Qualm (Daily Prompt)

OK, I’m doing such a rip-roaring great job of thinking about things to write about that I’m going to do a post using the Daily Post’s prompt of the day, which is: Qualm. So here goes nothing.

I immediately think not of personal qualms I may have, but qualms we have as a society. For a country as diverse as America, we seem to have a great number of qualms about people who don’t look like us. I find this odd. I would expect that countries like Denmark and Norway would have greater qualms, for instance, about accepting Syrian refugees than we do, because aside from refugees the people in those countries all look the same.  I mean, they have a very homogeneous population, you’d expect there to be some friction when you add a new ethnic group to the mix, right?

But here in the US, where we have millions of Muslims and millions more other people who came here as refugees from somewhere else–like the Pilgrims, for instance–we have this big problem accepting any Syrian refugees. Not only that, we don’t want any Mexican refugees either. We have made this clear by electing a President who is promising not to take in any refugees, and indeed to kick out the ones we have who aren’t citizens yet. These things are cheered on by his rabid base, which is overwhelmingly white Aryan types.

Speaking of Aryan types, if you’re still a Trump supporter at this point, after everything he’s done, then at this juncture I have qualms with you. I think you most likely are racist, sexist, and not too bright. In other words, you’re a perfect fit for the GOP to run for Congress next time. Go for it, Billy Bob!

But back to the qualms. So you have these really overwhelmingly white countries who are taking in great numbers of refugees with little problem, but here in the US, it’s a big huge hairy deal.. Why? The obvious answer is that the US is more racist than other countries. Or rather I should say we have a larger population of racists than other countries, and they’re more vocal about being racists. Did you see the group of torch-wielding white people who came out to defend a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia? If that’s not the next best thing to the Klan, I don’t know what is. I get defending the statue–for better or worse, Southern whites have their own cultural heritage that places great value on Confederate icons–but what’s with the torches? It’s obviously an attempt to intimidate people and stifle opposition. And, as such, it cannot be allowed to work. These types of people are being emboldened by Trump and the systemic racism coming from the White House (and Congress) these days. The sad thing is, even if Trump gets himself impeached, which seems more likely with each passing day, these people will remain emboldened. Trump has like a 40% approval rating at this point, which in one sense is abysmal, but in another sense is remarkable. 40% of Americans think this clown is doing a great job. I don’t know if they’re the most uneducated 40%, the most racist 40%, or what, but the sad fact is that there’s a lot of them. Having to drag 40% of the population along on every single issue is going to be very difficult. It’s depressing to think about.

OK, so that’s the blog post on qualms. Thanks for reading. =)

 

Changing My Mind

Ever since the other day when I got that traffic ticket and decided to sell off all my Funko Pops, I’ve been depressed and down. I already sold off a couple of my more expensive Pops to pay for “traffic school” to get out from under the ticket. But tonight, after realizing why I was depressed and talking things over with my wife, I’ve decided not to sell off any more of my Pops.

It’s a silly thing, really, collecting. Mostly you just buy stuff and it sits there and collects dust. Every now and then you look at it or maybe rearrange it a little, but it doesn’t really qualify as a hobby because there’s so little of a time investment. But for whatever reason, my Pop collection is very important to me. I think it’s a little island of normalcy in this world of mine that’s been turned upside down in so many ways. I get excited when I have a new Pop coming in the mail. It doesn’t take but five minutes to open it, put it in a protector, and put it in its place in the collection, but those are five nice minutes. It’s a ray of sunshine into my usually dark and dreary world.

So anyway, the rest of the Pops stay. By the by, I get money for Pops by taking online surveys. Talk about a fucking grind of a way to make a little bit of money. But that survey money does build up, 50 cents or a dollar at a time, and eventually you have enough money to buy something. So we aren’t “wasting” money on Pops, it’s money I would never have had if I didn’t have a strong motivation to earn it in the first place. Theoretically I could earn that money and put it into savings, but that’s too boring to sustain my motivation. If ever we get in a REAL crunch, I can sell my Pops then, assuming they haven’t turned into Beanie Babies and lost all their value.

I’m still a little down over the Pops that I did sell, but I know that eventually I’ll be able to get them back again. Overall I feel much better. I’m doing a stupid thing by letting my emotions overrule my brain, and I recognize that. But sometimes in life you have to go with what your heart tells you, and my heart just wasn’t into selling off all my Pops. I have so many that it feels like I just got them, and I have some Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pops that I haven’t even gotten a chance to display at Christmastime. Hopefully we’ll still be solvent come Christmastime and not broke or homeless. Yes, I’m an atheist who celebrates Christmas. So shoot me.

My worries about homelessness continue unabated. I got triggered hard-core by the House passing TrumpCare, and I’ve been reading too much political stuff in my Facebook feed. Gotta stay away from that. It’s partly good because I get to see what Bernie’s up to, but on the other hand not a day goes by that I don’t see something in my feed that depresses me as we slide ever closer to the edge of the abyss. But I don’t want to delve too far into politics today. Why ruin a good mood?

It’s funny how so often it’s the little things that can sustain us in hard times. My Pop collection is small, and in the grand scheme of things I should have no problem giving it up. It’s a luxury in a poor man’s world that doesn’t have room for luxuries. But giving it up was just gnawing away at my soul. It might have been the smart thing to do, selling them, but it just felt so wrong that I just can’t do it. Hopefully I won’t come to regret this decision, but for tonight I’m happy I changed my mind.

Thanks for reading. =)

King’s Gambit

I normally can’t write with music going in my head, but I’m going to try. I’m drunk too, so take that into consideration.

