Category Archives: thinking

Today.


Sometimes I wish it was my sole responsibility to just sit on my couch in my Team Edward shirt and sweatpants, eating cheese and writing until my eyes ached.

If anyone wants to pay me to do this, hit me up.
***

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Yep.


“You cannot be your own filter. If you’re always told that you’re right, you will eventually believe it, and that is dangerous to not only yourself, but to everyone you talk to. We all need editors. If you don’t believe me, go sit through all three prequels. You know the ones I’m talking about. I don’t even have to say the name.”

-John Cheese, Writer

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Confessions, #25


#25: Probably unknown (possibly “guilty”) pleasures. Talk about them.

Desperate Housewives. Any and all Investigation Discovery shows. Sweet Valley High books. V.C. Andrews novels. Nineties music, especially Alanis and Jewel. Twilight (OH, THAT’S RIGHT); the books, the movies, and anything else that has to do with it. Josh Hartnett. Putting soy sauce on my salad. Pretending to be in a music video when I listen to ANY MUSIC. Imagining what I’ll do when, someday, I run into the people that left me behind. Getting mildly drunk and letting my imagination take the wheel, completely. Dancing around in my living room when I’m alone, until I either step on a cat or run into the coffee table. Celebrity-obsessed, trashy magazines. Drawing naked ladies, ballet dancers and ethereal scenes. Painting with water colors. Watching videos of people having their dreams come true (think: competition shows’ winning moments). Kaiser Permanente commercials (that LADY always makes me cry). Talking about anything with my brother, except his girlfriends, who tend to suck a whole lot. Green olives and cream cheese, eaten together, usually in sandwich form. Zoos.
***

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Don’t eat the Aardvark


I never have what a normal person would call “dreams.” I dream every night, in bright colors and great detail, but the nature of the dream is rarely beautiful. Hell, it’s rarely nice in any way. I’m not sure I’d call them nightmares, either–although many of my…dream-mares? (awesome. Now I’m picturing gorgeous lady horses prancing through fields of poppies and rainbows. I have never been blessed with a dream of lovely equines skipping merrily through anything. WHAT THE HELL.)

Anyway. Many of my dreams are of destruction and catastrophic events. Mostly natural disasters that kill my loved ones and leave me desperately trying to escape up hills in the utter darkness and shit. Or of my own death and the afterlife. I usually chalk it up to my obsession with true crime shows, books, and news stories, serial killer biographies, mystery novels, and a small but well-loved collection of Mary Roach books and science-fiction. I’m not an outwardly morbid person–after all, I’m blonde and like colors and laughing–but this kind of information, the science and the trivia and the suspense of it, intrigues the hell out of me. And if the trade-off is strange, unsettling dreams, fine.

But not two nights ago.

I know exactly what caused this effing nightmare, and as usual, will blame an article I’d read that morning. It was about famously strange diets and the people throughout history who’d subscribed to them. I don’t mean strange as in Jenny Craig/ Weight Watchers strange. This was not an article about people who get suckered into thinking that eating a bunch of miniature, over-processed versions of foods that are really bad for you will help you lose weight. These people ate rocks, and gold, or nothing but whiskey and meat and cheese (actually, THAT dude is still alive and super healthy, for no explicable reason). One of them ate the weeds from his yard because he didn’t believe in the necessity of groceries. Another consumed bird brains at every meal, and yet another, live kittens (and any other live creature, but dude. Kittens? FOR REAL?). But what stuck with me were the two scientists mentioned in the article–Charles Darwin and William Buckland.

Quickly: if you don’t know who Darwin is, you go away. If you don’t know who Buckland is, that’s cool–he was the first person to ever discover dinosaur remains. Both were revered and ridiculed several times over, and continue to be. But the strange thing they had in common? A singular desire to eat at least one of every animal on the planet. Darwin did it by eating at least one of each animal he discovered (beware, fancy pigeon); Buckland just wanted all the fauna ever to pass through his presumably steel-lined intestinal tract (dude also ate a human heart, but I don’t know what to do with that, so…moving on).

Back to my dream: I’m somehow tasked by an unseen force to hunt, kill, skin, dismember, and grill an armadillo. I realize that some people won’t find this gross, but you kids probably live somewhere in the desert and think that armadillos are a normal food source. They are not, but do what you want. I’m *totally not* judging you.

