Category Archives: attitude

Love and other mysteries

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time>  There are too many mediocre things in life.  Love shouldn’t be one of them.” ~Dreams for an Insomniac

I read this and looked at the background picture of two very pretty people laughing and kissing each other and I thought…wait.

Now I’m not a prude.  I’m just old.  I know a few things.  That kind of love is unsustainable and destined for failure.  You may have good memories for a while, but those fade.

Love is

Holding hands in the theater

Snuggling on the couch

Making love in the tent

The hug and kiss at the door

Giggling in the car

Going to the concerts

The band contests

The conventions

Love is

Not defined by a scale

Not defined by prowess.

Love changes the lovers.

You become a better you when

you are with the one you love.

Love, by definition, IS NEVER

mediocre

It’s dynamic and ever growing

and changing.

Love is

Better than any scale

Because it’s the true expression

of your deepest self and

your response to your

lover’s true expression.

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts on a physical Labor job

By Ward, my son:

I take a shower everyday
Look at these wounds
These bumps
These scratches
These cuts
They each have a story
A lesson
Some more so than others
But i learn from them
I get better
I heal
And i think every morning

Not today
You will not break me today

Whether those lessons are mental or physical
They will not break me
I will learn and live on…

Smoke gets in your eyes, retasked

They asked me how I knew

Walking, I must doooooooooo…..oh oh

I of course replied

Stomach over-rides

Must now be denied!

 

They said someday I’ll find

I have over-dined, oh no!

Calories you burn

Tend to then return

Sweat gets in your eyes.

 

So I Huffed and then I bravely puffed

upon my big hill trail, (gasp…gasp)

And today, the chiggers had their way,

I have not lost a pound!

 

Now, laughing friends deride

bite marks on my hide!  (Scratch…scratch)

As my red skin fries

And my momentum dies…

Sweat gets in my eyes.

 

Why Bones drives me nuts

I like watching the show, “Bones” because it’s crime and forensic medicine.  I know that a blow to the bone will cause radiating micro-fractures and the younger injuries’ only fracture until they hit an older fracture.  In that way you can find the 1st blow.  FASCINATING!

When I first started watching the show, I noted it was based on the books of Kathy Reich, and that she was a consultant and producer for the show.  So I read them all.  I like the Temperance Brennan she writes about in the book.  She’s smart, intuitive (when it comes to investigation) and has a good sense of humor.

The show separates the Mental (Temperance) from the Emotional (Booth) entirely.   He has no factual, evidentiary basis for his investigations.  How does he get to the position he is in without that?  And Temperance is so devoid of emotional language and intuition that there is no way she would have gotten the job she is currently in.  She is SO literal in her language and her conversations as to make her a MORON!

For some reason, and it’s beyond me, every genius in the show expresses some sort of autism.  I have taught autistic people.  I have worked with geniuses.  You do not have to be a genius to be autistic, and you do not have to be autistic to be a genius.  And I know of NO autistic people that act like Temperance or Zach Addy–another character in the show.  Yes, autistic people can be socially awkward, but for crying out loud…an anthropologist who’d done any field work, as Temperance has supposedly done on numerous occasions, would preclude her behavior in social situations.

One episode, they were investigating a murder on the Jersey Shore.  They were in a club and dancing when one of the suspects steals ice and throws it on people.  He is posturing for the girls (and she points that out) and when he threatens, SHE comes in and postures like a gorilla.  Any anthropologist with experience would know that women do not posture to men.  And men, unlike gorillas, posture with chest moves and stance within the other person’s space.  Eye to eye.  Not like a gorilla.  She has a running dialog that explains the anthropological significance of everything she sees.  Most of the time everything she says that she thinks is of great import is painfully obvious to the average people around her.  So at least 60% of the time she’s interacting with the characters in the show, she comes off as a moron.  She takes EVERYTHING literally.  She makes a point to vocally document everything down to the smallest detail on things that don’t need documentation, and then when it comes to the bones and bodies she deals with, she glosses over the tiniest bit that NEEDS documentation as something everyone would notice.  So she’s inconsistent.

Holmes is a genius, and he’s awkward in social situations, but he doesn’t come off as a moron.  Columbo comes off as a moron because that’s his process.  He’s a bit awkward in social situations because he’s observing the behavior of his suspects.  He looks for the microscopic superiority smile that all his villains exhibit.  Dr. Reed in CSI is very awkward in social situations, but he NEVER comes off as a moron.  He doesn’t take anything so literally that he cannot understand the reference.  Temperance takes everything literally, she pays no attention to the mind behind the villain.  She can’t assimilate the culture she lives in but she can understand the cultures of small remote tribes or civilizations centuries gone.

