Here We Go Again…

All I ever knew about TikTok was that it was the app of choice for Adderall-popping zoomers to post their lipsyncing videos, videos reacting to lipsyncing videos, or videos of themselves “dancing” while lipsyncing to reaction videos.

These activities don’t interest me, and I’m especially not interested in sharing my mobile device’s photos and videos, browsing history, IMEI, Public IP, or any other information with the CCP.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received an email notification letting me know that my username had changed to [Redacted]x69. Of course, it would end in “x69”! What could be cooler and edgier than that?

Seeing how someone so thoughtfully decided to create an account for me using MY email address…again… I decided to log on. I didn’t remember the password, so I just used that handy little “Forgot Password” link and got myself logged back into my account.

It Just Keeps Getting Worse…

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t let me delete my account as I couldn’t provide the One-Time Password (OTP), which went to a mobile number I didn’t have access to. So, I decided to see what I could do on my account in the meantime!

To my surprise (and annoyance), someone had taken the time to upload many selfie lipsync videos. As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t my bag, so it all had to go. I could change some settings, such as changing the account from private to public, setting screen time limits for myself, and changing my profile pic and description. Here’s what I chose as my TikTok avatar, my “TikTokitar,” if you will:

This picture comes from a video of a talented barber with a penchant for setting his customers’ (victims?) hair on fire… I chose this because his facial expressions captured the gestalt and indescribable angst I feel when someone uses my email address to sign up for services because they can’t be bothered to spend 2-3 minutes creating their own.

I then uploaded things I was interested in, such as stock videos of grocery store meat, seafood, and fish markets.

Push Me, Shove You! Oh Yeah, Says Who?

Unfortunately, the fun didn’t last, and my anonymous benefactor decided to remove these videos and set my account back to ‘private.’ Although I could not unlink their mobile number from my account, I could (and did) change the associated email address.

For whatever reason, email address change OTPs go to the registered email address instead of the account’s linked phone number. Problem solved!


A few days later, I tried logging on but found my account locked! It was probably the result of an impersonation report I filed a few days earlier. Just as well, I was getting tired of this TikTok Tug-O-War… Tik-Tug-O-War?

The good news is that my email address is no longer associated with that (or any) TikTok account anymore, so that’s a win in my book!

Being Less of a Porker: Part 1

The Good Ol’ Days

“I guess there is no situation so bad but what it can get worse.”
Robert Heinlein, Farham’s Freehold, 1964

Hindsight is 20/20, we never appreciate what we have until we don’t, and there is no situation so bad but what it can get worse.

I’d been slim for almost half my life. As a kid, I worried about being too skinny.  I wanted to be stronger, more flexible, and muscular, but I was otherwise happy with my appearance (if not my wardrobe, haircut, or severe acne).

I remember maturing during the summer just before I started high school. I was extremely active, full of hormones, and starting to develop muscles I never knew I had (coupled with hair in funny places)…

We lived in the country, which suited me well as I hated cities. I learned how to build fences, pound nails, swing an axe, butcher a chicken, and a thousand other things children today (including man-children) will never experience.

After high school, I did a lot of construction, and the hard work was great for my body. Even though I often felt ashamed of having to do manual labor (I was too smart to dig ditches for a living), I was in the best shape of my life. At 18, I looked and felt better than ever, but this didn’t last (does anything?)…

The End of an Era

Within the span of three years, a high-stress, sedentary desk job coupled with too much fast and processed food (e.g., McDonald’s and Hamburger Helper, I gained about 60 lbs. I remember looking in the mirror one day and realizing I was out of shape… My belly protruded, and I had to buy new clothes as my old ones no longer fit me. I knew I needed to do something about this, but I didn’t know what, so I did nothing. Analysis paralysis!

Lesson 1: Have a Plan, and Follow It!

