Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Leaving The Shelter of Sorrow...

Well, I guess you could say that I am officially back. Admittedly, these past few weeks have been a challenge, and I haven't always been able to maintain that "mindset" that I recently discovered. You can't just shut off feelings that bother you - they come back ten thousand-fold! In addition, several events have popped up, and I let myself get surprised and overwhelmed by them. The emotions were powerful, and I chose to submit to them.

This Hurt...
One of the events was finding out that my ex-girlfriend is getting married in about a week. She never told me, and I think that's what hurt. We have occasional contact from time to time. We parted on good terms, which helps tremendously. Admittedly, I still have feelings for this woman, and when I found out through other sources instead of her, that really hurt. All I could bring myself to do was to sit in my room and listen to obscure music by bands such as Gong, Henry Cow, and the like. It was the perfect soundtrack to dreariness - the feeling of "what might have been."

Drink Up...
As you may have guessed, I did drink a little wine as well. I thought that a drink or two would help just a bit - instead, it gave me an anxious feeling, and a chill ran up and down my spine. This exacerbated that fearful feeling even more, getting me to the point of not leaving my bed for while. It was like being depressed, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Anger has been making an appearance in my life once again lately - I exploded on my roomie and accused him of not doing the dishes, when in fact he had. I nearly ripped the stereo out of my car because it wouldn't eject a favorite tape, and had a few other "episodes." In the aftermath of the rent supposedly going up first $300 and then $400 dollars more, I began to get irritated with little things, and fell right back in the groove of rage and fury. This time I realize that it's not really rage - it's just that I'm highly irritated and frustrated. I wish no violence in these escapades, so that's a start. I guess even though I feel I slipped back a bit, I am still making progress with my issues of daily living. I give myself a little pat on the back for that.

My therapist has been working with me to meditate more often. I need to do it more than a few times a day at this stage in my life - 3 to 5 times a day would seem to be appropriate. I love the feeling that I get afterwards! The calmness and serenity are priceless, and better than any drug I've tried using. I told my therapist that I wished the feeling could last, but that I found myself getting distracted and falling back again. She said that I need to breathe deeply much more often. I totally agree. In order to keep this mellow feeling alive, whenever I go for a drive, I try to listen to calm music; preferably jazz. Rock and roll just gets me too pumped up, and I know that when I'm "pumped up," my irritability factor goes off the scale. Of course, this makes sense. Maybe I could become a Buddhist monk or something? Perhaps the simple life is where it's at.

Here I Am...
Well, now I'm just sitting here in a Jimi Hendrix tie-dye and sweats, wondering what I could do tonight. I don't believe there is practice, as we have a gig on Saturday, and we don't have practice during the week we have gigs. I would like to go out, but I am feeling anxious and slightly paranoid. I guess that I look like a hypocrite to some degree after the past few months, eh? I was never "cured," and I knew that - and I never meant to give anyone that impression. I simply discovered a few things, and applied them when I was feeling good. It's easy to do that when things are going well - it's the time when they are not that it counts the most.

Despite all this, I am going to make a few decisions that are important at this juncture in life. I have decided that I am indeed going to get a place of my own - just a nice little studio apartment that I can spread out in. I need a place that I can call home, and not feel that I am imposing on anyone else. This would also do wonders for my sense of priorities and responsibility - to get motivated would be more than a bit easier. Another positive aspect would be that I could keep it nice and orderly, cleaning on a regular basis. I can only live in a mess for a short time before I have this overwhelming urge to clean it up. Right now, I feel like a teenager living at home again, as there are chores that need to be done, and they are delegated accordingly. At first this didn't bother me, but as time goes on, it is annoying.

I know that this will involve finding at least a part-time job - that I don't have a problem with. I just know that music is first and foremost in my life. I am serious when I say that I will forego alot of the luxuries in life to be able to do what I like. This means that I won't be taking a job that is full-time, nor will I be willing to work any and all hours that they ask. I'll give them 25 hours a week, and that's it. The point is, I'm not going to be a "company whore," just to get by. If they don't like it, I'll just find something else. It all works out somehow. I'm just so tired of this "I have to" attitude that most people have. They are passive, give up on their dreams, and end up doing something they regret for the rest of their lives (aka a "real" job.) I've regretted enough already - now it's time to change that, and do the things that I truly want to do.

Why you ask is it that I am so inflexible regarding a work schedule? Because I feel that music is my life, and if that is taken away, I won't have much to live for. I have been blessed with this immense talent, and I intend to use it to its fullest potential. I'm not the typical, "Oh, this is just a hobby on the weekends," kind of guy - not by any means. This means that I'll be working in the day time (oh, God...) and playing at night. Maybe not every night, but quite a few. Sure this is alot of work, but I ENJOY it! I am able to find ways to inject excitement into this, after all it is my passion, my livelihood and lifeblood.

I consider myself an artist in every sense of the word, and I will forego alot of material luxuries so that I can accomplish my goals. I have friends who have connections with theaters and stage crews - maybe I'll look there first. I owe it to myself to look for work that is related to what I enjoy and have knowledge in. The days of just taking any job are over - plain and simple. I have learned to be very minimalist in regard to needs. To "learn to do without," seems to go with the territory of being a "starving artist." I remember losing my electricity a few years back and not being able to afford to have it turned back on. I lit some candles, grabbed my portable black and white TV, sat at my dinner table watching X-Files while putting together a model car. I knew that somehow things would end up okay again. In a few days, everything turned around, and life took a turn for the better.

