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 lifeblog, shady life choices + introspection
XANDER
 Posted: Jun 29 2016, 12:43 PM
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do you have a job where you could/would shout "YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY MAKES YOU A LITTLE BITCH" across the office at one of your bosses?

user posted image

does this blog seem like i make it up? there's a distinct possibility that it does. i am often confused by my life happening to me. i have a vague conviction that i am someone else's roleplay character. if i discover i'm the secret princess heir to the ninja village of diamonds in the next 5 years, we'll know.

anyways! that's not even the story! the story is when my general manager called me into his office the next day to be like, "sasha, u can't do that" and i was like, "LET ME TELL U THE STORY FRIEND, ON WHY I DID THAT" and my GM, bless his heart, is just like

user posted image

and we got to talking about personal development for the different managers, including him, and i admitted to him, "i don't think i can ever make it back into management with [hate boss] here. i'm never going to be the kind of person that [hate boss] promotes. i feel like to be that kind of person, i'd have to give up the best parts of me." and my GM nodded and said, "off the record, if you want to move forward, you have to get out of LA. as long as you're here, [hate boss] will hold you back."

user posted image

YOU MEAN I'M NOT PARANOID AND OVEREMOTIONAL ABOUT ONE ANGRY 30 Y/O MAN SABOTAGING MY CAREER???????? YOU MEAN I'M NOT REALLY A TERRIBLE PERSON AND HE'S JUST THE GUY WHO WAS MAN ENOUGH TO TELL ME?????? YOU MEAN THAT I DIDN'T MAKE THIS ALL UP IN MY HEAD????

FUCK

it's not like i want to work in car sales forever, but it's a whole other ball game for someone to confirm my worst fears. it's so, so hard to maintain trust in yourself and a sense of integrity when there's this authority figure insistently chipping away at your reality; it's hard not to cave to self-doubt and self-loathing. maybe i just tricked everyone that ever believed in me? but no, nope, i am not crazy!

yeah, definitely a roleplay character. PLUCKY HEROINE UNDER THE THUMB OF JADED MISOGYNIST, ANGER, INTRIGUE, CARS, CASINOS.

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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 10 2016, 03:42 PM
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this really needs another update but for now you get this

1. bojack horseman quotes / epiphanies i wish my ex would have

QUOTE
Why won't you go home?

I should. I know I should. I wish I could just go home and crawl into bed right now and not have to talk about anything or explain anything. And I wouldn't have to say, I'm sorry I left. I'm sorry I made things so difficult. I'm sorry I'm not the person I thought I was. I would just say, my day is good. And he would say, I love you.

You know the longer you keep lying to him, the harder it's going to get.


2. i went on a date to a bar. the manager said he would have the DJ play anything i wanted. this is what i asked for.



and they played it. and i danced do it. and i slayed.

the manager later began telling me his deep inner struggle about working with the 4 owners and managing the bar and IT KEEPS HAPPENING, THE THING, THE THING WITH PEOPLE'S DEEP INNER FEELINGS

i'll update you guys against soon about how DEBBIE TALKED TO ME FOR... AN HOUR AFTER MY SESSION, WHEN HER 5 O'CLOCK CANCELED.

i am not even opposed to this thing. i guess what i really struggle with is, HOW CAN I USE THIS POWER FOR GOOD?? AM I USING IT RIGHT??? am i actually helping anyone? i guess this is in line with the struggle of uprooting the deep belief of "i am secretly a monster/terrible person and i have you all fooled"; i have this urge to grab people and shake them and be like, 'NO, I'M REALLY ACTUALLY TERRIBLE, DON'T TELL ME!!!!'

but i am not terrible. i am not terrible. it will be okay.

POLKA TIME
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 10 2016, 06:54 PM
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SURPRISE YOU GET THAT UPDATE TODAY BECAUSE I FINISHED BOJACK AND I'LL WRITE AFTER I FINISH THIS COFFEE AND MY HEADACHE ABATES

there's a lot going on in the world, isn't there barbermonger? a lot is happening, and it is happening so. fast. it's hard to describe events as happening with some sort of reasonable chronology, or things fitting into a frame - and yet everything is within a frame. everything is happening all together.

my mom came and visited this past week. whenever she visits, she wants to do a bunch of things in LA, and i hate driving an hour and thirty minutes each way. i don't like driving! but usually i just go with it because whatever, she's here. but it bothers me, and it makes me unhappy, so this time, i was like, "hey mom? can you drive to [place] and then i'll drive back?" and she was like, "okay." like when we drove to my job on my day off to give the office some brownies. and she did! and i felt better because i didn't have to do all this extra driving, and i think it made her feel better, because i have a nice car and she got to be in control of a little extra something (my mom can get anxious.) it was just a small nudge in one direction, but it shifted the paradigm. i think everyone felt better. just because i stopped for a second, and decided to challenge the implied rule of a situation.

work is getting nicer, i think. i was the top salesperson in california last month. i've stopped needing so much from work, i guess - needing it to determine who i am, needing it to validate me as a person. i've stopped trying to force it to be all these different things, and in doing so, there is a greater peace and joy to it. i'm good at what i do, when i'm actually emotionally present for it: i'm good at talking to people. i'm the best at talking to people when i don't worry about it as much, and june was the great test of my "i could give a shit" attitude. i could give a shit! and i burned rubber, and looked good, and saved a lot of money.

