This and That and The Other Thing

“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not: we who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs or seem to seek them, who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors — we are not that way from perversity, and we can not just relax and let it go. We have learned to cope in ways you never had to.”
-Piers Anthony as quoted in This American Life, Episode 470: Show Me the Way

This week’s This American Life was so good I listened to it twice. It’s one long story and then a second, shorter one, but the long one is this story about a teenager who goes from Buffalo to Florida with the idea that he’s going to live with Piers Anthony, an author who I had completely dismissed without ever reading and who now I want to read, just because he, himself, seems kind of awesome.

One of my new favorite things is Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Since Tammy’s off work for the summer, she’s been keeping up with the NYT and sending me articles she knows I’d like, such as this one about the Comedy Cellar and this one about a biologist who studies evolution in Edinburgh. One of the fifty million excellent things about Tammy is the way she accepts and supports all my strange interests.

Speaking of strange interests, I started Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin last week, so my life has become about either reading that book or some stupid thing I have to do that prevents me from reading the book. I’m getting close to the end, so this morning, even showering felt like a huge unnecessary time suck. I should note that when I mentioned this to Tammy, she told me I had to take a shower anyway, so apparently her support only continues as long as I continue to smell good. I suppose that’s reasonable, but still.

I’m going to go finish that book.

9 Comments

  1. momster
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    People are far more affected by their perception of their reality as opposed to any objective standard.I missed this episode:(Normally I listen.Maybe I still can?
    I wondered about the biologist.I’ve taken a lot of college level biology.Naturally,I wonder about the amount of carbon this lady is introducing into her artificial construct.And does it represent the actual rate of carbonization?Even there,the earth has been warmer than it is now in the past.The short article made me want to know the particulars.
    Tammy was right about the shower.

  2. Tonderdo
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I am an avid supporter of personal hygiene for all who enter my personal space. I appreciate your effort. Feel free to not shower until Wed. since I’m out of town. ;)

  3. Tonia
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I love that quote- have never listened but feel I must since it seems that quote was taken out of my head!

  4. adrienne
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Momster and Tam, I suppose I felt okay about the shower once I finally took it. I didn’t get to finish my book, though.

    Tonia, The story is so great, too–the compassion Anthony was able to show to this teenager who was feeling so lost and the difference it made to him.

  5. olivia
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If you don’t shower, I feel like your new coworkers may stage an intervention, and it’s so soon in your directing career for that to happen. :)

  6. Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    My agent sent me a 555 page book.
    As homework.

    I think George R.R. Martin and I will not meet for some many days.

  7. adrienne
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Olivia, You people are all so fussy.

    Tanita, Homework? Dude.

    It’s probably just as well about George R.R. Martin. Aside from writing novels that are addictive, he does that Joss Whedon thing where he does the most horrible things to characters one loves. And I can’t. stop. reading.

  8. annette
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    this is such a great quote. he was one of my favorite authors when i was a teen…i don’t have much luck sending him home with kids these days, but he’s there for them, just in case.

  9. Susan
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I was struck by the quote, too, since it seems to explain so many things about myself I question and try to extinguish. But perhaps that is not to be. I just wonder though . . . if someone besides me were to have gone through the same childhood is it possible they may not have been so deeply effected by the things that I was exposed to? Am I just, as always, wrong to have been so sensitive to the way I was treated in my home and should I just grow up and let it go? I am 61 now so i need to do this quickly if I am going to do it at all.

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