This whole thing is George’s fault.

I finally slept for more than a few hours in a row.  Oddly, I feel tired.  I think I’m hungover from too much sleep.  It’ll pass.  In the meantime, I’ll just be functioning in slow motion.  I think more when in this mode.  I’ve been pondering the obvious wrongness going on in our government.  I struggle to grasp the depravity of some elected officials meant to serve the people.  It lacks any logic.  I have a hard time processing illogical concepts.  My mind rebels.

I’m literal by default.  I always process the literal interpretation first, then run through a few alternatives.  When I’m overtired, stressed, or anxious, I tend to skip the latter and run with the literal.  It results in my looking foolish about 72% of the time.  The other 28% leaves me feeling awesome, so it feels fair enough.  I’m better at recovering from looking foolish, now.  It rarely involves tears these days.  I’ve developed a relatively efficient means of communicating in real time with others by trial and error.  It no longer feels like we’re speaking different languages at each other with no comprehension or interest in the other’s words.  Surprisingly, the most efficient way of conquering this issue was improving my listening skills, not my language skills.

My inability to control my adrenaline is a major factor.  It’s been the bain of my social existence.  For most of my life, having a conversation with someone has been barely worth the effort it takes to pull it off.  Connecting with someone is a nice prize, though.  I love people, they fascinate me.  There’s just so much to a person it boggles my mind.  So I keep trying.  I learned that conversations have a rhythm.  They’re more music than mathematics.  Conversations are dynamic and unpredictable.  No magical formula fits all situations.  Each conversation is unique and dependent on the participants.

Basically, it’s rocket science.  I’m not sure if I was pleased or disappointed to realize most people don’t have deep conversations on a regular basis.  Most people communicate pragmatically.  While it makes participation easier for me, it deflates my expectations gained from reading novels.  I’ve matured to the point where I don’t interrogate the people I meet to extract as much information about them as possible up front.  There were many things wrong with my technique.  But most importantly, it was because people didn’t know the answers to my questions.  They didn’t think about the things I wanted to know about them.  At best, they would tell me what they wanted me to think.

I learned there are many ways of processing the same information.  That’s remained a frustration.  It makes the word intuitive useless.  It explains why something I find hilarious might be offensive to someone else.  It’s unfortunate we don’t all prefer the funny interpretation by default.  I’d rather live in that world.  The laugh-a-lot world.  Well, I kinda do.  In my mind, I try to see the funny side of everything, but I’ve learned to keep it to myself.  I chose the disciplined path at the beginning of my adulthood on purpose.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned I was an arrogant smart-ass when I arrived at basic training.  The Army cured me.  Military discipline consists of forcing you to get over yourself through heavy labor, repetitive, nonsensical tasks, and humiliation until you see the error in your ways.  It’s as painful as it is effective.  The Army is twisted like that.

While I’m glad to have served, I don’t encourage others to do the same anymore.  The military is being built up for no reason while what America really needs is good, affordable healthcare.  Cancer, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, addiction, obesity, etc.  These are the enemies of the American people.  The lie that we’re in danger from radical Islamic terrorists is played out.  It’s bullshit.  Their threat is minuscule in comparison to the health problems killing off our people on a daily basis.  Our domestic terrorism problem is more severe and requires addressing, not pretending it isn’t happening.  The Muslim ban is an agenda by greedy contractors who want to earn billions from building up a military that already surpasses that of any other nation by a huge margin.  The entire war on terrorism is a front for lucrative government contracts to build up a military that wastes it’s excesses and is corrupt at it’s highest levels.

There are other paths.  Not everyone is an arrogant smart-ass at 17.  I had much of the benefit of ‘White Privilege’ growing up, merely by being raised by Caucasian parents.  I went to the same private schools, played on the same teams, and participated in the same Girl Scout troop.  I had the president of a major national bank as a mentor in Junior Achievement, too.  And more.  I’m in a unique position, but it’s one of sadness.  I’m grateful for my childhood, and sad it was a privilege, and not available to all children.  When I first heard the term, ‘White Privilege,’ I thought it was a racial slur.  Then I learned it’s just another part of systematic racism in America.  It’s not just a black or white issue, of course.  There are Caucasians who didn’t get as much privilege from their white skin as others with the same white skin.  It comes down to several factors, but primarily, if your family was poor, you probably got shafted.  That’s fucked up for the human race.

