Monday, December 5, 2016

SINCE YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ONE... LET'S MAKE ONE THAT STICKS..!

I think that you can consider this your pre-resolution resolution..!  Many people are going to make promises to themselves, their loved ones, maybe even the medical professionals in their lives.  The reason that I am calling this a resolution is that the nature of my advice is given with the most important aspect of health and fitness… the understanding that the objective is not something that will reveal itself in a few weeks or even a few months.  As I picture conversations with clients in my future, the idea of improving one’s health and quality of life is paramount, and the physical changes have to be secondary to a person’s goal.
The main reason that the health and everyday function will be the main player in my approach to personal training is the comprehensiveness that losing weight entails.  For years, the dominant themes have been “calories in/calories out”  along with “just move” when discussing general health and fitness.  While I agree with the sentiment, the primary issue that has made weight-loss transformation shows watchable television, the complete transformation myth has saddled the fitness industry with unreasonable expectations.  And this is key.  Your goals temper your fitness approach and plan.
In order to have the complete body transformation that has been demonstrated on television shows and in weight loss ads, you have to first have a distinct goal so that you can base your expectations on.  Once you have that, be it an image or a number, you can map a strategy that will help you achieve your expectation.  The next step is prolly the most difficult of them all… the realistic formulation of a plan to safely achieve whatever goal or outcome of your fitness journey you are on.
Trying to make a permanent change through fitness is a mental process through which a person has to decide what they are going to give up in order to obtain their goal.  This is the lever by which the modality is moved by.  If you don’t want to do it, if you don’t want make time for it in your life, and by “it” I am talking about becoming fit,  you simply won’t.  An unmotivated individual has no reason to exercise.  When you ask a person who does work out, who does exercise, what moves them to do so, they often give a variety of reasons.  And having a reason to exercise is what has to be a major part of any fitness program… the want to do it.
Finally, losing weight and becoming fit are only related to one another.  That is why for my next entry, the difference between training and exercise will be the main topic of discussion.  They are not the same, nor are the rationale behind them the same.  Hopefully, my next entry will help clarify the difference and help whoever is reading to know the difference!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

LITERALLY, JUST GET UP AND MOVE..!

HEREVWE GO..!
Never postpone change.  No matter the effective date of implementation, the moment to begin going into a new direction is in the moment of telling oneself that change is needed. It is in that moment, that change begins. For instance, I will examine the holiday weight gain and the New Year resolution to lose the extra weight as an example.
Sitting at home, watching football, after eating large helpings of food that would not be on a vegan’s plate and drinking more than a couple of glasses of wine (ok… I didn’t overeat… I HATE Thanksgiving food… and only could drink one glass of wine, so work with me..!), with both Christmas dinner’s, parties and New Year’s (resolutions) celebrations to look forward on the horizon, the thinking is we are going to just kill it in the gym in 2017!  I don’t think that I would be alone as far as having the initial desire to workout, but the question is what separates those who not only make it to the gym in January but all the way to their weight loss/ fitness goals from those whom the act of becoming healthier and fitter is simply conversation?  
Before I get to that I will share something with you… a recent Iowa State study made the claim that running 7 minutes per day is all one needs to gain benefits from running.  Not only is the duration very doable, the intensity does not have to be that high.  A good jog (maybe a brisk walk..?) down the block and back could give you most if not all, of the positives from a 3-mile run.  How cool is that?  I would not say that jogging down the block will be the way to reach all of your fitness goals, but it could be the start that a person needs to take on more healthful habits along with their running.  That being said…
As a teenager, I became enamored with Friedrich Nietzche.  I don’t think that I even “knew” what philosophy was but I did understand that reading his books’ would somehow shape me into the person that I hope to become.  One quote of Nietzche’s, in particular, has hung over my entire life, and it explains how it is that so many “want” things but not the will to achieve them -”If a man has a why he can bear almost any how”, not only gives the reason most people fail at their fitness goals but their life goals as well.  And yes, it is like that because becoming healthier is a lifestyle, not something that you do once or twice and then its “fixed”.  For many people, it is not about knowledge, nor is it about instruction… it is about finding that ineffable quality in oneself that defines for them their purpose for action and letting that determine their way.
Now with the scientific literature giving the green light for being “lazy” and improving one’s health you have to wonder what is keeping people from doing just that and improving their well-being?  This is where the difference in where people get their motivation and the role of a personal trainer comes into play.  For someone who is intrinsically motivated, the news about how simple and easy the steps to becoming healthier  is likely to be enough.  But for a person who is externally motivated, even with being told that “just walking 7 minutes a day is enough to change their future health outcomes is not going to be enough.  They need to be pushed, cajoled, and shown how to do what they may even know how to do without instruction.  Hence, the role of the personal trainer!
As a personal trainer, my job will be to augment a clients’ “why”.  It isn’t that people don’t have the information that they need to achieve the majority of their fitness goals… it is more that they need a little push to be driven by their own personal reason as to why they want to become fit.  Even with knowing that 7 minutes of walking each day can greatly increase their health outcome, I don’t think that people will “know” what to do.
That is my first fitness tip… walk 7 minutes each day.   I am going to add that the walk should be brisk without being taxing and that the minutes be consecutive.  With that, get out there and get moving!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

