All Fired Up

In the greatest possible way, my wife and I are indebted to Christ.

God has been providing every single thing we need. We’ve been kept healthy, strong, capable, financially independent and, most recently, not dead from 4th-degree burns.

On the subject of debts, my Squishy Leper and I are doubling down on them, turning the frivolousness of enjoying life and its pleasant things into tangibly paying off the crap Proverbs 6:5-style that we shouldn’t have accrued to get the educational background we wouldn’t be using.

Pro Tip: It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Your ability to fight serial killers isn’t as useful as pretending they don’t exist until they go away.

Just this morning I called the fire department about a non-figurative fire that was burning outside the property we inhabit. This was on the tail end of Banning’s literal firefighters literally putting out a literal fire, so they were probably literally exhausted. Nevertheless, they tirelessly put out a small fire to prevent it from becoming a large one. The feeling of having your name in the paper is nice; not seeing your home rapidly convert to heat energy is nicer.

Physics Tip: Since entropy guarantees all matter will become heat energy someday, pyromaniacs are simply doing us a favor #progressivethinking

Along with the blessing of staying alive, staying alive, our child has been a tormenting crying ball of misery that we can’t fix wonderful lovable immaculate bundle of joy. My Kissy Woom Wooms has taken to the role of mother like a female bear to another bear she birthed, and has been learning valuable lessons in how to be content not rip her hair out.

Parenting Tip: Crying babies shouldn’t be dropped, thrown, kicked, suffocated, lynched, mugged, treated, touched or held. Anyone who tells you otherwise is obviously a communist.

In the midst of this trial blessing I’m working steadily at my career. Supervising is a nice line of work, but has the mildly unfortunate downside of getting screamed at by random unhappy people because of a petty problem that is almost always never your fault. Being honorable and direct helps, but there are still some people out there that make it unsurprising who won the presidential primaries.

Breaking News: Donald Trump won the presidential election against Hillary Clinton. Since power is sexy, bad hair is now sexy.

In other news, the 3.5-month hiatus with my parents is finally wrapping up. I don’t know what will come next, but I foreshadow them dishing out plenty more bad boundaries drizzled with some freshly cut blame accompanied by a side salad of strange expectations with a dressing choice of bickering, invalidation or rejection and saving room for a dessert of shame.

Because I’ve had distance from them, it’s given me plenty of time to think. If we take away the insufferable noise that comes from the small person that keeps staring at us, I’ve had a net amount of some time to think. Since my Funky Spoiler has been listening to my ranting tirades of woe and teenful angst without expressing the inherently obvious reality that my head is broken, it’s given me the liberty to conclude things without consulting my shame first.

Therapy Tip: Simply telling someone to stop something won’t work. You have to make sure they hear you say it, then lovingly and mercilessly punish them in whatever way you can to disincentivize them from even thinking of doing it again.

In the dysfunctional roles of Hero/Mascot/SilentChild/Scapegoat, I have grown up in the confusing position of being both the Hero and the Scapegoat. Pulling double-duty in upholding other family expectations sucks giant lollipops, but to carry 2 roles does something deep inside you that makes grown men cry and asteroids land.

At any given moment, I was treated as the immaculate answer to the entire family unit’s problems or the unholy abomination doomed to travel this world bringing chaos and ruin wherever I went. Sometimes it was both.

Marriage will change you, and so will parenting; it won’t be in a good or bad way, you’ll just be different. Dysfunctional families, on the other hand, don’t want change. Change is both an uneasy risk and a grand adventure, and perspective is what drives that view.

Success Tip: If your friends say “don’t ever change”, then don’t change. That way you can always remember that you were justified in your bitterness that they asked for it while they out-succeed you.

On my Wobbly Toppers’ side, she still is hearing nothing from either of them. Apparently they’re so excited about how well we’re doing that they don’t want to disturb our happiness with their bitter approach. It’s rather thoughtful when you think about it (tear).

Nevertheless, life carries on, dumb family coming back around or no. It seems like the more we keep feeding the miniature person the bigger it gets. I imagine it’ll stop soon, but I’ve heard that it’ll keep growing for at least a few more months before it slows down growing.

Family Tip: Your family roots often go deep, which is why it’s good to axe the deep questions to sort it out.

Trauma Off-Center

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words take years of therapy.

