A Post From Bed

I never use my phone to type and it makes me feel like I’m falling behind the curve.

Actually, I normally feel like I’m behind the curve where technology is concerned. In the world of paranoid fears, I would say that this “falling behind” idea consumes me more than any other. It’s this sense that I’m going to be one of the have-nots in a world that is changing more and more rapidly. Is that silly?

Few things are as important to me as the digital interconnectedness I’ve been raised with for the past fifteen years. Chat rooms taught me confidence and quick responses in conversation, not to mention speedy typing. The web gave me a home when I felt alone. It gave me the sanctuary of other minds when I was at my most fragile.

Much as I love and respect my parents, there’s a sense that, after 10 or 11 years old–I was raised by the looming meta-mind more than I was raised by them. I don’t at all see that as a bad thing; it’s not as if my parents were absent–much the opposite. It’s more that they weren’t helicopter parents, for which I am eternally grateful. They truly allowed me to explore and to grow unimpeded around the start of my teenage years, and I believe that’s one of the biggest reasons I am who I am today.

More on this later, though.
I think I’ve done enough thumb-typing practice for one night…

Ten years later…

Ten years ago this week, I was doing nothing more than waiting for my graduation day. I was dual enrolled my senior year, so my college-term classes had ended and I no longer had any high-school requirements left.

Mostly I would just go into school and bother my old design and drawing teacher, Mr. Leogrande, and my chemistry teacher Mr. Dermody. I was one of those kids that hung around after school in favorite teacher’s classrooms for a few hours–and, you know, this was back in the day when your teenage-self could exist on school grounds for no reason without the faculty thinking you were some kind of criminal.

When I was in school, I regarded school as a neat place to be–spending free time looking up books and old periodicals in the library, going to one of the tech rooms and work at a drawing desk outside of regular class time, talking to one of my science or math teachers about something I thought was interesting (but was told to ask about it outside of class so that we could cover the material that needed to be covered). Continue reading “Ten years later…”

Writing, Shame, and Wasted Time

I don’t write negative posts anymore unless they’re about some legislation that just passed or something in the entertainment world that annoys me. Contrast this to my journal from when I was a kid, where every letter and word was a focus on how I was disappointed in myself or why I wasn’t happy in own body.

Well, lately my whole body is lit up with self-criticism, and it’s been a couple of days since it started. When I say “my whole body,” I mean it. It’s not just thoughts. It’s a feeling that trails down the spine and leaves this awful tingling in my neck, my back, and my fingertips. So where’s this terrible feeling coming from? Continue reading “Writing, Shame, and Wasted Time”

“You have the life I wanted,” he says.

As a kid I had this idea of success in measurements of fame and wealth, which are understandable measurements–even for an adult. I had no shortage of plans for my adult-self, which included being an author, making movies, being a microbiologist, being an architect, playing music, and being a theoretical physicist.

There was also no shortage of faith that I would become whatever I had in mind. Though I was raised poor–though I spent a few formative years on welfare–there was no despair, no expectation that the success I was planning for myself would not come.

Then came the end of my Junior year in high school. After applying to about a dozen colleges, I was either rejected or wait-listed from each and every one. Continue reading ““You have the life I wanted,” he says.”

Virtual Interaction & Creativity

As I usually am, I was being a smart-ass on Twitter yesterday. Sometimes I’m not sure what it is that gives me a spike of followers or @ replies, but often I’m convinced it’s because I used some marketing keyword term that someone’s Twitter-API app latched onto. Rarely, it might be because I said something funny, but that’s doubtful.

Anyhow, I got an @ tweet regarding my 140-character bio.

@pdncoach: Hmm…read your bio @EditorialJoe So how are you REALLY? 🙂

My little bio is a little cranky, a little snarky, and a little fun. It states, as succinctly as possible, the randomness of my tweetspew:

I pretend to be conceited, funny, smart, brutal, terrible, obnoxious, involved, important, stupid, and insightful…all at once.

To answer the question about how I REALLY am, I directed him to my recent post: Who Speaks for This Man? But then it got me thinking about whether that answers the question of “how” or “who” I am. Then I begin to wonder–in the sense of the moment–if there was actually a difference.  Then this came out:

Turn to the mirror. Ask it: “___ are you?”

The differences ‘twixt “how” and “who” should bear little distinction in the mental mist; “what” should make you curious and “where” should make you adventurous. If you’re doing it right, “why” will fill itself in.

And hey, I thought that was neat-o. A little summation–an adventurous analogy regarding the question of identity. But no mind is an island in this web age: in the case of this post, the fuel, air and piston were mine…but the spark plug that ignited the combustion was Mr. Sturgell’s simple tweet. Whether or not the effects were intended, the weaving of the indented bold words above were absolutely dependent on the tweet I received. If he didn’t send it, I wouldn’t have had the phenomenological experience that primed that particular organization of my statement.

And looky here, the effects have COMPOUNDED! There’s now a blog post about it. 😀

So here’s to Mr. Sturgell/@pdncoach, interactivity, and the unintended power of the meta-mind (even as it hums along in its prototype phase). The effects are tangible!

Who Speaks for This Man?

Every time I attempt to define myself, it’s a war of weird conflicting ideologies and expectations. Magic rituals share space with chemical systems. Literary creations speak in their own voices, chiding and praising the actions of their creator as he wanders through life. I bark like an old man about the glorious Halcyon days of which I was never a part, and in the same breath I cry injustice like a rabid youth demanding revolution.

These are soldiers of mental contradiction, my internal voices—balanced insomuch as our certainty is never guaranteed against our own numbers. I, the functional engineer, the singular entity defined however inaccurately by corpus as “Joe Callan�, represents my true self only as much as a nation’s president reflects his citizens.

Continue reading “Who Speaks for This Man?”

Wisdom (Teeth), Education (Loans), and the Greatness of Great-grandpa Dave.

Well, the insurance company paid for about $30 of my triple wisdom tooth extraction ($1080), leaving me with a $1050 bill. No, this isn’t an argument for the public option or for HC reform. Instead of commiserating with me about how evil and dastardly my insurer is, let’s look at exactly what I did wrong in my rush to get the procedure done. Continue reading “Wisdom (Teeth), Education (Loans), and the Greatness of Great-grandpa Dave.”