Okay, I'm done being hurt. No more. Now, I'm just pissed off.

Really friggin pissed off.

You know, when you get burned by a guy, you can stay away from guys for awhile...avoid relationships until you can trust again...

What the hell do you do when you get burned by a job? You either keep working away your life in that job and deal with it because you need the paycheck...OR you have to move on to a new job where you have no idea if it'll be better or worse than the one that burned you.

I don't think I can ever work in an office that's completely female again. Need some testosterone in the mix. Ugh.


Extra Optimism Needed

I'm soooooo excited. I've never wanted anything so much in my entire life! PLEASE, please, please, please, please let this happen for me. Lots of positive thoughts! Can this please just happen? Can things go my way in a big way, finally? Please, PTB's?


Absolute Truth

Three years ago, someone who was about to become a very close friend asked me if I believed in truth. This question, along with my state of mind at the time, led me on a search for truth and my philosophies on it. Part of my research involved William James' essays on pragmatism. Lately, I've been exploring my self and my philosophies...and this one has been brought up again and again. Thought I'd share my findings.

What is Truth?

Pragmatism and Truth

. . . if we take the universe of "fitting," countless coats "fit" backs, and countless boots "fit" feet, on which they are not practically fitted; countless stones "fit" gaps in walls into which no one seeks to fit them actually. In the same way countless opinions "fit" realities, and countless truths are valid, tho' no thinker ever thinks them.~ William James, in Philosophical Review (1908). The Pragmatist Account of Truth and Its Misunderstanders

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.~ William James, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907).

Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their "agreement," as falsity means their disagreement, with "reality."~ William James, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907).

Truth is essentially a relation between two things, an idea, on the one hand, and a reality outside of the idea, on the other.~ William James, The Meaning of Truth (1909).

Truth is what works.~ William James

Against William James

And my thoughts:

Many people would claim that William James’ idea of truth indicates that truth is relative to the individual and to the situation. When first reading James’ lectures, I also believed that his account of truth seemed very subjective and was baffled as to how his views might support the idea that truth actually is absolute. However, upon more careful reading of “Lecture Six,” I was able to understand that William James actually supports an idea of absolute truth that, unlike the rationalist view of truth, allows functioning within truth even when later findings may discredit what beliefs we now hold.
James undoubtedly supports the idea that truth is absolute and even explains this in his lecture.

“The ‘absolutely’ true, meaning what no farther experience will ever alter, is that ideal vanishing point towards which we imagine that all our temporary truths will some day converge. It runs on all fours with the perfectly wise man and with the absolutely complete experience; and, if these ideals are ever realized, they will all be realized together. Meanwhile we have to live today by what truth we can get today, and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.” (p222-223)

In this passage, James explains that absolute truth is that which we may eventually come to find and towards which we are always working. An absolute truth does exist, according to James, but we must understand that we do not always have access to it because we are restricted to what we can verify, either directly or indirectly through exchange of information with others. Because we are constantly finding new facts and working them into our system of already held beliefs, we are constantly changing what we believe to be true. These approximations we call truth converge on that ideal vanishing point of which James speaks. Even though our current truths (or our approximations of the truth) may change, we still need a way to identify them as truths and James offers that by defining truth as the process of verification.
James makes a point of demonstrating that one does not simply choose truth based on what he desires by stating that truth must agree with those things we already hold true and new facts with which we are presented. He states that,

“We mustn’t now call Abel ‘Cain’ or Cain “Abel.’ If we do, we ungear ourselves from the whole book of Genesis, and from all its connections with the universe of speech and fact down to the present time. We throw ourselves out of whatever truth that entire system of speech and fact may embody.” (p214)

This indicates that we cannot choose what we wish to hold as true because it must agree with all other truths already present. This process of gaining new truths by connecting them with already-believed truths brings us closer to James’ absolute truth. The truth he speaks of is certainly not relative; it is the act of pursuing that which we hope to find cannot be altered by new truths. It is the act of moving toward that vanishing point.


Cautiously Optimistic

This seems to be my new term for everything good that happens in my life.

Although things haven't been going very well lately, some things have been looking better. For one, I get to go to San Francisco on Friday and spend a few days with Amy, who I haven't seen in so friggin long, and other friends and that beautiful city. Life is rough right now, but even that doesn't keep me from being soooo excited about my upcoming vacation. I also scored an interview while I'm out there, and it could be a really good fit...so we'll see. Very excited!

After I get back I only have two days of work before I'm off on another day to go to an interview in Kansas City. Not as exciting as San Francisco, but the job offer is certainly a big thing. Maybe life will smile on me for a bit :) I could use the sunshine.

On that note, I'm gonna go play with some puppies at the shelter now!


Break Ups Suck

Most break-ups are some form of "you hurt me", "i hate you", or the ever useful "I love you but I'm not in love with you".

Those can be dealt with. The hurt ones make you feel betrayed and untrusting for awhile. The hate ones make you feel angry. The the I'm not in love with yous make you feel betrayed or guilty, depending on which party you are. You get to feel an appropriate emotion toward the other person that helps you get over it.

