Monday, August 11, 2008

Random Thoughts and Dinosaurs

Random Things
I spent a couple years of my late teens in England and one observation I made was that there seemed to be a handful of rich people and then a whole lotta poor people… and no really much "middle class" so speak of. I found that very different than the U.S. I'd grown up in.

And now, 30 years later… my "U.S." seems to be heading (fast and furious) in the same direction.

My thumb's out of commission. I cut right across the pad while opening something that was in a hard plastic wrap (like from the hardware store).

News report today: Financial Aid Hard to Come by for Bay Area Students. Ugh!

Pricing Dilemmas… ugh!
Those who know me well know I've practically been giving my jewelry away for the past eight years. Once in a blue moon I make a profit on a piece. I can't continue like that. I tried out a few pricing scenarios that others use, but things still seemed to crazy (for my liking). I've settled on about .5 times lower than wholesale, which is still significantly above what I was pricing items for. I don't even DREAM of charging what I'm supposed to charge for retail.

I think part of my problem may be that I use really expensive (relatively speaking) components. I just have to come to terms with the fact that if I use pricy beads, I have to list my finished pieces in such a way that I don't lose money or break even. For goodness sake, I'm not selling components. I'm selling finished jewelry. I do need to make a profit on the finished product. I'll just start with baby steps, though.

New Listings
Tomorrow. I ran out of time today.

Rules for Life by Charles Sykes

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

Why are baby faces irresistible?

This is cool. On a recent Charles Osgood episode, he talked about a study done at Oxford to determine why/how we react to baby faces the way we do. It actually makes a lot of sense if you think of it from a primal and instinctive way. Babies are a PITA (pain in the arse). They need SOMETHING about them to make them endearing enough for us to want to take care of them, love them, nurture them, and protect them with our lives. So they have "the cuteness factor". Seeing an image of a baby face actually alerts a part of our brain for action.

That also reminds me of an episode of Jurassic Fight Club that I caught on TV's History channel the other night. There was a male Majungatholus whose primal instincts told him to procreate with a female Majungathous (these look like T-Rexes). Anyway, the girl is not interested. Then the male sees why; the female has a child… and as long as that child is there, the female is hard-wired to protect it rather than find any interest in procreating. So male knows it has to take the child out of the equation if it wants to hook up with female. Female fights male to protect child.

Anyway, male ends up killing child (sorry for the spoiler), but before he can get female's attention, she attacks and paralyzes him. Then, she goes over to child and sniffs it, determines it is indeed dead. With the instinct to protect the child with her life now gone, she proceeds to eat the child. Hey, nutrition is nutrition.

There's something kind of attractive about primal instincts (to me anyway). I mean, most of us would have gone, "Aw, poor mommy. She's probably so sad now." But the truth is, she's not sad at all. She protected the child as she was "programmed" to and when the need to protect it was gone, she very practically obtained nutrition from it rather than just leaving it there.

I know, this sounds very creepy, but I have an interest in emotions and attachments verses primal responses… so I found it fascinating.

TTYL!

Well, I'd better go now. A lot to do and I don't get home until late tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment