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The life of Gabe
The Life and Times of a Kung Fu Student
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28th-Mar-2014 01:42 am - Do they still perform lobotomies?
It's 1:30 in the morning.

I'm lying here in bed, but I can't sleep a wink.

My mind keeps running to you.

I keep checking my phone, and not for the time...

I'm sitting here hoping you'll text me randomly in the middle of the night, like you sometimes do.

It's driving me to tears.

Not just the inexplicable need for a stupid text.

It's how illogical that need is.

How I know that I shouldn't be feeling this way.

How I don't want to feel this way.

This is, in many ways, the best I've felt in a long time.

And the worst.

And here I am, posting it on the internet, because I'm too scared of talking to you.


I need help.
20th-May-2013 12:53 pm(no subject)
I have to keep moving forward.

I want to learn from my mistakes.
23rd-Jun-2012 12:51 am(no subject)
I could use some positivity about now.
22nd-Jun-2012 07:56 pm(no subject)
I haven't updated in months. And due to the overwhelming feelings of stress, doubt, and insecurity, I'll keep it brief.

Ever had those weeks where all you want to do is bang your head through window panes? Yeah. I'm right there. And I turned 27 two days ago.
21st-Feb-2012 12:34 am(no subject)
I can't stop watching tonight's How I Met Your Mother episode.

It's had some of the best writing I've seen in a TV show episode in a long time, not to mention some really, really funny easter eggs, but it (and last week's episode) resound with me so well, because I've realized just how hard my life has seemed to me in the past week. Obviously, it's how you see the world that makes the difference... but this week has also shown me just how much support I truly have.

First off, I'm no longer an officer. My cynical attitude and comments cited, I was given the opportunity to resign on Tuesday from my last place of employment. The very same attitude and comments I hoped I'd be able to grow out of when I left Atlanta. The ones that seem to be such a part of my life that I don't even notice I'm behaving that way. I'm not angry, and I can understand. At this point, my only concern is to get a job, so I can maintain my truck and take care of Ghost.

And then I watched last week's episode. Ted discussed how he felt like the journey he's taken has reached its final stop, because he doesn't have anybody he can't stop thinking about. I don't either. And I feel like ice has encased my heart, because for once I was perfectly fine that I was single on Valentine's Day. I honestly no longer believe with my whole heart that I'll find the girl that meets my standards, nor that I will have the family I so long ago hoped to have in the future. Could it still happen? Sure, I will not deny that... but it's something I no longer feel. A year and a half ago I used to have romantic dreams of marrying the woman of my dreams, in a beautiful wedding, eventually raising some beautiful children. Now, that dream seems empty, because my imagination can't create the idea of a bride standing next to me on what I felt would be the most important day of my life.

The episode flowed so well into this week's episode, where Ted revisited his relationship with Robin after five years, after previously (at the end of last week's episode) confessing that he still loves her. When he realizes they're not to be together, he moves on at the end, albeit with pain in his heart which he does not admit to. I think they'll end up together, with Robin as the eponymous "Mother" mentioned in the title, but more on that later. It kinda ties my feelings together, because at the end of the episode, "Shake It Out" by Florence + The Machine played through to emphasize the emotions of despair and eventual hope that Ted goes through, something that makes sense to me in this time. To make matters ironic, "Shake It Out" was the song playing on the radio when I left headquarters after being told that I would have the opportunity to resign. The song, with its triumphant marching drumbeat and inspirational background choir, will always have a special place in my heart. Especially when I couple it with my Sifu's (paraphrased) advice-- "You got knocked down. You need to get back up and fight." I just need to keep moving toward that eventual hope.
5th-Jan-2012 09:59 pm(no subject)

So far, so good. Ghost seems to become more and more attached to me every day. He whines when I'm not around, and if we're in new and scary situations, he likes to stick to me like glue until he finally warms up. The trick is to raise him to be obedient, so he'll listen to my commands, even without a leash in a new area. He has only peed once where he's not supposed to, dropped a few deuces where he isn't supposed to, but I think if we keep this up, he'll be able to hold it a lot longer when he's older, so I can leave him inside without having any newspapers around. I cut off his water around 7 every day, and try to take him outside often so he doesn't leave droppings inside.

