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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
temet nosce's LiveJournal:
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|Friday, March 25th, 2016|
|ocean of devotion.
I discovered a band in the past month called The Cloud of Unknowing. I love this band, and they haven't even recorded an album yet. It's two girls I think in their mid 20s and a bass celloist (although he is just there to round it out; the girls write the songs and sing), bluegrass, "freakfolk" I think I saw them describe themselves as. One plays the guitar and has an ethereal quality to her singing and personality as well as a traditional physical attractiveness, while the other brings more weight, singing the lower harmony, usually playing the banjo though sometimes the fiddle, and has a peculiar structure to her face that is not necessarily repulsive but certainly curious. They speak a strange tongue, one that makes sense to me lately, about waking people up to God's love and whatnot, and their lyrics tend to be abstract while occasionally echoing traditional lyrics that their music style harkens. They're like a pair of modern day gypsies, and would probably strike the old Salem boys as witches; heck, they even have a song called "Magick Brew".
In a video posted last summer that was ultimately the ethereal one asking for help to get her car fixed, she talks about experiences she's been having recently and says be creative, that creativity is an ocean of devotion. It's time I get serious about music.
|Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016|
|playing catch up.
When I start something, I have to finish it. I can't have a bunch of unfinished projects going on at once; it gets to be overwhelming and I'm not sure what to work on next, and for how long. So I'm working in figuring out this raised garden bed thing. I don't why it's taking me so long, but it is. I think I'm, like with most things, overcomplicating it. Anyway, I finally have a plan; well, except for the actual plants in going to put in it.
I still need to figure out fertilizer for the yard. And then a flower garden, or gardens, as I think Beth wants a spring bed and a fall bed. I don't know, but I'm getting tired on focusing on garden stuff. I'm sure it will be good for the kids to finally have a garden and growing some of our own food, but I'm ready to move on to matters I feel are more pressing. At this point I feel like I'm just playing catch up, learning skills I should have learned years ago, taking care of unfinished business before moving on to the next phase of my life.
|Saturday, March 19th, 2016|
|in the asphalt jungle.
I really hate traveling these days, especially when all you end up seeing is an asphalt jungle full of telephone poles. So much of what could be beauty is scarred by the lifeless terrain we impart.
I'm here in the car waiting for Boone to wake up from another impromptu nap. As usual, so much is racing through my mind that I have trouble focusing on topic to journal about.
I want to get serious about making more videos. I feel like I have a better handle about what I want the channel to be about. I had to let it go, in essence take time off, for a week, to figure it out, but I know to make it work I need to learn some basic Youtubing skills, specifically thumbnails and the end cards linking back to a previous video, and recording better audio-quality music. I also want to work on branding, setting up Instagram and Facebook, and getting active on Twitter. I have some t-shirt ideas to add to the vegan apparel world.
Speaking of which, I need to start replacing my shirt wardrobe with vegan shirts. Most of what I where now are shirts from the aquariums we've visited, and aquariums are bullshit. The only places worth visiting animals in captivity are sanctuaries, where animals wouldn't be able to survive in the wild, assuming those animals are eating plant-based. I'm ready to get in better shape and position myself as a good example of the lifestyle.
|Tuesday, March 15th, 2016|
Fucking beat. Time change really screwed me up, and I've been busting my ass on getting my to-do list done, for the most part. Sunday was the usual church, followed by a hockey game. Going to a sporting event really wipes me out. It's stimulation overload. It may have made more sense when I was eating animal products and all numbed with fat in the blood, but my ears hear so well now that I'm like, turn it down.
Yesterday I can't even remember. I felt like I got some stuff done. Oh, I did figure out a plan for the lawn, and measured to determine the approximate square footage of the lawn, and ordered some push up bars (to get more a range of motion with the push-ups) and some portable dip bars (which can be used for other activities, too). Today was lawn catch-up: I bought and applied preemergent herbicide and 400 lb. of lime for the first time in my 11 years of home ownership.
I think lawns are a waste of money and resources, and I would rather let it go and have the miss take over as it was already starting to. But I compromise with the wife and the HOA. It's at least a concession that I can now this lawn with a reel mower. Today's expenses were $60. I've ordered a soil testing kit from NC dept. of agriculture; they do not charge for soil testing, but I will have to pay the postage. Afterward will be time to fertilize; I'm not going to worry about seeds. Fertilizer I'm guessing will run another $40. I'm also considering spreading some compost, which would be $40. Depending on findings and how lawn responds, I may go another application of fertilizer in July and possibly lime, but I'd prefer to avoid the herbicide again until next year.
