Sometimes, I just don't know anymore. I have sooooo much on my plate, especially since it's almost the holiday season.
I wrote more paragraphs in my thesis and half organized my receipts to make them ready for another process. Both of these are good things to do.
But I should be working on the invite list to the engagement party, putting together a Christmas list and if anything. . .working on my job search marketing materials.
Instead, I watch a TV movie that we have on DVD. It was productive. . .I answered a question that had been hankering me a little bit over the weekend.
Then I played that Shareware poker game on my computer, which is supposed to distract me only temporarily and calm me, so I can write better. I wrote OK, but it took about two hours of playing and going through some frustrated bits and bad luck to feel good enough to write.
I guess there's always tomorrow.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sometimes, I just don't know anymore. I have sooooo much on my plate, especially since it's almost the holiday season.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Before going into anything much, check out The Roundtable of Strayz. A group of us have started up a discussion Blog. We haven't really found a focus or anything yet, but it has some good potential for some interesting discussion.
So another weekend has passed. Nothing much happened.
Went to an interesting dinner party with a bit of serious discussion about politics, philosophy and the dating game. Unfortunately, I had eaten the colossal breakfast at the Watertown diner that afternoon. I still had it in my belly at dinner. I feel very rude, especially since the hosts went out of their way to buy me a special meal of Ethiopian food. Hopefully the plum wine that I brought made up for it.
Almost made it up to Salem today for Halloween fun until someone threw up in a subway trash can. Honestly, not a huge loss for me. I didn't care too much about going. I really just went because I didn't want to give up a minisicule opportunity for fun. I ended up coming home to get a good amount of progress on projects.
At the end of the work week, I had started feeling generally tired and my belly felt generally weird. Not naseaous or anything. I just didn't care to eat. Friday night, I stayed in while the fiancee and some of her friends went out for some Halloween partying.
I finished up Asimov's Foundation and Earth. I actually finished it last night, but I read a huge chunk of it Friday. I think it rounded out the Robot, Empire and Foundation series (how can you pluralize the word series?). I read something of a review that many people thought it brought up to many questions. I honestly think that Asimov could have wrecked a good thing by stretching the whole thing any further.
I had a number of questions about the TV show, Babylon 5 after finishing Foundation and Earth. Not bad questions, just questions about the motivations of some of the Older Races. Both are good stuff, though.
Otherwise, I'm pretty frazzled. Tired.
Oh yeah. . .it snowed yesterday then had melted by this morning. While it snowed, a big branch above our driveway broke off and fell to the ground. Luckily, we could drive around it and head off to the dinner party.
I had an interesting together consolidating names, e-mail address and phone numbers of friends to invite to mine and the fiancee's engagement party and to give Christmas presents. It took me about an hour or so to list the names then find e-mail address for about 4/5 of the people. I figure this project will take me a small bit of time. If I haven't contacted you in awhile or know that I don't have your phone number, please get in touch with me to let me know both/either of them.
BTW, that shareware poker game I purchased over the Internet, possibly the best purchase I've made in awhile. It helps me to distract my brain from thinking about important projects. Or maybe I should say it distracts the conscious part of my brain, so I don't get anxious about a project and allow the unconscious side of my brain mix up the project thoughts with other thoughts or think about the project without straight lines and such. It helps a ton. . ..
But I'm feeling a little out of it with sleepiness. I should get to bed soon.
Posted by The_Lex at 9:31 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Money can't buy you love. . .
But it can steal away the sympathy that can help you feel loved.
A have a couple people I used to hang out with in the past who project a dark image. I don't know if they intentionally do it for humorous reasons, or if they just have real dark attitudes.
After an earlier entry, though, I've thought about taking a turn to dark humor. I seem to a good job at doing it unintentionally.
Posted by The_Lex at 8:54 AM
In a rut.
If I just went to a big college and the excitement died down, I'd probably susceptible to the seduction of some cult.
At least, if I weren't aware of the bad things about cults.
Still, I feel sad.
This entry feels like emotional manipulation. . .
Which I suck at, anyway.
Posted by The_Lex at 6:47 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Like I said, I shouldn't have downloaded then bought a shareware texas holdem game for my computer.
Probably better that I just bought a game rather than play online, as I originally thought about doing. This way, I still waste time. I just don't end up losing money on gambling.
Tomorrow night, though, I have plans to gamble with some folks at a friend's apartment. We all should have a fun time.
The prospect of it has inconveniently thrust me into hyper focusing on learning better strategies than I had back when a bunch of us played weekly or bi-weekly or once a month. I probably broke even. After reading this strategy page to brush up on rules and such, though, I just really got into wanting to play better rather than just going with my gut (you know, like Steven Colbert on the Colbert Report. . .).
On the flipside, I wrote nearly a half page for my thesis with minimum thought. It worked somewhat the same way that I wrote a bunch after working on that Magic: The Gathering deck last week. Unfortunately, I worked on that deck for three hours and probably played computer poker for two to three hours today.
I couldn't get to a bunch of other stuff that I would have liked to do, like work on my resume, cover letter and that kind of stuff. I could just have a certain perspective on it, but 5 to 6 months with a bunch of holidays in the middle doesn't really feel like a long time.
