Tag Archives: facebook

Confession Mondays: Ego is an illusion

Last night I dreamt that I was imprisoned in a dying world whose only news stories recounted tales of impending doom.  When I woke up I thought, wait a second; something sounds familiar!?  I was still angry with L for her doomsday post. I held her accountable for the way I reacted to it. Should I have? I’m not sure.

Quick background: A Facebook friend of mine posted an article from a not-so-reputable online magazine stating that the world would blow up in six months. I had just woken up, decided to click the link, read the article and I was henceforth depressed for hours, until D calmed me down by putting things into perspective. But I was truly pissed off that anyone would post such a miserable, gratuitous article, especially after it made them so depressed. Why do that? You’re in pain and suffering and so wish it upon others?

The egocentrism of the world is that people believe they can express themselves any way they want. They claim their “voice” and whatever else comes out of them is art. Part of the process of self discovery and sharing. And while that’s true for the young (“Wow! Look that at that big turd I just dropped in the toilet!”), adults should be able to decipher the difference between crap and true creation. The deeper, more penetrating aspect of art is not the art for art’s sake, but the influence it has on others and the consequences it causes.

Some forms of RAP music, horror films, gratuitous violence in movies, violent porn, glamorizing serial killers, etc. These things don’t just expose the ugly side of life so as to incite change or to educate for the purpose of better understanding. These things are self-serving, degenerate expressions of the human psyche whose creators do not take into consideration how their art may negatively affect others.

I’m all for “finding” your voice and creating all forms of art–good, bad, hard to look at etc. But I believe people need to respect the fact that Voice is a powerful tool capable of influence. One voice has the power to give joy or take it away. Finding your voice and expressing yourself for expression’s sake is one thing. Reigning in that voice, taking responsibility for it and knowing how to use it is a far greater talent.

So I told L yesterday two things:

Share joy not misery. The propagation of “doomsday” literature is rather pointless. I can understand when people post ugly, depressing news about stuff we have control over and can change. Scary news that serves as a wake up call to take action. But the stuff we don’t have control over? Why bother posting it? The only purpose it serves is to depress, scare and hurt others, especially those more easily influenced by their emotions.

She didn’t appreciate that. She responded with:

I am…sorry for being so frank – but within certain OBVIOUS limitations, (things which we agree not to share and discuss as a society, for the protection of others) I am striving to find my own voice and will be the one who controls what I say and what I don’t.

To which I replied:

We all have enormous power when it comes to influencing others by what we choose to post. It is a challenge to you and others…if you had a choice to make people laugh today or feel miserable, which would you choose? We are not just floating bodies, disconnected from each other, able to do and say as we please without it affecting others. Sure you can say anything you want! Freedom of speech. But we are all connected. Your actions affect us all.

Bottom line? If something depresses you, and there’s literally NO POINT in its message why pass that depressing news on and in turn be the creator of depression in others?

Am I completely off the mark here? The ego is an illusion. We are all connected. Why can’t people see that when a river dries up in Africa, a sunset dies in Florida?

Cut and paste

This is a year of Facebook status updates. I hope to create something of substance from it. Or maybe I’ll do nothing to it. Maybe it reflects the life of a girl as is.

I am in a miserable mood. The Born Again down the street just told me, Jesus’ll make that misery go away. I wanted to tell her, But he kinda put it there in the first place. Not that I want to blame God. But who else is responsible for devising human nature?

I’ve been buying light bulbs from the blind for 3 years now, thinking I was helping a needy organization…turns out it was a scam.

Something you never see in the suburbs: a man bringing his own canvas tote bag to the grocery store.

Homeowner’s insurance in NJ has gone up and coverage has gone down. Nice. Be sure to reassess your home to see if you can get lower rates. And don’t be afraid to pull the ‘ol “I’m switching to Geico” bit.

Can anyone see this post? I’m not able to see anything anymore. Can you see me? I feel unseen.

Why am I hoarding coat hangers?

The news is so depressing lately.

I finally bought our train tickets to Cordoba.

Mango Shrimp salad with black bean and corn salsa.

Avocado, oats, banana and almond milk smoothie…

Are we still in the Postmodern era, or have we finally come upon something new?

I’m evesdropping on an economics professor who’s saying the dollar is taking a dangerous dive in the coming months, and to invest in copper.

“The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything…”

So…it’s onto Lolita, next, where I’ll sink into a deep depression over my leg hair for the next week…

It was a desultory look– she was so desperately drawn to the smallest hint of attention– that absorbed her and set her obsessions in motion…

Having yet another bout of cognitive dissonance.

You were mountains and oceans. I was deserts and forests.

