Not so Gung-Ho this time

As predicted, I totally failed at keeping with the writing. In spite of the enthusiasm and spirit of my previous entry, I let everything else get in the way again. I suppose that since I’m back here, about 25 days later, that it’s an improvement over my previous drought. I may actually be getting back in the swing, its just not so finite a starting point as I’d envisioned.

So, what, exactly has been keeping me away? A lot, actually. No, wait, that’s a lie. A lot has been preoccupying my mind as always but life is no more busy than usual. I am trying to be more responsible with regularly doing more thing. I actually went out to a friend’s place the other day and we’re going to start getting back in shape together! Or so we’ve claimed. The good new is, we have reconnected and I think there’s a subtle understanding between us when I was there the other day. Simple and unspoken but genuinely shared.

I’m actually going out drinking tomorrow night with him and my other buddy. I know, right? Not my style usually but all the nighttime hours I’ve spent on my own has made me realize I can spend far too many unproductive hours on my own. It actually has me appreciating people again. My new job keeps me very secluded and from anyone I would consider a peer in both interest and intellect. That’s added to my appreciation for people as well.

But mostly, I just know I need to change. I don’t know why I know this, and I go back and forth with myself as to the reasons, but I just fundamentally know I need to start regularly doing stuff. I don’t know exactly what that stuff is yet. Actually, I do know- accomplishments. I’ve been trying to reward myself with little victories and it’s been an awesome year of doing so. I’m now able to file my nails down and smooth them out! Still have a hard time not giving the occasional cuticle a little nibble though. Regardless, my nails are growing super healthily now and I’ve not chewed on a finger in ages. I’m brushing my teeth daily now, and twice daily on most days. Not to mention regular showering and yard work. Did I mention that I even got excited when I thought of getting a window treatment to block the incredible amount of sunlight streaming in in the mornings from the arch window above our front door? I got so excited that I actually went out with my wife specifically to go get and install it, and I did. All my idea. So very unlike me.

Been fighting with the wife more often than usual. I think it’s because her hormones have been all over the place since her hysterectomy, but I honestly think she’s just grown tired of my shit. Constant looks of disapproval and annoyance and cutting phrases she noticeably bites her tongue from saying. We fight. We used to be the couple that didn’t do that. I don’t yell, and keep super calm and try and deescalate the conversation the entire time but it’s no use once she’s revved up. Anyone reading this is probably taking this with a grain of salt, and maybe they should, but I swear the entire time I’m simply trying to say “Umm, that’s not what I said, or where I was going with that”. In the end she says that it’s probably nothing, bad timing, I didn’t wake her up right, it was the wrong time of day, we shouldn’t talk about that topic in that way. Whatever the reason, we’re fighting. And when we’re not fighting, she’s finding more and more ways to be elsewhere. She gets up super early now, might make breakfast, then jets off to ride horses then not be home until mid-afternoon. I see her a couple hours in the morning. If I’m off, I’ll see her from the time I get up around 3pm until she goes to bed around 10:30 since she gets up so early most days. I always figured when I switched to full nights she’d at least keep the previous midnight-2am bedtime she did when I worked til 2 but the opposite is true.

That’s probably why I started trying to do anything to accomplish something I can show her. I’m also having to just learn to be comfortable completely alone a lot. I try to talk to her about concepts and ideas but everything I say is met with an eyeroll. It’s either stupid or unrealistic or doesn’t work the way I’m saying, regardless of what I’m talking about. Having such a strongly externalized critic has really motivated me to prove her wrong. The problem is, I hate her for it and I’m not lying when I say that it’s changed the way I feel towards her and diminished the connection I feel with her. You can’t take back the hurtful things you say. Not ever. They change the DNA somehow. Some things, you just can’t come back from. That isn’t to say divorce, it’s just that you cannot be infatuated and think the sun and the stars are hung by someone who gives you a disapproving look daily. And that’s nonverbal. The words that were said had lots of staying power too.

I’m guessing that I’m to blame somehow as well. I’ve spent hours poring over the fights and miscommunications throughout the night while I absorb content, and have yet to glean any insight as to what I’ve done wrong or could have done better. But that’s because before each fight I carefully plan out the whole thing, to try and avoid any fight at all. For hours beforehand. Then it fails anyway and I go over it again for hours that night too. I tried just winging it and trying to not plan but that was immediately disastrous every time whereas the other method at least occasionally yielded a net neutral nor even slightly net positive outcome in the end.