Next on deck is a establishing a vegetable garden and a flower garden. Flower garden I haven't looked into yet, but I have a good idea about the vegetable garden, and it looks like it will run around $200 to get it going.
All right, need to get to sleep. Sleep deprivation has been real lately.
|Friday, March 11th, 2016|
So back in January I started a YouTube channel that I had been toying with the idea of starting last summer. Actually I kind of did start it then, but I had it as an associated channel to my personal email, and the iPhone app wasn't allowing me to select which channel to upload videos, so then I deleted the associated channel and started using the one linked directly to my personal email, but by changing the name of the channel it also changed the name appearing on my personal emails I was sending. So I shut it down because I didn't like the videos I was posting anyway, which was just me talking about vegan things. It didn't make sense to post videos that I myself wouldn't want to watch.
So I put it off for months while I mulled it over, and tried to make sense of my part-time schedule, and adoption classes, and football addiction, and decided I was just going to restart the channel with music videos that included original songs. It has been going fairly well (I enjoy watching my own videos and have a few subscribers), but I'm struggling with finding the time to put into learning how to up the video editing game, namely planning shoots for the songs I've written that I feel need a treatment, and pulling video from other channels fir treatments that would require it, and recording better-mixed versions of the songs, and how to accurately lip sync to it (up until now I've just been live-performing the songs as the background audio track, or as the base video file when I want to include video of the performance, but it's limiting).
I'm not sure where to go from here. I suck in front of the camera, but maybe I'll improve with practice? Maybe if I edit it with jump cuts and music it will work better? I need to build a following if the channel is going to grow. I feel like maybe I should make videos about famous rock artists and if they are vegan or should be, or even just covers of their songs with me in a vegan t-shirt, and maybe that will attract some of their fans and convert some.
Or maybe I'm wasting my time with it and should look for action elsewhere. I just feel like everyone has something to share, a skill they've developed or talent, and songwriting (and to a degree performing) is all I really have. I guess I'm an OK writer, but I don't know what I would do with it. And rock music has been a catalyst for change in history, be it civil rights or gay rights, not to say I'm capable of providing that, but sometimes all it takes is one song to catch fire.
|Tuesday, March 8th, 2016|
|bloats and purges.
I've really been enjoying journaling the past few days. I feel like it's something of a meditation for me. I feel more centered and like I'm getting somewhere, just don't know where that somewhere is. If nothing else, I feel like it purges my mind of thoughts that have been lingering for a long time, so that I can finally move past them. (As an example I was glancing over some of my old entries last night and saw The Premonition Game entry; I remember I dwelled on that shit for years, but last night realized I had completely forgotten about it.) I suppose this is another means by which I am shedding the controls in my life.
Last Wednesday I got sick for the first time since fall of 2014, but like last time I'm not entirely convinced this was a sickness or my body taking care of some unfinished business, or in this case perhaps bad food combining. I woke up in the middle of the night with a bloated stomach, and when I would give off a small burp I could smell the contents of my stomach much like after one vomits. But I never got nauseous and was able to fall back asleep. The rest of he day I had intermittent diarrhea and water-fasted until 9pm to give my body a chance to de-bloat and flush out whatever was causing the problem. I was good to go the next day, but then yesterday (Monday) I had some more diarrhea, not quite as much, and without the bloating. Today I feel fine.
I do wonder if it was my body responding to unusual food choices: The Tuesday morning before the first bout I had a substantial amount of simple oatmeal (although I eat the same oats all the time in my waffle recipe, so it's not like the foods themselves were unusual). And then Sunday night I made sushi for the first time and ate a lot of it. I do find that since going whole-food plant-based my stomach is more sensitive -- or perhaps to put it another way, no longer has the tolerances built up for certain foods I no longer eat with frequency. For example, I can't eat a significant amount of tofu without problems. But Grace had similar stomach problems -- hers involved vomiting, but that could have been her reflux being stimulated, and then Beth had similar issues a day after my first bout, so the evidence is strong that I caught something.
