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It's 2012. Not sure how a whole month slipped by already. If time keeps moving this fast, I'll be dead before long.

*clink*

CREDITS: 01

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*sigh*

*doodely doo*




CHOOSE A CHARACTER

Who do I want to be this year? Last year was not one of my favorites. It went by too quickly. I don't feel like I lived enough. Too much work. Didn't keep up on my hobbies very well. Didn't keep up on my health very well. Didn't do enough memorable things, and the memorable things I did do barely seem like they actually happened. Who knows, maybe this feeling is just a result of my memory having gone to shit these past few years?

I can't actually change who I am, just what I do. Anything I accomplish from this point forward has do be done with my current body, complete with all of my merits and flaws.

I also can't make people like me. I've spent a lot of time in the past worrying about losing touch with old friends, and getting frustrated with people who can't ever seem to find time for me. Well, I'm done with that.

I respect myself too much to beg people for their friendship. I reached out to everybody I wanted to remain in touch with last year. The ones who ignored me can all fuck off.

Becoming a hermit and periodically purging my Facebook Friends list is more interesting to me now. I'm done questioning how others perceive my worth. I'm me and I only care how much I value myself.

*doodely doo*




SELECT A STAGE

This is something I do need to change. I'm sitting in a room full of junk in an apartment that is too small and poorly maintained. I want to get into a house this year. That is #1 on the list of goals for this year. In the meantime, I want to stop living like I'm trying out for the next season of Hoarders and get things in order. Bring a pile of junk to goodwill. Sell another pile of junk on eBay. Vacuum more than once per month.

I don't know how I let things get this way. I need to manage my time better, and devote some time every day to improving my situation. Put myself in a better place.

*doodely doo*




PREPARE FOR BATTLE

I spent January attempting to fight against the former version of myself using a rough guide I wrote up for myself and started implementing in December. I'll list the items and say a little about each.


STAGE 1 - EAT OUT LESS

Original plan: "I will bring my own lunch to work more often. Eating out is capped at a max of once per week. No Exceptions!"

Benefits: Save money, and eat healthier.

Problems: Not sure if the food I prepare myself is less expensive or healthier, but at least I know what's in it.

I quickly realized this will not work. If I eat out for lunch with my co-workers once per week, I would never get to eat out with Deb, so I modified this to allow me to eat one lunch and one dinner out per week. Ideally, I will not use the maximum allowance.

"Hey! Awesome that you're in town, I haven't seen you in years! What? No, I don't want to go to Border Grill with you, I had pizza yesterday."

In the event of friends visiting from out of town, I will allow exceptions to avoid awkwardly rude situations.




STAGE 2 - BUY A HOUSE

Benefits: Money goes to something I own rather than into a constantly increasing rent payment. More space for stuff. A place to potentially raise children.

This is pretty straightforward. We're actually talking to a bank on Tuesday, and would like to be out of this apartment shortly after the lease renews in May.




STAGE 3 - EXERCISE

Benefits: Health

This is tough with it being dark when I get home, and also storming or freezing half of the time. Regardless, I need to stop being soft and get out there. Hiking, snowshoeing, walking, running, climbing, or even sitting at home doing yoga, push ups, etc. I want to do something that could be classified exercise every day.




STAGE 4 - DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE EVERY DAY

The worst thing is when I work all day, come home and sit in front of the TV watching shows or playing video games all evening. Especially when this process is repeated several days in a row.

Ideally, I want to do something I can consider useful every day outside of work. Vacuum. Do the dishes. Write in my journal. Self-teach myself some new programming techniques, or work on a hobby project. Organize stuff so the place looks less like a natural disaster zone.

I've been keeping little pieces of paper in my wallet. Whenever I think of something that needs to be done, I write it down. After dinner, I'm not allowed to play video games until I perform at least one task on my list. This has been working well. I hope to keep it up.




STAGE 5 - LIMIT TIME SPENT PLAYING GAMES

Original Plan: "Use a timer. Exception: Playing games with company. Exception: Playing games that I might review."