I got a ticket today. I was driving in an area with which I’m not familiar. There was a yield spot, so I yielded until the traffic went by, then I went when the coast was clear. The next thing is I hear a BOOP and I look back and there’s a motorcycle cop, lights flashing, pointing at me.

I pulled over, but he went on to pull over a guy ahead of me. I pulled back out, and suddenly there’s ANOTHER motorcycle cop, pointing at me. I pulled over, and sure enough, he bagged me with a ticket. Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle.

Yes, it’s bullshit, but what can I do? If you take it to court the cops will lie and say whatever they need to say. So I’m staring at a $260 ticket. I’m gonna go to traffic school–which is a joke, I’m the safest driver I know–which will knock the cost down to $125 and keep my record clean.

As a result of this, my wife and I got to talking, and I’m going to sell off my collection of Funko Pops. This, I don’t want to do. But I’ve got like over a grand worth of Pops in my collection, and we have like $700 in savings. Not to mention the ticket. Plus my wife needs a new cell phone. Not as in, “I need a new cell phone,” but more like “I NEED a motherfucking new cell phone or I’m going to kill myself with this one.” So what can I do? I’m going to sell the Pops. It breaks my heart, because I’m a collector at heart, but when your heart tells you one thing and your brain tells you another, what do you do?

I’ll tell you what you fucking do. You go with your goddamn brain. What, are you stupid? You think your feelings mean something? No, they don’t. They mean that you’re emotionally involved and therefore not thinking straight. You go with your brain. That’s what smart, successful people do. They go with their brains. Every time. If you can do that successfully, you’ve found the Golden Ticket to success and happiness. Go with your brain. Your heart is a fool; your brain is where it’s at. Who cares that you’re dying inside a little, that your enjoyment of the world is a sliver less than what it was? Life isn’t fair. Life isn’t about having fun or getting what you want or any of that bullshit. Life is about life. And life is loss. So if you have to sell your stupid collection of Funko Pops because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, then you put your fucking head down and you do it.

Fuck you, and fuck the world, and fuck invisible motorcycle cops. Out.

Opening Moves

Hello. This isn’t a chess blog. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with chess blogs, but I wouldn’t want to read them, and I certainly wouldn’t want to write them.

This is a blog about me. I’m a 40-something nobody with bipolar disorder. I experience a lot of depression and anxiety, and as a result of that and a bad back, I can’t work. My wife and I survive on disability and cheap housing, which I’m worried will be in danger under the Trump regime. I worry a lot and keep myself up at night.

Why am I writing a blog? I have a journal, and my most vulnerable thoughts and feelings belong there, not here. But I find that from time to time I have things to say that I feel need an audience to be worth saying. Not every day–I’m not committing myself to blogging every day–but sometimes.

This isn’t a money-making blog. I’ve toyed with the idea of money-making blogs before, but they are too overwhelming, and I don’t feel I have anything to say that anybody would pay good money to read. To be honest, I don’t really read blogs. I don’t read much of anything these days because I need new glasses and can’t afford them. But I’m not here to sell anything or make any money, and I don’t really care how big or small my audience is. I’m not telling any of my friends or family about this blog, at least not right now. It’s just our little secret.

So what will I be blogging about? Well, that’s a damn fine question, and I don’t really know the answer right now. I’m very interested in politics, but it is a big trigger for me so I try not to follow it too closely. The way things are now, every time I read something about politics it just makes me anxious, makes me ruminate and worry. I just have to hope that things turn out OK. But there will probably be some politics in this blog. It’s such a big deal, what’s going on, that it’s impossible to ignore. I feel as though we are heading over the edge of a cliff. Things are getting so bad, the corruption now runs so deep, that I wonder how much longer we can hold things together. I’m in my mid-40s, and given the state of my health I’d say I’ve got maybe 15-20 more years left in me. At this point I’m just hoping the country doesn’t fall apart before I can hurry up and die and get the hell out of here. I really feel for young kids today. It’s going to be a hard life in the good old U.S. of A. if we don’t hurry up and get all our shit in one sock again.

What else? Well, a little bit of everything. I’ve only had one major manic episode with my bipolar, and that was before I was diagnosed and medicated, so mania isn’t really a problem for me. It’s the depression. I’m ALWAYS at least mildly depressed. Most of the time, I’m moderately depressed, and then I have days where I can barely get out of bed. I do better on days when I wake up early, and today I woke up at 5:15AM, so I’m feeling pretty good right now. I like blogging. I have a lot of downtime and boredom is a big issue for me, so working on a blog is a neat way to help pass some time.

However, in the interests of full disclosure, my past is littered with half-started attempts at blogging and writing in general. I’d love to be a fiction writer, but I just don’t have the creativity and imagination for it. I’m smart in my own way, and I have a really good short-term memory, but I’m a plodding thinker. Thinking hard is hard work for me, I have trouble keeping my thoughts straight and not going in circles.

Most of this blog will be written in a sort of stream-of-consciousness style. In other words, I won’t usually know what I’m going to write about until I actually sit down and start to type. I’m not good at planning things out ahead of time–it seems the more I think about what I should write, the less that things come to mind. I find it better to just sit down and start typing. So this blog will probably be rambling and long-winded.

Have I lost everybody yet? The long and short of it is, this blog is for me. I’ll be happy if others read it and like it and comment on it, but if not, that’s OK too. Writing is therapeutic for me and a good outlet for when I have nothing else to do, which is often.

That’s all for now I guess. Thanks for reading. =)