Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Diet ramble – recognizing my sticking points

Welp, I had a near perfect day yesterday. Did all my math, exercise, piano, writing, reading, etc…. I even worked straight up until 8:00pm like I wanted, without any distractions or nothing. However, the one setback I had was with my diet. GodDAMN is it hard to resist cravings. I’ll go fine until the evening, and then I’ll see a kitchen full of delicious goodies, and I’ll start with, “I’ll just have one rice krispie square.” And then BOOM – before you know it, I’m chowing down on all sorts of garbage and the diet day is ruined.

Welp, now that I’ve got that in mind, I will remain extra vigilant tonight. I’ll make sure that I eat something healthy when I get home from class, and then STOP EATING. It’s super-easy for me to overeat – I’m on prednisone which gives me an insatiable appetite. Thus, if I’m to develop self-discipline, I should start with my diet – and that means overcoming my biggest challenge and not snacking at night.

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sick of working out everyday and having nothing to show for it. I’m just gonna have to suck it up, drink some more water, and go to bed hungry. If I can develop that habit, then pretty soon my body will reflect my decisions. I just have to endure the cravings.

One thing I could do is use social media. This is where my instagram and youtube subscriptions will come in handy. I think that, whenever I’m feeling like snacking, or my brain gets to a point where it says, “Fuck it – we can start the diet tomorrow!” That’s when I’ll start surfing instagram or checking out my youtube fitness subscriptions. It’s when I’m feeling these cravings that I need motivation. And so seeing all those lean, fit bodies will (hopefully) motivate me to stay on my diet, avoid pigging out on junk food, and staying the course.

That’s a big thing when it comes to goals – is determination. Never giving up. I should take that message to heart. Say, if I have a bad diet morning and go heavy on the calories – usually I take that as a sign that there’s no point in dieting for the rest of the day, and I’ll pig out. Instead, if I eat a little too much – I should not quit, and try and diet my best for the rest of the day.

I think I was in here yesterday complaining about the same things. Well, this time I mean it! Now that I’m aware of my snacking struggles in the evening, it will be a bit easier to deal with them – I know that right now, that’s my biggest sticking point for my diet, and so every night I’ll try and avoid snacking.

Yeah, I would say diet, exercise and thesis are my top 3 priorities at the moment. If I can exercise everyday, keep to a healthy diet the majority of the time, and do my thesis in the evening, then everything will work out fine.

That’s the other thing about goals – is that I have to have patience. Just one night of not eating everything in sight will not yield abs. I have to eat at a caloric deficit over a long, consistent period of time in order to get down to my target body fat percentage. Maybe it’ll be easier now that it’s the summer – and when it’s super hot out, I don’t really have an appetite. But nevertheless, I will work on developing patience, and never giving up.

Anyhoo – what else? Today’s a teaching day, so no smoking weed until after class. Lemme tell ya, when I get home I’m gonna have an epic sesh – got a brand new episode of American Dad to watch. I’m gonna clean out my bong, get some ice-cold water loaded up, and then enjoy a cool bowl of cannabis and relax for the rest of the evening. Ah, wonderful.

But in the meantime, I’ve got a couple hours to kill before class. Tuesday’s are the worst – I have to be on campus at 5:30 for my office hours. However, it’s super rare that anyone shows up for office hours, so I mainly use it to surf the internet. I ‘spose I could be doing something more productive – but meh, whaddya gonna do. It’s stressful enough talking for 90 minutes in front of kids who definitely don’t want to be there. I think teaching would be a lot better if I were teaching math to mathematicians, as they’d be at least interested in the material. These engineers, they all look up at me with bored, dead eyes and world-weary sighs.

Oh well – a job’s a job. And less than 10 hours of work a week isn’t bad at all.


May 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Monday ramble on planning and productivity

Having a much better day today productivity-wise. Got up without hitting snooze, did my goals, then 3 pages of notes for class, then exercise, do my piano, now I’m onto writing. There’s been very little dilly-dally today, I’ve been focused on getting my goals done as efficiently as possible.

Anyhoo, I think the key to a great day is to be productive first thing. If I can manage to get up and get going, then as my feelings follow my actions, I instantly feel more productive. And when I’m productive, I want to carry those feelings through me for the rest of the day, rather than just slack off. It’s like the snowball effect – doing just a little something in the morning to be productive will get me going for the rest of the day, like a snowball rolling down a hill.