I CAN Make It!
The point is, I can make it - if I have to stretch my money to make it last longer, that's fine. I can live off food from the "generic" stores - twenty dollars buys me more than enough food for the week, with enough left for some snacks as well. Clothing that is cheap yet well made is pretty easy to find at outlet stores, so that's not a problem either. The only things I will need to keep in mind is utilities, rent, insurance, etc. I have financial aid and medical expenses, but those will have to wait. I guess to the average American I live in poverty, because I don't have those "things" that they do, nor do I have a line of credit. Anyway, it's all going to work out somehow. Sometimes I feel like a sort of survivalist who can make it through times that would devastate many people. True, I was pretty freaked out during those times - I won't deny that. I will say this - now that I have been through those times, I know pretty much what to expect, and the initial reaction won't be nearly as bad. Maybe I can even apply more than a few techniques that I've learned! Anyway...

Time To Go...
Well, I figure that it's time to get up out of this chair, and see just what I want to do with the rest of my evening. Maybe I'll go up to the restaurant and hang out, or I'll call some friends. Maybe I'll sit and tweak with my mixer some more and see what great sounds I can get from it. Even though I feel "yucky," I'm going to do something either productive or entertaining. Hmm...a DVD of some funny movie would be nice...

Over to you...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Wish I Knew What To Say...

I'm still having a mental block - the thoughts are there, but won't come out. I don't feel that I can effectively put them down in an organized manner. Just listen to "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, and imagine the character is me instead of our hero, Pink. That will give you some insight.

Goodbye Blue Sky
byPink Floyd
Hey mommy
There's an airplane up in the sky

Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
Did you ever wonder
Why we had to run for shelter
When the promise of a brave new world
Unfold beneath the clear blue sky?
Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
The flames are all long gone
But the pain lingers on
Goodbye blue sky
Goodbye blue sky

Friday, September 23, 2005

Poking My Head In...

Yep, I'm still alive, and I'm doing not too bad. I still have my blah days, but that comes with the territory. I have much to do today - maybe I'll post a little later when I get home. Thanks for checking in!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Still Here...

I'm still around, and I'm not giving up cold turkey - instead, I need to practice moderation. It would make life more than a little easier to deal with. I guess not having that facility goes with the territory of being bipolar?

I have ideas in my head right now, but they are all mixed up - I can't think clearly just yet. Perhaps I'll try something later. Thanks for checking up on me. I hope that good things are happening in your lives, and will continue to do so.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I'm beginning to think that I need to get away from computers and the internet again. It's obvious to me that I have no self-discipline with them, and that doesn't help establish a sense of structure within my life. This means I am fully responsible and need to have more control over my actions.

I think that I need to get my life back together first before spending countless hours doing basically nothing but sitting here at this desk. This of course does nothing for depression either.

I am not 100% sure yet, but I might just turn this thing off for a while. Sure, it's nice to be able to communicate with people from far away, and the internet radio stations are great, but they are not a necessity for survival. Having a life with structure and self-discipline is essential, if I'm going to get better anytime soon.

Maybe I'm being too extreme again. I know that I have a habit of doing that continuously (it's either one way, or the other, and nowhere in between.) I'd like to think that I could balance and control my "insane impulses," or at least reduce the intensity of them. To be able to do that would be the greatest thing for me in my life, right now.

Sometimes I wonder, "why am I doing this? Is it really doing anything for me anymore? Wouldn't it be better just to write in my journal?" I know that this would sadden some of you if I decided not to do this anymore. I just realize that my intentions are alot different than other folks, and sometimes I feel that my blog is inferior to others. I don't have any fancy color scheme to catch your eye, just the true sincerity of what I write. Sometimes it's truly heartfelt; and other times it's rage-filled rambling. And others it's just plain nonsense, or stuff that no one understands, let alone cares about. That's okay too.

So I have to decide if I'm going to keep going...or if I'm going to fall off the face of cyber-earth. Thank you for your time in reading my posts, and for the comments. It's nice to know that people are indeed "listening."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Goodwill Bargains!

All Spiffed Up...
I came back from an interview today and stopped off at the local Goodwill store. I'll admit, the way I was dressed would indicate that I wouldn't even dream of shopping there! I looked more like a business man on a casual day. But I went in anyway. I looked around for a bit - heading straight to the computer stuff.

My Secret's Been Discovered!
It seems now that everyone knows that you can buy good computer stuff at the Goodwill store really cheap! Most of the stuff doesn't come with drivers, but that's ok - you can usually get them off the net somewhere for free. I did come across one neat thing - A Sony MTS Stereo TV sound tuner for $6.00. This thing was state-of-the-art back in the days when Stereo television was just coming into being! I didn't buy it, but I'm sure that I"ll come back for it. It's not something that I need, since my TV, VCR, and media center PC have MTS Stereo sound anyway. But for six bucks... I guess that I'll go pick it up tomorrow...

Other Things...
I looked amongst the books they had - some pretty good stuff, if you're looking for cheap college textbooks. I almost picked up one on calculus - I never took that in school, so I guess that I'm a little curious about it. I looked through the records section and found nothing exciting - Frankie Laine AGAIN!* I turned around and looked at the CDs...nothing. Then I started looking at videocassettes, and tucked in there was an unopened audiobook - Making Peace With Your Past: The Six Essential Steps To Enjoying A Great Future by Harold Bloomfield, M.D. Naturally, I'm a sucker for personal development and self-help stuff, especially audiobooks! I grabbed it before anyone else could get it - not that there were people fighting over it...(ha)

"One Oh Six, Please."
I noted that the price of cassettes was 75 cents, and took it up to the counter. The clerk looked at it, and before she could answer, I said, "It's an audiobook, but I don't know how many cassettes are in it," to display my honesty. She saw that it contained four tapes, and rang it out as one anyway! So technically, it was supposed to be three dollars, instead of one! Yeah, yeah I know - big deal! The point is, it appeared that this thing was never opened. Actually, it was at one time, but dollar for an audiobook is a heck of a deal in my opinion.

