Friday, April 21, 2017

The Captain of Köpenick

I don't feel like the person that people tell me I am. Praise is hard for me to accept. It's not that I want people to stop telling me the good about me and when I do good work. I'm sure it sticks somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind. When I'm told something bad or negative about myself or my performance, I tend to give it undue credence or am already expecting to hear such things. Why? Probably because I had already thought those bad things about myself first. I suffer from a form of perfectionism that rarely lends to productivity. 

I spent my college years believing that I was only lucky and not as good as my grades and professors told me I was. I had a good chunk of time serving my LDS mission where I felt good about myself, because everything I was doing had a purpose in bringing truth and the goodness of the Lord to people in need.It was such a beautiful time in my life. Once cracks were made in that, I became worse and have lamented over it ever since. It is a terrible feeling to believe that you are not worthy of success, love, and the "you" that others see. I have survived by hardening my heart and succumbing to cynicism. That isn't good. Also, it's probably not totally true; it's something that I tell myself to avoid letting it out that I am a blubbering feely deep down inside. 

After coming home from my mission in England, I had gone through a string of jobs only to end up working at my old high school job at McDonald's. I was a lowly grill worker trying to figure out how my life had hit the shitter so hard after all the promises I believed in from my service to the Lord. I thought my co-worker was on break and that my exclamation would just evaporate into the grill vents. "Fuck me, I feel sooo jaded!" Sunny, my co-worker, was right behind me and she started laughing like crazy. She kept doing impersonations of me saying this throughout the day. In a weird way it helped. It helped me to know how silly I was in that moment. It helped me to know how serious I was taking it all and that I needed to chill the fuck out and laugh it off. I like laughing things off now....It is the best therapy by far. 

I only share all of this, not to punish or shame myself, but to help others, because I know there are others that experience this. I am growing from grace to grace with regards to this feeling of being an imposter. I have been posing as "me" and that is a fallacy, because I am that man and I must embrace the good in me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Fartistic

You know, if it weren't for the smell, I believe that farts would be a socially acceptable form of self expression. Heck, farts might have also become incorporated in language, punctuating sentences for dramatic effect or acting as commas in speech.  Farts could even be used in symphonies and the like. Think of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture (cannons anyone?) or an all fart rendition of Beethoven's 5th. Magnificent!  Wet farts could be used in painting. I'm pretty sure that Jackson Pollock just shoved random colors of paint up his ass and shat them out in random order: ta-da! (F)art.

Farting could be a way of expressing your moods. I've had many sad sounding farts in my days, as well as excited sounding farts. More often than not, my farts sound out my displeasure, relief, and satisfaction. But less often, my farts have expressed awe, wonderment, and confusion. I have had my farts ask "why" on occasion. I didn't always have the answers to my farts, but I really did appreciate their inquisitiveness.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the smell that most farts produce may be what is giving them a bad rap. But what is a fart without the smell?  I do believe that one without the other is robs the fart of it's true purpose: to amuse and offend at the same time.  The fart is probably the first comedian, in this case.  To quote some random hobo that I once met, "If yer a feller that don't think farts is funny, well mister, I don' wanna share my beans witchu."  I couldn't have said it better, Skippy.

In conclusion, farts may not be socially acceptable now, but I do hope in time that they will be embraced by all.  We all pass gas from our ass, some with more sass than grass, but alas, I've run out of things that rhyme with ass. Bass. Anyway, try using farts as way to express yourself, become a fartist. Be the vanguard in this movement, but keep the movement from turning into a full on shit. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Slippery Psyche

I find that my emotions aren't helping me out much lately. There's got to be a switch inside where I can turn them off. You take a few days off from people and whammo, they feel hurt. Hermitsville or homelessness would suit me. I can't continue being inconsistent in my feelings, but it appears that I don't know how to change that right now. Honestly, if I could settle my psyche one way or another, I would. It would make my life a lot easier. The question of whether to advance or retreat becomes another question of how to avoid fracturing my being. Vulnerability takes a backseat to survival, especially when it involves the welfare of dependents. Why can't I just let my hair down and be free? Because, if I did there would be real consequences. That's how you know life has deemed you too old for dreams. Move over, Charlie, and let the young 'uns on by. I at least have this fascinating "relic of times past" role to play; to inspire the occasional starry-eyed dreamer, who just might make it to Xandadu. When you get there send me a postcard. Let me know if the milk of paradise is as good as I've heard. I'll snap out of it. Ok?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Recumbent Exercise Bicycle as Imaginary Friend

Sometimes when I am watching T.V. I am guilty of making commentary out loud to no one.  Recently I caught myself turning to the recumbent exercise bike after I had made such out loud comments, as if I needed its take on what just happened on the T.V. program.  At first I felt silly as I continued to catch myself making comments and looking for the bike's response. I felt like I was going crazy, but then something even more crazy happened.  

