Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Honestly Not Sure Why Anything...

Ah, the aching nihilism, but I'll say it, in all honesty and with very little emotion: I'm not sure why anything matters.  I am not convinced there is a reason at all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hose Down the Sidewalk!

What's up with the guys that hose down their sidewalks? Nothing better to do on a Memorial Day afternoon besides wasting 20 or so gallons of fresh water to make the sidewalk dust free?

I'm at a loss, really.  All I can suppose is that they really wanted to get out and couldn't think of any better excuse.  I'm typically a supporter of a "do your own thing" mentality, but this drives me up the wall. 

Three Drinking Motivators

Motivator 1:

Many of our actions are predicated by the belief of how they will help us fit in, or cooperate, with other people who we see as desirable to fit in with in the first place--what we believe, how we dress, our preference for beer, sport teams, and cars and food.  I'd say that earlier in life, it is normal and natural to feel that those people we've come to know and trust are deceiving us, or have deceived us, in some fundamental way: hence the oft-repeated complain that "my family is messed up."  What's really happened is that you've recognized the artificial (but strong) connection that family instills on one's essential group identity.  Family is hard to get away from (in more ways than one might think (see Motivator 2)

Motivator 1 and Drinking: Well, seems obvious that personal consumptive habits signal to others whether you might get along, if given the choice and lack of other restraints. Combine those positive signals with contempt for other groups and the feeling that one's been lied to, and you've got instant camaraderie.

Motivator 2:

Then there are core personality traits, which are largely genetic, though they develop in certain idiosyncratic ways thoughtout our lives, sure.  That's why long term friends know who you are, and largely think of you in static terms: because you stay mostly the same throughout your life (disagree? Yeah, I like to think I've changed a lot to, and subjectively, perhaps I have--but mostly I've become more of what I used to be earlier in my life regarding objective personality characteristics).  Family comes in here, too, because they've given you a lot of the traits you may love about yourself (but more often dislike or are even unaware of).

Motivator 2 and Drinking: Don't fool yourself: if your family members have problems with self-control, you probably do too.  It is about much more than drinking: it is about sex and giving your own vulnerable self to another, it is about patience and the capacity to wait the fog of murky water to settle and reveal something, well, revelatory.  It is about anger.  With yourself, with others.  It is about natural curiosity, and it is also about natural levels of happiness--and, about alcohol tolerance and tendency to use/abuse the sauce. The chances are much higher that you are more similar than different.  Wake up to it now and you'll be happier later.  Even though it fucking sucks to wake up to it now.  If you've ever met my dad, you'll know what I mean (pretty sure you never have though).

Motivator 3:
Couple both of the above those with a predisposition toward thinking that our own thoughts, lives--generally ours status as compared to others--is "really" higher: i.e. our intrinsic value is more important than others, and you've gone to the crux of a lot of the conflict that might cause us to feel pent in.  Incommunicado.

Motivator 3 and Drinking:  Got some data that tells a dissimilar story to the one in your head: well, time to put the bottom of the glass to the ceiling.  This is a mental state of intransigence as much as it is a chemically induced state.  Mildly depressed people are more accurate.  They are also mildly depressed and probably get less done.  Everything is a trade off.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Driving with Eyes Wide Open


I keep coming back to the startling thought that I can't escape my own consciousness.  This is startling because I have the urge to escape in the first place.  And I don't wish to die.  Exercise helps, but is ultimately just a habit or pattern, though it is a good escape.  Meditation, chocolate, yoga, in no particular order.  Conversation.  Music.  Aimless walking used to do the trick. I'm not that fascinated with my surroundings anymore, so walking isn't as unique.

Why the urge to escape, though, I wonder, and a wave of anguish breaks over my left shoulder.  I'm not sure, the answer comes.  There is nothing to escape from, except self-torment.  Even this post is more dramatic than it needs to be. We're drawn to conflict like moths to the flame.  It doesn't mean that conflict is inherently good, just that we have a predisposition to claiming some stake in the outcome of the conflict. We want to help.  Or we want to run from the danger. Weird, isn't it?  That we are so compelled to react to conflict.  It is important, so they say. It matters, so they say. It drives gossip.  It is a kind of collective self-torment that need not exist.  But there's no getting away from the rush of emotion that comes from a good story full of conflict and revealed truths that at first were not apparent.

Still, there should be something a little bit more substantial out there, less archetypal. Maybe not.  Maybe life is about finding interest in boredom.  Just finding the ability, the capacity, to sit in the lukewarm half piss infested water, and take a bath, and be.

