Monday, January 28, 2013

Growth and Change

I want to grow. Granted, I'm growing a little every day, though I'm rarely aware. I guess I want to be able to detect my growth and know at the same time that it's meaningful. I want to feel the change and discover the newer parts of me.

I've let anger control my life for quite some time. It taints the perspectives I have on the people I'm acquainted with, even blowing small things out of proportion or preventing me from expressing just disappointment because I can't do so calmly and maturely. Not being able to let someone know that they're a problem without spewing fury at them diminishes my point and makes me appear to be nothing more than an idiotic brute.

I hope I can grow entirely out of my anger some day. More importantly, I hope that I'm aware of the moment when I am able to effortlessly deliver the words I wish without descending into a fury. I continue to hope for the change.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nihongo (日本語) - My New Language Study

Throughout my time in High School and College I've learned that a hidden passion of mine was learning new languages. Whether it was French or German, I plowed through the lessons, acquiring vocabulary and grammar without much issue. There were great challenges, sure, but in retrospect, and considering what I've remembered, I don't think I've had as much fun with anything as I've had learning new languages.

Bearing in mind this linguistic passion, I've begun to apply myself to a language I've considered learning since I was in Middle School, Japanese. The Japanese language is one which provides marvelous philological opportunities. Its history is considerable and its makeup is complex without being too intimidating.

I'll try to post new findings and knowledge as I proceed through this new branch of personal study. I hope through such efforts I can reinforce what I gather from the study of Japanese and maintain a helpful log of knowledge acquisition. Here's hoping it goes smoothly.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Star Trek - My Trek Toy Collection

(*update* apologies for the "Stat Trek" title, yikes!)

I was raised on Star Trek, as well as many other science fiction film and television series. Those shows fueled my interest in space and science. Star Trek above all others made the great dome above us, that beautifully mysterious final frontier, a place to which we should all strive to ascend. It gave me dreams for the future and hopes for tomorrow. It continues to put a smile on my face and restore my hope for an endlessly promising future.

Yes, Star Trek was inspirational and influential, but my inner materialist used it as a way to make me succumb to the base fan drive to collect all the "cool stuff" which was mass-produced for the popular series. Below are my pictures of what's left of my glorious Star Trek collectibles. I'm sure my fellow Trek fans, if they read this, will think that this is a paltry gathering of random items. Regardless, it's all still quite special to me.

Shuttle Goddard and my Tricorder

Enterprises D and E with some Next Generation figures

The majority of my Star Trek collectibles
(Simon Pegg and Patrick Stewart, together at last)

Little Deep Space Nine and an even tinier Enterprise D

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cold Coffee and Misery

Acerbic and foul are both misery and cold coffee. With their powers combined I am demolished. So much for a happy Friday. No, this is not a Haiku (just count the syllables, folks).

Our car is going through another phase of dysfunction and I'm wringing my fists at the sky as if the atmosphere, the spheres, or even space in general gives a damn. We're all alone I find as I recharge my failure of vehicle so that it will run long enough to provide me with a ride to the grocer for sustenance. More coffee? Sure.

I need to improve my planning skills and focus my forward-looking. As of now I'm running on a cognitive bias which denies me the wisdom to think on the possibilities of tomorrow. So that's why I'm damned?

Time to go fire up the car, with the aid of a 450 amp charging device on loan from my grandfather. Time to stand out in the unseasonal Spring-like weather of mid-January and attempt to think about the future. Time to finish this cup of black gunk so that its caffeine will fuel my efforts to achieve forward motion.

Red to positive, black to negative. And away I go!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Officially a Twitter-ite...and it kind of stings

I have an issue with social networking. That's putting it likely, considering the lengths to which I've gone to publicly rave about what can only accurately be described as a seething hatred for people clicking away their lives, constantly typing pseudo-witticisms, and documenting their every action in grainy photography as if anyone in the world beyond their zones of habitual habitation cares. The entire culture has disgusted me and, presently, still makes me feel a bit squeamish.

