Friday, January 2, 2015

The New Year : A couple of rants and a list

Welcome to 2015 and to the unprivitization of my blog! (I've actually been writing this whole and stuff, so you can dig back through there if you want.) I've been thinking about a lot of things during the private time, and I've just decided to write them all out in this post. I don't want to write four smaller posts, I just want this one large post. It's ranty and deeply personal and might pertain to you...or not. But it also has my next 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days list, way down at the bottom. Skip over the sections that don't matter or read the whole thing or just do whatever the fuck you want!

For the first time, ever, I'm turning off comments. If you've got a problem, then you should have my number or e-mail address. Let's talk about it there. If you want to say something else, then you probably follow me on social media or have my number or e-mail address. Come talk at me in a less public arena.

Just in case you were wondering, railing against "resolutions" is stupid. Because either you strive to constantly improve yourself and you understand your own culture and how your culture views time or you don't give a shit about improving yourself and you ignore your own culture. Which, if you just exchanged gifts for the love of a fat man in a red suit, means you participate in your own culture.

res·o·lu·tion :
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
2.the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

What I'm saying is, if you've ever made a decision, you've made a resolution. So if you want to call them "goals" or "priorities" or whatever the fuck, you made a fucking resolution. And if you did it because of the turn of the year, then you made a new year's resolution. I just want to have educated and intelligent conversations and to call a spade a spade.

A couple of weeks ago, I was published on a new and local blog. I didn't even have to write anything new. The creator took an old post about Akron, shortened it a bit, and linked to my original blog post. Immediately, it received more traffic than any other post, which sounds good, right? Until I picked up a troll.

Apparently, the troll in question found a review I'd written of his and his husband's open mic. Backstory : Prior to writing that pretty fucking balanced review, I spoke with someone who attends every one of the open mics and confirmed she felt exactly the same and I spoke with the other host of the open mic, outlining everything. The other host wasn't responsive at all and was happy to have an audience whose behavior includes spilling a beer on other audience members. So I told him I'd be writing the review. Then I wrote the review. And then NOTHING happened. No one on the face of the planet beyond my ten friends who read this blog even knew I had written a review. The open mic continued to grow, so large it needs a new space. The entire blog post caused no stir whatsoever and did only what 99% of my blog posts do; let my friends know what's going on in my life. Back to the now : The other host of the open mic found the post on the Akron blog, came to this blog, and found the negative review; called it hateful, and commented on my which I replied. And y'all, that should have been the end.

But since this is my life, it wasn't the end.

After I responded, the commenter left two more comments that were not really worth reading at all. They were argumentative. I deleted them. Let me be clear on this : I censor the fuck out of my comments. The comment area on my blog is not a space for free speech. You don't have a protected right to comment on my blog. After I deleted his comments, I sent him a short message on Facebook asking him to leave me alone. What followed was three more Facebook replies and him finding other posts I'd written, very personal posts, to comment on. The gist of these comments were; I suck. I'm an asshole. I'm hateful and spew vitriol. He's just calling me on my bullshit. I'm a hypocrite. And I suck, and I suck, and I suck.

Did you get that? He thinks I'm a hypocritical asshole who writes hateful bullshit and it's his duty as a friend to set me straight.

He just went full on troll on me. So I deleted all his comments and then I discovered some awesome stuff. Facebook has FINALLY changed their page policy and all you have to do is click to delete! I deleted a couple of business pages and deactivated my account. I blocked him from every one of my social media and I made my IG, Twitter, and this blog private. I contacted the local blog and another blog for which I write and quit. Because at the end of the day, I just don't wanna.

This blog is a really awesome space for me. 90% of my interaction is from friends. 5% is from internet strangers who will become my friends. The other 5% is stats from Google saying I have readers who never try to contact me in any way. I get about 30 hits a day, which I consider a huge success. If I hosted a party and 30 people showed, it would be the biggest party I ever hosted. I get about 1000 page views a month, which seems like the biggest number to me. I don't want to make that number significantly bigger. I don't want to have a blog popular enough to garner regular hate. I've gotten plenty of hate, and I don't even have to go very far to get it.

The troll I mentioned was once an acquaintance. I photographed his wedding. I photographed his theater company. When he and his husband hosted a fundraiser to further their education in theater, I brought six volunteers and the highest bought auction item. I WAS extremely supportive. And his open mic? As I said, it's a good place with lots of art and a shitty audience. I won't stop saying that, because it's not hateful to say, "I had a negative experience." In fact, it's something we all do every day. His decision to troll me was definitely the end of any form of friendship we had...a friendship that was waning anyway. Friends don't troll each other. They have grown up conversations in private. But whatever. According to him, I totally suck, so I don't even know why he bothered to troll me. If I suck so hard, was I ever going to change?

No, obviously.

And to that end, I want 2015 to begin with the demise of several friendships and here is why:

If you put your business before me, then we are not friends. Money is not more important than people and neither are t-shirts. So if you make the decision to put me second to your business, then we are not friends. And who was I kidding anyway? When I rearranged my work schedule and straight up told my boss I'd be coming in three hours late to an event because I wanted to make sure you could participate in a family event, you were never going to reciprocate that. I should've known.

If you put your art before me, then we are not friends. Money is not more important than people and neither is your live album. If you tell me for years that I am the only photographer for you but then you replace me with some guy from Cleveland who is "well-known and well-respected", then we are not friends. But we weren't really friends anyway, were we? I mean, we live 30 miles apart and see each other twice a year. What is that?