After my writing, I’ll read my book for 30 minutes before working on my thesis. If I can manage to keep my head down while I do my math, and not watch tv or surf the net or anything, then it’ll be a nice and productive day. My math “to do” is to edit 4 pages of my thesis. But editing the thesis is somewhat tedious – so we’ll see what I do. My plan is to do head down math until 8:00pm, at which time I can relax. That’ll probably mean around 4 good hours working on my thesis. If I can get in a consistent groove on my non-teaching days, then I’ll be done this sucker in no time.

Actually, what I should be doing is spending as much time as possible on my thesis. I think I’ll uninstall Tinder and just focus on fitness and work for the next little while. I’d rather be in a better position career-wise before going on dates and getting serious with anyone. Of course, I could go out on dates just to practice going out on dates… so maybe I’ll hold off on deleting Tinder. But for sure, I’m going to try and spend a majority of my time on my thesis from now on, until it’s done.

And fitness – well, the only thing I really need to improve for fitness is my diet. I’ve been doing really well as far as exercising consistently, and doing around 4-5 workouts a week. If I could stick to a caloric ceiling on a consistent basis, I’d start losing all that pesky belly fat.

Yup. I think I’m going to focus on those two things for the next little while: thesis and diet. Of course, focusing on a diet just means “not eating whatever the hell I want”, which is my current diet. It’s all about prepping my meals for the week, measuring out my portions and counting calories. Thing is though, in the past when I’ve done this, I’ve felt great during the day. Good workouts, lots of energy – so there’s certainly benefits to eating well that I’m not enjoying. Another reason to focus on diet for the next little while.

I will say this though – I’m getting pretty darn good at piano. I need to start a new piano book, because as soon as I learn “Amazing Grace”, I’m done with Alfred’s Piano Book Vol 1.

What else? I was recently binge-watching House – but I’m somewhere near the end of Season 7 and getting pretty sick of it. House and Cuddy have this on-again/off-again relationship, and so I’m guessing Season 8 is all about their wedding and the final episode is one of them dying (or Wilson) at the wedding. Calling it right now. But we’ll see – I’ve no real appetite to watch that show again.

I’m currently catching up with the current season of Bob’s Burgers. I’ve got, like, 6 new episodes to watch, so I am stoked for this evening when I will be done all my goals and can veg out and watch some tv. Yeah!

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A cannabis haze ramble about forcing myself to take advantage of the day

I was pretty slackadaisical [sic] last week with writing. So here we are trying to do a bit better.

I was pretty slackadaisical last week as well. Friday I had to get up early in order to go to the hospital for a kidney checkup. But then I didn’t nap during the day – so I was tired, and when I get tired I get lazy, and when I get lazy I get unproductive. So I basically took Friday off in order to watch tv, play video games and smoke weed. But then, Friday turned into Saturday and I was having so much fun doing nothing, that I kept on doing nothing.

So here I am today, trying to get out of the “do nothing” hole – and get back into the habit of work.

The problem is, doing nothing isn’t all that relaxing – because in the back of my mind I know I’ve got stuff I could be doing. I’ve got notes I could do for class, I’ve got a thesis I should be working on. So taking a day off fills me with guilt. (Not to mention I made chocolate chip cookies Friday night – from scratch, a-thank-you – and so yesterday I ate like, 20 cookies. Guh.)

I think, with goals, it’s easy to get frustrated with how much left there is to do. Usually I’ll do something like, have a good 2 or 3 days in a row, then have some small setback that will set me totally off course. Or I’ll get frustrated at how much longer it will be before I’m on my own, and I say “to hell with the diet” and overeat.

What I want to focus on now, is just writing all my goals down the night before, then during the day getting all my goals done as quickly and efficiently as possible. No matter how tired, how grumpy or how much I have left to do, I should focus on increasing my self-discipline by doing as many of my goals on the ToDo list as I can.

I need to remember that my feelings follow my actions – and if I take action, suck it up, and do the next thing on my ToDo list, once I’ve started, I’ll feel better about the whole thing.

Then I can relax at night, guilt-free, knowing that I spent my whole day working on my goals – and I can be more ok about the fact that my goals will take a long time. What gets me to my goals will be consistency – and as I focus on doing my goals everyday, pretty soon I’ll build up a consistent routine of getting these goals done. And little by little, I’ll start inching my way towards the finish line – until my consistent work catches up with me, and I inevitably reach my goal.

