A New Approach

Author’s Note: Until things in my day-to-day life become more interesting to write about, I think this blog will be better served by posts that are more spread out than daily blogging. For now, I’ll post at least once a week. I apologize for the shift in approach, but I think this will improve the quality drastically.

I’ve taken a new approach toward my daily life that I believe will lead to better things over time. I’m working on building greater self-discipline. To start, I’m simply doing the daily tasks required to keep my room clean & tidy that I used to ignore (ex. making my bed, keeping up with my laundry, vacuuming, etc.). These aren’t drastic changes, but they do instill an inkling of personal pride. The lack of clutter is refreshing, and it provides a physical representation of the improvement I’m working toward. Yes, there is obviously more to do, but this is a step in the right direction. I just have to keep moving forward, and eventually things will get significantly better.

Another step I’ve taken (and one that is probably more substantial) toward improvement is learning how to code online. I started working on an online code camp last Sunday, and already blew through the first part of the Front End coursework (which was supposed to take 10+ hours to complete, and I definitely finished it in less than half that time). Getting through the entire coursework will actually give me a marketable skill that I can use to get a significantly better job.

Suddenly, there is light at the end of the tunnel…

Outside of that, not much has changed. I’m not dwelling on that though, because some improvement is better than none. Breaking free from the rut of stasis I was in is an achievement in it’s own right, even if I’m the only one who cares about it.

I’ll write another post soon. Stay tuned.

-Will

The Accidental Hiatus

So, it’s been eight-days since my last post on what was supposed to be a daily blog…

That’s obviously not supposed to happen. I fell into a slippery slope of procrastination (to the chagrin of absolutely nobody who knows me personally), and it just got easier to not update the blog. I initially planned to write a post for each day I had missed (backdating the posts to the missing days), that way I could maintain the facade of this blog for posterity. But that seemed dishonest, and it also seemed like a lot of work to maintain a dumb lie.

The truth is that not much happened. On the 29th, I woke up late, went to work, and grab a few drinks downtown. I went for a hike over the weekend (see the photos below), and I also went for a decent ride on the R3. The 3rd, Monday, was another day at the factory. I went to Butte for the 4th of July (again, not a surprise to anyone who knows me), and also spent some time with extended family at my aunt & uncle’s house. I got some nice shots of the Madison River while I was out there. The days that followed consisted of more work days and little else.

The lack of action and variety also contributed to my absence. It’s difficult to write about the same things over and over again (and worse to read them). As I’ve said before, I need a change. The weekends provide some relief from the monotony, but not enough.

I’m still working on it. Stick with me.

-Will

Month in Review: July

July has been an interesting month. In comparison to June, July was an especially speedy month. A couple of July’s highlights include: going to Butte several times, learning that I’m getting my braces off before school, buying my new laptop, buying random small appliances for college, and hanging out with my friends. It’s a bit disappointing to know that this project is ending in 25 days, but I know that it’ll be going out with a bang (aka the road trip to Seattle).

Dang. I just realized that I have 25 days left to finish a summer-reading assignment for AP English. I also need to start studying for the SAT and the ACT again. So much for 25 more days of summer… Not that I’m going to be free to choose how to spend the next 25 days anyway. I’m going on vacation with my family for two weeks the week after next week (August 8th-21st for those who didn’t want to do the math), and next week is jam-packed with almost 40 hours of work. School is going to be here before I know it…

And yet, it won’t be here before I know it. I’ve already purchased some new clothes for school and a new messenger bag, and I’ve made a list of other school supplies I need to buy still (the 2010 Associated Press Stylebook is on the list). I’ve also counted how many days are left until school starts,, and I’ve been looking at new stuff for this Fall… Who am I kidding– I’m ready for school to start. I’m not going to deny the fact that knowing this summer is coming to an end is a bit of a disappointment, but I also can’t deny that I’m ready to go back to school. Lazy days filled with sleep, watching TV, surfing the web, and typing blog posts at midnight are fun, but I miss being in class with my friends. School will also offer a nice reprieve from work, which I am extremely thankful for. I’m glad that I have a job, and I like having a lot of hours because I need the cash, but I hate working in retail. My managers are all great, my co-workers are nice, and the work isn’t usually that demanding. However, I do hate working shifts during days where the store is completely empty and I’m bored out of my mind. Working the past four days in a row is also leaving me a bit angst-filled, so I’m probably over-exaggerating how crummy the conditions are.

