Monthly Archives: December 2012

The End of the World

The End of the World

the-end-timesWrote this for someone – and almost didn’t post it … so I did some editing so I could….

So string theory of course is the idea that at the source of everything there are these strings like fibers that vibrate at specific levels and whatever level they vibrate at determines the makeup of whatever they’re in.  So like – carbon has x number of strings that vibrate at y level… yada yada..  Well M Theory is this idea that there are larger versions of strings called membranes or “brains.”  When you think about the universe these membranes contain our universe and supposedly there are multiple membranes that are all lined up together undulating and squirming around at all times next to each other.  The idea is that when these membranes hit each other it creates such a huge amount of energy – like a collision of two cars that are coming at each other at really high speeds.  The crash has so so so much energy that you get the explosion and the bang of the crash, right?  Just like the collision of the membranes – when they collide the theory is that THAT is what causes the “big bang.”  And feasibly there are multiple “big bangs” happening all the time creating universes that are all over the place. . .

I remember reading Sagan for the first time.  The intersection of philosophy, religion, and science all wrapped up in a nice fictional package.  This is Contact not Cosmos – which is non-fiction. There’s a great chapter at the end of Contact where she’s in the hearing and they’re demanding answers from her and she very emotionally talks about the randomness of the universe.  That we don’t know how it works – we don’t know how things are created.  How weirdly arbitrary hell even accidental things are and yet… how precious and special we all are.  That there is significance – it isn’t just some fantasy we tell ourselves because we can’t deal with the misery of being evolved randomness.  And after millions and millions of years we have evolved so perfectly that I can be sitting here writing to you.  That I could have met someone by chance – and have connected and had such chemistry so flawlessly.  The randomness of that is astounding to me.  That our lives really are just one weird chance after another.  But one decision can bring something so remarkable.  A decision to question everything at an early age determined what amounted to be an entire life of me trying to find answers — trying to understand — needing so much to understand and ask why.  Why are we here?  Why are we the way we are?  Why did I quickly choose politics after my entire life wanting to be a writer and an editor?

And I guess if the end of the world does come, which I doubt it will, maybe there will be another universe created somewhere where it doesn’t end – and there’s a version of me there in a dark corner of the W hotel… an arm around me as I snuggle in … his nose in my hair and lips at my ear whispering….  And in that alternate universe every moment is perfect and the magic in the randomness is savored like an oaky Merlot from the Russian River Valley.  And maybe, just maybe, in that world there is a great sense of peace and understanding – where answers are easy to come by and while we all recognize tragedy and heartbreak, we’re somehow able to appreciate the experiences as they fly by … from the beginning of time right past us into the future… and hold it in our hearts where it doesn’t devour us from the inside out, but instead allows it to beat harder and more powerfully.

If tomorrow was the end its ok, I’m not afraid to die, not because I believe there’s something else or because it would be a transition somehow, but because I’m at peace with it. I’ve seen enough that I’m fine.  I still want more, but I’ll always want more.  I strive for more.  I ache for more and bigger and “let me see” and “but, I want to understand.”  But sometimes I’m pleased enough with the answers I’ve found and the adventure I’ve had trying to find those answers.

I’m so tired of your inaction

I’m so tired of your inaction

if our kids had gunsI tried to unplug all weekend and watch anything but news – go to the movies – do some Christmas shopping to get some stuff for my folks and my grandpa.  On Friday I was angry.  I watched the President wipe away tears and I was angry.  I woke up Saturday morning, angry.  I tweeted angry tweets.  And last night I heard the President’s prayer for families burring their children and I became even more…. angry.

I’m exhausted.  I’m so so tired of our country burring our children.  I’m tired of watching as my generation and others die in a holocaust of useless violence.  I’m tired of feeling the unnecessary suffering of our society each and every day and seeing it in the hollow eyes of people that walk past.  I’m tired of relieved politicians hugging their own children close this Christmas while others stick theirs in the ground.  I’m disgusted by the fear of elected officials to stand up to the gun lobby – as if they themselves are afraid of a round of political ammunition being propelled at their chests.  And I am sick and tired of their need to blame everyone except themselves while they slide their PAC checks into their deposit bags.

The thing that makes me sad is not the image I generated in my mind of those poor sweet faces that spent the night in that school while the scene was cleared, it’s not the furry of right-wing talk show hosts who pretended this wouldn’t have happened if every 6 year old had a glock in their lunchbox, nor is it the need for the gun lobby to insist this is all about mental health while not supporting mental health background checks…. instead its that this won’t be the last one of these we see.  This won’t be the end.  It doesn’t end today, it only continues today.  I have no hope that anything will ever really change.

