I Can’t Think of a Witty Title for This Post

Because I love you blog readers/friends so much, I’m sparing you the “first-world problems life update rant” post I was planning to write, and instead, I’m answering E.M. Kingston’s Sunday Ramble questions, which I found quite intriguing.

1) Glass half full or glass half empty?

It should come as no surprise that I, JYP, (aka “Judgy Young Pessimist”) see the glass as half-empty. But the nihilist side of me questions if it really matters. I mean, here are the possible outcomes for the half full/empty glass:

  • Someone drinks the contents and then the glass is completely empty
  • The glass is left untouched, in which the beverage eventually attracts bugs and becomes gross
  • Someone knocks over the glass, spilling the contents everywhere, getting everything wet and breaking the glass.
  • The glass decomposes in a million years
Does it really matter if the glass is half-full or half-empty? Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

I sense my readers are now wishing I’d decided to go with that first-world problems rant post instead. I’m sorry.

2) Train or airplane?

This is heavily dependent on where you’re going, right? But assuming it’s a destination for which one could plausibly take a train or an airplane and that the total airplane trip time (factoring in time for security and baggage claim) is less time-consuming than the train, I’d pick the airplane. I’d rather get to my destination faster. Also, I sleep reasonably well on planes.

Self-portrait of me sleeping on a plane. Not sure why the plane is pink. Maybe I’m flying Barbie Dream Plane Airlines. Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

True story: When I was flying out to a job interview during COVID, Husband tried to convince me to drive or take the train instead. In other words, he wanted me to waste a lot more of my time travelling in order to quell his anxieties. I basically told him to fuck off.

In the end, I managed to get 1 out of 2 COVID vaccines shots before the flight, took a flight for the job interview, did not get COVID (although I did get horrible shot #2 side effects and Husband accused me of getting COVID because I saw my family for Mother’s Day, but that’s another story), got the job offer, and turned down that offer to take a different job offer which turned out to be a mistake of sorts. So, it’s questionable if I ever really got to “my destination”, and it’s questionable if I ever had a true destination in the first place.

3) Sneakers or dress shoes?

Bring both! Wear your sneakers for the commute to your office and then change to your dress shoes at the office. (I’m told the high-powered professional women of Washington DC do this – immaculate blowouts and makeup, perfectly tailored suits, and sneakers on the Metro).

Alternatively, wear your dress shoes to the wedding so you look good in photos, then change into sneakers once your heels start hurting so you can keep dancing late into the night. #priorities.

You should wear whatever shoes make you want to dance like this. (Don’t forget the silver sequined pants and eyebrow glitter!) Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

4) See the future or change the past?

Change the past. What’s the point of seeing the future if you can’t change it? Isn’t that almost worse?

I suppose that arguably, seeing the future could potentially quell certain anxieties. Like right now, I am driving myself mad because I don’t know if I will ever raise children, so potentially, seeing the future and knowing that children are in my future could be a good thing. But who says the future will be what you want? I could also just as easily find out with 100% certainty that I will never have children, nothing but that shitty consolation prize of Auntie roles to other people’s children to look forward to, which would suck.

I’d be better off having the ability to change the past in order to make better decisions that would lead to the outcomes I want. Also, changing the past could theoretically avert world tragedies, although it’s not obvious from the question how much of the past I get to change.

Not to mention, but would “seeing the future” actually mean seeing what really happens, or would it just be getting useless fortune cookie-style platitudes like this? Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

5) Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

If we are talking about literal water, assuming you know how to swim and it’s just a matter of going into potentially chilly water slowly or quickly, you may as well dive in, because it won’t be any less painful to go in gradually and diving in can be exhilarating.

If we’re talking metaphorically, like giving up your stable career in hopes of becoming an actor or quitting your job and cashing out your 401(k) to start your dream business, test out the waters first by auditioning for part-time community theatre and taking acting classes, or by starting a side gig and writing a business plan, before you blow up your life.

