Wednesday, June 24, 2015

FILLING SPACE

TACTICAL

A few weeks ago I got a text from KT and her Mom.  It seems that they were having a conversation about KT’s heritage and our daughter has it in her head that she is “mixed”.  Her reasoning being that her father is half-white and she leans a more to the “black” in her!  I had a good laugh and it made me smile knowing that I am a part of their conversation and in KT’s thoughts.  The self-deprecating humor of the comment was not lost upon me, because my non-conforming character has always meant that my “authentic blackness” would be called into question.  Then the Rachel Dolezal story broke.

If you get my feed on Facebook, then you may know that I was captivated by her story.  Jezebel had an article on Ms. Dolezal and it brought tears of laughter to my eyes as I read it the Saturday morning after the story first broke..  I had never heard of anyone ever claiming to be African-American when they weren’t, and the anguish of “passing”, immortalized by the book and movies (there were TWO of them!!) of the same name, “Imitation of Life”, is at the root of the issues between light and dark-skinned African-Americans.  For Ms. Dolezal, this seemed to be an obsession of sorts for her, as her parents indicated her fascination with African-American culture in her youth.  After her parents adopted 4 African-American children, her obsession took her into an entirely unforeseen direction.

Maybe part of Rachel’s desire to leave behind her whiteness could have been due to the upbringing she endures.  Her claims of abuse notwithstanding, I have often  been given to ruminate on dysfunction in the social systems of families where faith is a critical component to the philosophy of how a family lives.  This is not to say that only religious families suffer from these kind of social and intra-family breaks from standard.  You could substitute “faith” for  “ignorance” and pretty much find a similar kind of problem within a family.  When I was a child, the saying “follow an ugly child home and watch an ugly parent open the door”, could have been just as easily be substituted with the word “stupid” or “ignorant”.  In fact, the PRIDE within a social community on their lack of intellect or desire of the pursuit of knowledge is one that simply staggers the mind.

...MEANWHILE

Still haven’t been able to confirm travel dates for Lexxie.  Going through her Mom is difficult, as she harbors an ill-will towards me.  There have been times where discussions have been smooth, but more often than not, she get angry and jumps the track, which unsurprisingly, leaves us with nothing accomplished.

I am progressing nicely towards my goal of lifting 1200lbs between my deadlift, bench press, and squat.  After I do that, my next fitness goal will be to find my legs and get back onto a regular running schedule.  I will do more cardio, adding kettlebell swings and combo exercises with lighter weights. And I expect to take my certification test in July, mid-August at the latest.

And that is that with that..!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

THE GULF BETWEEN IDEALS AND CONCEPTS... BETWEEN THE HERE AND NOW


TACTICAL

I have been doing just fine.  Lexxie’s visit is still up in the air and her Mother and I have been trading messages on Facebook the last few weeks, much said without resolving the problem between Lexxie’s plans for her own excursion and mine for her visit.  I hope we get the opportunity to be with each other but if not…

...I can likely guilt KT to come and visit me next year!

My gout flare is gone and I am going to get back on track for my “1200lbs. lift”.  I don’t think that I am that far off in two of the three lifts. Recently, I did a chest workout that I was able to work up to a “double-double” at 260lbs. and two singles at 270lbs.  Later, I did 5 sets of 5 reps at 315 on my deadlift.  And with my squats at a pyramid of 10-8-8-6 repetitions (reps) or 315, 340, and 365 lbs., I could be ready at the end of June for my lift!

One of my co-workers did a challenge where he did 100 reps of 185lbs. in a squat, with the goal of doing them consecutively. If he racked the weight, he did 20 burpee pull-ups as punishment!  I think that he did 50 squats s straight before he racked the weight (which means he rested the weight in the rack that holds the bar) the first time, I think that he would rack the weight twice more before he knocked out 100 reps.  He had another squat challenge, one in which you double 245, wait 15 seconds, triple it, wait another 15 seconds, and rep out 5 more.  That is one set and there are ten of those with two minutes in between each set.  So I have enough fitness planned with these challenges on my plate as well as my own training plan and fitness goals.

