Spiraling Away From My Goals

The last week or so has felt very hectic to me, like I’m spiraling out of control and away from my goals. It is frustrating and difficult and I’m annoyed with myself for letting even a small part of my life fall victim to chaos.

But with time that annoyance passes and I see the beauty in the chaos and realize that is where life is truly lived. Those moments where I lose control, where days drift by, where I neglect my nutrition and fitness and sleep schedule are the days that I live for. I use periods of control to strengthen myself so that I can jump into chaos with minimal repercussions.

There were times in my life when a weekend of booze and partying and MDMA and late nights would have thrown off my life for a week or more. One weekend would turn into a week would turn into a month. One small moment with my guard down, a moment where I allow myself to enjoy life would start a flood of dominos that were impossible to set right.

But not anymore, my work is paying off. Sticking with my routines that strengthen my body and mind most of the time means that I recover more quickly and can get back to them without any serious loss. Now, I can correct the spiral after two days instead of two weeks… and maybe someday it’ll be two hours instead of two days.

There is joy in losing control. There is a thrill as life spirals around me like a skydiver before pulling a chute. Joy in riding white-water rafting, taking drugs, one-way plane tickets, late night parties, and neglecting responsibilities… especially when you know you have a life vest, a day for recovery, friends and family, a warm bed, and plenty of time to do what is needed.

I love that I have a routine that is becoming more stable, but I don’t feel the thrill of life when I’m meditating, reading, writing, exercising, or eating right. Those are all just tools that allow me to experience the life I want without major repercussions. They are ways to strengthen my mental, physical, and social foundations so that I can jump out of that plane again and again and again… and just lose control.

Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy. You can also friend or follow me on Facebook, I don’t really say no to requests.
Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.comSurveyMonkey:
Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback. Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com Bitcoin Wallet: 3BZQcA31awrYj7LAXmMY5armp5s1T2gpsL Ethereum Wallet: 0x05F040cd6FB61377c375d487A37229359Dd6D976

Ask PJ: Why doesn’t my hetero male partner like going down on me?

Welcome to another edition of "Ask PJ", where I answer your questions about love, sex, open relationships, drugs, politics, religion, and everything else. If you've got a question you'd like to submit anonymously you can find a link at the bottom of this article. Most questions I get are about "taboo" subjects like sex, drugs, religion, etc. but I'm open to answering anything, even personal questions.
 
Hey Peter! First, thanks for offering this platform for open and honest discussion/debate. I am always curious to see what you’ll post next, even when I find myself disagreeing with your viewpoints. It’s refreshing to have frank dialogue (even if some is initiated anonymously). A romantic partner said something to me recently that I took issue with and I immediately thought- “now I have an AMA for Peter- I want to know what he thinks of this!” Here’s the context: I have had an on/off hetero romantic/sexual relationship with this man for a few years. He’s typically very dominant and aggressive sexually. He’s also very closed off emotionally. We were discussing sexts and what types of photos you might request when asking for nudes from a woman. During the conversation- he mentioned how a genital pic from a woman wouldn’t “do it” for him. The implication was that he doesn’t like to look at vaginas/labia and that a breast photo would be optimal. Side bar- he also really dislikes performing cunnilingus. This is a man who is by all accounts 100% heterosexual. He’s never (that he’s willing to admit) been with a man sexually and has only had relationships with women. I’m perplexed that a straight man would have such an aversion to female genitals. What are your thoughts on this? I find myself going back to his level of heterosexuality- as if that should indicate more openness and willingness to look at and enjoy vagina. However- I think it may have less to do with the spectrum of heterosexuality and more to do with his aversion to intimacy and a deep buried mysogny. I’ve had sex with men who were much more fluid on the spectrum of hetero/homo and they were much more open and generous with their appreciation of vaginas. Do you think this is a form of sexual repression? Is this a form of sexism? Or is it just that some straight men really dislike the look and taste of vagina?
 
