Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Selfish Love

I wrote this in the spring. I used to wake up every morning and work on it because I had to get it out. It felt good. I'm really glad I wrote it down. I guess knowing what needs to be done and doing it are two different things altogether. Maybe my next works will be called Selfless Void and then Mind at Peace. I could write a heap on the void. Still brainstorming on the peace.

Burning Thought Calories

I catch myself regularly getting mentally tense. I have conversations with people I know in my head, I try to explain things to myself in my head, I tell myself to shut up in my head. It's not like I see these people as hallucinations and I don't suffer from multiple personalities. I just have this obsession to solve, to fix, to be right, to understand, to abstract, to be perfect. I re-live old conversations and add in what I think I should have said. I imagine writing letters or giving speeches that would change a persons perspective. I preach these soliloquies that try to prove to myself that I understand an understanding that cannot be expressed in words. The calories I have burned on these thought processes over my lifetime could have fed a small village. I am learning how to stop. I am learning how to recognize, relax, and clear the mind. Helps me fall asleep better at least. Tends to start up early in the morning again. I have difficulty relaxing it during the day. I'm not interested in medicating with mood alteration any longer. I think I need a creative outlet. Yesterday I decided that today was to be dedicated to creativity. The trouble is that I am not proficient enough in any artistic genre to truly make a channel from myself to my work bypassing my eternal critic. Perhaps thought itself is my art. Maybe I am looking at this all wrong and the problem is not the voice but the audience. Speak up rather than shut up? Sometimes at least.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Abstract Golden Boughs

I went for a walk and thought of an old expression: "Can't see the forest for the trees." The trouble with finally seeing the forest is that it makes it difficult to see the trees again.

Enough is Enough

I was thinking (yes, again) about big questions in life. I think a good one is "What is enough?" Seems to possess truer utility than the old "How do I get more?" or "How do I make it better?" or "Why?" Those questions only generate more questions or are part of an endless cycle. "What is enough?" can actually be answered, I think...

Sink, Swim, Or Get Out Of The Water

"This is good too, very good," he said, "listen to this: 'A man should be proud of suffering. All suffering is a reminder of high estate.' Fine! Eighty years before Nietzsche. But that is not the sentence I meant. Wait a moment, here I have it. This: 'Most men will not swim before they are able to.' Is not that witty? Naturally, they won't swim! They are born for the solid earth, not for the water. And naturally they won't think. They are made for life, not for thought. Yes, and he who thinks, what's more, he who makes thought his business, he may go far in it, but he has bartered the solid earth for the water all the same, and one day he will drown."
- from the preface of Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Feeling Steppenwolfish

Feeling a little lonely. One of my best friends came to town. I told him that if he was looking for a drinking buddy that he shouldn't bother to call me. He didn't. Another good friend was supposed to come up to visit but I haven't heard from him. Maybe they are just giving me space. It's not like I have been making much of an effort. I'm sure I will be in touch with them soon enough. I hope no one is taking anything personally. I'm not. I feel awkward not having plans for New Years and not being too concerned about it. I'd like to build a snow cave on the side of a mountain and be warmed from within amidst nature, moon, and stars. Someone to share the moment (and a little body heat) with might be nice. I can be quite good company when I have everything I need.

Impossible God Computer

That last post reminded me of this discussion I had with some friends a few years ago. We were debating the concept of free-will vs. Determinism. In the course of the discussion one of them brought up the idea of a computer programmed with all the laws of the universe, seeded with the current state of everything, being capable of predicting everything and anything. I, being the ever diligent devil's advocate, chose to crush his thought experiment not by pointing out the infinities involved, but rather by showing that the computer cannot be a part of the system that it models, otherwise it would have to contain a complete model of itself. Recursive stack overflow! Either we have the God computer separate from the universe and its laws or we have none at all. I didn't think at the time how we have within us the aspiration to be that impossible God computer. Trying to understand the whole universe when it is obviously impossible for us to fully understand ourselves. There is a third option: that the universe is the computer (sounds like a clever marketing campaign). It models itself simply by being itself. Maybe I should do the same.

