It continued to be odd as he just sat there, not doing anything, but blaring music next to us. I had no idea what the music even was. Jazz? Salsa? Fusion Jalzza? He just sat there.
So, 4/20 is supposed to be a big deal. Leave the milk, and cookies out for Snoop Dog, and go get high. Whatever pot smoking joke, or metaphor you want to throw out there, pot certainly does get a lot of attention.
Mainly because a bunch of old, profiteering white men decided it was cutting into their business so they lobbied the government to make it illegal. Then Nixon came along, and started his "war on drugs" classifying marijuana into the same categories as illegal synthetics, and opioids. Ever since, "satan's lettuce" has been a big deal.
Satan's Lettuce. They even gave it a nickname including a fictional character, because their claimed negative affects of marijuana are just as fictional.
I'm not so much a defender of marijuana use as I am a defender of civil liberties, common sense, and environmental protection. Within the boundaries of making pot illegal, America has also made hemp as an industrial crop illegal. A crop that could help save thousands of acres of trees each year. That's kind of a big deal.
Why? Because the profits of one industry are valued over the profits of another. Or, they were made to be valued that way, because someone already had more money.
And as far as protecting us from the "dangers" of pot, those who claim pot to be so horrible are all pretty horrible people themselves, and we'd probably be better off making their existence illegal. My take? Pot isn't all that harmful when compared to other already legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. The often used example of the "loser stoner" is misleading. We live in diversity. Some people are just that way. With or without pot, the "loser stoner" would still be a "loser" in the eyes of society in some way. There are people who use marijuana regularly that are high-functioning, and high-achievers. There are people who use it who just are people; your common, ordinary, everyday folk, and you'd probably never know they are pot smokers except for this assumed pride of pot culture that some people latch on to because of this fight to make it legal again.
Yes, again. It wasn't always illegal.
Legalize it. Stop trying to legislate some false morality that those who are legislating it don't even adhere to. Expunge the records of those in prison on minor marijuana related charges, or at least throw away those convictions, and reduce their over-all sentences if they have more to serve.
Our society doesn't NEED marijuana, but it needs a lot more common sense, and a lot less focus on trying to protect people from themselves. Not to mention, less money in government, but that's a different, albeit, related rant.
That point aside, if we want our society to stop looking at porn as an educational resource, we need to have, or create better educational resources about sex, and sexuality. If parents, and other guiding adults, aren’t talking to their children about this part of their life that is vital to their own connectivity to human kind, a relationship with another person, their own happiness, and sense of life fulfillment, then where are their kids going to learn from? Other kids who don’t know? Online resources? Do you think they’re going to research on WebMD, or PornMD? Think they’ll look up information from Planned Parenthood, or from Motherless? Are they going to watch educational videos on YouTube, or YouPorn?
I think you know the answers.
Again, they refuse – not denying that I’m going to miss my connection. They know now I won’t be on that flight. No chance. None. But now it’s too late in the day and there are no options.
I sigh a long sigh and stand frustrated waiting for the boarding to actually begin.
One, please stop sharing Rick Lax's videos on social media. They are by far the worst, and dumbest "tricks" on the interwebs.
There is so much better, and more interesting content out there.
Two, I am still in favor of dropping the voting age to 16. And I believe, if there is a minimum, there should be a maximum. Say, once you hit 70, you can no longer vote. Same reasons. There's nothing saying you're responsible enough at the point to truly understand what you're voting for, and furthermore, you're no longer deciding YOUR future. You're almost done here. Seems morbid, but it's a fact of life. Let the younger people choose the future in front of them.
I know, I've suggested that before, and people whine, "You can't do that! That's age discrimination!" Really? More so than saying a 16-year old is incapable of understanding issues, and how they impact the world, the nation, and their own lives? You're making a judgment on all young people, and thereby preventing them from voting based on an assumed ability, or capacity to handle that process, but not on older people who might actually have failing faculties? And yes, I know many very sharp, keen 70 year olds, but I also know some I wouldn't trust with the TV remote, so why is OK to blanket one age group negatively, and not another?
