Friday, August 20, 2010

How to be alone, Part 3?

I always find it fascinating when people say, “I’d rather [have that or do this] than be alone,” because, like my co-contributors, I relish in alone-ness like it is a sacred gift from the world itself. Think about it, every day we shuffle ourselves off into the daily grind. There are people at the bus stop, on the T, at work (if you are employed), at stores, at the park, on the street, in our apartments (some might call them roommates, I call them intruders in my life. Kidding!), etc, etc, etc. There comes a point when you need a break from it all. When you need to sit in your bedroom, hair uncombed, with a bag of peanut butter m&ms, a diet coke, and 2 seasons of Pushing Daisies to watch on your antiquated laptop which barely has the technology to post in this blog.

This is not to say I don’t like people. Well, maybe it is, I’ll be honest, I don’t always like people. But even as a child I constantly plotted ways to escape my extremely nice, non-overbearing, relatively amazing family (in the grand scheme of crazy families, anyway). Whether it was through reading a good book (or, rather, any book, consider my obsession with the Trixie Beldon series. Nancy Drew was too cool for me. Krissy knows what I am talking about) or hiding out in my bedroom or climbing a tree, I found my ways to be by myself.

Now that I’ve grown (up), sometimes it seems I am alone in my desire to be alone. (See how I did that?) I’m just so good at disappearing by this point, I don’t even notice my tendency to going into Lone-Wolf mode anymore. I’ve planned vacations and then clued my family in last minute, as an after thought, because I am sure they’d want to know that I will be in a developing country for 2 weeks. I leave the apartment in the morning, return at midnight, with little to no explanation, instigating concerned text messages on a phone that never has the ringer on. If I am bored with a situation, I leave the room, leave the party. My picture is probably next to the definition of the Irish Good-Bye.

The truth is, it doesn’t occur to me that people would ever want to be clued in on the goings on of my little old life. This goes beyond me not wanting people to cramp my style, I’ve just never had anyone in my life that required me to check in. Even as a teenager, I told my parents where I was going and what time I was going to be back and as long as I stuck with that plan I didn’t need to keep them posted along the way. As depressing as this will sound, I consider myself a disposable friend, here when you want me, gone when you don't need me around. Out of sight, out of mind. I blow in and out of people's lives like tumbleweed. Am I done with these metaphors? Yes, yes I think I am.

As I watch friends jump into relationships, connecting their lives with others in a way that goes beyond a Facebook link, I wonder if I will ever be able to pull that off. When people tell me they hate long distance relationships, I am always afraid to admit I secretly dream for that opportunity. Scheduled phone calls, long weekend visits, emails about hopes, dreams, and muppets... that’s the stuff I can do. But if someone wants to see me every day, talk to me every day, it makes me nervous and I start to make excuses why it just won't work if that kind of togetherness is what the other person wants. It's not me to need that.

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place, but I like being on my own. I function well alone. I am comfortable with it. I like to move easily about the cabin that is life, and when you are attached at the hip to someone else, it can be difficult to maneuver. I just haven’t learned the steps to that dance yet, and maybe it’s because I was never ready for it.

But, behind every loner, there is a closet romantic. I want the white picket fence and all that comes with it. I do want that one special person with which to grow old. [And if he is the right person, he will understand my need for personal space in the form of an office/studio space in a converted carriage house out back.] And a few kids, if the fates allow. Definitely a dog. The thing is, all of these hopes and dreams come with a dose of reality. My life isn't that white frosted fantasy I may have once naively imagined. But being alone for so long has made me see what it is I want and what it is I will need to be happy. And this sense of self is all really one can hope for.

Monday, August 16, 2010

How to be alone, part 2

Having been alone my whole life, it's an adjustment NOT being alone. Worse and more difficult than to explain this to friends or random people, is explaining this to someone you're dating. Like Krissy, I have had friends, I have had family.

But before I had friends, I was alone. I didn't have close friends until I was 15 or so. It was a strange concept, which is perhaps why I was so easily convinced once that no one wanted to be my friend-even though they did.

I had a large family, so I was never completely alone. I had 3 brothers, but they had different interests. As much as I pretended to like these interests, or they pretended I wasn't an inconvenience attempting to play sports, I was set apart. In basketball, we came to an agreement that I would stand in one place, which was a "sweet spot" for me, and when given the ball, I would shoot. I think when I sunk a shot, I sang "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John. No wonder I was alone. Even so, my siblings had friends at a much earlier age. At first I probably hated the lonely feeling. Then lonely didn't feel so lonely.

