Tag Archives: philosophy

MP#12-13: Family Style

First, I want to talk about Movie Pass. There’s been a lot of complaining about the lack of movies, the restricted times, the new three per month rule, etc. And I get that. It’s frustrating to get used to seeing a movie a day ~ any movie ~ for ten bucks a month, and now you can’t. Wah! But seriously. You didn’t really believe this was a sustainable business model, did you? Since May, I’ve seen 13 movies for $20, and that’s fab. (My first month was a freebie.)

Even if I saw three matinees a month at the lowest price around here, which is $6, that would still cost more than Movie Pass at $10. Please forgive me for not jumping on the bashwagon, okay? I hope MP lives on; I won’t be shocked if it goes under though. It’s still bleeding a lot of cash.

I’m lucky because I live about a mile and a half from an E-ticket theater. MP prefers those and gives a wider selection of movies at the full range of showings. I saw Mission Impossible when other MP holders were having problems. Last weekend I saw Christopher Robin and this weekend I saw Dog Days. Apparently everyone else is being forced to see Slender Man or The Meg. 😛

Okay then, a bit of spoilery reviews. Click away now if you don’t want to read them.

1. Christopher Robin. Good family movie with some adult themes of death, war, etc. I was surprised at the uneven pacing, but yet I enjoyed it. Excellent cast and acting. My main criticism is that I wanted the magic to make more “sense” ~ I don’t know how I feel about Pooh & Co. being randomly alive for humans other than CR and outside of the wood. Something about it bothers me.

2. Dog Days. Cute, super predictable flick. Romantic and heart-tuggy. Lots of cute doggies and cute children. Hilarious dog therapist who was the best part of the movie imo. Liked the trailer for Alpha, another dog movie, shown before this.

I’m ready for some adult films now: The Wife, A Simple Favor, The Old Man and the Gun, etc.

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Contemplation

Huntington Beach Pier, 2015

I wonder what this bird is thinking about as he gazes over the vast, foggy ocean.

Still the Same [dating story]

Haven’t poasted one of these in a while, eh? Don’t worry, there are more. That’s a threat and a promise. Better keep checking in. 😉

As always, names are changed to protect the guilty.

This particular story is an example, as if one is necessary, that people don’t change. My vast amount of experience haz taught me very little, but I finally glommed onto that nugget. It’s not 100%, but it’s damned close. If someone does a thing once, chances are good that is who they are. There are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, but they’re rare enough that we can feel safe using this rule of thumb. Well, I can. Do what you will.

Early into my dating adventures I met a man on OKCupid I clicked with. Let’s call him Bob (for Bob Seger’s song “Still the Same“). Bob was handsome and intelligent. He lived in Los Angeles, but unlike every other man in L.A., he didn’t freak out about the distance and driving on the 405 to meet me. In fact, he approached me on the site. Also, unlike most guys, Bob enjoyed texting and emailing. We exchanged loads of messages without him bugging me for the first phone call. Finally, we did chat on the phone and it went really well. But he confessed something: he wasn’t actually divorced, not even legally separated (though “emotionally” he had been for ages, natch), and he hadn’t even moved out of the house he owned with his wife cuz their finances were “complicated” bla de bla. If I had a dollar for every one of these guys, I could buy a house. Well, maybe a condo. Okay a steak dinner for two. At Morton’s!

I told Bob that I was legally divorced and not interested in dating a married man (BTDT, didn’t get a tee shirt). He understood, but said we should meet anyway “just to see.” I didn’t want to see. What was there to see? I didn’t care how much chemistry we might have over lunch ~ why did that matter? He was still married; he hadn’t even filed papers yet. He said that was imminent, as soon as his wife would cooperate on the money things. Sure. I got that. I said when this happened, and he had his own place, we could haz lunch. We kept interacting online and via text because we had built up a good rapport. But finally he faded away, as they do.

Jump to a year and half later. I was back on OKC. And… so was Bob! At first, I was happy to see him. He had a new screen name and photo. I thought maybe he had divorced and all was cool ~ I remembered our great rapport in writing and got my hopes up for a mo. We began to chat. And… guess what? He had become entangled in an almost identical situation! He was divorced. He had bought a new place. And now he had a new girlfriend living with him, they weren’t happy, and he was already on dating sites behind her back. Ughhh! WTF? Why would he do such a stupid thing to himself?

