In no particular order

This isn’t a real post.

Lately, I’ve been trying to make my Friday posts more informative or generally useful, so that this blog of mine isn’t solely a collection of barely-coherent, stream-of-consciousness rants. And I’ve got one of those posts ready to go, but this week? Enough random things have irked me that writing a barely-coherent, stream-of-consciousness rant seems like exactly the sort of thing I need right now.

So without further ado, and in no particular order…

Social media sucks.

Twitter and Facebook have both become that weird uncle your parents warned you about. They’ve never been particularly good, per se, but over the last year they’ve really devolved.

I’d do away with them altogether (and actually have, in past), but the simple, hideous fact of the matter is this: if you have any pretensions at all of running a business in this, the year 2017, you need to be on social media. Sure, you might be able to get by without it, but those who use it are provably better off.

This sucks, of course, but it’s reality. We can (and perhaps should) work to change that reality, but we have to work with reality as it actually is in the meantime. And so, Monday through Friday, I’m on the socials.

The weekends, though, I’m taking off.

It’s my way of separating my needs as an alleged professional something or other, from my needs as a thinking and feeling human being.

Updates suck.

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on my phone for a couple of months now, and have been reasonably happy with it. It crashed a bit more often than I’d like, but each incremental update (about one every couple of weeks) has improved its stability. As of a week ago, it hardly crashed at all, and was just about perfect.

So, of course, Adobe went and turned it inside out with the big, 2018 update to their Creative Cloud suite. Now it’s called “Lightroom CC,” and it’s gone back to being crash-happy.

Eff. Emm. Ell.

I suck.

Despite the ongoing process of boiling down all of my priorities to the bare minimum, and focusing on what’s really important to me, I still feel like I’m missing the mark somehow. More specifically, it’s still rare that I go to bed thinking I made the best possible use of my day.

I can accept that, a bit, because I’m still not done cleaning house. But…I’d hoped to start feeling the effects of my new, “efficient” life choices by now.

I mean, think about it this way: you’re carrying a hundred pounds of crap for a while, finally decide to drop fifty, and…the weight feels no different? It’s not a perfect analogy, to be sure, but it works well enough. I don’t feel significantly more productive, though I do feel a little less stress.

Basically, this whole paring-down process has kind of been anti-climactic.

That said, though, I’m mostly doing okay. So I don’t really think I suck, as this section’s heading claims. I just sort of wanted to keep the “_____ sucks” theme going.

Enjoy your weekend.

Three things I’m shouting into the void

There’s a recent trend among bloggers and the Internet famous to write posts with titles like “Three things I want you to know,” and text which is just a little more involved than a list. And since they look like just about the easiest damn things to write, and it’s been two weeks since my last post, I’m jumping on that bandwagon like it’s the last burrito of the post-apocalypse.

Of course, since nobody actually reads this thing, it’s more like yelling into the void than sharing (allegedly) interesting tidbits about my life, but whatever.

I’m doing Instagram things.

I’ve been on Instagram for a while, but only started really using it about a month ago. A lot of my photography is going up there these days. My goal is one new photo a day, and so far I’ve been making that happen, which is kind of surprising given my track record when it comes to social media. Even more surprising, though, is that people are following me and my photos are starting to show up in the “Top Posts” for some of the tags I’ve tossed them into.

What I’m trying to say is that you should follow me over there. Follow me, like my stuff, comment on it. Pretty much anything you can think of to boost my numbers and inflate my sense of self-worth would be totally sweet.

I’m still trying to figure out what sort of photographer I am.

I realize I’m contradicting myself here, but I’m taking more photos of flowers, trees, and other “nature” type things and I’m kind of enjoying it. Like, a lot. In fact, the photo on this post is probably in my personal “Top Five.”

That’s…a little frustrating, actually. I mean, I’ve been taking photos (and taking photography seriously) for six or seven months now, and while it’d be insane to expect to know everything about the subject, it seems reasonable to assume that I’d at least know what I like at this point.

But no. No, one day I’m out shooting power lines, the next it’s architecture and candid street photos, and then later on I’m up close and personal with marigolds and begonias.

I’m trying to assume that this is all just part of the natural, creative process of anyone just getting into something like this, but I’m leaving open the possibility that I’m just a loon.

I’m still not sleeping, I still hate winter.

Despite one or two nights of exceptions, I’m still not sleeping much at all. So that, you know, sucks. Also, the first day of autumn has come and gone, putting me that much closer to another winter in New Hampshire. I’m going to do my absolute damnedest to get outside despite the cold and the snow, but…

Look, it’s really hard for me not to just start stringing together expletives and slamming my head against the keyboard when I think about winter. It’s seriously, absolutely impossible for me to even pretend to sound positive about it.

I hate winter. I hate everything about it. I think I even hate the people who enjoy it, just on general principle, though probably not, or at least not very much.

Whatever, though. I’m just going to tough it out. Get some decent boots, buy a solid base layer, then go out with my camera whenever I manage to summon the will. Which, if previous years are any indication, won’t be very often, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Anyway, that’s what I want the two and a half of you reading this thing to know.

Anti-Social Networking

I’m awful at social media.

I’ve lost track of how many accounts I’ve started and abandoned within days. And how many I’ve gone back to with every intention of sticking around, only to watch them be ignored and fall once again into oblivion.

Then again, I’m kind of awful at being social in general.

A few years ago, I saw some web comic (or maybe it was an article, I don’t know) that explained introverts and extroverts more or less like this:

Introverts gain energy from being alone and doing alone-type-things, and spend that energy when they interact with others. Extroverts, on the other hand, spend energy when they’re alone or do things on their own, and actually gain energy by being around other people.

I don’t claim this explanation has any real scientific or psychological validity, but it seems to describe things pretty well from where I’m sitting. For me, interacting with other people takes effort. And sometimes that effort could be fairly compared to scaling Everest without the benefit of supplemental oxygen.

Or sherpas.

It’s not that I dislike people, mind you. Or that I don’t enjoy me a party every now and then, or can’t have fun with friends out at a bar or wherever. I like people, but they’re exhausting. And you know, I always find it weird when I see others criticize this view, or when friends claim that I don’t actually like people, because if I did, hanging out with them wouldn’t be so draining.

You can really like running, but you’d be totally justified in collapsing after a marathon.

Shit, this post has gotten way off topic.

The point here is that I’ve decided to give social media another go, make an honest attempt to interact with people, and not let it all fall apart within a week. I’ve resurrected my Instagram account, and I promise to use Twitter as more than just a place to write “I’m tired” every other day. Then there’s Tumblr, which I guess is like having another blog, only somehow less useful.

I’m also on Facebook, because I’m old and most of my friends are old, but I really only use that to share music I’ve found, repost memes, and make (often terrible) jokes. I also complain about technology, but that shouldn’t surprise you.

So, click one of those links (or use the hard-to-see, unclickably-tiny graphics in the “Social” widget on this page) and follow me on the social network of your choice.

 

If I keep this up long enough to clutter your timeline, it’d be a miracle.