My coffee mug plays dubstep.
They thought I was crazy, but then they listened.
Related: http://www.beardyman.co.uk/ mmmm
(If you actually exist outside of my mind… I know there are at least one or two real people)
Skin is running off in various different directions. Many paths that lay spontaneous groundwork before me demand immediate attention. This space will be a pitstop for the time being (to whatever that may refer).
I may come by to share some interesting things, but the narratives will be few and far between until otherwise noted.
In the meantime, go visit TED Talks.
Once upon a time, I did have a Facebook account. I filled out all the necessary profile sections. I poked people and left cheeky comments on their wall. I gave virtual birthday “gifts” to “friends.” As I watched my time and energy slipping away into the superficial social sieve, I realized something very important: Facebook did not, overall, enhance my quality of life. If anything, it contributed to stress, anxiety and negative thought cycles. So several years ago, I blew up my account; I haven’t looked back since. I have no regrets for leaving that social media platform. (Wait, that’s a lie. I have one minor regret: Keeping up with my favorite local events is not as effortless as it can be on Facebook. If Facebook offers me anything I consider great, it would be the ability to get info and reminders on events in the area. That’s it. Really.) Below are the detailed reasons I chose to leave, and why my life is better without Facebook.
1. It’s a colossal distraction.
Like its social network cousins, Facebook is hungry for attention. Every time one signs into Facebook, a barrage of updates, invitations, comments and photos floods the individual’s brain. What to look at or respond to first? Yeah, maybe I DID walk over to my desk before lunch to check my email, note down pertinent information, finish that review, pay bills, organize my calendar for the week or look up a paper. Facebook is just one more thing to check up on in that extensive electronic to-do list, but once I am in its clutches, hours and life escape me in the favor of voyeurism and gossip. And that to-do list? Forget it. I already did. What did I come to my desk to do anyway? Ah well, it will come back to me later. Must not have been important, right? (3 hours later: “Oh, fuck! The review!” Two days later: “What time did I say I’d turn my samples in the other day? Hmm… I wonder why I didn’t take note.”)
2. It fosters destructive behavior.
There are many unsavory temptations that Facebook makes it all too easy to indulge. Some are listed below, but everyone has their personal favorites.
Stalking: That awesome stranger you briefly and superficially met at that party. Y’know, the one with the sexy walk and mysterious eyes. Look at that! S/he’s friends with your friends. You’ll just check out their page for a second… just to get an idea of music they like, who they hang with, what books they read. Maybe you two would really hit it off! Seconds become minutes become hours after days of revisiting the photo stream and profile. Surfing all the tagged photos, the displayed banter and little tidbits of info here and there, you are able to construct an image of this person from their public, virtual self. In your head, you two are vacationing on sandy beaches or rocking out at a show. They’ve appeared in your dreams, and you wonder why some of the people you meet can’t be more like your crush. Should you friend them? You know they will be at X’s party; you saw the RSVP. Maybe you should go, too, even though you’re not particularly fond of X… All of this, and you’ve only had one or two insubstantial conversations with your crush. You don’t even KNOW them. Really, you don’t.
On my end, I am the Stalked, not the Stalker. And I hate that shit. I’m not putting my life out there for others to eat up, twist around in their heads and regurgitate back out to someone else I may or may not know. Which brings me to the next point:
Gossiping: Want the dirt on someone? Well, thankfully, Facebook allows just about anyone to display tasty morsels about anyone they may know, even superficially. Got photos? Got opinions about friends of friends? Why not use their real, full names in the nasty comments? See them drunk at that party? All the better!
Passive aggressiveness: I think the adult general public can all agree that passive aggressiveness is typically “not a good thing.” As in, it usually isn’t conducive to open communication, understanding or bond-forming. It usually acts as a wall or an abrasive stimulus, driving people away from each other. Facebook provides yet another forum for us to express passive aggressiveness. Angry at someone? De-friend them; they’ll get the hint. Block them. And then if/when other “friends” ask about the virtual separation, dish the details. Passive aggressiveness gone public! Oh, and if you’re in a relationship that seems to be souring, just change that relationship status. Maybe your S.O. will see it. Maybe they’ll try to have a talk about it, and maybe part of the conversation will go this way: “But all these virtual indications of relationship status aren’t “real” anyway. They don’t matter, really, baby.”