Going Back...
Oh, you can be sure that I'm going back to get that Sony tuner - I can't pass that up! They are a rare find, and it's something else that I can hook up to my studio mixer. I have an empty outlet on my power strip, so why not? I can use it until analog TV becomes obsolete in.....keep dreamin' FCC! It ain't gonna happen!

F-R-A-N-K-I-E (help!)
*Over the course of one day, I have heard THREE Frankie Laine songs! These were on Webradio Goldenflash - a station located in Belgium. Note: They broadcast in Dutch, and you won't hear much English, except for the music. Looks like I'm going to make that internet radio blog after all...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Kill This Pain...Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. Cocaine.

So many alternatives to choose from. I guess since I ran out of Lamictal, it's back to "other" things... Maybe lithium would be a good thing...hmm

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Time To Hide Again...

I think that it's time to go hide in my cave again, and not come out for a couple of days... take care.

Pentium I + 200mhz + 96MB RAM + 245MB HD Space = Intense Frustration!

I Can't Do It!
I've made a decision - I just can't do this "equation" anymore. I am grateful to be back online, but I'm also growing more and more frustrated as days go by. I was fine at first - but as I started to slowly add programs and ease into my normal demand of the PC, it let me know on no uncertain terms that it was going to take its own sweet time. Average startup time is about 5-7 minutes - It's almost like having to wait for the vacuum tubes to warm up in my old guitar amp! Maybe I should make breakfast beforehand - toast, eggs, whatever. I'm growing too impatient, and I do let myself get caught up in the moment. Fortunately, I haven't hit the thing. I have grumbled a little here and there (and yelled a few times,) but that's about the seriousness of the extent.

Random Thoughts...
In the meantime, I sit here trying not to think about the stupidity of the my government. The more that I read and hear, the angrier I become. I sure picked one hell of a time to try to be optimistic, eh? Let's put it this way - if there was just an army of similar thinking folks, oh, a hundred thousand or so, things would be different in Washington. It would have become a war zone and these so-called leaders would be thinking much differently. Emphasis would be place on non-violent approaches to the situation, and anytime brutal force was used, that would be put in the spotlight for all to see.

I can't stand the strong-arm tactics that the government uses to get its way, especially at the moment. You know, as far as I'm concerned, Randy Weaver had every right to do what he did at Ruby Ridge. I hate hearing about so-called "stand-offs," even just for the simple fact that someone refuses to leave their house. I'll also say this much - if I were involved in one of these debacles, I'd only hurt the ones who tried to hurt me, no one else. I HATE bullies, and will stop at NOTHING to STOP them - period. Ask anyone who messed with me in high school - they'll tell you.... (sigh)

The Anger Has Awakened...
I have basically moved from feeling depressed to feeling angry. I know that I have anger issues, and I need to channel them properly, but I can't wanting to take a humvee with tank tracks and march through Washington...not sure what else yet, but when I do, I'll let you know. I'd like to think that there is a better solution to the problem - however, I'm not sure of this yet. I do know that sitting here with a half-hatched plan is not exactly productive. I'm just spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast. I think that's what feeds this feeling as well.

I also realize that the anger is partly because I associate my past with the present, and it all becomes mixed. I've told many people (therapists, doctors, and friends,) that when I get angry, everything that hurt me in my past comes out, right there and then. It's as if everything is happening at once, and an ungodly rage overcomes me. My personality does a complete 180-degree shift, and the word KILL appears in front of me, larger than life - three-dimensional in blood-red with blood trickling down the sides, as if it forced itself through the sensitive fabric of my sanity.

For me, this is enough. I don't want to know how bad someone else thinks about when they get angry - that's not the point here. This is how I view it, and I believe that is graphic enough. I honestly don't want to get to that point anymore. I have no need for it, really. It was a survival mechanism. I don't need it anymore - the wolves aren't attacking me. I don't have to fight for my life anymore. It's over and done.

The Fact Remains...
I am still very dissatisfied with the way that things are being handled - yet I don't know the solution to this problem. I do think that strength is in numbers, and if all of us would just stand up and say...

" folks in Washington are forgetting one minor detail - we elect you and we are YOUR bosses. Therefore, wouldn't you think it appropriate if you took action in a manner that is consistent with the beliefs of the people, NOT with what YOU and your cronies believe? Fail to do this, and you will be out of a job - simple as that. Do we make ourselves clear? I thought so. Thank you - you may go about your duties now."

A Marked Target...
Of course, you know now that someone has read this, reported me, and they are on their way to pick me up, because I am a POTENTIAL threat to our state of living. What's that? I'm a terrorist? An enemy of the state? You know, if that's the case, I may as well put up that nice tower in the back yard, go back on the air, and say what is on my mind all the time - just like Stephen Dunifer did on Radio Free Berkley, and Tom Valentine did on Radio Free America.

Just remember this - if I ever do get to the point in my life where it does become a stand-off, it WILL make the history books. I promise you that. So go ahead - waste billions of dollars watching me and my every move, you three letter government agencies. See how happy that makes the taxpayers when they find out that you've been wasting all that time and money chasing some harmless little freak who was only out to improve his life, until your fellow agencies and fearless leader decided to try and sabotage it. Just think about it. Oh, by the way - I've changed my mind. I've decided to express my thoughts in a song. Take it away, Zack!

Know Your Enemy
By Rage Against The Machine

Yeah, we're comin' back then with another bombtrack
Think ya know what it's all about
Hey yo, so check this out
Know your enemy!

Come on!

