Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Love vs. love

Kines once again sparked a thought... ^_^.

There is a common misconception concerning love. Most people these days, as one of the chronicled.org comments says, are in lust. They, with the help and misguidance of the Media, have confused sexual longing for actual Love. But it's hard to tell the difference many times. In a relationship where sex is involved, how do you tell for sure whether you love the person because you feel dependent on them for physical intimacy, or whether you truly Love them?

I can't figure it out myself. I think I'm in Love. I feel incredibly strongly toward my current 'other'. I want to share my life with him in every way possible - including physical love. However, there is more to our relationship than a need for physical attention. We are friends on a deeper level. And that, I think, is part of Love. It's nearly impossible to Love someone who you don't get along with outside the bedroom. Despite our little feuds over where to go for lunch, he and I get along pretty well.

But what is Love, really? It's not just being friends, or even lovers. The word used to denote something more... a feeling that's hard to capture with words. It's something like caring for the other person, and something like feeling protective of the other person, and something like knowing that you can forgive the other person no matter what... and something like a lot of other things. Maybe it's like being a parent. Or does being a parent simply make it easier to Love? I could come up with half a thousand definitions of Love... but it all comes back to one thing. Love is what has happened when, after years and years together, you realize you're going to spend the rest of your life with this person because you'd never adjust to anyone else. ^_^ Or maybe that's just resignation :P

I'll try to tell you what I think Love is.

Love is accepting. For most of history, "Love" as we think of it hasn't counted much in marriages. Arranged marriage is still popular in Islamic nations, as well as the more traditionalist areas of India, China, the United States (yes, it happens here occasionally) and... well, the rest of the world. True, most of the industrially developed nations don't bother with it any more, but for some people an arranged marriage is the only way. I don't know anyone in an arranged marriage but it seems to me that if you were brought up well and your parents knew what they were looking for, you would find yourself quite happy with any match they brought home. Parents tend to be pretty observant of traits and quirks which most people ignore or hide when they are looking for their own mate. And like being assigned to share a dorm with someone you have never met before, the people in arranged marriages probably tend to settle into a comfortable co-existence out of necessity. Love comes later, if at all. Once you know someone, have learned their eating and sleeping habits, have picked up after them and taken care of them and lent them money, you start to love them. Little things remind you of their smile or their attitude. You miss them when they aren't around to talk to. You want to serve them, because you have respect for them and you know they would do the same for you. Love is Equal.

Love is Forgiving. Most of all, Love knows that everyone makes mistakes. There is nothing wrong with being angry for a little while - it is a natural reaction. But Love can forgive, even though a transgression may seem difficult to overcome.

Love is Respectful. People in loving relationships don't seem to have screaming fights very often, and I don't think it's because the sex is that good. An important part of any healthy relationship, romantic or not, requires both people to have respect for each other and themselves. If you can discuss a difference of opinions and still get along then you're much better off.

Love is many things. Look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It's one of my favorite Bible passages... although I still can't quote it. At any rate, whatever Love is or is not, I know one thing: when people think they are in Love, there isn't much anyone can do to convince them otherwise.

I could go on but this post is long enough already. I have homework to do... although if you'd like to debate any of these points or add your own, feel free.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


He comes to visit me... and visits the comp instead!

...[insert obligatory ads for Verizon here]...

^_^ I love my boy!

Saturday, September 24, 2005


There is a poster on my wall. It is titled: "everybody knows... SHIT HAPPENS". Under the huge title is a two-column list of -isms followed by their respective definitions. I like this poster for a few reasons. It's funny. It makes fun of most major belief systems, with an unbiased attitude. And last, but certainly not least - it's accurate.

A few examples:
Atheism: "I don't believe this s***"
Feminism: "Men are s***"
Amish: "Modern s*** is useless"
Cynicism: "We are all full of s***"
And so on. It covers Baptism, Televangelism, Capitalism, Voodoo, Disneyism ("Bad s*** doesn't happen here"), Surrealism ("Fish happens"), and Freud. Just about everything is up there. My personal favorite, though, happens to be Americanism: "Who gives a shit?"

The problem is that the poster is absolutely dead-on. Americans really do have that kind of attitude, as do many other people in the world. And I do give a shit. I care a heck of a lot about things that most people would shrug off. I keep the poster above my computer not only to remind me that (to quote the Politically Correct) "internally processed, nutritionally-drained biological output" happens, but also to prove the point that most people don't care about its happening. It makes me mad, but it also inspires me to get other people mad... to make them sit up and take notice of what's going on, and to get them to make things better. Some day I want to be able to take that poster down, because Shit won't be happening.

