Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolution slap!

Photo: Flickr via andy.wolf
(This was taken in the Netherlands...I want more audience there.)

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions. It seems so arbitrary to decide at the turn of a calendar, in the middle of a season, to change something just "because." Every day of every year is a chance to wake up and do good, to be better and to make your life the way you want it to be. However, this is the moment when a great many people ARE making decisions and setting goals for a new calendar, so let me throw my suggestion onto the pile.

Last year, around this time, but a few weeks later than this, I decided that something I wanted 20 years ago was worth it (finally) to take the risk. I decided that I'd follow the crack-cocaine induced advice of a friend (thanks, Kevin!) and that led to a conversation with a stranger who suggested I start writing a blog (thanks, Brian!). I took the advice of both, as well as the advice of heaps of other people along the way, and something really wonderful happened to me this year. My 20 year old dream is growing up into a reality. And despite the fact that I can't support myself entirely on what I'm doing, my contribution to my family's well-being is measurable. 

For the first time in my life, I love my vocation. It's not merely what I do for money, it's also what I love. There have been really scary moments, and times when I figured I'd seen the little "project" through and now it was time to put on my big girl pants and go back to being miserable like a good adult should...but I'd wait it out just a little more. I'd amp up my writing frequency, or my reading frequency, I'd talk to someone new or decide to "link" myself in (thanks Audrey!). Every step lead me closer to the next step, as it continues to do today.

So where am I going with all this? Forgive my rambling...maybe I AM feeling a bit reflective at the end of this calendar after all. My point is that we should all follow our heart's desire. I read recently (thanks Stacey!) that neuroscientists have discovered our hearts are mostly comprised of the same neurons as those which make up our cerebral system. 

We have a thinking heart. 

"Joseph Chilton-Pearce, author of The Biology of Transcendence, calls it 'the major biological apparatus within us and the seat of our greatest intelligence.'"

Here is what I want for you, my dear and appreciated reader, even if you don't truly understand how much I appreciate your presence:  I want you to follow your heart. Listen to it and act upon its message in whatever way you can, day by day, hour by hour. If that means taking a risk that you've always wanted to take, then start the steps toward that goal. DO the thing you most want to do, or at the least get the process started. A long journey, cliche as it is, really does start with a single step. 

I have a few things I want to accomplish this year, and while I don't think I'll share them here (I'm wildly popular in Russia in you know...and I don't even know those people!) I'm telling you that if you make one resolution this year, let it be to follow your heart. It was the first organ that formed when you were creating, it is the middle of you and without it you're nothing. Listen to your heart and see what happiness it brings you.

 Photo: Flickr via linh.ngan

P.S. I'd also be nowhere without Laurie B, Laura P-H, Bobbi Jo McKJ, Monica N-McP, Shawna N, Emily C, Stacey F-A. Thanks, ladies...for being a tribe of support and encouragement while my little dream grew up to be an "almost woman."

P.P.S.  Thanking people is a dicey endeavor. If you think you helped me and you're not listed there, trust me: you're right. You did...and I'm sorry to not list you, but the music has started playing and the light is flashing that it's time for me to wrap it up. Thanks though...I mean it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Extreme Mediocrity

When I was younger my mother used to badger me with a horrifying directive designed to push me to work to my fullest potential: "Don't settle for mediocrity."  If I heard that awful phrase once, I surely heard it fourteen thousand times. 

"Don't settle for mediocrity!"

Now all these years later, as I hear her voice from the grave (I don't really hear her voice from the grave but it had a dramatic effect, didn't it?!?) I remain staunchly committed to the response I gave her then..."What's wrong with JUST measuring up?" As an adult, I can honestly say that there's NOTHING wrong with just measuring up. Much like the algebra I'm not using, the Shakespearean sonnets no one wants me to perform from memory, or the recitation of a fetal pig's anatomy, being superlative is just not really necessary as an adult.

