Monthly Archives: July 2015

Is it Weird that I get Turned on by Vocabulary Words?

Asceticism has been my new vocabulary word.  My friend Devon and I just got over our phase of using the word “pheromones” like it was our job, so now I’m on to asceticism.  I’m obsessed with it.  For it being such a rare word, I think I have somehow found a way to say it at least once a day for the last week and a half.  I was reading “No Impact Man” (a book that should be required reading for all human beings) and when I came across it, I think I literally said out loud, “what in the hell is that?”  I looked up the definition in my Webster’s pocket dictionary that I keep on my nightstand, and have been fascinated ever since.

Asceticism is a lifestyle or practice characterized by extreme self-denial, austerity, self-mortification, avoidance of indulgences and abstinence from worldly pleasures, with the purpose of obtaining a higher spiritual or moral state.  I apologize for the run-on sentence, but I got excited.  Anyway, think monks.  The practice is typically for religious purposes, but it doesn’t need to be.

This made me start wondering… when I stop relationships before they even begin, does this mean I’m practicing asceticism?  When I don’t eat when I’m hungry because I lose my appetite due to my current hatred for First World consumption and get pissed at the endless rows of pop-tars.  Does this mean I’m ascetic?  No Caitlin, it just means that you’re self-destructive and crazy.  I wanted to associate myself with my newfound vocab word, but I don’t think I can quite claim it.  There are some characteristics of the lifestyle that I can relate to, but with MUCH less severity.  Those monks are hardcore.

I was passion vomiting (a term I have coined, meaning when I passionately rant or go excitedly off on a tangent about something that the listener could not care less about, but I don’t care and continue to make them suffer through my opinions) on the boy with the white hair recently.  I was telling him all about why he shouldn’t keep his air conditioner on 68 degrees because it’s murdering the planet, and all of my other epiphanies I’ve had since reading “No Impact Man.”  He said that this book is ruining his life and he hasn’t even read it.  I wish he was saying this because it has inspired him to stop buying plastic and make some life changes… but no.  He means it’s ruining his life because he has to listen to my passion vomits.  I laughed really hard, but still went on to try to say, “No!  But the whole point is that it’s not ‘ruining‘ our lives!  It’s enhancing it!  It’s not about asceticism–” and then I realized, the boy with the white hair is totally ascetic.  Well, in a mild way, but I still got a rush of excitement and slightly turned on because I got to apply my new favorite word and because I think I discovered his word, which is austere.  Like I said in Extinguishing a Wildfire, I am fascinated with what I believe a person’s “word” is.

Then I got immediately sad.  Sad for the boy with the white hair, that he doesn’t really allow himself to be happy.  Many of the things that I think of as “worldly pleasures,” he thinks of as distractions.  He is the guy that is not tempted by a pretty girl if he has work to do.  How he came to be this way is quite a story, but I’m not going to tell it here because it is private.  All I’ll say is that it is amazing that he has become a fully functioning, respectable human.  In that regard, he’s truly admirable and I respect his goal, which is essentially to become financially successful.  For someone who has such little interest in money and things, he sacrifices a lot to pursue prosperity.  He does it for altuistic reasons though.  He has siblings that he feels responsible for, and wants to provide for them.  He doesn’t care about having money for himself, but he needs to succeed so that he can take care of them.

In some ways, we are very much on the same page with avoiding indulgences.  He, more than anyone else who is currently in my life, is equally as disgusted with consumerism as I am.  Neither of us spend much money on “things,” for the most part we only take what we need, so we both live pretty simply.

In the past, I have always urged him to let loose a little bit.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually used the phrase “let loose,” because that sounds incredibly lame, but you get my point.  I constantly try to convince him to go on a vacation.  I MADE him strip down to his boxers and jump into a closed pool with me at three o‘ clock in the morning.  I am always trying to get him to play fun bar games with me like, “guess which bar patron played this song on the jukebox” and I regularly tell him to just go out into the sun and soak up some happy rays.  Instead, he sits in a Starbucks for hours NOT hanging out with me and working on codes or coding or whatever the fuck it’s called.  Basically, working on stuff that I don’t understand.  Side note: he’s very academically inclined.

