Sunday, February 29, 2004

When one door closes... 

... another door opens. Or several doors. We hear this sort of thing said all the time, but WHY do people say it? What happens in our lives to make us think this is the way it works?

When you believe in karma, the explanation is simple; when something significant drops out of your life, whether it's a job, a lover, your health, whatever, it leaves a "hole" that need to be filled with something-karma, like nature, abhors a vacuum. There are usually GOOD things waiting to fill the hole, but in our misery we often don't see them, or don't have the energy to respond to them, in which case BAD stuff will appear to fill the hole. The saying about opportunity not knocking twice applies here; karma gives you chances, but if you don't take them you're out of luck.

I was talking about the worst period of my adult life to a friend today, and I found myself listing the astonishing # of the BEST things of my CURRENT life that started right at that same time; each of those things had existed long before that time, but they didn't cross MY path until I was in desperate need. Coincidence? Not a chance.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

What is a "genius"? 

A genius is someone who is beyond intelligent, beyond VERY intelligent; a genius is someone whose mind works not just "better" but in a totally different way than a normal person's does. A genius thinks in leaps, in intuitive lunges, around corners, over obstacles, through the clouds and over the horizon. A genius sees in new and different ways, comes up with novel solutions, creates out of thin air... and is usually seriously screwed up.

If you know any geniuses, you know what I mean; they tend to be socially clueless, absentminded, overly intense, dysfunctional, erratic, neurotic, bordering on crazy, or all of the above-is that a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that people who have clinical depression or other so-called "mental illnesses" are on the whole far smarter than average? Or that so many psychos are brilliant? Or that so many great creative minds end up going crazy and committing suicide or losing themselves in drugs or alcohol?

Science has yet to show us what genius IS, or where it comes from, but it seems logical to assume that there IS a connection between genius and being messed up; these things might be genetically linked, like red hair and freckles are, or they might be cause and effect, like over-active thyroid and thinness. Genius might be based in a different brain structure, or different brain chemistry, or both, and it affects the thought processes like nitrous oxide affects an engine; the performance is radically improved, but there's the constant danger that it'll go BOOM, leading to depression, madness, etc.

Geniuses are rarely happy, so don't envy them their greater brainpower. Some of them gain $ and fame due to their art or science, but many are too socially maladjusted to do more than scrape by, and they nearly always have trouble with relationships; they have little patience with lesser mortals as a rule, and no one likes to be around someone who outthinks them all the time. We owe much of what is good in the world to their efforts and sufferings, though, so if you meet someone who's so brainy that you feel put off, take a deep breath and give them a chance; if given a chance, a genius can often turn out to be a dazzling companion, well worth the patience you'll have to show with their odd quirks.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Caught between genders 

All the furor about gay marriages (which SHOULD be 100% legal everywhere on Earth, and right now, in my not particularly humble opinion) has gotten me thinking about one of the "gray areas" that makes it impossible to draw a line as to what sort of sexual desire, relationships, and marriage are "good" or "bad."

Female. Male. Is that all there is? Nope. About one baby in 2000 is born with "ambiguous genitals," which are neither purely male or purely female, and often look nothing like either one; such a child (or adult) is called "intersexual" (the more familiar term "hermaphrodite" applies to a subset of intersexuals). Even more amazing; when you add in the chromosomal abnormalities that make a person GENETICALLY neither male nor female, or a different gender than the genitals show, intersexuals account for 1 birth out of every 100; that's right, a full 1% of the people you see in the average day are provably neither male nor female in the accepted sense, even though most of them have bodies that appear to be of a familiar gender.

This brings up lots of interesting questions. If someone is intersexual, what kind of sexual desire makes them straight or gay? If they desire other intersexuals only, does THAT make them gay? If so, does that mean that they can desire EITHER "normal" gender and be straight? Which gender(s) should they be allowed to marry, or should they be forbidden to marry because of the genitalia or chromosomes they were born with, when no other physical "abnormality" keeps a person from being allowed to marry?

Some forms of intersexuality, such as 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency, create people who look like one gender based on their genitals (female, in this case), but their DNA is of the OTHER gender; is a person's gender based on their genitals or on their chromosomes? Doctors and scientists say it's the DNA that counts, which leads to another question; if someone appears female on the outside, but is chromosomally male, and she desires other women, is she gay or straight? Doctors would say that she is straight because she is in fact a MAN, but if you go by genitals, then she'd be gay.

It gets even more complicated; some intersexuals have XXY chromosomes. As you might remember from high school biology, women are XX, and men are XY... so, what gender are XXY people? Technically, they are neither male nor female, of course, but some of them look like "normal" men and women... and the majority of transsexuals (people who believe that their true gender is opposite to what their "genital gender" is) fall into this category. That's right; most transsexuals have chromosomes such that they are equally "valid" as men or women, and it's just a roll of the dice as to which body type they ended up with. The folks who think that transsexuals shouldn't have the right to decide which gender they are, and to change gender, with claims that everyone has an "assigned" gender (by God or nature) that shouldn't be altered are simply, provably, WRONG. Given that they're wrong, what objection can there be to someone wanting surgery to make their genitals match their DNA, or even to how their DNA "genderized" their brain?

If an XXY person is "lucky," they got the same gender of brain/feelings as they did gender of body, but very often they do NOT, and so naturally they want their true gender physically; sadly, even if they can afford the surgeries, and can handle the physical pain, they have to deal with the emotional pain of people thinking they're "sick" and/or "evil" for wanting their bodies to be RIGHT. In some countries they can NEVER legally change their gender, so they can't marry someone who is the opposite sex of their true gender even when their genitals match it; they are actually STRAIGHT (with the usual % of exceptions), and they aren't allowed to marry someone of the opposite sex!!

AND, a non-trivial % of gay people are in fact intersexuals whose "genetic gender" differs from their "genital gender," such that medically speaking they are STRAIGHT... but of course THEY can't marry anyone whose gender is the opposite of their true gender either.

Intersexuals are fighting a battle to NOT be assigned an arbitrary gender, and I hope they win it; after all, how DARE anyone think that they have the right to decide what gender someone with non-standard genitals and/or chromosomes has?!! How DARE they force surgeries on babies and children based on vague ideas about what gender they "should" be, such that the kids grow up with an enforced gender that rarely matches what gender they FEEL themselves to be?!! Intersexuals want the option to be able to put something other than male or female down for their gender, and they should HAVE that right, as they are NOT male and NOT female. If they win this right, this opens up all sorts of issues, ranging from things like which restroom and changing room they should use to, as I said above, what gender(s) they'd be allowed to marry. I'd also be interested to see what the major religions would rule about people without standard gender; as far as I know, no religion decrees intersexuals to be innately "sinful," so it should be ok for them to marry (because such a marriage wouldn't be a sin), but how would the religious leaders decide which gender(s) an intersexual would be allowed to marry?

If they're allowed to marry people from either standard gender, as they SHOULD be (by what logic could you pick just ONE gender for them to marry, after all?), you're going to have people marrying folks who LOOK like the same gender as they are... and, of course, once you allow people with the same genitals (but different chromosomes) to marry, what excuse will you have for not letting OTHER folks with identical genitals, aka gay people, marry?

We need to have legislation that recognizes that there's more in the world than men and women who're going to skip off into the sunset together. 10% of people desire the same gender, and another 1% have non-standard gender; while it's easy to dismiss them as minorities small enough to just be ignored, they're human beings with feelings, with rights, with the same desire to love and be loved as anyone else. If your current belief system rules against gays, I urge you to consider the situation of intersexuals, and to decide what, in all fairness, they should be permitted to do... and then to reevaluate how you view gays based on what you come up with. If your current belief system accepts gays, and their right to marry, think about the situation of intersexuals anyway; it'll likely be the subject of major legal battles in the years to come.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

What does pride REALLY mean? 

Pride USED to refer to what you felt once you had accomplished something; it suggested that you had proven yourself to be worthy by virtue of your exertions and your achievement.

When the various minority groups in America started the battle for equal rights, they often made an issue of bring "proud" of whatever it was that made them a minority, because that word suggested worthiness... but they're missing the point. You don't become black, Hispanic, Jewish, gay, etc as a reward for achievements, you're BORN that way... and pride does NOT validly come into play for things that you were born with or that were otherwise given to you by your family (such as inherited $).

Pride CAN certainly suggest having overcome obstacles, but only those who have actually fought those battles personally have the right to feel proud; others who share their race, religion or sexual orientation don't get to take any credit.

The scariest example of "pride" is among Hispanics (which in America means people from every Spanish-speaking country EXCEPT Spain, go figure); if you are non-white and the people of your country of origin speak Spanish, that means that white Spaniards came to your country, stole all the gold from the native peoples, raped the women, killed many of the men, forced conversion to Catholicism and the learning of Spanish at swordpoint, and destroyed the native culture... what about that are you PROUD of?!!

Claiming "pride" based on skin color or whichever hunk of land your parents live on (or whatever) is the equivalent of people being given jobs via quotas rather than merit; in the same way that no one thinks that minorities are more capable because they were given jobs that they weren't qualified for, much less the MOST qualified for, no one thinks more highly of a minority who claims "pride" for something that they didn't have to earn (ie "the 'right' to be black"), and in fact people will think LESS of them because they see them as needing to focus on something that should NOT be a cause for pride because they don't actually HAVE anything to be proud of... which produces the opposite result than the intended one.

