Earth Day 2014 – Long Lost Post

Hi! I found this post in the Drafts section of my blog – something I started with all good intentions, but never finished. Story of my life. Anyhoo, I like looking back, and I made some 2017 Updates, all in bold. Happy Earth day everyone! get off the computer and into the world!

1st Earth DayPogo-We_Have_Met_the_Enemy_and_He_Is_Us-colorHopeful, 2009Gas Mask

Hooray! It’s Earth Day! It’s the perfect holiday for me, because I think the planet is groovy and I have loved all the days I have spent on it. This year’s Earth Day is blue-skied and mild, part of the two weeks of fantastic weather we get in my city before it gets too hot to breathe. The garden is coming in; I have asparagi waving in the wind, my strawbs are berrying, and my Japanese Maple is flirting elegantly, dipping and and nodding graciously to anyone who passes. To celebrate, I think I will be outside all the doodah day, doing good deeds and spreading the love. So, to start off right, here are some things to check out on Earth.

2107 Update – The Japanese Maple died, because I live in Hell and its delicate leaves fried to a crisp. I got a new one and planted a bigger tree over it, to give it some shade. So far, so good.

1. Babies– Babies are really cute, especially if they are happy. They have tiny fingers and perfect little mouths, and their noses always tilt up. I have a lot in common with them – I like to eat and nap and have people do things for me, just like they do. The newest baby in my life is this one: McDorableGuess who she is? Making her debut on the Smaller Adventure stage is McDorable McAdams! That’s right, McAdams and Big Poppa had a baby! She really puts a crimp in my vacation adventure plans, but I like her anyway. Welcome to the world, McDorable, and congratulations to the entire McAdams family.

Happy First Birthday, Baby Peri!

Coming soon: Baby Girand, due Thursday!

Also, to all the Aries babies that I grew up with- Happy Birthday, y’all!

UPDATE, 2017: McDorable is now bigger than I am, as her mother is a giantess. She is, however, a sweet-pea, who calls me Auntie, and won’t go to bed unless I do, too.

Baby Peri moved to Maryland, where a fox visits her porch. She now has a brother and a sister, twins Haden and Cohen. Mom and Dad are very tired, but happy.

Baby Girand moved to Colorado, with her little sister and parents. They love being high in the mountains.

And, happily crashing the scene just two days before press time, welcome Sophie Meira, my newest cousin! I can’t wait to meet you!

So, yeah, babies. There is one being born right now. Birth is part of a beautiful cycle, non? Here is an artist who looks at the other end of that cycle and draws inspiration from it:

2. Art from Death: http://www.haaretz.com/culture/arts-leisure/.premium-1.583307

Her name is Pesi Girsch. You should google her. I  like her photography. I also love woodcuts.

Gustave Baumann: Gustave Baumann was an American print maker, painter and marionette maker. He also served as an art coordinator for the WPA. He was big in color woodcuts, which are so vibrant and interesting to me, because the way the lines come together to form a balanced image appeals to my obsession with patterns.

The-Landmark-by-Gustave-BaumannHopi Corn, Gustave BaumannThe Shoemaker- Gustave Baumann

A long time on Earth Day, back in the forgotten decade, the 80’s, my best friend worked in DC on Capitol Hill. She volunteered to coordinate all the volunteers of that particular Earth Day year, whenever it was, and I scored a gig in the hospitality tent, where I got to bring Woody Harrelson drinks. He was parched, so I saw a lot of him, and now I remember Earth Day as the Day of the Big Woody. Now he’s in this TV show I like, True Detective, with Secret Genius Matthew McConaughey. Woody plays this police detective ( a true one, no doubt) named Marty Hart. Like all good tv detectives, he is a deeply flawed man; he wasn’t that way when we were together, though. True Detective fans might like this: http://timeisaflatcircus.tumblr.com/   

Update, 2017: It wasn’t in the ’80’s, but the 90’s. I forgot them, too. 

Turns out maybe Matthew McConaughey is not a secret genius.

Turns out maybe Big Woody is: https://www.moviefone.com/2017/04/19/lost-in-london-trailer-woody-harrelson/

The second season of True Detectives turned out to be True Disappointment. Also, I don’t remember why True detective fans might have liked that link.

