Journaling on the last evening of July

Feeling pretty melancholy the last couple of days. Been doing okay overall, but slacked off on exercising last week since my gym was closed during its relocation. Also blew off my trainer last Friday. Worked out with him today though. Not been eating the best stuff, admittedly. Smoking too many cigarettes. But at least I’ve been remaining alcohol-free. Tomorrow marks 7 weeks since my commitment to stop drinking. Glad for that progress.

But I have a lot more work to do. Been taking time to try to care better for myself, like oiling my hair and doing my nails and making myself more comfortable at home. Lightly trimmed my hair tonight. Cleaned and organized around the apartment a decent bit in the past week. I do need to get out more. Haven’t been inside a watering hole in over a week. Just haven’t been in the mood lately. Not getting out around people enough though. Not yet feeling like taking the initiative to meet new people.

It’s been a bit rough going away from my former partner. We spoke on the phone a couple of times in the last 2 weeks, but that’s it. No in-person contact, which I don’t really want anyway since it’s such a depressing situation forever and always. Still hurt by some of things he said to me on that last evening at his place. Can’t shake it off. And when we talked about it since he just dismisses it all as stuff he spews when he’s mad. But I really don’t want to hear any of that anymore. It’s not good for either of us to be this stressed out and unhappy. While I recognize I’ve been very rough-talking with him in the past as well, I had hoped we’d move beyond that and start treating one another with more respect. He says that someday we’ll be able to do that. Just too much tension between us still. But I’m just so used to spending time with him and talking on the phone regularly, so now there’s that gap in my life as well, and I’m not sure how to fill it. Really need to figure that out since it’s starting to bring me down.

Went with my best guyfriend yesterday to watch the War For the Planet of the Apes movie. Graphics were cool, but the storyline wasn’t too good. Maybe I expected something more profound in its ultimate message, but it delivered more of a Disney-esque happy ending that seemed wrapped up in a neat hurry. Kinda felt disappointed leaving the theater after that. Hard to find good movies worth watching these days, hence why I so rarely go to cinemas. That movie series had potential. I really liked the character Caesar.

Just not entirely sure of what to do with myself. Most of what I want to do involves the internet and books, but what I probably ought to be doing right now is finding new places to go and becoming more physical and getting out of my head. Kinda worried about isolating myself too much since that eventually causes more problems than it solves. Nice to retreat sometimes though. Been out and about a great deal the last 2 years. Feeling like I should just focus more on exercising and otherwise going ahead and staying home more. But I should reach out to certain people and go visit them sometimes. Probably would be good for us all.

Some of the fogginess from alcohol has lifted, but not as much as hoped. Apparently that will be a more gradual change. Undoubtedly increasing my exercising will help there too.

While taking a shower tonight, my mind began roaming over all sorts of embarrassing shit I got caught up in over the course of my time drinking. Embarrassing shit I did or that others did. Things I said and regret. General ways I acted. Ran into a female bartender from the “raunchy bar” at the gas station earlier. Haven’t seen her since early June when I quit going in that joint. Still wondering what her problem was the last time I saw her. Ah well. She’s not my kind of people either way. Just a lot of stupidity to reflect on. Enough of the memories make me angry at myself or else make me feel ashamed. Pretty sure these thoughts and feelings will be following me for a long while, though I haven’t a clue yet on how to heal them. People like to talk a lot about forgiveness, but it isn’t proving to be my strong suit.

Hate to think I just wasted a bunch of years. But I guess I wasn’t in a rush to do anything else in the meantime. Not like I put off major life plans since I didn’t really have any to pursue. Already graduated from college and am maintaining self-employment, those having been my primary goals and I accomplished them. Guess it’s time to give serious thought to creating new goals.

In other news, got called a “coon lady” today by somebody ticked off in the comment section of my video about Cynthia G‘s batshit racism. heh  Interesting. That becoming a universal pejorative to sling willy-nilly at anybody and everybody nowadays? Folks online act so crazy…

What else? Currently working through Dr. Thomas Sowell’s book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? (1985). Really appreciating it thus far.

