skeleton at deskToday, for the first time ever, I worked at my desk standing up. Although I prefer the idea of a job where I get paid for sitting on my ass all day, the truth of the matter is that I’m much too fidgety to do it for very long. I need frequent breaks (read: excuses) to get up and move around, make some tea, chit-chat, etc. So the reality of sitting all day hasn’t been working for me, but it took this article to make me do something about it.

I had to spend some time scouring the office for articles to prop up my monitor and keyboard. If I had some sort of disability or debilitating issue with sitting down, I’m sure the ergonomics folks at work would buy me an expensive state-of-the-art desk with hydraulics so I could raise it easily. But being that I am healthy *and* a contractor, I am left to my own imagination. Fortunately, there is an abundance of abandoned dictionaries and thesauri around my office that are quite sturdy and useful for this task. So I piled up some books, put the keyboard and monitor and such on them, and stood the fuck up.

The instantaneous and obvious difference was that rather than being in a dark cubicle, I could now see out the window. Yea, verily, if I leaned ever so slightly one way I could actually see the effin’ Bay Bridge. I felt 1000 feet tall. And that is a feeling that rules.

Other discoveries were not so grandiose. My brain seemed a bit slowed down merely because I was in another body position, but I figure it’ll adjust. I did feel more alert in general, but I seemed to be working at a slower speed. The compensation for that is, since my monitor is now more visible, I had less of an urge to hang out on Twit or send email.

The first negative realization I had was that I still find ways to slouch, slump, and hunch over even while standing, and still have to use my Alexander Technique quite a bit. I just seem to have a natural propensity to revert to the fetal position at all time. I would say that if you don’t have good posture and/or don’t have a discipline to help you with your posture, standing while working at a desk will probably be more painful than sitting down.

Lastly, my choosing to wear my only pair of shoes with substantial heels on the day I decided to start working standing up was a very dumb idea. My feet were killing me when I walked to the bus at the end of the day. Especially my left foot, for whatever reasons, felt like it had been pounded with a boulder. However, after a 40-minute bus ride, my feet felt much better. So I guess they are pretty resilient, but I’d rather skip the pain.

That being said, I wrote this sitting down.

Whenever I see statistics about people, and particularly about women, I always seem to fall in some weird tiny populace. No wonder, then, that in this article, the amount of women who are like me are only 4%.

The guilty-all-the-time generation: How 96% of women feel ashamed at least once a day

I know that this statistic is true because all day long I hear women talking about how they feel bad about this, and feel bad about that, and think, “Oh god, are they still talking about their guilt? How could they feel that guilty so much about so little?” It seems so bizarre to me, yet somehow that is normal behavior. I think it’s also become cultural and habitual: if one women starts talking about their guilt, then others focus on that feeling as well. That’s according to my completely unscientific skewed observations.

Next we have women who choose not to breed. Surprisingly, this has jumped recently from a mere 6% in the U.S. to a whopping 20%! I hope I’ve influenced a few gals to think about the idea that there lives won’t be forever bereft and chock-full of remorse if they skip the baby thing. I think some folks are meant to be parents and some folks would be perfectly happy if they didn’t — and that all adults should spend some time in self-examination to figure out who they are. I know so many people who are parents because — and I’m quoting here — “Shit happens.” or “What are you going to do?” Anyway, it seems that my spending the last 15 years dreying on about this is not completely for naught, as more people are actually thinking about what it means to be a parent and making a personal choice. This benefits everyone, because less breeding = less overpopulation = less climate change, global starvation, etc.

Lastly, a recent study shows that 16% of people in the U.S. consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion (although the stat is <1% for congresspersons). Although I was raised with religion and even had a devout phase in my life, I no longer believe in any sort of god or associated religions or texts. Yup, that sounds unaffiliated. So what would a Venn diagram show if you put these stats together? I imagine that the amount of people who lives and experiences intersect with mine are pretty small. And while that may be true, it's important (as I wrote in this post, "What’s the meaning of life?“) to bear in mind that despite being a statistical anomaly, I actually have more things in common with others than things not in common. In fact, I probably have more in common with Tzipi the Jay than I do not. It’s important to keep in mind our commonality as sentient beings on this earth.

But it still shows that I am indeed some kind of a freak.

*btw, Tzipi still stops by on a regular basis

A couple years ago, a cousin of mine created a family tree on a free online geneology website. I looked at it a bit back them, but I stopped paying attention to it fairly quickly. I keep receiving occasional emails automatically generated from the site about updates, which I mostly ignore. Recently I received one that said that someone had joined my family’s tree. I was completely unfamiliar with the name, so I decided to glance at the site.

