Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Misconceptions about OCD

After a while it gets pretty hard to write about yourself. There's only so much interesting material to delve into. That's one serious issue I have with the nature of blogging. I've never been the sort to make posts with links to various things. I'm not the sort who really blogs news. Basically all I have to write about comes from my own experience and my own interests. The occasional post about neuroscience or storytelling gets written, but the nature of those posts is pretty centred on me too.

I've written about it before, but I feel a little narcissistic writing about myself so much. I know that's not why I do this, but it is a problem that sneaks up on me now and then. I've always been pretty self critical about that sort of thing.

So while I was seeking treatment for OCD I was pretty paranoid about misrepresnting myself. If I told a psychologist I was doing rituals for 3 hours a day, I was probably doing rituals for more like 4. I just couldn't get myself to say how many hours I was actually doing because I had convinced myself that I was just seeking attention. I had this whole worry that I was just being a nuisance when I admitted to how often I was doing a ritual.

That's part of OCD actually, that whole worry that you're misrepresenting yourself. People with OCD will sometimes convince themselves that the police are looking for them to arrest them for murder. The way it works is you have a thought about killing someone you love. The thought is graphic and scary, and you are appalled by it. The thought is so real you're even a little convinced that you did kill the person, or that you're going to. SO you do something to keep from thinking the thought, to keep from killing the person. I would touch my left shoulder to my left ear 6 times, touch my left cheek with my tongue 6 times and turn around counter clockwise 6 times. Sometimes I'd do this stuff in multiples of 6. That stopped the thought. Problem there is that you have to do it more and more to stop the thought. So you'll be lying in the foetal position on your bed picturing the death of your girlfriend and doing these rituals in 6s but it just won't fucking stop.

That's one of the most terrifying things in the world. I've never had a panic attack, but I can't imagine it being much worse than this. There are little things that bother you too. It's not just that big thought that haunts you. Things not being straight is bad. If there's a stack of papers I would fix it. after exams I would go up to the front to turn it in, and spend a minute or so making sure all the papers and testing forms were in straight orderly piles. It didn't matter how embarrassed I was to be doing it, I would still go through the motions.

Eventually even stepping on cracks and segments in the pavement would bring it on, so I couldn't do that. I couldn't go into bathrooms with small tiles because I would end up stepping on lines. I had to watch where I was walking all the time.

I went to a therapist to work on this stuff, and when taking the scale (the yale brown obsessive compulsive scale) I filled it out so that the final number was a 6 and I wrote over each number six times so that it was bold and clear.

So I wasn't just into keeping my room clean. Things didn't just need to be straight. I wasn't the colloquial definition of OCD. I was the clinical definition of OCD. I imagined my girlfriend dying in gruesome ways, and sometimes imagined myself killing her. If I had bad thoughts on the sidewalk, I would lick tyres to keep them from coming on. Sometimes in going someplace I would lick the whole row of tyres.

It always annoys me when people use OCD in a colloquial way. It's always for something silly. I just can't see OCD that way. Something silly that means you like your pencils straight. I see OCD as that thing that makes some people wash their hands until they bleed, that made me so afraid I spent 3 or 4 hours a day (probably more in actuality) doing rituals to avoid seeing my girlfriends death. OCD was the thing that convinced me that I was going to slam my fist through a wall, and watch the way the rough drywall tore at my skin.

OCD isn't someone being anal. OCD is actually pretty fucking horrible.

(for those of you who are seriously anal, but enjoy keeping things straight, and who don't seem to have many other coping mechanisms I suggest you look up OCPD or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

happy to be on working drugs.

I'm so glad to be well. I've been helping out a manic friend for most of the weekend, and I remember how good that felt, but also how bad all the consequences could be. It's so nice to be well. I can fall asleep at a reasonable time, I can do what I'd like. I love not being thrown about on my moods.

Of course I did love manias. People take cocaine to feel the way I feel if I just don't take my drugs and stay up for a night. It's just the depressions. The depressions are too much. I don't know how long it would be. 5 years, 10 years, but after enough of those depressions I'd just say fuck it and get the hell out of the living world. I'm glad I have another option than going through those horrible downs.

Seroquel really is a miracle drug. My dad is stable (without doubt) for the first time in probably 40 years. I am back in school, and able, and well, and succeeding. I still have my doubts about my creative process, and about the things I produce, but I feel like I've been given and early reprieve from what is meant to be a lifelong struggle.

I feel quite sorry for prior generations of manic folks, tossed about with no ability to avoid all this wildness. The Woolfes and Byrons. I'm so lucky to be in the situation I am. Tonight I'll go to bed thankful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

a short bit on stories.

I can't get over how interesting stories are. I just love reading, and hearing, and watching, and telling stories. I don't really care where they're from, or how true they are. I almost feel like a story is truer than the actual events.

Ultimately our pasts are just the stories we tell about the past. I often feel like I've integrated some of the bits of stories I've read and seen into the fabric of my own life. Those bits of me that are most like Holden Caulfeild are that way because of and interaction between how I am and how the book made me.

There are a few important functions of language. One asks for things, and passes on information. As far as pure necessity goes, it's difficult to figure out what stories are for. Of course there are those elements of passing on knowledge and instilling values, but I suppose that's what I was getting at. We use stories to encode our societal values, and to suggest what is expected of each individual. We use stories as a way of keeping entertained.

There are a lot of wonderful things we use stories for.

I've more to say, but will get to it later. This post felt like pure speculation, and not in a good way. But such things happen.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How we relate to stories.

Sometimes there's nothing profound to be said. My posts the last few nights have been short ones. That's not necesarilly a bad thing, but it is something I take notice of. I'm not sure what's turned me towards these shorter posts. Some of it is just lack of inspiration, but some of it is a better idea of what I want to say.

If I have the simple desire to recount my day, then the post is likely to be more concise. If I warble on about some topic, not fully knowing what I'd like to talk about, then the post will be long.

I'm never sure how a post will be take either. Some of the posts I've written that people mention to me afterwards aren't the ones I would expect to have a big draw, or a big emotive force. It's really interesting seeing what of my writing is taken up by others.

It's that intersection between reader and writer that's so interesting. The way some people attach to a book, or a story. I'm really interested in how that interaction works. There are certain stories and posts that really enthral me, and I don't know how much of that is an interaction with the author or how much of it is simply the story embodying part of me.

It takes some serious thought to figure out why we like some story so much. What of a character do we see ourselves in?

Some stories are easier to peg than others. The reasons I love Catcher in the Rye are pretty obvious. There are certain things about Holden Caulfield that seem to fit for me as well. I loved Catcher in the Rye the most when I was disaffected, and crazy, and gradually falling out of step with the whole lousy world.

Some are more difficult to figure out. I still don't quite know what it is about Ender's Game that enthrals me. I've read the book tens of times and I still don't know. I can see some ways I relate myself to Ender, but it's not as simple as the relationship I have with Holden Caulfeild.

It's never what I expect people to latch on to. The posts that I write as a one off, on a whim, tend to be the ones that people adhere to. Same goes for parts of a story. People always take something a little different than was intended.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A manic friend and some drinking.

I really should be asleep by now. Normally I would be, but I just spent the last hour helping my friend by bringing her some of the drug I take. She too is bipolar, and currently In quite a manic. She was prescribed what I take, but there's no where to fill a perscription at four in the morning.

She should be asleep by now. I made sure not to leave until she was well on her way to being passed out. Normally my drugs get taken by somewhere around eleven thirty. That I didn't take them umtil ten minutes ago is mostly because of the sort of night I've had.

I went to a friends party. It was great. I ended up drinking more than I have in quite a while. I haven't been drunk enough to puke in months. I'm pretty sure that I went off to puke and after a bit of puking was given a ride back home. I do hope I wasn't any trouble for them. That tends to happen when I loose control over things.

I rather hate not being sure what happened to me for the bulk of the night. It's bothersome. I've no reason to be particularly worried about anything I may have done, but it's bothersome to even thing that I may have.

There's a reason I don't really drink so much anymore, and I feel like tonight is meant as an affirmation of that fact.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I have a threshold for dealing with people. I may have gotten the hours down. 4.5-8 hours is my limit. Within that window I start to get really annoyed and unpersonable. I can still be a nice person, but it's really hard. Those hours don't have to be spent in the same room either. If for thirty minutes of that I'm watching tv and the other person is in my room I still am going to get a little peeved. It's nothing personal.

I get energy from the inside. I stay in and read, and play music, and write, and these things recharge me. Being out with people, no matter how much I enjoy it, is draining. That's true of everyone from my family to my best friends. I've occasionally had girlfriends who I could put up with for longer, but that's an exception to the rule.

I hate to make people feel put off or unhappy because I'm getting annoyed, and I really do try to prevent it. I just have to have a refractory period before I can start going again. I love people (well sometimes I hate them, but for the most part I love them). It's not a function of my like or dislike of someone. My favourite people annoy me after a while.

Such is Introversion. No matter how personable someone is when you meet them, or how nice they are, they still may be introverted. One may still get their energies from the quiet spaces of home. I live in my head, and I'd rather not do anything about it.

