Another evening of existential reckoning (oh joy)

Was actually perusing a Sam Harris clip like I so very rarely ever care to do. Never been much of a fan of the guy. But found a segment where I agreed with him how people are factioning off into political tribes. Guess this is what Religions dying can morph into. Gotta put that energy toward something, somewhere. And now politics is the name of the game. The new beacon on which to direct our religious devotion.

Human beings are religious by our very natures. Have always been inclined toward religiosity and still are. Evolved this way. So even though we like to think we’re dropping all that and turning our attention toward the formation of a secular society, that inclination still resides within us, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Expresses itself in various ways. Political tribalism to whatever degrees. New herds to lose ourselves within.

Lots of things to lose oneself in nowadays. So much freedom we barely know what to do with it.

Freedom to make all sorts of (good or bad) choices too. That’s one of those natural rights granted to us by Nature. Some call it Free Will, though it can’t help but come with limitations.

Still. Pretty darn free in the U.S. currently.

Free to buy an assortment of delicacies and enticements. Free to partake in a number of legal drugs, including alcohol (and marijuana in some states). Free to think whatever we want. Free to vote for whomever we want, assuming our nation’s voting apparatus is even trustworthy any longer, and assuming you’re not barred from doing so due to certain felony charges.

Free to read books. Tons of libraries around for folks who lack funds. Inexpensive entertainment as well as educational if we push ourselves to seek and explore. But that’s a choice. Comes back to exercising all this Freedom we’ve been blessed with.

Choices. Attention paid to where? Habits. Options. Alternatives. Decisions. Backed by actions.

Come to find out, it’s very easy to get lost in this 21st Century. lol  True story.

Values. What matters most?

What were the seven deadly sins again?

SLOTH

ENVY

LUST

GLUTTONY

GREED

PRIDE

WRATH

Good to keep in mind. As I sit here tonight as a sloth, once again, pondering while wandering around the internet. Satiating my legal vices. Ever look at that list and wind up having to check every box? Whether past or present, all the same we are afflicted by excesses that can prove destructive, and not only to our own selves. Obviously.

So then what? Wait for motivation to come and sweep us along on our way? Doesn’t work like that.

Some good books I’ve been contemplating on over the last several months are:

Thinking of canceling my Audible subscription for a spell so I can just refocus on these and other titles. Those books there are really informative and thought-provoking. Not needing to continue on in my studies until I get re-oriented with the aid of those books. They do help. But of course it ultimately comes down to one’s individual efforts. Application of lessons learned.

Journaling on Sunday night in late January 2017

I’m all over the board lately. One hour looking into black criminality, the next sitting with cases of Muslim rapists attacking American and European women, the next listening to politicians here and abroad debate on topics of national interests, the next trying to make more sense out of what the fuck the American Left is up to. And on and on and on it goes. For weeks and months on end. Never stops. And I never stop in my attempt to witness what all is going on out here in the world.

Years can go by… They have before and it looks like they will again. My friends like to say I’m like a dog with a bone, I just won’t let go. Don’t know how to. Violent criminality fucks with my sensibilities. Can’t tolerate it or ignore its occurrence. And I understand that the media plays up on that psychological drive within so many of us to pay close attention to news of danger and mayhem. Hence why I don’t subscribe to cable television in my home and haven’t in years. If I’m going down into the abyss it will be according to my choosing and in relation to topics that particularly distress me.

As one American woman out here I must say that I pray this shit doesn’t go off the hook too far beyond what it has already. Some of you are strong, solid men who don’t fear other men, and good for you. I don’t personally comprehend that feeling as a 5’2″ female who lives alone and goes about my life at odd hours, dwelling in an apartment complex increasingly populated with African and Hispanic immigrants who barely speak English. All have been friendly and decent toward me thus far. Only ever had problems here with one black man who used to live across the hall who once tried to barge into my apartment while evidently high on something. Got the door pushed closed and locked it and called my landlord, leading to that man being evicted shortly thereafter. But that man had caused other problems in the building beyond that. Still have to deal with hooligans leaving used condoms in the hallway and parking lot occasionally, but at least they ceased hanging women’s panties on people’s Dish Network satellites. We’re kinda like a tiny ghetto-ish enclave within a reasonably nice residential area. People sometimes tell me to move but I like cheap rent. Always have and always will. Plus, my landlord has been fair and decent with me and only gone up on the rent $50/mo. over the last 8 years.

But I do keep various sorts of items to use as weapons around the place, plus in my car. You learn to be vigilant and to pay attention to your surroundings when you live as I do. You learn about body language and what it signals and how to not come across as an easy mark. But this place truly isn’t so bad, at least not yet. Better than it used to be, so I give my landlord credit for ridding the worst elements from this place. But we do cater to Section 8 and apparently are welcoming to immigrants. But, again, thus far most of our immigrants from various nations have conducted themselves all right. Had a few break-ins in the apartment beneath mine and actually caught one Hispanic guy kicking their window in one time — told the police that when they arrived later, but what could I say? Dark evening hours, brown guy, nothing really distinguishing about him. Hollered at him out my window, but he didn’t care. Usually I just come home to seeing one of their windows boarded up yet again. People love kicking in the windows of that particular apartment for some reason. Hence why it has an especially high turnover rate for renters, though many units in this complex do. Only a small handful of us choose to stick around here for more than a year.

