Specialization is for Insects

Hi. Just because I haven’t posted lately, doesn’t mean that I have been neglecting this blog. Far from it. I have actually been thinking a lot about it and trying to decide how to treat it going forward.

I am, you see, like most people. I am a father, a husband, a catholic, an ADHDer, a software QA engineer, an author, a gamer, a painter, an artist, a cook, a learner, a self-improver, and a few hundred other things. Conventional wisdom on blogs is that you should really focus your content in order to build a following.

I have started a few different focused blogs and all of them ended up dying sad and lonely deaths. I think trying to force that specialization was something that made it very difficult for me. There were times I was super focused on a certain game system and wanted to write a lot about it and share my games and models and experiences, and that was great until I wanted to write about something else or play a different game. I would end up forgetting about that blog, and it would just kind of fade out as I started up the next.

I considered making a more general blog, but worried about “the audience”. Would the people who were interested in my gaming stuff be turned off when I posted something about my faith? What about those looking for some bit of fiction set in my worlds and instead find me on a soapbox talking about software quality or online security? Those thoughts paralyzed me to the point where instead, I would spin up a new blog, write a dozen posts on it and then the cycle would renew.

I recently rediscovered a quote from one of my favorite authors when I was young. Robert Heinlein famously wrote:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Reflecting on this and why I feel compelled to express myself in the written word I decided to try and do a combined blog. I know that the conventional wisdom is probably on point that an audience is looking for something specific when they come to a blog or follow one because they want that content. I respect that and feel the same way for most of the blogs I follow. For that reason I decided that I am going to post topics on consistent days. The exact content and schedule is still being finalized and I will do a post on that in the coming days.

To those of you who decide that you are more interested in more focused content for your attention, I truly hope you find what you are looking for. For the rest of you who want to come with me on this ride, I hope that this will lead to more regular posting for me as I won’t feel the need to debate whether or not it is appropriate content for this blog. The title has been Random Thoughts for a long time, so it is time to live up that.

Stay safe, be well, and forge your own joy.

Patrick

P.S. just because pictures are more interesting that wall of text, enjoy this picture of me trying on glasses at the optometrist.

Shoes Challenge

Eglentyne did another word challenge – this one on shoes. I posted the list over there and then she followed up with another one. Here is my response to that.

She was squatting low to the ground and taking a long drag off of a short cigarette as I approached her. Her shoes were almost comically oversized with platforms and heels that took her well over 6 feet. They completed the stripper uniform as much as the glare she shot at me.

“I am on break, man.” She sounded tired. She called herself Velvet or Satin or Silk. Some kind of material. It could have been Plaid or Corderroy for all I knew. I never care about their ghost names.

Her name was Analise Stracken. Ani to her family; my employers. She was pretty in the pictures they showed me. Not quite Hollywood pretty or even Broadway pretty, but would definitely turn your head if she walked by you on the street. Those pictures were obviously taken before the work. Her breasts belonged on a woman twice her weight and her chin had been narrowed almost to a chisel point.

I wondered who told her that was attractive. I am sorry to say that I still wanted to fuck her.

Finding her here was a relief – most of the ghosts I find are literally Ghosts. Ani dropped off the face of the world 16 months ago from Carnegie Mellon where she was studying dance. She was good enough to get in but mediocre enough to have to pay for it.

“Me too.”

I pulled out a pack of Marlboro’s myself and asked her for a light. One of the things I like about LA is that my tats help me blend in. Even the neck ones. Probably especially the neck ones but why shouldn’t they? I grew up in Chatsworth.

I am never sure why, but nothing brings people together like a shared vice. We chat for a couple of minutes and I decide that she is nice. I am glad that she’s not dead.

I can tell she likes me, too, which is always part of the job and will certainly make what’s hurt her even more. She stands up and sure enough, I am now eye level with her left boob. I decide to call it Maria.

I am about to say something else to her when the whispers start. I sit down on the ground and put my head between my knees before the nausea hits.

My Ghost is about to become a ghost.