When we were newer it was all about cities. Paris. Madrid. New York. San Francisco. But this was the last stretch of living and we both agreed it was more about natural landscapes than sprawling conurbations.

We drove west on impulse. We wanted to see the desert, as if it were a marker of how far we’d come, not only in our travels, but our lives.

Sun. Bones. Hair swirling east behind us. Peels of laughter from the shadowy caverns of our happy insides…

Last night’s dream (possibly soon to be reality): Doug and I, due to the poor state of the economy, joined a cultish flock of millions that sold peanut brittle and tobaccoless cigarettes

I always said I would get off my arse and do something with my life when the rotation of the earth alters, the length of the day gets longer and the poles shift their location…Now what?

Grade papers, run, read…

Note to self: do not go running right after eating Shwarma. Bad idea.

You know you’ve hit an all time low when you take the “Which Steel Magnolias Character Are You?” quiz on facebook.

Today was the day I should have stayed home.

Today is the day I actually get out of the house.

I’ve been eating 6 pieces of veggie sushi and 6 pieces of shrimp tempura sushi every day for the past 5 days. At $9.00 a day, that’s $45 a week and $180 a month. Maybe it’s time to revert back to PB&J.

Spinach and egg omelette with baked sweet potato fries

Goal of the day: I will not waste time doing meaningless things…like writing dissertations on pigs in blankets, teaching people about the nonlinear notion of time or applauding neck tattoos. Really?

Apples, dates and pistachios. A vitamin. A kiss from my two sons. The belief that life is replete with with goodness…

I think I just saw the Dalai Lama in a Jeep Cherokee at the corner of Stokes and Lenape.

Loving the warm night and palm trees every where

I love all the Pat Robertson comments coming up through the feed

Considerably more grounded today than yesterday.

More important than old Halloween candy, I just learned that our spacetime universe is being created one planck length at a time as we twist and turn in the available branches of the 5th dimension…

I never thought grad students complained about the thickness of a book or the fine print of a novel…until I became one very whiny grad student. The Rhetoric of Fiction: 550 pages…really?

I love that the terrorist dude plead not guilty.

Taking the long, traffic burdened drive to work today.

Off to the city to wander like Bohemians through vintage shops and art galleries.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” ~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

Smoked trout pate

Up early to heat up car and move it for plow guy; then, it’s off to Homegoods, Wholefoods and Target for last minute crap with mom and kids, only to end up back in the kitchen for more food prep.

Breakfast. Workout. Shower. Teach. Race home. Pack. Head to Bear Creek Mountain Resort for company party. Drink too much. Sing Patsy Cline’s Crazy. Say things I’ll most likely regret. Go to bed feeling self-conscious, sheepish and bloated. Wake up early. Get massage. Eat cleansing breakfast. Come home.

Severe mood disorder day.

I’m officially done with green tea.

I gave up coffee for green tea because of stomach problems with coffee, but green tea is worse!

The hellish nightmare of Christmas shopping is officially over.

More raw delights: In a food processor: 1/4 cup of raw pistachios, 1/2 cup pitted dates, a dash of salt. Blend until crumbly, then sprinkle over a bowl of fresh cut apples

At Macy’s in center city watching the Christmas light show

I don’t feel like reading another damn word.

This post is dedicated to Funky Donnie Fritts.

In the midst of a mild fit of aggravation over having to rake leaves on a Sunday.

NYC today with Doug.

Lunch at Zinc with Jan (this is the official last post about food, unless of course I eat something amazing at Zinc and feel compelled to tell everyone about it).

I promise to refrain from anymore food posts for the next several days.

The single, stressed out, working mother’s dinner for three: scrambled egg sandwiches with ketchup.

I will never eat a turkey & brie sandwich with a side of lobster bisque again.

Making an investment in fixed fantasies.

Pressured into changing my profile picture.

A little Annie Dillard today.

To the polls

Shepherd’s pie, baked pumpkin seeds, apple cider, family & friends and loads of candy…

Act important and gain respect for being successful, even if you’re not.

The Antioxidant Packed Breakfast Smoothie: One cup of soy milk, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed pomegranate juice, 1 banana, a handful of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, spinach leaf, dandelion leaf, broccoli sprouts and one scoop of Whey.

Grading a million papers and calculating quiz averages today. Booooooor-ing.

POLL: Should Tracy have her 6th grader vaccinated for H1N1/Swine Flu?

Many divine moments in the span of sixty seconds.

ASk yourself: is my update relevant? Does it appeal to the reader? If you answered no, hit DELETE

Atomically we are mostly empty space.

De-baptizing people with hairdryers.

Don’t write stories in your head at one a.m. just because you have insomnia.

Hiking through Valley Forge today with my wonderful, sexy boyfriend and our kids.

