Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Party

Went to the work Christmas party tonight. It was nice. I took Best Friend, and she was nice. It was good to have her to talk to and she was lovely and charming with everyone. She said she and her wife have talked about moving out the country for a year. Jesus.

In related news, the landlady said that her daughter and her husband are thinking about buying a house, and if they did, she (the landlady) would most probably move in with them. So unless I wanted to take over the lease and find new tenants myself, I'll have to find a new place. This would be June, maybe.
Should have known it was too good to be true.

But it's okay. Live in the moment. Enjoy what you have. Take it one day at a time. Work on getting through this week, making people happy until Monday, then start again. Find small ways to provide joy, and take part in it. Going to see the nieces and nephews this weekend; that should be good. I should take my camera and suggest we make a video.

I'm glad I found this place and LH. I'm glad I got this chance to have someone be so nice to me. I'm glad I got the chance to be good for her, to listen and hear her story, and her pain. I hope I can continue to do so. (I jokingly told her that MH and I should start buying lottery tickets. I bought one today. $135 million. Even 1% of that would be untold riches for me. Trips, gifts, luxury living, even on just $20,000 a year. Because I'd have my paycheck and be able to use that for expenses.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recent Text Conversations: Sadness

Best Friend: "Want to come over and watch The Skeleton Twins sometime?"
Me: "Yes. It was playing for a long time at a theater near me but I don't have a movie buddy where I live now."
Best Friend: "Super sad face."

Landlady Housemate (after telling me how she slept and when she left that morning): "And for some reason my tears fell while driving to work. I just thought of my brother died of cancer. I miss him esp. this season. I really do."
[I learned tonight that her brother (whom she refers to as "my cancer brother") died in MAY. May 30th. I hadn't known it was that recent.]
I found her whole phrasing poetic - "for some reason my tears fell;" I love that phrase and I don't know why. It gives the tears their own life and paints a beautifully sad picture; someone crying without realizing they were crying; like getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm.

I sent her text to Best Friend.
Best Friend: "I have been in that state of mind lately. Maybe it's the time of year. [sad face]"

From this past summer, when I told New Mom I was moving that weekend:
New Mom: "Ok. Saaaaaaaaad face."

Loneliness

I thought I was lonely until I met my landlady.

Tonight I went out with her and a friend of hers, whom I'll call J. J (female) is from her town back in the Philippines, and lives with her (LH's) brother and sister-in-law. After a little shopping, we went to dinner and then went to another store. (I spent $60 tonight, but that's another story.) 

Afterwards, we dropped off J, and as we watched her go through the gate to the back of the house, LH said: Poor J; she's all alone in the house since my brother is gone." 

What did she mean, I asked. Her brother and sister-in-law still lived there, right? 

Her other brother, she said; the one who died of cancer. He had lived in the house with them before, and he and J and been great friends, even from before, in the Philippines. (Although now I'm unsure. At dinner it had sounded like they had lived together in the Philippines, but now I'm thinking maybe they meant here.) 

This woman, J, works as a live-in maid for an Indian doctor. So she's not home for five days out of the week; Monday and Tuesday she has off. The brother she lives with, in the meantime, also works as live-in help five days a week, and has the weekends off (I think). So when J is home, no one else is. 

Meanwhile, she has a boy and a girl at home in the Philippines she cannot visit because she's overstayed her visa and can no longer go home. She hasn't seen them in five years. When LH moved here twelve or so years ago, she couldn't bring her kids right away. She had to live without them for a year, calling them every day. I think of the women I know on Facebook who have modern, American problems and asking them to imagine being away from their children for a year; I think most of them would find it excruciating and couldn't imagine it. 

LH was glad when I moved in because she had company again; her daughter had moved out a couple of years ago; she was no longer dating and her son worked all the time and was driving three hours a night (round trip) to visit his girlfriend every night. She worked and came home to an empty house. For a time she had a young grad student living here who she spent happy times with, but she went on her way.

I think of all this and I think of NGG and I want to yell at her again. I want her to think about her mother, alone in a strange country with a child, not speaking the language, with only one sister (who is a pretty miserable person) and no friends or support network to speak of. Now think of NGG, who grew up here, went to school here (right next to her parents' neighborhood, practically), worked in the area for fifteen years - and calls herself lonely. If she's lonely it's her own goddamn fault. 

