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Oakland, CA

Posted By Bakari

I haven't written anything here in a very long time.

I have been too busy with living in the moment, experincing stuff.

All sorts of exciting stuff, which would make excellent topics for blog posts.

The long awaited Berkeley Bike Station 2.0 opened up!

I started going to CrossFit regularly.

I became an official polling place worker.  It was my first time ever doing it, and somehow I was designated as "Inspector", or the supervisor of the site.  I had hundreds of blank ballots sitting in my living room.  Fushi (my feline roommate) really liked to sit on those boxes of ballots.

I learned that I have videos on Youtube, talking about energy efficiency and living small and reuse and all that junk.  And that I have 89 THOUSAND views!!!!!!!!!
I started getting people writing to me (via facebook) to ask me follow up questions, people interested in fulltiming themselves.

I helped build a chicken playground for baby chicks, and then an outdoor run, and then a bigger run, and then an egg box, for 6 growing chickens.

I volunteered at the bicycle music festival, taking it upon myself to be the groups traffic director in minimize any potential conflicts between the cyclists and motorists.

And, of course, I joined the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and spent 2 months at bootcamp in Cape May New Jersey, doing push-ups, getting yelled at from 1 inch away by drill sergeants (they call them company commanders), and learning military protocol, marching, and a few boat handling skills.
I've had my first weekend of active reserve drilling, and am working on getting qualified to operate the 25' Defender class Response Boat, which I will someday use to patrol the San Francisco Bay and help stranded boaters and search for missing people.

Any one of these topics could easily make a whole blog post on their own.

However, I don't really feel like writing that much.

You're lucky you even got this much.

Until next time...

See you later,
and enjoy life

Posted By Bakari

So many people, when the subject of christmas lights come up, they acknowledge they are nice, but go on to add "but they are a waste of energy".

As someone who feels strongly that American's use of energy and resources is morally unacceptable, I would like to be very clear about this:
Christmas lights are NOT a waste of energy.

That 80% of car trips have only the driver or a driver and one passenger, yet seat from 5-7 people is a waste of energy.  That we live, on average, 20 miles from our jobs is a waste of energy.  Uninsulated attics and unweather stripped doors and windows in houses and power steering and air conditioning in cars, all electric kitchens, and cars that weigh 50% more than they did 20 years ago and have 200% more power are all enormous wastes of energy.
Buying enormous amounts of crap that no one really needs and that get shoved into a closet or thrown out after a few weeks wastes energy in manufacture and transport.

Not one of those things provides any significant increase in quality of life.  None of them make people happy to be alive.  At most they provide a tiny increase in convince.  At worst they do nothing but cost money.  None of them create joy.

In a land where profit is considered the only motivating factor for nearly everything in life, filled with people who don't know their neighbors, where 50% of people can't be bothered to take the effort to use their turn signals, for a few weeks a year people do something with no financial benefit, no increase in comfort or convenience, no direct personal benefit.
You don't even see them from inside the house.  Everyone else passing by sees them.
They turn an ordinary neighborhood into a magical place.
They create joy.
Which makes them one of the few valid uses of energy in this country.
Because ultimately, making it enjoyable is really the only point there is to life. 

So go ahead and enjoy those giant flashy displays and don't for a second feel guilty about it.
Put up your own even.

You can get a strip of LED lights for less than $10 that use less than 5 watts of power, (far less than a single florescent light bulb).
I even found a set for under $5 that runs for days on just (rechargeable) AA batteries.

But LED or no, the lights are worthwhile and good.

A world without christmas lights is not a world worth saving.

Posted By Bakari

The Earth has been around about 5 billion years, life about 4 billion.
Half a billion years for animals, 200 billion for mammals.
200,000 years of humans.
For the first 192,000 years or so, the human population was under 10 million people world wide.
Increasing 10 fold took 6000 more years.
We rocketed from 100 million to a billion in just over 2000 years.
The next billion only took 120 years.
And then 30.
And since the 1950s, we have added a billion people every 13 years or so.

We are at around 6.75 billion people now.

Its estimated that it will hit 9 billion in about another 30 years.
That new 2 and a quarter billion people will be our children.

We like to point to the 3rd world, to Asia and Africa, but in the measure that matters, the US is by far the most overpopulated country in the world, as well as one of the fastest growing.

