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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
6:18 pm - If I were a superhero, I would certainly not wear tights

Captain Smarty Pants

My powers would be to raise the intellect of everyone around me to elevate the discourse around me, and when them whim suited me, I'd use it to help world governments get their stuff straight.

(Cry for me?)

Monday, January 26th, 2009
8:26 am - If I could tame a wild animal

En Garde! by Kevin Pack (Cynergist)

I'd want a prairie dog. As I'm not home much a large animal probably wouldn't do well because it'd eat the dog I already have and then I'd be upset at it. So, I think I little prairie dog would be my speed. I could teach it tricks and let it run around the house while I'm home, but then put it on a run line outback or crate it when I'm not.

(1 Tear shed | Cry for me?)

Saturday, January 24th, 2009
9:30 am - My road-trip mix tape

You're gonna go far kid by Offspring

Because it's about going far, duh. I know it's not necessarily about going far traveling, but the beat itself makes me want to put the pedal down.

Tangled up in blue by Bob Dylan

This is a song about a wanderer, who travels from place to place looking for a home/job/love whatever. At each place though he tells the story about the interesting people he met there and the things he did.

Perfect blue buildings by Counting Crows

This song just always made me think of leaving. While it's about a single place, it always made me think of driving through a town at night; while all the people are resting in their "perfect blue buildings" I am traveling on.

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Monday, March 13th, 2006
11:36 pm - I will not be an enemy of anything
“I guess there might not be too many who would stand beside you now
Where'd you come from? Where am I going?
Why'd you leave me 'till I'm only good for...
Waiting for you
All my sins...
I said that I would pay for them if I could come back to you”

I have, as odd as it sounds, found a new sort of spirituality while attending AA meetings with my clients. I think it’s the spirituality I needed to see—faith in action. People going to church and going through the motions because they feel the need to be faithful was not leading me where I needed to be. I guess what I have seen is there is a difference between being faithful and faith in action. What I have seen in the AA meetings has been faith in action. I have been able to witness the strength of faith over coming addiction. It’s almost real, almost tangible in those situations. I needed to see faith healing, not faith preventing. I use faith preventing as attending church in order to prevent illness, death, hell. All of that is well and good, but faith in those situations is not really quite as apparent, it doesn’t stand on it’s own. People heal because of doctors, and things work out in their lives for other things… I’m not quite sure how to fully explain that thought. But the faith of those in AA it is through their faith that they abstain, while it is ultimately up to them to abstain, they draw strength through their belief in a higher power, and it’s been an interesting experience for me to witness.

On that note, I led an AA meeting the other day and came across a passage that really resonated with me.

”Meditation”Collapse )

I have spent several years saying that I am agnostic, “not knowing,” as it was. And I’ve faced people who have been like just make up your mind. I find the concept that the not knowing being a source of creativity and stimulating right on target. If I did not have faith/want to believe, I would claim atheism and not agonize over/argue the existence of god. The energy that I relay in defending my belief of not knowing, is counterpointed by the fact, that to not know, I have to have some concept that there is something or I would just say there is nothing.

Just some random thoughts I’ve had…. I’ll leave it with the quote that actually preceded the meditation.

“Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” --Will Durant


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Monday, March 6th, 2006
11:32 pm - This is why I don't believe
...in a just world.

If we lived in a just world God would smite out those who hate in his name....

Protesting funerals of soldiers who fight for a country that harbors homosexuals

(1 Tear shed | Cry for me?)

