Monday, April 24, 2006

This Week

So now I've felt consistently good for about five days. I'm really happy about this and I want to be productive this week. Here are the things I want to achieve this week.
  • Go to DBT group Thursday
  • Get bills paid, all money stuff settled before I leave town for the weekend
  • Exercise at least twice. Start to do yoga every once in a while now that I have my basement floor area back. Do arm exercises and stretches and sit-ups while watching TV/movies
  • Apply for jobs
  • Close old bank accounts
  • Get haircut
  • Get oil change before trip
  • Try to lessen the number of hours I sleep a night. (I have realized that I really REALLY need more hours in my day to get things done that I want done.)

Thankfully, my step-dad put the carpet back down tonight after the flooding stuff and I put back all the stuff that had been moved. Tonight I'm going to vacuum and dust everything and I'm also planning on rearranging my books so that my inspirational and Buddhist books on the top shelf of the bookcase right by my bed so they are all there, especially the Lama Surya Das books. Wish me luck.

Beyond the Gates of Splendor

The other movie that I watched last night was Beyond the Gates of Splendor, which is about one group, several families, of Christian missionaries (are there Buddhist missionaries? Jewish missionaries? Muslim missionaries?) in Ecquador, who attempt to make contact with and teach an indigenous Stone-Age tribe in the region Christianity. The problem is that the tribe is feared by all the local people because they kill outsiders and each other with little provocation. When the five men (husbands/fathers) from the group make contact with this group, they are killed, speared to death. The amazing thing is that their families stay in the area to minister to the tribe and several of the women, with their children in tow, become members of the tribe and sucessfully convert them to Christianity. One of the grandsons of one of the slain missionaries even becomes close enough to one of his grandfather's killers that he calls the man grandfather and asks that he come to America for his college graduation. The slain missionaries' wives told their children that they had a great deal in common with the tribe children because they had all had a family member speared to death by another tribe member. And none of these children seem to harbor any bitterness about the situation and are happy that they could bring Christianity and modernity to this group. Amazing!!!!

In addition to how amazing it is to me that the missionary families stayed to minister to the tribe is how quickly they took to the new religion and how it completely changed their culture. Two cultural anthropologists, a married couple, were interviewed for the movie. They had studied a similar tribe in Asia, with the exception that the tribe they had studied had one of the lowest homicide rates, where as this South American tribe had one of the highest. (Going back five generations, six out of every ten deaths was a homicide among this South American tribe.) Within a few years of the missionary families coming to live with them and convert them, the murders stopped. The missionaries used the creator god the tribe already had, turning that god into God, and said that he didn't want them to kill anymore. Because the homicides were the result of revenge cycles, once one clan in the tribe pledged to stop killing, the others started to follow suit. But was it really the Christianity that changed their mind? Or was it having a structure and someone higher to answer to, instead of the autonomous, egalitarian, and unstructured society? The cultural anthropologists seemed to think that the only difference between the South American and Asian tribes were that the Asian tribe had a very definate way to settle conflicts whereas the South American tribe did not so they handled it with violence.

Overall, a pretty interesting documentary, though I'm afraid it might be a little slanted since it was made by the Christian missionary families. I'd like to see if there is another side to this story.

Hostel (spoilers below)

So, I'm trying to get back into watching the movies on my list, trying to get back into actually doing the things that I enjoy, or used to at least. The first movie I watched last night was Hostel. For a horror movie, I didn't think it was very scary or suspenseful, but I did think there were other interesting elements.

First, I was really intrigued by how the story moves the viewer to be empathetic with the main characters, though not from the start. At first, the two main characters are the epitomy of the ugly American, frat boys in Amsterdam looking to smoke pot and sleep with hot European chicks who call every guy they see a "fucking faggot." At first, I was thinking that I might actually be happy when these guys get tortured. But then, once they get to the bucolic Eastern European village hostel with the hot topless chicks, their Icelandic friend who they had met in Paris is the first to disappear and die. Since he is pretty decent guy who also has a 6 year old daughter, we feel bad for him. Then, we start to sympathize with the two guys as they refuse to believe that their friend would just leave them. Also, before they are taken, the guys start to show more depth and caring, ditching the hot chicks because they know something is wrong. I thought it was a pretty good manipulation of the audience's, or at least my, feelings.