Work called me in for a 7am-330pm shift this morning. I usually sleep from 10am-2pm. This is going to be horrible but at least it’s overtime unlike my old job. Oh well, the worst I’ll be is tired but at least I’ll have a little extra in the bank out of it. I guess I really needed to talk tonight. Probably why I was successfully able to will myself to sit down. I don’t really have anyone to talk to anymore, truth be told. I don’t see anyone at work anymore, and I had friends from 6 years all around the building but they’re all on day shift so I don’t even see them in. My best friend of nearly two decades and I fell apart last year and I doubt we’ll ever reconnect in any meaningful way. My brother I only really see one of his days off a week. Like I said before, my wife is always off doing something somewhere and seldom home and not busy for long. We did play games together the other night but it was very short lived as she went to bed early. I guess it’s not really early for her anymore, she just goes to bed at what I consider an unnecessarily early hour. So, I’ve reconnected with my old meathead geek friend. And we’re going out drinking. And I’m trying to write more. Hey, maybe I really am on the Writer’s Journey: seclusion, depression, isolation, and alcohol. Maybe the universe will make a true writer of me yet.

Aside

Hey cruel world.

Bless me blog, for I have sinned. It’s been… 3 years since my last submission and I am starting it off with the most ridiculously cliche opening of all time. The sad part is, I actually felt clever when I thought of it about ten minutes ago. Guess that shows how long it’s been since I’ve really gotten into the swing of the writing thing. I would have liked to have begun writing this post sooner than ten minutes earlier, but the website decided to make me login twice, force me to select the kind of post I was going to make, and then inform me that my theme had been updated, thus whisking me away to the beautiful world of modern WordPress themes.

I have so much I’ve been wanting to say and I’ll be honest and tell you that at this very moment, looking at this screen, I don’t give a shit about them. I know that they’re problems; big ones too. But I just cannot bring myself to care. I spent most of the day today being worried and stressed out and just plain tired. I’ve been relaxing for a few hours now and all I want to do is forget all about my problems, because another even larger heap is coming at me literally tomorrow.

The reason it’s not so bad is that it feels like late afternoon to me right now. I’ve changed jobs, changed companies and I am now on a complete overnight shift. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6pm until 7am. This seemed like a decent trade off compared to the multitudinous nightmare that was my old job, but I finally had the other shoe drop today. I have to work 4 days a week. What was once a paradise concept of being home more often than work, has become a fire I’ve jumped into from the frying pan. Sorry about the last part of that last sentence, by the way, I just couldn’t make that one work but I really wanted to shoehorn it in right there. And I couldn’t have moved on had I not just typed it quick and dirty after a couple dozen edits.

So, now instead of working 5 days a week and randomly being switched to an overnight and day shift, and back again, with my days off never together, I am now on all night shifts, and have my days off consecutively. And I’m still working in the field of human suffering easement, which just means I’m surrounded by human suffering. Physical, mental, emotional, and monetary suffering. Pretty much everyone I see, even if they were fixed up and healthy, they’ve got a giant burden of debt or at least a sizeable bill. Someone has to put in all that information. I am such a someone. I dont work for the evil insurance assassins. I’m the snitch telling them who to take the hit out on. My job is being the cowards who marks their brethren for the hit. I liked it better when I was in the business of picking up the ashes while being overworked and underutilized. The spells of boredom felt noble and the hard work made the boredom feel justified.

Now it’s just hard work. I could mingle before, smile at people, get to know them briefly. Even if they didn’t want me bothering them, I could do my duty and move on to the next person whom I may have helped in some tiny way. I drank the Kool Aid, I think. I used to think that line was BS, but I do believe it now. Maybe I forced myself to believe it over the course of the 6 years at the old job. Now I’m just like a weird scout for the Terminator army behind me. Find targets, get a lock on, confirm then move on once they’re marked, pretending not to know the impact my little digital marks will have on them. I’m like the old tree markers. Getting paid to mark trees for the cutting.

That’s the visual I get in my head everyday I go to work now. Every incredibly brief interaction that can barely be called anything but lukewarm due to the brevity required by the constant influx of work. Melodramatic as it all seems, and reads, I really cannot get out of this thinking. I almost had a panic attack and I’m the kind of person who scoffs whenever I hear someone say they almost had a panic attack. I actually did have one. Had to go into the work bathroom and talk myself into breathing normally and to not feeling like I’m dying.

