Friday, December 31, 2010

Impossible Expectations

Impossible expectations were a major theme in my life for a long time, predicated, I think, on impossible criticism for the world and those around me. 

End result: I was an asshole. 

The trick is to go forward with diminished expectations, or, in other words, to be motivated by something outside of criticism and/or immediate rewards.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What If You're Wrong? Who ever admits this?

Recurring dreams that I've killed someone.

At first I don't know what's happening.  I'm just running.  And the police are after me.  Sometimes the sirens blare, and lights pop behind me.  There are hurried forced steps.  And then I'm moving, breathing heavily.  It has happened in the woods, in an urban setting, some residential outpost.  One time I had the "Poeian"(?) realization that I had indeed killed someone, but because I'd lost my memory for the entire dream, I didn't know it until the cops arrested me and found the body . . . walled up in my basement behind the flat fieldstone kind of wall common on houses more than 60 years old or so.

It is an ominous dream.  One that always ended in exasperated breath and me "waking up" to the claim that I was a murderer, i.e. something I couldn't undo, couldn't take back.  And then I actually wake up, and the relief washes over me.  I vow to take life with more sincerity.  This is classicly short-term, though.  The trick to mastering alcohol is controlling short term desire, which is why it makes sense to have rules about behaviors, especially when you can justify indulging in the moment, even when, and this is the trick, the rule seems mindless.  The issue isn't with the rule's mindlessness, after all, it instead lies in the fact that you/I want to break the rule.

Living the most balanced life also leads to great insight, if you are calm enough to look around and not get sucked into your own complacency too much.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Passing the 6 Month Mark

Yeah, that was a thick black magic marker made line behind me, three dimensional and social networked even.  It loomed up out of the distance for so long that I wasn't sure it would happen.  Will a year feel the same way?  If it does, then I'm in it for the long haul. I'm clearer than I have in a long enough time to not recognize the current state of affairs in my head, and I'm glad about it.  I'm letting go of things that don't really matter, worrying less about keeping up appearances and generally finding out what I value.  I don't desire alcohol or feel that it will quench anxiety or depression, and I'm more able to see that the aspects to drinking I liked didn't really have to do with the drinking itself.  I'm more able, that is, to pull apart my social self from my drinking self, when before the two wore the same skin.  The questions have always been basic: what motivates me, what makes me intrigued?  The answers have always been overblown and complicated, highly stylized themselves and ineffably academic.  They've been everything I've been taught to think of as valuable and not enough of what I think is valuable. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It doesn't matter if you're right.

It only matters what the output of your disagreement is. I.e. forget about your ego for a minute, or for many minutes. Let it evaporate up and out into the world above you and merge in with the clouds.  Then look down at the ground to see if you've been stepping on anybody inadvertently.  At the end of the day, if you win the argument and you are right, what have you won?  At the end of the day, if you have a better outcome that increases average happiness between you and your X, well, it seems obvious that you've got something much more important.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Drinking for life.

Folks that might sink from the grey area of drinking a few beverages a day to straight out alcohol abuse later in life may receive stimulation from alcohol (instead of fatigue), and extended pleasure after consumption as compared to those that don't have as high a risk.  In short, booze gives you, problem drinker(s), or me, more of a high than it does for other people. 

Also, just like with smoking, drinking provides a reason for being, for going to seek companionship with other people, without showing yourself as weak or lonely.  "I'm here for a drink because the world out there is just too much, or got to me for whatever reasons.  Oh you have the same reasons? Well, aren't we on the same team for the evening."  This despite the fact that those same people, however deeply felt the connection, probably aren't willing to sacrifice too much of their freedom or money for your sake, only more of the experience that you bring by patronizing that bar or venue.

That's probably why it is hard to quit drinking, or quit smoking: until or unless the social costs of doing it outweigh the rewards, it is reinforced behavior that provides pleasure, even if it wreaks havoc physically or destroys other pillars of stable balanced life, like family.  As long as the companionship offered over beer is higher, it maintians itself.

