The Final Hump, no not that hump.

And get your mind out of the gutter. Or move over and give me some room.

Anyway here I sit about a week after the anniversary of may late love’s death. With the new year has come the beginning of my moving on to the next thing I have to do, namely going back to school and doing something else with my life. I've started by taking the GRE a couple weeks ago and now I'm going to start looking into schools. As for what I may be doing: I seem to be drawn to programs involving cartography/geographic research. But this is all very preliminary and nothing is certain yet, except for my desire to go.

To be completely honest this isn't new to me, and my close friends have been listening to this sort of stuff spout from me for the last 4 years, at least. But I’m feeling more determined than ever before and I’m starting the wheels rolling on getting this done. So onward and forward.

Additionally now that one-year has passed its time to start to move on and reclaim my life. I spent the last year in remembrance about Kim and myself and our life together and generally accepted the fact that that I was on my own without looking too deeply into it. Now I sit here and know deeply that I am on my own in that one important sense but as hard as it may be I must press on. Only I can help myself and now that I’m done spending my extra time looking back I must now look forward. I’m only 30 and I have decades ahead of me do live in, so my life isn’t over. In fact this is a time of a new beginning, let’s hope I don’t screw it up.

As for theatre, well we have had a god run but it’s getting to be time to move on. The newbs have unbridled arrogance with nothing to back it up. The folks who lost house gigs and now are in our swimming pool with no freelance skills and the inability to work with others. Add to that the general over saturation of lighting techs graduating from school these days. Don’t these people know that there isn’t that many jobs out there and it DOESN’T matter how many Tony’s that you lighting teachers won and how many school shows you did. If you haven’t done your professional time you definitely don’t know enough to tell us vets what to do. So I spend a bit of time trying desperately trying to bite back the things I would say to these people. Though I fail a bit and I’m suppressing too much so I’m getting bitey at my friends. But as Jacob put it a week ago: “We’re bigger, older, and more arrogant than you’ll ever be.”

And that’s true, at least for me and especially the last part. I can be a real arrogant fuck, and stubborn as hell to boot. Because I know what I know and I know I’m right often enough that sitting there and telling me I’m wrong because in school you learned it this way and only that that way that my way I’ve used to years is wrong. This also makes me rather insufferable I feel and for that I’m sorry to all of you for being like that. Sigh, the perils of being smart enough to get yourself into trouble, sheesh.

In the end this is all like a new set of growing pains and if I remember the last one it’s going to be tough for a while. Ah well nothing to do but continue onward and stand ready to do new things or things that will be hard to do again (like dating).

To complete the metaphor I started over the summer: we’ve landed the plane, the dead and wounded have been carried off, and now I walk around the fuselage and take stock of the damaged inflicted. Because no matter how bad I’m messed up I’m gonna get back up and brave that Flak again. Because that’s life, or at least mine.

Thanks everyone.
  • Current Music
    Afro Celt Sound System Vol 2: Release

Turn of the year thoughts

With the change of the year I find myself thinking about the last one, of course, and the next one as well. I find myself hoping I can do better this next year than i did in the last one since my motivation seems to have fallen out of me at times. I know some really bad shite happened in my life last year but, for better or worse, the universe doesn't stop for you and shares in your grief. It moves on and you have to keep up. So I feel I have fallen behind while everyone else has moved onward. And there's a world out there that needs all of us to do our best at all times so we can hopefully improve the world. We can do no less.

I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine who i haven't talked to in so long that she hadn't heard about Kim's death. She found out through a mutual friend and asked me this classic question: Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? To which I unconditionally said: "Yes it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Because at the very least you have known love and can remember it sweetly and reflect upon how you are because of it. I don't think one could grow without it." To expand a little bit, there truly is nothing like having a connection like that with another person who shared completely with you. While it sounds co-dependent, you are completed in a way that balances out what you're missing or at least gives you better resources to deal with that. In short it's a great and wonderful experience if it is right.

As for me these days, well I guess to follow up with the bomber metaphor I've used since the summer: We're out of mainland Europe and flying low across the English Channel. The sky is clear and the Cliffs of Dover are ahead, so if we're lucky we'll be on the ground soon enough and then we get to lick our wounds.

