Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. There is a word that has wrecked our ability to truly appreciate the complexities of other people's appearances:

Pretty - adj. a: Pleasing by delicacy or grace b: having conventionally accepted elements of beauty

Once "pretty" is settled on, the person hearing the description is immediately short changed. Come to think of it, so is the person described.

I don't have anything against "pretty" people. There are plenty of pretty people, male and female, that I can't help but stare at, enjoy the contours of their faces, so on and so forth. However this may be - obeying my centuries evolved instinct to marvel at pretty and try to possess it myself - the very description - Pretty- doesn't mean anything.

Taking up perch on Pretty, robs us of the opportunity to enjoy and marvel at "Unique", "Square", "Bulbous", "Spotty", "Mustachioed" or "Cavernous".

(There are a lot of P's in here.)

2. North Carolina's state motto is
Esse Quam Videri: To Be, Rather Than to Seem

3. The other day, I mentioned a hot cattle brand, burning an image into the brain. At the moment I typed it, I shuddered a little at the thought. But then I remembered that the brain itself feels no actual pain.

I wasn't sure if this is an urban legend. I recall the scene in that terrible movie, "Hannibal" in which Anthony Hopkins cuts out and eats a portion if Ray Liotta's grey matter, Hopkins making the ominous statement that the brain feels no pain.

I looked it up (with an exhaustive two word search, I tell you, on Google. Never let it be said that I don't know how to do my research.) and it appears to be true.

This plays neatly into my ongoing skirmish between my two selves: the body and the mind (each having a "mind" of its own). Here we have an organ that can feel no pain itself, but can perceive pain, both physical and emotional. So, who (what) is the brain perceiving pain for? Why, the body, of course. But where is my body's mind? Is it the physical organ of the brain?

And where am I in all this? I can see them competing with one another, while I sit in the empty football stadium wearing colors for both teams, unsure of who to cheer for.

I guess that's what it's like if you are a Sox AND a Cubs fan.

4. If you make an agreement with yourself, keep it, no matter how small. It's like cheating at solitaire if you don't: no one else will know, but you. There may be no perceptible or immediate consequence to such a thing, but one day, this tiny erosion will make itself known to you.

Repairs are so much more trouble than they are worth. A stitch in time saves the the glass house...or something.

5. The craggly old dude selling you shoes might be totally drunk, but when he offers sweet aphorisms about inner peace, you really can't fault the guy.

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