Of Ethically Appraising Persons and People

Posted by Billy on Friday, March 12, 2010 in , ,
More often than not, persons are kind, well-intentioned, and loving - even if they express it poorly or are ill-informed.
More often than not, people are nasty, ill-meaning, and self-loving - even if they accidentally do positive things as a result.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I love almost everyone I know. This jives pretty well with the first of the two statements above. There are a few exceptionally mean people, but for the most part I posit that mean actions of persons typically correspond with imperfect information or ineptly expressed emotions. I'm sure we can all think of a few personal examples of both, and doing so helps to realize that it is likely often the same case in others. I believe most any individual can be said to "mean well" most of the time. One of the strong points of Kantian ethics is that good intentions are all that matters in ethical evaluation of an individual agent. It follows that most individuals are ethically good folks, even if they sometimes particiapte in ethically poor actions.

What anyone who knows me may not be able to tell you is that my optimism for the kindness of individuals does not extend to collective consciousness. Groups of people, acting together, tend to show characteristics like discompassion, nationalism/exceptionalism, greed, and destructiveness. This group could be a nation, a corporation, a political party, a club (a Klan, perhaps?), or even a social clique.

Taken together, I think these two statements constitute one of the most important "life lessons" I've come by since high school. That hateful people does not equal hateful persons is a vital realization if one wishes to go through life paying attention to the surroundings, but without becoming a bitter, solitary misanthrope. Conversely, it is also helpful to be aware that, despite perhaps knowing a multitude of beautiful persons, one oughtn't expect to see the same in the newspaper.

An important caveat is that this idea does not preclude culpability. If you (I use the general "you" here) participate in any sort of group hatred, you may be an otherwise kind individual, but you are still guilty of being hateful. That is to say, you are committing an ethically deplorable action, even if you are an ethically good agent. For whatever reason, you think your hatred is "for the best." Well, perhaps musing on the kindness of individuals and the contrasting nastiness of groups will help you realize that it is not, and be a little more accepting. And perhaps we can someday solve the mystery of how a collection of persons, who are each kind and loving individuals, can become a people that is selfish and hateful. The world may never know.


Years since high school: 7

Posted by Eli Horowitz on Tuesday, March 09, 2010

No, don't get me wrong - seven years seems like the absolute minimum amount of time it's been. Especially when you figure that I've got about six more of these seven-year periods left before I hit the average lifespan, it's hard to look at it all at once. And since I was ebriated* for practically the whole time - a rarity among my friends and acquaintances - it's hard to distill all seven of those years into "one life lesson that sticks out that I've learned since I graduated from high school." But fuck it, right? What's the worst that could happen.
*This is the positive form of "inebriated," is it not?

After much (okay, the bare minimum of) thought, I've decided that this is my life lesson:
If someone isn't listening, just give up on talking.
As with all life lessons and similar pieces of patched-together folk wisdom, do not try to apply this at all times or in all situations. Like, if you're talking to your doctor and somebody else runs up with an emergency, don't take that as a sign that you should find a new doctor (or, worse, abandon real medicine for homeopathy or Christian scientism). Okay? So don't sue me or my sometime hosts because you took my life lesson too literally.

Here's the thing, though: most everyone you'll meet is going to have working aural mechanisms** and interpretive linguistic faculties to match. Further, most of that high-functioning group will also know certain basics about how to think and relate to other people - logic, open-mindedness, deference to evidence, empathy, that sort of thing. They might not always use these basics, but even Michael Jordan screwed up now and then.*** Still, doesn't it seem like people should be reasonable? Doesn't it seem like they should be helpful, forthright, giving of themselves, and sensitive to others' needs? How, in short, can a rational, open-minded, evidence-respecting, empathic person not display a certain level of kindness?
**If those words are too big for you, substitute "ears."
***Another, related life lesson: playing baseball is always a misstep.

Damned if I know. But we manage somehow.

People, it bears repeating, are in general stupid, ill-mannered, lazy, and deceptive; put Hobbes and Sartre together and you'll get it about right: hell is having to deal with other people's nasty and brutish lives. Worse yet, other people are necessary. They're the ones who hire us and sign our checks, who farm our food, who build large cubes for us to sit in so that we don't freeze to death or get trampled to death by an irate ibex - fill in your own Fight Club-esque monologue here. Combined with how insufferable they can be, this reliance on people leads to a frustrating quandary: do you keep trying to get what/need you want from people who couldn't care less or do you settle for whatever they'll give you?

