Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1226 and Integrating

I am meant to be wrapping up a personal development course today. It has been a more intense experience than I expected.

I am quite tired and am considering simply skipping the final sessions “integration” for a nap.

I am sure I could pass on it without consequence and maybe I’d even be better off if I did so. I am beyond exhausted from the week and the experience.

My hope is that I can hold myself together and simply disappear for a long sleep. What better way to integrate than through being unconscious?

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1225 and Better Out Than In

I may have bitten off a bit more than I could chew. In post 1215 I discussed a personal development course I’d committed myself to doing. And, to put it delicately, quite a bit of stuff has been coming up. Let’s call emotional acid reflux.

Over the last few days in particular I felt as if I was drowning in somatic bile as years of grief and anguish have surfaced. And I’ve let wash over me.

Turbulent waves of realizations come up and crashed over me. I pray the tides give me enough time to recover before anything washes back. I’d rather it be out than in but the pain has been acute.

I belief it to be appropriate to credit some of this outflow to The Art Accomplishment Connections Course. It is a highly recommended personal development experience.

It’s clear that the methods are almost intensely effective. I can’t say if it’s right for anyone else but I’ve made a commitment to emotional growth over the last several years. I found the name to be off putting (somewhere between scam & Ted Talk in terms of branding aesthetics) but many people I respect and trust recommend it to me. If you’d like to get some things out of your system perhaps it cooks well for you too.

Categories
Emotional Work Internet Culture

Day 1222 and No Exit

Even the most niche corner of the Internet can deliver fame instantly and irrevocably. I don’t think your average person is aware of just how much fame can be delivered by algorithm and how impossible it can be to shed it once you’ve gotten it.

If Andy Warhol could revise his “15 minutes of fame” conceit for the Internet age he’d probably have to grapple with how extended the event horizon of Internet fame can be.

The best you can hope for with algorithmic fame is that it fully dissipates into the background radiation of other people’s more concerted efforts to acquire fame for themselves. There is alas no exit.

Internet fame is mostly about being legible to other people and if you project something that makes sense into the wide abyss you will be known by someone.

If this doesn’t make any sense to you I’d recommend picking up some Satre. The ending isn’t very satisfying but it does repeat. So don’t worry too much about getting it right away

Eh bien, continuons…” 

Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1221 and Migraines

I get really bad migraines. I do what o can to manage them but they are a frequent and challenging enough issue for me that I’ve got 45 separate entries on the topic.

I’d prefer not to discuss it at all as it’s not a very pleasant experience but it can be so overwhelming that it’s all I can think about on a given day. I probably should have seen it coming when I starters making jokes about Cardassians light torture yesterday.

I’ve taken about as much medication as I can (more than two Imitrex otherwise known as Sumatriptan it is a dynamite medicine but you don’t want to risk over doing it as overuse can make the migraines worse. It’s the 109th most prescribed drug in American with over five million prescriptions in 2021 so there is a lot of good data. Plus there is some fun asides.

Overdose of sumatriptan can cause sulfhemoglobinemia, a rare condition in which the blood changes from red to green, due to the integration of sulfur into the hemoglobinmolecule

Since I was making Star Trek jokes earlier this might be the closest I ever get to being a green blooded Vulcan.

Categories
Media

Day 1220 and Four Lights

There is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Picard is captured and tortured by an alien species called the Cardassians. It is called Chain of Command and is a two part episode.

It’s become a touchstone episode because of a famous scene in which Picard is tortured by a Cardassians Gul using an interrogation technique with lights.

Gul Madred attempts another tactic to break Picard’s will: he shows his captive four bright lights, and demands that Picard answer that there are five, inflicting intense pain on Picard if he does not agree.

Picard withstands the torture but is saved. Later it is revealed he would have broken. His defiance is shown in this popular image macro.

There are four lights.

Variations on meme are a stable of social media. It’s popularity has a meme format has extended beyond just Trekkies.