DRAFT ANALYSIS

My latest gout flare had me thinking that I may actually need to make friends in a more tangible way.  It would have been nice to have had a friendship with someone where I was comfortable with calling upon them for a ride from school or to the grocery store.  Maybe their concern would have pushed me to go to the health clinic or emergency room to have my ankle looked at.  But as it was during the present moment, I did have enough people at both school and work who encouraged me to take a day off and have my ankle looked at.

See, that has always been enough for me.  Knowing that someone genuinely cares about me
without prejudice is primarily what I am looking for in a relationship.  Of course, it varies to the level of the relationship, because I am not going to expect anyone whom I am clearly on a casual level to be willing to go to any great lengths for me.  Yet, when it is a feeling is sincerely felt, a tugging of an emotional string that is so strong that the person who is feeling it has no other choice but to act, well, that does not need much discussion between parties now, does it?  Two movies rush to mind whenever I think along these lines as a display of sincere and heartfelt affection between people… “The Straight Story” starring Richard Farnsworth, and “Unforgiven” starring Clint Eastwood.  The motivation to act in both stories were pure and unspoiled by any but the mildest sense of self-interest for any of the major characters.  It was almost as though they had a calling of honor that bound them to their choices, and that they would have clearly have felt diminished had they not chosen the course that they took, regardless of the consequence.

One of the things that I believe is that it is not enough to want something.  No matter what you believe in, whether your believe is driven by a theology, ancient mysticism, or empirical objectivity, I don’t believe that you can truly have full faith in anything if at first you do not GIVE what you hope to receive  I think that we are born into the world as partially-filled vessels, but we do not become filled until we begin to give of ourselves.  That is when life begins to pour back into you and you become replenished and in this manner, having partially emptied of your own self, you can experience fulfillment.  And I think that this is especially true when it comes to our intimate relationships.

I do not feel that much more removed from “my early burglary years” when it comes to how I pursue close relationships.  If anything, I feel more angst for regarding my nature… for instance, I would not mind communicating and acting with those of you I have made IRL connections with, but, there are those who see me locally that I don’t bother to connect with.  I do attempt to do things with people, for instance, when I am asked I will go hang about with folks.  And there have been times where I have asked about someone else’s activities with the intent of planning an event.  Even with that, I have no real drive to create deep connective relationships with people.  Besides, my “draft stock”, I believe, has slipped.

From co-ordinating a love life that I envisioned as the “run-and-shoot”, and whose prospects were once forecasted in terms of being “top draft choices”, using the latter analogy, I think that I have fallen to mid 5th to 7th round choice nowadays.  Being regarded that low is almost certain to regulate me to “undrafted free agent” when it comes to partnering with a woman.  So that means, at least for me, it is more about the desire to be with someone than it is where I am going “in the draft”.  Because when you are down this low in the draft, it is more about how bad do you want it.

I already know that I don’t want a relationship that bad.  Do I even want a relationship “enough”?  That remains to be seen…  As far as my ever wanting a relationship “bad enough”, that should not even be questioned (but it has to be asked..!), if any of my claims of introversion are to be seen as valid self-characterizations.

“Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves.” -George Miller
Thoughts of what Nebraska and I could have been have been with me lately as well, because I don’t know if our relationship will ever advance to where we are held in one another’s confidence.  My wonderings takes me back to when we first made plans to meet in Chicago back in 2009.  Not only have the “prescience of fate” been lost between us, but so has the laying of a foundation for a relationship of any kind, on any level, been spoiled.

LIKE THE MOONSTONE, EXPERIENCE IS A HARSH MISTRESS

I have not felt compelled to make disparaging generalities about women of any specific demographic because I am no longer oppressed by the caricatures of any demographic, because I just don’t care.  Not that it doesn’t matter to me, which they don’t, at least not beyond the most superficial extensions of my awareness.  Part of that is due to my lack of participation in the  spinnings of “this and that” (see, I told you that they were not related..!).  And  ever were I so inclined to become involved in the scrum of the yearning hearts, my accumulated knowledge from any of my previous adventures and excursions would keep me from getting in the muck willy-nilly.

As cool and gratifying as it is to be a high draft choice, and as much as a boost up being drafted at all is, there are things as an undrafted free agent that are advantageous to the determined prospect.  Rather than being put into a situation that may not fit, as a free agent you get to float around and find a situation where you can maybe make your opportunity if you work hard enough for a “spot on the roster”.  And making the roster, not where you were chosen, is all you really want.  IF that is what you really want.

