So here's a show about a guy who after a failed suicide attempt moves back to his small town and in with his sister and niece. He has lost his job and his girlfriend. Anyhow, one day a meteor crashes to earth, and he touches it. Which results in him connecting with a celestial entity in the form of a large black woman. She's one of God's Warriors or the Universe's helpers and she's here to help Kevin to save the world. Kevin is one of 36 righteous souls that each of these celestial beings is sent to help. Kevin saves the world by helping others find happiness. Each time he connects with another being, the universe sends him a message or clue -- showing him how to connect to the other 35 souls.
Only one problem the other souls have disappeared, and the beings guarding them have stopped caring.
Meanwhile everyone in Kevin's life thinks he's a wee bit unstable, albeit harmless, as he meanders about talking to an invisible black lady. And somehow manages to help people in his town along the way.
I think they picked it up because it wasn't like anything else on television. I'm stumped for a comparison.
Is it any good?
Eh. Yes and no?
Jason Ritter is quite likeable as Kevin, he has his father, John Ritter's affable personality and sense of comic timing. The woman playing his sister, Amy, looks a lot like Rachel McAdams and/or the gal playing April on Grey's Anatomy. J. August is playing the cop interested in Amy.
The story is also rather quirky and comforting. It's sort of a male version of the Gilmore Girls meets Touched By An Angel, although that's not quite right. For one thing these aren't angels, and they don't refer to God, so much as the Universe. Also the people in the town aren't that quirky, Kevin is, they aren't.
Each week Kevin helps someone. One week he helps a man tell his father that he no longer wants to work in the family brewery, the father has a heart-attack -- which alerts the hospital and doctors to the fact that he has a chronic heart condition, and Dad decides to sell the brewery to a corporation.
The next week, he helps a woman tell her best friend and spouse that she doesn't want to be married to him any longer. Basically the universe wanted him to break them up?
It's weird, and sort of a clever satire on...well Touched by an Angel trope. I'm not really sure what to make of it, to be honest.
2. Good Behavior
Still good. This stars Michelle Dockery as an American thief/con-artist, from Georgia. Who got into high end burgulary due to a drug addiction. A recovering alcoholic she manages to reconnect with her son and obtain custody. Not easy to do, since her son is black, and she's white, and the father's black -- with a better job. The father was the drug dealer who got her hooked.
Anyhow, finally out of prison, she meets up with and falls hard for an Argentine hitman, Javier. Whose family ran a cartel in Argentina. The hitman falls for Letty, Dockery's character. She manages to get custody of Jacob, her son, by sort of betraying Javier to the FBI -- but redeems herself in Javier's eyes when she goes out of her way to save him.
It's rather funny in some respects. Black absurdist comedy. Which comments heavily on various soci-economic themes. And adapted from a series of noir novels by the same author who wrote the novels, entitled "Good Behavior".
This season, Letty and Javier and Jacob are sort of on the run from the FBI. And trying to go legit at the same time, but Letty and Javier are failing miserably at it -- in part because both like an upscale lifestyle. And can't get it without being criminals.
3. The Inhumans
I'm finding this more entertaining and less annoying than Once Upon a Time and The Gifted.
Also, it has some interesting side characters. Quarto is by far my favorite, he's asian, has tats on his face and body, and his ability is seeing trajectories, consequences, and cause and effect. It's a sort of interesting and rather unique talent. All of the characters talents are unique and for the most part, the human characters are interesting. I rather like the nerdy scientist who is fangurling over the Inhumans.
Not sure why everyone hated it. (shrugs)
Also having a character who communicates completely through sign language and with his eyes is rather interesting.
Too bad it only has two episodes left and flopped. Ah well, on the other hand, it's not like I don't have other things to watch.
Liking the tone of the season and the cinematography quite a bit. The focus or pov is the kids, with the adults looking shadowy and guilty. There's a deep noir undertone here.
