Friday, October 31, 2008

It's a string-a-long!

Like a sing-a-long except it's a solo by one person while everyone else just lets them think they're going to join, but never actually do. I'm starting to wonder if flakiness is genetic. It really seems like some people just don't want to say no or even I don't know. A yes from this group means no unless they're standing right in front of you and you're asking them to join you at that very moment, and even then they'll excuse themselves to go to the bathroom and you won't hear from them for five days. Holy hell, just say you have plans, or don't feel like going out, or dammit! wrastlin's on an' I a'int never miss that wrastlin'! Speaking of wrestling, Smackdown just started and all I could think of was, "Oh boy, grown men dressing up for Halloween and duking it out. Awesome!" Anyway, being strung along sucks. Whether it's work dangling that carrot or a date that never materializes or an ex or your favorite website that never updates or a friend that never seems to be available for a beer, they must all share the flaky gene. Which is weird cuz they all have such great skin...

Friday, October 24, 2008


In spite of it being fall and everything in nature going into its hibernation stage, the concept of wholeness is something that seems to be sprouting up quite a bit lately. The most recent presentation came from a lecture by Jane Fonda I attended last week. The Women and Gender Studies Program brought her to campus as part of the Women of the World lecture series. It wasn’t a fantastic speech or anything, but she made some insightful and thought-provoking comments and not just about gender.

Her main focus was that, as a society, we start socializing our children very young into “appropriate” gender roles. Girls play house, secretary, and tea party while boys play with cars, erector sets, and sports equipment. These observations by themselves aren’t terribly eye opening, but the next part was; to fit these roles we ignore parts of ourselves. We take what society tells us to be and how to behave and we turn that into a piece of our puzzle and force it into our personality. She used a word, vibracated, that I can’t seem to find in any dictionary that she used to mean “the separation of head and heart”. She used this in reference to the socialization of young boys; don’t cry, be strong, don’t show emotion, etc. That made me wonder if this separation of heart and mind might be beneficial. I don’t know that it is, but I still wonder. She also relates the stories of her youth; privilege, celebrity status, and expectations, and how it took her being 61 and single before she started to feel whole.

My contribution to this is merely an extension of this idea. As a child we start out whole, we are comfortable with who we are. You can see this in action every time a parent blushes from an innocuous child’s question or in the grocery store, near the candy. Eventually this wholeness, this sense of self-security is replaced with doubt. As we are socialized we realize that other people have a set of expectations for us, and every time we are corrected we worry about what else we might be doing wrong. We begin to take pieces of ourselves and leaving them behind. Like a puzzle, we want to be the image on the box, we want people to be able to look at us and know what they’re getting. Our adult life is spent trying to recover the pieces that had been cast off as an adolescent. We want so much to be whole that we try any of the pieces available to us; work, hobbies, things. Some people are fortunate enough to finish the puzzle, the rest of us are stuck looking for…

Friday, October 17, 2008

...upright and locked positions

Do they really still need the "no smoking" light on airplanes? I mean, it's been at least twenty years since that was allowed, right? And why the hell can't I be leaning back in my seat when we're taking off/landing/crashing into Tempe Towne Lake?

Speaking of out dated announcements, they could probably do without the "beware, items stored in the overhead bin may have shifted during flight". If there is one thing that isn't moving during the trip, it's the luggage that's been stuffed into the overhead bins. Especially now that airlines have started charging as much as $50 for two checked bags. Think they're really making that much extra money? Consider this, on a flight from O'Hare to Madison there were at least fifteen bags that had to be checked at the gate. Think any of those were charged the "checked" fee? How could they have been?

In all honesty, I love flying. The options are limitless. I can get to the gate early and work on a laptop or read my Kindle. I can make friends in the terminal. I can learn all about the person next to me. Or I can fall asleep as soon as the plane taxis onto the runway. I find the last option especially useful.

My last flight was a wondrous adventure on United/TED. I had so much room I could have performed the River dance and thrown my hands in the air like I barely even cared. They served a delicious roast as part of a four-course five-star meal and finished it off with a pot about the mile high club! The flight attendants were pleasant young women that were easy on the eyes, not at all miserable dried up old piles of itchy skin just dying for their next shot of heroin. The captain was a jovial fellow that insisted every passenger get their turn in the cockpit and perform their choice of a barrel roll, loop-the-loop, or nosedive. Billy Idol was even on board. He helped another passenger re-connect with his love interest then performed live right on the plane with this fellow who I guess was some sort of singer. Oh, looks like we're approaching our destination. Time to come out of the clouds, Reality Runway is straight ahead. Time to end this dream and return your seats and tray tables to their...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lasting Impressions

So, let's start this blog off with a cheesy, sentimental, introspection post. If you were to travel a path which you knew your friends would be traveling later, what drawings would you leave behind so they knew you had been there? You're allowed to use words, but it's more fun to use pictures only or maybe a few esoteric letters that only your friends and loved ones would recognize. Admittedly this is not a novel idea, it came after listening to an Iron & Wine song, The Trapeze Swinger (lyrics...and address of full song, here). The lyrics are "my dear, but if i make the Pearly Gates i’ll do my best to make a drawing of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl, an angel kissin’ on a sinner, a monkey and a man, a marching band all around the frightened trapeze-swinger".

So what kind of graffiti would you leave on Heaven's Gate? The more I thought about the question, the harder it was to pinpoint something all my friends would recognize as uniquely me. I suppose the Chicago Bear 'C' logo on a computer monitor might work, a few months ago a drawing of Cole with a trash can on its side and its contents scattered would have sufficed. It's brutal realizing you're not as self-aware or memorable as you thought you were, but it also provides some incentive to make everyday a new experience.