Pure Unadulterated Laziness

I haven’t posted anything in a week or so. That’s not to say I haven’t sat down and written a post, just that I haven’t gotten around to posting anything. Quite simply, my plan to add a fitting, cropped, sloppily edited picture to each post has proven to be too intimidating. That’s right. I’m motivated enough to squeeze letters together but not to fire up Photoshop, which despite all my best efforts remains about as uninspiring as a Westboro Baptist Church cookoff.

Anyways, I’ve finally gotten the money together to get my car fixed. Or at least I’ve gotten enough money for the first real attempt to get it fixed. The mechanic says it will cost $350, which is why I immediately don’t trust him. I’ve been told countless times that the repair my car needs will run me at least $750, most of the time by people who aren’t trying to make money off my situation, so $350 sounds extravagantly low. I’ve got a bad feeling that this fix is only going to be the first step to solving a greater problem, ironically concerning a car that I just want to sell and never think about again.

The plan is to gussy up the PT Cruiser just enough to sell it and make enough cash for a down payment on a second motorcycle. Like they say in Animal Farm, “2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad”, or something like that.

JadenPure Unadulterated Laziness
View Post

Test Post Please Ignore

Just testing to see if I can post to Twitter from my wordpress. Pay no attention to man behind the curtain.

JadenTest Post Please Ignore
View Post

Unexpected money?

If I told you that you had a hundred dollar bill in your pocket, would you believe me? Probably, but you’d check your pocket first because how often does somebody not know that they have a C-note on their person? What if you checked your pockets, found nothing, and I insisted that the money was there? You’d probably think I was crazy.

I’m going through sort of that situation with Mint.com. I took the entire afternoon yesterday to painstakingly input every single bill that I have face monthly, everything from Spotify subscriptions to groceries to student loans to rent. It’s all in there. Mint tells me that I have $1,100 leftover after those bills. Where is this money? I have no clue.

Keep in mind that just a few months ago (at only a slightly lower pay grade), I was mixing blue cheese dressing into ramen noodles for variety. I feel like I would have noticed an extra thousand or so lying around.

But I’ve double-checked all the numbers, and even over-allowed on a few bills, just in case I’m forgetting something minor. My usual monthly bills go like this, in order of highest to lowest:

  • Rent
  • Student Loans
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Phone and internet
  • Incidentals (doctor’s appointments, haircuts, etc)
  • Subscriptions (Spotify, Netflix and domain space)
  • Gas (super low since I work from home)
  • And that’s about it. From June ’11 to August ’13, I was (to be blunt) too poor to pay for all of those, even while working full time. I lived for a brief while in my car then my previous employer arranged an apartment for me to live in, so for two years that list there was insurmountable.

    Since then, I’ve been very fortunate to literally double my income, so I can comfortably pay those things off, and sometimes have a little to put aside into savings. But the concept that an extra thousand dollars a month is just floating around somewhere, somehow being needlessly spent, is very unsettling. I guess that’s exactly what Mint.com was invented for.

    Final Thought: If there’s really an extra $1100 monthly that I’m unaware of, I’m definitely going to save up for a Traktor X1. I want to use Traktor’s remix decks so bad, but the Kontrol S2 just wasn’t made for that.

    JadenUnexpected money?
    View Post

    DJ record pools

    So a while back I set a goal to acquire, tag, and beatmatch 5 songs a day. This worked great for a while, using audiblecoffee.com, my soundcloud feed and a couple Youtube channels. Then it started getting expensive, so I looked into the possibility of a one-stop solution where I could pay a monthly fee to just download as much as I wanted. Amazingly, this seems to exist.

    The MixedInKey website recommends places like DJcity, which I want to join soooo much but $90 seems like a lot to shell out without even knowing the full selection, and with (in their own words) “no refunds”.

    Also checked out ZipDJ, but it seems you have to actually have evidence of radio/club work to even sign up. I can see the reasoning behind this, but how am I supposed to get work if I don’t have access to the songs I want? (many of them aren’t even on iTunes or Beatport).

    And Beatport wants almost $3 for each individual track? Insanity.

    Since this is the internet we’re talking about, there’s always the ever-present specter of torrents and shady Croatian mp3 download sites, but I’m avoiding that route partially because I want to support the starving artists and partially because my ISP seems to shut my connection down in 5-minute increments if I so much as touch a torrent file.

    So what’s a playa to do?

    Final thought: the “[” key on my macbook has been broken for six months now. I literally have to google “Python list structure” every time I want to use it, then copy and paste the “[“. It gets old.

    /rant

    JadenDJ record pools
    View Post

    Getting Better

    “Sucking at something is the first step to being kind of good at something.”

    So in my free time I’ve been focusing extra hard on djing.  I figure that since I own $1000+ worth of DJ equipment I should see some return on the investment.  Pool parties and gigs from friends are nice for practice, but they aren’t pushing my career forward.  Now that I’m living in a college town (15 minutes from a much bigger town that is widely renowned for its nightlife), there’s no better time than the present to get busy and make some paper.

    Currently using the Traktor Kontrol S2 as my first board, and I’m planning on getting one of these pretty soon, for remixing on the fly.

    81eoaqTAGVL._SL1500_

    The only thing I dislike about the Kontrol S2 is that I’m kind of limited on the effects chains.  Coming from a music production background, I want all tracks played to have my own unique spin, but I’m (as of yet) too lazy to fire up Ableton and re-edit each of my favorites.  The Kontrol X1 (pictured) adds a bunch of knobs and functionality that seems far more valuable than the $200 price tag.