These secret or subtle actions have a profound influence on our psychology. Stalking online, though more effortlessly covert than real life stalking, holds the same power to distort images in the mind and enrich to-be-unfulfilled (and sometimes dangerous) fantasy. The imaginary relationship often holds no promise, and, more likely, damages any future potential by feeding the Stalker’s unfounded expectations and by righteously pissing off or scaring the Stalked.
Is this what you want?
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted, obsessive attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation. The word “stalking” is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense. It may also be used to refer to criminal offences or civil wrongs that include conduct which some people consider to be stalking, such as those described in law as “harassment” or similar terms.
Again, actions online have a very real and potentially significant influence on our non-cyber lives. By changing our relationship status online or de-friending someone, we’re sending out a signal to the public as well as reinforcing our own thoughts and intentions. We can become wrapped up in online responses (or lack thereof). Are these online responses or behavior really genuine? Would they be different face-to-face?
Oh, gods, the the dumb games with the ridiculous updates. No, no and no, I don’t want to play your ninjas-eating-babies vs. vampires-wearing-silly-hats games. And I really don’t care who is playing them and what is happening over there. Also, I don’t need Facebook to suggest to me with whom I should be friends or may know (refer back to the Stalking section, please). There should be a way to filter out all status updates that have to do with any bodily function, this includes everything from eating food to being ill.
4. Sponsored Stories
Retch. If data mining and incessant advertising aren’t enough, let’s give corporations one more avenue into our lives. ‘Cause, you know, Starbucks needs some advertising help. Really? Really.
Passing it on:
What does this celestial coincidence mean to you?
These new symmetries are, however, far more abstract than anything dealt with so far, for they cannot be referred in any any direct way to the properties of space and time. Take for example a familiar-sounding property, the “spin” of the proton or electron, one of those quantum properties that gives rise to the symmetry patterns of the elementary particles. At first sight this evokes the picture of a tiny ball spinning in space. However, it is clear that such a simplistic interpretation – a spinning ball – cannot be applied to quantum particles. Indeed, it is not strictly possible to speak of a proton or electron as having any dimensions at all. Rather the mathematical transformations of the proton’s wave function have all the appearance of something analogous to spin. The proton, therefore, does not spin – its mathematical wave function simply transforms in a way that is analogous to the mathematical description of a spinning ball.
–Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Mind and Matter by F. David Peat
Book Two: LXIV
It is easy to maintain a situation while it is still secure;
It is easy to deal with a situation before symptoms develop;
It is easy to break a thing when it is yet brittle;
It is easy to dissolve a thing when it is yet minute.
Deal with a thing while it is still nothing;
Keep a thing in order before disorder sets in.
A tree that can fill the span of a man’s arms
Grows from a downy tip;
A terrace nine stories high
Rises from hodfuls of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles
Starts from beneath one’s feet.
Whoever does anything to it will ruin it; whoever lays hold of it will lose it.
Therefore the sage, because he does nothing, never ruins anything; and, because he does not lay hold of anything, loses nothing.
In their enterprises the people
Always ruin them when on the verge of success.
Be as careful at the end as at the beginning
And there will be no ruined enterprises.
Therefore the sage desires not to desire
And does not value goods which are hard to come by;
Learns to be without learning
And makes good the mistakes of the multitude
In order to help the myriad of creatures to be natural and to refrain from daring to act.
– Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
And… today’s single rune draw:
Reattach Men Slow
Ancestral Wet Ohm
Settle A Charm Now
Sacrament The Owl
A Castle, Then Worm
Who Melts A Trance
Castrate Men Howl
Watchman, Else Rot
Canal Meets Worth
A Worm, Then Castle
Mothers Wet Canal
Two Carnal Themes
Mew A Harlot Scent
Wham A Recent Slot
A Camel When Trots
Transact Whole Me
Her Canal Most Wet
Won Carat Helmets
Cow Letter Shaman
A Rematch Lest Own
Worth A Male Scent
A Mental Hot Screw
Lets A Wretch Moan
Whet A Smart Clone
Saw A Trench Motel
The New Rascal Tom
Attach, Else Mr Now
He Met Worst Canal
Carnal, She Met Two
A Hot Welt; Men Scar
Cast Her A New Molt
From Cafe Astrology:
Uranus transits sextile Sun
A time during which you may be able to break through and move ahead with your ambitions and general life’s purpose. You could receive unexpected help from someone older or from authority figures. A man or teacher could appear.
The Universe is offering, nudging, and opening doors to permit you to express yourself more spontaneously and creatively, or to take a risk you have been contemplating. This is an excellent time to reconsider some of your self-imposed “should’s”, “can’t’s” and “must not’s”, and if you choose to do so the response will be very rewarding, both in terms of satisfaction and in how the world will support you.