as long as i'm in california, hateboss will keep me in my little sales box. that broke my heart, in some way: i felt defined by his holding me back. i thought i needed the title 'MANAGER' to prove i had those qualities. but i don't. i don't need him. i don't need the title. and maybe that power, right now, is bad for me, because where i'm at now, i'm still growing. i'm learning how to let people need me and depend on me still. and i need to accept where i'm at, right now, instead of constantly mourning the future i didn't get. was it really going to be good for me anyways?

i talk about my ex in therapy a lot. last week, i talked to debbie about a really bad period of mental health in my college years, where i felt so isolated and depressed and angry and violent. i told her that i can see where it came from now - years of bullying, being too smart and jealous of normal people, an isolated relationship - but at that time, i believed i was a monster. i believed that if i could ever feel that angry, i was a monster, and every good thing i ever did was just covering up that i was a monster. and debbie was fucking affronted, like, some sort of offended that i would even propose this, and she was like, "well, i disagree!!!" and i was like, yes, thank you debbie.

and i talked to debbie about how this monster complex played into this huge Beauty and the Beast narrative, and how all my mistakes were pointed back to how i was fundamentally wrong, and it made me so much more tolerant of abuse and nastiness and unkindness, because if i was a monster, then i had it coming. and yet, i tell debbie, i'm not angry. i'm not hateful. i still love her, and i'll always love her, and i hope, from the very bottom of my heart, that she is doing okay. if she says i hurt her, those feelings are real, even if they're wrapped up in her own very serious mental illness / personality disorder / what have you. and i hope she gets better, and that we can be friends again one day.

debbie pretty clearly does not like this idea, but as my therapist, she cannot call my idea stupid to my face. she just sort of repeats, "even after everything that you've told me, you'd want that personal relationship?"

ja, debbie, i'm a crazy hip hop polka bitch, the princess of the Great Ideas kingdom.

my boss ordered hot wings for our Good Job You Hit Quota lunch that we have once a month. i made cold brew coffee, which is his favorite, and brought it to the office. when he got the wings, he got me blue cheese. i am the only one who likes blue cheese.

and isn't that all we really want? to connect with other people, to care for them and be cared for by them? care is in the obnoxious vuvuzela my one roommate got me. my other roommate spray-painted it gold. care is the texts people send you just to talk, the emails they send to say hello, the phone calls they take even when they're tired. life doesn't need to be a novel. it doesn't need to be a movie. it doesn't need to be constantly highlighted by personal drama; you don't need to keep hating yourself to give it meaning. the meaning is in all the other people around you, if you can be brave enough to open your heart to others.

get up off the bar, request your polka hip hop, and dance. bring the coffee for your coworkers. play the vuvuzela. do the work to stop getting so bent out of shape. you can be happy. i can be happy. we can all be happy.
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 12 2016, 11:58 PM
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what does it take to stop doing the same stupid thing over and over? often it begins with putting our problems into words. then, we must admit those problems to someone - because we ourselves are not always the best at holding ourselves accountable. and then, sometimes telling it to one or two people isn't enough, and we need a group. we need an army.

so i offer this little post to my tiny army, my petite audience here, because i suppose i ought to say something public, given that my private hand-wringing has done me so little good. and while this puts the whole wretched game at risk (if you read it, what will you do?), at risk it has to go. my god is very demanding, and very patient. one by one i offer my shortcomings, to burn them away. here's another one.

*

passive-aggression is not to my tastes, but i have a love for art, and subtlety, and romanticism. in the days of AOL Instant Messenger™, i would bold, italicize, and artistically align certain song lyrics on my mini-profile to express whatever particular mood i was in. this mood was generally directed at one person in particular; the message was for them alone. of course, they were never mentioned by name, and i never informed the object of my angst and anxieties that they were my target. that would destroy the whole nuance of the thing, as nuanced as this sort of strange smoke-signal behavior could be.

in high school, i used a lot of fall out boy lyrics to convey my romantic frustration with my on-again off-again girlfriend. later, myspace came along, and i gained the ability to change entire songs to imply how i may or may not have felt about someone who may or may not have been her. she adopted similar tactics, and we both became professionals at selecting the best of the twenty default AIM fonts and the exact stanzas that best captured our grievances towards one another. eventually, we would have a screaming match in the halls during my senior year, and i would throw a book at her head, and we'd both get suspended. fall out boy was not enough.

*

we jump very far ahead into the future now. we leave a lot out. there's not much that you need to know per say - the data would overload you. what you need is to feel - feel what it is like to know someone so very well, because you spend hours and hours talking to them every day. feel how it is to detect the slight changes of their moods, as if tasting the electricity of a brewing storm. imagine you did it all not with body language and facial expression, but through text, every bit of whimsy and wrath decoded in the speed of responses, the length of phrases, the atmosphere precipitated by vocabulary. imagine that you lose yourself to it, there and back again, until losing yourself is part of how you feel found.

do we really fall in love with someone else's minutiae, or do we just become so obsessed as to want to swallow them whole? did she really ever care about my grocery lists, the conversations of my coworkers, or the finer points of denim? was there real love for those things, or simply love by association? or was it all so much worse - a feigned love, a deceptive affection i bought by the pound and by the ton, the sweet narcissistic nonsense that my banalities were special, inherently interesting? i paid with time, wealth that we inherit at birth and spend all our lives frittering away.

imagine it, this feeling.

