Saturday, August 23, 2008

Independence v. Responsibility

It has been firmly established in modern America that women are fiercely independent and calling their own shots in life. Why wait around for others to do for you when you can do for yourself?

This is part of the ongoing change in definition of gender roles. This is not to say men have lost their place as decision makers but rather must accept that women have their say and must be listened to.

But I do find it odd that such fiercely independent women who by their own admission want to call more of the shots and crave control will, at their leisure, decide to throw it back in the laps of men when they do not want certain responsibilities.

I have seen this most often when it comes to nights out on the town. I know, and have dated, some women who insist on being the boss yet get angry when a man “allows” them to drink too much.

How are we supposed to handle this Catch-22? If a man steps in and suggests you slow down on the booze, he becomes the bad guy for trying to impose his will over a woman. But if he doesn’t step in and the woman drinks too much, he is to blame?

I have seen this both as the man with the boozy date and hearing it from female friends complaining about guys not stopping them.

So I want to know…do you want a guy to tell you to stop drinking, or are you “grown” and ready to be in charge of yourself?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

journalists getting shot at in Georgia

definitely scary stuff. they had no real protection

The devil's impasse

Chapter 18... is almost done but the last three pages are giving me problems.

I am at the last great fork in the road.

Option 1 is to go back to my original ending (meh) though edited to jive with the other rewrites. That would salvage my previous work.

Option 2: lose those the last section entirely and find some way to wrap the book in a new Chapter 19. That would put me at 315 pages and 80,000 words.

Option 3: total rewrite of the last 90 pages. I take the last six chapters in a new direction. That gets me to about 400 pages and 100,000 words. It's a fair ending I have in mind but a little "Hollywood."

Option 4: Abrupt finish here and now in chapt. 18. That would make the story incomplete though. But then I could say I am finished.

Monday, August 18, 2008

*CRAP* Magnet? Oh boy...

More and more I realize how human beings put more roadblocks and landmines in their own way and then wonder how things got so messed up. I am talking about the shenanigans in the dating world of course.

Like this one dating profile I saw the other night (yes, I do it too). The headline read: *CRAP* Magnet. Actually it was the vulgar form of the word but you get my point. And it was the header for a woman’s ad nonetheless. *CRAP* Magnet.

*CRAP* Magnet girl probably thinks she’s funny. I barely got past the headline before steering my eyes elsewhere.

We seem to think that our personal *CRAP* is so awesome, people line up to talk to us even if we have nothing special to say.

Sticking with the dating/relationship theme, I think I know why we see such a high rate of split-ups and divorce these days.

Go to any dating site and you will find a repetitive statement on all the profiles:

EVERYONE is a family-oriented, down-to-earth, passionate about life, hard working, open to try anything once, loves to travel, loves sports, loves to laugh, loves to cuddle, is comfortable dressed up or dressed down, enjoys nights out and staying home, person-next-door who is tired of games, wants respect and security with someone serious about the future.

Ummm, yeah. Can I get a basket of puppies with that? How about a bunny rabbit hopping along a sandy beach at sunset? There are slight variations of this but after reading THOUSANDS of these ads over the years I have come to this conclusion:

We don’t realize just how average we are AND we overlook our unique qualities.

We assume that once we cover the boilerplate basics, everything will be juuuuuust fine. Eat a bowl of corn flakes for breakfast, a ham and cheese sammich for lunch, meat and potatoes for dinner then repeat the next day and the next…until you file for divorce.

It’s the nitty-gritty that makes all the difference. You have to be willing to say out loud what you like and don’t like. If you try to hide or ignore those things, it catches up with you. Then you look over and wonder why the hell you are with this person.

A laundry list of your pet peeves is not the answer. There are some really jaded and angry people out there. Very scary.

I think people need to examine what they really want beyond boilerplate responses even though it may shatter their perceptions. Sure it’s scary, but so what? You’re not supposed to date everyone. Just gotta be willing to figure out who the right one is.

As for me, I know I am a bitter pill. In my bluntest form I am not dating material LOL. But that’s okay. It keeps me away from the *CRAP* Magnets out there.

My hit list of personals ads to avoid:

  • The Minimalist: "I hate writing these things. If you have a question, ask."
    Translation: Even in person, getting information will be like pulling teeth and they still may not say anything worth listening to.

  • The Independent: "I choose not to own a TV, my radio only gets NPR, all the movies I watch are subtitled, and deodorant is a form of fascist control to suppress my individuality."
    Translation: Ready to vanish into a cloud of incense to cover your subculture funk?

  • The Self-High-Fiver: "I LOVE to travel, the beach is a-w-e-s-o-m-e, I am addicted to Diet Coke and I want a super cute date who can keep up!"
    Translation: They won’t even know you are around unless your hair is on fire while taming lions and tigers in your underpants…on a tightrope…and there is a tornado descending.

  • The Carry-On: "I am so tired of *bleep* who *bleep* when you ask them to *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* and then my car got impounded!"
    Translation: Samsonite doesn’t make enough baggage to accommodate this person. They will always be waiting for you to slip up just for the sake of saying “Ah, HA! You are just like rest of those *bleep*!”

  • The Wishful Thinker: "I am actually 10 years older than I listed because I am very youthful in spirit."
    Translation: This is probably a nice person who felt forced to change the rules to get attention.

  • The Troublemaker: "I am actually 10 years younger than I listed because I like someone more mature."
    Translation: Ready for your close-up on "To Catch a Predator"?

  • The Boss: "I like backrubs and spa treatments. Must make more than $80,000. None of your friends can come over…ever."
    Translation: Extracting your spine is the last component in this person's master plan to dominate your life.

  • The International Connection: "I have wishing for too love in your ear because needing docter and make smile."
    Translation: Send me your money because we ran out of email scams to fool you with.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Splitting up my blog topics

Not everyone looks at this space for the same reason. Depending on who you are, some of my posts may have little to no interest. People who are tracking my stumbling progress with the book are not the same folks who want to hear my war stories from the dating world.

So I am considering creating a separate blog space for each if that makes sense... is it worth the effort though? Anyone care?

Chapt. 17 down

So I gave chapt. 17 the quick read, made only fast edits. On to chapter 18.

This is where things diverge from the original ending I had in mind and where most of the serious new writing will take place. Nine chapters... this will hurt lots.

I may save some of what I wrote but I think most of what I wrote previously in this coming section will have to be put into another story perhaps...

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away