Monday, February 28, 2011

Edahn's Workout Tips

Talk to me, I'm listening.

This dude used my workout tips
A LOT OF PEOPLE are trying to get in shape and live healthier right now. On the one hand, I commend their effort. But on the other hand, I see the stress and turmoil they undergo trying to look good and impress their friend(s). It's really a shame, you know? Because you can achieve the same results with barely any work at all with my simple and easy-to-implement X-treme workout tips, which I will reveal to you, my dearest reader(s), right now, for free. (Donations welcome, and mandatory.)

  1. Wear baggy clothes. The biggest guys at the gym wear ultra baggy clothes. Why? I have no idea. Maybe they're ashamed of their disgusting .01% body fat. But you'd never know, because they're carefully clad like an orthodox Jewish woman: no shorts, long sleeve shirt, and a hat. So before you hit the gym, check to ensure that none of your skin is visible. The more you look like you're going to play in the snow, the better.
  2. Keep yourself well groomed. How many bodybuilders have you seen with long hair? That's right, zero. Because muscles and hair length are inversely proportional. h=1/m^2
  3. Look bored and uninterested. Tough guys don't go to the gym to have fun. They don't understand fun. They only understand two things: effort and results and steroids. The more miserable you look, the better.
  4. Don't lift any weights. The biggest guys at the gym don't lift any weights, they just do occasional stretching. This makes sense, because logically, if you're really massive and ripped you don't need to work out anymore. Don't make the mistake of lifting weights. It's a total rookie move.
  5. Say hello to every who's dressed like you. Bodybuilders are socially required to greet and flirt with other bodybuilders, by law. Trust me, I'm a lawyer. Also, if you see any girls, you're obligated to give them a workout tip or say something at them as they walk away from you. Try this handy, patented formula: 1. Superficial compliment. 2. Weren't you on the butt machine a few minutes ago? OR Hey it's [compare her to a celebrity (neg)] 3. Aww, why you gotta dis a brother like that?! Now smile big, turn around, and back to your workout! There ya go! Yer gettin' huge!
  6. Keep a huge duffel bag with you with lots of stuff. To be honest, it doesn't matter what's in there. You can fill it with Mickey Mouse figurines for all I care. Just make sure you carry it around wherever you go, even if you go get a drink of water. You never know when you'll need Mickey's ayuda.
  7. Eat and drink the whole time. Yep. The more food the better. When you start, you can just take a protein shake. Next week, bring a blender and some fresh produce. As you keep working out, you're going to want to graduate to more elaborate food in bigger portions. You might, for instance, choose to fill the duffel bag (see 6) with a cooked turkey and periodically take small handfuls as a snack. This will impress everyone.
  8. Last but not least, talk about supplements. That's right... "supplements." You know a guy...You're not gonna say anything else, but you know a guy. He can, you know, "help."
So take it from me, America. Stop throwing your life away trying to get healthy and start using my guaranteed tips to make you bigger, stronger, faster, and immediately sexier.

I'm probably gonna get my ass kicked for writing this.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do my homework

Fucking bullies.
Hi Edahn 
I have a couple questions for you.
1. What's a freedom for you?
2. What is a society view of a mother and the father?
3. Can't they still be a mother and the father even if they don't follow society view?
Keep it short. It's my little project for class. It's due tomorrow.
Thanks. I appreciate it.
WELL, IF THERE'S ONE thing I love, it's doing other people's homework for free. Let's get to it:

1. What's freedom to me? Freedom is understanding how your mind works and not letting it boss you around, so you can make wise choices despite all the incessant chattering and doubting and confusion your mind exudes.

2. What is a society view of a mother and the father? I'm not sure what this means. Mothers are people who give birth to offspring, and fathers are people who sire those offspring. Society places certain expectations on mothers and father like don't beat your children, feed them, take care of them, nurture them. Many of the basic expectations are enforced legally and socially (meaning, by social condemnation and gossip) whereas the more subtle expectations like make sure your kids are successful, make sure they get married, etc. are enforced socially only. 

There are also some expectations we place on the relationships between mothers and fathers, but those change faster. For instance, we used to expect mothers and father to stay married despite whatever conflict might arise, but now that's not the case. We still have certain legal rules to try and encourage people to stay married, in fact, I think that's the main purpose of signing a marital contract--it locks you in and makes it messier to leave--but the penalties for breaking these rules aren't as harsh. In addition, these expectations regarding the relationship between the parents are enforced socially. If you start talking about getting a divorce or cheat on your spouse, many people start to gossip about you and may even excommunicate you. In other words, the judgments are a way that society tries to deter you from breaking these expectations.

tl;dr: Society has lots of views that are changing. They're mostly aimed at keeping the family together, preventing cheating, and protecting children.

3. Can't they still be a mother and the father even if they don't follow society view? Views are just views. The question is whether those views are legally prohibited, meaning, can society force you to act in conformance with its views by taking away something you cherish, like a child or a benefit (property, rights). Some views are legally enforceable, some are not. For instance, a parent can't beat their kid or society takes them away. But at the same time, a parent can teach their child about atheism, even though a majority of Americans would probably view that as immoral (out of ignorance).

