Just a small follow up

….to my last post. I wrote briefly about failure (or, more correctly……life’s struggles AND failure)……

So, last night I was listening to ‘Planet Money’…..a great podcast put out by NPR. The topic was top-level web domains…..and how that field has widened. That field has REALLY widened! You can give the episode a listen to learn more, but this stuck out:

A young woman who said she is a tech contractor and works ‘in the basement’ at the Pentagon had an idea to start a top level web domain named ‘.wed’……of course, it would be for people about to get married, or planning their weddings etc. She was smart and sounded gritty and determined. To get ICANN to grant her that top-level domain, she had to fill out loads of paperwork and pay them (take a deep breath): $185,000. This was somewhere around 2012 (roughly). She scraped the money together and did it.

In the interview with her……(she charges $70 for the first year, $70 for the second year and $30,000 for the third year)…..she said she’s only sold about 75 domain names…..my calculator tells me that comes to $5250. That means she’s got about $179,000 left to JUST MAKE HER MONEY BACK!!! I’m not laughing at her bad fortune, far from it actually. If you (like me) tend to think that EVERYONE IS TRIPPING OVER BIG BAGS OF MONEY and you’re not…..I offer this woman as an example. She took a risk and it isn’t working out so great!

Maybe this’ll help someone……

I generally don’t get too carried away here in terms of mental health stuff, but I thought I’d toss this into the ether as it might help someone out there. I could make this a REALLLLLL-LLLLLLYYYYY long post but I’m busy and not in the mood to do that right now.

This summer, while away on vacation, I had some time to do a little thinking about a few things…..to take stock of where I am and what I’m doing in my life. I’m in my mid-40’s (and sliding rapidly toward my LATE 40’s!)…..so these kinds of thing tend to happen around this time in a person’s life.

I make my living in the field of social services, which as anyone knows DOESN’T tend to reward workers in a large monetary sense of the word! A good number of years back, I spent some time in healthcare administration….and made EXCELLENT money, but it was VERY stressful on me and my family. Here’s the critical thing: I had several flavors of superiors (‘Senior V.P.’s’ blah-blah-blah….you get the idea). I generally DID NOT feel like I was cut out to climb the ladder and become one of those types of corporate talking-head type guys…..fine, great, groovy. In my self-talk, I might say: ‘I’m just not that type of guy.’ …….and hey, that’s perfectly fine. HOWEVER,  during my ‘epiphany’ I came to realize that, in very subtle ways, I’d been insulting myself for NOT TRYING TO BE one of those kinds of guys. I’d been tormenting (so-to-speak) myself for not being one of those conquer-the-universe type guys! On one side of my brain, I knew what I was/wasn’t…..but on the other side of my brain, I spent a lot of time calling myself a ‘loser’ etc.  That’s really twisted……..and so strange to me that I was just ‘deaf’ to that.  To continue this thought further, I’ve often been a ‘You’re OK, I’m not OK’ kind of person. I lean toward…..’Everyone else is on a cruise’……’Everyone else is getting promoted’…..’Everyone else is getting a raise’ in my mind……..all the while, ignoring the people who’re failing/struggling left-and-right!

So, here’s the deal: Life is hard……..FOR EVERYONE! That neighbor of yours, who’s always doing great…….he isn’t……….trust me on that. Everyone you know is struggling, and clawing and huffing and puffing their way through the day JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. One of those guys I know (I respected him, and still do today)……he experienced HUGE amounts of success in a company I worked for. Then, one day, his wife couldn’t pick up a dish. He took her to the hospital, right during the midst of his perfect life and his perfect kids (each of whom belonged on a magazine cover)….and his amazing house and his incredible salary…….to learn she had a massive brain tumor. She died 18 months later, at 42…..and his world got turned upside down….his beautiful, sweet, intelligent wife, who adored him and their kids.  I don’t glory or revel in that….I care about that guy……but life didn’t hand him perfection……’cause it NEVER promised that it would to begin with. No one gets perfection…..no one. 

It’s all about the money!

A quick little post: I was musing last night, realizing I’d made 3 purchases during the day.

I bought (all digital, all online)

I. A single MP3 of a song I liked (Allison Kraus)

II. A magic instructional video (Gregory Wilson)

III. An an eBook (via Amazon)

The whole business was probably less than 10 bucks, but 3 purchases and none of them were a physical item! The world is different now!

