29 December 2007

For 4!

I brush my teeth for at least four minutes, most often a bit longer. That is too long. In fact it's about this long, and about that boring as well, but not nearly as frustrating. It's the compulsion of mine that I am most aware of. (Apparently I occasionally breathe in sharply through my teeth, but I very rarely am aware of it and certainly do not intend it. Not a compulsion then, is it? Right; hence the parentheses.)

My mouth is tingly and bubbly afterwards, no matter how much I rinse. I've recently begun incorporating a super-rinse where I start a run of the mill rinse, but don't spit it out until a few minutes later. Holllld it. Holllld it. I'll do something in the meantime such as put on deodorant (not antiperspirant) and jeans (not shorts) and read morning email. This has been effective. I intend to continue. Less bubbles — I cannot figure out why this works.

Please leave a comment to identify my compulsion of which you find yourself to be most aware. And even throw in your own compulsion as well if you like. Let me stress that I would like comments on this post. With a response to the question, not just with a comment. A question and a comment (2' mark) would also be welcome. Once more — please comment. Yep; a yes to comments. Thanks.

(I labeled this post quirky. It took me 40 minutes to write it.)

25 December 2007

Seems a bit early, though I'm a bit late

The seasonal classic A Christmas Story was made the same year I was. So how is it already in the public domain?

17 December 2007

The beginning of The End of America

Posting about books can be disastrous. I'll do a before and after; we'll see how it goes.

Naomi Wolf visited the Report to publicize The End of America. She claims to identify the ten steps for converting a democracy into a dictatorship. She further notes that the US is already part way down that very path. Colbert's satire derailed this interview a bit, but she certainly piqued my interest with a strong final statement.

Within the first couple chapters, Wolf's choice of hooks raises red flags. "American citizens have been forced to drink their own breast milk at airports. Mussolini made people drink vomit-inducers! The German SS made people drink castor oil and urine! Coincidence? I think not." (I paraphrase... heavily.) Such comparisons are too disparate to be meaningful; they are just loud and catchy. She does, on the other hand, deliver some winners. Consider that Rice and Cheney originated the phrase war footing (that'd be tough to prove). Nazi leaders similarly used kriegsfusz, which literally translates to war footing. Coincidence? I think creepy and scary.

If the sensationalism doesn't subside, I'll be putting the book down. Thankfully, there is much promise that more sturdy content awaits.
These echoes [à la the two mentioned above] are worth noticing–but are not ultimately that important. What is important are the structural echoes you will see: the way dictators take over democracies or crush pro-democracy uprisings by invoking emergency decrees to close down civil liberties; creating military tribunals; and criminalizing dissent. ¶ Those echoes are important.

16 December 2007

Because complex discomforts just doesn't roll off the tongue

Before ignorance is OK, there was simple pleasures. One contemplative night at Steak n Shake with Jennifer Gunby, I spelled out a new intent. This was waaay back in the early aughts. She probably doesn't remember anything but the malt, and I certainly don't remember my words. I'll try my best.

What is a simple pleasure? Quick. Direct. Immediate. Easy. Inexpensive. Natural. It's what drug addicts would do if there were no psycho-actives. Not basic needs, basic wants.

Examples include chocolate, hot chocolate, cold chocolate, disc golf (or whatever you like even though you should like disc golf), temperate chocolate, that feeling you get after a good long run (note that you get the feeling, I haven't had it in a while), picking up something an old lady dropped (rhymes perhaps?), watching the leaves fall from the trees, writing a haiku (seriously), free performances at KU, and tempting your little nephew with cheese!

Don't get so caught up in achieving the big goals that you forget to be happy now. Have to study? Find a nice view or a cohort that smells nice. Have to work? ... tough it out? (I don't have all the answers.) But if something quick and easy presents itself, go for it—the sky probably won't fall during your indulgence. Seek these out.

As always, implementation is a matter of finding balance. Linderman carves out the spectrum, and now we must find our point on it.

13 December 2007


Homicidal mayhem, and no one cares.

A stunning photo.

Great commercial. "Earhole" is certainly under-appreciated.

Ben Affleck is charming? Who new?

One quarter! I knew nothing of this.

I just found a shared post! This one isn't the perfect archetype, but it was fun to realize what I was reading.

A close second for photos. (Hat tip to Garrin.)

Both found at Overcoming Bias: Dunbar's number, we wei.

Maybe that is why it tastes different. "For instance, soft drink makers like Coca-Cola use sugar internationally but use high-fructose corn syrup in their U.S. products."

11 December 2007

Puberty is awkward even for a superpower

ushistory.org preserves Thomas Paine's prominent works. In The Crisis (1776), one particular remark quivers with applicability in an otherwise dated paragraph.
Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them.
Ain't youth great? Every clean slate whispers promises of greatnesshaving nothing to regret afforded America and her founders such hope! Two hundred and thirty years later, she's effected the very opposite situation.

Were her regrettable actions benevolent? Malevolent? Unforeseeable? Short-sighted? All of the above for the aggregate. Certainly, all were encumbered by ignorance. But action is for the courageous, and inaction the weak. (Or was it the wise?)

I regret that the gravest decisions must be the burden of so few.

05 December 2007

1 blog + 1 blog = 3 blogs?

Note: pressing enter at the wrong time immediately publishes a blog! This is truly an atrocious interface. It is obvious that I'm struggling with it.

The most important lesson I learned from my LiveJournal account in high-school was that blogs are not the place to discuss relationships or relationship issues. A blog is not an actual journal. It should not be used as a therapeutic device for you, since you know other people are reading it! That compromises the privacy, which is essential to the positivity of therapy. The problem in high-school was the twinge of excitement associated with broadcasting feelings so personal. That sort of high comes at the expense of losing the confidence shared between you and the individuals in your audience.

For these reasons, I will never post on this blog about my relationships; it's simply antithetical. But relationships bring out the most important questions and characters--I want to share them! So what's a blogger to do? Let me share two wisdom nuggets (mmmm) before I make two suggestions.

First. In all relationships, I raise my concerns with the other person first and only then ask for others' thoughts. It demonstrates my respect for that person and my acknowledgment that it is only with them that I could ever act upon the issue. Accepting that fact is always the first step towards true resolution. (Such direct discussion is always my first suggestion when people ask for advice.) Consequence: relationship issues have no place on my blog.

Second. 1+1=3 is my favorite lesson from the controversial Human Sexuality course with Dennis Dailey. It says the relationship does not consume the two individuals (1+1=1). Instead they have created something new together (contrast with 1+1=2). (Marriage should not change a woman's last name.) Consequence: respect a relationship as you would an individual.

I see two options.
  • I can post reflections inspired by my relationships. These are my thoughts about me, and hence fair game. (This line seems a thin one.)

  • What if a relationship had its own blog? It'd be weird, yes, but it could be neat. The couple pair (friendships too, of course!) cooperates to write the posts after important conversations and decisions take place. Or they share happy things they did together. It'd be constructive, thoughtful, and wholesome. I am sure I would smile at my friends' blog.

Remember Thomas Paine?

I have found the words that I struggle to live by. This quote is featured on the walls at the delectable Mountain Rose Cafe (pic) in Winter Park, Colorado.
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

Thomas Paine
I followed up at Wikipedia and discovered that I've neglected Thomas Paine all these years! He was both admirably ahead of his time and inspirational for his contemporaries.

(It is a bit disappointing that he did not write those exact words. The quote is derived from his Rights of Man (1791), "...; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good." I had no luck sourcing the brethren part.)