 
 
Hi stranger! First off, thank you for including labia in your question instead of just referring to the whole area as "vagina". Most people have never really seen a vagina because it is an internal part of the sexual system. What is generally visible are the labia minora and majora, vulva, clitoris, and clitoral hood. Okay... anatomy lesson over (for now... unless someone has questions about that).
 
 
 
So, why doesn't your on/off partner like sexts with your genitals and why doesn't he enjoy going down on you? I don't have any magic insight into his mind but I think it is one of the reasons you mentioned, or possibly a combination of them. Given the other information you've provided, I think it is most likely an aversion to intimacy and vulnerability and some buried misogyny. It is kind of an old-school view that going down on a woman was unmanly and that real men didn't do that (there is even an episode of The Sopranos where this subject almost started a gang war). Basically, sex was pleasure for men and any specific act that didn't stimulate the penis or provide the man pleasure was unmanly and a sign of weakness. Since you say he exhibits other red flags for misogyny like dominance and aggression this seems like a strong possibility.
 
 
 
It is also possible that he just doesn't like the look and taste of genitals. As for look, that kind of makes more sense to me. I am more aroused by the entire female form, particularly breasts, more than just the vulva in isolation but I wouldn't really say that a vulva pic "wouldn't do it for me". I do think it is a shame and concerning that he doesn't like performing cunnilingus though. There are lots of things we do in an equal sexual partnership that is more for our partner than for us. Giving you pleasure, learning your body, and participating in mutual sexual satisfaction should be some of his primary concerns, even if that means that he does something that isn't a focus on him. If having him go down on you is important then I hope you are making him do it (so to speak), you are within your right to withhold certain sexual acts or sex entirely if he is unwilling to give you something you'd like. Particularly if you are willing to go down on him.
Oh, and I wouldn't worry about the taste issue. In my moderate experience men generally, complain about taste as an excuse. Bodies that are showered regularly do not have any particularly offensive odors or tastes.
 
 
 
Lastly, is this a form of sexual suppression or closeted homosexual desires on his part? Maybe... I actually first thought this until you said he enjoy receiving pictures of breasts. I'd say most homosexual men are not aroused by breasts but it is possible that he is somewhere on the bisexual scale and is aroused by the sight of breasts but not vulvas (brains are complex and have a ton of variety, our labels never do them justice). I don't know what is going on in his head but maybe when he is doing it doggy-style or receiving oral sex he is imagining a man but it is difficult to make that mental leap when licking a clitoris. So maybe it is some sort of repression and he covers that by being a "manly man" who dislikes pleasuring his partners. I do find it interesting that you said "He’s never (that he’s willing to admit) been with a man sexually" because that seems to imply that you have some doubts about what he has told you.
 
 
 
So, I guess I really don't know. I think it is most likely sexism, which could possibly include the other two theories you mentioned. Either way, I hope you are getting what you want and need out of the relationship and are standing up for your own pleasure (even if that means pushing him to his knees). All these theories do point to some red flags with this guy and I hope you act cautiously.
 
 
 
Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy. You can also friend or follow me on Facebook, I don't really say no to requests.
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Bookending My Day

I’m constantly trying to improve my habits and get the most out of life. When my partner and I decided to stop our nomadic lifestyle and live in Wilmington I basically had no habits for dealing with “normal” life. That clean slate was good, in a way, but it also meant that I had no idea what I was doing. Still today, almost two years later, my ability to build habits that will help me reach my goals is still in its infancy.

For me, the key to accomplishing what I want is using the time in my life wisely. We all have 24 hours in a day (obvi) and I realized that I was wasting much of this precious life by focusing on the wrong things and inefficiently approaching the right things. So, I know what I should do… alas, reality is much more difficult.