The times when I did want to be alone, I never really was. I brought up the notion of going to the bathroom while another person was showering in the same bathroom. It freaked my boyfriend out. We did it all the time growing up. 7 people and 2 bathrooms. Do. The. Math. Before the age of 24 I only had my own room for 1 year. And then for two years I was an independent, fully employed young man...who lived with his parents. Now that I can be alone...sometimes I just want to.

It's hard now to explain to someone that you choose to be with and who chooses to be with me, that sometimes, I just need to be completely alone. It's probably more often than is "acceptable" and I will keep the quotes because having spent so much time not worrying about societal norms I don't think there is an "acceptable" amount. Perhaps it sounds selfish to the other person when you explain that it is not about them. It has absolutely nothing to with anyone but me. Maybe it takes loners more time to be "good" at a relationship. Again, I keep the quotes because I think the best relationships are formed when two people maintain their strong characteristics. It doesn't mean I love any less.

Being alone you learn a lot about yourself. I'm always told I seem very sure of who I am. Well, I hope so, because I have had more time to work on myself than the average person. And...I like me. Me and myself have had some good times together. The older I get the harder it is to stay in touch with some friends. With jobs, meetings, relationships, family, friends, weddings, parties, hobbies, exercise- there is precious little time for oneself. I have to make more of an effort to find quality time with important people in my life. To catch up with an old friend. Sometimes I need time to catch up with the oldest friend I have.

Follow the advice from the video in part 1. The more you learn about yourself, the better you will be for yourself and others :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

how to be alone, pt 1

So I'm pretty sure if there's one thing we kids at justforscuz can agree on, it's that we love to be alone. We're used to it. We're good at it. Sometimes (gasp!), we even prefer it. I've recently started seeing someone (shocking, I know) and have found myself struggling to explain my fondness for aloneness. I think it's often confused for loneliness, and herein lies the problem. Being alone is a choice, and it's a mighty valid one. Being alone doesn't mean I don't have love, friends, or family. It just means that when I find myself alone with...myself, I am content with the company of my own thoughts.

See? It's not as easy to explain to you as it was to myself. One point for being alone! Anyways, here is someone much more eloquent to explain how I feel...

Monday, May 10, 2010

That's my main b*tch!

You should be listening to Melanie Fiona, if you're not already. Her music samples a lot of good oldies songs- this is my favorite track.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A coworker showed me a feature on LiveStrong called MyPlate. It's kind of awesome and I've been playing on it all day.

What it basically is, is a food and fitness tracker. To create a profile you enter your information (gender, height, weight, and activity level) and your goal (weight management, lose 1 pound a week, lose 1.5 a week, etc.) What I really like about it is that is has everything for food, and very specific. It had the exact type of whole wheat wraps I eat, and Dunkin' Donuts bagels versus just "bagel." In fact, even TruBlood is an option, if you are a TV vampire living in the Bayou. I also entered my morning run, and it tracks time, speed, and distance to calculate calories burned.

As a Weight Watchers graduate (not that I paid for it or went to meetings-shhh!), I think this is a great product, because it is a user-friendly way to track calories in and calories out. The Weight Watchers system works on this principle, but simplifies the calories into points (a point is about 50 calories, factoring for fat and fiber).

For those who are interested or need it, the site also gives specific percentages on your intake of calories from carbs, protein, and fat. For the truly obsessive or those with specific health goals, you can track sodium, cholesterol, and sugar.

I may fall in and out of keeping up with this site, but then I've done that with my weight loss efforts for 5 years, and this is another thing that I can always go back to.


People, particularly en masse, are stupid. At a bar last night, there was a vote on what to listen to, while on the TVs the Red Sox and the Celtics were on. The choices were: music, the Red Sox, or the Celtics. My vote, because I am not at all interested in the Celtics, and would like to be able to watch the Red Sox, but also listen to music, was music. Besides it being a more pleasant sound, you can't SEE music. To be fair to everyone, since two out of three choices possess the ability to be seen AND heard, music should have been the defaulted decision.

The vote was conducted by who could be the loudest. Music was first. I said, "Ooo ooooo!" and a few other people cheered. Red Sox were second. Not very many votes there. Celtics were last. Here's the thing: if you leave a choice for last in a noise-conducted poll, you are already giving it unfair advantage. Everyone knows how loud the first groups were, and therefor exactly how loud they need to be. They could even be fairly quiet, as long as the decibel level is greater than the groups before. Because of this, we will never really know if people liked Screech and Lisa's dance the best on "Saved by the Bell." Applause-o-meter? I think not.

