Choice and Responsiblity

May 28, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

I met a really cool new person a while back.  We had this great conversation, and at one point we discussed the issue of conscious choice and making decisions. She posited that when you make a choice you have to really accept that YOU are making that choice, and that you have to accept the responsibility for it, and ultimately be happy with the choice you made.  There will ALWAYS be something better out there. Always be something more. At some point, though, we all have to make that decision. It was music to my ears.

She pointed out that the root of “decide” is the same root as “homicide” – “cidium” – to kill. (While the etymology dictionary says the root of decide is “caedere”, “to cut off”, the intent is the same). When you make a decision, you have to be prepared to accept that the alternate path (or paths) is now not an option.  So  in order to enjoy life, when you make a choice, you have to also choose to be happy with that choice.  You have to truly accept your responsibility for making that choice and then work to make it the right one.

Some people are forever making decisions and then miserable because they feel they were not somehow responsible for it. They constantly blame others or life or fate for why they are unhappy. They blame their choices and decisions on things that they believe are beyond their control, or argue that their behavior was not decision-based, that they had no conscious control over it.  I say that’s avoidant, pathological bullshit.  I think that if you decide something, you need to suck it up and go for it, and you need to accept that you made that choice, regardless of the outcome.

Now I’m not talking about those situations like “Sophie’s Choice” where you are forced into a terrible no-win decision by an outsider, but those life choices we are faced with every day. Do I buy that house? Do I take that job? Do I date that person? Do I get married? Do I have an affair? Do I get divorced? Do I hit my spouse? Do I badmouth a “friend” behind their back? Do I yell at my kid? Do I stop and help that person? The list is endless.

In the end, you are very much responsible for not only the fact that you made the decision and the outcome, but also for the fact that the alternatives may no longer be accessible now that the choice has been made.  That’s what “decide” means.  And I don’t accept that emotions are a viable excuse for not being responsible for decisions that result in bad behavior. As an adult, at every point along the way, we choose how we behave, how we react, and how we interact.

This is not to say that you can never go back, but certainly there are choices we make in our lives where there aren’t really options for return.  If I quit a job in a huff and burn bridges along the way, chances are I will never have an opportunity to go back, and may, in fact, damage my chances for other jobs because I’ve now lost a reference.  However, if I leave on good terms, try some place else, and realize some time later that it isn’t working, I might have a chance of getting my old job back…  But I’m never going to be happy in that new job if I am constantly questioning my choice and looking over my shoulder at the old job or the next potential one on the horizon.  If I want a real shot at success, I have to put my mind and my heard into my decision and trust it to be right. As the yogi’s say, “your energy goes where you put it.” Simple, trite, but true.  Have you ever learned to throw a baseball? They tell you to point your toe in the direction you are going to throw the ball.  In life, you have to point your energy in the direction you want to go. 

Unfortunately, it seems that too many people put their energy into crappy defeatist behavior and attitudes, while proclaiming that they really DO want positive outcomes… They design and manifest self-fulfilling prophecies of doom and defecation, and when the shit comes raining down on them they cry that life is stinky and just so darn unfair.

You know I’m going to say it, don’t you…?   “Wah. Wah. Fuckin’ wah.”

How can anyone have a positive outcome when at best they are grudgingly accepting their own choices and decisions and at worst, expecting and setting themselves up to fail?

By and large, when we make a decision, we have to accept that by choosing one option over others, we are “killing off” the other options and they are no longer available to us if we are to be truly happy.   The buddhists say that the root of all suffering is desire.  I believe the root of all suffering is to desire that which you cannot have – I call it the Unreasonable Sense of Entitlement.  If the 90’s was the “Blame Someone Else” decade, then the 00’s are shaping up to be the “The World Owes Me” decade.

The root of all suffering is the desire to want mutually conflicting and exclusive things and resent the choices you’ve made as if they are a sacrifice, for which you expect the universe to compensate you all the while resenting others for having somehow FORCED you into making that choice. The old adage is all too true: You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

… but here’s the kicker:  you can really enjoy eating that cake if you decide it’s what you truly want.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

I want to run away and join the circus…

May 13, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, Popculture, Social idiocy | 8 Comments

Since I saw my first Cirque du Soleil show under the “Grand Chapiteau” in ’97, I’ve wanted to run away and join the circus. 

The bf calls me a “cirquehead”.  (Kinda like a deadhead, but…)

Tonight we saw the newest Cirque du Soleil show, Kooza, in Montreal.