Ah well. . .I am willing to attribute this whole phenomenon to possible ADHD, which leads me to my next topic.
Today, I got a call back from an off site department of Mass General Hospital. I think I mentioned last week the commercial I heard about MGH looking for people with ADHD to study. From what I gathered, they would do an evaluation of you for free. Sounds good for me.
The guy there explained to me a little about the ADHD study department and how they have a bunch of studies to do that can also help out the subjects. We scheduled a 20-minute phone screen tomorrow at around one. I'll have to get away from work and give up some lunch time to do it, but if I do have ADHD, I think addressing this matter without spending my money will prove quite beneficial.
As for now, though, my mind won't let me concentrate too well. It's time to settle down a little with the fiancee and watch some Daily Show and the Colbert Report (pronounce without the T, like they do in French).
Posted by The_Lex at 9:27 PM
Monday, October 24, 2005
I haven't been getting the Mondays lately. At least, not today nor last week. I think I just feel great after having a good weekend of sleep, despite the feeling of not accomplishing anything.
The week runs me down because I don't get enough sleep. I just have way too much to do these days.
I probably would stay up until midnight then wake up at six every day of the week, anyway. I enjoy dreams and sleep. I just don't like waking up to face another weekday. Week nights work best for me because I get to experience freedom. Week days cage me in their monotony and duty.
If you can't tell, I feel a little poetic at the moment.
I'm also listening to the now defunct Boston band, Quickfix. They exhausted me with their non-stop energy with a couple dirges of melancholy.
But today. . .I fell into a little irony.
Before going deeper into this puddle of irony, I have more revelation for the week of depression. I have the feeling that it came from my desire for community. As much as I suck with the social thing, I love to be social. Ironic, yes, but not the irony that I fell into today. But back to revelation: I think I had those obsessive thoughts about those two people because of this feeling of alienation and my huge desire for socializing.
I'm getting closer in the story to my fall into an irony puddle. It's not a tragic fall. . .more of a comedic one.
Last week, while thinking over working better with clients and giving them a better impression of myself and the agency (and also to do the same with people I like and want around me more), I came to the conclusion that in person and over the phone interaction works SO MUCH BETTER than the whole e-mail and letter thing. I can react quicker. My earnestness comes across better. The client and the friend have contact with more of a human presence then some kind of contrived appeal to emotion or reason.
Client-wise, I have had mixed results. One of them I think is really too busy for phone conversations or meeting in person. I keep trying, though, and when that doesn't happen, I send an e-mail. They work with the combination, too.
Another customer couldn't come to the phone often, either, so I had to resort to e-mail. When they saw that I had assumed that we had to move quicker than we needed, though, they called (I told them that we should do the final deal over the phone), and we had a humorous and friendly conversation about the mixed messages, wanting to get it over with and about home buying. I rather enjoyed the conversation.
This other time, I had a pretty good time listening to a customer, thinking up of an answer, handling it quite reasonably and rationally, giving them an answer then cycling this process over and over again. I rather enjoyed the conversation instead of dealing through e-mail or through letters. Humanity and fun does get communicated moreso through our voices than through e-mail and letters. The utilitarian that I am, I never thought about it that way before.
So, if you didn't know, we haven't reached the puddle of irony yet. Just one more step. . .Aaaaaaauuuuuuggggggghhhhhhhhhh!
I started playing phone tag with an old friend who I haven't had contact with for about three years and another close friend. The close friend and I have pretty much resolved our phone tag goals. The old friend and I caught each other at one point, but since he caught me on my commute home, I had to let him go, telling him that I'd call him back tomorrow.
The old friend and I had a good conversation, catching up and surprising each other a little. Maybe I should say that he surprised me since he diverged from the course I thought he would follow. We haven't really caught up, though, so we'll have plenty to address when I call him next and the next time we meet up.
OK. The irony hasn't developed, even though I smashed my nose into the puddle. It needed time to develop. Annnnnnnddddddd the irony.............
Two friends I hadn't from for at least a month e-mailed me. One of them to invite me over for some poker and another to continue correspondence that got discontinued because his mail server kept on rejecting my e-mails.
Well, it's exciting to me. I feel darned frustrated and depressed last week because I don't feel like I've engaged in any good socialization for a long except with my girlfriend. I come up with some plans for becoming more social (including attending a men's discussion group at my old church). All this thinking, sadness and planning, then people from the past come out of the wood work to get back in touch with me.
Yeah, I'm happy.
Now to stay engaged, fully engaged. . .while still getting stuff done. We'll have to see how much I can do. . .
Especially with my move to Chicago in 5 to 6 months.
Yes, I'm feeling a little kooky. It's fun, though. Try it sometime.
Until the next time. . .farewell.
Posted by The_Lex at 9:49 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I feel like I wasted another weekend.
I blame it on some stupid obsessive loop thinking that I fell into last weekend. See, every once in awhile, I have these thoughts about people who I briefly thought of as close friends but grew apart. I've had a lot of people who I considered good friends grow apart from me, but these two people stick in my head for reasons that I don't know nor will I disclose publicly. This type of thinking doesn't always present itself, but every once in awhile, rears its ugly head and harasses me.