This is the problem with dumb clichés like “take risks”. Smarter advice would be “assess risks, plan risk mitigation strategies, and then take risks”.

I get that “Assess and mitigate risks before you take them (eg. Build a bridge! Feed the alligators first so they won’t be hungry if you fall in! Take a plane!)” doesn’t sound sexy and motivational but “Take risks!” without any qualifiers or caveats is just dumb advice. Image by Pintera Studio from Pixabay

If we’re talking about literal water and you don’t know how to swim, learn to swim first. That’s just common sense.

45 comments

  1. I feel that in science fiction, trying to change the past always leads to disaster, but in Greek myth, seeing the future also leads to disaster. This situation is “Glass is really completely empty even if it looks half full.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Title: “Fuck the Future, Put on Your Sneakers, and Fly!” I’m a half fool pessimist. While I prefer planes if I need to get there quickly, I often drive so I can do photos along the way. Trains in the USA? No freaking way! I got my fill of trains and subways in Spain.

    Fortunately, I don’t have fashion issues. I wear all black all the time and get sneaker-type shoes that look sneakily dressy. All dress is casual in the high desert environs of the great wild southwest, anyway. On the occasion I wear a suit, I still look sloppy.

    I think we need to see the future and quit repeating the past. I don’t see why people are so determined to make failures and mistakes of the past work. Public education it a great example; we are still educating kids on an industrial model in a post industrial, post corporate, post commercial, post tech bubble age of no more jobs for life working in services industries. My daughter just got a job in IT for the National Labs in town. She’s one among several recruits. A great career move. I think I had mentioned that we home schooled her. She said at the end of the first week of training for working in a highly technical and scientific environment, the recruits were given a test. She said they had 1.5 hours to answer 64 questions, open book, open notes. She said she finished in 45 minutes and got 98% right. None of the other’s finished the test, and none of them passed. She said she was also the only one who was able to complete the hands on tasks and solve the problems associated with the tasks. Public education is really failing the other recruits.

    I think you should only jump into the deep end if you have a good backup plan, especially these days. One of our staff thought she found a great job and left. The young woman who replaced her thought she got her dream job in California, gave us 3 hours notice and headed west.First staff discovered that the grass was full of bullshit on the other side, and we rehired her to replace the California dreamer. California dreaming apparently turned out to be California nightmare. The dreamer doesn’t get a second chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost changed the title, as yours is certainly more colorful and interesting! Maybe I’ll change it later. You definitely get the prize for best title submission!

      Flying can definitely suck, but I’d rather just suck it up and get to the destination faster. I like driving, but I don’t love driving enough nor have the patience for a long road trip.

      Good point – there is that hybrid option of fancy dressy sneakers. This is definitely a valid option. Especially because in the COVID/post-COVID world, leggings seem to have become acceptable work attire. I was at an in-person work event and I had fellow coworkers wearing crop tops. Granted, my company is one of those “we’re trying to be a cool trendy start-up who doesn’t care about dress codes” but I still think crop tops are just a tad informal. But I’m an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy who still wears actual dresses to work sometimes.

      Good point about learning from the past and not repeating. I hear you re: public school. Conceptually, I think public school is a good and important thing for society. But I do think we are using outdated models for it and that there are all kinds of other issues with the execution. Good luck to your daughter on her new job!

      Having a backup plan is part of the risk mitigation strategy. California dreaming seems overrated (no offense to anyone from or living in California).

      Liked by 1 person

      • As flexible as we are at my office, we have a dress code and crop tops are a no no. A lot of the evaluators, will where dresses when they are in the office because they have to wear pants when they are out in the field climbing around on roofs, etc.. We allow dressy sneakers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think they are a no-no most places. I don’t understand this trend at all. I went shopping with a friend the other day and there were so many crop tops. It was almost a challenge finding a shirt of normal length that wasn’t backless or see-through. I have enough clothing; I am just complaining like an aging millennial

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t think Laurie has been in a clothing store in 25 or more years. For me longer. I order her clothes online from J Jill and Soft Surroundings. That must be why I get so much girlie junk mail. Besides all the clothing junkmail, I get notifications that I’ve been nominated for and accepted into various women’s professional organizations. A girlie-man I guess I am.

