The Green Pill Podcast: Enthusiastic Consent

Throughout my long marriage, one of my biggest issues was feeling unwanted. This is of course strange because I know she wanted me as her husband but the way she showed me that desire was via control and restrictions, not through acts of physical intimacy, which is how many see the pinnacle of romantic appreciation. My point is, I kept waiting for some sign of eagerness, not just simple consent. And when I didn’t see that excitement I just couldn’t see myself getting into it enough to be physically arroused.

For the longest time, I felt this way but never could put it into words. Then I read Dr. Emily Nagoski‘s Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life. That’s where I learned the terms Enthusiastic Consent and Sexual Concordance. Enthusiastic Consent is a perfect life’s mantra in almost every situation, and Sexual Concordance is typified by the body being aligned with the mind. By contrast, one example of discord is a woman being intimately moist but not interested in physical intimacy, mentally. In this case, there will be no enthusiasm, nor any consent, and so that external manifestation is most emphatically not an invitation. Dr. Nagoski doesn’t talk much about male Sexual Concordance in that book but for men, clearly discord is something which happens, be it for young men, who engorge despite the situation not calling for it, or older men, who are really happy to be there, but are unable to stiffen.

While we skirt around the specifics of intimate enthusiastic consent in this episode, in an upcoming episode, Sex Talk 1, we will go into more detail. In the meantime, please enjoy my friend Cat hosting this wonderfully informative discussion.

The Green Pill Podcast: Icebreaker

One of the hardest things for us to do in life is put ourselves out there and break the proverbial ice. So important is that first step of walking before running that Toastmasters even defines it as the first speech you’re asked to give.

I know it’s awkward to just walk up to someone and try to think of something clever to say. And believe me, it takes practice. I mean, to just go up to someone, especially someone you fancy, and get your foot in the door, so to speak, with all the anxiety and self-doubt you may be feeling? It’s not easy.

But, believe me, they’re probably just as nervous, just as awkward. And it’s not about tricking them to like you like some black-pill gigolo who could care less. Quite the contrary, you will have your best success if you just show sincerity and deliver it with a smile. And accept rejection because there’s always someone else and not every connection is meant to be.

I was at a party recently and made a bunch of new friends by just smiling, listening, and joined in the conversations. Even met a lovely fellow Tesla drive with a moon in her hair who I hope to meet again. And I did that all despite the inner demons of self-loathing whispering in the background.

Finally, not to be trite but sometimes all you have to do is say “Hi”.

A tail of Toastmasters in Three thrilling fails

I have slowly been churning through my Persuasive Influencer program with Loudoun Toastmasters. As a toastmaster, I feel I have improved my organization and ability to speak while crafting an engaging yarn. That said, we can all learn from our foibles and in this case my last three speeches did indeed have their kinks and chances to grow from.

Electric Car Advocacy — 2023-10-05

I gave this speech as a companion to my livestream with Fairfax County, on Car Tax Payment Day, which you can watch here. I gave this speech only minutes after the presentation and as an advocacy speech to towards my Level 3 proficiency. The problem was, even though I was home and at my own computer, I didn’t have time to set up the presentation correctly and had to rush through some slides because I ran out of my 5–7 allotted time. What’s more, I didn’t set the zoom share properly so my Presentation was showing presenter view to the audience, not the presentation itself.

What I learned was that I needed to take more time to prepare my materials and make sure they were ready and that I wasn’t so hasty to set up my display. Needless to say, this was a pretty poorly performing speech that day.

Film the Eclipse with an iPhone — 2024-03-24

I first gave this at the Westminster Astronomical Society March meeting, on Wednesday, 13 March. That speech went great because I brought my own computer and it played the videos over zoom perfectly. I had it on a table in front of the audience and it was projected on the screen as well. It was a smashing success right after the main presentation. I was looking forward to giving the same speech in Toastmasters to finish out my Level 3.

Eleven days later, I addressed my toastmasters with the same speech. However, the embedded videos didn’t play when the zoom host brought up those slides. I was mortified. This time, the slide deck was shared correctly but the video content just wouldn’t play. As such, I failed again, learning that embedded content is hard to manage so keep my presentations simpler. But, what was worst of all was that the timer flashed a card at me, making me thing I was running out of time, so I rushed through to the end only to find out that I was just one second shy of 5 minutes as he flashed the green card at me. I learned then and there to not trust the timer and make sure I kept my own time.