BEFORE THE MALAISE SETS IN



It has been “cognitively rough” for a cat since the Presidential election.  At this point, I have still not completely reconciled my thoughts about the events that led to the victory by the G.O.P candidate, but I have not purposely been following the news… and nor do I have any intention of doing so in the near future.  The mix of feelings around the entire process is nauseating because I believe that it would have been a different election season had Democratic officials not pre-selected its candidate for President.  Anywho, the discomfort that seized me when it became clear who the winner would be has begun to ebb.  That said, when will I become “comfortable” and not a walking, breathing, feeling of dread..?

The holidays are coming and that is another component of my discomfort.  My partner’s family celebrates with coming together and having big Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’ at one of their houses.  Finding out that these get-togethers are filled with the typical resentments and dislikes that are common to such affairs, have only inflamed my avowed distaste for these “keeping-up-appearances” events.  I do understand the emotional connection that the women of the family have for these things, but my nature, and not any personal conflicts, is why I am not looking forward to making ANYONE “happy”.  There always have been a part of me that feels as though I am getting shorted in the deal.  In the long run, making my partner and her daughter happy will make up for the discomfort I will experience.

I have been researching the low-carb diet fad, and it is less fad than it is a sound plan.  While I don’t know if I can go full ketogenic, I feel that I most definitely can cut down on my carbohydrate intake, and, of course, be more zealous and focused in my fitness training.  Getting back to diet…

Apparently, eating ketogenic once was a prescription for several conditions. In fact, a ketogenic diet was recommended for epileptic seizures in the early 1900’s.  So, ketogenic diets have been around for a bit and used as a medical option for its health benefits.  And the kicker is, once you enter a state of ketosis your body WILL become more efficient and run better.  Since I have started cutting carbs, my partner has said that she has noticed a difference in how I look, as well as some of my co-workers.  I don’t have the ego to care, just enough to do the maintenance!  

For the past week I have been taking brief (2-5min.) cold showers in the morning.  The practice has been long rumored to have myriad health benefits… and as with eating ketogenic, I am going to do more study to ferret out how valid those rumors are!  The cold weather is certainly going to be a challenge as the temperature drops!  But I will say that I have felt more alert and “activated” since I have started my day with a brisk shower.

Lastly, I am going to start blogging about general fitness and diet stuff regularly in this blog.  I will still give a tactical briefing about my comings and goings.  Though I don’t think that this will ever be “that fitness blog”, I do hope to ferret out some tips to help anyone who comes across this journal.

That is it for now from fly-over country!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

THE APOCALYPSE WAS IN '91 ... WE'LL SURVIVE THIS

TACTICAL

Sometimes, I think I am doing disabled wrong.

I have the past few weeks preparing myself for school by waking up earlier and getting out and about my day.  Not that I was lounging around or anything, but with an 8 a.m. class, I need to be used to being ‘on’ in the wee dark hours of the morning.