Ideally, I want to enjoy my video games, but I don't want them to destroy my productivity. I find that setting a timer or not playing games until I perform an adequate number of useful tasks around the apartment works. I'd like to continue doing that.

Expanding on this, I have effectively banned myself from playing any kind of MMORPG. (Games like World of Warcraft) Those games are too slowly paced to ever be satisfying, but they do have the ability to addict me which results in days vanishing from my life. Never again. I now realize the genre is nothing but an elaborate Skinner Box, and I refuse to be their rat. (More on this in an upcoming entry.)

If I started reviewing video games for some blog or website, I would consider playing those games to be a productive activity, and not subject to this restriction. However, I recently passed on an opportunity to do just that, so maybe this is no longer relevant.




BONUS STAGE - LIMIT VIDEO GAME PURCHASES TO ONE PER MONTH

This might be tricky, but I really want to make it work. The benefits of doing this are that I will spend less money, possibly spend less time playing games, and get to spend more time with each game. The limitation will also force me to be more selective about the games I buy. I think it will be a good experiment, and I intend to stick with it.

I would also like to write about the game I choose each month and why I chose it.

Exception: Gifts received do not count.

Exception: Used or Downloadable games costing $5 or less do not count.

Exception: Games purchased or received for the purposes of reviewing or writing strategy guides do not count.




STAGE 6 - READ MORE OFTEN

I don't recall finishing any books in 2011, but I certainly started a lot of them. I'd like to read at least 4 nights per week. I think it's good for my brain, and I can't get all of my entertainment from pixels.




STAGE 7 - WRITE MORE OFTEN

As foreshadowed above, I'd like to write more in 2012. Maybe it will just be me writing for the crickets in this journal, or maybe I'll dedicate the time and energy to become a freelance writer for some video gaming site. Maybe I'll start a new blog on one subject or another. I have a lot of ideas.

I just feel like this is something that will be good for my brain.




STAGE 8 - SPEND LESS MONEY

Many previous topics already touch on this, but I want to save more of my earnings to be put towards that house I want. That means I can't walk into Barnes and Noble and leave with 5 books I'll never have time to read, or order 3 video games I'll never have time to play. I need to budget better, and get more enjoyment from the things I already have.

This is about saving money, but it is also about appreciating what I have and being less materialistic. I've been really bad with money the past few years. Just buying too much stuff. I want to stop.




STAGE 9 - GET RID OF JUNK

Essentially, I have a bunch of things waiting for Goodwill or eBay. They've been sitting here for months, if not years. I need to get off my butt and do it. I have a bunch of clothes that are too worn out to wear. I need to get rid of them. I have piles of old useless papers. I need to sort through everything and eliminate the trash.




STAGE 10 - DON'T WATCH TV SHOWS I DO NOT LIKE

This seems obvious, but I've often gotten sucked into stupid TV shows for several hours, and I always feel like I wasted part of my life when that happens. I usually have about 2-4 shows that I watch at any given time. I need to watch those and nothing else. I don't have problems with this on my own, but Deb likes to turn the TV on at random times. I'm not proud to admit that I often get angry with her for doing that.

I need to find a way to block out random shit TV in these situations.




TRUE LAST BOSS - WORK LESS

I need to work less this year. I need to spend more time living my life and less time building a comfortable life for my employers. I think 2011 felt so lackluster because I spent most of it working or tired.

This is hard. People are counting on me. I don't want to disappoint anybody, but I must learn to say NO before this year is over. I also need to bring home money to get the bills paid.

However, if I am successful with curbing my spending, perhaps I can work less AND have more money available. Maybe I can convince Deb to work less too, then I'll have somebody to spend that extra time with.

It's my life and I want it now!




EPILOGUE

That's what I want to do in 2012. A lot of these goals touch on similar subjects, and this could have probably been simplified down to one word:

Balance.

I figure I needed a version of this for the Too Long; Didn't Read crowd.

