183//365 — Halfway

I saw this morning’s @year_progress tweet, and the news hit me hard. The year, it seems, is already half over. Where did the time go? How could I waste so much of it? Did I waste it?

Sure, there were failures, but there were successes too. With a bit of courage, I’m sure the second half of the year can be even better than the first. I can start again, and all that has happened can happen over again, if I want it to. So, maybe nothing has really ended at all, only begun anew.

Same as any other day.


I’m doing something new here. In addition to my regular blog post, I’m adding these journal entries. The goal is to post one every day hence the title of each will be the current day number out of 365. I was inspired to try this by Thord D. Hedengren.

Oh, and, as always, thank you for reading. If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a virtual cup of coffee.


Passion and Pale

I paint with shades of
Passion pumping under pale skin
And make a masterpiece of you and me


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Written in response to The Daily Post prompt: Pink

Featured image via Unsplash

You are What You Cook for Me

I’m easily lured by food
bad for the body
but good for the soul
You are what you cook for me

I’ve never had the self-control
To choose what is good
Over what feels good

Sweet, and savory
Spicy, and so soul comforting
You really are what you cook for me
And I will ever over-indulge


Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or share a cup of coffee perhaps? :)

Written in response to The Daily Post Prompt: Fry

Featured image via Unsplash

That Other Couple

It’s a shocking thing when you realize there is another couple in your home. A couple you didn’t invite. A couple you don’t really like. A couple that barely seems a couple because all they do is fight. Our other couple showed up long ago when we decided to move in together. They’ve made us miserable ever since. They look like us but they are nothing like us.

We are in love. We respect and care for each other. We listen when the other needs to talk and we never hold a grudge. We don’t interrupt or say mean things. We don’t hurt the other because we feel hurt. We see the good in one another and love each other no matter what. We like to share secrets. You can often find us cuddling on the couch and watching romantic movies. We tell each other about our days and we comfort each other when the day was bad. We laugh and play together, the way we did when we were teenagers. We can’t get enough of each other.

We would never act the way that other couple does!

This other couple, they act like they hate each other. There is no communication and they fight constantly! I roll my eyes at the petty things that set off their screaming matches. My girlfriend shakes her head as yet another event from the past is dragged into the present. I sigh when two hours into the argument one of them takes things too far and says something hurtful, something mean. The crying starts then. They always make up, in the end, each sobbing and begging the other to forgive, but the problem isn’t always resolved.

We look at each other, silently hoping this is the last time we have to deal with the disruption.

And things will be quiet for a while. My girlfriend and I get back to our quiet bliss, back to loving and being loved. We can’t shake that other couple though and below the surface we are both on edge waiting for that other couple to start the yelling again. We have tried to get them out but they never really leave. We’ve tried talking to them, we’ve tried teaching them, we’ve tried ignoring them, but none of that works either. So now we try to live with them and accept that they are probably with us forever.

I can’t help feeling sad for them. They waste so much time hurting and shutting out one another instead of loving and enjoying each other. I wish they could be more like us, the way we are now. I wish there was a way to get through to them so they never had to fight again.

But as soon as things have calmed down, as soon as we think that other nasty couple has finally gone away for good, the yelling begins again….


Inspired by the Daily Post prompt: Unexpected Guests

Featured image via Unsplash

The Convenience of Soylent and What it Means to be Human

What if someone offered you the opportunity to get all of your daily nutrition from one simple drink? No more trying to decide what’s for dinner. No more worrying about cleaning your pots and pans. No more slaving over a hot stove. Would you be intrigued, I know I am.

It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie but finally it is real, I give you Soylent!

I first heard of Soylent years ago. There was an article/interview in one of the many science-y magazines I buy. Created by Robert Rhinehart in response to a need for “a simpler food source” the article made it sound like a miracle drink! “A food product (classified as a food, not a supplement, by the FDA) designed for use as a staple meal by all adults”. Each serving of Soylent provides maximum nutrition with minimum effort.

Never again would I have to worry about getting all of my nutrients, plus I would save a ton of time since I didn’t have to cook or clean any longer :)

Soylent.com Free your body

Soylent.com Soylent Powder 1.5 details

I wanted this so badly.

My girlfriend thought  it was weird. She said it would probably give me cancer. A lot of people have reacted to me the same way. I didn’t understand at first but after talking about it more and thinking it over I think most people’s aversion to Soylent is that it’s just so different. No one can imagine a life that is not centered around food. To not eat real food seems to fly in the face of what it means to be a human.

The act of finding, preparing, and eating food is a very social activity. Without that what would we do all day? How would we gather? What would we talk about if not the taste of a steak or a new recipe we discovered? What would we have to look forward to if not a nice greasy pizza or a juicy burger piled high with more beef patties than any person needs? Not worrying about food or finding new ways to prepare just seems too weird.


