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Neko

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The creepy-crawler debate 


Some people think that when a spider, insect or other pest comes into someone's house, the only proper response is to chase it down, carefully scoop it onto something, take it outside, and gently release it... so that it can run right back into the house before the door closes.

MY view on it is as follows: any creature that enters my home without an invitation has earned the death penalty. When people start prattling about them being "innocent living things," they get the following earful: it's not an endangered species, it's not the only available food for any animal, it's not being studied for its possible medicinal properties, its existence isn't critical to the ecosystem, it's never going to enrich anyone's life... but it WILL do its best to get into my food, hide in my shower or bed, lay its eggs under my counter, and find a way to jump on me and bite me... and yes, I've been subjected to ALL of these things. Given the choice between killing worthless vermin and allowing them free reign to terrorize me, it's not even close.

Aw, come on, you don't think I REALLY kill things, do you? NO!! I yell for my husband, and HE does it, lol.


Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Major karma 


A few weeks ago, I posted about a psychotic bitch who'd rampaged over a forum for ages, until finally getting booted for behavior so atrocious that the administrative morons who had inexplicably supported her in her endless belligerence HAD to get rid of her; the day that happened was a good one, but today was BETTER.

As some friends on that forum and I had confidently told each other she would, she came back on with a new name, and lost no time in behaving in the old familiar way; the combination of that distinctively bad behavior, and her distinctively bad grammar, led to people rapidly figuring out who she was, although she vehemently denied it. She took things to an all new height, or should I say DEPTH, by posting a series of deeply offensive "jokes" whose targets were the admin staff; in one of the most pitiful things I've ever seen online, one of the admins posted that she didn't believe it could possibly be her old friend doing this, but enough people had said otherwise that she checked the IP logs, and the truth was inescapable-the new and old disrupters had the exact same IP address. (Why, why, WHY do otherwise intelligent people NEVER grasp that someone who behaves in an ugly way to others will ALWAYS do it to THEM eventually? Why do they deny all evidence against the wrongdoer until they have an embarrassing amount of proof, rather than putting 2 and 2 together and getting 4 right away?) She further posted about how upset she was that someone she'd been so good to, and cared so much for, had stooped to being so ugly.

I do NOT approve of comments under ANY circumstances that attack someone based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, etc, but in this instance comments of that nature were karma in action... because those who were deeply hurt and offended were the same people who had repeatedly supported the psycho as she attacked everyone else in sight, when what they SHOULD have done was applied the same rules to her that everyone else was held to, and kicked her out after her FIRST bout of nastiness. Those of us who the psycho was permitted to attack without penalty have now been revenged by the actions of that self-same psycho against the enablers.

In addition, those who had remained neutral the LAST time the psycho kicked up a fuss, or even professed to still being willing to have her around, jumped on her full force, magnified in some cases by their understanding that they'd been made fools of for failing to condemn her before, and ripped her to SHREDS.

Karma is VERY efficient. :-)


Monday, June 28, 2004

Odds and Ends 


Late last night, I talked about a friend that I hadn't spoken to in a while, and, when I woke up today, guess who I had a message on my machine from? Coincidence? Not a chance.


I saw a discussion on a message board about whether or not it would be good to live forever, and, over and over, people said something like "I'm so lonely now, I couldn't bear to feel like this forever." I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or throw up. If YOU would have answered that way, here's a hint; get off the frigging computer and go make some friends... and don't waste one minute posting online until you have a big enough group of friends that you're only alone when you want to be.


My husband read what I wrote a couple of days ago about how little boys are taught cutesie nicknames for their penises, and, as part of our discussion about it, I casually asked him what HE had been taught to call HIS as a kid; the answer was, brace yourselves, "tinkler." At some point during the 10 minutes I spent howling with laughter, he grasped that he was going to spend the rest of his life regretting having told me. ;-)


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Can men share the pain of childbirth? 


My husband brought home the July-August 2004 issue of an odd magazine called "mental_floss," and I learned a few things on page 41:

There's an actual name for the concept that a man should share in the pain of his wife's birthing experience; it's called "couvade," and the sympathy pains that some men have in their abdomens while their wives are in labor are one of the symptoms of " Couvade Syndrome" (aka "sympathetic pregnancy," which in general refers to ALL the pregnancy-like symptoms that a man might experience). Some cultures expect a much greater equality of suffering, however:

In certain parts of Brazil, it's traditional for expectant fathers to bleed themselves while their wives are in labor.

In French Guiana, the father feels his wife's pain somewhat belatedly; he's kept in bed, in seclusion, for about 6 weeks after his wife gives birth, after which time family members cut openings in his skin and rub his body with a ground pepper plant.

The Huichol Indian tribe of Mexico had by far the best method of making sure that men shared the pain of childbirth; a woman in labor would be laying down in a hut, and her husband would sit in the rafters above her with a rope tied around his testicles... and, when the woman had a contraction, she'd pull on the rope. If you do a search for "Huichol" on the website of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, you'll find this artwork

http://search.famsf.org:8080/view.shtml?keywords=%68%75%69%63%68%6F%6C&artist=&country=&period=&sort=&start=21&position=21&record=129656

depicting the process. If you know any expectant mothers that you'd like to amuse, or expectant fathers that you'd like to freak out, you can send them that image as an e-postcard here:

http://members.virtualtourist.com/vt/ps/1e7c07/0/

Last but not least, you can see a little video about the process (it does NOT actually show it, sadly) here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tVE031bABE

Haven't I always said that there's a great deal of wisdom in the so-called "primitive" tribes? ;-)


Saturday, June 26, 2004

Talking dirty 


Have you ever wondered why there are so many slang words/terms that refer to excretory functions, sexual acts, and the body parts involved? WHY do we as a species feel the need to have so many ways to refer to such things? (The other 2 examples of "many slang words for one thing" that I can think of are eating and $; makes you think, doesn't it?) What does it say about us that we have one word each to refer to art, music and science, but DOZENS of words to refer to sexual intercourse?

Why are SOME of the words that refer to our private parts and acts called "dirty," while others are not? The clinical terms aren't seen as dirty, although they make many people uncomfortable... but you won't hear them used on kids' shows, even though it's considered ok for kids to SAY them (which is the basis for the "boys have a penis, girls have a vagina" joke in "Kindergarten Cop"). There are "baby talk" versions for the words that refer to excretory functions, the rear end and the male organ (but NOT for female genitals, interestingly), by which I mean repetitive terms like "poo-poo," and cutesie words like "tushie"; we're all comfortable saying and hearing them, and they can be used even in programming for little kids. There are polite terms, like "use the powder room" and "go to bed with," that are also sayable everywhere and comfortable for everyone to use and hear. There are many other slang terms that are usable almost everywhere, such as "take a dump" and "get it on."