But most of all, I keep getting in the mindset of “I’ll start this for real, tomorrow.” Well, there is no tomorrow. The race has already begun, there’s no restarting – there’s only today, and what I can do today to get myself closer to my goals. If I have a setback, or I reach the end of the day without having done much, the best thing I can do for tomorrow is to write down my ToDo list, and go to bed early. But until then, don’t give up on today. Try and do as much as I can to achieve my goals, no matter what I’m feeling, or how much I don’t want to do it.

That’s what I’m focusing on today.

And finally, check off my tasks once I’ve done it on my ToDo list. That’ll give me a sense of accomplishment, seeing all those checks add up.

And also – do the worst thing first. This will probably mean exercise first thing in the morning, well then, so be it.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A spacey, lazy ramble about finishing my thesis

Oh man – two beers last night and my stomach is not at all happy today. I think I will try going no alcohol for May as a goal – just to see if I can.

Some sad news – my brother’s dog Mack (AKA: Honey Bunches) has a cancerous tumor on his ribs. Mack’s got to have an operation on Tuesday to get rid of it, and we’ll see how much the cancer has spread. So we’re all hoping Honey Bunches can make a full recovery after Tuesday.

It’s looking likely that I’ll skip a workout today. I ‘unno, maybe I will go do one right after this post. I’m feeling sorta bleah – but that probably means that’s the best time to go to the gym.

This thesis is starting to stress me out. I’ve been pretty good about doing 4 pages a day during the month of April – my thesis is 132 pages right now, in rough – but May 1st is coming up quick. I think I’ll have to pull a couple of long days tomorrow and Thursday in order to get it done.

See, what I’m thinking, since the rents are gone – is I roll myself a couple doobers, put my headphones on, load up all the albums of The Mars Volta, and then work on my thesis until I go to bed. In fact, I think that’s how I should be spending my nights from now on – instead of looking at pictures on the internet or playing Hearthstone, I’m thinking I should be spending a significant amount of time on my thesis.

One common problem with goals is that it’s easy to make it to 95% and then quit. The temptation to quit when you’re almost done is very strong. That’s why it’s important to finish something 100%.

Therefore, I think I should really start focusing in on my thesis. I’m very, VERY close to having a PhD and being called doctor, and probably getting a sweet professor gig somewhere. So I should really focus on spending the most time everyday working on this last 5% of my goal.

So that’s gonna be the plan. I’ll probably start that May 1st – so it’ll tie into my May monthly goals.

Oh right – today was gonna be about Game of Thrones. I spaced on that – I’ll do that tomorrow for Wicked Wednesday.

Yup – spacing out ’cause I smoked some cannbis – and it’s super nice out for a change, a bright sunny day. Short post.

Anyhoo, I think I’m gonna gut it out and go do a workout – then try and work on my thesis a little for the evening. That’s the plan.

EDIT: I did do a workout, and I feel much better as a result. I just realized that you can see when I workout through my Twitter feed on the right hand side of this blog. If you’re looking for inspiration to workout, I’d recommend trying Fitocracy. There’s something motivating about getting points for a workout, and the trying to beat that score next workout!

April 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A 4/20 ramble about goals, and I’m not even stoned

Welp, the Sens are down 3-0 in their series against Montreal. It’s not looking good for them – next game is Wednesday, so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyhoo – what’s going on? Today’s 4/20 and I’m not even high yet! What kind of travesty is that! It will be officially 4:20pm in 7 minutes – oh well, I’ll get stoned later.

Had a date with J3 on Saturday. Took her out to dinner then went back to her place. It was good. I’m still not overinvesting my feelings or putting her in the girlfriend role – just taking my sweet time, and so far, my anxiety is a lot less than it was. So that’s good.

On the other hand, I had a date setup for Sunday – but I was so tired from staying up late with J3 that I cancelled on her. That’s probably not a great decision – I should be keeping my options open and dating other women. But I seem to be matching with girls on Tinder on a regular basis, so I’m not terribly concerned.

One thing I am getting better at is developing patience. I realize that it will take a long time to achieve my goals, so I will focus on getting the most out of every day, and working hard until I finish my goals.

