pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
The smiling guy I'm with in the one photo is Michael Olsen of Zork Magazine. He posted some photos from last night's event and I thought I'd link to them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/zorkmagazine/sets/72157613539566975/ Fun guy and... I have to admit that I have a soft spot for anything named Zork as Zork (the game) was what got me into computers and lead me to where I am now. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I swear that people are blind or something. :(

Yesterday when I was biking home from work, I stopped at a red light. There was a very old woman in the street carrying about 20lbs of groceries. She was making steps that were barely moving her more than two or three inches at a time. I asked her if she needed help. Poor thing. Even with me holding her groceries and her hand, it was difficult for her to step onto the curb. I walked her about a block to the bus stop where she was going; carried her groceries and held her hand. Had to ask a guy if she could have his seat. Whatever happened to manners? For that matter. What the heck, people? There were 3 other people at that intersection, two who'd crossed the road at the same time. They were all walking and unburdened. I'm sure they saw she was struggling. I don't understand how people can be so blind. :/

But it's not all people I guess. After helping an old lady across the street, I continued my wicked and deviant lifestyle by..... Sewing! Weirder still, I did it socially. There were a couple of people knitting, some people working on computer stuff and a few people playing games. Stacey went too and seemed to have a good time and like everyone there, and for my part... I was in a room with like a dozen people and didn't freak out and go into extrovert mode or run away and hide. Huh.

In other news, last night got me thinking about this crazy rave coat I made recently. I think I'm going to take another look at it, but I might give it away. It's fun and I enjoyed making it, but I'm not sure the colors really suit me and there's someone else who'd probably get a lot more use out of it. I need to think about it a little more though.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Several years ago, I bought a collection of studio Ghibli films. There's a few common themes that run through all of them. Mostly about seeing magic and beauty in the natural world, but a sub-theme that's present in nearly all of them is the kindness of strangers. In most of the films, there are multiple strangers who are willing to help out the main characters. Give them a place to stay for the night or a ride to somewhere or help them set up a shop or something. Miyazakisan's worlds are filled with kind and caring people.

In a broader sense, a LOT of stories are filled with those sorts of people. What would have happened to Snow White had the dwarves been less kind? Even in Hunter S. Thompson's books, they're always picking up hitchhikers, letting people crash for the night and such.

I find myself wondering about these people. Are they common? Were they more common at one time? It sure seems like, listening to people talk about the 60s, that there were a lot more people like that around. Even for myself, I can remember in the early 90s, there were still a fair number of Hitchhikers in Santa Cruz area and I'd pick them up and give them lifts sometimes, but I've not seen a hitcher in a long time. They've become much more rare. I help people out when I can, sometimes strangers, but more often friends.

It seems though, that this sort of stuff is a lot more rare than it was a few decades ago. For myself, the one time in my life I was homeless and needed help, I didn't have the greatest experience, and it was with a person I already knew. So what happened to us as a society? Why have we become so cold to others?

My pet theories are cars and television. When not everyone had a car, they were happy to show them off, share some time with a stranger and do a good deed, giving them a lift. But as cars have become more common, why bother? Everyone has one and anyone who doesn't must be some kind of bum, possibly a serial killer or mentally disturbed. And television.. Gotta get home and watch that show about the girl who picks up the hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer. That shrill box of vapid creativity suck. Who needs to know their neighbors? You've got all the human interaction you need right there in that glowing magic box.

There are probably other culprits too, but I think these two have the biggest isolating effect on people. Even the internet isn't nearly so bad. Even with WOW or something, you're at least talking to other people, though I confess I find far more value in things like Livejournal and SecondLife. Still. I wanna know. How do we fix all this? We've become a nation of selfish, shrill and paranoid gits. It's very sad. :(
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Yesterday, a friend told me that I seemed angry a lot. :/ I don't feel like an angry person. Certain things will make me go off, but I get over them quickly. But just the same, she's right. The face I show the world tends to be angry a lot of the time. Well. Online. In person, I suppose I'm a lot more light and carefree.

It's funny. Who we are versus who we present: I see wonder and beauty all around me all the time, why don't I share that instead of rage? I'm guessing it's insecurity. Anger is a safe emotion. If I say, "This is beautiful, I love this!", I'm not just sharing something beautiful with the world, I'm opening myself to someone saying, "It's ugly", "That was made by sweatshop labor.", or "How can you talk about something so inane when there's so much awful in the world."

