I Almost Forgot My Own Blogversary

I managed to post something yesterday. That was a miracle in itself. So how am I supposed to remember to post something on my blogversary? It’s the day after I already posted something.

I would love to write more often. Unfortunately, I am still deep in the grad school life. I write all the time. It’s not fun writing either. It’s boring stick-up-my-ass writing. Pages upon pages per week of that. And loads of reading. I get weeklong breaks about every 2.5 months, and during those breaks, I rarely feel like doing much writing.

This sounds like I don’t enjoy the academic experience. I do. Most of the time. I love learning. I enjoy reading research. I just do too much of it at the moment. It’s not forever, though. I’m looking to be done at the end of March.

Knowing the end of grad school is coming so soon has me antsy. I’m pondering getting a real job again. It’d be nice to have a steady paycheck and the comfort of that. Some real health insurance would be nice too. I have an abdominal injury that is doing better than it was the last time I wasted time trying to get help for it. But who knows how long that will last?

So blah blah blah. Happy blogversary to me. Maybe I’ll figure out how to do more of this over the next 12 months. Maybe that won’t come until the end of March. Maybe it’ll come sooner. Maybe it’ll come later. One thing I’ve learned is not to set expectations for that. That’ll only guarantee that I screw it up.

They’re Both Wrong; Will Both Own It?

Note: While I’ve been paying some attention to this story, I have not done the kind of thorough research I’d like to do. I’m procrastinating on two papers in order to do this, though. So please forgive me.

In case you haven’t been following the story, here it is in an all-too-small nutshell: During an altercation at the end of a game, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett took off the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung the helmet at Rudolph’s head. Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, Garrett said that during the altercation, Rudolph used a racial slur.

There has been an avalanche of takes about the incident, about the penalties, and lately about Garrett’s accusation. Rudolph issued some kind of denial, and I’ve heard a lot of skepticism about the allegation. Personally, I believe Myles Garrett. In fact, one of my first thoughts about the incident was that Rudolph probably dropped an N-bomb.

That being said, I still think Garrett was appropriately suspended. Myles Garrett himself has taken ownership of his actions and accepted that he has to be punished for his actions. Mason Rudolph was not punished (even though he did clearly attempt to rip Garrett’s helmet off at the beginning of their altercation). On the day of Garrett’s appeal, Rudolph apologized for his part, admitting he acted inappropriately. I took that as a sly admission that he had used a racial slur, although he denied that after it was fully reported. Garrett has said he did not want that accusation to become public.

One of these days I’ll get around to my gaslighting project. As I noted at the beginning, I haven’t done enough research as I’d like, and I haven’t paid the closest attention. Still, the things I’ve seen surrounding that racial slur allegation has got my Spidey-gaslighting sense tingling. I don’t think Myles Garrett was justified in his actions, but I do believe he’s telling the truth.

I used to work with violent offenders, and much of my work was centered around trying to get them to take accountability for their bad deeds. Myles Garrett acted terribly but has since done exactly what I always tried to teach my clients to do. Mason Rudolph started down that path, and I wish he would follow it through completely.

Note: After I posted this, I saw a report that Mason Rudolph was fined $50,000 for his part in the incident.

Good and Done Are Two Different Things

It was another Saturday night, and my wife was off working. I’d been playing around with the memoir I started writing almost four years ago. I had this idea that I would be done with it by early summer. Of course, that didn’t happen.

Over the past week, I’ve been going through things again, tinkering like crazy and hating most of what I had. I could tinker for years and started thinking once again of ripping the whole thing up and doing it all over again.

Instead, I went ahead and submitted it for publication. Now here it is: Things I Could Never Tell My Mother (And Some Things She Told Me), available on Amazon for $7.99 paperback, $3.49 ebook, or both for $8.98. You can get an ebook for yourself and gift someone the paperback. There’s no audiobook yet, but it might be in the works.

It’s a short, quick read which is exactly what I planned. I’m a long ways from being happy with the writing, but I reached the point of having to just let it go. It’s a miracle I published it and even more so that I’m admitting to have published it. I haven’t even told my wife.

I prefer not to think about people reading it. I doubt I will do much marketing. I will definitely not be reading reviews. It’s nothing personal….

Actually, it’s entirely personal. I did the whole thing myself, including photos, formatting, and cover design. I suck at accepting compliments and will use criticisms as clubs to beat myself up for doing this thing. So I will be avoiding any reviews. But thanks anyway.

And if you don’t check the book out, that’s cool too. I’ll be trying to convince myself of that anyway.