But anyway, today, I feel like I figured out the trigger. Last week, I got into an argument with a current friend about something pretty inconsequential. We resolved our disagreement with a temporary impasse. Our discussion afterward about the argument, however, brought some revelations to us about ourselves and the ways we interact with people. Now, I believe that the revelations I had that night inspired me to think obsessively about those two friends from the past.
The thoughts about them still live up there in my head. I think connecting them with my argument from last week has helped to calm them down for now. I hope the calming will continue.
I also don't hesitate to blame work boring me, the feeling of being lost while doing my job search, feeling somewhat behind in life because I don't have a BA and not really having a regular community of people with which to interact as factors that inspire these annoying obsessive thoughts of mine.
One thing that doesn't suck, though: The Babylon 5 first two scores by Christopher Franke of Tangerine Dream fame.
Posted by The_Lex at 9:06 PM
Friday, October 21, 2005
Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)
Posted by The_Lex at 2:51 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
You know, setting the time zone on Blogger gets complicated. I think they have absolutely every time zone in existence on the Earth. Who knew that so many existed?
It's nice not having to adjust the time on every entry, though.
Maybe Shaw's right. Maybe I do accomplish a lot. =D
Posted by The_Lex at 3:44 PM
I've come to think of this ADHD-I thing as something of a hypothesis to integrate into my life. It forms a new bit of data that makes more sense to my "personal history." I need to collect more impressions and testimony from people to understand the history better, though.
It may provide me with some good ways for making sense of my adolescence and college years.
I believe it may have created a presentation of myself that gave people some wrong impressions of me. In some ways, these wrong impressions worked against me, as in seventh grade when I got placed in lower level classes. It took my English teacher who attended my childhood church to recognize my potential. She intervened with my schedule and got me into a level higher class schedule, at least for Language Arts and possibly Social Studies and Science.
Another teacher, a student science teacher, also recognized my potential and intervened in a unique way. I got a bad grade on a multiple choice exam. She had me come into her class room during a study hall. She wanted me to take the exam again, but instead of multiple choice, she had me write an essay on the path blood takes through the heart and the functions of parts in the heart. I got a D or failed the first time, but the second time, I aced it.
On the other hand, though, the impression I sometimes create might create a more favorable situation than I realize. I won't go into details, but I'm starting to realize that in the first semester of my junior year at college, people may have had very good impressions of me. One person possibly may have provided me with ample opportunity for an interesting prospect, but I never realized it. In fact, many people might have done the same, but I never picked up on it.
Nonetheless, from the many chances that they tried giving me but I failed to take, I may have built up a reputation for being something I really wasn't. Then when a certain result occurred that taken from my light was innocent, frustrating and naive, I may've created a picture of myself as a certain level of jerk.
At the same time, my naive self continued to present myself as a pretty nice guy to people who didn't have certain aims for me, so on a poltical level, they didn't have a reason to out me. Maybe they thought they could get to me in a way that other people didn't appeal to me, so I wouldn't do such a jerky thing. Ironically, though, face to face, I wouldn't pick up on the opportunities laid on my lap.
So people would treat me in a certain way to possibly get something from me that I wanted from them, but I didn't see them trying to give it to me. The impression the campus had about me would continue and possibly grow, making me look better, or maybe it could develop in a negative direction but people couldn't necessarily understand how such a nice guy could be a jerk, but they didn't want to chance getting hurt by this jerk that acted all nice.
Long story short, I can see how a certain feedback and iteration system possibly was created through my clueless naivete while other people based their more wordly impression of me on hearsay and the types of things they would do in my position. In their minds, though, I probably did a much better job than them playing it cool when, in fact, I probably had absolutely no idea what was happening.
At the same time, those impressions of me could very well have formed the things that I wanted.
Interesting and amusing. I think on some level, other people have experienced something similar. In my case, though, I think my stubborness in one direction and isolation, to some degree, allowed for this atmosphere to persist.
Frustrating, though, because I believe that this atmosphere still affects me today.
I apologize for the vagueness in this entry. Unfortunately, any disclosure of names or even descriptions might incriminate others.
I may have to start up a personal journal, in addition to this Blog, though. Reading past journals with hindsight has helped me to understand things a lot more. I always see that as a good thing.
But I have so many damn other things to do. Crap!
Posted by The_Lex at 2:08 AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I've done well today. I have remained very cognizant.
I actually suspected that I might not. I thought maybe having an egg last night would trigger off crazy loopiness and extra inattentiveness. I read that eggs can do that to people with ADHD. I recently started eating eggs, and thought that might be the reason for my recent loopiness. I have no conclusive evidence showing the truth to that idea.
At work, I inadvertently came up with a solution for the issue that I indirectly addressed last night. It came to me quite inadvertently. I gave my opinion to a co-worker about how we should handle the situation.
After going back to my desk, my mind started looking at different aspects of that kind of insurance policy. The answer suddenly rushed into my head. Focus on the other aspects of the policy that the limit increase affects. Duh! Silly me!
I guess that route to the solution shows how our unconscious minds can reach a solution in the most indirect, lateral route.
