Meltdown averted by server down

Funny how God works at times. Yesterday, I was headed straight into meltdown feeling overwhelmed with everything including the pain of regret. Next thing I know, all of the servers here go down in some unexplainable cascade of errors, forcing me to stop what I am doing and breathe.

Sure enough, I stop and take time to catch my breath. While I am doing that, I’m taking the time to clear my head as well. It gave me the opportunity to rethink my strategies and plan my next set of moves.

Part of this includes taking back what is rightfully mine. One of them is the right to leave work when the day is done. There is life affer work and I’m going to experience it once again. There’s nothing worth staying for because my pay doesn’t change whether I put in 7.5 hours or 10 hours. I’d be a fool to believe that this or any company actually is going to recognize and reward their employees based on their hours. And let’s face it: the problems that were there at the end of the day will be there waiting tomorrrow. What I am no longer willing to give is my life for my job. The return is no longer worth it. They own the work I do, but they do not own me. If they think otherwise, I will definitely consider going back to contracting. No security is worth trading in some basic freedoms.

If I can keep remembering that there isn’t always tomorrow, it just may keep me in line today. Otherwise, I’ll be falling for a huge satanic lie and the cost will be huge! The one thing that cannot be banked is time.

Then a server down will be the least of my problem.

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can

Investments: cost & worth

There comes a time when we reach a breaking point. And, when that time comes, it’s time to draw our boundaries. I hit that point today and got to the point where if I don’t act now, I am going to be sorry. I may find myself in a bit of trouble tomorrow, but I’ll risk that instead of my health and sanity.

If anything, I always try to see myself as an investor. However, the two things I know about in investing are keeping in mind the returns and the risks. So far the returns that I am seeing are minimal at best while the risks keep climbing. My physical and mental health are starting to look like the things I am risking. The meltdowns that I am approaching are not worth it.

So, now I have some decisions to make. Run the same course or wind up sacrificing everything on the altar of futility. Unfortunately everything has a price and now I have to consider what I am willing to pay. And I need to be wiser on my investments. I remember hearing something in a movie which is now sticking with me: cost and worth are two totally different things.

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can


It’s becomng days like these where I am starting to be filled with regrets about ever giving up being a contract CodeMonkey. Sure, it wasn’t easy at times, but it was enjoyable. I felt more in control of my hours and my time. I felt I had more of a choice.

It doesn’t feel like it these days. I feel like I am chained to the job more emotionally than physically and I can’t break away that easily. I feel like I can’t leave at the regular times that I used to and I feel like it is getting emotionally draining. It feels like it is robbing me of my choices. I feel like I traded in a lot of freedom for a little security and am getting ripped off because of it. Now I am starting to feel what I have given up.

Problem is that I don’t know how I can go back, or even if I can go back. Perhaps it time to think of a new career altogether. I definitely know that I enjoy what I do with wedding photography, and that I don’t seem to get enough time to enjoy it because of my job. Then again, I’m probably talking foolishness right now because I’m trying to fight the potential meltdown I’m heading into causing me even more stress.

Funny how the day that I am even recognizing this is on the eve of Yom Kippur. I didn’t even think about that until now. Perhaps I have some new decisions to make regarding this reflection. Perhaps I have some prayers for new directions to ask for… And with all that is going on in the world today, is what I am asking of God even important to Him?

Getting lost is an art…

I find that these days if I want to just forget about work and “get lost”, I have to practice it. It seems to be a lost artform at times.

Fortunately, I had my photography stuff today to help me not to think about work. I’ll admit that I was really hoping that no one would bother me from work and I’m glad that my cellphone didn’t ring. I just want to thing a about taking pictures and having fun at the weddings. This way, when it comes time for work on Monday, I’ll enjoy it better. Last thing I want is to dread going back to work, because I promised myself that the moment I started hating it, I would quit.

This is why it is so important to me to try to perfect this art of getting lost. Just losng myself in making music or taking pictures and letting myself stay lost. It feels good to get away. I have to let myself do it more often.