I was so excited when I discovered this amazing discovery but after talking to friends and family I felt like I have broken some social rule and quickly felt ashamed. So I let it go.

My interest was piqued again recently when Soylent 2.0 was released, promising to not only give you all of your nutrients but also provide a glowing feeling from helping the environment too. It’s vegan, so no animals are being slaughtered, and it’s made partially from sustainable algae! I wanted it even more!

Not only are its ingredients vegan, Soylent 2.0 reaches an unprecedented level of environmental sustainability with half of its fat energy coming from farm-free, algae sources. This next generation agricultural technology has the potential to reduce the ecological impact of food production by orders of magnitude, signifying a major step towards a future of abundance, a world where optimal nutrition is the new normal.


Then again when The Next Web published a think piece slamming Rhienhart for a recent post on his blog. The piece described Rhinehart as “someone so disconnected from reality that he might as well be hooked into an Oculus Rift 24/7, bathing in a bath of temperature controlled Soylent”. Harsh much?

Yeah Rhinehart might be a little kooky but he’s made Soylent his whole life! I worry though that I could go a little kooky too if I forego the pleasure and social aspects of food for the convenience of “grey goop”. I mean I understand the benefits but Rhinehart acts like preparing food is a task only suitable for people burning in the lower levels of hell.

I have not set foot in a grocery store. Nevermore will I bumble through endless confusing aisles like a pack-donkey searching for feed while the smell of rotting flesh fills my nostrils and fluorescent lights sear my eyeballs and sappy love songs torture my ears. Grocery shopping is a multi-sensory living nightmare. There are services that will make someone else do it for me but I cannot in good conscience force a fellow soul through this gauntlet.

It’s not that bad dude! I mean yeah sometimes Wal-Mart can be a bit annoying, especially on a Sunday afternoon, but a “multi-sensory living nightmare” it is not. I worry I will be buying a one-way trip to kooky town with this guy with my first shipment of Soylent. This is what keeps me from giving it a try.

That and the fear of losing a basic part of what it means to be human. Food is a form of expression. The foods we like and dislike, way we procure food, the way we store it, prepare it, and even the way we talk about it is both unique and quite common. It’s one of the ways we connect with those around us. It is one of those basic things that reminds us all that we are more alike than we think.

So for now I choose eating my food the the old fashioned, inconvenient way.

You can learn more about Soylent at soylent.com and check out Rhinehart’s blog at blog.soylent.com.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”

From Me to Me in Twenty Years

Dear me in Twenty Years,

I do not know you, but I guess you know me quite well.

I will become you in twenty years but one thing I have learned is that trying to picture or predict what the future will hold is futile. I never knew the me I would become now and I cannot fathom what your life must be like.  I have learned instead that I can only hope and I hope that my future is a happy and fulfilling place.

You are 50 now and that means your body is probably creaking and sagging in all kinds of places but I hope you don’t care. I always thought it was silly that older women spent so much time and energy applying creams to fight the breakdown of collagen and various hair dyes to fight the graying. I hope you have a ton of laugh lines and long gray hair. I hope you look in the mirror and see how beautiful age can make us.

I hope you still have your dreadlocks. I love my dreads now and can’t imagine having to cut them off. Please tell me that won’t happen! I also hope you have more tattoos. I have been saving my pennies to get more and I don’t want all that saving to come to nothing in the end.

I hope that you are healthy. I know you have always worried about what you eat and how little you exercise. I hope that somewhere in between the time I was me and the time I became you that we found a way to take care of ourselves better. I know you remember the nights we lay awake facing our mortality. I hope you aren’t still afraid.

I hope you are working for yourself, doing the things that you love. I hope you are writing and creating art which I know has always been your passion. If you aren’t

I hope you are still in love and that your relationship continues to flourish. Our love for a particularly special girl is what got us our of the darker times. I hope you are treating her well. Do not forget the lessons we learned the hard way in the past. If my hopes are misplaced, please, don’t tell me. I’d rather stay ignorant and blissful a little while longer.

I hope our family is well. Your niece and nephew would be all grown up now and our siblings will be getting older right along with you. I hope you see them every Sunday still. I hope they all turned out to be fine men and women with their own happy lives and happy families too.

I do imagine that in the time between me writing this and you reading that you have experienced many hardships and some devastating losses. I know that life is often harsh and at times quite cruel. I hope you have not forgotten that life can be beautiful too. I hope nothing has broken you. You are such a fragile creature at times. I also know you are strong when you need to be, you always have been.

Whatever is happening in your life, wherever I have ended up as you, I know that we did our best and I promise when I am you I will have no regrets.