During a perfect day, my life would be broken down into four sections: Morning Habits, The Day, Evening Habits, and Sleep. Morning and Evening Habits involve the work I’m doing to improve myself. During this time I would journal, meditate, exercise, write, read, take online classes, record podcast episodes, plan The Day, etc. This is my time to start and end the day on a strong path. It is 1/3 of my day when I am focused on becoming, creating, and consuming the things I want. My life, my potential, my future is built during these hours. This is my general daily plan, which I often fail at:

Then, throughout The Day, I would take care of necessary business. When my partner is at work that means working but it can also mean cleaning the house, taking care of the yard, running errands, and any other responsibilities I may have. When my partner is home this The Day turns into hanging out, going on dates, exploring Wilmington, etc. Lastly, I would get around 7-8 hours of sleep between around 10pm and 5:30am. Here is a perfect day:

 

 

 

But, as can be expected, there is no perfect day. I wake up late, slack on my morning routine and try to make it up later in the day, I get distracted, stay up too late, and neglect my evening habits. A real day looks like this:

 

But, I’m going to keep trucking on. I’m going to keep trying new techniques and sticking with ones that have worked. I’ll build and rebuilt systems that push me closer to success, forever refining the process. And, maybe most importantly, I’m not going to be hard on myself when I backslide. Maybe I fuck up one day or maybe one year, as long as I keep coming back and trying then I am on my way to success. The perfect day is impossible, there is always room for improvement, and perfection isn’t really the goal I seek to attain (again, because that’s impossible). The goal is to keep trying, growing, and testing myself to see what my potential is. If I do that, then I will have had a good life.

Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy. You can also friend or follow me on Facebook, I don’t really say no to requests.
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com
Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback. Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi 
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Humanizing Perspectives – Bisexuality

I recently started reading “Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World”, edited by Robyn Ochs & Sarah E. Rowley. The book is a collection of hundreds of short essays, some only one paragraph long, written by people who identify as bisexual. Reading it has been pretty eye-opening for me, even though I already have a fluid view of my own sexuality.

The book has made me realize how rarely we have the opportunity to hear from people about things that we have a hard time relating too. It is the most extreme voices that find their way into politics or onto the news and the average person is pushed to the back, their voice never heard. I know for me it would be great to read more books that collect essays from people that I have a hard time relating too. That would allow for humans to explain why they feel, belief, act the way they do so that I could learn. Nuance and humanity is lost in today’s society… sadly. And it makes us all worse off.

I also think it would be pretty cool to collect essays from groups that I identify as. Maybe a book by drug users, veterans, poly couples, anarchists, or atheists could allow others to view people like me with a little more understanding and love. And I know that my love and patience would increase if I could understand conservatives, Christians, straight-edge, and even White supremacists. There is no harm in trying to understand why people believe what they do. In fact, I think understanding is necessary if we are going to seek truth and peace as a society.

Here are a few excerpts from “Getting Bi” that I highlighted:

“I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one sex, not necessarily at the same time, not neessarily in the same way, and not neccesarily to the same degree.” – Robyn Ochs

“Different though the sexes are, they intermix, In every human being a vacillation between the sexes takes place and often it is only the clothes that keep the male and female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what is above.”
– Orlando, Virginia Woolf

“However, I truly believe that most humans’ sexual experiences lie not within exclusive hetero or homosexual boundaries, but somewhere in between. I hope that one day homophobia and heterosexism will dissappear.” – Mayra Santos-Febres

“Being bisexual is nothing other than being able to love, at least potentially, humanity as a whole.” – Miguel Obradors Campos

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” – Andre Gide

“Dad, you warned me of the hazards of ‘trying to find myself,’ especially in today’s society. You were right.” – Amber Terrell

“I call myself bisexual because I feel I have the capacity to love both sexes as much as members of a heterosexual couple love each other. It’s not ‘swinging both ways’ or ‘being promiscuous’; it’s about my capacity to love both sexes equally and fully.” – Simone Pantaleo

“But just because someone is bisexual doesn’t mean that they have loose sexual ethics. It doesn’t mean they’re a swinging cat. It just means you’re attracted to men and women.” – David Ertischek

“Bisexuality (whatever that means) for me is about the ability to relate to all people at a deep emotional level. It is an openness of the heart. It is the absence of limits, especially those that are defined by the other person’s sex. It is about not needing to choose. Who said that to love someone you have to renounce something? Bisexuality is the realization that you can indeed have it all. It is the power of not giving yourself limits.” – Andrea Toselli

“Some people say that their feelings were always there or they’ve known they were different since they were children. That’s not the case for me. I totally decided to be this way and now that I have had a chance to be with another woman, I realize that this is who I am.” – Talia Erinna

Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy. You can also friend or follow me on Facebook, I don’t really say no to requests.
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com
Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback. Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi 
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Ask PJ: Why the f*ck are you buying a house?