It's also tied up in what I was taught as 'humility'. I do lots of good stuff. I've let people stay with me for months without any requirement of payment so they could get back on their feet. Helped friends pay rent when they were stuck. Helped people move. Taken people on vacations. Etc. I rarely talk about those things.

Mostly, I don't want whoever I'm helping to feel as if they owe me anything. If I mention a deed, they might have to publicly say 'Thank you' and I feel like that's forced humility. Second, I fear that if I help one person and another person hears about it, then when they need help and I can't or won't help them, they think that I dislike them or that they're bad or something.

Then, there's my own feelings. If I talk about good deeds, I feel I'm saying "Lookit me! I'm good! SEE!" and then it feels like it's a show where I'm trying to pay for the angry stuff with isolated acts of kindness. I don't want kindness to be my Uncle Tom.

Bringing up the rear is a keen twisty bit of spite for religious jerks. Lots of people say you can't be morale without religion. I strongly disagree. So, subconsciously, I have to PROVE that I'm morale without religion. (Let's play spot the logic fault!) ^_^

But... Even if you strip all that stuff away, whatever is really 'me' is a kind and gentle thing. I should show that face more often.

Some additional thoughts about anger behind this cut )

Solution to all the world's problems )

I'll stop rambling now.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Scary borg-like post!

I've spent a lot of my life as a terribly unsocial creature but I think I'd like to have more friends. So... Here's my LJ friends list )

Who's not on it that I should get to know?

Quick Cash

Jul. 31st, 2008 07:34 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Anyone want to make a quick buck? I think I've stumbled upon a niche market.

Apparently there are a lot of foot fetishists out there or something. While looking for something else, I stumbled upon sales of USED socks... And people are bidding on them.. Here's an example at almost $12 for a pair of used socks.

Used sock sale link

And there are lots of other similar sales. Search 'used socks'.

CreeEEepy but hey. Want to see a 1000% return on your steenky old socks? Go for it.

While I'm having this JohnK moment, I should probably also mention the beloved and endangered creature, the hairy nosed otter...
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
A friend of mine has spent most of the summer working on making an entire tarot deck. Naturally, she's found some of the cards easy and others difficult. She's presently working on the Priest. I think this and the Magician would be difficult cards for me. Anyhow... We both come from having a distant past where we were somewhat bitter and aloof things. (Probably me more than her) So when she posted the rough, I offered an idea that resonated with me. http://shatterstripes.livejournal.com/877145.html?thread=7652697#t7652697

In it, I mentioned a right-wing catch phrase that I've heard lots of times (the liberal at 20, conservative at 30 nonsense) and that's what I thought about on my way to work today (aside from some interesting mycological finds that I'll post about later)

Sidetracks a bit explaining the setup to the events that follow )

Family gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas had always upset me due to their sexism, racism, and general contempt for everyone (Including myself since I didn't measure up to their 'standards'). After spending a summer away from Oklahoma, spending Thanksgiving with my family was a hundred times worse. I remember quite clearly how I ruined Thanksgiving. My uncle and grandfather were watching the football game on TV. Alvin (grandfather) said, "I love football but I can hardly stand to watch it anymore because of all the damn niggers." and then my uncle agreed with him and they went off about how stupid blacks were and so on.

This crap had always made me sick, but I'd been a quiet child and afraid. I was taught to 'respect my elders'. I'd bit my tongue. I'd hid. I was done with that. I went to another room, queued up my 'They Might Be Giants' tape to the song, 'Your Racist Friend', cranked the volume all the way up, hit play, locked the door, walked out of the room and out of the house.

My mother tracked me down and demanded I apologize for my 'childish' behavior. I refused and she told me I was acting like I was a baby. Then she ran the spiel about how they're old people and set in their ways. Eventually, I did go back but I didn't apologize or eat anything. Everyone just glared at me and it was a very silent holiday. My mother bitched me out all the way home and by the time I got to a place where I could be alone, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but... I held my ground.