The line, tragically, is not nearly clear enough for me to define it - not with words, not with actions, probably not even if you and I shared a psychic link. But I know this much for sure: the returns diminish very quickly when you look to other people. (See, as a particularly brutal but well-formed example of this, the excellent A Serious Man.) The shades of this phenomenon are myriad and not worth discussing; you'll know it when you see it. And no, I'm not going to say that the answer is always "in you" the whole time or that it's all a matter of luck: the former is plainly a lie and the latter makes morality a joke. All I can say is that it's not your fault when the people around you are unwilling or incapable and that it's foolhardy to continue using a crutch that you know has rusted through. Fall if you have to fall, and don't throw good words after bad trying to purchase a service that was never for sale.


All the Kings Horses, and All the Kings Men...

Posted by Des on Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I despise silence and love it. The loud quiet, endless room for possibility, the unknown, future dreams. I can even, with focus, make the thoughts that trip over themselves in my head whisper whisper whisper until there is no sound in my mind beside the rasp of air as it moves through my lungs.

I treasure the shared silences more. You, sitting there. Me, here. And nothing need be said because, in that moment, we know it all already.

Most quiet is almost always interrupted by the near constant ringing in my ears. Due to years of loud music pumping into my ears, there is now rarely a moment without a buzz and I try to stifle this silent lack of silence with contemplation and, ever since liz posted the call for blogs on life lessons, i've filled the quiet thinking on what i've learned. I'm making lists in my head, measuring what lessons are worthy of writing, struggling to be honest with myself. I've learned a million lessons in the past five years and have had to relearn some of them until there's that final moment of ultimate realization and I can add up all the wasted hours relearning what i should have had down to begin with. Tres embarrassing. But, through much (near) silent struggle, I've mangled the list until there is one lesson left that I've learned and still fumble with regularly: You fall, and you pick up the pieces. I do believe Jimmy Eat World says it best---

It just takes some time,
little girl, you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be alright.

There have been moments, countless, in which i've let this depression strangle me until all i can see is what is lacking and what is broken. Instead of finding some emotional super glue, I would assume that what is broken is beyond repair and let myself flounder in self-pity and desperate sadness. Always, I'd cuddle up to this pessimistic world-view: happiness is ever unattainable and you flounder and drown until you find your way to the grave. Every failure was the end of the world. It is easy to live in such a world view because nothing is ever your fault. This and this happened. So and so broke your heart. No one understands you. No one loves you. It is all so tragically poetic to you, and that, at least, is something.

I think this might be a lesson everyone learns, or needs to, at some point, even if you are a happy, emotionally stable human being. Because, many times, we let mistakes we make go by unnoticed, ignoring the things we break, perhaps shuffling them under a rug. We let hurt pull us under.

You fall. YOU. And you are capable of putting your life back together again. Or your broken heart. Or your slightly damaged GPA. We are all in the middle of some kind of ride, whether it is some terrifying rollercoaster or a merry-go-round. We are in the MIDDLE, nowhere near the end and you have so much time to make use of, so much life to live that slight creaks and groans in the mechanics of it all shouldn't bring you down. There's always WD-40, you know. And, with work, everything can be just fine. But it takes work. You don't, for example, find out your grandfather has died and magically be happy one day somewhere down the road.

You have to make yourself better. And there's hard work there.

SUPERFLUOUS SIDE NOTE: every time i write a post for this blog, i jumble metaphors and allude to vague things that i never mention again. there is much confusion in what i write, but also much confusion in my head most of the time. So, let's just call this mess stream of conscious. Or something...


Time to put on your try hard pants.

Posted by Ryan R. on Tuesday, March 02, 2010
It's been quite a crazy start these last 3 months. I've moved out, suspending my employment, and made up for lost time. The weekdays have been spent doing school work, which I've never done before, and the weekends are spent partying. Sacrificing your weekend nights serving really puts a strain on your party life. So I've put some time into catching up on all the things I missed.

