Random Thoughts

[tem-per-uhns, tem-pruhns]


1.moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.

2. habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion,


to temper:

to produce internal stresses in order to impart strength or toughness to or to tune as one would an instrument.
There is no denying that there can be certain advantages to extremity: to become profoundly skilled in a very specialized pursuit it can be immensely helpful to have extreme focus while obtaining information, practicing, and applying that practice and information in reality.  However, in most cases, we are best served by taking a measured and moderate approach.
This can be difficult to do, for a whole host of reasons. We are creatures wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It can be exciting to fling oneself, figuratively or literally, off a precipice to fall. It can also lead to terror and pain. Everything at its price. We wend toward the perimeter without even realizing we are on our way; to feel things at the utter extent of our capacity, we are fully activated. We are sure we are alive, and at these moments, we are giddy with it.
And there is no question that to run to the far end of ourselves tells us about who we are, what is really important, where we are more flexible than we thought, and where we will break. It is profoundly satisfying to know these truths about oneself. To be reassured and surprised by what we discover in the crucible, and as we rise from it.
But to take a middle course is a challenge of a different sort. To strike a balance between excitement and security, acquisition and retention, pleasure and progress,  such that our needs for both novelty and predictability are met. It is not always easy to reign in the headlong zeal toward something that inspires us to passion. It is far easier to simply allow the current of feeling wash over and carry all sense away.  To instead attempt to predict the pull and the eddy, to submerge but a little; to feel what is happening, but try to steer what course you will might not deny all the advantages of immersion, but allows for greater navigability. Less chance to run aground, to strike the rocks, to sink.

What would you be?”

A stranger recently posed this one.  Anyone who knows me would know better. They wouldnt even consider asking, because they know I am scared of fish, and thus, imagining myself as a sea creature would be pretty much the worst sort of torture. And also, that hypotheticals of this type are annoying in the extreme and no one I consent to hang out with would ask such a stupid question.

However, when I refused to answer it for the person who did not know better, he did have a follow up question that set me thinking about something that was worth considering. He asked if I didn’t like hypothetical questions, did that mean I was unimaginative. And I realized, that yes, indeed, it sort of does.

 I think about things, in obsessive detail, but rarely make things up in my head. I am reflective, rather then generative, in most cases. I feel I am a good critic, in that it is a pleasure for me to asborb and weigh the work of another; to turn it over in my head and try to see it from all angles, inside and out. I like to play with language and thoughts, but mostly as an atrifact of something I have already taken in from elsewhere. The only “art” I even come close to feeling any chance of making decent is photography, but even that, deals often in concrete and I draw inspiration from observing what is not by conjuring what does not yet exist.

I do not however, as his question implied, say this in the vein of admitting this as a shortcoming. I think it is simply a matter of fact that some people are better at creating their own reality and then expressing it to others through various mediums, and others are better at interpreting the realities they encounter and functionalizing them. I happen to be of the latter stripe, but know damn well both are needed for a fully realized and satisfying creative endeavor to thrive.

I do not suffer from my failure of imagination; it just leaves me with the space to better appreciate what can be born of someone else’s.

Imagination III By realityDream from DeviantArt.com

And not only because my birthday is Halloween.

I am intoxicated by patterns and textures, bags and shoes, silk and corduroy. I delight in surveying, and selecting, just the right combination of my garments. I array myself with clothes like armor and go to face the world thus protected, or exposed, depending on my aim.

Each occasion calling for a mode of dress of a particular type is met with giddy anticipation.Ii relish planning for myself, I revel in making selections for others. and I have always taken considerable pride in my ability to portray myself in any manner I please in this way. I am just as easily the hipster as the harlot, jock or jade. I have an especial fondness for what I like to call Naughty Librarian Chic; fine fabrics, skirts just a shade too short, shoes just a bit too tall and pointy, tailored shirts with one button too many undone. I feel each of these choices communicates certain things about me to the people around me. And in most cases, I feel bolstered and safe behind the persona I don along with my clothes.

I hadn’t spent much time thinking about why I have such an obsession with clothes until recently. I could say readily that the utter lack of any choices about how I looked or what I wore as a child left me feeling exposed and vulnerable and was one of the most difficult aspects of growing up unsure of myself. I have somehow always associated being well dressed with confidence, security, and success. It was only when I began to notice a compulsive tendency to feel as though if only I could find just the right outfit, that all would be well, when my acquisition of habiliments became such as focus as to border upon addiction. I was putting the expansion of my wardrobe ahead of other more pressing priorities, and eventually, had to stop buying clothes altogether for a period of time.

Even now, that I am thinking about it consci0usly, I still have trouble controlling this impulse. Moreover, the more I think about it, the stranger my ideas about clothing seem. Recently it occurred to me that I always imagined that wardrobe was a fundamental focus for, if not every then certainly most, sophisticated attractive people with the means to dress as they pleased. Having made several friends in the last few years who are unquestionably all of those things, but have little or no interest in clothing, has forced me to examine my biases about the subject.

As I do so, I am forced to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth of what I suppose I know already; that when I refer to my clothing as armor, I am utterly serious about this comparison. I have not heretofore felt sure enough of myself to present indifferent dress. I can never dress solely for comfort or without considering exactly the perception of myself I am hoping to promote. the notion that people might see something I did not carefully craft sends me into a cold sweat.

Which is not to imply I am always perfectly dressed, it is merely to say that I am never carelessly dressed. There is always significant thought invested in the selection of whatever I wear. and so too, in what it is I am attempting to communicate via my levi’s and low cut sweater, my capri’s and twinset, the exquisitely tailored cocktail dress, the tank top and peasant skirt.

And I have begun to try and emulate these happy few dear friends of mine who seem so utterly at ease in their skin. who are radiant and appealing no matter what they wear. Who do not have to look down at their outfit to tell them who they are today, who they want to be instead. I can see myself in those terms for the first time, I feel immediately liberated by this realization.

Now, to undress…

*** i consider this post the first in a series i am going to call “Wholly Unsurprising Revelations” if you care to make any yourself, please, feel free!!***

Wholly Unsurprising Revelation: It is no fun to have someone point out things you do not like about yourself.

i am well aware of my shortcomings. in fact, i make a hobby of listing them and announcing them to others. in fact, i am here willing to proffer:

A By No Means Comprehensive List of My Faults

  • self-absorbed: which seems only fair since i AM the center of the universe after all
  • vain: but, you know, with good reason
  • pessimistic: call me Eyeore
  • alternately spastic and complacent: some call this bipolar, i see it as weakness of character
  • demanding: i like stuff and attention. lots of both. now
  • hypersensitive: i am squishy in the middle, there is frequent crying

and yet, as willing as i am to admit all of this, turns out it is NO FUN to have any of these things pointed out by someone else. this was made manifest to me this morning. it all started innocently enough, talking about golf…. ended with “Sometimes I forget how squishy you are” which, ironically, in itself was an attempt to avoid upsetting me.

sheesh. what a pain in the ass i can be. but dude, if you agree with me, keep it to yourself please.


there seems to be light shining from somewhere. it casts itself through me, but falls, seemingly without resistance, on the ground before my feet.

i’ve had this strange feeling for the last few days, of being out of my body and totally disconnected from my brain. i hear myself saying things i cannot credit. i feel like i am observing my actions at a remove. from somewhere above and to the right of my head.

i feel somehow less substantial to myself. more nebulous and not-there. ready to float away. casting about for an anchor, with none in sight.

and then, strange coincidences… irrational fears… gripping inanities… the absorbing mundane; all these become more difficult to process. to sort. to dismiss. and so i chatter to myself to try and make some sense of it. to give my thoughts weight, if my impulses, my feeling seem to lack all substance.

