Monthly Archives: October 2012

Perceptions

Have you ever thought that something was one way only to have it revealed that it was something else entirely?

Just this morning it was revealed to me that I have been laboring under a seriously false impression.  Not only was I wrong in what I was thinking but the fact of the matter is that I was being given a gift and I perceived it as disrespect.

That’s a harsh reality to wake up to in the morning.

You must know what I’m talking about.  There are times in everyone’s lives that they think they know something or can see something that isn’t true or isn’t there.

Just as a visual demonstration, have you ever seen the optical illusion of the picture of the woman?  What do you see?  Perception test 1

Do you see an old woman with a large nose bundled up in a babushka?  Or do you see a young woman with a black choker as a necklace?

I usually begin by seeing the young woman.  It is all a perception of what I am seeing and not necessarily what is there, what the artist meant for me to see, or what other people see.  I really like this illusion because it points out fairly readily that things aren’t always as they first seem.  My reality is different from yours just as yours is different from mine.

A good friend with insightful thoughts once told me that everyone is the star in their own drama and that the rest of the world is comprised of incidental characters.  I may have gotten the wording wrong but I believe I am accurately portraying the sentiment.  I believe that he meant that everyone behaves, consciously or unconsciously, like the world revolves around them.  People can only see things from their own perspective because that it truly the only perspective they get.  You can certainly attempt to see things from another’s point of view but in the end, you apply your ideas, your experiences, your feelings and thoughts to every situation.

And clearly, this is only what I took what he said to mean and may not accurately reflect what he was thinking about or meaning or attempting to get across my thick skull.

And we wonder why people find it so hard to get along.

I hope you all can appreciate that what I think I am saying and what you are reading may, in fact, be two completely different things.

Try to remember that the person who says something that hurts you may be meaning something else entirely.  Because of the differences of your pasts, your experiences, your perceptions, and your current mindsets, what each of you are experiencing may be polar opposite.

I feel humbled.  I am thankful that I was afforded the time and the consideration to be heard and I am flabbergasted that I continued to have an impression that was so vastly different from reality.  I thought I had a pretty good grip on reality but it appears it was only *my* reality and not the same thing.

All we can do, people, is try to remain calm and talk.  If I tell you what my impressions are and you tell me what your impressions are, maybe we can work out our differences and get a better understanding of each other.  Maybe this will eventually lead to a higher understanding of everyone else around us.

Let us all make an effort to remain calm, give the benefit of the doubt, care about each other, and have the open-mindedness to try to see reality from each other’s perspective.  We have so little to lose and so much to gain.

Let peace and understanding begin at home and maybe, someday, we can ALL learn to coexist.

Peace.


I think I killed the world

I’m about to launch a new blog, a new website, two new facebook pages – one for my Tuesday DangerGirl blog (this one … heeeeelllloooooo) and one for my new cooking/foodie website.  I’ve started two new jobs and still have an ongoing temp position.  I ghostwrite, blog and am in the middle of three separate books.  I have home projects to take care of, family matters to attend to and renter issues to resolve.  I ebay, craiglist and pray to the powers-that-be that my bills will remain covered and maybe I’ll be able to have enough leeway to breathe and relax soon.  I have an idea for book #4 which would involve some extensive photography on my part and November starts soon.  During November I typically enter the NaNoWriMo writing challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days.

On the fun side, I play poker, dance, write, whitewater kayak (when the time and water cooperate), walk, exercise, create new food sensations, scheme and dream.

I have a lot on my plate right now.

And no, there really wasn’t any pun intended with the cooking blog info and the plate reference, but hey, I’ll take it.  If you don’t knock the easy ones out of the park, you’ll neglect the harder ones soon enough.

Ok, so I’m in the middle of all these things and … I drop the MiFi on the floor.  Typical trainwrecky type thing in my world.  Problem here is that although the damned thing seems to have suffered no damage, it refuses to reconnect me to the ‘net.  Now that is a problem.