The apartment is still a naked shell with only shreds of furniture and objects in it. At least I have a coffee table I can put my feet up on, even it that means possibly spilling my water. There are still things that are missing; I would like to get a dinner table so I have a place to throw my junk mail or invite guests over for dinner. Also a nightstand to put a little lamp on and for someplace I can hit my alarm clock off. A bookshelf would be nice but not necessary, but I would like to display all my smarty pants books. I want all this stuff in order to fill up the empty void of space. I want to feel like I'm walking into a "home" and not feeling like a hotel resident. In time things will start to materialize, but I don't think I'll truly be satisfied until I buy my own home and there is a dog running around in the back yard. The future is a scary but exciting thing to think about.

Something to munch on for Tuesday's Lunch. Words are part of a balanced diet.

If you don't want a full meal, you can always check out my tumblr for little snacks during your day.



We Want You For Our Second Blog Series

Posted by Lizzie on Monday, March 01, 2010
March is going to have a theme. I'm really interested in life lessons. Let's all help each other and learn.

Matt had one of his high school yearbooks out yesterday and I realized how long ago high school was for me and for pretty much everyone else I know. I mean, long enough ago that we've all changed probably almost entirely but not so long ago that we can't summarize the highlights and remember the things we've accomplished and information we've processed and experiences we've had.

So, I want you to pick one life lesson that sticks out that you've learned since you graduated from high school or a life lesson that you think is the most important thing you've learned since then or a couple lessons that go together that you feel are particularly significant in some way that you picked up since then or anything else that goes along with that type of theme. I'm sure you get the picture. We're just using "since high school" as a somewhat arbitrary measure of time to focus these lessons a bit. This is the spot for all premature quarter-life crises, after all.

It's crazy to me to think about how after high school we kind of branch off and do our own things. We separate from the pack more than ever and start our life journeys. Whether you went to college or got a job right away or traveled the world or anything like that, I'm curious to know how it changed you. I want to time capsule this shit because in another 4-8 years, we're going to realize how long ago it was that we were in our early twenties and at that point, I'm going to hunt you all down again and make you reflect once again and then compare. Because in 4-8 years, we'll all be entirely different than we were all over again.

Also, with your entry, please include the number of years since you graduated from high school. I'm just curious about that. It's for my own personal self-indulgence. And maybe others will find it interesting as well.

Send any contribution or inquiry/comment/concern to bettermakeitfast@gmail.com or contact Ryan and/or I directly. If you have your own blog, we can add you as a blog contributor and you can post under your own account. Also, spread the word. Tell your friends to do it. I'd love to have a variety of entries.


I Wish I Could Do Better By You 'Cause It's What You Deserve

Posted by Lizzie on Sunday, February 28, 2010
Can I take all that back? Let's just forget Feburary 13th happened.

I came home from New Orleans. I drank a lot to have fun because Pittsburgh didn't seem fun enough on its own. The jobless misery set in again right away and I was bumming. Still depressed as fuck. It was like going away did nothing to ease that like I thought it would. I came home more angsty than ever. I still felt useless.

And I was totally ok with how I was acting. I was acting like a petulant child and I knew it and I had no intention of changing. I really had no desire to pull myself out of it. I probably dug myself in even more because I refused to accept the fact that I was back and it was still snowy and I still didn't have a job so then I decided to hate everything else too.

So, I kept up with this bitter thing for about a week. 'Til it all clicked in my head and I made one of those lists of all the things to be thankful for and it re-grounded me. Unfortunately, the aftershocks of the damage that I'd wreaked were yet to come...

On Friday night, I got PLASTERED in a way I've never been plastered before in my life. Earlier that day, things had changed and I was happy again. I was focused again. I accepted Pittsburgh and my life again. So, it seemed like a night that was fit for celebrating. And I started early and drank almost an entire bottle of vodka by myself and passed out by 10. I mean, I rallied again with the help of some friends and was back downstairs at the party by 1. But there were definitely parts I'm ashamed of. I hate who I am when I'm that drunk. Personally, to me, a lot of my drunk behavior is really kind of unacceptable. Blacking out is never a good idea. So, that night combined with two South Side outings last weekend during which I also said and did things I don't remember basically add up to me feeling like an immature piece of shit. I'm 22. Shouldn't I be over this by now? So, the first aftershock is a personal one. I feel like I've let myself down.

