Friday, September 21, 2012

Why The World Works The Way It Does

I don't know.  I honestly don't.

But this is how I hope it goes:

Things happen in our lives.  Big things that are going to happen no matter what.  Our lives are set out from the beginning, a bit like an outline for a story.  So it'll look a bit like this:

I. Beginning
A. Birth
1. Name
2. Parents
3. Lifestyle
B. Childhood
1. Lifestyle
2. First friendships
3. Learning
C. Teenagerdom
1. Learning
2. First love
3. Rejection
II. Middle
A. Young-adulthood
1. Job
2. Exploration of Self
3. Solidification of Identity
B. Middle Age
1. Parenthood
2. End of job
3. Re-identification process
C. Old Age
1. Grandparenthood
2. Re-solidification of Identity
3. Acceptance of what's gone and what is coming
III. End
A. Death

Okay, like that, but with more indents.  But do you see how none of the details are filled in?  This is what we're given when we're born.  These things that Have to and Will happen.  Okay sometimes there are smaller sub-headings that have to happen underneath of the 1, 2, 3 sections, but it was already more detailed than I was originally planning, and obviously it's going to be different for everyone, because that's what makes us all unique.

We fill in the rest.  We get to all the major plot points, but in the end, we make up the story.  We are the main characters.  We are the stars.  Our only goal is to get through the book and finish it with a flourish and a sign-off.

Essentially, we're the characters AND the editors.  We choose how we get to the plot points.  This is what is called 'free will'.  I believe almost every belief system in the world at this point believes that we get this (if I'm wrong, I'm sorry, please correct me).  And again, sometimes it's a shorter book.  Sometimes it's like it will never end.  Some stages last longer than others, some go by in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes, you skip over them entirely.  It depends on your book, really.  On your life.  On who you are, as a person, and what you're going to become.

But this is the basic outline.  It's supposed to happen, so it's going to.

And, personally, I like to believe that if we were good people, who lived good lives, and had good things in our hearts (and only we know if we do), we get to have something nice at the end.  Like an epilogue that essentially says "And they lived happily, ever after," or some-such nonsense like that.  Certainly if we don't do the good things, we do get punished, but I also believe our punishment happens on this earth, not in the next life.

Then again, who am I to say what does and doesn't happen after we die?  I certainly don't know.  You don't know either (unless of course you're dead, or the orchestrator behind all of this craziness.  or if you're the author who created the outline, only those three know).

And that, honestly, is the exciting bit to all of this.  We don't know what happens.  We can think we know, we can certainly make plenty of guesses -- educated or otherwise -- but we don't KNOW.  And that's thrilling, like being on a roller-coaster in the dark and you're climbing and climbing and you don't know when you're going to fall.  And then suddenly, out of the darkness, into the blue (or out of the blue, into the darkness?) the floor drops from beneath you and you're falling and it's fantastic and wonderful.

Or maybe like reading an exciting book, to keep with the theme.  You don't know how it ends.  You don't know what will happen with the characters in the story, where they will go, who will die before the end, what's going to happen, are they going to fulfill the goal?  What is the goal?  You have to keep reading, you have to keep turning the page, chapter-to-chapter, word-by-word.

Because in the end, no one knows.  That's the greatest mystery story of all.  It's a story we read until we're dead, and then we get to figure it out.

I hope...this gave some of you hope, I hope this didn't rock anyone's world too much (or, if it did, it did so positively).  I look forward to continuing my story with all of you, and I hope we all reach the end of our own at the right time.

Until Next Time, Dear Readers,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Crappy Day Just Got Better

I shall tell this in chronological order, since you always do bad news first and end on the good note.

My day was actually pretty "crappy."  I'd go so far as to say "shitty."  You'll find out why this is punny soon.  (Remember?  I work in puns)

I didn't sleep so well last night.  The two dogs who live in my house kept me awake for a good portion of it due to whining and being lonely because their owners are out of town for a few days.  (Or at least, they were out last night, REGARDLESS), so I wake up, go to work, yaddayaddayadda.

I'm not awake during work.  I managed to be professional and none of the customers could tell, but I was just not all there.  I wasn't feeling terribly good, either, due to a headache that felt a whole heckuva lot like a sharp pencil stabbing into my brain on my left side.  That started at 5:30, switched briefly to the right side at around 8:45 and then went back for one or two more goes before the end of work.  Not so much fun, I tell you.  Either I got used to it, or it went away, but it didn't hurt QUITE as bad as before by the end of work.

