New Moon Fasting

So, it’s the February new moon…and so I’m fasting…well, juice fasting.

And yes, I realize that our bodies can detox on their own. So, no, this isn’t some weird fad I’ve adopted. I’ve fasted for various spiritual and personal reasons over the years.

Also, with the crazy amount of shit that most of us get through our store bought food…I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that I drink freshly squeezed juice for a few days each month. Extra vitamins, mineral, fiber, antioxidants.

But Fasting with No Sleep Is Crazy

Last night, I slept less than two total hours. The sleep I got was riddled with nightmares. Awful ones. Worse than usual ones. So I’m combining no sleep with juice fasting. And it may be the worst thing I’ve ever done. :p

Okay, so not the worst thing I’ve ever done…

The Bright Side

I’m a huge believer in mental sovereignty and self-control. So, the bright side of this situation is that I get some extra practice choosing my thoughts and my behavior until this evening.

Edited to Add:

11:12 am: By the way, I made apple, strawberry, pear juice. And I promptly spilled it down my shirt. Did I mention that I use Cherry Blossom soap and lotion? I smell like a goddamn fruit salad.

WTF Friday: Productivity, Airline Asshole, All about the Benjamins

Okay, so we’ve made it through another week…January is also finished. You’re officially 1/12th of the way done with 2019. So let’s do the thing, shall we?

Productivity

I generally love productivity tips. I’ve always liked being both productive and efficient. So, I was really excited to come across an article promising to tell me five ways to be more productive working form home. But they’re all basic. And the exact same thing you should do if you don’t work from home and work for a traditional company instead. You know, shit like exercising which boosts your productivity, not sitting at your desk ALL day, and staying the fuck off social media. Not impressed.

Airline Asshole

So, some dumbass wants to hide behind “I’m not politically correct” as she, on video, shames her seatmates on a flight because she’s stuck in the middle seat. I’d just like to point out that as she called the folks on both sides of her “fat pigs,” she didn’t do herself any goddamn favors dressed like she is.

I do not fly. However, I’d much rather be stuck with her seatmates than with that raging bitch.

All about the Benjamins

This really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone…but pharmaceutical companies are out to make money…and there’s more money to be had if you know something you make is addictive (although you tell doctors it isn’t) and then decide to get into the addiction recovery business from the pharmaceutical side.

Yep, what we all know to be true is actually true. And Purdue Pharma’s redacted court documents allude to the fact that they wanted to do more than make opioids…they also wanted to get into the addiction treatment side of things.

We are nothing but dollar signs in the eyes of these businesses. We are not mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, siblings, or grandparents. We are dollar signs.

WTF Friday – Virgin Violence & an Easy to Beat Defense Rap

Virgin Violence

Oh. My God. Okay, so if yall didn’t seen it in advance, there’s some extremely stupid man (in his mid / late 20s depending on how you calculate your “mid” years for a decade). And he’s a virgin (well, now that he’s in jail – he’s probably not…at least, not from the receiving send).

So, let me tell you what this dummy did to get himself into this situation. Mr. 27-year-old-virgin threatened to kill a woman because HE is a virgin.

Isn’t he just delightful? Like, dude. There’s Tinder. There are prostitutes. You have all these other avenues (or hey, wait it out, bruh) to get some. Threatening women doesn’t really make us super excited to let you go to pound town, amirite?

Police in Colorado contact him because he didn’t want the “1000 hoes” he sees online…but an actual girlfriend and that he planned to kill as many women as he possibly could. It’s like a modern-day Son of Sam except he’s behind bars before he did anything stupid.

And, for those unfamiliar with Son of Sam, his neighbor once complained to the cops about Berkowitz threatening to kill his dogs…and the cops downplayed it at just a crazy neighbor. And then, you know, all those ladies (and couples) he shot in the face…and then wrote letters to taunt the police.

Jackass Quotes Jay-Z Lyrics as Defense for Shooting

So, I think we’d all agree that there’s enough violence in this world. A man in Brooklyn dubbed as the “gangbanger who couldn’t shoot straight” is in big trouble for a shooting that left not one but two innocent bystanders dead. The goal of Nicholas “Face” Washington (come on, yall, come up with better street names…) had the goal of shooting and killing cocaine slangin’ rivals. Because despite the growing drug epidemic here in America, apparently there aren’t enough drug addicts to go around. (I call bullshit since we are now all statistically more likely to die by an opioid overdose than in a car accident.)

Anyway, the brilliant defense strategy for Williams was to quote Jay-Z lyrics. And by Williams, I mean his lawyer. And the lyrics? Well, you can read them here, but it’s about how quick you can get killed. So, it’s not like it was some sort of actual defense or rationalization.

Exit, stage left.

Have You Read ‘1984’ Lately?

Okay, so a little disclaimer. This really isn’t related to the administration currently in office. For future reference, this post was initially drafted in January 2019.

I’m only about 45% through the book. So, I won’t make observations past that point. And that’s all this post is…a list of observations and how they appear to correlate to our current time in life.

If you’ve never read the book, you should. It’s on Amazon Prime for free if you’re a Prime member. Libraries have it, too.

Big Brother Is Watching You

So, in the very beginning of the book, Winston is entering into the building where his apartment is located. There is a poster of “Big Brother.” The caption reads “Big Brother Is Watching You.”

My take here is all the damn technology we have (that I am also currently using to post this missive). All the stupid fucking disclaimers people slap up on their Facebook profiles thinking it means Facebook, the government, and our alien overlords can’t take their private info. News flash: when you accepted Facebook’s terms of use / terms of service, you sold your privacy. If you don’t like that, get off of Facebook.

Anyway, you know exactly what I’m talking about…how it seems like you even think that you need to buy something and the ad pops up. I understand how it happens from searching for something via a search engine and then seeing targeted ads on websites and social media. It’s the big, wide world of cookies.

Think about all of the private conversations leaked by Alexa. There’s technology out there that allows people, government or not, to see you through your web cam and you’d NEVER know it (I know – I was victimized by it by the ex). Apps (broad use – anything that allows the following actions to happen) can be used to see everything you type on your computer, your cell phone, your smart anything. Again, there’s a chance you may never know it’s there. Some of the choices are so sophisticated, you won’t find them unless you are very, very skilled or hire someone very, very skilled.

So, yes, we are being watched…all the time. And, yes, it’s okay if you’re okay with that. This isn’t some paranoid idea. It’s just a thought I had the minute I read that in the book.

Newspeak

When I first read this word, I did not read it as new + speak. I read it as news + speak. Immediately it conjured up in my mind the uptick of clickbait. Poorly worded and often intentionally misleading headlines. For example, I recently saw a local news channel’s tweet about a missing 11 year old boy who was found safe and….”no foul play suspected.” Well, I’d fucking hope not since you said he was found safe.

It used to be, not all that long ago, that clickbait type shit was primarily used by people who do what I do (content writing). I’m not a huge fan of it, but it can be used appropriately. I’ve used a few titles that are clickbait designed without being over the top:

Example 1

Example 2

My blog, as all of you know, isn’t monetized. But, I mean, if you’re going to write a blog and you want to be known for what you say, you’re going to create things that bring in clicks…but what I’ve offered via headline has always been supported by the content.

Now, it seems like major journalistic outlets (and even not so major ones) use a ridiculous amount of clickbait and flat out false information both in their title and within the article. There was a time when we ostracized “professionals for that.”

And for good reason. Journalism used to be about truth. Fiction was saved for…well, fiction writers (including novel authors, novella authors, and writers for rag magazines).

Yet, the idea of new + speak isn’t completely foreign to me. I know it isn’t for you, either. I don’t just mean common slang. In the book, the term essentially means that they take away all the options to say something except one or two ways. So that the populace only said what the government wanted. I mean, it is a book that also highlights the idea of a thought crime.

Thought crimes…I could devote an entire post to just that. Anyway…

I liken it to the continued reduction we see in reading comprehension. And, yes, I know there are several legitimate reasons why someone may struggle to comprehend what they read. For many people, though, they just don’t want to be bothered to pick up a dictionary and learn something.

