Beautiful

I have this weird quirk – yeah I know, I have tons, but I’m only going to talk about one right now.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain this for ages (Twitter years=307). But since I am not good with the words, I’ve been unable to express this right. Hopefully, I can put this down and then one of my amazingly talented writer friends can put into words what I’m trying to say. OK, here’s the deal.

It may be because when I was growing up I never saw anyone who looked like me, or that I had no one to help me understand this concept, but, it seems that in many ways I created my own definition of what “Beautiful” means. So here it is: Crazy Caroline’s definition of “Beautiful.”

Beautiful to me is gender neutral. When I meet an amazing man or woman – my description is Beautiful.

Beautiful has nothing to do with physical attributes. I know – odd, but keep reading.

Beautiful is someone who is smart, funny and kind.

Beautiful is someone who is sincere.

Beautiful is someone who has accomplished something – motherhood, a career, fatherhood, being an awesome friend – whatever the accomplishment is – they know it and feel great about it.

That’s pretty much it.

The other odd part about me is that I have trouble, no I’m incapable, of distinguishing the beauty I see in people and their physical attributes. That is not to say that I don’t think you are physically attractive, (you all are, of course gorgeous), it’s just that my brain cannot separate how I feel about you with how I see you. I see you with my emotions, not my eyes.

I have known some very physically attractive people in my life who were mean, petty, shallow and/or insecure. To me they will never be Beautiful. It’s as simple as that.

Two very brief, incomplete examples below of how I see some of the most beautiful people I know. On the left is what most people see, on the right is what I see.

My Mom:

 

Some of my friends:

For every word above, there are 100 different acts, events, encounters that meant the world to me. Sure I could probably only pick one of you out of a crowd. For many of you these pictures aren’t even you. But see, to me it doesn’t really matter. Because I see you as kind, smart, funny and well – Beautiful and that’s all I need to know.

Next time – other weird crazy shit about Caroline ;o)

 

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How serious can it be?

Look, I’ve been trying for days, ok more like 10 minutes, to make this post funny and light-hearted so as not to scare people, but I can’t seem to swing that. Sarcasm and nihilism, sure, those I can do, but teh funny – I’m having trouble with. So cut me some slack ok? As we have discussed, I’m kind of having issues with online relationships. This question, related to the previous one is how much do you share with your online friends? And the follow-up is, is it worth it?

Recently I’ve had a few friends burned by online friendships. Burned, scared, annihilated – whatever words you want to use, but they were full-on responses to full-on relationships. So my thoughts (being the self-absorbed George Costanza that I am) went, of course, straight to me. Can I get burned like that? (Quickly assesses all of my friendships online – no..yes..maybe..him I don’t even understand 1/2 the time..yes..no..maybe..yes..yes – Oh Shit. I can be hurt by these people, they can cut all ties with me and I don’t even know where they live?! How can I tp their house when I don’t even know where they live?!

WHAT?!

These people, with whom I have grown so fond of, to rely on, can hurt me, can devastate me and I don’t even know where they live? What the fuck is wrong with this picture? Here is number…let’s say 14, about what I really don’t get about what the hell I am doing online. No I get it, I will not send Mrs. Ylanga from Somalia, $5,000 in order to get $50,000, and no I am NOT clicking on that link for a free iPad, I get that, I do – but who are these 1/2 square inch avatars I have shared 100s ok, who are we kidding, 1,000s of hours with? I have seen these friends laid off, struggle to keep their house, find a new job. I’ve tried to talk them out of using crazy glue as a replacement for stitches, mourned the loss of loved ones with them, celebrated milestone anniversaries, and the births of their children. I ❤ these people, but – who the fuck are they? And how the hell can I tp their houses when they break my heart? More importantly, what do they think of me? A total stranger, sending good wishes, good luck, condolences and congratulations?

So again, the questions come back to me (George Costanza), how can I protect myself from you 1/2 inch square people? What do I share with you and what do I keep close to my heart? Is this how friendships work these days? I admit that with my work and home life, I'm a bit (totally) out of practice with the whole making new friends thing – but in my day (100s of years ago), friends where the kind you broke bread with, shared all but the deepest secrets, and even then, there were the select few (one) with whom you shared everything. Do I trust you – 140characters at a time? Do I let you into my heart, or do I step back and re-assess? Should I turn off my laptop, and step outside for real friendship? (of course they could then tp my house at will), and more importantly, where will I get the super-awesome memes like sadmusicals and oneoletteroffmovies?! You can see how I struggle.