The second primary aftershock is the worst because it involved me hurting other people. Especially one of the people I care about the most right now. And we've all experienced that shitty feeling that happens after you've done that. And it makes you not want to do that ever again. If you're depressed or bitter or angry or sad and someone cares about you enough to be close to you and see all that and experience it in tandem, you kind of drag them down with you. Which is the most compelling incentive for not being depressed or bitter or angry or sad that I've ever encountered. Sometimes when you are that way, there's nothing you can do to help it. I know that depression is a real thing. And I'm still bitter and bumming. But hearing these things from someone that I care about makes me want to try 100,000,000 times harder to be better and happier and not focus on the negatives. And motivation is the first step in recovering.

And this blog was probably not of any use to anyone but myself, but it felt cathartic and like it brought closure to all that stupid angst that previously came out of my head.

But here's the take home lesson which actually may be of use to someone: Focusing on negatives and how you'd rather be anywhere but where you are or in any situation but the one you're in makes where you are seem even worse than it actually is. This can be anything from a physical place to a work environment to a bout of bad luck or anything else. Embrace the good people that are around you. It's been my experience that people can make anything worthwhile. Refusing to recognize all but the bitter aspects of life hurts the people you love the most. They'll help you (to the best of their ability) pull out of it, but 90% of the work has to come from you. You can push people away faster than you think. Ultimately, if you continue on in your depressed and bitter ways, you could lose them. And it will be just one more thing to be depressed and bitter about except then it will have been all YOUR fault. And that's actually really something to be depressed about. Finally, alcohol in excess is never a good idea, whether it be to take the edge off the bitterness or to celebrate that it's gone.

It's likely that I will continue to be depressed for some time because that's just the nature of this kind of thing. I'll still cry for no reason. I'll still feel absolutely frustrated and useless. But after dealing with these two different types of consequences, I think I'm ready to refocus and start to pull myself out of it. For the sake of my well-being and the fact that I owe it to the people I love to be happy. Because they're nothing short of wonderful. And there are still SO many lessons to learn. I kind of thought my growing pains were over until now.

I hate 22. It's hard.

"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength." - August Wilson


Farewell To The City And The Love Of My Life

Posted by Lizzie on Saturday, February 13, 2010
At least we left before we had to go
- Ryan Adams, New York, New York

Wow, two part entry tonight.

2 feet of snow will do this to you. Years of missed opportunities will do this to you. Plus, I have to skip sake bombs tonight because I'm broke. But then again, I'm only that broke because I'm going to New Orleans to live wildly with Julia next week and experience Mardi Gras for the first time. So, maybe that's not really a significant factor. But, I mean, bummed out moods make you do crazy things.

Moving on the actual point here, I've expanded my employment search. It's now a national search. Fuck you, Pittsburgh. One application to Oregon put in. That way I can get law school connections. Two applications to NYC are pending. That way I can be closer to my sister.

The world won't wait, so I better shake

I'm not wasting my time in this place. I'm not staying here until something happens for me. It's not that people don't matter, because they do. Experiences don't mean anything unless you can share them with someone. I learned that hardcore when I lived in Chile for a summer. So, if I get a job in Pittsburgh, I'll stay for sure. I don't actually hate it here. It just feels like I do right now. But I'm not limiting myself to staying. Who knows what could happen way out there in other places with other people. I sincerely love the people I know here, but Pittsburgh used to be a new place. Maybe I can fall in love with other people just as much or even more. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll love other places more than I could ever love another person. I wish I could just have both. I usually end up kicking myself in the face with regret with every decision I make which is why I'm hesitant to make them. But the pull to leave is there. And no matter how much regret arises, there is always something so substantially rewarding about a new experience that you can write off the regret as negligible after the memories subside. I really do feel almost absolutely nothing for WNY at this point. As sad as it seems to me right now, maybe I'll feel almost absolutely nothing for Pittsburgh someday.

"Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery


And The Four Right Chords Can Make Me Cry

Posted by Lizzie on Saturday, February 13, 2010
This is a song about Susan
This is a song about the girl next door
This is a song about the everyday occurrences that make you feel like letting go
Yes, I think we've got a problem
- Everclear, So Much For The Afterglow

These first three are all related. To be concluded in Part 2.