So if you know someone like me, give them a break every once in a while. If they get snappy after a few hours of time with you, it's probably not personal. Rationality is hard when you're drained.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some thoughts on Death and Life.

It's hard to not think of death when the sun sets. I'm never sure how afraid to be. It's something that's bothered me ever since I stopped believing in a god. That's something no one can deny about religion; it sure is comforting.

I still cross myself when I hear sirens. When I was daft I used to pray a rosary to calm the fuck down. I didn't think anyone was listening, but the repetitive action felt good. I was raised with religion. Hell, I worked at a church camp for most of my highschool summers, and two of my college ones.

Belief isn't really something we chose though. My dad believes in god because of a vision during a psychosis. I do have to admit that if I saw something like that I'd probably be swayed, even if only to make myself feel better about the impending END that awaits us all.

I always read before I go to bed. Lately I've been rereading a collection of Philip K. Dick stories. I don't know why these tend to bring thoughts of death up more than anything else I read before bed, but the simple fact is they do.

I haven't been having the horrible experience I used too; wake up scared and breathless, having a clear realisation that after this there is nothing. It's more been a feeling of death looming and then a desire to be sharing my bed with someone, anyone really.

That whole experience of finding oneself alone at night, the reaper knocking at your door, and your heart beating out of your chest is something I've heard described by other non-believers as well. It's not a pleasant experience, but there's not much I can do about it.

I really do think I'd believe if I had a choice. Once you're out there's no getting back in though. So what I want to get at here is on how I've been thinking about death lately. I don't know how I feel. I'm not afraid of it for the most part. I do think it's the end, and I've only got the time I'm alive to experience and be. That's bothersome but like so many other things I can't help, I just deal with it.

The reason this comes up, besides the fact of the thought coming to me at night, is that I don't feel like I have time to put up with pointless things. There are so many trivial things that one does to keep on in this world, but frankly, most of them aren't worth my (or your) time. Dealing with the busy work parts of classes, working in jobs we don't like in order to pay bills.

That's part of why I usually say fuck it to all the things that seem trivial. I don't tend to study so much, though some of that is just because I don't usually need too. I don't care about administrative things. I spend more of my time playing music, writing, consuming stories. I do things I enjoy because I must. It's not something I want to negotiate. We tend to negotiate our lives away. We don't ask someone out because we're afraid of rejection, but the more time we waste being wallflowers the less time we have between now and death to find happiness.

I don't know that long life is really a great thing unless you're really living. I want to find out how we tick, and unless I'm doing that what good is my life. I want to make music that no one else can make, and if I'm not doing that what's the point. I want to write things that only I could write.

Do you see a theme here. I want to be fully. I've experienced more in 21 years than most people do in forty. I don't say this because I want to make you feel guilty or worried, I don't say this because I think everyone is wasting their lives. I say this because I want people to think a little. If this is all there is, what are you going to do with it.

If you live your life fully and then you get heaven, then great. If there's an afterlife you're not going to be penalised for living well in this life, but if there isn't one, you've penalised yourself.

Now is when you can make a difference, and now is all that you know for sure you've got. Tomorrow is unsure. Death is unsure. Maybe sorrow is all that awaits us, but something that we can all be sure of is that we are alive now.

I'm afraid of death, because no mater how bad life gets, it's still life. I want to be tired by the time I die. I want to have experienced so much that I'm simply tired of being here. I can't see that happening any time soon. And that won't ever happen if I don't just grab life by the balls.

Tonight I'm going to think about death, and I'm going to worry about sleeping alone, But tomorrow, I'm going to go to try to enjoy things. I'm going to stop being so cautious about everything. I'm going to stop treating things as if they are just hazards to be crossed. Routines should be thrown by the wayside unless you can make them enjoyable.

Tomorrow I should stop worrying about falling asleep alone and do something about it. Instead of waiting all day to get to writing, I'm going to write. Instead of waiting for permission to do what I want to do, I'm going to do what I want to do.

That's basically been my philosophy thus far, but I feel like right now is a crystallising moment. The Episcopalian in me wants to bring up the confession of sins, I have not loved you with our whole hearts. Apply that to life. I have not loved life with my whole heart. I've been cynical and disappointed. The world has made me look down on this life, but it's all I have.

My bicycle is not the best one there is, but it is my favourite because it is what I have. The same is true of life. I have not loved thee with my whole heart. I have sinned in thought word and deed. The only person I was hurting was myself.

Now's the time to stop all that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It's not always easy to come up with new things to write. That's particularly true of draining days. Matt and I played a show. It went well, but it still drained me of a bit of energy. That's the primary deficit I've felt since going on my drugs, I don't have thoughts going on all the time.

There are now times where I don't have more than one thing going on in my head. It's odd, and it seriously hinders my ability to produce more creative output. so I try to wrack my brain, but it just doesn't want to cooperate.

It's a little maddening. I already knew I couldn't rely on my brain for accuracy in perception, or for stability of moods, but finding that I can't rely on it for creative output is seriously disheartening. Of course I had months where no creation occurred, during depressions. I suppose the daily decrease in great ideas is part of spreading my uncreative state over a longer period, as well as spreading my really productive periods over a longer time span.

I don't know if the maths work out for that though. If I produced more in the earlier condition where I had my ups and downs or if I'm likely to produce more now that I've got everything even.

It's hard to know if the trade off is worth it.

That is the central question of my life right now. I'll have to figure it out eventually, but it's hard to have perspective on something so close to oneself.

I could deal with it if the products of this lack of creativity didn't irk me so much. Posts like this where there isn't a whole lot of outside interest make me feel a little like that creative decline isn't worth it. The saddest thing is I can't immediately do anything to stop all this. I have to keep on working with my brain hindered.

So I may keep writing these horrid posts with so little to offer. I may continue to feel the effects of declining creativity. It's something I haven't come to peace with.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Achille's dilema.

Well Matt and I have another show tomorrow. This one will be acoustic. I'm really looking forward to more playing. I like having shows. Besides that I've two tests tomorrow.

But of course that's not what you're reading for. Information about what I'm doing tomorrow isn't really important in this paradigm. Giving info about what I'm doing isn't worth shirking off studying. So I have some larger goals with this post.

Partly to remember why I'm writing this blog at all. Of course my life is less tumultuous now, my drugs working, my sorting out of the world coming a long a little better, but that doesn't mean that the centre of all this needs to be left behind.

All the while I've been intending to ask serious questions about my nature and where I fit in things. With the coming of better days I'm having to redefine that. My days are largely a set of things that need to be done, and the time that before filled with a million thoughts now only fills with one or two. The slowing of my cognition, though to some extents useful, has somewhat hindered the sheer volume of ideas I used to have.

I've written too many times about what it's like finding out how to be oneself in a different situation to not know where this ends. I'll find some small truth and latch onto it hoping to avoid finding more. It's a continual process and surely enough after explaining it, it will continue.

So what may be more important is what is going on in my past rather than my current life.

Today wasn't wild. It was nice and slow, and eventful but in a good way. That isn't how my days used to be. I had a few different descriptions of my thought. I almost forget them now being so far removed from Sane and un-medicated thought.

I used to think in probabilities. In the book Dune Paul Atriedes through the drug Melange and a genetic gift found the fabric of space time and could see the golden thread that led through the weave. Before my drugs, and before my madness (sometimes during as well) I could see the weave. No golden thread stood out, but the whole weave was visible to me. Within three weeks I could see the repercusions of an action. All this went on while my brain processed tens of other things.

All the time a song was playing as well. If I wasn't singing, it was playing in my head. I cannot know if my mental experience is like someone else's, and being mildly dyslexic, I'm rather sure that what I see as a P probably looks a hell of a lot like a q would to anyone else. I know that through madness I have a different perspective than just about anyone.

The change of that perspective on drugs is so drastic. I am no longer the person I was. I had such a view on the world. I could see everything as the parts that make up other things. Objects broke down for me. Stories filled my brain and all the time things were flying by waiting to be grabbed back up.

I wrote on my arms because there was so much I needed to know, and there wasn't space in my brain to remember assignments or appointments. I had pages everywhere of various thoughts and Ideas. While everyone else was paying attention in class or leaving it alone entirely, I was half attending and half reading.

A teacher would call on me while I was reading to try and trip me up, and I would still answer the question correctly. When I actually payed attention in class Teachers often had to add a caveat to their questions "What is the bla bla bla , Someone other than Patrick this time."

So having a brain that is otherwise so disordered is a change. A drastic change that I haven't really talked about before.

I often wish that I could just go crazy for just a little longer. Make enough money to support myself for a few months and then go off of my drugs, induce mania, and go back on them before I hit a depression. I could create so much. The rate of thoughts will be maddening, and I'll have so much to produce. Not just these nightly posts of maybe three pages. I could make something amazing.

I can't do that though. I have too much to lose. I don't know If I could take another depression. I don't know if I could live through it. And frankly, if I have a mixed episode there's a gauranteed suicide attempt in the works. I'm not someone who wants that, but I know what depression is like and I don't think I could take it.

