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Let's Misbehave

Rambling monthly update? I guess so. Been meaning to check in for a while, as per.

There's a sense of weariness, at this stage. It's manifesting in lots of ways. Much as Milkshake and I remain in the throes of starvation, or implied imminence thereof, and as much as I've got my free time, there's been a lot of... weeding out the bullshit my side, I guess?

It's a reckless time to do so, not least since it's such a vulnerable moment! It's a moment in which we need the consistent income that was basically promised.

The Wild West has grown wearisome. I've cancelled my content mill contract - I'm not writing 5,000 words a day listing 200 ways to say happy birthday.

The Company and I have fallen out, permanently, and I'm pretty sure if I'd not tugged their sleeve they'd have just left me out in the desert to die, their promises be damned.
I'm a little tired of feeling as angry, consistently and constantly, at The Company as I do, but it's on its way out - just riding out the process. Like everything else.

The fact I've outraged them so entirely in my feedback amuses me endlessly though. I have this thing I often forget about, which is that when I annoy someone to the point of haughtiness and exasperation, I find it terribly entertaining.

If you promise me a stable income, rescind it while barely telling me why, then blank me for months, I'm allowed to call your company shit. Because it's a shitty thing to do. I'm genuinely struggling to find anyone outside of said company that disagrees with me on that point.

I may have to take a job I don't want to take, which is... I don't know. Why is my life content to move backwards? Did I summon this from always saying I wanted my life to move backwards? Perhaps I ought to have stipulated that I didn't want poverty to be a part of it. Thought that part was obvious?

Thing is, I can't shake the feeling that things are on the cusp of becoming the kind of brilliant I've felt due a long time now. Not fame, amazing lifestyle, any of that. Just a decent standard of living in decent premises among decent people. A life that can tick over, you know?

It's happening but the wait has been agonising, too slow and unfair. It's all a game, of course, which is why clearing the board - decluttering the bullshit - makes space for better gamepieces to enter play.

It's just odd and looks irrational - but I'll tear it all down until I reach satisfaction, if I have to.

Let's take that paraphrased quote from the last entry, as it's taken on a little new life and meaning. Why? Because, perhaps due to my gleeful hubris as chronicled below, things got the wrong kind of interesting fast.

Why? The Company! The Company. Goodness me. Stay on until the end of the year, they said. Oh, except the last week of August. and, um, except most of September.

So in other words, they've suddenly decided to cut my hours, and then to cease them altogether, meaning I'm basically down hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. At the time of writing, I am scrambling to make rent. Some ugly things might need to happen for this to be so. But hey, at least I've abundant free time!

Been applying for some Actual Jobs also, because, you know. Not my first choice, but gotta keep those lights on. God, that Company is a festival of bullshit. I feel like I ought to have seen this particular bait and switch coming. When former coworkers who became current coworkers thanks to working at The Company after I'd met them in other businesses in years past said they were happy that I'd got the news that I'd be contracted - heh - to work with The Company until the end of the year... I always responded sceptically.

It's like I never fully believed it, that I'd be there until the end of this year, and as soon as I let myself do so, boom. One flaccid excuse after another why I'm surplus to current requirements. Again, I spent most of my time dicking around there though, so maybe it's all I deserve. I've been pretty smarmy-vocal about my discontent as well, all told, which probably contributed.

They might hold to their word and actually have me back by the end of this month, but come along now. Come along. There are enough false promises floating around that place to fill a forum of jilted exes.

Or something. Oof. Anyway!

I've been playing excellent games, as per usual, and I've been able to surpass Scorpilolita on the Platinum Trophy count. It was a pointless way to invest time and energy over several months, but so is everything else in life because everything is actually pretend and we tell each other some things are important, so I'm not altogether too worried about it to be honest.


The manor! The manor. Christie's lovely manor, only a little dusty. Milkshake and I, instead of dogsitting there a month or two, recently were tasked to look after the place for two and a half weeks while Christie trotted off to Australia or family things. Some money paid up front, handsome yet not enough, because rich people know that the best way to stay rich is to actively avoid paying for anything.

Christie remains lovely, yet emotionally misguided, and she has a talent of moaning about a blessed life she leads. The dog's a big dumb adorable galoot, and the house is mostly quiet and altogether jolly large.

One day, I might get in trouble for putting a photo of a house I don't own on the internet. I seem to get in trouble for lots of other pointless stuff, so why not?