And then there are moments that are anything but boring--like a slow motion flash.  They suck us in, and promise something more.    By the time we process it five years have gone by and another summer is here to look at us, to tell us what to get excited about (beach-oriented items), what to do, how to complain, who to address, and what makes sense. 

I'm pretty sure, these days, that life is more about being excited about the mundane, the expected, and the truly ordinary, than it is about becoming obsessed about the breakthroughs or brilliance of exceptionalism.  Maybe when you realize that you write a novel about boredom and kill yourself before you can finish it.  I'm not sure I could put myself through it, trying to find a way out like that, with obsessive detailing, and needless noodling, but it is one path, if that's what you already know.   Either way, if you're sensing my lackadaisical laissez-faire type attitude right now, you're right, and perhaps I'll try to make a coffee and get some work done instead of all this kevetching.

Creation is possible if we suspend disbelief for a few moments to work.  It is the externalities of the creative process that I'm worried about, not the art product itself.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chess--have I been here before? No, no, there.

Spatial reasoning.  That's what chess calls for.  What else?  Not so much the ability to forecast your opponent's next move, although this is vital, and requires you to think about your weaknesses potentially too much, and become incompetently unwilling to take an offensive risk, or even know that one should be taken, but the ability to see how the board will change once a piece is moved.   I don't mean that lightly.

It goes like this.  You have to make a move.  Your move is predicated on the set of potential moves that your opponent may make in response.  Your question is what their most likely move is given your two best options for moves forward.  Once you determine their response, though, and this is the hard part, you must make the calculation again, this time by pretending that you've teleported yourself into the future now sit in front of a board with the initial move and response.  The error--always the error--is to think about the board in the potential future state as if you never made an initial move, and instead focus in on what your oppontent did in response.  It is the trap of binary thinking, really--either you think about your move and then their response as isolated, or having moved (in your head) you think about their response to your move, and then your response to their [response].

The problem (nay, the accident) is that you forgot all about your own initial move, often, at least, and the game you're playing is now blindsided because you don't visualize the future board with two or three changes, but just the one that your focused in on.

That's because every move opens and closes a slew of possibilities on the board.  Perhaps, based on one explicit conflict, it is easy enough to match up forces and imagine the exchange as a one-piece-for-one-piece sort of thing.  But that's precisely not what is going on.  Instead, what is going on is a potential opening and closing of sixteen piece conflicts at every move--some may appear immobile at the outset, for instance, and we use a mental shortcut by locking them out of our calculation for the first move we setup--except that, by the third move, they'll play a role!  "Revealed check" is my favorite.  You move a piece that allows a different piece to check the King, and you simultaneously threaten a third piece--you force your opponent to react to your game.

All very heady, I know.  If I was only smart enough, or had enough training, to actually understand the game.   I'll stay a hopeless beginner long into my life.  Still, that's okay.  I never had enough discipline to study it anyway.  That's the way we make cacluations.  At some point, unless I manifested a natural brilliance (which I didn't and never will) for chess, the likelihood is that I will not specialize in, and make my living from, chess.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Late May (and Powerful Men!)

Been up since four with the same old friend back pain that used to wake me up at four, like clockwork, every single night, the one that always left me bleary eyed in my recliner in some half sleep zombie shell.  Damnit if sleep could only be consistent.

Yesterday, I got my hair(s) cut by a new person.  She was really nice, and she had on talk/celebrity tv in the background, so we chatted, especially about men like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, John Edwards, Arnold, Tiger, Charlie, et al.  She told me that now Woods "lost his game" and I think she's right--at least, judging by my ridiculously thin memories of television screens every few months when I get my hair cut, or go to the dentist (knock on wood).

What is it with these men?  They have, seemingly, everything any man could want.  And yet.  And yet, they just can't keep it in their pants.  They cannot resist the urge to, in most instances, abuse their powerful positions, but minimally: to gain relatively superficial but powerful immediate pleasure and ignore longer term potential harm.

Okay, repeat after me: sex makes babies, not just powerful men feel their brillo-pad like chest hair push out their 100 dollar silk shirts an extra inch, or two.    Point of fact is that there's something about sheer domination, sheer power, and sheer pleasure, that mixes to send rational minds whimpering into the closet. 

It's the same thing that causes a food binges and one night stands and alcoholics to become alcoholics.

At the end of my hair cut, she said: there's some balance, you know, some destiny.  These men get too powerful too fast and then, they get cut down. She said there's such a thing as destiny.