            I get my clothes from Dickies, Deluth Trading, and sometimes Lands End. I do go to the Local NewBalance store for running shoes and dressy casuals.

            When I’m at the grocery store, I see a lot of women of all ages in tights and crop tops. Even when it’s freezing could out. There is a lot of suffering to be fashionable that goes on around here. Tights and crop tops seem to be all the rage.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I can understand the leggings trend. Leggings are comfortable and convenient if you’re going to/from the gym, and they are generally opaque enough to cover your butt. Some leggings can plausibly pass as legit pants. But crop tops? It was about 30F today and I saw this girl walking around in a crop top. I will never understand this.

            Congratulations on your women’s professional organization nominations!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You see them too! I guess when you’re hot you are truly hot! Thanks. I am very appreciative of being recognized and considered worthy of being a professional woman. True equality, I say. I nevered figured out why women want to be equal to men in much else beside what makes sense, like receiving the same wage for doing the same job as a man, and having the same opportunities to pursue your interests no matter how they are stereotyped by gender. Otherwise, men a basically still Neanderthals not nearly as evolved as women.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

    Random story related to that. I’ll cut a long story short and tell you about the moment I was afraid to swim in a very cold lake. I had this whole internal monologue where I’d console myself about what was holding me back. It felt so enlightening, it could’ve been award-winning Oscar material, but no. Rather than ascending to some next degree of character development, the climax resulted in me throwing away almost absolutely everything I’d told myself and instead saying something like, “Okay. Now screw yourself over and jump in”. So I sighed and jumped.

    All the monologue, all of it, wasted!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The eyebrow glitter looks like it belongs on the Barbie Dream Plane. It always puzzles me a bit when people go to the bother of looking presentable on flights, especially if they’re flying economy class and crammed in like sardines with other people’s germs.

    I wonder how long it would take for the water in the half-empty glass to evaporate and leave a fully empty glass. I do feel confident that it would happen well before the glass decomposes. A million years—I would never have guessed that. Google kindly auto-completes the search “when was glass invented”, and it was 3500 BC. I wonder if there are any empty glasses left over from that era sitting around waiting to prove that the glass is in fact empty…

    Liked by 1 person

    • No one specifies if what’s in said half-full/empty glass is good or not. And fully empty might be better than half-empty anyway–the fully empty glass could imply that you are well hydrated–or it could mean that you will die of cyanide poisoning in a few moments. This turns out to be more like a koan than an idle question.
      Anyway, science fiction informs my opinion that to try to alter the past and correct bad things always turns out bad. On the other hand, whether we got here the regular way or by time-traveling to the past, right now we have the power to determine/alter the future, depending on if you are a half-full kind of person, or what you are half-full of.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is a good point. No one ever specifies the contents. Is it actually water? Vodka? Hydrochloric acid? You’re right that whether full, half-full, half-empty, or empty is a good thing or bad thing is very much dependent on the contents. No one ever mentions this.

        Fair point about science fiction. I don’t really read science fiction. I read murder mystery thriller fiction, in which going back in time to catch the serial killer before their next poor victim seems like a noble goal without too much adverse effect on the overall space-time continuum, but what do I know.

        I suppose you are right about changing the future. Pessimist that I am, (is that a “this glass of vodka is empty, dammit” person, or would that just be an alcoholic?) I do believe in free will.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, eyebrow glitter is a new one. It seems like the sort of think someone would do for TikTok. Like, “put tinsel in your eyebrows for Christmas!” Idk. I’ve never watched anything on TikTok. I also don’t dress up for planes. Even when I was flying for a business trip, I wore a not-completely-shitty-but-still-casual-enough-to-be-comfortable-enough-to-nap-in outfit and packed something nicer to change into after the flight.

