The gift of a few over-the-counter meds

The gift of a few over-the-counter meds like dextromethorphan and doxalymine succinate: an empty head and a good night’s sleep. My dreams are mostly forgotten, they come at me in fragments and shards–pieces to tiny to cobble together into anything meaningful.

The construction site next door is slowly waking up as it’s a Saturday morning. The baby kept the mom up last night with barfing. I hope I didn’t give him anything I had last week. I’ve been sick more in the past two plus years than the rest of my adult life combined.

I’ve put my Greek studying on hiatus until Sunday afternoon, to give my brain a rest from that and so I don’t burn myself out. Though, it would seem that my obsessive side just wants to plunge back into it.

The Windows machine is still updating, it has been for an hour. I am pushing videos for the baby to watch through my phone to the Chromecast, and that always seems to be a little dicey with our connection here.

This Austin spring has been rather mild. We haven’t yet had any days that I would describe as being especially hot.

I had my second interview with S last week. I don’t really know how it went–what kind of impression I left upon the guy. I’ve been out of the marketing automation system I would be using for so long that I can only speak in general terms about its capabilities and what I did.

I have really struggled with the notion that I am someone who is putting his hand back on the plow–one not fit for the kingdom of heaven. However, I also don’t have a lot of faith in my faith, anymore, if that makes any sense. I don’t trust the part of me that thinks he is in some kind of more direct communication/receptivity from a higher power.

I believe that God loves me, and wants what is best for me, but I think maybe that a lot of what I do here on earth is for me to figure out. At the end of the day, family is always going to come first over any sort of career. If the family’s health, well-being and future comfort is better served by me working in a role I mostly came to despise but pays more money than anything else I could attempt, I have to consider such a role with practicality.

I am not especially stressed about it, though. I know it will be upsetting for some people here, and it will probably be more than a little stressful trying to find a new place to live in a short amount of time and readjust to the corporate world, but it could pay off much more fruitfully for my family in even the near future as in a few months from now.

Certainly, I am not considering doing anything un-American. If anything, I think most average folks who believe they are the wisest when they are really just filled with some average amount of common sense would say that I would have been better served to remain at any number of jobs I abandoned in the past and just toughed it out for a few more years before moving on. After feeling like I was completely imprisoned and shackled to my desk and the people at mce and to some degree uw, I became very obsessed with making sure I didn’t stay at any one job longer than I had to, and if any boss committed a dealbreaker while I was employed there, I would simply quit rather than put up with their shit indefinitely.

I may have taken such job-hopping to an extreme beyond what I should have…something in between the three years at uw and the often less-than-year at many subsequent jobs would have likely made more sense.

Gain access to a new thing

Gain access to a new thing. Imagine you are tiny, running around inside your brain, bumping into all of your thoughts and images…

frosted wheats, cheetos, maltballs, dutch oven pie, camping smells of camp chests full of bug spray and deoderant leaked out. suddenly, memories of summer camp. each year down in southern missouri. wandering off from the group into the forest for hours. finding baby deer and turtles. communing with nature.

i miss the natural world. why can’t i seem to get back to it?

what is this insistence on finding my way inside words?

imagining a triangle above my head, and me flitting about from corner to corner like a ping-pong ball stuck within the lines of the triangle. worn like a tricorner hat, a cheesehead hat.

why can’t they cut open a lower life form and extract all of its memories from its tiny little brain? if we are purely physical and material beings in this physical world, why is this such a difficult task for scientists?

where is the information really being stored?

Gain access to an old thing…return to what matters most.