My laissez-faire approach to life has me question my own commitment to a relationship.  Other than the occasional “urges” (which reminds me to do kegels because you never can say never..?), I begin to question myself when it comes to committing the essential “emotional materiel” to a intimate relationship campaign.

Things that I look forward to:  Visiting Chicago/South Bend and enjoying time with friends and the big city.  Going back to Detroit to see my Dad, visit my peeps, track down Skye and again, visit friends.  And those, as well as a few other things of personal significance (getting a degree, going somewhere with my daughter KT), come ahead of growing a relationship.  That said, it still would not surprise me to find myself “in” something… but it HAS to be on mutually agreed upon terms.

At this point of my life, where no matter how you measure it, I have been around the block more than enough times to know without second guessing myself how much my happiness lies in an intimate relationship.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NEBRASKA - LIKE THE MOVIE


 CONCEPTUAL PERPETUITY


Was able to finish a trying spring term of school.  I was able to scrape by with a “C” in my Psychology class with a “C” ( hey, ”C’s” get degrees..!)  and while I did not pass Spanish, I did do as Mark Twain advises and I did “fail better”.  Though I won’t use it as an excuse, having to discuss some of the issues of brain function and the consequence of changes in the brain (as the topic was a part of many psych discussions) was a problem of sorts for me.  Twice a week, it felt like I was looking under the hood of a car whose engine is missing.  Additionally, I had a lingering gout flair for the past six weeks that took away from my ability to focus and be attentive to most of the tasks that I had to accomplish.

Though I have not been able to confirm as of yet, Lexxie is likely not to be coming out to see me this summer.  Communications between me and her have become strained once again, though there are no obvious reasons for the lack of response from her.  Instead of speculating, I will keep things moving and keep being vigilant in establishing communications with her.

In other news… I have been watching a bit of Netflix recently.  And when I say “bit”, I mean that I may watch a couple of shows and then move on to something else.  I still watch “The IT Crowd”, and I have added “Daredevil” to stuff that I can let play while I am sitting around.  But it was the movie, “Nebraska”, a film that I really enjoyed and thought was nicely done that kind of crystallizes the difference in my interests and what I am drawn to and that which I believe others would find interesting and worthwhile.  Sitting around and watching mindless comedy or simplistic, low-branch dramas just are not worth my time.  I’d rather skim through a book or read and correlate ideas that I can adopt into my own philosophical perspectives.  Anywho, I am only willing to go see “Ride Along” if it means that when I make a suggestion for the cinema, that  my choice is not regarded with disdain and scoffed at because it may appear to lie outside of one’s norm for entertainment.

Whenever I think about the state of the interpersonal relationships in my life, as well as the future potential of them, I kind of think wistfully and the snickering grin of the twerpy teenage self manifests itself until I feel the full presence of who I was at 17, unsure about what lay ahead of him, but eager to get on with what  “the life’s pursuit”.  The connectedness that I have had with people, women in particular, have already exceeded my hopes.  And though I don’t have the material wealth that for some would signify a good, happy, and full life, the life I have led, the life that I lead, continues to fill me each and every day.  My regrets are few, and I await my future with an unflagging enthusiasm… whether it is a future spent shared with anyone or not.

I have begun to become a little unnerved at those who are left unsettled at the idea of aging without a partner.  I remember the comic strip, “The Norm” ran a strip with the titular character and his wife dancing and narration read: “Life’s a dance; Find a partner!”.  I remember clipping it out (and I prolly still have the strip in question) and thinking to myself that someone is going to want to  “dance with me” and I never was too concerned about finding someone to be with.  But I cut that comic out a couple of decades ago… and here I am, still dancing through life without a partner.  And the thing of it, is that it does not matter to me whether I find someone to partner with or not.  It is just that when I hear people say that it is a cornerstone to their future happiness in middle age… am I crazy or what?  Why don’t I feel ANYTHING tangible about being by myself?

