PSA – Mental Health

Been a while since I posted. Today, I want to talk to you about therapy.

Reason being, is there are people I know who would benefit from it and refuse to go because of misconceptions, or poor experiences.

Well, this is for those of you who think therapy is bunk, or they want to screw with your head, or they can’t help you, or they’re just a bunch of fancy assholes with a degree that tells them how your brain works and you know better than them…

Here we go.

Therapy isn’t a bad thing.

I went to a therapist when I was feeling depressed. When I felt like killing myself. You know what happened? I lucked out. I got someone who cared about me, who was willing to see me almost immediately and someone who helped me overcome that low point in my life. I’m a normal guy. If I can benefit, anyone can.

Let’s dispel some myths I’ve heard.

Therapists only want to change my mind and talk me out of doing what I want to…
FALSE: Therapists want you to be 100% sure that what you want to do is what’s best for you. They will not try to change your mind. They will try to validate your feelings and work on whatever is causing you strife in your life. This goes for any Therapists, even for couples and family counseling. They want you to be healthy.

Therapists also DO NOT want to tell you how to live your life. Because if it blows up in your face, they don’t want to take the blame.

Therapy can’t really help me!
Well not with that attitude!

Therapy isn’t a magic bullet that will solve your problems. You go when you feel a need to, you talk about your problems in safe environment, and you develop a plan to begin to fix them, with an unbiased party who is being paid to be concerned about you!

Therapists want to help you. The only way they can’t, is if you don’t let them.

Therapy is really expensive!
Actually, no.

Therapy can be as affordable as you want it to be. Many times, your school or job will either have a department of mental health professionals, or your insurance will cover some of the cost.

You can always ask.

Even if it does end up being expensive, isn’t your emotional, and cognitive well-being worth it?

Just like any other sickness, a mental one can be dangerous and even kill you if left unchecked.

I had a bad experience with a mental health professional and it turned me off…
Well, I’m sorry about that. That really is a shame. Because there are so many of them! If one doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean they all won’t. A brain isn’t like an engine. There’s no manual and different methods might work better for some people than others.

You should never be afraid or timid in finding a new mental health professional if you think one isn’t helping you quite right.

It’s your brain and your job to keep it healthy!

A quick aside; if someone tells you that you may benefit from therapy, even if you don’t agree, realize they are telling you because they care about you and want you to be happy and healthy. Some offices will offer free screening, and it’s in your best interest, if you’re sad or find that life is hard, or that someone cared enough about you to recommend it, that you take a few minutes and ask a professional.

I realize this is a bit disorganized, and I’ll clean the post up and add new things if people gives me more myths. I want people, everyone, to know that therapy isn’t a bad thing. And it could save your life. Because I know it helped save mine. Also a little help never hurt anyone.

So please people, take care of your brain.

Day 2

Yup. Still miss her.

Today, I worked. In a miracle brought about of my own gumption… I got the Miata to fire… For about a second. It then proceeded to cough up smoke and die. Oh well, should probably check all my grounds and make sure it’s all wired up correctly. Lord, if I could get the Miata squared away, I could start focusing on the G. Oh the things I would do if I had money.

As per usual, cars serve as a very appropriate distraction.

Went to a local meet at Guptill’s Arena… Lots of Hondas… Wasn’t super impressed. My buddy brought his Black Evo X out to play, and we ran into his buddy with a Red Evo X. An NSX appeared at the meet followed by a new Boss 302, which was lovely.

On the drive home, I caught myself missing her, and wishing she’d been with me… Even if she was bored with the cars. My buddy brought his girl out with him, and it really made me miss the companionship… Now, I’m sitting here again, regretting my poor decisions and hoping against hope I have the chance to right my wrongs, not that I deserve or expect that chance.

Parting Thoughts?

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Miss her.

Alright, so I couldn’t post this on any traditional social media sites, because I couldn’t risk her seeing it… But I need to write it out.

I screwed up and it forced my girlfriend to break up with me… That happened yesterday morning. It’s been a little over 24 hours… And I feel awful.

She said she needed 2 weeks to get her mind right, I agreed that was fine. We’re broken up while she does it so if she feels she’s done she can just split. I did the legwork, grabbed whatever I could find of hers in my house. There’s still odds and ends I’m sure, because life gets frayed and sometimes bits get lost in the shuffle.

