It is only here we have forgotten.
This is why we dream.
If I were going to start my manual of truth and light, it would start something like the above passage. But I'm not going all commune on you just yet. The above passage is really more to give you some background in to how I think about things. And will make the true intro to this passage make a little more sense (at least that's the hope).
When I fall asleep in this world, and wake up in what I call the 'dream world', I usually do so willingly. I don't always allow myself to remember when I fall asleep in that world and wake back up in this one but I do know I have a perfect day over there. And it usually goes a little like this.
I wake up and after my stretch....yawn...scratch in various places, I head in to the kitchen to make breakfast. The dog is at the door, so I let her out. Ellie. Named after my beloved Whippet, Elouise. I don't have a whippet here, though, there are no fences around this house and I'd be too afraid a whippet would get on a sight and get lost, never to return. And that would break my heart. No...Ellie is an Elk Hound. Like my Shag was when I was spending summers on Mamaw and Papaw's farm.
In fact, I look across the creek and see the farmhouse that was my second home as a boy. You see, in dreamland, I've already left the big city. Built my cabin with wraparound porch and spend most of my year down in Kentucky.
After breakfast, Ellie is at my feet while I read. A writer has to be a reader first and I have found an appetite for books that I don't quite have (I did, but it has diminished slightly) in this realm. But in DreamLand, it's there. and after reading for a bit, we go for a walk. The land of my family farm in DreamLand is untouched and hasn't left the family. When we walk these lands, it is a walk with my ancestors.
A light lunch is next. Then, I grab the lapdesk and laptop and a pad and pen and head to the porch. I don't always know until I start writing if it will be laptop or pen and paper (some things are true for me in all realms, apparently).
I write...nap....write...stretch...walk....for the rest of the afternoon. Making and eating dinner and then some form of entertainment....playing or listening to music....a movie...or the like rounds out the evening.
Depending on how clear the night is, a picnic blanket under the stars may be in order.
And then bed. Where I fall asleep in that world, only to dream of a weird world where I live alone in an apartment and go to work each day for a retail company specializing in computers and technology.
So...when I say that I'm off to Dreamland to work on a few ideas....now you know what that means (I'm making an assumption that many of you used to actually see when I posted that kind of stuff on the bookfacer.)
You wanna know what the best part of 'Dreamland' is? I've been there. In this realm. This past weekend, I got to experience much of what I dream of on a regular basis. Not only do I have vivid memories of the land from when I was growing up....each trip down there is like being awake and navigating in my dream spot.
It's at once trippy and awesome.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
In case you're wondering....the pen and paper won out this past weekend as the preferred medium.
I round out my evening with nothing but a pure feeling of being blessed beyond measure. How many people know what their true passion is? Let alone have set foot on this realm in a place they call upon in their dreams?
Goodnight my friends
There were authors I loved to read. I would devour their books any chance I could. The Incarnations of Immortality series was one of my absolute favorite series (And I just found out there was an 8th book in 2007--WTH?!?).
I knew from reading these books that there was one thing I loved more than reading.
It makes me giddy. No...seriously...I smile so wide it hurts my face to think that there are people out there--you--who come here daily..weekly..monthly...whateverly...to see if I've written anything new.
I have said that I don't really write for you (And that's partly true. Mostly I write because when I don't, I feel that my soul is dying. Seems melodramatic, but I know the truth of that statement with my entire being). But...you, dear reader, are the piece of the puzzle that is unlike any other. You see...I write because I have to. That is true. However....what makes my dream of being a writer in the grand sense is the fact that there are people to read my words.
If I only stuck to my journals (which, I apologize, has been my soul (sole?) outlet these last 10 days), then I would not be a writer. I would be a...well...I don't know what I'd be. You have to believe that this makes perfect sense in my head.
Perhaps I'm searching for the semantic difference between author and writer. Perhaps I'm just searching for some self-inflated, pendantic explanation to account for the breadth and dearth of random musings on these pages.
