25 December 2005

This is the last Sunday of 2005. This is the last Sunday that will ever exist in this year. I'm not sure why this seems relevant--but somehow it does. We like to mark passings, us humans. I like it as much as the next person. I like to think it's about appreciating the transitory nature of things--but maybe it's really about attachment. I've been reading a lot of Buddhist texts lately, or rather texts by Buddhists about ancient Buddhist writings, and I've been thinking a great deal about attachment and desire. One of the writers I've been reading (Pema Chodron) writes about our human inclination to desire things, people, relationships, in the hope that somehow we will be at last satisfied or made happy once we attain whichever person/relationship/thing we want. When I read about this kind of attachment I feel strangely calm. Maybe it's because I see these very attempts in my own life. It seems to be all about seeking. Maybe it is really a way of not paying attention to what is happening right here and now, since the acts of seeking and desiring are quite obviously focused outside the present moment. In fact, is there any way to desire that which you already have? If it is present, and you desire it, does the desire become something else? I seek and desire that which I do not have. I seek and desire that which I may never have. I seek and desire that which I believe will make me feel better. More whole. Complete. But does this wholeness ever actually happen in relationship to something outside of oneself? I don't know. For me, these issues of desire and attachment are the major ones. They seem to be the ones that need the most attention. When I read this stuff, I realize how much work it is to be aware.

All of this ruminating makes me think about a line from a book I read long ago. I don't even know what book it is, but the line has always stuck with me. Two women are toasting themselves in the sun. One woman says to the other "When you have a tan, what have you got?"

18 December 2005

John Spencer died on Friday. He played Leo on The West Wing. For some reason, going as far back as when he played a lawyer on L. A. Law, I have always thought he was really sexy. He was only 58.

Thinking about John Spencer makes me consider my weird prediliction in terms of attraction. I like either really old men, or really young men who are wildly innappropriate for me. What is my problem? Maybe it's not a problem, but just a preference. Maybe it's the sex drive issue. Maybe it's some deeper psychological drive to either recreate youthful experiences or to repair my relationship with my father. This is sounding way too Freudian, even for me. What I have realized lately is that I'm only attracted to men who I perceive as really smart. Once they reveal themselves as stupid in even the tiniest way, they cease to be interesting.

This attraction thing works both ways. Old men are always flirting with me. They make comments about my toe rings, ask if they can rub my head, and generally look at me as if I am a particularly juicy piece of tropical fruit. One time a few years ago I was waiting in a doctor's office with my Mom. She was having a follow up appointment after cataract surgery. The waiting room was full of older people. I was wearing shorts and sandals, and of course my toe rings. I had just added a third toe ring. Across the aisle from us was a couple in their seventies. The male half of the pair was very pointedly staring at my feet. His wife noticed this, made eye contact with me, and then kind of elbowed her husband. He ignored her and kept staring. She finally said to him "Stop staring at her feet!" He then looked at me and asked me if the toe rings were uncomfortable. I told him no. Once my Mom and I got up to go in to her appointment, he winked at me. He was cute.

This kind of attention really intrigues me--and I often wonder about it. Why do old men like me? Why can't it be Vincent D'Onofrio flirting with me in the grocery store instead of Jimmy Carter?

09 December 2005

I'm just sitting here this morning, checking my email, reading the news on BBC and CNN, and as usual I have the television on in the background. As I'm reading about the plane skidding off of the runway last night in Chicago, I hear a woman on QVC say "It's faux fur like a beaver would be . . . " and for some reason this seems hilarious to me. What the hell does that mean?

First of all, admitting that I have QVC on my television is embarassing enough, I know. But I have to say I get a certain weird kind of enjoyment listening to the hosts babble on and on about whatever they're selling. Have you ever watched QVC? It is truly amazing how much a human can talk. I'm certain that one of their main goals as hosts is to never, ever, not even for one second, stop talking. They must speak in a continuous flow of sales talk which consists mostly of product description and lots and lots of superlatives and adjectives. I've also noticed that they very rarely say anything about actually "buying" an item. No, discussing buying would be an actual reference to money. They say things like "pick one up" or "order" but never refer to buying items. It's all part of the big consumer illusion.

Even though QVC is weird, I admit, and watching or listening to it is possibly even weirder, I have to give them credit for using plenty of models who actually seem to reflect the fact that bigger women exist and buy clothes. Sure, they also use some stereotypically slender models, whom of course are a reflection of reality as well. But in every show that I've seen they utilize at least one and usually two women who are bigger, and often are truly plus-sized. They are gorgeous and big and fat and I applaud QVC for flaunting them as models on television. QVC also charges the same prices for small, petite and plus-sized clothing. Bravo for that! Are you listening J. Jill, Nordstrom, and almost everyone else?

05 December 2005

Why is it that we are fascinated, even obsessed, with our own dreams, yet the dreams of others seem merely tedious? Actually, sometimes I really like hearing other people's dreams simply to verify that I am not the only weirdo in the world whose dreams often seem to be completely surreal. But really, I do like hearing the dreams of people I care about--they can lend insight to the listener if one is paying attention. This is all to lead up to my own dreams, of course, since I can be as self-absorbed as the next person.

Lately I have been dreaming quite a bit, and remembering way too many of the dreams. Just the other night I was dreaming that there was an alien invasion of some kind, and that many people were being hoarded onto buses and taken away to the proverbial undisclosed location. I of course, was trying to save Marcy and myself from the aliens. We were in some weird town, and eventually we too were on one of the buses. Somehow I escaped the bus and I was hiding in a building. I knew THEY were coming, so I was able to hide in a kind of storage room. I realized at that moment that THEY couldn't see, but had very good other senses like touch, smell, and hearing. I knew that if I was really quiet and didn't move, that they might miss us. I was hoping that Marcy would be very quiet and still. She crawled up my shirt and was silent, and I stood very still. The aliens opened the door to the room I was in, and proceeded to stick their yucky arms/claws/tentacles in to feel me to see if I was real or inanimate. I had to endure touching and not move to remain undetected. The alien even bit me to see if I would react. Of course, I did not even flinch. Then they withdrew from my hiding space and boarded their alien ship and flew off to where ever the fuck they came from. Marcy and I were safe.