Thursday, December 1, 2016

Getting Shit Done.

I got another late start. Late starts aren't optimal, but I don't mind if I still Get Shit Done. I had a midday frustration meltdown that stopped my progress cold. I cursed everything I could think of while my ears were shooting steam. Now I'm over it. Nobody died. But miniature sized glitches make me insane. Blow off my legs with a grenade, and I'll manage to be stoic. But when I can't edit printer settings, or access my seller account - all bets are off.

I still hit my numbers. I did what I was supposed to. Everything is okay.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bullshit and a positive outlook.

Healthcare is expensive and complicated to sign up for. The signup process has me stuck in a loop. Matters like these make me furious. I hate dealing with bullshit. It sets off all my alarms.

The day was mostly a wreck. I was up late last night, and I couldn't quite get started. But mentally I tried to stay positive. I went over to see my friend Kat. She tends to feed me, and she made some sandwiches. We sat around till 10, and I played with her dog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rowdy encounter.

I met a man whose actual name is Rowdy. I confirmed the spelling. He said that growing up it was a blessing and a curse. We exchanged thoughts and information. We might cross paths again.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday. Back to work.

Monday. Back to work. Late start, late finish. Pushed a lot of boxes out the door.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Meeting a new person; being awake too late.

Meeting new people in real life is awkward. Especially when they are reading what I am writing right here. I'm happy to get past the uncertainty and enjoy the opportunity to talk without typing on a phone. After a relaxing Sunday during which I allowed myself to chill out, I headed to Philadelphia to meet a girl I met on an app called "Patook." The purpose of the app is to find like-minded people who you do not flirt with or date. If you try to pull cute shenanigans, you get kicked off the app, and your phone catches on fire.

All went great, like I assumed it would. We talked until late, and then I drove home. My attempt to meet new people was a total success.

I was sober and hungry around 12:30am and Pennsylvania is a hard place to fix both at that hour. But I was in luck because I found a pub that doesn't close in spite of being empty late on Sunday night. I got wings and ate slowly, and when I finally got the check it wasn't cheap. I was there until they closed, and up past 3 o'clock listening to new music that warms my heart.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fish in a barrel.

For the second day in a row, I knew something that the competition didn't. For the second day in a row, I made organized stacks of books and fit them precisely into flat-rate bags. I wish it was always this easy. Sometimes it isn't. But today all the fish in the barrel met with a grenade.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Loving My Job.


What a beautiful day. I'm happy again. Happy! What a delightful sensation to notice. I was cruising around and singing to music; feeling hilarious and fantastically alive. I am a bulletproof goofball jackass and I would never trade my life for any other. I have a giant van that wears a tall fiberglass hat, and it booms and rattles on bumps. I turn the music up to the cusp of crackling speakers, and I blast tunes high above the mournful little cars.


I arrived early at a library with a secret sale, feeling confident I'd be the only one there. I contacted the reference librarian, who oversees the selling of donated books, and she got back to me with the intelligence I sought. Fill a bag for three dollars: Black Friday until the end of the year. The shelves are overcrowded. They need weird heroes with lazy beards and wet armpits to shovel the books into vans. I had thirty-six coffees and the heart of a champion. I was there early and ready to begin.


I don't know why I'm happy. No! I haven't dissected why I wasn't before. Recently, I was alive in a cold dark cloud. I'm going to point to music as the answer. I believe that's importantly correct. Many tracks daily, and again I feel alive. Second only to music is Getting Shit Done. I am seeing my work as a project - and my focus on my projects could burn holes through wood. I am reaching goals and loving my job. I nearly cringe at those words "loving my job," but I'm going to leave them, because at this time it's true. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An excellent office setup makes Thanksgiving great.

We didn't eat turkey. Us Harnes got too involved with a large breakfast followed by massive endless snacking. Instead of snacking much, I mostly watched cop chases online. The turkey is on hold until tomorrow.

I worked on some basic administration in my temporary office. This office is the best. The basement started getting cold and dark. I hinted about moving upstairs, but I don't like to bash change over anybody's head. Mom thought light and warmth seemed sensible. Dad seemed unconvinced. As always, I made my own move with no further questions. Similar to when I built a tiny house on the corner of their lot.