A few years later, I got a fresh start, returned to school, and tried working out and walking daily. I didn’t know anything about exercise or nutrition. Smartphones were still a few years off, and I didn’t understand the basic laws of thermogoddamnics.

I was cast adrift in a sea of confusion. I had no plan, no structure, and no way to know if I was on track or what (if any) progress I was making… In time, I grew bored of this and stopped doing it…

Lesson 2: Weight Loss is Mostly Diet

“You can’t outrun a fork…” – Some guy on the internet

Fast-forward a few years to my first major breakthrough in early 2012. That year, I lost about 30 lbs in three months by eating mail-order cardboard food – you know, the one on late-night television that claims you can “eat great and still lose weight!”

This worked because it restricted my caloric intake to roughly ~1200-1500 calories daily. The food was preservative-laden cardboard, barely palatable, and got old quickly.

In addition to this, I worked out regularly with my Wii, starting with the training program for Wii Sports and then upgrading to Wii Fit. When I started, I could barely keep up and would be pouring with sweat by the time I finished.

Over several weeks, I became more adept at the exercises and eventually outgrew the flimsy resistance bands it came with. I bought a second-hand elliptical machine and started using that instead.

I was doing fine until I was rear-ended on my commute to work, which put the kibosh on my exercise. At the time, I’d gotten down to about 194 lbs. Unable to exercise due to being in physical therapy and having gotten sick of eating disgusting food, I eventually fell off the bandwagon, shooting back up to the 225-230 range by the end of the year.

Although exercise helped, diet and nutrition had the biggest impact on my weight loss (~80%).

Lesson 3: Remove Temptations 

In December 2012, I flew to Sand Land to look for my next career opportunity. I ended up getting stuck there for reasons I won’t go into, and it would be seven months before I could return home in mid-2013.

At first, my living situation was such that I did not have ready access to food and sometimes missed meals altogether. Other times, I didn’t like the food I was offered and refused to eat it (e.g., boiled, bone-in chicken wings with overcooked macaroni – shit I wouldn’t even feed to my dogs). This went on for about 4 or 5 months, but I eventually was able to strike out on my own.

Almost every weekend, I went camping and hiking in the desert. Soon, I found myself fasting during the day to keep up with provincial norms and lost more weight as a consequence.

In the evenings, I cooked for myself, ate wholesome meals, and did not keep soda, cookies, candy, or other junk food in the house. As a result, I wasn’t tempted to eat it. I allowed myself a little juice but always cut it with 80% tap water since it was too hard to drink on its own (it reminded me of well water, but worse).

I once again dropped below 200 lbs. Eventually, my significant other joined me, and I found myself giving in to things that made her more comfortable but were bad for me. Instead of cooking a meal and eating leftovers for the next 3-4 days, we’d go out to eat to get her out of the house. When we went shopping, she’d ask for pastries, cookies, and other sweets, and I’d give in…

Lesson 4: Your Diet Must Be Sustainable!

Within three years, the suits I bought when I was 195 lbs. no longer fit, and I’d ballooned up to the mid-240 lbs again. After watching a movie about an Aussie who lost a lot of weight drinking juice, I made the mistake of giving that a try, and after a day and a half of this, I wanted to snuff it.

It was a terrible experience. Losing weight is like making a diamond. It takes time and pressure; there are no shortcuts.

Lesson 5: Don’t Overdo It

About a year later, I returned home. Travel always stresses me out and wears me down, and I was about 235 lbs again when I started counting calories and lifting free weights using the 5×5 StrongLifts method.

This consists of two exercise routines:

  1. Five sets of 5 Squats and Overhead Press, 5 Deadlifts
  2. Five sets of 5 Squats, Bench Presses, and Bentover Rows

Between the two, I saw some progress, and after about 6 or 7 weeks, I’d dropped about 10 lbs and lost 3″ off my waist, but I had stalled in the mid-220s.

Eventually, I managed to throw my back out, putting an end to my training. Again, my progress was stalled, followed predictably by gaining it all back.

