Things I do to Honor and Evade a Crippling Introversion

“People empty me. I have to get away to refill.  I´m what´s best for me, sitting here slouched, smoking a beedie and watching this screen flash the words. Seldom do you meet a rare or interesting person.  It´s more than galling, it´s a fucking constant shock. It´s making a god-damned grouch out of me.  Anybody can be a god-damned grouch and most are.  Help” – Charles Bukowski from The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship

I’ve mentioned in the past that I am prone to what essentially comes down to crippling introversion.  If Carl Jung stuck his finger in my butthole, he’d say I’m an INTP.  The “I” stands for Introverted.  We won’t go into the rest today.  When in conversation with my folks, I’ve told them that I’m an introvert and get uncomfortable in overtly social situations.  They then relate a story about Ol’ Rojo being a young whippersnapper at a car show or some shit.  It’s said that I just went up to a group of strangers and introduced myself and played with them all day.  I don’t remember that, and I can tell you that for the majority of my conscious life I’ve never been like that.

However, there are things I want out of life.  One thing I omitted in my previous post, is that I’ve been able to make the majority of my scratch by freelancing around town.  In order to do that I’m forced to interact with a large number of people, and I have to go even further and sell myself.  By selling myself, I mean I have to promote my services constructive manner.  That shit sucks.  It’s why I always had trouble with the music scene, because there’s a business side that is a complete foreign language to me.  I want to show up, rock out, watch the last acts, get my money and leave.  I don’t want to negotiate wages, I don’t want to promote my merchandise.  I just want to play.

Though I had this post rolling through my cranium for a while now, seeing this tweet by Mark Braivo inspired me to kick out my experience.

In an earlier post by my pal, Lucky Lothario, he states that introversion is not the same as shyness.  It wasn’t until I read Party of One: the Loners’ Manifesto by Anelis Rufis that I understood the concept of introversion.  I knew I liked some people, I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t do small talk on any level for an extended period of time. If you’re confused about what it means to be an introvert, I highly recommend that book.  It helped me out a lot.

I learned that I am not shy, I just get worn out in social situations.  That’s why I don’t want to go the river with a bunch of people the day after the monster party and instead I’d rather walk my dog and play some music alone.  I have a necessity to recharge.  What I get to do because I understand that, is decline certain invitations in order to honor the introvert in me. To excuse myself from a social setting when I am overwhelmed with my introversion is a healthy way to honor that part of who I am.

zen bow

Me to Me: I honor you.

On the other hand, it can be a lonely fucking world for an introvert, and as Mr. Braivo said, there’s no reward for those unable to adapt to our extroverted world.  It’s tough to adapt though.  People are constantly staring at their phones with ear buds in.  It’s hard to even buy a smile from someone passing on the street and it seems everyone but me, is packing heat.  But it’s more than possible. If I can do it, you can do it too.  I read yesterday, that introverts react differently to reward neurotransmitters in the brain.  They don’t get energized by dopamine like extroverts and are more prone to use the reward neurotransmitter acetylcholine which makes introverts feel better when turning inwards.

Now that we have brief understanding of what introverts are, let’s look at a few things I’ve done to overcome this.  These are going to be suggestions without the use of substances.  As you know, if you hang out here, I have given up alcohol so the opiate of the masses, that social lubricant, is not available as a tool for me.  This isn’t about losing control, this is about being in the moment.


Don’t talk to me


Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation is a form of meditation which brings ones attention to the present moment.  I probably don’t do it “correctly” but there isn’t exactly a correct way to do it.  What I do is I sit still, firmly grounded, either sitting in a chair with my feet flat on the floor and my back straight, or cross legged on the ground with a straight back.  I then close my eyes, try to relax my body and breath.  I take deep breaths into my stomach and release each one slowly.  I focus on my breath and picture I am bringing golden light into my body and releasing dark energy on my out breath.  This slows down my thought process and brings me into the present moment.  I will probably talk more about this in the future because it’s benefits stretch further than just focusing the mind.

For starters, try sitting still for 10 minutes a day.

Stop Dissecting Body Language All the Time

I’ve read a plethora of books on body language and how to analyze it.  This has been a tool for me in my past, when picking up women, when meeting people for the first time, when figuring out how someone feels about me, when figuring out if someone is lying to me.  But this tool does not serve me when I am trying to be in the moment instead of inside my head.  Often I’ve noticed if someone has closed body language towards me, that they are thinking I don’t want to talk to them or I don’t like them or something similar.  If I open my mouth and say something then I can possibly open up a conversation which gives me opportunity to break out of my shell.  This brings me to my next suggestion:

Say Anything at First

This is just to get out of my shell and practice being more open to small talk.  I say stuff to people, anyone, man or woman. It’s amazing to watch extroverts in action.  They will be looking at peaches in the store and start talking about the fucking peaches.  I saw this the other day, two strangers start talking about peaches.  Then they split, and the guy comes back, and talks some more about peaches located elsewhere in the store.  The other part of this is to have no expectation for the conversation.  If I don’t get a response, or its not a welcoming one, I don’t take it personally.  I don’t even try to justify it.  Let it go, move on, there will be other people to practice on.

Try making a comment to a stranger no matter how stupid it might sound.

Warm Up

Lucky mentions it in his post, but warming deserves mentioning here as well.   In that article, Lucky says that even one on one goofing around and socializing with give him the ease to proceed into more involved situations.  He says to avoid going from zero to social.  This is great advice.  I’d like to add that I’ve used other ways to warm up as well.  A few years ago, as a prelude to going out on the town, I’d go to the gym with a couple guys and put in a brutal workout.  We didn’t work out together.  But we worked out. We got our endorphins flowing and were therefore in a better mood when we went out.

Play this Game

A strange part of extroversion is if you listen and ask prompting questions, the cat who is talking will consider you a good listener.  An extroverted friend of mine recently  told me of a game he likes to play when talking to people.  He likes to see how long he can keep the conversation going and how much he can learn about them.  I try to do this when I talk to people now.  I don’t push it, dragging the conversation on, but sometimes, a lull in conversation can be prodded along with a short comment or question.

Those are five things that have helped me move toward being more social on a daily basis.  I don’t do any of them perfectly, nor everyday, but I work on them constantly.  Being more social goes against my introverted programming so it is way out of my comfort zone.  This is good because it allows me to grow as a person.  The more rounded physically, mentally, and spiritually I am, the more successful I will be in this world.  These are just a few exercises I have used to move me in that direction.



