Remember What's Past Ways and What I've Become.

As 2019 is coming to an end, it’s time for me take a look back at the past year and ask myself the same question that I ask at the end of every year. “Am I better off than I was one year ago?” That’s not always an easy question for me to answer. There’s so many things that I factor in when thinking about that question. Last year, it was a simple “yes” for me. At the end of 2019, it’s even easier for me to say “yes.”

With the exception of a time in late January when I had to deal with the worst, longest lasting, most difficult back spasm that I’ve ever had, I had a really good 2019.

I stated last year (and a few times throughout the year) that my current job is good for me. I’m paid better than I’ve been before, my commute is basically non-existent, and I have good medical coverage. As a result of those factors, there’s not been a single time in 2019 that I was particularly worried about my bank account. There were times that my account was “lower than I wanted it to be.” But, in previous years, keeping it above $0 was my goal. The stress relief there cannot be properly put into words.

For a few reasons, I can say that my social life was better in 2019 than it had been for a very long time as well. First and foremost, I had no major problems in this category. I gained friends, strengthened friendships, and really enjoyed myself throughout the year. Not having to worry about if I can afford to go somewhere makes a big difference.

While I was hoping to participate in more 5k races than I did, I have no regrets about why I did not. I was able to compete in 5 races. And honestly, they were not my best finishes. In fact, one of them was truly my slowest to date. In that case, I was just done with a sinus/respiratory issue that slowed my down. I’m not making any excuses. I did the best that I could on those particular days. My best wasn’t as good as my best during other races. That’s all that means. No complaints whatsoever.

As I said, I didn’t do as many races I was would have liked to have done. One reason was that I had classes to take happened to coincide with the time some of the races were happening. Those courses were in Mental Health First Aid. After the completion of those courses, I am now certified in Mental Health First Aid. I won’t go into details about that here, other than to say that I’m very proud of it. I may write an entry somewhat soon about stuff related to this course and what I’ve done for others in the area of Mental Health Awareness.

Overall, my mental health was pretty damn good in 2019. There’s just hours to go in the year, which means there’s still plenty of time for this to change, but I went through all of 2019 without any major depressive episodes. I cannot remember the last time I was able to say that in any given year. Yeah, I had some days where I was a little down. Things bothered me throughout the year, but nothing was prolonged and nothing was serious. Not everything that I hoped would happen would happen, but nothing bad happened. I feel like this is a major accomplishment for me.

I went to a decent amount of concerts in 2019. Me going to shows is not a new thing, by any means. But, going to these shows without financial worries is new for me. I didn’t have to make deals with friends like I had in the past. I went to shows that I wanted to go to. I could afford them. I even traveled out of state a few times. I visited friends at their houses that I used to say I couldn’t afford to go to. In each of the last 4 months of the year, I spent a few nights in hotel rooms for events that I attended. I paid for those rooms. I could afford them. It’s a good feeling.

Just like in previous years, I failed to hit my goal of reading 12 books during the year. I also never came close to doing the Black Crow pose during my DDP Yoga sessions. Maybe that pose isn’t meant to be for me. I’m not upset about missing either of those goals. Too many good things happened during the year for me to be upset about them.

My New Year’s Resolution is always the same. It’s “I want to make it better.” I did that in 2019. I hope to keep that going in 2020. I’m very much aware that just because 2019 was good for/to me doesn’t mean that there aren’t changes that I have to make. I recently discussed that I’m not happy with my weight. I already have a plan in place to attempt to work on that. If I hit my goals there, I could possibly have better 5k results in 2020.

One of the biggest problems that I faced in 2019, as far as this blog goes, was that I was not really depressed and that made it difficult for me to have topics to write about. What a problem to have!

I hope that when I sit down to write next year’s version of this entry that I either have that same problem or that I come up with some stories to tell about my experiences. I’m going to take 2020 day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. If the year is half as good to me as 2019 was, I think I’ll be fine.

2019 Album of the Year

1- Life of Agony – The Sound of Scars
2- Lacuna Coil – Black Anima
3- Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
4- The Allman Betts Band – Down to the River
5- Those Poor Bastards – Evil Seeds
6- Within Temptation – Resist
7- A Bad Think – The Savior
8- Opeth – In Cauda Venenum
9- King Hobo – Mauga
10- Whitechapel – The Valley

Life of Agony’s 1993 debut album River Runs Red is their masterpiece. That’s pretty much not debatable. That album was a concept album about someone going through a very rough time and at the end of the album, it appeared that the main character had killed himself.

