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About Me
Musings and Thoughts

22 September 2022 - 23:47

I turned 30 yesterday. I'm currently struggling with this. Part of me wants to bury myself in old anime and games and pretend it's 2006. Part of me wants to really start kissing ass at work so I can start working on one of those "careers" I'm supposed to have. I have no idea what to do.

I feel like I'm in a boat drifting further and further away from home at an agonizingly slow pace. There's nothing that can be done. Maybe it's time for a "mid-life" crisis? I seem to have those so often, though.

I'm seeing Heilung in Dallas next Saturday, so that should be fun at least. Thirty years old and finally going to a big concert for the first time. What does that say about me?

Right now I'm drinking tea and exploring the internet while I chat with friends - a nightly ritual for at least... 18 years now? Perhaps minus the tea.

Oh, I got to experience some agony earlier today at the dentist (nearly exposed nerve, lots of cold water and air) so that helped put some things in perspective, at least.

God, my thoughts are really all over the place, aren't they?

Currently listening to: ‎she explains, for the happy ending by Yuki Kajiura


11 July 2022 - 10:34

So, apparently I have COVID again. This really sucks. I needed time off work, but not like this. At least I should be completely immune for several months after this. So far it's mostly been diarrhea, sore throat, runny nose, malaise, cough. No fever or trouble breathing or loss of taste/smell. Last time I had COVID I didn't have any respiratory symptoms at all. I'll continue to post about this as it develops.

Otherwise, we're finally moved into our new place, settled in, and everything is back to normal for the most part. I'm definitely happy to be out of that shitty apartment we had been living in. I'm sure all the black mold in that place didn't do me any favors.

I also moved my Fediverse presence to stereophonic.space. Pleroma seems to suffer less from the same Twitter-bluecheck bullshit Mastodon does. However, I am growing to dislike the Fediverse almost as much as I dislike the CorporateWeb, just for slightly different reasons. You're either in the Mastodon Server Covenant (ugh) where wrongthink can get you banned, or you're on your own in a sea of actual nazis and other such human garbage. It is quite frustrating.

I also have a little retrogaming station now in my den now where I can chill and play old JRPGs, so I'm pretty happy about that. My soul needed some good retrogaming. I'm probably about to FINALLY beat Dragon Quest VIII, which is a game that's been on my radar since 2005.

Anyway, I hope all of you are doing great. Feel free to email me or send me a message on Matrix.

Currently listening to: blaze by Kalafina


20 April 2022 - 23:09

It's so disappointing to see people who don't realize they're being used to deliberately divide people. Smart, caring, thoughtful people whose hearts are undoubtedly in the right place so frequently get caught up in culture-war bullshit that is just so obviously designed to divide people or to create new subcultures and identities for capitalists to market to.

The perfect wedge issues are those that deal not with morality, but with the nature of reality itself. People aren't going to agree about those, not easily, especially when you keep moving the goalposts and pulling the rug out from people who were previously on board. And, of course, you have to realize what the end goal is of cannibalistic movements that seem all too keen on cutting people out at the slightest transgression. In a strange twist of fate, it's religion. We all know the boiled frog never reacts if the temperature is raised slowly enough.

You're being used to facilitate the rise of fascism. It's happened before and it'll happen again. The last time culture-war bullshit like this was so prevalent, it was used to radicalize people into right-wing extremism and galvanize the fascists. Of course by the time you realize this it will be too late.


