Category Archives: Analyze THIS

Vignette from a stop light

SingleRiderI stop for a red light, and glance in the rear view mirror. A well-coiffed couple pulls up behind me in a Mercedes. He’s got the wheel in one hand, and his head in the other. She’s got a map in one hand and nothing in the other, but both hands jab the air as she talks animatedly at him. I can almost see a spray of spittle from where I sit. He rolls his eyes. She drops the map, turns on him, and talks more emphatically than before. He covers his eyes with his hand; I’m pretty sure they’re still rolling back there behind his palm. She starts making air quotes. Like, a LOT of air quotes.

I look at the wheel, here in my own hands, then turn my gaze toward the passenger side, where my purse, the groceries, a pair of binoculars, and a collection of cloth shopping bags litter the seat. The light turns green. I smile and drive on.

A singular mystery: whodunnit?

SingleRiderThe thing about living alone is, if something gets lost or broken or relocated or otherwise altered, there is no one else to blame. It has to have been me whodunnit.

Within the last week, two pieces of strangeness have occurred:

1. There is a lamp on each nightstand in my bedroom and I noticed one of the bulbs was burnt out. So I went to replace the bulb, but it actually wasn’t burnt out – it was unscrewed. Not a little bit, but a LOT. It disturbed me, but I tightened it and put the new bulb back in the closet.

The mystery of the cobalt plate2. I have a cobalt and sunflower “set” of FiestaWare. Four cobalt cups, four sunflower cups. Four cobalt cake plates, four sunflower cake plates. Etc. I am anal enough to stack them in the cupboard in alternating order, and also in the dishwasher, so they come out in alternating order. So the other day, I noticed that I used two yellow dinner plates in a row. I noticed because I went to put it in the dishwasher, and there was no blue one to alternate it with. I went to investigate and there are only three cobalt plates. I have turned the house upside down. Only three cobalt plates.

Did I break a plate and forget? That’s not really likely – I’d be out of here like a shot to get a new cobalt plate (Old Tyme Pottery to the rescue!). Did I loosen the bulb myself – for what reason, I couldn’t tell ya – ? Will I find the plate during my upcoming/ongoing decluttering project, squirreled away in some odd spot for some really, really good but forgotten reason? Is this the beginning of Alzheimers? Am I sleepwalking? Or do I have an invisible roomate? I have not had any guests here in quite a while – all of my friends live either on Sanibel or else much closer to it than I do. They all want to be on the island, not out in Lehigh.

This is strange. And I’m really annoyed about the plate, because now I have two yellows in a row. Dammit.

So. Who else has a mystery of this ilk to share? Please, share! Make me feel better! Like, I’m not going crazy, like my house is NOT possessed or worse! PLEASE SHARE!

The “What Do I Want?” Litany

I read somewhere recently that you’re not supposed to use the word “want”, as it implies a state of lack.

[pullquote]want [wont, wawnt]
verb (used with object)
1.to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one’s dinner; always wanting something new.
2.to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often followed by an infinitive): I want to see you. She wants to be notified.
3.to be without or be deficient in: to want judgment; to want knowledge.[/pullquote]

See, when you’re manifesting, you’re supposed to “act as if” the object of your desire is already yours. Or something. So, instead of “want”, you’re supposed to say “desire”.

Here comes the litany…

I DESIRE income.

I DESIRE economic justice, for myself and for the rest of the world, too. How is it right that, through no fault of our own, many of us are unemployed or under-employed AND saddled with homes that are worth less than a third of what we paid for them and less than half of what we owe the bank? How is it right that those who can least afford to are responsible for paying the majority of taxes, which are used to pay for “services” from which we do not benefit, many of which we never wanted (SEE: WAR)? Talk about a lack of balance…

I DESIRE a strong, healthy body with which to sail through my next half-a-century.

I DESIRE a healthy planet, one that will be able to safely and easily house and nourish the life forms that depend upon her for survival.

I DESIRE intellectual and emotional stimulation.