Speaking of screech, the Celtics won the applause-o-meter vote in this case. The Celtics? Basketball? Really? THAT'S what you want to listen to? Music doesn't hurt anything-you can still SEE what's going on. Do you really need some old dudes to tell you what already happened, or read the stats to you off the screen? Most of the time, they're just gossiping or talking about inside jokes that only the two of them get. My second vote would be for baseball. You get the spring night-time sounds, the crowd, the crack of the bat, the umpire calling the pitches.

But, no, we're gonna listen to basketball. Screech-screech-dribble dribble-airhorn-whistle-screech screech-buzzer-screech, 7-foot dudes falling on the floor. The only good noise in basketball is a swish and I don't think you can even hear that on TV.

Big mistake.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My legacy

I posted this on a friend's Facebook page, because it's amazing:

And he posted it on his blog, for the New York Times.

Mindless Minute

So, I have changed the world and left a mark. I can die now.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just keep driving... just keep driving

Comparably speaking, I've never been someone who has a lot of road rage. Yes, I get bouts of it from time to time... you know, the feelings that start to grow inside of you in an uncontrollable way and you risk turning into the Hulk at an inopportune moment. But, road rage isn't usually part of my driving repertoire. In fact, I was in the car with my sister one time when this woman pulled out of nowhere, cut me off, and almost hit me, and she said, "Ahh! Beep at her!" And I said, "What? Now? Huh?" because my initial response to other people's poor driving skills is to just say, "Jeez. That was annoying" and then move on with my life. Until now.

Since I drive almost 2 hours a day during 2 rush hours in the greater Boston area, I am on the road with pretty much every single Masshole there ever was in the history of the world. I don't care about the big stuff. Sure, zip in front of me while driving like a maniac. I honestly don't mind. But, disasters are in the details and I have quite a few comments on the little things people do that really bug me. Here goes.

Driving Etiquette
An Essay
By Anita Rackow

There are some very basic rules of the road that everyone should know about. The first one has to do with lanes. If you don't know what lane to be in while driving in on a major MA freeway, let me refresh your memory. The right hand lane is for merging onto the highway and for those getting off the highway. The middle lane is for traveling at a reasonable speed. The left hand lane is for passing.

Sometimes there isn't a lot of time to merge onto the highway before the next exit comes up. If you are trying to catch that next exit and someone else is trying to get on.... slow down. Let them merge into the right hand lane while you sneak in behind them to take the exit. Do not speed up and drive alongside them so they can't finish merging. Do not shout expletives at them (they can't hear you anyway) because they are in between you and the exit. If you are doing those things, you are the reason that person is panicking because they think they are going to be forced to take the exit that brings them right back to the highway they were just on, only going in the opposite and wrong direction, when they are already 15 minutes late to work.

Did I mention that the right hand lane is for exiting? I understand traffic and being a granny-type driver and the need to sometimes move into the right hand lane early because you just need to go a little slower than the people in the middle lane are driving. Please resist. Suck it up and go the 65 mph speed limit for crying out loud so the people who need to exit don't get stuck in the world's worst traffic jam because you are in their lane an exit early. When you are on a 4 lane highway, you especially do not need to be in the right hand lane. Ever. So move it. I want to take the exit for 95 North and you are in my way. A note to the people who think they are being tricky by driving in the breakdown lane in order to get to the exit more quickly. (A) I watched a police officer single-handedly pull over and ticket at least 15 vehicles who did that just the other day so there's that little bit of karma headed your way and (B) Really? You really can't wait 1 extra minute to inch along 1/4 of a mile to the exit in the normal lane?

The speed limit
I'm not opposed to anyone who goes over the speed limit, but if you are going under the speed limit on a sunny day with no traffic in sight, I might reach out my window and smack you as I drive by. It's just annoying. Those people are tricky to pass because I am always the last one to notice that all of a sudden I am driving 40mph on a 65mph highway and so the cars behind me are hopping into the left hand lane and whizzing by without letting me in to do the same. The only people who have a slow driving excuse are those whose cars have bumpers taped on by duct tape or Christmas trees strapped to the roof. Everyone else better go at least the speed limit if not a conservative 5 to 10 mph over.