Negative Feedback

Ever since ZATAOMM I have been reminded of this concept that has been rattling around in my brain all year. It involves feedback control systems. I wanted to draw a picture but then I realized that it has yet to materialize. I will just remind myself here that I am in the feedback path. Why do I want to draw this picture? Maybe to show that the system has an inherent flaw due to the possibility of recursive overload during self analysis. I'm looking for a proof that will tell me that I should stop looking for a proof. What proof am I talking about? I'll let the little guy from Shawinigan answer that one:

"I don't know, a proof is a proof. What kind of a proof is a proof? A proof is a proof and when you have a good proof it's because it's proven."

(PM Jean Chretien, when asked what kind of proof he would need of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before deciding to send Canadians -September 5th on CTV news)

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Different Strokes

What is style? Where do you draw the line between the assertion of yourself and the imitation of others? Is personal style just an amalgamation of elements from other peoples style that you found appealing in some way? Does it require something truely unique to be truely yours or is the uniqueness of the collage sufficient? We are both artist and work of art. Can we ask the painter to justify each brush stroke she has made or list the strokes to come? Maybe we should just observe her quietly and admire her work.

The Bends

Where do we go from here?
The words are coming out all weird
Where are you now when I need you?
Alone in an aeroplane
Falling asleep against the window pane
My blood will THICKEN.

I need to wash myself again to hide all the dirt and pain
I'd be scared that there's nothing underneath
And who are my real friends?
Have they all got the bends?
Am I really sinking this low?

My baby's got the bends
We don't have any real friends
I'm lying in a bar with my drip feed on
talking to my girlfriend waiting for something to happen
And I wish it was the sixties
I wish I could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.

Where do we go from here?
The planet is a gunboat in a sea of fear
Where are you when I need you?
They brought in the CIA
The tanks, and the whole marines to blow me away
To blow me sky high.

My baby's got the bends
We don't have any real friends
I'm lying in a bar with my drip feed on
talking to my girlfriend waiting for something to happen
And I wish it was the sixties
I wish I could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.

I want to live and breathe
I want to be part of the human race.


Saturday, December 27, 2003

Cryptic Year in Review

I learned I am capable of justifying anything I do, no matter how horrendous it is.
I learned I have caused much pain to myself and to others.
I learned I often live excessively in the moment.
I learned I often live excessively outside of the moment.
I learned I am my own worst enemy.
I learned I am my own best friend.
I learned love is not a conscious decision.
I learned I cannot bend another's will.
I learned there is good in everyone.
I learned there is evil in everyone.
I learned there are many branches of human endeavor dedicated to telling us these things.
I learned there are many beliefs in my head that are not based on a solid foundation.
I learned the desire to believe something can overwhelm the requirement for rational justification.
I learned sometimes I care too much about myself.
I learned sometimes I care too little about myself.
I learned we all believe in the same thing but just don't realize it.
I learned there is more to me than me.
I learned pretending something doesn't hurt does not prevent it from hurting.
I learned I call stupid that which I do not understand.
I learned history repeats itself.
I learned I already knew all of this.
I unlearned it all.
I'm trying to remember.

Sleeping on the Love Seat

Do you really care how big your TV is? Do you really want to have the greenest grass on your block? Do you know why you do the things you do? Do you realize that when someone gets trampled while shopping it is not a small group of people who are to blame but the entire crowd, the store, and the whole sickening shop till you drop mentality. Everyone I talk to has a list of criticisms of everyone else on this planet a mile long but few if any for themselves. We don't realize that these ills are just our own choices fed back to us. Blame everyone else, curse the system, and then work as hard as you can to be like them and conform to it. And even worse, we teach this philosophy to our kids because no parent wants a kid that doesn't fit in. "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me."

