Friday, July 30, 2010

Familiarity Breeds Contempt.


First things first: to those of you who are sick of the advertising via Omegle and MysterySeeker...I apologize for making you upset, but those are really the only ways to advertise for free. Someone on MysterySeeker today was directing vague hate messages at me today. Awkward and kind of sad.

To those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, all I do is post the URL and a tagline like "for something new" or "for something different," etc. Just getting the word out. No harm in that. I think.

All right, here we go. On the subject(s) of familiarity and contempt.

It's funny that I'm writing about familiarity, I am, writing anonymously, to a bunch of (mostly) anonymous readers. Gotta love the situational irony.

Look at it this way: the more you know someone, the more you love them, and the less you like them.

Think about it.

It's not always true. Sometimes you get to know someone, realize you are completely incompatible, and sever the ties. But, for the most part, the closer you get to someone, the more you realize that you can fuel a relationship based solely on the fact of the relationship's existence. Sure, you might have a lot in common with this person, but...there's at least 6,697,254,041 people in the world. (That was 2008. It's still rising, of course.) At least one other person in the world probably shares your interests. So why do you spend the bulk of your time with people with whom you might disagree...a lot?

(Side note: to find someone registered in the U.S. Bureau of Census (or something like that), go to 1,451,698 people in America have my first name...and only 99.9% are female. Hmm... .1% of American mothers were disappointed to have given birth to a boy. Fewer that 115 people in the country have my last name...and I think I'm Facebook friends with all of them.)

I'm no expert, but I'd say it's the contempt factor. (Contempt: lack of respect or reverence for something.) Successful relationships are founded on respect, yes? If you disagree with someone close to you, but you respect his or her side of the argument, you're all set. If you're listening to the argument with imaginary fingers in your ears and a constant mantra in your head of "that's wrong, you nincompoop, that's wrong," (or worse...not listening at all and saying that out loud) chances are you're tearing your bond to pieces.

That makes sense, doesn't it? Well, there are more subtle types of contempt. You might not even recognize that you are contemptuous of someone. It happens every day.

I just read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and he wrote about a study done on married couples. This scientist/psychologist took video of couples talking about something relevant to their marriage, but not the marriage itself. For example, the pet dog, or the electric bill, or the overall lifestyle. A couple could look completely compatible, but this psychologist could watch just a few seconds and tell you that they wouldn't last a year. It came down to the single most destructive emotion present in a relationship. And what is that? Say it with me: contempt.

The most obvious sign of contempt is probably the eye-roll. You might think you roll your eyes in a playful way, but think about the reasoning behind it next time you start to shoot your gaze heavenward. We do it too much, without realizing its destructive consequences.

Why are we such a contemptuous people? And why analyze contempt among married couples, and not just random people off the street?

It's all about familiarity.

The more familiar you are with someone, the more reasons you have to be contemptuous. The average person will marry someone they know very well, and love very much. Others are like the characters in "The Proposal." (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds...ahhhhmazing.) But we won't go into that.

So I guess what it all comes down to is respect...even if you know something about someone that might make them a lesser person in the eyes of many, don't let it strain your relationship(s). We're all guilty of contempt. (I'm smacking a giant imaginary inflatable gavel on my keyboard. Feel free to do the same, it's oddly satisfying.) Let's try to be less critical and more complimentary. It'll do the world wonders. (All that awesome alliteration! Good grief. I'm incorrigible.)

Like you for always,
Aretha Poisenoke.
(In response to a comment on the last entry. This is the first name that came to mind. Do you get it? I know, I should do stand-up or something. Hardy har har.)

Crickets and Curses.

I've made a decision.

If I ever go clubbing (which I probably will, but, you know...alcohol-free/roofies-free/rape-free clubbing), I will use at least one Harry Potter pick-up line. I'm dead serious. (Avada Kedavra! Har. Har. Har.)

Confession time: I fall asleep to nature ambience every single night, except when I'm at a friend's house. For exactly 90 minutes. It's a choice between five different types of sounds...sometimes I have to crank it up really high, like when my little sister has all of her squealing little friends over. The way I often describe it on those nights is that instead of falling asleep in a field of crickets, I'm "FALLING ASLEEP IN A FIELD OF CRICKETS." But, you works.