I hate it when people beep at me for no reason. The other day I was stuck behind a bus. It just happened to me like an unfortunate cold sore and I couldn't do anything about it. So I sat there waiting until the bus was able to move along. Lo and behold, the beeping started from cars behind me. Hi. There is a bus in front of me. I can't get past it. Don't beep at me because of a bus sitting in front of me like a bump on a log. I have to wonder if the cars behind me think that we are going to do some sort of orchestrated beep along to get the bus to move ahead in a more timely manner. I refuse to participate in that sort of juvenile behavior. Instead of beeping at people who can't do anything about a situation, take the time you have to file your nails, check facebook, or write a text to your boss explaining why you are late for the 7th day in a row.

I also hate when people beep at me because they did something wrong. For instance, I was entering a CVS parking lot while someone was trying to exit. For safety purposes, one side of the lot has a designated entrance and the other is for the exit. I was going into the entrance. The person was going out of the entrance. He beeped at me. Oh, please excuse me sir. I am sorry for trying to enter in the entrance and got in your way while you broke the rules. Wait just one second while I hop out of my car and use my roommate's ice scraper (that I happened to commandeer one snowy morning and never returned) to ineffectively smash your windows in. Did that ruin your day? Did it? Well I am truly sorry but you also ruined mine so we are even.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Wolfman

The Wolfman, an updated version of the classic monster story, offers pretty much what you expect. A man is going to get bit, he's going to become a wolf, he's going to kill, and he's going to be killed. You know from the beginning who is going to kill him. There really aren't a lot of surprises or originality in store.

Perhaps the only new concept is that there is another wolfman. From this point, or even before, it doesn't take a genius to figure out there will be a wolf-on-wolf showdown. Instead of following in the classic tradition of Wolfman vs. Dracula or Wolfman vs. Frankenstein we have Wolfman vs. Wolfman. In a way, he's facing off with himself. It would seem poignant except that the character development is presented in flashbacks that are quick and choppy and feature effects not in keeping with the pacing and look of the rest of the film. In fact, they take away from the overall feel. So, I don't really care about the character's inner demons. The outer demon is much more interesting.

Although formulaic, the movie is entertaining. There are a few good quick scares. The attack scenes keep a balance between suggestive shadows and blood splatters and more modern heads being cut off and stomachs being torn open right in front of us. The effects are good and I give the movie a lot of credit for opting more for makeup and costumes over too much CG. The wolfman character himself is well-adapted from the classic Universal monster. No one is going to win any awards for this picture, but it didn't slaughter the original.

Rating: 5 out of 7 stars

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No connexion

Even longer than I've been on the Cupe as I now call it, I've been on Connexion.

I recently got a message from someone without a picture. Call me shallow (we know it wouldn't be the first time), but attraction is important. Also, not having a picture shows a lack of confidence. Or it means you're sketchy. I decided to message him back.

On 1/27/2010 at 6:10 PM ****** wrote:
how are u?

1/28/2010 at 12:20 AM Tim wrote:
I'm great. Living the life. Having a face. You?


i can have a face too hit me up

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So-so cupid

I signed up for OkCupid, after hearing someone had found a boyfriend on there. Overall, it's pretty terrible. More on that in a future post. One of the biggest problems is that no one knows how to talk to people. I guess it makes sense that they have to find someone online. I find that sad, because there are a lot of great people out there and we're all going to be avoiding online dating (which I think in theory could work and does work) because it's full of creeps. Here is my favorite message thus far:

"Nice teeth ! lol :} And the fact you actually joined the day of my birthday Dec 26 ! I laughed when I read that ! Whats with all of your filters, You look like your in your 40s,and one filter says cant be older than 33 LOL My last boyfreind was an abercrombie and fitch underwear model,see what your missing out on by being super shallow ?"

This was sent by a 36 year old. He was filtered from sending me a message because I don't want to date 36 year olds, and that's my prerogative. Conventional wisdom might instruct me to ignore this kind of douchebag and move on. I didn't let it get to me. I have been called a lot of things- arrogant, mean, an asshole, evil. I've never been called shallow. And I look exactly 27.5. I get carded. Even with a beard. I'm a little nugget. So we don't ignore such uninvited animosity.

"Humor doesn't come across in writing sometimes. Plus there was no "jk" or :) so I guess you're just being a prick for no reason. I hardly look like I'm in my 40s. So did the shallow Abercrombie model dump you for a younger model? We're almost as good a match for enemy as dating. I can see why. No one who knows me has ever called me shallow.

By the way you used the wrong your/ you're twice, but I know it's been about 25 years since your last grammar lesson."

I wanted to go meaner and really go for the gut. I find though that sometimes you should respond with a touch of restraint and a hint of class. Or maybe I'm too shallow to cut him deep.