Don’t anticipate the end of every activity just enjoy all the many many starts.
The great Kurt reminds us that there is nothing special about being jaded and hard. seeing the world with happiness will always make you happier than viewing the world with sarcasm.
I like thinking about this when I feel a little down about my day-to-day situations because it reminds me that not everything makes it into your life unless you consciously choose to make it part of your life. It’s important not to be lazy about your habits in order to be the best person you can become so don’t forget to choose to be the person you want to be.
Previously published on: http://thepettypulpit.tumblr.com/post/16195155263/a-diy-rom-com
By: Jessy Graeber
Ever read the book Stuff White People Like? Watched the oh-so-popular clip ‘Shit Girls Say’? Seen Pretty in Pink? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? When Harry Met Sally; She’s All That; 10 Things I Hate About You; She’s Out of My League; Love and Basketball; My Best Friend’s Wedding; There’s Something About Mary; Say Anything; High Fidelity; Serendipity; Vicky Christina Barcelona; 16 Candles; Romancing the Stone; Overboard?
There are so, so, many more where that came from but let me get to my point: I’m 25; Female; Professional; and Living Alone for the First Time. Basically, my life possesses several essential components necessary for any “great” romantic comedy.
So Monday there I am, sitting in my wood-floored living room, eating Chinese takeout on the floor, simultaneously working and texting my long-distance boyfriend, slowly realizing that I am, in fact, not unique. I am a Rom-Com. I fit squarely into the generalizations observed by my peers about 20-something professionals. For example: reading Stuff White People Like, I cracked it open thinking I’d fall just outside of the norm. If the list of likes were a box-and-whisker plot, I fully expected to be in the lower quartile as less than half of my likes would coincide with the things that other white people liked. Long story short – I stopped reading after the 5th chapter because I felt so transparent. Yes, I do like farmers’ markets. I think Conan O’Brien is witty. Camping is a great way to get away from it all. I have promised (multiple times) to learn a new language or two. Ugly sweater parties make me feel cool. I have and am proud to have gay friends. I think bicycles are hip AND economical. I make self-aware hip hop/pop culture references and am pleased with myself. I LOVE brunch and prefer microbrews. After/during travel my friends and I use the word “awareness” repeatedly. I practice yoga. I have a black friend. I use said black friend as a culture/hip hop/political correctness reference. I probably make people feel bad about not going outside. And I have definitely purchased over-priced athletic apparel to foster my desire to workout. The list goes on and on. I can’t even expound on ‘Shit Girls Say’ because, sadly, I’m guilty of 99% of those words.
I was faced with the choice of either flinging my Chinese food carton away from me in my haste to change everything about myself – or – laugh at my predictability and hope someone else could see the humor (unfortunately both these reactions are extremely predictable in a 25-year old female, so I can’t turn this into a triumph over stereotypes either way). In an easy 5-step program you can basically turn all your vanilla-interests into a recipe for your own little rom-com. I can’t promise you’ll find John Cusack outside your window or that your best friend will suddenly turn into the man of your dreams (and as I am currently sitting alone on my bed waiting for my long-distance boyfriend to catch a flight and surprise me on my door step – flowers and puppy in-hand – I would take them with a grain of salt). Life isn’t a movie; but you can sure try.
1. Create the Scene:
As in: select slightly hippy, grown-up furniture to place around your apartment (which, preferably, has one wall of exposed brick). Then make sure you have a movie selection that appeals to both males and females in case your potential soul-mate should take it as a sign that you ‘both own copies of the Transformer movies’ (!).
You can also find opportunities to create the perfect Rom-com scene out of stuff you already have. My example of eating Chinese on the wood floor with my computer screen shining work documents back at me and my iPhone sitting beside me buzzing with each long-distant text could have been the opening scene for the next great love-story. This can apply to any food you can eat while sitting on the floor (think: ice cream, a box of cookies, plates of cheese and crackers, or even a simple glass of wine.) Just imagine this first opening bit transforming into the final scene where you peacefully cook a gourmet dinner together and share it by candlelight.
For guys, also think about creating an environment where a female would want to nurture you. Wet towel on the bathroom floor? Leave it there. Pantry full of boxed noodle mixes and old bread? She’ll want to feed you. Make sure if you do sit on the floor to eat, you blare ESPN and don’t turn on any lights. This leaves the potential lover to improve your life in ways you never imagined – or wanted.
2. Make Yourself Available
Phone calls, Skype, IM, texting – guys and girls love it when you are there 24/7. It really fits in with a busy schedule. Obviously his/her work is more important than yours so suck it up and sext while you focus on that deadline.
3. Leave Room for that Special Someone
Maybe throw out some of your clothes “just in case” your love interest/neighbor/pizza delivery person, wants to settle down and leave a bunch of their crap in your way. Perhaps a drawer in the bathroom could be reserved for a future tenant of the apartment? You never know what kind of stuff a person is going to want around when s/he’s spending time with you, so be sure you’re ready to accommodate any crazy item that comes with the package.