God if I only could get both. I have to dull my brilliance to keep my life going. I get to choose a long life of moderate (or realistically, very minor) brilliance and productivity, or I get a short life of wild brilliance that may end before I'm thirty.

The Worst thing about this paradigm is how tempted I am to aim for the short but brilliant life. I know I could produce amazing things on my drugs as well. Just my continuation of this blog and my music and writing is a sign of that. However I can't help but feel a bit worried. Look what this blog has devolved into. I tell you about the happenings of my day, and give analysis. The people still reading are doing so in hopes that they will find something exicting or interesting like the things I used to produce. I have a feeling I'm letting them down.

It's not all my fault though. I still have all this information filling my brain, I still have all these thoughts to be had, but I just can't keep them going at the same rate. I can't just close my eyes an have ten things going on at once. Where before I had writing problems because I had too many Ideas now I have problems because I've too few.

There has been a significant cognitive twist. I don't think that it is the worst possible side effect, but I don't know if I can keep going accepting this hindered brain as mine. It's only painful to think the way I do now because I know the brilliance I once had. I know how unique my mind could have been. My life short, and wild, but oh so productive. Were I just to stop taking my medicine it would be mine in a week. It is hard because that life is so close.

People don't adhere to their drugs because of this, because their minds aren't theirs. There are places where I've arguably improved because of the changes in cognition my drugs have afforded, but it's not all about thinking, a lot of it is how I feel.

It doesn't matter if my writing is more connective and cogent if there's so little of it. It doesn't matter if I can put effort towards something if I don't have that inspirational spark.

While in a hypomania I can produce half a book. And I could do it again, and again any time I get in that state. Without hypomania I have to work everyday for a year to produce half a book. With my new brain I have to sit down every day and write just to know what my mind is.

Though I'll keep taking my meds because I believe I'm smart enough, hell, even brilliant enough, to overcome the cognitive deficits that now befall me, and because If I can be brilliant with drugs I have 80-100 years rather than 30-50 in which my life can unfurl and my works can be written and played.

I don't want to die, and I'm confident (or overconfident) enough to think that I'm still smarter than most people even when my drugs slow me down. So my drugs will keep being taken. My life will keep on going, without suicidal thoughts, and days where I cry for no reason.

That doesn't mean I have fully forgiven fate, or genetics, or that God I don't believe exists, for giving me a taste of brilliance and then making me choose between a short life that leads to fame, or a long one with no notoriety.

The mother of Achilles gave him the same choice. To die in battle, famous, strong, forever remembered, or to live on a farm and be remembered by only his family. We know which choice he made. His rage, His pride, are things of legend.

Perhaps I'm less proud. Perhaps I'm humble enough to take the offer of the farm. Or maybe I'm more fully taking on the mantle of pride and thinking myself above the choice. Thinking of myself as able to create my future despite all the evidence to the contrary.

A good show and Hot day.

Tonight I just played a show. It was hot and sweaty despite being outside. I described it to my room-mates as sweating the pacific ocean. I really enjoyed playing but the sweat ran down my face and it still was for a while afterwards while I sat watching the band that followed us, with a beer by my side.

It was nice having a beer and some relaxation. The band that followed us was good for that. I'm not really into them, and Matt and I left before their set was over, but they're good. I don't listen to them on my own because they aren't really my thing.

We publicised a lot, so plenty of people who we knew came. Not as many people as we had hoped took our free demos. If anyone wants one let me know and I can get you one some way or another.

I wrote a little verse in my notebook while the other band was playing

the sun is down, the heat remains
my head is clogged and I'm bereft of all compose
Or metered rhyme
I can't control the tongue of mine and on I go though meaning's gone.

I'm hoping tomorrow isn't as how, but I don't expect it to get cooler. The sun was out so hot yesterday and today. I'm not ready for the heat of summer. maybe this will get me there, but one is never prepared for the drastic heat of a Davis summer.

I would like more nights like this though. I like playing shows. The more we do the happier I am. Matt and I are playing one on Tuesday, just the two of us. That should be fun. Have some work to do tomorrow, on top of practising. Looking forward to playing, but I should probably be focusing on the classes a bit more.

Oh well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Picnic Day.

Picnic day was good. I woke up and had a nice breakfast with friends, and then drank some, then went and wandered campus with them. I ran into other people I knew and hung out with them as well. The whole day was pretty nice. It was the hottest it's been in Davis this year. I was really glad I'd worn shorts.

I've been thinking about a lot of things. Mostly I'm just excited about the show my band is doing tomorrow. It should be good.

I had some nice conversations with a few people, some of them about neuroscience, some of them about mental illness, some about the value of translations of literature. I'm not sure how many of them were anything more than time wasters, but that's fine by me at the moment.

I still feel rather warm, and feel like I may have gotten a sunburn. That's not a farfetched idea. I don't much like sunburns, but I dislike sunscreen more. I don't know where I got the dislike from, but I just really don't like sunscreen. I'm not built for the heat. I'm far to white for that to be my ideal environment.

I left campus around 10 and I felt like I was going to come home and play guitar and write, but by the time I got back I didn't feel creative anymore. I hate it when that happens. The creativity is sometimes sapped out of me by hanging out with people. I really can't put up with people for more than 4 or 5 hours without getting really tired and out of it afterwards. I have a bit of a refractory period, where I need to rest and recover. I'm not particularly moody anymore when I've spent to much time around people, but I do feel drained. I just sat about and watched an hour of Ashes to Ashes. I didn't create anything and I feel somewhat deficient for that.

It's something I would have kicked myself for in the past.

I want to make things, but somehow I don't get to it.

I don't really want to live a life where making things is a side project to all of my other goings on. I don't really feel real except for when I'm making things. That's a problem for me when I have classes and other things to do. I don't want to live by just doing things and getting by. I want to thrive rather than just exist.

I'm ok with my life right now though. Things are amazing and I'm happy about it. Sometimes I just get in a funk. I can't hang out with people for so long without feeling at least a little misanthropic.

It's one of those things that's genuinely me rather than whatever is wrong with me.

It felt good just spitting out a post. That's usually true. I still feel uncreative, and out of it, but I'm guessing that'll pass after a while. I'm guessing all I need to do is eat a little bit and then I'll feel right as rain. It's hard to tell these things. I still don't fully know how I react to things. I guess it's just a matter of time.

Making a Demo and waiting for picnic day.

I spent most of the evening Burning CDs making CD cases, and drawing on said CDs and CD cases. All this for my band Osabear. It was a fun little night though. Matt, Nico (his girlfriend, my friend) and I worked on these things and a poster. We're getting ready for our show on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be really nice playing a show with the whole band rather than just Matt and me.

I'm also really psyched because some of the art on our demo's is really tight Nico did an awesome job on all the ones she did. I did ok, and Matt did pretty well. It was a good use of time. Next time we're totally designing one and just printing it out. Of course this way they're all unique.

The demo isn't bad. Not as good as us live, but that's to be expected until we can get a recording with a really good engineer or producer.

I'm also pretty excited because I found a CD on my windscreen under the wiper, along with a note and a pretty case. It was from a cute girl who walks by my car from time to time and likes my bumpersticker. What's doubly surprising is that it's good music. It's a nice ecclectic mix, and I'm just really happy with it. I always end up making mixtapes for grils, but I've only ever gotten one or two, so it's really exciting.

I was looking for something to get what I can't have off of my mind, and sure enough, here it is.

Life is good right now. Tomorrow is picnic day, so that means lots of people on campus and generally lots of drinking. One nice plus of my drugs is that if I drink in the morning it takes far less alcohol. Tomorrow is a traditional day to drink in the morning, so don't think it's becoming a habit or anything. I'm still being nice and responsible. It's all part of figuring out the balance.

The whole figuring out of my balance is getting easier and easier, and it's nice that life is so good. I like it quite a lot. Things haven't been this good in a while, and I'm really glad to note that.

I tend to be a bit wordy (confirmed by Matt) so I'm gonna stop it around here. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and it's nice to be doing that again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

an obsession with stories.

I'm a bit disappointed that the sharks lost the first game of their series against the Ducks. That was sort of a cap to my night. The bar was nice though. had two pints, groaning along with about 20 other sharks fans.

I don't know why I've lost so some of my abilities of observation. I haven't had a whole lot to write about, part of it might be that I've started keeping this comic diary thing. It's pretty tight. I'm not very good at the drawing just yet, but it's nice to make observations with a visual component.

It's an entirely different sort of thing than just writing a journal, or posts. The character of it, even with the large amount of writing that I do next to the drawings, is one which better suits to logging events. I don't feel quite so narcissistic when I have drawings to go along with the stuff about my day.

On a different note, I want stories. I get sort of obsessed with stories. Be it television, or books, or music, or comic books. I love reading stories. I love watching stories. I don't really know where it came from, but stories just fill my head. I know a whole bunch of stories, from all mediums. I love trying to make stories too. It's hard to come up with something that hasn't been told one way or another, but it's fun sorting through all the possible events and lines.

