Thursday, December 23

Miles to Go Before I Sleep

[Miles to Go Before I Sleep]

I wish you a Happy Holiday Season, gentle readers. I shan't be posting much because I'll be away for a bit. I'm doing a Mid-Atlantic/East Coast tour, visiting my mama and some friends. It will be nice to get away.

I'm glad that I'm visiting the mama person first, because (1) I'm starting to feel like I'm getting the flu and (2) most of the clothes I'll be packing are dirty. And, we all know that and nothing says "mama, I love you and I missed you and I still need you" like arriving sick with a pile of laundry asking for chicken soup to be provided and the laundry to be dealt with [yeah, I'll do my own laundry, if she'll let me].

I'm flying out shortly and I am preparing myself for the trauma. You see, I always get searched.

I've never been any trouble [for civic authorities]. I've never dealt drugs or made fake IDs [other than, of course, my own] or done any other particularly interesting illegal thing. I've never even gotten a traffic violation [which, considering that I've been pulled over nine times is quite remarkable].

And, still, I get searched every time I fly.

Somebody rifles through my bags. Somebody tells me stand with my feet at shoulder length with my arms extended. Until today, I was certain that this time somebody would inform me that for security reasons my breasts must be thoroughly checked: I mean there's room for something to be hidden there [and God knows I've stored a mobile phone or a pack of cigarettes or a wad of cash in the bra I was wearing numerous times]. Apparently, there were enough complaints to change that practice [the practice of feeling passengers' breasts, not the practice of my storing various things in my bras].

I don't ever try to carry on my stuff any more. It's easier just to check it. I make sure I have nothing that could be misconstrued as contraband in my purse, including but not limited to hair spray, tweezers, nail clippers, and crochet hooks.

Oh well. I got on a list somewhere somehow.

Before I get publicly debased, I need to finish readying myself and my things. I've been up for 21 hours [and I've got another 7 before I'll be able to nap] so I'm not optimally coherent right now. That means I'll certainly forget something. I have remembered some necessities that won't be available near my mama person's house . . . . notably Vincent Longo gel blush and Starbucks coffee. Hopefully, for whatever else I've forgotten, I'll be able to purchase a reasonable facsimile on the road.

Hugs all around . . . . 

Wednesday, December 22

Social Lubrication and Microspurts of Nausea

[Social Lubrication and Microspurts of Nausea]

Lies are social lubrication. If we didn't say, "what an adorable baby" or "I'm comfortable with the organizational changes" or "I'm certain she'll call" someone might not be able to make it through a moment. But [and this is a big but] our reliance upon them and the cultural acceptance of them bothers me.

There's a new Visa promotion where one can win back the cash from all of one's 2004 purchases. There is a commercial for the promotion where a couple is discussing it. The man describes the promotion to the woman and ends with something like "too bad you didn't make too many purchases." We see her thoughts: all the purchases she's made and hidden throughout the year. I think the ad is supposed to be funny. We are supposed to be endeared to her and sympathetic toward him because of these hidden purchases.

The underlying thought though is that in all relationships, there are things that are hidden and that lies are expected.

This isn't unusual. We euphemize. We hedge. We omit. The new dress is passed off as "this old thing." The date is passed of as a "night with the boys." The candy wrappers are thrown out the car window on the way into the driveway. We lie. We act as if this is the way it's supposed to be.

This irks me [even though, admittedly, I've done it myself].

I've spent several years in relationships [love and friendship] where I encountered material untruths. In the beginning, I didn't know I was being lied to. But, eventually, after years of dealing with extreme exaggerators and artful liars, patterns emerged. Now, I generally know when someone's lying to me. It's no great trick, really. I'll hear something and I'll get an odd feeling like a microspurt of nausea and I'll know that something that was said was untrue. I'm pretty accurate. I rarely am fooled by someone who is lying [although, admittedly, I do occasionally think someone is lying when they're just stressed or confused or inattentive — especially when I'm stressed].

Whatever.

Anyway, what's difficult to know is what someone is lying about. And, because it happens all the time, one would drive oneself nuts trying to figure out the truth in every matter. Although my first impulse when something is particularly blatant would be to say "why are you lying to me and what are you lying about?" I've controlled this reaction for the sake of my own sanity. And so, I regularly make justifications [or, if you prefer, lie to myself] about the importance of other people's lies. If it's someone I either don't know well, or don't care about it matters a whole lot less. It becomes a footnote in the character file. Even with those with whom I deal regularly, I tell myself that most of these untruths can be written off as likely exaggerations or lies of convenience and I just go about my day.

