February 19

Appropos of Nothing: Random Thoughts

brain_attackHere’s the deal: I’m going to start writing (looks like I’ve already started!) without having any idea whatsoever what I’m going to write about. Consider it an exercise wherein I take a few minutes and share a bit (a tiny fraction, really) of what’s going on in my mind. I’ll try my best to keep it clean.

I consider myself to be a world-class daydreamer. I spend probably about 85% of my waking life with my head in the clouds. My mind is littered with thousands of tiny little random thoughts, plans and schemes. Most of the thoughts are incomplete, and the plans and schemes rarely manifest themselves in the real world. But in my mind, I’ve built a fantasyland, a place where magic is real, money is unnecessary, everybody’s happy, and there’s not a problem in the world. When you consider some of the horrifying things going on in the world today (Donald Trump), you might understand why I seek shelter in the electrical storm that’s happening in my brain cells. (Which, when you come right down to it, is all our thoughts are. Weird.)

So, at 9:30 on a Friday morning, instead of getting any real work done, I’m sitting here with a million thoughts going through my head. Here are what some of my brain’s synapses are thinking about this morning:

– I’ve got a few pairs of old jeans I need to get rid of…They’ve got holes in all the wrong places and I can’t wear them in public anymore. I’m not sure anybody else would want to be seen in them either, so I can’t donate them. But I don’t want to throw them out, which just seems wasteful. I need to find somewhere to donate them where they can be recycled. There are companies that make home insulation out of old shredded jeans. Note to self!

hbo-vinyl– I really really wanted to love HBO’s new show Vinyl. It’s all about the record business in the 1970’s. Now, music, and the 70’s, and the record business, and the New York scene in that decade are all things I love to learn more about. Plus, the show is produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. That’s pure rock and roll, or so I thought. I watched the two hour premiere, and I gotta say: it was tough to get through. The acting is terrible. The writing is terrible. It’s full of cliche’s and stereotypes. The lead in the show, Bobby Cannavale, is totally unconvincing as an out-of-control record executive. I can’t get past Ray Romano in a dramatic role. (Though I do give him credit for branching out.) And I’m sorry, but nobody can snort that much cocaine and still function. Nobody.

There’s so much good, no GREAT, TV out there these days, and I’m having trouble keeping up with it. So do I stick with Vinyl for another week to see if it improves, or do I bail after one episode? My DVR is backing up with other stuff I need to get to, and dammit TV WATCHING SHOULDN’T BE THIS STRESSFUL!!!

– I go through periods where I request tons of books from the library, then they all show up at the same time and I’ve all of a sudden got a pile of books three feet tall to get through. Again, my media-consumption habits are stressing me out. I’ve got to learn to pace myself.

– I can’t for the life of me figure out why our garage door took on a life of its own last night and started going up and down. And up and down. And up and down. I finally had to unplug it last night to stop it. This morning it seems fine. What the hell? Was somebody messing with the radio frequency that operates it? Are the aliens on their way? Is this place haunted? And if it is, what kind of ghost thinks to mess with the garage door?? My guess is that, like nearly everything else in this 20 year old house, the opener is just starting to crap out on us. Great.

xifaxan-mascot– As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m on a seemingly endless search for solutions to my troubled digestive system. My IBS never seems to go away. I’m convinced that a lot of it has to do with my overactive brain. I think its overactive thought process creates a lot of physical stress that manifests itself in my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Hell, my bowels aren’t just irritable, at times they’re downright irate. (By the way, I’ve had IBS for so long that when they first diagnosed it, they referred to it by its old name: Lazy Anus. I’m really glad the powers that be decided to make a name change. Although, I’ve always thought ‘Lazy Anus’ would be a great name for a punk band.)

Anyway, I’ve been dealing with a particularly nasty bout of IBS lately, and I’m combating it in several ways, including a couple new ones. I’m drinking a frightening amount of fiber. You name it, if it’s got fiber in it, I’m ingesting it. Psyllium husks. Chia seeds. Flax seeds. Hemp seeds. I could go on…

I’m also taking in lots of probiotics. Yogurt, kombucha, Siggy’s filmjölk (like kefir, a drinkable yogurt. It’s disgusting, but I’m assuming I’ll get used to it.) I take ginger in the form of pills and tea to calm things down. I drink lots of peppermint tea. Just the other day, my good friend Kelly the Kitchen Kop suggested I try apple cider vinegar. She says it helps with digestion. So I’ve added that to my repertoire. Again, not the tastiest thing in the world, but I’ll try anything.

Does any of it work? I’ll say this: I have good days, and I have bad days. As long as the good outnumber the bad, and as long as the bad days aren’t that bad, I’m happy. (Special note to the good folks at Siggi’s: Terrible name. TERRIBLE name for products that promote good health. And “filmjolk” isn’t a real great word either, but I understand there’s nothing you can do about that one.)

– Our kids are 16 and 13 years old. They’re smart kids. Bright. They know what they’re doing. They get good grades. They rarely do stupid teenage things (at least as far as we know they don’t.) So why why WHY can’t they learn to load their dirty dishes in the damn dishwasher? Seriously, I have to think about this, every day. We’ve reminded, cajoled, scolded, YELLED AT THEM, for years, since they understood English words, to put their shit in the dishwasher. Yet every day, every damn day, there’s their dirty dishes, right there on the counter, two inches above the dishwasher. I know it’s a little thing, but it’s those little things that drive me crazy the most.