I had a similar thing happen when I came home from work. I effectively procrastinated a little by working on a Magic deck (No, I will not reveal the details of my tweaking for the benefit of my opponents). I worked on it for probably about two and a half hours. Traditionally, I would say that I shouldn't have spent so much time on it.
I should have focused on my thesis, on my job search, on answering e-mails, etc. etc.
The funny thing, though, is that after spending a ton of time on deck arranging, I somehow just sat down and wrote a good paragraph for my thesis without stopping to think that much. I guess the idea about distracting your brain rather than working damned hard on solving or doing something cognitively really can help out a lot to accomplish that goal.
The indirectness really can get confusing, though. How do we figure out the line between procrastinating to put off something and procrastinating to allow the unconscious mind to think? Tonight, getting home from work, I did the whole thing spontaneously when I had plans to work studiously on my thesis and job hunt. I didn't mean to work so long on the Magic deck, but I just got carried away, and somehow. . .it worked out for my benefit.
Inadvertently having things work out as compared to playing Magic Friday night with intention of distracting my brain from all my frustrations. Then I feel like I waste away the weekend not doing much more than recovering from staying up late Friday and not getting much sleep over the week.
Go figure. . ..
I even started editing the resume that the career counsellor made up for me. Maybe I should have listened to other people. The grammar hurts. It has just a mass of adjectives and ideas all stuck together. It follows my old way of thinking at work. Too much information!
Oh well. . .it has a good base to it. I just need to work on it quite a bit before I feel confident about it and feel that it represents me and the way I want to present my writing.
I must be going, though. It's almost Wednesday, and I have TV to watch.
Argh. . .it never ends.
Posted by The_Lex at 1:52 AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I think I've entered a weird stage in this career/searching for a job/life thing.
Ever since I joined an ADHD list on Yahoogroups, I've discovered a lot of "symptoms" of ADHD-Inattentive that I may have. I've mentioned this before. Being conscious of these things gives me a strange sense of empowerment and "What do I do about it?"
I think we all enjoy learning about ourselves, but sometimes the things that I learn make me question the things that I've learned before. My sense of myself and reality has somewhat flipped inside out.
Over the last week or so, I've run into barriers regarding my writing, something I had always thought I excelled at. Tons of people complimented me on my writing. I got up to my senior year of college, working on a novel and writing a thesis. Even now, I think those same people still enjoy my writing. I don't doubt my writing when it comes to certain styles, like on this Blog, journaling, even novel writing.
Lately, though, at work I've been swinging back and forth from giving so much information that I confuse clients and fearing that I don't give enough that they might assume something incorrect. I want to find a happy in between.
I also have found myself swinging back and forth between acting like a hard ass on clients and trying to figure out how flexible I can be without causing a problem with the company.
I don't have any immediate examples that come to mind except dealing with a certain product. Most insurance companies want to have their client insure their homes for the full amount that it takes to replace their home. A couple of these companies have an endorsement called Guaranteed Replacement Cost, which means if the house burns down or somthing, the company will pay whatever it takes to put the house back up. The crux of the problem: do I try convincing the customer that has Guaranteed Replacment Cost to increase their limits or do I just let it go and hope that nothing happens?
So yeah. . .I have a lot of spectrums that I have to ride on any day at work. I have to strike a lot of balances. I have to act as sales person while also regulating customers so that they don't cheat the insurance company. Then I ge to try looking out for customers when they don't necessarily want coverage. They just want what they need to satisfy their mortgage company.
I get frustrated and flustered. I guess I find assessing a person difficult -- their personality, what they want out of the interaction, how I can satisfy them, etc. etc.
I also get frustrated because I would like to have a genuine interaction with these people. My dad, my boss, somehow does it. I don't really get it.
Of course, there's always the fact that I don't necessarily want to work in insurance, in the first place.
Nonetheless, all this frustration and doubt has gotten me thinking about my future potential career. I wonder how I will get into public relations or copy writing when I have some trouble writing letters and trying to interact with customers on something of an everyday basis.
My mind has somewhat just filled up with a bunch of flustering frustration. It has gone blank.
So I fall back on the refrain of life has a learning curve. I'll figure out something sometime. I'm sure a bit of the stuff going through my head has to do with the changes going on in my life these days.
More on that later, though. Now I need sleep.
Posted by The_Lex at 2:20 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
I can remember roundabout when I decided to bring more organization into my life. It happened probably around four years ago.
I had taken on a whole bunch of projects back then, too. My projects at the time:
* The thesis,
* Church projects,
* Trying to start up some sort of freelance organization coaching combined with copy editing,
* Trying to stay in touch with a whole bunch of people around the country,
* Trying to run a Blog,
* Trying to have a social life,
* Trying to get a girlfriend,
* Trying to journal,
* Trying to start a freelance writing career,
* Staying up to date on my finances,
* And the list probably goes on and on.
That's all of the list that I can think up at the moment.
I also did an organization exercise for all the goals that I had. I pretty much listed the goal, how to reach that goal then the resources that I had for the process and goal. After awhile, I figured out that I would be planning and organizing all these projects for a long time and not starting on any of them.
Long story short, the list had gotten so long and the goal organization exercises got so numerous that I decided that I needed to cut down my projects to a minimum and really focus on the things that were important to me.