Sorry if the writing is a bit sloppy. I wanted to get this done and crossed off my list.




GAME OVER

If this goes well, I'll probably make a sequel.

Balls to the Wall

Bad news at work today. Holiday pay has been discontinued.

I learned this when I opened my paycheck and noticed that New Year's Day, the first paid holiday, was retroactively taken away from me. No warning. No chance to schedule my work differently so I could receive a full paycheck. Stealth removal of a promised employee benefit with no notice or explanation given.

Equally aggravating is the attitude of many co-workers. They grumbled a bit and forgot about it. Just rolling with the punches, reinforcing the owner's notion that they can pull bullshit like this and it will be totally okay. I suggested we all stop coming to work or speak our minds; do anything! Nobody could be bothered. Fifty employees and not a pair of balls in the building.

They believe slaves always lose; And this fear keeps them down.

The owner's reasoning was financial. Essentially, too much unsold inventory. None of the people who lost their holiday pay are responsible for purchasing inventory, but that doesn't really matter. The crux of the problem is how it was handled. Why couldn't this have been formally announced in advance?

Opening a paycheck is not the time for surprises. That is the time for getting exactly what is expected so bills can be paid, and it is important to know ahead of time if that number will be decreasing. The lack of consideration for the employees and the refusal to inform us directly is disgraceful.

We had hints of financial trouble, however. The annual Christmas feast was canceled. That's right, they didn't even buy dinner before they fucked us.

Trial and Error

Waiting for the Resolutions
New Year Vision - Ostracize
Computerize God - it's the new religion
Post an update - not a visit





It's time for my 2011 New Year's Resolutions! I meant to do this in January, but I was... delayed.

The good news is that I can post the resolutions AND my success rate in the same entry! Efficient.




This is not similation. Get ready to destoroy the enemy. Target for the weak points of fuckin' machine. Do your best you have ever done.




Resolution #1: Eat better.

Why? Health concerns. Don't want to be slowed down by fat. Don't want to look and feel like crap. Don't want to blow tons of money eating out.

Success? After sharing this with my co-workers, we all agreed to eat better in 2011. In reality, we ate out for lunch almost every day in January. Around January 15th, we decided that January was a food holiday and we vowed to start eating better in February. We didn't.

I had a few runs where I ate reasonably for a few days in a row, but this has been an utter failure.




Resolution #2: Move my ass.

Why? I feel like a corpse. I feel out of breath after walking a block uphill. This is a far cry from the 17 year old version of me who could easily hold a conversation while running laps.

Success? I put some effort into this. Push-ups, hiking Sugarloaf, walking to work when I had time. Didn't keep it up. I'd have a sore knee, Deb would have a sore hip, etc. There would always be some excuse to not exercise. This is less of a failure than #1, but still a failure.




Resolution #3: Stop losing friends

Why? It's nice having people to interact with when I don't desire solitude.

I have trouble staying in touch with friends:

1. Reminiscing: Sometimes we talk about the fun stuff we used to do and don't do any new fun things. This is doomed to failure. Instead of re-telling tales of violated vending machines, we should be going out to flip over police cars or something.

2. Singleton visits: I might concoct the ultimate un-refusable invitation and get somebody I don't see often to come over, but then I still don't see them again for 6 months. Not sure if that is a step forward.

3. Poor social skills: I can invite people over and get the wrong mix of people, not be entertaining enough, or be later informed that Person A is mad because I spent too much time talking with Person B. Seriously! Are we in kindergarden?

4. Lack of interest: Some people decline my invitations, make tentative plans and don't show up, or give wishy washy responses and I don't hear from them again. I'm tired of begging people to be my friends. I need to cut my losses and move on.

5. Female: As a person with very few real friends, I don't like excluding anybody as a possible friend. As a married man, trying to be friends with females is tricky. Rumors, mistaken intentions, jealousy. I don't need that.

6. Moving: This is a college town. Most young people are only here until they can get a real job and move away. Can't really change this one unless I become a master of industry and create great jobs in the area. Maybe someday.

