October 7th, 2017 | No Comments »

My commute takes the better part of two hours, each way.  I use the time to think.  I’m in my thirty second year of indentured servitude, and once again the corporate machine is groaning.  I’ve always been flummoxed by a company’s ability to stay in business and make profits under a consistent flow of poor decisions.

Comparison.  Competition.  There are times when I slip into that region of discontent.  I say discontent, because it seems that the state of contentedness is contrary to the concepts of competition and comparison.  Those concepts imply winning versus losing, better versus worse.  Contentedness suggests enough.  I like the idea of enough.

It started with an innocuous comment about success.  So and so is more successful than you (me) because so and so is perched at the top of the corporate ladder and is compensated accordingly.  The comps are flying already and I’ve barely begun this post.  I feel compelled to look into the root word structures –surely there are connections.  Comparison.  Competition.  Compensation.  Compel.  I digress, in true sueeeus fashion…

I was thinking about my initial reaction to the comment.  I felt defensive.  So and so isn’t better than me!  I could have reached the echelons of corporate leadership, had I chosen.  I felt hurt, as though it were some sort of reflection of failure on my part, as though I needed to convince someone, anyone, everyone, that I am just as good.  I felt jealous.  So and so makes more (money) than I do and has a fancy pants title.  Of more concern to me is why it even mattered.  My reaction was so immediate, and I felt as though I needed to justify myself and somehow assert that I am not a failure.  I also wonder why my reaction is so binary, so extreme.  Success.  Failure.  No in-between.

The nature of my work is all about the ones and the zeros, so there is that.  But the nature of my self is all about the in-betweens, or rather, perspectives.  Just because true/false, on/off, all/none, right/wrong are points that describe entities in a known dimension, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those are the only states.  They are obvious states, but not necessarily the only states.  Perception through one facet of a crystal may be very different from perception through another facet of the same crystal.  Is either right? Is either wrong?  They are simply different.  Why does there have to be a right or a wrong?

I think it’s a limitation of the human mind.  People are generally comfortable with the knowns.  Binary things are easy to wrap one’s mind around, because they are very simple to grasp.  Multidimensional things are complex.  Matrices within matrices from infinity to infinity in all directions.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I fell into a funk for a few days, as I worked through these thoughts.  I thought about the comparison game.  I mostly have the experience of my own life and culture to draw from, and it occurs to me that life as I know it has contained a steady feed of information that has contributed to the shape of my thoughts and emotions.  I don’t remember when it dawned on me that I could choose how to steer my thoughts and emotions.

There is so much conditioning taking place with the onslaught of information that we absorb through media.  When, if ever, does it occur to us to question the validity of the information that we absorb?  We get notions of body image based on the examples we see in print and on screen.  Does it occur to us to take a look around at a general cross-section of society and realize that almost nobody looks like the actors and models we see portraying life?  We get notions of romance which stem from fantasy and set expectations for reality, then feel let down that true love seems unattainable, when in fact we are living in a perfectly beautiful loving situation.  We are fed carefully crafted information designed to promote [something, someone].  It’s called marketing, and it’s a product of capitalism. It’s reason for being is to pad someone’s pockets or promote someone’s power or influence.

It’s so exhausting to justify myself to myself!  Once I recovered from my initial reactionary response to the self-inflicted judgment of failure (since I’m not the CEO), I reminded myself that I had faced precisely such a decision in my early twenties — I recognized ‘career path’ and saw clearly that although I was and am quite capable of ‘success’, that the capitalistic model of corporate America was contrary to my soul, and although the financial rewards and professional accolades are or were tempting, the internal price of or for success was simply not worth it.  I made a choice.

In retrospect, I don’t know where or how I ever attained such wisdom (I am working on some theories), but I am grateful.  Before I’d ever read Buckminster Fuller’s Critical Path, and by the grace of God, I made the better choice, the more valuable choice.  My success isn’t measured in terms of social status, professional status, financial status.  My success is measured in terms of soul status, and it’s only measured by me.

Throughout these thought streams, some key words or concepts kept surfacing.  Source.  Core.  For whatever reason, I am driven by the need to understand.  Anything. Everything.  It consistently emerges as something core to my very being.  I don’t know why (but I’m working on some theories).