A Time Where I Reflect on a Year Without Alcohol

It’s good to be back.  My sober birthday is July 17th, 2016.  I’m working the steps with a sponsor who has a sponsor.  I don’t drink between meetings.  I’m not a powerless cat who is riding an out of control big rig down a curvy road any longer.  Because that is what I was.  A truck.  An overweight truck with multiple drug habits and a regular over indulgence in alcohol.  Hope no one gets butt hurt I blow my AA anonymity here.  Oh wait, I’m an internet pseudonym.   Well that’s not all I am.  I’ve also come to know, that I’m an alcoholic.

You could go as far as to call me an addict.  I’ve gone through benzo withdrawals.  That ominous hallucinatory feeling, crawling all over my body, a thousand miles from any human contact all while beyond surrounded all the time.  That shit was awful.  I told myself I wouldn’t go through that shit again.  I haven’t had to, but even at that point, after a brief hiatus, I started taking benzos again.  I went through withdrawals after two months of taking 1-2mg per day of xanax.  This shouldn’t have activated such a strong withdrawal from me, but I was drinking on top of that.

As a human test subject of my own design, if I can give you any advice in this little rant, is to not combine alcohol and benzodiazapines together.  For me, that combination, when combined with my inability to drink moderately, was always a blackout.  A blackout is oblivion.  It’s also shame and to some it’s scary.  I remember when I met an elderly lady who told me that she had one blackout her entire life.  It had scared her so much that she never drank that much again.  That was some crazy shit to a guy who aimed for blackout almost every time he drank.  I didn’t always hit my mark, and I didn’t always aim for that mark, at least consciously. but I hit it more often then not.


Ain’t even eating grains.

The FDA will tell you the same thing here in the States.  I always thought those fucks were liars.  Everyone knows “don’t mix with alcohol or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this substance” means, potentiate your high with this combination.  Like smoking weed during an acid trip, skyrocket your inebriation potential with this combination.  The FDA already lied to me about the food pyramid, why wouldn’t they lie about drugs?

See, after about 7 months of not drinking, I decided to go full keto.  I dropped my net carbohydrate intake under 20 grams per day, set a protein goal and a fat ceiling and I went for that.  That was on March 14th of this year.  For the first week, I didn’t count calories, I just counted carbs.  Then I started eating a deficit and tracking my shit in my fitnesspal.  But I have to admit right now, that I have been doing lazy keto for the last month or so, and my weight loss has been slower.

Lazy keto is basically where I don’t count anything, but know intuitively from counting in the past, what I can eat to stay in ketosis.  Ketosis is where your body runs on ketones instead of glycogen.  Ketones are formed from lipids, which are fats, so I’m basically fueling myself with fat.  Now, I can’t say if  I am losing weight because of ketosis, or if it’s because I am eating less and not eating sugar.  I’m sure both are true.  I also have to admit that I’ve cheated a handful of times in the last 4 months, which isn’t really advisable, but fuck advisories.   I do what I want.  (Please note, I have lost thirty pounds and five and a half inches off my belly.  Rojo gettin’ his groove back.  All while making gains at the gym.)

broken bottle

So long, old friend.

I know I couldn’t have done what I want if I was drinking alcohol.  I researched keto years ago but never dove in because I was drinking near a handle a night of ye old bourbon.  Look I knew I shouldn’t have been doing that, but I didn’t care too much about it.  Plus I couldn’t truly help myself.  I would tell myself I wouldn’t drink that evening, then that evening would arrive and I’d find myself picking up a fifth or a handle at the liquor store.  I was probably only there for cigarettes, but we all know what I was really there for.

It was painfully obvious, but I wasn’t like what I pictured an alcoholic to be.  I always pictured a dude who shook like a leaf first thing in the morning and had to get some fuel in his pump to get going.  I wasn’t like that.  I drank, usually and almost exclusively in the evenings, into the wee hours of the morning.  That’s how I did it.  Daily.  I could take time out too.  If I had to go somewhere with family, I wouldn’t drink. They already knew I was an  alcoholic and wouldn’t allow it.  I didn’t want the drama anyways.  So a few days away from the sauce was never THAT big of a deal, but I was always ready to get back to it when I went home.

I had a free gene study done through the University of Michigan.  Uncle Sam already has my DNA so it’s been seen before.  I ran my file through Promethease, which references against SNPedia, and found out I had genetic markers for alcholism / addiction.  Ford Trucks built tough, Rojo built to drink.  So I am doing something incredibly different than I am supposed to do.  I’m supposed to drink, but I haven’t.

One incredible thing I’ve been able to do is be in touch with how I feel.   We’ve all heard the “Man should only feel anger and love for his dog,” trope.  Look I’ve admitted here before that I’m bi-polar. I don’t care if you believe me.  I had a hypomanic episode this year.  I know that because I was sober, otherwise I would have drowned it out.  I’m not trying to explain it, but certainly, an inability to deal with feelings was draggin’ on my wagon wheel.  Depression is a very real thing that gets it’s claws in early and doesn’t let go.  I had to deal with it honestly.

I don’t have any answers I just have some emotional sobriety which is a word I had never heard. Dudes gotta learn that shit to be able to handle themselves on the day to day.  Over the last year I’ve freed myself from overwhelming resentment and anger.  I feel like I’ve done my best to level my playing field so I have a fighting chance.  I’ve lost thirty pounds, got off parole early, and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over a year.  I tell you this, not because I think you have a problem, only to relay that I found a solution to a hopeless situation and a life of crushing apathy.





Boom, Pow, Gym, Suck My Balls

My gym has the worst music.  Without any doubt, I will hear some fucking Weeknd song while I am in there.  It’s not conducive, whatsoever, to working out.  Sometimes, when I hear something incredibly annoying, or something catchy, I google the lyrics.  I Discovered that one of the worst songs I had ever heard was a Taylor Swift song.  I don’t even want to write about it here because it will start to creep into my thoughts.  If you’re looking for it, it’s the one with the anti climatic hook like some disney princess thinking about her true love.  Swift is really a disney princess.