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
11:45 pm - Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
I was thinking more on what I wrote a couple of nights ago about the sense of being lost in the middle. And in this process of thinking I thought of two things. The first tied into some of what I was saying last time. In this day and age it seems like we live in a material culture, and as such there is always something, new, better, must have, etc etc, you've seen the ads. It seems to me that part of this plays into our disatisfaction. We have everything that we need where we are. I think of grandparents/parents living in post-depression, WWII eras, who had next to nothing and were content with the food they had and their families/communties, because that's all they had. There was no new/better/next best thing. You had what you had and while you may have wanted more, more was not a reality. It is a tantalizing reality for us. Especially when it is flaunted in our face with things like cribs, etc. I can't tell you how much it frustrates me that Justin Timberlake, who is approximately my age, had a signing bonus that is probably more than I will ever make in my life. The second part of this is the absence of god. While I am all for existentialism and living for the moment, it can very easily go too far and turn into this materialistic vacuum. For many people god keeps them future focused, i.e. this is the reward I will recieve in the next life time. I think for others it provides a fulfillment for the moment. We are spiritually full, therefore we want not/need not. God is missing though. And I'm the last person to speak on the absence of god, trust me. But I wonder if the absence of spirituality feeds this empty space. If through good works and good deeds, belief in something greater than ourselves, would it put into perspective the petty desire for a plasma TV? I don't know. God and I have a strained relationship at best, just thoughts that I have floating around. I'm going to try to start writing here regularly again, but at a deeper level than before. We'll see how it will go.

(1 Tear shed | Cry for me?)

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
12:01 am - Mixing the bad with the good
Nohari's Window

The negative traits to contrast the positive (keep filling out the positive though, please). Let me know what you think, even if you post anonymous, I'm still curious.

And thanks again to steelvictory

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Saturday, February 11th, 2006
9:39 pm - I always wonder...
...What others think of me.

Let me know by completing the following...

Johari's Window

It's fun and neat and if you answer you can go and create your own!

You know you want to!

Stolen from steelvictory

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Thursday, February 9th, 2006
11:51 pm - She says she's no good with words but I'm worse
Sometimes I understand how my clients feel. The concept of wanting to be better now. Or the idea of not having a problem, but here we sit any ways. I've got no reason to feel any thing other than ecstatic. I'm young, employed, all the world's my oyster bs and what not. So why more often than not do I feel blah and stuck? I know enough to know it's not clinical. I sleep well, I eat well, and I wouldn't even say it's a persistent down mood. It's just kind of like a funny haze. Part of me wonders if it's generational. I've heard a lot of my friends echo the same things, we're malcontent without reason. We're the children of the middle class with everything before us--maybe it's that middle part that is catching us. We're not wealthy enough to be resigned to poverty or to shooting to super stardom and we're not rich enough to sit on our laurels and hobnob with the elite. So here we find ourselves with things that should content, but they breed disconent. We're poor enough to recognize we could do better, but rich enough to know that if we don't we'll still be okay. There's no motivation. So we stall. What can we complain about? We're out on our own and gainfully employed, but there's this marxian raven sitting above the door watching us and whispering to us. We don't see our labors either from not working with our hands or being at the top and watching it trickle down. I don't know where I'm going with this. I need a change, but it's taking a while to feel entitled to that change, to have permission to be discontent and to want to do better. But I'm moving or trying to.

I have an interview in DC tomorrow. Wish me luck.

(8 Tears shed | Cry for me?)

Thursday, January 26th, 2006
11:12 pm - Isn't it ironic don't you think?
After I write an entry about the people who are no longer in my life, there's a major loss in my life. Go figure. This won't be a novel quite like the past two entries, I just wanted to thank those of you who wrote in/IMed in support (especially support all the way from China ;-) (thanks beijingblonde). I do appreciate all of it. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
11:47 pm - And I'm sure the view from heaven beats the hell out of mine here
Hear You Me My FriendCollapse )

My grandmother passed away on Thursday. She was 85. The best I can tell it was a good death. I had seen her last Monday for Denny's birthday and we all went out to dinner. She had a stomach virus on like Tuesday or Wednesday, but said she was feeling better on Thursday. Mom went out to lunch and when she came home she found her. Grandmother never wanted anyone to have to take care of her, so I guess this was the best way for her to go. She spent her whole life taking care of others and didn't want to burden others with taking care of her.