When it comes to my job though, I’m all over the place, traveling from residence to residence throughout the day. Many of them live in upscale areas, but still. I don’t trust suburban kids either. Learned about them already in the past, having lived in a suburb for a little while as a young teen. I don’t trust ’em either. In fact, I’m almost more nervous of them than others precisely because they can be so spoiled and lack empathy and think everything’s about their own entertainment. So I watch myself wherever I go, aiming not to lapse into a false sense of security just because I’m visiting wealthier parts of the metro.

Mostly I worry about my friends. My guyfriends especially. One is so helpful toward strangers that I worry about him getting taken advantage of or robbed, though he likes to dismiss my concerns. (His house was actually robbed several years back.)  He’s strong, but it’s a matter of whether he sees it coming at the time. Another close guyfriend has a good many health issues and can’t take a punch in the face as a result. Would fuck up his world to do him like that. And he’d probably be even more of a target due to being kinda shy and sweet and appearing to have nice things and basically assuming the good in people. I’ve grown paranoid about their safety in recent years. Truly have. Not sure why. Probably because I submerge myself in crime-related information on a nearly daily basis and, in one shape or form, have done so forever. Mostly because I worry about this area changing someday, though it’s still pretty safe as of right now. Still, I worry.

A local development website I looked into recently predicted a 5.1% increase in population in this metro by 2020. I’m wondering where they’re going to come from. Hopefully not Chicago. Please, dear lord, don’t let rough elements move here from Chicago! We don’t need that. Too many people around here are soft, unexpecting, trusting — at least from what I can tell. The ones out in the gated community might not have much reason to worry, but it’s a bit unnerving how so many of the rest are kinda oblivious to crime, as though it won’t happen to them, lulled into a sense of security thanks to this area being so crime-free (or at least not crimes typically horribly violent in nature).

Then a couple cops were killed here locally a few months back. By a middle-aged white man who was known to be a hot-head. Ambushed them in their cars. In my neighborhood. One right down the street from me. One of the police officers was relatively new to the force; the other had been serving a while and has a family and kids and was very well-liked, so people say. Very sad situation. The man who murdered them reportedly got mad at a high school sports game when his rebel flag was snatched by fellow attendees. Doesn’t make sense, I know. Nobody comprehends this. But he had a youtube video up about it where right afterward he was talking to police and fussing about his property being stolen. Then about a week or so later, he killed two cops unrelated to his former incident. There was some mention of him being pissed off at Black Lives Matter, but that may just be a rumor. His crime didn’t make any sense even if that was the motive. He killed two white male cops he didn’t even know. In two separate jurisdictions. Lived with his mother and had a teenage daughter. Only videos he had up on youtube were of her recitals and playing with his pup before that altercation video where he was arguing with the cops (and the cops were being very reasonable with him in response, not antagonistic. Our cops around here are usually pretty nice and helpful.)

He killed them for whatever reason. And he had just written in a week prior a letter to the local police department commending them for being heroes who serve our community. None of it made any sense in the end. He’s alive and in jail currently, but we still don’t comprehend why this all happened. Doubt the dude even knows. I wonder if he’s on any drugs, prescribed or otherwise. We have no choice but to accept that this occurred, wrong as it was. I’d love to learn more about the criminal if information becomes available, but he basically appears to be not too bright and highly emotionally reactive. Hence probably why he never proved successful in anything, according to those who knew him.

Ever since, though, this town has bathed itself in blue ribbons. Little by little, they keep creeping up, strung around tree trunks and light poles, tied to antennas and shrubbery. Blue lights on the occasional front porch. Blue tape strips across back car windshields. More and more of it is materializing, which is what’s really interesting to me. Initially when the cops died there were memorials placed on the street corners where they were each ambushed. Lots of balloons and signs showing support and leaving spiritual sentiments — I’d see one of those displays everyday on the way to work. Then, little by little, the ribbons and tape and lights began emerging across the whole city. Slowly. Plus the occasional yard sign expressing support for the local PD. By now I notice the blue all the time as I’m out walking and driving each day. And honestly, I’m grateful for it. It’s actually a comfort to see that much outpouring of support not only to the officers whose lives were taken but also to our police departments in general. Even folks who aren’t cop-lovers around here at least seem to show them respect and reasonable deference most of the time. And it works. Our cops here are the best I’ve ever known in terms of temperament and helpfulness, from what I’ve gathered about them over the last 11 years.

We’re lucky. And I guess that’s what reading these horrible crime stories from all around the country, and having lived in Mississippi half my early life, has me nervous about. How we might not remain lucky for much longer. How we’re surrounded on all sides by other states’ major metros with a lot bigger crime problems than us. And we don’t want any of that. We’re reasonably good, let us remain good. And yet I understand that sadly life doesn’t like to roll like that. Shit rolls downhill. People here are maybe too nice for their own good. Too polite and trusting. I’ve witnessed it in my own ways and have remained perpetually surprised by it. Like, I lock my own doors no matter what. All the time. Obsessively. Car doors, home door — locked. And I believe in owning a gun that is always loaded and ready to go. Do they? Because I already know too many of them leave doors and windows unlocked, and I aim to rectify it when I see it. We’re getting too lax. Life’s too comfortable around here. We’re getting complacent. Hell, I am and I’m not even a native!

They probably consider me a little paranoid. I’d argue it’s for good reason. But whatever. In 3 years time we might experience an influx of what? Approximately 16,000 newcomers, at minimum? Transplants like myself who may or may not choose to assimilate. And I get it, assimilation isn’t easy. Hell, I still feel like an outsider in this town. But ah well. They’re pretty good about leaving you alone, so I deal with it. But I didn’t come here with a family and a community and a totally different culture from another nation. Wound up coming here alone as a cantankerous “vagabond” seeking greater economic opportunity, and I am content with what I’ve found for the most part, despite some of the locals ticking me off (a topic for another time). Finally starting to feel like this is my adopted home, like it’s worth standing up for and protecting. Can’t complain too much since it’s largely been good to me. Beats the hell out of conditions in that small-ass town in Mississippi where I originally sprang from.