On Sunday I donned 18th Century British military regalia, and gave my best Monty Python'esque performance for an educational video for Old Fort Niagara. The subject was preparing for the 1764 Native Council, to try and bring peace between the British colonial forces, and the Native American Nations who, honestly, didn't care for the British much at all...
The videographer was Lee Gugino, and this is a screen capture from the video.
If you do a web search right now on the "Sushi Bandit" you will most likely find an endless string of stories about a Utah man who repeatedly did a dine-and-dash at his local Asian style restaurants. Which is a shame, because a decade or more ago that same search would have yielded at the top of the listing an amazing blog called The Sushi Bandit.
I have been posting to this blog since December 2010. Although I have owned this name, and domain since 2005, and my official start to my latest incarnation of my photography career I consider to be 2007, it wasn't until about 2010 that I began building this site, showing off my photography here, and blogging about... everything under the sun, and under my skin.
Much of that inspiration, I have to credit to the mysterious comedic blogger who went by the name, The Sushi Bandit.
I wish I could share all of the wonders of that blog. It taught you a lot about Sushi. It was funny. It was informational. It was a deep dive into the person behind it. It was whimsical. It was sexy. Like most heterosexual men, he had a penchant for attractive females, especially Asian women, and often referred to them as his "sushi." His images often bordered on the X-rated. It was everything I would hope for a blog to be.
From it I think I absconded with some of the coolest animated GIFs going. He was a master at hunting down just the right GIF to go along with his thoughts, feelings, and what he was trying to express.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with this one, except it seems as thought the world took a big bite out of my hero of the bloggosphere. But I believe this was one I collected from his madness. His blog shut down suddenly many years ago, and it appears as though he had a failed attempt to raise funds for the goal of turning his blog into an actual book. Not sure how animated GIFs translate to a paper page, but I'm sure he would have made it work somehow. In my research, this appears to have started, and ended in 2013, and I am finding nothing more recent.
Like mine, the Sushi Bandit's blog wasn't posted to daily. Sometimes there would be multiple posts in a day, sometimes it would be untouched by the author for weeks, or months. I guess that's the nature of blogging.
So in the spirit of inspiring others, and continuing legacies, I want to work on making this blog a better, more interesting, and more inspiring place for people to go. However, I can't just read your mind with an eye scan as you glance with disinterest at what I already have here. I need to know what would make this more interesting for everyone.
Sure, that's one of the basics, right? Make it sexier? Except no one wants to see me remove my clothes... like, ever, so aside from photographing much better looking people than myself, or adding in similar "sushi" content such as...
Or creepy content such as...
Or just funny or weird content...
I guess my question is, does it make a difference?
Here is your chance: what would make this blog more of an inspiration to you, or at least get you to read it more often?
Or, in the case of all 7 billion of you on this planet, read it at all.
The experiences of our past shape who we are. They often help us determine our course of action in the future. Although we can't let bad experiences fill us with fear, preventing us from creating good, positive experiences in the future, we would be fools to not mind the lessons we've learned.
In relationships, we need to be able to approach new people, and new opportunities with an open heart. When we find that person that we truly want to be with, and who wants to be with us, we should be able to put down our defenses, and be vulnerable. We can relax in an openness of self, willing to give from our core energy, and open to accepting what they give. Past misgivings from other relationships need to be dealt with on an emotional level. The hurt given to us through life, whether it be with other interpersonal relationships, damage done by strangers, or just the inevitabilities, or random events that cause us pain, and grief, need to be dealt with on an emotional level so that we can come to terms with that hurt, end our grieving, and accept the good things that are ahead of us.
However, red flags are red flags. If that special someone starts exhibiting concerning behavior, it shouldn't go ignored. Frank, and direct conversations about it, expressing concerns, and the feelings generated by their behavior should be initiated long before those behaviors do damage. From there you will get a sense of how your partner wants to deal with it.
Do they listen to your concerns? Do they get defensive? Do they try to turn it back on you, or do they engage in a dialogue while accepting their own responsibility to your feelings? Do they apologize curtly, and try to end, or steer the discussion elsewhere? Do they continue to exhibit the same behavior afterward?
