Monthly Archives: March 2005

Green Wiggle

If you’ve never heard of the Australian children’s band [The Wiggles](http://www.thewiggles.com/ “Wiggles Homepage”) then you can learn about them by having a child and raising him or her to the age of three. By then you’ll definitely have run across The Wiggles and can return here and read the rest of this.

From here on in I assume that we all know plenty about The Wiggles.

I was pondering the lack of a green Wiggle. The Wiggles currently wear yellow, purple, blue, and red shirts, buy why no green?

I’m asking two different questions, I guess. First, at the beginning, when you’re deciding which of the four of you are going to wear which colors, why pick purple over green? Green’s a primary color. The children’s games CandyLand and Sorry! both use red/yellow/blue/green game pieces. No one picks purple.

The second question I’m asking is, once you have four guys wearing yellow, purple, blue, and red shirts, why not add a fifth Wiggle and give him a green shirt? Guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, singer: five members is the standard configuration for a modern radio band. Sure, The Beatles did it with four members, but if you’re reaching back to the 60’s for inspiration then your shirts need to be paisley.

I think I know the problem that prevented the emergence of a Green Wiggle: what on Earth should his name be? Currently the Wiggles names are Greg, Jeff, Anthony, and Murray. None of those names are uncommon, androgynous, or ethnic; and they each begin with a unique letter. If those are the rules then our new Wiggle’s name can’t begin with an A, G, J, or M; can’t be ethnic like Hyam or Luigi; and can’t be mistaken for a woman like Chris, Drew, Pat, or Robin. I guess it wouldn’t be hard to find another common name fitting our criteria that begins with one of BCDEFHIKLNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

But here’s the thing: none of the Wiggles’s names are too common either. They are Greg, Jeff, Anthony, and Murray; not John, Bob, Dave, and Steve. So our green Wiggle can’t have a super-common name.

So my suggestion is Simon. Simon the Green Wiggle.

Whatchya think?

Okay, apparently the real answer for why there is no green Wiggle is “because Dorothy the Dinosaur is green” and they didn’t want to have two characters on stage in green. This answer is from the FAQ on the Wiggles website.

I don’t find this to be a satisfying answer though because Henry the Octopus is purple and they still let Jeff wear his purple shirt.

MSNBC – The time has come to let Terri Schiavo die

From The time has come to let Terri Schiavo die at MSNBC.com:

We have had a consensus in this country that you have a right to refuse any and all medical care that you might not want. Christian Scientists do not have to accept medical care nor do Jehovah’s Witnesses need to accept blood transfusions or fundamentalist Protestants who would rather pray than get chemotherapy. Those who are disabled and cannot communicate have the exact same rights. Their closest family members have the power to speak for them.

What do you fear? What do you worry about?

This is my question! What do I fear? Everything.

I fear Everything!

I fear dying. I fear cancer. I fear the long, terrible, scary procedures I would undergo if I got cancer.

I fear what I don’t understand. I fear every pain in my body. Every dull ache is deep bone cancer; every bruise or mole that I can’t remember is leprosy or melanoma; every cramp is food poisoning or deep vein thrombosis.

I fear randomness: the random shooting; the random carjacking; the wrong place at the wrong time.

I fear eating from tin cans with dents; potato chip bags that don’t hold air; yogurt cups without safety foil beneath the plastic lid; any kind of medicine because Tylenol once had cyanide in it.

I fear being out of control. I fear things that might “just happen” to me. I fear that my food has been poisoned so I want to be assured through safe packaging and rigorous, ritualistic preparation processes.

I fear that I already have some deadly illness and the next symptom may be the one that lets me in on the secret and begins an ever-accelerating downward spiral of frightening treatments and bewildering real life medical nightmares.

I worry about what happens when I must suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

I fear the random, terrible fate.

What is your goal? What are your dreams or fantasies?

Goal? No goals here. The term goal indicates an objective reached by consistency of effort over time. I am not consistent — I change my mind. I am not good at effort — I give up.

I’ve had goals: to run an 18-minute 5K; to pay off my fiance’s engagement ring before our wedding; to lose weight before that same wedding (the actual motivator was not to look good in my tuxedo so much as in my honeymoon swim trunks); to save a large downpayment on our house so that we could keep our monthly payment low.

Now it occurs to me that three of those goals were in partnership with my wife, and it may be no simple coincidence that those are also the three goals that I achieved. The sub-18:00 5K never happened…missed it by about 40 seconds. I suppose that’s a pattern that I can find in other parts of my life too: when I’m working toward a goal with someone else then I can achieve it; when I set a goal for myself I’ll more than likely quit early because no one is holding me accountable. I guess in my case one man cannot change the world unless someone else is there to make sure that he does.

