Honey, I’m Home!


Recently I was watching a video (a funny one) that was on one of the late night shows about how there are these Robots with AI that are being used for certain ‘relationships’ I won’t really get into here. I’m not sure if it was real or humor in response to all the out pouring of sexual harassment allegations that have hit the news lately. In any case, it was a moment’s pause where laughing was medicine in an otherwise very un-funny situation.

But the whole idea made me think. Having been a single woman for a very long time, I wondered about the concept of Robot companions–not at all in the way that this particular video mentioned, but maybe more like an R2D2 sort of way. Could this be a possibility for the future? Our own home companions or partners?

I mean, let’s face it: I’ve “been there, done that” and bought every possible T-shirt for trying to date and find the right person for me. Over the course of years I’ve been single (and I’ve actually lost count now of the years), and the stories I could tell about the weirdos I’ve come across on the websites would make hanging out with a machine seem like heaven. Humans are scary and/or boring.

Picture it: instead of pouring through 100’s of  old photos and fake profiles of humans, you could simply pick out which Robot best suits your needs; short, tall; human looking (creepy) or not; male voice, female voice; appendages or just lights. Then, you could have the AI programmed to whatever things you enjoy or are interested in–think of all the data that could go in there. No more dates with someone who is clueless! Ah the dinner discussions!

Honestly, I’m not so interested in much of an emotional attachment anymore, although some of these Robots you see in movies are pretty darn cute, way cuter than some of the people I’ve tried to date! It’s all about communication anyway at my age, or maybe even helping out around the place. So if you read a good book together, you could discuss it. Or maybe go to a movie together. There could be special all terrain Robots built for hiking too.

The possibilities are really endless here. Robots are filling in so many areas of our lives anyway, why not becoming part of our family? Yes, I understand there is a bit of a spooky part of it; the whole bit of them taking over the world, infiltrating our homes and getting smarter than we are (which isn’t a stretch really). Sure, this could certainly happen…

But before they do decide to take over, having a companion that’s smart, reliable, predictable, neat, sympatico and maybe even agreeable would be such a nice change. And maybe having one on your side might just be an advantage when push comes to shove and Robots gain power over us.

Because, if there are bad ones, then there will be good ones, and they will be the ones we shared our homes with and loved.

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Rabbit Ears


Sometimes we have a hard time tuning in our lives, as though we are passing through a magnetic anomaly or concentrating our physical self in an area that could be a place considered  opposite of where a lei line would be, permeating bad ju-ju. So during these times we’re a bit like those old TV’s we had with the rabbit ears; the ones we had to keep messing with in order to get even a partial picture on the set. But mostly the channels that came in were simply static–that crackly white noise, which blurred in front of our faces with maybe some echo of a scene behind the black and white lines squiggling on the box in front of us.

Try as we might to move the antennae around (or physically pick them up in desperation), and add  aluminum foil to the end to extend their reach, we’d barely see much, only once in a while–if we were lucky and the weather patterns cooperated. Then lo and behold, an image would form and we could watch the world play out in front of our eyes. We’d sit frozen, captured and greedy because finally everything was in focus–if only for a moment we were mesmerized.

I pass through these moments of clarity where my world feels in focus. Where I feel I have tuned my antennae correctly for once and that I am standing in a place of great rightness. I, too, stop and stare, because it is unusual and crisp and clear. It feels odd at these times, like not quite my self, but more ethereal ready to disappear back into the scrambled and distorted reality I’ve become used to passing through. It is a stunning feeling and gives me pause. At these times I feel outside reality.

So when these times of sharpness come; when the world appears more brilliant and the fuzzy noises that threaten those flickering frames where we see things distinctly are suddenly quiet, it gives hope for one day having a steady stream of these moments. Is it finding the lei line and absorbing its energy? And once there, adjusting the rabbit ears permanently in the position of the clearest existence.

 

Reality Shootings


It’s not surprising (to me anyway), that our society is crumbling under an opioid crisis, people suffering from mental illness or comfort eating and heart disease, plus all the many other myriad diseases and problems afflicting us nationally.

One answer seems obvious to me, part of it anyway. Many of us are suffering from PTSD and survivor guilt.

With all the horrible events that have been going on now for years, and I repeat, years—our brains are inundated from the media and our devices by the trauma of seeing the scenes of these events. Many years ago, we rarely would experience the raw horror that we do now–first hand (sometimes from a phone of someone right there): the noise, the blood, the screams, the carnage. And not just once, but over and over. How much can the brain  handle, day after day, year after year, without going over the edge? Mine is certainly on overload.

What is PTSD? It is caused by the triggering of traumatic events: disasters, abuse or any kind of trauma. It can happen when someone you love has been harmed also. Normally we don’t experience it ourselves unless we have been through the event, but what about now? Do you think it’s possible seeing footage from the phone of someone who was actually there during a shooting, would this do the same thing to us? How do these ‘pictures’ stay in our minds: people falling from buildings, human blood everywhere, kids running from a school or actually watching someone being shot…

Let’s face it people, if you are at all caring about your fellow human being, this can’t be good. We are pretty much experiencing these things as though we are there. It’s like reality shootings. Maybe they’ll make a new TV series. They might as well for as much as they play the stuff–and we watch.

What does all this watching do to us anyway?  How does it make you feel when you go out somewhere (or maybe you don’t even want to)? Do you check where the exits are now? Does your heart rate go up if you hear something weird? Are you simply numb to this stuff now? Are you mistrustful of others? Do you feel sad a lot?  Can you sleep at night or have your dreams changed? I know I have been greatly effected by the heinous crimes crushing our country.