*

no one really ever knew us. there was no way to ever know us properly, given that the only other creature admitted to our dark palaces was the other. still, i felt myself more on display than she, more obvious, more honest. i was brutal and vulgar; i was loud and intimidating. i disguised myself poorly in groups, unable to make nice or play nice with people who bored or irritated me. my masks were shoddy. i liked what i liked, and everyone knew it.

but who knew her? when she took the stage, i hovered behind the curtain, a hand over my mouth. sometimes there was a delight to it, knowing what i did, the scripts and the costumes and the masquerade of it all. sometimes there were bad days, and it was i who played the villain to her heroine, and stumbled and bumbled in that awkward role. sympathies fell to this or that side; i tore at my mask, my wig, trying to cast myself out of my part. in time the scene would end, and we would both go back behind the curtain, to our secret world, together. i knew she was different there, but how could i say it? and who would believe me?

i'd be a liar if i said it really bothered me all that much, at the time. i thought by having all the secrets, i'd always be loved.

*

of course, i didn't have all the secrets - or if i did, new secrets came along, and i didn't keep track of those. there were hints, of course. there were signs. but the point was that i didn't have to go hunting these secrets - in the dark palace, we exchanged these treasures freely, fearlessly. if there were secrets, they would be delivered to me, sooner or later.

but they weren't. i grew poorer in them, and more foolish, keeping secrets even from myself, because i could not bear them. every feeling that pointed to them, every upset that threw them in my face - i buried them, and i didn't draw maps. i suspect, in my poor broken heart, that close to the very end, there were more lies than i dare account for, more shadows than i could bear to see. i was always the one behind the curtain. i was always the one interpreting the art, sensing the implications. how - how could this turn on me now? how could i be the one who didn't know?

yet i was. i was left in darkness, alone.

*

what does it mean, to read a mind? how far does that stray from simple interpretation? no, 'interpretation' doesn't do it all justice: this is 'translation', the reading of intention in a foreign language, presuming both mood and mind of the author, drawing the art out from one language to another.

the first time i did this, it was reading a book list. she started reading "it's called a break-up because it's broken" only a week after i was left in the dark, and i absolutely lost my mind. you may suppose that the hurt lies mainly within feeling like a sloughed-off piece of junk, but much more importantly this stupid book appeared in a place where i could see it. it happened on yet another stage, but this time, i wasn't behind the curtain: i was in the audience. i wailed hysterically and stormed out, unable to bear it.

that taught me a lesson for a good four months: don't go looking, and don't look. don't try to find out what she does. don't look for her blogs. don't try to find her writing. don't look at what she reads. stay out of the theater, and don't look up at the stage. my heart was too fragile to stand it, and so i obeyed. i didn't look. i didn't look at all.

but good things cannot last, and on valentine's day, i looked. i had to. i couldn't help it.

it was a mistake.

*

a language is nothing if only one person is speaking. the point of language is to communicate, after all - to send a message. after all the darkness, and the silence, i wanted to send messages. i wanted to be heard. but barred from the simpler, standard modes of simple conversation, i turned to other means.

there are stories within my stories, messages and secrets and codes, buried not-deep within the text. from there i turned to blogging, and confession; from there to a steady stream of pictures, and quotes. here i am, here i am, i said. this is what i'd say, if i could say it. and then i turned away from myself and i went looking for her, for the reflection of myself, for the echoes of my questions that i could call answers.

the echoes felt weak at first. maybe she'd gone places i couldn't find her; i couldn't bring myself to look further. maybe she'd left all the places i'd known. but then, bit by bit, as i strained my ears, i dared to hear. i wandered old haunts, burned meadows, dried-up groves, to collect the litter of her thoughts, the broken glass and torn paper of her musings. what does this mean? what does that mean?

if i was her, why would i leave this here?

what would i be trying to tell me?

*

i don't know if any of what i interpret is real. i don't know if any of it is even meant for me, if it has one goddamn thing to do with me. i'm sitting in the audience again, in the back row, and it is too dark to see if i am alone. i just know that i can barely see her, from very far away, and what i see, i think about.

i think about the little songs posted here and there, i think about the drawings. i think about the quotes, and i think about the photographs. i think about what i've quoted, and what i'm singing, and what i'm writing, and i cobble these things in to a language where we are speaking to one another. i create a world where there is a very dim light in all the dark, and by the flickering of another, distant light, i know i am not alone.

but it is petty. it is vain. it is lonesome, and it is stupid, and it is the only thing i have anymore, when my impassioned pleas for reconciliation went unanswered. i have only this pitiful silent surveillance, the soft sigh of the watcher. and telling you all this now, i may not have it much longer.

for what if i am watched in turn? if she is anything like the person i thought i knew, i would be watching me too. i'd have my own ciphers and code books, a collection of messages and patterns of emotion, assembled from a safe distance. from this distance, she could be angry, or sad, or lonesome, or hopeful, or any other combination, without having to face any reward or consequence. she could hide. she could bide her time. and perhaps, like me, she could seek sanctuary in this, our silent bargain: watch, but do not speak. interpret, and answer, but do not speak. let the silence remain unbroken.

let it be.