So I do it. I hunt down this giant beast of leather armor (that’s what that is, right?), shoot it, drag its big ass back to a bedroom that has an outdoor grill in it (makes perfect sense), skin the creature in a bathtub (gross), cut off its appendages (GROSS), and throw it on the rack (SO. GROSS.). Before I even realize what the hell is happening, the thing is charred and, as dead things are wont to do, has its legs and whatnot all curled up like a Lysol-ed spider. Sort of like this:

You are welcome.

Only, imagine claws attached to that.

In the dream, I know I have to eat this thing. I am horrified by it, but this dude in a suit, who I only now realize has been standing silently next to the grill the whole time in this lovely, French-style bedroom, tells me it must be done. He emphasizes that it is absolutely necessary that I eat this thing and that I eat every last bit of it. But then his eyes grow wide and he goes very, very pale and says, “You MUST eat the armadillo. But don’t eat the aardvark.”

That was it. And now I’m actually hoping that I reenter this particular dream some night so I can ask that scary asshole why I can’t eat aardvarks.

I hate being told what to do.
***

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Confessions, #27


#27: If you could change one thing, and only one thing, about yourself, what would it be?

This is always a fun one. Because as soon as a person starts to think of themselves in a negative light, all sorts of stupid, random insecurities start to surface. Then your brain organizes a skirmish among them, pitting your non-airbrushed skin against a semi-snaggly tooth, or a droopy eyelid against a wee bit ‘o belly flub (also, I imagine them wearing tiny helmets and brandishing swords and cudgels).

I’ve gone through many a self-deprecating day, vacillating between “if only I had perfect skin” and “I’m going to need adult braces, OH GOD THEY’LL CALL ME MRS. METAL MOUTH,” and certainly drawing mental perforation marks down my thighs and tum. It’s a stupid thing that most girls (people, really) do, and on any given day it can be triggered by seeing a coworker’s shelf-shaped ass or, perhaps, because a certain person acts SO SURPRISED when they learn you’re a dancer, “because aren’t dancers usually like, REALLY slim?”

::glare::

Regardless, if I get really, really honest about it, there is only one thing I would change: my repetitive venturing into that place where I feel shitty about something random and take it out on myself. For instance, money, the fact that I don’t have any, and why despite my MANY REQUESTS TO THE UNIVERSE that a giant bag of cash fall out of the sky and onto my head, I have only had one person offer to give me eighty dollars worth of pennies in a sack with a dollar sign on it.

Seriously.

We’re meeting up next week.

My point is not to say that I’m a mannequin OR that I don’t succumb to my own bullshit–far from it. But when you start to admit you’re getting older (sigh), and all that nonsense your parents and teachers told you about life being short and the only real goal you should ever strive for is happiness and blah, blah, blah starts to make actual sense? It gets slightly easier to see exactly how ridiculous it is for a person to feel guilty for eating a donut when they had an apple for breakfast, or for having a cookie after eating chicken and salad for dinner, or why a girl would literally starve herself into bobble-headdom for a chance to stumble dizzily down a runway. OR, why some people refuse to go outside without makeup on, or their hair done, or the perfect outfit. Or to take it further, how there’s not a whole lot of…point…in lying. Or being friends with people who suck. Or getting into arguments over things that don’t matter (or completely avoiding the ones that do).

So. Since this post has officially killed the concept of ‘in a nutshell,’ yeah, there is. And I’m working on it. I suggest you do the same.
***

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Confessions, #29


#29: Have you ever lied to protect someone?

A: Absolutely. Haven’t we all? Lying is human nature, instinctual; kind of like running away from an enraged hippo or, for a lot of us, ICP shows (you Juggalo peeps are scary. And I know you’ll take that as a compliment, so… you’re welcome). In all seriousness though, it’s fair to say I’ve lied for every single person I love; friends, family, and even the occasional drifter. For protection, usually– emotional or physical– and even just to keep the peace. I’ve lied for myself, too, which is sometimes okay, as I love me.

I try not to lie recklessly. Honesty is usually the best policy, but for me, unnecessary revelations that only provide relief for the guilty and pain for the betrayed are best left unsaid. I’ve always believed ‘sorry’ was more for the person saying it than the one hearing it.

On the other hand, I recommend making efforts to own up to your shit, however hard that is, and to tell the truth when you’re 100% certain it will benefit the person getting told. It doesn’t count, however, if it’s simply your opinion that they need to change (aka, you think they need to invest in some less flamboyant bed sheets). However, telling a friend they look like a sausage in those jeans or that they need to stop running after people who will only ever break their heart into thousands of tiny, tiny pieces are both perfectly acceptable reasons to unleash the truth on someone. Tact is always a good thing to apply, though, if you can. If you can’t, learn. Otherwise you’ll just come off like a giant wang. And if that doesn’t bother you? Well… then you don’t give a shit if I call you a wang, wang.