They’ve put out some very good albums since then, but none of them had the impact that The Sound of Scars had, in my opinion. The Sound of Scars is the follow-up to River Runs Red, in that it tells the next chapter of the life of that character. As it turns out, he didn’t die and this album is that story. This album is also, (in my opinion) easily, their best work since River Runs Red.

The day that The Sound of Scars was released, I made sure that I had free time in my day and listened to the album from uninterrupted, from beginning to end, while reading the lyrics. Honestly, I cannot remember a time when any new album gave me the emotional response that this one did. I often get goosebumps when discussing it. Yes, I think it’s THAT good.

Usually, I’ll recommend a few tracks from each album that stand out as my favorites, but I feel doing that here does the album a disservice. This album is intended to be listened to from beginning to end. If you are a fan of Life of Agony and have not heard this album, you’re missing out. If you haven’t listened to Life of Agony for a while, this is when you should start again.

Lacuna Coil’s last album, Delirium was my 2016 Album of the Year. When talking about that album, I said it was ” was really the Lacuna Coil album I’ve been waiting for.” Well, they followed it up with Black Anima, which I consider to be just as good and they almost got the top spot again this year.

They’ve embraced a darker, heavier sound and it really does work for them. Their “new” style is continuing to evolve and I hope it continues on this path.

Tracks I recommend from Black Anima include “Layers of Time,” “Sword of Anger,” “the End is All I Can See,” and especially “Reckless.” Although, I do have to say the video for “Reckless” was a bit, ummm… interesting. If you watch it, you’ll understand.

Slipknot has been around for almost 25 years. While I’ve known about them and have heard their songs, I’ve barely paid attention to them until recently. I am completely willing to admit that I have probably missed out on a lot of good music. We Are Not Your Kind is Slipknot’s 6th studio album, but the first that I’ve ever really listened to. I think it’s a really good record and I’m glad that I got it. At some point I’ll go back and listen their older stuff.

Some of the tracks that I think I really good from We Are Not Your Kind include “Unsainted,” “Solway Firth,” and “A Liar’s Funeral.”

Between 1996 and 2014, I saw the Allman Brothers Band in concert 45 times. You could say that I’m a fan of their work. When I heard that Devon Allman and Duane Betts, the sons of founding Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts (respectively) were forming a group called the Allman Betts Band, I was intrigued. They released their debut album, Down to the River, in the summer. Without hearing a single song from it, I purchased the album. Any fan of the Allman Brothers Band should love this album. Not only does it sound like early Allman Brothers’ albums, but Duane Betts sounds almost exactly like his father. He looks like him too. In all seriousness, there are a few songs on Down to the River that could easily be on the Allman Brothers’s albums such as Idlewild South or Brothers and Sisters, and I think that is a big compliment to them.

Songs that I think stand out “Autumn Breeze,” “All Night,” and especially “Shinin’.”

I’ve been listening to Those Poor Bastards for a few years now and while I have liked some of their albums more than others, they’ve yet to disappoint me. How many American gothic country doom bands do you know? I mentioned earlier that I like that Lacuna Coil was able to put out consecutively good albums, but not only did Those Poor Bastards do it, they’ve done it two years in a row. 2019’s Evil Seeds gets the 5th spot on my list 2018’s Inhuman Nature was ranked as the 8th Best Album in my list.

Tracks to check out on this include “One of Us,” “Just Tonight,” and “Wake Up in the Gutter.”

I’ve thought that Within Temptation has relied on guest vocalists too much in previous years. Many of their songs have had a second singer on them. But, there’s something about them doing it on Resist that really worked well. They have a very rich and elegant sound that not many other bands that they’re associated with also have.

Some of my favorites from Resist include “Endless War,” “Raise Your Banner,” and “Supernova.”

I had never heard of A Bad Think until this summer. I didn’t know they were a group. I honestly didn’t know they existed. But then I started seeing ads for their new album pop up all over my social media sites. I remember one saying “If you like Blackfield, you’ll like A Bad Think.” Well, I finally checked out songs from A Bad Think on YouTube. I don’t understand the Blackfield comparison at all, but I ended up liking A Bad Think. A Bad Think is Michael Marquart, a former member of Flock of Seagulls. A Bad Think is his project. I believe it’s him doing every instrument and writing every song. And it’s good. I’m glad I gave in to the advertising pressure online.

