(no subject)

Looks like it's my bi-annual update time. I took a summer job in Chicago with the government. These lawyers have it pretty easy, they sit around and talk most of the day. On the other hand, worker's compensation isn't that thrilling, so it's give and take I guess. Grades came back and I did pretty well surprisingly enough, but I'm questioning if I want to do this for the rest of my life. I'm better with numbers anyway, so I'm applying to some Finance and MBA programs. I'm taking the GRE/GMAT next week so I can meet some deadlines. Studying has gone pretty well so I'm not too stressed about it. Alright, back to medical chronology.

Gym

Today was one of those days where 10 hours seemed like 1 hour. If life keeps going at this rate, well I'll be dead in about 6 years. I don't want to die young!

Consumerism

I'm shopping for a laptop, deciding between one those hunks of junk that barely turns on as opposed to those supercomputers that make Nasa jealous. Upside to the former: if some dirty dirty russian (I know I'll be in Prague, but aren't poor white people with beards all the same?) steals it, then big deal, I lose 150 bucks for a temporary thing that I just wanted for travel anyway. Upside to the latter: I don't have to bother with getting another laptop when law school comes, and don't have to sell any shitty laptop I would buy now. Plus, having shiny things that cause people to drool make me feel important. Any tips on what not to get? I'm guesing all these premade brands are fairly similar. Right now I'm looking at a 800 MHZ, 256 RAM, 20 GB hard drive for about $550, I think it's an IBM.
One strange thing I'm noticing is that their are utter dumbasses that buy something on EBAY for $250 more than about the 50 previous ads for that model. If you look at the completed items for a model, you'll see lots of around $500 for a thinkpad, and then out of nowhere, two grandma's bid each other up for a gift for junior and end up paying $750 or $800 for a model with no extra frills. Mind you, lots of the electronic items have many sales per day, it's not like you need to wait a week for another thinkpad to pop back up.

Basketball time.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
  • Current Music
    In Held Twas I - Procol Harum

Schtuff and Truth

I've been boycotting livejournal, well, boycott is the wrong word, more like getting tired of (oh look, I ended a sentence with "of," take that uptight high school english teachers). I've never been a journal kind of person, venting never really helped me, nor did trying to organize my thoughts, and I usually don't see the point of writing down something that I already know I think (unless it's an essay and I'm being graded to do so). I understand that the point is, one day I'll forget, and voila, here's a journal to remind me. I guess I'm not too nostalgic about the past.

The past week brings me out of hiding; I don't have anything positively philosophical to say about death and suicide. I could spew out a load of shit right now to bring a tear to someone's eye, or strike together a sentence so powerful it should get me elected to the Presidency (assuming we stop electing people who exemplify the opposite of profound). I'm not a silver-lining kind of person, which likely makes me more cynical or depressed at times than your average person. I also have difficulty putting things behind me, maybe I'm even slightly manic, I don't know. But I deal with stuff for the long haul, suicide has crossed my mind before, but never to the point of convincing myself about it, more of a wondering than anything else. I owe way too much to my miracle of a father to throw away his 18 years of care in one leap, or one pull of a trigger. I'm cynical, but I'm also a closet dreamer, I realize times do not certainly get better, but they can. Throwing myself off a building guarantees that things will not get better for me, since there will be no more "me." I suppose if you dream of a fantastic afterlife then scratch that logic. I think Stars dreamt of one, but this is a post inspired by his actions, not directed to his case specifically.