I laid the top of a large desk from an Ikea setup on a bed in the guest room. No legs needed - it rests right on the mattress to make a low table top. I cleared my nephew's toys off of the large custom table that I literally built with processing books in mind. Printers, boxes of materials, and a set of drawers came next. I set up my shrinkwrapping station, and there's a big heater that does its job well. I put a card table between the bed and the processing table, and that's where the laptop goes. This is the perfect setup. It's not complicated, but it is working the best. There are windows to let in a little bit of light. The heater is most welcome. I should have set this up months ago.

Thanksgiving was a success. I'm sleeping inside, because fuck the fucking cold. I mean... it's fine... but why not take advantage of inside accommodations, right? Right. So I sat on the bed and listened to that Skrillex/Diplo/Bieber track about 75 times in a row. I texted with my new friend, Xerox, on the phone for an hour or so. We have plans to meet in real life soon. When she sees this, she will see that I'm saying "HELLO!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Goals and budgets that I'm hoping I keep.

I'm working on creating a budget. I'm working on reaching goals. For the fun of it, here's all the details.

Goal #1 is to buy and have for sale one thousand new books per month. This is an achievable goal, but not as easy as I thought. This month is the first time I'll reach that goal in over a year. It might not be easy while traveling - but six hundred would probably still do the trick.

Goal #2 is to be in Key West by New Years. I have some van work to do, but I can't see how that won't happen. If it comes right down to it, I'll leave before I'm completely prepared.

The budget I created is only a beginning. If it doesn't work, I'll tweak it, but it's better than nothing at all. I'm allowing my business $1,500 to purchase books, which is definitely more than enough. I'm giving myself $400 personally every time the business gets paid. That means $200 per week. Aside from that, I give myself another $225 out of every payment, which goes directly into a Roth IRA. It worked this month, but hasn't in the past, and I want to fix that problem. I want to contribute the maximum amount allowable to retirement savings, to make it easier to horse around indefinitely. Most of my expenses are business related, so none of that comes out of my personal cut. But healthcare costs are not a business expense, so I'm taking that out of my personal income for now. Once my back taxes are paid, and I'm making more than I need, I'll create a small emergency buffer. I imagine the budget will need adjustments, but I get some peace of mind that I typed on a spreadsheet for now. 

I am thankful and relieved that I am running a business that pays more whenever I work hard - but lets me fuck up and goof off as well. It's time to start cheering up. A business like this one is not a given, so I am embracing it and being grateful right now.

Goal #3 is to be happier and spend less - this will be tested on the road. Traveling tends to get expensive, and I want to keep costs reigned in. I want to cook in the van and ride a bicycle. Margaritas only as budget allows.

I'm hoping I can juggle these goals and clarify my expenses. I want to be the captain of a ship that nearly steers itself. It took me a long time to get here, but I'm not calling it quits because of poor past performance. I hoping I learn how to live.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Best day in weeks.

An excellent day. The sun was out, the wind died down, and I had black beans in with my eggs. I worked like a machine until three. I got in the van at four, and made a circle of places to buy books. Dinner was ready when I got home, I just had to heat it up. That's it. Not a bad day.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fond reverence for the ruffed grouse.

I got up slightly before I felt like it, which wasn't much later than my optimal time. I cut up an old baked potato to make hashbrowns for two eggs. That's the optimal breakfast in my opinion. Either a potato or some beans. I got to work by the time I've decided I ought to, which for the record is 11am.

I took the optimal amount of Adderall, which had me running around like an efficient clown. My to-do list started as a wisp of smoke, but took form in the shape of squares. The money is increasing from recent efforts - I checked at least thirty times. It was squares and rectangles for another day, and none of those insidious curvy lines in my brain. I'm basically all jacked up to appease the government. I need to make money for them. I'm jacked up for the sake of societal norms. It makes people uneasy when others pretend.

Probably I'm much better, 'cause I'm listening to music. I'm even better when it's loud. I like to get the speakers in the van right to the point where they're falling apart. Then I roll to Staples to drop off my squares.

Hummus and Merlot for dinner. The workday is falling away like skin melted with acid. Time to switch back to circles instead.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Pennsylvania state anthem.

I woke up in the van as soon as the sun warmed it enough, and I felt alive enough to get out of my fluffy down bag. I pissed in a bottle and poured it into some leaves.

Television was on, and I started a book. I employed heaters wherever I went. The weather and temperature are piles of shit. The wind was blowing fiercely, my friend.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Solar potential and people in kitchens.