That's also why, I think, everyone has a drinking story.  Fundamentally, because they could feel and be wanted, part of a group, and relatively safe in this sense.  Besides the weather, or pets, drinking stories are almost always "safe" conversation motivators outside of work, let's say, or where it may become embarrassing to reveal certain behaviors.  Another interesting thing about alcohol related stories is that they get competitive quickly.  My experience was so far out there that nothing else can compare as the underlying element.  And you know what, for potential or realized alcoholics, they're right.  They really were in a more pleasurable state than you were, and they'll be pretty fucking righteous about that.  In fact, boozers can even be fucking righteous about their sobriety.  Something I apologize for if I've reached that disgusting state at times.

Snow in NY

We're pretty much snowed in here.  Have a look out the bedroom window:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Note to Self: Religion and Evolution Are Cousins

I went to church today.  The lecture, in between chants, was about the need to recognize family.  I couldn't help but think that the intense primacy the pastor spoke of regarding the family as a unit is similar to the kind of emphasis evolution has given us regarding our families.  I also couldn't help but think about how easily such lectures, about the need to respect and listen to your family members, demarcate an us/them split, and even utilize that split rhetorically to back into defensive posturing about the family.  There's no need to use defensive statements if what you want to do is assert the power and magic of a good healthy family. 

There's also weird "call out" type prayers:

Praise Emily and Bill and Jason and Rolanda, and the people of this congregation, and their relatives, and this town, and this city and all people. 

Seems like we could cut it down to praising all people, right?  That might include Emily and Bill and Jason and Rolanda. 

Anyway, as the pastor lectured, I thought about his arguments, and remembered how kids who I knew in law school who also were highly religious in their upbringing, were fantastic law students.  Doctrines rule.  I felt like I was in some kind of bizarro law school, to be honest.  The funny thing, again, is that religion is very much a set of organizing principles for survival in the world.  The way to do it, what's most important, how to think, what to think when you have doubt about it all, and one central tenet: sin.

Going to church, as I've done a handful of times in the last year, is not as frightening or as potent as it used to be.  Now, I'm kind of a detached observer.  Here's a note for you before I go: religious people donate more money to charities both religious and secular than do non-religious people (self-identified_).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What at first appears whole...

is really only tendrils, bits and fragments.  We add in the story line, provide for the reason, and insert the narrative, all as we try to talk about it and figure it out.  There are capital "T" truths about the physical world, and there are real consequences to actions.  I'm not sure it goes beyond that.

edit: this is a rambling post,.

When I was a kid, peering over the ledge of adult behavior, I often felt that those outside of my head were whole full beings with compelled actions and necessary motives.  Mostly that people know what they're doing and why they're doing it, and also that it is relatively well thought out.

Let's be fair though.  We're not all just scraping the barrel of existence with a rusted metal can, trying hard to show everyone how much we're suffering or bits and pieces of a self that never coalesces around something tangible.  But we are changing and morphing and there are simultaneously moving and stable parts to the thing we call the self.    Although some actions might be supported by vast reasoning systems, they may not be more correct than a gut reaction.  We don't know.  What we can do is measure reactions, to the extent we know how, across different contexts, and also measure how much energy we need to propel us forward into that action.  We can do a somewhat sophisticated cost-benefit analysis of actions in short.  We'd do well to take into account the time it took to take our actions into account as well.

Lately I've been really upset at some good things because I've got an irrational fear of death.  Like I won't get the chance to fully complete the thing I'm just now starting to get excited about because I have some progress, and that is so sad that I can potentially use it as an excuse.  If I was drinking I would easily do so.  For now, I'll say that drinking sure does take up a lot of time.  I don't often give myself the amount of time drinking gave me, when I was doing it, and in some ways it is a roundabout way to just take a load off.

Anyway, because time seems to be getting faster.  The problem is that really truly rewarding stuff can also be the same stuff that provides the texture of everyday life, or at least the substrate breaking out of the mundane boredom.  A lot depends on shifting perspective and values away from purely ego-centric goals.  Same thing goes when trying to get a handle on all those "adults" out there.  Those that have a sense of proportion don't end up doing stupid things, like putting themselves or their drinking in front of their family.  They don't follow up on something idealistic with more idealism.  Instead, they get to work and realize that important things take time. 

