Vivi, Pie

Let's get uncomfortable

I have thought about it, and I think I should speak on that subject which hardly anyone (particularly in christian circles) ever talks about, or even wants to talk about; that which makes us all squirm a little: porn. It is a pestilence which, sadly, most of us have contracted. I have met but one man my entire life who has never struggled with the allure of porn. I can name but a handful or two more who have completely put it behind them. I cannot speak of the condition of women, but we men are hard beset by it.

Other than sex addicts, most of what I say applies only to fellow christians, since we are mainly the only ones who try not to indulge in it. And struggle we do. I once, in college, went an entire year without masturbating, and have never again been able to even approach replicating the feat. Some don't see a problem with masturbation, and perhaps if it were entirely disconnected from porn it might be ok, but it is not; indeed it is intricately linked with all manner of sexual thought, to the extent that I do not believe they can ever be truly split. I look at porn, I masturbate. I want to masturbate, I usually look for something to arouse me.

I still vividly recall my college Young Life leader telling our guys group that porn is false intimacy. Many times now I have thought on how true that is. A lot of us medicate with porn, be it by image, photo, drawing, movie, or game. Loneliness and boredom are a nasty combination, and porn offers the idea of the perfect man/woman who is always there, always willing, doesn't judge, and doesn't require anything. How many of us long for that perfect someone who accepts us for us? And she is never not in the mood, never intrusive, never questioning. Pity it turns out to be so hollow.

But hollow it very much is. God made us to work a specific way. He said that it was not good for a man to be alone, made a woman, and together they are to become one flesh. It is to be a mirror of Christ and his church. Porn, at best, is uniting a man to himself in sinful gratification; at worst it is idolatry and adultery both. It is placing the idea of sexual pleasure above all else, as the utmost in importance. Porn allows us to commit adultery on scale that defies belief.

And that's not even addressing the physical, emotional, mental, and relational fallout. Is there honestly anyone who catches their loved one with porn and doesn't feel anger, grief, and hurt? It feels like betrayal, and it is. They are saying, in brief, that when compared with yourself, you are the one lacking. Porn destroys relationships, creates unrealistic and unhealthy expectations, and usually treats women as merely an object to get off to. I've seen a handful of animé (hentai) that treat women as equally important, but I don't think I've ever seen the like in our stuff. It's always some scary meathead with a disturbingly thick neck and red face being serviced by the woman or women, as if she's some willing slave. When he does bother to do anything, it's usually really aggressive and demeaning.

Watching such things also effect how we view the world. How many guys I have spoken with who, because they watch so much porn, see it everywhere they go, mentally undressing and screwing every pretty girl they see, whether they want to or not. That episode of Friends where Joe and Chandler get free porn is actually fairly accurate. That hot banker wants you, that pizza delivery girl is totally asking for it, that lady on the street wants you to bend her over...Bleck. I tend to notice faces more than anything, but if I have been lately sinning with porn frequently, I start to mentally x-ray before I can catch myself. Lust begets lust.

I don't want to treat women like objects, and I neither want them to be so treated, nor to offer themselves up as objects. Sometimes, in those rare moments of sanity when I am trawling the net for naked women to ogle (assuming I'm looking at a real one and not animated), look at all these absolutely lovely, stunningly beautiful women baring themselves for everyone to see and masturbate to, and want to cry. These things should be private, between a husband and wife only. A wife's body should be a special gift for her husband, and vice-versa. On the surface, I am aroused, but inwardly I desperately long to tell them that they are worth more than that. If I see you naked, I want it to be just for me, and I want all of you: mind, heart, soul, and body.

The reason porn is hollow is that it is one-sided. There is no give, no love, no true interaction between equals, just take, take, take. You are here to pleasure me; who cares about you. Porn in the male community is like heroin or meth. Every hit is poison, and even as we indulge we know that it is toxic. Some don't care at all, some a little, and some of us try our best to get healthy.

I know there's more rattling around up there, but that's all I can think of at present. I welcome any questions or thoughts on the matter. Better to be an open book with no secrets. Sin abhors the light, after all.
Vivi, Pie

Dreams

Every so often, I have this thing happen in my dreams that bugs the crap out of me, both in and outside of the dream. I know why, but it's still extremely frustrating. I'm speaking of when, in the dream, I attempt to read or write anything. Especially write something. When reading in a dream, I just know what it means, even though it's all jumbled up. Writing however, is frustrating, because I know precisely what I mean to say, but can't convey it to anyone else. I spent so much time in my dream last night trying to write a simple text. It was weird, because it somewhat held up the dream. I'm sitting off to one side, trying to write a text to figure out some simple little thing to the game we were all about to play and couldn't do it. So the other people just sort of milled about and talked little things.

I know that when we sleep, the part of our brain (the left side, I think?) that processes writing shuts down. But it just feels soooo frustrating. It felt like I spent 20 minutes in the dream trying to craft a simple text that JUST. WOULDN'T. WORK! Ugh.