After some time, I began to feel as though the bike could understand me.  This bike knew what I was going through and how frustrated I had become with life, feeling left behind, professionally stunted, the struggles of being a white male, and generally none to good with the state of affairs in the world. It felt good to have something listen to me and my troubles, no matter how trivial they may be. Soon, the bike would appear in my thoughts and dreams at night.

These thoughts and dreams started out innocent enough but eventually got weird.  Here is the first and only significant exchange that we had.

Me: What? What was that? Who said that?

Bike: It is I, the all powerful Recumbent Exercise Bicycle.


Me: You can talk?

Bike: I can do many things.  I can change your body.  I make annoying beeping sounds.  My seat has the power to destroy asses. I know your pulse. I am stationary, yet everywhere at the same time.

Me: If you could talk, why are you talking to me now?

Bike: I chose to speak to you because I have a purpose in mind for you.  You seemed to lack a direction in life and expressed that you felt forgotten. Yet you did not vote Trump, despite so many white men feeling the way you did, and who ended up voting this man into the highest office of this nation. Why is that?

Me: Well, because he's an asshole that in the end only looks to serve himself.  I don't care how persecuted or how invisible I feel, a tyrant is still a tyrant and I won't make the world pay for my insecurities and hurt feelings.

Bike: That is precisely why I chose you for my purpose.

Me: What is this purpose that you have ordained me for, oh Recumbent Exercise Bicycle?

Bike: The purpose that I have designed for you is start to blog like a mofo.  Keep the people entertained, while being heartfelt and thought provoking.  It is going to be a long four years. 

Me: Do I get paid for this? Will this get me into heaven?

Bike: No. What? How the hell should I know? I'm just a fucking exercise bike. 

After this encounter with the bike I felt a renewed commitment to blog about shit, like maybe once a month.  The bike continued talking to me about certain other things, but mostly about Game of Thrones.  It really hasn't been that great, to be honest. The fact that no one else hears the bike makes me feel a bit scared. I wish the thing would just shut up now.

The End!


Saturday, December 03, 2016

Ouija Hat

I've lost two hats in the past three months.  That's almost one hat per month.  Who takes care of those lost hats? When the hat catcher finds them, the hat catcher takes them to the hat pound. What happens to those hats at the hat pound if nobody adopts them? That hat, my friends, gets put to sleep and nobody wins then.

I know what you're saying, "Grunt, you are a bad hat owner, so irresponsible...uuuuugely irresponsible."  You know what? You'd be right.  The first of these two hats got lost because I wanted to take it for a motorcycle ride.  Because of my recklessness, this hat got real scared and jumped from the crevice between the seat and backrest that I stuffed it into. If you live in the Mt. Olympus area, please keep an eye out for a dark blue hat with some faded patches and has an eagle on the front.  It responds to "Hattie".

The second hat that I lost was when I was hiking up a popular canyon in Sandy that has some beautiful waterfalls, where people like to slip and fall to their deaths on a fairly regular basis. I guess when you are looking at a beautiful waterfall it's easy to come to the conclusion that life isn't worth living.  I mean, what is your life, really, in comparison to such beauty? It's nothing, I say.  Get closer to the edge.  But I digest. I'd digress, but there's still some of that Little Caesar's Pizza taking up residence inside of me, doggedly so. Turn to poo already!  

So, I put on my Napa Auto Parts hat.  It's my pride and joy because I like cars and working on them.  I like Napa because their staff actually knows what they are doing. All the other auto parts places employ individuals who seem to know what a car is and what oil is; therefore, they are your new god. 

