Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

Most of these blog entries will be a record of self-loathing or depression.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Text From Best Friend

[Over stress I had this weekend]
Oh Jesus. I think you need a stress management class. I am really serious here. I think it would help you on many levels. You need to take the reigns of your own life. So much of your anger and anxiety seems to crop up when you feel out of control. 
Today, 8:49a

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Wanna; Don't Wanna

I made a bunch of notes over the past day - over the past three days - and I should write them out now before I lose interest in them and then forget what they mean but right now I could give a shit. (And yes, I know, grammar people, the correct phrase is "couldn't give a shit," but right now I couldn't give a shit about that, either.)

I got up this morning at 3am and started traveling at 6am. I got home about 30 minutes ago. It wasn't bad, but I was sweaty and gross and I didn't sleep well the past two nights and I'm not happy about my performance over the past two days and so I'm angry and depressed and don't feel like doing anything constructive.

But what else do I do besides write, besides talk about myself? So I'll write some.

I was thinking about the dual-ness of being on a plane: on the one hand, you're far above people and society and can think of them as small and malleable; then on the other hand you are part of this small community on the plane, an intimate group of strangers, connected by a random - and seemingly impossible (being ferried in the sky by a machine) - event in all your lives. 

A guy got sick on the plane and I realize I'm lucky. I'm lucky not to be sick, I'm lucky not to be next to the sick guy, I'm lucky to be on a plane, to have had this chance to go to [redacted], to have met all these people, to have had all this stress, to have sweated through this, to have seen the blue-green ocean; I'm lucky.

I keep looking at this one flight attendant because she seem so young and I realize I have some idea that all the flight attendants have always been older women - older than me women. But has that always been true, or have I just not been paying attention? Or is it me forgetting my age again, thinking I'm twenty-eight when I'm actually fifteen years beyond that? I'm sure it's the latter plus me not taking note of men who are younger as well as ethnic and black women I don't find attractive. Or probably black women at all, since I have some kind of fucking disconnect over race.

I feel like I've been gone for a week and it's actually only been three days - and two of those days were travel days, so in real terms, I was away for one day. On the way there I was thinking I'd like it if I was one of those traveling business people, always going places for whatever reason, but this revelation - that I traveled two days to stay for one - makes that idea much less romantic.

Of course, my attitude and process make a difference. I packed terribly, didn't plan at all and wasted opportunities. Like yesterday: I could have gone to the Post Office in the morning and bought and mailed postcards while waiting for something to happen. But I didn't; I stayed put and was anxious.
Later, I could have walked on the beach or gone swimming, but I hadn't brought anything for that. I thought my bag was stuffed. Today it seemed half-empty, like there was almost nothing in it, and I contained everything I had taken (plus some crackers I bought there). When had arrived - after 11pm, I walked to a nearby gas station and bought chips and water to eat. Turned out there were two places right down the road that are open 24 hours. (Of course at that point I was also probably paranoid about leaving my computer in the room and having it stolen. I think that was an overblown fear. All the older couples at the hotel didn't seem too worried, and they had computers.)(Of course, I don't know if they left the grounds; they just seemed to be lounging by the pool all day (even though the beach was a block away).)(Meanwhile, using the hotel's unsecured wi-fi was probably as big a risk as the door locks.) I don't know. It's exhausting thinking about it.

Plenty of people told me to relax about this trip. Before, when I was hella nervous and wound up. During, when I was hella nervous and wound up. After, when all the nervousness and fear and stress and self-loathing had turned out to be for nothing. It was all in my own mind, like it always is.

I've Been Reading Novels, So Now I Think In Opening Lines

I step off the plane and see an airline employee waiting with a wheelchair and I think: "Oh, right! Ethiopians!" 

Being in different cities and countries makes you forget the ethnic working class that populates your own city: what they're made up of, who they are.

For instance: Miami airport's personnel are all Latin, but they're different from Washington Latins somehow. Our Latins are deferential, always speaking English to the clients because it's the dominant language.

Miami's Latins are defiant and loud; this is their land as much as yours and they could give a shit if you don't like it. (That phrase again.)