You know though. Reflecting on this experience now, I see I was right to do so. 'Respect your elders'. You know what's REALLY disrespectful to your elders? Assuming they're stupid and incapable of change, that they're so set in their ways they can't learn anything new. I'm 36 now and I'm open to ideas that I would have screamed hatred against when I was 18. Little children are selfish and throw tantrums when the world doesn't bend to their will. Not adults.

Speaking from my own family experiences (which may not be representative of everyone) 'Respect your elders', if I thought about it, seems to mean, "Just let the old bastard have his way. We're all hoping he'll die soon so we can collect our inheritance."

In my family at least, that's really what it gets down to. Money. If you think about this on an external level. Geez. Is it really WORTH it? Would you be friends with someone who lords money over you? Would you make nice for some homophobic racist asshole because they MIGHT give you something for it (must not make parallel to christianity here) I wouldn't. Perhaps I don't understand how blood relatives really feel since my mother never really treated me well and my biological father left when I was a couple months old but I don't think it's a blood thing at all. I love my dad. He adopted me and has always been very kind to me. Never hateful, disapproving, contemptuous, racist, sexist, or any of the things my 'blood' family has been. My mother, I can't spend five minutes near her without a scathing sidelong comment designed to make me feel bad. Fuck that. I've got better things to do with my time. I still have enough of that childhood wiring that this shit CAN still hurt me even though, if I stop and think about it, this person is less than me in every way I can think of.

So anyhow. Yeah... Respect your elders. Treat them as fucking human beings and if they're lousy human beings, respect yourself. Get away from them or speak up. What have you really got to lose? If you really love someone, shouldn't you tell them when they're making an ass of themselves or when they say something that hurts you? And if they really love you, shouldn't they listen? Otherwise, it's all a load of crap and both sides are deceiving themselves.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Or, as we started calling one another, Super Smurfette and Strawberry Shortcake Extreme.

About costumes and superheros on vacation )

Bonus: Is Santa Claus a super hero? )

FC Report

Jan. 29th, 2008 04:53 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
In summary: I had a good time. If you'd like details Read more... )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
You know... My company has grown since I started here and we have offices in other cities. It's all very laid back of course and so long as one gives a bit of advance notice, it's more or less perfectly okay to wander off and work at one of those other offices for a week or two at a time.

I think I should consider doing that next summer. Seattle, Boston, Brighton (UK) All places I've never been with things I'd like to see. It occurs to me that if I found crash space for the periods of my trips that these expeditions would be basically free. Schedule so I've got two weekends there to visit museums and various things and see the sites and work during the day the rest of the time.

Hmm. Of course, another possibility for Seattle is to rent a hotel room or something and grab Jon and some punk music and go on a road trip. Hmm.

I should do this in warmer weather tho. I hate the winter time.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Friday afternoon, I did a couple of panels and met Matt Harrington (published author and apparently a furry as well. o_O) He seemed okay. Decent to talk to and interesting in terms of having good advice for writing.


Friday night at silicon was a whole lot of nothing happening really. There were a couple of interesting costumes but not really a lot going on. I met a pretty cool woman named Ophelia and I joined her and her friends for Rocky Horror. The highlight of my evening prior to that was finding some of the Lucid absinthe (the stuff legal in the US) and giving it a try. Very nice taste. Very smooth. Anyhow... Rocky got off to a late start. Stacey took me home around 3AM, I think.

Something between the lack of sleep, not taking moda, and the absinthe apparently triggered a massive sleep-cycle. Bloody fucking waste of time sleep. I returned to the convention around 5PM the following day. :(

I'd come out of costume but saw enough costumes in the hall that I decided to try out wearing the purple prickle in public. After another hour and a half of dressing and doing make-up, I was ... an instant success. Wave upon wave of people kept running up to pet my costume and ask for photos. The most common cry was, "Oh no... You didn't! .... You DID! You made an outfit out of koosh balls!" ... I may forever be stuck with the nickname of 'Koosh' now. >_<

So um anyhow... The thing that made this even better was that there was apparently a 'Women of Faith' convention going on at the same time. Ooooh did I get some sour looks for Jesus. :) It was glorious. I was the most hated of sinners. Every time I walked past their group, they'd just glare with hate. This helped me to be quite social, chatting with people, hugging, posing for photos, things I might have been shy to do normally. Thanks Jesus freaks! Your contempt made me a much nicer person. :)

Well. So... After a while, I ended up on the party floor and had a drink or two, when I was approached by a strange little man in a fez.