I make too much money and have too many debts. This means I’ve gotta try and make more money and pay off existing bills otherwise I’ll just be in the horrible cycle of debts and money earned. I don’t want to chase that cycle. I don’t want to continue school, with the maybe hope of making more money than I do already. Because if it doesn’t lead to more money then it lead only to more debt that will keep me in the exact same spot I’m in on this very night, in the very spot here. Only I’ll be at least another ten grand in debt. Everyday from here to there feels inevitable, like they already happened and I’m drifting towards that destiny whether or not I like it.

After many freakouts, and many, many hours of stress about careening towards being way in debt and stuck in the same job, I decided to write. It’s my only way out. Whether that’s because it’ll be a small and temporary respite along the already laid out future I’ve foreseen, or because I could actually make a career of it someday, I just see it as my only way out. Out of my head at the least, and out of my current financial situation at the best. It all starts here, tonight. I think. It might also be that I never get around to doing much with this, just like I didn’t all the other times. Gotta think happy thoughts though.

Whatever, doesn’t matter because either way – Hello blog, I’m back. (Even if just for now)

A Brother

There once was a man who was very passionate about being a video game designer. He had gone through college in graphics design as he was an extremely talented artist, and had always enjoyed playing video games. He dedicated all of his time and energy to making his video game, networking with sound engineers, voice actors, and even a french musician, all of whom were excited for the vision the man had for his game that was destined to be a series of games.

He woke up and began researching every aspect of using the game engine he needed to make all the effects and puzzles he wanted. He made custom textures and models for the game with his artistic prowess. The game would certainly be great when it was completed, but the trouble was completing it.

Day and night he worked, not going anywhere or doing anything but occassionally watching a movie or tv show. The rest of his time was dedicated to his game. His little brother watched him as he poured hours and days and weeks and months and years into creating the game, excited to see its release one day. The man was almost constantly frustrated, and angry, often reflecting on the things he was missing out on for the sake of the game’s development. His little brother could hear the occasional slew of curse words, pounded objects, and shouts coming from his brother the next room over.

The first deadline for the game came and went and he had to go online, make some apologies to his hyped up fans, and promise it was still in development and would be released soon. He set another deadline for the next year. Finally, the man gave in; the vision of what the game was supposed to be and what he was accomplishing were two separate things. He would just round off the edges, throw everything together and call it complete, having already missed his first deadline.

Another year of missing events, not making friends, and hours of frustration later and he released the game. It was a mess and having never had playtesters for the game, his vision for at least one of the puzzles and the way others would try and solve it, coupled with the game engine’s difficulties, many were underwhelmed. He went back in and made some tweaks and fixes to the game and released it again as a sort of “director’s cut”. Many of the newer features he had tried to implement simply failed to work in this release.

The man’s heart was broken. His passion, his blood, sweat, and tears were all for nothing. The game had little more than a cult following and many people felt the game was closer to a proof of concept than a finished game. There came a time for him to learn the lesson from his experience. He jumped into the world he’d all but abandoned and began to thrive there. He didnt play video games anymore, and never tried to make a game again.

He began work one day on a script he’d want for a vision he had of his next game. He had a very unique idea and was an expert on the horror genre. He did preliminary work on the plot and script, and even asked his little brother, a writer, for help on it. The script and the ideas in it never surfaced and he never mentioned it again.

He’d learned the wrong lesson from the harsh reality of his time as a game developer.

The man was an artist. He got his degree in digital art creation, and everyone who saw the custom textures in the game loved the originality and creativity they displayed. He even created artistic images all the time just for fun. The man was an artist and not a game developer. Instead of jumping into other projects as an artist, he avoided video games and most everything that wasn’t human interaction. He gave up on all parts of the digital realm, even the ones that he had expert mastery of.

If it couldnt make money or get him notoriety, it was no longer worth his time and effort to do. He needed to see high returns on all further investments, because years of focus and determination had lead him nowhere. But he focused in the wrong direction, and was determined to do things he was not nearly as good at.

His little brother had always supported his big brother and had always wanted to see him noticed and appreciated for his work. Their parents had often praised his artistic skills and creations, but in the real world, he had no praise. People are harsh critics and the world is a cruel place.

