The Meow Game, Communicating With Others, and True Believers

The Meow Game from Super Troopers

I have no idea where people get the idea that it’s in any way beneficial to get lippy with cops.  I know some cops like to play mind games with people to see how they’re going to respond, which positively terrifies and paralyzes me.

I have a difficult enough time under normal circumstances carrying on a conversation face to face without freaking people out.  I don’t get the nuances of eye contact (generally I avoid eye contact lest I be accused of staring,) and I also have real problems with sending the right body language.  Non-verbals for me are a learned skill from years of observation and interaction and do not come naturally.  I have to consciously think about and orchestrate all my non-verbal signals constantly when I deal with people face to face in order to communicate effectively.  For most people eye contact and physical gestures come naturally, almost subliminally, without thinking about it.  For me, if left to my own devices, I would simply observe others with a bit of a catatonic stare until or unless I have something to say.  Electronic communication is so much easier for me because I can simply concentrate on what I would like to convey rather than worry about whether or not I’m staring into space or standing at a weird angle.

I may not be responding, but I do hear you- with some reservations.  If I want to, and if I’m not focusing on whatever song’s stuck in my head, that is.

So my interactions with law enforcement (fortunately for me they have been precious few,) are usually limited to staring at the ground or off to the side and saying “yes, sir, Officer” at the appropriate times.  I’ve only gotten out of a speeding ticket once, and that was because I was working as a driver and the cop knew my boss.  Knock on Formica or whatever that plastic looking stuff is, but the last time I got busted for any kind of traffic violation I was nine months pregnant (my son was born on the same day they would have wanted me to appear in court) and was pulled over for running a yellow light.  Of course the cop could obviously tell I was preggers- I looked like a battleship- but all I could do was keep from giving him the stink-eye, sign the damned ticket and keep on going.  I don’t do tears on demand. Even when crying is the correct response, I usually can’t.  I break down after the crisis has passed, and sometimes it takes years for the tears to find their way out.

This strategy- even if I would dare to try it- is not open to me.

I don’t think that crying is the correct response when you get busted anyway, but it works for some women.

I just didn’t have the physical energy or the emotional strength to explain to this primadouche just-out-of-the-academy-looking-for-someone-to-bust cop that going through a yellow light is legal.   The cop didn’t need to know I wasn’t supposed to be driving at all, (I had pre-eclampsia, had been in and out of the hospital for sky-high blood pressure, and was supposed to be on strict bed rest) but I had to go out because my POS ex was too lazy to go to the grocery store, or to help unload the car, or really do much of anything else besides suck up valuable oxygen and whine (yeah, I sure know how to pick ’em, but Jerry is a nominal upgrade to some degree- at least Jerry showers regularly and he hasn’t morphed into Jabba the Hut.)   I sent the bastards their check for $125- because knowing the good-ol-boy system in the town I’m from, you might as well just pay it, because who is the judge going to getting paid to believe? (This was before the days of surveillance cameras everywhere, so I had no way of documenting for posterity that the light was yellow and all that.) It would have been my luck- even had I not been in the hospital that day- that the cop would actually have shown up in court and I’d had to pay the ticket and court costs too.  Sometimes local government sucks just as much as government in higher places.

I can go on with this subject too, but suffice to say I don’t have the gold, so I don’t make the rules.  Too bad.

I am a really paranoid driver, partially because of that incident.  I’d like to drive like I did when I was a young punk out on the back roads, where your worst fear would be running off the road into a drainage ditch, where your nominally decomposed corpse might be found in a few weeks, but those days are over.  The cops have GPS and helicopters now.  Besides, a Yaris isn’t exactly a rally car.

Unless you’re in Thailand.

That is whacked, but I guess with enough suspension mods and such, you could make  a Yaris into a rally car.  But mine is more geared for basic transportation, and as a forum for my mobile political commentary.  Since I have to drive, and I’m pretty slow, some people just might get an education just from reading the back of my car.

German does sound scary, but remember, English is a derivative of German.

I enjoy language and its nuances, probably more so than most because I don’t do well with the non-verbal and emotional sides of communication.  Interacting with dogs has helped me immensely because in order to communicate with them I have to cue in on their non-verbals, which are easier to read because theirs are far more exaggerated than humans’.  I learn a lot from them.  Subtlety is not their nature.

Sheena is as subtle as a freight train.

