Thursday, April 30, 2009


I've always been a big believe in serendipity.  So when I see something out of the corner of my eye while driving, it can end up having a lot of meaning.  In this case it was a sign proclaiming a 3Br house for rent. for only a small amount more then my current apartments rent.

That's how all of this got started.  The person who is renting it out has been completely out of communication since my initial interaction with them, but the agreement between my roomates and I is that we need a bigger place.  I've wanted one for a long time, and having seen the promise of it I have the hunger, and it will not be sated until it tastes of sweet victory.  This first meant pursuing the serendipitous house heavily, but it's hard to do that when the renter won't pick up his damn phone.  So now I have a number of other targets on my list.

I'm not sure where yet, I'm personally still hoping we get Ashworth Abbey (as we will call it), but know this.  I'm getting out of this cramped apartment.  It's not a home, it's a place.  A place is where some bros, dudes, and perhaps their ladies may crash, party, or chill while doing their thing and going to college.  In a home you can live an actual life.  In a home you can grow and progress beyond the petty hollow stories of adolescence.  

We talked about this the first night after my discovery and one thing was made clear.  This chance, this opportunity has the ability to transform all of the things we'd like to do, and talk about doing, into things that could actually happen.  So many plans, and schemes, and ideas can be made manifest if we only have the space to pursue it.

And by God we will.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Defying expectations

I spent most of this morning preparing myself for my meeting with my advisor.  I went over every detail that I had in my argument, I made sure that I had records of our past exchanges, and I analyzed all all of the past interactions I'd had with advisor, assembled a basic personality profile, and catered my appearance and mannerisims to appeal to that profile.  

It was the perfect alignment of desire, fear, focus, outrage, determination, and desperation.  The perfect constellation of my motivating factors.

I arrived ten minutes early, as I often do, and was delayed for a few minutes by the previous appointment.  When my turn was up I headed in and was prempted by victory.  My key argument was brought up by the advisor, and I was admitted to the major.

I was then also offered my choice of summer quarter classes.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with this, but the effect is very similar to that of DM discretion.  This is someone who empowered above and beyond the game that you are playing, and can grab the rules and reshape them as they see fit.  The fact that this person is on my side is very very important, and the experience of seeing something in real life be retconned is simply outstanding.  It remains true that every time I go to the psych advisors it goes better then I thought it could.

Monday, April 20, 2009


-The weather has been really nice recently, and just today it first turned warm.  It has a dangerous effect on my habit of laying around and reading, because my lizard brain kicks into hot flat rock mode and I end up falling asleep.

-One of the key advantages of ordering things online is that it allows you to be a picky bitch about the specifics of your particular sandwich or pizza without having to be particular and annoying to an actual person.  It also gets through the constant issue of my inability to pronounce the phrase "Bootlegger Club" audibly on the first try over the phone.

-Jimmy John's Bootlegger club, easy mayo, no tomatoes, extra lettuce, added cheese.  Best Sandwich ever.

-I need to write out a proper entry about the idea of micro-customization.  Not now, later

-It's an interesting split second when I'm first talking to a parent and they're voice carries the notes of something negative.  I flashed for a moment, trying to think of what I'd done wrong, until I realized this was being done for me, not at me.  Some childhood habits never get broken.

-My car continues to fail on me.  Part of me wishes it would just explode, and be done with, but that desire has faded rapidly as getting out more has shown me the importance of personal transit.  

-Exploding would also entail a nice insurance kickback, probably one that's worth more then the entire price of the car.

-I deny any allegations that I ever considered using my car for insurance fraud.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Healthy Outlet

I found out recently that exercise is a great way for me to work through frustrations and deal with nervous energy.  It's a very valuable tool, and if I remain as emotionally immature as I am now I may end up being a wreck, but I'll be in great shape.

The things is that I'm not going to stay so immature.  I have an overabundance of this kind of violent nervous energy as a result of the maturation process.  I, in fact, have enough of it that if I were to vent all of it through exercise I would end up shredding my muscles.  I benefit from having a sibling who has a firm understanding of biology, a focus on personal health, and a keen eye for getting through bullshit pop knowledge.  I know, through him, the proper amount of exercise I should be doing, and it's not enough to vent this energy.  

