Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Read a fucking book!

Listen, just do yourselves the favor of reading, and do so on a consistent and as constant as possible a basis.  You will find from reading books that your mind is by the greatest construct of virtual reality there is.  Your vocabulary will increase as will your general understanding of abstract concepts and ideas.  To put it simply; You will become more intelligent.

Is there really anything better than that?  Your body will eventually rot and die, and yes, so will your mind.  But, in general, your mind has the highest propensity for longevity, so you should be trying to nurture it as much as possible.

I always find myself instantly disgusted by people who say, "I don't read books."  What the fuck is that?

So, instead, you watch movies and television shows (both of which I too enjoy doing) which in reality are more often than not, just distilled, bastardized versions of books?  Why wouldn't you rather go to the original source of whatever brilliance it is you find in those cinematic representations?  Laziness?

I've heard the "Books are boring" argument to which I am thunderstruck.  If you find books to be boring, at least the well written ones (as there are certainly some unfortunate literary works that can bore), then it must be because your mind isn't sufficiently developed to be able to create the worlds described within the text.  If that's the case, I pity you.  What a boring mind you must have.  Such a lack of imagination.

A gray, dull, and meaningless person.  That's what those types of people are.  They lack creativity and inspiration.

If this is your plight, then I suggest you start somewhere easier, comic books for instance.  At least with comic books the world's are illustrated for you.  Reading these will get you used to enjoying dialogue, internal monologue, and narrative storytelling.

After you've done that for a while, perhaps your best bet is to journey into the realm of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  World's created with such amazing detail and depth that your mind may finally be able to paint them into existence.

Eventually you may be able to move into the world of Literary Fiction.  And, if you have the stamina and desire for knowledge, you'll find yourself reading Philosophy, Psychological treatises, Poetry and Religious texts.  Though, I will readily admit, not everyone will have the same desperation I find in myself to go as deep.

But, at the very least...read a fucking book!

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Monday, July 30, 2018

To Worcester, with love?


Worcester has its charms.  They’re not few and far between, but they certainly aren’t a constant, you have to pay attention and seek them out. 

Generally, there are areas you’ll want to stay away from due to various addicts and criminals wandering about unchecked.  Maybe the police department prefers it this way.  Have the ne’er do-wells cordoned off where they can be monitored.  If they start to wander too far out of their segregated areas, then they decide to intervene, promptly turning them back to their sectioned off placement within the cities’ confines.

Shrewsbury Street and parts of the Canal District offer some absolutely delightful restaurant experiences.  Certain parts of the Park Ave. area have some nice eateries as well.  And I’ve already waxed on about some of the coffee establishments around.  Of late I’ve found myself to be a fixture of Nu Kitchen (where I currently write this in fact).

I was talking with DK recently while walking the streets in search of something new to discover and it occurred to me that the city would be much cleaner if they would only invest in trash barrels intermittently dispersed throughout.  That’s one of the consistent blemishes of Worcester in general that I’ve noticed.  Trash all along the curbs, sidewalks, and gutters with no other option in site. 

I believe that a great majority of people, even the drunks and drug addicts, would readily use trash barrels, were they available and up kept.  This would certainly reduce the amount of stray trash that litters the streets, even in the nicest of neighborhoods, like the Burncoat, Tatnuck, and Newton Square areas.

Some of the parks I’ve explored thus far have been quite lovely, though in truth I’ve only checked out a couple.  Elm Park is great for slow walks around the ponds and there are nice shaded areas to sit and chill.  Plus there’s a fairly large area for kids to play.  Institute Park is definitely more of a scenic and relaxing type of place, but also very nice.

There are 2 disc golf courses within the city itself and then just over the border in Leicester is Maple Hill which is an amazing course.  The Worcester Art Museum is absolutely awesome.  The Hanover Theater has amazing shows constantly.  You can see great shows at The Palladium (I’m going to see Rise Against on Tuesday) and there’s the DCU Center which is probably the state’s second largest venue (I didn’t fact check this).

Worcester also has a minor league hockey team, The Railers (formerly the Icecats) and I’m sure there are other sports to check out as well.

Basically what I’m saying is…for all of its shitty parts, there seem to be at least 5 other things within the city that trump those less savory areas. 

I have a certain love-hate relationship with the city for my own personal reasons, but I’m finding that I can’t keep holding those feelings against the city as a whole, because it’s my own bullshit that I need to get over essentially, and Worcester keeps showing me hidden parts of itself that make me smile and appreciate it all the more.

Thanks for having me!

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ghosting is so trendy!

ghost·ing
ˈɡōstiNG

1. the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Ghosting is currently a popular way to ignore those whom we don't wish to speak to.  Now, I do believe are times when it's appropriate to do this.  Generally when someone won't take the hint and fuck off.  The unfortunate thing is that people are using it as an easy out with almost anyone.  It's very prevalent in the "casual dating" scene.  Usually within the Tinder and Bumble worlds, respectively, or not so, as it were.

