welp. we're here. i was pretty excited on the drive out. there was some drama the night we were supposed to get here, which delayed our arrival until yesterday, so we spent the night in reno. it also put me in a less pleasant space than what i probably should be in. but, it was worked out (ish), so i just need to get over it.
then this morning, mom called to tell me that uncle pete died. i wasn't nearly as close to him as bruce was, but it's still a shock. yet another reminder that none of us are here forever, and something rather opposite a boon to my emotional state. there's still so much in the air. i can't stop trying, that will be the end of it. so i will keep trying. because i have to. but it just doesn't have that thrill of adventure that i was hoping for. it's just a constant oscillation between being awestruck by the fact that i'm here (and here is absolutely amazing, by the way), and mortified that i've made a terrible, terrible mistake.
so, it's great that i'm alone and i'm here and it's super neat. and it's awful at the same time.
i don't know. just keep trucking. that's the main thing.
2013 26 April :: 12.21am
:: Mood: the usual
:: Music: David Bowie - The Next Day
Auschwitz, this one's for you
i don't even know if you bother to read this shit.
hell, i don't even know you bother to do this shit. so, i obviously am not reading yours. so, no. odds are good you won't be reading this.
but, nonetheless, this comic made me think of you. and i hope it helps. i'm somewhat afraid to encroach upon some of the touchy, weight-related subjects. but this seemed important.
WE have body issues. societal cultures and norms and gender constructs, in addition to inferiority complexes and mental and physical shortcomings and inabilities. but we are all people. and people need to get better at being a society that thrives on support of one another as opposed to condemnation of those that are, well, not us.
(my post about modern medicine and society's struggle with death is closely related, but for a later time.)
It was a 4/20 miracle!
So last night on the way home from a party in saranac with my girlfriend, Stacey, I ran out of gas. We were about 2 miles from a gas station, but it was 1 at night and we were in the middle of nowhere (the wrong side of 12 mile and lincoln lake road) so we started walking. I expect Stacey to complain because it is all my fault but she's a fucking trooper and never said a negative word. Anyway, we get maybe a half mile down the road, with me holding out my gas can for everyone who passed us to see, before we see brake lights. Our savior was in a red truck, and his name was Mike. Before we get another half mile, Mike asks if we smoke. We say hell yes, and he passes us a bowl. Stacey starts talking about how lame the party we came from was (we basically all sat around calling people trying to get dope all night) and the guy gives us a little bag with about a gram in it. He gets us to the gas station and back, and our night was a million times better.
the even bigger issue is that you could rack up a $70 tab, after getting a discount, and each person can still only tip 67 cents? c'mon, people. the minimum total tip on that should be at least $10.50, regardless of how awful your experience was. and i suppose that was the joke, them only leaving a $2 tip ... but still, i just get so mad at people who make math harder than it is.
i'm really starting to hope this california thing works out. although, now that i'm finally building some connections in town, it seems kind of stupid. but, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. i should take it.
and i know what dad thinks, not that he's necessarily right or wrong, but i'm doing it anyway. i just don't have anywhere to put my shit.
shit in one hand and want in the other
see which fills up first.
well, my hands are full, and i'm sick of this shit. time to take matters into my own damn toilet.
i'm sick of shitting in other people's toilets only to have them bitch about the water bill.
time to build my own goddamn toilet.
i want my own goddamn toilet.
i guess what i'm trying to say is that i want the shit on my hands to be on my own terms. because, fuck this shit. and - shitting aside - fucking won't happen on its own. i suppose that means i need to take other matters in my own hands as well.
meanwhile, in maryland
it's about 55 out right now, mostly sunny. just got done with a hilly 6 mile bike ride. started using nicotine lozenges this morning. they're weird. i still want to smoke. but at least i don't reek of cigarettes? it's only for the rest of the week, so i'm sure i can manage.
so many good things: first burger and fries at five guys (oh. my god. seriously right up there with mr. burger). went to a concert in annapolis last night, which was fun. the great and powerful oz was surprisingly enjoyable. going to hang with kevie-poo on friday! good things.