His little brother, the writer, had difficult odds against him and his passion: writing. His parents had never supported it, always throwing away, ripping up and mocking his works. He was always focused and felt that his life goal was to get published. He was a writer and had always been, and even seeing the statistics of only 1 in 10,000 books getting published didnt deter him. He read many books and wrote as often as possible.

The man’s little brother one day, years after his older brother’s game had released, decided to look it up and see what had happened of the community of supporters for the project. It didnt take long and he found several sites still with mirrors to download the game. Many of them had counters of the number of downloads. The little brother was amazed to find 3000, 6000, and even 12000 different downloads all across the web. Tens of thousands had downloaded and played his older brother’s creation! All of the message boards said the same thing “I still play this game every halloween, it helps me get into the spirit of the season”. The brothers favorite holiday and time of year had always been halloween and seeing so many people say that the older brother’s game helped them reign in the season was truly an incredible accomplishment. All of the posters of comments, some even commenting weekly as new people discovered the game, all wanted to see more. Several even speculated a new game in the works.

The little brother used this thrill to go onto the website of a top game developer, the one who had created the game engine the older brother had used to make his game, and found where job applications were posted. The website said in big letters “We’re ALWAYS hiring. We have a 99.9% retention rate!”. There were so many positions open to apply to. The little brother was certain that with the success of his brother’s game in the community, and his degree in graphics design, he could get his brother a dream job in a perfect place where his passion and determination met: video game artistry.

He quickly emailed his brother all the necessary information and links all concise, and noted to him that he was qualified for each of the positions open. He didnt hear from his brother about it. Finally, a few weeks later, he texted him, asking him if he’d applied. The reply was short and empty but simultaneously full of so much meaning, “No.”

For the older brother, failure was no longer an option. He wanted a home run or nothing at all. Nothing but greatness that came relatively easily and excitingly would be enough. Determination and strong will had done him no good in the direction he’d wanted. His spirit, dreams, goals and directions had all been thrown out, baby, bathwater, and all. The world is a cruel place.

Love at 10 years old

When I was younger, I fell head over heels in love with someone unexpected. Now, I dont use the term head over heels lightly here. I am talking about magical love, the kind kids have to their stuffed animals and toys. It is one of the most unique situations because as I’ve gotten older, it has completely vanished. I’ve never loved anything as much as I did when it was all in my head. In real life, people do unexpected things that wears you down, a randomness that is so uniquely human that our brains cannot create such things on its own.

One summer I had just moved to New York, there was boxes and clothes everywhere and while the surroundings were unfamiliar, my things let me know I was safe. I went to sleep and had one of the most fantastic dreams ever. I had met and fallen in love with Wednesday Addams. She knew me completely and when she said “I love you”, I not only heard it, but felt it into the core of my being. When she touched and looked at me, it was like someone had filled me with complete warmth and caring.

Then I woke up.

It was so saddening to be back in the real world where none of those feelings or engagement that bordered on a psychic bond. I floated in the cloud of the emotional high the dream had brought me all day long. By the day’s end I was so happy that I almost didnt want to sleep as by the next day I was sure the dream would be long gone. So I went to sleep and she was there. Beautiful Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams and I spent yet another night together, only building on the previous night’s joy. This went on for two weeks. I was dating a girl from a movie that I didnt really like and whom didnt act at all like the character whom I’d seen her portray. But she was awesome in every way and my young mind spent every day daydreaming of her and our future together.

It was so fast and amazing that I had decided I would ask her to marry me. At 10 years old, I had no idea what that implied in entirety but it seemed that nothing would separate us. I mumbled under my breath constantly that I loved her throughout the day.

I don’t entirely recall now if I was ever able to propose to her or not, but I know that either that night or the next, she was gone. I dreamed of nothing at all for days. Each day without her, the attachment grew more apparent, as did our distance and the idea that I’d never see her again became a depressing reality. I am not sure of how emotionally deep a 10 year old can be, but I’ll be damned if I wasnt the saddest I had ever been up until that week.

Flipping through the channels as our basic cable had just been connected, I finally settled on a channel that was mid-commercial. After just a few moments, the show came back and a beautiful redhead, cute as I’d ever seen, was looking at me. Her name was Willow and the show was called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Something was special about her. I didnt know what but I watched an entire show I knew nothing about, with several scenes of near softcore action between some not very attractive vampire man and his girlfriend the vampire slayer, just so I could see Willow again.

