Journaling on a Wednesday evening in August 2017

Been a good week so far. Hit the gym hard the last 3 days with plans to continue doing so tomorrow and Friday, in hope of making this a regular M-F routine. So nice having my trainer stationed at a nearby gym once again, plus I’m now saving money in not needing to pay him for training on the side. Determined to lose several pounds since I put so much back on over the last year (particularly the winter) after his gym closed down. Slowly but surely I am doing so, though now I’m kicking my activity up a notch, once again. Feels good. Nice and tiring. Haven’t lost my strength gains either, which is wonderful. And, come to find out, I haven’t lost any balance and flexibility either (demonstrated during last night’s yoga session). So…onward and upward there.

Currently in week 10 of my commitment to stop drinking. All is going well there. It’s gotten easier with each passing week. Less often do I drop into my favorite local watering holes nowadays, and when I do I’m only there for a short spell. Still nice to run into folks I haven’t seen in a minute and to chat and catch up. And I do like playing the Megatouch machine — got a rolling competition with a couple people across a few locations that’s been going on for years. Waste of money, sure, but I’m spending $5 or less usually when I do go out now (a far cry from what my outings used to cost me!).

Been successfully squirreling away money once again. Most of it is earmarked already, but it’s great to see my finances improving. Amazing how much money one saves by not blowing it in bars. Also picked up a new business contact whom I start working with tomorrow, so that too will help in giving my finances a boost.

Went grocery shopping for some healthier meal and snack options today. Not been doing terrible in that department lately, but wanting to tighten up on the reins a bit when it comes to carb intake. Still preparing pasta regularly, and that will likely never change, but I’m turning my attention more toward veggies and leaner meats. A couple nights ago I whipped up a Mediterranean-style omelet with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and spinach. Delicious. Plan on having that again tonight.

Cutting down on my coffee intake since that made me jittery. It helped for right after I quit drinking alcohol, but then it began creating an interference of its own. Even caused me to post up a couple videos on YT where I was visibly hyper. Ha! So I switched to part-decaf and reduced the amount I drink each day. Feeling fine with that decision. Tea is typically more my speed anyway. Still drinking the heck out of seltzer water…good stuff.

Was invited over to my former partner’s place for tacos last night, which went well. We went 5 whole weeks without seeing one another after our last fight, but then we started back talking on the phone and last weekend decided to get together once again. Guess we’re fated to deal with one another indefinitely, and that’s fine, so long as we manage to get along better. He’s been sweet lately so I can’t complain. Wish we’d get our shit together so that out friendship isn’t so rocky, and hopefully we will. Obviously enjoy one another’s company when we are getting along.

What else? Oh, I stopped by a local independent bookstore on Monday and picked up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. Why? Because I want to know what protesters are being taught out there. Doesn’t strike me as wise to employ the same methods, but I’d at least like to learn about them. Currently resuming listening to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. I — one long-ass book. Interesting to learn about Soviet Russia though. The other print book I’m still reading in when time permits is Otto Rank’s Art and Artist (another long-ass book). Actually sat outside yesterday afternoon for about 45 minutes reading it, allowing the dog a little extra time to run around in the yard.

As of today, I’m working on training a puppy to walk on a leash. So far, so good. He’s a fairly fast learner, aside from his terrible teething phase. It’ll help the owner to get his energy out since it’s difficult for her to walk him far. Learning to heel on the right so as not to trip her up is the current challenge. We’ll get it — just takes time.

Sorted more of my books a few days ago and redecorated one of my bookcases. Improves the feng shui up in here.

Headed out to catch some rays at the “beach” with my best guyfriend on Sunday. We also dined at a Mexican restaurant we both like. Was a nice afternoon.

Not much else to report on at this time.

Observing people on a Sunday afternoon while at the “beach”

Always strikes me as funny to refer to anything in this land-locked Midwestern state as a “beach,” but that’s what the locals call their riverside recreational area. Nice spot actually. It’s where my best guyfriend likes to go to lay out and catch some rays, so I accompanied him yesterday as I occasionally do.

Loads of families were there, as to be expected. Several couples also. What was interesting to me was the diversity of the crowd. Considering this “flyover state” is known for being white bread, most probably wouldn’t expect to see such a wide spectrum of colors and ethnicities all intermingled. Likely not the case outside of this metro and in the more rural areas, but here we all are in the big city.