Projects take time.  They always will.  And when you obtain something and finish a project, the true joy will have been the process, and sharing that process with others who enjoy it too, for the sake of it.  That's why we'll start another project, be compelled to discover something more, whatever it is, and I hope that I'll get a chance to complete a few solid projects in my life so that I can feel good about my productivity levels and all of that, but I also hope that I have enough wherewithal to be working forward on something new when I do die. 

Why am I getting so deep into this manner of speaking?  Well, my drinking self, as a counterpoint, would ogle at the dreams and then coast by on easy accomplishment.  But there's something hollow about accomplishments when you haven't worked for them, even when they are things that evoke jealousy and provide money and prestige.  There's something substantial about figuring out what you want over time, and continually working toward it.  After being sober for six months, I'm beginning to see the landscape around me with farther ranging eyes, perhaps for the first time in my life.  It is fascinating out there.  I want to be around to check it out in some detail.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Baking not Drinking

I'm just going to show you the kind of baking goodness I've been up to recently.

Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Perspective comes from experience

What I'm saying, indirectly, is that we justify where we are in our lives in our outlook about the world, and boy, does that make talking about ostensibly neutral things personal.  That's why the weather becomes so inspiring on the elevator, or pets seem to have the magical glow of humans.

Why do we do it?

At times, straight up perseverance is a good trait.  Other times, though, you might bang your head against a wall and swear up and down that it is helping you and you might get angry with the people who point it out.

There's a lot of pressure to identify with a school of thought out there, i.e. a category, and anti-identification may prove the most pervasive type.

It is also tremendously hard to reveal your actual true thoughts to people that you don't feel completely safe with.

At times it may seem best to only tell people what they want to hear, or what you think they want to hear.  It may seem comforting. 

As easy as it may be to reverse the above statement, and try to stick to a goal of 100% honesty, it is probably harder to know where to actually draw the line.  Empathy doesn't necessarily spring from honesty all the time, and people need some empathy to feel comfortable talking in the first place.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today the boredom ran wild

And I'll admit that I wanted a drink.  Shit, I wanted to go curl up with a bottle.  Instead I took a walk, and thought hard about bumming a cigarette, and then eventually got a cup of coffee.  Now I sit with a headache and I'm sober.  Bleh/

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Efficiency Against Unknowns: Love?

No matter how the past looked, we cannot know the future, even in the next second or millisecond. This is a fact that becomes occluded with experience, age, and what passes for wisdom.  Pattern recognition aids in predictive sagacity, there can be no doubt, and the ability to predict better than average may yield material wealth and longevity.  In our quest against the foreseeably unknown we do have tools.  One of them is the ability to trust someone else, or many others--coordination is the key to our having evolved into having such big brains, and not getting clobbered by larger foes long ago.  And it is coordination against foes that come into place when we have battles against other humans as well.  Thus, our ability to trust another person in the most fundamental way is paramount to our survival.   We try to tell people we trust this implicitly all the time, by agreeing with them about politics, or other people, for instance. We also tell them that we love them, which, if operationalized, would have to mean "I would give my life to your decision-making authority with little hesitation" wouldn't it?

Not Drinking On Christmas and New Year =

Carry a fake drink.  Trust me.

Drinking and Christmas

I don't know if this is the case for you, but Christmas generally brings out the worst behavior re: getting sloppy drunk and embarrassing oneself in front of one's family, then getting indignant and righteous about it before storming off in a huff, only to foster thinly veiled anger/anxiety about family for half the year, until things get calm enough to do it all over again.  This year, instead, I'll drink apple juice... don don don, because christmas happens to be my 6 month mark of sobriety, and I didn't even plan it that way. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


How many times have you been in a situation when you wanted to say something but didn't, only to find yourself expressing your outrage at a later point in time to a friend?  In a city that's supposed to be tough, I sure hear a lot of people on their cell phones expressing just this type of rage.  They're full of complaints about other people, co-workers, lovers, bosses, spouses, parents.  In fact, this communal complaining serves to begin new and solidify already existent relationships. 

"Can you believe what Joe did today?"  I'm so pissed at Joe and feel belittled by his action/expressed preference.
"Who could, he was a complete jerk!" You're right to be feeling what you feel, and are correctly assessing the situation that occurred.