Jughead continues to be the narrator. And we now have the introduction of Veronica's dad, Hiriam Lodge, who is a bit dark, and shadowy. Although it is admittedly hard to envision Kelly Ripa's hubby, who used to play Mateo on All My Children as a villain or even disreputable. But he is. The casting is rather entertaining. Also having him as the father of a 15 year old girl seems odd to me. Mainly because I remember when he was playing a 16 year old. That's part of the fun of this series -- we have all these former 1980s/1990s teen television show and movie stars in the parent roles.
( spoilers )
I'm watching too many tv shows...I still have 20 hours on DVR. I need to kick a few to the curb.
Thinking Dynasty, OUAT, and possibly Kevin Probably Saves the World, but on the fence on that one.
Inhumans will be over soon. So there's that.
Brianna Smith, a political science doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, responded that “Probably both factors are at work.” She explained to me that people like simple solutions and rally behind them. Simple messages resonate with voters. They don’t want to hear that problems are complicated and solutions are messy. But she’s less supportive of attaching the word “demagogue” to some political leaders over others. “Trying to get people scared and angry and ready to get involved, these are tactics used by everyone.”
Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist at the University of Colorado. He and Steven Sloman recently published The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. I asked Fernbach specifically about the problem of political polarization. He explained that polarization may stem from overconfidence in our grasp of the issues. His research shows that people are constrained by the limited amount of information they can store in their brains. But this limitation doesn’t lead to humility; in fact, it’s the opposite. As Fernbach and Sloman write, “We are overconfident, sure we are right about the things we know little about.” This can make us ripe for manipulation.
[Oh so true. I see it in myself and those around me. Ask yourselves...how often do you postulate online or off about something, convinced you know everything about it -- only to discover - frak, I should have fact-checked that first, I totally generalized. Now, I look like a complete nitwit? One of the shows I watched today, a character told another one -- "doubt is your friend". The character was upset he lost his certainity. That was his power, he was certain about everything. And his lover, the other character, told him, "the scariest people in the world don't have doubt and are certain. Doubt is our friend, it makes us question, to see new ways of solving a problem." Then of course there was The Good Place, who had a character who was certain he was right and knew everything about a philosophical approach, until he found himself being tortured with it. Sometimes certainty can create distance or put us in jeopardy.]
Surely there’s a fix here. We aren’t destined to be ruled by our sometimes obstinate, prejudiced, and simplistic natures, easily manipulated by appeals to our emotions, and unwilling to hear others. Right?
Fernbach was not as optimistic as I would have liked (because I, like everyone else, like simple answers). He told me that “We cannot just educate ourselves out of this problem.”
But he did offer some ideas. Along with a call for humility, he suggests we try to explain our positions instead of advocating for them. Advocacy allows us to speak with a very shallow understanding of the issues, but when we try to explain our position we realize how little we really know.
98% of the fights I get into online and off...are because of this. I'm advocating my position, and so is the other guy. Neither of us are listening. We are right, damn it.
We're not explaining why we feel that way or how we derived at this conclusion, but advocating like two trial attorneys. As opposed to being more open, and considering other views..
Next, he suggests we focus on consequences and not values. We tend to demonize others when we focus solely on values. For example, if you believe that healthcare is a basic right, and I disagree, it’s not because I want people to die in the street. Instead, focus on the things that most of us can agree on: affordable, effective healthcare.
Finally, he advises us to approach people with curiosity. Ask them why they believe what they do. Don’t try to convince anyone they’re wrong, just listen. Remember that in most cases you are not an expert. Roberts-Miller would likely agree with this. She writes: “. . . we try to solve the problem of demagoguery in ways that worsen it: We call for purifying our public sphere of their demagogues, often in very demagogic ways.”
Both very good points. When you focus on values...it's hard to budge. Because that's a feeling. Something important to a person. But if you focus on consequences...it opens things up a bit.
What are the consequences of not having affordable healthcare? How can we change that?