Not long after that, I found myself standing on an auction block, my purple outfit accented with glowsticks and Klingons calling out bids for me. I was apparently quite a hit (and so drunk I was having quite a merry time of it), fetching drinks for my new Klingon overlord and enticing other Klingons to declare him the greatest of all warriors with my ticklish little villi. Oh dear. Heh. At one point, I'd also foolishly clipped my badge to my skirt and it'd caused a little tear and slowly it began to rip down the side (much to the thrill of all present) So... Towards the end of the night, I slipped my coat out of my bag, put it on, then hiked up the edge, gave a tug, and ripped the rubber sheath the rest of the way and gave it to my Klingon lord as a trophy.

I'm officially invited to all Klingon parties for at least the next decade. *^_^*

Um so anyhow... The costume design needs some work. Version 2 should be a little less fragile and less revealing but overall it was a total success.

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do for the OddBall. My goal right now is to keep making lots of cheap costumes and wear something different at each event. :) It's strange to have my alter ego of PartyGirl back in my psyche. She was trouble but I kinda missed her.

Also, I really need to learn how to pose without giggling and blushing. I'd do well with a few more severe looks.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Stacey and I went and watched Across the Universe last night. Basically updated versions of Beatles songs arranged in a film that's a bit like The Wall or Tommy but not quite as good IMO. Their universe was a bit too much Paul McCartney and a little too little John Lennon. Just a bit too clean-cut and whitewashed to really engage me. (Not that I'm at all an expert on these things)

The basic story was tedious. Your basic boy-meets-girl claptrap. The surreal, psychedelic, and hallucinatory scenes are good but there's way too much of 'normal' people in it to really be totally enjoyable for me. Mary Sue's 60s with a splash of color to set the scene. On the whole, I felt like it also painted the political liberals as the worst people in the film (selfish, sexist, self-righteous bomb-makers) and do-nothing slackers as the protagonists. The silly girl who says she'll never breed becomes one of the political liberals but ultimately realizes all that was silly and returns to our hero after calling the bomb-makers hypocrites. *gag*

Every microphone in the film was a Sony. That's how you knew who made the film, but other than that, product placement was surprisingly low. I didn't see a single coke can. Now that's refreshing!

On the whole, the film was pretty watchable. I'd even say I enjoyed it though 'enjoy' isn't the right word. More like, "It held my attention and it didn't grate on my nerves enough to make me bitchy" but that's as close to enjoyment as mainstream films tend to get me lately.

The last thing I took away from the film was some serious depression because it got me thinking about communes. In the back of my mind, I have that childish desire,
"Me and my friends could get a big house somewhere and pool our resources and because we're only paying one rent and one electric bill and sharing food, we'd save money and we'd all be in a better place financially and we'd all have more time to work on the things we really care about because chores would also be shared."

*sigh* If only that were true. My adult self knows it never works out that way. A few people (generally me being one of them) end up doing the majority of the chores and creating income and the rest make excuses or claim their role is to be the beautiful shiny creatures, artists, and musicians. Power dynamics evolve and the whole thing invariably falls apart, usually with the slackers left rushing to find a new home and the work horses stuck with the bills and clean-up. Not to mention, as the size of the group increases, there are increased odds of someone who is disrespectful to everyone else's space and comfort, either by adopting a 'more the merrier' sort of attitude and inviting lots of others to join or by introducing elements that could cause trouble for the entire group. (See also, girlfriends, boyfriends, and intent-to-sell quantities of drugs)

And even if I could find some magical group of people similar to me, who all make decent money and are regularly employed and who are eager to work and create, there's still potential trouble from fussy neighbors and the worst enemy: TV. TV is a soul-sucker for me. I have a hard time walking past a room with a TV blaring in it and not being drawn into its energy vortex. In a larger household someone will invariably want TV and then someone will want cable and then I'm stuck paying a portion of a bill on a device that drains my creative energy. Even if I can avoid it, then I'd be seen as anti-social and slowly become excluded from the group, most likely. I am alien. I am very nearly pure energy. Given the opportunity I am almost ALWAYS working on something. *sigh*

Of course, I can also be proven wrong on this. Entirely possible I'm just negative. [livejournal.com profile] tugrik and [livejournal.com profile] revar have managed to have a communal house for close to a decade without major (apparent) drama and their creative energies seem to have fed each other. I really envy that. *sigh* Though, I guess on the other hand, I have a bedroom and a studio space and I can leave my studio cluttered for a few nights without making anyone else crazy. I also like my privacy and quiet fairly often. So maybe I'm better off. Although as far as privacy and quiet go, I suppose house wins over apartment most days.