My friend, who just marched forth and celebrated another birthday, now lives in Austin, where she raises her son, is active in politics, sleeps late, dances in the kitchen, and makes my time on this planet better, richer and more meaningful just by her being in it.

3. On Earth, we watch a lot of tv.

UPDATE 2017: I don’t know where I was going with this, but I probably wanted to write about what I was watching. These days I’m watching some fine TV – Fargo just started again, and Better Call Saul, and I like a show called Crashing. I’m sad Girls is ending – I really liked it. I watch a lot of documentaries – damn, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know! So TV on earth – Huzzah! Sadly, some of the best of it may not be around for long… https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/17/public-broadcast-has-outlived-its-mandate-time-to-justify-its-government-subsidy/?utm_term=.cd4e6aa8a342

4. Talkin’ the talk: Earth Day 2014 followed the release of the United Nations study on Climate Change, which was grim as hell. http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/ ; tv version: http://www.nytimes.com/video/science/100000002797780/panel-on-un-climate-change-report.html?ref=globalwarming  Bottom line: we are fucking up and we need to get our shit together. We are running out of time, and in some cases, we’re too late. This news was met with what appears to be almost universal apathy. Maybe we care, but we feel defeated and overwhelmed. I don’t think that’s it, though. We just refuse to see, to deal with what is impending. We’re not hurting now, so we can’t envision future pain.

UPDATE 2017: This is only getting worse. It’s overwhelming and depressing, or as our science-denying, fact -defying, anti-environmentalist president would tweet, “sad”.

And so, mi amigos, this is where I left it in 2014. Much has happened since then; much has stayed the same. The world is still full of beauty, wonder, chaos, pain, death, birth, hope, and possibility. My hope is that I don’t squander my time here, or leave the magnificent marble in a worse state than I found it.

Bonus: A Spring Poem

Revelations of the First Hundred Days

And yea, verily, shall the Corpocracy rise up and anoint a New Messiah, of Great Stature and Small Hands, to lead the Oppressed Corporate Entities, those that dwell in the Cashlands between Human Being and Legal Definition, into a New Era of Freedom and Boundary-Lessness. The Shackles of Regulation and Review and the Insufferable Burdens of Fact and Logic didst take a toll on the Corpocracy and they cried and lamented and were forced to conceal their great wealth in Offshore Tax Shelters, Cooked Books, and Practices Nefarious and Deceptive. And the Corpocracy did welcome The New Messiah and dubbeth him “The Best Messiah in the History of Messiahs – Fantastic.” And the Corpocracy didst vow to Elect Him and to build Alters unto Him and His Disciples, and also to Unfettered Power, Status Quo, and Inherited Privelage.

As it is Promised in the Book of Believe Me, He shall lead the Corpacracy hither and yon, high and low, through the Sea of Ethical Concerns, over the spiny mountaintops of Limits and Legislation, beyond the Desert of Reason, to thrive and flourish in the Restocked Swamp of Greed, Power and Corruption.The Muck-Manna of the swamp shall sustain the Corpacracy over four long years, and they shall grow fat, and shiny, and well-formed. And, as it is said, the Corpacracy didst challenge the Stars of the Firmament with Ostentatious Sparkle and Excess, with Mighty Towers and Vast Holdings. And the Corpocracy shall Prosper and insure the Passing of Power to the First-Born Sons, and one, but not both, of the Daughters.

So sayeth He, The True Trumpet of the New Era: “Bow down to Me and I will destroy the illuminating Transparency that threatens to expose and burn you. Pledge thy loyalty to Me and Only Me, for I am Wealthy, and ask not for Signs nor Corroborations of this, but know that I am Tremendous, for that is My Word. Fear not the Harsh Glare of Scrutiny, and I shall maketh thee an impenetrable Orange, a hue so dense none can see beyond its Hallowed Halloween Glow. Thee shall be as Me, though in Lesser Form. For I am your protectorate, and I am Huge.” So sayeth the Great Groper, and the Corpocracy breathed a sigh and sent up a prayer of Gratitude and Felicitation.

