Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oy veh! Six hour drive tomorrow morning. Going to mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving. Get up at 5:30 A-fucking-M! Make nice with all the in-laws, while fretting that they're looking at every wrinkle on my face and thinking "Why did my brother marry someone so much older than him?"
Oh well. In ninety-six hours we'll be back home and I can be "old" in peace.


Friday, November 21, 2008

How do I love thee, Blogging? Let me count the ways.

1. I can yammer on and on, about anything I want, and no one interrupts me! How cool is that?
2. I can make false assertions, present fiction as fact, describe myself as tall and willowy, and no one corrects me! That's pretty darned cool also.
3. I can say fuck, shit, cunt, prick, fuckety-fuck-fuck, suckety-suck, lickety lick, 69 x 69, and no one censors me.
4. I can make lame jokes, and no one groans (at least I can't hear the groans...).
5. I can pretend that I have friends out there in the ether, even though we've never seen one another, heard each other's voices, or touched, tasted or smelled one another. Maybe, in a way, blogging is kind of a "sixth sense."
6. I can entertain myself by reading the truly clever stuff that some of my favorite bloggers write, like grant miller, katie schwartz, dr. monkey, politits, some guy, spartacus, whineguide, oneman, billstankus and so many others.
7. I can yammer on and on, make false asserions and lame jokes in the "comments" section of other people's blogs, when I'm too lazy to think of something to write about in my own blog.
8. What's not to love?

Monday, November 17, 2008

If It Feels Good, Don't Do It!
This quote from George H. Smith is, to me, a brilliant and concise commentary on what I regard as one of the most unfortunate aspects of the Christian religion.
"Christianity cannot erase man's need for pleasure, nor can it eradicate the various sources of pleasure.
What it can do, however, and what it has been extremely effective in accomplishing, is to inculcate guilt in connection with pleasure.
The pursuit of pleasure, when accompanied by guilt, becomes a means of perpetuating chronic guilt, and this serves to reinforce one's dependence on God.
Christianity, with some exceptions, has never explicitly advocated human misery; it prefers instead to speak of sacrifices in this life so that benefits may be garnered in the life to come.
One invests in this life, so to speak, and collects interest in the next.
Fortunately for Christianity, the dead cannot return for a refund."
-- George H. Smith

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Your Body Language Talks Better Than You Do

I watched an interesting History Channel program on body language tonight. The two "experts" who were making the presentation claim that 93% of human communication is through body language. At first I thought, "You guys are nuts!" But by the end of the program I thought, "Shit! Maybe they're right!"
They showed lots of real life examples of things people do with their hands, their shoulders, their eyes, their heads, the way they walk, and so on. Then they analysed the significance of those movements and it made a lot of sense.

The most amusing example was the film footage of Bill Clinton making his Monica denial. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," he stated firmly. In the meantime, he was poking his index finger in the air in one direction, while his eyes were looking in the opposite direction. Apparently, if someone is telling the truth, his finger and his eyes are pointed in the same direction, preferably at his audience.
The saddest example was poor Richard Nixon during his infamous debate with John Kennedy, back in 1960. The camera focused on him wringing his hands, behind his back, while sweating profusely and looking unhappy. JFK, on the other hand was a perfect picture of self-confidence and poise. You didn't even have to listen to their words, in order to know who would make the better president.
The "experts" (I wish I could remember their names, but...) talked about body language "coaches" and gave some before and after examples of their training. The most interesting to me was Hillary Clinton. It showed film footage of her, back in the early years of Bill's administration. In public presentations she often looked down, her shoulders slightly forward, and didn't look straight at the camera. Quite the shy lass. But she got some coaching, and look at her now. Standing straight, eyes forward, pointing her finger at various admirers, she is the picture of confidence and authority.
The hand-wringing discussion struck a chord with me. They called it something else, but of course I can't remember what. But essentially it was touching your hand with the other in order to calm and comfort yourself. I know for a fact that I am always fiddling with my hands when I am stressed or uncomfortable.

Of course, facial expressions are a dead giveaway too. They illustrated that with several amusing examples.

Can you imagine what Tony Blair is thinking at this moment?