it's been hard, too, though. libby is looking better, and is really taking her treatment seriously. it's difficult to watch her struggle, but it's important that i get to, first to better understand what she's going through, but also just to make it real for me. as much as i got from the literature they gave us, and the conference calls, and everything else, it wasn't real until i got to see her have to eat a meal (and entirely too real on sunday when i had to eat every meal with her and clear my plate every time. i did well, up until dinner, when i got a to-go box. but we talked it out). she's a trooper, and ryan is amazing with her. she's in the best hands she could possibly be, so it's nice to have that reassurance. it sucks to realize that i'm in no fit state to help much of anyone, and that i probably would not be the best person to have around her all the time, but at least i can help in my own small ways while i'm here. she did say she was impressed by and glad that we were being so reasonable and chipper about everything. so that's good. and i'm also immensely thankful that she's being so reasonable and chipper about it. that can't be easy. apparently a lot of people with eating disorders tend to be extremely hurtful and argumentative. she doesn't always like the rules that she has to follow, or our implementation of them, but at least it stays calm and cool, instead of breaking out into yelling matches all the time. she still has a long way to go, though.
had a good talk with ryan last night about my life as well. seeing a live show really made me want to play again. and he joined the burgeoning ranks of people that hands down say i just need to go back to school. i really need to look into that program at mtsu. there are other options too. basically depends on which program feels like the best fit and where i want to wind up geographically. murfreesboro, tn; denver, co; new york, ny; baltimore, md? i dunno. i'm really leaning toward tennessee right now. just need to dig deeper and talk to the universities.
we'll see. in the meantime, i'm enjoying vacation. and riding a bike in a t-shirt and shorts, when i would otherwise be freezing balls back home. as quirky and weird as ryan can be about things, it's nice to see the other side - what life could be like, if i wanted to have a cleaning lady and a dog walking lady and two brand new cars in my custom-built castle. sure beats the hell out of where i'm at now. although, i would probably do things a little differently, even if i had the money. but still, inspiration. potential goals to aspire to. better than wallowing in my shit-hole life like i have been the past three years.
Generally, when people have stage four cancer they freak out a little bit. They emotion dump. Something.
Aside from beating it back as best as possible, my mother seems to be generally more concerned with other people freaking out. I think the fact that she has described chemo as "sort of fun" and stage IV cancer as "One of the worse ones, I'm not sure, I don't think it goes to V" kind of highlights why she's one of the few people in life I'd rather not have die of cancer right now.
She's always been intensely unconcerned with what the world thinks is important. She had kids, grew some gardens, and now she's likely dieing. Why the hell is everyone so concerned with this?
The way you act, the way you live, the way you die is all up for scrutiny. Its nice to see someone saying to hell with it and just enjoying the ride.
Its just not so nice when its your mother. I cant tell If I can pull off her particular brand of life philosophy right this instant.
I'm beginning to think that what you give up on in life is far more defining than what you acquire, or what you have lost.
What you acquire is rarely tied to any rational explanation. What you lose is even more random. What we give up intentionally is perhaps the one choice we can say is our own. Less influenced by things outside of our intentions.
I imagine we mostly lump giving up on a thing with a loss of a thing. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs best left whole, perhaps not. Its interesting to look at things from my life and decide which was which. What did I cast aside, and what has life cast aside without my input?
Sometimes life removes something important and you realize just how long its been since you cast it aside with disinterest and apathy. Even if the day before you wouldn't have described it in such a way.
Family is like that. You get a call and the word "cancer" makes you think about how little you've kept in touch.
although i realize quite well that my life is nobody's responsibility but my own, i still wonder why it falls to me. if this life is such a gift, why does it usually seem like a hopeless pile of shit that is apparently mine to sort through. and better yet, even if you do go and get messy and start trying to make sense of it; trying to make it better, it is the job of the rest of the world to keep piling more shit on.
even worse is the realization that you're doing it to everyone else too. all of this shit that you never asked for, but has been thrust upon you for caretaking, is rolling downhill. even if your intent is to leave the smallest footprint possible, the accidental shit that you produce, or is heaped upon you, winds up landing on the ones near to you that also don't deserve it. so it comes off as you being a lazy son of a bitch, that can't adequately handle their shitload. and then the neighbors hate you. the family loves you (if you're lucky), but hates to see you struggle, hates to see you continually fail, and honestly - hates dealing with your excess shit all the time.