Update: Which makes sense, really; all of Central and South America travels through here, as well as Mexico and the Caribbean. On top of that are all the Europeans, who are used to multi-lingual airports and not having people necessarily know their home tongue. (Well, maybe not these days, or: now everyone communicates in English.

I woke up this morning at three. I think I went to bed at ten. Yesterday I set my alarm for seven but I woke up at six; the sun was blazing through my windows. I think I went to bed at 2 or 3. So I haven't slept well, either, and I didn't sleep on the plane on the way back. Well, I did for a second, but. When my head pitched forward, I woke up. I couldn't fall back asleep after that. I feel like I could lay down on the couch and be out like a light.

After two minutes in baggage claim, my throat is raw with the familiar burn of bus exhaust. 

(I don't have anymore to that; the sensation of the bus exhaust in my throat was so familiar I just had to write about it. And choking on it indoors didn't seem to make any sense. I theorized that maybe it was the machinery making the baggage belt move, but if it was putting out enough exhaust to make my throat burn, that seemed off.

I also ate almost nothing the whole trip. Sunday morning I had a pretzel in the airport. I had soda on the plane, then another soda and some water on a second flight and a salad. When I reached my destination I went to a gas station store and bought two huge bottles of water, a 500ml Coke, some crackers and a bag of lime Tostitos. I ate half the bag that night, along with a half-can of Pringles I paid four bucks for on the plane. I'm not complaining; it was dumb of me to buy them.

On Monday, I ate nothing all day. I was horribly anxious all morning, then involved in details and waiting and anxiety all afternoon. I finally ate at around 5pm. All the restaurants were empty, so it felt weird. It seemed like they were all suspect places, whereas I was probably just there in the between time. People did start to come in as I was finishing up.

I finished the bag of chips later that night.

Today I had a tuna fish sandwich and some Gatorade at 6am, then Wendys' around noon. I don't know if my head hurts now because I'm hunching or because I haven't had any water in twelve or so hours. Or because I'm tired. Or because I'm still stressed out. Or because I'm stressed out about having to go back to work tomorrow.

Who knows. Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pants, Creepy, Plans and Birdman

Do you put your pants on one leg at a time? Of course you do; what I meant to ask was: do you put the same leg into your pants first every time?

I ask because I just stepped into my pajama pants (and ripped them a little more) and I was thinking about the fact that I always step in right leg first, and the quad of that leg is where the hole is. I don't know if it would make a difference to step in left leg first (and my brain has a hard time thinking about it; it just doesn't feel like I could do it) but it made me wonder about habits and patterns and I wondered if I always put my pants on right leg first and if everyone starts with the same leg.

I was creepy again tonight. I fought against it really hard, but it didn't matter.

There was a handsome woman on the train. (As I walked home I tried to think about how old she might have been; my original guess was 35 but then that felt too old: it didn't look like she had any real age in her face, but I still think she was over 30, sooooo 32, maybe?) She had blond highlights and good skin and a good shape of her face. When I looked at her a couple of times as we neared the end of the line, she reminded me of an actress - not one that I think of as necessarily attractive; the actress I'm thinking of conjures up the word "bitch" in my mind; she must have payed that role very well in something I saw. 

When I realized early on that I was drawn to her and wanted to stare at her, I considered changing seats so that I would be facing away from her, but then we came to a busy station and the seat perpendicular to me was taken (and yes, I realize now that means I wasn't trying very hard). So I tried to read my paper without looking over (I was semi-successful) and then just put my head against the glass and closed my eyes. 

That worked for a while until these three younger people got on the train. One of them was a woman and she sat across from me. And she was cute. So I tried hard not to stare at her.

They were only on the train for a few stops and when they got off, a lot of other people did, too. The woman and I were two of the few in or end of the car.

I opened my paper back up and tried to read it, but I kept stealing glances at her, and I know she knew. I read an article some months ago about the senses and possibly expanding them or defining the ones that seem real, an example of which was the ability to sense someone looking at you. I feel like she knew I was looking at her.