In the time I that had lapsed, my family tree had grown quite a bit. There were many more “second cousins once removed”. I had no idea who these people were. They were just a name. To me, they didn’t really exist.

I realized then that if these people looked at this same family tree and came across my name, they would probably have the same reaction. Something along the lines of “Who the hell is she?” and “Who cares?” To them, I would be a non-entity.

It’s been puzzling me lately why the human brain evolved so that we each see ourselves as the center of our world. It’s natural to see the world as a network with you in the center. It’s next to impossible to not see the world that way. We can try a bit with our imagination, but our natural inclination is to see ourselves first. I don’t mean in a moral or philosophical way, I mean in an experiential way. It seems to me these is why it is next to impossible to envision being dead. How could the world exist without you? You are the center of it.

Yet, to billions of people, you don’t even exist. So… do you even exist? Our lives seem so real and so important, but if you take into account the lifespan of the universe, we are only here for a blink of an eye. And we are important to those who love us, but 100 years from now, most of us will have been completely forgotten.

Still, it’s hard to not take the whole thing — our lives, I mean — so damn seriously.

U2 lyrically addressed this metaphysical problem about 30 years ago with the song, “A Day Without Me.”

I guess this was before Bono stopped pretending he was playing the guitar.

I seriously doubt anyone would look here for dating tips. I know a thing or two about the subject since I dated until I was 41. And it wasn’t like, boo-hoo, I can’t find anyone to settle down with. I had no interest in a permanent relationship, so serial monogamy was the thing for me. Of course, then I met K, and realized that I would never like anyone better than him, so I “settled down”.

I do still dispense my dating advice to anyone who asks, and recently someone asked me to email my tips to them, so I thought I’d reprint them here. This methodology took years to perfect, and saved me a lot of time and heartache. I hope someone somewhere can benefit from it.

The main points are: Be assertive, confident, and clear-headed.

Without further ado:

1. First, and most importantly, trust your intuition. If someone seems like they aren’t suitable for you, they aren’t. Don’t “give them a chance”. You are very probably wasting your time. Remember, these people are going to be on their best behavior, so what you are getting is the tip of the iceberg. If it looks like they have a little problem on the surface, there is usually a big problem under the surface. If something seems odd, move on.

Don’t feel sorry for them. It’s incredibly condescending. If you’re only paying attention to someone out of pity, stop and get out of the way so they can find someone who honestly likes them.

2. Be clear about your priorities. It’s next to impossible to find someone who has everything, so think of what’s most important to you. Good values? Good sense of humor? Good income? Good looking? Good in bed? Yeah, I know, we all want all those things but be clear about what is most important to you.

3. When you first make contact, limit your email exchanges to one or two. It’s easy to get involved in a long, romantic correspondence that is very exciting but has nothing to do with reality. Once you have a photo of them and a basic idea of who they are, if you are interested in them, you should talk to them on the phone as soon as possible. Lots of information gets revealed on the phone that would never come out in email.

4. If you’ve had a one or two of phone conversation and you like the person, arrange to meet them for coffee. Phone conversations, like email, can get very romantic but they are not reality. If you are interested, you should meet in person fairly soon, in a public place, for a short amount of time. Even if things go incredibly well, you should stick to just meeting them briefly and then going home to think about it. This may take a bit of self-control, but it’s definitely worth taking your time rather than rushing into things.

5. If you’ve gotten this far, and you still like the person, you can move on to a real date. If they are not what you are looking for, you’ve only invested a short amount of time and energy and you can move on to someone else.

6. Always let people go in a humane and considerate way. If you have met them in person, even briefly, the kind and brave thing to do is to call them, thank them for meeting you, but tell them firmly that you will not be seeing them again. I’ve met people I thought were really nice, but they just weren’t for me. These are the hardest to let go because I felt guilty.

However, it’s best to keep it short and to the point. You do not have to offer reasons. I prefered to just repeat, “Thank you, but I won’t be seeing you again.” until they got the message. This is because they are often hurt and angry at the rejection, so the more you say, the more upset they get. If they are rude, you can just say, “That’s all I have to say,” say goodbye, and hang up.

If you only got to the phone stage and didn’t meet them, you can just send them a short email saying the same thing.

If you only emailed them, you can just stop emailing or send a brief email. Sometimes they will send back a hostile message. If they do, do not respond, just block them so they can’t email again.

Dating if fun but can get tiring. If you’re not having fun, take a break. Because if it’s not fun, why bother!