Posted in information, projects, updates

Some Interesting News


Hey guys,
Hey guys,
Steve here.

Several of you don’t know this, but a few years ago I used to have this podcast going. It was very informal, and not too well put together – I had a podcast feed, and a page, and I think a feedback form but that’s about it. The topic of the podcast, as well as its schedule, changed quite often. I eventually stopped doing that podcast, because I got burnt out on it. I also think I was younger, busier, less sure, etc, so I never really planned episodes and ended up making commitments I couldn’t really keep up with.
However, I am trying the podcast thing again. Over these last couple years, I’ve been watching lets plays of games on Youtube, and listening to fellow more professional blind peoples’ streams. While I will not pretend to be professional, (I want a laid back and chill but still somewhat structured cast), I will have it a lot more put together than its predecessor.
The first Episode will be on November 1. I will attempt to do an audio stream of it, combined with a live chat room, but this may or may not be possible. If not, I’ll still record and post it as normal.
I invite you to visit the podcast page, linked below. There I have posted the description of the podcast/my goal with it, as well as a “next planned episode” section which will detail what I will be doing in the next episode and when it will be created. There is also a feedback form which I encourage anyone interested in the podcast to use to suggest, comment, criticize, or just chat about an episode or the podcast in general. I intend this podcast to be as listener-driven and communicative as it is controlled by me. My listeners are what will keep this thing going, so I believe they deserve excellent treatment. I can say I do all the work but in truth, it’ll be you guys taking 30 minutes or more out of your day to listen and interact with the cast that’ll keep it going for real.
Finally, you guys who read the blog know I never ask for money on this site. I blog because I love to blog (okay I’ve been slipping, but still). I don’t believe that the content I put here, stories or otherwise, is worth asking that people fork over money to view it. However, I have added a donate button to the podcast page. Whatever is paid here will go to the cost of this site or the streaming server, or will give me, a college student, less of a likelihood to see a two-digit bank balance. My policy still stands though: I don’t expect to be paid or donated to. If I did, the button would be to buy episodes, not to voluntarily donate. This podcast is not money driven – so while I’ll mention the donate button briefly to remind people of its existence once or twice in an episode, I will not pressure anyone to use it. You donate to me if you feel like it, found the blog or a podcast good enough to warrant it, think I deserve it, whatever. If you don’t though, we’re still cool. You’re no less of a person. 🙂
That out of the way, This is the podcast page. I’m optimistic about this podcast, and generally just can’t wait to chat with people and have fun!
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.
Ps. Life related blog post in a few days.

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Posted in journal, stories

“My Song”


Hey guys,
Steve here.

This is sad, I’m warning you. I wrote it as a warm-up for the creative writing class I am in at school. Normally I don’t even save these journals, but I am this time because it’s one of the writings I’m particularly proud of. I left the prompt in here so you could know where this came from.

