reality is weirder than you think

Category: About the Author (page 1 of 5)

Image of the week: reality is weirder than you think

Another art piece this week. It was either that or a meme about gun control and magical thinking, and as much as I support the 2nd Amendment, it’s not a fight that I’m willing to jump into the middle of. There are people who are much more experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate than I am to lead that charge.

This week, I’m reminded that reality is a weird wild wooly thing. It’s definitely not tame, and yet somehow we can influence it with our actions (and even our thoughts).

Background: I’ve struggled mightily with dating. You might have been able to tell from some of my previous posts (#understatement). I signed up for last month.

Last week, I was challenged to project myself into the future, to December 31, 2018, and write about what made 2018 the best year ever. It was an exercise in preemptively looking back, which set an extraordinary amount of expectation and implicit planning in motion.

(Confirmation bias is a bitch, isn’t it? Better to have it working for you than against you.)

One of the themes I touched on was, of course, a relationship. And since when you’re creating a best year ever, you may as well go big, I envisioned the kind of relationship that would blindside me.

That night–no literally that same night–I was messaged the kind of man that I have always hoped to run across on dating sites. Christian, courage of conviction, /our guy/. Despite the fact that a few of these men are on Twitter, I was beginning to doubt that there were any IRL.

Now it remains to be seen how this all will play out.

But the timing is still intensely weird.

Knowing Thyself

It’s funny, that what you can admit so readily to yourself becomes irritating when someone else points it out in you.

Kind of like how you can make fun of your brother to his face, but the minute someone else does, you’re all up in theirs.

I took a personality inventory over the weekend, and–when I think about it objectively–it really wasn’t much of a surprise.

But it’s never fun being told you’re not that agreeable.

Even though

  • Your favorite part of music is the counterpoint
  • You do your best work after you hit the “forget you” mentality
  • There are few people in the world you call friends
  • You’re fine with having contrary opinions in a group
  • Trolls and tricksters are reliably your favorite characters
  • You say “no” straight up (most of the time) instead of deflecting

I also consider myself incredibly polite, but I have to acknowledge that I have to work hard at it.

It’s also a distinct possibility that my low agreeableness is what allows me to be interested in art and creativity, but also fairly right-leaning in my thinking.

There are plusses and there are minuses.

(It makes dating extra difficult, though.)



When you think new media has won…

…try streaming the Olympics legally online without a prior cable subscription.

SERIOUSLY you’d think that attitudes would have progressed by now.

Obviously the technology is fine.

Maybe by the time that NBC’s stranglehold on the Olympics is up in 2032 they’ll decide to capitalize on the fact that there’s a sizable demographic of people who HATE cable but will stream just about anything online.

Right now, it just feels like the leadership at NBC hates me and everyone like me. Which, when you think about it, they do.

Maybe this is my self-inflicted memetic punishment for wanting to participate in such globalist pomp and circumstance as the Olympics.


Some days you aim for 1% better but barely break even

Today wasn’t a bad day. It was fairly pleasant, all in all.

I checked out a new church, talked with my parents in our weekly facetime chat, and made strides at putting my apartment in order. (Having actual furniture is weird, yo.) I spent some time reading and working on a cross-stitch for my entryway.

Some things improved a lot: my guest room looks pretty great, despite the overturned moving boxes masquerading as side tables and lack of pillows. The bed is made nicely, there’s art on the walls, a semi-cohesive decorating scheme, and there’s an overall “vibe” to the room that none of the other rooms in this place have yet.

On the other hand, my guest room actually looks better than my real bedroom, which is basically my bed and a bunch of clothes. (And also my duck lamp, but that’s beside the point.)

This afternoon, I had a bunch of ideas for blog posts, all that will take development. So I wrote out various rough drafts but never finished any of them.

As I’m writing this post instead, I can’t help but smell the remains of the charred stew that I attempted to cook for my lunch tomorrow. It’s incinerated; the meat is like charcoal.

I can look up and see the television antenna I bought in an attempt to watch NBC’s edited version of the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday. It’s hooked up, but won’t receive any channels.

There are some great lamps that my parents gifted me, old pottery lamps from the 80s that are pretty. I bought shades for them, and had to buy lamp harps twice–the first were one inch too short, the second one inch too tall.

Incremental progress can work backward, too.

This coming week, I’m making a resolution to stop complaining as much and to go on the offense at work.

It’s usually better to be positive about life. But sometimes, you gotta keep it real, fam. Not everything goes right, all of the time, even when we try.

Tomorrow is a new day.

(One where I won’t burn the stew.)

Google doesn’t want me switching to Protonmail

But don’t worry Google, I’m not abandoning my gmail account just yet.

Tonight I decided it was high time that this blog had an email to it, so I decided to try out Protonmail.

Easy, right? Head on over to, read through the features. Sounds good. The tech team is throwing its high-academic credentials around, which worries me a little, but there are good guys everywhere who are worried about privacy. The servers are in Switzerland. Everything checks out–let’s proceed.

Then I clicked “sign up.”

And Google Chrome crashed.

That was weird.

Undaunted, I reopened Chrome and restored my old tabs. One of them had an interesting article about an artist’s journey, which I was planning to share here tonight.

Before any of the pages could load, Chrome crashed again.

Double weird.

Now, it’s possible that the Protonmail site just doesn’t like my older version of Chrome (long story about refusing to switch to the Adobe Creative Cloud). Sometimes my version of Chrome doesn’t like brand-new features on many websites. But I find it curious that the Protonmail homepage loaded just fine for me until I clicked the “sign up” button. After that, it would never load again.

It could be that this is all just a coincidence. (I don’t believe in coincidences.)