I believe the children are our future.  Okay, I promise I won’t upload a track of me singing like I think I’m Whitney.  I do believe it, though.  Our most important and valuable asset on earth is our children.  They hold the hope of humanity.  It’s obvious on a primal level.  No child born on this planet should go without proper nutrition, education, medical care, shelter, and loving caretakers.  Everything else we do on this planet is moot unless we do our best for the children.  Survival of the species is the goal.  Everything else depends on it.  We need to lengthen our views and stop repeating the histories that continue to hold us back.  It’s so simple it’s obscene.  Stop taking more than your share.  Make sure the children are well cared for first, then do what you need to do to enjoy your life without hurting things that are alive.  That’s it.  That’s all we have to do to succeed as a species.

I was just being folksy.

Today was informative.  It was a good day for The Resistance.  Visible effort is taking place to hold 45 accountable for his crimes.  Watching 45 tweet another lie during the meeting and get called out for being a fucking liar was icing on top.  The Obama administration came through for Flint, finally.  They were given the funds to fix their undrinkable water problem.  45 tried to take credit for this, too.  But in reality, it was Obama.

It sucks having a shitty used car salesman sitting in the White House, pretending to be a leader.  I’ll be glad when he’s in prison.  So anyway, I’m on book 8 of The Wheel of Time series now.  It’s my fourth time reading this series, but I still catch things I missed.  This is the series that convinced me to buy my first Kindle.  I like having the entire series in my hand.  I remember how awful it was as a kid to have to wait until the next trip to the library to continue reading.  I didn’t walk barefoot uphill both ways through 8 feet of snow, but it still sucked.

I’m working on a new song that’s been bugging me.  I got a software program with much better sounds for my midi drum kit.  I also got some gloves to prevent getting more blisters.  I suspect I hold the sticks too tightly.  I’m trying to be conscious of my posture while practicing, too.  I know from learning other instruments it’s harder to unlearn bad habits than it is to learn good ones.  I play better when I’m sitting properly.  I like practicing.  I have to remember to remove my FitBit before I practice, or it will tell me I ran a 5K while seated.  The first time I noticed this issue, I thought I was having a particularly hyper day before realizing it was from drumming.  I’m probably going to read all night again.  I’ve been having nightmares about the Florida inmate who was boiled to death by the guards who won’t be facing any consequences.  Sigh.

I trained those birds for 8 years!

Today flew by.  I read about #TrumpCuts.  It’s in keeping with GOP greed.  Apparently, fucking up affordable healthcare access with #TrumpCare wasn’t enough.  Now they want to eliminate the arts, Meals on Wheels, and PBS, for starters.  #TrumpCuts is brutal, but there will be no shortage of weapons.  They rolled out the sociopath, Mulvaney, to lie and deny.  He claimed programs like Meals on Wheels, and feeding poor kids at school to help them focus and learn aren’t working.  Naturally, he expected us to just take his word for it, as he offered no evidence to support his lie.  I did a bit of research and verified Mulvaney is full of shit.

The cost of 45’s golf vacations to Mar-a-Lago could have financed Meals on Wheels for more than a year.  And that’s not including the losses incurred by 45’s security violations and Russian spy passing.  This is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption floating in the swamp in D.C.  The corruption runs deep.  In the eight years of Obama’s presidency, apparently, the GOP put all their efforts into obstructing Congress.  They sure as fuck didn’t use that time to come up with a decent candidate to run against Hillary Clinton.  Watching the GOP fuckups point out each other’s flaws and corruption during the primaries was bad enough.  That they continue to support 45 is astonishing.

At least until I remember many of the GOP leaders are complicit in #RussiaGate.  We have an Attorney General who lied under oath, then lied about lying under oath, all while being a racist piece of shit.  The swamp is dark and vile.  Ew.  Fortunately, America is her people.  The vast majority of Americans aren’t millionaires or billionaires.  We work to get by.  Some of us aren’t able to work, and are forced to make ends meet with very little.  Most of us manage.