Some people "don't deserve a response"--but why not?  Should our outrage be so obvious that we exclude the source from the feeling he/she induced if she/he fails to get it?  Wouldn't we be doing everyone a favor if we actually said what we felt?  Then the person might correct his/her behavior and we might feel like we mattered a little bit?

I guess when it comes down to it, the question is costs/benefit in the sense that we might not want to risk our necks if it means further exposure to undesired behavior by x person.  Especially if it confers social benefits later at a lunch/smoke break. We don't like to actually confront people's expressed beliefs that we happen to disagree with too much, no matter how tough we are.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sex and Evolutionary Psychology

For many years I didn't like this idea--i.e. that men and women were/are different. 

My sense of fairness and a bunch of feminist scholarship forced me to conclude that sexual behavior was purely learned.  I am not trying to take away from learned oppressive behavior with this post, so don't get me wrong.

What I'm saying, though, is that my previous assumptions were a bit naive.  Let's consider simple demand and supply around sexual reproduction, the primary driver of life.

Let's say that when men ejaculate, on average, there are 3 million sperm in their ejaculate. Let's say that men are "viable" from age 15 to age 55.  Let's also say that men can easily ejaculate once a day.  Wow, wait, I'm totally underestimating the amount of sperm out there.  Wiki says it can be up to 300 million sperm per.  Let's say an average of 100 million, to be safe.  And one orgasm/ejaculation per day, every day, for 40 years.  That's 365*40 = 14,600, and then 14,600 * 100,000,000 =

1,460,000,000,000 sperm.

Now, that's a LOT OF SPERM.  About a trillion and a half sperm for one male for one life.

Now, let's say the average female produces eggs from age 15 to 55 (a huge stretch), once a month.  That's 40*12 = 480.  

480 eggs.

Okay, so who's competing for whom here?  Women have a tremendous incentive to pick wisely.  They want men who can provide for their off spring, who will stay close (i.e. loyal), who will be dedicated, in short.  

Men, on the other hand, can go spraying all over town and then some, and never have to be that selective unless there's some disadvantage.  Is there?  Yes.  Eventually, they won't be that attractive to women--i.e. they won't be able to convince women that they can be dedicated, and therefore, have available mates.

That's not saying that all women think of all of their sex partners as life long partners, not wholly.  But it is a widely different calculus than men make most of the time.

The Right Thing.

I don't know if what I'm doing is the right thing to be doing. 

The eyes of my long deceased grandmother look back at me from a picture that fell off the wall as I wrote an email that impacted some of her legacy.  Made me pay attention.  They hold immense care.  Immense caring.  They love.  And they ask whether I know what I'm doing.  They look at me with acceptance and a polite question.  A knock on the door on a sunday afternoon, a gentle nod.  She knew what she cared about.  I'm scared that when I get what I really want, I'll realize a curse beyond my horizon line, and it will be far too late in the day to turn back home and decide that I didn't actually want to go on the trip I'd been preparing for over the last few years.  Then what will I do?

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm not sure what to say; I feel kind of blank, kind of stuck.  At least today. I'm used to cultivating some excitement, and feel plain jane.  Maybe a new job?  Take a risk?  Not sure.  All of the activities I like take time.  A lot of time.  They don't guarantee financial pay out.  The don't guarantee anything, save the experience of doing them. Which itself is fine if we lived in an abstract fairy world.  Work as a principle is fine, is great, but the trick is trying to work hard to rearrange your goals/preferences so that you don't feel like a schmuck all day pushing someone else's agenda--i.e. believe in someone else's agenda enough to push it for them..  So much of my day is filled with the platter of administrative tang.  Makes me sick, and I have no right to complain, really.