I have an ex who’s sister tries to be a disney princess, but that’s not for here and now. Let’s start spiraling to a point:  when I was locked up in reception, the week was split into days of which a race group controlled the television.  The CDCR provides access to radio stations through the television.  Truly radio on the television.

 One or two days a week, on white day, they’d play all the hits from the 90’s.  It was an MTV rerun from when I was a freshman in high school.  The other white day was country, which really modern country is the equivalent to modern pop.  Pure basura.  Sometimes I we got hit with Christian music and that is the absolute worst.  Paisa/Southerner day was Mexican style but late night they’d play these eclectic soul jams.  I gotta say the scariest thought I ever had while I was in prison was one night I was sitting on my bunk in cell 138, nodding my head to some soul jam, thinking “this isn’t so bad……”

But mostly I remember the black channel.  It wasn’t exclusively black artists. But it was a cavalcade of garbage nonetheless.

“You used to call me on your cell phone” aka Drake, “Hotline Bling” and “0 – 100”.  That assbag should be silenced.  But the worst part of it?  PEOPLE LOVE THE FUCK OUT OF THOSE SONGS.  It’s true, you cannot buy good taste and apparently it’s not a common genetic feature of our species.  

But Drake isn’t really to blame.  It’s Kanye’s fault.  He brought that sort of Emo rap out to the forefront for the majority of rap listeners.  White guys were doing it for a while before, (eg. Anticon) but Kanye is the one responsible for bringing that mainline train to the station  He made that song with Rhianna and McCartney, “Four five seconds”.  Holy shit.  What a cacophony of dumpster fire.  Now Kanye is saying he’s 53 million in debt and is e-panhandling on twitter to get Suckerberg to bail him out.  *


Taylor Swift was played on the black channel when I was in the pen.  If only my memory wasn’t shit, I could remember the channels call sign.  At any rate, she also plays on my gyms station non stop.  The main culprit is that song “Wildest Dreams” with the most garbage ass anti climatic sigh I have ever fucking heard.  Seriously, how do people eat this stuff up?  Why is she so rich when her music is such boring garbage?  Why do they have to play it on repeat at my gym?  I know I said I wouldn’t talk about this but I had to.


Carly Rae Jepson is to me what Taylor Swift is to the world.  Her album E*Mo*Tion is a highly underrated 80’s throwback album.  Shit, her song “Gimmie Love” uses that sort of doe eyed love sigh that Tswift was going for in “Wildest Dreams” except Carly hits out of the park.  I’m endlessly mocked for my enjoyment of this album, but you know what?  I don’t give a fuck.  This shit is tight.  There are a few jams that are way too sugar coated to deal with, namely “Really Like you”.  But no one’s perfect.  Plus Jepson had an allstar lineup of cats co-writing her album with her.  So did Twsift but obviously Jepsons crew made the right decisions.  You can never really go wrong having Sia Furler co-write a song with you.  That chick’s got chops.



Another white girl pop song that makes me want to put a screw driver in my inner ear is a song by Ellie Goulding called “Why I got you on my mind”.  Seriously, this song has one of THE WORST hooks I’ve ever heard.  The chorus is choppy like a robot that chants in Mandarin while dicing broccoli.  Then there’s the drop and she robotically chants “I think I could’ve really liked you.”  


There’s a common denominator here between Twsifts and Gouldings songs.  That lowest common denominator is Swedish writer/producer Max Martin.  Thanks Max, you fucking truck, for your aural pollution on a global scale.  May your kharma never be forgiven.  


Then there’s Adele.  Look, if you have any sort of musical inclination, you have to respect her.  She’s got some admirable pipes and range.  Same with that Florence chick from the Machine.  They’re both exceptional singers, but I cannot abide by Adele.  I gave that new album of hers a listen through, or well I tried.  But it’s all about the unmanageability of her feelings and relationships.  It’s a steady whine and cryin fest and it’s painfully hard to listen to this chick.  I’m not saying it’s bad per se.  I’m just saying it’s tough to listen this gal carry on when she should probably be celebrating being able to get laid.


Ever tried to be a fat guy and try to get laid?  The types that are willing to bed down a fat guy are few and far between and the quality of said types are dismal at best.  But a fat gal? Shit she deserves the next Adonis no less and he better not smoke.  Fucking hell it’s miserable being a fat person.  Miserable on the inside and miserable on the outside.

But guess what?  I’m not actually complaining about that.  I’m complaining about the garbage ass music that’s being played at my gym while I try to remedy my fatness.  Yeah that’s right, this is a rant about shitty gym music, not about the difficulties of acquiring any pussy, let alone quality pussy.

See, people discriminate against fat people on a visceral level.  They don’t consciously do it, but a fat person is a gross and keen example of a lack of self respect.  So people will have unconscious body language that says they think the fat person is less than human.  Fat people do it too. Because deep down, people don’t like fat people.  

So it’s hard.  It’s hard to be a fat person.  It’s hard to be a fat person at the gym.  It’s hard to be a fat person at the gym lifting to a shitty music station.  It’s hard to be a fat person lifting at the gym to a shitty music station that reminds him of prison. But I keep doing it.


And I haven’t even started on how hard it is to deal with that assbag of a cunt Arianna Grande.


Stay up fat guys, you’ll get there, just keep lifting and eat clean.


* I wrote this in February so I’m a bit behind on publishing this shit.  Sorry not sorry, motivation sometimes sinks deep in these couch cushions. I’m not on a couch.

No, I’ve Never Been Much of Dancer

Around the end of Summer in 2013, Chromeo was scheduled to play a local concert in Chavez park.  Chromeo isn’t in my top 10, or even top 20, but I’ve dug their jams, and I know that chicks dig them entirely.  Thus I bought my ticket online, 45$ for one day I believe, and tried to enlist some friends to go.


I ended up going alone.  As pussy is the fuel for the rocket in my pocket, I fretted over what I was going to wear to this event.  Being overweight, drinking daily, and occasionally getting smacked out, I wasn’t the brightest star in the sky.  I buckled up a short sleeve dress shirt, threw on a serious pair of what I consider, bro jeans, and a pair of aviators.  I used my favorite pomade, Cock Grease XXX to slick my hair into the comb over style I was rocking.  Then, against all rational thinking, I ate two of my homemade ganja cookies.