What are the possible solutions.
Also, the point about being curious. Not just interested in pushing one's own point of few. But listening and understanding the opposing view. I think sometimes people are afraid to do this.
Brianna Smith told me that it’s possible to train ourselves out of the in-group/out-group mindset, but it has to start from birth. She told me that infants start to show a preference for one race over another at three months. However, children raised in racially diverse environments show much less preference for their own race.
[I don't agree that it has to start from birth, since I'm currently working with various people to train myself as well as others out of that mindset. And have been fighting to get out of it most of my life. Because the "in-group/out-group mindset" -- I've discovered is toxic to my well-being. It is the reason I've suffered from social anxiety, and depression at various points, is the cause of the bullying I've suffered, and the root cause of the bullying, hazing, and violence that I've seen others suffer. But it is not easy to change the behavior pattern, or pull out of it. And for some, it may well have to start from birth, but I choose not to believe that.]
Some of us are better at raising our dogs to be social than our children. She explained:
“If you have an aggressive dog, you socialize it. You don’t raise a dog around women only, for instance – it will be aggressive toward men. If you raise a kid around white people, they probably won’t grow up to be violent, but they’ll have a moment of uncertainty around people they see as different.”
Here’s a summary of what I heard, along with a few of my own suggestions for preventing yourself from being manipulated by populists or creating an atmosphere of intolerance that allows empowers them:
1. Embrace the boring and complicated, and be skeptical of the bold and simple.
2. Reject appeals to fear.
3. Reject appeals to utopia. Keep in mind the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.”
4. Listen and ask questions; i.e., stop talking so much.
5. Seek out people you disagree with.
I like the point about rejecting appeals to fear. Fear of losing your home, employment, safety, etc. When a political platform is preaching fear -- it's time to do some extensive fact-checking, and questioning. Same for the opposite. They are right -- politicians appeal to basic emotions -- fear, hate, hope, love...
I remember talking to a bunch of friends at lunch once upon a time, it was several years back. I was upset because they weren't agreeing with me. And stated in frustration, it would be nice to be surrounded by people who did, all the time. They said, "no, that would be horrible and boring. Also how would you know if you were wrong? It's far better to be with people who don't entirely agree on things. It forces you to question yourself. And that's a good thing." I thought about it and had to agree that they were right.
I know I don't always listen, and I talk far too much, also that I have a tendency to advocate or think I'm right...but I'm trying to do better and change that behavior. One of the things I love about the show "The Good Place" is it demonstrates that it is never to late to change one's behavior.
[ETA: My lovely friend stated that the one thing she didn't like about her essay is she is getting on a soapbox to tell people to get off their's. I've decided it is very hard not to get up on a soap box when posting essays. Because we are taught to write this way -- with active voice, and assertive words. From a place of certainity. In law school, I was taught to use qualifiers, and less assertive words, so I wouldn't be held accountable and there would be wiggle room if necessary. After law school, I spent years ridding myself of the qualifiers -- basically. I also had to get rid of therefore, thereof, whereof, thus...While in law school, I had to get rid of academic words and grammatical choices. Then when I entered business - I had to learn how to right clearly, succinctly, to the point, and without any qualifiers. Yes, I got confused. Who wouldn't?
Every field has it's own bloody way of writing. Anyhow, off-topic. My point is that we are sort of taught to keep up on a soapbox when we write essays or to advocate a position. So it's really hard to shift the tone of the words so that we aren't doing that. And I think it can be done, it's just...you have to shift the tone and change the words used. Less formal, more conversational, and less active, more passive, perhaps.]
As Moves the Glacier - Frostbite, Keaton/Victoria, 100 words. A sensation-play drabble, mostly for the purposes of getting the tag canonized.
Desert Flower - hockey RPF, Fleury, 100 words. A melancholy drabble (BUT NOT AS SAD AS FLOWER'S CONCUSSION ;__________;).
