Learning How to Smile

Things Leaked Out

Of the Mind of a Pensive Paranoid

The Intersection of Poetry and Freewriting, Demon Central
I Face So Much All Alone
shargonysadros
I find myself facing again an issue that grows bigger with each confrontation
Because it's an issue of me reaching outside my station
To give you a look inside my mind
Though when you read it you'll see it's something you could find
By looking inside your own head
But it's an issue that's mine and my own, born and bred
Straight-edge is a choice I made for me, and I know I can't make anyone follow my way
I know that if I didn't, I'd cease to be; drink would kill me some day
It's also a responsibility, a necessity,
I have more knowledge than most as to harm somebody
And now the self-control freak has to deal with the fact
That his inability to deal with others having alcohol incredibly lacks tact
---
What have I done?
What have I done?
How could I be so blind?
All is lost,
Where was I?
Spoiled all... spoiled all...
Everything's gone all wrong
What have I done?
What have I done?
Find a deep cave to hide in
In a million years they'll find me
---
I cannot
Should not
Control what others do
It is not
Would not
Must not be what it comes to
But I hear you
See you
Watch you laud alcohol
I ache at it
Pain from it
Knowing it would be my downfall
---
But I never intended all this madness, never
And nobody really understood
---
Every drop of alcohol in this obsessed, debauched world
And I'd laugh at the noses it curled
And cringe at the lamentations over its disappearance
Because the real irritance
Is that my demons thrive when they hear
That someone likes liquor
And how can we fight that fight
When we hear that from those that bring our lives most light?
You say you enjoy beer, wine, or bourbon,
I hear you say you enjoy drinking poison
So those of you who read out there
Know that when I write or speak I take great care
Which means you should know that I say this with mind, body, soul, and all:
Fuck alcohol.

Business
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
Hi Folks,
A business I am working with, KIS Electronic Health Records, is in the running for a grant through Chase Manhattan Bank and we desperately need your help. The application has been completed, and now we need our site to be “Liked” – we need at least 250 votes.

The steps are quite easy:
Go to https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/
In the blue bar that says “Vote For Your Favorite Business”, copy-paste in:
KIS Electronic Health Records
Click the Search icon
You will be prompted to connect with your Facebook account in order to vote

This grant will be very useful in marketing KIS Electronic Health Records. If I may be so bold, also feel free to forward this to any of your Facebook Friends who might be inclined to help us reach a goal of at least 250 votes.

Many thanks for your assistance!
Jason

P.S.: I am aware that, to some, this may seem as spam. If you're considering helping, but aren't sure, I invite you to contact me in some other fashion to confirm.

Opinions on Things to Come
Katsumoto
shargonysadros
For the past two nights, KROQ listeners have voted "Same Love" by Macklemore as #1 on the Furious Five (the nightly listener-voted countdown), in solidarity of the Supreme Court hearing arguments about Prop. 8, and gay marriage on the whole. If you haven't heard it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

Paradigm Shift
Katsumoto
shargonysadros
I learned, a few weeks ago, about a way that some guys rate girls.  Instead of the usual one-to-ten scale, apparently, it's formatted like an area code, where each of the digits corresponds to part of the girl.  First digit is face, second is body, and third is overall impression, ranked from 0 (lowest) to 9 (highest), in the event you have some idea of using it.

Ironically, I learned it from my girlfriend.  She knew it and I didn't, so maybe it's just a San Diego thing, but I find it... wrong.  I find it wrong for two reasons.

First and foremost, I've always been a person to rely on intuition.  Sure, I'll look at a person's outward appearance, and sure, I have the ability to admire it, but I can't say that I fixate on it.  As ethereal a concept as it may be, I rely on the "vibe" I get from the person.  Agreed, it's far more vague, but at the same time, I've had such incredible accuracy in relying on the feeling I get from someone that I can't help but take that into account, and almost trust it more.  You, my good reader, have probably experienced the other aspect of why I don't rely on outward appearance as much - as I get to know the person, my impression of them alters my visual perception of them.  I've seen attractive people pale, homely people blossom, and even watched as people have little change in my eyes.  There's so much more to people than what is on the surface, it seems insulting to them to only judge based on a face or a shape.

Second is more related to the subject, and I'd like to issue it as a challenge to you, my reader.  I'm going to go under the assumption that you know the one-to-ten scale, and my challenge is this:

Remove the numbers 2 through 9.