7. Single-Interest Friends: I met a lot of my friends through playing games like Magic: the Gathering. Many of those friends don't consider inviting me to do anything else. Movie? Dinner? Bar? Party? Just hang out? No, I'm just a guy to play Magic with.

8. Low Priority: I'm low on most people's list of friends, so getting invited is often dependent upon other people canceling/declining to the point where I am needed to fill a seat at a dinner or game table.

Success? I'm constantly fighting the urge to tell everybody to fuck off. Sounds like a huge failure.




Resolution #4: Make New Friends

Why? I need to replace the ones I'm losing.

This is tough since my main source of socializing, Magic at Gamer's Galaxy, was canceled in May. Fortunately, I have been staying in touch with some of that crowd and we meet to play games on Fridays. Unfortunately, I might invite 20 people and only 1 or 2 show up. Even worse, one of them is moving next week.

On the bright side, I'm now attending a gaming club on campus, but it sucks being the old guy around a bunch of college kids. I seem to get along well there, but I expect the age gap will prevent me from forming any lasting friendships.

Success? Sadly, I think this is the most successful of my resolutions, but still a failure.




End Result?


PRIMARY OBJECTIVES COMPLETED: 0/4


BREAKDOWN:
AVERAGE CALORIES CONSUMED: 2500/day
HEALTH UPGRADES COLLECTED: 75/365
FRIENDS SAVED: 0/100
FRIENDS COLLECTED: 2/20

OVERALL RANK: E

YOU LOSE

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Mice I Kick?

The following story takes place on a Friday in the summer of 2011.

I ran into Audrey at work. Who is Audrey? She is one of the attractive twenty-somethings our boss likes to hire for the sales floor. I don't know her too well, but she seems nice and appears very attentive to customers. She was seeking advice on some areas of study to prepare for law school.

As flattered as I was that she recognized me as a fountain of invaluable wisdom, I didn't really understand any of the legal jargon she was going on about, but I kept up as best I could while trying to find some angle I could use to create an intelligent sounding reply.

Amidst all of the legal jargon, she expressed concern over where she would live. The city she wanted to live in only had one house available for a lawyer. It was on Higgins Street. How is that? She explained that all good lawyers live on streets with English names.

Continuing on, she mentioned studying Command Presence. I found my angle. "Definitely take the course on command presence. Being noticed could very well be more important than what you are actually saying. If people are paying attention to you and falling asleep when the opposing lawyer speaks, your chances of success rise considerably. You do well with customers, those people skills will help you."

She seemed convinced and thanked me. I broke the conversation and returned to my desk before she started spouting off more legal talk that I didn't understand.

Then I woke up.




My first thought: "Higgins? Lawyers need streets with English names? What the fuck?"

My second thought: "Is Audrey really going to be a lawyer? Did I read her mind while I was sleeping?"




I ran into Audrey at work. She was in the break room loading the dishwasher. There were a few dishes left to load, so she was effectively trapped with me for at least 10 or 15 seconds.

"Hello!"

"Hi!"

"Audrey, can I ask you a question? ...it won't be about aliens this time."

"Sure!"

"You're still studying at NMU, right?"

"Yeah, one more semester."

"Are you going to be a lawyer by any chance? Or perhaps a public relations person? Anything that involves talking in front of groups?"

"No, I'm going to be a nurse, why...?

"Oh, I had this dream last night you were asking me for advice about law school..."

"Nope, nurse."

"Darn. I was hoping I had psychic powers..."




This was followed by a little bit of awkward and possibly insincere laughter from Audrey, then I went on with my day. Completely normal and not psychic.

Artificial Familiarity?

Unsurprising: June credit card statement has $9.99 charge for Xbox Live. They were using the same trick as everybody who offers a free membership. Auto renewal. Yeah, it's only $10, but I can't let people think it's okay to start taking my money.

Frustrating: There is no way to disable auto renewal through the xbox or the xbox.com website. It requires a phone call. Seems so primitive I'm surprised they didn't demand I use a rotary phone.