Most kids like stories when they're growing up, I guess I just never grew out of it. I spend most of my time (excepting a lot of the time I spend on music) consuming and producing stories. Even some of the music has to do with stories as well, but that's more about the tune and the variability.

This caries over to myths. I've read a lot of different ranges of myth. I'm particularly fond of Irish Myth. the overlaps between these myths and greek myths, and norse myths are interesting. It's interesting to see what sorts of things crop up more than once. There's a lot of stuff that consistent in myths of all sorts.

All of the crossovers and all of the consistencies may be able to tell us something about ourselves. I like having a window into the anals of history, and the stories we've told for so long.

I'd love to figure out what my obsession came from.

I feel like I've not been writing very interesting posts the last few days. If I'm right about that I apologise. I'm likely to produce something interesting eventually.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day.

I'm busy watching south park. I've been letting my TV watching take a lot of my day up. While watching though, I've been drawing while watching though. I'm not too bad at drawing objects but my pictures of people are pretty bad. I've been working on comic like drawings. I'm pretty pleased about what I've figured out today.

I've started keeping this big notebook, with drawings and notes. It's a nice thing to get started on. I've been keeping notebooks for years, but it's really nice to start keeping one with pictures. The only times I've let people read through my notebooks they've said I should do more drawing. I think it's mostly because people like to see drawings in notebooks, but besides that, It's a nice skill to have.

I really do need to stop watching so much TV. I don't really know why I've been watching so much.

Part of it's the stories. Easily consumed stories. Of course we don't process most of what we see on television. Id really like to do some studies about it in the future, but still. TV really does get to be addictive.

I'd love to have more interesting things to write about today, but I was a little neglectful about the fitting everything in on time. I filed my taxes today. I made so little money. That's not a horrible thing, it just makes me feel like all that time wasn't worth much.

It's nice to finally be twenty one so when I finished my taxes I could just go down to the store and get a pint of new castle brown ale. It was very nice. Having something to relax with after being done with taxes.

It's been a busy, but not busy day. It's like I did a whole bunch, but didn't do anything at all. I guess the TV watching was basically a reward for finishing stuff I needed to get done.

Sorry for the disinteresting post, but that's what Tax day with do to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

maturing perhaps.

Sometimes when I don't knoo what to write about, or what to sing about, or what notes to play, I just babble and something comes out. I write a few sentences which don't have any meaning, and they'll just open up the floodgates.

It doesn't always work so well, but prodding myself doesn't work any better, so I tend to treat writing as writing, no matter what it's about. That's the best attitude I can muster when it comes to feeling uninspired.

Having fewer thoughts in my head has been something to get used to. That's a topic I'm talking a lot about, adjustments and the such. It's interesting that these things are so up on the foreground for me. I'm markedly different than my peers, but I don't really mind. I like this adjustment. I've been doing far better than I would have expected too. I haven't smoked marijuana since getting on my pills. I don't think it would be a problem if I did, I've just come to realise that when I did smoke it had no purpose. I didn't do it to calm down, or to relax, or to improve my social interactions. I just did it with no real rhyme or reason. So I've just decided I don't really care to anymore. Perhaps on occasion I will still, but I don't really feel like it's something that will fit into my weekly life like it used to.

I think maybe I did use marijuana to calm myself down in the past. Self medicating almost definitely occurred. I don't need to anymore though. The things that gradually go by the wayside are interesting. Certain tendencies are mostly gone. I've replaced the me that has a serious difficultly waking up for classes with one who goes to bed at a reasonable hour. It's not to say that those prior tendencies were entirely my fault, or even all of them bad, just that some of these old things have fallen by the wayside.

It's wrong to associate this change solely with drugs though. Some of these changes are me growing up. I don't like to think of my drugs as the actors in the changes going on with me, but more as helpers. I can do certain things because of my drugs. I don't wake up early because of my drugs, but I am able to because of them. It's like the lyrics of a song I wrong "It's my music that keeps me sane, My morning pills just help me to play"

That's not a huge thing to realise, but it does make me feel more in control. Thinking of my drugs as tools that I'm choosing to use rather than as these things that force me into a very particular box. I guess that's one of the key changes in my view of things, I am viewing myself as the one in control rather than seeing myself as someone blown about on moods, and wills and whatever else have you.

I don't know if it matters, but I want to know what of this change is my drugs and what of it is simply me maturing. I doubt I'll ever find out, but it would be nice to have some sort of idea what I have control over and what is just the effect of all the things surrounding me.

On another note. My mental length metre may be broken if I consider seven paragraphs painfully short.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I really need to get this order of when I take drugs and when I write down. Today was a bit odd because I had actual work to do, so I guess that's an excuse, but It's not a good one. I've been rather good about the scheduling thusfar, but tonight I just missed the ball. On the upside, I'm not so out of it that I can't write. I did take my pills and I was laying down rather happily, ready to just drift off to sleep, but I feel like it's important writing this, It's also important brushing my teeth, which seem to always have problems.

So I guess this goes under the heading of taking care of myself. That's a rather unusual way to treat writing, unless I'm completely out of touch with writers everywhere and secretly that's all writing is for anybody.

I think I've come to the conclusion that my solution for anything should be either writing a post about it or writing a song about it. Whatever it may be. There are some obvious exceptions, like bills, and gaping head wounds, but for the most part, a song or a post are the best tools I have to deal with the world around me.

This is a little disconnected, but anytime a message, or a phonecall isn't returned I entertain the idea that whoever isn't responding may be dead. I end up sort of figuring out how I would find out, and if I really am close enough to the person and their family and friends to be notified if they were to die. It's epically morbid, but it's not done in any depressing way. It used to worry me endlessly, at least when I was still suffering from OCD, but now it's just an interesting exercise in thinking about how closely I am connected to people I know. Just whether you would be able to get a hold of someone's parents if you had to is an interesting indicator of how closely interrelated you are. Of course it's not the only one, but it's an important one for the whole them dying scenario.

It's one of the options for why someone doesn't call back, I always end up thinking in possibilities. All the little probabilities of certain things ocuring flutter through my brain. It used to be, before my drugs, and before my madness, that I had a very unusual representation of probability. I now know how biased it was, but I could see all the eventual events pretty well. I'm not sure I remember exactly how it worked, but there was something unusual about the way I imagined the future.

Things don't tend to surprise me. I always feel like I've already accounted for events. I've already figured out what the possibilities are so when one of them occurs I'm not surprised. I'm pretty unsurprised by everything. I'm not sure if the possibilities plotting is an adequate explanation.

anywho. I need to be getting off to bed. Buenas Noches.

Avoiding and Arduous research paper.

I'm trying to work on a really arduous paper right now. It's for my cognitive development class. The problem I'm having it sorting through all the studies that are about subjective shit, and trying to find some that are more empirical. I'm also having trouble finding research on the things I know about, language and the such.

It's hard searching for research papers in a topic one doesn't know a whole lot about, and even harder when that topic shows up a whole bunch of qualitative, subjective studies, even among the peer reviewed material. I would think that Cognitive Development could be a vitally interesting topic, but only if the topics breached were done so in an empirical fashion.

I may be dismissing it too soon, but it is disheartening thus far to look through the available research. The really clever research seems to be done by people who are outside the field of development looking in. It's a bit like sociology so far as I can tell. I'm still willing to give it a chance, but thus far the available resources are not promising.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Importance of Forgetting songs.

after my recounting of that argument I had with Matt, I had an interesting realisation regarding my writing process. I'm someone who writes songs, and then leaves them never to be heard. I've forgotten more songs than most bands have. That's not a qualitative analysis, doesn't make me any better, just different.

Tonight I played 6 songs. Two of which I have distinct parts to, and the other four which I made up on the spot. 3 of those made up ones were relatively good. I didn't record any of this, and I can't remember the four I made up.

These were complete songs, with lyrics and full construction an everything, but I won't ever play them again because I can't remember them. Not a single part of them has survived except whatever has gotten into my brain.

That's why the whole forgetting of a song doesn't bother me. I do it every night. I have hundreds of songs I'll never play again. Most of them are what I think of as songs for the moment. Some of them are only good once, because they are so heavily tied to whatever time I wrote them at.

One of the songs I wrote was a song to that girl I can't get out of my head. It had some clever and yearning lyrics. It's good that she won't hear it. It made me feel a bit better about the whole thing too.

That's a lot of what these songs I do by myself are for. What I'd really like Exactly to do is to just do songs like that and just be together enough that we can do performances where the songs are never the same. Just whatever we do right then, and whatever lyrics come out of my mouth. I've gotten good at just blurting out these things over all this time that I write songs most nights.

I can just produce a song if you give me my loop pedal and a guitar. 9 out of 10 times the songs are good, and that's better than the hit and miss ratio of most bands pre written songs, so I feel good about it. I guess sometimes I lament the loss of good songs that I should have recorded, but as I said before, all the songs I forget are scrapped for parts. So I have the good things from songs I've forgotten and those good things go towards my new songs. It's a lot like the Improvisational methods and improv practices of really good jazz musicians. There are things that they pick up on from prior improvisations that make their solos better.

