why i hate the internet

email_before_the_internet_comic

Remember when the internet was this cool new thing where you could search for information and download free songs and play games like Snood? Remember when Facebook was just a place to put up pictures and poke your friends and join as many ironic groups as you possibly could? Remember when we lived our lives in person instead of online in this virtual arena where anything goes but every move you make is being watched by everyone?

I miss those days. Now, I feel like the internet is just one more thing I have to do. Particularly as a freelance writer, and a blogger, I feel like if I haven’t posted a picture on Instagram in a couple of days I’m falling behind on my duties.

But even for people who don’t blog or write for a living, I feel like “online presence” has become just another line on a resume. If a job you want has anything to do with communicating with other people (…), they want to make sure that you have an active Facebook page (but don’t have too much fun! They’re watching you…), seventy thousand recommendations on LinkedIn, a billion Twitter followers, and whatever the heck you do with Google+.

Let me tell you a little something about Google+. Screw that. I’m so sick of all these new “social” networks that we’re obligated to be a part of if we want any chance of keeping up with the virtual Joneses and having any type of career in the next decade, because if you don’t have the right circles in Google+ they aren’t going to let you into law school. I’m drawing the line at Google+. I think I even have a profile or whatever they call it (probably something much cooler than ‘profile’, that’s too Facebook-y), but I gave up after I created it. Screw that.

I love blogging. It’s such a great way to write what I want, when I want, and not simply to my journal. It has been so fun becoming a part of the blogging community, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. But I don’t want to tweet something just so that I can maybe get one more follower. I don’t want to comment on my friend’s blog or a blog I like because I secretly want to steal followers from them with my brilliant comment-writing skills. I just want to freaking write. Is that too much to ask?

I don’t even want to begin to calculate the hours I waste online. I try to tell myself it’s helpful, that I’m reading informative articles or catching up on my friends’ lives or increasing my online reach or helping my career. But most of the time, I’m just putting off all of the real life things that I could be doing to actually enrich my life (or make money, or improve my writing, or keep me healthy, or strengthen relationships, or anything else that’s much better than scanning my news feed). There’s just too much information out there, and it’s bogging me down.

I don’t really have a solution for any of my grumblings, I just wanted to vent. I’m definitely going to try to think of ways to keep my online usage to a minimum, ways to be more productive, to get less distracted, and so on. But for this post, I just wanted to vent.

Now get back to work, ya slacker!

-me.

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all play and no work makes wesley a dull girl

Since the writing workshop, I have read almost two books on writing (re-read Bird By Bird and reading Writing Down The Bones at the moment), as well as most of a Hemingway book. I am doing a lot of reading.

I have written on and off, maybe every other day, since the workshop. But I am also in the process of looking for a job, so my obligations and desires are mixing and matching and at times paralyzing me.

I have loved every second I that I have written, but then again I don’t have much to show for it save a bunch of words scribbled hastily in my newly-returned-to writer’s journal. I used to just write in my daily journal, but I’ve decided to try separating the two again. The first time I tried it was highly unsuccessful. My writing has always tended to be a mix of journaling and artistic writing, so I know that I will simply favor the one journal and neglect the other, it’s just that this time I may neglect my daily journal. Well, at least I’m writing, right?

Hemingway is an interesting writer to be reading right now, as I try to dive into my own writing more (I’m reading The Sun Also Rises. HH girls – I am reading my high school copy and all of the underlinings and notes remind me of Mr. Croker and his crazy interpretations of everything). He is no ordinary writer. I don’t know that I could ever write like him, but he does challenge me to push the boundaries. I don’t think he knew any boundaries. I love it. He’s also managed to make me feel a little rebellious recently (it doesn’t take much), so I’ve been driving fast listening to too-loud rock music to get my fix. Let’s hope this is all I need.

It’s lonely up here not knowing many people. I need a job, something to make me do something. I’m not good at motivating myself not to do nothing when I have nothing to do. I tend to sit on my couch willing the world to give me an activity. Rarely works.

It’s an odd feeling, having no idea what the next few months will hold for me. My life hasn’t been this open-ended since I graduated from college. In a way it’s terrifying, but it’s also extremely freeing. Ask me again when we’ve run out of money though, and I’ll probably be back around to terrified.

I never realized how much my identity was tied to my work, my productivity, the activities with which I fill my schedule. I feel like less of a human being without a job. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, all I know is that it’s a true thing. I honestly thought I would love a little bit of freedom, a sabbatical from the 9-5. Apparently that is not my personality type. Apparently I need stimulation at all hours of the day, or I turn into a crazy person who drives fast with rock music blaring.

At least I’m writing.

– jobless me.

boys will be boys

What is it about animals and dirt?

I parked my car yesterday evening and emerged to this:

Then this:

And then, this:

I mean, come on!

And then he waltzes right on through the yard to the back door, wanting to escort me inside for dinner time.

Boys will be boys.

Speaking of dinner time, I made broiled tomatoes last night, easy and tasty.

I just sliced them in half, drizzled a bit of olive oil, sprinkled parmesan cheese and oregano, a bit of salt and pepper, and stuck them under the broiler for about five minutes.

Done and done. Nice way to fix tomatoes if you have really good ones and want to highlight  the flavor. I served them with quinoa and kale chips (still not over it).

I found a recipe online that uses dijon mustard, but I didn’t have any (who doesn’t have dijon mustard? I know.). Next time.

Stay cool, Nashville.

love,

me

my poor broken hearth

WAAAAHHHHHHH my fireplace doesn’t work!! WAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

So I bought a house that was built in 1927 and is in surprisingly good shape for its age, if I do say so myself. The downstairs bathroom and kitchen were updated right before I bought it, and we added a master bathroom upstairs (and by we I mean the contractors) which I got to design the way I wanted, so in a lot of ways the house is perfect. And it still has that old house charm that drew me to East Nashville in the first place.

Well, sometimes that charm isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When a structure has existed for 80+ years, sometimes things get neglected. And apparently this is what has happened to my fireplace. Sad face.

I had a chimney sweep come to my house yesterday, and he was a fabulous dancer.

i made the penguins stay outside

But he told me that our chimney needed $4,000 worth of work done in order for it to no longer be a “major fire hazard.” Thanks for the emphasis. Soooo looks like we won’t be having any fires this summer! I know, you’re probably wondering why I had a chimney inspection at the beginning of the summer, but it’s only because I hadn’t gotten around to it this winter and I found a Groupon a few months ago for a sweepin’!

the culprit. don’t mind the kissing pets in the corner.

While I can’t say I was surprised at the prognosis, I was rather upset. I mean, who doesn’t love a good fire?

ohh yeah. who’s that standing next to it, you ask? no one. don’t worry about it.

I can’t help it, I’m a December baby, I love winter, I love snow, I love fires. They told me my fireplace would work when they sold me the house, and now I feel lied to :(. And cold inside, knowing that it will probably be a long time before my fireplace will be able to warm me up. Yes, I do know that it’s 90 degrees outside. But still. It’s the principle of the matter.

“you’re gonna be okay, kiddo.”

Kitty was quite concerned and glad to offer his help. Or he may have been hungry.

I have other stuff to tell you, photography to show you, a celebrity citing, some food, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow. Today I just wanted to complain. Enjoy your Thursday.

love,

me