Saturday, December 24, 2005

Day Trippin'

Today we had a nice "field trip" to the

  • Sea Center
  • , since we are easily amused by invertebrates, echidnoderms and bright shiny objects of any type, and the day was absolutely perfect. Warm, clear, gentle breezes, salt spray and seagulls in the air. I love this town, any day, rain or shine, aging (and new) hippy types mixing with the nouveau riche, the old money and the many cultures who come here. It isn't perfect here, not by a long shot, but it is my home, where I come from, a place I feel in my bones. My internal compass will be forever askew, because the coastline here runs more or less East/West, instead of North/South like most of the rest of the world. When we say "101 (freeway) north", really, we should say "101 West" - but that would be just silly, since as far as everyone here is concerned, Goleta = North and Ventura is South. Thhhhppppbbbbppp! I don't "speak compass", just give me landmarks and I'll be able to orient myself pretty well within a few hours.

    Wilderness survival books often say that we really just think we know where we are most of the time, but in reality if some part of our "mental map" or environment is slightly altered, many adults become highly agitated if not lost. Which explains why when my dad said, "Meet me at the lodge at the bottom of the hill," on a ski trip, my mother would invariably become hopelessly lost. Growing up, I watched the whole male to female "lost in translation" scenario play out time and again with great amusement.

    These days, I observe these matters more as an informal, ongoing, social anthropological study. When I read
  • Jon
  • and
  • Heather's
  • hysterical back-and-forth banter about (and too) each other, I have to cackle aloud. So many people I know have sighed (or growled) "S/he just doesn't GET IT!" about their partner - and need I mention the millions of self-help books (99% crapola, if you ask me) about relationships of any kind? Most of the ones I've thumbed through boil down to "try and talk clearly, calmly, often and openly about.... X, and you'll probably be o.k.".

    Doesn't SEEM that difficult, does it? Yet it seems that most conflicts - a tiff between friends, race riots, WWII, take your pick, start with the essential breakdown/misunderstanding and fester and worsen from there. Today I was talking to my aunt, who I nicknamed "Auntie Yoda" as a small girl, because she's so wise. I'd called her as "tech support" (Please note: the notion of me as a Techie is simply to funny to even try to explain) because she doesn't have the Internet at home, but once we moved past her email (wrong login name) difficulties, we started talking about Family stuff and other fun things. Mostly it was about how being the oldest kid sucks, at least in our experience(s?)

    They (again, I'd love to know who THEY are) say that birth order has a big impact on your personality and reactions to things. I don't know if I completely agree in all aspects - there are some definite advantages to any "spot" in any given family. Right?

    So I ask ye, oh readers (yeah all three of you) What sayeth you? What were/are your experiences? and How Would you try and change, or emulate, your parents' style in your hypothetical family?

    In other, lighter (and completely non-related) news:

    A few minutes ago S flipped on the TV and started watching
  • National Treasure
  • while I was busy chatting with people on Etiquette Hell. A minute or two later, he turned to me and asked, "Does this movie have any redeeming features?"

    "Hmmmmm.... From what I recall, you don't have to view Nicolas Cages' chest hair at any point of the flick," I replied....
  • (not for the faint of heart)
  • Which is a plus point by any measure, right?

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