W.A.S.P.'s don't go around feeling surges of pride based on nothing, so there's no need for any other group to either; save pride for actual ACHIEVEMENTS. By all means be happy about every element of who you are, be glad to be in whatever groups you're in, and feel certain that you are in every way as valuable and worthy of a person as those in every other group; this is the simple truth, after all. If you want those in the majority to have a higher opinion of you and others like you, you won't manage that by waving banners saying how "proud" you are; combat prejudice, as Oprah always advises, with EXCELLENCE. Every time a minority individual accomplishes something admirable, it destroys more prejudice than every parade ever marched in ever did, and creates a greater perception of equality and mutual worthiness than every handout and special deal from the government ever will.

DO something, and do it well; then, you'll have every right to feel pride.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Tea for 2 

I intensely dislike all hot liquids (the inside of my mouth is apparently hyper-sensitive to heat), and never drink any of them, including soup, unless I'm sick... and even then, I drink them at nearly room temperature. Because I'm a supertaster, which means that I have an unusually high # of taste buds and perceive bitterness much more strongly than normal people, I particularly dislike coffee (un-American, I know) and every kind of tea.

Today, a new friend offered to make some tea for me; I had an inexplicable desire to have some, so I agreed, although never in my life had I had that urge. I was very leery of drinking it when she brought it to me, but given the urge I'd had I braced myself and drank some; it had fruit flavor added, and so wasn't too bad, thank goodness. I drank it all as we spoke... and noticed that the normally high level of tension in upper body had been greatly reduced.

I asked her about the tea, which turned out to be made primarily from an herb that is a common tea base in Africa; she didn't know of any medicinal properties of the herb, but I was SURE it had some. I looked it up when I got home, and there it was; what I had felt was one of the effects it is known for.

How did I KNOW that this herb would be a good one for me, so strongly that I asked to have something to drink that I would normally NEVER consume? It's logical that our psychic abilities might extend to "knowing" that an herb had applicable medicinal benefit; herbal remedies had to have each been discovered somehow, and trial and error of every herb with every ailment seems like too tall of an order for the healers of centuries ago to have carried out.

As if that weren't enough for one day; although my friend naturally made the tea with boiling water, once she had poured it into mugs she didn't bring them to the table right away, but talked on about her family until it occurred to her to serve the tea... at which point it had cooled down to the exact temperature I drink "hot liquids" at. How did she KNOW not to serve the tea hot as any normal person would want it (and she didn't apologize for having let it cool down so much, as she would have had it not been at some level intended)? I've felt a strong karmic connection to her since the moment I saw her; this is just the latest evidence I've seen of it. I think she may have been sent to me to re-mother me; time will tell.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The breakout dream 

Once this dream gets started, I always know what the situation is; I know that I'm inside many levels or layers of enclosures, and that I have to engage in an almost video-gamish frenzy of finding the spots I can break through on each one to get out... and FAST, because new enclosures come into existence about as quickly as I break out.

The enclosures can look like buildings, or fences that meet overhead, or vaguely greenhouse-looking sorts of things that swim into place around me when I think I've reached the open air at last. No 2 look the same, either within a dream or compared to other dreams; the only things they have in common is that I have to break out of them or be trapped, and that they seem to be actually attempting to thwart me.

Flying is always a part of the dreams too, and, while it's supposed to in general be sexual, in my case it's about freedom, and often specifically escape (I usually fly away from whatever the monsters are that chase me in my dreams). I might start out breaking through walls, windows, etc, with my feet on the ground, but by the end I'm ALWAYS flying, battering my way out of enclosures that are about the size of domed sports arenas, or bigger... and I fly away. (Sometimes, I THINK I'm free and flying away, only to come up against ANOTHER barrier that was so huge I couldn't see it before, as if the walls had been beyond the horizon).

I've mulled this extensively, and have concluded that the only possible "barriers" that I have to keep fighting in my life all have to do with... my husband. He has many fine qualities, but he's a slob, a procrastinator, he's lazy, he does tasks half-assedly, or even quarter-assedly, with no analysis and no thought as to what MY reaction will be. I literally DO feel like I'm banging my head against the proverbial wall with him, with constantly trying to explain to him what he should be doing, and when, and how, although things like closing and LOCKING the door when he leaves the house, flushing the toilet when he's finished with it, and putting perishable foods back into the fridge when he's done should NOT have to be on MY list of things to teach him (I'm NOT his mother, much as I feel like I am). He lives his life in an attempt to achieve maximum task-avoidance, and when he DOES undertake a task he tries to do it without me seeing him, so that he can do it some random dead-wrong way without my input, which he seems to think gains him points in heaven even though he KNOWS he's going to have to be yelled at, tear whatever he did down and do it the right way, WITH my input. It often feels like my entire interaction with him consists of dragging him out of whatever corner he's hidden himself in to try to avoid my eye, and therefore tasks, and arm-twisting him into doing something, ANYTHING of value to our lives, while he throws out a million arguments as to why he should, in essence, be allowed to drift through life NEVER doing any tasks or chores.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I NEVER had this dream before I got married, and, based on the extensive list of "always struggling with him" comments that just came bursting out, lol, and even my use of the word "thwart" in reference to the enclosures when it applies so well to what HE does to my plans, it looks like what I had as a best-guess when I started writing this was RIGHT.

I've gotta say, I never saw much benefit to me of writing anything down in my pre-blog days, other than just being able to lay out some of my ideas that the beleaguered people in my life don't want to hear any more, so that I could feel "heard" even if I didn't know for sure if anyone had read any particular essay, but there have been several times already where I've only had a partial analysis of something, sat down at the keyboard, and had words come streaming onto the screen that filled in all the gaps and tied everything together. I've always been able to tap into that ability to let stuff come pouring out of my subconscious for writing fiction, but I never knew it worked for "the search for answers" as well; it's pretty cool, and a little exciting, to realize that new revelations may be as close as my next blog entry.

Monday, February 23, 2004

The downside of the sexual revolution 

A woman used to be able to get a man to promise to take care of her and any children she had until the day he died (aka marry her), and make it STICK, in order to have sexual access to her; her sexual favors were therefore worth a life's labor in his mind, and so was SHE.

Nowadays, most men expect sex on the first date, meaning that even IF he paid for everything, he's valuing the woman's sexual favors, and HER, at the level of a dinner and maybe a movie. If he gets her to come home with him from a bar or club, he feels entitled to her sexual favors for the price of a drink or 2, and that's what he values HER at.

Is this an improvement?

A woman used to be able to get to know a man VERY well, care about him, be sure he cared about HER, be committed to him, and be sure he was committed to HER, before sharing her body and deepest emotions with him.

Nowadays, it's a rare men who'll wait more than a few dates for sex before walking away (based on how they answer anonymous surveys on this topic), so the woman has to either agree to the most intimate physical acts with a near-stranger or be alone.

Is this an improvement?

It used to be that a nice woman wasn't expected to do anything "kinky," and, although the man would be thrilled if she DID do those things, he never made it a requirement, or demanded them, or even ASKED for fear of offending her.

Nowadays, men expect women to automatically do things that he couldn't have been sure of getting from a HOOKER a few decades ago, and if she doesn't do those things he'll push and badger and pout and try to guilt-trip her into doing them... he'll even make the absence of them a valid excuse in his mind to cheat on her.

Is this an improvement?

A woman used to have the right to say no, and in fact was EXPECTED to say no a significant % of the time, so when the "yes" came the man was thrilled and grateful.

Nowadays, if the woman says "no," the man will feel rejected and offended, and will withhold affection and attention in retaliation, pick fights, accuse her of trying to manipulate him, or threaten to find satisfaction elsewhere if she isn't willing to put out every time he asks.

Is this an improvement?

It used to be that a couple got to know each other before sleeping together, so that they could decide if they truly liked each other without being blinded by sex.

Nowadays, people jump into bed based on nothing more than brief attraction, and then have a relationship by default because they're sleeping together, not realizing that they are NOT compatible until they've wasted all sorts of time and effort on each other, during which time they might have moved in together, gotten married, had a kid, all of which gets broken apart because they never had a chance at long-term couplehood and didn't know it.

Is this an improvement?

Nearly all kids used to be born to married parents, where the father brought in an income and lived in the home and took care of them.

Nowadays, a man rarely feels obligated to marry a woman just because she's pregnant, or to STAY married to her just because she has borne him children. Many men fail to pay child support, much less give emotional support or even invest the time to just be around so that the kids feel valued and secure.

Ask the countless children living in poverty in households headed by women if THAT is an improvement.

Sure, it's great that we as women these days feel free to be sexual and have sex without feeling "dirty," and that we feel entitled to GOOD sex, frequent sex, etc... but does that REALLY make up for all we LOST because of the sexual revolution?

Sunday, February 22, 2004

The white light of healing 

You have the power to heal. Whether you have ever used it or not, whether you believe it or not, it is THERE.

The laying on of hands is the oldest method of healing known to mankind. It's just what it sounds like; one person puts their hands on another and helps that person overcome illness, injury and suffering by doing so. Do you remember how your little hurts stopped hurting once your mother "kissed them and made them better"? Did you ever had a good doctor, one who'd make you feel better, not just emotionally but PHYSICALLY, as soon as (s)he started to examine you? The hands aren't the only place where healing energy can leave your body, and a healer doesn't even need to be making a conscious attempt to heal for it to work; it's a natural bodily function for us to be able to do this.

