Good Riddance to 2017

So, 2017 is done.  “In the books” as they say.  And from the perspective of the Candle household, boy did it suck donkey balls. Nice to see the ass end of that era.

I wrote a longer post about the shitstorm that has been my 2017 and it became a whiney piece of crap about how my life sucks.  I’ll spare you all the TL;DR by simply saying that since later April, personal shit has gotten DEEP and it’s affected my ability to no only produce but to care about production.

But I’m going to try to get through that in the new year.  The whole reason to get done with The Strange in public like this is for it to be simply DONE.  To close the book on it, no pun intended.  I really thought I’d be done by now, but I’m not so I’m just going to have to let that go and go forward from here.

So, new year, new chapters, new stories, and hopefully no one in my real life has any more ongoing medical emergencies that are depressing and all-encompassing.  One can dream, right?

Oh, and if anyone wants a chuckle, I gave my ADHD/Autistic eight-year-old a drum kit for Christmas.

Boom Sha-ka Boom!

Stay Weird


Break Time’s Over – a Post-Pause Rant

I’d like to say that the reason that I haven’t been posting is some ineffable block.  Some almost supernatural opposing force what has decided to block my path and strike down my notion of writing anything worth reading.  This is what I’d like to say.  This has dynamic and dramatic tension.  This sets the scene for myself as the protagonist to rise to the occasion and overcome the issue facing me, completing a heroic arc and having some change to my inner being that is in some way profound and deep.  Also, I’d get the girl somehow and avoid the inevitable end of act 2 fireball.

I’d like to say that, but nope.  Can’t.  The less than satisfying explanation (or excuse, really) is this:  Got bummed.  Said “fuck it.”

And I feel childish even saying this even though it’s been god damned stressful and depressing around here lately.   I won’t bore you with it.  It’s just life.  Bullshit.  Destressing, depressing bullshit, but it knocked me off my ball and I just have to get back up.

And thankfully I haven’t blown it in any of the other stuff in my life that actually matters.  I mean, I like writing and I’d like to be writing something that is at least entertaining, but it doesn’t hold a candle to taking care of my family and staying ahead of the curve in my day job.  And I’ve even upped my game in being dad by working both an after school robot class and cub scouts for Candle Junior who has high functioning autism.

Since I’m on my soap box here, let me say one thing: Autism sucks.  I love my son, but his autism and his other challenges really… It really changes what it means to be a dad.  For instance, I’ve gone to numerous birthday parties with him.  The other parents, usually only one and not both, are standing around and chatting for the most part.  Not me.  There are two ways Candle Jr. operates in a group, poorly with assistance or excluded and off in his own world – and you fuck with that world at your own peril, especially as another kid.  And you really can’t blame the kids for not wanting to take this on.  They seek comfort and familiarity just like anyone else and would rather not dive into the strange, given an option.  It’s expensive, time consuming, socially isolating, ulcer-inducing, frustrating, and oftentimes crushingly heartbreaking.  I have no idea what is going to happen in his life, but I can already tell that he’s not going to have an easy time of it.

But he’s not dumb.  He gave me genuine pause yesterday asking me if infinity is a prime number.  This is coming out of an eight-year-old, remember.  We went over square roots yesterday because he was curious about imaginary numbers.  We talked about these little spikes on a stone building and I explained that it was because they didn’t want birds sitting there.  “Why” came up so I said that it was because they didn’t want bird poop there and wherever a bird was, they would poop.  “What’s so bad about that?” We went around for a second and the answer that satisfied him was that bird poop was acidic and would, over time, wear away the rock.  “I can see that.” Yeah, poop and numbers, but he’s eight and already not a dumb guy.  He’s smart enough to know that he’s different though, and that hasn’t yet begun to hurt him.  But I’m sure it will.

And I’ve gotten completely off track.  Said I wouldn’t bore you with specifics and failed.  I came here to explain the huge pause in my writing output and I got on a rant about how things that are hard are hard.  What a dumbass.

And speaking of dumbass, I … I just can’t stomach the news anymore.  What the hell is wrong with you all out there?  We’re fighting Nazis?  What the hell?  Is it 1939?  And we’re discussing an American citizen’s right to protest?  We already settled that burning the flag in protest is OK and now we’re wondering if you can fire someone for not standing for the Star-Spangled Banner?  At least there isn’t flame involved.  We’ve had three major hurricanes this season with astounding levels of damage to major population centers and North Korea talking openly about nuking the US and our allies, and we’re even mentioning this?

Here’s the thing, I’m a policy person.  The news can’t even get to policy anymore because of all this shit.  And when it does, Its craziness.  Why are we cutting taxes – especially on rich people and corporations – at a time of growing GDP and full employment?  That’s just stupid.  Here’s a reality check – why do we want more factory jobs anyway?  Those jobs are soul-crushing.  Coal mining jobs have been disappearing because it’s dangerous, hard, soul-crushing work that is also, happily, relatively easy to automate.  The Fucking RUSSIANS tried to directly fuck with the automated vote tallies in 21 states and having success in some of them.  The RUSSIANS!  Does any of that shit cut through?  No.  And it’s not even totally about Trump.  We’ve got all these serious problems as a country and yet if Kanye West farts into a microphone, that’s all we’ll hear about for most of the next few days.  Trump’s bullshit is just more voluminous and dangerous.  For instance, a lot of people get the first amendment wrong, but Trump, as an agent of the federal government, demanding that people not say or do something in protest is exactly a violation of the first amendment.  It’s almost the precise situation that the amendment was written to prevent – a monarch quashing descent.  And that protest predates Trump anyway.  It goes back to 2016.  It became about Trump (but still not about the flag or the song) when the big blowhard decided to start flapping his gums!  Everyone is confusing – either deliberately or in ignorance – the symbols of our country with the real deal.  It’s our principles that make America great, not the flag or the song.  It’s a noisy bullshit scandal that is literally about nothing.  And all the while, no one is talking about the fact that black folks are over-policed and WAY more likely to run afoul of the cops than anyone else.  It’s not perception, there are numbers about this.  While no one should be roughed up by the cops, it happens more often to black and brown folks.  This is math.  This is a fact.  This is totally lost now that politicians decided to make hay.

And I’m off track again.

The truly annoying part about all this is that this rant, barf from the brain, stream of unconsciousness bullcrap will inevitably meet more eyes than the episode of The Strange that I’m working on and is the point of having this website at all.  So yeah, I’m bummed in bumming times.  I haven’t stopped writing, though, even with all this garbage.  I just haven’t been writing anything worth reading (this article is a case in point) and I have not been editing.  That’s pretty much the bottom line.  And it’s because I’m having a hard time picturing that anyone notices the absence and I’m not sure what to do with that.  Work harder?  Dive into social media which I kinda despise as a waste of time and brain cells?  I don’t know and it hasn’t been a priority.

But I am coming back.  I plan on finishing All That Remains and getting on Episode 29 in the short term and then getting a schedule working.  I think I need a deadline because a break doesn’t seem to help.

Stay tuned and stay weird.