Thursday, December 25, 2003

The Proof Of Your Spirit

All the best kids. I hope the feeling of your Spirit being a little less diluted today lingers into the New Year. If you choose to read that as Spirits then put your thang down, flip it and reverse it. I was reminded today that living true can not be summarized by a code of behavior. A book I received from my sister today reminded me to value "wisdom instead of acquired knowledge, justice instead of law, beauty instead of perfection, harmony instead of compliance, compassion instead of judgment, and wholeness instead of fragmentation." Time to start reflecting on the year, stay tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Captivating Conversations

I went to a Hip-Hop show over a year ago in Boston (Mr. Lif if I do recall) with a girl I was in love with, her roommate, and a male friend of hers. I didn't care much for this friend of hers but tolerated him for her sake. He wasn't enjoying the show and at one point when I was getting into it and the lyrics were talking to me, he started talking to me. I chose to be polite and tolerant. Afterwards I felt as if this guy had stolen a moment of my life from me, but I let him steal it. I realized today that I am often guilty of stealing moments of my own life from myself. My internal thinking voice talking away to his favorite captive listener. I reminded myself today that I can sing or hum with my thinking voice (something akin to Homer Simpson's constant state of mind) without making a sound. It may seem childish, like covering your ears and singing loudly when you don't want to hear what someone is saying, but it may prove useful in situations where it is socially unacceptable to sing or hum out loud. Peace.

Precious Poetry

I still have this sore throat thing going and I wish I could just rest today. Instead I will be working in a freezing cold warehouse. My little brother is coming in this morning so that will be interesting. Saw Return of the King last night. The whole series was quite good. Not only is it poetic at the macro level but at the micro level as well. Every relationship required a new perspective, a renewed faith, an abandonment of ignorance, and a search within for trust and strength. A wealth of imagery for my subconscious to play with at night.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

What Will Happen Next?

I wrote a little book in grade four called "What Will Happen next?" It is a story written in the second person (I was really into choose your own adventure books at the time) about a scientist (you) who is tring to make a shrinking potion. You succeed but accidentally spill it on yourself instead of your intended guinea pig and shrink. You decide that you are too small to get back up on your lab table to do anything about it and go to sleep in a mouse hole. After waking up and nearly being eaten by the mouse you find the strength to make your way to the top of the lab table. You then make and drink a growth potion and grow to be eight feet six inches tall. You then become a basketball player. I hope I don't need to explain the significance of all this. How did I know how it was going to go when I was only nine years old?

The Tear Connection

I let people and things get to me. I was thinking that allergies are a good analogy of our reaction to the world. We become altered similar to being sick from contact with allergens. These allergens are just harmless things in the environment that our bodies decide are worth mounting an immune response to. We blame the cat, we blame the dust, we blame the pollen, but really it is our response to those things that is out of whack. We can consider our immune systems as an extension of our minds: they recognize, react, and remember. With that we can easily see that allergic responses are simply a form of paranoia; the result of excessively and erroneously abstracting all unknown or questionable input as bad. How do we fix our immune system misclassification problems? How do we tell them that they are causing undue misery? Maybe our immune systems have egos that they are dealing with too.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Unfilter the Stream

Just watched All I want for Christmas with my little sister. It was funny seeing Ethan Embry as a young helplessly awkward actor as opposed to an older intentionally awkward actor. I liked him in Empire Records, Vegas Vacation and Can't Hardly Wait. Well, the movie was the classic get your divorced parents back together at Christmas flic. I never lived that dream. I knew early on that my parents were never getting back together. Why does Hollywood have to rub my face in the image of their ideal family. Why am I letting it bother me. Why am I letting it really bother me. Why did I pretend that it didn't bother me for so long. The good parts about the movie were that the reason the parents had divorced was the father had quit his yuppie lifestyle to open his own diner and that little Ethan fell in love with a very beautiful young girl. She reminded me of a few girls I knew and love. There is so much going on over here that never makes it onto this page. I miss my stream of consciousness days. My brother-inlaw has this buddy that they call "Filter" because he doesn't have one. I envy him sometimes. You don't need a filter if the stream is already pure.

