19 April 2008

le mot injuste

being someone who likes her words, i have a hard problem stomaching ones that are consistently abused/ misused. language is such a wonderful development for humans, it bothers me to no end when people can't be bothered to learn the one that they've grown up with. many people can speak grammatically in many languages. mastering one, at least to the extent where one can avoid some truly hideous mistakes, should not be that much of a challenge. i'm far from perfect in my english, but i like to think that i make an effort and that i at least try to avoid some of the more obvious mistakes.

everyone has their own pet peeves in this regard. here are a few of mine:

"impactful": it's bad enough that i have to listen to people (generally people employed in the area of sales) use the word "impact" as a verb ("this will impact our finances"), but now that bastardisation has been extended to create "impactful". people who use this, almost always business-brainwashed idiots with money on their minds and brown on their noses, make me want to connect something impactful with their smug faces.

"irregardless": i'm including this one for my parents, both of whom were driven nuts. i'm glad to say that people use this one less, because it's become the poster child for bad vocabulary. if you do hear it, though, particularly in a situation where the person is mid-rant about something, try interjecting and asking that person how "irregardless" differs from "regardless". throws off their whole rhythm.

"very unique": people who know me have actually heard me scream over this one. it's my ultimate linguistic hot point. something can't be very unique. unique is singular. "uni"= one. something is either unique or it isn't, end of story. i get particularly frustrated with this one because it is so widespread. almost everyone misuses the word. in fact, you almost never hear it used properly.

"obligated": a little bit of a weird one, because it's actually a word, but an irish friend of mine, in possession of a doctoral degree (meaning that i assume he's thought about words and how to use them) once said something to me that makes a lot of sense. "obligated" is a useless word. it's an elongation of a perfectly serviceable english word- "obliged". ever since that point was made to me, i've been unable to get the word "obligated" out of my mouth. although perfectly correct, it seems unnecessarily cumbersome.

14 April 2008

lucid in the sky

while i was traveling a short time ago, i had an experience on an overseas flight that surprised me. i slipped directly from being awake and discussing environmental housing with the most interesting single-serving friend ever into a sleep state. once asleep, i was dreaming, but fully aware that this was the case, the same as i might have been aware that i was sitting in an uncomfortable seat. i could continue to control my actions, but, of course, i wasn't actually carrying out those actions. in other words, i was having a form of lucid dream.

what was surprising was that this wasn't a singular experience. all through my short trip, it seemed that whenever i fell asleep, i would almost immediately start dreaming, but would be perfectly aware that that was what i was doing.

interestingly, this is something that people strive for. there are various techniques recommended for inducing lucid dreaming, for both practical and non-practical reasons. i have to admit that i've even tried some of these out of curiosity, but never with any luck. then all of a sudden, there i am, over a period of several days, lucid dreaming without any prompting whatsoever.

and you know what i've found out? lucid dreaming feels a lot like not having slept at all. i woke up tired and convinced i'd been puttering around, wasting time and not getting any sleep. damn. what a let-down.

13 April 2008

a selection from the imaginary kaleidescope

sometimes, i like to simply write stray bits, often as accompaniment to music. (i turn the computer on random and write a separate piece for each track that plays.) here are a few excerpts from that sort of exercise.

#1

I thought I dreamed last night, but I can’t remember anymore. I think I dreamed. Maybe a dream of being out, walking in the cold early spring, sitting with people who hardly know I exist, those people who see me every day. Being satisfied that they might finally know what my voice sounded like, being able to explain why I list ever so slightly to the right when I walk, in case they’d ever noticed, not that they would have had reason to notice.

You weren’t there in the dream.

#2

Whoever said it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved didn’t love the way that I love her, didn’t lose her as completely as I am losing her. She takes not only herself when she goes, not only her white form, leaving a smooth, temporary imprint on the sagging sofa, not only this goes with her but part of me as well. The part of me that belongs in recent memory. The part of me that she has created. That’s all done for her now, that’s all done and she moves on, an effortless slide on a chessboard only she can see. She takes me with her. I am left without myself.

#3

Then parlour dramas took their toll and I became that other, that one who held you back from all you dream and you, sweet hero of the tale, put hand to breast and showed how much you longed to fly from here, even as I wrapped my arms around you, even as I thought the history of the flesh would crush you into me.

And then there was the jerky dance around, the histrionics that time expects for its patience. Arms thrusting up and down, countered by those waving side to side, the film descends to lurid drama and then unravels entirely.

Grey real of alone, sitting despondent stupid and waiting for your sunshine.

#4

Marianna needs to stop dancing on the damn table is all I’m thinking at this point. She’s wearing these massive, alarming silver boots and a purple dress, a sort of rabbit-hole dress- only fits around the hare. Her platinum locks- or the synthetic mass that’s passing for her hair this week- shakes and weaves in time with whatever eastern crap Derek’s got blaring from his stereo.

See, the thing is, Derek’s guests encourage Marianna to do this sort of thing because it’s funny. But Derek doesn’t find it funny because he paid more than a month’s rent for the table she’s dancing on. I’m the only one who knows that. Two people are snorting lines off a coffee table that costs more than this incredible apartment.

12 April 2008

old lady

old lady

as i've mentioned in the past, both on the blog and in personal conversations, i'm having to adjust to the fact that i'm a woman in my mid-thirties. i still think and act much the same way i always did, because even if i wanted to change my hardwiring, i don't think i'm capable. so personally, given the fact that i'm fortunate enough to be in good health, i don't feel the difference. what i do notice, perhaps because so many of my close friends seem to be men, is that other people are aware of me being, as one person put it (half-jokingly, i hope) "past my prime".

however, in the last little while, i've been reminded that there are at least a few things that I really like about being this age.

1. i'm not getting hit on. pick-up artists are far more interested in the young and fresh.

2. i'm not strange or irritating. i'm eccentric.

3. people listen when i talk.

4. flirting is fun again. there's a certain delight to be taken in simply bantering and sending little body language cues when you know it's not really going anywhere. there's no pressure.

5. my bullshit detector is in the best working order it's ever been.

i'm sure i'll think of more, but there's a few to start with.
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