Here we are, picking up from yesterday. Another fifteen to go. Once again, they’re in no order other than that of when I think of them.
16> I finally found some vests, or waistcoats, if you prefer, that fit me. When one is 5’5″ and benches 285 (on a good day) finding suit bits that fit is a major accomplishment.
17> I finally got my mom to admit that North Carolina sucks. It was a long battle, but after having lived there for nearly ten years she’s given up any pretension of Elizabeth City’s charm.
18> Two years after I began looking and five plus years since I was regularly connected, I’ve gotten an appointment with the “survivorship clinic.” I still hate the name, but I’m past due for a good tune up. Good thing we don’t have that damned universal healthcare, am I right? I might have actually been treated and be breathing by now, and who’d want to be healthy? I’d have so much less to complain about.
19> Keeping with the medical theme, I don’t hurt anymore. For more than a decade I’d believed that the aches and stabs, the sense that my skin was like that of a snake’s, but stuck, the flesh underneath pricked and pinned like a cushion, was permanent, but the slow march of neural regeneration has returned me to so normal a state that those constant discomforts are so a part of the past as to seem something I read about a man who isn’t me.
I credit kung fu with a lot of my health improvements, I’ve never had so complete a sort of bodily involvement in an exercise before.
20> This year I was solicited to write an article. I haven’t any unrealistic thoughts about it, I realize one burgeoning site isn’t the same as a written request from the New Yorker, but still, someone thought enough of my writing to want more of it, to want my thoughts on something.
To that I’ll add that I’ve had three requests for interviews, one on the life of a professional writer (destitution), one on running an organic plant shop (impracticality and destitution), and one on art (back bitery and, well, destitution). Not sure if they’ll pan out (the interviews, not the pursuits), but in the case they do I’d better start coming up with longer form answers.
21> Writing has become something reflexive, better than second nature. I’d been growing in this direction for years, since before my return and completion of undergrad, and perhaps it was the recent intensive november NaNoWriMo session, but I’ve gotten to the point where if I don’t write for a day something feels off. The deconstruction december exercise is going very well, but what I find most striking is how much I can do in a single sitting, how long my attention holds. I used to find incomprehensible Stephen King’s declaration of writing four hours a day, every day, save for his birthday, but I think I understand it now. It’s not a chore, but a necessity. To do other makes one feel off, and so I write more and am more content with what I write.
22> I’ve got my underground oasis, the barest, basic form of the indoor biosphere about which I’ve fantasized since childhood when I’d draw plans for underground cities. Perhaps a string of shop lights over grow mats, or a grow tent housing an HPS lamp, all powered with wind credits isn’t quite the self-sufficient utopia my miniature megalomaniacal self had in mind, but it seems thematically in line. I’m only thirty, there’s still time to install one of those Bond villain egg chairs.
23> Today, I crested 1,000 visitors to this site. No badge for it, it seems, so I’ll make my own: (1,000)
24> For first time in my eligible years we’ve got a presidential candidate about which I’m excited. I missed out on Gore by two years, Kerry wasn’t my pick, but was the obvious better choice when contrasted with Bush. I admit I had moments of exuberance with Obama, but his first term flattened out my expectations, and when voting for his second term I did so more out of fear of his opponents’ taking power than I did out of enthusiasm for his next four years. Sanders, however, more than meets all my social criteria, he’s environmentally sound, and he actually addresses problems. He’s a man who listens to questions before answering, not merely responding to any given query as if it were no more than a prompt to launch him into a canned, pre-scripted response.
25> Along those lines, my carbon footprint is the smallest it has ever been. It’s still not so small as I’d like, but through the tried and true means of the three Rs, dietary choice, and a gradual shift toward interests in the ephemeral, in experiences rather than objects, I’m getting closer and closer to being biblically approved in casting stones at polluters.
26> Gardening and growing things, miniature farms and CSAs, are all becoming popular. While I may chafe at people treading lightly into what I consider my domain, at my core, I’m happy for it. For me it means more work, doing more than what others do, just to keep my plant expertise beyond the pal, but if that price buys more green life, buys a greater understanding of the autotrophic level of our global biosphere, then it’s an expense I’m happy to pay.
27> The disparate pools of knowledge into which I’ve been dipping my toes all seem to be coming together. I’ve gotten to a point where, while I know a fraction of a quantum somewhere between next to nothing and nothing of all there is to know, those little sets of slivers are growing roots and they’re beginning to touch. I’m growing less content, or more interested, to use a positive, with knowing just what I know. I want to learn more, and as I do, I find it exponentially more rewarding. Not bad for being so sure at five that I hated reading, or at eighteen that I’d never go to college.
28> I’m learning, slowly, to limit my crusades to fewer and fewer items. As an example, I no longer dogmatically rant against pop music. I hope to someday become like water, to gently flow away and around all of life’s minor irritants and to only occasionally crush those who’d oppose me with unimaginable forse. Obviously, I’m still working at it.
29> My blood’s not radioactively poisonous anymore. While I do miss the possibility of super powers and getting near instant revenge on mosquitoes, I’m sure my organs are much better off not triggering Geiger counters.
30> I live with a woman who I’ll happily spend the rest of my life. I miss her when she isn’t with me and I view every experience as something I want to share with her. The entire lens of my existence has reshaped to include her and I’m all the better for it.
This only came so late because it's meant to be a surprise for when she reads today's post, so shh, no one tell her.
And there we have it, thirty things not so bad about being thirty. All this optimism has nearly killed me, so I’m off to slip into the current fiction, a dark and discordant story of madness and violence.
I’ll have an excerpt up on friday.
See you then.