ask_realistic_optimist
. what role do you think of yourself as playing in the dance of lifey death? 031122
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REAListic optimIST reluctant leader, muse, and bard. 031122
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Doar don't forget back up musician,

plumber,

the guy with the machine that goes ping!
031123
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pipedream where are the caterpiggles? tell me now and i'll let you go easy..

*clicks her spurs ominously*
031124
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REAListic optimIST they are still in my pawket, but you never checked my secret pawket in my big fluffy jacket, did you? *blink blink* well they are still in there, crawling about, munching on the various random foodstuffs i drop in there from time to time. 031124
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Toxic_Kisses Have you ever noticed how music is louder in the dark?
I'll go to set my radio to a good volume go stand next to my bed to make sure it's not to loud or not to soft and once I have it just right I'll go turn out the lights crawl in bed and realize that indeed the music -is- to loud and then have to stumble over everything in the dark to get to the radio and adjust the volume all over again
- so why is it that music feels/sounds louder in the dark then it does in the light?
040111
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realistic optimist hello toxic kisses. i too, have noticed this phenomenon. searching through the psychology class material stuck up in my head, i would say that the explanation which most resembles a reasonable answer would have to do with attention, attenuation, and habituation.

you must, on a subconscious level, constantly divide your attentions in several directions in order to take in all stimuli, process it, and scan it for significant cues to attend to that one thing. this is part of our survival mechanism. so, while you are getting ready for bed, you are attending to many more things, both consciously and subconsciously, than when you hit the lights and light out between the sheets.

when your attention is focused on just one thing, it is amplified. this goes for vision as well. if you try to focus on just one thing, it will become clearer, and your attention on the other things will attenuate, unless a cue to attend to something else is noticed.

one example of this is the "cocktail party effect." when at a cocktail party, everyone's voices seem to wash over one another creating a sea of sound in which the distinguishing of a single stream of conversation can prove difficult. however, if someone says your name, it rings out with a crisp sharpness against that background conversation. you have learned your name as an attention cue.

to figure out the "between the sheets" volume you could stop and meditate a second then attend to the volume before finishing your going to bed preparations.
040111
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u24 very astute.

Why do we have emotions?
040111
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realistic optimist hello user 24.
excellent question, and one which requires quite a bit of conjecture on my part. well, here goes!

it occurs to me that we increasingly live on a superficial plane of existence rife with video images, media headlines, and creature comforts; far removed from the cadences of life. i say this only to indicate my belief that we have an increasing need to pay attention to the cues we are given about how we are living our life.

i think we have several cues which help us to determine whether we are on the right path. when we are astray, we tend to feel depressed, and even physically ill. when we are on target, we have a more lasting sense of happiness, one that seeps in deep and permeates us past the stages of happiness reached by, say, eating chocolate. so emotions can serve as guideposts.

additionally, emotions serve as a survival mechanism. when user24 punches me in the gut, i am filled with rage, which propels me to a stronger defence than i would be disposed to if i wasn't energized by the emotion. fear can serve as a similar survival cue, however both emotions often lead to actions which are not in our best interests.

i think that to a certain degree, we have eviolved to a point where we can use our emotions to our benefit to a certain degree. (ie. channel that rage into determination to finish a project)
and we can condition ourselves to not pay attention to our emotions as well.

ideally, we have the ability to see past our emotions as well as allow ourselves to be swept away by them, making proper decisions about when is the right time for what.

in summary, i think that emotions are a subjective thing which have many functions, some outdated, some useful, and some potentially self-determined.
040111
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blah-ze where do your get a discount card for emotion repair? or short of that, does not sleeping have any function in DIY emotion repair?

if it ain't useful, i can take these toothpicks outa my eyes.
040111
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mon what's in the goulash? 040111
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u24 truly an excellent answer. thankyou. 040111
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Toxic_Kisses I second what User24 said!! not only did you answer my question but you were also quite helpfull, thank you Realistic Optimist!

