On not reading books lately

On not reading books lately

I didn’t read any novels last year; down from one in 2016, 13 in 2015, 11 in 2012, five in 2013, and 21 in 2012.  I tend to read fun stuff more when I travel to fill in empty time and I tend to study for classes when I’m home to build my career up.  Up to what?  I don’t know.  I have no calling, no drive to service.  I seek uninterrupted free time.  I am my most happy and content self when time and money are abundant, even if only in bursts.  It feels like childhood again.  All my needs met while I lazily watch I Love Lucy and laugh.  Not a care in the world.

Books are too dramatic when I’m home in my career state.  I’m disillusioned by how the author just throws obstacles at their protagonists.  I have enough problems to solve in my real life, I can’t handle being kept even more in suspense while some fictional character solves problems that wouldn’t have existed if their author hadn’t bothered to write them down.  I need practical reality in my career state.  I’m focused on my optimal level of success, not hanging out in la la land while my student loan perpetually charges me more money on funds I spent 8 years ago.

Financial mountain climbing.  Of course I take breaks, but they’ve not been so satisfying for the past 6 years since student loan reality set in.  They’ve been necessary to pace myself, but they’ve prolonged this torment due to the Sisyphus effect they have on my mountain climbing.  Three steps forward, two steps back.  Not quite like Sisyphus, thank fully because I haven’t had to start all over each time.

I did buy a book the other day… and I am half way through it.  I can feel my other self waking up a bit.  I’ve only got three point five weeks to freedom, so maybe it is about time I start to color my world a bit more.


On Advertising

On Advertising

Education.  Education is gold.  It is an elitist goal to achieve higher and higher levels of education.  Only through education is one able to discern the mechanisms at play in the world. Have you ever seen a TV commercial begging you to create a gmail account?  What about YouTube? no.  I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve seen it enough to not have seen these ads.  Why haven’t I seen any bus station propaganda signs for Amazon.  They might exist in Seattle, but not in Southern California.  Why?  Because they don’t need to advertise.  They don’t need a bigger fan base.  They don’t need to trick people into buying their products.  Their products’ reputations sell themselves.

So then how do we apply that logic to the rest of the products that require advertising?  In an off beat way.  Media is an advertisement in the same way that Disneyland is one big advertisement for animation/film productions which are a front for the real money maker of licensing.  They use entertainment to shine light on the 1% of the world that needs more attention.  It needs attention because it isn’t getting enough attention from the small groups of people who currently care about it.  Less educated and experienced people assume that what they see is the whole world.  Anyone is refuses to get on an airplane lack some serious sense.

They truly believe that the advertised and dramatized world is the WORLD.  They don’t realize that most of the world operates behind the scenes off camera.  Why is this a problem?  Well a ton of people still can’t get jobs.  People are taught to believe that wrinkled women are worth less.  Post menopausal women are not considered capable because no one is advertising on their behalf.  But men who want to be women make headline news. Keep in mind, that post menopausal women of the modern age are very much broke and in the very last years of their capable working years.  That time is very crucial for how they are going to pay for their elderly convalescents once their husbands die.  That is just one example of those who advertising has forgotten.

It all goes back to education.  Why can personal finance be a high school math class?  Why can’t home economics be a legit major?  Because there would be less dumb people to advertise and sell pointless shit to.  If people really knew how big the world is, it would be much more difficult for them to believe that the 40 hour work week is just the next best version of indentured servitude (which is better than slavery).  Society runs off the idea that the broke man can achieve something through hard work.  So society creates bogus “hard work” in the form of pointless meetings, lack of IT infrastructure, and a general belief that people need to put in “their time.”  If you make a point to education yourself by getting out in the world, you can see how it ticks.  You’ll see that all the advertising is just the needy yelling to divert your attention to the small part of the world that most people don’t actually care about.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t need to advertise.

