Schrodinger’s Jewette

6 Apr

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Schrodinger, he was a physicist and biologist considered the father of quantum mechanics. He conducted an experiment involving his cat, a box, and some poison. I’m not quite sure of the details (Wikipedia him if you like), but somehow the poor cat gets put in a box with a flask of poison.  If something happens, the flask breaks releasing the poison and killing the cat.  (I know!  What kind of bastard was this guy?  Well, I’m hoping it was more of a hypothetical situation than an actual experiment.  Sounds like that’s the case.  That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.)  Until Eddie (his first name was Edwin) opened the box he wouldn’t know if his cat was alive or dead, so his theory was that it was both alive and dead.

What does that have to do with me?  (No, I’m not being kept in a box by some crazy Austrian — they’re always Austrian, aren’t they?  Don’t call the police.  I’m okay.  Really.)  Well, when someone compares something to Schrodinger’s cat, they’re saying that the object of the comparison both IS and IS NOT.  That didn’t answer the question, did it?  No.  It didn’t.

You know what?  This is going to be hard to explain.  Please bear with me.  Today on the way home, I ran into an old high school friend on the bus.  I had gone to a networking event that I really didn’t want to attend and I left a minute before I should have left.  I got on a bus and went all the way to the back of the bus to sit down.  When I sat down, I saw Chuck.  It’s always great to see an old friend, but this meeting was especially lucky.  Chuck works for a consulting firm that interests me.  Chuck’s a good guy, he offered to help me and I didn’t even have to ask.

Yeah, it’s taking me a bit of time to get to the point.  Thanks for staying with it so far.  Let’s assess the situation:  I’m looking for work, Chuck’s offering to help hook me up with people in his company.  This is good, right?  I’m going to follow up and get right on that, right?  There’s the rub.  There’s where I’m a box with a flask of poison.  I like to be in this place, this “there’s a possibility of something” place.  Right now, I’m Schrodinger’s job applicant.  Once I start acting on the lead, I’m moving towards something either being IS or IS NOT.  Before I act, right now, I both AM and AM NOT.

This time, I”m going to get moving and risk breaking the flask.


Hey, Remember Me?

2 Apr

In my penultimate post of 2010 I wrote about my difficulties forgiving myself for past mistakes. Recently I’ve been struggling with that same issue. In what I take as a sign (from G*d?), I found this on the sidewalk today.  I should pay more attention to sidewalks.

Bitter Old Man, Alive and Well in Minnesota!

27 Sep

I was just on a dating website when I received an IM from someone.  Before responding, I checked out his profile.  It was full of venom and hate so I responded that I wasn’t interested.  He responded that he didn’t care and that I wasn’t his type anyway.  Fine with me.

A moment later, this showed up in my message inbox:  “Hitler couldn’t even make good soap out of you people”

Naturally, I reported the shit for his offensive comment.  However, not until after I was finally able to close my mouth.  My jaw literally dropped.  I mean that.  I was sitting at my computer slack-jawed for a good minute.  My eyes were tearing and I was shaking.  Of all of the bitter, nasty things to say! 

I’ll be avoiding International Falls, Minnesota from now on.

Regret, Repent, Rinse, Repeat

18 Sep

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. On this day, we’re supposed to ask forgiveness both from God and from those we’ve harmed somehow. Last night I asked forgiveness in temple at Kol Nidre. This morning I tried again in temple and failed miserably. After about an hour and a half, I had to leave because there were too many thoughts swirling through my head.

This had nothing to so with not understanding enough to participate.  Services in a Reform temple during the High Holy Days tend to be more performance-oriented. The Rabbi and Cantor share the heavy lifting, and participation on the congregation’s part tends to be in English. This way, everyone can take part.

The thoughts in my head had to do with asking forgiveness from others and granting forgiveness to others. The Rabbi seemed to say that God will forgive when asked to forgive. People might not be so generous.  I’ve certainly found that to be the case.  Especially when the person from whom I ask forgiveness is myself.  With a long list of regrets, I have a lot for which to ask forgiveness.

Every now and then, I’m tempted to catalog my regrets — just take a sheet of paper and start from the very beginning and see what I’ve done that I regret. It seems pretty self-indulgent. Regret begets self-flagellation which begets self-pity which is self-indulgent which begets more regret. It’s a spiral that at best gets you nowhere and at worst leads you to embrace your worst habits as a coping mechanism.  Wonder how to organize such a list:  a) things I’ve said/done that I wish I didn’t say/do; b) things I didn’t say/do that I wish I’d said/done; c) negative qualities I wish I didn’t have; and d) positive qualities I wish I had?  Do I need to re-install Excel on my laptop?

Why can I not forgive myself? Is it spite? Cruelty?  If I forgive myself, will I finally be free to make some necessary changes in my life?  That’s probably the closest to an accurate answer that I’ll come.  You’d think that I’d allow myself to move on, but change scares me — even change for the better.  Even if nothing came of it other than feeling better about myself, it’s something I should do.   But tell me this, could you forgive the person who sent your life into a tailspin?


My New Year’s Resolutions for 5771

13 Sep

This year my resolutions are to:

  • be a better friend.  I will work on my listening skills and I won’t burden my friends with every minor gripe;
  • not take people for granted; and
  • not knowingly put myself in a position to be hurt.

Guess which one I’ve already broken?

Follow Your Own Advice

13 Sep

Recently I requested that a communications expert add me as a friend on Facebook.  In that request, I asked for some advice on overcoming my shyness.  Yes, in many situations I can be quite shy and terribly awkward.  This particular expert has written books on how to connect with people by making them feel special.  While her advice certainly makes sense, I have trouble putting it into practice.  When faced with new people, even when faced with friends, I can freeze up and revert to old behaviors.  Realizing this was my tendency, I asked the expert what she thought I should do.

The expert’s response startled me.  She’s a busy woman.  She writes, she consults, and she has several speaking engagements.  When she said that she’d have a hard time giving me advice “without the pleasure of knowing me,” I understood.  But then the bitch misspelled my name.  On Facebook.  You know, that website where your name is posted with all of your messages?

Wow.  I sure feel special.

Letters that Will Never Be Sent

12 Sep

Sometimes you have something you want to tell someone, but you just can’t tell him or her for whatever reason.  Maybe he or she won’t react well to your message.  Maybe he or she would ignore it anyway.  Maybe he  or she doesn’t really need to hear or read your message, but you need to get it out and you find just writing it down cathartic.  Perhaps, like me, you really want him or her to receive your message and take it to heart, but you don’t have the courage to send it directly. 

Sometimes I have something I want to say to someone so badly that it hurts, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I’ve written countless unsent letters.  While the hypothetical recipient never does get the message, I feel better for having written it.  Now I’m going to try to go one tiny step further and post such letters here.  They’ll be categorized as “Letters that Will Never Be Sent.”  Will these letters ever reach their intended recipients?  Maybe.  Who knows.  But with readership at about ten blog hits a day, that’s a pretty big crap shoot. 

So, here it goes.  My first unsent letter is to someone who has been keeping me at arm’s length for quite some time.  He doesn’t understand that I want to be his friend, and that I would be a good friend to him.

You need to know that I would be there for you.

You need to know that I would always have your back.

You need to know that I have confidence in you.

You need to know that all you have to do is ask, and it’s yours.

You need to know that you’ll have  a hard time finding anyone more loyal. 

You need to know I won’t abandon you.

Above all else, you need to know that I can see how special you are and that I care about you.