Tuesday, September 27, 2016



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.


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.


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



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.

Sunday, June 19, 2016



First, the straight dope.  I have secured the 2nd weekend in July to visit Ken and his lovely wife Beth at Nutwood.  Then, the first week of August will be KT’s visit to Omaha to see her old man and his NEW partner (I prefer that to any other reference term), as I am going to be moving from Omaha to the nearby town of La Vista! The end of my daughter’s visit will likely leave me just enough time to get ready for school!

I am excited about returning to classes and seeing where the possibilities take me.  A good portion of my free time has been spent watching You Tube videos about space, time, and philosophy… and it harkens back to my childhood of wondering what it would be like to be a man of letters (failing that, like my man Howie on the TV show, “The Fall Guy”), and seemingly becoming knowledgeable about the entirety of existence!

The recent news has just been crazy!  The attack on the Florida nightclub was just beyond my comprehension.  I don’t know what kind of take I have on the situation… there are several angles that one could take on this… still, needless of that, ANY take that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has on ANYTHING is likely to be the WRONG one!


You need not wonder whether you should have an unreliable person as a friend.  An unreliable person is nobody’s friend.”  -Idries Shah

I don’t talk about my depression because I trace its source directly to my disabling brain injury.  There isn’t any emotional situation that I need to “work through”, nor is there a family crisis that lies as a source of all things angst in my life.  Not to mention the freedom from spiritual contradiction that my agnosticism provides me.  Finally, since most of my life has been spent alone and with my thoughts, I don’t think my social aversions does not constitute a sign of my mental state.  If anything, I would have thought my entries from when I first began journaling were a clearer sign that I just might be losing my sanity.  Anywho, I have been depressed for a little while and I have not quite been able to figure out what it is that’s bothering me.

Another reason that I don’t broach the subject of my mental health is that I don’t want anyone to have the “feels” for me.  It is simply supposed to happen per diagnosis of my injury.  What I experience when I am going through an episode is the feeling that I am being draped by cloak or tarp that obscures my sight, and that casts everything in shadow.  There is no reason for me to mention my depression because it is  NOT what makes me sad.  And the things that makes me feel sadness is another kettle of fish.

I picked this fave video of mine because it encompasses my thinking in my moving to Omaha.  The key statement, “We played them in pre-season, who the h*ll takes the third game of the pre-season like it’s bullsh*t?  We played them the third game… the Bears were who we thought they were...”, which should have illuminated the “why” to then-coach Dennis Green’s anger.  By mentioning “the third game of the pre-season”, which NFL teams usually use as a barometer for their starters.  It is in this context that I listened to Coach Green’s rant and how it became a tool of my own philosophical measurement.  Essentially, what likely upset Coach Green was the way his team played… as though they were completely unfamiliar with their opponent when they had only just played them a few weeks before.

My decision to move to Omaha was far from the random bolt it may have seemed when I began blogging than the opportunity that someone in my then-domestic situation turns to as an answer.  That was one of a number of negative presumptions that could have been made about me and my intentions in moving west.  Also, the idea that I was moving to Omaha primarily to be with a particular someone was a point of contention between Nebraska and myself prior to my deciding to move here.  When we first met online, there was a lot of “why Omaha?” in our conversations.  I never thought that with my flailing away with Mookie Dee had changed how she saw me… nor did I think that our rendezvous in Chicago improved my standing in her eyes.  In fact, I had lost ground with her after Chicago, though as for that, she was still pretty okay as far as I was concerned.  Besides, her gains made from our Chicago interlude were merely balancing out other considerations that I held of her from a different time in our relationship.  So you see, if I had came here primarily to be with Nebraska, I could have angered Coach Green!  After all… they are who we thought they were!

Working out my issues and unraveling my thoughts is something that I have always done through my own inner monologues (and yes, I answer myself..!).  It wasn’t until the end of my boxing career and showing the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury, struggling to keep my thoughts clear and focused, did I think that I need to begin keeping a journal.  Never, not in my disaffected “era of my discontent”, did I think that I needed to keep a diary of my days… possibly because I took for granted the gift of being a child of the First World.  Though I always tried to appreciate being born and raised in the Motor, having a Mom who worked for the Pentastar and earning good Union money, I also acknowledge the inner “ugly American” in me.  The kind of snobbery that would go across the bridge and wonder why didn’t they have a Dunkin’ Donuts and what the big deal was with the language fight in Quebec province (actually, I knew all about that even back then… just taking a poetic liberty point..!).