By the way...if you were a Dementor, I'd become a criminal just to get your Kiss.

Hmm...I'm not sure what else to talk about now. I think you should leave comments with suggestions of what to write about. Because, after all, I'm writing for YOU.

That's all for now, I think. More will probably come later today. Knowing me and my obsessive blogging.

Until we meet again,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back Atcha, Feet, and the Like.

Hullo, Blogeeeeeeees.

It's too early to go to I'm blogging. Let's face it; I'm addicted.

You know what's dangerous (besides chainsaws/boiling water on the front burner/the self-image that Miley Cyrus instills in young girls)? The phrase "you too."

It came up on MysterySeeker and it made me think. It's such a simple little phrase, but it can mean a lot more than is intended by the speaker. Also, it's misused a lot. (Although "misused" looks really wrong, that's the correct spelling and everything. In case you looked at it and thought it looked weird...and didn't look it up on I did.)

For example, when someone tells you they love you, you might feel a reflexive "you too" bubbling up in your throat. NOT APPROPRIATE. An "I love you" deserves an "I love you" in return. Not even a "love you too," even though that's the typical response. Consider it.

Also (and I know everyone has done this), when the guy takes your ticket at the movie theatre, he says, "ENJOY THE SHOW." (Except he probably doesn't have his keyboard on caps lock by accident, and doesn't feel like backspacing. It's not that you're not worth the effort...I just think it's more attention-getting this way.) And you always want to say, "you too!" I've done that a number of times. I think the ticket-takers are more than used to it, at this point.

I'm getting bored with this topic. Which means you probably got bored when I started introducing this topic. Shoot.

I hate feet. I don't know why. Feet are sick, though. They go all over the bathroom floor and stuff. And they're just plain nasty. They really are the most disgusting body part. No one has attractive feet. Oh, and here's the kicker (ooooh corny pun):

on average, your feet sweat


That's at rest. I mean, you can just be sitting around eating edamames (If you don't know what those are, look them up. Then go to the store and buy them.) and your feet will be sweating. If that's not reason enough to hate feet, I don't know what is.

Hmm. What else? Oh, exciting news! I installed some StatCounter hit counter for this blog, because yes, I'm actually really into the blogging thing. And...well, let's just say more people are reading than I thought...or at least allowing the page to load. That makes me really happy. So...keep it up!

Maybe we're actually changing the world...just a little. If people can read this blog without knowing who I am (and I know there are strangers reading this), something about this experiment is going right. Oh, and if you're totally lost, read the first couple of entries. I think those are the ones that explain my purpose here.

Well...I think that's all for now. I'm going to go creepily enter this page into Omegle and MysterySeeker. Because I have nothing better to do than be anti-social and mildly self-centered like that. I'm doing it for a cause...right?

The Blogger Of All Things.

Circle up, kids. It's storytime.

Well, good morning (/whatever greeting is appropriate to the hour at which you are (supposedly) reading this) blogees!

Who's in the mood for a story? I hope you are, or you'll be kind of disappointed by this bloggage.

I'm about to explain my only hatred for any living thing. I'm the freak who will trap moths and ants and stinkbugs and set them on the ground outside. I'm the girl who gets out of the car to move a turtle out of the street. I chase frogs out of the tall grass before we mow the lawn. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Because I believe that every one of God's creations has the right to live the life it's been given.

Not these creations though. And so my story begins.

Once upon a time, my family took a little vacation to Florianopolis. (It's a coastline city in the time, this was just a "little vacation" because we weren't in the States...dahn't yah rrrecahgnahze mah ahccent?!? Just kidding. That's not even an accent known to the natural world. Okay, back to my story.) When you're in a coastline city in Brazil that's known for its natural beauty, you go to the beach, of course. My brother was pretty little, so my mom stayed at the hotel with him, so it was just myself and my two sisters and my dad.

