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Monthly Archives: January 2014

One Month Down, Eleven To Go

We all get caught up in the counting of time.  Thank God it’s Friday, right?  Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if we didn’t do this.  What was it like for early man just doing his thing with only the sun going up and down to note the passing of time.

Haleakala-Sunrise

I quit wearing a watch some years back.  Firstly, I hated the tan line it caused but mainly because I didn’t always want to know what time it is.  If I need to know, there is usually a clock somewhere (my phone if all else fails).  I haven’t felt any sense of loss without the watch and I doubt I’ll ever go back to wearing one.  Time is a tool, and just like money, we’ve become slaves to it.

There is no time in the universe.  There is no entity measuring it and we just made up seconds, minutes, hours and so forth.  We just made it all up.  There weren’t really 24 hours in the day until we said there were.  Think about it.  We are responsible for our own enslavement.  Every tool of society that was probably created with the best of intentions (time, money, division of labor, property, etc.) has now become the source of most people’s greatest anxieties and stressors.

Obviously, I’m not calling for a complete dismantling of society.  What would that get us?  We progressed for our own benefit, but we do need to stop and evaluate things from time to time to make sure we are still truly benefiting.

If you catch yourself fretting over not having enough time or that time is passing too quickly, perhaps you might want to ask yourself why?  Because whether you realize it or not, spending time in upset over not having enough time is a huge waste of time.  Oh, the irony.

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Nobody Raped Your Childhood

I am hereby calling for a defacto moratorium on using the word “rape” to describe anything other than a sexual assault.

I know I’m definitely not the first person to point this out, but I hope I will be able to put it to rest for those of you who are adamant about continuing to use the word “rape” when you don’t like a movie or TV show based on some property that you once loved.  Words have a meaning and they have an impact.

inigo montoya

For those who need a reminder (from Wikipedia):

Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.

Somehow that phrase has gotten into the vernacular and people just drop it like old folks saying things like “I jewed him down” or “n*****r-rigged”.  Seriously people, to say someone’s stupid remake raped your childhood is just as dickish as saying a racial epitaph.  Think about it.

For someone who has been raped, you are brushing off the severity of their assault by comparing it to a poorly made movie.  Your senses may have been assaulted for two hours but you were free to leave.  Try telling that to a rape survivor.

But I’m not going to appeal to your sensitivity because if you’ve been on the internet, you may have begun to suspect that compassion and civility are completely dead.  They are extinct.  People are now free to say whatever nonsense pops into their tiny, empty heads.  So I’m going to appeal to your vanity.  There’s plenty of that still going around.  Saying that anything other than an actual sexual assault is a rape makes you look incredibly STUPID, like a complete MORON, a NINCOWPOOP.

bugs

Doing something dickish without realizing it’s dickish can be forgiven.  But once you have been made aware of it and you continue to do it (and god forbid defend doing it)… well, that makes you a complete asshole.  Is that really your intention?

Plus, to further help you out, I’m going to give you some replacements.  If you want to sound a little high brow, you can call the new Michael Bay travesty Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a bastardization (i.e., to lower in quality or character; debase).  And if that’s too many syllables for you to handle, just say he took a large, steaming dump on your childhood.  It’s a far more accurate statement.

Is it art or is it shit?  You decide.

Is it art or is it shit? You decide.

There, I feel like I’ve done my public service for the week.

P.S. And one more thing, if you are in an argument with anyone and you or the other person drops a comparison to Nazis, Hitler or the Holocaust, that person automatically loses the argument.  Your ignorant hyperbole is an instant fail.

Hope I Die Before I Get Old…

Upfront disclaimer:  This is all about me.  When I talk about “old people” I’m using that term as a concept more than to denote actual individual people.  I’m not passing judgment or trying to insult anyone but I’m sure someone could possibly take offense to what I’m about to write.

Yesterday, I turned to my fiancé and said, “I have no problem aging but I hope I never get old.”  We had gone to a screening of a film that was released 40 years ago and we were probably the youngest people in the room.  I have honestly never been to a film screening with that many wheelchairs and scooters in the theater before.  I think it’s great they all came out and saw the film.  It just brought this to mind.

To me being old is more of a state of being than an age or a physical embodiment.  There’s something rigid, calcified and static about it.  I’ve seen 100 year old people who I would never call old.  Wizened, perhaps but never old.  It also has nothing to do with diminished mental or physical capacity.  That’s just going to happen as we go along and there’s very little we can do to stop the tide.

What a great wizened face.

When someone feels old to me, they seem to have almost stopped living.  They are just waiting for death.  They appear to find little joy in anything, complain about everything and are scared of all kinds of things that don’t seem scary to me.  I’ve met a lot of young old people by this definition too.

