29 August 2010

Why I need . . . my little sister

I love ideas - probably a little too much. Whenever a new idea hits me, I am filled with wonder and excitement (well, an idea that is new to me since we all know there are no new ideas). I am quick to incorporate fresh thoughts into the schema I have already developed for this thing we call a world.

I am especially inclined to believe people I have deemed credible. If my dad says it - it's true. Several professors, authors, friends, and my pastor also have that privilege. But even if people aren't all that trustworthy, I still want to accept whatever they have to share. Some would call me gullible. I have learned to temper that trait by being slow to speak regarding new information - perhaps that's why I rarely retweet anything - or respond to comments on twitter in general. I have had to train myself to think critically. Still, I want to embrace every fresh thought I find and I am more than a little bit sad when something I believe to be true turns out to be a sham (see mythbusters).

My sister is different. Whenever she sees, hears, or through some other sense encounters a new concept, she looks for confirmation. If I tell her something, she says "where did you hear that?" and demands 3 credible sources. It's worse if she thinks you're wrong. She will fight to the death to defend what she "knows" to be true.

I used to hate that. Why can't she just trust me? I'm the older sister. I have almost 3 years worth of information more than her. Why does she have to disagree on everything? But then I realized - I needed her. She's my fact checker. My stabilizing force. If I'm wrong about something, I can trust her to call me on it. She has also taught me to hold to what I know to be true (be just as stubborn as her).

People have often been divided into either/or groups. Those who drink Pepsi or those who drink Coke. Those who prefer the Beatles or those who prefer Elvis. Those who take the road less traveled and those who take the road more frequently traveled. Those who count and those who can't.

I submit another division - those who embrace new ideas, and those who do background checks first. We need both types of people.

25 August 2010


This Magritte is a favorite of mine - thought somehow it fit
Need a distraction? I know a few.

When I don't want to think -
When I don't want to feel,
I go to my diversions
Covering my obligations,
Hiding my responsibilities.

I wrap myself in
books - movies - music - fantasies

And the rest of my life can be
pushed aside - ignored - forgotten - frozen

for a time.

23 August 2010

A Vicarious Kleptomaniac

I suppress many of the urges I feel. When people say dumb things, I stop myself from saying some biting comment that will make them feel as stupid and they sounded. Whenever I see a lawn sprinkler, I hold back the desire to jump through it - especially if I'm wearing a thin/white t-shirt. And often, I have found the need to resist the impulse of taking something unattended - no matter how valuable. It doesn't matter if the item in question is a necklace or a snazzy paperclip - if no one is watching, I am tempted to take. Luckily, I have a tremendously overactive conscious which enables me to control myself - knowing I will only feel guilty later.

Still, I have lately come to see another way I vent this yearning to break the 8th commandment. I watch movies. I started thinking about all the Heist/Caper/Con Artist films I've seen and I was amazed. So, I am making a list of some of my favorites here. (I see no need to distinguish a heist from a con, so they are all included - I think the main difference is whether the focus is on the thief or the theft, but anyway . . . )

*The Sting - too much to say, just watch
*21 - read the book if the movie let you down
*Catch Me if You Can - read the book even if you did like the movie
*Matchstick Men - wow, just wow
*To Catch a Thief - Hitchcock should have made more of these
*Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels - hilarious

 *Oceans 11, 12, 13 and original rat pack film - all great! (well, 12 was ok)
*The Brother's Bloom - fabulous
*The Thomas Crown Affair - the reason I love Magritte
*The Usual Suspects - Who is Keyser Soze?

*How to Steal a Million - I intend to use a boomerang in all my future heists
*Sneakers - so underrated
*Entrapment - despite the odd romance
*The Italian Job - refering to the remake, but the original's good too

Also, TV Shows

And that doesn't include all the shows and movies that involve stealing (i.e. any espionage or pirate movie ever made).

I'm obsessed, but at least it's a victimless habit - I think.

22 August 2010

Taking action

I am not the kind of person others are drawn to - nor do I want them to be drawn. I have never felt comfortable putting myself out there (wherever "there" is). I dislike direct attention, and have no idea how to respond to a compliment. And yet, I do desire to be ... noticed. I want people to recognize my abilities without my intersession.

I don't understand the reasons, but even when I don't volunteer, I'm stupidly disappointed if people don't ask me to help. For example, throughout high school and college, teachers would ask for people to read things aloud. When the question was posed, a little voice inside me yelled "Pick me! Pick ME!" Of course, if you were to look my direction, you would see a girl with eyes cast downward and an expression too seemingly distant to want to read - let alone to have heard the request. All my outward behavior would tell you to pick someone else, but when you do - I (or the nerd in me) will feel a twinge of sadness.

I hate this tendency. I should be able to act without waiting for someone's cue. Sometimes people are too proud to ask, so how can I help when I am to proud to offer? I've accused many attention-starved individuals of being proud/egotistical, but here is an example of it in my life. Pride motivates my actions. It's almost worse than those ostentatious people because I not only want you to notice me, I want you see me without any prompting on my part. I think I am also trying to protect myself against blame. If I do poorly, I can always fall back on "well, you asked me for help." My reliance on the support of others is embarrassing.