And all of that is directed at myself: if I'm having a miserable time, a miserable day, a miserable life, it's my own goddamn fault. I could go out and connect any day of the week. I could volunteer at any number of thousands of places. I could be of service to tons of people. I could babysit, visit the sick and the elderly, answer phones, tutor, join a support group - any number of things, and connect all day long. My disconnection is my own fault and my own choice. 

("Way to make it all about yourself, asshole," whispers the Mean Voice.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Keep Forgettin', As Michael McDonald Might Say

Most of the time these days, I take three things down into the kitchen with me in the evening with my iPad. A newspaper, a small magazine, and a few slips of paper.

The newspaper has notes on one page for an entry.
The little magazine, one of the religious ones I pick up from time to time, has notes written on the back, where the address label would go. There are two or three different ideas there.

The slips or paper are a McDonalds receipt and a bank receipt. The McDonalds receipt has notes from the night I got it, and the other receipts have notes from church a few weeks ago, the first time I went back.

All entires meant to be written, never touched. This is the curdled milk of my potential, the weedy garden of my undisciplined mind.

Schedule

I was just looking at my calendar on the wall and there was nothing for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, and I wondered what I did. I'm pretty sure I went out to eat with LH one of those days, but now I'm not sure what day it was. Was it Thursday?
Ah, wait! Now I remember. On Thursday we went to the grocery store and McDonalds, because the next day it turned out I didn't have any money.

Remember how I was worried about how much I had spent? I was right to worry. The next morning at 7-11, my card was declined; once, twice, three times a lady. I went to the ATM right there, moved $10 from one account to the other, came back; still declined. Thank God I had $7 in cash in my pocket.

That fucked my whole weekend, from one angle. I was thinking I was going to do something with Best Friend or NGG; but now I couldn't travel because I didn't have enough money to get into the city and back. (In fact, I wasn't sure if I had enough money on my card just to make it one way. And - true to form - I didn't want to borrow money or accept anyone's charity so I just cancelled the idea altogether.)

Friday night I think I stayed up late in the kitchen doing nothing productive; watching videos, maybe surfing Facebook. I think maybe the landlady and I had a conversation about games on the iPad and iPhone; I was playing one with words that she seemed to like.

While she's got her own iPhone, for some reason her son's Apple ID is on it, so she can't access the account or do anything. 

On Saturday I didn't get up until 10:30 or so, and then I lay around and listened to the radio for an hour and a half. At noon there was another interesting show on and I felt like giving up, but I knew it was partly due to my not having eaten and that I would feel worse at the end of the day if I didn't get up.

So I showered and dressed and went downstairs and who should I happen upon but LH and the grand kids. 

So the afternoon became about me and the kids, playing I Spy, discussing math (how multiplication works) and then playing games in the living room, one of which involved rolling big tape rolls across the floor at each other and then me poking them with a roll of wrapping paper as they hid under a table behind some boxes. It was fun.

Later we ate dinner and then watched TV. The younger brother (who had been home all week from school with a fever) became feverish again and cried and wanted his mom, so his mom was called and she came and got him. The older brother, defiant, stayed, waiting for his uncle (who lives here in the house).

On Sunday I woke up and felt annoyed. It was that old "They're gonna want me to go to church!" annoyance; the annoyance of having a "should" to get up for.

At first I thought maybe I slept through it or slept too late, then I saw I had time, then I was thinking about how any minute the LH would text me when beep! in it came. 

Except it was from the kid, the grandchild, the 7-year-old. "Hi. This is [kid]. I just wanted to see if you're going to church with us. Bye."

Who can deny that?

So I got up, showered and dressed and went downstairs.

My first surprise was that the son came with us. I got the impression that he didn't go with his mom anymore, but here he was. He's quiet, so I can't read him. We seem alike in some ways; he seems to appreciate my humor and understand my observations. But he often goes off by himself, fades out of the picture. (Ha! In saying that, I suddenly realized that was me, all through high school and beyond. Whenever I was with a group of "adults" ("add-ults") and felt I didn't belong, I'd find a way to fade away. I don't know what his reasoning is (he may just be an introvert), but he skips out a lot.

After church we went to a local mall to meet the daughter, husband and other grandchild for lunch. My most stressful time of the day was sitting at a food-less table with LH while tons of people waited in line. We were holding two tables (two!) and people kept streaming into the place. Made me very anxious.