Creepy: The girl on the phone tells me her father was born in Marquette, says she's been here twice, and talks about the snow. Then she asks, "do you eat pasty pies?" A very regional food, but nobody around here calls them pasty pies. Just pasties. What just happened?

Conclusion: Got a refund and auto-renewal was turned off. Get the rest of July free because it's already begun. The customer service experience was pleasant, but I would have been happier if I didn't have to call in the first place.




Going back to creepy, what was up with the phone rep I got?

1. Odd coincidence that the phone rep knew of Marquette which is a fairly small and isolated city.

2. Microsoft has an internal matching service that matches phone reps based on customer location when possible.

3. Database brings up bs discussion topics for the phone reps to make customers feel more comfortable.

It got me thinking about how customer service systems work in larger corporations.

Reverse Stalking

As I exit the bank's revolving doors and prepare to gaily prance down the stairs, I pause to avoid trampling a woman on the sidewalk. She smiles awkwardly without stopping. I descend the stairs and turn toward work which happens to be the same direction.

She nervously picks up her pace, so I slow down. Unfortunately, she goes right into the building where I work. Dumbly, I go into the same door, and she practically runs for the stairs I intended to use. I take the other staircase and head for the office.

Just before I reach the office, one of the sales women begins talking to me. I don't want to be rude, so I walk over and exchange a bit of small talk. Afterward, I quickly head for my destination while the woman I'm actively attempting to not stalk has her back turned. Almost there, I'm forced to stop abruptly because some dude is blocking the entrance to my work area. The woman turns around, and I'm standing there looking like a goon.

"Excuse me, could I get by? Thank you!"
I hate Christmas. This wasn't a conscious decision; emotions come and go as they please. I've simply concluded that hate is the only way to describe a holiday that makes me feel how Christmas does.


Magic Jesus

I don't identify myself as a Christian. I wrote about this before, so I'll keep it brief. I do not celebrate the birth of Jesus. I think he is an interesting mythological character who can cast magic spells, died for mankind's sins, got resurrected, and left plot hooks for the Mormons to write a sequel.

Jesus doesn't deserve a holiday any more than Gandalf, Odin, or Harry Potter, and he never got one. They renamed an existing holiday celebrated by many cultures in late December - early January known as Yuletide, Yule-tide, Yule-time, Yule, the Yules, Jul, etc. and added Jesus to it. It's been retconned. That's why you see nativity scenes from a desert randomly mixed in with the traditional displays of wreaths, snow, holly leaves, and mistletoe.

However, the Christian assimilation of Yuletide is merely an interesting detail that makes me feel a bit detached. The true enemy wears red.


Santa Claus, Corporate Tool.

Capitalist infiltration. Capitalist indoctrination. Capitalist subversion. Capitalist conspiracy. This fucker's fat belly represents the greed of the elites who thought it all up, while the sack over his shoulder evokes images of cartoon robbers. Tell the slaves they must buy tons of stuff right before depreciation and taxes are figured. Tell the kids Santa will bring gifts so the parents feel obligated to purchase gifts. Tell the slaves they must work Christmas Eve so more gifts can be sold.

What's a capitalist without greed? Fictional. Greed is depressing and will never go away, but the resultant gift-exchange brings me down even more.


A Rather Odd Way of Looking at It

I enjoy giving if it brings pleasure to others. I'd give more to more people if it didn't make anybody feel awkward or jealous. I enjoy giving more than receiving. Exchanging is where it becomes problematic. In every situation, I received an explosion of awesome, and only had something disappointingly "nice" to give in return.

Really makes a guy feel inadequate.


Total Commitment

Despite the advertising, it's not even about spending. You know what the best gift I received was? A chainmail pouch my brother made. The materials were probably less than $5. However, he sat at a table and crimped all of those rings together with a pair of pliers to make it for me, and it is fucking awesome.

The best gift my mother received? A little book that my sister made containing photos of my nephew Nik and other family members. How do I know it is the best gift? The smile. I don't see my mother genuinely smile very often, and I am glad somebody in the family found a gift that could do that.

