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Jul. 21st, 2017 | 05:45 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Exhausted in every sense
music: White Zombie - Thunder Kiss '65

It's been a rough week.
Not to vaguebook; I just don't have the steam to recount it all.

Be good to yourself.

FYI: Given the state of the country/world, and knowing that Russia owns LiveJournal, I've made sure my password for this is radically different from all my other log-ins. I'd recommend you do the same.

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In The Dark Hours

Jul. 14th, 2017 | 05:28 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Introspective
music: Urge Overkill - You'll Be A Woman Soon

Where do your thoughts go?
When the late night is upon you and the shadows have grown long, when the small hours of the night fill the world, where do your thoughts go? What do you think of?

I've been tracking my Depression with great interest. I've been realizing that my Depression has morphed and now presents very differently than it used to. I'm not sure if this is due to my different medication or if it's just the very different stressors I/we face. Gone are the days where I respond with pessimistic creativity, only to circle a drain of stoic nihilism. Now has been replaced with something far more insidious and hurtful.

It's interesting to think of Depression as a foe, a villain that lives in my mind. Likewise, it is interesting to see just how influential sheer repetition can be. I've been watching the news of the Russia hacking with great...interest isn't the word. Terror? And a lot of it seems to hang on the rather diabolical tactic of flooding the world with unsubstantiated stories (I am coming to detest the term 'fake news'). The sheer idea is that if you read/see a story enough times, you begin to accept it on some level. Certainly seems to be the case. We see similar in exercise and in skill acquisition.
So too do I see this with Depression. I've managed to train myself into several new triggers, which is frustrating. It's gotten so bad that literally just standing from my desk at work causes a mini-crash.

My thoughts go to dark and sad places. Where do your thoughts go?

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Ego Borderline

Jul. 7th, 2017 | 04:55 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Drained, strained, and trained
music: Urban Country - Gonna Need A Grave

I don't get how people do it. I don't get how people aren't crushed by their sense of obligation. My parents. My wife. My cats. My dog. My career. My job. My friends. Those in need. So much stress. Every moment spent doing A is not spent doing B. How do you handle it?


In other news, being an adult sucks. I cannot think of anything, at this point, that's as advertised and certainly not better. I bought a house, haven't even moved in, and I already regret it.

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These Days Are Said To Try Men's Souls

Jun. 23rd, 2017 | 05:41 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Reserved
music: Petshop Boys - It's a Sin

Next Thursday, I buy a house. And all I can really think about is how I need to fortify it and lay in provisions for war.

I'm not joking.

I look at everything going on surrounding Trump and I genuinely fear that war will come. Will we be invaded? Will we launch a strike and be retaliated? Will forces within this country have enough and strike out for justice? I don't know. I just know that as I read about the growing graft and corruption, the growing lack of governmental safeguards enacting, I fear violence is inevitable.

Inevitable and necessary.

I really wish it wasn't necessary. I really do. But I don't think it's a matter of it becoming necessary, I think it's been necessary. I just think most of us are still in denial. There's a moment when a fight starts, where the victim struggles to grasp what's happening. There's a moment where the assailant is the only one who knows what's going on. That's where I think most of the country is. We are either in denial or expecting those whose job it is to manage this, to handle this, to actually step up. And they aren't.

This isn't just about Trump. The volume of police killings is becoming overwhelming. The police ceased to be the good guys in our culture long ago. It started with Rodney King but it's been deteriorating. When I watch a TV show, the police are never the good guys in my mind. When I see the police out in public, I don't feel safer. Quite the opposite. And I'm white. I can only imagine what a non-white person must feel like.

I feel guilty for not sparking the fire myself. I clearly believe there's a need. I'm not sure if its fear or lack of knowhow or if I'm still clinging to the hope that maybe civility will reign in.

My faith in civility is dwindling however.

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The Ghost of Tom Joad

Jun. 9th, 2017 | 05:18 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Calmly despondent
music: Metallica/Foo Fighters - Something Else Matters

I crashed bad today. Real bad.
I've plateaued somewhere placid but not good.
I am so tired. I just want to go home. But not where I live.