Late-night journaling in early July

Now 3.5 weeks into my commitment to stop drinking and feeling fine. No big problems thus far. The cravings come and go, but they so far haven’t proven too difficult to resist and move past (other than that one snafu night a couple weeks back, but that being the only one — feel like I have to note that for full disclosure purposes — keeping it real, heh). But yeah, so far so good. People drink around me sometimes but it hasn’t really bugged me much. One night my former partner’s beer started beckoning me, so I prepared my stuff to leave and let him know I felt a bit tempted, then I wound up reverting my attention to a National Lampoon movie on the television and forgot about it.

Though the cravings do remain and are very real. Just that they’re not as difficult to combat as I’d imagined they would be or as they were during previous times in trying to quit drinking alcohol. Still do kinda miss a big frosty mug or pint glass in my hands, but not too much. My beer can fetish is easily enough remedied by toting my Schweppes seltzer water cans around instead. Fizzy yet no calories. Goes down easy and keeps me distracted from the barley pop. Obviously lacks any kick, which I do sometimes miss, but I remind myself promptly what all tends to accompany that kick. All it takes is a trip down memory lane (even memories from this year alone) to cure me of wanting a repeat of any of that. So not worth it.

Been spending a lot more time online lately, seeing as how I have a good bit more time on my hands. Watched countless videos by Kevin O’Hara on his AlcoholMastery channel over the last three weeks, all of which have proven helpful. His calm demeanor and Irish accent is very soothing while the information and experiences he shares really resonate with me. Also wandered onto other channels on YT to listen to others’ experiences on quitting drinking, including a few millennials. Good to see so many of them recognizing the problems with that lifestyle so early in life, though I’m saddened to hear the sordid details of some of their tales. Can relate to plenty of that too. They tend to refer to their issue with alcohol as “binge drinking,” but like my former partner pointed out earlier tonight, that’s what older and heavier drinkers refer to as “novice drinkers.” Which is to say that every drinker starts out with bingeing; over the years it develops into a more steady (and generally daily) habit. It’s a progression.

Very glad to have come to my senses finally. Been knowing I had to get to this point sooner rather than later, but I struggled with it over the last couple years and wouldn’t give up the drinking. Not until I got seriously pissed off, at both myself and a good many of my fellow bar patrons. This is one example where getting angry really paid off. If one can harness it, that is. Which I finally did, partly by choice and partly because I was going to blow my lid otherwise. So sick of some of the losers I found myself in the company of at these various watering holes over the years, culminating in me arriving at the worst pub I’ve ever set foot in. But I’m grateful for what major assholes some of those people proved to be — made my decision so much easier finally. Gave me a terrific wake-up call like no other. Showed me what lay in store for folks who give in to that lifestyle and take it too far. Also showed me what a bunch of bitter jerks we can be when our lives wind up reduced to shallow indulgences that do us no good. So, for these reasons, I’m glad I waltzed into that joint earlier this year and took time to get to know those assholes. They definitely made an impression on me, and I’m pleased as punch to keep putting distance between myself and folks like them. Full-on misery loving company there. Good riddance.

Not that assholes are limited to that one watering hole. Assholes abound all throughout the barscene. I don’t doubt I was an asshole too. Kinda goes with the territory.

And I’ll probably remain an asshole-of-sorts. Just glad to no longer be ingesting a chemical that messes up my mind to where I say so many of the wrong things and frequently enough can’t even recall what they even were. Tired of feeling guilty about that. Also tired of dealing with idiots who love to get a reaction out of more emotional folks like myself. Too difficult for me to check my emotions and remain level-headed once I’ve had enough to drink. I tend to get far too reactive and mouthy. Irritated by disrespect and unnecessary bullshit, or I create it. And we’re all so prone to talk over one another’s shoulders and misunderstand each other’s intentions. They react, I react, and all communication bogs down. Hence why they prefer to keep talk so light and stupid, thinking that will stave off reasons for people to argue. But it doesn’t work that way for me. Their attempts at light and stupid tend to grate on my nerves. Just don’t possess enough patience any longer to deal with all of that. Something went snap in me over time and I no longer wish to put up with my fellow barhounds’ bullshit. Went beyond stupid, beyond depressing even. Became downright pathetic. And I do include myself in that assessment as well.