As much as successful living provides meaningful and enriching experiences, the lifestyle of a former emotional abuse victim yields intermittent bittersweet sensations that run the risk of souring everything good in the world.

Family Tip: The best way to deflect emotional trauma is to blame everyone around you. Not only does it make them all feel like you, it means they can share in the experience of feeling like a worthless piece of garbage!

This troubling feeling will haunt you for years after those losers go to meet the Lord, but it comes out in uniquely different ways for different people.

In my past, I would simply have a massive existential crisis every time my childhood was triggered. I was raised to become ineffectively philosophical at the first sign of conflict (don’t ask) and then crawl inside my head until the secrets of the universe and, therefore, the conflict were discovered. It didn’t work, but it did give a nice Brain Age: Misery Version workout. Obviously it’s hard to have friends with that kind of behavior.

On the other hand, my Hummy Wummer Kippers would simply pretend to be a statue with all the fortitude and wisdom of a possum defending itself against an oncoming 18-wheeler. Friends were easy to come by with this technique, but in the same way that goldfish have an easy time finding loving owners.

Friend Tip: If you ever become someone’s “pet friend” don’t worry! All you need to do is become successful in a way they haven’t attained yet and you’ll be back to being without friends in no time!

All of this not-contacting-the-organisms-that-spawned-us-for-reasons has promoted tremendous growth, and I’m happy to say that we are significantly in the emotional black starting off Q3 2017. Our friendships could never be better, we both share in all sorts of self-respect, and projected estimates indicate that the small human with us will far exceed the past’s benchmarks.

However, in the midst of all this gaiety, the two of us are still contending with some fascinatingly uncomfortable new paradigm shifts.

Gregtopia is still filled with landmines all over. I could be talking about chili powder with my Dovey Blubber Foofs and will recall how she will prepare amazing food that my mother’s sexism found disgraceful. Thankfully, I now have landmine-resistant sandals, so the turmoil leaves within about 10 minutes.

On the other hand, Vickzchniastan has a few deactivated nukes sitting around her playgrounds and municipal water systems. Last Saturday, for example, we visited Laguna beach (which she used to love) and she hated it for multiple reasons (because she now hates it). For her, though, she now vacuums up the radiation with an EZ-Nuke shopvac, so the trauma only lasts about 12-60 hours at a time instead of at least a week.

In all of this shifting and changing and rearranging and reinventing, we both forgot what we like doing!

Though I enjoy writing and can video of the YouTubing, I don’t know what angle to go at it. The worst part is that I have about 5 choices to choose from:

  1. Make a video series about whatever the heck comes to mind, inspired by Adam Ruins Everything and my website
  2. Write something fictional that has likely been done before
  3. Write something fictional that probably hasn’t been done before
  4. Write a non-fictional account of my 35 jobs in 12 years
  5. Write a non-fictional account of the cult-like culture of marketing

At the same time, my Shooby Dooby is also having a creative slump:

  1. Making jewelry and other woman-targeted decorations
  2. Make books from scratch, magic and love
  3. Make and modify clothing for small people
  4. Make decorations for houses, mobile homes, RVs and tents
  5. Illustrate and draw random things

Pro Tip: The best way to achieve all your goals is to do nothing, since you can always succeed at that.

No New Adventures

One of the troubles with daily life is just how daily it is. As much as it would be nice to resolve all things immediately, God decided in His infinite wisdom to not let our dumb little impatiences and inane requests ruin the experience He meticulously crafted for those who He has called His children.

My job has been going quite well, and after years of desiring a coveted title followed by about 6 months of no longer caring about it I have now progressed in career capacity to the official work environment of “supervisor”.

Employment Tip: Your boss is just as human as you, but their authority comes solely from the fact that they can make you deeply consider your career decisions if you make them angry enough.

Now, granted, I’m working in a temporary position but, God-willing, I will be transitioned into a more permanent role. This doesn’t bother me too much, since the way I’ve discovered this role was by the pure fluke chance of God’s provision via random chance, but that’s a story for another day.

This job has forced my Scooby Bumpers and I to really really slow down on our life decisions. It’s amazing what a little bit of normalcy can do to your ability to relax!

Relaxation Tip: Never relax all the muscles in your body at once. If you do you’ll get a heart attack and large brown mess, in that order.

