24 November 2008

The Less Commonly Seen Hispanic Southerner

Without flirtation (I think) and while cooking up my delicious pasta lunch lunch, the cafe chef referred to me repeatedly as "sweetheart."

Aw, I miss living in the South!

20 November 2008

Am I Happy?

On the morning of what is to be, ultimately, three Thanksgiving meals (and none of them actually on Thanksgiving Day), I find it appropriate to ask myself if I'm truly happy.

By all rational accounts, I should be insanely happy. I enjoy good health, as do those around me, I have a good family and a few good friends, a steady job, money in the bank, a wealth of entertainment at my fingertips. I don't own a TV. I have a lovely new life partner, and we've made good steps to building a sustaibale lifestyle in the past few weeks. There's no one dropping bombs on me, curtailing my freedoms in any significant way, taking my home away. I've lost money in the stock market, just like everyone else, but at least I have some savings, and the mentality to save.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs says that humans have five basic levels of need. Each level is dependent on the one below it; you cannot reach for a higher level of need without achieving the one below. You can temporarily regress and place a higher importance on health, for example (say you suddenly get sick), but you don't necessarily have to work back through all the levels to get back to where you were.

It's interesting to look around you and try to figure out where people are. (It's even more interesting to determine what level they lack, but that's mean-spirited.) My father-in-law recently started writing novels and is now published. Could we say that he has attained the fifth level of creative output? Does my growing knitting habit represent a channel of creativity? Am I really the happiest when I'm sewing something?

Around this time of year, it's worth taking a look at this pyramid. I could always have more friends, more security, more confidence, more spontaneity, but overall I'm doing pretty well. Here's to remembering that.

05 November 2008

Vade retro

As heartened as I am by Barack Obama's victory, as much as I believe this is the first election in a while in which people voted for a candidate rather than against his opponent, as disappointed as I was when I finally made up my mind that McCain was no longer the moderate ethical voice in the Republican Party, mostly what I feel today is relief.

Relief that the hokey woman in the lipstick, heels and designer suits is going back into obscurity where she belongs.

I can handle someone who believes in an abstract story of creation. I don't judge a person for having a regional accent or for using earthy language. I have felt myself the mind-blank when put on the spot.

But to ridicule solid, promising scientific research on fruit flies and bears? Research that can potentially lead to breakthroughs, not to mention contribute to the worldwide body of knowledge? That is unforgivable, short-sighted and warped.

Good riddance.