Here’s an aside.  I have this thing about connections and structures and origins.  Keys.  Some of the keys that I’ve noted in order to collect and frame my thoughts are the words ‘core’ and ‘source’.  These words resonate with my soul.  In the overlap of my personal life with my professional life, the relevant catchphrase du jour emerges, “Never outsource your core competency.”  Look at that — source, core, comp.  All neatly bundled in a span of five words.  This correlation is busy whirring about in a background process of my mind, and I’m certain that something interesting will come of it, when the forefront of my mind is ready.

I’m no expert.  On anything.  That is the nature of knowledge.  The more you know, the more you realize how little you know of what there is to know.  That is where my affinity for source and core stem from (oh, if ever I could learn how to express myself without dangling participles, split infinitives and any and all manner of grammatical faux pas).

The affinity for source and core spans both my personal and professional lives.  One can think in terms of platform or foundation.  If the foundation isn’t sound, what then?  Every conclusion drawn from such a basis is suspect.  Bad data.  This is where assumptions are dangerous.  Something can become common knowledge through careful marketing or accidental means, yet have no sound basis.  An example is the theory of evolution.  It’s proposed as a theory, yet is generally accepted as a fact.  It might be a fact.  I don’t know.  I haven’t been exposed to the proof.

The core value of what I do professionally relies upon valid source [data].  Finally I remember what I was thinking when I entitled this post, “who’s afraid of the big bad [data] wolf?”.  It’s all about bad data.  Foundation.  Source.

The society in which I live seems to be built on a basis of bad data.  Conclusions or definitions of things like success, beauty, worth, and value are vapor without real substance.

I stand in stubborn defiance and cling to the quest for source, with my own assumption that whatever conclusion(s) may be drawn will be closer to valid, and therefore have some real meaning.

Understanding, for whatever reason, is a hunger of my soul, and I am seeking the peace that passes understanding.  It is attainable, by some measure.  I’m sure of it.

from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard; and I have come for thy words

Many years ago I set my heart to understand.  It’s part of my driving force.  I don’t know why –it’s intrinsic to me.  I haven’t gotten very far.  Or rather, the farther I get, the more I realize how little I know.  I’m very slowly putting the pieces together.

November 30th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

For the lack of anything better to write about. Actually, I have 6 drafts in work, but am just not in the mood to finish them. I have other posts whirring about in my head too, but I feel more like just jotting down a few things that I find annoying word quirks for now.

  • effect and affect – so many people botch the use of these words. Simply appalling, especially in published articles.
  • irregardless – it’s a double negative and negates itself. Just stick with regardless. Please!
  • Suzy – not that I have anything against anybody with this name, but it’s just not my name, and I don’t like it for me. I don’t know what it is about that zy, but it makes my skin hurt.
  • Suzy-Q – see Suzy, above.
  • Susie – forgivable if you’re either my mother or my grandmother in an Alzheimer’s moment, but otherwise, please, no.
  • Sue-C – see Susie, above.
  • lol – how I loathe this so-called word. Actually, I sort of loathe all things cell-phone/text messaging (and yes, I have a cell phone, so I am a hypocrite, but I use it for 33 second calls about three times a week in which I ask the Mr. if he’s able to collect the boy from daycare or if he can think of anything we need from the store, and that’s about it). I do get a kick out of the acronym ROTFLMAO, though. And I like emoticons. So go figure.
  • alls – as in “alls I want is…” What’s with that extra s? Come on. I ask you.
  • like – it gets inserted in everything, and has completely lost its meaning. Again, I’m a hypocrite. I mean, like, I use it all the time. Even so. Hate it. Can’t seem to stop it before it’s out of my mouth though.
  • there, they’re, their – they’re NOT interchangeable. Please!
  • here, hear – see there, they’re, their, above. I just saw some graffiti that said “<some name that I can’t remember> was hear.”
  • Italian (EYE-talian) – why do people say this? Is there a place called EYE-taly?

That’s enough for now. Surely I can come up with something more cheerful, enlightening, or healing to blog about. Perhaps I need to kick up the Zoloft dosage a bit, no?