Somehow, though, the seating always worked out (or certain people took their food and went elsewhere); we were never approached about our tables. Eventually the daughter-husband-kid showed up and we got in line.

Therein came my second anxious moment, as I waited for my food and saw LH walk away from the register. So many times she's easily paid for me and then the one time I need her to, she doesn't. I was embarrassed, but called her back over and said "I don't have any money," and she gave me a ten. I have to remember to pay her back this week.

After eating (during which LH talked with her daughter and son-in-law in Tagalog about selling her house back home in the Philippines), we went to a play area in the mall.

Here again I had a great time. I ran around with the two kids and gave them piggy back rides - although each of them got hurt once during these; the low wall around the area has a marble top; when I sat down heavily with one son, the back of his head hit it (owwww; thinking about it now, I can't  imagine how bad that hurt); later when I flipped the older boy off my back is foot whipped over and hit it (and here I was trying to throw him down on the cushioned bench forming the border around the area).

Later I carried both boys on my back a few times, then we had a finding and counting game, which intrigued a girl who was there and then she joined the game. I liked that. I like being the pied piper that draws kids in. And I like girls, for some reason. I don't know why. I prefer their company and minds to boys.

Eventually we had to go, and we said our goodbyes to the daughter and her kids and came home, where the son went to bed (he said he had slept maybe two hours the night before) and I did my wash and turned on the TV, while playing online spelling games.

And that was my weekend.

Oh! Two things.
1) As I was taking a shit in the bathroom of the Macy's or Sears or Lord & Taylor or whatever, I thought to myself: "Even if I had six million dollars, I'd still have to use public bathrooms (if I ever wanted to go out anywhere). So the lesson is: money can't insulate you from every indignity and uncomfortable thing; if you want to go out into the world, sometimes you're not going to like it.
2) On Friday when I left work, I had a pile of shit I had just started working on, and I thought: "I should work on this over the weekend" ("tonight," really, is what I had been thinking). But then I accepted my programming and separated work from home and shut it down. 
When I got to work this morning and saw the pile that I had started and not finished, I regretted not having worked over the weekend. I had let things pile up and they were now overwhelming me and impinging on this week's work. So I pushed stuff from yesterday until today. Now there's another huge pile of stuff to deal with and all of this is piling up because I can't handle talking to my boss; I'm still afraid of him, and him being angry at me. Dreaded most of today and will dread tomorrow for that same reason.
[mimes banging head] why! Won't! You work! On that! (Actually, what I imagine in that scenario is being two "Me"s, one of them banging the other's head into a plank.)(For some reason the "victim" me is face down in a shallow puddle in Vietnam somewhere (or something), next to a small well/irrigation set up that's made of wooden planks shoved in the ground to direct the water. This is what "abuser me" is banging his head into.)

Seeing Yourself From the Outside

The other day LH was talking about her boss and how he fights with the guy who works in his shop and his messy habits. "He has all these napkins, balled up, all over is desk!" she exclaimed. And I thought: "Holy shit: I've got a bunch on my bed!" When I ball them up I start taking little bites out of them and chewing up spitballs, then spitting them out (which, for some reason, I'm guessing her boss does not do). 

My bed has become a total wreck. Half of it is claimed by paper and books, as it was before. Mail and newspapers, mainly.

Also on the topic of seeing yourself: today the building engineer came to the office and I've become friendly with him and we chat when he stops by. As he left today, I was struck by the question of how old he was and then how old he thought I was and how he saw me. Like, I understand how I see other people, but I can only feel myself; I don't understand how I am or come off to others. (I suppose I could videotape myself, but that sounds horrifying. Also I can't imagine that I could ever act normal.)

What I'm NOT Saying On Facebook

Someone posted a "cute" video (aggression is everywhere if you see it that way) from Buzzfeed about people who don't like kids speaking their minds. My antagonistic reply was: "And you feel how about people who won't give a shit when your pet dies?"

Again: I did NOT write that. (Well, actually I did, and then erased it because I knew it was altogether too harsh.

Speaking of harsh: I was reading one of NGG's texts to me this afternoon about her woes and she finished up by saying "...and I'm tired of trying." In that moment the abuser rose up in me again and I wanted to yell: "TRYING?? Since when the fuck have you been trying?? You've been curled up on your parents' couch boo-hoo-ing for the last fucking three months. You haven't been trying! That's bullshit!"