The blurry haze of a fever

Spoon feeding myself some tough love

Kinda looking forward to tonight, kinda not.

Alchemically challenged.

I so long for the day that I don’t have to dependent on certain things to sustain me…

Forced into being a night owl tonight, but for a good cause.

Yes. Done reading and commenting on all grad fiction. I officially have a free weekend.

is talking to Luscious on the phone and painting her nails.

is seeking solace in a heating blanket and 20 pillows.

is trying to create a future update that is relevant and exciting.

needs to take a break

is going to grade one more paper then head over to Cindy’s with a bottle of Shiraz in my hand.

Facebook as escapism is no longer working for me

Back to sushi diet.

Offsetting my anxiety with the Tallest Man on Earth.

is enjoying some good ol’ fashioned escapism.

Despite the misinformation that’s being passed around, I still buy organic.

Love, Love, Love…

is writing a sestina.

is drinking cheap Spanish wine with Doug and watching the Phils.

is happy to be here, posting away.

almost cracked her head open when the garage door fell on her. She so wanted to post an update from the ER but thought that might be a little melodramatic

feels like her head is in a pressure-cooker.

teaches her first class today.

is perturbed that she didn’t realize Kristy was in Wyoming.

is wearing a metaphorical bullet-proof vest today

‘s constant baking of pies and cookies is a ruse, designed merely to avoid real work.

is spooked by the noiselessness in her house and in her head.

has recovered from some pretty bad, rural American conservative jokes against women and watching poor little cows get hog-tied, or whatever.

Can I die if I take a shower during a thunderstorm? I really need to get ready to go out, but I don’t want to die.

Chicken don’t clap.

has just enough time to post this update.

just finished Amy Bloom’s short story “Sleepwalking.”

and her kids are addicted to Arrested Development

is the Maddening Obscurist.

feels the weight of September upon her.

is revisiting Prince’s 1999 album.

and her mother are now addicted to the creamed corn casserole…Obesity, I hear you calling.

thinks it’s probably a bad idea to take her son to the the dentist during his current coughing craze.

is frustrated (this update has nothing to do with sex).

is listening to the cicadas this morning.

is going to bed in the rain.

wants nothing to do with paint.

is writing.

just ran into JC on his lunch break (no, not Jesus Christ; that was yesterday).

probably won’t make it to her 9:30 class at the gym this morning because her son refuses to wake up.

When I opened my quarter-pounder with cheese meal (no onions) there on the bun was a crucifix. Unfortunately the only thing left of it to sell on ebay is this photo as the stigmata was eaten right along with the medium sized fries it came with.

Is going to say yes.

If anyone can give me five valid (operative word “valid”) reasons why we shouldn’t accept Obama’s health care reform I’ll shut up already and kiss your arse…

is back to reality, and the pile of bills is proof.

is starting the detox diet… tomorrow.

is rearranging the thoughts in her head.

wants to know what’s up with all these earthy-crunchy types going out into the Alaskan wilderness to build eco-friendly, sustained homes. Why not just do it to your own home instead of BUILDING MORE HOMES and junking up the planet further…

was reading Cosmo last night and appropriating sexy phrases for turning a guy on; one of which was “Wow, your penis is so big.”

remembers when she used to count the hours, then the minutes…

is paying unusually close attention to Liz’s posts, so as to prevent her from making egregious and unwarranted grammar mistakes.

and her sister-in-law spent the day with three sick children– until we all decided to leave the shore and come home.

s drinking good wine and having a great conversation with Jan, Nuria and Jody out on the back porch.

is up early for a teacher training seminar today. Home and missing the shore already.

had fun playing in the puddles last night, remembering the big flood of ’91 at the crack house.

has been entertaining, feeding, yelling at, laughing with and caring for 4 boys down the shore, all of whom are currently into wearing AXE deodorant.

is loving the salty, breezy, cool, quiet night…

My heart is so small it’s almost invisible. How can You place such big sorrows in it? “Look,” He answered, “your eyes are even smaller, yet they behold the world.” ~ Rumi ~

is hours away from a two-week vacation on Long Beach Island.

wonders when the word “surfeit” will be hers.

wants to know why triangle man hates person man, why’d they have a fight and why’d triangle man win???

regrets eating a HUGE chocolate muffin for breakfast 😦

s eating a HUGE chocolate muffin for breakfast and looking for a blueberry pie recipe online.

is challenging the status quo today

“But then when he had got settled at the hotel, and they had started their little pattern of cafe life at the Eckmühl-Noiseux, there had been nothing to write about- he could not establish a connection in his mind between the absurd trivialities which fi

is in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere.