If you haven't been to despair.com yet- go now!
After these ponderings, I make three resolutions. 1) I will muster up my courage more often and volunteer to help alleviate the needs of those around me. 2) I will no longer be annoyed by people who are always jumping to the center of attention, but rather smile at their natural boldness. 3) I will look for those like myself, and nudge them toward action.

20 August 2010

I love myself; I hate myself -
the two switch places all the time.
Trapped by both, I struggle
to find balance of some kind.

I know I'm wrong,
but you're not right.
I'll disagree -
if just for spite.

You offer help to change my faults,
but I'm too injured by your tone.
So I'll defend them to the death -
give up and please leave me alone.

The one who stays
despite that shove,
will prove to me
the truth of love.

19 August 2010

A change in thinking

"The smallest good deed is greater than the grandest intention"

I recently heard this statement used and (for perhaps the first time) I believed its message.

Previously, I had been stuck on the implications of good intent - i.e. a good heart/soul or a person who recognizes right and wrong and wishes good's prevail. Who cares about a small, but good deed when anyone can do a few decent things from time to time without being truly "good".

But that isn't the point of the remark.

When we have good intentions, we can believe ourselves to be great, wonderful people, but those around us have no evidence. The casual onlooker would have no reason to think well of you. Thoughts don't catch on - actions do. Even the tiniest act of kindness can be a tangible example for the world to follow - rather than remain puffed up by all the wishes it thought about fulfilling.

Intentions are important when you want to be genuine, but if you want to make an impact - look around and do something great - even if it's just calling your mom to tell her you love her.

17 August 2010

A list of things that make me smile

(I felt my posts were a little too heavy as of late)

*a witty turn of phrase
*grand gestures from a neighboring car
*swerving to hit a puddle (carefully, of course)
*a tree full of new, little green buds
*a fresh cup of coffee
*seeing somebody rocking out on a guitar
*a poorly sung national anthem or Christmas carol
*an elderly couple holding hands
*a toddler riding atop her father's shoulders
*skipping through a parking lot
*the tentative wave of child just getting used to the concept
*the sound of a gospel choir
*a soft breeze hitting my face
*gentle rays of sunshine warming my neck
*a realization of something I am sure others know, but I learned without being told
*when a child sits on my lap and hands me a book without a word of explanation
*visiting a park in order to jog, but deciding to swing instead

Something you may have already heard: "When I look out at the people and they look at me and they're smiling, then I know that I'm loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems. " ~Etta James

16 August 2010

Tired Eyes

My smile hasn't reached my eyes today -
too much weighing on my thoughts.
My tears haven't touched the ground today -
I don't have the strength to cry.

I stare at the world through empty eyes -
forcing tone into my speech
a laugh,
a grin,
but always averting my eyes.

If they look for just one second -
really look,
I know they would see
and recognize the mask I'm hiding behind.

I can fake everything else,
but my eyes reveal the strain
from holding back all these fears
and all this pain.

If I lost control today I think
it would tear me apart,
and I don't have the energy to pick up the pieces -
at least not right now.

10 August 2010

A list of things I've lost

*Dozens of socks
*Hundreds of pens and pencils
*My ability to play flawless scales on the flute and piano
*Several books (mainly due to lending them to "friends")
*My ability to trust people
*My fluency in Spanish
*Half of each of my front two teeth
*Most of the softball games I've played (not my fault . . . not entirely at least)
*Most of my innocence
*Several naive viewpoints (still clinging to a few)
*Hours whilst playing RPGs (a weakness, I admit)
*Anything I once saved on a floppy disk
*My friends from high school
*My favorite pair of earrings, sunglasses, and pants
*All those Pogs I collected in grade school
*My first kiss
*Countless tears
*Clear direction for the rest of my life

P.S. (My ability to read long, boring works of fiction in their entirety - I blame Cliffsnotes)

01 August 2010

When the truth merely blinds

Before I write what I want to say - let me write a bit of a preface. I love truth. I am all about truth and telling people it's important - sometimes convincing people it exists (or at least attempting to convince). Without truth I would have no hope, this world would seem a purposeless wasteland. Okay, preface over.

Truth is often compared to light. It helps us see what we once could not. We don't like to journey into the unknown without it. But I have also found the truth blinding. It becomes a light so powerful we cannot avert our eyes. We lose sight of everything else because, at that moment, nothing else seems important.

People who fill themselves with nothing but truth often become as cold and blinding as the fluorescent bulbs at the dentist office. The Bible tells us Christ walked the earth full of grace and truth and the apostle Paul says to speak the truth in love. Truth is a beautiful thing when it is tempered with kindness and mercy, but a cruel and heartless belief when left alone.

Perhaps that's what is wrong with organized religion. It's cold because it merely thinks and acts rather than feels. Understanding isn't complete without empathy.

Yes, they have spoken accurately, but what are they ignoring while traveling down that tunnel of truth?