The reason?  These numbers are not necessary.  They're excuses.  If you're using these, then you're trying to find excuses as to why someone should or shouldn't be the recipient of your attention, and you're getting in your own way.  Make your scale have only 1 and 10.  Yes and no.  0 and 1.

Perhaps now you're disputing me on this.  Perhaps you're arguing with the challenge, saying, "Jason, you came up with that idea because you were single.  Your challenge is an idea that was formed in the throws of solitude and desperation."  I'll grant you solitude, reader, but not desperation.  That's a darker discussion for another time, but I will make this allusion - when I came up with the idea, I was not looking for a relationship, but instead looking to keep myself from having relationships.

Instead, on a scale of one or ten, I found myself an eleven.

"Jason, you're defying your own scale now.  You can't create arbitrary units above where the scale is supposed to be."

Of course I can, and you should too.  The scale of one and ten is for you to look at people by, and decide, interested or no.  Find your person, and hold them superior to all others.  Why should they not be?  When I compare my girlfriend to your significant other, or to you (depending, of course, upon your gender, my good reader), it seems only natural that I should wind up at my conclusion.  I fully expect you to do the same, when you compare your significant other to mine or me - find us lacking, in comparison - and take no offense to that at all.

Challenge Issued

Steppin', stormin', I'm all gone.
Give me a chance and I'm all gone.
Yeah I'm walking by the line,
Not here but, in my mind.

I'm workin' a sweat but it's all good.
I'm breakin' my back but it's all good,
'Cause I know I'll get it back.
Yeah, I know your hands will clap.

And I'm workin'
Yeah, I'm workin'
To make butter for
My piece of bun

And if you say I'm not ok, then that's the goal.
If you say there ain't no way that I could know,
If you say I aim too high from down below,
Well, say it now, 'cause when I'm gone,
You'll be calling but I won't be at the phone.

And you're hanging around 'til it's all done.
You can't keep me back once I had some.
No wasting time to get it right,
And you will see that I'm alright.

Yeah, 
I'm workin' a sweat but it's all good.
I'm breakin' my back but it's all good,
'Cause I know I'll get it back.
Yeah, I know your hands will clap.


And if you say I'm not ok, then that's the goal.
If you say there ain't no way that I could know,
If you say I aim too high from down below,
Well, say it now, 'cause when I'm gone,
You'll be calling but I won't be at the phone.

...


And if you say I'm not ok, then that's the goal.
If you say there ain't no way that I could know,
If you say I aim too high from down below,
Well, say it now, 'cause when I'm gone,
You'll be calling but I won't be-


And if you say I'm not ok, then that's the goal.
If you say there ain't no way that I could know,
If you say I aim too high from down below,
Well, say it now, 'cause when I'm gone,
You'll be calling but I won't be at the phone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVVXtknZVf0&feature=plcp

From Google+
Nyah
shargonysadros
Normally, I'm not into sappy things.  That said, I'm cross-posting this from my Google+, where I reShared it, because it's worth a read simply for what "Nikka" had to say.  I agree with the OP - we need more Nikkas.

Edited to display properly.
__

What Love means to a 4-8 year old...

Slow down for three minutes to read this...from the mouth of babes..

A group of professionals posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds ,

'What does love mean?'

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'

Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'

Billy - age 4


'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'

Karl - age 5


'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'

Chrissy - age 6


'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4


'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'

Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'

Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

Bobby - age 7


'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate , '

Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)


'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.'

Noelle - age 7


'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'

Tommy - age 6


'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'

Cindy - age 8



'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'

Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'

Elaine-age 5


'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .'

Chris - age 7


'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'

Mary Ann - age 4


'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'

Lauren - age 4


'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.'(what an image)

Karen - age 7


'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross..'

Mark - age 6


'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'

Jessica - age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard , climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said ,

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

DWTS
Jin
shargonysadros
So, I'm hanging around my parents last night, and they decided to watch the finale Results Show for Dancing With the Stars.  I figured, "What the heck, I'll stick around."

The winner this season was a bloke by the name of J.R. Martinez, for those who haven't followed the show.  He's acted in what I think is a soap opera (IMDB says "All My Children" is the name... anyone want to fess up as to whether or not they can verify?), and is also a veteran of... one of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Don't know which branch.

For those who haven't seen him, he's also heavily scarred, from an IED blast, and mostly so on his left side.