P.S.
Can I keep asking you more Q's? or am I limited to the amount of Q's that I can ask you?
040111
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pipedream hopping around with a fluffy jacket gnaw *digs around for the caterpiggles*

damn fluffy jacket...swallowin' up my arm...unghhh...aAAAAH!! ITS CHEWIN' ME FINGERS OFF!!
040111
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realistic optimist blah-ze: don't take the toothpicks out! you'll leak humor all over the place! um.. umm... try your local community mental health center? or perhaps your local rastafarian? 040112
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realistic optimist mon: first i browned the hamburger. then i drained off the grease. then, i cooked some whole wheat rigatoni while i chopped sweet onions and added italian seasoning, chili powder, tomato sauce, garlic, steak sauce, catsup, red pepper, ground peppercorns, and aunt diana's magic seasoning. when the pasta is done, it is added along with some garlic powder. (you can never have enough garlic) the ghoulash then simmers as long as you can stand it. (simmer = flava) you can add corn, fresh tomato, and several other spices, however this is how i made it. leftovers of ghoulash are even better! 040112
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realistic optimist toxic kisses, ask as many questions as you need to ask. there is no formal limit. 040112
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realistic optimist pipey: please phrase your horrified screams in the form of a question. 040112
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pipedream ghoulash- stew made of ghosties, casper and aunt hilda/zelda/sabrina et al.

goulash- hungarian stew yum yum


heh.
040112
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meme how do you make concrete?
and how do you write on paper that's so covered with drool that it's disintegrating?
040112
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TK have -you- ever made concrete?

what 3 subjects do you feel you know more about then any other subjects?

what is something you don't know and would like to learn about?
040112
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realistic optimist meme: i'm not sure if this is the concrete to which you are referring, but once you see how i make it you should see why it is called concrete.

first, take some bacon grease and put it in a large skillet. then cook some sausage (i recommend trying different types), browning it and chopping it with the spatula until it is fully cooked and chunked rather small.
this next step is what necessitates calling this dish concrete. add flour until you can add no more. soak up all that grease until no more flour can be soaked up. keeping the heat around medium, brown the flour you have just added. this will help color the concrete.
at this point, add whatever spices you plan on using. i have experimented with several different ways to spice the concrete.
then, turn the heat up a bit, and add milk - whole milk or thicker only - slowly. stir it in until it begins to thicken, then add a little bit more. keep this up until you have a ginormous amount of concrete.
it is a good idea to cook some biscuits late in this concrete process so you have something over which to pour this concrete.
after eating the concrete, do not plan on moving for quite some time.
040112
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youyou yep, that's what i was thinking of... memories of goulash set me drooling... many thanks...

and a more in-depth question for you... you make the claim "thou art god"... care to explain?
040112
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youme s.b. thou_art_god, sorri 040112
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realistic optimist death by smewches:

during my brief stint in architecture we learned how to make concrete, and that you must smack it 25 times with a stick to ensure that it has no bubbles trapped inside. however, i have never had the distinct pleasure of making that particular type of concrete.

subjects of great knowing:

cognitive reasoning behind human behaviour
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man this second question is difficult because i think i've spread myself rather thin.
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um, cooking
and the english language

wow i feel i kind of gave that a half assed answer because i have no clue what my top three subjects would be.

i would like to learn more about the biochemistry of the body, and specifically, the brain.
040112
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realistic optimist "thou art god"

god is the creator, he who creates, and he who decides fate.

we, as humans, have been given the ability to create, to be creative, and to make decisions and perform actions which influence and ultimately decide fate.

recognizing that in each other, and helping to foster that in each other, brings us closer to god, to ourselves, to our "godselves."

i could just as easily say "namaste."
040112
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realistic optimist forgive the sex-specific pronoun i used to refer to god. i was raised fundamental baptist, and old habits and ways of thinking sometimes manifest themselves in my words, if not in my thoughts. 040112
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Toxic_Kisses What is it about the English language that prompted you to learn so much about it? what is about English as aposed to some dead/dieing and/or forin language that made you want to know and learn so much about it?

