I can't believe that any of this will be of any interest to anyone. But the "about me" page is de rigueur in the Internet Age. Instead of the usual sales-pitchy bio stuff, I thought I would just capture what I think is important about myself. The information here (like myself) is a work in progress.
Everything is a lie. Whatever your brain is telling you, don't buy it. We are the masters of deception, even with ourselves. The amount of bullshit we tell ourselves is incredible. And so is the criticism. We are literally our own worst enemies. We build ourselves up and tear ourselves down a hundred times a day to serve whatever immediate purpose lies before us. So, I don't trust myself at all. And I don't trust you, either.
Everything is a story. This is related, of course, to the lie. Because all stories are lies on the surface. A story is ultimately a revealed truth wrapped up in a lie in order to get across. Our life is story. Part of it is the narrative we tell ourselves; part of it is those aspects of our story others weave into their own. If we're lucky, we get to experience story at its best. We stumble across something profound (a book, a poem, a song, an idea) and it unravels everything we knew or believed. Very rarely, we create something profound ourselves. But not usually. I keep trying anyway: consuming and creating in order to find the true stories.
I don’t want a ton of money and I don’t want fame, recognition, or anything external. My creative work is its own reward (but if you want to buy my books or my music, please do; or steal the books or music).
I work hard as hell to complete it, and I want everyone to consume it, but I'm happy either way. I just want to live long enough to create enough.
I prefer to be alone most of the time
I like to find pockets of time for myself. I don't necessarily do any work. In fact, I often like to sit with myself and just look at my thoughts. See what Teague has going on in that gray matter between his ears. Because I've come to accept the truth spoken by a modern day sage:
“I used to be a guy who was experiencing the Universe; but now I feel like the Universe experiencing a guy.”
So, I like to explore that a little. Plus I love to read. And to write. And to create music.
All those things are done alone. Without interruptions. So, that's what I'm searching for most of the time.
I was born in the United States, so that has certainly had its impact on me and my worldview. But from an early age (five) I began a sort of vagabond global lifestyle that has not ended yet. What my wanderings have shown me is that people are more alike than they are different. Combined with my reading of Marcus Aurelius, these experiences prove that for humanity to succeed, survive, thrive we must come together as a species and stop walling ourselves off into our various groups. This is my life's mission: to enable everyone to communicate, share basic rights and ethics, and work together to ensure our planet remains habitable and that we can one day explore other planets.
I hate the telephone. I abhor social media. I tolerate text messaging. I think email is useful. And I'm too lazy to write letters. But most of all, I hate chit chat. However, nothing gets me going more than someone (or group of someones) willing to engage in debate, in the exploration of ideas, in the sharing of knowledge and wonder.
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
I do have my limits, though. Whatever time I spend talking and interacting I have to make up for with time alone.
I’m an aspiring minimalist
I have too much stuff. Sometimes it feels like clutter. I go through phases of purging, but it never seems to get rid of the surplus.
I have this secret hope that my house will burn to the ground when I'm on a trip with my family (and the cats are safe outside) so I can rebuild and curate my belongings.
I was using Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) in high school and got my first email address in 1994 (and had no one to write for many years). I convinced my brother to buy a Macintosh in 1998 (which he hated) and was fascinated with the Apple Newton (though I couldn't afford one). I had my friend stand in line in New York for the iPhone when it came out. After that, I was deep into the Apple ecosystem until I had a family. But as much as I think Apple makes high quality, high performing stuff, it simply costs too much. I would much rather buy a Raspberry Pi to run my sailboat, whatever Android phone is cheapest on Google's Fi network, and a cheap Chromebook for writing my novels and managing my digital life.
But, I also don’t trust tech companies. I worry that when Apple or Google or Microsoft (or any other tech company) changes some kind of technology, I'll lose everything. I used to hang onto 5 1/4-inch floppy disks with games on them I had written in BASIC. Yeah, finally tossed those in one of my maybe-I-can-finally-be-a-minimalist purges.
In the meantime, I continue to experiment with writing and publishing and making music using Google's tools. But I mostly use my iPad Pro for everything plus a handful of other third party things like Atticus, Anchor, and Soundtrap.
I bought my kids a Raspberry Pi 400. I love the idea of open source, Creative Commons stuff. I'm tempted to run my own server with a Raspberry Pi. I might just do it! We'll see.
I listen almost exclusively to electronica
I love just about all music (I can count on one hand the genres I don't like (Death Metal? Jeeesus!)). I have a particular love for piano-based jazz. But when it comes to background music (writing, driving, doing housework, having a discussion, reading a book), I just want deep house, or dubstep, or downtempo, or lo-fi.
I vote Green Party. I started out Republican (because family). Drifted left to Democrat. Flirted with Libertarian. Then realized that all the things I think are true and strongly believe in are literally packed into the Green Party ethos.
I'm a secular humanist. I started out vaguely christian. Explored buddhism. Converted briefly to catholicism on a whim. I still hold tightly to ninpo mikkyo teachings, which have improved my ability to empathize and communicate with people. But throughout all of this--and still today--I'm pretty sure there is no god (or gods) pulling the strings. If anything, I believe in the connectedness of the energy in the universe. Maybe it's like the Force in Star Wars, "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together." At the heart of it all is the human desire for peaceful connection and interaction.
I'm an alcoholic. My dad is an alcoholic. So was his dad. I cemented my relationship with booze when I was ten (breathing in with peppermint schnapps on my lips). I finally decided to have my last drink when I was 45 (after eight or ten beers and a bottle of red wine). Quit cold turkey. Haven't looked back since. One of the best things I've ever done.
I want to try psychedelics. They're all the rage. But a handful of them look like they might really be able to cure us of our inability to separate from our own minds and bodies. That's what I want to find out. I've gotten close in meditation. And I acknowledge that we are really the Observing Mind. But I want to take that next step.
I'm a Stoic. What an amazing and practical philosophy. If you don't know anything about it, go find out. It will change your life. It's better than any attempts at religion or spirituality.
I'm an on-again, off-again pescetarian. I don't like meat very much. I was a pescetarian from age ten to age twenty. I have sloppily drifted all over the place along the way, but I am solidly back to a plant-based whole foods diet that includes sea foods, something akin to the Mediterranean Diet.
I like to wear skirts. They're comfortable, offer more freedom of movement, keep things drier and cooler, and I like the way they look. Men used to wear skirts and dresses, but it seems the option to wear these things has fallen out of fashion in the West (except Scotland). In the East, men still wear dresses and skirts, and I don't see any reason why I shouldn't too.
I'm a warrior. I’m not a fighter. In fact, I used to get beaten up as a kid. I finally learned some martial arts. Got really good at it. Then I joined the Marines and got sucked into some very interesting organizations where I learned some effective shooting and other fighting skills (along with a slew of other neat abilities). But I don't like violence at all. I prefer to embody Robert L. Humphrey's Warrior Creed:
Wherever I go, everyone's a little bit safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there.
I can't imagine what you might want to know that I haven't covered here. But go ahead and email me.