In this relative normalcy, God has Trumped our comfort zones and been draining the swamp. It hasn’t been very Hillarious, and we can honestly say that our congress in rectifying our feelings hasn’t reached a resolution.

Politics Tip: Fat people on Facebook are a reliable form of mass media, and even with the political discourse as heated as it is I don’t give two Pence worth about it.

Several months ago, God stomped out my selfish desire to be a missionary. In my ambition to over-zealously compensate for my horrible upbringing, I forgot that God needed to be glorified for it to happen. The current season has solidified this realization by teaching me to “tend the sheep” like Moses before I scale upwards later, though it’s a wife and son in this case instead of a bunch of dumb animals.

On the other end of the family chromosome mix is my dear Tubey Floobers, and recently the battle has been connected to discovering massive trust issues brought about by her mother. The trouble with trust issues is that it’s kinda hard to tell someone they have trust issues, and that has been a strange bickering and fighting ordeal loving and intimate connection between the two of us.

Logic Tip: Don’t bother wasting your time calling someone a liar or a hypocrite unless you have an audience. They always build a paradox to keep their facade real inside their mind. This statement is false, and you’re an idiot for thinking it isn’t.

Thankfully, we’re moving forward, but man God has a sense of timing that’s irritatingly slower than ours! At least the baby is getting bigger from all that food, and a bigger baby means a larger food bill, so that’s not necessarily a better thing.

So, overall, not much happening, except that we’re just carrying on in this season of dullness. Obviously, this isn’t to say it’s going to stay that way. Right now we’re still playing catchup with my past unemployment.

The great thing about saving money is that you get a chance to not die because someone in the payroll department took a vacation to visit Anchorage for a few weeks and left the temp without many instructions on how to carry on the work. The downside is that once you do acquire a means of gainful and legal money-making, it takes a few months to get back to living off of your prior paycheck.

Once money becomes more of a thing, we’ll have more fun and do more other things that take money, but for right now it’s simply waiting and getting older and closer to dying without doing all 354 things we want to do.

Family Tip: If you don’t like taking care of babies, just wait 3 years and they’ll stop being babies. It also is safer if you don’t wash them, since it can protect you from throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Wasteful Thinking

In recovering from many tragedies, we often attribute the answer to be an instantaneous conversion from the previously inopportune circumstance. More often than not, however, the reality of it is that we have to wait upon the provision of our solution.

This isn’t to say it’s hopeless. In fact, waiting on the answer to happen is significantly more enjoyable than waiting on the answer to become obvious. Arguably, most of the waiting a Christian will make is of the oblivious variety, but sometimes He’s nice enough to clue us in if He knows it won’t make us wet our pants.

Speaking of wet pants, the avoidance of doing so usually involves a toilet in the West, and that has been one of the more engaging matters we’ve been ruminating and reading upon.

Social Media Tip: It’s not good to share crap on the Internet, but it’s perfectly normal to talk about crap, so here we are.

For you newer readers, my Slurry Sealers and I have been living in a large fifth-wheel recreational vehicle from the early 1980’s. We received it from a pair of Christian siblings (Chris & Chloe Milligan, if you want to give a shoutout) that saw our complete destitution and gave it more lovingly than our then-stingy pride was willing to accept. A few months later God finally humbled us enough to accept it without hesitation, and they have been generous in letting us stay on their property in exchange for me doing miscellaneous things for them.

The first project was to make the roof stop imitating Swiss cheese, and that was a week of hard OSHA-uncertified labor. The second was pulling out the original vintage chic carpet and laying stick-on tiles. The third was curtains to keep the sun from making us die.

From there, the projects were put on hold for a while due to NMS (No Money Syndrome). With my rather amazing job at UPS, the work is continuing, starting with the second-greatest need known to man, which closely follows the first: a place to poop.

Sales Tip: As much as turd-polishing is considered best practices in much of the marketing world, they’re not usually being literal, though there are probably exceptions for manure sales.

This RV has trouble moving objects forward sometimes. A toilet, as you may know, runs a long conduit down from the hole you sit on into either a municipal system or, like in our case, a septic tank. Somebody in Engineering probably fell asleep at the drafting board and designed the thing to travel at a right angle. The man is now probably collecting his pension, but we still have to suffer his oversight, as a 90° angle serves as a crappy way to expedite the flow of goods to its intended destination.

