At the end of last week, I became very depressed. It was awful. I felt useless. Other people seemed to be easily doing harder things than what I was struggling and failing to do for weeks on end. Also, working at a University can really make me feel old and washed up sometimes. So much youth! That part of life has passed me by, never to return. I mourned its loss.

I got a sunburn last Saturday. We drove up to Santa Barbara to visit my aunt and a small handful of assorted cousins. My mother rode up with my wife and daughter, and we had a nice conversation. She’s still disappointed that she didn’t brainwash me properly to accept her religion as the ONLY TRUE religion, but at least she’s happy that I try to be a good person.

We went swimming that afternoon, and apparently my sunscreen washed off enough of my untanned bits (usually shielded by a t-shirt) that I turned lobster color on my shoulders and upper arms. Other than that, it was a satisfying trip. Saranya loved throwing things into the pool. My mom spent hours telling about her family and things she remembered as she was growing up. Having been raised at least 1500 miles away from most of my relatives, it’s kind of odd to realize that I had a great uncle who owned a brothel and a saloon. It also seems apparent that my mother’s mother was forced to marry down in social standing after she was found to be pregnant. Oops.

On the trip back I found out that my brother Matt was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which explains some of the obsessive-compulsive behavior, social awkwardness, and lack of empathy. Brains are funny things.

By Tuesday, however, I was very happy and confident again. There was no good reason for it. I’m still overweight. I’m still struggling with my programming. The housing market is still out of my financial reach despite years of diligent saving and investing. But hell, as long as I don’t think about that stuff I feel fine. I just need distraction or (even better) delusion and I feel great. Isn’t that awful? I think that’s why almost nobody can deal directly with reality. We all have our distractions and fantasies and delusions and optimistic beliefs because just taking reality as it comes makes us feel too awful.

So now I guess it just turned Thursday. My sunburn has been itching all day. It’s been a marginally productive week so far, and on top of that we’ve got a large looming license deal in the works. It probably won’t be big enough for me to retire on, but for sure it will give us a boost to grow the company into something a bit more effective. I might even be able to buy a new home for my growing family. That should distract me for a while.

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Strike Two

My daughter is really getting on my nerves.

She woke me up this morning. 3 hours after I went to sleep, I woke up to find her pouring cold water on my ass. I jumped and yelled at her, and she dove onto the pillow and pretended to be asleep.

20 minutes later, when I was trying to get back to sleep, she tried to kill me. Luckily, her head landed on my jaw and not my temple. She had been standing on the bed and let herself fall backward to land flat on her back on the bed. Unfortunately for me, my jaw was where her skull landed. The bleeding from my mouth has stopped now but it’s swollen and throbbing.

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Loveline Archives

So I’ve been listening to some older Loveline archives, from the Adam Carolla days. There’s a site: where you can grab many older issues.

I used to think Adam was just a jerk, but he’s actually really funny and has some good insights into the human condition.

Adam Carolla on Religion
Adam Carolla on Society and Drugs

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Hold a Meeting

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Militant Agnostic

I don’t know, and you don’t either!

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I’ve been listening to the Loveline show again lately. I started listening after I got out of the Navy, way back when Ricky Rachtman was the host, but steered clear during the ten year tenure of Adam Carolla (1995-2005). Adam Carolla is a funny guy, but he’s basically a professional asshole. I didn’t enjoy listening to him do Loveline, but now Carolla’s gone and I’m listening and enjoying the show again.

Anyway, if you don’t know about the show and you don’t feel like reading their site, it’s Dr. Drew Pinsky and Ted Stryker who answer radio questions about love, sex, and/or addiction. Drew’s an addiction specialist and Stryker is a radio DJ.

They get a lot of disturbed teens calling in with ridiculous questions. It’s fun to feel superior to the clueless kids and their ignorance.

They also get a lot of calls about relationships, abuse, and addiction. I find it impressive when Drew is able to use his “radar” to ferret out the history of abuse, family drug addiction, etc. behind the superficial problems that motivated the caller to call in. It’s these moments when I feel really amazed at his insight, and I’m trying to learn by listening so that I can recognize this kind of history when I encounter it.

There are also some things where I know that Drew’s advice is misguided and based on current fad literature. I’ll get into details later if I think of them.

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I suddenly realized that the Universe is all about Me. That makes me feel incredibly humble. I must be the humblest person in the Universe.

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