So here's what we have to work with: lengthy white sandy beach, perfectly blue-green Atlantic ocean creeping up and down the damp shoreline, white crests of waves making designs along the horizon line like tendrils of frost on a window. Men and women that might as well have been pulled straight out of swimsuit ads...and they're everywhere! Basically, this place looks like a "wish you were here" postcard ALL THE TIME. And there I am, nine years old (I think, or something like that), soaking it all in from my boogie board, ridin' the waves.

Hey! Stop your snorting. I was quite the boogie-boarder in my day. I'm still pretty good at it, so...yeah. Don't judge.

Anyway, I had just ridden a wave into shallower water and was getting ready to head back out, when suddenly I felt something tickle my knee-pit.

You all know exactly what I'm talking about. Knee-pits are probably more ticklish than armpits, people just don't give them enough credit because they get aired out more. And what is your initial reaction when someone tickles your armpit? You clamp it against you with every ounce of effort you possess. So, naturally, that's exactly what I did. I picked my foot up off the ocean floor and squeezed my knee-pit shut. (That was kind of difficult to describe.)

Unfortunately, what I didn't know as I was performing this natural anti-tickling reaction was that I was not being tickled by a strand of seaweed, or a stray straw wrapper, or even some old guy creepin' underwater with a pair of goggles. Nope, I wasn't that lucky. (What?) It was...well, I'll get to that in a moment. Gotta keep you blogees on the edges of your seats.

There was this sharp pain suddenly shooting through my knee and thigh, and it felt like someone slammed a sharp elbow into my stomach and tightened two massive hands around both my lungs. And...I was nine years old, you guys. Of course I started crying a little. I started looking around for help. This couple walked by staring at me the entire time, like I was psychotic or something. Probably because I was a skinny white girl with a boogie board strapped to her wrist, sobbing in paradise (AKA any Brazilian beach). But anyway...that's no excuse. Then this massive body-builder type guy (or at least he looked that way to little me), with a friendly face and dark skin, splashed over to me and just said "agua-viva."

Now, if any of you have any knowledge of Portuguese or the romance languages in general, you know that "agua-viva" literally means "living water." Which is what we call Jesus in some praise songs, by the way. So forgive me if all I did was stare at him like he was the crazy one. Then he pointed at the water about four feet away, and I saw what he meant.


Don't laugh, people. This was a scary jellyfish. With red and pink veins and stuff. I gasped, and that guy scooped me up and carried me to my dad. (Now that I think about it, I have no idea how he knew who my dad was...hmmm.)

As soon as the stranger dropped me onto my towel on the beach, I started throwing up. I won't give too many details now, in case you've just eaten, but I'll just say it was ch-ch-ch-chunkay! (You're welcome. I know you needed that.) And I just kept spewing chunks, and my dad kept piling sand on top. (I pity the little kid who went digging for seashells after we left...) Then this random girl, probably in her early teens, came over and said, "Vai aos bombeiros porque eles tem remedio," in the sweetest little voice ever. I still remember exactly how she said it. What a Godsend, she was. Oh, right, translation: "Go to the lifeguards because they have medicine."

Basically, the quarter-mile walk to the lifeguards' station was a disaster. I had to stop walking every few yards due the searing pain in my stomach and chest. And the dry heaves. And my knee-pit had this massive red spot that was spreading across my leg. Kind of unnerving.

When we arrived at our temporary destination, there were two or three other people sitting on the deck; one had a red sting from his neck to his elbow, and the other had one on his/her chest or stomach or something, I think. They had just sent another jelly-sting victim to the hospital. The lifeguards told me I was lucky, because the venom couldn't spread anywhere vital from my leg or something. Not quickly, anyway. They dabbed this stuff called "Especifico" on it, or at least that's what it sounded like. It was almost instant pain relief, but I was still sick and short of breath. They told me not to eat for a long time, and we made our way back to the hotel.

Even with Dad carrying me, I had to stop and take breaks. My sisters carried all the beach stuff, so...give them a figurative round of applause.

And guess what? I survived. I still have a scar, which is pretty cool.