Mostly I just wish I had safe space. I wish faced with only two options where one is rent I can afford at my current income level and the other is a mortgage I would struggle endlessly to afford. I am always standing on the edge and feeling that if I slip for a moment, I'll fall and never stop until I hit the very bottom. I help people out when I can. I try to take care of my friends, but there's always this feeling in the back of my heart that says, "No one would catch you if you fell. You are alone." and honestly... Who would? The friends I have that might care couldn't afford it and everyone else has already rejected a dozen other people who've plead for help. They wouldn't treat me any different.

This is all part of why I spend so much time working on the things I'm passionate about. I will fall one day. It's inevitable and I have nothing to land on. Not friends and certainly not family. My only chance is to find some way to take care of myself permanently. Yet so far, nothing I've done has bore fruit.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I was playing with an online random substitution generator thing and was about to post it to LJ because a couple of results made me giggle though the rest were stupid, then realized that behavior is much more interesting than the results.

Why is it that whenever humans encounter something funny, sad, annoying, that tastes bad or good, that we instantly want to share it with any other human around.

Taste and smell makes sense. Primitive monkey food-gathering stuff. Emotional stuff too, probably as social networking on a hind-brain level.

I find it interesting because it's a function as automatic as breathing and it really seems to be a built-in component to most people.

It also leaves me wondering... What sorts of things are we NOT automatically tempted to share. Not ones we've learned to be guarded about through abuse or training, but what things do we as a species, genuinely tend to not care about enough to share?

punkt

Mar. 16th, 2007 04:24 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Wow. Someone keyed the Hell out of my car windows...

Why?

I barely even ever drive anywhere and so far as I know I haven't pissed in anyone's wheaties lately.

I suppose I'm supposed to be angry but really I just feel more puzzled. I can't think of any reason anyone would do that. Perhaps they confused my car with that of someone else.

My car doesn't even have any stickers on it. Just a rainbow thingy around the license plate that says 'Pride'. That's the only thing I can imagine might have set someone off, but the markings don't appear to have any homophobic nature so it seems unlikely.

People sure are pathetic sometimes.

Free Hugs

Oct. 23rd, 2006 01:17 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Aw! This is totally awsome! More people need to do this!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

(swiped from [livejournal.com profile] rigelkitty )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
We stand on the cusp of two worlds.

A friend of mine has pointed out the stagnation of american culture in the past few decades. There is this glamorization of the 50's. Music, icons, brands. Reused, redisplayed, rehashed, and resold endlessly. Every couple of years we see a new release of the Star Wars movies or a re-issue of a Beetles album. It sometimes leaves one wondering whether or not there is room in the world for new things. Empires like Disney and the RIAA seem to have an endless supply of power from all of this stuff being repackaged and resold, and they can commission new artless soulless versions of the same old stuff.

Is it really true though? Have we really hit a cultural dead-end? I've been thinking about this for a while now and I'm still not sure. Art and music of the present has almost always been derived from stuff of the past. Yes, it doesn't seem as heavily branded, but I'm not sure that's true. Listening to radio shows from the 30s - 50s, banding was just as heavy back then, maybe more so. Most of the famous stars of radio and theatre were corporate owned properties that had to speak about laundry soap and cigarettes as frequently as they had roles in a film. Superman, Flash Gordon, the Shadow, and all the others often had product placements in their shows. Men in costumes were even hired to put on sales pitches for various companies at malls, no different from Santa Claus.

I might even go so far as to say that branding has been very prevalent since the start of the industrial revolution. The East India Trading Company put their stamps on everything from tea and soap to furniture, clothing, silks, spices, you name it. Buying goods from outside the corporation could result in fines, taxes, or even execution.

