Aunt Joe

One of the things about blogging that makes it interesting is that the pages you read eventually become like characters. But unlike pre-packaged TV or music that's always the same no matter when you check it out, the "characters" created by the blog entries on your favorite sites tend to shift as the authors lives take them to different places. Sure some people tend to blog the same kinds of thing over and over, but the really good ones (IMHO) ebb and flow as their real world experiences change day to day.

So sometimes they're funny, while other moments find them pissed off. Then they're hopeful, or ecstatic -- and it's hard not to get wrapped up into it, because in a small way you sort of get to know these people and experience their emotional ups and downs by the stories they post.

As a result, just like in the real world, you tend to pick up on things. Moods. Threads. Oddly non-verbal clues that tend to show up even in a text-based environment such as this. But because you usually don't actually know the people you're reading, it's not like you can really interact beyond a certain level. It's sort of like watching a mouse in a maze -- because part of you wants them to solve whatever puzzle it is they're involved in, but because you're looking at it from above (so to speak), it's kinda hard not to feel like you have a certain amount of foresight about what is coming up for these people as they discuss their issues and experiences.

In other words, you really do want SO@24 to find success in the dating world, but it's hard not to think his standards might be a little high. You love the kinds of crazy things WIGSF writes when his insomnia hits, but you imagine there's probably a very simple solution to his sleep deprivation problems that for some reason he hasn't recognized yet.

And you might want me to figure out the best way to lose weight and get in shape (or at least quit bitching about it), but until I stop being such a martyr for crap food -- you know it's probably not gonna happen.

Of course a month ago I wasn't writing about any of this type of stuff at all because I was so wrapped up in election politics and whatever -- but lately it seems like the song has gotten stuck on one or two repeating notes, and despite the fact that some good writing has come out of it -- it's hard not to wonder (even as the author) why the guy who writes this blog hasn't been able to figure it out.
But like so many others who write online, what you see is only really part of the picture.
In other words, the whole fitness/weight thing is kind of an easy target for me to rant on, because it's sort of indicative of the way a lot of things have been going for me lately. Not so much that my world is bad, but that I've slipped into one of those regrettable moods where I can't help but be kinda down on myself because of my various circumstances and bad habits.

And it's not really one particular thing -- it's just sort of a collective downness that seems to envelop me now and again. I get overly frustrated with situations I have no control over, I get into this sorta bad loop of second-guessing things I did in the past -- I just become sort of a moping lump for a little while.

People who talk to me on the phone or know me personally can't help but pick up on it, and they try to be supportive -- but to be honest, I think most of them get a little sick of it when this mood tends to stretch on for a while, because I tend to get trapped in it to the point where I start thinking about making all these life changes that get me nowhere, or I plan to do a million things but then get all bummed out that I can't afford or find the way to fit them into my current lifestyle -- all of which would never be a problem if I'd just had the guts to do that sooner, or I'd been more dedicated to this while I was in school, yada yada yada.
My friends call this facet of my personality Emo Dan, and most of them hate it.
Because when I get that way there's usually nothing that can be done. The real advice needed is "Dude, suck it up and stop whining" -- and I get lots of that, but because the mood is just sort of a nameless cloud hovering over me, I rarely find the way out of it without at least some period of rain falling on my head first.
As a result, most of my friends have learned to just ride it out.
It doesn't last forever, but it does come along every now and then. Like some kind of a male menstrual cycle that doesn't follow any sort of regular schedule, or have a lot of good reasoning behind it -- and then much like the natural cycle that effects women on a much more realistic scale, it runs it's course and lets go of it's grip on me, and I get back to my old fun self again.

This most recent bout probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have a birthday racing up, which has brought with it the inevitable barrage of guy-mind lamenting regarding my overall lack of progress towards being a rock star or pro athlete despite the fact that I've done next to nothing to get any closer to any of those things during the past year.

I think lots of guys get their "periods" like this from time to time -- especially when you get into your 30's and start thinking you've "missed out on everything" regardless of your job situation, your kids, your friends, or whatever else you actually have going for you at the time that plenty of other people would kill to have access to.

And I know the first and second rule is not to talk about it -- but it's times like this when a real-life Fight Club would probably do me a world of good. But because I don't really have one of those around to kick my ass and remind me that there's a difference between complaining and living, I tend to go all mopey mope for a week or two whenever I realize that I'm getting ever closer to turning 40.

But when you step back from it (or look at it from above) it's probably hard not to sit there as a reader and say "Oh come on, THIS is what's got you down lately? Pfffft. Snap out of it, you pussy -- you've got a great kid, friends that love you, and an iPod full of songs that you get to listen to at work while you get paid and still have time to blog!"
And you'd be totally right.
But sometimes when you get in that cycle, all you can really do is just sorta wait until your own personal red tide runs it's course and fades back into the sea of your life so you can actually start seeing things with clear eyes again.
At the same time, heaven help the guy who thought this time of the month was the best time to
mess with me, because when I get like this, there's no telling what might happen, knammsayin?

[Listening to:  Ice-T"High Rollers" ]


Anonymous said…
You wanna read more about my insomnia, got it.
Heff said…
"collective downness" - nice term.

BTW - Why do your posts always appear dated two days before they're actually posted ? That's REALLY fucking with Heff.
Werdna said…
Bitch got the devil in her...

Love that movie.

Who cares where Emo Dan is? Not me, I"m waiting for Rocker Dan!! Because he don't need no instructions on how to rock!

Nice call with the Ice-mutherfuckin-T.
Hex said…
WIGSF -- I knew I could count on you

Heff -- You and your eagle eye.

I do most of my blogging at work, and when things get busy I sometimes have to set it aside for later. So what happens a lot is that I end up doing a lot of "catching up" during the week to get these ideas I've been drafting out the door.

Werdna -- rocker Dan was at the guitar store last night eyeing new axes, and they still have that white Ibanez strat I've been lusting after for a while.

You can't kill Rocker Dan, you can only hope to contain him.