The real thing though, is that this energy is innate to my being.  Yes there's some of it that is coming from the maturation pains, but a lot of it is just who I am, and I haven't yet learned to properly control it.  This is why I'm thinking of doing something I would have scoffed at just weeks ago.

I'm thinking of taking up a violent external martial art.  It's an odd shift for me, I was an aikido student for several weeks, and I liked aikido because it's almost a pacifist martial art.  It's elegant and beautiful, but when you get right down to it it's not me.  Thinking more about what is me, I'm beginning to consider Karate.  It's a way to not only get some energy out, but to learn to master it, to control it, and to direct it properly.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Damage Control

Okay, lets take a look at this in retrospect.

Two major terrible things happened.  One happened completely out of the blue.  The other happened in strangely similar parameters to a nightmare I had recently.  

I lost about four hours of time.  I'll be mentally hit until Tuesday when I can actually move something forward.  I also lost the screen on my window, and I did some permanent damage to my closet door.  I've also lost my voice for the next day or so.  

What I've gained is another burn scar by which to remember the lesson that I'm a lot smarter if I don't think about things.  I've also gained the phrase "mental whip dancing" as a means of reminding myself of this basic self management tactic.  And, I guess, a few more points into understanding the workings of my true foe, self doubt.  

I don't know about the rest of you, but when all is said and done, I think this one went okay.  It certainly could have gone much much worse.  

I'm also lifting the ban on calls, but my voice is shot, so do so at your own risk.

Quick Reflection

I want to take note of this before it wears off.  Right now, I almost miss being depressed.  When you're depressed you can just sit, or lay still, and let the world pass, and let yourself slowly die.  

Right now, I'm enraged, and I've already done all of the things I can do to solve the problem.  And enraged doesn't take well to waiting.

The cut off

I'm not going to draw this out.  I got a letter today from the Psych department, and I was not admitted.  

I was puzzled by this until a few minutes ago.  The letter claims that they made the cut at 2.9, and that I was below that.  I had gone to the advisors on several occasions, and they assured me that if I got a 3.2 in PSYCH 202 that I would get a 2.9, and would get in.

I did it too.  I got the grade.  I did what I was told I would have to.  I did it.  I fucking did it.

So I sent an e-mail off to that advisor, asking, more or less, what happened, and if there was any remaining hope.  The letter I got back was mostly useless, but with one crucial detail.

The math done by them, the math they did in order to find out my grade.  That wasn't quite the math that I had been told to do.  Which is why when they calculated, once I had achived the grade I was told I needed to, they didn't get 2.9

They got 2.88

I want to just let that sit for a moment.  Two point eight eight.  Four is the highest possible score.  I'm off by two hundreths of a point.  I'm off by ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT of the possible points.  

Up until Inow I was feeling depressed.  Right now, looking at TWO PONT EIGHT EIGHT, right now I  think I might kill someone.  I might really do it this time.  Just grab them by the skull, push my thumbs into the eye sockets, get a good grip,  and pull it apart until the whole thing cracks.  

Needless to say I'm not in the best mood over this.  I won't be taking calls on the subject until Sunday, when hopefully I will have calmed down.   Also note that this is the entire story thus far.  Even if you called there's nothing more I can telll you until Tuesday.


Wednesday night I had a pretty vicious nightmare.  It ended up costing me a lot of sleep, and a lot of mental clarity, and hence costing me Thursday.  

While walking around Thursday I get good news, and my mood turns up, and exactly as it did the wind caught a nearby tree perfectly and I found myself walking through a cloud of cherry blossoms.  

Thursday night I had a dream that the rain was never ending, and I had to go to the top of a mountain and part the clouds.  

Friday morning I wake up and the sky is exactly as it was in my never ending rain dream.  I walk to class with an odd feeling of destiny.  On the way back I look up and realize I'm standing exactly on the dividing line of the sky.  If I turn right I see sun and clear skies.  If I turn left I see thick grey clouds stretching off into forever.  I had to turn left to go home.  

Later during the day today what could be called the opening scene of the nightmare I had Wednesday takes place.  I can't call it a prophetic nightmare yet, but if I'm a wanted murder tomorrow morning then at least I'll go out knowing that I had the worlds most horrible superpower before I died, which will happen on Sunday, if the nightmare is right.  