      That was a new fact for me too re: glass decomposition. Turns out glass is easily recycled but it just doesn’t decompose.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What I love about your answers is that you question the questions. You don’t take them at face-value – their “understood meanings”. I watched the first of a series of You Tube videos in which a guy who calls himself “the Everyday Astronaut” interviews Elon Musk as they walk around the SpaceX Facility. It’s the most relaxed environment I have seen Musk in and I was pretty curious to see what I would think of him. The impression I came away with is that apart from being a) smart and b) eccentric, he is a very deep and logical thinker. One of the things he said was that our schooling teaches us to answer the question. In our society we are not encouraged to question the question and it effectively strait-jackets our brains in later life. Clearly your brain has NOT been strait-jacketed and that is a huge achievement. See if you can work out how this relates to rocket building. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi JYP! I enjoyed your answers so much, and I would like to welcome you to my prompt! I got to smile and giggle out loud because your personality in these questions is absolutely amazing! I loved your train and airplane answer. The train is slower, but it is a nice ride. A few bumps here and there, but for the most part, it’s relaxing. You would definitely be able to sleep on the train too *smiles*. I also had side effects on the vax, but mine were on my first shot and my booster. I got a huge lump on my arm after the booster. Have a beautiful Sunday, and I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, E.M. for the prompt inspiration (and also for sparing everyone a first-world problems whiny life update rant – believe me, everyone is better off not subjected to this!)

      The train is hands-down an improvement over the bus and offers many advantages over driving. I would take the train over the bus any day. And I also found that the onboarding experience of the train was so much better than dealing with the airport. And it was certainly a comfortable ride with reasonably reliable WiFi (and the airlines are making the whole experience of flying more expensive and crappier) But ultimately, I’m a “the destination is the destination” person, not a “the journey is the destination” person, so I’m always going to pick whatever takes me the least amount of total time.

      I felt nothing after shot #1,but shot #2 was dreadful. Husband had a similar swelling on his arm after #1 and also reacted badly to #2. Neither of us have been boosted yet. I guess we’ll see how that goes.

      Very nice to meet you! Enjoy your week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome JYP! I love reading the rambles of everyone. I like giving a safe non-invasive space to express.

        I prefer the train in California because I am deathly afraid of the 99. I am like you in the onboarding. I hate going through TSA. Plus, I am a smoker, so airports are not very friendly when it comes to that. You have to go back through TSA to even grab a smoke between flights. The train allows you to take smoke breaks when they have a wait time.

        I hope your boosters for you and hubby go well. Omicron has me a little scared to live again, even though it’s less severe than Delta.

        It was very nice to meet you as well, and I really had a great time reading your answers for my prompt! Have a great week!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think I want to see the future just in case there are bad things, although I spend enough time worrying about it that maybe it’s the same difference. But I don’t know if I’d want to change the past–there are many big, life-altering mistakes I’ve made, but I’d be hesitant to fix them because I don’t know what that would change later on that I do like. Anyways I enjoyed your thorough answers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I also couldn’t decide if seeing the future would ease anxieties or create more worries. Future bad things (if nothing else, we are all mortal) are inevitable, so I ultimately decided against seeing the future. Changing the past is probably over-romanticized. So many decisions and outcomes to consider

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, take sneakers and dress shoes. Sneakers are excellent in case of emergencies, and basic comfort. Dress shoes are nice to have for the special event. I’ve seen attendees at funerals and weddings wearing sneakers, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I finally clicked on the Barbie Dream Plane link. OMG. I can only imagine what the dream was, and only hope it didn’t involve the “unlikely event of a water landing” where the rogueishly handsome pilot drowned immediately but the really ugly guy in the seat next to Barbie was an ex-Navy Seal who ultimately saved her life but they’re now stuck on an island and Barbie screams and then wakes up to thankfully realize it was only a dream.
    Yeah I’m on my sixth cup of coffee. What about it?

    Liked by 1 person

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