Don’t want to see these people become sitting ducks who don’t see shit coming. And I’ve got a feeling that serious problems are on the horizon. Don’t believe any place will ultimately prove immune to facing it. Coming from various directions. Not too cool with shipping a bunch of Syrians here or to other U.S. cities. Already mentioned that it’d be best if aggressive Chicagoans stay where they are. Don’t want none. Just pondering what the future may hold in store…  Who really knows?

As a Southerner, there is a part of me that feels a bit queer about bonding with and sticking up for a Midwestern city, but perhaps that’s just evidence that I’m finally maturing.  Ha!

Seriously though, I’ve witnessed New Orleans crime and been involved in a car accident because a black woman intentionally slammed into us. She was mistaken since my friend’s mom didn’t have barely shit for insurance, but either way, she made a go for it. And I witnessed how all but one of the black people in the local businesses poured out to immediately side with her (one old man came to us — the only one out of a crowd of maybe 50 to even check on our condition), despite her getting out of her car and marching around ranting before getting back in her car and having the paramedics help her out when they arrived, complaining about her neck and back. The three of us sat there on the curb as teenagers, my friend’s mom’s car having been totaled, and just witnessed this. My boyfriend-at-the-time had the car door crash in on his hip (luckily he was not seriously injured). I didn’t have a seatbelt on (yes, bad 15-year-old me) and was just cut on my face by the glass shattering. Our driver was physically okay but shaken up. Either that black woman drives worse than the absolute worst Asian driver imaginable, or she was aiming to scam somebody. Appearances at the scene of the accident point to the latter conclusion.

Also listened to cops in my hometown in Mississippi describe having to give chase during what starts out as routine traffic stops, usually involving black men, who then take off through the treacherous woods and make you run after them. There’s barbwire all over the woods down there, just so you know. Private property and all. But it’s not uncommon, according to that lieutenant who springs to mind, that they made him chase them. Just wouldn’t take a ticket or face a warrant without a fight. He seemed to hate his job. I don’t forget that man or his stories from during the short time we interacted.

Or the asshole cops in that section of Omaha who didn’t give a damn about response time and wouldn’t respond at all for vehicle destruction by thieving thugs. Deferred people to an automated system where you could just tell them about how your windows are broken and your dash was ripped out and the hoodlums in question are known to neighbors. No follow-up ever occurred. Twenty minutes response time when non-fatal violent crime is occurring but then don’t want to take down witness statements, acting like they already assume relevant charges would be dropped by the party/ies involved (and they usually were).  Despite driving by 13 times in about an hour (we sat outside and counted them once, out of curiosity, entertaining ourselves). That was back when I was 21-23. Met a pregnant hoodrat there, which I told about elsewhere on this blog. And she wound up being one of the final straws that led me to move away. I still recall discarded needles tossed into our yard and empty beer bottles left in the back of my truck. Was a rude place to live. Made a couple friends and remain in contact with one from there, but otherwise I chalk that time up to a sociological experiment and highly recommend all other social science majors (and their intellectual ilk) to live somewhere like that for at least a full year, while also ACTIVELY and REGULARLY engaging with your neighbors. And LISTEN to them. Interact and observe. It’s an eye-opening, educational opportunity to learn more about long-time welfare recipients and EBT cards (and how those funds can be spent and used to obtain groceries for others in exchange for non-EBT-qualifying goods and services), and criminal activity and how snitching is frowned upon. It’s an opportunity to observe scrappiness/fighting capabilities even among the short and slim and to learn to gauge how drug users lie (as if they can’t even help themselves). Forces one to reckon with the notion of dignity, that much is certain.

That and my hometown are whole other worlds from where I live now. And I’d like to not see this area turned to shit like so many other big American cities. I worry that our relatively strong local economy and nods from Forbes magazine for being a great place to raise kids will also have the unfortunate effect of luring in elements looking for social welfare assistance and to take advantage—in the worst way—of what we have going on here. Makes me a bit nervous. Can’t pretend otherwise. Most of the black folks here currently are decent people, work hard and are friendly. Chat with plenty of them at my local watering hole and typically enjoy their company. Then back on Christmas I ran into a couple homeboys originally from northern Mississippi who now live up this way.  Always give my fellow Southerners a chance and take up for them a little, but these dudes I don’t know about. Can’t say that I could trust them. One spoke about Islam when I pried, and the other was sketchier in the thug sense. Not pretend thuggery like suburbanites like to try to pull, but actual thug jackassery. So I took off and called it a day. Too potentially emotionally reactive. Too likely to do something stupid and create an unnecessary situation. And it’s sad to me to feel that way about folks from my own home state. But it’s true.

And the Muslim Bosnians…  Hmmm…  Another time.

Anyway, journaled enough on here for one evening.

A dreary night indoors in November

Not going out tonight. Too cold and drizzly. Instead occupying myself with laundry and putting away my summer clothes in bins.