When the train got to the end of the line, she went to another door to get off. I did my best not to look for her as I was leaving the station (why? what would be the point??) but I looked back twice and both times I feel like she saw me look. I imagined her going to the parking lot and getting picked up by her significant other and telling them about the creepy guy on the train. 
What is my problem???

I was over at Best Friend's tonight and she talked about the 18-month plan she has with her partner. It made me feel distant from her because I have no plan and can't conceive of having one. I came up with another deep question which was "Have you always had a plan and/or how far back have you had one?" My plan is just to stay employed for as long as I can. Under "Goals" in our high school year book, one guy wrote "Cling to sanity." Now that guy is a musician that tours the country and that's my motto. 

I went to Best Friend's to watch Birdman with her, which was not a great experience - or rather, as great as I would have liked. One, we didn't turn most of the lights off (I didn't ask, so that's my fault). Two, we had to pause the movie at one point so she could put something in the oven (she asked if I minded and I said "no" but once the movie was paused, I was annoyed. Because the movie is edited to appear as one long take, pausing it broke the flow). Three, her partner came home twenty minutes from the end of the movie and she greeted her and talked to her and that distracted me and then they made comments about the movie which felt negative to me and pulled down my experience.

I feel like - had I seen the movie on my own - I would have come out high as a kite. It was chaotic, it was crazy, but it was full of emotion and god I love emotion. I wish I had seen it before all the Oscar talk, before I knew anything about it and had only seen the ads, because I would have had a much purer experience of it.

Best Friend reacted like she hadn't even seen the trailer, although she said she had read some negative things about the movie that dampened her enthusiasm for it (or annoyed her) and that dampened my enthusiasm. If she wasn't excited about seeing it, I couldn't play off of her energy. 

We didn't talk much during the movie; she said something once which was something I had been thinking but talking felt like an interruption here because there was such a serious flow going on anything that impeded even the slightest bit of it seemed wrong.

Overall I loved the movie; a lot of rawness to it. I wish I had seen it "cleaner," but then a theater experience is no guarantee of that either.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In Other News...

I should probably get a new pair of pajama pants, since I keep enlarging the hole I ripped in them a couple of weeks ago every time I try to them on. (The hole is in the right quad area and I put my foot into each time I step into them and make it bigger.) Or I could get them fixed. But is that really worth it? It would only be for sentimental reasons and I'm not that sentimental, I don't think. (This from the guy who has two rag sets that he likes to think of as T-shirts his ex girlfriend gave him.)

Late Oscar Ad Report: Sonos

Sonos' commercials have started to annoy me of late. I get intrigued at the visuals and then annoyed at the reveal because the pictures seem to tell a much better story than "Buy our speaker." It's annoying.

The Oscar ad was good, except I might have used Barry White instead of "Theme From Shaft." Maybe the joke was "solid gold" (as in the dancers and the TV show) and the tie-in was because it was a movie soundtrack, but Barry White's sound is more evocative of the glittery gold that they rolled in the commercial (see the Rolos ads I complained about Oscar night). The other song that comes to mind is the one that starts "You'll never find..." whomever that's by.

Ideas Are Amoral: Peanut Mist

A friend posted an NPR story on Facebook about how nut allergies seem to be quashed by having kids eat nuts at a very young age.

This reminded me of a recent terrorist plot idea, which would be to take peanut oil and put it into some kind of atomizer and then drive around neighborhoods spraying it into the air. Or drive by a school. If you could combine it with something that would make it float, it would be better, but even if you had a mist and went to school and sprayed it all over the fences and playground equipment during the night, that would be ingenious. (And the door. Doors are a HUGE target.)

I don't remember which I thought of first, but these thoughts were occasioned by or occasioned memories of an NPR piece where a guy remembered a childhood activity of following the trucks that sprayed DDT, and that it was looked upon as a win if you could stay in the cloud behind the truck for an extended period of time.

It would be interesting to do a survey of people who remember that time (and possibly that activity) and see what their health is like). 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shall I Share With You My Personal Digital Paranoia?

So a few weeks ago these posts that were mine on another blog started showing up in my email. I though the blog had been shut down ages ago and I had no idea why it was kicking out old posts of mine.

