Sidetracked



Seventy-Two Beautiful Hours

I’ve got the next three days off. Not exactly the break I was hoping for, but it will do.

During the next 72 hours, I will not:

Wake up before sunrise.

Ask anyone if they’d like sugar, cream or a receipt.

Or need to use any willpower to steer clear of delicious pastries or sample cups filled with whipped cream.

I might not answer my phone either, just for good measure.

My horoscope told me that I’ve been falling apart and putting myself back together a lot lately, and while Dave thinks horoscopes are a bunch of crap, it speaks the truth. I’ve been feeling the need to purge all of this muck that has built up inside of me and find a way to start fresh. I need a mind cleanse before I get too comfortable. Maybe I’ll sleep on it. I can do that for the next three days!

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  1. * ~A says:

    If I may, I’d like to recommend a good hike – alone – and a little “just sit and stare at *hit” meditation for reconnecting to whatever it is deep inside that’s most important.

    That is, I’m more of a believer in that lately.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  2. * mike says:

    In heaven there is no beer.

    That’s why we drink it here.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  3. * ~A says:

    King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Watch it, people.

    (Alamo Drafthouse and Landmark Century Centre)

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  4. * ~A says:

    (and Landmark Inwood)

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  5. * david g says:

    I don’t think you really care too much about the horoscope thing, but it does fascinate me.
    Who writes horoscopes, and what do they know? Do they have some kind of religious superpower? I am imagining some greasy miserable person. or a computer program. They jot down 12 vague descriptions that could pretty much fit anyone. It’s like bottom of the totem pole for reassurance.

    “So, do you go to church?”
    “Uh, no. I can’t believe you even asked–”
    “What do you believe in?”
    “Newspaper predictions. And karma.”

    Seems a little silly. Actually I don’t care if someone believes in karma, but usually when it comes up, the person mentioning it is trying to choose between something normal and kind-hearted and something devious. “Well, I would like to steal the $100 hanging out of that guy’s pocket… but I do believe in karma…”

    *ducking*

    *ramble*

    *scramble*

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  6. * mike says:

    “The more plausible reason for the popularity of graphological and astrological interpretations, readings and the like is because, paraodoxically, they are true. But, and it is an important but, the reason they are true is that they are vague, positive generalisations which are true of most people and yet are supposedly derived specifically for a named individual.

    This is part of a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as the Barnum effect, whereby people will accept feedback about their personality, no matter how trivial or general, because they believe it is based on personality assessment procedures. The effect is named after Phineas T Barnum, a showman and circus owner in 19th-century America who claimed ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ and whose formula for success was ‘A little something for everybody’. According to research on the Barnum effect, people believe in astrology and graphology because they fall victim to the fallacy of personal validation. In other words they take the generalised, trite, bogus descriptions, which are true of nearly everybody, to be specifically true of themselves.”

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  7. * ~A says:

    I think you’re saying that I’m great and, well, yes, you’d be right: I am pretty great. And, I should add that you’re terrific gifted to have gleaned that from the stars.

    anyway: here some stuff on the what is and the how of astrology. (Which is a little different from “daily horoscopes”.

    What Mike quotes is a little off the subject here in that R’s not talking about her sign and it’s assignments but about those reports that tell more about what is going on in the environment. It’s a little more akin to the weatherman in Dallas saying, “It’s going to be 114 out there with a Red Alert for smog nearly all week. If you’re ill or old this is your week to avoid going outside and spend time focusing on quiet, relaxing activities.” **

    I think their vagueness sometimes allow people to reaffirm their own commitment to decisions they’ve already made. If you’re serious about astrology you may get your chart done and get a reading done for the year; that way you can organize your year in a way that you believe will be in accordance of the flow of energies, etc. that may influence results. However, if you’re just checking the dailies, I think it’s more likely that you’re interested in a little more than a coin toss between calling your mom today vs. tomorrow or starting your new exercise regimen vs. cleaning your closet.

    Speaking directly to what R says above, I don’t there’s anyone alive that would argue it’s better to stack and store the muck vs. a good regular purging and so all the daily did on that given day was help someone begin something that was already pending. It’s not a prediction but allows catharsis. “Falling apart” could have been interpreted in dozens of ways (emotionally, financially, physically, socially, spiritually, …) but whatever the circumstance, it allows the person who is ready to deal with their issue to acknowledge it is a fine time to do so now.

    ….and it should now be totally obvious I am SO not into working again today. It’s hot out and I’m just so friggin’ sleepy.

