May 20, 2012

Letter to my Brain

Dear Stubborn Jackass,

I'm going to start by saying that, despite what you believe, I DO NOT hate you.
I don't particularly like you.
You could have been smarter.
Maybe less stubborn.
Some wit wouldn’t have hurt either.
But despite all that, I don’t really 'hate' you.

The truth is that you served me well for the first few decades of my life.
In high school, your thinking lobes presumably hadn't developed and so you slept through it.

But the 'bulimic' memory lobes served me quite well.
Memorizing tons of data before a test and then throwing it all up at the opportune moment.
It got me the grades and for that I'll be forever thankful.

Thereafter, your thinking lobes woke up and formed the major part of my personality.
Can't complain much there.
You did a stellar job.
Quite a doozy.

More recently though, you've become really annoying.
You're stubborn.
You don't listen.
You're easily distracted.
You have no control over yourself.
And when you start worrying- you're hyphee.
That means hyperactively crazy- I picked that up from my 16 year old cousin.
The stuff kids say nowadays!
It's banana oil.

You're all of 28 years old and I still have to distract you with something to stop you from thinking about something else.
What are you…. Five?!?

It's driving me crazy and if I ever decide not to have kids, it will be your fault.
ALL your fault.

And the worrying….oh my God... the worrying.
You have to stop dude.
You really do.
You don't see it but its killing us.

You think the worrying is helping…
and with all the worrying you might come up with a solution…
But you know what??!?
I think the solutions you've come up with are pretty good.
They'll get us through the year.
So just calm your farm.
Don't have a cow.
I picked that up from Bart Simpson.
I'm clever that way.

You gotta stop doubting yourself too.
You still have some fight left in you.
Know how I know that?!?

I got two words for you.
You're like fantastic in yoga class.
You have it together.
You're focused and calm.

And look at the power you wield over the body.
The balance.
The flexibility.
The poise.
You're all that and a bag of chips.

And then you step out and you flip out all over again.
It's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde three times over.

This letter is to tell you to cut it out.
We got a long way to go and you CANNOT  keep throwing hissy fits every second.
Stop acting like a drama queen and pull up your diaper.

We're in this together and we'll come out of it together.
You know why we're being made to go through this when everyone else around us has it easy?!?
You know why?
It's coz God knows we're the only ones who can survive it.

And that's saying something.

So whatdya say?!?!
Are you with me?!?!
Can you even read??!
Dang it.
Never Mind.

Yours Involuntarily, Irreversibly and Inescapably, 
The Pious Hippie.

May 7, 2012

Kicking the Pious off of Pious Hippie

So its almost a year since I started blogging.

For those of you who are actually counting, I'm not including the four months I was MIA.
Okay six.

And one question most of my friends ask me is:
What does Pious Hippie mean?
Or why 'Pious Hippie'?

And quite frankly, I used it because it was a bit of an oxymoron.
And I was a bit of a hippie.
And I was a little Pious in that I believed in karma.
And I believed in God and all that.
But not in a religious way- more like my buddy in the sky.

And you know what happens between friends?
They fight.
Not all the time.
But sometimes.
A friendship without a fight is like
sushi without wasabi.

Before you dismiss my simile without a second thought- I want to draw attention to how smart it is.
I could have said pizza without cheese or cupcake without frosting.

But that wouldn't have been accurate.
And also I've said that before.

Accuracy means everything in the use of similes.
Similes without accuracy is like ………a tree without leaves.
A flower without petals.
A bird without feathers.
A needle with no hole.

I LOVE similes.

Moving back to my smart simile.

I used wasabi and sushi because too much wasabi can get a  little annoying.
It can spoil the sushi.
You need just the right amount.
Otherwise, it goes straight to your head and your eyes start watering and your nose starts dripping and your head explodes.
And your blood gets all over the place.
It's messy.
Not good.

So you need just the right amount of fighting in any friendship.

And in my friendship with God, I've just OD'd on wasabi recently.

My nose is dripping, eyes watering, head is about to pop open.
You might wanna get some tissues, in case you get some of my blood on your shirt!
I'm kidding.
Don't really go do that.
I'm wearing a plastic bag over my head!
Don't worry, I've punched holes in it for air.

So I'm a big believer in karma, if you don’t already know.
The only problem I have with it is that when you face the consequences of your karma, whether good or bad, it doesn't carry a tag.
You know?!?
Like something good happens to you, you can't really tell if it was because you helped the old lady cross the road.
Or if something bad happens to you, you won't be able to track it back to the time you shoved that big bully off the swing in second grade.

And that, in my opinion, poses infinite accounting, monitoring and control challenges.

And what makes it worse is, some people actually say that you reap the results of your karma from past births too.
That's just dandy isn't it?!? 

You don't even remember who you were but you're supposed to balance out your karma from your past birth?!?Am I the only one who sees the glaringly obvious glitch in the system?!?

Yea ….yea… I know that’s supposed to make you want to do good deeds all the time…. Blah blah… but still.
It would have been more efficient if we could track 'em.

If nothing else it would serve as a really great motivation system.
We could have an entire karmic accounting system.
With debits and credits.
And then we calculate daily, monthly and annual targets for increasing our good karmic assets and decreasing our bad karmic liabilities.
We could create thousands of jobs by creating a new 'karmic accountant' career.
There could be karmic consultancies.
The potential could have been HUGE.

But we can't track our karma and its consequences.
The system is irrevocably flawed.

And the past month has convinced me even more.

I'll tell you what happened.

So I don’t want to brag but I saved a life.
I put my own life in peril and saved a life.
And I know you think I'm joking…  but I'm not.
I really did it.

I wouldn't have mentioned it if it wasn't to put my point across.

So here's what happened.
Our family's towels are aired out in the yard sometimes when its sunny.
And we pick them up from there before going into the shower.

This one day last week though, I picked up my towel and walked into the bathroom as usual. And just as I was about to turn the tap on, I saw it.


A slimy, orange and black bug on the shower curtain.
I'm pretty sure it was poisonous too.

And in my manic frenzy, I flicked it into the toilet bowl.

And then I discovered, to my relief, that it couldn't swim.
The sucker was going to drown to death.
I watched it writhing in pain, its poisonous prickly legs wriggling.
And I flushed to put the devil where it belongs.

But it didn't go down- it was still floating.
And the more I watched it, the less afraid I grew of it.
And the more I started thinking.

What gave me the right to put an end to this bugs life?
If I was that bug, what would I be feeling right now?
Drowning in unhygienic toilet water?
What was his crime?
Did he know he was on my towel? Would he have stayed on it if he had known?
Who am I to punish him?

Morality awakened and I decided to save it.
I took the toilet brush and gently lowered it into the bowl, low enough for it to cling on.
I threw caution to the wind and without regard to my own life or well being- I brought it out and let it dry itself out. And then I took a piece of paper and let it climb on and released it into the yard again.

Yea okay.
When I mentioned I'd saved a life, I forgot to mention I was the one that put it in danger in the first place.
But you're missing the point.

The point is I felt it's pain.
I disregarded my own safety.
I saved it's life not for the good karma but because I was one with it.

Like in Avatar.
"This is shahaylu -- the bond.
Feel her heartbeat, her breath.
Feel her strong legs.
One with the horse."

And I gotta admit, it felt good after it.
I felt proud of myself and I felt like God would be proud of me.

But you know what?
The next day, I got some bad news.
What the news was is irrelevant, but it was something that made me really sad.
And it left me thinking- what did I do wrong?

I saved the bug's life and this is how God's decided to reward me?

It wasn't just the bug, I'd begun doing a LOT of really good things to people.

Like this other day that same week, there was this crazy rude cab driver and when I was getting off, he gave me more change than he should have. I had half a mind to keep the extra change to spite him. But then I thought of the fact that they'd cut it from his wages and so, I gave the extra change back to him because I didn't want him to pay it out of his pocket.
And I felt proud and I thought God was proud too.

And despite all that I did, this was what I was getting in return?!?
Where's the justice in that?!?

And since then I've stopped talking to Him.
I just don't see what I did that was SOO wrong that he had to reward me so handsomely.