I think the loss of her has hit me the hardest, just because it seems like the end of a series. After grandfather passed away I still had mom, dad, and grandmother. Then dad passed away, and it was just mom and grandmother. Then when grandmother passed away it just all kind of came crashing down. It's like I have no one else to lose. And I think part of it was the loss of like 40 years of family history (mom's about 45). I walked around the house while I was there alone and ever where were memories. Not necessarily my memories, but memories of other people--exemplified in pictures and things. And even the house it's self has 40 years of family history. Mom grew up there, I grew up there, my brother grew up there, my cousins grew up there. It was a joke that just about everyone in my family lived in the house with grandmother. But the memories and the things belonged to her and brought her joy; while they aren't completely void of emotions, I know we cannot enjoy them as much as she did. I walked into her closet and it was filled with pictures of the family, a closet only she went into.

Which plays into my other sense of loss. She was the last person who loved me unconditionally when she didn't have to. It's not that my mother doesn't love me or that I don't have friends who love me (as a friend pointed out), but that she didn't have to love me as unconditionally as she did. Dad adopted me as his own son, even when it would have been easier not to; grandmother and grandfather took me and raised me as one of their own when they didn't have to. These people loved me for the sake of loving me, and they put themselves out for me because of that love.

And I think that's what exemplified grandmother was love. She loved her family and her history. She loved it so much she pulled into the circle of the family distant distant relatives and made connections that most people wouldn't bother making. She loved unconditionally, no matter how bad the family f--ed up she was there for them, despite the thoughts/wishes of other family members. She was described as the glue of the family, and it'll be curious what happens to the family in her absence. I'm sure we'll stick together, but holiday gatherings and what not, it'll be interesting.

The first day after her death the mail came and there were letters to 3 ghosts. Not one of the departed, but all 3 who used to live in the house. I went 20 years without suffering any major losses in my life. But the past 6 have more than made up for it (02, 04, 06). Not including interpersonal losses along the way, which have also had a profound impact on my life and the way I look at the ways I'm doing things.

Which ties into the last part. I think the last bit of over whelming sadness was she was one of the last truly good people I know. In a world of ambiguous morality (and I know am in this category), she stood out as a beacon of what was good and what was right. She was love personified. She was no saint, but at the end of the day she was a good person; an example to live by. She has left big shoes to fill.

I loved my grandmother, without a doubt. But I think the profound impact of this was she was the last retaining wall of all these ideals and things I held constant--the loss of history, the loss of unconditional love, the loss of a wonderful person, and the loss of a mentor. Until her I always had someone else to fall back on for those things. None of this is meant to devalue my mother or anyone else in my family, but I don't know how else to explain it.

I wanted to be elegant and I wanted to be profound, but there are just so many thoughts roaming through my head. The bottom line is just that I have experienced great loss, but I have been blessed to have had my life touched by these people in even the smallest way (not to say that the effect on my life has in any way been small).

I Think God Can ExplainCollapse )

(3 Tears shed | Cry for me?)

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006
12:07 am - Another soul on the lost highway
I know I haven't written here in awhile. I've been searching out what I wanted to say and this isn't all of it, it's just a fraction of it, but here it is none-the-less.