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can

Lost in Music Never Felt So Good

It’s almost midnight, and is definitely past my bedtime. I got lost in music tonight, and I have never felt so good in my life about it. I haven’t felt this good about getting lost in music for a long time. I have felt so uninspired for a long time. However, it all felt different tonight. I don’t know what it is in Logic 9 that has inspired me but this tool must be God given, because it just lifted my spirits. I started playing with my song, “I Wanna Be…” because there was so much that I never liked about it. The bass was flabby and loose and the guitars felt mushy… at least until tonight. I decided to play with Logic’s flex audio and tighten the bass to the kick drum by locking it with a groove template that I made with the kick. All of a sudden, the bass sounded so amazingly tight, that the song felt like a new song. Then I went to the guitars and played with Logic’s Amp Designer and Pedalboard and I fell in love with the sound. All of a sudden, the music sounded so tight, it kicked. Next thing you know, I looked up at the clock and saw how late it was. It felt so exciting that I didn’t really care. I wish the music felt like this all the time. Funny, how I never got this way out of my POD X3, and I love the sounds out of it as well. There’s something in this program that just looses me in the music, and I love it. I’m totally grateful because music feels fun again. It feels like music to me. I can’t wait to get lost in it again!

Consumed by work…

There is a definite problem when I start waking up in the morning thinking about nothing but work, when I should be thinking about God and all things God given.

I find that I am getting consumed by work and if anything it is no one’s fault but my own for this. The real question, though, is what do I do break this? I know that if I am not careful, I am going to find myself burnt out, stressed, or extremely ill. In a way I am already finding my productivity suffering because of the lack of balance.

I think that what I need to do at times is think of things other than work. I need to think of music, or open up my bible app and read a few verses. I just need to get back into balance before I fall over the edge completely.

Grateful for the Little Things

This past week, I wound up with a gland infection. It was so bad because it was pressing both on my jaw and on my ear at the same time. It was both painful to chew and made me rather dizzy. Not to mention the huge lump on the side of my head in front of my ear that made it easily noticeable that something was wrong… just ask the doctor who saw it as she walked in the door.

Rather than whine and moan about it, I saw things a whole lot differently. To start, I praised God that it wasn’t anything worse. I also knew that I would be healed by His hand in time. As it is still clearing up at the time of this blog, it also opened my eyes to the small things in life that I routinely take for granted, and today, I am really grateful for them. Here are just a few in question:

  1. The ability to chew food. For the past three days, I have not been able to chew any food without excruciating pain. It was so bad at times that I couldn’t close my mouth… and boy, what a pretty site that is. Joelle, being the loving, good-hearted person she is, made me the most delicious chicken soup (okay… her chicken soup is always most delicious!) so that I wouldn’t have to chew much. If anything, it feels great to be able to chew again. Right now, there is just a minor discomfort, but at least it’s healing.
  2. Shaving. There’s no way I would have trusted myself to run a razor sharp object across my face when I am dizzy. I looked like a beach bum for the past few days. I went back to work with a Hawaiian Shirt as I looked the part. No one paid any mind to the fact I didn’t shave (although they did notice how swollen my face still was). They were just glad to see me back in action. I may not have been all in one piece, but at least I wasn’t dizzy anymore.
  3. The ability to climb stairs. Talk about a real chore when you’re dizzy. I don’t know what was worse: going up or going down. Mind you, I almost tripped over myself going down… I probably would have preferred to do that going up if I had to. If anything, I’m just glad that I made it both up and down the stairs safely.

Those are just a few of the things that I am sure not to take for granted any more. If anything, this made me see how much I look for that one big thing in life while totally overlooking, and missing, all of these great little things in life. I’m sure if I added up all of these little things, it would make that big thing look not so big.

Learning there are no rules… aka Crossing the Line6

Yesterday, I did something in my little aspie world that is very hard
for us to do: I broke our little rules. It may not seem like a lot to
some people, but it’s huge in our world. I think in breaking those
little rules, I think I discovered that the rules themselves never
really existed and established that as a rule, even though I sort of had
that inkling that this rule was always there, considering that I have
always read it on the pro-audio forums. I needed to experience it for
myself, however… it’s an aspie thang.

If anything, what I did was to combine Logic 9’s Pedalboard plug-in with
my Line6 POD Farm plug-in and wound up with a monster sound. There was a
certain fullness that I loved with PedalBoard and when I combined it
with a Marshall J2000 emulation, everything just sang! Not to mention
when I put it with an Engel or a Bogner emuulation. It was like a huge
discovery to me. There was all of a sudden a wall of guitar sound that
almost had me believing that there really were amplifiers there.

For some reason, I have misled myself into believing that I needed to
keep everything either within POD Farm or Logic. Part of it was probably
believing that I would take these settings and use them on my POD X3
Live. Seeing as I probably may never get the chance to play these songs
live, what does it matter? I’m in a state of anything goes as far as
recording goes. I’m starting to mix and match a bunch of things now and
I will admit that things never sounded so good. Now, I’ll see if I can
break whatever rules I have as far as mixing goes (and I think I have a
few examples to help).