Again: didn't do it. Totally not helpful. Judgmental as fuck, but totally not helpful.

What I'm NOT Saying to NGG

She has a new problem, and it's worse than the problems before: she's got extreme carpal tunnel syndrome in her hands. She's afraid she's got early onset rheumatoid arthritis. She think's she's cursed.

What I WANT to say is: "You know, it could be inflammation due to the fact that you keep stressing out about your whole life all the time." (You can't hear it, but when I say that, I say it meanly, blaming her for stressing out over her life.)

What I WANT to say is: "Okay, how about this: How about, you get your hands back, pain free, but your nephew dies. Would you take that trade??" (Again, my voice is mean.)

I don't know why I want to be so mean. I think it's because I see in her the irrationality and blindness to perspective that I see in myself, and I get angry about it. My voice fills with the disdain I hear in my father's voice, in my brother's voice, in my head when I call myself an asshole, and I unleash it in a torrent on her.

It doesn't make any sense - except that being sympathetic means I should do something, and I don't wanna have to do something.

What would I have to do to be supportive? What would a real friend do? 

I sent her a text apologizing for not coming to visit her this weekend and she was confused because we didn't have plans. But I knew that, if I had had money, I would have (maybe) made plans, because I keep trying to do the right thing (or something like it). 

Being a supportive friend is not my strong suit. I'm an obnoxious friend, I'm a lazy friend, I'm a bummed-out friend, but the supportive, go-out-of-your way thing is hard for me. It requires me to leave my home. It requires me to be on someone else's time. It requires me to be uncomfortable.
And I hate that.

This weekend I was sitting in a Chinese fast food joint in a mall with LH holding a table. The place was packed, and we were sitting at a table with no food. My anxiety level was HIGH. I don't want someone to be angry with me.

On the flip side, I don't want anyone to love me either - or at least, not those who aren't perfect specimens of desire. (Which is ironic, because I wouldn't trust that those women loved me either; I had one once and I always felt she could ditch me for someone better.) So I'm reluctant to do anything loveable. I'm reluctant to make them feel good; I'm reluctant to make them feel special or do something intensely special and sweet for them, because I'm afraid they'll fall in love with me. ("What a conceited fucking jackass you are," says the Critical Mind.)

So while I know it would be incredibly special to give Nurse Friend a back rub, it's a physical act that strays into worrisome territory. While I liked holding NGG's hand on the Metro sometimes, and I would run my hand through her hair, it was more of a sexual thing for me then necessarily anything for her

And that's the other part, of course: sex. I could (maybe) have sex with just about anyone. I've fantasized about Nurse Friend and MH lately, people I thought I could never picture having sex with. But it was the power, I think; the fact that I would have the power to make them feel strong, sexual feelings. A man is aroused by making a woman aroused - at least I've always thought so. The sounds of a woman moaning are almost more exciting than the visuals in some pornography, and when it looks and sounds like a woman is getting extreme pleasure from the act, it's much more appealing.

In any case, I don't like my sexual nature. My sexual nature feels like an abuser, like an opportunist. I know that my sexual self doesn't have feelings for much of anybody, or that his friendships are false. He'll be very intimate and close with you in the bedroom but won't know you on the street. The worst of a man, in short.

But I'm getting off track. (Sex'll do that.) 

The point was that I should put myself out there for NGG somehow and I really don't want to. I don't feel like I can solve her problems (especially since I believe her problems are in her attitude) and so I have that typical man thing of: "Well, if I can't fix it; what's the use?" If she's not going to get any better, in other words, why waste time on her at all.

But that's not how I feel universally. I think lots of lost causes (or causes others see as lost) are worth investing in. And so I should apply that to her. Do little things and just try to make an effort, because you never know when there might be a breakthrough.

I don't have a very mature mind, and this kind of thing can be taxing for me. Talking it out like this is the only way for me to calm my mind and see it from a different angle. 

It reminds me of my mother. She had a lot of wisdom in that way, and a lot of love to give. I wish I had been there for her in her last year. That would have been nice. 
(Punish, punish, punish; scold, scold, scold.)

Car Accident

I woke up this morning thinking about a car accident.

When was in college, I crashed the family car. I don't know how old I was: 20; maybe 19.

There were five of us in the car: myself, two Spanish teenagers, my little brother and his friend.