Population is only an issue because of the finite resources the Earth can provide. If we had unlimited resources there wouldn't be any reason not to keep increasing indefinitely.

If everyone used the same amount of water, land, and energy, and caused the same amount of pollution as the average person in the third world, we would all be ok for a long time to come. Due to lack of ability, what we call poverty, people in the third world tend to use less than their share of world resources.
The average person in the first world uses 5 times more than the overall world average.
The average American uses 20 times more. Each of us uses about 20 times more water, 20 times more fuel and electricity, 20 times as much land to produce our food, produces 20 times more waste and pollution.
Which means that in the big picture, each of us counts for 20 people.

So our 305 million population may as well be 6.1 billion, far more than China's 1.3 billion. They would have to increase some combination of actual population and consumption per person by far before we could legitimately point the finger at them.

It also means that each child we have counts as 20 people, turning our fertility rate of 2.1 (already above the replacement rate of 2) into the equivalent of 42 per woman, 6 times higher than the highest rate of any third world country - and almost 17 times higher than the world average.

In the US alone there are 200,000 children waiting to be adopted.

It is one of the most basic and universal desires is to reproduce. How could it be any other way? Because if that drive weren't passed along genetic lines, our ancestors wouldn't have bothered, and we wouldn't be here to think about it.

There has been a widespread assumption that because it is natural and universal that therefor it should be considered a human right.

Our modern world does not resemble the savanna we evolved on. We also have biological instincts to eat whenever food is available in case it isn't tomorrow - and the result is rampant obesity - and a good number of us making the conscious choice to go against instinct and manipulate ourselves in ways that take into consideration the reality of our world. Violence is natural and universal, but we agree as a society that the costs are not acceptable and make the conscious decision to repress it, both as individuals and as communities.
Because, we can do that, we can think, and make choices.

To make wine or beer, you start with grape juice or grains and add microorganisms.
For them it is an incredible feast!

Character limited blog server; read the rest here:

Posted By Bakari

I have not been writing much lately.


Spending my time with work, and new friends, and classes.


Work remains fun, after 3 years of doing the same things (compare to a record of 10 months max at any one job for the rest of my life prior), easy enough to be good at it, challenging enough to stay interesting. 

Just the past few days involved somehow fitting about 10cubic yards of random stuff into the truck for the largest hauling run I've had so far, installing drywall in an attic furnace room so the building could pass fire inspection, and careful deconstuction of the walls holding in the old biodiesel tanks at the old biodiesel fuel station so the lumber could be reused.


But far more important and interesting is the classes.


Little by little I add to my stable of random skills.


Expert in nothing, but my goal is for everyone there is, I can do at least one thing moderately well that they don't do at all. 

Maybe there is someone who does a little carpentry and electronics soldering and computer software troubleshooting and lockpicking and sailing and shooting guns and bow and arrows and swordplay and bicycle repair and auto mechanics and unicycling and gardening.

Just in case, I'm taking muy thai and jui jitsu and I just took a seminar on making fire with natural materials, another on edible wild foods of the East Bay, and today one on tracking animals, and also took my first parkour class.  Judging by the skill level of my classmates, watching YouTube videos and practicing on my own at the playground and on random obstacles I find walking around the city has been more beneficial than I realized.


I feel more and more like a character from an action/adventure movie, where the hero somehow knows how to do everything. 

And yet what strikes me continually is how much I still don't know.  Not even counting all the stuff I am not interested in learning, but the skills I still want, if money was no object, would take a lifetime to learn.

And money is an object.

So one lifetime isn't enough.


I have had debt for a few years, collected over a cross country trip/move and major vehicle failure, months of unemployment,  going back to college, buying a newer larger trailer, and having to buy my ex out of said trailer when she moved out.

I am getting tantalizingly close to paying off the last of it.


I decided once I do, classes take priority one.  Jobs will be fit around them, not the other way around.  I'm looking to work about 20hrs per week.

I am saying this publicly so as to have some accountability.  If you hear me say I am working too much come next summer, remind me I said this.



Posted By Bakari

The second arrow has been a recurring theme in conversations with many people for over a year at least.

You feel a certain way because of conditions or events in the external world, perhaps out of your control.
For whatever reason, you feel you shouldn't feel that way.
So then, in addition to feeling bad because of the real life problem, you also feel bad for feeling bad.