New friends, or an old friend with a new interest or idea, or a group of people can catalyze positive changes in your life. A renewed sense of excitement and interest in your work or daily life. An unexpected discovery.
If you allow doubt, inertia, or devotion to the status quo to prevent you from making a desirable change now, you may well be forced into a more radical change later.
Remedies and Suggestions:
Be willing to drop involvements, projects, or methods when something more right for the moment/time present itself. Remember that “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. — From our Time Line Forecast Report.
*Your daily life takes on a more lively, enthusiastic, spirited quality during this time period. The effects are not dramatic and unusual, but there definitely is a quickened pace at this time. Fortunately, the mood is lively but not hectic. In fact, this is an enjoyable time when you meet interesting and entertaining people, and you share enthusiastic and lively ideas and interests with others.
+A time during which you may be able to break through and move ahead with your ambitions and general life’s purpose. You could receive unexpected help from someone older or from authority figures. A man or teacher could appear.
Uranus transits to the Moon directly affect the feelings, the public image, and personal popularity. Other people and things affected by Uranus are the mother, important women in the native’s life, domestic life, and the home.
What does the Moon rule in your chart? Look to the house(s) of your natal chart with Cancer on the cusp for areas of your life where Uranus is acting to awaken. Look to planets in Cancer in your chart to see other parts of your personality that Uranus is now infusing with the urge to break out of existing routines.
Uranus transits conjunct Moon
A time when the new and unexpected may figure in your living situation or surroundings. An insight about your support system, your mother, or other females may be important. You could discover a student or a younger person that opens to you.
This is a time of tremendous change that can be liberating, electrifying, exhilarating, and tumultuous all at once. Dramatic inner emotional and psychological shifts may coincide with significant changes in your personal life, home, or family structure. Your dreams may be filled with images of natural disasters, shocking reversals, and an overall feeling of uneasiness and lack of control. Impulses to do or be something completely different from anything you’ve done or been before are quite likely. You may find yourself buzzing with electricity, tension, and excitement, be less able to sleep or relax, or find your natural rhythms and routines disrupted in some way. You’re also apt to find yourself much more discontented and impatient than normal, without quite knowing what would feel better or what you really want instead. Women, family members, and your intimates may behave unreliably or in new ways that demand you change in some significant way. Since “no one likes change but a wet baby”, this can be a very trying but ultimately freeing time period for you.
A liberation of the “wild woman” or “wild man” within you – your own free, natural instincts and core energy. Letting go of limiting, depleting, suppressed emotions, attitude, and roles. Learning to trust and to let go.
Increased physical and emotional distress or anxiety, as you try to adjust to the waves of inner and outer change in your life. Mood swings, erratic emotions, insecurity, disequilibrium.
Remedies and Suggestions:
Pay close attention to what your body is telling you, and attend to it with comforting and steadying measures – baths aromatherapy (lavender or chamomile, for instance), acupuncture or energy healing, walking in nature, gardening, connecting with the earth, feeding yourself regular meals that include plenty of “grounding” whole grains, root vegetables, easy-to-digest foods. Human touch and human connection is very helpful now too.
Be kind to the part of you that fears change, as well as to the part of you that wants the renewal and revivification this change will bring.
— From our Time Line Forecast Report.
~The urge to self-expression is strong and leads to unusual, not to say unconventional, actions. For a woman, health may be a factor. In either sex nerves become high-strung, as the personality (inner nature) tries to live up to a very high and individualistic standard. Discontent with things as they are leads to rebellious and irregular actions, for the satisfaction of the ego and of self-indulgent urges is stronger than the desire to find the good that exists in the status quo. Idealism mounts, and if you are lucky you can discover an ideal love under this condition. If you aren’t, you will simply search for it or its equivalent and wind up coming back to the home pasture anyway. This is an eye opener for the soul, and whatever events come under it will teach you some deep and important lessons about the nature of yourself and your ideals.
*Breaking free from past habits and attachments, seeking emotional freedom, sudden changes of mood, and the development of new attitudes towards life are key issues now.
+A time when the new and unexpected may figure in your living situation or surroundings. An insight about your support system, your mother, or other females may be important. You could discover a student or a younger person that opens to you.
