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The Old Grue.

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Vae Victis [Jan. 16th, 2014|09:30 am]
The Old Grue.
No mercy for the fallen indeed.
Sprinkle this with bullshit mucho rock n roll metaphors but smart I think rather than any particular art.

I have been taking a beating for approximately five years. In order to keep the peace with my partner I quit a job - not a particularly good job mind you simply one that paid the bills and had gotten us out of debt - and moved 200 miles without a job on the other end. We got the house my partner wanted and I promptly scrambled for a job to no avail for over 18 months. When the next job came up I was forced to live a distance away and I did not make as much as I would hope but the bills were paid and we were getting ahead. Somehow this was insufficient and my partner begin to punish me for doing exactly what they had asked me to do.
I was then set a simple ultimatum: find another job and return to my partner in 3 months. I achieved the goal and took a 2/3 decrease in pay under the impression I had successfully achieved the request. A whole new round of punishment began. Realities forced us to find another home and reduce costs. I was punished for this as well.
I finally stumbled upon an opportunity and we relocated. My partner seemed to tolerate this, but I had become accustomed to the ongoing punishment and accepted the status quo. Silent about my needs I buried myself in distractions and soldiered on assuming that my partner's silence and smoldering disapproval was deserved.
They would communicate with me when they were ready.
A year and a half into a new Job I have finally come to the conclusion things will not change. The pattern of sullen silence and abusing my sense of duty has not changed. I am on the cusp of action as I wrestle with that sense of duty.

I am not the things that have defined my place to now.
I am not a:
source of income.
short order cook.
Council to be entreated and ignored for the same cycles of behavior.
Cuckold.
Whipping boy.
Confessor.
Friend of convenience.

In insisting this stop I have opened the challenge that a bluff is going to be called.

Its so nice to be a man who likes watching Rome burn.
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Just had to open my yap about dreams. [Feb. 11th, 2012|07:55 am]
The Old Grue.
Interesting study in my mirror crack'd last night:
Nightmares don't really bother me. Sweat, raised pulse, quickness of breath, a sudden shock and a reminder of life.
The dreams that bother me are the ones where I really confront my demons. If there's a love interest, a child, my parents, or a conversation with myself I'm invariably shaken. Sleep is done for and a restful day is simply not going to happen - the dreams are too real and distracting.

Today will be anxiety and feeling like a caged animal.

Act one was reliving a sleep deprived portion of my life. I threw myself into work to prepare for a life not meant to be. Aside from my emotional weakness my financial acumen simply wasn't there. A pregnant lover had me moving to realign my life. A breakup lifted the responsibility from my shoulders. Act 1 had me reassessing that whole part of my life. Nothing like an accusatory teen to play on my parenting and abandonment issues.
Act two was past lovers rehashing what was versus intentions with the voices reversed. The most terrible of this is being unsure if this a cry for absolution or a reminder purgatory is our own prison.
Act three was reliving my parents' marriage as I saw it. The true terror was (see! Children!) Was watching my indifference to the children as I was so immersed in myself that I couldn't see the other participants' pain.
So I'm beating myself up in a silent gym grappling with the echoes of my fears and the silent assassination of what I can only describe as half formed envy this morning.
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Alpaca my bags... [Jan. 18th, 2012|03:43 am]
The Old Grue.
Bag work sucks. I have the little t-rex arms of an artist, mass of a walrus, and core strength of a smashed chicklet. But its still better than a few short months ago.
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So this is New Years...and what have you done? [Jan. 1st, 2012|07:50 am]
The Old Grue.
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Nope. Still not a fan of John Lennon.
So School fell through this semester. Apparently federal financial aid ran out half way through one class. The school was kind enough to not notify me until this new registration cycle. *sigh*
A more significant drop of cash than I can swing to pay the remainder, and pay for this semester. But I have 13 weeks to squirrel it all away and talk to a bank about student loans. If I get upgraded from contractor to full employee things get easier. Or maybe I get a second job (ow!). For the time being I focus on more education. I've got room to study for certifications the next few weeks at least!