What I guess I’m saying is this:  I like the idea of a Female Forensic Anthropologist that is amazing at what she does.  I like the idea of a team of geniuses solving murders that no one else could solve.  But I don’t like the aspect that these brilliant people are really social morons that we must treat with kid gloves and teach them how to integrate into society so they can function within the norms.  I get the idea that if they were not morons, everyone would be afraid of them due to Mad Scientist syndrome.  The geniuses are better than the average person and will take over the world by using their evil intellect.  Because we all know…All Smart People Are Evil and Intelligence is not something to be desired.  *Pushes Sarcasm Button repeatedly until it sparks and blows up*

Oh…

This doesn’t work!  The laws of nature, physics and biology do not apparently work for me!

“Oh really?  What’s wrong?”

I’ve been doing this thing…1200 cal/day plus exercise for a long time and I am still a big fat blob!  (Obie is snickering…you can’t hear him…it’s my sentient fat)

“Oh dear!  So you always do 1200 calories a day?”

Not always…But I average about 1300 over the weeks.

“And you’re going to the gym or walking how often?”

Well I started out at 5x a week.

“And now?”

Well… On the weekends…twice a month…when I remember, or it’s not to hot or cold or raining.

“Ah”

2 years later:

This doesn’t work!

“What’s wrong?”

Dr. Oz said I’d get back to my fighting weight (Obie is snorting,) in 6 weeks if everything I eat is green.  I’ve not only not lost any, but gained 2!

“So you never eat yellow?”

NO!!!!

“KFC is yellow…”

Yeah, but it’s chicken and chicken is healthy.

“But it’s not green…How long have you been eating mostly green?”

2 weeks.

“Still 1200 calories/day?  Still doing some exercise?”

Um…my last entry into my food log is 2 months ago.  (Obie has lost all control and is laughing out loud now.)

“Ah”

1 year later:

This doesn’t work!  I’ve cleaned out all my toxins and reset my probiotics and taking 6 pills at every meal and I’ve only lost 2 pounds!

“Oh dear! So you take 3 different types of herbal supplements, 2 pills each, 3 times a day?”

Well 2 times…when I eat.

“Every day?”

When I remember, and when I remember to eat.  (Obie giggles.)

“And the probiotics?”

Still full bottle in refridge.

“Still 1200 calories/day and exercising 2x/week on the weekends?”

I haven’t kept good track, but it’s gotta be close.

“Ah.”

1 month later:

This isn’t working!  I take the pill in the morning (just one so I don’t get jittery), drink the goop, and put on the patch.  I’m supposed to feel energized and refreshed and my pounds are supposed to be screaming and leaping off of me!  They’re not!

“How early do you take the pill?”

When I get up.

“Before your feet hit the floor?”

No, I don’t want to wet the bed.  (Obie thumbs his nose at my attempt at sarcasm.)

“Then what?”

I put the patch on.

“And…?”

I go through my day.

“When do you drink your goop?”

After I exercise.  (Obie raises an eyebrow waiting for the bomb to drop…)

“Do you exercise every day?”

Um…(Obie imitates mike drop)

“The trainers in this program say this:  keep the pill by your bed and use it before you get up.  Then 30-40 min later have the goop.  Then put on the patch.  Then go about your day.”

I can’t have anything to eat after that goop.  It’s just so gross.  (Obie is laughing to the point of tears.)

“You thought you could continue to eat like you have been and supposedly exercise in addition to having this goop and all the patches and pills?”

Well, yes… (Obie is tweeting?)

“And you haven’t been drinking the goop every day.”

I ran out of milk.  And I drink it after…I…exer…oh yeah.  EVERY DAY?

“It’s a regimen.  It means that its regimented, scheduled, practiced daily.”

Ah

“Betty was right.  You’re too inconsistent with your approach to this challenge.  And that lady on Solomon’s Advisor was right too… You’re trying to change something in your life without changing your life.  Your lifestyle is something you love…teaching, watching Bones or Netflix or going to movies, dabbling in other business is somehow tainted by that big blob sitting in the chair that wears your clothes.   (Obie is pleased and bows at the acknowledgement.) Ok, so You want to continue this lifestyle and just put on a skinny suit. How you feel isn’t powerful enough to make you want to change who you are.  How you look is not enough to inspire you to change your activities.  Your “Why” is not compulsive enough for you to succeed because you lose focus, you lose interest, and you become inconsistent and the program, what ever it is, doesn’t work without consistency.