1a) I hate winter. I wake up looking like a dead depressed skeleton of a person. It's cold as fuck, my skin lacks the ability to bounce back and look alive, and I have huge dark chronic circles under my eyes which no amount of cover-up could ever fix. And I'm super pale, as per usual. Seeing that face in the mirror every morning just amplifies the seasonal affective disorder or whatever it is that physically or psychologically prevents me from being happy in the winter. And goddamn, the wanderlust is bad.

1b) I love my iPod. I emotionally react to music when it's loud. And when American Hi-Fi shuffles up, things get messy. It takes me back to being 15 and then I start feeling immature and then the music gets loud and then I want to ruin boys like I did when I was 17 and 18 and 19 and 20. RUIN THEM. Yeah, this music thing... it gets out of hand. I don't even like American H-Fi. It's music for 12 year olds. Anyway, it's good that I rarely listen to music anymore. Music used to be my thing. I used to be way fucked up too. And I can only imagine that my emotional reaction to the music nicely intensified the situation. But on a more rational and less personal level, how could you not react to Flavor of the Weak? GOD HELP ME if I ever sit around waiting for a boy to want me (we all do this at least once... often more than once). Seriously. I want to get blitzed on Friday night and swing dance on Saturday night and go to the aquarium on Sunday. Girls, go get blitzed, go swing dance on Saturday night, and go to the aquarium on Sunday whether you have a boy or not and whether you want a boy or not. We all relearn this lesson at least once. Often more than once. If you don't take care of your entertainment needs, you'll be unhappy. Take your boy if he wants to go, of course. But if he doesn't, just go do your thing. Not every day of the week, obviously. But enough to make you happy.

1c) I'm going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras to spend some time with my best friend Julia and live it up because I'm 22 and that's the best age to say, "Fuck this," and do what you want. So, fuck this, I'm doing what I want.

2) Recipe for disaster: skeletal/hollow self + wanderlust + loud music + unemployment + everything is snowballing into "I need something else." All of that (minus the unemployment) is the January-February norm, but this year I'm hoping to get the wanderlust and the SAD and the self-imposed cage all out of my system and go be wild like I am during the summer and how I used to be before other things happened so that maybe I can enjoy the rest of winter. What better place to be wild than in New Orleans with my best friend Julia (who I miss 20,000 moments a day) during MARDI GRAS. Goodbye, savings. You aren't worth the wasted opportunities. Plus, I'm helping out with stuff (here I come cabinets) which is my favorite thing of all time. I'll probably be a gold digging whore in 5-10 years just so I can live off my husbands salary and spend my days volunteering.

I LOVE 22. Get me on that Amtrak.


I'm With Coco

Posted by Lizzie on Saturday, January 23, 2010
Last night, Conan O'Brian hosted The Tonight Show for the very last time. And while it was hilarious as all his shows always were, he went out honorably. He had nothing but thanks and gratitude for the opportunities he had with NBC. Yes, he thanked them in spite of everything. He's a real respectable guy. Admirable. Kind of like Jesus. He nearly teared up when thanking the fans and he pointed out that he's been able to do things that other people dream of doing. But the point I want to emphasize in this blog is what he said about cynicism which really hit home and so I'm going to share it with all you blog fans because I think it's something that we should really take to heart. I mean, I feel like the most cynical of all people sometimes, but what he said made me want to approach things differently and get back to the way I used to be when I still believed in things every day. He asked this of the fans (as he noted, particularly the young ones). I think we owe it to Conan to follow through, so listen up:

"Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality. It doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen."

If you go to the episode on Hulu or something and watch him say this, it's quite motivating. He particularly emphasized the kind part. Be kind and work hard and don't be cynical. Amen. He actually is Jesus. Do it, yo.

Conan got canned by NBC. Now that it's all over, the "I'm With Coco" movement has no point. There's nothing we can do. As an alternative, let's give another meaning to the movement by being kind and working hard and not being cynical. I'm still with Coco. Do what he told us to do because it's goddamn good advice.


You're An Asshole And Everyone Else Is A Secret Super Sleuth

Posted by Lizzie on Monday, January 18, 2010
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Connor

After painfully trudging through Wise Blood in 12th grade AP English, I cannot give Flannery O'Connor a second chance. Yes, the dissatisfaction lingers and it's just as acute as it was 5 years ago. However, just like everyone and everything else, I'll probably take that "never again" thing back and read Everything That Rises Must Converge. At the expense of my own suffering, of course. Regardless of how much I loathe her writing, that quote up there is definitely one that I live by.