Part of what makes it possible are the programs that exist to ensure Americans are getting their most basic needs met, even when things are rough financially.  I mean programs like a free breakfast for kids from poor families.  Hungry people can’t concentrate.  If a child is too distracted by an empty stomach, that child is not only missing out on their education, they’re also probably acting out and distracting other students.  Humans do that when they’re hungry and have no food, (not just children).

Meals on Wheels is an excellent program.  It helps seniors remain independent in their own homes, even when they don’t have relatives or neighbors who look in on them.  I enjoy volunteering for them.  It’s as good for my mental health as it is for my clients.  Helping others is a great way to boost your self-worth.  Imagine how nice America would be if we all had a healthy sense of our own worth?

Since I have no actual representation in Congress from my own state, (just three people who probably wish I’d move to California with the rest of the “hippies”) I’ve decided to do what I can.  If the mad budget proposal passes, I’ll volunteer to fill some of the holes.  Someone on Twitter suggested we all adopt a senior.  I think that’s a good idea.  We should become better neighbors and help each other through this regime.

Hopefully, he’ll be impeached and imprisoned, but in the meantime, it doesn’t take much time to knock on a senior neighbors door and make sure they’re doing alright.  You could even give them your email and cell number in case they need help.  As a kid, my parents expected us to shovel and mow the yards of our elderly neighbors.  I thought this was the law until I left for the Army and compared notes with others.  When growing up, our neighbors were part of our everyday lives.

If the tornado sirens went off, my job was to run down the street to the Avon lady’s house and let her know because she’s deaf.  The old woman on the corner used to give me a cookie when I picked up her prescription at the drugstore.  That was a big deal because my Mom didn’t allow junk food.  Forgetting my Mom had eyes in the back of her head, I would stuff it in my mouth and chew furiously to remove any evidence before I got home.

There are so many little things we can do to help each other out.  If a neighbor just had a baby, it’s a lovely thing to stop by and tell the new parents to take a nap while you guard the baby for a while.  It’s also a good way for preteens to ease into babysitting alone.  The parents are still in the home if anything comes up.  I’ve never met a parent that didn’t want a nap.  As an adult, I do laundry and tidying up too.  I have two new mothers as neighbors in my building.  I don’t think one of them speaks much English, but she knew the universal sign for sleep.  It was so cute.  Also, I love rocking babies.

I know not everyone has time to do a lot for others, but I firmly believe every little bit helps.  Often, making a donation is just as effective.  Helping is something we all can do.  I think it’s important to connect with our neighbors.  Lots of things in life happen without our having any control.  When we look out for each other, life is better for all of us, no matter what the GOP tries to inflict.

I know there are lots of Gen-X’ers who have hidden talents.  Many of us are musicians, hackers, makers, entrepreneurs, and just generally excellent.  Okay, I’m biased.  I just want to encourage people who possess these skills to teach a child.  If they try to take the arts away, nobody will be able to stop us from bringing them right back immediately.  The people who are children now will still grow up to be rock stars, scientists, educators, and everything else they want to be.  Let’s do whatever we can to make sure they get their chance, too.  I’m off to read.

Do hooks make it more attractive, Jerry?

I developed a girl-crush on Rachel Maddow tonight.  I was hoping for more than she revealed, but I refuse to let that quell my excitement.  It’s very probable the leak came from 45’s regime.  It’s the base level clever we’ve come to expect from them.  It’s strangely disappointing how poorly 45 and his gang cover their asses.  Granted they’re not yet rotting in cages, I’m still astonished by how much has been revealed.  I know the corruption goes beyond what I can imagine in both depth and manner.  I didn’t watch The Sopranos, but I saw enough clips to grasp the ruthlessness of mobsters.    I understand ruthlessness.  The Army is ruthless.  I’ll admit, it upset me when I actually apprehended what it means.  It’s cold and uncompromising.