Also, I'm really lonely. In the long dream I had last night, I just kept dreaming about these two lovely girls (I'm pretty sure one was just co-opted from the show I've been binge watching the past few days) who I spent hours just hanging out with and talking to. At one point, one of them and I were both in our respective beds (in the same room for some reason), with the lights off, and we were doing that lovely thing where you just lay there and discuss whatever comes to mind. Makes me ache thinking about it. My most poignant dreams are never the random sex dreams, they are the ones where I'm being mentally and emotionally close with a girl. I want so badly to sit down with a girl in a coffee shop and just talk for hours.
  • Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Vivi, Pie

Huh

So I ran out of gas on the highway on my way to work yesterday evening... My gas gauge showed that I should have at least 10-20 more miles to go, but yeah, not so much. Honestly, I've been half expecting it to happen some day, ever since I heard that gas gauges can become less accurate over time. Still, it's an odd thing to happen. Thank God for giving me calm all throughout. Where I broke down, I knew I was just a couple of miles from a rather large truck stop and gas station, so I figured I'd walk down there, buy a gas can, and hoof it back. I'm so thankful that my walk there occurred while A)the light was still out and B)the cold wind was at my back.

As I walked, I attempted to call and text the few friends I have in the area. Naturally, the only two I could get a hold of were out of town, or a major douche-canoe who said he was too busy to help, respectively. God is funny though, since I received help from two strangers. The first one was a christian lady who picked me up halfway through my walk to the truck stop and took me the rest of the way there. The second came after I discovered that this major truck stop/food place/gas station didn't actually carry gas cans. The attendant told me that there was a grocery store/gas station that he thought carried gas cans and it was only like a mile away. So, after calling and making certain that they actually did, I started off across the parking lot. I quickly realized that the direction led off into the dark country-side and I'd better make damn sure I knew how to get there. I asked a guy filling up his truck where the place was and told him my situation. He was awesome and told me he'd give me a lift. I thought he meant just to the store, but he meant there and back to my car, which was so, so awesome. We got talking about all sorts of things. He was interested in my job and is looking for work himself, so I may end up seeing him again. He was a total stoner, so he'd fit right in with a lot of people there.

Anyway, got the gas can, filled it, rode back to my car, then spent 10 minutes on the phone with my dad trying to figure out how to get the damn thing to actually pour. Some of these new gas cans have these really intricate mechanisms in the nozzle to make sure it doesn't pour until you really want it to, but which is a little difficult to figure out in low light situations. But got it figured out. I immediately drove back to the truck stop, filled up my car, then went home. I felt fine throughout, but afterward I started feeling rather physically and emotionally drained. I was so glad that I had called work when it first occurred and didn't have to go in after all that.
Vivi, Pie

(No idea)

To date, I have yet to see a single show or movie that takes place in Maine that is not somehow related to Stephen King. Turns out the show Haven is no exception.
Vivi, Pie

Work and such

It's so often rough to have a job, or anything really, when the requirements are difficult to the point of impossibility. Working the back end of call center (no selling, just surveys), I am one of two or three others who have the onerous duty of making sure that the actual surveys we get fit the required quotas. Age, ethnicity, gender, area, political affiliation, and occasionally many others, all are numbers that we have to try and manipulate. I say try, because while the client may say we have to get 70 completes in one specific ethnicity, there is zero guarantee we will be able to.

Granted, the numbers that we get all have data associated with them. Most jobs are not randomly dialed at all. Culled from voter registration or sold from pretty much anywhere and everywhere, the vast majority of the numbers we work with are already associated with the required demographic information; meaning we have some granular amount of control. Too many females? we can dial more males, or even only males. Naturally, many numbers are not valid. Half the job of being on the phones is screening out all the answering machines, wrong numbers, disconnected numbers, fax lines, etc. It can take up to 100 numbers to get one complete. But we do have some amount of control.

Sadly, it's still a very organic job, since it's all about people. The people we're calling, the people manning the phones, how each is feeling at the moment of answering, etc. And damned if there isn't always one or two quota groups that WON'T COOPERATE. *headdesk* When a job of hundreds of surveys is closing up and the whole thing is screeching to a halt because you need 20 more of this age, or that ethnicity and, despite running through thousands of numbers and dwo dozen people on it, you have only acquired one in two hours...

Sometimes a job going wonky is my fault, not catching something quickly enough, or mishandling my resources, but just as often it's not. For doing nothing but manipulating numbers all day, my job is oddly organic and fluid in nature. It can be both rewarding and highly frustrating. I left work today, having managed to close up a job that, while not great, at least did okay, with anything wrong with it not my fault. I think I'm tired, because I feel kind of crappy about it. Not terribly so, but more so than is usual for me. I'm normally quite calm, even when shit hits the fan and blows every which way. I tend not to take much of it personally (even when I perhaps should), but today, when it really wasn't a huge deal and no one was upset about it, I am. Maybe I'm just contrary, as I am in so many situations.

Thanks goodness tomorrow is my day off though. I don't even normally work Sundays. They just needed some extra help today. I do wish it payed a little better, especially now that I have to look for a new place to live. My roommate is selling his house and I'm not likely to find such nice accommodations at the price he's been charging me. Making only a buck more than minimum wage (even Cali minimum wage) is perfectly livable when you only have to pay $200-250 a month for rent, but will be much less fun once I move elsewhere. It's been a nice break, living here though, that's for sure. I'll definitely miss having my own washer and dryer.

