Sunday, July 23, 2017

We're All Victims Here

I started seeing these signs springing up in yards and peering out windows all over town shortly after the first half-dozen protests against president Trump. While to some I imagine its message may denote something akin to the famous Egalité Liberté Fraternité that was perhaps the only worthwhile and decent part of the French Revolution, to me it's just another semiotic bit of noise pollution emanating from another dismally absurd American cultural dialectic. Have we always been so toothbrush-commercial in our ruminations, evocations, and demonstrations? Do I even REALLY want to know? I just can't take it very seriously, because guess who IS in office, and who all HAVE BEEN in office, and are in office everywhere else the grinding machinery of the sausage factory of the World System is operated. The only way I can see movements such as these being lamer and sorrier is if Spencers set up themed gas-mask kiosks at their pre-march rallies. Remember We Are the 99%? I vaguely recall it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Taking It to the Next Level

Arbitrary life-stage benchmarks always struck me afterward as silly and ineffectual as those x-year production goals I used to hear poor Eastern European Soviet Bloc countries struggle to attain. Or even outright fascicle and sinister like the ones in Oceania that were destined for the memory hole. So, without further ado, here I am taking in a half-assed inventory of where I am and what all is happening; I've been indoors for a little over two years and seven months, am I worth taxpayer expense? lol Of course not! But I don't really care about that, anyway. I have at least gotten serious about quitting smoking and drinking, thanks to having suffered a couple serious injuries -- one of which I'm dealing with as I type. I've also managed to fuck off five jobs, but I take heart knowing that I can actually get a job when I need one and that I'm capable of keeping it for at least six months.

The result of my self-assessment is this: I need to both get a job before fall AND start taking it to the next level, this self-betterment business, now that I'm minimally functional enough to socialize a little and engage in prolonged damage control.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jurassic Park Dining Hall

I was going to blog about something different, but yesterday’s explosive outburst of mine at a bumfeed inspired me to write about something different. Over the years I’ve been going to increasingly fewer of the bumfeeds, for two reasons:

The main reason is because of the specter of scarcity haunting our food pantries, which ten to fifteen years ago were veritable cornocopiae. It’s been making itself pretty comfortable, too! This is no anomaly: even big-money outfits like Trinity Cathedral are starting to skimp on portions and substitute garbage filler (e.g. white rice and bread) for their formerly nutritional offerings. My diet is a pretty big deal to me, even though — perhaps because of? — for most of my life it’s been mediocre to awful. What’s the point in eating when you’re only taking in simple carbs, occasionally accompanied with morsels of meats-of-evil proteins submerged in a lipid sea of arterial dismay? I could just go back to living off malt liquor, and do without the wait, putting up with idiots, and being sober for the ordeal. You’d be surprised how much 2000 kCal costs in junk food (less than five dollars at the Dollar Tree, ten at a convenience store), compared to the same amount derived from whole foods (I can’t see how this can even cost less than fifteen dollars on a good day!).

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Opportunity Cost

Nicotine gum just isn't the same as choking honest-to-goodness blokes (a.k.a “smoking...cigs”), but it's just gonna hafta do. Because I have to quit smoking if I'm to get the surgery on my wrist done, that I've avoided for months already. Fuck me! It's been busted up since mid-December! The trick will be to get me to chew enough of the stuff, because I both dislike gum and dislike THIS particular gum.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Walls Are Closing In

I woke up one morning and bumped my head against the ceiling. I don't remember when exactly this was, because every morning I'm still bruising my noggin on the damn thing. I guess what I'm saying is I've arrived at a point in my life where I feel like I'm in that trash compactor aboard the Death Star; the walls are closing in, there's nowhere to go, and the inevitable end will be messy and terrible. The only "if" seeming to factor into this grim scenario is whether my doom be protracted or not, and how agonizingly long if so.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2nd and Final Month of Phase #2

