Things that stay in your head


One of my relatives sent an email to some of her other relatives (am I being vague enough) to say she really didn’t want photos of her to be posted on Facebook.

Once I was done laughing (since you can’t really stop anyone except by asking your relatives like she did but which won’t really help for the other 450,000 relatives, friends and/or acquaintances on FB), I emailed her back with some screen shots of how privacy works on FB and the (only 2) photos I know of her that exist on FB, just to give her an idea.

It is pretty Orwellian, but she uses Gmail (which I consider more Orwellian than FB) and suggested also check her Gmail settings and that I could send some other privacy website links, etc.

Later, I went back to FB, got sucked into the vortex and clicked on someone’s friend’s picture (hey – never hurts to look).

For whatever reason (OK I was checking him out) I looked through his photo albums (because I could). To further illustrate my point that what photos you see depends on what peoples’ privacy settings are, I emailed one of the photos I found.

Now I don’t even know this guy, but because he is a friend of a friend who has his photos marked as viewable by friends of friends I ‘get’ to see pix like this.

One relative replied, saying “Oh good god.  I’m guessing that’s NOT making you feel any better <insert requesting relative’s name here>… I know I’m a bit traumatized by it.”

THAT cracked me up.

But then the “requesting relative” sent back the following message: “now I can’t stop laughing.  what the flarg?!?”

FLARG?! Now I can’t stop laughing!!! Where does she get these words?!

So here’s the photo that inspired such reactions. I’d say this dude (the one on the left is whose photos I was looking at) is fully comfortable in his identity and quite not going to be interested in me!!

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I’m not sure what this says about me or others or if it says anything about me or others but…

Based on my (totally anecdotal) experience, about 97% of the people who anthropomorphize their dogs don’t even know what the word ‘anthropomorphize’ means.

Does it indicate I’m just vocabulary-enriched but if I anthropomorphize my dog I can at least name it if I do it?

Does it indicate others aren’t vocabulary-enriched but they know they are anthropomorphizing their dogs, they just can’t put a word to it?

Does it indicate others aren’t vocabulary-enriched and they don’t know they are anthropomorphizing their dogs?

Does it indicate dog owners need to read more to develop their vocabularies?

Does it indicate I need to read less?

Does it indicate anything whatsoever?

I ask these kinds of questions because I think about them, but also sometimes at the – ahem – dog park when I (for example) see a herd of dogs running towards something (or towards nothing — they are dogs after all) I’ll say something like “it looks like the running of the bulls in Pamplona” and people look at me like I’ve just said it in Aramaic.

And I wonder why I’m not married and why the people at work think I’m so “offbeat” and “unique.” Maybe I should start saying “ain’t” more or something.

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I swear, I have never welled up as much as over the last 10 days, hearing all the Obama anecdotes (not to mention that my friend Susan was there for the acceptance speech).

I’ve heard two (other) poignant stories of people (each African-American) who voted for Obama.

One was an oral essay on (where else) NPR by this guy who brought his child into the booth and had his child actually press the voting button for Obama. Looking towards the future…

The other came from Bill Cosby, who brought in pictures of deceased relatives with him while he voted. Honoring the past…

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n.b. -I’m saving the anti-gay marriage rant lecture discussion for another day. Today I want to celebrate what IS. Plus, I know you can’t wait for another political rant from someone who swears she’s previously never been political.

PS: n.b. means “notez bien” which means “note well” or “Hey you – pay attention!” If you’re under 40 do you know what “r.s.v.p.” stands for (either literally or contextually)? Note that I’m not saying it’s a contest since I never even published the results of my last only first contest.

“I am not what I think I look like.”

-Bill Cosby

I got an unexpected phone call the other night.

I saw the number on my cell and thought it looked familiar but I didn’t pick it up, partially because if it was that familiar they would’ve been in my phone book and their name would’ve been on caller id.

So later I listened to the voice mail and was shocked to hear that it was from an old boyfriend. If you heard the message you would’ve sworn we had just talked a few days ago; he was that “familiar” in tone.

Essence of the message: “Hey, thought I’d call and say ‘boo.’ Just re-something’d the kitchen and saw some notes you wrote on the wall behind the refrigerator and thought I’d give you a call. (something about) One of the notes said ‘Marie/y was here 1989’ so it was definitely overdue for painting, blah blah blah. I’ll fill you in when you call back.”