Over the past month I've noticed that my appetite has diminished somewhat. I can go hours in the morning before eating, and there have been a few days now where I have only eaten two meals. I'd like to think this is my body coming more efficient with my current diet and not really needing as much, as everything I eat provides a bounty of nutrition. Of course my inconsistent exercising is probably slowing things down, too.
|Saturday, March 5th, 2016|
Hey, I'm back. Again. I always come back to you.
While I tend to think that I'm addicted to my phone, it's really just become a replacement to my computer, especially since the keyboard has died on my chromebook, and the MacBook I like to reserve for video editing or song recording -- and Beth is using it most of the time these days for photo editing, since she is starting her side business. Anyway, I've finally downloaded the LJ app, so maybe my addiction will lead to more journaling.
There's so much on my mind these days, I don't know where to start.
So maybe my addiction is more computer related. I think all of us are prone to addiction; in the natural world anything we would get addicted to would have been a good thing. Find a delicious fruit tree grove in season, that's nourishment and nutrition, so you binge until the fruit runs out. It's easy to kick an addiction when the source runs out.
I've never had a propensity for addictions to food or substances. The only drugs I've ever tried are cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. I was always too cheap to smoke marijuana with any frequency (I think I only spent money on it once, the rest was bumming from friends) or drink alcohol -- besides, I never liked how alcohol made me feel the next day, and knowing my family history with alcohol abuse and domestic violence, I have always been careful with myself.
Cigarettes I smoked rather frequently during my sophomore year in college and one or both of the surrounding summers. The most I remember smoking in a day was 5. It was pretty much a social thing. I never smoked alone, much like I never drank alone. I suppose maintaining drugs as a means of socializing helped me in not getting addicted to them (that and being stingy with money). In my awakening of sorts during my final two years of college, I decided I needed to look for more fulfilling ways to spend my time, and so I started to drift away from these things, and the friends I was in regular contact then didn't smoke, so I stopped buying them. I knew smoking them was stupid based on all we were taught in school. Public school brainwashes us significantly, but I can say at least this was beneficial.
And so it was easy for me to eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, and oils from my diet, once I got past the intense learning curve, despite my having consumed them daily, multiple times a day, for nearly 35 years. I'm exploring this because I'm trying to grasp why it was easy for me while others seem hopelessly addicted to these things.
There may be more to it. To acknowledge the truth about these substances (and that's what they are, as real human food is rich in fiber and carbohydrates and doesn't promote disease) is also to acknowledge the terrifying truth about society and the systems of control in place. Veganism is something of a gateway truth in that respect.
My addictions lie in limitless information and entertainment, on the Internet. I could spend hours watching YouTube videos or scrolling through my Facebook feed. With the Panthers loss in the Super Bowl, in which I was supremely confident that they would win, I cold-turkey ended that addiction of reading or watching anything sports-related online. Beginning in December I began to recognize that what I was doing was an addiction as all the energy I was investing was not being returned in personal development. With the Super Bowl loss I was fully awakened that it was all pointless. I'm not really sure what I'll do next season, but at this point I see myself reserving any engagement in it for purely social occasions.
I want new addictions. I want my addictions to be the things I need to do to develop and ultimately liberate myself, and in turn others (or at least learn if that's even possible): Exercise, writing, recording, making YouTube videos. I want to get back to a place where our addictions -- what we consume, how we celebrate, how we invest ourselves -- are for betterment, and not self-destruction.
|Saturday, November 7th, 2015|
|a few links.
It's already been more than a month since my last entry. Time zaps by too quickly these days.
I've been doubting the benefits of journaling lately. I feel like all I am doing is recording a few links in the infinite chain of my thoughts. The thoughts passing through right now are no more pertinent than the ones that passed earlier today, or will pass as I lie in bed trying to doze off. But here they are.
These are strange times for me. I'm wondering if creating a vision book might do me good. I could rant more about veganism, or the rampant ignorance that is the absence of veganism, but I want to create a social media presence where such ranting might actually be of benefit to someone. In recent days I feel like I've come somewhat to peace with it, let it go, whatever, probably as a defense mechanism, because it's paralyzing.
It's been close to two weeks since I last exercised. I need to get serious about it; I need to be a good example of this lifestyle. My body is holding on to a decent amount of belly fat still; since I was in my mid-30s when I cut out the poisons, it is probably going to make my body two-to-three years to recalibrate itself. I want a six-pack; I don't care how flat it is, I just want to see the definition of my abs for the first time.