April is the month I engage in three major self-improvement projects, as part of the final stretch of Phase Two of my self-betterment itinerary. Phase Two of my self-betterment itinerary will draw to a close at the end of this month; by that time I will have not only quit drinking and smoking but also vaping, and the first changes to my lifestyle will have been initiated.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jurassic Wardrobe vs. Smoking Reburns

Every now and then I’ve found myself boasting about how the homeless and the poor have low carbon footprints because of low consumption and lots of re-use. However, until now that’s been an empty — if plausible — boast, because I never got around to determining just what my carbon footprint is. Well, today I decided to try out three online quizzes that estimate. I took the highest — and most consistent — two out of the three results to estimate my carbon footprint to be about 5.3 tons/year out of an average American household figure of 9.4 tons/year, putting me at about 56% or more earth-friendly than about half of my neighbors. Predictably, where the greatest gains are made in my (mostly unintentional) eco-stewardship are in frivolous consumerism; my carbon footprint was probably considerably lower when I was sleeping on a loading dock.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Community Garden Plot

One nice thing about passing out early with your face in a book is you wake up early the next day ... and suddenly transitioning from lights out at 3:00 AM to out of bed at 6:00 AM is less a problem. Made an occasion of rousing myself to the sound of waking crows perched outside in the Park Blocks: threw some soap in the tub with me, along with a (dull as FUCK!) razor and a mirror. I even made it to the community garden get-together, after some considerable initial balking; I think what made my mind up was a combination of being sick of sitting around in or walking around in the same boring places and wanting to see if there may be a cutie or two among my fellow gardeners to creep on.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SALT III Summit 2017

It looks like I may either lose my job or end up looking for another one and moving on as soon as is practical. I blew up on Lobstrocity — fortunately mostly via text after work — Caturday, after a minor chiding by her rubbed the scab off a festering grudge during the peak of an hours-long insanity rush that was knocking all of our dicks in the dirt. I called her out on her abberant psychology with my typically sharp-tongued contempt, so she's roasting me over coals in her heart. I guess I didn't get over her weeks of oppressive bipolar passive-aggressive cunt emanations, even after she apologized that Friday before I bashed my face on the stairwell.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Better Living through Chemistry

It's weird for it not to be weird, not to drink. Started taking Naltrexone the Thursday before last, and since then I've not only not drank any alcohol but I've not even craved it; I'm gradually startting to think about it less, too. No need for me to ponder at never having heard of it all those times in and out of treatment — I doubt a third of the counselors and case workers and acupuncturists etc. would do well in food service lol. It's a major relief, actually, because when I initially planned on quitting on Ash Wednesday I was worried about how I'd manage; I despise 12-step programs and meetings, also the heavily New Age-influenced counseling and relapse prevention...both of which saturate the whole treatment and recovery industry. It really is an industry.

This is Phase Two, of I guess what can be called Project: Corwin Getting His Shit Together. This is the physical health one, where I quit drinking, then quit smoking cigarettes (or at least temporarily switch to vaping), then start to exercise and improve my diet. Phase One was getting and keeping the job, which aside from one fit I threw whilst severly injured and due to the damn spray gun exploding into catastrophic uselessness I've done beyond spectacularly; in fact, I'd be cooking right now were it not for the injury (well, one of them). Phase Three is something I haven't quite solidified in my mind yet, but I vaguely describe as “getting a life”, as in a life enriched by edifying people and activities.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Donald Trump and the End of the World

I realized a few things while I was over at an acquaintance's a couple nights ago, watching BBC and CNN news on her projector (after she'd gotten tired of playing Goat Simulator lol). She and her girlfriend were bristling in indignation at Trump's temporary travel ban, which I merely felt to be yet another foreign policy disaster — par for the course — and an excellent opportunity to test whether or not the decades-long expansion of executive power can withstand a check from the judicial branch of the federal government. So impassioned are both the support for and opposition to our new president, yet I wonder how much of either is rational.