It's easy to see what the survival advantage would be in the caveman days to any person, family or group where this ability existed, especially if it was well developed; as with all other "psychic abilities," this one came about because it allowed those that possessed it to have a higher probability of reproducing and having their offspring live to reproduce.

I first discovered MY ability to do this by accident. A man I was seeing mentioned that he'd had a pain in his abdomen; without thinking, I reached out and put my hand on what turned out to be the exact site of his pain. He commented on that, and then went on to describe the evolution of this pain while my hand stayed on the spot in what I vaguely thought of as an attempt to offer comfort. He yelped that my hand had gotten HOT, and, when I drew it away and placed it against my face, I confirmed that it was; my other hand, when tested, was normal temperature. His babble about what was going on stopped abruptly when he realized that the pain was GONE... not, just relieved somewhat, GONE, and it STAYED gone.

I have been able to do this many other times, and, although you might argue that whatever effects I felt as I healed, and that the "patient" felt, were imagined those times, on that first time, when neither of us had any thought about this sort of thing, it happened "blind," and was undeniably real.

What does the healing? Energy. What kind? Kirlian photography gives us a clue; this fascinating way of recording energy emanating from an object shows greater brightness around the hands of those who see themselves as healers than around the hands of nonhealers, and that brightness increases when the healer is trying to project healing energy through their hands. The image is produced when the object being photographed is subjected to an electric field, so whatever the energy is, it has some sort of additive effect with electricity.

When you hear references to "sending white light" or to the "white light of healing," it's this same energy that is being referred to; it's not ACTUALLY light, of course, or we could SEE it, but there is an amazing consistency with how people visualize the power that they send out... maybe it's just natural for us to see a force for "good" as a white light. In any case, you don't need to actually be touching a person to send them healing energy, or even in proximity; I've sent it as far as 8000 miles away, to a recipient who verified when he had received it, and mind you this man was a hard-core sceptic whose religious beliefs made this VERY difficult for him to accept.

The use of hands makes the energy easy to focus and transfer, and we're used to connecting with other living things through our hands, so it's a natural spot for energy to flow from; when you try to send the light over a distance, it is often helpful to visualize holding your hand out, and the light flowing from your hand to the person in need.

Healing comes from the same energy, or same spectrum of energy, as precognition, telepathy, spirits, synchronicity, and all the other aspects of karma. It's not mysterious, magical or scary, it's a natural function, like thinking, feeling or dreaming, which we ALSO have virtually no understanding of as of yet. Try it for yourself (using your hands is by far the easiest way); as a control, try it on a small child or pet, or an adult who doesn't know in advance what you're going to do. There's no specific method, really, just place your hand over the affected area (which would be where there is injury or pain, or where symptoms are concentrated in an illness), and exert your will that the pain will decrease. You might visualize light and/or heat coming from your hand, or anything else that makes sense to you; whatever seems right to you will probably be the easiest way for you to focus.

Once you've seen how easy this is to do, you'll naturally feel excited, and want to talk to people about it; take it from me, this will REALLY freak some folks out, so think long and hard before confiding in a person. Keep this and any other abilities you discover in yourself as positive things, so that you don't develop blocks to using the energy, and don't try to use them to manipulate or upset people.... remember, this is all part of karma, and if you misuse it karma will remind you of the need to not create negative energy. Good luck.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

What's sexy? 

Modern society shoves sex at us from every angle 24/7, such that we are sated and unsurprised by it all, and have forgotten the pleasures of the tease, of being tantalized, of buildup, of true eroticism, and in general of all the things that used to be seen as sexy before the days of breast implants and thongs. Women, who to this day are judged primarily on looks and sex appeal, have had, since movies and then TV brought beautiful and provocative images into the lives of all men, to go to ever greater extremes to be ahead of the curve sexual-display wise, which forced the curve to move, and so on. The use of female sexiness to sell EVERYTHING, from breakfast cereal to entire movies, meant that these ever more extreme images have pounded our brains to near numbness, so that imagery that would have given our grandparents heart attacks just makes us shrug... so what can we get to seem sexy, REALLY sexy, to us any more?

Those of us old enough to remember the not-so-distant past, in which a man would be aggressive in his sexual pursuit but not "look" sexy, dress sexy, or ACT sexy can see that, with women having gone so far to "out-sexy" each other that they've become virtually indistinguishable, and therefore rather dull, with their hair extensions and push-up bras, it's really only MALE attempts at sexual display that are novel enough to BE sexy anymore.

Don't believe it? In an attempt to keep the female body "new" and exciting, they've had no choice but to cover it up more; compare what actresses were wearing 5-10 years ago with what they wear NOW, for example. It's not just famous women who are changing, although they are always the first TO change, as their $ depends on them being the most sexy: Have you noticed the increasing popularity of women's underpants that look like shorts, and cover more of the female lower body than any popular undergarment has done in DECADES? Of skirts that make you think of Audrey Hepburn rather than "stripper"? Of women, even quite young ones, returning to the 70's idea of sexy with jeans and a moderately revealing top rather than all wearing hooker outfits? Sexiness DOES require some element of novelty, and, once you've gotten thoroughly used to seeing nearly-naked, it ceases to create the most excitement any more, and something more covered up seems exciting (not to mention classier).

Meanwhile, we're seeing MEN grooming themselves, moisturizing, using hair products (have you heard the term "metrosexual," referring to a straight man who grooms himself to the level a gay man would?), working out, dieting, and dressing to show it off, especially men in the entertainment industry. Men's magazines and catalogs of men's clothing are filled with pics that are nearly pornographic, in part to interest gay men, of course, but in general because we're now ready as a culture to see men being sexy; magazines for women, such as Cosmo, are filled with "naughty" pics of men that would have seemed extreme not that long ago.

Any new male actor shows us his washboard abs as reliably as new starlets used to show their cleavage. Male beauty and sexiness is now being marketed in the way women's has always been, and men now have a degree of beauty and sexiness that they've never had before; look at photos of old-time male stars, who were older, less attractive by FAR, and muscle-free compared to modern heartthrobs, and you can't miss it.

The female form has been hyper-eroticized and exaggerated to the point that the pendulum is swinging back to something less sleazy, something that leaves a bit to the imagination. What's sexiest now is the MEN who suddenly have bare skin, hard bodies, bulging groins, and loose, sensual body language; since women now have the $ to pay for whatever those sexy images of men point them to, male sexiness is good business, and that make it easy for this trend to take off in a way it never could have before.

Yes, men are still looking at the same sort of nudie pics they always have, for the same purpose they've always used them for, but they are biologically programmed to be easily bored, and are willingly turning to images of a less blatantly-displayed female form as the ideal, while male sex symbols are becoming MORE blatant, more "hot." As a woman, I've gotta say that I'm looking forward to MEN getting steadily nakeder and more "obvious" in the years to come, while women go back to being more "ladylike" and old-school sexy; turnabout is fair play!! :-)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Some recent synchronicities 

I got an email a few days ago from a friend describing a browser problem that I hadn't encountered. I asked my husband about it, and, although HE had never seen it either, he agreed that the description of the problem and the bug in the browser that would cause it made sense. Ten minutes later, that exact browser problem occurred on my computer.

A couple of days ago, I got the CD of the soundtrack to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Listening to it, I developed a strong desire to see the movie again. Guess what turned out to be showing on Bravo, of all channels, last night?

Yesterday, as an episode of M*A*S*H came on, I asked my husband how the lyrics to the theme song, "Suicide is Painless," had anything to do with the concept of the show; he had no idea. Tonight, BANG, there was the original movie on which the series was based, being shown on FX, and once I started watching it the explanation for the lyrics became totally clear.


My husband still doesn't believe in synchronicities, but, when I pointed these out to him, he suggested, only half-jokingly, that I speculate with him about a movie he's hoping will come on TV some time soon. Only half-joking, because he KNOWS, he just can't accept it. He's known since...

We had gone into a stereo store, and saw a little side room that turned out to be the place to hear all the different kinds of car speakers all at the same time. Having ascertained that, we turned to go out, but I found myself compelled to stay. "What are you looking at?" he asked. "Nothing, just wait," I said. "Wait for what?" he asked. "I don't know, just WAIT," I replied. He stood there with that put-upon expression of "man indulging irrational woman" for another 10 seconds or so... at which point a song by my favorite band, which I had NEVER heard on the radio before, not even when it had first been released many years before, started playing.

Life will be MUCH less stressful for him once science shows how our brains pick up on what will happen in the near future, lol.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Are online relationships "real"? 

The FEELINGS we have for people we become involved with online are certainly real, but does that mean that the relationships themselves are?

For most of human history, the ONLY way to have a relationship was with someone you knew face to face. In the time since most people were able to read and write, and mail delivery became reliable, it has been possible to have some sort of involvement with people at a distance, but can that really be called a relationship when you've never SEEN the person, and so can't be SURE about your perceptions of them? When you've never had to depend on them to do things for you, never been through hard times with them to see how they cope?

Nowadays, when we can share endless words and photos at the touch of a button, when we can chat on the IM's or in chatrooms and feel a real-time connection, it's much easier to get emotionally involved... but, does that mean that it's a relationship when we STILL haven't interacted "for real"?

I've spent a pretty huge amount of time socializing online, felt alot of things for alot of people, and seen other people go through all sorts of entanglements as well. It's clear that being online is an easy way to find people who have your same interests, which is often the basis for friendship; these friendships can certainly carry over into real life, but they have a significantly higher rate of ending in unpleasantness than relationships that form from the start in "real life," most likely because it's easier for people to deceive others, and deceive themselves ABOUT others, online than in person.