This morning I was thinking about all the personalities in history who were true believers- in all the wrong things.  I can’t help but to observe that it really doesn’t matter if your heart is in the right place, if your head is up your ass.   A good example of this phenomenon are the crazy people who think that if they die in the process of killing “infidels” that they go to heaven and collect 70 virgins.  Faith is not something that comes easy to me, but I would find it hard to believe that God intends for people to completely check their brains at the door.  Why would God have actually bothered to give us brains if He didn’t intend for us to use them?  And then there’s Dennis Kucinich, for whom logic cannot offer a suitable explanation.  There’s plenty of shithouse-rat-crazy people out there who will believe any sort of clap trap if the right talking head is blathering away (Obama supporters who still don’t get that he’s anti-American, the Heaven’s Gate followers, white supremacists, and so on.)

I wonder if the Visitors have picked him up yet.

I think I get it why so many analytical/rational types are secular humanists.  They get the logic that good is better than evil, but they can’t prove or disprove the existence of a Creator or Higher Power.  The only problem with secular humanism is that it degrades into utilitarianism very quickly.  There is no room in a utilitarian economy for the aesthetic- for beauty, or art, or emotion.  Even though I’m a rational type, even I need something beyond the get up, go to work, go to bed routine that most of us are beholden to.  To deny there is a sphere beyond our understanding is to indulge in the ultimate human hubris- to claim we are the be-all, end-all of the universe- when our best secular explanation for creation involves an ex nihilo big bang from the depths of nowhere.  I’m not a creationist in the 6 days, Adam and Eve made from real mud, wandering naked in the Garden with all the wild animals sense.  It would have been cool, but I don’t think creation happened that way. I don’t take the Garden account of Genesis as being literal (I do believe it to be a beautiful allegory) but I think it does tell us much about the Whom involved, if not so much the How or the Why.

Naked with all the little critters of nature.  Just imagine all the mosquitoes and fleas in places where insects are totally unauthorized.

I would rather acknowledge and embrace the mystery.  I would rather take Pascal’s Wager and assume that God IS, than to have to live in a world having decided that He is not.  While I cannot prove His existence, I cannot disprove it either, and I’d rather err on the side of embracing the mystery.

Belief in and of itself is neutral, but I think that God gave us brains to inform our beliefs, so that we are neither beholden to blind emotionalism or locked into pragmatic utilitarianism.

I do find it a bit ironic that the same people who will defy thousands of years of moral teaching vehemently despise those who still think there is value in that moral teaching, and are enraged when traditionalists speak out.

I’m OK with admitting there are black and whites, and I will gladly share my take on morality should anyone ask.  I know people disagree with me, and vehemently on some issues.  That is their prerogative.  There are some people who don’t believe morality is relevant any more and nothing I say- or that I can back up with scientific fact- is going to change their opinions.  If you want to have a relationship with a Ford Escort, or dress like a furry, or pretty much whatever, as long as you aren’t killing people, you’re not charging me for it, and you leave me alone, knock yourself out.  Just don’t expect me to announce to the world how wonderful your life choices are.

Nothing That Years of Psychotherapy Won’t Fix, Pragmatic Politics and Obscure History

I’ve never been a true believer in Freudian psychology, especially his premise that all behavior goes back to sex.  If that’s the case, and everything revolves around sex, I’m in really big trouble, because in that regard I am extremely low mileage- as in barely driven off the dealership lot.  That vehicle’s been sitting on the lot so long the tires are dry-rotted and the battery’s dead and the upholstery smells like locker room funk, if my sex life could be compared to a used car.

But it only has 200 miles on it!

I also have problems with the touchy-feely approach that some psychologists take where it’s all about “embracing your inner child.”  When I was a child I didn’t want anyone touching me for any reason.  “Touching” usually involved getting my ass kicked in some sort of way.  I was the geek kid that nobody associated with unless it involved me getting an ass kicking, or it involved someone trying to bribe me to let him/her cheat on a test.   If you’re trying to improve my self-esteem, then why do you want me to “embrace” the geek kid?  I have to wonder about that approach.  I have to wonder about all the hoo-hah about self-esteem.  Today’s kids are all about self-esteem, even if they suck.  I would rather know I suck than have some lying ass pilot fill me full of crap about how great I am.

I was the butt-ugly geek kid.

