Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Apologies, Indeed

     Turns out, it takes time and energy to write a long lot of nothing on a regular basis.  Blogs are fun, but they're nothing if the writer doesn't POST every once in a while.  I should be punishing me.  But I've decided to cut myself some slack.  For my own sake.  For no real reason whatsoever other than the fact that I love giving excuses to myself in search of a happy place.  Our happy place is a forum of our own making.  So I've been diligently constructing and maintaining mine.  I'm awfully good at it, you know; making my happy place.  It's so easy.  At its core, all it is is telling yourself how much you like you; flattering yourself with things you know aren't completely true in the hopes of glossing over any glaring inadequacies you might potentially harbor deep in your soul.  But you know.  Fake it to make it.
     Once you start saying things, you start to believe what you say is true.  It's just the way it is.  People have said this before.  Very dangerous concept.  But it can also be a fantastic tool; mostly used to build self-confidence.  Rather a hopeless cycle, it is, though.  If our confidence is found in ourselves, where does it start?  We start out weak, so we make up the belief that we are strong.  Then all of a sudden, we're supposed to be strong because we keep telling ourselves we are?  As much as I wish I had brown eyes, I can't make my eyes turn away from the greyish-greenish-bluish whatever-colour-they-are.
     Another example: here I have this big haystack.  And I'm going to stand right here on this haystack.  In the middle of this hurricane.  And this haystack is going to stay firm.  It's going to be strong.  Through the hurricane.  Because I know it will be.  And because I'm standing on it.  And because, since I believe in it, it's going to brave the storm and not move.
     What a novel idea.  Totally impractical, though.
     I know where my confidence is found.  No, it's not in myself.  But what about the others who don't have my source of confidence?  The best they can do is try to reason it out and find an anchor in something they perceive to be solid.  Which begs the question "what exactly is solid and what isn't?" And this is the debate of the ages.  This is what philosophers have studied to find.  This is the stuff of fairy tales and dreams.  As sought-after as the fountain of youth; the answers to life's persistent questions.
     Then there are the ones who would rather the questions go unanswered.  This is a concept I don't fully understand yet.  My being the super-mega problem solver that I characteristically am makes it profoundly difficult to sit back and witness something that can be changed go on unhindered.  It's part of my nature to be proactive.  So, naturally, it's never my cup of tea to watch trouble form and continue without attempting to apprehend it.  And should we?  Even though it may not be part of one's natural bent?  Can we really rest on our laurels and watch all the goings-on with quiet complacence?  Or do we, as human beings, have an obligation to the race of humanity to stretch out a hand and amend what we are able?
     "See a need; fill a need."  Has anyone ever been respected who did not try to better something?  We respect the people we esteem because of their drive toward the improvement of the world in some way, shape, or form.  Therefore, if we strive to be respected, we strive to help.  In any way we can.  A fulfillment of duty; a fulfillment of a life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Raise Up Your Glass(es)

     I thought, in this brilliantly ridiculous mind I have, I would take a post and brag about somebody.  A particular somebody.  Somebody special; and somebody completely worth mentioning.  My father.
     First, some background, perhaps, hm?  Okay.  Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was (wait for it) ... a little girl and her father.  (Woosh! Wow.  Big surprise beginning, right there.)  And this little girl was such an enigmatic fusion of her mother and her father that neither of her parents knew exactly what to do with her.  Neither knew, but especially not her daddy, since he's not the kind to look into the grey areas of personal relations and individual character in the first place.  You see, this father was the kind who saw in black and white (colourblindness did run in the family, you know); what was was and what wasn't solid fact wasn't to be trusted and probably shouldn't be considered all that much.  But this theory was mercilessly destroyed by the young daughter who tore the cover off the Book of Presupposed Absolutes.
     The father spent years just trying to figure out this new concept.  Puzzling over it.  Messing with the pieces and trying to make them fit.  But it was almost as difficult as a four-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle depicting the inner workings of a 1950s alarm clock.  I'm sure many times, he started to give up, but after several years, the moving parts started working themselves together.
     ....And they are, ladies and gentlemen.  They are indeed starting to come together.  My dad and I have been so alike and so different for so long.  For years, we haven't been able to understand each other in the slightest.  And it's just now starting to make sense.  Maybe it's because I've gotten older and a tad more rational-minded (emphasize "tad").  But it's working.  Somehow.  Like magic.
     There are a lot of wonderful things about my dad.  He's hard working, for one.  His employers love him because he gets things done.  He makes the other employees look bad (well, that's also partly because most of the other employees are bad.  It would probably be best if I left that bit out, though, to inflate his prestige in the mind of the reader.)  Here's the catch, though: my father hates his job.  And yet, he still excels in his field.  Dedication, my dear friends, is where it's at.  Dedication and responsibility.
     Not only that, but loyalty as well.  (I couldn't NOT include this example.  It warrants its own mention.)  We've established that he hates his job; and three days ago, a message was left on the answering machine from "Cyndie at Executive Something-Something of This-That-or the -Other-Thing", talking about all kinds of things I didn't have the motivation to follow.  Now, I can't say they were offering him a position or anything as huge as all that, but I do know that he deleted the message without entertaining a thought of leaving his current  company.  For some reason, when he hit the delete button, I couldn't help but be filled with awe.  In his shoes, I probably would have let myself think things over for a little while before turning down any kind of offer.  No thinking involved, here.  It was touch and go.  Beep.  Done.
     One of the most important, significant things my father ever taught me was what should be considered his mantra: "Never assume anything."  Regrettably, I have not yet completely learned this lesson.  Never take anything for granted.  Always expect the unexpected.  It's a good rule.  Pretty wise, I daresay.  Most, if not all misunderstandings are based on incorrect assumptions; and if there's one thing my father doesn't like, it's conflict based on misunderstanding.  Stupid mistakes are not welcome; he'd rather be meticulous, bored, and right than sloppy, entertained, and wrong in any way.  (This is also another source of my perfectionism.)
     Never has he really been open to change, however.  But he's been getting better about this one in recent years.  Several years ago, he started eating vegetables and trying new foods.  He learned to like coffee.  (Nowadays Mama can't keep him out of it long enough to snatch a cup for herself.)  And the newest adjustment is the pair of spectacles he's been prescribed.  Now, personally, I happen to love my dad in glasses.  He looks so very smart.  Dad always looked smart, but glasses have a way of helping that along, don't you think?  (Admittedly, though, the best part of having a dad with glasses is having a dad who's perfectly comfortable with letting his daughter wear them just for the fun of it.  Yes, I do; I wear them sometimes when he's not using them.  I always wanted glasses as a kid and am now unfathomably jealous.)
     I'm almost 100% positive there was more I had intended to say, but whatever it was, the concept is probably buried somewhere in what I've already said.  No, I'm not a Daddy's-girl.  I'm more of a Mama's-girl, in every sense.  But my father's character begs more than just a mere mention or a slight reference.  This entry all is to say all the things I haven't said over the years, but probably should have.  If this means I've been failing as a daughter, it ends here.  My dad's pretty amazing, and I'm an idiot if I don't recognize it.  So I propose a toast, with my virtual champagne glass, to my dad.  The best man in the world. (So far.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The ... Threequel?