And then, there are the so-called "dirty words," the ones whose use counts as "cursing" and "swearing," the ones that are still limited as to if and when they can be used on TV and radio, the ones that can affect the rating of a movie... the ones that we can't say at the office, or in front of our grandparents, and that children are punished for using. How did those specific words get chosen from the many that refer to these intimate things as the ones that would be singled out as "foul language"? Why is hearing those words shocking and upsetting to some people, when other words that describe the exact same things are ok? Why are the words considered "bad," when a word is just a group of sounds and can't actually BE good or bad? Why are we so worked up about this issue that we've actually made a hierarchy of "dirtiness," such that a couple of the formerly forbidden words can now be used on even daytime TV, but most still cannot... and ONE is seen as so dirty that it has a special euphemism to refer to it ("the f-word")? Why are some of us offended if we see one of these words in print, but if we see it in an altered form, such as "sh*t," that's magically ok, even though we know exactly which word is being portrayed?

Why are children not permitted to use these words? We normally forbid things to kids, such as smoking and drinking, to protect them from harm, but there's no possible harm from saying the words... why this exception to the rule? Where did the idea that some words should be for adult use only come from? You can make a TINY case for not wanting them to use certain sexual words, but why can they not use some of the words that apply to the parts of their body and their excretory functions?

Why is it that "talking dirty" is arousing, but substituting the clinical, baby-talk or polite terms would NOT be arousing, even though they mean exactly the same thing?

What's in a name? Apparently... everything.


Friday, June 25, 2004

Blast from the past 


Do you remember the old radio ads for The Gap that featured regular folks interacting with nerds, who they were trying to get to break from their nerd-dom by shopping at.... guess where? One ad has a male voice saying, "Hey girls, wanna see my Nehru jacket?" And a chorus of female voices replies, "AAAHHHH!! It's a nerd!!" I think there were some other exchanges of that nature, with a variety of nerdish comments from men, but I don't remember any of them. There was an another ad where a guy was talking about his fuzzy bunny slippers... and that's all I remember about that one. The all-time funniest one went something like this (the spellings are phonetic):

Woman: Do you know what you are?
Man: An assistant language lab instructor.
Woman, Yeah, but you're also a nerd.
Man: "Nerd," in Italian, "nurditsi."
The woman starts lecturing him on whatever it is she thinks he needs to buy at, guess where, and, ignoring her, he goes on:
Man: "... in Yiddish, "nuydvey," in German, "nurberger," in Spanish "nurdarita," in Chinese "nur-goo-gai-pan."

I think there may have been another language or 2 represented, and I also think she used his name, which may have been something like "Norbert"-I can't hear it clearly in my memory. I DO remember that I used to laugh out loud every time he got to "nur-goo-gai-pan" (just writing it is making me smile).

I dunno why all this came back to me and got stuck in my head today-those ads are about 25 years old, and I encountered no references to The Gap today (and no, I NEVER shop there-the clothes are too boring). I figured I'd share the memories in hopes of clearing them out of my mind... and maybe giving a couple of people a flash-back.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Do all human lives have the same value? 


Do you value your own life more than you value other people's lives? What if someone wanted to kill you, and you'd have to either kill him in self defense or BE killed; would you let him kill you, flip a coin to decide what to do, or waste his ass? What if it was a friend or family member he was menacing... are THEIR lives worth more than the would-be killer's? How about if it was a stranger he was trying to kill? Is the killer's life automatically worth less than the victim's? In general, is the killer's life worth ANYTHING compared to the lives of the innocent?

What if, instead of a killer, we have some other sort of criminal, such as a rapist or thief; is his life just as valuable as the life of a law-abiding citizen... or the life of your friend... or your mother... or your own life?

What if the comparison is to one of those homeless folks who shuffle around mumbling to themselves? If you think no one would value a human life less than a "regular person's" because of homelessness or mental illness... I used to think so, too, until I learned that cops often use the code "NHI" to describe crimes committed against homeless people (and hookers)-it means "No Humans Involved."

What about the lives of regular folks compared to your life, and the lives of your loved ones? If both a stranger and a loved one were drowning, is there ANY chance you'd try to help the stranger first? If you were at a club, and there was a fire, would you hang back and let everyone else get out, or would you make a beeline for the door?

What about the life of someone of your religion compared to the life of someone of another religion? You probably don't see a difference there, but I'm betting you're aware that there ARE people to whom people of other religions are about on a level with pond scum.

What about the life of a person in another country? What if we're at war with that country? What if that other person is a member of that country's military, and is dedicated to killing your fellow-citizens, and maybe even your loved ones... and maybe even YOU? How much is that person's life worth to you, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? How many of the "enemy" would it take to make up the same value of your life or that of a loved one? How many of the "enemy" would it take to make up the value of you and ALL your loved ones... and all your fellow citizens? You've probably never even imagined such a calculation... but our military leaders HAVE. And so have the military leaders of other countries. If you've ever wondered how they, or WE, can unleash weapons of mass destruction... now you know.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

How should we meet potential mates? 


I saw a few minutes of some random movie today; 2 businesswomen were talking, and one reacted in HORROR upon hearing that the other had signed up for an executive dating service.

HUH?!!

We accept, as a culture, that people will meet potential mates at bars, clubs, and parties, where it's usually dark, people are drunk, and alot of them are just there to lie their way into someone's bed, and we think that's ok, but signing up for a service, that allows us to clear-headedly analyze people, and to select only those who meet our needs and standards to spend our precious time on, THAT'S somehow BAD?

It never ceases to amaze me that, when we all know so many people who either have no relationship, or cling to a relationship they aren't happy with because they see so little chance of finding new one, we'd turn our noses up at ANY way of meeting people, much less one with so much more chance of finding a worthwhile person, and so much higher of a level of safety, than meeting people at a bar, or in the produce section, or while your dogs are peeing on the same tree.

One of the many ways that the online world has improved people's lives is that, with so many of us spending so much of our time here, it's been a natural extension for us to meet people here, often at websites for that purpose, and now no one blinks when a couple says that they met online, even if it was on a dating site. Do you suppose that maybe folks will grasp someday soon that signing up for a dating service OFFline is no more "shameful" than going to a singles message board, or eHarmony.com? Wouldn't it be nice if the many lonely people in America felt ok about doing it, and so had a better chance at finding their other half?


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Get-a-life.com 


There isn't actually a website by that name, but there SHOULD be... that way, we could all offer the URL to people who clearly come online because they have nothing else to do.

