I’m back

Hey this is pretty dope. I built a mini-itx pc to hook up in my bedroom to write this because Steve Jobs is long dead. I’m using the first keyboard we got in 1994 until I find a quiet wireless one. I still need a 3D Accelerator card to pop in that lonely expansion bay. Hope to snag something decent on Cyber Monday.

It’s good to be home, friends.

Behold: My New Podcast!

I always wanted to do a podcast. This thing is going to be my new personal outlet. The first few episodes are going to be me interviewing my dad about his past. Hopefully it’ll get really awkward and uncomfortable. Enjoy!

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hypoglycemia

I used to eat a lot. I wasn’t exactly happy but the high carbs and sugars kept me full of energy and motivation. My brain worked. However, when I hit puberty I didn’t understand why girls weren’t all over me. Instead of realizing there was nothing wrong and it was just my perception that was holding me back, I decided to blame my body weight.

After struggling with yo-yo diets, I had finally started to starve myself in college. I began to document it in a LiveJournal which I was hoping it would give me the exposure I needed to become a news celebrity (’cause that’s gonna get me women.) It didn’t work but I did lose a lot of weight and kick start my male pattern baldness at the age of 19. It also gave me weird circulation problems and mood swings. My hands and feet were always cold as a corpse that before going to job interviews I would always make a conscious effort to warm up my paws before giving someone a handshake. I had a short temper and at times I would catch myself not being myself. I would either be sullenly slumped in a corner or the biggest asshole on this side of Lake Ontario. Often friends and family would be upset with me and I would forget what I had done. I felt like the abusive husband, spinelessly apologizing to his wife in those PSA ads for domestic violence. I chalked it up as this being my shitty character flaw and I was fucked.

I lived with these symptoms for decades. I started to eat better but because of my foray in anorexia, I had learned to suppress hunger pains which would cause me to forget to eat. I would drink a lot of coffee which also suppressed my hunger but also accelerated my heart rate which I thought was good because it gave me energy. This energy also came with extreme anxiety that I medicated with weed. Amongst my pothead friends, I gained the ridiculous reputation of being the guy who never gets the munchies. On top of all of this, my erratic behavior was getting worse and worse.

With all the caffeinated anxiety and THC-laced paranoia, there was no way I could maintain a relationship with anyone. I couldn’t deal with dating and the few friends who would put up with me would get sick of my chronic flakiness. Family was always a source of unconditional love but they were struggling with their own problems. Ironically, it wasn’t until I started to pay attention to their health problems that I was able to identity my own.

Everyone in my family has type 2 diabetes. Both my parents struggle with it and my sisters were diagnosed with gestational diabetes after they had kids. In case you don’t know, type 2 diabetes is the one you don’t need to inject insulin for. It’s partly from genetics and mainly from a shitty diet/rough life. The poor man’s disease. Everyone told me that if I didn’t watch out, I would get it. I accepted the inevitability but always assumed it would happen when I’m old and gray. I would get yearly check ups from my doctor and everything seemed fine so I paid no heed.

Just as I lost my hair prematurely, all of these mood swings were pre-diabetic symptoms and I was on the edge of getting full blown type 2. It’s called hypoglycemia and explains a lot of my problems with bad circulation and horrible mood swings. I was just hungry and human beings need to eat.

As I am typing this an alarm is sounding off on my phone reminding me that it is time to eat. To deal with my disassociation of hunger with hunger pains, I use a small app (3 Hour Diet) on my phone to remind me to eat and drink enough water throughout the day. As stupid as it sounds, it has helped me manage my hypoglycemia. Incidentally, eating every 3 hours is what you are supposed to do to keep your metabolism in check. Doing that and getting the right exercise everyday has helped me become a little less of a psycho which I’m sure the people around me appreciate. In fact, it has allowed me to be around people instead of shutting myself in.

Part of me wishes I (or a medical practitioner) had figured this out a decade ago but I also know dwelling on the past and blaming others is worthless. I’m happy that I was finally able to identify my weaknesses and treat it properly. I’m much more optimistic about life and excited to focus on my career and relationships that were being neglected do to my ailments.

