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Habari gani? (What's the news?)
Last updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 9:58 PM CST


HI. Hello? Who's there? Email is not obsolete
dumb my space page

October 15, 2014
I wondered if the protests were actually doing any good--the news got back to me. In short, the consensus seems to be no.

Lesley McSpadden: Do Not Write in My Son's Name for St. Louis County Executive or use him in any other unauthorized ways to push your own agenda

I know the original intent was to get justice but recently, I couldn't make heads or tails of what exactly the protesters were after, apparently, I wasn't just seeing it, there is a bit of a splinter going on.
Activists tally FergusonOctober's strengths, weaknesses

Most of the demands like cameras on cops are actually being met due to the initial event anyway. Police brutality is just a tip of an iceberg of a much larger multifaceted problem. There was a call for a civilian review board as well, but only 33 people applied to be a part of it

. Weariness of Ferguson protests grow.

Ferguson protests frustrate and worry some.

Clergy led protest raises questions over nature of repentance

Light reading: 1992 LA Riots

I'm sorry the world did this to his family. I'm sorry that this is the way the world wants to test their personal strength and stability of mind. I'm sorry that the world keeps ripping out their hearts. There are others out there who are doing constructive things, so it isn't completely hopeless, there just isn't much press about them on an everyday basis. I keep thinking about taxes and infrastructure, if there is a disproportionate amount of people supported on a small tax base, problems like this arise and then the taxes are depleted more when crime increases. You can't stop people from moving away from danger and a socialist structure where maybe a rich area or the state (unless that state is broke) supports blighted areas most definitely would not work (Believe me, the nature of man would corrupt this, people would become too dependent on it or resent it, and then if it was the state was doing it bureaucracy would erupt among other stupid nonsense and everyone would choke on paperwork), yet this tax system isn't working either.

Other stuff: Here's some other links pertaining to the New York entry: How many flyover states equal that to the population of NYC?
Roughly 99,283 square miles around my county--that's most of Illinois without the far north/Chicago, half of Missouri, a bit of Indiana, and a bit of Kentucky.

Plus cracked being smart again, particularly in the second page. 7 creepy ways corporations are turning you into an addict

I also did the Jury thing--they just wanted to know about me like my job, level of education, my race, my age, gender, relationship status, etc.--I guess this saves everyone time from having me go up to the courthouse and doing this in person.

I should leave for a while, perhaps I will. Let's go out with a nice song.

Keep an eye out on the Post. Keep reading. Good night.

October 13, 2014
Where was Erin?

IT's THE ERIN SUPER SPECIAL #30 NEW YORK, NEW YORK (Oct 1-7)! What did I get myself into?
Or how many times can a person be probed before they’re no longer considered a threat?

There have been outings in the past with the family. The end result was usually internal chaos and although I did like going out, there was often a large amount of anxiety attached to these situations beforehand. Ultimately I was happy to have it end because I was wore out by the end of it—not exactly a vacation by that definition. The happy pill changed that for the past 3 outings (Vancouver—2009, Hawaii—2012 (it was a complete Godsend for the plane rides), and the Mayan Apocalypse 2012).

But now I had no happy pill and despite the fact I could have taken one of the leftover pills, I decided not to in a bid to protect my digestive system’s progress (as the happy pill shuts it down). Furthermore, this was the first outing since my dietary overhaul and I had to contend with the knowledge of what certain prevalent travel foods can do to me.

Needless to say, the prospects were not looking good for me on this trip as I found conflicts with travel and my new regulations.
-There will be no fancy salt or wheatgrass powder (I don’t think the TSA would look favorably upon a suitcase full of small unmarked containers of powdery substances. Taking the whole container probably wouldn’t go over too well either aside from being cumbersome).
-No Kombucha or straight cranberry juice unless I somehow find it (Though I could pack 5 3 oz bottles of it and fill the baggie with that but I also had to bring soap and stuff because for some reason people think I should bathe. No, I do not be using the stuff the hotel provides, it usually disagrees with my hair)
-Not too many vegetables, at least not on a consistent basis.
-Sugar everywhere
-Carb overload
-Everything on the go is processed!
-No good yogurt
-None of my fancy teas, not sure if I can pack boxes of tea
-Questionable water, particularly in airports
-No neti pot to clear sinuses if they become compacted from the plane or New York

Plus there was the added fun of other mental tormenters beforehand and during the trip:
-Threats of terrorist activities in subways with a very special threat appearance by Ebola (JFK airport started to screen for it, I thought they had found one recently while I was there but apparently it happened back in August and was a false alarm.)!

And with the price of the hotel room per night for the family and myself being only $250 less than my mortgage, there was no place for me to decompress in silence away from the outside noise and the noise within (snoooooooooooooooooooore—this doesn’t even begin to describe it, you have no idea how bad it is). We stayed at the Pearl—as you can see, it looks like it is a similar price for just one person (Yikes. I do not have the ability to fart quarters to afford such expenses).

I was sure that this would not only end in madness but sickness, as I vaguely remember getting sick after these vacations in the past due to similar conditions.

So, I had to prepare my arsenal.
-Clorox wipes for the plane—I always wipe down my area.
-Wheatgrass pellets
-All of my supplement pellets, including upping the oregano oil pills from 2 to 3 per day. PILLS FOREVER!
-THE GRAYL— The number 1, super awesome, TSA compliant actual functional water filtration system for a person on the go.
-My sleeping towel (instead of a pillow)
-KT tape for my legs on the plane—which quickly fell off, it must have a shelf life.
-And before I left I took a shot of liquid vitamin/mineral stuff, neti potted my face out, took a melatonin every night the week before to consistently get enough rest as I could, and sucked down the last of a newly discovered juice called Aronia. Dierbergs just started to carry it a month before, and I never heard of it but I decided I was going to eat it anyway. Turns out Aronia is also known as the chokeberry and has all these benefits including reducing inflammation but tastes like suffering.

Get on your traveling trousers!

October 1, day 1:
Probe #1: The usual at the airport. I didn’t sign up to the trusted traveler program. I thought I could just put up with it because I don’t do air travel that much.
Panic Attacks: 2
While on the happy pill, I noticed that as the years wore on, I had a hard time imagining things or visualizing anything in my mind. I would wonder about what happened to that ability and what I was going to do with all those notebooks that I collected for cheap after back to school time while working at the Kmart—as that was where I usually put such things. But since this August broke all bonds that the pill had me under, my brain had returned to its old habits (I know, I probably shouldn’t complain, things have been working in my favor so this probably goes along with it).

This time it wanted to let me know before I went to sleep the night before what it would be like to fall out of a crashing plane while strapped into a seat. It was hard to rationalize this as nothing as it felt exceptionally real and even plausible in this day and age (rare, but plausible). I was able to calm it down as I realized there was nothing I could do about either way by heeding it or ignoring it (this ability to control it is way different than in years past).

It was a lesser attack when getting ready. I knew what was needed—I make lists in a bid to keep whatever’s left of my sanity. But the hassle of punctuality and airports in general are nothing I care for, I could feel the tension in my neck and did what I could to calm down.

Good thing: I had a hard time finding the time to input all the new edits from my traveling hard copy but I managed to do it, and I had enough toner to print out a fresh copy for the trip. I often think of buying a laptop or tablet-y thing for this purpose but being low tech makes me less of a target for thieving and makes security less of a hassle. It also makes me look more authentic or something, sure (ha...)

Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 yogurt.
Lunch: Seemingly less processed chicken wrap in whole wheat at airport.
Mental condition: Fair, still apprehensive. Able to calm down for brief moments instead of stew in chaos. I was even able to sleep on the flight which was something I have never done, though this might have been out of exhaustion from the anxiety.

We landed at LaGuardia (the only one with direct flights from St. Louis) and hailed a cab to get into Midtown--it was rush hour. I’m not sure how long it would have taken us without all the other cars but just experiencing the constant stopping and the starting during the ride would have driven me crazy if I had to live with something like this. It takes me a grand total of 15 minutes tops to drive through downtown St. Louis in the mornings.

I didn’t quite understand what it meant to be a boutique hotel—it means that overall it’s tiny. The Pearl has 14 floors and the rooms, while really nice are a bit smaller than the normal hotel room. I didn’t quite consider the noise of the city when packing earplugs—but apparently it’s so much of an issue that the hotel had soundproof windows and they also provided earplugs. Unfortunately, they like many other hotels; they believed that squishy beds equal comfort.