Ruthlessness is a trigger for me.  I’ve accepted I’ll have nightmares about too specific situations in which I encounter ruthlessness for the rest of my life.  The absence of mercy is a giant red flag that says, “Not Human.”  PTSD has ingrained this trigger on my psyche, and I don’t know how to remove it.  So instead, I changed how I feel about it.  I’ve analyzed it while comfortably numb, and have concluded my reaction’s too big. I know how to cope with pain and fear.  I’m not afraid of dying.  So in reality, I’m not as vulnerable as I assumed.  My Kryptonite is other people, especially young people.  I have no tolerance for human suffering.  It’s worse than dying to me.  Much worse.  I think others who have PTSD will understand what I mean.  We’ve been stressed to the limit of survival.  It changes us physiologically and psychologically.

It leaves a scar on our souls.  The scar is extra sensitive to certain situations beyond logic.  When triggered, our minds can get hijacked and trick us into thinking we’re in a life or death situation.  Or even convince us horrible things are happening all over again.  It makes you feel like you don’t have sufficient control over your own mind at times.  That’s always fun.  Sometimes I just feel so proud of anyone with PTSD who still finds the courage to leave their home.  When the above can occur at any time, agoraphobia is always a few excuses away.  I use humor to cope with my quirks.  I’d rather laugh at myself and visualize what I must have looked like when I did whatever than feel humiliated.  I make up for my unfunniness by tripping over dust and falling up stairs.  I’d probably be huge in France.  I just made myself snort.

I love Pi day.  Mostly because it involves cake.  I roll out my useless skill #19 and recite Pi until I see something shiny.  It tickles me so much that people are impressed by it.  It usually makes me laugh through it.  I always want to say, “Up next, I’m going to wiggle all my fingers at the same time!”  I’m off to read.

What do you expect when your name rhymes with part of the female anatomy?

It finally stopped snowing.  I had an easy day today.  It allowed me to wrestle with religion internally for most of the day.  I mentioned I’m failing as an atheist, so I decided to try a different approach.  Since I’m indoctrinated as a Christian, I’m guilty of overlooking the rituals and doctrine of any other religions.  It’s because I never felt interested in other faiths.  In fact, I was conditioned to avoid learning about other religions.  I suspect this is true with non-Christians, too.  It’s practically taboo.  (I love that word.)  Unfortunately, it’s no excuse since I’m American.  We’re people of all faiths and none.  I realized it makes me an asshole not to lift a finger to educate myself about what is paramount to so many Americans.  My bad.

I’ll be studying Islam first.  I want to understand because it’s the shortest path to love.  I lived with a Muslim family for a year in Saudi, but my focus was on language.  I was also unable to be present when I socialized at that time.  When I’m on auto-pilot, I remember what goes on around me like it’s a dream.  Sometimes I can easily recall, and other times it’s just out of reach.  It was something I did unconsciously whenever my anxiety surged.  I’m better at controlling my anxiety in social situations now.  There’s still room for improvement, however.  Part of what I’m calling an improvement is my ability to dodge social situations when I’m not in the mood.  Recognizing I was allowed to say no was all that was holding me back.  (Embarrassing)

I looked into purchasing a gun earlier.  The laws are shockingly lax in South Dakota.  I discovered I can legally own an M-16 A2 (semi-automatic assault rifle!) without the hassle of a permit.  That’s the first weapon I ever fired.  I went from crying because it scared the shit out of me to acquiring sharpshooter status in a week.   Being afraid helped me aim well.  I never allowed my myself to overthink the ethical issues of killing as a soldier.  I wasn’t a conscientious objector exactly… I just decided if I found myself in a kill or be killed situation, it was game over for me.  It was too abstract to ponder much.  When I saw the racist senator from Iowa call for ethnic cleansing, I started thinking maybe a gun would be nice.  Then I lost my fury while researching options and reading an article about a bill to legalize silencers.  Are you fucking kidding me?  So… Yeah.  Fuck it.  If a racist piece of shit wants to shoot me, come at me.  Then rot in a cage, beast.

This is your solution? To ruin the bike?

I reset the few clocks that don’t do it automatically while wondering why all clocks haven’t gained this boost in efficiency.  The stove and microwave are guilty of failing to evolve.  I’m appalled that cameras inside refrigerators were deemed necessary before appliance clocks that automatically adjust themselves to my time zone.  Okay, I’m over it.  Back to marveling at human behavior.  I’ve noticed a lot of people value wealth regardless of how it’s acquired.  Disturbing.  I acknowledge this isn’t a new development.