At work, there are a lot of older people who have permanent spots as kind of pseudo-managers. They work full time and know everything, and they're very nice to the student workers. One of them, Andy, is getting up there in years, but still comes in to do dishes all day long. I was taking out the garbage a few days ago and he was on break, and as I headed back inside, he pulled a little wooden object out of his pocket and showed it to me. "Know what this is?" he asked.
"Yep. It's a top."
"What color is it?"
"Red and white." (It was painted, half and half)
He spun it. "But if you spin it..."
"Pink!" I exclaimed, because it turns a lovely shade of pink when spun.
He gave it to me. Keep it, he said, and told me something about the man who made them.

The old man who makes these tops was in an accident and broke his neck. He still makes these little wooden tops, hand paints them, and sends them out to people. Apparently he'll give 400 or so to mission groups when he can.

They're nothing special, these little tops. They're small dowels pushed through a round wooden block, painted in two colors. And yet there's something unique about them. It's the knowledge that someone put time and love into these, gave them a purpose and a reason for being.

I think everything takes on a certain quality when it has been loved - even people. When we realize we are loved and that part of our reason for being is because of love, we glow a little too.

The world is a bipolar place. Some of the most awe-inspiring things in the entire universe exist in this tiny speck of space. Unfortunately, some of the most devastating things are right here as well. Seeing the way the earth looks now, I can't imagine how much more beautiful it was before we started to destroy it. And yet I am grateful we've preserved as much as we have, because I also can't imagine what it will look like if we continue to abuse it. Looking at the children today I'm glad we're raising a new generation to provide hope for the future. Looking closer I'm appalled by their lack of respect for anything around them, and their lack of good education. "The optimist believes this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears he is right." I don't know who said that first, but it's pretty accurate.

I guess we have to take the bad with the good - if you put all the 'bad' in one hemisphere and all the 'good' in another, it would blur with the earth's rotation anyway - it would be grey. The question is how dark that grey will be. Will it be the dark grey of a thunderhead, or the light grey of the mist over a warm lake on a summer morning? It's up to us to choose our color. I'd like a lighter shade - they look better on me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Last night noticed that the left side of my throat was mildly sore. I came home, ate 15 or so chicken nugget-things I brought home from work with me, and stayed up too late because my roommate was doing homework and I didn't want to be a bitch and demand lights off. I had homework, too.

This morning my stomach is demanding that I abstain from chicken nuggets for life, (at least I hope that's why I don't feel well) and my throat still hurts. But it's not enough to get me out of class. That would take... hm. West Nile, a bad case of the flu, a broken neck -all three of which would have to come with a doctor's note-, or a death in my immediate family, and the obituary to prove it. Oh, people skip class all the time, and what's to keep me from using the excuse that I slept through it? The problem is that I'm too respectful of the rules to skip class (most of the time). So off I go, and hope that today will turn out well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

If bees were this busy, their wings would fall off.

I mean that, too.
The only time I've had to relax today was a half hour between the early finish of my psych test and the start of my earth and space science class. I sat down in the grass, read my new book, and felt warm. It was too short.
I did get something done, though. I got my child abuse clearance form filled out, got the money order, and mailed it. Now hopefully it comes back before the end of the month. I can't tutor without it.

Today, I have work from 4:30 to 11pm. I will be tired, sore and bitchy when I get back. This job provides the opposite of mental strain, whatever you want to term that, and my brain feels like it atrophies after a few minutes of DHC. So I'm blogging now to save you all from my caveperson self.

According to my Earth and Space Science prof, the earth's rotation is slowing (very slowly, of course) due to a slight drag created by our rather large (comparatively speaking) moon. That means days are actually getting slightly longer. To all those people who have lamented the lack of adequate hours in a day, there's hope.

I've been relatively good about getting the "important" stuff done lately - the stuff that keeps reminding me to finish it. However, getting my car started (or giving up and buying a new goddamn battery, because when/where am I going to find someone to jump-start it?) keeps falling off the end of the list, as does getting that transcript I need for a scholarship, writing a character profile for my part in The Lottery, and seeing my advisor about my courses for next semester. I'm sure I've forgotten more than that...