Victory Gin and Cigarettes

I will keep this quite short.

People are a lot easier to control when you keep them eyeball deep in various addictions. When that’s all someone cares about, it’s harder to see the big picture and what’s happening in their lives and in the world.

The Proles

The proles were those looked down upon by most of the working class. This part of society was fairly self contained. They technically had the same laws, but the police never went to enforce them. They could pretty much do what they wanted….and they never realized the power they had if they would only stand up.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Mandatory Jobs as a Federal Worker

So, I sat down to write this today instead of first finishing the book because some friends of mine who have an afternoon talk show here in my city mentioned AOC and some of the things she’d like to do while in office. One of those things is to make everyone a federal employee. You know, just like in 1984. First, let me state that I have no idea if she actually said or alluded to that.

Can you imagine what would happen to everyone right now during the government shutdown? And there would likely still be a shutdown because we have too many cooks trying to lead the kitchen. The book mentions rationed food, no razors, fake coffee, televisions that watch you and that you must interact with to show your support, and persecution (including death) for thought crimes.

Sounds dreamy. And by dreamy I mean some fucking nightmare.

Screens That Constantly Watch You

The book discusses the placement of screens that constantly watch what’s happening…where they can talk directly to you. You can’t have private conversations. You can’t just associate with anyone you want. If you even LOOK like you don’t support the government, they come and get you.

Pretty easy for me to relate that to our constant use of technology. You can revisit my yammering toward the top to refresh yourself.

Finding a Hide Away

Like I said, I’m only about half through the book…but several times Winston and someone (I won’t try to spoil it for you, but it’s not his wife). sneak off to find hide aways to spend time together.

Remember when we used to be told what a wonderful tool technology would be and how it would make our lives easier? Now we have zombies who constantly look at their screens and probably have legitimate withdrawals without their phone or laptop or tablet or video game. Now, it’s considered progress to “unplug” and not feel like we are constantly tethered to devices. Look at that…what was once the master became the slave.

So, if you get the chance, read 1984 by George Orwell. There are so many points I could make that I haven’t just with the first half of the book…

The Quick Cure for Pigeonholes

I think that most of us can agree that being pigeonholed sucks. If you don’t know what that term means, it means that because you’ve worked in a certain industry for an extensive time (or did certain things for an extensive amount of time), one or more persons (or businesses) think that you can’t do anything else.

And If You’re a Freelance Writer, It Can Hurt Your Business

As a freelance writer (or an editor…or, really, any sort of freelancer), there’s a big likelihood of sticking with the same sorts of projects or working with the same industry over and over again. They like what we do. We know what we’re doing.

Yet, interviewing in other industries for other work can cause the new potential client to determine, without really getting to know you or putting a lot of attention toward what you sent, that you’re not right for the job because you don’t have a substantial history working in THEIR industry. They pigeonhole you. You can’t be qualified because you haven’t worked exclusively in their world. You know, you haven’t been THEIR bird in a gilded cage. You were someone else’s bird in a gilded cage.

It has the potential to leak much suckage into your business. Because, you know, how the fuck can you grow your business (and experience) if people do that?

The good news is, I have a quick cure.

Know Thyself

Don’t worry – I’m not about to get all philosophical on you. What I mean by “know thyself” is to make sure that you can recall each project you’ve worked on with similar features OR that is exactly the same (on the same subject or what have you). Make sure that you have samples (and publication links) ready. And take the time to listen to what they’re saying as they speak. There’s a good chance that they really didn’t take the time to look at the samples they requested. Trust me, I know. I was asked for samples. I sent two. One was an ebook snip and one was a textbook snip; they weren’t related. The potential client stated I sent two samples of legal writing. One was on leadership. The other was on adolescent psychology.

From there, I went forward and discussed published clips where I had written extensively for the legal industry about the specific idea this person had for a project (to show my subject matter expertise).

Whether or not I get the work still remains to be seen. My point in sharing this is to explain to you that you don’t have to get flustered or feel bad because someone pigeonholes you. If you know your previous projects inside out, you’ll find a way to relate it back.