An additional problem is that our black water valve doesn’t work, which makes the fancy RV breakdown fluids hard to use. It can stay open with a prybar and several hours away from other humans or can be hammered closed, and the budget requires us to wait on a new valve, since me being able to wear clothes to work and drive to work without an exploding car is slightly more important.

This hole problem has lent us some alternative approaches, and we’ve made a new business plan for it. We only have a few answers right now, but the Specialized Committee for Abatement of Toiletries (SCAT) made up of my Poopy Pushers and I have a few options at our disposal:

  1. We have a long snake that just barely reaches the bottom of the toilet, but it’s only long enough to touch on the problem approximately 47.356% of the time.
  2. There are some leftover garbage garden hoses sitting around the property, and we can often give a solid shove with a purging enema, but sometimes it backfires.
  3. Once we’ve gotten the black water valve replaced, we can start using heavy chemicals the way God intended.
  4. In the meantime, we’ve figured out that moist waste is moving waste, and the best way is to take a page from nature and keep it hydrated and topped off with water.

This problem may actually become a protracted one, since it keeps popping up and flowing abundantly over, and we’ve learned many life lessons through all of this. They are certain to serve to improve the quality of life for us in the long-term (somehow).

  • Liquid waste is worse than dried waste.
  • Dead maggots are easier to clean up than living ones, and those suckers get fat when they’ve got lots of food!
  • Human waste starts smelling like compost when you leave it in an enclosed space for 2 weeks
  • Most importantly, healthy eating makes it all better.

Hygiene Tip: When the weather outside gets frightful and you have no place to go, let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

Communicating Values

Though it’s a day late, happy Father’s Day! I’m sure you had a grand time-honored festival involving lederhosen, whipped cream and a slightly annoyed bulldog. For my Fuzzy Yummums, our new person and I it was a bit more toned down.

After fulfilling the routine and mostly uninteresting Sunday things, we spent time eating cake and reflecting upon our depressing brood and sorting through the right way to inspire our mix-and-match genetic hybrid to be a more qualified person after we’ve discovered precisely what God really looks like.

Family Tip: Always prepare your child for the miserable and unfulfilled adult life they will someday have. Get them working as soon as they can grab things. Teach them the value of silence once they can speak. Help them understand the value of hard work by forcing labor on them without compensation (there are no child labor laws for family yet!).

The two of us spent a good deal talking about the seemingly inpenetrable emotional constipation that both of our spawning families have, which has shown itself through some profoundly retarded communication, and for your educational pleasure I’ll share the current state of things along with projections for the future. If I had more time I’d use charts and make a diagram, but we’ll just pretend those things exist and won’t talk about them anymore.

The simplest communication problem is with the two notable individuals that raised my Flipperdoodle Hunhun. Her mother follows a formulaic system to reconnect with their daughter:

  1. Bring along Sperm Donor Divorced Father in the hopes that she passively submits to their undying implicit authority
  2. Avoid communicating with her in any way, shape or form if she asserts herself by asking to be respected
  3. Lurk around trying to find sources of information to make another approach, such as this blog
  4. Visit everyone she affiliated with her, including past workplaces and mothers of friends
  5. Repeat until daughter has finally seen the error of her ways

Her father uses a similarly simple system:

  1. Escape into games, work, drugs, infidelity and anything else that guarantees a genuine disconnect from other people and reality
  2. Do what anyone else says including ex-wives
  3. Recollect having a child, but keep mixing up names and birthdays from the drug abuse and forgetting which child goes to which mother

All in all, they don’t give us much trouble, though I imagine my Fudge Nuggers will have a unique and memorable experience involving the cops and a restraining order when her mother finally discovers our address.

Family  Tip: Don’t be afraid if your mother-in-law reads your blog; bank on it! The worst thing she can do is sue you for defamation. Codependency is even better, since they would never do anything to sabotage the implied connection with their Source Of All Things Good.

On the other end, things are a bit more amicable and…confusing, at least until last night.

A good God-focused marriage is like good therapy: past crap gets brought out, people talk out things, feelings are validated where nobody feels like a worthless piece of garbage freak, and everyone walks away feeling more human and somehow closer to perfection from it.