So this is a post where I kick the Pious off of Pious Hippie.
Where I look up at the heavens and scream 'Smite me… oh mighty smiter' ala Bruce Almighty.
Where I'm so livid, I'm almost foaming at the mouth.
Yea. I'm rabid and not in a good way.
I'm wigged out.
I was already wound tight and now I've snapped.
In this post, I rave.
I rant.
Here I raise hell.
Actually, I got nothing more to say.
That's, more or less, it.

I'm fighting with God.
Giving him the silent treatment.
And I think his karma system is a little flawed.
A LOT flawed.

I said it.
Sue me.
Or smite me.

And to the orange bugs out there, I'm warning you guys.

May 1, 2012

The HEA Theory

After all that talk about growing the extra corner and the nuisance it is, I'm going to talk about something so 'out there' that I'll probably grow another corner just talking about it.

That's what I meant last week-
what if it's in my nature to just keep growing corners irrespective of the trouble each corner causes?
What if its my destiny?
What if God just forgot to put in the normalcy chip in my brain when he sent me down to earth?
Or even worse, what if he put in a 'Crazy' chip in there instead?

But I gotta stay true to the principles of this blog.
I gotta write about my feelings - no matter how mental they sound.

So far, I have dazzled the world with my brilliance.
Today, I shock it with my chutzpah.
I stun it with my audacity.
I wow it with my spunk.
I bewilder it with my sass.

Okay… not really.
But one of these days I really will.

Today I'm only saying stuff which has already been said before.
But I haven't said it before.
So I'm saying it now.
Pious Hippie style.

That implies there's a theory.
That's what the Pious Hippie magic is about isn't it?
Life described in a series of scintillating analogies and profound and penetrating theories.

Okay fine.
It's more about corny jokes and colorful cartoons.

Moving on.

The theory is about Happily Ever Afters for girls.
It has three categories:

The Cinderellas.

Cinderella always dreamt of prince charming.
Isn't it amazing how things turned out so well for her?!?
I mean she didn't even have to move a muscle.
The fairy Godmother just appeared out of nowhere, styled her clothes, got her transportation, chauffeur and everything, and sent her on her way.

And even after the ball, she really didn’t do much.
Even before she'd finished day-dreaming about the ball, the prince used all his money and all his might and went around town with her slipper and found her.
He found her.
And the shoe was placed on her foot.

She literally didn't move a muscle.
Not even to try on the shoe.

Poor Rapunzel had to let down her hair and haul the 70 odd kilogram prince up to meet him.
Assuming he had a healthy BMI and was at least 6 feet tall.
I calculated the prince's healthy weight from a reasonably assumed BMI.
I'm always precise about things where accuracy means nothing.
It's my special talent.

Anyway, Cinderella's prayers were answered.
And she lived happily ever after, which, from this moment on will be referred to as HEA (pronounced hay-ya), coz I'll be using it a lot.
Although if you're reading this, you probably don't need to know how it's pronounced.
Except if you want to show-off your brilliance to your friends.

Anyway, what happened with Cinderella is what happens with true believers.
True believers in l-uuhhhh-ve.

The Sleeping Beauties.

Now sleeping beauty- she was another deal all together.
She was quite random in my opinion.

She was barely like 15-16 years old and she fell asleep with the prick of the pin or something like that.
And she didn't do any of the dreaming or believing like our Cinderella.
I bet she hadn't even hit puberty.

And then, 100 years later she was awakened by this prince she didn't even know. And he asked her to marry him.
And she just said yes.
Ummm… weird.

So you see, the similarity between Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty is that both didn't so much as lift their pinky fingers and both lived HEA.

The important difference, however, is I suspect, that Cinderella was probably a lot happier to see her prince.
She was probably more happy to get married.
She was living her childhood dream.
She was given everything she asked for.

Sleeping beauty was very … blah.
"I don't know the guy, but whatever, let's get married."
"I've missed like 100 years of the world around me, but whatever, let's get married before the ageing sets in."
"I don't really know what my dreams are, what I want with my life but whatever.  I'll figure something out, let's just get married incase I fall asleep again."
Anyway, the point is that she gets her HEA.

Now we come to the most interesting variety.
The Goldilocks.