As much consternation as is going to go on as a result of the recent Presidential election, for the minority and marginalized groups in America, it is still going to be business as usual.  There may be some added spice to things and I worry a bit about some emboldened yobbos harassing me and my blended family in public, but the disappointment is not without understanding that this is not a real surprise, at least, to anyone in a marginalized group, ESPECIALLY black folk.  I recall in the weeks prior to the election, being approached by a woman that trains where I work and asked about what were my thoughts on the contest for President.  Maybe the President-elect had said some heinous thing (among the many that he uttered on the campaign trail) and I know that the comment was one where it was predicated on my acknowledging how disrespectful the utterance was.  I remember that I said that there were a lot of angry people in this country and that they were responding to his politics.  That was as close as I came during the campaign season to letting it be known what I thought was going to happen.

The referendum that identity politics and blaming the “others” are acceptable again couldn’t have been made clearer.  That is where my concern comes from.  All the closet trolls will be out and it's going to feel like “The Strain” or “The Walking Dead” at times for traditional minorities, where a cat can be out and suddenly find themselves among a horde of reactionaries.  I am reminded of being an adolescent, late 70’s-early 80’s, skirting around the fringes of towns like Dearborn, Warren, and Hazel Park, and  the other inner-ring towns outside of Detroit, and knowing where I was and what I was risking.  So between “code-switching” and a list of other tools that have been used to navigate the white male supremacy social power structure, minority groups now will have to learn and build upon the lessons of the past to ensure that they won’t become marginalized after this current turn in the political climate.  At any rate, this is about all the current event/politics conversation that I have for ANYONE right now.

THINGS THAT YOU EXPECT FROM A DIARY

I have never been one to think much about “what could have been”.  Whenever I have spoke of past relationships, it has been a place of analysis, not regret or with second guessing.  If anything, my reexamination of my “so-called love life” was to reset and the foundational self-esteem that I would need for the subsequent journey that brought me to where I am in my life.  It has been about 10 (!?!) years of blogging, and in that time I would have like to believe that I have grown and re-established who I want to be.  Having said that…

There is a hotel opening up in town that is predicated on being able to attract business based on the fitness traveler model… you know, people who fit in the workout and their careers by making fitness a priority.  Seeing it open up after a couple of years it took going up in construction, I thought of one of the two other possible destinations other than Omaha.  I never mentioned either of them prominently prior to this entry because neither of them was self-generated destinations.

See, the motivation behind my leaving Mookie Dee and Michigan was to take control of my own life.  The irrationality of being unable to find a life back home had been something that was a part of my thought processes from my early burglary years.  I have memories of playing basketball with a neighborhood friend and we would “invent” ourselves as star players in cities without pro teams, playing against each other until dark.  The fact that I still remember vividly how we would have our “franchises” in untraditional cities because we both saw our lives being lived elsewhere.  Even then, as a pre-adolescent, Omaha was a place that I could see myself as calling home.

For me to discard an ideation that had long been a part of me… it would have taken more than the slimmest hopes that I find myself elsewhere, compelled by the hope that love would be attached to my finding a destiny.  And what would it have taken for me to go in another direction, other than the Metroplex, other than to Omaha...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

DARKENING SHADOWS


TACTICAL

No.  I haven’t quit blogging.  Being a full partner in a family has really kept me busy.  I don’t have the opportunity to dwell on “this or that” (because, after all, “this or that” are not related!), which is a very good thing.  Keeping busy with goal-oriented things, taking care of a house, and co-parenting two young women, there isn’t a lot of time left to ponder life’s complexities.

A recent conversation with my partner has opened the very real possibility of returning to the Motor!  With home prices being what they are and my developing handyman skills, the idea of buying and moving into a fixer upper kind of home is no longer as far-fetched as they may have once seemed.  

This summer being “open”, no graduations and no visits being anticipated, I plan on finishing off my junior college adventures and getting ready for my bachelor degree pursuit.  The cool thing about the college transfer program at Metro Community College is that I will have a general studies degree, which I am assuming will make me slightly more attractive in the job market.  That was part of the reason that the conversation between “me and her” turned to Detroit.