Without going into details, I failed in every exchange except perhaps with my brother. Everything else I did was botched, relatively cheap, or incomplete. I couldn't even buy a coat without screwing it up.

Can't we just abolish the gift exchanging and go back to a simpler time?


The Redcoats are Coming!

Ever look at the lyrics to Deck the Halls? No Jesus. No Santa. Lots of happy singing, and some gay apparel.

This "gay apparel" is not fruity high-end men's clothing. It's festive clothing on pretty girls enticing you to kiss them beneath strategically placed mistletoe before you get hammered on spiked eggnog and wake up in a pile of tits, thighs, and precious bodily fluids. Jolly good idea.

My Yuletide celebrations will never be like that, but the point is that being happy and spending time with people you care about should be enough without the synchronized exchanges.


A Feeling of Emptiness Followed by a Loss of Essence

People are becoming more isolated. Arcades, Bowling Alleys, and Roller Rinks are all dying or dead here. People are instead working more hours, watching more television, and playing more solitary video games. Nobody knocks on anybody's door unexpectedly. Unless you like bars, there is no place to go and hang out or meet new people.

Then there is Facebook. The great deceiver. Apparently I have 96 friends. I know, everybody else has over 300. I like to believe I am more strict about who I friend. It doesn't matter. The point is that I don't live like a person with 96 friends. I remember when I only had 3 friends, but every day was a blast. Today, with 96 friends, I spend most of my evenings sitting home alone.

One day I grew frustrated with these imaginary friends and deleted half of my Facebook contacts. I regret that. The truth is that I want to stay in touch with anybody I have ever added on Facebook.

Christmas came along, and I actually have been hanging out with family and friends. It's nice, but temporary. Next week, everybody returns to their routines and I'm left with nothing but Facebook friends. I hate the inconsistency. I hate being reminded of all the fun I'm not having the other 50 weeks in a year.


Plan Rocco

Couldn't we just eliminate Christmas and follow these two simple rules all year long?

If you want to give somebody a gift, give them a gift. Why wait for the designated gift-exchanging day? Just give!

If you care about somebody, spend time with them. Why wait for the designated time-spending day? Just visit!

The world would be better if people expressed their appreciation for each other all year long instead saving it up for a contrived and commercialized ritual on one specific day. No?

Breast Cancer is a Scam

Okay, breast cancer itself is not a scam, but breast cancer awareness month surely is. For one thing, the name is misleading. Is there anybody who isn't aware of breast cancer? It's cancer. You can get it in any part of your body. Your breasts are a part of your body. You can get cancer there. Got it?

The true purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to make money selling merchandise. Pink ribbons, pink t-shirts, pink bras, you name it. It's all promoted under the guise of helping people cure cancer. Well, guess what? They haven't cured it. Okay, maybe Royal Raymond Rife or John Kanzius cured cancer, but, to the public at large, there is no cure. That is a good thing. If there was a cure, how would retailers get rid of their pink shoes?

It doesn't stop at the retailers; it's a pyramid scheme. One step up the pyramid is the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the CURE who collect $5 for each pair of pink shoes sold. And what do they do? Apart from the millions paid out to their board of directors, they push money further up the pyramid to the medical and pharmaceutical institutions by by promoting unnecessary mammograms and unhealthy diets while also rejecting published studies on breast cancer risk factors. This behavior puts people at higher risk for cancer and other illnesses. Keeping you sick, of course, is where the big boys make their money.

Instead of focusing on the greed, which is beyond the scope of this article, let's talk about the choice of cancer. Breast cancer. Why not brain cancer? I can name three people relevant to me who have died of brain cancer. I don't believe I am even acquainted with anybody who has had breast cancer. Of course, my social circle is not adequate sample data, especially considering the low percentage of females, so I found a chart. (scroll to page 4)

Digestive, respiratory, and genital cancers are all more common than breast cancer. Prostate cancer in particular is a male-only cancer that happens to be more common than breast cancer and only a little bit less lethal. Where's our prostate cancer awareness month? A brown finger could be the logo. What? That makes people uncomfortable? How about lung cancer awareness month? Oh yeah, we've been programmed to blame the victim for that one. Maybe a month for cancers of the intestines, colon, rectum, and anus? Too gross? It seems that none of the other cancers are very marketable.