No one applauds when I say something remarkable so why say it? There isn't an A+ anywhere after I put my heart and soul into a blog, and no one rewards me with a giant bonus check just because I did a really good job at something. Everyone around me expects me to do what I'm told, to do what needs to be done, and if it's clean, it's clean...if it's folded, it's folded...if it's written, it's written. You see where I'm going with this. 

So what if I cleaned a toilet so well you could eat off it? That's a pretty big gamble you're taking on my toilet and cleaning skills if you're willing to use it as a method of food transport TO your mouth. And why would you want to anyway? Even NEW toilets shouldn't be plates. That's why they're called toilets and not plates.

Mediocrity is just mom was wrong. DEAD WRONG...(drama in effect again!)  While I'd like to be perfect in all endeavors, I believe it would tire me out greatly. Personally, I think being super great at just one or two things is rather forgettable unless the THING is curing some malady, and I mentioned earlier something about fetal pigs...remember that? I wasn't paying attention in biology, so if you think I'm brewing a cure for something you're wrong...possibly dead wrong. (High drama!)

My best advice to you is settle for mediocrity. Be right in the middle of the a lot of things "just well enough" and everything will turn out "fine"...not great, not spectacular, but fine. And come on, isn't fine good enough?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dear Readers


Merry Christmas to you from me. 

I started this blog just 11 short months ago and it's been an extraordinary journey. I've been amazed at what touches people and makes them laugh, grosses them out or makes them think a little deeper. It has been said (by C.S. Lewis in fact) that "we read to know we are not alone." My fervent wish, this day and all others, is that no matter where you are or what your circumstance, you know that you're never alone. Be it in laughter, sorrow, hardship or joy we are all a part of an amazing human family and I cherish each person represented in a page view here. 

May peace and joy be abundant in the coming New Year.

Most sincerely yours,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Smack me with a rufie

I'm not in a bad mood about anything. It has nothing to do with Santa, the trimmings on the tree or massive quantities of booze. There is so much that SHOULD be pissing me off right now because, near as I can tell, the world is still headed straight to hell in an overpriced Longaberger basket..but I just can't muster the ill-will towards it. My compassion-cup overfloweth, as it were.

And I might be really late to the game, but I read something that makes me positively giddy:  Nick Nolte rufies himself.

Did you read that?
Nick Nolte gives his own self date rape drugs!
Holy crap!! It's like the baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes looked down and said, "Liz...this one's for you."

(Okay, full disclosure on GHB- the actual initials for rufies- it has legitimate medical uses like: general anesthetic, treatment for insomnia, depression, narcolepsy and alcoholism....and also a date rape drug.)

So, while I COULD be focusing on the national debt and the incessant adolescent playground antics of my elected officials, women's health issues, the legal rights of American citizens to marry freely, animal cruelty issues, or the world-over crisis of food shortages, I instead plan to turn my FULL attention to the fact that Nick Nolte tried to date rape himself. And got caught, and gave the world the most infamous "mug shot" ever. That's his story and he's sticking to it. 

It's lead me to wonder, "How does one date rape one's own self?"  

For those of you who've never been rufied, let me explain something, and you can draw whatever conclusions you want from this...I'm not in charge of what you think. GHB, when given in an unsuspecting woman's wine glass, knocks her OUT. Well, not at first. You've got some time to work your magic and get her to a location where the crime you intend to commit can be carried out. By then she's lost the ability to defend herself, to stay standing up, or talk much. And if you're that kind of lecherous shitbag, then you've done well.

Anyhoo....knowing now what you do about rufies, are you wondering why Nick Nolte drinks liquid GHB in cranberry juice, and then heads out to an AA meeting? Do you see now why it feels like heaven itself sent me holiday cheer?!? 

What is wrong with people?

First off, he's made a really big logistical error: You can't date rape yourself in the safety of an AA meeting. That's like...posted on the wall of the meeting room or something.
Secondly, you kind of can't rape any locale. And I'm not providing a map on why that's not possible.
Thirdly, what fun is ANYTHING if you can't remember it?!?