This is all a long winded set up for my own meme. I was being subjected to Kardashian style torture today. Similar to the Cardassians, the Kardashiam methods and brutal and efficient means of controlling female prisoners

I went to a spa to get waxed. Dramatic right? As I looked up at the bright migraine inducing industrial lights I thought of Picard and saw four lights. Honestly four would have been better. Five in this light arrangement seemed to invite a migraine.

Kardashians torture techniques including dribbling hot wax onto hair and ripping follicles out in one hard movement.
Categories
Chronicle

Day 1218 and Start Stop

When you have to “make the most of something” you’ve already done some calculus of personal expectations. I know I will have try to pack as much into a trip to balance out the various costs of travel. It’s not always financial as time, emotions, and focus all have value in your life.

If you have too much variability across these costs or can be hard to justify against your personal expectations. I’ve been known to run as fast as I can once I’m in motion because I believe acceleration is more expensive than stasis. That’s not always true obviously as staying in the same place can be very expensive.

So when I stop-start through life I hope I’m not making the ride more uncomfortable simply because I can’t manage the fuel calculations. Being fueled to make the best of a situation means being prepared.

In other news, I didn’t eat lunch before I ran some errands and I regret it because everything always takes longer than you expect.

Categories
Community Emotional Work

Day 1214 and Hectic

Things are hectic. For all my boosterism about leaning into acceleration I don’t personally live that fast. So I feel it when things are hectic.

I was raised in some of the pushback from various future shock worriers so I’m a fan of living at a human pace. Because as I said (and I’ll continue to repeat it), things are hectic.

A friend of mine and I were comparing notes on what kept her busy. I had hectic things about abstractions. A family friend had paused away this week. My friend had similarly weighty concerns. We both saw a tragedy occur on the periphery of our social circles.

We didn’t have the luxury to feel all the things in our lives. Things are hectic. It is a Sunday so I did some shopping for coming week. I had errands to be done so I could be focused for the week. Mountains must be moved but the things under your control are mostly simple.

Categories
Culture Finance

Day 1211 and Price of Civilization

Whenever I travel I am reminded of just how good a life I have be virtue of being born American.

I’m kept alive, fed, clothed and connected by a vast web of abstractions undergirding modern civilization thanks to the value of my passport and the exorbitant privilege of the dollar.

Constructs like private property have given rise to elaborate norms of obligation, honors, debts and expectations that enable coordination mechanisms like markets. This seems like a good thing from

All of this feels so astonishingly fragile. We listen when our bankers fret about “rules based western civilization” being under siege because we know those rules are what enables the niceties of our lives.

All it takes are a few assholes breaking the rules and the fabric frays a little more. Blessedly capitalism has its own immune system that is happy to attack all types of hostility.

If you are not integrated into the body politic of the dominant civilization you generally know it. I’ve found those outside of it generally wish they could be assimilated from simple envy. If you want these benefits be prepared to be assimilated to the rules and values of civilization.

Your alternative is struggle to hold yourself apart by your own rules and cultural values and insist others abide by them. This has generally required coercion, violence or shame in the past.

You can say “no” to civilizational benefits simply by opting out. To be left alone is to accept your status and stay outside of the great game of civilization. But to accept the benefits is to in some sense accept to accept that there are rules. You can’t break rules if you don’t know their importance. If you know the rules and break them however you can’t be surprised when it’s viewed as a thread.

Categories
Travel

Day 1210 and Technical Difficulties

I’m on the road. Despite carrying a laptop, an iPad and an iPhone as a three cascade backup of devices, I am down to 1.5 functional computing devices after losing my iPad and falling and cracking my phone.

This isn’t ideal as it fucked with my commitments which all require being online and functional. I landed in the afternoon and rested. Clearly I shouldn’t have taken that time for myself but rather used it to acquire fixes to these issues. Given that I need to hit publish and get on with it.

