So I bought The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization. Victor Davis Hanson is one of my intellectual heroes and I buy his books as a matter of course. Actually that’s not true there’s a lot of his books that I have no interest in, like I will never buy Mexifornia I don’t think.
Anywho, I now know more about the cultivation of olives and fruit trees than 99% of the global population. I hate olives. I’ve only read the first two chapters so I can’t really say much. There’s a lot about olives.
Turns out that it was our mistake. Our association sent off an incorrect date of birth to hombu. I must say that hombu are remarkably on the ball. I just provided them with my name and the country I’m in and within an hour I got an email back with a photo of the physical form that we sent off a year ago with our head of association Cc’d into it. No organisation in the UK is that efficient.
Today is a day of pensiveness. I feel sleepy but not tired which is normal for this time of year. I was looking down the garden as I was making tea earlier and noting how the leaves are turning yellow. Everything has that damp heaviness that signals the arrival of autumn. Yesterday I found myself in the front room watching the sunset, the yellows, the pinks, the blues, the fading of the light. I find that I’m withdrawn, always looking to hunker down somewhere, wanting the next hot sweet thing, a cup of hot chocolate, a rich coffee. So basically I’m undergoing my normal reaction to autumn.
Another curious thing, which is normal for this time of year, is that I want to read fiction and write. Normally my reading habits centre on nonfiction, except during the autumn and winter. I suppose that’s why I’ve been blogging more than usual, I feel the need to write, even if it’s complete nonsense.
For some reason I feel the need to read Henry Miller. Sex. I suppose that I like him because he’s so masculine. Camille Paglia says that our culture is so feminised that we no longer produce authors like Miller and we’re not comfortable with raw male sexuality anymore and part of me would like to write something that redresses that. I reckon that I could write something that would trigger feminists so hard and cause such scandal that I’d be world famous. I just don’t have the patience to write.
I’d like to write a book that just fucks up our current culture’s narrative about male views of women and rubs male sexuality in it’s face in a totally unapologetic way but without it being pornographic. The point wouldn’t be to write sex scenes but to really convey male psychology with all its facets from looking at some women as pure fuck meat to rut with to falling in love with someone and desperately wanting an emotional connection with her through sex and these two extremes can coexist with each other.
I want to write a book that teenagers read to shock their parents and I think that with the dominance of left wing thought and feminist moralising doing that is a piece of piss. I want to release my inner enfant terrible. I want to be sat opposite some seething feminist presenter on a late night culture show and to say, “You’re only angry because you’ve never been fucked like that” and grin as I take a sip from my whisky.
The more I think about this the more I grin to myself and think that it’s a really good idea.
I don’t know but – I may have swung myself an interview. Last Friday, purely on a speculative basis, and because I was pissed off after finding out that I wasn’t getting an interview for the last job I was going for, I randomly applied for another job with the same organisation, but higher up. I expected nothing to come of this and, if I’m honest, I still expect nothing to come of this. Literally I just copied and pasted all of the application from the previous one and submitted it just so that I felt that I was still pushing and driving myself forward – still doing something proactive. Yesterday I got an email asking me to take the online test……… I took it today and passed.
So we’ll see. I don’t even really match the criteria. I didn’t even fully read the criteria! I was just so riled up and fed up that I dismissively did it. This I think is actually an improvement: I think that this kind of reaction is much healthier than how I used to react which was by getting down and disheartened and passive. Now I always want to punch back: I get knocked back and I fire off another application the same day. I don’t care about matching the criteria: It’s their fucking problem to sort out, not mine!
I’m amazed at how much I’ve changed in the past eight or nine months. I’m so much more confident, more assertive, more positive, more future orientated. The thing which frustrates me is that things aren’t moving as fast as I would like. I’m ready to take the next step in my life.
BM was curiously chatty on Tuesday night. Usually I get ignored up to a certain point at which point she becomes chatty and usually I have to initiate. Jboy went off to the bar and R sent me a message which was hilarious and naturally I burst out laughing as she was walking by. Her head swivelled, the eyes narrowed suspiciously, “And what are you laughing at?” So I explained. Then after that we had a back and forth and naturally at the end of the night I got the usual “Get out!” rather than, “Would you finish your drinks, please”. She makes me laugh; I love her attitude, her toughness, how hard she works and I feel quite protective towards her: if there is anything that looks like trouble I find myself keeping more of an eye on her than usual just incase.
I suppose I’d better get to bed.
Oh, in other news, I bought Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, who is one of my favorite authors. I didn’t appreciate that it’s 918 pages of small type! I honestly have no idea when I’m going to read it. I’m actually, despite my positivity and whatnot, in a bit of a funk: I’m quite tired and my concentration isn’t great.
