Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some people watch football

Not my family. Our holiday traditions involve lower temperatures and more clothing. Lots more clothing. Add this to the file that proves my rugged Alaska womanhood. Or something like that.

No, we aren’t dead. No, we haven’t fallen and can’t get up.

No, I am not an extreme example of that kid in elementary school that licked the monkey bars. Mmmm. Lake ice. You see, underneath our faces is a hole in the ice. We are simply paying very close attention to our baited hooks, waiting for the big strike ...

Aha! Victory at last.
The boy fared a little better, though I still say that in fishing, the gross weight of the fish isn’t the true measure of success. Nope. The fun’s in the catching, right? So every fish counts, right? Right? So, according to my calculations, I caught exactly 50 percent of the fish that day.

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I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me!

My 12-year-old son pointed out my pinochle shortcomings this weekend with the following phrase, uttered at the beginning of what would go on to be the sixth or seventh game in a row that my sister creamed my dad and me:

"Failure to succeed will commence."

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

I can’t take the suspense

The above appears on the roof of a local coffee stand.

How can they do such a thing to all of us. Bagel sandwich’s what? How can we go on not knowing the rest of the sentence? It could be something scandalous like, “Now serving bagel sandwich’s secret desires.” It could be valuable information that could change my life, a la “Now serving bagel sandwich’s easy ways to get rich quick. No punctuation required.” The words “bagel sandwich’s” could be more than just the simple personification of baked goods. What if “bagel sandwich” is really a code word for some super -secret important person?

How can I go on not knowing? I curse you, damned bagel sandwich. Your secrets shall remain forever unknown.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Big (virtual) I


Looking for results? Visit the Division of Elections online. Not quite as fun as multicolored copies in a wire basket, but pretty darn close.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Is it just me, or is everything buzzing?

The recipe
One triple-shot vanilla latte
One grande chai latte
One 16-ounce caramel latte
One Diet Pepsi

The result
Blogging at warp speed. Like, akin to Beavis. Heh hehehehe. Fire! Fire! Fire!

And you thought it was impossible to mix Star Trek and that infamous MTV animated classic.

“Hey Beavis ... Engage.”

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What’s a voter to do?

I’m just a mess about Election Day. It’s a nearly impossible scenario:

We have one D, one R and one I (for independent).

So, say your worst fear is that Candidate D wins. You would ordinarily lean toward the Candidate R, but you also really like many of the things Candidate I has to say. Still, you know Candidate I, being outside our lovely two-party system, will not likely win and will instead serve as a spoiler either for Candidate R or Candidate D. But the problem is, Candidate I used to be part of the R party, but in some ways speaks like a D.

In order to ensure that Candidate D doesn’t win, whom do you vote for? Do you vote for Candidate I, who perhaps would be the best choice of the three? If you do that, and every vote for Candidate I takes a vote away from Candidate R--your second choice--then you are helping to elect Candidate D. But if you vote for Candidate R, are you missing the chance to elect the person you think would really be best for the job?

I predict that many people will be very angst-ridden at the ballot box, myself included, whether they favor Candidate D, R or I. That or I am overanalyzing things again.

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Too much past blast

Be warned that my young adult life had a decidedly daytime-drama air to it, but my visits from the ghosts of upheavals past this evening were a bit more than I can process at once.

First, it’s pick my kids up at the ex’s trailer, where he lives with the woman who worked for me in high school, who he was dating before we met and who was, for a while after we were married, driving by our house at odd hours.

And if that’s not bad enough, I’m happily standing at the UScan checking out my small basket of groceries when a friendly “how are you doing” reaches my ears. I look up and see the friendly, smiling faces of two people, a couple, I knew when we were all teens. Awww. Nice. Sweet. Yeah, except the deal is that I know him because I had a six-month-long torrid relationship with him. I know her because she is the girlfriend he was “in the process of breaking up with” the whole time. (Note that these two are married now.) I know both of them because they are the ones who eventually ended with misdemeanor convictions for beating the crap out of me after school.

Hi, how are you doing? Whoa! Overload. I mumbled something pleasant and laughed nervously and then left. What the heck are you supposed to say? “Hi! How are the kids? You still wearing those strange, shiny underwear?”

Yeah. I always think of the best things to say after the fact.

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Mergers, diversification and other secrets of romance

I have a dear friend who would argue that relationships between two people--marriage, for instance--are more business deals than anything else. And we have delightful verbal tangos on the issue, with him telling me that I’m a sap (I am) and me telling him he often has the romantic inclinations of a fencepost (he does).

Now in many ways, this friend is correct. From a financial standpoint, a married couple will almost always have more potential for income than a single person. They live together in one house, pay one set of the expenses of living, and generally take advantage of that proven truth of business known as economy of scale. Though it isn’t in any written contract, many of the interactions of marriage resemble what one might see in a relationship between two businesses. If you cook dinner, I’ll do the dishes. If you work full time, I’ll work part time and take care of all of the household duties. It even enters into the most intimate parts of a relationship. Almost every couple who has been together for any length of time is familiar with bedroom bargaining.

So you have financial incentives, de facto contracts and heated bargaining. Sounds like business, no?

It does. But there’s one thing you throw into the equation and it taints the brew, so to speak, and calls into question the businesslike appearances of many relationships: love.

Go ahead, get all the eye-rolling and the “yep, she’s a sap,” stuff out of your system. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

OK, here’s my point:

In my opinion, love is solitary in nature and therefore independent of any business deal. You either love someone or you don’t. Love may grow or fade over time, but it either is or it isn’t. And it is not part of any reciprocal arrangement. There is no, “I’ll love you this much if you love me in return to an equal degree.” If you love someone, it really doesn’t matter whether they love you back or not. Their ability to do so has absolutely nothing to do with your own feelings. I think most people would agree that the statement, “I love you because you love me,” is loaded with all sorts of psychological dysfunction and is not something any of us would strive for. No, the best we can do is to say, “I love you regardless” and then hope for the best. That’s why loving relationships--whether they be a marriage or a friendship or a family--can be frightening at times. That’s why they are so rewarding when they work. That’s why their demise is so traumatic.

In the end, despite all of the wheeling and dealing, we are left only with the enormity of our unconditional love for another human being and the realization that we alone must deal with all that follows. You can’t hire out that task.

Bottom line: Business is dependent on reciprocity. The core of human relationships isn't.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday morning poetry

Sometimes, the spam in my inbox is nearly poetic in its oddity:

Everything grows: your body, experience,
sexual desire but not your penis. Advanced Gain Pro
will make the last one grow too.
Advanced Gain Pro can enlarge your dick so
much that you won’t be scared of ruler anymore.
Try Now very cool

Sexual innuendo, random capitalization, badly translated language. What's not to love?

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