A large group of Africans were there, playing in the water off at the end. All seemed pretty friendly. Watched them interact while we were wading in up to our thighs, taking a break to cool off. They have a dramatically emotional flair to them, which I find interesting as a highly emotional person myself. And not a one of them seemed concerned about getting their hair wet, that being a stereotype associated particularly with black women. But these were people of direct African descent, not our stereotypical black Americans.

Speaking of which, farther down the beach I noticed a good-looking black female with a good-looking Asian male. She too didn’t seem concerned about getting her hair wet, which leads me to assume that must’ve been her natural hair. Was very pretty.

A group of Hispanic people were out there too, though I only saw their kids get in the water while the adults remained clothed and chatted amongst themselves near the periphery of the “beach.”

Nearer to our blankets were a black American couple, both middle-aged and very attractive. He was reading a book in his chair while she got in the water. She too had her own natural hair and had no hesitation about swimming or getting sand in it. I like to see people’s natural hair rather than the “hair hats” that Tommy Sotomayor makes such a big deal about. He’s right — weaves have a lot of downsides and not enough upsides to make them worth it. Not being free to swim or even scratch one’s scalp sounds incredibly unappealing.

I bring this up because once it grew time for us to leave about 6:30pm, the parking lot was filling up with black Americans who had arrived. And to be honest, I was glad we were leaving by that point. The weave-wearers had shown up, along with sporting the attitudes many of us have to come to expect from them. Some might say it’s racist to simply state it like that, but I don’t care. The word racist has been played out and rendered meaningless anyway. My main point is that there was a distinct difference between the black folks (mostly African but also a handful of black Americans) who were there in the afternoon versus the black Americans showing up as evening approached. You could see it in their body language immediately.

Each day I ponder on the direction society is headed in, and while I acknowledge that racial identities can be complex and that plenty shouldn’t be judged in accordance with a stereotypical mold, I observe those who epitomize such stereotypes as well. Am not color-blind and won’t pretend to be so. Stupid to expect that from people. We all do notice, whether we’re willing to admit it.

Laying there roasting in the sun, I got to thinking about the Africans I’ve known and how many of them openly disdain our American blacks. Don’t see themselves as belonging to the same in-group at all. They don’t wish to be lumped into that shared category because they see themselves (and their varied nations of origin) as being distinct culturally and unaligned with the American Black narrative. They get frustrated by them. So they opt to self-segregate away from our black Americans. Interesting. I wonder if they too left when the weave-wearers showed up. Perhaps. And would anyone accuse them of racism for doing so?  lol

Nothing wrong with avoiding unnecessary drama.

A part of me feels a bit bad for the (stereotypical) black American currently seeing as how so many of them appear to be ruled by an inferiority complex that leads them to behave and act out in ways that only further confirms the stereotype in the minds of others, resulting in increasing social tensions. It’s set up a conundrum that can’t easily be remedied at this point in history. The past can’t be allowed to fade away since so many feel deeply invested in it, yet ruminating over the past is proving to be bondage in a new way as it’s carried forth into the future. While I can understand the habit of lamenting the past, there’s no way forward if you look out upon all others as racists unceasingly aiming to hold you back. And others don’t care for being viewed that way either, hence why we might walk away. But we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. If we leave you to it, we’re racist. If we stay and stand our ground, we’re racist. If we tell you what you want to hear, we’re racist. If we speak openly and plainly without putting your feelings first, we’re racist. Surely if we just sit there mute we’re probably still regarded as racist.

People tire of that shit. It’s exhausting to deal with. Feels like mental loops and traps. A rigged game. No longer about individuals interacting but instead an obstacle course where if the right things aren’t said or the right demeanor isn’t displayed, we’re going to be called out, nevermind what’s actually going on in our minds or how much we aimed to not offend. I can’t stand for my motivations to be assumed based on some ridiculous narrative. If you want to know why I say what I say or do what I do, just ask me. Pretty good about speaking straight. Yet this is what we constantly hear these days, these assumptions that everybody out here is motivated by racism. Couldn’t possibly be that we just wish to avoid unnecessary drama that we’ve come to associate with certain types of people. Often it isn’t based on race solely, as demonstrated by people’s openness toward the Africans.