I have 100 watts of solar potential. It's sitting in a box in the kitchen right now. First I need to put it on the roof of the van. Then it's nearly time to go south.

I stood around in a different kitchen later. I met some people I like. Well, technically I met them before - but now I could hear what people were saying, and a portion of that was great.

Life developments happen slowly. They at least take longer than a day. So this isn't 365 no repeats here. Most of these days are the same. 

In 2007, I thought "what a great idea!" I'll write what I'm doing every day. I thought that would be a motivation to add excitement. "I'm on the top of a mountain!" "Jumping out of a plane!" Now it's nine years later, and I've written nine years worth of posts about trying to stay sane.

I know what to do in the long run. But I'm getting that seasonal shit right now. I'm in the process of taking my life back. The proceedings are frankly dull.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding out what Kennett Square has on tap.

It was another long day of administration, but I also went to The Flash. After two sober days, I went into town with Dave, and sampled what Kennett Square has on tap. Mostly it has a few bars and a music venue in a building where they used to sell toys.

When I was little, it was a department store, and I bought giant lighters for fifty cents. Now there was a cover band, but at least the guy was good at guitar. It turns out Dave knows the guy who books the acts, so thank garsh we did not have to pay.

The Kennett Brewing Company is also a place. I hadn't been there yet, but it came recommended, however I left nonplussed. It has beer and tables and loud loafy locals, and a band that I'd rather leave than take.

We stopped by Gran Sasso for clamato beer and chips. There really isn't much to do in this town. I dug a little deeper, but came up empty, though I was glad for a little more sneaking around.

Kennett Square might be great if you have lots of dedication, but from the periphery it's quaint and a little expensive. Mostly people here have jobs. I have a a job too, but it doesn't define me, and I think I don't really belong.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

By the time I left, I was glad I was there.

About writing this nonsense:

I've forgotten how to write. My brain is trying to rhyme and keep a cadence, even though I'm only shooting for sentences. It's distracting, and I'm not sure what's going on. In any case, as always, this is merely an electronic heap of words. This is mostly for my own reference later, but anyone is welcome to watch me get dressed.

I'll say something else. I'm definitely up and down. When I type it sounds a lot worse. I'll crack my way out of this funk, because time passes, and that's what happens. I'm not trying to shout out too loud, and I'm not exactly drowning always. I'm in a tight spot, and I'm moving on. It doesn't look pretty as I type every day.

I have one more note. I'm trying to write more often, so it might look ugly. As always, read this shit at your own risk. I'm trying to impress people, but not every day. I'm making it impossible to find the entries that I'm proud of. But that is not my concern today.

How today actually went: 

Today? Today was all about more due diligence. Usually for book sales, I stick closer to home. Today I branched out into Maryland. The going was rough. Locals in sweatpants scrambled for scraps. The rooms were small, and there were not many books. It was worth being active, but I lowered the bar. It was haggard and rough and made me wonder what I'm doing.

As usual, I didn't eat food, and ended up holding a shelf for support. After the first sale, I looked for more opportunities to drive around and find more books. A little bit of searching revealed another sale, which happened to be thirty minutes away.

The second sale was far worse than the first. More sweatpants and desperation. People were clawing for air as they sank in the lake. I was severely ready to be finished. Instead I stepped back and took a deep breath. I looked around the room again. In all the foolishness, people usually miss something. In the corner were carts full of discarded books on CD. Nobody seemed to have noticed. I went over there and started looking up prices, and by the time I left I was glad I was there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sticks and bits of cotton.

I sped away fast, and headed toward Shawn's. Loud music and a large van cruising toward Delaware. Shawn's up late, and I was there five minutes faster than anyone would have guessed. I don't remember what happened next - but then the sun was up and birds were nesting inside my head.

Sticks and bits of cotton were being stuffed in my skull. I woke up in my van next to the fence.

The day began late, but I thought I'd make an effort. I did not disappoint myself there. A little bit of effort every single day, and I won't have to be sad that I'm a slouch. I spent the day in Delaware doing what should be done. While the sun was up, the music was loud. The day became darker and numbness returned.

Jonas contacted me about an open mic. I put it in drive, and went to Philly. I kept sticking around for a few more songs. I thought about beer, but opted for coffees instead. The nesting was still not complete. I was a marionette with severed strings; doing my best under the circumstances.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I don't know if "hi" would have helped. But it would have been worth a try.

