Search This Blog

Monday, December 27, 2004


I spent a few too many moments agonizing over the title, so this entry is untitled. Sometimes it's hard to find a single word that sums up everything going on, so you can fill in the blank yourself.

So. What's been going on? I've discovered I react in extremes to things. For example, working out (yes, why don't we make this about the recent "I feel fat" blog entries). In my mind, instead of creating moderate goals, I create these UberGoals that I must meet. So, when on one day I don't want to workout, I have failed and therefore the whole infrastructure collapses. Basically, I realized that I need a more moderate approach to goal setting and goal accomplishing. To help, I found this kickass software, Mind Manager, which is the coolest software I've ever seen. It's a tool for recording thoughts in an abstract way, kind of like the way I think. I've using the 21-day demo to see if I like it. Already it's helped me sort some stuff out. I'll post an image later of my thoughts (you are warned!).

Of course, extremism is not limited to weight. I think this way about work and leisure (aka work hard play hard). Add to that a cycle of habit and I end up working a ton, then coming home and force-relaxing where I do relaxing things highly focused for hours. Yeah, very relaxing. No wonder I am tired a lot.

In other news I've been doing genealogy research (I force-relaxed that this past weekend), and have found some interesting results. Not to slight any other side of the family that I haven't investigated yet, but I found a highly probable link to an ancestor, George Soule, who was a Pilgrim on the Mayflower!! Another line, Hart, landed in Hartford, Connecticut. They were important in the formation of that area. Kinda neat stuff!

The most exciting news of course is that I got over the main burst of Cedar Fever. Finally, the runny nose and sore throat and flu-like symptoms went away. Now, everyone else around me has it. Clearly, I paved the way into the new world of post-cedar fever madness. Now, I just need to maintain health through the new year until, sometime in March, the cedar stops it's relentless march of plague-ridden doom across South Texas and the sensitive nostrils contained therein.

Next? Well, I am going to try resuming working out today. I took the last two weeks off (it feels like 200) to gorge on holiday food and try to do everything I could to keep cedar suffocation at bay. I think once, in cedar-riddled brain fever I even prayed to Santa.

Make sure you watch any episode of Star Trek Voyager. Also, find and watch The Rabit-Proof Fence. It's a must.

Finally, make sure you drink beer or other alcohol the next time you are sick. It sounds insane, but I'll bet money on it that you'll feel better the following day (barring so much drinking you are hungover, unconscious, or wake up in Vegas with a new wife, husband, or Elvii).

Thursday, December 16, 2004


So... things are changing. Life is interesting. I am slightly inebriated.

The last few times I've been sick, alcohol has managed to cure me. Now, I am particularly too lazy and paranoid to become addicted to alcohol despite being much more apt to drink it than when I was younger.

Tonight I decided to test the healing power of beer again. I've been hacking my lungs out all day. My allergies are horrendous. Props to cedar for being so blatantly evil and destructive. Kudos to the enemy. It was also a particularly bizarre day with politics, intrigue, vendor food, and Uncertainty. Throughout it all, I sniffed, snorted, hacked, and cleared my throat. It's like I have become a snot factory serving the greater North American continent.

After work, my good pal John Smith (that's his real name) and I went to Chili's Restaurant for some final work and relaxation -- to get away from the crowd and responsibility. The beer was tall and strong, and the chips were crispy and salty. Queso runneth over.

We drank, we laughed, and we could have composed mighty missives on napkins (which are sacred contracts and all-powerful in the context of bar-noise, beer, and the quiet sussurus of waitress-folk).

Oddly enough, I do feel better. It's like Shiner Bock can do what pounds of Allegra-D and Nasonex cannot: halt the destructive Satanic tide of cedar. Oh, the cedar with its miniscule sharp protein molecules. Bastard. You suck so bad.

OK a couple of beers are not enough to toast me that much anymore, but I haven't coughed in a couple of hours now and that's a freaking improvement. My throat is still sore, but the continuous tide of nasal lubrication has eased. Perhaps I will sleep tonight; perchance to dream. One generally needs more than 12 hours of sleep across 4 days. It's all that keeps blithering stupidity from reigning.

