Worse-Case Scenarios

In the past  two-weeks I have learned that our tour guide, my husband, and his sister all betrayed me; some in the most awful of ways. Could there be anything worse? Yes, there could be, as I have been so gently reminded from above.

As I have pondered things these past weeks I have catastrophized, neuroticised, fantasized, and hypothesized. I have cried a fifth of tears  imagesand singlehandedly kept the Kleenex company in business. download

Finally, I could do nothing else but pray. So I did. In between sobs, hiccups, and the sorrowful sniffing of snot back into my sinus cavities; I asked for some help. Now, I am not much of a religious person but I have had my share of miracles when I have asked. This time all it appeared was that I received was a big bunch of nothing.

No, “I’M THINKING ON IT” or “YOU’VE RUN OUT OF MIRACLES FOR THIS LIFE.”  The only thing I obtained was this fleeting phrase:

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“Fuck,” I thought. “Where is the compassion, dude?”

“Come on, I know you’ve got better than that! Heck, you have parted seas and rained hot coals down on the wicked. The least you could do is a repeat performance.”

But IT COULD BE WORSE was all that was sent down from on high to me.

And then it occurred to me those worst-case scenarios might just be what was needed to lead me to find a slight bit of gratitude and happiness in my off-the-rails-life. So I pondered a bit and these came to me:

  1. He could have knocked her up.
  2. He could have knocked her sister up.
  3. She could have lived down the street and I would have to see her smirking face everyday for the rest of my life.
  4. He could have sent her double the amount of money he did. I mean what he sent could have been a four-yeardegree at a prestigious college instead of the equivalent of several semesters worth of education that he sent.
  5. His sister could be my sister.
  6. I could have gone to Singapore only to have walked in on them. Now that would have been awkward.
  7. His sister could have been his lover instead of his ally in deceiving me
  8. I could have sent her Victoria’s Secret which she would have worn for my husband instead of the money I sent to her and her family.
  9. She could have splashed the internet full of naked pictures of her and my husband together in Singapore instead of them just making out at the butterfly farm.
  10. I could have picked up some disease from my cheating husband.
  11. My husband could have become a polygamist.
  12. He could have fucked our tour guide in Chile and that would have been bad because his name was Hector.

 

There. Indeed, it could have been worse. Way worse.

So for now, I am counting my blessings as I head into the third week of The Day My Life Went Straight To Hell a/k/a No More Tour Guides For Me.

 

Why You Don’t Sleep Well Away From Home

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I remember a trip to Thailand in which I didn’t sleep all night long. It is often like that for people when they travel. So why is it we often don’t sleep well when we are not in our own homes? Scientists think they have the answer.

Researchers at Brown University looked into this phenomena and found that the left hemisphere of the brain stayed more active and awake during “slow wave” sleep on that first night away from home. In effect the left hemisphere”kept an eye open” during the night during that first night and scientists believe this activity is used as a sort of protective device.

Researchers noted this and began to electrically stimulated that part of the brain and noted that subjects where quicker to wake and get up when this stimulation occurred to the left hemisphere vs. the right on this first night.

Many follow up studies are planned and in the future it is hoped that the researchers will actually find a way to let us weary travelers sleep just a little better.  Wouldn’t that be a dream!

Extending Our Life Span

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Scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have announced mitochondrial complex II activity decreased significantly in older skin. This development means that scientists hope that they can harness this energy to create powerful new anti-aging treatments both to prolong life and make us appear younger longer. While I am all for  getting on the “let’s not look a day over 40” train I am not so sure about extending our lives for significant periods of time. I mean do we really need people who are 125 years old or older walking this earth?

Yes, its true that people who have been-there-done-that often bring a lot to the table. Hopefully it’s wisdom and the ability to reflect back on all they have done in order to improve things for themselves and others in the future. But what about those who are unable to be introspective and self-reflective? Do we really want those who make the same mistakes over and over again hanging out even longer gobbling up our limited resources? And knowing we have finite resources what would be the criteria for being chosen to live significantly longer? Is it the poet, the musician or the mathematician whose contributions to society is more valuable? Maybe the doctor, the street cleaner, or the academic? The person with autism or cerebral palsy?

Should your genetic code be analyzed to determine if you will suffer from dementia or lung cancer? Which cancers would be permissible and at what point do you start costing society more than you are worth if you live longer and develop several throughout your lifetime? Would it be IQ or emotional intelligence which would rein supreme or would brute physical strength be the desired attribute? Should people with three DUI’s and a wrecked liver the size of a football field be given the chance to prolong their lives an extra 30-50 years? And should the amount of melanin in your skin be the determinate factor because if you listen to people involved in American politics like frontrunner Mr. Trump “those people” (meaning those who do not look like him and have more melanin) are causing all the crime. UGH. DO I NEED TO MAKE CLEAR WHAT AN IDIOT HE IS?!!!!

Yet, with all these questions to consider there are even more important ones to be asked. Specifically who should it be that makes the determinations of which qualities and characteristics are superior? Is it persons who are Black, White, Asian, Native American, Latino, East Indian, German, Dutch or from the Cook Islands?  Do they represent all of us or just a few?Are they Jewish, Catholic or Buddhist? Are they rich or poor? Happy or sad? Are they male or female? And what are their ages? Should they be required to have longer alleles longer so they are more resilient than others in the face of adversity?

While we forge ahead in science it seems to me that often we do not take into account whether or not we should do… or not do… something in the first place. As long as it is done in “THE NAME OF SCIENCE” (a just and noble pursuit)  then it must be okay. But often it isn’t. Maybe bigger, faster or new and improved is not what we should be looking towards. Maybe a live man-eating T-Rex is not in our best interests. Because maybe, just maybe, the circle of life is already perfect just the way it is…a circle with no beginning and no end… and it should be left alone just the way we found it.