Anxiety

FINE… you people want me to keep promises and write things once in a while.

Social anxiety.  It’s a term bandied about in media nowadays by people who are often in two camps:

Camp A being the one where all the extrovert weirdos hangout. They think everyone who doesn’t want to join them in a BIG BIKE CHALLENGE or join a fucking dragon boat team to raise money for some homeless shelter or the ASPCA has social anxiety. They probably want to do a whip around and shave/dye their hair pink to raise money for SA folks.

Camp B is populated by, in my imagination, the people who dress in all black and chains so, I dunno, people won’t look at them (that’ll work), the emo gothy types.  They think that just because they don’t get along well with, oh, humanity, they don’t like people noticing their tats and piercings and purple hair. THEY ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS.

I say, ignore those people.  They just want attention.

Actual, real, social anxiety is a bit of a sliding scale.  On one end, you just don’t like social events.  You don’t wish to go for lunch, stand around talking at breaks about whatever small talk is current, you are happy to sit outside and read by yourself at lunch or do so in a cozy chair at night with a tea.  The other end are where the real weirdos reside, those they just cannot do people. Ever. They can’t speak around strangers.  They just can’t function in a social setting at all.  If you take that scale and put the former at a one and the latter at a ten, I’m probably around a 4.  I can certainly function in social settings, come off as happy and content and will even appear to have a good time.  Deep down however, I’m probably looking for a way to bail on the event, to go home, to refrag my drive, not because I’m messed up and I am certifiable, but because I just don’t enjoy the social stuff that much and it’s a lot of work to appear to do so.

It is really weird for people like me to be around others that do in fact like events, gatherings, weddings, parties, get together, group lunches, sporting events, barbecues etc. I honestly cannot fathom the appeal they see.  It makes me cynical and wonder why they do what they do, why they would go to a place where they know they’ll be sitting for an hour or so and would not bring a book, why they would actively seek out conversation with strangers.

I took a number of course in psychology many years ago and have kept up on the subjects most interesting to me that I encountered in them. Primarily, I like to understand why people do the things they do. I did ponder psychology as a career at one point, but the forensic profiling end of things, not actually, well, helping people, because of the already ascribed issues above.  I know that people’s brains crave dopamine and other feel good chemicals and that everyone is different in how what gives that hit of the happy to them.  Extroverts get it from making people happy, laughing with others, doing the social stuff.  I don’t.  People like me don’t. It took years to understand this.  I would hear of others saying it made them feel good to help others. I did not understand till many years later that they were serious, it made them actually FEEL good.  If I and an extrovert handed a homeless guy five bucks we would feel completely different things.  I would simply realize I had an extra five dollars and I was doing my part by helping out someone else.  An extrovert actually FELT PLEASURE by going through the same motions.

BIZARRE.

Of course, cynical brain me then turns this into a live lesson of sorts, that if you do “nice:” things because someone says you should because you will be judged later on (i.e. religion) or if you do them because doing so makes you “feel good” you are doing them for selfish reasons.  Brain says if you do these things because it’s the right thing to do, you are a better person overall.

Brain then takes a tight curve and wonders why the hell other people get to experience pleasure for doing things they should be doing anyways.. How is THAT fair!?! Then I go back to watching Magnum PI and drinking tea because that is what makes me feel good.

So round about story to get to what I am actually on about.  This past spring I mildly complained to my wife that nobody ever gets me anything nice for my birthday.  I mention things I want all year long that I don’t want to drop regular day to day money on and people just ignore them.  Bottle of expensive scotch (Islay malt thank you), books (always books), jacket, shoes, tickets to an NFL football match.. Then I quickly retracted and said “don’t get me tickets to a game. It’s too much money and too far away”. What does my wife do? Guess.

So here I am a week away from the game.  We have to make arrangements for childcare.  We have to get a hotel for the night in another country.  We have to drive four hours each way.  I need to replace my lost driver’s license that I would normally just ignore till renewal time as I never get tickets. We need to cross a border each way.  We need to be in the stands with a RIVAL TEAM’S FANS in the US, where people get sucker punched and shot at.

And I am spending the whole week nervous, wondering if something will happen allowing us to not go. It’s a lot of trouble. It’s a lot of risk.  It’s a lot of driving (I hate driving anywhere more than an hour). Its stress and anxiety. I am losing sleep over it. Over going to a football game. And when it is over, I will be fine, but I am not looking forward to it at all even though its something I have never done and want to do. Next time I will ask for a new winter hat.