So if two parents wanted to beat their kids which is socially unacceptable and legally prohibited, they would get their kids taken away. They would still be parents in a biological sense, but in a legal sense, they would get their parental rights revoked. If, however, they wanted to teach their kids about atheism which is socially unacceptable but legally allowed, they would keep their parental rights.

Next time you do my homework.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Night Musings

Hello everyone. No question tonight, but that's okay. AskEdahn is changing and that's okay by me. I'm still here to discuss your life, should you ever feel the urge to talk or ask for a second opinion. Click the [ask me] button to your left.

My life has been interesting lately. I took a job managing content and doing some social networking for a startup company. It's good to be doing something typical again, and I appreciate the structure a 9-to-5 gives me. At the same time, I've felt disconnected from my values and goals.

I opened up a new journal today and started writing about that and got to this question: do I want to live my life comfortable and humbly, or do I want to try and do great things like reform law and politics and the way we live our lives. I think I have some good ideas, but it'll take a lot of work. A lot. A lot a lot.

Then I pondered a third option...letting my intuition take over and decide for me. I've felt the strong pull of intuition before. It's like a compass that tells you what to do in this moment. I think that's what I'm really looking for in life. It comes down to certainty and knowing that the step you take is the correct one.

I go back and forth about whether there is such a thing. Something I think there is, other times I think there isn't, and yet other times I think that I should think there isn't so I can see that there is. It's all really fascinating when you get down to the fundamentals of personality, motivation, and wisdom.

For now, I suppose I'll keep searching and experimenting different approaches to life until I find that cosmic compass. Have a good Saturday night.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Liberal Fundamentalists: stop it

LATELY, I'VE WITNESSED THE proliferation of what I call Liberal Fundamentalism. What I see as the common strand between all fundamentalists is the violence and aggression in their voice and the way they use that aggression to malign opponents, craft one-sided arguments and fail to take responsibility for their own actions, often while portraying themselves (or the group they identify with) as victims. Anger, viewed as a kind of hybrid emotion-meme, works its way into certain philosophies like a retrovirus. It finds finds something to bond to and then nudges its way in, changing the nature of that thing. You can look at any religious system/philosophy and see anger infiltrate it and reshape it: Islam, Christianity, Capitalism, Conservatism sometimes Judaism too. A system--that I believe was constructed with good intentions--gets corrupted and reproduced in a new, anger-driven form.

In the past, I believed that liberal philosophy was safe from the clutches of anger because I used to believe that liberals would always be driven by fairness and would be able to stick to their principles and integrity. Maybe I was naive, maybe just optimistic. But, I now think I was wrong. The anger virus has penetrated the liberal narrative and has tried to change it. Anger (viewed as an independent agent) and those who espouse it have practiced the aggression-victimization-me-vs.-you game and, by virtue of labeling themselves as liberals, have changed what it means to be liberal in a way that I no longer identify with.

The primary example is how the liberal narrative has seemed to collaborate against Israel. Now wait. You're going to say that I'm just spinning things and being unfair and paranoid and that Israel is wrong wrong wrong and needs to be condemned and brought to justice, etc. But that's actually exactly what I'm talking about. It's not that Israel is a country that's irreproachable. If I believed that, I would be guilty of the exact thing I'm lamenting in this post. Israel does need to examine its policies and practices and collaborate with others to help generate solutions, for sure. What I'm talking about is the way people--and I notice this more on sites like Reddit and in university students--push Israel away, chastise it, vilify it, and generally exercise aggression towards it. The UN does it, fundamentalists (Jewish or Arab) do it, college students do it.

It breaks my heart because it doesn't solve anything and just makes matters worse. It really, honestly, actually fans the flames of hatred and estrangement and furthers the cycle of violence. And the great irony is that these proponents claim to be doing this to stop violence! They don't appreciate the irony and futility of using anger (the antecedent of violence) to end violence.

I want to consider myself a liberal and in fact, I still pretty much do. But I will no longer consider the fundamentalist strains that have infected liberal thought in the UN or in American politics or among college students as being liberal. Being liberal to me represents a belief and commitment to values and integrity and to practicing non-violence. I hope we get better at calling out angry forms of rhetoric when we see it and finding superior, non-violent ways to communicate our disappointment.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just Do Something, Dammit Club

We're starting a new club. It's called the Just Do Something, Dammit Club, or JDSD Club. It's a club for people who spend too much time pondering how to do good things in the world and not enough time actually doing anything. The idea is to just pick something that's good and do it, even if it's not perfect. As long as it's good and non-violent, it's acceptable. And, it should be as fun as possible.

Each gathering will have a mission that whoever participates will aim for. The gatherings can all over the world. Two missions per month. Missions are decided by majority.