After dropping off the bags we went walking around the block to get dinner—it was overwhelming at first with all these people everywhere. In town it was like there were four lanes of traffic crammed on a two lane street, though two of the lanes were for parking and bikes. The hotel told us to go to a pizza place, the family thought it was good but I thought it was terrible pizza—the crust was made of I think corn meal. We wandered around after that and ran into a street level studio that we didn’t recognize called SNY but we ended up staring at it for a few minutes (it was bright and shiny). We also went down into a subway stop and got lost, which was under Rockefeller Plaza (is this Rock bottom?) where the mole people lived because there were these subterranean stores down there—it was strangely warm with really low ceilings.

Later that night, we found the SNY channel. There are apparently two local 24 hour stations—one is NY1—the news station and the other is SNY—the sport channel. What we were staring at was a show called The Covino and Rich Show. They rebroadcast what they filmed that afternoon at 10 PM so I was able to watch myself stare at this thing for five minutes.

October 2, day 2:
Short explanation story (though why do I need to explain myself to anyone!?): The father’s Aunt Betty had a distinctive writing style in like Christmas letters. In those letters when she would mention something her mom did, she would refer to her as The Mother (“The Mother likes chocolate cake”). I have decided to carry on this tradition when referring to the family here because I think it’s funny.

The David Letterman Show called us to let us know that there were tickets available for today’s show. The mother had requested them and didn’t know if we were able to get any. Most shows shot here don’t like non-New Yorkers because I guess due to all the no-shows. Had it been a little bit easier, we would have seen a lot more tapings.

We got up late and went to the Today show to go stand in the plaza for the 9AM hour during segments for Kate Walsh and Susan Boyle. The camera managed to miss us. But I got probing number 2. In order to get into the plaza, your bag has to be rifled through and you have to be metal detected.

Susan Boyle segment
Kate Walsh segment

Then after a few minutes of that, we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral which was getting a good scrub down and/or repair. We really didn’t plan this very well, the NBC studio tour was off because they were remodeling, in fact they had announced while we were there that they had reopened the Rainbow Room—but it was already booked a few weeks in advanced. The weather was not cooperating with what I thought it would be, the mother said it was going to be 70, so I didn’t pack a traveling hat, gloves, or a very thick coat—just the going to town sweatshirt (it’s sweatshirt material but all fancy like, for those times you’re going to town). So by that time I was freezing. I was also finding it hard to get my bearings as to where I was exactly, in the light of day I realized that all the buildings look the same on all four sides, so there was no real way of memorizing where I was by landmarks.

After that short tour, we decided to go to the Top of the Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza).
Panic Attack #3: I do not like heights, or at least being outside on something really tall where the wind is blowing in my face. It was a lot worse when I was younger and was possibly due to an inner ear imbalance because I was freaking out less often while up there. I’m not really sure what the allure is to standing up on an exceptionally tall sky scraper but there I was.
Then we had to go to the Ed Sullivan Theatre to go get David Letterman tickets. They told us to be outside the theatre at 1 or noon to wait in line in a special group designation to get the tickets. We went back to the hotel for a bit, and left the cameras (NO CAMERAS). Then we had to get back into another special grouping and waited in line for an hour just to get into the theatre, got probing number 3, and both times we had to listen to these peppy interns or pages telling us how awesome it is and we are while spouting off trivia.
Eventually, we were herded in, and it was tiny in the theatre, it’s strange being that it looks rather big on the TV. We sat on some rickety velvet chairs, our seats were really close, we were in the third row on the floor next to the band and they were loud. It was also really cold in there, I want to say that’s a long running joke/observation but it’s still true. Before the show, they showed us a funny informational video about taping and then Alan Kalter explained a bit how the show was going to go down. After that it was basically watching a whole show with the whole songs left in that the band plays—done in one take—guests were popular actor Johnny Galecki, popular musician/actor Andre Benjamin, and Delta Spirit.

They did one pan of the audience and in the video you can kind of see us at 29:35 we are to the right of the graphic for Simon Amstell.

After that it was on to Times Square which was rather disappointing particularly with those hordes of sad looking characters (fancy hobos?). I’m sorry New York, you missed your chance by about 15 years to dazzle me with copious amounts of flashing lights. It won’t make up for the fact that the vast majority of stores in Times Square are just crappy tourist junk stores and restaurant chains I can go to at home (and it’s weird, I thought there was more to it). We stumbled upon an Irish Pub soon thereafter called Connolly’s where I was able to get a smoked salmon salad for dinner. I didn’t quite realize what smoked salmon entailed but I ate it anyway (chewy…mmm).

October 3, day 3
Slight brain agitation: Because I’m low tech, I disconnect from the internet while on these trips. It made me feel kind of aloof like something was missing. The way tv reports nowadays, I felt I might miss actual news. Not sure why I felt I needed to be on top of any news whatsoever (dooooom?!?!).

At this point I figured out exactly what made me feel out of sorts about navigating in New York. There is no direct sunlight, so I had no idea which direction the sun was moving or which direction I was going in. In fact, by 3:30 PM my sunglasses were useless and often during the day, particularly on overcast days, I was having a problem getting a good shot with my digital camera. I still own a film camera and had it with me but I’m more discerning about what I take pictures of with it, even though I should probably use it up already as the places where I can get it developed are slowly dwindling.

Because of this, I finally saw a need for the happy phones that everyone has. I only have a cell phone that makes phone calls that is turned off most of the time. Why? Quit asking questions, that’s why. Well, that and those happy phones seem a bit off putting, particularly Apple products. They’re so sleek, so bright, so shiiiiiiny—they whisper gently to the masses “Tell me your secrets…you can trust me” then laugh softly under their breaths and never expect anything in return (you and the great and powerful Google). They keep updating them constantly so it kind of seems like a waste of money at this point when it’s still new-ish.

There’s also the matter of the rivers in New York. St. Louis has one, it’s big and you can’t miss it. One side is dilapidated and is Illinois; the other is built up, with a big shiny object on it and is Missouri. That’s it, the end. When you’re up on a sky scraper, it all looks the same on all sides. I couldn’t tell Brooklyn from New Jersey (or was that Staten Island?). Uptown, downtown, midtown? All looks the same.

It was Yom Kippur, so according to my superstition of predicting what’s to come in the next year by what I’m doing during the New Year (I use the Jewish one, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), it just might be a busy, dynamic year.

Anyway, we opted not to rent a car in New York, the mother figured we would walk, use mass transit with a week long metro pass, or take a cab. So for the most part, I got to experience the subway in all of its glory—even during the massive tides of rush hour. There were so many people on the ride we took that morning that I had to bust out the sea legs (thunder thighs, go!) to stabilize myself because there was nothing I could grab onto. The subway is also very confusing (we have the metrolink, it goes in two directions--East and West, there are also two lines--red and blue) Manhattanites are also very helpful when they overhear you discussing various subway lines and all the possible directions that line could take you, though for the most part they only know which lines they need to use on an everyday basis. Apparently the subway was also a lot dirtier at one point in time, so considering that what I experienced probably wasn’t that bad. I would say they should take a power washer to it or have some convicts clean them up but I bet once they did that it look the same as if they did nothing the next day.

We got on the right train and rode it to the end of the line to Battery Park, then it was onto the Ferry (not before probing number 4) to the Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.

We got radio tours which we used incorrectly, doing it backwards), received probe number 5, went around the pedestal of the statue, and then into the museum. Like most things in New York, in order to get up into the crown you have to request tickets 3 months in advanced—they only let a certain number of people up there per year. Can't say that I was disappointed.

Lunch on the island was an expensive Panini but healthy (a theme here) but up to that point, I was impressed because the city was actually pretty forgiving to my dietary needs (I should have figured so much, I'm not sure why I didn't).

Then it was back on the boat to Ellis Island, I had to get the sea legs out again, only I had to stabilize myself in actual rough waters while the sister was attempting to cling onto me and ultimately making me lose my balance.

Fun fact: Ellis Island used to be tiny, but then they added onto it with all the dirt from digging out the subway. There wasn’t much to look at out there, it’s a giant room and some of the artifacts were damaged during Super Storm Sandy so they were elsewhere or getting repaired. As far as we knew, we had no ancestors who went through there. Most of ours were late comers in the mid 19th century, one side of the family came as late as 1912 and my best guess was because they were Austrian and WWI started (the rest were chased out of Europe because they were horse thieves... Fine, I made that up).

After that we looked around Battery Park at all the statues—and I reached my tolerance for selfies. No matter what statue we went to, there was a group of people there taking a dumb selfie, and it was particularly bad at the Statue of Liberty (sure, as expected). But like one of the statues in the park was a giant eagle that was a WWII monument, and I don’t think those who were taking selfies really understood that--it just looked looked cool to them.

