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My Favorite Short Story Ever

And with a title like that, I don’t think it needs an intro. The piece below is from a collection of short stories titled Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan.

I was Trying to Describe  You to Someone

I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.

I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”

I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.

I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… “

I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….

And that’s how you look to me.

RB

Science Just Can’t Make Up Its Mind

frankenstein

Here’s what irks me about the “facts” of life: they change. One minute the Earth is flat, the next the sun revolves around it, the next everything we know is actually wrong and we might as well admit we know nothing. If there is one thing discovered by Einstein that rings more true than any of his other magnificent findings, it the following quote:

“The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.”

And that quote is an ode to this post, a post to only three of the many, many strange things science just can’t decide on.

  1. Pluto Being a Planet
    Anyone else remember My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles? This was one of the many mnemonics I used in elementary school to remember the order of something that was supposedly true, and in this case, it pertained to the order of the planets, and yes, pickles symbolized Pluto. PLUTO IS A PLANET PEOPLE. The debate is clearly ongoing as scientists wrestle with the rest of life’s monumental questions, like, for example, if Brontosaurus is a dinosaur.
  2. Brontosaurus Existing as a Dinosaur
    Now this one really bugged me. How could they forgo my entire childhood with Little Foot in The Land Before Time? Oh wait, never mind, it is a dinosaur again.
  3. Pregnancies Lasting 9 Months
    It’s common knowledge that human pregnancies last nine months, right? Then WHY is it actually closer to 10 months? Why do these alleged science people keep lying to us? I guess it’s not a huge deal, it’s just omitting an entire month of carrying around another human life. No biggie.

This is just a trio of things that shouldn’t be debatable, but clearly are. I’ll probably go and enjoy some ice cream now before those scientists decide that ice cream is not actually edible.

On Moving To A New City

palms

I constantly feel bombarded with those “inspirational” posts. You know, those do something new, drink more water, stop eating processed food with artificial coloring and all things related to poison type of posts. Well, I was one of the few stupid ones that actually went along with them. Ugh, that’s right, I was one of those people. Horrible, I know.

I moved to a new city, and “moved” is still questionable. The thing is, sometimes only inspiration comes and actually doing the feat doesn’t come. And you think, well maybe if you’d only go through with it, you could feel accomplished afterwards. The few times I’ve done something like this, it’s quite the opposite. It’s pretty terrifying the whole way through.

I thought I’d feel more settled after graduating college, and that was the point that I felt most clueless, even with a degree. I’ve taken the leap and am trying out a new city with new people. I guess I should be happy about pushing new boundaries, but being in my twenties and in that constant state of uncertainty doesn’t help. Also, I don’t know where to get the good coffee in this place. Feeling lost and without caffeine is not a good combination.

Are You a Good Liar?

fight

I was listening to this podcast and one certain trick caught my attention: telling a good liar from a bad liar. It’s simple. Try it, or ask your friends and see which ones are more prone to telling believable lies.

So how does it work? Hold your dominant hand up and draw a capital Q on your forehead. That’s it. You’re done.

Now, did you draw the tail of the Q towards your right or left shoulder? Drawing the tail towards the right shoulder indicates that you’re a low self monitor, or, you guessed it, a bad liar. However, drawing the tail towards the left shoulder shows a high self monitor, also known as a good liar. This way, the person facing the drawer can see the letter Q. These high self monitors are better at observing others and more aware at how others perceive them. Also, according to Business Insider, they’re more likely to be extroverts.

Where’d you land on the good liar test? I, myself, am a bad liar, which is both true on this test and in the real world.

The Greatest Love Letter Ever Written

john-y-june

The only relevant mail I actually get are bank statements, and even that I think is old school since everyone gets them electronically. The days of letter writing and post cards have been replaced by texts and emails. Modern communication doesn’t have the same effect and authenticity that is delivered from a hand-written letter and honestly, could you imagine Johnny Cash ever telling June Carter of these exact sentiments through an email? The insurance company Beagle Street had a poll to find the greatest love letter ever written. The winning letter didn’t have fancy vocabulary but was a simple letter written from John to June to mark her 65th birthday. I can’t contest the result.

johnnycash

It reads:

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.

Happy Birthday Princess.

John

Social Experiment

60sCouple

Writer Mandy Len Cantron recently had an article published on The New York Times about conducting her own personal experiment for falling in love. She’d read about the 36 questions that had been presented to the two individuals in Dr. Arthur Aron’s study, which were then followed by the two people silently staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The questions are meant to be personal and give each person the opportunity to be vulnerable, and therefore, feel closer to the other. To summarize, both couples involved in this experiment ended up being married, although one couple did seem to be doing the experiment more for their own amusement. Would you give it a try, for fun’s sake? Nevertheless, the questions are definitely worthy conversation starters. Here are the 36 questions:

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Image source unknown.

Hello There

 

rose

Here’s the thing: I judge books based on their first sentence. Also, my professors (every. single. one. of them)  used to say to not let your audience know you’re nervous even if you really are. Fake it till you make it type of mentality. That’s fine and dandy and all, but this is my first post and I can’t help but to see it as a sort of foundation. A place where I don’t hope to fake anything, but to genuinely document subject matter that I find compelling, whether positively or negatively.

So although I’m still unsure where this tiniest of internet spaces is headed, I hope it captures even the smallest bit of inspiration, from me, to you.

image source: http://prettypeachpeonies.tumblr.com/post/18459193733