And then it occurred to me, I had schoolwork left to do for class tomorrow.  And that bummed me out so bad, it wasn't even funny.  I was not a happy camper at the end of work.

And then I learned I don't even have to go in for the three hours I thought I had to tomorrow, which is both good and bad.  Bad because I need the hours, good because it gave me a few extra hours in the morning to be able to finish up what schoolwork I might not get done today.

So, leaning towards it being a good thing, I stopped on my way home and ordered a pizza for one from Domino's because, well, I felt like it, dangit.  That and I'm Sally from Coupling, so suck it. (if you don't know what Coupling is, it's a BBC sitcom from the early 2000s, that was a little like Friends, but British and if you haven't watched it, you really should.)

And then I got home, and my back hallway, where my room and the bathroom that's used mostly by me is located, smelled of dog crap.  Not exactly a great scent to come home to when you've smelt cheese pizza in the seat next to you for the past 20 minutes.  So I had to take care of that.  (See where my day gets crappy? Do you see it? Yeah, thought you might)

But then I ate my pizza, and I did my school work and lo-and-behold, I finished it, too!  It apparently was not as much as I thought in the beginning.  So I'll have free time tomorrow morning before class, which'll be great.

And then, a few hours ago, I noticed I just wasn't feeling so fantastic.  I was feeling nauseas, my tummy was really unhappy, and my head was starting to hurt again.  And I wasn't hungry (which is usually what those signs mean) because I've been eating on and off all afternoon like a little piggy.  So I couldn't figure it out.  And it wasn't like I'd had a lot to eat, I'd just been grazing every couple of hours or so, finishing off the pizza, snacking on some chips, little things.

So, on a whim, I decide I need to leave my room.  And as I step into the hall, this overwhelming smell of more dog-crap assaults my nasal passages.  And it's strong enough to make ME gag, which if you know me, that takes kind of a lot.  And I'm like "Dude, I got rid of the smell from earlier, W-T-F mate? Did it come back?"

And it occurs to me, suddenly, that I don't know when the last time the dogs had been out was.

So I warily turn on the lights as I peek around the corner, and it just gets worse.  It's like, really super duper bad now.  And I see the damage.

I will not recount to you the sight I beheld, since thinking about it makes my digestive system want to revolt.  But know that it was really bad.  Oh, and apparently the girl who is supposed to take care of them while their owners are out of town may or may not actually be coming by tonight.  I had no idea when she'd be here and there'd still be clean up and taking care of, ah, shit to do.  So I texted the doggies' mommy, and then I took matters into my own hands, cleaned up the dog, cleaned up the crate, set up the back-up crate (because ain't no WAY I was putting her back into the messy crate, even freshly cleaned, I am not that cruel), put a blanket in there, put her in there, took the other dog out because he was feeling left out, mopped the floor (none of this is in any particular order except that this is the order I'm remembering it, not the order it was done), febreezed EVERYTHING, and started the laundry.  Then I cleaned my shoes and my feet and went back into my room where it is safe.  I'm keeping an ear out for the dog-sitter girl for a few more hours and if she doesn't show by 11 (which is when I'm heading to bed, because screw it, I'm tired, I've been up since 4 and had to deal with all of this), I'll feed the dogs just a little bit and give them some water and take them out again, and then be on duty (oh my gosh the puns just make themselves, I swear! I didn't even try that time!) for in the morning before class.

I don't mind helping take care of these dogs, I really don't.  And this was an exceptional circumstance day.  They rarely poop in my bathroom anymore (especially after I started picking the bathmat up off the floor) and so it was quite surprising this afternoon to find that, and I think the doggy that had the issue was having tummy troubles, otherwise I think she would have held it.  So I don't blame them, their owners, or the girl who is supposed to be taking care of them.  These are extreme times, and everyone has a bad day, even doggies.

And then I got to come back to my computer.  Granted, I haven't been on the internet in, like, two days.  It's ridiculous.  I was JUST getting around to checking blogger, when I saw two posts from a new friend of mine, who, I must say, is just about the sweetest guy I think I've ever known.  No, seriously.  He wrote a blog post with a poem in it.  And he addressed me in it.  I cannot tell you how much that brightened up my day.  Even thinking about it I get this huge, goofy grin on my face.  And in order to let him know how much it meant to me, I wrote this blog post (which I'd been trying to mentally compose all day but I couldn't find a good enough subject).