So, from what I can tell, men shaving their chest and back is the norm? None of the men in my family did this (that I remember). For a while I thought it was just something underwear models and professional swimmers did. I guess women can stop complaining about shaving their legs, because imagine shaving your back! Cultural conditioning makes us look like genetic retards. Women shouldn't have to shave, and neither should men. It's all about what we're used to seeing. Once upon a time, people started wearing leaves over the dongs, likely due in part to our innate rapist tendencies, and now nakedness is taboo. But we have to shave the hair off our bodies that we're already hiding? Groovy.
|Sunday, September 27th, 2015|
|the things i have to look forward to.
In looking at my recent series of posting, I must appear a headcase. I'm trying to get my head around this whole narcissism thing, because it seems to fit. Do I not care what others feel? I stopped caring what other people thought of me a long time ago, or at least have tried to. It seems to me a self-defense thing; to be your own man (or woman), you can't let others compel you down certain paths; you can only care what you think of yourself. Does the way you live your life fit within your values? What are your values?
When I hear certain stories (for example, the "It's not your fault" scene from Good Will Hunting always jerks tears), my emotions are stirred; that has to be empathy. But throughout the general course of the day, my focus is on getting tasks done. Consoling is just a means of getting past an obstruction.
Lately I've had to extend not caring what others think to everyone, including those closest to me, because they don't agree with veganism, although they accept it, and support it only so much to quell my issues with carnistic behavior, but no more. I care about personal health -- my health, my children's health, the health of those I love -- and well being. I care about the environment, and our relationship with it, and the other creatures on this planet that have as a right to be here and live out their lives as nature intended as we do, and how destroying these things only serves to destroy ourselves as we depend on them for our survival. I care that injustice is righted. This has left me in a very lonely place.
Beth's grandmother suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes and ultimately died of congestive heart failure. These are all diseases of diet. Her grandfather on the same side died of a heart attack. If they followed a plant-based diet they would not only still be alive today but still living life, getting out, having adventures. An argument I heard when I first went vegan was, well, my parents/grand-parents ate the same way and lived well into their 90s. But what was their quality of life leading up to their death? While it may turn out that I only live a few months longer than you, what will my quality of life be compared to you those last 5, 10, 20, even 30 years. My quality of life is better today. My quality of life is better today that my quality of life was two years ago -- so much more energy, mental clarity, smashing in the food without fear of gaining weight. People are suffering and don't even realize it. 100% of autopsies in 10-year-olds found them to have early stages of heart disease -- fatty streaks in the arteries. 100%! The vast majority of men in their 20s have been shown to already have large build ups of plaque in their arteries. This is where all chronic disease starts.
Over the next ten years, Beth's dad, if he doesn't start cutting out the animal products, will experience a severe health issue -- either a heart attack like his dad or some chronic disease like his mom had. Dementia or some other disease will start setting in to her mom. Beth will get cancer in the next 20-30 years. Many of the people I'm growing to love at church will die of heart disease or cancer. These are the things I have to look forward to. All I see around me is disease, all of which can be prevented, and no one is willing to listen.
|Saturday, September 26th, 2015|
I know what I need to do. But can I get consistent, disciplined? I think I'm inching my way there.
I suffer from narcissism. It's hard to understand that someone who is usually down on himself would be a narcissist. Personally I believe a lot of depression is really misdiagnosed narcissism. How much did my parents fuck me up that I don't know about?
Yeah, I'm definitely a narcissist. Here I am thinking about myself when Beth's grandmother passed away last night. Best grandmother I ever had.
Taken from Wikipedia: "... the strategy is to help them identify how to utilize their unique talents and to help others for reasons other than their own personal gain. This is not so much to change their self-perception of their "entitlement" feeling but more to help them empathize with others." I have trouble feeling empathy? That may be accurate.
Yes, this explains a lot. I'm a strange beast.
|Friday, September 25th, 2015|
I have a little time, feel like I should write something, but am at a loss.
The week's been a waste. I haven't gotten anything done, and haven't done much learning with Boone besides a little bit on Monday. Beth and I had our first foster-certification class this past Saturday, first of five consecutive Saturday classes. Then Beth had a photoshoot Sunday after church, and then there was the Panthers game. I don't get as much done during NFL season, especially if the Panthers are relevant, because I find myself too easily distracted by all the talk.
