Saturday, December 29, 2012

Relationship Advice

If you don't want to marry someone . . .

Don't marry them.

See, you won't change the little uncomfortable responses you have to their ticks, and they won't change the incendiary regurgitation they have to your passivity and if you both convince yourselves that you are what one another wants, you'll just get more and more miserable.

But a lot of people seem to think that marrying is better than not marrying, and by marrying I mean "being with" for any extended period of time.

If it doesn't feel good now, it won't feel good later.

Added wrinkle: if it feels too good now (read: hedonistically, indulgently, good), it will feel bad later, because a return to some non-amplified baseline is guaranteed.

Another point: stop pretending that your partner can possibly satisfy all of your needs.  YOU satisfy your own needs, and you share in activities with your partner.  Your partner is not your parent, and you are not six.

Final point: it takes a least a year to understand someone from multiple perspectives (i.e. understand what they're like when they get mad, when their boundaries are pushed, when they're exhausted, and what the idolize, really, and truly).  Don't lie to yourself about your partner because you want to be in love.  It will come back and bite you in the ass in a permanent way, like a tattoo across the forehead. There's no undoing "I'm a divorcee" from your mental machinery, no matter how innocent and lively and fresh you feel.

And one more thing, since i'm dishing it: Nobody is immune to time.  If you want to see what you get in 20-30 years, check out the parents.  Are they a wreck?  Are they functional?  Have they stopped growing emotionally because of weird phobia-inducing conspiracy theories?  Do they drink a litre of vodka a night? Yeah?  Watch out!  Stop lying to yourself, telling yourself that you're exception.  The secret is that everyone thinks of themselves as exceptional, and the sad fact is that we are all much more average and similar to other people than we want to admit.  And so our the objects of our affection.  So go do some digging.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Don't Live According to Everyone Else

Be a rebel.  Don't drink.

Be a conservative cautious numbers person around your liberal wordy friends.

Find a link between the beauty and discipline.

Understand the patina of fatigue coating the commuters' faces.

Thrive on self-abnegation.

Remember: Being open-minded is by definition uncomfortable.  Try it out, write it up in the NYtimes as the latest fad.

Home-brewed monkism!  Asceticism!

Become beholden to standards you develop for yourself.

Try hard to have faith in the tumult of everyday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2.5 Years

That's how long I've been sober.  Life is quantifiably better than it was before, and different in innumerable ways.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Live Life Shame Free -

Imagine it, if you will, walking around without the crushing weight of wrongness, of deadness, of stale old lived in life, mocking you like a favorite outfit you've been forced to wear for days and now wreaks of body odor and wrinkles in all the wrong places.  Imagine knowing life without the desperation to prove yourself in a constant tug of war (to others, to yourself, to notions of whatever the good thing is or has been defined as), touching it in a way that is at once childish and innocent, truly interactive, and also knowledgeable,  aware of everything but the layer of cynicism that we often hold over ourselves in a coup not to feel, for the sake, always, to stay away from our previous failures, to hide it is who we are and run away forever.  Imagine not doing it relentlessly and with suicide-level zeal.  Imagine if it were just the case that you could be seen as human, instead of one-dimensional, and that this richness pervaded your own view of others too, and you might frolic into a dance of conversation and sharing bliss with those you felt least like you before.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hard, Dude - Backing Down

Imagine yourself in a fight with your spouse.  You are deep inside of it.  Making a point of unbearable importance.

Imagine backing out of your point.  Withdrawing from the engagement.  Sitting down for a few minutes.

Really hard.   Almost impossible.  Because the seething intensity of our cultivation of viewpoints becomes more aggressive, and because we are less and less accurate and more and more willing to engage pettiness, it is vital that we learn to back away from our own convictions, and to re-evaluate them as if we were a neutral third party hearing them for the first time.

What are the steps to that?   Realizing how frothy everything gets is a first.  Right at the moment of blood lust, right then, try to step back and let your pride take a notch down.  Honestly.  Hurt pride is a funny thing, since it is basically totally irrelevant to making a point, and changing one's mind when good evidence presents itself is a way to bolster pride, in the longer-run, not a way to show cowardice.  Rational skepticism isn't bad and doesn't forswear passion and involvement.  In fact, it allows us to distance ourselves from ourselves so the world might be a little bit richer, a little bit more nuanced, even when we're emotionally attached to a position.

Next time you're fighting with your significant other, right in the middle of the fight, pull back and earnestly cede the main point.  Let a few minutes pass.  A cool enveloping calm will snuggle you, I promise.  And so will your significant other.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Normalcy is Under-Rated -

Let's all stop pretending to want to be something extraordinary, please, and just relieve that pressure so we can enjoy the lives we do have.