I am not the best judge of character.  Actually, were I to rate myself 1-10 with 1 being the worst judge of character you can think of and 10 being Jesus Christ, I'd say I'm probably negative pi.  I don't even know if there IS negative pi.  But that's about where I'd be on the judge-of-character scale.  I'm only negative pi and not any farther because there are people in my life who I was a good judge of character with, but they are sooooooo few in the number of people I've met, it's averages out.

So when people go beyond my expectations (which are by no means high, and it certainly shouldn't happen as rarely as it does), it's just the most crazy thing in the world to me.  And to be praised for something I do simply as a character trait, when usually I don't get praised at all for anything, that's just...incredible.  Seriously.

No, really, you guys.  Best day ever, even if it started the way it did.  All because someone appreciated the fact that I care.  Someone actually noticed.  It's ridiculous.

So thank you, Chip.  I'd have written you a poem, but I'm absolute bollocks at poems.  Instead, a punny joke:

Why are the people in France so thin?  Because one egg is un oeuf.  Why don't they tell that joke in France?  Because un oeuf is un oeuf.

(Note, un oeuf is to be said kind of like enough)

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Until next time, dear readers

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Was Nine

So, I know there've been, like, a-hundred-million posts, feeds, status-updates, pintrest pins, etc about 9/11/01 today, but here's another.

This is the story of my generation.  This is the story of those of us who didn't know what was going on because people thought we were too young to hear the horrible truth.

I was nine.  I was in the fourth grade, Mrs. Shelton's class.  She'd read a book to us that day.  I don't remember the book.  I remember someone telling us that we weren't to listen to the other kids on the bus when they said things about what had been going on, not that I knew or cared what was being said.  No one talked to me anyway.

I didn't even get to know what had happened until I got home.  And even then, it didn't hit me right away.  Okay, so two skyscrapers got hit in New York City by airplanes flown by bad men.  That was all I knew for a little while.  I didn't know about the Pentagon or the other flight (see, I don't know the number off hand and it's an injustice to the retelling of the story if I look it up right now) until the next day.  And only then because my dad's aunt worked in the Pentagon.

I didn't know they were connected until a few weeks later.  It didn't make any sense to me, and I wasn't directly affected since none of my family had been hurt.  Because while those people who lost their lives that day were many in number, like many, many kids across the country, they weren't related to me, they had no affect on me.

To this day, sometimes I have a hard time remembering why we stop on 9/11 (well, okay, it's only difficult to remember if I don't stop on Facebook).

But isn't that a testament of where this country is going and will be going.  We will have a huge generation gap, right between my peers and the peers of my older friends (who, mind, are only a few years older than myself) of people who don't realize that, yes, 9/11 did directly affect us.  It affected the country as a whole.  It affected the way we live, the way we work, the way we go about our daily duties, the way we vacation, the way we spend our time with others.

Or at least, it affected our parents, our aunts and uncles, our grandparents, those who had family directly involved.  And therefore we, too, were affected.  And very, very few of us actually recognize that.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the sacrifice made that day, eleven years ago.  But I will never remember it the same as those who came before me, nor will I remember it the same as those who came after.  Because they won't remember.  They won't know what they were doing that day, because they didn't care.  They were children.  I was a child.  When my teacher told us not to listen to the other kids' speculation on the bus, I didn't know what it was in reference to.  What I get out of that warning now, eleven years later, is that we weren't meant to know what was going on.  We were to stay children, because we were the last hope that generation had for our country making it out of the situation in tact.

I wonder if anyone but me sees the folly in that vain hope.  Because not letting us know has hurt us all the more.  When we come into power (a day one of my friends talks about with glowing pride, hoping for all the good changes that should come of it) we won't know what today meant, except that it was a day we weren't supposed to know about.  So we don't.  We won't.  We'll forget, and what will that do to our country?  Where will that leave us?

In a completely different world, just like what happened eleven years ago.

Because it changed the world.

Keep strong, my fellow Americans.  Keep solidarity.  Remember, always, what happened that day, even if you weren't directly affected -- that means you, young people -- because you were affected.  We all were.

Until Next Time, Dear Readers

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things that Terrify Me 3/?

