Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
I often find myself perpetually pondering the nuances of English words, and today it is "exposure" that has me glassy eyed and daydreaming my grammatically-correct-if-morally-questionable thoughts.
What does it mean to expose?
To be exposed?
To seek exposure?
Like so many things, the gravity of the term depends on the usage--and, if you're adept at usage--the inclusion of dual usage or entendre.
Those readers challenged by Dr. Seuss classics have now moved on to other, less challenging posts. For those of you inclined to bear with me, let's probe:
Like whores we seek exposure.
To the sun. To new experiences. To the beautiful. To the strange. We'll pay a fortune for a celebrity photo or a nickel for the freak show. We wanna know. Curiosity. It killed the cat. But what does that mean to a bunch of pussies like us?
Pussies who run from exposure.
Who don't want our dirty little secrets aired for all to see. Who brush the dirt under the rug and hide the skeletons in the closet and hope against hope and pray against prayer that our dinner party guests don't peek behind the jackets.
But why not hide those bodies in the attic? Those places no one ever goes? Because no one ever goes there. And what a thrill--to be exposed!
What a dichotomy are we! To dance the dance of exposure: "Look at me! Look at me!" all the while hiding our backs from the camera. We must, as we have our shame locked, white-knuckled, in our hands.
To expose onesself to the elements--or one's life to the tabloids--makes one a star. But to expose onesself in a movie theatre makes one a Pee Wee Herman pervert.
To expose corruption makes one a hero. But to expose one's soul makes one a vulnerable target.
But all press is good press no matter how pressing. One must impress. It brings stress. Stress to expose.
Not too much or they'll surely get bored.
Not too little or they'll surely ask questions.
No, just enough exposure so they know your name and seek your face.
Because they are the reason to rise every morning. They are the reason to pray every night. They are the reason to shower, to shave, to make the appearance.
Because we all want to be seen. But no one wants to be exposed.
Friday, July 27, 2012
An ENFJ to the core (the Myers Briggs test people. Jesus. Read a book!), this used to disturb me greatly.
I am a proponent of universal truth. There's a right. There's a wrong. And I am always the former.
Conversely (and confusingly), I also believe we make our truth--that "personal" truth is therefore perspective (if not in the highest sense of the word). That if we believe it, it is therefore fact to us, and therefore legitimate to us if not to others.
Blah de blah de blah de blah.
--It's a mess up in my brain. A true fever. HAWT. A fiyah!--
But despite my struggles against the grey areas of life, they kept at my grey matter like heat-seeking missiles, redirecting each time I'd duck and cover. And now that they've hit, I find myself surprisingly willing to embrace their destruction of my Myers Briggs boundaries.
You see, for me, it's the grey areas in which the mercy falls. It's the grey areas that carry the compassion, the empathy, the "there but for the grace of G-d go I"...
It's in the grey areas that I find comfort.
It's in the grey areas that I find G-d.
Grey areas from grey matter...perhaps the 50 shades that "matter" most.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
As said sticker was shaped and colored like a traditional target for firearms, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess what the Sticker Applier meant when furiously attaching the hate missive to the toilet paper dispenser:
Kim Kardashian--your days are numbered.
And you shall meet your end via a crazed animal rights activist who is presently stalking the Sparks Hall women's lavatories.
It's the only possible conclusion.
And one that I vehemently support.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
A beautifully deadly condition.
A blessing with an abrupt end.
You know, you're probably not gonna believe it--but I'm truly happy about this.
I laugh when I picture your eye roll.
Thing is you're so vain, you literally think that because you are obsessed with me, that I must respond in kind--that I must meet your borderline psychotic fervor with reciprocity.
But I don't.
And if you knew the extent to which that is true, I think it'd eat you up inside.
Thing is, though, this post isn't about you. It isn't even for you.
It's for him.
See, I genuinely love him.
And I can't claim that and not wish sincerely for his happiness.
I do want his happiness.
**And I note with satisfied irony that I chose to begin that sentence with those two little words.**
I won't receive an invite in the mail, but when you walk down that isle, I'll be there.
In the back of your mind, yes--but, more importantly, in my heart. For him. Because that's what love is.