I don’t want much, do I? 😉

The “Who Am I?” Litany

Does anyone really know the answer to the question “Who am I?”.

It annoys me. I’m supposed to define myself by the roles I play, I guess, and by my interests. All the while I’m reciting this litany (it’s the first question you ask yourself when practicing meditation), I have the feeling that this isn’t all there is to it.

However, I am bound by earthly things owing to the fact that I’ve got this here physical body, so without further ado – The “Who Am I?” Litany commences

I suppose a daughter is the very first role I took. Mere seconds on the heels of “daughter” closely followed sister, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, great grand-daughter, great niece, and I think that takes care of the familial roles. Almost immediately, I became a Christian; quite without my knowledge (I was probably sleeping) or consent, I might add. As time progressed, I became a BIG sister, twice. And I was also a reader and a singer very early on, long before I ever went to school.

Ah, school. That’s where I learned to love being a writer and an entertainer. I was also an easy mark, as in one who is bullied because it’s incredibly easy to make her cry. Well, that used to be true. Now, not so much. At some point, I became a friend. Post-bullying, I had many, many friends. And I was also a girlfriend. After we moved away from all those friends, I became a loner, then a friend again.

For many years, I was an actor and an opera singer. I was a wife for a while, which also meant I was a sister-in-law and a daughter-in-law. Then I became a divorcee. My brothers also made me a sister-in-law, and they each made me an aunt, 5 times over in total.

For money, I was an office worker, eventually becoming a vice president. I was a techno-geek and a business manager. I was, and I still am, a breast cancer survivor. I was an organic gardener and a compost maker extraordinaire! I became a beach-comber, a shell collector. I became a Disney lover and a writer, a blogger, a photographer, a chronicler of my adventures. Oh and I was a smoker, but I quit (thank you God!).

More recently, I’ve become a a collector of unemployment, a consultant, a runner, a conservationist, a healthy living enthusiast and a practitioner of meditation.

I am ALWAYS a student, whether formally or informally.

This all actually sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Yet I’m quite sure this is NOT all there is. There has to be more to it than simply litanizing one’s roles and interests.

Right?

This is your brain. This is your brain on alone. Any questions?

I’ve just read a really intriguing article about how being alone is actually positive and good for you, and not the negative or even dysfunctional experience that society and modern psychology would have us believe.

[pullquote]People make this error, thinking that being alone means being lonely, and not being alone means being with other people,” Cacioppo said. “You need to be able to recharge on your own sometimes.[/pullquote]

I love the phrase “social snacking”, which is used to describe socializing by means of texting, phone calls, etc. There’s healthy snacking and then there’s empty calories; it all depends on who you are engaging and what you are deriving from these activities. One of the things that makes “social snacking” so attractive to those who LIKE to be alone is that it’s an indulgence on their own terms. If you’ve had enough, you shut down the app – done.

I have to disagree, however, with the leanings of the graduate student who believes less in “social loafing” and more in the power of what people fear others think of them. The experiment she ran involved testing memory of those who thought they were working on the task by themselves versus that of those who thought they were working on the task with others. She found that those who thought they were working alone performed better when their memory of the task was tested. The experimenter tends to believe that it’s because there was concern over the opinions of the others who were working on the task, but I disagree that this can be applied across the board.

I believe that the knowledge that one is working alone makes a person highly capable, because one knows that there is no fall-back position. There is no safety net. You walk the wire, you fall, oh well – no one is there to catch you. This is probably what makes me so damned attractive to all the Peter Pans of the world – the motherless lost boys who are loads of fun but in the end, irresponsible, undependable and looking for someone to take up their considerable slack.

I believe that there are only a limited number of people who will become more capable because they fear what others will think of them if they do not. The truly mature and the truly self-confident will not care what others think of them. There is also a small portion of society that doesn’t care what others think out of selfishness. So the theory that concern over the opinions of others trumps the knowledge that there’s no net doesn’t hold a lot of water for me.

The power of lonely – The Boston Globe.

Am I A Cracked Jar?