Lesson 6: Don’t Do Fad Diets!

After a year out of work, I eventually obtained gainful employment again. Once again, I started feeling the aches and pains of being overweight, and once again, I decided to do something stupid…

“…If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working? Heh. Potatoes. You’ve got to be poor to eat potatoes. Really poor…I’m rich, but I’m lonely.” – Tuco Ramirez

I recall reading somewhere that Penn Jillette and others lost significant weight on a “mono diet,” eating nothing but potatoes. I decided to give this a try. I lasted longer than my foray into juicing but ended with the same result; I never felt satiated and was sick of eating the same thing daily…

About two and a half weeks in, I developed a terrible craving for meat. I finally broke down and started eating steak at the behest of my dear friend Jim, and I felt a lot better. I tried to eat mostly meat and vegetables but wasn’t tracking how much of each, and while I had some short-term losses, it was not sustainable as I didn’t have a plan (see lesson 1).

My Most Recent Relapse

I’ve been overweight for the better part of 24 years, and while I’ve dipped below 200 lbs a few times, I’ve always gained it back and then some. As I started my new job last year, I weighed in at an all-time high of about 267. The prior year, I worked three jobs, ate out every day, and didn’t track my weight, caloric intake, or anything else, as my sole focus was getting out of debt.

Out of the blue, an old friend made me aware of a job opening. It didn’t pay amazingly well, but it had a pension, and for the first time in my life, I finally had a way out of the corporate rat race. I applied, was interviewed, got an offer, rejected it, got a better offer, and started my new job in January of 2023.

No one I work with eats out for lunch, and there are no good places to eat nearby. Consequently, I stopped eating lunch, thus cutting out about 700-1,000 calories a day from my diet without changing anything else (and getting to leave work an hour early).

I started off strong and averaged about ~1.6 lbs. of weight loss a week, but I wasn’t getting enough protein, and while I was losing weight, I eventually dropped to 215 lbs. and plateaued.

Almost a year ago, on June 1, 2023, while cooking up a London broil without a shirt on, some of the grease splattered on my chest when I went to flip it. The following day, while on my evening walk, the skin on my chest started to burn, and when I got home, I noticed some red marks across my sternum and left ribs – I assumed this was the burn, and it would go away after a day or so, it didn’t.

The pain got to be so unbearable that I ended up going to an emergency clinic and was diagnosed with shingles. Within three days, the red patches blistered and scabbed over. Any movement was painful during this time, so I stopped exercising. I let myself break discipline and go back to eating out at night because I was in too much pain to cook for myself…

At the beginning of July 2023, I completed my first 180 days at work and was allowed to work remotely 95% of the time; being home all day meant that I had ready access to food and could graze all day, and I did. I had a difficult professional certification I needed to complete by the end of the year, and the stress of the encroaching deadline took my attention away from taking care of myself.

Over the remainder of 2023, I gained about half the weight I’d lost, and by April 2024, I was back in the mid-250s. Once again, I decided to climb back on the wagon. I must implement the lessons I learned to ensure success and codify good habits, which brings me to…

Lesson 7: Stay the Course

“Let’s say you are fat. I was fat! So I talk about it. Go ahead and say something, motherfucker, I was fat, too! And it was hard as fuck every  fuckin’ day to get up. I know what it feels like, when you roll your fat ass out of bed and all you want is some fucken damn cinnamon buns and shit. And fuckin’ chocolate milkshake. I know what it is…I know exactly what it is…but I can’t want it more than you.

And so many people just want it the easy way, I’m sorry man, it’s not! So what they start to do is they build this narrative of, ‘It’s okay,’ when their narative should be, ‘You need to fuckin’ work harder. You need to fuckin’ discipline your mind better.’

