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Definitions & Revelations

Sociopath (soh-see-uh-path) – Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.


So I’ve recently learned some things in a short amount of time.*

* There are people in this world who will do things simply to say that they’ve done them, even if they have the appearance of more it’s just a pretty extensive exercise in self-importance.
* Not everyone thinks like me
* I shouldn’t expect them to
* Emotional literacy is rapidly becoming a lost art
* I’m more gullible than I will ever care to admit
* I have a Jerk proclivity and wasn’t aware of it until now
* I think it’s Han Solo’s fault. He was my first crush

Let me explain – I met a boy.

Let’s call him Willoughby, or Will for short.

Will has has a rough run of things. Family kind of sucks, grew up in a rather lame town, all the normal disadvantages most of us have to deal with. He never really learned how to be decent to and sincere with people and apparently never took time. But he did learn the dance steps to appear being decent and sincere and developed a talent for attaching himself to personalities that it would fly with.

He is smart and learned how to read people and to tell them what they wanted to hear and it’s taken him through life fairly well so far. However, a closer inspection will show his steady trail of emotional graveyards whenever females have been involved behind him despite his smiles.

Enter me and him at a party. I’m adorable, bright, with cute hair and an honest interest in a what another thinking person might have to say about anything. Will manages to focus in on me, we talk books and politics and church and everything else of consequence and I’m impressed. Not the best looking guy I’ve let put their arm around me, but not bad either.

Text messages conversations erupt all over the subsequent weeks, real conversations progress, church allots for a lot of interaction. There are many long talks after meetings about books and things that we (read: I) love. I, over my shoulder, recommend one of a very chicky series of books that I think he might be interested in and not only does he read the one, he reads ALL of them, keeping me briefed and updated the whole way. He comes to the midnight party for one even. It was his idea. He touched base every day, made sure to make me laugh everyday but never once declared how he might feel or why he was practically sky writing to get my attention or make me smile.

His literary interest, typically firmly ensconced in Adolescent Literature starts to wander into realms not frequented by the testosterone laden, like Jane Austen. Right after he learns that she’s a favorite of mine, and my father recommends it.

He professes his arts education is severely lacking, which in all honesty is true, and we end up at the Huntington and Shakespeare productions. He then buys a membership to the the Huntington after our jaunt and on subsequent visits with him and others he proceeds to practically give them the same tour, verbatim, that I gave him. I find this more annoying than flattering.

I start to wonder at his intentions a bit after that. I wondered if he was attempting to reconstruct my life as opposed to simply figuring out a way to come into it because he wants to connect with me.

A late night conversation after a sweet date about his high school exploits was very educational for me. He spent the good part of an hour outlining the pains and ceremony he took to ask girls out or to accept when they asked him but never once mentioned a single girl that he went out with. He just reveled in the stunts he and his friends managed to pull and I found that not just unimpressive, but disturbing. I mean, where are the people in his life? What was his reason for doing all the things he did? I can only assume from his near euphoric recounting of them that his joy came from the event of itself, of being able to say as much, and not because of the people involved. And that left me looking hard in the mirror about our time together.

A number of other isolated oah moments come and go with trinkets here and there. We bond over Star Wars and baseball and other things but his feelings remain undisclosed and so do mine as well as my reservations. I finally say something about how I feel in the most innocent and non-committal way I can.  Mostly because I had run out of things to say. The emotional silence was deafening and the idea had filled my mind to a quadruple bypass point.

I didn’t know how he’d react but I didn’t expect our entire friendship to essentially fizzle into the equivalent of the depth that I have with my Starbucks barrista. No explanation of his withdrawal is given at all, for going one way or the other. Thus leaving me and my brain to make sense of all of these puzzle pieces of the last 5 months. I don’t quite get the whole chase-somebody-for-months-and-then-clam-up-and-run-away-when-you-get-the-green-light approach to things.

So the only logical and most charitable conclusion that I can come up with is the boy is a sociopath. It’s all sport; people, feelings, experiences, things – they’re all an extensive score card to him. And I have a feeling that there are a lot more like him than I was ever aware of.