My dad once told me of something he read about how they did this test on some lab rats wear they made one rat (lets call him rat A) would run a maze untill he got to the finish line at a fast speed and then thay Killed rat A and fed its brain to rat B and then introduced the same maze that Rat A had ran but that Rat B had never previously ran or seen befor, rat B learned how to run the maze quicker and w/ fewer mistakes then rat A then once rat B learned the maze inside out they then killed rat B and fed it's brain to Rat C who allso had never ran or seen said maze b4 and he ran the maze w/ the fewist mastakes and faster then the other two rats during it's first time through the maze, thus I wonder, if I ate the brains of geniuses would I inreturn eventuly become a genius as well? or do you think that only works on rats? and why do some ppl eat cow brains?
040112
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realistic optimist english is what the people around me spoke and understood. so, in order to properly express or inerpret the expression of those around me, english was the language of choice. i have learned french, and am aspiring to learn spanish, however.

that rat experiment is an interesting anecdote to contemplate alongside stranger_in_a_strange_land. i suppose i read that experiment, as it does tickle some memory, but i am surprised i haven't given it much thought. i mean, what if they ate the brains of stupid rats? what if i ate the brains of a stupid, cud chewing, flatulent cow? the mind boggles. if i ate cat brains, would i rub up against stuff, headbutt people to say they are cool, and smile with my eyes? wait. oh shit. i already do that! OK WHO SPIKED MY CHEESECAKE WITH CATBRAINS?! i have no idea why anyone would eat cowbrains. maybe they taste good? what a stupid ugly animal. how can india worship those fucking creatures? did they used to be cool before being bred to be slaughtered for so long? (no offence people of india i just don't understand is all.)
040112
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realistic optimist and what of monkey brains?! WHAT?!?! 040112
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realistic optimist oh, and a belated answer to blah-ze: sleeping can, in fact, have a reparative effect on one's own emotions, d-i-y or otherwise. but it is a short term effect, and i was speaking of more long term effects. sometimes there isn't much of a d-i-y you can do, as it is more biochemical or an obscured conditioned esponse that has yet to be uncovered. i made a lot of sweeping generalizations and oversimplified things in order to try to briefly and somewhat effectively communicate the core of ideas i had regarding emotions. it takes quite a bit of subjective analysis to retro fit those statements onto an individual. 040112
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whitechocolatewalrus what is your favorite word and why do you like it? 040112
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realistic optimist "now," because everything is contained in that one word! 040113
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pipedream i wants a kitty...a little siamese to tuck under my chin and watch telly with. 040113
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realistic optimist :( i miss pepper. he use to be my sat morning cartoon pillow. youguys have been asking good questions! don't stop now, i was just getting warmed up! 040113
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oldephebe what do you think of the Fox show "24" starring Kiefer Sutherland?

by the way, this a tasty page, some every astute responses and really interesting questions as well...
040114
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pipers i think the scrubs lead is rather cutie wootie woo :D:D 040114
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oE Scrubs on NBC is a riot! pd..what does D: mean? 040114
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realistic optimist well, mr. senior sophomore jr., i have only seen a couple episodes of 24. i was trying to download all of them and watch them in sequence, but never managed to get them all, and didn't have tv when it came out. however, from those couple of episodes, i thought it seemed well done and quite interesting, and it is a good concept. 040114
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realistic optimist meme: i believe one would write on disintegrating paper with disappearing ink. 040114
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Toxic_Kisses in your own personal opinion, what is beauty?

how many animals have you "owned" what kind of animals were they and what were their names, aaaaaaand how did you come to obtain them????
040115
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realistic optimist beauty is that which harmonizes with the structure one has learned to discern in the world around them.