Eh. Time to go. Just remember: to find peace within yourself, smile and breathe.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


My teacher for this morning's art class did an unforgiveable thing: she wasted my time. I got up early, got ready to go, took a ten-minute walk all the way to the other side of campus... and found a note on the door. It said: "Dr. -----'s classes for Tues. 9/20 are cancelled." Well. It's a two hour class, and my next one is on the near side of campus, which would have meant another ten minute walk anyway. The dining hall is across the street, but I already had breakfast. I didn't have much choice but to walk back here and sit down again. You know, she could have emailed us... I just took at twenty minute walk I would rather have spent reading - which I should be doing anyway.

At this point, my time is a precious thing. I spend most of it running between classes, meetings and work. When I can sit down for a few hours, homework rears its eraser-marked head. There's little excuse for me to just drop onto the bed or into the computer chair and space out, and when I do it's usually at the expense of something else I was supposed to finish or attend.

Excuse the language, but ...oh, shit. My bank account was just overdrawn. Goddamn checks... Goddamn art class. I forgot about the fact that I'd written a check for my art supplies, and given it to the teacher - mandatory spending, because it's cheaper when the whole class gives her money and she buys supplies in bulk. Well, she cashed the check, and my account was $1.76 below the check's amount. And then, unaware of the mishap, I went to the coffee house last night with some friends, and bought an overpriced chai. Oops. Hey, mom, wanna forward me some money? I'll pay you back in two weeks when my paycheck comes...

And with that happy start to the day, I'm off to finish the book I'm supposed to have read for today's Research Writing class.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Toe, hop, back ... wha?

Tonight, I continued to learn something that I've always been fascinated by: Irish Dancing. Remember Riverdance? I get to do a simplified version of it. They danced hardshoe, which is more difficult... but I'm learning softshoe steps, and it's really exciting. The teacher is a fellow student who's been dancing for years and the other people in the 'class' are just great, all very enthusiastic even though most of us would normally classify our feet as Left and Left. Anyway, we're into our third week of meetings and we've learned three sets of steps. One is a circle dance that's incredibly simple and incredibly fun. So I'm finally getting to take dance lessons, no thanks to the mother who said I couldn't do ballet :P And this kicks ballet's tutu any day.

In other news, my job is exhausting, but at least I'm going to be paid in two weeks. The worst part is just the monotony of DHC (Dining Hall Cleanup), which I was put on three times this week even though I'm only scheduled for twice. Not that I'll complain openly - I get paid $0.35/hr more to take out the trash.

I've got to adjust to not having much time for Life any more. With 16.5 credit hours of classes (and one's a science/lab which takes up 4 hours a week, but is only worth 2.5), 18 hours of work, ushering, group meetings, KidsRead and homework, I'm looking forward to Sunday as my only partial day off.

And I'm also looking forward to bedtime. Good night, world.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Death By Foodservice

(Or, Evidence the Universe has PMS)

Today has been one of Those Days that can only be described as unpleasant, for no reason I can fathom. It started off too early, because I had plans to go to the last weekend of the Ren Fest in Pittsburgh, but decided last-minute not to, and was already up and awake, so I told my friends I wasn't going. And then they reminded me of a pouch I said I'd let them borrow to hold their money. I didn't have it - during the room change fiasco I moved it into my 'new' room and left it there when I came back here. There it was behind a locked door, and there I was feeling bad.

So I made up my mind to have a good, productive day. I folded my laundry, I made my bed, I read a little bit more of The Light Fantastic. I set out to meet my sword-fighting group for some fun, wearing flip-flops. The days have been hot and dry, there is construction going on, and dust is everywhere. My feet were covered in nastiness pretty quickly. Bad idea. I also hurt my foot on an invisible stick. Ow?

Feeling gross after a bit of fighting in which I was first to die 9/10 of the time (and only 4 people showed up), I decided I'd go get my car and do some shopping. The car is parked in the huge lot at the far end of campus - a fifteen minute walk at least. Apparently, the lights were left on when I parked it two weeks ago. I had to walk back carless and sweaty, decided I didn't want to walk any farther than the nearest bus stop, and collapsed. And waited. And burned my legs on a hot bench.