I don't know what goes through the minds of people who undergo such traumatic experiences, but his joie de vivre is incredible.  He's fairly disfigured, but most conveys an air of "Life is beautiful!" of almost any person I have seen, encountered, met, or otherwise been exposed to.

The cynic in me, of course, says that part of his win is due to the sympathy vote from the viewers, but even so, he did dance incredibly well, and I'm more than willing to side against my own inner cynic as a result.

But I think the most impressive part is the effect he's had on his partner.  From the first season she was introduced, I never much cared for Karina.  Some combination of her appearance and her personality (at least, her on-screen personality) very much put me off, and nothing really made me warm to her until this season, and I think it's because of J.R.'s influence.

If you asked me, I'd say it had to do with that same joie de vivre.  It's hard to not change when you're exposed to other influences, and I think she lost a lot of her haughtiness when she met him - he has every reason to be down in the dumps, and his biggest concerns in the show (from the parts they display in the "interview" parts) were not disappointing her, and making sure she was ok when he messed up in a way that might have hurt her.  There's a particular lift they did in the later episodes where he was in pain from a foot injury, and wound up slipping his end of the hold, and dropped her a bit, and immediately after the dance, he was concerned about her, and, if memory serves, dismissed her questions about him, so that he could confirm she was ok.

Perhaps we all need some of that J.R. in us.  Gentlemanlyness, courtesy for others, and above all, an unquenchable joie de vivre...  Imagine how much we could accomplish, if we would make ourselves hold our heads high.

Tapas Last Night!
Nyah
shargonysadros
Tapas last night had live music! Guitar and keyboard made a great duo.

And, I think I received one of my greatest compliments in my dancing career last night. I had a dance instructor request a dance with me. Kinda
cool...

... I'd say "funny enough" were it, well, not that funny, but I'd rather dance with my dance partner any day of the week, though.  Much better connection with her...

Identification Remapping in Progress
I Face So Much All Alone
shargonysadros
As testimony to how often I use this blog, I cannot recall whether this is the first or second post since the new layout.  I believe it's the second.

I realized recently just how much names and titles are important.  It sounds terribly like a cliché, but it's true - they are important.  If you have a sibling, think of the last time you were called by your sibling's name.  Which did you feel, irritated that after so long, they still got your name wrong; or apathy, that you've donned for fatigue of irritation?  Certainly, I have never felt anything positive when being referred to as my brother.

Titles hold equal importance.  It feels good to be called someone's friend, to be held as someone's superior, to be thought of as a teacher.

I hold one less title now, and for it's lack, must learn to again stand on my own.  It is a strange feeling, being with someone for so long, and then having a new distance between you and them.  It's not just that there's distance...  After being that close to someone, the distance is vast... perhaps even more so than if I never knew them.

For the record, I'm not pandering for people to say they're sorry.  This will sound a little callous, so please let me explain, but there's nothing for which to be "sorry."  In some ways, I could only hope that more people could come to the realization that we did:  Life happens.  It always happens.  Awake, asleep, active, passive, talking, listening, praying, meditating, eating, drinking, just simply being - life always is happening, has been happening, and will be happening.  Never forget that, my reader... Whether or not you think life is happening, even if you feel like you're living the same day on loop, it's always happening.  It's important to remember that, because life changes people.  People change, as different things happen, as they choose to do X and not Y, and that was the problem.  Life happened, and it started to lead us down walks of life that were not as parallel as they once might have been.  For us, there were no fights, no arguments, just a calm, rational approach that might even be described as mature, that leaves us as some of the best of friends.

... It doesn't mean that it isn't hard to adjust.  That is, perhaps, the hardest part.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm becoming uncomfortable with my own presence.  Admittedly, I've never held myself in high regard in terms of physical appearance, though I cannot say that I let it greatly affect my self-esteem, but I find more and more that I need to distract myself.  It doesn't seem right, that I should have to do so.  I've always thought it important, before looking for happiness in complex things, to be able to appreciate what is simple, and that starts with oneself.  Comfort with one's own company is the most important thing; if you cannot stand yourself, why should someone else?  My problem is that I'm starting to feel I lack that.