“Feel Me” and “Falling Star” are good tracks to check out.

I don’t know what to expect from Opeth albums now, and at the same time, I do. I know they’re probably not going to feature any death metal growls, but they’ll still take me on a ride like they used to. Their latest album, In Cauda Venenum, is a good example of that. I do have to admit that this album took a little while to grow on me. It’s got a bit more of a jazzy tone to it than previous Opeth albums do. That isn’t an issue for me, but I don’t know that I expected it. See what I’m saying? The songs on this album flow very well together, almost to the point that I don’t know where one song ends and the next begins. That’s almost a flaw in the album, but I still liked it enough to rank it as the 8th Best Album of 2019.

Songs I was able to figure out the beginning and end to that I liked include “Dignity,” “Lovelorn Crime,” and “Universal Truth.”

King Hobo formed by accident. During the 2005 Sounds of the Underground tour, members of Clutch and Opeth would hang out and jam between sets. That sparked a friendship and eventually their self-titled album in 2008, which I ranked very high in my Top 10 list that year. Their second album, Mauga, is also very good and worth checking out, especially if you like Clutch, “stoner bands,” or “jam bands.”

The opening track on Mauga is “Hobo Ride” which immediately became one of my favorite songs from this year. The title track and “King Blues” are also good ones to try.

Finishing off my Top 10 list is another band that I wasn’t aware of until this year, Whitechapel. Apparently, their 2019 album, the Valley, is their 7th studio album. Who knew? Well, actually a good friend of mine knew and she texted me about one of their songs and she said it was “depressing as Hell. It’s amazing.” She got my attention. I watched the video. It was very emotional. It “went there” in ways that I’m not used to seeing. It was actually a very graphic video, which she warned me about. But, based on that, I wanted to see/hear more. I got the album and listened to the whole thing. Wow. They have a new fan. They’re classified as Deathcore and Progressive. That’s a weird combination for bands, but it works for them.

If my vague description of the Valley didn’t do enough for you, check out their video for the song that my friend recommended to me, “When a Demon Defiles a Witch.” But, be warned that it deals with serious stuff. My other favorite song from the album is “Doom Woods.”

Other albums that were in consideration for my Top 10, but just didn’t make it were Le Butcheretts’ bi/Mental, Corpse Flower from Mike Patton and Jean Claude Vannier, Signs by the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, and Agonizing Love from Lonesome Wyatt (from Those Poor Bastards).

The Black Keys put out Let’s Rock during 2019 and I just think it’s very forgettable. That’s a shame, because I’ve really liked their albums up until this point. I saw them in concert this year and the new songs didn’t win me over.

I became aware of Jinjer during the year and liked one song that I heard. I got the album, Macro, and thought it sounded too much like other bands that I’ve heard. I lost interest quickly.

Imperial Teen’s second album Now We Are Timeless really isn’t timeless.

I’m not too aware of which bands will be putting out new albums in 2020. I believe Paradise Lost and Clutch may have ones. I’m hoping to discover a new band or two during the year. Who knows, maybe social media ads will work again. But, I hope that 2020 gives me a few good albums to enjoy. If any of them are half as good as some of the ones in this year’s Top 10, I won’t have much to complain about.

A note about eligibility for my 2019 Album of the Year:
– the album must have had a United States street date in 2019.
– the album must be new material (for the band or artist).
– live albums are only eligible if they’re new material.

The Road to Happiness I Never Knew.

As I’ve said in recent entries, things have been going well for me. And as I’ve also said in some recent entries, that worries me.

Just a few weeks ago, I told someone that I had not had any major depression episodes in 2019. Instead of looking at that as an accomplishment, I actually see it as something being wrong. Yeah, I know that’s not a good thing.

I’m in a weird emotional place right now. I’ve in a much better social, mental, economical, and (possibly) emotional place than I’ve been in years. I’m happy with my finances. I’m happy with my job. I’m happy with my friends. I’m just not happy with myself.