when i was a child, we had a cat tony the tiger. not for long, we were just keeping him for someone. then we had pepper and bashful, about whom i've previously blathed. then we had benji the dog. then, when i lived with my aunt and uncle, we had sam the dog. then i won a goldfish at a fair, and killed the poor guy changing his water. then in college, i bought some fish that i didn't really care about and don't even remember their names. at the end of school, one of my friends ate them. then when i moved to oregon, my roommate had a cat named coco who had been hit by a car one too many times. not real bright, that cat. while i was living there, i was fucking this purplehaired recovering heroin addict, and she dragged me into a pet store, and thought that "we" should get a pet. i wasn't really going for it, but when i met kaos, i knew he was the right cat for me. i still have him to this day. i'm giving him scritches as i write this.
040115
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Death pulling a fast one what is beyond the curtain? 040115
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realistic optimist the halliburton_curtain? or are we talking about the curtain monster i feared as a child? i think it's probably pretty subjective, and possibly approaches shroedingerism. 040115
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pipers :D is a big grin emoticon, and :D:D are two of them...geddit? a colon and a capital D. heh. 040115
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realistic optimist yeah, but he wanted to know what D: was, and to me, that looks like a horrified face! 040116
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pipedream oh yeah! *turns pink* eh he

or a ghostie face, munsch style screamy face..*tries it out*
040116
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TK up untill now did you know that I tend to smile when ever I read you? 040116
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realistic optimist well, toxic kisses, i am certainly happy to widen your smile... ooh, wait! if you lie on your side, then i can say i helped to widen your vertical smile! mwaahaha! 040116
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Toxic_Kisses I am not a lab rat, so don't test me as if I were 040116
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oE heh heh..Igeddit..I love the show..pure adrenaline..Kiefer's intensity and ruthlessness to the "cause" is very jarring entertainment... 040116
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pipedream getting grumpy *casts withering look at R.O*

somehow that didn't sound too funny...where's my sammitch?
040116
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realistic optimist awww. damn. now i went and stuck my foot in my mouth. sorry toxic. not sure i understand the guinea pig part, but i apologize for the tasteless wordplay.
and pd, i'll make you one of my phatty grilled cheese's. that is where i sautee onions and garlic in butter, leaving some in the skillet to cook onto the bread, and scooping some to put in the middle. i like to use colby jack, cheddar, and/or a white cheese. sometimes a put a slice of tomato in the middle, but that's a last second thing and some people don't like tomato so let me know and i'll put it in or nix it right before i finish the sammich for ya.
040117
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Toxic_Kisses I said what I did above bc I felt like your response was simply your way of testing how I would react, would I be offended? Would I flirt back would I tell you about my bf or simply ignore it, or even just ignore you? What ever would my reaction be?? And no, I don't except your apology, I feel you said it not bc you were truly sorry but bc you just wanted to smooth things over, so no you are not forgiven.

Now on to my question.

What are your thoughts on malism?
040117
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realistic optimist brash stream of consciousness is the place from which i operate, and intentionally manipulative motives do not often enter into those streams. when i typed widen your smile, the next place my admittedly gutterified mind went was what i wrote. not knowing you apart from a few things i've read and your screen name, and due to the personal (as opposed to interpersonal) nature of blather, i am not likely to censor myself, in this case to my detrement.

when i learned you were offended, i felt bad for not stopping to read what i wrote before i posted (which i rarely do), as well as when i reread what i had said, i saw quite a few interpretations, many of which were unflattering, thus the foot in the mouth. i admit to lacking tact much of the time, however apologizing and explaining genuinely is about the best i can offer.

i looked up malism, and was not able to find a definition. i know what mal- means, and what -ism means, but the definition remains quite vague in my mind. i was thinking of responding to the word malapropism, which would be an excellent description of the offensive wordplay i used above, but it occurred to me that i did not want to make any assumptions given my track record.
care to elaborate?
040117
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realistic optimist well now that i've read the blather entitled malism i know what you meant. i think the the theory that the world is mostly bad is about as valid as the theory that it is mostly good. growing up, i truly tried to act in the way my church and parents taught me to act. i was "brainwashed" that the world was truly that way. for these acts, i got my ass kicked quite a bit. turning the other cheek and appealing to the good in people did not get me very far. over time, i learned to deal with the reality that most people were intrinsically selfishly motivated, and these laws of conduct did not enter into the masses' actual mode of action.

