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Sunday, August 29, 2010

That's Very Revealing

There are certain points in life that expose us, in which we are naked characters. Deaths do it to everyone associated. Disability does it, too. I suspect that being wildly abled and confronted with someone disabled is akin to the man who can't deal when a woman, or anyone, cries. It was a long time ago now, it seems, when I reacted that way.

I was always at a loss for what to do or say to someone in a wheelchair. If there was a door to open, or something obvious, I'd spring to it. It cut the tension. Not everyone wants your help, though. Not everyone in a chair is nice, either. I've had my head bit off several times for offering help. And who can blame someone who's maybe adjusting to a major trauma for being bitter?

Well, those are all opportunities to get to know yourself very well. It wasn't long after I got down my technique (I ask, "Want help?" before doing anything, then if they say yes I ask what they want me to do. It's efficient that way) that I was looking at a wheelchair and learning to pivot. It's the Both Sides Now thing, after getting a few decades behind my ass. And looking at yourself ain't easy. I didn't do a lot of things, or stopped doing them, because I was afraid to do them. What a non-excuse is that?! Fear is no good excuse. But yet I'd do hugely careless things, endangering things, for fun, to prove to myself that I wasn't a total coward. Damn, I'm stupid, too!?

But wait- I can get off my own ass by judging how those who knew me well dealt with my going gimp. I'd have to grade the class on a curve, as the majority of highest marks would go to those who were only jealous and slightly cutting to my back. There were and are, 2 who "got it" all along, and I should be thankful. Those I've known all my life behaved predictably. There were a lot of bolts and jolts among my circle of people, and not a lot of belief that I was even ill, much less support in it. A good amount of the harsh comments and gossip told back to me was just hurtful. It made me wonder who raised such cold and 2-faced people, and who could reach our age and still be like that, no better than a schoolyard tattler? As I reach for the cross and halo, sanctimoniously muttering, "Father forgive them, .....etc.".

And I'm back on my own ass, where I started.

The astrology lovers in my life recognize this as my Pluto transit's hell. I just call it living, as there have been few times in my life that shit wasn't happening. And just recently, I've discovered that no, a lot of people haven't had my life, aren't racked at 50, aren't the last person alive from their wedding party, etc. But that's all nothing compared to the everyday horror that others have to live. I have all kinds of rights to be upset or whatever, but in the big picture I really am a coward if that's all I'm about. We always have the choice -if we're conscious of what we do, we can change our actions for the better. Or we can choose to sit in our shit and whine for ourselves. It's all about choices. Some choices I made years ago affect me to this day, good and bad. We never know for sure what's gonna make something else happen years ahead. That's a good thing, I think. Cuz seriously, if I'd known ahead of time what would happen in my life when I was a kid, I would've topped myself. So I'm more aware of consequences now, but that doesn't mean I'm all cautious, either. I'm working on being satisfied with me and the hell with whatever else. Nothing and nobody outside of what's encased in my skin can make me anything. I'm my own choice. I think that's the sanest I'll ever get.

Damn, it took a lot of stripping to get there.

P.S. By synchronicity, today's etiquette tip is to ask before helping a gimp! I just looked thru the page & saw it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

If Martians Looked Like Lobsters, Would We Boil Them?

I think that's a pertinent question. Think about it.

This summer, the History Channel has been very light on the Nazi material and all over the place in content. I started watching when, needing to watch Nazis killing people, I switched to History. But it wasn't anything like anything about Nazis, it was The Universe.

We humans are maddeningly arrogant. Because the ground temp on Venus is 860' F, no life can be there. How do we know? Can't other life develop in other systems than ours? Just because it's not our way, doesn't mean all other ways are impossible. We may not even be able to perceive it with our barely-there 5 senses. How about that?

This is where science always took me, and why I was never well-liked by my science teachers. It really drove me nuts that whole classes of what others called "Science Geeks"( because they were supposed to be so intelligent) were bobbleheads in classrooms. They didn't think, they memorized and believed unquestionably that whatever the Prof said was absolute truth. But they weren't Thinkers. Of course, the Myth lives on, because nobody ever takes the Science Geek classes but said Science Geeks. And an occasional student who gets stuck in that class because she couldn't get into anything she wanted or needed that semester. But I'm not bitter.

Science is about trends. You see it currently in the prescription drug ads. Depression was the DSM #1 diagnosis of the 90s. Everyone's been depressed at least once, since then. And drugged for it. The psych classes of the 70s made everyone Manic Depressive thru the 80s. Somewhere in the 00s, ADD and OCD surfaced, with the Autism Spectrum getting their 15 minutes. Now, all of those and their treating drugs are common knowledge. Before the massive drug therapies (I personally don't think any doc but a shrink with the MD behind should be prescribing psych drugs- but I'm old fashioned) people went to shrinks, got therapy, "worked on their problems". Now they get a drug and they're let loose to live out their nuttiness which has been drugged to a dull roar. They don't get better, they get a drug habit. And everyone thinks that's fine.