Work is done for the day so I might as well enjoy my time before things kick into higher gear later this week due to holiday work obligations. Glad to make more money and am trying to generally spend less these days. Also updated my business website finally so now I feel comfortable advertising locally once again. Wasn’t as tricky setting up the ftp info once again in the macromedia software as I’d worried it might be. And that software actually proved compatible with my newest computer, so that’s a plus. Need to purchase a new printer soon though since mine crapped out (again — darn things only last 3-4 years before giving up the ghost).

Recently finished listening to a great audiobook by Mark Manson titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Highly recommend that one. It’s funny while also offering practical wisdom to counteract the “we all deserve an award” mentality permeating society these days. Plan on re-listening to it sooner rather than later.

Currently I am listening to the audio version of Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The first portion, which I’m still working through, serves as a memoir where he tells of his upbringing and challenges with religion (his father was a Protestant clergyman and several other family members were theologians) and his struggles in school (wasn’t good at math; grew more isolated over time due to differing viewpoints from his peers). As a fan of Carl Jung’s work, it’s interesting to learn more about who he was and how he came up and also how his mind developed over time. A kid like him born into today’s society would likely wind up labeled and drugged by psychiatrists, ironically enough, which could very well have stripped someone like him of his potential.

Previously listened to the audiobook America the Anxious by Ruth Whippman about her relocation from the UK to California and her observations of our “positivity” culture. She came out realizing that the intense and focused pursuit of happiness doesn’t tend to wind one up there and instead makes people miserable. Her research provided and examined was illuminating and even counter-intuitive in places. Really enjoyed her witty writing style and believe mothers most especially would find her work amusing.

Next up in terms of reading material, I’ve placed the following books in my wishlist by Thomas Sowell: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, Intellectuals and Race, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, and Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Hope to order at least one of his titles in December. Also hoping to eventually get to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago (a three volume series).

What else? Obviously been looking more into the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in recent weeks, seeing as how we keep hearing more and more about it. Sounded like a reasonable movement initially, but then it’s evolved into something else, something a bit more sinister in terms of expressing racial hostility toward white people. I’ll continue trying to make sense out of what’s unfolding there.

Been slacking in going to the gym this past week. Was busy at times, but otherwise just lazy or not in the mood.

My former and I began fussing with one another again over the weekend, so we’re taking a few days away to do our own things. Per our usual cycle.

Met a nice guy recently, a friend of a friend, who works in an environmental science lab setting. Seems like a cool dude. Hung out with him and his friends a couple days last week. In his 40s with no kids, never married, in the process of buying a house. Seems like a stable individual. Will be taking my time getting to know people — not interested in jumping into anything any time soon. But he seems to like me and isn’t opposed to exploring various topics, so that’s cool. Either way, I’m pretty sure we’ll wind up being at least casual buddies.

Was called by a client/friend, an older lady I’ve worked for for years, and went over to visit with her yesterday. Been months since we last chatted since she’s retired these days. Was good to see her. Said she’s looking into getting a gun, so we discussed her options, and I need to email her later some info she requested. She goes out east in the winter to stay with her daughter, and they’re a bit concerned about home protection due to riots and rising crime in Charlotte, NC. Can understand her worries there and will try to find some solutions that may prove most compatible to her situation.

Not much else is going on, at least not worth noting on here. Preparing for winter to arrive. Needing to get my rotors and brakes worked on hopefully this weekend. After that we’ll ready the snow tires since they usually go on right after Thanksgiving each year. Mundane stuff.

Mid-November 2016 journaling (on reacting to trifling women)

Blustery, cold day over here. Have a few things on my mind lately so might as well journal it out.

A few days ago my former and I headed out to my bar for a couple drinks on his birthday. And, as luck would have it, a certain 20-something female walked in (of all days to do so) who’s been trying to flirt with him in weeks prior and approaches him when I’m in the bathroom. Typical sheisty move that most of us are familiar with. Maybe not a major deal, but I tire of the way females like to behave while he and I are out in public together, especially considering it’s become so rare for us to go out together anymore. Mostly because we keep running into issues like this involving other females who, for whatever reasons, apparently want what they want and care not how they make other women feel.

Well, it irritates me. Makes me wonder why this is fast becoming the norm among females, why we seem to be coming up lacking any respect for other people’s boundaries and relationships, why we seem increasingly geared toward selfishness and a total lack of concern for how our choices and actions impact others. Is this a problem specific to females alone? No, but it’s noteworthy there, I do believe. We females may not be prone to criminality the way males generally are, but we do appear to be prone toward wreaking havoc in the social sphere, perhaps because that’s our sex’s greatest sphere of influence.

Don’t know, but tired of observing it continuing to unfold in these patterned ways. This leaves me perplexed on how best to handle the matter. Simply walk away from the situation? That basically feels like letting them have their way. Call them out on this bs? Then they’re prone to either cry victim or become aggressive, thereby further escalating tensions. Try to be diplomatic? People like to lie to your face, telling you whatever you want to hear, and then go right back to doing whatever it is they want to do, unhindered. So, I don’t know the best approach. But I do know I feel like I’m getting too old for this crap, like there ought to come some point where understandings can be forged and maintained, though I realize that to be wishful thinking since we’re all a bunch of strangers in various stages of personal development.

So, what then? Well, I got a little catty. Returned and asserted my presence, took my seat, and basically let her know (without cursing) in very few words that I’m not interested in playing this game. And let it be understood this was a sober exchange — he and I had only finished a couple beers after he got in from dinner with his son. Didn’t necessarily wish to be catty, but I saw no real alternative in this scenario since she, from what I’ve observed thus far in her interactions with others, will take a mile if given an inch. Figured it was better to cut it off at the gate and be done with it, to let her know in no uncertain terms that I’m not tolerant of her antics. And then he and I left.