The one thing I am getting frustrated with is my thesis. Near the end of my thesis there’s a long section on a thing called “number of solutions” – which is an application of my work. But it’s super messy, and not at all elegant like my principal theory. I think I will basically get everything done in my thesis except for the “number of solutions” part, and then do that last. It’s probably the most tricky.

The rest of the thesis is looking good. I’m at 116 pages or so. I’d say I’ve got a majority of the information down, now it’s just a matter of editing and making sure I’ve got enough references. I will still try my damnedest to get a rough copy done by May 1st – especially since I’ll have to start writing notes for my summer class, which will take a fair amount of time.

What else? Haven’t watched the new episode of GoT yet – that’ll be tonight. I have been watching Daredevil – the Netflix version, and it’s pretty good. It’s gritty and realistic, so I like it – despite the (alleged) comedic persona of Foggy. Also, the actor who plays Daredevil is Irish, and that accent slips through from time to time. But aside from that, it’s pretty good. I mean, hey, it’s television – something to do at the end of the day when all my goals are done.

Because, lemme tell ya, after my workout today, I’m feeling like I need some vegging out time. I switched up my routine so that I do heavy lifts (squats or deadlifts) on MWF and medium lifts (bench, bo rows, seated press) on Tu/Th. I like the idea of lifting 5 days a week, but it can be tiring. My schedule right now is to get up – take my time waking up, do my goals, drink coffee, then do my workout. Once that’s done, I get started on my math for the day. Then do my fun stuff afterwards (piano, writing, reading), then I’ve got the rest of the day to myself.

But I’m thinking I should do a little math before my workout – something like, half the math that I need to do that day. Because math is my primary struggle during the day (as writing a thesis is very tedious), so I feel I need to break it up into manageable chunks. Further, if I have a killer workout and I’m useless for the rest of the day, then at least I’ve done something.

As always, though, I’m trying to develop self-discipline. So instead, I think I should be more focused on getting my goals done for the day rather than figuring out easier ways to do it. Well, I ‘unno… there’s no law that says I can’t work smarter, not harder. We’ll see…

Anyhoo, that’s 15. Have a cannabis-a-riffic 4/20!

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love goals ramble – areas I will need to work on

Woo. The Sens are in a playoff position. Yabba dabba doo.

Anyhoo, I’ve been feeling anxiety lately, and still sorta bummed that I broke up with J2. I think this is because I ignored my need for connection for so long, that I miss that connection – and when I realized J2 and I *could* have a connection, I let my need get the better of me. I’m still gradually accepting that it’s over between me and J2 – but some days are filled with longing.

And it’s a bummer. But the good news is that I know I can change it. I can create a plan to attain my love goals, and as long as I’m following the plan, I can be happy with it’s progress.

Because that’s been a bit of a problem lately, it’s that I haven’t been feeling happy. Before I started dating, I was plenty happy. Or so I thought? This need for connection had lain dormant for some time, so maybe I was fooling myself that I was happy.

What is happiness then? Or where does it come from? I think that a deep happiness comes from working on meaningful goals. So perhaps I should lay out some love goals for myself.

I’ve listed my ultimate goal: I want a deep, mental and physical connection with a young, beautiful, virgin girl who’s dedicated to motherhood and starting a family. I mean, this is a tall order. And I think my mindset now is what can I do to improve myself, to be the type of man that my dream girl is attracted to.

(Rambly today. Took some cannabis earlier.)

Anyhoo, what kind of man would my dream girl be with? Well, he’d have to be handsome, so that she’s physically attracted to him – smart and funny, so that she’d enjoy talking with him – socially savvy, so that she could show him off to all her friends and be seen with him in public – strong, so she feels protected – and good in bed, because if you’ve saved your virginity for me, I’d better be worth it.

So that’s what I’m going to focus on, those areas. Luckily, working on goals in other ares will improve these skills. Physically attractive and strong will follow from my health goals, social savvy I can work into my fame goals, and I’m already pretty goddamn smart and funny. The last one is to be good in bed, so I guess my primary goal for love at the moment, is to continue dating and find girls to have relations with.

That may sound pretty cold, but that’s the reality of dating today.