I'm somewhat of a paradox with that. The NFL is a corrupt, in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-irrelevant thing, one that I don't wish to financially support in any way, but I find a guilty pleasure in the drama and fan smacktalk. Even when the Panthers are abysmal, it's fun to listen to fans vent and voice our shared frustrations with eloquent precision. Several years ago I was into college football, though didn't really have a team (sort of rooted for the Gamecocks), but it's difficult for me to (sports-)hate players when they are not being well compensated for that hate. I am glad there is a playoff now, and maybe when, if ever, they expand it to eight teams and allow some of the small conferences a chance to win a championship -- i.e., end the elitism -- I'll get back into it, but I can't see myself ever getting into it as much as the NFL, because the (sports-)hate is the major part of the enjoyment.
And that's what happens. I get distracted. If I took that time to get little bits here, little bits there done, I might get somewhere in life. I gave up on this week somewhere halfway through. Tomorrow will be a fresh start. Everyday's a new chance to start over. Get to bed on time tonight. On nights I work I should just cut it off at 9:30 and get ready for bed.
I wonder if I'm allowing this journal to become a distraction. I need to get thoughts out; I think journaling is important to self-exploration. But there are other manners at self-exploration that I may be neglecting. And am I just using this another excuse not to get shit done?
|Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015|
I've been getting migraines on average once every two months. I believe this frequency started when I got Lasik surgery April of last year, which was also around the same time I was transitioning to a vegan diet. I noticed I was getting them on Monday mornings usually, except late this past July I got it on a Friday of the first day of our joint trip to Maryland/Sunset Beach, and realized the day before I had taken my vitamin B12 supplement -- at the time, I was taking a weekly sublingual on Sundays, but I had forgotten it for a couple of weeks so took it on that Thursday -- so, I figured the supplement must somehow be triggering migraines. As soon as we got back from the trip, I got a daily-dose methylcobalamin (I had been using a cyanocobalamin) that was recommended by a vegan nutritionist I trust, and within a week I got another small migraine, I decided to go without any supplement for at least a few months to see it was B12 supplements in general.
Last week I got another migraine, so that ruled it out, and I started taking the methylcobalamin again. A couple weeks leading up to this I noticed that I was feeling significantly lethargic, and within a couple of days of starting the supplement back up I feel so much better, much more energetic. Apparently, I need my B12.
Prior to Lasik/veganism I was getting migraines, just not as frequent (assuming I am remembering correctly). I assumed they were normal because I remember my mother telling me this was about the age she started getting migraines on a semi-frequent basis. I had hoped with the adoption of a healthier diet that they would start to peter out, and so there is that lingering thought that the diet may somehow be triggering them, but truly now I believe this is a side effect of the Lasik. I think too if I can get a more consistent cardio routine, and consistent exercise in general, it may help to mitigate them as well.
|Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015|
Back in a rut. I had been getting to bed pretty close to 10pm, but the last couple of nights have failed. Last night I couldn't get to sleep until after midnight. I think that's mainly because I have not been getting any good exercise in. The nights I had been getting to bed around 10pm I still couldn't get to sleep in time or up in time to get exercise in when I first woke up. At this point I think I need to get down at 9:30, which I just don't think is possible.
Sometimes I wish I had the last 14 years to do over again with what I know now; but then I think I'd still screw something up and be in the same position I am today. I subscribe to free will being an illusion. It's silly to dwell on "if only"s.
Lately I've been dwelling on how little I know myself. I'm 36-years-old and am still not comfortable in my own skin. I am not inspirational. I have always taken the safe path; it may not have always been the easier path, but always safe. No risk taking. And that's why I've been at the same dead-end job for virtually 11+ years "paying homage to an image drawn from somebody else's head". I've had inklings of what I've wanted but have never really known what I want. At this point, I still don't. Sometimes days I think I do, but it always fades, as my actions do not back up these perceived wants.
All life is about surviving one day to the next, one season, one cycle. Survive. There is no time for wants. It is not natural to have wants beyond basic necessities. Wants are trivial distractions, a means of occupying our brains in the absence of any reality-based urgencies. What do I want? I want to stop giving a shit about what I want.
I might be onto something. Or not.
Discipline. Consistency.... No answers coming today, it seems.
|Thursday, September 17th, 2015|
I suck at this: staying consistent, sticking to a routine. I'm OK with failing (in general) at this point in my life, because I realize now nothing's about me, but to overcome and improve circumstances one must be consistent with progressive practices. So, I feel as though I am in a catch-22.