A Good Yarn is Hard to Find - hockey RPF, Granlund/Koivu, 1100 words. A very silly fic about Finns and sweaters that I wrote as a gift for fandomgiftbox.
As Lucky as Lucky Can Be - hockey RPF, Olli/Geno with background Sid/Geno, 4900 words. This is the sequel/companion piece to my Sid/Geno exchange fic from earlier this year. Someone mentioned they'd like to see more of Olli and Geno, and it just so happened I had already written several scenes from Olli's POV in order to kind of figure out where he was at. Somehow in September those scenes magically turned into a complete fic in the space of about three days. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I got to write Geno from a totally new perspective, because I've always paired him with other guys from the core before; I got to write Olli (<3); and I also got to show how Olli has no idea of most of what was going on in the original fic and doesn't care. Just dating Geno is quite enough for him to handle. :) :) :)
you touch my wires - hockey RPF, Olli/Tanger, 2400 words. A cyborg AU! This was for the flash exchange that happened last month. I'd been wanting to write this pairing, and then downjune mentioned she liked robot AUs, and suddenly it all came together. What two better guys than these two to angst about their bodies not performing as designed? :\
i feel love - Riverdale, Josie/Cheryl, 1500 words. Fake dating! This was for femslashex, and my recip described the relationship between these two as being almost political, which I found extremely inspiring. In the course of writing this fic I realized how freaking awesome Valerie is and how much I loved writing her.
2) This story about a new type of theater experience struck me because it's all about trying to figure out what makes a fandom tick.
3) Netflix may start getting into merchandise licensing. I was interested by this chart of top licensing companies. Most are toy, movies or sports, PVH seems to be apparel branding, and Meredith seems to hold a variety of properties. But one can see why Disney started snapping up properties like The Muppets, Star Wars, and Marvel not just for their creative licenses but for the more immediate revenue stream of stuff. Also, speaking of streaming services, Verizon isn't giving up on its Go90 project: "Web-based TV is becoming “a crowded field,” but it’s “absolutely critical” for Verizon to introduce its own platform, in part as an advertising vehicle for its AOL and Yahoo units""
4) This article (headlined Even smart people are shockingly bad at analyzing sources online) points out why fact checkers are so much better at it than even academics.
5) Nabbed from Petzi last week – states and countries I've visited. I hope to finish up the first map and add more places to the second in the next decade. ( Read more... )
Found on my network:
Choose five series fandoms (no peeking before you choose them), list them, and then answer the questions behind the cut.
1. Star Trek: Discovery
2. Legends of Tomorrow
( The Questions )
SPIKE (looks at her): My soul. It's really there. Kind of stings.
[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
- Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Shadowed Suspicion (Chapter 78) (Crossover with Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Xander, G) by madimpossibledreamer
- Every Letter That You Write Me (Chapter 1) (Spike/Buffy, T) by othellia
- Ketchup and the Crocidile (Chapter 3) (Spike, Dawn, Buffy, T) by yellowb
- Heaven Sent (Chapter 12) (Spike/Buffy, E) by sunalso
- The Torture Lovers (Chapter 6) (Crossover with Call of Cuthullu and Ultimate Force, Faith/Dawn, Kennedy/Willow, Buffy, T) by steeleye
- Something old, something new, something borrowed (Chapter 7) (Buffy/Spike, Anya, Giles, M) by Smile-J
- Only Human (Chapter 7) (Buffy/Angel, M) by 26Rye J
- No Happily Ever After (Chapter 46) (Buffy, M) by irishrose2
- She Who Was My Love (Chapter 42) (Buffy/Faith, Willow, Glory, M) by Forgotten Conscience
- My Sweet Escape (Chapter 4) (Jenny/Giles, M) by J for Jenny
- Wonder Mother (Faith, Tara, T) by Mia Lee 75
[Images, Audio & Video]
- Artwork: buffy tarot. major arcana pt 1. (pt 2.) (Buffy, Willow, Oz, Joyce, Angel, Giles, The First Slayer) by redcheekdays
- Artwork: buffy tarot. major arcana pt 2. (pt 1.) (Spike, Buffy, Faith) by redcheekdays
- Artwork: Drawlloween Day 20 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy) by art-of-psychoparadox
- Artwork: friendly reminder that i love wesley wyndam pryce with all my heart (Wesley) by veryexciteddragon
- Artwork: () by
- Video: () by
Don't delete your shit.
