We Can’t All Be Judy

Judy rocks. She’s a judge and she’s smart and she won’t fall for the whole pissing on her leg and telling her it’s raining crap. She gets to judge people everyday but she doesn’t do it blindly. She lets the people tell their stories, she listens to all the sides and she looks at evidence. And then she judges the hell out of you – if you owe for the damages to your friend’s car whilst driving like an idiot, if you’ve got a kid you haven’t paid out for and if you just keep on clocking up the credit card bills in the midst of all of this well then, Miss Judy is going to be refreshingly, brutally and yet necessarily judgemental all over your ass. And rightly so. She gets paid to do all that and it’s good to know that there are some jobs out there that capitalise on this hard wired and infinitely human tendency to judge. But not many. Most of us are not paid to do this.

Most of us would like to believe that we are the non-judgemental types. That we never judge a book by it’s cover or a person by their appearance, accent or level of education. Yeah…I call bullshit on that. We all judge all the time, judging is such an embedded, in built tendency of human nature that we practically do it subconsciously, not even realising until after the fact. I’m judging WordPress right now for underlining in red all those words it finds offensive simply because I haven’t spelled them the American way. WordPress is judging me for being a hopeless American speller. It’s an endless cycle. We need to think more like this – I’m human – therefore I judge. You can claim to be a Gandhi, Dalai Llama, Mother Theresa type as much as you want but I’m telling you now – they certainly judged and you judge. Accept it, don’t denigrate it and move on.

The key here is adding a time frame. It’s those instantaneous, on the spot judgemental moments that are the ones we should try and avoid. I know I judge but I’ve decided I’m okay with that as long as I have taken my time over it. I’m not going to judge a person based on a five minute conversation with them. I’m not going to make assumptions just because I’m wondering if they actually know what the inside of a washing machine looks like. Clothes do not maketh the man, woman or teenage boy who thinks his underwear should clearly be outerwear. Wondering is not the same as judging.

I’ve decided if I’m going to be one of these flawed human beings (like there is a choice) then I am going to judge only after a certain amount of time being spent with this person. Then and only then will I judge this person. If after say several interactions of varying lengths I’ve discovered that this person thinks Tasmania is a whole ‘nother country, that buffalo wings are made out of buffalo and that Australia is full and anyone trying to emigrate here should just fuck off well…then I am going to judge you. If you think that driving your toxic orange coloured commodore ute down the freeway at a hundred and twenty with your clearly terrified black and tan kelpie dog relegated to the back of the ute tray NOT TIED IN is a good idea well then I’m going to make a judgement and take your plate number and ring the RSPCA because if that’s what you do in public well who knows what happens to those poor animals at home.

It’s those split second, instantaneous judgements that are the ruin of us all. The ones where you really have no information, you’ve not even really considered the possibilities and in fact you’re simply spousing off what your Daddy told you, or what your best mate down the pub told you, or that guy or girl at work that you wish you were because they got promoted and totally seem to have their shit together – those are the judgements that are gonna hurt people, places and things. So all I’m asking is that people take more time, do some research, get the real facts and listen to all the sides before just judging a person or a place or a thing. I’ve researched sugar free cola – and I am judging the hell out of that stuff (currently my tastebuds revolt against all forms of sugar free Coke but love Pepsi Max – however one thing I have learnt is that my tastebuds are fickle characters and one day Pepsi Max will taste like drain cleaner and Coke Zero will be all the rage again – it’s just a thing). I’ve tried olives – in various presentations and nothing is going to convince me that olives are a food humans should consume. I’ve read a Paris Hilton interview or two, I followed that short lived reality show she was on with Nicole Ritchie for a couple episodes and I’m judging Paris – she’s not classy. I guess we can’t all be.