If you put boys before me, then we are not friends. That boy that you've known for a year or so doesn't win over the decade we've known each other. And who was I kidding anyway? It has always been like this. Boys first, everyone else later. But why do you want to defend a guy who will sit across someone for the first time and make fun of something they love and then say, "I don't care,"? You want to align yourself with someone who doesn't even have basic manners? Fine. Do it.

If your schedule is just too full or you can never bother to text me first or you embark on some new and exciting part of your life and including me is an afterthought, then we are not friends. Friends spend time together. Friends reciprocate communication. Friends share when something new and exciting is happening. And friends don't need Facebook in order to do this. Why am I hearing about things way after everyone else, like I don't have a phone number or e-mail address? You don't think of me enough, and the truth is, I don't think of you enough either.

The reality of my life right now is that most of my friends are really far away. They are in Florida and L.A. and Oregon and Kentucky and Nebraska and Arizona and Washington D.C. (or they have just died, which is the saddest thing of all). We communicate via this blog or Twitter or regular e-mails or texting. When I have something exciting happen, I immediately text them, and feel really good about that. But a lot of my friendships in Ohio just aren't friendships. I no longer think of you when something exciting happens because you have not really been there to include me in your life. Maybe I was trying too hard for something that never existed. Maybe I was holding on to an acquaintanceship when our common activity ended. Maybe I just wanted you to be someone else.

But I don't want that anymore.

I'm tired of wishing you were someone else, and trust me, you don't want this either. So let's be the people we are and I'll just see you around.

And finally, a list! It has been a while since the end of my last 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days. I wasn't as successful with that one as I'd hoped. I wasn't really feeling it when it ended last spring and I didn't have the energy to make a new one. But I love this list. I love the idea of a long term list with big ideas and small ideas. So I'm back with my fourth list. (Has it been only four? It feels like longer, but four is just about the right timeline.) Anyway, fourth or fifth, it's back. I hope I have a more manageable list this time, but I guess I'll see. I have about a 49% finish rate. I'm hoping to finish more than half this time. I might post weekly updates on the blog or monthly updates. I'm not sure which is the best option. But anyway, I like this list, and I like that I made it for the New Year. You'll see there are some private items. I'll let you know how I do, even if I'm just super vague about it.


  • 001. Paint bedroom
  • 002. Refinish floors
  • 003. Paint studio
  • 004. Build shelves in bathroom
  • 005. Build shelves in bedroom
  • 006. Build shelves in studio
  • 007. Refinish director's chair
  • 008. Refinish buffet
  • 009. Find/Create matching book shelf for Adam
  • 010. Frame and hang Adam's Romania posters
  • 011. Move more of Adam's stuff to my place
  • 012. Create corner for Adam in my bedroom
  • 013. Hang hammock
  • 014. Make a vegetable garden
  • 015. Redo landscaping around house
  • 016. Remove stump and pave area in front of steps
Larry and Boo:
  • 017. Create Store Envy
  • 018. Fill with inventory
  • 019. Create line of dolls
  • 020. Make hedgehog
  • 021. Find shows in other cities
  • 022. Pursue consignment in other cities
  • 023. Make cloth diaper start-up kit
  • 024. Sell cloth diaper start-up kit
  • 025. Make a second sling
  • 026. Make baby blanket/snuggy/thing
  • 027. Make cloth wings
  • 028. Sell cloth wings
  • 029. See Lake Superior
  • 030. Travel to remaining five states
  • 031. Travel to one new foreign country
  • 032. Get passport
  • 033. See the Northern Lights
  • 034. Take Adam to the desert
  • 035. Road trip Hwy 1
  • 036. Visit Bryan
  • 037. Visit Steph
  • 038. Go to Puerto Rico
  • 039. Build website
  • 040. Submit to three blogs (maybe)
  • 041. Do shoot with Heather
  • 042. Put together ideal equipment situation
  • 043. Do at least one stop-motion wedding video
  • 044. Finish Quilt
  • 045. Finish Renaissance Costume
  • 046. Attend another Renaissance Festival
  • 047. Attend another Comic-Con
  • 048. Attend a tattoo convention
  • 049. Enroll in college
  • 050. Complete Community college
  • 051. Read 50% of personal library
  • 052. Try out reselling business
  • 053. Find management position
  • 054. Camp for at least three days
  • 055. Go on backpacking trip (3 or more days)
  • 056. Go fishing
  • 057. Ride a horse
  • 058. Go rock climbing (outside or inside)
  • 059. Get second camera tattoo
  • 060. Pay off credit cards
  • 061. Take first steps to creating scholarship fund for animal hospital
  • 062. Get a dog
  • 063. Maintain blog
  • 064. Try one monetizing option
  • 065. Hike all the trails in all the Metroparks of Cleveland and Summit County
  • 066. Hike every trail in CVNP
  • 067. Go kayaking
  • 068. Ride bike 100 miles
  • 069. Run one more marathon
  • 070. Run two half marathons
  • 071. Go to Muster on the Maumee
  • 072. Grow hair out
  • 073. Donate hair
  • 074. Create European Tour albums
  • 075. Print European Tour albums
  • 076. Begin Project Life for yourself (or Blurb)
  • 077. Make high-waisted panties
  • 078. Make a bra
  • 079. Make a jacket with buttons
  • 080. Make pants with fly
  • 081. Look into that race across Scotland
  • 082. Begin training to hike the Appalachian Trail
  • 083. Buy new cowboy boots
  • 084. Make family trees for me
  • 085. Create coat of arms for me
  • 086. Lie under the stars with Adam
  • 087-101 : PRIVATE