There is another set of cliché phrases that deal with knowing oneself, finding oneself, getting in touch with oneself that seem appropriate here, because I'm starting to feel like I don't know myself any more, which I doubt is a good thing.  There are pieces, bits of knowledge about what I like and dislike, but I still feel like I need to find myself, or at least the rest of me.  I'm starting to wonder how much I'm trying to procrastinate on doing so, by looking for fleeting solace in the comfort of others.

Or maybe I just need sleep. I haven't done that well in a good while.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Friend...
Jin
shargonysadros
Nothing nearly so lengthy as my last post, just a few musing thoughts:

Tonight was a source of paranoia, neurosis, anxiety, and otherwise general worry. It wound up being better than I thought, which I suppose is not a bad thing. It certainly means that I'm acting upon my oft-stated philosophy of "Prepare for the worst, so that whatever may come, at worst you were prepared for it, and otherwise, it is a better outcome than you thought." There was one person that worried me, though...

In trying to console a friend of mine, I stumbled upon the perfect analogy for how I feel friends should be. To perhaps make it a little more poetic:
Friends are like stars: you may not always be able to see them - the lights of the world may blind you to them, and the turning of the world may hide them from your view - but they will always be constant lights in the darkness.
Thank you, my reader, for being one of the stars in my sky.

I think I should like a place without electric lights, or one where I would have total control of the lights. I think I should like to see the stars.

Maybe I've been the problem
Maybe I'm the one to blame
But even when I turn it off and blame myself
The outcome feels the same

I've been thinking maybe I've been partly cloudy
Maybe I'm the chance of rain
And maybe I'm overcast
And maybe all my luck's washed down the drain

I've been thinking about everyone
Everyone, you look so lonely

But when I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars,
I see someone else
When I look at the stars...
The stars...
I feel like myself

Stars looking at our planet
Watching entropy and pain
And maybe start to wonder how
The chaos in our lives could pass as sane

I've been thinking about the meaning of resistance
Of a hope beyond my own
And suddenly the infinite and penitent
Begin to look like home

I've been thinking about everyone
Everyone, you look so empty

But when I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars,
I see someone else
When I look at the stars...
The stars...
I feel like myself

Stars...
Stars...

Everyone, everyone feels so lonely...
Everyone, yeah everyone feels so empty...

But when I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars...
When I look at the stars,
I feel like myself
When I look at the stars
The stars...
I see someone...


If eyes are windows to the soul, what are to the mind?
I Face So Much All Alone
shargonysadros
A friend of mine refers to me, jokingly of course, as an emotional robot. The noun of that nickname was formed by my paired comments of, in brief, "food is fuel", and how I regulate what I eat, to adapt to my level of activity. The adjective came on later, as I often let other people vent, but never release my own feelings; in a comment in jest that I had none, I became an "emotional robot".

I suppose the robot part of me shut down a few days ago.

For those few of you who might read this, and don't know, I'm straight edge. Not militant, not really obsessive, just made that choice. If you don't know what it is, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge

I sometimes feel like I'm straight edge because I have no choice. It's a strange dichotomy. I have nothing against the philosophy, but I don't adhere to it because I went and precisely chose to do so. I find myself there because of neuroses.

Of all things, my greatest neurosis is about alcohol. The concept of alcohol... You might as well just blow a hole in me with a shotgun. My psychosomatic abilities already have me feeling like it. The concept of drinking, or of people I care about drinking, instills such fear and anxiety in me that I have trouble breathing, and I feel like a hole has been carved out of my chest. To perhaps instantly lose credibility with you, my reader, let me present an image:
http://manga.bleachexile.com/bleach-chapter-362-page-5.html
Tighten the tail around the neck a little more, and you have how I feel. Perhaps you perceive this as melodrama. Please take my assurance that were you to bear the brunt of my anxiety, you would be otherwise assured.

I hate American society. I thoroughly understand one of the facets of why so many other countries look down on the US. Think about what we glamorize. So many of our shows and movies, so much of our music, our advertising... It is so ethanol-centric that it becomes cast in a positive light, and somehow worms its way into people's minds as being necessary for an "adult" event. Teenagers sneak it, college students abuse it, people come home to it, and yet it is literally a poison. It kills us as we drink it, in so many ways, and yet we laud it.