     Last night, I got more hours of sleep than I normally get in 3 days.  An accomplishment, indeed; or perhaps sad.  Sleeping usually means you miss out on something else going on.  I'm the kind who likes to be in on everything.  Gets me into trouble more often than not.  And it might maybe make me annoying sometimes to a lot of people.  Trying to change that.  All the activity in the world means nothing when you no one enjoys it with you, no?  Cliche, yes, I know; but cliches are repeated so much because... they're true.  And they resonate with a wide range of people.  Ergo, they're popular.  And popular eventually means overused.  And overused over time means ..... ta-da! cliche.
     News, news.  Spring is in the air, and the adjacent fever has snuggled deep down inside and is making me restless.  So what to do about it?  Last week, it was washing the bathroom walls.  (Which, by the way, less than a week later were already filthified.)  This week, it was painting that bookshelf that's been sitting and waiting for probably almost a year.  It's collected all sorts of things on its three awkwardly-set and now bowing shelves.  I swear, I have so many books, the library's jealous.  I think I'm going to take inventory as I reassemble the danger zone that used to be my bedroom.  At ten o'clock last night, I was required to take five minutes just to clear myself some space to sleep on my own bed.  (P.S. Stacks of books look so much bigger on the bed than on the floor.  It was traumatic, looking at it all on the bed.)
     Among the things I found was my piggy bank.  Well, I didn't find it; I just sort of rediscovered it.  Or was reminded of its existence.  Yes, I have a piggy bank.  And a cute one it is, too.  It was a present from a very dear (much older; the kind that can afford to dote upon young ones) friend several years ago.  But you know what's even better than finding a cute piggy bank?  Finding money in it.  Yeah, you guessed it, didn't you?  Naturally.  When you think of a piggy bank, money is typically the next step.  I have yet to count whatever it is I still have in that thing.  However, I'm fairly certain I won't be disappointed.  May that be a hint to ye.
     Oh! and another of the Most Interesting Finds Known to Man: scratch papers containing forgotten names and prehistoric email addresses.  I barely remember who some of these people even are.  So.  Sorry Josh Whoever-you-are (couldn't pronounce the guy's last name, I swear, if I were a phonetics expert).  You never did get something from me in your inbox.  Your loss.  Or rather, gain, when you consider the sheer volume of this blog post.  As I recall whatever fuzzy memory I might have of this mystery guy, I seem to remember he wasn't much of a reader anyway.
     On to the original point of the discussion.  Who knew a simple bookshelf could be difficult to paint?  I do this for a living and have never painted a bookshelf.  Somehow, that's simply wrong.  Can't say that anymore, though.  Yay experience.
     Painting, you know, is more than just slapping on the gooey coloured stuff and assuming it will stick.  There are tricks to doing it right.  Many little things that are easy to miss and that you have to watch out for.  It's what separates the men from the boys in this business.  Things like streaks in the brushstrokes and such.  The job has to be perfect.  And if it's not perfect, I will notice.  I'm a perfectionist like that.  But then, so is my boss and mentor.  It's why she gets the high-end jobs that make the big bucks.  Rich people like their fancy things done up right.  Can't blame them.  I wouldn't pay a bunch of money for a job just any old person could do.  Show some finesse, and maybe you'll be worth my while to pay you.
     We had cottage cheese in the house this afternoon.  I had some for lunch.  We no longer have any cottage cheese in the house.  In some cases, I do eat it right out of the carton.  Don't say it.  I know.  It's bad.  But I usually end up eating most of it anyway, so why make myself more dishes to wash?  Relax, though.  I decided to be civilized this time.  We also had some tropical fruit cocktail ready to go, so I had that, too.  I do believe I'm the only person I know of who eats tropical fruit cocktail primarily for the papaya.
     One fantastic thing about spring is that barefoot season makes a gigantic comeback. I barely wear shoes at all in the summer.  For lots of reasons, but what matter the reasons?  I just prefer it.  I promised my mama I'd get married in bare feet, once.  It was really more of a dare, on her part, but it sounded like a good idea, so why not?  It could be romantic, in some way.  I'll find a way to make it work.  Resourcefulness.  Yeah, let's call it that.  But self-inflicted, since nobody actually forced me to not wear shoes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Musings: The Sequel