Now, I was not really a fan of the show, and I wasnt really a fan of her name as I felt it was ripping off a favorite movie of mine about a midget wizard, a baby, and Val Kilmer. So everytime I thought of her name I pictured a midget waving a glowing crooked stick saying “toowatatoowatatoowata”. This quickly passed obviously, but was kind of jarring at first.

I digress, that night when I went to sleep, there was Willow. It was as if I were looking at my old long lost love as she now looked older and hotter than my former love, but had everything else Wednesday had. It was as if Wednesday was back, with a different body and name, but everything else was the same. We picked up where we left off as we had missed each other terribly. Just as with the dreams of Wednesday, every night we met together. This went on for about a week, maybe two. Again, I was on cloud nine, writing little sappy poems, and speaking sweet nothings to my dream wife while I was away in the waking world.

I spent several days trying to find what time and channel Willow would be on, but was having a difficult time seeing her again. At the end of a week or two, I finally had success! There she was in front of me again, just as she was before. Only now there was some quiet girl with long blonde hair with her. By the episode’s end, Willow had made it all but clear to me that she was a lesbian and this new girl was hers.

I was enraged, I was angry, and I was also very, very turned on at the sight and prospect of chicks kissing each other, but I was mostly very mad. I went to bed very upset and hoped I would see Willow again that night. I would demand an explaination, maybe try to show her how much of a powerful connection we had and, if all else failed, maybe attempt to get one of those threesome things I’d heard of. But she never came and I never saw her again, or watched the show again. The two, well really just one, people I ever loved were gone forever and I never saw them again.

In the years that followed I tried everything in my power and research abilities to get ahold of that magical feeling. It was only ever really there when I remembered my dreams, and even then, as the years went on, that too went away slowly. Every time I wrote or felt creative, it felt like I was somehow connected to Willow and Wednesday. It was not nearly as powerful but it felt similar enough to that magical love I knew at 10.

I tried to get into Wicca and got many books in my teenage years in the hope that somehow I could bring that feeling back. I had long since moved away from New york by then and much of the magic of that time in my life was gone. Every “spell” was far too complicated and required much more work than a 13 or 14 year old could possibly do, and many more things one could not obtain at that age.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I needed to go back to New York. There was something about being in that place that might bring back that feeling and emotional connection to the world. I searched book after book for a travel spell. Finally I found it and bought it. There was just one spell in it, and none of the other books contained anything close to travel spells.

And this spell was simple! All it required was paper and pencil. The spell went something like this:
“Write all your favorite things about the location you wish to travel to, and write that locations name on a piece of paper, keeping all the thoughts and feelings of that place in your mind as you write. Fold it into a paper airplane. Close your eyes and speak the name of where you wanted to go and throw the paper airplane. When you open your eyes, you will be in the place you wanted to go.”

I was so excited and followed the instructions to the letter. I thought long and hard about my destination and even tried closing my eyes as I wrote on the paper. Being a rather talented paper airplane maker when I was younger, the making of the plane came quickly and naturally. Now all I had to do was get ready for my trip. I put on a winter jacket and stepped outside where it was slightly icy out, living in Montana at the time. I stood on the porch of my aunt and uncle’s house and closed my eyes, focusing hard on New York. I clenched my fists and threw the paper plane.

I slowly opened my eyes, wondering where I might have ended up exactly in New York and if I’d know my way around. I was still on the porch and the moonlight shone on the paper airplane about a foot in front of me, stuck in an inch of melting snow. I was so mad, I ran over to it and picked it up, focusing angrily again and throwing. It flopped to the ground just in front of my hand, too soggy to fly. “COME ON!!!!” I yelled and threw it again, this time very hard and with my eyes open. Again it barely took flight. My journey to find my long lost home and the love that was there was gone. There was no magic in the world, and nothing would ever feel as good as those dreams did years earlier. I knew in that moment what it felt like to never be able to go home again.

