Friday, November 23, 2007
"Why is it that once we become adults, we become so serious all the time (generally speaking). We get so caught up in the hectic race of everyday life that we forget that we are here to experience joy, to experience Life. We forget to smile and enjoy the beauty of the present moment. I notice that I fall into the many demands of my life story. Recently, I have gotten so busy that a week can pass without realizing. I don’t get the chance to slow down once to reflect and to be present. I seem to fall into the pattern of constantly living in the future, running after that next goal or achieving that next task on my never-ending list of Todos."
Click here to read the entire article.
Friday, November 16, 2007
To me, that is an exceptionally profound statement. I've noticed that the author of the xkcd webcomic has an unbelievable knack for plucking those odd strings in my head that seem to serve no other purpose than to make me want to climb tall buildings and, in my loudest voice, ask the world what is wrong with it.
There's an old saying...."Without string, there is chaos". I've heard several different interpretations of that adage and also several different theories regarding the source. Here's what it means to me...
String represents the simple, unambiguous, and selfless joys that are brought to us as children. Many an adult would just as soon step on a butterfly than to take the time to crouch down and spend the requisite thirty minutes required to stare at the creature in utter curiosity and amazement. It seems like age brings with it the indefatigable erosion of that little piece of us that only needs the slightest catalyst to launch a full-scale assault of the human imagination. The chaos I speak of are the multitudes of people out there who simply aren't "interested" unless life is brought to them in digital, high-def, 128-bit, 3-D, Dolby surround sound. To those people, I can only say this: go look up at the clear night sky sometime.
I had more to say on this topic but I can't remember what it was. :)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
"Roads are for cars. Sidewalks and yards are for people. People can be in roads, but not when there are cars there."
Seems simple enough...right? Unfortunately, no. Nowadays, the street is seen simply as an extension of the sidewalk. Vehicles are merely guests on the asphalt and are expected to walk on eggshells so as to not disrupt the local neighborhood basketball game or child playing hop scotch.
I think I'm losing touch with the times. Maybe I should move back to Saudi. :)
What have I done this weekend? Well....I spent some time re-building an older computer of mine. I've turned it into a dedicated Windows machine (irk!). Just to give you some kind of an idea how much I like Windows, I upgraded this one to XP. Why have I done this? Because I really haven't had a decent machine to play games on in a while. Doom 3 is working like a champ, but FEAR blows chunks (in the shape of superfluous polygons) all over the place. I REALLY must be getting old because I asked for the AGP version of a video card at a local store and they sneered at me and said that it'll be difficult to find a high-end card these days with a little ol' AGP 8x interface. Actually, what's really sad is that my mobo only supports 4x. What's worse, is that the card that I bought hangs the machine if I don't keep it in 2x mode. Woe is me! Actually, this particular card has a pretty nice GPU so the bus between the mobo and the GPU doesn't need to be all that huge. I've been getting my Doom3 1280x1024 in ultra-tight graphics mode groove on. Perhaps I should think about buying a game that was actually released within the last 3 years. :)
That's pretty much been the extent of my weekend. That, napping, and reading. I'm rarely motivated to go out when I have a project to work on. Of course, what sucks is when I work on those projects and forsake all of the REAL stuff that I'd really like to get done. I guess you could cal lit a form of productive procrastination.
On a lighter note, the Fanchers (aka my sister and her family) are now, again, full-time Charleston residents again. Yay!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
-- Felt extreme appreciation for the co-worker with whom I got in an argument yesterday. It's nice to work with fairly mature people at least ONCE in one's life.
-- Realized how dumb my ex-girlfriend is. I'm usually not one to gripe, but this conclusion was very liberating. I know I'm going to look back on this post and slap my own hand for writing something as derogatory as that, but I'm in the mood at the moment.
