Funny, God

7 02 2011

My mother is amazing.  Really.

She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world.  That makes her adorable.

The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife.  Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy.   And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything.  We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.

I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me.  I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse.  I’ve ALWAYS been this way.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will.  I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW.  I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.

My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around.  I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality.  If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted.  And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently.  If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.

Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon.  She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about.  I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details.  It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.

My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”

I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels.  If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works.  At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.

We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life.  IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year.  The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma.  When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety.  When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity.  I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.

This is where God gets funny.

I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction.  Just a feeling that one way or the other is right.  I feel like I need a compass.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly

Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.

First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature?  It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.)  Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek.  Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it.  I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff.  I had no idea.  Now it’s strangely relevant to life.

I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy.  I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas.  If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person.  I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events.  If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.

(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign?  I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise?  The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible?  That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant.  It’s all about branding, people!)

Why don’t I just adapt?  Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt.  Why don’t you?  I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”

I’m not that abnormal in reality.  Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional.  They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries.  I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality.  I would make a good space cowboy.  I would not make a good elementary school teacher.  I accept these things about myself and move on.

I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.





train of thought

21 12 2009

Looking back over my blog, I’m realizing how helpful it is to have the ability to tell when certain things happened.  I’m having to document my medical history again (this time for a rheumatologist) and I can actually give dates.  Otherwise it would look like “a little while back I hurt very badly and it lasted for a… while.”

Reading back, I get reminded about stuff like “wow, that was THIS year?  I don’t remember that at all!”

One thing that has really stood out is that I’ve forgotten my personal policy of looking at the blessings instead of the wishes.  Wishing doesn’t make anything worse but my own mindset – I’m a happier person when I focus on the end result and the blessings that come from getting there.  I don’t do so well with goals.  It seems like setting a goal is the quickest way for me to either instantly succeed (so I don’t have to pay attention to it anymore) or to rebel against doing it (so I don’t have to pay attention to it.  )

I know my personality and I’ve always been this way.  I’m better at doing than trying.  (Thank you, Yoda.)  I have yet to find a motivational idea that works more than once for me.  A paper chain where I tore off a link every 1k words worked for NaNo in 2006.  It never worked again.  Writing prompts work for about a week – I can’t make it through an entire month of prompts.  Book lists work until I encounter a book that I’d have to consume massive amounts of alcohol to read.  365 days to a goal books never work to make me read the Bible in a year, clean up clutter, stay inspired, make art, etc… By January 5th, I’ve read the whole book and thought “what if I think July 12th is a good idea but March 2nd is crap.”

So, I’m blessed to know my own personality.  I’m blessed to have a blog that lasted for more than a few weeks.  I’m blessed to have access to medical care and I’m blessed to be able to bitch about it when I get mad and then am able to find DIFFERENT medical care if I need to.

Today I have a lot of sewing to do, so I’m thinking it’s going to be a watch TV on that computer monitor while watching the internet on this monitor and leaning back with my sewing stuff.  I have a ton of pictures to download and edit but I can do that later.  Today, I need to accomplish something.  Trying doesn’t make my brain happy – accomplishment does.





pressing all the buttons at once never works

17 12 2009

Have you ever said that to someone?

You know what I mean – you’re watching someone get frustrated with a computer and they slam their hand down on the keyboard or randomly start pressing keys.  You know they aren’t going to magically make it better and THEY know they aren’t going to somehow fix things, but dammit, they’re putting the smack-down on it anyways.

If anything, it’s going to make the computer problem worse and it’s going to make things harder and now there’s a bruised hand in the deal.

People are much the same way as computers.  They have buttons.  When pressed correctly, functions that are useful but may take a bit of processing to run but the outcome is favorable.  Certain buttons cause a self-check.   Some let you look closer at the files and drivers, and some show you programming that’s running in the background.

Profound, isn’t it?

It’s also very true that if you push a person’s buttons all at once (or overplay your hand, if you like poker terminology) then not only are you going to end up with the same ole malfunction, but you’re going to have a bruised hand… and if you hit it too hard, it’s not going to work anymore.

I have a few buttons.  Quite a few.  I don’t react well to having someone slam my buttons because they’re frustrated.  For example…

1.  Call me a drug addict

This one will create instant and intense feedback.  You can accuse me of damn near anything and I’ll laugh it off.  Truth is, I’ve never done an illegal drug in my life and neither has Shaun.  Ever.  I don’t mix meds, I don’t get high, and I absolutely don’t put anything in my body that will endanger the people around me.

Now, I don’t care if you smoke dope or do whatever.  I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone.  However, I do have children who were exposed to meth production and I’ve counseled many teens with drug problems.  I’ve seen some really shitty stuff while growing up.  One of my friends who lived near me had a step-dad who smoked and grew a lot of dope.  One day she comes home from school to find the front of his face blown off – I heard the scream from my house.  He was still alive, even after wedging a deer rifle up under his chin. I don’t feel too sorry for him – I feel really bad for HER.

This is not to say if you say “bitch, you must be high” in jest that I’m going to knock you down.  I won’t.  However, if you honestly accuse me of doing drugs, I will have some feedback for you.