With the designation of introversion taking on a kind of cool status in society, my self-understanding of being an introvert gets lost in popular conversation.  Throw in my sociability, and I have always got how unlikely it may have seemed to people… in spite of all the teasing and insults I absorbed as a kid.  Despite all the incongruities about my perceived character, I have never really found myself “liking” people.  At an early age, I stopped having birthday parties, and Christmas time never really held any romance for me.  I could go on and on, but hanging about in groups never appealed to me, even as a nerdling among my fellow nerds.

Maybe some clarification is needed here, as I did have a group of five kids who I played “Dungeons and Dragons” with in junior high.  Of this group, two others (and about 8 of our fellow classmates) were smart enough to get in one of the three elite high schools in the city.  Here is one of my most major “what ifs” in my life, one where the road clearly diverged.  I did not make the first cut, but to keep from losing teachers, the westernmost of these schools took in more students from their list, and I made it.  My Mom had enrolled me at a parochial school, where I was one of seven or eight black kids, all male, on the east side of town.  I was doing quite well when the second chance came to go to my “dream school”, and I took it.  My decision was made, not impulsively, but with the full (or as full of one as a I could have had at the time) understanding of what my choice entailed.  It was a choice where I would disagree with Frost, and say that the road that I left for another day, if taken, would have made all the difference.  But what you must understand is, there are no regrets.  The most disappointment that I have had in my life has been in one epic choice...


The most epic theme to my sense of consequence in life a section from the song “London Calling” by the “only band that matters”.

Because I am inside myself SO MUCH, I have second thoughts about my second thoughts! It feels like a burden most of the time… being able to make assumptions made on social mores or presume customs based on superficial observances.  “Do you like this song?”  “Are you going to see that movie?”  “Is that singer pretty to you?”  “I bet you eat a mess of chicken, don’t you?”

I have enjoyed the consequence of the choices I have made during “my so-called life”.  The ups and downs of one’s existence is not measured in degrees.  Was life a well-lived one or was it not?  You are not going have time to equivocate when you reach the event horizon of being.

KT is looking forward to visiting in August; me and my new partner are thrilled about going to South Bend.  The way into the light is hard and long.  It has always been that way.  So you might as well smile as you go! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016



I am doing well!  Still a residual loss of range of motion in my left wrist and right ankle that were both afflicted with gout, but I am going to begin stretching both joints to see if by increasing the flexibility of the joints, that will alleviate the problem I am having.

Did NOT get the colonoscopy.   Several reasons… none of them enough to PERMANENTLY write off the test, but with the timing of things coupled with some misfortune, I felt it would be better to have the procedure done next year.

Opening up the calendar and looking for July dates to visit Indiana and my good friend Ken and his wife, Beth, at their home in South Bend.  Hopefully this will be the start of our being travel pals, too, as I am looking forward to traveling (somewhat) around the country, including Detroit!! I don’t think that I need to explain why I need to make traveling home a notable place for me to visit, but after my last trip there, seeing my Dad would likely mean more to me than I had previously anticipated.

Now I am going to keep blogging… I feel that I have to repeat that to myself.  I do miss coming out and seeing what other people have to say, way more than I do having things to write about!!  I do want to start making videos that pertain to health and fitness, including discussions and Q & A’s about working out as well.


Even had my gout not been nigh-incapacitating, I still could have pictured less frequent trips to make blog entries.  The community aspect that was so prevalent when I first began blogging has kind of drifted away from me.  I believe that there are still corners of the internet where people gather with common interests.  But it seems that the community which I once felt a part of has begun to drift away, pushed apart by dark energy.  And for me, that is cool.

There is a line in a song by The Clash (the only band that matters… man, and to think that they lived up to that claim is astonishing..!) “Lost In The Supermarket” … “...that’s how it’s been all around me…”, and while I am aware of the lyrics implication to the song’s character, it feels as though the singer was speaking directly to me.  There are things that, despite their seeming incongruity, has always been in and about my life that I have become accustomed with.  Yet in being accustomed to certain expectations does NOT mean that I also consider myself a prisoner to fate.  Observing other people who feel as though life’s tender mercies are far crueller to them (though as for that, personally, I feel that life is indiscriminate in allocating its blessings) than they are to others, to say nothing of life's bounty of good fortune unfairly being denied them.  That’s not me.  I knew that then, as a teenager, and I know that now, as an adult.  So why did this song, and more importantly, one particular line, have resonance with me?