One person in the room was obviously slipping. I should have said hello after the meeting, in case she needed to talk. Instead, I convinced myself that I was the wrong guy for the job. I was Bozo the Clown in thin blue shoes. I already felt out of place. She had a problem that was chewing her up - and all of us there were useless humans.

I'm trying to meet new people and enter the actual world. To that end, I downloaded the "Meetup" app, and looked at what was on offer. I found a group for ADHD people, and I thought I'd give that a shot. I struggle to open mail and accomplish daily tasks, so I thought it might be novel to see if anybody else was on that boat. The subject of the meeting was "finding happiness," and I took that as a positive sign. I thought that might be time better spent than bashing my brain out with a rock.

The invitational write-up said the meeting was for parents and adults with ADHD. What I should have been able to read between the lines was that this was not for parents necessarily with ADHD, but parents who fear their kids might grow up looking and acting like me. The ultimate irony is that it was close in style to a classroom format. I stuck out like the sorest thumb.

A specific problem is nagging this woman. She couldn't articulate what she wanted to say. She spoke with a whisper of breath, and she was clearly holding back tears. Her question was quiet and her timing was off. She said she couldn't let something go. Nobody knew what to say, so we waved it off like it didn't exist. The subject was changed with a banal suggestion from the moderator. Maybe nobody could see she was crumbling. But I think that was hard to miss. She was falling apart and conveniently ignored. There was no place in the discussion for advanced holy shit.

I was the youngest one there, with the only mohawk. I was the dirtiest one who had the least money, and was headed home to have the most wine. I felt welcomed as a novelty at best. As soon as I walked in, I should have left.

There were more fancy purses and expensive cars than people who I think might have ADD. This was a room full of mostly parents who were annoyed their kids don't do better in school. Except for one lady, who was far worse off than me, though at a glance she appeared to fit in. She talked to exactly nobody, and she was the first to leave.

I walked out the door directly behind her, and stayed back and to the left as I walked to my van. She got into her car with her head hanging down. She sat there in the cold and didn't turn on the engine. She didn't move or look at her phone.

I should have stepped up and said something. Even if it was just "hi."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ten grand in the hole.

I've been working on sorting out my taxes. The government wants my money back since 2014. I've employed a team of accountants, and the whole ordeal is an expensive mess. Turns out they say I owe $10,000. That's not something I make in a day. First I hit the roof. Then I shrugged, 'cause what else is new.

So I worked. I made stacks of books and rows of boxes. I put shrinkwrap on lots of audiobooks. I'm going to dig myself out of the hole. I'll ask my wife to chip in her half, and she'll type me a little "fuck you." It won't be funny, it'll hurt my feelings, then I'll get a little bit mad.

I drank a giant bottle of discount wine and exchanged texts with a pretty much stranger. Another day in the bag.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kicking through horseshit.

I did the bare minimum. I put bottles in a bag, and put the bag in the van. Kristin came to get a bunch of her stuff. I fucking hate it here now. There's moments that aren't terrible, but I mostly want to either fall asleep or blow up the planet.

There was a gathering at the house next to this one. Everyone was invited over, like a gathering of neighbors sort of thing. I tried to bow out, but thought better of it. It was fine. There was talk about foxes and hawks. None of it made much sense. Then there was dessert.

Mostly I'm losing my mind still. I hate to say that, because I know people get much worse. Complaining about it doesn't make anything better. But I have about 100 things I would like to blow up. I don't want to go into detail now, but suffice it to say there's a lot of horseshit to kick through.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Looking for diamonds in a haystack.

A strong genuine effort. A rewarding day. Books were going for five dollars per bag, and I filled mine past the brim. I stretched the plastic bags until the books cost twenty cents each. I woke up early and was the first on the scene. I skip hardcover fiction, and scour under tables, and check every DVD in the place. I open up boxes, and sit on the floor, and make neat piles according to size.

I sat back in the van and drank more coffee and looked at my custom map. I zoomed in on my location, and checked the markers, and made a plan of attack. I identified nearby sources, and made the rounds until late afternoon. I get in the zone, and forget to eat, and lurch around like a zombie. I'm making money and getting things done, and celebrating maybe too much.