     Welcome back, welcome back.  Glad to see you still intact and even in such good spirits as to return to this literary abomination.
     I told you this would happen, though: I would walk away from the saved entry and rediscover multiple points, all vital to the topic, that I had forgotten to make.  Naturally, when the next opportunity to establish them comes along, they flee from my brain like a rabbit from a rattlesnake (oo, word picture).  It's also almost 4 in the morning.  (Blogspot lies.  I can't figure yet how to make it change the time of day, so it will probably be about 5 hours behind my actual time.)  As would be expected of any human being, I am tired and cannot appropriately formulate word combinations as accurately as I would normally.  I'll do my best, despite the odds.
     Mm-yes.  The other reason for blogs?  Ranting.  Absolutely.  I define a rant as an exhaustive spiel on the problems you have with the world and how the world is not fixing those problems that is terminated with a grandiose finale of either resignation to that which cannot be changed or resolve to that which is possible yet difficult.  In other words, I'm dumping my issues on the general public.  Don't panic; this won't hurt a bit.
     I have since learned from a friend that blogs are now considered "old news".  To be quite brutally honest, I'm relieved to have retained my old-fashioned character.  I would have missed it, had I lost it.
     In the interest of my overall well-being and your sanity, I believe I shall ditch my typical, drawn-out farewell and leave you with a neat little cliffhanger.  Next posting is bound to be epic.  Just take my word for it.  Yes, because I'm cool like that.  Stay tuned for the.... sequel to the sequel.

     Some cliffhanger that turned out to be. (Can't you just taste the sarcasm, here?  Delicious.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And So It Begins...

     Ah, yes.  Fear me.  An eternal, uninhibited forum for my insidious ideals has been awarded me.  Or I awarded it to myself.  This still counts, correct?
     I do, indeed, have reasons for commencing such a hazardous endeavour as a blog.  For one, it gives me a little corner where I can unconcernedly utilize my exhaustive vocabulary and not cause anyone annoyance.  Unless, of course, they wish to be annoyed.  If that be the case, they can just read what I have to say, get their daily annoyance fix and live the rest of their waking hours in contented peace knowing they have fulfilled their duty and paid their tribute to mankind.  Or womankind.  Peoplekind.  Whatever.  I'm not sexist, I swear.  ..... Well, not intensely so.  Sexist within reason.  How on earth can you be "sexist within reason"?  (Evidence of why this blog begins with the word "paradoxical".)
     What does one do with a blog?  It's really just a long spew of the author's opinions, is it not?  Periodically with an added plug for certain specific causes/activities.  Oh boy.  I promise not to plague the masses with bothersome and useless advertisements for irrelevant junk.  People have enough clutter in their lives without someone else shoving more extras into them.  A wise man once said, "America is tanking because Americans are lazy and fat."  How true, in many many ways.
      How did I get from the purpose of blogging to the state of a nation in less than a paragraph?  Scatter-brained, I am, it would seem.  Or just leading an insightful string of thought along an uncharted path.  Yeah.  I like that second one.
     Some blog this turned out to be.  A flop of a first post.  Coulda tried harder, couldn't I?  I suppose I could have.  But if the readers really care about what's going on here, they'll come back for the sequel.  A flop of a first post leaves room for immense improvement, at least, so the next blog ought to be amazing.  Comparatively amazing, anyway.
     You know what's terrible?  The fact that, as I leave this draft and save it, I'll think of about seventeen other important points I forgot to make.  And it will be too late.  I've always been one for irony, but this is ridiculous.  In the end, I have to desist somewhere.  Sadly, I'm not one for abrupt goodbyes.  I drag them out.  I think I may have caused myself some trouble in the past with that one.  Let's just say I'm learning how to stay my welcome and not wear it out.  Wish me luck.