Old People

Old People

I miss all my old people.  Funny thing is that I didn’t miss most of them much after they died.  They were well-old enough to die naturally.  I doubt they were in much more pain at death than they were over the last few months of life.  All those aches and pains probably got some relief when the power shut off to their brains. Anniversaries of all my old great aunts and uncles are scattered throughout the year.  Sometimes I remember, sometimes it’s just another day.  Of course at the time they departed there were tears and feelings of empty sadness, but life kept me moving forward.

Now, years later, it is a different kind of sadness.  My emotions have forgotten that they are dead.  Gramma and Grampa are just at their house a few towns over.  Or so it feels.  The sadness comes when I feel the need to pick up the phone and call them as if they are in their 60s, alive and well.  I don’t remember them so much as the frail, elderly people who I saw pass away.  I remember them active and relatively young enough to be a source of information and entertainment (stories of days gone by).

I miss the little things.  How they acted so interested in me.  How they looked down on me with a smile that people only give children in their family.  I can remember my great aunt’s face, all old and wrinkled, when she smiled as if she thought I was so cool.  She was born in 1909.  To her a game boy was beyond even a Jules Vern novel.

It’s weird for me to miss things about the past.  I don’t miss many things that people normally do.  Like my childhood friends.  We were going to be friends forever and now I loath the thought of ever having to awkwardly run into any of them around town.  I never had a reason to dislike all my old people.  They were situations to manage of course, but that was a given need for a elderly family member.  Unlike my old friends, nothing else in life has fully filled the void left by that by-gone generation.

There’s nothing to do with these feelings about them.  I can reminisce with those who knew them too.  Or look through old family photos.  but it all just leads to the same thing, welling up in tears of sadness that gets stronger with the thought that my parent’s generation is next.

Mindless minding

Mindless minding

If love is really attachment 99% of the time then why isn’t it romantic to say “I’m deeply attached to you?” Must be because when someone has put so much effort into a person who is missing that ever so crucial 1%, people get offended.  Being offended is a defense mechanism for extroverts who have been exhausted by the same people they crave attention from.  These individuals also would rather not accept responsibility for the fact that they willingly spend time with people who treat them like shit.  Just because everyone in their world treats them like shit doesn’t mean that everyone in the world treats them like shit.  A huge weakness of mind. A mind that not only can’t postulate other worlds, but also cannot see that other worlds (aka cultures) exist on earth.  Yet another reason to believe that earth is hell.  Intellect is a product of many, many things.  A true blessing is to have the DNA, Environment, Culture, and Freedom to express and build upon your intellect.  Some people seem destined to lack all those buckets.  Those people are spread across all families of all races and cultures.  You have to want to be smart.  You have to want to be successful.  You have to have the brains to see what is happening in the world at all levels regardless of what the media is telling you.  Climate change is just another media version of: The sky is falling!  Of course, the oceans are rising, where do you think Atlantis went when the ice age ended?  That same ice age we had last.  It’s not new.  Pollution, yes its a problem, the extent of which many people claim to understand better than others.  Why wouldn’t everyone want to live in a pristine, clean world?  That should be enough.  Beyond me.  Science, in all its honestly, is socially driven by modern problems and curiosities.  Atheists love to use science as evidence for their cunning rationality.  It’s just an acceptable excuse to avoid conflict.  Truth is many people do not need to belong to tight groups in order to feel fulfilled about their existence.  Many people do not need people at all.  This over-socialization while being forced to sit in a desk listening to lectures until the age of 18 or longer in order to afford anything above poverty-level is child abuse.  Abuse is rampant in our society, thankfully less so than 100 years ago, but still personal freedoms are not tolerated well.  One must dedicate their most precious asset (time) to achieve ever changing status in order to have nice things and live in nice environments.  Through all this we live.  We get by.   We exchange our old, beloved, obsolete knowledge for the hope that new knowledge brings.  We keep moving, keep on with the hustle.