While I'm at it, here's a shout to John -- one of the cooler guys I know. (Ok, he's pretty much the only one who is not blood-related or paying me to be friends). John's one of those guys who has a giant heart and a mind nearly as lethal as cedar. From the movie Grand Canyon: "How do you know he won't be your best friend until the day that you die?" Well -- he's that kind of guy, and I'll be lucky if we are friends for good. He saves my ass continuously at work and challenges me to be better. Props to Smitty!

So, back to the original unmeandered thought: transition.

Beliefs are changing, reality is altering. It's for the better, if slow in coming. It's been a hard year so far, and it's so trite to be reflective now, but since I'm playing the game, might as well play it. Change will be welcome. We'll see how the rest of the year pans out, and how next year starts.

I've been slower on the workout this week because of Cedar (KHHHHAAAAANNNNN!!!!!), but am dedicated to becoming closer to the slimmer me in the picture at the top of the blog. I just need to remember what it was like to be creative and original, motivated and artistic. Funny how it's that, rather than exercise, that makes it so. Exercise is the method, the beliefs are what matters.

Keep coming back and thanks to all my peeps for providing comments along the way. Off we go to create a better personal reality.

The cats are looking at me with "You'll feel even better if you come pet us" eyes and Dawn has forgotten what I look like. Off to do the next thing.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Evil of ancient times has returned: Cedar.

I find myself alsmost wishing this morning that I had the flu. Instead, I have Cedar Fever. Although fever is actually conspicuously absent, Cedar Fever is the scourge of South Texas from December through March or so. Having had the flu last year at this time, I almost -- almost -- prefer it's high-intensity short duration.

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sore throat, 2 hours of sleep last night spend fighting off a "drowning in snot" feeling. Yes, it's close enough to be a close cousin of the flu. Cedar Fever shrugs off Allegra-D like it was mere mist. Saturday I was fine. Sunday, all the gates of Hell opened to welcome me home for a few months.

You know I am going to turn this into an impromptu belief extraction session. For variety, I will make it more narrative and hopefully fun. Despite the fact I feel possessed, I will do what I can to stay positive and less soul-crushingingly malevolent. I'll also make it short.

Cedar is evil. Oh wait, that's a fact not a belief. lol

"I feel miserable from Cedar allergies."
Misery loves company -- there's bunches of us suffering right now, so there's got to be a belief in mass creation of suffering. It's no coincidence this time of year is about suffering: there's the holidays, shopping, Christmas, and other suffering factors. Really, though, there must be something about this time of year that makes us suffer. So, why, from a belief standpoint would I want to inflict allergies on myself.

At this point it's probably important to note that this reality creation stuff focuses on the premise that belief, imagination, and thoughts form emotions and reality. There's entire books written about this and I recommend you check them out for more information. It'll make your life a boatload better. Start with "The Nature of Personal Reality" by Jane Roberts.

So, to create something that makes you feel bad and want to be antisocial. I think this is about rebellion and also joining a group creation. Those of us who get sick -- or, me at least -- are those who need a break from something. I worked my fat little behind off all this year and have such a drive to work, work, work, work, work, that I apparently create a need for my body to shut down. The seasonal allergy thing is a way I know it will happen each year.

Think about it this way: in the grand scheme of a workaholic's life, what way can I guarantee that I work relentlessly all year but give myself a mandatory down time I won't give myself voluntarily? Why, some kind of repeatable yet harmless sickness. This makes sense to me. I never rest. I never take it easy. Except when I am sick, or I force myself into vacation out of sheer exhaustion (like I did in November).

So, how can I counteract this plague of plagues? How to stop the evil that is Cedar? Changing beliefs. I can turn it around and say, "It's ok to relax. Take a break, Friedman." And, then, actually do it. That may have the effect of relaxing the belief rigidity, and allow me to breathe better and not feel so evil. Perhaps I'll take one of my leftover vacation days next week -- curl up on the couch with a good book (I am reading the aforementioned guidebook, NPR), pet the cat and snooze the day away in silent contemplation of all that is decent in the world. If I agree to it and do it right, I may not have a single sniffle.

Sounds like a plan. Another belief accepted.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ich Bin eine Evildoer

I really am getting somewhere. I've been a dick lately -- especial to Dawn (props to Dawn for putting up with me). All this belief deconstruction has shown me that I do not like change as much as I thought or claim to think.

