Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WERE YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO GET HERE WITH ME..?


TACTICAL


Got my plane ticket to South Bend… hoo-rah..!  So if I continue doing the things that I have been doing that has brought me to this point in my life, and I go on to have another positive shared experience with people I care deeply about, I will have won the year!!

Pell Grant came in..!  Winter term, here I come!!  I will have to calculate whether or not I am going to push myself and finish up junior college this upcoming academic year or not… still undecided on that front.

Biked the Keystone Trail down to Bellevue and snatched  bits and pieces of the air show at Offutt Air Force Base this past Sunday.  It was pretty cool… next year I will have to buy a ticket so I can go on post and check it out! London ended up giving me trouble on the way back… :0( Spokes came loose on the rear wheel and it was suggested by the owner of the repair shop that I might want to invest in a custom-made rear wheel… that is around $300 bucks, so some THOUGHT will go into that purchase.  Being a little bit of a bike snob put me on the slippery slope of spending for that kind of upgrade, and it makes sense.  With the amount of riding I do and the fact that I am a big cat, getting a wheel would make a lot of difference.  We will have to do some more “goat-thinkin’” on that idea.

Finally decided to go with an every-other-day study for my Personal Trainer’s certification.  Informally, I will be doing stuff regarding fitness nearly every day, but specific to the exam is what Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday’s will be for!  So it won’t be long until I am an official fitness professional!  Man, from sitting sleepless in a damp townhouse basement in the depths of early mornings, to making it to professional trainer, with progress to a degree in Exercise Science… HOO-RAH!! AIRBORNE!!!

HAVE YOU BEEN THIS WAY ALL THE TIME -- OR WERE YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO GET HERE WITH ME??

It sounds egoistic when people ascribe to themselves a quality that is there for everyone to utilize, even if the actual employing of said action or thinking is rare, and rarer still is the proper implementation of whatever into appropriate and effective utilization into a philosophy or way of being.  That is only a part of what irritates me with Facebook posts … I just have to question the effort that they have put into change (though with Pecan Sandie, waves of guilt crashes against the docks of my soul)… I mean, how many weeks, months if they can stay focused, will it be until they are back into their “Schleprock” mode, posting the social engineered pictures and memes of the sheep, passing it off as serious thought, sincere declaration of intent to be different?

There hasn’t been reason to mention that “I’ve been reborn so many times that I can’t remember them all”, in a long while as I take a run at explaining how difficult it is to make change in your own life.  The main reason that I find it difficult to do so is my philosophy and belief systems are centered around optimism and a willingness to work hard, traits that seem to low on the list of those who talk about change and not the efforts that go into change.  I don’t know when or why being optimistic got such a bad rap… I used to refer to myself as having a “Pollyanna outlook” (until someone “Big Lizard-ed” my using that term… not mention who or any of the 48 contiguous states that this person resides in but… I am sure you get who) because I can’t ever think of a time that I did not expect the very best of all outcomes in my life’s endeavors.  But thinking the misunderstanding of that term and how it was used speaks volumes about why I am the way that I am when it comes to the people I let into my circle. You can say a-hole things, even occasionally do a-hole things… but if you have a lucid, cogent explanation, I won’t think of you as an a-hole.  But if an a-hole is what you ARE, then I ain’t got no use for you.

Having quantified as much as possible regarding how I understand and interpret my life, I already have parameters established for the roles that are available in for anyone who wants to be an active part of my awareness.  The whole introvert thing, while being used so much that it is more of another of the self-diagnosed character markers for those who seek to belong to something or draw attention to oneself.  For instance, purposely trying to find obscure music to claim an obscure, “cool before it was cool”, to listen and for the desire to be out on the forefront of a wave that has probably already came in… that isn’t because I am trying to be an introvert, but it is just who I am.  “The music that they constantly play,” sings Morrissey, “it says nothing to me about my life.” I can no more help finding myself where I do on the musical spectrum no more than I could on the social spectrum.

...speaking of obscure music…
(at least it is to me..!)


This song has been a pleasant earworm for the past two weeks… the use of the word “space” and its vastness hooked me along with the “space” between the beats and the atmospheric vocals that accompany the musical score, I was taken into the clouds and through the levels of atmosphere and floating about in the never-ending and seemingly visible noise betweens points of light.

I imagine the characters in my mind (and blog) and scrutiny being made on them through the prism of this song.  It solidifies my purpose for me and keeps me from being lost in the woefulness of imagining what anyone is doing, from  Mookie Dee, up to the potential recruit who was on probationary status.  Does it matter in the grand scheme of things why the music affects me the way that it does..?  It isn’t going to reveal any great secret or unveil any of the great mysteries of existence … except that it does, at least, for me.

The song is a validation of a sort… unlocking the answers through subtlety, probing introspection and leaving revealed the bareness of a soul.

YOU USED TO CHECK THE WEATHER AND YOU STOPPED THAT
 
One of the many issues that I have with the “tiny brained folk”, people who have never been anywhere, never being exposed to the variety of life is that “they think so small, they used small words…”.  By that I mean it is likely that they have not pondered about what lies outside of their comfort zone.  Having muscled through Toffler’s “Future Shock” as a kid confirmed for me that whether or not that I was right in an absolute sense was less important than the dimensions of life that I believe that I feel I was correct about.