But perhaps, what I feel, every time I click on here to post some other thought-tripe that happens to wander downstream to my happy fingers, is gratitude. Gratitude that six...or seven...or twenty-three people happened to click on a post. And maybe they shared it with a friend. Maybe they chuckled quietly to themselves. Or maybe...(and this is what I hope beyond hopes)...maybe they will be inspired to follow-through with something that makes their souls sing.
I write because I have to. You read because you want to. The power is all yours. And the gratitude is all mine.
It's not the job. The job is going very well. And though there is a fair bit of mental fatigue by the time I come through the door for the evening, I don't think it's that. I could write at lunch (lord knows it was m.o. for months (years?)). So, I don't think it's work.
I'm pretty sure it's not finances. Most of the bills are caught up and the truly pressing ones should be OK once I call them to set up some kind of payment plan or something like that (probably ought to do that tomorrow). I'm not stressed about it. Things work out the way they need to and I know that these little annoyances are no exception. So...pretty sure that's not the blockage either.
I would love nothing more than to blame that little iPad mini keyboard case. OK...truth be told, there's a crapton of things I would like more than that. No, that's not it either.
While I have not been filling the blogosphere with my inane ramblings, I have been logging spent pages in the paper journal. So...I am doing some writing.
Maybe it's audience issues. Maybe it's actually advanced stages of Facebook withdrawal. Shaking the final throes of seeking (and in general) receiving instant gratification. I am a storyteller. A writer. Perhaps I feel that writing somewhere that only 5 of my friends (and parents, hi Mom...hi Dad) see with any regularity isn't feeding the soul.
I'd hate to think that level of shallowness has taken hold. That I can't feel as though I've put something out there unless 50 people that I wouldn't drink a beer with hit some imaginary LIKE button fraught with more emotional baggage than Cybil on a blind date.
Yeah...there's a few issues there. To the point where I created a new Twitter account (@atskaggs71 but more on that in a later post).
I don't know. Maybe it's that I haven't quite fully embraced this new life (that's not so very new anymore).
I guess it's a bit of a funk. I figured it was coming. Pockets of happiness. Pockets of melancholy. All needed in this backpack of my life. Ironically, the backpack of my life looks a lot like the perfect backpack I got last year for my New York trips.
What it really comes down to is needing a trip down to The Farm. And lucky for me, I'm going this weekend. I'll be able to let go and just talk to the Universe for a bit. And then...I'll listen. Listen with a stillness in my heart to what the Universe has to say to me.
I can't wait.
And with that, I head to Dreamland. I have a novel over that that I'm working on. As I get more written in Dreamland, I bring it back over here to this world. Dreamland is quite possibly the closest peace I have in my heart outside of The Farm.
I am thankful for the day when the peace in my heart spills over in to the waking world. In to every thing I see and do and every interaction and the day that I feel no more fear, only love.
That day will be awesome/is awesome/was truly awesome.
And with that, I'm off to bed.
But, this isn't the place for it. So...it's going in the paper journal. y'all can read up on it when I'm taking the dirt nap.
It occurred to me after having penned most of it, that sometimes I need to write things to get them off my chest and out of my head, but that those words can have very different meaning to someone receiving them. And to be honest, there are times when the words aren't really for anyone but Future Todd.
I sometimes forget that you guys can't really see the depth and reason of what I say when I say it and that some of the words have the influence of this world on them and not the intent that is in my head as they are leaving my mouth...or keyboard as it were.
In any event, I'm sorry.
Sometimes I don't do so good around people. Probably a piece of the 'two divorce' puzzle, eh?
I'm off to write.
P.S. For what it's worth, I know now that I'm not an asshole. But sometimes I definitely need to filter things before they come out of my mouth. That's what the paper journal is for, methinks. Future Todd, take note.
I'm home. Not at work. Not on my lunch break. I just finished a tasty dinner that wasn't delivered and remembered that I actually like to cook.
This is pretty much my go to. Frozen veggies....chicken...stir fry it with a crap ton of various spices and let it simmer on low while the rice finishes in the cooker. Then when it's all ready, stir it all together and voilà!
It's pretty tasty. And when you pair it with something delicious and refreshing such as
..it's a damn fine dinner.