In short, it’s not skin color alone that is the focal point– it’s the attitudes and actions that stereotypically accompany them across however many persons. Yes, white folks can be assholes too, and nobody would claim otherwise. Since some wish to ascribe motivations to those of other races, I’ll feel free to do the same in pointing out what appears to be an inferiority complex among too many black Americans. Inferiority/superiority complex since it swings to wild extremes, even within the same individual. On one hand loudly protesting assimilating into the wider “white-dominated” culture and its laws, while simultaneously wailing about people avoiding them and/or not including them. But when you show up to say that we’re all a bunch of shits who inherently look down upon you, yes, you become a bummer to be around. And when you act as if your feelings should matter more than all else, you’re setting up a one-sided situation where either people won’t be honest with you or, if they are, will only offend you. Which then can turn nasty in an instant.

You tell me who’s got time for that?

We just wanted to enjoy a relaxing day at the “beach” among others doing the same, sans dealing with bullshit and loud attitude problems. The Africans were all cool. The interracial couple were cool. The middle-aged black American couple were cool. All the various shades of “white” folks lying on their towels or playing with their kids were cool. And then…who showed up and brought tension?

It’s not racist to state it plain. If people wish to be perceived differently in the eyes of others, it’s on them to make some changes. But I know too well how hardheaded humans tend to be, particularly those who pander to a grievance industry, so I assume tensions will just keep escalating until greater problems arise. Don’t wish to see that unfold, but how can it be prevented when people don’t wish to take personal responsibility or to compromise? Concessions have already been made, and many of them. The ball is in the other court — can we upgrade this game finally or should we just keep allowing our society to grow divided and hostile?

Grandsons of famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud

Randomly stumbled across this information last night. Never thought prior to now about Freud’s grandkids and who they might be or what their lives may entail. Wasn’t what I expected to find, though won’t pretend I expected much better adjusted offspring from Sigmund Freud. Not the man’s biggest fan largely due to his overemphasis of the Oedipus Complex, which my studies on the matter led me over time to believe it alone cannot explain as much about human psychology as he (quite inflexibly) presumed.

Anyway, last night by chance I came across a video about the disappearance of a little girl named Madeleine McCann. Many have heard of her story and how she went missing in 2007 while her family vacationed in Portugal. I’m not familiar with the case despite hearing her name bandied about occasionally, so last night I decided to listen to some interviews and videos on the matter. And that’s where the name Sir Clement Freud first crossed my radar. Grandson of Sigmund Freud and brother of famous artist Lucian Freud.

Clement Freud was a Liberal member of the UK Parliament until 1987, a lengthy service which he was knighted for. He died in 2009 and years later claims came out about him being a pedophile and rapist, dating back to the 1940s. People can read all about that on their own time. But his name surfaced in the Madeleine McCann case due to the proximity of his villa from the villa where Madeleine was said to likely have been abducted. Coincidental perhaps. But then the word is that he reached out in the aftermath of the child’s disappearance to offer support to her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. Still looking for definitive accounts of this being true. Seems a bit eerie if that is true, considering the stories from elderly women that came out later claiming abuse by him as youths.

Then I looked into Lucian Freud to see what kind of artwork he produces. A showcase of his art is available here. Hmmm…what can be said about that? Quite unattractive positioning and rendering of his models, despite his obvious artistic talent and capabilities. One of his pieces sold for $33.6 million at auction – that said to be “the highest price ever at the time for a work by a living artist.” Makes me wonder who would pay that much for any piece of art, let alone a painting of an obese naked woman sleeping on a couch.

Benefits_Supervisor_Sleeping_Lucian_FreudLucian is also rumored to have fathered up to 40 children with various mistresses.

Hmmm. People are strange, and those two certainly were no exception to that rule.

“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.

Pizzagate?

Hmmm…the latest conspiracy theory pertaining to Washington insiders involves a bizarre cast of characters along with claims of a child molestation ring. What can be said about this?

First off, lobbing claims against people for sexual mistreatment of children is a gravely serious matter. Not accusations to be treated willy-nilly or to be applied to people without sufficient evidence. A mere accusation of this nature can destroy a person’s life, and how does one even defend against such claims? So…no, I’m not interested in joining a witch-hunt without enough to go on, even if those being pointed at include certain politicians I’m certainly no fan of.

