Life Experiences

What’s It Like To Take Part In An Ayahuasca Ceremony?

March 8, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

The first time I heard about Ayahuasca was in a Rolling Stone article and it did not paint a pretty picture: sitting blindfolded in a dark room, puking into buckets, and wearing adult diapers. I suppose in an attempt at journalistic fairness the author talked about both the psychedelic wonders of the experience and also the corridors of hell. I found the article terrifying.

A year or so later a close friend of mine had his own experience with the spirit vine and upon telling me about his beautiful adventures he continually prodded me, “When are you going to drink Ayahuasca?” In my mind, not soon, but now at least I had an invitation. Through my ongoing spiritual journey I learned more about the “Grandmother” and after about two years of education I decided it was time for a visit. I asked my friend if he could help arrange an upcoming session and two months later I found myself in an Ayahuasca healing ceremony with a Peruvian Shaman direct from the Amazon. 

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Confessions Of A Former Klansman

March 6, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

interview with former klansman

Who brought you into the fold of white supremacy?

I was introduced to racist ideology around the age of 14, by some other teenagers who were skinheads. I never really joined, but I shaved my head and put boots on. Not necessarily because I believed any of it. I thought it made me look edgy and tough. I moved from my all white semi rural town at 19 to an outlying suburb near a predominantly black inner city area. This is where I dealt with my first encounters with African Americans. After some ugly altercations and having a few guns stuck in my face, my immature mind decided that because I had dealt with some black people who happened to be bad, all black people must be bad. I found Klan contacts on a WN message board and reached out.

What sort of views did you hold about those of other races compared to your own? Were those outside of the WS/KKK movement seen as inferior physically, intellectually, or otherwise even if they were your own race?

There are varying degrees of this. A few get really into the whole Ubermensch thing. For the most part I was more of a segregationist. I didn’t necessarily think whites were by nature better, but that we should live separately from other races. Toward the end, I became more irrational and hate driven.

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What’s It Like To Be A Sugar-Daddy?

February 28, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences, main |

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What Is Daily Life Like With Alzheimer’s Disease?

February 27, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

This is an excellent question, and one I’ve considered often in the last decade-plus of working with such folks.

First, it depends upon the stage of dementia: mild, moderate, or severe.

In mild dementia, it seems to be like being a functional alcoholic’s day, as far as cognition goes. You’re able to do what you need to do, but some little things get missed, such as your T-shirt is on backward, but you don’t notice, or you can’t find the sugar bowl, so you start taking apart cupboards and end up going without coffee and the kitchen is a mess. Later, you swear you did not do that. You have no memory of doing it, and the more another person argues that you did indeed make that mess, the angrier you get. You did not. He or she is lying.

The whole day goes like this—close to normal, but not quite. Routines are easy, but anything new is more difficult. And, if asked about someone or thing from earlier in the day, you may or may not remember the event. By the end of the day, you’re tired of thinking, but your brain keeps throwing up odd thoughts and ideas—things like, “I can’t find the car keys. Someone must have stolen them! I need the car keys.” You may wander, rummage, pull things out of drawers for a couple hours, at the end of which you may be unable to tell anyone what it was you were searching for. Even more telling, you may not have driven a car for the past five years.

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What’s It Like To Work For Elon Musk

February 22, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

After working for Elon for over 5 years at SpaceX as the Head of Talent Acquisition, there are many potential answers to this question.  Any answer I might give will be completely colored by my own experiences, so full disclaimer this is not an unbiased piece free of personal narrative.   

It is said that you cannot dream yourself a character; you must hammer and forge one yourself. If any leader and any company has done that, and continues to do that it is SpaceX.  To try and capture in words what  working with Elon is like, I’d like to share some specific memories, particularly of one really rough day and its epic aftermath.    

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5 Utterly Depressing Descriptions Of What It’s Like To Be Forever Alone

February 14, 2018 | 13 Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

forever alone

1. Sometimes I remember just how lonely I am, how deprived of physical or emotional intimacy I am, and it just leaves me with a cold, numb, empty feeling that radiates from my core to my extremities. Sometimes I think back on a time, any time, that a girl smiled at me, or laughed at a joke, or any basic, every day, little social cue that she’s potentially a little interested, and I’m overcome with frustration bordering on rage because I couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it. When that happens I might just sort of growl/moan to myself if I’m somewhere with other people around, but if I’m alone (especially in the car)I’ll scream at the top of my lungs, either a stream of profanities or just a wordless bellow.