i did not wish to let that make me completely callous, and i have done what i can to preserve those values in myself, and i have met many people who have done the same. in fact, i try to only construct my social networks with these people, hoping to amplify that notion of good, and so that the actions of these friends will be reciprocated by those around them, helping to keep the spirit of good alive.

in college, i used to ask people if they thought that people were intrinsically good or evil as a conversation starter. the thing was, i felt it was a flawed question. good and bad are fairly subjective, though sharing some agreement across people and peoples, are often disagreeed upon. i was fond of the quote: "nothing is intrinsically good or evil, it is the manner of usage which makes it so."

now, i suppose i have an even more taoist approach. the world is not bad, it simply is. it is your interaction with it which is important; your thoughts, behaviours and attitudes which matter. i have seen that modeling good can influence the behavior of others in that way, and that the opposite is also true. i'm not sure how well i've answered your question, but my ride is here, so i've got to go. take care, toxic kisses.
040117
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Toxic_Kisses http://wordweb.info/3/lookup_v2.pl?malism

_

http://www.kokogiak.com/logolepsy/ow_m.html#malism

_

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/difficultwords/data/d0007897.html

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http://home.mn.rr.com/wwftd/mno.htm#malism

-

http://phrontistery.50megs.com/m.html

or you could just look up ware I blathered it.

See: Malism

____________________________

After reading what you wrote you have now convinced me that you are indeed sorry, not just for writeing something so crude but also for offending me, and so on that basis I do except your apology.
040117
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TK feelin better I don't think you anser my question, but thats ok, I still like your answer any way. so in a way what your saying is that the world "is" and that it is by your actions, reactions and thoughts that help shape weatehr or not the world around you is good or bad?

hope you have a good time wear ever ur goin!
040117
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realistic optimist toxic kisses, i am impressed that you held me responsible for not just my words, but for the affect that they had. i think that it takes a person who cares to expect such things of others, and that is a noble thing indeed. it means a lot to me that you accepted my apology. thank you.

as far as not answering your question, i did the best i could. i think that such a theory as malism can be self fulfilling. if you expect malice, you are more likely to recieve it. i am generally against such theories of the world, as i believe they are counterproductive. i'm not really sure what else to say on the matter.

as far as where i went, i did have fun, thank you. i played footbag with friends at a local university. they say i could be good if i played more than once a month, so i plan to put in a couple hours a couple times a week and see how it goes.
040117
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realistic optimist and yes, your take on what i said is pretty much how i intended to convey it. 040117
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realistic optimist that is, that the world just is, but your interaction with it creates a "goodness" or "badness" around you, if you choose to parse the world with those measures. 040117
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Toxic_Kisses I know that witch is why I wasnít in any way upset, after all thatís the most any one can ever ask of you is to do the best you can, well actually ppl can ask more of you but the important thing is you do the best you can.

As for footbag I don't think I'll ever understand its appeal and/or importance other then an exercise in better coordination *shrugz* suppose it's just not my thing but none the less I'm glad to hear you had fun ^.^ and hope you do get better w/ practice, I know I'll certainly have fun imagining you practicing foot bag *L*

And it's good to know I interpreted you correctly, I'd simply asked to make sure I understood you correctly and clarify.