·         Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.
————————————————————
It was dark.
        The power had long since been knocked out, plunging this lonely house and the broken street on which it barely clung to life into complete darkness. Even the Sun had retreated from view as though it too was afraid to show its beautiful face in a land so completely consumed by such unimaginable destruction.
        Yet the plains streaked overhead – wining, roaring, depositing their hate-filled payloads on our dead city. I did not know why. We had long since fallen from our knees. We were face up on the ground, staring lifelessly at the starlit sky, unable to see even the slightest flicker of brightness – and wasn’t that their goal? Didn’t they aim to block out all the light? If so, they did it already by casting the shadows of their flying devils upon us, and destroying the foundations of who we were with thunderous booms and the hellish orange glow that followed – no. It was clear to all of us – including those whose lives were lost as everything they ever stood for was pulverized before their eyes – that those people wanted us all gone, entirely.
        Yet somehow, by some cruelly ironic miracle I could not name, through all of this, I laid protectively atop my three-year-old sister in what used to be my parents’ bathtub. And in this moment, I felt we were the only two living things left on the planet – the last two flickering pulses of light in a god awful sea of lifelessness.
As I laid there, plaster raining down upon me with every intensifying trimmer, I prayed  to whatever inexplicably cruel thing was listening. By God, if I wasn’t gonna survive this, couldn’t she at least? I wanted a bright future for her. I wanted all this destruction to be a thing of her past; never forgotten but never repeated. She was way too young to be forced into our bitter ways.
I had already excepted the inevitability of death’s staccato steps eventually bringing it to my house, where it would smash the entire structure and rip us out with vicious claws and crush us in its ravenous jaws. And yet as I laid there, holding and singing to my sister who seemed, at least for the moment blissfully unaware of the danger around us, I felt a spark of triumph light within me. Perhaps the war had taken away almost everything I know. Perhaps my parents were gone – maybe dead, maybe not, but certainly never to be seen again. However, this bond I shared with this tiny child – so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and so fragile, was the one thing the war could never rip from me. If anything, the war had only made it stronger.
        There was a massive crash. It was louder than any that had occurred thus far. It shook the house so violently, that I felt as though someone had picked us up, and slammed us down. A gasp escaped my sister’s lips, as the fearful tears began to fall from her eyes, dripping down her face and collecting in a pool behind her head. “Sam? I’m scared…” She murmured against my chest. I pulled her closer to me. Her tears soaked through my shirt, burning their way into my heart like acid.
“Please don’t let them hurt me, please?” She sobbed, desperation rising in her voice. “It’s my turn,” I thought to myself, the inevitability crashing into me like the constant shock waves. My song was dead now, for I had no more words to sing. Instead, the melodious bells of death rang in its place, louder than ever before. They were coming. Even my 3-year-old sister new that.
“It’s gonna get us, Sam. Daddy said we should run away if it tried to get us! What are you gonna-” She was practically screaming now, her body shaking against my chest.
“It’s okay, baby. I promise. Let it take you,” I whispered to her, stroking her hair. I absolutely despised myself for saying these words to her, because it meant I had failed her, myself, and my parents, and the rest of the world in the worst way imaginable.
“But I’m scared…” she protested.
There was a horrible whistle, as though from the gates of hell themselves. I squeezed my sister even tighter, folding my arms around her head protectively. And as the monster punched into our little haven of safety, I made my last dying promise. “Shhh. Don’t be. It’s okay. I’ve got you. I’ve always got you. We’ll go together. It can never hurt us then.”

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in journal, stories

Unearth, my first attempt at a larger scale short story


Hey guys,
Steve here.

This semester, I joined a creative writing class. My first assignment was to write a story about anything of my choosing, as long as it was at least 1000 words and had 3 or more characters. The following is my result. It’s just over 3600 words. I apologize for coming back after all this time with such a long post. Anyway, enjoy; and feel free to leave feedback.

Unearth

Early on the morning of reentry, the service droid assigned to maintenance of the habitation decks on board the Curious Beast stood in the sleeping quarters of the meager scouting party assigned to the ship. The droid stood no more than 4 feet tall, but despite his short stature, his features were made with intricate design – from the slight dimple on the right side of his face, to the slightly pointed nose, currently scrunched in exasperation, to the wrinkle of frustration in the middle of his forehead, above his immaculately groomed eyebrows. The ball-shaped lenses that served for his eyes rested in their unnaturally rounded sockets above his high cheek bones. His ears were abnormally large, jutting out from the sides of his head like mini radar dishes; a testament to the fact that even robot design artists were still just human. The droid wore a white button-up, lacking any trace of a wrinkle, the collar creased to perfection, tucked into stiffly ironed blue slacks.

