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Being Good

I was generally the "good kid" who no one expected to do anything wrong. Mostly true, but I got away with plenty by being either above the law or above suspicion, sometimes merely by benefit of the doubt or reputation. Most of the time, I really just became whoever was handy for the situation. Played along. That's part of what got me into some of my issues with the natures of truth and perception, and how they could be manipulated to my benefit. A habit harder for me to put down than any other.

Oddly enough I eventually learned three things.
1) Left to my own devices or when not accomodating someone else's opinion of me, I was a decent individual.
2) This individual had a conscience, and though I often used those skills to benefit someone else, it became harder to do and keep my conscience clear, especially as the number of friends I had went up and agendas set in.
3) This conscience also knew that bringing the whole mess down was only going to make for a bad end.

I'm still a "good kid". But I could've been better, and I know it. I've always been full of good intentions; I'm just getting better at ferreting out the ones that will later lead to comments of "But I meant well ..."

That drive to do better makes decent motivation, but makes hindsight a little more painful. A day doesn't go by that I don't end up reminded of something I regret having done. Which in turn drives the "think of now" mindset. Which means not always properly gauging long-term impact. Which puts it into, you guessed it, a viscious cycle.

I'm dealing with the regret better, though. Partly through getting better in tune with my own guidelines, my own opinions, my own expectations.

I'd been too busy juggling everyone else's.

- Pookah


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2001 12:53 pm (UTC)
hmm...it sounds like you are really focusing and fine-tuning yourself.

I am glad you are handling the regret better....I have very few regrets in my life...

I'll bet if you looked back much of the choices you made were the best decisions you were capable of making at that time...
Mar. 12th, 2001 08:05 am (UTC)
The best decisions I was capable of making at the time. That does sound reasonable. Few of my regrets are of the knowingly-choose-the-"wrong"-thing type.

The no-win situations I led myself into are up there. The times I've had to disappoint people are up there.

It seems like the answer is more coming to terms with the truth of my own imperfection than coming to terms with the things I've done.

Doesn't make it any easier, but not everything's easy.

- Pookah
Mar. 11th, 2001 11:41 am (UTC)
Good kids of the world...
They ask me how I get away with it, too.

and they also ask me why I'm so optimistic.

and they also ask me where I learned that stuff.

And I think that maybe the answer has a lot to do with the viscious cycles. Only... turned upside down.

but that's not what you were saying.

and the drive to do better... you've heard about that paradox perfection and looking for it? How you can never get there, but if you keep trying...

that's going nowhere.


I give up :-)
Mar. 12th, 2001 08:16 am (UTC)
Sounds familiar
I've thought for a long time that the three constants in life are Paradox, Humor, and Change.

The drive for perfection, and most other unattainable goals, usually make great examples of all three. Or excuses to sing songs from Man of La Mancha. Heh.

- Pookah
Mar. 12th, 2001 01:58 pm (UTC)
I knew a boy once who was obsessed with man of la mancha At least, if that's the musical about Don Quixote, he was obsessed with it...

He also wrote musicals.

And was very tall.

And he taught me a song from Man... that one that goes "we're only thinking of him... we're only thinking of him... no matter what we say or do... we're only thinking of him... we're only thinking of him... we're only thinking of him... we're only thinking and worrying about him"

And then he harmonized with me to it, and I don't remember the harmony... and... I wish I did.

Or knew someone who knew it.

He's not connected to the internet, and I won't see him next year at the conference. Ahm...

Maybe I should go to my school's basketball game next tuesday at his school.
Mar. 12th, 2001 04:43 pm (UTC)
Starting at Point Guard, Miguel de Cervantes
There's always something special about singing in harmony. That was one of the things I used to do with the flame from time to time. Especially this one cool a capella Dead Can Dance tune that suited our voices quite well. And the occasional sea chanty. Hehehehe.

Unfortunately, I haven't heard Man of La Mancha in a long time, and the tune's beyond me, too.

- Pookah
Mar. 12th, 2001 07:29 pm (UTC)
I've fallen into a habit of regarding it as one of the most important concepts in my life.

Musical, too. Music is... mmmph... my forte. One of them, anyway. I play instruments and I sing and I listen and I love it. And harmony is even better. There's a place I go every summer... and though it's not the purpose, I always end up collecting a group of people... 8, 10, something... random collection... they walk by and get pulled in by the girl with a guitar who's singing. And we sing together, down on the bridge, in harmony. And it's... wow.

And sometimes you just want to sing alone, and sometimes it's lonely.

I performed with my Omi at some church earlier this year. 'empty he came'. voice against recorder, soprano and alto. One of the most beautiful things I've ever done. I loved it :-)

'every man sings a melody
a song that shouts, 'hey world, it's me'
and sometimes song plus song
equals perfect harmony

and I guess you could think that I am lucky
'cause I've found a song
a song that lifts my voice, fills it full, lets it live and makes me more me
there's just one problem...
one of us...

Mar. 14th, 2001 05:52 am (UTC)
Re: Harmony.
That sounds really really cool. I haven't had many large groups of friends where we all had any musical tendencies. Just a few people I could sing with, sometimes along with the radio, sometimes not.

One group, the four of us worked out surprisingly good. We'd actually all known each other for a while before we did much singing together. 2 guys, one bass (me) and one tenor, and two girls, one alto and one soprano. We never actually got organized, but the improvisational singing was awesome. And, being a bunch of college geeks, we'd also sing a fair amount of They Might Be Giants tunes when bored.