An amazing and dear friend recently described me as pure emotion; love even. I look for it, work from it, give it and find it in everything and upon reflection I think she’s right. My world is a stringed web of one set of emotional attachments to another. The Huntington isn’t someplace I go, its someplace I love. It’s part of my emotional identity. Pride and Prejudice isn’t a book that I reread every year because of its literary merits. The people in that book are so real and special to me they’re practically friends. Someone reading that book is like introducing someone to people I care about. R2D2 isn’t just a cool effect in a movie, hes my homie dang it!!

These aren’t things on my resume. They’re parts of me, written on my heart.

I don’t think I’m particularly exceptional or silly or bright. I’d like to think I’m your average brand or normal but experiences like the last few months have taught me that people think VERY differently than me. Especially the male types. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of this before, but I’ve just been given 4th and 5th dimensions of perspective on the issue. People do not navigate the world with a Lizesque compass and its really silly of me to even think that they might. Only Liz navigates with a Liz compass and that’s OK.

So much for my grand delusions of stoicism and nonpartisan understanding huh?

Well I’m here to say that life isn’t a score card or a check list for me. Life is an Education Center at a museum. It’s a place full of people and books who know more than me and snacks and costumes and dioramas to walk through. It’s a place to get marker all over my face and hands and play with lights on a map and feel big and small at the same time. It’s a place to learn how to play with the other kids and color and laugh and read and leave doubts at the door and the last thing I need is a buzz kill of a playmate for the ride.

Onward and Upward 😀

*DISCLOSURE: I am by no means smarting over this aside of being chagrined at my own silliness. There are no bleeding hearts going on. This is just summation of my last couple of weeks.

It Is Time

There comes a time in the life of every red blooded American girl where she just needs to stand up and say something.

Fortunately, I do so quite often and not always necessarily about particularly weighty things.

However, right now, I am going to attempt to be serious.

I want to believe that I can change the world. I want to believe that I can help somebody and stand for something and make a difference. I want to think that I matter, that what I think matters; that I might be able to share and defend the things in my life that have brought me happiness. That I can stand in good company with my parents and ancestors who got to fight for what they wanted and what they believed. I don’t want to die without any scars.

As the American girl, daughter of a hippy and a lawyer that I am, I feel that flexing my influence as voter and conscientious citizen lets me do that, to a degree at least.

We’re in a pivotal election year. If you don’t know that you’ve been meditating under a rock somewhere in Katmandu for the last 18 months and should probably go back. It’s nothing but a stress joint over here and its lovely there.

There are A LOT of things to weigh, study, consider, and carefully make decisions about in this upcoming election.

There is a whole novel I could write and tell about the Presidential side of things but what I want to speak to now is something on California’s State ballot that I feel strongly about.

Prop 8 is getting a lot of attention and for good reason. It’s addressing a pivotal issue by asking us to define a social head space about Marriage and Family.

Its 14 words long;

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

I think that there are two legs to this issue that are imperative.

One is the legal precedence that is at stake.

In 2000 this exact set of wording was ratified and put into the constitution with a 61% majority.

Earlier this year 4 of the 7 California Supreme Court judges decided that they didn’t agree and that the 61% of California voters who said yes didn’t know what they were talking about and overturned it.

The last time I cracked an econ book, the courts’ responsibility was to interpret the law, not write it. Writing law lies with voters and their elected representatives in the State Senate. I don’t think that it’s OK for non-elected officials to think that they can speak on an issue voters have already spoken on, especially as recently as this one. It sets a gross precedent and one I’m not comfortable with. That’s too much unchecked power. There are only two states in the US right now who allow same sex marriages and that is CA and MA and both of those laws have come about because of the courts, not the voters.

Food for thought….

Secondly is the moral issue that’s in question.

Making the legal definition of marriage to be only between a man and a woman the charged and intense issue of Gay Marriage comes out of this almost instantly. It gets even hairier because what’s really going on is its asking people to reflect and make a call on how they feel about homosexuality in general. We are blessed with a significant homosexual population here in California and even now, despite our familiarity with it, there is still a lot of fear and hatred on the matter. There are still a lot of thinly disguised bigots out there that have jumped on this, some even in my own ranks, and scream their support for Prop 8 off of that box.

I don’t support that. It pains me to think that this issue is being so misunderstood and people are just using it to air out and justify their own prejudices. I can’t even begin to apologize for such ridiculous displays. That’s not how the election process is supposed to work.