Apparently I had a lot to say.
  • Current Mood: pensive pensive
Vivi, Pie

Puppies! And books.

I can be such a voracious reader sometimes. As with many things in my life, I tend to binge when I read. I'm always reading articles and such online, but I mean when I read books, I READ books. I just finished my 5th in maybe 4 days? Granted, they're all books I've read before so I go faster than if they were brand new, but it still wowed me a bit. I'm not quite burned out yet, so I've got at least one more to read before that occurs. So far, I read 4 of my Anne McCaffrey books, and just finished World War Z. Next up looks to be one by Orson Scott Card I haven't read in many years, so much of it should be new again to me. Most people don't know it, but OSC writes some really good horror when he wants to. Not like slasher horror, but, as he put it, that dread you feel when you get home and the window or door is now open that wasn't before...

As for the puppies part, that comes from work. We haven't had many jobs at work lately, so I've had to return to doing surveys on the phone. I haven't been able to do my regular position in like a month, which feels a bit like a demotion. Of course, pretty much all of the supervisors are right there next to me on the phones, so it's not like I'm the only one, but it is still a bit frustrating. Spending a whole shift trying to talk to people who don't want to and not being allowed to actually converse with anyone, either over the phone or even sitting right next to you is not my idea of fun. Granted, I'm still pretty decent at doing it. I read well and have excellent voice inflection, but it's still a difficult job.

The weird part has been the puppy survey this past week. This survey is one of least offensive surveys I've ever had to do. Basically, we call people, ask them if they've gotten a puppy in the past 5 years, then try to find out the means by which they did so. I think the point of it is to find out how willing people are to get theirs online, and how much of a problem puppy mills are. Pretty innocuous, but boy howdy, it was consistently difficult to get people to do. I really don't get why people will get angry about political surveys but will still do them, but tell people you're doing a study about pets and ask them a single question about if they've ever brought a puppy home and everybody immediately hangs up. I kept fantasizing about starting every call by just yelling "PUPPIES!" at whomever picked up. I'm not sure it would have gone much worse, honestly.
Vivi, Pie

Memory

Memory is such an odd thing sometimes. For many years I wished that I had a photographic memory. There are so many things I wish I could remember, especially as I always loved the Sherlock Holmes type who could remember everything and know its import. Not only do I not have that, sometimes I think I have the opposite of a photographic memory. I forget so much, so quickly. I can't think of a single movie or book that I've watched or read that I haven't had to rewatch or reread. My favorite books I've reread easily a half-dozen times. On the one hand, it's nice to be surprised again and new things to discover, but I dunno. It's also nice that if I dislike something I'm likely to forget it. Sadly, bad things are a bit more difficult to forget, which is annoying.

I've never even thought it odd, but the part that does strike me on occasion is how many conversations with friends I've had over the years that I so utterly forget. Many times I've started talking with a friend, only to have them remind me that we've talked about it before. It's definitely a weird feeling.
Vivi, Pie

Fringe

I've been flitting from show to show of late. A few seasons here, a season there, but I've not been able to stick with anything for terribly long. Not sure why. Mostly rewatching things anyway. I watched a season or so of The Mentalist, a season of The Finder, the first season of X-Files, and I'm currently watching season one of Fringe. I think I got two seasons in a few years back? I just know that if a show starts to get overly heavy, I tend to bail. I think I tend to be more sensitive when I'm more anxious/depressed (as in, I need to get my meds upped).

Anyway, I just have to say, Anna Torv, oh my. She is absolutely lovely. I'm not even usually big on blonds, but she is spectacular. I love her face. Which is a weird thing to say, but she has an amazing smile that you can tell she makes a lot because her whole face has the permanent smile creases. But I think the part that gets me the most is her eyes. Her eyes smile, and really smile. Her eyes smile better than pretty much anyone I've ever seen. So yeah, totally smitten every time I watch this show.
Vivi, Pie

Wow

I had absolutely no idea until just now that Rick Astley was a brit. Heard him talking about his new stuff on the radio and was blown away by his accent.
Vivi, Pie

Review of the Magicians

Having now watched the first season on Netflix, I have to say that I really don't recommend anyone watch The Magicians. Well, maybe if you like Neil Gaiman. Dude can never decide whether he wants to write a really decent fairy tale, or disturbing porn... First off, I have to say that I quite liked the show at first. I like almost all the characters and it was fairly well done. But the problem is that it just kept getting more disturbing. More than that, it was clearly ripping off the Chronicles of Narnia books, and then raping them. Oh, and there is a rape scene or two in show, just fyi. One of many random sex scenes that are completely superfluous. This whole show really does feel like someone combined Narnia with a bit of Harry Potter and random porn.

By the season finale, I was done with the show and was glad to have it wrap up. And then it ended on a horrifying cliffhanger. I am so not watching any more to find out what happened, ever, but it still annoys me. Now I have to try and mentally scrub out all the final episodes from my mind. Blech.