I did that paring down then. Unfortunately, even though I accomplished a few of those goals, I still have done the hugest, most momentous one: the thesis. If I only could focus all my free time on it. . ..
Now, though, I've got this job search to do. I'm only in prep stage. I really don't need to go full hog until around February. Nonetheless, the fact that I'm not able to get to bed at a good time and getting frustrated by having all these things to do every night worries me.
I'm not really sure how I will handle it except plow into it.
Tomorrow, I have to dedicate the night to my finances.
Tuesday, though, and afterward, I will start doing some major editing on my marketing materials to make the templates for them sound like they come from me.
As I sometimes have to keep reminding myself, one step at a time.
One day at a time.
If only I could believe it at this time in my life. . ..
Posted by The_Lex at 1:17 AM
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Last night while out and about, I saw an old roommate.
We had an interesting conversation once.
See, I like routine and order most of the time (even though I have hard time keeping it). I can throw it away every once in awhile when I want to have fun, let loose and just see where the wind blows me. When I'm determined to not get worked up over routine and order, I'm all good. I guess a good approach would be that I like moderated organization.
In this interesting conversation that this past roommate and I had, he oberved my characteristic of having routine and order. At the time, I felt that made the observation with negative connotations, as if I enjoyed it to an unhealthy extreme, like I was obsessive compulsive or something, as if I needed it to stay sane.
Since then, I've somewhat dwelled on this "excessive" enjoyment of organization as something unhealthy, even though I feel that this old roommate and me had a big falling out at the end. I guess I found that I felt that I missed out on some things because of this organization, but I didn't necessarily see myself compulsively acting on this desire for order.
I'll admit, I obsess a bit about things that I don't understand and don't necessarily fit into my conception of the world. I attempt to integrate myself and these things together, though, but I wouldn't say that I follow certain rituals to avoid the thinking in my head.
Most of the time, I try to face these thoughts head on. I generally face them by asking questions of myself and the people around me, doing research on the Internet, thinking through logical chains, reading books, etc. etc. Answers come. . .eventually. Sometimes it can even take years to find them (try working on an academic paper for nearly two years!).
Yes, having these trains of thought has given me some degree of anxiety, but over the years as I have gotten a better understanding of the world and myself (and taking yoga classes, learning how to meditate a little, etc. etc.), I can relax better and not have to deal with insomnia every night. Insomnia strikes me just once or twice per half year or something.
So, yeah, this desire for organization -- an aside: I sometimes think that people fail to organize many aspects of their lives, let "chaos" reign, because they don't want to take responsibility or just don't have the capacity at a certain time to handle the responsibility that comes with organizing -- "I could fail!" I'm not talking about people who acknowledge that they have trouble with organizing things as an inherent cognitive quality. I'm talking about those people who willingly cast aside the prospect of organization because it cramps on THEIR personal interests and desires. "It's inconvenient!" Then go off talking about how an emphasis on organization is neurotic.
Having a fair amount of organization in my life doesn't mean I'm neurotic. At least, not to an unhealthy degree. I have things that I want to accomplish. I want to have a job in Chicago when I move there in 6 or 7 months. I want to finish this thesis, so I can get my BA and have a novel to sell. . .and so I can look good for professional prospects and a future academic career, if I want to get involved in one. I want to stay in contact with friends so that I can keep up with that community thing that I keep talking about. I want to meet new people and discuss big topics to expand my horizons and understand the world better. I want to watch TV to stay up to date on things and get involved in drama, to feel moved. I want to spend tons of time with my fiance to feel the love. I have to work so that I can survive. I have to clean up around the house. I have to stay in touch with family. I want to write on this Blog to hopefully touch people where it matters, met new people, keep people in my life updated, get into interesting discussions and all the things that opening myself up to people all around the world provides. I want to set up a situation so that I can have children with my future wife and hopefully help them thrive in this world and also help them understand that they have the power to make the world a better a place.
I don't think this enjoyment of organization comes from neurosis. I think it comes from having many ambitions and priorities because I'm part of this world and want to become more part of it, even though sometimes, I feel like many of the things that I do keeps me away from people, which keeps me away from the world. Still. . .despite my frustration and wanting to accomplish and do so much more, I can't really say that I feel anxious these. I'm much too busy for it. I'm frustrated, more than anything, because I feel like I'm missing out so many things that I want to do, but if I stop what I'm doing now, I'll end up in a worse physical situation, or maybe a worse situation of dignity.
But no. . .I don't see all this organizing of mine as a way to distract me from any kind of anxiety. I see this organizing as a way to mitigate distracting things, so I CAN TRY TO ACTUALLY GET STUFF DONE!
If only my cognitive faculties appreciated this organization thing. . .I might actually have gotten a lot of it done by now and moved on to the things that I really want to do.
Oh well. . .thems the breaks, kid.
Posted by The_Lex at 4:40 AM
Friday, October 14, 2005
Wow! I went out tonight and haven't gotten back until relatively late. I didn't do anything "productive," but I had a good time hanging out with a good friend I hadn't seen awhile and his sister and brother-and-law. At the end of the night, chilling at this bar, not drinking, checking out this funky band and just throwing back conversation and bouncing topics off of each other. . .it felt like community, even if it was just two or three people. It felt good to connect on some kind of non-struggling to connect level and not really having to think too hard about it. I want more of it.