I feel, in guilty parts of myself, as if I should genuinely care about things, but I don't. Not in an apathetic way, but a sort of liberated way. Again, as per the title, some things irk me, vex me, bother me - but usually it's that which has been inflicted on Milkshake and I by other people.

There are interesting tinges of irony throughout, too. Take this rent debacle and The Company's duplicity, for one. I'm scratching my bum and fiddling about the tired old content mill work nonsense to put a little money in our pocket, 'little' being the operative word, and during the course of the last month I've partly been doing so whilst living in a house whose contents could comfortably set Milkshake and I up for a life of leisure for at least five years.

Culpability aside, it'd be easy. We have the alarm codes, just take down some paintings and flip them for a few grand a pop, as they're apparently extremely valuable. Not something I'd pursue, mind you, but I don't think I'm really emphasising how weird it feels to be poverty stricken whilst living in a manor house.

It's a weird dissonance and dichotomy, to be sure.

I'm very, in case it's not obvious, angry about this work situation. Not the work itself,. Never take work seriously. But the principle of these loose promises, vaguenesses, the struggle I'm now enduring due to this duplicity, and so forth. Who knew people in marketing were capable of deceiving people?

I know the freelance realm is one of feast and famine, but folks ghost you surprisingly fast, no matter how unprofessional it seems, in this world of wild westery. I'd like to have what I had before - reasonable part-time income in a Real Job with the chance to seek my fortune on the side. Certain events and phone calls indicate this could be possible, but unfortunately I have no... instinctive gut feeling that anything is For Me, as it were.

A lot of the cards aren't yet on the table and a lot of the dice are still rolling. It's okay though. These things happen. Events shall shortly become very much the right kind of interesting, and I'm looking forward to wealth returning for sure.

Dang, that manor life though! I don't think I could ever have a place that big.

Wouldja look at that. I caught 'em all.

For what is, by all accounts, an online agency of marketing or content or whatever it actually is this place is supposed to be, it would seem that actual and sustainable internet access is actually pretty bad. So like, I can't get my laptop back online for this last quarter of an hour of time I'm too chicken to run away for for love nor money, and there's certainly no love here to begin with, so I'm writing nonsense offline in a Word document so it looks like I'm doing something.

I mean, it all sounds a bit wailing and gnashing of teeth, doesn't it? I was supposed to be finished at this odd place by now, the money earned from it since flying away somewhere I'm unsure I can discern. However, after initially being offered to stay until September, it turns out I'm actually now staying until the end of the year, but this information all filters down by my nonetheless brilliant former coworker, who landed me here in the first place and has since been unfairly responsible for basically giving me every message from management going alongside having to do her actual job. Why management won't just talk to me personally about all this – God forbid I feel welcome here – is anyone's guess.

It remains a strange place that is quietly on fire, and by all accounts, any time it seems to get better, something even more nonsensical happens that throws everyone's expectations out the water. Because I've been trained in the bare minimum, I can only help a bare minimum, and so I coast on a combination of the lowbrow time consuming bullshit nobody wants to do and, every so often, some actual writing work, almost all of which being about subjects so dry they likely absorb any ambient moisture from the eyes of any soul so unfortunate to have to read them.

I can use my own laptop, not have one bequeathed by the company owing to some fuzzy nonense about insurance and, presumably, their need to have some modicum of accountability – and this same own laptop I must then use to do all the work they don't want to do. Invited in as a writer, employed more or less as a dogsbody. Least they pay on time and leave me alone to fuck about.

All sounds like I'm whining baselessly, and in many ways I am, but with good cause – but also gratitude. Coasting jobs are the best, the money is handsome, if a little prone to being tampered with as they shift the goal posts and try to skirt around the fact that legally I'm basically an employee but they don't want to pay my taxes and pension here, and the entire enterprise is built on a house of cards of lies...

Oof. I mean, I could go on. The extension of contract, not that it actually is a contract, is both interesting and useful, and put simply, without the money cheerfully being squeezed out of this place for my doing very little of consequence, things would have got the wrong kind of interesting weeks ago by now, if not months.

I used to get really troubled that, despite a warm welcome, I'm basically treated as a second class citizen nobody knows what to make of and likewise doesn't see fit to include in any company activities because why do it when I'm not staff... I dunno. Used to get to me but I decided not to do it, because I can fly under the radar fucking around on TV Tropes and getting paid for it.

I've spent a lot of my life flying under the radar, all told, and as tabulated here in the strange and screeching chronicles of my twenties, and more besides, it used to be an infuriating and maddening prospect.