Rhetorical Balance Sheet

I was working with my sister and I realized that she is fairly rigid in her opinions. I guess we all are. I certainly am. I brought up a friend of mine who I described as being very opinionated and considered discussions as things to win rather than ways to learn. It really got me thinking about Rhetoric vs. Dialectic. My sister was defending him and the use of rhetoric (she never met the guy), but using rhetoric in the process and thus was only interested in presenting her point of view. I tried, not very hard mind you, to make it a discussion aimed at discussing universal ideals. No luck. I started thinking how closed minded she seemed. Then instead of dwelling on it I reminded myself that I was and am capable of exactly the same kind of affinity for my own opinions. My sister also brought up this concept of "The Emotional Balance Sheet" that she got from some self help book. I'm not sure she is using it in a constructive way. I think the point of something like that would be to recognize what triggers positive and negative emotional responses in your life so that you can better understand yourself. It seems like more of an analogy of how most people are dealing with relationships rather than how they should. She seems to like to use it to keep track of favors and acts of kindness to decide where she should "spend" her love. I'm not sure if she is taking ownership of her emotions. I told her that I think her analogy seems to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution. She wasn't interested in debating it.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Peripatetic Closure

Finished reading ZATAOMM. I realized what a perfect point in time it was for me to have read it. It reminded me how key Plato was in confirming the validity of what I was experiencing. For some people I have talked to it has helped to incite the quest in them. I am going to use it to help me push it forward to practicality. There were many analogies that I drew from characters and events in the book to myself, my immediate family, and things I/we have gone through. I also like his take on mental illness, a view I have been pondering. If someone were to ask me today what Schizophrenia was I would tell them it is a word used to describe a set of symptoms. Too often I see us reacting to our classification of a person, rather than to the actual person. They are just words! So I have this urge to get into motorcycling. I realize the metaphor but the open road is calling. As is the west coast. I had convinced myself before that San Francisco was where I belonged. That was because the personification of my soul was in San Fran. Keep the soul personification to your poetry, trust me. Soul mate is fine, just make sure you find your soul before you try to find a mate for it. That should be part of the marriage license test. Vancouver could be interesting. I should write my own allegory. Pirsig liked his smokes, coffees, and beers on the road a little too much for me to fully believe that he really cared about his motorcycle. Mine would be a little more holistic. I wish I started this blog in January. I guess I have to keep some secrets from my readers.

Productive Reactions

I think I am sick. I have a bit of a sore throat and one of the glands in my neck on my right side is swollen. I haven't been sleeping very well over the past few days, maybe that has something to do with it. I'm not as relaxed when I go to sleep and I wake up early and my mind is already racing. I think I will stay home today. Rest and relaxation are exactly what I need. Maybe a nice bath. Its funny how feeling tired is usually a mental phenomenon rather than a physical one. And not a product of a period of stress but a reaction to a period of stress. Change the reaction and you don't feel tired anymore. Most people only know how to fix it by removing the stress for a sufficient period of time. I would like to change the reaction. This is my goal for the day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Fight or Flight or ...

I have to get out of here. When I try to add truth and honesty to a situation and all I am answered back with is anger and conflict it makes me just want to give up. When I express my feelings about something significant that bothers me and receive petty criticism back in return I realize that I can't make someone see themselves from another perspective. If they see all things bad as external to themselves then all I will get from constructive criticism is eye for an eye type responses. They see my criticism as a comparison of them to me, not to an ideal. If they operate off of the postulate that they are always right then debate with them about anything is pointless. They do not seek absolute truth they seek their truth. The quote in the paper this morning said something along the lines of "I must create my own system or be a slave to the system of another." I'd rather put an end to this cycle of system creation and get everyone to realize that there is only one system. Dig it?

"Bring the boys back home
Bring the boys back home
Don't leave the children on their own, no, no
Bring the boys back home

" 'Wrong, do it again!
But it's a man answering, but he keeps hanging up.
(Knock, knock, knock) Time to go!
Are you felling Okay?'

"Is there anybody out there?" -- Bring the Boys Back Home, Pink Floyd

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The Philosophers Disease!