I’m going to go on a little tangent here and tell you a story.  So as usual, the blog that was all nicely laid out in my head will cease to exist and will be replaced by this piece of writing.  Not that this writing won’t be all wonderful and stuff, but it certainly won’t be the original idea that I was going to write.  Not that I usually end up writing what I meant to when I sat down at the keyboard but hey … it might be nice to have the idea and the writing sorta-kinda come close to matching once in awhile.

So, here I am, typing all this down and looking at my connection, which is not connected, and getting frustrated.  I need access, I need the ‘net, I need to be able to post this bit when I’m all through.

But it looks like I’ve broken the world.

And that, my friends, is what I want to tell you about.

No, no, no, I don’t want to tell you about breaking the MiFi.  I want to tell you about our little bitty joke that continues to amuse me on a regular basis.

The first time I needed to get online here in NY, I needed to find a WiFi spot.  You know what I mean, a public coffee house or a bookstore or (rather unfortunately) a McDonald’s.  It truly is amazing the places you will venture when you want to get connected.

Anyway, the SO had a USB MiFi which he let me borrow.  Since it allowed me access to the internet, which, as we all know, is the gateway to life, the universe and everything, he joked that he was “giving me the world”.

I, of course, swooned.

And when I was done hamming it up for an audience of one, I took the connection, got online and could access every little thing that I wanted access to that day.

He really did give me the world.

Since that time, we have upgraded (or in many ways in our minds – downgraded) to a multiuser MiFi so we can share the connection.  We’ve decided to share the world.  Even though the connection now regularly sucks frog sweat, arbitrarily drops our connection, slows us down to a snail’s pace more often than not, we can both sorta-quasi get online at the same time.

We like to call the MiFi “The World”.  And since the “upgrade” we like to joke about how ‘The World’ sucks!

Most fun is when we can parallel our connection issues to real life situations and talk about two things at once.

We are geeks, yanno.

Anyway, here’s hoping I didn’t kill the world and that I can get back online and post this entry.  I have too much to do today to get stuck with a non-functional world.

It sort of reminds me of driving in the city.  At rush hour.

I guess if I don’t manage to get online at home, I can hit the McDonald’s down the road again today.  Wellllll … I’ll go after I change and after I play another word in our ongoing scrabble tournament.  We played to 10,000 but the scores were so close that we’ve extended it to 20,000.

Did I mention that we’re geeks?

I hope I can save the world …


Pessimistic Optimism

I know I’m breaking all the rules.

I don’t want to blindly follow the rules all the time. I don’t want to end up mute and alone because the rules brought me there, like a character in a book I was reading.

Perhaps you think I’ve spent my life disbelieving in people and that I have an unhealthy mistrust of motivations and too much cynicism and too much disbelief in all people.

I refute that. I believe I am realistic and prefer to see truisms rather than live in a fantasy world. I believe that I am not someone who sees nothing but the bad in people and that other people are quicker to anger than I. I see people anger over excusable things, if they would just step back, breathe for a moment, and think.

I believe that I have the ability to reason that person X is doing Y because Z and give them the benefit of the doubt. Even while I may be momentarily irritated, my irritation passes quicker than others’ and I move on, happy with the reasonings or excuses I make up for them, the veracity of which will be forever unknown.

I also believe that, although no one is perfect, there are levels of imperfection, beliefs that are core and trusts that can be permanently broken.

I believe in being a pessimist because the rewards are better and the hurts fewer. I believe in having a healthy cynicism as you tend to get blindsided by people’s selfishness … hedonism … wants … less than if you had none.

I believe in what I feel. I believe in WHO I am. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt so much more than I’m given credit for or that is seen in me. I believe in people, I just refuse to wear rose colored glasses when dealing with them.

I still believe in being realistic, perhaps you say ‘pessimistic’, but I continue to hope for the best in my life.  I believe in the adage ‘first, do no harm’ and wonder why so many times I seem to be the only one who seems to believe in this.

I believe my renter will screw me over again and that I will have to deal with it in a much harsher manner than I desire. I believe I will have to damage someone else here, in order to protect myself from further harm. I believe this, but there is enough hope left in me that he will follow through and provide some relief for my rapidly dwindling coffers and restore my faith.

I hope.

But here I also understand that I am being (AGAIN) a sucker for a man who can look me in the eye and say “I made a mistake and I’m sorry. I should have done xxx”.

