Books

You’re Not That Great (but Neither is Anyone Else) by Elan Gale

Elan Gale wants to remind you that you’re not that great. Then again, neither is his book. In the same vein as Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mr. Gale provides a no holds barred anti-self-help book for people who are tired of being coddled while self-help gurus rip them off.You're Not That Great

There’s just one problem: there’s nothing Elan Gale in You’re Not That Great (but Neither is Anyone Else) that Manson’s book didn’t already offer. Well, nothing useful. Because, aside from the obviously useful slice of humble pie, the book only offers stale jokes and condescension.

Mr. Gale is right—we’re not great. Several people ooze with undeserved self-confidence, but can never amount to anything but ordinary. He notes that all the negative emotions we’re trained to ignore are useful tools to pull us out of the mundane. And even when we achieve greatness, we’re still not that great. Because you should always want to continue growing, continue reaching for the goddamn stars. He just wants us to know that we can always do better, be better, fuck better (yep, that’s also in the book). That’s what I love about the book. Sadly, it’s not enough to carry it.

Somewhere around page 100, it seemed like Mr. Gale ran out of things to talk about. The book becomes repetitive. And in an effort to cover up that fact, his descent into egotism begins. It began to feel that Mr. Gale began to shit on us not to help out, but for the sake of shitting on people who bought his book. He started fluffing up the chapters with anecdotes. Some of these were eye openers, sure. But several were just weird to the point where it was difficult to discern if he was trying to make a joke.

Could be that Mr. Gale was working against the clock, reaching a deadline. Or maybe he just ran out of nuggets of wisdom. It’s a fun book to read if you haven’t already done so. But as far as the genre goes, read Mark Manson’s book instead.

Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Books

Last Sext by Melissa Broder

What was I supposed to take from this book? I’ve never read anything by Melissa Broder. Not completely, anyway. I thumbed through So Sad Today and found the content somewhat entertaining. And I heard about Last Sext, but never realized the two books shared an author. When I connected the two, I got interested. What finally pushed me into buying the thin volume of poetry was an awkward conversation with a guy who recognized me after all these years. The book was already in my hand, why not just buy it to get out of this situation?Last Sext

I made a mistake.

In the quick glances, the book seemed interesting. Albeit a forced teenage, edginess. I could handle that irony. Except, after tackling the first pages, I learned that it wasn’t an ironic edge.

The poetry echoes nothing. It doesn’t strike a chord of thought. Doesn’t paint pictures. There’s almost no imagery present in the 81-paged collection. And the little that there is, paints an incoherent portrait. A lot of cocks. A lot of fucking. No poetic orgasm. So sad indeed.

I do plan on reading her collection of essays. I’ll give her another chance. Just not with this medium.

Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Doldrums

Of Minimalism & Bullet Journals

I decided to give Audible another go. For my free audiobook, I opted for Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki (translated by Eriko Sugita). Thought about being a minimalist in the past, but only going as far as following a blog and a Twitter account. I petered out as is my habit. Shit, can’t remember the last time I visited that site before today to link the page. I’m a failed minimalist, a maximalist. It is something of which I am not proud. In short, I collect things. Useless things. Things I use once and put aside.

It’s my intention to read that book again. Or maybe I’ll come around and fix that broken laptop. It’s just the screen, after all. There’s something to be salvaged there, right? That that tower of movies haphazardly placed on top of one of several packed bookshelves, well, I’m sure I’ll come around to watching them again.

And this goes hand in hand with my scatterbrain, I’m sure. That’s why I felt the urge to buy a journal. It’s why I hope that using the bullet journal format will somehow keep me from wandering down the path at random. I hope it’ll keep me focused on my tasks rather than trying to remember what I should be working on.

I learned about the bullet journal on Tumblr, but didn’t understand it until I read about it on a post over at the Programming Librarian. And I hope that not only does this format help at work, but can also help me with writing. I won’t get into detail about what writing ideas (projects?) I have in mind because it’s mostly just talk when I do. Two are creative ideas and the other is inspired by another article I read over at the Programming Librarian website.

Personal

Fishbowl

Shaun celebrated  his sixth birthday on Saturday. Sixth! Where does the time go, indeed. His slow crawl toward a decade on this earth is more of a sprint now. And still I’m in awe of his existence. I suppose the feeling never does pass. And it’s a good thing that it doesn’t, because a parent—a father—should forever be in awe of his child.

Things are falling into place. For the most part. This journey has been a learning experience. To say the least, anyway. What journey, isn’t? Though, as I listened to Izzy who’s no longer the Izzy of her childhood. And I listened to Ruben who’s different compared to the kid I meet all those years ago. And Justin who’s no longer the child who wandered the hallways of this house. I listened and smirked. Each has faced their adulthood in their own way. Each dealt a hand of cards and they played them well. Be it children or cancer.

I watched Jeanna enjoy herself. And, shit, I admire the fuck out of that girl. Love her to pieces. She’s the girl I chased for years. The girl I tricked into falling in love with me. The girl who gave me balanced for almost a decade. Wish I could say the favor was returned. But that time has come and gone. And it’s not good to dwell on what was, what might have been, and what’ll never be.

Dear Shaun:

Contemplation is great. Just don’t let it rule your life as the world passes you by. There was a time when I felt like you had to wait for that right moment to make your move, but that’s all romantic bullshit. If an opportunity presents itself in your life, you strike the first moment you’re given.

So here’s some advice from a man who’s waited. Find someone you love as much as I loved your mother on the day you were born. Find someone who loves you just as much. Find someone who offers without asking, and never wait for the question yourself.

Find someone who pushes you to better yourself, but loving you for the person you choose to be. Someone who supports you. And someone you support. Never stop inspiring each other.

And if, perchance, you find someone you’re willing to share your favorite type of cookie with, ask her out.