I made this really quickly for anyone interested. More crap coming soon.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Things to stave off depression in a pinch:
These are a few (non-medical) suggestions that I’ve found help pull me out of negative, depressed states.
- First and foremost, just get up. Walk around the house. Start exercising vigorously if possible. I’ve found that exercise/movement is the best strategy to get out of the cycle of depression and anxiety. In my interactions with people, I’ve found those who spend more time sitting each day are more likely to be depressed than those who spend less time sitting.
- Write, write, write. Write down all of your painful thoughts and purge out the depression like a juicer squeezes out the juice from a fleshy fruit.
- Do not eat. And, most certainly refrain from eating sugary foods. These clog up my brain and make me feel worse. I used to think this was some sort of pop-psychology crap that everyone repeats, “Avoid sweets if depressed”. This is actually true for me. If you eat less you will also feel better…freer. It’s weird, but it works. It’s liberating to feel like you’ve lost a pound or two.
- Avoid people. I used to say “Avoid mean people” or “Avoid critical people” or “Avoid other depressed people”. Now I just say “avoid people” (if possible). People often stir up more anger and depression because they inevitably say something that makes you “Overthink what they said or felt”. Think about it. Almost every time you’ve ever felt a twinge of anxiety or a negative state—you can trace it back to someone else—to what someone else said or did. Also, when depressed you will tend to interpret most of what other people say from a negative or condescending standpoint anyways. Your brain will make you think the worst about yourself. Close down comments. Don’t read things on social media. Get off facebook. Feel free and vent and express yourself online. Employ your freedom of speech but realize you can control your own platforms online as other people can express themselves online and control their own platforms too. You are not forced to go to their websites/social media pages and they are not forced to go to yours. If you’re not some big celebrity online and not asking for money—you do not owe anything to anyone. Period.
- Try to exercise your willpower. Strengthen your resolve for whatever tempts you. You may have a piece of cake in front of you and you’re hungry. The temptation will be to eat it so that your reward center is momentarily delighted. Exercise resistance and delay your desire for instant gratification. You will build up an internal feeling of strength that can grow with more attempts like these.
- Give to charity. Help someone else out. I volunteer.
- Get out into nature—surround yourself with the glories of the natural world.
- Focus on your family. These are the most important people in your life!
Monday, November 7, 2016
DEAR MR. TRUMP….PLEASE READ THIS!!
Selfie from the Tokyo Dome Hotel :)
My baby looking out the window at our hotel in Tokyo! 35th floor.
As I write these words I am on a plane, flying over Russia. My husband, baby and I just had a trip of a life-time. We went to Japan. Now we are headed back to Europe.
It is just days before the big United-States election. This past year has been an intense roller-coaster ride for everyone on planet earth—especially Americans. If there is one fact that I can make about this election and about the status of America, it would be that America and Americans are MORE DIVIDED than ever before. Everything from racial and cultural divisions to ideological, religious and political tensions are increasingly rife among Americans. This is undeniable—(unless you are one to maintain a homogenous group of friends and intolerant to diverse political views.) I reflect upon my conversations with people, to watching videos on YouTube to scrolling through my facebook feed, talking to people in other countries and on airplanes, people disagree with each other! There is a branching between two (maybe three) camps.
I believe Donald Trump is going to win this election. I’ve thought this since the beginning of the election but I wanted to make my formal declaration now, before the election. I’ve actually thought this from the very beginning when there was a truckload of Republicans running for the nominee. I knew that Trump would win the nominee. I even had a big argument with one of my more liberal Christian female friends. We made a bet. We both agreed (back in August 2015) that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee but she thought Marco Rubio would be the Republican nominee and I said it was going to be Donald Trump. She and her sister both mocked me for my prediction. I further suggested that trump would be the next US president. I have not retreated from my initial position.
I think Trump will win this election. The American populace is looking for a change. We are looking for improvement in the political sphere but also in the economic one. More and more Americans are out of work. If Trump can be trusted, it appears that he wants to improve the job situation for Americans. He has also taken a strong stance on immigration—something that hasn’t been discussed very much from US presidential candidates for a long time.
Trump has suggested that immigration is a big issue for America and that it impacts Americans—especially American citizens who are part of the poor and middle class. The reason why so many people want to move to America in the first place is precisely because of the comparatively better job/career/education opportunities than in their own countries. However, in the past decade, jobs and working opportunities are harder and harder to find, even for American citizens. More and more millennials are living with their parents well into their 20’s and even 30’s. Something is going wrong here.
To claim that current immigration patterns have no net effects on American citizens—when jobs and resources are in finite supply—needs to be proven. The one making the claim needs to offer the evidence for the claim.
After recently spending some time in Japan, I am amazed at how pro-Japanese it is. I wouldn’t call this country “racist” or “xenophobic”—I would simply call it “Pro-Japanese”. Japan is a rich, successful, organized country. I told my husband that in the rank of countries, I would call it “superior” to America on several fronts—its low crime rate being a major one. Our tour guides informed us that Japan is very difficult to immigrate to; it allowed 11 immigrants entry last year. Is Japan xenophobic? Use whatever words you want to suit your biases (because we are all biased) but I’m going to stick with “Pro-Japanese”.
