Archive | June, 2012

Where is the Line

27 Jun

Today the question that is playing round and round in my head is “where is the line for what’s appropriate to do even when you know what’s right?” What this question relates to is smoking. Now I am not pro-smoking by any means, and it’s indisputable that smoking is bad for you. My discussion is not about that. What’s more, I agree with educating people to stop smoking, to think about their habits, and to choose lives they really want. I even agree with regulating smoking, or banning it altogether, indoors, as well as controlling where it’s ok to smoke (as in not around children and the like.)

However, what I’ve seen lately is beyond educating.

What I have heard said (and I work in the healthcare profession so I’ve heard a lot) is that it’s ok to do whatever it takes, including stigmatizing people, using scare tactics, exaggerating the facts, and manipulating people to get them to not smoke/stop smoking. This is beyond the pale for me.

Keep in mind, if people want smoking to be illegal, then make it so. Otherwise, if it’s legal, let people make the wrong choice. Freedom isn’t about letting people only do what’s appropriate or good for them. (I’m talking about adults here.) The thing is that makes me nervous about the near religious certainty that any and all tactics are equally valid in order to get people not to smoke. My problem with it is that same fervency can translate to ANYTHING that is deemed “wrong.” I’ve already seen it spread to obesity and other social issues.

Keep in mind, even if everybody stops smoking, people will still die of other things. The argument that smoking makes people die expensively is ludicrous to me, because dying of old age in a nursing home is by far the most expensive route. If people quit smoking of their own free will because they’ve looked at the facts, then I applaud them, but being manipulated into that decision out of wanting to be more acceptable, well that’s a kind of social engineering that I don’t want to happen.

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A Card Game

26 Jun

Life is like a card game.  You’ve got to know when to hold ’em–wait that’s not me.  Let’s start over.

Life is a card game–and the hand you’ve got is the hand you’ve got.  Sometimes we’ve got a little influence over our hands, sometimes we deserve our hands, sometimes we don’t.  What we’ve got (until we’re dead) is a bunch of cards we’re looking at for whatever reason.  It doesn’t even matter the reason.

Now, some people get something really good like a royal flush.  Good!  Be happy.  But remember there’ll be a time when you don’t have a royal flush, so be kind to those who don’t even have so much as a pair.  

For the rest of us, a good bit of time we’ll have a mediocre or sometimes downright crummy hand.  People have all sorts of philosophies as to what to do in this situation.  Some people want to pretend they have a royal flush when they don’t.  Some people give up.  But these are both less than happy answers to a less than ideal situation.

You’ve got to play the hand you’ve got–you’ve got to play smart and you’ve got to deal with things as they come.  Sometimes you can bluff a little, but that’s a bad way to go for long.  People wise up to that sort of thing and they don’t like it.  

Overall, know this, sooner or later the hands are redealt.  Sooner or later the cards will be better.  Just hang on.  You can do it.  And enjoy the game!

Power Outage

25 Jun

So my power was out for 14 hours on Friday.

At first this was fun. I brought out all the candles and my books. I felt all 18th century like I should have a smoking jacket or something. I wanted to have my elbow on a hearth and be reading a small book and snap it shut and say in a loud pretentious voice “Veronica I thought it would be you.” Veronica, had she been there, would have known immediately by my tone that I did not approve of her goings on with Lord Chesterton and could she heave her breasts elsewhere please.

However I don’t know a Veronica, I don’t have a hearth, and saying this to my cat didn’t have the right effect. (Veronica would have fainted onto a chaise-lounge not yawn, turn around, and go back to sleep.)

So I finished my night up reading, and then went to bed. The thing is, I live in an apartment building and all the handy little items that drown out neighbors noises are gone. Let me tell you right now that my downstairs neighbor must have eaten some peanut butter right before bed because he smacked his lips all night.

So I was laying in bed, listening to the lip smackings, and realized I needed to go to the bathroom. With no electricity there’s plenty of weighing of pros and cons. For instance, do I really want to fumble around for a flashlight, stumble to the bathroom, find a way to balance the flashlight and bathroom needs, stumble back in, and get into bed. (Keep in mind it’s PITCH dark.) Then my downstairs neighbor smacked his lips some more and enjoyed some more deviated septum time, and I was reminded of the veritable waterfall that my visit would entail. And then, for no particular reason, I imagined taking a shower in the dark and instead of water, spiders would come out of the spigot which curiously made me have to go to the bathroom more.

In the end, I succumbed, but I made it out ok.

Critically Acclaimed things I’ve Never been able to get into

23 Jun

I’m not saying these things are good or bad, but they just never rung my bell.  

1.  The Clash

2.  The 6th Sense

3.  The Talking Heads

4.  Monty Python

5.  Mahler

6.  Caviar

7.  Lobster

8.  There’s Something About Mary

9.  Systems Management

10.  Entourage

Things I liked about today

21 Jun

1. The Warmth
2. It was go skateboarding day! Ok so I don’t skateboard, but it gave me fun memories of the slackers in highschool.
3. The bamboo out my window.
4. The knowledge that all stresses eventually go away.
5. Strawberry biscuits!
6. That secret plan that I’m too shy to say out loud. YEEP!
7. I questioned something! Ok, so I was a little high-strung about it and felt like I was going to throw up a little, but I opened up my mouth and spoke! Even if I get smacked for it later, I’m proud of me.
8. Butterflies.
9. Fish and Fries.
10. That song that was stuck in my head forever is finally gone. (I will not say its name, it is EEEEEVIL). It’s replaced by a generic swoopy ballad that follows me wherever I go, so as I walk up the hill the song goes–treeeeeeees, georgeous treeeeeeees, climbing high with the heart of the weeping willow (willow willow). Ok so it’s pretty inane, but it’s fun.

Time Out

20 Jun

I sometimes wish there was a time-out room for adults everywhere.   Unlike jail, this isn’t a place for crimes, but a place we could send people right when their monster side is coming out.  Like the lady in front of me at the supermarket who looks like her eyes are going to bug out of her head because the man two people in front of me has managed to get a bunch of things that require price-check.  Now I know she’s got a bunch of other things that are really frustrating her, but she looks on the verge of losing it.  All I want is someone to come up to her, gently tap her on the shoulder and say, “Ma’am, it’s time for a time-out.”  And she’d be sent to a room with a blankie and some juice and a space to curl up in until she feels a little calmer.

It wouldn’t be a punishment, and I really don’t care if she “learns her lesson.”  I just think it would be best for people (and I include me in this) to have a pause for those times where life gets us to that place where ordinary frustrations are about to blitz people out.  

Because nobody wants to be that person.  And even if she gets the flash in her head that she’s being that person, well that would make her feel worse, not better.  How about being comfy until her heart has gotten down to human level beating and her hands stop shaking?  I’m sure it’s not her fault, and even if it is, what’s the difference.

And that’s how I’d run the world.

Bone Tired

19 Jun

Today when I came home from work I was so tired that I could basically sit down and say blrg no matter what.  G, who works from home, is very chatty and wanting to talk, so I hear yadayadayadayipyipyip (I love him very much and it’s not his fault that I hear it).

It’s like being in separate dimensions.  I am in maple syrup land, where moving is just such an effort of will and left to my own devices I would probably slouch in the corner like a turned off machine, and G is all happy puppy yapyapyap I saw this I did that this is this that is that.  

All I can do is close my eyes slowly and nod to things and let out the small mmmph and glrgl. Later I will ask questions and he will tell me all these things all over again, but for the time being we understand each other and it is good.