So, if it's the 4th night of Hanukkah for you--thank Hanukkah Harry. He sent a gift that is unparalleled, and quite frankly, not usual for Hanukkah gift giving. If it's Christmas Eve eve, then thank Santa for the early gifts of smacking your head and laughter. And if it's just Friday then go ahead and thank ME (in fact, everyone thank me anyway) because Nick Nolte self-rufie-ing might have just restored your will to live. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What NOT to buy

Photo: Flickr, via Kelvin55

As Christmastime, this blessed holiday that hardly anyone the world over knows about, approaches I feel inundated with gift GIVING guides. How wonderful! When I have to give a gift, as a sign of love, friendship, and good will to someone about whom I know absolutely nothing, it's helpful to have a generic guide. But what if the store I go to doesn't have the things ON the list? What happens if I have to go rogue and make my own choice?

Shouldn't there be a handy list of things NOT to buy people?

There is. And this is it. While many of the items I'm about to list might be very important sometimes, to some people, they are not appropriate Christmas gifts. (Christmas, for those who've never heard of it, is when Jesus comes back from the dead to give all the good girls and boys presents.)

Bad gift guide:

1- Water softener. It doesn't matter how big the bag is, it's not a Christmas gift!
2- Light bulbs...unless they're incandescent, because those are going to have a monster appreciation value in a few years when we all have to "go green."
3- Chairs. These are gifts we buy for ourselves. This is relatively self-explanatory.
4- Nude photos of others. If you have some sort of pre-arrangement in place, then I'm not here to step on anyone's toes (or anything else for that matter) but failing a locked in agreement, it's better to not give these. It kind of goes back to the Victorian days.
5- An empty wallet. And I feel strongly about this. If you *must* give the gift of a wallet, then the minimum contribution inside is $20...and not in scratch-off lottery tickets. CASH. Twenty in CASH.
6- Blocks of cheese or assorted meats. Sure we all love meat and cheese, we're not (all) dead inside; however Christmas is a special time and gift cheese doesn't come in block form. It's exceedingly moldy, and gift meat is...well, that's for a different type of blog altogether. Just save yourself the drama and avoid cheese and meat.

7- Your collection of vintage friendship bracelets. Now of course, here I'm just looking out for you and the investment in your future. I admire your willingness to give SO freely of yourself and your possessions, but under no circumstance is it appropriate to give away something that may have Sotheby's value someday. You'll thank me later.

That's seven. I'm all done. 

You can probably figure out from here what to get or not get for the stranger on your list. So happy holiday (Christmas holiday and no other, like Hanukkah which starts today and has EIGHT days of giving, so keep this handy if you're Jewish!)...and maybe I'll be all riled up about something on Friday. There's really no way to know.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday. Meh...

So it's Friday in my world, and the sky is overcast for your information. It seems there may be a slight chance of rain and the temperature has dropped. I don't know how low because I haven't been out there...who am I? A pioneer?

I slept for about 26.19 minutes last night so fatigue is crushing me like an overweight lover...and I'm over it so move on, yeah? But I don't ever want people to think that I've lost the usual bright and sunny demeanor that I bring to Al Gore's Interwebs, so today I'm going to fake it till I make it. (Hey that overweight lover can roll away anytime he wants to...until then...fake, fake, fake.)

Things that will make me happy today, real or imagined, and in no particular order:

1- Amy Sedaris (and to a lesser extent, her brother David...but mostly Amy) for telling me how to have a party and make sure that my guests all have a good time no matter what illicit drug they happen to be taking.

Seriously. Are you kidding me with this?

2- Coupon toting blind dates who take you to Applebee's and tell you not to get used to anything fancy. 

3- Bakers. Night time bakers, day time bakers. Bakers in jeans, bakers in chef pants. Bakers. (Of pastries, cakes and other fine desserts...not pot smokers.)