The Freedom from Wants

The Freedom from Wants

It’s a constant struggle this habit of wanting things I don’t have.  Being aware of it is not enough to stop it from happening.  It’s ingrained deep into my sense of who I am.  I am one who scans my environment for items I identify with. I am therefore compelled to harness those ideas until I have fully merged with them.  Then it starts all over.  I am now the person who I needed to become and now I must do it again to become the next person I need to be.  Problem is this is all so exhausting and the opportunity cost is impossible to measure.  Some wants take forever to achieve.  Some wants are easy but cause longer term wants to be put off.  The juggle is constant and annoying to the point where I’d rather just not want stuff.  I’d rather just be happy with who I am because the attainment of one object often comes along with many more unforeseen objects. No want is just a simple thing.

The Future

The Future

All the cool stuff is happening in the future right now and I am stuck in the present just watching it all happen over and over and over.  All my possible futures are happening right behind my eyes and all I’m doing is sitting here watching and waiting endlessly for my turn to play life to its fullest again.

I find myself noticing how I have forgotten what it is like to be a child.  I’ve been strict and committed to the idea of never forgetting from about the age of 4.  I say 4 because 4 is the age I don’t remember being, yet I remember learning this idea prior to remembering the age of 5.

Now that I know that I will have another break from employment obligations my brain has instantly gone back into summer vacation mode.  A job hopper’s dream, dream, dream come true!  This will be the first time between jobs (out of 15) that I get paid to take a break from work.  My ego is stroking itself repeating, “I’m so good at this,” over and over and I just watch and laugh carelessly in agreement as if it were actually true.  It’s not because I’m good at this.  It’s because of random timing.  I just happen to finally find a “permanent” job two years before that job was being moved out of state and it just so happens that I will get bought out of my “at-will” employment agreement.  This is really a “please don’t sue us” or a “statistically, if we buy you out of your job you are less likely to be a problem in the future” payout.

What does this have to do with summer vacation?  Summer vacation is when, not only does your environment not change, but your standard of living also goes up for those three months.  While not on summer vacation one must adhere to the norm of civilized educated society by showing up at a location at a specific time and paying attention to/remaining in that specific location for a specific period of time.  None of that happens on summer vacation.  None.  On summer vacation I sleep when I want to sleep, I eat when I want to eat, I talk to people when I want to talk to people, and best of all I drive when I want to drive. I am essentially my true self.  Not this mercenary self who is well aware her student debt needs to be paid off in order to move forward in life.

It’s the need to be a mercenary that has created its own survival personality.  This is survival in its simplest form.  I should be grateful that my survivor personality is not a staring victim of war or a self defending warrior of a warring nation.  No, mine is one of a bored middle class adventurer.  Very first world problem, thank. god.  But that’s what I’ve got and thats the biggest problem my almost unemployed brain wants to go with.  The fact that playtime is nearing in 100% of it’s truest form (of the likes I have not seen for more than a decade) and I have forgotten how to play.

For years my hobbies have been dwindling out of my everyday routine.  All my favorite toys are collecting dust in my closet or under my bed.  I think of them often but am too put off by the amount of work it takes to play with them.  I’d rather not start than get half way through, not finish, but still have a huge mess to clean up.  That’s what she said 😉

I’ve seen no point in continuing activities that aren’t going to actually and practically get me ahead in the world.  I haven’t had the mental energy to juggle too many ideas at a given time.  I dislike my day being full of scheduled activities and feeling obligated to clean off my to-do list.  I’m an essentially sick of many things that used to fly me away into happiness.  They say that is a sign of depression.  If so, I’m the happiest depressed person that I’ve ever met.  Maybe I was depressed and didn’t know it and suddenly I’m not depressed and have forgot the extremity of where I was a few weeks ago before I found out that I have the opportunity to be myself again (for a long time) very, very soon.   In that case it wouldn’t matter, at least not until I’m back down to a level that relates, which would be in the future where apparently not only cool stuff is happening.