It is ok to show weakness. It is ok to be sad. Sometimes anger is appropriate.
It can never be wrong to feel a certain way. You feel how you feel.

It can never be immoral to feel a certain way. Your feeling alone can
not hurt anyone else. It is only your behavior, actual actions and
words, which can do harm, and feeling a certain way never forces you to
act out in a particular way.

Besides, from a purely practical stand-point, it is ineffective, in fact usually counter-productive.
Say, for example, you make a resolution to work-out more. And then you don't end up sticking with it. The real problem is the consequences to your physical body. But in addition you feel bad about yourself for your lack of discipline. Feeling bad about it doesn't make you more likely to actually do it. It just makes you feel bad.

No body is perfect, yourself included, and it is best to recognize and accept that fact. Never add insult to injury by measuring your self against imaginary ideals, telling yourself you aren't good "enough".


Some people skew this concept, using self-acceptance as license to accept everything they feel, as if we had no control at all.

You should never feel bad for feeling a certain way - but that is
not the same as suggesting that every feeling needs to be validated.

It may be ok to be sad, angry, annoyed, disappointed, whatever, but
they are still things to be avoided. They aren't bad in the sense of being wrong, they are bad in the sense of being unpleasant. They feel bad. And that's reason enough to avoid them whenever possible.

And the thing is, it is possible.

Not all the time. If a loved one dies, there is no getting around the grief that will cause. But when someone cuts you off on the freeway, it isn't them that causes you to feel upset. Its you. No one can cut you off if you choose to slow down and let them in.

Its not always as simple as deciding what to feel, but we do have a lot more control than many of us choose to acknowledge.

Feelings don't just happen.
They are directly related to our perceptions and interpretations of the world around us. Being intelligent animals with an understanding of cause and effect, we have a lot of choice over our circumstances.

There are times when the things affecting us are outside of our control, but aside from the obvious steps of dealing with the specific problem, there are ways we can affect the feeling itself, independent of the circumstances causing it.

There is often a very fine line between repressing something and letting it go, but there is in fact a difference. Repressing is unhealthy, and it will only build up and come back later with a vengeance. But dwelling and wallowing as a way to avoid repression makes the bad feeling build up even faster.


[blog cont. here]

Posted By Bakari

I tend to spend time around certain type of people.  I feel fortunate to live in a place where there are so many like-minded people to be drawn to, and to have attracted to me.
They work in education, or in jobs with a direct environmental benefit.
They are socially aware, concerned with the world outside of just their own personal lives.
As such they tend to buy local food, used clothes and furniture, they are vegetarian, vote regularly.  They bicycle and take transit, or if they drive its a sub-compact shared with other people, a hybrid, or powered by veggie oil.
They value things like education, cultural understanding, and tolerance.
They see that the way we do things here is not always necessarily the "best" way to do them.  And a part of valuing what other cultures has to offer entails traveling to other places and experiencing them first hand.

Driving that most-visible-of-all-symbols-of-American-consumption, the H2 (the Hummer luxury model) across the country with a couple of passengers, along the 3000 miles of Highway 80 from SF to NY, uses less fuel and causes less pollution (per person) than doing the same journey in a full loaded commercial passenger plane.

A single round-trip intercontinental flight more than negates an entire years worth of commuting by bicycle.

We are able to get away with travel because it is so grossly subsidized; from our military (which is larger than the entire rest of the world combined) being assigned to guard pipelines to the fact that airports are paid for by taxes, not by the airlines, combined with the fact that we simply have way too much money (the world average income is $7000, but the less developed world averages only $700 per year) and so don't think twice about spending it frivolously, from household doo-dahs to vacations.

When a person travels for education, or humanitarian reasons, with the peace corp perhaps, the plane ticket alone is likely to cost several times more than what the local residents make, and do more environmental destruction than the residents would have done, in an entire year.

And this segues me nicely into my next topic.


[Due to character limit, the rest of this essay can be read by clicking the following link]:

MySpace Blog

Posted By Bakari

Happiness is due to outlook, not circumstance.

Psychologists have found that after major life changing events, both positive and negative (examples included winning the lottery and becoming permanently paraplegic), within a few years people tend to return to the same baseline of life-satisfaction they had before.

Stop chasing dreams.

Start appreciating the life around you right now.

Posted By Bakari

You all know what has been going on.