So on monday I called up the surgery, my usual GP wasn’t in so I decided that I’d just go and see any doctor. During the consultation it was established that I have the classic symptoms of bipolar disorder; a shocking revelation for someone with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
I wanted medication, specifically I wanted ritalin because there is literature to support its use with bipolar disorder and it’ll help me concentrate and focus. Instead what happened is I got referred to my community mental health team. Personally I think that this is a bit OTT, but whatever. They called on Tuesday and basically gave me the choice of a talking therapy or an assessment with a psychiatrist, which could lead to a talking therapy. On advice I chose to go for the assessment. I have no idea when this will be. I think maybe that because it’s been so long since I was under medical supervision that they want to drag me in and see where I am. Where I am, all in all, is a pretty good place.
At the moment my only real symptoms are that I’m exhausted all the time, I’m a bit subdued and I don’t enjoy anything or am able to motivate myself to do anything. That said, I did have a real moment at work today where I almost broke down. I sat there with my head in my hands and just stared out of the window for a good ten minutes crushed by what I can only describe as a wave of hopelessness. I nearly cried. Then it passed and I cracked on.
Oh and at lunch today I decided to actually just sit in Starbucks and read. Usually I grab a sandwich and a coffee and head back to the office, but I felt the need to be out. I’m reading The Fall by Camus. Reading Camus is very much a depression thing I think. Reading serious fiction, as opposed to sci-fi is a depression thing actually: I think something about being depressed and introspective makes me want to read fiction as a way of exploring alternative perspectives on life. Or something.
What can I say? I have a touch of depression. I don’t enjoy life right now. I’m not even enjoying going out drinking and everything feels hopeless. I just want to sleep all of the time and I’ve spent basically as much time as I can in bed. Rationally I know that everything in my life is at least no worse than it has been recently so I try and constantly check my moods with a bit of rational thinking, but you feel how you feel at the end of the day.
Also I’ve started using the I-ching again. Yes, I know, divination is bullshit. At least I think I know. I find it remarkably accurate but then I suppose the entire point of it is that you can read into it whatever you like. It’s unrelentingly positive about Dakota and things that it says will end badly end badly and things that it says will end well end well. It’s a crutch at a difficult time. Then again if it’s random chance what is the statistical likelihood of a positive result every single time?
I just have this profound ennui. I’ve started reading fiction, which is semi-rare. I’m reading Tropic of Cancer and I suppose I just feel trapped and bored. I long for something a bit more bohemian in my life. I want to take Dakota to Paris, sit in a bar and listen to jazz and just talk and talk and talk. I feel the need to write too, but I’m not inspired so I don’t know what to write about.
Actually, I’m just restless.
I’m in weird mood. Pensive, in fact. I’ve read Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive back to back and loved them both. Cyberpunk is something that I really appreciate. It’s probably my favorite genre of fiction and it’s something that I sort of take refuge in. I was writing cyberpunk short stories as therapy and escapism before I realised that there was such a thing as cyberpunk; one of my ambitions is to actually finish off my cyberpunk novel.
At nineteen I think that both S and I dreamed of finding an underground world to slip into in the same way that Case from Neuromancer might slip into Chiba or the Count might slip into the sprawl. We wanted something away from the ordinary world, something secret and I suppose more dramatic and meaningful. I think that all my writing back then was about us and that desire to escape into a world defined by bright city lights at night and high technology and low life. She was my Molly Millions, still is really.
Curious: The more things that happen the less I feel that I have to blog about. That said there is a sort of stability to my life at the moment. Or a new stability, my life is always fairly stable. Actually that’s probably the problem at the moment, if I have any, I’m expecting things to happen in the future and so it feels like nothing is happening now.
Things with BM are stable. Things with Dakota are, by the glacial standards of how we are, perhaps not so stable? I don’t know. We chat about films. Things with C are better in that we’re sort of talking, just “How are you?” chitchat but that’s better than nothing. S and I have fallen into our usual comfortable silence.
That said, I’m missing S and I keep replaying this incident in my mind where I was suffering from insomnia and ended up on the day bed in the conservatory, as usual. In theory she makes lunch and then I make dinner but in practice we sort of both do both together, it’s worryingly couply but whatever. So I was laying there half asleep and was going to get up and sort of help with lunch and basically she told me not to get up and then stroked my face until I fell asleep. When I woke up she was putting lunch on the table and I felt really rather cared for.
But yeah, stasis.
Everytime I go into the office I get asked if anything new has happened and it hasn’t. So time seems to be going by rather slowly. Xmas feels like about two years ago. That said my role there is being expanded, I’m shadowing more people and being asked to do more stuff. I’m actually planning on going in tomorrow for two hours or so just to get some stuff done that I was too tired to do on Friday.
In book news I’m reading The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution. I highly recommend this book, it is most awesome although the opening chapter is basically a rather annoying bit of housekeeping where the relativist language games are put to bed, which is interesting because it defines terms and makes preliminary arguments but is also quite boring because dealing with relativists just is boring. “You can’t say that other cultures are less scientific than the West”…….Yeah we can – where’s your culture’s moon rocket?
I finally got through The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta which is a good book, but, if you’re expecting to learn much about Sparta and you’re fairly up to speed about Athenian history isn’t all that fascinating. The book talks more about Themistocles than it does about any Spartan figure.
Anyway, yeah, so. Whatever.