I went into an Autozone wearing my Napa hat and the manager told me to get a new hat.  I told him that I would, if he would stop being gay.  It isn't a choice, is what I was trying to say.  Only my dad gets to call me homophobic. Oh, and if you were wondering if I made that last part up, well, I didn't. My 86-year-old Mormon dad totally called me homophobic.  I asked him if he knew what homophobic meant. He said, "Uh, maybe I don't...er, I forgot." I explained to him that it meant a fear of gay people.  He then goes, "OH, not that one.  You're a Sociopath!"  Thanks dad, that made me feel so much better.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, so I'm going up the Bell Canyon Trail wearing my Napa hat.  The first part of the trail goes around a hoity-toity gated community, with all these uuuuuuugely tremendous homes.  It was rather windy that day.  As I was hiking up the hill I remember thinking that I'd better take my hat off.  It was just as I was completing that thought that a gust of wind came and whisked my Napa hat off of my head.  I watched it sail through the air and into the backyard of some dickhead's mansion.  It hurt my feelings because I've started to wonder if my Napa hat wanted a better life and decided to use the wind as an excuse for leaving me. Rather convenient, I say.  

So, what does this all have to do with the title? Well, I had an idea.  You have heard, I hope, of urban legends where people get in too deep playing with Ouija boards.  They get all freaked out and throw it away, run it over with their car, burn it, or send it to Grandma.  Inevitably, the Ouija board returns the following day, unharmed, ready for the next round of satanic Chutes and Ladders.  I thought that this kind of supernatural technology would actually be welcome if it were employed in objects that tend to get lost.  If you lose or accidentally burn your remote, wouldn't you want it waiting on your coffee table for you the next day?  I sure would.  So I thought that having an Ouija Hat would be pretty rad. If both those hats were Ouija Hats, then I would still be wearing them today.  I would be haunted by demons, but I'd still have protection from the sun.  I'm just bummed that I wasn't the first one to think of and create the Ouija Hat.  I really thought I had an original idea.  Oh well, at least I still can lay claim to being the inventor of the Breakfast Thong.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thinky Brain vs. Feely Heart

Thinky Brain knows what's best for me, at least that's what it tells me.  Feely Heart wants me to believe in stuff that is unknowable, whether the stuff it wants me to believe in is totally bat-shit crazy doesn't seem to bother it at all.  Popular subjects that these two parts of me fight over are God, religion, politics, and love.  It seems that my Thinky Brain and my Feely Heart don't get along on these matters much.

I won't go into the specifics of each argument vying for my attention, but I will say that I'm fucking tired of Thinky Brain making my Feely Heart hurt and Feely Heart pissing off Thinky Brain with all of its mushy, illogical wants.  I always thought that it was a good thing to have a brain that would keep me out of trouble.  I also believed that my heart would always show me the way.  It seems like having these two things would be a match made in heaven for me and it would if they could ever agree on anything.

My Feely Heart loves it when I pig out on stuff that makes it feel good and my Thinky Brain just goes with it because it's all "I like thinking about why this is so damn good. It's because of bacon, right?" Winner: Both.

On matters of politics, Thinky Brain wants to find the evidence that backs up the candidates' claims and is interested in what will work, versus what will make me feel good about myself.  Feely Heart wants everybody to get along, but also wants affirmation that what it feels is right and is best for everyone else, even if what it feels has no basis in reality, reason, or logic. Feely Heart is also prone to acting on fear, but will never admit it. Winner: Thinky Brain.

When it comes to love, well, the battle isn't as one-sided as you'd think.  Sure, Feely Heart gets a lot of time at the podium here.  I get to hear all about how good or bad Feely Heart is feeling at any given moment--like constantly and unrelenting.  It's that blubbering, attention-starved teenager who is given the spotlight and wants so much for the world to know that they are the center of the universe. Feely Heart can also be a little prima-donna bitch in this matter, if you ask me.  Thinky Brain is mostly putting its fingers in its ears and repeating "la-la-la-la" until it can't take it any longer and screams "SHUT-UP, YOU NINNY!"  This is the point where Thinky Brain has to step in and take control of the situation. Thinky Brain is usually pissed off because it was on the verge of discovering the cure for cancer or some shit, but got interrupted and lost its choo-choo train of thought. Thinky Brain has to figure out all of the compatibility issues, current readiness for a relationship, whether upping the hygiene routine and wardrobe is warranted. Winner:  No winners yet, but I'm hopeful a peace can be negotiated and that the sanctions will be lifted.