Each song, and each solo, though done on the spot, is actually the product of many different solos played and forgotten. All those lines one's heard and played and taken note of influence the parts that they play. My guitar parts don't all sound the same because I have so many old ones to work from. The things that were good about my old songs come out, and the things that were bad gradually get filtered away.

That's the logic of the songs I just make up on the spot.

The lyrics are another thing. I'm unproven when it comes to that sort of improvisation on stage, but in my room (for all that that's worth) I tend to be pretty good at putting together interesting melodies and lyrics. Sometimes quite affecting, Often with a cogent theme. That's something that could be told from the times I have recorded things.

I like that method of loosing things. That's why Matt's worry about it doesn't resonate with me. Loosing songs, and having all of this material that will never be heard is just part of my process. It's somewhat a part of a lot of musician's process.

That's one thing I like about what we do with Osabear, we record the random songs we just make up, but we throw away most of it, so the interesting things from the old songs can be taken up and used again. That's probably the reason I've stuck with it, besides the performance of good songs we already have.

The whole point is that loosing a song isn't something that bothers me. It's not quite like having something you want to figure out on the tip of your tongue but not quite out, it's more like having all these cool ideas just below the surface waiting for the right stimulus to pull them out.

a bit about moods and band dynamics.

Just had a bit of an argument with matt. He had a chord progression he started working on. By that time we had been done with practice for about half an hour, and we were sitting around basically doing nothing. Jason was in his room studying, and matt while playing this chord progression asked if I had my recorder. I didn't have it with me, and using the vocal mic through the computer didn't work. So that went wrong.

anyway, he went into Jason's room to try and get him to play a beat to it. Jason wasn't much for that, and I was feeling a bit dazed too. So I went in and messed around a little bit, and matt got a little pissed cause he lost the thought that he had.

He was still talking about it while we left te apartment and in the car ride back to my place. He didn't really accept the point that by going in and just interrupting Jason's studying he was making it seem like what he wanted was more important than what Jason wanted. Ironically earlier in the day right before practice he was talking about some of the people they were hanging out with last night and how he dislikes dealing with people who are so set on what they want to do that they don't consider the opinions of others.

I can understand where he's coming from with the fact that he'll loose the song if he doesn't get to it just then, but I don't think he really accounts for other's enough. I know that a song will disappear, but when he wondered how often that happens, I wasn't that interested. I know how songs get lost that way, but it doesn't bother me so much, if only because the stuff that disappears ends up integrated into other songs. We sort of pick up all the stuff from songs that we've lost and forgotten and we incorporate it into our new songs. So I'm not just dismissing his thought, and his disappointment at loosing a song, I'm just not bothered by it because the song's aren't lost, just parts of them are. Each song we forget is put into our other songs. Every song that we don't use can be an influence on the songs that we do.

So while my terse, and sommewhat annoyed answer of "that doesn't interest me" seems insulting, I don't mean it to be, I just mean that the phenomenon isn't one which I can A: do anything about B: that seems to cause a whole lot of detriment to the overall writing process or C: one that I care to discuss at length.

Today I just haven't been in a mood. I don't really know what that means. These moods affect me more than other people. So when I say I'm not in the mood for something I mean it. It's not something I can easily change by some active process, it's something that I have to either let pass, or just sit with.

I'm not just copping out when I say that. I was just sitting down and feeling despondent, and wishing that I had more to do. Matt was playing the guitar, and I didn't have a guitar or a recorder, or a penny whistle. I was there with a ukulele that I wasn't used to, and expected to feel involved and creative. It's not a situation that makes me feel particularly like playing and singing.

I always end up feeling like an outside observer. I feel like I can understand more than one point of view. I also end up feeling like Matt can't. Or like he can but doesn't.

he doesn't feel like he's asking all that much, and most of the time he isn't, but that's not always true.

All I wanted right then was my loop pedal and my guitar. I didn't want to just sing over guitar, or just play along on a little ukulele. That's not something that I could do a whole lot about.

Matt often talks about the way a location or an orientation can change the music produced, but he doesn't seem to be able to incorporate that into his understanding of how other people can be out of a mood. People have moods that vary based on situation, and he understands that, he just doesn't seem to fit it into other stuff.

Of course I have my own issues, so don't take this as a general boo matt thing. I just feel like stating all this stuff that I can't really manage to say in actual conversation. I don't have much patience for people when It comes to explaining things. So I much prefer explaining in writing. it's far easier, and it allows me to take more time to deal with comments and refutation. It's useful.

Anyhow, that's all I had to say. Will likely post sometime tonight as well, but I felt like I wanted to get this whole little explanation out.

a conundrum.

I do write every day, but the timestamp changes at midnight. I'm writing saturday's post right now. Saturday was good. I enjoyed the weather and the music and the nighttime. I don't have much to say though. That doesn't happen to me often. Being at a lack for words isn't a state I've often found myself in.

So tonight I went on a date. It was nice, the fellow I went out with was very nice and rather cute. I don't know how I feel about it because the whole time, and for most of the last week, and the week before that, and if I'm not mistaken the week before that I haven't been able to get this girl out of my head. I've tried. I've tried more intensely now that I've found that she's going out with this guy that she was tentatively with earlier. That paradox where trying to forget something makes you remember it took effect.

I don't like it when this sort of thing happens. I like the sweet joy of infatuation, but not the sting of unrequited love. I don't have any idea why she's gotten stuck in my head. I'll do my best to excise the thought, but it's not coming out.

I feel like telling her that. Just a simple "I can't get you out of my head" but I know the question that follows that, "what does that mean" and frankly I'm not ready to answer that. Best case scenario is she leaves the guy she's seeing and runs off with me, worst case she's horribly offput by it and then I don't ever see her again. The best way to play it is just to keep in touch and keep trying to hang out with other people and get her off my mind. If I can't seem to manage then I guess I'll just have to either grow some balls or live in limbo.

I miss when things were simple. I feel fine about myself right now. That's important. I feel more ok than I have in ages. I feel like I'm in a good place, and the only thing that's really bothering me is that when I go to sleep I feel cold and alone.

Of course I need to try to avoid giving in to my generally co-dependent tendencies, but besides that, it would be good for me to not fall asleep alone anymore. I'm tired of it, and there's just something about this girl that sticks to me. That just happens sometimes. It's not any one thing, just something get's lodged in my brain and I can't shake it.

I don't really know what I'm going to do, and I don't want to keep playing the field and having dates that I enjoy, but am not fully there for. I guess I'll figure it out eventually, but for now I'm stuck.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

a changing attitude towards parties.

I should be asleep now, but of course it is Friday so I've a reprieve. Went to a show and a party. Both were good. I'm getting much better at being the designated driver. That doesn't seem like it would be very hard to get used to, but the associative nature of memory does tend to make me feel odd when not drinking at a party. Of course the nature of parties in Davis is very drink heavy, conversation or other activity light.

This is a problem to a certain extent, but I've gotten over the problem with the putting on of an English accent, and a healthy sense of apathy. The whole purpose of a party changes when you no longer are drinking and trying to get laid. I tend to make the party into a time to meet people, and a time to be entertained by the stupidity of others. I tend to be straightforward no matter what, but drunk people don't notice this, so a statement about how they are being stupid is taken as a joke, or a chide. It makes my conversations much more interesting. So though I feel a little bad about it, I essentially enjoy parties because I get to fuck with people. I don't always intentionally do so either, sometimes I just try to talk to people and be entertained, but that always gets boring.

I much prefer the sort of gathering where it's just friends and there's a hanging out aspect to all of it. That is always far more enjoyable, sober or drunk. Meeting people at parties doesn't make much of a difference. I've met many people at parties, and I know them, but I know them in the context of parties, rarely do the connections go beyond that. It's a hard thing to figure out.

Honestly I'm getting to a point where I'd rather hang out alone with people I know. It's a seminal moment when one realises that.

I'm only twenty one, but I feel a little too old for those sorts of parties. I'm more suited to drinking with friends, or going out for a pint or two. I can understand both of those things, but the wild parties of my youth seem so shitty now. When I was really drinking a whole lot it was just with friends anyway. That's the way of things for me. This larger set of connections doesn't work. I'd rather meet someone at a dinner party, or at a little gathering that's quiet and a little boring than at a loud party where there's nothing but tumult and drunkenness.

I guess realising that can be seen as a particular milestone. I'm certainly likely to try to get smaller gatherings going. When I move into my new apartment next year, I'll try to get smaller gatherings like that together. It will be a better space for those.

Having to go to other people's events is a bit of a hassle. It'll be nice to have a place that's more resolutely my own.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Still settling in.

New drugs don't equal perfect neurochemistry. Of course that statement is obvious, but one doesn't expect the actual effects of that truth. I guess I should have realised earlier, but a new set of drugs doesn't mean complete removal of symptoms. The thing that made all this apparent was my despondent mood most of last night.

I don't like that I'll still on occasion have horrible moods for absolutely no reason. Of course I don't know how much of it is because of the world genuinely sucking and how much is from my chemistry, but I'm awfully tempted to blame chemistry considering the whole character of the despondency.