My New Year's Resolution was swearing off (h)ac(k)tivism. (http://www.circleid.com/posts/20100415_military_asserts_rights_to_return_cyber_attacks/) It might be paranoia, but I'm not too hot on a kinetic response to data intrusion. As our political climate becomes more polarized I become less and less comfortable with kinetic response being hyperbole. After the response to the Occupy movement I'm getting concerned. Kevin Mitnick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Mitnick#Arrest.2C_conviction.2C_and_incarceration) got what could easily be defined as a slap on the wrist in modern times. Our legislators are simply too willfully ignorant and openly disdainful of technology for this to be safe. Hacking isn't an act of war but can legally be responded to as such.
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Armor piercing questions and self image... [Dec. 23rd, 2011|08:33 pm]
The Old Grue.
[mood |predatory]
[music |VNV Nation - Control]

I got asked a great armor piercing question today:
"So this is the new you?"
This a great question in general. A good shake to the self image and challenge a worldview.
So...
Why have I refit my wardrobe? I was warm, comfortable, and fairly consistent. Function overrode form.

To look at it another way - Clothes were an armor of sorts. Over the last several years I had the opportunity to explore this idea of clothing as armor.

Every outfit carries a certain visual composition. The composition creates an image that people respond to and likewise we respond to - much like we respond to our facial expressions as a sort of feedback. Dark clothes lend authority, colors impact mood response, body language controls people's response. While clothes don't 'make the man' they sure do give a boost.

The armor concept carries further into the psychology behind one's appearance. My beloved heavy boots (pending replacement - I beat them to death.), leather motorcycle jacket, Jeans (or BDUs), and Black T make a statement. So does a leather blazer, sharp button-down shirt, the same jeans, and leather shoes. The elements are similar in application, yet the details shape the whole image. A rougher stereotype has its place, and a more refined image draws on a different set of skills. We look at the environment next - how does the outfit fit in? There are places that a biker jacket fits in but they are less versatile than a leather blazer. Like language one outfit has subtlety and can manipulate opinions more effectively than the other. Environment is manipulated by personality - mine to control.

So I've addressed clothing as armor but not the reasoning behind it. Was it a hack? Do I need to see if I can be the man the clothes imply, or just to face the social game to secure my place in a more leadership role?

Its all of the above really. I've dressed rough and tumble for some time. Abused combat boots and ratty jeans gave way to polished boots and worn jeans and to slacks and shoes. I feel more attractive. I do feel a bit nouveau riche sometimes - and the armor piercing question did strike home. Am I putting perfume on a pig? I have earned just a bit more in the recent past so why didn't I do this then? It comes down to a single statement: I want.

I stopped making excuses and acted on what I had wanted for some time. Mixed results so far, I admit, and the difficulties I do not regret. Hack other perceptions. Hack my expectations.

Next steps in no particular order:
Real Esate.
Start a Business.
Continue to put my life in order.
Certifications.
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Shark Jumping [Nov. 21st, 2011|09:16 am]
The Old Grue.
Ok. I'm days behind so:


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/us/politics/congress-blocks-new-rules-on-school-lunches.html?_r=2

WHAT IN THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE DOING!?!
Pizza is *NOT* a vegetable. 1/4c of sauce (read the ingredients of their vile alchemy!)

Even if we ignore the fact that Congress dosen't have to divest itself of conflicts of interest wehn making rulings on finance and contracting (something their aides have to do) these people are largely unqualified for most of what they make rulings on. Their scientific professionals include 13 medical doctors (including a psychiatrist), two dentists, three nurses,
two veterinarians, one psychologist, an optometrist, one pharmacist, three chemists, three physicists, a biomedical engineer, and a microbiologist.
Their average tenure is over ten years in congress - leaving their old careers behind.

Of course if they legislate pizza as a vegetable I can only expect they need safety training for toaster operation.
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Krispy Kreme isn't synonymous with self improvement. [Nov. 10th, 2011|02:44 pm]
The Old Grue.
Unless you want to be a 5 room 2.5 bath abandoned micromansion in Detroit

I have room to improve. I've had a number (oh, if it were only one blithering idiot this would be less frustrating!) of folks attempt to deconstruct my recent need for self improvement. Its tough, the goal is worthwhile, and I'm worth it. So I vent in no particular order and at no particular target. If you're offended then you can Homo Sapiens up and bring it to me directly.