She made me a hat… Crocheted me one. I couldn’t even look at it yesterday because I had no idea if I’d ever see her again. Today, I put it on my head, because it’s cold… And because I wanted to remember her. Maybe I should let her go now, so it doesn’t hurt me more later, but I just can’t…

I still really care about her. I want her to have her space, and I want her to do what’s best for her… Not me… If she doesn’t come back… Well, I’ll accept it… That thought hurts a lot right now, that she might not come back.

My writing in this post will be a little… “Not normal” is the best way I can describe it, as I don’t know what my head is up to right now.

I started Therapy… Because I feel like there’s something wrong with my head and I want to figure out what it is, fix it if I can. Failing that, I just want to change and not be the man I was.

I feel like a bad man… But everyone says I’m not. They say I’m a foolish man, but I’m not bad. I don’t know enough about myself or my head to make that judgement right now.

I’m tired… More so than usual. If I am depressed, or not… I’m certainly lower than usual today. I drove to work in a mental fog. I have no idea how I made it. Don’t remember the journey. I just somehow got to work. Even know, my brain is misfiring, like an engine in a poor state of tune.

I suppose if nothing else, I still have enough wit left in me to relate things to cars.

Speaking of, just to go off topic and keep with the theme of random and senseless… The miata exists still. I got hopefully the last part to make it run. A silly little subharness that links the injectors and coil packs to the ECU. That shop that was working on my car (3oK Motorsports, great guys, know their shit) said it should be all that’s left. If it is, perhaps a full restoration is in order ;)

Cars keep my brain occupied.

She got me a DS… My Ex, not the miata, before we broke up… I haven’t played it this whole week, because it reminded me of her, and I always felt, teetering on the edge of together (this week) that I should be focusing on her and not distracting myself. Now, I need the distraction…

Because we shared accounts… Hulu and Netflix… More me piggybacking off hers… I finally decided to set up my own. Because that way, she could delete my viewer profile and there’d be one less thing to make her think about me. I’m sure she’s doing enough of that.
It’s my fault I’m here. But I truly want to change. I want to be a different man, and I want to be different for her… Even if she’s not in my life anymore. Because I don’t want to do what I did to her to anyone else.

My maddened rantings have probably long since lost your interest… So I’ll leave you with this parting thought and then wrap it up…

If someone finds an important enough reason to change… They can, and will. Because in reality, they are the one thing they can control fully.

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“Every setback is a set-up for a comeback.” – Unknown.

Why the Finale of Dexter Actually Was Good

**Warning: Spoilers for Dexter Season 8, as well as the series as a whole to follow… you’ve been warned.**

About 2 days ago, I finally saw the Series Finale to Dexter (for the second time). I watched the show almost completely on Netflix for the first time all the way through, and I have to say: I enjoyed every minute of it…

Dexter, and all the people he interacts with on a daily basis, are just that… People. They’re flawed and they make mistakes, everything from moral ones to mistakes on their jobs, and above all else, there’s consequences to every action; Even Dexter’s own. Karma is a harsh mistress, and the only reason some of us are able to get on with our lives, is the belief that those who have wronged us will in turn have some kind of hardship visited on them as some form of universal reparations.

Cosmic Balance, one might say.

Yet Dexter, it seems, never has to deal with this concept. How many lives has he destroyed? Yes, plenty of murderers, pedophiles, and psychopaths… But also, his sister, LaGuerta, Doakes, Hannah, Rita, Astor and Cody… Innocents… Caught between him, and his dark desires… What is his punishment?

His punishment is the reason I think the finale was good… He lives.

“He lived through the whole series!” some might say, but did he really? He was alive surely… But he prosecuted his actions without remorse, time and again, without empathy or guilt, he killed. Here’s the interesting part though: as the series wore on he became human. He experienced love, and true loss, fear, pride, a sense of true justice (in Lumen’s case). More than that, he began to feel at all.

At the end, we see him living in his self-imposed exile, and he looks at us (the viewers)… One would imagine he should have died in that hurricane, that he ventured in hoping for it… Yet, instead, through his own guile, or because someone was keeping his head above the water, he survived… His punishment, and his torture, is that every day he is confronted by who and what he perceives himself to be: a monster, and he has to live with what he’s done. More so, he has to live without the human connections that gave his life true meaning.

