On a Race to Became an Adult

I’ve had a few cups of coffee, a prepackaged cookie, and Lay’s potato chips.

I think I have my life pretty much in order now.
I guess you could call me a grown up now.

But does the food I eat say much about me?
Does it tell you what’s been going on in my head?
Because if my head is as healthy as the rest of me then I must be counting down the seconds until I die.

It’s a race between my head and my heart,
And I’m not sure which will give out first.
If you have a say,
it’ll be the death of me.

Is everything a physical manifestation of my well-being?
In that case I hope someone will save me,
Like in the movies.
The ones in which Superman got old,
And was replaced when the world starting looking in,
By a manic pixie dream girl,
That’s no less fantastical than a flying man.

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On a Race to Became an Adult

What Warrants Therapy?

I probably have some form of depression, but it’s not been a life worrying problem for more than 10 years. I can get more into that, but I’ll leave it at that for now unless someone has questions. I’m sure I could function better. I’m aware of my deficiencies in the sense that sometimes I can’t do anything, and that’s harming my life.

What could therapy do for me? I’m convinced, though I can be un-convinced, the only way to help would be pills, which I’m not entirely against, I just don’t think my issues are serious enough to warrant that response. If my life was spiraling, if I were always unhappy, or worried about living, then I wouldn’t hesitate to get a prescription. But that’s not the case for me.

I happen to read a bit of psycholgoy, a good deal actually, and am fairly informed in the ways of the brain/mind having taken 30,000 dollars worth of classes on the subject. So are there methods to get me functioning more normally and productively? Possibly. But I’m aware of how many of the therapies work. And I know more than a few of them exploit errors in the way our brains work. I’m not a huge fan of that. I think I’d benefit most from the conversations with a therapist. Having long, in-depth conversations about me would feel good, but, like with prostitution, money tends to cheapen the experience. When someone is only listening to me because I pay them to, then that doesn’t say good things about me, and I don’t need more shots at my self-esteem. I suppose it shouldn’t matter, why would a stranger listen to me otherwise? There needs to be some incentive. If that’s the case, though, I may as well head over to Las Vegas and see about those prostitutes. Might do me just as much good. “I went to a shrink to analyze my dreams, she says it’s lack of sex that’s bringing me down. I went to a whore, he said my life’s a bore, So quit my whining cause it’s bringing him down.”

There’s no doubt my mind perverts reality at times, and prevents me from doing some, often basic, things. Is moderate discomfort and obstacles along with an occasionally bummed out attitude enough to send me to a therapist?

Or Las Vegas?

 

 

 

*I want to be really clear that I am solely talking about myself in this post and not recommending how other people should behave or what warrants therapy for anyone but me, and I’m not even entirely sold on my stance on myself, so I am definitely not prescribing anything to anyone.

What Warrants Therapy?

I Think I Might Be Okay

I feel good about the words that I’m writing,
Whether they’re stupid or simple or foolish,
I’m finally saying what I’m feeling as honestly as I can.

All I can talk about is a worn out sweater,
That I wore when I was 18 and still have in my closet,
Waiting for the day it’s retired,
And thrown away,
Like so many people I knew when I was younger.
And I love them,
Like I love the comfort of this sweater,
Even with the holes,
And the stretched sleeves and wrists,
It’s been pulled at by too many hands that aren’t yours,
Something too familiar to let go.
I know how idiotic I must look,
But I don’t care,
Because we never cared about the fact that we weren’t accepted,
In school,
Or anywhere at all.
That’s why we lived in garages and played music together,
To drown out the noise,
From inside and from out.

I’m holding on a bit too tightly to an artifact,
Its grey turned a grosser shade of grey from years of creating memories,
Now I’m not sure who belongs in this sweater.
I never thought I could read a book this long,
But it never ends, even after I put it down.
If I could, I’d keep reading until the insects eat my eyes.