But now, it's basically how I get most of what I want. You can do so much when you're noticed so little, and life is so very, very much about what you can get away with, which a surprisingly large amount.

Other recent events, let's see... hmm! Well, Milkshake, beloved partner, she has met a lovely little old lady who has a massive house and an only less slightly massive dog. Said little old lady is sweet, but prone to emotional bouts and doesn't handle her feelings all too well in a way that's not her fault, but also a touch exhausting. This is because she was, to my understanding, quite literally raised by nuns and coddled through a marriage and riches her whole life.

However, while it's always fun to belittle the rich, that isn't my notion today. Indeed, she's a sweet old lady, let's call her Christie because everything she does seems like a modern day Agatha Christie novel – big houses, grand schemes and emotional overtures and skullduggery and what-have-you – and she's very generous with what life has given her.

I'm writing this blog post in stages, by the way, mostly in the aforementioned office because, as aforementioned, it makes me look busy while taking stupid amounts of money from stupid people. I can exploit too, by the very exploitative devices afforded to me, after all – and I hasten to emphasise none of this is my friend and former coworker's fault.

Anyhoo, Christie the widow, she's met this guy who's all over the map in terms of reliability and integrity, but she's in deep and every so often he invites her on spontaneous trips and adventures. Christie then impeaches Milkshake and I to house-sit her embarrassingly large and scenic home and big dog, replete with awesome kitchen things and lots of stuff to poke around in and general loveliness. This we did, in early July most spontaneously, basically living in a mansion for a spell because granny went to London to get laid.

Don't give me that look. It's not my fault that's actually the reasoning for it.

Anyway, her trip went south fast, said guy Christie likes turned out to be an extremely unkind man to put it mildly, drama drama drama and back she came. Then she booked a trip to Australia, so now Milkshake and I will be living in the mansion looking after a Great Dane for a month or two.

Complex life isn't it? And even that trip is up in the air. But it's been a wonderful year for unexpected windfalls and good luck, flavoured with an undercurrent of judgey people being petty and judgey for... really no adequately explained reason.

But yeah, the whole mansion living with a side of dogsitting is, I guess, the biggest bit of news in the personal life space right now. Money's coming thick and fast until the end of the year, but not in a stable enough rhythm quite yet... but it's good, things are good. I have no idea what the future holds, nor any way of planning for it.

I'm thinking of beginning a new website dedicated to point and click adventure game retrospectives, reviews and general fanboying, and if I do so, and go by Beatnuki in doing it, it might be wise I privatise this blog a bit. Basically, in keeping with the flying under the radar theme, all this personal stuff is likely not best left available to all, and never mind the fact that a lot of what I've said over the years just... frankly hasn't been that cool or nice or considerate, has it? Just weird verbose screaming into the dark. Often alongside the Darkchild.

She's still there. She probably – definitely – deserves far more attention than she gets.

I, apparently, deserve quite little but thrive in doing so, which is jolly nice.

The Scorpilolita Platinum trophy PSN campaign? I've equalised the score, and she knows what I'm doing now. Just need that one juicy Platinum to tip me over the edge.

Also, last few months. Peppermint tea. You ever try that stuff? Heachache? Peppermint tea. Tummy funny? Peppermint tea? Bad mood? Peppermint tea. Good mood? Peppermint tea. Too tired? Peppermint tea. Too energetic – rare as that is for me now? Peppermi– it just DOES EVERYTHING SOMEHOW.

Been catching up with other old friends too, and it's very apparent as to... why you fall out of touch with people sometimes, isn't it? So like I met and gret this person (stay with me on this), and it's all... old patterns, old cycles, good times too but... it's clear this friendship has run its course and we are getting on with life. Not because we need to stop being friends, just because life is different now. Doesn't affect the friendship per se, but... you know?

I can't stop thinking about the place in town that does superb fried chicken. I need to get me some of that. Possibly even do some work in the interim, although if you fancy bunging me £120 to piss about on LiveJournal I'm all for it.

Wallies make me rich. I'ma line my pocket with that sweet, sweet pretentiousness! :D

I tend not to worry about anything in life any more now, owing to the fact that I've wholly adopted the life as a game mentality and philosophy that found me. Similarly, I don't care if it's true or not because there isn't really any sort of truth altogethet ot anything, as near as I can find, not really, and even so that's part of the game in and of itself. Sometimes things vex and bother me, but it's the rudeness and stupidity of other people that do that more often than not.