Now, he was a little embarrassed by this, so we exchanged words when we got back to his place. Apparently I take too strong of an approach in handling other women, in his view. But I tell him that you have to, that lots of women will just plow right on through your subtle hints. He plays the sweetheart out in public, and people like him for this but they also tend to try to take advantage of him as well. I’m rougher in my mannerism, and the downside to that is I probably come across as a lot less approachable, which to some may seem like a bad thing. I’d argue it’s both positive and negative, that sometimes it’s for the best to not be appealing to anybody and everybody since that then reduces the unnecessary drama others bring me. He felt I should’ve just ignored her or at least not reacted until she had crossed a more serious line. Okay, but why is it automatically wrong to act preemptively when you’ve already assessed this person and figure on them most likely doing just that in due time? In other words, why give them the opportunity to create that drama in the first place?

He and I had to agree to disagree on this subject, as is so often the case between us since we’re such incredibly different types of people. He is far more agreeable than I am and prefers to avoid short-term conflict; I’d rather get things over and done even if that causes some tension that others might prefer to avoid. He said I likely only further encouraged her to cause problems going forward, but I’d argue that there’s really no clear way to stop a person like that, but you don’t have to stand by being tolerant of their shenanigans with your lips sealed. Continue reading

Scuttling into Fall (more journaling)

Been keeping occupied over here. Finally filed my taxes this past week (thanks to an extension), dyed my hair black with dark plum ends (for the hell of it), organized the apartment a little bit (had time on my hands), and quit drinking for 7 full days (due to being on antibiotics). All better now and back to making my rounds. Next project is to finally overhaul my business website, as I’ve been promising to do for a couple years now.

Hung out with a good buddy late last night, which was nice. Looking forward to seeing him again in a few days.

Been getting along with my former companion pretty well these days. Other than the occasional minor blip we really haven’t been arguing much at all. Astoundingly. Actually been watching the Cubs vs. Dodgers games with him the last 2 days and probably will watch their 5th game with him tonight. Matters to him — sports don’t do much for me. But it gives us an opportunity to hang out and spend time together doing something he enjoys. He’s re-teaching me about the game since all such knowledge ejected from my brain a couple years back after his son ceased playing baseball.

Other than that just working and doing what I do. Getting used to the new gym and still training with my regular trainer at his place usually a couple times a week. Still working on getting my weight back down though it’s crept up a bit since returning from Mississippi. Exercise is good for my soul. Requires me to be mindful and provides needed challenges. Walking in my job is nice as well but obviously lacks intensity. That’s more of a zen practice in terms of mindfulness, wandering around looking at the leaves changing color while trying to keep puppies from dodging toward the street.

Finished listening to the audiobook The Tao of Seneca (Volume One) earlier today. It’s a collection of letters Seneca wrote to a friend. Liked it all right. Not a favorite but interesting nevertheless. So far as Stoic philosophers go, I find myself most enamored with the teachings of Epictetus thus far.

Saved a little money this past week while taking a break away from gallivanting, so that was good.

Aiming to eat a little healthier in the near-term. Been relying on my former to share meals with me over the last couple of weeks, which is fine since he’s a great cook, but it’s high time I restock my kitchen. Anything to keep me from impulsively purchasing gas station food when the mood strikes.

Had fun spending so much time online again this past week. It’s been a while since I stayed home this much. Actually missed my computer and the internet, trolls and all. Been entertaining myself with various tutorial videos on youtube and playing card games at my favorite gaming site. Need to do more of that in going forward. Spent entirely too much time and money at bars this past year, which can be fun until it becomes unnecessary drama.

I don’t doubt I’m having a bit of a crisis with my own femininity at this point in life. Thought on that a bit in recent months, though not sure what or why it is. Like I am unsure of what femalehood means for me in this next stage of development. lol  Such a weird thing to consider…

Anyway, that is whatever it is. Life goes on regardless. Not much work tomorrow or the next day and I have Sunday off. My guyfriend wants me to stop over and help him paint his garage, so that’s the weekend project. Grandma is urging me to go to a co-op and pick up some defoliant chemical to use on my former’s backyard since it’s gone completely back to nature. Pretty sure there’s a wildlife refuge back there by now. Weeds took over, “sucker trees” (as they call them here) sprouted everywhere and grew to amazing heights this summer, and so now his backyard is completely inaccessible. He and a friend took a chainsaw to a bunch of it back in the spring, but it’s back with a vengeance since. Oy. That’s one hell of a project to undertake, but so far he’s resisted my offers for assistance. So…not sure what to do about it, frankly. Might buy the chemical and apply it on my own, but it’s not my yard and therefore not my major concern. We regularly joke about how much his neighbors must be resenting him by now. Yeah, it’s a jungle back there. Crazily out of control. Never seen a full-on flora takeover like that around these parts. Has too good of soil for its own good.

Beyond that just trying to take ‘er easy. Keep unnecessary stress to a minimum and work with my people as effectively as possible. My brother’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month and I haven’t a clue what to give him. Probably will just send a card since he likely has all that he wants right now. Hitting the big 3-0, within the same year that he became a big brother for the first time ever. Ha! Ah well, that’s cool too. Best wishes to all of them.

Time to relax and warm up before heading back out into a windy, blustery fall day to do some work.