Because people do what they do. They can’t help it. They don’t change. Except for me: I gave up dating sites and am an exception to my own rule. You can take that to the casino.

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Conflicting Philosophies on Chronic Pain

In honor (lol) of migraine awareness month, here is another poast on the topic.

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There are two basic ways of dealing with chronic pain, and neither is “right” nor “wrong.” They are simply different. One may work for you, or the other might be more helpful. One may be more useful at certain times in your life (say 9-5) and the other at different times (nights and weekends, possibly). I’m just throwing some ideas on the table and clarifying them for myself via the written word, as I do.

1. Fake it ’til ya make it.

This is the traditional approach of visualizing the thing you want (a happy, pain-free existence) by pretending you already have it and smiling, acting cheerful, never mentioning your ailments, etc. Just ignore the throbby slammy hammer pounding itself through your eyeball and soon you won’t even notice it’s there cuz you’ll be having so much freakin’ fun! Seriously this sometimes works for me a little if only because I just don’t even want to talk about the fact that I’m feeling awful (especially in the office), since it doesn’t help anything and why bother; while I might not be chipper I can get immersed in a task, and there are times (if I’m lucky) the pain may subside somewhat.

2. Eff that ~ lying is stressful.

What a relief to read on the migraine site that we don’t have to fake it. As if it isn’t stressful enough to suffer from migraines, we also have to deal with society’s pressure to always be happy and smile. Why? Because we make other people uncomfortable if we don’t. Well, that’s their problem, isn’t it? Our problem is that we’re in horrible pain, nauseated, dizzy, etc. They’ll just have to deal with the fact that we aren’t flippin’ cheerful at the mo. This is my preferred approach outside of work. If I’m in pain, I’m not gonna lie about it to my family and friends. If I need to rest at home, that’s what I’ll do. Why the heck would I lie, say I feel great, go out to a loud, bright movie, and throw up? Dumb!

“Not trying to be positive all the time is a radical act of self-care.” ~ Kerrie Smyres, from the above-linked article.

Misty Memories

Butterfly

It’s fitting on this last day of the Daily Prompt, which is retrospective, that I take a look back through the mists of time to the beginning of my blogging experience.

I started on a whim in September 2003 with Ultrablog, since my fellow writers from Usenet seemed to be jumping in. The name came about because my Usenet handle was Ultraviolet and I tried to stick with a purple motif, though the details changed. I had butterflies and various templates on blogger, and then I bought my domain ~ and I even purchased an artsy template once when I had loads of hits per day. I never monetized any of my blogs however. Too much work.

My Ultrablog topics ran the gamut. Opining on funny pieces of news, poasting about aminals, sharing family events & pics, mocking things I found online, offering up Sunday word games for fans, etc. I jabbered fairly frequently about writing and my writing progress, or the lack thereof. I was fairly open in calling out people who could have recognized themselves in my takedowns, but mostly I sailed through okay.

But I got into a flamewar over pitb*lls, which became insane, and I wanted to delete those poasts and some comment threads. I ended up ruining my comment numbering system and couldn’t get it right again. This drove me bananas. I decided it was time to archive Ultrablog and start a new, lighter blog with no flaming.

Thus was born Cats, Cupcakes & Shooze, the most boring blog in Blogville. It didn’t last long, maybe a year, and I didn’t even bother archiving it. Around the same time, my mom was dying, so I began a private blog to record my thoughts and feelings about the situation, and to get support from close friends. I still have that blog archived.

For around a year or so, I was blogless. IKR? But I was in a relationship I couldn’t talk about, going thru a divorce, still upset about my mom, etc., and it seemed pointless to start another blog when I’d have to self-censor about so many topics. I was very careful on all the other social media too. But ultimately I missed blogging too much and revved up this WordPress account and my domain name.

At first, I poasted only poetry, song lyrics, book reviews, cupcakes pics, etc. But then in the summer of 2011 my divorce became final, and a few months later my unspeakable romantic relationship crashed. After that, I felt freer to poast as I pleased, with very few limits. That said, I frequently delete poasts I don’t like having around, but that’s my own choice. Only once I deleted a few poasts upon request.