When woke up this morning, I had a second of clarity around the accident, something I've never really had.

As I told the officer who came to the scene, I was "slowing from 60" when we crashed. (My older brother berated me later: "You just say 'I don't know.'") It was a rainy night, and the road was slick. We came to an S curve and I slammed on the brakes. We went straight: off the road, about 30 feet into the woods, and dead-on into a tree. 

I was driving. There was a Spanish exchange student up front with me. In the second seat was the other Spanish exchange student and my brother's friend. In "the way way back," in the opposite facing seat, was my little brother.

Miraculously, no one was hurt. 

Hurt badly, anyway. The window next to my brother had shattered (I think we sheared a tree going in) and the glass had cut his pinky finger. The guys in the second seat had had opposite reactions: one had been thrown down and smashed his shin against the back of the seat; and one had been thrown up and smashed face first into the roof of the car. (I don't remember if his nose was bleeding or not.)

This morning I thought about those two and what their lives have been since. Were they traumatized in any way by the accident? Do they have lingering injuries? I know the Spaniard in the front seat with me went into physical therapy, and my brother's friend went into sports medicine. It occurred to me to wonder this morning if either of them had minor injuries that always nagged at them that led them into that field.

I walked away like nothing happened. My mind erased it, and I rarely thought about it. I don't think I'm able to grasp the scope of it even now. I don't know how much it cost my parents to get a new car and what happened to their insurance as a result of my saying I had been speeding. 

My father took me to the wreck the day after. We went to where they had taken the car and he had me reach in and get a hat of his for him. I think he was trying to impress upon me the gravity of the event. I don't think it worked.

I don't know why that never set in my brain or changed my behavior. Maybe because I did something dangerous and walked away without a scratch. Sometimes I think I'm supposed to do dangerous things because, while they scare me, I also like them. But I never knew what to do with any of that, because it often involves breaking the law or money to have disposable tools or professional equipment. 

I don't know. Interpretation of life events is a crapshoot. I don't know how the accident played into my self-perception of being divorced from my father and having nothing in common with him. I'm sure it didn't help with my "I'm a fuck-up" narrative (which is ironic in hindsight, since my little brother was so clearly the fuck-up for many years; but once he had a wife and children, he surpassed us all, in one aspect). 

I don't know why all of this came to me now. I just thought about it as I woke up and - for a second - realized how horrible that crash could have been, and what a toll it might have taken on my parents anyway, financially. The guy in the front seat with me had put on his seat belt about a minute before we crashed, in response to how I was driving. I laughed about it then. We laughed about it after. But it could have been so much worse.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mess

I can spend tomorrow filing paperwork (aka "cleaning off my bed"). I can do it while listening to the radio, and while my clothes are in the wash. I can't go anywhere; I've got no money.

Write:
No money
Monday worries
Miserable housemate challenges/inspirations
Random #s
Books
Bus driver
Nurse friend, rehab videos
Receipts
Doctors
Dict
Work

These are all notes in my hand - not all written out as completely as that, but aside from the second and third one, pretty complete.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Late For No Reason

I was up until 2am last night. I'm still too stupid to know what's good for me and only regret it on the other side, when the alarm rings "too soon."

I spent almost $70 last night - "thanks to my landlady," I want to say, but that's not true. We went to the grocery store and to McDonalds, and I bought a bunch of stuff on impulse - $60 worth - and then we went to McDonalds, where I spent 7 more.

On the plus side, I got my dry cleaning, a bunch of frozen dinners, some more instant rice, and another batch of cards. I wanted to send NGG another card this week, but none of the ones I had felt right. We had gone to the store the other night - landlady, MH and I - and I had seen one that cracked me up, but I didn't buy it (I was good). That's why I was going to the store; I was going to buy that card.

Ended up I bought about six. Plus all the rice (abt $2.50 a piece) and six frozen dinners (at $3.00 a piece). It added up quickly. 

I think it's okay and I have the money, it's just distressing how easily I spend it; plus I could be spending it on better things like debt; I'm not making much of a dent in that, especially when billing cycles fuck you over and they don't count any late payments toward your new payment unless they come after a certain date. I think that might happen with two of my credit card bills. Fuckers. My sister said one of her cards had this really narrow window of like five days where before that it didn't count and after it was late. I feel like I'm in the same bind. Motherfuckers rig the game so that you're always down.