Of course, I'm such a cynic lately, that I think such thinking (and words like destiny) are covers for "group coherence" and mask a certain fairness attribute that all humans love to use to use, and that triggers, often, contempt--the most nasty of emotions (or close).

I'd love to believe in destiny.  Love it.  I wish I had the faith.  What I do know is that those men?  They were thinking in a fantasy land.  That's what men like to do when they get emotional and creative--think about actions and choices that are devoid of trade-offs.  There are no such actions.

Hey, let's get back to it everyone.  Remember: we can't do everything, all the time.  Me, I'm going to concentrate on trying to get one very small task done today, and gaining knowledge about the others for the next days.  If I die, at least I got one thing done.  More than many of the years that look back at me in the rear view (and probably why they made those damn things dim-able).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Are Strawberries Sweet?

The answer to this question is very simple.

It also makes me feel like my own natural instincts are false. 

Basically, it causes the floor to fall out on any and all assumptions I had on a central question: what makes me (or anyone) happy?

I'll try to explain. 

Strawberries are sweet for only one reason: to propigate.  Sweetness helps them spread and recreate themselves.  That is, the same reason that strawberries are sweet, that we like them, allows them to exist to us, and allows them a successful avenue for seed dispersal.

Applied to my own basic urges and desires: why do they exist?  Why pleasure?  There is a basic reason, and it is highly related to the pungency of nector that strawberries infuse our senses with. 

As ugly as it is.  As repulsive.

I must look at my basic primitive desires and urges, those things that crop up first in any situation.  I must not feel shame about them.  I must instead understand them as natural responses that yield recreative success. 

For the moment, assume that what I'm saying is true and makes sense.  The question shifts, regarding happiness, to what form happiness might take outside of restriction and release of restriction.  What causes deep inspiration, for instance?  And biting humor?

I can't help but feel that I've been deceived.  I can't help feel that a strong and majority stake in most of our behavioral decisions regard our these sweetness instincts. 

And why not ride the wave, right?  Why be an ascetic?  Must I be an ascetic if I'm a dry alcoholic?  It is a very good question.  I'm not sure what the answer is right now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Day I/You Won't Exist

One day, I won't exist.  But.  I won't know that I won't exist, so I won't be sad about it.  So, I should be happy now, right? 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Smother me with a feather duster

I'm reliant on whatever instrument you choose, and I know how to play dead real good.  So don't hesitate to give in and allow yourself the sheer pleasure of underestimating a good time with a layer of unrestrained tedium.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Belief Systems and Alcoholic Justification

There's probably no denying that one of our primary emotional needs in life is to have a sense of belonging.  There's nobody to blame for this phenomenon.  It just happens to be a universal truth that being alone--or excluded--almost always feels bad.  And exclusion happens in  lots of different venues and in different degrees of severity.  Gossip at the workplace, often serves to align us with other people in a strange way: by showing contempt against others in the workplace.  As a quick note, I think it makes sense that exclusion feels bad--we have greater success at surviving in the world if we work with other people and are part of larger groups when different people specialize and take responsibility for discrete items.  When we're alone, we simply, for instance, may not have the expertise, or know how, to save ourselves from a risk.

This is not abstract, by the way.  Yesterday, I had a fever.  A really bad fever.  It peaked at 104.  I was essentially delusional and immobile.  If not for two very close people in my life, who knows what I would have done alone?  They layered wet towels on my abdomen and forehead, and, for what I think was about an hour, thought of bringing me to the hospital.  They wouldn't even tell me what my temperature was (40 c) because it just jumped so fast.  I couldn't sweat.  I couldn't do much, except feel bad.  Honestly, it felt like I drank too much.  Like I was poisoned.  And I was in a sauna at the same time.  Thankfully, I'm sweating now.  And my temperature came down yesterday.  We'll have to keep monitoring it.

The point of this post, though, is to explain a very basic organizing principle among us, people.  It is only this: almost every behavior and belief we have relates to how we interact with other people: the shape and scope of that interaction, for instance, whether we will be vulnerable to them (i.e. whether we'll be expressive about what our internal voice tells us without editing it too much), whether and how much we will sacrifice for them, and, essentially, the depth of the relationship or association. 

When we're excluded--let's say fired from a job--it is often the case that we seek comfort.  We want to know that "they" were unfair and horrible, and that we were in the right.  It is incredibly difficult to do anything else.  This is also, i think, related to our highly genetic predisposition to keep on living no matter what, and that means having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.  And that is common to everybody in every culture.  We all think we're better than average, and it is logically impossible for everyone to be better than average.