Trump has touched upon a similar notion in America. I don’t think Trump’s immigration policy will be anywhere as extreme as Japan’s but it could be an improvement to what currently exists.
America DOES need to be more selective in its immigration and travel policies. I still have vivid memories of being unable to enter Nigeria because I didn’t have the proper documentation. The guards at the border of Benin/Nigeria would not allow me entry—without a smidgeon of hesitation they sent me back to Cotonou, Benin while my travel party made their way to Lagos. Were the Nigerian guards just racist…because I was White? Well, I guess that is a possibility. After all, I was the white person and Nigeria is full of Africans. The other possibility is that they were just following the laws of their country and they weren’t acting upon racist impulses. I will let you be the judge.
Trump has tapped into a line of thinking that has been suppressed in the collective American subconscious for decades: Isn’t it Americans citizens, in aggregate, who should be the priority of the American government? Why should we vote for officials who institute polices that give recent immigrants from Third World countries the benefits of affirmative action (in both employment and education opportunities) over American natives whose parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents have been paying taxes into the system? We need a system that works for American citizens—not for American elites who use a globalist system to stay in power at the expense of the rest of us.
Trump is no where near perfect but he will be an improvement to the system that currently exists. Don’t get me wrong. Trump SHOULD BE PRO-IMMIGRANT (of any ethnic background), provided they bring job opportunities to American citizens and benefit America.
Friday, September 23, 2016
One of the things that I noticed about fundamentalist Christians was how quickly they wanted to curtail the conversation when you brought up facts or statistics that would disprove their narrative of the world. You could bring up statistics about the lower rate of atheists in prison compared to the general population and this seemed to have no bearing on their belief system. Those I spent time with did not want to hear about these “satanic” statistics.
(When I was initially venturing towards unbelief, I noticed how atheists would endlessly remind me of statistics. They would use statistics to back up some of their viewpoints. (They would mention how there is a lower rate of atheists in prison compared to the general population). Atheists made no hesitation to discuss statistical differences between two different groups (Atheists vs Theists).... Anyways,...I digress.
Whenever I would bring up facts or statistics to certain fundamentalist Christians, these individuals would hurl terms like “infidel”, “Unbeliever” or “Heretic” at me. This would stifle the progress of the discussion—it would stop the conversation. Then they would say, “You know you’re just being a (heretic” or “You know you just hate Christians”. This was a clever strategy to employ so that certain things about their religion would not be discussed or exposed. It was a convenient tool so that facts could not be discussed or heard and other possible explanations for events would not be evaluated.
Since being around this kind of mentality, I am able to notice it in other situations as well. In fact, I observe how people use it in so many other belief systems or narratives that they hold dearly and do not want to be evaluated. They will then throw pejorative terms like “racist” “infidel” “hate monger” “heretic” “bigot” or “sexist” at you—not because you actually are any of these things, but because THEY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE discussing facts, statistics, science, history and they do not want to consider the possible implications that come with these things.
Like the Church who placed Galileo on house arrest at the end of his life, they would rather change the subject or deny the exploration of the topic because it may put chinks in their cherished belief system/narrative.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
I made this up for you today! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog :):)
It means the world to me that you bother taking the time to click on my inane (though original) content.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Monday, May 2, 2016
My baby turned 6 months old today. We are thrilled with her progress--verbal skills are progressing more rapidly than her rolling, physical movements etc (but she is still doing okay in those areas too).
My husband was teaching her this earlier in the day and she was able to say it with a little encouragement.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
My parents keep on trying to push Christianity on me. They do this in the way of sending me Christian pamphlets, tracts, non-stop Bible verse text messages, trying to coax me over the phone with Christian apologetic rhetoric, links to William Lane Craig videos, videos made by Ray Comfort and recently, providing me with a large stack of Christian baby books for my 4 ½ month old.
After about the 500th time of dealing with these kinds of issues I finally told my Mom over the phone, “I have something really important to tell you”. I said, “I have good news and I have bad news. How about I start with the bad news? The bad news is that I will probably never reconvert to Christianity again. I’ve been officially vaccinated from this strain of thinking.”
Thursday, March 17, 2016
I have been thinking a lot about IQ lately. Just as there are differences in the memory and processing speeds of computers, the same can be said about human brains. The more I think about it, the more I firmly believe that all of the major differences we observe in the human population are tethered back to the brains involved. This may sound overly simplistic, but the reason why some people generally get ahead in life or are greeted with more respect or make more money is due to the capacity of their brain. Everything comes back to the brains involved. Even social behavior and acting in a socially desirable fashion is linked to IQ. There are exceptions to this rule, but I like to focus on generalities because they are much more predictable.
