I like just posting a few links to avoid overloading people with these things.

  • Toxic habits in a relationship that most people don’t realize are toxic.  I will admit that this does describe some situations I’ve been in.  Hints and passive aggression?  Done and had it done to me.  Holding the relationship hostage?  Yeah and she effectively killed it.  Loving jealousy?  Oh yeah.  Buying solutions?  Definitely and I’ve observed others doing it.  To be blunt, this article basically describes a past relationship and it was exhausting.  This is really a big part of why I’ve chosen to remain single or avoid a standard relationship.  There are a lot of bad habits we are conditioned into believing are healthy and positive.  One thing I’ve tried to do is identify bad habits in myself and in past partners to better understand their impact and address them when I can.  Part of the problem is we’re conditioned into believing these are acceptable behaviors and that makes it difficult for relationships to work.  Also a reason I recommend Stranger In A Strange Land to people.
  • The GOP and Trump can’t seem to wrap their heads around healthcare.  Describing their repeal efforts as zombie is an apt comparison.  It will eat them alive.  Personally, I always considered the ACA a good starting point.  Not a finished product.  It does a lot of good and could do more if the glaring flaws are addressed.  Get costs down.  Stop letting the providers hold it hostage.
  • Dairy-free diets might not that good for you.  I’ve heard about how milk being not that good for you as it contributes to clogged arteries, but dairy in other forms has its benefits.  I stick to cheese, whey protein or Greek Yogurt for the bulk of my dairy.  Seems to work for me.  I am usually skeptical of Vegetarian and Vegan diets, if only because I’ve been of the opinion that our diets evolved the way they have for a reason.

It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.

-Erik Selvig “Thor”

  • I see a story floating around about how the guy on that United Airlines flight was convicted of trading drugs for sex and was not actually a licensed doctor.  Question:  does that really matter?  I mean, his argument for staying on the plane might have been bullshit, but isn’t it kind of ridiculous that airlines overbook like that in the first place?  And that they handled themselves like that?
  • Saw the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.  Watched it five or six times.  Trying not to judge much based on it.  I wasn’t a huge fan of opening with narration like that.  Overused technique really.  Kind of continues the general direction of the Thor movies, although I do think they tried too hard to make it look more like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Guardians of the Galaxy worked because it stuck to being what it was.  It didn’t try to be like Captain America or Iron Man or the Avengers.  Making Thor more like GotG isn’t something I’m overly interested in seeing.  We will see what the movie turns out to be.
  • Tried making Garlic French Fries the other day.  Basically the recipe for baked french fries I know, only seasoned with crushed garlic and parmesan cheese.  Acceptable results, although I might try adding some cheddar cheese to try to avoid drying out the garlic as much.  A tweak I’m going to try.
  • I’ve posted various segments of novels, one of which was centered around bodybuilding.  In this scene I’m toying with, the characters are discussing the idea of submission and/or dominance in a relationship.  The idea I’ve been crafting for that scene essentially is that while one person may be stronger, it should be their job to raise their partner to their level in all aspects.  And if the one person isn’t as strong… well isn’t the point of life to grow?  To become stronger?  If someone drives you to be stronger, isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Ice-age heat wave, can’t complain.
If the world’s at large, why should I remain?
Walked away to another plan.
Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.

-Modest Mouse “World at Large”

Just a few more articles I came across that were interesting.

Some interesting thoughts on how open you should be about past relationships on a first date.  Given how much I’ve discussed past relationship or two here, this seemed relevant.  One of the reasons I’ve discussed a lot of details about how things went down was to be more open and honest about it, while still taking responsibility for my own mistakes.  Never really thought of myself as being right nor wrong about anything.  I like to throw that Obi-Wan Kenobi line about the truths we cling to on that.  Working nights, I’ve only gone on a real date or two since then–kind of blew it in that case–but I would be more than willing to discuss any of what happened in the past if only to make sure there is a clear understanding of what expectations are and how best to proceed going forward.

An interesting angle on Tomi Lahren’s recent dismissal from the Blaze.  Apparently the Blaze owns her Facebook page and could post in her name or just delete it altogether.  She’s apparently trying to get control of the page, but that won’t likely be successful.  Just as we need to be careful with who is given a platform, I think it is equally important to be clear about who’s in control of that platform.  You hurt the integrity of all involved if there is ambiguity about who is actually speaking.

Apparently Michael Bay thinks there could potentially be 14 more Transformers movies.  Overkill.  As much as I like explosions and action sequences, I think they are already taking this further than they really should and wonder if there is much more to offer other than racially insensitive caricatures.

Ghost In The Shell Movie could lose money.  Not surprising, given the controversy surrounding it.  I was kind of surprised when Scarlett Johansson took the part.  Seems like she would have been much more aware of the controversy involved and have avoided taking part in this film.