Discovering his humanity and then being deprived of it… Forced to continue living… I see no greater anguish. Death is easy in the world of Dexter, it happens and then it’s over. If Dexter was killed, he would be gone, yes. But would he be punished?

The alternate ending of Dexter, which was thought up by one of the writers who jumped ship after Season 4 (Trinity Killer), describes the end of Dexter, as the whole series being a flashback, as Dexter was being administered the fatal drugs during the course of his execution. I like this ending less, although I would have loved to see it, because of the fact that it would make everything that the viewer sat through, meaningless. Whether it actually happened, or not. Dex dead means he’s learned nothing but that the state thinks he was wrong for taking it into his own hands. What actually happened… The ending that was actually filmed, may have been slightly rushed, but it was an ending that provoked my researching far enough to find this other ending, and thinking enough to write all this out… I guess by any measure, it was cerebral television.

 Now, a lot of people still hate it, and if you’re one of them, then I’m sorry. But you knew what you were getting into from the title of the piece. I hoped you enjoyed the show and can reminisce about it for time to come, I know I will.

–Taylor

Spec Dreams…

Haven’t been real active lately…

Quick update: I bought a 95 240 a while back, well I forgot to get a title; thank you Connecticut and your weird registration regulations, so I bought myself a 95 Miata… Well the main wiring harness caught on fire (in a shop) and well, that’s more or less in the process of being rewired (Thank you Planet Miata and Treasure Coast Miata) but yeah, that’s out of commission too.

So, I kinda fell into a new(er) car… I lucked out… I got’s me a 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe. 6spd ‘natch. Brembos… and a little hidden surprise that I won’t go into here. At least not now. It’s got Navi, Bose, Leather, even Ass-warmers, and as you’d expect of a 10-year old car Nissan Infiniti, everything still works! It’s like a dream come true. It’s reasonably fast and handles well, but it’s my A-B car… More or less anyways. It’s a little too fast for me.

I haven’t really done any competitive or hard driving. All I’ve done is some occasional recreational go-karting… But since I have a Miata sitting in my garage that I no longer have to worry about using as transportation, I was looking into some real racing.

Also, of note, an indoor cart track opened up recently. It’s called FastTrax and they’re pretty srs bsns!

But yeah, real racing… Mazda has really caught my eye of late. The new 6 looks great and my stepdad was considering it, the Speed3 has always been something I’ve been interested in, I have a Miata lying around, and the 2… Well, that 2 is what’s drawing me in.

I’m not sure how many people pay attention to this sort of thing, but since you’re reading my blog, I’ll assume you know Mazda has been pushing for a new racing Spec to be created: B-Spec. Basically, entry level cars from all kinds of manufacturers, Nissan’s Versa, Mazda’s 2, Honda’s Fit, and Mini’s Cooper are some of the potential rides you can bring. Now as we all know, racing is expensive, but Mazda is trying to make it easier for all of us. The cars listed above all clock in below $20k new and the Mazda2 and Versa clock in below $16k! You get these cheap cars, strip the unnecessary bits (carpet, spare tire, etc.), weld in a cage, pop a racing seat in, switch the wheels and tires to something a bit “racier” and hit the track!

It’s more or less showroom stock. Some modifications can be made, but power to weight generally stays around 23-1. But what this translates to, is affordable wheel-to-wheel racing for the masses! A very cool concept!

Now I don’t have money for that!? So what’s a Cursed-driver to do?

Well, option 2: Spec Miata racing.

Spec Miata racing for those that don’t know, has been around for quite a while. Newer cars must actually limit power to keep the older cars competitive. It’s not terribly expensive to get into and a lot of work you can do yourself, like suspension upgrades, engine cleanups and wheels and tires. Of course, my 94 needs a little work (read: rust repair), thank you North East. But that’s okay, I may have to get rid of my 240SXs, but at least I can have the Miata to wrench on and make into a race car. Someday I might like to have it drift too… Mmm, Pipe Dreams…

Anyways, that’s where I’m at.