And yea ,in the New Dominion, in the Restocked Swamp, Rich begets Richer; Class begets Privilege; Power begets Corruption; Greed begets Oppression, and On and On, and On and On, and Yea, On and On.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/us/politics/trump-appointees-potential-conflicts.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

“…Bugs are only lobsters that have learned to fly”

The quote in the title of this post is from The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably not the most meaningful, nor the most memorable quote in the novel, but it is the one I just read five minutes ago. I like it. There is, of course, truth to this statement. let me break it down for you:

Science Magazine You can read what this picture says here: www.geek.com/news/lobsters-really-are-cockroaches-of-the-sea-1614260/

There are even tree lobsters http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/11/465781993/love-giant-insects-meet-the-tree-lobster-back-from-the-brink, like the famed Hawk Lobster that the B-52’s immortalized in song –

hawk-lobster I like the truth of the quote, but I also like the meta-truth, which is different than the post truth. It’s definitely different from the truth I usually post. Actually, I’m sure meta truth is probably a real thing, but I don’t want to look it up; I just want to use the word the way I feel it should be used, regardless of its actual definition or accepted meaning. In other words, I want to divorce the word from its significance or intent and remarry it to whatever I believe it should mean. This process, is, roughly, post truth. I’ll get back to that in just a second. Meta truth, according to me, is going beyond the surface truth to myriad alternate truths that exist simultaneously or codependently with the original premise. As such, meta truth can encompass shades of meaning – for example, a lobster that learned to fly would no longer be a lobster; or that a lobster – or anything, really- is not just one thing, or doesn’t have to be the thing that it once had been.

 

In fact, when one looks at the possibilities of truth, we see that each truth contains its opposite, as in”To be, or not to be”, yin and yang, or ebony and ivory. And just to drive an obvious point even deeper into your squishy brain pan, since I alluded to Shakespeare, consider this, from Friar Laurence’s soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet:

The earth, that’s nature’s mother, is her tomb.
What is her burying, grave that is her womb.
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
Oh, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give.
Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,

And vice sometime by action dignified.

Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power.
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposèd kings encamp them still,
In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will.
Post truth is, according to the Oxford dictionary, “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” It’s a combination of almost all of the logical fallacies you learned in high school. Post truth is a bunch of fat ass lies that are justified  merely by wanting them to be true, and by letting the ego – one’s will or desire-  supplant reality. It’s selfish, stinkin’ thinkin’. Ian McEwan speaks of this through the protagonist in his brilliant 2016 novel, Nutshell. His main character is a fetus- a super smart fetus with a vocabulary that puts mine to shame, even though he? she? is kind of a lush. Anyhoo, this is what the fetus thinks about the world it will enter,after having been informed of the “strange mood [that] has seized the almost-educated” by what it has heard on podcasts and the BBC:
I’ll feel, therefore I’ll be. Let poverty go begging and climate change braise in hell. Social justice can drown in ink. I’ll be an activist of the emotions, a loud, campaigning spirit fighting with tears and sighs to shape institutions around my vulnerable self. My identity will be my precious, my only true possession, my access to the only truth. If my college does not bless me, validate me and give me what I clearly need, I’ll press my face into the vice chancellor’s lapels and weep. Then demand his resignation.
This brings us to the meta-truth about post truth. It is not enough for one’s reality to consist of one’s own perceptions. Humans have a need to acknowledge only one truth, and to make that truth the ‘right’ truth. It’s not enough that I accept that my reality is my truth – you have to agree that this truth is the truth. You have to agree that America was great when it was great for me, so that we can make it great again. Black lives matter to me, so they should matter to you. If we cannot agree on one truth rather than the other, one of us has to go. You’re fired. Meta-truth and post truth render a single definition of what truth is moot. What is truth? I don’t know. I read this article to figure it out:
 http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2015/01/29/What-is-Truth.aspx It was a very informative article, but I still don’t know what truth is. I do now know what ‘noumena’ is, though, and my Spellcheck does not, so I can truthfully say that I am smarter than a computer.
So, basically, I know about as much about truth as reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, knows about logic or grammar, as evidenced by this quote: “I don’t eat friggin’ lobster or anything like that. Because they’re alive when you kill it.” I do know this: truth is elusive. Lobsters can be caught, and so they are not elusive, except for the two-toned hermaphroditic ones, that you have a one in 50 million chance of finding. Lobsters are delicious. That is a fact. They have no vocal chords, so they don’t scream when you cook them, but I bet they would if they could. They don’t mind mercilessly killing for a meal, on account of they are cannibals. Their favorite time to eat one another is when they shed their shells, which they do when they are growing, which they do for their entire lifespans. Of course, when they are molting, they are particularly vulnerable. Female lobsters that shed their shells send out a pheromone to attract males who, when given the choice between a shag or a snack, usually opt for mating over murder. The ladies pay the price though, because they can have 8-12,000 eggs, and they can be from multiple fathers. The males might be monogamous, but the ladies are cheating crustaceans. I wonder if they get embarrassed when some Ross lobster looks at a Rachel lobster with puppy dog eyes, all hurt and shocked. Would she feel shrimpy and ashamed? Does a shamed lobster blush?
red_lobster_is_sin_by_jawshoewhah-d3g6jft Or, is her truth just that she is who she feels like being? Maybe she just is a sassy, sexy sea slut.
6a00d8354f1fb569e2014e8721ad68970d-580wi
Truth is tricky like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Stifle or to Scream – That is the Question