4- Pot smokers, because, under the right circumstance, they can be hilarious. Or at least mellow enough to get the frap out of my way when I'm tired.

5- Codeine. According to the NIH..."Codeine belongs to a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. When codeine is used to treat pain, it works by changing the way the body senses pain." And there is NOTHING wrong with that.

6- Dickies. Not the work wear, not any wear, except the enterprising man's leisure wear of the 1960's and 70's. Look at one. How can you not be happy? Are you dead inside?

7- Having grace under pressure. You really can't overrate this one. Knowing how to handle life's situations as they arise, or collapse on top of you like a dead weight overweight lover named Fatigue who has overstayed his welcome and is frankly starting to piss you off, is one of the greatest things you have in all of life (if you've run out of codeine).

From Pinterest...heard of it yet?

So that's it. Ya'll know how much I like stopping at seven. So happy Friday, or whatever day it is you're celebrating, and I'll talk to you later. The crane just showed up and this fat bastard is getting off me if I have to smoke meth to make it happen. 

(DISCLAIMER: I do not intend to consume anything that hasn't been prescribed by my ill-fated doctor- Conrad Murray, MD.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Punch your face Friday

Because sometimes a slap isn't good enough.

Photo: Flickr, via Slightlynorth

Horse meat is on the menu. Thank you very much President Obama. I guess TODAY, this day, this very minute, I can go to McDonald's and order a Mr. Ed special, with pickles and special sauce. And it's all thanks directly to the Presidential decree by Obama, who everyone knows is a Muslim fascist America hater.

Oh WAIT. CONGRESS....CONGRESS (Republican controlled CONGRESS) presented a spending bill to the President, in order to keep the government running through the end of the year. 

Republican controlled CONGRESS, which for those of us who don't know- is made up of FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE PEOPLE, the majority of whom are Republican, gave the President a bill which, among many many other things, lifted a ban on horse slaughter for consumption. The President signed the bill, and we continue to have a government running.

And now according to news outlets and Facebook and Twitter, the President (fascist anti-American Muslim devil that he is) is going to force all of us to murder horses and start eating them at every meal. Hang on pals...I don't eat horses. I only eat inhumanely, grotesquely raised and slaughtered pigs, chickens, cows, fish, and baby cows who are chained to floors so I can experience unparalleled tenderness. My G-d. I will NOT eat a horse. That's gross.

Does anyone see where I'm going here?

Have we lost all sight of the wars we're fighting? Of the economy in the shitter and people being tossed out of their homes? Have we completely forgotten that the homeless population is going to grow by leaps and bounds and children are going to fall through the massive cracks in our education system?

Or do we really care that much that a ban on slaughter has been lifted? We slaughter millions of animals every single day. We eat them. Do I want to eat a horse? No. Absolutely not. I don't want to eat a dog, or a cat, or a human, or a human baby who's been chained to a floor for exceptional tenderness. 

But as you choke down that piece of ground up cattle, sweet Bessie with the deep soulful eyes, or your ground up Wilbur on that Sausage and Egg breakfast muffin...I hope you can at the very least acknowledge either your hypocrisy or your total ignorance. And then please turn your attention to actual facts, actual matters and the pursuit of actual solutions. Or at least stop talking and go back to posting or looking at pictures of the all the deer people are killing right now. I just LOVE reading about people's righteous indignation over horses as they steady a dead deer's head in their hands so someone can take the prize-winning photo. How about all the pictures of people holding a dead fish by it's gills so we can all see that our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans are being rid of mature wild life? 

Simply lifting a ban, that has only been in place since 2007, does not mean that we're all going to be eating horses followed by the natural hysterical consequence of eating our other pets and then each other. That's not how life works. If we don't want to eat horses then no one will serve us horses. 

I certainly hope there's a Congressional ban to prevent the wholesale slaughter of blue eyed babies...because if not, I guess I'll just have to start ordering those at restaurants too. Thanks a lot Obama.

PS...and just to be clear: I don't hate animals. I hate people.