Life Moves Fast…

My last post was on July 14th, and I had the audacity to end it with: “I’ll write another post soon. Stay tuned.

Obviously that didn’t happen. It’s been almost three weeks since that post, and a lot of things have changed since then.

The weekend after my last post (July 15-16) was mostly uneventful. I went for another hike with Alex, and Eli came along for once. We left later on Saturday evening, and ended up running down the hill in the dark. The path we were on was very steep, and the trail is significantly overgrown in many places. There are also lots of little holes, and the trail is mostly loose dirt and gravel. In other words, it’s a deathtrap. We made it down without anyone getting injured (shockingly), and then went downtown for some drinks with some new friends at 317.

The weekend following that (July 22-23) was very eventful, to say the least. Kelci and her roommate, Ashlee, came up from Billings to visit us. It had been a few years since Kelci last came up for a true weekend visit, and we were all excited to go downtown and have a good time. We ended up dressing up for a classy dinner at the Copper, then pre-gamed back at the apartment, and went back downtown afterwards. It was a crazy night, and we had so much fun.

Kelci and I ended up breaking off from the group for a second to catch some air (we had been dancing) out on the back patio of Bar IX. We locked eyes; there had been sparks flying between us for most of the night. We ended up kissing on the bridge under the fairy lights (it was a cliche scene out of a shitty John Green novel [in the best way]).

After that happened, we went back to the apartment for an afterparty. Everyone passed out at around 5 AM, then got up a few hours later to get brunch. It was a helluva weekend.

Here are some shots from that weekend (thanks to Ashlee & Eli for sharing these pics):

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After everything that happened that weekend (and the literal years of buildup), Kelci and I decided to date. It’s been amazing so far. I couldn’t be happier.

I fill you in on what happened last weekend tomorrow (pinky swear). Thanks for being patient with my inconsistent posts!

-Will

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

Tackling Tiny Annoyances at Home

I finally broke down a few days ago and ordered a bunch of small items off of Amazon that have been lingering in the “Saved for Later” section of my cart for months. Everything I ordered came in today, and I wish I did this earlier. The following small issues were fixed:

  • My desktop PC is finally back to 100%. I finally replaced the mechanical keyboard I spilled bore cleaner onto months ago. I also got some new PC speakers.
  • I got a network switch to overcome some annoying issues I’ve been having with our wireless router (and they’ve only been affecting me). It also fixes a shitty bootstrapped solution I was using to connect my Philips HUE hub to the network (via a wireless network extender that was also unreliable due to the aforementioned WiFi issues).
  • New adjustable levers for my motorcycle (to replace the ugly stock ones).
  • 2 extra USB C cables for charging my S8+ (prior to this, the only one I had was the one that came with the phone).
  • 2 aftermarket batteries for my DSLR, so I can go out on longer photo excursions and not worry about dead batteries.
  • A new guitar tuner (so I can play my new acoustic guitar in-tune).

That’s basically it. And even though basically everything on that list was non-essential, it feels good to have finally taken care of those tiny problems. It’s a small semblance of progress in the midst of this period of dreadful stasis.

I’m going for a hike tomorrow, and I’ll be taking my camera out with me to take some pics while I’m outside. Look for some awesome photos tomorrow.

-Will

The Sound of a Broken Record

This blog’s purpose is to record the events of my life during the Summer. Everyday, I struggle to find something new to write about. My days during the work week are essentially identical, with almost nothing changing between them. I wake up late. I go to work. I come home from work. I stay up late and update the blog. I go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The cycle never changes, folks. That’s the problem. I know this. You know this. But it’s like a Chinese finger trap that I’ve walked into, and I can’t seem to find a way out. It’s driving me insane.

I’ve been working on my resume, and I’ve thoroughly scoured the job classifieds on Craigslist. There are other opportunities (to absolutely nobody’s chagrin). I will fill out the applications, and I will fill out some more, and I will not stop until I have escaped.

In the meantime, while I’m still stuck with the evening shift, I need to do something with the earlier part of the day that is available to me. I’m thinking about going for hikes in the morning. Physical exercise, getting out of the house, maybe taking a few photos… sounds like a decent plan to me.

I just need to break the habit of sleeping in until noon.

Brighter days ahead, folks. Keep the faith and stay tuned.

-Will

The Summer Man

One of my favorite episodes of Mad Men is “The Summer Man” (Season 4, Ep. 8). Don is keeping a journal of the events going on in his life, and he’s trying to regain control over his emotions, his drinking, and, generally speaking, his life. He makes a very poignant observation midway through the episode: “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” Too often we choose to minimize the imperfections of others, rather than accepting them for who they truly are.

I think the episode strikes a chord with me because of how it humanizes Don. The show rarely gives us access to his inner monologue. Superficially, Don appears to be a man in his prime; the reality of his failed marriage, frayed relationship with his children, his alcoholism, and his complicated identity issues show a man who is barely keeping it together. Seeing Don take positive steps after so many mistakes makes it difficult to not root for him; I want to see Don be better. Anyone who’s seen the show knows that he could be great– he just needs to maintain self-control.

I suppose the same could be said for most people, though. We’re often the root of our own demise.

