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happiness is - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
happiness is
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04292016-26


-- चार हजार और चालीस --


Blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah blah, blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Sheeeeit. Blah blah. Bleh. Blah.

Glad we got that covered!

-- चार हजार और चालीस --


The sun is shining longer these days. I mean, when there are no clouds. Yesterday it rained. I listened to a podcast while walking after work, not quite to home at first because I stopped off at Pacific Place for a 5:10 screening of John Wick Chapter 2, which was . . . about as good as the first one. Take from that what you will. I gave both movies a solid B. My my standards, that's good enough for me, but not good enough to recommend. Unless you're super into that sort of thing, of course. I'm still a little mystified by the critical acclaim heaped on both of those movies. Sure, they're better than most movies of their type, but that's not saying much, is it? But whatever, there was nothing else to see and I wanted to go to a movie.

I actually plan to go to a rather unusually high number of movies on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I intend to go to two separate theatres on both days. This is because the Oscar Nominated Shorts, the live action ones and the animated ones, are playing exclusively at the Guild 45 in Wallingford. That location alone makes going to it on weeknights more of a hassle, and beyond that, the live action ones in particular have only totally unworkable showtimes on weekdays. So, Live Action on Saturday and Animation on Sunday it is.

Those will each get written reviews. The same is not the case for the other movies I plan to go to on both days at The Egyptian, as part of the festival of film noir. The two movies I want to see have both had modern remakes (only one of which I ever saw, the Coen Brothers' take on The Ladykillers -- which, actually, turned out to be one of their weakest offerings) and I have never seen the originals. Saturday I'll see The Ladykillers, and Sunday The Taking of Pelham 123, which I read over and over was notably better than the remake (as they tend to be).

In the middle of all that, it appears likely I'll have dinner with Ivan again on Saturday evening. He sent me a barrage of Facebook messages on Monday evening while he was at work about how he was thinking about having dinner at a Moroccan restaurant. Um, okay. At first I tried to push it back to two weekends from now to ease up on my budget, but then he told me he's making other plans for the 25th, and if you think I'm missing the Oscars on the 26th for anything (okay, maybe a death in the family) you're crazy. So, I did some budgetary projections based on expected spending for the next week, and decided I could fit that dinner in this coming weekend after all. It'll have to be later than I prefer, at around 8 pm, but I'll live.

I walked home after the movie, and it was raining surprisingly hard. check this out: all of halfway through the month, Seattle has already received more than twice the average rainfall for the entirety of February. Weather keeps just getting weirder and weirder around here. Not that any of us with any brains expected anything different.

Shobhit had dinner made when I got home. Too spicy, as usual. But, unlike the previous dish I made, at least I could get it down. The spiciness completely eliminated any actual flavor but whatever. I should still appreciate that he made the dinner at all. I think he actually tried to make it tolerable for me, but he has a hard time distinguishing the line because his tongue can't even register anything unless the spice level is like taking his mouth to the burning flames of hell.

-- चार हजार और चालीस --


07312016-03


-- चार हजार और चालीस --


I didn't watch any TV last night! Of course, I watched a movie instead but whatever. I walked to and from the theatre! I'm not a total vegetable.

I sure enjoyed this episode of Moshe Kasher's monthly Hound Tall podcast. I really like the comedian guests (Kumail Nanjiani is one of my favorites) and the scientist guest was pretty fascinating. And he made a point that kind of blew my mind: when people talk about how humans lived an average of ~30 years in pre-agricultural times, they are including infant mortality in the average -- which, for some reason, they do not do for modern numbers when comparing to current life expectancy. What the shit? That's a clear false equivalency, creating what the guy kept calling "fallacious" notions of civilized society being somehow better for the human species.

And that's when it hit me in a way that it perhaps never has before that nearly anything we have been conditioned to believe all our lives may very well have been due simply to manipulated data. I find this very annoying, but it does teach me to be open minded about having my mind changed.

And this is, to my way of thinking, yet another strong argument against religion -- because people think of religious teaching as immutable. Evidence? Who cares about evidence?

The problem on the scientific side is the manner in which the evidence is presented. Something tells me none of us knows the whole story about anything we hold to be true at all. Not even President Fuckwit. The thing about him, of course, is that we've watched that man lie through his teeth repeatedly on live television, so I still feel pretty comfortable in regarding him as an astonishingly incompetent fuckwit. I still operate in probabilities.

And another thing! At one point the guy on the podcast mentioned that the most common metric for what makes people happy is "feeling embedded in a community of people who care about them." Things like money have no real factor there, except that money can make people rather unhappy rather than the other way around. And I realized: feeling embedded in a community of people who care about me -- I absolutely have that. I have it in spades, in my family life, my social life, and even my work life. No wonder I'm so fucking happy! (Yes, I get angry with Shobhit frequently. That's different. I'm still generally very happy, on average, with my relationship and marriage.)

The weird thing to me is this: I know people who I can clearly see are themselves surrounded by people who care about them, but for some reason they fail to see it, and thus remain unhappy. That I have no capacity to understand at all. Unless, of course, they have a clinical issue. And those are common. My experience is the opposite -- I am in a good mood so often it defies logic, and makes me wonder if I have my own chemical imbalance, just in the inverse of those who are clinically depressed. Whatever, I'll take it! I have not felt anything even remotely close to genuine despair since I was a teenager. Right now, especially with all the shit in the news, I feel surrounded by people who despair. It hasn't affected my own capacity for happiness and contentment.

I guess I just get back to that clarifier: feeling embedded in a community of people who care about me. I especially feel this at work, as it applies to the people who work in my immediate physical vicinity, people who work in other departments, countless work contacts, and even the company I work for on a broad policy level. To say I feel embedded in such a community would actually be an understatement. How could I not just feel gratitude on an almost constant basis?

-- चार हजार और चालीस --


Anyway. I walked home from the movie, had the spicy dinner, wrote my review. I thought the review would be a short one but nope. You just can't shut me up when I get my fingers going. I was in bed not long after.

-- चार हजार और चालीस --


07232016-11

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positive energy please