Monday, October 03, 2016

Monday morning thoughts

* Had what I hope is a little breakthrough this morning. I was gearing up to work out, and something crossed my mind I was concerned about (never mind what). And I told myself, "This is just you being anxious; this is how you feel when you let something make you anxious. You don't have any control over it and if it needs to be dealt with, you can do it later." (I had gotten into a pattern of, when something like this Thing popped into my head, I would immediately go and check on it - yes, even stopping a workout or even setting down my knitting in the middle of a row).

I can tell I've gotten more anxious in the past couple years and I need to work on doing stuff like telling myself that kind of thing - that if it isn't a matter of a grease fire on the stove (i.e., something that my IMMEDIATE action can control) I can wait until a convenient time to deal with it.

I know my being anxious over stuff costs me a lot of grief. I used to be less anxious than I am but I wonder if it's a side effect of aging, or taking more slings and arrows to my hypothetical knee ("I used to be able to roll with stuff, but then I took a lot of arrows to my hypothetical knee"). I mean, I was never 100% care-free and honestly I was a pretty anxious little kid, but in the past few years it had gotten worse, to the point of my telling myself, if things keep getting worse you're going to HAVE to go on another got-danged medication to try to control this.

Outside chance is that this fall's trouble was allergies and whatever it was that was flowering has now quit.

* Apparently today is Mean Girls day? The "It's October 3rd" thing is making the rounds on Twitter. I had to look it up. I never saw the movie - well, actually, I tried to watch it once (I THINK it was Mean Girls I tried to watch) but gave up not very far in because I couldn't get past all the gratuitous swearing. I'm not a TOTAL prude about cuss words, but I tend to think the biggies should be reserved for dire situations and not just thrown around randomly.

And yeah, I get that it's a movie about *taking down* the mean-girls clique, but I spent enough time as the target of mean-girl behavior to not want to experience it again, even vicariously. (more in junior high than in high school though - at high school a lot of us were big nerds and I actually managed to find my own little group)

(Actually, maybe it was "Heathers" I tried to watch and gave up on because of all the gratuitous swearing; I see Mean Girls is PG-13).

But the whole idea of cliques - just as it is human nature to form them, I think, taken to its extreme, it could be one of the things that destroys us. The whole "us" and "them" thing. I mean, it's fine to prefer to want to, I don't know, go do stuff with people who are interested in the same sport or hobby as you are - but when you start setting your group up as better than all the other groups, that's when trouble starts.

* One movie where there was (at least one) swear word that seemed to be okay at the time...

I watched part of "Mystery Men" (which ran on one of the Encore channels, which, inexplicably, I get). I had heard of this movie only a few years ago but it's about 20 years old now. It's an odd movie but odd in the way that I tend to love odd movies. So much so I ordered the dvd (it was cheap) so I can see it again (and watch it all the way through this time).

It's fundamentally about a group of misfit super heroes - people with weird or fairly useless powers (e.g., there's a guy who can turn invisible, but only if no one is looking at him) who wind up having to save their city. Part of the fun of the movie is the fact that it's an ensemble cast of "famous" people - William H. Macy is probably the "most serious" actor of all of them (He is The Shoveler, a sewer worker who wants greater fame). But it also has Janeane Garafolo and a post-Pee Wee (and I can't remember for sure, but maybe post-adult-movie-theater-incident) Paul Rubens (as The Spleen, who has a truly disgusting power). And Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious, whose main power is getting really mad. And my favorite: Hank Azaria as The Blue Raja, who is a cutlery-throwing fancy-dresser who does an effete British accent (It's made clear the accent is put on and it does sound like Azaria is pretty much channeling Terry-Thomas).

And because my useless super power is apparently seeing meaning in things that maybe aren't meant to have it, what I took home from the movie - especially given The Shoveler's role - is that a lot of us out here really do long to be a "superhero" of sorts, and we don't get the chance, and most of us do jobs where we feel kind of neglected and unimportant....but that maybe there are times where we, or we plus a group of coworkers, friends, whatever, maybe there are times we can genuinely do some good. Oh, maybe not saving a city from a doomsday device, but something. That we want to feel like we're doing something significant, but the way life works, a lot of what we do doesn't feel that way, even though it might actually be significant.

Anyway, the swear word - towards the end, something is going really wrong, and suddenly, The Blue Raja says "Oh s***' And it was funny to me partly because it was unexpected (though again, this is actually "Jeff," a 30-something dude apparently still living with his mother in California or wherever this movie is supposed to be set) because up to this point the Blue Raja has used very flowery, very proper language.

(Actually, it probably struck me funny because that would probably be me in some very dire situation - I almost never swear but will confess to once or twice (or perhaps a bit more than that) in my life said that very word when things went seriously South. Normally I use more Southern-Lady type expressions, but....)

* Surprisingly sore this morning doing the workout; I guess chasing after monarchs was more strenuous than I realized. (It involved a lot of running around, much of it over uneven ground - I stepped in a hole a couple times and am glad I didn't twist an ankle or worse. That's my biggest "realistic" fear about being out in the field - that I'll injure an ankle to the point where it's hard to walk back out, and if I'm out at one of the little local sites alone, I'd be in some trouble. At least there if I hurt myself there'd have been people who could have helped)

The trainer my parents go to claim that you're actually more sore the SECOND day after a hard workout or a new routine and there may be something to that.

* The unhappy athlete (the one who wanted me to come in Sunday afternoons to give free tutoring) e-mailed me. All of a sudden this student has time free when I have office hours. Hm. I am wondering if this is a question of eligibility and if this person's coach essentially said, "Go in and get tutoring or you're off the team" or if the student was trying to grub for either extra credit or for me to just break down and give them a better grade. (Doesn't work that way, sorry.)

And yeah, I'm going to mention that I permit recording of lectures PROVIDED the student agrees to delete the recordings after the semester (and I realize that's very much an honor-system thing but whatever). I have one person who records my ecology lectures and I'm fine with that (though this is someone I know slightly from his having been in the department, and I trust him pretty well not to abuse the recording privilege).

But it does seem interesting to me that something that was presented as an insurmountable problem suddenly isn't so insurmountable.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I love the Blue Raja so much. I wish I had a Blue Raja in my daily life. (altho I fully admit, that he might get annoying after awhile. I just find him delightful)