I was laying around reading, calming myself, when a countdown timer on my smart phone went off.  I didn't set a countdown timer.  I grabbed my knife, looked around, checked the apartment, checked a lot of other things.  It seemed like it was for nothing.  I think I'm going to learn soon that someone died at that exact moment, roughly 3:20 p.m. PST.  

Needless to say I'm a bit freaked out by all this.  The amount of surreal coincidence is getting too high for even my tastes.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Big Problems

Several months ago my bike broke.  It broke in the worst way ever.  A slow motion crash, caused by a girl who managed to counterdodge my maneuvers to avoiding hitting her FOUR TIMES, so that I was within inches of running straight into her, and the only way I could avoid running her over was to turn sharply enough to roll myself and the bike over.  I hate that story, because it's boring, and there's no real conflict.  A high speed crash, a massive pothole, getting hit by something, these would all be much better stories, but the truth of it is slow speed emergency maneuver.  

It took me several months to address my broken bike for two key reasons.  One: I thought I was going to have to buy a new bike wheel to fix the slightly bent one, and I thought it would cost a lot of money.  Two: I never used my bike that much anyway.  I was getting into the habit of using it, but about 9 days into that this girl stepped right into my path, then jumped where I turned, and well you know already know that story.  When my relatives visited over the winter my brother told me that I could probably just get the tire trued for twenty or forty dollars.  That was good news, and once the right combination of "Wish I could use my bike more" and "Heading that way anyway" came up, I looking into things.  The bike shop guy said sure, he'd true it up for $25.  Sweet.  I agreed to meet him back half an hour later.

Which was when he told me that he couldn't do it.  He had started to, the spokes got too tight on one side, and too loose on the other, and it was beyond repair.  He had, of course, already looked up the price of a new wheel.

The average bike wheel in that place was pricey.  Around $100 pricey.  I was planning on checking a few other spots, one's that I thought would be cheaper,  but then I got a key piece of information.  

The average wheel is going to cost around 100 dollars.  My wheel, a 29" heavy duty wheel made for a hybrid bike, was going to cost around 250 dollars, because that wheel is unusually large.  The wheel is unusually large because my bike is unusually large, and my bike is unusually large because I am unusually large.

So add bike repair to the list of things that is affected by the giant tax.  

Natural States

It is some time during the day.  I am fully dressed, and the room is well lit.  This is a natural state. 

It is 3 a.m. and I am asleep.  This is the ideal natural state

It is 3 a.m. and I am laying in bed, half asleep, thinking profound useless thoughts.  This is also an acceptable natural state.

It is 3 a.m. and I am awake, in the dark, in my robe, only the glow of the monitor lighting me.  This is an unacceptable, but still natural state.  

Tonight I wake up around 2:30, I am tired, but wide awake, as I have been since I first layed down at 10.  In nature this would devolve into the unacceptable state.  This time I tried something different.  

It is 3 a.m. and I am fully dressed, the room is well lit, and I'm being somewhat productive.  This is not a natural state.  My brain can't reconcile the fact that I have background pings of sleepiness as "I should be asleep," it's misappropriately thinking that "I should take a nap."  It's odd, but it's not the self destructive introspection and extrapolation ad absurdum that comes when I run out of distractions in my unacceptable state.  This is healthier.  It isn't as healthy as sleeping.  It's not even as healthy as laying semi comatose thinking.  Insomnia takes away a lot of options; for years I was played the card I was dealt and I suffered for it.  Now I play the game much less often, and tonight I have found a new card to play.  This is not a natural state, but it is acceptable.


In the vast ocean of my day to day well being there are two vast glaciers.  

The first is weather.  During spring break it  was sunny, and even though I was getting bored I felt great.  I was hitting the gym a lot, and I was just generally operating at a higher level.  This week it's been gray, with a cold oppressive rain that makes you want to roll up under covers and do nothing.  I've been doing badly, slacking from the gym, and just generally feeling down.  Realizing that I've begun using my sun lamp again, but it can only do so much.