No more double lives, mourning for all of the lost perfection, when the real people who matter are here, and our own lives are devolving.

All for the sake of a vision that will never happen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Alcoholic's Apology -

I'm sorry I don't go out and get fucked up anymore.  Mornings on the rooftops of brooklyn, a blazing golden sun just hovering into existence that illuminates dancing and laughing and occasional philandering of certain pleasure seeking friends with means. Fights over taxi rides and all the glory of a central belief in the centeredness of it all, at the moment, 5:30am.  The bagel shop is opening, and the earth is spinning; can you feel it?  From your inertia.  From your propulsion.  Without you, the earth might, well, you don't think structurally.  Inserts and gasps and wet kisses are more your style.

Am I bitter?  Only when I don't get my correct ration of Omega-3.

These days I have all the trappings of an objectively lovely existence, carefully pruned and masticated until swallowing and digestion are proto-conscious activities, slipping and dipping in the pooled layers of multi-hued ecstasy lolling about,, and are those your headphones in my ears, split in two, ready for a commercial if we were even half conscious of our duplicative essentialness?  Or are we too submerged in the moment of bliss to rectify the hue, which has blasted into the purplish green arena, such that our skin isn't so human anymore.

The wind is blowing in at me.  The day after the party.  When I slept until 5pm, woke up with a stranger in my bed, told her, no, unfortunately  there were no "army-navy" shops in this neighborhood, and she could just take the subway away from here as fast as possible while I take the remaining 5 beers left in the 6 pack SHE insisted on buying (not my fault she left them, or the half of the sixth that i had to finish too; she left that open anyway) and sip them tentatively, as if I'm not doing it, really, and I'm finding my rhythm again, in the third, and wondering why she left so abruptly 

My messiness is still on the extremely hip side of acceptable, and I've goosed myself into believing that a trip to the local dive to meet a few friends might be acceptable, now that I don't have to spend so much money on the beer, except maybe I'll smoke that joint I've been saving, on my own roof, and maybe it is colder than I thought, and maybe the rope that keeps the door open was foolishly recalcitrant, so I just unhooked it, and maybe now I have to find my way down into the iron maze of fire escapes and knock on my window in hopes that my own stoned 64 year old room-mate will open the window, and what a weird sight I would be right now.

And maybe my head is throbbing while I finish remembering, in graphic and then distorted echoing waves of lush detail, the beginning of the night before, and my heart is slamming in my chest, and it is morning again, and I've found myself well on the way to a full-fledged bender, maybe, a few weeks back, and left it like a rest stop for fuck sake, because we love our road metaphors, and now I'm alone again and nobody is here and my head won't be quiet and won't be pain-free either, and I just have to deal with that shit, and there's  an easy way to deal with it and a hard way to deal with it, and I don't know why I have to apologize to you, my so-called friends, when I chose, out of my own volition, the hard way of doing it, and when I make my own life harder than I thought it could ever be, even when I also know that the shards of my former life, however much they cut and however glittery they once were, also have sunken, amber-like into my roots, and when the light hits them in  a particular morning, with a particular breeze, they offer a kaleidoscope of rosetta stones to unlock something minute and fractal in intensity, and I can't stop wondering how it might be if I let myself get sucked into them again and I'm sure the beauty would compound into a miasma of sheer light that I could climb up high.

But I've got a few things to do now, that I've quit going out so late.  And I keep waking up at 7am, no matter what time I go to bed, and I like routine, and I'm boring and I don't have to indulge you, audience, anymore, not like it used to be, though I do favor some degree of empathy, if you please, and when you find my lost watch, just wind it smartly and be on your way.

Descriptive Accuracy Doesn't Equate to Pliable Feasibility!

Why is it that we fool ourselves into thinking that approaching a comprehensive and exhausting pronunciation of exactly what it is that we suffer from might in turn script a policy of prescriptive highlights and blow outs?  (What is it that the salon in our heads offers as a special?  Decomposed rodenticide-laced corpses?!)

Okay, side point.

Main point: why the fuck do we think that once we've got a handle on it that the handle will allow us to manipulate it?  At all?  Why is it that we're just as mindlessly obsessed with rationalizing all of our actions to the cohorts of people who are forced to be friends?

Here's my secret.  Gossip is relentlessly pointless when you are not part of the circle.  It holds negative weight.

And still.  And still, we ascribe endless loops and call them intentional meanderings, with a cross here and a supplication there, and we expect people to believe us; we expect them to capitulate to our own idolized notions of reason, however corrupt and obsequiously selfish.