I have close friends that are gay and I love them very much, so much so that I want them to be happy. It’s all but an emotional mine field believing so strongly one way and loving so many people that choose to live their lives differently, but I will try to explain myself as respectfully as I can.

Like I said before, homosexuality is something we all live with. It isn’t the monster that a lot of the Christian world has cast it to be.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a passionate Christian. I’ve served an 18 month full time mission for my faith, regularly attend my meetings, do daily study from our written scriptures and teachings, attend the temple and honor the covenants I have made with God in those places. My ballot is sculpted by that belief system because I try to live my life according to what I know to be right and wrong not popular and unpopular.

I know that God loves his all children and I do my best to too. For me, this is all about love and always has been. That has never changed.

I know that God wants his children to be happy, and I know that He has designed a plan for us to be so and the centerpiece of that plan is Families.

Marriage and families are sacred to me. I rank it up there with prayer, revelation, scripture, and love. I don’t like it being treated like a political football but that is exactly what I see happening.

There isn’t a single civil right that same sex partnerships would win or lose with this proposition. What is in question and what is important to me is how we are collectively declaring our DEFINITION of Marriage.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It always has been, and it always will be. It’s a divine design and no court or ballot will change that. So in an effort to live what I know to be true, I would want my civil constitution to reflect those truths as closely as possible.

It may seem like a trivial thing, but what we all decide in a few weeks will lay a groundwork for serious swings in public opinion, public education, parents rights, and start a nasty ball rolling towards any institution that only sustains marriage between a man a woman.

 

If it doesn’t pass and California’s anti-discrimination laws are abused, there will be a tyrannical proverbial kicking in the door of these places in the name of Tolerance. Tolerance seems to have taken on the horrible tendency to only go one way. “Tolerant” people seem to excuse themselves of being tolerant of supposed “Intolerant” people. It’s a nasty culture of hypocrisy, and again, I don’t think happiness lies anywhere where there is any kind of bigotry; whether it’s going right to left or left to right.

We’re all in this together and I think it’s imperative to examine WHAT is right not WHO is right. We will all be raising our families here eventually. We have to figure out how to live together and to do it well and with love. We drive on the same roads, shop at the same stores, laugh at the same movies, appreciate the same sunsets and pray that our kids will love California as much as we do.

I support Prop 8 because I choose Families with Mothers and Fathers that are married because they’re doing their best to live as closely to God and his plan as they can and I think it’s important for that definition of Marriage and Family to endure. Popular or unpopular as it may seem right now, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true and will continue to be.

I love you and wouldn’t speak so plainly if I didn’t.

Examine your conscience, register to vote and I’ll see you on Nov 4th.

 

Warning: This is a dating/relationship post. I’ll try to be positive but I can’t promise anything

Proceed:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t know if I’m alone in this condition but I have it none the less.

I’ve made the mistake of loving the wrong person with everything I had. I was young, I still believed in fairy tales and really didn’t have much to loose. I’m older now and so is he. We’re both still single and no matter how many times I’ve tried to finish it, some kind of emotional gremlin pops up out of the floorboards or crown molding. Loving the wrong person with that much intensity can create a life time of gremlins but I’m determined to chase them down and slaughter every single one. I don’t want them in my house or in my head. I’ve cried, hoped, waited and had enough lonely nights to fill volumes. Every woman who has truly loved has

Because he was the wrong person (not necessarily a bad person) he took it all and gave nothing back. Nothing but one night that he ended up not really caring about either.

So why did you love this prick? Why is he still on your short list?

I don’t know. We all have to start somewhere right? I’ve had the better part of a decade to bounce back and I have. I really do feel fine and confident and past the stinky emotional vat of young love that it was.

The thing is, we’re still in each other’s lives. Not constantly, not like a Ross and Rachel diboggle. He lives 100s of miles away and rarely visits. But when he does, I feel obligated to spend time with him. And when I spend time with him we slip into old habits. We only really know how to be one way with each other so that’s how we are. Standing way too close, looking at each other for way too long, and putting our fingers in and out of the proverbial fire.

I play along every episode. But what I’ve realized this time around is I play along for different reasons every time.