Well, I was surprised to get this voice mail for several reasons:

  • I haven’t talked to him for 17 (yes, seventeen) years. Of all the reasons for calling (after seventeen years), I can’t imagine that the prompt was seeing my notes scrawled on the wall. Like, you just remembered about me for the first time in seventeen years when you saw my notes on your wall?!
  • He was the one who forgot to tell me he broke up with me before he started seeing his next girlfriend.
  • He’s never apologized or contacted me in the intervening seventeen years.

I can’t imagine it was a booty call, which I wouldn’t put past him even though it’s been seventeen years, not to mention all of the above. I know I haven’t gotten one in a while so maybe I wouldn’t realize it unless he said, “Come over and let’s do it on the kitchen table.” But I really think I’d know…

Talk about nerve. Was he tripping or WHAT?!

“Well,” you might say, “maybe that was his way of making contact so he could finally apologize to you.”

To which I would say (yet again) “after seventeen years?!”

If that were the case, how about an introductory, “Hey Marie/y, I realize we haven’t been in contact since you found out I was effing around on you seventeen years ago and I broke your heart and caused a depression so deep you never thought you’d get out of and caused you to still have ‘trust issues’ with men.

And I know I’ve never apologized and I’ve felt deep regret for over the last seventeen years but I was (whatevering) the kitchen and came across your notes and thought it was about time I called to apologize and see how you’ve been for the past seventeen years.”

But no, unless it was somehow implied, I didn’t get any of that from the message.

Seriously, what was he thinking?! This is yet another reason I’ll never understand men.

You already know I’m a recovering shoe addict, and you know I love gadgets, the nerdnet, photography, gardening, reading and Ted Drewes. I would still love cigarettes if I still smoked them. I have a few TV shows that I love. A few recipes I love.

I could go on with all the things I enjoy, but you get the idea.

I’m a love-er: when I love something I love it a lot. That means I do it/ buy it / read it/ watch it /eat it/ make it a lot.

If we were clinicians, we might call this a borderline “obsessive disorder” but we are not clinicians now, are we?

I do know I don’t need any more bad habits, things to be interested in, things to do, watch, eat, see, or read. I have enough of all for now, thank you.

And yet…

Twice now, I’ve come upon (and been sucked into) Password, the new version of the ’70s tv show. Remember Betty White and Alan Ludden? And the “celebrities” (people who actually DID something to deserve their fame) and players sat next to each other and tried to guess the secret passwords?

Well, it’s baaaack. It doesn’t have Betty White, though, and Allen Ludden died a long time ago.

This is either a memory-jogger or an educational tool:

(Click image for link to Wikipedia article.)

Now it’s got — annoying of annoying — Regis Philbin hosting. Ugh.

It also looks like any other “evening game show” on now: long ramps to the center, busy moving graphics, standing contestants, dark backdrops, overly-loud cheering audience, annoying computer-y music, flashing lights (really make me dizzy) and too many commercials and repeats of what the rules are.

But in between commercials and Regis pseudo-bonding with the contestants, it’s still fast-paced and I love watching how people try to tie words together. It’s absorbing. Way too absorbing.

I’m not at the point yet (nor do I ever hope to be) where I can think of my own hints to passwords or close my eyes and listen to the clues and figure out the passwords. No, my friend, those days are more distant than I can count right now.

The two shows I’ve seen have had Rosie O’Donnell. Now whether you love her or hate her, you hafta give her credit: the woman is a game show who@@ like I’m a reading who@@. She knows her games, is good at them, and is well, good at them.

Because I find her style so engaging and I love the game and don’t want to watch any additional tv shows, I hope they move the show around a lot so I’ll never know when it’s on (or missed it), or Regis will annoy me so much I can’t watch it anymore, or it’ll get canceled or something.

And yet…

it’s just the thing I could rationalize as a dementia-preventative. Let’s just hope it’s a summer replacement-type show and that it goes away in the fall, shall we? Ok, let’s…

I got a massage last night. I’ve gotten them on and off for ~20 years, and have experienced everything from crying to weird bumps that tingle, to pain, to release from pain, to mindlessness, to floaty-ness, to talking, to…

Sleeping.

Until this year, which is when I started getting regular massages (god that sounds so luxurious doesn’t it? And it IS — it’s my biggest splurge ever. I just feel decadent getting them so often but they really help with my back), I had experienced all of the above except sleeping.

I’m sure I’ve wavered in and out of consciousness sometimes, but as relaxed as I get, I’d never fallen asleep until about 6 months ago.