It was FABULOUS. It was breathtaking. It was dazzling. It was every synonym for “fantastic” that I can think of. It made me want to run away with the circus all over again.

(Ok, so I’m a bit old for the acrobatics. But I could be a clown!  Or a cook… or a costume designer… I’m sure I could find something to do befitting of my talents.  Of course, there are the little issues of a kid in university, a mortgage, and the bf that I’d miss…)

I have a theory: Like your first love, your first “Cirque” is always your favorite. It’s the one that stays in your heart as the most beloved.  For the bf, it’s Corteo, because that was his first.  I still rememer his eyes shining as we went out of the tent for intermission. (I’ve never seen him so animated outside of the bedroom).   Mine was Quidam, under the Grand Chapiteau in Toronto. It was magical. I clapped so hard my hands hurt and I had tears in my eyes. I’d never seen any live show that was so wonderfully performed and so breathtaking. And the music! Hauntingly beautiful. 

Since then I have seen the travelling shows Allegria, Saltimbanco, Varikai, Dralion, Corteo, Delerium, (and now Kooza), and the permanent shows in Vegas, Zumanity, Love, Mystere, “O” and KÀ!  I have a section of hallway dedicated to Cirque with mounted posters, masks and memorabilia – including a limited edition “Varekai” poster that you can no longer get. 

In fact I’m such a Cirquehead that, last year I dragged the bf to “CirqueCon” in Vegas and got treated to fantastic “behind the scenes” tours and show specials as well as lots of cool swag.  Though it was organized by fans, and not an official “Cirque du Soleil” function, the Cirque Company treated us wonderfully. I was thoroughly impressed with the organization and how much time and attention they gave us. The bf came along to keep me company. Not really grudgingly, but joking about how I was going to hang out with a bunch of circus geeks for 4 days. He had a fantastic time too and loved it as much as I did. I honestly can’t say enough about how wonderful the Cirque du Soleil company was during those four days – we saw a  KÀ rehearsal and had a Q&A session with the production manager and cast members, a Mystere rehersal, a Q&A session with two actors and the show manager for Zumanity, and had pictures taken with casts of Mystere and “O”.  The “con” culminated with a wonderful reception at the Cirque du Soleil headquarters in Vegas and a silent auction for donated one-of-a-kind Cirque memorobila and original art with the proceeds going to their programs for youth at risk.

So when I heard Cirque du Soleil had a new show opening in Montreal (their home city), I bought tickets before the show even had a name.

For Cirque, I try to treat myself to “Tapis Rouge” whenever possible – best seats in the house and special treatment before the show and during intermission with wonderful appetizers, champagne, a private tent area, etc.  It’s the ONLY way to fly.  ( I hear they are going to be migrating it to “corporate” only, so you may not be able to get Tapis Rouge in future. *Sniff!*)

I deliberately did not read anything about Kooza before going. I wanted to be surprized. 

Kooza was sensational

I cannot recommend it highly enough. When it comes to your town, or anywhere near your town, SEE IT.  Join “cirque club” so you can get advance notice of Cirque in a city near you and the chance to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. They sell out fast.  Oh, and there is really not a bad seat in the house in the Grand Chapiteau. (Note: the best seats are actually not the closest to the stage.  If you are willing to pay full price, try to be at least 4 rows back, starting at row D. If you are going to Delirium – (another show I highly recommend, but it’s not like the tent shows), DON’T get floor seats. Sit in the stands up the sides of the stadium – the viewing is MUCH better).

But back to “Kooza”…

Kooza harkens back to the Cirque roots – with the most daring and incredible acrobatics. (The costumes and makeup are stunning too.) The music is always live, and the staging and lighting was marvelously perfect for the show.  All the Cirque shows have acrobatics to some extent or another. All of them have acts that have the audience amazed and enthralled, but this show even topped Quidam for having performances that took my breath away. Every single acrobatic act was brilliant.  And only one act had someone “wired” for safety, which made the feats that much more awe-inspiring.  The double high-wire act – with one acrobat LEAPING over another on the highest wire –  was not netted or wired.  He fell on his first attempt and caught the wire with his hands…. Then he pulled himself back up, started over, and did the trick again, this time landing on his feet on the wire.  I don’t think I breathed the whole time he was preparing for the 2nd attempt.  I won’t give away the rest of the act, (which was even more impressive) – you simply MUST see it to believe it.

