My Mom trying to remember the word for “McFlurry”:
“Do you want a McFribble?”
Jan 29th 2006I Laughed When
Introspection, hearing loss, and everyday life.
My Mom trying to remember the word for “McFlurry”:
“Do you want a McFribble?”
Jan 29th 2006I Laughed When
The look on Nate’s face when we said goodbye in Fair Haven both warmed and saddened me. He has a pure heart the size of Texas. We packed in four movies, laser tag, arcade games, board games, video games, a walk to the river, and jam sessions with the band over the past five days. High-functioning autism or PDD or whatever the diagnosis of the moment may be doesn’t nearly capture the essence of who he is, particularly his sense of humor, sensitivity and his ready laughter.
A Nor’easter may be coming!
Jan 26th 2006Family
The Dalai Lama was amazed when he heard that people in the West often don’t like themselves and are often full of self-criticism. That notion was completely foreign to him. Self-judgment in the West is particularly focused on appearance and/or ability.
I believe this phenomenon is a result of the subject/object split that is so rampant in our culture. We are conditioned to be split into role-playing selves, with part of ourselves experiencing and doing and part of ourselves that steps back and judges and compares, often quite brutally and unfairly. “Inappropriate” emotions are to be suppressed and controlled. Unlike the Dalai Lama, we are not able to be whole, fully and subjectively present in each moment of our lives without self-consciousness or judgment.
The more split we are in body and mind, the more extreme will be the following:
- projection of the parts of ourselves that we most criticize and condemn onto other people. Then too we react to and judge others.
- And so follows, we can only completely accept others after we completely accept and are kind to ourselves.
-the deeper and more unacknowledged our insecurities and past hurts, the more anger will fuel our criticisms of self and/or others.
-these criticisms also keep us at a distance from ourselves and others, and this can be preferable to the pain we fear we will experience if fully embody ourselves or are fully open to others.
-the more so this will heighten preoccupation with a need for external validation such as being pretty, charming, funny, sexy, successful, rich, etc.
In our lives, we come up against unique situations that test this more so than others. In those moments we can choose to be (openly or secretly) critical and distant, or we can choose to let go and accept. If we can forgive ourselves for not being perfect, we can forgive others for the same.
Again, a quote from Bugental (The Search for Authenticity) sticks out in my mind:
“We’ve always been such frightened people. And what were we frightened of? Just being ourselves! Isn’t that awful? All that pain and all that unhappiness, just because we were afraid to be ourselves!” (She is weeping hot, quiet tears as she talks.) “And that’s what I’ve been running from: by being so bright or pretty or popular or sexy or successful or all the other things I’ve tried to be. I’ve been trying to be all those things instead of just being me.” [Bugental, 1965: p 276]
When we got home at 2am, I was still laughing about incidents that included but were not limited to:
-Josh’s readings from Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book.
-Steve turning on his LED pin, which flashed blue light, in Jen’s car and inadvertantly convinced at least two drivers on the road that they were getting pulled over by a Ford Focus hatchback.
-The crazy scene at Sami’s Pub (in stark contrast to Nectar’s in Burlington even though the two are only 12 miles apart) which showed that Milton’s reputation is alive and well.
-When Josh dropped us off, instead of getting out immediately, we turned up the music extra loud and all four of us had a spontaneous air jam session in the car.
The river is flowing swiftly and has flooded across the common land. Lake Champlain is at least 4 feet higher than it usually is at this time of the year. Saturday morning was nearly 50 degrees and sunny when I went to Fair Haven to pick up my brother Nate. By the time we reached Burlington, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees and the sky in front of us to the north was black and roiling and the sky in the rearview mirror was bright and clear.
A very odd winter, but it’s nice to not be in an unrelenting icy grip for days on end. I miss skiing regularly though.
Upon completion of the thesis draft and with a backlog of months of unemployment, I am officially stir crazy. I’m too restless to read, too restless to watch tv. I want to run far and wild. I want to see sights and meet people. I want movement. All this pent-up energy, energy that is dying to be released outward with a roar. I’m eager to get going, but must continue to wait. This time I know the direction I need to go in my life is much more specific. I must hold fast, if I want to be fulfilled, if I want to be true to myself, if I want to be real. If I can’t go in this direction, I can’t go at all.
Jan 17th 2006Everyday life
Steve’s response after Josh shared a story about a mutual neighbor of ours who came over and helped him fix something in his house:
“Remember when I had an erectile dysfunction and Bob came over and fixed that too?”