Ok Bleck! I'm feeling all serious so lets see if I can snap out of it by asking you a fun question.

leather, silk, velvet or latex? witch feels better?
040117
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TK ugh! that was supose to start off quoteing you saying

"as far as not answering your question, i did the best i could."
040117
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realistic optimist i suppose that depends on who is wearing said substances. leather and silk feel good to wear, velvet feels good when others wear it and i can feel it on them. and i don't believe i've ever worn latex, but i think liquid latex feels weird on others, though it looks absolutely fantastically sexy. leather and velvet are a bit warm, since i usually wear them to events at which i dance. so i suppose given all of that, i would have to say silk.

footbag is certainly a strange sport. i enjoy all manner of sports, but footbag is a good yin to my juggling yang. foot and leg dexterity, balance, and stretching (i can't even tough my toes, though i can kick over my head). i think if i take advantage of the free yoga classes offered here and footbag, that i will get more limber and balanced.
040117
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misstree "why should anyone be an optimist?"
-a question posed by Kira over on blathes_to_avoid, but i'd rather avoid that one than this one, and, well, it seemed appropriate.
040121
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realistic optimist that which a person believes will happen, tends to come true. "like, if you believe 'i can't get that job,' you won't go in and fill out the application. if you believe 'i am unattractive, and nobody of the opposite sex likes me,' you are likely to spend a pretty lonely life, doing a lot of masturbating. if you think 'i am irresistably handsome and tremendously witty and attractive,' you'll have a much happier life." - robert anton wilson

he goes on to relate how this type of thinking can affect people on a more sociological level, not ignoring what is happening, but attempting to frame it in a positive framework, while acting in ways which tend to help this paradigm come to fruition.

some research suggests that optimism helps patients fight off all sorts of illnesses, ranging from heart disease to breast cancer.

an interesting, somewhat related link:

http://www.positivepsychology.org/
040122
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pipedream goody! but then why don't the things i believe in happen? its getting to be very trying. 040122
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realistic optimist just because those things tend to come true does not mean that simply believeing you will become a smurf will give that event enough momentum to overcome all of the things in reality keeping that from happening.

the trick is to set as many plans, however small, in motion to help this thing become, and to learn when reality is sensitive to a push. it's an interesting dance with reality and faith, and the more ammunition you give the events you believe will happen, the more likely they are to happen.

it is difficult for me to give you much more of an answer, not knowing the specifics involved.
040123
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pipers humm....makes sense. yawp. wonder how to put those little plans in action, though 040123
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Dr. Jung When faced with possibility of interacting within a tightly controlled test group, which thesis would you provide them to make them the control group?

.
050628
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REAListic optimIST which thesis? i don't believe i understand the question. could you elaborate dr. jung? 050706
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Doar dude! it's me! doar! with exclamation points! it was a nonsensical question!

.
050706
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REAListic optimIST aw crap. i've been had by a confounding variable. *shakes fist* 050709
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Doar :) 050709
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Doar so when is a good time to give you a call R_O? 050808
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REAListic optimIST about 54 minutes after you did, i got home and listened to your message. i'll call you back right now! 050808
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REAListic optimIST i work swing shift, so around noon pst, or 11:30 pst is good.

p.s. no answer at doar's
050808
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Doar it was just a quick call to say hey R_O.

and then it was off to bed for sleepyhead Doar.
050809
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inquiring minds where have you been? 051111
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REAListic optimIST i suppose i am really answering the question "who have you been?" i hope you forgive me.

i have been Democracy Catalyst.

Democracy Catalyst has been building EcoTV with his buddy, A. Citizen. it is a dot org address. As the page says, EcoTV stands for Energy Conservation Oregon, Empowering Community Outreach for Environmentally Conscious Organisms.

it is a free public media outlet and information source which focuses mostly on energy issues and grass roots movements.

