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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