It was really self evident when we walked up into the financial district (another side of Broadway?) and found the golden Wall Street Bull statue outside of the American Exchange building (members only). A horde of people were fondling it from both ends, particularly the back end to get the perfect selfie—like one guy who crawled under it to pretend like it just crapped him out or the other guy who stuck his face in its butt. I didn’t bother to take a picture of any of that.

We moved onto Ground Zero (.6 of a mile walking—seemed longer--my legs were a tiny bit sore from the boat and subway by that time), aside from the memorial, there isn’t a whole lot over there (lunch places, Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph A. Bank). I’m glad they left the holes of the buildings and turned them into fountains, it’s the only way to keep it moored in reality. But at least there wasn’t anyone I could see taking selfies at it like at Pearl Harbor.

We took the subway back to the hotel and got lost in Times Square again because we might have gotten off at the wrong stop. It was around rush hour again and it was almost overwhelming moving amongst twice the people and cars just to find one place to eat—we kept running into overly trendy bars that didn't really serve food. When I looked into those bars, I saw that it was an experience but then I wondered if there was anything more in life than that. It freaked me out if that was it.

We didn’t find anything good or relatively cheap (it was a bit much to spend $30 on one meal) so we ordered room service where I got a salad. I also got to stretch my mind watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune for the first time in years. I didn't get the What Are You Doing? puzzle right on Wheel of Fortune—the answer was not “Sitting on my butt, Pat.”

I thought at one point that there were all these unique restaurants in New York. Did I miss something?

October 4, day 4:
Perhaps I need to eat more or I need to eat some wheat based products when I'm feeling anxious but not go overboard. I started to calm down at this point. Every morning we had continental breakfast which mine usually consisted of 3 regular croissants, 2 hard boiled eggs, and either an organic yogurt or a banana with milk that I put a bit of coffee in. But there really isn’t a need to eat that much at home (1 egg, 1 yogurt, 1 piece of Ezekiel bread--that has no gluten)—all I do is sit at my desk.

Day four’s adventure was The Met.
I don’t know where we got off from the subway (we were in a fancy digital car that time that had a display board of the stops that the train was going to) but we had to ask a lot of people where we were and walk a long ways to get to the museum, on top of that it was raining. We went in and received probing number 6, checked our stuff at the fancy coat check, then paid $25 dollars each for the pleasure of having a lady kind of walk us through and explain some of the pieces (‘This painting is deliberately vague and it makes people uncomfortable’—I just kind of thought it was mediocre at best and rather clear as to what it was depicting—some diner). The mother had heard that people can contest the price and pay what they want but we decided to make a contribution to the arts as we never do at home because our art museum is always free with the exception of special exhibits.

I finally couldn’t take my feet being soaked from the rain so I dried them off in the bathroom with the hand dryer before we ate lunch in the Met Cafeteria where the cost of the food was determined by weight and it ended up being around $60 dollars for the four of us. It was good. It was worth it? Well, it was at least for the next part of our trek.

It got busy at around noon, all these Chinese and Jewish folk showed up. The rain let up so we decided to walk towards Central Park down a busy road. I’m not sure what road that was. We were looking for Belvedere Castle—and according to google it was around .7 of a mile away. My legs were starting to hurt at that point but we went up this side staircase and somehow found it. There wasn’t much to look at there either. They closed half of it due to the rain.

From there, I think it was 1 mile to another part of 5th Avenue—we almost got lost in a place called the Ramble which we didn’t feel like rambling in at that point. We got on a bus to get to the drop off point of carriage rides in the park—it was short but nice. I suspect we were in the fancy part of town.

Then our tour of not really looking at anything continued with a short trip into Grand Central Station. We walked into it and down the stairs when I heard multiple whispers of ‘shiiiiiiny object’ and ‘marketing ploy’ amongst the crowd. I turned around and was blinded by a bright light. It was drawing me closer, telling me to walk towards the light. All my troubles would be over; it would take care of them for me, it would always take care of me. Forever. It was the Apple Store. It wasn’t historically accurate. I poked one for a few minutes and didn’t really get anywhere with it so I broke away from its shiny grasp. Don’t you know I have to beware of a snake brandishing an apple?

We got lost on the subway yet again getting back to the hotel then ate left over room service (I ordered a veggie Panini which was severely lacking in taste). The answer to the wheel of fortune puzzle of What are you doing? that night was not “None of your business, stop asking, Pat.’

The tv also had to inform us that it was after 10 PM and had to ask where our children were. I screamed incoherently that I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know where my children were either but then I realized I didn’t have any.

October 5, day 5:
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING! We had to get there fast and early—9 AM—to beat the waiting in what was quite possibly the longest and most ridiculous waiting area and that was before we got to probing number 8, airport style. They gave us fancy ipood tours and that was interesting as well as seeing the fantastic Art Deco décor. I didn’t much like it up there either though it was better than Top of the Rock—there was too many people in too little of a space (a theme here), and after circling it once I had to go back inside not because of any anxiety but because I was freezing again. We only went up the 86th floor, to go to the 102nd, cost $17 more dollars than that of what we already paid. I finally had enough of freezing so we went to the trendy H&M so I could buy an inexpensive traveling hat that despite its trendiness, did not serve its purpose very well by keeping me very warm (Hélas, j'étais devenu prétentieux).

Which was followed by looking at the Flat Iron building (Yeah! Building!) and taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry where I continued to freeze—people opened the windows the whole trip and kept getting in the way to take….selfies.

From there we walked from the Whitehall Terminal to the Brooklyn Bridge (roughly 1 mile) because the streets were blocked for some deaf person street fair and we couldn't ride the bus. We got to the bridge and walked to the first tower when we decided to go back to Manhattan. There were just too many people on the bridge and they were all taking….SELFIES. I did my best to give them my best Kennedy family impression when I noticed them doing it and was in the camera view but mostly my annoyance was getting the better of me.

We got back to Times Square and were almost attacked by a heard of Hello Kitties while trying to get into the very popular Shake Shack—I’m kind of jealous of New York for having such good quality food. I had a Portobello burger and they said the milk was organic in this place (I stuck with a small peanut butter shake—chocolate shakes really don’t taste that good to me). At the hotel, we managed to catch the last of the 5 hour St. Malachy shrine parade at the church next to the Pearl—St. Malachy’s, the Actor’s Chapel (apparently a lot of famous actors went there). Basically they were hauling around this massive shrine get up around the block with a brass band while burning incense. We were told this is a common practice in South America and that it happens here every year.

October 6, day 6
Roosevelt Island.
While researching about doing things there I was looking for something old like an ancient gilded age mansion that was perhaps open for public tours. The mother found Roosevelt Island and said the internet told her that there was some neat old stuff on it. So it was something to go see and ride on the tram to get to it. We got off and hopped on the free bus there and drove around the island, picking up various residents but as far as we could see, there wasn’t anything old or weird out there with the exception of like an old round church.

After that we took a trip downtown to Chinatown. Of all the places in New York, I felt like I was going to get robbed there or taken for some scam. You get off the subway and there are these women on the sidewalks trying to herd you into these New York tourist junk stores (but no Chinese style junk stores like in Vancouver or Honolulu—which I found odd but they did have open air fish/produce markets on the sidewalks). People stand on street corners and ask you if you want to buy a knockoff watch or a purse in accented, broken English. It’s impressive in a way being that it’s one of the oldest Chinatowns out there, and it’s like they plopped a piece of China in New York but it was so rough. I guess the thing about New York that there is enough of everyone from everywhere that there is no need to assimilate to anyone else if you don’t want to or don’t ever leave your respective area.

We ate lunch at the Jing Fong—a popular and successful dim sum place. It was good, though I don’t particularly care for dim sum mainly because I don’t always know what I’m eating and this round gave me massive indigestion. I swear I need to make a website called “What did I just eat?” just for dim sum.

Then we hoped the subway yet again to take a long ride to Coney Island. We didn’t really know what else to do and were sure that it was mostly closed, which it was. We wandered on the boardwalk—it was incredibly windy so we got sand blasted in our faces while we tried to look at the ocean.

On the seventh, we went back home and had fun riding in a car that was trying to drive in the morning rush hour (which was everywhere, all over the place), around Columbus Circle which was a block the other way from the hotel and I didn't even know it, and ultimately through Queens to get back to LaGuardia. There I got the final probing—number 9 because my shoes had some metal parts in it even though I mistakenly got to go through the Precheck (it’s niiice, I want to sign up now). They had to wipe my hands down for gun powder or something just to make sure. I had another salad at an overpriced airport restaurant and finally saw my preferred brand of yogurt, Chobani for sale. Guess how much they wanted for a 5.3 oz cup--$4.00—-more than double the mark up as I usually get it for a dollar.

