2.221.

The flu is still trying to kill me, and apparently it has designs on my partner as well. She’s tough though, as am I. Of course it would be trying to take us out at this point, because life is giving us so many chances to find real and lasting happiness. The universe positively had to send a henchmen to screw things up a little. I mean, I am writing again (if only 30 min a day), I am coming around to understanding how I need to plan to make my finances work, and I am feeling really centered about how I want to parent moving forward. These things matter and normally eat at my psyche. Now it feels like their getting handled and I am slowly getting my shit back together and under control.

For the first time in a while I can see the image of that life best lived. I am feeling like a writer again. I am falling back into teaching. I feel like I’m not doing so much that I don’t have time to get anything done or even do anything well. This is definitely a shift and could be meaningful–if that flu don’t get me.

In the meanwhile I am excited to continue this pattern of growth and change. I don’t think I should explode into everything at once, but I’m about to institute a 30 minute rule for reading as well. This is beyond the standard audiobook ‘read’ I do every day to and from the office. This is about words on a page–a print page in my hands. I need to get back to that as well.

Some Thoughts:

  1. The Trump Administration… Come on, man. We cannot be serious here. Even after a year I still feel like it is some kind of prank. I feel like we basically let Logan Paul run the country. Maybe one day we will…

2.220. Some Thoughts

Too many things on my mind to complete one centralized ten minute post… unless I combine them all under the header of…

 

Some Thoughts:

  1. 220 days ago I restarted this blog. A lot can happen in 220 days. A lot more has happened than I thought could. I have been given tremendous opportunity in this life and I continue to squander such things as a result of poor ritual. By that I mean I have developed all the wrong habits and fight all the right ones. The saddest part is that I see it and often do nothing about it. Perhaps that is my real gift–I see these things clearly. I see them the way a sculptor sees the artistry within a slab. Then I apply my disastrous tools and all is lost. But all is not lost. I have another chance to get everything right. I am continuously supplied with chances like lives on a video game and each iteration makes me feel like I am closer to getting things right.
  2. Fantasy Football is what changed my love for football. It broke me in a subversive way. It broke down the tribal barriers that govern the game. The very idea of ‘whose side are you on’ is shattered in the face of having a 3rd party team which holds players from each side of the two competing forces. I was no longer rooting for a team but for individual players to reach their potential and thus eliminating any sense of who I actually wanted to win. Furthermore I wasn’t appreciating the beauty of the sport from a chess-match perspective. I kept looking for stats. Add to that the suckness (my word) of my NY Giants and the entire thing was trash.
  3. Not completing the 30 minute rule yesterday was entirely my fault. I own that completely. I had multiple opportunities to start the window and chose not to. I chose other things ahead of the structured writing time. This morning my shower allowed me the chance to look at that in perspective and really think about what happened. It came down to easy pleasure vs. the work of the thing. It came down to everyone else’s stuff before my stuff. It came down to lazy vs. working. Now all of this is a part of who I am, but I also am a person who has the power and brain to strategize through that and find a way to be successful. I could’ve found 30 minutes. I did not. I will today and each day moving forward.

2.219. Dow 666 and Other Missed Opportunities

I have a theory: most of the ‘end of days’ stuff is perpetuated by what is essentially the republican propaganda machine. This isn’t even me saying republicans are bad or evil or that people who affiliate themselves with that party even represent the party itself. In truth the loudest voices from that ‘side of the aisle’ are the ones who represent the smallest and most ferocious segment of their warped and oft fanatical base. This is why when Obama was president it was seen by all of them as a sign of the end of times. However, the day the dow fell 666 points by close of day, nobody even drew a biblical connection.

The connection is clear.

I realized that even more when I heard the president was planning a ‘chinese style’ military parade in DC. Trevor Noah, your boy finally went full African Dictator. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to separate this reality from a really bad fan fiction version of reality.

I feel powerless to do anything about any of this.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Missed Night #2 of the 30 minute rule. I’m bone tired and recognizing that Tuesday is the toughest day of my week. I need better planning throughout the week to ease some of the pressure from this day.

2.218. Reflections on a Monday Afternoon

Tonight is the second of three weeks of a novel writing class at ASU. I’m stoked for the event, but I am also ill. So tonight represents that precarious balance between going all out and trying to not pass out. Basically, it is the story of my life thus far. I’m learning that there have been a number of trigger points in my life that, if the multiverse exists, represent divergent paths–the flowering of new worlds. I have been blessed with a number of opportunities and have openly squandered most of them. Now I am learning to ‘read the tea leaves’ and make use of what comes my way. This is harder done than said, as are all things worth accomplishing, but it does reflect a desire to continue to strive to be the best version of myself despite whatever obstacle stands in my way.

