Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crossing my Ts

My middle brother, as brothers do, has always liked grossing me out. So when he was in medical school, he told me about a guy he'd seen come into the hospital who couldn't fill out his admitting paperwork because he'd sliced through the tendon on the back of his thumb. So he had to wait, in pain, for someone to help him with his paperwork (I guess this was back when that kind of paperwork was done on actual paper with like a pen and shit). Of course, being the self-sufficient type that I am, I immediately started learning to write with my non-dominant hand. That was not going to happen to me! In high school and college I was able to practice off and on; it was slow as shit but I had a lot of time on my hands then. (It was also when I learned to twirl a baton and juggle.) Now, most of the time that I have to work on penmanship of any kind happens in meetings. And my writing behavior in said meetings breaks down as such:

Interesting or important meeting: Take notes with right hand.
Boring and/or unimportant meeting: Write same 2-3 words or phrases over and over with left hand (depending on length of meeting).
Offensively boring and unimportant meeting: Do math longhand, with left hand. (The worst was when there was this really bilious woman on the design team who would just unleash during our team meetings; I actually used to try to figure out the square root of pi [which means fucking nothing mathematically; you never need it] digit by digit. That was to keep from punching myself in the face.)

Anyway, as part of this left-hand/right-hand writing thing, I like to study the way people write. Again, this happens most often during meetings. I like to look at people's handwriting and the mechanics of the way they write. Like lefties who write hooked over, or from below. And I noticed that righties get to pull toward their hand as they write, first with the letters, and then with the dots over the i's and the bars across the t's. It's more comfortable that way, more fluid and natural, it seems. Like, painters don't push a brush, they pull their brush. But lefties are forced in this world to push. To scrape across the paper away from themselves. And for some reason that felt kinda shitty to me, so I started to push away from my hand with my bars and dots, out of some sort of silent solidarity. So: If I go to write the word "excitement," say, I cross from right to left. First the last t right to left, then the first t right to left, then the i. I've trained my brain that way; I've been doing it that way for at least a decade. But I was writing with my hands less and less, so it mattered less and less. It was just primarily during those meetings.

But recently I got into writing by hand considerably more. About a month ago I got a beautifully handwritten letter from a dear old friend, on the really nice paper, so I got some nice paper and I wrote him back. And then it occurred to me to get a nice pen to write on the nice paper (for the next letter; it didn't make it into this one), and now all I want to do is handwrite. It's been fantastic. Many nights I spend maybe half an hour to an hour writing, just working through stuff. It's great for this time in my life. And it's also fun to work on my handwriting. Like, is this the kind of loop I will make on my y's? Is that the capital D for me? 

So the other night while I was writing, I started thinking about this backward crossing/dotting habit, and whether my pushing protest had gone on long enough. I notice that sometimes, especially when I'm tired, my brain gets jumbled trying to hit all the right t's and i's. And then I found this webpage that says that "the backward crossed t-bar (right to left) ... signifies the need to punish oneself." It also says "any time your handwriting moves backward when it's supposed to move forward, you are stuck in the past or focusing on yourself in an unhealthy manner." And my initial response is of course to say: That is a bunch of bullshit. But I mean, really, it'd be easier to dismiss that stuff it weren't also true.

It's kinda like when I found that horoscope site that listed Scorpio likes as "the unraveling of mysteries" and "being acknowledged the undisputed champion of anything." I mean, those are pretty good guesses!

And even though I'm relatively scientific, and the handwriting thing seems like a bunch of hoo-ha, part of me wants to try crossing the t's the other way again. I figure it can't hurt, right? And it'll give me something sort of mindless to work on. Which I think I could really get into right now.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Whoa up, Binney and Smith

You're still calling that color Peach? Come on, now! It's not nearly orangey enough. I mean, I think we all know that the only Peach that color is the Princess:

Striking, no?

How about you call it Pink Beige?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A few perks of having an old-lady name

1. You have the same name as almost everyone's mom or old math teacher. Sometimes both! I always think this is so nice because I must call to mind so many fond memories. Note: This is actually not always nice.

2. You never have to leave a last name. (though I'm pretty needy, so I hardly ever leave a name at all, always vying for a coveted "me" slot)

3. You find yourself in all kinds of old children's books, doing such wonderful things as patting a bunny or reading a book (about patting a bunny, apparently). So capable, we Judys!

Go on, Judy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Four little words

In 10th grade I took what passed for a psychology class in my high school. The only thing that I remember from it is that the teacher, Mr. Larson (not that one, the other one -- the one with the mustache), told us that instead of saying "I love you," we should strive to say "I love myself when I'm with you." I thought that was nice, and it seemed true, so I tucked it away as a sort of litmus test.

And to be sure, not every relationship I've been in since then has met that standard. I mean, the heart wants what the heart wants, right? But one of the things that I love the most about Jeffrey is that he really pushes me to see other people's perspectives, and sometimes to see what my own perspective really is. It's not just this one thing, but even if it were, I would still know without a doubt that being with him has made me a better person. And that's just one way that I love myself because I'm with him. It's changed the way I look at everything, really, and made me infinitely more understanding. And I think that's a really great thing.

But twice last week I ran afoul of friendship law because I've taken that too far with friends. The first time, I was chatting with a friend and talk turned to his ex-wife -- someone I've never met. And even though I knew precious little about it, I tried to see her perspective. And my friend said, "I'm right here in front of you. You know me. You don't know her. Why are you giving her the benefit of the doubt?" He was pretty upset, and he had a good point, and I apologized.

Then another friend complained about something someone had failed to communicate to him, and I tried to explain to him that it was probably just an oversight. And then he, too, got upset. 

So I recounted this second, similar story to Friend 1. And he told me that he appreciates what I do, that it helps make him a better person, and that he didn't want me to stop doing it. But that sometimes a dude just wants the confirmation that the other guy's an asshole, or an offer to go in on the violence.

And you know, I think he's right, but not just for dudes. I know how great it feels to get that kind of backing. I think from friends, what I long to hear (and should therefore say more of) is not "I love you," and certainly not "I love myself when I'm with you." It's "Yeah, fuck that guy."

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

An us that doesn't exist

Last night over dinner I asked Abbott what he had studied at school that day. He paused and said, "Um, us but different from us. An us that doesn't exist." Turns out: They were studying genetic engineering. I mean, inasmuch as 4-year-olds can. 

But what he said was so beautiful to me, and I like to think that it's something we should all be studying.

Monday, February 02, 2015


You know, I will admit that when Michael Jackson says, "Pretty young things, repeat after me!" I do, I repeat after him. I mean, pretty is subjective of course, and I'm not that young anymore, but fuck it. Nah nah nah!