I'm reading Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. I'm not sure if I should keep reading philosophical stuff like this. It is nice to know that I am not alone but I tend to build up this hope that there is some sort of answer in the book itself. I know there isn't, I know it is just meant to help me look within myself but I have this incurable hope that the truth is out there rather than in here. So I know that I should be meditating, but I'm still reading philosophy. I watched this movie on Eastern Religion and this English Philosopher was doing some investigative journalism in various parts of the Eastern Hemisphere and ended up at this Buddhist meditation retreat. He was allowed brief daily conversations with the head of the facility who would ask him little questions about one hand clapping and the difference between sickness and health. The philosopher always had a very cerebral response, even as his lack of sleep and other monastery imposed factors began to weigh heavily upon him. Eventually the head of the monastery told him loudly and firmly that he had The Philosophers Disease! So it would seem that I have the philosophers disease. Dis-ease. Yes. I still need to read the book though because I am thinking about giving it to my brother so he can understand what I am trying to do with my life. Then maybe he can explain it to me.

Sorry the Bridge is Out

A buddy of mine called tonight. He asked why I was avoiding him. I had to tell him that he represented certain patterns of behavior that I was presently trying to avoid. He seemed very understanding, but then started asking me about New Years and some things he had that grew on cow patties. I told him that was exactly what I was talking about. It's not that I'm afraid of a lack of self control, I'm just not interested the whole situation. I have difficulty verbalizing where I am at and even if I could I don't believe that certain people in my life would be able to understand and maintain an open mind about it. I'm not interested in talking to someone who wants to pity me without opening up their own life to reevaluation. So I now find it difficult to spend time with people who maintain that their narrow little perspective on the world is the gold standard. And I certainly don't want to sit around talking about nothing while everyone around me gets "fucked up." I also don't want to commiserate over discussions about how messed up the world is. I want something simple without a lot of words but a whole lot of understanding. I want something busy yet peaceful. Something quietly overwhelming. Something new yet comforting. Something old yet fresh. I just have no idea how to get it. Maybe I don't need to get it I just need to be it. Don't worry, I'll hear myself eventually.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Nervous Tension

I'm thinking too much again. Listening to "Nervous Tension" by Lemon Jelly. It has helped before. My fingers are a little sore from starting to learn how to play the guitar. It's been a couple of days now. I knew a few cords that were taught to me by a roommate in Uni. I'm starting from the basics, simple scales. I am sort of interested in observing the learning process rather than focused on attaining a goal. Not sure if that is a good plan but I guess it must be because it is my plan. I am finding it quite soothing to focus myself on practice. Clears the mind. Lots of snow today. I think driving in the snow is one of my favorite things to do. Lets get to it then.

"My dear Phaedrus, whence come you, and whither are you going?"

I don't have any answers to offer, just plenty of questions and disections of experience. I'm not angry at anyone, just frustrated. I am the cause and the effect. The Grand Deunification Theory. An untieable knot of emotion. Classicism vs. Romanticism argument without purpose. Disequilibrium to none? Let it be, Let it be.
"... give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at one..." Socrates

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Paternal Sufferings

My father and I are very similar in many ways. He has always tried to play the peace maker role, to not rock the boat, to give selflessly and ask for nothing in return. The trouble with this approach to life is that you get lost in the process. Trying to please everyone means that occasionally you have to act against your own value system. That has not been a pleasant thing for him to have to swallow. This has not been a pleasant thing for me to watch him grin and bear. There is a time for conflict. There is a time for standing up for what you believe in. There is a time to bet the pleasant situation in the hopes of winning a real one. My father seems to be like Chamberlain and his tactics those of appeasement. Where was Churchill when I needed him?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Tough Love

So now my mother is pissed and my step-mother is acting strange. I don't know what to do. I know that I should be focused on taking care of my own problems, but part of that involves reevaluating the relationships in my life and trying to make them real. Maybe I just need to lead by example. It hurts when my mother is unwilling to consider her own fallibility. I had a long chat with my grandmother yesterday afternoon. We talked about all this a bit. She told me that perhaps my difficult family situation is just the trial set out for me to overcome. I mentioned Buddha and said that life is suffering. Period. She gives me hope that love can conquer all. I think this has been very good for me. I am bringing suppressed emotions to the surface and having to deal with them in order to remain calm. I am not responsible for the opinions others have of me. I am only responsible for being as true to myself as I can be. I guess that is what you call tough love.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Quantum String Tuning