A little bit of background here:
In the first version of this story, in about 1837, Goldilocks was actually an old woman.
A hag.

For those who want a more graphic description:
Impudent; bad; foul-mouthed; ugly; dirty; a vagrant deserving of a stint in the House of Correction.
See who Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are up against?
The House of Correction people.

Later though, in the 20th Century, she became a cute little blonde girl.
I'm guessing it was because the was scaring all the kids.

Now, for the purpose of this theory, she's quite revolutionary.
And here's why:

A) She has distinct preferences even in little things like her chair, her bed and her food.
Chances are she's going to be just as picky about her 'prince'.
If she's looking for one, that is.

B) She's done all the hard work in her story.
She's moved from chair to chair.
From bed to bed.
She's burnt her tongue on Papa bear's porridge.
She's putting in the footwork man.
She's not skiving.
She ain't gonna wait for some fairy Godmother or prince.
She's a liberated woman, man.

C) We don’t know her fate.
Does she meet a prince?
Does she get the elusive HEA?
Does she move in with the bears?
Does she get eaten by them?
Does she eat them?
Does she roam the woods in search of better porridges?
Does she buy her own little cottage in the neighborhood?
Does she become a real estate agent?
Does she turn lesbian?

The point is, she's just as well known as the other two ladies.
Actually that's not the point.
That's so far away from the point that I don't know why I said that.

As with all theories, these aren't mutually exhaustive categories. You can be a combination of two or more of them and you can evolve into one of them overtime. Also, the other caveat is that, this only pertains to single women.

I'm Goldilocks, if you haven't already guessed.
I wasn't always goldilocks.
I used to be a cinderella and I've done my time as the sleeping beauty in relationships.
But I've really come into my own as Goldilocks.

Not that I don’t believe in true l-uuuhhh-ve.
I'm pretty sure it exists.
I have friends who are Cinderellas.
And I have acquaintances who are sleeping beauties.
They're not my friends obviously- the sleeping beauties.
If they were my friends, I would have slapped them awake before they did something that stupid.

But me?!
I'm beginning to check out the furniture for the first time.
I'm testing the porridge temperature.
I guess, I'm beginning to create my own little HEA- different from the conventional HEA.
It probably has some combination of cupcakes, meditation, yoga, trading foreign exchange, travelling, pasta and cows.

You spend a little time with cows and they grow on you.
Heh heh..
Cows growing on you.
Funny mental image.
I would've drawn this out for you, but I'll die laughing while doing it.

Anyway, I think the conventional HEA is overrated.
No offense to the Cinderellas.

It's great for people who want it.
But it’s a little unfair to expect everyone to want it.

I've tried my hand at relationships.
And I've tried being single.

During my Cinderella phase, I hate to admit, but I used to day dream too.
I used to believe that 'there's someone out there for everyone'.
It's okay.
You can barf.
I almost did.
I thought I'd find him eventually.

But little by little, as God puts in the pieces of my life's jigsaw puzzle in, His designs are becoming clearer and clearer.
He hasn't made me for a conventional HEA.
He's made me self-sufficient.
That’s why He's made me the way I am.
That's why He's shown me the things I've seen.
That's why He's taught me the things I've learnt.
That's why He's given me the experiences I've had.
I feel like Samantha from SATC- without the promiscuity.
And without the financial success, at the moment.
I'll have to wait a few thousand years before I can afford a Birkin.

God's made me this way.
And he doesn't make mistakes apparently.

Ooh, there ain't no other way, baby, I was born this way
I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way
Baby, I was born this way!
It's impossible not to get carried away with that song.

For the first time ever, I feel like I've seen everything there is to see. I've felt everything first hand:
Subconscious love for someone.
I've been through it all - one by one.

I've tasted the hot porridge and the cold one, tried the hard bed and the soft one, the big chair and the small one. I'm settling down on something that's right for ME.

I'm Goldilocks man.
I make my own HEA.
High fives to all the other Goldilocks' out there.
And to all the Cinderellas.

I know the Sleeping Beauties haven't stuck around to get to the end of this post.
They hate me for calling them blah.

You call a rose a rose and the lily gets mad.
Touchy much?!
I know that last line made no sense.