Born with insight and a raised fist
A witness to the slit wrist, that's with
As we move into '92
Still in a room without a view
Ya got to know
Ya got to know
That when I say go, go, go
Amp up and amplify
I'm a brother with a furious mind
Action must be taken
We don't need the key
We'll break in

Something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
'Cause I'll rip the mike, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to rage against 'em

Fist in ya face, in the place
And I'll drop the style clearly
Know your enemy...Know your enemy!

Hey yo, and dick with this...uggh!
Word is born
Fight the war, fuck the norm
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence
With the D the E the F the I the A the N the C the E
Mind of a revolutionary
So clear the lane
The finger to the land of the chains
What? The land of the free?
Whoever told you that is your enemy

Now something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
'Cause I'll rip the mike, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to rage against 'em

Now action must be taken
We don't need the key
We'll break in

I've got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
I've got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
Sick of sick of sick of sick of you
Time has come to pay...
Know your enemy!

Come on!
Yes I know my enemies
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams (8 times)
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams
All of which are American dreams

Packin' My Bags...
You know, living on an island is look more appealing all the time. I can picture it now - palm trees, mai-tais... Yeah - if I resort to that kind of life, things will definitely be much more peaceful, and I won't even think of doing something stupid that is against my beliefs in the first place. *sigh* I'll just keep the island "in sight," and eventually it will come to fruition. (grin) If living in this country isn't all that it's supposed to be, then maybe it's time to find somewhere else that might.

Friday, September 09, 2005


It's time like these when I truly want to scream:


One More Thing...

You know, I thought of trying to "spruce up," my blog a little bit - maybe play with the template and make it look different. I might give it a try. I must warn you though; I'm not about looks, but more about content. A new look might make it more interesting. I'm not looking to jump on any bandwagon, but I have seen some great blogs, and they inspire me. I guess it's like "whose book has the bettter cover?" I dunno. Anyway, I can be the guy who uses more hyphens, commas, and semicolons than anyone else? In any case, I digress... LOL

A Little Game...

Leaving The Bar...
I went out tonight after therapy group, and stopped in to see a buddy play in a small jazz ensemble. We stayed there until they kicked us out (as is normal,) and began to head to another local bar to see yet another local jazz ensemble. As I was headed down Main Street, I saw a police car spin around to follow me. It so turns that the light turned red after I went through it, and he had to stop, as this was not hot pursuit.

I basically pulled up to the square, got out of my truck, and headed into the bar. I walked out soon after talking to the band's guitarist - he said that they had finished at 1am. My buddy had just pulled up, and I approached his car, telling him that they were done for the night. I mentioned something to him about "losing this cop that's on my tail..." and that's when it became sort of a game to me.

And Then..
Just a few minutes after that, I went back into the bar, walking out after three minutes or so. I saw that very same police car - right there at the stop sign. The officer was looking right at me. He just hesitated, waiting for a few seconds as I entered the bar. I hung in there for a few minutes, and walked outside. I noticed about 3 police cars, 2 marked, and 1 un-marked (I have issues with those, more later,) go right by me. I decided I would play it smart and walk around the square for a lap, just to give myself time, as I knew that he had gone down an alleyway, trying to be slick. Little did he know, that I could hear him "creeping around." I knew that as long as I ddin't get into my truck, I was "safe." The worst he could get me for was Public Intox, and that wasn't about to happen anyway.

Then I walked back to my truck, got in and started around the square. Everything seemed okay so far - then a light turned red. I decided rather than waiting for it to turn green, I would turn right down the nearest road...and sure enough...I see the gleaming white and blue. He turns around, and starts to tail me almost immediately. I take a left turn, already getting my registration out of the visor pack, and then the lights come on. It was so predictable.

He walked up and was very pleasant. He said that I was "speeding a bit back there," and that my license plate light was out. He asked me if I had a good driving record, If I had ever been arrested before, and the usual "have you been drinking tonight?" Of course, the answers to all these questions was a polite "yes," and "no." I didn't kiss his ass, but I wasn't a jerk either. He walked back to his car for a minute or so and soon returned.

When he did, he asked me to blow into this tube - a breathalyzer. I agreed, and it registered zero (of course,) and he handed me back my license and registration. He politely reminded me that my license plate light was out, and just to watch my speed a little bit. I pulled away and I saw his "buddy" down the block. I laughed to myself, spite of it all, I won this stupid little game.

I Win!
He could have given me a ticket for the license plate light being out, or speeding (I wasn't truly aware that I was speeding, to be honest.) I guess that he chose not to, because I wasn't a trouble-maker. I really don't know what to make of the situation, really. It's not a big deal, but I did see some humor involved. I did say some things to myself as I was walking the square, about being very elusive and hard-to-get. I was getting a little cocky about it all. I guess that I'm losing my touch - maybe it's just old age setting in? Or maybe it has to do with Karma?

I'll go into my un-marked police car rant tomorrow, I promise!


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Changes In Latitudes...

I've Got An Idea...
I just got home from my group therapy session, and had a great time. It is helping me take tremendous strides into socializing with people, talking about everyday things (read: small talk.) Anyway, We talked today about intimate relationships, and I aired my criteria regarding what has to happen in order to have one. I brought up points such as:

1) Music is my passion, not just a hobby; therefore anyone who thinks that I'm going to give it up for them is certifiably nuts! Period.

2) I'm not going to give it up just so that I can work a lame ass job to pay for that $300,000+ home, the SUV in the drive, or the 2.3 kids running around in the yard. Sorry, dear - it isn't going to happen. For me, happiness is not about acquiring material things - it's about discovery, challenge, and accomplishment. Material things are but a mere part of our lives. I agree that food, clothing, and shelter are indeed important, but even things such as the internet are not neccessary. They are nice to have, but I stand firm in my beliefs.

3) I'm not going to spend my life in regret because I didn't go after my calling and what I resonate with... etc

I'm not going to change for anyone, nor demean myself to please them. If they like what they see, that's great. I am who I am - take it or leave it.