*

i'm sorry, if you're reading this: i'm sorry you didn't know better, that i changed so much that you couldn't predict me anymore. i'm sorry i have to go and break all the rules of watching, and take away our hiding places. i'm sorry for all of that. but if we have courage enough to whisper through these collages and paragraphs, we have enough to sit down on the banks of our poisoned rivers, in the boughs of our withered orchards, and talk of these ruined kingdoms. our hearts are not as fragile as they seem.

on the 19th of july, we would have been friends for 9 years. the date looms in my mind with horrific majesty. do i say something? do i try to talk again? do i let it all go, and give up on it all, and wait and see? don't even the most estranged people send cards on birthdays, christmas, and anniversaries?

'friendship' is a word that feels ill-fitting here, a word not bloody and ragged enough to convey the sacrifices of not-really-family. sometimes there are people who hurt you terribly, and you forgive them anyways. you forgive them because they are so much a monolith in your life that it would be a heartbreaking absurdity to try and imagine them away; you forgive them because they are there, whether you like it or not, embedded in the soul of you, in the things that define you. forgiving them is just forgiving yourself.

but i can't keep watching. i cannot keep up with this endless recording, evaluating, replacement of syllables and vowels, a never-ending dictionary of symbols and possibilities. her aesthetic becomes her language; all the world is her thesaurus. i can't sit around thinking, "i'm so glad she removed that dave eggers quote, dave eggers is a piece of shit." i can't. i'm never going to get anywhere.

so here's the confession, barbermonger: here's the part where i stand up in the room full of other people, and i introduce myself, and i tell you i have a problem. that's the part right here.

now i just have to keep coming back to the meetings, right?
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 17 2016, 12:25 PM
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user posted image

user posted image

views per post on my two most-read threads

some thoughts:
  • i am 47% as interesting as a smutty ww2 roleplay
  • HAHAHA WHAT
  • if you assume half the views on ww2 thread are "mine" and half the view's are "abbey's" i have an almost perfect conversion rate to this blog for my half
  • people read this?????
  • one day i'll have some kind of public persona and someone will bring this blog up at a book signing and i will just have to nod sagely and be like, yup, that's a thing that i did in my twenties
in other news, i have not done any stalking for a whole four days, and i dyed my hair blond. good vibes!
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 20 2016, 01:36 AM
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yeah so instead i stumble face first into this OTHER blog from this girl i knew back in college, and wow, WOW, wow, WHAT A FRUIT SALAD OF SHIT I HATE

what do i hate?? let me tell you!!!
  1. where do i even start??? maybe with this chick got her master's degree at George Washington University, which is EASILY 60k for two years, EASY, and i'm underestimating generously! because it's 50k a year for undergrad! but oh, yes, so after getting HER PARENTS TO PAY FOR THIS (oh my god)... SHE DOES NOT HAVE A JOB.
  2. SO SHE GOES TO CAMBODIA AND NAVEL GAZES ABOUT BEING A PROBLEMATIC WESTERN TRAVELER
  3. AND SMUGLY DESCRIBES HOW WELL SHE HANDLES THE BUMPY BUS RIDE VS. HER BOYFRIEND
  4. oh my god the writing is bad and i hate nothing more than smug bad writing
and i'm like, why??? why do i hate her so much??? do i hate her because she got to go to this elite school that i would never go to, because i hate debt and my parents don't have that kind of money?? no, i think that part is incidental - i envy the IDEA of the experience, but eh, ehhhh. what did i do in college anyways? lived on the internet, that's what. no, it's not that!

is it the not having a job part? yeah, i think part of it is the not having a job part. her ~*disappointment*~ with not getting full time work, and then declining a job in another city, and then DECIDING SHE WANTS TO WRITE FOR A LIVING -- holy shit, are you for real??? must be nice!!! nice that other people foot the bill of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS so you can be a DIGITAL STRATEGIST.

so is it that i want to write for a living? like, kinda? but not really in the sense of i have something really unique and profound to say - there's just a chance that the way i say it might be useful to someone else, or fun to someone else, or whatever, and i'd like to share my own passion / experiences, that's all. if i HAPPENED to be successful, that would be neat, but i can't imagine "writing for a living" in the sense of "generate content that is specifically pleasing to people so they give you money to write more pleasing content", in the more specific sense of "write it to sell it".

so maybe what it is then is this urge to reach through the screen and shout, YOU AREN'T SPECIAL. KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF. realize your enormous insignificance on a cosmic and historical scale and shove your chromebook right up your ass, and grasp the concept that good writing is about what you have in common with other people and what is shared, not your attempts to spin your uniquely insightful experiences on bus rides in cambodia. stop trying to prove how smart / aware / engaged/ digital you are. do not fucking talk about the killing fields of pol pot and how much it moved you and two paragraphs later talk to me about your fucking pastry hunt and how the architecture reminds you of avatar the last airbender.

everyone is special in like, a beautiful human and compassionate way, with the human experience and all that. but it is very unlikely that you are at all special in the sense that you are important and you have any business being self-important. you will die, sooner or later, and the only thing that will have mattered is what you did for other people.

it is not an accident i keep my blog on barbermonger, and not like, on some goddamn wordpress blog marketing myself as a "content creator" or something equally pathetic. this is the ground floor of insignificance, my own personal testament to the idea that i have no business peddling my bullshit for $$$. i could be one of another million people "self-branding" and trying to sell my personality so a company could buy it and gain my traits by association, or whatever the fuck branding is about, but nope, fucking declined. this shit is not for sale. the taint of money and having to groom my thoughts / writing / personality to be a competitive commodity is not my game.