March 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rough and tumble ramble about wistfulness and goals

A bit of a rough morning feelings-wise. I was feeling wistful all morning towards J2. (See Glossary.) I think it’s helpful to note that I went out last night with some friends for some Simpsons trivia, and as I result, I stayed up late and ended up wasting my sexual energy. (That’s a clever euphemism if I’ve ever heard one.) I think when my sexual energy was “charged” (i.e., it’s been a couple days) then I was looking more towards the future. For sex, I think I should reorient my goal so that I can focus my sexual energy. Right now I don’t really have enough of a plan for my love goals, other than “date a lot of women.”

I also didn’t have a great sleep, which is a problem for me. I’ve had sleeping problems for awhile, I think from when I was doing shift work most likely – might be some stuff in there with the kidney – and I always feel pretty terrible when I’m tired. I have yet to do a workout today, and I missed one yesterday, so I should get down there and do something.

The thing about being wistful, is that it keeps me thinking about the past. As well, I’ve still got anxiety about my love goals, so thinking about the past can trigger negative emotions, or negative thought patterns. What is better is to keep my eye on my goals. Don’t forget the mistakes, but learn from them, and move past them. Keep looking towards the future.

And so that’s what I’ll do. Because thinking about the past tends to bum me out. But thinking about the future is more productive. It instills me with a sense of hope, which leads to optimism. So that’ll be my focus, and my strategy for dealing with negative thoughts. Whenever I start feeling wistful about J2, I can say to myself, “I accept the mistakes I’ve made and I will learn from them. But right now, I will think about my primary goals.”

What are my goals?

I divide my goals up into 5 pillars: Health, Love, Math, Fortune and Fame.

For each of these pillars, I create a primary goal for them. Then for each primary goal, I create a sequence of mini-goals, such that this sequence of mini-goals will lead me to my primary goal. Finally, I create a plan to achieve my mini-goal and start following that plan.

This seems like I good time to do this on my blog. I think I’m going to change my blog around, so that it’s all about goals and stuff. So that in the next few posts, I’ll be writing out my goals, then mini-goals, and creating a plan. I think that’s probably a good idea to do it here – probably with plenty of euphemisms for the Love goals, because it’s a bit embarrassing to talk about my sex life.

Anyhoo – ramble about stuff today. I should say that cannabis helps a lot with my anxiety, I always feel a lot more grounded and have less wistful feelings afterwards. I think I recall that cannabis is an anti-anxiolotic, but I also read that it raises your cortisol levels, so I ‘unno what’s going on. Alls I know is that it’s Friday. You ain’t go no job. And you ain’t go shit to do!

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about goals and visualization, with some nonsense references thrown in at the end

Missed another one yesterday – oh well, back on ‘er today.

That’s the thing with goals, you don’t hit a target. Set a new target. Now, using the Seinfeld method, I’ll see how long I can keep my streak going, starting today.

One thing I have been doing regularly is visualization. Every morning, I’ve set aside 15 minutes for visualization. What I do, is for 3 minutes at a time, I visualize my goals in the areas of Health, Love, Math, Fortune and Fame. I try and picture myself as I will be, when I achieve all my goals.

It’s really hard.

It’s hard to visualize yourself in the third person. How you’ll look like.

The way I do it is to try and picture myself achieving the goal, and thinking about how I’ll feel in that moment.

But it’s hard to do, and ineffective. So what I think I’m going to do, is visualize how I’ll achieve my goals that day. Or try and picture myself doing a montage like sequence containing all my daily chores.

Because ultimately, life is like a movie. What you visualize will happen will come true, essentially. All those sayings about being positive are true – because like attracts like. If you hang out with more positive, goal-oriented people, you become more positive and goal-oriented.

And today’s is short because I keep drifting off… because of the cannabis, you see. (1)

Holy shit! End notes! I haven’t done end notes in like, forever! (2)

Is it because I was practicing piano just before this, and now it’s like a song? (3)

Sing free form Jazz with me! Bloop-bu-du-baaaa, beedley-bwaaahhh.(4)

(1) It’s the Nargles, you see.

(2) For good reason.

(3) We have a good back and forth, you and I. (5)

(4) American Dad reference.

(5) I too, am an American Dad reference. (6)

(6) To be read, in the voice, of Stan Smith… from American Dad.


On TBS! We can say “shit” once during the show!

