04 November 2006

I've done 107 of these 144 fulfilling stupid strange and/or wonderful things

(a meme picked up from gsurosey)


Level 1
(x) tried a cigarette
(x) tried a cigar
(x) smoked weed
(x) kissed a member of the same sex (thank goodness)
(x) drank alcohol

SO FAR: 5

Level 2
(x) are/been in love
(x) been dumped/rejected
(x) shoplifted
( ) been fired
(x) been in a fist fight (hi mom)

SO FAR: 9

Level 3
(x) snuck out of a parent's house..
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) been arrested
(x) made out with a stranger
(x) gone out on a blind date

SO FAR: 13

Level 4
(x) had a crush on an older person..
(x) skipped school
(x) slept with a co-worker
(x) seen someone/something die

SO FAR: 17

Level 5
(x) had/have a crush on or liked one of your blog/online friends. (yes, it's you)
( ) been to Africa
(x) been on a plane
(x) thrown up from drinking

SO FAR: 20

Level 6
(x) eaten Sushi
( ) been snowboarding
(x) met someone BECAUSE of your blog or online community
( ) been in a mosh pit

SO FAR: 22

Level 7
( ) been in an abusive relationship
(x) taken pain killers when you didnt need them
(x) like/love someone who you can't have
(x) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by
(x) made a snow angel

SO FAR: 26

Level 8
(x) had a tea party
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
(x) played dress up

SO FAR: 31

Level 9
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone tobogganing
(x) cheated while playing a game.
(x) been lonely
(x) fallen asleep at work/school

SO FAR: 36

Level 10
( ) used a fake/someone else's ID
(x) watched the sun set
( ) felt an earthquake
( ) killed a snake

SO FAR: 37

Level 11
(x) been tickled
(x) been robbed/vandalized
( ) robbed someone
(x) been misunderstood
(x) pet a deer

SO FAR: 41

Level 12
(x) won a contest
( ) been suspended from school
( ) had detention
(x) been in a car/motorcycle/4-wheeler accident

SO FAR: 43

Level 13
( ) had/have/will have braces
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(x) had deja vu
(x) danced in the moonlight

SO FAR: 46

Level 14
(x) hated the way you look
(x) witnessed a crime
( ) pole danced
(x) questioned your heart
(x) been obsessed with post-it notes

SO FAR: 50

Level 15
(x) squished barefoot through the mud
(x) been lost
(x) been to the opposite side of the world (precisely? no. nearly? yes.)
(/) swam in the ocean/gulf (half credit for wading. that counts.)
(x) felt like you were dying

SO FAR: 54.5

Level 16
(x) cried yourself to sleep
( ) played cops and robbers
(x) recently colored with crayons/colored pencils/markers
(x) sang karaoke
(x) paid for a meal with only coins

SO FAR: 58.5

Level 17
(x) done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) made prank phone calls
(x) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (thank you for the regular practice, siblings)
(x) kissed in the rain

SO FAR: 62.5

Level 18
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) been kissed under a mistletoe
(x) watched the sun set with someone you care/cared about
(x) blown bubbles
( ) made a bonfire on the beach

SO FAR: 66.5

Level 19
(x) crashed a party
(x) have traveled more than 5 days with a car full of people
(x) gone rollerskating/blading/ice skating
(x) had a wish come true

SO FAR: 70.5

Level 20
(x) worn pearls
( ) jumped off a bridge
( ) screamed "penis/dick" in class/public
( ) swam/swum with dolphins

SO FAR: 71.5

Level 22
(x) got your tongue stuck to a pole/freezer/ice cube/popsicle
( ) kissed a fish
(x) worn the opposite sexes clothes
(x) sat on a roof top

SO FAR: 74.5

Level 23
(x) screamed at the top of your lungs
(x) done/attempted a one-handed cartwheel
(x) talked on the phone for more than 3 hours
(x) stayed up all night

SO FAR: 78.5

Level 24
(x) picked and ate an apple right off the tree
(x) climbed a tree
(x) had/been in a tree house (thanks, Dad. It was not particularly safe but it was so cool)

SO FAR: 81.5

Level 25
(x) believe in ghosts
(x) have/had more than 30 pairs of shoes throughout your life
(/) gone streaking (half credit for nude sunbathing. it counts.)
(x) gone/visited someone to/in jail(visited)

SO FAR: 85

Level 26

( ) played chicken
( ) been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on
(x) been told you're hot by a complete stranger
(x) been easily amused

SO FAR: 87

Level 27
(x) Caught a fish then ate it
(x) made a video
(x) caught a butterfly
(x) laughed so hard you cried (then peed)
(x) cried so hard you laughed (then ...)