It could be that Google is gaslighting its users into staying with gmail. (I wouldn’t put it past them.)

Or it could be a memetic signal that it’s time to get off Google.

Anyway, email me at batfort at protonmail dot com if you want to get in touch.


Edit: I checked for browser compatibility and my version of Chrome is supposedly supported. [crying laugh emoji]

“Do you want me to be Christian?”

I should really start playing “bad date bingo.”

How cruel would it be to take out a bingo card during a date and mark off one of the squares? (Okay, I wouldn’t do that.)

But there are repeating elements of a not-great date, enough that you could make a bingo card if you wanted to.

Let’s be real: I have opinions. I try to have an open mind about the form of a good man, and his interests, and all those other things. But I do have some non-negotiables.

For instance, as a Christian, I would greatly prefer to seriously date or marry a Christian man. Shocking, I know.

I usually try to bring this up early, as it’s kind of a big deal to me.

If that’s not you, hey it’s fine. Maybe we just shouldn’t date each other.

However, there’s a subset of guys–maybe about a third–who can’t or won’t take this as an acceptable answer. Maybe it’s cognitive dissonance. They like me so much, that they can’t see the objective reality that will prevent our relationship from working out.

(Do I sabotage it myself? Maybe. But you can’t say I didn’t give them a fair warning.)

So they dance. The skittering, justifying, pretzel-twisting mental dance of trying to twist around all their thoughts and words into something that slightly somehow kind of resembles what I’m looking for.

It is the most unattractive thing.

“I’m not what you’re attracted to? Well then let me become that. What is it again?”

Guys. Stand for something. Something that you want. Your mission.

Don’t let it be dependent on a girl. Please.

A lot of people will tell you that the old advice of “be yourself” doesn’t work if you’re not getting dates. That is true on one level–if you keep acting in the same way, of course your situation isn’t going to change.

But pushing yourself to act in a new way doesn’t mean becoming whatever she wants you to be.

Be you. Have your mission.

And then find the girl who complements you.


I feel like this post, while written to men, was really written to myself.

I’m so glad to live in a world where…

Donald J Trump is president of the United States of America.

like the fact that Donald J Trump is president, contrary to what my 16-year-old self would have believed.

K-pop exists, and makes everyone just a little bit happier.

I can write an appreciation post about anything that I want.

Trees are the most beautiful creatures.

Polar bears live very, very far away from me. Also scorpions.

Tazmania exists.

We can pass true information (not just “official” information) to each other through the internet.

Cast iron pans create a crispy crust on steaks. (Now I just gotta stop overcooking them.)

Every day is a new leaf unfurled, a new adventure, full of promise and lulz and accomplishments.


We live in the best timeline–don’t we, folks?

Appreciation post

Lately I’ve noticed some sour thoughts sprout up in my mind.

“I hate people.”

“Why do I do this? It’s absurd.”

“Coffee tables are stupid and ugly.”

It’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of negativity. I’ve noticed myself doing so more and more.

This is not the life I want to live.

So to counteract, I’m going to appreciate some things:



How can you forget how delicious steak is? Apparently I can. I made myself steak tonight for the first time in many months. It was delicious. I’m partial to NY Strips, because I like the fat/lean ratio.

(Don’t ask me about my cast iron pan, though. They come with a learning curve that I haven’t quite mastered.)


Jordan B Peterson

Our favorite Canadian professor absolutely owned his recent interview with Channel 4 News.

Talk about the IQ/communication gap in action. Obviously she’s not dumb, but she paddles around in the shallow pool of word-thinking while Peterson is plying her with logical arguments and abstract reasoning.

Even if you know Peterson’s arguments front and back, it’s worth watching his delivery. Unflappable, friendly, on the offense. Beautiful. I aspire to this level of mastery.



My recent foray into the needle arts has reminded me about the crack-level addiction that comes with embroidery floss colors. You go to the fabric store, and stand before an entire wall of pure, unadulterated color. And usually it’s in gradients, gradually morphing in hue and shade. I want them all.


The Donald Trump chia head that is sprouting in my dining nook

One of the delightful parts of moving is finding all sorts of things, packing them, and then finding them again when you unpack. I had totally forgotten about the Donald Trump chia head that I bought sometime in 2016 but had never sprouted.

Our God Emperor deserves the best of chia hair. I’ll post a photo when it’s sprouted.

This is way too much fun

Cross stitch + data visualizations. They go together like steak and a ripping hot cast-iron pan.

Counted cross stitch requires intense scrutiny of detail, much like attending to a dataset*. You might as well combine the two!

After my Bitcoin debut–which I need to frame–I decided to tackle something a little more personal.

This one is a map of my income over the past several years vs doses of a super-high-powered drug that I thought I’d be dependent on forever.

I thought I would per permanently scraping-dry poor, tethered to corporate-level health insurance, at the mercy of the modern medical system.

Thank GOD that by small steps I managed to escape most of it.

I have corporate-level health insurance by nature of working with a huge employer, but I’m not dependent on it anymore. If I lost my job tomorrow…whatever.

Anyway, I wanted to make a motivational chart to remind myself that I have done not one but TWO things I previously thought were impossible.

I did it before. I can do it again.

This one is a work in progress, as I got a little overexcited with the x-axis and need to redo the end of it.

I’d start another, but I need to make a supply run for more aida cloth.

*I say this like I’m some sort of data expert. I’m not. But I’d like to learn more about statistics.

The Russian Bots have arrived

For the past few days, the main referrer of traffic to this blog has been some sort of Russian Youtube situation.

I don’t know who. I don’t know why. I don’t know what they’re after.

But at this point in history, I feel like it means something when the Russian bots show up.



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