Lately those obstacles have been self-imposed and/or financial. I am working on resolving the financial side bit by bit but that too is harder than it looks, because I habitually live outside of my means. In truth I need to live more frugally for a spell in order to set everything else right. Or maybe I should just buy a house and roll all my debt into that. One short payment a month… It’s a thought more than a plan and equally insubstantial.

What has worked is this 30 minute rule (in spite of recent setbacks). I am making progress back towards becoming the best version of my writing self, at least. I can say that this is what I find the most joy in, because becoming that writer I grew up trying to be is a lifelong goal that can only lead to more pride and joy in what I do as a human.

Some Thoughts:

  1. I didn’t die from the flu, obviously. Still, the battle is far from won. Next year I get the shot.
  2. I need to get back to reading from my Thich Nhat Hanh. I have been derelict in my meditations and it really shows.
  3. Love endures.

2.217. Ten Trying Minutes

I am no friend to failure, which is why it is so hard to come to terms with not being able to work on the novel for 30 minutes today. This isn’t about the Super Bowl. This goes back to the conditions that created back day. I’m quite sick. I’m sicker than I’ve been in several years and that overall flu-like sickness is wearing down my body. Nothing is working right and all I can do is lay around and feel hot and dizzy. Thera flu helps to ease the symptoms, but truthfully I am worried that continued use of drugs only masks a worsening condition. This is what my panic button looks like. I mean, people die from this crap. Doctors have no idea which cases are critical and which are not likely until it is too late.

If this worsens, I will go to the doc tomorrow. They’ll say, “oh its the flu,” which I already know. I don’t feel like I am dying but I feel completely ineffective. All I’ve been able to do all day is lay in bed and deal with the situation. Maybe that is exactly what you’re supposed to do, after all.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Tide wins the Super bowl of commercials. They hit the meta game and made a concerted effort to remind us that every commercial is a tide commercial. Only, they didn’t hit it hard enough.
  2. One thing I’ve noticed is a deepening effort to rebrand blackness onscreen. I don’t now how I feel about it yet.

2.216. Back Day

I was in the kids’ room fixing a computer when I twisted to crack my back. It didn’t crack, it flared. A bright pain overcame me and when I tried to sit up, I could not. The pain kept me on my knees most of the day. I am fortunate to have a partner who is there for me so completely that she abandoned her own day to ensure that I was okay and my kids were handled. That is not only partnership but real, deep, and lasting love. I am eternally grateful for having that in my life. It helped to dim the fact that I am getting old. I am getting old enough for my back to go out every year around this time. I recognize the weather and health conditions that create that scenario, but it doesn’t change the reality. That part is my responsibility.

I started writing the novel–30 minutes a day. It is only two days past, but this is a habit I know I can form and exercising for 10 minutes is another. It might not be enough, but it is a start.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Though I feel extremely judgemental for saying so, I find the Phoenix Open really stupid. Not the golf–the golf is cool, but the entire thing is a full day drinking fest. Folks have been walking in, beer in hand, since 7AM. They are expected to continue watching, partying (in nearby party tents), and drinking until late into the night. In other words, it is a college party for grown ups. Why is that stupid? Because it is an excuse. You want a party, have a party. Don’t mask it i the trappings of the PGA. Don’t make it why AZ is special.

2.216. The Nitpicky Way the so-called Deep State was Rebranded

Let me start by stating there is no evidence of a liberal deep state. On the surface of the thing, the republican collective (who is in such a lock step as to rival the Chinese parade military or, well, the Mormon faithful) wants you to believe the FBI is against President Trump. This is in spite of the known fact that then FBI director James Comey released an October 28th report about Hillary Clinton–that is JUST prior to the election–that likely cost her multiple states. In other words, the same FBI team that caused Clinton to lose was somehow colluding with Clinton so she would win.

Wait, what?

None of this makes sense. Still, there is an effort to point towards a so-called ‘Deep State’ that is entirely bent on destroying Trump. It is important to note that this Deep State was widely panned as being republican driven prior to the events of the last few months. So, we have an FBI director who skewers Clinton, a Deep State that is largely pro-republican in its ideology, and now both of these groups have been labeled as part of an overarching plan to distract and discredit the Mueller investigation. Cherry on top: Obama is being blamed for all of it. He always is, you know.

