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OftenBen  ·  101 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 10, 2018


It's almost non-news to us, ha. Just formalizing something we both have felt and known for a while.

OftenBen  ·  251 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: If someone gives you a badge, can you then give it away?

You don't get to give away badges that your content has been given.

OftenBen  ·  438 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 8, 2017

Of the two full-time projects that pay my salary: One is wrapping up and while there is some ongoing data collection, it's done paying out. The other is closing enrollment and is reducing in scale of time commitment dramatically. If I pursued no other projects, I'd be down to part-time come April or so.


I have been pursuing other things, with vigor. One research study ends? I'll start my own! The pilot program is expected to launch in May, assuming no hiccoughs with IRB. If the pilot data validates my feasibility tool, we're going to be applying for a grant to make it a multi-site study, possibly international if I can leverage my contacts in Rio, Copenhagen, London and/or Rome. This job is reducing from full time? I'll apply for a new one, at the suggestion of my bosses and with their full backing. If I'm accepted, I'll be directing clinical research operations for all of pediatric cardiology. Feelin' like a super badass, gotta admit. The hard work is finally starting to pay off.

My robust pleasure source and I keep finding excuses to spend the night together.

'Your house is closer to the hospital!'

'Your apartment is closer to my appointment on saturday'

'I'm worried my heat is going to go out and you're really warm.'

She's meeting my friends in two weekends, we're taking a short trip across the state for a concert.

Friday night I'm performing Beethoven's 9th with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under the direction of one of their founders, Ivan Fischer. We've been working on it for months and my German diction has never sounded better.

Thank you all, for everything.

Small edit, I've also lost a ton of weight in the past 3 weeks with no change in diet or exercise. I ate pizza yesterday and stepped on the scale this morning and it read 167.

OftenBen  ·  606 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 24, 2016

Have a surgeon and a date picked for the neck-needling procedure, it will be after I come back from my conference next month. I should be more worried about the business end that winds up in my right ventricle but the actual procedure doesn't scare me. It's the 'getting the probe in' and the recovery that worry me. Unfortunately, I will be conscious for the procedure. How conscious exactly is hard to say, but the anesthesiologist seems content to err on the side of more drugs rather than less drugs in my case. To quote him 'If it were solely up to me I'd have everybody knocked out for this procedure. When you come up here for yours, given your history, I'll add a little dissociative to your cocktail and keep the ativan on hand in case it's not working like we anticipate.' So, conscious, but likely too zonked to really be aware of being conscious. Yay medical science. He was also very happy with my weight loss, evidently the difference between 225 and 185 is substantial, anesthetically speaking. It widens the margin between 'Enough drugs to make surgery possible' and 'overdose' by a lot.

Choir starts back up next week, and I'm super excited to get back into that pattern. I've missed the routine of rehearsal. We're doing Beethoven this fall, I think. A few collaboration concerts with the Detroit Symphony and possibly the Toledo Symphony again.

My date went swimmingly, we're going to get dinner sometime this week. It's nice to reaffirm that there are kind, intelligent women that I get along with, if nothing else comes of it. Still 'talking to' a few other women too, because that's just the reality of dating, but it feels dishonest to some degree. I'll probably just put the rest politely on hold until I get a better vibe for where things are heading.

I'm going to go to New Orleans for Halloween I decided. I'm going to roadtrip both ways, probably spend a night in Nashville on the way home. I'm going to try and see something spooky, visit the crypt of Marie Laveau, eat copious amounts of spicy food.

OftenBen  ·  930 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How would you stop mass shootings?

As long as you have high levels of personal agency in a society you will have high potentials for violence. This whole debate is infuriating to me, because 'ban guns' is just playing whack a mole with the real issue which is 'How do you prevent individuals with antisocial tendencies from expressing them?'

Outlaw guns, we'll see a rise in the amount of bombings. And TONS of things can be made into pretty lethal explosive devices with very little know how.

Chlorine gas is toxic as hell and is made by infants on accident when they get into the cleaning supplies. We don't outlaw bleach, we keep it out of the hands of infants.

OftenBen  ·  997 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear hubski, why are you proud of yourself?

Well, when I joined hubski I was only going to school half-time with terrible grades, pretty overwhelmingly depressed with all the fun that brings, and I was certain that even if I graduated I'd never get a job that would allow me to live independent from my parents.

Since then I've graduated, found meaningful full time employment that continues to pleasantly surprise me with perks. I got a pretty kick ass new apartment (For the area/my price range) and I'm slowly furnishing it myself. (Still need a dining table and a bed that doesn't need an air pump.) This is all pretty normal stuff, but for somebody who struggled for a long time to find a good argument against suicide, it's a big deal.

OftenBen  ·  1092 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is LSD about to return to polite society?

I feel like something strange happened some time before I was born that goes beyond drugs/psychedelia. I look at pictures of Iran from the 60's and 70's, an iconic video taken at like 2am in a 7/11 in Orlando in 1987 of just people going about their random inebriated business, and how relaxed everyone seemed, how casually friendly they were. I look at all of this and I can't help but feel like as a species we missed something. Like we accidentally retarded our development at a key moment, and the past few decades have been playing catch up to where we were supposed to be. It might just be that I don't yet have kb levels of relevant geopolitical history, but I feel like the world stage that we inhabit now is somehow lesser than it was, lesser than it 'should be.' Maybe that's nonsense, but it's a fairly keen feeling I get from time to time.

OftenBen  ·  1124 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 25, 2015

Can it be both? Neither? (I'm doing my best to think outside of binaries, so the word 'or' has become a sign for me to pay attention)

OftenBen  ·  1152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 25, 2015

No class today, because my favorite professor slipped on ice and broke her wrist. So, with no deadlines pressing, I sat down with some warm socks, a blanket, a big mug of tea and an excellent book. Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher, third in the series Codex Alera. I just finished it and damn do I hate book hangovers. I WANT MORE!

I'm getting authentic Lamb tikka and naan in a few hours with my special lady friend, and I'm terribly excited to see her. We haven't managed more than a few, admittedly long conversations over the phone since V-Day, with various prior arrangements keeping us engaged in our own stuff over this past weekend.

And I must apologize for my disposition lately, I pushed at the dark and it pushed back. So to all/any who took offense at my accusatory tone, I am genuinely sorry. When I write in that way, I hear it differently than it comes across. I can get myself so worked up I feel like a cornered animal and behave accordingly.

OftenBen  ·  1285 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What does it mean to forgive?

lil is wise, and gives sage council.

Personally I have struggled with self-hate for a long time. Then I was upset at myself for hating myself.

When I started being mindful, and when I started accepting, just a little bit, that I might actually be allowed to be loved, I started to forgive myself. It didn't happen quick, and I still have to work on being forgiving, but it is possible.

Now, when I make a mistake, forget an assignment for school, burn some food, spend too much money, etc. My first response isn't 'You idiot, how could you be so stupid!' or 'Greedy, weak willed bastard, how could you do that?' Well, it is sometimes, but less of the time than it used to. My first, and healthier response is instead 'You are just as human as anyone else. You are allowed to make mistakes. You wouldn't judge a loved one so harshly as you judge yourself, so why would you judge yourself that way?' and in recognizing that, also recognize that if there is a way to make right what was wrong, to do it, and happily.

The reason that I judged (And still judge) myself more harshly than I judged the mistakes of others, because I did not have the same love for myself that I did for others. I also hold myself to a higher standard than I hold others, but that's a separate issue.