“Wake up! For Heaven’s sake wake! Up! Your breakfast is getting cold!” The droid yelled in frustration, shaking the shoulder of Kevin L. Morris, the elf assigned to the planetary scouting operation. Kevin was small, shorter even than the droid, at just around 3 feet. He had a pudgy face with a nose that stuck out discernibly, with little green eyes sunk deep into their flabby sockets; and despite his small body he was noticeably fat, his belly jutting out as he slept, curled in a ball, wearing pajamas with a mysterious one-eyed cartoon character resembling a cat printed on them.
“Huh?! Yes mom, I’ll be right there.” Kevin shouted, jerking upright in bed and knocking his head on the bottom of the top bunk with a loud thump.
“Sir! I insist you quit mistaking me for your mother! We look absolutely nothing, alike-“ the droid began, cut off by an angry look from the now fully awakened Kevin, who sat on the edge of his bed rubbing his head where it had made its excessively forceful connection with the bed above him.
“Yeah Fred, whatever… I was half wonky.” Kevin replied, looking down at the floor, shameful redness slowly overspreading his cheeks as he realized his mistake. “What did you cook this morning?”
“It’s your favorite, sir. Spaghetti and meatballs with chili cheese nachos on the side.”, the Droid, whose name was Fred, replied.
Kevin smiled, wiping a bit of drool from the corner of his mouth. He stood, looking around the sleeping quarters, noticing for the first time that the beds of his fellow crew mates were empty. “Where are the others?” He asked, reaching for a plain military uniform hung on a wall mounted clothes wrack beside his bed.
“Undoubtedly just finishing a round of Poker. They finished eating nearly an hour ago, sir. If waking you didn’t require the auditory and physical equivalent of an atomic explosion, perhaps you could’ve joined them.”
“Hey!” Kevin argued incredulously, “I was tired is all! Why bother getting up early when all I have to look forward to today is just more sitting around waiting? I already told you I’m not doing any chores… and I’m not joining Billy’s stupid fitness class! The dude doesn’t know what he’s doing!”
“I’m afraid you won’t have the luxury of lying around wasting your life away like a useless, filthy drain on society today, sir,” Fred replied. “The storm’s subsided. Aaron from command radioed in earlier this morning to let us know that conditions would be favorable for landing by 09:00. He wants us at the landing site as soon as possible. It’s already a quarter past 8!”
“Useless drain on society?!” Kevin asked incredulously. “What would they do without people like me? First of all I look absolutely amazing, and let’s not even begin to –“
“Sir! Did you not hear anything I just said? We have less than an hour until takeoff, and you’re still in pajamas!” Fred exclaimed, exasperation clearly evident in his voice as he turned away, walking briskly into the corridor. “Just hurry and get dressed so you have time to eat,” he said, briefly sticking his head back through the door. “I refuse to put up with your wining today because you’re too hungry.”
“Wining! Useless drain on society! Just more swift judgement passed down by the resident walking talking vacuum cleaner”, Kevin muttered as he changed into his uniform, angrily tossing his pajamas on top of a disorganized pile of dirty clothes against the wall under the clothes wracks.

The Curious Beast was relatively small in comparison to many of the other Order-owned long range transportation ships, labeled by many employees of the Order as “the budget vessel” for its cramped, plain design and associated cheapness. It was just large enough to hold a maximum of 115 people, crew included, and enough supplies to sustain them for two weeks, though at max capacity everyone was forced to live and work in close quarters. Despite being the most important members of the mission, the scouting crew’s living quarters was less than luxurious. The room was roughly 20 by 20 feet, with two sets of bunk beds, each with wall mounted clothes racks and shelves next to them. There was a wide mirror over one wall, above a row of wash basins cluttered in various toiletries. Plain gray walls, as well as matching white ceiling and floor tiles made the place a bore to look at; aside from the various pinups displaying an odd assortment of alien figures and celebrities hung by members of the crew there was no decor.