Interesting look back

During President Bill Clinton’s first term in office, much of the United States took for granted that there would be welfare reform of some sort. The question was what it would look like. The answer came 20 years ago, on Aug. 22, 1996, when Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. President…

via Why Bill Clinton Signed the Welfare Reform Bill, as Explained in 1996 — TIME

On getting older and the related flotsam therein

Many people, even those in their 20’s are known to say, ‘Man, I’m getting old!’ or the old chestnut, ‘Man, getting old sucks.’ But I’ll tell you what’s been on my mind here lately: The realization that I seriously AM getting older.  I’m not quite in my ‘late 40’s’ just yet. But I am at that place where a lot of people find themselves…….haven’t remotely achieved the degree of career success I’d hoped for, don’t have nearly the money in the bank I’d hoped for, my marriage is so-so, my life is way too busily wrapped up in a mixture of tedious logistics and boring drivel. My business card has ‘social worker’ printed on it, but ‘guy who types numbers in little blocks displayed on a computer monitor’ is what it should read.

I honestly don’t feel like I’m in a mid-life crisis (I got that out of the way YEARS ago). I just can’t believe I have so FEW YEARS left to live. In my working life, I’ve tasted of both success and failure (as most have)…..but I’ve sort of flopped down in some sort of gray zone nestled between the two……and, in a manner of speaking, that’s OK with me. ‘Settling down’ is good for child-rearing years and I’m nuts about my kids. Work-wise, my wife is actually going through a much more painful spot that I am…..and I’m perfectly fine just grinding it out for a while so she can re-gain her footing, I really am.

It’s just hard realizing that I’m not that incredible anymore–notably, I probably never was, but for a while I THOUGHT I was (as most young people do)! I mean, I’ll nearly be an ‘old man’ in about 20 years…….20 years!!! How can I be 20 years away from being almost-old?! Geez, I’m rambling.  To be continued……….

Free at last!

id4-gallery2

I like movies. Roughly 43 gabillion other people also like movies.  I took 1 film class in college (‘Film History’ to be exact), and a while back I did a bit of reviewing over at Horror News, a pretty cool site. Some years back, as a structured Cultural-enrichment thing, I taught ‘Film and Media’ at a middle school campus after school one day per week in Tyler, Texas (for pay).  I’m saying all this to convey that: I don’t have a ‘special’ opinion on films, but I like to think, one that is fairly well informed……for someone who doesn’t pay his rent as a movie critic.

So, for my gift to the universe today, I’d like to offer a few comments about Independence Day: Resurgence.   <clears throat> This is a film, that most assuredly tries very hard….it really does. Put bluntly: the 1st and 3rd acts deliver fairly well, they do. The 2nd act, however, is an utter train wreck of the highest order…..it just is. I haven’t even the energy to go beat by beat through this whole movie, but honestly here it is in a nutshell:

The aliens come back. They’re strong. Their ship is big (presented in a VERY CONFUSING FASHION that was a huge visual ‘miss’ from a production standpoint. I mean, a big spaceship that’s 3500 miles wide…..and you can’t figure out a better way to present it than in this strange, broken, 7 or 8 shots deliver pell-mell?)  There’s a lot of running around, flying stuff, shooting at stuff, somber expressions, tired cliches (that were tired 15 years ago), yelling, a stumbling former US President presented in an overwrought fashion, close ups of 50-something actors’ faces, blah-blah-diggety-blah. Oh, there’s an alien queen who’s kinda cool, but that gets old fast.

Now, I know I’m going to make someone (or some people) mad, but this is my blog: Maika Monroe is a part of the new stable of who-told-them-they-could-actually-act young female actors so prevalent today. Daisy whats-her-name is good, don’t misunderstand, she is….she’s good…..I think she has a lot of range, I do.  But we REALLY DON’T HAVE a Judy Garland or a Meg Ryan or a Barbara Streisand today…..we don’t…..we really don’t.  I don’t know what the problem is……she’s 23 years old, she’s done (before this) about 4 films that anyone would know (or might even care) about. So, none of that’s her fault……but for a young female lead, playing in a film like this aimed at an understandably young audience…..she just lacks the Pa-Zow! power for this role…..she just does.

Here’s my advice: if you can stream, or rent (or whatever) this one for no more than a buck-fifty……sure, go for it. But outside of that: save your money. It wants, and hopes and prays to be this summer’s gonzo blockbuster…….but it just fails….in a real bad way.