I knew that I was living in a dying society when I was growing up… the death of the hierarchy.  Not only will I get to see a woman president, I believe that my granddaughters will be the first generation of women for whom the patriarchy will matter less to them as the blunt and crude racism of the first half of the 20th century matters to minorities now. Not that it won’t be a factor or that sexism still won’t matter (because the tiny brained are a hardy species and will lurk in the dark places where light doesn’t reach), but it will matter far, far less than it does now or ever did.  Those granddaughters will have children that will be as unfamiliar with the patriarchy as a children today are as unfamiliar with a rotary phone, blatant racism and rampant sexism.

What will the new society of the future look like?  Well, as an adult that is scruffling along below the poverty level and coping with a wonky brain, not to mention the lack of scholarship to bring a strong argument for anything, I don’t have a clue!!  But I do know if you are holding on to the old mythologies rife with bias and ignorance, you will suffer the fate of the dinosaurs and the cro-magnons.

Falling freely through inner space, it is hard for me to alter my unknown trajectory for a known route that will lead to a dead end.  There are some things that I am simply not wired for… and that is why I went ahead and scratched out the profile to my philosophy and I work to project where I intend to go from “here”.  When it comes to personal relationships, realizing what has be done cannot be undone (but maybe they will find a way through quantum mechanics to do it… my postulation is that change in our reality alters the reality in another future, but I digress..!), I am left with really one option -- and it is not upon me to find and present any alternatives… how could I?  

Friday, July 18, 2014

NON-SEQUITUR


PITY BAIT

I would be surprised if everyone who is reading this, currently or in the far-freakin’-flung future doesn’t have one, possibly more, persons who uses social media as a platform for their bitchin’ and moanin’, pissin’ and cryin’.  I know I have several on my feed who are close to me (as many of my Facebook friends are), and most recently, one who has begun to get under my skin (somewhat, as “Facebook don’t count”) has been my youngest daughter’s Mom, Pecan Sandie.  She is going through “something” and has made a move… which I have never been updated on, and since her comings and goings affect Lexie, I would figure she’d at least given me a heads-up, courtesy message… but nevermind that.

Whenever I have had reason to explain the comings and goings of our relationship, particularly our past, I simply shrug and say, “Hey, I was d*ck,” or something to that effect.  It is simpler and easier that trying to explain the intricacies of why the relationship failed.  But in the past two weeks, she has made some postings that if she wasn’t the Mother of my youngest girl, I would have “trolled”, because they are truly the postings that touch every meme, trope, of social media.  For instance…

MANY FRIENDS

This is among the more frightening kind of posts that go around social media, no matter the platform.  Two words: SOCIAL ENGINEERING.  It makes me shudder a little, in the recesses of my frightened soul for the future of humanity.  I can’t believe that anyone could not see through these kinds of things for what they really are -- someone creating a hook into their mind and forcing them to identify with a statement, that with subtle alterations, would have them and their friends, willingly give up the freedom of independent thought.  Preying on the loneliness and the abject emptiness that is the gulf between the things they feel that they need and what they actually receive in their lives.

GOD IS…

I won’t screed on this picture too much.  I don’t want to go into the questions of theology but what bothers me about this kind of posts is my understanding of prayer and asking of the Creator.  I have always thought that you were supposed to go somewhere quiet and have that discussion and that the preaching in this post is best made by those who are more qualified than you are to make such an observation.  And if you are going through things, I think that my man Winston Churchill said it best… “If one is going through hell, it’s best that one keeps going.”  “Like bait” like this draws attention to “you going through something”, which defeats the theological purposes for making this kind of crap post.

SHE TURNED…

This kind of crap is so freakin’ trite!  Ooh, it is like reading the tones that are nails dragging across a chalkboard and hearing the notes in your brain!!  Make like the classic Nike slogan and JUST DO IT and quit telling everybody that you WANT (because if you are posting this crap, then you are not actively “doing” anything!!) change and get the hell up and BE the change you claim you are making in your life!  What the hell..!?!

DEAR MEN…

I get it… I mean I really, really do.  I get all of this.  BUT, my biggest, maybe the ONLY question I have regarding stuff like this is what obligation is the supposed adherent under?  See, the unspoken contract with this sh*t is that you, the claimant, are fulfilling your end of the bargain ?  I have no freakin’ problem with calling out someone on this, because it is easy to.  My former supervisor who noticed my hand badly swollen from a gout flare, who took her evening and devoted it to my well-being, in spite of prior plans or whatever, has it in her character to make this claim, even as my observation is purely platonic.  So when she needed help moving, I was there and available.  See, that is how that works, not simply saying the right things, but getting up and DOING the right things, when it is time to DO the right things.

If she had said, “Oh Mark, I would have taken you to the hospital if you asked!”, after I lost some of the use of my hand, or if I had told her, “Oh, I could have helped you move,” after the rain ruins her refrigerator that she had to leave out because she needed “one more pair of hands”, to get it inside before the storm, what would have been the use of being ANYTHING, much less a good man/woman is, if all it is to you is a clever post on your feed?