Letter of love…

Perhaps I don’t say it enough, or worse, demonstrate it openly enough, but there’s one undeniable fact in my life that needs to known to all: I am deeply and madly in love with Joelle and I have always been.

I can still remember the day I first set eyes on her. The day she just walked into my life, looked at me and grabbed the guitar our of my hands and played a little. My heart must have been attached to my guitar at the time, because she managed to grab my heart at the same time. If anything, I didn’t want to admit at the time that I was falling instantly for her, because I was afraid of getting hurt like I always did before. But something inside told me she was different. She was the one. She was my gift from God, and she still is.

Almost 30 years later, we’ve celebrated and we’ve suffered together. We’ve sought and we’ve found. We’ve partied and pondered. We’ve gone across the country and across the ocean. We’ve made it through feast and famine, richer and poorer, and sickess and health. But the most important thing is that we’ve done it all together. I couldn’t imagine doing any of these things without her. I don’t remember any real good in my life before she came and I definitely don’t want to think of my life without her. Sure, they say that life would go on, but I don’t believe that I could really function without her. She completes me in ways no one can imagine. She is truly my other half… and she is my better half. Honestly, if God took her away today, I’d be half the person I was yesterday.

Sure we argue… and we fight too. Isn’t that what real married couples do? And we get hurt… if we didn’t hurt, that would mean that we didn’t have feelings for each other. We also heal each other and we grow stronger together and we also learn to fight with each other, as opposed to against each other. Anyone who things that you never fight or are never supposed to get hurt when you’re in love with someone, is living in a fantasy land. How can you get stronger together if you don’t get hurt? I wouldn’t trade any of those hurts for anything. That’s when you realize how much you’re in love.

So what if there are things we don’t get about each other. It’s all good. To me, it’s what makes it all exciting and worth pursuing. Don’t you think it would be boring if we absolutely knew each other inside and out like a book. If we could predict every single move the other makes? I’ll admit that I love it when I think she’s gonna do one thing and blows my mind and does something totally opposite. Sometimes, I’ll be stuck in a routine and she’ll throw in a spark of spontaneity to throw me off. If anything, I’d never want Joelle to stop being Joelle, because no matter what I may think at any given time, she’s perfect in my eyes.

Understanding my own reclusive world…

There are many times that I believe that Joelle doesn’t understand me as well as she believes she does. She always tells me that she knows me inside and out, but when she’s put to the test as far as I go, the results seem to prove otherwise especially in one particular area: I don’t like to go to church alone. Even more so is that she doesn’t understand that throwing me out there alone makes me want to become a recluse, and not necessarily by choice.

Now, it’s not a question of God being with me. I know that God is always there and I always have that feeling. What I don’t seems to have at times is that feeling of belonging there by myself. I always feel uncomfortable sitting alone. I feel lost in the many sea of faces that are there. I feel like there is no one there to pray with me, and even more so, I feel like there is no one there to pray for me. And, being autistic, it’s not like I can easily just go up to someone and say hi all by myself. Or, to sit with them, or even pray with them on my own initiative is just not that easy for people like me.

In fact, you know might know me by my pattern when I do go by myself. I walk in and take a seat at the back. I often have my head down looking at the floor, or staring up into the ceiling while listening to the message (or I may switch from one to the other). When service is over, I’ll often wind up being the first one out to make it to the car and leave as soon as I can, feeling a little anxious. Mind you, I often don’t make it out that quickly because I often get stopped by a few people wanting to say “hi” and shake my hand. Of course, I stop and engage in a brief conversation and suddenly they’re done, and with me being autistic and not being able to recognize social cues, I don’t realize that the conversation is done and I feel cut off. Thus I find myself going to the car wondering what just happened. Then, all I want to do is go home and sink into my guitar, music, computers or actually do some yard work while blasting my iPod… and now I really don’t want to be seen with anyone. I become very reclusive, all because I didn’t really want to be alone in the first place.

Funny how it feels different when I have a guitar or a camera in my hand. I don’t feel so anxious then. I almost feel “normal”. Perhaps, it sort of gives me a deeper understanding of how Josh feels when he has a steering wheel in his hand. He feels so comfortable with it, even if I don’t feel so comfortable being beside him. I feel more at ease with my guitar. I used to feel right at home in the moment with God when I was on a worship team, playing guitar. These days, I haven’t been on a worship team for almost 6 months. Even more reason I feel so out of place when I walk into church alone. I wonder if Joelle understands that about me.