This is crazy. Between the crashing stock market, the NASA satellite falling to earth and two death row executions, I’ve got to revive this blog. Today was the first day of fall and angst is in the air.
Apple erased my entire life last night around 1 a.m., so I had to defy the time-space continuum and go retrieve it.
Sure, I like it when a few of the squares in my calendar are blank. That means I get to sleep late, read in bed, go for a walk, etc. But when they are all blank that means that, as Jack Nicholson might say, “What we have is a failure to communicate.” I would append….with the machine that stores all your dental appointments, speaking engagements, days you have to cover for others, not to mention commencement obligations and picking up your sister from the train! And not just the machine — it’s never just one machine these days — it’s the cloud. It’s the network of devices that share all the intimate details of your life.
“If you could change one thing about high-school, what would it be?” asked my son, as he interviewed me recently for an essay.
Hmmmm, just one? There are so many.
My permed hair? Nah- we all looked like poodles during the 80’s in Jersey.
Not giving a crap about studying? Nope, I still weaseled my way into NYU, and I wasn’t about to encourage him into failing out of 4th grade.
Caring what other people thought about my every move? Most definitely!
“Why wouldn’t you care what other people thought about you, mom?” he asked, puzzled. I shared with him a quote from someone he could relate to, the great Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows, as Dylan said, and you don’t need Moodscope to tell you how you’re feeling.
God (or Google) only knows where I found this web app, which purports to take your daily emotional temperature and help you sort things out by sharing it with your friends.
Now usually I like anything psychological, especially if it involves cards. Give me a Myers Briggs test and I’m in pig heaven. Online tarot is one of my favorite indulgences. But the difference between either Myers Briggs or tarot and Moodscope is that they don’t ask you directly, are you nervous? Are you enthusiastic? Instead, they ask something indirect and specific: Myer Briggs: Do you feel involved when watching TV soaps? Or, in the case of tarot, here’s a picture from the collective unconscious, with rainbows and parents watching their children dancing, or a person lying on the floor with 10 swords in their back. Now how does that make you feel?
I remember visiting my grandmother after she moved from her home in Queens, NY to an assisted living apartment near my parents in Connecticut. She had saved a pile of junk mail and asked me to look through it. The letters — all solicitations for things she didn’t need — combined with an onslaught of telemarketing calls, caused her to worry. To her, if it had arrived in the mail, or someone had called, meant it must be important. When I moved to toss everything in the trash, she became more anxious and insisted I save it to show my mother.
I was reminded of her anxiety when paying bills online last week. I’ve considered myself a rather informed consumer — look for sales, try to only buy what I use, and read labels. At least while food shopping. With gas, I try to find the cheapest, but also don’t drive an extra 10 miles to save 5 cents. But with my utilities, I realized how little I know about what I’m paying.
Why do I have two utility bills: PSEG and JCPL? I turn off lights, lower the heat, and unplug unnecessary chargers but the bill never seems to go lower.
I don’t know how to be nice anymore. At least that’s what some folks tell me (or are saying behind my back — within earshot). Yes, I know The Golden Rule by heart. Perhaps I don’t understand its practical interpretation.. Do unto others…yup, I get that. As you would have done to you….well, I thought I had that right, too. I’m basically ethical, sympathetic, and in tune with the feelings of others. Or so I thought…
I’ll admit to being sarcastic at times, but never downright cruel unless I’m retaliating for a gross wrong perpetrated unto me. Call me short, I’ll fess up to that. It’s glaringly evident, although at my age it’s something I can’t change. I just hope that I don’t shrink down to three feet tall by the time I’m 60. Call me a chatterbox, and you’re absolutely correct. I can talk to a wall, and have often done that. I think it’s one of my talents. Call me ugly…well I’m going to move into beat down stance. If you haven’t seen me for a long time, and your first question is, “Are you tired?” it translates to “You’re looking old and haggard.” Not nice at all. If I dare respond in kind with something like, “Your big ass is looking a bit smaller these days,” I expect I’ve earned a slap in the face. Touché, y’all.
Why did it bother me when my 22-year-old reacted joyously, boisterously — a reaction that was echoed in Times Square and in front of the White House? And why did I not? Why did I want her to tamp down her Facebook response, as though her youthful exuberance would lead to a personal fatwa? (“Mom, it’s not the Mob.”)
When I heard my husband shuffling around downstairs in the middle of the night — and checked the latest headlines to learn that bin Laden had been buried at sea — why did the abrupt disposal of the body make me feel panicky? (I hope they took a picture, I found myself thinking. For proof.) I was able to return to sleep when my husband explained that the sea burial was a brilliant move, depriving bin Laden supporters of a shrine.
I’m worried about me, and the forecasted rain, and the possibility for terrorism.
Mostly the rain.
Hyde Park was preparing for the big event today, and the port-a-potties were all set out but already no toilet paper. (I have nightmares like this). It was a beautiful day to sit in the park, but how about when it’s filled with thousands and thousands? And what if it’s sodden? Should I carry a folding chair? A blanket? How weighed down do I want to get? And where will those giant screens be anyway? They weren’t up yet. It’s a huge park.
I have an invitation to watch it at a private house and street party up in West Hampstead, a place we stayed during our house swap Thanksgiving 2009. And if it’s pouring, that’s where I think I’ll go.
But if I don’t go downtown and get as close to the wedding as I can get, will I be filled with regret forever? And what if I do go, and get soaked, and can’t see anything anyway?
I’m not the only one having this angst by the way. Even Karen Pierce-Goulding, our Royal Wedding walking tour guide, was worried about it. And that was before the rain forecast!
When you take a job which requires you to commute in and out of a city like NY, you know what you are getting into. Three hours of your day are devoted to the to/fro. Sure…you can pass the time how you’d like…that’s on you. But…what about those instances where you HAVE to be home at a certain time?
Maybe you told your spouse you’d be home to watch the kids. Maybe you told a friend you’d help move a couch before he sends the kids to bed. Maybe your daughter has a lacrosse game. That’s what happened one night recently.
Masters of the Universe don’t believe in crackpot theories like the world ending on May 21, 2011. But they do believe in the price of gold, which is pretty much saying the same thing.
Gold, which is where investors put their money when they don’t believe in more theoretical investments like real estate, stocks and US government bonds, hit a record $1,500 an ounce in intraday trading today.
Meanwhile, the Angst Report is happy to report that we sold the gold crown that formerly graced tooth #2 for $25 at a local gold-buying event on Saturday. Which either means that 1) We brilliantly played the market in gold, selling almost at the high, and our gold crown weighed less than 2/100ths of an ounce or 2) we got ripped off.
The Angst Report prefers to believe the former.
Next stop for the smart money: under mattresses?
Gold bullion picture: Wikipedia.