And with that on to the next year.
  • Current Mood
    onward and forward

Personal improvement

So I decided to not go out tonight and save some money so I’m at home being introspective instead. I guess the short of it is things are much better these days. A couple weeks ago I took advantage of a period of waiting to ask myself the question: have I gotten closer to striking the balance of honoring and respecting the memory of my love Kim and not letting it hold me back so I can move on. So I discussed this point with myself and came to the conclusion that I’m not there yet but I’m close enough to start the process of moving on.

Basically I gave myself the permission to start moving on and start being more active in my life and not just letting things happen. Not that my life was entirely me just letting things happen to me while I stood by inertly. I think I was more reacting to events and then making decisions after the fact, instead of being more active and engaged (I refuse to use the word proactive since it feels very corporate speak). And with this activity I’m making the choice to start prepping to take the GRE hopefully in the next month or so after I figure where I stand skills wise.

However this still means there will be days when I find myself quite sad and lonely. On the other hand these days are fewer and farther between than say six months ago when they felt quite frequent and often. For example sleeping by myself can still be hard at times but it’s better these days and one day I’ll be used to it, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy it on that level. But I keep moving forward and one of these days life may feel completely “normal” again. And if not, I won’t let that stop me from living because it’s the right thing to do and Kim would want it that way. Plus many of my friends would kick my arse and drag me forward if necessary.

These are the people I would like to thank for letting me bend their ears and cry on their shoulders and I tried to find my path out of that dark period of my life. Though they would also made sure I understood that following that path would be hard. Thank you all, it ain’t over yet.

To go back to a metaphor I created over the summer in my blog: The plane has made it out of Germany and is somewhere over occupied Belgium hoping the engines don’t conk out and no unfriendlies run across us. There were some bad moments earlier when I wandered a bit to close to some Flak, but we survived and now are cautiously hopeful. I hope this metaphor comes to close sometime next year.

Thank you for reading.

David “Inky” Schwartz

P.S. Non livejournal posters should make sure their name is on their comment since the system doesn't seem to identify you sometimes and i just get anonymous comments.
  • Current Music
    A.C. Newman "The Slow Wonder"

A couple things i find interesting



I think that's just great.

Next is this: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/330-from-pickin-cotton-to-pickin-presidents/

I love looking at this and seeing how history connects with the present in various ways. I love seeing the graphical representation of how cotton farming and slavery over 150 years ago are still affecting our world in the present. To be completely honest I really didn't know that there were still enough African American people in the rural regions of these states to dramatically swing the vote for Mr Obama.

And in a strange sort of way this shows that a dark place in our history can actually have a positive affect now.

And this is why i love these things.

Have a lovely day,

David "Inky" Schwartz

Space stuff

OK so read this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7706844.stm

And if you want some more technical info and some more videos look at this: http://www.minimagnetosphere.rl.ac.uk/

So that makes this possibly one of the most fascinating space tech discoveries that I know of this year. If we can plow some more funding into this project we could come up with some real results and maybe a test module in a decade. Which would put it in the time frame for the Constellation successor projects to start coming on line. Such as the moon base and the Mars mission, which are projects we really need to get started especially if the current round of lunar probes will start showing us if there is ice on the moon.

Simply put with this we can actually have a possible lightweight radiation shield to wrap around our interplanetary missions that doesn’t involve lead sheets or tanks of water. And we can finally realize our destiny in space, to get the heck out there and actually see what’s going on. And then use the materials we find to help us stop mucking up out planet’s biosphere. That and the fantastic new discoveries in tech, heath, and science are the reasons to not wait and commit whole-heartedly to this. Also don’t forget the money you can make of products and techniques gleaned from the areas.

Plus it would be so cool to the geek in me for a spaceship captain to actually have to say: shields up!

For me this all goes back to my dreams of becoming a cosmonaut (I think astronaut is a silly word) when I was much younger. But my bad eyesight basically sank that idea in a deep well, so I ended up doing theatre instead. However I still have these dreams of looking down on our planet from 200 miles up and being happy that everyone can go up here and do the same. Heck I would love to go colonize another world and deal with the muck and the pain to actually have the chance to look up in an alien sky and think: we did it! I so want to do that and our poorly run space program has officially chucked these ideas almost out the window. I could sit down and point out everything done wrong by NASA, the US government, Russians, and a few others that kept a vigorous space program from becoming a reality. But that would be long winded and would need a bit of research.