IMG_3472-WDW-EPCOT-shady-glade-on-rosewalk The cracked jar « Paulo Coelho’s Blog.

So, maybe we’re not SUPPOSED to have just one career throughout our lifetimes. Maybe careers are supposed to be age-appropriate. The trick might be in identifying age-related “cracks” and then blooming them into into services; something that’s useful, beautiful or both.

While I have plenty of flaws that I can identify, I’m not sure I can readily see which of them came with age. Can’t possibly get to the next part – making that same flaw USEFUL (and, let’s face it, lucrative) – until I know what it is I’m supposed to be working with.

This one’s going to take some thought!

Why doesn’t she hear him? [video]

YouTube – Huey Lewis And The News – Do You Believe In Love.


This evening, someone on a forum was talking about Huey Lewis. Naturally, the conversation propelled me toward YouTube, one of the most time-sucking applications known to the interwebz. I looked up my favorite Huey Lewis and the News Song “Do You Believe In Love” – I don’t think I’ve seen this video in at least two decades! Anyhow, she doesn’t hear him. He’s right there in front of her, singing to her, loving her and she thinks she’s alone. How sad is that? But it’s such a happy, upbeat song! The contrast is really disturbing to me. Oblivion like that isn’t really upsetting to the oblivious – that is, until they figure out how clueless they’ve been and what they’ve been missing. I guess that would be a bit depressing, to realize that you’ve missed Huey Lewis wanting to “love you all over”.

Secrets

Love me some OneRepublic music, but this video is a bit on the disappointing side. I don’t think it accurately reflects what the poet really means by this song.



When I first heard “Secrets”, I immediately thought that Ryan Tedder was responding to criticism that his lyrics are not the usual “oh woe is me, relationships suck, my heart is broken” pop radio fare. The way I perceive a lot of what he writes is that his songs are often a reflection of what’s going on with him and the band on a professional level. I figured that perhaps he may have been criticized for not revealing himself emotionally enough, so this time around he’s “gonna give all my secrets away”.

Only, I don’t think he means it. I’m not sure it sincerely bothers him to the extent that he’d abandon what moves him to write in favor of what the critics want. Counting this one, there are at least 3 songs on the latest album that are about the career, the amazing experience of touring, being vaulted into the next level – or being afraid that they won’t be vaulted into the next level due to poor timing and/or connections.

No, I think “Secrets” is an indication that he acknowledges the criticism but he’s only kidding when he says he’s going to give it away. I think this is a man who knows where the line is. He’s not really moved to write about interpersonal relationships all that often. He’s very into his work, into his career.

It may shock some of you to know that there are people in this world who are NOT focused 24/7 on relationships – finding them, maintaining them, destroying them, ad nauseum. I should know – I’m one of them! I get the impression that Ryan Tedder is similar – many of his songs relate to his experiences as a musician, writer, producer, to his professional experiences, not his personal ones. Does that invalidate his poetry? Nope. I “get” him. There have to be others out there who “get” and appreciate what he writes, too.

It doesn’t have to be all about the emo, all about interpersonal drama, to be interesting. Really, it doesn’t.

What are your “superpowers”?

Good Vibrations Festival 2008 - SydneyWhat are your “superpowers”?
Seems it is fashionable these days to refer to one’s own best attributes as “superpowers”. I was reading “O” out on the lanai this evening when I caught just such a reference and it inspired me. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and without too much thought, listed as many of my own “superpowers” as I could as fast as I could. I stopped at ten – here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Bangs and yellow look excellent on me.
  2. Children like me, but dogs like me more than I like them.
  3. Someone recently told me that I make people feel special.
  4. I am extraordinarily lucky at finding great parking spaces.
  5. I have an ability to rally the troops.
  6. Mostly, people like me, they really like me!
  7. I can tell a story
  8. If there’s no story to tell, I can make one up
  9. I make shit happen
  10. I can silence your screaming cockatoo with one fatal high B-flat

So, tell me – just between us
I promise I won’t tell any one –
what are YOUR superpowers?