24 January 2009

Love addiction

  • Jan 24, 2009

Love addiction

I read something recently about psychologists and neurologists who decided to put people in the early passionate stages of new love into an MRI machine.  They showed the volunteer subjects various pictures,
some of the object of their affections, some not, and watched how theirbrains responded differently.

As it turns out, the analogies with drug addiction aren't just a matter of poetic license.

The craving, the irrational behavior, the withdrawal when forced to go without, they seem similar because the same parts of the brain respond to each, and in the same way.

The author of the article I read said that love was like a drug.

19 January 2009

How do you feel?

  • Jan 19, 2009

How do you feel?

Happiness is due to outlook, not circumstance.

Psychologists have found that after major life changing events, both positive and negative (examples included winning the lottery and becoming permanently paraplegic), within a few years people tend to return to the same baseline of life-satisfaction they had before.

Stop chasing dreams.

Start appreciating the life around you right now.

15 January 2009

A little perspective

  • Jan 15, 2009

A little perspective

[This was written just after the controversy and rioting following the New Years shooting on a train station platform of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, by a transit police officer.  Grant was being held face down on the ground at that point, resisting arrest, but posing no threat.  The officer said later that he meant to use his taser, and supposedly the department had recently had everyone move the taser from the gun side of the belt to the opposite (ironically, to avoid the exact mistake it ended up causing).]

Total number of fatal shootings by Oakland Police in 2008: 5

Of those, number which inspired a wrongful death suit: 2
(both of whom had been resisting arrest, one of whom may have been armed)

Number of potentially unjustified fatal shootings by BART Police: 3
Not just this year.  Ever.  Since BART opened in 1972.

Number of homicides (not by police) in Oakland in 2008: 123

Again:  One Hundred and Twenty Three.

13 January 2009

Te Quiero

  • Jan 13, 2009

Te Quiero

In Spanish the term for "I love you" is the same as "I want you"

Contrary to what English speakers might assume, this isn't meant to imply lust.
Te quiero is just as applicable to love for family or friends (with te amo reserved for romantic love - though te quiero is appropriate for a spouse or lover as well)

This is perhaps no more than an idiosyncrasy of language and translation, but it strikes me as the dominate view of love in our own culture.

We might say "I love ice cream" or "I love that movie", meaning that you really really enjoy it.  When something brings us great pleasure, we love it.
Certainly our friends and family and lovers ought to bring us great pleasure.

This type of love, possessive and self-centered, can certainly be applied to people.  I love you because you make me happy, I enjoy your company, I want you around.

It is perhaps unfortunate that we have one word that should cover such a broad range of emotional experience.

10 January 2009

One more year

  • Jan 10, 2009

One more year

I looked it up, and supposedly "middle age" is supposed to consist of the 3rd quarter of life.
Now that doesn't make a lick of sense!
The term "middle" doesn't mean "third out of four".
The term middle means second out of three (or, I suppose, 3rd out of 5)
As in, one on each side.
So, even if the official designation disagrees with me, I still maintain that if there is a middle age, it should be in the middle; equal parts between youth and elder.
Assuming that people tend to live to around 90, then it divides neatly up into 3 parts. Most people can agree that 0-30 qualifies as young, and that 60-90 constitutes old, yet no one I've talked to about it (and most especially those approaching or just over the threshold) want to admit that 30-60 is in the middle of those, and is therefor "middle aged".

While our society today is an exception, in most places in the world and in most places in history a person would be married, have a kid or two, and most likely a stable job or even a career and a house by 30, so that measure lines up neatly with the math.

Unlike a lot of people, I don't expect to adjust my definitions as I get older. I consider it a matter of integrity.
Besides, I am already heading that way by a number of personal measures as well: I own the place I live in (granted, its only a trailer, but I did have to pay off a bank loan before I got the title), I run my own business, I've not only been married but I am already divorced, and while I used to imagine myself as a human bullet as I raced down I-880 at 105 miles per hour in the middle of the night, these days I drive the same motorcycle at 50 in order to get better gas mileage.
If the middle third is what constitutes middle aged, then I've got one year left of being "young".

08 January 2009

My mileage results are in

  • Jan 8, 2009

My mileage results are in

I've been driving more conscientiously ever since I read the article on hypermiling, which I posted about in November of last year ("Some more stuff other people wrote")

I didn't quite take it to the extent of the guy profiled in the original article (he drives on the edge of the road to avoid the extra friction from the tire grooves, and knows exactly how far from home to coast to a stop exactly in his driveway without touching the brakes) but I did slow down, accelerate gently, shut the engine at long stop lights and coast down hills.  There is even a 2.3 mile stretch of highway 13 (which I take on the way back from Bike Patrols) where I can put it in neutral, shut the engine, coast down one hill, up the next, back down, off the off ramp, around a tight curve, through a yield sign, back on to the freeway entrance for 580, off at the next exit, and down to MacArthur before starting it back up again.

02 January 2009

New Year's

  • Jan 2, 2009

I still do not put any real stake in sexual compatibility.
What I want is a partnership. 
What matters most to me is being able to fully respect my partner, admire her.
I want us to enjoy each other, have fun together, teach each other, challenge each other, support each other.
I want intellectual and emotional compatibility.
I want shared values and priorities.
What matters to me is who she is as a person, not just what I get from contact with her.

It is very early, we have a lot to learn about each other; I can't say anything with any confidence.  We haven't had a chance to talk about these things.  I don't even know what she is looking for in terms of a relationship.  I have always had a tendency to idealize people, to emphasize the good and overlook the bad, and especially now I am not in a proper emotional state to judge - that being said, I have not felt so positively about a new person so quickly since... well, actually, I don't think I ever have.