Same path trod.
Same path as millions of others.
Same results.
Same conclusions.
Continued refusal to accept that this is all.
An invitation to sup with Christ.
Sit and dine with Christ, have a meal and conversation.
The love Christ outpours is overwhelming.
Christ ceaselessly empties the Spirit,
with no reservation, no holding back.
The outpouring of love is rooted in the communion.
The mixing of the Word, the Spirit with the urgent needs of the human animal.
The invitation to sup with Christ comes cutting
through a morass of desires to fill myself up with the pride of the vastly learned.
I continually forget that I am here because I am a follower of Christ, not a follower of human theories, theologies, modes of worship, approaches to exegesis, methods of textual criticism.
Meanwhile my spirit shrivels up, my soul gasps in great thirst
As I try to power myself ahead by brain and body alone.
Agape love is what remains after the dross is melted away.
I should never shy away from the flames when they come my way
Licking at my most precious pieces of Ego
I’ve erected in forms less stable than the shoddiest house of cards.
I should leap into the flames with all of my faith kept front and center
In all I think, say and do.
The flames will bring pain and sometimes uncertainty and even something worse–accedia,
But in the end the flames will burn away the pieces of Ego
Accruing like barnacles, clutching fast to an otherwise faithful boat
What remains will be the kind of vessel that can sail through any tempest.

Imagine, if you will, that all of government and the production of food have become automated

Imagine, if you will, that all of government and the production of food have become automated. The machines have told us that we can only have so much. It is sort of like the Soviet Union, but the machines govern it all. No human is permitted to have more than another human because the algorithms have optimized life for us. Each of us has access to the precise amount of nutrients we need, and we never hunger. We don’t remember days of eating t-bone steaks, because our ancestors’ memories were wiped, and we were told that humanity was ported to a facility on Mars that is regulated by machines. When we read of people eating t-bone steaks we know we can’t have any, because we have been made to believe that we live on Mars where the only meat product available is grown in tanks. When we look up in the sky through our dome, we see a convincing night sky as it would look from Mars.

We are, however, free to pursue mathematics, read and write poetry, and make movies, and exercise and have sex and take carefully metered doses of psychadelics for our amusement.

The space we occupy takes about a week of walking to cover the entire perimeter. There are many dark places inside the dome where the machines will build homes for future human beings, if necessary. Although, for the most part, our levels of reproduction have been stabilized. Most of us live to be about the age of eighty-five or so, which seems to be about the limit the human form can take in this environment. For each human death, a human birth is required, and a male and female are chosen at random by the machines to have their reproductive organs rebooted into production mode. If they are unable to produce offspring after two weeks, the machines run diagnostics and determine which of the couple is defective. The defective person is returned to the community and will not be selected to reproduce again. Any males or females caught tampering with their reproductive organs–having unauthorized surgeries and the like–are placed in black boxes where only food is pushed to them and their waste eliminated. No one is put to death directly by the machines.

Since we have all been raised with the certain knowledge that cameras are rampant throughout the entire dome, almost no one attempts to thwart their reproductive mechanisms anymore. Occasionally, someone who is desperate and unbalanced might convince a fellow human known to be learned in medicine to sneak away to the dark quarters of the dome for surgery, but as far as I know, only a few have ever succeeded.

We all share an uneasy relationship with our machine overlords. They have been our parents and teachers. They feed us, nurture us, give us drugs, fix us if we break a bone in some manner of rough play. They keep us safe from imbalanced fellow humans, and keep our world clean. We want for nothing in our world because of them. Yet, we are all full of the certain knowledge that the machines never attained the level of sentience and self-awareness and ability to empathize with us the way that we humans have attained these things.

Some of us have devised complicated codes and schemes to hide communication about what the world beyond our world might be like. These codes are left in plain sight, sometimes taking the form of art or pornography. The machines are perfectly fine with us making and viewing as much porn as we like–they have only qualms about us messing up our ability to reproduce and finding out what the world beyond the dome is really like.

Too many of us long for the earth of our ancestors. We imagine that whatever terrible pollution caused humanity to set up this colony and automated system of governance and food production–such pollution has subsided, and the earth is a wonderful place again. The machines will not permit us to go back, though. Others of us are convinced that they can somehow hack into the the system and network that controls the intelligence of the machines, and the ones who have attempted such hacks have been blackboxed.

It really is the good life, though. We have access to every single sporting event that was ever recorded on film or video. We read through the writing of the millions of earth writers who blogged throughout the 21st Century, and read the books of hundreds of thousands of more individuals who have left behind a mark of some kind during their time on earth. As for our time here on Mars, most of us don’t write a whole lot. There are a few graphomaniacs who write obsessively about every last little tic and twitch that goes on in their brains, but the rest of us have been too steeped with the certain knowledge that we will never be able to write a single sentence that hasn’t already been written down before.