Today, on just one blog, I saw people take the time out of their lives to post complaining about the subject under discussion, the "tone" of the blog, and the length of the comments-apparently, just moving along to a blog more to their liking was too simple.

Then, on the SAME blog, some dickless wonder showed up and started expressing his disagreement with the politely-worded posts of others with nasty personal attacks... and yes, he WAS a blithering idiot, naturally.

In addition, I've seen several nice blogs go belly-up within the past few weeks because of jerks who got their jollies from logging on and posting abusive rants.

Imagine how much better online life would be if people had to pass a test proving that they had an OFFLINE life before they could post anywhere...


Monday, June 21, 2004

Could an android have a soul? 


Tonight I saw "Bicentennial Man," a terrific movie based on the wonderful short story by Isaac Asimov; the central theme is the struggles of a self-aware android to become a human being. The concept of a created creature wanting to become "alive," "real," or something similar is a familiar one to all of us, from children's stories like "Pinocchio" and "The Velveteen Rabbit" as well as from a wide variety of scifi sources, and it poses an interesting question; although nothing short of magic can turn an artificial body into a biological one, could an android, robot or computer, if it became sufficiently sophisticated to actually THINK, and especially if it could also FEEL, develop a soul?

I believe that souls are made of the energy of thought and feelings, as Occam's Razor makes it logical that there's only ONE unknown form of energy involved in these phenomena rather than several... but, would non-organic thoughts and feelings, or, if we manage to create a computer brain with biological components, semi-organic thoughts and feelings, create that same energy? If so, would that energy coalesce into a soul, or does a soul only form around a living organism, a living brain?

If thoughts and/or feelings lead inexorably to a soul, that would mean that anything we create that can think and/or feel will have a soul, and therefore will be a sentient being, NOT just a machine... and that, if we treat them as property, as it seems inevitable that we would, because they'd be manufactured objects that someone paid for, we'd have sentient beings who would be owned-SLAVES, in other words. Could any decent person support the willful creation of a race of slaves?

If a soul requires a living body, though, that would mean that, if we created thinking/feeling androids, we'd have humanoid creatures among us that, much as we'd inevitably anthropomorphize them, would NOT be sentient beings, and so would be soulless... mechanical sociopaths, in other words, and let's not forget that nearly all killers are sociopaths. Even if they could be created with Asimov's laws of robotics, which would prevent them from harming us, would you want to be anywhere near such creatures? If you're shrugging, think again; if the little bit of software or hardware or whatever that kept them from hurting you failed, you'd essentially be faced with a creature with reason to resent and dislike you and no qualms about killing you to be rid of you.

The real kicker is that, since we can't prove the existence of a soul in ANY creature, we won't KNOW whether our androids will have souls or not, and therefore whether they'd have to be seen as living creatures or not; this is the best possible argument for NOT creating anything that can think, much less feel, until we've learned to detect souls... and reached a FAR higher level of spiritual wisdom.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Psychometry 


Remember the scene in "Vibes" where the Jeff Goldblum character touches a table and "sees" that people had sex on it a few hours ago? That's psychometry, the ability to pick up impressions from objects about their owner(s) or whoever has handled them. I did a little research on the topic today, and discovered some interesting things:

The term "psychometry" was coined by Joseph R. Buchanan, a professor of physiology, in 1842; he based it on the Greek words "psyche," meaning "soul," and "metron," meaning "measure." The idea of objects having a soul, or rather some of the energy from which souls are made, is part of the concept of animism, which in turn is part of the overarching theory of karma... interesting how all of these ideas keep tying into each other, isn't it?

Gustav Pagenstecher, a British doctor, studied psychometry early in the 20th century; his theory was that a psychometrist could tune in to the "experiential vibrations" condensed in the object, in other words, as I'VE said many times, that every action, thought and feeling produces energy that can only change form, not be destroyed, and that that energy has to keep existing, somewhere... why not in objects that were present when things took place, and soaked up the energy like a sponge soaks up any liquid that it's exposed to?

Michael Talbot expands upon this concept in his book "The Holographic Universe"; he suggests that, since all matter exists essentially as "vibrations," in other words bits of energy in constant motion, at the subatomic level, consciousness and reality exist in a kind of hologram that contains a record of the past, present and future, and that psychometrics may be able to tap into that record.... sure sounds like my idea of the tapestry of karma, doesn't it? Talbot bases his ideas on the work of University of London physicist David Bohm, a former protege of Einstein's and one of the world's most respected quantum physicists, and Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, one of the architects of our modern understanding of the brain; once again, there's a tie-in between quantum physics and psychic phenomena, and that an expert in the workings of the brain sees these connections as well is particularly exciting.

Another view of psychometry is that we leave micro-bits of our aura, soul, whatever name you want to use, on whatever we touch, just like our physical body leaves behind fingerprints, and that these bits can be perceived, and information about their "owners" obtained from them. Yet another view is that the objects being handled just help psychic power to focus and point in the right direction, rather than giving the information to the psychometrist directly.

IS it possible to get psychic info from handling an object? I've never done it, or seen it being done, so I can't say for sure; I'm just grateful that my research into this particular dark corner has led me to some new scientists who see the connection between science, the unknown and the human race.


Saturday, June 19, 2004

The mysteries of laughter 


Have you ever laughed out loud when no one was around?

If you have, you're in a very small minority, because supposedly "no one" laughs out loud unless there's someone to hear them... no one but ME, that is, as I've yet to find anyone who thinks they do this very unusual thing.

WHY do people supposedly not laugh out loud without an audience? Because laughing is an important communication tool, and to use it we need to be interacting with other people.

They've actually STUDIED this, and it turns out that we laugh far more than we think we do, we laugh when nothing's funny, we laugh without even being aware of it... heck, we're not even aware of it when OTHER people laugh most of the time. We remember when people laugh at our jokes, but apparently we don't consciously register it when people laugh to punctuate nearly everything they say, to the extent that we don't realize something's missing when we hear conversations on TV or read about them in books and the laughs aren't included.

We associate laughter with humor, with amusement, but most of our laughter has nothing to do with that; we laugh when we're nervous or confused, we laugh with derision, we laugh when we're hysterical or inebriated... but mostly we laugh in the same mindless way we say things like "you know" every 30 seconds or so.

Don't believe me? Take a tape recorder to your next social gathering, keep it hidden, and listen to what you have later on; unless your friends are very odd, you can expect to hear far more laughter than you ever imagined you were all using.