The same thing goes for romantic relationships, times TEN; it's human nature to try to make a potential partner think that we're better than we really are, and online we can pretend almost anything, and the other person becomes swept away before they get the chance to test the reality of what has been said (which they would have been doing all along if they were face to face), not realizing that the person they love bears little relationship to the person they're talking to until it's too late. BEWARE any situation where you think you're in love with someone you haven't spent a great deal of time with in person; people who go from online love to real-life love, and STAY in love, are the exception rather than the rule.

Another part of human nature is to fade away when things get tough, or stop being fun, or when the novelty wears off, if a way to fade is available, and the fade is ALWAYS available online. People can block you from their email and IM accounts, and in these days of ubiquitous caller ID they can screen you out easily enough if you have progressed to phone calls; if you don't live near enough to someone that you can show up on their doorstep (and know where that doorstep IS), they can evaporate in an instant if they want, and it happens ALL the time, even when those involved seemed like the best of friends or romantic "soul mates."

I think there ARE people that can really have "true friendships" or "true romances" with people they've only been involved with online, but most online "relationships" are just "friendly interactions of convenience" that wouldn't survive real life even if the participants tried to make them real. If you live nearby someone you're befriending online, I'd suggest meeting sooner rather than later, to maximize your chances; if you live too far away, it still MIGHT be that you've made a lifelong buddy, but keep telling yourself that the chances are very, VERY low.

I'm recalling so many people that seemed like true bosom buddies that I've been involved with online through clubs, forums, message boards, etc, and they nearly all burned hot and then burned out, or faded out, or erupted into the sort of fights that would be nothing offline but are the kiss of death online..... the only exceptions are people I didn't get TOO deeply involved with, or didn't have TOO frequent of contact with, and that's probably not a coincidence.

It's so much easier to pour your heart out to a chat screen, or a blog, or an email, or a forum post, than it is to look someone in the eye and tell them the same stuff, and we really WANT to share all we have with others. Once we've shared, we naturally feel emotionally connected, but we need to FIGHT that tendency online, because just because someone has read our chat comments, blog, email or forum post does NOT mean that THEY feel an attachment to US, although they might fake it to get you to continue giving them a voyeuristic thrill from the peep show into your soul.

No matter WHAT you feel, don't believe it's "real" until you've met the person offline and interacted with them long enough to PROVE that it's real-this will save you endless heartbreak. Enjoy online contacts for what they are, and save your love for people who can give you love back; don't mistake online relationships for real ones.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Psychic synch 

A good friend of mine is in psychic synch with water; any time a plumbing disaster is about to happen, even if she's miles and miles away, she knows INSTANTLY, and knows the exact spot in her home to run to to look for the leak/flood/etc. Water conducts various kinds of energy quite well, and obviously the energy of karma and thought can resonate with it too.

*I* am in psychic synch with electrical appliances... so much so that I "scramble" them. Just today, I managed to have one in a long series of problems happen with a computer that are not supposed to be ABLE to happen; the first one came over 20 years ago in high school, with the first computer I ever interacted with, on which my little Basic program (which was 100% correct and identical to what others had written for the same assignment) brought forth an error that no one had ever heard of, that the manual claimed was an "imaginary error" that meant something obscurely bad was going on... and no one else EVER got that error.

In the past, I've had all sorts of appliances fail to respond when I push their buttons, or do something other than what they're supposed to; whimsically, this is FAR more likely to happen when no one else is around, so the presence of another person must somehow mute the effect. One of the wildest incidences of this was the one and only time I was supposed to start my mother's VCR taping by pressing Record on the remote (normally, she would program it, but as it was something for just ME she couldn't be bothered); when the time came, I pressed the button, and nothing happened. I lost the first few minutes of the show as I pressed the button over and over, screaming for my mother to come and do something, while the VCR refused to start. Finally, I ran to the machine, found that there WAS a record button on it, and got the stupid thing to start... at which point my mother FINALLY showed up, screaming bloody murder because I'd touched a button other than the one I'd been told to use (my family works on the theory that there's only one right way to do things on a machine, and the end of civilization will come if you do it a different way, which might be the root of my ability to mess machines up), and insisting that it just wasn't POSSIBLE for the button on the remote to not have worked. She was right, in a way, because that is the ONLY time in the 20 years or so that she had that VCR (yes, she's VERY cheap) that ANY button on that remote failed to work.

Another wild example is one I mentioned in an earlier essay; a "Vegas" arcade game that I played blackjack on, on which I went over 21 EVERY time I had 12 and hit, despite the fact that no one else who played that game EVER had that happen. It wasn't ALL arcade games that went bad with me at the joystick, though; I had the world record score on a machine just a few feet away from the Vegas one.

Clearly, the energy behind psychic ability CAN interact with certain physical forces, and different people work on very different wavelengths than others; I've also had a friend who passed away contact me via my computer, TWICE, so THAT energy must be similar, or identical, which is what I've always thought. I'm going to try thinking about what I could do to consciously control some of this energy right before I go to sleep, so that maybe my subconscious will give me an answer in a dream; wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Online personal ads 

Ideally, personal ads are a terrific way to pre-screen people and allow them to pre-screen YOU, so that you hook up with people that you have a true chance of compatibility with. The reality is that most people ignore the information given about a potential date and make a snap judgment based on the photo(s), or, if there aren't any photos and they're interested in what they've read, they instantly ASK for photos... heaven forbid they waste their precious time sending a few emails to someone who they haven't verified looks like a model.

Then again, you can't blame people for ignoring what is written when they see the same pointless nonsense over and over again. I laughed my way through a bunch of ads here:


Each of these folks gets to give a list of keywords and write a little blurb about themselves, and here's what I'd like to tell them:

1) Don't say that you "like having fun," "like doing anything fun," "like having a good time," etc; everyone on Earth likes having a good time and doing whatever is fun to them, and what that is varies wildly from person to person.... try DESCRIBING what is fun to YOU.

2) Don't say that you like "good food," "good music," "good movies," etc; everyone thinks that what THEY like is good, and what we need to know is that what is good to YOU is pizza, jazz and comedies (or whatever).

3) Don't make sexual references; only a real lowlife is going to pick an ad that includes your love of oral sex in your 50 words or less (this goes double for women-trust me, no man respects a woman who advertises herself with sex).

4) Men, if you have a flabby, pasty, undefined upper body, do NOT use a pic of you with your shirt off.

5) Ladies, no one wants to see your underwear, butt cleavage or cellulite.

6) SMILE!! At least PRETEND you have a personality!! There's nothing worse than a photo that looks like a mug shot; what sort of person would respond to a grim, humorless photo?

7) Men, you don't attract women by talking about the sports, beer, and other testosterone pursuits you enjoy; try listing activities that more than 1 woman in a million likes.

8) Ladies, no man wants to feel like an element on your agenda; DON'T mention your intention to marry and/or have kids "some day."

9) Use a photo of you that is at least moderately flattering; if you have greasy hair, undereye bags, and stains on your shirt in your pic, you're not going to maximize your hits.

10) Try to not seem more shallow than average; no one wants to hear about the flawlessly gorgeous person you're looking for, especially if you yourself are no better than average-looking.

I could go on and on, but, based on the evidence, using any brain cells to create an online personal ad is against the rules, lol.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Where does religion come from? 

Every culture that has ever existed, from caveman days onwards, has had religion; WHY? Part of it certainly stems from the universal human need to explain the powerful forces that exist in the world and our lives, and part of it is the desire to believe that just because we're grown up doesn't mean that there isn't still a parent figure or figures out there who are looking after us... but is that it?

Once a religion is established, of course, the vast majority of people born into it believe it because that's what they were taught to believe as kids, in the same way modern kids believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and all the cultural references to the religion help keep belief going, too, but that doesn't account for those who feel DRIVEN to switch to a different religion than they were brought up in, or those who were brought up without religion who "find it," or those who had a fairly indifferent sort of belief who become impassioned about it... what happens to cause those sorts of feelings?

We can't discount everyone who sees, hears or feels something that they interpret as a religious experience as crazy, so there's got to be SOMETHING... but what? It seems to me that if there were one true deity, or group of deities, everyone would be perceiving him/them, but instead there are people who feel the existence of all sorts of things-try talking to a wiccan some day. My personal view is that there IS energy out there, the energy that fuels the engine of karma, and that people perceive that energy and interpret it to be whatever sort of religious experience their personality leads them to want/need.

How do I know that I'M not the one giving a subjective interpretation to the energy *I* perceive? Because I'm not giving ANY interpretation to it; I've felt and seen things, but I'm not creating something in my own image to explain it, I'm not pretending that it loves me or is thinking about me... I see a force acting in a consistent way, much as I see every object I drop falling to the ground, and have merely given the force, in all its manifestations, a name (karma) rather than creating a religion around it, or picking a religion to explain it.