06 March 2022 - 12:09

Today I'm very frustrated at the prevalence of pre-made opinions people have adopted. People will look back at this time as a very strange episode of history. (Weimar Period, anyone??) All mainstream discourse is done within the lens of the woke cult, and yet all fringe spaces which claim to believe in "free speech" are full of literal nazis. This consistently holds true and it is profoundly exhausting in so many ways. People decide if they belong to the red team or the blue team and then simply outsource all thought to a handful of idiots spewing nonsense into the internet. As long as the idiots in question are *their* idiots, there's no issue. It's funny how you can almost always accurately determine how someone feels about [redacted social issue], for example, based on what TV and film they consume. It's a straight line, all the way through, of thoughts, interests, opinions and ideas. There are exactly two pre-fabricated paradigms, two identities you can consume: red or blue. I refuse to use the terms "left" and "right" to describe this, as the meaning of these terms do not apply to this identity conflict. "Left" has historically meant "power in the hands of the many" while "right" is supposed to mean "power in the hands of the few." A lot of what is today described as "left" is paradoxically imposed in a brutally top-down manner. It's so obviously an exercise in making sure no real left action takes place. Our "right" claims to hate government, yet engages in masturbatory nationalist jingoism and regards any criticism of the government's hired guns as blasphemy, whereas our "left" has nothing but utter contempt for the working class or the hired goons (pigs) who are necessary to enforce and impose their cult. It's a paradox and it's designed to be this way. If our worldviews are incredibly inconsistent, we'll always be arguing over stupid bullshit and those in power will never be challenged in any meaningful way. The science of finding wedge issues to divide people has become incredibly advanced - our wedge issues are no longer moral questions, but metaphysical questions about the nature of reality. These types of questions are not easy to reconcile and thus make for PERFECT wedge issues in a society where discourse rarely escapes the bounds of circlejerking and name-calling.

Remember, the most important process you can self-host is thought.

Currently listening to: Credence by Opeth


19 February 2022 - 23:06

Today I learned that an old friend of mine died on December 1st. She had been sick for most of 2021. We hadn't spoken since about.. 2017, I think. We were pretty good friends from around 2012 to around 2015-ish, when we worked together. The last time we spoke, we had gotten together for a cup of coffee to catch up at one of our favorite coffeehouses. I never saw her again.

Today, at Costco, I ran into one of our old work buddies who works there now. He mentioned that she had passed as if I had already heard and it absolutely blindsided me. I'm pretty torn up. She was 30. I thought about her the other day and decided I'd try to get back in touch with her to catch up. Now that will never happen.

I felt physically ill when he told me. We used to talk every day at work. She introduced me to so much new music. We used to swap CDs at school sometimes (we also attended the same college) and she had such a wonderful taste in music. One of her favorite musicians apparently wrote a song for her when she passed. She would have been pleased to know this. I am so profoundly upset with this. The world is now an even poorer place.

RIP Lucia.


19 February 2022 - 00:15

A quick addendum to my last entry: I don't feel like anyone cares too very much about me or what I think. I was looking around at my Gemini capsule and I realized that pretty much nobody even cared enough to play the game I wrote. I spent a year typing this game into a text editor and nobody really cared. The best I got was my head bitten off for programming questions. That's probably why I haven't really pursued programming much since.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing here. There might be one internet stalker reading this but for the most part nobody I know IRL is reading. I get mail from internet randos who read this but that only helps so much.

Anyway, goodnight internet.

Currently listening to: Hope has a Place by Enya


19 February 2022 - 00:08

I just realized that this past Tuesday has been a year since I started this capsule. Time flies when you're "having fun." This year has been rough so far, despite the fact that the COVID pandemic appears to be drawing to a close. They really seem to want this war with Russia, which is fucking terrifying. I've never felt so fucking helpless in the face of fabricated hysteria than I have right now. It seems like so very little of this world is salvageable.

On a personal level, I've been trying to focus more on reading and lifting weights than on pointless internet drama, though this week (and particularly tonight) I have completely submerged myself in the internet. It does feel good to stay up online from time to time.

I've finished writing several pages of my essay on my new flavor of folk-religion for English-speakers. I've received a lot of positive feedback, which is encouraging. I'll probably try to get some more writing done tonight before finally calling it a night and going to bed.

I've been reveling in a very particular flavor of late-90s-early-2000s nostalgia which for me consists primarily of Nintendo64-era Zelda, South Park, Futurama, and IRC. It's been an interesting little exercise in escapism. I really wish I could have been old enough to appreciate the fact that this period was the peak of humanity at the time. Our hope for the future was so naïve. As Andy Bernard from The Office put it, "I wish there were a way to know you were in the 'good old days' before you actually left them." I feel this quote a lot. I need more nostalgia-minded friends to wallow with. I need more friends anyway. I only have precious few of them left. I really wish I could have some sort of get-together but these are increasingly hard to organize. In addition to this, my mother is currently staying in my guest room while she gets back on her feet, so that's proving to make socialization difficult.