I didn't seriously expect things to get so...
so quickly

I feel ok. Better than ok

I am in constant awe of everything, of everything, not just the people in my life and our interactions, and it is non-stop, it has been constant - and all but overwhelming - nearly every moment for as long as I can clearly remember (which is about the past two months or so)

As I mentioned before, it is exhausting - but with a week off last week (off from working anyway, though a date, time with friends, and/or a party every single day; and somehow I am becoming aware of my age? While I have felt like a kid playing grown-up all my life, (well, except when I really was a kid. Then I felt much more mature than my peers. Its like I have been at the same maturity level my whole life, and at some point I grew into it, but then I kept aging as it stayed the same (I'm (mostly) kidding)), I have been noticing certain details - owning my home, running a business, being divorced, driving conservatively - which I always associated with "real" adults. Yet recently I seem to be in the young adult world all over again) I feel re-energized and ready for more.

Except that now I am starting to fear hurting certain people (who shall remain nameless and detail-less to protect the privacy of the innocent (particularly since I was specifically asked to and I am most certainly not the type to pull a Lucy Ford on anyone, no matter how disgruntled or resentful I might be - not that I am, not at all, but I'm just saying, in theory, none of you ever have to worry about that; although I tend to assume that anything is ok just so long as you don't tell me otherwise so if you want not to be mentioned here make sure and tell me explicitly because I'm not any good at taking hints) and while I knew in theory this possibility was lurking, I really never expected it and so now I'm wondering how to cope if this trend continues on its current trajectory and certain other things pan out in a way like they look like they might possibly could and of course I am basing this on so little, I am, and I know it, but it sure looks more likely than average and I can't help but to think about worst case scenarios and its making all sorts of wacky (and sometimes terrible! :( ) things pass briefly  through my mind (the sort of things which are in direct opposition to the ideas in the love essay I've been telling you all I have been working on (I really have been, life is just very distracting at the moment and its hard to focus) if you know what I mean).
I added a note on the ok account about these potential changes, and deleted my words with the CL, but as Malomar would have it, these actions are exactly 2 hours too late and as things are I don't feel like it would be reasonable to not at least find out because this is a potentially narrow opportunity to learn, and its too important not to find out. Is it selfish? That is the question I am struggling with. That is the question which is forcing me to write this against my better judgment. Everything I have said has been true, but all of us know (sometimes we choose to ignore, but I believe that deep inside everyone of us knows) that it is always more complicated than can be forced into a set of rules or theories.

My next therapy session is not going to have enough time to cover a small fraction of all this.
The hour goes by unbelievably fast every time as it is, even when I come in feeling like I don't have much to talk about (this isn't just my perception, he is surprised every week when time runs out)

Bonus Points:

If any of my readers actually read through this and are able to make sense of all the ((())) and explain in more comprehensible terms what the hell I am talking about here, I will take you out: ice skating or for ice cream; your choice, my treat (it has to be accurate)

Posted By Bakari

These ideas are still brand new to me, still forming, and so will perhaps be disjointed, unclear, contradictory, or incomplete.

I had already been thinking about similar ideas somewhat, and of course elements of it have been recurring themes of mine where philosophy intersected real life for many years.
It was in therapy yesterday that it just began to coalesce, several disparate ideas coming together as part of the same general concept.

I'm starting to think that our core philosophical ideas and outlooks, vague general things which we aren't likely to be conscious of, have enormous effects on real everyday things.

It began because he complemented my progress, how far I had come from the time I started going.
(You no doubt remember the state I was in around the time I first went)
It wasn't so much about being able to be self-reflective, let things go, or make positive changes.
It was about being willing to try.  Being willing to look at myself in the way necessary to do these things, to be honest about my faults.
To me this sounded like a very strange compliment.

There is no courage here.
This is to my own benefit.

I can see how changing implies admitting you aren't perfect already, and if you aren't perfect, then in a sense there is something "wrong" with you.  We don't want to believe there is anything wrong with us, and rather hurt self-esteem (ego, pride) we hold on to our destructive habits and personality traits.

But he suggested that it may be tied in with not just self-esteem, but the very sense of self; with identity.
I have heard this recently.  An unhappy person I spoke to recently said she has  been a mother and a psychiatrist for so long... who is she if she isn't those things anymore? 
He (my therapist) suggested if a person has been depressed their whole life it may become part of their definition of self so that they don't know who they are if they aren't depressed, don't know what to do with them selves I guess.
Perhaps a lot of us type-cast ourselves, and expect everyone else to as well.

