Friday, October 29, 2010

What's Really There?

Yesterday I was thinking about labels, and how sometimes people who are quick to judge might label the people they are interested in dating. They label them quickly and they date the labels, and in that way people become objectified. Beautiful, shy, rich, emo, athletic, smart, young, artistic, easy ... and those people who label and objectify don't seem to care or bother with what's underneath. That makes a person feel hollow. That's why it always feels unnatural and wrong to go on a date with someone you don't know or who doesn't seem to bother much with wanting to know what's happening with you. I often wonder if they think it doesn't matter, or if they don't have the capacity to understand that other people are just as complex as they are, or if they just don't care. It's mostly on the surface, and it's probably doomed to fail. Or maybe they're not complex, and that's the whole problem.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Frames, The Reframing, The Reframest

There is nothing quite like writing. Sometimes my mind feels like a blank slate for future experiences, and learning new things, but reading over some of my historic troublesome times and ways I've dealt with them helps me remember that once I was wise, worked it out through the passage of time and the commitment of words to paper, and from nebulous thoughts to tangible articulation, and have created conclusions and angles that transform the bad into good. The future would be much more clear if I could keep all I have learned in mind, but it probably would have all slipped away had it not been scribed and kept for my future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The More Things Change, the Mo .... re They Stay the Sa ...... me

My strange spate of absorbing random advice of late ... "you can't change who you are" ... made philosophically funny by an episode of Arrested Development ... has brought me much more to think about today. Jason Bateman's character, Michael, says this over and over as he realizes he is inherently good. He tries to get past that by devising an evil plan to get back at his brother, but it turns out that what he tries to do ends up being perceived as something good, after he started to feel guilty about it, and after the events unfolded differently than he had planned because of events out of his control. I, as I'm sure all humans have for all time, have never tired of debating about whether people can change or not. People do change some things about themselves, I think, but what seems to stay the same is how a person treats other people, which all pertains to a person's kindness (or cruelty), peacefulness, combativeness, honesty level, confidence level, arrogance, humility, modesty, diligence, possessiveness, passivity, apathy, thoughtfulness, inconsideration, obsessiveness, ability to let go and move on, addictive behavior, tendency to internalize or externalize blame, control freakishness, response to conflict, response to rejection, response to achievement, response to fear, and response to stress. And, of course, the older people get, the more rigid people seem to become in the qualities of their personalities. I remember my grandmother, who was born in 1906, said to me about 20 years ago, people are no different now than they were hundreds and hundreds of years ago: society has the same problems, people are violent and self-destructive, and men will always be ready for war. And I will probably never stop over-thinking things. Unless I don't live forever.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Lately I've been picking up on bits and pieces of advice I hear ... trying to make sense of things, as I always do, and last night I heard on the movie "The Haunting of Molly Hartley," the comment, "Human weaknesses always bring consequences," or something close to that. I'm glad a fluffy teen horror movie could give me something to think about today.


As I was reading last night, reflecting about how I like things in other people that I like, or would like to, see in myself, and how it relates to The Black Obelisk, I fell asleep soon after. I looked back at the previous page of the book the next day to re-read the conversation I wrote about yesterday, and I couldn't find the part comparing people to mirrors. Maybe I just imagined I read it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


In The Black Obelisk, the author goes on about mirrors and reflections for about a page. He (Erich Remarque's character) was talking to his beautiful female friend who lives in a mental institution. She asked him how mirrors work, and what happens to the pieces of the person that go into the reflection. He said that they reflect back, and that's all they do. Then he went on about how people we like work like mirrors to us, that we keep them around because they reflect us, that we see likable qualities in those likable people because we recognize in them parts of our likable selves. Bits and pieces of ourselves sometimes do disappear into those other partners and become part of who they are. Could it be then, that what happens when relationships end is that we no longer see any parts of ourselves in that other person, that the mirrors shatter, or get hazy ... and it's more like an impenetrable wall?

Friday, October 8, 2010


This fall weekend's weather should be sunny and in the mid-70s all three days. What more could a person want? I will be going to a big festival that is centered around the celebration of being young, pretty, rich and politically connected. But I try not to think about that part.
Going to the dentist for tooth-drilling and filling this week was predictably miserable (I don't understand ... I take care of my teeth!), but my dentist is experienced and quick. That counts for a lot! I tried to appreciate all that I could about it, that I am responsibly seeking and taking dentist help, that the walls in there were a nice, calm blue, with brick on one wall painted white, and this particular room did not have Fox News playing in it as most of the other rooms do. As I watched in the waiting room, I was informed, after a story about sugary drinks being OK for kids in moderation (further evidence, as if I needed it, that Fox News is poison!), that the Fox News channel is celebrating its 14-year birthday right now. The news people had a tall, round, candy-coated cake to help commemorate. I couldn't believe my eyes. My dental office should ban all sugar-related stories unless they are anti-sugar stories.
A few days earlier, I saw my former (young and therefore much less experienced) dentist at a health fair, with a giant poster of him on it behind him. I last saw him almost four years ago. When he filled my cavity, it took more than an hour. My jaw couldn't take being open all that time. After sitting there for a very long time, with him struggling over my tooth, he dropped a metal tool on my eye (I noticed my new dentist passes tools under my chin, not over my eyes). I had to go back the next day and the next day because it wasn't done right. He left some things in my mouth that shouldn't have been there. He put too much filling in my mouth. I couldn't use the tooth for eating like I should have been able to. I had to go back three times. The tooth felt like a marble countertop, smooth and flat, not like a tooth should feel. After three years, I finally made it back to the dentist, but to my new dentist who someone had recommended. At the health fair, the young dentist remembered me, saying that he remembered I had some sensitivity on my tooth, after I told him he had worked on a cavity of mine. Four years ago! He asked me how it was doing now, and I said, fine, but I was afraid to go back to the dentist for a few years, and that my new dentist had fixed it. I was just being honest, and he asked, but I couldn't help feeling guilty about it, in case he felt bad. You don't want to go to a health fair, at your booth, putting yourself out there, and have someone talk to you about how you messed up. I guess that's just the risk you take. Lately I've been telling people when they do something that bothers me. At first, I feel good about it, like I really needed to do it, and then I worry that they think I'm mean or a little crazy. I think I prefer the healthier way (note I WAS at a health fair) -- to tell people rather than keep it to myself and let it eat away at me. I guess you call that getting older.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stuck with Subjectivity

Thinking about what goes on in my head vs. what goes on in other peoples' heads. We're all about the same, I think (we think), and heard this same thought on the radio as I woke up last week. Actually the bit I heard was a comment that men's and women's minds and ways of thinking aren't as different from each other as people have believed.
It seems like the more time I spend thinking about stuff, the more self-absorbed I feel. The more self-absorbed I feel, the more conscious I am of my thinking and of my actions. I want to start thinking from a different perspective, but I have a hard time getting out of one place in my mind. I think about what I did and what I said, and what effect that has had. But I want to be thinking that how other people in my life think and act has more to do with them and not with me. Maybe that comes with time, when the sting of a painful experience with someone I know has passed and I can look objectively at it and I can stop thinking about how it has to do with me.