I've picked up Cesar Millan's "How to Raise the Perfect Dog" from Amazon, and it's actually a really good read. In one of the chapters, it recommends raising a puppy like a mother dog would, and so far most of it has applied really well to Ghost.

To have Ghost behave as a house dog, without tearing things, jumping on furniture, or using the whole place as a bathroom.
To have a good partnership with Ghost so that I don't need to leash him.

I'm doing as much research as I can on how to raise him well. Tomorrow I'm going to start crate training and give him his first bath. He keeps scratching but I think his skin is dry, so we'll see if the shampoo does anything about that.
3rd-Jan-2012 09:02 am - Ghost
Meet the newest addition to my family, and my very first little boy.

His name is Ghost (originally a Modern Warfare 2 reference, but somebody reminded me of Game of Thrones), and he's an Alaskan husky, which means he's a cross breed of a Siberian husky and something else. At this point, I don't really know what else, all I know is he's gonna get relatively big at about a 24 in. height and about 45 lbs. He's been with me personally for two days and is fairly housebroken, only peeing where I put papers down, but sometimes having a hard time with his poop. He's getting more and more used to me, and won't wander in the backyard right now without me around. He's a bit of a wuss, but I think he'll outgrow it. So far, so good, and much more to come!
15th-Dec-2011 12:23 pm(no subject)
I need prayers. If you don't believe in prayers, I need positive mojo. If you don't believe in mojo... well, maybe a hug?
12th-Oct-2011 12:11 am - Alcohol as an excuse. An article.
Note: this was taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15265317

Viewpoint Is the alcohol message all wrong?

Many people think heavy drinking causes promiscuity, violence and anti-social behaviour. That's not necessarily true, argues Kate Fox.

I am a social anthropologist, but what I do is not the traditional intrepid sort of anthropology where you go and study strange tribes in places with mud huts and monsoons and malaria.

I really don't see why anthropologists feel they have to travel to unpronounceable corners of the world in order to study strange tribal cultures with bizarre beliefs and mysterious customs, when in fact the weirdest and most puzzling tribe of all is right here on our doorstep. I am of course talking about my own native culture - the British.

And if you want examples of bizarre beliefs and weird customs, you need look no further than our attitude to drinking and our drinking habits. Pick up any newspaper and you will read that we are a nation of loutish binge-drinkers - that we drink too much, too young, too fast - and that it makes us violent, promiscuous, anti-social and generally obnoxious.

Clearly, we Brits do have a bit of a problem with alcohol, but why?

The problem is that we Brits believe that alcohol has magical powers - that it causes us to shed our inhibitions and become aggressive, promiscuous, disorderly and even violent.

But we are wrong.

In high doses, alcohol impairs our reaction times, muscle control, co-ordination, short-term memory, perceptual field, cognitive abilities and ability to speak clearly. But it does not cause us selectively to break specific social rules. It does not cause us to say, "Oi, what you lookin' at?" and start punching each other. Nor does it cause us to say, "Hey babe, fancy a shag?" and start groping each other.

The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.

There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink alcohol. There are some societies (such as the UK, the US, Australia and parts of Scandinavia) that anthropologists call "ambivalent" drinking-cultures, where drinking is associated with disinhibition, aggression, promiscuity, violence and anti-social behaviour.

There are other societies (such as Latin and Mediterranean cultures in particular, but in fact the vast majority of cultures), where drinking is not associated with these undesirable behaviours - cultures where alcohol is just a morally neutral, normal, integral part of ordinary, everyday life - about on a par with, say, coffee or tea. These are known as "integrated" drinking cultures.

This variation cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption - most integrated drinking cultures have significantly higher per-capita alcohol consumption than the ambivalent drinking cultures.

Instead the variation is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about alcohol, different expectations about the effects of alcohol, and different social rules about drunken comportment.

This basic fact has been proved time and again, not just in qualitative cross-cultural research, but also in carefully controlled scientific experiments - double-blind, placebos and all. To put it very simply, the experiments show that when people think they are drinking alcohol, they behave according to their cultural beliefs about the behavioural effects of alcohol.

The British and other ambivalent drinking cultures believe that alcohol is a disinhibitor, and specifically that it makes people amorous or aggressive, so when in these experiments we are given what we think are alcoholic drinks - but are in fact non-alcoholic "placebos" - we shed our inhibitions.