I bought a toaster today. Originally, I planned to buy a black toaster to match my black coffeemaker. After watching Foamy the Squirrel’s “Amityville Toaster” video (check it out on Youtube),  I decided to buy a red one instead. I like it. I can’t wait to go to college and actually use my small collection of small appliances…

I have to end this post here. I have to get up for work at 5 in the morning tomorrow, so I need to go to bed ASAP. Remember to comment, subscribe, and check the blog everyday… Thanks for reading. 🙂

– Will

Work. Play. Crash.

I can’t think of a better way to spend “pay-day” then to go to work in the afternoon, hang out with friends in the evening, buy stuff online in the wee hours of the morning, write a quick blog post about the whole shebang, and then crash into a zombie sleep…

Today was a pretty good day. Work was long and boring. I didn’t run into any idiots in the fitting room today, and I didn’t really have to do anything remotely unpleasant. After work, I met up with Jon, Anne, and one of their other friends. We went downtown to play pool at a place called Breakers. It’s a really cool place for teenagers to go because alcohol and smoking aren’t allowed inside, and the rates per hour are pretty cheap. Below the billiards area is a cafe, but it was closed when we arrived. The entire place looks really nice, and I would be super stoked to go back their again. I’m hoping we will go back there again sometime soon. After a few games of pool, we went to IHOP. It’s nice to hang out with Jon and Anne and just talk about random stuff. Getting out of the house and going somewhere aside from work pretty much makes any day seem awesome.

When I got home, I decided to do some online shopping. I bought a new messenger bag for school and an eBook on Journalism. I’m still debating whether or not a messenger bag qualifies as a “murse”, and if it does, I’m going to return it. I really just want a nice bag to chuck my laptop in and maybe a few notebooks. My old backpack is still in pretty good shape, so I can still use it for school if this bag-thing is too small. Anyway, tell me what you think of the messenger bag-thing I picked out in a comment below.

I’m going to get some sleep now… More work tomorrow. Blerg.

– Will

Fact of Life: People are stupid.

I’m glad to have my job. I like being able to make my own money and spend it however I like. I know some people have difficulty getting jobs. However, I don’t love my job. Working in the retail industry is probably Earth’s equivalent to the 9th ring of Hell. Not only do you have to cater to every idiot customer who happens to stumble into your store, but you also have to pick up after them. People seem to be attracted to tables of folded clothes like moths to a light. With this attraction, there is also a primal urge within certain individuals to destroy an entire table in a few minutes (I really would like to smash this type of customer’s head in a folding table).

Today wasn’t a terrible day overall, but one single event of today is driving me insane. It happened in the fitting room.

Before I begin my tale, I would like to talk about proper fitting room etiquette. Whenever I try on clothes at a store, I always make sure to knock before I go into a fitting room. After I am sure that the room is empty, I go inside and lock the door. I don’t leave the door opened a crack. I don’t leave the door unlocked. I lock the damned door. I try on the clothes I’ve picked out, see if they fit and if I like ’em, then put ’em back on their hanger. I get dressed back into my normal clothes and leave. Pretty normal routine, right?

When I check fitting rooms, I make sure to always knock before I open the door, even if the door is cracked. After knocking, I’ll pause briefly, then open the door. I figure this gives anyone on the other side of the door plenty of time to announce their presence and avoid a really awkward experience.

During a fitting room check this afternoon, I noticed a door that was cracked open. Usually, a cracked door means an empty room. I proceeded with caution though, and I knocked first. I then proceeded to open the door after knocking. The door hit a shopping cart inside the fitting room and stopped. Then I heard someone say, “Hey!”, or something, and I said, “Sorry!”, and then left the room. The door did not open any further then the crack that was visible when I first seen it, thank God, but it still made me feel incredibly embarrassed and a bit pissed.Who the f*** leaves their door open in a fitting room? Why barricade it with a shopping cart when you could just lock the door? Questions about why a person would ever neglect to close their door in a fitting room bounced around my head for the rest of the shift. I finally figured out the answer; it’s the same answer to every question involving why people do certain things: people are stupid.