Questions like that and other rhetoric takes up some of the free space on my mental hard drive.  I don’t think that it is because of something that I am ACTUALLY thinking about or even feel.  It is the echoes of the many other lonely souls that are dashing about town, from the few whom I know and the many others that I see and feel as I “jog ‘round town”.  And when I watch movies like “Nebraska” or do things like go to the Joslyn Art Museum to primarily see the works of particular artists.

One Saturday I went to get a haircut and in the barbershop I go to, there are a couple of televisions.  Both of them have a cable hook-up but for some reason, only the one in the front of the shop, was on.  The female barber there “sorta maybe” would like to meet me outside of the barber shop, but moments like this particular day has always kept me from speaking to her outside of the client-barber relationship.

Though she had a cat in her chair and was clipping him up, she kept stealing glances at the television.  BET was showing the sequel to “Big Momma’s House” and seeing her do that created terminal friction between the possibility of her and I establishing anything outside of the barber shop and my own hopes and expectations of a potential partner.  Why was she still finding herself drawn to a movie that she has no doubt seen before, and why would I want to know more about someone who found the entertainment magnetism of such fare that distracting to where she could not devote full concentration at her ONE JOB at hand?  And my observation does get a bit more complicated than just that moment, but the result of it all is that I gained enough information to reach a decision on my possible interest in her.

I do believe that there is a way that you carry yourself when you are really open to full participation in a relationship. - Me

What makes me concern with being alone… first, the point of this particular entry as well as any similar in the past, is the research on loneliness.  It is a negative impact on a person’s health, particularly a man’s health.  Not having a partner to encourage doctor’s visits, monitor diet, to say nothing of what having someone to interact with does in preventing cognitive decline, is on my radar.  But each day I open my door, I also open the potential to interact with others in a meaningful way.  People that I see on my routine travels, to the impulsive detours that I take, all carry weight, carry meaning.  And while I did choose to hobble along with my gout for the month of May, I don’t take any changes in my health (mental or physical) lightly and I keep and make appointments when necessary and not only when convenient.  Along with an improving diet and my interest in physical exercise, the only area that I may be lacking is in the social aspect.

Finding the right people to be a part of your life… since I have always been picky about people who I allow intimate access to me, the “right people” have continually seemed to “find me” as much as I have found them.  The people who I count in my life come up big in different ways, not immediately noticeable and often done unconsciously.  The small things, from asking if I am doing alright and need a day off at work, to getting up from the desk at the atrium of my apartment building so I don’t struggle as much bring in my groceries, these things matter the most to me.  The big stuff… I will manage that to the best of my abilities.  Besides, being alone is not the same as being lonely.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

...AND THE FUTURE COMES INTO FOCUS FOR BUT AN INSTANT


Closing out a week where I was able to keep hope alive!!

In my Spanish 101 class, I was able to bring in a 79 on my most recent quiz!  Tweaked my study habits and I was able to grasp a little more than I had with previous lessons.  Now I don't think that I will be able to have a conversation or anything in Spanish... yet!  But I am back on my way to being able to do just that!!  I am glad that I was able to suck it up, but more on why that is later, man!!

Printed out and mailed away Lexxie's flight information for the end of July.  I am already excited about that, even if all we do is look at one another (which, I can assure you, we won't be limited to!!).  One of the things that I think happens with mail that I send her is that it gets intercepted, because I usually send her a little spending money along with a card or a note.  Since I have never received a confirmation from her that she has received anything... anywho, after finally reaching her on the phone, I feel less inclined to give her custodian the benefit of the doubt and not consider my belief that someone is hijacking communications between us.  At any rate, I hope to have her for a week-and-a-half, with my taking a full week of her visit off.  It also means that I will have cable for a couple of months this summer... we will see if that will be long enough to make me desire television viewing again, but I sincerely doubt it.

I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life.” ~ Kerry Washington

I am not a cat who frequently pays attention to the comments of celebrities.  So much of what they say seems to be calibrated in such a way to make them seem like something that they are not.  But this is a statement that should replace the oft-repeated quote attributed (and she may have NEVER said such mess) to Marilyn Monroe, about "being at worst and best".  It is difficult for me to parse the quote because it covers so much about accepting that not only is their no such thing as a "perfect" person, but in accepting that they themselves are also with flaws, that flaws does not necessarily serve to impair the quality of ones own life.  And neither, I might add, should any of the "imperfections of my person" have any bearing on the person that I have grown into, or the one that I have yet to be.