I don't understand why we need an identity, what purpose it serves.
I feel, and always have felt, that I am defined as that which is aware of the experiences and sensations which happen to me, that which is doing the thinking.
I look back, and whatever age, whatever stage I was in, it was never "someone else" because I hold memories of that time.  Even if I was different in some ways, no matter how dramatically different, it was me, because I am me.  I am not the collection of my qualities.  I'm just me.  So the concept of "identity crises" (oh my god! I don't know who I am!?!?) seems silly, and the idea of changing who you are does equally so.  You can't change who you are.  You can change opinions, beliefs, preferences, behaviors, but you are still you, and always will be (barring massive head trauma or degenerative neurological disease).


[entire blog at MySpace]

Posted By Bakari

Today I drove around and around The Circle* so many times that I actually started to get a little dizzy.

Then, a few hours later, due to a combination of a strong wind and poor communication, there was a slight mishap while setting up the boat which ended causing a very wet Bakari.  The bay was quite surprisingly warm - like the warmest I've ever felt it - even though it was a cool day.  While normally I have a rather cat like aversion to being in water, I found it rather amusing in this case (maybe because while I've been worried about flipping it out in the bay, this happened in about 3 ft of water about 1ft from the dock, and had nothing to do with sailing technique - also because it wasn't really that cold.  I'm sure my cell phone will recover eventually...)
We had a good strong (though inconsistent and gusty) wind and got pretty good speed for an El Toro in a sheltered little marina.  I was pretty slow in tacking back up wind, but I am definatley getting better.  Once I caught a good line, we went pretty smooth.

I realized today that for a short job I make as much in one hour as I made all day at my second real job (and first where I actually had to show up every day and on time and stay for 8 hours) as a night watchman at a truckyard / warehouse.
My expenses today aren't much more than they were then.  So I pretty much make a day's pay in an hour.  Leaving the rest of the day free for driving in circles (literally), therapy appointments (which I don't feel I need at all but I actually enjoy going so much, and he is charging me so little, that I took his advice and am still going), sailing, and evening hockey games.

*The traffic circle between Berkeley and Kensington where Arlington and The Alameda meet, just above the tunnel that turns into Solano.**

**If you are still by chance reading my blogs on occasion: yes, obviously I am stealing this idea from you.  It works perfectly here for how I wanted it to sound and flow, but I wouldn't have thought of it on my own.  Thank you.

Posted By Bakari

For my entire life I have been the beneficiary of what I think(?) is an abnormal amount of generosity.
Of course when you're young enough, you tend to take everything which happens for granted, because you haven't learned a baseline yet. Ok, so the nice lady gives you some candy, and you are supposed to say "thank you" and this is considered a normal social transaction.
So, when the administrative staff of your elementary school calls your family a couple weeks before Christmas and says that someone donated a really nice bicycle along with all the other toy donations and they want you to have it rather than putting it in the first-come-first serve toy bin that the whole school will have access to... you don't really question that either. That was only 1 of 3 bikes I was given by teachers at that school.
In high school I always assumed it was because I was so obviously poor.
I got a steady supply of free meals when I sat looking forlorn while everyone else ate (there is a fine line where it becomes obvious you are doing it on purpose. I always blatantly crossed that line. Never seemed to matter)
The free clothes from relative strangers was because of how I dressed. They assumed I couldn't afford decent clothes, and didn't want to embarrass me by asking, so I would just get random gifts. So I thought.

It may well be that this is the motivator still, since I couldn't care less about clothes and I work and play hard and they tend to disintegrate off of me before I get around to the rather tedious chore of finding replacements.

It can't explain all of it though.