New York was interesting. I felt that there was a real sense of community there--they weren’t whatever nationality first, they were New Yorkers first and that was nice. I didn’t really feel lost amongst the horde but I started to see myself as a background character to all the life stories that surrounded and walked past me. They do have a great potential for pretension but they don’t go there—they’re not trying to prove anything to anyone and I like that. They’re just trying to work around each other and keep everything moving. I understand all those references in tv shows better now. It was hard to find things (but that was the authentic tourist experience without the happy phones) and after a while I did miss direct sunlight on my skin (it was so odd to feel it on the Metrolink train home after a week), but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It is also because of my obsessive prepping that I was able to enjoy some of this trip and be the only one in the family to come out of it unscathed (the parents had back issues, the sister got sick). It sucks that I have to prep myself so much in order to go anywhere.

Ultimately, I don’t love you, New York—you are still kind of full of hype unless I didn’t do this right but I like you well enough and can tolerate you more than most things. I just better have enough money and my own mattress, if I go next time.

Pictures might come soon—I need to sleep first and get back on the story. The Myspace changed stuff for uploading or something. It’s been a while since I logged in so I don't know (see, always changes). Anyway, good night.

October 11, 2014
I just got a summons to sign up for jury duty (A casting call? I don't think it's for a case). If I have to go in for a case, I wouldn't try and get out of it. It seems really interesting to me, and it's one of my virtues to remain unbiased, so not doing it would be rather terrible of me (yeah, I'll tell you about it after the fact).
I just remembered something concerning that, in order to be picked you have to be signed up to vote at least. I want to say that apartment dwellers aren't often chosen (Bruce never had to go in and said something to that extent, but he lives in Missouri).

Before I get into the next entry, I wanted to drop off some light reading concerning the area around here, if you're interested. I don't like to act like I have an attention span of a 24 hour news channel, I like to keep an eye on it even if there is nothing I can do about it. People are still protesting, violence persists. Not sure if the protesting is helping, but you have to admire their tenacity--though it's looking like the results won't be in their favor because the release date of the findings keeps getting pushed back (last I heard, January 2015).

Master P is still in the area and is doing constructive things.

Black in Blue

Reflections on Ferguson, a perspective collection

Charles Cobb reflects on civil rights as he was once a part of it

Vashon students protest academic deficiencies at their school (like lack of permanent teachers, I want to say they even shot down Common Core in Missouri).

Hang in there. I will return.

October 8, 2014
Where was Erin?


September 26, 2014
I think that a lot of what depression is the feeling of absolute powerlessness and knowing that there is nothing you can do to stop the bad things from coming for you. After all, I didn't start this, I didn't ask for it. If it was Karma, I'm not sure what it was that I did to deserve it or any cruel irony that followed (if it was a past life tied to this then I guess it was something massive because there was nothing in this life, I was just there trying to exist). I never think it's God or God's will, this is just human folly. How else can humans fight so hard for social justice yet be oblivious to the injustice they create? Recently I did ask myself what I did to deserve it all and once I let that thought out, things became lighter, lighter than any pill could force me to feel or more accurately not feel. My perception of calm or content was completely skewered by the pain. My writing has returned, I find solutions faster--I know my lead now, she was further down in the book. I'm breezing. I have my power back again, I found it.

But I must go, I have to get back to working on this book. I heard this song a few weeks ago. Good night.

September 20, 2014
I'm the spunky one, I'm the edgy one, I'm the smart one, I'm the one with the hair

You are right. Before I go any farther, I need to figure out who the lead is, and not force myself through this vagueness. It will not fly. Originally she wasn't the lead, it was more of an ensemble piece but at one point she was kind of a ditz. That won't fly either. She was made the lead because I guess after taking away her ditziness she was the most vague, seemingly the least alien, the least opinionated, and I guess I could expand more on a traditional back story. Now that I have it all set up, it's hard to go back to anyone else.

She can't be like me, I'm too out there and as of late I've had to contend with five years of depression. Her friends all have fairly strong voices and aren't really cartoonish. But who is she?

Ironically enough, when I first designed her group, I didn't know who her friends were and thought they were so inconsequential that I gave two of them names that supposedly meant 'girl' in their respective languages. But then they went and developed personalities. I just researched and to tell you the truth there isn't a whole lot on memorable female characters. In fact, I think I figured out what I was doing and it involves Twilight inadvertently (nope, never read it) and that just isn't good. The one fiction book that I am reading right now is Pride and Prejudice and those girls often make me angry at what they do with themselves.

Let's just start from the beginning.

September 19, 2014
Groot Rectification

Perhaps it’s the fact that I do not handle stress well along with the influence of my place of employment plus the years I’ve put in as a person who writes (It’s actually been since 1993, but March of 1996 was when I started to take it seriously), and fact that most of the time I’m quite possibly the personification of Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) that I can’t help but go through the possible outcomes of situations in everyday life. I usually go back and forth as to whether or not I should speak up when it involves other people. I know for the most part, this can be seen as paranoia and most of the time, people just don’t listen to me anyway (fine, I’m sure my overall silence and reputation might have something to do with that) so I don’t bother. But then there’s the ethics of standing there and just watching it happen even if I've pretty much stopped it from bothering me like it used to.

Anyway, it’s now time to play spot the Erin! The next retarded alien movie is coming out in December and I’m in the trailer! Sister is also in it as well. It’s so weird seeing myself, my face looks really wide, I’m not sure when that happened. And how did I get so pale? I go outside at least once a day for a half hour.

So today’s topic: Groot Rectification.
There are few reasons why I seem to think my book is lacking in personality and overkill in exposition (I'm not making excuses).
1) It’s in space and in another few solar systems. There will be no reference jokes, or at least direct ones because it wouldn’t make any sense to the characters. And any humor really, is based on their culture and I don’t think I’m crazy enough to invent multiple cultures with their own in-jokes (YET.) Well, I guess there’s the culture of the place that they’re in but they just got there and they just met each other so I haven’t reached that point either.
2) I’m foolishly trying to keep her in the realms of the average hero. The stick figure vague hero. Maybe I do want her to be a stand in for the reader and that definition is too broad to try to even attempt.
3) I’m also trying to see my characters, especially my lead, as multifaceted instead of one dominant feature.

There was one side of it that I was trying to play but I couldn’t do that because it left me too vague. So now I think in order to do this right I need to give my lead at least something and myself isn’t going to cut it. Aside from that I’ve already used some of my own personality traits in other characters later on down the road. Maybe it’s me but to make all the characters versions of myself just seems a bit weird and possibly narcissistic (I’m sooooo awesome, look at me!). The ones I’m pretty much dealing with now are the newest, they haven’t had 18 years of development (Now that I think about it, it’s actually along the lines of 16 or 15 years. In high school I tried to do write something that would be more easily accomplished since this originally started as a few tv show episodes then a movie, I failed!).

But average, it’s hard to work with. What exactly does it mean to be average (Okay, they’re not an exploding rage monster. That's a start.)? I’ve been doing character studies of the people around me just to see if I could find the subtlety in their personalities but I think I was at a loss for the most part (then again, they might be filling the role of the professional and not presenting the world with everything… sure, details). Then on top of it, if you have more than one average person, they just become interchangeable and quite possibly expendable (please, I am no George R.R. Martin). Then extraordinary situation often brings out the extremes in personalities anyway so is average really a trait could be utilized?

If anything I'm struggling with is that I find subtlety is almost a gateway to shallowness or even being completely phony. But even that isn't entirely accurate. I'm in a new area on night job, I think, I've at least been there for the past week--that may not mean anything. It's way different than what I was used to, there are people like everywhere and always in my way. And they aren't curmudgeons--curmudgeons sit still and rot for 8 hours/the next 30 years of their lives. In fact, there are people my own age there, perhaps younger than me, and I was watching them tonight. It was baffling. Sure they weren't carrying around the mental burden that I do but it was like I felt no sense of self or a self loosely defined by what they think they should be doing with their lives. I might be loopy half the time but at least I know who/what I am. I almost feel that it's probably a matter of time (roughly 15 years if not sooner) before something breaks them and they end up like me. Until then they wander around this Earth, saying a whole bunch of nothing, not being all that curious, seemingly oblivious to the complexities of life and the gravitas of situations unless it slaps them upside their heads. Then they still fail to understand. They still have their ignorance and they still have their bliss. It's kind of enviable and ultimately boring because I can't see or relate beyond the antihero. It's sooooo edgy. I should go put on more black.