one day, i do plan on traveling, and i imagine i will write a lot and keep a blog. just please, PLEASE GOD, please, if you are listening, please make sure i do not become some swooning dipshit who faux-self-flagellates over my "privilege". also please make sure i don't write like shit.

man though, if that chick can sell writing advice, as a digital strategist? shit, let me send in my resume
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 20 2016, 12:50 PM
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^^^^ this is what angry perfectionism looks like

here's my blond hair

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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 24 2016, 02:03 PM
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time for some laughs barbermonger

i am facebook friends with my parents. both of them live all the way in florida, while i'm here in california. i grew up in florida my whole life, and when i moved out here, i knew absolutely no one. i had never even been to california before. posting pictures of stuff i was doing on facebook became 1) a kind of personal journaling and 2) a way to keep them advised of what i was doing. still, i hid all facebook posts from my dad, because... well, my dad is pretty crazy. also, he does not understand Internet Commenting Rules. you know, this implicit rules of commenting on shit that we all silently understand but no one over told us. my dad is 61 now, he doesn't give a shit.

well, i decided to let him have access about a year ago, so he could finally see all the pictures. and ever since then, i swear to god my dad gets push alerts on his phone when i post shit, because HE COMMENTS ON EVERYTHING IN RECORD TIME. i am not kidding. also, he is crazy.

the other day, i posted this great bug i found outside my house

user posted image

and this happens

user posted image

1. THE TIMESTAMPS
2. DAD DON'T EAT BUGS
3. DON'T EAT BUGS ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE GOOD GOD
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XANDER
 Posted: Jul 29 2016, 01:45 AM
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super power: be persuaded to tell me your life story / deep personal problems/thoughts/feelings... in 1 hour or less!!!*
    *persuaded is a bad word for this super power because it sounds like i convince people, which i do not do: i acknowledge their existence as a human and pay attention and ask genuine conversational questions and you would be amazed what people will tell you, if you shut the fuck up and listen
today's contestants: two swingers from ok cupid!! what can i learn in one hour on the phone???
  • where the wife was born and grew up
  • where husband went to college
  • husband's job
  • wife's job
  • wife's body image issues from competing in bikini bodybuilding
  • the time husband was homeless in his 20s
  • the car husband drove while homeless in his 20s
  • the amount of student loan debt husband had
  • the car husband drives now
  • wife's hobby as a music producer
  • how long they have been married
here is what they know about me:
  • my birthday is next tuesday
  • i sell cars
two weeks ago it was my hairdresser asking me for advice on dealing with her repressed anger for her brother and her sister-in-law and just anger in general, and that's how i got $200 worth of foils for $140

EDIT: HAHAHA I looked at my receipt and it was a $175 discount, almost halving the price. MY ADVICE IS QUALITY

i guess what baffles me about this is like.... people are so interesting??? like i LOVE reading other people's blogs and hearing their thoughts and feelings, i love hearing about other people's lives and experiences, i am SO INTRIGUED at any given time about other people's internal landscapes, and it is super weird to me that everyone doesn't feel like this! like, you are only one person.... but if you listen to other people, it's like, you can't BE them, but you can add their perspective to yours? and you can learn about things you might never experience yourself? like WOW, THAT IS AMAZING. YOU CAN DO THIS WITH... EVERY PERSON YOU MEET EVER. IT'S MAGIC. HOW ARE YOU NOT FASCINATED WITH EVERYONE AROUND YOU.

but i still do not know how people detect I Am The Listener and i wave a magic wand and OUT COME THE STORIES, HERE THEY GO, WOW, I AM GLAD YOU ARE IMPRESSED WITH ME BUT PLEASE SLOW DOWN I STILL KINDA HATE MYSELF
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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 2 2016, 10:51 AM
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today is my birthday

my roommates threw me a unicorn-themed surprise party on sunday

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when i blew out the candles on my cake this year barbermonger, i have one wish: gratitude.

i'm tired of hanging on to sadness. i'm tired of not appreciating everything i have. i'm tired of wishing to go back to a life that's gone. i'm tired of inventing a future that will never be in my head. the only thing i want to feel is grateful - grateful that i'm still here, that i have so many people that care about me, that i've had so many successes with the help of those people. i have been so afraid to let go of my sadness, because the burden of freedom is so great, and i've been scared of losing that imaginary future if i let go of the sadness.

but there is a part of me that wanted to be free for a long time. there was a part of me that knew that my anger came from not being able to speak the truth about reality, about always having to articulate truth around someone's mood swings and blaming. there's a part of me that pushed anyways, just like there's a part of me that knew i'd go down in flames at my job sooner or later, if i kept speaking truth to power. and i pushed anyways.

i think we are all called to something, barbermonger. it may not be very big - the world may never remember your name. but what you do for other people can change their lives, can make a difference. your kind words to strangers, your smiles, your volunteer work, your friendship - you can make the world a better place. and you are called to shed the negativity, and the suffering, and the anger, and the deception, because that's what you have to give up to be that kind of person - the kind of person who can love yourself, and others.

so here's to 26! play us out whitney

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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 9 2016, 10:58 AM
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I BET ALL THAT SUNSHINE-Y SHIT WAS CHOKING YA, BARBERMONGER. THAT'S COOL: LET'S GET FUCKED UP.