Losing weight: For the assholes who keep correlating the statistical likelyhood of actively losing weight to preparing to find a new mate - I'm fucking damaged goods. Even my close friends know that sometimes they need heavy doses of stimulants and psychotropics to keep up. Nobody wants a paranoid psychopath with hypomania outside a Stephanie Meyer book. (well shit. She *is* worth something!) When I keep this off i'll be able to do the one thing that I wanted since middle school - dress well. Right now its fairly challenging to get clothes that fit since I haven't surrendered to the inevitability of weight gain or the androgyny of the emo/goth scene I never could pull off.

Education: Lessons learned - when you think your online educator is trying to milk you they probably are. Before moving to Richmond the Financial Aid office for my school went through a bit of a shake up. I finally learned that somehow my major was shifted on me when I returned to classes after my last bout of Unemployment. I took too much time off, my old curricula had been changed and now I have to comply with the new requirements. Thats the way it is. No pardon, no reprieve. Still on track, but delayed. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE. I found I wanted to understand languages a bit better. Yes, I'm arguably fluent in English. My Spanish is almost solely limited to kitchen functions, My German vocabulary is miserable and grammar has devolved to a second year middle school level or worse - it sucks. I've been trying to learn a pinch of Mandarin and Irish along the way. Then there's the practicals of how to swindle people (hacking, rather than being a grifter. I've managed to stay away from the much easier Dark Side for the time being and its a point of pride.) and get past people's mistrust - here is a not so simple skill I wish I could apply closer to my own life without compromising my principles.

Work: Technically this also feeds education, but it pays the bills. From $15/h to $53k is no small jump. In a depression. Technically outside my primary skillset. Playing with upper management all day long. Self educated. Fuck you naysayers.

Self image:
I will never be pretty, or svelte, or boyish. If I'm lucky I'll get manly and well dressed. It was brought to my attention that I've been less assertive over the last few years. I've been timid, needlessly concilliatory, and let myself be a dirty secret. No more. Other folks get to be on the defensive now. I remember being able to integrate gregarious with assertive. Respectful with realistic. Gentlemanly with coarse. Its taking a bit to put back together.
I will gladly be called to task and address my failings - but I will give as well as I receive.

Gratitude:
This one has been tricky. Still in progress with my Humility.

Honesty:
Also still a work in progress.

Courage:
This one is getting me more than a few looks askance. Folks are getting upset at me and my unvarnished opinions.
Apparently now its my being churlish and uncharitable. But I'm supposed to be the rock that can weather abuse.
No. I will be tactful, even discrete. Insult me however and I will respond in kind with precisely the mercy I reserve for my self deprecation. I'm done being a punching bag so fuck me, fight me, or get outta my way.

Relationships:
Ok. I confess. These are a mess - they have been for some time.
Separate and beautiful on their own merit seems never to be able to mesh with people's self image and willingness to communicate. Its sad, beautiful, and ultimately irrelevant if no one communicates.
*sigh*
So it goes.
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Extinction bursts and the stockdale paradox. [Oct. 25th, 2011|04:19 pm]
The Old Grue.
Speaking of bad habits - A long long time ago I spoke of an extinction burst: the act of binging on something as a last gasp for the brain to hold on to the reward sensation.
Caught myself nursing more than one soda today to get a sugar rush.

So as part of taking advantage of the Stockdale paradox: Confront the reality of the situation - tasty sweet soda (and diet!! Curse you thyroid response!) is in between me and my goal of losing weight. So I'm stepping up on other things I can control.

Back to day one of eating better.
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Doing it for myself can be challenging [Oct. 25th, 2011|03:12 pm]
The Old Grue.
trying to murder my biases today:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_perception
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attentional_bias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_correlation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer-expectancy_effect

No fear. No remorse for my position.
Not easy sometimes.
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Fuck you all: I do this for me. [Oct. 20th, 2011|07:56 am]
The Old Grue.
He just goes on and on and on and on and on...Collapse )
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