Living in the Simulation

A few months ago, in response to the trailer for The Matrix 4 being released, I finally convinced my kids to watch the original 1999 film, The Matrix, and introduced them to the idea of living inside a simulation. Considering I was exiting high school when this film came out, seeing this movie through the eyes of my much younger kids was incredibly interesting to me. Where I had some idea of what was going on the first time I watched it (although, admittedly, came out of the theater still having plenty of questions), my kids spent the first half hour of the film trying to figure it out. And they still had far more questions after.

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How to Manage Projects

As an Information Science and Technology major, it turns out a big part of what is expected to be learned is the skill of project management. As someone who has spent a lot of time managing projects, I honestly felt as though this was a ridiculous thing for anyone to expect me to learn. I mean, sure, I knew there were concepts that I wasn’t using, because I don’t exactly follow any sort of rules for project management, but I really just assumed it would mostly entail the simple basics of thinking and then doing. Things I do normally, but, you know, with a few more rules set around them.

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Magic: The Gathering (of all my money to someone else)

When I first arrived at high school, I was nearly immediately introduced to a relatively new game called Magic: the Gathering. This little game of wizards dueling with magic, all through the use of cards, latched on to my brain (and my wallet) as soon as I saw it and I knew I needed to have all of the everything I could for this game possible. For the next few weeks, I would spend every single cent I had on getting more cards. I would constantly ask for rides to the comic book shop that had these cards just so I could spend all my money on them and completely ignore the plethora of comic books filling the walls of this small space. I was hooked.

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A Death in the Family

As I noted yesterday, I spent most of last week in travel for the loss of a family member. I’ve lost a few family members in recent years, and as someone who hasn’t had to deal with a lot of death in his life, I’ve learned that I’m pretty darn bad at it. And considering the struggles I’ve had with my family and my place in it, well, this past week has been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that I simply haven’t had the time to fully dig in and reflect upon. A rollercoaster that I’ve been trying to deflect so I can make sure to be there for my family members in whatever capacity they needed. A rollercoaster that I’ve honestly been trying to hide from because I simply don’t know how I’m going to feel about the ride.

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Accepting Compliments

First off, I feel the need to ask if I’m the only person who has to constantly check to make sure he’s using the right word when writing compliment or complement…

Which feels like a fantastic segue into talking about coming to terms with my own writing abilities. I know I’ve talked on here before about the concept of feeling like a fraud. That although I’ve received accolades and personal comments regarding my writing over the years, I still, for whatever reason, find myself thinking that it’s all crap. Which, of course, makes it incredibly awkward whenever I receive a compliment of any type over my writing, because, well, I still don’t believe it myself, even if I find great pride in all the things I’ve done with my writing.

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Unexpected Departures

A week ago today (when I’m writing this, which Monday, not Wednesday, which is when you are presumably reading this), I received word that my aunt died. And while I have plenty of things I need to express about processing that death (still processing…), I feel the need right now to take a second to step back and actually look at the overall impact of a death in your circle of friends and families.

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A Night at the Symphony

During my early twenties, I used to spend a lot of time hanging out with the music nerds at the local university. As such, I would often find myself hanging out in the little concert rooms the college uses for music majors to perform in as part of their degree requirements. This meant that I would often get to experience very talented young people showcasing not only their skills, but the attributes of instruments that I probably wouldn’t have gotten such a fantastic perspective on otherwise. Like the time I saw a young man putting on a tuba concert, or the bass and double bass duo. It was these odd couple types of concerts which kept me coming back long after I was required to for the class which alerted me to this even happening.

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No Rest for the Wicked

I’m going to go right out and say it. I’m tired.

Like, legitimately, uncompromisingly, tired. And although I’d like to blame this all on the fact that I recently turned 40, the reality is that I’ve pretty much always been tired.

And this causes me one pretty significant question: Why?

I’ll admit right off the bat that I’ve long questioned the reality of the need for sleep. Maybe it’s some sort of government conspiracy, right? Like, I know that science has all these reasons they claim that sleep is important, but it’s not like we’re robots. Do we really need to recharge? Why in the world haven’t we evolved past the need for sleep already? What actually happens while we’re asleep anyways?

Tooth fairies and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny certainly seem to appreciate the fact that we become absolutely comatose for a few hours every day, so maybe that’s a part of the conspiracy? Like, maybe we have to sleep so magic can exist in this world?

All of that above, of course, are the ramblings of a tired man who really actually just finds himself wishing he had time for more sleep even though he spends a significant amount of time trying to figure out whether he should actually need it at all.

Of course, when I was a younger man, the reasons for needing sleep were a lot more obvious. I was not kind to my body about sleep. I would stay up for all hours of the night, catch two winks before moving on to the next day and starting it all over again. Rinse, repeat, until I’d finally collapse into a heap of drooling human for 20 hours before I’d get back into the bad habit of avoiding my body’s call for sleep.

I would fight sleep so hard that I finally started having significant issues with insomnia because I had trained my body that sleep was the devil.

But now that I’m older and have kids and a pretty boring social life, well, I don’t have quite the excuse for being tired anymore. I don’t stay up all night, in fact, I’m generally in bed reading by 10pm, and most nights I don’t make it past 11 before I have to put the book down and finally succumb to the call for rest. That means that with the 6am wakeup call for school for the kids (and the fact that my boys don’t like sleeping later than the sun), I get approximately 7 hours of sleep a night…which is pretty good.

Sure, I might wake up here and there due to back pain or dog barking or kid waking up in the middle of the night with a bloody nose, or what’s the weird sound, or I drank too much water before bed, or–

Actually, come to think of it, I’m probably not much better at taking care of my sleep needs as an adult as I thought. Here I’ve been really disappointed in myself for getting to the age where 11pm is the latest I stay up on a standard night, but, well, I also get up way earlier than I used to and have far more items that keep me awake throughout the night, even if they generally choose to bother my wife instead of me (she’s a far better parent than I am).

So, I guess what this all means is that I’m really not that indulgent when I decide to take a nap.

If anything, it’s for my health, right?

And so the Santa Clauses can bring me presents?

Seriously, I’d probably sleep a lot better if I knew there were presents on the line…Someone work on that.

Blogging with Coffee

My mornings right now, after I cart the kids off to school, and before I start my work day, consist of a brief period where I get to quietly enjoy my coffee whilesitting down to put together some words to put on here. Yes, this means that I am currently enjoying my little moment of zen before the busy-ness of work begins and after the chaotic process of getting the kids out of the house ends. You should feel special. Those few moments I have where I can just enjoy the quiet and the lack of expectations, I spend here with you.

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