But back to the working on the blog. Why the big deal about being at home? Simple. Because I'm typing on the Sharkk keyboard case for the iPad mini. By choice.
My laptop is 12 feet from me, but I'm at the kitchen table. Using the Sharkk. By Choice.
I reached a conclusion the other day. Even if I got the ClamCase Pro, I'd still have to hold down a shift key to get to the '?'. Kind of a wake up actually. On every keyboard, the ? is a second level key. So that shouldn't bug me. It did because it was in a different spot. Someone moved my cheese. The apostrophe is the same way.
I found an inner voice saying Skaggs, get over it. So. Yeah. Working on that.
Choice. And intent. I intend to make this a viable option. To not have to take my laptop if I don't want to.
I'm reading a book by Wayne Dyer and he talks heavily about removing his ego from the equation and I realize that's what my little tantrum has been. My ego is pissy because things aren't perfect. And yet-ALL things are perfect-especially in their imperfection. If this keyboard slows me down a little bit and forces me to actually think a little more about what I type, then cool. Granted, when I am doing my freewriting or manuscript writing, I'll be on the laptop. That has to be automatic for me.
But this? This is completely doable.
Switching gears as I am wont to do.
I got some of these at lunch today.
If you think they'd be like Funyuns for grown-ups (wait--Funyuns aren't for grown-ups?), you'd be right. They were tasty and a perfect complement to my salad with turkey. At first.
Something about these things must be hella-processed. My body did that "DUDE--WTF? That was some seriously artificial shit you just put in me/you" that it tends to do when something too overly processed enters it.
I can vouch, though, for the fact that there is some bit of actual onion in it, though, based on my bowelitary reaction after I got home.
I'm going to start gaming (D&D type stuff) with a couple of guys from work. I know--some of you are probabaly surprised that I ever stopped. Simmer down. Kinda looking forward to it. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do enjoy role playing. I'm just more in to the paper/board versions instead of the online.
Alright, I've bent your ear enough. Back to folding laundry.
Have a fantastic evening my friends.
I'm at lunch eating my greek yogurt and I'm taken back to childhood.
Remember as a kid when you would eat a pudding cup (usually Hunt's)? No matter what kind of spoon you used, you had to usually reach in with your finger to get those last bits of precious pudding.
At what point in our 'growth' do we become afraid of reaching for what we truly want because we worry about what others will think? Good question. So, in an act of defiance, and embracing my childhood, I reached in and got the last bit of yogurt with my finger. And you know what? It was the tasiest bit of yogurt in the cup.
Hmmm. I may be on to something.
Speaking of awesome, I got this cool gift from friends of mine this weekend.
Yes. It is every bit as cool as it seems.
Yes I will share.
I'm typing another blog entry on this keyboard-case thingie and have reached a conclusion. While it is annoying to have to hit the Fn key before the apostrophe, it's not $150 worth of annoying, if I'm being completely honest (I mean, hell, that's the cost of an amp for my acoustic guitar).
So, yeah. there's that.
Some bunny loves me. Hee hee. No. Seriously. This bunny chills at my house. It runs away when other people come around, but if I'm out there, it just keeps eating like all is right with the world. For some reason, I have always had this kind of connection around bunnies. I just "get' them. I don't know if that makes any sense or not. I don't really expect it to, to be honest. And I'm ok with that.
There will be a post or two that will contain a bitch or mini-rant about this apostrophe. But I figure it's like traffic--if I can overcome it, I'll be the better off for it.
Alright, my lunch is over.
Have an awesome day my friends.
Found out something interesting today. My neighbors call me "The Todd." At first I figured it was just one of them (Justin has done so openly to my face for quite some time--whatevs). But today, as I looked on my front step to yet the 3rd Sunday paper in as many weeks, I could not have known that I would learn how wide spread it was. Yes. I am aware the sentence is awkard, but it does make sense-grammatically speaking.
Backing up, though.
Friday night I wound up going out and meeting a few friends for drinks. Apparently they have not received the memo that BrewStirs is no longer my spot. Hasn't been for nigh a year, at the least. Perhaps they'll figure out on the nights I tell them no, no? Mayhaps. Friday was not that night, however.