It’s a sucker’s bet and I’m not stupid, I know it. It is a classic line of a con artist, a bait and switch, keep them on the line, make them pot committed so they won’t easily let go, regardless of the knowledge that it is all a losing prospect.

It is also, possibly, hopefully, sincere.

That small possibility, that wanting to believe in people, and their motivations, and the wishing that things will turn out well, that is what keeps me hanging on and reinvesting time and effort and belief.

I’ve been burnt before and I’ve survived. I have to wake up with myself and be happy with who *I* am and with the choices that I have made. I have to know that I have exhausted all possibilities, that I have given what I can give, until I cannot give anymore. Even when this ends up hurting me more in the end, and when it gets to that point, it ALWAYS hurts more when you have truly given your all.  Even knowing it will hurt more, I try and I struggle with myself in the trying because I know it is like reaching a hand out to the glowing embers  … all the wishing in the world won’t stop you from getting burnt if the flames reignite and soar because you have provided them with more fuel to burn.

You think I am cynical. I think I have to fight against my nature to blindly trust and believe whatever verbal bunk comes forth from others.

I believe in people. But that doesn’t mean I am willing to burn to char for them all, indefinitely. Burning hurts … and I am not suicidal enough to let their actions, words, and deeds kill me dead, even while I am apparently willing to char a bit for each of them … even though I don’t want to burn at all.

I must burn often, though.  Someone I know used to call me ‘Firewoman’.  I’m not sure how I should feel about that.

Maybe I just enjoy the heat.  You know me, I’m always cold.  Besides, you can’t make toast without fire.  And it really is all about the toast.

Catch y’all next time.  Until then, maybe I’ll check out stock in marshmallows *wink*

 


Coffee and toast

I’ve settled down to the keyboard a mere hour after awakening.  In that time I have lived much of another’s day.  I have done the housework, dusting, straightening, the dishes that were in the sink because we had no hot water for two days.  There is a load of clothes in the washer, the second load of the day.  I have brewed a pot of coffee and have already reached the halfway empty point on the pot.  And yes, I have just sat down at the table after making some toast.

The day will be long and full of things that should be put off until tomorrow, or shared, or relegated to some other time span but I am in a mood and I think I will just tear it all up and get it done today.  I will have to haul the wet, albeit clean, laundry to the Laundromat because the dryer is still not connected to the vent.  On the plus side, the dryer has a new cord which I did not have to install myself.  I’m thrilled about that because I did say that I would install the cord but complained that I really didn’t feel like doing it … so he did.  He also went out and purchased the vent kit and began the installation on that, also.  I can’t fault the fact that it is not completed (yet) because we needed to get to poker.

Don’t laugh at me about the poker thing.  I can tell you some rather interesting stories about poker. As a matter of fact, I happen to be going to the regional championship tournament and would love to continue on to the nationals.  It’s just a little fun time.  A little game-play, a little thinking, a little kibitzing, a little sampling of new food, new drinks, new places –what’s not to like?  And before you ask, the answer is yes.  He has also won a seat to the regionals so we will be going together.  Sweet, no?

Last night we played at a bar called “The Angry Penguin”.  The first time we went there, it was only a casual go once thing because we had the night free and well, we had to go because of the name of the place.  As to this particular poker tournament and this bar, we never figured that we would be regulars.  The bar is great, the people are terrific and boy-oh-boy-oh-boy!  Not only do they have some very interesting beers on tap, the bartender/owner is like me and loves to make up new things.  I had a drink special last night called a ‘pumpkin pie fizz’.  Yum-O!  And then I got her to tell me what was in the darned thing.  Come visit and I’ll make you one, you won’t be disappointed!

But I digress.

While I have been typing this, I have also posted several items for sale on an online yard sale, answered a few questions, gone for more coffee and mentally outlined my day.  I am hoping to have the time to take the kayak out early this afternoon, even though it is raining.  As long as it is warm enough and I put on the right things, including my wetsuit, I think I will be okay.  I still need some wetsuit items and maybe someday I’ll manage to find what I want without breaking the bank.  I was supposed to be working today, and yesterday, but it seems that the plans have changed.

