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November 29, 2004 - 10:24 am

THINGS I'VE LEARNED (AND SOME UNSOLICITED ADVICE)

1. Guilt and worry are your sub-conscious mind’s way of checking your behavior. No matter what the self-help books tell you about what a good person you are, you know deep down inside whether you are doing the right thing or not. The longer you ignore this little voice in favor of the soothing reassurances from your psychologist, agent, or best friend, the harder it will be to fix what’s wrong.

2. In my experience, Thai curry is the single most painful food substance you can get in your eye.

3. Most people don’t think very much about anything more than what they see every day or put forth any effort toward the completion of a mildly difficult task. Anything requiring more than about five minutes of concentration seems to present an unwelcome challenge. Maybe other people are simply incapable of living up to my expectations because I am some sort of fluke of nature who actually cares about doing a good job with what I am attempting, whether it’s playing SET, scrubbing the toilet, or saving the world…again.

4. Nazis make the best bad guys.

5. I am so over the black-white thing, the race card, or whatever you want to call it. Both whites and blacks in the south are trapped by the attitudes of our grandparents and some unfortunate and unintended results of the civil rights movement. Many whites inherited guilt for something they had no part in, and many blacks inherited the crippling effects of the welfare system and, to some degree, affirmative action and quotas. What began necessarily and justly as a movement for the rights of blacks to the same opportunities to work and achieve what whites were able to achieve became somehow, for many blacks (in the south, at least), twisted into the fight for an assumed entitlement to the rewards of what both blacks and whites previously had gained through hard work. That is a generalization, but a valid and supportable one. And I've travelled enough to know it is not like that everywhere.

6. Children are weird. This can be either funny or very disturbing, depending on your mood and proximity to them at any given time.

7. Social Security should not be privatized. Just because the stock market was at an all time high for a few years in a row does not mean it always will be. This strategy is short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible.

8. If you weigh 112 pounds and you take a single over the counter sleeping pill at 12:30am, don’t plan on opening your eyes at 6:00am. Or 7:00am. 8:00am is pushing it. In fact, don’t expect to function as a normal human being until at least 9:00am and only then after two cups of strong coffee. Oh, and you will need a spa towel to quell the flow of drool from your mouth to your pillow case as you regain consciousness.

9. If you ever experience the effects of a bomb first-hand – I mean you are THERE when it goes off and you feel the earth shake and see shit flying apart – you will never forget it. You also will be appropriately sober and certain before jumping on the bandwagon to send young men and women to war.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
viewing - Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
listening -"Autumn Leaves" -Miles Davis' Version

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