Saturday, January 04, 2014
A New Year
I've spent way too much time over the past years on the Internet, and being offline New Year's Eve reading and thinking felt good and mentally/spiritually nourishing. Nothing wrong with the Internet; it can also be stimulating. It's just that the stimulation is more shallow, like eating a ton of candy or watching a Bravo "Housewives" marathon -- it feels good at the time, but afterwards you feel kind of nauseous.
I've always overdone the Internet; instead of, say, 6 hours a weeknight working on my Joan website and then trawling around on social media sites trying to find ANYTHING to stimulate me mentally/ameliorate feelings of isolation, I need to work on moderation --- I think 3 hours a night would be much more reasonable. Maybe off the Internet by 10pm, then the next couple of hours in bed with a good book? Much healthier, much less drinking/smoking, much better feelings (both physical and mental) the next day.
p.s. Turned low in the background during my New Year's Eve reading, and also on New Year's Day: A 24-hour "Twilight Zone" marathon running on the SyFy channel. When the thousands of years of Egyptian civilization got too much, I could always take a breather with the TV and still THINK a bit about the nature of existence! Plus it was fun to see so many familiar faces of TV's heyday -- Shatner, Savalas, for instance -- in early roles, as well as getting to judge the episodes from a current perspective: Did they still stand up to what I remembered from first seeing them as re-runs in the 70s? For the most part, yes. The Talking Tina doll (with its subtext of an abusive stepfather), the evil child (Billy Mumy) forcing his family/neighbors to tell him how loved he was for fear of being put "under the cornfield," the woman whose mother's murderer comes back to visit her 20 years later after a visitation by her 8-year-old self, the townspeople turning on each other with accusations of being an alien, the townspeople fighting to get into a neighbor's bomb shelter, Shatner's already emotionally disturbed man on the airplane seeing a creature on the wing and not being believed, Inger Stevens' lost motorist seemingly terrorized by a hitchhiker who keeps turning up (only to find out she is already dead)... Oh, and the funny "To Serve Mankind" episode: "It's a COOKBOOK!" I was constantly being "fed" by this excellent, psychologically astute television! (The only episode I was extremely disappointed by was one written by Earl Hamner, Jr., of "Waltons" fame, about kids of divorcing parents who kept diving through their swimming pool to find a much more pleasant world -- heavy-handedly mean parents, false writing for the usually subtle show.)
Post-Egypt/Twilight Zone: I went to the dentist on the 2nd for the first time in over 7 years! Sans insurance, I'd asked my mom for a cleaning for Christmas. Surprised to learn that what I remember costing $50 seven years ago has now ballooned to $169! And pleasantly surprised to learn that no, my teeth weren't rotting away! The "chips" falling out of my mouth 6 or so months ago (that I, freaking out, taped to a post-it note to show someone when I got the chance) weren't from TEETH, just chunks of tartar! And today, the 4th, a fresh haircut for the New Year...