Breast cancer is easy to market. Everybody loves breasts. They look great, feel great, make food for babies, and sometimes jiggle. Women don't want their breasts cut off and men don't want women to lose their breasts. Breasts work so well at selling magazines, movies, and video games, why not use them to sell pink merchandise too?

Fortunately, you, the reader, are not going to be a slave to this system because, if you were paying attention, you know it's all bullshit. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on excess mammograms and overpriced goods bearing that accursed pink ribbon, you will keep your money and use it for things that are more beneficial than an artificial peace of mind. Perhaps dinner with friends, vampire novels, and shoes that aren't pink.

Regarding breast cancer, I'm sure they taught you to check your breasts in high school. Do that. Touch your breasts. Yeah, just like that. Ok, a little lower. Now go in circles. Get a second opinion, let her touch your breasts. Man, that's hot! Keep checking for lumps! It's okay to lick, the tongue is better at finding tumors! I read a pamphlet once, let me touch your breasts. Oh, we don't want you losing these babies! Is that camera on? We might need to send pictures to a, um... cancer specialist. Yeah. It could save your life someday.

... and that's the most honest part of this whole process.

Beware the Ides...

Yeah, I know. It's St. Patrick's Day. I missed the Ides of March. I've got a frickin' job, okay? I don't have time post on theme. So please, cut me some slack, laddie. Besides, everybody's too bloody drunk to know the difference.

Alright. May I begin now? Thank you.

I've got the apartment to myself tonight, and I bet you're wondering, "What fun and excitement does Rocco have in store for St. Patrick's day?" I'm glad you asked. Tonight, to celebrate the Ides of March, I'm going to write about Fluoride... in iambic pentameter. More specifically, I shall use heroic couplets. I might even get crazy and toss in a trochaic inversion. Why? Because the last person to write warnings about ides did fancy things like that all the time.




Devil's taint in wine and porter
Tiny gift from New World Order
Need a herd to loot and pillage
Pour this junk in every village
Slow the brain, they will abide
Shut up slave, drink more fluoride




Hey! Calm down! I know... I know... Any idiot with ten fingers can tell it's not iambic pentameter. I had to scale it back a bit. I have a frickin' job, okay? I don't have time to become Shakespeare! Not right now! So please, cut me a wee bit 'o slack, lass. Besides, you got some rhyming couplets out of deal.

I messed up. I became fixated on the rhyme with Order, but it doesn't form a proper iamb. What was I supposed to do, use trochaic rhythm for the whole thing? Oh, that's not a bad idea. Too late now, maybe next year!




Unless you're Julius Caesar, and I know you're not, the Ides of March are not the ides you need to be concerned with. It's those fluorides. They're gonna get you.

Hello? Yeah, you just blue-screened... It means you're either confused or bored. Don't worry, I get that all the time! To remedy this situation, I'm going to recap the fluoride stories, but I'll keep them short and maybe add a bit of dramatization.

Yes. I said 'stories', implying more than one. There are exactly two stories. The Official Story, and The Truth. Though, sometimes they are erroneously labeled as The Truth and Crackpot Conspiracy Theory. Mix-ups happen, it's no big deal.




The Official Story

"Golly Gee! I've just discovered that soaking teeth in a Fluoride solution has a hardening effect upon the enamel! I hope the government forces everybody to drink it, so we can all have healthy teeth!"




The Truth

"Whatcha gonna do with all that muck, all that muck inside your truck?"

"I'ma make make make you suck, get you real dumb off my gunk, my gunk, my neurotoxin junk."

Sorry about that.