Late-night journaling in early October 2016

Talked to a man tonight I’ve met several times in the past. Didn’t wind up going well this evening. Not sure what to say on the matter exactly…

He spoke of “positivity” and seemed adverse to anything he deemed negative. But life is a mix, I said. It’s not all clearly one way or the other. We learn from the problems and pain too. But he had trouble with that, seemed unwilling to fully accept that, particularly from someone who wasn’t also promoting the “positive” track as he sees it. Much more ambitious than me in terms of playing up to rich folks out in the gated community where he works and the acting jobs that he pursues. But I already knew long before that he’s more domesticated than me, more geared toward upward mobility in the material sense. That’s not who I am. And what I relate with is not who he wishes to be either.

And that’s fine. Wasn’t a guy I’ve seriously considered dating in a major way. But I was aiming to become friends, which he said he wanted too. But he can’t handle me, right off the bat. One bad day unrelated to him proved a sufficient turn off. I didn’t get loud or do or say anything crazy (according to my standard, but that obviously differed from his). Just not in the best of moods this evening. Had a little bit of drama over dinner with my former earlier. Kinda hurt my feelings. May be hormonal as well — looks very likely that way due to timing and all. Not feeling particularly well past midday today. Still getting over last weekend’s cold. Basically nothing to pin-point specifically, just a shift in emotions that continued shifting as the day and then night wore on.

This guy wasn’t my type, which I’ve known, but it still kinda bothers me how he seemed to recoil from what I said tonight. Am I the happiest person alive? No, and never claimed to be. And, unlike him, I don’t repeatedly profess to be a “good person.”  No interest in doing so since it’s not fully accurate. I’m mixed, just like most folks are, whether they care to acknowledge it or not. Not all to the same degrees, but mixed nevertheless. And that’s where I work from, in acknowledging that fact of life. Turns some folks off.

Several say I remain too attached to my former. Still spend a good bit of time with him. Still go over for dinners regularly and spend the night. And he’s still not seeing anybody else. Wants to but hasn’t found her yet. And I’ve tired of trying to date outside of him while he remains single since he likes to kick that back in my face. It’s a trap. If I step out when he isn’t yet doing so it comes across as if I’ve committed some sort of crime. Encourages me to do so, but doing so comes with consequences. I get it. But still. It’s an old game. Certainly not new between us. I am the faster mover among us. Different types of people. Very different pasts and life experiences.

I don’t know what to say tonight. The guy I spoke with this evening stated he viewed me as not as far moved along as he expected by now. Not going to debate that. But I told him what I tell everybody: not seeking anything serious right now, mostly just interested in making friends. Even if I am in a weird and precarious situation that others routinely find uncomfortable if they stand too close to it, so be it. I am out and about these days. Mingling. Conversing. Not interested in pretending about much of anything. Not even barely interested in concealing aspects of the past, though perhaps I should be more censored and guarded right about now. Not aiming to attract more hostility or problems from outsiders.

Frustrated. Because I know I am not ready and willing to fully engage with the dating scene at present, yet some folks make it seem like I am not worth knowing if that is the case. And the mingling atmosphere in many bars has gotten pretty disrespectful, both between the sexes and across women. Been that way forever probably but certainly doesn’t seem to be improving. I don’t know. This shit makes my head spin is all I know.

Feel like a retard surrounded by a vast sea of various forms of retardation. Apparently it is what it is.

Tonight kinda felt like trying to interact with a liberal, which I did mention to this guy. Elaborating, he considers himself a Christian and his faith very important. That’s cool. But then he went on about humanity and his feeling of being put here for a reason, to somehow stem the tide’s direction. And that’s where I can’t help but chuckle to myself a bit. We chatted briefly about how that which we call God remains and likely always will remain beyond human comprehension. And yet we like to assume we as individuals have somehow tapped into the ultimate answers. I can’t claim to know. The main great evil, so far as I can tell, is the sexual abuse of a very young and prepubescent child. That’s how I tend to gauge that which we call evil, treating it as a spectrum with the most heinous cases of that on the farthest end. Pretty simple person in that regard.

He went on to speak about the planet and how we’re destroying it. I sighed and conjured up the words of George Carlin and how the the planet will out-live us after shaking us off like a bad case of fleas. Paraphrasing obviously. He partially agreed but seems geared toward believing humanity should and can somehow be “fixed.” Always have to ask by what standard there, and people tend to blink in disbelief as if we all should logically be on the same page. But that’s not reality. And change things how? Enforce it how? With what unforeseen consequences on down the pike? We don’t know. Do we spend serious time devoted to trying to figure that shit out? How many of us and to what extents? We don’t know. Limited in figuring that out about one another, especially when we’re relative strangers.

Meeting new people is tricky for me since I require a good bit of truthful and clearly stated information from whomever I’m engaging with. How I operate. Not by choice, just learning to live with being geared this way the best I can. Doesn’t work out well with plenty of folks, males and females alike. Seems I say the wrong things, or they play coy and refuse to spell things out when needed. No one promised us human relations would be easy. I know. Still. Frickin’ frustrating plenty of the time. Not fun feeling so misunderstood because there’s not enough time available and intermission from distractions to elaborate in enough detail that the pieces start making more cohesive sense. Like people want you to sum everything up nowadays in a soundbite, and I don’t know how to do that. Don’t know how to control my emotions all the time either. Working on plenty of shit, but won’t claim to have it all figured out yet. Likely won’t ever entirely. Likely most or all of you won’t either. Welcome to it. Such is Life.