However, a bad marriage is a bit like being stuck in a concentration camp: past crap defines the current situation, nobody talks about anything meaningful, feelings are ammo for the other side, and the entire dynamic is a scraping power grab that looks like Game of Thrones if it was stupid and nobody was royalty.

I would clearly articulate my parents’ marriage as a “bad” marriage. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that I spent several decades being their Problem Dumpster. Once I discovered the bittersweet joyful misery of marriage that inspires growth and change, my own parents became weird.

Dysfunction is a bit like the game Hot Potato, except that it consists of several roles and some people actually learn to want those roles. For your convenience, here are the basic roles that all dysfunctional homes seem to play out:

  • Hero – seen as an infallible beacon of hope and promising results, but often has problems with happiness and self-worth, usually defines value through successes/failures
  • Scapegoat – seen as the anti-hero and always a screwup, has tons of problems and everyone assumes that it’s their purpose in life to fail
  • Mascot – the comedian, seen as the comic relief but never actually taken seriously, many of them aren’t actually funny either, usually acts as the peacemaker as well
  • Lost Child – not always a child but never actually “seen”, needs are never met because everyone’s focusing on fixing the Scapegoat

In a steadily improving or healthy home, these roles shift around all the time as each person changes and adapts to the miscellany that confronts our daily life. Unhealthy homes expect these to stay the same, which lends a lot of truth to shows like Arrested Development and Malcolm in the Middle.

Marriage Tip: Netflix is a great way to avoid having to spend money on things like dates or anniversary gifts.

In my upbringing, I was given the mixed potatoes of Hero and Scapegoat, which yielded a weird and quite unsexy inferiority/superiority complex. My mother tried to be the Hero, but her inability to take personal responsibility made her too conspicuously non-Hero-like. My father and brother would be the Silent Child and Mascot respectively, and then would swap roles when conflict happened. Life was good, well, minus the fact that everyone was unhappy, but good besides that little detail.

Now that I’ve married and started acting like it’s my God-given duty to take care of my wife and son before my extended family, it’s been difficult for roles to settle in my childhood home.

My brother moved back in and he became the Scapegoat, but he’s so much more patient and passive than I am that the conflicts are more sustained and less intense. The recent foray into marriage counseling was inspired by how my mom had become the Silent Child and wouldn’t have any of it, so recent developments have had her stealing the Scapegoat role from my brother and blaming everyone for it. My brother in turn took both the Mascot and Hero role while my dad became the Silent Child. This means that there’s no room for me in that family, since I’m no longer Scapegoat material and my brother’s the new Hero. My mom is forever bitter at me, but part of it could be marital jealousy. Eventually, my mom will probably successfully find a way to shove off the Scapegoat onto my brother, since my dad has quite a bit of experience staying under the radar. (breath) If my brother moves out or ever stops being the Hero, then they’ll come back around to try to connect with me, which incidentally has already happened.

About a month ago, my parents made an unusual request. Apparently, the marriage counselor “said” that distance from the family that is raising their newborn grandson is ideal for their marriage. My spidey senses were tingling for several reasons:

  1. What kind of marriage counselor gives guidance to cut off connection from family? Someone is obviously placing my Funny Bunny and I in a bad light.
  2. At the time I was unemployed, and what kind of parents decide to cut off communication or support at that moment? If I wanted to attain family shame I’d rather become a meth-head or go kill someone.
  3. If we were really causing problems in their marriage, the marriage counselor would have brought us in to talk. This smells like a bury-it-and-ignore-it tactic.

Gut instincts aside, I’ve honored their request. In fact, since they persisted in their vagueness, I drew a hard line to make everyone happier. I clarified that we’re not talking, with the exception of an emergency, until September 1st. In spite of this, my mother texted my Silly Slippers on Mother’s Day and my dad on Father’s Day. Apparently values mean nothing to them. Honestly, if they won’t abide by values then they can’t abide by the family we’re building here, since we must build our home in love, which can only come in spirit and truth. The tragedy is that most people desire to only stop at one of them.

Parenting Tip: Let your kids know all about what goes on with your extended family, since they see it already. We’ve already told our child all the details. We know he listened because he drooled more profusely as a response and then pooped.

Do What Works

A week ago, my Shambler Snuffers and I were brought a new blessing through my gainful consistent employment at UPS. Since then it has been a flurry of activity on our end from the mixed additional job of weed abatement that the property owner here has tasked me with.