Some of you might be thinking, well what’s wrong with that?  Let me tell you.  I make, and am known to make, extremely powerful ganja food.  The kind where I put my friends Mom into a 36 hour coma like trance on accident.  That’s not really the problem.  The problem is the cerebral nature of the high.  If I eat ONE of my cookies, within 2 hours I will be drooling on my guitar with music dancing between my ears.  I will also be conversationally and socially dead to the world.


I’m already a painful introvert who will stand in the shadows and disassemble everyone’s body language, chime in one or two times, and mostly stick to himself.  All while feeling the buzzing electricity of social anxiety course through my veins.  Don’t ask me, it’s something I’ve always had and I am working on loosening its grip on my trachea.  I can evade its crippling grip by consuming copious amounts of alcohol, but then I’m an entirely different monster and not myself.  Thus, by getting high as giraffe pussy, which I was destined to do at this point, I would be stuck miles inside my head and my sociability would be nonexistent.


This wouldn’t be a bad thing, and really isn’t.  Getting bombed and drifting off into the imagination while listening to some live music is excellent.  But if you didn’t notice earlier, no one wanted to go with me, or they were too broke to do so.  Also, this all day show was BOUND to be packed to the brim with young, nubile, college aged girls.  Davis is right down the road from Sacto, and like I said, chicks dig Chromeo.  I was hoping to meet some new people, gals in particular.  


I went to Chavez park a little later in the day missing a few of the opening acts.  This is a total dick move on my part because I am almost ALWAYS one of the opening acts if I’m playing a show.  But I was too busy waiting to get catapulted in the stratosphere by these fucking cookies and worrying if these pants made me look too hipster.  I think they were these smooth like denim kenneth cole things I picked up at the 2nd hand store.  


Whenever I get as high as I was that day, it’s always like a minor psychedelic trip.  I feel in sync with the world, yet I am pulled back as an observer.  So even though I have the first person view of the day through my own eyes, I have almost a 3rd person view of the events as well.  Yes, I have an active imagination, and no I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, yet.  I had my mirrored aviators on because my eyes were cherry tomatoes amongst a red bearded sea of whiteness.  I did remember to put on sunscreen.  I would’ve been boned hard if I neglected that.


At any rate, I don’t remember a whole lot about some of the first acts I saw, but there is one particular act and one particular moment that stand out to me from the experience.  One of which gives me an icky, wish I did different feeling inside the pit of my stomach.  This band Grouplove was playing and with the day getting on in age, the crowd was bigger than before. They’re a hodgepodge group of cats who met at some sort of camping abroad thing.  I don’t know but they play this happy innocent like music with harmonies that sound like the chipmunks (check out an example of GroupLove here).  They’re not bad.  


Their live show, however, is pretty darn good.  I had never heard these cats before and made a mental note to check them out because they got down.  As their set started picking up steam, I started moving a little bit to the music.  As you might assume, being stricken with cosmic anxiety makes my movement a little rigid and I’ve never been much of dancer.  But I do move when moved to do so.  I’m drifting side to side, to and fro, and maybe a head nod here and there.  There’s a little room in front of me and people are packed in all around.  


At one point I feel two small hands grip my shoulders and move me side to side with the beat.  I turn slowly turn around and it’s this cute little blonde gal.  I don’t even smile.  It’s too fucking much for me at this point with all the fucking people, the loud ass music, the level of highness at which I was experiencing.  I turned back around.  I still get douche tingles to this day over that shit.  Listening to some jams today  this song starts playing and I relive that moment.  Regret for what you didn’t do.  I should’ve grabbed that sweet young thing by her hands, swung her around and started dancing with her.  That would have been smooth.  But at the time, as I am often am, I was a bumbling lurch on a grassy dancefloor.  


Why did that come up for me?  Because I feel shame around that level of social ineptitude.  Are you a better person than me for being without social anxiety?  Fuck no.  You just have an easier time dealing with people.  I’m not the only cat on the block who deals with this issue.  But I don’t remember all my war stories, even some of the good ones.  Some stick out though. Those are the ones to hold onto and learn something.  


So I’d be a bit different if that situation ever happened again.  At least I hope I would.  See there are few cats who write truly about their strike outs. This wasn’t even a strikeout.  I didn’t get out of the batter’s box.  One thing my offensive coordinator has asked me to stop doing is analyzing people’s body language.  It’s a tool I developed and can use still at a gut level.  But when I consciously go around and get all FBI sleuth on motherfuckers, I take myself out of the moment.  For a cat like me, being in the moment is the best place to be because there I am whole, there I am myself, there I am without reservation.

The Not so Subtleties of the Mentally Ill

I saw my psychologist the other day. I mentioned something about how I think. I forget exactly what I said but it got her hackles up right quick. She started in, about how I shouldn’t think like that because it’s depressive thinking and to look at the reality of the how and why of my situation. Then she suggested that I should keep a gratitude journal and write down one thing I’m grateful for about myself each day. The 12 steppers think this is a good idea too. Her reasoning is gratitude or expressing gratitude is supposed to elevate the sense of self worth. AA is all about eliminating the bondage of self. My psychologist thinks that it’s the image of my self and my own self talk that are the enemy. Either way I set out to do it.

That was 6 days ago. I started 5 days ago. 4 days later, I forgot to do it. This is just one line of writing. Date, dash, description. Maybe I need to leave myself a reminder to write one sentence each day about myself. In my world I’m worth endless amounts of material, so I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about. I’m completely full of myself.

Which brings me to my last endeavor. I made a folder in my drive called “So you wanna write?”. It was to taunt me into writing each day. It didn’t matter what I was to write about, I was only supposed to TRY to write up to a 1000 words each day. I did it the first day. On the second day I sat down to do it, made it about 200 words and fucked it off. That was on the 4th. It’s now the 15th. This is the first time I’ve made an effort, towards this particular goal, since then.

It’s not that I am unwilling to write. I want to and enjoy it. But I think intellectualizing the practice has me a little bewildered about the actual work. Perhaps, it’s me expecting my work to be better than it actually is. That shouldn’t come as any surprise. I can’t sit at the piano and rip it up anymore. I could back when I was 20-22. But now I’m 34 and have spent years out of practice. Those muscle memories have atrophied in the quivering mess that is my brain.