Upon examining these statements, the group came up with the idea that maybe I need to move to an area where it's laid-back, and the tension is not so high. Maybe staying in this area is a major cause of many of my problems. I'll admit, I toyed with the idea many times, but was too afraid to try it. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it - I now feel quite differently.

Randy California ( famed guitarist/vocalist for the 1960s band, Spirit,) did it. He had had enough of the craziness in show biz, so he headed for Hawaii. He slept on the beaches for a while until he got on his feet. His musical ability flourished, as the natives taught him slack-key tunings on the acoustic guitar, among other things. I figure this much - if he can do it, then I can too! This doesn't mean that I MUST go to Hawaii - just somewhere that is of that nature.

What To Do?
I could play in a band, or solo acoustic shows in a resort, payment in room and board. I could do odd jobs on the side, and meet new people. A group member brought up the fact that people are much more relaxed and outgoing when they are on vacation - this in and of itself would make it quite easy, as I tend to (obviously) find it easier to socialize with them.

Music, Music, Music...
I'm sure that there would be lots of local musicians to jam with, who would be more than willing to play along. If there wasn't one already, I could host a nice jam night, and make it fun for everyone! Hell, even get the tourists involved! Let that guy from South Dakota plunk out the chords to "Margaritaville," and bellow at the top of his lungs. Sound like a plan? I think so!

I could set up my studio again, and get back on the air from my residence, or even better - go work at one of the local radio stations doing on-air, production/station imaging, or whatever they need me to do. I think that would be a blast! Hey, I already know that radio doesn't pay much, usually, so that's not a factor!

Making Arts And Crafts...
I could see myself doing something like that - maybe making some hats for the tourists, or just something really cool. I used to like to whittle when I was younger - maybe I can get back into that as well.

I would be more than happy to write on a regular basis - whether it was for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes. I really do love to sit down, putting pen to paper (or in this case, putting fingers to keyboard,) and just going wherever it takes me. Many times that journey alone is the greatest thing that has happened in my day.

These are just a few thoughts, and it's only the beginning. I realize that I need to take many steps in order for this to happen, but that's okay. I'm ready to get my life together and prioritize it. When the chips are down and times get hard, I'll just remind myself of how much I've gotten myself through.

Taking Charge...
I also believe that when I'm totally in charge of my life, not living under someone else's roof - totally supporting myself, then I appreciate it even more. I don't wake up with that sense of dread - I know that what I am doing is making a difference, and does have an immediate impact on me. This, in turn, creates a sense of responsibility, and helps me to keep it all under control. I haven't felt that way in 9 years - that was the last time I lived totally alone (me and my doggie.)

The Good Times...

I didn't have much monetarily, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I learned to do without alot of things, to build what I needed, and what I really enjoyed doing in my spare time. I don't ever remember coming home once saying, "I hate my job," or "I hate my life," or "I'm so poor." I remember the good times - WANK radio (my pirate radio station in an upstairs room,) band rehearsals on the terrace, listening to music loudly for long periods of time while relaxing in my recliner, and studying in complete silence - the dog laying next to me.

I would give just about anything to have that all back. Actually, I don't need it all back - I just want the feeling associated with it all. Is that too much to ask?

Questions...Comments...Suggestions?? I'm all ears!

I Am...

A Child...
Imagine that you are in your childhood, sitting in a swing on the playground during recess. All the other children are playing a game together - and without you. You tried as best as you could to join in, but no one would pick you during the line-up. You were left out, laughed at, and told to get lost - so you do just that. You go into your own little world - where no one else can go. You are...

Little Neutrino

By Klaatu

(Dee Long)

Across your open mind

I trace erratic lines
In motion and in time

I fought a battle won
To the surface of the sun
Through fires on and on

It's only you
It can't be me
For I myself refuse to be
I am someone you'll never know
I am the little neutrino

Solus is not far away
It's face is brighter than a day
So don't turn me away

It's only you
It can't be me
For I myself refuse to be
I am someone you'll never know
I am the little neutrino

And now I'm passing through
The one who's known as you
And yet you'll never know I do

For those of you who frequent my blog, you'll notice that this is a second time posting these lyrics. I just feel that the song itself is so powerful, and it makes a return in my life when I hit a low point. The overall soundscape sounds tormented and painful - the words just add to it even more. If you've never heard it, I suggest you give it a listen. It will give you a very good idea of how I feel at the moment. I'm not horribly down, just a little under the weather. This too, shall pass.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Early Morning Introspection...

Well, I thought so anyway. It was simple - go to bed around 11:30pm and wake up around 8:30am. That was my plan. As almost always, I wake up anywhere from an hour to 2 hours later, not being able to go back to sleep. Sometimes I wake up anxious or full of panic, other times I'm depressed and can't see straight. I usually pick up a book and start to read...until I get sleepy (whenever that is.) Today's flavor is - Panic?

Time Passages...
3 hours later, I've read chapter 8 in Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends And Influence People, and devoured three Chapters in Andy Behrman's Electroboy. I had just started reading the former only a day ago, and found myself immersed in it - I can't seem to put it down. The Carnegie book I have been reading about a chapter a day, going back and re-reading the previous one before going on to the next. I underline key phrases that I can use. This is standard procedure in nearly any personal development text that I read. Later on, I can go back and write them in a notebook(s) for quicker future reference.

Can't See Outside...
It's so dark that I can't see outside the little windows of my basement dwelling - of course, it's 4:36am! In about an hour or so, that nasty ball of gas, otherwise known as the sun, will be emerging in the eastern sky. I have an old flannel shirt covering the porthole in my room to keep it from bleeding through and blasting into my eyes. Actually, the sun does not directly come through - it's just the daylight itself. I don't really dislike daylight, but when you don't get enough sleep during the evening, you tend to avoid it if you can. You essentially become a vampire - you feel as if you turn to dust upon exposure to daylight.