Had I only known way back when what I know now – and in the hilarious full circle that is enlightenment, realised that a life in which I don't have to do anything was the right choice all along. I spend all my time trying to get back to what I used to run away from – and better yet, it works!

The Company!

Hello, hello! Nice to meet you, nice to meet you.

Go around, shake all of the hands – all of them! Don't even miss one! You better not! We'll know. We'll notice. Ooooooogh, we'll notice.

And then we'll set you up with this big ol' desk, see, and we'll show you use this program that tickles Google's balls juuuuuuuuuuuuuust right so we get to see all the websites we can go up to and pretend we are writing insightful things for when we're actually just smuggling in a link to this website here, see, on the off-chance someone somewhere reads it and clicks it and buys the thing.

So many smokes, so many mirrors. So very, very many mirrors, you see.

Then? Then. We'll keep promising that next week you'll get to do some writing, you see, and we'll give you lots of money to be here every day just using that software until your brain gets even more soupy than the world has already made it.

And you'll feel bad for complaining about it – because of course I do, I've never had it so good – but there'll still be this vague hint, as you look around the clinical start-up office-cum-warehouse, that there's something altogether just a bit wrong with it all.

Like, I'm pretty sure all the blokes here are the same bloke run through a Xerox machine a few times. One of them has sandals. Good for him.

But yes, the subcontracting onsite is continuing, and they pay on time and it's all jolly nice, and the workflow is a bit manic which I think is why I've been brought onboard, and yet unfortunately it's so manic that I'm not sure anyone actually knows what to do with me – which is why I'm effectively getting paid £120 right now to write a blog post for a LiveJournal I'm pretty sure one person in the world reads, and that one person almost certainly isn't me but is still pretty appreciated – and... where was I going with this?

Pretend that paragraph above was from a videogame journalism website. They're allowed to do long sentences apparently, I'm not, but they are. They're allowed to whinge a lot too, which is presumably why writing for them was a career goal of mind for a spell there. Do what you love and all that.

But yeah. I feel like I'm inside Willy Wonka's factory and all his machines are normal and, well, a bit poorly maintained. This agency place has been fronting for a while now as the best and the brightest but no. It's still a bit of a crapshoot,. But it's a crapshoot giving me money for next to fuck all, so let's roll with it for a while.

So everyone quietly gets on with their own existing friendships and stuff, and why shouldn't they? Good workmates and team dynamics and all that. I'm just some guy with a tiny laptop nobody knows what to do with, shush shush, here's some money.

Never mind the fact that due to some Cloudflare thing or another half the internet actually turned off for a little while today, proving what I've always thought – that if the internet goes away, which it's perfectly capable of doing, or if Google goes away – again, a possibility – all these weird little agencies are going to fall down.

And writers are going to have to actually write things with meaning and entertainment value again, can you imagine? Can you actually imagine?

Being in this office is, every so often, if l'm left unattended for too long, making me very sad.

But then I get to leave, so that's nice.

Anyway, I didn't mention last time I wrote on the blog how I've been on a long, months-long campaign to earn oodles of Platinum PSN trophies, as worthless as I know they are unless I earn them for my original reason for earning then, e.g. I liked this game enough to do so – well, I've been doubling down on them and marauding through some nasty games in doing so to beat Scorpilolita or whatever we are calling her now.

She and I get along well nowadays, if I haven't really made that clear – don't see one another often but always enjoy doing so, and so on.

But yeah, I woke up one morning and spontaneously decided I wasn't interested in living in a world in which she had more of these fictional platinum trophies than I did so have been quietly closing the gap for months and am about to overtake her, and she either hasn't noticed or isn't interested, or both.

It's a shame, in many ways, I can''t put that determination towards something more useful. But then again, not much in the world is actually useful to do, which is the sort of unhappy truth that's actually very liberating to embrace when you know how.

Am loving games, as always, and probably have lots more to say about them when my brain works again. Offices do unkind things to my brain. But if I work from home, things get messy because of all this other nonsense I need to get on top of. Oof.

As a general overview though, life is very good, and countless circumstances coalesce consistently in my favour. I don't always get to do what I want when I want to do it – does anyone? – but it's as close as it gets and I'm enjoying a good quality of life right now. Had a nasty viral cold thing in the last few weeks that wasn't great though.

Beyond that? Hmm. I'm more amused by the farcical nature of the world more than anything, so little stresses me out, luckily. I've taken that Alan Watts overview that life is a game to heart, and it's made everything seem gleefully false, which it is, almost all of it is lies and it's brilliant because we are all that much more free than we want to think we are because the alternative is so frightening.