Then posts by other people - that appeared to be contemporary - started showing up. It seemed the blog was not dead after all, I just wasn't included anymore. When the first couple of posts attributed to me came out I tried to go to the blog but it wouldn't let me in; it said I didn't have access. Okay, I thought, whatever. I'm pretty sure I had gone to the blog in the past three years or so and had gotten the same message, so I figured the creator of the blog had changed the settings and locked me out.

More posts allegedly from me came. Now instead of clips from old posts of mine they were links (which I didn't click) that seemed to be porn or porn-related. What the fuck was going on? 

Was someone really posting from my account? If so, how were they doing that? And did that mean my account had been hacked? And if so, why had nothing else been affected? It was weird.

Eventually last week I signed into the email account associated with that blog (which I never use anymore) and saw that, yes, it would appear those posts came from me. What the fuck?

So now it seems clear that I should change my password. Only: is that of any use? My machine is old and no longer update-able, so the security will go right back to being lousy once the password is changed? Also: if the virus is in the machine, what good is changing the password? Once I'm online again, I assume everything is being broadcast to whomever has control. (Even worse was this thought: what if I did buy a new machine and transferred everything over; who's to say the invader wouldn't just go up into the cloud and come down into the new machine? Presto! Infected again.)

In any case, I changed my password. Then, for good measure, I set up 2-step verification, which involves getting something on my cellphone to be able to sign in. "As long as they don't/can't clone my phone, I should be fine," I thought, laughing a little to myself because who goes out of their way to clone a phone these days? You can hack into a smartphone using the usual tech, but I have a dumb phone and I figure the methods to deal with that are more complex, being somewhat antiquated.

So I figured.

Yesterday around 5 or 6 o'clock, my phone started giving me these error messages. "SmartIQ verification failed." I was only given the option to quit the message, and once I did that, the connectivity bars were gone. It happened twice in maybe fifteen minutes; the first time the system seemed to restore itself right away; the second time the connectivity stayed gone.

What the fuck?
Then the paranoia kicks in: "Holy shit! Is someone cloning my phone? What the fuck is going on?? Why is my goddamn account so goddamn important?!?" I suddenly thought of how my blog stats had spiked a few days earlier, reaching almost 500 hits. Where were all these hits coming from? Russia. Where are a lot of hackers located these days? Russia.

You can see the absurdity, right? Somehow, my computer is so important to some vast army of Russian hackers that they need to hack my phone to keep control of my account. 
Seriously? Way to be deluded, dude.

Still, in the back of my mind - shit, who am I kidding? In the front of my mind I'm still sorta believing this fairy tale. Maybe because it makes me feel important. Maybe because it confirms some sort of victim or target complex I have. I don't know. I just know the world feels largely insecure these days and I don't feel like I have any real way of discerning the truth about the situation.


Ia sort of follow-up to that, the way that I live (and the way these programs work) sort of defeats the 2-step verification process. This blog is written through an app, which is constantly open on my machine.  To make the verification process worth it, I would have to sign out each time I closed it and sign back in each time I opened it. But that's not the way apps work; they're "always on" until you opt out. So again the account is open kind of 24/7. Same thing with my work computer: I keep certain documents - that are created on a shared out - open on a constant basis. So if there were a way in (or something latent, already planted) it would be there to infiltrate. 

Ah, well. I'm not sure what worrying accomplishes. 

What Is Your Shit Cycle?

After taking a dump earlier this evening, it occurred to me to wonder what it was I was shitting out. 

They say (I think) that it's best if you shit once a day; I think I do, but I don't track it. What I mean by the comment above is: what meal was now exiting my body? I didn't look very hard but I wasn't sure what the evidence said. All I know is it was more pungent than usual.

When I say "what meal" what I'm saying is: Is this from lunch today, or from dinner last night? Or does it go further back than that? These are the kinds of deep questions I ask myself.

Other deep questions I thought of today (to ask Best Friend): What is it like to be in love with someone? Who was the first person you loved? 

The questions center around the difficult aspects of love - all the truisms about love being patient and kind and not vain and all that. I doubt that I love anyone because I feel like - when it comes right down to it - I don't put myself out there for other people. I consider myself first.