While I don’t know (and yes, I am aware that the knowledge is a few keystrokes away from me) when they stopped publishing the Zander Hollander sports yearbooks, I remember being in junior high school and reading the college sports, football and basketball, from cover to cover.  Because I lived so much in my head as a kid, I would pretend I was the next big thing in football, only I wanted to be an undiscovered gem at some small college.  Schools like Azusa-Pacific and Cal-Poly Pomona, as well as a host of other universities came into my awareness, including that number, along as “the usual suspects”, was the University of Nebraska (at Kearney, which I have since learned is pronounced “Car-ney”, and not “Kerr-ney”).  I don’t know how many hours that I would spend fantasizing being a football player that starred at a school I was only familiar with through the agegate type in the newspaper on Sunday mornings.  But I do remember thinking that it was likely a town that had the same kind of relation to Omaha as East Lansing does to Detroit (it doesn’t… Kearney is in THE STICKS).  Not sure if I will ever find a way out there, just to say to myself that I have been there (which is what I have done in my world travels).

One of the things that my months-long battle with gout has accomplished is make me reaffirm my “want it bad enough” with regard to my life.  There are things that I still want to do, there are goals that I still aspire to reach.  I got the title of my entry from a recent segment on “The Moth” radio program.  And like my life’s connection to the music that I listen to, the connection to this story is only in the appreciation for the expanse of emotion that it covers, and how the words cloyingly represents the feelings and emotions inside of me.  This is where the ephemeral becomes persistent, and is more of a durable character trait of mine.

Though this start of this year has seen me grudgingly accept the continued progression of my condition, I have in no way abandoned any of the hopes that I have for myself.  I never expected to not face fell challenges en route to wherever it is that I am going, and it is with that understanding that I have coped and mollified my interpersonal disappointments.  Things that I
do know, which have more in common with things that I don’t know that I know, or even where I know them from, won’t let me fall prey to the thoughts of people who have not considered the world beyond their own understanding, but are comforted in the ignorance that precludes the notion that there is more to living than just being.  There are experiences all there for the taking as well, and there has to be more reason for not going out on said experiences than “because”.


...who can’t say what they mean don’t mean what they say”.

I haven’t been too interested in trying to ascertain the relationship vibe here in Omaha.  The main reason is that I simply came to Omaha completely out of f*cks to give.  So when it comes to thinking about Nebraska, Princess, or any of the other three women that I have dated since I have moved here, it has simply been NEITHER this NOR that, and all that is related is that they chose to have left me alone.  This topic bears worth mentioning because I received an odd text AGAIN from the woman with whom I had the best first date ever.  The substance of the conversation is unimportant as is the countenance under which I held it.  I mean… what?  While this melancholy topic would have provided quite the introspection, to do so would fly in the face of things that I said about myself YEARS ago.  I always spoke to the uniqueness of my feelings for Tee Jay, and that having “followed prophecy”, I freed myself from that burden.  One of the things about her that I KNOW that I shared, is the importance of my “formula for happiness”, and how I interpreted Nietzsche’s words.  But then, I guess that is the difference between us… I can and do say what I mean...

Monday, May 2, 2016


One of the things that I have noticed since my diagnosis (as well as experienced prior to the confirmation of my condition) has been what I feel appropriate to term a “mild dissociative fugue”.  Sometimes, I simply lose track of where I am in the world for a few days.  It is a little nerve-wracking, mainly because I can usually predict when a fugue is going to strike, usually when I am tired and my daily “task load” has grown.  Like most less-than-optimal life occurrences, my fugues always seem to occur when I can least afford to be conscious of my limitations.  What frustrates me is the biases that contribute to my lack-of-support, as my anticipation of the further eroding of support (caretaking??) that went on while I was living with Mookie Dee.  

At any rate, getting to my current “less-than” happening, I have again lost a money order, this one $150.  I intended to send it to KT’s Mom, to pay my share of her plane ticket this summer.  What super-frustrates me is that not only had I adopted and followed a protocol to avoid such a re-occurrence (I lost a money order worth $425 that was purchased to pay my monthly rent payment two years ago), but I still had a “memory hole” swallow enough of a day to where I cannot account for my actions or what happened to the money order I had purchased.  