My problem with ghosting being used as commonly as it is comes from people's inability to actually interact with each other these days.  There aren't telephone conversations anymore, it's all text messages.  Hell even the aforementioned "dating" (more aptly termed: "Casual Fucking", also furthermore aptly named: "Whoring" (Male and Female btw)) apps are just ways for us to readily become objectification robots.  Just swipe right or left based on the initial image. 

There are so many profiles out there that have little hidden messages because people want to know that whomever has swiped right has actually taken the time to read what they have to say about themselves.  And being a man, I can only imagine what it's like to be a woman who has to constantly receive "dick pics" because most men in this particular "dating" world are typically disgusting, overly-horny dogs.

Now, ladies, just to speak directly to you for a moment; I understand that you're as free sexually as men and I respect that.  But, just know that when you send photos of your pussy to a guy, or your ass with a buttplug in it with a bejeweled heart at the end, that guy almost invariably will show his friends in an effort to show off. (This 100% happened to me with a previous roommate)  And believe me when I tell you that there's nothing flattering being said about you at this point.  

When we're in our late teens and early-mid twenties there seems to be this unleashing of our sexuality.  It makes both men and women go a little nuts and become sluts if the opportunities present themselves.  I can say with total pride that I've only slept with 5 women.  Granted I got a very late start so who knows if things would have been different had I been active in my mid-teens, but even when I was that age, super-horny and craving the release, I still always thought it was disgusting, and still do, when people say with some twisted sense of accomplishment (men or women) that they've slept with a great number of people.  If you're fucking that many people, when is it ever special?

So...ghosting.  Depersonalization is endemic in today's society and then people wonder why there is such a rise in depression and suicide.  The first thing doctors do after a baby is born is take the newborn and put it on the mother's chest for skin to skin contact because we are social creatures and without contact we spiral into feelings of abandonment, loneliness, fear, and sadness.

Ghosting is just a newer way for people to insult someone, essentially saying to them without physically doing so, "You are of no value to me, so much so that I don't have enough respect for you to even send an impersonal text to indicate that I'm not interested in pursuing anything with you."  I find this cowardly, appalling, and indicative of one of the many problems of society nowadays.  Man, or Woman, the fuck up and let whomever know that you're not interested.  Have at least that much respect for your fellow human beings.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fuck you Charles Bukowski

And I mean that with complete reverence and deference to who is the greatest writer I've ever read.  He had a way of distilling down extremely complex emotional aspects of humanity to the most simple and succinct lines of language.  Basically he took the grand ideas of literature and made them accessible for the so-called "common man".

I remember when I first read his writing.  I picked up a book of his poems, "Bone Palace Ballet", which I have long since passed along to someone else, and I recall the sinking feeling I had upon reading the words within, which was in turn coupled with an amazing swelling of elation.  Here, finally, the truth!

Now, if you listen to my podcast show, then you by now know that I consider myself to be extremely well read.  An arrogant statement to be sure but none the less rooted in truth.  I have read hundreds of books, comic books, graphic novels, poetry collections, religious texts, movie scripts, backs of cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, etc. ad nauseam.  I am a lover of the written word, especially English ;p.  So, when I say that Charles Bukowski is the greatest writer I've ever read, please understand that I'm coming from a place of devout study, and I don't make such a bold statement with any irreverence, quite the opposite in fact.

Why "Fuck you Charles Bukowski" then?  Because the motherfucker did it.  He found the pinnacle, planted his flag firmly, and left no room for anyone else.  He ate all of the talent when he was living in those tar-paper shacks, while chasing mice and bugs around his flophouse rooms on skid row, and then later in his nice house, drinking constantly until his dying day.

If you want a great portrayal of the man without having to dive headlong into all of his written works, check out the documentary "Born into this".  You'll see him in earlier years, down and out, but on the precipice of success and then later when he's much older, a successful published author and sub-cultural star.  When he speaks, it's as though he's a conduit for the poetry of the universe, and it's absolutely staggering.  I knew he was capable of flooring me with his writing, but once I saw that documentary, heard him speak with lyrical and poignant ease about the headiest of topics, well, that was revelatory for me.

And so, "Fuck you Charles Bukowski", you bastard.  "Fuck you Michelangelo Buonnaroti, Fuck you Rembrandt Van Rijn, Fuck you Dante Aligheri, Fuck you Fyodor Dostoevsky, Fuck you Stanley Kubrick, Fuck you Akira Kurosawa, Fuck you Lao Tsu..." etc. ad nauseam.

Fuck them all.  I'm Phil Kapitan and I'm going to do my own fucking thing.  Maybe it'll be worth a damn...eventually.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Friday, July 27, 2018

The ignorance of those around us.

I'm not really sure what happened to manners in general, but I've noticed over the years an increasing trend of people who blatantly disregard what seems to me to be fairly obvious social norms, like leaving the music on a video game while playing it in public (a Barnes and Noble, right now, for instance...sitting right fucking next to me), or when in line somewhere and they're playing a video on their phone at full volume, or the ever present act of having the phone on speaker while blabbing loudly.  This constant noise pollution by the willfully ignorant is something that grates on my nerves.