Diseases

There is a disease whose symptoms often times harms those not afflicted, more so than those who are: this disease is known as Selective Memory. S.M. is seen in many people the world over, and is often seen when one remarks on something that the ailing has done that was not, in hindsight or foresight, a positive action. Often times the person being addressed will simply not remember the event. Adults between the ages of 35 and 60 also suffer from its companion disorder known as Rewriting History, wherein the sufferer has not forgotten the incident in question, as with S.M., but has instead opted to change their memory of the event’s unfolding; in part, or in entirety.

This disease has become more and more prevalent through the years as technology has been able to track and store certain forms of events and communications, for later referential use. It is important when trying to diagnose some with SM or RH, to not confuse those disorders with Lying. People who have Liar’s disease are distinctly different from those with SM and RH in that they know the events in question and are purposefully not recounting them accurately. While Liar’s is more likely to be a much worse disease in many minds, it also has much more awareness in the general populace. However, it should be noted that many people can be misdiagnosed with SM, when in fact they are simply Liar’s.

Treatment for Selective Memory and Rewriting History is currently very ineffectual and often times only makes the disease worse. In patients treated with such medications as Facts® , Proof® , and Reality®, there is a 50% chance of a single event or episode of SM or RH being cured. In the other 50% of patients, the disease worsens, often engulfing the event of administering the medication, and surrounding events. Unfortunately, patients rapidly build up a tolerance for most of the available medications, at which point even treating the symptoms becomes impossible, and any new medications taken that are similar to those currently on the market are rejected almost immediately.

There is a wide range of support for loved ones, families, and friends of those in late stages of the disease which are very effective at helping them cope. Most often recommended are Calling Your Mother™ , Bitching With Your Coworkers™ , and the resoundingly successful Alcohol Binge™.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from any of the signs and symptoms of these diseases?

If so, ask your doctor or therapist about what treatment is right for you.

President’s Speech

My fellow Americans, we are in a dire situation. I have decided that we need to make
drastic changes for the better before time is out. I have been working for years on this
speech, and how to achieve everything contained within it. I can assure you that not a
word of it will not happen. Everything I speak of here is the truth and the direction that I
am going to lead this country. There are several key points to cover here, and so I’ll start
here:

Debt:

Debt should not be any person, or company’s source of income. Whether this is credit
cards, or housing companies, or insurance companies. We need to realize that spending
15 years to pay off a home is not the American Dream, it is willful slavery imposed by a
misguided notion that freedom is based in social standings and material goods.

For this reason, as of July 4th 2011, not a single American will owe anything to any
company or corporation. What you possess, you own. All credit card, housing, medical,
dental, or other debt will be reduced to zero.

This is the last time anyone will be able to live beyond their means. Making $30,000 a
year and owning a $150,000 home should be seen as an insurmountable task. Debt is
not freedom. You are not living the American Dream if you are a slave to your credit
card company, the IRS, the medical insurance companies. You are free to make enough
money as you wish, and make all of the possessions that come with that income. You are
not free to ask money of a company who will gladly show you the bottom line to keep
you captive. The ability to choose to be a slave is not for our country here. There are
plenty of other countries that will gladly restrict your freedoms and make you a slave if
that is your choosing. America is the land of the free.

Companies are the new plantation owners, and just as slavery had no place in America in
Lincoln’s time, neither does this new form of slavery have a place in ours.

It is our nation’s Independence Day, it is the day of our freedom. The time to break free
of the ties that bind.

Morale Stimulus

With no debts, the freedom to live within our means is finally attainable. We can now
set up our future for our children and our children’s children. With no debt, people will
be able to make the purchases they have been wanting to but were unable to because
of unforeseen medical expenses, necessary transportation needs, or because of the
impressively misleading campaign that every one of us perpetrated: that of the ideal
American life, the Dream. This is everyone’s fault, and all of our problem. There is no
more us versus them. No more wealthy versus poor, or republican versus democrat. We
are all Americans and anything that blurs that line, anything that makes us forget to love
our fellow man, that everyone has loved ones and problems, should be taken hold of by

all of us.

Revitalizing our country

We are coming home. Everyone. We are not closing our borders, but rather, respecting
everyone else’s.

Germany, Japan, the Middle East, and many other locations have thousands and
thousands of our troops. They are so far from home. However, I cannot in good
conscience ask them to come back to a home that has no place for them, a home that
promises low wages, high unemployment rates, medical expenses, and technology that is
behind the places they are coming from. This would not be bringing them home; it would
be dragging them down.

