Thursday, February 28, 2008


"If you're teaching a yodeling class, I bet the hardest things to do is to keep the students from yodeling right off. You see, we build to that. " - Jack Handy

In case you were feeling blue, or just wondering in general, I'd like to make a list of things to be happy about. This is just a small list. There are a lot. Feel free to tell me more, and I'll add them to this list. It's very easy to look around and see what sucks, but I think it's a lot more fun to look around you and see what's awesome.

1. One day, many years ago, someone with incredible culinary and creative skill thought to him/herself, "I think I should take this peanut butter and mix it with...hmm. Potatoes? No. Hamburger? No. Wait...I've got it...JELLY! YES! I will mix this peanut butter with jelly and put it on two slices of bread!" And despite the mockery he/she probably faced from his/her contemporaries, he/she did it. And for that, my belly is thankful.

2. Pants. Pants are great. Especially when you find that pair of pants that fits you perfectly. You know the ones I'm talking about...they tickle your toes at just the right spot, they make your ass look like it could be an ass-model for Abercrombie and Fitch. And we all love a cute little skirt, or even a guy in a kilt but I for one am glad that someone decided to make a pair of pants. There are certain parts of me that have no desire to have such close contact with the winter.

3. Acrophobia. I do not refer to a fear of heights. In college, there was this online game with acronyms with which I was obsessed. It was challenging and fun and had they not taken the game down, I probably would have had to be committed to some kind of acronym rehab facility. Anyway, last night, I FOUND that game online! It has a new name...but still! I am so happy! It's full of clever and witty people, and I feel like once I up my game a little bit, I'll totally start winning it again. Although, as a precaution, if you start noticing my absence from important social outings or work or anything, please come and physically remove me from my laptop.

4. Swedish Fish. Gummy bears. Starburst jellybeans. Enough said.

5. Martial arts. I myself do not know any martial arts, but I'm very glad that there are people out there who do. However, if I were to get myself involved in any hand-to-hand scuffle, I'd like to think that my appreciation of the existence of martial arts would at least give me some kind of advantage. Besides, I'm scrappy.

6. Harry Potter. Let's face it. JK Rowling made half of the world care more about a fictional little boy than the politics of their own countries. I would bet that more people know the name of Harry Potter's two best friends (do YOU? You'd better or else I'm not sure why we're friends) than know the name of our current vice president. However, I'm very happy that Harry exists! I got to engage in many highly important discussions about good vs. evil and the moral character of Severus Snape, and it helped me get to know a lot of people better. It's kind of nice to have this one commonality that will excite almost everyone, but is also completely accessible to anyone.

7. Hugs. Don't laugh at me. Once upon a time, someone thought that the best way to show someone they cared would be to lock them into their arms. What a great idea! I would like to come up with something as smart as hugs someday. Who doesn't love to be hugged? They're good when you're happy, they're good when you're sad. They make you feel all cuddly and happy, and for as long as you're caught in the hug, things seem a little bit brighter. Go hug someone. Hugs not drugs.

8. Acid. I don't mean drugs. I mean the kind of acid that the Joker fell into to turn him into the Joker and start one of the epic battles of our time. The reason we should be HAPPY about it is because it reminds us that no matter how bad your day is going, it's nowhere near as bad as falling into a vat of acid and turning into an evil villain.

9. Your mom jokes. They're stupid. They usually don't make sense. They are often offensive and actually very inappropriate if you think about all the stuff that is implied about your poor mother! However, they make me laugh every single time. As long as they're well played, that is.

10. Learning stuff. Learning stuff is good, and if you think about it, you seriously probably do learn at least SOMETHING new every day. That's really quite an accomplishment! If you haven't learned anything new today, did you know that sonrisa means smile in Spanish? If you already knew that, you're out of luck. You'll have to find something new to learn on your own.


