Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Help Needed

From the stats on my blog I see that it appears to have some readership, if any of you like my writing and have any job ideas and/or possibilities please get in touch in the comment section and we can exchange information.

My father is a theoretical physicist who graduated near the top of his class at Russia’s best university. And while I didn’t inherit his aptitude for physics I did inherit a profound desire to use my mind at work. A desire that thus far remains unfulfilled.

The trite philosophical dictum of “I think therefore I am” doesn’t apply to my work life because the work I do doesn’t require deep cognitive engagement. For forty hours each week, I don’t think therefore I am not. And my desperate need is to flip that existential equation back to its quintessence.

My life is not in a good place right now and I will consider all options.

I will be immensely grateful for any offer; if you ever considered helping someone to change their life please act now.  


  1. OK, I'll bite. Let's, as you would say, talk big for a moment. And please go easy on me.

    After reading your entire blog, and laughing quite a bit mind you (at your clever jokes), my initial guess is that you are already working in a position similar to that which I will suggest, a celebrity of sorts, and this blog is an area to test out new material perhaps. But I'm no Sherlock Holmes, and so let's just consider you really are Russian Ivan 'Master of Metaphor' in Ohio. Moving right along.

    If I met you in real life, I would be quite intimidated. Not so much by your relatively large 6'4 265lb frame, but more so because I would know that you could see right through anything I would say. Since your 'big talk' happens to be quite reasonable, and communicated with both humor and gravity, I would most likely adopt it as my own, parroting your thoughts (with minor mods of course) back to my other average American acquaintances, confident that I was talking big for a moment myself. I say this quite seriously.

    Now my conversations with you would be mostly me agreeing with you. Every now and then, I would give you some slight resistance on a topic (an attempt to salvage my pride?), and would then feel your superior understanding undercut mine. I would then look away in shame, then quickly look back, agree, secretly marking that point for later retrieval when repeating it to others.

    Right, so Ivan has paid me a service! I have uncomfortable conversations with him, learning about the world, whilst secretly shameful of my easy suggestibility to pretty much anything he says (because it's funny and rings true). In return, I get to 'talk big' with others, sounding pretty intelligent myself.

    Which brings me to the answer to your original request. Why not scale my whole experience up, and get a job writing opinion pieces for some news site like HuffPo or the like? Or perhaps you can be a writer for the Daily Show? Because 'talking big' most certainly will not go over in Ohio. You need to get an audience in New York City or LA, somewhere where folks actually value 'sounding big'.

    But then you already work in this field, no?

  2. Ahhh bro, thank you for reading the entire blog.

    Its probably you and some strange dude in Germany who has done that (I look at visitor stats).

    I wish Ivan the neurotic Russian in Ohio would be a persona of mine, hiding a soulless, glamorous, empty and easy life of a successful scribe doing occasional lines of coke and making love to insecure models from Eastern Europe.

    Alas, I am what I am.

    Currently I work as a night stocking clerk at a super market. It is by far the best job I ever had. I can listen to audiobooks while I do it and my mind is free. The one big minus is when I get tired of the headphones and I listen to supermarket music and the love songs they play are really depressing to me.

    But yeah eventually I want to go back to the coasts, LA to be specific. I used to live in Seattle but the weather is perfect reflection of my bleak inner state and that was a bad combination.

    But thank you, Dave, it is awesome to have quality readers.

  3. Well just so you know, this 'quality reader' meant what he said: I will be stealing your well crafted world commentary in order to prop up my big talk bonafides with others.

    Now if you really are Ivan in Ohio, I should selfishly encourage you to stay put and tell you to enjoy the OSU games. Who wants to lose their secret representative of the intelligentsia to celebrity status? Because mark my words, the moment you get discovered, you'll forget about individual readers right quick, and by design, mind you. There's a reason you have written, and I have not.

    But I'm as yet unconvinced dysthymia can both shackle your ambition AND allow you to write effectively (and see so deeply). In my estimation (is this the part where I resist you in some small way?), neither should be working if one is broken. They are linked.

    Have you tried any sort of medication? Now I want to rescue Ivan so I can one day say, as my grandfather would, 'I had a hand in that'.

  4. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so go ahead and appropriate my ideas. They haven't advanced me much in my social life or otherwise but perhaps you move in different circles.

    I really doubt that I will forget my individual readers. In a sense I never remembered them in the first place. What I mean is that my relationship to most people is really abstract and detached. To me most people are like comic book characters that I decode anthropologically or blurry ghosts to whom I don't feel a real connection. The only exception is the one girl to whom a quarter of the output on this blog is dedicated.