Our lives are incredibly, microscopically, small.  We are born, live long enough to come to grips with the fact that we're aware of something; then we realize that what we've come to grips with is crumbling at the foundation, and that one eternal truth, one verifiable truth, is that the small fragment of happiness that have infiltrated the depths against impossible odds is highly fragmentary and temporal.  That we will no longer exist, and no longer matter.  It is a truth that we dislike even when we change during our lives from one perspective to another.  We don't like to change what we fundamentally believe in.  It matters too much.  Makes us feel completely wasted.  Only with viable alternatives will we seek to explore, to expose our underbellies--I should say, only with what we think are viable alternatives.  Even then, we dislike the idea that we've committed so much of our lives believing something only to move away from it. We dislike it so much because we know that we have limits to experience, real constraints, and the entirety of our being, from the elasticity in our skin to the sheen of our scalps, only matters because it matters to us.  That, when we stop caring about it, it stops mattering.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love and Roses

Much is made of the possessory and exclusionary aspect of love.  Some men dote and dote on their women early on, only to abandon them in the private realm later, when there are kids, other people, and preparatory assignments that aren't as glamorous or dramatic as a good chase/be chased story, fill the air, and the excitement and self-centered nature of coitus fades.

The irony is that, I think, real love (or commitment, if you like) may begin to assert itself after the couple has gone through a few rough patches, and precisely when there are an overwhelming amount of things to do.

I never used to think this.  Now, I ask anyone who thinks of their relationship (and talks with me about it) what it is like in the morning, when they're both brushing their teeth,  and breakfast needs to be made.  However domestic and boring this may seem to those obsessed with the high glamor of 2am nights and secrecy and leather and stockings and sheer excitement, I'm convinced it is a more realistic indicator of future success as a couple.

Men who can be consistent, lack ego, are practical, and have moderate ambition, are best.  Drinking heavily, I'm convinced, is the direct consequence and/or result of inconsistency, impracticality, other-worldy ambition, and severe ego.

Of course, I wish I could practice what I preach, but I can't always do it!  Damnit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tip for Sobriety

Did we do this one already: clean and do stuff that gets you out of your head?

Well, do it again.  A friendly reminder.  Especially when you don't want to do it--small accomplishments that are relatively easy can equal real joy.

Love and Evolutionary Psych

Is love the result of natural selection?--i.e. the outcome of successful mates who stay together because they and their kids tend to survive in higher numbers as compared to non-coupled (loving) pairs?    If the answer is yes, then our feelings around love (and commitment) are fully real, but entirely untrue--we don't love someone because of "who" they are, with regard to their principles, or how they treat other people, or how they might treat us, necessarily, or solely, but instead because those behaviors offer something else entirely: successful reproductive capacity.

Caveat: I don't know where I stand on this, but it is worth pursing a little bit.  The easiest rebuke, that love and human emotive potential cannot (or maybe just should not) be distilled down into a singular dimension, could be turned around: why can't the product of successful reproduction be myriad emotional commitments that are vital and, indeed, life sustaining (ahem, on average)?  Why couldn't the most important essence about our love for one another be grounded, again, on average, in reproductive fitness?  Fundamentally, what stops the core of our thinking about love, regardless of love's incarnations, or actual reproductive capacity once established, from being based on evolution?  It need not be a thin or manufactured reality.  If it is the case, it sure does change my thoughts about love, but won't, through making this link with current aspects of my relationships, make me more endearing.  A worthy point to keep in mind.

To spread this out a little more, consider the idea that we don't like to change our minds once we set them in place, and that outside information to the contrary makes many of us more rigid, not less, as we seek confirmation of our beliefs and dismiss perceived minutia.  Gets kind of scary, not being sure why I'm doing what I'm doing, especially when decision making capacity is highly valued.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Love and Religion and Drinking

One reason why religion is so polarizing is that we tend to be exposed to it when we are quite young, i.e. prior to forming any real distance from what will be our world view (leaving aside how much we can change our worldview).  It is also the case that our concepts are necessarily smaller, cramped if you will, when we are younger, though we believe them fully.

Think about how the concept of love operates when we are younger, for instance.  Of course you love your mom and dad and sister and brother.  But what does that say about your will to stay with them given the choice or capacity otherwise? 

So we have a limited idea of what it means to love as kids, but we also don't know it.  At some point we rebel against our parent's love (at least in the US), and start to think of them as smaller than they once were. But we dont' necessarily think of love as smaller than it once was.  In fact, we actively seek new ideals (in other people) to instill our love.   This can be dangerous of course, because it lends a bit of falsity to our relations with others. But there are always other and more people out there to try your perfect notion of love on--perhaps.