When I see or hear any sort of reference to sexuality or romance I just want to bash my face in against the corner of a wall somewhere. Kissing scenes in movies, couples doing couple-y things in public (seeing teenage couples is hands down the worst,nothing like knowing you’ve got less game than a sixteen year old), even just seeing a picture of a hot woman can make me feel like shit sometimes. I feel like at this point I can’t even show an interest in women, any women, like I’m incapable of it, or not allowed to. It’s like I’ve been in this fucked up situation so long that my brain has rationalized it, and I’ve concluded that I’m supposed to be alone, that I deserve it for whatever fucking reason.

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Confessions Of A Former North Korean Citizen

February 12, 2018 | 4 Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

How/when did you get out? 

I fleed from North Korea when I was 17, in 2006, by crossing the North Korean-China border with my mom and younger sister, with the help and under the arrangement of middlemen.

How easy was it to travel from Pyongyang to the border of China? Is it difficult? It seems like a fair amount of distance to travel when you are not in favor of the regime.

Not very difficult. No road block and no tracing, simply not exciting as you might think so. The distance is not very fair away and the travel only take 2 days.

Would you say most people in North Korea have an idea of what life outside of the country is? Were you able to pick up South Korean radio signals or use uncensored internet?

No, I never able to pick up South Korean radio signals or use uncensored internet. For common North Korean we nearly had no access to the information of what life outside of the country is life, save as those taught in school and in the media controlled by the party. 

What does the population get taught about the outside world growing up?

We had little contact with the outside world in North Korea. We were taught that other countries are full of bad things such as oppression and crimes and pollution. We were taught that the imperialist United States and the South Korea were seeking all the chance to attack and occupy North Korea.

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What’s It Like To Be A Police Officer

February 7, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences |

To be fair, the activities that bookend your shift are usually fairly standardized. I would get to the station about an hour early and start the process of dressing out. First I checked the polish on my boots to make sure they’d pass sergeant’s inspection, which occurred unannounced every couple of weeks. I then dressed out and went to the briefing room.

In the briefing room, there was usually a daily digest of what had gone on in the last 24 hours regarding critical incidents, notifications from surrounding agencies, missing person reports, and added patrol requests. Our lieutenant (or sergeant acting as lieutenant) would then come in and conduct briefing, which typically consisted of a fleshed out version of the digest plus additional information that had come to light since the digests had been printed. He or she would then distribute subpoenas for squad members and dismiss us to load our vehicles out.

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One Of The Worst Pain A Human Can Experience: Cluster Headaches

January 25, 2018 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Life Experiences |

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and feeling a drill in your eye. This is not a metaphor. Imagine feeling like somebody has pierced a hot metal rod through your neck and rammed it up into your brain. Again, this is not a metaphor. This is what a  ​cluster headache feels like. 

Cluster headaches are also known as “suicide disease”, as sufferers have been known to take their own lives when they can’t bear the pain any longer. The condition affects 0.1 percent of the world’s population and I’m in that exclusive club 

My cluster headache is chronic. I had 4–8 attacks per day for 11 years, and 1–4 attacks per day for the last year. For a few years, I used sumatriptan and oxygen to relieve the pain for a long time. Currently, I use oxygen exclusively. I am treated by a team of doctors, including a neurologist who specializes in disorders like CH. I have yet to find any effective preventative medication, and I have tried everything except the implant. Oxygen is the only treatment that has been effective. It works almost every time.

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What Does It Feel Like To Go From Being Wealthy To Being Poor?

January 24, 2018 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Life Experiences |

What does it feel like to go from being wealthy to being poor?

The global financial crisis destroyed me in 2008. The years immediately after were some of the worst years of my life. I lost everything; or at least I thought I did.

As it turns out, I didn’t lose much at all (assuming you don’t count approximately $3 million in real estate equity and a couple of hundred thousand dollars in cash, as “much”).

I was in Vegas when Lehman Brothers folded… It was my birthday … and it was the first time I’d ever lost big there. I should have known something wicked was coming, but I didn’t. So when my consulting contract didn’t get renewed, I didn’t panic. I kept doing business as usual. When my tenants defaulted on rent, I kept paying mortgages. A year later, I still had $50,000 plus in the bank … enough of a cushion.

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