The real question here is just about what my continued life is going to be like. I still don't fully know. I know how much better things are, but sometimes the inability to think in the same way, and the loss of manias just irks me. Now that I realise that sometimes I'll get little bouts of unwarranted sadness as well, I'm not as pleased with my situation. I'll keep on with the drugs, and I'll keep living a bit better than I had, but I still have my doubts.

In a related note, I'm going to quit smoking. I don't really smoke very much as it is, but when I feel really fucking bad about something, the best option is to smoke. I have a few cigarettes and I feel better. It's not a happiness thing, it's just a coping thing. I know that If I keep it up though I'll end up just being a smoker like any other. I have one more cigarette in the pack I've got, and I'll smoke it, and then I'm done. I've said this before, but frankly I was in a much different mental state at the time. What I need to do now is figure out another way to cope. Of course I have other coping mechanisms, but that oral fixation, and the plugging of my nicotonic receptors is a great way of dealing with things.

I'm changing. It's gradual, this getting used to being the drugged me. I'm getting used to being a little more predictable, and a little crankier over time. I'm getting used to being less able to pick up nuance, and to track someone's use of nonspecific referents (saying those people to refer to some group earlier referenced by name)

Of course these deficits aren't all drugs, the inability to pick up on certain nuance is just one of my normal problems, and the referents problem seems to only happen with my bandmate who tends to generalise all over the place. I'm fine with generalisation I just need referents to be clear. people isn't specific enough. He'd expect me to understand these things and I seem like I'm being anal when I ask for clarity, but I really don't understand. It's hard.

I'm not sure if I made that problem clear in the last paragraph, so it may not be understood, but I don't feel like trying to explain it better.

I just need to keep getting used to everything. I'm tired of having to get used to it on my own. I have my band which is wonderful, but that's not the sort of partnership that would make this whole process better. The only person who's seemed fitting for such a role is with someone else. It's so much harder to do everything on one's own. That's anotehr problem with all this. I'm not so good at all the courting and the finding someone to share shit with. Maybe I'll figure it out eventually, but It's hard to figure that stuff out as well as get used to myself.

It's a bit of a catch 22, To get used to myself it would be helpful to have someone as a partner, but to get someone as a partner I have to be more used to myself.

That's one of those problems that's bothering me now. I do prefer this problem to the possibility that I'd feel so horrible I'd want to take my own life. I'd rather this than to feel as bad as I've felt, but it's sad that I have to compare it to such horrid things in order to feel better about it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I hate police, but love Detective shows.

I was feeling despondent, but I'm out of it now. I'm pretty pleased to be out of it. The way I got out of it was by watching some new police procedurals on television.

I hate police as an institution (and often as people, though that is more on a case by case basis) but for some reason I love police procedurals. up to about 2005 I watched ever single episode of law and order, including the spin offs. Watched it with my family a whole lot. I also have ended up watching a few different detective procedurals. Some of them are different than others, but some are just good old fashioned cop glorifying bullshit.

But as the new show Castle has been helping me realise, It's all because of the stories. For those not in the know, castle is a show in which the main character is a mystery writer who tags along with a detective to crimes to get ideas for his books.

So of course Castle thinks of all of the cases in terms of what the best story would be. That gets me to thinking. In these sorts of shows it's all about the storyline. I used to predict the results of Law and Order episodes. I was pretty accurate. My parents actually strongly encouraged that I not tell them anything during the episodes because if I talked I would pretty consistently ruin it.

That's the point though, I love these shows because they're just that, procedural. The whole thing is based on how a story works. There are very strict rules to set up and to how the story goes about after that. All of the little twists and turns are part of the formula, and what's exciting is seeing how the writers twist the formula.

The best procedural dramas make you believe that the end result was the only possible end result. It doesn't matter if it was a twist or if it was the butler all along, it just matters that you believe that it was the only option.

Modern police procedurals in many ways are our current myths. Often they're the most popular shows on television, be it CSI or NYPD Blue, and they always have characteristics that are similar to classic myths.

The modern Achilles', all rage and power, hamstrung by pride. That describes so many of the most compelling police characters in television.

I hate the ideals that they put forth, and the assumption that police are necessary or that their tactics are just, but I can't help but love the stories.

So there it is. I love my procedural dramas, no matter how prejiduced and misinforming they are, because they're an avenue for telling stories that are comfortably the same, but which differ Just enough.

I love Ashes to Ashes, and Law and Order, and Castle, and a few new ones that are coming up. I love the way the stories fit together so well, and the consistencies and inconsistencies. It's fun to second guess the writers. It's fun to see the interpersonal relations. No mater what I think about the faulty morals that these shows espouse to a largely influencable public, I can't get past how good the stories are.

I don't like violence but I love Achilles, and Cuchulain. I don't like police, but I love detective fiction. I can't get enough of Philip Marlowe, and Sam Spade. I can't get enough of Seely Booth and Temperance Brenan. It's tricky, balancing my dislike of the attitudes these myths may be strengthening in us and what wonderful stories they are.

Who am I

I'm sure it's been noticed, but I have a tendency to be a little long winded. In my responses to people and my statements about things, I tend to speak over the necessary length. I tend to feel that more details are necessary than everyone else seems to. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Something else as of late that's been coming to my attention more and more, is how literal I've become. I take so many things literally, and I just don't catch nuance the way I used to. I don't know why that is. Perhaps since I haven't as many things going on in my head the track that once was devoted to nuance is no longer active.

It's hard to figure out, and I'm not worried enough about it to do some serious exploration, but I have been taking things very literally far too often lately. Of course some of this is based on my bandmates tendency to over generalise and a few of his verbal quirks.

The way we interact with others tells us so much.

This is entirely unrelated, but I'm not sure what to refer to myself as. Labels never seem to work quite right. Of course I'm bipolar, but that doesn't quite cover it, and then there's the bisexual bit, but that also doesn't do it. If we add in the musician bit, I'm still not covered, and then we add the writer bit (and I call myself a writer because I write ever day, and try to produce something). That also falls short. So we can go with more general terms, such as Californian, but I'm not like the most of the rest of California, having been from the far north of the state. I also am not like most estado unidensens. I lived in Japan when I was little, but I'm not Japanese. So perhaps we can define me by some heritage aspect. So I'm English, French, German, Chezch and Irish. None of those quite cover it either.

The fact is I can't figure out how to quantify myself. Anytime I've tried to really figure out who I am, I've come up short. Usually I don't bother with the labels and generalisations, but they work well as an example of not fitting into the mould. Of course no one really does, but some fit better than others. The point is that I can't figure out who I am.

I've been trying for a while and the complex answer hasn't gotten any clearer. I'm ok with having a difficult answer to the question, I'm not as ok with having no answer. One would hope that having been in so many situations would give one more data about how I react to situations. It hasn't I've been in the worst and the best of much of human existence, and yet I don't have any idea who I am because some of that worst and best was part of me and some of it was whatever malady I'm suffering from.

Just the role of drugs in my life is a difficult thing to figure out.

I Just sort of want to know who I am. And I don't yet.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The heritage of madness.

My Fingers are hurting from a good band practice. Well it was just me and matt, but still since we're the core of the band that counts. We got the songs down pretty well, and I think the getting of two shows has gotten us excited. We have shows coming up in this month and in the next. It's really exciting to be getting shows going.

I like the music we're doing. As I've said before, it's not like what I do on my own, which is high concept and really unusual. What I'm doing with osabear is popier, but it is really good. I get it stuck in my head and I don't mind. That's usually a good sign.

Besides my fingers hurting, I'm in the same state I've been in for a few nights. A good state that is nowhere on the spectrum of crazy that I'm so used to. I've started to get used to the scheduling things that order my life. It's something that will take time to fully get used to, but I'm pleased to be so settled in.

I do need to find another job, the one I currently have hasn't started because we haven't enough clients. We don't have the money to keep too many staffers on, and that's not likely to change until July. Of course they didn't tell me this, so I found out from one of my friends who works there. At least that gives me some time to try and get a new job. I'll try to get something menial and shallow. I just want hours. I could work just about anywhere and be pleased with it. I would of course rather have a job that I enjoy, but the last time I tried that, this is what happened, I've been out of work for months. So I technically have a job, but I never get called in.

It's rather annoying. With my last job they never officially fired me, they just stopped calling me in. I probably could have managed to get some hours again but I was crazy at the time, which was the reason they didn't call me in anymore.

It's interesting to realise that I've been living off of school loans for the last six months or so. It's not a good thing. Not that I'd be able to do anymore about it than I have.

It's not nice being in this odd limbo. I don't much like having so much uncertainty. Of course I can deal with it, but I'd rather not have to. I've been in so many situations that others haven't. It always surprises me how much Ive done in three years. I haven't achieved anything, but I've done a lot. That statement only makes sense if you realise that I'm no further towards my goals than I was when I started. Well I guess I'm a bit further towards my goals, but not enough to account for three years.

Those are some of the hazards of having lived an interesting life. I don't know how that's going to continue. It's odd to think that the wildness is behind me. Of course it's only behind me if I keep up with my drugs, and though I intend to, one never knows.