Nevertheless, this blog is not about her. It's about truth. Not necessarily truth in the "having to deal with the realities of actuality" sense as the quote would suggest, but more so (for the majority of this blog) in the Nathaniel Hawthorne sense that your secrets will EAT YOU ALIVE at some point. Unless you have a pathological condition in which you feel no remorse. Read up on antisocial personality disorder to understand how that's cognitively possible. I guess O'Connor kind of covers the "reconciling with your conscience" thing too, but doesn't she beat you over the head with it like Hawthorne does. I really hate both of them so I'm not sure why they're at the top of my thoughts right now to the extent that I feel like using them set up what I'm about to say here. Let's just stop that nonsense and get to the point.

I believe in truth and honesty and openness more than almost anything when it comes to the people that I love. I mean, if you're a random and insignificant part of my life, then fuck you, yeah, I'm gonna lie. If it's advantageous to me to conceal the truth and you're nobody to me then I'm gonna lie in a fantastically convincing way because I don't actually care about you so that sinking feeling of hurting you or getting caught by you won't be relevant.

And even when it comes to my loved ones, I probably tell the truth for all the wrong reasons. It's a survival thing. It's an ego thing. It's getting what you want at the expense of absolutely everybody else thing. As much as we think we're in this for each other, we're really in this for ourselves. We do things because they make us feel good. End of story. But that doesn't nullify the fact that we have real connections with people and that there are some people we care about getting caught by more than others because we care about them more than the others. Basically, we care about ourselves number one, but we care about other people at varying levels and it's easier to lie to those we don't care about.

Do I really honestly truly believe that I tell the truth because I think people deserve it or because if we all told the truth the world would be a better place? No, probably not. This is probably just a superego cover-up for the subconscious truth that I just don't want to get caught. Because it is my understanding (based on experience) that if you lie about something big enough that you actually dread the moment when you will get caught, then you will most likely get caught at some point or another. This is sometimes referred to as the instant when "the shit hits the fan." And the longer you go without getting caught, the worse it is in the end. Lie about something for a day, whatever. But lie about something for a month or half a year or a year or 10 years and you're in "failed relationship" territory with the person that you lied to.

And even if by some seemingly fortunate twist of fate, you DON'T get caught (even though you probably will), the fact that you live constantly under some degree of pressure in terms of dealing with trying to avoid getting caught is even more of a punishment than being exposed may be. As Hawthorne (hate you) seems to indicate, coming clean is actually LESS painful than living with your "secret sin," if you will. It will build and you'll feel more pressure every time you're confronted by it. If that confrontation is frequent, you're gonna end up throwing in the towel for sure. And if there are any other people that know your secret, you also have to factor into the equation their potential behavior and as a result, you're just pretty fucking screwed. All of a sudden your dealing with a huge mindfuck.

Let's take cheating as an extreme example here (in pseudo-thought experiment form) to illustrate some of these vague and unsupported ideas. Person A and Person B here can represent a slew of non-cheating situations also in the sense that the decision to lie is basically made as a result of being presented with a set of incongruent choices that can't coexist. Cheating is just a clear situation that almost everyone understands so I'm running with it.

So, you're with Person A and you enjoy their company. But there's also this Person B who is appealing to you in some way as well. You don't want to lose Person A for what you have with them but Person B is just too compelling of an option to ignore. You care about both Person A and Person B so you decide you can have your cake and eat it too. You live for awhile seeming to enjoy the fact that you have them both. But there are, of course, costs. Nothing is free. If you get caught, you lose one or both of them. So, you try to avoid getting caught as much as possible which is also a cost because it can be taxing. You have the stress of covering your bases, being more secretive than usual, arranging times to be with both Person A and Person B at different times, accounting for their erratic behavior (say one decides to surprise you with dinner or something one day while the other one is over), et cetera. Even though you may learn to manage the situation on some level as most people do with almost all long-term stressors, the fact is that it could become a burden. Close calls, having to think fast in certain situations, et cetera. All of a sudden, are you really having your cake and eating it too? And in that moment that you get caught and lose part or all of what you wanted anyway, was it really worth it?