My old high school chemistry teacher tried to explain the wave-particle duality of everything, including light itself to the class. The relation he stated was that the wavelength of something is equal to a universal constant divided by its mass multiplied by its speed. He said that this applied to electrons as well as bowling balls. In fact, he told us that it applied to ourselves, that each one of us has a wavelength. Because our mass is so large this wavelength is very small. He said that if we reduce our speed we can cancel out our high mass and perhaps increase our wavelength sufficiently for it to be perceivable. The trouble is the universal constant (Plank's constant h = 6.6256E-34 J sec) is very small itself. I like to picture it that each one of us has many wavelengths, and like strumming a guitar if one string is out of tune the whole chord will not sound right. We also cannot focus on only one string and need to tune all of them at the same time as the wavelengths relative to each other are important. Then we must play in the company of others to ensure that our E string is in tune with theirs (or vise versa). So I am trying to slow things down enough that I am able to hear myself better and more effectively tune my strings. Did you just hear that? Just sympathetic vibrations I guess.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Picture This

I was just reading through some of my old posts and thoroughly enjoying myself. I really like some of the titles I have come up with. The one that really rang my bell today is "The I of the Storm." I thought I came up with that one but after a quick google I have discovered that yet again I lack in true originality. I still like it though. So I have a car for the next month thanks to The West Coast. It will help me out in so many ways: Hunting for Christmas, gathering for food, and feeling the freedom. I just have to get over playing the role of consumerist petrochemical burner... Anyhoo. Neither my mother or my step-mother have replied to my appeals to reason and insight. I feel good today. I think yesterday's conflicts were a bit of an emotional catharsis for me. Listening to Coldplay on the ride home from my mother's last night really stirred up something that was already well shaken. I learned a few things about this thing I call me, and as a result about human nature in general. I just hope I didn't hurt anyone in the process. I can live with strained relations with my stepmother, but not with my mother. I don't think I have ever walked away from her on bad terms, until now. Sometimes the path of greatest resistance is the one with the most genuine rewards. Can this family become self aware? Can we all start working towards happiness rather than a picture of happiness? Makes me think of another Family Portrait. My dad really liked that one.

Insecure Telephone Lines

It would seem that the women in my family like to project their own insecurities into me. Either that or I am hateful, condescending, and just plain rude. My step-mother thinks I hate her so she interprets my overt disinterest in her constant myopic verbal spew as a manifestation of my hatred. My mother thinks I believe she is unintelligent so she interprets a curt response to her relentless questioning and second guessing of my problem solving process (I was fixing a problem she was having with her mouse) as an indication that I don't think she is capable of understanding what I am doing. In both cases I was accused of being rude. I presently lack the inner peace to not allow this to affect me and am emotionally forced into a defensive mode. I know my response does not help the situation. I know some of the things I do are some sort of passive-aggressive defense mechanism. That is how I do things though. If I don't like the way I am being treated I will give physical or tone of voice type indications to that effect. It is a reaction to a persons behavior, not an indication of my opinion of that person. I know the difference between a person's intentions and their actions. More trouble arises when my reaction is not only to the present behavior but to a pattern of behavior of which the present is a part. I guess this only happens when I suppress reactions over a period of time or my physical and tonal cues go unnoticed or are misinterpreted. The best answer I guess is to just come right out and be honest. It is tough to criticize behavior without criticizing character. They say you should avoid accusation and just point out how the specific behavior makes you feel. That requires self knowledge that sometimes doesn't come until after the fact. Plus there is the broken telephone consisting of the experience of emotion, the interpretation of the emotion, the expression of that emotion, the hearing of that expression, the interpretation of what was heard, and the emotional response to that interpretation. Life seems to be all about deciding which of those broken telephones is worth trying to fix. Why do we identify with our half of the communication channel? Why can we not see that the portion of human interaction that transmits via waves of light and pressure is a small portion of the full path from one soul to another? The medium of every message consists of at least two imperfect humans. We distort every message we send and also every message we receive, including the ones to and from ourselves. I'm going to try and increase the signal to noise ratio at my end, will you try and take a look at yours?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Last Supperai

Going out for dinner and a movie with Mom tonight. I think Sechwan is the plan. My mother and sister are not currently talking to each other which puts me in the middle of what I consider to be a load of non-sense. Why do people fight? Can't we all just agree to disagree? I guess it is more complicated than that. I think "The Last Samurai" is also on the agenda. I predict that she will comment on my hair being longer, shake her head laughingly at my dinner selection, talk about all the gifts she bought for my nephews, and refuse to mention my sister at all. Mmmmm, I love pretending everything is fine and dandy. My fortune cookie said "Nature, time, and patience are the three great physicians."