Maybe the very idea of capitalism, Ann Rands virtue of selfishness, it is all rhetoric, and Burning Man's culture of gifting (not bartering, gifting - major distinction) is actually a universal standard. Maybe I just never noticed. Actually, I suspect this is it. I don't see anything so particularly special about me, (beyond the requisite "everyone is special" kind of way)

The web domain I wrote about recently. The waived inspection fee for no apparent reason. My need to compensate for overly generous tips (very rarely has anyone ever questioned the number I come up with, maybe 3 times in 2 years. I calculate in my head and just give them the total.)
What inspired this entry was the shopping trip this morning (I promised Fushi that I would buy cat food before I had breakfast)

Kim and Nina own the shop, have maybe 2 employees (relatives?)
I took a cooking class with a friend of theirs, and as a result I always get a discount (10-15% off depending how much I spend, and frequently rounded down to a round number on top of that!)
We speak only as much as you can while in a checkout line, but they are both quite observant. My wife and I lived here before the separation, so they noticed when she stopped showing up and asked me about it. They were both very supportive, and also optimistic about our chances. Once Nina could tell just from my grocery choices, "You're making dinner for her tonight?", which of course I was.
All of this is totally irrelevant. I just want to share House of Produce with you all, and this seems the best chance to do it.

Kim almost always gives me fruit on my way out the door. At first I assumed it was stuff he had too much of, or was getting towards the end of its shelf life. Today it was white nectarines. When I smiled and waved him away, he pointed out that they were organic in case that was why. It wasn't...

[entire blog at MySpace]

Posted By Bakari

I never set out, intended, nor expected to become a representative of the environmental movement, an activist, or really anyone special at all.
As I mentioned in blogs past, I believe the most significant and positive thing we can do to be responsible citizens is to truly live each of our own individual lives as close to our own principals as we can. I believe this makes more real difference than all of the shouting, the signs, the email letters to representatives. If everyone just did their own little part, there would cease to even be a need for the grand gestures.
And yet, as it turns out, apparently living by my modest principals has propelled me into this role without my having to try.

In just the past couple weeks:

-I have been offered the position of vice-president of the board of a (not yet in existence) children's library, (I am the only member of the board with neither an advanced degree nor related education and/or non-profit experience)
-I was interview for a grad student's thesis (ok, granted, those first two are somewhat related)
-I was filmed by and have 3 short video interviews which touch on my home, my vehicles, and my business
-I presented the awards (and gifts) to the team in Alameda county which logged the most commute miles during bike-to-work month last May (when I also volunteered, packing gift bags as well as at one of the energizer stations) at the Dublin city council meeting (the winner's were all employees of the City of Dublin)
-I had the domain I originally wanted for my website donated to me by the previous owner - despite my specifically requesting to pay for it, on the grounds of his liking what I am doing with it
-Soon I will be running yet another free bicycle parking station at a local event yet another thing which I am not quite sure how I ended up doing.
-And with any luck, I'll end up a member of the Oakland Bike Patrol which is mostly an excuse to get me to ride my mountain bike more, but is also because, believe it or not, I kind of miss my old job as a private security guard sometimes - I actually got to help a lot of people.

You know what I always say: "Volunteering is for suckers. Did you know so called volunteers don't even get paid?" (Homer Simpson)

[entire blog at MySpace]

Posted By Bakari

Several independent people have brought up in one way or another the concept of telling someone (specifically me) what one thinks may be wrong with them, and the idea that this would always be offensive and/or hurtful and that it would always be resisted.
Several people have suggested that perhaps it is best to let someone figure it out for themselves - no matter how long it takes, no matter how much negative things they may endure in the mean time. Those "no matter"s aren't said explicitly, but it is inherent and unavoidable.

I realize and understand that many people have fragile egos. I understand how any kind of negativity can be interpreted as an insult or personal attack.
So, as far as me interacting with others, I have been trying, and plan to continue to try, to apply that advice, and not give advise or opinions unsolicited.

I want everyone to realize that I am not like most people in some ways.
I do not have low-self-esteem issues. If anything, I have high-self-esteem issues. I have plenty of self-confidence.
However, I do not think, and never have thought, that I am perfect.

I want, and try, to be as honest and objective about myself as I possibly can.
But, of course, being inside my own head, it is impossible to be totally objective about myself.

Sometimes I need help.
If not for a total coincidence, I would not EVER have come to the conclusion that I have some significant attachment issues of my own that affect how I interact with everyone in my life, "on my own". It wasn't just "time" or "self-reflection" that brought me to understand this. It was learning new information.

If someone had told me about AD years ago, I might have been able to apply that knowledge, that self-understanding, and made a lot of different - better - choices. (I don't blame anyone for that, RAD has only been recognized a few years, and officially adult RAD doesn't even exist. This is just a hypothetical example)

My point is, unlike many people, unlike "normal" people, I don't take attempts at constructive criticism as a personal attack.
I want to learn and grow and be a better, kinder person.