bunker-buttons-1

A fan – I call her that, but really she’s my sister, and she argues semantics with me even when I call her my friend- pointed out that now is not the time for us to quietly acquiesce, or keep our opinions to ourselves, a la Edith; what we need now is a Meathead mentality. Mike Stivic walked into every argument true to his conscience, using logic and reason to back his arguments. He knew what the outcome was going to be – Archies never change- but he kept trying, patiently (kinda) and persistently, and in the end, he made a difference in his family and community. He opened some eyes, and others at least began to understand and consider his point of view.

Turns out, Rob Reiner stays in character even when he’s not in character:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rob-reiner-donald-trump-critical_us_57e8c136e4b0e80b1ba2cee4

He comes by it naturally. His dad is outspoken and unabashed as well. http://www.thewrap.com/carl-reiner-rob-reiner-donald-trump-twitter-takedown/

If you are still not sure there’s a link between the tv we watch and the way we vote, check this out: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/26/upshot/duck-dynasty-vs-modern-family-television-maps.html?_r=0

So, now I’ve changed my mind. Now I say it loudly and proudly:po-meat-head-for-president-button_busy_beaver_button_museum

But in the meantime, we still have to deal with this:

archie-bunker-button-collection

archie-trump

You can just replace the names at your leisure. It’s hard to separate our present reality from the fiction that is entertainment. Keith Stewart posted this quiz. Scroll down and take it. I was surprised by some of the answers… but not that surprised.

http://www.astrongmanscupoftea.com/2016/04/quiz-who-said-it-archie-bunker-or.html

So, here we are. A little more than two weeks ’til Trump. I’m trying to be optimistic. It’s in my nature. And I have faith in humanity. Of course, you know what Archie says about faith…* Here’s a poem.

2016 AT (After Trump)

I have to say

The prognosis is grim

The pulse is erratic

Breathing has become labored, thready

The circular in and out replaced by gasps.

Constricted windpipes wheeze long, hopeless sighs

Nope, it doesn’t look good.

 

Worse still,

It’s going to be a slow death

Indignities suffered

Humiliation and Outrage piercing as icebergs

Slowly melting, slow as glaciers,

Until we are all awash in a flood of self-pity

Each of us secretly hoping we are Noah,

All the time knowing

We haven’t been that good

And we won’t be that lucky.

 

Of course, we will still rally.

In times when our blood pressure rises

We will brace ourselves to fight, be vigilant

Outsmart the insidious cancerous squid ink squirt

Leaking from a tear

A rotted carotid

Surreptitiously at first, then later

Pumping, hemorrhaging boldly, aggressively, vigorously.

We had always known it was in our veins

But thought we’d outlive it

 

We might not

Inevitably, we grow weary

Weak with worry

Our will sandpapered

Even the mighty heart is compromised

And something’snot right in the head

 

Still, there are so many plans to make

Faces to wipe free of tears

Documents to be put in order

T’s to cross and I’s to dot

It would be easier

Better for us all

To just relax, let go

 

Ah, no, we all know what that means!