Computer Security for Laymen(and Women)

I was driving around tonight, with lots of liquor in my car listening to the radio… What I heard was a guy complaining about his facebook getting hacked. A lot. That bothered me, and as such prompted me to do a short(ish) writeup about internet/computer security, for people who have no idea how a computer works (most of us)…

For starters, if you’ve noticed your e-mail or facebook sending out messages without you, and lots of angry friends bitching about spam, it’s time to get a bit more serious about your security… We live on our computers now and if you can’t protect your digital life, you’re going to regret it.

Good news and bad news. Bad News first: you cannot make your digital life 100% secure, because dedicated people (asshats) will find a way. Even if you disconnect from the internet. Good news is that most of us don’t warrant this kind of attention and most spam attacks and mundane things happen because people aren’t smart or careful. With a few simple steps, you can secure your digital life in such a way that most things won’t bother you.

For starters, let’s make sure your PC isn’t infected, or if it is, it’s cleaned. My advice, if you’re running Windows, go and download Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free, doesn’t slow down your computer, and will clean off a lot of crap. It ignores spyware, those annoying cookies that track your online info, but it will clean off keyloggers (programs which track your keystrokes and steal your passwords), trojans (viruses masquerading as legit programs) and worms (self-replicating resource hogs). If you want to clean spyware too, google SuperANTISpyware. It works.

Now that your computer is clean, let’s start being smart… Common sense. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS!!! Got it?

Allow me to elaborate.

When you make a simple password, be it short, something important to you, or based off a dictionary word, can be cracked easily. My advice is use stupidly long passwords, because most people can’t guess them and it takes PCs a long time to break them, just make sure you remember them. If you DON’T go the obnoxiously-long route, try alt-codes, special characters, underscores… Anything not normal. Because it takes more time to guess. ALSO if possible, DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD TWICE. Don’t use the same phrase for different accounts unless you can’t help yourself. 

I don’t expect anyone to completely change their habbits of how they use their computers after reading this. But a little common-sense and know-how goes a long way. If you want to know more, feel free to leave comments or e-mail me. 

Played my first game of Warhammer 40k Today…

So, I’ve been collecting Dark Angels for a fair bit now… A couple months. Since Dark Vengeance launched I guess. I have painted a 1500 point force and a friend from work happened to have a few armies, that he said he’d be happy to teach me how to play with.

Well I went to my local hobby center, of course no one besides me and him were there. Decent sized table. OpFor is Grey Knights.

My force:
Company Master with a Monster Slayer of Caliban and Artificer Armor
Mastery Level 2 Libararian with Foe Smiter and Meltabombs
2 Tactical Squads, with Vet Sergeants.
|_Squad 1 – Vet with Chainsword & Plasma Pistol, 7 Bolters, 1 Plasma Rifle, and 1 Plasma Cannon
|_ Squad 2 – Vet with Power Mace & bolt pistol, 7 Bolters, 1 Meltagun, 1 Missle Launcher
Deathwing Terminator Sqaud (Power Sword & Storm Bolter, SB&PF, SB&PF, SB&CF, AC&PF)
Ravenwing Attack Squad with Vet Sergeant w/ Chainsword, 1 biker with Plasma Rifle, 1 with Bolt Pistol
Ravenwing Support sqaudron (1 speeder) with Assault Cannon and Heavy Bolter
Rhino with Storm Bolter and HK Missle
Dreadnought with Missle Launcher and LasCannon.

OpFor – Grey Knights
1 Dreadnight with Nemesis Forceweapon
2 Sqauds of Justicars(?)
1 Squad of Paladins
1 Grand master
1 Champion
1 Vindicare Assassian

Short story is he blew up most of my bikes… Then Psy-Quaked me which broke my teleport homers. He worked the Dreadknight into close combat before I could kill it… Then occupied a shitload of my units for the whole game.

His sword was instant death and murdered my master, librarian, and their command squad, as well as most of my termies… Couldn’t punch through the armor. Plus 4 wounds. Come on…

I had to leave before the conclusion of the game, but I was able to kill his vindicare assassin (after he shrugged off 2 lascannon shots…) with my dread. Also used the speeder to whittle down his Justicars…

The dice did not roll well and I lost every unit using plasma to his own gun… Was quite pathetic. I rolled a lot of ones…

All in all, even though I lost, I learned more about movement, and how the actual game is played. It got me to think, and I can’t wait to play again, even though I’ll probably get roflstomped.