2.  Tell me I make things up or that it’s all in my head

I can tell the difference between fiction and reality.  Promise.

I once had an entire set of people believing I was a boy, even though I had my gender in my profile and photos of myself online.  I can tell stories but they’re mostly see-through and hardly ever serious.

In my other life (my not a fiction author persona) I’m a good analyst and give you the data without any massaging or glossing.  Do you need a graph?  OK.  A diagram?  Got it.  Those facts aren’t changing just because they’re prettier.

And you better believe that if I’m paying YOU anything, I’m not telling you a lie.  It just makes the job harder and makes it take longer.  When I’M the client, I’m not looking for attention, for money, for fodder for my comedy act, or for whatever deal that we have to last any longer than it absolutely has to.  I want it fixed, I want it over.  I come prepared and I expect service and quality.

3.  Assume that I’m an idiot and/or assume I assume you’re an idiot

Most of the terribly smart people I know could pass as hare-brained, stupid-ass derelicts.  They do this on purpose so people won’t fuck with them like “quick, what’s 182 x 397?”  Bitch, I don’t know.  Go the fuck away – I’m trying to drink this latte and pretend I’m not trying to figure it out in my head.

This just means that I assume every random idiot I meet may just be the second coming of Albert Einstein.  That dude looked a little crazy, too.  If you’re an average, all-American stereotypical person, then good for you.  I’m going to assume you do a good job at your chosen profession because you CHOOSE to.  Doing a good job has not much to do with your IQ.  It has a lot to do with your attitude and your dedication.

In return, I like for people to assume that I’m good at what I do and that I’m not an idiot (even if they can’t tell by looking.)  I believe that I can know a little something about someone else’s profession and still not show disrespect to their skill or judgment.  It’s like I can tell when the wheel on my car is a little wobbly and I can tell you “it seems like a problem with the front driver-side wheel.”

That doesn’t mean I’m saying “I know everything about front driver-side wheel problems and I think you should take a look at the bearings, because this doesn’t sound like a brake problem.”  It also doesn’t mean that I expect you to just take my word for it and just disassemble it without driving it first.  I’m not saying “I just need a grunt to do the dirty work.”  I’m giving you my experience that I think is relevant, now it’s your turn to ask questions to discover information that you KNOW is relevant.

It furthermore doesn’t mean that because my profession line of your profile says “web related stuff” that I went to some Chevy-hater website and learned all I could about common fuck-ups.  I didn’t just look this up on the internet – if I did research its so I can get a feel for what information to present to you from MY experience in a less than idiotic manner.

Why?  Because I heard my dad say all the time I was growing up “and then she said it sounds like GRRRrrrrrRrrrSCRREEEEEAAAACH and then it felt like when the carnival ride is about to time out – you know how it gets real slow and exaggerated before it stops… then later it turned out she had a windshield wiper that didn’t work and a blown taillight.”  I don’t want to be dinner-time conversation and I don’t need everyone in the general area to look at me like I’ve grown a green spike out of my ass.

4.  Tell me that my facial expression is somehow disrespectful

Ok, you self-absorbed little shit, who are you to think my face has anything to do with YOU?  Most of the time this happens, I’ve got a migraine and I’m making the “do you smell that?  I think one of our kids just shat themselves” face.  I don’t know it because my face feels like it’s full of sand and I’m attempting to be part of normal society.

I’m not wrinkling my nose up because you walked by and I hate people who <insert characteristic you’re overly sensitive about.>  I don’t think you smell funny or that you have on stupid looking clothes or that you should rub some conditioner on your kids’ head.  Actually, I would probably think those things if I had it in me to NOTICE you. If you were walking by and you happened to be 700 lbs in hot pink spandex, I may notice you out of the group of people in the area.  I absolutely did not notice your ass who was 15 feet away from the 700 lb hot pink person but in the general line of site.  I don’t care if you were dressed in head to toe Coach patterned anything and had bright yellow cabbage patch hair done up in pig-tails – I swear I didn’t see you.

When in pain, here’s the way things are noticed:

1.  Anything in the epicenter of the pain.  If I have pain in between my shoulders, I’m not wearing a bra because it would damn near kill me.

2.  Anything that aggravates the pain.  If I have a migraine and you walk by smelling like you just bathed in a vat of peach candle scent, then I will notice you and I will vacate the area and leave you to clean up the vomit.

3.  Anything that is shoved into my face so that I’ll notice it.  That’s because people who know me know that when I get the “do you smell that?” face on know that they need to dress up in bright orange and do the chicken dance to get me to pay attention to them.

… and they have to be yelling “CYNDI, did you see that cabbage-patch headed bitch back there?”  Um, no, I didn’t.  What?  You want to take Alyssa to Babyland?  Ok.  Sounds good.  “No, I don’t mean I want to drive to Clermont – I mean did you see that girl with the yellow pig-tails?”  No… what?  Someone did that?

So, for your holiday season, just remember to be nice to your keyboard.  It doesn’t need your frustrated ass banging on it like cops on a screen door.