It gets to the point sometimes that I feel as though I'm about to snap and flip out in public, no doubt to be made the villain in someones recording which inevitably ends up on social media, but I instead remove myself from the area.  I'm finding it tougher to find places that have any solace in public anymore.  It wouldn't surprise me to go to see a classical music orchestra and find that there are audience members who are actively blabbing into their phones.

I can't even stand going to movie theaters anymore.  What happened to the decency of people and the understanding that your life isn't so fucking interesting and special that you should be interrupting everyone around you?  Fuck you and your retarded conversations.  You're interrupting my reverie.

There's a continuous rudeness and arrogance in people today that oozes out of them with all they do and I frankly blame technology.  Cell Phones, Handheld Gaming Systems, Social Media, Selfies, etc.  It all engenders a constant cacophony which doesn't allow for quiet enjoyment of ones surroundings.

I know, I know, I sound like an old man griping about "kids these days".  Maybe that's what I am.  I of course am hypocritical in that I utilize all of the aforementioned technologies, but it's practically impossible not to if you're planning to keep up with the modern world.  I'm just saying that somewhere along the way people have given up on instilling those basic tenants of manners and common respect.

So, if you find yourself suddenly sitting next to me, especially at a bookstore or library, turn your fucking shit down, or at the very least put some earbuds in and take your fucking conversation outside.  Thank you for the consideration.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why do we love suffering?

It's true.  For some reason there's this constant idea within people that we deserve to suffer.  It could be something buried deep inside of ourselves, or in some cases, right out in the open for all to see, but it's there none the less.  It takes a great deal of effort and practice to actually love ourselves. 

Perhaps I'm wrong and I'm just projecting my own self-destructive tendencies onto the world around me.  Maybe most people walk around every day with a self-absurdness that seems forever out of my reach.  But, I really don't think so.  I believe that more often than not, people are working continuously to reassure themselves that they are worth loving, not only by someone else, but even by themselves.

When we're born we don't come out riddled with problems such as depression, low self-esteem and image, addiction, or anger-management issues.  These are reactions by our physiological and psychological selves to traumas that have affected us adversely over the years.  Of course there can be a greater predisposition to these types of reactions, but realistically, there has to be some sort of activating catalyst.

After being "activated" as it were, we find ourselves in a cycle of self-sabotage, and my thought is that there is some sort of addiction to the suffering imposed.  It could be as simple as it's become the familiar and predictable state of being.  It could also be, for some, that they have a Martyr Complex.  In almost all cases though, I would hazard to guess, we think we deserve to suffer and that's something that can only be fixed by addressing the deeper causes of such insecurities with a therapist.

Now that I'm in therapy myself, I'm finding that I can very easily recall memories that are traumatic or negative, while my mind has a much harder time accessing, with any clarity, the positive memories.  That's not to say I don't have any, just that my mind works in such a way that it pushes the memories connected to suffering to the forefront, while subjugating the more pleasant ones.  Some people will entirely block out traumatic experiences to the extent that they can't even bring them forward without the help of a hypnotherapist.  So, who knows.  To each their own.

I'm confronted with the understanding that my mind is very often trying to keep me in a state of suffering, or at the very least, convincing me that I deserve to suffer.  Why is that?  What makes it so hard for me to believe that I deserve to be loved and that contentment is something even possible?  It seems to be a self-perpetuating cycle.  I know I'm not alone in this and I feel great empathy for those of you who deal with such thoughts.

All I can say is that if you're dealing with this type of problem, get into therapy, but only do so if you're ready and WANT to.  I spent years of my life accepting my suffering and frankly, I finally got fucking sick and tired of it.  If you're not interested in changing these thought processes, as with almost anything, then you'll just waste your time seeing someone.  You need to want to change.  That's definitely the first step on what is clearly going to be a long and continuous process.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Brown in to Brown out

Coffee!  Let's chat about this shit and how it can help facilitate you shitting. 

So, I live in Worcester, MA and am constantly looking for good coffee since I stopped drinking alcohol.  I walk the city, since I still haven't gotten the courage to jump and bus lines yet, and I've found that there are some wonderful spots, but I have to say that I'm disappointed there aren't more, at least near where I live.

Generally I prefer to stay home and make my own coffee.  I live the Paleo lifestyle so I make butter coffee at home.  I took the recipe I found online and tweaked it slightly to satisfy my pallet.  Here's how I do it:

1 French Press with 4 tbsp's of fresh ground dark roast coffee beans
Fill with just below boiling water, stir, then cover and let sit for about 5 minutes before pressing
In a blender combine the following:
          1 Tbsp of Grass-Fed, Organic Butter
          1 Tbsp of  Virgin, Organic, Unrefined, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
          2 Organic Cocoa Butter Wafers
          2 Tbsp's of Organic Maple Syrup
          A pinch of Himalayan Salt and sometimes a 1/2 tsp of Organic Vanilla Extract
Pour the coffee into the blender with these ingredients and blend for 30 seconds.  This will make almost 4 large cups of butter coffee.  It's fucking delicious.  I like to enjoy my morning cup with a couple pieces of at least 85% Organic Dark Chocolate.

