Sunday, June 17, 2007

Love is a Cheap Trick.

There was a pretty cheesy movie line that I heard once that said something like this. "I wish relationships could be simple, like a retro pop song. I want you to want me. That's it. But things are often much more complicated." Actually, that was Cheap Trick. But, I really do agree with the blonde teen-something who said that. Sometimes, I really do wish it was that simple.
Instead, we find ourselves swinging more easily to the tunes of Pat Benatar, "Love is a battlefield". But why, why must it be so strenuous, and so hard?
And why must I find it SO difficult to explain it to someone, why I play games to find out what someone is really thinking, throw out tests to see how much he cares, and give off fake signals to disguise the depth of my affection. Why can't I just say it? I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I'd love you to LOVE me. The lyrics are so easy, so complete. That really just says it all. If my life right now were a retro pop song, I think it'd sound a little more like this:

I secretly want you to want me, even though I pretend everyone wants me, and I'm used to it. I need you to need me. I want to need you, but I refuse to let you know that because I need no one. I'd love you to love me, but I refuse to be the first one to say it. The word always freezes at the tip of my tongue, though with fear of you or just the word itself I'm really not sure. I'm not that complicated, really. I just want you to look beneath everything I say and do to protect myself and realize that all I really want, all I really need is for you to want me.

Not very catchy, is it? Definitely not marketable to the general public in a musical sense. So why are we so afraid to just SAY what we WANT? Are we afraid that if we speak it aloud it might break? Or maybe then it makes it more real to us, and then we are forced to look at our deepest desires... and see that maybe they really are too good to be true? Or maybe we keep them in because they just don't rhyme.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Idiot Motorists: a Rant

Okay, so in the past three days, I have witnessed even more reason to fear driving my vehicle. Not just Utah drivers, which I already knew were a threat based on the fact that the test here most likely consists of "how to use your vehicle as a secondary dressing room, day care, conference room, marriage counseling center, and lavaratory" 101, and such questions as:

26. If you are driving down a 45 mph major roadway in 5pm traffic, and the Hoagie Yogie that you would LIKE to reach is a block away and three lanes over, do you:
a) turn right, double back with an illegal U-turn and run a yellow light to get there using the least amount of force
b) change the three lanes in quick succession in front of the nearest cars, without signaling, and expect them to get out of your way because the 12 kid minivan driver is OBVIOUSLY on the ball enough to react
c) speed up to 80 mph so that your car can hairline turn through even the smallest gaps in traffic, causing other motorists only mild cardiac arrest when their lives flash before their eyes
d) Simply pretend NOT to see anyone in your rear-view or side mirrors, muttering blithely to yourself "I have no blind spot" and rely on faith to move the terrified and traffic locked left laners out of your way so that you can satisfy your deep and pressing need for a RuityFruity smoothie
***All answers are permissable.

I mean, seriously. You've got to be freaking kidding me. I live in a land where people not only use their cars as portable little worlds suspended from reality, but also as weapons in some cases, and slightly less expensive substitutes for theme park rides in others.
One recent episode began with me trying to get into the left lane so that I could turn. I signaled far ahead of time, only to notice that the driver 3 carlengths back on my left had decided to accelerate WAY above the speed limit to pass me, first. So I stopped my pilgramage to the left lane prematurely and moved back into the safety of the right, only to have the psychopath swerve into the right also, directly behind me, without signaling. When I tried to escape him (because I was sure he would hit me if I didn't) he moved to cut me off, using his car as automotive body language, trying to bully me into ...I'm not even sure what. Then, when I refused to move away, he pulled up beside me and started shouting incoherant obsenities at my open window. Classic road rage. In a land where people are supposed to all be the chosen saints in latter days, you'd think I wouldn't have to fear that some soccer dad would try to kill me on my way to work.

Another more recent and slightly more satisfying incident arose when I witnessed a testosterone filled young buck launch his brand new (I can only assume it was his, and new) Dodge Viper over a bump in the road, sailing directly into the turf on the curb of some overpriced condominiums up the street from my house. I passed him just in time to see his stunningly reckless progress through a 20mph residential area, thinking it was a good thing that I knew the bump was there because it's almost impossible to see in the dark. The impact shattered the entire front of the car and the bumper was left about 4 feet away. The driver was presumably unhurt, though I imagine the emotional strain of needlessly wasting a prize possession was intense. What can I say, dude? Shouldn't have been an idiot.

And so ends my latest rant on the incompetency and danger of Utah drivers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ode to Obesity

All you can eat buffets. The most beloved throwback of the American priviledged unto the Vomitorium of Roman glory days. The setup is basically the same. Piles and piles of delicious food, all you desire to take. There is so much to choose from, and you can have it all. Yes, stuff your little blubbery faces full like there's no tomorrow. Or, maybe if you come back tomorrow there will be no more food left. Heavens forbid. So take some more and then more, don't worry about wasting anything you mound of's not like food is a finite resource or anything.
You come here twice a week, and one wonders whether or not you store it all up like a bulbous python...sunning yourself somewhere and lounging in wait until Tucanos opens again.
Your puffy offspring, already showing signs of premature cardio respiratory problems as a result of unfair baggage that you have allowed them to consume without remorse, jiggle with delight and ADHD as they hungrily (figure of speech, because they never will be) eye the next course and the next. Their eager little mouths squelch out commands to the humble servant who brings them their livelihood in neverending droves.
When will it stop? When will you realize that you've taken something of cultural enjoyment and turned it into a mockery of our way of life, a circus show celebrating the excesses of our economy and society? Brazilian the idea may be, but the abuse is American. They come and watch and their eyes scorn and laugh at the fat gringos who cease to enjoy...but keep eating anyway. Why doesn't it stop?
When looks of eager anticipation turn to regretful acceptance, and then finally grimaces of pain? But you keep eating. Like cattle with no thought toward what they will become tomorrow, or what a body is for. To live, to raise children and find all the enjoyment life can bring? The outdoors, the water, the wind, and the feel of running through a field of grass? No, you only eat. You have shackled yourself to that chair by your continual greed and self-loathing, limiting yourself to the one activity that you can still perform with distinction.
More food! Shouts the 400 lb Patrician with unlimited resources and extremely limited mobility. The once human being that has become an eating machine, a human no more.