The e-book of 5150 is free on Smashwords. Go to 5150 on Smashwords.com You will see that it is set to “name your own price.” This means you can pay $0.00, or anywhere from $0.99 and up, depending on how generous you feel. I want the book to be available to the families, friends and loved ones of people who have had or who are having a psychotic episode. It will give you tremendous insight into the chaos inside their heads, and probably help you sort out what some of it means to them.
I began a series of posts on LinkedIn aimed at assisting some of society’s most vulnerable members who are struggling in the Shadow Economy. You can read those articles here:
I also wrote a book about mental illness that is intended to help families and loved ones of the mentally ill understand better what is happening inside the mind of their beloved. I am uniquely qualified to write the book, and I will say no more.
May this information reach eyes that need to read it, touch hearts that need to feel it, and open minds that are confused or closed. I can’t fix the world, but I can do my little part to make it a better place, right?
I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas. That’s how depression feels. T.S. Eliot may have been depressed.
I have a coworker who used to be my boss. He’s got an aggressive, confrontational style of communicating. He takes every opportunity to bully me.
I am an introvert, with a strong non-violent, passive streak. This guy brings out the worst in me: passive aggression. He is down in the boxing ring with his gloves on, waiting to throw a punch, when he suddenly realizes I am in the control booth, and I turned off all the lights.
Working with people like my ex-boss is draining. I suppose they are inevitable in every environment. My current boss suggests that I take some assertiveness training. I will.
I found out today that my eyesight is getting worse because of cataracts. They have not formed, but they are in the stages of forming. My prescription for reading glasses more than doubled. I used to have perfect vision at long range, so there is no need for bifocals yet. I guess I will have to undergo Lasik, or else wear glasses for the rest of my life. Part of it is just a symptom of getting old. Some of it is medication and being overweight.
“I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear my trousers rolled.” T.S. Eliot
I started gravitating towards the family religion last year. The religion is known by a lot of different names, but I prefer to call it “psychic stuff.” I grew up around it. My mother wrote a book called Psychic Dangers when I was 11 years old. She interviewed a lot of psychics, and then “picked up a bad entity.” She was in a panic, fearing for not just herself, but my stepfather and me, too.
After tearing the manuscript into pieces, my mother then asked us all to join her while she drove down to the Vallejo Marina, at the mouth of the Napa River. She put the torn manuscript into a garbage bag, added a few bricks, tied it shut, then threw it into the water. The bag burst open, scattering the pieces of paper all through the Marina. They floated mockingly on the surface of the water like a thousand white lily pads. Frightened, my mother herded us back into the rust bucket and drove us back to the trailer.
When Mom later discovered Tibetan Buddhism, it was a relief. I used to get punished for “giving off bad vibes,” but now I was just asked to sit quietly, which was easy, especially when the WWF was on cable. So when psychics and channelers and Reiki Grand Masters paraded back into my life last year, I maintained a healthy skepticism.
I was feeling like crap, so I figured it would be a good idea to listen to the free psychic shows on the Internet. They did help, particularly the shows that included a guided meditation. While listening, I noticed a lot of unspoken memes that were reverberating across the crackpotsphere. Here are some observations:
1. All angels speak with an Indian accent
2. There was “a cosmic shift” in 2012, according to younger psychics.
3. Older psychics maintain that the shift happened in the 1970s.
4. We are “currently living in the fifth dimension,” and “science has shown it to be true.”
5. Reality appears to many people as a grid.
6. The grid contains “sacred geometry”
7. Powerful practitioners can transfer a grid across time and space via the telephone or the Internet.
8. Many people came to psychic stuff after reaching a spiritual bottom in the Entertainment industry.
9. The Christ Consciousness IS the 5th Dimension. Science has not backed up this assertion.
10. If the current psychic stuff movement were organized, it would be presided over by Esther Hicks, and Abraham the Angel.
When I first started learning Spanish, I noticed that the days of the week seemed to be related to Roman or Greek gods, which were also planets. In English, our days of the week are named after Norse Gods, but many of them are analogous. For instance, Jueves in Spanish is for Jove/Jupiter, while Thursday is for Thor. Both of them own the thunderbolt, and are considered the HGIC in their respective faiths. It continued in French, and then, to my utter astonishment, in Japanese!
Monday=Lunes=Lundi=Getsuyobi=Moon Day. When I learned Italian, Lunedi was added to the mix.
Friday (Freyja day)=viernes=vendredi=kinyobi=venerdi=Venus day. Freyja is the Norse goddess of beauty, love, sexuality, etc. Just like Venus.
I asked my Japanese teacher why the days of the week were named after the same planets as they are in the Romance languages, and she just smiled and said, “because we know this too.” Before contact with the Western world, they used numbered days based on a lunar calendar. If I were a linguist, I would write my thesis on how the names of planets came to be associated with names of days in cultures that are linguistically unrelated.
Then I learned Portuguese. How very odd. They use numbers instead of planets/gods. Monday is segunda-feira (second day) Friday is sesta-feira (sixth day). The seventh day is Sabado (Sabbath, as in all Romance languages). When I told my Spanish speaking husband about this, he shook his head in disbelief. He can’t deal with the fact that Rio is pronounced HEE-yoo in Portuguese. The days of the week are just further examples to him of how backwards and incorrect the language must be. Some day I know he will study the language, and then it will all make sense.
I believe the Portuguese, and by extension, the Brazilians, are rebels. They do what they want, say what they want, and don’t need gods to tell them what day it is. It’s a good thing to think about on Mardi Gras/Carnival. This is their last burst of chaotic anarchy before they succumb to the Saturnine discipline of Lent.
The 2015 Grammy Awards had a lot of moments. Some were cringeworthy, others delightful. For me the moment that stands above all others was when Sam Smith held up his Grammy, and said “This is the best night of my life,” then in a brave and steady voice, “Just a quick one — I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys!”
I grew up in a different era, when the Grammys were controlled by old people who would have censored such a moment. If Elton John stood up and openly proclaimed his love, his publicist would have fired him, and all of Hollywood would have turned their back on him. In an interview in a 1984 edition of The Face magazine, Grammy-winner George Michael insisted he was not gay, leading me to conclude that I must be the only gay person on Earth.
It was at that exact moment when Sam lifted the Grammy and spoke without fear that I realized we have finally arrived. Sam did not have to wait until his boy band broke up to confess his homosexuality. He did not have to pretend to be straight to sing songs that have garnered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. He didn’t have to hold a dark secret behind his jewel-encrusted candelabra.
I hope Sam knows how his few words are like a tipping point to a revolution that began in Riots in the late 1960’s, a revolution that survived cocaine and disco, a revolution that grew into a deadly epidemic and endured. On February 8, 2015 the revolution ended. Sam stands on the shoulders of giants. I felt great relief in that moment.
Of course this revolution must now spread to distant nations, where Sam would be hanged or beheaded if he tried to perform there. It still needs to reach the dark corners of America and Europe where hatred is still encouraged and rewarded. But for this brilliant moment in time, the scale has tipped in our favor. The Hollywood Ouroboros has vomited its own tail, and allowed people to be who they really are. Here in California and in many civilized corners of the Earth, the media has not just accepted us; it has embraced us.
Just as an added bonus, my second favorite moment was when Taylor Swift said she was proud to call Sam Smith her friend. It made me wish I could be her friend, too. I guess I could follow her on Twitter. And tied for second place was a great moment when Mary J Blige finished singing a duet with Sam, and they embraced.
I know some haters are gonna hate, but to me, the embrace was a visual acknowledgement that the struggle for Civil Rights is a shared experience between our communities. [hater: No, it’s not! How can you say a lifestyle choice is the same as the color of your skin!] to the hater, I say, “how can you fail to see the tremendous common ground we share”?
From a spark that ignited into a raging fire when a brave drag queen threw a bottle at a New York City cop, we have seen the fires burn for almost half a century, waiting for the institutionalized violence and oppression to finally collapse. They came down at last, when a brave man held his Grammy high and toppled the walls.
Twitter is home to these semi-people with half-baked identities. There will be a picture of an Emo guy named “@motivation_quotes” and his blurb says some variation of “I like leadership and self-motivational inquiries. Come and be my friend. Followback 100%” The English is poor, and the sentiment is cloudy at best.
To find out if my new follower is for real, I go to his profile, where I see that he has tweeted 18 times and has 100,000 followers. The 18 tweets all concern motivation and leadership. “What the heck,” I think, “I’ll follow this guy. He doesn’t seem to be noisy, after all, and he has great influence.”
This was my beginner’s understanding of how to build a network on Twitter. What I didn’t realize was that his profile does not display how many RETWEETS he has done, which must number in the millions. Every 5 seconds, another picture of a scantily clad woman originally tweeted by “@True_Romance” or “@Love_Tasty” appears retweeted by @motivational_quotes in my feed. Once in a while, the bikini is missing due to “oops wardrobe malfunction.” Some of the tweets are pictures of suicides.
These are the breast robots. I have a suspicion what they are and why they are retweeting NC-17 obscenities. They represent all that is crass and unpleasant about this new electronic wonderland we have all chosen to inhabit.
Breast robots, as far as I can tell, are part of some murky and shady PR agency based in a not-quite-first-world nation. They promise 75,000 followers and they do it with this mad babble, artificial identities, and probably a host of other unpleasant tactics that I have yet to discover.
Glory of glories, I discovered the “Mute” feature. I get to keep following this nitwit and count him among my “followers” and he doesn’t unfollow me, because he doesn’t know I can’t see him. Or her.
With the help of all the fantastic free features on SocialBro, I can get quick stats on who is following me that I am not following, the reverse, the reciprocal follows, the recent unfollows…so I can clean up my following.
In truth, I think only a half dozen strangers have reached out to me who I would even consider real human beings with shared interests. I am always helpful to these real people. I go to their YouTube page and like their video. I go to their gig on Fiverr and “check it out.” I don’t befriend any of these strangers on Facebook. They could suddenly turn into breast robots and then my social network would be tainted.
Only about 5% of my friends are on Twitter. They are great. We cheer one another on, we retweet, we favorite, and we exchange abbreviated sentences. All of these friends are female, and oddly they don’t know what I am talking about when I mention the breast robots. Apparently this only happens to males. Even males like me who follow a couple of really hot gay porn stars just to keep up with their (ahem) acting careers.
The twitterverse is a massive collection of false identities and robo-posters, with a few real people sprinkled in between. And, lest I forget, it’s really fun, too!
Smell is the sense that has the deepest and least conscious connection to memory, followed by taste. When we smell the perfume that our grandmother wore, we find ourselves thinking about her without really knowing why. For some reason, when the memory comes about below our consciousness, it has a tendency to drag a lot of emotions along with it, whether happy, angry, sad, or something in between.
Dogs have a sense of smell many times more powerful than that of humans. This led me to wonder if they have the same ability to recall emotions and even communicate by scent.
Our dog Patsy has specific spots in the neighborhood where she will sniff and pee with great predictability. She also has a schedule worked out, where she gets very stubborn about which walk we need to take that day in order for her to check her pee-mail.
My husband and I joke about it, because we both have noticed it. “She’s plotting the canine revolution with her co-conspirators.”
There is a type of grass that grows in just a few places in the neighborhood. When the grass matures, it sends up little helicopter-shaped stalks. For some reason, when little Patsy comes across that grass, she becomes obsessed. She sniffs and sniffs, grows excited, rubs her face in it, then tries to roll her entire body in it. Clearly, the grass means something to her.
I had a few theories. I thought maybe the grass has healing properties when rubbed on her skin, and our little Patsy is a shaman (or would that be shadog?)
Today, I had a deeper theory that probably attaches way too many human emotions to a canine, but it is the one I like best.
We got Patsy at the pound. When they picked her up on the street, she weighed so little that they actually told us she was a chihuahua. She is a beagle or something much heavier. She starved on the streets of Lincoln Heights for a few months, and it clearly traumatized her in lots of ways. She is extremely territorial with her food. She won’t go near water. She is obsessed with food at every waking hour. She even wakes me up sometimes in the middle of the night to demand a treat – which she never gets because that is one behavior I dare not reinforce.
She is very happy with her family of people. She loves to be close to us. I am sure she lives a good life. But we cannot remove the traumatic stress from her memory. She is permanently affected by the months of starvation and street life.
So here’s my theory. I think that her mother used to nurse her in a field of that helicopter grass. It grows everywhere in that part of town. Smelling the grass brings her back to a time before she experienced want, pain, and constant hunger. It was a time when she felt safe, satisfied, and loved – without a memory of something terrible weighing on her.
It’s a pretty far-fetched theory, but I prefer it to other explanations.
When my mother died, I inherited a box of her towels and bed-linens. When I opened the box, I smelled her. It brought back many pleasant memories of her. So I’d like to think that Patsy has the same trigger for sense memory. I didn’t bother going to Google to find out the real reason why dogs roll in grass. I prefer my explanation, so I will stick with it.
Faith has powerful connotations in the vocabularies of each person. It is a strongly religious word, and yet atheists and agnostics can have faith in their own beliefs or lack thereof. Faith, to me, is a combination of trust in a higher power and a trust in the natural cycles of birth, growth, decline, death, and decay. It is faith that allows me to endure long, crippling bouts of depression, knowing that it is no more than a warped perception of my present circumstances. Faith allows me to continue to do my very best work and accept less than stellar recognition or reward for my efforts. It is an enduring belief in a greater good, as real as gravity or magnetism, but just as invisible.
My faith has been tested a lot in recent months. A series of unfortunate events have collided in the month of June and continued into July. My beloved dog nearly died, but was saved with some very expensive medicine. My husband’s truck conked out and needed a big repair. My back gave out and requires expensive treatment. No bonuses are given out at work, and raises are a specter in the far off future. Marrying my husband caused our tax return to go way down, and my student loan payments to go way up. These are “tests of faith.”
The thing is, to take the test, you need a sharpened #2 pencil. My pencil feels like a stub, sharpened with a buck knife, and the lead is about to fall out. I wrote some great songs, and wrote a couple of books, made a few great films…but saw very little monetary gain for all my efforts. I have spearheaded projects at work that saved the company millions of dollars, but I am still at a low salary relative to my abilities. Faith moves mountains. Faith is a renewable resource. When my pencil finally breaks, the proctor will give me a new one. I hope.
Next entry will be about “Grace.”
There are a lot of positive words to express the abilities of intuitives. Sometimes we are called “prescient.” Others call us “creative.” I think we may even be called “visionary.”
Here is what I hear more often: crazy, unfounded, scatterbrained, lack of discipline, chaotic…I didn’t have to struggle to come up with those negative words. In my graduate program, we learned the value of “playing to your strengths.” It is a waste of time to put your strongest ability on the back burner in order to cultivate skills that you don’t possess naturally. I could argue that getting an MBA was an enormous exercise in playing to my weaknesses. But let me offer up a positive spin on this paradox.
I am lucky enough to have a boss who recognizes my abilities and gives me opportunities to use them. Intuitive accounting, for instance, allows me to look at a stack of numbers and immediately recognize an error. A few years ago, all of the accountants were scratching their heads trying to figure out why a business unit was off by a huge sum. I took one look at the workbook and told them that they were showing a different number for the forecast than what was given. I emailed the forecast to the head accountant so she could correct her mistake. Flustered, they begrudgingly thanked me and muttered things like “lucky guess.” It wasn’t a lucky guess. I just happen to know how to do math in my head and have an almost absurd recall for numbers. I had seen the forecast before month end close, and it was much larger. I didn’t know the exact number, but I knew the number they used was the wrong one.
The sad thing is that my ability drives logical sensing people to the edge of sanity. My boss knows how to keep his distance from me, as he is an extreme sensing person. He doesn’t know how I know what I know, but he does listen. I warned him of several efforts to undermine his plans based on a few snippets of conversation I had overheard. All of them were real, but he didn’t want to take action until the actual coup d’état was right before him. I have stopped offering up my psychic knowledge to him to preserve his sanity. He cannot understand how I know things in advance. I can read people’s subtle energy and he can’t.
I untangle a lot of financial knots. I love doing reconciliations. They are like an Amish puzzle for me. I love getting things started, but prefer to hand them off once there is momentum. When I hear the words “attention to detail,” I sigh, because I can only pay attention to important details…and what I deem important is rarely, if ever, what sensible business people consider important. If I have to pay attention to unimportant details, I will fall asleep at my desk.
I guess I would ask, gentle readers, that you weigh in on whether hyper-intuitive, psychic people belong in the world of business, and if not, where do we belong?