Criminals have always been respected and admired by some people.  Hollywood certainly pays tribute.  Being governed by a criminal gang led by Puppet Master Putin is relevant to my daily life.  I see 45 secretly had hundreds of former lobbyists and other shady characters installed in government positions while neglecting to appoint the thousands of positions still vacant.  He got turned down multiple times by men who refused to take any part in the raping of America.  Yay for decency and good character.

45’s agenda is no secret, but his supporters seem to be the only ones unaware of his plan.  Bannon wants to destroy America.  The GOP supports the destruction of America because 45 promised to end legal abortions.  The few who needed more incentive were satisfied with the tax cuts for the wealthy.  That’s all that concerns the GOP leaders.  More money, and more control over women.  Their actions fact check my statements.  The anti-abortionists cling tightly to their stance because it’s the one thing in their lives they truly believe is a Christian act.  It makes the rest of their hypocrisy easier to disregard.

Rupert Murdoch’s complicity by allowing Fox News to air blatant lies as truth, but always in 45’s favor, makes him an accomplice.  It arouses my curiosity about his role in Brexit.  There are ties between Brexit and the ongoing rape of America.  The instability is likely attractive to Puppet Master Putin.  There just isn’t enough money and power to satiate the overwhelming greed of these men.  It’s fascinating.

The few things they all have in common is their hatred of brown skin and women, which is precisely what made 45 so attractive to half of America.  Misogyny and racism are as American as Spam, (the “meat,” not the digital sort).  I’m going to go ahead and call them symptoms because this is clearly a disorder suffered by 45 and his string pullers.  Megalomania doesn’t fully encompass it.  Add delusions, because they certainly don’t live in reality.  (They believe reality is whatever the fuck they say it is, or else.)

A propensity for violence against women and children is another trait.  The Bill Cosby disorder is highly prevalent among these entities.  They all feel entitled to beat and molest at will, and unfortunately, the consequences are most often non-existent.  Our species still hasn’t evolved to the point where rape is considered a crime.  There have been successful convictions, but the victim has to endure being raped all over again before justice is even considered.  We’re almost to the point of full consensus on murder being a crime, though.  Yay us.  Sigh.

I saw another article about the ongoing epidemic of opiate addiction.  I don’t know of anything being done to curtail this problem.  I think it’s agreed the issue came about from the over prescribing of opiate pain medication.  What I find interesting is the fact that this is a crisis mainly affecting Caucasians.  I know part of why is because of subtle racism in the medical field.  I’ve mentioned before some doctors don’t think POC feel pain as strongly as Caucasians.  It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true, and I’ve experienced it first hand with a dentist.  It’s astonishing ignorance.

Some doctors don’t prescribe narcotic pain medications to black people because deep down they think we’re all inherently addicts, and they don’t want to contribute to drug abuse.  More startling ignorance I’ve experienced first hand.  When crack was the epidemic in inner-cities, there was a war on drugs.  The violent crackdown on inner-city POC resulted in a lot of money made by unethical people who profit from prisons.  I’ve heard the rumors about crack planted in inner-city neighborhoods by the CIA in the ’80’s.  I haven’t decided if I believe yet.  It’s believable, though.

Living with brown skin my entire life makes things like that easily believable.  I’ve seen and experienced enough to know there are lots of people who would gladly participate in such actions.  One hour of reading threads beneath tweets by Hillary Clinton is probably a shortcut to the same conclusion.  First, a Russian hacker will tweet something hateful and misogynistic, followed by like-minded Americans gleefully joining in.  It’s such a filthy thing to witness it requires bathing afterward.

I realize few of them would behave in such a manner if they were held accountable for their words.  I’m still baffled by those who participate, knowing it’s only a matter of time before their identities become apparent to even the laziest hacker.  I keep telling people what they say on the internet can and will come back to haunt them.  It’s not my problem if they don’t listen.

Stop smelling your arm!