Peter Daou wrote that until we all admit we’re morally culpable nothing will happen.  And he’s right.

When a pipe bursts in your basement do you try to fix it without turning off the water?  Turn off the water first, fix the damn pipe.  Instead, our country is too busy arguing why the basement is flooding while our children are drowning.

Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

First Couple in freight elevator on Inauguration Night. Photo by White House Photographer Pete Souza.

If you’re looking for salacious stories of romance and torrid love affairs, I might share links to some at HavingItBothWays.com.

I was out having drinks with a bunch of Okies who now live in DC because a friend of ours was in town.  We talked politics and joked about people we all knew but inevitably the conversation turned to, “So… how’s dating going?”  But then the useful part of the conversation – the roommate of an Okie asked what I knew about online dating sites.  Ah ha!  My usefulness abounds!

The first question to ask is “What are you looking for.”  To which they all laughed, “A moderately sized bald man…” they joked. More laughter, “NO!” I said over them, “I mean what kind of relationship.  Just a random hook up, marriage, a buddy …. what do you want?  I introduced her to several different website possibilities that are free or cheap.  But then another of our friends told me I needed to set up a profile and run my “inspection” on BlueStateDate.com.

So… I did.  Here’s what I’ve got so far.  BSD seems to be a way for political staffers and like minded activists to come together around a mutual need to keep their love in the party.  Don’t go thinking its all inbreeding there’s a Red State Date too.  It’s like the Nation Builder of dating sites…. In any case, the profile is very political, asking you to go through and fill out a series of questions on domestic, social, and foreign policy to determine your level of conservatism.  It even asks you what campaigns you’ve worked on.

The idea is a great one – I’m all for it.  Especially if you buy a premium month now you get the rest of the year for free.  The downside?  When I searched for available people within 25 miles of me between the ages of 29 and 45 I got a whopping 7 guys… no women….. So that’s a fail.  I’ll play with it more and keep you posted, but at the very least I have a free year.

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

not having kidsCall now and you too can read more from the Having It Both Ways project in the comfort of your own home!

 

I have a handful of best friends.  We’re talking … people who knew me before politics, people who knew me “way back when” and who I have grown and evolved with over the years.  I called one such bestie the other day and she told me that she was about to call me because a recent trip to see her in-laws resulted in a discussion about when my friend and her husband were going to be starting a family and having kids.

This particularly bestie and I have long shared our mutual resistance toward having kids.  There was an interesting presumption with her in-law family, however, that it was her that was determined never to have kids.  Her normally easy going husband at one point piped up – “We’re not having kids…”  They were all shocked.  What Bestie realized about the in-laws insistence for them not to wait – was that they were way too old when they had children.  Such that the aunt had to endure huge amounts of hormone treatments and it was an all around nightmare to get their daughter.  Bestie said to me, “So while I’ve never ever wanted to have children, I realized I now have to either make peace with that or we have to talk about having kids.  NOW.”

We talked about how both of us have always been anti-kids.  Not that we blame other people of course, but many of the reasons that people say they want children are selfish reasons.  People want families for themselves, they want children that come from their genes not from the plethora of kids who don’t have good homes, we also talked about parents we’ve seen who love to live vicariously through their kids, or need someone to love them and idolize them.

We talked about how when you throw kids in the mix, your life is over.  Traveling for fun – forget it, picking up and going rock climbing on a weekend – turns out you can’t do it with a baby strapped to you, not to mention the first three years are filled with nothing but body fluids and screaming.  And the financial cost is tremendous.  The estimations once showed having kids was an investment, but now you run deficits with kids costing upwards of $250,000 from birth to their 18th birthday, and that doesn’t include college.  In the end is it more selfish to have a kid to complete you and your needs or is it more selfish to not have a kid because you have no interest in being a parent, raising someone, or disrupting your own life?

Remember back when I talked about The Professor and how he turned 40 and realized he needed to get married and have kids quick and to do that he had to find someone between 25 and 30?  I’ll never forget one of the people who commented on that blog post that I was a “selfish bitch” because I would rather not have a kid, which I still find hilarious.  There isn’t an argument for having a child that doesn’t involve someone being selfish and “wanting a kid.”  The fact is – people who want kids… want kids.  They want it for their own reasons.  While my Bestie and mine’s reasons for not having children are status quo – nothing changes with our decision and no one and nothing is impacted by a decision to not have a kid.