Only I’ve just now thought of some word quirks in which I have manifested myself as an idiot.

  • awry – I didn’t know it was pronounced \É™-ˈrÄ«\ until I heard it used in The Division Bell album (Pink Floyd). Which was in the 90’s. When I was in my 30’s. So.
  • segue – I didn’t know how to pronounce it until I heard it grossly overused during some seminar (\ˈse-(ËŒ)gwā, ˈsā-\) a few years ago.

Which leads me to recall other manifestations of idiocy.

  • geographical faux pas – What? Alaska and Hawaii are not next to each other? They look that way on all the US maps I’ve seen. (If geography was of any interest to me, I might have taken a moment to consider the differing climates between Alaska and Hawaii, and figured out their flat map representation was just that, a representation. Alas, that inclination never occurred to me until I was quite soundly into adulthood.) And Georgia is a coastal state? I embarrassed myself last weekend whilst playing Pictionary. I put Georgia in the generally south-eastern region, but not on a coast.

Which leads me to ponder the origins of one’s interests. Why do I have little to no interest in geography, history, and a multitude of other things? They are interesting. Just not enough for me to immerse myself in.

So what does interest me? Family. Friends. Children. Words. Language. Art. Beauty. Design. I’m glad I took a moment to think of these things. I was beginning to suspect I was even more woefully dull than I had ever previously imagined!

Posted in language, me
February 12th, 2006 | 2 Comments »

It’s late. I should be sleeping. But I have so little me time. Not that I have anything in particular to write about. I’m a good waster of time. I just wasted a good half hour reading through previous posts. Of my own. I ponder a bit over why I would be entertained by day-to-day things that I posted previously. There have been times when I’ve gone through old journals and read them as well. Consuming quite alot of time in the process. I guess it’s not so odd. At least not for me.

Here’s something. I love sentence fragments! Okay, I don’t really. But I talk this way. Sometimes. And it’s kind of fun, even liberating, to write this way. I feel like I’m a kid getting away with something. Something devious. You see, my dad is a linguist. A genius, really, as far as language goes. At one time he could speak, read, and write in 14 languages. Later, he added a couple more, speaking only. I asked him to teach me French when I was a teenager. It didn’t last long. He wasn’t very patient with me. Later, I took a semester of French in college and did quite well. I was the second best in the class. Excellent pronunciation, I was told. I would have liked to have given it more time and become fluent.

Anyway. About language. My dad would constantly correct us. No split infinitives! No dangling participles! Blast! Bloody Barbarian! I don’t actually know what a split infinitive is, or a dangling participle. I know I’ve looked them up before, but I can never keep those definitions in my mind. I can’t keep any grammatical definitions in my mind, come to think of it. Except conjunctions. Know why Conjunction junction, what’s your function First person, second person, third person I guess I could figure out first person would be “I this, I that”, and maybe second person would be “she this, she that” Or “you this, you that” Is third person “Sueeeus this, Sueeeus that” I don’t know these things. I have a worn copy of Strunk and White that I consult if the need arises. But anyway, I don’t care! It’s my blog, and I’ll write the way I want to!

So. I was thinking about dreams and recurring dreams and dream analyses. With a little forboding I mustered up the courage to google dream analysis. According to the experts (insert grain of salt) dreams of murder are about radical change, or the death of an attitude or belief within yourself. I’ve been thinking of making radical changes in my diet. I’ve been daydreaming of making radical changes in my lifestyle. I haven’t actually done either.

I was thinking about those people who get bariatric surgery. It’s scary. One in a hundred DIE from it. The lap band is supposedly the safest and least invasive. Before I read about what a post-op lap band patient eats, I thought it would be the easy thing to do. Physically render oneself unable to overeat. So why not avoid the risk of death by surgery and try the diet alone I read up on the diet they have to follow post op. It’s basically liquid – protein shakes – for the first six weeks, then low carb after that. Needless to say, tiny portions all along. So it seems to me to be very much like what I would call a crash diet followed by an Atkins/South Beach/low carb/diabetic diet. All the experts say not to crash diet. It’s the worst thing. So how can the lap band be a good thing Crash dieting screws up your metabolism. Of course I know it’s true. I’ve done that before, more than once, and did hose my metabolism, more than once. The lap banders do lose the weight. Do they keep it off Do they hose their metabolisms

TV advertises wonder pills like Relacor, Cortislim and Zotrin. A little pill to make you happy and make you lose weight. They call it (Relacor) the happy pill. Can it be that easy I wish. But I don’t think so. I don’t trust it. People died from diet pill crazes. Ephedra I think it makes holes in your heart. I think one of my brother’s (still living) compromised his heart with that stuff. Scary!