April 24, 2012

The Plight of the Parallelobus

Ever seen one of those gooey, drooly babies play those mind numbing games they play?
You know… the ones where they have colorful shaped pegs and the little twits have to put the round peg through the round hole into the box.
And then the square peg through the square hole into the box.
And then the triangular peg through the triangular hole into the box.
And then the star shaped peg ….
You get the point.

Have you watched them?
Have you seen a bigger waste of time on God's precious earth?
How annoying is it to wait for them to figure out something that stupid?
And if you take all the pegs out of the box and make them start over- they would've forgotten everything.
And they keep stubbornly trying to shove the triangle through the round hole.
And Again.
And again.
And, OH-MY-GOD again.
And they keep trying.
They then they hit the box with their freakishly small spongy hands.
And then they drool.
And then they put the peg into their mouths.
And then the whole thing is covered in their slimy saliva.
And then they drool some more.
And then they wail, just for fun.
And then they drool even more.
I repeat.

The more perceptive readers will realize I'm not very fond of human babies.
Dog babies, I love.
Cow babies, I adore.
Pigeon babies, I can tolerate.
Human babies, I loathe.

Anyway, the post today isn't about human babies and their evilness.
Not today.
Today, its about the game.
The peg-in-the-hole game.
And, of course, it has one of those world famous Pious Hippie life analogies.

So, here's what I'm saying today.

We are like those little pegs.
Some of us are circles, some are triangles or squares.
Some could even be pentagons and hexagons and decagons.

We're each some kind of peg.
We start out as a circle and keep adding corners to ourselves through life.
Each of us have a certain number of corners.
And our choices, both good and bad determine the number of corners we have.

If you deviate from the norm, take a risk to follow your heart, do something that's considered 'bold', you add a corner.
So in kindergarten, when everyone was drawing the pretty flowers and you drew an army tank-
you grew a corner.
In high school, when everyone was trying out for the basketball team and you signed up for the teddy-bear making class- you grew another corner.
Later in life, when everyone else started working in jobs they didn't like and you decided to quit-
 you grew corner.
Every time you tried something that many others wouldn't - you grew a corner.

Pretty simple, so far, right?!?

Moving on.

Just like there's fire where there's smoke, there are holes where there are pegs.
I have officially copy written the statement above.
It may well be one of the smartest things I've said in my life.

It's pretty obvious that the more corners you have, the weirder your shape will be.
And the weirder your shape is, the harder it is to find your hole.
I have officially disowned the statement above.
It may well be one of the weirdest things I've said in my life.

Every time I mention 'hole', just remember the context of the game.
The pegs.
And their corresponding holes.
Context people.

And then the next character in the plot- the baby.

The baby is society.
The judgmental aunt.
The snooty ex-best friend.
The cousin who won't stop showing off.
The uncle who won't stop giving you unsolicited advice.

That’s right.
You heard me.
The baby is society.
And I used the word unsolicited.
Just in case you didn't notice that there.

Why do I think so?!?

Who keeps trying to shove the poor little pegs into holes they don't belong in?
Who keeps pummeling them into submission?
Who can't make out the difference between three corners and four?
Who drools over everything under the sun?
Okay the last question was baby specific.
Nothing to do with society.
But seriously, WHAT is the deal with the drooling.
It's like they're aliens with over-active spit glands that want to drown the world in baby saliva.

After some careful analysis and observation I've realized I have about 6 corners. But not in the symmetrical sense. I'm not a neat little hexagon.

I'm like a mixture of a parallelogram and a rhombus.
I'm a parallolobus.
Or maybe a Rhomogram.
I feel like a parallelobus, though.
Sometimes I think I even look like one.

And guess what?!?
The parallelobus shaped hole is HARD to find.
And the baby keeps shoving me into the square hole.
And pushing and shoving.
And drooling all over me.

And it's beginning to annoy me.
And I'm beginning to wonder if I should have grown out all these corners.
Wouldn't I be better off being a regular square?
The baby would have fit me into the right hole- I would be safe and secure in the gleaming plastic box with all the other squares.

Pun intended.

By the way, I've never been good at puns.
And that one above, is a masterpiece, even if I say so myself.
Which I do.
I'm saying it loud and clear.
I'll shout it off a mountain top.