Of course, this was just before my eclipse trip to Austin, so I was also worried about packing and getting ready for that.

The Green Pill Podcast — 2024-05-02

This speech was near and dear to me. When I saw the Create a Podcast project for the Level 4 elective speeches, I knew it was a perfect fit. I had been working on my episodes, with the last of the Spring series and first of the Summer in the can and waiting for release on YouTube, I already had 60 minutes of footage from the first 6 episodes publicly released on the platform, enough to qualify to give the corresponding speech.

Part of the speech requirements is to share a clip of your podcast. I decided rather than taking one of the existing episodes, I’d give a preview of the first Summer episode I’d just finished editing. In summer, I’m hoping to go to a more 2-camera like approach with editing for the episodes. You’ll see what I mean on 20 June, at the Solstice. In any case, I selected a clip from that episode where I reiterate some issues from our upcoming Enthusiastic Consent episode. I sent the video clip to the zoom host and reduced my speech by a minute to allow time for the clip. I also made sure to put my phone on the podium to time myself and make sure I transitioned to the clip with enough time to spare.

Unfortunately, the zoom host didn’t prepare for my clip. He thought he was supposed to play something from the existing YouTube content, but I edited a short, low-sized clip specifically for this episode. I wanted him to play that. It took nearly 2 minutes for him to load up the clip and in the end he never even shared it with Zoom properly. Another failure and poor performance on my part as I shouldn’t trust others to do what needs to be done. I should have brought my own computer and had it play the clip to Zoom.

Conclusion

When it comes to crafting a great speech, you can leave nothing to chance, friends. Watch for your contingencies and leave nothing to chance. Then maybe you can get that best speech ribbon.

My TeeVee Died

As if the stressed of my intense week back from Austin, with clambering for sleep being bad enough, I came home after a second 11+ hour day at work to the canary screen of death!

Needless to say, I’m distraught. I’m still reimbursing my savings from my trip to Austin and still trying to pay myself back for my MacBook Pro, which I used to edit the Green Pill Podcast, and a new iPhone and iPad, which I used to film the eclipse. And 2024 was the year I was finally going to replace my stolen Shure SE846 earphones.

Not to mention, I’m looking to move to the more expensive apartment down the street in the next 4–14 months. The sooner the move the better after my current apartment overcharged me $100 for two parking spaces when I only have 1 car! Not to mention the $80 I just paid to be told by the repairman he couldn’t fix id.

But, most tragic for me is that I won’t be able to watch the new series of Doctor Who on my television set. I’ll be restricted to my wide-monitor and the Disney+ app. I had to watch Doctor Who: The Savages, Part 3 on DailyMotion last night on my computer.

Folks, I’m just, still exhausted from another marathon day at work and I still haven’t had time to write my speech for tomorrow’s ToastMasters meeting and now I’m running late for me EVA/DC Board Meeting. So, without a television to lay eyes upon, toodloo!

The Green Pill Podcast: Ghosting

In the old days, when you didn’t want to speak to someone, you just didn’t answer their calls and turned off your porch light. But today, we have so many ways to go about connecting, be it texting, or social networks, or even on blogs like this or via the comment section of our YouTube channel. As such, there are numerous ways to be ghosted, blocked, and ignored.

Ghosting hurts. It’s so dissatisfying when it’s from someone you’ve been in a romantic relationship with, like I discussed with EP. But it cuts to the bone when it’s your best friend! Of course, in those cases I do hold some blame with myself (Ironically, NextDoor actually deleted and blocked my post about that episode.), but, by the same token, it shows a lack of emotional maturity to simply block someone rather than having the courage to stand up, hash things out, and agree to part ways amicably, as I did with my ex-girlfriend.

I could have just ghosted here when I realized things weren’t working out, but we had had a meaningful, 6-month relationship and I cared about her—I still care about her—and I felt she deserved more than a text, or a phone call, but that she deserved to see me in person, hear me explain why it wasn’t working, and reach out as a friend if she wanted to as I still did and still do consider her a dear friend.