I can’t wait to meet you one day, we will have much to discuss when I do.

– Love always,

You at 30

This is part two, can read part one here.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Original image via Caleb Roenigk

From Me to Me at Fourteen

Dear Me at Fourteen,

You do not know me but I know you very well.

You do not know me but you will become me one day.

I want you to know that even though life is hard right now, that even though you feel alone and hurt, know that I love you. You do not love yourself yet, that won’t come for a very long time, and not without a lot of work, but it will come.

I want you to try to have hope. I know it must seem silly to have hope in a world where things only ever go from bad to worse, but it isn’t. You must have hope. You must try to survive. I promise you there is light at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel and you cannot imagine how beautiful life will be.

There will come a time when all of this will feel like nothing more than something bad that happened to someone you once knew. The wounds will heal and there will be love and security. It seems impossible, I know, but it will come. You only need to hold on for just a few more years.

Until then, try not to be so hard on yourself. I know you are struggling to figure out what is right and whatever you choose is ok. You are only a child and those who are meant to teach you are leaving you to figure it out on your own. It’s ok, you will get there. Try to be patient with yourself, no one else will and it’s what you will need the most right now.

I know no one has told you but I want you to know that you are amazing. You are beautiful, and kind and so, so smart. More than that though, you are strong. There are so many people who would have crumbled under half the weight life has piled on you but you can handle it. You are stronger than you know, and stronger than they tell you you are.

One day, when you are all grown up you will be happy.

All you have to do is survive!

– Love always,

You at 30

This is part one, can read part two here.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Original image via Caleb Roenigk

Ava Up Close

Everyone, meet Ava.

Ava, this is everyone.

I hope you aren’t squeamish about snakes. I promise you there is no need to be. Not with little Ava anyway. She’s not aggressive. Not if you are patient and slow with her and remember to not to force her or restrict her.

She only wants to explore the world around her. She’ll flick her tongue a lot. Taste-smelling the air looking for delicious rodents. If she happens to want to taste-smell your face it tickles ever so slightly like baby eyelashes on your cheeks.

She doesn’t feel slimy at all. She feels cool and smooth. She glides right over your skin and through your fingers. At first she is shy, she stays coiled and still but very quickly she relaxes. Then you will have to stay alert because she is quick! And if you lose her I will hurt you….

Don’t worry though. I’m here to help you with her.

Excuse me while I rattle off facts that you probably don’t care about.

  • She’s a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, they’re called that because the shape of their scales cause them to have a beautiful iridescent sheen
  • She requires high levels of humidity, which are hard to maintain in this dry Colorado air
  • She’s almost a year old now. She was born last August.
  • Boas give birth to live young rather than lay eggs.
  • I got her as a Christmas gift from my girlfriend but she couldn’t be shipped to me until last spring.
  • Yes, she was shipped to me, in a box.
  • No, I’m not crazy. Snakes are awesome, I promise!

Ava is just as much a part of my family as my dog and cat are. Her and my other snake, Delilah. They may not love me, or show me affection, but I have earned the trust of an animal that does not trust easily.

Sometimes that feels better than love given instinctually.

In response to The Daily Post photography prompt: Close Up

Why Generation Z Gives Me Hope

As I am getting older I am trying my best not to become one of those old geezers who hates the generation that comes after them. I don’t want to judge them because they’re lives are easier and they act in ways I’ll never understand. I hated being treated like I was stupid by older people, particularly by Baby-boomers. They were harsh and closed minded, for no reason, and they hated anything new and fun.

I felt like they were just stuck in their ways, slowly becoming like dinosaurs, obsolete and extinct.

Us Millennials are different though. I thought of us like version 2.0. We are smart and long for a kinder more open and forgiving world. We wanted to enjoy life and took no pride in struggling. We wanted to work smarter, not harder. We hated anyone who felt like “authority” and didn’t believe in the pecking order. We also demanded that we could express ourselves and our individuality in all aspects of our lives and rejected most social norms.

Basically, we were awesome!

But we are getting old, we are all getting into our 30s now. We are no longer the generation everyone is watching and talking about. Now everyone is looking at Generation Z, watching and waiting to see what they will do. I am among those who have been watching and luckily one of their members happens to be close to me, my littlest sister, who was born in 2000.

Watching the way she interacts with the world and listening to her thoughts on life has at times made me shake my head in disappointment and disbelief, but there have been other times when she has filled me with hope for the future.