So now I have to settle on looking for these little steps and hope they pay out and become a reality.

I so want to travel through space.

Thanks for reading
  • Current Music
    7even Year Itch: Collective Soul Greatest Hits 1994-2001

So check this.

So I'm finally posting something that doesn't have to do with my emotional state. So enjoy.

Ok, for starters read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/opinion/21dowd-sorkin.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

And if you don't have an NYTimes.com account there's no reason not to, it's free.

Simply put it's really well written, well it is Aaron Sorkin, though i have a hard time agreeing with some (but not all) of the points raised. On one hand it has to do with my belief that any elected president should be vastly more intelligent than me. I don't want to sit down and have a drink with them because I think they're like me, I want sit down with a drink because i could really learn something. So an Harvard educated "elitist" that comes from a poor background and is possibly one of they few in Washington who actually pulled themselves up by the boot straps definitely sounds like my kind of guy. The opposite of what i believe, and what seems to be the norm, is the line: "The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it."

On the other hand I feel a bit squishy about the the whole use your elitism to insult your opponents and proverbially curb stomp their heads. I like to think it's a bad thing, really you shouldn't go and insult your opponent just so you can act insulted at their response. On the other hand I like watching people who deserve it getting hoist on their own petard. In reality we're looking more at the first one than the second one, and the actual division in Washington doesn't help that. Thank you Karl Rove.

Though as an interesting side note i felt he wrote Bartlett better than Obama. That most likely has everything to do with more experience with the character than with the person than anything else.

OK and just as a wrap up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/us/politics/15biracial.html?_r=2&oref=login&oref=slogin

So once again Inky gets confused with how people interpret Christianity. After having many long debate with christians about how they should still keep the sabbath, stay kosher, and eat more pickled fish. And in turn being told no you're crazy Christ created a new convent and the old rules are gone so keep your pickled fish. Ok I know I can't win this one even though Christians are supposed to be Jews who weren't ethnically Jewish. But then i read this:

“I would think of him as I would of another of mixed race,” said Glenn Reynolds, 74, a retired textile worker in Martinsville, Va., and a former supervisor at a Goodyear plant. “God taught the children of Israel not to intermarry. You should be proud of what you are, and not intermarry.”

Ok so now you want to be Jewish? Because last I checked Reynolds really isn't a Jewish last name. And you sure don't seem to be a hook nosed member of the children of Israel. Oy, so what gives? It's cool to go hating on Jews until a part of their holy book becomes quotable, and then it's all "hey look this is part of what we believe in"? Meshugener.

Yes I seem to be overlooking the Old Testament but I think that gets combed over for quotables, with out anyone really reading it. So my point still hobbles around on crutches.

OK now to bed since I feel that my point has wandered and gotten lost down a well.

Sorry for the randomness, or not.
  • Current Music
    NPR

Ok listen up!

Ok here’s a point I’m trying to make.

So I realize that due to the death of my beloved that I’m being given leeway with the way I act. All I have to say is: STOP IT! Look I know that I’m under the stress from the fallout of last winter as well as work, sorting my life out, and hormones*. And that will naturally relay over to how I am and how I act towards others and myself. However I’ve noticed that I’m exceeding that threshold and getting a bit snappy to my friends and coworkers, but only after the fact. Now I don’t like that about myself; I pride myself on being able to be calm tempered in most situations. The way I find myself acting these days sometimes doesn’t come up to those standards. And I know I’m being allowed be this way out of a sense that it’s ok right now. Well it was OK 4 months ago now it’s not anymore, I’m not checking out of this world so I have to live in it. This means working/being with my friends and not snapping at them, among other things.

So what does this mean to you folks? Well, basically, call me on it. Either pull me aside or just say it out loud, or call me later, or write an email if you must. We’re adults: you can say what needs to be said and I can take it without blowing my stack. I asked you all to do this several months ago so consider this a reminder that this is part of being my friend.