My memory is so shot that I might have taken my meds twice today. I’m not sure. Each day is so similar that I cannot figure out if I took 2 of the greys and 1 of the whites. I should be supplementing with other stuff but I don’t bother. I was taking a trapezoidal blue pill recently called Abilify*, not Viagra. It’s a rough ass drug so I’m off of it. 75 hour half life… That’s over 2 days. It fucked with my sleep. I’d wake up every few minutes it seemed. Perhaps it was farther between awakenings. Either way, I’d wake up feeling like I never slept at all and my head would feel fried empty. Every neuron and neurotransmitter had been deep fried until nice and crispy then a 20 something ice cream peddler smashed all the nuts and candies into a scoop of it for some lucky brain scream licker. Or it might be sleep apnea. I can’t tell.

I’ve also been using ampakines and other racetams lately. Mainly aniracetam and oxiracetam, CDP choline thrown in there and occasional mega doses of tianeptine with a lion’s mane chaser, along with a bit of theanine.  Noopept doesn’t seem to work on me. Other people have great results but I think I’m a non responder. I can act all sciency but I truly don’t know a fucking thing. I used to put shit in my veins acting like some sort of street pharmacist. I wasn’t and the shit that was going in was similar in smell to the gunpowder coffee I used to get from commissary in the pen. Nice.

There are things I read on the interwebs. People who recommend having blog posts between 1000 and 2000 words. Some “gurus” say 3000 for a how-to article is imperative. I look at these knobgoblins as pufferfish**. Take big breaths and walk words in circles. I guess that’d be a talent of hypnotists. I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist when it came to giving directions. Here’s what you need to do to get it done. Don’t worry about the possible hang ups. This is all you need to know and if you follow these directions to the letter then you will accomplish your task. If you try to get creative, or try to outsmart the system, you’re going to fuck up and I will know why you fucked up. You are not able to follow directions.

This lifer*** in my 12 step group says that the definition of a criminal is someone who cannot follow rules. I think he might be going a little farther with his definition than necessary but in essence what he says is true. A criminal is someone who breaks the law. The law is a conglomeration of, sometimes idiotic, rules. If you break a law, you are failing to follow the rules. These are rules set in papyrus stone by the government, congress, etc. What I’m trying to say is that if someone fails to follow my directions to the T and fucks up, they are not only fucking up, they are a criminal. They cannot follow rules, therefore they cannot be expected to obey laws, therefore they are criminals and should be culled from our society.****


In jazz the soloist often twists melody around in circles to express new ideas out of seemingly mundane melody. These fucking writers with their stupid sites that I don’t HAVE to spend time reading, are not jazz artists. They are not artists. They are chuds trying to pinch a coin off cats coming along to jerk themselves off in the name of self improvement. Coltrane could write novels with his solos that would confuse even Mark Z. Danielewski. Coltrane was a prophet of sound.***** He’s in a category of his own because he put in the work to get the skill.

Who needs self improvement when you can look at the legacy of a single man who put in daily work, blood, sweat and tears, to follow his truth? Well you don’t need self improvement to be that guy, you just can’t be a lazy fuck like myself.



*  I’m bipolar, as I’ve mentioned before.  It sucks, but I can tell you, mania feels amazing.  I don’t take a typical mood stabilizer so I’m prone to episodes of hypomania.  This isn’t good as I’m not exactly trying to go back to prison, so my shrink and I are working to find a more typical mood stabilizer.  It’s not going to be Abilify.

** This one of the many reason I love the shit out of Aces stuff over at 80proofOinomancy.  Ace uses space and literally causes the reader to think for his or herself.  You have to love the promotion of self thought as opposed to the doldrums of having everything spelled out for you.

*** Lifer means a dude who has served or is serving a life sentence.  In this case it’s a dude who has served a life sentence.  I met more than I would have cared to meet along my journey.  But they have all given me a unique view of the world around me, and for that I am grateful.

**** I also acknowledge that I have always been unable to follow all the rules.  You can call me an outlaw, a criminal, degenerate, delinquent, whatever, but you’ll have a hard time getting rid of me.  Rules were meant to be broken.

***** Instead of the motivational song  used at the top of those post, I was going to use “Impressions” by John Coltrane off his album Live in Stockholm 1961.  There is no youtube for this song.  I’d highly recommend educating yourself about the sounds of this great man.


Another Not a Resolution Post


This is the second installment my not a resolution post.  Figured it was a good way to get the year going.  I’m sure you’re not thinking, ‘Gee Ro’ there should be another two posts.”  Well, you know what?  You’re correct, but it appears the first year I was being distracted, and last year I was in the clink.  It’s been just over 6 months since I got out.

Like I said last time, I don’t fucking do resolutions.  But I made one a this past year, that I am doing my best, every single day, to maintain; to not go back to prison.  It’s pretty simple, in fact, ending up there is like winning a small raffle.   California’s prison population is around 112k,  California’s estimated population in 2014 was around 38 million.  I was one of the lucky .003%.  Take that occupiers.

It’s been way good being out.  I was able to reconnect with some cats on twitter.  Saw that a few cats had dropped me from their timeline.   Connected with a fellow spherian, who even answered a question for me.    I was even able to provide an hour or so of “you know, so, and um,” responses for a podcast with The Good Doctor.  (Podcast Link)

I remember when I got a job working for county government.  I thought I had made it.  Finally out of the public spotlight, no longer opening a cash drawer for grumpy cunts and even worse supervisors.  I was starting as a pencil pusher, but I had paid vacation, sick time, retirement accruals and a set schedule.  The work wasn’t challenging so I applied myself in other areas and applied for any promotion I could.  At one point I was on a service call with out IT department and the lady on the phone jokingly asked, “why aren’t you working for us?”

“Because I don’t have the experience.”

Shortly after I got a localized IT position and it was at this point I really thought I had made it.  I had more than doubled my entry pay, I had my own office and a cush ass program.  But the work wasn’t challenging and there wasn’t anywhere else to apply myself without a college degree.  Much like Kanye, I’m a college dropout.

In a rapid fashion I went from being a gung ho to being severely depressed.  I would kick out my work in about 2 hours, then spend the rest of the day reading or sleeping in my desk chair with the door closed.  My soul was being sucked out of my sinuses one second at a time and there was no end in sight.


I set my shortsighted, narrow vision on the glass ceiling and waited for the weight to fall.  The weight of my hopelessness overpowered all that I had done to get to that point.  Keeping my shit afloat in a dead end job as a cashier?  Forgotten.  Starting from a pencil pushing green skin and moving to a prized position?  Couldn’t recall.  Every single step that was struggle to put in front of the last foot was diminished.