TWO THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER CHASE …

More stuff from the “I get it” files.  I mean, I do.  See, Mookie Dee and the SFC would not have happened if I was “chasing” something.  Those were calculated steps that I took and now looking back, I see that they were necessary for me to grow and determine the direction to where I was going in my life.

In ways too numerous for me to explain, this should be self-explanatory.  Should one ever find themselves in a position where they feel “compelled” to chase someone or something (as opposed to being willingly engaged in a chase for someone or SOMETHING), then I would expect them to review the purpose of their relationship to the object or goal of their desire.  Whether they should or shouldn’t isn’t for me or anyone outside of the pursuer to say… I know that I would not risk chasing someone who did not want me to catch them, but even in the chase, there are things to be learned about oneself.  Anywho… people who make this a regular part of their attention-seeking pity/talmudic wisdom post on social media seem to me to be destined for continued aimlessness in their lives.

BUT WAIT…

Other than Nebraska and the SFC, I don’t have anyone that I “know” reading my rants.  Though I have begun to count several readers among my intimates, the thing is that they have confirmed for themselves the person that I am, observing that the variance between who I promote here and “the man we all know and love” is far less than “the margin of error”, so to that end, I claim to be who I say I am.  Also, “blog” is still synonymous with “journal”, and that is what I use this for.  Maybe if I weren’t walking around dizzy with issues of cognitive injury, assaulted by the venal and the pettiness of those in my immediate vicinity which drove me to journal, I would have ceased long ago.  Now, I have to wonder how long I am going to keep this up.  I mean, scripted journals go on and on, frequently measuring the length of the author’s lives.  Besides, the utility of my journal has served me well.

The primary reason for this post is to contrast Pecan Sandie’s postings with my interpretation to show how mismatched we were/are.  I cannot fathom of going back to Carolina for Lexxie’s graduation when I would have to lean on someone so unstable for my support.  Better I send our daughter the money and an invitation to Omaha than for me to go back to an area that I feel is declining and risk getting banged around because of indifferent attitude towards my well-being.

I rank self-pity extremely low on my list of desirable traits and qualities in the people in my life.  There is a science to life and not acknowledging this will mean you are likely ignorant of the disciplines that govern living.  One of the things that self-pity does is that it excuses you for your contribution to whatever condition you are in, allows for you to export your grief at your own ineffectualness at living in the hopes of gaining mistaken compassion and understanding for sincere emotion.

Look, the world gives not a sh*t about you and your troubles.  Whatever you have brought to the table is what you have to work with… and if all you have is a bag full of regrets, broken promises, and unfulfilled potential, then you are not going to get much in bartering.  Keep that mess, and figure a way to develop and resource in you the things that will be of value to the world… if not that, then aspire to be SOMETHING that is valued and work from there.

Pecan Sandie is a good kid and I really do carry guilt for our relationship.  Despite me singling out her mania (because she claims that people wonder about me and my comments on her vague “it’s not about me, but it is” posts)-driven Facebooking, I still hope that she somehow can find that missing piece, fill that blank space in her life, to where she knows contentment.  But for most errybody else who makes these kinds of posts… eff ‘em, especially if they can’t take a joke..!

EPILOGUE

Maybe the plane ticket will go back down to its mid-week price… I will be getting my ticket one way or another on Monday morning to South Bend..!  With good things ahead for Mr. Mischief, should there be an excursion to the Motor, the first round is on him, and that means I will be having a Guinness..!  I will let Skye know that I will be in town, and who knows… maybe Tee Jay will take time out of her busy schedule to drink a beer or two with us.!!  Ahh, good times if they happen and if they don’t, well, I still get to hang out in the Junction with Ken and Beth, along with Sheeba and the rest of the critters in Nutwood..!

Monday, July 14, 2014

WHO YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT


TACTICAL


I guess I will hope to get my plane ticket to South Bend THIS week, as I miscalculated when I was getting paid!  It is a bummer, because I found a ticket for $230, which was the best price ever!!  It would be cool to catch a price like that, which would be a savings of $100 off the prices that I have already scoped out.

Madison, my Trek road bike, has been replaced gratis by the Trek company.The frame was broken, and that isn’t supposed to happen.  I did have to pay for the rear axle which came to about $40.  I decided to keep the name, and along with a refurbished London, I have 2 pretty cool bikes!!

August will likely mark the month I start picking up the pace on my roadwork.  I am kind of experimenting with some interval training, some of which I will have to do something that I dread, going to secondary sites to run.  I am accustomed to opening my door and doing the “left, right, left” down the street as I close my door.  But there are some runs that because of their intended goals, will prolly require me to find a route to properly execute the suggested training.