But I hate jellyfish with every fiber of my being. You know that part in "Finding Nemo?" Can't stand it. Ugh. Sick.

So the moral of the story is, clearly, that you should start training yourself now to resist the anti-tickling impulse. It could save your lunch.

On the other hand, you wouldn't have a fantastic story like this to tell. So it's your call.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sheep husbandry...because I know you were wondering.

Shortly, I will fulfill the purpose implied by the title of this post, but first I need to think "aloud" for a few sentences.

Bear with me a moment or two. It'll be entertaining soon. Maybe.

We're treating this blog as a social experiment, in which I find out how many random strangers will read the blog without knowing anything about me. However, several people are reading this blog because they're hearing about it from other people.

So my question is, if people read the blog without knowing who I am, but knowing that a friend likes reading the blog, aren't they reading "for" someone else? You know, like what I was talking about a couple of entries ago...hmmm. I mean, in that case I'm not the one they're "researching," but they're actually "researching" whichever friend recommended it...ahhh. I suppose this little experiment can't be completely flawless. I guess this is just how the world works, though, and my one webpage floating around in cyberspace can't exactly change that.

Oh, will still be interesting...provided that people are actually reading this. People I don't know personally. Not that I don't love you friends of mine. You know I do. But, you know, I'm trying to open up to a new audience or whatever.

All right, now the serious stuff: SHEEP HUSBANDRY.

Admit it, you're curious now. You want to know what I could possibly have to say on the subject of sheep husbandry. Or how I even decided on this topic. Go on, put your right hand in the air, put your left hand on your stack of Sara Bareilles CDs (Dear God, I'm just joking. Please have a sense of humor, I'd love to go to heaven someday. Amen.), and say, "I solemnly swear that I do not understand what is going on in this blogger's mind, and would very much like to find out." Well, fine. I'll share. Since that's the whole reason I've written anything today at all...

(Side note: "Solemnly" is such a weird word to spell/say. By the time I managed to spell it right, I spent another thirty-odd seconds trying to pronounce every letter and not sound like Nemo saying "anemone." Also, I don't know if anyone actually uses "thirty-odd" in that context, but I just wanted to. Don't be criticizing. Oh, and, since you were thinking it anyway, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.")

I was on Mystery Seeker just now...I think it's still sponsored by Google, but it's a search engine that gives you results from another case you didn't know. I do that for fun. Even though about 65% of the results are either Harry Potter-related (YES), Twilight-related (lame), or people advertising their super-lame blogs (that's me).

Anyway, I came up with the result "domestic sheep," which led me to "sheep husbandry terminology." It's weird, you guys...and yet purely awesome.

For example, I learned that the weather bureau actually issues a cold-weather warning for sheep graziers called the "Graziers' alert." I might have to raise sheep, just to hear the announcement telling me that "it's too stankin' chilly outside to feed your sheep. They will break their incisors on frozen blades of grass." (Yes, sheep have incisors. I looked it up just to be sure.)

Oh, here's one you'll like: THE GUARD LLAMA.

Yup. It's exactly what it sounds like. A castrated male llama kept with sheep as a guard against critters like foxes and dogs. I would like to have a guard llama. I think my roommate might be a little weirded out, though. Plus....they smell.

And here is the best sheep husbandry term you never heard.

Riggwelter: a sheep that has fallen onto its back and is unable to get up.

I stared at the definition for a full ten seconds wondering if it was a joke or not. Apparently a sheep's fleece can weigh so much that the little dear (haha, that was a little punny) can't stand up after falling over.

You'd think these sheep husbandry people would spend a little less time coming up with wild terms and a little more time righting their tipped-over sheep. (Please picture a farmer running around a field and standing his sheep back up on four feet, one by one. It's quite an image.)

Doesn't "riggwelter" sound like a really creative curse word...? Or a nice euphemism? I'm all about euphemisms. Let's start something, you riggwelters, you.

Mischief managed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grilled cheese, wetc.

So apparently more people are interested in my opinion on grilled cheese than they are interested in knowing about my background or special talents or criminal record. So I guess I'll spill.