After his breakfast consisting of spaghetti and meatballs drowned in meat sauce with chili cheese nachos on the side, Kevin joined the rest of the scouting crew in the ship’s hanger bay. The room was large with a high ceiling which was actually an airlock, stainless steel panels covering the floor and walls. Its size, combined with the intensely echoing acoustics, made it reminiscent of a cathedral. It was one of the few areas of the ship that wasn’t cramped, and for good reason. Spread throughout the room, in their own designated mini-runways, were 10 surface transport vessels ranging in size anywhere from a minivan to a charter bus.
The crew, which consisted of four total including Fred and Kevin, stood near the entrance ramp of one of the smaller of these – a yellow, boxy vehicle about the size of a minivan with the Order logo and the label “CBT8” on the side. As the others stood around, fidgeting in boredom, Fred stood wearing a bulky backpack, a sleek tablet in his hands, giving the rundown of the mission.
“… And remember, we have no idea what’s down there. We are instructed to – ”
“Yeah… we get it, be safe… and stuff,” Interrupted Billy, a massive humanoid creature who stood nearly 3 times as tall as Fred, and probably 4 times as wide.
“With all due respect, marsh mellow gut, this is highly important information!” Fred replied, not even slightly intimidated by the other man’s size. “Besides,”, he continued, jabbing his finger up towards a scar running down the big guy’s cheek, “you’re not exactly good at being safe.”
“That was ages ago”, Billy replied. “Plus, I already told you: all I wanted was a meal… how was I supposed to know a two-ton bear was going to fight me for it? I could’ve sworn she was sleeping!”
“Because that was her baby you tried to snatch! Do you have any idea-”
“Gentlemen… as much as I’d love to stand here listening to you argue all day like a severely disproportionate married couple, we have more important things to do,” said Ty, the only human member of the crew. Ty was the most normal looking of them all; average height with short blond hair and blue eyes. Unlike the others, his most distinguishing feature was a slightly abnormally large forehead.
The others murmured in agreement. Fred, a look of resignation on his face, released the tablet with a flick of his wrist, causing it to float up and behind him before dropping into an open pouch in his pack just large enough for it that zipped itself shut as the tablet slid in. He shifted his weight forward. As he did so, wheels popped out of the bottom of his shoes and began rolling him up the ramp. The others followed suit – except for Billy. When he tried, a robotic voice could be heard emanating from his shoes. It stated, “Excessive cargo. Maximum weight limit 500 pounds”. Groaning, Billy instead walked up the ramp after the rest of his crew mates, causing the entire ship to quake with each of his thunderous steps.
The four of them piled into the ship. Fred sat in the driver’s seat, hunched over a complicated panel of controls and displays. Ty sat next to him, while Kevin, with surprising agility for someone of his body makeup, jumped back and forth across the backs of the ship’s 10 seats. Billy, too large to fit anywhere else, simply laid contorted, curled up in a ball in the annoyingly small cargo space behind them.
“Is everyone ready?” Asked Fred, hands resting upon a pair of joysticks as the huge ceiling pulled back above the surface transport vessel.
Aside from Billy, who grumbled in a thundering voice about how the jerks in the Curious Beast’s Deployment Management Department had “purposefully selected this stupid cramped piece of junk” because they knew he would be uncomfortable in it, the other two crew members voiced their agreement. And with that, the little pod rose from the hanger, out into the long forgotten Solar System.
“I heard they’re coming out with a new model of self-walking shoes”, Kevin said, plopping in the seat behind Ty and removing his shoes, resting his feet upon Ty’s shoulders. “They’re calling these the Holy Rollers, man. Apparently they’ve got speech recognition in them, so you can tell them where to go, to slow down or speed up, etc. And I heard they’re really comfortable, not like these pieces of crap.” He shook a pudgy finger at the pare of shoes on the floorboard below him, which looked ragged and torn with age. Suddenly, both shoes made a popping sound, as their wheels popped out simultaneously. Propelled upwards by the force, one smacked him in the stomach with its heal, the other hitting the bridge of his nose as he doubled over. The shoes then plopped to the ground, motionless. Shocked, Kevin said nothing.
“Uh… yes,” Fred replied timidly, carefully avoiding saying anything that would cause his shoes to attempt similar antics. “All you said was correct, though they’re apparently named for their souls – pure, absolutely heavenly souls. It’s supposed to feel like you’re walking on air, not to mention the suspension on those things is absolutely brilliant. Mind you, though,” He quickly amended, “I’m sure the real reason they’re called holy is the fact that they are riddled with holes that make them impossible to walk in comfortably.”