    So if I did make it and have some sort of a fan base I think I would enjoy the group approval and it would encourage me to write more.

    Yeah, I do agree with you that depression can add perspective to people. Pretty much all successful writers or thinkers whose biographies I am familiar with dealt with it in one way or another. The link between a certain type of depression and creative output is really a trite idea. But repetition doesn't make something untrue.

    If you are on the road of life it pays to focus on that road and ignore everything else. Optimism is about that act of censorship of the unpleasant realities of life. You are aware of them but they are in your peripheral vision. If you are depressed you can see the whole picture. You see the people who have fallen off that road. The addicts, the mentally ill, victims of violence, the freaks. You have a fuller perspective. You see mounds of their mangled corpses on the side of the highway of life. The only problem is that this is a determent to your focus on the road. It makes the whole exercise of going forward less meaningful. You want to pull over, you want to remove yourself from the whole thing. And -in my case at least- you sit there on the sidelines watching my life go by in a kind of existential laziness.

    Others are severely bipolar and they swirl recklessly on this road and it gives them energy and the perspective for bouts creative output.

    Yeah, I had medication before. It helps somewhat but in one case it made me manic and I made a lot of dumb, impulsive decisions during this time that are effecting my life to this day. So I basically gave up on meds.

    I would definitely do talk therapy if I had the means to afford a good shrink, which I currently do not. I don't think it would heal me but it would be like an oil change that can help me function more effectively.

  5. Your metaphor about depression bringing the periphery to the forefront is brilliant, straight up. I can't steal that, as no one would ever believe I could come up with such a thing.

    Talk therapy? No, your mind will cut right through the therapist. You sir, need some new meds. Seriously, do that now (but keep the blog going, because dammit, it's highly entertaining).

    I like your dating site chats. Perhaps see if you can meet some women of the intelligentsia on those.

  6. Well if one were to go see a prostitute, the phallus and the attached brain component would react the same as it would to any woman of similar sex appeal, unaware that currency has been exchanged.

    In the same way, when you go to see a shrink there is a part of your brain -slightly advanced than your lizard brain- that responds to empathy and understanding unaware that it is being paid for. Also if you find an intelligent therapist they can actually add novel perspectives to your lives. Another bonus is that you can take all of that depressed "existence is meaningless" stuff off your chest and interact in a different way with people in your private life, bc that stuff can get repetitive.

    So yes to therapy. The drugs I tried were not for me.

    Occasionally there are some interesting women on dating sites, I met with a few in real life but for the most part it brings out the worst in me. I need to move to a bigger city, I am a city person.

    Good talking to you, Dave.

  7. "Well if one were to go see a prostitute, the phallus and the attached brain component would react the same as it would to any woman of similar sex appeal, unaware that currency has been exchanged. "

    Respectfully, I disagree. The prostitute & the therapist are being paid to ensure you have a good experience, and have a vested interested in seeing you come (no pun intended) back for more.

    Meeting a person who sees you for who you really are, and keeps coming back, now that is a different life experience. This is the experience that I value most.

  8. After repeated visits prostitutes and shrinks to develop attachments to you as a person (I can only speak on my experience with shrinks). Haven't you seen Pretty Woman?

    Well, don't want to alienate my number 1 fan. Lets agree to disagree.

  9. A shrink's BS meter does not approach that of an unpaid friend. The true friend can invest more in you, and be willing to tell you hard truths about what he sees. The shrink only has one hour a week, and so you can stay hidden during that time.

    Additionally, it's a 1-way relationship: you cannot reciprocate a connection to a shrink, as that would be inappropriate.

  10. That is definitely true, but real friends are hard to come by and the few good ones that I have, I don't want to bother constantly with my continuum of depression that I imagine will only completely vanish with my dying breath (and maybe not ever then if one believes in reincarnation).

    I don't know that completely revealing yourself is always going to lead to healing, sometimes its just good to find basic empathy on a regular basis and an ear to which you can guiltlessly complain to, knowing that the ear's time is being paid for.

    I view depression as a broken mental pain mechanism. Purely a biological function that requires constant maintenance. Good relations with family, friends and romantic partners should take care of most of it, but its good to have paid help.

  11. Yeah, 'normal' people don't like to talk about depression. And depressed people don't want to talk about it to avoid making the normal people feel uncomfortable. Makes it difficult to find help.

    Well, count me in on the unpaid mental maintenance team.

  12. Thank you, Dave. Good to know.