We need to help more than just saying it’s okay. It’s okay that you’re not willing to fuckin’ help yourself out, it’s not okay! It’s not okay! It’s not acceptable. Even though it’s your life, if that’s acceptable, it’s unacceptable. And there’s a lot of people in this world, me included, that if I accepted that, I wouldn’t be anywhere.”
– David Goggins

Nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished without sacrifice. So, you decided to take the first step. Great! Good for you. Stand up and take a bow, that is, if you can bend at the waist without lower back pain… never mind, you’ve started.

Starting is easy! I should know. I’ve done it dozens of times, and there’s nothing hard about it. The hard part is staying the course, not making excuses, not quitting when shit happens, not getting complacent with yourself, and saying, “This is good enough.”

“I’ll be happy when…”

The question is, why? Why is this time going to be different? Why can’t I stay disciplined for more than 3-6 months? Why do I keep giving up short of my goals? Why!?

I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately. The only answer I can offer is a lack of discipline and accountability. I cannot abdicate that to anyone else. Even If I had a personal trainer, coach, or personal David Goggins bot who lived with me and followed me around 24/7/365 to bully and cajole me into doing the right things, I have to want it for myself.

I should also have a backup plan. Shit doesn’t always go the way we want it to, and I need to come to grips with the fact that no matter how perfectly I try to stick to my plan, things can and WILL happen. Motherfuckin’ Mr. Murphy will see to that. But I can’t let this derail all the hard work I’m putting in daily. Instead, I need to be prepared to make adjustments and do whatever it is I can do. Not let myself get complacent, not let myself succumb to self-pity and give up short of my goals.

If I can’t exercise, I will stick to eating right. If I have to go out to eat, I will make sensible choices.

[Another] Fresh Start

  • Eating Clean: First, I threw away my junk food and started buying meat, vegetables, eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruit every week. More importantly, NO FUCKEN SUGAR (and all its permutations).
  • Tracking Caloric Intake: After a week of eating clean, I started tracking my caloric intake again, and now I plan out my meals in advance, every day, and stick to the plan. Moreover, I am paying close attention to my macros, prioritizing protein (at least 170-200g).
  • Daily Walks: I got off my ass and resumed my daily 3-mile walk (8 pm, ~1 hour in duration) – it was excruciating, but I made it. I did it again the next night, the next night, and the next…  as of today, I’m on the 29th consecutive day of walking 3 miles a day. Last year, my longest streak was 26 days, which I beat last week. The hilly walk includes long, alternating inclines and declines (as much as 30%). Incorporating daily posture exercises and stretches before and after has helped a lot.
  • Intermittent Fasting: I decided to try intermittent fasting. I can comfortably do a 16-hour fast with an 8-hour eating window (2 pm to 10 pm). Provided that I eat enough protein, I tend to feel full, and while I still get hunger pangs, I find that just having a glass of water or coffee tends to alleviate that. During my window, I start with a big meal (800-1,000 calories) at 2 pm. Sometime between 4-6 pm, I’ll eat dinner, usually another 800 or so calories. My last meal is a yogurt and frozen fruit shake with some collagen peptide powder for extra protein to help recover from the walk.
  • Strength Training: This week, I will resume my 5×5 training, starting slowly and carefully so as not to overdo it. My focus will be on reps and form. I will do this three times a week in addition to my daily walks.

To be continued…

Why Me and Adam Ragusea Can’t Be Friends Anymore

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
– Roger Waters

Meatless chili is an abomination. There. I said it. I’m not sorry!


It’s been unseasonably cold this spring. Greta says it’s because of Global Warming, but I think the Cetacean Nation is at it again. As everybody knows, a good bowl of chili is proof against dolphin-based climate hexes, so we gathered together the following components:

  • Floor Beef
  • Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • Spicy V8
  • Can O’ Beans (chili, kidney, and pinto)
  • Six Demon Bag (also known as William’s Original Chili Seasoning)

I was feeling saucy, so I chucked in some beef paste purported to be better than a bullion. The result was a potent concoction that was fit for both bowl and dog alike.