Do not go gently! No,

No rest for the wicked or the righteous,

We must

Put on a brave face and go on

Keep calm, Keep on trucking

We shall

Keep the faith

Fight the good fight

Do it for the children

For the good of us all

We will

Hold on, be strong…

It’s all we can do, right?

But…

it’s looking pretty bleak from here….

 

 

*In case you didn’t go to the link and scroll down like I told you to, here it is. You’re welcome. I let you get away with WAY too much!: “It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe.”

 

Hubbi Frubbend!

You may or may not recognize that phrase; it depends on how old you are. It comes from a TV show I used to watch – Zoom. Man oh man. When I was 7, it was the coolest show in town. All the kids were smart and friendly. They were creative and were up to trying anything. Boys and girls played together, kids from all different backgrounds and colors, and sometimes one of them just hung out alone, talking about things she liked to do, or practicing some talent he had. It was way cooler than Sesame Street, which was for babies, or Electric Company, which was…well, Electric Company was cool, too. I was totally over Mister Rodgers by then, though. That shit was wack.

Around the same time as Zoom, there was a TV special called “Free to Be You and Me”. It was pretty fantastic, too. It was about gender and stereotyping, and it had this amazing cast- Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Rosey Grier, Mel Brooks, Tom Smothers- and it was funny! I didn’t even realize that it was teaching me things. I had never seen anything like it before.

I loved Bat Man, where the forces of good always triumphed, and The Monkees and Josie and the Pussycats, where friends stuck together through zany shenanigans and hijinx, and every show ended in music. I watched the CBS News every evening with my parents at dinner, and even though I didn’t understand – or care- about most of it, my mom and dad talked to me about what we saw and answered all of my questions the best they could. When I was older, my family and I watched Roots and the mini-series Holocaust. We all cried together, and I had long talks with my mother about injustice. Most of the time, we laughed. Once a week we all got together, on the couch or on the floor, and watched All In the Family, where the joke was always that Archie was so backwards in his thinking, and the real hero was Edith, because she was always evolving.

I have a friend who made fun of me because of what one might term “my aggressive dedication to uninterrupted television viewership”. I think my last four of five posts have at least referenced my reactions to, or analysis of, whatever it is that I’m currently watching. It’s kind of pathetic; it takes up a lot of time, and they don’t call it the boob tube for nothing.

.    lisa-robin-kelly

But here’s the thing. Those shows I watched as a kid shaped me. We were supposed to be the generation that was colorblind, tolerant, inclusive, curious and creative.We thought more ideas were better than just a few. We were taught to use our words and take turns in conversation. We assumed everyone wanted to live in peace, on a block where we celebrated our differences, and we could find it in our hearts to forgive the Archie’s, all the Archie’s, no matter how ridiculous and off base they were.Image result for archies bang shang a lang

I believed all that stuff. I was a kid. Even though I watched the news, I didn’t really notice all the wars and the blood, the riots in the street, the anger and fear that was taking place then. The world was too big for me to take in, but the microcosm I chose to watch was just my size. Even though my shows guaranteed a conflict, and were sometimes downright depressing, they usually resolved neatly, and even if they didn’t, there was the hope of resolution.

We are living in troubled times, and it’s hard not to become despondent, or to just tune out. I have friends who are sad, angry, bewildered and frustrated. Some are dreading the holidays, because they don’t want to be forced to deal with people – even those that they love- whose viewpoints and attitudes they find repugnant or idiotic. It seems like many want to make America great again by returning us to a time when the Archie Bunkers of the world roamed unfettered and powerful, tiny-brained dinosaurs that made policies that ensure that change will be stifled by a “My house, my rules, like it or leave it” mentality. We are right to be sad, angry, bewildered , and frustrated. So, what can we do?

We should try to be Ediths. She sure as hell didn’t know all the answers, but she was always willing to listen to suggestions. She tried her best to understand all sides, and was willing to sacrifice her personal preferences if it kept peace in the house. Edith was uber-empathetic. She had a thick skin and appreciated every bit of love and generosity thrown her way, and Edith opened her door wide an welcomed everybody in – The Jeffersons, Maude, Archie’s work buddies, Irene, the Meathead- she was happy to see everyone around her table, and she would give up her own chair to make someone else comfortable. She wasn’t a pushover – when Edith stood her ground, there was no getting around her, but she looked for ways to make things better, not worse.