Saudade. Hiraeth.

Maybe this is old age taking it's toll. I couldn't say. Or, more likely, this is just depression. I don't know. I just know that, in this moment, I'm too tired to be angry. I'm too tired to think. Not physically tired, emotionally. Mentally. Some reservoir within me has run dry. I feel like a cloudless sky over parched land.

I want to go home.

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Jun. 2nd, 2017 | 06:07 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Furious
music: House of the Rising Sun (some metal version)

I genuinely think we're doomed.
I genuinely fear that many of us won't live to see the end of the decade.

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Awake Alert Alive Almost

May. 19th, 2017 | 05:13 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Tired
music: David Foster - Man in Motion (St Elmo's Fire)

I don’t know where to begin.
- Beth and I are buying a house. Our loan was pre-approved today and we formally submitted an offer (and expect it to be accepted). We’ll due-diligence it by EoB June 9th and close July 30th. We’re moving fast to accommodate the seller.
- This morning, my mom was in an accident on I40. She’s okay and the car may or may not be fixable. It seems like just a really bad fender-bender but she rear-ended the person, so there’s no question how this will playout insurance-wise (spoiler: badly).
- My dad was harassed by the Chapel Hill/Orange County police this week. A complaint was filed earlier this week that he had attended a church where children congregate (which would be any and all of them; name me one religious house that doesn’t have children’s programs). While technically illegal, this is something that has never been prosecuted because come on. Well, that’s started to change, thanks to Pat McCrory, who empowered the courts to pursue what is a clear constitutional issue. We’ve secured a lawyer if it becomes a matter, but hopefully it won’t. It is acutely clear to me however much we might ‘win’ if it gets to court, it would have to get to court. And while Orange County isn’t Durham County, it’s clear that, nation-wide, drawing out the period in jail (not prison; jail) is a well-respected tactic in the ‘justice’ system.
- This morning (or yesterday?), Representative Al Green from the horrid state of Texas officially called for Donald Trump’s impeachment on the floor of the House. Might seem trivial (probably is), but what has been getting floated with greater interest is now officially on the table. Good.
- Today marks the 60-day mark that I haven’t heard from my publisher (except on Facebook). I think I’ve officially been forgotten about, which has me pissed off. Email after email after call after email. If I walk through the doors at AMA, I will formally announce that I am leaving the publishing house. If that happens, this summer will not only involving prepping for a move and finding a retirement home for my mom, but also finding a publisher because, good god, am I tired of this.
- I am completely and totally caught-up on work. All of my work (at work-work, not writing) is at a point where there is none to do, I don’t have access to the database to do (like run some reports or crunch some numbers), or need something from someone else that I’m waiting on. I have nothing to do. It’s unnerving.
- My project for my Green Belt has been approved. I’m putting on a strength seminar for the students at the kung fu school, and have to write an accompanying paper/program to go with it. I’m quite excited about it and I’m looking forward to it, but it’s going to be a lot of work, on top of training for the test (and the rest of this crap).
- This week, I realized how I am defining success for my writing. It seems like it would be obvious thing, but success is (or can be) a very personal thing. I’m not interested in money or fame (but boy howdy will I take ‘em if they come my way). What I am interested in critical evaluation of my work, and transference into another medium by others. I don’t just want a comic book of my stories; I want someone else to produce it. I want my work to reach such a level that somebody comes to me and asks if they can make a [insert narrative artistic work here] of my stories. That is the height of success for me. Seems trivial, perhaps, but a clear definition of what I want has eluded me, I think since I started all of this.
- I finally had Goodberries! In all the years I’ve lived in the Triangle, and worked in Cary, I never went to Goodberries. Holy hell, why didn’t any of you people tell me?! I hold the Dairy Queen Blizzard as something hallowed, but I may have to concede that Goodberries’ Concrete Mixes might be better. They may have out-blizzarded the blizzard!

I’ll leave you with this video of a young Andre the Giant training because it’s Friday of the craziest week I can recall.

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May. 12th, 2017 | 05:15 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Distracted
music: Xzibit - Concentrate

I live a charmed life.
So much so, that one of the major troubles occupying my mind today is trying to devise a good mass-building diet.