Posted by The_Lex at 1:56 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Number one way to kill the dream of a boy who wants community: Give him so many necessary tasks to do and moreso that he can't do that he doesn't have the time for his dreams.
And yet. . .yet. . .have him living a material good life that his complaints sound like the whining of a lucky white boy that has more than most people in the world so that he can feel guilty voicing his feelings.
Crap. . .am I talking about myself?
Posted by The_Lex at 1:52 AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The highlight of my day consisted of finishing Isaac Asimov's Robot series, which begins with The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire. I find it interesting and funny that I'm read that of order though, as follows: Robots and Empire, The Naked Sun, The Caves of Steel then The Robots of Dawn. I advise anyone who wants to read them to read them in order. I don't say so because they need to be read in order to understand the idea. Asimov has done a pretty good job at keeping them standalone. I say read them in order because reading them out of order may spoil some of the parts in the earlier books. Actually. . .you could probably read the first three out of order without a problem but reading Robots and Empire does spoil The Robots of Dawn a little.
I really appreciate Asimov's idea, which doesn't surprise me one bit. I read a couple of his books in the Galactic Empire series, I, Robot (Which actually counts as the first book in the Robot series but is really only important for reasons of nostalgia in The Robots of Dawn) and Robot Dreams. I can't even begin to approach his ideas because they're quite vast and profound.
Nonetheless, the Robot series did help me to think quite a bit about my thesis in utopianism, most specifically on my paper about Kiryat Yedidim, a kibbutz that was/is in Israel/Palestine, based on a couple books by Melford Spiro, Kibbutz: Venture in Utopia and Children of the Kibbutz: A Study in Child Training and Personality. Asimov addressed the idea of displacement, but in terms of job displacement or possibly even racial displacement. . .but not in the form of being displaced geographically (even though that may have some aspects to it) but possibly in some kind of social sphere. Somewhat hard to describe, but I have the feeling that the closest analogy has to do with job displacement. I still have a bit to go in this direction, but Asimov got me started pretty good in this direction. Next, I want to get reading the Galactic Empire series again then finish up the Foundation series.
I also found my musings on cycles of anger (I've entered into one recently in regards to the Christian Right and their loudest spokesmen, the Neo-Cons in power in the US and people like Pat Robertson) pretty useful when it comes to this paper, as I have found the feelings of being involved in cycles of anger that some people in the kibbutz feel and the potential for job displacement and social alienation felt by others in Kiryat Yedidim create an interesting balance that keeps the community going without any of either extremes destroying it. More on this one in my thsis and, maybe, book.
Until tomorrow, though, I've got a couple things to do before hitting the sack. Night!
Posted by The_Lex at 1:23 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I've come back from vacation. The Fiancee said that I looked really relaxed, unlike she has seen me in a long time (if ever). We had a pretty good time, even with all the crazy rain.
We even had this experience with a group of people and a cop that reminded us of some high school party that got busted. On the way home today, we drove through a mountain state park in New Hampshire, and we came by this bridge over some white water rapids. After glimpsing to the side, I slammed on the brakes and pulled to the side. A bunch of other people had already perched on the bridge to watch. So we got up there then watched the rapids and watched these kayakers push out from shore then head on down under the bridge.
That was all fun and stuff, but we had to get on our way, and it seemed the other people on the bridge on the same idea as us. We all started walking back to our cars. All the sudden, this police car with his lights flashing races down the road then pulls up to our car, jumps out of the car, takes out his pad of tickets then starts writing next to our car. He walks to the front of the car, looks at the plate, starts writing. . ..
I hear someone say something like 'Let's get out of here before he writes us a ticket!'
The crowd of people start running to their cars. I don't think they have anything to worry about, but I notice that I hadn't pulled our car onto what looked like the parking area while everyone else did. I thought this guy was writing just us a ticket!
I run over to him and say, "Sorry about that. I thought I had pulled all the way up to the parking area." (or something like that.)
He says, "Don't you know there's no parking?"
"Didn't you read the sign?" He points over to a sign in front of the other cars.
Awkward silence. "I didn't look."
"Didn't you see the ribbon." There was a ribbon. . .but it was right in front of the other cars, and they were parked on what looked like the dirt parking area.
Long awkward silence.
"Ehhh. . .Get out of here before I finish writing your ticket." He heads over to the other people and other cars.
The fiancee and I jump in then car then speed off at the speed limit.
Really kind of entertaining in that naughty kind of way.
Oh well. I'll try to get back into writing some more.
Posted by The_Lex at 1:04 AM
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I tried to make an entry last night, but Blogger was closed for maintenance. BLOGGER!!!!!!!!
I will try to make an entry tonight. I feel it as an imperative, since the Fiancee and me will go on a hedonistic and nature loving vacation to some place in New Hampshire. Should be relaxing, interesting and fun.
Posted by The_Lex at 11:22 AM
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Ohhhhhh. . .man, I need to cut down on my effective procrastination. I spent something like two hours trying to come up with a good definition for utopia, dystopia and utopianism. Unfortunately, doing so took away from doing timely matters, but I'm glad that I got a step closer to reach a usable definition/characterization for these terms.