I couldn’t get out of my own way.  The glass ceiling and soul sucking job  were the means to an end, not something I could move past, breakthrough, or overcome.  I closed my windows of opportunity and put up the calming reflective foil of a tweakers tint job.

What all of that boils down to is a behavior not unfamiliar to me.

For over 6 months I’ve been a fucking fat acrobat jumping through hoops and I’m doing a bright job of it all.  Sometimes though maaaan.  Sometimes I come close to just losing my shit for a minute.

I took that bro fist for granted.  Had to go check in the other day.  Well Bro Fist PO is now retired and guess what Ro’?  You got someone new.  She’s all nicey nice on the surface, but behind her black eyes, I can tell, she has a mind for self righteous vengeance.  Either that or she likes to show her power.  Either way, she’s tightened the leash, just as I was getting some breathing room.

“It might change once we get to know each other,” she says.

Four months friends.  Four months is all that is left.  But I left in a fume today.

However, I shall not forget all that I’ve done to get to this point.  What is the difference?

When I got out, I would do anything I had to in order to stay on the outs.  Jump without question.  What’s changed?


Adjust the attitude.

Remember the past.

Get out of my own way.

F is for Friend and S is for Spit Roast

I stumbled on this reddit post the other day.  Check it out Here.

You done?

Ok.  What did that make you feel?  Did you feel disgust at the lack of assertiveness the author showed?  Did you feel the drift of laughter welling up from your bowels because two bros spit roasted a broad in a bedroom while the dude who was crushin on her gave himself the black lung on the porch?  Did you think she’s a regular ho bag?

Dudes talking about his feelings here?  Fuck yes I am.  Because that post reminded me of the gut wrenching  knot I felt way back when.

*Fade into 1997*  Ol’ Rojo just got done playing back to back shows.  The skateboard contest was a smashing success and the warehouse show in the neighboring county went smooth as well.  I got a ride back to my drummers house with a gal I was majorly keen on.  She was my good friend and I had designs to get up in those sugar walls.  We hung out at school, we tooled around together and this night I had enough adrenaline and booze to finally put the moves on her.  We get to drool buckets house and are sitting on the couch.  I pull her on top of me and go for the kiss.  She laughs at me and says “that was smooth.”   It goes no where.

More cats show up to party.  The booze flows.  The night blurs on.  Wandering into the front room I see her on the couch with an older dude.  He’s got his fist almost completely eaten by the underside of her knickers.   They’re going at it like two drunk teenagers because in fact, that’s what they are.  My stomach drops out my asshole and I slink into the backroom, our practice room, and sit against the wall.  I start drinking at her.  Drinking at the disappointment, the betrayal of my intentions.

She comes into the practice room later.  Straddles me as I’m sitting against the wall. Her panties are off and her pussy is wet.  I’m wasted.  She grabs my face with both her hands.  There are cats in the doorway peering in.  ‘Oh shit, scandal!’  Pulling my head up as my muscles are lax from the sauce, she speaks at my face. “Rojo! You have to stop.  We can’t do this anymore.”

She leaves the room.  I take a moment or thirty to gather my composure then pick myself up by my bootstraps and continue the night in proper lodee style.  I didn’t sleep alone that night, but that doesn’t matter.  In my mind, I could not explain nor understand why a gal I was so fucking nice to would not want to get with me and I felt empty.

Sound familiar?

You know, I feel for this cat.  I didn’t learn after that.  Later on, during my second year of college, the same gal came to visit me.  My girlfriend was a bangin art major.  I told the gal who came to visit me that I’d leave my art major tart to be with her.  She wasn’t down.  Later she came to watch my band play.  She left early to go fuck one of my roomates.

Cringe worthy, am I right?

That fellow on reddit and myself are not the only ones with stories like these, but who wants to admit this kind of thing?  It’s like getting slapped by a big dick called humility, and that’s a sure way to harsh your mellow.

Nietzsche wrote “…and when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”  Yes, it’s a out of context but hear me out.  I’ve been dancing the 12 step recently and because I have been consumed by an abyss by drinking coupled with chronic depression in times past.  It’s a dark desperate place, and it’s easy to forget when the going gets good.  When the going gets dark, it’s also easy to deny past experience for the easy fix, and a fix is always around the corner.  You can even cop in the pen.  I go to those meetings so I can stare into the abyss, but with tools I’ve learned, I have guide rope attached to a carabiner, which hooks to an anchor.  That way I can see where I’ve been without falling into the oblivion.

We’re all on the edge of oblivion whether we know it or not.

Reading homeboys story on reddit was a grim reminder of the things I’ve seen, experienced, and things I’ve done. The guy in the post is not interested in red pills, but there are those out there that are.  Understatement, sure.  However, I’ve got compassion for that fellow because that sucks.  That’s about as far as it goes though.

Can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.  Something I know all too well.

Kiran Gandhi the Mighty Period Blood Marathon Runner.

Sounds like a bad science fiction movie right?  Period Blood Runner, starring Rose McGowan and Mark Ruffalo.  Down and out, a young independent woman forgoes her feminine hygeine products because her menstrual blood fuels her activity as it is reabsorbed through the pores on her thighs.  She’s basically a superhero.  She can’t even get out of bed for most days of the month.  But once her moon arrives, she doesn’t go calmly into that red fucking tent.  No, she practically flies out of bed, down her 7 flights of stairs, as she runs and runs, until her cycle has cycled.  Proctologist Mark Ruffalo discovers her amazing super power while checking her rectum for polyps and to top it off? Could love be any more predictable?  The two might just be heading toward the alter to tie the knot, but only if Gretchen Bramblesnatch, played by Rose McGowan, can outrun her impending crisis.  Will she have enough blood to run down her leg to win the race?  Find out in theaters next Friday.  Available in Imax and Imax 3d.  “Get outta the bloody way Uta Pippig, here comes Gretchen!”™

Well, I was never able to sell that screenplay, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying.  The story I’m actually referencing in the title of this post, is the act of this delusional halfwit, who decided to forgo feminine hygiene while running a marathon. She, and I quote, “ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist. I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.”