That being said, our war is here. We are at war with time and cruelty. We are at war
with ourselves. This is a much harder war to rage. The one inside of us. We will need
the support of every man, woman, and child, to win this war. Time has not been kind
to us and we have fallen behind. Astronomical debts to other countries, diminishing
infrastructure countrywide, and states going bankrupt. We cannot possibly help other
countries, we cannot repay our debts, if we are not helping ourselves first. We must
rebuild the foundation so that we can stand tall, stand solidly, and attain our goals of
freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

The Pursuit of Happiness

In our continued pursuit for happiness, we have become sidetracked in things we thought
would make us happy. A mortgage on a home, another car, fast food. These things hold
no intrinsic happiness in them and are only in the beholder. These things create debt to
their imbibers, sometimes permanent, debts that one will not pay off in their lifetime. Our
obesity rate is just one indication of this. We are not healthy, not physically, or mentally
well. How can a citizenship pursue its dreams and goals if it is not in top health?

I am eliminating the corn subsidies and going to subsidize and provide food for all of this
country’s citizens. I will move all non-organic subsidies immediately into the processing
of pesticide free, healthy, organic foods. Every person will be given a card. This card
will be delivered to everyone who filled out the Census, and everyone who did not will
be able to apply for this card at a number of locations. This card will work as a country-
wide food stamp. It’s also a discount card. All organic foods will be much cheaper. I
have a team of economists and doctors working on how much money this card will be
good for. We are going over the Census records and counting the number of people in
every household, how much food a 2000 calorie diet would allow all members in the
household, and it will be renewed at the end of every month. Yes, this will be a month’s
supply of food for every person for a whole month, every month. For free. Anything over
this amount, you will have to pay for out of pocket just as with food stamps. We will
have a list of approved foods that you can purchase with this card. The idea here is the
same as raising the price on cigarettes. If you really want to smoke, you will have to pay

more money for it. In this same vein, if you really want to eat unhealthy foods, you will
have to pay more for it.

This leads me to my next point: universal healthcare. This includes medical, dental, and
visual. You do not need a card, you do not need to be a citizen. If you are a human and
you are sick, you can go to a hospital and receive the necessary healthcare you need.

The money for all of this will be taken care of by reducing our defense spending, ending
the war on drugs through decriminalization and eventually legalization, and stimulating
our economy. The amounts we are spending on defense are unbelievable and must be put
towards our wellbeing.

Big Changes:

Free electric car with any vehicle trade-in: These will be highly specialized, small
and very cheap to make vehicles that should be used at any time you are not needing to
transport more than five people, or needing to haul large items around. From going to a
from work, to road trips, to grocery shopping. These are fully tested and qualify to the
same standard of safety as all other vehicles on the market. And repairs are free. Yes, you
will never pay for tires, repairs, oil changes, nothing. These vehicles and everything that
goes into them will be completely American made, and insurance is included in every
trade in. These cars are automatically insured. This will be like the new original Ford.

There is no status to be had in expensive vehicles. Efficiency and your ability to help
yourself and everyone else is the real status symbol. This will drive down prices at the
pump, and reduce our oil dependence by more than half. This money we have been
spending to get more oil has been funding al Qaeda, and terrorist organizations. We must
stop this funding as immediately as possible, and the fastest way is to reduce the demand.

Countrywide bullet train transit: The country’s existing railroad is outdated and slow
and must be brought to a new era. The price of plane tickets have significantly increased
and between this and our vehicular oil consumption, it’s no wonder the prices have
skyrocketed. With the creation of a national bullet train system, travel will be faster,
safer, cleaner, and less expensive than ever.

Green Optimizations: Installing solar panels onto the roof of every house in the country
and connecting it to the local grid is my next job creation. This will be government
contract work. This will reduce our electricity consumption, further reducing our oil
dependence. Along with large wind and hydro farms across the country, we should be
energy independent within ten years. Let us take from this planet what it gives us and
turn it into something amazing.

Imagine the Future:

Imagine you wake up tomorrow, and you do not have the worries you woke up with

today. Are you sick? You will be healthy, because you are loved and taken care of by
your fellow country members. Are you in debt? There is no more debt, you owe nothing
to anyone except to keep yourself and everyone else as healthy and happy as you can
imagine. Are you not making enough money to live? Even if you lose your job, even if
you are fired or you quit, you will have enough money for yourself and your family to
eat. If any of you get sick, you will never not be cared for. Worried about the roof over
your head? With the reduction of debt, apartment complexes, and renting will be the new
ideal. More and more apartments will be build much cheaper and more efficiently. If you
cannot afford your current rent, I assure you that it will not take long for you to get back
on top.

