I know I haven't posted since January and I'm not very happy about that. I really haven't written much lately worth acknowledgement though, much less worth a public post. However, I am going to attempt a post that is at least moderately interesting, though quite random. In the manner of my friend, Mike, I give you a list:
-I was thinking about how I really like when people tell me they either love or hate something. When this girl at work told me she "hates Splenda," I couldn't help but like her more for having an extreme feeling for something small. I cannot say I either love or hate Splenda, but it's interesting to me - these tiny loves and minor hatreds that make us who we are. What little things do you hate...or love?
-Our library has these fairly new contributions to the world of audiobooks called Playaways and they are basically these little digital players that include one audiobook a piece. You can plug in your headphones and just listen - no need for any kind of walkman or iPod. You can even hang them around your neck as each comes with its own lanyard. I'm someone who reads a great deal and audiobooks double the amount of literature I can absorb in one year. I use them as a substitute for books when I cannot escape with an actual book - like when I am shelving in the library or cleaning house. It's a multi-tasking thing. So yes, audiobooks make me happy and they also make me think that in our digital world, there are actually less reasons not to partake of good fiction (or nonfiction).
-Speaking of love, I have been thinking a great deal about how much difficulty I have saying "I love you" - even more when it's in a romantic way, but also with anyone I love (except maybe my cat). I say it in a funny voice or maybe a laissez-faire way, like "Love ya!" or I don't say it at all. Instead, I say things like "be careful" - when what I really mean is "don't die, because it would hurt so much to miss you." I think part of it is a fear of rejection from long ago - something that was imbedded in me from growing up in a family where no one expressed emotions terribly well or constructively. I remember when my mother became deeply depressed, and when I told her I loved her, she would scoff and say, "No you don't." I cannot even begin to tell you how that can scar a child - and I became angry and distant with her probably in part for that reason. She's gone now (the anniversary of her death is coming up on March 2nd) and I miss her and am sad that we were never very close. So yes, I think part of my problems with that particular L word is fear of rejection; it's also partly because sometimes, I feel hokey and sometimes, I worry it will lose its meaning if I say it too often. I suppose that's somewhat of a rejection-related worry, too, actually. And of course, there's the fact that letting someone know that I care for them makes me more vulnerable. But knowing what makes me this way and what my worries are don't really help; the fact is that it disturbs me that the closer I am to someone, the less I can express my adoration for them.
- I recently completed Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants and I wanted to share why I recommend it so highly. It's one of those books whose main characters I loved from the very start and had trouble letting go of when it ended. The story is told by one narrator at two different points in his life - him as a young man and him as an old man. At 23, he finds himself as an animal attendant in a travelling circus. And while WFE has its sad moments (I really can't handle the thought of an old man in tears, apparently), mostly it was this deftly crafted, "keep you on the edge of your seat" story with much color and knowledge. I really wanted to talk to the author and ask her how she learned so much about the circus - it was so believable. It was beautiful and the ending, which I was expecting to be sad, ended up making me extremely happy. If you have the weird fascination with old time circuses that I do, I implore you to read it. Seriously.
-Finally, I wanted to comment on an article I was reading in The Chicago Reader-- only it pissed me off too much in the first paragraph for me to finish it. I'm sure I'll go back at some point and see if it is making a different point than I think it is making. But in the meantime, I do want to say: yes, I do believe that society has become over-medicated. I do believe that some "disorders" and "diseases" are constructed by drug companies in order to sell a product. However, Social Anxiety is very real and I am so annoyed when people say things like, "Oh, lots of people are shy," as if it is the same thing. A little about my anxiety: I have scoped out hiding spots on campus when I was in school just because I was afraid of running into certain people who I might either have to talk to or who I feel I have embarrassed myself in front of in the past and thus, dread seeing again. I have stood speaking to someone I didn't know very well but who I wanted to like me, all the while feeling as if I was going to pass out because I forgot to breathe. If you tell me that is just normal, run-of-the-mill shyness, YOU seriously need medication.