The card shark loves karaoke, but that's an entirely different beast. *shrug* One of the few times I've gone with, it was fun to sing That's Amore with his roommate. But it's different somehow.

And while my father was in a band (With my mother's brothers, even. My mother drove the van, and this before they dated.) I hear him singing only along to the radio (outside of church and birthdays), and usually in a different key than whatever's being played. I really should get him to teach me how to play guitar, because he's still really good.

2 voices against recorder. Wow. The only times I was getting everyone's attention at church was either as a reader or as a puppeteer.

- Pookah
Mar. 14th, 2001 06:15 pm (UTC)
It caught my attention last, so...
no, no. first, recorder against recorder. Then voice. Then voice against recorder, then voice against recorder, then voice against voice.
I really like verses.

And TMBG is, of course, awesome. I actually serenaded the chemistry class with a musical telegram from my encore teacher the other day... the sun is a mass of incandescent gas... It was amusing :-) Rikki and i sing that stuff constantly.

but we're also beatle freaks.
And me, personally, I like obscure folk songs and picking patterns that are hugely relaxing.
I learned to play the guitar when I finally decided that it was too ridiculous that I loved to sing so much and couldn't sing along with any of the instruments I played (hadn't learned to growl yet)... and then there was a bored moment, and I picked up my dad's guitar, and history was born... or some such *grins*

I always feel dumb in a bad way when I try to sing karaoke.
And I've wished I could find a quartet group.
what I usually do is browbeat my family into singing.
they're musical.
my sister shapes toward a solo sopranist. *is jealous... her voice is better than mine.* My brother is a nice baritone, when he'll consent to sing at all. My dad is a beautiful tenor, and mom sings great alto, but always is really really worried about getting it right. If my omi's around, we've got it made, 'cause she sings everything she can... as do I.

And then I sing with Zack, and that's a whole different story.
Mar. 15th, 2001 09:39 am (UTC)
Recorders Live In Front Of Our Studio Audience
Verses, verses, verses.

TMBG was my first pseudo-rock concert, actually. I saw them at Johns Hopkins University on their Apollo 18 tour.

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A blazing nuclear furnace
Where hydrogen is built into helium
At a temperature of thousands of degrees ...

The sun is big
The sun is hot
The sun is far awaaaaay ...

I'll be humming it all day now. Heh.

My father was a Beatles fan, but more of a Beach Boys fan. He still has a tall stack of LPs in the basement.

Argh ... meeting time. Bleah.

- Pookah
Mar. 15th, 2001 02:34 pm (UTC)
sorry, but...
The Beatles will always be the best :-)
Mar. 12th, 2001 07:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, and...
I'm never ever attracted to non-musical males.

it's odd

and basses are more attractive than tenors.


Mar. 14th, 2001 05:55 am (UTC)
for laughter explanation, see previous comment

- Pookah
Mar. 14th, 2001 06:16 pm (UTC)
That's it. That's why I like you.

Of course!
Mar. 15th, 2001 09:41 am (UTC)
And to think I was hoping you enjoyed the witty banter.

At least being a bass has side-benefits, like more chest-rumble while singing.

- Pookah
Mar. 15th, 2001 02:37 pm (UTC)
So THAT'S what they call it now ;-)

Chest rumble is also amusing. If your body is in contact with a singing bass, hands, head, or otherwise, you can feel them singing. I like singing with basses, since it's such a contrast. I tend to soprano.

Of course, it can get frustrating trying to find an equitable range for both the sing in, even an octave apart.

But when you can do it? It's cool :-)
Mar. 16th, 2001 11:24 am (UTC)
Song, Song on the Range
Definitely on both counts. I owe the chest rumble a few times over for the "fascination" factor it can acquire. Key-wise, more music is in that range than in my range, so I've almost grown too accustomed to having to improvise a key at times.

- Pookah
Mar. 17th, 2001 09:06 pm (UTC)
Long ago... like... maybe the beginning of last year... we made up terminology...

there's a difference between interesting and fascinating.

Interesting is what it's always been. Catches your interest, y'like it.

Fascinating has dual meanings. The first? Bad. How was you day? Fascinating. Oh, I'm sorry...
the second? Exceptionally naughty. How was your day? Fascinating ;-) OH! Tell me about it!!

It's amusing *grins*
especially when people tell you that various things are fascinating :-)
Mar. 18th, 2001 08:10 am (UTC)
Dual-Action Meaning
Well then, I got the word right.

After all, you have to have contact to notice the vibration ... and touch lightly, to let it move instead of muting it ...

Like I said, I'm thankful for that "fascination" factor. By your terms, that'd be in addition to the interesting factor.

Interesting was that there's one low note I would hit that was a perfect harmonic with my father's Toyota's dashboard ... and so if I sang that note loud enough, the dash would resonate a little. Time had loosened it enough to shake sometimes, and it was just enough to echo to that note. That's merely interesting.

- Pookah
Mar. 18th, 2001 03:49 pm (UTC)
I just thought you'd like to know
exactly how you got that right.
and yes, rumble can be fascinating.
and that's not merely interesting.
that's wonderful.
I like to ahm over my guitar... it rings real softly. On most notes, you get the strings' reactions... but if you get the right one, it's the actual wood.
and it's lovely.
the thing that bothered me about playing french horn was that whenever I hit a 'g', the windows in the band room would rattle. It bugged me like heck. I hated playing 'g's.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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