Time to get back to working on my resume and sending out job apps. See you tomorrow.

-Will

Another Day, Another Dollar

Another week of work begins, exactly the same as the last. Mindless repetition of the same task over and over and over again. I’m on autopilot.

Outside of work, I really didn’t do much. I went grocery shopping after midnight– something I haven’t done in awhile. I forgot how many interesting characters shop at that hour. Walmart is a weird place at 12:30 AM.

I have to get out of this cycle.


“In a sense, neuroscience has offered up a prediction here, one that games obligingly confirm. If you create a system where rewards are both clearly defined and achieved by exploring an environment, you’ll find human brains drawn to those systems, even if they’re made up of virtual characters and simulated sidewalks.” – Steven Johnson, Everything Bad is Good For You (Pg. 38)

I need to clearly define my goals…

Until tomorrow,

-Will

Recovery & Reflection

The hangover after Saturday night’s shenanigans wasn’t nearly as brutal as it could have been. A better strategy of eating and staying hydrated would have probably prevented it entirely, but I suppose that’s something to remember for later. (Though, realistically, avoiding that kind of evening entirely would be much better.)

The worst part about any hangover, in my opinion, is the mental fog/haze. Thoughts don’t feel clear. Cognition is muddled. Everything is a struggle. Hydration, Ibuprofen, greasy food, and a little caffeine helps a lot, but the only true remedy is time. I spent most of the day napping and lazing around the house, feeling shitty about missing the early morning ride I wanted to go on with my local motorcycle group. Wasting a perfectly good Summer day is the kind of thing that can really eat away at you if you let it.

Fortunately, I don’t waste many days like this, and I don’t plan to do it again anytime soon. I think my friends and I were trying to chase the same kind of evening we had a few weekends ago after a wedding, but the vibe just wasn’t the same. Without that kind of significant celebration, it’s just another hollow evening downtown.

This weekend wasn’t entirely wasted, though. I cleaned up my room, worked on my resume, and scoured the job classifieds. If I can avoid the kind of setbacks that happened on Saturday, I should make real progress soon.

I apologize for the late posts! I know that a daily blog is supposed to have new posts daily. I see this weekend as a one-time setback on what will otherwise be a hopefully productive & engaging summer of writing.

See you tomorrow,

-Will

Lessons From Last Night: The Two-Days Later Edition

(Author’s Note: This post was added to the blog two-days after June 24th, 2017. All events discussed in this post, however, occurred that evening. You’ll likely understand why this post was late after reading it.)

  • The Taproom is a fantastic place, and the rooftop patio is even better. Nothing beats drinking craft beer on a sunny day.
  • Alex did not know that the obviously Irish bar, 317, was Irish. Remember to harass him about this forever.
  • Pendleton & Coke is the best whisky/cola combination at the bars for under $10
  • Gin & Tonics are still not good (especially when you’re drinking “well” gin)
  • Playing pool at R Bar is a less than ideal experience (too many drunk people, not enough space)
  • Vaping CBD oil is legal, apparently. It also does not get you high. (We live in interesting times…)
  • Getting home before 2 AM is always a good idea
  • Forgetting to drink lots of water & take out your contacts at the end of the night is not a good idea
  • If you want to go on a motorcycle ride early the next morning, don’t stay out late drinking (duh)
  • Late nights downtown really aren’t worth it
  • Downtown is not the right place to meet new people
  • Bozeman is getting old, and so am I…

Time Flies When You’re Boring

I’m always surprised at how quickly the week flies by when I realize that it’s Friday. When you’re working at a job with heavy repetition, there’s no differentiation between days. I tend to fall into certain routines outside of my working hours (like most people), so the days kind of bleed together into one chunk of the week that zips by quickly. The weekends come fast, but I always have an acute awareness that the time that’s going by quickly is essentially wasted.

If you’re not doing anything worthwhile, time doesn’t really matter.

I have developed a plan to get out of this rut. Step one is straightforward: get a day job. I could hypothetically switch to the day shift at my current job, but I think a fresh start somewhere new would be better. Staying at a place where there is very little room for growth would be antithetical to my longing for self-improvement. I’ll spend part of the weekend doing the usual job-hunting stuff, and then begin working on the next step: rebuilding my social life.

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve become isolated over time as old friends moved away. I never really developed great social skills during high school or college; I was lucky and somehow befriended extroverts who introduced me to other people. As an introvert who grew up in a semi-isolated environment (I attended a K-8 school when I was younger, and there were roughly 200 kids in the entire school. I went to school with mostly the same people for seven years. How do you develop the skills to meet new friends when nobody around you is a stranger?!?), I have a bit of a learning curve to deal with when it comes to developing a new circle of friends. That makes me anxious, and my mind races whenever I’m out at the bars or in any other crowded environment. But I’m excited to learn, and I just need to get out of the house and actually try to meet new people! Getting out and socializing (as oddly clinical and generally “not cool” as that sounds) is my other goal for the weekend.

Outside of those two goals, I want to enjoy the beautiful Summer weather and take some pictures to share with you on the blog. What are your plans for the weekend? Leave a comment below, and feel free to add any other comments or feedback you may have as well.

See you tomorrow!

-Will