It doesn't matter, and that's what makes me free.

We Can Boogie On Down

There's a huge wealth to be said, I think, about being paid to be bored.

Anti-scintillation tax, if you will. I think that's a big component of how the world of careers and employment is actually made up.

That's why I'm writing this right now in a Word document to splaff into the blog in a moment. Hmm? Office? Oh, yes, yes, I'll explain that in a minute. Right after I give you the usual dross about how I didn't intend it to be this long between posts, and so on and so forth.

Anyhoo, point is, it's been an odd few months, hasn't it? It's drenched with rain in June in England now, which is a return to tradition after oodles of scorching summers that is a mite inconvenient, but less so than the usual humid hot nonsense we've endured over the last few years.

During the course of said odd few months I have, just as all the ducks of financial stability threatened to waddle into something approximating a row, had all my options initially dry up.

The magazine work – which let's face it, has been less than not on my mind for some time now anyway – seems to have finally got fed up of me dragging my heels on freelance assignments they send me and is instead just doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes. I'll get the dross work nobody else wants – here's an executive who makes speedboats in Florida, do be a dear and get him questions and call him tomorrow suddenly for some reason – and then they presumably get baffled why I politely turn it down.

The quickest way to whatever the opposite of ingratiate me in work is to silently starve me out.

You can't starve me out because you don't like working with me and then wonder why you're my last priority when you do need work doing, silly.

So yeah, a reliable semi-salary from that magazine quickly turned to dust and unapologetic chump change trickling in at the end of every month, and this is all after Milkshake and I have moved to a more expensive apartment with lots of debts already and God knows what else other nonsense we're basically refusing to let rule our lives any more.

I started another Freerale as all the work dried up, a paragraph or two of Freerale, as a quiet sort of protest.

That bloke who had another magazine that actually paid decent rates, he settled an invoice late and hasn't been seen since, but this doesn't surprise me. I sussed his game out fast, and it's clever enough I can't really blame him for it. He needed big money fast to help him support his growing family, so as I understand it he built a fast startup business magazine, got some slick designers and a longform experienced writer (me) to do the articles, made thousands, presumably, on the advertising proceeds, and then up and trotted off, no harm, no foul.

Him, I'm not angry at. I can't be – he genuinely played a pretty game and I was under no illusions as to what the score was. It was a mild and polite form of gentlemanly publishing piracy, in some way.

He also paid me somewhat handsomely for what amounts to rather little work and no need to coordinate phone calls with executives a certain other magazine seems functionally incapable of relating the numbers of to me properly, which also helps.

Talking of low rates, there was the Aussie guy, did we ever get into him? Just a weird situation of us both wanting different things – freelancing is very much like dating.

For instance, I quite wanted to be paid well for decent work, and he didn't want to pay for that kind of thing.

I wanted to write an article or pitch a catchy article idea and not have every fucking detail of the poxy thing combed over in scrutinising detail for a week before even greenlighting a writeup for the content he was apparently achingly thirsty for, and he seemed to want the opposite of that.

Little things, you know?

I ghosted him eventually, which is bitterly unprofessional, but so is not paying me on the schedule you dictated and I'm literally on the other side of the planet, so I'm not sure what else he wants to do about that. Cheerily, nothing.

Week by week? Comfortable survival. Some content farm drudgery work – factory work, I call it, as agencies spring up out of the ether to cloyingly guzzle Google's cock for some ad revenue while producing articles of little to no quality about the same subjects slightly differently worded, over and over 250 times...

Well, look, I didn't want to lean on that shit, but the weekly stipend has helped. And now? Yes, in an office at a handsome day rate arranged by former colleagues and coworkers, with very little work to do. I'm effectively being paid to whine on my blog, which is jolly nice, and a little rude of me, but maybe allocate me intelligent tasks to do and I'd not have to kill time.

I'm no longer leading a life in which the inefficiency of other people is detrimental to me, and if anything, those same incompetencies are actually to my direct advantage.

Anyway, Milkshake and I have managed to claw all manner of outrageous sums of good money out of the ether, because half of life is working out that that's how money works, you just pull it out of nowhere and keep it as far away from banks and bunkum as you possibly can.

Milkshake and I? Doing pretty well, all told. Things get on top of either or both of us every so often, and we detest rudeness and insincerity in people and get ever more rowdy with those who perpetrate it day by day. Recently found out we're the new landlord's favourite tenants, or close thereto, and also have the biggest, nicest apartment in the complex.