Grokking Truths

February 16, 2017

I like to occasionally take a moment to reflect on why I’ve been really trying to do a regular blog.  As I said when I was talking about the idea of Truth and how we struggle to speak them sometimes, one of my goals was to better understand the Truths in their fullness.  To grok them, if you will.  I will admit I did get sidetracked at times, but that was really the fundamental goal.  To grok what it is to be human and how to be a better human.  To better grok our world.  There has been some success and some failure, things I was right and wrong about.  When you understand the Truths of the world you live in, it becomes easier to develop the ideas necessary to build a better one.

A Truth I’ve come to accept lately is that humans are in too much of a hurry.  Like I said about the tendency to “Hurry Up and Wait” in people, we get into such a rush sometimes that all it leads to is waiting for the next thing to happen and the inaction can be worse than anything.  When I was in a relationship at about the two year mark, my ex and her cousin got together and planned out a whole wedding–best man, groomsmen, bridesmaids, color arrangements, etc.–and texted me about this when I was at work.  I believe it concluded with the message: “All you have to do is propose.”  At the time, I wanted to make sure we had a clearer plan about our future–housing, her family’s farm, etc.–but I had been giving some serious thought to proposing around that time.  After that exchange, I chose not to out of annoyance.  I think I shot back, “Why doesn’t your cousin just do it for me?”  I was annoyed, but then again, I was being pressured into something I had simply waiting for the right moment to do.  My own annoyance there might have been a bit of self-destruction on my part.  My point is, you get into a rush, you miss details and then you wonder why things go to pieces in the end.

Truths are important to acknowledge and I like to think I have come to realize many.  I’d like to touch on a few.

  • It is necessary to move beyond the binary–male/female, gay/straight, liberal/conservative, etc.–and think in terms of just being human.  Maybe an oversimplified approach, but it does prevent the traditional labels from interfering.  All of the words for human do little to add to the conversation, only muddling up what should be a picture of progress.  It will take a long time, but I like to think we’re getting closer.
  • Humans are too self-destructive.  I’ve covered a lot of the ways I’ve done damage to myself and I realize how hard it can be to stop self-destructing.  And the worst thing about that can be how we keep trying to tell ourselves how doing these things will somehow make things better even though we know they won’t.  And chances we don’t take out of fear where the stagnation only makes things worse.
  • One thing I’ve noticed is how nothing is really private in the sense that ripple effects hit a lot of people and everything goes outward.  When I went through a break-up after a three year relationship, I actually spent some time talking to her mother and sister in part for their input on her actions and in part to make sure they knew it wasn’t really my decision and if she was willing to listen and work things out we would have.  I felt like that was a half-way decent human being thing to do as I thought of them as family.  This last December, her mother actually sent me a message on FB wishing me a happy birthday.  I didn’t reciprocate for hers, but I wish I had.  However, I guess my ex never really felt the need to make contact with my mother after the break-up, despite numerous declarations of how “if we break up, I’m keeping your mother.”  My mother actually has expressed some offense over that and even declined to go to a wedding just to avoid seeing my ex.  My point is, the ripples will have an impact.  Not just in relationships, but there are ripples and aftershocks to almost every action we do.  I could probably come up with some work stories, but this is the one that springs to mind.

Another week.  I ordered a Deadpool mask.

  • Did a job interview a couple of weeks ago.  Thought it went pretty well, but it doesn’t look like I’m getting the job.  Oh well.  It was a local coffee company.  One of the things that stood out to me was the specification that applicants aren’t smokers.  I’ve speculated at various times that where I am currently might implement such a ban, especially after they reduced the areas where employees can go to smoke.  People leaving cigarette butts on the ground outside has always been a problem, and I even found one in a trash can in the area where we box cheese–likely left thrown their after someone went out for a smoke, just sitting right on top of the trash.  Given that some of the higher ups smoke and half the workforce smoke, it would likely be some time and effort before such a ban is implemented.
  • So I was at Home Depot the other day, looking into a number of ideas for projects.  Mostly just getting a vague idea of what type of gear I can or should get to do a lot of the projects I have in mind.  Big one I was drooling over was a table saw.  I’m thinking of building a few bookshelves and eventually a couple of desks–one for a computer and one for drawing.  More of a project for when I’ve got a house of my own situated. The desk might end up being built into a wall, so I’m planning on that being after the housing saga is close to its conclusion.
  • I was thinking about how other people working nights make relationships work.  A lot are married, but there are a few people who are still single.  Everybody is a little different, but I do think being in a relationship while working nights can be tricky.  It seems to require a high level of patience, understanding and commitment.  Part of the reason why I’m glad I remained single.  In the past I’ve pondered the usefulness of a rebound relationship and have tried to avoid getting into anything based in desperation.  People are fond of saying, “You’re 30, blah, blah, blah…”  but isn’t the point to not rush and form better long-term plans?
  • My father and uncle are in the process of getting a solar company to put panels on some of the farmland–the farm I grew up on until I was thirteen.  It has been controversial in a myriad of ways.  While I’m all for expanding solar panel usage, I do have some doubts about the situation.  My family and the surrounding neighbors aren’t necessarily… “progressive.”  Solar energy is something I’ve been very interested in though.  When I was a heartbeat away from farming, something I had thought about was seeing if it would be possible to use part of a field for some panels.  Nothing too elaborate.  At the time I was thinking that they were pretty heavy into dairy and it might not be a bad idea to diversify a little–solar energy, pigs, maybe bit more foodstuffs, lately I’m thinking about goats, etc.  Anyway, solar energy is a market I think there could be a lot of potential for.  I’m sure there will be a fair amount of excitement with the process my family has set into motion.