That being said, I often find myself losing my mind with boredom and restlessness during the long days in the Ivory Tower that is my apartment, and rather than doing what I typically would, which was go down to a bar, or many bars, and get hammered, I now walk the city with my backpack filled with books and notebooks, looking for a place to sit, read, write, and enjoy a cup of coffee.

So, if you're in Worcester, here are some of the places I tend to go and what I think of them.  Keep in mind, I'm looking for "Gourmet Coffee" and not just your run of the mill Dunkin's or Honey Dew bullshit.  Also, these coffees aren't in line with Paleo, so I'm kind of cheating, but fuck it...better than getting shitfaced.

Starbucks - There are 4 that I'm aware of.  2 single locations, 1 in a Target, and 1 in a Barnes and Noble (this is my favorite since it's a bookstore and I can read for free...yes I'm that guy).  But, Starbucks is really just a pretty straight forward and boring place.  The food is dogshit overall.  For a quick grab and go coffee, it's better than that swill they sling at Dunkin Donuts anyway.

Brew on the Grid - Not bad, not great.  Food seems standard and they do almost every kind of coffee you can get.  Pour-over, Drip, French Press, Espresso, etc.  The interior though, has a modernity that doesn't mesh very well with the surrounding area and has a cold feel to it.

In House Coffee - Meh.  Not impressed.  It's loud and  seems popular, but I think that's probably due to the location as it's on Shrewsbury Street, which is kind of the restaurant mecca of Worcester.  I didn't eat here and the coffee was sub-par. 

Panera Bread - You know what it is and what it tastes like.  It's a fucking Panera Bread.  Probably shouldn't even be on this list, but they do at least have a selection of roasts.

Bean Counter Bakery - Ok.  I had a bummer experience here due to the fact that the require at least a 5 dollar purchase for use of a card and I generally don't carry cash.  So, I had to buy a piece of cheesecake (Boo fucking hoo, I ate a few bites which were fucking awesome) as well as my coffee.  The coffee was pretty good and I kind of dig the layout of the place because it's got this separation which leaves it slightly private on each side.

NU Kitchen - I've been here multiple times and I originally was annoyed by it because it's filled with fucking hipsters.  I was later informed by the friend I first went there with that I am myself, apparently, a fucking hipster myself.  Shit.  Anyway.  The food is GREAT and I dig the atmosphere.  It gets a bit busy and loud around lunchtime, but I can see why.  It's also open until 10, which is the latest I've found thus far for these types of places.  Definitely my typical go to, but it's across the city and takes about an hour to get there when I walk, alas.

Cafe Reyes - Hidden fucking gem!  My buddy Matt and I randomly stopped here for breakfast and I can't rave enough about how good every goddamn thing was.  The food was stellar.  The coffee was wonderfully strong and delicious!  The atmosphere is original and welcoming.  I want to go back soon because it was such a great experience.

There are more places that I still haven't hit yet and I'll make a point to write another post at some point once I've explored some more spots.  Please feel free to reach out to me via HangoverHaze@gmail.com and let me know what you think and if there are any places that I haven't mentioned that I should check out.

So, to wrap up, coffee is my vice nowadays and I'm constantly in search of a tasty cup and a comfortable atmosphere.  In the end, I still make the most consistently delicious cup myself, but in order to maintain sobriety and my sanity, I have to venture out elsewhere.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Keep your mouth shut!

I mean that in the sense that when you're developing a creative idea, something that you are passionate about, you shouldn't go blabbing about it readily, to anyone who will listen.  The reason for this is linked with an earlier post I made about haters.  People, in their selfish and jealous natures, will inevitably, devalue whatever it is you're trying to do.  Some will do so overtly and some subversively.  Some will do so with malicious intent and some will do so out of ignorance.

The fact is though, unless the people you tell are close friends or family, who are supportive and positive, the general response will unfortunately be some type of negatively based criticism with the intention of bringing you back down to reality, to clip your wings so as to not try to fly nearer to the sun than them.  There is a pervasive jealousy by people in general of those who would risk and put themselves out there into a more public arena with their creative projects.

I'm sure most of you have heard of the phenomena that happens when you have a multitude of crabs in a bucket, but for those of you who aren't aware, allow me to explain:  When you have a cast of crabs in a bucket, they will climb on top of each other in an effort to escape, which isn't too surprising or revelatory.  What happens when a crab is almost to the top of the bucket, nearing the precipice of freedom, there will inevitably be another crab that will drag it back down into the thrall, thereby ruining it's chances of escape from bondage.

This is what happens with people as well when they hear you're trying to break free from the typical and accepted system of life.  Work an atypical job with the heretofore accepted structure of at least 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, and if you're lucky, 2 weeks vacation per year plus benefits.  Far be it for you to struggle to escape this control system put in place by others so they can gain off of your hard work.  People will inherently want to pull you back down among them when you're trying to break free.  Misery loves company after all.

Another thing that will happen is that you will run into people who will be fake to your face.  They'll congratulate you on your efforts and exclaim how proud of you they are, but when you're not around, they'll curse you and discuss with others how you're doomed to failure, or how pathetic it is that you're even attempting whatever endeavor you're striving for. 