Secondly, pretty much everybody out here is relying on second-hand information to form their opinions. Meaning most of us didn’t access the primary source of these photos being circulated and can’t say with certainty that the pictures haven’t been doctored or taken out of relevant context or whatever else. In other words, we really don’t know what we’re looking at here or what it all represents, speculations aside. And this tends to be the problem with vigilante justice — people like to react without putting in diligent effort and time to make sure the accusations are sufficiently warranted. Which then makes them look like a bunch of hokey “conspiracy theorists” chomping at the bit for a disturbing story, nevermind the evidence available and what it may or may not indicate. People lose trust in you and your claims and then wind up side-stepping the entire issue because they don’t wish to strain themselves in sorting out fact from fiction. And what if the accusations turn out to be correct? Well, those who went on a witch-hunt too soon actually helped obscure that truth by behaving like reckless, ignorant vigilantes gearing up for a lynching spree. Hurt your own cause, in short.

However, I am intrigued by such stories and thereby started looking into it for myself, beginning with watching a few videos and following the links provided. Most weren’t what I would accept as credible sources. From there I went directly to wikileaks to peruse the Podesta and Clinton emails. Lots and lots to sort through there. Would likely take a dedicated month to do so. But I located some of the relevant emails where handkerchiefs and fund-raising pizza parties at Comet Ping Pong restaurant or at one of the Podesta’s homes were mentioned (plus this, and one about ice cream, and this about a “spirit cooking” event, and this mention of David Brock).

What do these findings suggest to me? Not what others are claiming. Doesn’t look to be a bunch of sinister code, or at least I’m not seeing it. If I felt creeped out by these correspondences, I’d say so, but it looks like the ramblings of a bunch of foodies who enjoy hosting parties. I’d call it out if it struck me any other way.

But what about James Alefantis and his Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant attracting so much attention from D.C. elites? And what about the photos purportedly uploaded to his Instagram account depicting kids in weird ways? I don’t know since his instagram account has since been marked private or deleted, so any photos I’m exposed to that are claimed to have been uploaded by him is pure hearsay by now. If I can’t locate the original source and see it with my own eyes, I’m forced to trust the words of others online, and we all know how many batty weirdos are floating around on the internet.

Apparently this photo was legitimately taken from James’ Instagram account (where he went by “jimmycomet”):

jimmycomet_kid_photo

What can we make of it? It’s creepy, sure, and probably not the kind of publicity one would want to drum up if hoping to remain in the business of offering pizza to children and their parents. Beyond that, I honestly don’t know what to think of this and would like to hear an explanation from James Alefantis himself before leaping to conclusions.

As for the artwork claimed to be on the bathroom walls within his business, I want to see the proof.

Perusing 4chan this afternoon and not finding much in the way of concrete evidence there either…

So…instead I’ll focus on what connections clearly do exist, setting aside all allegations for now.

1.) John Podesta was the former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and he previously served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and Counselor to President Barack Obama.

2.) Tony Podesta is John’s brother and said to be closely connected with the Barack Obama White House and has repeatedly been named one of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists and fundraisers.

To be continued…

Returning on 12/6/16: First off, sharing this: “MajesticApe celebrates Birthdays 1.20.12 — Video recorded during Sasha Lord’s birthday party at Comet Ping Pong“:

That’s undeniably some weird ass shit. Don’t even know what to think of it, first watching it about a week ago.

Finally back to this topic because I’d like to finally close out the tabs that have been open since first posting this. Don’t have much more to say. People can read and watch what’s out there and make their own assessments. I personally feel these are some creepy, weird folks, but won’t claim to have enough access to quality evidence to make any definitive assertions in regards to criminal behavior. Will say the “satanic” ritual associations conjured up by several people appeared laughable. Some of those artists do remind me of the goth kids of the ’90s who never grew up (speaking as one of the goth-ish kids of the ’90s who probably hasn’t grown up much either  reddevil ).  Anyway, the tin-foil hat-wearers appear to have taken over the conversation online and rendered it ridiculous at present. Way to go, guys. If any concern does truly exist in that situation involving Hillary and the Podestas and countless others, most won’t care to try to find out since there’s too much bullshit to wade through put out by highly-imaginative speculators. That’s what it all is: speculation. I’d rather the focus be on facts and clear connections without interjecting one’s own pet theories from the outset. But that’s just me.