I was speaking extemporaneously to no one in particular and I mentioned that I may move back to Michigan and go to State.  This being a selfish, singular vision, one more in line with my self-image of the the Mark that wanted to live a life like the character “Howie” from the 80’s TV show, “The Fall Guy”.  It was during my no-longer-solo soliloquy that I mentioned how if I really put my head down and got the classes/credits that I need this academic year, I could go back to Michigan and get a bachelor’s from State.  Since I wasn’t using my “inside voice” and my partner heard me…

In my life I have been up and down the emotional and social spectrum when it comes to relationships.  From my “ugly duckling” projections in junior high and angsty high school years, to living what has essentially been an adulthood living as “the man we all know and love” (an characterization which has looked increasingly sh*ttier as society has moved away from celebrating men who have sown their oats indiscrimantely), with keen sense of self and identity, whether I am in a relationship or not, I still maintain an objective observation post on my life.  So for me to have had that kind of outburst was normal… when I lived alone.  Not so much when you live around others.

My partner not only heard what I said, she was LISTENING to the words I uttered as well.  Her eyes began welling up almost instantly, and I was reminded of the Hoboken-born penguin in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, tears falling and becoming ice cubes as he is an HOBOKEN born penguin, and returning him to the South Pole was not doing him any favors.  With the words having escaped my mouth and becoming a viable utterance, she reacted from her heart.  “Mark”, she gasped between sobs, “ I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  If you want to go home then I want to go with you, I want to go wherever you want and if you think moving back to Detroit will make you happy, then I will go to Detroit with you.”

Now the long and the short of this should be obvious… my girl is IN love with me.  She would give up all the security, living near her family, in the neighborhood she grew up in, and being only a 5 minute drive from work, to be with me in Whereverville, USA (because I cannot say that going back to Detroit would indeed be my last stop), all of that was… something similar to what I heard from another person a couple of decades ago.

When it comes to registering emotions and truly comprehending all the “feels” that are a part of relationships, I just don’t.  I tried to make that a part of my journaling at the very beginning… I wasn’t trying to find someone to be simpatico with my plight… I have been on the other side of “things” more often than I have been where I was while I was involved with Mookie Dee.  The big difference for me was the level of frustration with my situation with my relationship with Mookie Dee and how complicated my personal welfare had become.  And THAT where the rubber meets the road for me.

One thing that I have never held a grudge against is when a person acts in their own best interest.  Nor have I ever begrudged myself making a choice where I have thought that my best interests perhaps laid elsewhere.  So with that being said…

MORE FROM DEAD WHITE GUYS (specifically GERMAN ones)

Marriage is to halve your rights and double your duties.”  -Arthur Schopenauer

Though we are not married, at this present moment, my partner would not hesitate to accept a proposal from me.  The exchange that brought up the real possibility of returning to the Motor was just an example of how much she cares for me.  But, sorry to be such a downer, if how deeply felt ones affection were held were all that mattered…

I have not been talking about my relationship because I don’t quite know what to make of it.  Over the course of the past year and-a-half and several excursions, numerous home repairs, I still don’t know how feel about her.  We spend quality time together, from watching television, making dinners, and grocery shopping.  Oh… and occasionally planning for our future…

...and with me looking forward to nothing that will dispel my concerns.

The things that are among the most important to me,, being able to remain independent and self-sustaining, are being jeopardized by being in this particular relationship.  Whether this sounds cold, eh, I am not to worried about that.  I am more concerned with the cost of reducing my personal freedoms.  See, the irony in my current relationship and the ones that I have angstily shared in my blog is that economically speaking, being a couple with my current partner looks less-than viable in the long term.  As dry as finance and personal accounting, it can be downright frosty trying to convey a translation from numbers to emotional resonance.  Just as I have never held anything against those relationships (Mookie Dee, Nebraska, and Princess), neither do I feel an obligation to “go down with the ship” for the sake of another persons feelings.  Back in the day, the line that a lot of African-American women used to explain their aversion to prospective partners was, “I can do bad all by myself” (which, I thought, was a lame rationalization).  I have NEVER done “bad” when left to my own devices.