I also reviewed my contribution to the world so far, the section of the off the cuff Twilight spoof and made other people read it just to see if I was in any shape or form, funny (it's not my goal in life to be considered funny but I thought I should make an effort as this is a life and despite my best efforts, life isn't completely melancholy). I got two vastly different responses--I'm either loved or hated. One snorted in a few spots but didn't get it overall because of the source material which I didn't think anyone really needed to understand the source material. The other thought it funny but it was a strange dry humor--which kind of makes sense given the state I was in. I went back and checked the archives, I started to take the sertraline sometime late January 2008, so it was more than a year of being on the stuff by the time I wrote that even if I did take the pill every five days (it was very strong, made me kind of nauseous and I needed to take ib profin on the job constantly so I had to stop taking the sertraline in order to take the ib profin because they react). I didn't write down exactly what day but I remember it being a Thursday in the winter. I had the pills a few days before because the janitor job was stressing me out to the point that the general practitioner finally noticed when I went in for something else as it was back when work thought they had standards and I wasn't cutting it because I had little if any muscle mass and was a slightly less spastic younger Erin. One day it snowed a whole bunch and I was going to work through East St. Louis getting on 64 near the jail which was actually no man's land between East St. Louis and Washington Park. At that time, those respective cities didn't bother to plow the roads and while I was going 30 MPH, I still couldn't stop on all that snow to avoid crashing into a lady in a small truck sitting at the intersection. She and her car suffered no damage but the Aveo was completely bashed in. By that time I had it with everything, decided I wasn't going to go into work, had my mom drive me back to the house because I was still living with them. I think I ate dinner then I took a pill but I did lay on the floor in my office for the next two hours listening with the radio next to my head to the Native American radio show that was on Thursdays at 8 PM at that time.

I really miss listening to it, they moved it to Sundays at like 5 AM. It's a bad media player they have here, and I don't think it works well at work. Or I can't pause it, I don't think they offer an MP3 download.

Anyway, I do see the flaws that I left in and my sister apparently missed, the best part was the last half with the Sparklepires. I didn't expand on it as I should have because there was a word limit but for being probably bogged out my mind, I think it was pretty good.

Well, I think I will finish editing regardless, fill in more, give it to my test subjects find that it is what I expected as being too full of exposition, scrap that, then struggle for the next five years trying to write something else. Glad I have a plan set up.

Come on brain, I'm being nice to you, let's make this work. You like imagining things anyway and I know I say this a lot but things might be getting tough at work soon. It's best if we weave this story faster.

Good night.

September 17, 2014
Didn't we fund the rebels in Afghanistan in the 1980s and no more than 21 years later, it came back to get us? It appears history is repeating itself many times over (yes, I know both solutions--war and doing nothing are ultimately no good as we are fighting angry young men (love you, Cracked) who are looking for purpose in an idea war based off of someone else's ideas.). The brain also remembered something. The riots we just had already happened in England in 2011 and also in 2013 in Stockholm, and in 2005 in France, and 2006 in Brussels.

Then there's more tax problems which spilled into the school


Meanwhile, I fixed last time's problem and I was editing it easier today but I'm still missing something (norepinephrine? I know I need to go give my brain a chance to recover from the past five years before I go off on conjecture but there's a part of me concerned about future Erin and the possibility of Alzheimers--the doctor Blaylock newsletter linked sugar to and classified it as Type 3 diabetes because the brain does use sugar to function it and I've been hearing certain antidepressants might be linked to it). I know I have to set up things and explain things in this part of the book but it almost seems too expositiony (yes, it's a word now) and I don't think it's doing what I am aiming for. But it's like how else am I going to do it? Generally speaking I am feeling way better, calmer, but I think something broke in my creativity over the years. Given, I can now write melodrama and poignancy really well now, it's just that I used to be and on the occasion in the outside world I can be funny or at least entertaining. The humor I'm pulling in this part is rather simple. In 2009 (I think this was the first year or few months on it) I wrote this for fun (it's one section out of many in a spoof Twilight Fanfic that was called Russet Moon--hence the potato name) and had my sister edit it (so that's why her name is on it). So I know I'm not at a complete loss, but when I read back on things like this and even a large project I was working on in high school, it's like a completely different person. And truth be told that person had a problem coming up with things that were plausible or things that didn't teeter off after one strong section but she had something (possibly like a bunch of monkeys typing but younger Erin had good intentions so I can't fault her, she had enough people telling her she wasn't good enough, etc).

So what's going on here is that I've bounced from one end of the spectrum to the other and I want to get balanced without the help/hindrance of any brain stimulants.

Speaking of brain stimulants/depressants. Alcohol and Cancer. Bruce's parents got me thinking about the liver again--they both died of cancer (remember, if your liver is compromised and unhappy, you will not be happy. One of the first signs is stomach bloat and weight gain). The liver is apart of the immune system, one of it's main function is fighting infection and diseases as illustrated in the links. Cancer is a growth that likes to trick your body into thinking that it's just hanging out or at least some of it does. It seemed kind of weird to me that it also causes cancer but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense given the other stuff they put in beer that strangely isn't listed on the label. But let me be direct this time as there is no other way to do this (well, that you would like) even though I'm almost certain you aren't here reading this. You're killing yourself, Jesse, your freaky liver genetics can only take you so far as illustrated by your dad. You know, if I was a real threat I would just keep my mouth shut.

Sorry whomever else is reading this, it's a long story involving younger Erin. Oh well, back to whatever it was that I was doing. Sleep? Sure.

September 15, 2014
I talked it out with Bruce (He said "I don't knoh" because he's from Wisconsin and he still has an accent. I said I think he did know because he's more technical than I am), reread my giant outline that I often forget how much I wrote. It's just missing something. It's a monster that I'm dealing with, it's huge. This is air traffic control and unlike airplanes, space ships can come in for a landing anywhere they feel like. The work stations do not have to be in the parameters of a desk but there is only so much that a human can see and in order to see something big a person cannot be right on top of a screen.

At any rate the international space station does have a force field--the magnetosphere of the earth (the thing that deflects solar flares creating the aurora). It's also far enough up that it mostly misses the space junk that we have over saturated the thermosphere with (though if you click on the wikipedia page they have a picture of a hole in one of the windows of the Challenger that was made by a fleck of paint).

So pretty much if your ship or whatever has artificial gravity, a force field would most likely be generated along with it.
Now about this design flaw. No, I can't just wing it and hope that nobody else notices, even if the populace doesn't understand space travel. If I don't work it out now, then there might be a bigger plot flaw later.

September 14, 2014
Check, check, brain check. Check one. Check two. Are we all here? Sure?

Fine, last entry was kind of hard to write, I got started strong then lost focus and teetered off. I need to take my time. I swear, it used to not be this bad. But I guess I shouldn't sit here and focus on the differences--it's obvious that as I go along and try to resolve my issues that I'm going to get different outcomes plus new and exciting symptoms (aren't I just so lucky? I get to experience all sorts of depressive symptoms instead of the same ones.) I kind of figure, that if I plan on changing things then my brain will give me the appropriate response it deems fit. It was a decent day today but the thought that something was trying to kill me or death was eminent was running around in my head. Can't say that I particularly enjoy that. There was also some fatigue going on. Also, I feel that I must explain my thought concerning the potential for the death of Bruce, that it's not that irrational. He's in his mid 50s, and while that isn't a death sentence he is also a curmudgeon. Curmudgeons don't care for doctors, although he is a lot more health conscious than most curmudgeons (that's what happened to some of the other curmudgeons that I used to know and work with--they died in their 50s). It's only because of me that he even went to doctors like Dinkelmann to get looked at lately and that he's eating less sugar and processed junk--which would probably contribute to his undoing in either driving up his bad blood pressure to eventually feeding some cancer. He just reached the milestone of outliving both his parents but then again, his parents both kind of destroyed themselves with the smoking and alcohol, so it kind of doesn't count or give him any indication as to how long he could live. It would be a great devastation to lose him--he's quite possibly the first person I've ever gotten truly close to, I don't even think I was this close to any of my school days friends (whom I've also lost track of). I try not to think of the day when that's actually going to happen.