Right now, I think that I am going to let the fall come and go without any taking classes at Metro Community College. This is going to be an executive decision and that will be that with that.  No need to press myself when it comes to academics, and with adding my certification studying to the mix, I will be better served by getting my certification to be a Personal Trainer. Who knows… maybe I will send my soon-to-be updated resume to a company and get hired in as a part of their wellness program (or something!).
_________________________________________________________________________________

"You need somebody that really cares about you to tell you you're not remembering like you were"  -former NFL and Notre Dame football player Ricky Waters

I don’t have the kind of drama that plagued my life I first began my journal.  This is not because I have adjusted to my condition (to the contrary, I believe that I push the edges of my abilities in spite of what may be recommended, medically speaking, for someone in my situation ) as time has gone on.  But other than willpower and belief that I can do what I set out to do in life (whatever that may yet be), and having codified my life in the abstract, has kept me from panicking or from losing my way as I go about the world.

Thinking of myself in the abstract has also helped me to remain unique and untroubled by my lack of having a defined identity in society.  My way of thinking is very iconoclastic, and by iconoclastic I mean there are no sacred cows in my world (save for maybe Tommy Hearns :0)).  Everything is up for critique and examination, with new findings to be considered and reconsidered over and again.  I can’t be easily placed, nor can my behavior be reliably predicted.

On Facebook, Beth posted an article about former Notre Dame and NFL star Ricky Watters and his journey back to Notre Dame to finish his bachelor degree.  I was particularly drawn to the segment of the article where he discusses his dealing with concussions problems resulting from his football career.  His wife, Catherina, really nails it when she talks of her experience with her husband and brain injury.  “It’s hard. If you don’t live with that person, you wouldn’t notice. You probably find that he speaks intelligently and speaks well. He remembers the questions that you’re asking. But it’s something that I definitely can tell.”  For me, my co-workers, along with my therapist, reliably serve that purpose for me.  

About two months ago, as the stress began to build around my Carolina trip and finishing school for the spring, one of my supervisors and I were having a discussion about “nothing”, when she asked me a question and I had to consciously “think” about my response.  She waited, patiently I might add, and after I was able to respond, she said, “I get it… sometimes it takes you a second to get things straightened around”, with the unsaid reference to my condition.  It did not bother me… instead, I took it as a sign that she CARES and does so in an active way.  Then, before I went out with Nebraska, after we rescheduled, she overheard me mention that I was going out with an “old friend”, and she shot me a sideways glance.  “You aren’t going back out with Princess again?”, with the same kind of concern that you would expect to hear from someone “who gives a damn plus”.  While I don’t make personal slips like this often, I guess the gossip story from that relationship is that Princess was a crappy person to me.  And, I guess, she was.  She was very crappy at the end, but I had no idea that it mattered in the least to anyone other than me.  I was touched, because I NEVER assume that anyone concerns themselves with my well-being, rather relying on being pleasantly surprised when I am enlightened to the contrary.  The reason for this is quite simple… the people that I should have been able to assume to have a vested interest in my well-being have usually been those who could have actually cared less about me, if I were to judge them by their actions.

Right now my needs demands certain things of people who want to be in my life, particularly if they want to be close to me.  The irony of those who would believe that my requirements are being driven by my disability is that nothing could be, in my mind, further from the truth.  The things that Ricky Watters and his wife speak about aren’t specific to having to deal with brain injury as it is, at least as it appears to me, more about fairness and compassion.  Either you have it for someone or you don’t.  For instance, these were elements that were missing in my relationships with my ex-wife and Mookie Dee.  Neither of them were fair or compassionate in the respective relationships that we had, and I feel that because that lack those two components, the two relationship failed miserably.  It also explains why I find those who engage in the “back and forth” of unstable relationships as intriguing in the same way that a young child is intrigued by the formation of a scab on the knee. The painful process of acquiring the scab and watching its formation is not something that desired again.

Yeah… this is a not-so-veiled indictment of generally recent local developments.  I am a very competitive and I don’t like feeling like I lost a competition (and if you don’t think that one of the key dimensions of life is not driven by competitiveness, then I am sorry, but maybe that means you have “lost” already)... yet another reason that I have never considered trying to actively win back an ex-girlfriend.  My mental image of a "relationship rematch” is immortalized by what I saw in the second Aaron Pryor - Alexis Arguello boxing match.  Their first fight was a classic, but there was controversy despite its conclusive end.  The rematch, a good fight, not classic, was just as conclusive.  It was over, the debate of who was the better fighter.  I believe the same about relationship, only that instead of winners and losers, there is an uneasy truce, that grows to be an observed armistice that defines the limits of that one relationship.

The moments that make a healthy relationship… the growth between the two parties from the start to wherever they are now… all that is gone.  The person that has been evolved to… I missed the process and missed that they have gone through… this was evident in the trio of relationships that I have tried to reconnect to, Mookie Dee, Tee Jay, and the SFC.  This does not mean that the emotions expressed, particularly in the latter two, were not genuine. It is that the  the experiences reconfirmed for me that “where you come from is gone … and where you thought you were goin’ to weren’t never there… and where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away from it…


Nebraska has had experiences that are beyond the scope of my own personal mission, and I would have to wonder how much has being reckless with my life’s opportunities catching up to me… what would be my motivation to even try??  I have matured  to where I find the words of Sgt. Murtaugh “I’m too old for this sh*t” to be very applicable at this time in my life. That is something that is one of the indirect objectives of this year.  There are still mountains to be climbed in my life, but not without following procedure, not without accounting for and evaluation of risk.  Should I fall short, it will not be because of “things that I knew better than”,  and understanding that would eventually be the foundation to why it is doubtful if I go back to Carolina for Lexxie’s graduation.  That is a tale for another time… this entry has run overtime...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

GENERAL UPDATE


EH ... JUST WHAT'S WHAT WITH A CAT..!