i do not talk too much about my insanely dysfunctional family, because i live on the other side of the country from them! this keeps their problems firmly away from me, and lets me grow as a person. my mother is a recovering alcoholic, and my dad is a control freak with anger issues.

but this isn't about them. this is about my brother.

i have one sibling, a brother that is two and a half years younger than me. he is a very sweet person at heart, and someone who got stuck growing up in my shadow. i was the very, very weird kid, but i was also the smart one - and also my dad's favorite. i have a similar personality to my control freak dad, weirdness included, and my brother resembles my mother.

anyways, when i was 15, i was diagnosed with cancer. my parents' world promptly collapsed and revolved around me; my brother, who was 12, was ignored to some extent, including how he felt about my getting sick. from there he struggled to stay interested in sports; demotivated by lack of attention, he gained weight and got addicted video games. two years later, our house burned down. three years after that, my parents got divorced. it was ugly all the way there.

i was away at college while my parents got divorced - aka my dad's rage / control issues hit their peak, as did my mom's drinking. my brother, however, was at home, front and center. when he went to college in the wake of it, he flunked three out of his four semesters. we drove up to college town and brought him home three years ago, and he's been living with my dad ever since.

we always assumed that my brother failed college because he was smoking weed all day and partying all night. yesterday, while we were out, he told me, "i used to sit in the shower and cry and pray until i thought someone was listening. the divorce destroyed me, because i loved mom and dad so much. i ran away to college. i was sleeping 15 hours a day. i let you guys believe i failed because i was partying because that was easier."

so first of all, holy shit to that. second of all, holy shit, the rage. when my brother dips out of his self-awareness, he goes into dad-levels of rage, because he is seriously traumatized by my dad's continued aggression and because he felt so ignored and neglected. then, when i try to step back from all this, he screams at me, "you don't love your family, you've never loved your family. that's why you moved to the other side of the country."

this is one of the many things he screams as we are driving back from our six-hour rocky mountain fishing trip. it should have been the height of fun, but instead, he was set off when i made a three minute detour to get a latte. from there, it was all about how selfish i was, always making everything about me.

so i promptly lose it and cry silently and listen to duke dumont on this car ride. and i can't do it! i am not here to be the hostage to someone's insensible wrath! i don't care if your life was shitty, or you're mad at me for some stupid reason, or you're lashing out because of unresolved resentment! i am not dealing with it! never again!!! and i decide right then that this is it, the last family vacation, because i will not put myself into this shitty position again. i will not set myself up. there is some shit you should never say to people, never, and i said so.

my brother later cried and apologized, and i do feel bad for him. really bad! but i am here to be optimistic and cheerful and not focus on bad things, especially little bad things, like how my dad backs his car out the parking lot. i know this is strongly influenced by his living with my dad, someone who has never set a good example with resolving and controlling anger. but i can't do it. or, i know i could, but i won't.

for a bonus level of irony: my brother shares my horrible character flaw of being attracted to / pursuing unavailable people! so we do share some damage! talking about the girl he likes, he also used the phrase, "i'm not going to be the one to leave", and inside i screamed, because i cried the same words at a gas station after driving three hours home to santa barbara last november!

it won't save you, little bro! nothing does.

edit: happy 100th post!
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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 14 2016, 05:05 PM
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today is just one of those days where you just wake up wrong and you cannot shake that fucking feeling, no matter how hard you try.

is it the headache i woke up with? maybe. is it lying in bed having this really extended mind-wander about old roleplays? yeah, that probably was a bad idea. and then i sat around and felt my mind gnawing on what i should do today - or more accurately, what i need to do today to feel like i haven't wasted my day. every day, i'm pretty much reaching to justify how i use my time, whether that's working efficiently, working out, reading a book, writing a post, hanging out with friends... shit needs to get done. boxes need to be checked. otherwise, what the hell did i do with myself all day?

i did make myself go to yoga. i'm on my third load of laundry. i'm back on my kale smoothie grind. i went grocery shopping last night. i'm going to go return my overdue library books. it still doesn't feel like enough.

so i end up doing other dumb shit.

when i was in college, i made a small group of friends - three other girls, all russian studiers. the girl i got closest to had this boyfriend. this boyfriend flirted with me. i found this incredibly perplexing at the time, given i did not understand that i was attractive and was not sure if i was making this up in my head. i eventually brought it up explicitly to said boyfriend, who gave me the shadiest non-answer - and predictably told his girlfriend, my friend, who was understandably furious with me and stopped talking to me. pretty much all of them did.

shit, this was like, 6 years ago now, and i still feel guilty about it. i feel guilty about being such a clueless idiot, and not being able to blow off captain flirtatious. i feel guilty about not being a better friend. for years the boyfriend stayed facebook friends with me; sometimes he'd send me random music playlists. i eventually defriended him. in my boredom today i checked out both their facebook pages, and they are still together, six years later. they lived in russia for a year or so, came back and worked on a blueberry farm, started a herbal essentials business, moved to colorado, etc. etc. i know the girl suffers from endometriosis. i'm sure both of them are living under the crushing pressure of student debt. no one's life is perfect, sure, but i look at them and i envy them, and wonder what the fuck is wrong with me.

