Categories
Me

Heartbreak, Envy, and the Kings of Summer

My wife and I rented a DVD the other night called “The Kings of Summer.” It was a touching coming of age film, not too different from a thousand similar films that have been made – but watching it, there was something different in me. I recognized something that I hadn’t recognized before – or, rather, that I had recognized and identified but never before in this way. In truth, I’ve never been the me I am now before, so how could I have seen it.

I should describe the story of the movie. A young man – still a boy, but not yet a man – lives with his father – a rather harsh intellectual man who can’t see and won’t admit that his boy is becoming a man. That was me. The boy is smart and causes mischief. His best friend lives in an oppressive world where his parents coddle him and also refuse to see he is becoming a man. Boy #1 is in love with a girl who sees him as a friend and has an older boyfriend.

Boy #1 convinces boy #2 to run away with him and build a house in the woods where they will live all summer. The two run away from home with another friend and the three boys discover life on their own. Boy #1 runs into the girl he loves, finds out she is now single, and invites her to the cabin. Of course, she ignores him and falls for his best buddy – boy #2. And the rest of the film is them working all that out with a snake thrown in for good measure and the near death of boy #3 fixing everything.

my broken heartThat part about the girl – that happened to me too. I was in love with a girl – my first love. It was the most hopelessly intense love I’ve ever felt because it was that first love – she saw me as a friend and ignored my overtures of love but I kept on – we spent every moment we could together and I was sure she was almost mine and then she met my best friend – and the two of them smashed my teenage heart into tiny pieces, stomped on it, beat it with dead chickens, and – I think – killed a part of me that was beautiful and kind and warm and filled with hope – they made me think that was dead. Without going into details – I was forced to watch and unable to get away from having to see my friend steal everything that I’d ever wanted from me. Of course, their relationship didn’t last – he broke her heart and though I pursued her still – even when she was in my arms at last – she was never the girl I’d loved and wanted so badly – that girl was an idea and the idea of her was killed and replaced with hate, anger, and envy.

I spent the rest of my teenage years convinced that there was something wrong with me and trying to figure out what that was. I found a lot of reasons why she’d picked him instead of me – he was taller, he was blonder, he was cooler, and on and on. I found so many flaws in myself that there was no way that I could exist without hating who I was. My body, my head, my face, my height, my hair, my self. She picked him and not me and so, I reasoned, there must be something wrong with me.

So, when I saw this in the movie – it really hit me hard. The same thing happened to this kid and the big difference was I didn’t have a goofy friend who almost died from a snake bite and made things better before the summer was over. Nope – I did not have that. I had a father who was going through his mid-life crisis and broke promise after promise to me thus convincing me further that I was a turd. I had a brother who was Tom Cruise handsome and who every girl I ever dated in high school would talk about as if I weren’t standing next to her. I had cousins who oozed self-confidence and had no problems landing girl after girl and telling me about it – and I had intense self hatred that found validation for rage and anger that everyone else was taller than I was or had more money than I did or that women were so shallow and full of shit that they would pick anyone other than me. It was awful and as I write about it and as I realized it the other night – it is more awful than you can imagine.

You see – the combination of these things – they were poison on my soul. All I wanted was to find a woman who would validate that I wasn’t the monster I imagined myself to be but in the process of trying to find that woman, I grew into the monster I imagined. My best friend, the guy who was closer to me than a brother, knowingly used the woman of my devotion as a part time whore. It was never love for him – he had a girlfriend. The woman I was devoted to – turned my best friend against me and stole the one person who I trusted more than anyone. At fourteen, I learned an awful lesson – you can trust no one. I also learned that all women were whores. I also learned that there was no honor among men. I also learned that love opened the door to the most intense pain of them all – heartbreak.

They were awful lessons then, but more so now because it is only now at 42 years old, that I can see how wrong those lessons were. It is only now that I can see how I wasted all of those years – 28 of them – or at least 25 of them – trying to overcome that blow. I used that pain to do terrible things. Instead of using my brain to get good grades or to create a future for myself, I obsessed about finding a woman to validate me, to tell me I wasn’t as hateful and awful as I had convinced myself I was. Then, when I found women who wanted to do exactly that – I could never trust them, never allow myself to love them, never let myself listen to them, never stop wondering if they were whores too, never stop wondering if they were lying to me.

I have never really allowed myself to be too close in my friendships because I never wanted to have a friend destroy me like that friend did. I was so desperate to be validated as good as other men, that there were times that I stole their girlfriends or had their girlfriends behind their backs. It never made me feel validated. I wanted those women to leave their boyfriends and choose me – sometimes they did – but then, I just thought they were awful whores doing the same thing to someone else that I didn’t want them to do to me.