On the plus side, I will get some work done at home that I wasn’t going to be able to get done today.  I am very excited to getting more familiar with the blogging site, as I cannot wait to launch my new blog and a new domain.  For all you foodies out there, stay tuned.  I will be sure to let you know when I launch the new site.   My only problem is that the domain name I wish to secure is a premium name and I can’t afford the asking price.  I’m going to have to go with a .net and hope to make enough, soon enough, to purchase the .com before it goes away.  Feel free to donate to this eminently worthy cause.  And, yes, of COURSE I have a paypal account!  I would happily accept donations and will be setting up a link/thank you page for any and all contributors.

I just have to get more familiar with the sites.

That being said, I no longer hear the washing machine which means I have to haul the clothes down to the ‘mat.  And don’t ask me why I don’t simply complete the installation of the dryer vent and dry the clothes here at home.  I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret … the vent hose isn’t long enough.

Besides, I have to bop over to the post office and pick up some priority boxes so I can ship some things I’ve ebayed off.  Then I think I’ll write an article about how some nouns have progressed into verbs practically overnight.  As in “I ebayed xxx”.  Never really saw that one coming did you?  I think they become verbs out of laziness but I will save my thoughts on that for another day.

Gotta go mangle the world, have a great day!


Adversity

Adversity breeds character.

Adversity also helps you figure out what is truly important, and what is just fluff.  A lot of times, day by day by day, it is easy to lose sight of the “what is truly important” and just live and work and go on and bitch and think “blech” and use all your time for the things that, although possibly important in their own regard, are not as important as the things you may be putting off or skipping or relegating to some cosmic holding ground.

I do not reject adversity but rather revel in it.  It helps me learn and grow and think and feel.

I have found ways to overcome adversity, ways to learn that cater to my need to force myself to expand my horizons, take risks, overcome fear.

I think the reason I love whitewater kayaking so much and even moreso with him is that there is no getting off the ride, no turning back.  There is a commitment involved.  I get scared and tend to abandon things because of my fright.  It really isn’t possible to abandon a trip in the middle of whitewater and one of the last things I wish him to see is me being scared.  I do not deal well with being scared and tend towards safety and coincidentally, mediocrity.

Mediocrity isn’t something I want again.

Not so long ago, I set out on a new life adventure.  I decided to take the world by storm and go out and do and be and feel and love and hope.  I have done so and it has not been without its own set of problems, its own issues and pitfalls and adversarial times.

It has been an adventure, and still continues to be.  I have found love and hate and adventure and things I wish I had never ever been without, ever.  I have learned how to ski, how to kayak, how to write better, how to compromise beyond all previously aforethought bounds and how to survive.  I have found joy and tears and problems no reasonable person could anticipate.

Note that I said ‘reasonable’.

I have found so many unexpected things in the past year.  Oddly, I seem to have also found mediocrity.

I’ll take the pain and the heartache and the unbounded joys and the problems and the solutions.  I’ll take the sleepless nights and the silly banter and the pain and the laughter.  I’ll take it all, grab it with both hands and shout “Hallelujah” to the stars and revel in the fact that come what may, I am alive and I feel and I love.

I will accept the inconveniences of life and yell inward to myself when I forget and complain too much.  I will take it all and feel.

I will dance in the rain as tears cascade down my face and I will smile.

I will reject mediocrity, regardless of what I must do in that rejection.  I want to take the world by storm again … still … forever.

I want to live.

 


Anger & Happiness

“There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world, there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.  The sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words … Wait and Hope.”

Sometimes I am quick to anger and you may wish I were more stable.  I am emotional because I was asked for this type of honesty.  No elephants.  I know that my sensitive nature is irksome and difficult and I know that the whole emotional aspect of things is something alien much of the time but these emotional outbursts are … a gift.  Or a curse.  Usually both, if you want the honest truth.

Be careful what you ask/wish for, huh?

Yes, you can keep a lid on your emotions.  It is a public life skill and has its time and place.  Being analytical and unemotional isn’t awful … but.   You can’t keep that up everywhere, with everyone.  You need an outlet, an intimate, a person with whom you can let your hair down and just FEEL and BE and REACT.