I know the credit industry is helpful and we all (or most of us) live beyond our means, but they exploit people, too, and I don't think they give much back for all they rake in. When the credit crunch came, they didn't take a risk on extending credit to people, they just sealed up their billion-dollar vaults and said "Oh, we can't risk money on anybody." Well, that's clearly not true. Trustworthy people were still trustworthy, and their lax policies had gotten us into some of the trouble we were in anyway. If you don't live by the strict rules all the time, you can't complain when they come to bite you in the ass. (I feel justified in complaining about the billing cycles because even though I'm paying early - which would normally be considered a good thing - it doesn't count and I get penalized for it later.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Infection

I've had a cold for about four days now; I think it started on Sunday. It's just a stuffy nose and I'm not real worried about it; people keep asking me what I'm taking for it but there's no need (or point); the cold is a virus and has to run its course. (Or so we've been told.)

My left nostril is worse than my right. My right nostril generally has clear, runny mucus. My left nostril has egg yolk in it: yellow, thick sludge. (Sorry if this is too gross.) Or like now, when I haven't been noticing it, the right nostril is clear while the left has the clear goop in it.

In any case, it occurred to me a day or two ago that the left nostril is over the broken and rotting teeth, one of which is supposedly over an abscess (or was) that goes into my sinus cavity. So now I'm thinking about cross infection and the germs from my nose getting down to the root of my one good tooth and causing it to get infected and destroyed - and then worrying that thinking about it is going to make it happen!

Today I thought about the whole infection cycle and death. There was a story a few years ago about a kid who had an infected tooth that died from it. Nurse Friend, when talking about her father and dentistry, talked about how the eyes, ears and teeth make up "the triangle of death" in terms of infection. 

Back in the spring, when I had first lost #14, I used to think about infections from the mouth traveling into the bloodstream and killing me. And I would think: "That would be fine." Life didn't exactly work out for me, so whatever.

But today I acknowledged the reality that people like me don't like to face: death is not the worst thing that could happen. Disability is. 

I and people like me take our health for granted.* We think "oh, if I die, all the better; I'm just a waste of space here." But what we don't think about is what it would be like to have our quality of life cut in half; have our mobility stolen, our strength erased. We think we don't have much now, but we can't imagine what we could lose. That's the real blindness. That's the ultimate fear.

(And it should be a motivator for change. And yet it's not.)

*I'm thinking about Miserable Housemate here.

Joke's On Me

I don't know if I mentioned here how my new place doesn't recycle. Well, this drives me slightly nuts and so, like any crazy person, I've started stockpiling recyclables in my room so that I can take them in to work and put them in the recycling there (I've already done it once). 

Well, guess what? I overheard a conversation between the bosses and a coworker after hours the other night wherein they disclosed: the building doesn't recycle!!
Greaaaaaaaaaaat.
So now I've been saving my recycling like a crazy person and hauling it into work (also like a crazy person) and it's just being thrown in the trash anyway.
Perfect.

Adapt. Overcome.
1) There is a park up the road that has been bins for recycling and maybe trash, I don't know. But I'm pretty sure one of them is for recycling. So if I wanted to, I could walk up there with my bags of recycling and drop them off.
2) OR - probably the smarter and saner thing to do - I could find out when they recycle in my neighborhood and put the stuff out then. See, I know they recycle here because I've seen people's stuff on the sidewalk and in those particular bins. So I should just find out what day that is and then put out my own stuff then.
Duh. [shakes head] Ya haf t' make everything so hard.

Early Late

Just ate a pint of ice cream. That was a mistake.

Remember how I was talking about the band Go West last night? The other thing I discovered from watching their three hit videos, was that they didn't have a lot of money for music videos. Scenes from what was probably the most well-funded video (connected with a song from the "Pretty Woman" soundtrack) kept showing up in the other two videos. The video for "We Close Our Eyes" was pretty much stitched together from the other two with a bit of singing for the camera thrown in.

Going to read up on them now.

Discordant

[Is that the right spelling, or should it have an "h"?]

Because of the order in which they came, two of neighboring texts messages show this:

"Fyi, my dad had a stroke..."
"Hahahahaha!"

In The News: DC's Pot Laws

(An actual current event, for once!)

A story in the Post's Express says Congress may thwart DC's plans for more lax marijuana legislation by defunding resources needed to hammer out the actual policy details. "However, the D.C. Council and mayor would be prohibited from spending any further city resources to develop and implement a regulatory scheme to allow for the legal sale and taxation of pot."