-- Went to get my hair cut. Here's the funny thing...someone recently convinced me that things aren't always going to go as badly as I fear they will. I agreed with them. So today, I trot into the Hair Cuttery. The next beautician in line takes me back and sits me in my little twirly chair. I'm noticing that she's going very slowly and being very meticulous. I then see her NEWLY-ISSUED license on the wall and her hand-written business cards on the counter. I then realize that this girl is new. So, I asked. She said she was and that today was her first day of work after beautician school. I started to tremble a tad. But then, I think to myself...."Why the heck are you worrying? Don't worry unless there's something to actually worry about." So I breathed a sigh of relief and took great comfort in my newly-found relaxation. About two minutes later, I hear...."Ohhhhhhhh.......". I took a gander in the mirror and sure enough, there it was - the nearly-bald patch on my head. Son-of-a-....!!!!!! Well...at that moment, all of the other ladies rushed to her aid and started working on my head. It was a very intricate ballet. She kept apologizing profusely. I asked her..."How did you feel in the first second after you realized that you'd given me that bald spot?". She answered...."I felt....I STILL feel awful!!". To that I said...."Well...you learned everything you possibly could and felt every bad feeling that you could feel in that first second. If I was mad at you, it wouldn't do me any good and it certainly wouldn't add to any lessons which I knew you'd already learned. Accidents happen." Long story short, I paid full price, gave her a whopping tip, and have a wonderful little white patch on the top-side of my head. Son-of-a....!!!!
-- Yeah....so....for whatever reason, the NRA has decided to induct me into their ranks and I received my membership card in the mail. WTF????? It even has the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution printed on the back! The cherry on top of it all is that I'm apparently now receiving magazines about high-powered assault rifles to go along with my shiny new membership! Again...WTF????
--Define hilarity....HILARITY - the feeling one has when watching a male dog that is tied to a tree by a ten-foot line while in the presence of a female dog in heat that is standing eleven feet from that tree. I felt SOOOOOO sorry for that dog! God bless the oposable thumb!!
-- Found out how badly our HOA is screwing us.
-- There's more...I'm just not remembering it.
What is "the click factor"? A wise (wo)man recently worded it so eloquently when she discussed how logic need not apply when emotion is involved. Truer words were never spoken.
The click factor is that little variable that exists between two people that is absolutely impossible to define and most often extremely difficult to nail down. You can try to write down all of the criteria and parameters that you would like your perfect mate to fit into. Heck....you may even find such a person. That doesn't mean that you'll love them, though. Here's a little secret - ALL OF IT IS WORTH EXACTLY BUNK!
In my humbled 30-year-old opinion, it doesn't matter how much in common you have with someone. It also doesn't matter how much you don't have in common, differences in personal habits, financial situations, yada yada yada. The "click" exists independently of any parameters you can create for yourself.
I found myself extremely taken with a girl a couple years back. She was a very devout Catholic and we really didn't have much in common at all. Afterward, I kept telling myself that there was no way in Hades that it could have ever worked. And, you know what? I was right. BUT......that doesn't mean that I still didn't yearn for her. What was the reason? Who knows. Some things are best not understood.
29 dimensions of compatibility my butt!
Monday, October 29, 2007
And now that I've relocated the pile of junk that I had in the back of my car to the house, I feel SOOOO much more awesome!!!!
(If you don't understand the point of this post, don't worry about it. You're not meant to.)
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I really, I swear, think I have a minor eating disorder. I go through serious phases of not being able to say 'no' to a chocolate bar. I just scarfed down an entire box of Nutty Bars (the devil's food!!) and I'm wallowing in guilt at the moment. And it's not just one...nooooo! Can't have just one!! Why in the heck did I end up buying that BowFlex last month?? AARRGGG!!!!
My co-workers are constantly teasing me about it too. I wish I'd just develop a horrible case of diabetes or something so that I'd have no choice but to eat well under penalty of death.
Why any woman ever wants me is sometimes beyond my comprehension given the way that I eat. I've even contemplated the shaming approach. This would entail my taking periodic pictures of myself and posting them for the world to see, thus shaming myself into eating consistently well. Slavery by guilt.
I once knew someone who hated to eat. Seriously...she truly disliked it! To her, it was an act of maintenance...nothing else. She saw it more as a daily inconvenience. Why couldn't I be so fortunate? :)
It's unbelievable how some people can take anything...whether it be joy, sorry, amazement, boredom, or whatever...and completely spin it into literary gold on their blog. Apparently, that ability has skipped my branch in the family tree.
So...what the heck have I done this weekend? I haven't really done anything new.
Thursday night was spent with the pagans. As always, an interesting group. They discussed various religions' views of the afterlife (or lack thereof) and then later regaled each other with personal ghost stories. I can honestly say that these people are either VERY sensitive to the supernatural, exaggerating, or my life is seriously dull (like this blog....no?).
Friday was a night out with Wicke and his clan (that's clan with a "c"). They went out to see a movie...I forget it's name. It's the one with poster of the 40 year-old virgin laying his head on a stack of pancakes. I, instead, opted to skip out on that and run over to see '30 Days of Night'. It's not what I would consider to be a cinematic masterpiece of any kind, but it did somewhat satisfy the horror gods that lurk in my subconscious for the next week or so.