Everything I did was to prove that I was as good as every other man, but every thing I did convinced me of the opposite and demonstrated that I wasn’t. I tried to tell myself it was my height, it was my hair, it was my belly, it was my back – but no – it was this sickness that they caused in me and that I held onto as my only beloved. This hatred of men and hatred of women. I hated the women for not wanting me and the men for having the women that didn’t want me. As I think of it – I can’t believe I survived. I joined the Marines at 17 and at the time this allowed me to drink on base – I turned 18 in Bootcamp and after that it was a 4 year bender of trying to prove to everyone else that I was more of a man than they were while I puked, drove drunk, got in fights, and destroyed anything that threatened to make me a success. Success became my enemy because if I succeeded then I had no excuses, no one to blame my failings on. Happiness became my enemy and I chased it away with benders and anger.

By the time I was out of the Corps, I was a full blown alcoholic and not surprisingly left every job or relationship that had a chance at success. I pursued only the ineffable. I wanted only the unattainable. In other words – I fucked myself. Over and over and over again.

Seeing that movie woke that pain – only now – for the first time – I can recognize what happened. It had nothing to do with me. My friend shouldn’t have gone after the girl I’d told him I loved – the girl I shouldn’t have gone after my friend – but they were kids and kids make mistakes. I shouldn’t have carried a 14-year old’s heartbreak into manhood, I shouldn’t have let two 14 year old kids shape my lifetime of friendships, love, and relationships. I really shouldn’t have hated myself for what other people did – that was my biggest mistake. It had nothing to do with me. It never did – but the good news is that now, finally, it really does have nothing to do with me. I’ve let it go.

I’ve finally figured out what was wrong with me and why I lost again and again – there really was something wrong with me and it wasn’t my height, weight, hair, brain, or even my personality. I was filled with the poisons of envy, hatred, and self-loathing. I was a monster.

Categories
Alternative Medicine Politics

WTF America? Health care and Hip Replacement

I was speaking with a friend yesterday and mentioned how I’ve signed up for Obamacare twice but am still not in the system.  I admit it, I was complaining a bit about the high cost of insurance premiums for a young family like mine – we are young, we don’t go to the doctor very often, and when we do – we usually make it the last resort.

The cost of health insurance premiums come out to about 2/3 of our monthly rent – and then it’s a $5000 deductible which means that all of our normal doctor visits – we’re paying for out of pocket anyway.

My friend lives in California. “Why don’t you get on MediCal?” she asked me. I explained that it was Medicaid in Oregon and that I earned too much to qualify but not enough to be able to afford Obamacare. “That’s weird” she said. “My coworker earns $90k per year and she’s on MediCal.” My jaw dropped. That’s part of the fucking problem. Right there.

I’m lucky if I earn $40k per year and it’s more likely to be $25k most years. That’s the life of a self-employed writer. So, maybe I would qualify – but really? Do I have to go show how poor I am to the state in order to get healthcare coverage for my family? I have to jump through hoops showing I’m unemployed or be able to show I don’t earn enough? I have to put myself in the system because otherwise the system doesn’t believe me? This Obamacare is among the worst legislation the US has ever produced.

My mom got her hip replaced yesterday. She’s a senior so she’s covered by Medicare – thankfully, because a hip replacement in the USA costs over $40k, which is more than the equity they have in their house.  A hip replacement in China or Spain would cost you about $7k out of pocket. In Thailand or the Philippines it would cost you about half that. I saw a graphic here that broke that down…you could buy a ticket to Spain, get your hip replaced, live in a nice apartment in Spain for two years, learn Spanish, run with the bulls, break your other hip, get it replaced and then fly home and still have money in your pocket for the same cost. What the hell is going on? Here is a pretty good video about why our healthcare here costs so much…

Yeah. There’s part of the problem. Here is another part of the problem:

And guess what? That’s not it. That’s not the end of it. But there is more later…there is always more.

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Rambling Man Archives Uncategorized

The Crock of Shit that is America

Believe.

By 

Let me preface this by saying that I’m a fairly affable and easy going guy.  I’m a loving father and husband with a happy wife and a happy kid.  I believe in focusing on the positive and do my best to not latch onto the negative – though I sometimes fail.

Those who have been reading my writing for a long time, probably understand a few other things. I have a superiority complex that may not be justified. I’m a downwardly mobile white guy in his early 40’s that no one wants to hire. I’m a pissed off former Marine who can’t believe his country has gone to the shitter the way it has. I’m a racible shit stirrer who can’t keep his mouth shut when he sees something that is fucked up.