If you could see my face at this moment, you would probably deduce that I am very sleepy, even if I were to swear I am not.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Maybe I Did, or Maybe I Didn't
Last night I attended a lecture by an author who supposedly knows what he's talking about, on the subject of "Writing the Memoir." I have the attention span of a autistic gnat, so I didn't get much out of it. But I do remember one line that he attributed to someone whose name I can't remember. It was something like, "Writing your memoir is easy. Just make it up as you go along." The lecturer disagreed with that advice, but I like it. After all, who can remember every single detail of every single event in his murky past? And who, upon reading what you have written, could reliably dispute your rendition? He or she may disagree, because, after all, we all take away our own impressions of any given event. But, unless he can produce a documentary video of the event, his word has no more weight than yours. Also, according to Mr. Memoir, it's acceptable to take more liberties with a memoir than an autobiography. So...I think I will discard my fantasies of someday writing my autobiography and replace them with fantasies of writing my memoirs.
Orrrrrr...I can just continue to wander around all day, moving items from spot A to spot B, picking leaves out of the flowerbed, arguing with myself about whether or not it's okay to eat the Peanut Butter Cups left over from Halloween, reading 50 different blogs, working the N.Y. Times crossword puzzles, fantasizing about cleaning out the bulging closets, drawers, attic and basement, and attempting to recover my lost youth.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Highjacked Meme via Bill Stankus via Willow

The Truth, the Whole Truth, Induced by Self-Coercion

My uncle once: Was so drunk that he let me drive the car from L.A. to Arizona, even though I was only 14 and didn’t know how to drive.

Never in my life: Have I committed suicide.

When I was five: I was ready to quit Kindergarten after the first day, because I was so disgusted that I hadn’t been taught to read and to type.

High school was: Okay, except for Phys Ed, which was one long lesson in humiliation and shame.

I will never forget: The day I finally got the courage to jump out of a swing while it was in motion, on the high upward arc. I was 25 years old.

Once I met: John Wayne. I was 11 years old and was with my mother in a liquor store in Pomona, CA. She was buying cigarettes and chatting with the proprietor. I was perusing the rack of paperback novels, especially the ones with naughty pictures on the covers. John Wayne walked in and went to the counter. Mom and the shopkeeper were electrified. They started talking. I picked out the book with the naughtiest cover and took it to the counter. Without showing the book, I interrupted the adults and asked Mom if she would buy me the book. She said no. I started whining, and Mr. Movie Star said, “I’ll buy you a book. Which one do you want?” I placed the book on the counter and all three adults gasped. Mom said, “You can’t have that!” Mr. Movie Star grabbed his cigarettes and exited the store. We left shortly after. Mom was angry with me for the rest of the day.

Once at a bar: I was trying to act more sophisticated than I was and drank TWO WHOLE Guinness Stouts. I was so drunk that my friends confiscated my keys and drove me home.

By noon I’m usually: Up, showered, dressed and ready for a nap.

Last night: I thought briefly about setting the clocks back an hour, but wasn’t able to hold the thought long enough to actually do it.

If I only had: A heart, some courage and a brain, maybe I could be sympathetic, brave and smart.

Next time I go to church: I will tell the congregation to go home, because god is dead.

What worries me most: No attempt at humor here. I worry most about the possibility of World War.

You’ll know I’m lying when: I say I’m not worried.

What I miss most about the 80’s is: Being able to dance for hours on end. To illustrate how totally “hip” I was…my absolutely favorite dance was the Polish Hop (a particularly vigorous form of Polka).

If I were a character in Shakespeare: I’d be fictitious and talk funny.

A better name for me would be: Esmeralda

I have a hard time understanding: Particle physics.

If I ever go back to school: Please kidnap me and lock me up until I come back to my senses!

You know I like you if: I tell you more about myself than you want to know.

Take my advice, never: Walk down a dark alley at night, while you’re naked and drunk.

My ideal breakfast is: Fresh blueberry muffins and hot cocoa, served to me in bed, by a guy who looks like Rocky I, wearing his “wife-beater” t-shirt.

If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: Carry a gun.

Why won’t people: Stop blowing each other up!

The world could do without: Talk radio.

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Shake hands with Dick Cheney.

My favorite blonds are: Fat and homely.

If I do anything well, it’s: Bitch and moan.

And, by the way: I saw what you were doing last night.