I am what I am. At least what I think I am. Am I?

I should really not be allowed to write blog posts while feverish. It should really be up there with drunk.
I forgot to mention that my ankle is healing amazingly well (really, I can now barely feel where the fascia is compressed and except for a little bit of random stiffness in the morning I can barely well it used to be injured so I’m well on the way to full recovery), that we got assigned to ‘core teams’ for the competitive season at CCF (I can’t for the life of me figure out the logic behind the specific team assignments but my teammates are cool and consistently strong athletes, so no complaints), that the best part of the Wolftown music video was making fun of the starring role of my co-worker (he played the melancholy boyfriend), and that despite my criticisms I did enjoy the deadmau5 concert and as a combination of theatrics, music, and showmanship he does deserve his popularity. Branding 101.
When you get sick, everything stops. I’ve stopped several things I just started (my daily mobility work) but then again when the body is too stiff and achy to move you have to make some accommodations, right? I even did listen to my body and indulged my sweet tooth – I had the most massive honey craving. Honey happens to be a natural anti-biotic (and anti-inflammatory I believe…).
For me the worst is that my brain also stops. I can feel that it’s mushy and I can’t string together proper thoughts or sentences. So my work week hasn’t been terribly successful although I did manage to accomplish a lot of small tasks. Working on structure and copy for the web site; it takes more time than you think. Always.
Since I was sick I moved acupuncture up in the week and for once Dr Lan didn’t go poking at my left side so hard that I wanted to punch him. I tell you what, when you have a part of your body that’s sore you do NOT want someone poking around there, especially when you know that the thing that’s going to come next is a needle being stuck into the most painful part! But you do what you must, right? I can’t think too much about how much it’s going to hurt or I would never walk back through that door. The fever relief acupuncture sessions are always actually somewhat pleasant, and I think he took the opportunity to go a bit deeper than normal on my knee and ankle, knowing that I would be laid up for a bit. It’s an hour of enforced stillness and meditation.
Speaking of self-flagellation I went to Pecha Kucha on Tuesday night, again. Oh my word. The first speaker, who I missed due to being late from acupuncture due to a massive traffic snarl in downtown Cape Town (usually there isn’t much traffic but when there is it’s snowcapolypse-like gridlock where you sit in the same place for 10 minutes), was apparently quite good. There were a couple good ones but overall I was disappointed as the speakers raised more questions than answers, and not in a good way.
A guy who I thought was going to talk about social enterprise instead talked about the U.S. national debt, and gave us an obvious insight into how we must create value for our friends. Another guy made a very poor argument for veganism. I’m sorry but when addressing a room full of meat-eaters don’t try and argue bad science. I almost feel compelled to read all the best literature across all theories (what is the healthiest anyway? Vegetarian/vegan? Asian diet? Mediterranean diet? Paleo?) just so I can counter-argue with more data than “your argument is broken, correlation doesn’t imply causation firstly and secondly try looking at the correlation of simple carbohydrate and processed food.” But that’s the subject of an entire book. The presentation on the Occupy movement confused me, frankly – what point was he trying to make? Much sound & fury signifying nothing. And if he is correct that the Occupiers are pushing for direct democracy I am horrified (silly me, I thought they were pushing to get the money out of politics and close the revolving door between government, industry, and lobbyists). Having lived in California for a few years I know what horrors are caused by direct democracy.
Oh Aristotle, our modern aristocracy is not what you had in mind.
But really, even this “We are the 99%” sloganeering to me is disingenuous. Rather than make it so “good vs evil/us against them” why not make the conversation about the bad apples spoiling the whole bunch? I wonder what’s going to become of this whole movement, firstly, and secondly, boy do we live in interesting times.
Spent the first half of Wednesday evening helping Mandy think through a couple of things (broke my self-imposed paleo challenge but back on the bandwagon now), and the second half roasting a chicken, doing dishes, and clarifying butter. Yep, my life is pretty boring when I don’t have handstand pushups and box jumps to talk about.
People will always justify their own behaviour. It’s only human. I mean, unless we specifically have malicious intent (we sometimes do, no doubt), usually we have some justification for our actions at least in our own mind. But one person’s thoughtful and dignified is another person’s shameful and disgraceful. One person’s righteous is another person’s shocking. Who are we, actually, to judge when we don’t know what’s going on in the other person’s head? There were some ladies at Mzoli’s who said some very unkind and racist things to a member of our group, who became so distraught that she was unable even to eat. Now, on the surface that’s black and white (no pun intended). But deeper down, those comments were the product of an environment plus a situation, firstly, and secondly: the only thing you can possibly do in that scenario is control how you react. The complexities of why she was upset aside, I was left thinking: shame that my friend was hurt by this, but she will have forgotten about it in a few weeks. These people will continue to be hurt by their limited thinking, and that is the fundamental problem.
Words can be the most hurtful things ever, but only if we let them. Remembering, of course, that the words that sting the worst are the ones that we feel have some element of truth to them. But hey without making mistakes and getting criticised and learning we will never grow. The worst thing you can say to someone is ‘don’t ever change.’
But you also can’t just tell someone how to be, or what is wrong. Socrates had that one right: in order to change we must first have the idea ourselves (or at least think we do). A burning platform can be a good thing. But it’s much more powerful for me to want to improve my double-unders because I know they’ll come up in competition again than for coach to tell me how much my double-unders suck. But how did I even get to that point of caring? Some mix of internal and external motivation.
Ask me, if an annoying dog nips at your heels ignore it. Yes you could kick it, but how is that actually going to help the situation? If it makes you feel better, that’s one thing. But don’t necessarily expect the situation to get better by inflaming it. I suppose I, like most people, get into the most trouble when I act without thinking. Leaving completely aside that you might need that dog (or its owner or brother or sister or friend) some day, and that wonderful poster: ‘karma’s only a bitch if you are.’                                                                                                                                 
So next time, think before you kick the dog, huh? Maybe a constructive lesson is more in order.
  • “Hopefully I’ll be able to pull off a miracle.” “Good luck with that.” – Jeff & Ellie (unfortunately the humour was in my deadpan response and doesn’t really translate)
  • “I’m hoping I can persuade you to come in for a glass of milk.” “Um … ???” – Mandy & Ellie (she meant wine. But milk??)

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