The simple answer, although not so simple in execution (for me, anyway), is to eat right, in moderation, and exercise. When I went to Europe the first time, I backpacked for two months. I walked somewhere every day, went outside every day, and ate when I was hungry. I lost 20 lbs and toned up and looked the best I’ve looked in 20 years, all without even trying. That was twelve years ago. The office job is not so good on my waistline. Or my well-being. But it does allow for the roof over my head. With the job comes much stress. Without it would come more stress, but in a different flavor. I’m now daydreaming of a lifestyle and adventure something on the order of Under a Tuscan Sun.

July 28th, 2005 | No Comments »

meme

/meem/ n. [coined by analogy with `gene’, by RichardDawkins] An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do… …Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has superseded biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search q=meme

Posted in language
July 28th, 2005 | 5 Comments »

I’ve been tagged! (Meme, thanks to Pea Soup)

id•i•o•syn•cra•sy – a structural or behavioural characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. Write down 5 of your own idiosyncrasies, then if you wish, tag 5 people.

  1. I can’t seem to find a watch that will keep time when I wear it. I’ve had quartz watches and they run slow, even with new batteries. I’ve recently upgraded to a watch with an automatic movement, which ran fine for a while, but is now running fast. Maybe it’s because I don’t buy expensive watches, but I’m afraid to invest in one, just in case.
  2. Coffee and Tea OCD – The color is of utmost importance, as is the brew! It must be rich and strong. Coffee with non-dairy creamer and no sweetener; tea with dairy creamer, preferably evaporated milk, and two sugars (but I can drink it without, if necessary –I had to, when I had gestational diabetes, and I survived). Both must be whitened to that gorgeous caramel color. Of course, the level in the cup matters as well. No more than 1 cm from the rim!! And don’t forget the cup! Medium size with a thin lip – no big thick dribbly ceramics/porcelains!! (I could go on – this probably doesn’t count as one idiosyncrasy!!!)
  3. I can’t stand to have hair in my face. Bangs are okay, as long as they’re not in my eyes.
  4. Everything in its place, and a place for everything (more OCD). I like the dishes and pots/pans to have a stable home so that I know exactly where they are when I go to use them. When my mom visited for a few weeks, she helped out alot, and put things away, but not in the right place. When she left, I put everything back where it belonged. I like order in the dishwasher as well. Forks in one compartment, big spoons in one, small spoons in one, etc. (When it’s time to put them away, this minimizes the amount of handling, thus promoting a more sanitary environment.) I can justify all my OCD!
  5. I like to eat things one color or item at a time, even if the dish is a mix, like a salad or a stir fry. I’ll eat just the green things, then start on the red things, etc. or if the meal isn’t a mix, I’ll still tend to eat things one at a time, usually starting with the veggies. Shrimp fettucine I’ll eat all the shrimp first, then the pasta. I generally finish my plate (and it shows).

Sadly, I don’t know 5 bloggers well enough to tag them. If I were more brave, I’d pick 5 randomly. If somebody visits my blog and reads this, and hasn’t already been tagged, consider yourself tagged! (That’s as brave as I am at the moment.)

Mr. Squished Piggy has his own funny beverage idiosyncrasies. He won’t drink Coke unless it’s with ice, but he will drink Pepsi from a can or a bottle. He prefers soda with ice, and when we’re home, he wants the ice to first be rinsed with cold water until it’s done cracking and popping and then he likes the soda added slowly to the freshly rinsed (and drained) ice. He claims that there’s less foam and that this prolongs the carbonation. We are so well suited to each other in some ways!!

Posted in language, me, memes etc.