It’s all still on my mind day to day as I adjust to this new way of being. But more and more I find myself thinking about other matters and letting the bad aftertaste of dealing with those jokers slowly fade away. Will take time though. Dealt with those sorts for too long. Became one of them, at least so far as I was able to. And now that’s over and there’s all kinds of new terrain to explore.

Been re-listening to some of my audiobooks lately, including Taleeb Starkes’ Black Lies Matter and Dr. James Hollis’s What Matters Most: Living A More Considered Life. Put the last bit of volume 1 of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago on hold a few weeks back, with plans to finish it soon enough. Picked back up my print copy of Otto Rank’s Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development now that I have nifty reading glasses to aid me. Already mentioned on another recent post reading Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. A couple weeks back I listened to The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault, which was just okay. Before that I listened to A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History by Nicholas Wade. And also The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis, which was an interesting story. And a couple other titles that slip my mind right now.

Yesterday afternoon I rented 3 of the remakes of The Planet of the Apes films, in preparation for watching the newest one coming out later this month. Don’t know much about these movies, having only seen bits and pieces of the originals. The storyline sounds interesting, so hopefully it lives up to the expectations. Thinking of cooking up spaghetti Friday evening and nestling in to begin this series. A friend of mine also wants to see them, and my former partner said he too might try to sit through one of them (not much a movie-watcher usually). Might be fun. (Might also finally break out the new popcorn popper I received as a gift months back.)

What else? Trimmed my hair this evening. It needed it. The bleached tips are drying out and in need of gradual removal. Oiled it up tonight with argon oil (and coconut oil on the tips) after putting my usual drops of jojoba oil in with my conditioners. Managed to create a nice layering effect in the back this time around. Took some time and patience but I like the result. Been trimming my own hair for a couple years or more now and so far so good. Thinking of dyeing it again sometime soon, though I can’t settle on a shade. Went with black with reddish copper tips last time, but the black dye faded all throughout pretty fast. So much for Garnier Nutrisse being a permanent dye. The black dyes I’ve used in the past were steadfast, but not that stuff. So nevermind that brand. Leaning with going for a golden medium brown to slightly lighten my original color a bit. Done it plenty of times before to nice effect. But I’m also toying with going more amber, though it seems everybody is going for red hues these days. But solid black looks flat, and my hair is already dark brown. Burgundy shades are out since they too are all the rage right now. So medium golden brown it probably will be. Avoiding the frosting this time since it’s so damaging to my hair. Been dyeing my own hair since I was a young teen, rarely opting to go the salon route, and I’ve been mostly pleased with the results. Saves money to do it oneself, plus I’ve had my hair botched worse by stylists than by myself.

Little pretties like that make me happy. Still meaning to get around to doing my complete pedicure and possible manicure. Been lazy lately though. Have to stick with neutral shades when I do it myself since I don’t have the skills that the Asian nail tech ladies possess. Best to leave the application of dark and bright shades to them. Someday I’ll be able to afford their services again. Just have to catch up my finances for a spell before indulging in such luxuries.

That’s about it for now. Taking it easy, relaxing when not working, exercising occasionally, still staying up late most nights but aiming to wake earlier, sharing meals pretty regularly with my former partner (he’s been particularly generous lately in inviting me over for dinners — probably part of the reason I’ve yet to lose any weight these past 3 weeks), and keeping the alcohol out of my mouth (in the words of Kevin O’Hara). Oh, and on the 4th of July my former and I went on a walk to observe the local fireworks, which was nice. We rarely walk together much anymore, so that was good. Didn’t bicker too much either.

Sunday afternoon journaling on “The Red Pill” creator

Been laying low lately. Haven’t taken time to blog much on here in recent weeks (or months) not because I lack things to talk about but probably because I haven’t felt up to opening any big cans of worms. Call it burnout or fatigue with social issues. Still watching videos and reading articles nearly as much as always (on all sorts of topics), just not commenting on what I’m reading and watching since I’m tired of getting dragged down into the muck. Did plenty of that already in years prior. But likely will eventually feel up to it again in due time.