He goes to work, he leaves, then he works again from home until late at night, and then wakes up and does it again.  Okay, wait.  I don’t want to make him sound like a boring white dude.  He will definitely go do things and one of his jobs requires him to be social.  We go to dive bars together, we hit up art shows and music shows and occasionally grab lunch or something.  He has a small group of friends that he sometimes hangs out with and he dates girls (though he seems to kind of suck at it just like I do).  However, all of this falls far behind work on his priority list.  If he feels that he should be sitting behind a computer doing work instead, then we are not going to a show that night.  Most of his heavy work load is self-induced.  Yes, he has a day job, but one that he could just leave at 5:00pm and be done for the day.  He takes on a lot of extra work by choice, and that’s where his ridiculous work load comes from.

When we laugh together, I can feel that he feels good, but I can also feel that he is partially resenting it.  It’s a distraction for him.  He doesn’t want to be thinking about me later that day or tomorrow or next week when he is trying to work.  That’s where the self denial comes in.  He purposely deprives himself of “feeling good” because the good feeling gets in the way of his quest toward a higher state.

“Don’t you get lonely?” I asked him one evening, and his immediate response was, “Yeah.”  He didn’t say it with a tone of despair, he just said it very matter-of-factly.  More like yeah, of course I do but it’s a necessity and I don’t think much of it.  Relationships of any kind are what he considers distractions, and distractions in his world, are unacceptable.

I felt compelled to “save” him, introduce him to fun.  Then I realized, who am I to say what does and does not make him happy?  I’m being selfish and I’m trying to instill my values onto him.  Just because he doesn’t find immense pleasure in hopping fences to jump into pools in the middle of the night the way I do, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t find pleasure in the things that he does do. I keep trying to force “fun” into his world, because that is important to me.  I keep thinking that if he just gets little doses of fun, then he’ll be happy and not want to deprive himself of said happiness.  In a way, I think I’ve been trying to change him, but maybe he doesn’t need change.  Maybe I need the change.  I need to remember that not everyone seeks the same values that I do and not everyone is as discontent with themselves as I am.

I live off of momentary exhilaration; immediate gratification, so I try to provide that, and be that for everyone else, and maybe that is where a lot of my issues lie.  Most people don’t live as temporarily as I do, and I need to realize that just because the boy with the white hair doesn’t feel the need to break into abandoned buildings with me, doesn’t mean that he is depriving himself of happiness.  Maybe his source of happiness is just different from mine, or maybe he has contentment figured out.  Or maybe he is just as fucked up as I am and this epiphany is meaningless, but the point is, that asceticism is a cool word and I respect the boy with the white hair’s lifestyle choices, even though I sometimes don’t understand them.

Caitlin Rule: Don’t judge what you don’t understand.

There is more about the boy with the white hair in my book that will hopefully be published sometime in the near future.

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The Difference of the Sexes

I have discussed this theory with quite a few people and they agree.  I believe the biggest difference between men and women is that men are good at making sound effects.  I’m so jealous of how boys can make such good explosion sounds with their mouth.  It seems like so much fun!

Years ago, I was hanging out with Lance, and he had a pencil and some other mundane object, and he randomly started making the noise the train track crossing alert bell things make, acting like the pencil was the post that comes down.  Then he used the other object as a train and started making a really really good train sound effect.  I looked at him and thought to myself, I would never do that.  That type of inclination does not even exist in my DNA.  To further that, I realized that I would never see ANY girl do that.  Even little girls!  That’s when I came up with my theory, that the main, innate difference between boys and girls, is that boys are good at sound effects, so they make them, and girls never do.

I have just made my second discovery in the subject of the differences of the sexes.  I hear females complaining all of the time about how their boyfriend or whoever, doesn’t talk to them.  I’ve realized, that they will, only if we shut the fuck up for a minute and let them.  They must process differently and don’t always have an immediate response in the way that most females do.

I am very interested in a lot of things, so I’m constantly blabbing about the environment or politics or music or how I think that movies should warn you at the beginning if they are going to be so sad that they will probably ruin the rest of your day.  (I just made the mistake of going to see Me, Earl and a Dying Girl on what was supposed to be a carefree Sunday afternoon).

Currently, the person who gets the most of my passionate rhetoric (the poor thing) is a boy we will call Vox.  He’s a lot like me though, and takes an interest in a lot of things, so it’s great.  We can go back and forth for hours, discussing our newest thoughts and discoveries and how we feel about gun control, smart phones and whose country has scarier possums his (Australia) or mine (America).