Without drugs I would have been well on my way to being a brilliant artist who died before he came into pre-eminence. I was reading an interesting list of posthumous works which were sufficient legacies, and I came across so many that seemed like the sorts of things I might create. So many things I really loved as well. I'm willing to put up with the effects of drugs to avoid drowning in the missisippi, or stabbing myself multiple times in Los Angeles, or overdosing in some motel room, or hanging myself to the sounds of "the idiot"

Of course I don't think I would necessarily have lived up to the epic deaths listed above, but something similar very well could happen to an unmedicated me. All that would be required would be one depression where I had the energy to carry it out.

That's a sobering realisation. It's nice to claim kin with such brilliant people, but it's not so nice to realise that the variable I share with them is one which so often leads to tragedy.

that I know details of those who came before me is also somewhat startling. I've always found myself gravitating towards such individuals. I always think that I may very well know all the mad people on campus, because I know so many of them. it's not just a one way attraction either. I've found people suffering from maddness of various sorts attaching themselves to me as well.

That me without drugs could equal someone brilliant, but someone also so horrible fragile is startling. I deal with it, but realising that there are only some pills between me and nigh certain death is harsh. Of course this certain death is more eventual than some, but If I want to take my predecessors as a model I could do such varying things as put stones in my pockets and wade into the river, buy an abercrombie and fitch shotgun and blow my head off, and go off to fight in Greece for their independence just to die from complications of some malady.

I have a lot of people to model on. Brilliant but so sad at the same time. Thank god for these drugs.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

it can't be helped

Rereading the post from last night I am reminded very harshly of something; I cannot change the order in which I do things too drastically. I took my pills before writing my post, and it didn't work out. I'm in many ways forced into habits, and in order to fulfil the things I'd like to fulfil, I need to keep those habits. It's not entirely pleasant for me to realise this, but it is useful the know.

I've remarked strongly on the tyrrany of schedules, but there is something useful about them. Whether or not I like it, I am a slave to a certain form of schedule. I do have, at the very least, a school schedule and a medication schedule. That's quite a lot for someone who at his best would do little but read, write, and play music. When I wanted so badly to become a surgeon people were very surprised because I always seemed like such an easy going person. The strictness of the regimen and the amount of time required didn't seem to fit me. I would have done it for something I truly wanted to do.

The only reason that desire has gone by the wayside has been my mental illness. I've found some interesting things about me, and they all lead me towards wondering what our brains do and how they do it. Neuro-surgery was always an option as well, but it's so hack and slash. There's so little we truly know. When I tell people how I changed my mind I make it sound like a choice, a realisation that we don't truly understand the brain and that I am best meant to further that understanding. What actually happened was that I went mad, and the things that most interested me, the brain, the way it works, and how it sometimes doesn't, were all consuming. I of course found more interest in neuroscience the moment I started up school, so there was a measure of choice, but the way that madness drove me towards it is still important.

How many of my decisions have been driven by this malady that so haunts my days?

I can never know how my life would have progressed had I not been born with this madness. Had I not been the heir of the swing of mood and temperament, what might I have done? I can't know if my creativity would have been so apparent had I not been so driven to write and sing while manic. I can't know so many things.

I wish that my mind hadn't exacted such a price. Of course I can't worry about it too much. Shikataganai. It can't be helped. Shikataganakata, it couldn't have been helped.

Every day I write (in kana) shikataganai on my left wrist. It's where I can look at it, and see it when I play guitar, and when I turn my palm toward me. It is a good reminder that I can't have helped the things that have happened to me. I know there are some problems with simply accepting the world, and I do hold the world responsible for those things I can change, but there is so much I have no control over that having a reminder on my wrist is a good thing.

I plan to get it tattoed, because there is so much stuff that I cannot control, and besides the pleasure/pain aspect of actually getting a tattoo, having it written there every day has been useful to me. Having that reminder that I can't help certain things and I should accept that, without sorrow or joy, simply accept.

wish I could have written more, but drugs have kicked in.

I'm writing only because I have gotten in the habit of doing it every day and foregoing that tradition wouldn't be wise.

I'm tired. It's been a busy, but unproductive, day.

I intended to just steal something from my old notebooks and post it here, but I haven't been finding anything I like. That seems to happen a lot, Finding that I don't really feel like the person I used to be, and don't really like the things I produced in the past. The poetry I wrote feels trite. That's an issue with getting older, one realises the folly of youth.

I also find myself wondering how much the folly of youth was the fault of youth and how much the fault of illness. When did the craziness start?

My drugs are beginning to take effect. I wish I could have written more.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'm not down, even if my writing is.

My last post was very long, and quite a downer really. I'm feeling fine. I suppose that's important to note. tonight has been good, and there isn't anything horrible happening or about to happen. I'm feeling good and in fact feel like the future is bright. Considering how good things are, how depressing my last post was is rather profound.

It makes the point of the post a little clearer though. The bit about even the good moments being tainted by the horrible ones. I don't need to hammer that nail in twice, but It does deserve more mention.

ON all happy notes, I have a love life. That's not something that has been the case before. I feel bad that I have to sort my feelings out and that that may hurt someone's feelings, but I do feel good that I have a chance at not aloneness. That's a profound change for me.

It feels good to not be so purely single. My life is starting up again. That's good. My drugs work, my life works, and the things that before had thrown me into unemployment, and unenrolment in school, are no longer seriously plaguing me. Even if they hide around the corner, I'm ok.

Everyone has things they have to hide from, unless of course I'm overgeneralising. I do tend to do that from time to time. Thinking that people are more like me than is the case. Of course saying that I'm too much different would be an error in the other direction.

Whatever. The point is that I am well, even with the bad things lurking behind me. I am alright with my lot, and with my errors. I'm alright in general.

Things are good, and should be for some time.

It feels weird, but I'm happy to get used to it.

wasting all my breath, and the atheists prayer

Tonight's been one of watching science fiction television. That's not entirely a waste, but I do feel like perhaps I could have used the time more wisely. As seems to happen a lot, I have a song in my head.

I keep playing it over, and it doesn't get old. The song is 'wasting all my breath" By All Get Out. I only have four songs by the band. The four songs are the ones that they recorded for a Daytrotter session Their particular session can be found here.

The first verse is the one that's been asserting itself in my consciousness.

'We're all gonna die,
That's just life, in time
The Hallelujah, the by and by
we'll all fly away so high
there's a final chance to breathe
the smoke in my lungs ain't gonna help me
it's a speedy process
of wasting all my breath on cigarettes."

It's the only statement I've ever heard that accurately expresses how I felt when I smoked. I still smoke on occasion, but I'm not a smoker by most standards. What I mean is it sounds like how I felt when I was smoking a pack a day. That wasn't for a very long time. Maybe a few months. I don't even remember what time was like then. But that whole verse is right.

I don't know why it's been pushing forward in my brain so strongly.
That last line, "wasting all my breath on cigarettes" just repeats, and the low tone he hits makes things feel right.

I've often felt hopeless, and when my philosophies are criticised, the primary comment has to do with their negativity. The smoke in my lungs ain't gonna help me. But somehow it did. I take things too literally most of the time, and I tend to espouse ideas that aren't optimistic in the least. I feel like I've earned the right to pessimism, but I don't think everyone gets that.

I don't feel like someone can objectively look at the world and see a great overwealth of good or of freedom. I don't always think those two are connected, though I have my suspicions. I feel like anyone who does, either has a whole lot of explaining to do or is yet another victim of indoctrination and misinformation. Those are generally the attitudes of conspiracy theorists. I don't bother with such things, I've evidence for what I believe, and none of it is hidden from view.

But all that is of less importance right now than the way that this song is coming into my head and why. one of the hardest things I ever tried to write was a description of the act of smoking. The reason it was so hard, and so eluded me was because there's just something about it that made my emotional scars into real ones. I breathed in smoke, and felt the things it did to my lungs, speedily, slowly, and at whatever pace it chose, and then I could feel a little better about the things that didn't have a noticeable physical consequence. Sometimes the feeling of warm paper wrapped tobacco and filter and the touch of the filter to my lips was all I could feel, because I was just tired of feeling anything else.

That description shouldn't have any serious emotive force, but as I write it I'm on the brink of tears, because it was never a matter of erasing the emotional and mental scars, but only of dealing with them.

when my lungs ache a little, and I realise that it's from the bit of smoking I'd done, I think of the emotional scars that tie, and I feel a little better. I feel a little more like things will be alright. If we're lucky we end up coming out even. no one ever wins, we just have that chance to break even.

for a few shitty months that still haunt me, the smoke in my lungs was one of a few things that I was hoping would help me break even. Some shit may always haunt me. Even while I'm well, I just remember my depression, and I shudder. There's enough to be depressed about that even without my chemical imbalance throwing me into a depression, there's cause for one. That it seems the case now, when things are well, when all these avenues are open to me, when my world is blooming, suggests that it always will be. There will always be cause for depression. there will always be something haunting me. If it's not my own chemistry it'll be my brother's death, or my father's mental illness, or the general injustice of the world. If nothing else, I will always have these realisations that I'm a pill away from insanity.