I cleaned out the back seat of my car Saturday morning. How significant is that? Put it this way....it was about a 4-hour endeavor. Ick. I think I counted a total of 12 water bottles. Wow! Of course, there wasn't anything in the back seat itself. It was all on the floor in front of it. And, of course, over time, the stuff tends to creep up under the front seats and then also compresses. It's AMAZING just how much junk can fit in there!!
Saturday is a hashing day! It was yet another run for the Charleston Happy Heretics. I felt sorry for the hares. They spent hours laying an awesome trail, and then only 4 people showed up to run it. Of course, we also had a couple of auto-hashers too. During the on-after, I ended up stuffing myself to the brim with chicken wings (if you could have even considered them to be wings...they were huge!!).
Running home to grab a quick nap, I was then ready to head to the American Theater downtown to help the Charleston Stage folk tear down the set that they had erected for the showing of 'Tick Tick Boom'. I also had the opportunity to scrutinize one of the volunteers about her dating life. What is it about harassing others about their love life makes me feel so much better? ;)
Oh...had a conversation with an ex-girlfriend today. Talk about overdue. It's been 10 months since we broke up and we FINALLY had the talk about it today. How whack is that??
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Purpose ranges from short to long term and so long as you aren't doing anything that has no purpose….
A few examples (my kids are the easiest – they are the clearest and most important things in my life):
I play games with my kids at least one night a week. Short term – just having fun. Long term – giving them a foundation of love, laughter and togetherness to build on.
My son cooks one night a week (at least, he actually now likes to do it more often). Short term – I get a night off. Long term – I'm teaching him how to be alone and fend for himself, something I learned the hard way.
I go dancing a lot. Short term – sweat, don't think about work, spend time with friends. Long term – free up some space on the hard drive to deal with larger more important things. They always look different when you come back to them.
I let them make their own mistakes and share mine with them when appropriate – and discuss them afterwards. Short term – development of autonomy. Long term – on the day I'm not there, they will know they can make their own decisions wisely.
I make an effort to do things with them I don't like that I know they do. Short term – they get so happy!! Long term – I'm teaching them to accept other people for what and who they are – even if it is different from them.
I write. Short term – mental escape, articulation of things that are jumbled up in my brain. Long term – when I'm gone, and someday I will be, my children will be able to know their mother and what drove her. Some things aren't acceptable to tell them right now, they're children. But if I'm not here on the day that they are ready, they can still know. They can know what happened, where I was, how my love for them never faltered. How I made mistakes, and survived and was never perfect (actually I make sure they know that now, being human instead of ruling with the iron fist makes them more likely to approach me when they haven't behaved in a perfect manner and be more understanding of when I make mistakes.) Most importantly – how I wasn't sure on so many days whether I was raising and taking care of them or the other way around. Something they SO need to know, but not right now. There's a ton that goes with that one.
Everything I do has a purpose – without purpose, why would you do it? Someone else expects you to? It's the norm? It's socially acceptable? It's a dream someone else planted in your head?
It's awfully egocentric, but it's your life, why wouldn't you be egocentric?
I lay on the couch like a vegetable and do nothing…
I try to shove my house over…. (really, you should see me do it to get the full impact!)
If you can't figure out your motivation, you probably shouldn't be doing it. Once you've pinpointed your motivation on the big aspects of your life, the little ones come easy – but make a bigger difference to you. And then once you've done it, you can really say you did something just because it felt good. And it will – feel good, I mean. Eventually you stop wondering – why am I doing this? Is this all there is? Why can't I be as happy as the people around me? Why am I here? What am I fighting for? What comes next? Is there more?
Perpetual forward motion
You change every day in little ways, sometimes in big ways. Every once in a while – sometimes lots in a while if you've made a bad assessment of your purpose (!!!! – see sad eyes), it's necessary to go back to step one and reevaluate the purpose behind what you are doing. Do you still like it? Are you doing it now because it's a habit or because you enjoy it? Are you asking yourself those questions again?
Some days, I want to dance and have fun. Others I want to be alone and brood in the bathtub for two hours. Nothing wrong with either of those, both have a purpose…. But why am I doing it? Is it the same reason I did it before? If not, it may be time to reevaluation the action. (ok, admittedly this was a really crappy example, told you the kids were the easiest.)
That would be when you are feeling down, sad, empty.. etc.