Today I was watching The Rubin Report where he had Cassie Jaye on talking about her documentary “The Red Pill.” Haven’t watched the documentary yet and so can’t comment on that. What struck me was how charitable she seemed toward Paul Elam and A Voice For Men’s site though she proclaimed to have started out on that venture as a feminist. I agree with her assessment that feminism is an ideology and a quasi-religion and have expressed similar sentiments in the past, but what gets me here is how she seems to view the Men’s Rights Movement as wholly different than that, whereas I see it shaping up along analogous lines. Plenty of MRAs have thrown a fit when I’ve stated that, but I watched and read a whole lot of their material since late 2012 and was unable to come to any other conclusion. Even while I agree with a number of the points they make and would like to see them succeed in garnering more attention for men’s rights and perspectives. I don’t hate them as a group, just not a fan of ideologues in general, whether male or female. That’s been my take on it and so I have wandered away from gender-bent movements overall. Would rather take issue with feminists and SJWs on my own turf without allying with any other movement.

Cassie Jaye mentioned she had basically gotten out of religion in her early adulthood and stated that feminism wound up reminding her of that period of time once she “awoke” to how feminism operates these days. I can’t help but see all of these movements as ideologically driven at their core, including the so-called “MGTOW” and the MRM. Maybe I’m being too knee-jerk when it comes to ideologies, I don’t know, but I just have no time or energy for any form of group-think. Not when it comes to a religion and not when it comes to any political party or social movement either. Sure, the MRM remains in a fledgling state and on the surface looks nowhere near as concerning as does feminism, but give it time. The divide between the sexes prophesied by George Orwell is what I see coming out of these movements expanding their scope and influence as time unfolds.

That Cassie Jaye doesn’t take the hostility on display within the MRM as anything more than “satire” is a bit disconcerting to me, having read and listened to plenty from Paul Elam over time. I don’t like the guy and will keep saying I don’t see him as a leader worth following. Period. He hurt his own movement through his own actions and choices, as well as through some of those he chose to bring near him to help build the movement (John Hembling immediately springs to mind). People will say that this is all well and good for an outsider like myself to stand on the sidelines and judge what they’re trying to do, but since I’m not in the ring actually doing something then my opinion isn’t worth a damn. Fair enough. Still. It is what it is. I can’t in good conscience direct men that I know to their sites and channels when I really wish I could. Largely because most men I know wouldn’t dig their content much either.

Anyway, time to get ready to head out so I must wrap this up. Haven’t watched her film so I can’t say much more on her shifting perspective. Will finish watching her interview on The Rubin Report later today. I would like to see men’s rights taken more seriously and perhaps it takes an obnoxious movement to help get the word out. I don’t know. Just know that I’m not a fan of most folks in either the Feminist or MRM/”MGTOW” camps. Both brought some good points and arguments to light, and both then wound up going where I could no longer follow. Take what’s useful from both and keep on trucking, I guess.

“Arthur C Clarke – Fractals – The Colors Of Infinity”

Happened across this video last night:

Been amazed by fractals since my early teens. And that above was an old-school documentary on the subject.

My guyfriend requested today that I post up pretty pictures of fractals on here. Probably aiming to distract me from political discourse. Haha! That’s what friends are for. tongue_funny

fractal480

Mandelbrot_Set-12-DOUBLE_SPIRAL-large

Mandelbrot_Set-10-SATELLITE_VALLEY

mandelbrot_upclose

mandelbrot_set That particular design is known as the Mandelbrot set and is repeated throughout fractal formations.

“Thomas Sowell on the many problems with intellectuals and experts”

Other authors I’ve read over time discuss this same issue, particularly when it comes to the so-called liberal intelligentsia entrenched in academe. They do exert a great deal of influence, that much is certain, whether their social theories ultimately prove benign or disastrous.