And that’s how it’s done folks. Show some common decency and cut out the ghosting. You’ll be a better person for it!

The Green Pill Podcast: Ghosting

The Green Pill Podcast: Cleanliness

This is one topic I hold quite dear as someone who constantly worries about the way I smell. I used to be a quite ripe individual and I’m very not proud of that. I even used to use cologne, which I’m very ashamed of because many people are allergic to cologne and perfume more so than even natural human oders. That’s why I try to make sure to shower regularly and keep my teeth healthy and clean.

I’ve had dental problems from no doing enough for my teeth. The dentist actually found nine potential bacterial strains in a recent test. I typically see my dentist thrice a year to make sure my teeth and gums are as healthy and clean as they can be. Dental hygiene is just as critical has washing up, because nothing is more off-putting than talking to someone with bad breath.

As for keeping clean, as I have posted before, I was in Texas for the 2024 solar eclipse. It’s a long drive to and from Austin, where I was halfway between my home and Los Angeles, but the 18–19 hours of day one driving from 04:00 to 22:00, to satisfy the Tesla Insurance gods, then another 10–11 hours of driving leaves #NoSO2TeslaP三D and myself rather dirty. A round trip of about 2,500 mi (about 4,000 km), all on Full Self-Driving (Supervised) version 12.

I got a couple car washes in Texas, one of which was the park and let the washer mover around you type, which did okay but the pollen then dirtied the vehicle again, so I had to wash it again. And when I got back from sleeping in the car at a Buc-ee’s, both of us needed a wash badly. I was able to take my ride to my usual place, but the shower had to wait until after the Science Book Club meeting, alas. But oh, did that shower finally feel so very, very good, and clean, fresh clothes the next morning!

So, take a shower and brush those teeth gentle readers and be refreshed and ready to make new friends and meet people, the green pill way.

To Sleep, perchance to dream

Last year, I read the book Outlive by Peter Attia, MD in my Science Book Club, and although it is cliché, this book did indeed change my life. The TLDR is simply this: to live a healthy you need four pillars of living today to be ready for tomorrow: improved strength, good balance, cardiovascular improvements, and sleep! I have 10 lb / 4.5 kg weights I need to start pumping one of these days for strength. I need to do more yoga, like Saturdays at 11:00 in my apartment, but alas that’s during my Saturday Morning Review. But, for cardio, I climb all 15 flights every time I leave my apartment, typically at lease once a day, and have made a rule to never take the elevator up when I can find the staircase (though I do take it down).

As for sleep, I am epicly failing and it’s really getting to me. But, to fully lay this story out, let’s go back to March of 2024.

Eclipse Planning

I had been planning for the 2024 eclipse for years. I even wrote a presentation about it which I shared with my Toastmasters and Westminster Astronomy Society, Inc (WASI). In it, I talk about how back in 2023 I tried to get a hotel room on Lake Buchanan in Texas, and wasn’t able, but found this state park, right in the centerline of the Eclipse path, in the driest part of the county, just outside of Austin, TX. I worked out with my new job at CACI (which, BTW, is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and a wonderful place to work and will always be my scheduling priority) that I could change my work location to Austin for the first two weeks of April 2024, and then booked a hotel in Cedar Park so that I would be close to work (actually two hotels were books and I only chose which one I would stay at in March), and got a TxTag so I could use the toll roads around Austin.

I spent March giving that presentation, scheduling a month of Green Pill Podcast episodes and posts (so I wouldn’t have to deal with them in Austin) and cleared my calendar for those two week, only allowing the most important commitments to bother me on my working-vacation. Since I was doing this myself, I used my own money to stay at the hotels, and wishing for adventure, I decided to take #NoSO2TeslaP三D down. (Fortunately, FSD (Supervised) V12 dropped just before I left.) And, I checked my Doctor Who watch log and prepared to watch the mostly missing The Mythmakers on the way there, The Dalek Masterplan while in Austin, and The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve on the way back. My dad contacted me about borrowing his DJI Camera and I scheduled to pick it up two days before I left, the same day I tried to help a pregnant camper with the Green Cab group I’m a part of—which didn’t work out because I just couldn’t pick up the camera and get to the patient in time.

