Sep
08

French artist JR erects a large piece on the Mexican side of the Mexican-US border near Tecate, CA.

The following article is now out-of-date, but still provides useful information on the Dream Act 2017 that’s on the table and on what you can do to support DACA.

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Sep
08

Aug
17

of course “I against I” reminds me of a killer Bad Brains’ song.  that aside.  um yeah.

I feel like blogging about depression.  or about alcohol. or both.  been awhile.  but it’s (they’re) a very long and complicated topic, that deserves due dissertation.  and I don’t know if I have that kind of energy right now.  I don’t know if I had one particular point I wanted to convey, much less any conclusion.

one) my debate between how much is depression an “illness,” a “disease” (and I’ve read and studied all there is and have some conception of genetics, neurobiology, serotonin levels, the history of psychology and so on) and how much is it “me” – and all and everything that entails.

this question, in and of itself has plagued me and my sense of self for decades.  questions like would you rather be happy and “not you” or you and miserable?  and so on…

I have luckily gotten a chance to escape my normal me for a time and what I can say of that was that I was still me.  I didn’t suddenly become an optimist and love sunshine and rainbows.  I was still dark and morbid and things, but with the Depression dissipated, other aspects of my personality could come to the forefront, like, for example, my love of nature.  …that being said, I did have internal conflicts, I felt odd, this happy self, this can’t be real, this can’t be me…

again, I could rant for years… so forcing myself to other thoughts…

two) how to fight this damn thing.  maybe I am “not like the others,” maybe I am “treatment resistant.” nothing seems to work.  or almost nothing.  I have no damn answers.  I have read every damn thing.  including stuff about tie-ins to perfectionism.  or the possibility of psychedelic drugs for therapy.  one thing I think I have learned is that depression, mental illness (even alcoholism), that there is no cure.  get that in my head.  there is no cure, there is no fixing me, there is no changing who I am, there is no making it go away.  there is no cure (given the cultural thought at this time), there is management.  i.e.  you will always be an alcoholic.  you can’t make yourself like the others, who can nurse a beer and look the other way.  even if you are sober for months and months, it will always be a struggle.  similarly, I figure, belatedly, depression.  there is no fix, no cure, no changing yourself.  all you have is management.  i.e. you will always be this way, but, best cast scenario, you learn how to manage it.

sometimes, that seems like a damn death sentence…

I at least have memories and perspective of what that could seem like.  I still get down, I still get low.  but it went from every day to every week to maybe, at best, every month.  it went from constant to episodic.  and I could come out of it, with a little help from my friends.  if you can learn to manage.

or in other words, if life seems good at least more than half the time.

(but if it doesn’t, what then?)

like I said, I didn’t know where I wanted to go with this, but did feel I was overdue for writing.

should I write all the things I like about myself?

ironically, I am listening to the Beatles on the radio now and they are playing, “I’m a loser/ and I’m not what I appear to be.”

I don’t know what to say and I’ll likely peter out.

I’ve taken to telling myself, look you, three things, go outside, listen to music, and don’t drink.  ok, sometimes.

and yes, alcohol is, or is for some, a pit of endless despair.  but I see why the appeal.  at least for me.  and even that could be complicated.

but, ok, take tonight.  I have read that alcohol can cause a short dopamine spike before the rest sets in. (so too opioids, but that’s an entirely different story)  my personal experience, I think I rush straight past that “buzzed” moment, going from “I feel nothing” to blacked out.  because, yeah, I’m a drunk ok. long long story.  and even knowing that, even knowing I won’t feel good and I’ll definitely feel bad, I still do, because, you know, addiction.  but, that dopamine high.  so like I said, take tonight.  I settled on hard liquor but a smaller dose than I normally do.  and smaller dose has it’s “downsides” – I sober up and then fuck.  but then upsides, I sober up, no hangover, no bad shit.  but as a consequence, I got to experience a moment of that buzz, instead of skipping past it.