To summarize; Mortal Kombat taught me that knowledge is power and GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan preached that knowledge of self is the ultimate power. These are both Westernized, pop culture versions of ancient Eastern philosophies that I wish more people would take to heart. The struggle of life is never over but it’s important to keep on fighting.

Deconstruct everything around you so you can learn to build a propitious future.

Losing Faith while Praying the Bad Men Away

You may lose me here but I used to have a strong relationship with “God” when I was a kid. My mother was very religious and together we would pray before I went to bed and when I would wake up everyday. The praying wasn’t like in the movies where kids would kneel by their beds and actually talk to god asking for something like writing to Santa. It was more of a mantra that would put me into a meditative state–sort of like a trance. I would do this ritualistic act twice a day and it would put my mind at ease. It would allow me to easily fall into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning.

I remember I was so good at getting into this meditative state that I believed I could go deep enough into this world that I would never come back. I firmly believed I could  shut my brain off and die. Not in a scary suicidal sense but in a crazy metaphysical way. I also felt this childhood magic was beneficial to my well being as I was getting good grades and praise for my creativity. I was able to do anything because I could focus on the task at hand with the utmost clarity.

So what happened?

I entered high school and was bullied almost every single day. I would tell my mother about the bullies and her answer was to pray more. I then put it upon myself to wake up at 6 AM on school days and pray for hours to make the bullies stop. It was torture and I was miserable. I wont go into detail but they were picking on me because I was a visible minority. The bullying went on for a year and so did my praying. It wasn’t until the second year when it finally broke me and I lost my faith. I stopped praying and confronted the bullies. I sarcastically would play along with them to the point they would laugh at how ridiculous it was and the situation would diffuse. The evil smoke hole kids found a lot of respect for me. I had won and realized through humour I was accepted into every clique. I was the plainswalker. I then dominated my entire high school from starting as the outcast nerd to becoming the most popular kid.

So what happened?

I peaked. The rich hipster kids introduced me to alcohol and shitty music. The poor smoke hole kids gave me access to drugs and even shittier music. I felt a big hole from the absence of my daily prayer routine and turned to psychedelic hallucinogens to continue my adventures in metaphysically spelunking. I would trip on psilocybin mushrooms twice a week for a year until I couldn’t keep them down anymore.

I was at my peak and done. Nothing made me happy. I had zero motivation to do anything. My mind was full of so many thoughts, doubts, and worries that I ruined my academic career. I was emotionally tired all the time and stopped showing up to class in my senior year when I was student council president. It was really bad and lead to an avalanche of poor choices.

Now I’m not saying I’ve become some sort of hippy dippy religious freak or anti drug  lamer. I’m just saying balance is important and don’t knock meditation. I understand now what “prayer” is all about and why it worked for me. I hope I can do it again and it’s not too late to regain the power to focus on my dreams and achieve what I set out to do 20 years ago. And I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes, swallow my pride, and do the right thing for myself. I don’t care if I’m an old, bald, white whiskered Billy now. I’m still that kid from 20 years ago full of fire and hope. Something burning inside of me kept me young at heart, kept me from doing anything too stupid that would keep me from being here and typing this out to you. Now let’s stop being cheesy and do something with ourselves.

Say your prayers and go to sleep.

 

Wake Up and Smell the Rotting Carp

I’m going to try to blog at least once a day to keep my mind from going like a 70 year old doing their Sudoku after an unsatisfying lunch. It feels like I woke up from a coma or walked away from serving 15 years in solitary confinement. I don’t know what happen–know exactly what happened but I don’t feel comfortable writing about it yet. Is that bad?

Writing in a LiveJournal or my ghetto geocities page 17 years ago had a sense of anonymity. The internet was this secret thing that didn’t matter to anyone except us dregs of sorrow. Now you are weird if you aren’t connected to the web at all times with a smartphone radiating your tender parts. When did people stop caring about the people who actually care about them and start chasing likes, views, and favorites from strangers and spambots?