That brings us to the memo. The best the memo does is remind us that the Steele Dossier was part of the evidence in one of the cases. It goes on to claim that no mention was made, in how they used the Dossier, of who paid for the dossier and what political party those people belonged to. It does not dispute the accuracy of the findings of said dossier. In fact, some claims have been openly confirmed. The memo instead attempts to poison the well about who bought it. That, my readers, cuts both ways. We are to believe that Fox News is fair and balanced despite being owned by anti-democratic demagogues but believe that a research doc paid for by democrats is entirely partisan and has no factual basis because of such.

If we are smart as citizens we will stop listening. We will avoid this nonsense and allow the investigation to proceed in the absolute silence and politics-free way it has. Remember, nobody from the Mueller team or the investigator himself has said a thing about the case. Things have been said about them. Old texts have been brought up and torn out of context and, when Mueller was aware such things were happening, he removed those individuals for the sake of preserving the authenticity of the case.

We cannot play politics the way this Memo surely does. We must be patient and vigilant.

2.215. Let’s see what happens…

Embarking on a new plan: 30 day rule. I’m working towards being the best version of me and put my heart into the things I love most at the sacrifice of a lot of things that are peripheral yet hold value. That part is important. I realize that I have only so much time in a day and I must devote the time I have to these things that matter the most. I must find a path towards abandoning lazy and rediscovering focus, dedication, and pride.

The pride piece is especially important.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Struggling with neck pain. I picked up a cervical pillow some time ago and now it feels like the pillow has done more harm than good. My neck is a mess and the numbness I feel at certain angles is enough to shutdown half my upper body.
  2. Black Panther is going to be the shit.
  3. There is something very wrong with Rose McGowan. I don’t quite know what it is, but it feels serious. She’s… off.
  4. The Daily Show pointed out that nearly every black leading actor has died on screen. The notable exception was LL Cool J. I was wondering if that trusim applied to all races. In fact Tom Cruise stands out as undying (no, you really cannot count Edge of Tomorrow, because he kept coming back. If anyone knows of one, hit me up.
  5. Being madly in love changes a person. It makes you stronger than you thought you could be.

2.214. Trust the Process

Here is the real: Unless I am diligent about my writing–unless I do it every single day–I won’t do it at all. I’ll cheat, cut corners, pretend, make excuses, find other hobbies, act like it doesn’t matter all that much, and flat out sulk. All of these things are easier than putting my butt in my office chair and writing. In fact, I am writing this blog from the kitchen table, because I don’t want to go in there. The work is hard. The not knowing is harder.

This moment represents a small epiphany. Much of what we call writer’s block stems from the moment of not knowing. It is part fear, part frustration, part lack of clear will (though it takes a form of ‘willpower’ to decide to not write and thus not be ‘right’).  Not Knowing means sitting down in front of a page and not knowing how to get that first sentence right or not being able to figure out how a chapter should come together. It might mean recognizing plot and thematic holes that are so big that it takes you stepping outside of your stubborness to fix them. It means recognizing that, though writing is oft described as a solitary art, you cannot ever be a great writer on your own and not having the courage to really lean on someone else–instead calling that ‘troubling them with your words and ideas’.

It means being afraid you might suck and not actually being okay with that. It means being afraid that you were good–really good–once and you aren’t that good anymore. It means not knowing how to get back there. It means knowing you can’t go back and thus cannot ever get back there.

Not knowing is the ultimate form of precipice surrender. By that I mean you would rather sit on the precipice of something and not have the answers of what lies beneath so that you can have the comfort of knowing that where you are still allows you to believe in what could be the answer. It is Schrodinger’s Cat.

I have long decided to not know. Still, I know it is time to trust the process.

2.213. Post Punishment

At the Talishouse the kids are at the end of a month long gulag. Feb 1st their friends are allowed back in the house. The boys lost this privilege because they left the house a constant mess and allowed their friends to do the same and worse. I imposed a stern penalty for the actions and instituted new rules about how to handle friends being over. We will see this weekend how well they do with the new conditions. If it doesn’t go well, the friends go away again.

Some Thoughts:

  1. Skipped the state of the union. I am burned out on the politics of pointless speeches. You want my vote? Upgrade and secure the electrical grid in a fashion that expands solar and wind.
  2. Super Bowl Prediction: The Patriots win again. They have this dude named James White who almost never loses games he plays in. That is important because it reflects on the depth of a team designed to create mismatches.
  3. Wednesday is my fave.