Every day you bring him happiness, is a day you bring me happiness. Every smile on his lips? A smile playing on mine.
Love him like there's no tomorrow. Love him hard. Love him true.
He'll never know we shared this moment.
But I do.
It's more simple than you think.
They're not distracting.
Don't be disappointed in the answer. Just consider:
As human beings, we have an innate sense of when someone is being false. It's an adaptation to warn us of danger. Inherently, we can sense when the average person is hiding something or presenting a false front.
A good actor, therefore, is simply a person able to bypass that internal warning system.
If I, as a viewer, believe you...well, you're doing your job.
Simple as that.
Sanford Meisner called this principle, "behaving truthfully in imaginary circumstances."
I call it, "ability to bullshit."
Either way, it's all a good actor--or politician or salesman (but I repeat myself)--has to do.
If I am distracted by your performance? Well, somthing's off. Simple. Something isn't ringing true. And that takes me out of the story. And that's bad.
Betcha thought it was more complicated than that.
Sorry to disappoint you.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
But, friends, Romans, countrymen, lend those ears and lock your doors! There's a new menace on our streets!
With a name always spoken with the exact inflection of Dean Vernon Wormer in "Animal House," the nefarious Onion Haaaaaaaay reared his nefarious head one nefarious night this nefarious week at Hottie Hawgs. And with two little--henceforth reprehensible--words, this Asian Crusader of Evil wormed his way into my I-Hate-That-You-Breathe record books:
To begin at the nefarious beginning, I should clarify that onion hay is a tasty side item offered at H.H. Similar to the stuff you'd get in a bloomin' onion, our hay is fried, stacked and delicious. It's no wonder Onion Hay wanted an order.
Or did he?
Like all stories of this level of nefariousness (Nefarity? Nefaritude?), this one began on a dark and stormy night (that it was actually afternoon is irrelevant). Not-Yet-Named-Onion-Hay, this Asian fellow and his girlfriend arrive at H.H. and decide to sit on the patio. It's humid. It's blazing. It's about to rain. So, naturally, Not-Yet-Onion-Hay wanted me to run outside every 5 minutes. Grand.
On greeting them, I learn that Not-Yet-Onion-Hay and his girlfriend are:
1. Not that hungry so they'll be ordering something "to split."
2. Only having water, thank you.
3. Expecting two more people but those people won't be hungry either because they just ate so they will have waters also.
Waters delivered, the couple order a side of onion hay and a meat.
Whatever. At least they won't be harassing me for condiments.
Diligently I put in their order and then return to my other duties--assisting tables, filling condiment buckets, chatting up customers...when lo and behold--who should tap me on the shoulder but Not-Yet-Onion-Hay!
"Yes sir, can I help you?"
"Ummm...yeah. Like I said earlier, I'm not that hungry, so...could you just cancel that order for onion hay?"
Ooooookaaaaaay. So now my table of 4 people who are outside in "the miserable" and guzzling water like...whatever guzzles water...are only going to have 1 order of meat? Excellent.
So I set about the rigamarole that is finding a manager and having said manager remove the order. The questions follow. "Why do they want this removed from the order? Was there something wrong with it? Was the customer dissatisfied?" Nope. No. No. He just "wasn't that hungry."
As this IS my life, one should not be surprised that in the time it took to find a manager and conduct the previously outlined interaction, the onion hay in question came up in the food window. The kitchen had not received adequate notice to cancel the order. So I had to tell them to throw the onion hay away.
Not only did this move not win me any friends in the kitchen, it also upped the restaurant's food cost of this order...We weren't making any money on this table to begin with, and now we were losing money!
Pissed with Not-Yet-Onion-Hay for being an idiot, and pissed at the kitchen for being pissed at me, I returned to my patrons who had actually come to a restaurant to eat.
Now, up to and until this moment, Not-Yet-Onion-Hay had proven a not-so-unusual thorn in my side. Every shift has "one of those" customers that makes you wonder if people today really are the old wives tale incarnation of barn births. But this--THIS!--is where Not-Yet-Onion-Hay stepped out of the realm of mundane irritant and into the annals of I-Swear-I-Will-Shake-You-Into-Adult-Onset-SIDS.