Just a bit irritated tonight. Wasn’t in a good mood for socializing. Should’ve backed away earlier on and just stayed to myself mostly. Better nights for interacting. But if that’s all it takes to freak that dude out, he’s not going to be a compatible friend or even bar-pal. And that’s fine. Goes that way sometimes. Just wish I’d have acted differently on my previously established understanding of how incompatible he and I are and not attempted conversing with him in any depth on a night when my mind is already taxed enough.

And on that note, my brother called earlier tonight. First time we’ve talked in probably a year. Last saw him in April of last year. Maybe 2008 before then. He’s turning 30 later this month. Couldn’t be more opposite of one another on nearly all levels. But he’s doing very well professionally and seems content. Working up in his company toward becoming a software engineer and hoping to retire in that position. I’m proud of him. He’s taught himself a lot and followed his interests and is honing his skills and actively aiming toward developing further expertise. He’s doing what he wants to do in his life, difficult as his interests are for me to deeply grasp and relate with as a non-techie type. And the same goes vice versa. It will be interesting to observe what the future holds for him.

My little brother is pretty mild and meek in his relations to others, whereas I can be pretty aggressive at times. Different personalities and different dynamics we encounter as a result. Wholly different. Interesting how that all shakes out between us.

Was good to talk to him. Surprised when he called. Rarely does he return my or anybody else’s calls. Busy working much of the time. Said he went to his 10-year high school reunion last year and nearly all of his classmates were married with kids. Always amusing to hear people’s takes on their high school reunions.

I guess the night isn’t so bad. Made it home safely. Talked to my brother for the first time in a long while and for several hours. Business was all wrapped up throughout the day. Took on a new client for Thanksgiving week. Shared a nice dinner despite my former getting grumpy initially. And am not even terribly upset about the dude I chatted with at the bar. Just felt the need to talk and relate to somebody, but he was seeking something else. That happens. Just felt strongly tonight the need to relate on some level. Probably should’ve moved on and opted to chat with someone else. I do get moody sometimes. Not claiming to be compatible with most encountered. A little embarrassed for how the conversation turned  — got confusing. I don’t understand most people and probably come across a bit odd to plenty of them as well. C’est la vie. What can I honestly do about this? There comes a point where acceptance is necessary. All one can do is navigate to the best of his or her ability. Not all are created equal in that regard.

Just sometimes wish the act of relating weren’t so cumbersome. And sometimes wish I were better adapted for it.

Am tired of this subject now.

Late summer easiness

Chillin’ and relaxing as much as time permits these days. Enjoying afternoons lazing in a private, backyard pool working on my tan (something I haven’t had the luxury of doing in many years). Got some nice color right about now, stark tan lines. Listening to the birds in the trees on the perimeter, marveling at the enigma of the “blue gold” I’ve been fortunate enough to be granted time and access to float around in, soaking up the sun’s rays while watching the clouds drift by. Reflecting on the tunes playing inside my mind, skin scented with coconut oil, enjoying the tranquility of lounging alone in the great outdoors.

My birthday’s right around the corner. About to officially become middle-aged. And I’m good with that.

Working as needed, like always, including the new side gig that requires even more driving around. Exploring a Pantera album loaned to me by my former companion. Getting along with him better as well since we’ve given each other more space.

Tried dating a new guy for a couple weeks there — more like hanging out and hooking up really. But we proved incompatible right from go, not to mention I’m allergic to something in his home. Perhaps his cologne? Don’t know but finally had to throw in the towel since itchy eyes in the late-night hours aren’t sexy. But he was fun to spend time with for a minute, so long as we weren’t drinking too much rum and cokes. It has been said before and it is confirmed once again: I can argue with anyone about anything. Amazing how trifling some arguments wind up being between some of us. Won’t even elaborate on how dumb. Serves me right for giving higher priority to sex appeal in my male suitors than intellectual curiosity. But I do adore muscular eye candy…

Nice to feel my sexuality revived a bit, to know that I haven’t lost my mojo but merely misplaced it for a spell there.

Still working out regularly and have dropped a few pounds since returning from my Mississippi trip in early June. Aiming to hit it harder in coming weeks in preparation for a friend visiting Labor Day weekend. Very much looking forward to seeing him again.

Not been home much lately and hence haven’t been writing on here or elsewhere online. Been enjoying the nightlife, observing the wheels go ’round and ’round…

Pondering like always. Listened to a good audiobook recently and am now re-listening to it again: The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris. Interesting info and ideas that tie into so much else I’ve been reading this year pertaining to mindfulness and taking action and clarifying one’s values. Today I downloaded the audiobook Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari and should be starting it soon.

Can’t complain these days. All is going pretty well. Building my income back up, taking time to pamper myself so as to enjoy my femininity once again, exploring social opportunities, sharing meals with friends, tuning out useless political jabbering, taking walks with a new female friend some days after gym class, just letting life roll without trying too hard to force it in any particular direction right now. Taking care of business and leaving the rest to fall wherever it may. Moving from living in my head to living in my body, bit by bit, so far as I am able.

What else? A good friend is making us dinner this evening. On the menu: bruschetta made with tomatoes from another friend’s garden and chicken cacciatore made with ingredients from his own garden. Looking forward to it. He’s a good cook. Another new pal has offered up his swimming pool for late-night skinny-dipping but so far it has been too cool in the evening to stay in for more than a few minutes. Would be nice if another heat wave struck before fall sets in, just for that reason.