One of the many weird things in my family of origin is how we laugh; we all have loud and decidedly un-melodic brays of laughter that accompany our being amused, but we don't have the normal flow of laughter in conversation with each other-I'd always known it, but never thought about it until I started reading about the research being done in this area. I remember being disgusted at hearing my father, during his rare social phonecalls, uttering periodic bursts of manly chuckles as part of the false bonhomie he thought he was fooling people with; he wasted no such pleasantries on US. My mother, whose personality does a complete 180 within the hearing of outsiders, would give out an "ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha," and always that EXACT sound, every 2 sentences of so while on the phone... and she also never spared any geniality for her family. My consistent strong reaction to this behavior, my feeling that they were elaborately faking with other people, tells me that they really DON'T laugh "normally" when they're their real selves behind closed doors.

And, therefore, that *I* don't laugh normally either. Interestingly, I've developed a tendency towards comedic patter throughout all my conversations with people; I laugh at my own comments and the responses of my listeners, and since I've been doing this people have found my natural intensity much easier to deal with... not so much because I'm funny, but because I now laugh "often enough" to seem "normal."

Did my parents choose each other in part because they both didn't have the standard laugh patterns, and so they seemed familiar to each other? And how about my husband and I? He throws alot of jokey comments out, like I do, and, although he's not as serious and intense as I am, he doesn't do much non-humor-related laughing; when he DOES, I notice it, and ask him what he's laughing about, which of course he doesn't know as he's not aware he's doing it... so I know he's not doing it often.

Is laughter cultural? Does our ethnicity, religion, country, city, even neighborhood of origin dictate what sort of laugh patterns we have? Or, is it too personal for that, and only a reflection of what our family of origin is like? I'm going to ask friends from other countries if they see any difference in laughter between different cultures, and try to pay more attention to how different sorts of people laugh; if I can see some rhyme or reason to it, it'd be nearly as useful as reading body language for figuring people out... and most of life is about understanding what's really going on in the minds of those around us. You can probably get along ok if you ignore science and the unknown, but ignore the intricacies of the human race at your peril.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. ;-)


Friday, June 18, 2004

Are you a warrior? 


I don't mean "do you do that nonsense from 'The Matrix'?" I don't mean "are you in the military?" I don't mean "do you beat people up?" I mean are you a WARRIOR, do you do battle to defend yourself, to defend others, to defend your principles? Not physical battle, although that is sometimes necessary and worthy, but battle with your wits, your strength of will, your heart?

If someone tries to push you around, do you stand your ground and do what's right, what's best for you? Even if the would-be pusher is your partner, your parent, or your best friend?

If someone's being attacked unfairly, let's just say verbally in this age of guns, what do you do? Join in? Stand around and watch? Slink away? Or do you step forward and speak up in their defense? Even if the attack is by a group? Even if the attack is online?

When someone tells a joke that's racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, or otherwise ugly towards an innocent group of people, what do you do? Laugh? Shuffle your feet and feel uncomfortable? Or get in the jokester's face and let them know that their behavior is unacceptable?

You might know only saints in your real life, but if you're online you have access to literally millions of people, many of whom are behaving right now in ways that no decent person can approve of; you have the framework in which you CAN be a warrior, one way or the other. Are you doing it? If not, why not?

If you decline to be a warrior, what does that make you?


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Big time karma 


A woman who donated a kidney to a total stranger just won a half million dollars from a lottery scratch-off ticket in Virginia. My husband, who still isn't a believer, responded to hearing this with, "That's some real fodder for the karmic cannon," and it IS hard to not see some cause and effect here, especially when you read about it:

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=71744&ran=208696

and see a quote like "Michelle 'Mitzi' Nichols' mother always told her if you do good deeds, they'll come back to you," or "I guess if you do good things, good things will happen to you"... this is someone who's clearly aware of karma, even if she doesn't call it by name.

In addition to having given a new lease on life to someone, Ms. Nichols is also credited for having encouraged others to check out the donor program by going public with her experiences and letting people see how healthy she looks; all in all, a very deserving winner.

I caught the tail end of this story on the news, and had to do a search online to get all the details; it turned up several stories about others who'd given kidneys to strangers, and one about a lady donating a piece of her liver to save a baby she'd never seen, that mentioned that other people have been doing this too (the liver regenerates itself, and the donated piece of liver grows into a full one in the recipient's body), and..... I'm absolutely AWED by the willingness of these people to go through major surgery, with all the risks and pain that entails, and give up a piece of their own body to help people that they're unlikely to ever meet (some donors and recipients DO meet, but far from all), for which they receive NO MONEY, as it's illegal to sell human organs (the recipient does of course cover medical expenses). I can see desperately impoverished people selling kidneys for more $ than they'd ever see in their lives, in those countries where it's legal to do so, and of course donating to save a family member, or even a dear friend, but I'd have never imagined that there was anyone willing to go through something like this for a STRANGER; the fact that there ARE people who are just that dedicated to doing good for others forces me to re-evaluate the human spirit, and, unlike most times when this is necessary, in this instance I do so with a great feeling of joy.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Spirituality and intersexuality 


I was thinking about souls today, and what their nature would likely be. One of the things that was going through my mind was that a soul wouldn't have gender, as gender is a biological, physical thing, and souls are energy; presumably, you'd remember what your gender was in your life, or LIVES if the reincarnationists are right, and every aspect of you and your life would influence what sort of soul you have, but a soul has neither DNA nor genitals, so it wouldn't have a gender.

It follows, I thought, that to see our true spiritual nature, we'd have to try to look at things withOUT the distortions caused by gender, and that the further we could detach ourselves from gender, the greater spiritual insight we could achieve.

Then, my thoughts jumped to those folks who naturally have no gender distortions in their perceptions, because they belong to neither standard gender; intersexuals.

Then, I recalled that "primitive" cultures, although universally seeing physical abnormalities as bad, even bad enough in some cases to kill deformed infants, often saw intersexuals as blessed, sacred, possessed of all sorts of special powers. Once again, we can see that so-called primitive peoples instinctively understand basic spiritual truths; they express them in terms that make sense to them, not in the sorts of analytical terms WE use for everything, but that doesn't alter the depth of their understanding.

I'd LOVE to discuss spiritual issues with an intersexual, and see how their very different view of the world shapes their insights, and what they can "see" that I can't; until that happens, I'm going to redouble my efforts to screen gender out of my analyses of spiritual matters.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Albino raspberries 


Sounds like a good band name, doesn't it? Believe it or not, there really ARE albino raspberries; they're not white, they're pale yellow, and when my husband sprung them on me they sort of gave me the creeps... they look vaguely fungus-ish, and when the little round bits got detached they looked like midget corn kernels. Fortunately, they tasted just like regular raspberries... which makes you wonder why they bothered to invent this new variety in the first place. Maybe it's because they count on guys like my husband that can't resist a weird new food? ;-)

Know what ELSE he got at the grocery store? Some kind of dried, salted banana things with sesame seeds; they look like those curls of bark that come off of some trees... but with, well, fungus on them. I don't like bananas (which also have that unhealthy-looking pale yellow color, now that I think about it), so I didn't add this odd snack to my menu for the day.