Anyway, I'm questioning the set up of a floor of a space station and the location of it's equipment. It matters because major events happen there that involve the equipment and I came across the second time it was mentioned and it's kind of different than the first time I mentioned it. Windows are also a part of this problem. The International Space Station has a window bay but generally, windows aren't that good of an idea to have in space. This is because debris in space hits the space station at high velocities because there's no gravity to slow it down. So even the smallest projectile can cause punctuations. Now in sci-fi this is remedied by force fields but for this space station I don't really want to rely on that (I don't believe in technology! Kids today and their forcefields! Back in my day, we got hit by space debris, died, and were happy for it! Balderdash!). Today's question: What happens if something like an asteroid comes at something with a forcefield? The forcefield is only generated by the space station and I would presume it would only be so strong (As I'm sure this happened on Star Trek, sorry I've only watched most of the original series so I don't know. I once saw an episode of Next Generation where they were trying to save a planet from its sun going super nova in the not too distant future but the only guy who could stop it was 60 and in their culture that meant he had to go systematically die for population control or something. So everyone had a moral quandary but he went and died anyway. I don't recall what happened to the planet. I presume everyone died. Good times). Well, gravity would play a role in this and some form of magnetosphere because all sci-fi space stations and ships have gravity but with that as a defense like Earth, it would have to draw it into the orbit and burn it in an atmosphere that it doesn't have. Even then, that isn't enough to prevent destruction as we all know and on occasion, freak out about.

Then again, if I use video screens, I need to change the configuration of the floor and/or consider some sort of other alternate reality technology. Then that means I have to rewrite my opening, perhaps involve half floors and ramps which changes the parameters of the action. Then what happens if your screens go out or your cameras break? Then there you are drifting in space and you can't see anything or see what's pulling you into it's orbit and crushing you or ripping you into pieces. I am not going overboard focusing on the minutiae--it matters in the long run. It does too.

Writing a book is stupid hard when I'm fighting my own brain. I just hope this thing turns out okay and that it was all worth it. Of course if it wasn't for the writing I probably wouldn't have noticed that my brain is still having problems. If only I could be so ignorantly blissful (or stewing in my own anxiety/depression as a compulsive, rich, gnarled hermit...something like that?).

Good night, then.

September 11, 2014
Most of last Sunday's emotional landscape felt decimated bathed in the stark light of an early dawn. Something unheard of in my life happened after I wrote the last entry. I got someone I trusted to honestly listen to me and let me talk it out without judgment—Bruce (not someone who is paid to do so or only doing it to get into my pants, and in an environment where I had the time and could let it out and not care). Once I let it all out, I noticed that before he called I was downplaying it and preparing to put it in the ignore section of my brain in a bid to keep on moving or to convince myself that I had it under control.

It’s just that I usually hang out with people that put up with me (which is often people worse off than me) and I end up as the stabilizer, I field their issues. I have been taught not to expect anyone to have the ability or the desire to deal with my issues—hence all this writing. I also have been lead to believe that my issues aren’t important enough to warrant any type of attention (and I learned I had to be careful of what sort of attention it was getting and who was giving it) nor are they worth the emotion I waste on it. Nobody else is feeling it but me.

But he did it, he proved that I mattered at least to him by putting up with the full blown depression and that I could depend on him completely and that scares the crap out of me. The track record is that any time I do get attached, they leave within the next year (moving or they just get tired of me) and in these later years, it has resulted in death. Bruce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, he won’t get tired of me, saner minds would conclude that I shouldn’t worry about things that might happen but I don’t know if I could deal with it if he did die on me.

So Sunday morning felt like a void; emotions, particularly ones used as a means of expression seemed beneath me. I felt like I was at a loss—my main motivation for doing anything, let alone writing, was inherently dead even though I knew I would be better for it in the long run. But then I couldn’t figure out the point of doing anything anymore and I was too tired with a pressure headache to try to do anything aside from the usual like do laundry and cook food. It wasn’t a depressive thought, it was a harsh truth but a truth that had to be faced. I used to believe in the magic of dreams before I had it stomped out of me and once that happened I realized that the dreaming got in the way of making it a reality. It kept me in a perpetual state of editing. The hope that one day this could all happen for me was a powerful dopamine inducer that let me soar the skies but when something made me crash to earth it was absolutely devastating. I’m not sure what it was but there seemed to be an awful lot of people who crossed my path that wanted to shoot me down.

Sunday afternoon round about, I thought I was finally okay until I got to work and had another attack because I thought I had it all figured out for once and I was wasting time. It’s been like that off and on all week—it’s like my brain is trying to bounce back to stability but it’s a slow process that I can’t let it work itself properly out because I have to function in society like in my jobs that have triggers laced in them. Then again, I don’t think I can avoid the triggers as the crash course illustrates

And here’s the anxiety episode if you missed it.

Basically, I’ve been slowly writing and editing and trying to work out a few more flaws and I find it easier now, but then my brain decides it doesn’t want to for a while or something might trigger an attack (they’re worse than I’ve had before—chocolate/sugar must have done a number keeping me propped up and exuberant) and I get tired or I just hurt and I have to stop. So hopefully I’ll get back to being copacetic—eventually, someday. I really need to sleep but I still need to do things like function. There isn’t enough sick leave to cover sudden mental attacks.

But I’ll make do, I have to.

September 6, 2014
No amount of pills will change this/herein lies the root

I have been writing for 18 years. For 15 years, I have been owner of this site. I am not sure how many times I have come to some conclusion or another trying to figure out the world only for it to not balance me out or stop whatever mood I'm in for longer than a few days. I'm not even sure how many times I've reached this conclusion.

My point in life is trying to matter. I'm trying to be relevant, particularly to those around me.

I have done everything in trying to do so. I have tried to fit in, I've stuck out, I've gone on pills, I've been supportive, I've given people the support I've wanted (my job is based on supporting people and half the time most of them ignore me), I've ignored it, I've celebrated it. I've given up, mattered less to people, and found that nobody wanted to prove that I actually mattered. I voided my own brain in trying to make it less important in my life, after all, if you chase something that hard, you'll never truly own it. It will come to you when you go out and live your life or so I've been told.

But I've never gotten anywhere so I accepted it because I can't do anything else if nothing works. But here it is again, because I'm trying to be a part of the world and my social status is currently limbo--neither here nor there (at least when I'm ignored I absolutely know where I stand with people and the solitude can be serene). Since I could never figure it out, it is stressing me out because again, I can't stand the thought of having the only thing that matters to me not matter to everyone else. I can't stand the thought that all this effort and time being wasted because my life's theme is being irrelevant. And the reason I am having a hard time writing this portion is because I have made my character the polar opposite of myself and I do not know what it is like to matter. I think I've been agitated lately because I guess I got tired with being sad about it all the time.

I'm not really depressed right now, just kind of tired. I guess I am not eating enough, because I went to a Chinese buffet and this is what happened.

My big question though is why I thought I had to matter so badly anyway. And why did I believe anyone who told me that everyone matters?

I'll also be taking my favorite course of action. Doing nothing.

September 5, 2014
I need to make an edit. Ancient goats should always have only one eye--it's the rule. I'm also wondering if I should have included a description of pants. I didn't mention him wearing any pants. I presume it's assumed that he is and I imagine it's assumed by anyone else who reads this just because the text needs to flow. Sometimes I never know how much or how little I should describe or how much is given, I assume a lot.

This whole Russian lit exercise pointed out a lot of things to me. I suppose it was acting as my placebo as I told you about before during one of my other depressive streaks, and I felt that I could actually share it. It was easy because I had a few rules to play by, I could go to extremes because I do that easily, and I didn't have to be likable because generally nothing about the Russian existence is likable (look at that, the population is in a decline, so I wasn't that far off). I'm balancing between expression and trying to make it relatable because if I make it relatable to many people then this means I've succeeded at least in making a career. I guess I don't trust people to relate to my personal expression of something because they haven't related to me before so I don't see how anything else I do would be relatable (it is noted that essentially on this site I am aware that I am talking to myself). I'm also reeling myself in because I don't want to beat people over the head with the book, then throw it down and scream out suck it. I guess that would be rude. The Russians might like it but obviously, they'd all be dead by the time I finish this book so that would do me no good.

I don't want to pigeonhole myself, I don't consider it a sci-fi book. I would like to make it so that anyone can read it, even those who claim that they don't read. So a certain amount of gloss, polish, and quick pacing is needed. But if I gloss over too much I might end up with THIS. I, at least, do not have an apocalypse but still, I could run with the clichés. It can be easily accomplished.

I need to get going and possibly leave for a while, even though I write that a lot (well, I try to talk it out with the humans around me but people just don't seem interested and yes, it is kind of dumb to be bothered this much by a book that I don't have to write but I have to get it off me and put it somewhere), but before I go, I have found more actual journalism. I think the Washington Post actually found the monster and it's a lot more complicated than anything I even imagined. That's the understatement of the year for you. It's almost too messed up to even try to fight. I'm not sure how anyone could possibly even fix it or where anyone would even begin.