I've been dealing with the isolation of the pandemic very badly. While my anxiety has improved a great deal, I'm finding that my depression is worsening to a frightening degree. I often find myself wondering "what's the point" when I begin to do anything except for go to work and do the basic tasks necessary to sustain life. I'll start to play a video game or something and think "there's no point. You'll die soon and you can't take any of it with you." I know this isn't a healthy way to think, and I'm trying to change it, but it's proving quite difficult. I haven't had any suicidal ideation or anything, so don't worry, just a profound existential sadness that I'm sure is not good for me in the long run.

At work, my position is suffering from a lot of scope-creep. Things that are not my job are constantly being piled upon me, and of course I finish these tasks, like a good little drone, to be rewarded with more work that is NOT MY FUCKING JOB. I'm very close to leaving my keys on the desk and just fucking LEAVING.

Anyway, it's the weekend, my brief respite. In about ten minutes it will be 8 o'clock Monday morning, so I better get carpin' them diems (by which I mean watching anime and playing go online.)

Have a good weekend, geminispace.

Currently listening to: vanity by Yuki Kajiura


09 January 2022 - 00:02

Well, I spent the first four or five days of the year miserably sick, so that's always fun. This week was pretty busy at work and the plague is currently exploding again, so it's just fun all around. I've been watching a lot of TV lately and I forgot how good early South Park was. You know, before it became a twenty-minute right-libertarian political cartoon. Otherwise we've been watching a lot of The Witcher and The Man in the High Castle.

I don't have a whole lot to report, sorry, just felt like my sickness was worth mentioning. I'm feeling better now but for a few days there I could barely even get out of bed. It was awful.

Lately I've been thinking about how funny it is that my HTTP site, which is hosted on WordPress, periodically gets traffic from Google search results and I'm pretty sure I know exactly who this is.

Anyway, if you read my capsule regularly, feel free to shoot me an email or a Matrix message. I've actually gotten quite a bit of "fan" mail lately so that's been encouraging.

Currently listening to: Voodoo by Godsmack


01 January 2022 - 21:25

Every year we advance past 2008 or so is a mistake. This year will be the tenth anniversary of the end of the world in 2012 (I say this only half-jokingly, no Mayan magic necessary, the world quickly slid downhill past this point). Hopefully we can reclaim some good things in the "Rawring 20s."

I spent most of the month of December profoundly exhausted. I've been depressed, lazy, and useless. The only good thing I've done is get back to the doctor and avoid taking sick days at work. Work's going alright, I suppose. I still dread it but I can confidently say I do not hate this job.

Otherwise, things in my personal life are alright. I don't have many friends left and I can't really see the remaining ones because of the Plague or other concerns.

Currently listening to: lamentation by Yuki Kajiura


06 November 2021 - 21:21

This is a very general update, as things haven't been particularly eventful lately.

I've been miserably sick this week with a headcold and I've been having bad anxiety symptoms since Wednesday night, so I haven't exactly been having a Good Time. Otherwise though, I'm alright, work seems to be going okay, I've been well otherwise, just sort of doing some introspection.

Honestly, I think I'm in a good headspace right now. We'll see if I can stay here :)

Currently listening to: Canyon Voices by Tangerine Dream


15 October 2021 - 20:47

I've been working a new job since September and it seems to be going well so far. It pays better and the schedule is a marked improvement. Otherwise, I've been playing a lot of Doom, reading a lot, and chatting a lot with internet friends. It seems the plague is getting better, so that's definitely encouraging.

Bought plane tickets for Thanksgiving to go out to Vegas to see my mother so that's exciting as well. It's been more than ten years since I've been on a plane.

I've met a lot of cool new internet peeps on the Fediverse (and elsewhere) so honestly as far as my internet social life goes, it's very healthy. IRL it's getting better too. I'm getting along with everyone at work a lot better than I anticipated.

I remain cautiously optimistic about the future.


21 August 2021 - 21:53

I'm having a bad time, to be perfectly frank. I have more teeth that are giving me problems, and of course that means lots of painful, expensive dental work. I had to call in to work today because of it, even.

I'm also looking for new jobs, since the schedule at my current job just isn't working out. I can't do this "being on unpaid call all week" thing.