Why do they do this?  Resentment.  They resent that you have the courage to take the hero's path, to break free of the norm, and that you're attempting something they can only dream of and will easily make excuses as to why they just couldn't risk their creature comforts.  They're also convinced that if you're trying to live outside the set control systems of society at large, then you must be some sort of freak who deserves to be maligned and disavowed, because how could they then confront the futility of their own sad existence?

Most people won't even try to attempt something that they're truly passionate about in their lifetime and I find this to be one of the saddest truths.  Perhaps worse than that though, is when someone does actually put themselves out there in an effort to satisfy their creative impulses, they will very often be confronted by negativity in various forms from those around them, and more than likely in a greater frequency than otherwise, they will quit out of despair and frustration due to these attacks.

So, keep your fucking mouth shut!  Do so until you've really grown and planned out your idea to the point that you're beyond quitting, and then you can begin to talk confidently about whatever it is you're working toward, and you'll be able to easily deflect the negativity that will be thrown your way.  Trust your instincts on who you do tell in the beginning, and if you get a whiff of resentment from them, cut them off from this part of your life.  Just shut that door to them until you've released it to the world in general.

But, it's also extremely helpful when you can find those people who encourage and support you, especially in the beginning where the doubts are at their most intense.  You've got to pick and choose though.  Not everyone in your life needs to know.  Not right away.  You'll be far better off in the end if you keep your mouth shut.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil


Fear and Laziness

Very often we can find ourselves in a state of laziness.  For instance, I should have written a blog post yesterday, to live up to my commitment of 1 per day, but I got lazy and didn't get around to it.  That's straight up laziness for my own selfish sake of being lazy.  I know what I should write about, that it wouldn't take too long, and I had more than enough time to complete the task, but I got lazy and decided not to do it.  My bad brethren.  I'll write 2 today to make up for it, but that's not how things should be.  When I make commitments, I need to stick to them.  Much like the show itself, I'm slow to get into a good rhythm, but once I do I'll be consistent.  Apologies.

There are times when we have creative rushes and ideas flow through us with such voracity that it almost seems like we're just a conduit to something other than ourselves.  What tends to stop us from following through on such endeavors is fear.  Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgement.  As a friend said to me in response to my impassioned email invitation, "Fuck fear".  And she's absolutely right.  There are times when fear is needed as a defense mechanism against doing something that could injure us, but when it comes to creative and artistic pursuits, fuck fear.

Don't let your own fears eat you from the inside and don't succumb to the ease of laziness so readily.  Often times people will say things like "A loser is someone who doesn't even try" or "You miss 100% of the shots not taken" and I can't agree more.  There have been many times in my life where I let fear or laziness take over which led me down a path of despair.  These feelings were derived from knowing deep inside that I had manufactured my own failure out of laziness or fear.  So many projects thought of, not even started, and even more started, which I abandoned midway through.  Alas.

All of this being said, there are times when we must learn to trust our inner voice and know when to dive headlong into a project or when it's wiser to gestate and let the legs of such an idea grow under it before allowing it to walk, so as not to fall under it's own weight.  This takes a deeper understanding of oneself.  To know instinctively what the correct path is takes time, life experience, and complete honesty with oneself and those around you.  This can be a scary prospect, but I've found that in the long run, you'll garner more respect and support when you show the world that you not only have flaws, but that you acknowledge them and that you're actively trying to address them.

Don't allow fear and laziness to dictate your lives.  Trust me friends, I've spent decades of my life doing just that, and all that you end up with is a mountain of regrets and people you've hurt along the way.  If you're lucky, they might forgive you, or at least understand that you're not a malicious person at heart, that you're still trying every day to be the person you know in your heart of hearts you should and can be.  It takes work.  You can't be lazy about it and you certainly can't fear what may come of it.

As another friend told me..."Do it".

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fucking dog has fucking papers!

That's not actually true.  My dog, Dante, is an eight year old shepherd/lab mix that I've had since he was about 5 weeks old.  He's kind of a pain in my ass fairly often.  For instance, he's neurotic to no end and will run scared at the slightest sudden movement.  He is a quiet dog, unless someone unknown is nearby, to which he will alert me with a barking howl, and I appreciate that about him.  His fur, on the other hand, is a huge fucking hassle.

My place has hardwood floors and I find myself sweeping every other day, at least, to keep up with the constant fur that accumulates from his double coat.  No matter how much I brush and brush, it doesn't slow down the shedding for some reason.  I think it may have something to do with his anxious nature.  It could be contributing to his loss of fur, possibly.

I made a mistake and roasted a whole chicken, giving Dante the chicken skin as a treat when I would eat it over the past few days, and now as a wonderful treat in return, he's had diarrhea for the past 2 days, which he can't hold in more than 2 hours, meaning he's shit on the kitchen floor a total of 5 times now.  It's annoying, but I really can't blame him because I gave him the chicken skin, so it's my fault really.

I take him out as often as possible, but sometimes he shits, and other times he doesn't, which leads me to believe that when it comes on, it comes on FAST and he needs to dump out immediately.  And so, I end up cleaning some seriously sloppy, smelly shit, cursing him slightly in my mind, but knowing that it's my own damn fault.

