Friday, August 31, 2007
"Oxygen gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, you're taking giant panicked breaths. Suddenly you become euphoric, docile. You accept your fate. It's all right here. Emergency water landing - 600 miles an hour. Blank faces, calm as Hindu cows."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Last week I had my final acupuncture treatment. When I left the exam room, I found myself waiting in line to return my chart and pay. So, I decided to take a quick gander at my chart. There was very little written, probably because the reason I was going (smoking cessation) was cut and dry and because of the fact that I this was my third and final visit. At the bottom of the chart I notice one word, written by the doctor: anxious. I have been thinking about this one word for almost a week now and have to say I am troubled by it. This word has such a negative vibe to it. It is an ugly word, almost as ugly as the word bunion.
It doesn’t take a doctor to put the classification of anxious on me. I am admittedly anxious. So why did this one word on my chart bother me so much? So, I looked up the definition of the word and here is what I found:
anx·ious ( ngk sh s, ng sh s) KEY ADJECTIVE:
1. Uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.
2. Attended with, showing, or causing anxiety: spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.
3. Usage Problem Eagerly or earnestly desirous.
OTHER FORMS: anx ious·ly (Adverb), anx ious·ness (Noun) Usage Note: Anxious has a long history of use roughly as a synonym for eager, but many prefer that anxious be used only when its subject is worried or uneasy about the anticipated event. In the traditional view, one may say We are anxious to see the strike settled soon but not We are anxious to see the new show of British sculpture at the museum. Fifty-two percent of the Usage Panel rejects anxious in the latter sentence. But general adoption of anxious to mean "eager" is understandable, at least in colloquial discourse, since it provides a means of adding emotional urgency to an assertion. It implies that the subject so strongly desires a certain outcome that frustration of that desire will lead to unhappiness. In this way, it resembles the informal adjective dying in sentences such as I'm dying to see your new baby.
How dare 52% of the Usage Panel (who is on this panel anyway?) deny me of the positive usage of anxious. At least the usage of the word in this way is “understandable.” Who writes this stuff? This was the exact context of the word I was looking for, so I’ve decided to just go with it. It makes me feel better, knowing that this form of the definition exists, even though it is wildly unpopular among dictionary writers. Maybe Dr. Pin Prick sensed that I was “eager” to quit smoking and this lead to his “anxiety” assessment. Maybe my desire to quit has caused me to be anxiously anxious?
I think what bothers me most about the anxious label is the fact that over three visits, I spent approximately 5 minutes talking to the Doctor. Was my anxiousness that transparent? After I leave the checkout line at Kroger does the cashier think, “Wow, that woman sure is anxious!” I really do try and focus on being relaxed, calm. But, I’m not even sure I can pull calm off in my sleep. It is just not who I am.
In reality, we are all freaks. Each of us possessed with some weirdness that we can’t control. I probably have a bit more weirdness than most, at least that is what I am told. But, it is this weirdness that makes us interesting, unique individuals. So, I am going to embrace it, and stop fighting it. And besides, what does an acupuncturist know anyway?
Monday, August 27, 2007
This is truly one of the most frightening pieces of video that I have ever seen. I will admit that I laughed out loud the first time I watched it. OK, I laughed each time I saw it. But the more I watched it, the more I felt bad for this poor girl. It has to hurt to be that stupid. It has to hurt to know that millions of people will watch this video. I am sure that her family is cursing You Tube and the internet. Hopefully she is too dumb to know how really dumb she is.
Now I don't want to have an entire post ragging on this girl. That is hard for me to say given that my #1 pet peeve in life is stupid people. I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt..maybe she was just nervous? Maybe her cat died right before the pageant and she couldn't focus? Maybe she had a lobotomy? Maybe she was in awe of the fact that AC Slater was standing next to her? Maybe she was peering into the audience to see if Screech was there? But, I'm afraid that I can't do that. There were so many things wrong with what she said. What is really sad about the situation is how the system has failed this girl. She really did answer her question, by example. The reason that most Americans can't find the US on a map is because most Americans are stupid. And she proved it. I read a comment from a teacher about this video. She said that she felt that it was likely that MORE than 1/5 of Americans can't find the US on a map. Her experiences as a teacher in Texas led her to this belief. More than half of her students thought Texas was a country. Worse yet, they thought that Texas belonged to Mexico. Muy mal!
Maybe even worse than the system failing her is the fact that this girl will probably get through life, with some success due to how she looks. After watching this video (and after choking on his own spit), my husband's comment was who cares that this girl is an idiot. What credentials do you really need to qualify for a pageant outside of being able to walk in heels, knowing how to glue your swimsuit to your ass and having some stupid talent like twirling fire batons? He continued by saying that it was unlikely that this girl would end up in schools, talking to the children living in US America, to borrow a phrase from the video. But is it unlikely? I bet the winners travel the country and spend tons of times in schools. I'm hoping that this girl didn't win. Don't forget that there are the freakish families out there who devote their lives to entering their children in pageants. These girls do end up being role models. Besides, doesn't the world have enough of these role models already? Aren't Lindsey, Brittany and Paris enough? I heard that Hugh Heffner is looking to add a girl to his fleet...maybe there is hope for this girl after all. She and Kendra could be lifelong friends!
Thankfully the contestant's responses are timed. This girl could have gone on for hours. It would have been interesting to see how many times she would have said 'such as.' It would have just been interesting to hear anything else she would have said. It would have been interesting to hear the audiences reaction...or lack there of.
Didn't anyone tell her before the pageant that the answer to EVERY QUESTION is world peace? Hopefully she learned her lesson.