So, what’s causing my unhappiness? Is it the (somewhat simple) fact that I’ve gained some weight over the past few months? I know the cause of the weight gain and (in theory) it’s simple to reverse. Is it more than my weight? Is it deeper? What’s the problem?

Of course, I know that none of my problems are necessarily simple problems. Or are they? Yeah, this is what keeps me up at night. Seriously. It does. I have trouble shutting my brain off at night and I keep thinking, and thinking, and over-thinking my issues. That causes me anxiety, fatigue, and an overall reluctance to do anything.

If my current weight is such an issue, I should just eat healthier, workout more, and take better care of myself, right? The thing is that I’m aware of all of that, but there’s a mental block that’s preventing me from going in that direction. I could easily do a workout each and every morning before I leave for work, except that I can’t. And THAT is causing me more stress.

The only stretching that I’ve consistently done in recent months is stretching the time that I get to lay in my bed and hit the snooze button on the various alarms that are needed to wake me from the sleep that I’ve barely had.

It’s possible that this entry will be the catalyst that I need to change my course and start re-focusing on my fitness. However, if I start to do it out of routine and not out of joy, will it seem like too much of a chore for me? Do you see why things are sometimes difficult for me? My mind goes all over the place very easily.

When I started this entry, I didn’t know that I was going to focus so much on my lack of physical activity. I knew that I was going to focus on my lack of self-happiness. But, as I’m writing this (over the course of a few days), I’ve realized that there’s a few things that make me unhappy about myself. And of those things, there’s a few that I don’t necessarily have total control over. And there’s also some that I have no control over (yet). So maybe, I should focus on what I do have control over and do my best to fix that. If my current weight is THE issue that I can fix, then that’s what I should work on.

My brain is sort of like a highway with many exits. There’s cloverleaf exits, jughandles, u-turns, and dead ends. Sometimes the problem with me accomplishing something is that my brain takes the wrong exit or just keeps going in a self-destructive way that stops me from getting to where I need to be. It’s not as simple as just taking the right exit. It’s a long road and the time I spend on that road varies often. But, maybe if I can get my brain to take a detour, I’ll somehow end up on the right road and get there. Of course, I’m not even sure where that destination is. And if I start to worry about that right now, we’ll be here for a LONG time.

It is Time For Deeds to Take the Shape of Vows and Codes of Promise.

I recently heard someone talk about Mental Illness as an “Invisible Illness.” A light went off in my head when I heard that. I thought it was a brilliant description. It’s so accurate. Society does not feel the same way about Mental Illnesses as they feel about other illnesses that they can see. Society doesn’t believe that Mental Illness should be treated as seriously as a physical injury. How many times has someone that is dealing with some kind of depression been told “get over it?” I had a really bad back spasm early this year. I could barely stand up or walk. People didn’t tell me to “get over it.” They insisted that I see doctors for it, which I did.

What I described above is a simplistic way of looking at Mental Illness vs. other illnesses. But, it’s accurate. The stigma attached to Mental Illness leads to so many more problems and it needs to go away. No ifs, ands, or buts. It NEEDS TO GO AWAY.

I live with depression. I live with anxiety. I live with Mental Illness. Like any nagging physical ailment (and in my 40s, I have my share of those), they can flare up at any time. Sometimes without any warning or logical reason. I mentioned my back earlier. I see a chiropractor somewhat regularly about that. It’s not something that people question. They know I have back issues and they know why I see a doctor for it. When I was regularly seeing a psychologist a few years ago, some people questioned why I did that.

I question why things are going well in my life. I expect all good things to end. I anticipate disaster. I get very anxious about things I have to do. I feel alone when I’m part of a community. I can be feeling great one minute and be a wreck the next. All of what I just described is an illness. Why do people think differently about that type of illness than they think of a physical bruise, or a cut, or even cancer? Why are mentally ill people shunned?

I’ve noticed throughout my life that a general ignorance towards issues causes people to act out and be afraid of things. I used to be a bit more judgmental about cynical about Mental Health issues than I am today. I’m not proud of that. But, what I am proud of is where I am now. I am very much aware of my own issues. I am aware of the damage done to me. I am aware of the damage that has been done to others. I don’t like feeling the way I’ve felt and I don’t want others to feel that way either.