Not finding my corresponding parallelobus hole is making me feel more and more like a failure.
I know it exists. Everyone has a hole to go through.
But it takes time to find it.

And the baby, every time it drools over you or tries to squeeze you into the wrong hole makes you feel like a failure. Each corner you grew out begins to feel like a mistake. Your unique shape begins to feel like a curse.

And all of this has introduced me to a new kind of failure.
Or well, the second installment of it.
The sequel, if you will.

The first part of failure is when you grow out a corner- coz not everything 'bold' you try turns out the way you want it to.
So when I drew the army tank, it wasn't particularly appreciated by Ms. Thompson- my art teacher.
Or when I quit work, it may not have been the best career decision in the world.
Or trying to open a coffee shop could be construed as a major mistake.

You try something new, it fails.
I can live with that.
I tried my hand at home accessory design, I failed.
Fair enough.
I can live with that.

The second part, like the sequel to a good horror movie, is a LOT scarier.
And you're a lot less prepared for it.
And you scream twice as loud.
And your heart thumps three times faster.
And you get nightmares for eight more months.
And you sleep in your parents room for two more years.

In the first part you just grow out the extra corner -
by trying something different.
The second part is when the evil, drooling baby comes in to the picture.

That’s when society starts poking fun at you.
That's when your ex-best friend begins looking at you with pity.
That's when your uncle begins telling you to get serious with your life.
That's when people start scrutinizing all your past decisions and identifying "loopholes", even when you don't ask them to.
That's when you find yourself drowning in a flood with unwanted advice from all the other squares and triangles.
Pun intended again.

Okay fine.
That wasn't a pun.
I knew that.

For example, Van Gogh did a bunch of really random things.
He probably had a bajillion corners.
And I think, when he shot himself, it was probably because he thought no hole existed for a peg with a bajillion corners.
It was only much much later on, that the baby (society) realized that there IS a hole with a bajillion corners- just - its real hard to find.
The baby probably grew to about 64 years old before it realized how stupid it was.

Just to clarify though, that if you're looking for pointers on what to do when you're watching the scarier sequel, this post isn't going to help.

This post is more of a warning.

A warning about the dangers lurking outside the gleaming plastic box.
A warning about the dangers of growing the extra corner.

A warning about, basically, the fact that in growing out the extra corner you:
  1. Take a risk of failing (the original movie)
  2. Hand over the right to the baby to shove you into holes that don't fit, drool over you, scratch and scathe you and, maybe, hide you under a sofa cushion for the rest of your life (the sequel).
If you thought that growing out that extra corner was brave, you got another think coming.

So all I'm trying to say, is that I'm beginning to doubt the value in my extra corners and I've had limited luck in finding my hole, thus far.

Again, context people.

That hole is basically my passageway to the other side of the glorious plastic box of society where acceptance abounds amidst the colorful circles, squares and triangles.
The simpler life.
Sometimes, you're JUST not a square you know?
You want to be.
You want to just get the hell over with it, but you can't just CUT off your extra corner.
You can't change what you are.
Even if you want to.

I wish my life was as simple as graduating from college, finding a job, getting a masters degree, getting a better job, getting married and having kids.

What if you're destined to be a darned parallelobus?
What if God wanted me to do all the random things I've done?
What if God doesn't WANT me to get a job, get married and have kids?

Does that mean I'm destined to have a wet squishy hand hold me all the time because it just can't deal with a parallelobus? Does that mean I'm destined to be covered in baby spit?!  

I guess this is a public service announcement of sorts, where I caution people about the perils of the extra corner. About the difficulties of finding the right hole.

I don't know how it will all end.

I could end up finding my way through the hole to acceptance wonderland.
Like many weird shapes have done.

Or I could land up under the couch with old forgotten pennies, popcorn and dust mites where even Bruno, the family dog, wouldn't be able to reach me.
Only time will tell if the extra corner was eventually worth it.

But don't say I didn't warn ya.

You're welcome.
That's what I'm here for!
That and saving the world from glandular aliens that hide themselves in human baby mouths.
Also, saving the world in general.

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The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.