I am always empathetic but I am not always sensitive.  I know this about me.  I get irritated with older drivers who go slow and drive like they don’t know what they’re doing (even though they have probably been driving longer than I’ve been alive).  I get irritated with older relatives who ask me to do things for them that I think they can do for themselves (like use the Google).  I have no desire to be in a conversation with anyone who just tells me what’s wrong in their life (or life in general).  I have no words to give back in that instance.  It no longer feels like a conversation.  I’m just a sounding board.

old driver

Being old and getting old are two entirely different things in my mind.  And as I said before, I’m looking forward to getting old and seeing what that brings but I will do all I can to never let myself be old.  I will wear my comfy clothes and sensible shoes, get all wrinkly and slow, and laugh about it all the way to the grave.  Life is too important to be taken seriously.

“Just ’cause there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s not a fire inside.”  –Bonnie Hunt, author

Abe Vigoda is the man!

Abe Vigoda is the man!

 

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again…

Well, more accurately, I fall down… a lot.  I’m a clutz.  Always have been.  But it wasn’t until I got into my current relationship that I realized I did this falling down thing so much.

Fail-in-motion

My parents were the “suck it up” kind.  If you fell and you didn’t hurt yourself, you just got up and went about your day.  If you did hurt yourself, you bandaged that shit up and went about your day.  You didn’t make a big deal about it either way.

I wish I had a scanned copy of one of our family portraits to show you that has my younger brother wearing a band-aid over one of his eyebrows that covered the stitches he had just recently gotten.  There’s also a picture somewhere of me as a toddler smiling while covered in scratches and bruises after just having survived a bicycle accident I had with my older brother.  Those are just the images of how I remember it.  No big deal.

My fiancé is very protective of me but sometimes it feels like overkill.  He’s seen me fall down at least half a dozen times personally and not one time has resulted in more than a bruise or a scratch.  The look of horror on his face as I’m on the ground makes me feel worse for him than I do for me.  In my head, I’m just thinking, “dammit that’s gonna leave a mark” while he must be imagining all kinds of horrible scenarios.

I fell down once on some slippery pavement and banged my knee up pretty good.  I just kept saying I was sorry over and over again involuntarily.  I think I kept saying that I was sorry because I was sorry he had to witness that.  It just gives him such anxiety.

This whole thing came to mind because I fell out of bed yesterday.  I was trying to casually roll out of bed like I sometimes do.  The bed is a little high and slightly more so since we had to put some rubber stoppers under the wheels because of our new hardwood flooring.  My socks slipped on the floor (I was used to carpeting before) and I just went over the side and down.  I hit my hand on the floor but that’s the worst of it.  I have a small bruise on the palm of my left hand.

He comes over to me asking if I’m alright and looks completely devastated.  I had to comfort him.  I’m not making light of his reaction, I just don’t always understand it.  I play a wait and see game when someone falls.  If they are alright, I help them up.  If they’ve injured themselves, I offer whatever help I can with that.  I just don’t seem to get that upset about it, regardless of who they are.  It’s just me and it’s neither the right or wrong way to be.  It takes all kinds.

I’m trying to remember that his reaction is just an expression of how much he loves me.  He would be completely lost if one of my falls turned out to be more serious.  And my family loves me too, even if they didn’t make a big fuss every time I hurt myself.  People express love in different ways.  The trick is to let them do it their way and to hone your ability to recognize it.  Expecting people to love you the way you think they should and to show it how you would show it is an exercise in frustration and futility.  Love is both given and received and it takes all kinds of forms.  There’s even love in a good scolding.

It makes me a little more careful when I walk, when I climb stairs and now, when I get out of bed.  I have someone besides myself to answer to when I take a tumble.  And that’s one of the hardest lessons for a fiercely independent person to get.

falling

It’s a New Year!

Dec. 31, 2008

Dec. 31, 2008

When the calendar flips over to a new number, it often causes people to take stock of their lives.  Where have I been and where do I want to go?  The one thing that I’ve been made acutely aware of in the last few weeks is how quickly life can turn on a dime.

Sometimes these changes can be fun and exciting, exactly what we had been hoping and striving to bring about.  For me personally, I moved into a great new apartment over the holidays and I will be getting married in a few months.  But with some of the changes I’m witnessing in the lives of those around me, I’m feeling a little bit sad.  It puts a little bit of a damper on my ability to fully enjoy my current good fortune.

I am aware of so much loss and fear around me.  Cancer diagnoses (yes, I mean several), loss of jobs and businesses, relationships ending and even one suicide that I’ve still not completely processed and accepted.

I have no words of wisdom and I don’t feel like making any statements to put a positive spin on any of this.  I’m just being aware of all of it.  This is life.

Whatever you’ve been going through in 2013 can change on a dime, for better or for worse.  Don’t take any of it personally, though.  I don’t believe the Universe picks sides.

Well, maybe sometimes it does.

Well, maybe sometimes it does.