I need sleep, though, NOW!
Posted by The_Lex at 1:33 AM
Monday, October 03, 2005
I had a pretty relaxing Sunday. I woke up and finished Isaac Asimov's Foundation's Edge, forth in his Foundation series of books. I still have Foundation and Earth, Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. On top of that, Asimov wrote a bunch of other novels in the same universe, some of which I've already read and didn't know all ended up in that same universe. Seriously, Asimov would have been at home with a lot of comic book writers, having all these stories and such connected and interacting, especially with his ideas threading through all of them. This method reminds me of the same technique used by Robert Heinlein of having all these same characters in a whole bunch of different novels. I really like this huge great universe and world creating because I get to know all these characters and settings so much better. I also have a tendency to get attached to characters, fictional worlds and such. Seriously, I felt a huge loss when I first finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
I enjoyed Foundation's Edge much more than the previous books in the Foundation series. I felt that I could connect with the characters more. They felt more like people rather than just characters acting out a clever plot and solving a mystery. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the first three books of the series and figuring out the mysteries, but I really liked how this book stuck with the same cast of characters, had them interact with each other and, well, present themselves to the reader as somewhat fleshed out people. I also enjoy that I didn't guess the over arching resolution or reason for all the gallavanting around the universe but that I had caught onto who the "double agents" were. I also liked the playing with his ideas in the realms of science, history, mythology and the ways tha they all interact. Even though past readers complain that Foundation and Earth, as the last sequel, doesn't satisfingly conclude the series because Asimov brings up a whole bunch of new ideas at the end of the novel (much like in a lot of his novels, it seems), I really look forward to reading it and getting more exposed to these new ideas.
I really must get going, but I also want to bring up some other ways that we create community in today's world, or maybe in the recent past. I remember something like ten or eleven years ago, I started going to raves, checking out the rave and techno Websites like Hyperreal, signing up for e-mail bulletins for the raves around the area, listening to techno shows on the local college radio station, visiting the techno stores and picking up flyers and reading the techno/rave newsgroups.
I also did a fair bit of the same with the punk, hardcore and straightedge communities in the local area, and a little bit with the "militant" vegan subculture. It generally happened during my teenage and young adult/college years, but the experiences leave indelible marks on my emotional memory and experiences. The same thing goes with 'zines and the culture around them in the Boston area at around that time.
In the long run, though, the rave subculture/community probably affected me the most. I even had made a friend through a techno newsgroup who had lived in Amsterdam for awhile then moved to Australia with his family but stopped over in Massachusetts to visit me and my group of friends at the time. In the end, he decided that he should be a she, changed their name then fell off the face of the Earth for all that I'm concerned. We had a bit of a falling out at the time regarding how he/she treated people around him/her at that time and the sureness that he/she had about everything at the time, but that's a normal part of human relations. Still, it just strikes me as something amazing that I made friends with someone in Amsterdam, became pretty close and that he visited me on the way to moving to another country, all because we enjoyed the same music (well, part of the way we started our friendship was his strong feelings against certain subgenres that I liked and me challenging his right to have such strong criticism about the music) and something of the same culture. We ended up having somewhat similar ways of associating with people and also had a lot of the same interests in book genres (even though he was way ahead of me on the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert), but we wouldn't have known a lot of that stuff about each other if we hadn't gotten ourselves involved in the techno/rave community, even though we both would probably have been considered fringe members of it.
The rave community had an interesting acronym: PLUR, Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. Back then, it felt like it meant something, even though nowadays, from what I've seen of the techno/rave community in the Northeast United States, the acronym may exist, it doesn't feel like the same flamboyant, pretty inclusive, expressive and freeing of a community. Nowadays, it feels like a young street culture, if anything, even though, then, it had the start of that feeling with the same styles and dance styles and such. Nowadays, though, it feels like the flamboyance and the attempt at creating an expressive and inclusive community has been nudged out of the way for the street culture that has gotten involved in the community because it's what the people in their situation do, getting involved in this particular community, but I guess I don't feel the energy of the PLUR rave community and the energy of the desire of creating a community. I guess it feels like the community has become a second priority whereas the creation of a community felt like something of a first priority in the day that I went to the raves and felt myself as part of this rave/techno community.
I feel as if I'm butchering the whole thing. I don't feel like I've given either the now of the rave community or the then of the community much justice. In the long run, I was generally something of an outsider for both times. I will admit that I really believed in the PLUR of the rave community back in the day and that I pictured something of a utopian, or at a least a Temporary Autonomous Zone that had the potential to reach some critical mass that would affect the world and possibly bring it together, similar, I guess, to the way that hippies wanted in the Age of Aquarius (not so sure that Wikipedia has the hippie sentiment on it, but Wikipedia is generally a good place to start with these things). Looking back, I know that I over estimated the power of the rave/techno culture and PLUR, but I believe that it had something. Something great could have come out of it and proably still can. Possibly, I could look back on it, do some more critical thinking about it, try do the communities justice and try to get something positive and constructive out of the techno/rave "movement." I could probably do the same with the punk, hardcore and straightedge subcultures.
Someday, I would like to try taking on such a project and do something constructive with it.
