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August 21st, 2004

01:29 am - Meme stolen from rpeate like it was a Florida black man's vote and I was ol' Jeb.

Type two of your flaws. Real flaws, not back-handed self-congratulation like "I'm too nice."

1) I'm too sexy for this meme, too sexy for this meme, no way I'm disco dancing.

Okay, that might not count.

1) I lack initiative much of the time. I don't like to get the ball rolling and I have going out there and working for a result if no result is guaranteed. This has hampered everything from my job search to my weight loss to my academic career (I didn't look hard enough for classes, didn't try to get into grad classes, and didn't look hard enough for internships while I was at school) to my weight loss and is probably one of the nails in my coffin when it comes to women. I should change it, but I'd have to get up and make a plan and it'd be a whole thing.

2) It is possible that I'm sometimes a mite too critical and anal about certain things. Criticism is important but it can be taken too far and I sometimes critique things that aren't worth the hassle, as well as pouncing on people for small mistakes in word choice or factually incorrect statements. I have trouble just letting things go and not worrying about them, even if I know they're not important in the grand or even small scheme.

03:03 pm - Look at me. I'm all affirmational. I'm fucking Tony Robbins over here. Not in that way.

One of the things about dieting is that rather than taking your mind off food it tends to focus it with laserlike precision on all the foods you can't have (if it is a bad diet) or all the foods you can have later if you are disciplined now (if it is a good diet.) This turns much of life into downtime between feedings. Oh I know it's unhealthy to think about it that way, but every dieter who has significant weight to lose does. That's one of the reasons that Atkins is so popular, because there doesn't need to be any downtime between feedings or any true restraint. It eliminates that part of the dieting experience, at the cost of variety of foods and probably eventual health (at least in some). It's not a tradeoff one can easily dismiss.

Of course it's not just with dieting that much of life amounts to downtime. It's true for most people who have a real passion, even if it's not a healthy one. Sometimes you want something so badly that time without it feels like time mispent. Consider the average romantic date. Most men consider eating, talking, and foreplay to be downtime before sex. Something to be gotten through rather than relished. Meanwhile women see sex as downtime between sessions of talking. Of course I'm being a little unfair. Some women see sex as downtime between asking for things.

For many people, perhaps the majority, work is downtime. It's something that must be gotten through so that the remaining hours can be spent doing things that are at least moderately pleasant. For some poor saps even their home lives are down time. People trapped in unhappy marriages or with children that they can't relate to and properly enjoy. Some people find release only a couple times a week, when they're on the golf course or in the arms of their mistress or being spanked with a paddle before returning to their office in the Hart Senate Office Building.

This is not the way to live, and that's one of the reasons I have decided to chuck what would probably have been a promising career in law or academia to pursue a potential career in writing and directing that, according to the people who regularly read what I have to say, I am eminently unqualified for. Writing doesn't feel like downtime, it feels like uptime. It is pleasure and excitement and fulfillment, and while there are frustrations and struggles and a distinct lack of financial remuneration those all feel like parts of something worth doing. When you get frustrated in a data entry job you have only your frustration to live with, because you know that while your current task might be of vital importance to your financial well-being and chances of moving up in the company it is, in the grand scheme of things, supremely unimportant. You're shifting numbers around according to the whims of some guy seperated from you by two figures in his salary, five levels in corporate management, and a whole lot of years. When you're frustrated while working on something you believe in or care about you have frustration and you have hope. Hope makes frustration tolerable. Hope is the fountain of youth. It gives you back those years you spent waiting in line or collecting bullshit credentials or whatever other way you found to waste your life.