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Urbane Horseman

Some good snow out there this morning. I took Shags for a walk and then did another lap by myself. I realized that my gait had changed ever since my original knee injury and it had been contributing to the weakened state of my left hamstring. Since this epiphany I have been making a conscious effort to correct the problem. Hopefully once the muscles start getting used to it I will not have to think about it. They say it is much easier to start bad habits than it is to replace them with good ones. I'm so tired of having to borrow a car to get anywhere around here. I guess public transit is a valid option. The places I want to go are just so far apart. I need Urbia. Is that a word? Either that or a friendly neighborhood grocer who is willing to act as proxy in getting me all the funky things I need. Or I could simplify and go live somewhere where I could grow what I need myself. I need to reply to the booty call and get more clarification. Is life the shit that happens to you or the shit that you make happen? I used to hate multiple choice exams that included an "all of the above" option. I will have to quote Homer J. here and say "A little from column A and a little from column B."

Saturday, December 06, 2003

One Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Nine Moongs

As I write this Daylight by Aesop Rock starts playing. Good memories from a time where it didn't matter what the future held, I knew everything was going to be perfect. Enough of that. I made some Moong Dal for dinner, and I guess a few more meals in the week. Getting the ingredients got me out of honkey town and I visited a Korean, a Middle Eastern, and an Indian grocery. I cooked for myself, by myself and really missed having my own kitchen. I got the recipe on the internet. I'm no connaiseur but I thought it was quite good, I could feel the beads of sweat under my hair. I found out today while over at my grandmother's place setting up the new dresser that I put together for her that she fell down this week and was still getting over some serious pain in her hip. No one knew. No one called. All week. I'm the worst of us all. Call more, visit more. I love talking to her, or should I say listening to her. She's 96 and lived in a much different world than this supposedly "more advanced" state of western civilization. Cancer. Heart attack. Doctor Death. Some day he's coming for me. Better start working on the list before he gets here.

Alien Adduction

The head feels clear. I was able to sleep in until 7:30 this morning and woke up feeling relaxed and light. Demons out! I've been doing these simple leg exercises in the morning ever since my physio appointment. I am currently focusing on three muscle groups: the hip abductors, hip adductors, and upper hamstrings. I think I need to get those left hip adductors into shape to help make up for my stretched MCL and of course help support my reconstructed and slightly loose ACL. It's the little muscles that can really make a difference.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Bacchus on the Wagon

The week of abstinence (actually it was more, I hadn't had a drink in probably two weeks) and the clean system allowed me to really feel the effects of alcohol today. I had five drinks last night, for me that equals relaxed and chatty. Not enough to cause a full hangover but perfect to study the effects. Today when I woke up my eyes felt dry (could be the smoke at the bar too) and my stomach felt irritated. At work this morning I felt lethargic whereas the day before I was dansing. My sister had some trouble with the police today while getting a speeding ticket, they claimed there was a warrant out for her arrest but didn't do anything about it because she had the kids with her and were fairly certain that it was some sort of clerical error. Hearing this really made me feel for her but also got me concerned that I was the one they were actually looking for for an unpaid ticket. A ticket I got a while back for argueing with a cop while drunk. I left the office and was going to go home and pay the ticket. I realized that I would have to either mail in a check or go to the cop-shop to pay it as it did not allow payment at a financial institution. So I never unloaded my stress. I got to the massage place (where I had never been before) and while sitting in the waiting room felt this heart palpitation and needed to breath deeply for a while before it passed. I have felt it before, all drug or alcohol related. I gave up all intoxicants at the beginning of this year and one weekend a few buddies from Ottawa came to visit and I got off the wagon to see them. I felt that same anxiety at work the following Monday. Actually, the last time I had a drink prior to last night was two Fridays ago. I had about a pitcher of beer and smoked* quite a bit. I felt uncontrollable shivers and fear that it might not stop. When I got home that night I felt very anxious and chose to lay off of it all for a while. That is when the brain-pressure started again. That is what motivated me to do the cleansing in the first place. Addiction is a subtle distortion. It makes me forget what I know. I don't want to forget what I know. Done and done. The massage was interesting. Cranial sacral. Very relaxing and meditative. I felt warm and safe so the anxiety left me and I focused on relaxing the tension in my head. The clairity coming out here may be a product of that process. Definately the most "alternative" medicine I have experienced. It was nice to be able to approach it with an open-mind, not wide open, but open. I think I need a good night's sleep.