Achieving a constant state of flow is expensive, both directly in terms of cost and indirectly in terms of opportunity cost.  Because of this inherent cost, I have gotten myself into a good enough state of artificial flow.  During my week I feel a sense of achievement in making sure my boss is happy with my work.  He is easily pleased and I am actively learning something new almost everyday.  I also have family and enough friends to keep me occupied in my free time.

Then comes the weekends where nothing is planned.  I catch up on sleep, then complete most of my to-do list.  Once all that clears away I am painstakingly aware that despite all the goals I have achieved, all the knowledge I have attained, and all the money I have saved in my retirement account, l feel as though I have gotten no where.

I feel so lazy at the thought that despite all that work I still feel empty like a hamster on a wheel.  I accomplished all my dreams.  I feel so grateful and fulfilled that I have been able to do all these things that I needed to do to evolve into who I am today.  So why the hell am I so bored?

Nothing is keeping me in the flow.  Goals feel like just more shit I have to do because I accomplished all my goals, I rose above and now all that goal accomplishment energy has no true goal to apply itself to.  Any new goal is just me trying to find the next subject or topic that will keep me engaged in the world.  Something that captures my attention and holds me to it all the way to the end.  Sadly, no.  I can’t find flow.  Even in books.  I can’t find a new genre to get into.  I miss the captivation of a new subject to master.

I have things to do, I just don’t feel like doing them will get me anywhere.  I’ll still end up on the other side of that goal in the same place trying to find the next thing that will take me some place exotic.

I could pay for another degree or plane ticket.  I could, but once that trip is over, like all the others, I’ll probably be sitting right here again, bitching about how all my work has done nothing but keep me occupied while time passes.  My flow is fragmented, all the pieces are living their own separate lives and I’m just juggling all my various skills and abilities trying desperately to get them all together into something that keeps me happy all the time.

Hope and Reality

Hope and Reality

“I just want the pants!”  The phrase that plays in my mind whenever I think of performance inabilities.  I was taking a pattern making class at a community center in a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand.  The woman who exclaimed the phrase had been to several Saturday pattern making classes because she was a very wide-hipped and narrow-waisted hour glass.  The kind who never in her life had a pair of pants that actually fit her shape perfectly.  She was on the verge of tears, trembling lip an all, as she yelped out that echoing phrase.  Making her own pants was the last option within her budget.  Despite hours of hope, all hope was lost.  It suddenly became clear that nothing she could do was going to fulfill that hope.  The dark cloud of despair entombed her face and never left for the rest of the class.

Maybe it is the budget that kills us.  Yes, if we had all the money in the world we would be able to let someone else deal with the stress of finding us pants that fit.  First world problems.  The ability to dream and see in one’s mind that a different reality can exist for us is monumental to our survival.  No one can stay sane if they are aware that every day of their future is likely to be just as shitty as the one they have been experiencing for the last God knows how many days.  No one.  I must envision a brighter future.  I must see how my inputs into this waste of time will convince someone that I am capable of moving on to the next level.  Beating the boss takes stamina.  It takes wit and intellect.  These’s people are dense and narrow minded because they need to be to keep their cog of the wheel operational.  They can’t just let everyone pass go and collect $200.  You have to pass their unacknowledged tests to pass go.  That’s life.

Problem is, passing Go takes time.  The amount of time passing Go takes is different in different cultures.  Some cultures understand the real world.  Some cultures understand their own real world.  To a person who has traveled and lived in the “real world”, this idea is confusing.  Imagine taking a multiple choice test for an online college course.  No lectures, just a text book to rely on for information.  One test question asks, “The best way to make a profit is to buy low and sell high, true or false?”  What is your answer? You can rationalize that both answers are correct in some way or another.  But according to the text book that you are being tested on, the answer is “true”.  Not because your life experience has told you that it is true, not because your friends agree, but simply because in the context of this specific life situation, the text book explicitly says that on page 279.  A+ for you.