Now it goes without saying that this was a major blow to my finances and its effect was immediate.  It also goes without saying that there is a way forward, just that it has become a lot narrower.


When I started this journal to help me keep my emotional balance, as with many then-and-amazingly-still-current journals, there was a lot of kvetching about how much life’s complexities that were being pondered seemed to be stacked against a brother.  Not only was their lives (and mine) seemingly actively working against them, but they seemingly powerless to stop the the advance of fates tender mercies destroying their hopes.  F*ck that.  I had hoped to straighten out my thoughts so that I can go about affecting my life’s destiny as much as possible.  When I look around at my clutter-rific apartment, I have to say that it feels like I do control my life more than the forces of life control me.  So with that…

“A yes.  A no.  A straight line.  A goal.”  For years, I have repeated this and the following phrase, “That is my formula for happiness.”  It was something that as an adolescent, I thought was more self-serving and making me seem like I was deeper than I really was.  As time wore on and the sentiment that drew me to Nietzsche and Dante, et al. was forgotten, this was one phrase that I kept in mind when my thoughts were clouded.  Though my success at achieving the “straight line” to my path, my goals (as intellectually effete as they may have been), I experienced the glimmers of success.  Now, because of those glimmers, I would demand more of myself and rather than just simply wailing and wanting for divine intervention.  While there are things that I leave up to “fate”, it isn’t that I hope that an imagined deity will reach down and touch my life, it is more that the things that I don’t understand through the data that I receive through my senses and can comprehend intellectually are things beyond my reach.  My “faith” is that thing things that I don’t understand, like the power of human flight, the engineering that makes for transit, and the bytes of computation that adds up to my crappy journal, they all exists and work in a way that is out of my league in terms of explaining.  To me, knowing that there are things working in my existence, just as I am working in my existence, that operate without remorse or regard to my wants, is better for me than it is to simply accept something unproven that another person tells me to place faith in.  My agnosticism is a result of not equivocation, but of patience.  There seems to me to be more to the puzzle than plugging in deities and adding in more computational power.  And now, my ant-like understanding of the curvature of spacetime brings more rationality to my “happiness theorem”.  Because if a curve can be a straight line, why shouldn’t I expect to find my destiny, my happiness in the pursuit of what I think of as a noble raison d’etre?  

Having reaffirmed the “why” to my life, the question of the “how” to my life is now free of the burden of further explanation.  But it is not like I have not explained that aspect of my being.  In an era where the fluidity of what defines our humanity and what it means to be a member of the human family, this is one of the complexities of life the bends and shreds the fabric of our understanding.  

It boggles my spirit… how can you “know” someone, a person, that you have never bothered to look upon in the way that a bibliophile would look upon a prized book from their favorite author?  How self-righteous is it to say that you “know” someone when you have never bothered to look beyond your own understanding of what it means to “be”, not only how it is for another, but what being means to oneself?  And we now come to another area of my life that I would visit, the various deeper interpersonal relationships that I have had since I have been in Omaha.

Perhaps it is because there has become a run on “nerdom”, “geekiness”, and my favorite adjective of self-description, “introvert”, that people no longer respect the boundaries that kept those worlds safely ensconced in their own small groups of star groups and galaxies.  I still remember going to small comic books shows and going to see people like George Takei and Robby the Robot, for little cost.  Now..?  All of “Nerdom” (which, IMO, is the larger umbrella term for those of us on the outside of general society) has been co-opted by the profit motive, and these words are now simply markets to be purchased and then sold to the masses.

I have played “Dungeons and Dragons”.  In the early 80’s I had a comic collection of over 3,000 comics, including every “new” X-Men comic from #94 through #142.  My favorite run of “The Hulk” was when Sal Buscema penciled it, just as the run the Walt Simonson had on my favorite hero, “The Mighty Thor”, was superior to anyone else’s.  But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made changes that may seem subtle to all but the most nuanced fans (or is it fanboys, the newer term for “ultra-geek”).