The point I'm trying to make with this post is that even though we can blame those around us for the issues that arise in our lives, the truth most often is that whatever shit we're trying to clean up, is our own fucking fault.  Own your shit...and that of your dog as well.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fuck all the haters!

A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. 

Generally, people don't intentionally hate on someone else.  It's a character flaw they have.  They can't help it for the most part.  Which is not to say there aren't overt haters in this world.  Trolls who are so upset with their own lives that they feel the need to spread their vitriol and malignant feelings outward on others who at least have the balls to try and succeed at something they care about.  These people are to be ignored and given no attention whatsoever as any sort of interaction just fuels them to new heights of pathetic and misguided anger.

The haters that should have some attention paid are those who tend to be closest to us.  These people have a sense that they are warning you off of something you're endeavoring to do, for your own good, at least as they see it.  These are the pervasive haters.  They more often than not are coming from a place of caring.  "Why are you doing X or Y?", "What can you gain from X or Y?", "How you're approaching X or Y doesn't seem correct.", and so on and so forth.

Now, we need to forgive these people for what they say because they genuinely don't realize that what their saying has a negative impact on us.  They can't see that we're struggling to even be ok with whatever the creative pursuit is and the vaguely negative comments from them are only making things that much harder.

But to do something different and unique and of your own creation is indeed the greatest quest.  All great quests will have hurdles and impasses that continually arise, even from those closest to us, so we must remain steadfast in what we believe to be a noble cause.

If you find that the people who care about you are constantly giving backhanded compliments or dropping negatively influenced criticisms, politely take each one aside, individually as no one likes to feel confronted in front of a group, and explain that what they're saying, while they may feel it's coming from a place of concern for you, isn't helping, but in fact only serving to hinder your progress.  If they're any kind of friend, they'll understand where you're coming from and stop with the bullshit.  If not...Fuck Em!

I'm not saying you have to drop them as friends necessarily, but certainly don't even bother trying to excitedly discuss what you're so passionate about.  Save that conversation for someone else who will give you positive encouragement or engage with you in a effort to help you realize your vision.  All other interactions would be superfluous and of no actual use to you.  Don't waste your time trying to sway people to your cause.  They'll come to it of their own volition if they're genuinely interested.

So, with that, I say again, "Fuck all the haters!".  Make your art, whatever that may be, and do so with positive vigor and intention and there's no way you won't succeed.  It may take more time than you would expect but just remain steadfast, bold, and true, and what you're hoping for will eventually happen for you!

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Hazaa! I'm Co-Dependent!!

So after seeing my therapist yesterday, it was revealed to me that I am not in fact a narcissist, but a co-dependent personality.  Essentially, the reason she gave for me wanting to do the show, write a book about my life, and hell, even write this blog, is because I'm hoping that people will find my "work", identify with it, and validate me.  Well...shit.  I already knew that!  That's why I'm in fucking therapy!!

It is interesting though to find out I'm not narcissistic in nature.  I was thinking that perhaps I was so in love with myself that I was convinced the world would HAVE to be interested in what I have to say, produce, or create.  Turns out, I just need people to tell me and reassure me that I'm worth a damn.  Gee, I wonder where that comes from?

Could it be the abandonment of my mother to the state when I was 1?  Perhaps the constant feeling that my father was nothing but annoyed by my existence until he abandoned me to the state at 13?  The continuous bullying by people all around me, friends included, until I reached adulthood and lost 120 pounds?  Every serious "relationship" with women, being betrayed and eventually abandoned?  Are we getting the clear picture here?

I HAVE ABANDONMENT ISSUES!

So, I am therefore codependent on society for the validation I seek and the meaning I crave.  I also tend to gravitate toward women who are "damaged" and have a cargo hold of baggage in tow.  It's not that I think I can "fix" them exactly, just that I can identify with the pain they have and carry with them.  This, historically, has shown to be entirely toxic and never ends well.  And now, I'm faced with an understanding that I'm using the entire world as my codependent partner...wow.

My therapist even continued by saying that the only reason I read so much is that I'm seeking meaning to my life in the pages of books.  I really can't argue that other than to say that I do have a deep appreciation for well written words, but yeah, more than likely I've been desperately hoping to find some inner truth, when I realistically know that the answer isn't in the pages of books, but out in the real world.  The one place I'm terrified by.  Enough to constantly want to soak my brain with alcohol or drugs to shave off the edges of reality so as not to cause as many scars.  Which, in and of itself, is a self-fulfilling antithetical prophecy.

Therapy is a long process, or so I've been told by various podcasts and people (I highly recommend "That's Deep Bro" with Christina Pazsitzky and "Mental Illness Happy Hour" with Paul Gilmartin).  This is the first time that I'm actually taking it seriously and I've only gone 3 times thus far, but I do enjoy my therapist.  She definitely likes to cut through my bullshit which I respect.  Hopefully, given enough time, I can get myself out of this codependent mindset and get over my abandonment issues and then, maybe I'll finally be capable of having a stable and healthy relationship.  For now, focusing on creating content and staying sober.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

 In case you aren't aware of what codependency means exactly:

Definition of codependency


a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly dependence on the needs of or control by another


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Phil's Project Invitation and Explanation

Below is the email I sent to about 50 or so people who have touched my life in one way or another.  It's the email that launched the podcast.