Thankfully, only one of these jobs has a pretty steep learning curve. One of them involves me putting out fires regarding dispatching UPS drivers and the other involves me driving a tractor over a flat surface. I’ll have you guess which one.

Farming Tip: Make up songs in your head to pass the time while doing anything farm-related. It’s especially useful when you’ve bored of hearing every song that exists.

The job at UPS has been God-sent, but it hasn’t been without its unique challenges respective to our current situation. The most profound challenge has been in being able to pay for gas!

To quote Proverbs, “a rich man’s wealth is his stronghold, but a poor man’s poverty is his ruin”. Obviously working at a job is a great thing, but the whole act of commuting, paying bills, etcetera is typically paid with the previous paycheck, which was December 2nd of last year. By God’s grace, several dozen people along with Venture Church Beaumont have been more than generous in providing for our needs.

Pro Tip: The difference between someone in need and a mooch is that a mooch stays in need after the need has been fulfilled, and then sucks the life out of you after that.

This financial difficulty has been the cause of untold grief on my Gummy Wimpers’ end. About once every other day we bicker about it discuss in strong terminology about the minutiae of financial hardship.

The truth is that God permits this sort of thing to happen. For the both of us, it’s been a strong exercise in humility, since we both were raised by prideful families that believe that receiving something is akin to getting punched in the face.

However, when you really think about it, isn’t that a bit stupid? You’re breathing God’s air, eating His food, live on His property and are reading this using technology made from His raw materials. To believe we shouldn’t receive is a form of silly shortsightedness that gets us all in a boatload of spiritual trouble.

Conceit Tip: The best way to stay self-absorbed is to avoid anything that glorifies others. Between becoming a professional (something) and a stout atheism you’ll have most of your bases covered.

Of course, this barbershop quartet of pain wouldn’t be complete without the sharp falsetto of a small person’s crying. Babies do cry, but self-esteem issues and a brood of anti-social tendencies yields a lonely and mentally unstable Dippy Lippers. My Y chromosome happens to possess many benefits (lifting big things, tenaciously driven, good-looking all year round, etc) but one downside is that it inhibits my ability to relate on a feminine level.

Nevertheless, we press on. As long as nobody dies, we’ll all survive. Nietzsche once famously said “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, but all philosophers talk of “the good life” as a wonderful cascade of joy with suffering, happiness with tragedy, love with loss, and we are simply rolling out of a turbulent season into a different kind of turbulence.

Of course, on a spiritual level, there is much more at stake. What appear to be our smallest actions in context of eternity hold drastically more value. You may think you’re alone, but at all times there is an audience of angels and God Himself watching to see what you do when you feel you’re not being observed. Ironically, God’s got such a thing for transparency that He even indicates it in the Bible!

Spiritual Tip: They’re all watching you. All of them. They see you, and you can’t escape them. That’s why they flouridate your water and hide behind the mass media. All the smiling faces are part of the secret conspiracy.

The Dark Black Hole of the Soul

When you take on a really large project, it invariably becomes an emotional extension of yourself. This may be true for most creatives in their artsy-fartsy endeavors, but it rings true universally for the normies who don’t get emotionally connected to everything they ever touch ever.

Comedy Tip: Anything you’re personally familiar with is fair game for humor. Being married to my Gunky Slimers now allows me the freedom to make fun of black people, white people, Asians, mixed people, miscellaneously-raced people, college dropouts, college graduates, the uneducated, the poor, ex-addicts and people with delusions of competence.

For me, I devoted my heart and soul to the Philosopher Accountant, and the expectation was that it was a permanent fixture added to my life. However, like any parent of a 3.25-year-old, it was time to release my baby into the world and never bother with it again, hopefully expecting it to call at least once a year or so.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the timing. My Ducky Flippers and I have collectively never been through such a protracted and extreme form of poverty before. Outside of that God-changing-us-by-building-our-faith-through-ridiculous-hardships-that-come part of the poverty, I’ve created a much more analytical result out of it, and I will share it with all you lovely and/or ugly people.