I've been doing this substance abuse thing for a mere 3 months. Not too long at all, but in my position at this organization, it's been more than long enough, but I digress. In my time there I've been going to AA meetings once a week, so I've been to about 12 AA meetings. Of course in AA is the 12 steps, I'll let you look them up online if you're really curious (it'll be motivational to look up, and perhaps inspiring to someone out there; just doing my part). At any rate, Step 4 is Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. And Step 8 is Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Lastly, Step 10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Steps 4 and 10 are hard for sober people. I believe it was Freud who said "the unexamined life is not worth living" (any one who knows the correct author of the quote feel free to correct me). And the majority of us think that we've examined our lives, and for the most part we are fooling ourselves. We are illusions looking at illusions of illusions. Just as the mirror can only reflect what it sees, so can we only see about ourselves what we see. And life is social. It involves more than just us. Living an examined life means not only looking at yourself, but allowing yourself to be looked at by others. This last part I have always had difficulty with. I've always been the listener/problem solver for others. And with that comes the responsibility, in my mind, of being infallible. How can the advice giver, the entrustee of secrets have flaws? So I've always been less than forth coming with what is inside of me. It has taken me a long time to begin to open up. I have just begun to open up. I realize that I am quite a ways behind the curb. I didn't/haven't expected my friends to support me in my frailities, so instead i pushed them away through logic, pride, or some other defense mechanism. And I've made more than my share of painful mistakes coming to this realization. And I'm sure I'll make a lot more mistakes before it even begins to sink in. A metaphor if I may. I used to live by the ideal of a chain is only a strong as it's weakest link. Show no chinks and the chain is unbreakable, or damn tough at worst. Then I realized we are not chains. We are humans, and as such we bleed. When we bleed we scar, and our scars are stronger than what was originally there. And while we have to bear the marks of our own wounds, our friends are the bandages and stiches that keep us together, keep us from bleeding out. They can't heal us, but they can help us. I'm trying to learn, I'm trying to let go. And it's hard. Trust can be betrayed. Hope can lead to disappointment. If we trust ourselves and believe in ourselves, we'll never be disappointed right? No. That's the illusion observing the illusion. It's not seeing what others are seeing. Those social parts that leave us because we are so focused on self preservation that we lose sight of social preservation. My thoughts on the 4th and 10th step are just to illustrate my focus on the 8th step. When one lives for oneself, one needs make no appologies. I can understand the fear and apprehension individuals in recovery feel about this step. Having to think about and approach all those individuals that you have harmed. At least in there case they have alcohol or drugs to shoulder some of the blame (not that I am saying by any means that alcohol or drugs are an excuse), but without them, there is nothing to point the finger at other than ourselves. We are the root cause for the pain and hurt of others. To accept that logically is one thing, but to speak to it and verbalize it emotionally is terrifying. First to admit that you were wrong and you have harmed someone, an act of humility, but this is followed by the concept attempting to make amends, exposing yourself and your errors before people that you hurt with the expectation that, if not recieve the appology, at least hear it. This ties back into the trust and hope concept. You open yourself to trusting that they will at least hear it, with the hope that they will accept it and offer forgiviness. Step 8 makes promises of neither. It is a complete vunerability. Where this fits in in my life is with my opening up to friends. As I am openning up and sharing myself and the things I struggle with, I am constantly confronted with the ideas of all those other people who could still be in my life and I would want to still have in my life at this particular moment when the walls are coming down as I'm trying to share myself in the same ways I expected others to share themselves, if I had been more open then, more receptive of things outside of myself instead of going by the internal mirror. I've lost a lot of people that are important to me, and a lot of them I do not know how to even get in touch with them to ask for forgiveness. Maybe some of them will read it here, and maybe they'll think that it's a triffle, and I can't say I'd blame them for the way I have been. When I started out writing this I thought about including a short list of people that have meant a lot to me and the grievance and forgiveness I am asking for them. I thought about it, but then realized it would be completely against the step and would trivialize the process to put up blurbs of forgiveness. So I won't. And maybe some day I'll figure out how to make amends.

To those of you who still read this who feel I have wronged you, I want to say sorry, but I don't even know where to begin. Sorry doesn't cover it. Let alone in this form. There's a long road ahead of me and I'm just looking for some where to begin when the past is always right there.

I appreciate everyone bearing with me through the semi-dialectic thinking out my thoughts. And I know they don't make total sense... I had an idea of how I wanted to end it, now I don't know how and it just seems hollow.

GhostCollapse )

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Sunday, December 11th, 2005
11:41 pm - At Diane's request....
"Ground rules: The first player of this "game" starts with the topic "Five Weird Habits of Yourself" and the people who get tagged need to then write a LJ entry about their five quirky little habits as well as state the rules of this game clearly. In the end, you need to list the next five people who you want to tag."

Five Weird Habits of Me

1. I hated snow with a passion when I lived in PA. Now I really really really wish it would freakin snow. I believe the weather conspires against me.

2. I have a fascination with talk radio; especially with radio hosts that piss me off.

3. I use biore nose strips. Nasal hygine is important to me.

4. I steal things of a trivial value; namely signs from resturants (i.e. employees must wash hands, no smoking, etc).

5. I enjoy sending random anti-drug postcards to my friends (if you'd like one just email me your address).

I tag....

(2 Tears shed | Cry for me?)