    **anyway, I think things like this keep horoscopes/ astrology popular.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  8. * Lauren says:

    I wonder how much people get paid to write horoscopes…

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  9. * ~A says:

    I thought this belonged to you two: http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/128298075525157500gimmemaicoffeh.jpg

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  10. * Rebekah says:

    Dave, don’t get me started on Karma. Karma is important because it reminds people that the actions they take do have an impact on everyone around them. You were arguing that if you found a lost iPod at the mall you wouldn’t turn it in, you would take it. By turning it in you could make someone’s day a lot better. This goes for the bigger picture as well. Everyone and everything is connected.

    Call me blasphemous, but I think using a horoscope to help guide your decisions is a lot like using the Bible. What difference does it make if it’s true if it’s helping someone improve their life?

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  11. * sidetracked says:

    ~A, well said. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  12. * ~A says:

    I’m… uh, I’m not gonna say anything else.

    crap. The Bible is a moral guide and should be studied whole and understood in it’s simplicity and complexity – it’s something someone never stops studying. Those who use it to guide a particular decision by taking it piecemeal or, worse, by cherry picking one line from here and another there are doing a disservice to themselves and others.
    Horoscopes, so far as I can tolerate, are best used for motivating a person to act upon that which they have been delaying. I said, “catharsis” before and that’s a little too narrow; I meant only to suggest that a Daily or Weekly could alert a person to something they’d been ignoring or unaware of… when R. reads that people under her sign have been caught in a cycle deconstruction/reconstruction she understands that she needs a “mind cleanse” or, what came up previously, an attitude adjustment (which I’d call and recommitment to intention). She might have been feeling lousy; she might have been wanting to “get around” to feeling better but the Daily helped her decide the time to act was right. (and hopefully she did)

    I don’t believe, however, that horoscopes are “true” and in that Mike’s little blurb is right – they’re true in that they’re vague and anyone can pull something of worth from them. R. and I are under different signs but I could read what she read and decide that my endless cycle of organizing/burying my room and desk needs to come to a stop and it’s time to focus on committing myself to a manageable system for maintaining both – and so relieve myself of the associated stress that comes with not doing so. There’s no truth in the Daily but I apply my own necessity (or need) to it and becomes useful.

    …and while I’m at it: Karma I think can come down, for us here in the U.S. (so I’m talking from the culture I know and not speaking as an authority) as: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. And that has some limits. In the case of the discovered Ipod; I’d probably take it, too but, if we were driven by Karma then no one would touch the Ipod at all. As soon as take it and return it to where you think it should go (lost and found) you pull it from its own context and introduce it to yours. The person who dropped it may have been visiting from somewhere else and might not think or be too shy to approach any authority figures like those at a lost and found (which they might not even be familiar with in the first place). However, if you (and everyone else) leave it alone, whoever it is could, even days later, retrace their steps and find it there on their own original path. By doing other than that you won’t have done the better thing, only the thing that made you feel better.
    …and because I don’t believe in others to be able to leave it alone, I’d have taken it ’cause, after all, someone else – even someone working the lost and found booth – might just take instead.
    (*This attitude was further informed when I my hat fell from where it was tied to my belt as I hiked my way out of the Grand Canyon. When it was finally sunny enough to want it I turned around and discovered it’d been seen a quarter-mile down when two coming up saw two going down pick it up. They talked about whether they should leave it or take it – and neither one of the descenders had a hat. I had to run down three-quarters of a mile before I caught them. They apologized profusely but, even though I wish they’d left it, I admitted that I couldn’t be sure someone else wouldn’t have taken it. If they’d taken it and then given it to a ranger I’d simply have never seen it again ’cause I’d never think to follow up with some central station for a place that big.)

    Besides, who’s to say it just isn’t “meant to be”; after all, isn’t that a little bit of what horoscopes are about?
    Man, I should just quit my job if I’m going to spend so much time not working. I’m actually starting to feel guilty.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  13. * Rebekah says:

    I can’t believe that post turned into this.

    And I can’t believe y’all would take something that doesn’t belong to you. You would take it because you assume that the people working the lost and found are just as devious as yourselves? What happened to doing the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do? If I lost my purse or jacket or iPod or any other valuable item and there was a place for people to take such found items, I would hope that’s where I could find it when I went looking. I say there is a right and wrong when it comes to taking something that doesn’t belong to you vs. turning it in or trying to find it’s owner.

    And I wasn’t saying that I believe horoscopes are true, either.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  14. * mike says:

    I’ve resolved to keep my mouth shut.

    FOREVER!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago


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