As I once-again venture into the sweaty, heat/rain mess that is our patio...refilling the free drinks these people are swilling like...whatever swills... Not-Yet-Onion-Hay looks up and me and says:
"You know, I'm actually pretty hungry. CAN I GET SOME ONION HAY?"
I could feel my face burning. I KNEW I was making "the face"--that oh-my-god-you-are-the-biggest-fucking-idiot-I've-ever-had-the-misfortune-of-encountering-and-if-I-ever-meet-you-in-a-dark-alley-you-better-pray-to-Allah-that-he-has-mercy-on-your-damned-soul" face.
Shelly Cofield knows which face I mean.
Without a word, I stormed inside.
Concerned, my beautiful friend and coworker Meghan called out from behind the bar: "Erin, are you ok?"
"Nope. No. I'm NOT ok!"
"You know that guy? The one who just caused all that commotion in the kitchen? Yeah. He's hungry now. And guess what he wants?!?!?!?
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Where's the smarts?
What are we teaching our kids?
That beauty and octave range are more important than intelligence?
American Idol anyone?
Ugh. So utterly angry.
Just another way in which Disney has ruined my life.
Perhaps if BR had been given a lick of sense (like Maleficent, for example), she wouldn't have purposefully poked a needle. "Hey! This looks shiny! I think I will jab it with my finger!" Poor, poor pitiful simpleton. Thank heaven she can sing!
True to form, the villain is the smart woman and the heroine is the twittering idiot ingenue.
So of course I am still watching it. For Maleficent. Who, for the record, was profoundly misunderstood.
Sure, I regularly post on "the other forbidden topic" (religion), but politics remain outside my realm of understanding. Pork bellying, nepotism, bureaucracy...these things give me a migraine.
But today there's just somethin' that I gotta say:
I work three part-time jobs.
So some would say I'm a hard workin' girl.
Thing is, even with three gigs goin', I still can't afford health insurance.
You know, that privatized health insurance that is supposed to be so much more cost efficient than the presently-passed healthcare package? Yeah. Some of my employers can't afford to provide it. Even to their full-time employees.
But let's back up for a moment.
One of the arguments for privatized insurance is quality of care. With private insurance you can (supposedly) see a doctor of your choice at a time of your choosing.
I'm gonna go ahead and call bullshit on that.
To get an appointent with my gyno--the only doctor I visit with regularity,--I have to call months in advance. And, even after checking to make sure my dr. was "in network" for my shitty health insurance through the university (mandatory insurance I might add), I still had to pay more than $400 out of pocket for my annual exam because said shitty insurance doesn't cover annual exams for female patients.
1. This is outrageous. An annual exam is preventative medicine recommended for all women of menstruating age. It is absurd that this exam would not be covered under any insurance.
2. To visit my gyno with no insurance and out of pocket usually costs me $125. Yep. My costs quadrupled when I filed through privatized insurance.
My first job out of college was working for a medical billing office. In my role, I witnessed hundreds (if not thousands) of claims being denied by privatized insurance for the most ludicrous reasons you can imagine. Among them? A man denied by a major insurer for an emergency appendectomy. Why? Because, on his way to the hospital with a burst appendix, he somehow forgot to call his insurer to "make sure the procedure was covered."
Blue Cross Blue Shield? FUCK. YOU.
A dear friend, Brian, recently shared with me that he pays $300 a month (single, white male, 40, no preexisting conditions that I am aware of.) $300 a month, which does not cover co-pays etc. etc. My father? More than $1,000 a month to insure himself, his wife, and my sister.
Opponents to healthcare reform bemoan an increase in taxes to provide healthcare for the masses...but I ask you: would a tax equate to more than we are currently spending per month for privatized insurance? I can't imagine that it would.
Americans give Canada incessant shit for their "socialized" medicine. But, on average, citizens in Canada and other areas with socialized medicine like the U.K. are living equally happy, long lives.
Are there drawbacks? Of course. Consider: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/07/14/ten-things-you-might-not-know-about-socialized-medicine/
But what are longer lines for someone like me who, before, couldn't even afford to get in the queue?
I may have to wait two months as opposed to two days, but at least I'd actually get to go.