I honestly didn't even realize that North County wasn't made of real towns (they started out as subdivisions? Seriously?). I'm sure I heard the term municipalities on the news but I thought they were just being weird and insisted on calling it something else like all the counties in Louisiana are called parishes. It did strike me as odd growing up that all those towns were squashed together when driving on the highway, that there were way more towns than in Illinois and they all had dumb names. Then occasionally, on the local news I would hear about issues with board members in one of these towns or a dissolution of a fire department or police department but it really didn't register to me.

Shoot, gotta get gone, it's storming again with scary lightning for my computer. And fine, mix one part honey, one part lemon juice, add in some ginger (I guess ground is better?) and boil on the stove--drink. This might help your head cold (if it moves in your body it might be an infection). I would tell you to buy congaplex but it's like $55 and you're most likely going to get over whatever it is before it gets to your house). Put a heat pat on your head to kill it as well--viruses don't like heat. Lastly, sleep. I need to.

September 3, 2014
Dmitri sat alone at a rickety and warped table with only the company of a dying fire in the hearth and an ancient goat that only had one eye who chewed incessantly on the remnants of a head of cabbage. He was a man of 30 years but his years were long and arduous leaving him with the visage of a man twice his age. The frigid wind of an endless blizzard blew down the chimney and through the cracks of the shabby cabin that were stuffed haphazardly with what little straw he could spare; sounding like the murmurs of voices he knew from his past.

He shifted his weight on the decrepit chair, adjusting his coarse rubakha and worn wool coat even though he was already too numb to feel the cold and crossed his labor strained arms. He stared at the old goat and cleared the soot out of his throat when there came a loud bang on the door. He breathed out a cloud of exasperation, slowly rising to cross the rough and uneven floor, taking labored steps in his heavy boots.

He opened the door a crack, the wind and the ice blasted into his raw skin as he squinted into the darkness to see who was there. The weight of the other side caved into the cabin with a few inches of snow. Dmitri struggled to shut the door cursing the wretched weather, kicking the snow, and hitting something solid.

He bent over to clear the delicate snow with his haggard hands. The round face of a man younger than him frozen with ice encrusted in his blonde beard, his eyes empty and pale, clouded over in death stared up at him.

Dmitri exhaled another breath of contempt and glanced over at the old goat. He kept clearing the snow and checked the young man's coat pockets discovering a flask. Standing up, he walked back to his chair, sat, and popped open the flask.

"To your health and long life," he said to the corpse and raised the flask, "May death come quickly to your enemies," he toasted the goat then took a deep drink of the contents.

Not long after, Dmitri collapsed on the table and the life drained slowly out of his body. The flask drained on to the floor where a thirsty goat greeted it warmly.

Конец (Konets)

I guess I am sullen enough to write Russian Literature. That came out of me this afternoon.
Here's my plan. I will package it in a 1,000 page book because all Russian Literature is long. The story will be in the first half. In the middle will be a hollowed out compartment with a spring loaded weighted boxing glove that will punch people in the face. Then every time the book closes it will lock with a wireless credit card thing. That way I can be sure it completely invokes misery.

Now if only this part that I'm working on will cooperate. I think have curmudgeon's emo daughter lined up to read this, even though there is a good part of me that doesn't want to trust her with it (I'm not sure if she'll have time, she's busy with high school and all). She's a reader but she's depressive so there's a good chance she'll come to the same conclusion that I would. I understand this part. I get it, I get why it's there and to tell you the truth it's not that complicated or messy. But it's so boring. They might as well be discussing the weather and other pointless talk ("It's really nice today" "It's always nice, we're on a space station.")

Here's some light reading for you, featuring actual journalism

And look at this--someone's doing something constructive. What? Wow.

Hello? Is there anybody out there?

September 1, 2014
Tonight's scheduled depressive activities have now been canceled. I swear, I eat one subway sandwich yesterday and I'm reeling. I thought I could handle it, I'm doing better with sugar but I'm still not overloading which I think is probably for the best. I should also probably go against the orders of doctor and eat at least one adrenal gland pill (he told me to not eat any adrenal pills on the weekend--but I usually start feeling it around Sunday afternoon, this weekend was worse because my brain and my body were having a conflict of opinion).

I'm also questioning my writing yet again, I don't think I can answer this, and I don't know who I can go to get this answered (all the people I know are either bozos or don't read). I'm not sure if it's just the remnants of the depression talking. I really wasn't having it this afternoon (as I have been working on it all weekend when I wasn't being thrown for a loop). In this major part that I'm working on, I couldn't stand that the characters were exceptionally clueless even though I kind of need them to be. What I have turned myself into isn't normal (given, it never was) and I'm finding it hard to relate to anyone who doesn't think this way (soooo everyone?). There isn't much of a story if all the characters think like me unless I'm writing a moody Salinger like book and I don't think I've gotten to that point yet.

I almost feel that I'm not balanced in this section, as in that I might be overdoing it in being clueless (This is how us normal people behave, correct, fellow normal person?). That it may even be to clichéd and tripe for the public even. I think I know what's going on here, and the usual paradigm for any story just might not be working for me anymore. That it may be a disservice to even try to carry it on, because I think it has manipulated the thoughts and perceptions of people in the internet age. Ultimately, I don't believe the character's journey is magic anymore because that's not how life works. My exceptional talent in failure kept reminding me of this. But in all honesty, the magic (delusions!) is what draws people into the book and I'm not Russian enough to write a book so depressing that people keep reading it for centuries after I've died for no good reason (spoiler alert: EVERYONE DIES and your life is a lie because you suck!). I'm also wondering if I am being too blunt and cold in the other parts of the book and not really being artistically dramatic/tragic. That I'm just going to end up clocking people over the head with the plot instead of finding the beauty in it.

Perhaps I need to write it without having the outline of the series in the back of my mind. As if I do not know what is going to happen, like how we experience life, right, fellow normal person?

I'm also looking to put a filter behind the text and in front of the picture here but I can't figure out the html code. Balderdash.

Time to crawl off the ceiling and unwind. Please, no sudden movements, life, not for a while, thanks. I need to recover.

August 28, 2014
Yes, cracked,this is exactly what I'm looking for, fart jokes and all. Part of the anger was that I didn't know who to trust with information since the 24 hour news feed was reporting whatever it felt like and everyone was screaming about something different.

Today, I had an errant thought:
What taxes pay for police?
Police pay scale

I'm starting to see the entirety.
Basically policing can pay as little as $30 grand a year depending on where you live and how much experience. They run the risk of getting maimed and killed everyday on the job. They deal with people on their worst days. Basically, you have to want to do this job and either you are naive about what goes down on any given day before signing up and/or genuinely want to help people. Or you get a few people who go out for this because they have a hero complex and often go on power trips but may not be charming or cunning enough to do it properly in the world of business. I don't imagine those who get college degrees would risk their own lives to go for a job like this.

Then we have the tax situation. I've heard when there is a large grouping of apartment buildings the tenants do not pay property tax. So that's a lot of people in a small space with not a whole lot of money to support them.

If it's a subsidized apartment then there's a lot of poor people living in it. Now, given that they are under skilled, there wouldn't be many jobs available for them anyway even if more businesses invested in the area. So the residents find other things to fill their time. As well as if they are previously convicted, finding a job is a lot harder.

Being convicted can also lead to loosing voting rights

I reread the post article in the entry below and it helped me remember that the population of these apartments were filled by an exodus of the city of St. Louis--mostly trying to get away from the criminal element. Considering that the population was more white in Ferguson up until 5-10 years ago, I wouldn't expect they would know what to do with a sudden massive influx of poor black people. The cops would have a hard time understanding them at all. Then on top of it, we have the nomadic nature of poverty, so then the police will really have a hard time establishing a positive influence (fine, if they wanted to).

Top that with the degradation of the poor black community, and add a helping of distrust of the police.

And all of those tiny parts finally met at the nexus of Mike Brown.

So to say that it's a war against one thing over another, that this situation is simply one thing out of control is a disservice and very dangerous thinking that perpetuates the problem for future generations. Don't ask me how to stop it. If I knew how to convince people of anything I wouldn't be living my life as it is. People are like galaxies spinning around each other in a universe unaware, until they finally collide.

August 24, 2014
Rough fortnight.

As the situation in Ferguson went on, I slowly found that I wasn’t having it. It was hard to be an impartial observer like I prefer to be. I would feel this pressure build in my head, and the only emotion I had was anger but then there would be an occasional brief moment of calm (which is new and weird). I came very close to busting out the sertraline (I still have a few left, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to get rid of them ever). I couldn’t block the world out like I used to and writing more trouble in a book world seemed pedantic and pointless (but I still do work on it, bit by bit).