So that will be deciding factor in our relationship… whether we can find a budget that works and allows us to live a balanced life.  That kind of sucks, but it is what it is.  It took me quite a bit to realize this (as our pet dog reaffirms that “I’m her human” as I type), but I did make finances a part of my personal deal-breakers in the beginning of our dating...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THE RANDOM MUSING AT THE SCENE OF A CLEAN-UP AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT


TACTICAL

I am glad for the way that things have ended up working out for me.  Often, my occasionally trite, seemingly relentlessly upbeat mien, has been in some of my past associations to have been an albatross, because it gives me the appearance of being somewhat detached from the truth about life and its harshness. Growing up in the era that I did, before all the things that we see now thanks to the ubiquity of video recording equipment (I mean, cameras , er, phones come with enough technology that you can record your own VIDEO SHOW with them) that allows the discussion of social injustices and inequalities to be seen as more than a cop out.  Much of the rancor, similar to the spirit that the GOP 2016 Presidential candidate has framed his campaign in, seems to be, at least to me, due to the unattractiveness of the images of themselves that they see when their views face the light of objective deconstruction.

Think about it… when you say that you are voting for the GOP candidate, you have to reconcile the sexism, racism, the audacity of the sheer bigotry of his campaign… yep, you have to tell yourself that either you are not a lot of things that Trumpf appears to be and that he really does have a plan for bring the country together, or that you are more like the low-information, racist, and nationalistic throng that appears at his rallies.  But that isn’t what this is about.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS

I came across an article on Buzzfeed that gave a definition to one of the more schadenfreude-ish concepts in life - “The illusion of productivity - The feeling that you get when you go out and buy office supplies”, and it made me think about other things that can be described just as disappointingly illusory… like emotions and feelings surrounding relationships.  This took root in my head because of a coincidence that could only have happened because of the web.  After experiencing this piece of “internet schadenfreude”, this mirage of what may have been possible, a photo of one of the potential life-partners I have met since I have been in Omaha, led me to ponder how each relationship fail provided me with an experience that was like the illusion of being in love.  Now I have never been one of those men who finds succor in finding fault with women, leastways not as typically seen in men lately.  But I wonder if I was more prototypical in how I view women and relationships, how would I look back on the “shadow relationships” that I have experienced in Omaha.

While I remembered meeting this woman clearly… it was at one of the shopping centers here in town, it wasn’t because that it was unique.  What did make the random meet so distinctive is how taken she was with me, repeating several times, “you are a handsome man” as we walked around the mall.  Now I thought I was “kicking game”, but as it always has been with me, the ego-inflation was still muted.    I would invite her to get something to eat and we had a nice dinner together.  We’d go out for a few months, nevertheless, she would simply up and go ghost on me, which has essentially been the common theme in my Omaha experience, even in the process of me being a “really nice guy” to go along with “my being very handsome” (at least as far as she was concerned).  

I can imagine that if I actually socialized with others men (or, for that matter, people in general) that I would be able to classify these encounters in an understood and common fashion.  But because I don’t, and I have my own system of classification for relationships, the degree to which my opinion is accurate is a matter of personal taste.  But I do find that I have a little sympathy for some brothers out there who may be legitimately “good guys” but are finding out that being a good guy, a textbook good catch, is just not enough.  For women of any class, whether good, bad, or just a “plain Jane”, this has been a norm only since always.  This is also why any empathy for the brothers is really more a matter of course to keep the cognitive dissonance from overwhelming me.  I mean, I have to be a man, so I am not going to be able to have but so much empathy for women.  

Having been involved in a relationship where there could have been a case made for me being the “good man” while I was involved with Mookie Dee, it gave me  a more nuanced experience to base my view of relationships upon.  But I remain unable to think of myself as such because of my prior “bad acts” in previous relationships (including the one with Mookie Dee when we were teens..!) with women.  Yet, in applying the kind of logic that I apply to myself to women, it keeps me from the victimization bias that I think shapes the rhetoric whenever the conversational dialogue turns to talk about relationships.  That said, if you aren’t able to look within yourself to find many of the solutions to why you aren’t in the relationship situation that you desire, the likely problem isn't them but YOU.