Smart people can find clever, ingenious strategies to secure and grow wealth. Smart people are more likely to invent things or design companies/businesses that provide in-demand products and services. Individuals with higher IQ’s are more likely to become mathematicians, engineers, physicists and doctors—professions that involve subject matter that is exhaustive, complex, and endlessly changing. These individuals’ minds can handle such operations while people with lower IQ’s are more suited for simple jobs, like being a cashier or a janitor. This said, individuals with average or lower IQ’s can use their creativity to produce art, write books or create businesses that might also be just as financially rewarding.
Another thing about smart individuals is that they are more likely to defer gratification to a later date. Instead of grab the small reward now (E.G. Marshmallow Test), they are willing to wait for the bigger reward later. We can see this with doctors. It takes years, at the very least 12-13 just to become a doctor. Many doctors may have the temptation to quit anywhere along the line of pre-med, medical school, a taxing residency and fellowship to get a more easily achievable job offering them money right now. A doctor not only had to be innately smart to comprehend and use an incredible amount of knowledge, but he/she had to also defer their gratification as they made their way down the long path of education.
Unfortunately, smart individuals are scarce in our world but this is precisely what makes their value go up. This is especially true in a “free market” or “freer market” society—compared to those societies that are less so. These smart folks can demand more for their time. We, as a society, value areas of expertise (or products, created with such expertise and innate intelligence) because we all benefit.
Smart people are more ready and able to efficiently unlock the mysteries of the world, unveiling useful knowledge to the rest of us. Everyone benefits. Intelligent people provide immense value to a technologically advancing population. They figure things out more quickly and they can then offer their products or services on the market more cheaply than an individual who wasn’t as smart in the creation of their product.
Another way I like to think about intelligence is like this: If you have a better computer you have access to more information (either stored on your computer’s hard drive or on the internet) more quickly. This becomes increasingly important in a technologically advanced society—one where the speed and accuracy of information acquisition is crucial.
In the same way, a better brain in terms of memory and processing speed is going to be crucial in a technologically advanced society. Why is a brain with a higher IQ so much better you ask? It is better on a fundamental level because so much more can be done with it. The reason why Galileo and Newton discovered arcane properties of the universe was precisely because of the superior properties of their brains (at least compared to other contemporary brains that surrounded them). We revel in their accomplishments—these leaps of understanding they brought to human civilization. Really though, we must consider the kinds of unique brains they were beholden with in order to tap into the wonders of the cosmos ourselves.
Future technologies may be based on the underlying circuitry of “intelligent brains” and offer this asset to all of us. Products and services will be designed to assist with “mental enhancement”. I look forward to a bright future with increased time to enjoy life. The only way this is going to happen is if we continue forward with a society that pushes and motivates as MANY bright individuals AS POSSIBLE to contribute their skills and innovations and rewards them abundantly for doing so.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016
The biggest, most significant thing I’ve learned since having a baby is the value of time. Time is an extremely important resource. I’ve always recognized this—just so much more now. For brief moments during the day I will check my facebook or learn something online; and this is only because I am lucky enough to have a readily accessible I-Phone at my fingertips.
What I specifically miss most about my pre-child existence was having the time to learn and write. Sure—I was still busy with tons of housework, volunteering at the hospital, yard work and travelling with my husband—and being terribly, terribly nauseas from the pregnancy—but I had MORE TIME. I found myself researching things on the internet, reading, indulging in knowledge…attempting to learn. I guess I never realized what a privilege and luxury it is to have time to learn or sharpen my creative skills. I never thought about the fact that my own Mother had to forego her intellect and (ANY) novel learning activities because she was so busy trying to maintain a household, constantly cleaning up after us, raising us three children—and we were all roughly a year and a half apart. She recently told me that there was a span of about 3 years in the 1980’s where she received less than 2 hours of sleep each night.
As far as not having enough time…the irony is that I now feel like my mind is flooded with great ideas—but at all the wrong moments. I have ideas just spontaneously pierce my consciousness and I think “I need to go and write that idea down so that I can address it in the future” but I almost never have time to even write down the reminder.
I guess I didn’t realize how tough it can be for stay-at-home Moms. I see why women are joining the work-force in mass and dropping their children off at day care, paying someone $12 an hour to raise their children. This is so much easier than having to constantly change diapers and do laundry and deal with vomit all over your clothing—you feel more like a janitor without even the benefits of the pay. These career women even get to maintain their ego—“I have a respectable career and I have a baby!”
My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom. I see why she wasn’t really able to spend time learning and reading—there is no time to pursue such luxurious, exciting things as knowledge—every second, every fracking moment you are attending to the needs of someone else.
So much of my day is involved in menial tasks that are often repeated several times each hour and the laundry piles up. There are endless diapers and gushes of spit-up all over my clothes and the baby cries a lot too. There is a lot to be thankful for too.
I am so happy and lucky to have such a healthy and sweet baby. She is wonderful! We love her so much!
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
These past few months have been CRAZY BUSY! My husband and I are so happy to have our healthy little baby :) I still have a lot of weight to lose but working on it slowly.
P.S. We have tons of trips already planned for this year: Sicily, Malta, Japan, New Orleans etc!