Yet every night I would turn on the local news once I got off work and then check like 2 hours later before I went to bed at 11, to see if the rioting began. Then every morning at work I would check to see the results.

I was pretty sure that this was the first time that the 24 hour news feed helped destroy a town due to the manic reporting partially fueled by twitter. Given, I do realize that had things not gone insane, the immediate action may not have happened (and truth be told, it was probably best that the Feds stepped in). But with all these people riled up, what’s going to happen when the verdict isn’t the outcome they want (Perhaps we should have gotten all Hispanics and Asians to be on the grand jury, CNN? For some people the color of their skin does not factor into their judgments and that’s usually why they are chosen)?

I questioned motives of some the people out there. I heard someone on the news (I know, it’s just one person) saying it was fascism. But if it was a fascist police state, there would be no media coverage, the person would be in the street but they would be dead for saying it is a fascist police state. There was a certain simplicity to their justifications with so many conclusions being jumped. Like they couldn’t see that the situation at hand was way more complicated than good versus bad or even beyond the confines of conservative versus liberal (wait for it). Bruce and I used to have this conversation, he liked to simplify that the ills of society came down to Satanic influence and divine influence or punishment; I told him that he didn’t give humans enough credit. I would ask him why God would have to punish us for being jerks when we’re so good at doing it ourselves. It finally sunk in last week and then I had to tell him that I told him this and that nobody listens to me (I must somehow speak gibberish when I talk, this always happens). Yes, he’s a devout Christian and I admire him for it. He often credits the path his life took to the grace of God and given what he told me what he’s been through, raging alcoholic parents and poverty to how he even got here and his job from Wisconsin, I believe him.

Anyway, I wondered just how much pressure to be involved twitter was influencing over people just so that they wouldn’t look like uncaring jerks to all their followers because they were mouthing off about some other injustice (Hey, I hear Iraq is pretty messed up and people are being so persecuted, you wanna go check it out? Flights are sooo cheap. Don’t forget to update the twittertwattter. Selfie!). After all, the protesting and rioting started to lessen around Wednesday, when it rained.

Luckily, Monday was my annual all appointments day and I was going to Dinkelmann. He finally gave me a pill for my adrenal glands. Then it all stopped (I was so out of sorts and I was still not used to discussing it with actual people that I ended up just babbling about whether or not any of my problem areas were working while he poked my hand with some electronic acupuncture point checker). I think I need to give up on trying to understand this, the main ingredient in this pill is calories. I do not understand how this works or why this makes any difference—unless I am just not eating enough but then it turns into what I can and cannot eat, so on and so forth, forever.

But for all the protesting and pontificating, this situation always goes around in a circle.

Cops show up to a certain area of town all the time, Cops are mean and unjust. Why do cops show up? Crime. But I need to turn to crime because I need a living wage. Can’t get out of the hood--no jobs, no education. It’s justified. Why no jobs? Crime, people get robbed/looted. Cops show up again, they disagree with the notion that the crime is justified (this might get old to some people who deal with it every day, biases form).

There’s something missing here, and the cop’s presence in this situation is really irrelevant. The civil rights movement has improved the lives of millions of blacks in America yet it always misses a portion of the population. And despite some of these people rising out of the hood, the blight still exists (and to be fair, there isn’t a difference between the hood and poor white trash). I realize, due to my own predicament, that we all can’t be astronauts, that there has to be someone at the bottom supporting the top and that has to be okay. Yet, the general consensus is that they are denied and need someone to present them with the opportunity to make something of themselves or to leave the hood because that’s the American dream. But on the other hand I have seen immigrants come into this country with less and somehow turn it into something and make something of themselves (don’t ask me how).

They can get support from the government in food stamps, they go to public school and many scholarships have been set up just to help them, they have the community, the advantage of being born in America, they have God—so why does the blight still exist?

Depression, some of which I think is also induced by a poor diet as well, as I figured out.

Not everyone is affected but if they aren’t immediately, they can by affected by proxy.

I think I’ve noticed one thing it’s that mental illness isn’t really recognized in the Black community. Yet, here they have invented a whole musical genre about how everything sucks and how they feel bad about it (that white people just clamber to and that’s kind of weird—“Your life sucks? Wow, that’s so awesome, you just feel so much”). In the poor communities, their lives are often inundated with dopamine inducers like drug use, alcoholism, and sex. Some of the many symptoms of depression are anger, aggression and a short temper that can barely be controlled. Laziness is also another one but it’s commonly known as fatigue as well as poor concentration—all things that they say people in the hood are commonly known for. And for some strange reason, they don’t acknowledge this or think that maybe it isn’t normal, perhaps this is because to feel and to acknowledge that it hurts is seen as a weakness, particularly in men. That in order to cope, it’s just better to shut down and when it’s too much, it’s easier to explode in rage (all from you’re not from here so don’t tell me what to do or I’m already hurt, I’m not going to let you hurt me).

This is just the way things are but the question is why they hang onto this. Why they pass it down through generations. I suppose they own it because it’s truly the only thing that they have, that their personalities are so rooted in misery that if they tried to change they wouldn’t know who they were anymore (I seriously had that thought while taking on my own issues)—even though we all change every day but to make a conscious effort is hard to those who are not ready to try. But who were they in the first place when so much of what they think they are, is controlled by the environment and people around them?

Unfortunately with depression, not everyone understands or can find the sympathy for your plight. The cops are unfortunately, human, and don’t see what’s going on in their heads or know what’s happening in their lives to justify these emotions and actions. All they see is the violence and the rage over and over again (I have come across people who got mad at me or turned on me because of the fact that I am depressed/anxious and I wasn’t even angry. So I could only imagine what it would be like if I let everyone feel the anger that I felt--I would have been carted off years ago). It’s a human trait to judge with a broad sweeping stroke mainly because it’s easy. It takes a lot of work and self realization to become unbiased and unfortunately it’s hard to keep an unbiased point of view when you feel threatened.

I hope Ferguson recovers from this, that they don’t have a flight of people with money (I think before this, they weren’t that bad off, blue collar—I’m sorry I don’t think I’ve been there, maybe just drove through it while going to Jamestown Mall— this is a more complete picture from the post). I think Captain Ron Johnson did a great job.

I also hope that the people protesting with them actually do something to help their condition instead of just scream and leave (if they were that concerned, why didn’t they do something like become social workers?). But ultimately how can you give rights to people who don’t know what to do with the ones that they already have?

This was a hard entry to get through.

August 14, 2014
Perhaps I should explain Ferguson, despite whatever I have to say about it ultimately doesn't matter (And I'm doing good, thanks, I remembered Tibetan Throat Chanting . You know I should be thankful, a lot of people only get to feel things one at a time, but I like to multitask and save time by feeling it all at once. It had been at least five years since I had to contend with that, I wasn't used to it).

Anyway, while I do feel bad for Michael Brown, I prefer to stay out of it. The details are not known and I doubt it may ever be fully known or accepted as the truth. Both sides were most likely biased, both sides jumped to conclusions, both felt they were being targeted, disaster resulted.

He may have been the best person in the world too, but it only takes one fluke moment of a raw emotion to end in catastrophe.
Even if everything goes the way it should that the cop is brought to justice like they all want, doesn't mean that things will magically be racially healed. That area will still most likely stay poor, if not end up worse off after all this (I believe that's what lead to the downfall of East St. Louis in the 1910s which is now just coming slowly out of it). Everyone who started to care only for this will go back to their own lives, the everyday life of the residents of Ferguson will be no concern to them--so the situation and the attitudes of the populace of the area will not get better or any more peaceful. It's not just race we're dealing with, it is also poverty and because of the poverty, a decline in mental health as I have experienced with the processed food industry (violent anger doesn't just erupt out of sound individuals seeking justice). It doesn't appear that the vast majority of the people involved are really out for justice, they're out for their own agendas, to be a part of a history of standing up to something, I'm not really sure what (the system and the environment feed off each other, only reacting to what either perceives as a threat). And I feel sorry for Michael Brown for that--that his life only resulted in selfish people corrupting his justice for their own gains.

If I let myself be outraged by every unjust death I think I would be reeling every single day. There's still Iraq, Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, Nigeria (have they rescued those girls yet?), I want to say there was something going on in the Congo, and every other day anyone gets murdered. The true tragedy of the human existence is the fact that we cannot possibly live up to all of our own lofty ideas or save each other as much as we like. I can barely do that for myself.

This will not end well.

Return to the beginning of nothing!