I know I’m a bit late to the donor center, but I wanted to give a heart felt congratu-fucking-lations on dealing with your own biological functions in a completely irresponsible way.  In some parts of the world, the way shit works is, if you defecate in public, you get arrested.  Public urination is illegal in all US states, and in addition to that misdemeanor charge, it is possible to be charged with indecent exposure, or public lewdness.  With those two charges, congrats, you are now a sex offender, and Megan’s law requires you to….

Legality aside, this act of ‘protest’ actually bugged me.  As it happened in April, you can forgive me for my late rant, I was incarcerated when it occurred.  Ms. Diboo Daboo leaked her vaginal discharge all down her legs and pants through the streets of London to bring awareness.  However, she states, that she raised $6000 for breast cancer.  Sounds to me like she was just being a lazy broad.  There are thousands of types of bacteria in the female reproductive system.  Some of these bacteria server a biological purpose, but they are also responsible for odor and excretions, especially during a gals cycle.

It’s pretty fucking obvious right?  Blood born pathogens?  Not likely, but possible.  Bacteria?  Sure, if they survive exposure.  But the bottom line here is that this was absolutely disgusting.  Gross.  Hold my hair while I vomit on your running shoes.  You must realize how hard a store clerk or a cop would freak out if I was walking around with blood oozing out of some crack in my body.  Full on, stay where you are, do not move, you are a hazard to public health.  It’s just not something you do unless you are out of touch with basic human cleanliness.  It’s not something you do unless you are one sandwich short of a picnic.  I mean, it’s not something you do unless you are sandwich short of a sixpack.  Well, it’s just not something you fucking do.  It’s very, very, gross.

In doing some light reading on this subject for the purposes of writing this here rant, I found out that “free bleeding” is a thing.  (Warning, that link it to a feminist site, though the article does condemn free bleeding.)

At any rate, let’s step back a second.  I know a man, who is in his elderly years and dealing with a sort of cognitive decline.  He sometimes cannot control his bowels and such, has on occasion, shit his pants while taking a walk.  He doesn’t walk proudly around sporting his shit stained shorts.  He feels a sort of shame because he cannot control something that he should be able to control.  He then proceeds to clean up his mess and move on because even with a tougher time making rational decisions, he still wants and strives to be a civilized human being.   Where’s the activists running races with feces dripping down their leg to raise awareness for the masses of elderly who cannot control their bowels?

If this dumb cunt wanted to do something for gals who don’t have access to tampons and pads, she could have used some of her hard earned money to bulk purchase supplies and send them to the needy people.  That would have been a net positive solution.  Her act was just another testament to the absurdity that is leftist rationale.

So, Kiran Gandhi, clean up your act, you fucking savage.

All the Broken Buildings

Traveling the prison circuit, everything looks run down with decay.  It’s a desolate concrete landscape, dry and treeless.That’s not much of a surprise.  San Quentin is the oldest prison in California, clocking in at 163 years old.  I spent the majority of my time fourth oldest prison in Cali; CTF Soledad on their central yard (buildings closer to the left side of the picture below.)  I remember rolling past CTF on the bus on the way to Salinas Valley, which is basically across the street, and thinking to myself, “damn I hope that’s not me.”  It was my stop.

Correctional Training Facility - Soledad

Correctional Training Facility – Soledad

The outside of the facility had this old, rundown look to it.  All the wings were 3 tiers and that meant cell living.  Yet, I had just arrived from a 22 year old reception facility which was also run down.  I figured, well, this is just how prisons age.  I mean, most county facilities are essentially dumpsters where people sleep, so it was not too surprising.

I don’t know if it was a year away from most of the real world, but I was surprised when I got out.  Riding the train  I noticed that many buildings, roads and structures appeared worn down and ragged.  Driving through Sacramento, it was as if I never noticed the structural decay of the city.  I’m not saying everything was a wasteland, but I’m saying, it was a lot more worn down than I had previous realized.  Akin to walking around an apartment or house for the first time.  If a quick cleaning was completed recently, the signs of dirt are there on the floor boards, under lips and ledges and in dark corners.  One just has to know where to look.

All that got me thinking about people.  Humans.  The body, mind and spirit require maintenance.  “The body is a temple”.  Well, shut your hippy mouth, but you got a point. When people age and die, they’re just run down and worn out and the ol’ ticker finally gives up.  I don’t mean that everyone ends up just giving a sigh and saying “fuck it”.  Even those crotchety ass kickers who keep throwing punches until that guaranteed day are in this category.  The world wears on us, the sun cooks our bones, our life machines eventually have to seize and stop.  That process begins the opposite side of where it ends.


Stolen from

All that is a fact of this life.  Yet, sometimes it saddens me.

Hold on, let me explain.  Mortality is a given, I get that, but sometimes the fragile essence of it all hits me in the face like a ton of bricks.  I recently met up with a fellow from Seattle who traveled out here for a brief visit.  The last time I saw Chris was about 7 years ago in Portland.  He’s the same age as me and a very successful programmer.  When we first met up, he was also so skinny he could stand next to a phone pole and you couldn’t see his profile.  When I saw him recently, he had put on some weight.  A lot of weight.

I’m going to ask that you put all those body positive activists out of your mind for a minute.  I haven’t yet figured out if those “I’m a bison and proud of it” people fit in this category and I don’t plan to waste much time thinking about it.  When I see someone like Chris in his current state, I see, yes poor impulse control, lethargy, but I also see depression and fatigue.  Why is he depressed?  I don’t know.  But I see that depression in it’s physical form as added body weight.  Thus, as an effect of that extra cargo, I see early stressed structures.  He’d probably not say he’s depressed, but that’s how those things work.  When you’re in it, it’s all you know and you can’t see out to greener pastures.  Self actuating the reality of what is going on is an elusive process.

Much like the above, getting a grip and moving forward with a weight loss plan is an elusive process as well.  Yes, I know, people are doing it every day, and people are very successful at it as well.  Put down the fucking spoon fatty.  Have a little self control.  Sure, screaming those things on your blog or on twitter in all caps is easy.  Especially if you’ve been practicing self control / discipline for a while or naturally skinny.  Side note:  if you don’t think genes play a role in body weight, then we won’t see eye to eye on the subject (I also believe in genetic predisposition to things like mental illness and disease).  At any rate, sure all it takes is a single step, but that’s fucking hard to do in the first place.  I know, as I have fought with depression for most of my life.  Weight gain has been an issue since I was put on psychotropic medications.  So I was on antidepressants, fully depressed but not aware of it and up to 300 pounds.  I was fucking miserable but I spent about 6 months at that weight before I finally took that first step.  “I’m sick of being a fat ass.” Well do something fatty, put that fucking spoon down, go for a walk.