Starting next week, I'm going to cut more weight. After finding a fat-loss program that worked like a charm, I'm going to do it again. I want to get down to 10% body fat. But after that, I want to try going in the other direction. I want to add muscle. Not a lot, but I'd like to maybe get back up to 200lbs. Additionally, I just want to figure out how to do it.

I don't want to change my routine, though, largely because it's hard enough as it is. I do half an hour to an hour of gymnastics or kettlebells in the morning, half an hour of kung fu at lunch, fifteen or so minutes of shadowboxing at night, and fifteen minutes of stretching (which may get extended to something more like 30-45 minutes). When I calculated all of that up recently, I realized just how active I am and the likelihood that if I just followed a mass-building diet, my body might take care of it on its own.

There's very little about nutrition that we know. There are a lot of educated guesses, but there's also a lot of poor science or just myths.
But mostly, there's a lot of anecdotal evidence. And while anecdotal evidence shouldn't be fully trusted, if something works, I won't argue with it just because it wasn't arrived at by scientific method.
Case in point: sometime around Pumping Iron, top body builders were asked the diet to build muscle. Schwarzenneger was asked, Columbu was asked, Metser was asked, etc. They all gave similar answers, involving a whole host of supplements, complicated eating protocols (like snacks in the middle of the night to keep from going into catabolism, etc).
When Lou Ferrigno was asked, he said "Drink a gallon of milk a day".
Thus, GOMAD was born (Gallon Of Milk A Day)
GOMAD, and it's little brother LOMAD (liter), is an example of the simplicity that athletics can and should take. Another protocol, and I can't remember now who came up with it, was simply 'eat another meal'. Whatever your normal diet is, just add one more meal. On top of proper training, that will probably be plenty.

So I'm juggling those options. I have no real reason to do this; it's just a fun mental exercise.

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It's a Sin

May. 1st, 2017 | 04:16 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Tired
music: Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin

More than one update a week?! Insanity! Insanity I tells ya!

I actually don't have a lot to say.
Lot of stress.
Lot of work.
Hang in there. Monday's almost done.

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Apr. 28th, 2017 | 01:55 pm
location: Raleigh, NC
mood: Somber
music: Metallica - Broken, Beaten, and Scarred

I'm taking off work early to meet a friend who will be staying with us this weekend. Said friend may be a girlfriend, I'm honestly not sure. She and Beth will discuss that tonight, potentially while she goes with Beth to a friend's funeral.

It is surprising to me how this gentleman had so many friends, and took his life. I suppose I can actually understand. But it's astounded how many people I know, who knew him. People outside the Triangle, outside of North Carolina.
I'm not going. Mostly because of my very soured relationship with his sister. I will fully accept that my grudge is a bit excessive, but it is still a deeply personal thing to me that I don't take lightly. Just I don't take pledges of love and friendship lightly, I don't take slights like that lightly. Many people might advocate for forgiveness but I feel that the inability to hold a grudge is a sign of poor character.
That isn't the only reason I'm not going. I don't care for funerals, or observances, or any of the trappings of death. Death, in many times, is to be celebrated. If there is an afterlife, then this person has gone to it. If there isn't an afterlife, then marking the passing of a life, reminding ourselves of our own mortality seems futile.
The other reason, of course, is probably the scariest: I envy him. He did it. He died. While I'm not suicidal, don't want to be suicidal (again), and have no plans to take my life, I cannot help but admire those who do. It's a sick admiration, like admiring those who endure pain, who forego treatment, etc. It's not right. It's downright sick, but it is true.
I live predominantly for my work. Whether it's writing or an obligation to my family, most of what keeps me rooted is my to-do list. There will never be a single day I wake up where I won't have an obligation, a single thing to do, a fight that must be waged. Death, to me, will be a release from that and it's something that I look forward to. I love life, I love living, and I'm very happy. While I am in no hurry to die, I look forward to death.

Tomorrow is Refeed Day. I'm looking forward to the carbs and the sugar. I think I could use the high.

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