I'm on the brink every day. Every good day, and every bad day. No matter how good my life gets, or how small my sorrows are in comparison to those of most of the rest of the world, I'm going to have these things lurking in the shaddows waiting to pounce.

God I wish it weren't the case. I wish I believed in God so he could take from me these worries. I wish that praying still made anything better. I wish that I didn't have nights were I'm lying awake just because I'm afraid of the nothing that I'm sure is waiting for me after my body fails me. I wish that my brain hadn't already failed me. I wish that there weren't ever times where I couldn't stop crying, and had started for no reason at all. I wish that the homemade rosary hanging on my bookshelf gave me more solace than a couple hundred miligrams of pharmaceutical.

God do I wish for these things.

I feel like writing the atheists prayer and shouting it out to the world so that everyone could hear.

Dear God,
Save me from myself
when I die and fall into that nothingness I'm so sure awaits me
Catch me
pull me out of my own arrogance
either delude me now so I can die happy thinking you're there
or give me some reward for the nights
where I can't sleep because I'm so afraid
where I feel nothing but pain and panic
and where I cannot do anything for fear that you simply arent
My father who aren't in heaven
give me some reward for being sceptical
you know I don't get any reward as it is
No comfort
No solace
Little peace
Tell me I'm wrong in a booming hallucination
tell me I'm wrong so I can wake up free of worry, and guilt
Tell me you love me in rays of light and happiness
so these tears will dry on my cheeks
and the pain I've felt won't matter
Make it so that my death
will be more than just relief from pain
so that I won't be alright with death because it's better than suffering
but because it's not the end
Love me
be infinite
hear this
even though you're impossible
just fucking exist.
I've tried to believe
with every piece of me
Forgive me for not succeeding
forgive me for thinking too much.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tonight, and how I represent time.

I went out tonight. It was nice. I got out of classes, came home and then looked at an apartment with my bandmate. The place was nice. I think it'd be a good place to live in next year. After that we played some music, and then we went over to the apartment where our other two memebers live and played even more music. After that it was off to a show that was alright and a poetry reading that was great for the one poet I went inside for. I spent more time out in the front smoking with interesting people. I smoked more cigarettes today than I have in a while. It's a social activity, and I just like having something between my fingers like that.

I can do without it, but It feels good. All the while I heard a line from this song by a band All Get Out. They're rather good, and the song is "Wasting all my breath" The line that kept coming up had do do with "wasting all my breath on cigarettes".

It artfully brought up that little death wish that drives one to smoke. There're other things that appeal to smoking, but other than oral fixation, they aren't that big. I have been smoking less and less though. I find it a little gross, and I don't do it habitually anymore. It's mostly just at parties. I've already explained when I started. It's basically how I got over my ex girlfirend who I was in love with. It took cigarettes and time and was happening inconvieniently while I was having one of my breakdowns.

That brings up more stuff though. I've been a lot of things. I've been an EMT, and I've been crazy, and I've been kicked out of school, and I've written many a thing, and I'm a musician. I've been in love, and I've gone on bike trips that lasted a few hundred miles. I've lived in Japan, and in the mountains. My life has been very full for someone of 21. Age isn't really a way to judge these things of course, but if we want to think in terms of how much one should have experienced by twenty one, I've exceeded the threshold.

I don't know what this really means. It means I've got more stories than most people do, but it also means that I've got a more cynical view than a lot of people. I've been in a lot of situations, and because of the staes I've been in while in those situations I have some serious deficits. I take things literally far to often. I'm bad at certain types of nuance, I don't have tact. These aren't all horrible problems, but they are noticeable. I'm on drugs that relatively few people take. I'm part of a long history of interesting people who created great things and died young old and inbetween.

I'm someone who's had a few lives in these past few years. I don't know exactly how it happened, and I couldn't have planned it. It doesn't feel like I've only been in Davis for 3 years. I feel like I'm older than I am. My joints creak, and the world looks a little dimmer than it used to. My brain doesn't always recall things the way I'd like it too, and I have all this wealth of experience to draw from, and yet I've only really had most of this life experience in the span of three or four years.

I don't care about time, because it doesn't organise properly in my brain. I don't have a good representation of my childhood, and I have an over representation of the last few years, but somehow it just doesn't feel right to be true to the time lock when it isn't time that's done this to me. The crazy don't live in the same linear time everyone else seems to. I can't do anything about it but be.

That sounds so weird, and a little pretentious, but I just don't feel like I'm hinged to time the way everyone else. I'm not real in the present all the time, and the past is huge. I have been for so long, and people think I'm older than I am. Sure some of it's the beard, but I identify with people who have a longer span of life behind them, and people who have older references. I am not of my generation, I am not of any generation. I don't know what that means, just that I don't quite fit. I can't reconcile my experience of time with the quantifiable aspects of it.

on being Awkward

I seriously considered deleting the last post. I don't know how much stuff I want about me out on the net, but that's not really the concern that is most important. Lovelorn writing is rarely interesting. That's why sonnets get boring after a while. Being infatuated is all consuming but I don't think that I should write about it.

The problem with writing every day is how much mood and emotion make my writing. If I've been happy all day then my writing will be a certain way. If I've been pissed off all day it will be another way. Even now that I'm taking drugs to keep myself less dependent on moods, and now that I have largely unhinged my life from the sway of my ups and downs, I still end up writing based on my emotions.

It's hard to remove oneself from all that when writing something. I can't ever be objective, and it's hard to write even about this connectivity while I have something else on my mind. I don't need to write another post about how I'm tired of being alone and would love to have a partner in all this. I've written that post far too many times already. What I need is to get my mind off the whole subject. If only I could turn myself into a ascetic. If only I could just focus on God, or on enlightenment, or even just on art.

All this other stuff is trouble. Love, and Relations with other human beings. I'm no good at nuance, and I'm no good at the varied things people do to start relationships. I don't even know what those things are. All my techniques are for the most part useless and/or juvenile. Mixtapes though sweet don't engender attachment. Letters are not a good idea, as I've found many times. I am at a loss.

There are more and more of those situations for me now that I have the sanity to pay attention to them. Now that I've started to really deal with my head, I have time to see my other shortcomings, and I find them to be rather great. I'm a very nice person, but I don't have tact, I'm very bad at certain types of nuance, and when people ask questions I answer them literally whether or not it's appropriate.

I'm fixing as much as I can, but some of it's just me. I'm always so awkward and it works to a certain extent but I just don't know how to get around it.

Someone said to me that awkward people are probably a bit better off because everyone's awkward those people who aren't are just hiding it behind techniques and facades. I think she was right about that. That's why I'm ok with being awkward, but it does make things hard sometimes.

In my social life, I have a lot of work to do. I connect with people in interesting ways, but I find myself unable to really have any control over what I'm doing. The connections I make are made without my intention, and the way I go about all of this is just a reaction. I don't have a plan, and if I did I don't think I'd be able to implement it.

I wish I had a plan, and could put it to work, and get results. But I'm at the whim of my awkwardity and the flow of time. I'm at the whim of fate if you will. It's not a happy place to be. I just want to get a few things right.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm not very good at this.

I'm running into one of the problems with keeping a journal on the internet; I can't write about romantic shit without it possibly getting read by the very people I'm writing about. There are pluses and minuses to that. I could use it as a way of passively writing a letter of affection and so avoid rejection. The minuses are more of an issue tonight though. I have someone I can't get out of my mind. I'll not say who because I've a feeling that'd be a mistake, (which brings up another problem, what if this message gives someone false hope)

When I get infatuated I get and urge to make grand romantic gestures and to write letters. I've written many very stupid, stupid, ill advised letters. I've not delivered all of them, thank the gods, but that still leaves the ones I did deliver. Those letters were bad ideas. It's always too much. The love letter (its not love, but infatuation letter doesn't have the same ring) is the bane of the sensitive male's existence. It kills affection and keeps one from finding whatever attraction may have been lurking under the surface.

I can't get this person out of my head, I don't want to give false hope to anyone else, but I don't know if the person is available or interested and finding out takes time and I just don't want to fucking wait. If I just have patience things might work out, but that's the thing, I spent a long time being patient, a long lonely time, and I don't really feel like it anymore.

I've been tired of being alone for almost as long as I've been alone, and when I find someone who I can talk to, who is interesting and kind and keeps me engaged I want to get started right away. I don't want to wait for our paths to cross, I don't want to wait for the normal course of things to work out, because I'm so excited for what could be, and so scared that if I don't get going I'll loose my chance.

That's the flurry that's rushing around my head. There've been plenty of songs about it. I don't feel like adding to the omnibus. A line that comes to mind (though I don't want to set myself up for the same end result) "When I'm stable long enough, I start to look around for love, See a sweet and floral print, My mind begins the arrangements, But when I start to feel that pull, Turns out I just pulled myself, She would never go with me, Were I the last girl on earth"

The chorus (hopefully) doesn't fit my situation, but I gotta say, Rivers Cuomo tends to write songs that fit really well for me. *the song is Pink Triangle*

Anyhow. I may make another, less lovelorn post, but It will be at another time likely.