Deleting double posts? Ok. Deleting for just about any other reason? Not Ok.
Although it does give me something to do, I'll grant you that.
As you were, netizens.
Should write. I'm basically being a chair potato. I'd say couch, but don't own one at the moment and never really liked them that much. I like arm chairs and putting my feet up on coffee tables.
1. Crazy Ex-Girl Friend -- continues to be a biting satire on romantic love, gender politics, and the view that having a romantic partner makes you happy.
Also the songs are rather good in places. This weeks gen was Joss Chen's song and dance number in church about being free.
2. The Good Place -- The writers take on Kierkregard and the Ethical Trolly Dilemma. ( Read more... )
3. The Gifted -- this is still triggering me for some reason. I think it hits too close to home -- in regards to how the US is currently treating the Muslim and immigrant population. (I feel frustrated and angry about it, but there's not a lot I can do that I haven't done already.)
The story seems to take place in X-Men Days of Future Past verse. Where Sentinels are keeping the mutants in line, and placing them in deportment camps. It does not appear to be in the same verse as MAOS, Marvel Avengers films, or the Inhumans. But in the same verse as Legion and the X-men films.
Which is a much darker verse.
In it, mutants are rounded up as threats to national security. The organization that is helping them escape is considered a terrorist organization. And neighbors, etc are turning against them, treating the mutants as monsters to be put down. This week's episode reminded me a little of Rod Serling's The Monsters Arrive on Maple Street.
It's actually fairly well written, and the acting for the most part is on target. ( Spoilers )
4. Once Upon a Time --- I'm rapidly losing interest. I surfed the net during this episode.
Henry, unfortunately, is not interesting or compelling. Cinderella is, but that's about it.
And it's not enough to hold my interest.
I never thought I'd say this but I miss the Charmings.
5. Dynasty -- also rapidly losing interest. The second episode was boring. I don't care about any of the characters and spent most of the episode wondering about different ways to improve it.
If I were doing this as a reboot? I'd have cast Blake as female, the Crystal character as male, and have him and Fallon have chemistry. Or, cast Fallon as a lesbian turned on by Crystal. That would at least put a bit of spark into it.
Right now, it's rather bland. Gossip Girl had more oomph.
Also it takes itself too seriously.
When the best line was used in the preview, you know you have issues.
I sort of wish they could have done with Dynasty what they did with Dallas...but Dynasty admittedly didn't lend itself to that.
Anyhow, it made me miss the Dynasty of the 1980s...with the big shoulder pads, and cheesy dialogue.
I don’t want to see a single comment under this post saying “This is just guys being guys. This is normal. It’s fine,” or ANY VARIATION on that theme. This was not OK. None of it is excusable. Lots of men are not like this. If it’s your idea of what it is to be a man, it shouldn’t be.
#notallmen—are you sure?
I first started thinking back over my past behaviour after reading a comment thread on Pharyngula about #NotAllMen. Of course what men really meant by this hashtag was “not me“. They were more concerned about clearing their own reputation than listening to women about the problem. Most of the Pharyngula thread was about how this hashtag was an irrelevant distraction from women’s reports of sexual harassment, which it is. But one commenter had a different spin. “Can I really say I’ve never harassed a woman?” they mused (I’m paraphrasing from memory). “Never? Not even when I was drunk? Not even when I was a teenager? Not even unintentionally made a woman feel uncomfortable by staring or touching?”