But what happens if you still really love someone, and you've just learned that it isn't going to work? How do you deal with it when you love someone so much that you're willing to reevaluate your needs and passions, but you learn that love isn't always enough. Fact is...love doesn't conquer all. Love can make you go a long way toward trying, but there's got to be some major strength of character, flexibility, and willingness to completely change a personality to make it work sometimes. And personality changes? Those are definitely a bad idea...unless of course you're going for the dissociative identity disorder appeal.

Of course some of you might say, if it's not going to work, you must not love each other enough...or maybe that if the personalities are so different, you shouldn't have fallen in love in the first place.

I disagree. Some people come along at times in your life when you think you're ready for a change...and maybe you feel like they have a way of doing things that could work for you. Once you get there, though, you realize that you had to try something new, but then you have to balance it back out with how you were before so that you can accumulate through your life rather than changing from phase to phase. Hopefully, they can adopt some of your ways and you can reach a happy give and take that lets you move forward in your life together. Sometimes, however, you shock the hell out of that person by trying to balance back toward your old ways and it just doesn't work. Maybe they've met someone like you before...maybe they've tried your ways. Maybe they're trying now, but it's just not who they are.

You've changed for them, you think, so why can't they change a bit for me? BUt you have to realize you are asking someone to change their personality for you. You offered, you adapted, but just because you did doesn't mean they are able to. And did you really adapt all that much anyway? You can't be too sure. Introspection is never objective.

So one day you're having a conversation that epitomizes your constant clash of personalities and values. All of a sudden, you see yourself as adults, with children, with real responsibilities...trying to figure it all out. If you're trying to change each other now...if these little things are such a big deal every single time they come up...how on earth are you going to handle it when it's the big things?

You see yourself never changing. You see yourself losing sight of your values and your dreams because you've had to adapt just a little too much. You know that you've done the same to this person who is supposed to be your love. You love this person so much you can't let go, but you finally realize that you will never be yourself, never be understood, never understand, and never be truly happy if you keep expecting changes that should never have to be made.

So you end it. You cry. You try to deal with your broken heart without anger or blame or guilt because none of that really fits here. You try to move towards friends, but you still have so much love. You know it's for the best. You know one day you'll be friends. And you know you will always love each other.

My love for you will never change.


Redneck-ified Chinese Food

I'm just learned that cashew chicken is not a dish that can be eaten with chopsticks out of the little chinese to go box.

If you're ever in southwest Missouri, you should order Cashew Chicken. You can only get true Ozark cashew chicken in Springfield and the surrounding area. Basically, there was a large immigration of Chinese people here in the 50s or something, and they all opened restaurants. They then all promptly failed b/c rednecks aren't into that weird new fangled Asian food (we JUST last year got our second sushi restaurant, and the first one used sushi as a sidebar and the steakhouse aspect as the main attraction...now we're booming with sushi bars, though). Well, in order to keep from going out of business, someone in this town invented cashew chicken. Yes, I realize that's a dish you can get in a lot of places, but it's different here. Basically what they did was take the chicken that every other restaurant puts in general's chicken or sesame chicken or whatnot, took out those hot red peppers so it's not spicy, took out any vegetables that might give it a semblance of actually being a Chinese dish, and added redneck gravy. Until I moved to St. Louis, getting Chinese meant getting cashew chicken...which meant getting chicken nuggets on rice with brown gravy and cashews and NOTHING ELSE on it. At all the Chinese restaurants, and even at the sushi bars here, you still have to ask for chopsticks...and even funnier to me...you can get chopsticks at the Thai place. And there's no such thing as Chinese delivery. The only foods that deliver here are pizza and deli stuff. We do, however, have lots of Chinese drive through, and my favorite place boasts the best cashew chicken in town. Given that I had enough growing up to mean I never have to try it again (and once I tried real chinese food I started a new addiction) I'd never ordered it. Last night I was feeling country, but wanted egg rolls, too, so I went and got cashew chicken. This always means a wonderfully cold lunch out of the box the next day. The brown gravy we Ozarkers have added to the dish, though, congeals in such a way that my chopsticks skills are worthless.

You learn something new every day.


Why I Take Pride in My Status as a Wash U Alum

Researchers at WashingtonUniversity School of Medicine and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center arereporting progress toward development of a breast cancer vaccine.Researchers are studying a protein called mammaglobin-A, which is found in80 percent of breast tumors. Utilizing a DNA vaccine they constructed,they plan to now conduct clinical trials in patients who are at very highrisk for breast cancer and in patients who have had a relapse after initialtreatment.



I called my mom tonight...exasperated with my coughing to the point of tears. My sweet old German mama says, "do you have any whiskey?" I seem to remember as a child being given teaspoonsful of whiskey mixed with honey when I couldn't stop coughing. Conveniently, it actually works. And not because it gets you drunk...sipping it loosens up those asthmatic lungs. Good to know. I'm gonna be an alkie tomorrow.