I have often felt alone and helpless. And as much as I KNOW that I’m not alone nor helpless, those feelings are often around. They linger. They cause me anxiety and depression. I do my best to remind myself that I’m not alone. I do my best to remind myself that I’m not helpless. And I also do my best to remind others that they are not alone or helpless.

I want to do all that I can to help others. These entries are very therapeutic for me. I don’t know what my readers get out of them. I hope, at the very least, they realize what I’ve realized a while ago. There is a community of us out there. We’re not alone in this. We are here for each other.

My last few entries have been a struggle for me. Not because that I’ve been feeling down and out. It’s been the exact opposite. I’ve been doing well for a while and I’ve felt that I’ve had nothing to write about. Recently, I took part in a class that really opened my eyes to a few things and really inspired me. I’ll be touching on that in upcoming entries. I’ll also be discussing more about how certain bands and their songs, and their fans, have helped me (and others). I have specific things that I want to discuss. Hopefully, you’ll want to read about what I have to say.



My Vision Now is Incomplete. I am Affected by the Warmth.

As I’ve been struggling to find things to write about recently, I’ve also noticed that I usually have a hard time finding something to write about during this time of year. So, this entry should be amazing. (Insert eye roll here).

Not having been had any major depression issues for a while now, I feel like this blog has been suffering. Trust me, I’m glad to have such a problem.

In the past, many of these entries are planned out. A thought, feeling, or mood comes to me and I’ll start writing notes. It could be something like “childhood trauma caused by bullying.” I’ll start writing examples of that happened to me that pop into my mind and I can write an entry from there.

After I have the basic structure for an entry, I’ll start actually writing something. In many cases, the original entry will be rewritten many times. It’s very rare that I’ll just write something and immediately publish it. I have to be very fired up for that to happen.

This entry is an example of one that has no structure, no preconceived concepts, and no real idea of where it’s going. Although, I did think about writing about a high school teacher or two that actually did encourage me and how much of an impact that has on things like this entry. But, I’ll save that for a future entry that is actually thought out and well written.

I do have some concepts for blog entries that I plan on writing in the somewhat near future, but those entries are about specific things that correspond to specific dates and I’m holding off on them for now. There’s one in particular that I know I’m going to have a very difficult time writing. Some people may be able to figure out what that particular topic is. But, regardless of that particular entry, I think I may need to just start thinking about more topics.

It’s actually possible that I may have an idea for my next entry. That basically depends on how something goes for me over the next few weeks. I’ll be learning some new things that could be very good for my blog entries. No, I’m not implying that I’ll be learning things that’ll make me depressed. I’m just saying that something could be interesting and help me. And that it could make for an interesting topic.

There used to be times when I would have two or three months worth of blog entries ready to go at any given time. There were times when I wouldn’t end up publishing some of those because what I was feeling when I originally thought about it may have changed by the time I got around to actually writing the full entry.

I used to think that having a “writer’s block” was a bad thing. But, in this case, maybe it isn’t. I write about my battles with depression. I haven’t had too much to write about for a while. There’s no way to say that’s not good. It may just mean that I have to work harder to have blog entries of substance. And that is something I’m going to work on, because this lack of misery is really killing my creativity.

In the Morning the Battle for Endurance has Been Lost.

In my last few entries, I’ve discussed how much better things have been for me recently. That is still true, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still problems. As good as things are, I still have strong feelings of emptiness, failure, and overall malaise. Yes, it’s possible to enjoy myself and still feel those things.

It bothers me that I can’t completely enjoy myself, even in the some of the best of times. I KNOW that I have a bigger social circle than I’ve ever had. I have closer connections to people that I used to have, yet there’s still a lack of something. That’s the emptiness that I feel. I don’t know how to fix that.

I am doing better than I’ve probably ever done in my life, yet I still feel failure. I sometimes wonder if this, more than any other aspect of my life, is due to how I was programmed as a child. Praise didn’t come my way as much as criticism did. My accomplishments were often ignored. I’ve often realized that if someone points out something that I did wrong, they’ll focus on that, and not that I fixed whatever thing was wrong.

The malaise that I mentioned is just an overall feeling. I have more free time, yet I feel like I don’t. I have time to get up early in the morning and do things, but I don’t do that. I hit the snooze button again and again until I have no free time in the morning. I don’t know why I have such problems with this.

