Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mayhem in the Animal Kingdom

I saved a nuthatch the other day. It was sitting quite stunned in the middle of some steps downtown, easy prey for clodhopper feet or the odd passing peregrin. Anyway, I scooped it up and deposited it in a cozy gap between a concrete banister and handrail, the kind of place no one sees but is roomy and safe for a wee nuthatch. Cute little thing. It had flown off when I checked back a couple of hours later. I of course had spent the time worrying that it was wounded and dying of dehydration or some such.

It makes me wonder at the endless mayhem we humans wreak on unsuspecting animals - birds flying into window glass, the legions of animals killed on highways (that tell-tale dark brown smear across the ashphalt), poisonings, habitat theft, sport hunting, eating, the list goes on and on. They say humans are at the top of the predator chain. That would be alright if we were actually eating all those animals. Most of the time, we're just killing them.

The only salve for my conscience is to give money to the local animal rehab society, which does simply fabulous work. I'd love to go up there and see what they do. Maybe next open house...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bored again

What would I do without a blog? What a fabulous way to look like I'm busy and all the while I'm ranting about completely immaterial issues. Anyone walking by my desk will hear me busily tippy tapping on the keyboard, and assume I'm creating a brilliant report on something relevant.

I decided last week I would compose a profound rant on our Sad Obsession with Consumerism but then I realized I really needed a new closet since my previous one fell off the wall (don't ask) and off I toddled to spend vastly on new closets. Then I decided I would rant about How Megalo-maniac Big Box Empires are Robbing the Innocent Consumer, however I realized almost immediately (okay it took a day or so) that I was actively supporting the Big Box Empire and couldn't really knock it without looking hypocritical - but then again, what's wrong with a little hypocrisy? A person can realize something is wrong even while they are caught in the system, I think. Awareness precedes activism. And some people take a while to screw up enough courage to activate. So to speak. Some people never do, and become perpetual complainers. Maybe that's what I'm all about. Anyway, I've moved on to much more compelling ranting: Boredom, it's Presence and Why It Exists.

I think people get bored because they're too dull to think of something amusing to do. Look at moi, for example, I get bored, I feel inexpressibly dull, and then just out of sheer orneriness, decide to start a blog (with a little prodding from L, that maven of pop culture and newfangled fads). Now I'm not bored anymore, and though I may still be dull, I like to think I'm struggling against the quagmire.

How about kids? I must have been bored silly as a kid at least some of the time, but I don't think I actually ever called it that or whined about it. Even if I had, my mom would have looked at me like I'd been possessed by aliens or something - what's to be bored? Get a book. Go outside. yadda yadda. Anyway I usually would go outside and look for four-leaf clovers or something. Yes, I did actually look for them and even found a few. Or, I'd hop on my bike and go help myself to an apple from the nearest orchard. Made the mistake of telling my Dad that once, and couldn't understand why he was so horrified - the place was PACKED with apples, what's one here or there? He called it "stealing". I somehow missed the morality bus as a kid.

Nowadays I don't think kids do anything by themselves, except watch TV, which is apparently not boring to them. I can't think of anything more annoying and boring than watching TV. Luckily, I don't have one. Before everyone points and gapes at the 32 inch monster in my basement, let me hasten to add, it doesn't work for anything except DVDs. Which are nominally less boring and can even approach amusing if they have enough chase scenes, martial arts (hee hee I wrote "marital arts" ) and dead bodies. ... where was I?

Oh yes, the boredom thing. I think boredom has a direct correlation with attention span - have you watched an older movie recently? I tried to watch the "seven year itch" a la ms. monroe, and nearly invented a new universe out of boredom. Everything took SO LONG to do, say, happen, or describe. Even the scenes were too long. No one in their right mind would take that long to say something in this day and age, people would just wander off looking for something less boring. Which is a really long way of saying, our attention spans have shortened exponentially. Which brings me to ADHD, but let's just sidestep that little rant.

So the theory is: faster lifestyle = shorter attention span = more predilection for boredom. Would changing the equation ie slowing down help any? CAN we slow down? or will the world just zip right by and we'll be like those women who wear the same hairstyle they've had for the past forty years, sadly out of date but blissfully uncaring? Perhaps we'd even stop being bored...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Neck bone connected to the...

So I had my first ever Encounter With A Chiropractor last week. My neck had been acting wierd for months, and finally my whole upper back seized up. I'm talking nasty stabs, annoying tweaks and dull aches, all of the pain variety. Eventually my skull felt like it was falling off. No kidding. It wasn't on quite right any more. I kept wanting to just ROTATE it a la exorcist, in the hope of some relief.

So my Chinese Medicine Doctor Friend (the medicine is Chinese, not her) suggested La Chiropractrice (that would be spanglish). I'm a multicultural kind of girl. So off I lurched, skull teetering gingerly atop neck. Now I've heard a fair bushel of unsolicited horror stories about Chiros, not the least of which was the guy who got completely paralyzed from a neck adjustment. So even going was a huge leap of faith, let alone allowing her to poke and prod around every one of a myriad of painful muscles that had somehow knotted into little bumps just under my skin. I probably looked like the sci fi scenes where there are greeblies crawling under someone's skin just before they erupt into a mass of larva or something. Delightful imagination, mine is.