11:13 pm - "Not every friend would do THAT"
Went up to Richmond to see E yesterday. It was an awesome time we painted to town red... i.e. drank like fish. It was a good time though, I'd been looking to go crazy for awhile and I found an appropriate venue. E and I are complete opposites which is why we get along so well; we'd probably stab each other if we weren't friends. During the course of the night I acquired I flag though, which was fun, pictures can be found at My Space. That's the excitement of the weekend, I'm sure I'll think about writing something more substantial later.

(Cry for me?)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
11:47 pm - Neither here nor there
5:42Collapse )


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11:42 pm - It's quiet now and what it brings is everything...
It’s been awhile… about a month to be approximate.

I looked ahead
I'm sure I saw you there

It has been a weird four months or so, and I don’t think I really appreciated until I was cut off from the outside world for a month (the internet went down, and I have no idea where it went but it’s back). And in this time I can to examine my old adage of “what ever your problems are, they all have one common denominator—you.” My pride I’ve always said was my deadly sin, and it really is. My inability to say I’m sorry when I’m wrong and own my mistakes has always caused me trouble. I have seen it as a strength, my ability to separate myself from my short comings and keep going. I’ve learned that’s not a very effective method of dealing with things when others are involved.

Now life is sweet
And what it brings
I tried to take
But loneliness
It wears me out
It lies in way

There have been good things though. I spent several months with a sense of gnawing loneliness, something that I was at fault for myself again. I have drifted from my friends, so recently I have been trying to reconnect, and I have come to cherish friends that I have not talked to in a while. Being close to friends and people who care for me is one of the biggest driving forces behind me looking to relocate and find a new job (well that and wanting to deal more with people and less with paper).

And all not lost
Still in my eyes
The shadow of necklace
Across your thigh
I might've lived my life in a dream, but I swear
This is real

And I’ve started dating again. Kim and I have been going out from about the beginning of November. It’s been a bit of a departure for me, and I’ll leave it at that. She’s a sweet girl and I’ve had fun being with her. I apologize for not elaborating, but I’m not sure what I want to say. I do care about her, I am just not up to putting it all out there at this point. We will leave it at she is a wonderful person and that I am enjoying the time we spend together.

Memory fuses and shatters like glass
Mercurial future, forget the past
It's you, it's what I feel

We always promise change, but do we ever change? I don’t know. And I understand I’ve been vague. I know the words that go in the blanks on this page in my head. My journal is public but my thoughts are still private, I haven’t achieved that level of comfort with the world yet….

For better or worse though, I think I’m back.

You might have succeeded in changing me
I might have been turned around

It's easier to leave than to be left behind

(Cry for me?)

Friday, November 4th, 2005
12:04 am - "...what if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace
My co-worker had a girl brought in today by a co-workers mother for her therapy appointment. Once she got there it was obvious that everything was not all right. She had taken X amount of sleeping pills, where X = no one knows how many. We had to call the paramedics who had to take her out of the place; they were having trouble keeping her conscious as they were taking her out.

That's bad, but it gets worse.

I always feel weird talking about rape, like it's not my place to say anything, or I don't really understand it because I'm male. But I realize that's the same excuse for not being a feminist, which is a poor excuse. So, if I offend I apologize, but I feel like I would be doing more of a disservice by not saying anything.

So prior to her suicide attempt she had been date raped. And prior to that, she had been sexually abused by different people when she was between 5-10. She had actively been seeking counseling and felt like she had dealt with her past issues until the most recent incident, basically traumatized her by it's very nature, and then brought back all of her past feelings.

I feel like rape is handled too lightly in our culture. Lets start at the very basic level of suicide/suicide attempts. If a person attempts, or does commit suicide as a direct result of rape, shouldn't the person who assaulted them be charged with murder or attempted murder? If cult leaders can be sentenced for enticing others to death, shouldn't the same hold true for someone who sexually assaults someone, and there upon commits suicide? But this nation understands money, so lets talk money. The money it takes to hospitalize and treat acute rape survivors; the money it takes for counseling treatment after an assault; the money lost in the work force for being hospitalized and receiving counseling. It's a loss of productivity and an increase in medical care costs if you want to be base about it. This is not to mention the trials and the appeals if it actually makes it to trial. And then repeat offenders, who double, triple, and quadruple the previously mentioned monetary factors. And this isn't even talking on the human cost. This has been a very abstract discussion not talking on what it does to the individual, their relationships, their families, their goals and dreams. We put people away for crazy amounts of time for violating our privacy or our home, what about those that violate the most intimate areas of our lives?