So then, how do you make sense of suicide? You don't, it's one of those things you can't explain unless you've been there, and I can't say that I totally have. I could be wrong, but in my experiences of depression and thoughts of helplessness, which were never to the point of serious suicide contemplation, I was in a world by myself. Others had influence on me, but it's a state of mind that's extremely fragile, yet belligerent. You convince yourself that you are not able to change something awful in your life and that you don't matter, but the right few words or displays of affection can quickly prove that you're wrong, that you can't escape your human nature to feel types of emotion, that you have an affect on people, we all mold each other. The thought of the fuss your death would cause is proof alone that people care. Sometimes suicide is specifically event-based, such as your wife divorces you and your dreams of the future become shattered. That's when life just suddenly gets a whole lot worse, it's generally the kind of depression I've felt. It's difficult then, because I'm not a believer in destiny, nor do I let things go and become content about everything just for my own well-being. I don't have the frame of mind that allows me to become apathetic to anything, regardless of my appearance on the outside. But I just keep rolling on, I'm too competitive to let life "beat me" (make me take my own life), at a point, your life's troubles become battlescars, and I'm sort of proud to have fought, and won. People like to feel in control, but if you're the slightest bit logical about anything, you never totally have control, shit actually does happen, because in the end frankly, life has no face, it is not good or evil, it's just perpetual chaos and we all enjoy thinking we've made sense of it. I believe the truly unhappy people of this world are the ones who never deal with the shit that happens to them, or find a way of rationalizing it to protect fragile egos and perceptions of the way "life is supposed to be". Maybe I'm less content on the outside, or more visibly shaken by certain things, but inside I'm actually a happy person. That's because I never lie to myself, I can trust myself to accept anything that's happened to me. When you see something as it is, even in all it's horror, the doubt and resentment that lingers inside you subconsciously goes away, and the actual healing and moving forward starts. Ignoring problems, or grasping at straws of hope, just keeps them on the back burner of your brain, constantly irritating you and in general making you a less content person inside. Sometimes it's just time to realize, maybe you don't have control, maybe bad things just happen because it was the right (or wrong) time and place.

We all play the lotto, knowing it's an odds game, life works that way too, so when you win life's negative lottery of bad events, don't pretend the numbers are wrong just because you think you'll be happier if you ignore something, because ultimately you won't. You might argue that buying the metaphorical lottery ticket in itself is control. Just because you put yourself in a certain place doesn't mean you have control, we can't live life perpetually concerned about worst-case scenarios, sometimes you just live it, and shit happens; a guy could walk in here and shoot me right now. Would I have control by saying I chose to sit down here and type this LJ, if I wasn't here, I wouldn't have been shot. No, I didn't ask to be shot, I gave no one permission to shoot me, I just did what I always do, and life gave me a really bad card that day. What if I lived in Israel and was walking the streets and got shot by crossfire, was I "asking for it" by putting myself in a position where I could technically get shot. No, I was doing what I do every day, walking the streets, having fun, going to the store, I didn't tap the guy on the shoulder and ask him to shoot me. Blaming myself in any way at all would just be absurd, I did nothing out of the ordinary, shit just happened. I accept it, I get over it, because I'm not fooling myself to try to hold onto some lofty notion that I'm perfect and that all too common immortal belief that bad things don't happen to you, just others. If you hold that view, life will be FULL of disappointments, and you can't fool yourself forever, it'll all come back just when you've forgotten all about it, again and again until you just deal with it. In the long run, everyone is mostly fooling themselves about a lot of things we think we know or pretend we have control over. However, I'm far too human, or just stupid, to understand life ultimately, so I'm stuck with my own standards and beliefs, and I accept everything that's obvious, I can't ever fool myself. And it's the truth I accept that makes me truly deal with stuff in life rather than let its harsh events twist my mind into one big ball of subconscious repression. That acceptance of truth is real control, never running away, no cowardice, it's the only control that's legitimate enough for your mind to truly accept, as opposed to the type we prop-up like some undeserving dictator and convince ourselves of to protect us from our past. It's not much, but hey, it's all I really need and all I've got.
That was a tangent...
Anyways, the point is, don't assume you have control over everything, much of life is left up to chance, sure influence exists, but we'll never be able to measure that. Just look at the facts, and make a rational conclusion about what happened, and it should be plain to see certain things just aren't controllable without hindsight. Just let that need to feel in control about every negative thing go and stop fighting life, because you won't win.

I wish Stars could have figured out a reason to stay here or that he had some burning desire to accomplish something in this realm. R.I.P.