February 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about my math writing and my weekend

Man o man. I think I gotta stop getting up at 5:00am. Sure, I get lots of stuff done during the day, but man am I ever tired by midday. I’m thinking after I do my 15 minutes of writing here, I’m gonna get my LP’s outta the way, then do my workout, then settle back to read my books. I’m predicting an almost instantaneous nap once I start reading my non-fiction book.

The way I like to do things, is read my non-fiction book first, and then move onto my fiction book. But as I keep falling asleep during the non-fiction book, I figure I’ll shorten my reading time from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, so that I can pay attention for 15 minutes for each book. Although I do still sorta feel like even with that, I will be taking a nap.

Which is terrible if you want to catch up on sleep. It’d be much better if I could just stay up and not nap and then go to bed early. I think that’s what I’ll try and do – so that instead of reading lying on my bed I will read sitting up at my desk. Pretty tough to nap when I’m not lying down on my cozy, cozy bed.

Anyhoo, in more “me”-related news, I submitted my first article back to the publishers on Friday. The referee said my article was very well written, and the only necessary change is to alphabetize the index. Pretty darn good for a first publication, I’d say. It’s understood that if the referee doesn’t suggest many changes, then my article was pretty awesome to begin with. Happy about that.

Furthermore, I also sent my prof the latest draft of my second publication, which I’ve been working on since mid-December. This second paper is a monster. It’s currently 45 pages, although I imagine that’ll be trimmed down somewhat. The article is just one small part of what will be my PhD thesis. With that rough draft outta the way (for now), I can turn my attention to my thesis. I’ve barely started, so that’s gonna occupy a hell of a lot of time from now until the early Summer. Luckily, reading week is next week, and so I will basically try to burn through it that whole week. Doing nothing but writing math each day.

Well, it’s tough to write math all day. I started this morning at 6:00 and worked steadily to just before noon. Lemme tell ya, that’s tiresome. It’s tough to think about math for that long. I’m sorta getting my second wind now, but I was exhausted by the time I e-mailed it in.

Not to mention that, I booked today for a wake and bake sesh. So I’m pleasantly stoned and will be for the rest of the day. Don’t have to go anywhere or see anybody. Just relaxing and doing my work. Awesome.

In other tv and stuff related news – I didn’t get to watch much tv or play video games this weekend. I spent Friday and Saturday nights with a girl I like. It’s been awhile since I’ve liked any girl enough to spend two days in a row with her, so I’m pleasantly surprised at how things are going. With the complexity of modern relationships, I’m not looking to throw myself back into LTR land (although that would be my tendency.) Instead, I’m going to try and just enjoy things and not think too much ahead.

I think it’s because I’m so goal-oriented, that if I spend time with someone, I want to project how my life would look going forward with them in it. Of course, we’ve only been out a few times, so to look that far ahead is definitely premature. But it’s fun to meet someone who’s company I really enjoy.

Anyhoo, there’s your Monday morning coffee-soaked ramble-damble. Hearts and puppy dogs.

February 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Thrilling Conclusion to The Outsider – what was Camus on about?

I have no real idea how the “Top Posts” widget on my sidebar works. Apparently it only takes into account clicks that have happened in the past 24-48 hours, rather than all-time clicks (as I would want it.) Now, although my “I Hate Stana Katic” post appears in the sidebar, it will only stay there for a couple days, or until someone clicks on it again. (Fair warning: I gamed the system and clicked on the post a bunch of times so it would show up.) Anyhoo, I’ll probably change it around a bit so that it’ll keep track of “all-time” clicks. But we’ll see.

Anyhoo, can I talk a bit about how great coffee is in the cool of a summer morning. Right now it’s 16 degrees out, which is fairly warm, but since it’s summer outside (for all intents and purposes) it’s nice and cool in my room, comparatively to the stanky hot it’ll be later today. It’s very brunky out – it smells like a mixture of wet and burnt leaves. A gorgeous, earthy smell – combine that with some black, syrupy coffee and brother, you got yourself a nice morning.

It’s a shame – because this is the type of coffee that would go excellently with a wake and bake session. It’s unfortunate I have to teach tonight, because I tell ya – if I could fire up the bong right now, puff a bowl, drink my coffee and then do a whole bunch of math, that would be a sweet day. But I teach tonight, so even though there’s like, 8 hours before I teach, I can’t be getting high until after class. It’s just too risky – not worth risking my career over a blissful, hazy morning. Alas.