Has anyone else had strong experiences with some kind of community and not mind sharing it?
Thank you. Goodnight.
Posted by The_Lex at 1:48 AM
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Well, I have gone and done some creative procrastination. Instead of revising the resume given to me by the Career Counselor then finding places to post it, organizations to send it or people to give it, I posted photos of myself (and many with my Girl) and added an entry to my profile. I even have a rationalization for updating the profile and not getting to work stuff. It will possibly help me to network for information interviews and possible future jobs. If that doesn't work as a rationalization, working on the profile will give me some practice to talking about myself and making up profiles for when I do make them for professional networking sites.
As something exciting and not anything to do with procrastinating, AT ALL, I proposed to the Girl last week, on Friday. I didn't post this news up here until now because we wanted to get a bunch of people together then announce it to them (after announcing my impregnation by the aliens that abducted me). We got them together last night at a sushi place in Kenmore, made the announcement then headed over to the theater to see Serenity (Warning: Spoiler plot lay out at the end, even though I don't think it tells a lot of the important stuff). Not necessarily an original movie, but well executed and not what I expected. Harsher in parts. Looking forward to the other two movies that have been contracted, which I bet that the studio, of course, has some kind of clause to get out of it if they want. If you haven't seen it, I tell you, go now.
But yeah. . .last week, I proposed to the Girl the day that I got the antique ring in Chicago, even though it's a couple sizes too big for her. We plan on getting it re-sized. It happened the day after I got in on the plane. After breakfast, I told her that she should go out and get something pretty to wear for our date that night to celebrate our three years together. . .great distraction for me to go on down to the antique store where she had seen the ring that she wanted a couple months ago during our last trip in Chicago then the day before I got into the city this time. She had even gotten all the information, including the invoice number, from the owner of the store. So I got it then met up with her at the hotel room, after worrying a whole bunch about how I would hide both the ring and the appraisal until the right time (don't worry. . .I just got to the hotel room before her, put the ring in the pocket of the pants I would wear that night then never revealed it until the right time).
We went out for her very delicacy, Ethiopian food then made out way to the Hancock Building to have cocktails in the lounge on top. I originally wanted to pop the question on a horse drawn carriage because she kept on talking about wanting to take a carriage ride. It had gotten too cold in the city. Also, unfortunately, I had hope it would happen on our first ever carriage ride, but we had taken our first ever carriage ride in Quebec City a couple months ago. I then planned on posing the question at the top of the Hancock Building, but I felt that we had too many people around and had too much noise. In the end, I sat her down on the stone bench near the fountain at the bottom of the Building, kneeled down on one knee, took out the ring and SHE POUNCED ON ME! I had to sit her down and tell her that I needed to make a speech. I didn't make much of one. . .I didn't really prepapre one. . .didn't make notes or anything. I just went over a bunch of things that I said that night under the auspices of reminiscing over the three years our relationship, embelished a little more on those things, emphasized my love for her then popped the question. She said yes, and everything has pretty much felt happy and jokingly since then.
I feel like we've reinvigorated the relationship and strengthened it. We've entered another honeymoon stage. It feels great! I didn't know this new honeymoon stage would hit. I just really wanted to cement our bond and show the world our love for each other. I'm not complaining, I'm just pleasantly surprised.
Today, saw The Corpse Bridge today after attending the Wizard World comic convention at the Bayside Expo Center. Tiring, all this running about, but heard an interesting panel discussion about mortality in comics, got a whole bunch of Saviors of Kamigawa Magic cards for a pretty good price and got some good graphic novels. Also ran into someone we hadn't seen awhile and need to e-mail. . .remember, must e-mail. . .. I found The Corpse Bride pretty cute, even if I, of all people, could predict how it would go. Enjoyable. . .even if fundamentalist conservative Christians might get all up in arms about the concept of a living man accidently marrying a dead woman then-- you'll have to see the movie to see. . .but, of course, as we all know. . .those conservative types rarely do see the movies that they protest and make a big hubbub about in the first place.
On that topic: Who's afraid of freedom and tolerance? Why are fundamentalists so frightened by liberal family values? A look at competing worldviews. By Doug Muder, a great article for liberals to understand a little bit more about the reasons behind conservatives arguing that same-sex marriage will destroy the meaning of marriage. After reading the article, I can see, even if I disagree with, the conservative viewpoint. I remember hearing somewhere that seeing and understanding is the first step to working out things. I think that little saying means a lot and works as a good start.
Otherwise, I've had an interesting time over the last couple of days trying to cope with thinking of myself as ADHD-I. I haven't really tried to act so socially as I've done in the past. At the same time, I haven't felt that I've missed out so much on interacting with the people around me so much either. I don't think the "condition," itself, has caused my current lack of socializing, but rather the thinking of myself as having this way of being. The thinking of it causes me to second guess the things around me, my thoughts and the things that have happened before. I have really come to the belief that this way of coping with something of a drastic way of thinking about myself is totally natural. It has just become something that I need to work through.
I looked forward to having a better handle on it and getting more involved with the people and my communities and networks more after going through the coping process.
For now, though, I really should get off the computer and on with my nightly rituals.
Posted by The_Lex at 2:23 AM