Uranus transits opposite Mars
*Courageous and undaunted, you step boldly forth, assert yourself, and charge ahead. If you are normally shy and receding, you will burst out of your shell now. If you are a strong and aggressive person, then you will try to take full command of every aspect of your life, and force weaker personalities to submit to you and support you.
+Unexpected behavior and an urge to be independent could find you ignoring your feelings and much of what has motivated you up to now, taking you off in a different direction. Your unusual behavior could provoke others, cause emotional confrontation.
Uranus Transits Conjunct Midheaven
*Freedom and independence are critically important to you at this time. If your job is tedious, boring, and unexciting, there is a strong possibility that you will quit your job now. Because the need for freedom and excitement is very strong, you are more willing to be innovative and daring.
+A powerful time of change, during which you may have great insight into your career. You could change jobs or suddenly find a way to transform and improve your current job. A certain amount of mental tension can be expected, so bear with it.
Pluto transits sextile Sun
You could receive some help in the form of a real drive towards realizing your inner self and your life ambitions. You are able to cut through a lot that is unessential and get on with the real work. Also, a special relationship with an authority figure or teacher.
Subtle but profound changes within you will have a tremendous effect upon your relationships, quite possibly totally altering significant relationships in your life. A new spirit of self-respect, personal empowerment, and deeper honesty arises. It is a time of births and deaths, (literally as well as metaphorically), and these will have a powerful impact upon you and your decisions. Group work is very powerful and positive for you now, especially if the focus is on conscious awareness, deeper learning, healing, or combining energies to create positive changes in the collective (media, education system, etc.).
A deepening of all your relationships, an “alchemical” relationship in which both parties are transformed by the blending and sharing of there energies, old habits and attitudes shed more readily which opens you to new life and more aliveness.
If you are a very malleable and impressionable person, you could get overpowered or “swept away” by another person or group of stronger individuals. Even so, you are likely to learn much about your own strengths.
Remedies and Suggestions:
Pursue those dreams and ideas you have put on the back burner. Take creative risks, as well as personal ones. If you do not act upon the impulses for creative change and renewal that are open to you now, it may be harder or more urgent in the future. Even on a physical level, you may want to repair and rebuild before a crisis occurs.–Sample from our Time Line Forecast Report.
Pluto transits sextile Mars
*Your vitality and energy level are at a high point. You are in an ambitious and dynamic phase of your life. You have an especially good ability to motivate others. You have little patience with bureaucratic obstacles, inefficiency and evasiveness, and you boldly challenge these inadequacies.
+A time when you may feel very passionate, or during which your feelings, emotions, and basic life urges undergo change and possibly transformation. You feel more personal and direct and find that you waste less time with hurt feelings than before.
Pluto Transits Sextile Jupiter
*This time period is a positive one of broadening horizons and expansion. This expansion can take many forms. You are likely to travel more now, and have more exposure to other cultures, life styles, and ethnic groups than usual.
+A time during which your career (life path) undergoes a certain amount of change and transformation. You find yourself uninterested in sidetracks — what is not essential. You can really home in on how to solve problems and get where you want to go.
Pluto transits sextile or trine the Moon
*During this time period relationships deepen and grow, and penetrate to a very personal level. This process is sometimes initiated by you and sometimes initiated by the other person, but in either case it leads to a much deeper understanding and bond between you.
Pluto Transits Trine Midheaven
*This is a positive time for your career. There will definitely be changes: you may change jobs, receive additional training or education that will help you reach your goals, or develop a fresh, new approach to your work. You are likely to receive some benefits, raises, promotions, or increased stature and recognition in your work.
It’s a lazy Sunday for some of you out there. For those that can cat-stretch and muse the hours away, do I have a recommendation for you (especially you avid readers and writers). Webook is a site that allows you to submit your literary pieces and to rate others’ literary pieces.
Thanks to this site, I have been busy for hours, reading all sorts of material. The range of topics, plots, and characters that people choose to create and explore is fascinating. Since many of my friends do not fancy creative writing, I rarely get to read through another person’s work of fiction. Being exposed to so many different writing styles and capabilities helps me measure my own abilities. I am able to approach my creative writing endeavors with fresh eyes after the rating exercise.
I haven’t yet submitted a piece to be evaluated, but I plan to in the future. Maybe you’ll see me there.
Fonts have personalities. (If you disagree, I suggest you watch Helvetica. Well, even if you agree, I still suggest it.)
Think of your favorite font. What about this font attracts you to it? Is it the clean lines, the length-to-width ratio, the fullness? What does that font tell you about yourself? And what do the fonts people choose to use tell you about that particular person?