The bus was so crowded it was standing room only. Apparently Saturday afternoon is a popular time to go shopping. And after I'd gotten through the grocery store, Goodwill (didn't find what I hoped to), and the mall (forgot a coupon for Borders but got the discount anyway), my bags were too heavy and the bottom ripped out of one. My jar of blackberry jam was almost left on the floor of the bus; instead it ended up dropping with a horrible glassy splat onto the concrete where it jiggled for a second. Ai.

And to top off the evening, I decided to half-jokingly ask a friend who works at the nearest food place if they were still hiring. They were, and he pointed me to the manager, who basically pounced upon the fresh meat and hired me on the spot. I'm now resigned to doing the one job I swore I'd never do - foodservice, for minimum wage - on evenings and weekends.

I feel like a disappointment to myself; and the universe is leaning back with a lazy grin and asking why I bother with optimism. I'm tempted to throw something at it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


"God grant me the Strength to change the things I can, the Patience to endure the things I can not, and the Wisdom to know the difference."

I'm a patient person when I have to be. There is a quiet place inside that I can go to when waiting is required. Yet when I'm working toward my own goals or expecting something to happen, I'm like a child. I get excited and start thinking and moving faster, and want the rest of the world to keep up with me. I can't tell myself to calm down and work slowly, because I can see what's going to happen next and wish it would happen now. Some days I feel like I'm in a glass train, a prison with no door, and I can see the destination long before we near it but no matter how I strain to make the prison move faster, it never does. Sometimes it even feels like it's slipping backwards, and there is no way to break free.

I've been questioning a lot lately: my classes and education, my goals, my actions and thoughts and feelings, even my relationships - and I can't give myself answers, and I can't put the question into words to ask someone else. Everything seems unsteady except Peter - my rock. (I like your given name, though I don't use it in public) He's an island of certainty in my little sea of doubt. Maybe it's the time of year. Maybe it's something else. There is an unrest growing in me that has nothing to do with what I'm doing at any particular moment. Something that tells me it's time to quit this messing around with classes that don't matter and potential employers too busy to call; I should be working and independent and Grown Up. I want out. I want to be done. I want to be able to look back and say "That was worth my time." instead of sitting here thinking "This is a waste of time." Every day I manage to be "busy," but I'm not doing anything. Writing papers, reading, gaining more insight into... the politics of running a state institution? I'm not happy when I'm not working on something I love, or something that will advance me toward a goal.

PSYC 101 is a regression, not an advancement. I may only attend on test days, because it utterly failed to get my attention - I read Dune in class and still managed to keep up with the notes/lecture (anyone who knows how I am with books will see how bad the class is). The truth is, most of my classes don't seem to be useful this semester. With the exceptions of Spanish and Art, there is nothing challenging and without a challenge, how am I supposed to grow? I'm tired of busy work and blanket requirements and politics and tact. I want to run barefoot and screaming through the Oak Grove, and laugh at the confusion... but it wouldn't change anything.

People are stupid. When I say I could never live in a city because of the lack of nature, I'm half-lying. I could never live with that many stupid people, no matter how interesting they were. I hate them all in their smug shallow self-absorbed lives. I hate their ignorance and their apathy and their pollution of our world, our minds and our hearts. I hate that we were born into a world where we are numbered and tracked by our government and hated by our sister countries and where freedom of speech sometimes means the freedom to choose between "Yes, Sir." or "No, Sir." I despise the way our educational system brings in people from all over the world and has yet to produce an entirely geographically literate class from any of our schools. I hate that world history in America means "Where America Fits Into History, OR Famous Americans and Why We Are Better." I hate the ethnocentrism we still hang on to. I hate the idea that somehow being American means being Better. What happened to Liberty and Justice For All? It's not - it never was - supposed to refer to the majority. I despise our idiocy and our hypocrisy as a nation of (mostly) God-Fearing White Christians whose only goal is to help Ourselves, whether or not our brothers and sisters drown. I could go on for miles about what I dislike about this country, and the only solution I can see clearly is to tear it all down and rebuild, starting with family values and education. There are few other changes to the system that would even semi-permanently fix any of the problems we have now.

Damn it.

Somewhere in there I forgot to mention that I'm supposed to be moving in with a freshman to avoid having a non-honors student moved in with me as the transitional housing problems are alleviated. I'm feeling ambiguous about this. I know she's a nice girl and I'm sure we'll get along fine, but I like my privacy, too. Sharing a room is something I haven't done in a very long time.