So that’s it. I’m drained from today’s nine-hour shift, so I’m going to catch some Z’s. You know the drill: New post tomorrow. Leave your comments and suggestions below.

– Will

Day 54:

It’s hard to believe that summer began 53 days ago. By simply looking at the number, 53 days seems like an extremely long time… During school, 53 days seemed like an eternity. Having lived through these past fifty-three days of summer, I know that fifty-three days is not a long period of time. Sadly, there are only 29 more days of summer vacation.

29 more days left to avoid accepting the reality of my situation. 29 more days to be a kid. 29 more days to ponder stupid questions. 29 more days to hang out until midnight during weekdays. 29 more days to enjoy lazy days filled with nothing. 29 more days to take a nap whenever I feel like it. 29 more days to happily change the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, on a whim, without actually knowing the true answer. 29 more days to go out and do something with this seemingly endless amount of free time. 29 more days to scoff at back-to-school sections. 29 more days to rock out to “School’s Out for Summer”. 29 more days to lie in the sun, chat with friends about what you want to do next, and dream of going on bike rides by the river. 29 more days of childhood freedom.

From Holden Caulfield’s perspective, 29 more days to live until you become a full-fledged phony.

Thinking about going back-to-school brings up a bag of mixed emotions. I’m excited to get going with the last year of high school so that I can get through it and begin my life. I’m depressed because I wanted to do more with this summer vacation then I’ve been able to do so far. I’m scared of the future and what it might bring. I also feel nostalgic, and I occasionally find myself wondering, “Where the hell did my childhood go?” Time has gone by so fast that it’s scary. Time is also going so slow that it’s aggravating. My mind would be happy to be in any other time, past or future, then where it finds itself at the moment, and the urge to rewind or fast-forward is driving me insane.

I do not know what I should do now, but I know what I can and cannot do. I can’t rewind, and I can’t fast-forward, so all that I can do is wait. Dreaming of escaping to the past will only lead me to a straight-jacket in a cozy padded-room on the fourth floor at Warm Springs. Dreaming of the future will only distract me from my studies later. I have to live in the present. I have to accept the circumstances I find myself in at the present time. I must remain optimistic about the future, and motivated at the present. The past is merely a place to look back on and smile, not a destination.

I’m excited for school. I’m going to spend the next 29 days having as much fun as possible. I’m going to continue preparing for college. I’m going to enjoy my vacation that’s coming in the next few weeks. I’m going to enjoy life.

What are you going to do with the next 29 days? (Let me know in a comment. 😉 )

– Will

Renewed Commitment

If you’ve been checking the blog in the past couple of days, you will have noticed that new posts for each day have been missing. You’re probably wondering why these posts are missing, because I initially promised to update this blog daily. I will now explain why these posts have been missing, and also reexamine that earlier promise.

I didn’t create new posts during the past few days because I didn’t feel any motivation to do so. I usually write these posts late at night, and after a long day with little sleep, it’s difficult to motivate oneself to push through a blog post. Also, I like to write posts that are interesting and insightful, and forcing myself to write a post simply because I made a promise to do so earlier isn’t a good enough reason. I have an obligation to myself and to you, the readers of this blog, to write a post that is actually worth reading, and that obligation supersedes the earlier promise of writing posts daily. With that being said, it is very rare that I cannot produce a post that I feel is somewhat interesting to read on a daily basis. I’m usually very consistent at creating new posts every day, and the two previous occasions that I have not been able to write a new post for every day were during times where I was traveling. In the future, I will try to maintain my previous promise of updating the blog daily in combination with my personal obligation to only create posts worth reading.

There are three rules that I created for this summer-long blogging project. They are:

1. New posts must be created every day. Posts must discuss the current day and no posts can be “made-up” after that day is over.

2. Posts, however, may be updated with more content later on the following day if for some reason a post cannot be created with complete content earlier. The post must then be updated by 2:00 AM the next day.

3. Every week there must be at least one post with media-content aside from text. This includes but is not limited to pictures, audio recordings, and video.

An addition to this, I will also try to live up to the initial idea of what this blog was supposed to be.

Thank you for reading my blog. Your comments, suggestions, and criticisms are always appreciated. Please continue to read this blog ’til the end of the summer– as I said earlier, it will only get better. There is only a few weeks left until the epic vacation/road trip begins. Stay tuned.