For one, this generation seems to be more diverse than any generation that came before it. For one, more of them identify as non-white. My generation, the Millennials, are about 59.8% Caucasian, 18.5% Hispanic; 14.2%black; 4.3% are Asian; and 3.2% are mixed race or other. Estimates put them at 55% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 14% African-American, 4% Asian, and 4% mixed race or other. A record low for Caucasians,

I hope this means more of them are growing up aware of the racism and oppression that still exists in this country, and I hope they will grow up to change it. In all honesty just taking a look at some of the posts on Tumblr or Twitter about race and race relations shows me that this generation is very aware of the uglier aspects of this country’s history and they want to see some big changes, now!

In addition, more of them identify as gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, trans gender, genderqueer, and a whole host of other labels. They have more ways to identify themselves then I thought were possible. I had no idea that there were so many ways a person could be attracted to another person.

I admit, at first I was resistant. I didn’t get why everyone had to have these labels. My generation had rejected labels in favor of a “it’s none of your business, I’ll do what I want” attitude. But young people these days seem to want to shout to everyone who they are, and they are precise with their wording.

There are words for who you are attracted to sexually, and who you are attracted to romantically. There are words for one gender or the other, or both genders, or neither genders, or a third gender. There are words for your biological sex, your gender identity, and for your gender expression. I won’t pretend I know all of them, and even if I did new ones pop into existence everyday.

This generation is determined to label all the ways in which a human can be and love.

With that diversity comes a very inclusive attitude. Again, and scroll through Tumblr will show you that these kids will not tolerate bullying or hateful language of any kind. They will attack swiftly and in great numbers over hate speech, ignorance, or refusal to use the correct labels and language. If you even look like you might oppress someone with your language you could be targeted.

Basically, if you are white, heterosexual, and you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth, you should be careful with your words.

Another thing I am loving about Generation Z is their ability to monetize everything. They have been dubbed the “entrepreneurial generation” and I think they have earned it. These kids are a lot better at branding themselves and using the internet to turn that brand into a living then us Millenials were.

My little sister is always talking to me about new celebrities that she likes and I never know who the hell she is talking about. This is because being famous means something a lot different now then it did to us old folks. Now you don’t have to be on TV or star in a movie to be famous. Now you just have to record funny videos, or write inspirational tweets, or reblog all the best stuff to get followers/fans. Get over a certain amount and BAM, you are famous.

What confused me the most was the devotion my little sister had to these people. She loves these “YouTubers” more than I or anyone I know loves any band or actor. I later realized that was because “internet celebrities” are more accessible to their fans. The internet gives them an easy way to interact with their fans and make them feel included in their success.

It’s brilliant!

Not only that but these kids have learned to make a product, t-shirts, crafts, art, and more, into a business using services such as Etsy, Facebook, and Twitter to sell their wares, and they are doing it without a college education. In fact I think more than any generation before Generation Z rejects higher education. THey see it as an unesessary waste of time and money and instead opt to go right into working for themselves.

So yeah, these kids might not know what it’s like to struggle, and they might be spoiled, and they might not be able to do anything without their phones, but they are going to be ok. I know this because there are so many of them who have inspired me and made me think about things a little differently. Maybe us Millenials don’t have it figured out after all. Maybe there was still room for improvement.

All I know for sure is that we have to get on board or we will become like dinosaurs ourselves, obsolete and extinct.

Prompt via The Daily Post – Generation XYZ

Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?

Image via https://flic.kr/p/aZbzgi

We All Need Help Sometimes, and That’s Okay!

Asking for help isn’t easy for most people. We all want to feel like we can do things on our own and asking for help makes us feel like we have failed. Asking for help means we aren’t independent, we aren’t smart, it means we are weak. At least that’s what we are taught. This is what society tells us.

I am here to tell you that is bullshit.

I have never had much trouble asking for help. I think any task can be made easier when the load is shared by many rather than one. On the flip-side I am always willing to help others too. I can’t ask for my load to be shared while being unwilling to help carry the load of those around me.

Imagine if everyone in the world felt free to ask for help and in return was willing to help others when asked. Think about how much less stressful life would be if there was always help available, all you had to do was ask?

We humans are not solitary creatures. We are meant to live in communities where the work is spread out among the entire group. We are a little like ants in a colony, working together to do more than any one person could on their own. Yes it comes with some sacrifice.

We lose our independence and part of our identity is wrapped up in the community. We open ourselves up to being exploited by selfish members of the group. We must follow the rules to keep our communities cohesive, even if we don’t agree with the rules.

I would argue that the benefits can outweigh the costs. If we would stop fighting our nature and just help one another without judgement life could be so much more enjoyable. Not only that but if we would learn to ask for, and accept, help from others in our communities.

Helping each other and accepting help in return builds connections and relationships. Connecting and building relationships feels better, and does more for our well-being, than pretending we are each an island unto ourselves. We are not meant to carry the heavy load of life all on our own. We are meant to share it, and walk lighter, and further, together.

Free writing in response to The Daily Post prompt, I Am a Rock.