The article that motivated this entry is not the same one that I borrowed Kerry Washington's quote from.  As I read it and I thought about "certain people I know", I could not help but unconsciously nod in agreement with the author, and with certain statements like, "My checkered past has made me who I am' it has made me more interesting, more intrinsically appealing", which is something that I have always felt about myself, as I ran heedless in my "early burglary years".

Who wants someone without a flaw in their character?  Even as I still remain outside the paradigm for the general woman, I look at those who still are in search of a Prince astride his stallion, impeccable in his riding coat and jodhpurs, boots caked with mud from the match on the polo grounds.  With a jaunty grin and rakish gleam in his eye, dismounting his steed with an effervescence that belies his grace and care, he sweeps her into his arms and bestows upon her --

Aw, whatever... I think that a reader would get the point.  Prince Valiant, with sufficient funds to where that they only had to volunteer or work part-time to simply "amuse themselves". Que sera, I won't begrudge anyone their desire, especially when I KNOW that their desire isn't me.  That is part of why I have always been as forthright as I have been with others, because those who have those "perfect" lives, like the "peaked-in-high-school Rob Lowe", often are deliberate in their hiding of their wounds and scars.  That's cool.  I would rather your wear yours without shame, and allow me to admire them as they are, untarnished with shame or regret.  As for my wounds and what they do for me?  Well, and I am going to borrow this phrase, I believe that they have, along with my past, "...given me unfathomable depths; ...has made me more interesting, more intrinsically appealing."

Think of it; a cat who claims to have seen the world and has only the barest of evidence of his travels... save for a few photos, who would even believe I went to South Bend?  And if I did not have daughters from Carolina, who would think I was from there??  Heck, no one wonders if I am not from Omaha... and were it not for introducing myself, they would have never guessed that I was not a native!  And I say that to make the point that it really is the still waters that run deepest, and there is no need for me to be boastful about anything.  I already know who I am; I am secure within myself.

While there are mysteries within mysteries for me to reveal about myself, who would want to hear the tales of a bland, unimaginative existence of being safely moored in harbor, rather than tested by rough seas of having lived a life worth a story?  The person who wants that is not the person for me.

As chippy and choppy as things have been for me, are right now, and as I am sure they will be in days to come, I am doing well.  I consider myself as still flourishing, still maintaining the necessary balance in my life that is keeps all the plates I have spinning, going strong.  Right now, though things are really challenging, but I still have the ability, and the opportunity to "be extraordinary", and that is just what I plan on doing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TACTICAL POST

TACTICAL

Been tired a lot, feeling worn to the point of being held together by frayed cargo straps and duct tape!  But for me, that has become a good feeling, because I am "chasing both the raven and the wren through gorges unexplored since the dawn..." .  One of the things that I really appreciate about being not only single, but alone, is being free of the mundacities of other people's lives.  For instance, my no-longer-on-probation friend, deals with lingering issues that I have neither the inclination nor desire to affix myself with, or have to be weighted by hearing constant complaints and petty discussions that said complaints inspire.  This is an example of the reoccurring "moments of clarity" that strike me when my fatigue leaves my conscious in a weakened and vulnerable state.

My being alone has allows me the freedom to not hindered by whether or not someone else's issues are going to prevent them from helping me with my concerns, concerns which I have reshevled so that I could be more available to help with their problems.  Understand, I don't think that someone should be exclusively available to me whenever I may call on them without reciprocation.  It is more that I do not think that effort and sacrifice should be exclusive to either me OR them, and that we both do all that we can to be present in one another's lives.  By giving all that you can to someone else, I think that you will discover if they are the "right person" quicker and more painlessly, to be quite honest, than if you were to drag things out in a piecemeal fashion.

Nebraska, in my opinion, never really understood that part of the equation in our particular formula.  That, I think, is crucial to why we did not work out and why our relationships reflected poorly when we held it against our previous marriage.  Though I cannot speak for her, the lack of mutual respect for me as a person and the principals that I chose to make the foundation of my life, truly echoed the discord between my ex-wife and I.  It was not that anyone was a bad person, certainly I don't think that Nebraska is a "bad person", but that being limited to traditional expectations and how to achieve them, really prevented either relationship from being anything more than what they were.