4. Repetition is Key
The more you do something the more likely it is that s/he will show up with exactly the right timing to see you at your most intelligent + most feminine/masculine. So make sure that when you’re studying or reading Les Miserables you’re wearing your cutest lounge clothes (shirtless and jacked works well for most men) and the smallest amount of makeup. Always be prepared.*
*This applies to working out as well. Previously mentioned expensive workout clothes are extremely important if the person who finds you is at all interested in physical fitness.
The pushy ones always have to wait the longest. It’s the same in every movie. The quiet shy friend of the main character is married and has two kids while the vibrant leading lady and man are struggling to put their lives together. Don’t try to have everything. Career and family don’t mix, as the movies have taught us.
Previously published by: http://thepettypulpit.tumblr.com/post/42333553848/the-skyfall-solution
By: Jessy Graeber
This writing is about gun safety; but more importantly it’s about the human capacity to imagine and create amazing and wonderful tools for gun safety.
No matter what your individual position on gun violence happens to be, most people in America saw and loved Skyfall. As a whole it may embody the glorification of violence that is being attacked right now in our culture but, broken into parts, it may prove useful in providing some long term discussion points in favor of a safer America.
Right now the whole world is weighing and judging what Vice President Biden and his team have put together as a solution for decreasing gun violence. Solutions on the table include closing private gun sales, making mental health care more readily available, prohibiting the sale of extended clips and assault style rifles, and more. Because of the dark nature of the latest shootings, mental illness has been tied intimately with gun violence and will be a sticking point for policy makers appeasing both sides of this debate.
I’d like to applaud all Americans for being open to compromise on the issue and re-thinking the ways in which society enables unwell individuals by claiming help is unavailable. It is admirable to be attacking the issue from two sides.
Even these two sides, however, are not enough to prevent a legally purchased firearm from being intended for or borrowed by a friend or relative for violent ends, which is known as “straw purchase sales” according to a PBS Frontline article by the Center for Investigative Reporting and is, according to the author Dan Noyes, one of the most common ways for a criminal to obtain a firearm.
It’s time to think even more outside the tracks of where mental illness leads, where gun rights lead, and where those two intersect. We have examples all around in the creative world for problem-solving and we need to think about the resources and advantages we have that are no longer unbelievable.
It is almost impossible to make an individual person safer. We have free will and even if we are treated for imbalances or illness that can alter personalities or are kept from purchasing our own firearms we know that where there is a will, there is a way. Firearms have no such will. They do the will of the person holding them and in no way interfere with that will. So, in addition to increasing the care of people and our efforts to limit the dangers people pose to other people, why shouldn’t we also take a look at how people use their guns?
If we cannot make people safer, then we must make guns safer.
In California, where I just went through a ropes course of getting a drivers license, there were more obstacles and paperwork than when I have gone to purchase a firearm. I had to prove I was a citizen, prove I had the right to hold the title and registration to a vehicle, prove I was insured, have my photo take, give my finger print, take a practical exam, check my eyesight, pay a fee for the right to be licensed, and pay a fee for the right to drive my car in a new state.
I am not suggesting that we should run gun sales like a DMV, however, let’s take a page from them and from Skyfall and use the simplest form of technology to make our tools more safe.
If not for the protection of a built-in fingerprint activated trigger James Bond would be dead in the bottom of a Komodo dragon cage while worldwide terror was still being carried out on England’s secret police. That would have been a terrible movie.
But guess what: using the best available technology he was able to avoid being killed in the first half hour and instead go on to make a much better movie that everyone could enjoy.
If we can use finger printing to access computers, rooms, driver’s licenses, criminal charges, and medical equipment why can’t we trust this type of security to improve the safety of firearms?
Each person’s fingerprints are completely unique and stay unchanged for a lifetime. And even small databases that could be used on an item the size of a gun can hold multiple finger prints.
The legal purchaser of a firearm would be able to use the piece unconditionally, and if desired physically order that a son, daughter, brother, uncle or wife be fingerprint authorized to use the weapon.
The possibility that we could own any number of guns at our own home and they could never be used against us by a stranger is an extremely exciting idea.
Of course there are people who will be willing to give access to any individual, maybe because they feel family obligation, maybe because they are in denial about the state of mental health, maybe because they do not like the idea of gun access being restricted. However, combined with the proposed background checks, and availability to mental health evaluations our guns would be less of a vulnerable tool for carrying out mass violence or even individual violence.
This is not a solution for every situation; many people who are angry with other people or the world do not have a mental defection that causes them to lash out at family and strangers. Also, many people will turn to other weapons for showing their pain to the world. But with improved gun safety, secure home gun storage, thorough background checks on purchasers and users, increased availability to help for families’ involved with mental illness, and a moral revitalization of the commandment not to do harm to others, America can prevent some of the tragedies inflicted upon ourselves.
Until now, the epic violence of movies has been making its way into the world while none of the wonderful technology or perseverance of the human spirit to do Good has been glorified in the same way and it is unacceptable.