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Half truths I tell myself

March 29, 2015

BSdG86S

Issue 3
Vol 4

Shit. I am tapped. Its that time of the year again. I have stalled. I have jumped the shark as a person. No big revelations. No major hurtles to overcome. Nothing. Right now, I am emotionally the dog days of summer. The gray days drag on and on. Football is months away and the aimlessness is oppressive. I still have…my wits? I know I missed February and I hope some, at least a few, of you noticed.

Lets get this shit show on the road.

Fanatic

I am a St. Louis Rams fan. If you know me, at all, this shouldn’t be a shock. I love football (was terrible at it) and am totally ride or die for my team. If they move back to LA I am going to sink into a terrible funk and may never get out. 55% of the time being a fan is waiting. Waiting for your team to play, waiting for the time out to end or waiting for the season to start. 44% of the time your team is not winning the championship and its a little bitter to watch another team win. Only one team wins in the end, in any sport. That’s your ecstatic 1% but the other 44% you are upset, pissed or hating another team.

As I said before I am a Rams fan and with that declared let it be known: I hate the Seahawks. The one team I hate more than the Seahawks is the New England Patriots. Last month the Patriots won their 4th Super Bowl this century and something I have been mulling over for quite sometime crystallized: I am a Hater.

Let me explain. The St. Louis Rams lost 17 to 20 against the, at the time, upstart New England Patriots. I was 15 and had nothing else going on in my life. I took that loss the way most people deal with losing a pet or a large sum of money. I was devastated in a way that I cannot over exaggerate.

Time went on and I watched as ESPN globed the dear-eyed praise onto Tom Brady. If you had not known better you would have thought that the anchors and experts on the air were 12-year-olds with a crush. They loved Tom Brady and he fit this sickening narrative. The young good looking and brash Quarter Back of America’s team won with guts and guile, not over the top flashy talent. He was a 6th round pick, doubted from day one and he had made himself and arrived on the scene fully formed and done the impossible. He even married a Brazilian Super Model. I grew to hate Tom Brady.

She is Brazilian I swear...ignore the umlaut in her last name.

She is Brazilian I swear…ignore the umlaut in her last name.

My beloved St. Louis rams took a nose dive after that game. Winning seasons were few and far between and the fair weather fans abandoned ship like the rats they were. I watched every game I could an wished for a winning season. I am, was, and always will be ride or die for my St. Louis Rams. Through thick or thin, and there has been a lot of thin, I would always cheer for the team and I will always appreciate the 1999 Rams season.

The Patriots fan base grew larger and fatter as more and more band wagon faux fans proclaimed their allegiance. That’s what I hate. Most of them couldn’t name a player before Tom Brady or even name a starter on their Super Bowl teams in the 1985 season or the 1996 season. They just want to be apart of a winner. They had skipped the years of struggling and draft busts, injuries and could have been. They skipped the worse part of being a fan. The part of being a fan that makes the winning worth it and gives you street cred.

Its nothing short of bitter to watch your team, at best, only be average. Now I am faced with the very real possibility that my beloved team may pack up and move west. And for nothing more than money. A shitty team in LA will make more money than a shitty team in St. Louis.

I am sadder than I have nay right to be. But this is the risk you take when you become a fan. Now for a gif that sums up how I feel.

Awwwww...

Awwwww…

Lucid Dreams

About a week ago I took my comforter to the cleaners to get my cleanest blanket clean. It’s snow white and stains, the ones from everyday use, were starting to show and becoming hard to ignore.

I sleep with a box fan and normally my comforter is big enough, thick enough, to keep me warm. Now armed with only thin blankets I am colder than I am comfortable and I have not been sleeping well. I stay up with my thoughts, my heart racing. Whats worse is I know I should get up and write this stuff down because in the morning my thoughts, if I remember then, won’t be so clear, it won’t be so well organized and articulated. Whats left in the morning is the broken puzzle of of emotions and half thoughts and me scrambling to put it ll back together.

I hate my weaknesses. I hate that I stopped running. While I was never really all that good, or fast, I was surprisingly fast for the way I looked. In boot camp I was able to finish a mile and a half in 11:04 with bronchitis and mononucleosis. I hate that there is a word for one of my biggest problems. I don’t just hate that I can’t let go of my insecurities and doubt, I don’t just hate that I lie to myself and say I don’t care, that my problems seem to sit with me, no matter how much I try, I hate that it seems hopeless. There is a part of me, a part of everyone I hope, that rebounds and redoubles my efforts when things get difficult. I hate that when that part of me kicks in and my my brow wrinkles and my ears burn and I am focused I am again faced with the reality that it may be as hopeless as I always feared. And all of my will and resolves away. Its like running full speed into a brick wall.