Take notes. I know that sounds formal, but keep a journal or a diary. Don't just rely on your memory, which might be clouded by emotions while engaging in such conversations. Keep notes in case you need to look back, and remind yourself how things happened, what was said, how it transpired. It will help keep you from feeling crazy if your partner is trying to gaslight you, or manipulate you.
But, you have to deal with you first. Take some long, hard, critical looks at your past. FEEL the feelings, and emotions tied up within your experiences. Get professional counseling if you think you can't resolve those past feelings. Trust me, talking out all of the jumbles of thoughts, and feelings that can sometimes overwhelm is vital, and helpful.
Most importantly, don't assume the worst of a person just because things can sometimes be difficult, or even more, just because your past has been difficult. Talk it out. Talk it out. Talk it out. Be open, be honest, especially with yourself. If your partner can't handle your honesty, your feelings, or what you want from your relationship, they're probably not the right one for you...
Four years ago, January, I bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker. A splurge at the time, because financially things weren't well. But I felt I needed something to help me... help me relax. Help me deal with anxiety. Help me unwind where there was no where, and no one, in my life to help with that.
I just finished that bottle.
Perhaps I need to unwind more... but I'd rather do it sober.
Write drunk, edit sober.
Let the writing begin.
I have had this recurring dream that I am locked up in a prison/mental institution, circa the early 20th century. Conditions are horrible. Everyone around me plots their escape constantly, while the medical staff, and guards do nothing but work to ensure no one escapes. No help. No actual counseling or treatments. Just watching over everyone constantly.
As a secured facility, the institution is deeply flawed. Patients (or prisoners) have unfettered access to corridors, stairwells, and a large industrial receiving area where they reclaim scrap metal, or so it would seem, from disposed industrial machines. Steam powered locomotives dock in open bays where scrap is brought in, and beyond the bays, a rail yard with open spaces, fields, and scrapped vehicles invites dreamers that plot their escape with a temptation only discouraged by the armed guards, and railway workers who are always looking out for escapees.
Within the confines of the institution, large windows in the main common area look out toward other buildings, or other sections on the same building. A glass foyer type entrance way, which was a former gate to the outside world, has been built in, and blocked off, but still used to allow people from the secured outside world into the common room. It has an open ceiling, and sits directly below the only window which can be opened to let in fresh air. All other windows are bolted shut, and secured with out-of-time magnetic alarm triggers.
I spent some time here with another inmate; both of us seeking freedom. We discussed the easiest ways. We climbed the walls of the glass entryway to reach the window, and theorized, with a rope, we might be able to get a hold of the adjacent building, and swing out of the open window. We explored the rail yard beyond the receiving area, carefully avoiding any workers, or guards. We felt the sunlight, and smelled the grass, and knew we could make this work if we could only stay hidden until out of the range of the busy work area. We ran around the interior corridors, up and down stairwells, and found a parking garage, and an elevator, but they only lead to emptiness, darkness, empty rooms, empty spaces, and no hope.
We returned to the common room to discuss our options. I was confident I could make the dangerous leap to the other building from a closer, secured window if we could figure out how to open it without tripping the alarm. We decided to wander back to the receiving area. I became fascinated with the locomotive sitting in the dimly lit bay. I sneaked into the foreman's office to get the schedule of when trains arrive, and depart. I told my friend to go hide by the bay door. I would create a diversion, and then he could make a break for it. I clanged around in some old machines on the floor, and noticed the floor in this area was coated in old, black grease. I decided this was good knowledge, and I played dumb when the guards arrived, but I gave my friend the time her needed to run.
My friend didn't return. It never even seemed like they knew he was gone. I waited days. When no word was heard about his escape, I decided to quietly make my own move. I stole belts from one of the larger men in the lock-up, and made my way back to the train bays. I quietly coated myself in the black grease for camouflage, and then slipped under one of the locomotive tenders. I climbed up into the under-carriage, used the belts to strap myself in, and then waited for the train to depart....
I've been in this institution before. I recognized it. I'm not sure if it was a recurring dream, a distant, artifact memory from another lifetime, or just something my mind is tricking me into seeing as repetition on the spot. Brains are funny things like that. Who can say? What is real in my brain, is just as real as the reality I live in, when it comes down to it. And to use my brain to figure out what my brain is doing... now, isn't that the conundrum?