When I first started writing this post, my intention was to make the point that even regular, ‘good’ guys can be harassers. Now I’ve written down 12 of my worst moments, I doubt I’m the best person to make this point. I’m sure (at least I hope) lots of men have read this and gone “Jeeeeeez, I would never do that.” My behaviour went a long way from what most people consider acceptable.
Still: It’s true, there are predators. There are manipulators and those who consciously choose to hurt women. But there are nowhere near enough of them to account for the near-universal experiences of women being harassed and assaulted. Some of the assaults are being done by regular guys. Check it isn’t you.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/
This reminds me a lot of what a male friend stated this week...how scared he was that he'd done this. Not being aware of what he was doing.
We're beginning to have an important nation wide discussion about sexual abuse and bullying. Wow. And it's about bloody time. We've had them before of course, but not like this -- not with people actually listening. It gives me hope. I think things are shifting.
[ETA - there's an even better post that is a direct follow up to this one at the same site!
To Stop Sexual Assault We Must Talk About How to Be a Man
When women tell the world that they have been assaulted, they are met with a chorus of disbelief.
You’re just doing it for attention.
If it’s true, why haven’t you told the police?
If it’s true, why aren’t you naming names? [If they don’t]
Why are you trying to ruin this man’s life? [If they do]
That’s not harassment, it’s just a compliment.
Did you do anything to encourage him?
On and on, a sea of disbelief, or of silence, or doing nothing, or worse, of attacking her for having said anything. Meanwhile I come out and say “Hey world, I did some shocking things but I’m not doing them anymore!” and the response has been largely to hail my brilliance. I did start my Facebook post with “I’m scared to post this”, which might be seen as encouraging the “So brave!” reactions. Still, it seems that there are people who are ready to shower men with praise for doing the bare minimum. The women speaking about their assaults are brave. I am (assuming you believe me about having learned and changed) at best an ex-scumbag. Don’t give me a cookie.
The first thing we could learn from the response to my post is that we can make the world better just by supporting victims of assault and harassment the same way we apparently support (reformed) abusers.
My last post focused on my time as a Pickup Artist (PUA). PUA ideology absolutely needs to be challenged, but it is not the main cause of the harassment epidemic. Most men are not PUAs, and will never be PUAs. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t absorbed some terrible ideas about what it is to be a man.
PUA ideas are really just a turbocharged version of widely-believed ideas about masculinity. Men want sex all the time. Women want men who are traditionally masculine and powerful, even dominant. The number of women you can attract is a measure of your manliness. Women don’t think like men at all, so to ‘understand’ them you need some kind of system. Manliness is embodied by aggressive heterosexuality. PUAs just take these ideas, treat them as though they are objective facts, and claim to make you a Real Man. Lots of men have similar beliefs without getting sucked into the PUA subculture.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/
But it's not just the PUA community. It's wider spread than that. My brother was upset about this a while back -- stating that he didn't subscribe to this view of manliness.
Everything on my list is inexcusable. But I still think it’s worth investigating why I did what I did. It wasn’t because I got physical or emotional pleasure from it. I didn’t really enjoy any of those encounters. And that’s not because of casual sex: I’ve since had lovely, mutually satisfying sex that we both knew wasn’t leading to a long-term relationship.
Everything I described in that post happened more than eight years ago. Back then, I was having sex to prove to myself that I could. Real men want a lot of sex, and it’s a measure of your masculinity how successful you are in getting that sex. I was trying to prove to myself that I was a man. It is pathetic, but it is true.
We need to change our ideas about what it is to be a man.
First and most obviously, if you commit sexual assault or harass women, this makes you a worse man.
Being ‘dominant’ makes you a bully, not a better man.
Your manliness is not determined by the amount of sex you have.
Thank you. I remember a young woman posting in her LJ ages ago that she was a woman now that she'd had sex with a man. Seriously? I was enraged. So if you never have sex with a man, you're not a woman? WTF? That's dumb. Becoming a woman has zip to do with having sex. Just as becoming a man has zip to do with having sex.