Another person who has to suffer through my random musings is Fat Face.  He’s usually a sport, and he will give his two cents and only rarely will shout, “Don’t care!”  But since I’ve known him, I have always found myself feeling a little bit bad because we seem to mostly discuss topics that I bring up.  He rarely seems to be the one initiating new topics of conversation.  Not too long ago however, we were in a relatively deep discussion and I was getting mildly frustrated because he wasn’t sharing much of an opinion, so I just stopped talking because I didn’t want to be an annoying asshole, hammering on about shit he did not seem to care about.  There was a silence, then he started talking.  He voluntarily began sharing.  I’ve continued this experiment with him (unbeknown to him) and have found that if I just shut up, he will eventually share and state his opinion, he just needs a minute and doesn’t always have an immediately comeback to everything in the obnoxious way that I seem to.

I am very passionate about art, and often go to museums and exhibitions.  I dragged the boy with the white hair with me to the latest one because he is passionate about art too, and needs to get out more because he works to much, which I regularly shout at him and he just says back, “Okay, girl.”  He really doesn’t talk much.  He probably says ten words for every 100 of mine, but we are both used to it.

I decided to try out my social experiment on him.  Instead of looking at a painting and immediately sharing my thoughts and then asking his, I decided to just shut the fuck up, and see if he would ever share first.  With him, that is kind of expecting a lot.  But he did.  It took a while, sometimes I would have to wait a whole sixty seconds (which is a long time to be staring at a painting with someone and have neither say anything), for him to express a thought out loud, but just like with Face Face, if I remained patient, he did eventually speak.

So there’s my advice to women, practice patience when you find yourself saying, “he doesn’t talk to me!”  But boys, realize that your silence sometimes comes off as uncaring. Oh, and I’ve also found that boys seem to always squeeze toothpaste out from the middle of the tube instead of the bottom.

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Fireworks, Freedom and S’mores is All I Need

I whine about America a lot.  It’s hard to be patriotic when oil, pharmecuitical and insurance companies rule your country and malls are the size of Monaco.  I’ll spare you of my liberal notions for now and skip straight to the point.

We just celebrated our Independence Day, and despite my sometimes unpatriotic attitude, the 4th of July is my favoirite holiday.  Rain and fireworks are my favoritie things, and here in Florida, in the summer, it rains almost everyday, so I get my sweet thunder shower in the afternoon and then get to see a beautiful display of fireworks at night.

I also love this holiday because it gets people doing the things that I think we should be doing more of all of the time.  People get together with friends and family, we cook out (but not in a gluttonous kind of way like friggen Thanksgiving.  Don’t get me started on Thanksgiving), we go outside and we blow shit up.  It’s great.  I see people and kids laughing and playing outside, the way it should be all of the time.  I also like this holiday because it makes me think about our Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War and a time when we had true badasses leading and fighting for our country.  I am about to go on a mini tangent because I have a huge crush on the Founding Fathers and I can’t help myself.  Just bare with me.

Those motherfuckers were the smartest and bravest.  If you ask me, there has never been a time in history when so much brilliance has ever been in one room together.  And you know what? They were essentially terrorist.  They locked themseles in a steaming hot, boarded up room and commited treason in a country that had your head for such crimes.  Bravery.  I would totally go down on Thomas Jefferson.  Back to intelligence, relatively speaking, we are a young country, but have one of the oldest constitutions.  They made it hard to change the constitution which is a hard thing to do!  I won’t continue on my spiel about the Founding Father’s, but please read a book about them or something because they were damn sexy.

I went to Australia recently, and did a lot of compare and contrasting between that country and mine, and of course, found a lot of what they are doing to be better and more efficient.  In honor of America’s Independence Day however, I decided to spend the day appreciating the things that I do like about America, instead of complaining about its‘ faults.

I’m pretty sure I have been to every state, except for Alaska and Hawaii, so I have seen what America has to offer and it definitely has its‘ moments.