Sure, when I first hear something, maybe I'll be a little defensive if you manage to surprise me enough.
More likely, I will listen, consider, and then tell you why I disagree, with out really feeling hurt.
I will ask you to elaborate, I will ask you for examples, I will try to understand.

I will take some time to think further about it, because I am a slow thinker.

I may still end up disregarding what you say if I feel and believe what you are saying is wrong. But I still won't be upset with you for thinking it, or for saying it.


you! reading this right now.

I want you to tell me what's wrong with me

Tell me what you don't like about me

Tell me in what ways I drive you friggen crazy sometimes

Tell me what neurotic or psychotic conditions I may have

Tell me about my character flaws, my faults, my weaknesses, my vices

Tell me how I could do things better, or what you would like to see less of or more of in me in our interactions.

I don't promise to change, but I do promise not to hold it against you that you were honest.
In fact, if I don't get some harsh words from someone, that's gonna upset me!


You can send me an email if you don't want to post your devastating, cruel, humiliating, and downright mean comments in the comments section of a publicly viewable blog, least others see your comments and think poorly of you for having had the audacity to say such things in print even though it is what I asked for.

Yes, I am really serious.

Posted By Bakari

Despair, disgust, apathy, fear, anger and hatred all beckon to me

I do not know what to say to them

And so I stare silently

Like a sheep, encountering a new fence


Comfort comes from the oddest places
He made me feel like I am not crazy
I understand why she felt such a longing for validation

When I went outside this morning, it was sunny and bright, but not at all too hot

I have but one payment left, and my home becomes mine

Today I stopped in at a work site
I was only planning to assess, and make an estimate
I did not even bring my tools
But when I looked at it, I could see the problem, and I repaired it right then and there, using my swiss army knife

I found my wetsuit, and the water awaits

I thought that you should all know I am doing better

Posted By Bakari

I realized relatively recently that I have finally achieved my lifelong dream.

Back in high school I had the common dilemma of trying to decide what to do next.
I had been thinking engineer, cause of interest in how mechanical stuff works, but then I hated calculus.
Everyone assumed it would be something science related, because I was supposedly "smart" or something (I was actually a fairly average student, yet even my teachers assumed otherwise - which helped become a self fulfilling prophesy in some classes)
Since everyone assumed it, I assumed it.

But nothing specific seemed appealing.

Then there was the bike trip to Mexico.
I rolled through the day, listening to many musics, pedaling and pedaling, lots of food, not too much English.
There were Mexican truck drivers, through the desert, turning down their headlights at dawn and dusk, some of them perhaps pre-power steering, at stops, they seemed like happy people.
I came back, with all those miles behind me, I got a job as a bike messenger, at the first place I applied.

I don't know when the realization hit me.
Quite likely back in high school, probably.  Or maybe during the trip, maybe just after.
I can't remember.

Everyone tells you, told me, "reach for the stars" "fulfill your potential" "do your best" "if you work hard you can succeed" "dream big" "set goals" "be all you can be".
I always felt like, if I was intelligent, it wasn't so that the world could benefit.  It was just something to make my life a little easier, maybe a little more enjoyable.  To me, doing something complex and technical and prestigious, something that might require "intelligence", doing something like that, if it doesn't actually make you happy, it isn't really that intelligent, is it?  I mean, doing something which isn't whatever makes you happiest, for a lifetime, just because you can, that seems pretty stupid to me.


What I realized one day is: I don't need to ever be famous.  I don't need to climb the social ladder.  I don't ever want to be upper class.  I don't want to be remembered in the history books for something.  I have no need, no reason, no desire to excel.  In anything.  Not even in my own narrow field.  Everyone can't be on top.  Obviously.  Why waste so much effort playing king of the hill with all the other jerks who want to be on top?

My goal, my desire, was to be a perfectly ordinary, average kind of guy, who went to work, made enough to get by, did enjoyable stuff on his time off.
I wanted maybe a wife, and probably kids someday - eventually.  Of course there are some hiccups on that part right now, but I'm still working on it.  I can't say I am optimistic about it right now, but I'm not pessimistic either.
Anyway... I didn't want to change the world. 

I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren stories someday, and not bore them with the same ones over and over, not have to make stuff up.


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