I don't even know where life exists anymore.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Find Meaning Every Damn Day -

Today was  a fully normal day.  I could get righteously pissed at that.  Nothing miraculous happend. No special praise was lavished.  No lubrication applied to the pinwheels of my life.

In fact, it got a bit depressing, which is, come to think of it, also normal.  For instance, train was late.  Subway ticket needed buying, and there was a huge line of people at the machine, so I got in late.

And on the way home I missed one train and had to wait 20 minutes for the next.

But I did manage to hear a great blues guitar player while I waited.  And watch all the crazy frothy "I-must-get-to-my-train" commuters (like me).  And that was priceless.

Between all of the shit for sale and the endless things to accomplish, and the image to protect and the next big score, we should all try to make a bit of time in our daily lives to just stop getting through.  To just stop, in fact.  And just listen to the cacophonous roar of our lives.  We only have them this once, and they're already going by too fast.  Why rush to the next step?

Why be obsessed, always, with the next step?  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It Takes More Work Than I Ever Expected!

Most things, if you want to actually accomplish them, and not, instead, just talk.

Damnit.  Just talking is so much easier and takes so much less time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's Your Strategy?

Base default strategy exists.   Question isn't even really whether it is something inherent or experienced and adapted to dynamically.  It is both.  Question is more about figuring out what your (my) strategy is, in the abstract, so as to "know oneself" more fully and find maximizing techniques.  Life is difficult and pointless.  Why make it more difficult by doing everything according to someone else's rules? 

Most of my life exemplifies this path (subservience and deference).  Maybe that's why I felt the inexorable tug toward mini daily "rebellious acts" in the form of binges?  Maybe that's why the relief I felt in drinking, literally harming myself, was warranted: because I could escape the dictates of my over-lords, ya know?  

Strategy 1: Always following authority in a strict sense

Strategy 2: Always not following authority in a strict sense (constant rebellious acts)--note, this is often a good way to wind up working at starbucks, but at times, it is also a good way to get famous and rich.

Strategy 3: Quiet rebellion

Strategy 4: Placate as necessary, and move on.

More (complicated) strategies coming soon.  

Here's an interesting note, okay: IF, at the end of our lives, we don't face eternal peace and happiness and judgment day, every day on earth is equal to every other day, one for one.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Recent Comment from CALI December 05

Anonymous said...
CALI said: Sober for 2 days...after drinking for 23 years (increasing more heavily as the years went by). I am now 39. More recently, I found myself drinking 2 bottles of wine or 1/2 a bottle of scotch some days. 1 bottle of wine became a light day (similar to what 1 glass of wine use to be). In social settings, who knows how much I drank sometimes...enough to forget my actions the next morning and embarrass my husband. I am functional - a corporate VP / lawyer, mother of two and married 11 years. My husband travels out of town during the week, so it has been pretty easy to hide the bottles, late night drinking binges and hangovers. I used a coffee mug often, so my kids didn't know I was drinking alcohol (as my husband would ask them if I had been drinking). Luckily, no DUIs or accidents; however, a lot verbal abuse/rage/broken items...I drank for quite a few "reasons" - to forget things I experienced as a child, reduce anxiety, alleviate stress, escape boredom, cure loneliness, raise my depressed spirits, be more friendly, become comfortable in my own skin, relax, reduce irritation, handle my husband, cope with the pressure of raising two children and managing a career while my husband is always out of town, etc. Today has been really hard - I feel anxious, nauseated and tense. My jaw is clenched/sore and I have a dry mouth and scratchy throat. I can't concentrate on anything and I am incredibly irritated by everything - I have no patience. My husband was very supportive of my decision last night when we spoke, but today he was cold and nasty - telling me I have to take responsibility for my own actions and to stop feeling sorry for myself. All I want is his love and support to help me be successful in my mission to stop drinking. I initiated this myself - there was no intervention. However, when he talks to me the way he does, I just want to hide in the bottle as I have done for so many years. I am trying to focus on my personal strength and determination, but it's really hard.

Letting Others Control {Your Mental State}

In the ongoing rush of interaction with others, often times debilitating, other times enthralling, and more often, by definition, prosaic, the struggle is a constant one: don't let them get the better of you!

Now that's a nice saying!

Except when you have to sit with "them" all day long.  What does the saying have to say about that?!  Oh, I figured, it repeats itself!

Anyway, my internet is out for a few days, at least, which explains the paucity of posts.  Rest assured that I'm as cynical and miserable and wrapped into bullshit circumstance as ever!

Instead of taking a break from work via sick day to ride my bike on the last warm day of the season, I went to work.