That’s what anxiety is like you freak extroverts.

Go Pats.

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Military teachings..

A friend reposted this thing I posted years ago.  Still true…

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In the end, a life in the military was not my thing. I bailed three weeks before shipping out to the Navy. That said, a LOT of habits stuck with me after years in the Army Cadets and the infantry Reserves (Militia, a proper one, not the US style of a bunch of wankers with store bought combats and weapons)..

Here they are..

1. Get up before early even when I can sleep in. Usually just before alarm goes off.
2. Set multiple alarms on phone and clock radio in case one fails.
3. Use 24 hr clock
4. Show up 10 minutes early for everything (except when others slow me down, damn them)
5. Do my own ironing, most every day.
6. Double bow my shoelaces and always wear shoes you can chase someone in/run in/escape in (not flip flops, ever)
7. Keep shoes clean and leather ones waxed.
8. Think before I speak to a superior (usually prepared with what I will say well before I speak, often two sentences early or more)
9. Maintain very dark sense of humour.
10. Get haircut, short, frequently.
11. Plan everything in my head if not on paper and modify plans as time approaches to enact them.
12. Maintain constant situational awareness of my surroundings .
13. Stick to facts but keep a healthy sense of gut feel, assess facts to determine course of action and possible causes to situational issues.
14. Respect others who earn that respect or who have not proven themselves to not deserve it.
15. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
16. Coffee. And more coffee.
17. Mentally map & plan routes wherever I go.
18. Do estimate/bp on a whole lot of things.sometimes too many
19. Eat quickly.
20. Walk with a sense of purpose.
21. I’m always ok, I can manage, it’s other guy I have to worry about.
22. More coffee.
23. Never walk on the grass, follow the sidewalk even though walking across the lawn is half the distance
24. make lists.
25 Edit lists frequently. Keep them in your pocket.
26. When entering a new situation, seek escape route, review possible threats, and (yes) look for items to be used in self defence if needed

 

Vengeance

It isn’t fair that society not only expects you to follow their rules (a valid expectation) but that it also expects you to share its collective morals.
I used to think that justice should be swift and fair, proportional to the crime committed and that one should forgive, that forgiveness is “divine”.
 
We are not gods.
 
There is no god.
 
The only reason forgiveness is painted as a virtue is to control us, and keep us from bypassing the laws of the land.
 
I used to think that vengeance was a dish best served cold. Not now. Vengeance is a right. Vengeance should be served in small, measured portions until you feel that those who transgressed you have had their fill. Then you should stuff more and more down their throat until they choke, staring into your eyes as they fall down that black black hole of realization that they should not have done whatever they have done.
 
We must live in society, but we do not need to agree with the rules thrust upon us nor the morals painted upon our lives constantly by those who merely want us to be pawns, cogs, obedient serfs.
 
I’ve said my piece.
 
You know who you are.
 
You know what you have done.
 
I will never be satisfied.
 
Ever.
 
Keep your empty apologies.
Steer clear.

A New Rant – I Don’t Care

apathy

Rant Time!
 
I was recently invited by a well meaning friend to join an online Doctor who fan club. I declined. When I was 15-18 I liked certain shows like DW and I still do (the old show, I am unimpressed with the new one since Matt Smith). I would wear the t shirts and wear the scarves etc., buy the magazines and absorb anything to do with it. Now that I am a grown ass adult I don’t care to do any of that. Someone sends me a link to a DW themed shirt or joke. meh. It just seems so, well, cue old man voice. childish.
 
Would I ever wear cosplay? Not a chance. I think its silly and ridiculous.
 
Will I ever go to a convention of any sort again? Not planning to.
 
Do I want my kids to like the things I like? Only if they want to. In fact I actively encouraged them to play different sports and do different activities than I did, because I didn’t want to be like my dad, an irritating parent trying to force your own “things” onto your kids. Trying to relive youth by living vicariously
 
I guess my issue is I don’t care to connect with people who also like things I like. I have zero tribalism and zero community spirit. I like what I like, don’t care to drag others into my world, though I will mention the things I like aloud to be part of conversations because I guess that’s what humans do (I guess). I am also MORE than happy to make fun of people who like stupid things though on the flip side I don’t care if people make fun of things I like. Its a free world.
 