There's certainly much to dislike about the guy: he's a loathesome boor, he was never all that great a businessman, and he's already indicated early on he's grandiose and reckless. And that's not even mentioning his politics: he certainly SEEMS to be racist and misogynistic like most Good Ol' White Boys, his cabinet is a nightmare of inexperience and conflicts of interest (i.e. croneys, or goombas), his immigration and trade sword-rattling are both potentially calamitous, and we less fortunate Americans are fearful of ending up sleeping in shelters and doorways. However, for all that, I emotionally view the guy as the hyperbolic logical conclusion to the American cultural and political trajectory; viewed in that light, it's unlikely he'll get much worse than the likes of Clinton and Bush Jr., or even Nixon.

Does this make me a centrist, cut off by the raging seas of partisan extremism from other like-minded realists like the smaller islands of the Japanaese archipeligo on a bad summer day? As far as immigration goes, I honestly believe that nobody should be allowed into the country who isn't willing to learn English, who won't serve a purpose here, and who would deprive a citizen of a means to make a living. Nor would I mind seeing a trade war against China, as bad as that could get; I'm sick to death of how globalism has reduced blue-collar American workers to pathetic wage slaves. But, as for the travel ban, that's total bullshit: gun-slinging emo American high school kids are more of a threat to our nation's security than are foreigners who underwent months of scrutiny and background checks.

So, yeah, I'm not dogmatically left enough to just hate the guy and want to get all theatrically Thomas Paine on the Establisment because Trump got elected. Besides, I HATE Hillary Clinton! Her husband deregulated more, free-traded more, cut more welfare, and got tougher on crime than most Republicans have within my lifetime — and she's AT LEAST as scary a neo-liberal global elitist as he is. It was a rotten choice to begin with, indicating arrival at the point of critical failure for our campaign and election system. Trump didn't get voted in because most Americans are backwater bozos, but because roughly half of the voting country didn't want another career politician in office.

And, already such a bizarre forty-fifth presidency! I've never seen anything like this scenario spilling out of the White House like metal folding chairs cascading out of a semi hurtling down the freeway, nor can I recall having read anything similar going on during prior presidencies. We the people have grown so stupid, lazy, and selfish ... and, boy howdy, does it show! So much so, that I can only wonder how small-minded or deliberately vapid an American will have to be in 2020 to remain clueless. This could be the wake-up call we political borderland fringe elements have been muttering darkly about forever; but I can just as easily see this being the outside edge of the whirlpool that drags us down into ... Mad Max!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Along the Banks of Cocytus

Significant damage to the front stairs of the central library from a fallen tree limbWinter storm Jupiter* arrived Tuesday afternoon, dumping anywhere between four and fifteen inches of snow on Portland — the most we've had since 1980, which I only very vaguely recall — and still the city is coated in a thick patina of compacted snow and ice. As expected, I lost the first of my newly-acquired Wednesdays (from the other dishwasher); the fourth day this winter has cost me, or about half a paycheck. That's too much money to lose because my city government would rather blow money on useless gimmicky kitsch catered to tourists and monied out-of-staters (e.g. green-demarcated bike lanes and crossings and ugly modern art sculptures at streetcar stops) than invest it in our ailing infrastructure and plan contingently for the future possibility of hotter summers and colder winters.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mountain Climbing

It's not enough to get into housing and return to work, insofar as getting my shit together is concerned. Everything has to change: drinking, sleeping, diet, hygiene, handling money, even how I choose to amuse myself and with whom. It's tantamount to somehow yanking yourself up in the air by your ankles and upending yourself, or at least that's how it feels; impossible and distressing in its beyond-awkwardness. Of course, on paper anything can look pretty understandable and doable — which is why I'm going to keep this self-improvement inventory at home in my spiral notebook — but without a life coach or gut-wrenching resolve the inertia of even flagrantly self-destructive habits can mock and weary like a winter stroll through the Alps.