Every now and then, I do find myself thinking about reaching out and making a connection... simply for the sake of community.  But as I type these words in a quiet, lonley corridor at the South Omaha campus of Metro Community College, when I could have just as easily chosen to do so in one of the commons area, where " where there is music and there is people and they're young and alive", I think says more about me than anything that I have manage to write down...

Another personal goal for the month is to continue to progress with my workout regimen.  I have a goal of accomplishing a "1200lbs lift", which is a combined total of three different lifts, the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press.  When I first approached the idea of doing the lift, I brazenly claimed that I will do a 600 lb squat!  Now my current max, accomplished two years ago was 405 lbs, and to go from that to a 600 lb max, is quite staggering!  The reason that I figured on doing that much weight is I know that my bench press is going to underperform, and I would have to make up the weight somewhere.  But I have since re-tooled my estimates, looking to get 500 lbs in both the squat and dead lift, leaving me with a meager 200 lbs to go for my bench press.  Even should I pull off "the grand" in the dead and squat lifts, I still will try to best my previous high of 265 lbs in the bench press.  I think that I will do a video... maybe even put it up on Facebook to wow everyone that gets my feed!

Finally, today I am dragging my stinky (woke up late... had school and took not a bath..!) self to the Joslyn to check out the "American Moderns" exhibit.  Then I can go across the street to the fitness club where I am employed and work out..!  Sounds like a "winner, winner, chicken dinner" schedule to me..!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WHAT'S BEST FOR HIM

TACTICAL

I have been doing about as well as a cat could be.  My struggles with my academics is only a surprise because of my hubris, but it also means that like most underachievers, I just have to work harder.

This past weekend was spent flailing away at a paper that is going to be late, working, and BEING A FRIEND.  It is worth noting because I found a door mat that I shared on my Facebook that greets a would-be visitor with the command to "Go Away" that really encapsulates my desire to be alone with my struggles.  Yet, by no means is it an indicator of the kind of person, or friend, I am to people.

HE LOVES TO SPEAK AND HE LOVES TO BE SPOKEN TO



Anyone who has met me (I've assumed) would be surprised to know of my preference for solitude, what with my verbal nature.  I have rarely found myself out of my depth in conversations over a wide array of topics and interests, often coming up with a few choice comments or other bon mots.  So it often catches a person as of the mark to learn of my true nature.  That said, were I to really peg my character, it would be that of like that of the palm tree, standing vertical with an arch, an arch that allows it the flexibility to bend with flow of the wind no matter the direction it is blowing in. 

The past weekend not only saw me struggle with my "Concept and Reaction" paper for Psychology, but attend two celebrations, the first a function at Creighton University; the other was a private dinner at Hiro 88, a sushi restaurant.  The student that I work with on my own time doing boxing drills, a native of Hawaii, invited me to a festival that the Creighton students from that particular state throws each year.  Apparently, the school has a long-establish program that recruits Hawaiian students to come to Nebraska for school.  It is a pretty big thing, entertainment provided by the students, and a catered dinner.  It was nice, seeing the young men and women of Creighton perform various skits and dances representative of the island's native culture.  I was able a date, which in and of itself is scarcely worth mentioning.  What is worth mentioning, was the meaning that being able to share the festival with "my pupil" had for him.

Now I have not been in that large of a crowd since the Terrance Crawford - Yuorkis Gamboa fight back in June of last year.  Other than scrambling through a few airports (draining), the last time I was around that many people, it was the North Carolina - Michigan State basketball game at Ford Field back in 2008.  Though I don't lead a life that lends itself to being in large crowds of people, I feel that in crowds I go through something that I refer to as "sensory overload".  It did not take much for me to want to leave after me and my date found our seats, but I hung in, enjoyed the show, and most importantly, my pupil, happy.

Riding up the elevator after my date dropped me home, I took inventory of what I was feeling at the time.  Nothing I reflected upon was about "me", it was about being able to share a special night that meant something to a person that I have invested time and commitment in.  This was a night that he had looked forward to, an event that he thought a lot of, and he wanted to share it with me.