Moral of the story (because I don't feel like rambling on about this anymore or trying to explain things any more clearly) is that you PROBABLY WILL get caught if your lie is significant enough. And this will TOTALLY SUCK when your loved one or friend or whoever that you care about finds out that you lied to them. You might lose them. If nothing else, it's gonna hurt you to hurt them. And even if you don't get caught, you're still going to have to pay some costs. I guess, you just have to figure out if the sacrifice of lying outweighs the reward.

Maybe this doesn't apply to everyone or even anyone. Maybe I'm just way too goddamn truthful. But to me personally, living with guilt is one of the worst states to be in and it usually never even pays off because THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT and it sucks because you're no longer getting what you want (what the lying was trying to achieve) and you've lost a lot in the process.

In terms of the secrets about people that I know, most, if not all, of them emerge and the truth is exposed. And you never think it's going to happen, but it does. Just be straight. Seriously.

Keep in mind that the truth doesn't always change according to our ability to stomach it and that it sucks to both give it and receive it a lot of the time. But as I said before, the longer the lie goes on, the more painful and difficult it is to reveal. The truth hurts. But goddammit, being lied to hurts even more. Ignorance is bliss until you know the truth. Then it's like finding out the truth magnified by 10 or 100 or 1,000.

We're not compelled to tell the truth because we think people deserve it. We're compelled to tell the truth because we don't want to end up getting caught in our lie because we understand that having to come to terms with the truth is an unavoidable and unfavorable fate.


(732): i find it simply astounding you spelled drunken wrong but pterodactyl right

Posted by Lizzie on Monday, January 04, 2010
More experiences in post-grad life.

1) On the subject of choosing coffee table books for our new 30x50 coffee table that we bought from IKEA for $40...
Liz: Can I put these (Oh! The Places You'll Go! and Where The Wild Things Are) here?
Ryan: *sigh* I guess.

Clearly, I'm not really an adult yet. But these books are visually pleasing and communicate perspicacious and motivating life lessons. AND they're beloved classics so who wouldn't be excited to flip through one again! I hope that people come over and find inspiration for their lives from these. I also put my Calvin and Hobbes books there to smack our guests with wit and profundity. Ryan has sophisticated items for the coffee table book pile, like street art collections.

2) On the subject of flavor and nutrition...
Today's lunch: Ro*Tel canned tomatoes on my pasta for lunch because they were a charitable contribution from my mom and real pasta sauce costs money.

3) On the subject of daytime TV....
C-SPAN is currently showing a British House of Commons session from 1989 and I'm watching it because I already completed my required hours at the old part-time job for the day. Apparently, I don't understand British people at all. And Margaret Thatcher kind of depresses me. C-SPAN has never made me feel so despondent before. But it's better than watching Passions.


Turn the page....

Posted by Ryan R. on Saturday, January 02, 2010
I've officially moved on to the next chapter of the book called "My Life" and took the leap out of the nest. I'll now be writing in PQLC headquarters alongside co-author Liz "Fuc*ur gate". The lead up to the move was long but the journey short. The emotions I felt throughout were wild and free. Let me give you and analogy that sums it all up.

It was like going from your hotel down to the beach. You pack all your gear, snacks, and beverages and then gather the troops for the short march. You're excited as hell because living in arctic conditions for 3-4 months is bull and all you want to do is swim and play Godzilla. So you find the perfect spot to set up base camp and then take off towards the water. Before your toes touch the water you hear your mother's voice calling you back ordering you to lather on the sunscreen. "You wouldn't want to get burned now would you? And don't forget your ears." And then comes the talk about water safety. "If you're ever in a rip current swim parallel of the beach...blah blah blaaaah. Before she can finish you've already taken off towards the water, running and eventually tripping into to surf. Glorious! The sharks, rip tides and occasional dunking are in the back of your mind but you're too busy enjoying the waves. You finally walk out of the surf rubbing water from your eyes and with a faint taste of salt. Exhausted but happy at the same time.

This pretty much sums up moving out for me. I'm still really nervous about doing the things that were done for me and having to do them myself. Things such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and laundry. What I'm most nervous about is transitioning into my new job. I hope the people are as cool as my last one and that taking the bus isn't as strenuous as I think it will be. I may be out of the nest but I feel like my wings are clipped because of the lack of a vehicle. We'll see though. I'm excited for the future and see great things this year and I can't wait to go swimming!

Until next time...


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