Call Iain M Banks dry. Don’t care.
 
Call Black Books un-funny, I just assume you don’t get the jokes. Don’t care.
 
I guess, really, I just don’t care.
 
Note: not caring doesn’t mean depressed, it just means, I. Don’t. Care. Apathy is a bliss. It means you are always as happy as you want to be. Personally I think people who are over-exuberant about things are probably depressed and hiding it by being outwardly excited about things just so they can make friends. But that’s just me. Most people I know who fill their evenings and weekends with social events and talk about them ad finitum come across as secretly two wine bottles from jumping off a cliff.

HOLIDAY RULEZ! WITH TOO MANY IMAGES!

PSA: Here is the Sean Approved List of Holidays and decoration date range:

New Years: Dec 31-January 1. Decorations may be taken down any day before Jan 2.

Image result for new years drunk

Family Day: Third Monday in February. NO decorations!

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Easter: Whenever the fuck it happens this year, first weekend after the first rabbit seen having sex after the first full moon following March 20th. No decorations!

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Victoria Day: Third Monday in May. YOU MUST COVER HOUSE IN UNION JACKS AND PHOTOS OF QUEENS (Monarchs and/or the band)

Image result for queen freddie

Canada Day: July 1. Put up a flag or whatever if you like between May 21 and July 1. Take it the fuck down though before July 15 because THIS ISN’T AMERICA (unless of course you are a military family because you probably have a flag up all year I guess.)

The Canadian Red Ensign that was in use from 1957 until 1965

August Civic Holiday (aka Simcoe Day): First Monday in August. NO DECORATIONS except a photo of a civet just to confuse people. Leave it up till labour day…Image may contain: outdoor

Labour day: First Monday in September. Decorate if you like, I guess.. I mean, a blue collared shirt maybe? Shackles? 

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Thanksgiving: Second Monday in October. You already have fall/autumn decorations mixed with Halloween ones up right? RIght? You can leave them up till Xmas. 

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Halloween!!!!: Oct 31. Decorations went up on Labour day, right? Or at least you started right! Leave them up! Mix them with Xmas ones come Dec. 

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Christmas: Dec 25. Decorations can go up WHENEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. PLAY MUSIC FROM LABOUR DAY TILL NEW YEARS. KEEP PLAYING IT… However note mine go up as soon as Halloween ends.

Image result for tv yule log

You are welcome.

Punta Cana Travelogue

Two am is hell when you actually fall asleep at ten thirty and don’t really sleep because you refused a wake up call and don’t trust both phone alarms to go off. But you wake shower and rush and get to airport and all is okay and you mentally check off a box on that itinerary in your anxious brain.

Minor problem with someone at Air Canada who was was so helpful on the phone when we registered medical equipment for special handling then apparently wandered off without noting anything in our records because they were really just a cleaner who answered the phone (I assume…). Otherwise on plane with tired ease.

Plane food resembles train food. Plane food is no longer free (how long has in been since I flew anywhere?!?). Air stewards all seem to have nice bums (my wife made the observation. I agreed). We of course were sat behind three brothers that resembled humans who could easily go as Shrek on Halloween and their extended, loud, crass family. Otherwise flight uneventful. Bonus points for me.. My don’t use a washroom on an aircraft remains unbroken after thirty-seven years.

Punta Cana airport is quaintly tropical in that it is all open air and thatched roof construction. Runways are buckled a bit due to heat but all in all arrival was spectacula… wait. I forgot we fucked up within three minutes of exiting customs with our luggage.

Porter found.. check.

Oh a lady with a clipboard sees us! Yay she’s the tour guide! Yay shes checking our paperwork, all in order! We are escorted to a desk where another lady talks to us about our trip and oh, goody, deals! Best chance to book excursions! Ooh we can get two for $100 US total and all we have to do is visit a nearby Other Resort (No names mentioned) and do an ninety minute tour then book our times.. um I guess. We paid the $100 and booked our transport to the fucking Hard Rock Cafe for the next morning and the porter shaking his head got us in a taxi because we missed the bus.

Arrived at resort. It was immaculate and beautiful. Everyone was friendly and helpful. In our rooms, in our bathing suits, brief nap then off to book restaurants for the week.

Free booze!*

Free food!*

Sexy Russian women!

