Archive | March, 2012

I want to reinvent myself but I don’t know how

27 Mar

It’s no secret that I’m not really happy with who I am as a person. I’m overweight, have poor sartorial style, lack wittiness, am generally introverted, and often find that I’m a third wheel to conversations.  Most importantly, I have no passion for anything.

I’ve been working on the weight thing for a while. I’ve been keeping to a specialty diet for over a month now and am down about 20lbs. I’m going to stay at it until I have a six pack. I’m hoping that this summer will be the first summer that I will feel comfortable in a bathing suit. The sartorial issue is linked to the clothes, as once I lose the weight, I’ll go out and buy nicer clothes.

I think the introvertedness and social awkwardness is also linked to the weight issue. I feel that being in better shape will open the doors to many social situations that I’m currently excluded from. This will bring more self confidence and people will be more apt to include me in there conversations. Hell, people might actually even be interested in me.

But perhaps the most pressing issue for me right now is my lack of passion. I know I’ve written on this before, but it’s been about two years since I lost my passion for everything. I have yet to get it back. I miss being constantly absorbed in something. I used to live and breath history. It was at least half of what I spend my time thinking about.

Now I spend the majority of my time thinking about politics and atheism. I would say those are my two passions, but they’re not. I’m burned out on both of them. I’m too cynical about politics to pursue a career in it. I pay attention to what’s going on, but from afar. As for atheism, I feel very much post-atheism. Yeah, I’m an atheist. So what? I don’t get any pleasure from debating religion. In fact, it’s something I actively try to avoid. I just end up getting angry and frustrated with nothing to show for it.

So the two things I spend the majority of my time thinking about don’t make me happy. Ok, so what doe I enjoy? What are some of the things I’m interested in?

Art. I like making things. Though this feeling has slowly waned in the past year.

Computer games. I enjoy them, but I’m not overly passionate about them. I don’t know how I could use that to get me a career or to impress women.

Computers? Meh, I really couldn’t care less honestly. I just picked it up as some way to make money. Talking hardware specs doesn’t get me excited. I just needed some useful skill that I could use to put food on the table.

Hacking? This interests me a bit, but I don’t have the pull to spend all my time working on it.

Traveling? I guess this is the closest thing I have resembling a passion. I want to travel the world. I want to spend my life seeing extraordinary things. I want to be an interesting and eccentric person with a sea plane, flying around on adventures.

Yet I’m not really sure how to make this happen. I don’t spend all my time looking at maps, or discovering places to travel to. Perhaps I should start more.

The big problem I have is that when I find a subject that I think is interesting, I always feel as if other people were there first, that other people in my social circles have claimed that subject as “theirs” and thus I would simply be a copy-cat. Not genuine. Not unique. Not me.

Ex: Oh, you already claimed “programming” as your thing? Guess I can’t do that then. I don’t want to be competing with you, don’t want to be perceived as trying to *be* you. I realize this is silly. There is nothing new under the sun. There are going to be people in every field that I get interested in. I have to be able to assert myself, ignore them, and tell myself that I’m awesome. If only I could do that…

I want to have worth, I want to be in shape, I want to have a passion that I’m knowledgeable on and that other people find interesting, I want to be more out going, I want to have people want to spend time with me. I often get the feeling that if I just cut off contact from everyone I know, nobody would notice. Nobody would call, nobody would bother.

 

Reason Rally Recap

27 Mar

Over the weekend I went to the first ever Reason Rally in Washington DC. I’m finally back now and have had time to unwind and unpack.

While I was fully expecting to have to stand in the back all day staring at a large screen of what was happening on stage, something amazing happened. My friend Ashley F. Miller won an essay contest and was awarded two VIP passes! She was extremely generous in letting me use the second one. As a result, I got to sit in the very front row of the entire Reason Rally event! I was so excited, I was slightly weak-kneed.

The speakers were all wonderful, but by far my favorites were Tim Minchin and Eddie Izzard.

Reflecting on the whole event, it was pretty thrilling to be out in public like that with people talking about atheism on stage. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but the numbers made me feel safe.

Overall, I think it was a great success, especially since we pulled in 20-30,000 people in the rain. I can only imagine what it would be like if it wasn’t raining.  I found it interesting that my mother told me that she was unable to find any coverage of the event on the news. You would think that if 20,000 + people gathered on the national mall for atheism, the news would at least cover it. Apparently Fox news covered it only to downplay it and dismiss it.

I think that the rally was a very important step in coming out and fighting the notion that atheism is not socially acceptable in America. I’m not sure how much it will change the lives of those constantly living in fear of being discovered, but the idea was to get a national conversation going and to rally the troops.

Either way, I was thrilled to be apart of the largest gathering of atheists in history.

Why are bombs ok, but not condoms?

3 Mar

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of how the conservatives held a one sided “hearing” on birth control where not a single woman was able to testify. Here in America, reproductive health is not viewed as a legitimate issue, and women are not women, rather they are a sum of parts to be regulated. (At least in the eyes of our politicians) One such sum of parts was a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke. She was supposed to go to the hearing to testify on why reproduction is part of human health (seems obvious) and thus should be covered by healthcare. Unfortunately the conservatives barred her from testifying.

Bombastic conservative icon Rush Limbaugh the proceeded to call this woman a slut and a whore for wanting healthcare to cover contraceptives. He went further to say : “if we’re going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

I’m not sure if Rush is aware, but it takes two people to have sex. Actually, Rush might be aware seeing as he was stopped when trying to re-enter the US after a trip to the Dominican Republic because he had a massive quantity of Viagra. What were you doing in the Dominican Republic with all that Viagra Rush? You weren’t married, and according to you, unmarried women who have sex are sluts and whores. Were you on a sex binge with prostitutes? Of course not. I’m sure it was somehow related to a church mission to help the poor.

Conservatives are decrying contraception coverage as symptomatic of the nanny state, a big government waste of tax payer money so others can have sex.

Lets exam this:

1) The government isn’t paying for the birthcontrol. Healthcare companies are.

2) If healthcare companies covered contraceptives, it would save you money. Pregnant women are expensive for healthcare companies. The fewer pregnant women in your healthcare pool, the less a healthcare company has to charge to pay for them and you.

3) It is ok for healthcare to cover Viagra so old men can still get a hard-on and have sex, but it is not ok for healthcare to cover birth control, which some women take as a hormonal treatment and not just so they don’t get pregnant?

Why aren’t conservatives calling men sluts and whores and decrying how healthcare is paying them to have sex? Why aren’t they demanding sex tapes of these individuals online? Like Rush Limbaugh for example. (Hint: Answer starts with H and ends with ypocrisy)

Viagra is used to treat one thing, limp dick. The pill treats a number of issues besides preventing pregnancy.

4) Why is it not “nanny state government” for the government to regulate who can marry, who can have what types of sex in their private homes, and what a woman can do with her body, but it IS “nanny state government” for healthcare to have to cover contraceptive?

5) Conservatives claim that they want to stop abortion. Birth control stops unwanted pregnancies which lead to abortions. If A=B and B=C, A=C, thus birth control stops abortions. (That’s a liberal conspiracy called logic)

A rational person would think that if someone truly wished to lower the amount of abortions per year, you’d invest heavily in birth control and stop the problem before it starts. Surely that would be the most effective use of resources.

6) Lastly, if conservatives can refuse to pay for life saving healthcare, can liberals refuse to pay for their bombs? Why is it ok for us to be forced to pay for you to kill people, but not ok for you to be forced to pay to make people’s lives better?

I’m sure a conservative will try to counter that last point with “national security. Killing people overseas makes us safer” but that’s extremely debatable. A liberal could easily counter with how fewer unwanted pregnancies = fewer unwanted children = fewer crimes = safer America.

Let’s be honest. This isn’t an issue of tax payer money going to fund wild sex parties. This is an issue of conservative sexism, hypocrisy, and disdain for women.

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