So revel in your inherent need to judge, don’t deny one of the basic human traits that we all have, just be sure to take your time on it. Maybe don’t suggest to the frazzled Mum schlepping around Toys R Us with a toddler’s training wheel bike stuffed into a trolley two sizes too small trying to find her missing toddler who is currently exercising her democratic right to ignore any and all instructions to come here right now that “She should keep an eye on her daughter” – that is not only an unwelcome suggestion but a poor judgement on the potential for a swift and violent response. I like to ponder the kind of day frazzled looking people have had BEFORE I consider saying anything to them.  It seems to avoid all the unnecessary shrieking and screaming and showers of infuriated spittle. That’s stuff you want to keep away from – infuriated spittle.

 

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Taking back the FREAKS

I think the word ‘freak’ needs a new and improved definition. It’s such a versatile term – noun, adjective, verb – that it’s usage has evolved over time to the point where all the negative connotations of it are becoming less and less. I like to think of the word ‘freak’ as a fond term of endearment. I don’t think I know anyone who is not a freak in some form or other. Normality is all so subjective, there are no set parameters on what constitutes normal, no lines set in stone, print in black and white telling us where normal ends and abnormal begins. Maybe in physiology but not in personality traits, characteristics, nature, temperament.

My Dad is a freak for routine, being perfect at his job and going to the gym. My Mum is a freak for being organised, having social gatherings and for fighting the never ending battle against germ invasion. My sister is a freak for collecting books and gymnastics. I’m a freak for several things – dog training, agility, reading, watching TV and the internet. I possibly also have my freak on for knowing what models of cars there are around me and being around technology. So when someone says to me “You’re such a freak.” I’m thinking that’s a good thing.

“Don’t freak out” is a good mantra to follow in many situations – visits to the Dentist, an unusual noise emanating from the jet engine of your international flight, finding out that you have been unwittingly recruited into demon fighting army of psychic kids or the taste of milk gone bad in your mouth.  “You are a freakishly tall person” translates to “Damn I wish I wasn’t quite as short as I am” so even when people try to use it to imply there’s something wrong with you really all they’re doing is expressing their freak envy.

So from here on in if I like something or if I’m feeling something or someone is just brilliant well I am going to appropriate the word freak and use it freely and with repetition. The kind of repetition that prompts the question “Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.” And I will simply smile the serene smile of a person who is changing the perception of a term one freakishly good situation at a time.

Questions on an Insomniac’s Mind

These are of course very numerous in number and I shall be selective in my writings about what questions I want answers for.

Things like – I see a pregnant woman and I think immediately “I know what she did.”  My brain’s maturity astounds me sometimes. Followed promptly by “I wonder if the sex was good?” That’s not my question by the way (it’s such an open ended subjective one) but rather my question is Who thinks these things when they see a pregnant woman? And Does this mean I really have no maternal instinct whatsoever? Surely if I had or held a deep seated need to produce an offspring I’d be thinking such things as Oooh when is she due? and I wonder if she knows what the sex of the baby is? and Is she looking after herself properly in order to enable the maximum success of a healthy and happy birth? These are the thoughts I envision normal 37 year old females having, especially ones that nurture a maternal instinct.

Don’t get me wrong I often think having a kid would be a momentously moving and amazingly wonderful experience and this is something people should want in general in order to avoid that whole going extinct phenomenon. And I have been described as being an optimistic personality type when it comes to life’s challenges and new experiences – however this does not stop my brain from quietly freaking out over all the possibilities that can go very, VERY wrong whenever I entertain the notion of reproducing. I have a friend in her 50’s with three grown sons (grown as in these guys are physically and chronologically legal adults now and should be doing life on their own) who does occasionally mention how she envies my life – due to my state of childlessness. And then I think of all the times I have seen friends of my family, friends of my own – as parents go through HELL ON EARTH because of their children – whether it be accidental, intentional or just inadvertent there are people I know who have been brought to their knees by the actions of their children or through simple twists of fate that had their child in the wrong place at the wrong time or simply a mutated gene that afflicts them with serious illness. I KNOW I’ve made my parents’ cry. Or at the very least my mother. Why would I voluntarily sign myself up for all that possible pain and angst? Which leads me to my next question – clearly many, ostensibly normal, human beings do so and happily why the hell am I thinking this way? Perhaps my wiring has been done by a hippy electrician who partakes of the medicinal cannabis on a regular basis.

