Thursday, December 13, 2007

Waiting for Good

I guess you're all growed up when funny is just a bad word substituting for ironic. Or wry. Or whatever. They all point the same wicked finger in the same general, silly direction. My mind feels like I stood my body upside down and willed myself to think straight. Sounds like a potentially illuminating yoga pose, but not really.

Here come the holidays, the flood. I have grandiose plans for realizing the glorious mundane. Will it happen? Is it my destiny this season to be happy and sentimental? I certainly fucking hope so. Food will be prepared in my house, my bathroom will be scrubbed in preparation for guests. And me, well I'll stand in the kitchen doorway like a goofy sentinel with bad posture, awaiting my friends and family with spatula in-hand. They'll all say that they're happy to see me, with or without an apron on, and I will know that it is the truth. Follow your bliss, however unorthodox.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Trippin' the Light Fantastick

I am not into most of the stupid relationship crap that gets published, but it would be untrue to say that the subject of human male-female relations doesn't start me up sometimes. Especially when it concerns me directly.

Take a situation I found myself in yesterday evening. A gentleman (he's not particularly gentleman-like, so I'll use this term veeery loosely. But he is nice--to me. He's discouraged me from vouching for him with anyone else) who I have spent some recent time getting to know socially, asked me to take the Briggs-Meyer personality test. I usually avoid that sort of thing, preferring to grow my self-knowledge using other means. Plus, I didn't think we were quite there, yet, but okay, I did it. What the hell. I was in a rush and it seemed like a decent way to maintain my m.o. of being late to everything.

Afterwards, I boldly e-mailed the results to aforementioned man, returned my trigger finger to its holster, and blithely went off to see...aforementioned person. Let's call him Tree from now on. Mostly because it's shorter than "aforementioned man," but also because I like trees and they seem to like me back well enough, and that is pretty similar to the situation I now find myself in with Tree.

So Tree and I hang out for about fifteen minutes before he brings up the test results. He's like, "'re an EOMF (or something like that)." He had to explain what in God's name he was talking about because, like I said, I normally dodge this type of shit. Um, note here: I give propers to the field of psychology. It's the personality test that I have a problem with. Even though I've never had an on-the-couch relationship with a shrink, I value the idea of a talking cure over the self-serve method of psychoanalysis. Back to the story. Earlier in the evening, Tree had told me that he thought we'd come out with the same test results. Turns out we didn't. For me, that was pretty much the end of it. Still, I got the sense that Tree was nonplussed by our differences--differences according to the test, that is.

Results be damned, Tree and I had spent the evening playing "I'll show you mine if..." games. Always a barrel of laughs, those games. It seems as though, in the end, that physicality always wins.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Cement Bad People In Photos?

That's a great question to ask myself. Mostly because it forces me to think on an issue that I consider a non-issue. Let's back up. Why Cement Bad People in Photos? I posed the inquiry because my internet home page is Earlier this afternoon, the site sported a centered photograph of President Bush(ido) in a blank-faced pose as he spouted off about why those who oppose him are fear-mongering. I happen to agree with a policy embued with a healthy dose of amnesty. I do not appreciate Mr. Bush(ido) appropriating a term (in a negative sense) that basically embodies what his administration has meant for the country.

How can he wear a straight face while criticizing others for fear-mongering? He's got the gall of a man who is accountable to no one. We elected him, on whatever pretences (although I, myself, am self-righteously excluded from that group of 'we electedites), and so must deal with the stomach-churning consequences.

The issue that got Mr. Bush(ido)'s panties in a wad concerned immigration policy. Look up his initiative. Think about Mr. B's past comments on the subject. Discuss. We'll talk irony in the morning.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Got God?

I get kind-of twitterpated when an atheist makes the news simply for being an atheist. I mean, God is all over the place--that's a given--and while I respect the religious nature of the world-at-large, I feel left out of that schema (but not necessarily out of the entire world). There will be no apologizing here, though. I am content to form my own guild of godless do-somethings.

This is what I'm getting at, I guess: Not having God in my life means that I have to fill that cavernous, empty void with either one or two large substitutes, or a helluva lot of small ones. No pun intended by the "helluva" by the way. So when I heard about Richard Dawkins and his ballsy endeavor, "The God Delusion," I paused to applaud the man and mentally thank him for giving a shout-out to those of us who don't subscribe to religion.

An interesting line of popularity has sprung up around the idea of "spiritual" atheists in the last few years. I wonder what in the hell that means (still no pun intended!). I guess that if it's considered "spiritual" to be into 1950's popular culture to the point that you buy a formica table and sport Jackie-O sunglasses, then there are plenty of spiritual atheists out there, me included. Popular culture is a sort-of mass-media religion in the sense that it has adherents who worship a deity ('that-which-looks-too-abso-fucking-lutely-cool-not-to-own'), collect artifacts that celebrate the deity (Jackie-O sunglasses and formica tables to name two, but please feel free to pick your poison), and go to church (ahem, ebay).