  1. I wish that I could live to see the day when everyone in the world is the same shade of light brown.  I think it will be beautiful.  Mixed people are the prettiest people anyway.  Though I won’t live to see this day, and even with all of this racial tension that is unfortunately flaring up right now in the states, I think that America will do it first.  We will be the first in the world to completely homogenize and all become the same shade of light brown.
  2. The Grand Canyon.  If you are an American who goes their whole life without seeing the Grand Canyon, you’re an asshole.  Everyone should see it as an adult, it’s incredibly humbling.
  3. We have New Orleans.  One of the greatest cities in the world.
  4. I call him the “go to hottie.”  Meaning, the person who first comes to everyone’s mind when needing to name someone incredibly hot right off the top of their head.  Brad Pitt.  He’s an American.
  5. We know how to drink.  Some other countries I have been to, when you order a drink, you are getting maybe 3/4 ounce of liquor; that’s a standard pour.  What the fuck am I supposed to do with that?  It would take me eight drinks to even feel friendly enough to make eye contact with anyone.  Here in America, when I go to a dive bar, I’m getting at least two ounces of liquor per drink.  So that’s my number 5b.) We have legit dive bars.  Sure, you might get an STD just by sitting down on a dive’s bar stool, but at least I’m getting a good drink.
  6. Marvel and DC comics.  You’re welcome, world.
  7. As embarrassing as we can sometimes be, at least we know how to keep things interesting.  While on Venice Beach (which without a doubt, holds the most out of their god damn mind people in the whole world), I was walking around with the Trojan and one of the other band members, and because they have traveled to many many different countries due to touring, I asked them what country has the weirdest people, and without hesitation, they both declared, “America.”  I giggled, and the Trojan said, “that’s not a good thing,” to which I agree… but for some reason, it gives me an odd sense of pride.
  8. Jack White and Eminem.
  9. Jazz and blues.  Boom.
  10. S’mores.  And that scene about s’mores in The Sandlot.  “Smalls, this is s’mores stuff okay, pay attention!”
  11.  Pennsylvania, home of the handsome.  I don’t know what it is, but there are so many hot boys in Pennsylvania.  You’re welcome, single girls.
  12.   Asheville, NC.  There is a brewery and a book store on every corner.  I’m in.
  13.   Work ethic.  I know that “lazy Americans” is a stereotype, and it’s definitely not untrue.  There are plenty of lazy assholes here, however, from what I have seen, I think that most Americans expect to work hard to make money, and do work hard.  I have often seen immigrants from more Eastern cultures who come here, and they are the ones expecting to not have to work hard, they think that America has twenty dollar bills falling from the sky or something.  I partly blame television, but also I think a lot of that belief, that all Americans are just rolling around in money, is that in many of these countries, the dollar goes far.  So when an Albanian man comes over here and works a normal, let’s say, $12/hour job, and starts sending money back home, that money can buy luxury in Albania, but the people over there don’t realize that that money can only buy bargain white bread here.  Point being, there are absolutely lazy Americans, but I would say that the majority of us, the middle class, work our asses off.
  14. Diversity!  We have it all!  Every culture in the whole damn world can be found somewhere in America and there is something to love about that.
  15. Steven Spielberg.  Every emotion ever felt has somehow been depicted in a Steven Spielberg film.  You can learn everything you need to know about human connection by watching a marathon of Spielberg movies.
  16. The Redwood Forest.  (Which we’re killing, but I’ll save that point for a time when I’m not concerned with trying to be positive).
  17. The Pacific Coast Highway.  One of the most beautiful drives in the world.
  18. Butch Cassidy, Doc Holliday, The Apache Kid, Jesse James and Bonnie & Clyde.  Coolest outlaws ever.
  19. Bourbon.
  20. Bagels.
  21.   Beef Jerky
  22. Memphis.  There is a hole in the wall right in downtown Memphis called… Blues Hall?  I think?  One of my favorite nights on any tour was spent there with my best tour buddy at my side.  We just sat and watched these fat old black men and one Asian woman play the blues and it was beautiful and true blues because it looked like they were in deep despair and had sold their souls to the Devil.  Then we went to the Mississippi River and illegally checked out the old steam boats at midnight.
  23. Washington D.C.  Read a book about the secrets of DC and the entire underground world.  It will blow your mind.  Also, D.C. is a great representation of the economic divide.  That is definitely not something I’m proud of, but it is interesting to see that right in our nation’s capital, where some of the richest and most powerful people in the world are walking around daily, if you walk a couple of blocks down, you will see utter poverty.  There are people sleeping in rows in the middle of the damn sidewalk because there is a small hole in the ground that lets out the steam which keeps the homeless people warm.  The men and women in the suits just walk right over them.  Literally.  Sorry to get depressing, I know I’m suppose to be pretending to be patriotic in this one, so I will end that thought with… Washington D.C. is a very cool city with a lot of history.
  24.   Progression.

I’m already making a list in my mind of everything that I can’t stand about America,  but for the moment, just because fireworks and thunder storms make me happy, and I just saw an epic storm and an epic firework show, I wanted to be momentarily positive and optimistic and share some things to be grateful for.

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