then it seems impossible, insurmountable, just looking at what effort you already did put into it, back when you bought into their system and their propaganda, and convinced yourself that their dream was your dream too, when you still wound up here, so dismally short of their goals, or yours, or basically anyone's. what makes a goal attainable? what differentiates the good aspirations from the bad? does it even fucking matter when you're not going to reach any of them, regardless of whether or not that's actually what you want and need and are capable of?
i know that life's not all bad. it's also not all sunshine and rainbows and happy feels. these are inevitable facts of existence in this world. important, in that you can't appreciate the good without a taste of the bad. and even some things that are unpleasant can ultimately turn out to be beneficial.
but it's really hard to keep trudging on when you don't even know where you're going. and if the way that you're headed is the 'right' one. and when you come to realize that after all that trudging, you're no further along, no closer to the destination that isn't even really there. it's so hard to keep going. because you don't know what the point is anymore, or if there ever was one to begin with.
i realize that they don't necessarily sound that different as you change them, but that's because it's just a basic tone generator. it would be fun to be able to compose something that is a combination of different pitches, and play around with how altering the waveforms would change the harmonic interaction. some reverb would also be nice.
i have successfully stopped complaining, simply by forgetting that today is valentine's day. several times. even after many reminders.
i honestly like valentine's. if halloween is a woman's excuse to dress up all slutty, then valentine's - in my perception - has always been the best excuse to be overly, disgustingly chivalrous; which i enjoy immensely.
the prevalence of suitable subjects upon which to inflict my chivalry has been minimal of late, so - being single - i have grounds enough to bitch about another hallmark holiday, but the truth is: i like this one. i just haven't had cause to celebrate it in awhile. so i forgot.
halfheartedly seeking sexy rumpus. sorry for the awkward.
finally met someone that i like. confessed to my attraction. feeling was reciprocated. i expressed my reluctance to pursue things further, due to both of our lives being big piles of shit at the moment, which need to be sorted out prior to any involvement. she agreed.
not sure if making sound decisions based on logical analysis of situation
or habitually blocking own cock
seriously, i've done it before. but that was unintentional. i feel that the intent in this scenario is important. either way, shit's complicated, man.
i was bad, and i took a few days off from writing. AND it was my â€˜weekend'. so, double boner on that one. i am really afraid that my word count is not going to be where i want it to be come december first, but i can't let that stop me from continuing on, as i have for the past couple of days. so, what's happened since last we met? a new president was elected. by which i mean, an old president was reelected. i voted for him the first time. i am disappointed with how things turned out, so i did not do it a second time. i mean, i understand that making changes takes time, especially if the legislature is constantly fighting you on every last detail. i'm not disappointed with what he's done as president so far, i'm disappointed in the change i've seen in him as a person. he has, effectively, allowed his office to shape his conduct, rather than conducting himself truly, while guiding the office and nation in the direction of those goals. he realized that he had to play the game, or risk losing it all, and decided to play along rather than fight the system.
i'm just sick of bipartisan politics in general. i hate that people assume they have to vote for one or the other, because nobody else can possibly win. that's not how the system is supposed to work. and the figurehead for their respective party just has to parrot whatever their advisors tell them. maintain a satisfactorily contrary stance to whatever the other guy (or gal) is doing. this is all a giant - well, not conspiracy, but something like it - where the bickering and pandering are nothing more than smoke and mirrors to distract us from the fact that nothing is happening. i don't like to complain too much about it, because i really have no good solution to offer up. but it's still really fucking frustrating to be living in this system that is so obviously broken, and not be able to do anything about it, whether i voted or not. (but i did. even if it's all a crock of shit, i'm still going to vote. the knowing that it doesn't matter also makes things easier for me, as i can randomly pick who i want to vote for based solely on the attractiveness of their name. it's an important consideration in a candidate that will otherwise have no bearing on my daily life. if you're going to be forced to hear the name constantly for the next ... however long they're in office, it might as well be a kick ass name, right?) for the most part, though, i try to ignore the news and politics and current events. yeah, okay, so my finger isn't on the pulse, but i'm relatively happy. certainly much happier than i would be if i actually had to sit there and gag down all of the malarkey that the heads on the tv, or the editors in the paper, or the people on the radio are trying to feed me all the time. no me gusta.
words are awesome. i've always had a love for them, whether innate or nurtured by my family is hard to tell. probably a mixture of both. i learned a lot from my parents, probably more dad than mom, but despite her many assertions that she's stupid, my mom is pretty darn intelligent. she just struggled in school a lot. my sister is the same way. but dad was really the one that pushed me to learn new words, because that's what my grandparents did with him, and they in turn did it to me as well. any opportunity to learn or teach a new word was unquestionably seized. we used to make paper airplanes at my grandparents' house, and shoot them across the opening where the stairs went down to the basement. the â€˜ocean', as i had apparently chosen to dub it. so, you would fly your plane over the â€˜ocean', then retrieve it and try to make changes so it could fly better. this is when my grandpa taught me the word â€˜modify', as he described to me how i was making modifications to my plane to improve it. might not seem like a big thing as an adult, but you ask most five year olds what modify means, and you're more than likely to be disappointed. kids at school would shun me as a know it all, merely because i knew all these big words that they didn't, and it made them feel inferior. okay, so i was also an unintentional know it all. it was like a sickness that i couldn't stop myself from spewing forth. once i got to spelling bee age, i did very well. in 8th grade i won the school spelling bee and went to regionals, only to be ousted by the word dressage. on the one hand, i really overthought it, but on the other hand i don't think you can really hold my lack of knowledge about hands-free equestrian techniques, and how to spell them, against me.
so yeah, it was never really a question. i was super into words. i read constantly. like, seriously all the time. books were an escape from reality, which was both better and worse than i realized at the time. retrospect is a hell of a thing. anyway, most people that hit a word they don't know or understand while they are reading, will use context clues to make their best guess and keep moving. any word i encountered, whether reading, or in daily life, i wanted to know. i would run off and grab the webster's and learn me that word. this practice aided me on my way to loquaciousness, and was a remnant of grandpa and grandma once again. but i still did it when they weren't making me. i suppose at first it was out of habit (which is an excellent habit to be in, by the way), but i also had a very strong internal compulsion for doing so. while my reasoning was inherently and tragically flawed, i'm still okay with it because it taught me so many words. WORDS! glorious, confusing, limitless words. the logic was as follows:
i got misunderstood a lot. i would try to communicate the idea that was happening inside my brain to someone else, but by the time it got to their brain and they responded, it was clear that they JUST DIDN'T GET IT. i mean yeah, granted, my brain things are pretty complex sometimes, but still, you should be able to understand. communication breakdown. every damn time. thus, my thought process was that, since they didn't understand what i was trying to say, i must not be saying it right. i must not be using the right words. there must be better words out there with which to more accurately (precisely? i always get those two confused) convey my message. only then, once i've unlocked the secret words, will they understand what the hell i'm saying. this was the start to what has become a lifelong interest in the study of communications. and i was WAAAY wrong. there's a lot more to communication than using the right words (although they prove beneficial from time to time). hell, sometimes we communicate using absolutely no words at all. it's just that crazy, communication. humans are complex beings, and getting more than one of them together and having them exchange ideas and information complicates what goes on exponentially.
it took me many years to learn that even my most awesome, incredible, amazing words could do nothing to save this exchange of thought. so, i spent a lot more time than is recommended, learning a whole bunch of really sweet verbiage anyway.
i think that not enough people socialize physically. by which i mean, conversational intercourse, not sexual intercourse. face to face. not enough people do that. it's easy to slip into the technological distractions, but really, slow it down. communication is not just a matter of saying words and hearing words. it is a complex organism. (sidenote - girl in middle school was largely illiterate; small town, remember. said â€˜orgasm' in biology ALL the fucking time. crazy shit. especially amongst a bunch of pubescence addled adolescents). being a communication student, i've been taught - and it is also self evident to lots of people - that there is much more to communication than simply the words you say. there are colloquial expressions, DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, body language and other physical communication, sarcasm, jokes, the list goes on. and with all of these different ways of communicating, as well as the fallibility of any persons involved in the act of communication, it quickly becomes easy to see why communication is not only vitally important, but so frequently miscarried.
when i was a child, i resented childhood. i struggled to get along with other children. most adults were intolerable. some adults were fucking amazing. kids are stupid and smart at the same time. they are stupid in their lack of logic and wisdom, but they are more perceptive than most adults give them credit for. i despised those adults that were unwilling to admit my cunning, and would continually patronize me in our discourse. my family spoke to me as an adult, and my linguistic and intellectual propensities progressed accordingly. you've seen it happen time and again. there are just those people that take on this different voice when they speak with children. the tone changes immediately. not that they think the kid is stupid. that is just how they communicate with kids. they can't help it, don't know any better, and worse yet, do not realize that they are even DOING IT. when i would reply with vestiges of the â€˜adult' tone, they would do one of two things. they would either change their approach, accommodating this new development (an important aspect of effective communication), or they would get confused, and not know what to do with a precocious child. and continue to baby-talk me until i turned eighteen. unfortunate souls.
i had an extremely difficult time finding a way around this predicament, especially as a child. i've encountered a handful of people who dummy down, even with adults. there's no way around that. those people are a lost cause. do not bother trying. they are too embedded in their superiority to ever communicate effectively. initially, i thought that my difficulty putting the fairly complex ideas that were in my head into the heads of others stemmed from a deficiency in my description. if i could only find the right words to put the idea in, then everyone would understand. i was wrong, but it's easy to see how a kid would reach such a conclusion. at which point, my fix to the problem was to LEARN MORE WORDS. if you can't find the right words, they must be out there somewhere, so it's just a matter of learning them, and then utilizing them in the conversation, right?
not quite, although it availed me somewhat in my academic career. yet, my status as a veritable glossary/thesaurus did not prevent the lack of communication. i could use bigger, more obscure, more precise words to describe what i was thinking and feeling to another person. but it didn't help like i thought it would. because i failed to consider the other person. do they know that word? are they even FUCKING listening? maybe. maybe not. knowing more words can help, if the complementary party is adequately educated about and receptive to those words. ultimately, if they are uneducated, or unreceptive, you can know all the words you want to, and it is not going to make a damn bit of difference. this is a dead end road. it took me longer than i would care to admit (but shorter than depressingly many) to come to this realization. still, it is an important thing to acknowledge. it takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and it really holds true in the accurate transference of thought. that's where shit got crazy deep.
they also say (i love the infamous â€˜they'. not sure what it means, but it stealthily maintains impunity by being ambiguous) that you should walk a mile in someone else's shoes before judging them. the primary emphasis of this parable, i believe, is that you should stop and wait a second before judging other people. lest you be judged yourself, as it were. this is an excellent sentiment, which i support, and would be immensely helpful to those patronizing assholes that can't handle precocious children, which i mentioned earlier. fuck you and your judging eyes that see me as nothing more than a kid. but i believe there is a deeper meaning here, which many miss out on. okay, we get it, judging others is bad. BUT. if we aren't judging others, what shall we do with ourselves? this is the key. if you are busy judging another, you can't possibly stop to actually listen to what they have to say. there is no way in hell you can hear the truth in what THEY are communicating to YOU, when you do nothing but focus on YOUR flawed perception of THEM. why can't WE just be PEOPLE? it's not us and them. it's us and slightly different us. but not TOO different, because they usually don't want to be bothered with listening to each other either. they (and we) would much rather fight over who is right (obviously, we are), than take a minute to check their ego and listen to all of the different perspectives on whatever given issue the fighting revolves around. the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. most people don't want the truth. they want a fight. they want drama.
well. they can go fuck themselves. i'm trying to work with you people, but nothing is ever going to work until you learn to reciprocate. unfortunately, it is not easy to let go of. i often catch myself doing the same judging and ignoring that everyone else is also guilty of. we all do it. to an extent, it can't be helped. it's human nature.
i'm not looking to eradicate it, though. i'm just seeking a workaround, for when you really need it, and have a party on the other side of things that is willing to also do some of the legwork and effectively communicate. those are unfortunately rare.