It’s been a long week.  I had to turn on the heat to maintain a comfy 65°F in my apartment.  It’s rarely necessary to run the heat, but my blood thinned when Mother Nature psyched us out with warm temperatures last week.  I’m still pissed off by the Trumpcare proposal.  You’d think it was written by a lobbyist representing the insurance companies.  Part of me thinks it was written this way deliberately, knowing it wouldn’t pass, to distract us from RussiaGate.  Another part suspects it will pass as written because money is valued more than people on Earth.

I feel like Congress is leading us on about RussiaGate.  I haven’t allowed myself to believe they’ll do anything to stop 45’s treason.  I guess you can say I don’t have a lot of faith in Congress.  Because most people don’t even bother voting, it’s easy to imagine everyone getting re-elected no matter how poorly they represent us.  I remember how hyped up people were for Bernie Sanders.  I also remember how few of them bothered to vote in the primaries, and then how shocked they were when he lost.

I have a hard time processing human behavior.  The more I observe, the more I feel like an alien.  I don’t understand how a species with such a strong survival instinct is so self-destructive.  We’re terminally shortsighted.  It makes me sad because we have so much potential, but we waste it on envy and hatred.  People are more concerned about a person’s net worth than their character.  They consider the person with more wealth the better person.  That’s so fucked up.  Especially considering the majority who possess vast wealth didn’t earn it and have no incentive to be considerate of others.

On top of that, the majority of obscenely rich people acquired the riches by unethical means.  Drumpf family wealth is from prostitution.  Now 45 is under scrutiny for being bankrolled by Russia.  There’s no pathway to multiple billions of dollars that doesn’t include fucking over others on the way.  So I guess I’m not as upset as I could be while watching my species self-destruct.  I’m more saddened by the loss of what could have been than what is.  Because what is probably shouldn’t survive.  And on that cheerful note, I’m off to read.

Is your father also in a Red Chinese prison?

Words escape me, so I’ve borrowed some from Nine Inch Nails (Every Day is Exactly the Same).  I’ll be listening to With Teeth on repeat while running on the treadmill until exhaustion because I fucking love irony.

I believe I can see the future
‘Cause I repeat the same routine
I think I used to have a purpose
But then again, that might have been a dream

I think I used to have a voice
Now I never make a sound
I just do what I’ve been told
I really don’t want them to come around

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I can feel their eyes are watching
In case I lose myself again
Sometimes I think I’m happy here
Sometimes, yet I still pretend

I can’t remember how this got started
But I can tell you exactly how it will end

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I’ll write it on a little piece of paper
I’m hoping, someday, you might find
Well I’ll hide it behind something
They won’t look behind

I am still inside her
A little bit comes bleeding through
I wish this could’ve been any other way
But I just don’t know, I don’t know what else I can do

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

Some woman named Uma.

The weather has been bizarre today.  It got up to 72°F, then began cooling off quickly after the sun went down.  Now it’s 32°F and raining and snowing at the same time.  At least I didn’t wash my car today.  I tried to do sarcasm on Twitter again.  I think I finally pulled it off, but I’m not sure.  I found out people don’t like explaining why things are funny, ironic, or ignorant on Twitter.  So I don’t ask anymore.  I noticed the proposed health care plan today.  As predicted, it’s bullshit.  I honestly think they weren’t ready but rolled it out anyway to deflect from 45’s Twitter tantrum over the weekend.

I’m hopeful there are more Republicans in Congress who will stand up to the predator known as 45.  I wish I could loan them my ovarian fortitude.  I’m astonished by how many have refused to meet with their constituents, citing their inability to endure a verbal lashing from their constituents for gross misrepresentation.  Unbelievable.  I’ll be sure my votes reflect my disgust.

Does Ben Carson know he’s black?  I’d like to see his medical degree along with 45’s taxes because I don’t understand how he’s allowed to hold sharp things.  At least Saturday Night Live is hilarious again.  The Sessions Forest Gump skit made me worry about disturbing my neighbors from laughing so hard.  I’m taking a break between books in The Wheel of Time series to read The Gam3 by Cosimo Yap.  I’m enjoying it so far.  A few more books are being released soon;  The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi and Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson.  Yay squared.  Off to read.