So, I think a lot of gossip has to do with complaints, or viewpoints about the social or political world, that serve to form bonds or associations between people that don't have blood connection, and also don't have experiential connection (like they went through certain events together and could prove to each other that they were trustworthy).  I don't think gossip is unhealthy. 

What I've recognized recently is that our views about certain subjects, though, are completely irrelevant--at least regarding the subject at hand.  What is much more relevant is what our view says to the person we're communicating it to: it signals to that person allegiance and a potential bond: that you are empathetic to each other, and "get" where your respective positions come from.  It is very natural to do this and test out the waters.  That's why the person who always says what he or she feels unedited (and it seems like every social gathering has this person) is immediately divisive. Because not everyone agrees but everyone wants to agree.  And they can't.  So there's conflict. 

There's a funny relationship with alcohol in this mix, as well.  Alcohol.  Think about what associations you have with it.  Say the word.  What's your favorite drink?  Think about hanging out with a bunch of stiff acquaintances.  Then introduce the topic of booze.  Immediately stories will pour forth. Of course, it is no secret that alcohol is a social lubricant.  What I think is pernicious is that alcohol, like our belief systems, masks itself as something it is not.  Our belief systems make us think that we have some stake in something important when we often hold certain beliefs for the sake of association with certain groups that we favor.  Drinking allows us to have certain associations with favored people or groups, too.  It allows a certain degree of socially acceptable self-delusion. 

To be sure, I'm not saying that because I'm not drinking, everyone else shouldn't drink.  Still, there's something strange about how alcohol shifts our associational patterns or understandings.  Now that I'm writing this, I find myself less sure of the point I wanted to make, so I'll pull back and let the conclusion formulate itself in my head for a day or two.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Memories of Dreams

Well, a strange bit of neuronal connection seems to be happening lately.  In my head, that is.  That is this: I'm having distinct memories of dreams.  Dreams that I had long ago.  Of events that never actually happened, nor could ever occur.  Weird thing, that, to be stuck inside of a cloud of nostalgia for a dream.  I know it might seem quaint, but I was sucked in by the "devil" in my recent dream memory.  He was charming, and cunning, and I emulated him.  Of course, my notion of right vs. wrong was totally skewed until the end of the dream, when I was shown the error of my ways, and their irreversible consequences. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pervasive Insecurity and a Cure

It occurred to me today that there's a lot of insecurity out there--and in here, if you know what I mean.  Many people in their 20s and 30s, especially, are trying on new identities and trying to make certain things fit. I see it in lots of ways.  One way is through hesitance to voice opinion, or to be warm, for instance.  Or conversely, to be overly warm.  To, further, act like you've got it all figured out, or that "it" is so big and complex that any figuring out is completely worthless.  So a false self-esteem occurs, a sense of jockeying for status, and other excessive kevetching, or withdrawal.

There are definitely people that buck the trend.  I'm not really one of them, but I can recognize them.  They're plain spoken.  They don't see complexity; they seek answers.  They care about answers to questions they ask, and they are not afraid of stating an opinion that belies their position.  In short, they don't seek approval everywhere they turn.  Honestly, I think you've gotta live quite a long time and through a lot of different circumstances to become this person.  There are many dangers out there lurking to transform us, especially those, like me, who are weak to temptation, and eager to please. I sort of fall apart without a base to rely on.  I like stable personalities.  I like people, to some extent, to tell me what to do.  At least when I'm feeling insecure and weak.  It helps me resolve my lack of direction, and at times, my severe apathy.  I'm working on this facet of my personality--that is, letting go of seeking goals to stabilize myself.

I talk to my mom some times, and try to be open to the words she expresses, and especially, the hard places she's found herself in throughout her life.  I haven't been open to her too much in the  past.  Most of the time she was lame.  What she is, though, is a tireless, and mostly ego-less hard worker.  A lot of people are this way.  Thankless hard workers, without the desire to become famous, or think of themselves as really special, or much else, beyond the act of helping others exist.  That's all we've got, really.  What I'm also saying, I suppose, is that a lot of the insecurity we all exhibit is demonstrated because we're sons and daughters of a generation that believed anything and everything was possible--that they were a bit more special--they had a greater emphasis on individuality and creativity.  That's good, of course, in the right balance.  It can be highly insidious too.  Of the abusive men and women I've known, each one felt very, very special, and exceptional, and better than those around them.  I think that, because I'm partially a victim of that personality, I developed a defense mechanism against this type of special thinking, and, simultaneously, was comforted by the approval I've received and sought for my behaviors and actions.  I know, I can hear you out there: that's only natural, and normal.

