Sunday, May 15, 2016

Random neuron firings

It's cherry time again in the Pacific Northwest. Miss V, having returned to us for the summer, has been craving fruit of various kinds -- especially stone fruit, her particular favorite. We've been going through a lot of cherries around here.

It's also the time of year when the weather is, shall we say, charmingly unpredictable. And as we go from sun to rain to wind to rain again back to sun -- sometimes in the course of an hour -- it seems my thoughts follow the weather patterns in their randomness:
  • Do all animals dream? Roxy certainly does. She seemed to have a series of unpleasant dreams a few weeks after she went missing, and based on the sounds and movements she made in her sleep, we guessed they involved her being chased by predators. Maybe only animals over a certain level of intelligence experience dreams -- or maybe all animals dream, but only the more intelligent ones can tell the difference between dreams and waking life. (If dreams can enthrall human beings -- even temporarily -- into believing them, how much more difficult must it be for a dog, a cat, or a parakeet to be able to shake off the experience without the cognizant thought "it was only a dream, it wasn't real?")
  • Yesterday I read a book snippet that happened to resonate very strongly with me. It was about the human desire for intimacy being coupled with the often paralyzing fear of opening oneself up to ridicule. The author suggested that the best way to achieve intimacy with another person was to make it safe for others to reveal their true selves to you -- offering sincere compliments and expressions of gratitude for who they are, not mocking them or belittling them when they make mistakes, reserving judgment and allowing people to express how they feel without reservation, and taking the risk of being vulnerable with others by revealing something of yourself first. I fear I'm bad at this in two ways -- I'm afraid of opening up to other people and I tend to be too quick to judge -- but hey, you're never too old to learn something new.
  • Miss V and I went thrifting in Seattle, including a visit to the big Goodwill on Dearborn. In addition to being stuffed full of both secondhand goodies and shoppers, there was a glorious melting pot of humanity on display. I was reminded again that I'm fortunate to live in a place with a wide variety of people. Something about it makes me grin like an idiot. (Also, Roxy-cat got a nice sturdy cat carrier out of the experience.)
  • The word of the day: "tartarology," though it sounds like it ought to be the in-depth study of tangy white sauce for fish, means "a collection of beliefs about hell or the underworld." Also, a "prandicle" is a small meal... say, somewhere on the gustatory scale between a nosh and a feast.
  • Remember that "too quick to judge" comment above? Well, danger warning, here comes another judgment: with all the other forms of insanity going on in the world right now, are we really going to make the non-issue of trans people in public restrooms the Big Important Thing of 2016? Personally, I don't know or care whether the person in the stall next to me was born female or male, and I'm pretty sure that person (whoever it is) feels the same way about me. Can't we agree to give people sufficient privacy to let them do their business?
  • Just go check out the Abandoned Theme Parks section of Atlas Obscura. Seriously.
And now, to bed. zzzzz.

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