Thus when I see these bastions of brilliance in a state of disarray I get hit with a wave of empathy and sadness.  When I see my friend pouring his days down his throat, I’ve got love for him.  When I see a friend chain smoking out of blind habit, I’ve got some empathy.  When I see my homeboy for the first time in 7 years and he’s put on about 100 pounds, I feel some empathy and I feel sadness because life is incredibly short and even more precious.

I spend and have spent an AWFUL amount of time in self reflection so I’m mostly aware of my self destructive habits.  Times when I grab a smoke, or have an extra serving, drink to the edge of oblivion or beat myself up the block with my own thoughts.  I recognize those things in other people and it makes me sad to see them taking their lives for granted.  It makes me sad for all those times I’ve done the same because sometimes I don’t know I’m doing it.

Prison: a Practice in Preoccupation

There’s a common joke among inmates who have been sentenced.  Joke might not be an accurate term.  It’s one of those things people say, that reminds you of the obvious, yet something that is often taken for granted.  It’s not one of those repeated phrases that inspires a desire to coldcock the speaker.  Real early in my term, before I was sentenced, I’d  be asked something like “how you doing?”  or “what’s up” and found my self saying such detritus as “living the dream, one day at a time.”  Then one day, during the scorching hot summer in a central California reception center, my celly said it to me, and I never said it again.  It sounded so trite and idiotic, and perhaps it was the combination of 100+ degree temperatures or his inability to program with a cellmate, but I never said that crap again.  The phrase I’m speaking of is “you’ve got nothing but time.”

That’s the one thing I had in excess, everyday.  The CDCR puts you to “work” or “school” or “vocation”, but all you have is time.  Hurry up and wait.  Lock it up for count.  Get in line.  Wait, wait wait and all you’re really waiting for is another day to come.  But that surplus of time does give a cat some time to think.  Sitting in a two man cell and bouncing thoughts between your cranial prison walls is actually a gift.  Especially since at that point, digital distractions are almost non existent.

I had what I consider to be, the fortunate experience of getting to spend almost nine of my twelve months in cell living.  You’re either going to be in a cell or a dorm.  Personally, I dislike dorm living.  But it’s a crap shoot either way.  In a dorm you are allowed to walk around, there’s usually some sort of “day room” where you can watch some television.  However, there’s no privacy at all, there’s always someone up in your shit, and depending on the dorm you’re in, it’s always loud.  In cell’s you get a modicum of privacy.  It’s also nice because it leaves you in charge of the cleanliness of the cell.  In a dorm, you can keep your sleeping area clean, but when you live with 199 other men, it’s impossible to manage any more than that.  However, cell living is only good if you have a good celly, or you are in a single cell, which is not a common luxury.  In a cell, it’s essentially living in a small bathroom with another guy.  A good celly can make or break your experience.

At any rate, in a cell, I had a lot of time to think.  I also had a great celly for a few months there.  He was a 75 year old who was doing his second term for murder.  It was on a level II yard, as lifers can’t go any lower than level II.  Ol’ Max had been down since 1985.  Let’s go back a little bit.

When I was in county, you often could hear a number of cats complaining about the amount time they had to do.  I distinctly recall a dude carrying on about having to do 90 days.  Any amount of time you have to give up to the government is shitty, but if you did a crime and got caught, unless you have a legal Houdini, expect to do your time and please don’t complain about it.  Ol’ Max really shed light on this for me having been down (incarcerated) since he was 45 and now an aging cat, who, in his words, is going to die in prison.  He still kept up with a positive mental attitude.  Can you even imagine spending 30+ years of your life in prison?  That’s a lifetime to some.

I was able to gain some perspective on many of the things I was preoccupied with prior to my term and upon my release, interacting with free people again, it’s the thing I noticed the most.  Especially that first day out.  I think you could equate it to a superpower of some kind like x-ray vision, or a superhuman sense of smell.  I thought of it as being able to transcend the bullshit.  I’d have a conversation with some random train passenger (it took me 2 days of to get home, thanks CDCR for housing me on the opposite side of the state from where I live.)  and be able to see their preoccupation.  I could reflect on myself prior to my term and see the things I was preoccupied with.

Preoccupation is a prison unto itself.  The saying “can’t see the forest through the trees” is a sort of testament to this.  The mind is a tricky place and it can start playing tricks through obsession.  I believe this is not just a side effect of our busy short attention spanned world, but also just an inherent bug in our brains programming.  I think the simplicity of survival in an institutional environment cemented this for me, but also Max’s philosophy.

When I opened my twitter, for the first time in over a year, I was slammed.  The main thing that stuck out for me was the uproar over Mad Max Fury Road riding it as a feminist overture.   I mean, really, did they forget Tina Turner in Beyond Thunderdome?  Apparently they did.   I picked that movie as a flick I wanted to see with my aging Pops once I paroled because we had so enjoyed the previous incarnations of the story and it looked like a pretty sweet flick.  We weren’t disappointed.   Max helped those hippies get their art car to burning man.  It was a lot more exciting than I imagine that free loving festival would ever be sober.  Add in a load of acronyms I didn’t understand and twitter felt about as foreign as the streets I was walking on.

All that said, even with my current goals, I’m still carrying the baggage of having spent the last year behind bars.  You can say I’m preoccupied.  I plan on seeking some catharsis by expounding on the lessons I learned while on the inside, mayhap even telling a story or two on the experience.  The lessons might seem readily apparent to some of you, but again, perhaps you will learn something.

Short story taken from the Spirit of Tao translated by Thomas Cleary:

The Poor Man and the Gold

A poor man decided one day to get rich, so he put on his had and coat and went to town.  

As he walked through the center of town, pondering the question of how to obtain riches, his glance happened to fall on someone carrying a quantity of gold.

The poor man rushed up and grabbed some of the gold.  He was caught as he tried to flee.

The magistrate asked the poor man, “How did you expect to get away with the gold, with all those people around?”

“I only saw the gold,” Explained the poor man, “I didn’t see the people.”