This particular pass is thus:

I’m not emotionally invested any more. I have no expectations so I can’t get hurt. We’re friends. I trust him. Hes funny and we’re a good fit so why not? Why not let myself take the arm of good looking well spoken man? We’re playing house, not working at a relationship.

Yes, I can still talk to him for 6 straight hours an it feels like thirty minutes. I find that annoying. What’s more annoying is that I’ve yet to find a qualified candidate that I can do that with.

Yes, we sit too close and his hand is on my knee more often than not. He nuzzles the back of my neck in grocery store lines with uncanny frequency.

We play the happy couple with out intending or wanting to. We’re simply spending time together the only way we really know how

I scream at myself to tell him to back off, to slap his hand and take a step back. And I do sometimes, more often than before. But – and here is where I get confused by myself- when I do and he does I get annoyed that he doesn’t.

When I was on a cross continental flight I watched a movie. In it Harry Conick Jr comes up to Hilary Swank and askes “What is it that women really want?” and Hilary makes him promise not to tell if she tells him and he agrees and she says “we have no idea” and she’s right.

It’s a basic female need to be adored, physically, emotionally, mentally. Not acknowledgment, not modest praise, we need to feel totally adored – yea worshiped.

I’m not. I’m not even taken out regularly. Most of my male interactions either consist of him having a wide eyed, nervous efforted conversation or talking about the Laker game. So if he wants to come to the alter of me, so be it.

We’re just playing house – it doesn’t mean anything. But where the grandest folly is, is that it leaves me wondering. And that I think it the source of the gremlin. I’m not hoping that it means something or living my life like it all does. I’m just left wondering. And that’s just annoying.

So I’m off to fumigate, detox, and revamp for the week. Shake it off and, just like every time before – begin again.

So I’ll admit it.

It’s super easy to be critical of our President. He’s the walking definition of “bumbling”. I think longingly about what it must be like to have a president I could stick my thumbs in my suspenders about. How I would have just held my breath with pride if I saw JFK in the TV screen and not Farmer Dubbaya.

He’s an Oz sized target for ridicule and satire. I don’t like doing it, he is my leader after all. That and it’s not fun because it’s that easy. However, there are times, like the present, when it’s hard to do little else.

Total aside: I’m still at a loss as to how he’s maintained the oval office for 8 whole years. Matt Taibbi has some fascinating thoughts about it in his recent Rolling Stone column but that’s not what I really want to talk about right now.

I think this Economic Stimulus plan is all but a Chuck E. Cheese coupon in an ornate Thank You note for the last 8 years. It makes NO SENSE to me. None. Whatsoever.

The US is in a horrible economic slump. Dare I say it? Recession Yeah – you heard. Because that’s what it is and that’s how we need deal with it. Head on and candidly.

Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery. Dubbaya is an alcoholic, he should know better.

Apparently we didn’t learn our lesson about living beyond our means 70 years ago and it’s creeping back up on us again. The only thing that’s different this time around is that we’re better friends with China and thats whats making all the difference.

A metaphor if you will:

America is the flashy fast talking BMOC that makes mistakes look good and is always borrowing money to take out his girl from his only slightly less flashy, slightly shorter, much more prudent, and less extroverted friend China.

China stays home and studies most of the time, doesn’t date much and bar tends on the weekends. So hes got good grades, good credit, knows people and has a padded bank account.

Our economy needs help. It’s a fact. I’m not Economist and I get that we’re in a world market and what’s good for America is good for every other developing nation. No man is an island. But it’s beyond me how a government – operating in debt – decides to gift its citizens a sum to spend and buoy up its economy (with money it doesn’t have and bricks falling off of its schools) – so it decides to borrow the “needed” sum from its buddy China with the express purpose to steady the economy by buying goods in the American market. Isn’t the crux of the economic situation the housing market and credit issues because of poor loans made a few years ago that are causing people to default on their primary investments? So we need to go buy an iPhone or a purse and that will make it better? Oh my. And those goods that will be the balm of all economic woe were made where? Oh right – in China. By what kind of companies? Right, Chinese companies.

So essentially this is stimulating whose economy?

Chinese interest on Chinese money to buy Chinese products owned by Chinese companies.

I need to start taking Mandarin lessons now.

So going from the conceptual to the mail box -there isn’t much we could’ve done about stopping the loan. So whether we like it or not, we’re getting check. OK – I’m a girl. I like to shop. When in Rome… Gotta do my part right?

