Archive | May, 2012

Keyholes

30 May

I miss the old style door with the big keyhole underneath.  Well, that’s not quite correct, because I never was in a home with such things, but I miss them nonetheless.  Why would people keep keys in their doors?  Was it to keep from spying?  I never quite understood that.

Once when I was little I made windchimes out of a bunch of old skeleton keys my parents had gotten from an auction.  (Oh yes, they loved auctions for awhile–don’t ask me why, it was a thing.)   They were very nice for a bit, but then they got all rusted and gross.  I’m wondering if you could do them today anymore with the little aluminum keys people have now–I think they would just kind of clunk rather than chime, but to each their own music I suppose.   

Rules

29 May

When I was little, off the banks of Lake Ontario, we couldn’t go swimming until after the fourth of july.  No matter how hot it got, how sunny it got, July 4 was the day that water could touch our skin.  I never understood this rule–

I don’t understand the white after labor day thing either–why?  Who cares what color one wears?

Hm.  Rules are funny.

At Brunch Today

27 May

I spied with my little eye:
A family with twin tweenish daughters who felt all fancy ordering Shirley Temples.

A woman looking longingly at a baby at the next table, smiling and making faces, and sometimes sighing.

Another woman sitting alone at a table and confidently, heartily, wonderfully having a good time by herself.

A big party, like three tables pushed together, all talking and laughing and looking at pictures.

An older couple eating silently in the corner, looking at each other every now and then, tiny smiles.

A mother and adult son sitting with a little tension.  The son kept on jiggling his leg.

A table of two twentysomething couples.  The girls were having a good time, the guys looked a little uncomfortable.  Lots of flirting.

Two women, old friends, having a regular outing.  They were telling each other what’s been going on with their families.  Some funny stories, some sad ones.  They left arm in arm.

A group of suited businesspeople have very careful, very appropriate conversation.  They were deliberately not talking about work.  

A middle aged couple having round after round of cocktails and laughing.  (They don’t normally do this sort of thing.) 

Tarot Cards

23 May

I am not a believer in the tarot.  I find their images interesting, and the sort of mishmash of meanings that come from them sort of psychological, but in terms of reading the future–I don’t think the future is written in stone, and what little we can know is based on current trends (which can always change).   

Also, the tarot has images (mostly, I know there’s some newer decks to choose from) that are cool because their antique but don’t really speak to me.  Like Strength–a lion really?  How many times in my life am I going to come face to face with a lion?  (Yes it’s a metaphor, but c’mon!)

Here’s some situations that come in my life quite often, that if the cards came up, I might listen–

The Gnat–That little detail I missed that will turn out to be a big deal later.   The line in the contract that I forgot to read, the one case that I didn’t look back at and double check.  The t that wasn’t crossed and now it will turn into a Thing.

Stalemate–When there’s a disagreement and both sides are convinced they are right and the other is wrong so they won’t budge.  It will be a long wait.

Revisionism–When someone revises a past event to mean something entirely different than it did at the time.

Foot-Dragging–When something that’s going to happen has endless delays, mostly because somebody doesn’t want it to happen.

The Loaded Gun–When a conversation about something neutral, gets weirdly strained, because of something I do not know.  

The Freak-Out–When someone loses their shit over anything.

Waiting–Oh yeah, a good part of life can be spent standing in line.

Dancing–Good times had by all!

That song that won’t get out of my head–I want to see the tarot card that will tell me that I will hear the theme from Gilligan’s island nonstop for three days.

Forms–Anything in life has a form to fill out to go with it.

The Witness Box–Sometimes I have to explain myself and explain myself and explain myself

Blame–Yes, it was my fault, can we move on?

Pets–Because pets=happiness.

The Circus–On some days there’s a million things going on at once and it’s hard to focus.

Daydreaming–I love a good daydream.  Set me at a window and I will build you a castle.

Oh yes, there will be more!

Forgetting

21 May

One theme that has come up in my life lately is forgetting. Keep in mind, what I’m not talking about is forgetfulness (which to me is more absent-mindedness than forgetting–most people I know that are forgetful just aren’t paying attention, for good or for ill.)

Forgetting can have negative connotations, for forgetting a person or a place, aren’t we losing parts of ourselves? I mean even significance doesn’t really fight much against the white wall that envelopes everything and everybody we know sooner or later. I’m thinking of widows who really try to save every piece of their dead partners and lose them anyway. C.S. Lewis once described it as watching snow slowly cover a familiar landmark, until it’s piled over with snow and the landmark is swallowed up and looks like everything else.

I’m also thinking of a study done in the fifties of people with mental illness due to trauma. How the scientists systematically wiped their minds, and how the mental illness did not go away with the memories, instead, they had mental illness and memory problems.