The thought sickens me. It truly does, but I suppose I already expressed that. I admittedly don't say this from the viewpoint of having never drank - I have tried, once, and nothing excessive, even if you discount the fact that I seem to have some sort of tolerance. Perhaps my problem is compounded by being some sort of self-control-freak. I'd be lying to say that one of the reasons alcohol scares me so much is that that one time I drank was all it took to semi-permanently rewire my brain. It is incredibly disturbing that one time was all it took to make my brain jump to the thought of having something with alcohol to drink at the slightest stress. As far as I can remember, it took three weeks of shoving those thoughts down to get to a point where they didn't much crop up again. Even so, it's still there; I can hear it calling to me like Homer's sirens, tempting me to walk into my own danger. It tries to assuage my fears with the promise of forgetfulness once I've had enough, and the facts that I know it can offer it with enough, that "enough" could very well be enough to cause more permanent harm than just the liver damage each drink causes, and that these thoughts still persist years after the fact all combine to be near-paralyzing.

This neurosis, until recently, has been manageable, I suppose. People I know give me plenty of understanding, particularly when I mention that the habit-forming facet of my personality is very quick to act - I might as well say that I have an addictive personality. It wouldn't surprise me; my paternal grandfather was an alcoholic, meaning that a quarter of my genes are his, and I am essentially cursed, doomed to fall into patterns of behavior before I recognize I'm doing so.

The problem reared its ugly head recently with my girlfriend's impending twenty-first birthday. Another instance of the over-glamorization of alcohol, but that is my opinion. And, if you have stayed this long, then I am sure that you, my astute reader, have discerned the source of my troubles. I must ask that you bear with my catharsis.

I hate the concept of her hurting herself one glass of poison at a time. This would not be the first time she has had alcohol, I suspect it will not be the last, and I know from that experience that she, as I, has some tolerance. My biggest worry is her nature, because we are alike in so many ways, but the places we differ are leading to my paranoia. Perhaps you will accuse me of tooting my own horn, and you may be right, though I will try to be matter-of-fact. I endeavor to be a paragon of willpower. I have, over the years, worked on mind-over-matter, to dissuade myself about issues such as feeling unwell, or feeling cold, as I oft do. I limit my indulgences, reign in my hedonism, and suppress cravings of this and desires to do that. My girlfriend can be a willful person as well, but she has some past behaviors that worry me, particularly when it comes to food - perhaps the analogy is to Dantean, but her lower appetites often overpower her higher appetites, and she makes no move to suppress them.

The most worrying thing is if she undergoes the same rewiring I did. I harbor a crippling fear of it, because if she does, and her lower appetites desire alcohol, they will not be sated until the drink is quaffed, but will instead grow.

Perhaps I am paranoid. Perhaps the night will pass uneventfully. I know I cannot control her actions, that it is her celebration and I have no right to interfere. I can only hope that I will be proven completely wrong for all my worries.

Someone I consider a good friend ends many of her blog posts with song lyrics. It somehow feels appropriate to do the same:

I hurt myself today,
To see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain,
The only thing that's real.
      The needle tears a hole,
      The old familiar sting.
      Try to kill it all away,
      But I remember everything.
            What have I become,
            My sweetest friend?
            Everyone I know,
            Goes away in the end.
                  And you could have it all,
                  My empire of dirt.
                  I will let you down.
                  I will make you hurt.
                        I wear this crown of shit,
                        Upon my liar's chair,
                        Full of broken thoughts
                        I cannot repair.
                              Beneath the stains of time,
                              The feelings disappear.
                              You are someone else,
                              I am still right here.
                                    What have I become,
                                    My sweetest friend?
                                    Everyone I know,
                                    Goes away in the end.
                                          And you could have it all,
                                          My empire of dirt.
                                          I will let you down.
                                          I will make you hurt.
If I could start again,
A million miles away,
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.

Insert Random Humor Here
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
Rated PG-13 for languageCollapse )

(no subject)
Jin
shargonysadros
I think it would do a good many people a lot of good to take lessons from these three.

No hearts here
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
If you got the movie reference, congrats.

Meanwhile, I think Huckabee needs to be reminded of the overwhelming statistics of divorce, and child and spousal abuse in those "[relationships] for life."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36468875/ns/politics-more_politics/

I had a thought the other day... I was comparing the goals of the most outspoken of the LGBT community, and the anti-LGBT community. The former is seeking the same rights that everyone else in the group has already, and the latter is seeking to repress the former, and inhibit their rights.