Love is an interesting example because most of us believe in it platonically and throughout our lives--it exists at some pure level that is untouched and it continues to be possible to attain. People that can love one another over time, I think, realize that it encompasses much more than a stylized glance every now and then, and that their ideal notions no longer maintain themselves in the act of loving.

The act of love is the act of accepting imperfection, of walking away from  previously comfortable emotional attachments.

Love that has been stymied can find an outlet in drink.

More on religion soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Not Reacting/ Reacting

Try not to react:

"You are racist."

"You hate people/are selfish."

"You whine too much."

"You think that people are generally stupid, but that you are exceptional."

"Building a mosque near ground zero is important."

"You can never be more than a hick."

You'll always be [insert negative character trait].

In what way does asking or asserting these statements ever serve to start a conversation?  Assuming the purpose is not to start a conversation, but only to show someone you disagree with them/their viewpoint, what is the point in doing so?  What does it provide the producer of such statements?  Why does it matter?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

AA article in Harper's Magazine

As the cover story.  Go check it out if you haven't already.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So you think you've got it under control?

Why drink at all, then, if you're so sure? 

When your child celebrates his 11th birthday.  And the cops look at you under darkened eyes.  And your mom asks you whether everything is okay.  And your hands shake if you don't drink before 3pm on saturday.  And your wife stares at you, tear driven mascara covering her words.  Molten bubbles that barely make it to the surface, they tell you something you're hiding from: that you're responsible for her pain. And you cringe under her stare, and lack the courage to elongate your gaze to match hers, and she stutters under the lightness of the man that you've developed into.

And you tell yourself that the only reality that matters is your reality, what you tell yourself, and you find it comforting, and distancing, and you don't have to listen to them all if you can just cradle against it and hold it, and everything can be, at least for that moment, how you want it.  And you know who your friends are.  And the enemies too.  And you're smarter than them.  And you have the success, and the scars, to show your spirit to anyone tough enough to look.  Never mind that your old man kicked out early, or that your child spends his nights in the glow of electronics, his puberty experienced in pixels.  It is part of the times, you'll say, and you'll be right, because you usually are right, after all.  And your wife will calm down and she'll stay with you.  And you only hit her that once, one mishap, one mistake that is not part of your character, your energy, because you are fundamentally good no matter how many fundamentally bad people you can think of.  Just one drink.  That's all.  Just one drink and you can think about everything else tomorrow.

I can't win this game

And winning would be a confusion of the game's purpose anyway.  So I'm going to try to let go of the ideal of winning, try to find a way toward eternal play with consequences that are not hugely dire.

Where the stakes are not life or death all of the time.

Where the stakes are not ultimate happiness or ultimate failure.

Where the stakes are not on the line.

There will always be moments of indecision, granted, and there will always be consequences to actions.  We know that much.  But knowing this doesn't mean that we can adequately ascertain the fit of our actions to consequences, that we can in fact control consequences with some degree of proportionality, even, and especially when we feel that "everything" is at stake.

It rarely actually is.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Green Tea

So, green tea.  You know the drill, right? Excellent health benefits, right?  Well, it doesn't matter. 

What matters is that you can drink it all day without getting the kind of caffeine hangover that comes from coffee (and even regular black tea).   If you're highly compulsive and need to drink something, consider this substitute.


Consider, however, that, after getting a free starbucks card for attending a "webinar" as a follow up, the possibility that ordering a large tea will induce urination, the urge at least, and that the bathroom may thusly be closed for repair at such a point.  However much blogging may help me out, it doesn't help this.  So, have a good night.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

His breath

His breath was full of whiskey; booze, liquid fucking gold, my man, so partner up and grab a glass; this wall of insomnia is about to collapse in a wave of distilled propinquity, all the way in real close, cousin-like, telling you about his daughter, about the way she's textured her future out in courdory waves of fine granular successive successes, and his eyes roam, and his constitution blinks, winks maybe, depending on how much you want to read into it, and he can talk about anything you might suggest, but only when you overtly suggest it, like verbally.  Otherwise he remains in the throws of whatever subjective binge he's on, fracturing the rocks in gaseous heaps of nonsense until everything and nothing is left to say.