Saturday morning was a planned trip to the zoo with a friend. It was a blast, and I think we both needed to laugh stupidly and in the same day weep openly for the lowering of the least common denominator in the gene pool.
So...I looked. The Snugg case with keyboard also does the bullshit of having the question mark and apostrophe accessed via function keys. I don't get it.
It's not that it's impossible to live with, it's just that it makes me a little more concientious about my typing and that slows down any natural rhythm I might otherwise build up whilst typing.
There is a keyboard case that does have the keys in the right place. It's the Clam Case Pro.
There are a couple of downsides:
- It costs $150
- It doesn't allow for portrait mode on the iPad while typing (it looks like a mini MacBook)
- I would wind up looking like a miniClone of my boss (who has one for his iPad2)
- It costs $150 and I've already dropped $40 on this, so that would make it nearly $200
Welcome to Shprockets. Now is zee time on zee show vair ve adapt.
So...the pic above should give you a little bit of an idea of what I'm grappling with by getting the new keyboard-case. The keyboard that I was toting around with me was basically a full size keyboard. It could pair to 3 different devices and it is solar powered.
But..and this is the huge downside....it is separate from the iPad. Granted, I type a hell of a lot quicker on a keyboard that size, but the fact that it's another piece of gear always slightly annoyed me (anything I may have said aside).
So...other than the size of the keys, this Sharkk is pretty much the bomb. I may or may not go in to more detail at some point, but for now, the size is my biggets gripe. And I'm willing to bet I can overcome that.
Theres one more thing. And its a nit-picky thing at this point, but it may be enough to drive me to the Snugg keyboard case--it's the damn apostrophes. The apostrophe is not a top level key. It's a Fn+ combination key. May not seem like that big of a deal, but have you seen how many times I use that fucking character?
OH. Shit. The question mark is the same way.
It sounds petty, but this may be a deal breaker.
We'll see, won't we?
When I do things like write on my blog, the touchscreen keyboard is a bit cumbersome, to say the least. I had been using a Logitech solar powered blue tooth keyboard (which to be fair is still pretty awesome). The only downside is that when I want to take it some where, its 2 items. Which is kind of annoying.). I know that since the iPad mini has a smaller footprint, any all-in-1 is going to be at the cost of a smaller keyboard.
I got the Sharkk iPad mini keyboard case.
Jury is still out as to whether or not the smaller keyboard is going to drive me nuts or not.
I'll probably have more to say on it later, but for now I'm off to band practice after 5 hours at the zoo.
Got some more great instant pix.
"I straddle the line of discord and rhyme. A howl and a whine I'm after you"
And the part that got me was...the straddling the line. Discord and Rhyme. That's pretty much like my life right now. I know the people who love me never want to hear it, but there are times when I think myself quite mad. Not in an angry way. More like a British way. That is to say crazy. And not the go nutso and kill a bajillion people crazy. But more the 'something in my head is off-tilt. And it makes me think that the way I see the world and everything in it isn't quite the way 'normal' people see it.'
So there's that. I totally get you Mr. LeBon.
And then as that stuff was rattling through my brain bucket, I noticed traffic slowing for no reason in a spot it doesn't normally slow. I had assumed the effects of unnecessary lane changes had finally caught up (more on that later).
That wasn't the case. There was an accident. 4 or 5 cars. Several people running in a daze. The accident must have just happened. One of the cars was smoking quite badly. I drive with my windows down. I smelled the smoke. A burning, plasticy chemical smell. It invaded my nose and no amount of olfactory roofie would get rid of that or make me forget the smell. And I had a horrible thought. What if the car on fire had a fatally and it wasn't merely plastic and chemicals I was smelling? It was enough to make me thankful that I hadn't had anything but a breakfast shake for this morning's repast.
See? I told you weird shit goes through my brain and inconvenient times. You may want to just skip ahead to the believing me part next time.
And with that, my hour is nearly up. I should be getting back to work, but I wanted to make sure I posted here. See...you may think I'm not writing as much lately, but I am. The thing is, most of it's in my journal. So. Yeah. There's that.