People actually think this way? Yes, they do. They think their sex lives define them.
And worse, define those around them.
I do want to say, his use of the word dominant is not used in any way shape or form to condemn the BDSM community, where men and women are in consensual D/S relationships, with both genders taking on both roles, and with safe words. That's not what this is about.
What he also shines a light on is how men are shamed for not being sexually experienced in our culture. Just as women are often shamed for being too sexually experienced.
We virgin-shame men and women, we slut-shame women.
None of that is remotely excusable or kind. It's bullying.
Men and women are guilty of doing this. He's right, we have to change how we talk about sex. This is effecting us all. No one is immune.
It's funny because our media, art, novels, etc have been reflecting these things for some time now. ]
Originally I was going to start with, "So I went to the doctor to have my heart checked ..." Which would have been foolish, because people actually care about my health. The dog cares. My wife cares. The fire department would have to set up a funeral detail if I kicked the fire bucket, so they care. My insurance company? They totally care.
In fact, lots of people care more than I do. They would have dragged me to the doctor right away if they'd known that a while back, I started getting this fluttering feeling in my chest. It was as if my heart was trying to do a Mexican Hat Dance around my major aortas. It would come around long enough for me to get concerned, then go away, at which point I did what most men do: Ignored it.
See, this is why I never bought into this whole gender equality thing: Women are clearly superior to men. They have a problem, they go to the doctor. Men have a problem, they watch football.
Anyway, I got some testing, the electrodes were cold, ripped my hair out, yadayada, my heart is fine. The problem is stress. Those of you who follow my blog may have figured that out already--it's been a rough year. My stress levels are high. Also my pain levels are high, due to chronic back pain acting up a lot more than usual, which causes stress. The other day I missed a fire call because I was on the chiropractor's table. Welcome to my fifties.
There were several related health things that could, experts say, help reduce my stress:
Lose weight. (Which would also help the back pain.) Yeah, going into winter and the holidays ... even thinking about it increased my blood pressure ten points.
Exercise. This is an awesome idea at all times. Especially when my wife's seasonal job is shutting down for the winter, leaving me without the long hikes I was taking four or five days a week. Sheesh.
Cut down caffeine. No problem, I'll just quit my third shift job, and leave behind the stresses of paying for heat, electricity, food, housing ...
Looking back on that list, I realize I've got it pretty good. Lots of people in the world have no access to Mountain Dew. Can you imagine?
But at the moment it's all about getting stress out of my life, and I take 911 calls for a living, so it's not going to happen that way. So I've cut my Mountain Dew consumption down to exactly one can a day, about a 75% decrease; I've started using honey instead of sugar as a sweetener; and we're making some wintertime exercise plans. Small steps. Also, I'm skipping all holiday treats this year.
Kidding! Let's not get crazy. But okay, cutting down.
We live in stressful times, and there's only so much we can do. I suppose I should start some new-age type stuff--breath in the lotus position or something--because, apparently, the stress is going to kill me. But since I'm not a new-age type person, I've decided to spend as much time as possible this winter doing the one thing that relieves my stress the most.
No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Writing. Not selling, promoting, or submitting, all of which increase my stress levels. (Although I do have three completed but unpublished manuscripts, so those other things have to happen, too.) Writing and reading are two things that always make me feel better. In November, especially, I hope to do a lot of writing, which will reduce stress and give me something to show for it. And take my mind off the treats.
Or my head will explode, which is very stressful.
"Belly rubs reduce stress. So get over here!"
So, for the most part, I've been staying away from social media and the news, just jumping in here and there. And it's been wonderful, bit like leaving a dark dank tunnel and emerging into the light.
Because if anything major happens, people will tell you.
The Weinstein mess, I've watched from the corner of my eye, sneaking peeks at it...but for the most part avoiding it. I'd seen the "#MeToo" on FB. That is until Wed...( Read more... )