COULD there be God or gods at the center of all this energy? Sure-I can't prove otherwise. A deeply religious and spiritual (they are NOT the same) friend of mine is a believer in both God and karma; she sees karma as a device God created to do His will. She also believes that God shows to each person whatever facet of Himself is most appropriate for that person, and that for some of us what is appropriate is to see the engine of karma and not the maker of that engine. If she's right, I hope I'll see Him one day...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Common sense is an oxymoron 

You see it every day. The friend whose parents have given them nothing but grief and disapproval their entire life who's still trying to find that magic combination of actions that will get them one scrap of approval. People whose families in general are toxic, but who keep on staying involved with them. The guy that ignores perfectly nice people that he could be friends with while clutching onto people who treat him like dirt, and even takes back people who abused him and walked off, often with the excuse of having known the jerks for many years, as if THAT changes anything. The woman whose man cheats and/or beats her who she stays with because she "loves" him. The morons on Jerry Springer who find out that their partners have committed every possible sin against them, but will literally FIGHT to try to keep them. The latest example for me, which inspired this rant, is a sweet, brilliant, gorgeous woman I know who is separated from her husband, and it turns out that they are SO separated that he didn't even contact her on Valentine's Day... and I'm left wondering which one of them is crazier, him for his gross neglect of her or her for bothering with him when he's so obviously just hanging onto her as a fallback position for when he gets tired of his midlife crisis and wants to come home.

We're not living in an old-time agrarian society where we only have a handful of potential partners and so have to grab one and hold on for dear life or be out of luck. We're no longer so dependent on our families of origin that we need to stick around even when they, or any one of them, are abusive. We don't have to hang onto friends who mistreat us-there are countless others who can be our friends. None of this is news to anyone, so why, why, WHY is it that nearly every person I know is keeping a white-knuckle grip on at least one shithead they should be kicking to the curb?

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Valentine's Day 

If you're interested in where Valentine's Day came from (have you ever heard of Lupercalia and the feast day of Juno Februata?) take a look here:


My husband got me a whole pile of stuff today... which made up for him having left the door standing open when he went out to run errands, leaving me sleeping in an open house for about 5 hours while the heater ground on and on and every spider and bug within a 100 mile radius came running in. Talk about karmic balance, sigh.

My husband and I fight all the time, but we never doubt our love for each other; it saddens me to know that many people in our modern society view the end of the infatuation phase and the start of the normal business of 2 different people wrangling over how to run their dual lives means that it's time to dump the relationship and find someone new. Take my word for it; if someone you've been with for years is willing to drive all over your county to find you that one gift item you expressed a desire for that turns out to not exist in any stores near you, hang onto him (or her) forever... even if he doesn't always close the door all the way.

Friday, February 13, 2004

How do they know? 

I'm the sort of person that gets picked out of a crowd of hundreds in an airport or mall for people to ask for help. Online, people who read posts of mine, even posts that are dry and factual, or hard-edged and angry, contact me and tell me their problems, pour out their hearts. People respond to posts I wrote months, YEARS ago, or remember me from online forums all the way back to my earliest days online, and I get emails saying "I hope you're still at this email address, I really wanted to get back in touch with you..." Even people I had "fights" with seek me out long afterwards asking to be my friend and be able to talk to me about their lives again.

I'm the sort of person who is willing to invest an immense amount of time listening to people and helping them, and I know alot about psychology and such that allows me to offer facts as well as support, and maybe that makes it not too surprising that people come BACK to me if they knew me, but it's not like I wear a t-shirt that says "if you want help, talk to me" when I go out in public, and people reading in forums can't even see me, and yet even when I'm talking about some non-touchy-feely subject like what the laws are concerning mail fraud, someone will read my post and then contact me... it just happened today, and the post WAS about mail fraud, and I'd posted via my husband's account, so the woman who wrote to me assumed she was writing to a strange man, who she somehow expected to want to listen to her tale of woe (yes, I wrote to her, I advised her, and she has announced her intention to keep in touch).

Is it a coincidence that this sort of thing happens to me all the time? Of course not. Karma brings people needing help to someone who goes out of their way to help people... the person who goes out of their way to help people "draws in" people who need help. We really DO attract into our lives people who need us or who we need... but, it ALSO brings us people who represent issues we need to resolve and lessons we need to show we've learned, so be a little careful when you meet someone and it feels like fate-there are all kinds of fate.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Life at the bottom of the ocean, and beyond... 

A fascinating article in the March 2004 issue of Discover describes how those who study the sea were "sure" at various points in history that there was no life beyond a certain depth, with said depth in each instance being, noncoincidentally, whatever depth they themselves had explored to. It never ceases to amaze me that when a scientist discovers proof that the previous scientists were wrong about something, they typically make the exact same stupid, arrogant mistake of claiming that what THEY have discovered is really, REALLY the full truth.

Anyways, I was awed to learn that they now know that there is life down to AT LEAST half a mile below the seafloor, and that the organisms that live under the sea floor constitute nearly a third of the mass of all life on this planet. Some of these microbes consume methane, proving that life DOES exist that not only does not use oxygen but is poisoned by it; this is important when you think how many planets and large moons there are with lots of methane. (Does anyone besides me wonder how some people can be so confident about their claims that there isn't life of any sort on any other planet in the universe, when we know so little about many of the lifeforms on OUR planet, which keep turning up in places we were sure nothing could live in, and in forms not previously seen?)

With so many unknowns existing in the physical realm, is it so hard to believe that there are unknowns in the realms of energy?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Teenage rebellion 

That phrase is actually an incorrect one for what it describes, as what is occurring is NOT in fact a rebellion in the standard meaning of the word, but a normal, healthy, necessary process by which teens MUST detach themselves to a certain extent from their family of origin, transfer that attachment for a while to their peer group (hence the drive to conformity among teens), and, finally, to become independent-minded adults; the trouble starts when the parents don't want their little darlings to do the things that normal kids their age SHOULD be doing as part of growing up, and so go to battle rather than just offering guidance and support. While parents should certainly make sure that their teens don't do anything during this period that's illegal, or messes up their school records, or in any other way could have a significant negative impact on their adult lives, they need to stop the hysteria, accept the painful reality that their babies will grow up, MUST grow up, and eventually leave home, and that to do so they MUST go through this process, and save their fights with their kids for things that MATTER, rather than things that are just harmless self-expression or normal things that kids their age do (and yes, you DO need to care what other kids' parents let them do, so that you can be sure you aren't making unrealistic rules for your own kids).

That said, here's why I'm on this topic; I did NOT have a teenage rebellion phase... and, interestingly enough, neither did my husband, which is probably NOT a coincidence.

My husband was given a perfect, golden childhood by parents who worshipped him, gave him anything he wanted, and never punished him for anything; when he hit his teens and wanted to do teen stuff, he just did it, paid for and permitted by them. Although his immaturity, disorganization, laziness, etc, in adulthood are connected to his being spoiled, and he suffers now (as do *I*, sigh) for the lack of parental control then, he's a clear example of how it's totally possible for there to be no "rebellious" behavior from a teen if they're allowed to make their own choices and decisions and fit in with their peers.

MY childhood, by comparison, was pretty grim, with parents who were so restricting and controlling that I remember the little kids I babysat for having more choices, more control over their lives, fewer rules, and more flexibility and gray area about what was expected of them than I did... and this isn't something invented in a melodramatic teenaged imagination, this is something that any # of parents of kids I babysat talked to me about, that other adults such as carpool parents, neighbors and teachers talked to me about, ALL of them making the point that they'd never heard of even a far younger child having a life as regimented as mine, and thought that this was wrong, both in general and because I was an honor student who never got into any trouble, and in fact did nothing but go to school and read, and so should have been given MORE leeway, not LESS.

So, I had quite alot to "rebel against," but no rebellion occurred. I've thought about this in the past, and have seen that the things that were part of the "rebellions" of most other teens didn't exist for me; I was an only child, I had no friends, I was given no allowance or other $, I was never taken anywhere (like a mall) and dropped off to do my own thing, I wasn't allowed to get a driver's license until a week before I started college (and there was no public transportation and nothing to do within walking distance), my parents never went out at night... if you have no $, no means of transportation, no friends or siblings to help, and are never out from under parental monitoring, it makes doing anything other than what they dictate pretty darned hard. Yeah, I suppose that technically I could have walked out the front door in the middle of the night and gone and sat on a curb a few blocks away until they woke up and found me gone or some such thing, but I would have gotten no enjoyment from that sort of nonsense, it would have been stupid, childish and unsafe and I knew it, and all sorts of abuse would have resulted from it, so I never indulged in taking any sort of action just to have something to point to that I did without permission.

Another element to my lack of "misbehavior" is that I really never WAS a kid in the way you think of kids, blindly doing things that they want to do or that seem fun, never thinking of the consequences; even as a very tiny child, I grasped that, whatever I did, my parents would find out sooner or later, probably sooner, and, if they disapproved, punishment was guaranteed, not to mention abuse for the rest of my life about the incident, and that this would far, FAR outweigh any fun I might have doing some forbidden thing... and I always knew when something would be forbidden even if it was a "new thing" that they had never specifically discussed, again even as a tiny child, which always makes me amazed when I hear about kids 10 years or more older than the age *I* had things figured out who never realized in advance that the thing they were about to do was wrong, would get found out, and would get them in trouble-that "blindness" MUST be a part of normal childhood development, as 100% of kids seem to have it, and it even makes sense to have it, as it would make it easier for kids to act outside what their parents want them to do and so grow up.

I've always accepted the things listed above as being the reason for my lack of the normal teenage "rebellion," and they DO explain most of it, but I've seen an ad several times recently that shows parents "practicing" screaming and door-slamming and such so that they could handle those things from their teenaged daughter, and it sent up an unconscious flare in me... because I didn't even do THAT as a teen. There were no "I hate yous," no arguments to try to get permission to be allowed to sit at a different table from them at McDonald's or be in a separate store in the mall, no attempts to alter my appearance such that they'd be uncomfortable being seen with me, no attempts to assert independence-NOTHING. I didn't suddenly achieve intelligence, strength of character, independent thought, etc, as an adult, so why, WHY did I NEVER show any evidence of normal teenaged pulling-away?

