24 October 2011

"There's someone in my head but it's not me" --Pink Floyd

...when the waitress asked me what I wanted, I heard myself saying "Pancakes."  The words sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, mainly because I never eat out, and when I'm at home I never say the name of the food I'm going to eat before I eat it.  I don't sit down to a nice bowl of soup, pause, and say "Soup" to myself before I eat it.  That would be crazy.  Not that I don't have the urge to, because, honestly, I almost always do.  But once you start actually doing the abnormal things your brain suggests, and not merely thinking them it's only a short slide to shuffling aimlessly through the streets, wearing empty tissue boxes as slippers.  --from FOOP! by Chris Genoa

This I love.  It makes so much sense to me.  The difference for most of us between crazy and not crazy is whether we give in to those weird impulses that are always shooting through our brains.  Right?


We all get all sorts of weird impulses, right?

*blink* *blink*



Like, um, posting to a blog about weird impulses.  That's a pretty weird impulse.

Yeah. *scuffs tissue boxes* That's what I meant.

Question du jour:  What weird impulse are you willing to admit to thinking that you have so far resisted doing?

Equal and opposite question du jour:  What weird impulse are you really glad you followed?

13 October 2011

"We are beautiful in every single way" --Christina Aguilera

What's wrong with this picture?  Take a minute and look.  I'll wait.

I mean besides the fact that one of these guys is actually named Poindexter.  

See something strange here?  Ye-ah.  That's right.  These guys want to carve you up in the interest of making you the best-looking you you can be.

These guys. 

With the too big ears.  And the too large tummy.  And the uneven smiles.  And the saggy eyes.  And the deep indents around the mouth.  And... do I need to go on?

Mmm, no.  Just--no.  And don't ask to be my personal shopper or my tanning consultant, either.

08 October 2011

"But I say No, No, No" --Amy Winehouse

So, Thursday, I bid Steve Jobs adieu and paid him a sideways tribute by honoring Dan Shechtman.*  Today, not so much.  Try not to get whiplash.

The thing is, I've seen all these tributes to Jobs and so many people quoting him, especially this quote:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
This is a lovely strive-for-excellence-anybody-can-be-president-of-course-you're-as-special-as-you-always-secretly-knew-you-were kind of quote that inspires people.  And to be fair, this quote was taken from a 2005 Stanford commencement speech, where a speaker would be expected to deliver a lofty challenge.

It's good advice... if you are a visionary like Steve Jobs.  ...or if you are of demonstrated high potential, like the Stanford grads he was addressing.  (In national university rankings, Stanford comes in tied for 5th place. Which makes them like the "Respect" of songs in the 500 greatest songs of all time**)

But for most people (dare I say 99%?), and in today's recession/depression, I think it's lousy advice.  There are 14 million people who are counted as unemployed.  Fact.  It seems beyond naive and more than a little sadistic to tell someone:  Ignore the hundreds of people queued up to interview at Denny's.  You hold out for your dream job.

Why take a job you don't love?  A colleague of mine refers to her job this way:  "I've developed a nasty habit.  I like to sleep indoors. ...I also like to eat."

It isn't just complete drudgery for her.  She's good at what she does.  If she were truly miserable, she'd seek different employment because work IS a large part of life.  But there's a big difference between finding work you can tolerate/do reasonably well and not settling until you find your one true calling.  There's got to be a balance between "you're a god!" and "you're worthless, be glad if you can get a job picking up poo."

Which leads us to the inevitable question:  Should "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse really be #194?  Discuss.

* Yeah, that guy from Ghostbusters.

** Zamfir, and his pan flute, got shut out.  Oh, the injustice.

06 October 2011

"Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!" --Barbra Streisand

I am doing a little end zone dance.  I've never done one before, so forgive me if it looks more like the chicken dance.  Still, here I am, dancing.  For Dan Shechtman.

I don't know Dan.  Dan lives half way 'round the world.  According to the news, in 1982--yes, that's nearly 30 years ago now--Dan discovered quasicrystals.  Apparently, this so-called discovery was not well received.  Nope.  Dan was criticized and shunned by his fellow chemistry nerds.  In the course of defending his findings, he was asked to leave.  Leave!  Take your cockamamie crystals and get out!  And take your effin' Yoplait out of the fridge, too!  We don't need your kind around here.

[Pause for dramatic effect]

Yesterday, Dan received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery.

BOO-YAH!  In your face, people who claim to be researchers but can't wrap your minds around a new concept!  HA!!!

Here's to you, Dan Shechtman, and to all the people who have endured pain for daring to think in new and interesting ways.*

* Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.