Knowing this about myself I still chose to hop on Twitter this morning in a sudden, potentially foolish decision. I blame the creative people who drove me to look at Twitter feeds in the first place. Namely, folks like Patton Oswalt, Jenny Johnson, Frank Conniff, and Guy Endore-Kaiser. It is because of the painful series of laughs suffered through an hour or so of reading their Tweets this morning that I decided to join.

My goals, to follow funny, interesting people and maybe get the word out on what I'm up to creatively (assuming that someone will accidentally care at one point). I'm a sucker for spending a bit of time here and there reading up on folks I enjoy. That might be a tragically idiotic past time, but I'm obviously willing to give it a go regardless.

So, if you read this, feel free to follow me @JonathanJSample on Twitter. I'll still post here primarily, but you can find a strange scribble or two on the Tweety Box, as Craig Ferguson has put it. Speaking of which...oh, crap. I need to follow him. Be right back!

*Update: I'm no longer a member of Twitter. My tweet days ended about two days prior to this update. I just couldn't hack it, and I found most of the "Look at me being witty" posts to be, in themselves, more than a bit obnoxious. Basically, it's just as unlikeable as Facebook but for a few different reasons.

**Updated Update: I'm back on Twitter. Oh, I'm so weak! 

***The Twitter account is deactivated...again. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So Begins the New Year, 2013

I've seen a few of these New Years come and go in my time, I'm thankful to say. It's no small thing, though it's easy to take for granted. Easy, sure, but to do so is a mistake.

This New Year's Eve was, from the start, a mixed bag of emotions and reflections. My wife and I were struggling to assemble plans up till almost the last minute. We were dealing with how we felt as people in relation to the folks with whom we regularly socialize. Positive thinking was difficult to achieve as we felt despair at the realization of the possibility of the both of us being nothing more than useful to a great many people. Such hollow relationships seemed overwhelming, and their uncertain existences cast a shadow over our outlook for the holiday.

Eventually messages and responses to messages came in and plans began to form. Good friends, the kind you bond with, separate from, and inevitably reunite with after time, extended us an invitation to come spend the holiday with them in their home. That invite was, not to exaggerate too much, one of the most meaningful gestures and it provided one of the most glorious mood shifts I believe that I have ever experienced. Basically, they came through, like good friends always seem to do, in spades. Other friends, not to neglect their wonderfully considerate contributions and attempts to graciously share their time with us, graced us with offers and concerns as well, but timing and other factors prohibited us from being able to make them a part of the holiday, much to our disappointment.

This time around, thanks to the nature of the experience amongst good friends, the holiday has taken on a new meaning for me, and I know that I'm not foolishly or emptily expressing this while riding an emotional high or while being willfully lost in some pleasing delusion. I now have evidence and therefore a fair certainty that it's a time to not only humbly and respectfully end the old year, meaningfully if one can, but to also actively focus on various personal aspects for the sake of the future. By spending such a significant event laughing and conversing with those one cares for, and by freely giving one's self over to the ways of a person who genuinely loves life (life, as in the series of events a person experiences from birth to death and how they experience them) I find that it's possible that they can touch that sacred, internal place in which the beauty of one's humanity takes root and where some believe, perhaps even feel, that the soul resides.

I don't like to declare resolutions for a New Year. That's a tradition that has had little meaning for me, a person who believes in taking things as they come, instead of planning, and doing what one can with what one has at the time. That being stated, I feel that I do have some things to strive towards or maintain throughout this year, 2013, and beyond until I die. I'll state them as hopes, because I must acknowledge and confess to my idiotic habit of forgetting or neglecting things to which I wish to commit (that's a personal issue I'll have to remedy over the long term, I'm afraid).

-I hope that I can make the search for the positive my priority no matter the circumstances.
-I hope that I can maintain contact with the people who matter most, always remember why and how they matter, and let them know in various ways that they mean much to me.
-I also hope that I can better prepare myself for the opportunity to take better control of the vehicle of my life and focus on creating personal, meaningful work with which I can support my wife and our life together.

I hope that everyone, no matter what, will have a good New Year in which all will be able to take better care of each other, put away our petty and destructive tendencies, and begin to create a future which will benefit and honor every single human being. I remain, in spite of my nature, hopeful for this.

Thank you for reading.