The Blog

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What It’s Like Growing Up Smart And Poor

You feel like an X-Man.

From a minority’s point-of-view, you don’t actually realize that you’re smart (different) until later on, and when you do you see that the smartest choice to make is to not be smart (different). Let me explain.

First off, I don’t consider myself particularly developed in one area of intelligence, I consider myself to be naturally above average in most forms of intelligence.

I’m black and I grew up poor. Very poor, and thus I grew up in the worst of neighbourhoods and the worst of intelligence enhancing environments. Though we were technically well-off where I came from (Rwanda), when I emigrated with my sister and mother to America we quickly joined the American lower class/working poor. My mother being a single-mother usually worked two jobs just to feed us, clothe us, and to put us through school. On top of that, we moved around a lot, but usually stayed in the same state, from one apartment to another (I think this is because my mother couldn’t pay the rent on more than one occasion).

There was no such thing as money left over to spend on books and movies. The only books my sister and I ever received from our mother were a bible, and an ancient kid’s encyclopedia (that she most likely got for free from someone/somewhere). We had a television set but never had cable, and we got an old computer when I was around 13 with no internet, which I didn’t seriously pay attention to until I was a junior in high school. (We only got the computer because our mother was married to our step-father at the time, who’s a failed CS major. Every time I peaked at his CS books or asked what he was doing with the computer he said it was too complicated for boys like me and to stay out, so I did, more so because he was an asshole.) The only options really available to me and my sister most of the time were to stay inside and draw (we’re both considerably above average in the naturally artistic departments), or to go out, explorer the world and get in trouble with friends.

Although at home I had quirks like Continue Reading →

What It’s Like Working With Elephants

Elephant Trainer

Though it’s mostly for show, I technically have an elephant trainer’s/ caretaker’s license from Thailand. One could go so far as to call me a Mahout.

The best I can say is that “training” elephants is a complex subject, but living and working with them is… holy.

There are many methods to training elephants and I chose my mentors based on theirs. Most elephants in Thailand are Continue Reading →

What It’s Like Sleeping Two Hours A Day For A Year (Polyphasic Sleep)

Polyphasic Uberman Dymaxion Sleep

After your body gets a handle on the extreme military-like conditions your stupidity is forcing onto it, it’s amazing and then unbearably boring.

It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.*

  1. Above all, you learn how to nap wherever possible no matter how. You make sure to secretly always be in possession of a sleeping-mask, you sneak out of parties to nap before returning, you learn how to catch naps in bathroom stalls, all cars start resembling portable beds, &c..
  2. Your sense of time is nonexistent. Although you only sleep two hours a day (via six 20-minute naps), each nap feels like eight hours of sleep and every four hour segment feels eleven hours long; every day feels three days long (equally filled to the brim with darkness and then light) and every week feels like a short February. You would think this would make you lazier, but in reality the opposite’s true: with them being your only means of time-keeping (from your body’s perspective) every nap equates to the end of a day and so you become psychologically conditioned to finish everything on your plate by the time you have to sleep (you’re slowly forced to always be focusing only on the tasks that matter). This eventually has you completing a week’s worth of tasks in two days time, half a week’s if you’re lazy Continue Reading →


Madonna said, “Don’t treat me like I’m special,
I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

but you loved her. and she loved you
and the whole world knew it

quietus spiritus (warning: drink just a little,)


Rumi’s Remarks On The Lovely And Dark And Deep Woods

In the tavern are many wines [writes poet Coleman Barks in ‘The Essential Rumi’], the wine of delight in colour and form and taste, the wine of the intellect’s agility, the fine port of stories, and the cabernet of soul singing. Being human means entering this place where entrancing varieties of desire are served. The grapeskin of ego breaks and a pouring begins. Fermentation is one of the oldest symbols of human transformation. When grapes combine their juice and are closed up together for a time in a dark place, the results are spectacular. This is what lets two drunks meet so that they don’t know who is who. Pronouns no longer apply in the tavern’s mud-world of excited confusion and half-articulated wantings.

But after some time in the tavern, a point comes, a memory of elsewhere, a longing Continue Reading →

What It’s Like Growing Up With A Schizophrenic Mother

My mother got diagnosed as a bi-polar, then as a schizophrenic while I was in my last high school years.

The best way I can explain it is that it’s comparable to running through a unending and self-repeating gauntlet of emotions every day of your life: confusion, fear, sadness, disgust, shame, pity and self-pity, anger, envy, indignation, tolerance, patience, surprise, appreciation, hope, and then back to fear again.


How would you feel if you and your younger sister came home in 2008 to your mom telling you she’s on Obama’s head team, and that since she’s been on this team the FBI and CIA have been following her everywhere (while residing in Canada)? How would you feel the next day when you walk in on her treating the living room as if it was bugged, asking her what’s wrong, and being led to her bedroom and she quietly telling you that the people in the TV were watching and listening to her every move? Now, how would you feel if the day after that you came home and found that she had packed all her clothes in suitcases because Obama was apparently sending his men to pick her up that night?

Yeah, confused is the gist of it. So you do what anybody would do, and take her to the hospital to figure out what’s wrong. Continue Reading →