Then there was this article about living safely in the World of Like. Perhaps this is my problem. Is my more natural world (that of one where as a female who has functioning reproductive organs feels a need to have offspring of her own which may or may not entail – but is more than likely to – gigantic moments of pain and angst) being replaced by a more techno laden world where I am surrounded by only those things and experiences I like? I don’t know, surely if I had a never ending need to be liked surely having a kid would be appealing because generally – at least until they hit teenage years – a kid you’ve produced likes you a lot. I mean after all you are their entire world for a while there.  But now I’ve digressed to the world of speculation. All I can say with certainty is that there are some risks I am okay with and other risks that freak me the hell out. Being a parent is one of them. Is anyone ever ready when they become one? It’s a little different than committing yourself to someone in a romantic, lifelong partnership experience and hoping they will never break your heart. You are both adults and if it goes to shit, well sure it sucks big time but you both lived just fine without each other before. You commit to being a parent and that NEVER ends, that feeling of being responsible for another person’s life. That person who you may have helped grow and shape but who may turn out to be just a rotten human being. Or who may turn out to be unlucky in a self destructive gene kind of way. Or who may step out onto the road on the wrong time in the wrong place one day. Clearly all those moments parents get to have with their kids that are NOT them fucking up, being mean, getting sick, getting hurt totally outweigh the risks or else the species just wouldn’t survive.

I think, in the end, the phrase “You have to be a parent to understand” is probably the most accurate summation of why people go through the whole freaking out process of becoming parents. I will probably never understand. But I think I’m heading to a place where I’m okay with that.

 

“I can’t go to bed there is shit happening on the internet”

This phrase has sadly taken on a very literal meaning of late. The FBI has shut down Megaupload a fairly significant file sharing site that probably 95% of people who use the internet have probably accessed at one point or another. Now I don’t know if the FBI has changed it’s overall job description, perhaps it’s had a revamp of the whole mission statement or maybe there’s just no accolades anymore for thwarting bomb plots, serial killers or investigating drug trafficking rings.

I know, maybe there’s too many people NOT going out and getting drunk and disorderly, trying to deal drugs, run black market organ deals or driving drunk, running arms for various gangs because they’re too addicted to their internet! The FBI has run out of things to do except for investigating possible copyright violations when that 10 year old girl begs her Mum to upload her dance recital piece containing *gasp, shock, horror* a commercially released song! It’s quite baffling until you start thinking where does the money come from? To pay for the FBI. The government right? All right the taxes yes? Who decides where those taxes go, how they’re divided up because those damn schools and that pesky health system insists on a cut. The CEO level types (aka the 1%) of major film, tv and music industry wouldn’t have any say or sway on that right? Nah. Surely not….that could be a conflict of interest.

These 1% involved in these industries are idiots. If they are supporting organisations like the FBI to investigate (over several years using millions of dollars to do so) websites like Megaupload they are essentially robbing themselves of sales ultimately. Taking down Megaupload will result in LESS sales of TV, Music and Film. And that’s a fact. Every purchase I have made in the last five years was all of a result of something I have sampled free online. Just the other day I spent 90 dollars on TV DVDs. Why when I can just download these episodes or watch them on Youtube? Because enough online people (whose opinions I respect) have posted clips, have posted reviews, have said GO WATCH! Go READ! Go LISTEN! I would never have spent the money I have spent on CDs, Books and DVDs if not for sharing on the internet. So why get rid of that? Seems a little short sighted in the end.

Chaos and anarchy – there’s none of that here.

I can add another misanthropic, specialist genius, empathy lacking fictional character to my list of favourite characters I have made so far.