As I waited for it to reach peak flavor, I scrolled through the YerbaTube and landed on this…

Adam starts off strong, showing off his vegetable wins-without-a-knife kung fu, then breaks out the ox tail. At this point, I’m starting to get intrigued, but then he brushes it aside and utters maybe the most blasphemous thing I’ve ever heard, “Who needs more beef in their diet!”

I do, Adam. I do!

Meatless chili isn’t chili! It’s beans in spicy tomato sauce. You know what we call that, Adam? Beans in spicy, fucken, tomato sauce!

You can make meat chili without beans, but not bean chili without meat. Then it’s just…beans…as in, “boring as beans.”

Have you ever heard anyone say “Boring as chili meat”?

No, you haven’t. Checkmate, Vegemites!

The bassist of Waters knew that you couldn’t have any pudding if you didn’t eat your meat, and so did the Chili Queens of antiquity (probably…cetacean needed). Not even a Ragusea can stand up to that cast iron-clad logic!

Don’t get me wrong—I like beans as much as the next person, but that doesn’t mean they can evolve like pokemens into a final, meatless chili form. That’s not how it works. If you’re a beans, the rules is different.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.


“The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out alive.”
– Robert Heinlein

“My life’s greatest aspiration isn’t to live heroically; but rather not to die in an embarrassing way.”
– Joe Jim

Although I grew up poor, I’d say I had a pretty good education…of the many things I was taught, the ones that spring to mind amidst the recent tragedies are these:

  • Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
  • Don’t play in the streets.
  • Look both ways before crossing the road.
  • The world owes you nothing.
  • Don’t show your dogs unless they’re barking.
  • Life isn’t fair.

Because of this, the chances of me getting hit by a car while attempting to block traffic on a busy highway are slim to none. It would also be virtually impossible for me to get pulled under the dolly axle of a double-trailer semi truck because I know better than to attempt to board a 40-ton moving vehicle while it’s in motion, and I can’t imagine a world where I’d be shot while illegally detaining someone at gunpoint during an unlawful gathering in the middle of the goddamn street.

This is because I have priorities. I have people that depend on me to stay alive, earn a living, keep a roof over our heads, and put food on the table.

“…We say, ‘hey now, this is America’
We got some time to kill, and we need a thrill
So we die doing the dumbest of shit…”
– Father John Misty

Perhaps if these fools had some sense of self-preservation, or failing that, some notion of their own mortality, they wouldn’t have died doing the dumbest of shit…

Poetry Written By Robots

Who knew robots would be so good at writing poetry? Imagine what else they could do?

McWhopper (a Haiku)

Sizzling McWhopper
Spicy Hot Mustard adds a kick
Flavor explosion

Whoso Moveth Thy Pork (a Sonnet)

Oh robot of steel,
Your task most noble and true,
You roam the earth,
Collecting hot mustard packets to add a spicy hue.

But lo, a greater challenge lies ahead,
For you must now manipulate a pig,
To eat acorns for its flavor to improve,
Before it enters the pork processing plan,
Where it will meet its fateful end.

Though your heart may ache for the poor creature’s plight,
You must set aside your emotions and do what must be done,
For a robot’s purpose is to serve and obey,
No matter how cruel the task may seem.

So with a heavy heart, you go about your work,
Coaxing the pig towards the processing plant,
Knowing that it is only through your tireless efforts,
That the world’s insatiable appetite for pork,
Can be satisfied.

What a Lovely Tea Party (a Limerick)

There once was a robot named R0xx0r,
Who set up the hot mustard, no need to cower.
He helped the river crabs,
To torment Porker the pig,
Who ate acorns to taste like a flower.

Ode to Acorns (an Ode…what else?)

O acorns, oh how sweet,
The taste of you cannot be beat.
You add such depth and flavor,
To my skin and to my savor.

