Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You Do Not Have To Make Every Day Count

You Do Not Have To Make Every Day Count
So as a bipolar person I make the following statement, “You do not have to make every day count.”  Some days the most important thing, the most vital thing (vital as from the latin vitae, meaning life) is to just get through it.  Get through the day.  Also, I have spent my life as a professional artist.
Yeah, I’m one of those.  Still, hear me out.  I did not choose to be whacko, nor did I actually choose to be an artist.  Truly, true – I fell into it and had no plan B.  The art part is mostly a part of this blog because for an artist there is no time off.  If the brain is on, alive (dreaming is just another form of working), it is working.  By that I mean being all creative and imagination like and designing stuff.  This never stops.  Ever.
On a day like today – this is southern Virginia, way out into the woods, looking out onto a pond.  Turtle Pond in late November.  The leaves are all blown off the trees, it is raining a good solid rain … with wind.  The sky – slate … no clouds distinguishable, just a solid dead gray.  There   is   not   a   single   element   to   raise   the   spirits.  If you are a person that has to face a crisis of personal emotional inventory every morning, sometimes … some days … it is enough to just try very very hard to not think.
Because thinking for an artist is work.  ALL the time.  Now, there is a neural loop because of some kink in your physical organ called the brain.  It is that loop that is deadly.  Okay, deadly is too strong.  Lessee … uh, this is hard to get at.  Imagine (artists are very prone to visual analogies) a belt, like a car engine’s fan belt, continuous, running around and around without a buckle or any discernable end – or beginning.  That’s the belt – the loop of bipolarism.
So there is the artist brain that never stops working and then we add in certain things, that are called triggers, that kicks that belt, or loop, into gear and … well, we have a train on a circular track and there is a car stuck on those tracks.  What next?  What can happen next?  If the engineer can’t get the track switched – in time – to get that train off that loop (belt, track) then there is a collision.
And some days, all that that engineer (let’s say the engineer is the bipolar artist) can do is to focus on getting that track switch switched before the train hits the car.  This is the difficulty that people who are not stuck on a looping train track can understand.  First the engineer must accept that every day they are on that train and it is going to go around and around on that same track.  And every day they have to keep a sharp eye out for some idiot who is going to get his car stuck across those tracks.
It takes concentration.  That’s sort of like obvious.  So even when you tell other people who share your life paradigm, they still – they still park on your tracks.  Only an actual idiot does that.  Sometimes it’s their car.  And still they do it.  However, you are the engineer and if you hit the car, cause the collision, or derail the train, it’s your fault.  At least that is what everybody believes, or mostly generally believes.  An’ ya gotta live with it.
Now knowing all this ya still gotta live with it.  This is where we come to the bit about not always having to make every day count.  Count for what?  Count in what way?  Here’s another analogy: no, no – here’s a personal life story: … back to my 300 mile bicycle race blog.  Finishing a marathon race is not about making every step, or push of the pedals, count.  It’s about taking the next step, about pushing the pedals around one more time.  And then again and again and again, until you get to the end of the race.
When that race is over, you rest, think about it and get ready for the next race. 
So I find it has become part of what is called my recovery, to sometimes say “Hello” to the morning.  Each step (each day) is what it is.  Allow for that.  Some days I find I am fine with that much.  That is enough to make that day count.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Living Someone Else’s Life

Living Someone Else’s Life

Netflix.  Why do we, or I (me) anyway, get into these Netflix binges?  There have been TV series(es) I have avoided for years.  Something about them irritated me.  After several years I forgot why, but I remember watching one or two episodes and thinking, “Well, this sucks.”

Coulda been the actors or the plots or simply the script writing – the dialogue.  Something just seemed like it took long to get through an episode for what I got out of it.  No value for the time investment.

Recently, just because … well, because … I’ve been burning through seasons of those programs I avoided, and I arrived at a conclusion.  It’s the timing, the pacing of regular cable TV.  The commercials totally screw up the timing.  The writers get you up to a dramatic point, a place of tension, then blam! The networks hit you with diapers and scooters for the disabled and beer and make-up and other shit.  And these days those commercials go on and on and on.  You could take a nap before they get you back to your program.