I don't mean to deny the possibility of so-called atheistic spirituality by labeling it as simple consumerism. I would like to point out, though, that "spirituality" is a very nebulous term. What is spiritual to a buddhist is different from what is spiritual to a catholic, a biker, a wife-swapper. Yet people from all of these groups can be found to posses a similar zeal in their personal quests for non-material fulfillment. So why use the term, spirituality, at all? Isn't it a misnomer for people who operate under a set of life rules that run contrary to belief in God?

I get a dirty feeling every time I hear someone say something like, "Well, I'm not religious, but I am spiritual." When I hear that line, I want to shout out, "Admit that you think there's a possibility of God,!" Because that's it in a nutshell. When someone who claims to be an atheist says that they're spiritual, what they really mean is that they are a closet [fill in the religion blank here], they are embarrassed to admit that the only thing they believe about God is that he/she is a delusion, or they are trying to sneak out of a potentially troubling conversation with their mother, father, or other zealot relative.

So like I said. I think it's nice when atheists come out of the closet, wholly, unapologetically. Why artificially soften a blow that needs to be struck? I hope that I'm a good person; I certainly strive to be--and that is the case even though I doubt that anyone's God is whispering suggestively into my ear. Being "spiritual" could mean that we just don't place a whole lot of stock in materal things, but that's just stupid. General Motors sells ninety-percent of its worst gas-guzzling man-traps to Christians; there's little to nothing spiritual about that.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Love Me, Love My Hypothalamus, or, the Blame Brain Game

Blogging at this hour, pacific time, is not very cool in a variety of senses. It suggests a few things about the author that might not be true, like: that blogger is a vampire; that blogger is on speed; that blogger can't sleep because her ulcer is acting up again--all untrue assumptions, as it happens...but if you were thinking hey, she's an insomniac, then congratulations on your correctness! Never mind that my insomnia could be caused by any one of the above circumstances. Anyway, I was talking about some stupid stuff, trying hard to focus (I'm very tired, just not sleepy) when I went on one of my annoying tangents, which I will try to cease doing.....right now.

Here goes another attempt at my point. Why would I use some awful pun-phrase like love me, love a hard-to-pronounce part of my brain as the title of tonight's blog? Because I found a convenient target for blame about my insomnia: my brain. Now, I recently found out that my entire brain is not responsible--just one sneaky little section named hypothalamus. That's turned out to be kind-of a bummer since I've squandered more than a little time over the years knuckle-sandwiching pretty much my entire head trying to get it to FALL ASLEEP! Stupid of me, I know. I mean, it's painfully obvious that the hypothalamus was responsible for my wide-awake nights; the name even sounds hyperactive (and it begins with an 'H' just like the word 'hyperactive'. Coincidence? I think not).

Some smart people who've studied other people while they were sleeping have divulged some interesting results about how our circadian rhythms (those mysterious biological processes that cue us all on when to get tired, get energetic, burn calories, fart around, etc.) are instructed by the hypothalamus.

That funny little brain part is located, or so I've recently read, in the suprachiasmatic nuclei region of the noggin. I don't know where that is, but now that I'm aware that it's there, I'll try to jostle it less by thinking moorree sslllooowwllly. Evidently, we (not just humans, but all sorts of other animals) fall victim to inherited genes that dictate to some extent how our circadian rhythms work. That means, I think, that my parents are ultimately to blame---AGAIN, sheesh! By the way, Mom, why did you throw away my comic book collection fifteen years ago? Are you a sadist?

As per usual, I'm not sure of where I'm going with this, nor am I sure that some scientist who studies sleeping people (pervert!) won't comment that I'm full of crap and should do some fact-checking and use less hyphens while I'm blogging. But I don't care. I'm super-humanly brave when I'm tired and/or drunk. That reminds me--I'm tired and maybe, maybe, maybe, just a tiny bit sleepy. I think it's time to defy my genes and say,"Goodnight Mr. Hypothalamus."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How I Almost Met George Stephanopoulos

I began this blog with a sigh, but since no one but me heard it, I'm mentioning it now--for the record, for the mood. Two weeks ago, or thereabouts, my boyfriend/business partner called me on the phone with the news that George Stephanopoulos, THE George Stephanopoulos, was standing outside of our bookstore, talking on a cell phone. First, major props to George for going outside for that nasty business. Second,...well, there is no second. I'll just say that I was floored a little by the news that he was at my store.