Not much else to report on at present. Currently tending to laundry while waiting for the time to roll around to head back out to work. Tonight’s plans are set. Tomorrow remains up in the air. Tuesday evening is girl’s night out at the coffee shop to play cards. Learned a new dice game at my local watering hole last night. And on and on this lazy late summer ambles to a close…

I’ll leave off with a song that’s been playing in my mind a great deal in recent weeks, “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who:

I needed to believe in something

A song I posted on here recently that just sticks in mind nearly constantly since stumbling coming across it a few weeks back on a forum post:

That was The Chemical Brothers with “Believe.”

Gonna let that play in the background while I type tonight.

I desperately need to believe in something. Not religion. Not an ideology. Something bigger and better than any of that. Lord, my soul is hungry. There must be more to life than I am capable of comprehending at this juncture. And I can feel it…I know it’s out there. Feel glimpses of it regularly. Feel inspired by it. Yet still have myself shackled against my own will or, more accurately, due to a conflicted will.

Year after year…yes, I know. Still plugging away at it, just that perhaps the answers seem too easy for me to accept and embrace just yet. Keep thinking I’ll get on that tomorrow. Tomorrow. Always the next day. Later on.

How sick at heart does a person need to get? That’s another question I ponder regularly enough. Stupid question since it’s an obvious call to action going unheeded. See it, hear it, feel it in my core…and yet don’t follow it. Keep preparing to do so, and keep falling back. Nobody’s fault but mine, I understand that. Just sayin’ is all.

Already tried to believe in some things that proved to be toxic. Once bitten, twice shy. Hungry for something bigger than that and am realizing that I have to create it for my own self. Looked everywhere and gleaned plenty of useful information and ideas, yet what I am seeking specifically appears to not exist or at least has eluded me thus far. Been searching for many years.

This winds up being one of those things that prompts a person to comprehend that every life problem a human can experience doesn’t necessarily eventually deliver one to an intellectual or even seemingly rational answer. Because that’s not all there is to life, or those tools don’t tap into this aspect of life I’m struggling with and against and am striving to point to here. It’s little, if anything, to do with numbers or politics or anything that might be considered tangible. Have I flown the coop? Perhaps. And perhaps a person needs to in order to get to the next level, in order to view things and operate in a different way. Humans are strange creatures — that’s never been a secret. But what we’re aiming to become nowadays very often proves to be a limiting and limited version of ourselves.

Yet it remains so incredibly easy to fall back into established habits, vices. To lean where you ought not, or at least not so much. To seek comfort instead of doing the work you already damn-well know you ought to be attempting. To let thoughts of that comfort distract you more often than not. To fight the internal resistance…call it a demon or a gremlin, call it whatever you like…that self-destructive tendency that apparently is oh-so-common. Nobody else can fix it for you. Nobody else can save you from yourself. Or save you from mediocrity and boredom and deflatedness.

My internal critic is a jabberbox. Many in my family are critics too. Some of the people I associate with are as well and many more were in the past. But that cannot be helped really. Gotta just muster up enough determination to drive on through all that. What am I trying to do here? What will I someday regret having not attempted? I already know the answer there or at least enough to know which steps to take next. And yet, still I’ve been holding myself back as if I’m waiting on something. Waiting. Reconsidering. Re-approaching such matters. Re-examining. Pursuing more information and ideas, as goes on and on. Can get lost in them sometimes too though. Can prove to be a distraction in their own right if one can’t pull up and find ways of taking direct action. To simply fucking DO IT. To stop talking about it and GO. To finally feel sick enough that the walls inside cave in and no other choice is left. But why wait for rock bottom? Has it not already nearly arrived? Is the call not loud enough yet already?

Motivation remains the sticking point. Nevermind what so many others happen to be motivated by. Go out and volunteer is the common kick-start offered up to people stuck in ruts. Since contributing to others is supposed to be the remedy to internal ailings. Yes and no. Can be. But sometimes a person needs to find better ways to nourish themselves before they can be of much use to others. Beyond that, what cause is the most pressingly worth pursuing? America’s Left/Right paradigm has had my head spinning for many years already. Done dealing much directly with politics. That ship has sailed. And yet it’s everywhere, dominating so many conversations, infiltrating where it’s not wanted or even of any value. But that’s the world we live in. I’ve grown to hate that shit, and yet it’s seemingly inescapable. That’s not where I’m fixin’ to start again, though will probably occasionally still circle back around it since there’s really no way to ignore that aspect of modern reality. Because everything has been deemed political, even that which shouldn’t be. The personal is political, they like to say. And boy, they’ve worked hard to make that come to be.

Fuck ’em and their laws, I keep telling myself. Observe the ones you must, but damn…  It closes in on people faster than we like to realize. Guess I’m rendered extremely nervous by that shit. Too many pitfalls and booby traps.

But I continue telling myself “fuck ’em.” Have to. Need to learn to say “fuck it” far more often in areas that keep troubling my spirit. Because there ain’t nothing I can do about some of that. Will just be whatever it’s going to be regardless of my thoughts on the matter. All I have control over is this flesh I was born with. It’s all I really got. All that any of us truly possesses, assuming we even truly possess that. That’s the most power we’re afforded in this life. It’s our vehicle, plain and simple. This we get to navigate. Can’t navigate everybody else, though people surely do love to try. Will never work, at least not as some hope. Backfires. Destined to do so.

Was listening to an interview of Jordan Belfort earlier where he talked about how the first thing a person needs is a vision. And it is that particularly which I’m still struggling with at present. Goals mean how much outside of a greater vision? But perhaps a vision can develop over time. Perhaps the initial steps themselves are most relevant right now. That last bit I am pretty damn certain is true. Hopefully the vision will come in its own time if I first work more diligently in a better direction.