Where I live is gorgeous and everything's working out in my favour in slow, heady circles. Slower than I'd like, but things often seem to be, and when they're fast I complain too so at least this is manageable.

But goddamn, that merry merry month of May.

What a strange fitful stab at starvation it turned out to be. Everyone and his wife urgent to see me go without a pretty penny, with no forewarning.

Me being here in this office doesn't necessarily solve the problem either, because come August this assignment ends, and while I'll be sitting pretty indeed if all payments are timely and as they say they are, that won't last forever.

We shall see what wonders await next though, shall we not?

Fortune's Favour

I nearly spelled 'favor' the American way, having to have been writing in American English a lot recently, which does weird things to my brain.

But yes! Here I am. As always, one of those situations in which I've been meaning to swing by but always found something else to do. Most of my life nowadays is spent trying to find something else to do, because it turns out I am uproariously work-shy and, despite having the massive good fortune of being paid semi-decently to make a living via my sole discernible skill, still take great pains to actually avoid it. Thing is, when I tell people I am continuously looking to make as much money via as little effort as possible, they all seem very happy for me, so maybe the guilt is solely my own.

Guilt, shame, anxiety... turns out I have a lot of anxiety, as illustrated to me by the perspectives of others who know it more intimately than I do. I guess at least I'm on trend?

Anyway, there's a fair amount to catch up on.

Perhaps the biggest news, although forecast, is that Milkshake and I have moved, to a mostly quiet and tucked out of the way locale indeed. There has been frenzy aplenty in sorting out the old house, and lots of frankly uncharacteristic family drama besides just as it all got quiet - I've never actually refused to speak to my parents before recently - but yes. I'm not going to bait the devil in saying the fuss is all over, but it's tidier at least.

And after whatever frenetic mayhem March was meant to be, anything resembling tidiness and straightforwardness is hugely appreciated.
I'll always like a little bit of chaos - but I have a reasonable expectation that I should be able to conduct my affairs within it altogether efficiently. Life has other ideas, as life so very often does, but one does one's best or something.

Very scenic hereabouts - the first time I realised this was a joy. Took a walk while feeling trapped, stressed and overwhelmed, and the surroundings of my neighbourhood couldn't help but elicit joy.

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Look at that. ❤️

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There are quirks and perks, but still better than where we came from. Changing ISPs is always fun, as is changing address information for folks overall. Banks seem to make it especially difficult for no adequately explained reason.

It's quieter in general, although we initially moved in beneath a dweller in the flat above us who had an incredibly loud tread - who then moved out within a few weeks, almost like a courtesy from life itself.

Similarly, last night, for absolutely no reason, a middle aged man at the door checked if this was our apartment number, grinned when I confirmed it was, and then handed us a mediocre takeway. We got someone else's dinner for free!

Don't give me that look. He specifically asked for our flat number, he was seeking us out. Ain't my bungle. Ain't my dinner either, but still ate it. It's a free takeaway, what are you supposed to do? Refuse it at the door? Why do that? Morality? That morality filling your belly there, bucko?

Point is, although life makes it hard to notice sometimes, this new place - however chaotic its means of acquisition - seems to be very lucky.

And I don't care if that's really a thing or not, because if I believe it is, my mindset changes, and therefore I notice and perpetuate lucky things happening to me anyway.

Sound good? You gotta outfox the world sometimes, or at least pretend you can while it chuckles knowingly at your hubris. Maybe half my problem is that my relationship with 'life' or 'the world' or whatever you want to call it has always been so adversarial. Goodness knows Starlet has plenty to say on that.

Pirates, fortunes, foibles and hubris. Let's discuss.

To begin with, permit me to tabulate my fury. As I've alluded to here before, I was recently bequeathed an inheritance, substantial enough to change my quality of life.

Outrageously, it's now gone, and the scary thing is I'm not entirely sure where. I just turned around one day and there was nothing left to rely on in times of duress. Maybe it was just times of duress? I freely admit I did a little much in the way of treating myself too, of course, but... I dunno.

It was a sum of money lost in short enough a period of time to prove terrifying, and I'm finding it next to impossible to forgive myself or find peace with it. Milkshake reminds me that money comes and goes, and the weird thing is, i know she's right, and I also know I'm actually, on average, now making more money than I have at any other point in life and somehow it still never seems enough.

This is partly due to a smattering of paydays versus one big handy one, but still. It's all jolly strange and difficult and it's tough to rise above it sometimes, even though I know I have to. I hate that I'm back to scratching pennies in the filth and doing a lot of unfulfilling work for one particular dick of a client to make up the numbers that I can't help but feel really ought to still be there in the first place.

It's damaged my relationship to myself... somewhat severely, and while I know that'll heal over time, it's proving difficult. That's probably my biggest struggle right now, and in that respect I guess I'm lucky.

It makes it hard to step away from the scarcity mentality that so perpetuates among us all though.
Of late, much that ought not be difficult has proven slightly more complex and involved than it ought to be, particularly during March for whatever reason.

So in terms of pure financial potential, my best client right now is one who pays outrageously handsome sums for simple articles, and is the kind of thing that ought to be encouraged. I do a lot of business to business writing, and have for years, and it seems I've got a decent enough local reputation from it. Guess I've never talked about it much here, but there it is.

The less fun stuff is more what I describe to Milkshake as factory work. Pure SEO dross, picking out phrases and slotting in things to draw Google to advert saturated websites who don't talk about anything in particular - it's all a money spinner. Too much of my career has been made up of this, and while I'll move away from it eventually - soon, I believe, for some reason - fact is I need that cheddar more immediately and the weekly bump up it provides is decent.

There is a lot of exploitation of creative freelancers out in the world though, and you gotta watch out!

So many scrappy little businesses seem to think they can lay down the law and that you should be grateful for the opportunity. It's complete trash. Sifting through to find actual honest dealings can be tough and disheartening, but my estimation is that these opportunities come in waves.

Anyway, enough boring career shit. Point I was trying to make is that my most handsomely paid gigs are those with this new client, who's doing some... cool smoke and mirrors stuff.

I know how the B2B business model works, at least my corner of it, and he's playing a blinder in terms of putting together some... perhaps sketchy but ultimately lucrative stuff. Basically, he's doing all the stuff other magazines frown at, and he and I are getting handsomely paid for it, and his motivation is that he has a family on the way so he's doing it for them.

So here's the thing - who's he harming, what's his motivation, what are the moral pros and cons, and ultimately, does it matter? No to everything, I bloody well think.

Anyway. Still out in the wild west, fighting my energy levels, avoiding burnout, trying to make my way. Scared about my future, but confident concurrently. The dissonance is deafening and my mind seems a constant conspirator against me.

Yes But Can U Not Tho

The title of this post has become a bit of a catchphrase for me, because I'm oh so hip to web slang you know. Apparently. I also am a bit tired of everyone being a pain in the fundament, despite the fact that everything is going so remarkably well.

It's notable because, in a recent entry that I read back a few weeks ago, I clarified exactly how I wanted life to go and it's sort of gone in that direction without incident, bar the unwelcome and consistent interference of other people. Ergo, I am for the most part thankful.

Work has been sporadic during much of January, settling into a rhythm of being over demanding and annoying as we move into February, so that's nice in a no-it-is-not-but-just-think-of-the-money way.

Like most millennials, the vast majority of the issues I'm having nowadays stem from Facebook, which I appear to be too entrenched within and too stupid overall to stop using. Basically, long story short, it's stirring up lots of family drama for some reason, even though I believe I am, however imperfectly, doing things that a decent family ought to support.

And the thing is, I have a remarkably good family overall, and one usually most supportive indeed of all that I do, so quite why they get so butthurt about me moving out of a house they're partly responsible for and thereby eliminating much of their stress is beyond me.

Yes, Milkshake and I are moving, hopefully into an apartment that's a bit pricey but with good cause, that is decently located close to where I am currently - but also away from these god awful neighbours and their constant circus antics. I'm not even going to tabulate them all here because one day I will read this back and entirely forget what those antics were, and if it's not written down I can't remind myself and all shall be suitably transient.

But yeah, between the work I'm doing being as seemingly wilfully inconvenient as possible, and my own family conjuring up problems out of thin air because we've all successfully purged our lives of extraneous drama and so now they've got nothing to do and all day to do it, it's all a bit more complex and frustrating than it needs to be.

Sleep has been a bit rare as a result, alongside many other notions, and it has made exhaustion a constant companion. Our new landlord is also rather slow at communicating or keeping to his own deadlines, but seems kinda on the level otherwise.

Guess we'll find out? At least I won't be living in this dilapidated echo chamber of a house among the maddened and the damned. I hope to God whoever moves in here next is just uniformly dreadful all round.