See, this whole “Infinity Gauntlet” thing was a story that in the 90’s belong to a hero that I really found myself in, Adam Warlock.  In one of the movies there was the surreptitious “nod” to his existence, a scene in “Guardians…” where inside the Collector’s ship may have been the “cocoon” that held Warlock’s body.  And while I could go on, the point of this tangent is to reassert what it once meant to be a “nerd”, especially a comic book nerd, and how much deeper you would have to go before you can honestly make such a claim and be honest about it.  And if it is such for the fantasy worlds of fiction, how much more so is it difficult to gain the complete understanding of a person, the depth of which would allow you to say to them, “I know you.”  Sh*t, there are long married AND loving couples who don’t “know” each other with the completeness that people have casually said that they “know” me.  Telling me that you “know” me, well, if someone did “know me”, they would also be aware of how huge a turn off that is for me.  A big one.

I used to blog about things regarding different social worlds in broad generalities.  I did so not to defame a particular group but because I DID NOT KNOW anything about what I was trying to say, least not with the completeness that would have allowed me a fuller comprehension of what I was attempting to describe.  So for someone to dare say that they “know me” without making more than a facile attempt to get to know me… well… I heard a phrase this weekend that motivated this post… “It’s the things we forget about that tell us who we are,” and to that I would like to add, “...and it is the things that are forgotten about that similarly tell us about others.”  Being careful to watch where I step when talking about memory, there are certain foundational thoughts and concepts that I keep to, like “...a straight line, a goal”, that I have come to believe in a my personal scripture.  So whether or not anyone else understands them matters less than the respect and reverence that they give them.  After all… if one cannot have reverence for the things that I hold dear, how, may I ask, can they have any understanding or respect for me?

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Though training is coming along, I am a little frustrated because I don’t think that my strength levels are close enough to where they were prior to my gout flare.  Yes, I get that being off from weight training for nearly six full months is going to be bit detrimental to my fitness goals, and my training plan is going well and I shouldn’t be concerned.  But I do want to make a respectable showing for my first (and only?!?) competition.  Are the levels where I am at now going to be enough for me to make an event that I can be proud of?  We will know in June for sure!!

Prince’s sudden and unexpected passing has taken over the interwebs.  Twitter, Facebook has become memorials for him.  I remember when he first took to “American Bandstand” and my Aunt mentioned something along the lines of his being “confused” with respect to his androgyny, which by today’s standards would barely be noticeable in most metro areas.  And if it was notable, it would only be in passing, whereas at the time of Prince’s national ascent, a person would have been placing themselves in harm’s way at such an expression of their identity.

I won’t be sharing any particular memories that are associated with my memories of Prince.  There will likely be a number of people going on about their imagined relationship with their fandom and heartbreaking loss.  My sense of what Prince meant to me just doesn’t motivate me to wax melodramatic about him.  Real life, it seems, can often be melodramatic enough for me!

“A insincere and evil friend is to be feared more than a wild beast;  a wild beast may wound your body but an evil friend will wound your mind.” -Buddha

The frequency of my grumbling about my need for solitude and my desire to be alone has finally been settled.  As much as I once looked forward to the possibilities between Nebraska and myself, in my mind, I feel that I communicated how likely things would be between us should things go astray between us.  And it isn’t that because we did not get on well that we don’t get on now… though it sort of does.  What I mean is that I never denied that I was an “either/or” type of person, that for those who want to be intimate and close to me that there is an unspoken commitment that is expected, no, REQUIRED of said individual.  Acolyte or infidel… I MEANT that.  This isn’t a demand… I don’t think that it has to be spoken, given the kind of commitment that I am willing to give one in return.  I would think that it would be understood, particularly after one sees my level of enthusiasm to a relationship.

When I look back and consider how my dwindling relevance in Mookie Dee’s life played in my decision to leave her, the way that my relationship with Nebraska has developed is not at all surprising to me.  I don’t fault her for anything, just as I never faulted Mookie Dee for making the decision that she made regarding us.  It is more that our directions and best interests did not align and this would keep us from finding a harmony were our relationship could co-exist with our individual paths and how we choose to pursue said paths.  This schism between us, is representative of the pondered complexities of life, especially when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat…