I figure most onlookers start in on the shame.

and they’re likely right.  but it’s also like they have no idea.

for one brief moment, for maybe ten minutes or so, I cranked the radio, I was into the music, and moreover, I decided to dance to it.  I danced.  (things normal people take for granted)  this is coming from someone so damn depressed that – sober, I add – I can’t get out of bed, for days.  I take no interest in anything.  I can’t feel shit.  So here I am, enjoying a song, even dancing.  (unfortunately, the anti-depressant meds didn’t do this.)  and maybe unfortunately, I can’t say that this is some part of me who still hangs in there.  I should, but I am cynical.  I chalk it up to the booze and this must be the quick dopamine high.

and it dissipates.

and there we are.

again, I had no objective writing this.

I am damn sad.  I am beyond sad.  the outside world doesn’t help.  my current situation doesn’t help.  and so on.  and, I don’t know, going back to alcohol, I know I have to stop, I know.  I know how this ends, both personally and medically.  but… I don’t know. I guess a kind of bleak what else is there.  if you take away one coping mechanism, no matter how harmful, you have to replace it with something.  or maybe I am a helpless case…

 

again, I’ll spin in circles.

 

I shouldn’t publish this, but I feel I also should. right? things…

I just don’t fucking know any more.

and sorry for my bleakness.  but I guess I am what I fucking am.

 

p.s. some notes.  I am not without gratefulness.  against all odds, I do have some good friends/acquaintances in my life.  and though I can’t tell them, they keep me afloat.  I don’t know why, but they seem to like conversing with me.  they seem to not give up on me.

I wish I wasn’t the sorry shit I am.  but that’s on me.

anyways…

ok, maybe I should be done with this particular rant now.  one point was that tonight – and likely it was the alcohol and the dopamine spike, but also timing and music, for a brief moment today, I heard a song on the radio, I liked it, I danced, I played air guitar.  and I feel deeply grateful to my correspondence-friend(s) for their encouragement, their listening, their not giving up on me.  when I have long given up on myself.

they see something in me.

I don’t know what the hell it is.  but maybe I keep trucking along in part because I don’t want to disappoint or hurt them.

ok, I have to end this shit.  sorry readers.

(hey, at least you haven’t given me the shit other internet people get, and I thus far thank you for that, because I know I couldn’t take it.)  here’s me being honest to the void and stuff.  and trying to write on depression and keep up a conversation.

-me

 

p.s. I would love to play you the songs that inspired me tonight.  some kick ass blues, some chicken-picking and others. but I think I sadly forgot and stuff.  but they did play a Doors thing and it only reminded me of a Jimmy Fallon spoof that I totally loved.  I don’t even regularly watch Fallon, but I loves me some music and am endeared to him for his musical parodies, and knowing the knowledge and talent it takes to pull it off.  so hopefully enjoy.  also, I want to link in “voices green and purple” because I totally love garage rock.

(pps. all I got at the moment is that, as much as everyone hates me, I do fucking try.  not only do I fight myself everyday, I try to be a good friend, I try to help, I don’t want anyone to feel how I feel.  I still care, I still love.  but yeah, bleakness… and here I am, boozed and talking to the internet.

music is still big for me.  and I still try to care.  I’m sorry to the world that I’m mean and bad and a sack of shit.  I don’t know what else to do.

I guess I might say to me, just stop, get some sleep, deal with tomorrow.  but I can give y’all a slice…)

I hate depression.  but I think it’s me.

 

ok, well, goodnight all, and I wish you all a better day.