And his tie is red and his suit is navy and his smile, for all that is left to desire, is genuine, because that's just who he is. Out there. Living. Splurging.  Socializing.  Drinking that liquid heat.  So syrupy that it glides out of his mouth in a fine mist to coat my psyche as he speaks.  I inhale it unwillingly, repulsed and famished.  The bartender looks at me, nods.  The bar is open.  Free.  Below, the christmas tree and ice skaters and tourists glide soundlessly.  Enjoy. Endeavor.  Do something high impact.  Gain a contact.  Gain a contract.  Sign something.  Get somewhere.  You've gotta live, gotta have something to show for it.  Without it what are you, what have you when you're experience has been thinned down, parred into the sliver of his breath.


Stressful day here at work.  There are a lot of updates to be made, and I have to manage five different databases of the same information -i.e. this is ridiculous.  Luckily there's an update to the software planned, and it should happen shortly, which is fantastic (after testing is completed!).  For now though, it is stressful.  Buzzword.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scar Tissue

I've got a scar across my neck from recent surgery.  It isn't too extreme, but it is noticed by people.  I had lunch with a guy the other day, and he looked over at me after I undid my jacket, then said: "thyroid?"  He proceeded to lower his shirt to show me a very similar scar.  I quickly clarified that my surgery involved the parathyroid, but I'll admit that the scar looked very very close.  Thing was, his scar had been there for over 2 years.

Which made me start think about getting rid of this scar.  So I immediately bought some vitamin E oil.  And today I went to get some of that special scar treatment cream.  Except it was 20 dollars, so I bought the generic brand instead. Do scars "naturally" go away or is there something I can do about this??

And here we sit, editing.

Flanked on all sides.  Semicolon; Period.  Space.  Insert cuppa coffee number three.  Insert eye twitch.  Delete manufactured presence.  Delete systematic appraisal.  Insert: Glossy textured appeals, common touch.  Delete originality.  Delete possibility. Maintain: distinctions between us and them, between me and them.  Maintain: the ideal that compromise is pejorative. Be true to your half-formed beliefs. Sink feet deeper in mud.  Rotten socks are good for the soul.  Go on believing: in yourself.  Insert in garbage disposal: past mistakes, hit switch.  Watch: lights dim.  Ponder: the way the cool air from the fridge spills onto your feet when midnight snacking, the light touch of a lover's eyes on your neck.  Perambulate toward a statue of religiosity, ancient propensities. Fix your eyes: in hazy distance to avoid focusing in on the froth; concentrate on: negative space, flinched out via reactions, inaction.  Pretend: you're not part of it too. Go on.  Feeling rebellious.  Insert: headphones.

I can still see you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Today was a perfect autumnal slide into impending wintry excess.  Dogs barked out melodious herding calls, and birds answered back in formation inducing migratory premonitions.  Even the people were largely kind enough for a few words before moving on toward their destinations.  As I sit drinking my sizzling and refreshing non-alcoholic limonata, and pondering the mellifluous notes of a piano recording old but far from stale, I'll just say a silent toast to the capacity for harmonious intermingling and the synergistic possibilities of tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Czasami, potrzebuje napisac po polsku nawet kiedy nie znam wszystko caly jesyk jeszcze.  Okay?  Kto bedzie to cytac zapytasz? Nie wiem.  Moze moja kolega od Polska i moja przyjaciel tez.  To jest dwie ludzi.  Teraz musze pije kawa, nigdy piwa.  Rozumiesz?  Do widzenia dla teraz.

Driven By Sex?

Tell me it ain't so, batman, that we're motivated only by our desires to have sex. 

It ain't so robin.  We're also driven by our desires of safety and peace.

Yeah, maybe you're right. But what if we want safety and peace just so that we survive, so that we have a safe place for our offspring?

Now your confusing two issues Robin.  Sex and sexual reproduction are distinct and separate.  I mean, look at me.

Oh Batman, I suppose that's right.  Maybe.  Then again, how would we know whether it was right or not?  Maybe when we act for sex, the sexual act, we're also, and always, acting in our reproductive capacity, one that links our concerns for general concepts like justice with our own ability to live and procreate.

Robin, you sly dog you.  Get on your knees and bark like the dog you are.