Alright, it has been a while but I received another anonymous question on Sarahah. As always, if you’ve got a question, comment, criticism, or genital pick you want to send me just check out the links at the bottom of the post.

Peter, we’ve never met before but I respect you and want all the best for you. So take this with a grain of salt that I know you will. Buying a house right now, might directly conflict with your goal of selling it in 3-5 years and traveling more. My brother bought a house before the last financial collapse near the peak of the market, which subsequently lost half of its value in a year or so. He is still underwater on his mortgage and having to sink in tons of money on repairs and maintenance. His future choices have been severely limited by this house. I wish to see you avoid a similar fate. Is there anything so bad about renting for another year or two?
Hi stranger! First off, I want to thank you for sending this question in a modest and appropriate way. You have asked for my explanation instead of just posting unsolicited advice on my Facebook wall. You are way better at this than most people.
Before your question, here is a little background information for those who may not be my Facebook friend (you should change that) or know who the fuck I am.
In 2014, my partner and I decided to leave Los Angeles and we spent about 2.5 years bicycling around the country. We had online jobs which allowed us a very nomadic lifestyle but we grew tired of it and moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. We’ve been here for about a year and a half now and have just started the process to purchase a home.
So, you are correct that buying a house may conflict with my goal of selling it in 3-5 years and traveling more. That is certainly a risk but I don’t think it is a huge one, but first I think you make an assumption I should point out. You seem to think there will be some point in my life when I won’t want to leave a city every few years and keep traveling. That just isn’t the case. It is very unlikely that I will ever really live in a town for more than 3-5 years at a time for the rest of my life. I want to live in dozens of cities and countries, so renting for a few more years here and worrying about purchasing at another time is endlessly kicking the can down the road and off a cliff. The perfect day will never come… besides, I am an unapologetic imperfectionist. Now is good enough for a home purchase, so we are going to try it.
I completely understand your reservations considering what your brother went through. I clearly don’t know the details of your brother’s situation but my parent’s faced something similar. They bought their house at a terrible time, took at an ARM, and have been underwater on their house ever since, which is pretty shitty considering they are approaching retirement (side point: I’m 36 and would much rather make a housing mistake now than when I’m in my 40’s or 50’s). My parent’s experience is a huge part of why I have not owned a home at this point, I just didn’t see why it was worth all the risk. But, I’ve come to realize that that risk can be mitigated in a lot of ways.
First off, my partner and I are buying below our means. The general rule of thumb is to keep housing costs at about 30% or less of income. The home we made an offer on will have housing costs of about 10% of our income. In fact, our mortgage ($600 for a three-bedroom, 2-bath home near downtown Wilmington) will be less than our current rent of $775 for a smaller house in a less central location. Not only will we avoid just throwing money down a money pit of rent, we will be saving dollars on a monthly basis.
But, even if we weren’t saving money we would probably still buy because of the greater freedom it allows. We want to decorate and paint walls, get another dog, build shelving and modifications, build a fire pit in the backyard, install a screened-in porch, and a dozen other things that can’t be done in a rental. We want the freedom to turn our house into a home that suits us.
So, the second reason that I don’t think this is a huge risk is that it is very unlikely that the housing market is at some sort of peak like it was around 2007. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I’m actually a Market and Data Analyst that focuses primarily on the housing market. I put a lot of research into both Wilmington and this particular neighborhood before we decided to do this. I don’t have everything sitting in front of me but here are a few data points that I think strengthen our decision to purchase a home in Wilmington:
  • Wilmington is about 95% developed and has very little room for new housing, the college (UNCW) is looking to expand the college by about 10% annually without providing additional housing, and the area is attracting a growing number of Boomers from the north for retirement, which points towards a significant increase in demand without an increase in supply (meaning, housing prices are potentially going to go up)
  • Wilmington’s housing market remained remarkably stable during the housing market crash with median home prices peaking in 2008 at around $215,400 and bottoming out in 2012 at $183,900 (or a loss of about 14.6%… which isn’t huge)
  • The area of town we are purchasing a home is currently being reinvigorated with new breweries, shops, and a nightlife. It is an “up and coming” area that may see significant increases in home values in the coming years.
  • My partner and I have actually saved enough money to almost buy the house outright if needed. The only reason we don’t is that the interest rate on a home loan for us using my VA benefits is much lower than the income we are generating in our investment accounts. The home interest rate is 4.125% and my annual return on my Wealthfront account is about 22%, and that isn’t even factoring in how much more money I’m making on blockchain investments.
  • Lastly, rental prices tend to be immune to housing market crashes and keep rising even if home values decrease. In 2008, the median gross rent in Wilmington was $817, in 2012 it was $881, and in 2016 it was $921. Meaning, the cost of renting is going to continue to rise but if we decide we want to leave our home we can easily rent it out to someone for more than enough to cover the mortgage, any repairs, and make a profit.
So, even if the market were to go completely sideways we are okay. We’ve done our research on the area to minimize our risk exposure, we’ve secured enough backup funding to cover unexpected costs or property loss, and we have a backup plan to rent the property if we really don’t want to be tied down but every other contingency falls through. This isn’t a guarantee that this experiment will be the right one for us, but life is risky and I’d rather take this risk now than wonder what could have been. We are tired of renting, we are tired of living by someone else’s rules, and we are very excited to enjoy home ownership.
 
Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy. You can also friend or follow me on Facebook, I don’t really say no to requests.
Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.com SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH Email: pjneiger@gmail.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/pneiger
Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback. Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com Bitcoin Wallet: 3BZQcA31awrYj7LAXmMY5armp5s1T2gpsL Ethereum Wallet: 0x05F040cd6FB61377c375d487A37229359Dd6D976

I Did Everything The Wrong Way

My partner and I are in the process of buying a house. It has been hectic and stressful and exciting, particularly when I think about how impossible it should have been. I’m 36 years old and I stopped living paycheck-to-paycheck just last year. I haven’t had a real savings account ever and my Roth IRA has less than one years worth of investment in it.  I haven’t lived in one city for more than 2 years since I was 18 and I’ve had 5 jobs in the last 8 years. Only one year of my entire life have I made more than $30,000.

Yet, here I am about to buy a house and putting 20% down (well, technically 10% down because my partner is covering 10% but I actually could put 20% myself if needed).

So, how am I stable despite seemingly actively working against any sort of structure or stability or traditional path?

Because I pursued what was right for me. Though, the pursuit has been indirect. More often than not I was running away from what I knew didn’t work for me instead of running towards something I knew would work. I found a life perfect(ish) for me by process of elimination. I didn’t try to make the traditional path work for me, I didn’t try to change myself, instead, I went on a different path.

By all accounts, I should have monogamously married the first adult love of my life, secured a steady job in finance or economics or something, had a couple of kids, and slowly put money into savings accounts, 401ks, and college funds. But I didn’t want that… monogamy, steady work in the same place, children, low-risk investments… that life doesn’t appeal to me.

Instead, I decided to be true to myself and discover what life I could have. And by taking that risk, by quitting jobs and ending relationships and moving around the country and deciding to live a life of adventure before retirement, I ended up in a great place.