I'm just frustrated. Some times the world is a scary place for me, because I see what it can be like out there, and it's hard to remember that's not the way it is all the time... but it's so hard to remember. Some nights I just want to curl up and have someone tell me that it's okay. Though I'd rather know than not... we cannot fight an enemy that we cannot see.

(Cry for me?)

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
11:05 pm - Time is all I have to give...
I went to my first AA meeting today. It was quite interesting. I don't know what I was expecting, but I can definitely understand the appeal. The emotion that these people spoke with and the conviction of their faith was quite astonishing to witness as an outsider. That and it was people in all walks of life, from business suits to sweat pants. It was good though. And after going to just one meeting I can see why it is so beneficial to so many people, and why it's semi-mandated in most cases. I know now, after going, that I will include a much stronger push in my own practice of counseling.

Speaking of. Two things.

Got an interview in Richmond on Monday with an intensive outpatient group. Basically it's a prison alternative for substance abuse violations. They promised me less paperwork and more client contact, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Plus it's a four day week, with a three day weekend every week. How sweet is that?

Also, starting training to get my crisis certification. Which, if I'm switching jobs, I'm going to try to haul ass through. It involves a ton of movies (I feel asleep during suicidality screening, so I had to go back and watch it again), a 4 hour ride along with the police, a 4 hour inservice with the hospital, and geriatric, adult, and child crisis screenings. It's a lot to do, but I'm excited about doing it. Plus, it'll give me the power to invoulentarily commit people! Yay!

(Cry for me?)

Monday, October 31st, 2005
11:20 pm - Oh yea...

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11:08 pm - Got no place to go... She's got a bottle of tequila, a bottle of gin, And if I bring a little mus
I have had a really good past couple of weekends, surrounding myself with friends.

Last weekend I took a trip to Richmond to see E and Brian, who came all the way down from Philly to hang out. It was an awesome time. Officially it was E's sister's birthday, but it was more like an excuse for "the family" as Brian calls it to get together. We of course went drinking and then tried to climb a statue on monument avenue. Good times, I actually had E's sister up on my shoulders, but alas, we as a duo were not tall enough (though she did manage to grab the railing around the statue and dangle for a bit when I dropped to quickly while bringing her down). All in all in was a fun night with a group of people I do quite enjoy.

And, speaking of people I quite enjoy, I continued the trend this weekend. Went to SMC to see Kim on Friday. It was nice, we went out to Monterey's with Susan, only the second time ever I've been, but it was yummy. The rest of the night hung in and just spent time with Kim. Saturday Amanda L. and Jess M. from camp joined us at SMC for Hallowgreens. It was an awesome fantastic time. Jess went as a... fairy... of some sort. I don't think we ever clarified. Amanda went as a fun lady bug, and Kim as a stunning Cruela Deville (sp?). I was going to go as a crazy person, but decided that the belts across my chest were cutting off my airway, decided to go more like David Bowie (I'll let you use your imagination). The shock from Amanda and Jess was well worth it... they were expecting like 5 people on a couch as opposed to a field full of people fully dressed up for Halloween. Total craziness. I love seeing everyone dressed up and out having a great communial time... that's why I loved SMC and that's why I still miss it to death. It really is an awesome place beyond words. Sunday Amanda and Jess left early after informing us we (Kim and I) slept through a fire alarm. I think we are being punk'd because neither of us has slept through a fire alarm before, and neither of us woke up for it this time. I think the entire suite is playing a joke on us. Sunday we went down to Church point and just sat and talked, it was such a beautiful day for the end of October.

Then I came home. Le sigh. Back to work today, and seriously back to work tomorrow when my boss gets back.

(Cry for me?)

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