The first 1:20 (7am - 8:20am) of my day involves getting the kids fed, out the door, and Grace to school. This is an awkward time for a routine because my body, at this time, naturally wants to sleep to 7-7:30, and I'm finding it's important to do some sort of light exercise when I first get up in order to fully wake up by (if this is how it works) flushing out the drowsy hormones still lingering in the bloodstream. By the time I'm home, Beth's on her way to work (so I have Boone by myself), and I'm already getting hungry.
The only solution is to ensure that I am in bed by 9:30pm-10:00, so that my body's wake up time moves an hour earlier (I've learned recently that my body needs around 8 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep a night). The problem with that is the only time Beth and I get to spend time together usually starts at 9:30. Boone is usually not in bed (our bed) until about 9pm, and if I'm working that evening, I'm usually not done until around 9:30, and there's usually some cleaning up in the kitchen left to do once Boone's down or I'm done working. I guess I just need to have a serious talk with Beth.
At this point I feel like I'm letting Boone down. Beth has been good about getting us a curriculum each week, but I'm struggling to keep with it because of these issues, as I start to get groggy around 10:00 due to my lack of exercise/sleep and struggle through the rest of the day if I don't get moving. (Side rant: This wouldn't be a problem if our society wasn't set up so that we could sit on our but all day with no need for walking or bike-riding. Our society is set up to give us poor health.)
So let's think: If I can get to bed 9:30-10:00pm, I can bet up 6:00-6:30am and get a good walk/jog in before getting into the breakfast-drive-to-school-eat-breakfast section....
6:00am-6:30 wake up.
7:00-8:00 make kids breakfast and Grace lunch.
8:20-9:00 eat breakfast, clean up after breakfast.
9:00-11:00 Boone's learning time.
11:00-12:00 chore time.
12:00pm-1:00 lunch time.
1:00-2:30 personal time.
2:30-4:00 outside/exercise time.
4:00-5:00 make dinner, get it on the table.
5:00-9:00 work, or clean up and help get kids to bed.
I'm OK with failing, as long as it is a temporary situation, an early step in an ultimately successful journey.
I re-read my letter to myself; I needed that, intend do so more frequently, as well as journal.
|Thursday, August 27th, 2015|
|the changing tide.
As of the start of August I'm officially working part time. 20 hours a week. Beth and I had come to the conclusion back in April (I think, or May) that one of us would need to cut back in hours if we were to have a third, and possibly fourth, child. While we started flirting with the idea of having our own third child in March of last year, in recent months I had become uncomfortable with the idea for a variety of reasons and began leaning toward adoption. Beth was fine with that (her youngest brother is adopted after all) but saddened by the realization that she was probably done bearing children.
The best person to risk their career was I, because it had dawned on me in recent years that what I have is not a career but simply a job, and that I was at a dead-end. The only growth I might have experienced is an occasional raise or bonus. And with my transitioning to a vegan lifestyle -- common themes in the online vegan community are minimalism, living for yourself and not working at a job that you hate to buy things you don't need, and digital nomadism -- I've really stopped enjoying the work and have been increasingly compelled to focus on what is actually important to me. 40 hours a week is way to much time for anyone to spend doing shit that has no meaning. We'd given up control of raising our children, and our house had fallen farther and farther into neglect. Sitting at a desk for so long has been terrible on health and posture -- I hope to reverse the hunch I've developed -- and it's been difficult to find time to exercise. Even now I feel like I'm squeezing it in when I can, but I guess that's how it will always be.
I feel like I need to reboot, start from scratch knowing what I know, and rebuild my life, and I guess that's what I'm doing.
In order to make this work, we have had to move Boone out of daycare and Grace out of afterschool. One thing I've learned from this is I suck at planning activities and schedules. Not that I've ever been good at that, as I've always preferred to focus on one thing at a time and complete it before thinking about anything else. Beth has been a big help there basically planning each day out for me and getting a curriculum for Boone, who will be home one year before starting kindergarten. Grace has started 2nd grade and will still be going to martial arts but only as evening classes, which is only $109/mo as opposed to the $68/week we were paying for afterschool. I think she needs to try other things as well. I think music is crucial, and I'm wondering if she might take to dance as well.
I will be doing odds and ends around the house and hopefully something will lead me in the right direction. I still have visions of finishing my album and starting a Youtube channel as part of the activism I owe the world, but I think I may first need to break from my shell, because I can't do these things on my own.