In many ways, it reminds me of the post-American-Civil-War South. Legal measures were taken to prevent people from receiving what they were due, forcing them into inequal situations; it took around 70 years for this doctrine of "separate but equal" to be overturned then. Why is it still in action now, here in this issue of giving the members of the LGBT community what is duly theirs?

Huckabee further incenses me with his talk of quarantining AIDS patients. What's next? We put them in the 50- and 100-man "showers", to ensure this "plague" isn't spread? Adolf Huckabee here needs to be reminded of what America is supposed to be.

I quote "The New Collosus" by Emma Lazarus, at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Please share this message. If you, like I, cannot stand this arrogance, copy and paste this, or write your own. But most importantly, think. Look to the world around you, and think. Ask yourself if this is the world you want, the country you want, the state or city you want, where we claim to be the greatest of nations on the planet, and pompously deny our own citizens their due.

A small message to each of the people in my cell phone contacts...
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
I don't think you consider others at all, because you have yet to feel any repercussions.

It was fun while it lasted. Something about you always seemed too uptight, though.

In the back of my mind, I wonder how much you loathe me, and how much I scarred you.

I see you as a lost soul, and I don't know how I can help, if it's even possible for anyone to do so.

I wonder if you really think it was all worth it, of it you ever worried about backlash.

You were always very nice to everyone. It's a shame you're so far away now.

I feel terrible for all that's happened to you recently.

I constantly find myself questioning why you don't keep in touch, and forcing those thoughts out.

I'm getting tired of the constant questioning. I'm not some oracle.

I never really knew you, one way or the other. You were always pleasant, though.

Like with so many others, I regret falling out of contact with you.

I always admired your skill.

I'd like to see what you've learned, and see what knowledge we can share.

I miss you. You've a spirit that burns brightly, and I'm maybe even jealous of that.

You need to stop complaining and getting on other people's cases so much. You alienate them.

We mostly knew each other through working together, but it was fun.

Something about you always seemed strange to me.

Sometimes, I questioned if you could ever be simply calm and serious. You never displayed that.

You were very knowledgeable, but something always seemed off.

We ought to hang out more.

You had a tendency to be irritating, histrionic, and a bit of a braggart. You were nice, but I'm not sure how much I miss you.

I never really knew you, only got your number because of working with you.

You never seemed very reliable.

It was good while it lasted, even if you were a little histrionic.

You shared a lot of things in common with me. It was fun meeting a kindred spirit.

I don't keep in touch with you much, either, but you're a genuinely good person, which makes you a rare find.

It was always fun, though I regret having to run out on you some times.

I never noticed your eye until after you had the surgery for it.

I never sided with you because you never seemed that reliable or truly good a person.

I kinda miss your eccentricity. It made things fun.

You don't listen to any of the things I've said I really hold important. It hurts, and in spite of that, I'm still waiting. I'm not sure how much you appreciate that, or me.

I'm jealous of your abilities, too. You always made it seem so easy, but never lorded it.

You were always a good sport, even if sometimes I couldn't understand you through your accent.

I miss you. You were always quirky and fun, and we had interesting experiences. The distance is a shame.

I worry about you. You always try to be lighthearted, but I wonder how much you've bottled up.

It was fun while it lasted, and you were very nice to me while it did, even though I was a complete stranger. You're a rare person, and we need more like you.

You occasionally cross my mind, and I wonder how you're doing, since it's been a while. I miss those practices.

You're another one who's always pleasant, and who I wonder how much you're bottling.

Your eyes always seem to have an ulterior motive.

You try to be nice, but something always seems off with you.

You were a fun person, but sometimes I had to lie to build you up and make you feel better. I don't regret doing so.

You were always a sort of cover story. Thank you for putting up with it, and doing what you could.

Something about you seems a little dark. It's like you have some sort of ulterior motive, too.

You try to be a good man. You've things you need to figure out on your own, though. Don't always rely on others, but do learn from them.

Sometimes, I think you're trying to keep too close and sometimes a slightly inappropriate hold on me.

You were a nice girl. It's a shame things wound up the way they did, because you were the right sort of person.

It worries me how much you look at the bottom line, and not enjoyment, too.

You were always a good guy.

It's nice to have reconnected. I think I see you more than anyone else from the group.

You always seemed a little overshadowed, but I think you've come into the light a little more on your own.

You always seemed a little stand-offish to me.

It always amuses me how weird you can be.

I always get the vibe that you're trying to wall me off in some way.