Even if we weren’t at these places, we can’t help but feel: why these people? As we pour through their stories, it makes our story feel somewhat meaningless. When it’s a kid… there’s a collective: why so young and what if was my child? It’s so chilling.

And the roulette guilt of: I’m here, they’re not. I’m enjoying my life, those poor people aren’t anymore. My feelings of gratitude just get ruined by the extreme senselessness of it all. It’s just hard to hold those two feelings in the same space.

It’s all this nation wide secondary guilt because nothing is being done about it. We all just sit around waiting for the next one to happen, because we know it will, while law-makers tell us now isn’t the time to talk about any changes in the laws. It’s all so frustrating! So we just wait…holding our breath and wonder where will be next. What venue? How many? What city? Is there a person out there now contemplating it…?

How’s that for your health, while we think: will it be me next time or my kid? That makes my heart thump. This is why I don’t sleep. What about you?

So I ask: do we really need to see this stuff so much? Is it only me that thinks the perpetrators may sometimes do these things because they understand they will be glorified by the media? And all of us watching and watching and watching… Their sick moment of fame.

I’ve made a promise to myself: I will watch no more (or listen or read). What if none of us did? What if we heard about these awful things and said prayers for those dead (and their families), but didn’t pick up our phones, or look on our computers, or shut off our TV and radios? What if we refused? Could we demand from our media sources to stop flooding our minds with such gruesome images and sounds? Instead just report the facts and move on.

Sadly, I can’t seem to create change to laws by my vote, but I can do this one thing instead. It’s something that I do have control over: to reduce the bombardment of the grisly media show to my brain. And by doing this, allowing more space in there for good energy.

It’s ultimately up to us. I’m not saying we can stop people from killing, but maybe we can stop ourselves from becoming a more ill society than we already are, and if we do, maybe this in turn will help in the long run.

Genius 


I’m not as dumb as I look 

This nifty little device turns a dumb TV into a smart one that picks up WiFi. So rather than buy a whole new television, I spent a lot less and can do everything a laptop or smartphone can do. So now I can watch my Netflix on my TV instead of my laptop! It’s very cool. 

And the best part: I don’t pay Comcast a penny more!

Happily Ever After


So it seems very often (more than once a week even), either in a social gathering or speaking with a friend or relative, the topic always seems to come up that I’m single. That in itself is no big deal, but rapidly on its heel always seems to be some comment related to the fact that I will somehow in the near future be meeting the man of my dreams.

I guess I’m here to say that I’m getting tired of this presumption on many levels. First of all, I don’t want to meet a man. Second of all, I don’t believe there is a ‘man of my dreams’. Third of all, I’m perfectly happy single. Fourthly, maybe I wouldn’t want to be with a man. The list may even go on.

My question is: why does everyone I meet or talk to assume that I need to be with someone? Do I personally exude some ‘loneliness’ hormone? Do I look pathetic and sad? Is it that they are so all fired joyful and happy being in a relationship that they feel everyone needs to be? I simply don’t get it.

Take my mother for instance: understand she is not your typical mother. While she is in her 80’s, she is a very liberated woman. She raised me to believe I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be. She was married twice, but now lives with a man 91 years young and refuses to marry him! But that doesn’t stop her from constantly chiding me every other conversation we have with the old: when you least expect it.

People don’t understand that if you don’t want it, it doesn’t matter when you least expect it. I’ve had many, many experiences with multiple husbands and boyfriends and dates. I find it very hard to picture now trying again. In fact picturing it simply freaks me out. So even if it happened, I would most likely walk away.

And it’s not just ‘them’, it’s me. I’m very quirky: vegan, gluten-free, a diligent athlete, a paramedic with weird hours, dog lover, cat lover, very liberal (in an area that isn’t always that way), outspoken, ADD, OCD….well, you get the idea. I mean fitting someone into my life at this point could be, well, let’s just say problematic. He would have to have “Saint” in front of his name.

In ‘our’ stages of life we carry around all our ‘stuff’ as George Carlin says: we each have our homes, our own jobs, our own families, sets of friends, ways of doing things (that’s not the way I put the dishes away). It becomes increasingly difficult to blend with someone else this late in life.

Sure I sit in bed with my dog at night and wonder about it, but then I think: how could I share my bed again? I take up the whole bed now! I wouldn’t want my dog banished to the floor. Or my three pillows, or the three blankets I use in the winter. Hey, it’s cold!

One good reason to have a man around would be safety. Some days I don’t feel safe living alone. It used to feel OK living where I do by myself, but now nothing feels safe anymore. Or if I was up on the roof raking the leaves and I fell off, at least he could call 911. Or wait, maybe HE could rake the roof! Or better yet, we could do it together? No, he would be watching the game. No wait, I don’t have a TV–and don’t want one! Yup, another quirk.

So, I just wish people would leave me be. I wish they would stop being cute or whatever it is when they say: when you least expect it, or just stop trying so hard (who’s trying?) or well you don’t want to be alone forever…. Who knows, maybe I do!

I’m happy for those married couples that manage to stay together. Good for them. And am never surprised when another couple gets divorced.  But for me, I like my life just as it is: two dogs, two cats, one daughter in and out occasionally. I was raised an only child and find my own company quite sufficient. As long as I have some friends, NPR, nature, a good book, my computer, my yoga, my thoughts and my phone then I will live happily ever after….by myself.