It was just shortly after 09:20 as CBT8 entered Earth’s atmosphere and began its descent towards the surface. Ten minutes later, it touched the ground at the landing site, located in a clearing surrounded by short, yellow trees in the distance, whose branches sagged with berries that looked more like partially flattened bowling balls. “And this, gentlemen,” Fred said, shutting down the vehicle as it glided smoothly to a stop, “is Earth. And as the fantastic dude who got you here, I think it’s only right that I be the first living creature to set foot on the Earth, – in 2 and a half million years!”
A motorized whirring signified the lowering of the ship’s cargo ramp, and then the airlock released with a hiss, the doors opening to reveal the forgotten planet. As a fresh cool breeze rushed in, the four of them fought their way out – Kevin, to Fred’s disappointment, bounding over the small droid’s head and landing with bent knees at the bottom of the cargo ramp. Leaning forward, he accelerated off the ramp and into a mysterious, spongy blue growth covering the floor of the clearing, becoming the first living thing to walk upon the surface of the Earth in two and a half million years, the rest of his crew mates following with looks of defeat on their faces.
“It’s… beautiful!”, Ty exclaimed between deep inhalations of the cool fresh air, which carried a slight metal tang mixed with the smell of unspoiled Earth. And indeed it was. As a cool springtime breeze gently swayed and bobbed the branches of the distant trees, causing them to undulate in a coordinated dance of natural perfection, the mid morning Sun shined brightly down upon the scene, filling the new arrivals with its welcoming warmth. It was as though it was joyfully smiling down at them, glad once again to be not only needed; but wanted, respected, and observed with wonderment.
Meanwhile, Billy shifted from foot to foot, imprinting the Earth’s surface with his massive footprints, looking around in awe at the strange trees around them. “Duuuuuuude! Take a look at those trees, man. They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen! And have you seen that fruit? Finally! Something big enough to fill me up!” He began walking away from the others.
Fred called after him. “But sir! You don’t know if they’re toxic! For goodness sake this planet has been home to nuclear waste for the past 10 thousand centuries!”
“Come on Fred. Enough with your -” Billy began, interrupted by a new voice from the edge of the tree line directly in front of him.
“Heyyyy look! It’s Jesus yall, it’s Jesus! I done swer it’s him!”
The other three crew members shared equal looks of bafflement as a pack of five or six enormous dogs emerged from the forest, each covered in long, flowing, shiny white fur that glistened in the brilliant sunshine. The largest of them stepped in front of his fellows, sidling right up to Billy and sniffing him. Billy, too petrified to do anything, could only stand and watch as a dog, who stood as tall as Fred on all fours and was no less wide than Billy the grumpy giant himself, examined him, expelling fruit and Earth scented breaths with enough force to cause Billy to rock back and forth.
“Uh… h-h-hi?” Fred timidly ventured, standing far away from the beasts. “We’re – ”
“I know who you are!” The dog roared in a voice loud enough to create a shock wave that blew Billy back a few steps, nearly causing the big guy to lose his footing. “You’re my friends!” The dog continued, his voice much softer than that.
And with that, he jumped at Billy, actually toppling the giant onto his back. “And this dude’s Jesus! Hi Jesus,” he said, jumping up and down on Billy’s chest, evidently not realizing that he was nearly cracking Billy’s ribs in the process, not to mention blowing intense waves of hot air and slobber into Billy’s face with every word. “I’m Meldo. I love you, man! You’re so cool! The way you healed that blind dude, fed all those hungry people, came – ”
“A-a-a-alright! That’s E-e-e-enough!” Billy said, rolling out from underneath the overly excited dog. “First of all I’m not Jesus, and second of all you’re hurting me!”
“Oh, sorry about that”, Meldo said, bowing down shamefully. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, king.”
“Allow me to explain”, Fred said, cautiously approaching the pack of dogs who, it seemed, didn’t plan on causing harm. “We’re here from another world,”
“Yeah, Heaven!” One of the smaller dogs in the pack barked enthusiastically, whipping his tale and sending one of his companions into the air.
“So it is Jesus! With all of his angels!” another piped up.
As they all began a fierce argument about whether or not the visibly perplexed aliens standing before them were actually the messiah and his angels, the four members of the scouting crew slowly backed towards their ship. “This will make for one heck of an interesting report”, Fred remarked.
“I’m just curious as to how this could’ve escaped the Order’s preliminary observations”, Ty said. “Massive, talking dogs – and they missed that on the life scan? There’s no telling what else is out there!”