Aug
16

Aug
15

Jun
21

It’s been a long time since I’ve read 1984. well over a decade ago.  But I did read 1984 and Brave New World at relatively the same time.  and I remember, then, that I liked Brave New World a lot better.  Nothing against 1984, which is still a great novel.  I think I had liked Huxley’s writing style better, more subtle, more nuanced, things…  but again, it’s been years and years.  So I really should reread both.  for the moment, here’s this clip:

(also, aside, I’m the last person to think about fashion, but for some reason I’m pleasantly distracted by Wilde’s dress.  it’s old-fashioned, yet not.  but mostly that kindof iridescent green…)

(also, potential segue into surveillance/Big Brother/cell phones/hacking/internet of things, but another rant for another day)

Jun
21

So six people, out of 18, quit the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, because they felt this current administration was refusing to listen to them and they felt they could provide more help from outside the administration, than within.  Much of this protest-via-resignation centered around the new Trumpcare AHCA bill; it’s  allowance of insurance companies to bring back pre-existing condition clauses that would deny people healthcare, would invariably hurt people suffering with HIV/AIDs, as well as anyone with a long-term illness (cancer, mental health… even pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.  food for thought, erectile dysfunction is not… moving on…)

But it’s not just a blanket Trumpcare sucks for all thing.  The LGBT community did/does have legitimate reasons to fear the Trump administration, whether it’s the Republicans’ platform, to the Trump admin. rescinding Obama’s pro-transgender guidelines, to Mike Pence.

So, in response, to the Trump administration’s not-so-favorable attitude regarding helping those with HIV/AIDs, James Corden made the following gesture:

So…no wonder.  It’s no surprise the Trump admin. isn’t eager to help those with HIV, and/or help with the HIV crisis domestically or globally.  Because, Mike Pence.

The controversial statement associated with Mike Pence, in this context, is that he supposedly said that he’d like the government to remove all funding from HIV/AIDs research and then to funnel that money into sending gay people to conversion therapy.  In an attempt to be fair, it appears that he didn’t technically put it that way, and that could definitely be a misconstrued exaggeration.  What Mike Pence did say was:

“Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
(source: Politifact, citing Pence’s website)

And Mike Pence has a long record of anti-LGBT statements, policies, platforms, legislation, etc.

Forget the latter half of the quote and forget conversion therapy for the moment.  Pence could have said that he wanted to make sure federal dollars went towards preventing the spread of the HIV virus and wanted to educate people to help prevent the spread of HIV.  There are other ways to word things.  He said “celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that…” (given that most HIV is spread by contaminated needles among drug users, and given that no one celebrates junkies, and given Pence’s stance on LGBT rights, I think it’s pretty clear that he’s suggesting no one “celebrate” being gay, that he thinks being gay is aberrant behavior, and that he believes being gay is synonymous with spreading HIV …which, the last point, it was, at least if you were male, and in the ’70s)

So what it seems like Pence is saying is that he doesn’t want any federal money going towards HIV research until we can make sure none of that money is being used to say being gay is ok.  I think that’s a fair assessment of his statement.

To be more fair, here are some websites discussing Pence’s policies, including that, according to Politifact, which I believe is really trying to be impartial and fact-based, that the jury is still out as to Pence’s views on conversion therapy:

(I’d also recommend the movie Dallas Buyers Club.)

Jun
18

I’m not really feeling…up to things.  There’s voids in my life I don’t know what to do about.  blaming myself doesn’t really get me anywhere.  I can’t just feel better.  and I had some times hanging out with other people who were all having a good time, so that helps.  but I always have to come home to myself.  things and stuff.  well, might as well catch up on the news.  and news satire/commentary.

so here’s a short-and-sweet one:

Jun
02

happiness is hard… I relate to this video… I just can’t escape one bad political thing after another.

May
30

caveat: I know the following video is the full album, when I really just wanted to feature “Over the Edge,” the title track, but this video does seem to have the best quality that I’ve seen in a youtube search.

I heard the following on the way to work today.  I think this is the fourth Ruby song I’ve heard…?  anyway, sweet song, aww moments, and then the next line of lyrics…wait, what?…and the next line of lyrics…jesus… so…enjoy

I heard this coming back from work (different station).  For a moment, I thought it was Gossip, until the vocals kicked in.  The bass seemed very similar.

To see what I’m talking about, hear rather, some Gossip as follows.  Years ago now, an old friend of mine, at the time, described them as homemade disco.  I’m not sure if that’s my takeaway, but we discovered the band simultaneously – on MTV of all places, who knew?  and fell in love with their raw minimalist awesomeness.