If you’re worried that I will bottle it within me until I explode at some later point, don’t worry about that. That was basically my wonderfully rage and depression filled adolescence, and I had to learn the skill of letting go of my anger when it doesn’t serve any purpose. If I have to I’ll hit a pillow or something but otherwise I can deal with it.

So here’s what going to happen, I do something you tell me to stop or figure why I’m being an ass. Thus I expect those of you who are having a hard time approaching me, who happen to be reading this to call me or tell me to my face or write me a concerned and reproving note. If you don’t I will be annoyed and there will be words. I’m expecting you to help me and not telling me isn’t helpful to me. Yes this is about me.

For the rest of you take this to heart.

Annoyed and loving,

Inky

*If this bothers you think of long division or kittens.
  • Current Music
    Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Late summer thoughts.

So I haven’t written about my self in a while. Heck, I haven’t written anything in a while other that some random musing on Facebook.

Well after everything that happened in July, I was in pretty sorry shape when I headed out East. The week and some of vacation was very necessary and it stemmed what was feeling like an inevitable slip into a less good place. In fact I walked away with what feels like an attitude adjustment compared to how I was feeling before. So all in all it I’m doing OK these days. Of course I’m not “better” by any stretch of the imagination but as always I’m doing as well as could be considered considering the situation. It’s just that better is a bit better than it was a couple months ago.

At this point I’m starting to look ahead a bit, which for me right now consists of pondering whether or not I want to stay in the biz and laying the groundwork for a possible out. In that regard I will be booking an appointment to take the GRE, even if I never use it it’s not a bad idea. Now the problem is should I stay or should I go as the song goes. I know this is my decision to make but let me lay this out in brief.

The life I have right now is mainly good because of the people around me who are a part of that world. You all mean a ton to me after what you folks went though with me and helped me get through in the dark days back in February. It still moves and worries me a bit that all of you who were there when Kim died, frankly were there. You didn’t have to be but you were there anyway, and for that I thank you. However I feel I owe you all a debt that I hope to never repay in kind, at least not in the next 30 years.

But because of this I feel that I shouldn’t leave since if I’m near I can help the best. However if I stay in this biz I need to stop doing grunt work, I either need to join the union as a console jockey, become a real service tech, or get a theatre to sit on. Frankly the second option sounds the best but I need quite a bit more electronics training for that to become real. The third option is good too but such positions are few and far between.

So then comes the other side, which is striking off in a new direction. The options are numerous, but almost all of them require me to go back to school. Some of them even need me to start over and reenter undergrad for a BS, sheesh. The big options are foreign policy, electrical engineering, rocketry, and getting a history degree and working in a museum or research center. Different no? Basically I’m looking at a pile of things that are completely different than what I do now, which is not a bad thing. However I’m too afraid of losing things and changing what I have right now, so I’m holding myself back a bit. I still think I’ll change but it will take time, not that there’s a rush at this second.

All in all I’m doing this partly as a way to move on and partly to use this huge brain full of odd knowledge that sits on my shoulders that I feel I should use more of. And the life I lead right now leaves me feeling kinda tired when I’m not working so I don’t feel like I’m able to do much with it. Additionally I really hate the feeling that I’m not earning cash when I’m not working. And frankly a normal schedule sounds great right now.

In the end I’m feeling a bit baseless now that Kim is gone, but time has passed so it’s not a drifty as it was months ago. I describe myself, to myself, as a bomber that just done the run over Germany back in ’43. Shot full of holes one engine down, another on fire, half the crew out and struggling for home all on it lonesome: a sitting duck for any German fighter that runs across it. However at this point it‘s feeling more like the fire has gone out, the excess stuff has been jettisoned so were maintaining altitude, the skies are clear so far, and the coast isn’t that far away but the cliffs of Dover are still a ways off and even if you make it back there’s crew that will have died and the ship might have to be written off. So that’s where I’m at. Once we land things will become clearer, I just have to make it there.

Thanks for reading.

Inky
  • Current Music
    The Redwalls- De Nova

Current events Russia and Georgia

Well here’s my latest update, however I’m picking current events instead of myself to write about. More personal stuff soonish, I hope.