Wake up. Wake up and breath the free air. Pursue your happiness every day.

Thank you.

Expectations

About two weeks ago I was sent a formal application for writing for a game review website run by redditors. The creator the website personally messaged me, and probably several dozen others, and I was very excited at the opportunity.

The application page said it might take a week, so, I am assuming at this point that I didnt make the cut. I am not writing this to talk bad about the website or to feel sorry for myself. Actually the application process was a ton of fun to go through and honestly I was extremely energetic while doing it. And I expressed my gratitude to the owner who originally sent me the application.

I wanted to talk today a little about expectations. I think that expectations are sort of like mental flinching. Like a Spidey Sense for the non super hero. Now this may look like a romantic idea of what is one of buddhism’s core focus of cleansing, it actually isn’t. In practice most of us would constantly be jumping, ducking and dodging away from nothing as our Spidey Sense is rather in need of fine tuning. To the observer, most people have their Sense going off way too often and hardly get anything out of its presence.

However, I think that those who pay attention to what expectations can do to people, often conclude that at best expectation should always be low if not non existent.

But what is the point of expectation, is it some weird hold over from our more primitive days? Or does it have a use that we just dont understand yet? Obviously I am more inclined to think the latter.

Can we learn without suffering? Can we understand emotions without disappointment? How does one develop in early life without those things? I suppose there havent been nearly enough small children raised to understand expectations and try and eliminate them in their entirety, but what if there was, what would that look like? Can we look forward to something or feel rewarded adequately without expectations? I think that ideally we could but in practice, at all times?

I should really be talking to some zen masters and the Dali Lama about this as I’m sure they could cut all my questions down and probably would show me that these questions themselves show my own expectation.

It’s said that expectation is the source of all human suffering but I think that it’s actually an incomplete sentence. When put that way, it seems something that is so easily eliminated or taken care of. But when anyone quoting that is asked, it becomes clear fast that even if one were to eliminate all of their own expectation, they’re still subject to the actions and reactions of those around them who still have not been able to as well.

So I would personally like to amend the statement to something that makes it seem far more intrinsic to the way things are in life. Maybe something more along the lines of “All humans suffer from two ailments. Death and expectation. The former is unavoidable, the latter is to be avoided.” It is not nearly as succinct or poetic sounding so I am sure it will never catch on, but the point I’m trying to make still stands: it’s easy to boil the cause of problems down to one thing, but it’s another to actually cure it.

Now, again, I realize many texts have gone into great detail about expectation and its sources and cures, but I think I am more speaking about the general populace here than the practitioner. I wrote a something about expectation not too long ago and I’ve been meaning to get it on here, so here it is, as the conclusion of my blog today, I present to you The Vase Parable

“One day you inherit a vase.

It is a beautiful vase and has so much love and dedication in it; many lifetimes of history to it.
 
You cherish this vase, put it on a mantle to display proudly to guests and to yourself every time you pass.
 
You are very careful when handling it and you take good care of it, dusting it and cleaning it regularly.
 
You get weary of anyone handling it, even yourself.

You think of the days when you pass it down to your own children, think of the stories it will hold in the future.
 
Months and years go by in this way.
 
One day while dusting it, it falls off of the mantle and breaks.
 
You are crushed and very sad. The empty space where it once was reminds you of your failure to take care of it, you let yourself and everyone else down.
 
 
 
So, why do you suffer?
 
You built routines, thoughts, plans, and events that went against the vase’s nature; subtle expectations.
 
It is in the vase’s nature to break; it is fragile.
 
In this way we can take the vase as ourselves and those we know and love around us.
 
Sentient beings are fragile; it is in their nature to break.
 
They come and go, they ebb and flow. As the tides. Cherish a single wave and it is gone in an instant.
 
A broken heart for every crest is an eternity of suffering.
 
Cherish every moment in this moment.
 
Do not suffer from future smiles that may be unseen; we do not suffer for every leaf that falls in the forest.
 
Thinking in any other way than this is delusion.”