Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Today I really feel like talking about politics. Maybe its the DNC going on right now, maybe its the other changes in my life. This year, for the first time, I made a donation to a campaign. I'm still reeling over the fact that I spent my own money on this, especially when money is so tight, but it was important to me.

On my old blog, back in 2004 I made a post about how I felt the day after the last election. I was angry and hurt, but I decided I needed to do something about it. I posted the following (in part):

I pledge the following:

In the next four years I will get five friends to help me in my endeavors to recapture my civil rights. I, with these five friends, will actively campaign to get candidates of our choosing voted in or re-elected to Congress. I will donate my time to the Democratic party, and come 2008 to the primary candiate of my choice to run for President. After the primaries, I will dedidate that time to the Democratic party candidate chosen by the voters, whether or not they are the candidate I have chosen to back in the primaries. I will not allow this country to be shanghaied again by the corporate intrests of Haliburton, Bush Co, and the civil-liberties hating Republican Party due to my lack of activism and my laziness.

Well, I'm not sure I've gotten five friends behind my endeavors, and since the birth of my daughter, I don't actually have the free time I'd like to dedicate to the campaign. That being said, I have spoken out about Obama and why I think he's important. I donated to the campaign and now I'm reaching out to those who read this blog. Tell me what you think. Open a discussion with me about politics. I had about 5 people at the time tell me they were on board. Let's see what we can do to make sure the election goes our way this time.

Next a rant about John McCain.

First; I hear of a lot of former Hillary supporters talking about supporting McCain. As far as I can see there is no logical reason someone who supports the policies of Hillary Clinton could dream of supporting the Republican candidate. Only anger over her loss to Obama could bring someone to support him by sheer nature of opposing the one who defeated her in the primary. A few weeks bag McCain attended the Sturgis Rally in North Carolina. The motorcycle rally includes a beauty contest called the "Miss Buffalo Chip" contest, and generally features its participants nude or at least topless. McCain, while at the rally (directly following the "Ringing Wet & Wild" women's mud wrestling event) told the crowd that he suggested his wife ender the "Miss Buffalo Chip" contest. Now those who know me know I'm not adverse to mud wrestling or nudity, but is this the type of progress in the women's movement that the former Clinton supporters see in McCain.

Add to that his campaign's insult to gamers, wielding the D&D players are slackers who live in their mom's basement tired old hat. Somehow he, or at least his staff, equates liberal politics with roleplaying. That I don't get. Now I'm a bleeding heart liberal and a roleplayer, but I certainly don't live in my mom's basement. And the greatest thing is it comes in a post where they claim that a recent story John McCain has started telling about finding out that one of his captors in Vietnam was a Christian. Now personally, I'd like to applaud Senator McCain for living through what he lived through there. I'm sure it is worse than anything I have ever suffered. But that doesn't make this story true. It was told by a Russian in 1973, and only recently stated by McCain, and then only when he started to suffer in polling with Evengelicals.

I won't even get into the fact that the man owns so many houses that he can't remember how many he owns. And he calls Obama an elitist?

This weekend I got into a debate with friends who believed that nothing has changed on the civil rights front since the 1960's. I can't even say how flabberghasted I was that they'd make that point. Do I believe that civil rights are perfect? Of course not, but no different than 1959? Ridiculous. Do I need to point out all of the differences? I think the problem with their viewpoint, which I did not articulate that night, was their educational bias. They believe that primary education is still segregated and insufficient for those it is supposed to help. I agree with both of those points, but not that this makes it no different than before the Civil Rights era. I started some research on the statistics, and as soon as I have them I'll publish here.

OK, I don't think I can rant anymore. I've been avoiding work for too long.


I want a girl who will go watch an awful movie with me, then sit up talking about something important.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Feeling Gravity's Pull

Yesterday I think I was able to get a lot out about my feelings surrounding where I am in my life right now. I think I managed to communicate it with a minimum of drama, but more of a stark, harsh, shine the light on the dark places and really examine how I feel and what I am doing.

I had thought about making this post about other people - how we treat one another, those who try and dodge the hard spots but are ready when times are good - but that doesn't really fit with what I want to be the theme of this journal. I want this to be introspective, contemplative, but not about "this is why I don't like person X" or "it drives me crazy when Y does Z".

So, let's talk about a few things.

First of all, I'm taking recommendations for a new name for the blog. I don't like 'The Ringleader's Journal', that was always a placeholder. I called my old journal "Whimpers from the Back End", but I don't think that it matches my new outlook. If anyone out there reading this knows Latin, I may have a title. And I mean knows Latin, not, can find an online translator. This comes from a story.