OR IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHY ALL THE LOVE THAT YOU LONG FOR ELUDES YOU...

Marrying means to halve one's rights and double one's duties” -Arthur Schopenhauer

I could have used a mawkish way of describing what is for those who have navigated the vagaries of relationships, what it takes, the most fundamental of qualities to find happiness in a coupling.  It has been read on cards, sung in pop songs, and whined about in Facebook memes and posts.  But ol’ Arthur gets right to the point.  Yes, being in love means being so full of the emotion that you would climb mountains, but in Schopenhanuer’s quote, you face the full reality of what being so committed to another person entails.  And I agree with the spirit of what Schopenhauer is saying.  You are going to also have to be willing to give up a great deal… and if you are uncertain that you are going to receive, at the very least, like value for what you are giving up, then you won’t do it.  You won’t sacrifice anything on your end, materially or otherwise, especially when it comes to love.

My ex-wife was a person who only saw worth in the things that she thought was important in her life.  My immaturity unsurprisingly kept me from prevented me for applying the knowledge that I had accumulated up to that point.  While I was indeed an a-hole at times (just ask Pecan Sandie) to women, there was never any malice aforethought behind my actions.  I never asked anyone for some kind of material tokens, and certainly never asked for anything with the implications of my request being tied to some kind of emotional currency, say, becoming more involved and care toward someone IF.  But outside of the literal interpretation of Schopenhauer, is a figurative one, one that I have tried to keep at hand and in my full wanness.

I think that the growth in a relationship is finding out how much more there is to your existence when you have found not only someone that is willing to give everything up for you, but when you find someone for whom you are willing to give up the world.  I knew that a long time ago, and it wasn’t because of my love for the words of “old dead white guys”.  Whether it was giving up a Butterfinger in elementary school, or deciding to quit boxing to see if me and my ex-wife could make it, the whole “greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward” thing is true.  I think that people inherently know this, whether they are some selfish kid hogging the toys or a religious figure who has taken on a vow of poverty.  It is a part, I think, a part of the human experience, one that doesn’t get the kind of thought that other things about being human does.

Even as I felt ostracized as a teenager, and carried a sense of foreboding alienation within me as a young adult, I knew that my feelings were not my reality.  Just as one is entitled to their own opinion but not their own set of facts, what one thinks is correct in spite of was not objective analysis (like the GOP presidential candidate..!) is more than likely the incorrect outlook on a situation.  For me and my participation in “the ol’ who’s having what”, boiling down the relationship to its most fundamental elements would be the criteria for how I experienced love.

Getting back to the inspiration for my post… people who really like you act and behave like they really like you.  The people who don’t, act and behave like they don’t like you at all.  And in Omaha, the sisters have generally treated me as though they don’t like me.  Said that and yet, shed no tears for THIS cat!!  Because at the end of the day, I brother is still able to “get his”!! :0)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

HERE AND NOW


LIVING IN THE PRESENT

I made a tactical decision to refrain from journaling for the summer while I dealt with my bout of depression.  Rather than sharing the thoughts of “the imposter*” that was occupying my mind, I made the decision to simply approach what turned out to be an excellent summer.

My girlfriend and I spent a wonderful weekend with our host and hostess, Ken and Beth, at their retreat in Nutwood Junction.  Originally, I had hoped to have stayed there an extra day but my partner had worked a long shift and since I no longer drive, I decided to let her rest and we left for South Bend the next morning.  The next day, the four of us went downtown and took in South Bend.  It made me think about how out of touch the candidates for both major parties are
Unfamiliar with America.  While I haven’t been back to the Motor to see for myself the revitalization that is taking place, knowing how struck the Rust Belt was by the shift in demographics, technology, and in manufacturing, what I saw in South Bend put a smile on my heart.  It was vibrant, energetic and lively.  