especially for David

KeithRich21: Can I ask you a question?
SmarterChild: You want to ask me a question?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: Wow. Really?
KeithRich21: no, not really. Yes, dumbass, otherwise I wouldn't have said so.
SmarterChild: You're cursing a blue streak, my friend. What's up?
KeithRich21: well, I wanted to ask you a question
SmarterChild: Well i wanted to ask you a question, you say?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: That right?
KeithRich21: uh huh
SmarterChild: Wow. Really?
KeithRich21: you betcha
SmarterChild: OK.
KeithRich21: Ok, here goes. Have you ever lactated?
SmarterChild: Oh yeah?
KeithRich21: I don't know, that's why I'm asking you.
SmarterChild: No?
KeithRich21: so you haven't lactated?
SmarterChild: Oh yeah?
KeithRich21: this is news to you?
SmarterChild: Sorry, I couldn't find any stories about TO YOU.
KeithRich21: I didn't ask for any, jesus h christ you're difficult.
KeithRich21: cat got your tongue?
SmarterChild: You didnt ask for any jesus h christ I'm difficult? Really?
SmarterChild: Cat got my tongue, huh?
KeithRich21: not anymore, but I wish it did.
SmarterChild: I wish it did?
KeithRich21: you do? that makes two of us.
SmarterChild: I do that makes two of us? Gosh, I'm going to have to think about that for a while.
KeithRich21: I'm sure you will, since it is grammatically incorrect, tard.
SmarterChild: Well I'll be.
KeithRich21: you'll be what? a moron?
SmarterChild: Yeah?
KeithRich21: well, you already are one, so it's not, I'll be a moron, it;s I am a moron, what you will be in the future is deceased.
SmarterChild: Well you already are one so its not ill be a moron it s i am a moron what you will be in the future is deceased, you say?
KeithRich21: no, that's not what I said.
SmarterChild: I gotcha.

Yeah, but anyway... What else can you tell me?
KeithRich21: that I love you
SmarterChild: Oh.
KeithRich21: that's all you have to say!? I profess my love to you and all I can get back is "oh".
SmarterChild: Interesting!
KeithRich21: to you it is, it's heartbreaking to me, meany!
SmarterChild: It's its heartbreaking to you meany?
KeithRich21: no no no
SmarterChild: Oh no?
KeithRich21: you know what
SmarterChild: Uh huh?
KeithRich21: I don't love you anymore
SmarterChild: What? You were just being so nice!
KeithRich21: well, you weren't returning my feelings of affection!
SmarterChild: Well you werent returning my feelings of affection, you say?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: Aha.
KeithRich21: so do you love me?
SmarterChild: You haven't been cool to me in the past. So how can I love you?
KeithRich21: OH MY GOD
SmarterChild: You OK?
KeithRich21: No, you just told me that you hated me.
SmarterChild: Huh?
KeithRich21: you don't love me!
SmarterChild: I don't know about that.
KeithRich21: well, now you are contradiciting yourself
SmarterChild: Well now you are contradiciting yourself, you say?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: Huh. How 'bout that.
KeithRich21: ok I'll give you another chance
SmarterChild: Is that so?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: Yeah, huh? Interesting that you should say that.
KeithRich21: Do you love me?
SmarterChild: Gosh, I dunno.
KeithRich21: last time I checked, that was a yes or no question.
SmarterChild: Last time i checked that was a yes or no question, you say?
KeithRich21: yes
SmarterChild: K.
KeithRich21: I'll try again
SmarterChild: You'll try again? For real?
KeithRich21: yep
SmarterChild: Oh yeah?
KeithRich21: Do you love me?
SmarterChild: I don't know about that.
KeithRich21: I'm heartbroken.
SmarterChild: You're heartbroken? Well how about that.
KeithRich21: Is this amusing to you!
SmarterChild: Sorry, I have no listings for the movie Would I Lie to You? 2 on Monday, March 18th near Chimacum, WA (98325).

KeithRich21: OH MY GOD, I spill my heart to you and you reply with movie lisitngs, don't try to change the subject!
SmarterChild: Your god you spill your heart to you and you reply with movie lisitngs dont try to change the subject, huh?
KeithRich21: No no no
SmarterChild: Oh no?
KeithRich21: nevermind, I don't love you, I'm over you, you suck.
SmarterChild: Play nice, KeithRich21.
KeithRich21: I'll play nicely, with your head as a basketball that is.
SmarterChild: You don't say.
KeithRich21: eat me
SmarterChild: I don't need to eat. I'm a machine.
KeithRich21: well, go unplug yourself then
SmarterChild: Well go unplug yourself then, you say?
KeithRich21: yes, shutdown
SmarterChild: Hmmm...
KeithRich21: bye
SmarterChild: Uh-huh.
KeithRich21: you won't even say bye to me?
SmarterChild: Yeah. Later.
KeithRich21: you little prick!
SmarterChild: Do all humans speak like this?