When in therapy, as I discussed yesterday, and I promise not to make every post about therapy, I just found it really helpful, I learned a few things about myself. First of all, I have always had a desire to control everything around me; fall in line, do what I say, anticipate my needs and follow them. Identifying the root of this came about, and along with that the realization that, not only can I not control everything around me, by trying to I avoid the true source of happiness: internal empowerment.

Wow, reading that it sounds either really trite, really obvious, or really psycho-babbly. Bear with me.

What I learned is that if I am internally happy, or even more importantly, if I am in command of my internal feelings and don't require that they are based on other people, I am in a much better place and more able to handle what happens in my life. I've already seen this happen. I'm not always happy, but that's OK.

What came out of this was my new mantra and motto: Power, not control

So you can see why I need a Latin "speaker" to translate that, both power and control have so many meanings I'd need the appropriate one.

Otherwise, I'm thinking of adding a theme to each day's post to make it a little more rounded. This will go in line with the new ads I've added. What I'd like to do is provide you, the reader, with something you want to read, and in return, you go ahead and click on the ads, generating me some revenue.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Wake-Up Bomb part 2

I think that intermission is going to be a regular topic here at the Ringleader's Journal, which, by the by, needs a better name. Those posts will simply be called ---intermission--- until I come up with a better title. I like my naming scheme for posts so far, and I'm not sure if anyone who reads this actually understands them, but that's OK. That was far too stream of consciousness, what I started to say was I intend to continue posts that are simply one sentence on what I want in a girlfriend. Maybe someone will know someone who fits that particular feeling or desire and hook me up. Maybe I'll just throw out incomprehensible messages about how I feel after listening to albums released in 2002.

When I last left off, I was discussing my inability to understand how exactly I feel and a sense that I don't know what I'm supposed to do next. This in and of itself may be a good thing.

When I first started therapy, Jenn agreed to go with me once, just so that she could show me that it was truly over. The therapist asked how I felt and I responded with "I feel like you aren't giving this a chance, I feel like you want me to do 'X'" etc. The therapist just sat there until I said "I feel lost" and then she stopped me. It was the first time I talked about how I felt. Not how I felt in relation to something else. Just me. Just my feelings. And after a little while I realized that I had spent years basing these innermost feelings on their context with someone else. Finally I'm starting to break these thoughts out seperately.

So today I may feel sad. It's not I feel like Jenn left me and abandoned our relationship; it's just sad. And that is so damn liberating. Because I can choose how I feel from there. When I feel like Jenn left me, I can't do anything about that. I can't make Jenn not leave me. That's her choic and what she did. When I feel sad, I can feel that way and decide what to do about it. I can decide I want some time alone, I can decide I'd like to think about it, or I can decide I'd like to do something to feel happy, maybe call a friend, maybe eat a pint of ice cream; whatever. I can make a choice on how to act and react.

Not knowing what I'm "supposed" to do next means I'm not relying on some dream or false hope and expectation that's built around someone else. It means figuring out what I want, and reaching for that. And really, isn't that a much better place to start from?


I want a girl who makes me feel like I do after listening to David Bowie's album Heathen.

The Wake-Up Bomb

Yesterday the divorce was finalized. It was an incredibly surreal day. Jenn and I chatted amiably while waiting for the lawyers to show up and again while waiting for the case to be called and I'm just having a hard time getting my head around the concept. Since she asked for the divorce we've had our worst fights and our best non-romantic conversations. We've had times where we've gotten along better than we have in years. Some of the pressure was off, but I don't know why it took the divorce to do that.

And that's something else strange. Why do we say "asked for the divorce"? I wasn't asked, I was told. That's the phrase, though. That's what I'm expected to say.

My mood has been on a roller coaster - there's another strange metaphor, I get the ups and downs part, but a roller coaster is supposed to be fun, and this is anything but. I guess its better to say, my mood has been on a plane in heavy turbulence. I'm worried that the plane is going to crash, but some of the time the trip seems OK and I can sit back and read or listen to my ipod. I guess I'm waiting for some sort of oxygen mask to drop or to be told we're coming in for a landing. The problem is I have no idea where I'm landing, the plane's destination is a complete mystery to me.

I've been thinking a lot about where I go from here on the love and relationship front. It is a fact of human nature that we seek out others to love and be intimate with. I know this is something I crave, but I believe it is on a very different level than I have experienced the desire before. It's not as much of a need as I have experienced before. On many levels I am enjoying the freedom I've never really had. I have never really lived on my own as a bachelor before. In the last 10 years I have never gone more than a few months not in a relationship. In fact, since the announcement of the divorce in March this is the longest I have gone without being in a relationship since I entered my twenties. I don't know that I know how to date any longer. I don't know that I know how to seek out another.

This post will be continued...