Your emotions vascillate a lot. I question the dynamics of your relationships.

You're always a nice person, especially to me. I wish I had more "you"s in my life. I wonder if I wouldn't be happier.

Your antics were always fun, though something about your laugh threw me off.

I'm always suspicious of you. I don't like the vibe I get.

Something about you made me always feel you didn't belong in that group.

You were also nice to me. Thank you.

The inside joke is fun, but I tire of it. Perhaps because of how long it's been since it's been employed.

What I hear of you tells me you've changed much for the worse. I worry about others for it.

I'm not sure whether it's good or bad you moved.

I was always jealous of your talents. You always impressed me.

You always only seemed civil.

It was always a little strange how your mood never seemed to change.

I miss you. Your mix of eccentricity and seriousness was refreshing, and I'm jealous of your ability.

It was fun while it lasted. You were clever, and I found myself occasionally jealous of you. You always seemed a little laid-back, like things didn't matter.

You don't seem that reliable.

You're more so, but a little stand-offish, I think. I do think you're trying to overcome it, though.

One of my greatest regrets is how I left things between us.

You've always been a good friend to me. You're irreplaceable.

I worried a lot about you, because of a lot of reasons. To date, I hope that worry was unfounded.

I don't really remember you.

I remember you being pleasant, but that's it.

You were a good match for me - a lot like myself, which made the year work.

You were eccentric but fun. It was good while it lasted.

You were always a lot of fun to hang out with.

You're a good friend to me. I wish I could be the same, though perhaps that, like other things, is one-sided.

You were never that memorable to me, save for your generosity that one time. I don't know why I have your number.

You were fun, but I think you relied on me too much.

I can't hardly recall who you are.

I hope you know what you're doing.

You made for some great stories.

Lots of good times with you.

I'm a little worried that the distance that was always there between us has turned to emnity somehow.

I can't remember who you are, or why I have your number.

I'm not sure I want to face you any time soon. A lot has changed.

Your choice always was a little strange to me. I hope it worked out for you, though.

Something about you seems like a strange fusion of "nice" and "conniving".

I wonder what happened to you.

You put up with a lot of my eccentricities, and you trust me. I'm flattered for both, and regardless of what you say, I still hold that disparity between us.

I don't know why I can't seem to get to know you or connect with you better.

You were always good to me, if a little polar in your opinions.

I wonder what happened to you. It was good knowing you.

I wonder if I scared you off.

I can't quite connect with you either. You hold things a little black-or-white, which might be a part of that.

You need to learn to stand by yourself. You're not mature enough for your age.

My opinion of you has changed greatly recently. I wish I could say it's for the better.

We only had the thing in common that allowed me to meet you, but I wish I could have learned more from you.

Something about you makes me feel like you want to be a leader, but are never sure.

I think time has healed things, but you stay away for fear of reminders. I fear them too.

I miss you. You were a fun person, and I think some of the things I've talked with you about have scared you off.

I can't really recall who you are, even though you're the most recent person in that category.

I hope you know what you're doing. I'm not confident.

You were always good to me, and fun to be around. I miss you.

You were always a little strange, and a little inconsiderate, I feel.

You were another good match, when you weren't snoring.

It was good to get to know you. It took a while, and unpleasant events, though. Sometimes, I think you relied on me a little too much, though.

You had always seemed stand-offish, but you were warmer than I thought. I can say I'm pleasantly surprised.

You took the information better than I thought back then, and were a pleasant person after.

It's always good to see you, though you need to work a little harder at keeping in contact with people. I'm still waiting on those comments.

You knew a lot more than me, but were always patient with me. I regret having fallen so out of contact.


Computer hunting
Jin
shargonysadros
Anyone planning on getting a Dell computer (specifically, Dell netbook, Dell laptop, or Alienware laptop)? They're having a special I might want to piggy-back with you on. Said deal ends on 3/18, at 4 AM Pacific Time, so let me know if you're looking.

'Tis better to give...
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
... than to receive.

Adage said, I got owned this Christmas. All the ideas I thought were awesome paled in comparison with the stuff my brother thought up.

Add to it that he went way beyond his means to do so, and you can call me beaten. And you'd be putting it lightly.

I feel like there are more experienced amateurs out there than me...