I like grilled cheese.

Which is weird, because cheese usually makes me sick. (It's a freaky digestive thing I might have. That, or it's all in my head (it's not). I tell people all the time, but I don't think they particularly appreciate learning about the functioning of my insides. Imagine that.) Grilled cheese, however, is a lovely creation...especially good with tomato soup (hold the basil) and a handful of oyster crackers.

About a year ago, I went about six months eating grilled cheese almost every day. Probably not healthy; just looked up the nutrition facts. 15 mg of cholesterol in every Kraft American Cheese single...and boy, do I pile the cheese up on those bad boys. My arteries are probably full of more congealed Kraft remnants than blood.

So there you have it.

Did you know there's an American Cheese Society? It's for cheese enthusiasts, whatever that means.

I was thinking earlier (oh, there's a shocker) and I thought of the greatest name for a waterpark: Wetcetera! Wetc. for short. Get it? It's cute and not weird at all kind of not really. All right, so it's not ideal. But...come to me with your pending waterpark designs and we can make this happen together. Then we can get Wetcetera tattoos across our collarbones and be the classiest people in the room.

Sounds like a plan.

Forever bloggy,

Me. Who else?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Jiffy is No Joke. Seriously.

Third one today. I need to get out of the house more. Although I did go shopping today...

Since my posts have been really serious so far...I thought I'd end tonight on a light note.

So I was reading Sara Bareilles's blog and she mentioned the "jiffy" as being an actual unit of, naturally, I Googled. And guess what? The woman wa'nt lyin'.

In the words of Wikipedia (AKA any random stranger with internet access and at least one finger-type appendage (minds out of the gutter, children)):

"The earliest technical use for jiffy was defined by Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946). He proposed a unit of time called the "jiffy" which was equal to the time it takes light to travel one centimetre (approximately 33.3564 picoseconds). It has since been redefined for different measurements depending on the field of study."

Sketchy, yes...but due to the spelling of "centimetre" being kind of British, and the use of "picoseconds," of which I have never heard...I'd say it's for real.

So next time you say you'll "be back in a jiffy," recognize that no, you really won't.

On/At/With Life.

Greetings, Blogees (and blue cheese. Sorry, couldn't help myself...).

Whoa, two in one day...I know, I'm such a wild woman.

I was just wondering...if they put those little plastic rings on cupcakes, why am I the only one who wears them? The best part is, I get compliments on little hunks of plastic that I snitched off mass-produced baked goods. Go to Walmart, you guys! Your jewelry collection will benefit!

All right, touche, you got me. Obviously, if you read my bloggings, you will learn little tidbits about me. For example, I had someone (who will remain unidentified) comment that Sara Bareilles would probably not play a guy in a movie about his life. So I must be a girl. Well done, mystery detective. I am, in fact, a girl. (And I do, in fact, read all of your comments.)

I suppose what I was saying is that you can't just instantaneously click on some "about me" hyperlink or flip through photo albums with my full legal name in all the captions. You have to READ. And usually, people don't want to read unless they know who they're reading for.

Think about it.

Generally, you're interested in what you read because someone else made you interested. Someone recommends a book, you read your best friend's Twitter like it's the Bible (or the Qu'ran, or the Torah, or the Holy Book of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (It's legit! Wikipedia it!) (Double parentheses!)), you Facebook stalk your mildly attractive acquaintances...and why do you do this?

Your life is a never-ending research project.

Now, before you proceed to gouge your eyes out with the spacebar that you just dislodged from your keyboard, let me explain. Actually, let me not explain. Let you consider it.


All set? No, I still want to explain. When I thought about this, I got really excited to share it. Hence, the bloggings.

(By the way, in no way am I writing this in order to sound superior. I know I'm not. I'm just writing what pops into my head. I'm also not trying to be funny, because believe me, very few people are blessed with the gift of being funny when they're actually trying to be funny. You know what I mean.)