* * *

MISSION 1: Make Smiling Go Viral
DETAILS: Create flyers with happy faces on them and pass them around. Make sure people know that once they receive the flyer, they need to pass it off to someone else who is smiling and give them the same instruction. Instructions should be on the flyer too. Print 200 flyers, pass them out in a crowded area, and videotape the action. Every person in the group must bring at least one friend.
DATE: 2/27

If you have ideas for missions, drop em in the comments. I'm excited to see what you think.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Everything's Okay

I don't know what the hell this is, but I googled
imperfection and it looked cool.
I started this blog a couple years ago because I got pissed off with the owner of the last site I was working for, I've never really been good with authority. I'm okay with that, since I think most authoritative figures suck. :)

I started that work because I like helping people. I still like helping people. I want people around me to have a chance to be at ease and to know that everything's okay, even if it's kinda messed up. It's something I struggle with at times, but when I see other people struggling with it, I know how to help them and I naturally help myself by extension. Helping other people can be a form of psychotherapy for both the therapist and the client.

I really think everything -- our sanity and happiness -- comes down to how deeply we know that everything's okay, and how well we're able to maintain that knowledge in the face of panic-inducing fear. Calling it "knowledge" is a misnomer because it makes you think you have to think it and force it into your head. That'll never work, because the premise it's based on is that everything's not okay and needs to be fixed through rationalization.

I think we all naturally know that everything's okay and that we're okay, and that other people are okay. That insight is already embedded within us. It just takes the right amount of attention and direction to realize it. And patience. But maybe most of all, it takes someone who believes that things are really okay: a parent, a mentor, a friend, a therapist, a sibling; someone to look at you with conviction and tell you with their words and with their body language that everything's cool and that it's okay to be imperfect. That's a very sacred responsibility.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

There is No Path

I've got 15 minutes to write about something brilliant before Starbucks evicts me. Here goes.

Tonight's topic is going to be about direction. Yeah yeah, I talk about this a lot, but this is going to be a little different.

In the past I've advocated the position that people can find their direction, or rather, their compass, through introspection and quieting the mind. But this explanation, true or not, always leads to complications, because in trying to quiet the mind, all you do is make noise, force it, twist it, control it, deny it, hold onto it, etc.

This is why Zen Buddhism is so fucking weird. The Zen Masters of yore knew that any instruction would send you on a mental expedition, and that was antithetical to their goal, which was less thinking and abstraction.

It occurred to me last weekend that direction is really what we're all searching for all the time. We want to know that we're on the right path to somewhere. We might not know where, but we want to be on the right path. We check to see if we're on that path constantly, and when we face uncertainty, we typically try and avoid it or hide it with a bunch of clever tools: intellectualization, denial, anger, and distraction to name a few prominent tactics.

We want certainty.

But the truth is, we don't have it. And we don't really know how to to get it. When we're really exhausted and we realize the futility of our efforts, we come to the conclusion that we don't know.

Don't know.

This happens to be the mantra used in Korean Zen. "What am I?" on the in-breath and "Don't know" on the out-breath.

Don't know is scary. It's scary as fuck when you admit that your mind hasn't really helped you get clarity and make progress on your issues. Maybe you've come up with a few nifty clues to soothe you temporarily, but major progress has been elusive. And now you don't know what the fuck you're going to do or even how to move on correctly. You don't know the path out of your confusion and the path into peace.

But it's also unique and interesting. When you really admit your cluelessness and give up trying to think your way to somewhere better, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you no longer have to control things or solve things. There's something special in that space of confusion, something sacred.

Namaste. (What does that even mean? lol)

Long time no talk

Alright folks, time for a new post.

I finally got a job, and I can say it now because my trial period is over. I'm writing and doing -- surprise -- social media marketing for a small company that you'll hear about soon enough. :) It's better than law in a lot of ways because I can be more creative and interact with humans more without the legalese barrier. Just a marketing barrier. It's nice. :)

I'm Starbucks right now and the couple next to me is on a first, or maybe second date. Man is this shit awkward. You know your date sucks when people not on your date are weirded out by your awkward silences. LOL.

I sent in my application for CSUN -- Jesus Christ this silence is killing me. Maybe I should spill my coffee on them to shake things up. Just kidding, I didn't buy any coffee. I'm just internet stealing. Anyway, I applied to CSUN's MFT program so I can become a legit therapist. I'm excited. Apprehensive, but excited.

I'm pretty sure my computer has an STD. The -- no, I didn't give it to him -- cursor keeps skipping around. It's like it wants me to click somewhere else or open some folder really bad and show me something. But what? Maybe it's an antivirus program, lol. ;)

Still silent over there. There's starting to stare around and the fake-laugh (social lubricant laugh) is becoming more prominent. I don't get why people put themselves through this kinda stuff. I mean, yeah, in theory, they want sex and social approval, but I wonder sometimes: is it really worth it? I'm not always sure.

I'm rambling, I know, but it's been a while since we've talked. Write me! You don't have to me a question. You can just say hi or leave a comment somewhere. Whatevs. TTYL old friends!

I got my site did!

What do you think? It's amazing, right? I know.


Someone write me a frikkin' question or give me a topic to blather about.