The meet with Nebraska not only exceeded my expectations, but was genuinely a meet between two people who were interested in one another.  I don’t know what this means, but I enjoyed listening to her talk about her newfound appreciation for running and of course, she looked beautiful.  It was a good time and I can see doing brunches and lunches with her periodically (especially since she did not "return the favor" and stand me up as payback for my missing our previous meet!).  And I could just as likely never purposely see her again for the rest of my life.

This is something that I haven’t dealt with directly in my journal for a while, but I did not choose to pick up and live alone* to go and add relationships to my life.  I am not a misanthrope by any stretch of the imagination, but neither do I think of myself as someone who is even interested in sharing experiences with others… which is why I don’t have souvenirs to detail my life’s travels, evidence of my claims to having “done this” and “gone there”.  It has always been enough that the people who were a part of my life knew that I had spent my life doing the things that I have laid claim to and that I have managed to take shots at the things that I have always wanted to do… like living here in Omaha.

For instance, if you stripped away my connection to my hometown’s professional sports teams, and, of course, Michigan State, from my identity, I don’t think anyone would think that I was not bred and born in Omaha.  After all, I only have good things to say about the city, and I feel as if it has embraced me.  I am not only trying to embrace the city back, but I am also trying to ingratiate myself into the social fabric of the local community. Talking about how Omaha compares to Detroit or any other place that I have lived in would be counter-productive and doing my life experience a great disservice.  I think that it is having been to different places, different areas of the country, the world, even, has wisened me to where I know better than to contrast and compare to what I have left behind.  It is hard to start something new when you are still replaying the same stories from where you are from.  Can’t evolve that way.

Next week I am going to purchase a round-trip ticket to South Bend, Indiana, so I can visit my friend Ken and his wife, Beth.  Though I am still undecided on starting school this fall and waiting for winter term, or going ahead and trying to make up for the work I will miss over my second vaycay, I am really looking forward to making the trip.  After all, it has been, along with my  a successful Carolina trip and progress in my spring term from my last academic year, the means I am using to determine if I had a good year or not… and so far, things have been just great!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD… I DON’T THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS

TACTICAL


Friday afternoon was spent at the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall with a co-worker.  I had mentioned that I was planning on riding out there and he suggested that we ride out together.  Just because I am not particularly adept at making friends, it does not mean that I am not friendly, so I took the opportunity ride out to the mall with him.


The small talk we made with each other was just that.  Our conversation was very light, nothing too deep or broad.  It was comfortable, and I would go out with him again, maybe even to a bar to watch sports or something… who the hell knows?  It has been a couple of DECADES since I have had someone to hang about with and I have kind of lost the feel for friendship.  Which leads me to…


Nebraska and I are still on for early this evening.  I am a little lost at what our meet will be like.  I think that one of the peculiar things about me is how I can be distant when I come across as such social person.  One of the things that I do postulate on regarding the date is a basic misunderstanding of things between us.  I had not mentioned her with regard to my pre-Carolina visit stress because I want for her companionship or friendship.  My feelings were roiling and the emotions that were frozen on the north borders broke free from a floe and briefly surfaced in my mind.


I am really looking forward to my visit to Nutwood Junction this summer!  I think that I will miss some school, but I have not decided to actually take classes in the fall.  With regards to how that will affect my accomplishments for the year, I don’t think it would be a negative if I delayed school to the fall.  I also have to get my Personal Trainer’s Certification this summer as well.  Regardless of what happens, I am sure that I will figure it out!!


Sitting here on at a computer station at the library, I think that I will figure out how to use my gifted-to-me laptop.  Clicking through the webpages regarding the OS, I am looking forward to using it and maybe I can become a novice computer geek in the process!


SO JUST STOP IT... STOP USING THE WORD "PRIORITY"


It isn't that you don’t have the time or that you don’t have the energy for the things that you want in your life.  Between deciding on a plan to reach your desires and actually doing the things that are necessary to making your goals a reality, the thing that I think is the greatest determinant of whether or not you will make your dreams happen relates to how important something is to you.  For instance, I am going to begin posting to Facebook not only my run times, but my work out schedule as well.  I think that it will play well with my studying for my certification and be an extension of my personal philosophical expression.


Take my “formula for happiness” and the recently adopted into my philosophy, “It’s the right way because it’s my way…” statement of Jon Gruden.  Along with another statement that I am going to discuss, I don’t leave myself with a whole lot of air when it comes to defining the lack of happiness and contentment in life.