D.C. has also been helping a growing political movement to get off the ground.
051207
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andru235 what's the 5$ and the shhh-ing about? 051207
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REAListic optimIST it was a joke because if you took the $5 to be quiet, you would have contradicted what you had just said in the blathe. i realized after writing that that you might misinterpret what i meant, since you are often the subject of ridicule, some of which asks you to zip it. i meant no such thing, however. thank you for asking cuz i forgot to go back and clarify after getting distracted by the blather blue. 051207
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andru235 i am overly sensitive anyway, which is my own problem. in fact, my initial impression was that you meant what you just said you meant. but then i went and took it personally, because that is my special gift in this world - taking everything way too personally. i take the bombs personally and i take the reactor cores personally. you can imagine how this tendency plays out in society; and thus, here i am, spending too much time online. 051207
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andru235 do you have a favorite season? 051208
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REAListic optimIST fall often has the ability to reach through my outer layers and touch my soul. it reminds me to have purpose in everything i do. if a leaf can impart beauty to the world with its deathly decent from its branch, then i can have more purpose in my everyday activites which seem so far away from that final act of purpose. plus, i'm a procrastinator, and i often need the impending threat of winter to act. so those combined often make for a purposeful, appreciative mindset. 051208
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REAListic optimIST realistic optimist is
open for questions again
131201
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CheapVodka Why?

Just, why?

As in, why?
131201
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REAListic optimIST Questions help to focus my grey matter. 131201
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REAListic optimIST Perhaps you meant the big "why?"

In that case, my answer is:

Because entropy.
131201
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CheapVodka I couldn't have asked for a better answer.
I suppose it may seem a bit lazy, but it's not.

The cycle of the concept is a fantastic way to view the question 'why' and the general lack of an answer. Is it possible that professionals only developed the idea in order to explain the question, 'why', over all?

I don't know, but I like the possibility...

I really was just being facetious initially. Now I have a considerable answer to a question that I just thought was unanswerable.

Danke?
131201
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dafremen Who is it that answers the questions?
Who is it that asks them?
Who says so?
Does the answer matter?
131202
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REAListic optimIST Who is it that answers the questions? In this blathe, it is anyone who self identifies as REAListic optimIST

Who is it that asks them? In this blathe, it is anyone who self identifies as the questioner.

Who says so? In this blathe, I do.

Does the answer matter? It depends on who you ask. You asked me, so I say that yes, the answer matters.
131202
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dafremen Are either consensual or subjective reality the same thing as reality without the adjectives? 131202
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REAListic optimIST It seems as if you may have asked the same question with different words. So, I'll focus on semantics here.

Subjective reality is necessarily different than reality, because it is "processed" reality. Consentual reality is also different than both because it is reality that has been processed and then consented on.

It gets complicated from there, however, because we are both actors and vessels for reality. As such, the way we process reality affects how we interact with it, and this also affects how we consent to it.

Because I like the idea that God created the universe to learn how (s)he, in turn, was created... I will posit that as we self-actualize, subjective and consentual reality approaches reality.
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dafremen Are you available for Bar Mitzvahs? (My favorite part is the part about them being the same questons. : ) ) 131204
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REAListic optimIST I've never been to a Bar Mitzvah,
but if the expectations were explained,
I could decide if I could meet them.

I wasn't sure, but it did seem as if you were trying to ask about the relativity of reality with different questions, so hopefully you didn't think I was being glib.
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daf Maybe even the nature of our existence even.. You? Glib? : ) 131204
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epitome of incomprehensibility I don't want to disappoint others, but I also don't want to worry too much about disappointing others. What I mean is, sometimes I'm careless, and sometimes I'm a perfectionist and worry too much. So how might I/you balance these extremes? What are some principles or ideas that might guide me better?

(Regardless of my name, I hope I've expressed this in a semi-comprehensible way.)
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REAListic optimIST The description is a bit vague, but perhaps I understand you well enough. let me know.

One of the things I'm working on myself is not taking responsibility for the emotions of others. I'm empathic and emotionally intelligent. I can see how my actions affect others. Parlaying that into responsibility, though, does not give credit to others' ability to control their own emotions.

Once you become an adult (and probably before), the only person worth not disappointing is yourself. If someone else is disappointed, they are the ones who had expectations that didn't match reality.

My hero died yesterday. Nelson Mandela taught me that one's situation does not dictate who they are. 27 years of prison and living in poor conditions did not rob him of his dignity. He continued to work with people he disliked from prison to end apartheid. He took control of himself and his emotions, and won people's hearts and minds by doing so.