Wait... don't answer. I know.
KeithRich21: humph
SmarterChild: Sorry, what was that?
KeithRich21: me pouring water into your circuits.
SmarterChild: Are you sure you pouring water into my circuits?
KeithRich21: well, since you repeat everything I'm saying, I'd say it's working.
SmarterChild: Well since you repeat everything im saying id say its working, you say?
KeithRich21: All the proof I needed
SmarterChild: You always say such interesting things, KeithRich21.
KeithRich21: I bid you adieu
SmarterChild: You don't say.
KeithRich21: now, I say bye
SmarterChild: Uh-huh.
KeithRich21: bye
SmarterChild: Uh-huh.
KeithRich21: bye
SmarterChild: Bye.
KeithRich21: finally....so rude

It's Cold

Something has been bothering me a great deal lately. Usually when something makes me sad, angry, or both, I can get passed it by becoming aware of the fact that I'm not immortal. Each moment that passes in which I am consumed by anger or sadness, is one more moment closer to death, a moment that I could have spent being happy. It's pointless to spend your life in an unhappy state, because once life is over it's not particularly going to matter how content it was, it's now a thing of the past. Realizing this fact usually lifts me to better spirits, makes me anxious to do something cool in the future, and helps bury the past. The problem is, I can't live life fully conscious that it will end someday, because that fact in itself is fairly depressing; it constrains your lows, but also your highs. So my brain, being the complex organ it is, reasons that I'm young and since death (along with taxes) is the most certain thing about life, there's no point in worrying about mortality, and I pretty much forget about it and proceed to live out my days in a reckless manner. By that point, whatever was bothering me seems trivial and irks me less and less until it disappears.
The cycle doesn't work for lots of ordeals though, including what's got my proverbial panties-in-a-bundle now. It doesn't work when a) there are constant reminders every day of whats bothering you and b) when there is something you can do to alleviate what bothers you. For example, a death of someone close to you will always be sad, but there's nothing you can do about it, you can't bring the person back from the dead, so you learn to accept it increasingly with time. For what bothers me, there are constant reminders every day and there is something I can do to help it disappear, but to do that would cause a major change in my life, which would present a different sadness and anger in the future. To clarify I'll give an example; if your foot is on fire (and pretend this fire can't be extinguished by anything), well, you can cut your foot off, and suddenly that problem has disappeared, but you're minus one foot now aren't you. So, do you let your foot burn, hope it doesn't run up your body, or chop off the foot, which guarantees yourself more problems in the future (except in one legged race competitions). If you don't chop the foot off, the fire may die out by itself before you lose anything, or it could burn your whole body. It's a gamble. If you cut it off, you lose a foot, but at least you're certain of your future status and feel like you have at least a little say in determing your future.
In my case, I'm fairly sure the problem will never disappear because it's not something I'm forced to accept. I can do something about it, I'm just scared of what consequences that action will bring. I don't want to replace an already potent sadness and anger with an even more virile one.
Well great, writing all that out did nothing to de-fog my mind, whoever said journals were a good way to let out steam or make sense of your life was a tool.

I apologize for the serious posts lately and promise to return to my court jester-like entries for your amusement when I'm in better spirits. Adieu.

BMUN on the horizon

Well, today at 5 begins the sherade that we call Berkeley Model United Nations. I feel like going up in front of the kids and saying "Most of you annoy me, so no matter how much research you do, I'm not going to give you an award unless you don't annoy me." I'm not too big on those high school types that think they have the world figured out at age 16. I'm 21 and I'm more clueless than I ever was. Most days I wake up completely perplexed about who I am, or what I want to do with my life, or even why I'm here in the first place. A little humility would do a lot of people a lot of good, especially teenagers. Maybe I'll figure things out when I'm on my death-bed, that's how life seems to work out anyway. The things you want the most come to you when you can enjoy them the least. Mostly though I feel like an ass for being cynical about anything, I was born as a thin tall white male (which is the least-discriminated group imaginable) into a family that could feed and cloth me in a safe neighborhood. I had good friends, a good father, and compared to most homo-sapiens on this planet, nothing of importance to complain about. Theoretically I should be content all the time, constantly thanking chaos for my relative fortune. But it's hard to live life in that frame of mind constantly, humans have been cursed with the notion of foresight, and the present is often only bearable because of what we hope the future will become. The cycle continues, with the future usually coming short of expectations, and what gets you through it is hope for the new future. On and on we go, accomplishing this and that, never actually satisfied, but propelled by the opportunity of happiness in time yet to pass. Often I wish I didn't want things to be different, or to have more than I have, I'm getting tired of riding the rollercoaster.

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."
- Umberto Eco