Besides that, I've recently gotten into an interesting Gemini capsule at cosmic.voyage, which is a collaborative science-fiction project. Go check it out, it's cool.

Cosmic Voyage


27 July 2021 - 14:11

Hello again, everyone! I just wanted to make a post, since I hadn't in a while. Every day I spend more and more time on Gemini, yet I'm neglecting my own capsule - how sad! Anyway, things have been alright recently, with a couple of exceptions. My parents both have COVID, even though they are fully vaccinated, and so my wife and I are getting tested again this week to make sure we don't have it. We're also fully vaccinated, and we feel fine, so I think we're probably alright - but we'd like to be sure. In addition to this, I'm dealing with a pretty aggressive toothache and I'll need to get a root canal next week. It's definitely less-than-ideal, but I'll make it. I've also been enjoying the Fediverse and Gemini a lot more lately, after realizing that I've met plenty of fine folk there. Most of my current internet friends are from one of these spaces or other. I've also been getting back into calligraphy and various other crafty interests. I'll definitely be sharing some more things here.

Curently Listening To: Konpeito Summer 2021 Mix


11 May 2021 - 12:37

Hello everyone. Soon I will be moving my capsule somewhere that doesn't allow HTTP access. I really enjoyed how the Midnight Pub allowed me to dip my toes into Geminispace easily! However, now that I know I'll be staying here, I want to move somewhere that doesn't allow web access to my capsule.

Currently Listening To: Diese Kalte Nacht by Faun


03 May 2021 - 23:07

Hello, Gemini! I've been spending a lot of time on Gemini lately, which is really cool. It feels like exploring some vast, empty space, like exploring the early internet used to feel. It's actually starting to make me a little uncomfortable that my capsule is also accessible via the Web. Oh well. This is the best I'll be able to do until I can self-host. Either way, if anyone is interested, the new job is going well! I'm definitely feeling better about things lately.

Currently Listening To: Konpeito Winter 2021 Mix


22 March 2021 - 00:28

This one will be just a general update. I don't know if anyone reads these (if you do, let me know) but I enjoy typing random bullshit into the internet.

I've been doing alright, I suppose. Things have been rather slow lately. I'm off for the next week before I have to report to orientation next Monday morning. I'm not looking forward to being out of town for a week but I am looking forward to the new job. I hope I enjoy it. I feel like I will, but then again, I felt like that about the last one, didn't I? Maybe I'm destined to dislike all my jobs. However, this one pays better and eliminates the issues I found to be the most stressful at my old job, so that bodes well.

I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately, as any of my Steam friends will be able to tell you. I've also been feeling sort of icky about depending on Steam so much for gaming purposes. I really hate the orgy of DRM you have to navigate to buy games nowadays. I'd like to switch to GOG but Steam's Linux support is par excellence and I already have several hundreds of dollars of games on there, so it's hard to switch when you're tied to it like that.

Oh well. If Steam, YouTube and Reddit are the only proprietary platforms I use, I'll be in fairly decent shape. And honestly YouTube is next on the chopping block. If I can find a good Invidious instance, I'll be using that exclusively from now on.

Currently Listening To: Caught in the Rain by Aso


16 March 2021 - 16:56

This is my last Tuesday at this awful job. I'm so happy I'm going to be out of this job soon. I'll get a week off and then start at my new job. I also got good news from the doctor today so more or less I'm in a pretty good mood. I still need to tie up some loose ends but I'm still ruminating. I want to make sure I have thought everything through and don't say anything I don't truly mean.

Currently Listening To: Time by Godsmack


21 February 2021 - 22:21

I changed the site name today from the very generic "Travis Skaalgard's Gemini Capsule" to "The Hermit's Cell," which is a name I liked a lot better and have periodically used for other projects. I think it's more fitting for a Gemini capsule than for my old Neocities site anyway.

Currently Listening To: Shadowlands by Amethystium


16 February 2021 - 15:06

This is my first real entry here. I'm working from home today due to the weather and it seems like I'm not really getting anything done. I am working on finding a new job. My other anxieties are also acting up, as well. My omnipresent health anxiety is doing a fine job today of keeping me from enjoying things.


15 February 2021 - 23:05

I started this capsule today and figured I needed to flesh out the page a little :)