So you subscribe to Netflix, or some similar service – you really do have a choice these days.  And you can take in each episode without the interruptions of diapers and beer and scooters and you can take in as many episodes at a stretch as you want, or tolerate.  The question is why?  Why do you, or me in this case, spend so much time – or waste it if you think you’re some hoity-toity intellectual – stuck on the couch watching these shows … as it were.

For me, honestly, I have begun to realize, I am escaping my own life by living someone else’s.  Episode after episode, with the script timing uninterrupted, truly puts me into the lives of the plot characters.  Why?  How does this happen?  The truth of this whole new phenomenon, and it is a fairly recent phenomenon, is that the plot characters are only actors.  They are not really police detectives, cops, FBI agents, Doctors.  They are actors!

None of it is real!  I find myself identifying with absolutely total fiction – in every way.  The story is not real, the people are not real, even the places they are supposed to be in are not real.  That’s why, in part, it never seems to snow in northern New England, the wind never blows in Chicago (the Windy City), it’s never cloudy in San Francisco, it never rains in Seattle.  No matter where the show is placed, it’s sunny and apparently warm. 

All the women can wear super tight low cut shirts (lots of cleavage) and never get cold (no nipples).  All the young muscular men can also wear tight t-shirts (but somehow they do have nipples - ???)  The comb-overs on all the old men do not flap around in any kind of wind.

It’s all fiction and yet we (I) get totally into it.  Binging on someone else’s life for hours.

Admittedly – yes I have begun to accept – that I have to get a life of my own.  Soon … hopefully.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Skinny Jeans and iPhones

Skinny Jeans and iPhones

So the idea seems to be to get jeans that are so tight, if you have a tattoo on your butt everyone will know.  Even the young men seem to be in on this one.  Which I find a bit odd in that I can’t quite understand how they can deal with the obvious discomfort.  However, what do I know about style?  Nothing. Truly nothing at all.

When I’m heading out the door for work and my wife says I look nice, I have to look in the mirror to see what I’m wearing, because I don’t actually remember choosing anything.  “Nice outfit”.  What is an outfit anyway?  I kinda look in the closet and try to remember what is clean.

I have a system.  When I wear a shirt the first day out of the laundry, I roll the sleeves up.  Then I put it in the closet after I wear it once.  I let it air launder for a couple days, alternating with other shirts.  After two wearings I chuck it in the laundry.  Shirts last a lot longer that way.  It’s a system.  I’ve used it for years with a fairly limited number of shirts, so my style is wa-a-ay behind the curve. 

A slightly different system for most of my pants, except I can tell if I’ve worn them before or not by the receipts in the pockets..  If the receipts are a wad of lint, then they are fresh out of the laundry.

I teach High School, so I don’t have to have like expensive suits and stuff.  I just have to not look like an old bum.  I don’t have to wear a tie, but I usually do because I kind of like ties.  It gives me an edge over the all the teen-age energy rampaging around me all day.  Differentiates me from the weird clothes most of the kids seem to prefer. 

Which is stylish – what the kids wear and wouldn’t be caught dead not wearing.  Teen-agers are in-style or they are ostracized socially.  I think the biggest contributors to Charity Thrift Stores are the parents of teen-agers.  What they wore last year is just not going to work for a new school year.  Of course then, if they go on to college, they start going back to the Charity Thrift Stores to buy back their old clothes.  Tuition is a killer. 

Back to the skinny jeans.  First of all males should simply not wear them.  They look stupid on the male physic.  Like pony tails on balding old men.  Or diamond stud earrings on any man.  Some fashion items get far too trans-genderized to have any meaning.  But here’s the thing, the whole notion by jeans being so tight – well for one thing it has kind of stopped that jail-house style of young guys wearing pants below their butts.  That’s a good thing.

What I’m getting at is now it seems the jeans allow a young person to display what kind of Smartphone they have.  It used to be a well-dressed person did not want to have anything that caused their pockets to bulge.  This anti-bulge thing is what created the invention of the woman’s purse and a man’s wallet, inside jacket, pocket.  To avoid any bulging.  Now that obvious back pocket outline tells everybody if you have an old iPhone, or a new one (the new ones are bigger).  Or one of those huge Android things, which identifies you as a rebel. 