I know that I haven't really touched on the subject of New Orleans in any of my posts. I'll admit that I don't keep up with current events too much, because of my tendency to overreact to the news. I truly can't stand to look at a newspaper - I find myself sifting through it, looking for only the things that interest me (namely Feder's column in the Sun-Times) Make no mistake - my heart goes out to those who have perished and suffered in this ordeal. I truly hope that everyone will find their way somehow and see that life can go on.

However, I am not pleased with the authoritarian tactics that law enforcement are using in the situation. If you've read my earlier posts, you know that I have a serious problem with authorities who abuse their power. Some of these people choose not to leave - and I truly believe that it is their choice. If they want to ride it down, then so be it. They shouldn't be told that they have to leave. I mean, come on! What are they going to do? Arrest people for not leaving? That is as absurd as an anti-suicide law! Enough said.

I Care!
Please don't mistake my inner-focused tendencies for lack of interest or concern. I may not keep up with all the events, but please know that I do care about people. I just choose not to get caught up in the emotions that are being evoked en masse at the moment. I was never one to run with the herd - nor will I ever be. Don't expect that to happen - not in this lifetime.

I will admit that sometimes I feel that I am being less than self-effacing, with regard to my posts - it is a form of therapy. To put fingers to keyboard, or to put pen to paper is one of the ways that I combat my illness. It allows me to spread out my situation in a way that I can see it from many sides. It's very similar to an exploding diagram, and a troubleshooting list for the mind. I guess I read too many service manuals when I was growing up - they were a staple of my vast useless knowledge base! Maybe that's another book to add to the list - one full of useless facts that no one cares about...Who Cares? Just a thought.

Time To Get Some ZzZzZz...
Now it's time to go back to bed, tune in Cryosleep, and stop hyperventilating. Maybe my blood sugar will go through the roof (thanks to Apple Jacks and milk,) and I'll crash out until noon or so. I am feeling light-headed, so maybe that will help as well.

Good night/morning to all!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I'm sort of uninspired and anxious at the same time. I look back at my posts and question them... I'm sure that I'll be back tomorrow.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lessons In Adroitness...

a·droit (-droit)
  1. Dexterous; deft.
  2. Skillful and adept under pressing conditions. See Synonyms at dexterous.
  3. Something that most people could do well with in their lives.
OK - I added that last one, I admit it. (grin)

What Does This mean?
Today, I want to address something that is a totally new concept within my life. I've never tried it before, so I'm still learning how to adapt it within my life. This is the skill of being adroit - sometimes it means being diplomatic, and other times not giving satisfaction in a derogatoory situation. Some see this as a foolish means of communication, and that you are "giving in" to the other person, and this makes you appear weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you do give the other person what they want, but you also get what you want. That's the part that most people don't see. To understand this further, you need to look at the basic human psyche.

Looking Inside...
Without getting too deep or too technical, let's look at a few things. What is the first thing that we notice in general? That's right - ourselves. There's nothing wrong with that - it's a given, as we are so "close" in that respect. Whenever something is not right within our worlds, who notices first? Yep - WE DO! Okay, now just imagine looking out at a crowd of people - who do you think they are thinking about most of the time? Bingo! We are constantly aware of what we touch, taste, feel, see, think, and do. Of course! that's how we experience life - through our own eyes, and no one else's. No one thinks like we do, no one talks or walks exactly like we do, etc. This also presents problems, and for most people, and creates a myopic field of vision. They filter everything through themselves, and use that as their reference - not for one moment seeing the other person's point of view. This is where the trouble ultimately starts. Questions start to form, such as:

What about ME?

How does this affect ME?

Where is MY piece of the pie?

Is this MINE?

No matter what aspect in life, doesn't it always come down to what it does for YOU? People say, "Well I always put my family first..." Indeed, you do, but I ask you, once again; doesn't it always come down to what it does for YOU? Who feels good when you take time with your family? YOU do! Who feels that they are a valued and respected member of society? That's right - YOU do! So you see, it IS all about you! So, the next time someone accuses you of thinking of only yourself, ask them in return, "what do you feel bringing this to my attention did for you as well?" That should make them stop and think for a minute - perhaps even catch them off-guard. You are basically throwing it right back at them. Seems like a lot of fun, eh? I think so! This type of thinking can put meddling and belittling people (e.g. in-laws, parents, etc) in their place - perhaps making them just a bit frustrated, because they didn't get the response that they wanted out of you. In this instance, you were being adroit - you didn't give the other person what they wanted, and... you managed to save face.

And The Moral Of The Story Is...
If we put aside our own thoughts and beliefs for a second, and look at the other guy's, maybe life would be just a bit easier for us. Of course, we may not readily agree with their point-of-view, but we can at least let them know that they are indeed entitled to it, and we can accept that fact. One of the worst things that we can do is to tell something that they are wrong - this initiates a defensive response. Sometimes this results in hurt feelings, and sometimes it can escalate to violence of epic proporitions. A good example would be folks who insist on committing heinous acts in the name of their creator. I truly don't believe that it didn't start out that way - they were just met with so much opposition and ridicule that it drove them to this. Of course, this in now way excuses their actions, but it does shed some light here.

Perhaps if someone would have taken to time to understand them, and accept their beliefs, it might not have gotten that far. One of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, is the principle of "Seek first to understand - then to be understood." This is self-explanatory. Take the time to listen to others, and then they will listen to you. Think of this as showing kindness to another person - if you are kind to them, more than likely, they will be kind to you in return. I know that this doesn't always work, but just remember this - there's always a reason why that person (or organization) is not warming up to you. Sometimes it takes a few different approaches to get the result that you want. Just ask any good sales representative - they'll tell you that.