What you should measure in your Measurable Progress is not your waistline, it’s your change in character.  Because your Why is a complaint against the universe for conspiring against you…(Obie adjusts his crown and points with his scepter to continue this awesome praise,) and it is not a motivator that allows you to continue and press on despite distractions and setbacks.  (Obie drops scepter.)

It’s like living the retired life:  travel, leisure, freedom from worry or care without the odious tasks of having actually worked.  Ooops.  (Obie picks up scepter.)  So go to work.  Find the Why that keeps you on the path.  Get out of your freakin’ chair and be consistent in your program, whatever shape it takes.  (Obie removes crown, puts down scepter, and readies himself for a fight.)  It won’t be easy.  (Obie nods in agreement with an evil smile.  You get the distinct impression he’s thinking, “Not if I can help it.”)  But first, figure out WHY it’s important to succeed, not WHY it doesn’t work and you’re such a loser.  The Good why will get you there.  The bad why will paralyze you.  Measure your WHY!  Let that keep you consistent.

 

 

 

 

Replacing loss

I heard this amazing lady on the radio.  The interviewer was impressed by her resilience.  She had survived the flood from Katrina, but lost all her books and notes and everything creative.  She’d lost her dog, her husband, her friend, her mom…And instead of rolling up into a ball in the corner, she became more active and more creative.

What the interview focused on was loss and how people deal with it.  If you lose a pet, buy another one.  If you lose someone you love, meet someone new.  If you lose a child, have another one, or adopt or foster…  It was filling in a gaping hole with a replacement.  That might work, for a while, but the image this author gave was very deep.

Imagine you live in a house near the railroad tracks.  You have a display of china or crystal and every time the train rumbles by, it shakes the shelf and some of the objects break.  You replace them as they break, but you’re not stupid.  You replace them with cheaper objects.  In the end, you have a shelf full of cheap objects that you have no emotional ties to.  Being a geek, the 1st thing I thought of was a way to display these items so that they wouldn’t fall down and break.  Then I thought of replacing the breakables with stuffed animals or books or something.  I lived next to the tracks and the trains came 5-6 times a day, and not only would they rumble by, they’d stop and you’d hear each car collide and then jerk into motion when the train started up again.  It was nearly continuous noise.  After a few weeks though, I didn’t notice the noise.  When we moved near the AFB, people could tell we were new because we looked up when the planes took off and landed.  Natives don’t notice.

When someone dies or leaves and you go through all the processes like the psychologists say you should, in the end, you do not replace the person you lost, you replace your means of connection.  Let me explain.  When they are with you, you interact by calling, texting, writing, talking, whatever.  It’s the personal, physical relationship you enjoy.  You miss them physically at first because it was the way you connected.  After they’ve been gone a while, your relationship changes.  You remember what they said, how they looked, the tic when they lied, the horrible jokes, the hugs, the tears, the laughter.  Before you could only interact by setting a physical parameter.  You got a busy signal; they didn’t get to the concert; someone got sick.  You could not connect every time you wanted to.  Now you can.  You can bring up their faces in a blink.  You can anticipate the conversation on any subject.  You can recall that story they told, look at the old pictures and remember the venue where they were taken.  You are not constrained by time or presence.  You can be closer to the person who’s gone (whether by death or distance) at the time and place of your choosing, than when they were physically available.  It takes practice to reach that point.  My dad and mom and brother and his wife have died.  But now they are incorporated into my thinking and feeling processes so they are closer to me now than they were.  I do not need to replace them with someone new.  The relationship has evolved to something better.

Mixed feelings

3/7/2011  Dad died

3/8/1928  Mom was born

I remember Mom and Dad with fondness

Smiles

Secret Smirks

Quirks recalled

Wisdom dispensed

Mom reading Dr. Seuss

Then the horror

That tumor

The pain

The confusion

Missed events

Dad slipping away

in Alzheimer’s

The frailty

The helplessness.

I miss you both.

I remember you both.

My 4 oldest were held by you both.

My grand children don’t remember.

2 more generations and

All you were and all you did

will pass from memories.

What a tragedy.

 

Window stickers

What ever possessed people to put window stickers on their cars?  Why do they think I want to know how many kids and dogs and cats they have?  Why do they think I care that their t-rex ate someone’s stick family?  What is so interesting about their family full of zombies?  Why would anyone dedicate their cars to their dead relatives?  Pick-up truck with flowery window  In memoriam:  Bob 1985-2007.  What was special about Bob?  Was he hit by a truck?  Was this his truck?  How do you trade in a truck with your memorial on it?  It would be like selling the granite stone from the cemetery wouldn’t it?