i’m pretty famous for this. there’s the truth i know and then the truth i choose to attend to because it’s the truth i would prefer. it doesn’t help when the nudging seems to come from multiple directions and isn’t consistent. last week all was nine of cups and shiny. today its ace of swords and potentially sharp.

guess we’ll have to let the day unfold to find out just what we’re in for…

i can sew. and this flies in the face of my fundamentally uncrafty nature. i mean, i like crafts, and appreciate people who are crafty, it just generally requires a level of manual dexterity which i am painfully lacking. but for whatever reason, i can sew. tiny perfect stitches. and no one taught me this skill. i’ve just always been able to do it.

also, horseback riding. i’ve been on a horse maybe 2 dozen times in my life, but every time its been easy and natural and great. and people who know more about it than i do tell me i’m remarkably good at it for such a novice.

this point was made in a rather exciting fashion yesterday when i took hodie and her little friend up to my cousin’s farm to do some riding. i hadn’t planned to mount up myself, and so was dressed in shorts and flip flops, but on a whim climbed on good old Durango and decided to take a canter around the pasture. it was better to go without shoes altogether than with the thongs, so i got into the saddle barefoot, with no helmet, and took off.

my cousin warned me Durango was a bit of a lazybones, so after we trotted around the fenceline once he dropped to a walk and seemed determined to plod along at what i can only characterize as a less-than-scintillating pace. i was not having it.

so i gave him a bit of the business. he ignored me. i am not one to be ignored. so i gave him a little MORE of the business, with my bare heels. and he responded. we broke into a canter for about 3 strides, at which point he decided he had had enough of my instructions and pulled hard to the left to flee the pasture and run back to his buddies in the paddock. when i pulled up to slow him down and correct him, he liked that even less and ATTEMPTED TO BUCK ME OFF. he put his head down and lifted both back legs to try and get me to topple over his neck. gripping with my thighs for dear life i snapped back on the reins and grabbed the pommel. he gave over bucking and stood there as placid as can be. my cousin and her trainer who had been watching me take him around the pasture both ran over in a panic. apparently it was a freaking miracle of some kind i’d managed to stay on the horse. so, yay for that. i mean, as much as i fall down for no good reason, being tossed would probably be exponentially less awesome.

i cant think of any other skills i have for no apparent reason. everything else i’m good at, i have to try pretty hard. but this random facility for pony-rides came in handy…

i mean, i like to think i have it all figured out, but in some cases, what i think i have figured out kinda sucks. and in those cases, it’s really nice to be wrong.

so, here’s to wrongness today, in all its glory.

to celebrate i’m going to go out after work and play a little game i like to call “thwak…sh*t…thwak…fu&K!”

more commonly known as tennis. i am no good. but i love it. plus also, i look super hot in the tiny little skirt.

p.s. surprises are not always nice, but they are almost always pretty interesting.

Once again, explodingdog has me. i swear, i want this guy to do the cover art for my next album…

i’ll tell myself it did not mean a thing until at last i might believe its true a million times i listen to the story of how i never fell in love with you

turns out, i’ll be well fixed for shampoo.

i think this is weird.

i’m not especially fussy about my hair. i kinda hate it actually. by which i mean to say, we have a very adversarial relationship. it wants to curl, though i wish it was straight. it grows where i do not want it to and will not grow where i do want it to. it’s not really the color i’d like it to be… blah blah blah.

that being said, i seem vaguely obsessed with the acquisition of products to pamper, train, or otherwise interact with said adversary. i cleaned out under my sink recently and came up with no less than 18 different kinds of shampoo. not just additional bottles, no. because whenever i am in the store, and i see shampoo, i think to myself “huh, i could use some of that…”

so, i figure, everybody has something they hoard. and i’m not talking about a collection. or something, like, useful or worthwhile in its own right. instead i mean some grooming product, cleaning supply, household item that no matter how much you already have, how many varieties already have tried, you cannot resist the chance to try again, to have a little more.

maybe between the lot of us we can avoid the drugstore for the next decade or so….

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