I must be more sleep-deprived than I thought, to be seeing so many connections between food and fungus, lol. Here's another one; the food that probably looks the most like fungus is cauliflower... and it tastes just as nasty as it looks. Its cousin, broccoflower, which is just what it sounds like, a hybrid between cauliflower and broccoli, is almost as bad. My husband likes both of them-no surprise there.

There is, of course, REAL fungus that most people eat-mushrooms. Why anyone would even THINK of eating one of those slimy, disgusting things is beyond me. Truffles are also fungus, and they're considered a delicacy; whose idea was THAT? Probably the same person who decided that fish eggs (caviar) should be a delicacy...... GROSS!!

It MUST be biologically counterproductive to find healthy foods like bananas and cauliflower, not just bad tasting, but bad LOOKING; what did my primitive ancestors EAT, in the absence of pizza and French fries and such, lol?


Monday, June 14, 2004

Inspired by "Bruce Almighty" 


Part of the premise of that movie, for those who haven't seen it, is what a guy does when God gives him divine powers, and it was that concept that made me think; what would *I* do if I suddenly had those sorts of powers?

As is usually shown in movies and TV shows, I'm guessing that I'd start out by doing a variety of silly tricks to play with the power, get a feel for it; I think it's human nature to want to try out a new "toy," and with something so powerful, the instinct would be to try it on some minor things with no potential for disaster first.

Once I felt comfortable with the powers, I'd apply myself to figuring out how to keep them hidden from everyone; yeah, it's tempting to want to brag and show off, but once people really internalize that you have power over them and their lives, they'll get as far away from you as possible, with the exception of those who think they can use you to further their own ends... and what would it gain a person to get godlike powers and lose all human relationships?

I wouldn't dare make any significant changes to my appearance, but I'd get rid of my various aches and pains, give myself "magic muscle tone" that wouldn't require me to work out any more, and alter my metabolism so that I could EAT. I'd also eliminate my insomnia and nightmares; being able to fall right asleep, stay asleep, and have only pleasant dreams, would feel like heaven on Earth all by itself.

I'd plan a little trip to Vegas so that I could "win" enough $ to make me quietly wealthy through "clever" commodities investments; I couldn't just "create" the $, as I'd have to keep the powers secret from my husband, in order for us to maintain our relationship (he's used to me having power, lol, but not THAT much), and he'd notice if we were suddenly wealthy out of thin air.

At some point in all of this, it'd occur to me that I had a variety of ways to see certain famous hotties naked with no risk of getting caught or causing any trouble, and yes, I'd do it; don't believe anyone who claims they wouldn't, and don't try to tell yourself that YOU wouldn't... every adult human being has the urge to see sexy naked people. Is it moral to peep? Of course not. Would that stop me from getting some illicit thrills from my "powers"? Not a chance.

What about sex with some of these uber-babes? Under the circumstances, pregnancy and disease could be undeniably avoided, and I could even wipe the minds of those involved so that no one would ever know, and so that their relationships would be unaffected by guilt or distraction; my husband's the sort of man who would think that my being able to "get" a famous man would be a feather in his cap, but since the guy wouldn't remember, it'd make my husband smell a rat if I'd told him it happened...... it's an unprecedented moral point, but since it wouldn't be hurting anyone, or doing anything that would upset my husband if he knew, I'd go for it. And so would most people; not all, as some people have less "modern" marriages than mine and would have the grit to stick to their vows, but pretty darned close to all.

With my $ and "influence," I could go anywhere, to any event, and meet any person that struck my fancy; I don't like to travel, but I'd exert myself to take advantage of those opportunities.

And what would I do to help mankind? Researchers all around the world would start having radical new ideas pop into their heads, and cures for every medical problem from the common cold to cancer would sweep the planet... a source of cheap, clean, inexhaustible power would be discovered and cause the biggest changes to human society since the invention of the wheel... a can't-fail and harm-free form of birth control would be found that would free women from the tyranny of biology forever... anything that I could think of that would help humanity without requiring me to alter human nature or disrupt cultures in a potentially disastrous manner I would do just as fast as I could figure out how-just because I'd peep at a few famous butts doesn't mean that I wouldn't try to help my fellow man.

I'd help people on a smaller scale, too, of course; life would suddenly get easier for all my loved ones, and I'd do what I safely could for the people I heard about on the news who needed some "paranormal assistance."

At some point, I'd want to learn all the secrets of the universe(s); not right away, because the truth might change me too much to be able to enjoy those simple pleasures that seem so wonderful to an "unenlightened" human, and I'd WANT those things... and the truth might make me cease feeling kinship with the human race, and lure me off to a spiritual plane before I did my duty to mankind, and I'd want to do that duty before I took the final leap into... whatever's out there.

It's amazing what thoughts you can get from a Jim Carrey movie.


Sunday, June 13, 2004

A plea to the creators of websites and banners 


Has anyone besides me noticed how AWFUL most websites and banners look? I understand that the dreadful ones are done by total amateurs, or at least I HOPE they are, lol, but with a little common sense anyone can do a graphic layout that, if not necessarily gorgeous, is at least not UGLY.

1) Pick a font, any font, and STICK to it; the surest sign of a clueless designer is when it looks like they're trying to get every font they have onto every page.

2) Ok, I lied, it can't be just ANY font; there are literally THOUSANDS of free fonts available online, so there's no excuse to use one that's hard to read, and, when you're incorporating text with artwork, there's no excuse to use a clunky font that looks like you lifted it from a newspaper. Restrain yourself with font sizes, too; there should be ONE size for all text, and ONE size for titles and such if applicable-and that's IT. The same concept goes for font colors.

3) And speaking of font colors; nearly all of the possible colors are difficult to read-just accept that, no matter how much it pains you. Use black or a very dark color on a background that's white or very pale, or do it the other way around, and keep the other colors for your artwork, dividers, and navigation graphics.

4) As a general rule, less is more; resist the urge to cram every page with colors, images, animations, borders, patterned backgrounds and anything else that's not nailed down... and that goes X 10 for banners, which can be so full of overlapping elements that you can hardly sort them out. If the LAST thing you notice about a page or banner is the text, that's a sure sign that you've overdone it; decorative elements are supposed to be added like hot sauce, a drop here and a dash there, NOT slathered on like ketchup.