The person that prefers a Script – what are they like? Elegant or pretentious? Charming or obsessed with appearances?
What about the person that is attracted to Engraved types? Are they traditional or classy? Maybe they are strong or serious?
What does the choice of serif verses sans serif tell you about a person?
This may seem like I am reading too much into a trivial choice. And maybe I am, but I tend to believe that people express themselves and broadcast their personalities through the smallest of actions and choices.
This is why I hate Comic Sans. Let me explain.
First off, I find Comic Sans not the least bit aesthetically pleasing. It looks messy, and the boldface is downright illegible at times. Reading this font becomes a challenge, especially as the font size decreases. Perhaps the font is attempting to look informal, friendly and personal by making an effort to mimic the irregularity and unpolished finish of symbols draw by hand. I don’t quite understand that. The reader knows the author has used a word processor and has not written the piece by hand; readers are not fooled into thinking the message is somehow more personal because the font happens to be less professional and more illegible.
Perhaps the person that chose to use Comic Sans wants to convey a message of “fun.” Comic Sans fails at this attempt as well. Notice how much teaching-related material or crappy invitations are done in Comic Sans? Every time I would see a syllabus typed up in Comic Sans, my opinion of the instructor dropped a point in seriousness and professionalism. To me, it comes across as a signpost saying “I’m not that serious about this course. I’d rather you students think of me as your friend as opposed to your instructor. Hell, I may even be a pushover. Why don’t you try it by turning in something late?” Now, I am not saying this is the personality of every instructor that uses this font. Believe me, I have come across more than a few that were real hard-asses. Once I found this out, I felt lied to by their use of Comic Sans. It is as if they tried to pull the wool over the students’ eyes by choosing to use such a “chummy” and “fun” font.
As for the invitations done in Comic Sans, I cannot think of a worse way to present a party. Like the syllabus, the “fun” feels forced and not genuine. Reading this invitation is accompanied by an exasperated sigh or groan and an immediate train of thought of “how to get out of this.” Maybe the party will actually be a rockin’ time, but the Comic Sans invitation seems to always comes across with the underlying message of an annoying obligation.
Given these experiences, the image of Comic Sans in my head is like this:
The annoying colleague that everyone is obligated to deal with in a polite fashion. We must swallow down his attempts at “fun,” though they are dull, overused and, more often than not, unpleasant. He uses guilt to rope people into an activity, does not respectfully fill his position, gets offended by being thought of as an authority figure, and is emotionally immature. No one looks forward to participating in anything he announces, and everyone is tempted to ignore him or weasel out of a commitment.
And that is the reason I hate Comic Sans.
The much overlooked essentials (besides the obvious):
Tea lights – Having these little blessings around can easily transform the ordinary to enchanting, romantic, or peaceful in minutes. A bag of 50 usually costs no more than $10 (scented or unscented), and they last for weeks to months, depending on use. Plenty of occasions call for warm lighting and gentle atmosphere. They add ambiance to dinner, softness to bathing rituals, and intimacy to conversation. And, hey, they’re a light source. (Note: matches or a lighter are an implied essential here as well.)
Cards – Whether with company or alone, having these portable, lightweight, cardboard rectangles can be a lifesaver. When minds need to be sparked with a game, mental steam needs to release or boredom needs to be broken, cards can make the passing time easier, smoother or funner.
Pen and paper – Creation can happen anytime, anywhere. The Muses don’t necessarily wait, and Murphy’s Law will ensure that fleeting inspirations remain fleeting.
Thrift Stores – Local, that is. A treasure trove of nostalgia and an invitation for re-invention. Sometimes you don’t know the perfect piece for a room until you see it, and sometimes the trends lack heart.
Herbs and Spices – Anything from commonplace salt and pepper to fresh rosemary from the garden, crystallized ginger or well, you name it. A kitchen cupboard without spices has no personality. Sometimes the “dash of __” makes all the difference. Plus, spices are simple ingredients to revisit and modify old recipes. Some even have some healing quality.
The Comfy Blanket – Everyone needs the ability to pick up and wrap themselves in comfort whenever they please. Society doesn’t think much of adults with Teddy Bears, but a comfy-enough blanket, robe or pajamas serves the purpose pretty well.The blanket is also handy to have in the car, in case of roadside sleep emergencies or cold emergencies.
Bandana – It can act as a handkerchief, a washcloth, small towelette, temporary bandage, tiny bag, head-wear, tourniquet, or fashion accent. How is that not perfect?