SO FAR: 92

Level 28
(x) mooned/flashed someone
(x) had someone moon/flash you
(x) cheated on a test
(x) forgotten someone's name
(x) slept naked
(x) French braided someones hair
(x) gone skinny dippin
(x) been kicked out of your house

SO FAR: 100

Level 30
(x) Rode a roller coaster
( ) went scuba-diving/snorkeling
(x) had a cavity
( ) black-mailed someone
( ) been black mailed

SO FAR: 102

Level 31
(x) Been used
(x) fell going up the stairs
(x) licked a cat (c'mon, gotta try that at least once)
(x) bitten someone
(x) licked someone (wavewave Jo & Lee)

Total score: 107

Your turn!
==================================

See, that was the cut/paste version. Here's the thinking girl's version: what haven't you done that you'd LIKE to do still? What have you done before that you are keeping far far far away from, now and forevermore?

I'd like to visit Ireland.

I'll try kissing a fish too.

I'd like to be able to do a backward roll again. And an incidental sidenote to Mr. Selby, the scary evil gym teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Davenport IA in the early '70s: I was NOT lying when I said that something in my neck snapped when I did that backward roll like you ordered me to perform. I mean, it's not that it likely mattered much to you (just guessing, but I doubt it did since you didn't hesitate to berate me all those other times for not being able to climb that stupid rope) but it was the last backward roll I ever successfully pulled off. Yeah, I was a THIRD GRADER. Feel bigger, Mr. Grownup Muscle Man?

I do not want to rent property from and belonging to someone else.
Ownership rocks.

I do not hope to spend any more time as a psychatric inpatient. Ever.

I do hope one day to garden naked.

ooh. it just occurred to me that maybe I should double-check my math in adding up those totals. Even when I'm adding in small batches I sometimes make small batches of mistakes. POSTSCRIPT: Whoops, I did catch one. All fixed, all accounted for.

03 November 2006

a wrench in the works


This is what the '97 Volkswagen Jetta Trek power steering fluid reservoir looks like. On my front porch. With a not-exactly-teeny hole punched out of it. Absolutely by accident. With a wrench. While I was replacing my car's battery. After the horn and the alarm system went bezerk and the car would not start.

Whewdoggy, Thursday sure was a fun day.

01 November 2006

hold it in your head: the stand-off

It was only today that I began finding words I could thread together to make sense of the habit I've been attempting for months to adopt. I have a feeling that once I spell it out and once I reread this profound experience I'll find it looks (even to me) a whole lot less amazing and a whole lot more 'well, yeah duh'ish than the learning experience has felt from the inside-out.






Isn't that an awful feeling? Thinking that something earth-shattering has happened or that you've uncovered a deep inner truth that nobody else in the history of the universe was able to figure out before you arrived on the scene (though you're willing to give possible creedence to the contributions made by some lowly cattle maid in western Switzerland who, you're sure, knew a whole lot more than the idiots running the dairy knew, if only they would have asked her once in a while for her opinion) only to find out that the truth of the matter is that you're being self-aggrandizing; that everyone else had already worked out that whole time/space continuum issue along with the speed of light and sound, the life cycle of decomposition, celestial orbits and other such heady matters. Gee man, I hate when that happens.

And as I write this I'm aware that it's probably about to happen as soon as I click on the 'publish' button. Ce sa.

I have always insisted that I am an open-minded individual. I believed I was. Nice, friendly; generally agreeable. Because of this belief I'd prefer not to gaze too long at the lyrical language I used within the privacy of my vehicle when someone else was driving theirs (in my opinion) too whatever. Too quickly. Too slowly. Too blinker-inattentively. Too aggressively.

The thing is, I finally admitted that I can't play both sides to try to be that image in the sideview mirror that appears better/larger than I really am. The dirty secret I finally self-revealed, for better or worse, was that I'm an emotionally charged basket laden with attitudes about so. much. stuff.