Well, you're right.  And so I am.  That's why our emotional selves are truly a delicate balance.  I wish I could increase my own empathy--and I mean, in the moment, the day to day moments, really, of everyday life.  And I wish I could increase other people's empathy for each other too.  I wish that all could be nice and easy.  It isn't.  We have limitations.  We have great potential, but also, great limitation.  I don't have much of a conclusion.  The cure, though, you're wondering about?  Simply the realization that everyone else is situated similarly.  Most people, in other words, struggle much like you or I, and most of them could use a helping hand every now and then.  I'm not telling you that helping people should be your only mission in life, or mine.  I think we do have to look out for ourselves first and foremost.  Still, we are, whether we like it or not, engaged with the world around us, and we're here together.  We share much more than what separates us.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sticking to Instincts -- Paradoxical Thinking

The danger, for me, is always to feel something, then associate my feeling with a perspective, or belief, or ineffable muttering, and become emotionally attached to the idea that I think follows [but which does not necessary imply what I think it does, all the time]. How does this work?  Well, for instance, an egalitarian viewpoint come to mind immediately: inequality is wrong. The question is more about framing, context, and degrees of severity, than it is about carte blanche thinking. Fairness, I think, is almost a genetic predisposition--we feel that it is right to be fair.  We know it.  We don't know what it means, but the fairness instinct is pricked when we say things like "Inequality is wrong." Why?  Well, inequality isn't fair, because it cannot be fair that so many people, let's say 99/100 of them in an average city block of a random city, have assets equivalent to 50,000 dollars, and 1 of them has assets equivalent to 500,000 dollars, especially when we perceive the 50,000 dollar folks to suffer because of things that money could solve.

What's much harder to measure is that there could be a justified reason for the discrepancy.  Indeed, that the 50,000 folks might be in a 500 dollar category, even, were it not for the resultant rewards of the 500,000 person.  Maybe not possible, but not impossible either.  If we accept the precept that I just laid out, though, then then inequality might seem justified.  I could also justify it by saying that the 500,000 person saved an equivalent of 500 more lives than the other people on the block, basically that his or her social worth is equivalent to his or her financial worth.  That's why we generally don't balk at doctors making huge sums of money, because we've bought in to the precept that their jobs are carte blanche justified in terms of social value and financial compensation.

We don't go around testing such things.  We don't have to. Instead, we use black and white thinking, and instincts--at least more often than not--to justify what we feel is the case.

Blank Post

There are kids in my living room, and an old man on the couch.  Near the drafty windows, the heaters pump out more noise than anything else.  We play the same Chopin every Sunday, and the notes do not feel bright anymore, though the repetition has allowed me to spot any one of the notes, in isolation, on their own, and I've used this skill at various cocktail parties to impress sundry hosts.  I'm drooling on myself, I notice, and then snap out of the daze and get up for hot wasabi and the flesh of cold sushi on my own tongue.  One day, I"ll wander into the mall, set myself up in a store front, and inject nitroglycerin into my veins, only to be thawed out and revitalized when women rule the world and every belief withers with age like the recharge on portable electronics.  We stare at them as if they make us live longer, as if we can escape fundamental truths that way--of boredom, of monotony, of callous behavioral ambiguity.  The electronic devices. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Formatting is . . . useful.

The side streets of manhattan's western outliers hit me this morning with an crisp overflowing morning breath, somewhere between the post office of eighth ave and the puddle of gas-infused urine on 10th, between my identity decomposing and submergence into ennui, and the disquieting patience of constipated starbucks patrons, all jiving for my bathroom spot. 

If I could have passed out, taken a break, I would have done so.  Instead, I chose to imbibe myself on caffeine prior to a computer-generated training that sucked all liquids from my ensconced half-sheathed epidermal fringe, and displayed them, Light emitted diode style, in front of my post-pubescent eyes, a landscape of grid lines, snap shots, and controlled space, and you'll tell me I'm just joking, although I assure you, I am not, gives some peace to my heretofore slippery being.  To say it plainly: I like spreadsheets.

As an aside, it is difficult to recognize negative space without being trained to do so.  Difficult as well to train yourself not to seek order, to fall into prefabrication.  The trick is not pretending to be somewhere that you are not, so as to wake up with a startling realization of profound confusion--that all thoughts, belief systems, and known entities, were and are fundamentally flawed.  It helps, in this effort, to base thoughts, entities, and belief systems, however sheer or flimsy they may be, in firmly known knowns, and stick to them with mathematical precision.  To wit: math.  Formulas.  Assumptions to build oneself a little fortress on, with the more bristly pine cones to lay down first and absorb water, followed by the downy layer upon which to place a fat pale ass after a long week in self-imposed exile.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life Lived

Eleven years seems like a long time ago.  Some 11 years ago a seminal event occurred in my life.  Today.  May 10.  2000.  I'll always be able to track the year because of that. 

Anyway, in no direct relation there are two thoughts I'd like to share on this, a temperate splayed out evening of continual blooming pollen, which, to tell the truth, builds little canals of mucus in my nostrils and flails about under my eyelids like two young lovers over-eager to undress (albeit young lovers covered in microscopic razor blades)  The first thought is simply that I'm more conservative than liberal in my personal behavioral patterns.  That just is.  I'm not extroverted unless I'm around good friends.  I understand perfectly the need to remain quiet.  

Second thought: cue typewriter: I will make it through this year.  It isn't in the distant future that this will happen.  It will be next month.  I'll try to post until my birthday, as promised, daily, and maybe sporadically after that.  I realize that I could have done more research, answered more questions, heighten my level of compunction with some more clearly defined wry wit.  I realize, in short, that I don't always make myself easily understood.  Part of this is due to the fact that I am not always clear myself.  Usually I'm muttering about in the dark.  My one solace is that I can share this blinds-man bluff with a few people. 

Not drinking has made me value my relationships more, while taking me away from friends too.  I'm just not as social as I used to be; I don't pine to walk to cruddy streets of manhattan and feel manic energy blow excess steam out of my peripheral vision.  I truly value my solitary moments.  I try to slow myself down, and to focus.  I realize, too, that the world is not magnanimous.  Anyway, I shall save these tidbits for later.  Suffice it to say that I've absconded away with the true second thought, which is this: our lives are terribly, terribly short.  They whiz by on the ledge of a mad carousel.   Figuring out what we really care about is vital.  They will not close, story-book fashion, without loose ends.  We need not fully develop.  We need not mature.  Our outsides may be burnt thick and insides frozen.

There is nothing that need be; there is, nothing, that need not be.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tego Jeszcze Nie Wie Nikt - Edyta Geppert

 Sen o Zyciu - Dream About Life

Te marzenia którym skrzydeł brak
Usta pełne pustych słów
Drogowskazy które stoją tam
Gdzie nie było nigdy dróg

Czas wędruje po manowcach gdzieś
Nie wiadomo zmierzch czy świt
Może wszystko to jest tylko snem
Który właśnie nam się śni

Może świat śni się nam
Może my się śnimy komuś
Jak naprawdę jest nie wiadomo
Tego jeszcze nie wie nikt

Czy to świat śni się nam
Czy to my się śnimy sobie
Nikt niestety nam nie odpowie
Tego jeszcze nie wie nikt

Te starania by zostawić ślad
Na ruchomych piaskach dni
Śmieszna wiara że zdołamy wpław
Do szczęśliwych dotrzeć wysp

W zapytania ślad układa się
Codzienności szary dym
Może wszystko to jest tylko snem
Który właśnie nam się śni

Może świat śni się nam...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thinking and Not Thinking and "Everything" -

I have a tendency toward obsessiveness.  One way that it manifests itself is through sheer thought patterns that, while ceaseless, remain relatively incomplete, and yet, sort of compound away in my aching brain so that I'm on the borderline of  real and honest anxiety.  I don't know where the desires to think about things come from, or how they get into my brain, or what those things are.   Sort of like surfing the internet.  You don't know why you're reading out the new trendy raw chocolate pomegranate enemas the hipsters in williamsburg swear by, but you are--and you must.

Except that you don't.  I don't.  Part of getting sober has been the slow realization that even though I might "get" a lot of references at times, in certain company, I cannot, and will never be able to, know all references.  I cannot avoid saying "no, I never heard of that, what/who is it?"  Stunning, right?  Because at the same time, I feel a pang of shame creep up every time I have to ask it, like I should already know, especially if someone is already talking about it to me, as if we already shared some experience.-- When what's really going on is that a lot of people cherish a sort of cryptic talk that's highly specialized for certain things.  One of those things, of course, is group cohesion, and another, naturally, is to test someone's ability to decipher something and spit back the correct response.  In other words, it matters whether we can respond appropriately, and at the same time, if given enough exposure to enough people, and enough information, we won't be able to pin down all the language games that percolate up through the air and into our ears without systemitizing it somehow, in our own language, and with our own thoughts . . .