My thought was: wouldn't it be awesome if people across the country somehow came together to fund this effort outside of Congress?

How would you do it?

My first thought was: send the money straight to the D.C. Treasurer. If you could get a million people to chip in $5, I think that might cover the costs. 

But could you trust the city to spend the money on that? Would the Council decide they had other priorities once they received the funding?

Then I thought: what if everyone gave their money to an organization like NORML and then they donated the money (in a large and public way) to the city for this effort? 

But again, it comes down to trust: could you trust NORML to use the money for that purpose, or do they have other priorities they'd like to fund and might "repurpose" the money for?

So my third option would be for money to be given to people, who would then volunteer their time to the city (or at low, low rates) to do the policy work. Of course, there would probably have to be Council meetings on the issue, and that would cost municipal money, so I don't know how to work around that.

But I still think it would be a great idea, and a great example of people power. It's regrettable, of course, that one has to go around the government, but I think it's also important as a demonstration of what the People's will is, as opposed to Congress'. 

As a bonus, I feel like all those Colorado pot shop owners who are having trouble with their incoming 
cash flow and the banking system could buy $2,000 money orders to kick start the effort. It wouldn't put a dent in their earnings and it would be a great support to the industry (while also being a kind of "screw you" to the system, since they're trapped by regulation, yet can help influence it with the cash they can't seem to deposit.

Speaking of which, I wonder if there are any efforts to do what "real" (and by that I mean "illegal") drug dealers did in the 80s and 90s, namely ship bales of cash to the Cayman Islands. 

In this case the only problem is the industry is supposed to be (and I assume is) staffed by normal people, not the type who would cut off your hands, feet and head if you ran off with their money. Having the threat of Javier Bardem's character from "No Country for Old Men" helps a lot in terms of keeping everyone in line. Normal business people don't work like that.

Funny enough, it boils down to the same thing: trust. Can you trust anyone to handle your money, to do with it what you wish, and not what they want?

[LH is having horrible stomach pain. I feel bad for her and wish I could help, but I don't know what I can do.]

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Dreams of My Youth

Was just listening to "Call Me" by the band Go West and trying to figure out why it affected me so much when I was younger. I was looking up a video by another 80s star and their video popped up in the related videos - a different one, "King of Wishful Thinking." I played it, then another one (the name of which I've forgotten already) and then I saw "Call Me" and I thought: "That's the one; that's the one I used to love listening to; that transported me."

Only it didn't. It sounded rather typical, somehow emblematic of its decade. I couldn't figure out why I thought I loved it so much.

If I listened closer, and heard the echoing piano twined with the bass (which seemed like something of the era; concentrating on it now, I think of the echoing piano from "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears, which I also loved), there seemed to be something there, some kind of memory of the time, of the endless landscapes of time that were my teenage years. I didn't know what I was doing or what I was supposed to do, so I did nothing. If no one told me what to do, I read books or slept. There was no plan. I didn't even know I was supposed to have one. I think, on balance, that my teenage years and 20s were extremely boring. I think, to a large degree, I am a boring person. It's what comes out of fear.

Well, there you are bashing yourself again.

I'm wearing shorts and a tshirt in my bed because it's so hot in this house. I have my fan on, but not turned on me. I just need to stir up the air to make it a little cooler in here. I'm tempted to open the window, but I know it's only 30-some degrees out (or possibly less).

For whatever reason, my room gets all the heat - or so I think; I don't know what the other housemates  experience of it is. Of course, one is from California and one is from North Africa, so maybe they're fine with it.

I accomplished something tonight that's been on my to-do list for weeks now: I went to the cheap dry cleaning place and gave back the shirt that didn't seem to be mine and picked up the one that was mine. In the meantime I dropped off a whole bunch of shit. Not being able to ask for favors (and/or not remembering) makes for an unpleasant life at times. Best Friend keeps telling me I need to shake that mindset in terms of my workplace, but I haven't been able to do it yet.

Best Friend and I went on a trip this weekend and I'd love to tell you all about it, but I'm tired and should go to sleep (even though they're making a fucking racket downstairs; we got a new fridge and the whole kitchen is being reorganized). I also have a funny little entry - rather, a funny title - that I want to get to someday. But today is not the day.