Every single act had me cheering and clapping. Every single one was dazzlingly exceptional.  Once again my hands hurt I clapped so hard.  Of the travelling shows, I think, after my first love, this has to be my favorite. (Of the Vegas shows, is my stand-out favorite, though “O” and Mystere are truly first-class as well)

The only detracting factor in the entire show had nothing to do with the Cirque itself. It was the MORON of a mother, in the first row, who brought her toddler.  Yes. A fucking toddler. To a live theatrical performance. 

And here is where I go on a tirade.

I am SICK AND TIRED of self-absorbed, fucking IDIOT parents with an epic sense of entitlement, who think they can drag their kids to every fucking thing they go to, with no regard for anyone else (including the child).  There is just NO excuse.  You DON’T take a baby to a movie or a symphony or a live theatre play. I don’t give a damn if you can’t afford a babysitter. Suck it up and RENT A FUCKING DVD.  You do not have the right to spoil everyone else’s enjoyment because you can’t afford or find someone to mind your kid.  By the same token, when you can afford $220 for tickets to Cirque, you clearly have a clue what kind of show it is and you can afford a goddamned babysitter. An infant is NOT going to get anything out of the show anyway.  In fact, as far as I am concerned, most children under the age of 10 will not fully appreciate it so don’t waste the money.

I firmly believe that Cirque should enforce a strict “no children under 3” policy at these shows. Period.  Honestly, the rest of us paid a serious amount of  money (the cheapest tickets are still $60), and her fucking rugrat was SCREAMING, crying and had to be removed SEVERAL TIMES.  The ushers spoke to her twice, and still her son kept bringing the kid back into the show.  And it’s not like she was at the back where she could easily step outside.  Let’s put the actual enjoyment and effect on the surrounding patrons aside.  While her kid was evacuating all the air from her lungs at a zillion decibels, the rest of the audience was holding their collective breaths as a very talented and dedicated acrobat was trying to precariously balance on one hand on the top of 10 chairs stacked one on top of the other.

For the love of god and the sake of the perfomers, DO NOT BRING YOUR INFANTS OR TODDLERS TO A CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SHOW (or ANY live performance for that matter)! 

That mother’s behavior was unconscionable.  It was rude and it was unfair to everyone else. Even worse,  she delegated most of the responsibility for the little one to her teenage son. I felt sorry for both kids and dearly hope that someone gives that stupid woman a karmic kick in the butt for being such a flaming asshole.

And while I am on my tirade about flaming assholes… If you show up LATE to a show like this, thank your lucky stars they let you get seated at all. (At most live theatres, latecomers cannot be seated until the intermission, if at all). So while you are waiting for the usher to negotiate the people watching the show to get up so you can get to your seat, CROUCH DOWN for fucks sake. Don’t stand there, blocking everyone’s view of the stage.  Show some decency and humility for the fact that you are disturbing other people by getting your sorry ass there late.  (And don’t write to me with excuses about why people arrive late. I don’t want to fucking hear it.  If you get there late, then you deal with the consequences and you show some respect for the people who managed to get their asses there on time for the show.)

Cirque du Soleil puts on some of the most magnificent and amazing live performances you will ever see. I can’t recommend them highly enough. So if you have a chance to see one under the Grand Chapiteau, don’t be a dickwad and spoil the event for others. Get there on time and leave your kids at home with a sitter.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

“A Fat Rant”

May 8, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 2 Comments

  I found this link while reviewing membership applications.  It cracked me up and I loved the messages: Accept yourself, don't use your weight as an excuse, live life! A Fat Rant.   Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

Groovy Putumayo!

May 1, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

Putumayo has been sending me albums for review. The latest is from their “Groove” series – a series I admit I hadn’t bought into before (I was more into the Women of the World, etc genre). But I have to say, this latest one, Gypsy Groove, is really awesome.  It’s music compiled from the dancefloors of the Balkans  and Eastern Europe and it’s a whole lotta fun. A mix of Roma music with hip-hop and electronic beats, I never knew that acordions and violins could be so funky! There’s even some Gypsy Rap on track 3, Gipsy.cz.   I think my favorite is track 1, Zsa Manca.  Best of all, in keeping with the Putumayo tradition, a portion of this CD’s proceeds will be donated to charity – in this case to the Roma Education Fund – an organization dedicated to making education more accessible to Roma children.

This is definitely one CD that it is making its way to the cottage party weekend.

 

 

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post


Your Ad Here


Allposters.com

Buy fun Heartless BitchStuff and help keep HBI running!

We now Accept

Acceptance Mark