God isn't so much fought over as much as religion. Thinky Brain can dig God, even if that's more Feely Heart's territory.  It figures that if there's a being that did all this universe building, well, they've got its vote.  Plus, it has decided that against the odds, believing in God provides a bit of afterlife insurance.  Where we get into trouble is when religion gets thrown into the mix.  This is where Feely Heart and Thinky Brain start pulling the off the gloves and fighting dirty.  Feely Heart feels so loyal and obligated to notions that comfort it and provide a sense of being one of the "chosen" or part of God's only true path.

Feely Heart relies purely on emotional validation as it's standard of proof.  Feely Heart calls this The Holy Ghost. In fact, Feely Heart was at one time convinced by a slight peaceful ease, which lasted a couple of minutes tops, that American Indians were really Jews who came over to the Americas to escape religious persecution and evil in general. Once in the new land, some of these Jews were disobedient and caused God to become furious, resorting to his big hammer of retribution: the curse of dark skin (And it came to pass that a great and thunderous voice came from the heavens and said, "ooogah-boogah" and the wicked suddenly got darker and better at music and of sports).  Thinky Brain eventually caught wind of this (it took quite some time and about two semesters at university) and was all "the fuuuuuuuuuuck?"  Thinky Brain soon found out all this other crazy shit that Feely Heart was getting me involved in with this religion stuff, too much to list here.  Thinky Brain has wanted to put a stop to all of this, but the real chance of being cut off from family and friends, plus being the village pariah, have caused Thinky Brain to hold back and plot its next move, biding its time.  The winner: Feely Heart, but it sure is fucking with me hard at the moment.  God help me.

Even though Thinky Brain and Feely Heart don't get along, I truly believe that for all of their arguing the two will steer me where I need to go, eventually.  Feely Heart's desires make me human and are responsible for the joy I have in life.  Thinky Brain is doing its best to keep me out of trouble and cleaning up the resulting messes made from trying and failing.  Thinky Brain's job is to tell Feely Heart that everything is going to be okay and that things are not as bad as they seem.  Feely Heart, in turn, celebrates when Thinky Brain figures out important shit and gives Thinky Brain credit, where credit is due.  Feely Heart also is Thinky Brain's editor, quite often.  It tries to keep Thinky Brain's editorials from reaching the printing press without a thorough examination first, and then offers its suggestions.  Sometimes, Thinky Brain sneaks these things past Feely Heart and later has to deal with the blow back from the readership.

Thinky Brain and Feely Heart aren't perfect but they are trying.  It's just that I get a bit tired of them fighting and wish I could go on a long vacation somewhere nice. That's all I'm asking.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Smug Electronic Game

I was feeling rather optimistic at a certain point today.  I felt like I might be coming out of a depression.  It's been more than that: a dark pit of fear and anxiety, mixed with depression.  There were attempts at displays of humor, musing, and sharing music on social media.  Trying to play through the pain seemed to be speeding my recovery.  Unfortunately, I had over estimated my recovery and tried contacting a friend before I could really deal with it.  Before we go any further, let me just say, I am the one at fault.  I know you are all gasping because you thought I was perfect.  Well, I'm pretty freaking far from perfect. Okay, now that we got that straightened out, I will continue.

What I was trying to get at was that I fell back into that pit of depression/fear/anxiety.  I concluded that I needed to stop making an ass of myself and go do nothing in a place where nobody, including me, would be affected or hurt.  That's where I found it: an electronic handheld game called "20 Questions".  This game asks you a series of questions about a thing that you are thinking and within 20 questions, it tries to figure out what that thing is.  Well, I felt pretty awful tonight, so I chose "depression" as my thing that the game would have to find out from my answers to it's questions.

I didn't think it was going to get it, but right after the 20th question, the game got it.  The way it celebrated after was a bit dickish, though.  It basically said, "I know what you're thinking! I got you beat! It's depression, isn't it?"  I answered "yes" and then it did this whole end zone dance, "I AM THE WINNER!!! You thought you could beat me, but I am too smart! Do you want to play again?"  No, 20 Questions, I do not want to play again.

If I had a robot, It'd probably sneak into my room later tonight and whisper "loser" into my ear, and then pat me on the head.