I just read an infotainment book about natural cures, not that any of it was about natural cures. It was about the salesman-author stating things we all knew without telling you anything specific. But doing it in italics stresses how important it must be. Especially when it's followed by something in bold. But hey, we're supposed to be impressed by someone actually reading a book, any book, these days. It makes you look intelligent, you know.

Well I could go on ranting but I have things to do. Go forth and multiply intelligence.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ugly Realizations

OK, as soon as you're fifty, everything falls to the ground, your face becomes unrecognizable to yourself and even your hair betrays you. That all given, it's bugging me how freakin ugly and strange a lot of my gen's idols are growing. It's bad enough that Robin Williams and Bono are looking alike but holy crap I saw Bruce Jenner the other day and he looks like my HS piano teacher after her bad facelift at age 70.

There seem to be 3 categories in aging men. Those who start looking like old ladies (you know who you are), those who look like a Shrinky-Dink or funhouse version of themselves, and the truly frightening to behold. Kirk Douglas, Keith Richards, Elvis at the end and Mr. Perkins, a local, fall into the third category. These are people whose countenance strikes a particular fear muscle in older folk's elimination systems, which loosens and activates the urinary tracts. That is why I'm sure that any home that watches old rock star reality series will smell pissy. Like an old folks' home. And heads therein will smell like old people's heads, from said inhabitants running pissy hands thru unsuspecting heads of hair.

Women are not immune to this at all. As Dee Snider said, "Used to be a 38DD, now a 38 Long." Also, women seem more prone to the aging-all-at-once-syndrome. Where she looked like she was in her late 30s til her 40s ran right up and through her with a 60-year-old's face and slapped her down. Those unfortunates to whom this happens (Rod Stewart was one) may stay with that 60-y.o.'s face until extreme age turns them into what can only be called The Cryptkeeper Face. This is the last face you'll have if you should live so long and I'm thinking, you'll probably be glad to not have to see yourself much longer, looking like that.

Not that aging, per se, is bad. It's great to know how to deal more than you ever did, and more than anyone younger. You may offer some ideas or cautions here and there but that can get old fast. And after a while you just shut up and watch, because they won't listen to you anyway, and it's pearls before, etc. You start catching yourself thinking old people thoughts ("Nobody says Thank You anymore. These people have no manners. And plain old bread costs 4 bucks a loaf now! My mother would tell them to shove it! Remember when you could get a half-gallon of milk, a pack of cigarettes and a daily paper for a dollar?", etc.) Of course, adults all smoked then, and we were their slaves who ran to the corner store and bought their tobacco and even beer without anyone saying "Boo", and made quick of it or we'd get shit for it. We were raised so differently to the way kids come up now. Kids have rights now. Agencies will be called. In the Victorian mindset we labored under, there were no rights, no agencies, and no safe houses. I sometimes wonder if that wasn't a better way. We grew up sharp and independent with few illusions of entitlement or safety. I wonder how the youngers who grew up punching cereal boxes sans correction and discipline will deal with life. Go psycho with frustration that in the real world they can't do whatever the hell they want? Will they expect their bosses and mates to say, "Please honey, we don't do that...please, stop?"

See? I sound like an old lady.

I'm just hitting a point where I realize it's useless to bitch about the inevitable, so I wanted to get this all outta my system before it all becomes more things I recognize and ignore. Really, it all started because of Jimmy Page, so blame him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Undying Love for Greg Lake

My friend Camilla played some great power rock on her show today. Prog rock was my thing, back in the day. Yes, Floyd and ELP at the top for me. I went to their concerts (stories there, boy!), memorized their music, followed the artists who designed their albums. Oh, I loved all the hard rockers- but for sheer voice, Greg Lake made me breathless. Today, during Cam's show, it happened again.

Dunno what the hell it is about the guy. Sure, he was insanely beautiful in youth.......

Not quite so much 20 years later:

But Jesus Christ Almighty Mother of God.
He has a voice I'd hope angels sound like.

ELP got back together this summer for a few gigs. I couldn't go. I wouldn't trust myself near Greg Lake. Someone would end up dead, I just know it. Probably me. The only safe way I could be anywhere near him is on my deathbed. And should it ever come to that, I hope someone brings him to me so I can kiss him once and die happy.

For your entertainment, here is a five-part ELP doc, this being part one: