Mastodon Michael Perry

Blessings, moments, family

I went to visit Alin’s mom this weekend. It was like the time for her mom to welcome me to the family. Wonderful times reaching that point. This family becomes this part of me now. Here’s Alin, her mom and I.

There’s the point where I just wanted to be accepted. Not feel like a foreign outsider only granted a limited view. Alin’s mom told her later to always keep me happy. To live good lives and to please love each other.

I’m fortunate to have found her after I stopped looking. We took this step with her mom and we will come back again in months. I just feel this closeness to her mom now too and finally after the years of going, there is this final thing.

And we are happy with it. She does more for me than any one person should do and never stops doing. This wonderful Khmer mentality of devotion and dedication perhaps feels even richer now.

I hope everyone has their person that keeps them close, makes them feel loved and wanted and also tells me all she wants is me.

Today we go to temple and then back to Siem Reap. Other things will happen. This blog is meant to be my record.

March 5, 2023

I don’t understand personal fitness apps and directional plotting apps

I used to use one when walking when I worked though. I used to have a goal to reach some distance or some amount of time out going. I never used it to berate myself or feel I had not done enough. Today I happened to read Maique’s blog on two apps I had never heard of before. One is Gentler Streak and the other is footpath. In my yesterday I probably would have gotten some use from the second app because then I was interested in tracking”. I never was interested in compassionate physical fitness streak” apps though. Or apps that were not compassionate and bugged the F out of me to get up and go. I always got up and went and walked in cities on vacations, around town after a stupid day at work, or longer on weekends with the FujiFilm camera investigating different cities, parks, places. This brings me to my complaint about these apps and it is only my complaint so bear with me and perhaps ignore the rest.

I don’t like apps that offer up some kind of tracking or goals or streaks. I do like the streaks for personal journaling in Day One at times because it relates for me back to a year or three ago when I sat and was able to commit words to a virtual paper. But these apps and the entire life approach to setting goals, becoming proficient, timing oneself, finding the path just seem so arbitrary to me. Instead I think we should be more concerned with just the going and not so much about some app that offers to track it all, offers a gentle and compassionate view to things, or shows us some route.

When I wandered in Tokyo in 2018, I had no idea about the route or whether I was in day 28 of a streak of going. What I wanted was to find nothing, seek nothing. Just be. To me, these apps take us away from just being and make us into little tracking zombies with apps that all fit together so nicely to help us measure and track and reach. Reach what?


Yeah, that word is very irritating to me. It makes all of our life measurable and actionable. We can time events and keep records and track things and our little pocket companions are the measurement devices.

So what to do?

I know.

Just fucking go. Stop worrying about some route or distance or time or whether it’s compassionate or mean. Be like what Jeff the meditation instructor said. Just be. When we measure and track, our lives become measurement and tracking. We want to find the finish point or the different points on the compass much like when we used to wander the Mojave Desert doing archeology. Lost sometimes for hours, we would do our goal behavior by taking out a compass and determining where we were. But we had lost something by gaining something.

We lost our indomitable spirit and soul and replaced it with milestones and goals and tracking. Because that is what western society tells us is important. Have projects with schedules with times and tracking and bullets and place to be and things to do.

Instead do nothing. Or do something for the sake of the doing and being. I stopped with all the measurements almost a decade ago after 22 years of absorption in minutia so intense for big infrastructure projects I gagged sometimes at the level of it all. Notes upon notes and delivery upon milestone. Goals upon delivery.

So why do we want all that in our personal lives too? Why can’t we just be? Take our moments walking. Take a photo or 10. Don’t worry about leveling up or reaching a new goal. In life and the stars and universes and planets and the ultimate reach of it all, no one really cares if you do or don’t reach some goal or pedestal. Besides you. We are held prisoner of it all but we feel we own it.

Meanwhile time laughs at us because it knows it is not real. So all our puny attempts at modeling it also fail and we go looking for another ultimate app to help us measure and manage the immeasurable and unmanaged.

Ain’t life Fucking strange folks? Take the steps of the monk. My one photo from Battambang years ago to share this day.

See his solitude but his being. Maybe learn a thing or three about living a life apart from all your wonderful and bizarre tracking and measurement. But I doubt people ever will even if the stress of not achieving or reaching or stretching or the hundred and one things we are schooled in western society to do.

Fuck all that. Walk the monk’s walk.

March 4, 2023 Life walking going

Evening at Pub Street

Photographed often and visited by many. We wandered there for dinner but ended up slightly off the street at a place where Alin’s niece works. Nice night no matter what or where.

Today we ride to her moms house to visit and stay somewhere. Will visit a Khmer temple at some point and see a mountain.

March 4, 2023 Siem Reap Living

From California to Siem Reap

Today Alin and I went out for our customary Khmer breakfast of noodles of some kind I really like and then some coffee. I had not heard from my daughter in a few days and it really causes Alin to ask me almost daily if I have heard from her. Alin is a mom and she thinks of my daughter as her daughter in just about all ways. Just like her daughter calls me Daddy when we talk. The sweetness and love of it never lessens as the days go by.

So after a few days, my daughter texted me back that she is fine and has met a young man that is good to her, does not make her cry, or have drug problems. It is a long way from here and many of her later life events have been with me gone. She’s suffered through relationships which have been damaging and demeaning in many ways. Just like one particular relationship I had with her mom. There is no comparison between my ex-wife and Alin. I had thought once before I would never find someone to love me and for me to hold and love again. It just seemed like years were going by and I was getting older yet I did not want some old white guy young asian woman thing. I see those here and there. The guy must be in his 60s and the woman in her 20s. It’s accepted here for the most part but my friend Jason heard comments when he appreciated a beautiful Khmer woman one day. Some stupid tourist told him he was too old. Too old.

I think those words echoed around for years in my head. When are we too old to have another in our lives? I would not marry another ever again but it does not lessen how much I feel love and respect and admiration for what I have. Alin is a wonderful, sexy, warm woman that gives me all back and has told me that her chief goal is to make me happy. I work at the same thing with her.

So too old is a boatload of crap and people should stay the F out of relationship or inter-personal things that they have no interest in. I think people sometimes look at Alin and I and have some thoughts but I would never put up with any words and she gets mad and will cuss someone out in Khmer for any statement on any anything that she feels insults or demeans us.

For my part, like I told my daughter, I never thought I would find someone and she had said in September last year when I lamented not finding someone,

when you stop looking for someone Daddy that is when you will find her

Truly a wonder that it happened that way for both of us. From California to Siem Reap.

Yesterday I took this photo at our pool with this beautiful baby only six weeks old. Families here are tough and resilient and people love the connections. That too is markedly different than the California connection. We also have talked about that and it puzzles her how families just have fallen apart while here they are strong. Alin is smart though. Life smart and she knows we all operate on different threads.

The reality though like my daughter said,

I found someone too that treats me well

And that is the thread of the connection from California to Siem Reap I wished to write about this morning.

March 3, 2023 writing love families

Today on the walk

Today I start posting a photo every day or so of my walks. This I loved because the sun just striking down on the river. Touching little pieces of the river. Letting me wander in my world.

March 2, 2023 Siem Reap Living

Thursday morning detritus

I’ve considered pretty carefully how I wish to use mastodon. I installed the Ice Cubes app. Blocked and muted some people. Unfollowed others. I don’t think it is going to work for me. I just don’t find enough of value or even things that are fun left behind.

I’m still tired of the content. Of forever reading and rereading the same stuff or different.

So while I started on mastodon again on my birthday 2022, I’m ending today. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the fediverse. But there’s nothing inherently right either. I can’t find a happy place to be with it. I don’t like being paralyzed with analysis. So like right now I quit. I do the one thing which gently removes me from the mix and just write here. We all need some measure of a social network of people, places, things. Paintings on some cave wall or writing some blog post.

The current fediverse is not for me. Nor is the one coming with more polarizing content. More Twitter refugees create less value for me. The concept of town square has been reformatted to those yelling the most about whatever their social cause is. I think it’s fine to peddle your causes. I just choose which ones are mine.

Bye bye It’s not your fault. Perhaps in the end it’s me. I’m broken.

March 2, 2023 mastodon writing blogging