use your imagination!” The first blog was launched under a URL that I did not look up as to whether anyone had the .com for it. In all my due diligence, actual research was overlooked. This is the danger of searching for the wrong information when starting a project. Lost in the process of just getting the website established, the idea of the website itself was left to atrophy. My lens had gone stray and for a brief period it caused me to just give up on this entirely while I was left trying to rename the website.

That held up my progress here because it happened at a critical step. After the first few posts, the lack of control over the site itself had become irksome. When the blog was first published, an email was sent that suggested not to delay a proper subscription because statistically people that waited simply never would. Marketing tactic that it was, there was no reason to take the step. Free access afforded me the trial needed to determine if this was something worth pursuing. Would it be something that I could routinely stick to? Or would I find myself drifting away from it and begrudging the notion of sitting down to write something? That happens when I write code. I tell myself and others that I’m learning to write code. And I am. I’m just learning code really, really slowly. And most of that is discipline, which is something that I am working on. That’s part of why I’ve tasked myself with learning code. It’s something I want to do, but don’t possess the drive to commitment required. All that can be overcome it is just a matter of my holding myself to it. Fortunately, blogging doesn’t seem to require that dogged forced behavioral adjustment process. This is just something that I do, maybe that means it plays to a strength of mine. Finding out that my url was taken threw a wrench in the works and really forced me to decide if this was something I wanted to keep doing. And it was. Everyone emphasized how crucial it is to have a good name. There’s probably more wisdom in that camp than the newly established, just get a url and start writing because otherwise you are wasting time camp, but really. If you are trying to figure out how to game traffic onto the site then you should revisit your intent. Unless that’s your thing. I’m not here to kink-shame.

At the end of the day most of the options were comparable within a few bucks, and rather than learn how to migrate my site, I just decided to proceed with the .com I started with. The interface is clean and usable for as much as I know what I’m doing. I didn’t need to back anything up or transfer anything. And I got my own .com url which is now my primary domain name. Faced with roadblocks I find myself taking the time to overcome them without having to force it. Things like this aren’t always easy to see, especially when you aren’t looking for them. This entry at least mentioned code, so I’m on topic as well, but I did say it was mostly about nothing. I guess I meant nothing in particular. Now that I have some more options available the look of this site might change, so if any of you are really committed to this aesthetic I apologize out of formality. Anyone new joining will have no idea what they were missing out on, enjoy being part of an incredibly exclusive club.