we do shit in our lives for reasons. the choices we make in relationships are not accidents. we want to pretend that being assholes or self-destructive are accidents, but they're not: they speak to your damage. they speak to whatever voids or brokenness you hold inside yourself that you are unable to resolve. they speak to your blindness, your ignorance, your refusal to reckon with yourself and accept, and forgive. i didn't know what it meant to have friends. i didn't know i even had friends, other than my ex. i felt like everyone around me had been tricked into humoring me or liking me; i held everyone at a distance, believing they'd hate me if they knew me. it rendered my ex as the total center of my universe, as the one person i could trust.

but i hated myself before her. i feared the world before her. i had a great big hole inside of me, and it just so happened that she fit in it perfectly (and made it bigger, and in her own image.) she fit it because she was, deep down, so much like me - beautiful and brilliant and distrustful of the world, hurting in a place for so long that it was part of our natural rhythms, the fundamental way we saw life.

i can recognize now the ways that my relationship was eating away at me, and holding me back. but i still miss it. i felt guilty about that too, but now i am beginning to see, of course i miss it. the hole inside of me didn't magically close up - the thing filling it was just yanked out, and naturally i'm clamoring for the most familiar thing to fill it again. but that's not the answer. the answer is, i have to eliminate the hole that made me so vulnerable in the first place. i have to go back to the very beginning, to all the origin points, and seal the open wounds. i have to forgive the world and trust it; i have to trust other people. i have to stop hating myself for not being perfect.

there are days when it feels easier, when i wake up and the brightness of the world is so good and glad and almost overwhelming. and then sometimes i wake up with a stiff neck and a headache and i just wish i could go back and apologize to that girl. and then i wish that i could forgive myself, and let it go, because hell, i bet she has.
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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 18 2016, 12:08 PM
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guess who's gonna fire their therapisttttt

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that's what you get debbeh, for canceling / being late on me 7+ times. but more accurately, that is what you get from passive-aggressively assuming i was canceling after i called you out on your shit, and then you argued with me via text message, so i end up driving to your office and waiting for you AND THEN YOU TELL ME YOU ASSUMED I WAS CANCELING

bitch you are my THERAPIST. i am not your friend. i am paying you money to do a job, on a certain day, at a certain time, for a certain duration. i am not here to care about your inability to balance your other life commitments / challenges. and for the stupidity of arguing with me, i am dumping your ass so fast your head is going to spin.

i am taking bets on whether or not she will flip out and argue with me or whether she'll just cough up my file and referral without much fuss!!
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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 19 2016, 11:22 AM
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okay how about some cheerful stuff!!
  • i have found TWO roleplays, wow!!! will update the bingo sheet!!

  • i am getting even better at being chill at work!! realizing that my anger and insecurity comes from my dad and that i react strongly to anything resembling him is illuminating! also, i chant this new mantra in my head.

    "it is not about me. it has nothing to do with me."

    emails about mistakes i've made on deals i've sold? nothing to do with me! everyone makes mistakes, i'm not perfect, i'm actually pretty smart, and managers just feel the need to constantly push for improvement - they'll do that no matter how good i am!

    comments about how i don't worry about stuff enough? nothing to do with me! people correlate fear and anxiety with deep investment, and that's bullshit! i can care about things without being a hot mess.

    customer doesn't like me or want to buy a car? nothing to do with me! some people don't want to buy things! and not everyone will like me! them's the breaks!

  • whenever i feel gloomy i read gawker's unemployment series and i am super grateful to have a job. i have a job!! that makes decent money, at 26!!! wow yes.

  • i am increasingly chill enough that i am amazed at everything. i like to listen to the sound of the eucalyptus tree branches swaying in the wind at the dealership. i like feeling the sun on my arms. i focus on objects immediately in front of me instead of getting lost in thought and moving automatically. when i lay down to sleep i can quiet my own mind enough to listen to my heartbeat.

    this blog is a pretty good tracker of how i've felt over time; if you've been reading a while, you know how tormented i've felt. i was in so much pain, and i was so, so afraid of letting go of that pain. i was convinced it was a part of me. i was convinced that if i let go it meant something terrible about me, like i was admitting to being a terrible person, or like i was a quitter and giving up. i thought that i needed to keep being angry to make things "fair".

    but it's not true. it is so, so hard to let go - to accept that there is one cosmic rule, and that rule is Everything Ends. your life will end, your relationships will end, the universe is going to one day end. everything is finite and fleeting. i did some really fucked up shit attempting to defy the universe; i paid for it. but i'm not angry or sad about it anymore, because that is what it took for me to approach a truth of this magnitude. i fought the war and lost. and it is okay. because no one wins.

    the relationship was toxic for both of us. i don't agree with the way my ex ended our relationship, but i can finally begin to see her - as a person, as flawed and incomplete and fighting her own battles that had nothing to do with me. more than seeing, i can imagine the way she felt, detached from how she felt to me. to see her is to both love her and forgive her, and to see her is to forgive and love everyone else there is or will be, to not see beyond flaws but to see with them, with acceptance, with peace.

    songs still play on the radio that make me think of her. we talked about our future like it was guaranteed. perhaps the hardest thing of all is forgiving myself, and that ignorance.