Sunday would find me watching Michigan State doing what Michigan State does in the NCAA basketball tournament, which is make the Sweet 16.  Resuming my scuffle with my paper, I had the birthday party of a co-worker to attend.  Fortunately, State played in the early game, leaving me enough time to struggle with homework and get ready for the dinner.

After first going to the wrong restaurant, I got oriented and joined my co-worker and his family.  His in-laws, and I think one of the families of a brother-in-law... I am not sure, was there when I arrived.  It was a few minutes before we were seated, and in the interim, the rest of the party arrived.  As soon as we were seated, the first thing that I noticed were that there were enough chairs for everyone... which meant that he had counted me as part of his party before he had asked me! (well, actually he had TOLD me I was coming... much like I was told that I would be visiting Detroit and my Father last year!)  And much like with the evening prior, my enjoyment came with seeing how fulfilling an event was for someone else.

In the "quid pro quo" view that I have for relationships, it was worth whatever discomfort or out-of-character awkwardness I had to get over to make people that I hold in high esteem happy... and it has been my experience that when you can really do something in the name of and for others, that you receive even more in return.  I feel super comfortable with my relationships with people... though I do sometimes admit that for some folks, I do want to be a better friend, especially in light of the kindnesses that they have shown me.  Even with me being who I am, I like to think that I do pretty well with what I have to work with.  Sometimes, being friends means dealing with being a little uncomfortable, and if you can deal with that, you can make special things happen.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

...AS THE FINAL TENDRILS OF WINTER BEGIN TO RELEASE ITS ICY, BONE-CHILLING GRASP


HIT THE NORTH


One of my favorite cult bands is The Fall.  I listen to their song "Hit The North" pretty frequently on my "Starred" playlist on my Spotify.  I definitely remember it from a random exposure as a twerpy pre-teen.  I would not catch up to it for over a decade, not until I was in Carolina and I was visiting a used record store ('memba them..?) in Fayetteville.  The same would be true for the Pixies, finally finding the album that the song "Ed Is Dead" was on.  Getting back to "Hit The North", I never really got what the song was about... most of the references seemed to be obscure, maybe exclusive to Britain.  Still, it was a unique song when I was young and the notion that "the North" was something to be "Hit" would prove to be very intriguing to me.

Another song which has been recurring in my mind is the ethereal and moody tune by the Boards of Canada called, "The Beach At Redpoint".  Another song with which there is a strong connection to the artist location.  I wonder what it is about the Scottish beach that evoked such a dismal and forlorn expression in music?  I know that could be pondered about a lot of the Boards music... but there has to be more of a connection between the place and this song than random coincidence... doesn't it?

Speaking of random...

REASONS TO TO FAIL


Though the rules that I live by may seem numerous, they actually revolve around three or four pillars of my thinking, so that when they are not understood, makes me think that either it is a willful lack of understanding and/or lack of the capacity for understanding that causes for the misunderstanding between "me and you".  While I don't know how else to say it, the acceptance and proceeding even as you acknowledge your own ignorance, is "like that of a dog biting into stone, a stupidity".  And what is worse is the awareness that you are operating out of ignorance, which, at least to me, than reaching conclusions by purely being stupid.  It is because you know the things that you don't know are important, but you simply don't care enough to become more well informed... about ANYTHING.

An online article spoke to the subject of why relationships do not work out.  There were more like a series of reasons, 4 primary reasons why relationships don't work out.  While I have my "Rules...", I would venture to say that many of them would fall under one of the four primary (or 3 sub-primary reasons  given in the article for the fail).  A lot of the frustration that manifested while I was with Mookie Dee and would occur with Nebraska was of a belief that I have always been clear about one thing in this journal, and that is about myself.  I am too big an a**hole to ever play the victimization card, which is while I thought the violence perpetrated on me by my ex-wife was unfair, I could understand, because with people that I believe either don't like me for what I am or have a image of me that is so thoroughly subjective that it isn't relate to who I am, but more related to the person that they want someone to be in the image of for them.