Thoughts and language that is, while self-reflexive, should also be objective enough to be responded to entertain conversation.  Which is just what other people are probably doing around me, when my previously slightly paranoid self would second guess meaning and fracture my own identity over the need to get something or not get something, whether intellectually, morally, or else wise.

Now, there's a tremendous tendency to shirk all convention, and to "stop" thinking.  To stop with all of the slipperiness of language, and just exist--to put one's hand up at the spigot and turn the damn thing off.  All that water.   All those thoughts.  All the stuff that is simultaneously going on and that I have to stay current on.... kind of frenetic and high paced when you get right down to it... and even while I was imbibing on alcohol I was filtering through those thoughts, I was also spewing them out.  Even when I was overwhelmed I naturally turned around and relished in the fact that I could open my own mouth and overwhelm other people.  Why?  Part of it at least has to be that we learn through experience, sure.  But the meat of the dish, I think, is that we need to put through what we feel like we're going through, to do a miniature recreation, and see how they respond, with what substance they conjure meaning, and that we do it in a less than conscious state.

To state this all in a different way: our first reaction to something new is to bring it back to those we have previous relationships with and show them, somehow, whether through a summary, or through an emotional interchange, and see how it is they deal with it--whether it is fair or not. 

There is a lot going on out there, anyway, and no matter how many distillers of information there are, we cannot digest it all, even if mostly edited out.  We like to have stories to hang our hats on, and we will invent them, backward in time, for comfort in the face of oncoming stimuli, and for the sake of staying sane.  That doesn't mean, I think, that the patterns we recognize are untrue, just that they are not more predominate than other multitudinous patterns that we de-emphasize when we notice the one; that's nothing to worry about, per se, because the idea is that we cannot see all of it at once.  We cannot simply put our mouth on the spigot and turn open a lake.  We need to swim about and be free and forget at times.  And other times we need to immerse ourselves in the gory details, especially when they are overwhelming.  I'm not sure which times are which.  Some people are really good at all the details all the time.  Others are good at all big picture stuff all the time too.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I've Gotta Pee: a Confession

I really despise this one thing: pissing next to other men.  Why?  Well, there are a lot of reasons, of which I'll freely admit: we all look at each others crotches without really looking, or even meaning to look, much the way a moth might fly directly into a flame and burn himself.  It is an irresistible impulse to see another man's penis in the most flacid pressed-against-the-leg mode, when it has been resting pleasantly for a half morning, and peeks out only to let itself be drained free and clear before getting tucked away with nary a wipe, and you tell me, who wouldn't look? 

Not that I look, men!  Real men sort of square their shoulders against the tiles and jostle and you know what they do, first thing that the warm slice of liquid hits against the porcelain (and sizzles, I swear), they talk.  A lot.  Loudly.  About nothing.  About the most gutturally masculine shit possible, and, if someone prefers to be eloquent at the urinal, they are in monologue mode.  Because, maybe, for some men, talking and acting like a logger going to to a giant redwood with an extra long saw/gun type contraption is how they urinate, but for me: I've gotta coax it out by touching my right rib area very very gently, for just a few moments, and concentrate--IF there are other men there, which is kinda weird, you know, for them.  And office gossip is office gossip after all. 

And being self-conscious about coaxing out the innards of one's bladder doesn't assist one in actually producing.  So.  So, I usually just go to the toilet.  Let them all have it.  But, yesterday, I went into the bathroom twice and did not actually go, mostly because I wouldn't be able to go, and then I'd just be standing there, forever, not going.  You know.  Just standing there with some pissing men, acting like I'm about to go, and knowing, deep down, and with utter clarity, that I will not.

So, okay, I went to whole foods to go to the bathroom.  I went there, walked inside, and all the way to the back of the store, up the stairs, and all the way back to the bathroom, and guess what: it was time to clean the men's bathroom.  Yeah.  Closed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I've taken a liking to almond butter

The world is less evil (and less good), though it maintains the propensity for both extremes, if you catch me at an off angle, and my traversal through the path of least resistence is somehow less humid than previously, now that I have a lick of almond butter.  It is sensuous and should always replace a drink, and will leave you feeling pleasant, and mood-stabilized, afterword, instead of used up and recycled and processed and cracked.  And now that all the hippies are talking it up, one can endeavor to purchase the thick sludge like substance that is ground almonds at any local food store without inflicting damage to one's delicate identity calculation, either, much like peanut butter.  Even almond milk is becoming more accepted.  However, ordering an almond milk frothed green tea will still get you a raised eyebrow, at least from me.