How do you, non-think-like-a-computer-have-your-own-real-emotions, people do it? How do you know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run? Fuck, I just quoted Kenny Rogers in a serious moment (note to self – update musical phrase selection).

Maybe it's time to re-assess what I'm giving and receiving from this online place. I will be starting the hardest part (to date) of my educational life in a week, so I won’t have as much free time – maybe I should step back, let you 1/2 square inch people carry-on, while I protect myself…although the memes are pretty frakking funny.

Any thoughts?

*tp=toilet paper. gah, I’m old or you are young if you didn’t know that.

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When is a relationship real?

The amount of turmoil surrounding my friends* lately has really made me question the nature of relationships. Not the relationships you have with your children, I’m talking about every other type though – connections with friends, spouses and lovers. Being a commitment phobic, semi recluse, obviously I’m a bit clueless so – I’m asking you – when is a relationship real?

I’ve seen love  – the type you ostensibly marry for (if you’re allowed to) disappear in the blink of an eye to be replaced, not by hate, its close cousin, but by indifference even repulsion. I’ve seen friendships morph into an awkward type of unrequited love, a comfortable arrangement turn into a “what was I thinking?” quick walk away and casual friendships turn into lasting bonds.  I am, perplexed. For anyone with answers I would like to ask you – when did you know your relationship with (friend, lover or enemy) was real? When did you know that it wasn’t?

I understand that respect, camaraderie shared experiences and shared beliefs can all play a part – but we have these things in common with total or near total strangers, what I’m asking is – when  – what  – where and how does a connection become real? When is it a relationship worth sustaining no matter what? Is there such a thing?

I guess this new (to me) online connection medium (internet) has made relationships of any distance possible, but are these real? Are they different from the ones you have in 3D? How are they different? The same? Better? Harder?

I’m a bit gun shy I suppose about forming new relationships with friends in any medium – online or 3D, but mostly 3D. Sure I will go through the motions – maybe (usually never) say I love you out loud (out loud is the key), plan my life with you in it (rarely), but I am forever waiting for the other shoe to drop, for you to realize – meh, not much here – moving on. I never truly trust that the connections are here to stay. For whatever the relationship – unless we are tied by that “bond” of genetic similarity, I’m rarely ever sure if a relationship is real.

So I ask, with sincerity, when is a relationship real to you? What makes it real and how do you know?

*oddly enough, I’m not talking about you. I need 3 hands to count the number of 3D/other friends suffering from relationship troubles right now.  Also this isn’t about our relationship. You and I? We are solid. xo 🙂

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I am a computer

01001001 00100000 01100001 01101101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010

A friend of mine, I’ll call her “Mary,” told me a few days weeks ago that she wished I would write more. That the comments I leave on our friends blogs are so good, that I should write. Hah. I said. And then, as I do, I thought – overly hard about this particular statement. For a long time. Why don’t I write? I know that commenting on a blog is not the same as writing one, but I read, I follow writers, I must love the act of writing, right? I feel like sometimes I have something to say, I have a blog (of course who doesn’t), that I never use, I have a journal, er or I had one at one point, but seem to have lost it. Prophetic I think.

It turns out, after endless minutes (ok days) of reflection, I realized that I don’t write because I am a computer. Let me explain, or sum up.

I generally have no problem commenting on the choice few (15 or so) blogs I choose to read on a regular basis. I feel that these are friends of mine, sharing pieces of their lives with me so I respond back in the only way I can – I acknowledge what they said and ramble on endlessly about some tangential thing. I usually sign with xo and or a silly smiley face 🙂 as my signature. Great. Then I move along. Seems normal huh? But wait, what if I were to sit down in front of a computer (daunting) or a great notebook (Docket pad with narrow rule) with a favorite pencil, Ticonderoga #2 (much more comfortable) and start to write something? Well I’ve tried it, but it usually looks like this:

picture of a page with doodles on it.