Don't Shoot Me Just Yet!
As I said before, this is very new to me as well, so I'm "learning the ropes," as I go along. I choose not to be violent or judgemental within my life anymore, nor do I wish to get caught up in the emotion of the general consensus. I am by no means an expert - rather, I'm an enthusiastic and eager student of life. Laying down the pain of the past has done incredible things for me - allowing me to take huge strides rather quickly in human development. I am just dissmenating what I learn as I go along - if you can use it, great. If not, that's fine as well. I hold no malice towards you - perhaps what works for me, does not work for you. It's not a big deal. Really.

Being Weird...
You remember the time in school when you wanted to do something different - something that no one else would even dare to do? Did you do it? If you did, were you teased and told that you were weird? If so, how did that make you feel? I bet that you really felt out of place, isolated, hurt, or even humiliated. I can sympathize with you, because that totally resonates with me as well. I remember just being myself, and kids (and adults) would tell me that I was weird, or that I was stupid. Over time, I began to believe that weird equals bad. No matter how I tried to fit in with the others, I could never seem to do it. This began to build up very strong feelings of hurt, resentment, anger, and unfortunately, hatred. Remember Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris? Yep, those were the two kids who were involved in the Columbine massacre. It's unfortunate that this happened, but I know why it did: they felt left out and just want to be understood - to be accepted by their peers.

They were considered "nerds" or "geeks" - the ones that no one wanted to be associated with. It's too bad, because I bet you that these guys were pretty damn smart, and had a hell of a future ahead of them. But to them, it wasn't enough - they weren't happy, and that ultimately says alot in the end. None of their peers seemed to want to reach out to them - to make them feel accepted. To a kid, that means more than anything else in the world. They are fighting for their own identity - ironically, they are also wanting to be accepted by their peer group. The ones that don't, feel hurt, discouraged, humiliated, etc. I was one of those kids.

You'd Better Sit Down For This...
I myself almost commited a similar act that Klebold and Harris succeeded in doing. Thankfully, it would have involved only one person - however, that one person was basically the target of several years of suffering. I had snapped, and decided that this was the only way that I would feel better. By the grace of God, a miracle happened, and I never followed through. It was a blessing in disguise. I may go into detail about this whole event in a later post. I can tell you this though - once word got around to him that I "had his number," he made it a point to apologize to me in front of several people. From then on, he left me alone and we had an understanding, albeit it was a very unconditional method of getting there.

Today, if I saw him somewhere, I would sit down and have a few drinks with him, talk about the past, and not hold any reservations - we were different people then. I would listen intently to him as he told me how his life was back then. When it was my turn, I could tell him basically what led me to that point, but not relive the emotions associated with it. Frankly, I could do this with nearly anyone I had problems with in the past. It wouldn't be easy, as our minds are so hard-wired from these experiences, and they are not able to distinguish reality from vivid imagination. However, I truly believe that I would be able to do this now. That's why I'm going to my 20-year high school reunion. I will "test" myself time and again. When someone brings up a painful memory, I'll just laugh about it, and consider it "water under the bridge." It's a shame that Klebold and Harris won't get to that point in their lives. I won't excuse them for what they did - but I won't deny that they did have feelings that were hurt somewhere down the line.

You say that they shouldn't have overreacted to being teased or had such a low self-esteem. That is definitely something to consider. Perhaps they had trouble reaching out because of trouble communicating with their families. I'm not going to point fingers, but parents need to be extremely attentive to the sincere needs of their children. This doesn't mean always buying them the toy that they want. It means when they are showing signs of being unhappy or hurt when they come home from school, or somewhere else, you need to talk to them about it. Take five minutes out of your life to devote to genuine concern for their well-being. Better yet, make it a point to ask them how their day went EVERY day. Some good friends of mine do that during dinner - it makes for great conversation, and can open up many doors. You may discover that your child is having problems in school with teachers, peers, or just their homework. Do what you can to help them. Beware of any red flags that may pop up. This alone could help your child in more ways than you can imagine. It shows that you care for them, they are accepted and that they are LOVED! Being loved is probably the most important thing for a kid when all is said and done. Give them all the love that you can. Be involved in their lives, and give them a shoulder to cry on when they need it.

Alluding Back To...
Oh? Where was I? Oh yeah...take the time to understand the other person's point of view. Look at it from their side. Say to yourself "If I was them, how would I do this? Why would this happen?" Go as deep as you need. Your best weapon is to ask questions. Perhaps if we show the person that we are sincerely attempting to understand them, they will gracefully open up to us, offer something that they've rejected countless times in the past, or do what it is we desire them to do. Remember, it may not work the first time, so change your approach accordingly. Also, remember don't openly tell anyone that they are wrong - no one likes that.

For Those Interested...
If you want to know more about dealing with people, I strongly suggest that you take a few lessons from one of the masters - Dale Carnegie. His book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, was first published in 1936, and is still a best-seller! Some of the words used in the book, and references he uses are dated, but the principles still ring true. He says that if the only thing you gain from the book is that you learn to see the other person's point-of-view, then so be it. That, at least, is a step within the right direction. Personally, I think that Dale Carnegie's courses should be pre-requisite for anyone in public office, public safety, public ANYTHING! I will freely admit that this book alone has expanded my horizons as far as dealing with people and situations involving them. As I said before, I'm only a student - not by any means perfect, and I do slip up from time to time - such is life. However, as life unfolds, I find myself using the principles learned on a more frequent basis. As a matter of fact, before reading the book, I used the word "adroit," almost next to never. What a difference one word can make - in our lives, and in everyone elses'.