5) If you want to get a little closer to professional-looking layouts, especially for banners, use this basic rule of graphic artists; once you have what you think is the exact design you want, throw half of it away. I know it sounds harsh, but it's human nature to want to say and show everything all at once, and that's NEVER your best option; compare websites and banners that you know were made by pros to ones you know were made by amateurs, and you'll see for yourself... the profesional ones have pared it all down to the bare essentials, and they make each element count.

Do you think that the next time I see horrible layout on a website, I should sign the guestbook with a URL that leads to this post? ;-)


Friday, June 11, 2004

What separates us from the animals? 


Intelligence seems like an easy answer, but humans exist along a very broad spectrum of intellect; don't you suppose that a chimp or a dolphin would perform BETTER on tests of cognitive ability than a person with a very low IQ?

We have an infinite # of things that we've designed and built, from the wheel to the Mars landers; this is just an extension of the toolmaking ability that several other species possess, though, made possible as a result of our having opposable thumbs and the ability to stand on 2 legs to use them.

How about the ability to create? Have you ever seen the fabulous artistic constructions of the bower bird, or heard the haunting beauty of whalesong? If anything, some species have a HIGHER % of creative types than humans do.

Do animals dream? All mammals do, except for the spiny anteater.

What about the ability to speak? They've discovered in recent years that parrots do NOT just repeat sounds in a mechanical way, they actually DO understand the meanings of the words they use. Not all humans can speak, let's not forget, and most of them use sign language... which the great apes have proven quite skillful at.

A true understanding of death, and a protracted mourning for the departed, IS unusual in the animal world, but we've all seen pets mourn the passing of their loved ones for long stretches of time, and elephants recognize the bones of their loved ones, effortlessly distinguishing them from the bones of other animals and even other elephants, and they'll handle the bones, carry them around, and even try to hide them.

How about culture? The great apes and some of the more advanced marine mammals have it.

Self-awareness is often seen as unique to humans, but in fact chimps and some of the other great apes have been shown to possess it.

Some would say that animals don't have souls; I think that at least the more advanced creatures have souls, but of course there's no proof that even humans have souls, much less other creatures.

Perhaps the only real difference, in other words the one that isn't just a matter of degree, is that humans seek to understand things beyond our perceptions, as evidenced by religion, spirituality, metaphysics, etc; imagine what sorts of alterations we'll have to make to our worldview if we DO ever find evidence that animals, or even ONE other animal, has these sorts of thoughts.


You know it's REAL love when 


I was talking to a new male friend online today; he had his cam on, and I could see that he's very tall, slim, and good-looking. He was going on and on about his wife, making her sound like a goddess, and then he found a photo of them together and sent it through the IM; as you have most likely guessed, she's about 2 feet shorter than him, but probably still outweighs him, and is so homely that she looks like a GUY. Nevertheless, he WORSHIPS her. She's a lucky girl, not because he's so much more attractive than she is, but because he's clearly the sort of person who doesn't use looks as a deciding factor when forming emotional attachments, so she can be sure that he loves the REAL her; she won't have to worry about whether or not he'll still love her when she gets old, because he'll still see the inner her, which will still be the same at any age.

When you hear old men talk about wives that they've been with for decades, you often hear them say things like, "and she's even more beautiful than the day we met"; when love really IS blind, that's when you know it's REAL love.

When my husband sees me in sweatpants, a big t-shirt and unwashed hair, he pronounces me "hot"; this tells me that WE have the real thing... and gives me a reason to not kill him when he spills tomato sauce in the kitchen and then tracks it all over the carpet, lol.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Nancy Reagan 


Everyone else is posting about Ronald Reagan, for the obvious reason, but he's not the only one who needs reminders put out there about what sort of person he was; people have spent far too long misunderstanding Nancy Reagan, too.

How many times have you heard her referred to as "cold"? I never understood how someone who was always smiling radiantly could get called that; was it just that people couldn't find anything bad to say about her personality, so they fastened on her restrained elegance and called it "coldness"?

And how many times have you heard her excoriated for "the look," the expression of adoration with which she was so often seen looking at her husband? Why would it even OCCUR to people to think that a loving look from a wife somehow "had to" be fake, especially when the husband was someone so fantastically accomplished and widely liked by everyone who knew him?

When Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's reached the point where he was no longer a functioning person, people began to try to tell Nancy Reagan that she should put him in a care facility; she refused. When he became an invalid, they tried to tell her the same thing; she refused. When he ceased to speak or respond, and this went on for several YEARS before his passing, they tried to persuade her again; she refused. This great lady, although herself elderly and getting frail, never swerved from her determination to keep the man she loved in their home, where she cared for him herself.

Does anyone still think she was "cold," and that when she gave "the look" it was "fake"? If so, they might want to keep quiet about it, because Nancy Reagan has demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that these accusations were not just groundless, but utterly ridiculous... and that anyone who believed them was a fool.

I hope with all my heart that, should *I* ever be called upon to make enormous sacrifices like she did, I'll be able to do them with some small fraction of the strength, courage and grace that she always showed, and withOUT the public disdain that she had to endure for so many years... this amazing woman who so perfectly personified the mythical woman behind the great man. In these sad days of disposable relationships, instant gratification, and running away at the first inkling of trouble, she's an inspiration to us all.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Anachronisms 


Why do we still have salt AND pepper shakers? When's the last time you saw anyone USE pepper at a meal? I'm betting that my mother has pepper in HER shaker that predates my birth, lol, and I'm sure she's not the only one; people still feel compelled to buy the pepper and put some in the shaker, on the off chance that the mythical person who'll want to use it will one day show up. (For the record, all of MY shakers have SALT in them.)

Why do we still have those buttons going up from the cuffs of suit jackets, when the buttons don't even hold anything closed? Men USED to need those buttons so that they could wash their hands without taking off their jackets or wetting the ends (they'd unbutton the sleeves and fold them up), but why are they there NOW?

Why do we still have homes being built with "museum rooms" like front halls, living rooms and dining rooms, that go unused 99% of the time, while we have to jam ourselves into ever-tinier bedrooms EVERY DAY? Is it STILL so important to prove that we can "afford" to pay for unused space in our homes?

And speaking of unused space, why are we still spending a fortune, and flooding the environment and sewer systems with noxious chemicals, so that we can have a perfect patch of grass in front of our homes that we never set foot on? A lawn was originally a sign of wealth, that you had land you didn't need to plant food or graze animals on, but why are we still maniacally pursuing this ideal, especially in California where water is so precious?

Let's face it, we're an ODD culture.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Do I LOOK like a doormat? 


