Who Cares? I Do. Do I?

If it came to pass that they should ask,
What could I tell them?
Would they criticize behind my back?
Maybe I should let them.



Or maybe I will just hope they never ask.

Ask what?

Oh, I don’t know.











Red Shoe Diary

Oh I used to be disgusted
Now I try to be amused.

— Elvis (the One True Elvis) Costello


Some of us have a special talent for being disgusted and/or amused by  Life, the Universe and Everything. (Oh, why’s that?)

I have both talents.

While I could really do without the former,  the latter is a real gift. It is, however, a gift that requires some (wait for it) balance.

Fucking balance. It’s everywhere.


I am not one of those people who is magically endowed with an eternally pleasant disposition who smiles beneficently on the world from my happy palace full of sparkly unicorns.  (Shut up)

I am one of those people who has a naturally smiling but sarcastic disposition who is constantly challenged by things like:

1. Thinking most other people might be stupid (well…you know…if the red shoe fits)

2. Keeping both sarcasm and irony in check because a lot of people appear to be missing those essential genes (see #1?)

3. profanity.  No, actually I believe that profanity is one of Life’s Best Things. I am not challenged by anything but increasing my use of it.

4. Bite me.

5. Not letting a little natural sarcasm (which is Right and Good) become a black hole of hatefulness. Staying out of it is hard. Simple, but difficult.


How do I do this?

If I only knew.

There are a lot of cliches involved.

Mostly, it’s just trying to be aware.

Often, I am not successful.

Sometimes, I am.


Being amused is a different challenge. Mostly, being amused is a good thing, right?

Well, yeah. But.

(There’s always a but)

There’s a point at which being amused by Life in a good way becomes mocking everything.

So, the challenge balancing amusement and laughter with mockery is to take Life seriously.

No, really.


Life is a born comic.

C’mon. Look how we come into the world. It’s funny. There are both penises and vaginas involved. It’s also a total miracle.

Is there anything more inherently absurd than a penis? No. (OK, yes..an elephant’s trunk.)

Is there anything more amazing than being born and being alive? No.

You can laugh at one, but you’ve got to treat the other with at least a little gravitas.




Make sure you laugh with it, not at it.

Uh. I guess.


I have no clue.







Accentuate the Positive

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative

–Johnny Mercer



As a person who skews heavily sarcastic and cynical,  I tend not to notice a little negativity in a person as a flaw. I go through life mocking  the Pollyannas of this world with righteous ire and irony. I may even have used a co-worker’s penchant for hyper-positivity against him in a peer review.


Lately, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about positive and negative energy (and how much I hate those terms, ahem) and how both impact my life.


I spent some time recently with  someone who is completely consumed by how bad everything about her life is, and how it is never  going to change until she moves away and changes everything about her life. Although there are some really seriously fucked up things about her life that she has little impact on, there are many more things that are entirely within her own control. She’s so focused on the bad that she’s not able to make any real steps toward the things she says she wants in the future, but she is sure that once she achieves this glorious imaginary future her life will be wonderful.  She has nothing positive to say about anything or anyone in the present. It’s exhausting her family, alienating her friends and making her miserable. Negative thinking is keeping her from taking any  action, and having no results she just thinks even more negatively about everything. Vicious circle.


Tolle would probably call it identifying with the pain being or something like that, but that makes me roll my eyes.


For the record, I’ve got to say that I like to complain. A lot. Usually not about important things, but still. Really. Everyone who knows me is nodding in agreement right now.

I enjoy a good rant more than just about anyone, and I’m starting to see how bad that can be for me. Wait, what?!?

I know!


The thing is, as much as the cynic in me hates to admit it,  I’ve found that  if I  don’t dwell on the negative, especially the negative that’s in the past or in the (imaginary) future, then things in the NOW  really DO look better. I’ve also noticed recently that even small actions result in big changes in attitude, and when my attitude is better, I’m more likely to take further action on things I’m interested in/thinking about/wondering about. Positive thinking having lead to action that leads to an improved attitude which leads to more action. I don’t have a fucking clue what they call the opposite of a vicious circle.


To complete the irritating Zen babble trifecta, if I can keep myself from thinking too much about either the past or the future, and just focus on what is going on right this second, it’s even better.



If I ever use the phrase “Be the Dog” in any way that isn’t ironic, feel free to mock me.


Does that mean I’m not going to be elected Queen of the Cynics Ball again this year?


I already bought the tiara.



PS It has just occurred to me that I have more to say on the subject of my inherent loathing of inspirational and motivational quotes. They are really pissing me off lately because I am finding some of them both motivational and inspirational. I’m sure there’s someone to blame for that.


Oh. Right. I’m not “blaming” anymore.

Zen motherfuckers.