People gravitate to personal stories ~ I know I do. That’s how we connect with strangers on the internet, by glimpses into each other’s lives, shared interests, mutual points of caring. I don’t want to read some blogger’s opinion on the news headlines. Boring! I said this all the time on Facebook ~ why are you peeps regurgitating CNN at me? I know how to read the news. I’d rather hear about a fun new restaurant you found or something cute your dog did, or even that you stubbed your toe, so I can offer sympathy.

I always tell myself to poast more about writing and read serious writers, but I enjoy so many things that I keep adding “non-writer” bloggers to my feed anyway. I add bloggers who mostly poast photos of flowers. I love flowers! And kitties! And sunsets. And doggies scampering on beaches. And travel stories even though I don’t travel. And philosophy. And movie reviews. And comedy! There are so many wonderful things to love in this world. But if you poast dark sad twisted poetry, I’ll probably love that too.

Fifteen years of blogging, more or less. Wow.

I think we’re up to date.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Retrospective

If You Don’t Got It, Flaunt It

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I’m going to indulge in a bit of neenerism for a moment and flaunt my “single and not looking” status. Why? Because lately I see so much drama both online and off regarding relationships and dating that it makes me extra double super duper glad with sprinkles on top that I’ve been staying uninvolved. Not to mention that the older you get, the more difficult it is to mesh with anyone in a romantic context.

When you’re young and you meet someone 180 from you, you’re all like, ooh cool, he’s different and interesting, yeah I want to learn about his culture, eat new foods, travel to new lands, adapt to a new philosophy, yada. But when you’re old and you meet someone who goes to sleep a half hour later than you do, you’re like, whoa whoa whoa, this will never work, bye now.

I mixed up flout and flaunt many decades ago, and someone gave me a helpful reminder: She flouted the rules and flaunted her boobs.

I haven’t forgotten since.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Flaunt

Vagueku

Once there was something
Or maybe it was nothing
We might never know

Today path is clear
Tomorrow out of focus
Time to wash windows

Mysterious dreams
Pointing toward the future
Or too much teevee

Cat has been silent
Maybe plotting my demise
Or stalking a bug

Birthday approaches
A time for celebration
And counting undones

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Vague

Restart

pexels-photo.jpg

I was chatting with a friend the otter day and lost track whether it had been 5 or 6 years since my divorce was final. (It’ll actually be 7, this July.) The years roll on by. This month marks 5 years since my dad passed away, and April 13th will be the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. At the end of August, I’ll have been at my current job for 17 years.

Nothing dramatic, but I feel that 2018 is finally starting for me now on March 1. I didn’t feel well for a bit and, except for my daughter’s wedding, 2017 wasn’t that great of a year overall… the end of it slid into the blackness without a splash. It’s taken a few months for this year to get going in my mind. Emotionally, I needed to process the fact that time passes so ridiculously quickly now and quit wasting so much of it. I saw some piece of trivia that we really only read around 4000 books in our life ~ so let’s not be gobbling up so many crappy ones ~ also let’s not allow a month to pass without reading any (note to self).

I read two books in February. One was supposedly “great,” a NYT bestseller by the demigod Ethan Canin Titled A Doubter’s Almanac, which took me a long damn time because I tried to grok the math, and lol the joke was on me [spoiler alert]… it was fake. Yes, in the era of fake news, we also have fake math. I enjoyed the beginning of the book so much, but then when the narration took a weird turn I started wondering about the math theorem and looked it up ~ fake! I thought, okay cool, he made it up for his fiction. I can respect that; I make shit up all the time. Fuck, I’ve made up whole cities. But dammit, I felt betrayed. I had invested so much time in the book’s philosophy up until that point. In fact, it reminded me of my own philosophy, my central thesis, my touchstone…

MATH IS GOD

But eh fuck it. I read the rest of the book much faster, skipping most of the “math” and just trying to keep it together structurally until the end because I had a hunch about what might happen regarding son/father and… viola… I was correct. Sheesh, what a long book. Unnecessarily so. All those beautiful women falling for dorky mathmen with no social skills because of course they do. I love male fantasies. They’re almost as stupid as female ones.

Then in two days I read a nice, neat, normal murder mystery by Robert Dugoni titled My Sister’s Grave. Well, it wasn’t “nice” exactly ~ made me cry a little. Good book. Significant flashback sections, but after the fake math stuffs? Totes fine.