What made me once feel ahead of the times is no longer my secret something. This private world which I would once run away to is now closely monitored by potential employers, government agencies, and friends you sometimes need a break from. What happened? Did I grow old and the world passed me by? Am I going to be bitter with the rest of my generation who didn’t cash in on creating insidiously monetized social networks, boring business app middleware, and manipulative free-to-play mobile games? Oh the dreamer that never woke up in time for class, didn’t chase a lucrative career, and stopped bothering to keep up with his peers. Where did you go? Fishing I guess.

Retcon or Interesting Multiverse Possiblities in Film

You know how Hollywood always glosses over things in history? Like if it’s in a multimillion dollar blockbuster film it will be sanitized to not step on anyone’s toes and get the maximum market appeal. I’m drawing blank on some examples at the moment because I’m excited to write down these thoughts: imagine a movie set in the past but void of racism and traditional gender roles. Like what if a social justice warrior was able to rewrite history.

Yeah like maybe a time traveler that goes back to prevent slavery, religious persecution, and patriarchy and how it changed present day. Think about everything slaves and cheap labour built. How long would it take society to build infrastructures without subjugation and war? Would present day be total shit?

Wonder if this was ever explored in a Quantum Leap episode.

Coffee Should Be Made Illegal

So as you may know I got a G.I. track infection from eating some expired blue cheese after performing at an open mic. It gave me explosive diarrhea for an entire week and then the following week I had massive constipation. The insane push and pull on my anus caused monsterous hemorrhoids and a fissure in my hairy butt. Every bowel movement felt like giving birth. I couldn’t figure out why I was so terribly constipated until I realized I haven’t drank coffee in 2 weeks.

I’m horribly addicted to coffee and after some googling about I found a lot of people get constipated once they stop drinking java cold turkey. Holy shit! My body forgot how to shit without a Starbucks blast of bean water to the colon.

What the fuck? I need to drink coffee to shit. What happens if I survive a plane crash on an island or something? Do I need to carry instant coffee in a back pocket at all times in case of emergencies? This is a goddamn nightmare. I don’t want to be dependent on a substance to shit. I read people who give up smoking go through this. I’m don’t want to be a caffeine junky!

I also read that the only way to really give up coffee is to ween yourself off gradually. I never understood what decaf was for until now. Now I’m gonna be that guy with the decaf at checkout.

What I learned: Don’t drink coffee or drink it all the time.

Show Your Homework

Heads up! I’m going to start posting my favourite papers I wrote in school because it’s an excuse for me to read them again and sometimes I like to share. I mean I studied film so it should be of some interest to someone. This is totally not a thinly veiled way of posting pre made content and being lazy.

Adwords Make My Heartbleed

After years of using social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Google products I have come to realize that you can learn a lot about yourself and others by what the Internet is marketing to you.

When I see ads and how accurate they are in pinpointing who I am and what I want it really creeps me out. I quickly think back of what I may have posted to a feed, watched a clip of, or chatted about to warrant the advertisements. Which in my case are for hair plugs, body waxing, and embarrassingly specific types of dating services. I totally understand the fear of the power of having unbridled access to such data creates.

I wonder how much a bald, hairy, single in their 30s is worth to online advertisers. There must be a website that takes all your social network information and tells you how much advertisers bid for your attention. How much am I worth to a corporation? Can governments see how much I am worth to society? I guess this data would be useful to a human resources department to filter through job applicants. Imagine to apply for work you have to sign into a HR site through your Facebook or Twitter account which searched for keywords to flag. I’m assuming all this already exists and it’s why everyone is unemployed.

Growing Weed in Japan

It was the year 2006. I had just turned 23 and was living in Shizuoka, Japan while teaching English and growing marijuana in my sliding door closet. My father had mailed me seeds upon request and I acquired all my grow supplies from “The Daiso” 100-yen shop across the street from my cramped little danchi apartment. It took me 4 months to grow from start to finish and if I was ever caught, I would’ve been facing up to 12 years’ imprisonment.

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