However, I’m also thinking in terms of how the brain must have ways to discard less useful information. Systems that do not work any longer for instance, however consciousness does not pick which things to keep and which things to discard, which is why I can remember the names of every single one of my elementary school teachers, but cannot remember certain conversations that would be very useful now.

However, I’m firmly of the camp that realizes that memories are not kept in amber–they live and change in our minds as we live and change. My memories of childhood have been altered, even if just slightly, in the years since. Am I forgetting things that lose their significance, or because they get cut out to fit my current worldview? It’s hard to say, because any of the information involved has been forgotten, so I can’t look at it and say, oh, so that’s the sort of thing I drop out of my brain.

Not to mention that our brains have filters that tune out a HUGE amount of data coming in that we deem as irrelevant and unnecessary.

However, forgetting has its place–forgetting allows us new chances–forgetting diminishes the power of past events, forgetting takes out the emotional heaviness of conflict of the past, lets us start new, fresh, to see beyond the patterns we have been through already.

Comfort

20 May

Welp, an eclipse is supposed to happen today, and I don’t think the sky will be clear enough to really see it.  Which makes me a tiny bit disappointed, but thems the breaks!  Also, it’s more than a little ironic after at least two weeks of happy sunshine today is the one day we get that’s drizzly.  There’s still time though!  You never know.

Actually, truth be told, I’m enjoying the rain today–it gave me an excuse to do all those indoor things that I always want to.  I am more of an indoor creature than an outdoor one, and even more of a home creature than a being someplace else one too.  Naturally I believe in pushing my boundaries at times, but still, there’s nothing wrong with comfort zones, they have a place too.  Funny, I hear much more encouraging people to move out of their comfort zones, than in enjoying them.  In my opinion, life has enough time in it to give each and every human more than enough discomfort, so there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy.  

To some that last statement is obvious, but I come from a very religious family where striving was the soup of the day every day. Though I’m not so naive to think that people are sunshine and lollipops at heart, I also don’t think that people, left to their own devices will revert to craven soul-rending beasthood either.  Risks, judiciously taken, can be very rewarding, but the same for comfort.  

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, Eclipse.  If I see it, I see it.  Can’t wish the clouds away after all.

Politics

19 May

Now I don’t usually wax political, namely because I think politics is the end result of what’s going on, and not the beginning of it, and also, though I vote, it’s something I don’t have a whole lot of power over.  However I wanted to put my two cents in on the current presidential race, which is probably hardly worth more than that.

Though I tend to be liberal minded, I’m not married to either the Republicans or the Democrats.  I see politics on the national level being too team oriented–more looking at what pennant you’re under than any ideas passing around.  I know the traditional philosophies on both sides, but where it counts is how those philosophies turn to policy.  Honestly, I don’t think most of the politicians really believe in these philosophies anyway–liberal vs. conservative and the rest.  

Also here’s a hard fact to swallow:  the recession and feeble recovery is not just an American problem.  All over the world the economy is not working well.  I don’t think any president has the power to make the recovery move any faster than it already is.  In short, it’s out of our hands, and anybody who promises anything in that arena is lying through their teeth.

Objectively, the fight between Obama and Romney is portrayed as an economic one.  The conventional wisdom says that if the economy is strong or at least moving in a positive direction then Obama wins, if the economy is weak or weakening then Romney wins.  This may be true, however I neither see the economy soaring or coming to a stop by the election.  Rather, it probably will be doing much the same as it’s doing now, working forward, slowly, bit by bit.  Even if everything went gangbusters and the economy just opened up today, I don’t think we’d feel it in time for November.  So I think the conventional wisdom is moot here.

Here’s where the real fight comes in.  Romney needs to be seen as someone with ideas to win this election.  He needs to sum up our current problems and believably say these are our problems and these are the answers to them.  I can fix these things.  Obama, on the other hand, needs to keep himself in the public eye, and emphasize how far we’ve gone, while saying there’s more to be done.  Make no bones about it, Romney has a tough fight–his public image is a little ill-defined–he needs to seem to be about something to seem like a viable alternative.

What I’m afraid will happen is Romney will try to do a “going back to the old ways” strategy, trying to show himself to be a Reagan–something along that line.  That won’t wash.  For one thing he’s not Reagan, and for another I think if he wins under that strategy he’s shooting himself in the foot, because what’s desperately needed is NEW strategies–the old ones only contributed to the recession in the first place.  We cannot possibly decentralize government any more than it already is without threatening stability at this time.  

Personally, I would like to see Obama win (and I suspect he will) partially because he became president under possibly the worst circumstances in modern history.  While everything is not exactly rolling, he had to pull us out of a pretty deep ditch, and I have seen progress, although I’d like to see more.