So, gonna close these tabs and let it go for now. Don’t know what all is going on among those weirdos up in D.C. Power goes to the head of many (if not most) people. People like to push boundaries where they think they can get away with doing so. That’s a fact of human nature. BUT, I gotta be presented substantive proof before accepting the accusation of a person being a child molester/rapist. That’s truly a harsh allegation, and in this weird-ass case the proof of it is lacking. Disagree? Then go find better quality evidence to argue your case. Otherwise it’s just a moot point at the moment. We don’t know what all may be going on. Are the Clintons shitty people whom I wouldn’t put it past? Eh, perhaps they’re that shitty. Maybe. I wouldn’t completely doubt it. *shrugs*

But there does appear to be compelling evidence relating to her email sharing and breaching security requirements, that much is clear. Yet people would prefer to speculate about crazy child sex rings and high-level pedophiles when there just doesn’t appear to be enough to substantiate those claims right now. Not that they’re unimportant if true, just that Hillary deserves to be charged for the violations she’s much more concretely guilty of, and speculative hand-wringing over pizzagate detracts from that. Which perhaps it’s intended to do. Maybe. Wouldn’t necessarily doubt that either.

And this is why the entrenched D.C. establishment has become a cluster-fuck: it’s this cesspool of politicians most of us don’t trust, and with good reason. Yet we keep voting their sorry asses back into power, again and again. Why? We know most of those jokers are shady. The primary answer is likely that people are prone to focus on short-term interests and vote mostly for that which they hope to benefit most directly from. Not that presidential elections do much to sway efforts there — local elections are far more important albeit heavily neglected by the majority of us out here. (Myself included. Only been in once outside of a presidential election to vote in the decade I’ve lived in this state. For the record. So shame on me too.)

The most important shit is that which on the surface seems most boring. Apparently. Hence why we’re dazzled by all the drama that isn’t as important or at least where we possess the least power to make changes, yet we routinely drop the ball when it comes down to what is actually within our direct control and/or has the most direct influence on our lives. We play on the national level while ignoring the local level. Do we not? Seems we often do.

Leaving this topic here. I obviously care about child sexual abuse a great deal and speak about it on this blog fairly regularly. But I have no interest in joining a witch-hunt that lacks substantial evidence. Speculations only take us so far, entertaining as they can be. People do love salacious gossip. Sucks when it eclipses factual claims and drives the focus off of less scandalous crimes deserving investigation and prosecution. Also sucks that national politics absorb so much of our attention at a point when the local exercising of power is sorely needed.

Gotta leave if there for tonight. American politics wear on the soul…

More journaling in early October

It’s a new dawn and a new day…

Yesterday went better. Got pretty self-conscious the night before, hence that last journaling entry. Social awkwardness happens. But last night went much more smoothly. Opted to hang out again with a relatively new bar-pal with whom I share more in common. Nice guy. Much more chill and relaxed than that other dude from the night before. Was an easy, laid-back evening with no pressure to prove anything or stupid communication fumbles. We’ll possibly hang out again next week on one of his days off from work. He’s not seeking some big committed relationship situation either, nor does he even seem all that interested in pursuing sex, which is good for me since I’m aiming to lessen drama in my life right about now. Conversation over drinks and music sounds like a fine way to spend an evening these days. Keeping shit as simple as possible.

Still not up to much beyond working, socializing, watching documentaries and listening to audiobooks. Recently re-watched the film “We Are Legion” about the evolution of hacktivism and the Anonymous movement. Interesting subject. Also watched a documentary titled “Holy Hell” (on Netflix) about a really weird cult (named Buddhafield) originally based out of Los Angeles and formed by an aspiring gay porn actor. Strange what some folks are willing to fall for and follow along with. What else? Oh! Yesterday I watched a cool documentary titled “(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies” based on Dan Ariely’s research into the subject. Read a couple of his books in the past and am familiar with his findings, but I especially liked how in this film it showcased a number of notable persons who fell from grace very publicly due to being called out on their lies and deceptions. Brings the topic down to a very real and relatable level worth deeply pondering on.

Besides that, my best girlfriend sent me the audiobook Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, which I plan on getting to in coming weeks. Previously read his book Outliers and enjoyed that one.

Not been in the gym as much recently. Feeling a bit resistant about this switch-over to this new gym since the little gym I’ve belonged to over the last couple of years had to shut down. Busier at this other place so it’s a little bit more intimidating working out in there, especially in the weights section. Will have to get over that concern.

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“You See Me Laughin’: the last of the hill country bluesmen (Mississippi Blues documentary – 2002)”

Huge fan of the music of R.L. Burnside in particular, though I also fairly regularly listen to some songs acquired by T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm, and Asie Payton. Interesting to learn more about their backgrounds as well as to find out about a few singers I’d never heard of before (like Cedell Davis and Johnny Farmer). Plus to learn how their music became popularized outside of the Deep South.

An insightful film.