Down time is unavoidable. It's a necessary part of life in modern society, an inconvenience we put up with in exchange for a longer life span and 2-ply toilet paper. I try to minimize it the best I can, and it's pretty easy. Bring a book with you on the subway. Have a nice fantasy to turn to when you're standing in line. Pay attention to your body when you have to walk somewhere, really feel your arms and legs and the muscles and joints. Strike up a conversation with a stranger or get yelled at for offering an 83 year old woman your seat. Yet despite good efforts there will always be times that you just have to get through in life. Yesterday after I went for my walk I picked up some groceries and my dinner (A chef's salad and a piece of cake). On the way home I was incredibly thirsty and tore into the bag for the cold diet Snapple I'd purchased and I pulled it out and started drinking it while I walked. The bags were digging into my hands and arms, the Snapple cap wouldn't go back on properly and it kept splashing on my arms and it was a thoroughly unpleasant experience for 10 minutes. Nothing that could be done about it. The key is to minimize those experiences. Life is precious and short and not to be wasted. If 8 hours of your day are unbearable shit, or even bearable shit, and you're not actively trying to do something to change it then you are doing something wrong. Don't wait until tomorrow or some big cancer scare or a bombing to start living your life. More human misery is generated every day by complacency than any terrorist could hope to create.

The agony of misspent time has a way of polluting even time well spent. You regret the hours of waste and anticipate with pain those wasted hours yet to come. It's a dangerous and depressing spiral. I should know, I've lived it. Your base emotional state is stressed and unhappy. You get bored easily and have no idea how to fix it. Misery becomes a permanent condition.

Finding something you love to do is tough as hell, and usually takes a good deal of time, but it's a necessity. Killing time is suicide, just slow and inefficient.

03:28 pm - Sucking: Sometimes it's not a choice

I know my writing sucks right now. I know that it's not implementing the changes I've talked about and it's fucking pedestrian. When I say that I want to be a writer be aware that this is not how I want to write. The thing is that these ideas build up in me and they want out. It's not possible, for me, at this point, to write three or four entries a day in a creative, engaging, coherent style. I'm caught between the diarrhea of ideas in my mind and my desire to produce good, and only good, pieces of writing. I am ashamed of some of the stuff I've put up recently, absolutely ashamed of it, but I'm not sure what to do. Hiding it behind a friends or private filter seems antithetical to the project of the journal, LJ-cutting it would make it unreadable for a couple technophobes who enjoy my thoughts, and putting them up wastes people's time and makes me look a lot less competent than I believe I am. Right now I'm not going to change anything, but I ought to set aside time to try and work on one or two pieces a week of good quality and tight editing. Perhaps that will be my new-week resolution, along with stepping up the job hunt.

Continuing my theme of "meta" stuff, as a sort of meta-meme I'd be willing to do any meme that anyone wants me to take. You can either comment on this entry or, if you want to keep it private, put it in the private poll at the end of said entry. You are free to pass on the meta-meme or not at your leisure, but one thing's for sure, it's META!

Poll #339065 The Metameme Poll

What Meme do you want me to do? Where can I find it?

08:48 pm - Dream a little dream for me. Leave out the pickles.

Apparently it is possible to have a nightmare about your dream.

You see, I don't have normal nightmares. I don't get chased by the Alien or have a vagina bite my penis off like a healthy well-adjusted individual. I have complicated and lengthy nightmares with multiple settings, deeply personal fears unearthed, and a head full of sand when I wake up. It's kind of like I felt when I realized that no matter what I accomplished or who I managed to seduce I'd still have to wake up every day in bed with myself.

It took place in Hollywood, a city full of nightmares and tragedy. Not to mention, in my dream, a lot of really poor color choices on the houses. There was fuscia. Fuscia on the walls. That would have been bad enough, but there was other stuff. I was looking for work, but every job I took I ended up in front of the camera instead of behind it, and I was universally awful. I was treated like crap and as a pawn in power games between producers. One guy whose house was being rented for a shoot turned out to be obsessed with my father, believing he was still alive and a traitor to his country for China. I had to climb a lot of stairs. At one point I filled an entire basement with broken jars of rotting pickles and was forced to clean it up myself. It was all very fractured and strange and I woke up with mixed feelings since I was no longer being asked to step into a Chris Farley role in a really bad movie but then again I was no longer in the business.

Also I didn't have half a ton of rotting pickles to clean up

08:52 pm - Me me me me me me me

I realized there was a fatal flaw in my metameme, no place to put the answers. So I'm dumping them into this entry behind an LJ-cut. If you want me to take a Meme the answer to it will show up here. Carebears excepted since that's already been put in and it's horrible horrible horrible.

Click for the results of my experimentCollapse )
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