My childhood was not nice. It was mostly hell.  There were good moments- but they were few and far between.  I won’t blame my parents.  They did the best they could with what they had, and in their defense, they got dropped a raw deal.  There are no child development manuals that could have offered them any help.  No parent asks for a child with physical deficits, and no parent asks for a child whose intellectual, emotional and social development can only be categorized as highly abnormal.   There was no option of specialists or special schools, especially when it was a struggle for them to afford the bare necessities.  Hell, Mom was at the zoo herself most of the time, being bi-polar and untreated- and unpredictable.  Dad was at work just about all of his waking hours- partially out of necessity and partially because he didn’t know if he’d come home to Jekyll or Hyde.  When I say that my grandmother (actually both of them, but more so my Dad’s Mom, who was within running distance) saved my life many times, that is an understatement.  I know Mom probably didn’t appreciate Grandma’s interference (when she was aware of it) but it was Grandma who stormed the principal’s office and kept me from getting the hell beat out of me waiting on the bus.  It was Grandma who took me to the Dr. and stayed with me when I was sick with rheumatic fever.   It was Grandma who gave me a safe place to go when my sisters and/or the neighborhood kids were looking for someone to pummel again.

I will say that Mom’s unpredictability set me up to deal with future coke-head bosses pretty well though.

Given what they had to work with, it’s a miracle that I am vertical, gainfully employed, and not a serial killer.

Needless to say, I have spent several years in various types of counseling- some more effective than others.  The first counselor I went to, when I was 13-16 was tolerable.  Better yet, it didn’t cost my parents anything for me to see her because she was a family friend.  I learned fairly quickly the answers she wanted to hear- no, I’m not going to kill myself, yes, I am thinking positive today (retch,) but truth be told more than anything I appreciated getting out of school early every other Tuesday to sit and pretty much just shoot the shit.  Because she was a family friend, I don’t think she believed me when I told her that my oldest sister was a sadist and a psychopath, but by that time my oldest sister was so much more interested in whatever money and assorted favors she could extort from the boys that she didn’t have much time to waste torturing me.

The second counselor I went to truly wasted my time and money.  About a year after Steve-o was born I was having panic attacks and full-blown PTSD, as well as I was going through a rather nasty separation and divorce.  I thought it a good idea to seek counseling because I truly was freaking out.  The only thing she did after a couple of sessions was to tell me to buy a copy of the book Codependent No More and wished me happy trails.   In hindsight I think it was because I had shitty insurance and she was afraid she wouldn’t get paid.  I got really cynical about the whole counseling thing after that, and figured that mental health must just be too lofty a goal.   So I decided to just deal with life the way I’d always had since I’d become an adult: chain smoking, binge drinking whenever I could, obsessive overwork, and indiscriminate liaisons when I could get away with it.  I was a Ruthless Bitch, and that worked for about seven years- until my physical health really started to go south.

Thankfully my path necessarily changed because of my health failing.  By the grace of God I got back into a relationship with Him and got involved in a church.  Also by the grace of God I gave up smoking.  I went to a counselor for a couple of years who wasn’t in it to either bullshit me or rip off my insurance company, and learned some helpful ways to navigate the way I’m wired and to deal with my past (which is an ongoing project.)  I also acknowledged that I have inherited and organic tendencies toward anxiety and depression that require medical treatment and medication as well, which has helped me deal with PTSD and work beyond it.   It’s a journey, not so much a destination, but I would have to say I am mentally healthier now than at any point in my life, which is almost scary.

I registered to vote on my 18th birthday- for what it’s worth.

This year is another year in which I not only have to be careful not to get caught up in the rhetoric (which is easy for me to do) but I feel as if I have to stand back and look at the election with a pragmatic eye.  Voting for a third party or a write-in, i.e. Ron Paul, Mickey Mouse, Ron Jeremy, Dennis Kucinich or even posthumously, Ronald Reagan, effectively is a vote for Obama.  Staying home and not voting is also effectively a vote for Obama, and it would also take away my right to bitch about him should he be re-elected.  And I am going to bitch about him, re-elected or (hopefully) not- believe it.   I would rather have fire ants poured down my underwear than to be complicit in re-electing the worst president ever, and I state for the record that Obama is The Worst Ever.  Even if I include Pierce, Buchanan, Wilson, Harding, Nixon, Carter and Clinton, Obama takes the Worst Ever prize hands down.