Anywhoo--have a wonderful Friday Eve my friends!!
As I sat journaling at lunch yesterday, I looked back on the page and thought--wow--that doesn't look like a psycho-killer's journal at ALL (insert sarcasm font here).
See what I mean?
To which I reply, f*** off, Hollywood.
Just needed to get that off my chest. I've got some things to go write in my journal as I'm off to finish my soup beans and corn bread.
Have a fantastic Tuesday peeps!!
Needless to say, I was pretty stoked by this. I wouldn't be until nearly 2 years later that I got to see any of his work.
It was really good. I could definitely tell the difference with what was shot on film vs. what I had shot on digital and printed on film. And we've had several discussions about photography's current state. Not many, but enough that have stuck with me.
So, it was with no small sense of accomplishment that I managed to keep from gushing this afternoon as he was looking through my fireworks photos from the weekend.
"Wow. These are actually some of the better fireworks shots I've seen."
Now, granted, these were already printed shots, not on my computer. There was no post production work done on these shots.
And I agreed with him. These were the second best collection of fireworks shots I've ever taken in my life.
Which is doubly impressive when you consider that I shot the pix this weekend using my Fujifilm Instax 90 Neo Classic instant camera!!
I shot 24 pix. Tossed 2. Gave away a couple, and made a pencil box out of a few of them.
All in all, a great weekend!
When manure was shipped as cargo in sea vessels, it was often designated with the warning 'S.H.I.T.' Ship High In Transit. Because, if the manure got wet, it would stink.
And thus we get the word 'shit.' So...it's not a bad word. You can pretty much make anything vulgar depending on your delivery.
Along with that little nugget of knowledge courtesy of Papa Skaggs, it was a pretty great weekend.
Friday I went to the Westerville parade (took a crap ton of pix with my instant camera--come over some time and check them out)...got a little sunburned. I have to admit that while I had a great vantage point (and didn't have to worry about parking), I was a little disappointed with the parade. When did small town America parades become political ads? Marching bands..fun floats...some kind of local celebrity (where was Cabot Rea??) and some kind of military fly over. THAT'S what I remember about parades. More local and civic groups and cooler floats.
I would say roughly 40% of the entrants in the parade were running for office. It was rather annoying.
But I had a slice from Pasquale's. And a donut from Schneiders.
Chilled Friday afternoon. And then Friday night met up with some friends at a party and then walked down with them to see the Westerville Fireworks. I didn't go last year because, well, I wasn't in that great of a place mentally last 4th. I didn't want to be around too many people at the time. And I certainly wasn't in any hurry to go to the spot where I had watched fireworks for the 10 years prior. for obvious reasons.
So, this year we walked to the Otterbein Cemetery. And then just 8 minutes before they were due to be launched, we went the extra 3 blocks down to the back half of the park. And it was pretty much a front row seat. It was quite possibly the best view I have ever had of the Westerville Fireworks. And I can't see going anywhere else.
I decided to give the bulb mode on my Fuji Instax 90 Neo Classic a shot, so to speak. I had a tripod with me (because bulb mode without some stability is just pretty much a waste of film). I took 24 shots of the fireworks. It was an exercise in uncertainty. I couldn't really check on the photos as I was shooting. There was no LCD panel on the back to review my progress. Nope. I had to trust and hope in my practice and skill. I had a pretty good shot...I mean, the film is rated at ISO 800. And in bulb mode I think it's F22. I held the shutter open for 4-6 seconds for each shot.
And when I looked at them later, I found something surprising. These shots were, without a doubt, some of the best fireworks shots I've ever taken. Granted, my best shots were probably at COSI a few years back, from the rooftop. Those were amazing. These are tied for second place.
This makes me happy. I'm more than happy to show them to you. Let me know when you want to get together and hang out and I'll be happy to 'share' the albums of photos with you (it's a little more personal than some bookface thing, if you ask me).
Hit up a cookout on Saturday with a friend. Homemade fireworks show after grilled burgers and brats is always a good time.