And now I always seem to fall asleep, and right when she finally gets to the good part — my neck and shoulders and my back.

That’s the part I want to enjoy the most, for godssake. I want to be awake and enjoying it, not snoozing and drooling!

Tell me I have a sense of entitlement, but I have to endure daily pain so I think I should at least get to enjoy a fleeting release from it, right? But no, all but once in the last 6 months, I have snored through the good part.

I find that so alarming and yet I’m not sure why I find it so alarming.

Other than getting massages more frequently (causing me to relax more easily and fall asleep during them?!), the only possible causes I can think of (that would cause me to fall asleep) are that my 1 year old job is still mentally taxing because my brain is still engaged and absorbing information,

AND/OR that I don’t get enough sleep.

By the time I get stuff done (whether necessary or desired) we’re looking minimally at 8:30pm to start…Step #1 of the Disengagement Process.

That’s stuff like my washing face, prepping coffee maker, letting the dog and/or cats out and in a few times, writing some notes to myself or posting, maybe talking to a friend or doing some online reading (which “they” say is not good for you to do at least an hour prior to your bedtime, and which NAG** would undoubtedly agree with).

Then all of a sudden it’s time to go to bed.

“Going to bed” is Step 2 of the Disengagement Process and is code for “reading.” I always say I’ll read for “only” X minutes, but it’s usually one extreme or another: Either I get absorbed in a magazine/book and read too late, or I read something “inspiring” or “educational” like my summer reading for punishment, in which case I’m asleep in 15 min.

Step 3 of the Disengagement Process is turning off the light and turning on the radio to you – know – what, and Step 4 (the Unintended Step) is lay/lying there and listening for a 1/2 hour until I doze off.

Sometimes I can turn the radio on (which I do to keep my mind from racing) and I can fall asleep in moments, but often I end up listening.

Anyway, the point is (and I do have one): I don’t get enough sleep, and maybe that’s a reason I keep falling asleep in my massages. (Bet you forgot what we were talking about, didn’t you?)

I am a grownup for godssake. I know by now that to function properly I ideally need 9 hours of sleep a night. I also know that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell I’ll get into bed by 9:30 not to mention get 9 hours of sleep on a weeknight.

And speak of the devil: it’s 9:30 now, so I’m gonna go read before bed.

I think it’s a Buddha night <This summer’s reading for punishment>

**NAG=Nurse Aunt Grace, who’s — ironically enough— my aunt and a nurse, and who’s been spot on about all her diagnoses (except probably on herself and her husband, ’cause you can’t be perfect I guess) and who saved my mom’s life. But that’s another story.

ADDENDUM written last night after I went to bed to read (Step 2 of the Disengagement Process). I opened up the Buddha book (fully anticipating my normal 2 page limit) and started where I left off, on page 24 at a chapter called, “Stopping, Calming, Resting, Healing” (AHEM to me).

Thich Nhat Han tells a story about a man galloping quickly by on horse and being asked where he was going so fast. He said “I don’t know. Ask the horse.”

Here’s Thich (with emPHAsis by me): “…we are riding a horse…and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along…we are always running and it has become a habit. Then he starts talking about the “art of stopping,” which I just did to write this, but which is probably not what he meant.

He then, as the chapter title would suggest, goes into calming, resting and healing, and the interconnection between them all and the benefits to our minds and bodies. Definitely a “you had to be there” moment, I guess, especially because I can’t summarize it well enough, and we already know this stuff (intellectually anyway).

But when I read that chapter (written in his simple, spare, yet elegant style) after having just written and thinking about the very same topics (albeit in a totally different style to say the least) I almost wet my pants I was so freaked out!

Talk about the teacher being there when you’re ready to learn the lesson!

Opening up to that chapter — coincidence?? I don’t think so — it all just hit me so hard, since I had JUST been saying I’ve been falling asleep in massage, going going going until later than I “should,” not getting enough sleep, not making enough time to disengage.

And there it was again in “Bedtime with Buddha”: the “art of stopping,” which then led me (perhaps not surprisingly given the name of the chapter) to Calming, Resting, Healing. I just had to finish that chapter.

I ended up reading up to page 34! (so I can skip a week now?)

TONIGHT It’s 9:38. I’m sleeping with Buddha. Must go back to 2 page toleration limit. Was up ’til 11:30 last night pondering all of that (above).

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