But I’ve been told I’m obtuse on purpose,
To confuse you and convince her I’m more than I am.
Though I’m trying to change,
Because I finally trust someone not to run away,
When she’s allowed to see what I am,
With all the scars and swelling,
And lies I’ve had to assure myself were true.
I’m done living inconsistencies.

 

 

 

 

 

sorry i reposted this a few times in the first 20 minutes. my computer was formatting it weird.

I Think I Might Be Okay

Game: Music Opinion

Liking weird music, my friends and I tend to sit around and predict which band we like is going to get some recognition.

It’s a fun game to play. It’s basically what record executives and A&R departments do, except with bands/artists that are 10000 times more marketable.

So I’ll give you an example of how it goes and you can chime in in the comments with your own thoughts if you’d like.

First band: The Front Bottoms

This is a tough one. These guys are already popular in the indie world, and they have a very strange sound, with a very strange singer. What it has going for it right now is that being quirky is cool right now. We have those folky-rock bands like The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons along with how hip Zooey Deschanel is. I can see them getting big like Death Cab For Cutie did, but it might be a tough to break from indie popularity to mainstream.

Second band: Weatherbox

Goodness, I love this band. I think they’re just getting better and better, too. Unfortunately, I don’t know if this sound could break through to regular radio play. I think they’re too cool. Too subtly awesome. Not silly or outwardly odd enough to appeal to people who don’t already like indie rock. They aren’t goofy like Weezer or as safe, hooky, or poppy as Fall Out Boy or Panic at the Disco or as heavy as those “hard” rock/”punk” rock bands.
PS – the drummer in that video is the old drummer of Counterfit. Awesome.

Last band: Sorority Noise

Good old fashioned pop punk. It’s sort of like a more clever version of Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon, lyrically and musically. Mostly because they don’t take themselves very seriously at all, and the hyperbole isn’t as melodramatic as most pop punk tends to favor. They almost have a Weezer like approach to lyrics on this album, although that changes a little, with more serious topics on the newer record. I really can see one of their cuter songs, like Art School Wannabe, being hugely popular. Almost like the Nada Surf song “Popular” blew up in the mid-nineties (everyone remembers that right?).

Conclusion: I think Sorority Noise will take it. They have a very appealing and catchy sound (so do The Front Bottoms, though), with some deep and some fun lyrics that I can imagine people quoting all the time. “I taught myself French, so I could tell you I love you in ways that you could never understand.” Who isn’t changing their AIM away message right now?

 

What I like about this game is that it makes you drop your personal biases. It’s not about which band is your favorite – mine is probably Weatherbox – or which band is the most talented – you can try to figure that one out, it sounds close to me – but which band would be the most universal*. This can be answered simply by giving people something that isn’t too challenging, that sounds similar to something already super popular, or you can try to predict what new sound will strike a chord with the world. Both are tough because there are a million copy-cats as soon as a sound gets popular, picking a trendy sound might get washed out by the volume. But trying to predict what the general population will like next is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, I love music and love discussing it.

 

 

*Just to make this ultra clear, none of this is important, and I fully acknowledge the arbitrary nature of popularity. I love these bands and getting on the radio isn’t going to play a role in that at all. That said, I would love for bands I like to be able to support themselves and their families by doing something they enjoy doing. I hope that even if they don’t get rich, they keep making rad music anyway.

High fives all around.

Game: Music Opinion

Pop Culture

There’s a good chance you’re cooler than me, but setting that aside for a minute, is there a time that you stopped paying attention to pop culture?

I like to stay abreast of what the world is talking about, from politics to celebrities, I think it’s somewhat important to have a foot in the happenings of the world, whether or not you put much stock in them.

That said, the last few years, I’ve realized how much distance I’ve lost on what’s current and cool. I feel so out of the loop and when I pop my head in the crack of the door to Trendyland, I’m at a loss for words.

Last week I wanted to catch up on the superhero movies I’ve missed, and realized there are approximately 77 I need to visit before the summer brings 83 more. I still need to see The Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor 2, Captain America 2, Man of Steel, Ant-Man, (by all accounts I can skip) Fantastic Four, Days of Future Past, both newish Spider-Mans, and I’m sure I’m missing some.