Early in the morning on Fri august 8th a Russian armored column of 150 vehicles plus infantry entered the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia. At this point there is fighting in and around the regional capital Tskhinvali, which is adding to the damage inflicted by Georgian troops yesterday. Additionally Russian attack aircraft have struck at the Black sea port of Poti late Friday evening, with possible other attacks unconfirmed.

Now what does this all mean? Actually, a few things. Firstly at this point in time this looks to be Russia’s first post Chechnya military action in support of their new expansionist policies under Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This may be the first step in reconsolidating a Russian empire from the various breakaway states that formed at the end of the Cold War. At the very least Russia gets to improve the support of friendly populations by supporting the people of South Ossetia who are technically Russian citizens.

Secondly, Russia is looking to show up the west and its allies in the area by hurting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and frustrating his desires to force South Ossetia into line. Or Russia will use this invasion as an excuse to move into Georgia proper to dispose of him or otherwise remove him from power/weaken him. This in turn may make other former Soviet republics reconsider aligning themselves with the West and NATO. Which will in turn give Russia more room to maneuver and manipulate in its former territories.

Thirdly, where will Russia stop with this action? Either it will force Georgian forces from South Ossetia and content themselves with that, or they will push into Georgia itself and take Tbilisi. In the first case South Ossetia will fully become a Russian client state and possibly be joined with the Russian province of North Ossetia. In the second they depose the president and possibly annex the territory outright or let it exist under a puppet ruler. Either way I don’t see Georgian forces holding the Russians off from what they want to do very long unless the quality of the Georgian troops is higher than the Russian’s. I don’t believe that’s the case.

Finally the response of the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be that definitive at this point in time. Other than protestations and condemnations nothing else seems to be happening. The UN Security Council has failed to release a statement since the US, UK, and France could not agree with the rest on the wording of the statement. Additionally there is the wrinkle that Georgia is an ally of ours and we have about 2000 military personnel in country currently engaged in training Georgian forces to NATO standard. Will we engage Russian Forces in a holding action while we rush more troops there? Probably not, unless Russia invades Georgia proper and then all bets are off at this time. I don’t see the US backing down and hurting their position in the region since they have set themselves up as a counterpoint to Russia.

So in short this could be the beginning of Russia’s territorial ambitions, in which case we should keeps our eyes on other breakaway areas in the region. The Georgian region of Abkhazia and the Moldovan region of Transdniester should be on our watch list at this point. Or they will set a more modest goal of the consolidation of South Ossetia, just to see what the west will do in return. I’m thinking more along the lines of the latter concept with a possible expansion into the rest of Georgia somewhere down the line. Especially considering the actions of Putin over the last several years such as the reactivation of the of the Russian strategic bomber force. However all we can do right now is watch and see.

Thank you for reading.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

worries about me.

So sometimes I feel that one of my greatest casualties in the aftermath of Kim’s death is myself. And not just the emotional upset or the complete shattering changes in my life, but that which makes me, me.

I’ve noticed that I tend to be a bit snappish and have less inclination to ameliorate my words into something less aggressive. Additionally I just feel more bitter towards life in general. Now most of you may not have noticed any of this, or if you have it may not seem all that bad since I’m generally an open and easygoing guy. Most times. And such deviation from the norm may not be regarded as too awful. But for me this is kind of disturbing since it means I’ve lost my center and it’s too easy for me to go skittering all over, or least to the negative end. And it’s just tells me that I’m unbalanced in some ways. The short of it is that I feel myself getting shorter in temper and grimmer in disposition, and I don’t like it one bit.

Now I know that I’ve had a hard year and have been running myself pretty hard with no breaks. Now I’ll get some time off in a week for at least a week, and hopefully that will reformat my head a bit. However I’m going to need a little help, maybe. Basically all I ask is if I seem to be overreacting, by my standards, just call me on it and make me aware. Now if this never happens I know this may all be just in my head and I should stop dwelling. Otherwise just help if you can.

In other news things aren’t all bad. For example my writing down memories exercise seems to be getting me to have a much less painful relationship with my memories. Such as this morning I made breakfast for myself, like actually doing eggs with bits of cheese cut up into it (like Kim used to do) and toasted bagels with butter. And all this did was make me a bit wistful, not that sad. I know this sounds like cheese but for me it’s a good sign.

Well, life goes on.

Inky
  • Current Music
    npr