It's the fact that I know it's not real that scares me the most.  Because usually when I notice it's not real, I wake up shortly thereafter, but with the night terrors (which is what they are, because now I'm seeing spiders on my comforter, and any arachnophobes need to stop reading now) I don't wake up right away.  I'm stuck with the sensation of movement (the dream) but not actually moving (the paralysis that keeps you from falling out of bed when you're in REM sleep), and it SUCKS.  I'm just sitting there, watching this brown recluse spider wander around right in front of my face, and I'm like 'Holy shit, need to get him off the bed' so I try blowing on him, and I attempt to lift my arms to wipe him off or flick him off or get him the HELL OFF MY BED, and it's not working and I can dream-feel (this is why the pinching-yourself-awake thing doesn't work for me, because when I dream-feel, it's like it's really happening) myself wiping my face with my glasses in hand (even though I'm not holding my glasses, hence why I knew it was dream-feeling) but I don't see my arms moving, and all I'm seeing is this stupid spider running back and forth across my comforter.  IT'S NOT VERY COMFORTING.

And all of this happens around the same time in the morning, after I wake up at around 5 or 6 or so and go relieve myself of my bodily fluids, then I go back to bed and tah-da, there you have it, stuck in this zone of terror for who knows how long.

And this time it bled into a dream, I didn't get to wake up, I just went back to sleep.  And the worst part is that I don't know if I'm screaming or talking in my sleep, or if it's just in my dream, because I can't tell the sensations apart usually.  And it was a dream with mostly analog clocks, because I couldn't move my arms to find my phone and check a digital one to make sure I was dreaming.  And when I finally did find my phone, I dream-called my cousin and that's about when the actual dream started.  And then I could feel my mom sitting on my bed (but couldn't see her even though my eyes were open -- though, again, not sure if dream or real) and touching my hair and saying how much she loved me, etc. etc. etc, and all I could ask her was "Don't be dead, please don't be dead."  Because that would be the only way she'd be in-not-in my room.  And I'm still worried.  So much so I've texted my mother to make sure she's okay, and will be on pins-and-needles until she gets back to me.

Though Dad hasn't said anything, but I'm not entirely sure she's not at work where he can't know how she's doing right at this very moment.

I hate having dreams where she's not okay.  This isn't the first time it's happened, and I don't imagine it will be the last.  I very rarely dream about anyone else not being okay.  Actually, I think I've never dreamt about my Dad (or at least, he was only there in passing), my sister will come in and out sometimes, but she's always fine, I rarely dream about anyone of import who I know is in my dream, usually it's just "people who could be other people sometimes".

But Mom is always Mom and it seems like there's always something wrong when I dream about her.  And since I've now moved out, I can't just check and make sure she's okay right away.  I have to wait and find out and that makes me so nervous.

Because I never do get an answer from her in my dreams.  So it's not like I know she's okay, even in my dream (then again, I never know she's not okay in my dream, it's just what it looks and feels like).

I dunno... I guess that's why this is part of the "Things that Terrify Me" series, huh?

I can't wait until whatever causes these goes away again.  I'm certain it's the time of year/stress/combination of both.

Until Next Time, Dear Readers (I hope it won't be another installation of this series),

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things that Terrify Me 2/? (And: I'm such a Kid sometimes)

It's been almost a year since the first edition of Things that Terrify Me.

Maybe it's the time of year that causes the night terrors or whatever this is.  At some point between the times of 7:48am and 9:00am this morning, I had another one.  The first one since "Things that Terrify Me 1/?"

And yeah, it's still scary, mostly because I'm aware that I'm awake when it happens.  Or that I was asleep. Regardless, I know what's going on when it's going on and that's the scary bit.

I can move around, too.  That's what's really weird.  I can move around and fight it off, which is new from last time.  And I didn't have any hallucinations, like last time -- auditory or otherwise.  It was just the feeling of something being on top of me and it wasn't a good feeling.  I tried moving to my side (sleeping on your back is a main cause of night terrors), I tried flipping over.  I tried taking the blanket away from my neck.  And for the most part that last one seemed to work, but by then I was completely conscious and just wanting to go back to sleep.

It's scary, but I suppose it's better than bad dreams, right?  And it's probably not helped by the fact that I very recently watched a horror movie, by the title of the Poughkeepsie Tapes.  Not a good movie to watch when you're by yourself (luckily, I watched it midday, so it's not so bad, but still not a pleasant movie).  Yeah...

In other news, I went and bought groceries today.  For dinner I had a Lunchable (chicken nuggets and oreos) and a chocolate soy milk box...  Like I said, I'm such a kid sometimes. :P

Until next time, dear readers,