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733424407/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Drew+Sheldon&qid=1565624361&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Things-Could-Never-Tell-Mother-ebook/dp/B07W9G24F4/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Drew+Sheldon&qid=1565624361&s=gateway&sr=8-4

“I Used to Be a Writer”

“I used to be a writer.”

This was a fun little refrain from Bill Simmons on some recent podcasts. I might say I used to be a podcaster, but I haven’t done enough of those to feel like I qualify. I do listen to a lot of podcasts. And I tried to record one somewhat recently, but technology did not cooperate.

Grad school has been kicking my writing ass. I write all the time, and it’s often not enjoyable. My frequent refrain is, “It’s done. It’s not good. But it’s done.” So forget trying to blog on top of that.

In fact, the assignment I have due tomorrow is supposed to be a blog of sorts. It inspired me to do this one instead. On the bright side, though, if I pass, I’ll be halfway done with this master’s degree. I do love school, but this term has not been my best. My brain has just not been into it, and it’s been wearing me down.

Despite that, I am close to being done with my trauma-focused memoir, the title of which I will not reveal just yet. However, I do plan to finish it off during my break week. I’ve done the whole thing myself, mostly using stuff I wrote a few years ago with some edits, rewrites, and some additions. I don’t advise doing such a thing entirely by oneself. It has inspired another round of that refrain, “It’s done. It’s not good. But it’s done.” (Except it’s not quite done yet.)

The writing is pretty well done. There’s just a little bit of formatting left to do. Then I can really bust out that refrain. And I can let that piece of shit out into the world. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s past time for it to go.

So wow. I wrote something. Praise be. Miracles happen.

Not sure how this is comfortable, but I’m not a cat.

Sometimes When This Sucks

I really do love research. Reading and writing and all that stuff is tons of fun for me. I’m a nerd like that. However, sometimes it just sucks. Sometimes the research is a little less interesting, and writing like I have a stick up my ass is not a ton of fun. Add it all up, and sometimes this thing sucks.

So I need to make sure I take a little more time here and there writing like I don’t give a shit. Maybe it’ll help me recharge my batteries. At the very least, I’ll enjoy it and have a little more fun in life.

Right now it is definitely sucking. I’m having a hard time getting the things done. I end up procrastinating right up until the deadline pressure pushes the sludge out of me. I don’t like doing that. I’ve been trying to schedule things and create my own deadlines to help push things along. I even thought about applying for a full-time job so that I could return to the days of being tired and stressed. (The wife talked some sense into me.)

I’ve got a part-time temp gig coming sometime soon. Maybe that’ll help. And maybe slopping out a blog post will help. Or maybe nothing will help, and I end up putting things off until right before deadline. Let’s hope not.

Another Saturday Night, and I Ain’t Got No Brain Power

I have three things due tomorrow, and while I’ve made progress on all of them, I can’t seem to get any of them completely done. Two of the things are papers that have some small section that is just hanging me up. One is some damn thing that I cannot properly explain, which might be part of the reason why I can’t get the damn thing done.

As much as I used to say I thrive on deadline pressure, I’ve come to realize I don’t really like it. I like getting the shit done and relaxing, knowing that I am finished with plenty of time to go. The way things are shaping up, this will not be occurring this week. I will be locked down in some quiet place, killing myself to slop something onto these pages and hating every second of it.

I’ve reached the point where I’m not all that worried about what grades I get on these things. I’ll be happy just getting some credit so that I can hopefully make up for these failures somewhere down the road.

Regardless, I think I’m quitting for tonight. My brain power is gone, and I need to unwind with some Netflix or some shit.

Sunday Confessions #4

Sometime after the 2016 election, I decided to stop talking politics. It seemed pointless since people weren’t listening to anything I had to say anyway. I’ve done it on rare occasions since with people who are able to demonstrate some basic knowledge of American government. I should emphasize the word “rare” in that last sentence. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m not capable of having a discussion about a topic like the Supreme Court with someone who can’t name a majority of the justices. (Hell, I asked an entire roomful of people to name four collaboratively. They failed.)

Sometimes people ask me my opinion of something in the news. I tell them I don’t know since I don’t watch the news. (It’s part of that refusal to talk politics.) It’s kind of irritating. I used to read at least one newspaper per day, often two. I like keeping up on current events. Unfortunately, I find the tribal warfare that has beset our political discourse to have made it unhealthy for me to tune in. And I know I’m not the only one. In fact, I believe a large portion, maybe a majority, of America is right there with me.

I kind of miss talking politics. While my views mostly fit with one tribe, they stray often. Unfortunately, now no tribe is interested in hearing from any other. Each one thinks they know it all. Personally, I know that I don’t know shit, and neither does anyone else. I used to think we might figure some things out if we all accepted that notion. I don’t really have much hope for that anymore.