The other element that I really liked was that the torture was not perpetrated by a single weirdo who lived in the town. It was a large scheme, in which people would be kidnapped by locals and wealthy international travellers paid them for the privelege of torturing and killing people. Instead of sex tourism, it is torture tourism. That was a very interesting development, especially since it is not only the ugly Americans who are being roped in to be tortured but also ugly Americans who are doing the torturing. This town is just making money off of the desires of foreigners.

I still don't think it was a very good movie, however.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pretty Good Day

Alright, I don't really have much to report as of yet. I have had a very good couple of days. Nothing too trying or emotional or hard, just solid 7s (on a scale of one to ten, ten being amazingly unforgettably awsome.) No wild mood fluctuations. No horrible thoughts. Just consistently decent days during which I did things I had been putting off, though I didn't do as much as I had hoped I would. But I still did what needed to be done. And the only time where I kinda let myself down was when I didn't get up from my nap in time to go to watch movies with some friends in Lawrence, but I was also feeling miserable because of my allergies and hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, so I don't feel so bad.

So, why am I even writing, you might ask. I think this is the time when I usually start to slack off. Things are looking up so I just focus on the actual things I have to do and stop focusing on the internal, mental, emotional, spiritual things that I need to attend to just as much, if not more than the day-to-day stuff. It's hard to remember that I'm as fucked up as I know I am when I'm actually feeling decent. I just want to enjoy feeling decent. But I really need to enjoy feeling decent as I work on the things I really need to fix, or I'll never make any real progress.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I started DBT today!!!!!!!!! Yeah. It is pretty good. The acronym stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Training Skills. Guess it should be DBTTS. The dialectical part means that you work on being ok with having feeling that seem to oppose each other at the same time. The behavioral part means that, unlike Freudian psychoanalysis where you talk for years to get to the root of a problem, you focus on changing your behavior, especially your coping mechanisms, to make your life and your mental problems better. All the people there were women and they seem to have varying degrees of "messed-up-ness". Only one person there is kinda weird and off-putting. But I think that I will learn alot and have a great deal of reinforcement in what I am trying to do.

As she was prepping dinner, I told Mom about the DBT and about how I thought it was going to help me. I also told her about the similarities that I saw between my depression and drug/alcohol addiction, especially when I was reading the blog posts by Kevin Smith about Jason Mewes. And she agreed. She went on to say that the behavior that I'm exhibitting (or not, when I'm not doing anything) is very similar to what my black sheep uncle did (maybe still does for all we know), even though his behaviors were rooted in drug and alcohol addiction. She said that he had the best of intentions to follow through on plans but it just never worked out that way. While it kinda made me sad, it also made me realize that I REALLY don't want to be like that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another inspirational story...blah, blah, blah

Ok, so, with the place I'm in right now, I'm a sucker for inspirational stories. And I'm noticing the weird parellels between other people's addictions and my depression, or at least how it affects the people around us. Even if you haven't read the rest of the story, this is the conclusion to Kevin Smith's story about Jason Mewes' journey to sobreity. And all you really need to know about the previous editions are that Mewes relapsed over and over again, no matter how many times Smith put him in rehab or made him promise he'd stay clean.
I guess the similarity that I see, which is something you've probably known for a long time, is that I can't promise I'll never be depressed and/or suicidial again and I can't do it for anybody but myself. I don't mean to trivialize what addicts go through and I think that their journey is a great deal harder than mine, but I see the similarities and I want to do it and do it for myself.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Everytime I Hear Your Name- Keith Anderson

This is such an awesome song. I hope that soon it will be true for me. At least the gettting over part.