Someone tells a story, and although you feel that there's untruth in it, but you might just assume that in this case untruth = exaggeration because this happens with so many stories. We all do it from time to time. You just go about your day.

You get information at work, and you feel that there's untruth in it, but you assume that in this case untruth = lie of convenience. A cover story was seen as necessary because there are things that cannot be disclosed for some personnel, SEC or other legitimate confidentiality concern. You just go about your day.

Sometimes I wish that we could all just — when we feel that microspurt of nausea — point and loudly declare, "I call bullshit!"

But we can't. We can't because sometimes we would be wrong. We can't because this behavior would be considered anti-social. We can't because we're all [at least occasionally] guilty and we'd be calling one another out all the fucking time.

Sunday, December 19

Security & Sounding Posts

[Security & Sounding Posts]

A bad thing about living alone is that when one feels the least secure or the most apprehensive or the least tethered or the most suspicious or the least able to deal — particularly in the middle of the night — there's no one to talk to about it.

Tuesday, December 14

Deserve

[Deserve]

I made an order for $1034 in chocolate and nuts last week on a day that I realized that my entire outfit [sans boots] was worth $103.40 including $83.41 in undergarments. The chocolate was not, sadly, for me or for any of my friends and family, it was for clients. I'm unsure they deserve any of it.

I have gotten some holiday gifts already from vendors: a case of Chianti [yes, I've shared with the office], some horrible bath salts and oils, a new wine key, a thermos-mug. Not bad so far, considering that I'm unsure I deserve any of it.

I'm unsure I deserved what I suffered on the way to work this morning either: there were two people within earshot listening to Celine Dion. Most versions of hell I envision involve Celine Dion.

Moving on . . . . there have been some interesting tidbits in the news: Time for bed: I at least deserve that.

Sunday, December 12

Today's Spam Poetry

[Today's Spam Poetry]
irradiate syenite aqua smudge abhorrent arianism aerogene fallacious strenuous
birth coin archive demote cloak chunky semiramis soprano transite stress elm
citrate filigree downbeat soulful loom cezanne albacore taoist peanut spatlum
embower dearie dooley manfred
I've been repeating it. It makes me feel kinda secretive and smutty: like I'm summoning the Illuminati or begging guidance from Kallisti.

Back to work. Work work work.

Monday, December 6

Politics & Pursestrings

[Politics & Pursestrings]

We know that elections are bought. We also know that corporations do a lot of the buying. But, we generally don't keep track of who is paying for whom.

By comparing contributions to Republicans and Democrats during the 2004 election cycle — and by altering purchases of products, services and stocks accordingly — we can influence who has more money to blow on the next round.

Buy Blue and Choose The Blue have made it easier for us. It wouldn't be that difficult to spend at:
  • CostCo instead of Sam's Club or Walmart
  • Hyatt instead of Mariott
  • Nordstrom instead of Lord & Taylor, Marshall Fields or Kaufmann's
The most effective tactic would be to change one's shopping habits and to inform the retailers and manufacturers about one's reasons for changing, but, in the short term, we can all start with the shopping. I mean, 'tis the season.

Oh, and speaking of it being the season, consider Hallmark's $195,897 in Republican contributions when buying your cards [why not make them instead . . . . actually, why not make the gifts instead? hmmmmm . . . . that may have to be another post]. And, when shipping, note that your choices are pretty limited.

I do realize that there are corporations that donated blue that may be, for other reasons, politically inappropriate to support. But, I don't have those lists. If you do, let me know.

[Thanks to Eliot for the links]

Saturday, December 4

Week 13 Football Picks

[Week 13 Football Picks]
  • New England over CLEVELAND
  • INDIANAPOLIS over Tennessee
  • ST LOUIS over San Francisco
  • Buffalo over MIAMI
  • NY JETS over Houston
  • BALTIMORE over Cincinnati
  • Minnesota over CHICAGO
  • SEATTLE over Dallas
  • PHILADELPHIA over Green Bay
  • Pittsburgh over JACKSONVILLE
  • SAN DIEGO over Denver
  • Carolina over NEW ORLEANS
  • Kansas City over OAKLAND
  • Atlanta over TAMPA BAY
  • NY Giants over WASHINGTON
  • DETROIT over Arizona
And, yeah. I'll post about something other than football soon.