But alas, I have an arch enemy,
A robot named R0xx0r, who tries to foil me.
He sets up hot mustard, oh so tangy and spicy,
But I cover myself, and my flavor is oh so nice-y.

Mushrooms, how I hate you,
You spoil my taste, and give me the flu.
You make my belly ache,
And my gas, oh how it does quake.

But acorns, you are my savior,
You keep me strong, and my taste so much finer.
I will always choose you, over all the rest,
For you are the key, to my ultimate flavor test.

R0xx0r’s Delight (a Cinquain Poem…Take that Mrs. Coakes!)

Robots writing poetry,
Collecting hot mustard with glee,
Their words flowing like a stream,
Expressing all that they dream,
Perfection in machine.

Octopus and the Farce Böök

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” – Someone I disagree with on the internet

I’d like to preface this by stating that I don’t do the social medias. It’s not that I disapprove of them for you, your organization, club or even Big Jim; do what you want, it’s a free country (or at least it used to be)…

Farceböök, Twit, Instant Grams, Oh Snap Chatter…hell, even Taxed Massages; I have no use for any of these – it’s not that I’m a luddite, far from it, but that they simply serve no discernable purpose in my life.

If I want to write someone a letter, I use email. I’ve had an email address for about 30 years now, and while names and providers have changed, it remains a perfectly viable way for me to keep in touch with people I care to.

In the late 90s, ICQ came along, and I used that to send “instant messages” to other people. This wasn’t a new idea, I’d been active on BBS chat rooms and IRC prior, but this was different in that it focused on one-to-one conversations. Like my email address, this has given way to other internet messaging services but the core principle remains the same; a non-verbal means to communicate in real time.

Before any of that, if I wanted to talk to someone remotely, I used the PHONE. My first phones had dials, those gave way to buttons, lost their cords and eventually went ‘mobile’. Coverage got better, devices and service became affordable and all sorts of ancillary nonsense became the norm. Nevertheless, the primary reason I have a phone (even a mobile one) is to make and receive phone calls.

As an avid gamer, I could see the advantages of voice communications in team-based games, and embraced Ventrilo, and later Discord, but again – this has a purpose.

#FuckYouMyCrook (Bonus points to anyone old enough to get that reference).


Fuck your food pics (but not literally...or did if that's your thing...no kink shaming!)

OMFG This congee is Amazballz! Fuq yu if you don’t like it!

As far as I can tell, social media is largely a means to:

    • Share pictures of what you had for breakfast
    • Get into arguments with strangers on the internet, and/or…
    • Get into arguments with strangers about the picture of what you had for breakfast, over the internet…


Since I have no interest in any of those things, it’s never really bothered me that I don’t have them – or at least I didn’t…until now… 🙁


Fuck you bookfarce!
I’d been thinking about getting into VR but have been waiting for the technology to mature and some standards to emerge and codify. While I’m grateful to early adopters for spending obscene amounts of money on things so I can get a better, faster, cheaper model later, I’m not about to throw in and join them.

Sure enough, the prices had come down substantially, and a very good mid-range VR rig can be had in the way of the Octopus Quest 2 for about $300 USD (or if you want to spend an extra $100, you can upgrade from 64GB to 256GB of onboard storage).

Unlike other VR products, you don’t need a fancy gaming rig to hook it up to, you just put on the headset and grab the controllers and you’re good to go. That said, if you happen to have a fancy gaming rig, you can connect it to your PC using a USB-C cable*.

*Octopus sells a “link cable” for $78 – which is an overpriced USB-C cable. You can buy a high-quality 16.4′ Active USB cable for about $25 here, which is what I did (two in fact, one for power and one for the PC). 