A friend of mine fancies herself as a budding entrepreneur; there's been no evidence so far that she can actually do anything but buy books and supplies, but my husband and I try to be encouraging. We had talked to her about the possibility of her selling some of her stuff on eBay, and had offered to help her with the text, as English is her 2nd language. Somehow, she took this kind offer as evidence of me having "welcome" written on my forehead, because she called me today and launched into a wordy monologue about what a BIG favor we could do for her, and what a big weight it would be off her mind, blah blah blah.... and, not being a fool, I grasped that she was going to try to get me to do something unreasonable by making it seem like I'd be a hero if I did it, and an uncaring person if I didn't.

She doesn't know me well yet, apparently, to think that that sort of tactic would work on me. (To be fair, she's used to getting things done by indirection, as her ex is a VERY dominant type, but that doesn't make it ok.)

Her brilliant idea was for my husband and I, not to just help her with the text for an auction, but to design the entire auction page AND run the auction from our own account... after which she thought we'd be willing to keep running auctions until the HUNDREDS of units she had sitting around were sold!! In return for all this time, effort and stress, dealing with buyer questions and then trying to wrestle payment from them and hoping not to get - feedbacks from any of them that would be on OUR account forever, she offered us "a share of the profits," which, for these items, would be so little that we'd be working for about a penny an hour.

I refused, of course, as politely as possible under the circumstances, and then she tried to convince me that it would be a good way for me to make a little $; I released some of my natural bluntness and told her that I didn't NEED the $, and that I'd NEVER work for pennies even if I DID need $, AND that I had neither the time nor the interest to become her marketing flunky.

I think she got the point, as she was over here today and never said a word about it.

You might not be able to tell from the ferocity of my rants, lol, but I'm a VERY nice person; I'm always doing something for someone, and I'm the one people count on when they're in trouble... and I'm happy to be that way. The downside of it is that people assume they can ask me to do the most ridiculous things, and they refuse to accept that I WILL say "no" and make it stick until I PROVE that I will. Heck, even my HUSBAND still hasn't grasped that I can't be manipulated or fast-talked into doing things; I guess hope really does spring eternal.


Monday, June 07, 2004

"Feel" and "think" are NOT the same 


Have you noticed that, in the past decade or so, the word "think" has been gradually replaced by the word "feel" when people are stating their views? Have you ever wondered WHY this substitution has been taking place? Is it because people think it makes their thoughts sound more intense and meaningful, or because they figure that no one will argue with them that way, or because we've just become too STUPID as a nation to know the difference between thoughts and feelings?

Do you think this is too trivial to worry about? Does it not matter that we sound like idiots to people from other cultures when we don't know how to use such basic words from our own language? Does it not matter that we internalize the words we hear and use, such that many people literally don't know what the dividing line is between thoughts and feelings any more? Think I'm exaggerating? Next time someone says something like, "I feel that blue is the best color for a suit," try telling them that their statement did NOT in fact describe a feeling-there's a 95% chance that they'll ARGUE the point.

No matter how strongly you feel about a thought, that does NOT make it a feeling; the word "feel" refers to emotions only, and emotions are things like anger and sadness, so it's correct to say "I feel angry" or "I feel sad," but it's NOT correct to say "I feel that 'Angel' is a good TV show" or "I feel like it's time to look for a new job"... you COULD correctly say "I feel unhappy at my job, so I think it's time to look for a new one," but that does NOT mean that you can correctly use the former sentence as "shorthand" for the latter, no matter how many times you hear other people do just that.

If you want to describe your emotional state, use "feel." If you want to refer to the ideas in your head, use "think." Strike a blow against the dumbing down of the English language; use these words correctly, and prod other people to do so... especially those smug self-righteous types who you KNOW do it to try to give their stupid thoughts greater weight.


Sunday, June 06, 2004

Un-frigging-believable 


As I've mentioned a time or 2, I was virtually obsessed with heavy metal in the 80's, so when my husband put on "100 Most Metal Moments" (a 5-part program currently in rotation on VH1), I was pretty interested... even though some of those guys have aged REALLY badly.

It turns out that NORWAY, of all places, has some really scary "black" or "death" metal bands, and the antics of at least 2 of them made the list (I missed some bits of the shows, sadly); Gorgoroth apparently celebrated playing a show in the pope's hometown by slaughtering a sheep on stage and having a mock crucifixion, and Mayhem had a member commit suicide by blowing his brains out, a 2nd member made a necklace out of his skull fragments, a 3rd member ate the dead guy's brains, and then a 4th member murdered HIM because he was jealous that that guy had a more evil reputation... and, supposedly, to "compete" with a guy from yet another Norwegian metal band, Emperor, who had stabbed someone to death. The murderer from Mayhem is apparently still making records from behind bars.

I'm NEVER going to Norway.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Dogs vs Cats 


Which makes a better pet, a dog or a cat? Well, let's see...

A dog comes running to greet you when you come home; a cat comes running when it hears the can opener, and goes right by you to the food dish.

A dog will beg by the table/counter for food scraps; a cat will jump up ONTO the table/counter and help itself.

A dog can be taught a variety of commands, and be counted on to obey them; a cat feigns deafness whenever you try to get it to do anything.

A dog will get up on the bed with you; a cat will climb onto the bed and lay on your FACE.

A dog's day is made if he gets to go in the car with you; getting a cat into a car requires time, patience, and a willingness to bleed.

A dog might chew the occasional slipper; a cat will see your furniture, drapes, carpet and body as scratching posts, get onto the shelves where your breakables are kept, and menace smaller pets no matter where you put them.

A dog will bring you the newspaper; a cat will bring you a poor dead critter, or worse, just a PIECE of one.

A dog will eat any food you give him; a cat wants duck a l'orange, and then turns its nose up at it.

A dog is always eager to be petted; a cat only wants to be petted when you're really busy, and then wants to lay right on your work.

A dog is happy to play games with you; a cat's only game is "what can I destroy before I get caught?"

A dog will get hair on your clothes if you hold or hug him; a cat will seek out any clothes within reach and roll around on them to cover them with hair, showing preference for your more expensive things.

A dog will bark to keep intruders away; a cat hopes the intruder will open the door so it can run outside and kill something.

A dog will risk its life to save you; a cat will trip you up trying to get to safety before you do.

A dog looks at you as a god; a cat looks at you as a slave.