I put in my contacts and readied myself for the long drive.

Driving to Austin

I got up at 03:00 to watch my daily Doctor Who, and left at 04:00 on Friday, March 29. On the way, I attended many work meeting en route and nearly killing my hotspot fast-speed limit on the way. I first hit the Raphine, VA supercharger around 06:30, well before work began. Then, I drove to Atkins, VA, leaving around 10:30, and got my work computer set up for my work meetings. Around noon CDT—I’d crossed the time zone—there was some serious stop-and-go traffic on I40, in Kodak, TN, just outside of Knoxville, and I got rear-ended by an uninsured driver who didn’t leave me his name—I still have to get this fixed. I pulled into the Knoxville, TN supercharger about a half-hour later. I then attended the rest of my work meetings before arriving at Nashville/Charlotte, TN around 15:30, made it to Jackson, TN around 18:00. From there, I was lucky the Brinkley, AR was next to a hotel so I was able to sleep for 6 hours after charging my car to 100%.

I got back on the road around 04:00, arriving in Little Rock, AR around 05:00 with about 60%. I then hit Nash, AR before finally hitting Nash, TX, just outside Texarkana, around 07:15. I then drove a bit west of Dallas to the Royse City, TX supercharger at a Buc-ee’s, arriving around 09:45. I hit Abbott, TX around noon. Because I made such good time, and was looking to get to the hotel before check-in, I decided to instead head toward the Lake Buchanan park to scope it out for Eclipse photos, posting photos to instagram without revealing my location to keep it from being swarmed—and allow me to change my mind. Finally, I made it to the Cedar Park Supercharger, queued for a charge, and checked into my hotel around 17:30.

Working Vacation in Austin

Fortunately, I was able to cancel all my Saturday Morning Review meetings on transit days, committed to on the second Sunday morning there (the first Sunday was Easter and I just spent the day doing touristy things) and on my trip back to The Hourlings, attended my Reston Writers over Zoom (including one on the highway coming back from the Eclipse), attended my EVA/DC board meeting, my WASI meeting, a regularly scheduled Toastmasters meeting, and the Division E Toastmasters Evaluation Contest! I really didn’t want to participate in that while I was on vacation but I kind of fell into it by winning in March, so my Saturday morning before the Eclipse was toast. And that is, for me, a paired down commitment. I wanted to spend as much time as I could in Austin and focus on that, and not worry about what I would deal with when I got back, just in time to run the Science Book Club meeting in person. And I had to wash my car, twice.

I’m not going to talk about my actual eclipse experience here, just that I was not able to view the bats under the Congress Bridge in Austin and the Toastmasters contest and Testing the DJI Camera with a solar filter—which I hadn’t had a chance to test until that point—as well as getting enough charge for my ride, meant I really wasn’t able to do any tourism the weekend before the eclipse, and I was exhausted. But, I did get a call from our Toastmasters Area New Club Director about starting a club at CACI. Unfortunately, my reading glasses broke, the lens fell out, and I had to replace them, looking in H.E.B. and Walmart. I spent about a half-an-hour on the phone while I selected a pair I really liked for about $30.

I spend my last days in Austin meeting some of my awesome Austin colleagues, and attending drinks with the head of the office that Friday night, causing me to go to bed late.

Returning to Virginia

I got up at 03:00 on Saturday, 13 April, watched my daily Doctor Who, finished my Orange Juice, and hit the road around 04:30. I was too tired to take pictures at my first charging stop in Corsicana, TX, driving through the back roads of Texas. But I did get photos in Sulphur Springs, TX, in Hope, AR, in Little Rock, AR (again), in Memphis/Germantown, TN, in Dickson, TN, in Nashville/Charlotte, TN (again), and stopped at the Crossville Buc-ee’s. Unfortunately, the last stop was at a buc-ee’s and because I have mean old Tesla Insurance, it was 22:00, and I couldn’t drive anymore and had to sleep in my vehicle. My air mattress didn’t properly inflate for the first hour but, around 01:00 I hit the head in Buc-ee’s and got it properly inflated, getting a net of about 5 sleep before hitting the road again at 04:00.