Point being, with unlimited time I would read every book, see every movie, give each tune a listen that friends slap up on FB. But time is running out. Well, not time precisely. It’s not doing anything. But I’m finite. I don’t want to waste another 3 weeks immersed in a boring father/son angst marathon only to discover there’s no such thing as the Malosz conjecture. Break my heart! Never trust a writer.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Restart

The Meta Conversation

Boston Creme

Or what we talk about when we talk about talking. [hat tip to Raymond Carver]

Some people dislike “small talk,” the meaningless howareyas, haveaniceweeekends, coldenoughforyas watercooler type of chitchat. I never minded it. To me, it’s part of the please and thank you polite currency that smoothes over the transactions of our workplace relationships. Are we merely pretending to care about each other? Maybe. Maybe not. Do we always care that deeply about the answers to all the questions we pose to our friends and family, or is some of that merely filler as well? I don’t even mind when strangers ~ cashiers, waiters, neighbors ~ say this stuff to me. So what?

Why is filler conversation bad? Filler can be delicious, like the custard in a donut (mmm donuts). I’m part of a group where the leaders ask many “meaningless” questions, some of which I skip over, and some of which I reply to. I read other people’s answers when I have time, and often they’re interesting ~ first jobs, favorite writers, hobbies ~ and occasionally one of those poasts inspires me to write a longer piece myself, such as this one, or even a pome later on. Some of the group questions aren’t filler, but too personal to answer and I ponder them silently. I admire the brave folks who do reply. If I can think of a joke or a response that isn’t too revealing, I’ll put that. It may appear as though I’m an open book, but perhaps that’s just sleight of hand. You’ll never know, will you?

I’ve told you everything you know about me, but I haven’t told you everything I know. [hat tip to General Boris Alexandroff ~ yabbut rando site says so]

Most convo though is like shadows on the cave wall. We create definitions of words so we can communicate (table, cat, apple), but the whole endeavor quickly gets so tricky (love, loyalty, patriotism) that we assume a shaky base of mutual understanding in order to proceed, and often our assumptions turn out to be false. Oh, that’s not what I meant by love. Hah, fooled you! Or people can say that’s not what they meant even if they did mean it, and this becomes a totally legit way of squirming out of something because we all know conversation is just like this, even when it isn’t.

How conveeenient!

Now we make a new friend, bonding over shared heartbreak. Two people who’ve been burned by others deliberately (or so it seems) misunderstanding definitions miserably commiserate. Isn’t that nice? But wait…

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Conversation

Fuzzy Atheism

Prism

Ten years ago today I wrote a woo poast in my secret blog, the one I was keeping while my mom died of cancer. I’ve never been a super duper militant atheist like some, maybe because I wasn’t rebelling against anything at home. I simply didn’t  believe, that’s all. My nonbelief was never a huge deal to me, or to my parents, though I realized early on it was shocking to others, especially when we moved to the midwest in the 1970s. So, I mostly kept quiet about it. Back then, you didn’t blast your personal beliefs all over town as you do now. No Facebook, blogs, instagram, Twitter, etc.

There have been many times my lack of belief gets fuzzy. I want to believe, like other people do. It seems to be so comforting. Why shouldn’t there be more? A greater thing, a purpose. Why do connections have to end with death? Why can’t we be with our loved ones again in some way? That all sounds good. Sometimes it sounds too good, especially when I’m sad, and I start to imagine it could possibly, maybe, be true, somehow. Well, why not?

Ten years ago today I wrote that my ex-husband and I had worked everything out and were getting along better than ever. I called him my “soul mate” in that blog poast. But we split up about a year and a half later. I also wrote about the hallucination I had of an angel when I was sick with a very high fever in 1996. And finally I wrote of an earlier time when I was depressed and asked for a sign that things would improve, closed my eyes, and opened them to see rainbows in the room. They were prisms from the sunlight hitting my glass animals at certain angles.

Maybe I was trying to cobble together bits of evidence for some sort of belief-cake, idk. I’d have to read more entries ~ and it’s possible I dropped the topic altogether. I’m not re-reading every entry of the death diary now, not that there are so many. I may at some point, or not; they aren’t going anywhere. I’m busy lately with various projects and have finally stopped forcing myself to do things in my free time that make me unhappy. Happiness is a choice, as “they” always tell us.

I do enjoy keeping up this blog, though lately rather sporadically. Thank you for reading!