Argentine Tango
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
I know, another deviation from the philosophical entries, but... I have to brag. ^_^

UCI's Argentine Tango club, along with the Salsa and Swing clubs there, put together an AWESOME mixer. We had more than double the number of people I had thought would show up, and I'm proud to say that I taught a lesson that some of the guests lauded as the best of the night.

It. ROCKED.

Sooo worth it. Sooo doing it again.

Argentine Tango
Katsumoto
shargonysadros
For those who are looking at the subject and wondering, I've been taking classes and helping people learn it for the last 3 years, and I'm working on making it four.

I just had my first experience dancing tango outside of the UCI community I'm a part of.

I... have SOOO much to learn...

Y_Y

Unrelated to my last entry
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
I wanted this separate because it's a different tone altogether.

To put it bluntly, this man should be much more known, because he's one man, doing something great.

http://news.aol.com/philanthropy/article/oz-du-soleil-collects-and-donates-bras/710608?icid=main|aim|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fnews.aol.com%2Fphilanthropy%2Farticle%2Foz-du-soleil-collects-and-donates-bras%2F710608

A truly great man.

Another brooding, dark entry of semi-inspired, somewhat insipid catharsis
Learning How to Smile
shargonysadros
I was listening to the radio the other day, and I caught a fragment of a song. Only a fragment, because I wasn't in the mood for it after hearing what I did, but a mental paraphrase of said fragment won't leave me alone.

If you know what the song might be, I'd love to know.

EDIT: The song is "Just Breathe", by Pearl Jam.

The lyrics I caught had the vocalist singing about how he could count the people he loves on both hands.

My immediate reaction was cynicism. I wasn't in the mood, and there was some music person boasting how there are so many special people in his life. My changing of the channel was fueled by more than my usual complaint that there was nothing on the radio, but also by indignation.

And I realized that perhaps my indignation was justified, not because it was a bad song, but because (in my opinion) society seems to be losing sight of what "love" really is. We use it colloquially, like I did in the second one-line-of-a-paragraph, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about love between people. Everyone claims to love, and so few can actually provide a reason that has merit. Some do it out of responsibility, others to leverage the law or society, or to be accepted by people... It so often seems like there isn't a good reason.

Maybe I'm talking outside of my boundaries of knowledge. It may be different in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, or perhaps it's even different just going outside the country, to Canada and Mexico. Maybe it's different going to Alaska or Hawaii, where it's not connected to the chaos of the contiguous United States; crossing state lines; or even leaving my mountain-ringed part of Southern California. I cannot claim to know more than what the most-likely-biased statistics bring, or what the news networks uncaringly report, but if they're even half-true, are we not ignorant of what love is?

Statistics claim that half of all marriages end in divorce, and that there are more single parents than ever. Even if we assume that half of the former are not for the capricious "irreconcilable differences" so many claim, and that half of the latter are caused by death (in some form or another), that's still so many people that don't know the meaning of what love is. They couldn't possibly know, because if they did, would that many people have that bond just fall apart?

For that matter, I don't think I can properly put to words what love is. Different people have different reasons for loving, different wants from their relationships, and different motivations for finding someone, not to speak of how these ideas can change over time.

Even so, I think there are essential parts of love that I already know, and that don't change. I think it starts with not tiring of a person's presence. So many people stop being able to do this, stand to be around someone, which is disheartening. One of the few things I can agree with my father on is that you can't say you can love someone until you've seen their quirks. He likes to say that you need to be able to wake up next to them, and see them without makeup, with that weird junk that forms around your eyes still attached, and the obligatory morning breath (ok, so he doesn't phrase it like that), and still care about them just as much. And then, that's only the start of knowing they could be the one.

All of this was brought about by one song lyric, and it has lead me to do a lot of thingking, because I've had to think about the people I'm around. I have to start wondering about who I myself love, or even care about. Frankly, doing so depresses me. As I do this, I find, more and more, that I don't have two hands for the people I care about and love. I have one hand, and it's gaining free fingers, sadly.

I'm finding that people push each other away so much more than they properly pull them closer, and with the people close to you, they push you away by trying to pull you closer when you don't want to be reigned in.

If you dare, look some time at the people in your life. See which ones you truly care about, which ones you love, and ask why. It's a harsh look at reality, a harsh, dark view, but I think it's one we all could stand to take, especially before we become another statistic, in some way or another.

"When I look into your eyes
There's nothing there to see
Nothing but my own mistakes
Staring back at me
Asking why..."

?

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