Socialized medicine may not be the "fix all" answer, but something has to be done. Do people from the U.K. and Canada come to America for specialists and specialized treatments? Sure. Those who can afford it.
And the right to live a healthy life should not be dependent upon one's income.
Monday, July 9, 2012
It opens so many doors, and "opportunity," to folks like me, is one of the scariest words around.
It's right up there with "potential" on the "oh-shit-don't-tell-me-I-have-that!" o'meter.
Right now I'm running low on fear...and that scares the utter hell out of me.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Little more than a ploy to make money (one must purchase 'tokens' to see who answered any of a Seattle Slew of questions about them), the app basically harasses all of your friends into answering what it feels are probing and evocative questions about you. You know, like, "Would Erin punch a goat in the gullet for a Blastin' Berry Hot Colors Fruit Roll Up?"
Stupid really, as the obvious answer to that last one is "yes."
Anyway, you can't see WHO answered these perspective-altering questions about you...but you CAN see the question and the answer. (Who answered is a mystery on par with the Sphynx and the locale of Hoffa, apparently. Wooooooooooo.)
But I've been wasting your time with goat punching and Hoffa searches. Let's get to the nitty of the gritty, shall we? Below are some of the questions and answers that--while still anonymous--make me laugh:
Do you think Erin has ever slapped anyone? YES
Do you think you can beat Erin in a fight? NO
Could Erin be a gangster? YES
Would Erin make a good spouse? YES (Naturally, given the answers above.)
Would Erin ever ditch a date? YES
Do you think Erin is a poser? NO ("Poser"!?!? Honesttogawd, does anyone ever say this anymore?)
Do you think Erin has good credit? YES
Would Erin ever dress up in a mascot outfit and run around? YES
Does Erin look good in tights? YES
Do you think Erin wants to 'come out of the closet'? NO (Haha. Jesus. Where DO they come up with this stuff?)
Do you think Erin has showered today? YES (Sadly this one is wrong.)
Do you think Erin is trailer trash? NO (This one too...)
Do you think Erin has ever given a 'dutch oven' to someone? NO (Ask anyone, I avoid ovens of all kinds.)
And the coupe de gras:
Do you think Erin would bail you out of jail? NO (That's right! ROT IN THERE FUCKER!)
Oh geez. The sheer joy of it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you FaceBook. Thank you.
Monday, July 2, 2012
If the Bible is to be believed--if every word is to be taken as *ahem* gospel truth--then Jesus was truly fascinating. Perfect in every way. Sinless. Without fault.
A true Messiah.
But even if every word is, indeed, divine...I cannot help but notice that there is one major snag in the "Live As Man" plan. Namely a crisis of faith. For, though Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, though he had to endure the most trying of religious, social and political times, he never bore the burden that you and I carry each day.
He never bore the burden of faith.
He never had to.
If the Bible is to be believed, Jesus, being part of the Father, had already experienced Heaven. (He even went on to conquer Hell.) Coming directly from the Father's Right Hand, he never had to doubt the existence or nature of God. He'd met the guy. The two were--how do you say?--close.
By definition, faith is a belief in things unseen. And I can dig that. Because, for the first time in my life, I have it. I truly do.
But it wasn't always this way.
I did a lot of soul searching. A lot. I lifted many rocks. My prayer-ridden knees gave out a few times. There were days I thought my cheeks would literally stain with tears.
Jesus never faced this.
Oh make no mistake--he had his questions. He asked that the "cup be taken" in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked why he was forsaken on the cross. These instances--while moments of doubt in G-d's plan and in G-d's behavior--do not constitute a crisis of faith per se. Never once did Jesus have to question whether or not He was up there. Jesus already knew he was.
And this is why a god can never fully be a man. Not unless said god has the power to erase all he has previously known, so he or she may be free to discover it again.
I wish I could have spoken my argument more eloquently. But I hope the message stil comes across.
A crisis of faith is a human condition. And, therefore, rather than be ashamed of it, we should be proud: proud to b thinking, rational, inquisitive individuals. What develops therefrom is a faith born of discernment. A place of mental, emotional and spiritual agreement based on experience, learning, questioning, prayer, determination.
Because if you never really question your faith...is that truly "faith" at all?