Monday, February 25, 2008


"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

So I'm having one of those days where I'm seriously wandering through life in a complete haze. Like a fog. I can't focus, I'm completely distracted...sometimes it just happens. It's also on these days that I decide to become a little philosopher and start making elaborate plans to turn myself into a better person. All of those nasty little insecurities and fears start demanding attention, I start missing all of my friends who are so far's bizarre. The good thing about the haze days is that they're over pretty quickly, and it's not like I'm sad or depressed or anything. In fact, I'm relatively content (with the small exception of the student sitting in my office who is trying to engage me in a political debate by telling me about his love of guns and how violent video games are NOT desensitizing young people...I can't debate when I can't even focus), I'm just highly scattered.

So, how much of what you see in a person do you think is true? Honestly? I think lots of people are so good at hiding their vulnerabilities that sometimes they forget that they have them. I know I do. I've worked so hard to build up this pretty little wall that when it cracks a little bit, I'm always shocked. I know I'm a little bit of an environmental chameleon, and I think that's sometimes ok. I adapt to different situations really well...what I don't like is when people change their values, opinions, and actions based on the company they keep. That's not at all what I'm saying. But for the past 10 years or so, I've made a concerted effort to turn myself into the person I want to be, and I get worried sometimes that I'll forget to keep tabs on whether or not that person is completely real.

For instance...lately, for whatever reason, I'm getting hit on everywhere I go. I've gotten good at deflecting it, and then I laugh and tell the story to my friends...but honestly, I don't really like it. It kind of makes me uncomfortable. I'm not sure why. It just makes me nervous and weird-feeling. But instead of just SAYING that to them, I just laugh about it, which makes the situation worse because then they either think I'm flirting or laughing at them. Another example is my whole "forgotten" issue, which is not really important at this time.

In any case, I like the idea of bettering myself, but I think I sometimes need to relax about that. I also think that sometimes I'd like to thank the universe for helping me figure out when I'm doing this. I think I'm going back to my original plan of pursuing the MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction...mostly because it somehow worked out that every counseling program I looked into was impossible. It was frustrating, but the more I think about it, the more I feel happy about the idea of teaching writing in college...because in a way, that might end up being a lot like counseling, and I'll be doing it with a population that I've already come to love.

That's all. And this is why I have a blog. Even though this entry had no point and was completely all over the place, I do feel a little bit more clear-headed.


Thursday, February 14, 2008


The French call it la douleur exquise. The exquisite pain. We've all got something that we know isn't good for us, but somehow we love it anyway. Everyone's got their heroin, that one thing they can't let go of. For some people, it's as simple as chocolate. For other's it's actually heroin. For me, it goes back about eight or nine years now.

I was talking to Cara, one of my best friends, last night. She has been struggling for years with a variety of things, and has been in and out of hospitals ever since I met her. Actually, I met her in a hospital. For the full backstory on that, click here. In any case, one of the things she has been having issues with lately is all eating disorder stuff...and she was so upset, because she kept saying that she was sure all that was behind her. The thing is, I'm not sure it's ever going to be completely behind any of us. Eating disorders have the highest fatality rate of any mental disorder. Statistically, 90% of people suffering from eating disorders never recover. When I left the hospital, it was because I had been there for two months, it was two days from Christmas, and I finally absolutely flipped out on the team of doctors, telling them there was no way I was staying there another day. The head doctor said, "You'll be back. If you go home now, there's no way you'll make it. You'll be back, or you'll die." I'm really proud of myself for never going back, and for finding my way to a happy life. That's not to say that the issues don't creep up now and then.

Every now and then, I just think it would be best to not really eat very much. It's simple. Even though I rationally see the problems with this pattern, I just can't help it from happening. And I snap out of it eventually. But now, for instance, when I recently had surgery, I legitimately lost any appetite for about three weeks. That made it really easy to continue to not eat nearly as much as I probably should. But (here comes the twisted part), I still kind of love the hunger feeling. It's still kind of a rush to get a little dizzy. It's kind of like a mental orgasm when people notice I've lost weight. And despite what people commonly think, it's not at all because I think I'm fat, or because I'm trying to look like a supermodel. I don't really think I need to lose weight.