    JadenGetting Better
    View Post

    Almost A New Look

    You’ll notice that the blog looks a little different, and a little unsatisfying (for now).  I switched themes, and thus introduced a whole slew of new problems.  Wordpress is a notoriously fickle bedfellow.  With one hand it offers you a tremendous amount of from-the-box design options, saving you hours or even days wasted tooling around with CSS.  On the other hand, there will always, always be at least two simple features that you want, but WordPress simply puts on its bitchface and says NO.

    In this case, it’s featured images.  See those gray boxes on the front page, that link to the recent posts?  If I’m lucky, by the time you read this they’ll be replaced with featured images.  I’ve been trying since 10:30 pm last night to make them work with no luck.  Well, sort of.  I can fill them with images, but then those images appear (in Kaiju-sized format) at the top of each post.  Unacceptable?  Maybe.  Annoying?  Definitely.

    I’ve edited the main WordPress code, the theme code, the plugins… everything.  And yet they persist.  Featured images are the gadfly in my brain right now.  I’ll either end up giving up or smashing them with a flyswatter, and giving up (as always) looks mighty tempting.

    Get Jumpy

     

    JadenAlmost A New Look
    View Post

    Adderall

    So yesterday I swung by the doctor to refill my Adderall script.  There are a lot of differing opinions on Adderall, chiefly surrounding its long-term toxicity and the willingness with which I discovered doctors are ready to give it out.  People say that Adderall dulls yours emotions and gradually makes it impossible to live without your morning pills.

    That’s all probably true, but I couldn’t live with Adderall before I ever started taking it.  I’ve wrestled with ADHD my entire life, and amphetamine has turned all that around.  Now I can program for hours without jumping onto Facebook.  Now I can work on practicing spinning tracks without leaving the room in frustration because my eyes keep jumping off the boards.

    When I went for my initial consultation, my doctor asked for two examples of when ADHD has negatively affected my life.  I gave her five (leaving New York, my inability to finish my past books, my quick rise and sudden decline of grades in college, etc).  I didn’t go in expecting pills but I’m tremendously grateful that I left with some.

    So for me (so far), Adderall has been a tremendous help.

    JadenAdderall
    View Post

    This

    is likely the funniest thing that has ever been made.  I can’t understand a minute of it.  This is what TV used to be?

    JadenThis
    View Post

    Organization

    I’ll take “Things that Jaden lacks” for $200.

    All my life, I’ve had a real problem with organization and motivation.  It took me a while to discover that those things are very connected.  Without crafting a complex series of motions to get me sequentially through a project from start to finish, that project never gets done.  I have pages upon pages of very simple, very achievable things that I want to get done in my life.  Out of hundreds (ok maybe a hundred), I’ve accomplished about two or three.

    I don’t consider myself especially lazy.  It’s just absurdly hard to drive myself to get anything done.  That sounds like laziness, doesn’t it?  Maybe.  But my condition doesn’t just apply to things like work; it also infects the things I want to do just for fun.  I oftentimes can’t drive myself to do so much as drive to a party or write a blog post.  The sheer act of concentration is about as pleasant as drinking detergent.

    I’ve dealt with this all my life, and a few years back I think I lit upon an explanation.  My problem isn’t with doing things, it’s with failing to get them done.  Stack up enough unfinished projects and tasks that ended in complete disorganization and you get a virtual resume or failures.  It’s crushing to the soul.  You start to think that maybe you aren’t capable of finishing anything worthwhile.  So when you start a new project with starry eyes, it’s super easy to quit early, when you have less to lose, instead of “inevitably” quitting deeper into the work, when you’ll be really embarrassed.

    A few projects that I’ve launched and quit:

    • Multiple books
    • Multiple web apps and desktop apps
    • Learning Korean and Spanish
    • EDM production (which involved about $1000 worth of equipment)

    I was going to write more on that list, but I just quit.  Anyways, point is, I have a habit of taking on huge projects with determination alone.  Without fail, determination alone has proven to be nearly useless when trying to learn a new skill.

    So last night I took a deeper look at all these minor failures and found a common thread: lack of organization.  It might be worth noting that I was diagnosed last month with ADHD, which (as we all know) is diametrically opposed to organization.

    The major reason I’ve quit or put on hiatus each of those tasks is that I always reach a point where things become too complicated to just stare at the screen and hope I can bully the material into my brain.  Then it becomes so easy to skip a day of study, or skip a week of study, or just put the whole project on hold.  We all know how that goes.

    So from now on I’m going to focus a lot more on carefully sketching out every step of every plan before the task starts.  I’m going to reinstall my web browser plugins that restrict distractors like Facebook and Reddit, and bear down harder on a few projects.

     

    JadenOrganization
    View Post

    Blogging every day

    I want to blog every day.  Might be a to-do list, might be a fun fact I found, might be a website link.  Bottom line: I want to develop a strong habit of committing something to the internet daily.

    So today I have work.  I was sick yesterday and Tuesday-Wednesday is usually my weekend, so that’s three days without work.  I expect to get back on the job with a certain indelible cluelessness that usually goes away by about 1pm.

    I’m also trying to devote about an hour every morning (10-11 AM) to working with Python.  Every time I approach the scripting language I find myself completing tutorials, thinking “Cool, now I know Python”, and then losing interest for a little bit.  Setting aside a dedicated time daily w/out Facebook or Youtube should help me stay disciplined.

    JadenBlogging every day