Now maybe this isn’t exactly a statement as much as word substitution exercise… rather than say that, “you don’t have time” or that you are “too busy” for something, whether it is to work on your health or be a better person, tell yourself that “it isn’t a priority”, that the subject of focus is not important enough to merit your attention.  THEN assess the situations in your life that you feel are in need of change, the things that you want in your life.  The crux of my “subliminal trolling” on Facebook is based off of this simple exercise.  And it is where my feelings of where I rated in Nebraska’s life are also based.


I have mentioned before how the vision that I had of Omaha predated my association with her by DECADES.  So it was a little insulting to think that I was going to leap into something because of anything other than my own best interests.  To have attached her to my vision, to my “dream”, if you will, was not a small thing.  But despite my own efforts and explanations, I think that somewhere along the line, the relationship aspect of my moving here may have taken on a purpose of its own, none of which was of my doing.  And that is part of my “confustration” at what took place.


You cannot have a relationship where one person is a priority and the other is left as an “option”.  Worse than being an option in her life, I have often felt as extraneous, like the “player to be named later” in team sports transactions.  Though I can’t say why I felt that way here, just know that at NO TIME have I been under the illusion that I was a priority in her life.

The gym is closing… and I am off to wait and see if Nebraska is going to show up… and if she doesn’t, then I will be able to explain why being stood up is NOT the shameful experience for me that it may be for others..!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

NOT-SO-RANDOM WORDS PUT INTO SENTENCES


There are moments during “the days of my nights and the nights of my days” where I find myself “stuck” -- lost in thought, lost in the vastness of being, as I go from one place to another.  While it is for “neuro-typicals” to laugh off their lapses as “senior moments”, for me they take on another meaning altogether.  I usually catch myself and resume my progress to wherever it is I was going.  But the Sunday I was supposed to meet with Nebraska was not one of those moments.


Before I get to that, let me share with you the life that I have managed to construct for myself since I have been blogging.  If I am not mistaken, I begin keeping a blog not too long after my diagnosis was confirmed by the Social Security Administration and the battery of expert medical personnel that I was sent to that verified the initial diagnosis of brain injury.  From sleepless nights spent in a musty townhome where people existed but were not living, to my simple, yet appropriately (if cluttered) furnished apartment in government housing (for which, btw, I pay MARKET RATES FOR and not some adjusted for income rent), engaged in the matriculation process, I have to feel a wee bit proud of myself.  I have a job where I am respected and appreciate by nearly everyone that I know, to have the occasional surprise from out of the blue, and this is achieved nearly each and every day (after all, I only need to find a penny or a bottle cap to achieve that!  :0))  That I have done so without Nebraska playing a major role in my progress since I have been in Omaha is indicative of what I have said all along … this was NOT about my following desire to be in a relationship  (which, btw, would contradict much of  what I have said about my character), but the romanticism of my journey has been contained with following the inspiration put into me by Johnny Rodgers, Marlon Perkins, and unfrosted strawberry pop-tarts, to its logical conclusion.


Most people with my condition live under “controlled circumstances”, where even the most independently capable of them still live with certain accommodations, to say nothing of completely living on their own, without a family member or someone with a vested interest in their well being anywhere in sight.  But I determined that I would rather take my chances on my own than risk living under anyone’s guardianship.  Simply put … F*CK THAT...


Now the details of the how the relationship with Nebraska and myself came to the standstill it has reached are still proprietary.  But ultimately, for me at least, not having made the same kinds of mistakes that I have before already is itself a bonus!  I cannot stress enough how it was opportunity and not a relationship, that drew me to Omaha.


As I returned home from the Terrence “Bud” Crawford title fight Saturday night, I was caught in a sudden downpour and had to wait it out at the Greyhound Station.  My rear tire  caught a flat and I had been walking from the Qwest Center towards home.  As the showers slowed to a fine drizzle, I left overhang of the bus station and made my way home.  It is only in reflection that I realize there was no one for me to call, no one I could have reasonably have reached out to and expect them to do anything to alleviate my situation…

...and honestly, I could not have felt any better about my life!

When it came down to doing what I needed to do in order to make the meet with Nebraska, I had to wonder if this was worth it for me.  I mean, I am a single cat, with no family nearby (if I were to even speak of them) and locally, all of my friends are more like “associates with privileges” than real friends, and I would not dare to call on them for such a “reasonable calamity” as a flat bike .tire in the rain, two miles from home.  But maybe if I had such a friend, or were in a relationship with someone who “cared” about me… and that is what made me decided to give up pushing myself to find the brewery where I was supposed to meet Nebraska and instead go home.  Rather than being taken rudely, I would think that it would be understood how I came to my decision… all, Mike Singletary would have gotten it!
I have never asked to be graded on a sliding scale because of my injury.  At no time have I asked for anyone to grant me an adjustment “because of” anything, and likewise, I DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY. Whether or not I reach my goals or not means less to me than does the ethos of Roosevelt’s fabled “Man In The Arena” speech.  I will strive and fight the good fight to the best of my ability.  After all, that is an universal expectation, that someone will give you their best… up to and including when they don’t. Which brings to mind another quote, this one by Marilyn Monroe, which I think empowers the selfish and thoughtless who cling to this as a gospel. “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”  Man, I cannot properly express the amount of f*cks I don’t give for a selfish woman who clings to this dogma as sound advice!
This Sunday we plan on trying to meet again, Nebraska and I.  Since she has asked for the meet, the anxiety I have surrounding her and our meeting (and to be honest, my concerns begin regarding future events beyond my influence grow almost geometrically over time..!) has returned, especially since “our past” is off limits.  Whatever went down between us shall be left to our individual perspectives, and if we have anything, we will find out when we sit down for our dinner…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EARLY SUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM

TACTICAL

The trip to see KT graduate was very fulfilling.  I think that the joy and love in this picture says it all.  I told her mother, Nixxie, that it was the second-best event I was a part of, the first being KT’s birth.  I don’t believe that any event will surpass these two moments as far as being the “right thing” in terms of my own course of action, but subsequent moments can fall in line and join them on the list!!
 

I don’t have a lot of details, but because it was about KT and NOT about me, the yardstick that I used to determine if it was a good trip for me was how happy she was, and she was VERY happy!  So that is all that mattered!!
 
Finally, there was measures of validation between the bond that two of us have, with family members on her Mother’s side recounting how I doted on KT, letting her sleep on my chest (it was something that I read somewhere) among other bonding moments that when you examine specific traits that she  and we share, can only be explained by her being “her Father’s daughter”.
 
Ooh, one more thing… being close enough so that she could meet with Lexxie, we tried to contact her sister, who was busy but tellingly, never returned my calls.  When I got back in town, I checked my Facebook and saw a message from Pecan Sandie, scolding me about not visiting Lexxie, saying that it is things like this (my not visiting her while I was in Carolina) is part of the reason why she feels like I don’t care as much about her as I do others (KT and Skye).  Rather than try to explain the “this and that” with me and Lexxie’s two older sisters, I replied by telling her that I spoke with her Mother several times while I was there but never received calls from Lexxie in return.  So, you can just about figure out not only what this means, but what this HAS MEANT for a long time… Grammy is a “hater”!  Not going to get into specifics, but she has made a conscious decision to complicate an already complicated relationship.  Pecan Sandie can’t say it, but I can -- f*ck Grammy!
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London is up and at ‘em!  I will check on Madison (my other bike) later this week and hopefully the Trek dealer can work something out with me with regards to compensation for Maddie’s broken frame.  Next, we will start looking at plane fare to South Bend for later this summer.  Haven’t looked as of this writing but I have to figure that round trip plane fare has to be less to South Bend than it was to Andy Griffith country!
                             
This is also the week I will begin the start of grinding for my Personal Trainer’s certification as well as going over my Accelerated Algebra and Algebra I syllabi as I get ready for more math in school.  I don’t plan on taking Algebra II in the fall, maybe not until January, actually.  I would like very much to push through whatever science classes I have to go through and any other required stuff to transfer over to UN-O.  Right now, everything is looking right for me, and I am curbing my “friend trolling” on Facebook. But it is difficult, because the contradiction between the unimaginative posts that are being made and the reality of their character is a very big target for me to pass up.  And I guess this is where I will jump off into my thoughts…
 
IT’S NOT THE RIGHT WAY BECAUSE IT’S MY WAY, BUT IT IS MY WAY BECAUSE IT’S THE RIGHT WAY.”  -Jon Gruden, former Super Bowl-winning football coach and current ESPN analyst
 
For a long time I believed that it was hard for me to get my ideas across to people because of the way that I thought, the way that I created my opinions and how I think.  “Rare” sounds better than “unique” to me, because “unique” has always seemed to be self-serving and egotistical.  “Rare”, at least to me, connotes something that can be found, of what is reasonably possible if you put forth the effort.   There are other people who construct their thoughts by connecting the seemingly unconnected, and for me, the knowing that other people who minds works differently from the mass density of any particular group, knowing that they exist, well, that has always been justification enough for me.  That I did not know of them personally, that never bothered me.  In fact, one of the indelible moments where I realized this was when I read "Nightcrawler’s Inferno", the story that was published in the comic book The Uncanny X-Men Annual #4 (which introduced me to Dante).  From there, the leap to books like Salinger’s “ Catcher in the  Rye”, Wright’s “Black Boy” and “Native Son”, and most importantly for me, "The Outsider", along with Dante, Socrates, Plato, and my fave German philosophers like Nietzsche, Kant, and Schopenhauer.
 
Going back to Wright, his book, “The Outsider” and his anti-hero Cross Damon was the one literary character I always have identified with the most directly, letting his suffering and fail objectify the life that I was leading/lead.  From his suffering wife, confined to her role not only by the social mores but her own limited vision of the life that could have been for her; his immature and naive young concubine; as well as the reality of the informal apartheid and how, in what had to be an ironic turn, that ostracized him for being “too smart”, not allowing him to be embraced by a community that had yet to see themselves as more than “just the colored, the negro”.  From that moment, reading a book given to me by a teacher who tutored jr. high school children part-time, I begin in earnest down the path I am on today.
 