The purchasing of this house isn’t the end of my pursuit of an artistic, rebel, true-to-me life. The odds are pretty good that we will be moving out of this house in the next 3-5 years and trying out a new city or country. But it is very symbolic, it shows that I could have all the rewards of tradition if I wanted them. That trying something new isn’t necessarily a path into the wilderness or uncharted territories. New paths cross old paths often and we can switch how we live our lives at almost any point.

Nothing is guaranteed, maybe this risk will turn out to be nothing like I expected (much like moving to LA was), but it will be an adventure and learning experience. And if/when I die I won’t regret it.

Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits (as you will probably notice if you read through the on my AMA page). You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy.

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SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com

Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback.
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PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com
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Looking To My Heart

“Look into your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.”
– 
Steven Pressfield, “The War of Art”

I have stories in my heart screaming to be told. I imagine everyone else does as well. Maybe it is the written word, like me, or maybe a painting, a song, a business, an adventure. There is this aching inside of me that longs to be set free but there is a barrier up, this “Resistance” uses all the tricks it can to keep me docile, keep me safe, keep me unfulfilled, keep me average.

So, what can I do? How can I fight?

Well first, that story must stop just circling around my mind and I must translate it to words. I don’t know how the story begins or ends, I don’t know who all the characters are (or even who the protagonist is), that hasn’t been made clear to me yet… but I trust it will in time. The only thing that is really somewhat clear is the world I want to build. So here is the basic idea of the world I want to build.

I want to explore a fantasy “D&D” style world that is grounded in science. Humanity has conquered nearly everything and has started exploring the stars. They are immortal, can travel instantaneously, can alter space and time and matter, but on one world something goes wrong. Maybe they face a species with similar technology or a rare natural occurrence erases their advancements or something else entirely that I haven’t figured out yet.

Regardless, thousands of years pass and a subset of the human population grows and evolves in this world with other species. The technology partially remains, as does the DNA of their ancestors, and it continues to grow and evolve and adapt even if the source of the technology is lost to time. These super-human powers are magic to the intelligent life on the planet because they have forgotten their history.

I haven’t worked out all the kinks (obviously), but this world will be populated by the “classic” species like elves, dwarves, humans, etc. who are all either ancestor of the humans who landed or the species that originally inhabited the planet. They have the power to transport or control the physical world through technological artifacts and long-dormant genes that occasionally show themselves.  Gods and goddesses exist as the inhabitants of space stations stuck in orbit around the planet. Each station has a different power set and the inhabitants have different personalities, maybe one has gone insane from immortality and isolation.

So, that’s the basic idea. I need to more formally identify the different species, magic, and gods, as well as the scientific principles that make their powers possible. As Arthur Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And I’d like to find away to make all sorts of magic out of technology.

Do you have a question or comment for me? Feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits (as you will probably notice if you read through the on my AMA page). You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy.

Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.com
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Email: pjneiger@gmail.com

Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback.
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I’m Going to Suck

I’ve wanted to be a fiction author for a long time. I took writing classes in middle school in which I started (but never finished) all manner of fantasy novels. As a child, my favorite books were The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings and as an adult, I love The Wheel of Time, The Dark Tower, and A Song of Fire and Ice. I am amazed by authors who are able to create such complex worlds and I would love to have that type of impact on someone someday… but I’ve never really started.

There are many reasons that I have not written a novel (yet?), but I am having trouble convincing myself that the reasons are good reasons. As cliche as it is, I am afraid that what I write will be bad or hated or whatever. But I also know that it absolutely will be bad, at least in the beginning, and that’s okay.

I recently read “Rocannon’s World” by Ursula Le Guin. Even if you are familiar with Le Guin you probably have never heard of “Rocannon’s World”. Le Guin is a fantastic author but this novel is really not that good. It was her first novel and it is mediocre, at best. It was the first place that the word “ansible” was used for faster-than-light communication, but that is really all it contributed to science fiction. I have a tendency to not only compare myself to the best, but compare myself to the best works of the best. I read books like The Dark Tower series and am in awe, but I forget that King’s magnum opus is the result of over 40 years of professional writing, 22 years of writing on that series, and thousands upon thousands of hours of practice. Even if I have a smidge of writing talent I have not put in the hours necessary. So yes, my writing will be bad. As Macklemore says:

The Greats aren’t great because at birth they could paint
The Greats are great because they paint a lot

Practice, practice, practice… but I don’t practice, I want the stories swirling in my head to magically appear on paper. I wait for the perfect sunny day where I have the right amount of creative energy to even sit at my computer to write. And because of that, my stories may go untold.