Jan 15th 2006I Laughed When
All you need for a really great time in Montreal is just a backpack with your pajamas, toothbrush and ATM card. After we checked into the hotel, it was time for the age-old tradition where the girls get ready while the guys lounge on the hotel beds and watch TV. When we were ready, we walked to Peel Pub, the classic starting point for all adventures in Montreal. The first time I set foot in there was ten years ago, which is surreal in itself. The place burned down in a fire a couple years ago, but has since been rebuilt and doesn’t look any different. I was astonished to see on the menu that a spaghetti dinner is STILL 4,99$ Canadian.
We ordered poutine for 3,99$ along with pitchers of beer. We were flabbergasted when the poutine (a disgustingly delicious blend of french fries, gravy and chunks of mozarella) arrived and we each had an enormous plate- a veritable platter of poutine! We ended up foregoing our reservations altogether and having poutine for DINNER. Poutine is the dinner of champions.
Next was Hard Rock Cafe, which is actually a really laidback atmosphere in the early evening with lots of tables out and candlelight. I lost track of the number of rounds we went through this time, along with hilarious conversation. I could have sat there all night, but it was already 11 and it was time for the boys to show us just what was so great about Super Sexe.
So we walked, along with bouts of running so that we could slide along the iced over sidewalks and laugh when Josh wiped out spectacularly on his ass, to Super Sexe. This was a chance for the guys to make their case: “we like to watch.” To which Jen and I countered with statistics, observations on differences between men and women and profound philosophical insights into culture and gender roles. To which the guys gave their rebuttal: “but we like to watch.”
By 1:30 am it was getting harder to find another good hangout spot, but we persevered by taking a taxi back to the hotel, standing in the lobby for a moment, and then taking a taxi back into town. We spent another couple hours talking in a couple more pubs, then called it a night.
The next morning, Josh announced “I have a wicked hungry feeling” so we had breakfast at a cafe bistro. Then we initiated another tradition that hasn’t changed in the 10 years I have been adventuring in Montreal, called “How the hell do we get out of this city without going the wrong way down a one way street?” The guys always take charge of this feat, and it always takes at least 20 minutes.
Ah, Montreal. It was just what I needed.
I finished the first draft of my paper! Of course, it still has to be approved by my professor and then submitted to the committee. Then the committee has to read it and request changes and give it back to me. Then I have to make the changes and submit it again for a SECOND reading. Then they may request more changes that I would have to make. And then I have to do a presentation and a defense.
But the first draft. The first draft is done.
I dyed my hair “Desert Sunrise” and Steve dyed his hair “Gorgeous Green” and tomorrow we’re off to Montreal.
Jan 13th 2006Everyday life
The Farmer’s Almanac was right, it has been a polar coaster winter. A regular spiel of winter days is followed by a day so warm you can smell the earth. The snow melts into puddles of water that promptly freeze over the next day.
We finally watched “40 year old Virgin”, which, despite the name and concept, was actually rather well done and hilarious to boot. I love it when a movie makes Steve laugh that hard. When the “virgin” unexpectedly breaks into “The Age of Aquarius” at the end, that was just the best. Practically gave me chills.
Now Steve and I have the “You know how I know you’re gay?” conversation whenever we’re in the living room having what we call “laptop time”. (Laptop time as in COMPUTER laptop time- where we simultaneously boot up our laptops and sit across from each other. Like toddler parallel play, except it’s geek parallel play.)
I was asked to join a USTA tennis team. This would mean weekly practices, tennis clinic every couple weeks, and during the season (April-July) matches all over northern Vermont. I think I’m going to go for it- I’m psyched that the option exists to join a team without having to be in high school or college.
The name of the team? “Happy Swingers.”
Jan 11th 2006Everyday life
Aschi is obsessed with me. Even as I type, she is sitting at my feet, looking up at me. She would be in my lap right now but I’ve already pushed her off like five times. For a while it was cute how she had this obvious preference for me. Now she is getting more and more insistent, getting into my lap and snuggling at every opportunity. If I push her off, she hangs around, just waiting to try again.
Last night she was stalking me.
Every time I looked over, she was looking at me, while sitting very still behind this box like “You can’t see me, but I can see YOU.”
You think I’m kidding? I’m going to take a picture RIGHT NOW, while I’m typing this. Hold on.
Aschi, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.