I crossed the timezone and made it to Bristol, VA, at a lovely Royal Farms, right on the Tennessee border, around 07:30, just as the sun was rising. The sun looked amazing as I drove up I81 but when I got to Washington County, VA, I got my first speeding ticket in over a decade, all while going the same speed as the traffic around me. I guess the county is short on cash. Anyway, that delayed me arriving at the Sheetz station in Salem, VA, where I was subsequently late setting up the Hourlings Zoom, burning through the last of my hotspot bandwidth before they throttled me because the Sheetz wifi didn’t work. I got pulled over one more time outside of Salem because I accidently breezed passed a cop on FSD but I apologized as I didn’t get to the car and override in time, and he forgave me. Best cop ever! I’m glad he was safe. I then made it to the Mt. Jackson, VA supercharger around 14:45, which I had previously visited on my trip down Shenandoah National Park last Autumn—I was almost home! I didn’t have time to take a much needed shower, but I did have time to get to the car wash before attending my 17:00 meeting at the Panera. I finally had my shower when I got home, and I slept—fitfully.

A Killer Workweek

The main problem with not getting enough sleep is my productivity drops off. Combine that with 2 days of driving and looking at my calendar and seeing events not just 2 days the following week, not just 3 days. Not even 4 days, but 5 days, one every day of the week leading up to Earth Day and that weekend before Earth Day being chocablock with events too, about 3 per day! Combine that with 43 hours of work and you can see why I’m very frazzled.

My first day at work I did my best to move to my new cube (we moved cubes the day I got back) and was so tired, when I tried to recycle my soda and sandwich bag, I had the soda and my glasses in one hand and the sandwich back in the other, intending to recycle the soda and the bag but forgetting the glasses were in my hand too. When I tossed the soda bottle and everything else in my hand, I was confused to see the bag in my other hand. I stared at the trash, wondering what else was in that hand if not the sandwich bag. When I got home, I realized it was my reading glasses. I had to rush home to run Reston Writers’ Review, and I started cursing abominably because I was late and I needed my glasses to read the pieces and write my notes. I met one of my writers in the lobby and he tried to calm me down, but I had to trudge all the way up to my apartment, fetch my old, cellophane taped glasses to run the meeting. I then had to drive back to work, dig through trash, unsuccessfully, and then buy a cheap replacement in Walmart, driving home past the high insurance 22:00 point! That was just day one!?

The rest of the week wasn’t much better. Tuesday, I drove to Columbia for the April Tesla Tuesdays. Wednesday I met with my therapist, missing about half of a work meeting because I couldn’t get sound to work in the car, then drove to the EVA/DC monthly meeting. On Thursday I had Toastmasters, where I was the General Evaluator. And on Friday, I drove down to Regency Furniture Stadium for a secret Tesla event! Meanwhile, at work, my branch had gone out of sync with the main branch, and I had to soft reset it to get it back in sync, but when I did, I forgot to copy all my old commit messages, which had all my notes from my work up until that point. Again, I need sleep because my productivity sinks when I’m tired.

Insane Weekend

Next, I look at my weekend schedule for the first time because, when could I have looked at it sooner. I had a Tesla event in at the Starr Brewery at The Perch (to see a CyberTruck but I saw one in Texarkana so I was good), another in Clarksville Common, and a cosplay event in Ellicott City. I decided to attend all three but I screwed up royally because I forgot to pay for and get a ticket to the Cosplay event, and didn’t check the web page for where the munchie squad would be so I ended up crashing, uninvited, and almost got kicked out of the group which I had been one of the founding members. And thus, I wasn’t able to obtain any photos of that event. And that was just Saturday.

One Sunday, I had a writing seminar with The Hourlings, and then an event in Herndon to promote vegan and sustainable living. I attended the last two hours of the Herndon event, since I was double-booked, then went home for the movie discussion with the Maryland Science Book Club. I was going to meet my friend Lisa that evening but, since she was organizing a very important event taking place today, which I sadly can’t make because of work, we agreed that we were both too busy to make that happen. But, I hope to see her Saturday!