Breakfast Shortcuts

Good morning. So the adherence to protocol ended last night with a little wine and a few beers. I was thinking about alcohol and how it relaxes that stress in my head that I have been unable to relax on my own. That makes it dangerous because it gives me the illusion of getting what I want with minimal effort. It is especially dangerous because that thing that I want, inner peace, is finally a worthwhile goal to strive after. Hmmmmmmmmm. Saw the Northern Pikes last night and was enjoying some of their lyrics. I had some good discussions regarding the potential perils of the corporate backslide. I like the ex-girlfriend metaphor for my old employer. I referred to the call from my old boss as a booty-call last night. The possibilities are endless. I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon. It isn't going to be the typical Sweedish style, I'll tell y'all about it tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Slide back or Push Forward?

I think I am going to go back and change the titles of all these Day 1-7 posts. Patterns and predictability bore me. Yes, day seven is here and I feel fine. I realize that this little program is as much about cleaning you of habits as it is about cleaning you of toxins. Garbage in -> Garbage out. What am I going to do tomorrow? Which rules will I loosen? Which ones will I abandon? Which ones will I make a part of my life? I got a call from my old boss yesterday. He has a little pet project handed down from above that he has been asked to nurse through infancy for the company. He asked if I was interested in getting involved. My immediate response was no but he implied that he was open to short term arrangements and my input on how to structure our business relationship. There are still a lot of questions in my head but this call sent my mind racing. On the topic of racing.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Suprachiasmatic Nuclear Malfunction

Six days eh? Wow. I went for a walk yesterday night, it was F'ing cold dude. Made me pick up the pace but I could feel it in the extremities. I havn't weighed less than 180 lbs in the winter in a long long time. I woke up at 5:00 this morning. I almost got up for good but decided to give the bed one last chance and managed to make it back into dream land a couple more times. Weird dreams of course, I can't remember them now. Been thinking about travel volunteerism of some sort. I think I need some time away from North America. I need some new shoes that could handle travel/hiking/weather/you name it. My arches and knees need them to. I think today will be a half day at the office/warehouse. I love it when a plan comes together.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Deep Tissue Zazen

Today is the beginning of a new phase in the cleansing process. It is supposed to be a shift from healing to detoxifying. Sounds like fun no? This process could be construed as selfish unless the realization that the self is only a small part of everything else occurs. Personal detox is one step towards global detox. Glass houses, your own backyard, cleanliness is next to godliness, baby steps. Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Meaty Diaper

Maybe I should have been chronicling this thing consistently at the end of each day but whatever. Feeling good this morning. I still have the old wake up at 6:00 am thing going but that was happening before I started this thing. My nephews stayed over the night before last and when they woke up yesterday the youngest had decided to remove his own diaper and try to deal with it himself. He had it on his hands, his pijamas, and all over himself. It was beyond wipes at that point so into the tub he went. Regardless of the mess I think that waking up to two happy young children is good for the soul. I felt a little tired yesterday, less from the regimin and more from having been out until 1:00 am the night before. I was thinking that this is the longest I have ever gone without eating meat. In fact I don't think there was ever a day where I didn't eat meat in my life other than in my infancy. Talk about breaking a long running pattern of behavior, a habit, an assumption. Other than breakfast I imagine meals with meat as the host and starch and veggies as the guests. This is a nice new perspective, don't know what I will do about it on day eight but it is worth thinking about, feeling about, knowing about. Words words words...