What Breaks YOUR Brain?

I’m kicking myself for at least not trying to chat with the woman who was sitting maybe twelve feet away from me but left the room maybe thirty minutes ago.  I’m not sure if she’s gone for the day or not – still have a little less than four hours remaining for today’s free “write in” – but I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t on my mind right now.  Tall slim brunette, around 40?  I can never tell, especially when some people take such damn great care of themselves.

I like pretty (beautiful? gorgeous?) women – sue me.  I spent a huge part of my life trying to ignore that – otherwise, women will obviously think I’m just another one of those superficial men who care only about what a woman looks like, not who she is.  Frankly it took me a long time to allow myself to even look at women, for fear that she or someone else might catch me “gawking” at her and call me out about it.  And even before that, I shared the feeling with Jimmy Carter (and the Bible, I guess) that whenever you look lustfully at a woman, you commit sin in your heart.  I wanted to respect women, even though I had no idea what that really meant.

I’ve resolved the matter at least a little bit by believing that you respect others when you get to know who they are and, regardless of whether what you come to learn pleases or displeases you, you accept them as they are.  And I think that works in nearly every area of life, except for one:  sex.

Sex is the brain busting puzzle of my entire existence.  Being raised Catholic didn’t help matters, of course – in what other religion can you have so little information about sex and still wind up with so many kids being born?  Although, come to think of it, perhaps that’s EXACTLY what to expect with so little information.

Six of the seven boys in our family went to seminary.  The one that didn’t go is married (now over forty years, with three kids, four grandkids).  The next six boys:  married, then divorced (and now deceased), priest, married (two kids, nearly forty years), never married (me), married (two kids, twenty years), and married (two kids, thirty years).  My three sisters:  never married, married (one kid, now divorced) and married (no kids).  What did they figure out that I (and maybe my older sister) didn’t?

Aphorisms and Other Curiosities

Is the universe indifferent?  Who the hell knows?  Don’t use it as an excuse to hide from living.

Women’s roller derby team + religion:  church of the most holy rollers.

Intersection of solemn and playful:  serious.  See Nietzsche.

What makes for good comedy?  “It’s finding that fine line between smart and silly.”     — CBS Sunday Morning, 3/30/2014

From some TED talk somewhere:  How to make choosing easier:

Cut — less is more
Concretize — make it vivid
Categorize — more categories, fewer choices
Condition — move from less complex to more complex

We live in a world of paradoxes:  you’re special, and you’re no different from anyone else.  She likes you, but she doesn’t LIKE like you.

Check your judgments at the gates of hell — you can pick ’em up when you come back to stay.

Reverie, rumination — a blessing and a curse.

Life is neither black nor white / It’s full of joy and sorrow
Whatever fears we have today / Might all be gone tomorrow

A calm came over me.   Then something said, “We just wanted to know whether YOU knew we were here.”  That was the first time I really listened to my feelings in a long, long time.

“How do you make people feel good?
You have sex with them, or you make them laugh.
If it’s both, you marry that person.
People shun people they have sex with.
They never leave the people who make them laugh.”

— Chris Rock (paraphrase),
CBS Sunday Morning, 11/30/2014