I was thinking a couple of hours ago about a conversation with a family friend, who has a hard time grasping that my mother and I don't like each other, and so rarely see or speak to each other, and that thought lead to one about how, unlike everyone else I know, I never had the desire or need to be given parental love or approval even as a kid, much less now, and so have far greater freedom of action than most people because I honestly don't CARE what my mother thinks, now that her thoughts have no control over my life (my father lives far away and we've had no contact for many years), and how easy it was for me to do a full 180 with my life the moment I was married and out of her control, instantly achieving the sort of complete elimination of the control and even INFLUENCE of my mother that most people never get until their parents DIE, and then it hit me... I never did any of the things that kids do to separate themselves emotionally from their parents because I NEVER WAS EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

I'm sure I loved them as a little kid in the uncritical, desperate way that all little kids love their adult caretakers, even abusive ones, but from a very young age I was capable of cold analytical thought, and of looking around me and seeing what MY situation was compared to that of other kids, and of concluding that, although I was a good girl, virtually a model child, I wasn't getting any of the attention, affection, praise, gifts, treats and freedoms that the other kids were getting, and, while a normal child in that situation usually internalizes that sort of thing and comes to believe that they themselves MUST be "bad" to merit that sort of treatment, *I* knew right from the start that I was a MUCH better kid than the norm (adults OUTSIDE of my family always told me so), and that therefore my PARENTS had to be "bad" for not acting like the other kids' parents.

And I was RIGHT.

We never had a real family unit, held together by bonds of love and all the standard stuff; my parents decided right from the start that the way to raise a child was with endless, inflexible rules, endless forbiddens, no freedom of choice for me, and the certainty of virtually INFINITE abuse over anything seen as "wrong" in me, such that I would, by default, do no wrong, make no mistakes, cause no problems, because they'd made it virtually impossible at every level for me to do so. While they did in fact succeed in making me into the model child on the surface, one who brought home A's, kept her clothes clean and never caused any trouble, what they didn't see, and probably wouldn't have cared about if they HAD, was that this process made us into prison wardens and prisoner, NOT parents and child, and my childhood and young adulthood were spent as if I were truly in prison, never doing anything outside of attend school (and, later on, work) besides sit in my room and read, or sit in the "family room" and watch TV. We didn't go on vacations, or outings, or do ANYTHING together, and, although my homemaker mother had plenty of spare time, and we were always at least middle-class, none of the available time or $ was spent on ME; my life resembled stories I've read about kids who were orphaned and taken in by unwilling family members FAR more than it resembled the lives of other kids, and, as a result, I never had that bond to my parents, and so no need to BREAK that bond as a teen... the teen years were just more years to drag myself through before I could get to the time when my LIFE would begin.

I'm wondering now if my countless dreams about being back in high school might have an element of "this is where your emotional development stopped, and now you have to go back to that point and try to restart and complete that process" in them. Oh, I function as an adult, in my admittedly emotionally-abnormal way, because I was basically a "little adult" from earliest childhood, and because there's no rocket science involved in paying bills, cleaning up, and so forth, but now I have to wonder if, as time passes outside of the rigid rules that I had to deal with into my 30's, some part of me wants to try and go through a sort of emotional equivalent of the GED, so that I can get "caught up" emotionally with my peers, and thus won't just be "parroting" living a normal adult life, but REALLY living, thinking and feeling as an adult.

More and more, as I watch TV and movies, read books, articles and blogs, and talk to people about their lives, I'm aware of all the things that I missed as a kid, teen, and young adult, all the fun, the going out, the parties, the dating lots of different people, the intensity of feeling, the new experiences sought out and enjoyed, and, perhaps cruelest of all, falling in love, that insane sort of infatuation where you think the other person is perfect, where you're swept away with passion and the desire to be with them every moment... I never had ANY of what I now see are important "emotional learning" experiences. By the time I got married I was past 30, past the age of the sort of wild stuff that's normal and expected of people in their 20's; I was freed from the prison of my family, but I can't get back those years or the experiences I SHOULD have been having in them.

I have an excellent life now, with a great deal of free time, control over my choices and actions, a man who cares about me, and enough $ to finally have nice things, even the sorts of frivolous things I should be too old for now; ironically, I'm the envy of most people I know these days, I who once was universally pitied. None of that changes the past, though, and the more I think things through and figure them out, the further I see that I am from the norm and the more sense it makes that I think and feel so differently than everyone else, and, although I'd never want to give up my individuality, I'm wondering more and more if it might not be possible to "re-parent" myself, to go through some version of the stages of emotional development that I missed, and to thus reclaim that part of my emotional landscape that I've never seen, reclaim my ability to have the full range of experiences and feelings, reclaim the missing piece of my humanity.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Surviving the flu 

You'd think with all the medical advances we've made we could cure the flu, or at least effectively control the symptoms-no drug on Earth controls MINE, sadly. Luckily, one of the few herbs that have been proven to actually DO something is echinacea, which boosts the immune system to the point where it will block most bugs from taking hold, and speed recovery from those that do. In addition, they've discovered that zinc absorbed through the mucous membranes also eases cold and flu symptoms and speeds recovery; Zicam makes a zinc gel that you put in your nose to get this benefit, which works pretty well and spares you the AWFUL taste of zinc lozenges. Vitamins C and E have proven able to help with respiratory illnesses, and B-complex is always good to add to help your body deal with the stress of illness; ibuprofen reduces most of the symptoms of colds and flus directly, as they are largely caused by prostaglandins, and ibuprofen is an ANTIprostaglandin... I've taken pills until I rattle, and, although I know I'm getting through the flu FAR faster than others who have it as a result, I'm exhausted and soooooooooo ready to be healthy again.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Curiouser and curiouser 

The mail carrier came to my door today with a package, and, before I got the door open, he said, "Are you still sick?" There's nothing odd about that, until you realize that I never told him or anyone in this neighborhood that I'm sick!! It turns out that he just finished being off work for THREE WEEKS with what sounds like the same flu *I* have, and somehow he picked up on MY being sick without having seen me in all that time (synchronicity strikes again)..... it was pretty wild.

In online news, some shitty people who had given me problems on an online forum have gotten public commentary posted about their bad behavior and the problems it has caused on that forum... from a total stranger, previously a lurker, who has no reason to stick his neck out for me or against THEM. Several people who use that forum have already contacted me to tell me that the karma that I predicted would kick the butts of the troublemakers has come home to roost, and these folks weren't even believers in karma until they met me.

My husband describes all these things as "coincidences," even though they are so frequent, and often so extreme, that even HE admits that it's not a reasonable explanation... he just can't accept any other. The only thing worse than stupidity is STUBBORN stupidity, lol.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

People do NOT want you to be perfect 

(NB: "perfection" as used in this essay refers to perfection of behavior ONLY)

That's not totally correct, of course, as SOME people DO want, or at least prefer, perfection; my own family falls into that category, and as a consequence I was raised to be perfect, always doing the right thing in the right way at the right time, having thought every possible detail out thoroughly to assure that everything is optimal and above reproach. All of the effort I invested to fulfill their expectations didn't get me any love or praise, keep in mind, it just eliminated any valid areas where blame could be laid, criticism put forth, and abuse engendered... while making me seem like a freak to my peers. {sigh}

Although perfection is an onerous goal for a child, it's actually quite simple for an adult, as we know exactly what the right things are to do for nearly every situation we encounter; I'm honestly at a loss as to why everyone doesn't strive for perfection and thus make it the norm, as it would make everyone's life run more smoothly and with less stress, I just know that people do NOT do so, and thus it is NOT the norm... and people have an automatic aversion to anyone who is seen as being too far outside the norm (with the obvious exceptions being in areas like beauty and power).

If you take a chicken from a flock, splash some red paint on it and return it to the flock, the other chickens will instantly attack it and peck it to death. There are biological reasons as to why a creature that is different is killed or driven out, but the point is that, among humans as well as lower animals, if you're different you're seen with suspicion, judged as "bad," and outcast. This helps explain racism, sexism, anti-semitism, all the jokes about any person who's taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, etc, than the norm, and it applies DOUBLE to someone who it seems "should" fit in but behaves in a different way than the peer group. Counter-intuitively, it even applies to those who are BETTER than the peer group, such as by being smarter or a harder worker, if the "betterness" puts them more than a little bit ahead of the pack. Even qualities that are admired by the group, such as, say, superior athletic ability in a man who has a group of basketball buddies, will make the superior one an outsider if the superiority goes beyond what the others think is admirable into the zone of "not one of us." Perfection is the ultimate example of this; it gets an even more extreme reaction than "not a part of our group," it's more like "too far from the norm to belong to ANY group," and someone who it seems can't fit in ANYWHERE might as well be a leper for all the social success he'll have... trust me on this one.