Everytime I Hear Your Name-Keith Anderson
Fin'lly got over that song of ours; stopped chasin' little red sports cars,
To check the license plates an' back wood drivin' by your place.
Back makin' the rounds at our old haunts:
Honky Tonks, restaurants.
An' seein' some of our old friends: it feels good to dance again.
An' I can fin'lly smell your perfume an' not look around the room for you.
An' I can walk right by your picture in a frame an' not feel a thing.
But when I hear your name,

I feel rain fallin' right out of the blue sky.
An' it's the fifth of May, an' I'm right there starin' in your eyes.
An' nothin's changed, an' we're still same.
An' I get lost in the innocence of a first kiss,
An' I'm hangin' on to every word rollin' off of your lips:
An' that's all it takes, an' I'm in that place,
Every time I hear your name.

Got someone special in my life: everyone thinks she'd make a great wife.
Dad says he thinks she's the one: reminds him of Mom when she was young,
But it's way too soon to be talkin 'bout rings; don't wanna rush into anything.
She's getting over someone too, kinda like me an' you.
An' she talks about him every once in a while, an' I just nod my head an' smile,
'Cause I know exactly what she's goin' through: yeah, I've been there too.
An' when the conversation turns to you,

I get caught in a "you were the only one for me",
Kinda thought, an' your face is all that I see.
I know I can't go back when I still go back.
An' there we are, a point down by the riverside,
An' I'm in your arms about to make love for the first time,
An' that's all it takes, an' I'm in that place,
Every time I hear your name.

So I'm thinkin' 'bout the words I left unsaid.
(Every time I hear your name.)
Stop tryin' the change the things I can't change.
(Every time I hear your name.)
In my heart I know you're gone, but in my head,

I feel rain fallin' right out of the blue sky.
An' it's the fifth of May, an' I'm right there starin' in your eyes.
That's all it takes, an' I'm in that place.
An' there we are, a point down by the riverside,
An' I'm in your arms about to make love for the first time.
An' I can't explain, but I'm in that place,
Every time I hear your name.
Every time I hear your name.
(Every time I hear your name.)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh.
(Every time I hear your name.)
Ah ah.
Every time I hear your name

American Dreamz

So, tonight I went to a free early movie preview to see American Dreamz, with Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore, and Dennis Quaid. It was a funny, satirical look at American Idol-reality shows and also at the current presidential administration. I saw two big problems with the movie. The first was that the terrorism subplot was completely unbelievable. There is no way those people would not have been more thoroughly background-checked before the show, or, at least, after the show started by the American press. The other was that, while I think the jokes poking fun at the Bush-like president might stand the test of time, I do not think the Dick Cheney/Karl Rove chief-of-staff will be understood or appreciated 20 years from now. I might be wrong. Then, again, will this movie even be really watched in 20 years? I'm not saying anything against this movie, but what movies do we watch today that were made in 1986??? I really liked the interaction between Hugh Grant's producer character and Mandy Moore's manipulative contestant. It shows that even the most empty, hollow, manipulative people can connect with someone.

Bottom line: I would recommend it to people, as long as they aren't looking for something deep and meaningful and as long as they don't mind the current presidential administration being made fun of.

Monday, April 17, 2006


So tonight when we talked, I asked why he loved her. One of the things he said was that she was happy all the time. About a half hour ago as this was replaying itself in my head, I caught myself thinking, "If I'd just been happier!!!" But, for as tempting as that might seem, I can't do that.
1) I can't change the past. This is the current reality and I have to deal with that.
2) I can't compare myself to her. She is not the perfect woman anymore than I am. After he fell out of love with me, which happened LONG before she came around, he used our relationship as a learning tool and saw that he wanted someone who wasn't like me in ways X, Y, and Z. Good for him. That is growth. that is what I should do, what we all should do. I'm not BAD for not being her. She is herself and I am myself. He wanted something that was different, that was a better fit for him now.
3) I was not 'happy' when he fell in love with me. And I don't think I'll ever be 'happy' as a constant state of being. I don't think I want to be happy. I want a fulfilling life. I want to live within my means and comfortably. I want to love and be loved. but I also want to be challenged and to be challenging, to be tough, to not be easy, to strive, to be an aggitator, to never stop fighting the good fights. So I need to work on being ok with the fact that I will never/could never be her and thus could never be what he wants now. And that's ok.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Amazing Blog Post about Race