You Know The Drill...
As always, feel free to comment, grill me, or whatever. You are entitled to your opinion, but if you violate my two simple ground rules - don't insult me and don't belittle me - you have just wasted your time. Thanks for stopping by!

Just a quick note: If you think that I will get upset when you insult me, you are sorely mistaken. I will only look at that, seeing you as the true person you are. I know (and you know,) that you are truly capable of much more intelligence than what you are displaying at that time. Please, do keep this in mind.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogger Words?

I couldn't help but get a kick out of the random "words" that Blogger generates for its word verification algorithm. Some might even make great band names and/or logos! Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you...


Maybe they can make a small program out of that, and use it in the arsenal against Microsoft? Who knows? Gotta go!

Elation...and Frustration - Part One...

I was waiting at my therapist's office for my 10 o'clock appointment, upon which I spied a copy of Fortune magazine in the rack. The words "Microsoft" and "Google" appeared prominently on the cover. Inside, there was an article detailing how Bill Gates is feeling the heat from Google! I thought to myself, "Thank God! Someone has finally taken him (them) to task!"

Are You Scared, Bill?
He is apparently concerned (read: scared) that Google is going to do them in. At first, I thought, "Oh, poor Bill - what will he do now?" But then I thought to myself, "Well, this is what you get when you rest on your laurels, thinking that you had a stronghold on the market, and basking in all your glory! That will teach you!"

Just Fixing Bugs...
Not only that, Microsoft hasn't made any major advances in four years (aside from Longhorn, which keeps getting delayed on a continual basis.) They've been spending time "plugging the holes" that Windows XP, Internet Explorer, Outlook, and the rest have within them. Yes, it's a shame that some poor bastards have nothing better to do with their time than to cripple someone else's computer. Why can't they take that knowledge and put it to good use? I'm sure that Google could use people like that to help develop the software that will bring good ol' Microsoft to its knees.

And This Means...
If Microsoft isn't careful, they could find themselves being surrounded by worthy competitors. The moral of the story is: When you reach a plateau, don't think that you can stay there forever - life is about growth and change. It's constantly evolving, and you have to change with it - otherwise you end up on the scrap heap. As well-known motivational speaker Les Brown says, "You either expand, or you become expendable." Use life as a vehicle to get you to happy times, not as a security blanket. Human beings were meant to expand and grow - not to stagnate. Am I being clear?

I could air my views about how the middle class no longer exists, and how things are being "taken away" from us, but I think that you might have a clue as to how I feel. Let me just say this much - I don't view it the same way anymore. I mean, why excel to keep the position or status that you have - Why not put forth effort to expand further? Maybe then when harder times hit, we'll be much more prepared, or it need not be that much of a concern. There's no denying that we will have times that are very trying to us. However, if we keep moving in the right direction, then there might not be as much pain.

I know that this is all idealistic, but it might help to apply some of that principle to all aspects of our lives. If we have a family, lets take the time to learn and grow with each other, to communicate and show that we love one another. If we are career-oriented, let's put forth the effort to excel in our duties - to become star performers and MVPs. Let's move our way up through the chain - and out of it, if we need to. You get the idea.

Oh, Don't Be Such A Pollyanna!
I also know that things are not perfect, and that we do get burned from time to time, but if we look long enough, and hard enough, we will find something good to come of it. I guess that I read Pollyanna too much, or that motivational stuff is soaked in my brain. Regardless, I truly want to have that kind of attitude, and not be caught up in the "mood du jour," like many folks appear to be. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not seeing the billboards that say "IT'S DOWN TO BE DOWN!" or "THERE IS POSITIVE IN THE NEGATIVE!" Has anyone seen these? Here's one, "HOLD YOUR HEAD DOWN - THAT WAY YOU CAN SEE YOUR SHOES!" Yes, I know - cornball is they may seem, I believe that they do exist (on some plane.)

To be continued...

Burning The Midnight Oil...

Light A Candle?
Perhaps? Do you like the scent of lavender candles? - they seem to relax me, and in two ways. First, the aroma that fills the air is quite pleasant. It just adds a sweetness to the stale air in my room. Second, the flickering light is something to focus on during meditation. The flame can represent that goal that I'm working towards - an overall better life in mental, physical, and spiritual aspects. The more "air" that I supply to the candle, the longer and stronger that it will burn.

A Far-Fetched Theory...
Try this one on - maybe the flame is our life and how we perceive it to be? Perhaps the wax represents our bodies, subjected to time - as the candle burns, the wax melts down further, a representation of years gone by. If the candle is balanced properly, and has enough oxygen, it will burn quite well, and last a long time. However, if the wick is bent, or the surface it happens to be on is not level, that can create some problems. It won't burn properly and evenly - it might burn down one side much quicker than the other (and the wax builds up in a strange manner.) The wick will slide down further at that angle, which causes the flame to contort to it in an unhealthy manner. In turn, this causes the flame to flicker incessantly - after a while this is not exactly soothing to the eyes.

Does This Make Sense?
Remember, this is all just a theory, so don't take me to task yet! Maybe someone beat me to it? I wonder if Deepak Chopra, or anyone who deals in holisitic medicine, has thoughts regarding this. If so, enlighten me, as I'm too tired to google anything tonight. I think that this comes from more "stream of consciousness," styles of writing. It's like improvising musically. You just go on a whim and keep running with it. Somehow, it all ends up working out in the end. Hey, it worked for the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident - why not for anyone else? Anyway, going off on tangents is one of my greater gifts, but it also can get me into trouble. More on this later...

Thank You!
For now, it's off to bed before it gets too late. Tomorrow is slated for individual and group therapies. I will plan for this as well. Thank you for taking the time to read my weblog. I am touched by your interest and concerns. Without a doubt, I will be sure to return the favor.