We rely on information to fuel every aspect of our existence. Information ties us together. You possess a great deal more knowledge concerning your friends than I do (about your friends, of course...this was a rather poorly constructed sentence, so I'm just making it worse now. I think I'll end a sentence with a preposition now ON AT WITH.). This allows you to say the right things to them, see the right movies with them, and give them the right birthday presents. Ba-bam. Friends.

You listen to your friends so as to gain more knowledge about them, binding you and your friends more tightly together, and allowing you to share more information about yourself. It's a cycle. (Begin "Circle of Life" theme from The Lion King. It's completely appropriate. I'll start it off: "AHHHHHHHHHHHGSNSDABEGNGHNSDAAAAAAASCOODAHBEEEEEHNDEHMBFUHAAAAAWHENDJUBRAHAHA." You're welcome.)

Where was I going with that? Oh, right. We all read for others. We want to know about others, we want to know what makes people tick and tock (...just like Ke$ha. Don't judge.), so we read New York Times bestsellers and Twitter and Facebook and cookbooks and magazines. We're studying.

You benefited from reading even this, see? No matter what you're doing (within reason, troublemakers) you can tell your parents you're studying.

Now you know! Well, you know what I think.

And you (probably) don't really know who I am. Not really.

So what are you studying for?

Information underload.

So besides the fact(s) that I think too much and need a way to organize my thoughts, and that this is a rough equivalent to a Facebook note (I love Facebook notes!), and that I kind of really just like the sound my keyboard makes when I get typing really fast...there are two main reasons that I'm doing the blog thang.

1) Sara Bareilles does it. Enough said. Actually, enough can never be said about my dear Sara. But I'm done sounding like the creeper fan that I am (for now). (I download the full discography of every musician she even mentions in her blog. And I laugh out loud reading her blog in my dimly-lit bedroom with the door shut. And I put her songs/lyrics into every other song I know. And if a TV show/movie was ever made about my life, I daydream about how she would write the soundtrack and play the character of me. All right I'm done.)

2) I have this theory (oh, boy, here it comes...a thought-bubble-explosion) that in the modern world, there is


For a prime example of this information overload, take Facebook. It's a magical living, breathing, international journal where you can see someone's likes, dislikes (they have yet to create a button for those many dislikes...), pets, parents, friends, photos, links, and location at the click of the mouse/keypad/iPad. (What were they thinking when they called it the iPad?!? Mad TV sketch a-ringin' a bell, anyone?) And as if all THAT'S not enough, you have status updates, so everyone can know where you are and what you're doing and how you're feeling at any given time.

My question about all the info is not "why?" Nor is it a who, a what, a when, a where, or a how. I just want to know if, without knowing a single fact about me, you can sit there and read my ramblings. Unless you followed this link from my Facebook (ironic, no?), you don't know me. Try digging around a little.

You don't know my name.

You don't know if I'm a girl
or a guy
or a rodent of unusual size.

You don't know how I feel about the future.

You don't even know how I feel about grilled cheese.

But you've gotten this far.

My challenge to you is to continue.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


In the words of my dear Merriam-Webster, a blog is "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also: the contents of such a site."

A blogger is a noun. That makes me the blogger in this situation. (Reminds me of Frogger. Anyone? I could never get past that level with the psycho frog shooting fireballs from some weird wand thing. But anyway.)

A blogging is also a noun. That sounds kind of nasty. Like what your cat leaves at the top of the basement stairs when you go out of town for a week. "Honey, Fluffy left a giant blogging on the new hardwood floors...ugh!" Or maybe some kind of medieval punishment. The prisoner gets a blogging for his (or her, no gender stereotypes here) attempted escape.

I feel like they should add "blogee" to the list of nouns. That's you. Doesn't it sound like a deli meat that could be paired with blue cheese or something? Sorry about that. Nothing personal, I swear.

Oh, and get this: the etymology (word origin, for those of you who don't have on your favorites bar) of "blog" is, simply, that it's short for "Weblog." In the definition of blog, our dear Merriam-Webster made "Web site" two separate words. If you make "Weblog" two separate words, you get "Web log." So really, I'm just sitting here logging, and nothing I've said thus far has any real meaning.

So forgive me if I don't take this blogging thing too seriously.