I wasn't excited by the garden variety, ohmygodacelebrityjustwalkedin, sort-of star-humping tendency. For those who even know who George Stephanopoulos is, the idea is ludicrous. George served as White House Press Secretary/Communications Director/Presidential Advisor during the Clinton Administration. Hold on to your hat while I expound upon why I am such a huge, flaming nerd. When I was in high school, I wanted that job. I didn't just want it, actually. I coveted--coveted that job. Mostly, I just played it off as a joke, "Wow, George Stephanopoulos can talk to anyone about anything and sound sharp as a tack. I totally want him And his job, ha ha." Nix the ha ha and you have my true feelings at the time. Additionally, my favorite documentary, to this very day (and I am a bit of a doc aficionado, or so I fancy...) is The War Room. In a room full of Democratic shark heads with sweat stained shirt pits and pocket protectors, George Stephanopoulos really stood out as a hottie. In another life, one in which looks do not matter AT ALL, James Carville might have won as the catch of the bunch, but come one people, get real.

It turns out that George was in town because he was addressing the State Legislature in Carson City. Surprisingly, I was a little relieved when I found out that I'd missed him. It would have been really un-cool of me to barf or have a panic fart in front of my childhood idol (I do not have a farting problem--that last part was purely for comedic effect).

Anyway, my boyfriend proved to me that you can train men after all; he recognized George on sight when he walked in. And when George returned to the front counter of the store after his cell phone diversion, my dutiful boyfriend had the presence of mind to ask for his autograph, on my behalf. I'll note here that despite some peoples' distaste for politics and questions about whether or not the political mind is anything but tiny marbles knocking around in a cardboard box, George is brilliant. That fact is evidenced in part by his handwriting. It sucks. Like doctors' handwriting sucks. I could only decipher a few of the words in the autograph--just enough to recognize that it was written in English. For me, that'll do. It will more than do. Especially the part where George wrote, "Good luck with our fughel wlkeh"...or something like that. Thanks to that small, penned gesture, I am willing to forgive George for mis-pronouncing Nevada at the State Legislature; I am willing to forgive him for being 5'5" tall; but most importantly, I am willing to continue carrying the torch for Greek Presidential hopefuls until my dying day. Maybe America wasn't ready for Dukakis, but in a few more years, maybe it will be ready for a Greek dude with a few more syllables in his name.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Reno Bars and The Guilt, The Guilt

Hmmm, I wonder if I visit bars less now that I'm perched on the crest of thirty years of age. I'd prefer to say...yes? Seriously, though, bars have regained some of the lost mystery I once retained for them say, five or ten years ago. That must mean that I don't go to them as often; absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all.

Lately, all of my bar experiences have been unequivocally weird. Mostly because I have a little-known syndrome, colloquially referred to as "bar guilt." For the purposes of blog clarity, I'll describe the syndrome in brief: It is an "acute social disorder wherein the subject is aware of intense feelings of guilt for not engaging in conversation with the person they deem least desireable at the bar. Subject is driven by intense psychological forces to eschew contact with "safe" conversants (usually an accompanying friend or acquaintance), in lieu of lively interaction with aforementioned undesireable person."

It's weird--I know what my problem is, and yet I'm helpless to remedy it. In the last three months I've had a pack of cigarettes stolen, several friends befuddled by inattention, my boyfriend irked, and my bar tab prematurely run up due to this condition. It's like I think to myself, "Hey, I can just turn around and pick up a conversation with my friends." You know, the "Quit Any Time" bit. Instead, I choose to try validating some dickweed who probably doesn't really need validating (but, yes, he does), while explaining that I have a boyfriend who is sitting right next to me--My boyfriend and I have a great relationship, though that is not evidenced by the fact that I'm talking to a lame-ass with a faux-hawk who's plotting about how best to steal my smokes. Although, they were American Spirits (blue pack), which are kind-of expensive. I think they're $5.15 at 7-11, but usually they're about a nickel more expensive at the Quickie Marts. Strangely enough, bar cigarette machines only charge like $5 straight-up; You'd think they'd be more expensive--but I digress.

People of Reno, listen. It was at a bar last night that I received some sage advice from a youngish man. Wise beyond his age by about two years, he said to me, "It's weird. It's like, I'm at a bar and I'm talking to someone and I'm like, 'what's up, why are we talking?'--in my head, though. And then I'm like, it's weird, because in Reno there's like this thing where you have to talk to people who are around you, waving. You can't just spend time by yourself, enjoying the silence and shit."

That dude spoke to my feelings about my condition in an intimate way; maybe that was why I was talking to him at the bar. He will never know how much his observations meant to me, mostly because I'll never go back to that f-ing bar again. Unless my buddies are going and only if we have dinner and a game of darts first because they don't serve food at that bar, nor do they have a dart board.