Now so far I’ve just been mulling my ability to set and attain minor goals. But the question asks about a singular GOAL. I.e., the thing that you want to attain by the totality of your life. If your answer is along the lines of material things like, “A big boat,” then you’re a sad, sad person, my friend. The major goal of your life should be more of an accomplishment than an object. “To have raised great children.” “To have stretched the bounds of medical science.” “To have left an example of human determination and potential.”

I’ve never thought of myself as working toward a goal like this. It’s not that I don’t want to do it — it sounds great now that I think about it! — but it’s just never occurred to me before that I should try to steer the larger course of my life. Actually, it’s never occurred to me that I could steer the larger course of my life. Life to me is mostly about reacting to where I find myself now. That sounds pretty sad when just putting it out there like that.

Question Two was better suited to me because it asked about what I hope for or crave. Hoping and craving are much easier concepts to apply to me than goals and effort and consistency. But I’m going to start thinking about my goals now. I do want this life to go somewhere. I don’t want to look back, dying, and wish I had figured this out long ago.

What do you love? What do you hate? What do you hope for, want, or crave?

What do you Love?

I love being smart. I love being looked up to as a guy who has his shit together. I’d love to be the smartest guy in the room; the stillest water running deepest; the guy whose response is always so completely not what you thought it was going to be but still so incredibly thought-provoking that you can’t believe anyone’s mind works like that.

I’m not that guy. I know a guy like that, but I ain’t him.

I’m not smart, but due to a few successes in my early education I believed that I was smarter than most people all the way thru jr. and sr. high school. I’ve long since disabused my rational mind of the notion that I’m smarter than most people, but it’s a permanent part of my psyche to still think that I am.

So, basically, I love having my shit together. Shitful togetherness! I would love to have absolutely no chinks in my armor.

What do you Hate?

I hate to be wrong. I hate to be looked down upon. I hate being embarrassed. I hate to admit that I have no idea what you’re talking about; and could you, Dr. Med-School, please tell me what periorbital cellulitis is because you’ve mentioned it twice now as if I’m already supposed to know some medical term that you went to med. school to learn? Yet somehow I feel like the stupid one for not having paid $260,000 to learn a fancy term for a swollen eyelid.

I hate to be embarrassed. I hate to look stupid. I hate to ask questions that I think may possibly make me look stupid. Stupid is in the eye of the beholder and I constantly think I’m either stupid or else on the verge of being beheld that way.

Hate that.

What do you hope for, want, or crave?

I want to be validated. You should tell me I’m valuable…I shouldn’t have to!

In high school there were the cool kids. I was not one of them, but I always wanted to be with them. It was coolness by proximity. I never felt cool, but if the cool kids liked me then I must be cool anyway. “I wonder what the cool kids are doing? None of them are here. I’d better go find them.”

Now I crave to be a cool kid. Cool Adult. Cool parent. Cool housekeeper. Cool beer drinker. Cool socialite. Cool bass player. Cool Christian. Cool blogger.

What are the times when life doesn’t seem worth living?

First, because this is my personality that we’re dealing with, let me say that the question is worded atrociously and should be instead: When does life seem not worth living?

Second, answering the question. Life isn’t worth living when I feel like a failure at absolutely everything. When I let the girls watch too much TV and I don’t get any laundry done and I have no idea what I’m serving for dinner (Or worse, when I think I’ll have to serve rice and soy sauce again because I didn’t get to the grocery store for meat or cheese) and there are all those calls I was supposed to make but didn’t and the carpet looks like it should have been vacuumed or else set ablaze two days ago — Then I feel the most depressed. I don’t feel like killing myself because that would be decisive and I’m certainly not decisive. But I do feel like a perfect waste of intricately organized proteins.

But then there is that to feel good about: I’m nutritious!

Now let me try to analyze some of that.

Life is not worth living when I think everything is going to shit; when I think that a better person would not have let everything go to shit; when what I have done is nowhere near the best I could have done or else the best I could do was still short of what was needed.

When does life seem not worth living? When I don’t seem worth living it. When I, through failure, don’t seem worth living it.

Feeling defensive now. First, my girls always get more time with daddy than time with TV. Isn’t the problem with kids watching too much TV normally that they spend time with TV instead of time with their parents?

Second, laundry doesn’t need to be done everyday.

Third, more than 50% of worldwide humanity’s calories come from rice. What’s so wrong about me serving it as a main course instead of as only a side dish?

This update has been a reasoned response to the emotional honesty in my original post.