The Truth (Take Two)

"Number Two, we have a problem."

"What troubles you, sir?"

"Those damn tree-huggers won't let us dump our fluoride into the lakes or rivers, and it costs a fortune to dispose of properly."

"Oh. Well, let's just use the slaves as filters."

"Can we do that? I assumed there was some fucking amendment against it."

"We'll get the marketing team involved. The slaves will beg us for fluoride. They'll pay us to take it away!"

"Is this going to give us any legal trouble? What happens if they drink it?"

"We'll make it illegal to sue for fluoridating a water supply. As to the effects, they'll become stupider and more docile."

"Perfect!"




Et tu, Fluoride?

Whoah! Okay, I can answer questions, but, please, one at a time.

Why don't I believe the official story? That's easy. Faulty logic. When applied topically, fluoride hardens teeth, therefore we should drink it? That makes as much sense as drinking conditioner to make hair silky and radiant.

You don't think the government would allow people to be fed poison? Walk into a party store, pick up a few snack products, and read the ingredients. Now look up those ingredients on the internet. Proof that the government is not protecting us from consuming harmful substances.

How do I know fluoride is poisonous? It is well documented. There is even proof in your own home. Pick up your tube of fluoridated toothpaste and read the back. Warnings Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Hmm, sounds like poison! I have a tube of fluoride-free toothpaste and it bears no warnings.

Where does fluoride come from? I'm glad you asked. It comes from our enemies. We pay for their toxic waste so we can drink it. As a bonus, they can send over mystery substances and we'll drink them too!

I'd like to mention that even if you believe the official story and want to consume fluoride, it is not ethical to force a medication upon a population. Seems like something the Nazis would do, doesn't it? Where are the limits? Will we someday be forced to drink Lithium so we don't all hang ourselves? Fluoride consumption should be a choice, just like Tylenol, multivitamins, or nutritional supplements.




Out Damned Spot!

I could go on and on and post tons of links, but I have a frickin' job! I don't have time to be your personal research assistant! Besides, nobody clicks on my links anyway. Hence the low quantity. I thought common sense might be more practical today.

I just wanted to give you all something to think about. Food for thought. Fight it, drink it, love it, hate it, it's up to you. Do your own research, draw your own conclusions. Just know that it would pain me to see you with an addled mind, failing organs, spotted teeth, and cracking bones due to systemic fluoride toxicity.

Love all, trust a few, feed fluoride to none.
I just spent the past four hours reading the past 5 1/2 years of my Live Journal. I miss the person I used to be. I'm not completely different. If you replace cocksucker with douchebag, most of my opinions are still the same. What's missing is the crazy.

On October 27th, 2004 I proposed this post's subject as the title for a 20-minute epic death metal masterpiece. Today I spent five minutes laughing at it. When did I stop coming with absurd shit like that?

When I'm feeling creative, witty, or funny, my brain feels like it's functioning at a higher level. Lately it feels like it's tired and low on energy. I often wonder if there is some nutritional deficiency that has taken away the crazy I cherished so much. Perhaps the fact that I am no longer consuming ridiculous amounts of sugar? Probably not. Most of the good stuff was written years after I had given up pop.

And where did the dreams go? Not the shattered hopes for my future, but the bizarre and fucked up things I imagined while sleeping? I've transcribed several dreams into this journal over the years, but I've had none lately. Where did they go? No more magic mirrors or cheesecake models... I wanna go back to school with no pants on!

Last, but not least, I want to write more. Not more game commentary or life updates. I need more of the crazy trains of thought and word associations that exercise parts of my brain that most people probably don't realize they have. That's the stuff I enjoyed writing and that's the stuff I enjoy the most when I re-read my journal.

Unfortunately, I've fallen into the traps that are Facebook and Twitter. For all my complaining about the degradation of public education, I cannot believe I've been neglecting my LiveJournal in favor of services that rob people of their writing skills and attention spans.

I shall make amends by writing more often in here. Perhaps I'll get the creative energy flowing enough to bring back the crazy.