Everyone has needs, obviously, and then they have wants. Wants and needs sit on a spectrum, but the more first world living you partake in the more you think your wants are actually needs:

  • Everyone needs to eat FOOD
    • It’s quite gainful to have a means to PREPARE that food to kill diseases and make inedible things be edible
      • Having a STOVE is simply a luxury, since it’s simply a fixed food preparation device
      • Having APPLIANCES are the same thing, and they’re usually meant to make everything easier
  • Everyone needs CLEAN DRINKING WATER
    • RUNNING WATER is quite convenient and decreases the likelihood of contracting various fun diseases
      • It doesn’t need to be through pipes, though!
  • Everyone needs SHELTER to stay protected from the elements
    • INTERIOR LIGHTING is simply a luxury, since the day has plenty of hours in it
    • CLIMATE CONTROL  is necessary only to the extent of protecting you from hazardous temperatures
      • HVAC of any type is purely a fancy luxury (and expensive in the hot and cold months!)
  • Everyone needs to STAY CLEAN, especially when society demands it
    • SOAP is necessary, and includes dish soap, laundry soap, hand/body soap, toothpaste, shampoo and hair conditioner
      • BRANDED SOAP is complete opulence, since you can make it yourself or buy equivalently good enough products at the dollar store
    • CLEAN CLOTHING is necessary to allow other first world people to take you seriously and actually talk to you
      • ELECTRIC/GAS WASHER & DRYER is complete convenience and a washer can be replaced with a clean plunger and a bucket, and drying can be air-dried
    • We all need a PLACE TO POOP, and the first world has many laws that inhibit where you can do the doodie duty
      • A TOILET is a wonderful thing, but it can be remedied just as easily with a shovel and/or a bush
    • A CLEAN HOUSE is nice, but it’s mostly to protect from diseases
      • BRANDED CLEANING PRODUCTS, like soap, does not need to cost much, and you can make it yourself or buy that at the dollar store as well
  • HOT WATER is a bit of a luxury as well, and has many uses due to our psychological connection with warmth
    • A SINK is connected to food preparation, hygiene and cleaning, but it certainly isn’t necessary
      • A DISHWASHER is really convenient, but is really unneeded
  • Finally, we all need SOMETHING TO DO, which historically had been in meeting all of the above needs
    • TECHNOLOGY like computers, televisions, cell phones and mobile devices are totally unnecessary to recreate
      • INTERNET ACCESS is even less necessary, but it can be gainful for researching about most things

In our own life, our extreme poverty has left us unable to even prepare food, take a hot shower or even use a toilet for a season. Some people would be mortified at this, but we’re pretty grateful, since it’s pretty much the lifestyle of 90% of the world.

This experience of ours has led us to realizing there are 3 major staples of the first world, and most people take it for granted so hard that they only complain when they fail:

  1. INDOOR PLUMBING – Running conduit through the drywall and plaster has been standard practice for a while now, but it’s to the point that it’s completely expected for it to work without incident. The downside is that when it fails it takes out the house’s structure with it or spews liquid that looks like chocolate and smells like the opposite of it.
  2. GAS/NATURAL GAS/KEROSENE/PROPANE – This is less prominent, except that everyone uses it for hot water. If you want to live further off the grid to avoid the conspiracy from affecting you (Hint: it still will) then living in an RV pretty much turns your lifeblood into propane. Even though it’s less prominent than plumbing, it’s still so vital that missing it would make many people cold and hungry. Except young bachelors, since most of them would just be cold.
  3. ELECTRICITY – Also known as man’s greatest servant, not a day goes by that you’re not using it in some way. Wrap it around a coil and its waste heat becomes  a source. Most meters use that same coil technology to bend a small bar. Connect it to a microwave transmitter set to a frequency that boils water and you’ll cook with it. Limit its transmission to being a rapid-fire Morse code signal and you have binary computer data. Without it we are practically helpless in the first world to fix our problems.

Anyway, this discovery has come right before a new development: I’m working again! I’ve now acquired gainful employment where people will pay money for me to do things!

Life Tip: Money is an arbitrary means of exchange meant to simplify the process of trading 55 cows for 10 wagons, but golly gee darn it’s useful to keep from not starving!

I’m working at a parcel service that was united some years ago. I’ll share more details about that after I actually start working at UPS!

Competence Tip: Don’t count your chickens before the watched pot boils, since a penny saved is early to rise. Don’t trust whitey, and always brush your teeth after every conversation.