I do love the mornings. It’s usually peaceful in the morning (when I don’t have painters watching me take a shit) and I feel all productive and energized. I would like to start getting up early in the morning – but I love staying up late, too! It’s fun to stay up late – look at stupid stuff on the internet, smoke the ever-present bong. I think I’ll have to start retiring at 9:00, so that I can be alone for a couple hours before I go to sleep. 

Whatevs. Early morning ramble, I suppose. What I really want to talk about is the ending to “The Outsider”, and how I probably missed the entire point of the book.

When we last left our hero, Mr. Meursault (I checked, that’s the correct spelling) – he was on trial for his life after shooting a guy in cold blood. The lawyer for the defense is arguing for, “Murder with extenuating circumstances”, and the prosecutor is shooting for straight-up murder. After all the closing arguments have been said – and when Meursault gets asked if he’s got anything else to say (to which he replies, casually, “No.”) The jury brings back a verdict of guilty, with no extenuating circumstances. The penalty is death.

After the trial, the remainder of the book deals with Mr. Meursault lying in prison, trying to avoid seeing the chaplain. Eventually, the chaplain comes and argues with Meursault about how he should accept God’s love and repent before he dies. Meursault is pretty annoyed by all this God talk. Finally, Meursault explodes at the chaplain, in what is probably the most important part of the book.

Then, I don’t know how it was, but something seemed to break inside me, and I started yelling at the top of my voice. I hurled insults at him, I told him not to waste his rotten prayers on me; it was better to burn that to disappear. I’d taken him by the neckband of his cassock, and, in a sort of ecstasy of joy and rage, I poured out on him all the thoughts that had been simmering in my brain. He seemed so cocksure, you see. And yet none of his certainties was worth one strand of a woman’s hair. Living as he did, like a corpse, he couldn’t even be sure of being alive. It might look as if my hands were empty. Actually, I was sure of myself, sure about everything, far surer than he; sure of my present life and of the death that was coming. That, no doubt, was all I had; but at least the certainty was something I could get my teeth into – just as it had got its teeth into me. I’d been right, I was still right, I was always right. I’d passed my life in a certain way, and I might have passed it in a different way, if I’d felt like it. I’d acted thus, and I hadn’t acted otherwise; I hadn’t done x, whereas I had done y or z. And what did that mean? That, all the time, I’d been waiting for this present moment, for that dawn, tomorrow’s or another day’s, which was to justify me. Nothing, nothing had the least importance, and I knew quite well why. He, too, knew why. From the dark horizon of my future a sort of slow, persistent breeze had been blowing towards me, all my life long, from the years that were to come. And on its way that breeze had levelled out all the ideas that people tried to foist on me in the equally unreal years I then was living through. What difference could they make to me, the death of others, or a mother’s love, or his God; or the way one decides to live, the fate one thinks one chooses, since one and the same fate was bound to ‘choose’ not only me but thousands of millions of privileged people who, like him, called themselves my brothers. Surely, surely he must see that? Every man alive was privileged; there was only one class of men, the privileged class. All alike would be condemned to die one day; his turn, too, would come like the others’. And what difference could it make if, after being charged with murder, he were executed because he didn’t weep at his mother’s funeral, since it all came to the same thing in the end? The same thing for Salamano’s [ed. Meursault’s neighbor] wife and for Salamano’s dog. That little robot woman was as ‘guilty’ as the girl from Paris who had married Masson, or as Marie, who wanted me to marry her. What did it matter if Raymond [ed. I called him Bartolino in yesterday’s post] was as much my pal as Celeste, who was a far worthier man? What did it matter if at this very moment Marie was kissing a new boy friend? As a condemned man himself, couldn’t he grasp what I meant by that dark wind blowing from my future? …

Yeah… That’s his basic reasoning for why Meursault comes to accept his upcoming execution. I think this ties into the “absurdist” philosophy that Camus came to be known for. Namely, that the world is a cruel and unforgiving place, and that there’s no reason why bad things happen to good people. The world is chaos and void, and instead of seeking meaning in logical inference, embrace the absurdity of life, and do what makes you happy.

That’s my initial sort of thinking, but I should probably read that quoted paragraph again and again. Something tells me I’m not getting enough meaning out of it as I should. Well, I’ll think about that for a bit and get back to you, as typing all that out took a lot longer than expected.

May 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment