N is for Nostalgia

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If a shark is pulled backward, it drowns and dies.


Nostalgia kills.


Essentially, memory is a shakey thing. Many things affect memory: mood states, context, (List of memory biases)

fun story: context dependent memory.

if a supervisor asks me what my login id is away from my desk, I have no functional idea, generally, after an awkward pause, probably some “um’ing” and drooling,  i give them my id from a tech I was in like… six years ago, for a year. Probably if you held a gun to my head and asked me what that id was, I’d have no idea, in another situation.


I will have you know that I have zero issues with this at my desk.

related: state dependent memory

Why do we generally focus on positive memories rather than negative ones?  This question was explored in a paper in the November, 2012 issue of Psychological Science by Benjamin Storm and Tara Jobe.  They point out that many people have a reasonably positive self-image.  To keep up that self-image, it is helpful to focus on positive memories.  In order to focus on positive memories, though, it is important both to promote your ability to retrieve positive information as well as to damp down or inhibit the negative memories.

Why Does the Past Seem Happy?

depression and memory loss

One of the fun-side effects of aging is that (typically) your memories from the past seem to be more positive than your current reality. You’re gas-lighting yourself, eternally. ❤

So fun personal details: My memory isn’t great at this stage of my life, if something alarms me is my fuck-y memory of events. Like I knew this girl since middle school, we dated and lived together after we graduated high school, and lived together for five years… I don’t remember much of it, and what I do remember is just like…weird.

Add in my tendency toward chaotic side missions in life, and I pretty much feel like central wisconsin is a disease after 8+ months in milwaukee.

I do remember a lot though, and talking to friends about memory, and shit they don’t remember helps. Had an extensive issue with blackout drinking for a long stretch of life, combine this with anxiety and just, like, every time I lose my keys I think it’s the beginning of dementia, basically.  SUPER FUN WAY TO LIVE LIFE, GUYS.

I feel like some abnormal psychology grad student’s prize research subject at this point. Test Subject Zero.

Feel bad that there’s some (unhealed) stuff, but…

Kind of a fun discovery to find out what I’m like as a sober, has-legit-responsibilities, single person. Oh, yeah, the answer to this question is “horribly introverted and overly serious”. Ahaha. :p


Wise Mind

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“Wise Mind” is a concept from DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is a skills training course that is primarily used to treat borderline personality disorder, but helps with anyone, really, that has intense emotions, anxiety or has a bit of issue with what their brain wants//tells them versus what is objectively true.

DBT itself is based off the concept of mindfulness, which was brought into therapy by John Kabat-Zinn, for the reduction of stress and anxiety. (Read Full Catastrophe Living!), fun discovery – handling your stress and emotions better leads to better physical health.

One of the best lessons from DBT, personally, is the truism that emotions do not last and are not reality. They aren’t bad, necessarily, but decisions should not be based on them, and disengaging from intense and conflicting emotions is generally a good plan.

So let’s see how we’re supposed to do this correctly, eh?

Let’s explore the DBT brain map.


Reasonable Mind: The part of your brain that deals more with numbers, what is factual about the situation, history of the relationship, probable outcomes, planning out behavior. It’s a cool, calm, collected state of mind. You know the phrase “play that tape through” – meaning think of the results of your behavior before you engage? That’s rational mind.

Emotional Mind: Here’s where all the fun and agony lies. This is the “part” of your brain that is excited by impulsive behavior, how people make you feel, sudden changes, puppies, love, and risk. This is the zone of bad ideas, lol. Really, being human is having emotions, really, sure they work out well for a lot of folk. :p

Wise Mind: This state of mind combines the objective reality of the situation- is this a good risk? what are the likely outcomes? is the time/energy/risk associated with the thing worth it? is it constructive? How does it play into your long term goals?

So now with this information gathered, we get to move to the fun part- actually doing the thing and communicating with others. When you do this correctly, you feel as if you are acting on intution, and is a feeling of calmness rather than cool detachment or emotional heat. It seeks to bring the right and the left brain together.

Used to be on the other end of this, now my issue is that by the time I bring things up, I am done, or 80% of the way there, and I think I can come off as completely emotionless.

I’m fun. :p

DBT skills are like a lot of things in life – you need to use them consistently and brush up on your technique at times…





abstract poetry thing.

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“You’re here, but you’re so far away.”

Who – where – when?

Sourceless emotions.




Focus on color, shape, form. Objectivity. Dates. Names. Faces.

Solid things.


“Where are you right now?”

“I don’t know.”


A grafted branch that overtakes its host. A ripped page, obscured writing. Fragments.

Emotional distortion. Change with time.

Biology. Demands. Breathe. Speak…


When are we right now?


“Can’t you pretend to be normal?”

A river, splitting. Masks.




What is habit and what is real?

Everything crashes, everything repeats itself. Try.


Be solid. Be real. Breathe.

Basic facts.

Focus. Focus.

How can either be trusted?

Mallible. Distorted. Weak.


Sensations. Focus. Breathe.


When was this?

When are we, right now?

Splitting off, doubt, reassurance, obedience.


What is me, and instead what I’ve been led to believe? Projection.

Pretend to be human.

You are wrong.

We don’t talk about that.

You read too much into things.

Why are you so jumpy?

You have no reason to be upset. You don’t have problems, you are the problem.

Try harder.

Do this instead.


Don’t talk about that.

Smile. Do what I ask.

Blend in with the other sheep.

This is your fault.

Words without meaning.


You don’t remember?




Be here, right now.

A misfire of neurons.

Sensory memory.

Empty. Pure. Blank. Innocence.

Crumbled papers in the rain. Ink runs off paper, obscuring meaning.









RIP Patricia

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Woman killed downtown stepped in front of car


Patricia (pa-TREESH-a) used to stand outside and walk around where I work…She was in her mid-60’s, I’m unsure how long she was dealing with being homeless, but ended up sleeping in alleys, had a lot of issues with being propositioned for money… Was homeless a while myself, it was obviously easier as a young person in a city with accessable shelters…tried to help her out a bit with the situation she was in, but bad luck and over burdened social systems were major parts of her life.

Never dealt with flashing really before I moved here, simultaneously saddening/horrifying/alarming that a literal Gramma had dudes coming up to her talking about their giant dongs, she’d ask for a cup of coffee, then they’d tell her to suck them off for it…do not have words for this shit. Such disrespect and just…

Shelters are full here, generally, more open in winter, but if you get shit-canned from one or more here, you’re kind of black balled. Looked into getting into one here myself before I got this place, super picky, hours of my job excluded me from most (!!!), women with children are priority…

She had Parkinson’s, head injury at some point…

Not really sure how she ended up being homeless, used to work with insurance in hospitals and bitched at me to get my ass back in school for coding and billing. She got social security, but it wasn’t enough to get her into an apartment. We have rooming houses for women here, she wouldn’t get a place without him.

Spent some time internally arguing about letting her stay with me, she had a boyfriend and it all seemed a bit too risky…gahhhh.

Patricia had a daughter, I think, in one of the surrounding towns here.

Used to get her coffee and sandwiches sometimes, last fall used to sit with her on my lunch break, and talk to her before work. She found a place through winter… She was a nice woman, just in a shit situation. Great sense of humor and perspective…

Definitely had sight issues, switched coats in the end of fall and it took her a little bit to realize who I was, lol.

Sad that her life ended up being summarized as “legally blind woman walks out in front of car”. Saw her a few days before this happened, lit a smoke for her. Remember her walking away, was waiting for the bus after work…

It’s horrifying how many people just fall through the cracks. This woman was 64, obviously had health issues, was working with the government, really cannot comprehend the ineptitude of social systems sometimes.


Writing as a Path to Awakening quotes

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Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes process, and with consistent attention, proficiency, and eventually, with further devotion, mastery.

Wait no longer. This rebirth of wonder starts here and now in this very moment. It begins with slowing down and observing the world as a child might, as a bright-eyed, unadulterated adult might. It’s about becoming mindful and awake to the world again, filling ourselves with awe and curiosity, and finding the outlet for expressing that awe and wonder in language. Slowing down and getting quiet is key. Start by breathing in silence and see what arises within you. You’ll be amazed. Meditation is such an incredible ground for writing because it’s a natural reset. Given all the plans and appointments we encounter in our days—the obligations, deadlines, and desires—our mind becomes incredibly busy. Poetry and meditation allow us to settle back into our natural state of calm and open receptivity. One can only think of how a snow globe, when shaken (with blizzards of thought), blurs the scene, and then upon setting it down on a calm shelf the scene is restored to its original clarity. Well, it’s just like that with thoughts, emotions, and words. They might swirl about in a chaotic mix, but once you allow them to settle, you’ll find calm and clarity, which instigates an opening for your creativity and insight to blossom.

Don’t ask yourself if you’re in the mood to write or if you feel inspired. These are fleeting and irrelevant feelings for a writer to dwell in. In our mind we think that happiness is predicated on doing what we want or like to do in any given instant, but studies show over and over again that true lasting joy-in-your-soul happiness comes from generosity, from giving to and helping others, and from a feeling of competence generated by fulfilling a commitment—that is, following projects through to completion. The more we write through resistance and the more we write through the times we don’t want to write, the less pull resistance and distraction will have on us, the more confidence we build, and the more likely we are to finish that writing project.

M is for Music…

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I was going to do ‘Milwaukee” or “meditation” or “mindfulness” “MSTK3000” or even “mopeds/motorcycles”, but life. Send energy drinks.

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life it means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you there’s something else (Go crazy)

They can’t all be zingers.