Categories
Preparedness Travel

Day 1209 and No Mercy On The Road

No matter now much I prepare, and I clearly take packing and travel preparedness seriously, there is no overcoming the random shitshows that plague travel these days

I swung through Chicago’s O’Hare in an economy seat to position myself for a long haul flight. That short haul economy flight went without a hitch. I landed in Terminal 1 and made my way t Terminal 5 which is how things started going sideways in multiple directions.

The bus system/holding pen for transit between terminals is amazing for its on the ground access to airplanes but it sure is slow. Once I got to Terminal 5 it was clear the lounge assigned me via the airline wouldn’t work. It was 5 degrees warmer than in the airport terminal (a European airline of course) with no available seating, or inexplicably, any bathrooms. So much for having paid a premium.

I wandered up and down Terminal 5 looking for a food court. Frontera’s takeaway sandwiches had a forty minute wait. Dunkin Donuts was fully stocked but with a 40 person deep line. There was somehow no McDonalds.

The upscale fast casual options like Wow Bao and other private equity branded spots all took turns shouting what they were out of to the crowd waiting. No falafel or pita at the Mediterranean spot. Only 3 options were remaining at the Asian fusion spot. I got half my dumpling order. I didn’t have the heart to press for the remaining items from the single harried worker. $8 didn’t matter.

I went to my gate to wait for the flight afterwards. I sat on the floor. There were no seats anywhere in the terminal (or as previously mentioned the lounge). Somehow, once I boarded my long haul flight the crew managed to change my assigned seat on it without consulting me. It was a much worse seat than I had purchased.

If I had any idea how bad this new seat was going to be I might have fought it at counter, alas they gave no indication this new seat would be an issue.

It was the worst possible seat in the class without any place to store a backpack under foot nor were there holders or nooks for water bottles or your other sundries. I struggled to reposition medication and liquids on the tiny table. The chatty friendly Boomer next to me didn’t realize he was using both his table as well mine making it even order to find space to groom and medicate.

I tried to get that across to him. That all of the space he was using wasn’t actually space but meant to be my side. I failed to get that through. He stole my pack of tissues when I left it out. He did give them back when I pressed him. He seemed embarrassed. Later I released he’d also taken my water bottle. I feel there must be some wider lesson in this.

It wasn’t a proper flat lay seat though I’d paid for a business ticket. I had nowhere to put my medications, toiletries or other sundries. There wasn’t even a spot to put a water bottle. I rearranged as much as I could to avoid having all my things fall into the aisle, took an Ambien, prayed I’d not need access anything else and went to sleep.

I woke up on the other side of the ocean, gathered my things and deplaned.

My watch dinged. Your iPad has been left behind. Somewhere in this process my iPad must have been lost. I didn’t take it out of my backpack to my knowledge so that was a mystery. As I deplaned I was sure I had everything.

Behind where was the question? I only had 30 minutes to get rush to the last leg of my flight but I vainly went back to previous gate trying to see if that was where my iPad had been left behind. There was one at the gate which seemed fast.

As I unpacked all my bags trying to see if the tablet might be somewhere in my luggage I fell and broke my iPhone screen in the process. The top half shattered. It might hold it together for a day or two. Maybe.

Then I had issues clearing the next leg security with my injection medications for my ankylosis. I was told I didn’t need to clear security at this transit point so I wasn’t fully prepared. My bag got unpacked again. At least at this point it was clear my iPad really was gone.

Finally I make with 10 minutes to spare to my final leg. I am upgraded to first but they refuse to allow me to bring my carry on. “It is over 18 kilos!” I begin to cry. It was not over 18 kilos. I weighed it myself.

No one else was even in my 3 rows around me. The empty upper baggage storage had no other bags in them. I tried to sway them saying I have a medication I can’t afford to lose. Nothing works. She wants to exercise authority. My grey roller bag is put below. I pray it’s not also lost to me.

At this point I’ve not eaten a real meal in 24 hours, two crucial electronics are status “unsure” and I’ve got no way of knowing if either my roller bag or checked luggage will make it. Thankfully my three bag cascade system has me with a change of pajamas, basic toiletries and my medications. No matter the effort I point in there never seems to be mercy for the traveler