The next most excellent event of my summer was hosting my darling, darling daughter KT.  She has certainly grown to be a thoughtful, intelligent, and confident young woman.  Looking at her, speaking with her, it felt like I was looking back at an alternate life, similar to something that Rod Serling may have once thought of for an episode of “Twilight Zone”.  I could not have been happier for her, if indeed she was living gladly in the kind of life that I had willingly forsaken.  Looking back on the previous sentence, I can only think of how “first world” a statement that is… as though I ha d the choice of living a life of achievement and social status or one where I cling to the fringes of society being something within my ability to control… which, of course, it totally is.

Getting back to my daughter’s visit… my partner and her daughter went out of their way to make her a part of their hearts.  From our road trip to the Mall of America, to the girls staying up late and gossiping, there were many moments of genuine emotion between the 4 of us that gave me all the feels.  Along with visiting with Ken and Beth, I can say with complete confidence that my summer was consumed with not only people who I love, but with people who love me as well.  I was able to show KT off to nearly everyone that I hoped for her to meet on her visit.  Not only that, we were able to reach an understanding regarding her sister’s that surprised me in how well-thought out her opinion of our situation was.

The gout that plagued me for nearly 20 months has pretty much cleared up.  My left shoulder still has some stiffness but the range-of-motion that had been so severely compromised in my right ankle has returned.   I should be a lock for school when winter term begins in late fall.

“The fundamental mistake we make (which causes all kinds of trouble and suffering) is the assumption that we exist as a permanent, unified, independent being, the center of a melodrama around which the rest of reality organizes itself.”  ~David Nichtern

I found this quote on Thomas’ blog, Abbie’s Treehouse.  Since I have been in Omaha, there has been little for me to speak of that resembles the PMS’ing that I was doing prior to moving here.  From whatever possible relationship that could have developed between me and Nebraska, to the “at risk” venture that I had with Princess, I haven’t had to concern myself with the failings and desires of others since I left Michigan.  As my life moved away from being centered around me (though I believe that I have always struggled to keep this more about “me” than make this a blog all about ME) and my wants and I began to do my part to organize my life through direct participation in the world I live in.  This meant no long rhapsodizing on past missteps or personal imperfections.  It also meant giving less weight to perception and theory, finding that not only did I have fewer f*cks to give than a one-legged bedouin trying to cross a desert minefield about “things” than before, but to aggressively living in the now.

Lately I have been looking into the nature reality and how our observation, the thoughts we think, everything that we use to understand our existence has already “happened” and that we are actually living in a simulation.  It is a fascinating idea to me, that by measurable definition that what we think of as “now” has already happened.  But since my study into this and related concepts has only been limited to what I have been educated by through my studies at “Google University” (to say nothing of fractured concepts from “the past” stitched together by `my broken mind).  THAT’S the kind of stuff, along with heaping measures of introspection, is what makes up most of the goings on in my thoughts.  It was the pique of my frustration with the then-trending of my life that created the need for me to express myself in an online journal (and for which I am eternally grateful… the friendships that I have made through blogging have really been a boon for me..!) as I navigated my time in the dark woods of life.  Journaling provided me not only with an outlet for my inner dialogues and a chance to add depth to my character (by giving me the chance to make, and more importantly, BE a friend as well), it provided me with what I needed to grow into the person that I am now.

Finally, as this ramble should obviously reveal about me, is that I think about things very deeply.  This trait of mine is not one that was I has always been a part of me… and when I think of the environment where I was nurtured in, listening in to conversations about politics, technology and philosophy, and eventually being allowed to participate in as a child.  So when I mention about a particular viewpoint or stance of mine being one that I have held for “a long time”, then it is likely an idea that had been germinating since I was in 3rd grade at the very least.  This is what I owe to much of my indifference to other people… because I believe they have just NOW began considering whatever is spinning  through disguised as thoughts in their “bonnie wee heads”.

It can be said without equivocation…. I was not in search of a relationship, nor was I trying to find a place where I could be less than an independent adult, living off the hard work of a single parent.  I left Detroit for the same reason that I have always left Detroit… to be daring and take the risk of engaging the world on its terms as best I can… and to hell with what anyone else ever thought.