It goes even further than "not-one-of-us-ness"; while people usually see being good at something as being, well, GOOD, PERFECTION is seen, if only subconsciously, as somehow being BAD. After many years of puzzling over this, I've concluded that the main reason for it is that for people to feel good about themselves, they have to believe that perfection isn't really possible, thus excusing THEIR lack of it; people are generally screwups to one extent or another, and want, NEED to believe that that's normal and OK. If they see someone who's perfect, and so NOT a screwup, it makes them feel inadequate, inferior, and they HATE that feeling.... and that hate transfers to the person who makes them feel that way, without any conscious thought being involved (and it's those sorts of feelings that seem most important to people when passing judgment). Another part of this equation is the self-serving belief that anyone who seems to be perfect MUST be faking, manipulating, tricking people in some way to make it LOOK like they're perfect, and no one likes to feel like they're being fooled, or likes those who they believe to be guilty of trying to fool them. If time goes on and people are forced to accept that there is NOT deception involved, they come to believe something far worse... that there is something "wrong" with the perfect person, in the same way they will see the off-kilter behaviors of a crazy person as showing that something is wrong with them (that's mainly how we JUDGE that someone's behavior is crazy, by seeing that it differs from ours). And, finally; it's human nature to look down on those we feel superior to, so everyone assumes that the perfect person MUST be looking down on them in all of their IMperfection. Even if the perfect person does NOT look down on them, they'll act as if they'd been snubbed and put down and have the "right" to snub in return... and they'll exercise that right.

An example of this comes from an episode of Twilight Zone: In the show, we see Charlie working hard at his desk, and delaying going to lunch to finish his task. Do his coworkers nod their heads in approval of Charlie's dedication? No; they loudly ridicule him as a goody two-shoes. Charlie ends up returning late from lunch; does his boss scold him? No; he declares that this lateness is the first sign of HUMANITY that Charlie has shown in 4 years. The boss then refers to the perfection of Charlie's performance at the office. Is he praising Charlie? No; he's CRITICIZING him, saying that because of this perfection he's like a wind-up doll, that he's a square peg, that he's not a part of the team and will therefore be FIRED. The perfect person is seen as not even being HUMAN, how's that for a slap in the face for all the hard work he had done? Yes, it's just a TV show, but the scenario they showed is a realistic one; I've BEEN the "perfect worker" who was declared as "not fitting in" and fired (thanks, mom and dad).

Another example comes to mind from a kids' movie about an android boy who was trying to fit into a human household; someone advises him that he has to make a mistake for his human mother to warm up to him, and so he does, and she does; once he has shown imperfection, she can relate to him and show him love. Yes, it's a movie, not reality, but for it to work with the given subject matter there has to be true human nature in action.

The point of all this is: it's wildly common for us to beat up on ourselves for any and all imperfections, never realizing that if we eliminated all of these "flaws" we'd be societal outcasts, and thus that the flaws are part of what allows us to exist within all the different social frameworks we encounter (work, family, neighborhood, etc). We also commonly rage at our loved ones for their imperfections, not thinking that if they suddenly became perfect that we'd be profoundly uncomfortable with them and likely end up disliking them. We try to be the perfect worker, friend, romantic partner, etc, not seeing that by closing the gap between normal and perfect we're LOSING points with others, not gaining them.

I couldn't count the # of times I'VE been told by people that they wished I WOULD screw up, so that they wouldn't feel so guilty about screwing up with ME... told that they couldn't relate to me because I wasn't living my life as they lived theirs... told that *I* couldn't possibly understand THEM for the same reason... told that they wouldn't be able to live up to my "standards," although having lived my life among normal people my standards are the same as theirs... and on and on and on, all because I was always on time and never forgot anything I was supposed to do. As much effort as I put into BECOMING perfect to satisfy my parents, I now have to work 10 times as hard to NOT be seen as perfect, to do what others are doing rather than act in an "ideal" way, to appear "average" rather than superior in any way, and all while NOT doing all this to the point where I'm failing in my responsibilities or looking like I don't have enough self-respect to take proper care of myself (which is judged nearly as harshly as being perfect).

YOU probably don't have to make that sort of psychotic effort; if you're lucky, you're like most people and don't have to make any effort at ALL in this area, you just have to learn to give yourself a break for acting in ways that make you fit in with society, and to give others a similar break. If you HAVE been trying to win people, or one special person, over by being perfect, STOP, and force yourself to accept that fouling up sometimes does NOT give people a reason to run from you, it allows them to see you as "human" and to feel closer to you (and no, this is NOT a license for those who are extreme screwups to just let it all hang out-you STILL need to straighten yourselves out, just not as much as your frustrated loved ones probably tell you). No matter what anyone says, no one in your life actually wants you to be perfect; for a normal person, that should be a relief to realize, and even for me that helps reduce my stress when I can't email someone back within 24 hours or whatever (although I still wish it was ok to be "perfect," so that I wouldn't have to keep trying to reprogram myself).

I've never heard anyone else say that a certain amount of screwing up is necessary for acceptance in society; that doesn't mean that I'm the first to think of it, but I'm pleased, if disheartened, to have seen this all by my little self.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

"Friendship telepathy" 

Over the past few days, I've had several friends inquire after my health apropos of nothing, although I haven't had so much as a cold for 3 years and they know it; I was puzzled by this weird surge in concern until my throat started feeling sore. I'm taking echinacea and fighting it off pretty well so far, and with luck it won't take hold (as my colds last for about a month), but the virus is definitely THERE, and one has to wonder what made all these people suddenly ask about it... well, *I* don't wonder, as this is all part of karma, but people who don't believe in karma are forever being puzzled by all the "coincidences" in life.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Heavy synchronicity 

I won an item on eBay that had eluded me for a year. As the end of the auction, and the time to bid, approached, I heard myself saying "And to think, I won it for only $20," which was pretty odd considering it had been going for over TRIPLE that amount... but guess what I won it for (I'm STILL freaking about it).

After that win, I was thinking that there was only one other item in that category that I didn't have, and which I hadn't seen in a few months... and today it was listed.

There was an item that I'd been trying to get for a decent price on eBay that hadn't been available on Amazon for a decent price either, and, when I re-checked Amazon, there it was, for a TENTH of what it's been selling for. As long as I was on Amazon, I checked another category of item I'd been looking for... and there they ALL were, FAR cheaper than I'd seen them elsewhere... and offered by the same seller that was selling the first item.

The synchronicities keep piling up, making me hope that all of these "coincidences" DO mean I'm on the right path...

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A new dream revelation 

I woke up from a dream this morning with a new understanding of another of my "endlessly repeating dream themes," and came online thinking about writing about it... so, of course, I encountered an animated gif showing a dream right away, in a random blog I looked at; synchronicity strikes again.

I've dreamed countless times about being back in high school, KNOWING that I've not only graduated from it but from college as well, yet still for some unknown reason am required to be there again, for some unknown length of time. Elements of the more standard "back in school" dreams DO appear, such as "I haven't been to class, didn't do the homework, didn't study for the test," and my locker symbol does too (which I wrote about a few weeks ago), but these dreams contain very specific elements that separate them from other school dreams: the knowing that I'm a college graduate somehow forced back into high school is one, and others are not being able to find or understand my schedule and realizing that I haven't seen my grades for my classwork or, more often, for the past quarter at school even though the current quarter is ending, and the biggie, the speculation about whether the currently-ending quarter is my last one, or believing that it IS the last one.

Yesterday was my 2nd meeting with the physicist I posted about early in my blog (the one who looks like a character taken from my novel), and we actually talked about physics (superstring theory, believe it or not); in my back-in-high-school dream last night, I was concerned with how I was doing in, you guessed it, PHYSICS, although I didn't take physics until college. Since I'm eager to befriend this woman, and had been thinking about whether she seemed to be "clicking" with me or not, it's not a big stretch to see what my wondering about physics class in my dream meant.

Having seen a connection between part of the dream and my current life naturally led me to look at ALL the dream elements in terms of my current life; the anxiety about not being able to find or understand my schedule likely represents my anxiety about what will be happening in the future, and the lack of guidance as to what I'm supposed to do about all of it (I often long for the time when I was NOT the one responsible for everything), and high school was a time when I had a great deal of stress and drudgery with no end in sight, and that's often how I feel NOW, not because my life is bad (it isn't) but because there are always all these unfinished, unresolved issues swarming around, waiting for me to handle them or arm-twist whoever else needs to work on them to do so... and, last night, the time I'd given the other person involved in the most stressful of my current "battles" to handle her end ran out, and I had to email her to prompt her-NOT a coincidence, then, that I had this particular dream, containing the hope that I'm "almost done"; even more amazing, in the dream I told someone that I thought this was my last quarter, but had thought that before and been wrong, and the "battle" with this woman SHOULD have been over at earlier points (again, noncoincidentally) but has instead dragged on. The wondering about what my grades were from the past quarter, which should have been "sent home" many weeks ago, accurately reflects my not knowing what the result will be of my struggle with this woman, who hasn't responded yet to my last attempt (2 weeks ago) to arrive at a solution.

So, another good day for me; I figured out something that had eluded me for YEARS. I also noticed today that the covers of my most current issues of Cosmo and Discover are the EXACT same color (turquoise), with the latter being just a hair darker; you'd be hard-put to find 2 more different magazines, and it's an unusual color, so it added to the freakiness of the day. I wonder how anyone ever manages to be BORED...

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Superstring theory 

Having read a good article on this, I'm VERY energized, not just because it backs up MY theory that the Big Bang was powered by a collision between universes/dimensions, but because the article also points out what I have said about dark energy since I first heard of it; that it's just modern-day phlogiston, something invented as a pseudo-explanation for something that they didn't understand. The fact that they have to keep inventing new concepts to fill in the gaps between what the current Big Bang theory predicts and the new data we're getting makes the current theory seem more and more unlikely; superstring theory, by contrast, explains everything in a simple and elegant way.

Basically, it posits an n-dimensional space, where n might be as much as 10 (why 10? the math will forever be beyond me) in which our universe, and any # of other universes, exists, sort of like sheets hanging on clotheslines in the backyard, where each sheet represents a 3-dimensional universe and the backyard is the 10-dimensional space, aka the Omniverse... ahhhhhh, back to the omniverse concept. Everything we know about the nature of the universe, from the Big Bang until now, is covered by this model, and no dark energy or mysterious force to start the Big Bang are necessary for it to work out.

What else exists in that 10-dimensional space? Spirits? Gods? The engine of karma? The energy of thought? What laws govern what happens there? Will they explain the seeming impossibilities of quantum physics, the true nature of gravity, and why the "laws" of physics don't apply outside our galaxy? So many things are mysterious or seemingly contradictory to us (such as relativity and quantum mechanics), and this is because all we can see so far is a small piece of the whole truth, leaving us with the equivalent of trying to determine human biology and human nature given only a finger and a toe. We're starting to see more of the pieces now, though, and the more I read the more excited I'm becoming; it's looking more and more as if the true nature of reality will become clear, not just in my lifetime, but in the next few years.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The "mystery" of attraction 

The quotes in the title appear because, for the most part, there IS no mystery, although we like to PRETEND there is in order to make our attractions look like something mystical and magical, as opposed to the basic animal instinct that they in fact are.

No one really sees anything "special" about attraction to the ultra-beautiful; we're ALL expected to feel THAT (although most of us don't realize that what we define as beautiful in a person refers to the extreme presence of physical indicators of youth, health and fertility). What about attraction to a more ordinary person? We are all biologically programmed to mate, and to not be too picky about WHO we mate with beyond seeing if they look healthy (clear skin, shiny hair, white teeth, clear eyes, etc) and genetically adequate (not too tall, too short, albino, deformed, etc), AND, they've recently discovered, judging by smell if they're of a genetic type that matches our needs (all those deodorants and perfumes really mess THAT one up)... in other words, the majority of those we meet will satisfy our inborn criteria, and all we need is to be around them for a while to become interested (nature requires that we latch onto someone available, which is why people tend to cheat with those they already know), and BOOM, there's an attraction. There may never be any action taken because of the attraction, but most people, men in particular, will admit to having fantasized about pretty much everyone they know; we really CAN hook up with almost anyone under the right circumstances.

There are other ways to become attracted than being hit over the head by beauty and attraction via familiarity, of course, and they virtually all circle around the existence of excitement connected with a person... in fact, "attraction" just means "excitement that could lead to sexual interest." In scientific terms, "excitement" refers to the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream; if you can cause that release of adrenaline, you have created excitement, aka attraction to you, and if someone else causes that surge of adrenaline in YOU, you feel attracted to them. What causes the release of adrenaline in response to a person?

1) Physical beauty; we see someone who we find to be a hottie and are instantly excited (yes, I already mentioned beauty, but it's worth repeating, as beauty draws us in on many levels).

2) Status; someone who has $, power, achievements, certain careers (doctor, stripper), and even certain possessions (house, cool car) is seen as more desirable, and someone meeting a high-status person often gets excited as they visualize themselves getting those things by association.

3) A quick "click"; if someone we've just met turns out to have alot of the same likes and interests as we do, and/or can make us feel immediate liking for them via charm and humor, excitement is generally the result.

4) Situational excitement; someone who just reached a goal, won something, or even just saw their fave band in concert is bursting with adrenaline, and they can easily transfer some of that feeling to YOU if you hit on them then, and vice versa.

5) Fear; MASSIVE adrenaline comes from fear, and, while being attacked by a knife-wielding psycho is NOT "exciting," we tend to eagerly go for "fake danger," like horror movies and rollercoasters, which is why these sorts of things are recommended for a date that you want to increase someone's attraction to you on. Bad boys/girls can also be a little scary, so meeting a "dangerous"-seeming person is exciting.

6) Novelty; anything new has a little excitement attached to it-remember the stir a new kid always caused in high school? Isn't there a buzz about new people at work? When you're with someone new, or in a new and unusual situation, or even in one with alot of humor involved (as it's largely based on novelty), there's usually some adrenaline that can lead to attraction.

7) Anger; this is why make-up sex is so good, and why in the movies you often see 2 people arguing away, and then suddenly having their first kiss.

8) Challenge; whether it's physical or mental, a challenge fills you with adrenaline (and usually testosterone as well, which helps), and physical challenge, or even just plain old exercise, gets your body all revved up in a way that mimics excitement even if you're mentally calm.

******* and, the BIGGIE.... *******

9) *****UNCERTAINTY*****; if the other person doesn't know what you'll do, what's going on, what you think, or what you feel, they automatically have confusion and doubts, and that creates anxiety (which is the cousin of fear).... and that means it creates adrenaline=excitement=attraction. This why tactics like "play hard to get," "keep him/her guessing," "be a challenge," "send mixed signals," "surprise him/her," etc WORK; they keep the other person uncertain, and, if they have any shred of interest in you (and often even if they don't), you will seem exciting to them (and vice versa). This is also why opposites attract, because you don't know what to expect with someone so different (and there's novelty and challenge involved too, of course), AND why being a puppy dog or a clinging vine does NOT cause attraction in most people (some DO love it, though, let's not over-generalize), because there is NO uncertainty and therefore NO excitement. This is why being "too nice" and showing your interest too clearly and consistently usually gets you shot down, because there is NO uncertainty and thus NO excitement... hence the phrase "nice guys finish last."

So, no mystery involved, just basic animal mating instinct and adrenaline. The good news is that you can use this understanding to get the person you want; you're probably already trying to be as good-looking as you can be, but you can add being around enough to set off the "mate with whoever is there" instinct, and getting into adrenaline-producing situations, to the mix to maximize your chances... and the other person will think that it was "magic."

Monday, February 02, 2004

What Caused The Big Bang? 

I got one of the biggest shocks of my life when I saw the cover of the February issue of Discover magazine; the major article of that issue circles around the "new theory" that the creation of the "stuff" in our universe came when our universe collided with another universe, generating a massive amount of energy that formed the Big Bang. The reason that I put "new theory" in quotes is because *I* came up with the EXACT SAME THING to describe how we got something out of nothing (aka the Big Bang), and I did this in grammar school nearly 30 years ago, in response to the demands of other kids that I explain how the universe was created if not by God (who they contended had created the Big Bang at the very least). I'm still astounded a month after I got the magazine to realize that what I intuitively figured out as a kid has now been put forth by experts as a possible explanation for the Big Bang, backed by science far beyond my understanding (superstring theory, which attempts to "explain matter, energy, spacetime and the basic forces of nature in one framework"... it sure sounds like my theory of karma, doesn't it?).

I remember, fatefully, overhearing a tiny bit of a movie that my parents were watching many years ago; the scene was an atheist and a Christian having a debate, with the style of clothing placing them at least a century in the past. The Christian asked where the universe had come from, if not created by God, and the atheist replied, "The universe has always existed." No," argued the Christian, "God created the universe. "And how was God created?" asked the atheist. "God has always existed," replied the Christian. "How can you deny the possibility of a universe that has always existed but believe in a God that has always existed?" the atheist replied. Excellent point; either it's possible for something to have existed forever, without ever having been created, or it is NOT possible, and, since we HAVE to assume that either God (Allah, Buddha, etc) has always existed or the universe has, by Occam's Razor we should believe the less complicated of the 2, which is that the provably-existing universe has always been here, rather than inventing invisible super-beings who existed forever and created the universe.

So; although neither I nor the physicists have "proof," my best-guess analysis for the last 3 decades, that the universe has always existed, and that the energy for the Big Bang (which led to the creation of all the matter in the universe) came from a collision between our universe and another, has gone from being a sort of scifi philosophy to the cutting edge of physics...... and makes me feel encouraged about the likelihood that I'm right about a variety of other things as well.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

The shameful treatment of the elderly 

There are some cultures that give the elderly the care and respect they deserve... sadly, American culture is NOT one of those. Americans worship youth, as if that were somehow a valuable quality, and our only interest in the elderly seems to be to find homes to shove them into so that they can live out the final days before their lonely deaths causing as little trouble to the rest of us as possible.

Today, that was brought strongly home to me when I discovered that an elderly relative was hospitalized and then released into a nursing home grim enough that inmates on death row would turn their noses up at it; we were only belatedly informed because an acquaintance who lives near her finally thought to call us and let us know what had happened to her. Naturally, we're now going to be jumping in with both feet to try to get her out of the nursing home and back into her own home (which the social services of that state will fight us on), or at the very least into a better place while we talk to lawyers and such. What's heartbreaking about this is that we're 1000 miles away, and she has other relatives that live right close by but can't be bothered to so much as send her a Christmas card much less make any effort to help her out, even though until she lost her driver's license she used to go to visit them and bring them gifts and treat them with love-she has to depend on OUR willingness to drop everything and fly out to handle things for her or just be at the mercy of her state.

The elderly used to be able to count on living with family members, or at least have family look out for them if they lived independently; nowadays, they can all too often count on being ignored, forgotten, denied even love, not to mention $ and care. I hope that karma has some serious pain in store for those who treat the aged like garbage; to those that take the time to give love to their elderly relatives, no karmic reward is necessary-the love we get back is more than enough.

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