And especially when you are feeling happy – ask yourself why are you happy? If people put nearly as much time into deciphering the motivation behind their happiness as they do into figuring out what went wrong or why they aren't happy, they could figure out what triggered it and have repeat occurrences. On purpose. Wouldn't you much rather be happy? Isn't that much more worthy of your time (and doesn't it feel so freaking much better?)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
As so often happens after I return from an event with Mike, I find that I'm a slightly different person. I met so many wonderful people and did so many wonderful things. It really is a treat to be able to hang out with people who's ideas of fun are so unconventional and yet so accepting. It was one of those moments in time where I had the chance to live someone else's life and keep all the memories from it.
And, as so often happens, I think that I will be feeling the effects of this event for weeks to come. I'm sure that some of the people will have affected me indefinitely. Some more than others. I learned a new pearl of wisdom from someone whom I found to be deceptively wise for her time. Now, whenever I face something that petrifies me, I will most likely be thinking to myself...."If you're not scared, then it's not brave". This person was quite a find. She was an amalgam of a hasher, a soldier, a mother, a teacher, a leader, and so many other things that I am not. On the outside, one would see an ordinary person. But to look in her eyes at the right time, one would see experience, endlessness, depth, confidence....and so much more of the universe.
It's amazing how the "craziest" people can sometimes be the most compassionate. Beneath the facade of partying, drunkenness, and absolute hedonism, there was the aura of a group that would do anything to help each other in times of need. Fortunately, it wasn't needed much on this trip, but I could still tell it was there. It's one of the most surprising attributes of a hasher that I have experienced.
To the following people, I leave...
- Kiddie - much love and affection. She is the greatest host/listener that you will ever have the privilege of meeting.
- TMDD - the usual - unlimited thanks and a good swift kick in the rear until the next time I see him.
- The karaoke girl - the very best of luck on her upcoming career in England
- Atilla - The hot Hungarian chick that I certainly HOPE you didn't let slip through your fingers!
- Fuzzy - A walk around the deck of any ship at sunrise
- Ear Muff - All the pumpkin soup and back rubs your heart could ever desire. Thank you for caring.
- Goo S. - All the YooHoo you could ever drink (or give to me) ;)
- Doo Doo - An Oscar
- Caption Jerk - A "bloody good screw"
- The guy who made up my room every day - A great origami book and endless Carnival chocolates
- Bone S.- a little piece of me
Top 10 favorite things list...
- "Tandem zip lining" (Was that actually ME????)
- The desk (don't ask)
- 7:00am trans-substantial conversations with Fuzzy over a hot plate of pseudo-eggs and scrapple
- Kiddie's gold coin game (I'm still owed some favors, too)
- Bone sucker, aka Bone Thruster, aka Bone Stripper, aka Rod Licker, aka Bone Humper, aka Bone Teaser, etc...
- Goo Swallows hand-feeding the Honduran driver some cheesy poofs, Munchies, and Family Cookies (The mommies were the best!!). She was also the best YooHoo server ever!
- "Sing me a song, Karaoke Girl..." "...and we're all in the mood, for a bloody good screw..."
- "This is a group-participation song. Are there any children here? If so...leave now."
- "Thank you, pumpkin."
- Watching Dirty Sanchez dodge other vehicles while Guido the Killer Pimp opens beer with his teeth.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
"Destroying an Empire to win a war is no victory. Ending a battle to save an Empire is no defeat."
Makes sense to me. How about you?
I find it interesting that a purely fictional race could really live by something so profound. They recognize that any victory (or perceived victory) really isn't a victory at all if it ends up destroying the invaders. What good is pushing a campaign towards an unforeseeable end when the good of the homeland is in serious jeopardy because of it (regardless of the motives)? That is, of course, a purely rhetorical question.
It's a basic list of bodily symptoms and what the potential causes are. Sounds like sage advice to me. Then again, I'm a closet hypochondriac.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
You all still love me anyway. ;)
Actually...to be honest, I wanted to spend less time posting useless things (like the ones right before this post) and start writing commentary on things that go on in my view of the world, politics, and the universe. The funny thing is that there's often an inverse proportion at any given time between my spurts of abstract pondering and my will to put finger to keyboard.
Yeah. I suck. I know. :)
P.S. You have the read the captions with the pictures. They're a trip!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I think it's time to round up all of the 3.14 heretics and burn them at the stake! ;)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
"Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don't always know what others are really feeling.
Although fake smiles often look very similar to genuine smiles, they are actually slightly different, because they are brought about by different muscles, which are controlled by different parts of the brain."
I scored a 17/20. I rock!