I work in/near tribeca/near ground zero, now.  I'll tell you what's there: people who like to work out, and walk around in their exercise outfits.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind their perfectly coiffed hair or their spandex-enmeshed bottoms sashaying away double-wide child carriers that double as shopping carts, or the way they all seem so comfortable while maintaining a sense of purpose.  I've always been one or the other, you know, totally comfortable or totally purposeful, and I'm trying to glean what behavioral cues I can from the tribeca crowd.  Which could explain the change in my almond butter acceptance/non-acceptance ratio, and the fact that I'm convinced the scales have tipped--

That's the proposition.

Also, there's something to this statement: good music is music that can be listened to over 1000 times and reveal more of it itself.  But it is not necessary that good music do this, just a correlation I've noticed.

By the way, did you know that excel can do regressions, forecasts, and massage your feet with vitamin E oil?  No?  Go hang out in Tribeca for a few years, I'm sure it will rub off.  Or maybe that's the sound of not talking about money when you have so much that you no longer have to acknowledge the role it plays in asset acquisition.  Not sure, you decide.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Through text message I met an whiff of exposition from a friend via text message.  Yes, I too, get disastrously annoyed at people who feel it necessary to walk and type into their miniture computer phones.   Nothing allows me greater indignity, actually, and I carelessly blast them with an evil stare, holding nothing back--what rejoinder could there possibly be, anyway?  What, I'm texting 911? Maybe, right?  But then again, on a sidewalk, with all of these other people around?  Anyway, it drives me absolutely nuts, and like most things that drive me nuts, I'm a complete hypocrite regarding this fascinating slightly fetishistic practice that takes grown men and allows them to pay 100% of their attention, while walking down a busy street, to a small toy.  And I digress.  Much better to reserve the texting to one's ambiguous gray cubicle.  And here it is: preferences, he said, can be whatever they are; they just are!  There are no rules.  They can be absolutely anything.  Irrationality happens not because preferences are illogical, but when one acts on illogical preferences (or holds a belief because of illogical premises/preferences)--sounds right, and allows me to want whatever it is I want (to covet whatever it is I please, so long as I do not act, and to not feel waves of panic-tinged guilt because of it!).  Just. Don't. Act.

Check. I'll sit here in a gentle burbling steam of dirty laundry water and soapy ground up turkey meat that is my dinner/chore evening etude.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Turn off the Stove.

This morning I ran out of the house, down the stairs as usual, out onto the street, where the air was cool and I was sweaty, and into the subway.  As soon as I hit the platform, I thought to myself, and said aloud to my wife, that I wasn't sure if I had turned the stove off.  I cook that steel cut oatmeal every morning, with lots of frozen fruit, and it takes about 20-30 minutes of very low heat.  Often times, I'll pour it out, and throw the pot in the sink without checking the stove top.  One day I left it on all day long, though luckily, the window was open, and the flame went out, so all we lost was a bit of gas.  Not a good thing, no.  But much better than the alternative.  Mind you that about a year and a half ago, I had to leave my then Brooklyn based-lodging because of a fire (that my then room-mate started because of smoking). 

So I'm quite sensitive to the possibility of fire, to the capacity, that is, of fire, to change things.  Now, every day before we leave, I at least visually inspect the stove to make sure all of the knobs are vertical.  More often than not, I walk over to the thing, and turn them to make sure they are notched into the appropriately "off" position.  Today, I didn't do it.  I didn't take the extra step.  Simultaneously, our bathtub decided to become clogged, and, despite the skin I rubbed off on my palm with the plunger, I could not unclog it with the plunger, so the super is coming to the apartment today to assist.  The question was: 1) would he come early, and 2) would he notice the stove-top was still on?

I decided it wasn't certain enough that he would, so turned around walked back upstairs, saw the same parked cars, the same firehouse, the front door to the building, the elevator, and finally, the oven, which was turned off.  Then I turned around and went back to the subway, and swiped the card just as a train was coming--no dice.  The card was "just used."  I waited and bought a new card.  Then, instead of using it, I used my monthly pass to check, and viola, it worked.  Now I've got a backup card.  Yay.  And I'm stressed out from the train ride, where waves of exhaustion reeled over me from the morning adrenaline rush.  So it goes on a Monday Morning.