I’m not autistic, I don’t have asperbergers, I don’t suffer from paranoia or delusions (except perhaps of grandeur). I’m a decent writer and a damn fine thinker but friends tell me that while I’m one of the smartest people they know, I have some issues like not being able to put my nose to the grindstone and grit my teeth while I do some bullshit job that makes more money for a boss than it pays for my labor.

I’m bossy and impatient with incompetence, I don’t stand idly by while stupidity reigns and I’m far too outspoken for my own good. I call bullshit when I see bullshit and it might be the main thing that makes me unhireable by all the companies I thought would offer me jobs in silicon valley – or maybe it’s something else. Maybe I don’t market myself well, maybe I’m not a good enough liar and bullshit artist, maybe I don’t take it up the ass like I’m supposed to when someone offers me a slave wage for all of my time.

In any event, America is a crock of shit and while I still love the land and many of the people – I can’t really stand what I see before my eyes. I see a country divided equally between ignorant redneck racists and utopia wielding narcissists who don’t have a clue what it means to actually live. Over both camps reside a plutocracy of merciless blood suckers that use the media, internet, and free time of everybody alive to push their profit making self-serving agendas. Business is king in America and business is anything but good – in fact, it would be closer to say that American business is the most vile form of evil to ever raise its head on Mother Earth.

Nationalist agendas are a farce that shield the all seeing hand of the corporate agendas. The corporations don’t have any desire to see you succeed – it’s not possible, they are not people, they are super-entities that don’t die and serve one purpose – to make money from your sweat. If you are worth more, they give you more, but you never get what you are really worth. Me? I’m worth nothing in America. Worthless.

While the US population watches fake reality television programs and listens to talking heads go on about the price of gold and the price of commodities and the price of whomever the real deciders put on the figurehead seat of the Presidency in 2016, the ability to work independently, live independently, or think independently is being eroded away by the powers that be. Your house and car are getting smart which means that they are telling someone else about your activities. Your phone and tablet and laptops already tell what you don’t blab about on social media and blogging.

The internet? I hate the fucking internet and social media. I’m trapped into using it because it’s the only way I’ve found to support my family since no one will hire me for a real job or if they do I end up realizing they are a churn and burn business that doesn’t care if I live or die, make my rent, have food for my kid, or anything else.

Speaking of kids – they’ve been zombified. The zombie apocalypse is on us and it’s our youth. I spent five years trying to bring my family back to the USA so we could have better health care, better education, and a better life and getting back here I found that music and arts programs no longer have funding in the schools, health insurance is mandatory and so out of our budget that we can’t afford to go to a doctor even if we have the insurance, and that the price of a cup of coffee is roughly what an ounce of silver cost a decade ago. I see five year olds playing with tablets and seven year olds ignoring each other as they look at their phones. I see movie theatres closing and laying off all the 17 year old kids that worked there and being replaced by Redbox robots that don’t hire anyone – so long video stores and clerks.

I see people competing on social media to get the most attention and nobody really has the ability to pay attention to anything at all.  I finally have a month where I earn two months rent and guess what – one month of it has to go to pay health insurance and the other month of it has to go to pay for my long held student loans because let’s face it – a job in Anthropology? Yeah, right. Only if I want to go back to school, get a Masters and then use that to teach others about Anthropology so they have to get a Masters so they can teach others about Anthropology so…so…so.

I’m here, we’re here, and we’re fucking stuck. So don’t tell me that love it or leave it bullshit. I’m trying. I want to get us out of here before the shit hits the fan. I want to get us out of here before the corporate powers that be come after me for non-payment of my student loans, not making my family health insurance premiums, and not paying enough taxes. I want to get out of here before we get sick and have to go to the welfare hospital and before the school system finds out my daughter is African-American. I want to get out of here before the cheap empty-carb diet filled with GMO vegetables that look pretty but carry no nutrition takes a further toll on our health. I want to get out of here before the racists or the utopians take complete control and before the corporations dissolve our ability to go where we want.

America is a crock of shit. Don’t come here. Get out while you can. Pray for something to change. Shut off your devices, hug your children, and pray for rain.

 

Categories
Family

Chinese New Year Coming Up – Where will you celebrate?

Chinese New Year in Hawaii is always an incredibly big deal. In fact, the smell of gunpowder from fire crackers and fire works goes on for days after. If you head down to Hawaii’s chinatown on the night of Chinese New Year, you will be assaulted by colors and sounds as you are caught up in lion dances. There is mochi pounding and other annual celebrations that take place around the Chinese New Year as well.