“That technology is still preliminary. It doesn’t tell us what life is inhabiting the planet; just that it exists. Combined with satellite pictures taken of the landing site, all we were able to deduce was that there was plant life.”
Ty sighed. “Well… we leave for two and a half million years, unintentionally leaving the dogs out of the kennel, and what do they do? They evolve, mutate, and form religions.”
“Yeah”, Billy thundered softly. “And apparently I’m God!” He stomped his foot, causing clouds of the mysterious growth to fly through the air.
“God? Right. The creator of the universe is a massive, clumsy baboon with all the intelligence, wit, and physical stability of a drunken circus clown”, Ty scoffed.
“My intelligence is superior! You’re just a mere human, whose brain is too small to understood it!” Billy replied, outraged.
“Understand. Too small to understand!” Ty corrected.
“Whatever,” Billy stated, turning back towards the pack of dogs who, having ceased arguing, were now lying on their stomachs, staring at him. “At least these guys recognize my authority; my commanding presence; just look at them! All I did was walk into their world and they’re lying there, prepared to do exactly as I tell them!”
He leaned forward, trying to get the wheels to pop out of the bottoms of his shoes and roll him forward. “Repeating: too much cargo. Maximum weight limit 500 pounds”, they intoned in equally annoying robotic voices.
“Roll me anyway! I command you!” Billy bellowed.
“Computation error: demands based on egotistical pretense are incompatible with this unit’s speech parser,” they replied flatly.
“Look at him,” Ty sneered. “God?! Not even his shoes are convinced. They’re shoes”
“They’re rebelling is all,” Billy said. He shook his fingers at his shoes, proceeding to yell at them. “You have humiliated your God! May you burn in hell forever!”
The warming mechanism in Billy’s shoes cranked on full blast then, sending streams of very hot air over his feet. Howling in pain, “God” fell down upon his rump, and yanked them off. “My feet! My feeeeeeeeeeeet! Help me!” He rubbed them frantically, as the shoes, now empty, powered down; drifts of smoke rising from their insides.
Ty looked towards the dogs, gesturing at the clearly distressed giant on the ground. “This… is God, gentlemen?” He asked. “Not even a blister, and he’s down on the ground rubbing his feet because his shoes decided to heat up a little?”
Meldo stood, the others following suit. He looked towards Billy, who was just standing to his feet, without his shoes which, perhaps due to the breeze, quivered slightly where they sat, almost as though they were laughing. “Nah man. You’re not God. You’re still cool though. I don’t understand why you don’t just throw the little old sour dude into the side of your chariot for talking about you like that.”
“Hmm. That’s actually a great idea, my servant,” Billy replied, stalking towards Ty. Meldo’s sides quaked with silent laughter as he looked on.
Fred stepped forward, a serious look on his face. Having changed his mind, Billy stopped advancing towards Ty, who was backing up, scowling through a hole between his hands which he’d arranged into a makeshift protective barrier over his face. “We come not from Heaven, though we aren’t from Earth either”, Fred began, relieved that the dogs didn’t try to cut him off this time. “We are simply a group sent to scout this planet to see if it’s livable… clearly it is.”
“Livable? Our race has been here for the longest time! Millions upon bajillions of years! Of course it’s livable. Why wouldn’t it be?”
“There is much you don’t know about your planet,” Fred replied, turning towards CBT8’s open airlock. “For now though, we must go.”
Ty was deeply bothered by Fred saying that Earth was their planet. Like the rest of his crew mates, he had never set foot on Earth, though it meant much more to him than it did them; he was no alien, this was the place of genesis for his race. It had once belonged to humans; every creature bowing down to their superiority – but not anymore, not since his distant ancestors screwed it up for them. It didn’t matter that there were countless other life sustaining planets, and that Earth was hardly a speck of dust in an infinite cosmos; for it was the true planet of the humans. And now… now it belonged to some crazy mutated dogs? Dogs who, having seen a clumsy alien giant fall out of the sky in an ill designed metallic heap of junk, busted out of their forest of shelter proclaiming said giant was God?
“Go?” Meldo replied. “Go where?”
“Back to where we came from”, Fred replied. “Don’t worry, more of us will come later, to enlighten you.”
Followed by the rest of the crew, Fred once again boarded the tiny ship, casting fleeting glances out the airlock at the dogs, who shouted questions and protests at the departing aliens. And once all were boarded, Billy once again scrunched into the cargo space, Fred and Ty sitting silently in the front seat, Kevin just behind them; the ship took off, leaving the mysterious planet with its foreign occupants behind.