One of the things that I feel has allowed me to comment expressively on relationships is my iconoclasm.  For years I have been reminded that my perspective on living runs counter-current  to the flow those others locked in the matrix of mass appeal and thought.  I can still see my older cousin as he explains to an adolescent Mark that, “... the world moves at a certain speed and you have got to either get with it or fall out”,(or something to that effect..!) while I was bullheaded enough to believe that between focus on a direction and random causality would guide my way.  And in many ways, I believe that it has done just that.  At any rate, it is because of where I sit in life, hidden partially in shadow, that I can make as-close-as-it-comes to an objective observation of how people get on, intimately, through the sexual binary of standard relations.  See, while much of my personal journal has been about my “so-called love life”, the fact is, being IN something matters little to me.  The urge to be “in” something is, for me, a mix of curiosity and instinct.a posteriori experiences, that has beckoned to me since I became a fully conscious entity and being.  It is this area of my human experience that I feel the sensations of unreasonable ambivalence.  I don’t think I have ever said that I “wish I was dead” or some other selfish statement of nullification because of my interactions with people.  But it is with the child-like inspection of a scab on the knee or that of a lifeless pigeon lying on the lawn of a neighbor, that I see relations and my role in the lives of those whose paths I’ve crossed.

Monday, April 4, 2016



It’s been a peculiar time around here.  I have not been blogging or reading many blogs lately primarily because I have not been healthy for the past 6 months.  My gout has cleared up but I now have either a cold or maybe “walking pneumonia” that I picked up about a week and-a-half ago.  It isn’t any close to being anything major but I am weary from being unhealthy for so long and my current congestive issue is more annoying than anything.

More on my health highlights … I will have my liver checked out next month.  Moving into middle age has been slightly unnerving, from having intense concern over my HDL numbers and cutting back on certain foods to avoid fat  cloistering around my internal organs!  Next thing you know, I will be eating cottage cheese and making all the early bird dinner specials at restaurants!!

One of the more intriguing changes in my life and something that I have written about before is how unimportant sports have become in my life.  I have not followed the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament since State’s shocking 1st round loss to Middle Tennessee State.  My lack of interest isn’t due to my being a poor sport but in having grown and matured, I don’t follow any level of athletics, amateur or professional, the same as I did when I was younger.  Also, the media saturation of all the outlets surrounding sports that are available is kind of overwhelming as well.  The paradox of choice -- so many sources of information are available that it paralyzes one’s ability to make the best decision in almost any area of life, much less as something as inconsequential as following sports.

When I begin to start my journal entries with a “Tactical” section, it was to separate my random thoughts from what I was actually dealing with.  The inspiration for the journal itself was born out of the stifling isolation that I was suffering while I was living with Mookie Dee and how critical it was that I got myself to a better place, mentally, physically and spiritually.  The process of my journal’s evolution led me to assign a section to what was directly happening to and/or influencing my life versus the random thoughts that occupied the deficit between where I was focused on going and wherever I actually was.  


I think back to the early days of my journal and I would write about how much I was looking forward to moving to Omaha.  Primarily because of the amount of attention that my relationship hopes got, the expectations of what would finally happen between Nebraska and myself once I finally got here may have been outsized.  But that is from my perspective, thinking that there were those who saw the hopes of a possible romance as being a primary motivation for my moving here to Omaha.  At any rate, I understand if (my relationship hopes with Nebraska) there were some readers who thought everything revolved around finding love with Nebraska.  I have always included disclaimers to that effect, but I was never sure that if they ever had any impact… most critically with Nebraska herself.

At some point in the near future, I do expect to have a sit-down with her.  I am interested in hearing what she has to say and how her life has been going.  But I don’t have anything really to share with her, and by that I mean there is nothing going on in my life that I can’t share here in my journal that I would have kept specifically to talk with her about.  I don’t mean anything untoward by saying that, but I do think that I had indicated that I am not really as sociable as I may seem on the internet as I am in person.  Not that I am deliberately opposed to interacting with people and those around me, quite the contrary.  But when it comes on deciding on how I will spend the only concept of any real and intrinsic value to me, time, involved with a person, the bar is simply far higher than it is for someone that I am engaged with in passing only.  Similarly, I figure that if someone is unable to find time to spend engaged with me, that I too, am not of any real value to them as well.

Lastly, being in Omaha has ultimate provided me the opportunity to make sure that I remain free from the things that were the distractions and antagonists in my life.  For instance, for me to rant and rave on relationship would be a contradiction as I am no longer an observer to such things.  The different failings between men and women are of little concern to me, so why would I comment on such things?  

Right now, I am looking forward to going back to school in the fall, my daughter KT visiting me this summer, as well as a road trip to see my friends in Indiana.  Though I still find myself fretting about the the presidential election in the fall, I will not temper the my hopes for the future.