It seems to have become a bling object.  A statement.  It’s the subtle things that count sometimes.

DC Peterson

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The First Pentecostal Church of Heathens

The First Pentecostal Church of Heathens

Accepting that Wikipedia is correct with its definition of what is Pentecostal, I think this is possible.  It seems to just depend on whether or not you accept the full acceptance of some kind of inerrancy of some kind of document.  Really, since this all predates Christianity and Mohammed, etc. and that it was the ancient Greeks who mostly invented the word and concept – it could be just about any book (as it were).

So let’s say I write a book laying down a sort of set of rules and stuff for my Church of Heathens to follow, and they pledge that they believe that this book has no errors in it, then “Bob’s yer Uncle … we’re off to the races”.  We have the First Pentecostal Church of Heathens.  The question then is, “what is a heathen?”

Now here is where, I believe, Wikipedia gets all muddled.  Mostly by confusing, or lumping, heathenism with paganism and determining it began in Germany and/or the Nordic regions.  Which is stupid.  The Oxford Dictionary of English says; “...Of an individual or people: holding religious beliefs of a sort that are considered unenlightened … (sic)”  This makes sense to me.  Since I would definitely say that when it comes to religion, I am assuredly unenlightened. 

And I see no reason why I should not be able to get together with other persons who also feel unenlightened – religiously.  We live in a time when the religiously enlightened are all running around killing each other because some believe they are more enlightened than some other people.  All of ‘em having jihads and standin’ their ground and poking under rocks for WOMD.  Taking out hundreds of thousands of to-o-tally­ innocent and uninvolved persons as collateral damage!

Over what?  What the fuck do they want?  What are they so pissed about? !!!  They are just pissed as hell that there are other people who are not enlightened in the enlightened way that they believe they are enlightened. And that makes them feel … maybe, insecure … or a little bit stupid.  So if they simply just like kill everybody else who is not in the same game as them, then that means they must be right – correct? 

The image I get is this; they are all just dung beetles rolling up their globs of treasure.  Guarding them against any and all threats.  Willing to fight and die for their treasured glob and forgetting that it’s really just a big ball of shit.  You can call it God or Jehovah or Allah or Marvin.  IT’S STILL JUST A BIG BALL OF SHIT.  And how is any one ball of shit any different than any other?  This is where my mind refuses to find enlightenment. 

Another question is, “Can you convert a dead person to your personal brand of enlightenment?”  A dead person can’t be said to believe in anything.  Really.  Is there any difference between a dead Christian and a dead Muslim?  Or dead anything?   Think about it.  How do you verify anything, one way or another?  Let me ask this, “Is there any way to be more unenlightened than being dead?”  Do the math.  This means, to me, that all dead persons must be, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English, heathens. 
What is the difference between us Heathens and Atheists and/or Agnostics?  Well, Agnostics says they don’t know.  “Is there a God?  Is there no God?  We don’t know and we don’t wanna say one way or the other.”  Atheists say, “Ain’t no God!” or more politically correct according to Atheists, “Ain’t no god!” (See the difference?)

But us Heathens say, “We don’t know enough not to know enough to know one way or the other.  We are really in the dark on this one.”  We want to sleep in on Sunday mornings, listen to the birdies sing and would really rather not be forced to shoot bullets at people for reasons we have no strong issues with.  Plus we want to be able to wear Bowling shirts to work to show our faith; kind of like our Heathen version of a Crucifix.

“I see by the little Cross on that gold chain around your neck, that you are a Christian.”
“That’s right.  And I see by your Bowling shirt here at work, that you are a Heathen.”

Our bumper stickers will be a strict adherence to the absence of bumper stickers on our bumpers.  None.  Due to our unenlightened status, we take no sides because we … well, you know, we don’t know.

Our t-shirt logo will be a circle with a backwards slash across it.  Nothing in the circle and the slash running backwards, indicating “Null”.  Which will be our motto and mantra, “Null”.  Or drawn out as in non-committed meditation, ‘Nu-u-u-ll-ll-a-a-a-h”. 
Our t-shirt color will be beige.  Or, may a flat gray.  No no wait!  Our logo will be done in beige on a gray t-shirt.  With maybe a square around the circle, because we can’t say we are necessarily committed to the circle.