I’m at an advantage because no one asks me these questions because I’m not married and no one even sees me with a potential partner.  I still occasionally get the “when are you getting married” question, I don’t think anyone really expects me to have kids unless they come with a future partner.  But this whole discussion reminded me of the bizarre need for our culture to stigmatize couples who are childless, like there’s something wrong with them or one of them have bits that don’t work.  We’re so obsessed with this need to continue a DNA chain or have some image of what a family ought to look like.  The truth is, some people are different and want different things that aren’t traditional or typical.  If you want them, power to ya and have fun.  But all you Baby Boomer parents who are pissed at us because we’re not into it just need to calm the hell down.

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

washington dc kissingRead more about the Having it Both Ways project, just don’t tell anyone…..

So… something happened that took my breath away.  It’s been a rough week. First, I ate something that made me sick the other night… but the reality is for the last week I’ve been depressed about 50.  Not because it was a great loss, although I do feel a sense of loss, not because I invested a lot of time and energy in him, though I did, but more that I let someone get to me and I’m pissed at myself for being so stupid.  While talking with one of my best friends last night I explained where my “trust issues” originated, a story I actually haven’t ever shared with anyone before – not that it’s all that shocking, there are just certain times in your life where major events can impact you more and stay with you forever.  I digress…  So while talking to her about my trust issues I explained that it makes me want to shut down again.  It makes me want to hide and cower in a corner like a feral cat and scratch and claw at anyone who comes near me.  I know this is the wrong decision, but knowing what’s right and healthy for us isn’t always what we want.  Eat your emotional and psychological vegetables.

But then I got the surprise of my life.  I won’t go into great detail, but someone I’ve loved for quite a while that I realistically can’t be with but would like very much to be with… showed up at my apartment to surprise me.  It’s difficult to explain the amount of work that went in to making this happen and that I knew nothing about.  The email I got at 5pm read:  subject line:  come home.  email text contained a photo of the metro station near my house.  My eyes watered.  We’d been emailing all week about how angry and depressed I have been.  I really needed this.  I sprinted from the bar where I was meeting friends for drinks, ran across DuPont circle, leaping over the medians as the “don’t walk” sign flashed at me.  I slid through the doors of the train just as they were closing – then ran up the steps of the escalator… My eyes darted around looking but nothing.  Breathless, I took big fast steps walking fast up Connecticut Avenue.  I heard the voice behind me… and then the comfort and safety of our embrace……. and then…. of course…. the insane amount of making out that commenced in the elevator as we climbed the floors to my apartment.

I’m an expert at unrequited love.  I practically have a degree in it.  This is reciprocated love.  This goes beyond sex, although the sex is always great, it goes beyond trust although we both agree we’ve never trusted anyone more than one and other in our lives, and it goes beyond a mutual understanding that I’m much smarter (though I would argue not smart just more informed because I consume more information)…. there is such a safety I feel when we’re together.  I’m not afraid, or worried, or nervous, or anything – for once I can relax and let go.  Like when you were little and your grandpa told you to jump and he’d catch you.  I know I can jump … and fall softly in a lover’s arms.  And while we both know it never lasts long and we can’t be together; when we smile a goofy grin between kisses and talk of our dreams of the life we could have, nothing else anywhere matters.

Much needed surprise.  No one has ever done that for me before.

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Read more about the Having It Both Ways project here.

When someone you love gets murdered it fucks you up.  It’s more than 4 years later and quite honestly I’ve never dealt with my friend’s death, despite the fact that I think about it several times a week and I feel guilty I haven’t done enough with her foundation…

I never talk about her – most of my friends didn’t know about her until I did the blog post about emotional manipulation being a form of abuse and some of my closest friends told me they never knew.  I don’t talk about it beyond the “cause” element of it – which is just a way that I can put it in a nice non-profit box and pretend like it’s about someone else and not my friend.

But, the reality is that when my friend Jana was murdered it changed the way I view everything in my world.  I use to be so full of ambition and professional drive.  I use to want to be a big deal and had an ego that needed to be stroked.  I wanted my picture taken with famous politicians – and believe me… I have a ton of them… I wanted money and power and control and all of the things that most people in politics want.  When Jana was killed I realized none of those things will ever make me happy.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  In fact nothing does.  I use to want a convertible because I thought I would look cuter with big round sunglasses and the top down.  But the reality is that it isn’t the convertible I want – its the feeling of freedom I wanted… the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and that you feel like you’re going faster because the wind is swooshing past.  I just wanted the feeling of freedom.