It’s the same about bumper stickers.  Yes, some are funny to read…but if you’re reading the bumper sticker, you’re not watching the road are you.  The annoying thing about some of the bumper stickers is that they were never meant to be read going 60 mph on the interstate!  They’ve got cute logos and attractive colors and nice fonts, but you can’t read them because the writing is too small!  If you want to read bumper stickers, you have to go to the mall parking lot.  Sounds like too much trouble for me.  And just because you believe in a cause, putting that on your bumper will not convince me to change my stance.  It is nice that your child got honored as a student…do those come with dates?  What if he flunks out next semester; do you have to scrape the thing off?  Would it be false advertising if you left it on?  What if your honor roll Kindergartner graduated from High School last year?  That makes me think you have 2 choices:  Cover that one up with something inane like Obama/Biden for 2004, or good lord!  Get another car!  How many miles you have on that thing?!  The problem becomes how does the dealership scrape off your bumper sticker?  Do you get to keep the ones they can get off to transfer to your new car?

Sooooo, no.  I am not interested in intimate details of your family, your religion, your politics, your favorite music or your favorite pet.  If you’re a veteran, thank you, but unless you have PTSD and Road Rage and access to an AR15, I don’t need to know that.  I can understand the honor student bumper stickers because those are for your kid to read and believe that you might care.  I don’t.  Also knock off the snarky “My poodle is smarter than your honor student” bumper stickers unless of course your dog is driving…then I’d be impressed.   Do that on Facebook or put a bunch of signs in your yard.

I’m all in favor of USEFUL information on your car.  “DWI traffic stops 10, convictions 3” would be good to know.  “I never signal lane changes” might help me avoid running into you.  You know those signs on Krispy Kreme stores that light up when the donuts are hot?  There should be a yellow flashing light when you’re texting or on the phone.  Maybe some annoying habits I should be aware of would be good.  “I always take the exit 3 ramp at 9:02 by cutting over 4 lanes at 60 mph.”  “I cannot drive in snow.”  Good to know!  How about new drivers…”I didn’t know it had a clutch when I bought it.”  Reckless endangerment?  How about “Wreckless endangerment?”  “Mario Andretti pees himself when he rides with me to work.”  People with bad attitudes–“I only use 1 finger to wave with.”  “BEWARE!  BOSTON TRANSPLANT! Doesn’t drive like us.”  Very useful!  “This sticker is holding my bumper on.”  OK!

DON’T USE YOUR CAR AS A BILL BOARD.  Don’t use it as a message board.  Don’t use it as a moving Facebook page.  I support Privacy.  It’s none of my business.  It’s a car–a means of transportation between point A and point B.  It’s nothing more than that.

Fall back position

I tend to go to subversion as my first fallback when things don’t go right.  It upset me to discover this, but I know WHY I do that (after some reflection.)

  1.  Follow the rules.  Stay within the parameters.
  2. Watch as an incompetent takes over and screws it up and derails the project.  This brings up two pathways: wait for experience to kick in, the lesson to be learned, whatever that gets us back on track or watch the doofus crash and burn and the project stay off track and fail so I can say “I told you so.”
  3. So I wait for the turn around and it never happens.  But I want the project to succeed, both for my benefit and for the others involved in the project
  4. Doofus gets schooled by higher ups or more experienced people on the team and gets discouraged but in order to save face DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING AND MAY EVEN EXASPERATE THE SITUATION! 
  5. I become subversive and the project succeeds in spite of the mismanagement because we are back on track.
I am too old and too impatient to go through all 5 steps Every Single Time.  In my experience in the public schools and as a business owner/operator and in fast food, and in the many organizations I have been a part of (from Girl Scouts to Church Choir…) it’s always the same 5 steps.  There were some projects that I was indifferent to, and those I let founder.  And though I didn’t say it out loud, I snickered to myself, “I told them so…”  Now, I recognize the signs early on, and exasperated, I assume that the Doofus that is messing things up is not coachable or amenable to change.  He/She will not learn the lessons.  Why go through the effort of mentoring them and coaching them if they keep saying, “I got it from here” and they clearly don’t “got it?”  I’m not saying micromanage, because we all know how futile that is.  So instead of falling back on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th steps and especially with a time crunch, I revert to step 5 as a default.  That’s the way I have programmed myself to think.  Unless something changes in the human condition that contra-indicates this conclusion, that will be my general approach to situations like these.