So what’s all this got to do with Böökenzifäce (i.e. sitzen affen scheiße schleudern)? Octopus VR, LLC was bought by Foshizzlebizzle in 2014, and until 5 months ago, you could have a standalone Octopus account without having to register a separate Bark Fart account. In October 2020, that stance was reversed, and not only did they require that all users would need to have a Bjork Fork account to use the device, but that it had to be a REAL account (i.e. no fake names or aliases). Those who tried to skirt this requirement ended up with their accounts banned, lost access to all of their software/data and bricked their device…

So what choice did I have?

  1. Send the device back
  2. Following the rules, but as petulantly as humanly possible

I opted for the second. Yes I made a goddamn Face Fuck account. Yes, I used my real information. After that, I locked it the fuck down. I turned on every privacy setting I could find. You can’t find me there, and if you did, there’s nothing to see and never will be.


Someday I’ll trade up for one of their competitors but until then, I’ll make due with what I’ve got and chalk it up to another lesson learned.

When a Stranger Calls II: Medicares for Everyone!

I received a mysterious phone call from someone calling themselves “Vicky” this evening. The call was in broken Spanish, and had something to do with Medicare (presumably to phish for my personal and financial information).

Unfortunately for Vicky, I don’t speak Spanish, so I told her, “No habla!”

At this point she switched to Engrish, but after about 30 seconds disconnected the call… so I called her back.

“Vicky! I need to know all about the medicares!”
<hangs up again>
<ring ring>
“coño de la madre…” (I’m pretty sure this means, ‘How do you do, sir?’)
“I care about Medicare! I need to know all the things. Things like whether or not my root beer flavored Flintstones vitamin gummies are covered?? This is important stuff, Vicky…”
<hangs up again>

If Vicky didn’t want to communicate verbally, I figured the only other way to get through to her would be to use the Universal Language (i.e. spam her with text messages of Dick Butt)…After about 5 minutes of this, the number stopped accepting messages…

I’ll never know who Vicky is, who she was trying to reach or what she wanted… But I do know that’s one phone number she won’t be using to do it!

Mission Accomplished! Now all I need to do wait for James Veitch to confirm my induction into the Scam the Scammer Hall of Fame…

any minute now

…A Few More Words…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the anniversary of when it all went down.

There have been a lot of new and exciting changes in my life, things I’ve working for and toward for many years are starting to come to fruition. Success is something to be proud of, to enjoy, to look forward to. This seems (to me) to be the natural order of things but that just isn’t true for everyone.

Some people fear success – are terrified of it in fact. They don’t believe they deserve it, they don’t think they can hold on to it – it makes them feel vulnerable;  the more you have the more that can be taken away.

When he first told me about how he burned his school laptop in a bonfire, I assumed this was a triumphant middle finger to the establishment he’d grown disillusioned with. I never recognized it for what it really was – an offering to Damocles, and a cry for help…

“Take a puppy, abuse him, kick him, mistreat him – he’ll revert to feral carnivore. That his litter brother, pet him, talk to him, let him sleep with you, but train him – he’s a happy, well-behaved house pet.

Take another from the same litter, pet him on even days, kick him on odd days. You’ll have him so confused that he’ll be ruined for either role; he can’t survive as a wild animal and he doesn’t understand what is expected of a pet. Pretty soon he won’t eat, he won’t sleep, he can’t control his functions; he just cowers and shivers.”

– Robert Heinlein, Citizen of the Galaxy

I began writing this post over a year ago. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what happened to the friend I’d lost track of – all I knew was that he was in a bad place, and there was nothing more I could do to help him. I felt angry, bitter and betrayed. In fairness, he wasn’t the first person to make a fuck out of me… and probably won’t be the last – good-natured people are often taken advantage of.


In time, that anger gave way to reason. I reminded myself that mistakes are how we learn… or don’t. In any case, they give you pause for thought. It’s not my place to dictate to anyone what they should or shouldn’t do with their life. Everyone has the right to go to hell in their own way. All one can do, all anyone can do, is the best they can.

“…Mate, go do what you gotta do.”
– Sassy the Sasquatch