My issues are not an easy fix. Maybe I would feel somewhat better if I just got out of bed in the morning and did something. Like many things I write about, this may not make sense to many of you, but something as simple as getting out of bed early to do something is very difficult for me. I don’t have an explanation for it. It’s just not easy. It’s not a laziness thing. It’s a mental thing.

The part about having so many friends and feeling empty doesn’t really make sense either. I try not to think about it too much. That’ll just cause anxiety and make me feel worse.

The failure part is a difficult one. As I’ve said, I know I’m doing better, but am I where I should be? Can I get to where that is? But, then again, but what standards are we judging that by? I don’t have those answers. I don’t even know if I want those answers.

Going day by day allows me to not worry about long term things. But, not worry about long term things may be cutting my sights short and not giving me anything to strive for. It’s a conundrum.

Some people may think the problems that I’m describing here are simple fixes. Some people may think they’re not. I know I like when I get things done. It’s just difficult to start doing things. That mental block that is very difficult to get past. Being aware of it is good, yet bad at the same time. The fact that I see this in other people makes me more aware of my own issues and how I KNOW I would feel better if I just did what I thought could improve my situation, but as I said, doing it is sometimes inexplicably difficult for me.

I’ve said before that I was brought up in a world of “can’t” and “don’t.” Meaning I was always told what I can’t do, and often told “don’t do (whatever).” It really has made me almost sure that I can’t and shouldn’t do things. I know that world has to change, but I have to figure out how to change it.

But, as I said just a little while ago. I take everything day by day. And despite what it may seem like in this entry, even with the feelings I’ve described, I’m in a good place right now. I want that to continue. I’m afraid of what how I would feel if I wasn’t where I am now. And maybe that’s exactly why I need to take things day by day.

I Walk in the Darkness and Neon Lights.

I’m generally a miserable, cynical, pessimist. I can’t help it. It’s what I’ve become. It’s how I’ve been programmed to be. I’m not saying any of that for sympathy. I’m saying it because I think, in a way, it’s helped me appreciate certain things.

On more than one occasion, I’ve written about how I always expect good things to end. I don’t enjoy happiness as much as I should because I don’t expect it to last.

Another thing I’ve said a few times and have written entries specific to this is how much music has helped me through so many bad times.

Everything I’ve written in this entry so far is tied together by experiences I’ve recently had.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a few concerts over the last few weeks. The bands I saw were bands that I had seen MULTIPLE times before. Their shows were great. I have nothing bad to say about them. But, the music and the bands were almost secondary to the overall experiences that I had during those times. It was really about the people, friendships, and relationships that I’ve developed because of the music.

This is another difficult entry for me to write. I’m so much more creative when I’m miserable. I’m so far removed from being miserable right now that I almost don’t know what to write about.

Anyway…

Getting back to what I said at the beginning of this entry, I really do appreciate everything that I was able to do over the past few weeks. A few years ago, there is almost no way I would be able to afford all that I did. Heck, I may not have been able to afford it just one year ago, but so much has changed since then.

I live really close to New York City, but it is EXPENSIVE to drive there. Something as simple as being able to afford to go to concerts in NYC two nights in a row is something that I very much appreciate being able to. I’ve been so much worse off financially in my past that I am very much aware of how good it is that I can do that.

Perspective is a good thing to have. I’ve been THOUSANDS of dollars in debt. I’ve been miserably depressed. I’ve worked at jobs that I could barely afford to keep working at. None of those situations apply to me now. My life is so much better than it’s been. I’m very much aware of that. Yes, I do expect the ride to come to an end, but I’m actually enjoying it too much to worry about that right now.

I know things could be A LOT better in my life. But, I also remember how bad they’ve been. I do not lose sight of that. I cannot lose site of that. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me sane, which is actually quite a task.

I’m genuinely struggling to find something bad to say. I’m so conditioned to be miserable and cynical that this current version of myself is confusing. I’m not saying that I don’t want it to last, and as much as I think it’s not going to last, I’m going to do whatever I can to make it last.

This is how a lot of my recent entries have gone. I don’t know what to say in them. I haven’t been unpacking much baggage. It’s ironic that I’m almost bothered by the fact that I don’t have much to complain about. It’s like I’m hoping for something traumatic just so I can write a really good entry. And as much as I’m tempted to say something snarky like “with any luck, that’ll happen some time soon,” I’m actually glad that I don’t have much to say.