For the past several years since Jana I’ve been floundering around asking myself over and over again “what the hell am I doing?”  Like I’m having a midlife crisis.  The only thing that matters to me anymore are people.  Not Bertha the big fancy TV that lives in my living room or my very nice Italian leather sofa… not having the best shoes or the nicest dress, not having the best job, not power, not recognition, not control…. nothing.  Just friends, experiences, fun, and happiness.  And its made me really really resistant to let new people into my life.  Already I had trust issues – already I didn’t let people close enough… now I’m even worse than I was before.

At the same time my normally cautious candyass ways have turned into a thrill seeking world.  I’ll jump out or off of anything, I’ll climb up anything, I’ll do anything once, twice if you’re lucky, and I crave adventure.  Grabbing life by the testies, eat sleep and be merry for tomorrow we may die….. because tomorrow we may…. we really might just…. because it happened to her.

I mention this because I split with another man friend this week.  It’s been a long time coming, but 50 has been so distant and non-responsive that I’m starting to feel like he was just going to use me without being a friend.  The thing about being a friend with benefits is you can trust your friend… its a friend… a buddy you have an honest relationship with.  Only… seems good old 50 just wanted to screw with no buddy.  I have trust issues… no friend… no benefits…. For the first few months it was all buddy… after that… nothin’.  So I didn’t respond to his latest email… and I’m not gonna.

When I think about him it’s so frustrating because… of all people who is wasting his life after not getting what he needed after years and years of being everything for everyone, it’s him.  You’d think at some point he’d wake up and go “shit… I’m getting on in years… I don’t have much more time I can’t do this, I really need to figure out what I want to get out of life before the clock runs out!”  I’m not talking about him doing this with me here – just … anyone or alone… anything.

I feel sad for him, everyone deserves to be happy, to do what they’ve always wanted to do before the die, or be able to have an opportunity to get what they’ve always wanted… within reason of course.  A chance to achieve their dream.  Who knows, maybe he’s already achieved his.  Maybe it was an occupational thing or raising his son… who knows.  I think it’s the Humanist nature of me to wish that everyone have a shot at happiness and being able to have what they’ve always wanted.  I wrote about him last week – I think he’s lying to himself about a lot – but I wish he could be happy and have all that he’s ever wanted.  I just have no hope that he’s reached a point where the experience that changes you into being an life grabbing adventurer. And he might not ever reach it.  I don’t know that everyone does – not that I recommend it because… it’s clearly fucked me up far more than I was before.

The worst part about 50 is that for a few months he was my buddy and I was stupid enough to trust I was his.  When the reality is of course I wasn’t…. of course… I wasn’t.  Whole thing just makes me feel like a trusting fool who was duped.

Having It Both Ways: We all lie to ourselves

Having It Both Ways: We all lie to ourselves

To read more about the Having It Both Ways Project, please visit here.

While I was home for Thanksgiving I went to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  The table was filled with new faces – all friendly, welcoming, and open-minded folks, which typically means its going to be great conversation.  As the sakki flowed, my friend introduced me and told them “She’s a blogger and writes about all kinds of sex, and relationships, and toys and everything!”  My inner southerner blushed a little, not yet use to people knowing me from my dating life and lacking love life.

The questions came and I told them about the Having It Both Ways Project.  I talked a little about the men I find interesting – and my bizarre fascination with infidelity and monogamy.  Within that context, I asked one of the men (married to an incredibly beautiful wife that was sitting next to him) “So explain men to me…”  What he said was so astute and interesting I actually reached for my phone to take notes under the table.

“Men lie to themselves about what they really want and need.  I mean, I try very hard not to, but most don’t even realize they do it….. They convince themselves that they have to do the manly thing which, in their mind, is synonymous with the right thing.  They have to take care of the woman … there are obligations… etc”

I was kind of shocked and amazed at what makes perfect sense about so many of the men, married or unmarried, that I know.  But then again…. I’m not entirely certain it’s unique to gender.  I think we all lie to ourselves.  We all convince ourselves of what we really want to be true or maybe what should be true; sometimes so much so that we actually grow to believe it.  And it isn’t unique to relationships either.  We’re happy in our jobs because… after all it’s a steady pay check with benefits, who am I to complain if x happens or y happens.  A lawyer should be happy in her chosen profession because she spent so much time and money to be a lawyer.  A couple should be happy because they have a big house and a nice fancy car because so many other people don’t have those things.

It brings a mind to wonder, the people who do lie to themselves, is it a form of survival or is it more about “fake it until you make it”?  I don’t want to advocate this idea that we should break up a family every time someone gets annoyed with their partner, but I wonder what our culture would be like if we all stopped trying to fit into a mold of what we’re supposed to be and instead of what we think we should be.

gallup happiness poll

Gallup’s poll of Happiness