In ANY event (a favorite derogatory term meaning: would you please shut up, I'm trying to say something WAY more important) there I was belly-down on the table, and there she was poking and prodding and making comforting "mmhmm" noises whenever I yelped at a particularly nasty prod. What is it with health practitioners that cheerfully torture you and then pretend it's all in your head (pun intended, in this case)?? Could it be I have no pain tolerance?

After several hours (actually minutes, but time is relative) she said "well, I think we need to do some adjustments" which, btw, I thought she had ALREADY BEEN doing. Apparently not. So I get flipped like the proverbial pancake (are pancakes proverbial?) and THEN the fun begins. One lies "relaxed" (read: try not to spasm too obviously every time she touches my head) while she grabs the offending member (that would be my SKULL you perverts - since when has "member" been synonymous with male body parts?) twists it to its full range and then when I'm least expecting it, practically YANKS it off my spine. Well okay I'm being a drama queen. But it was a sudden jerky-type movement. Accompanied by: on one side, a VERY satisfying series of snaps and pops and on the other side, me yelping in pain.

I routinely receive horrified looks when I mention I've been to a Chiro, as if they can hex you just by association. Not sure what it's about - they're all over the place, tons of people go to them, but it's still got some kind of stick man attached. (that would be zouzou speak for "stigma". I love using really bad English, like saying "bolivia" instead of "oblivion". I was converted the day I heard a woman say "its a doggy-dog world out there" - after a moment of perplexed silence I nearly went into hysterics laughing. Of course, sometimes people don't GET that I do know the real words, at least most of the time, and think I have no vocabulary. I used Bolivia in front of my ex-father-in-law and he said slowly and clearly "it's OBLIVION". How does one ever explain? The woes of being an eccentric. )

The end of the story is, I had to Go Back for Another Treatment before I achieved a Full Release. Hopefully that WILL be the end of the story, because although I'm duly grateful for the relief, it's REALLY unnerving to have someone yank my head around like that, particularly when I have a little mantra running in my head "a guy got paralyzed by this, a guy got paralyzed by this, a guy.."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

something or nothing?

So an ongoing dilemma in my life has been the something vs nothing thing, specifically regarding relationship quality. A friend is currently in a relationship and is wondering whether to break it off or not. My question to her was, what are you giving and what are you getting (or not getting) in this liaison? After much whiffling and waffling, she said she was getting: affection and cuddling, regular phone calls, companionship. I thought it sounded pretty good so far, until she casually mentioned they weren't having sex. She felt like they were an old married couple and they'd only been going out a couple of months. And it wasn't like they had the big incessant bunny-action honeymoon that tapered out quickly. No, this one had never really sparked. tres interessante, non?

So, I sez, how much does the sex matter? (apparently, to her, a lot) And to be perfectly honest, despite trying to remain open-minded about the whole thing, it would matter a lot to me too, particularly so early in the relationship. Yet, she doesn't seem bothered enough to actually break up with the guy. Some of the Girlfriends say he's a free-loader (he's not working, doesn't have much in the way of possessions read: one chair, rarely arrives on time etc etc). Others haul out the give-him-some-time-he's-in-a-rough-patch thing.

I think: is something better than nothing? Is it okay to drift along in a partially satisfying relationship or should one cut it off and remain single? Underlying the whole dilemma for my friend is, of course, the thought that being single is inherently undesirable. For me, I've tried both ways - I've cut off relationships that were going nowhere, and struggled through the breakup blues, and I've also hung onto relationships that were eminently unsatisfactory in one or several dimensions. I can't say I've found one way is better than another, though the older I get, the less interest I have in lingering just for a few hugs or phone calls. I'm starting to play all-or-nothing - mostly because having no relationship has its own cache, to say nothing of a lot more freedom. Apparently 48% of the inhabitants of Manhattan are single people. Are they all choosing nothing rather than something?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

approaching eccentric

thanks for the comments! carrying on from my previous rant,

The oddest thing is the field of psychology, where I have been dabbling for the odd decade, insists on a concept of normalcy. Else, how to determine a psychosis or neurosis? We'd be inundated by crazies. (I say that like it's a bad thing). In the old days, every village had its crazies - the Simples, the Slightly Odds and of course the beloved icon of the Crazy Cat Lady (one of my personal aspirations). When did these people suddenly become not-okay? (I guess I'm ranting about marginalizing not-normal people now)

Despite ourselves we DO have a normal-meter inside that says ewww, that's so NOT normal. I suspect we get socially indoctrinated as we grow, reprise on my previous blog. If we're lucky we become aware it's happened. If we're brave or crazy, or both, we try to do something about it. I have several friends who are instantly judgemental about everything they see, based on aforementioned normalitis (itis = inflammation. smirk.) Most of the time, they feel perfectly justified in passing judgements, without ever questioning the standards upon which they are built. But that leads me to another rant, namely the tendency to assume that our reality is the only reality. So post-modern of me. ewww. I'll have to wait till my normalitis calms down before I tackle that one.