What I said to Cara is that maybe this is something that will just happen every now and then for awhile. Generally speaking, I'm mentally very healthy. If this is the only thing I have issues with now and then, maybe I should consider myself lucky. I have absolutely no desire to go back to that horrible life I had when I was so sick, nor do I ever want to look as miserably thin as I did then. And eventually, I'll just get tired of it and start eating like a normal person again. I don't get worried, because I'm fully aware of everything.

I sometimes worry about posting things because it might make me sound a little crazy. But an eating disorder, in many ways, is a lot like depression or ocd. People who suffer from depression are aware that sometimes they might feel depressed...and that's ok, as long as they know how to manage it. Or people suffering from ocd might often be compelled to give into one of their obsessions...and that's ok, as long as it doesn't interfere with their daily life. For me...sometimes it's actually a GOOD thing when this happens. It alerts me that there is probably something in my life that is flying out of control...because when that happens, my eating is the first thing that suffers. It's the one aspect of my life over which I have full control. But now I can start trying to fix whatever it is that is causing it...and in the end, I'll probably end up a much healthier, calmer, and content person.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


"If you're a cowboy and you're dragging a guy behind your horse, I bet it would really make you mad if you looked back and the guy was reading a magazine." Jack Handey

Some things that I learned in elementary school, but just don't buy:

1. "That's going on your permanant record!"
What permanant record? I've never seen it. Am I to assume that my follies and mishaps are still being recorded somewhere? That's what permanant means. IF such a thing ever existed, who was in charge of updating all of these permanant records? And who used them? Maybe that's why I've never been selected to work as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States. Too much note-passing in grade school. Frankly, I'm afraid I just don't believe it exists. It's a good threat, though.

2. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
My friend Cara says "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me." Todd says "If you only have nice things to say all the time, you're probably boring and I don't want to hang out with you." Both of those things make me laugh way more than the original idea.

3. Colors
Don't get me wrong. I believe in colors. But in science class, they told us that colors are colors because of the way they reflect off of the color spectrum. I disagee. Something is red because it is inherently RED. Not because of its reflection. If that was the case, red would be a different color depending on the lighting. Now, their "explanation" works well to justify why the sky is blue, or why the ocean is blue...but it really doesn't work for man-made objects. I tried to argue this in 5th grade, but no one would listen. I'm pretty sure the scientific community simply doesn't like to admit when it doesn't know something.

4. The ocean vs. space
Some teacher actually had the audacity to tell us that we have explored more of space than we have of our own ocean. Impossible. The last time I checked, space is infinite. The ocean is not. There is a definite known capacity to the ocean. Now, perhaps they were saying that we have explored more mileage in space than we have in the ocean, but that's because the ocean is WAY SMALLER than space! Percentage-wise, we have definitely gotten to more of the ocean than space. You can't explore any percentage of space EVER, because no one knows what 100% actually is. By virtue of the statement, we have definitely explored more of our ocean.

5. Gravity
Again, I totally believe in gravity. Obviously there is something pulling us downward. However, people on the other side of the earth are upside-down. I know that it's all about perpective, and to them they are right-side-up, because the ground is below them, and that's how things should be. But, compared to me, they are upside-down. Their heads are pointing in a different direction than mine. I tried to explain this one to a science teacher once too. I even drew a diagram of the earth. They refused to agree that, from our perspective, those people are upside-down. I even used the word "perspective."

That's all I have to say for right now. Clearly, I should never be a scientist.


Update: Please know that I do not claim to know anything about science. I just like to reflect on things...and never take me seriously! Someone just tried to have an ACTUAL argument with me based on the "color" issue. When someone starts a blog with a quote from Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, chances are they understand their own ridiculousness!