Yes, I've realized, I have an opinion about how Madonna has manipulated the media to her own best interest in her (very profitable) past so no, I don't have much to say about how she doth protest now. Is it fair that she's being attacked for using her position to get something she wanted? Did she actually do what they say she's done? Dunno. But she's brilliantly used the media before and I've no doubt she'll work it to get what she wants again this time.

Yes, I think minivans and minitrucks and SUVs and any non-car-sized vehicle are a general waste.

Yes, I can barely contain my urge to take a 2x4 to the thighs of allllll thooooose republicans who are demanding that John Kerry make an apology to U.S. troops serving in Iraq for the comment he made in his address to CA college students. Sure it's a wily election year with much riding on the line so I can appreciate the desire to take an opportunity and run with it, but GET A FREAKIN' SENSE OF BLEAK HUMOR, DICKWITS. In case there was some honest confusion and just for clarification purposes: Kerry was talking about the king of the dickwits. Yeah, George W., him. Do you get it? Get the joke now? sheesh

It wasn't my own behavior that got me to paying closer attention to my thinking habits, no. Other people were bugging me. The way that other people continually positioned themselves as openmindedly good/right/best bugged me and it bugged me a lot. And finally, when I found my own supposedly open-minded self copping an attitude about someone who was essentially doing the same thing about another person, I decided I needed to clean up my own shack before I went blowing hurricane-force attitude into other people's hovels.

I began exercising.
Not my body (though I've recently taken that back up also), but my mind. I made up a game in which I would take an item into my mind with the goal of uncovering my hidden attitudes, stripping them away from the item, then holding the item in my mind without personal prejudice to see how I might see the thing differently, and how I might change as an additional result.

While I wish I could get to skill mastry with faster speed than my current snail's pace, I'm no master at this exercise just yet. Frankly, I've only very recently gotten to a comfortable space with the "uncover and recognize the hidden" part. It doesn't take much for me to unobtrusively freak out just a little. Like when, after uncovering what I hadn't previously realized I felt about bumperstickers on the back of aggressively passionate parents of honor students and pet owners, I stack up a list of post-its why I felt loathing and disgust about the persons who would advertise such a ridiculous piece of news, I'd much rather set fire to the little pile of post-its than to do something creative or (ugh) productive with them!

Bring an item into your mind.
My random though generator formulates: Cruise control.

Uncover hidden attitudes.

I don't have any.

Oh really?
Nope. NO! But I sure wish my beloved dentbucket of a car had an electrical system and a cruise control system that would work more often than the occasional four mile long stretch of even-speed travel and a horn that sometimes beeps when the doors lock but more often than not, doesn't.

I see. But no hidden attitudes, right?
Right-ii-o, you got it. I mean, if I had a car whose cruise control worked properly you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be USING IT, unlike the maniacal idiots who surround me.

Good thing those attitudes don't get in your way.
Thank you kindly.


THose are the awkward beginnings of how I began paying closer attention to the thoughts I didn't know that I have but I have them anyway. That's how I began thinking the words - like 'astroturf', 'plan', 'celery' (a difficult word to overcome for those of us who don't have much use for the leggy green vegetable), 'hair', yes and even 'cruise control' without wanting to either hit or cry. Had I known in advance what a difficult task I was setting myself up for I'd also have developed colorful ATTAGIRL! stickers with which I would have rewarded myself for overcoming my sometimes rusty mindset. If stickers work for the pottytraining three year old crowd, I'd like to think I could have benefit from cheerfully stickered warm fuzzies as well in spite of that slight chronological difference between a toilet training three year old and myself. Doesn't my emotional immaturity count for anything around here??

The practice continues to be good for me. I've noticed a change in myself, a pleasant detachment with some subjects that at one time held for me the potential for gutbusting fireworks. And though I hadn't anticipated overlap, I'm able to transfer the skills (and sometimes, the peacefulness) of just being with a word or a situation without feeling the need to do something about it. I'm learning to be, to just BE with something, until I can shake my attitude off the thing.

It seems to be at that point, at the point in time when I find myself pedaling the bike a little faster even though I know my hands are not on the handlebars because they're too busy waving around enjoying the air, that the real learning comes to me.

And so it goes. Ce sa.

30 October 2006

Halloween



Pussycat and her Pussycat Liquor enjoy the annual festivities, bringing home the award for 'Naughtiest Costumes'. Woot Woot.

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