So for me, the question is like: what are you feeling when you do these things for someone even when you don't like them in the moment*, or it makes you uncomfortable, or unhappy? And when and how did you learn that behavior? 

It seems this is an enriching behavior for a human, but it also seems (to me) something that the primitive mind doesn't understand, and so if you're not shown or taught the "long-way-round" rewards of it early on, it's hard to convince a person it's worth it.

Or that might be a convenient excuse I tell myself.

*I also wonder about how one is angry with someone they love; how anger and fighting work. Best Friend and her partner, I think, have talked and thought a lot about human relationships and may have had conversations about this. Many other people don't and maybe I should ask the ones I think are less enlightened how they deal with it. Maybe for them it's a separate thing from their commitment; one is an emotion in the day-to-day and one is a promise that is made for eternity (even if they don't think about it in those terms). 'Getting angry doesn't mean not keeping one's word' might be another way of stating it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nails and Pants

Two missed posts from this morning and then I'm going to sleep. I was up until almost 3am last night and I am ready to crash tonight.

1. I know I watched TV last night. How? When I went to scratch my head while shampooing my hair this morning, I realized I have no fingernails. I chewed them off.

2. I don't think these jeans shrink every time I wash them, but it sure feels like it.

Remind me to tell you about my phone dying and my paranoid fantasies of Russian hackers wanting my accounts.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscars Ad Report: McDonalds

I hate that this ad is by McDonalds, because I loved it. Such a great and simple message. I guess you get what you can pay for.

Oscars Ad Report: Lexus

Update: Ha ha ha ha ha! It was an Acura commercial! Well, that was a fail.

Turns out the song was "Where Is My Mind?" by The Pixies, which was probably meant to ping people like me that like alternative music and are now in their 40s and can (theoretically) afford a luxury car.

The ad was totally boring (lighting in a bottle not interesting at all; reminiscent of the cancer society ad where the kid catches wind, which was cool and different in its own way) but they used a song that I recognized but done in a different way (orchestral?). I don't think it was a very popular song, but I wanted to sing the chorus just as the ad was fading away. Beta Band, maybe?

Oscar Question

Did they give a lot of the presenting roles to black people because black films and actors didn't get much recognition this year?

Oscars Ad Report: Diet Coke "Flightplan"

That's not an official name, it's just my pithy name for it based on its subject.

Here's my thing: is Diet Coke telling us that you have to hallucinate to enjoy life? (Rolos sent a similar message last year.) That Diet Coke will cause you to hallucinate (or help you do so)? 

I forgot to write this then, so I can't remember: Did the commercial essentially say that life is better when you're hallucinating? I could swear that was the tag line.

Oscars Ad Report: JC Penney

Does JC Penney spend their entire annual advertising budget on the Oscars? How ridiculous is the juxtaposition of the luxury of the Oscar with the drabness of JC Penney?

Although in another way, it's a perfect pairing, since the largest viewing audience of the Oscars will be the middle American housewife, who is most apt to buy clothes from JC Penney.

(But there I go judging people and making generalizations about huge swaths of people.)

Oscars: Tim McGraw

I didn't know about the song and that was excellent. I also really enjoyed the set design with the light bulbs on posts.

Ad Report: Cadillac Oscar Ad

You have got to be kidding me. This car - which looks exactly like the cars from the last five - no, ten - years - is so not daring. What, exactly, is daring about this car?

I thought maybe it was an ad for American Express, or some foundation (like Clinton's) that had financed these up and comers, but no, it was a car company trying to attach its brand to some people that had really innovated and done something worthwhile. 

It's like those annoying Mazda commercials that try to link Mazda's cars to famous activists, philanthropists and explorers. Really? The SkyActive technology is equivalent to finding a polio vaccine?? Give me a fucking break.

Ad Review: Lexus During the Oscars

"Who cares how tight it turns if it doesn't turn heads?"

WTF? The message is essentially that substance is less important than style. "Who cares if you're smart if you don't look good?" In some ways, this is a perfect ad during the Oscars and for television and for America and its value system, but as messaging in general, it seems terrible.