I am on vacation next week.  Nothing really exciting planned or going on there, but it is happening.

  • If there is any kind of mercy to be had, the Trump Presidency will be brief.  Seems to me that all we are getting is conflicts of interest and people who shouldn’t be anywhere near the positions they are in.  Hard to drain the swamp when everybody working for you is dependent on it.  Then there’s the recount.  Given that Trump spent most of his candidacy questioning the legitimacy of the process, it is only right to do it.  When he undermines the process, he should not complain when somebody else wants to make sure it was done right.  Also, Clinton did not ask for the recount.  Jill Stein did.  And in three states.  But why stop there?  I say do all fifty states.  Just to be fair and sure.
  • I do wonder what’s going to happen when Trump supporters realize how many of his promises he’s going to break.  Or when all the infighting of his administration prevents anything from getting done.  My big question is how many people go down when it does fall to pieces?
  • Personally, I hope there is considerably more focus being given to the runoff Senate election in Louisiana next month than recounts.  While I do believe Trump is already going to have a difficult time pushing his agenda through Congress, another Democrat in the Senate would be a bonus.
  • Saw Doctor Strange last Friday.  Good movie.  Not great, I thought they could have done more with the story.  Other than that, it went the directions I thought it would have.  Really played up a lot of the Steve Ditko elements from the early days of the character.  The bulk of my Black Friday adventure there.  Going to try to work in Fantastic Beasts this weekend.
  • Been thinking about how to fix a few mistakes.  Set a few wrongs to right.  Always the hard part, isn’t it?  Easier to give up sometimes.  Maybe I’ll have a stroke of genius.

So, it has been a bit of a down year all around.  I was going to wait until after Christmas to reflect on the year as a whole, but I get the feeling December is just going to be going through the motions and mailing it in.  The United States and Britain seem destined to complete their self-destruction as the icons we grew up with continue to pass away.  So 2016 really has become the year where we lost ourselves.

Bowie, Rickman, Prince, Castro, Cohen, Glass, Henderson…  We have lost a lot of people who defined who we were and how we feel about ourselves.  People get annoyed when people get upset over celebrities dying, but it is important to remember that these people form a part of our culture and how we regard ourselves.  After a bad at work I’ve been know to put on Bowie’s Hunky Dory and listen to “Kooks” and that usually makes me feel better.  Or unwind to an episode of Serenity.  Or quote any number of Rickman’s memorable lines.  And so on.  Even Fidel Castro, in his own way, had his role in the formation of our culture.  So it is reasonable to feel something significant when people of their presence in our lives pass away.

2016 was really a wash year.  We were so self-destructive this year.  Even in my personal attempts to turn the anger and angst into something productive were heavily caught up in the waves of… whatever.  For lack of a better way to put it, we drowned ourselves in our own bullshit this year.  This whole year was about self-destruction.

Some predictions:

  • I think that on a global and national scale, we are poised to see a lot more instability.  I just look at the players involved and some what’s unfolding and those do not bode well in my mind.
  • I think I will be in some kind of relationship in 2017.  How serious of one, I don’t know.  I’ve gone on a date or two, but things have been a bit too hectic to really get a read on anything.  Who knows?  Somebody was telling me that it sometimes takes a up to a year and a half to get over a break-up, depending on how long and serious the relationship.  Part of the reason I’m glad I haven’t gotten into a relationship yet.  I think I did need the time to figure out how responsible I was for the state of things there and I do feel I’ve reached a point where I’ve shouldered my share.  I’ve taken responsibility for my mistakes and learned from them.
  • Probably will be getting a new job next year.  I’ve been ready to move on for a long time and I’m feeling more and more like it has been dragged out longer than it should.  I’m not foolish enough to state a time table without a plan in place, but I’m thinking it will happen.
  • I will be doing something more productive with artwork.  We will see.
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