Hmmmmmmm, tough choice... ;-)


Thursday, June 03, 2004

An epiphany about genital mutilation 


It's no secret that the way we feel about nearly everything is influenced to varying degrees by our culture; a serious example of this is how we view female circumcision, which is considered an atrocity in American culture, but seen as essential to making a female virtuous and marriageable in the cultures that practice it. A fascinating point was made about this issue here:

http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/004739.html.

the eye-opening part of which, for me, was this:

"intersexuals, people with abnormal quantities of X or Y chromosomes (XO, XXY, XYY) or hormonal conditions that alter fetal development, are often born with genitalia that are ambiguous, or abnormal. We commonly perform surgery on these people in order to define them as one gender or another. We do it for the same reason that African mothers have their daughters circumcised: so that they will fit into the tribe, meet our aesthetic standards for genital appearance, and have an easier time finding a mate. Yet most of the people who are repulsed by the actions of those African mothers, would, if they had a baby with one of these abnormalities, eagerly schedule it for surgery to normalise its gentalia. So are we really opposed to mutilating the pristine work of nature, or are we, like those African mothers, simply enforcing our own cultural norms?"

I'd never made the connection in my mind about the mutilation of the genitals of some children in OUR country with female circumcision, even though I've studied intersexuality, and even written about it:

http://omniverse.blogspot.com/2004_02_22_omniverse_archive.html#107795515896014960

and have touched on female circumcision also:

http://omniverse.blogspot.com/2004_04_11_omniverse_archive.html#108184952071712084

I tried to post a reply on Jane's blog, but she has apparently blocked further replies on this topic; here's the reply I tried to post:

"You've made some very interesting points here, but I'd like to take partial issue with one of them, if I might: I AGREE that the reasons for the alteration of a child's "natural" genitals, whether because of intersexuality or the cultural mandate to make them look a certain way (circumcision of either gender), without the child having a say or a choice, DO reflect the urge for conformity to social norms. I also agree that both sorts of reasons for doing it look similar from the "it boils down to cutting up children's genitals" perspective, and I believe it's VERY important for us to be aware of these things when we pass judgment. However, there's a pretty significant difference, I think, between the alteration of genitals to make them "prettier," or to restrict "culturally undesirable" sexual feelings, and the alteration of them to give a child without a clear gender the ability to fit in, not just in one culture, but into the human race, which is set up biologically to deal with only 2 genders, and which (with few exceptions) has no place in ANY culture for a person without a gender. If you think how thoroughly gender, and gender roles, saturate every aspect of every society, it's clear how important it seems to parents to take action to prevent their kids from being permanent and guaranteed outsiders; because there's no pronoun to describe an intersexual, we're left referring to them as "it," as if they were less than human, and they're widely perceived as freaks and deprived of basic rights. In addition, intersexuality is a genetic defect, and the resultant genitals are seen, not just as "ugly," but as DEFORMED, and deformity is something that people in all cultures are automatically repulsed by; that's biological programming to prevent deformed people from being able to reproduce, and is the reasoning behind the surgical "correction" of all sorts of things that aren't causing health problems. An uncircumcised woman might be seen as less, or UN-, marriageable, but she would still be seen as human, and as having a gender and a place in society, not as a deformed freak of nature.

For the record, I'm VEHEMENTLY opposed to forcing surgical gender assignment on intersexual children, as such assignments are virtually always contrary to what gender, if any, the child will eventually identify with, and subject the child to endless pain and stress, and the risks associated with surgery, when their health is not at risk and they require NO medical treatment.

Female circumcision provides NO health benefits, and creates numerous health problems throughout life, so I'm naturally opposed to THAT, too, although I concede that, given the beliefs of the cultures that practice it, we can't see it as "evil," but rather as misguided. Male circumcision, on the other hand, significantly reduces the likelihood of penile cancer, AIDS, and all sorts of infections, so there's a gray area there; I think that it should be made available to any men who want it for those reasons, as well as those who have to have it because of problems with their foreskins, but I think it should NOT be done to male infants across the board-there must be CONSENT to the removal of a healthy body part for it to be ok."

Jane, if you happen to make it over here, thanks for showing me an important point, and making me think through this topic more thoroughly.


Karma kills 2 birds with one stone 


Imagine a psycho bitch who attacks people online for funsies. Imagine someone who had tried to be a caring friend to the psycho bitch (not realizing at the time what she was, of course), and had been repaid by vicious, unprovoked public attacks. Imagine a clueless kid who was supposedly a friend to both, who REFUSED to listen to the victim's valid complaints about the psycho, harangued the VICTIM, stuck by the psycho and remained HER friend rather than maintaining friendship with the innocent party. Imagine time passing... and the psycho bitch, with her standard lack of loyalty and gratitude, launches the mother of all ugly attacks on the kid, including the passing around of her private emails and posting scathing public vulgarities, for which atrocity she is finally, FINALLY, booted off of the forum which has been the center of her life for YEARS.

Both of these 2 were involved in doing evil to me, and in response karma made them take each other out. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!! :-)


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back home, and cautiously optimistic 


When it got to the final goodbye with my dear one, it didn't FEEL like a final goodbye; is it numbness, denial, or.... intuition, maybe? I KNOW that her heart won't last for long, but people frequently outlive medical predictions, so maybe she WILL last a few more months, long enough for us to get back there and see her one more time. Cross your fingers for me.

On that note, I'll be returning to my normal rants and ravings and silliness again. Here's something that gave me my first big laugh in DAYS; while waiting for my husband to get through the security screening at the airport, I was telling a couple of the security ladies about how I joke with him that I'm going to get him "body searched" at the airport some day... and one of them actually went up to him and told him that she had to pull him aside for a search!! You should have seen his FACE, LOL!!


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The final full day 


Because our loved one wanted to hang onto us and not have us go at the usual time, with this being our last night with her, we stayed at her house until midnight and managed to get through ALL of the family photos and other odds and ends (postcards, newspaper clippings, etc) with her and get the people identified and a good chunk of information about them passed on to us; although we're thrilled to have learned all of this, we could also feel much of the past slipping away, as this is the last surviving member of that generation-when she dies, any questions we might have will be forever unanswered.

She managed to go alot of the day withOUT the oxygen, and was getting around better, but her breathing has a bubbly, wheezy sound to it that freezes my heart; it's clear that, while they alleviated her symptoms quite a bit, the underlying disintegration of her insides is progressing. She mentioned wanting to live to be 100 a couple of times, but talked about how unhappy she is to always be sick and not really wanting to live any more MANY times, which is dreadful to hear anyone say but is particularly shocking from someone who previously wouldn't have complained if a truck ran over her foot. All we could do was be supportive and play along with the idea that she'll be getting better.

Despite my immense sadness, I'm still glad that we planned this trip and were able to be here when she needed us the most; I'm dreading having to say goodbye to her Tuesday evening, though... I've never had to say this sort of final goodbye before, and I can only hope that I don't break down until we're out of sight.


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