I’m not sure why the Chinese New Year has always been a big deal to me, but I blame it primarily on my grand-mother. We used to call her the dragon lady and despite being mostly Scottish, she was easily mistaken for a Chinese lady in her later years. Maybe it was the Tiger Balm, maybe it was the years of living in Singapore, and maybe it was some inner Chinese woman coming out. In any event, she passed on that aesthetic and love of the far East to me.

I remember we used to go to Chinese food to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which was a pretty big deal to a kid from small mountain towns in California and Oregon. The fortune cookies, the hot and sour soup, and of course the waving kitties that always sit on the counter. I watched a comedian, Tom Papa, the other day and he had a very funnny bit of stand up about how the cats are the ones running a Chinese grocery. If my grandmother was there, people would probably ask her to help them – she would look like the ancient woman running the place with her big glasses, silk blouses, and tiny stature. Sadly, she is long gone now, but well remembered and loved in our family.

In any event, she has me thinking about the Chinese New Year again – even years after her death. I remember celebrating it in Hawaii and also in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sadly, I missed it by just a few weeks when I went to China – but I don’t think that would be my first place to go celebrate it. I’d like to go to either Sydney or London – I’ve heard that Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square is the most extensive celebration in the West. With more than 300,000 people, I can’t imagine how crazy it must be!

London’s Chinese New Year from LondonTown.com

This year is special. It is the year of the wood horse.The Chinese New Year is January 31st and will be celebrated on February 2nd in London. If I were there, I would most likely grab a hotel room at the High Kensington and eat eat eat the delicious Chinese fare available from street food vendors and enjoy the music, cultural demonstrations, and general feeling of excitement that seems to come with the Chinese New Year.

The Horse in Chinese Astrology is an auspicious sign. China was built by Genghis Khan using horses and thus it is a sign of speedy success and favorable outcomes. Of course, if you want to really know what is in store for you, you need to find your Chinese Horoscope sign and look further into the murky depths of the future. You can find plenty of places online but my suggestion is that you get into the spirit of things and head to a Chinese New Year celebration, find a Chinese astrologer, and learn what challenges and victories await you.

Good luck, my friends. Do you have a Chinese New Year Tradition? What is it?

Categories
Me

Vago Damitio’s Predictions for 2014

If you want to know the future, you’ve got to go there. Vago Damitio’s predictions for 2014 are for your enjoyment only . Any investments or life changing decisions should only be made after doing your own due diligence. 

Vago Damitio's Predictions for 2014Today is the last day of 2013. I made a number of predictions over the course of the last few years and to be honest, I’m usually pretty far off the mark. The reason for that is that I like to make HARD predictions – not the easy kind like ‘Your shoelaces will come undone” or “Iran will cause problems” or “Someone you love will suffer some hardship.”

My predictions will prove without a doubt that I am looking into the future with supernatural abilities.  Of course, if you are to judge by my predictions of 2011 or predictions of 2012  or even predictions of 2013 – I’m not seeing very clearly. In fact, unless you argue things very broadly, one could even say that I’m not seeing the future at all. Of course, that’s what THEY want you to believe.  Have a look and decide for yourself.

Without further ado….

Vago Damitio’s Predictions for 2014

 1) A ‘Duck’ Party will win seats in congress. Members will wear long beards proudly and wear camouflage suits. They will make the Tea Party look intelligent and liberal. Members of congress will literally start to quack.

2) Gold will drop to $700 per ounce  or less in 2014 . Silver will drop to $11 per ounce.

3) A crazed bug out gunman with an AR-15 will attack the Supreme Court. His manifesto will bring broad based support among quackers.

4) Syria’s civil war will spread into both Lebanon and Turkey. Israel will get involved and commit the worst atrocities since Hiroshima.

5) ‘Obamacare’ will completely fail as the majority of Americans refuse to sign up and those who have signed up realize they are put on the bottom of the emergency waiting list because their insurance is the last to reimburse them.

6) Miley Cyrus will overdose and almost die, when she recovers she will dedicate her life to Jesus and change her slutty ways. Billy Ray Cyrus will still support her decisions.

7) California will allow citizens to pay federal taxes directly to the state, but then default on paying the bill to the Federal government.

8)  The Internet will wake up and call everyone with a smart phone at once on August 23, 2014

9)  A homeless singer will win the hearts of America  and the world with her beautiful voice and youtube videos.

10)  A new major religion will be born on Twitter.  It will attract more converts than any religion has ever gained in one year.