I think it may just be more obvious now because we're so overwhelmed with such an unending stream of data. TV and the Internet, where we can rewatch reruns and remixes as many times as we want. Not to mention the increase in world population, communication, and transportation. Two hundred years ago, the average human was unlikely to travel more than 30 miles from where they were born during the course of their life. News from the outside world could take a month to arrive.


I'm listening to Retro Arcade Radio right now. Songs about video games of the eighties. Yes, there are a few corporate shills in the play list, but it's not the majority. There's a second face to remix culture. There are the people who write about what they know, what's close to them, familiar to their world and the people they know. They might right with nostalgia or contempt. I think this is where things get interesting. This part of the remix culture has been becoming much stronger through the increases in communication. I'm starting to think all the stuff corporations make is more of an attempt to save their identity against an incoming tide rather than dominate the market. The laws extending copyright have only wrought a more negative view of their trademarks, brands, and logos. In a lot of ways, they aren't gaining power, they're losing control. People are getting sick of seeing different versions of Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse clutching some new fad and their corporate torch tightly in their hand while trying to pimp Coca-Cola. Sales are spiraling downwards on each successive re-release of Star Wars despite an increase in population. Branding and advertising will continue to grow more and more fierce in coming years, that's certain, but I can imagine a future where they have less and less control over how people interpret those icons.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
The second day of our journey home, it began to rain. We stopped at the sand dunes of Coos bay and hiked a ways in the wind and spitting rain. It was cold but fun. I hadn't seen big dunes since I had been to Florida as a child. The surf was pretty impressive, the sea cold and gray. Different kind of shoreline up there. All sand. No rocks, no glass polished smooth by the waves and the only types of shells I found were clams and more clams. The bottom drops off pretty gradually there so the waves come way waaaay up the beach and a few times it was a pretty hard run to avoid getting soaked when looking for shells. As the rain picked up, we turned inland a bit to a brakish swampy area. Stacey spotted a really cool beetle trundling along the sand. I stopped him and took some photos then held him for a couple minutes giving him some warmth in exchange (which he seemed to appreciate once he decided I was neither going to eat or squish him) The inlet was something of a bust too. There was the dead torpedo ray laying in the mud and I found a fairly large float from a fishing net but in general it was getting too cold and rainy at that point to really enjoy exploring.

We headed back to the car and drove down the coast through dozens and dozens of cranberry bogs. When we got bored, we stopped at a little shop and Stacey stocked up on several types of mead, sweet berry wines, and jam. The best part for me though was a cut-away in their wall with plexi panes and tubes. It was a bee-hive habitrail. The bees were inside their hive, buzzing away and you could get right up close to them near some wire mesh, feel the air from their wings, hear them, smell them, and see them dance. It was entrancing and they didn't seem to mind my being so close. I admit I've always liked bees anyhow so this was a treat for me. In one area, the court was clustered in quite close. I suppose it's not every day one gets to meet the queen. I paid my respects and then we were on our way again.

It'd begun to rain pretty hard at this point and while we wanted to do more hiking, I didn't want to do it in the pouring rain. Also, we hit the big redwoods a little after dark and I didn't want to wait an entire night to go hike in them so we decided to press on and head straight home.

Hippy Girl

Aug. 20th, 2005 11:55 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Back during FC, an old man said to me, "You must be a hippy. Only hippies help people.".. He was staggering and having trouble breathing. I hopped out of my car and steadied him and escorted him home.

That statement keeps ringing in my ears. It's something that bothers and puzzles me. I might classify as a 'hippy' but that behaviour definetely predates it. It's how I was raised. Respect your elders, help others, treat others with respect. ... Or is it? Certinaly my parents and grandparents said this. I think perhaps the tale of the good Samaritan is perhaps the only thing I ever took to heart in bible school. TV and movies also projected this image that you should do this. Help others. But for my family and friends as a youth, I never saw them help strangers, only people they knew. Perhaps they did when I wasn't around and they just weren't prideful enough to talk about it as though it made them better people. .. Except that when I was with friends and saw someone in need of assistance, I was nearly always the lead on acting to help them, and I remember a few times of feeling akward or ashamed that my friends and I did not stop to help someone.