I’m still not a huge fan of Mitt Romney.  The last truly good president this country has seen is Ronald Reagan, and sadly, he’s been in his grave for eight years.  But even though Mitt is no Reagan, I can think of FAR better choices to be sitting in the Oval Office than Obama.

Sheena, the mentally challenged Husky.  Bonus: her birth certificate is just as contrived as Obama’s, but it’s a little more creative.

Ron Jeremy

Karl Pilkington (yes, he’s a Brit, but hey, BO didn’t have to be a citizen!)

The guy on the Quaker Oat box

Satan

Just remember, folks.  The people who voted for Ross Perot bought us 8 years of Bill Clinton.   That was bad, but Obama’s a million times worse.  As much as I hate the adage, “choose the lesser of the two evils,” what do you do when one of the choices is overwhelmingly odious, the other one is less odious, but still not quite good?  <Sigh…>

Independence Day, Historical Education and Various Curiosities

I think this poster to be a fitting theme for Independence Day.  I don’t particularly want to be a subject of King Obama I any more. Neither should anyone else with a brain.  Wake the eff up people!!!!

Oh, and WTF has this post not been saving for some bizarre reason?   This is attempt #3 and it’s really pissing me off.

Yesterday, because it was too hot for me to spend more than a few seconds outside,  I spent most of the day watching the History Channel’s series on the American Revolution, and I learned many interesting facts that either I had forgotten or that were hastily glazed over back when I studied American History in 7th grade.  I have a new sense of admiration for George Washington and his perserverance after watching that series.

Ronald Reagan took office when I was in 7th grade, (January 20, 1981) which was probably the most memorable event of 7th grade for me, so suffice to say a lot of time has passed since then.  I doubt if I had paid as much attention as I should have to history when I was 12 (I was probably paying more attention to Steve Perry than anything else at that time) but I probably remember more than most.

Now I really have to wonder about something.  Why is it the three biggest holes that I have had the bad luck to visit- Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit- have the most corrupt, nut job politicians ever?  Dennis Kucinich, until very recently, represented the Congressional district that includes Cleveland and the surrounding area.  Granted, Cleveland is not the biggest hole on the planet – Chicago is worse, and Detroit is the worst by far- but why do they keep reelecting nut jobs that help ensure that their hole stays a hole?

The only explanation I have, at least in Ohio, is the fact that public employees are pretty much owned by their unions- the unions drove out almost all of the heavy industry years ago, and with the exception of the UAW and a few others in private industry, the bulk of forced unionism in Ohio involves public employees.  So the unions have this huge base of campaign funding for their nut job candidates from their forced membership.  Sadder yet, is that the large majority of public employees in Ohio buy all the garbage their union PACs try so hard to sell.  Right to Work would solve some of the problem of high taxation and government waste and graft in Ohio, but with the captive audience and deep pockets the public employees’ unions have here, I hate to say there will be snowball fights in hell before that happens.  I am sure that most public employees in Ohio would be delighted to know that they have funded (and are funding) the Obama campaign, and they paid for our friend, Dennis Kucinich’s long tenure in Congress as well.

Ok, Dennis, we know if we wear our foil hats the Visitors can’t read our brain waves.  But Karl Marx still can.  He seems to be communicating with you just fine.

I had to deal with bottle rockets in the Cougar Pool again.  Now I think there’s a slow leak in the retaining ring that has caused most of the water to spill out too.  Beauty.  Ohio’s fireworks laws are really weird.  You can buy almost any firework known to man in Ohio- and the rednecks in the Drunk and Domestics do- as long as you sign a form that says you’ll be setting them off out of state.  Right…. These rednecks are going to go 100 miles in any direction to go across the border to set off their Roman candles, bottle rockets, etc.  That’s not happening.

I like fireworks as much as the next redneck, but not in town, and not when it disturbs my dogs so deeply.  I spent most of last night with a 65#, 101.6° bunkie, which was rather hot considering that it’s 95° outside at 10PM and the air conditioner is struggling to keep up.

Even poor Clara, the proud Malinois, is reduced to cowering up in Mommy’s bed when all that loud noise kicks in.  Sheena, however, does not give a damn.  She got all the pork rinds Jerry was giving out last night.

I wish Obama would stay out of Ohio.  It might cool down a bit when he leaves.

I’ve heard enough, thanks.  Go home.