 

Lisbeth Salander – aka The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. She is possibly borderline psychotic with severe anger management issues as well but I happily overlook this in light of her epic awesomeness in all things investigative and computer related. Plus that tattoo on the back of her shoulder is an art piece to be envied. First female now that I come to think of it that is on my list.

The list probably reads like Geek’s Dream Dinner Party Guest List and for that I am utterly unapologetic.

 

Mr Spock. My first anti-emotionalist member. Brilliant science officer who has an answer for everything and would never let anything like a pesky feeling get in the way. If only more people took a leaf out of Spock’s book and merely raised one eyebrow instead of raging out of the car and cold cocking someone in the face.

 

Dr Gregory House. I think it’s probably too far to list him as a favourite character as he really is quite unlikeable in that he’s missing that key element of sweetness that comes with being occasionally oblivious to the fact that you are quite possibly acting in a way that would not be considered within the realms of normal human behaviour. All my other characters have that obliviousness from time to time that adds to their appeal. House tends to make one catankerous even whilst being in awe of his intellect. He’s like a prickly dolphin. You like watching them think and work and play but you get too close and you’re gonna bleed if you make contact.

 

Dexter Morgan. Yes, yes he’s a serial killer but I’m okay with that because he has a moral code and he only kills others who have taken lives (and would continue to do so should he not stop them) and he’s a very neat monster. He’s kind of like a male Bree Van Der Kamp with homicidal tendencies. I like OCD neatness – I always envy it a little and wish it was like some contagious disease that I could pick up a few molecules of if I hung around them. Plus he’s fit and very flexible and has that very adorable facial expression he gets whenever he is trying to negotiate the unpredictable waters of expected human behaviour norms. He’s like a human Data.

 

Dr Sheldon Cooper – Sheldon has the added bonus of completely being aware of human emotional foibles and expected behaviours and still refusing to engage in them on the grounds that they will turn his brain to mush should he choose to do so. There is a lot of evidence out there supporting this stance so he has my support right there. Also there are moments that his massive ginormously huge brain and intellect completely fail him (Example: He’s at a complete loss when it comes to questions like how many kids were in the Brady family) and this leaves him feeling peturbed. This is rather adorable. There’s also that intriguing moment of wonder when he does respond to his peers and friends where sometimes you’re not quite sure if he’s totally aware of just how insulting he’s being. It’s that touch of mystery that keeps you watching him.

 

Dr Spencer Reid – Super duper genius behavioural analyst for the FBI. I have a thing for photographic memories and an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything in the universe. People who can speed read books and then quote them back verbatim. He’s probably the least misanthropic of the lot in that he is able to empathise but he still has that element of being slightly out of his depth in interpreting the social cues of his peers and surrounding friends. His friends have to often step him and make it exceedingly obvious to him in case he misses it. Initially I thought his lack of public displays of emotion were caused simply by his lack of feelings but as seasons have moved on it turns out he represses on a level that would make Dean Winchester a little envious. It’s that aspect of completely emotionally fucked up that keeps you coming back for more.

 

Sherlock Holmes – (BBC 2010-12 Version played by Benedict Cumberbatch – yes that is his real name and see I do realise these people are not real) – this guy is probably one cigarette short of a homicidal killing spree. I truly feel that his line that grips reality is hanging by the most tenuous thread of all my favourite characters although Lisbeth could possibly give him a run for his money.  Sherlock is an observer and I like observing, or at least thinking that I am observing and that I am an observant person. People who notice details to the point that their brain never rests (unless completely wiped out on some sort of substance) fascinate me in a way that also makes me very glad I’m not them. It’s  a little like the OCD neatness envy I have going on – I’d like some of that please but only a smidgen, enough to make me come across as possibly a person with a massive intellect and not as someone you probably need to avoid and step back carefully from holding your hands up, palms out in some vague placating gesture like you have possibly got a very grumpy grizzly bear facing you. It would be good to see through the lies that come out of peoples’ mouths sometimes. Not so good that you get so bored without a mystery to solve you start firing bullets into your walls.