More loud irritating Canadians. Woah. Wait. Insert sound of needle scratching a record.

Okay. Here is my list of a weeks worth of vacationer stereotypes:

Russians: women sexy and fit and men less fit. Women enjoying themselves and a bit haughty. Men drunk and or just angry. They don’t seem to like the heat.

Mediterraneans: Stick to their groups. Friendly. Generally fit. Lots of tattoos. Women sexy. Men look like they are ready to challenge you to a sword fight but friendly.

Americans (with the exception of cigar guys) friendly, a little loud, in need of a gym membership. Women friendly, karaoke types. Men: frendly sportsy guys.

Canadians: 50% quiet and unassuming. 50% crass loud asshats. I didnt tell many people I was canadian. Women: 50% american seeming. 50% trailer park. Men: 50% american seeming. 50% brushcuts, goatees, crude lewd t-shirts, drunk by noon and not people I wanted to hang around with.

Russian women: sexy (did I say this already?)

We drank a bit. Swam. Ate. In bed by 8:30pm exhausted.

Next Up: Day Two… The Weather Outside is Not Actually Frightful Just Hottish

Punta Cana Travelogue

Day Zero

I was surprised more than anyone that we were on our way. We say aboard a Via Rail train (Canadian version of Amtrak for you American folk) on our way to Montreal. It was cheaper to fly out of the northern Francophone city than from Toronto or Ottawa and less hectic than adding an extra pair of visits with angry customs folks by heading southish to Syracuse. Also cheap moi had enough travel points to get us train transport for free. Granted, as usual, I didnt account for the cost of parking a car for a week at the rail station… nor my wife for the cost of a needed hotel stay and rousing ones selves when one books a six am flight.

So we sit on a train.

Chug a chug a chug.

It had been a stress inducing few weeks leading up however due to the need to arrange child transportation and care and paperwork for medical supplies for my wife. And buying food they would eventually not eat choosing to be away from home at others places for six of eight days. Oh and not to mention a minor plumbing disaster a week before we left. And work issues. All in all a day before leaving I was at DEFcon 3 and ready to accept losing a few grand and just staying home.

But chug chug chug. We were on a train.

Transport from train station was simple. It was Canada! We are Canadian! No lanuage issues. Everyone speaks engkish! Sure we grew up learning French but realistically, contrary to what they taught us in school and what advocates of French immersion for kids will tell you *, living outside of Quebec you rarely if ever need or use what French you know. Ever. It is all a big lie. And you feel anxious when placed in a situation when you may have to use it.

No French used apart from eavesdropping on others and dropping a “oui merci” here and there immediately followed by a “yes please” so you come off as polite but there being no mistake you are Anglais. We got from train to airport to hotel and ate the best spaghetti Bolognese I had had In years. (Far better than the Tom Hiddleston Bolognese disaster a few years back…).

We slept and set the alarm for two am.

Ugh.

Zut alors..

Next Up:

Day 1: We Arrive… Hell is Other People

Featured

Refresh, Reboot, Going Pro

Jesus Resurrection-07

Oooh they’ll be so surprised.  No they won’t.  They won’t care.  A small select group of them will even notice. That’s what will happen come September 15 when things change.

You see, after years of rambling on about it, come that day two weeks away, I’m doing a bit of truncation and what the heck, there are enough of you here that I will tell you now in advance so as to not cause PANIC.  Okay, perhaps PANIC isn’t the word.  More, mild curiosity.

  1. This Webpage (I hate the word “blog”). It’s being renamed, rebranded and republished.  Old things will still exist however the focus will be different, more frequently updated and more organized. I will have in place a storefront whereby people can buy my bookish things, crap   so as to I dunno, drive up interest before I actually get around to finishing my next underselling masterpiece.
  2. I’m already deleting existing page as of today, now in fact.  New feed will directly be connected to page.  Strictly official and such.  Right now it’s just thousands of tweets of my rambling attempts at short humour and arguments with the Current US President.
  3. Facebook: This page needs a facebook page of its own.
  4. Podcast flagship page and reposts (yeah, I’m finally doing that)
  5. Youtube will also be re-freshed

 

I’m going pro.

 

Etcetera.

All in all, I’m truncating my existing, upgrading what needs to be upgrading and moving forward  Onward and upward and all of that.

 

Huzzah

 

Hoy Hoy