– YouTube might be the best thing humanity’s ever done for itself. Case in point: the door knob on our front door has been on a slow roll towards not working for about ten years, and in the last week it’s decided to just not work anymore; it needs replacing. (see: GARAGE DOOR above.) So we picked up a new door knob/deadlock set and it’s ready to be replaced. Now, I’m not good at anything. I’ve never replaced a door knob before, but I’m pretty sure I’m not good at it. But: After watching a YouTube video, I’m fairly certain that yes, in fact, I can do it! I replaced a garbage disposal unit a few years ago (some people refer to them as a Dispose-All, but that’s stupid) and thanks to the YouTube videos I had with me on my laptop under the sink, I got it in. And it’s still working! Now, I’m not saying it was super easy, or that I didn’t curse non-stop throughout the entire process. It wasn’t easy, and I did curse continuously. It helps me work. It helps me process things. It helps my children learn entirely inappropriate new words to use with their friends.

So later today, before anybody gets home, I’m going to grab the tools and get that door knob replaced. (Hopefully. Home repairs are never ever guaranteed if I’m doing them.)

-Here’s another way I’ve been using YouTube to better myself… I have to fly next week. And I HATE flying. It terrifies me. It’s not natural. It’s not right. If God had wanted man to fly he’d have given us wings, but he didn’t, now did he? Turbulence is a living nightmare for me…So what I’ve been doing is watching lots of videos of turbulence on airplanes. There’s a lot of them out there, and I think I’ve seen them all. And I think, only time will tell, but I think these videos have desensitized me a bit to my fears. I’ll give an update after my flight. The fact that I have sweaty palms just typing about it doesn’t bode well. But we’ll see.

-It’s windy as hell outside here in Michigan today, and the temperature’s on its way up to 55. In mid-February. That’s not right for this time of year. It seems that as us humans continue to fiddle with the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere, we continue to see increasing amounts of “weird” weather…like having our normal cold temperatures interrupted by a few days of abnormally-high temps and equally high winds. And yet we as a society don’t really seem to care about our changing climate, even as the weather gets stranger, severe droughts and extreme wildfires proliferate out west, and sea levels continue to rise slowly, threatening coastal areas everywhere (especially Florida. Florida, I love you, but you’re screwed.Hasta la vista, Miami.)

– Speaking of climate change, I heard about a study the other day on the “Best Way to Easily Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.” It turns out that the easiest way to do it, without a “major change in life style,” is to drive a more efficient automobile. Well, no shit. Somebody had to pay for a study to figure this out?

The thing about this study that angers me is that, after all these years, we’re still having to deal with the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to living a more ecologically-sustainable lifestyle. It angers and saddens me that we are so far away from sustainability that we’re still trying to convince people to drive more energy-efficient cars and trucks. Ugh, it makes me want to cry.

Of course driving more efficient cars is better for the planet. But nobody’s buying them. Gas gets cheap for a few weeks and we go right back to our old habits of buying massive trucks and SUV’s that get pathetic gas mileage. And I’m also tired of the “don’t make us change our life styles” bullshit. This planet’s choking on our carbon waste, but we refuse to get serious about it. We have one entire political party sucking off the teat of the fossil fuel industries that flat-out refuses to acknowledge the decades of science. Hell, they’re to the point where they’re refusing to see the negative impacts that are happening NOW, right before their very eyes. Well, as long as those checks from the oil companies don’t bounce, everything’s just fine.

But you know what? Changing our precious life styles is not that big a deal. It’s not that hard. Nobody’s asking anybody to live in caves and hunt & gather food (though there are people out there who dig that sort of thing; more power to ’em.) Moving to a more sustainable way of living is easier today than ever before. It’s cheaper, too. The price of solar and wind power drops every year. Solar power alone as dropped in price by over 70% in just the last few years. Super-efficient automobiles are out there, getting better and cheaper all the time. And do you know what reduces carbon footprints faster than more efficient cars? DRIVING THOSE CARS FOR FEWER MILES. I live in an area where to do anything, literally anything, requires getting in the car. That’s crazy. We need better planning, more livable (walkable) areas. More (and better) public transportation. My God, I could go on and on.

As I say to my wife, “Don’t get me started.” Unfortunately, I always tell her this after she’s said something that’s already got me off on a rant. Almost all of our discussions end up with me bitching about something.

So…yeah. That’s a little bit of what’s floating around my brain this morning. But like I said, it’s just a fraction. I didn’t even touch the big things, the thoughts that fill me with stress and anxiety. I’ll deal with those on my own. I’ve had too much coffee this morning, but I think I’m going to go grab one more cup before it gets too cold. I’ve also got work to do, so I’ll leave it at this. If I’ve shared too much information, I apologize.

Enough about me….what’s up with you?

It’s Friday, and music not only keeps me sane but it’s a constant soundtrack to the din in my head, so please…enjoy this fun little song. It’s about nuclear war!:

p.s. You’ll notice I didn’t even mention the one thing that my brain is spending a lot of time on these days. I’m talking about the freak show that is the Republican Presidential candidates. These are the best and the brightest they can come up with? Are you freakin’ serious?? I watched clips from the last Republican screamfest, I mean “debate,” and I gotta tell you: I’m not confident about the future of this country. These guys are scary.

Some other stuff I’ve wasted my time on this week….

How to Beat the Taco Bell Coin Game Every Time (hey, it’s for charity.):

Exciting Star Wars Episode VIII News:

The Most Satisfying Video in the World (perfect for OCD types. Like Me.):

Stay safe, Stay Sane.


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Posted February 19, 2016 by brainstembob@yahoo.com in category "Environment", "Green Living", "Healthy Living", "Michigan Living", "Miscellaneous", "Music", "Rants", "Star Wars", "Star Wars News


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