I used to be really excited about all these things and count down the days to see movies. I went to Lord of the Rings midnight premiers and even saw a few midnight premiers of the prequels-that-must-not-be-named. It was just what I did, but at some point my mindset switched to, “I’ll get around to it.” And I never seem to. It’s like that weekend project that you’ll do next weekend.

Even music is moving too fast for me. I never listened to top 40 radio, but I was aware of Britney Spears, N*Sync, and the like. I would know when a new album was coming out and hear the single 7928 times a day. Now, I can’t hum a single Justin Bieber melody, but I’m still singing, “BYE BYE BYE!”

Is there just more of everything or did I get slow?

I was thinking that maybe my days of keeping up with pop culture are behind me. At some point I must have realized I’m not the target demographic anymore. The last time I felt like that was when I finally realized Rugrats was a little too little for me, which was a sad, sad day.

 

There were a number of years when I would think, Okay MTV, tell me what’s going on (that later changed to, come on internet, tell me what’s going on). I was a snotty little punk back then with an unreasonable, but not unwarranted, superiority complex going on, so I made fun of most of it, but I still was aware.

This all came about because I had to come to terms with the fact that the new Star Wars movie came out a month ago and I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet. I SAW THE PREQUELS AT MIDNIGHT!!!!

Am I an out-of-touch grandpa?

Pop Culture

A Short Poem for my Niece

You think the whole world exists only for you,
And that’s kind of beautiful,
In the innocence that accompanies your view,
But also dangerous,
When extended too far,
For too long,
And the wonder from your eyes is taken,
By the overarching themes that have been presented,
To you and to me,
When we fall too quickly for stories,
And narratives shape our thoughts for us.
I think you can grow still,
But hold that tiny glow that has abandoned me.
You can find the right way to live.

A Short Poem for my Niece

Update in the Form of a Question

Hello, everyone.

I’m trying to get a handle on what exactly I’m doing writing here. Half the time, I write some formless (I know it’s free verse, I don’t like that name) poetry that’s usually a memory or a memory of a person. I enjoy writing like that because it allows me a great deal of freedom to say whatever it is I have in my head at that moment, with limited editing later on. Other times I write about what I study. The brain.

I guess I’m trying to decide if I want this place to be an account of my personal life or my work. They overlap at times, since some of my work has to do with a meaningful life and what that looks like, and since my personal life is often a struggle to live meaningfully. I have no problem writing about the struggle to find a purpose, and the struggle to ask myself serious questions about my life and answer them honestly. I think I’ll continue to do that in some form, but I’m thinking of excluding the posts about studies. And maybe I’ll stop posting on other issues as well, political or social. I fear I live in a world that is especially ready to divide and looks for any reason to split from another person, both in relationships and political opinions.

It’s not that I don’t think people care about things like the Ambiguity Effect, which is the idea that we pick the unambiguous answer to a problem even when there’s no benefit, suggesting the concept of ambiguity itself is off-putting enough to dissuade people from exploring it. My problem is, I don’t know how well that goes with a post about a friend I used to hang out with at elementary schools in the middle of the night, drinking Slurpees, and trying to jump off the top of the slide over a table without breaking our legs. Does a post about my friend falling over a mailbox belong next to a post about The Repugnant Conclusion?

I don’t know. What I do know is that posts that take me 10 times as long to write, about utilitarianism or neuroscience get a quarter of the likes and a ninth of the views other posts get. I don’t care all that much about views but it sort of implies that the topics don’t really get along well. It’s not a peanut butter and chocolate situation, it’s more like peanut butter and potato salad.

Or maybe I’m wrong and some of my posts are just not very good and not worthy of the views or likes that random other posts get. It may not be the topic and actually is the treatment. In that case, I’m too far in my own head again.

Any views would be appreciated.

Enjoy your day.

Update in the Form of a Question