I digress. Yes, I have, and I will, and I’m okay with it. And anyone who claims they’ve never lied is full of shit.

***

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Confessions, #30


I don’t have a huge readership, with the exception of friends who pop over here now and again. But those of you strangers who do hang out here once in a while: thanks. Also, I know most of you got here trying to find information about whale parts… wtf you guys? MAN it must’ve pissed you off when you realized that post actually had nothing whatsoever to do with whale weens. Heh.

Anyway, I’ve decided to get some of my dirty laundry (stained?) out there on the internet via this odd confessional thing that’s similar to people with their picture-a-day blogs or surveys. Just because I can and, because, why not? The internet is no place for skittish, private folk. So:

#30: Who do you hate?

A: Ah, that question. Here’s the thing– I’m not sure there’s anyone I really, truly hate. I think to hate someone you have to want them dead or mangled by a bear at the very least, and I’m a little more peaceful than that (only a very little). There are certainly a few people that have f*cked me over to the point where I wish them no goodwill, though. A guy who handled my heart like a replaceable toy; a racist, daft girl who gives the rest of us a bad name; an old friend who cared more about securing a dude than keeping my decades-long friendship; a couple other friends who’ve crossed unacceptable boundaries (you know what’s creepy? Finding out that a girl who knows you’re straight wants to bone you, and that’s the sole reason for their being your friend. Oh, or finding a totally DIFFERENT girl with the same intentions… having fun in your bed with your photo, while you’re two feet away in the bathroom). Several random people who got in my way, a parent that is not my mother. Hitler, but that’s really just a given. A hideous little person who talked shit to the wrong people at the wrong time. OH AND my neighbor across the hall. She’s rude and she’s nosy, AND she smokes in her apartment which means the entire hall and occasionally our entryway smells like death.

The thing is, I believe that to really hate someone, you have to care about them. With the exception of the one deceased person on my list, I don’t wish for terrible things to happen to these people (I’ve absolutely fantasized about it, but not in seriousness). In fact, I wish them well. I wish them growth and change. I don’t think they’ll ever accomplish it, but I’m a hopeful person. And, despite the simmering rage that surfaces when i think of them, I don’t care about them enough to get all screwed up about it anymore.

And if they HAPPEN to get bitten by a piranha…well, that’s none of my business (::ahem:: UNIVERSE).

***

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Interlude


Me: writer, editor, dancer, singer, actress, trombonist, pianist, with a little painting, collage-ing and drawing on the side.

The Boy: musician, poet (oh, he’d kill me for that), sound engineer, artist (he is incredible at drawing).

My friends: singers, painters, writers, dancers, athletes, artists-at-large, editors, passionate.

I feel incredibly sorry for people who don’t practice SOME kind of art form. Genuinely sorry. What inspires people like that? And what’s life without inspiration, and passion, and something to strive for…but a meaningless, repetitive cycle of daily activities with the occasional interruption?

For the record, I consider sports, keen business savvy, programming and other such things art. Anything that inspires you to move, to think, to change, to do, is art. But I know of people who lack that, and I honestly don’t have a clue how they find any joy in their lives.

How bored you must feel. Please, go find a muse before your brain and heart atrophy and you’re doing nothing but waiting for death. Please?

***

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Secure.


This morning I woke up with a new notion in my head.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot a lot a lot about insecurity; what it means to be insecure, degrees of insecurity, its origin, its genesis, its logic or lack thereof. I admit, shamelessly, that I’ve got a fair amount of this disease coursing through my veins. I make efforts to keep this on the down-low, but I’m not so naive as to think that it doesn’t rear its ugly ass head often enough to make it obvious to the people closest to me. And for the most part, I’m fine with that. I’m fine with the people that love me knowing that I have this fault, which they will and have told me is ridiculous, that I should get over it, and that it’s unattractive and even, honestly, pretty selfish. And of course it comes in a variety of flavors (I would be relieved to be insecure about only one thing, but no– it depends on the day, and the hour, and the trigger).