Where I go from here, we shall see, but I definitely need to journal more often, and make sense of myself.
Oh, about that adoption: We have started the adoption process and will be taking classes for foster certification starting in September. We are looking for one child but are open to a sibling pair, because siblings having to be separated is something we would like to prevent if we can.
|Friday, April 24th, 2015|
Pretty sure I'm suffering from sleep deprivation. I haven't had 8+ hours of sleep since last Friday night. You know what a good vacation is to me nowadays? Being able to go to bed early and sleeping in the next morning every day during the vacation. That's all I ask for. I managed to get three days of that during our recent Ohio trip; made for a good trip. Could've used a little exercise, though....
That's one thing this lifestyle does: You know when your stiffing yourself of something. When you're eating animal products all your issues kind of get lost in the muddle, so that you have no way of knowing what the source of your problems are; it could be the food poisoning, could be something else. But once you nail the diet down and get that off the board of possibilities, you get a clearer picture of what's happening.
One other change I made recently was a couple weeks ago I bought a 75-cm exercise ball to use as my desk chair at work. That's another thing this lifestyle does: I hate sitting in a chair all day; I want to be up and moving because I have so much damn energy. To borrow a metaphor (Kerry McCarpet on Youtube), you become a dog that needs to be walked or else you drive yourself crazy. Also, my posture sucks, and when I'm sitting in a chair for long periods I'm prone to slouch. So I'm hoping (1) this helps me fix my posture and reverse this back hump I'm developing, and (2) I am burning a little more energy and working my muscles a little so that they are not sitting there idle and getting sore the day after a workout. It seemed to be working although these last two days with the accumulating sleep deprivation I really just wanted to lounge out in my chair -- but being on the ball I keep repositioning trying to find that perfect position (that doesn't exist), and that keeps my legs moving. I think next time I will go with an 85-cm ball, as the 75-cm is really too short unless I'm tucking it under my heels.
|Sunday, April 19th, 2015|
Just got back today from an Ohio trip to visit Beth's living grandparents. Drove up on Wednesday, so had a full three days there between driving. A couple weeks prior to the trip her grandmother (Elsie) had been diagnosed with conjunctive(?) heart failure, and it wasn't clear how much longer she would be around. Our first day there Elsie's feet had become swollen and Beth's parents ended up taking her to the ER, where she waited around half a day to get a room. Fortunately, we were able to stop by so that she could spend a little time with the kids. That may be the last time we see her in that house; she's decided she's ready to go into assisted living once she gets out of rehab.
I also had a talk with her grandfather (we call him Papa) and found out he had had what they believe was a mild heart attack six years ago and he's now taking three different medications for his heart and blood-thinning. He's 91.
It's hard for me these days not to think about food and how it's affecting the life of each person I encounter. After seeing what he had been eating (lots of meat, and milk with breakfast), I decided I had to ask him if he was taking anything because I had trouble believing his health hadn't started to fail him already if that's the way he had always eaten, and that's when I found that stuff out. Every day I receive affirmations that a whole-food plant-based diet is what's right. (Even the day Elsie was going to the hospital she ate some cereal with cow's milk and Beth's dad had gotten her a fast-food burger, but earlier that day Beth's mom had mentioned how excited she was over eating an orange. Listen to your instinct and binge out on oranges!)
I see it everyday. When I'm out in public. Want to know if a certain restaurant's food is good for you, all you have to do is take a look at the customers and employees, as they are the ones eating it. We spent a lot of time in McDonald's on the drives, mostly for bathroom stops, and seeing the people eating there tells you all you need to know about how terrible that shit is for you.
It's so fucked. Seriously, think about all the adults you know or encounter on a daily basis, and try to count how many of them are at their ideal body weight -- specifically anyone in their late 20s or later, as anyone younger than that may still be benefitting from a child-like metabolism. Now, of those few you know that are lean, how many of those actually look healthy, are not calorie restricting in some way (maybe assisted with extensive exercise), and are not dependent on some sort of stimulant (usually caffeine in the form of coffee, soft drink, tea, energy drink, etc.)? I bet you don't know a one, and if you do, I bet they're vegan.
Try it; it's a fun game.