So, is this blog post just a wordy recommitment to writing?

Not really.

I’ve done that before. For some people it helps to make public statements, but not for me. When I make a public statement it tends to destroy my motivation. I feel like talking about creating is enough, that it is an appropriate substitute for actual creation.

I want to be a writer. I want to tell my stories. I want the world’s that swirl around in my head to be made real. And to do that I need to have perspective. My first novel won’t be a best-seller, I’m not Patrick Rothfuss and that’s okay. I’d be fulfilled if I could just tell my tales, and if 2018 is about anything for me it is about seeking fulfillment. 2017 was happiness and stability, but happiness and stability aren’t the end goals of life and I hope I can move beyond them.

If you have a question or comment feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy.

Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.com
SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com

Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback.
Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi

PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com
Bitcoin Wallet: 3BZQcA31awrYj7LAXmMY5armp5s1T2gpsL
Ethereum Wallet: 0x05F040cd6FB61377c375d487A37229359Dd6D976

Memento Mori

I’m probably going to die someday. It is possible that medical technology will advance to the point of immortality before my consciousness disintegrates (or transfers to some other existence), but I’m increasingly doubtful. It is also possible that I have some sort of genetic mutation ala “The Man From Earth” and I’m immortal, but that seems even less likely.

So, I’m probably going to die. But I’m okay with that. I don’t fear death, even if I’m not particularly interested in it happening anytime soon. I used to be terrified of death back when I was a Christian, which is kind of ironic. I’m not sure how close the connection is between my spiritual evolution and my comfort with non-existence, but I can’t help but think they are at least somewhat connected.

Religion didn’t give me much peace because there was always this fear that I wasn’t “truly saved”, that I had fucked up something between baptism and death and would be spending eternity being tortured by red-horned demons. Now that I think about it, that is pretty psychologically scaring, particularly for children.

Death is often on my mind, not as a fear but as motivation. If this is all ephemeral, if can truly “leave life right now” then life is put in perspective. It motivates me to make the most out of my time here, but also not to take things too seriously. It is a source of inspiration to write a book, record a podcast, skydive over Antarctica, and try anal sex…. because if I don’t do it today then I may never get a chance to do it.

But, it is also a way to provide a little modesty. I’m simply not that important. I’m going to die like everyone else. My name will be forgotten. I will return to stardust, just like everyone else. And that is a huge relief. I can enjoy life and the moment for exactly what it is. As Hairy Soul Man says in his Stoic Hedonist sonnet, “Fuck Everything”:

Now I know most of you don’t agree
with my bleak outlook on life
But I say, it’s the thing that sets me free.

Cause I don’t give a shit what you think of me
No, I don’t give any shits
That’s right, I don’t got any shits to give

Now I’m not saying you can’t go out
and live a fantastic life
You totally can!

You just need to remember
You’re not the center of the fucking universe

So I want to celebrate the absolute insignificance of our existence by coming together, coming together to say…

Fuck everything

So, today I will go out and live my life because I might leave tomorrow. That means enjoying the good things that are within my control. I will enjoy time with my partner, go outside for a run, test my body and mind, and enjoy that strawberry even if there is a tiger trying to eat me. Also, I will try and ignore the garbage in the world like the news and most of Facebook and trash TV (unless those things provide some mental health benefits). I may die tomorrow, but that’s okay because my life is been lived. Besides, my death won’t matter to me or anyone else in the long run and it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

If you have a question or comment feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy.

Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.com
SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com

Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback.
Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi

PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com
Bitcoin Wallet: 3BZQcA31awrYj7LAXmMY5armp5s1T2gpsL
Ethereum Wallet: 0x05F040cd6FB61377c375d487A37229359Dd6D976

For The Love of Life

At D&D on Wednesday one of the other players commented that she liked my gym photos on Facebook/Instagram because I look like I am suffering. I’m not sure if she hates me, was flirting, or something else, but she is correct, I am usually pretty miserable at the gym (and while running).

I’ve never been someone who enjoys working out. I don’t find it relaxing or therapeutic. I don’t easily jump out of bed and throw on my shoes to pound the pavement. I do everything I can to procrastinate it including, but not limited to, cleaning the house, masturbating, reading, writing, doing laundry, etc. But I do try to exercise daily for one simple reason: I love life a whole fucking bunch.

From all the research I’ve read there are a few key factors in our control that can increase the quality and quantity of our lives: don’t smoke, exercise regularly, eat whole foods plant-based diet, drink water, and sleep. Everything else is just details. So, I exercise in order to increase my chances as a longer and more pleasurable life. It sucks, but I view it as an investment. I spend 4.17% of my day in order to make my one life better then that is probably a good payoff, particularly since the gains are not only a longer life but one in which I can do things I’m interested in…

I want to climb mountains and camp under the stars and see the Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Pantheon, Dead Sea, Red Square, and Antarctica. I want to raft down rivers and sail across oceans and take a spaceship to the moon. I want to know what it feels like to be exhausted and sweaty and bleeding as I wander up to the top of a mountain and see the world below me. I want to weep tears of joy and suffering as I see land for the first time in days or weeks.

I want to dance at my great grand-nephew’s wedding. Cycle across the country with my partner when I’m 100 years old. I want to be able to give 1,000 pints of blood. I want to see what the next five generations of Neigers will be like.

Sidebar: Despite having five siblings (four of which are male), at this point, there is nobody carrying on my last name. That doesn’t really matter to me, I just find it funny. My sister has two boys but they took her husband’s name (as did she when they got married) and I my two brothers who have reproduced have only had daughters. This isn’t important, just kinda funny.

I want to know what my body is capable of, whether that is getting a six-pack, trying out for American Ninja Warrior, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro without a shirt. My body is the greatest gift I have ever received, I don’t know if there is a conscious source of this gift but I am still going to try and respect it, care for it, and take it to the limits. It would be a shame to go to waste because I don’t want to be uncomfortable for 4.7% of my day.

I want to live. I love life and to get the most out of this (probably) one life then I need to suck it up and go for a run, lift some weights, and practice yoga. Very few things are within my sphere of control but, to some degree, my body is.

As I think about it, this love of life is really a big part of a lot of my identities. I’m a vegan because I love life and don’t want non-human animals to suffer or die for my pleasure. I’m an atheist (partially) because I love this life and want to make the most out of this one existence, looking towards an afterlife would hold me back. I’m an anarchist because I see the state as the largest threat to and violator of life and freedom would expand life. Part of why I’m polyamorous and pansexual and a psychonaut and kinky is because I want to taste and experience love and intimacy and reality in as many forms as possible.

So, that is why I run and lift and suffer. That’s why I pay money for someone to push me beyond my comfort zone or why I sign up to run with strangers at the buttcrack of dawn. Because in those moments I experience life and I expand my potential for more life in the future. And damn it, I love life.

If you have a question or comment feel free to use the links below. There is literally nothing that is off-limits. You can also email me if you want a personal response and I won’t post anything publicly if you want privacy.

Sarahah: pneiger.sarahah.com
SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Email: pjneiger@gmail.com

Oh, and if you get some value out of this I’m always accepting tips and my book is available via the Amazon link below on Kindle and paperback.
Book: http://amzn.to/2f2tkYi

PayPal: pjneiger@gmail.com
Bitcoin Wallet: 3BZQcA31awrYj7LAXmMY5armp5s1T2gpsL
Ethereum Wallet: 0x05F040cd6FB61377c375d487A37229359Dd6D976