So they tell us “If you received a direct deposit return you should get your blah blah blah by this date.” Mine was supposed to come Friday. Did I get a $600.00 salutation from China? Nope.

Because, in the true American communicative tradition, what the IRS failed to stipulate is that if you did your taxes on-line yourself there is a whole different set of norms. The way most of the TaxAct/TurboTax people work is that they set up this temporary account with a central bank that they tell the IRS to send your refund to. There they deduct your preparation fees and then deposit the balance of your refund in your actual bank account. SO the IRS never really gets your bank information. So instead of making that hole in the flow chart known and making it possible for you to submit your bank info to expedite the process (and to make their lives easier, save a tree, save paper, save postage, save labor, save toxic ink from entering the environment mind you) they just decided to quietly not tell you. And as an after thought cut you a paper check. That they’ll mail in – oh – say – about 2 months. Far and long after when most of us were expecting it. When did I find this out? This morning. From whom? The IRS. After digging through the instructional part of their website. For 20 minutes.

One word: Exhausting.

Another: Irksome.

Conclusion: Bumbling

Yes.

I am that girl.

The chubby one that’s pushing 30 with a bit too much perk than your under-caffeinated self can stand early in the morning. The one that’s read a few too many books, listens to NPR for more than the LA traffic report, and likes to talk about both like its celebrity gossip. The one you roll your eyes about periodically but always ask to proof your memos and emails to importants. The tolerantly stylish one that tries to blend her love for Anne Shirley, Anne Boleyn, Audrey Hepburn and Anna Nicole Smith and it comes out in a thrift store headband.

Yeah – that’s me.

I’m cool – but by my own definition

I know cool people, they let me in to the party, but mostly because they’re nice. I mean – they’re cool after all right? You can’t be cool without being nice. At least not by my definition. I’ve seen the inside of the Viper Room (more than once), William Fitzsimmons is my friend on MySpace Zack Braff is my dream boat.

I read Vogue and Go Fug Yourself. I know whats up.

I spend far too much time pretending to be a grown up. I have a blackberry with work email, a key to the office, a cubicle, an alarm code and a 401K. I click on a computer keyboard all day but not in the happy-creative-having-fun kind of way. More like in the database-analysis-making-a-living-bored-to-the point-of-nauseum kind of way.

I’m Christian, LDS even, and a Democrat. I was born in Utah but raised in California so “normal” does apply. The two extremes have canceled each other out. I don’t like jello or painting wood. I don’t sew my own clothes but I do make celestially delicious chocolate chip cookies and quilt occasionally.

I love my family. I’m a massive geek about it. Its big and loud with personality and drama to spare but I adore every single one of them. I have 3 brothers and I especially love them. My cousins are my siblings and I’m not even Greek or anything. My mom was a hippie that has evolved into an eccentric bohemian complete with sparkly broom skirts and an over abundance of turquoise jewelry. She was an English Major before me, like her mother before her, and her mother before her. My father is a real estate lawyer. They’re hopelessly in love and have been for 30 some-odd years. Yeah – I don’t get it either and I’ve been trying for a while now. Essentially, I bleed words and I like it that way.

I fought the genetic Literature programing for a stint in the form of declaring a micro-biology major. So I’m an English geek with a scientific analytical background instead. There are worse things in life.

My favorite things are warm slippers, sunlight, affectionate animals, movies that make me think without feeling brutalized, funnel cakes, roller coasters, moisturizer and mustaches (are there funnier things? Rarely).

My not-so-favorite things are radio static, cold feet, humidity, pointless traffic, other people’s messes, and posturing.

Now I’ll be honest. I have another blog that I’m pretty devoted to. I was invited to this one by a friend to co-write on another blog. But can there be too much good humored insight on our insane and multi-layered world? I don’t think so.

Blogging is our (meaning the Millennial generation’s) way of coping with all the layers, texture, depth and severity of our everydays. It’s the new tamagachi, but with more substance and no virtual poop to clean up.

That’s my thumb sketch of me. I’ll just be a voice from now on – this place will be my rantings on public and popular going ons rather than the digital scrapbook that my other blog is evolving into.

Either way you care to keep up, dear reader; there you are, and here I am.