I tell my most junior guys that being an IT out to sea is like being a defensive back int he NFL. High risk and low chance of reward. Everyone knows your mistakes and worse, people think they can do your job and generally have no respect for the work you put in. None. And no matter what you did, you are only as good as your last mistake.

Just me and you.

All alone on an island.

In the picture above are two men. The one in red is one of the best players at his position int he NFL. He is big by any standard, even in the NFL, and he has world class speed. Patrick Peterson is a defensive back and his job is to prevent completed passes to often bigger and stronger athletes called Wide Receivers. Patrick is so good that he is often told to cover one man and prevent him from having an impact on the game.

The man out of focus is just as fast, just as good, has the benefit of knowing where the ball is going, and about 5 inches taller. Peterson’s job is to stop him. His job is impossible but he excels at it. That’s how I felt on deployment. I felt exposed, overworked, under-trained, under appreciated, and constantly under pressure. I was not the best IT in my division and farther from the best to have worked on my ship but when the chips were down and I needed to cover the biggest, strongest wide receivers, when I needed to repair the most needed systems when sucess was the only option I did well because I refused to let anyone down. I refused to let my work center, my division, my department, my ship down.

I was standing in a dark part of the ship once talking to this cute girl. In the brilliant red lights she told me a secret. She hesitated and I promised to tell her one of mine also. An exchange to make her comfortable. I told a lie and she spoke the truth. I don’t remember what I told her but I know what I wanted to tell her. What I am going to tell you now:

I can be the outlier, the difference maker, the one that sets the standard, the guide and the beacon that everyone follows. I can make a change in my world and the people around me, a real difference. I can endure the pain, the pressure, all of it and still come out on top. The plain truth is that you will always need people like me, men and women who believe that they can live up to all of that and who believe they can make a difference.

I am not sure if this is either apart of normal self-esteem or delusions fed by the hero centric narratives I enjoy (cartoons, movies, comic books, video games, etc), or something that holds a little bit of truth and has been colored by those narratives.

Resolution Round Up: Refocus

Waste Less Money/Food – B

I don’t mind the grocery store. It has some of my favorite things in it. I just hate going on Saturdays and hate it even more going on Sundays. It is always packed full of people who seem to make it a mission to get in my way. I have begun to think ahead and plan meals. I have stuck to only eating fast food on the weekends. I have increased, by at least 250%, the number of vegetables I eat. I eat spinach, broccoli, squash, that bag of mixed veggies.

This was Dr. King;s dream. Vegetables judged by their nutritional value and not the color of their skin.

This was Dr. King;s dream. Vegetables judged by their nutritional value and not the color of their skin.

 

Workout 6-5 times a week – D

Its simple math. I can easily get 4 times a week. I skip a day during the week and have a hard time forcing myself to go consistently on the weekends. I love to workout but I really, REALLY, love to sleep. Sleeping is the shit. Getting up on the weekends and playing 4 games of Madden on a Sunday has its merits. Its straight up laziness though. I could get up and go to the gym for an hour and still have plenty of time to veg out.

Watch Less TV – B-

I watch WAY less network TV. I spend way less time just staring at the bright moving pictures on my big screen. I spend some nights reading and just relaxing. I even skip xbox for 5 or 6 days. If that was the only truth I would have to give myself a A+ but the rest of the story is that I got Netflix for Christmas and I have been binge watching Deep Space Nine and Scrubs and I finished Family guy back in January. I am almost done with the Cleveland show and next I think I will move on to Breaking Bad. I will never be able to read when I get ready for work in the morning and I hate to eat and read. I still watch Sportscenter and the Daily Show when I wake up. TV is a hard Habit to break.

Operation Dark Fedora – A

If you follow me on Twitter, and you should, you would have noticed that I have had some success when it comes to my project. I was able to purchase everything I need, install the CPU (with a bit of trial and error) and get a functioning server sitting in my living room. I cleared those hurdles and even got it connected to the internet.

The biggest challenge now is connecting remotely. Its a daunting task and I have learned so much because I had to learn so much to get this to work. In my next resolution update I plan to go on in a little more detail.

Until next time.

~ Adam

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