  • i have convinced one of my managers that it is "meeting him halfway" if he lets me do crossword puzzles and play candy crush on my phone and i respond to his emails in a timely fashion

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  • the new sales advisor texted me for basically no reason the other night (aka he likes me) and when i told my general manager he frowned and was like, "i have to make all these boys into men. i have to teach [him] you can't shit where you sleep."

    from the man whose couch i slept on ok
    i am too hot to be friends with stay away
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XANDER
 Posted: Aug 21 2016, 12:15 PM
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sometimes i don't update for a week and sometimes it's every other day, wowie

so back to my other ex-girlfriend!

when she first told me she wanted to be a writer now, i had this pretty standard UGH HUFF response. i am a bitter shitlord! i have ingested all the stories about Suffering In Life Is Normal, and i am acutely aware of the unfairness of this capitalist system. like, where and when do you have the time to dedicate yourself to your art? you aren't in a position to really quit your day job. moreover, with the slow death of print media, the proliferation of self-publishing, and the inundation of so much other media, how do you even begin to compete and make enough money to survive? and this is even assuming you're any kind of good, and/or that people want to buy what you're selling.

i did some pretty serious side-eye when she talked about her novel-to-be a little bit ago, like, what do you even want? and she gave me this vague answer like, 'i want to be able to travel and do stuff', and i was like, 'oh, so you want to quit your day job before you're old,' and just - really bitter realism / cynicism here. so you want to write a book, like all the other kids on tumblr! vladimir nabokov did not become a full-time writer until he was in his fifties, after 'lolita' made it big. dostoevsky died in poverty. stephen king, who published 'carrie' at 26, had been submitting material since he was a teenager; he worked at an industrial laundromat and had a decade-long cocaine and alcohol problem. tolstoy was a super rich dickbag who got to chill on his estate doing absolutely nothing while his wife took care of his 14 children. this shit is not glamorous.

she was at worldcon this past weekend, where she met ann leckie, hugo award winner and author of 'ancillary justice', and she apparently networked and made good friends with all these people. she's working on a sci-fi novel and she's hoping to finish a manuscript by the end of this year. the editors she made friends with asked her to send them her manuscript when she finishes it.

she then got invited to george rr martin's (super-exclusive invite-only) alfie awards and liveblogged it for me.

QUOTE
Morgan
8/20, 10:02pm

So it's a big deal?? Idk everyone here is rich or published
It's nuts
Wtf lmao
Like
I was getting a drink
And Ann Leckie came up to me and was like "oh you made it here?"
And I was like "of course

Sasha
8/20, 10:03pm

this is the greatest liveblog
OF COURSE laksjdfladjif

Morgan
8/20, 10:03pm[

And she smiled and talked to me and we discussed her newest chapter of her unreleased book

Sasha
8/20, 10:03pm

my baby is all grown up

Morgan
8/20, 10:03pm

I told her I approved
And she said oh good

Sasha
8/20, 10:03pm

i told my roommates about your adventure

Morgan
8/20, 10:03pm

GOOD

Sasha
8/20, 10:03pm

i was so proud
i had to share

Morgan
8/20, 10:03pm

Your baby has learned from the best


i begged for an rr martin creepshot.
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i had a lot of feelings about this! feelings like, i had to just let go of my bitterness and cynicism and doubt, and just be happy for her. i let go of it and just let myself get swept up in her excitement and happiness, without worrying about the cruel, cold world and any potential disappointments waiting in the wings. i was happy for her while also letting go of envy, without being jealous of the steps she's taking. more than anything, i was so stupidly happy to be included in her experience - that she thought of me, that she thought to tell me. i was happy for her happiness. it was so weird and so new, this genuine happiness, not having it clawed at by so much fear and negativity.

i have a tortured relationship with writing, i realize - i've been using it as escapism since the moment my fingers hit a keyboard at age 11. my childhood had more ugliness than i was able to admit to myself, but in writing, i had worlds i could control. i had characters that weren't me, but were closer to people i was interested in, closer to people i wanted, in some ways, to be. i dug deeper and deeper into my writing to lose myself in it, alive and vivid online and in prose, but fearful of the offline world, distrustful, self-loathing. writing, especially roleplaying, made me feel alive, but i still hated myself. i seem confident about my writing, but i laugh in disbelief at the idea that i could sell books. no matter how many people tell me they like my writing, i just keep laughing. i struggle to believe.

i struggle to believe in those dreams, to have faith and keep it. i struggle to be truly kind to myself. but i can't keep hiding in cynicism, can't keep running from hope and the chance for success. i can't keep self-sabotaging with bitterness. more than any of that, really, i don't want to be the kind of friend that doesn't have any nice shit to say. if failure is going to come, and you suck, the world will find its way to tell you. i can at least soften that blow if it comes, and offer some good energy along the way.

my roommate is starting a yoga business. or, more accurately, we are starting a yoga business. i am terrified just typing that. i am terrified that i am a huge fraud and i have no idea what i'm doing and like, what do i even know that i could teach anyone? a business??? like, totally keeping my day job here, but i can teach mornings, wednesdays, and sundays, and do the website, and social media, and blog posts, and are these job skills? is this what the kids call a side hustle?

i used to have this dream of - i don't know, becoming ultimate sasha, and when i became her, i'd be happy. that wasn't real or viable. the real experience is closer to looking inward and meeting someone who has been there the whole time, someone who was waiting for me to let her out of her cage and break her shackles. there are a lot of fucking shackles, but i'm getting there.
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