Mostly, emotions don’t scare me.  So saying that, I do not wish to make you angry so I can see you be angry.  I have no desire to set you off out of some misplaced feeling of needing you angry or overly emotional for any reason.  But I am not afraid of your anger.  I am not afraid of your sadness, or your irritation, or your misery, or your happiness, or your anything.

I want to see you happy.  I like to see you happy.  I wish the whole world could be happy.  But adversity forms character and sadness balances the happiness.

I would be ecstatic if you could be as happy as you can manage to be enraged.  Why do people allow themselves to lose stability, let their anger out and blow forth with anger and irritation like a tidal wave crashing the shore?  Because it is good and healthy and keeps the anger from o’ertaking all your thoughts.  It allows you to regain your stability, become free of the onslaught of emotions that you aren’t certain what to do with.  Happiness seems more smoothed, like gentle waves lapping at the shore.  The waves can be of different sizes, but they are less violent, less immediate.  I wish you could be as happy as you can be angry.

That kind of happiness takes a special knowledge that you are consigning certain things to some nebulous ‘later’ and living in that exact moment.  But simply giving things up til ‘later’ doesn’t seem to be the same thing that I am wishing on you.

I’m never going to explain it, I think.  It is akin to me holding certain thoughts and attitudes in reserve and believing in reality which comes off as cynicism but still believing in people, mostly.

You believe in happiness, mostly … but I have never seen you be more than mostly happy.

I thought, perhaps, that I could someday see you be truly, ecstatically happy … happy without your normal boundaries, but I am not sure that it will be something that I can manage to be around for …

I hope, beyond hope, beyond thought, beyond prayer or wishes or a genie popping out of a bottle and granting all, I hope, someday, that you can crash into happiness.  Imagine the sheer joy and love and release you could find, to be THAT happy.

It would be spectacular.


Tuesday, the bane of my existence

Most people believe the worst day of the week is Monday.  I understand their point, truly I do.  It is difficult leaving the weekend behind and reinvesting yourself in another work week all while knowing the next weekend is as far away as it can get.  I’d like to give you my take on the matter.

I think Tuesdays are the worst day of the week.  Yes, Mondays are the day that you have to begin a new workweek but presumably you are rested and relaxed after a weekend with no work.  You are refreshed and willing to tackle new projects, finish projects from the week before, you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Wednesday is the pivotal point of the week.  Once you are up and at work on a Wednesday, you have made it halfway through.  You begin the anticipate the weekend, make plans, and you know you are more than halfway to your R&R.

Thursday, wonderful Thursday is even better!  The weekend is only a day away!  You begin to imagine all the things you can do over the weekend and make your plans on Thursday.  The possibilities are practically endless.

Friday doesn’t even require discussing.  Friday is the last day of the work week.  As soon as you punch the clock at the end of the day, the weekend has begun.  What’s not to like about Fridays?

The problem day in all this is Tuesday.  You are no longer rested and relaxed from the weekend.  Projects and chores are accumulating, to-dos are being added to your list at an alarming rate, and you wonder how you will ever make it through until Friday.  The past weekend is only a memory and the weekend to come is in the nebulous future.  From the getting out of bed until the sleeping at night, Tuesdays are merely a day to get through.

In my case, however, it tends to be even worse.  Tuesdays and I don’t seem to get along.  Most things that can go wrong, always seem to go wrong on a Tuesday.  Washing dishes?  Crash.  There goes my favorite glass.  Vacuuming the floor?  The vacuum will pick this day to back up and explode a cloud of dust and debris into the previously clean air.  Walking from the kitchen into the dining room?  I’ll probably run into the doorway and hurt myself.  Driving to a brick and mortar job?  One of the tires will be flat-ish or I’ll need gas and the prices will have mysteriously have gone up another $.20 overnight.

Little things, you say?  Yes, these are all little things.  There are plenty of big issues that occur on Tuesdays and on an obnoxiously regular basis.  I think I might leave those for another day, though.  If I try to write about them today, I’ll probably get sued for libel or perhaps the computer will suddenly die on me.

You see, today happens to be Tuesday.