The second is food, and this is one that I can do a lot more about.  The solution is really quite clear, it's just hard to commit to because it's going to be a lot of work.  I can make the Evolutionary fitness work, without going broke, and without having any real problems as long as I make a real effort to buy only EF approved foods, and I only eat out for social reasons.  To be honest I think if I make a real effort to control my convience based reastraunt eating I will actually come ahead financially on this one.

I'm saying this here, publically, because I'm going to commit to this damnit.  I'm tried of being weak, I'm tired of being out of shape, and its about damn time I did something about it.  In two weeks when I being to slack off, and/or post a blog entry about how I'm reconsidering it from some seemingly reasonable reason,  someone remind me of this, and hit me if necessary.  The time for doing the simple and difficult things is now.


The cold light of an overcast winter sky glints off my armor as I stand before a massive wall.  In the wind I can hear the faint whipping of my tabard, the same one worn by the countless soldiers behind me.  It is a dark purple, almost black.  The front of it bears a vibrant colorful image of a sun rising over a mountain, the dark night of the tabard being split by the glorious rising of the morning star.  The soldiers all wear this symbol proudly, as do I, but I know that I am the one who carries the symbol forth.  There are all stripes of soldier, there are phalanx, and archers, and dragoons, infantry, and siege engineers hanging off their massive engines of war.  There are many of them, but there is only one of me.

This is why I stand before the wall.  They are soldiers who follow the light into the darkness.  I am מאיר (Meh'ear), I am the lightbringer, I am a Paladin.  I am the morning star piercing the night that emblazons every one of our chests.

The wall is unspeakably massive.  It stretches on forever unto either side, there are no gates, there are no turrets, no parapets, there is only dead black stone rising up impossibly high.  It isn't proud.  It could almost be said to be defiant, but only those who have a purpose can defy.  The wall is bitter.  The wall stands in bitter spite of everything that moves, everything that lives and breathes and feels.  It doesn't keep things in, it doesn't keep things out, it only exists to hinder and impede.

It is the cold stark evil of this thing that I have to defeat.  I have to defeat it, because I am the paladin, the champion, the hero.  With faith and strength I charge, and I strike with all that I have against this monolith.  Splinters chip off, a brief cloud of dust, but before the vastness of stone it is nothing, the painful ringing of my sword in my hand only serves to drive the point home.  My faith is shaken, and somehow I know that this is the first time that it has ever been truly tested.

Breathing deeply I turn, looking back at my crusade, and what I see is more devastating then my failure.  In the eyes of those men I see the pure might of the human spirit.  The hope and faith that they have placed in me.  They were so willing to give of themselves because they had faith as well.  They had faith in me.  There are so many of them, and they have followed me to this frozen waste, and for what?   How can I tell them that my strength is not enough?  That the light was not enough to pierce the darkness.  That they had given me their faith and I had not been strong enough.

The wind blows over us in the tense seconds of my epiphany, I can feel the beginnings of tears as I look down at my chest.  The morning star, defiant against the night.  The light was my strength.  Without thinking about it I correct myself, mentally reciting the correct version "The light is my strength."

I would like to say the sun split the clouds that moment.  That in some way the world knew my sudden insight, but there was nothing.  I simply saw the light that was always there.  There are many virtues that those who bathe in the light of the morningstar strive to.  The morningstar is the courage to fight an unbeatable foe, the love to give freely to those who may never know what you have sacrificed to give, but above all else the morningstar is the breaker of chains.  The light is freedom, the light is free will, the light is the power to belong only to yourself, that you will not have to answer to any tyrant or king.  In that moment I truly understood freedom.  The crusade had put their faith in me because they had the freedom to do so.  They had followed me not because they had to, but because they had chose to.  They were not bound, they were free.  They were free to choose their leader, to choose their champion, and they had chosen me.  They had given of themselves without thought of repayment, that they might bring up arms against an unbeatable foe.  They gave their faith willingly, and as mine wavered, I finally had the strength to know that I had the right to take it.

The cold light of an overcast winter sky glints off our armor as we stand before a massive wall.  The voice of the champion echoes against its black stone face, followed by the roar of the crusade and the vast crashing of siege engines.  The light is my strength.  Their light is my strength, and with it I will pierce the darkness.