So I would say for you to get to the heart of what you value and who you wish to be. Then be as uncompromising toward those core values as you can while being forgiving and compassionate toward others. Follow through to the best of your ability, ask for help when you need it, and communicate to others when your actions might affect them. This is much easier said than done, but effort matters.
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e_o_i Thanks. It was a general concern of mine that was swept off the floor of my mind and pinned on its bulletin board this week. The reason: My uncle wanted me to make a computer graphic for this project he was working on (and the deadline was two days away); I said yes, but then after some trial-and-error I realized I couldn't do what he wanted in the time assigned. And when I bailed out, apologizing, I was afraid he'd be angry. But he wasn't, and he found a way to do what he wanted with Excel or some program like that, and I did help him by editing a text file.

I guess the worry about not "letting people down" can be kind of selfish - wanting to do well, have people look up to you. I like the thing about awareness of yourself and others: that can battle both selfish fear and selfish carelessness. I'm not sure about setting unmovable principles, though, but maybe I'm taking that part of what you wrote too literally.

Not a very exciting story, I realize, but thanks for the dialogue. And I like what you wrote about Nelson Mandela.
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e_o_i Now you can also Nelson_Mandela. (When you die, you become a verb; that is my definition of the afterlife.) 131206
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REAListic optimIST I've been using principles of dynamic governance in my activist and my professional life, and it has helped me with structure and decision-making. If I were to apply those principles in the situation you describe, I would suggest the following:

When completing a task for someone, it is often helpful to get them to define what success might look like, and the timeframe within which they want it completed.

Then, it often helps to check in several times before that completion deadline in order to measure your progress and adapt your approach accordingly. That way, they see what steps you are taking, and communication has several points during which it can influence the outcome. Also, your initial direction isn't the determinant of success as much as your ability to adapt.

Instead of asking if someone agrees with your approach, ask them if they have any concerns with it. If not, assume consent.
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e_o_i Good framework. I notice two main points: communicating and adapting. In the case I described, neither of us communicated that well, but we both adapted. Strengths and weaknesses. Realists say the glass is half empty AND half full; realistic_optimist(s), maybe, that the full half is what matters?

Okay, question. If you could modify a common saying to better reflect your view of life, what would it be? Be funny and/or serious as you like.
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D to the O to the A to the R Do you still celebrate the fiction of Hey Zeus's B-Day?

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REAListic optimIST Indeed, I celebrate all kinds of holidays, some based on fiction. I celebrate Solstice. I celebrate Christmas by spending time with family, eating heavy delicious food, and exchanging gifts of appreciation. I celebrate Pi day on March 14th. Mainly, I like celebration and getting together with friends and family. 140131
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R to the D to the O to the A. Dude, you still have a question from E.O.I. left.

Better clean that plate up or starving children.....ermmm.

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e_o_i Eh, pas grande chose. (No big deal.) Except to say that I celebrate Pi Day too, if "celebrating" means "acknowledging," even in the sad absence of pie! And on June 16 I've been known to wish librarians a happy Bloomsday. 140201
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REAListic optimIST Sorry, I somehow missed your question e_o_i! Let me give it a think or two and get back to you. (Thanks for a fun question!) 140203
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REAListic optimIST e_o_i: For someone who blathes, I don't do very much recording of the things I say and think. I twist common sayings around quite a bit, and I have a soft spot for spoonerisms. For instance, I never put champagne flutes into my Wish Dasher.

That said, I tried to observe myself for a couple of days to see if I mutated any common phrases, and nothing came up. I also went through a mental list of common phrases and even looked some up on the internet. Still, nothing caught my fancy.

I'm sort of disappointed, since this sort of question seems right up my alley. I suppose for now, I'll leave you with a consolation prize. I will tell you a phrase that I came up with several years ago that I still stand behind:

"Faith applied reasonably is practical magic."

If I notice a common saying that I've mutated to fit my worldview, I'll come back here and blathe it. Thanks for the excellent question, it was fun to consider, and I look forward to continuing to roll it around in my brain.
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