The post below is a really interesting post about how (and why) life for black people in America has gotten worse in many ways for black people since the 50's and 60's. I had never really read this blog, but I will now. In the post, he talks about how he encourages both blacks and whites who see these problems to engage in a civil discourse about what they see and ways to make it better without automatically saying that it is about racism. It definately make me think about alot of conversations Sir and I have had and all the ones I hope we have in the future.

Oh, and in case you missed it on Fark, really REALLY cool article about one of my favorite musical entertainers, a great musician and an awesome person--

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Check out these Asshats in my Home State
So, one of the asshats from the Board of Education who approved of intelligent design being taught in our state's schools right next to evolution is objecting to a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. What an idiot!!!!!!!!!

New Set of Rules

So, Sir and I are trying to find a way to meet in the middle on alot of these issues. We really want to salvage our friendship and strengthen it. Sir needs me to get over him, or at least to a point where not having him doesn't hurt me so much. Frankly, I need it too. I still want Sir to be my spiritual and life guide, but Sir needs for me not to look to him to micromanage my every move I make. Sir likes to deal with problems by taking lots of time and space, so I want him to feel like he has that, especially since he also has lots to deal with already. On the other hand, I want to talk to him as much as possible and have him involved in my life and what I am doing and working on. So, this is what I came up with and Sir thought it was a good idea. I feel REALLY good right now. I think I can keep this up, at least for a few months until we can start acting like real friends.

  • E-mail Sir my day-to-day boring stuff. Blog lots about interesting things that I am thinking about, goals, hopes, things in the works.
  • Call anytime if there is an emergency or if Sir needs to talk about his gf/her illness. Otherwise: Sir, text before calling if he just wants to talk to make sure I'm not having a bad day when talking would hurt both of us; Ava, meditate for 15 minutes before calling with my expectations of Sir giving me something.
  • Ava will read books about breaking up and getting over, and also meditate on letting go/not grasping. Sir will talk about his relationship with Ava just as he would with anyone else, so that big things don't seem like such surprises and Ava can get used to this reality. If Ava can't deal with something, she will politely excuse herself from the conversation for a while.

I hope that us doing this will help to strengthen our friendship and ourselves.

Rascal Flatts- I'm Moving On

I'm definately not here yet, but I really want to be and I'm going to work really hard to be here. But I can't move on until I deal with what I'm moving on from. That would just be running away and I refuse to do that again.

"I'm Moving On"
I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I'm at peace with myself
I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I'm movin' on

I've lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they're always the same
They mean me no harm but it's time that I face it
They'll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong
I'm movin' on

I'm movin' on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there's no guarantees, but I'm not alone
There comes a time in everyone's life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn't
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I've loved like I should but lived like I shouldn't
I had to lose everything to find out
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
I'm movin' on

I'm movin' on
I'm movin' on

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

The board of education in my current home state is going to start debating whether or not to impliment a state-wide policy of abstinence-only sexual education. If this passed, any public school that did not teach abstinence-only sex ed would risk losing accreditation. This great idea is brought to you by the same board of education that debated whether or not intelligent design should be taught in biology classes side by side with evolution last year.

Sir has slightly differing views on this topic than I do, as he went to a high school where the very poor teaching staff tried to educate them about contraception because they did not feel that ANYONE in the class would wait to have sex. Their teachings did not stick with all the young men and women in the class because many produced children long before graduation. It is understandable coming from his background that he would want sex ed that focused on the possibilities and benefits of abstinence until marriage, or at least until after high school graduation. I completely agree that schools should focus on all the benefits of postponing sex.

But I also do not think that abstinence, ok, let me re-phrase, complete celibacy, is an option for most people. As much as it might be a necessary choice for monastics, is it not the normal or natural way for people to live for their entire lives. Sooner or later, most people will have some sort of sex with another person. In this day and age, sexual contact can result in pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases. Even if you are involved in a monogamous relationship, there is no guarantee that your partner is. Also, even if you postpone sex until marriage, as long as that sex is with a member of the opposite sex, there is a risk of pregnancy, which you might not want right at the beginning of your marriage. So, there should be some sort of sexual education that teaches people how to postpone childbearing and how to protect themselves against diseases. I would love to think that all parents can and will give their children accurate information on their health and their bodies, but even if most parents wanted to educate their children on these topics, they might not be able to find the most accurate information or understand it and relay this to their children. So, shouldn't schools be pushed to provide the most accurate information on all aspects of health in the appropriate health classes?

I also wonder what the politicians who are pushing this policy think the result will be of only telling children to abstain from sex and giving them scary information about all the diseases they could get without telling them that those diseases can be avoided. One recent trend is the increase in oral AND ANAL sex among teenagers who still consider themselves virgins. Many of these teenagers have taken virginity pledges and believe that they are abiding by them by ABSTAINING from vaginal intercourse. But these teenagers are in no way celibate in the way that the adult sponsors of the virginity pledges imagine they will be after taking the pledge. While you might be able to blame the "oral sex isn't really sex" idea on Bill Clinton, you can't do the same thing for anal sex. This kind of abstaining actually puts teenagers at an increased risk of transmitting STDs, especially if they don't use condoms during anal sex.

Also, these same politicians who are pushing abstinence-only sex ed are some of the same politicians who are making it harder for women to get contraception and abortions, making it especially hard for non-rich women. Wouldn't this result in more poor women raising more children and relying on the government for support? Isn't another goal of these politicians to get women off welfare so that the government is smaller? Is it just me or do these things not go together?

I think my head is going to explode.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Manic Morning Thoughts

I am still up becuse I had to go to the Kansas License Bureau to get my car registered in my name and get a new plate and because I didn't get home from Christopher's until 4am. I'm kinda wired and wanted to job down somehtings before I try to sleep.

1. Added to the Life Map- Lifelong goals Section- I want to own a piano and play it frequently
2. There is something very exciting about knowing someone wants you, even if it is just your body. Maybe this stems from bad self-image, maybe most people don't get this excited because they know/think they are attractive enough and are secure in that. But knowthing that an attractive and interesting man wants to have sex with me enough that he disregards the fact that I'm not at all prissied up or shaved and sneaks me in makes me feel amazing. I don't dislike him but I'm also not into HIM as much as other guys, it is feeling like this. Knowing someone, especially someone so attractive and experienced, wants me gives me the confidence to pursue other things. It even makes it easier when I'm talking to other people/girls who I might want to date because, if they don't like me, at least I know it isn't because I'm some repulsive beast.
3. Lately, I've felt really devoid of 'grown-up'-ness. I felt more capable and in charge of my own life, more adult, when I was 17 than I have recently. While I probably have a skewed perspective, nothing feels as grown-up as driving 30 minutes at midnight to have sex with your new lover, especially when you haven't notified anyone in the house you are leaving.
4. In this day and age, shouldn't we have a new word to replace 'lover'? Because lover implies love. Sex partner is too clinical. Friends with benefits is too cliched and implies that you have a friendship. And fuck-buddy is too vulgar. There needs to be another word...
5. I think there is something to me about driving that is both very adult and very freeing. The 'freeing' aspect is probably fairly obvious. Open road ahead, dream of just driving off, time alone and in charge of this big machine, singing loudly, rush of speed. The adult part, for me, probably stems from the fact that, from the time we moved to KC from Chicago, I thought that, once I had a car, a way to get to any city I wanted and to get to and from a job once I got there, I could do anything in the work. All I needed was that car and then a job and a place to live would be easy to find and keep. That is probably another part of the freedom equation.
6. I just fully realized why it was so important to my mom that this car be MINE free and clear. Thanks Mom.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Life Map

General and Ongoing Work
Therapy/DBT/becoming non-suicidal & non-depressed
Meditation & Spirituality
Developing and keeping friendships/relationships

Next Month
Start DBT therapy
Get low-pay low-stress job
File taxes
License car
Start exercising, even just walking outside
Start meditating regularly

Next Six Months
Save enough money for emergency cushion
Start paying my own cell bill
Buy my own computer
Go to Planned Parenthood, get checkup & STD tests, birth control pills
Go out once a week to LGBT place/event & talk to at least two people (book group, bar, event, etc)

Next Six Months- One Year
Finish DBT
Start to get healthy physically/emotionally/spirituality
Keep job & Keep up with bills, general life-stuff
Get off the acid reflux meds
Have casual dates with girls I'd like to get to know better
Start school again OR Get better paying job

Next Five Years
Get a Bachelor's Degree-including journalism courses, tough grammar courses, editing courses
Move out of basement & into my own place
Work full-time job, be self-supporting
Pay back parents
Start paying down loans

Life-Long Goals, starting after 5 years
Job A: self-supporting writer
Job B: editor & keep writing
Move to new city (not because I'm running away)
Take care of children
A-My own children, after 30, with life partner, financially able, one parent stays with child
B-Foster children, after 30, financially able, time to devote to helping them
C-Volunteer efforts involving disadvantaged children
Do volunteer work/activism work-women's rights, LGBT rights, stray puppies & kitties
Live comfortably, with-in my own means
Own my own house/apt/condo
Own my own piano and play it frequently

Before I Die
Be published
Travel, see another coast/country/continent
Live comfortably, have money saved for retirement/late life
Feel like I've made a difference in the world
Feel like I've taught something valuable to others
Take care of my family, parents & children
Buy a NEW car

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lyrics- Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson

Ok, so usually, I am fairly anti-pop music, especially because the last decade of pop music has been awful. And I'm also not a fan of ANY reality show, especially American Idol. But I am really liking Kelly Clarkson, especially her break-up songs.

You've got your mother and your brother
Every other undercover
Tellin' you what to say
You think I'm stupid
But the truth is
That it's cupid, baby
Lovin' you has made me this way
So before you point your finger
Get your hands off of my trigger
Oh yeah
You need to know this situation's getting old
And now the more you talk
The less I can say, oh

I'm looking for attention
Not another question
Should you stay or should you go?
Well, if you don't have the answer
Why you still standin' here?
Hey, hey, hey, heyJust walk away
Just walk awayJust walk away

I waited here for you
Like a kid waiting after school
So tell me how come you never showed?
I gave you everything
And never asked for anything
And look at me
I'm all alone
So, before you start defendin'
Baby, stop all your pretendin'
I know you know I know
So what's the point in being slow
Let's get the show on the road today

HeyI'm looking for attention
Not another question
Should you stay or should you go?
Well, if you don't have the answer
Why you still standin' here?
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Just walk away
Just walk away
Just walk away

I wanna love
I want a fire
To feel the burn
Of my desires
I wanna man by my side
Not a boy who runs and hides
Are you gonna fight for me?
Die for me?
Live and breathe for me?
Do you care for me?'
Cause if you don't then just leave

I'm looking for attention
Not another question
Should you stay or should you go?
Well, if you don't have the answer
Why you still standin' here?
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Just walk away

If you don't have the answer
Walk away
Just walk away
Then just leave
Yeah yeah
Walk away
Walk away
Walk away