That persists through to today. Often I see someone trying to fix their car by the side of the road, or a hitcher and I think, "I wish I could help but I have to be here or there or I can't get over to safely get off the road and assist." and I feel guilty about it, but whenever I can, I stop. Did it again last night. A guy broke down at the exit from Central onto Mary. The woman in the car behind him sat and held down her horn while he tried to push his car off to the side, then she edged around him and sped off angrily. Another guy did the same thing. I pulled to the side, turned on my flashers and helped the guy move his car out of the roadway, then gave him a lift home. I do this a lot. I actively miss living in Santa Cruz back int he early 90's there were always hitchhikers going from UCSC up to San Francisco, and I'd frequently give them rides. I even used to carry a spare helmet on my motorcycle when I was biking so I could give hitchers a ride if they liked.

Since that guy said that though, it's been gnawing at the back of my brain. I don't see other people helping others much. I see rudeness and aggression. As a for-instance, at the super-market the other night, Stacey and I were talking and someone took our things out of the cart we had an literally THREW them into a broken cart, smashing the bananas. Stacey's purse and Dascha's perscription and a few other things were also in the cart. It was definetely not an 'abandoned' cart but one someone was using. It was a deliberate and aggressive violation. Why? Why would someone do such a thing? They couldn't walk to the front of the store and pick up their own cart? I don't get it. :(

What the man said has started putting my whole worldview in question. Was a duped? Am I totally naive? Have I been living a fantasy version of reality my whole life? I'd always assumed other people were like me in that they often wanted to help others but couldn't at a given moment for some reason. It's starting to sink in that maybe most people really don't care about anyone but themselves. Maybe I'm a fool. I don't cut people off in traffic, I am always worried about disturbing my neighbors, I've even forgone putting certain stickers on my car because I recognize while it was something I found amusing, I understand it could have been hurtful to someone else. I'm starting to think I'm in a small minority. This makes me very sad.

Perhaps though, it's part of privledge. My life is different from that of most people. I don't have the same kinds of worries and pressures of say, people working minimum wage and trying to raise a family. I have the time and leisure to be philanthropic. Perhaps I'm just classist, or perhaps I'm being willfully blind to the kindness of others. Certainly somewhere in my head I would like to believe that I'm better than everyone else. I think everyone has that to some degree. Maybe instead of writing about my own generosity, I should instead write when others are kind to me. I remember scant few of those. Then again, maybe kindness is easily forgotten but rudeness is not. Few moments of kindness really stick out in my head but dozens of examples of rude and hateful behaviour are there. Conversely, I can remember very few times I've been intentionally hateful to someone but dozens when I've gone out of my way to help someone. It's definetely something to think about. My subconscious mind would probably like to believe I'm better and different from everyone else, but my conscious hopes that everyone else is like me and I'm just not seeing it.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I've been having a hard time staying focused today. My mind keeps drifting back to this morning.. I've been driving to work lately because I have school after work and the train doesn't go near my school, but on the way to work, I drive pretty-muc right beside the train tracks...
This morning the trains were stopped. I heard on the radio that someone had got hit by one of the trains. It was erie, driving past them, all stopped in their stations and empty of people... Then there was one stopped just outside the station I get off for work. The police were there, the news people were there taking photos, about 30 feet from the train was a white sheet on the tracks.
So my mind keeps going there, wondering what must have been going on in that person's head to make try to cross in front of an oncoming train. I know it wasn't a suicide. It's one of the busiest stations and I see people run across the tracks in front of trains all the time, even though the gates are down and the lights are flashing and the bells are ringing. Cars do it even more often. They even drive around the gates. I've seen them missed by only seconds. But what would make someone do this? The trains pass an intersection in less than two minutes. That's shorter than a commercial break on most TV channels. Is risking your life like that worth it?
I also see the journalists, taking the photos, the police, keeping onlookers out of the scene.. I don't understand our fascination with blood. I couldn't be one of those journalists, looking at stuff like that every day. I don't know how they deal with it. Nor the police. It's funny, I guess. When I was growing up, I helped my father butcher deer and went with my grandmother to the meat-packing plant to have her cattle slaughtered. I should be more desensized to it than most people.. Then again, maybe I've seen enough of it to not be curious and want to see more. I guess that explains away the onlookers, but the police and reporters.. I wonder how they deal with it? I don't think I could.

February 2012

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