Tue Apr 28 2020

5:21 AM. I got a few shipments to walk out to the mailbox at 6. I checked my texts this morning and discovered that it’s K.’s birthday. Or his real name is G., but he sent a text in our KG group thread complaining that none of us wished him a happy birthday!

I’m not close friends with K. but I know what it’s like to not be wished a happy birthday by people who I thought would care. I went ahead and wished him a happy belated birthday, and I put together a jibjab happy birthday video featuring him.

It’s nice having a 1 year JibJab subscription! I can make funny cards for any occasion! So far I sent one on my mom’s birthday, I sent a thank you card to my friend M. who I just really appreciate, I sent one to my brother D. on his birthday, and I sent one to G. to wish him a belated birthday. It’s come in quite handy and I can consider it a cost savings measure if all I end up sending this year is JibJab cards instead of gifts I have to spend money on!

Compared to a Hallmark card, it could be a huge savings if I send one per person per birthday. I have 8 family members including myself. That’s 7 cards. Then I’ve got a whole bunch of friends and extended family I would send a card to. I’ll estimate another 10.

So a total of 17 cards divided by the yearly fee of $25 makes $1.47 per card. That’s pretty good! A Hallmark card is around $4 if I remember correctly. I don’t even buy Hallmark cards because I’d rather just make my own. I have a printer, there’s no need to pay Hallmark!

I was feeling buyer’s remorse after spending money on JibJab, but it’s a good feeling I get when I make a video with a friend’s face and get to share it with them. The more I use it, the more worth it it becomes!

I’m so in debt. I just checked my e-mail and I read my daily credit card balance report. $1770 in the hole. And that’s just one of my three credit cards! It doesn’t seem to move, and I haven’t spent using credit cards for what seems like months.

Well here’s the thing. I’m at where I’m at in life. I can’t beat myself up over this because it’s not like I consistently have bad spending habits. I have spending habits and a lot of the time I’m pretty responsible. I have bad spending sprees on occasion, and that’s what leads me to be in debt.

Ehh, I’m not sure that’s really accurate. I think I adopted a lifestyle at some point where I figured that there were certain conveniences that I feel entitled to. I was no longer getting them because I was out of a job, so I just spent the money that I didn’t have to ensure I kept those conveniences. That’s what really led me to being so in debt.

It’s not like I’m stuck here. I’m just here at this moment in time. With time, I can figure this out. I can make a lifestyle for myself that is both financially sustainable, and spiritually uplifting. I just haven’t found that lifestyle yet.

Maybe that lifestyle is already in the works. Maybe that lifestyle is achievable using methods that I’m already employing on a daily basis. Things like writing in my blog every day, or the discipline to walk to the mailbox every day. Maybe it’s simply finding something that gives me a little money, but doing it so consistently that that little trickle of income becomes a downpour.

I’d like to think that the good habits I’m developing can be applied in new areas to where those activities can be monetized. I’m just thinking engineering first principles here. At the base level, money is exchanged when meaningful service is rendered. Repeat the production of meaningful service, and now you have a steady income.

I am forming good habits doing difficult things regularly. It’s difficult to have the discipline to take the trash out every week. It’s difficult to write 2000 words every day. It’s difficult to study Japanese every day. I’m doing these things with a high level of consistency!

I haven’t missed taking out the trash in months. I have it on lock! I haven’t missed writing in months. I may not finish 2000 words sometimes, but I always write! I’m not consistent on Japanese yet, but I think I’m getting there because I have the drive to make progress!

When it comes to providing a meaningful service, I just haven’t found it yet. Or maybe I have in the form of eBay sales, but it’s just not grown to the point where it can sustain me. I don’t know, but I do know that I’m doing a good job at keeping up my eBay store. I have over 300 sales, 100% positive feedback, and I’m adding new items weekly, making price adjustments, and most of all, being responsive to messages and meeting my 1 business day shipping goals.

I have a lot going for me, and I am happy that I am having small victories again and again!

I went for a walk and then I cut my hair. Shaved head, again! I think I took a little too much off of my eyebrows though. They’re uneven now, not cool!

I received a gift from my sister A.! She already got me 2 gifts, now I got a third one! It’s a SONY ECMCS3 lapel microphone. It’s got pretty good audio! The main reason I wanted a lapel mic is because my laptop fans are so loud when they spool up. They always spool up as I play Squad with my mates, and I don’t like that the fan audio is picked up by the laptop’s built-in microphone.

I think that getting the microphone away from my computer and onto my chest is going to result in better audio being transmitted to my friends and other players.

I did a little test, with varying levels of fan noise in the background. I can still hear the fan noise, but I think the signal to noise ratio is a lot better than before. The volume of my voice is coming through a lot higher than before.

I tried a quick test via Discord’s microphone test feature. With my fans cranked to full, Discord’s noise suppression kicks in and I can barely hear the fan noise. That’s looking pretty good!

It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than before. I think in the future, I’d like to get a condenser microphone gaming headset. This sony lapel mic is an electret microphone, which is fine, but I think that condenser microphones are more suited for high-noise environments.

When my current headphones wear out, I think that would be a good time to make an investment and get a gaming headset with a built-in condenser microphone on a boom. That way, I’ll have the most consistent audio possible because the boom stays in the same position.

I’ll be trying it out tonight during Squad and figuring out how it works!

I’m really digging this brand of rotini which are made from chickpeas. With a little tomato sauce and spices, it makes a fantastic meal. I’m heating up some water right now to cook the noodles. I can barely wait!

I gotta figure out how to prepare dried chickpeas. I think using dried chickpeas rather than canned is going to be a regular thing from now on, due to the weight of canned food and my lack of a car. It’s easy enough to figure these things out, thanks to the vast wealth of knowledge that is YouTube!

I would like to film more youtube videos. Software tutorials, perhaps. I want to make more money! I need to make more money, really. I need to do it so I can validate my lifestyle and pay my rent.

I think this blog kind of sucks today. I think I’m avoiding writing about my feelings because I’m hungry. I think it might be a good idea to take a break until I’ve had a chance to eat.

I ate these delicious rotini noodles! I whipped up an tomato sauce using plain tomato sauce, salt, pepper, onion salt, parsely, thyme, and sage. It was absolutely fantastic. It tastes amazing, and it’s gluten free!

I also watch a video explaining the Story of Matzah.

I was amazed to learn that there’s actually a commandment in Judaism which states that everyone must eat at least 1/3 of Matzah in the first four minutes after sundown on a certain day of the year. Holy shit, that’s a bonkers commandment!

Pretty interesting though, knowing the origin. And now I have something to think about whenever I eat Matzos! I have quite a supply that I picked up from Albertson’s yesterday. I ended up eating some with peanut butter and it made a very filling meal!

I’m going to take a moment to do some CoDA work. I have the opportunity to attend a CoDA meeting tonight, but I don’t think I’m going to. I simply don’t want to! I don’t want to make more friends… I have friends already that I feel like I might lose because I don’t spend time with them. Maybe some of those friendships are not so healthy.. I’m not sure.

Anyway, here’s my response to Question #7 from the CoDA 30 questions.

Do I control others to relieve my fears?

Yes. I have done this many times in the past.

I remember one time when I stopped at a convenience store with my brother M. We decided to get some snacks for a game night we were about to have, and this 7-11 near the card store was a convenient stop. We picked out some snacks and waited in line to check out. There were maybe 4 other people in the store at the time. An angry guy came into the store and was complaining loudly about something that had just happened. Apparently he had a close call and almost ran into a car door of someone who he claims wasn’t paying attention. This angry guy was driving but it seemed like he should not have been. He seemed to be under the influence of a drug.

He expressed his anger at the store clerk, who laughed off the situation. Another customer came into the store and the angry guy brought up his issue with the customer who entered the store. Apparently that customer was the one responsible for the near collision. I remember that person denied being at fault which further aggravated the drunk guy.

M and I paid for my snacks and hurried back to my truck. I tried to stay calm but I was panicking the whole time. This was before I learned coping skills, meditation, and mindfulness, so I was really scared and I was shutting down. I was completely silent for a good five minutes. All I could do was drive.

M. finally spoke about the situation at 7-11 and said he was worried someone was going to pull a gun. I remember becoming immediately angry with him. I tried to act like I wasn’t bothered by the angry drunk guy, that he had misread the situation and there was nothing wrong. The truth is that I was very afraid. Had the argument escalated to a fight, I don’t know what I would have done.

I haven’t apologized about how I reacted to M.’s comment. M was right to speak about it, and I was wrong to bottle up the feelings and pretend it didn’t happen. This is only one occasion where I have treated my close friends or family poorly because I couldn’t deal with my own feelings.

I try to control people who express a certain level of subservience. Most commonly, I have tried to control my younger brothers. I think I have treated them poorly on several occasions because I use them as an emotional shield. This often leads to situations like the 7-11 one, where I avoided feeling afraid by distracting myself and using anger to attack my brother’s character.

Do I let others control me for fear of their abuse or neglect?

Yes. I have let my father control me on many occasions. I have feigned helplessness so he would step in and take control of situations. I have simply said yes to his requests to work for him because I was afraid that he would become upset that I said no.

Do I adapt or change my behavior for others?

Yes. I hide my interests in anime and VOCALOID with many of my friends. I censor myself heavily when I speak, or I don’t speak at all, and let strangers be afraid of me. I think when I do this, people start to come up with some stories about my character. They assign all sorts of labels to me such as, “really smart.” which only hurts me in the long run because I feel inadequate in the face of some of the labels they assign me.

Do I validate my value and worth as a person through them?

I don’t know. Maybe through my father. I wanted to be appreciated and helpful to him. If I wasn’t, I felt terrible. I felt like hiding or disappearing.

Do I avoid others in order to feel safe?

Yes. I avoid CoDA for one, because I feel exposed when I’m there. Avoiding it means I am in control of my security.

When we codependently avoid others, as well as adapt or change our behaviors for others, we give them, instead of our Higher Power, this control and strength.” Discuss.

Don’t tell me what to do!

I think I was supposed to do CoDA question #8, because I already did these ones over the phone last week. Oh well. I suppose I can do that tomorrow.

So that part about codependently avoiding others… Am I avoiding CoDA meetings due to my own codependency? I suppose I avoid it because I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to be myself with strangers and practice being myself with strangers.

My Hatsune Miku shrine is visible in the background when I’m on a video call. I’m embarrassed about that! I don’t just want to cover it up either, because that seems the same as hiding a part of myself. Hiding is what I’m supposed to not do, but I have the urge to adapt and change my behavior in order to be accepted by others.

I suppose I have to remember the serenity prayer in this case.

Y’know what? I’m turned off by god. I don’t even want to quote the serenity prayer because it contains an unecessary plea to god. Y’know what? I might even delete CoDA from my life and look for some other support group which is 100% non-secular.

I appreciate Sam Harris who spoke about the problem of god in AA. I think it was Sam Harris anyway. Sam said that AA promotes that people can’t change themselves without god. That’s simply not true, and I feel it every time I read some passage about god in the book.

Y’know what? I’m feeling physically vulnerable right now. I’m going to stop writing.

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