We become more outspoken, more physically demonstrative, more flirtatious, and, given enough provocation, some (young males in particular) become aggressive. Quite specifically, those who most strongly believe that alcohol causes aggression are the most likely to become aggressive when they think that they have consumed alcohol.

Our beliefs about the effects of alcohol act as self-fulfilling prophecies - if you firmly believe and expect that booze will make you aggressive, then it will do exactly that. In fact, you will be able to get roaring drunk on a non-alcoholic placebo.

And our erroneous beliefs provide the perfect excuse for anti-social behaviour. If alcohol "causes" bad behaviour, then you are not responsible for your bad behaviour. You can blame the booze - "it was the drink talking", "I was not myself" and so on.

But it is possible to change our drinking culture. Cultural shifts happen all the time, and there is extensive evidence (again from carefully controlled experiments, conducted in natural settings such as bars and nightclubs) to show that it doesn't take much to effect dramatic changes in how people behave when they drink.

These experiments show that even when people are very drunk, if they are given an incentive (either financial reward or even just social approval) they are perfectly capable of remaining in complete control of their behaviour - of behaving as though they were totally sober.

To achieve these changes, we need a complete and radical re-think of the aims and messages of all alcohol-education campaigns. So far, these efforts have perpetuated or even exacerbated the problem, because almost all of them simply reinforce our beliefs about the magical disinhibiting powers of alcohol.

The drinkaware website, for example, warns young people that a mere three pints of beer (ie a perfectly normal evening out) "can lead to anti-social, aggressive and violent behaviour", that "you might start saying things you don't mean and behaving out of character", that alcohol is implicated in a high percentage of sexual offences and street crimes, and that the morning after "you may wonder what you did the night before".

I would like to see a complete change of focus, with all alcohol-education and awareness campaigns designed specifically to challenge these beliefs - to get across the message that a) alcohol does not cause disinhibition (aggressive, sexual or otherwise) and that b) even when you are drunk, you are in control of and have total responsibility for your actions and behaviour.

Alcohol education will have achieved its ultimate goal not when young people in this country are afraid of alcohol and avoid it because it is toxic and dangerous, but when they are frankly just a little bit bored by it, when they don't need to be told not to binge-drink vodka shots, any more than they now need to be told not to swig down 15 double espressos in quick succession.

Even the silliest teenagers would not dream of doing that. And not because they have been educated about the dangers of a caffeine overdose - although there undoubtedly are such dangers - but because it would just be daft, what would be the point?

What we should be aiming for is a culture where you don't need alcohol-education programmes, any more than we now need coffee or tea education programmes.

If I were given total power, I could very easily engineer a nation in which coffee would become a huge social problem - a nation in which young people would binge-drink coffee every Friday and Saturday night and then rampage around town centres being anti-social, getting into fights and having unprotected sex in random one-night stands.

I would restrict access to coffee, thus immediately giving it highly desirable forbidden-fruit status. Then I would issue lots of dire warnings about the dangerously disinhibiting effects of coffee.

I would make sure everyone knew that even a mere three cups (six "units") of coffee "can lead to anti-social, aggressive and violent behaviour", and sexual promiscuity, thus instantly giving young people a powerful motive to binge-drink double espressos, and a perfect excuse to behave very badly after doing so.

I could legitimately base many of my scary coffee-awareness warnings on the known effects of caffeine, and I could easily make these sound like a recipe for disaster, or at least for disinhibition and public disorder.

It would not take long for my dire warnings to create the beliefs and expectations that would make them self-fulfilling prophecies. This may sound like a science fiction story, but it is precisely what our misguided alcohol-education programmes have done.

Over the past few decades the government, the drinks industry and schools have done exactly the opposite of what they should do to tackle our dysfunctional drinking. I remain perhaps stupidly optimistic that eventually they will find the courage to turn things around and start heading in the right direction.

I bring this up because I don't like people who use alcohol as an excuse. And because somebody really hurt my feelings by doing it.
9th-Oct-2011 06:47 pm - People I know.

Yup. She's worse than these lights. And can't make up her damn mind.

One of my coworkers. The ONLY one, thank God.
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