Because insecurity is itself something we’re ashamed of, I began to consider it from a new perspective. We like to think that, because we see a person from the outside, we are better judges of their being and character than they are. That we are somehow unbiased; we don’t think she’s fat or he’s got a big nose, we never notice her blemishes or his mismatched eyelids, so what the hell? Why are they so fixated on something so *obviously* untrue? We like to think that bashing them for being irrationally judgmental of some aspect of themselves makes sense; that if only they would just get over it, or up and realize that they’re being ridiculous, we could all move along happily with the self-mutilating thoughts of our friend/ lover/ colleague placed forever in a locked box, never to be reopened. We would like to think it’s that easy, that it takes a single epiphany or the right number of people telling them otherwise (after which we will be exasperated by their neediness, of course) to make them see. That it’s somehow a choice made by the person in question.

But I don’t think it is.

Sadly, I have often been the person saying “Jesus I wish he/she would stfu about X! They’re just trying to get attention!” But I’m starting to think, or rather realize, that we don’t choose to be embarrassed by ourselves any more than we choose who we fall in love with, or who our family is, or whether tomorrow will bring on rain. If it were something so simple and easily executed as a choice, I can’t imagine a world in which a person would choose to feel constantly terrible about themselves. A constant failure. Sure, there are people in the world who are drawn to misery, but I’ve seen, inside and out, just how devastating insecurity can be. It can be so powerful that it trumps love, friendships, truth, dreams, family, passion, and even life. I’ve watched the widespread: little girls starving themselves to death; beautiful women bleaching the culture right out of their skin; young men dropping dead mid-movement, their hearts stopped suddenly by steroids. These are scary and very dangerous realities. But more frightening, I think, are the explosive and far-reaching detriments that a single insecurity can have on a person’s mind. Like a fungus, an errant, damaging thought can manifest and spread, creating an impenetrable emotional web of frustration, terror, and self-fulfilling prophecy. One insecurity can blossom into thousands, leaking into every thought, every step. I’m too fat, I’m too fat, I’m too fat, I’m so stupid, I’m so stupid, I’m so lazy, I’m so lazy. One, two, three, four. Like a heartbeat that cuts you in half with every thump. Eventually, it becomes so much a part of a person’s thought process that they can do nothing but believe in it. Like religion or values or tradition, we cling to it because we become engrossed in its validity. Our minds are stubborn– with constant repetition, a habit is born. And a habit of tearing ourselves to pieces over something that started out as nothing more than a notion is not quickly broken, if ever. It isn’t often that you see a devout religious person turned faithless by the presentation of some piece of scientific evidence; and, a person with some deep-rooted insecurity will not be convinced of its uselessness simply because someone tells them they should be.

I don’t have a solution and I’m not even sure where I could begin to look for one. If I had any idea, any clue, believe me– I’d be shouting it from the rooftops like it was the coming of the freakin’ rapture (buzz word!). Because I would give anything, I think, to be free of the chains that bind my thoughts. To be relieved of that cutting, rhythmic voice beating bullshit into my head. And that’s maybe the most effed up thing of all: often, insecure people are perfectly aware of how insane their humiliations are, just as a drug addict knows, somehow, that sticking needles full of poison into themselves is maybe not the best idea in the world. But logic faces an unfair fight against fear. I think it’s important that, while we might continue to reassure the girl questioning the beauty of her face or the man struggling to fill the role we’ve created for him, and feel exhausted by it, that we remember it isn’t something that person is choosing to feel. It might be the result of something terrible, like a nasty childhood, or something ironic, like narcissism. We don’t know ever, really, exactly how someone else feels and we can only imagine what we might do in their shoes. But it would still be us, poorly fitted inside of their circumstance. We will never be able to replicate their experience exactly, and because of that, shouldn’t give up on them because we can’t break them of something we’re only perceiving externally.

I’ll go forward trying to remember that. I’ll try to remember that I don’t know shit, I will never know anything as intimately as I know myself, and I can only do my best to accept people for their utter humanness.

Including me.
***

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Another reminder.


“You can’t demand recognition. You can’t demand validation, or proof of emotion, or that promises stay forever promised and unchanged. If it were so simple to know, absolutely, that you were loved and appreciated, needed and revered, there would no longer be a motive for passion or discovery. If every promise we’ve ever made to our reflections or to each other stayed unbroken, we would ourselves remain stagnant and quiet, soft and weak from the protection of self-inflicted ignorance. A person with nothing to learn and nothing to question becomes quickly bored and quickly useless; a husk of themselves, that once was filled with drive and desire. I want nothing of boredom and nothing of silence. Should I forever be restless and wondering, imagining, dreaming, questioning, curious and confused, I will consider myself luckier than any person who wholeheartedly, stupidly believes that they’ve answered all of the questions they will never have the courage to ask.”

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