This processing that takes place in my “brain computer” (term borrowed from Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing) which aggregates and compiles knowledge from many different sources,many different dimensions of life, making it nearly impossible for me to accurately notate and reference “the how” to much of what I believe and think.  What makes this important and why I would rather not be bothered with people is that without being able to make this annotation, poking holes in arguments tethered in “magical thinking” are difficult, if not entirely impossible.  Now, with my injury, I am going to "trust” in the data I have compiled (and constantly see reaffirmed)  and the constructs that I build in my mind based over the less-than-tangible evidence seemingly offered by others.  And never is this more prevalent in my dealings with people.
 
I know “who” my ex-wife is.  I also knew who Mookie Dee and who Tee Jay were.  But the fable of Pandora and her box was meant to teach us that despite what is swirling about us in the storms of life, is that we always have hope to cling to.  In relationships, hope can sometimes be deadly.  Again, our Facebook feeds are filled with updates of those who have what I call “hopeless hope”, people who are in unhappy relationships, people who are yearning for companionship IN SPITE OF CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY.  Hope really isn’t the problem, at least, it doesn’t seem to be.  I think that the shallowness, the selfishness of one or both parties is, combining to undermine the commitment to strive towards change.  But that is because I think that people don’t understand how the word “hope” is supposed to work, grammatically.  And even if they do know how to properly use that word, they do so in a diminished fashion.
 
The comedian Louis CK has a “70-to-90% rule”.  In this rule, he states that if you are 70% sure of anything that you should just do it.  This is because once you make a decision, the happiness you will gain from making a choice and freeing yourself from the inertia of having so many options is worth an extra 10%.
 
"And," he continues, "when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it's a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you're stuck at 90, but who the f*ck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It's incredible!”  While I try to bring at least 80% certainty to a particular thing in my life, lets just go with Louis and his metrics for the sake of argument (after all, it IS pretty sound!).
 
Perhaps it is egoism that causes some of us to feel inflated with our contributions, often at the expense of crediting others who have contributed to our moments, to our successes.  As I did with my ego (a separate entity from my self-esteem), I allow others to assess their contributions to my means to an end, and I accept their efforts for what they were TO THEM.  Whether it came of great effort or not, my appreciation is the same, regardless of the commitment to my cause.
 
A FOUND PENNY CAN MAKE MY DAY
 
No matter the contribution, the smallest gesture can make my day.  I am not too particular to what goes on the “left-side-of-the-ledger”, because when you are broke, both financially and emotionally, adding to the black is always a good thing!  Whatever I am given, I try to make the most effective use of it, because I believe if you are asking for something and you get it, then it is upon you to make of it what you will, to make your “something” happen.  Since I asked for this opportunity, I am doing everything that I can reasonably expect of myself to make the most of what I have.  I have always been that way.

From positive comments left in my blog, to someone genuinely smiling and being grateful for crossing paths with me, I have a keen appreciation for the positive, the “good” in my life.  I hope that I have been at least as thankful for my slot in the time-space continuum, and I want to make as much out of this life as I can.

Yes… finding a penny can make my day.  Not only do I feel better when I find loose change, but when I am able to find Coke product bottle caps or cartons with the point code on them… these are among the small things that bring happiness to my day.  And here is the thing about that… because I am often discovering something that makes me happy, I get to do pass my good mood on to others.
 
In watching Simon Sinek’s talk titled “Why Leaders Eat Last”, one of the takeaways that I got from it is a sharper understanding of why many relationships fail, including ones that I have been a part of.  It is about the choices you make and the motivations that lead directly to security in that relationship.  The willingness to do for others, to make sacrifices that may involve cost but still are done selflessly, those are the acts that count and matter both collectively and individually.  Of course, it is the individual aspect that I am going to focus on, mainly because I am not leading anyone to anywhere right now!
Whether you want to be full partners in a life with someone or have the head-of-household dynamic, there needs to be some sort of recognition of what is important to individuals and what is important collectively, so that full value and respect can be placed on goals and desires.  I believe that without this fundamental understanding that no matter what level the relationship exists upon, that it will not deliver on its promise and is at risk of becoming a full-blown fiasco.  To that end, some of the hallmarks of identifying who is and isn’t “a leader” has nothing to do with material anything, no money, nothing of the sort.  What is on the much-maligned “Successories” poster?  “A leader knows the way and shows the way?”  If you don’t know what you are doing, if you don’t know where you are going, then there is a good chance that you shouldn’t be the leader in a relationship.  Of course, the things that you are can also determine whether or not you are the leader.
 
Now I know that the talk is long, but his first story about an engagement in Afghanistan, speaks to the level of commitment that I have always expected from another person in a relationship.  Sinek contrasts the military and the business world as far as the reward system is concerned.  Other than being naturally geared to solitude, this would be part of the reason I have for not wanting a lot of people in my life.
From my family who should have been naturally inclined to be supportive, to deep and supposedly committed relationships up to and including marriage, finding a supportive partner or entity has been littered with fail.  But because this ramble has gone on long enough… that is IT for now..!