Thanks for reading, if you did,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in Uncategorized

Starting Over


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I Want To Start Over.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this blog going forward. As those who have been with me from the beginning know, I’ve had this blog for six and a half years. Which is to say, I started this blog when I was in fifth grade… and, (at least mostly when you look at the big picture), maintained it almost solidly until I was nearly through with my junior year of high school.
As you can imagine, that’s a lot of growing and maturing. Some of you may not know this, but when this blog first began, it was a place where I’d post pretty much every single day, about “How My Day Went”. And I kid you not, as indicated by the quotations, that’s precisely what I titled every single one of those posts. In addition, I don’t think I really got it right on the first post I ever wrote. It was titled “My First Post!!! Welcome”, and consisted of the following two sentences:
“hi everyone and welcome to my weblog (or blog)! This is a blog about Steven Daugherty! hope you enjoy!”
It wasn’t until 2013 that the blog really began to take off. I stopped with the repetitive “How My Day Went” posts, switching over to the more conventional periodic update, also adding more site content. And for the past four years, that’s been the pattern this site has followed.
As I said though, I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking. The result is that a lot of that content has been removed, though obviously not the several hundred blog posts – and even though there exists the option to wipe them all out of existence with essentially one click, I don’t particularly feel like doing so. Deleting a bunch of pages was one thing, but given the fact that most of my recent posts have taken around a half hour to write, I can only guess at the total amount of time I spent writing all of them.
I did this partly because I feel like I’ve grown out of some of that which inspired the removed content, though chiefly because of the fact that I feel like making a fresh start. From trying to establish schedules of when to blog, to (without saying so) trying to gear my posts towards specific subject matters such as coding and technology or life by making a bunch of consecutive posts about them, I just feel like all the recent reforms I’ve tried to make to this blog have fallen short. I just feel like I’ve been doing the blogging thing all wrong; trying to make it into something it can never be. Maybe it’s because I’ve striven to write every x days or, and this is what I personally believe, I’ve tried to create an image of myself that only partially exists.
Most of the time I present a witty persona, or write about something technological, or write about something great I’ve learned or achieved, or perhaps discuss life in a superficial way that generally describes only the highlights and the good things. Sometimes though, I feel like this is only stagnating my blog, even if it is providing readers with something they can enjoy, because it only gives me temporary enjoyment.
I am not implying that my life is bad below the surface, that I do not enjoy technology, and that I have been completely unhappy with my blog. After all, if these were the case, I hardly believe it would have been possible for me to sustain a blog for several years in those conditions. All I’m saying is… maybe I should write more freely. Maybe I should write whatever comes to mind, and stop attempting to craft it into conformity. That doesn’t mean this blog is going to get all depressing and dark or anything, it just means that I’m not always witty, geeky, and enthusiastic, and I think that in order to succeed, I should write even when I am not those things.
So welcome, all three hundred sixty of you, to my blog. I’m starting over. No limits this time.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in busy, happyness, journal, life, updates