Then I need a nap. Good thing I do not make a living writing. Well actually I do, but not the creative type, the type a computer can do. Input in….process…output results. Yes, I am the author of 10 or so peer-reviewed publications that nobody, including, I think, some of the reviewers, have ever read. Yippee. Well I enjoy it, but it is not creative, not in a human kind of way anyway. So here it is, the part where I get serious-ish.

It turns out that I lack the ability to have and express a genuine emotion, without the aid of input. Hmm, that sounds kind of dirty, so let me explain further. I love my friends, I am a Taurus after all, if you believe in that sort of thing, you probably know three things – my birthday is somewhere between  21 April and 21 May, I am stubborn, and I am loyal. It’s the last trait I am referring to here. I love my friends, so when they post a touching or moving or brave (usually they are all three), post on their blog – I am so touched, I am provoked(?) – I must respond. So I write something. Input in…process…output results. Just like a zero one machine. When I think I am going to write something that is as moving or as meaningful or something that is fiction I (see picture above).

I need input in order to respond emotionally, hell I need input in order to feel emotions. If, as I do frequently, I am sitting on my couch with knitting needles in my hand, I am – content. But like Putty on an airplane (Seinfeld episode, Google it), I’m pretty much a blank slate. I sit, I knit. I “rest” my brain. No emotions come over me, unless of course I fuck up a piece. No new amazing thoughts race through my head, no new inventions  or stories or ideas are formed.

I can respond emotionally (and sincerely) to something someone says or writes, but I cannot wax poetic about how I feel about you, trees, jackasses or losers, unless I am given something to react to. “Mary” and other friends I know, can create an idea from a picture, another blog, from their lives or from nothing – poof an idea is born. I envy that ability to create an emotion and to be able to express it.

Is that weird? Um, no wait, I mean is that too weird? I don’t know. I pretty much just realized this the other day. I think it isn’t normal, I think I may know why I am like this, but that’s a whole other post, and one I’m not sure I’m not ready to write.

So I thank “Mary” and “T” and “Becky” all fictitious names I *swear* for their encouragement, but I am not a person who can write. Until you can imagine, or feel or provoke a creative feeling out of something – other than responding to or mimicking another’s emotions, I don’t think you can write anything of substance. I don’t think you can write. And just to make one thing clear – I don’t really want to be a writer, I don’t think. I would just like to be able to think, to feel and to express an emotion, as a writer does. This post, is it substantive? Maybe, for me, but it began as a process after input from “Mary” so it’s basically just a bunch of zeros and ones.

I am a computer in a barcode

*these may or may not be their real names*

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Ten-ish things

Ten things (actually 8 ):

1) I took Japanese dancing lessons from age 3.5 to 18 (I will post a picture here once I find one – for proof). My dancing partner and I (both Happa – google it), were hilarious. Between the Ono’s and the Yamaguchi’s and the Watanabe’s, we were introduced as: Kristine Blotski and Caroline Smith, we sort of stood out.

2) I don’t eat eggs, my friends in college used to call them e.g.g.s (spell out e-g-g) so as not to gross me out. childhood trauma from one of my brothers.

3) At some point after college – I developed a reaction to poultry (totally unrelated to the egg thing above), cannot eat it without gastrointestinal distress. I’ve met like 5 ppl who also suffer this. I think it has something to do with hormones or antibiotics fed to poultry nowadays.

4) Speaking of #3, I am also allergic to many many medications (lucky me!) ;o(

5) I really, honestly am more like a Seinfeld character than you think. If there is ever an emergency – don’t count on me, I am George Costanza.

6) I used to think that “Another Brick in the Wall” was “Another Break in the Law” I still don’t know what the hell they are  singing in this song: “revved up like a douche in the middle of the night”… (OK, so I “know” what they are saying now, but I didn’t for years). Also: “You’re the one that I want” = “You’re the Wizard of O’s”. I did mention that I’m tone deaf and a little you know – stupid, right?

7) I am a perfectionist, or immobilized by the fear of not being good at stuff, horrible affliction. I am really trying to improve that. (Hope I’m good at improving!) 🙂

8 ) I would someday like to write a book about my bachan (grandma), not for other people to read per se, but to make sure that my memories of her do not leave this world when I die, women like her need to be remembered.

9)I think that’s about it. Maybe I will add 9-10 if I can think of something of interest…. 🙂

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This is not a blog, this is just a page I use to exceed #140

Rantings of a person

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