And today another cookout at the 'rents. Along with the etymology of 'shit,' we had prime rib sliders, brats, corn on the cob...just some awesome food and company.
It was a great weekend. Epiphanies...releases of emotional baggage...fireworks...parades...cookouts. I gotta tell you it's been a hoot of a weekend.
And how am I rounding out the weekend you might ask?
Drinking beers watching a Ken Burns special on Prohibition.
I like a little irony with my national holiday weekends. Call me sentimental.
And with that I'm heading to bed.
Hoping you have a wonderful week. And sure, you can have some leftovers--I've got plenty. Give me a ring or text. We'll get together soon!
I fucking hate it when that happens, but turns out this was a good thing.
I was talking to a friend and she uttered the phrase that I wish people would stop uttering (because, truthfully I don't care--but I'll get to that).
"I saw N-- the other day." As though they know this is a bombshell they've just dropped. Why do people do that?
There is only one reply-"Oh? Yeah?"
Story goes that my friend was at a party for someone who also happens to be friends with my ex. I vaguely recognized some of the names since our friends were barely a topic of discussion while we were married.
I guess conversation came around to the divorce (again...why is it anyone's busines?). My friend said 'yeah, the whole thing was really tough on my friend Todd.' And I guess the mutual friend, without missing a beat said something along the lines of "well, it was pretty hard on N-- too."
And I found myself on this call knowing the word that was about to come out of my mouth, not wanting it to, but not doing anything to stop it either.
The conversation went silent. I'm not sure what my friend was expecting, but I'm sure it wasn't that.
I explained that in some small way it was a comfort to me to know that it wasn't easy for her, least of all as easy as she let on (but again, I forget that she's an amazing actress). I was comforted that it was rough for her because it meant that I meant something. That our relationship, when it was good, wasn't just an act. The doubt that I had as to the role she had been playing dissipated.
It allowed me the release to remember the good times fondly and not with the doubt that the whole thing was a ruse. I know now that I did actually mean something to her.
It was a relief, but not one without melancholy. The marriage ended because of mutual neglect. It got to the point where neither of us put in the effort to make it good. Nor, do I think we could have known how even if we wanted to. It's like when someone moves out of a house and no one lives in it--it doesn't take long for nature to reclaim it. The weeds and flora take over and for anyone to get back in there to live again is really quite the chore, and one has to wonder if it's really worth it. The love in our hearts...or at least mine...was kind of like that. I knew there was something there that was good once, but I wasn't sure if it was worth trying to clear out the weeds after a certain point. Nor was I sure that she even wanted me too.
It was fucked up all around. I guess nobody comes out of a divorce unscathed. N--, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I broke the promise I made to you that September morning in 2002.
And I forgive you. This animosity and anger that's been festering in my heart isn't doing my any good. and it's not really meant for you anyway. It's internal. And it's, quite honestly, bullshit.
For the time you came in to my life--you were exactly what I needed. The answer to a prayer. We had some good times. And for a time, I enjoyed traveling life's road by your side. It would seem, that life had other roads for us to travel. I wish you peace and joy on your road.
Now...for my friends who feel compelled to give me 'N-- sighting' reports, please stop. I get it. You think I want to know. I don't. I hope she's doing well. I hope she's moved on and found someone who can make her happier than I could. I don't need to know if and when and where you saw her. Seriously. I don't. I'm not to the point in my life yet where I can talk about her with ease. Things are still healing. So, please, unless I ask--keep it to yourself.
Catharsis is a funny little thing, isn't it?
Please don't worry about me. I'm not sad. I'm finding myself. Who I was meant to be. I realize now that if I had made this journey before I married N--, then perhaps it would have been more fair to both of us. She would have known my true self and would have been better able to make a choice. And perhaps the pain that we all went through would have been abated. Who can say? The What-ifs never do anyone any good anyway.
I can say, though, with a high degree of certainty that the next person I give my heart to will know me as well as I know myself. That's really the point of this journey, isn't it? Know Thyself.
I'll get right on that.
After I go scrub the tub.
Have a great weekend my friends!
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