The worst part is seeing the overweight kids. I joined Grace for lunch a couple weeks ago at her school, and we sat at the table reserved for kids and their parents. We were joined by a hispanic boy and his father. The boy was round as a ball, and eyeing my oranges while he devoured a slice of pizza and a chicken sandwich and fries from Wendy's his father had brought him. People want to downplay the effect the food you eat has on your health, but what is going to affect what is going on in your body more than what you are actually putting in your body
And I'm tired of this "everything in moderation" mantra. Does that mean fruits and vegetables in moderation? No! In fact, you should be increasing the percentage of whole fruits and vegetables to as much as possible, close to 100%. Nuts and seeds are health-promoting but best in moderation. Refined carbs and salt, use sparingly only to enhance your enjoyment of a whole-food planted-based dish. Free oils, meat, dairy, eggs, and all the weird chemicals cut out completely; they should be in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol. How many cigarettes would you consider "in moderation"?
|Sunday, April 12th, 2015|
|The year I went vegan, part 2
A couple months in I had decided that eggs and dairy were BS, but that meat was actually a benefit in the percentage that other primates consume it (1% about). Finally letting it rest, one day I caught myself thinking about variances in digestive tracks what not only separates us from not just carnivores but also the ruminants that have a much more complex track than ours, which allows them to eat more mature leaves that we primates just can't handle. Maybe we are frugivores just as the other primates; maybe fruit is our natural staple. Leading up to this point I had seen the fruitarian diet come up but just thought that it was too out there, but now I was ready to hear it out, and it started making sense.
One of the youtubers that goes by the name durianrider really appealed to me, as he is uncompromising and what I call "punk rock"; the Johnny Rotten of the vegan movement. In one of his older videos he recommended a book called The 80/10/10 Diet, so I buckled down and bought it (I mention that it was one of his older videos because I doubt he would recommend it now based on recent actions of the author, who's come across as a bit of a douche lately). While the book demonizes cooked food--which I now think is ridiculous because I stick with the science (a la Dr. Michael Greger at nutritionfacts.org) and as long as you're eating whole-food planted-based, you're fine, just have to figure what is best for you. You want greens, and you want whole-food carbs, either raw fruit or cooked starches, whichever works best for you in whatever combination--the argument for frugivorism as our core diet nailed it home for me. This whole journey has taught me so much about what it is to be human; our entire history as a species can be read in what we eat.
I could go into more detail but need sleep. High-carb vegan for the win. Animal-based foods are food poisoning. Awareness is rising; don't be one of the last victims. Don't let your body be a graveyard for dead, tortured animals and a septic tank for their secretions. Get that shit out of your body.
|What I Want
I want to record my album.
I want to have more time in the day. I want to be able to go on a 2-hour bike-ride or hike everyday if I feel like it and the weather permits. I want at least 30 minutes for journaling, 30 minutes for reading, and 30 minutes for creative writing.
I want more time off to be able spend quality time with my kids and wife.
I want a job that allows me to grow.
|Saturday, April 11th, 2015|
|Letter to myself
We haven't been the best of friends. Fuck it, we haven't been friends at all. Our backs have been to each other. The hardest person to get to know is oneself. But we're in this together; if I struggle against you, we go nowhere. We fail together.
I've been hard on you. One thing I've learned about us is that I am a jealous creature. Envy is my sin, but I am envious of others because they have pushed themselves and pursued their dreams where I haven't. Envy is just misguided self-contempt.
I gave up on you, just as I have given up on so many. Just as I gave up on friends, let them go and didn't keep up with them. Just as I never fully committed to that band freshman year in college, let it go after Dan complained he was doing all the legwork just before winter break, then blamed them for never returning my amp and microphone; I can now see what they saw, afterward, when the looks they gave me were of absolute disappointment. How my friends must see me. How the acquaintances who are around me long enough must see me. They give up on me because I gave up on you. Or maybe they're waiting on me to come around, like you. I don't deserve anymore than what I've earned.
I am sorry.
What is it you want? What is it you need? I want to know. I'm ready to give that to you. Let's talk this through. We'll get there.
Don't turn away from me. You escape from the hard reality too often that you remain where you have always been. Turn off the videos. Close the Twitter and Facebook feeds. Don't pick up the guitar just to fuck around with songs you already know or don't plan to complete. Don't busy yourself with chores that can wait until tomorrow. The only way you're going to get past something is to deal with it. The only way to fell a tree is to take swings at the trunk.
I am here for you. We will figure this out together.
I'm glad we had this talk. We'll talk again soon.