This morning I heard an interview with 94 year old Norman Lear, who created All In The Family. He ended the interview by saying, “Art brings us together. Music brings us together. Laughter brings us together.” We can’t stay apart forever. It’s too lonely and painful. We should do what Lear’s Edith did -find beauty and wonder. Sing. And if you can’t laugh yet, at least try to smile.

The-Land-of-Procrastination

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a podcast about the benefits of procrastinating. I wanted to write about it earlier, but, you know, other things came up. Anyway, now I think I’m a genius.

Really, the show was about slowing down. One can slow down without putting off things that are unpleasant or overwhelming, but I focused on the procrastinating part, which is actually something that happens pretty quickly. When you postpone doing one thing in favor of another, it’s prioritizing, which is bound to be one of the seven habits of highly effective people. (I’ve been meaning to read that book, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Since I have decided what it says already, I may be back-burnering actually reading it for awhile longer.) I prioritize in just a split second every day, based almost solely on an acute awareness and constant analysis of psychological and physiological data, accessed and assessed continuously.

Here’s an example:

(Me, consciously, to myself) Do I want to get out of bed now? I can get an early start on my grading and have a whole weekend to do whatever I want! I could pump up my flat tire and go for a bike ride, or finally clean that room in which I store all the mail I haven’t yet opened!

(Me, subconsciously, to myself)- Nah. Stay in bed. You should lay here awhile. Turn on the radio. Lay here and listen to a podcast. Learn something, why don’tcha!

So, you see, procrastinating keeps me in touch with myself. It allows me to live in the moment, and figure out what is truly important to me at any particular time.

This may lead some of you to wonder. You are scratching your head, feeling a bit smug and self-righteous because you get out of bed right away, just as soon as you wake up or the alarm goes off, smiling before your eyes even open, leaping towards the pleasures of a vigorous shower, pausing only to trill to your loved one or dog, “Out of bed, sleepy head!”, or “Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!” You are wondering why, exactly, it is more important for me to lay in bed – even if it is a school day, and I have already been written up for being late and it’s only the third week after the summer break – why my genius brain has made laying around my top priority.

Well, I will tell you.

First of all, sometimes I really do learn something. I ease into wakefullness because I am mentally stimulated. I become engaged -slowly- with the world around me. True, sometimes it takes a little longer than I would like, but the process can’t be rushed. All of us geniuses agree with that. Often, when one is doing things other than what one is supposed to be doing, one learns serendipitously, and like I always say, “The more you know, the more you know!”* You never know when what you know might come in handy, so it’s best to know a lot.

*Whenever I say this, I always say it in a  knowing-but-perky manner, as if the simplicity of it masks a much deeper, slightly elusive meaning. It’s like War and Peace reduced to a Bazooka Joe bubble gum comic.

willona

Second, as I may have told you in a previous post, I don’t think big thoughts all that much. Lots of times, all my brain space is taken up trying to remember what the neighbor’s name was on Good Times, or about this cat I saw one time with a fish in his mouth (did he eat that fish, raw and flopping?), or about how you never see anyone smoking a pipe anymore, unless they are a ridiculous hipster with a stupid mustache, or if said pipe is packed with weed. I think about my hair, or parasites, or Florida (the state, of which I am not a fan, or Esther Rolle’s character on Good Times, who I don’t have strong feelings about, but who I definitely like more than Florida, the state.) I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about 70’s TV shows. So, when I am lying there, half listening to the podcast I had previously decided I really must hear rather than doing something productive in a timely manner, I think. I think about the day ahead, or about the dream I just had. I make a mental list of what not to forget at the grocery store, and figure out a way to use a painting I saw at The Met to explain the idea of leitmotif to seventh graders. I remember to bring a marble made out of moonstone to a friend who needs hope. (I call it a “possiball”; after you squeeze it in your hand, it reflects the light onto your palm – it looks like possibility glowing, hope shining, opportunity gleaming. Coming up with “possiball’ took lots of hard thinking.) I ponder aging and perspective, or what in the world Nietzsche is talking about in Thoughts Out of Season, or what I can do to be a better person. Sometimes I think poetry. I make plans, and hatch ideas, and figure things out. As Aaron Sorkin says, “You call it procrastinating? I call it thinking!” Deep thinking, getting lost in thought is good, and we should all do it from time to time, even if we have to take the time to do it.