Overscheduling and Undersleeping

Needless to say I was even more exhausted after all that and was happy to cancel the Monday night Reston Writers meeting, quite sleepless, even forgetting my daily weigh-in! I went from a week where every day I had an event to a week where I only had one evening event. Bliss? No, because I have fallen behind with my work and my boss has noticed and put me on warning in our quarterly touchpoints. This is very not good. So, I’m going to shut up now, and get back to work because nothing, but nothing, right now, in my life is more important to me than my job!

My therapist sent my an article which exemplifies my conundrum: How to Stop Overscheduling Yourself.

Take care gentle reader and remember, tomorrow is another day, and another chance to get a good night’s sleep!

The Green Pill Podcast: Finding Your Tribe

Those who know about me know that I have many, many interests. Indeed, that’s why I have so many different categories on this blog, where I focus on one, particular tribe I feel a close part of.

A couple of those tribes I share with my co-host Cat Smith, one being our shared love of just jamming on our instruments, but also we became acquainted because of Doctor Who fandom. We met at the convention which shall not be named and became good friends over our shared passions.

My regular readers no doubt remember, I’m rewatching the entire series—at the time of this episode’s premier, I’m watching William Hartnell‘s The Ark part 2, The Plague. (Yeah, plague, haven’t we had enough of that—predicting SARS-CoV-13, I think I called it on last watch).

All that said, Cat and I decided to show some of our other passions in this one. Cat is a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, a wonderful show about a young warrior learning of his amazing powers, though that certainly doesn’t do this engaging tale justice.

Meanwhile, lacking proper wig tape, I attempted to cosplay Greg Universe, Steven’s dad from Steven Universe. I quite enjoyed this series and was lucky enough some years ago to meet the creator, Rebecca Sugar where I got this cherished selfie at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda. Unfortunately, as you can see in the video, my unsecured wig kept slipping, so I kept having to readjust it.

Please enjoy our latest episode and please tell us about your tribes!

https://youtu.be/XcDiUUtQHeU

The Green Pill Podcast: Having Rizz

Y’all may be asking, what is Rizz. Well, if you know what it is, this episode is for you. Rizz, my friends, is having pizzazz, style, je ne sais quoi, or just being cool.

The first step to having Rizz is to have the confidence of believing you have it. After all, there’s nothing more attractive than exuding an air of show you are where you are and where you want to be, and believing in yourself. I know it’s hard to feel that way when you’re starting out with little money and no dating options, but if you see the world in that way, it will come to be. If, on the other hand, you see the world as your oyster, and stand out as someone who seems to know where he’s going—even if you have no idea—believe me, it shows and people will respond positively.

Of course, raw confidence isn’t the only thing you need to have Rizz. You also should show kindness, be friendly, and caring. Stand up for what you believe in but always be open to changing your mind. Be a gentleman and most of all, accept rejection with grace and move on.

When I was your age, I didn’t have confidence, I didn’t know what to believe, and I wasn’t very friendly. And that’s why I had so much trouble meeting people when I was younger. But, now I do have confidence, I do have things I care about, I love learning and am open to debate and change, and I’m even learning to accept rejection. And while 50% of them are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away and thus not of any interest to me, I so still have as of 29 March (when last I checked), 68 of matches on OK Cupid, and 35 on Tinder, though Bumble and Hinge aren’t as productive for me, and on Facebook Dating I’m very popular even when you remove the scammers trying to get you to invest in Bitcoin. Indeed, I met my first long term relationship after the divorce through Facebook Dating, a 6-month pairing I very much cherish.

But, do I have Rizz? I don’t care, and that’s why I do, and you can to!

Virginia becomes the 12th State to end Child Marriage!!

And I could not be more overjoyed that my very on General Assembly Delegate Karen Keys-Gamarra was the one who brought the bill into life here. Virginia is also the first southern state to outlaw child marriage.

Think about this: a 16-year-old girl probably hasn’t even graduated high-school and in 38 states, enough to pass an Amendment to the Constitution, she can still be sold into marriage by her parents. But not in Virginia! No, in Virginia she has a right to reach adulthood before making such an important life-long decision!

And if you really love her at 16, won’t you still be loving her at 18? If not, it’s just as well we made it illegal and if so, then, assuming she’s an interested adult, you will.

This is a great win for decency and I look forward to many more states passing similar legislation. Only legal adults should be marrying, not kids! Let kids remain children!

I could not be more elated!