Take care of yourselves.

-Phil

Hey all,
First I’d like to thank you for responding with your email addresses and to say that I’m sorry for the length of this email and also apologize for what promises to be an unimpressive reveal at the end.  Everyone on this email is someone who has been involved in my life at one point or another, some in greater length than others and some with more impact than others, but you all have touched me in some way that has left a lasting impression.  I’ve Bcc’d you all to maintain your privacy, as a lot of you don’t know each other, and so you can just reply directly to me.
For the past 10 years I’ve had my struggles with intense bouts of depression, drug use, alcoholism, and extreme anger.  In the past 5 years I’ve gone to the E.R. 3 times, once wasn’t by choice, had 5 separate EKGs (shouldn’t they be ECGs??), a physical stress test, had 7 addiction evaluations (not the inpatient kind, yet), and received 2 DUIs in 2 separate states.  Thankfully I haven’t hurt anyone but myself in the overall scheme of things, though even that can be debated.
I worked my way up from living in a house that eventually had no running water or heat to eventually making a 6 figure salary and having 60 people I was responsible for.  I was making 12 dollars an hour and drinking most of my money away.  Thankfully I had a small ceramic space heater (thanks Victor) that essentially kept one room the house warm enough to survive in.  I would fill up about twenty 1 gallon jugs with water at work, load them in my trunk, and then use that water to both shower and cook with.  Most of you know that I’m not the type to easily ask for help, but I would like to thank those of you that let me shower at your houses when I got desperate enough.  It meant more to me than I can express.
Regardless, I got my first DUI and it caused me to have to rely on others in order to get to and from work until I got my hardship license and I’m thankful for those that helped me in that regard as well.  Over the next couple years I worked my way up from a warehouse stock clerk job up to an Operations Manager position with 60 people relying on me to keep things going steady and I did well.  But, I was drinking heavily throughout the whole experience and still driving, like a fucking moron.  While helping one of the offices on Long Island for a couple months I was in a hotel for 2 months.  At the end of my stay I had to drag 7 contractor bags of beer cans and bottles, wine bottles, and hard liquor bottles out to the dumpster.  This isn’t a pity party email as these are all my own choices and I own them, as unfortunate as they are. 
Eventually I was transferred to work in Delaware (waste of fucking space, that state) and I lived in Salisbury, Maryland (nice little city).  When I drove from Worcester, MA in a 17 foot box truck with my car on a full sized tow trailer, I was drinking a 6 pack of 16 ounce Jack’s Abby Lager Bier.  I was drunk all the way until I hit the New Jersey (fuck that state too) Turnpike.  On my way out I also ruined a relationship with a woman in an insanely over the top and childish way.
My drive from MD to DE in the morning was about 40 minutes and I was consistently drinking a 6 pack on the way to and from work, while stopping somewhere at lunch to drink a couple 24 ouncers.  Over time, this caught up to me and I got busted in MD for my second DUI.  I subsequently lost my job and by selling my stock and 401K, made my way back up to MA where I was offered the same position in a different company.  I dealt with all of the court proceedings in MD and started the new job up here.  I was allowed to keep my license for a while as I had yet to be found guilty and also MD couldn’t seize my MA license.
After about 7 months or so, I was laid off from the new job because the guy who started the company was a moron with the companies’ money and various other reasons, but if I’m honest with myself, my heart wasn’t really in it anyway.  So, I’m currently unemployed and collecting.  I also found out that my MA license has finally been revoked for 2 years due to the DUI in MD.  I luckily live in Worcester, MA again, which while not the most walkable city, it is doable, and the public bus system is quite extensive.
When I first got back up here I was going on my 4th month sober, but I fell off the wagon, HARD, and again, it’s my own fault and my own choices that lead to that.  A week ago a had a good friend pick me up from my place because I was having heart arrhythmia, discomfort in my chest, constant cold sweats, shaking, and I got to a point where I couldn’t figure out where my socks were because I was so confused.  Basically I drank too damn much for too fucking long so I was severely dehydrated and lacking electrolytes and my heart wasn’t beating properly (I don’t know if that’s exactly how it works, but that’s roughly what the doctor said).
So, I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell the point of all of this is and I’ll tell you.   I’ve been wrestling with myself as to why I’m so depressed and I’ve come to believe that I’m bankrupt of happiness because I haven’t been able to satisfy myself creatively.  I’ve been searching for what I’m passionate about and wanting to live my life doing that.  For the past decade or so it’s been various things like painting, writing, reading, etc.  But the truth is, it’s been altering my mind with whatever I could find (most often alcohol) in order to avoid or push off the spiritual sadness I’ve felt.  I readily admit that I’ve found myself curled up in a ball on my kitchen floor, sobbing, more times than is natural (my guess is most people don’t do that too often).  I’ve put holes in walls far too often.  I’ve screamed in the middle of apartments so much that the police have been called.  It’s been a shit show to say the least.
Again, this is not me asking for your pity or your money or a job.  I have some money saved and I’m on the government dole for a little while yet, and I’ll probably pick up a part-time job just to help supplement my income.  That being said, I have an idea to do something creative that I think I could be fairly decent at and that will hopefully help satisfy my need spiritually and keep my mind off of my mind so to speak.