They Say Fashion Kills

And so, 3:40AM, I put all thoughts of sleep behind me, popped a caffeine pill, downed the last drop of Lucosade and decided to get on with things. I mean, I'll be exhausted tomorrow either way, surely?

Maybe not so much, as I'm finding as the old year dies and the new begins that I've got this weird... low appetite, high energy kick going. It's not flawless, but it's economical and efficient and rather welcome. We're an expensive species to pay the upkeep of otherwise, right? Although money's still spilling out of me like I've just been shot in Ready Player One or something, and my goodness wasn't that film some lively oddness?

I'm keeping my opinions to myself more and more, simply because next to nobody seems to agree with me on anything, not that this really matters. - it's just that explaining oneself takes energy that, I dunno, I guess could be channeled into accomplishment in some way?

Fury keeps you up at night, doesn't it? I in part think that's why I'm here, stirrings of the Darkchild alike. She's been a little more potent in manifesting of late, in myriad ways I shan't explain because of the reasons here-above tabulated. For similar reasons, I shall neither chronicle my fury here either. This era of bemoaning the world on this blog is over, I daresay, although I also wryly wonder how long that no whining ethos I'm trying to cultivate will last.

Daresay I won't even get through this post without having a whinge, so bear with. I've got tons to be grateful for though - many more career opportunities than the majority of my contemporaries, and likewise far more emotional sustenance and relationship security than many people get in a lifetime. Things are... settling as much as they're seething with the urge for change that, for once, I'm ready for. Spirit of the season maybe?

There's always a weird societal thing that happens around the time of a new year, and I certainly don't know anyone remembering 2018 with even the vaguest whiff of fondness. To those who are though, you certainly have my respect and admiration.

I'm lacking on confidence in my abilities as a writer of late, and as a partner - not sure why. Just some vague anxiety thing I guess? I feel a lot of what I'm doing in all respects is mediocre, and likewise that I've killed off a lot of ties to social circles through my own design as I strangely hurtle back to the life of barely participating in the world I was so doggedly trying to escape from all those years.

Isn't it bizarre how, in fiction, old and wise people who've reached enlightenment seem to be those individuals who participate in the world the very least?

But yeah, feeling mediocre, yet happy and thankful that people are willing to pay me to do what I do. People worse than me will get paid to do it, people better than me will get paid to do it, and that's how it's always going to be.

I've been agonising somewhat over the choice between stable job and freelancing wild west, but seem to be leaning towards the latter a speck more. The idea of making my own fortune on my terms appeals, and the security of any given job seems to be something of a facade either way. I'm likely to be bored whichever road I travel, and that's OK, because being paid to be bored is better, at least, than being paid to be stressed.

So I guess that decision's made? I dunno. Interview for the cushy job is in a few days, although in earnest it appears as though the agency has its head up its own arse a bit.

Hey, it does, OK? It's OK, I have my head up my arse half the time too. See, this is why I keep stuff to myself more.

There's a lot of new year new you stuff that gets bandied about, but I do have a good feeling about the whims of fate going forward. I see a cosy and out of the way place for Milkshake and I to segue smartly into, with a minimum of fuss but perhaps a touch of anxiety. There'll be some health scares here and there that are more anxiety triggers than actual symptoms of unwellness or danger. My social circle will continue to diminish, at least in the first half of the year, and it'll be OK.

Much of 2019 will be a case of tidying up after 2018, which in and of itself seemed to be a bit of a tearaway of a year, gleefully dismantling everything. Nobody asked for it, but it'll be revealed to be in the so called greater good everyone's always telling you about.

I will... somehow make dazzling amounts of money with comparatively little effort, in part due to some weird cosmic apology the multiverse has, I'm convinced, been proffering to me since I turned 30 as a sort of sorry-for-your-twenties thing.

And I will, in keeping with that irony, spend the vast majority of my downtime playing videogames and doing nothing of consequence, in the ultimate tributary sentiment of urgency to return to aspects of life I left behind in chasing dreams that led only to the feckless and interminable need to sacrifice the scant few scraps of sanity I could even have been initially argued to have in order to pay for the capacity to actually continue living, which incidentally I feel only keen to do because the cessation of such would, I am confident now at last in saying, prove of considerable inconvenience and emotional despondency to other people whom I am proud yet bewildered to care about.

Some people get paid fortunes to write sentences that long, you know. Time to continue being one of those people.

That, and use italics for emphasis far more often than is generally necessary or agreeable in a sadly post-Pratchett society.

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