The third thing that makes a genius is this: sometimes I work better under pressure. This point is less compelling, as sometimes I just crack under the pressure. I get overwhelmed and paralyzed. I panic and moan and cry and cry, and then I have to waste a little more time by hating myself and buying new clothes that hide my fatty-fat-fatness. But not always. I think that if I have something that is causing me stress, I can run, but I can’t hide from it. Though I try to put it out of sight, I can’t put it out of mind, and there it stays, churning around in my conscious and subconscious, until it gels from a liquefied goo into a delicious buttery morsel. (Like how I carried that metaphor? Gee-nee-yus!!!) I think so much that at the last minute, when I begin the stressful project that I have put off, I am ready. I know where I’m going, and I am confident about getting there. Of course, sometimes I only do a half-assed job because i ran out of time and my final project sucks, but at least I know I could have done it if I had started earlier. That’s reassuring.

The final thing is that by recasting one of my most frustrating personality traits as a positive attribute, I am acknowledging that my name is AVR, and I am a procrastinator. I have always been, and I will always be a procrastinator. Instead of the self-loathing spiral that has often led me to purchase muu-muu type frocks so hideous that I won’t even wear them when I am alone, I can just relax. The things that must get done, will get done, and I will do them as well as I can. Sometimes my last minute is better than someone else’s two weeks ahead. I am a genius, but I don’t need to be a tortured genius. No more anxiety about being anxious! I have to accept who I am, and appreciate the good that comes from being me.

So there you have it. I SHOULD stay in bed that extra 15 minutes. I SHOULD ride my bike instead of clean my house, or do my homework. I SHOULD put off showering all weekend; it saves water and lets my foxy pheromones float freely. I SHOULD spend an hour and a half writing this blog post instead of grading my papers – you needed to know all of this about me. Anyway, there’s always tomorrow. Right now I have to walk the dog for the third time. It’s too pretty of a day to grade papers!

In case you are interested: http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/490624293/slowing-down

P.S. After writing all of that, I found another guy named Tim Urban who wrote a blogpost on this same topic, but way better and with pictures.It’s really good. That dude is probably my soulmate, and now I love him and must read everything he has ever written. 

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

http://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/inlineimage/images_32959.pdf – Epic flowchart! Whoever made this sure had a lot of time on her/his hands!

I’m ok!

Is your refrigerator running?

Yes…

You should vote for it!

Chm Chm had to call me this morning to ask if I was all right after my RNC Live Tweet. You’re a nice friend, Chm Chm. I’ll admit, finally having an epiphany about the doomed nature of partisan politics and the human inability to compromise and peacefully, productively coexist, did bum me out. However, I’m an optimist, and despite evidence that refutes the wisdom of the position, I am a humanist. I have faith in humanity. Faith, of course, is an intrinsic belief even in the face of evidence that seemingly negates it. So, yeah, I still have faith in people; for now, anyway.

I guess one of the reasons that I do is that people are smart, creative and funny. Did you guys see this?

Hilarium!

I think this is funny, too: Ben Carson 2016 Don’t you think this is a Create-A-Caption contest waiting to happen? Something like; “Neurosurgeon massages tiny dinosaur brain” or “Carson revives his role as Carnac the Magnificent” or “Keeping your eyes open is hard!”  Poor Ben Carson!

I wish I’d thought of including this yesterday…

Still funny!

Check out this cartoon: http://tucson.com/news/opinion/fitz/daily-fitz-cartoon-convention/image_e89e38eb-1abb-544b-8564-fd4a5d77d984.html

Anyhoo, before my meltdown, it was fun to write again. Thank you to Kari and Smurp for your comments – they are encouraging!- and thank you to all of you who are still reading these sporadic posts. Maybe I will start to write more again. Two in a row, so far! I’m on a roll!

Much love,

AVR

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