After a lot of thought I think I’ve figured out what I’m actually good at and what is it that I love to do and what makes me truly happy.  My conversations with others.  When I think back and examine my life, the times that mean the most to be, that I’ve laughed the most, felt the most emotion, and connected the most with other people is when I’ve had honest and open conversations.  There are so many different things that I love and that I’m passionate about that I haven’t been able to really focus in on any specific thing as a craft.  But, what if conversing with others is my craft?  It allows me to experience the things that I know and love and also those that I know nothing about by vicariously experiencing them through another person’s experiences (yeah, that’s three different versions of the word ‘experience’ in one sentence).
That being said, I am starting a podcast.  Yeah, I know there are a million fucking podcasts out there and it’s not a viable income source and blah blah blah.  I don’t want to do it to be the next Joe Rogan or Marc Maron or Radiolab.  I have no such delusions.  I want to do it because I really feel like I need to.  I could fall flat on my face with the whole thing, but how will I know unless I try?  I also feel as though it could be a really good outlet for me to not only hang out with great people and have wonderful discussions, but it will also give me something to really focus on in terms of content, editing, and general vision.  It might be what I need to keep me on the wagon.  It’s just a feeling I have.
I’m sure you figured out by now where you all come in.  I picked every one of you (some people didn’t get back to me, alas) for very specific reasons.  You all have amazing stories and we’ve shared experiences together, but not only that, you have lives that are so foreign to my understanding that I’m eager to learn about them.  Some of you I’ve been super close with and others not so much and even a few of you, I’ve alienated.  But the fact remains; you touched my life in a significant way, even if that’s unbeknownst to you.
Now I know some of you are thinking things like, “I don’t have anything interesting to say” or “I’d be weirded out to be recorded” or “Some of my stories are private”.  I’ve been thinking very intensely about these things and trying to figure out how to appease you.  It’s my job to help direct and coax where the conversation goes and also make you feel comfortable and I will make every effort to do so.  I originally thought that I wanted as stripped down and unedited a show as possible, but upon further reflection I think that’s not wise.  So, my thought is this, should you choose to participate, if there’s something that either A: Incriminates you B: Could cause strife with others in your professional/personal life and C: If it’s something you just frankly want to keep private, then I will edit it out.
I realize that this requires that you trust that I will live up to my end of the bargain, but I can assure of this:  I am so tired of being angry.  I am so tired of being sad.  I am so tired of hurting those around me and I just want to do something that I feel good about, finally.  I in no way want to harm any of you for entertainment’s sake.  I simply want to have frank and candid conversations and see where they lead.  You all know I look books, art, philosophy, movies, music, etc.  But there are so many different things you all know and care about that I want to learn from you.  Sports, family, medicine, science, etc.
This of course will be tougher for those who are around the country, or even the one guy who lives in FUCKING CHINA!  But, if you say you’d like to participate, I’ll figure it out one way or another eventually.  What I’m asking is for at least 1 hour of your time.  I’d prefer that we let the conversation go and see how long it may take, but the minimum I’d prefer is an hour.  Due to my situations you’d have to come to my place in Worcester, MA, but once we figure out a day/time I’ll gladly provide my address so we can sit in my kitchen “studio” (picture attached).
I am serious about this and it’s something I want to do.  I already have my amazon save for later list with much better equipment put together, but I need to see if this is even something that’s viable first before spending more.  What I have now is good for a 1 on 1 podcast as an amateur, but if things go well and the response grows, I want to move my setup into my second bedroom and upgrade the equipment and also expand to be able to have 4 of us at once.  Again, this isn’t something I have any delusion that I’ll be able to survive off of as income, but I will do it regardless of whatever job I end up getting because I am passionate about it.
I know.  It’s probably just a stupid pipe dream and I know it has a higher likelihood of being a total failure or eventually just me sitting alone talking into a microphone about nothing, but I need to try.  I would love if every one of you could say that you’re interested and eventually commit to a date/time, but I know it’s tough with your life (kids, work, geographical location, etc) or you just feel weird about it.  I will do everything I can to make it comfortable and casual and set your minds at ease.  I don’t know what to say other than I hope you can see where I’m coming from and what I’m asking.  I won’t hold anything against you if you’d prefer not to.  And if you'd like to help me out with any of your technical expertise or advice or whatever that'd be cool.  I would love to eventually have a co-host too, but that's part of a grander plan.  Trying to focus on the baby steps (thanks Dr. Marvin).
Alright, should be the end of this babbling I guess.  Please just reply to me either “Interested” or “No Thanks” and I’ll deal with it from there.
Thank you all for dealing with me over the years, helping me over the years, and for being truly amazing people.
-Phil