Ruff batman, ruff ruff.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I could get up and fight back, or I could lay on the floor and watch the implosion of a man enter my sphere and take over.  I wouldn't have a lot of time, either, because he was making his way toward me, and, even if his intent was to go after the tidbit memories of Christmas on the mantle, his real objective was to go after me, to annihilate us.  I had one edge.  I knew that he wanted to do his deeds in secret, no matter how loud and angry he exhibited his immaturity to me with the flailing of arms and devices and punches.  I knew that it didn't matter what his girth moved, where his pelvis thrust, because it couldn't change the reality of the situation, and that was very basic: he couldn't cope.  I was successful for the first time in a long time, and definitely for the first time since we were together, and it was decidedly more recognized than he had imaged it could be.  The space existed where he wasn't the best.

I got up then, and moved toward the front door.  It was 22 degrees outside, and the crust of the snow would cut against my slippered by unsheathed ankles.  It didn't matter.  What mattered was that I break the consolidation that kept our reality between the two of us; what mattered was that I find a razor blade to slice open this industrial strength plastic of our mutual delusion.  His ego would wilt in the sunlight and fresh air, I was sure. Problem was, I was wrong.


He wrapped the thickness that was his inarticulate hand around the ceramic.  I could hear the friction between his fingers, his strength and aggression seething, his jaw working back and forth to grind out a rhythm that was achingly familiar.  When we had honeymooned at Niagara Falls in 1992 we took the boat ride--you know, the one that putts in under the falls--yeah, we were both just soaked afterward, and we laid down in the shimmering sun, our backs full of dried grass, drinking down chocolate milks and laughing at the tourists.  I remember the way his saliva looked on his white teeth, how soft his lips were then.  It is so close to my mind's eye that the smudge of a human in the kitchen hovers for a minute, a mirage.  That's before he threw the cup at me.  A white bullet smeared out across the room, me, sailing onto the floor, particles fragmented around the fireplace.  I could see a sliver of the diagram on one of them that I picked up slowly.  Outside, and I'll swear to this, were four grizzly bears, all fangs and claws, getting in one of the biggest bar room fights you can imagine.  Pool sticks cracking, queue balls sailing.  I had a decision to make.


There are some advantages and disadvantages here, coming from a book about anxiety I've been reading (for various reasons).

Advantages:  I'll work hard to impress people; people will respect and admire me; I won't have to share my feelings; I can hide my feelings and present a polished image to the world; I can feel like a victim and secretly resent people for being so judgmental and not accepting me the way I am; I"ll appear calm and in control;

Disadvantages:  I'll feel like I have to be perfect to be loved; I won't be open to other people; I may get defensive whenever someone criticized me, because I'll feel like I have to be right.; People won't get to know the real me; I won't achieve the kind of intimacy that I want; It takes a lot of time to be so perfect;  people like me better when i'm not trying so hard


Thursday, December 2, 2010


The stereo clattered across my visual plane, getting caught only mid-flight by speaker wires vestigially attached to the rear.  He was going to leave soon, I hoped. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine him gone, tried to imagine myself in the apartment alone, some soft piano music, a cup of coffee, the sun light streaming through the bay window we had so easily imagined for two.  I had to vanquish those thoughts from my mind now, though, as much as I used to rely on them to survive, those piercingly idealistic meanderings.  I had to face a few facts, all of which were related to my survival.

The cd player came next, soaring in silence for a few seconds, before joining the receiver.  I shuddered and covered my eyes with my hands.  My palms were cold and the skin rough, my heart rate as if I'd been running in brisk weather.  He stormed to the kitchen, and the door of the dishwasher came down and bounced back up as he retrieved his precious mug. Why couldn't I have just left it alone?  How could I have been so nonchalant? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alcohol Screening

This is a handy little website to see how your drinking compares with the rest of the population--only 2 questions or so to answer.

Numerous Occassions to Lift Your Glass

These articles just make me itch all fucking over.  

Thoughts that don't apply to me.

I've minimized the extent to which certain events have impacted me (like my father's death, which, even written here as an aside, is odd: I don't own it, after all, so how can i so casually write it.).  Insert piece of dark chocolate into mouth.   Refresh browser.