The article brought up these following several reasons for failure within an intimate relationship.  As follows, they are 1) Courage.  This is something that I had noticed about women in general around my late twenties-early thirties.  This is not to be confused with the skittish ways of how relationships developed in the late teens-early twenties, which were fraught with confusion and fear.  But the courage that people who feel that they have been hurt badly on or by either side of the gender line, has eroded and because of whatever scarring that took place has left them with a memory in which the overarching story is one of fear.  As fearless as I have lived my life, from going to watch Tommy Hearns the few times early in his professional career on the Grand River bus, then walking a mile-and-a-half from the bus stop in the pitch of night, up to now, taking a broken mind and body off where NO ONE  (other than someone who does but doesn't like me..! :0) knows my name, being afraid will get a personal arrogance foul penalty called on you (not to mention thrown immediately out of the game..!).  While only a fool has no fear, fear should NEVER have a hold on a person.  Fear eliminates the ability to want, because achievement is only made in spite of the element of risk.

The external factors outside of your character and your instantaneous, immediate control, can also give failing in relationships a justification for the fail.  Letting your family, friends or who-the-f*ck-ever impact on your relationships is another one of the "it was you who made your due" problems with fearful people in relationships.  It is a sign of a lack of character when concern about what your friends think or how your photos may look with you and this person on Instagram and the numbers of likes your photos with this person gets, invalidates the very reasons that most people get into and develop healthy relationships.

One of my favorite personal sayings... "You should have done better in high school", was developed in part because of people used to blame their lack of opportunity on what they didn't have growing up.  The sad part of this is that I was growing up too, and I knew what this meant, because growing up thinking that you can't because of things like your environment or your family, you were going to suffer from psychological stumbling blocks and create problems where there are none... but you are convinced of otherwise, as though you have schizophrenic-induced breaks from your surroundings.  The things that you either did/did not receive when you were young are NOT my problem.  This doesn't mean that I am not willing to help you but you have got to want help yourself, AND, you have to take the help and move past what is holding you back.  For relationships, that may mean getting over never having a real-life role model to form your expectations on, or your working on getting past your cheating ex-husband (or violent ex-wife :0), to your better place where you can fully participate in a relationship.  If you are not willing or able to participate in a relationship, do you really think you should be in a relationship at all?

Risk.  Either you are all in or you are all out.  This goes back to Old Testament instructions where G-d says either be hot or cold, because being lukewarm gets you spat out of his mouth (man, I am SOO fighting the urge to digress here a bit..!).  From the very beginning of my relationship with Nebraska, I never felt certain that she respected that she had become attached to the unconscious dreams of a child.  What frustrates me is that when attention is paid to a successful (don't we hate it when our friends become successful..?) person, who speaks to how the spark for their passion was first born of childhood interest and encouragement, and I can make the connections to a time when my brain was only just making the connections that allowed the things I was taking in, and for those things to become a life-long drive, and treat them as if they were nonchalant.  You don't have that authority... and the shocking thing is how it is only in those intimate relationships that I have been in, where I have found this contrast to be strongest.  It comes to mind when I think of when I have met someone and they have chosen to believe in the caricature that they have made in their mind of me.

As an adult, particular after my brief stint in the military, I have had a different perspective of my life.  Shoot, from the first time I ever looked down the barrel of a gun, over in a field at the Immaculate Hearts of Mary school on Pembroke and Mansfield (guess who lived on Rutherford just before someone else moved to the 48219..?  Guess who moved out of that neighborhood a few weeks prior to someone elses and their and their family's arrival..?) to the last time when a cat threatened my stepbrother over in the 48235 as an adult, there have been enough real life/death experiences for me to say "f*ck you" to anyone who thinks that I can't understand the importance of things.  Wait, arrogant a**hole of a person, until you look at the cold, unmoving faces and the spiritless bodies of two people you love nearly as much as your own life, then tell me about why you are scared of a cat who walks with a messenger bag or doesn't want to watch "Being Mary Jane".  Not judgin', jus' sayin'...  talk about the audaciousness of self-importance... makes you wonder if they have these incredible and amazing responsibilities, responsibilities that are shared with billions of others and similar to hundreds of millions of them, are they even going through something that is unique?  If so, are you capable enough of understanding and more importantly, respecting, the risk that you engender in the pursuit of a relationship??  If you can't, well, that is your choice.  But in the checks and balances of nature, you can't get more than what you are willing to put up to get it. 

Anywho... tired of rambling... school starts next Tuesday for a cat... wish me luck, Chuck..!