 

Last but definitely not least – Soul-less Sam Winchester from season 6 Supernatural. This is a 6 foot 4 wall of muscle with a gigantic brain and all emotions removed. He was pared down to nothing but logic, reason and his primal urges. He was a hit even whilst causing much angst amongst the fans purely for the hell it put Dean through having to deal with him. Why was he a hit – well I can’t speak for everyone else but I do like a man that knows what he wants, how to get it and what the best outcome is irrespective of what offense or emotional hurt that may be caused. He was unapologetic, matter of fact and he got the job done. Perhaps his collateral damage was of an excessive level and maybe his lack of emotion worked against him somewhat when trying to elicit information from bereaved families of victims but in general his whole approach to his job was very appealing – especially his excessive need to workout shirtless doing sit ups, push ups and chin ups. Mmmmmm. Indeed. Plus his car was hot. Black Dodge 2011 STR8. That car was awesome.

This here endeth my Geek Dream Dinner Party Guest list Post. Ahhh such guilty pleasures prevail when on holidays. It’s so self indulgently good.

 

 

Amongst Other Things

Running with dogs only takes up a certain percentage of my life. I could also have used any or all of the following titles:

She Teaches English to 9th Graders

She Reads Many Texts

She Watches Many Things

She Teaches Others How To Run With Dogs

She Writes Mostly For Herself

She Stalks the Internet

She Listens to Music

She Thinks Too Much

She Eats Nice Food

She Works Out At The Gym

She Likes Orgasms

Yes, that covers it. Sherunswithdogs is pretty much the most exciting thing I do. And I’m not being pretentious by phrasing the title in the third person I swear. Is it pretentious to use big words like pretentious? This is a very hard line to judge. I never judge others for using big words. I may judge them for their choice of pet but never their use of big words. I like big words and I cannot lie. I never feel insecure when someone uses a big word I do not know. I feel very curious. I want them to tell me what that big word means and I want them to tell me now. I get overtaken by this subconscious urge to know what that word means immediately just in case I’m about to die. You never know. I’m not being maudlin here but sometimes you cannot plan for these things. In fact only the very few get to do so.  I feel like my life will have more significance once I learn it.  Maybe it does. It certainly won’t be lacking significance for having learned of it. Going back to my original point – irunwithdogs simply didn’t have as good a ring to it as sherunswithdogs. It’s almost as if gender definition adds a note of wildness to it. Could ‘she’ be a crazy lady dressed in eclectic and non matching items of op shop clothing running through the outback bush with feral dogs that look in need of a good feed? Or is ‘she’ some infamous as yet untalented hollywood attention whore who dresses in rhinestone Nikes, wears a size zero tank top and goes jogging with her little tea cup chihuahua tucked into her tiny Gucci shoulder bag. Perhaps ‘she’ is the cat’s mother. My mother always used that phrase. Like use of a pronoun was a capital offense. I never understood where it came from and I never looked it up because I like speculating on the possibilities of origins of phrases like “Who’s ‘she’? the cat’s mother?” I’m not the cat’s mother by the way. In case you were wondering.

She would be a woman in her 30’s – I refuse to describe them as ‘late’ because that reminds me of death – who lives with three dogs and a German guy (it’s important to establish origins) in Australia with numerous fish tanks. ‘She’ is also a high school teacher of English, a part time softball player, full time agility player, and some time writer. Is it fake to say ‘writer’ if you’ve never actually been paid for your writing? I don’t think so.  ‘She’ is possibly a little obsessed dedicated to a TV show called Supernatural, would like to be a millionaire for the sole purpose of travelling and sharing the wealth and has the kind of personality that scoffs in the face of the phrase “in moderation”. ‘She’ is working on this. (Mostly because it suits me greatly this whole living of life thing I’ve got going on and I’d like to keep that going as long as possible.)

This is my blog.