The Best Birthday Ever


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Two days ago, I turned eighteen. That’s probably hard to believe for at least some of my followers– those who started following me when I first began this blog, less than a month after my twelfth birthday. Not only that, it’s hard for _me_ to believe. Even still, call me a man all you want, I’m a child at heart.
That said, I had one of the best birthday weekends ever. It was full of surprises. I got to drive an ATV (believe it or not I was the one in control of the wheel), and eat a bunch of fried chicken and other extremely unhealthy but delicious foods. Most importantly, though, I was able to spend it with some pretty awesome people.
First, there was Danny. I believe you all know who that is. But for those who don’t, he is my best friend who I have been communicating and gaming with for the last four years. Only problem is, he lives over a thousand miles a way, so as one might imagine we never get to see each other in person. But because it was my eighteenth birthday, my family planned for Danny to come for a surprise visit. Some how, they managed to keep it a secret from me for at least a month; I never knew a thing about it until he strolled in to the kitchen while I was making breakfast and, well, introduced himself all over again, in a way. I am not sure what the word is to describe the feeling I got; a mixture of excitement, bewilderment, and disbelief. I have been wanting to meet Danny in person for probably two years now, so being surprised with it first thing in the morning of what was to be a relatively ordinary school day amplified it.
In addition, Libby came back from college. Even though she had been down for spring break just a week before, she made the trip so she could spend time with me for my birthday, because she’s an awesome sister like that. I knew it was going to be an awesome weekend.
Earlier I said it was a relatively ordinary Friday. That’s because instead of spending the whole day at school, I was going on a trip to the mall for my annual Orientation and Mobility field trip. Since Libby was home for the weekend, and Danny was visiting, they, as well as my mom, got to come on the field trip with me. We spent the morning mostly just walking around, and because Danny, Libby and I are blind, the two adults would tell us the names of stores and we would try to guess what they sold. We just had, to pass a coffee shop, so of course that is the one shop I bought anything from – out of all of the stores in that huge place. The only other store we stopped at was Microsoft. That was my first time visiting a Microsoft store. Although I personally was impressed with the goods on display, my wallet was simply intimidated. So instead of buying anything, I settled with writing on one of the demo laptops, something along the lines of this:

To the next person to come across this:

Have a nice day!
meow.

Sincerely,

Chester the cat.

After the mall trip, we all went out to eat. My dad and vision teacher also got to join us for that. Then for the rest of the day, I hung out with Danny, while the rest of my family went shopping for yet another “something” for my party.
Although my birthday wasn’t until Sunday, we held the party on Saturday, since Danny and Libby would be leaving. I am not a social person by nature, but even though there were tons of people that showed up, I was so glad to have them there. It was such a wonderful evening. First, there was the fried chicken. According to Libby, fried chicken is apparently an “original” idea for a birthday. See, I didn’t think of it that way, I just thought it was a genius plan, but that’s just my opinion. Then, there was the cake. It was designed like a torn open bag of m&ms, and whatever they put on the top of it to make the design tangible actually felt to me like a near perfect representation, and there were m&ms spilling out. And yes, it tasted just as good as it sounds. There were cupcakes as well, with a similar condensed version of the design on them, and these had some sort of cream filling in the middle.
Aside from the wonderful food, there was that surprise my family was shopping for the previous day. After everyone finished eating, I was led out the door, and to the driveway, where there sat an ATV. It’s sort of like a car the way it feels, and it can seat up to five people. That’s just how awesome my family is; they surprise their blind son by taking him out to see the brand new ATV.
For the rest of the evening, we all hung out, ate a lot, and took turns driving the ATV. I enjoyed it because it was my first experience driving something on land without anyone holding the wheel or guiding my hands.
Finally, even Sunday turned out to be a great day. As it turns out, since the party and field trips and planning were all over, me, my parents, Libby, and Danny decided to spend my birthday relaxing. We made arrangements so that neither one of them would go home that day, instead they would wait until Monday when I too had to go back to school.

In the end, it ended up being one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time. I have to say. For having planned this all in secret behind my back, my family and the others who helped or participated did a heck of a good job. And I recognize that this has been an extraordinarily long post, especially since I haven’t wrote a word in what, gosh, five months? However, there was certainly a hole lot to talk about.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

P.S. I have more catching up to do, but I think that if this gets any longer, it will turn into a novel. I’ll see you next time. Have a good one.