“Walter Williams: The State Against Blacks” (full documentary)

Pausing 16:15 in…His argument about minimum wage laws makes sense to me, despite my “bleeding heart” side wanting to protest a human being working for $2/hr. Back when this documentary was filmed in the 1980s the minimum wage was $3.00+, now it’s what? $7.00-something? Last I checked that’s what it was in this state. But I get where Dr. Williams is coming from here in terms youths gaining valuable experience with the working world at a time when they’re typically least capable of being productive due to lacking those very job skills they’re needing to acquire through becoming employed. Remove low wage “practice” positions and you undermine youth’s education in adjusting to the ways of our capitalist economy. It is what it is, and socialistic policies haven’t improved the reality after decades of chances to demonstrate they might. We’re being forced to take in the facts of the situation, folks. My argument relating to minimum wage laws usually revolves around how the middle-class winds up squeezed financially the most since their wages are already higher than any set minimum wage and aren’t raised in accordance with it; plus, whatever benefits the poorest hope to receive wind up reduced when companies raise the costs of their products and services in relation to the wage hike so as not to lose profit.

While I remain bitterly critical of the corporatist setup that’s come to dominate what was intended to be a free market capitalist society, I no more wish to aid and abet the socialist idealists out in the society who are fighting to swing the pendulum to another, arguably more totalitarian outcome either. Both of those options suck so far as I can tell.

Dr. Williams’ next point about licensing and regulations barring people entry to various professions is something I’ve long been concerned about as well. Incredibly high cost (and only increasingly) professional licenses and other restrictions reduce our ability as citizens to compete in this corporate-dominated climate. Absolutely. Hurts us as individuals and all across the board as a people to be denied entry in fields where we might flourish despite taking a different approach than those dictating how the profession must be guarded and rendered exclusive. While I can understand why professions would want this since they stand to benefit most from such an arrangement, it’s entirely unnecessary and anti-capitalistic in many cases. Rating organizations can be employed to discern who’s who and how well they’ve performed in their services provided — government regulation isn’t needed there, by-and-large. Some regulations I can understand, particularly that which allows the market to remain free enough so that the majority of people might be capable of effectively competing within it. But there’s a line to be drawn and it comes before professionalizing nearly everything field under the sun, as has been actively occurring.

On a slight side-note, he brought up a good point about hair-dressers and how the hoop-jumping test-taking there eliminates people who actually know how to do hair but lack the education necessary to test well on paper. It’s doing hair, not solving philosophical conundrums, folks. Never understood why that field was set up as it is now, especially considering how many pathetic hair-dressers somehow still mange to graduate and become licensed. Too many people go into that line of work who have no real business there, yet their hair academies aren’t screening them out. Hence why I learned to dye, bleach, and trim my own hair. Good riddance. Gotta try out numerous hair stylists to find one worth returning to, especially if you move around as much as I have. Wish I had heard more through word of mouth so I could’ve avoided those regretted encounters. And the best hair stylist I ever wound up finding, back in Omaha, cost nearly $125 per session and wound up quitting once her pregnancy advanced. So dang. That’s a lot to pay but apparently was necessary if I wanted my hair to look like how that one woman could manipulate it. Pretty much every other stylist either didn’t take as much pride in their work or weren’t sufficiently familiar with working with my hair type or just altogether jacked my shit up. So I learned to handle it myself. Their licensing requirement doesn’t impress me much.

As for cab drivers, now that Uber is on the scene we see how a private company can still conduct screening of potential drivers while side-stepping cab licensing requirements, which is how proving to seriously undermine the status quo of that service industry. Kinda funny, if you ask me. And totally welcome. Customer reviews help reward the good drivers within their ranks and aid in removing the more questionable ones, at least in terms of being affiliated with that company specifically.

Anyway, moving on…  Pausing at 21:00, this man is right that people are confusing the road to economic success as necessarily involving first pursuing political power. That’s not it tends to shake out in the real world, past or present (as we’re bound to find out once again). Yes, on the free market we get to vote with our individual dollars rather than simply being overruled by a majority influenced by whatever ideology.

Interesting panel discussion there at the end.

“Walter Williams: Suffer No Fools”

Watched this for the first time this evening and really appreciated learning more about this interesting man. Very highly recommend this documentary to others to become acquainted with him too.

Documentary of the evening: “An Open Secret”

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v103376385edFjEbD5

Can’t seem to get this Veoh video to embed tonight.