has NOT smoked for 638 days, 10 hours, 49 minutes and 19 seconds (21 month anniversary).

is getting ready to make the tortilla española and cue the flamenco

isn’t ready to let her children grow up. Yeehaw for stunted growth! C’mon…who’s with me????

almost sent a love letter to Jan H instead of Doug H. Oops! Too many H’s in my “inbox.” 🙂

is her own worst enemy.

has counted the days of clouds and rain and knows the sun has had its fill of time-off and will soon be back again…

is dreaming of Marrakech…

is awaiting the arrival of her hot boyfriend.

is tap dancing on her own last nerve.

is re-reading The Sheltering Sky

might do something in the sun today.

is slowly coming back to life…

“…time we all reach out 4 something new…”

So, out of the blue, up pops my very first boyfriend from 25 years ago on facebook yesterday. The one and only B.J., affectionately known as “homeboy.”  The 17-year-old I lost my virginity to during an abridged, radio version of Purple Rain. The boy responsible for one of the most defining moments of my life. Back from the dead. On facebook.

As a child I often loved the idea of an old lover coming back after many years to find me still pining away for him and ready to pick up where we left off. But as Time, intelligence and my own transient, fickle nature would have it, it really never worked out that way. Nor would I have ever wanted it to. And yet Homeboy, and a boat load of others from my long ago past, keep popping up, forcing me to once again re-evaluate how far I’ve come and how very little of myself I am actually able to discard.

So, I start  re-reading old journals from when I was sixteen, while simultaneously analyzing Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants and the John Patrick Shanley film “Doubt.” Combining old me and new me makes me feel as though I have come far (analyzing literature and film with my hot, intelligent, creative boyfriend as opposed to chasing some dope-smoker around, forcing him to wear purple bikini underwear-ah yes. I have changed).

Both Doubt and Hills Like White Elephants leave the reader/audience in suspended animation. With Doubt, the audience is asked the following: “do you believe character A or do you believe character B?” But no resolution is ever offered. If it were, the film would be sending a different message: we may always expect the truth and know the answer. That, however, is not the case, nor is it the underlying message in Doubt. 

Hills Like White Elephants also leaves its readers conflicted as to what will happen in the end regarding Jig’s possible abortion and the relationship between her and the American because nothing is ever really said. It’s all implied with Hemingway’s expert use of symbolism and subtlety. 

My point of comparison I guess with all these things, including Homeboy and the journals, is not so much the storyline as the fact that we are left without a solid conclusion. We connect to these characters but we never quite know the truth in the end. 

To appreciate something like Hills Like White Elephants you have to be satisfied with guessing. And the same can be said about Doubt. Do we really know as audience members what the Truth is in either of these stories? Not really. Instead, we must replace “fact “with assumption and opinion and learn to appreciate it anyway. That’s a hard thing to do, and yet art and life so often demand it. 

So, Homeboy popped up on the screen very briefly and then disappeared again. We connected, once and again, and yet, there is never any ultimate truth in the end. Still, the meeting left me to rediscover some long ago truth about myself and my past via his presence. That the collection of facts and memories and people from long ago never really go away. They are a quiet, unspoken, but latently existent testament to how I was built and who I became. Good or bad. They are the marks of humiliation that eventually morphed into what now makes me humble.  And they are a celebration of my progress and courage to grow and change as opposed to a sad reminder of who I was. Most importantly, whether they be true or not, they have shaped me based on my own personal interpretation of them. And just like we can appreciate Doubt or Hills Like White Elephants for their substance and not their conclusions, so too can I appreciate my own life for the fact that it is circular, changing and sometimes has no ultimate message. And that the only truth I can assign my life is that which I make up all on my own. 

Ironically, Spin magazine’s cover this month (July) has “Celebrating 25 years of Purple Rain.” I could so look at that magazine cover and say, “that fucking song should have been buried 25 years ago, right along with Homeboy.” But instead, I saw the purple, Princy cover and laughed at it having been exhumed.  I remembered a 14-karat gold chain I was wearing during the “act” that one afternoon and how, much later, after I was home and crying hysterically about my newly acquired loss of virginity, I noticed it had broken off. It had made me smile as I assumed it was left some where between the sheets of Homeboy’s bed. Whether it was or not was really not of importance. What was important was that I remember trying to gauge at what point it broke off by the lyrics of the track.  Did it happen as early as “I never meant to cause you any sorrow,” or was it later at “I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend”? At whatever point it happened, or even if it never really did, I was happy believing it was somewhere in his room.  It meant I was connected to Homeboy. It meant that he’d go to sleep that night and feel the cold chain rub against his ass and think with his little 17-year-old boy brain, “Wow. Her virginity is all mine until the end of time.”