– Will

Back to Work

After five days of vacation and a late night out, going back to work today was not a pleasant experience. I felt tired and slow during the entire shift; we were seriously understaffed and the store was incredibly busy for a Sunday. In the end, everything worked out OK. I got to go home on time, and life was good.

I’m so tired right now, it’s not even funny. I slept for most of the day, but I’m still reeling from a week of minute sleep. I was so tired during my vacation that I almost feel asleep watching freestyle riders do backflips on dirtbikes. My legs aren’t used to standing and walking around for several consecutive hours without rest after having several days off, and now they feel like lifeless lumps of Jell-o.

I feel exhausted. Fortunately, I have tomorrow and Tuesday off, so I have a few days to recoup. After Tuesday, I have a full week of work. I’m glad to have a lot of hours, but I hope it doesn’t become tiresome. I also hope I don’t have to do any more sock POGs for a while. 😛

I’m going to bed. I know this post was kind of lame, but today was kind of lame too. Let me know if your day was any more (or less) interesting in a comment on this post. Thanks again for reading, and look for another post soon.

– Will

The Drive, Part II.

The drive to Butte wasn’t bad, but the drive back was hellish. Just trying to get out-of-town proved to be difficult– while loading my suitcase into the trunk, I dropped my keys in the trunk and closed it. This led to a trip to the local Ford dealership where another key was made to unlock the trunk to get my car keys back. It only delayed me for a little under an hour, but it still sucked. Fortunately for me, the spare key only cost about three bucks to make. If I had to call a locksmith to unlock the car, it would have cost around $50. Lucky me.

I stopped to see my Grandma Helen on the way out-of-town, fueled up at a nearby gas station, bought a fruit punch-flavored Nos and some pull-n-peel Twizzlers, and then sped toward the highway. I took the wrong exit to the highway and drove in the opposite direction of Billings for a half-mile, turned around, and then started on my way to Billings. The trip took about three hours, and construction was atrocious as ever. Construction zones that are six miles long should not have a 35 mph speed limit on the highway. It leads to swearing and the urge to roll down one’s window and make rude hand gestures at all drivers within eye contact. Six hours of sleep also made the drive hellish. I never want to drive without a decent night’s sleep again.

I got home in the afternoon and relaxed for a few hours. I then met up with Jon later in the evening and we hung out for a bit. It’s nice to be home in Billings again.

I’m going to go to bed now. Expect longer, regularly updated posts to resume as they did prior to me going on vacation. Remember to leave your comments, suggestions, opinions, etc. below. Thanks for reading!

– Will

Dollar Store Special

Today was awesome.

We started off the day anxiously searching for an energy drink stand with free samples at the Evel Knievel days festival. During the past couple of times I’ve been to the festival, there has always been a truck giving out free energy drink samples. This year there was no such truck or stand, so we were pretty disappointed. After looking at a few of the street performers’ acts, we left uptown Butte and went to the dollar store. I bought two cans of silly string, a giant “root beer” mug, mint-flavored Mentos, toy handcuffs, Ray-Ban knockoff sunglasses, and a big pack of rubber bands. We then went to Wal*Mart and bought an 8-pack of 12 oz. Diet Coke bottles. We sped home to make pop-volcanoes, and upon arrival, we promptly covered my grandma’s steps in Diet Coke. I also managed to go through both cans of silly string attempting to cover Kaleb in pink and purple goo.

After making pop volcanoes and having a short silly string war, we made a random hostage-style video (I’ll have to post it on YouTube later). After making our random video, we went inside and made a quick snack pit-stop. We then went back to uptown Butte and watched Spanky Spangler fall jump off of the roof of the Metals Bank Building. It was incredibly lame. The landing pad he fell on was about one-story tall, eliminating any way he could possible. He did the same thing last year off of a different building, but he was also on fire last time. Falling off of a several story building while on fire is cool; just falling off of a several story building is not.

We waited 45 minutes to see Spanky’s falling act, watched him fall, and then went back to the house. We watched YouTube videos, recorded random songs, and watched an Everybody Hates Chris marathon on Nick@Nite. I need to get some sleep for the drive tomorrow, so I’m going to end the post here. Keep commenting and reading!

– Will

P.S. This is a compilation of the recordings we made… Enjoy!