The Wicked Witch of the Underworld

The Wicked Witch of the Underworld

Somehow we ended up driving into the underworld.  Not knowing where we were, we made a u turn and continued on our way home.  A wicked witch followed us out though.  Something in me knew it too but I kept shrugging off as shadows and road noise.  At home that night I felt her presence and went into the back yard pondering where the safest place would be.  In fright at the dark clouds swarming fast on all horizons, I turned and ran back into the house and up the stairs.  She flew around me in a swirling gust.  I thought I had escaped her as I burst out onto the balcony and climbed onto the roof.  Feeling myself floating I grabbed the flag pole rope and held on in one last attempt to stay grounded.  “It’s no use,” she shrieked, “I’ve already given you the poison.” Her words echoed as Kevin’s sword flew through her apparition, its reflective light joining into my swirling, darkening vision.

I eventually awoke, realizing that my sleeping beauty fantasies were never something that I wanted to be true.   Blinking my eyes, I expected the vague form of Kevin hovering over me to bring me relief, but it didn’t.  “Kevin! Why do you look like that?” I exclaimed.  His Claymation face looked sad.  I reached up to his face asking him if it is really him, when I noticed my own hands had the very same cartoonish texture.  Frightened, thinking this must be a dream, the memory of the witch’s attack came back.  “But how did you get here?” I asked him as he showed me the mirror, “I thought she was only attacking me.

“She was.” He explained, “But I couldn’t fight her off and wouldn’t let her take you alone.  So I let her take me too.  I couldn’t be without you.  “What does she want with us?” I asked.  He didn’t know.  For weeks she has just been flying around like a mad spirit muttering spells as she experiments with the new power having us around gives her.  “She’s been gone for a few days, maybe that’s why you’ve woken up.”  My memory came and went over the next few days so it was easy to live in the cottage as if we always did.

But at random times a memory would come to mind.  “Do you still work at a bank?” I asked Kevin, half knowing his answer but feeling compelled like a child to ask anyway.  “Not since we’ve been here, no.  We’re prisoners here.  I have no idea how to get out.”

One day Kevin began to get spacey and forgetful of what words he had been trying to get out.  He fell into a conscious muttering sleep as the witch flew in.  “Good good, awake awake.  Get up!” she ordered.  I stood, shaky on my claylike legs under her spell.  A salt shaker appeared in my hand and I started sprinkling Kevin with salt as the witch flew around in apparitional ciaos.

The tornedo of wind put me into a black out and I awoke on horseback.  My hands tied in front of me with Kevin walking at my side, looking more and more Disney than Claymation.  We were slowly following the witch’s caravan through a small town.  Children were pointing in awe as the adults hustled them away from the road.  A band of teens threw rocks at us, threatening to break Kevin’s shoes, which were made of half an egg shell each.  Angrily he lunged at them.  Had his shackles not held him back, they probably would have been too scared to throw one last rock.  Egg shell shards spew in all directions, disheartened he turned to me.  “You have to try to remember, remember home.  It is the only way we can get out of here.” “Home…” I whispered as I woke up, Kevin snoring at my side.  I breathed a sigh of relief that it was all just some sort of dream.

On Chasing Dreams

On Chasing Dreams

11pm, Ugh. the night owl in me insists on living by the numbers.

Chasing dreams is a weird process sometimes.

Will I ever just live the dream and be fine with that?

“ets get there and be done with it so I can play all day long,

uninterrupted by feelings of obligation.

That’s what I was promised!

Once I finished my work I could play, forever.

Over and over and over again, they lied.

The nature of work is not to be over.

Hard work, work smarter; they were the choice at the fork in the road.

So many people couldn’t, so they Worked Harder

as if the Work Smarters are in any different boat.

It hasn’t changed.

They call it an education,

people with PhDs work both harder and smarter.

Seeing the false hope is like looking around your room and realizing

that it is all junk.

CEOs are employees too.

We’re all employees if we are employed.

There is no where else to go for most of us.

We can hope and dream and learn and endure.

We can argue, bitch, and be bitter selves.

We must do both sets here, at this time.

We have no choice.

Many egos have softened and turned to reason

some with much spite.

Just work towards freedom