To begin with, I have become angry. Why should I change? Why is this happening? Why do I do these things? Psychologists everywhere put their fingers on their lips and think silently, "First stage of change/grief process". They're right. I am angry, resistant, and indignant. I get mad and don't even realize I am mad. My words just spill out like some kind of putrescent baby-spew.

Oddly enough, I don't act this way at work. At work, I am slightly withdrawn, somewhat tired but agreeable in general. It's only on familiar, safe turf that I turn into The Bastard.

But, all is not lost. I worked out on Monday and this morning. My "schedule" is 3 days a week for 30 minutes. I've done 15 mins of cardio on Monday and 25 today. Then, I follow it with 15-20 minutes on the BowFlex. Yes, it feels good. Dammit.

Then there's my thoughts: they are changing. I can feel them shifting like a sand dune against a stiff wind. Apparently I have a belief about being dramatic somewhere: all this change must be hard so that I have something to bitch about.

But, what's different about this attempt versus all the other failed health/fitness/financial attempts is that I am becoming a dick and just fighting the whole way. This means I will finally make it. Sounds like a belief to me.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I think therefore I feel

So. It's been quite a week since last I posted. After my belief deconstruction post, I experienced several days of very good energy. However, this past weekend I "crashed" and experienced some devastating poor energy filled with self-deprecation and frustration. This morning as I drove to work in a dreary rainfall (reality creationists will note the significance of this imagery) I heard my mind utter that terrible anti-Sumari refrain: "I am not special.". WELL! Time to continue the belief deconstruction. Obviously I am getting somewhere.

To continue. "I feel fat" -- from a food perspective.

I feel fat.

Linked emotions, food-related:
  • Feeling fat makes me dislike food
  • Feeling fat makes me eat uncontrollably
  • Feeling fat makes me crave "bad" foods

Now, again, belief statements that create those emotions.

Feeling fat makes me dislike food:
-- I believe foods I like are not good for me
-- I believe food is functional only

Feeling fat makes me eat uncontrollably:
-- I believe I should not be restricted on what I eat
-- I believe I have no willpower with food

Feeling fat makes me crave "bad" foods
-- I believe some foods are bad for me
-- I believe I like eating foods that are bad for me

Now, where do those beliefs come from?

I believe foods I like are not good for me:
-- I believe I do not have a good concept of nutrition

I believe food is functional only:
-- I believe food is boring

I believe I should not be restricted on what I eat:
-- I believe my body can handle whatever I serve it

I believe I have no willpower with food:
-- I believe I eat habitually to cover insecurity

I believe some foods are bad for me:
-- I believe "fast" or "processed" foods can harm me

I believe I like eating foods that are bad for me:
-- I believe it is convenient to eat fast/processed food
-- I believe there's no reason to cook when I am busy

To summarize, now:

  1. I believe I do not have a good concept of nutrition
  2. I believe food is boring
  3. I believe my body can handle whatever I serve it
  4. I believe I eat habitually to cover insecurity
  5. I believe "fast" or "processed" foods can harm me
  6. I believe it is convenient to eat fast/processed food
  7. I believe there's no reason to cook when I am busy

There's no shortage of belief conflicts here: "I believe my body can handle whatever I serve it" and "I believe fast/processed foods can harm me". So, once again, turn it around into more positive beliefs:

  1. I believe I can become knowledgable about nutrition
  2. I believe food can be exciting
  3. I believe my body can handle whatever I serve it
  4. I believe I can handle insecurities through other methods than eating
  5. I believe "fast" or "processed" foods can be minimzed
  6. I believe it is detrimental to eat fast/processed food
  7. I believe cooking is a more fulfilling method of preparing food

Ultimately, some may find it interesting that the new set of believes are not "positive". Why, for example, do I not just utterly remove fast foods from my diet? Well, for one thing, they taste good despite perceived health risks. Also, I think it's unrealistic to eliminate something -- it reduces choice. However, I can definitely shift my attention so that it's minimized. This will enhance my enjoyment of those foods but reduce the risk. The key here is finding the impulsiveness, which I hope to target through believing food doesn't have to be a scapegoat for insecurity. Additionally, well-prepared home meals can be more fulfilling because I spend more time in their creation -- and I'll save $$ in the process.

So, that's all for now -- next time I think I'll tackle my beliefs around exercise and see if I can figure out why I have desires to exercise but never actually find the motivation to do it -- chosing instead to sit in front of the computer or TV.