my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: all about me

spire!

spire!

Some time ago MJE wrote about the Fitbit, which I then thought was the plus non ultra in full frontal digital narcissism. In that same post I predicted the probable invention of a gadget that would document and regulate a number of bodily functions. It did not occur to MJE that there might be a market for a device that measures not your colonic progress but the dryer lint of your brain. MJE grossly underestimated several things: the astronomical levels of self absorption, the dim intellectual wattage of the populace and the speed with which some huckster could exploit both. Folks the future is now.

Meet “Spire!” The Wall Street Journal (a publication I rarely read because it doesn’t reinforce my world view) reported on a new device called, “Spire!.” which advertises itself as “your personal mindfulness coach.” It promises to reduce your stress by 50% via “smart notifications and gentle reminders.” Personally, MJE finds that mindless activities are the best stress reducers around, but that’s just me.

“Spire!” clips onto your bra or jock strap and monitors your breathing which is, according to the“Spire!”-land marketing department, a better indicator of your cerebral wellbeing than a brain scan. It is “backed by seven years of research.” So what, the OB&C has been “researching” a magnetic bead technology for 11 years and it still doesn’t work worth a crap.

“Spire coaches you to a more calm, balanced state of mind. It tracks and improves your state of mind by allowing you to discover when you’re stressed, where it happens, and what you were doing.” Yeah, well booze and xanax do that too and I can guarantee you that I don’t need any gentle reminders for those.

The online accolades from “Simone,” “Michael” and “Hilary” are so effusive that you want to cyber stalk them and make their lives really miserable. Then we’ll see just how effective “Spire!” really is.

thanks loads

thanks loads

Well the holly, jolly frantic materialism of xmas is over until next month when it will slowly start to creep back in. I gave the OB&C a pasta maker and a “no oil fryer” both of which are still in boxes under my desk. Well, more accurately I gave them to myself and he was a pass through so I could feel self satisfied about my thoughtfulness and generosity. The OB&C doesn’t suffer such pangs of self doubt and so isn’t hypocritical enough to go to the transparently selfish trouble of getting me gifts. We’ve been married long enough for him to know that if I want something I will have long since beaten him to the punch before he ever picks up on any hints I might drop. And really, that whole charade is such a waste of time. My motto is: Decide what you want, get it, don’t ever use it, re-gift it and move on.

Apropos the business of the giving and the getting I was reading an article in that commie rag, the New York Times this Sunday about how the mere thought of being appreciative has become the latest means of spiritual masturbation. In the alternative universe of the truly narcissistic, simply thinking of being thankful, whether you express it or not is plenty good enough. Apparently, keeping a journal of your thoughts of appreciation is also a tonic for the self-absorbed soul. The heavy lifting of actually outwardly expressing your appreciation for something is totally unnecessary, just pondering it is sufficient. Making the effort to grunt out an actual thank you every once in a while or god forbid writing a thank you note simply demonstrates how incredibly insecure you are. Loser.

Well in the spirit of self-congratulation on her mindful appreciation MJE says, thanks for nothing.

remembering names?

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I just read my daily email from Luminosity, a “brain training” outfit that promises to get your mind to do what it hasn’t done in years: think. They apparently are of the opinion that I am one blank stare from the alzheimer’s wing or they wouldn’t hound me every morning. Alternately it could be that they already know that I can’t remember doodlysquat from yesterday so every email is like my very first. One of their recent tips was on how to remember names. I frankly couldn’t identify my children in an airport, nor would I want to, but that’s a tale for another time. So Luminosity said that when you meet new people you should fixate on some characteristic and link that to their name, e.g. Leroy Pantyhose: really bad teeth. Vulgaria Otherwise: lousiest face lift ever!, Stanley Mattressthrasher: freakishly large nostrils. I got it. From now on I will be able to confidently extend my hand to any vaguely familiar acquaintance, match it up in my mind’s eye with my handy mnemonic of ‘aggressively unattractive.’ and cheerily chirp, “So great to see you again, “Lusitania” it’s been way too long!” you old crone.

step by step

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It occurred to me that about 70% of the exercise I get in a day involves starting at point A, traveling to point B where I then am not able to remember why I needed to be at point B in the first place, so return to point A. I then retrace this path a couple of times before I recollect why I went anywhere at all and realize that where I really needed to go was point C. That, my friend, is called triangulation. While on the subject of exercise, you know those little rubber naval-gazer bracelets that track how many steps you take in a day and give you a virtual gold star when you reach the bracelet’s goal for you? Why stop there? What the world needs is a model that will monitor your every belch, fart, sneeze, hiccup, cough, and excretion and warn you when your performance is not optimal: “Warning! !That was the last fart for you today. Tighten up that sphincter, you foul smelling swine.” or “Alert! You are at only 63% of your recommended bowel movements for the week, Fiber up! Show some effort. Push harder, you unproductive anal retentive toad.”

Company motto: “We make you way better than you really are.”

clean living

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What exactly is so great about clean living? I don’t get it. I know a number of people who watch their diets, never touch liquor, exercise regularly and are front row and center at every Sunday sermon. Sounds like hell to me. They all “act” so very happy, like the people in commercials who have just discovered a new toilet bowl cleaner and can’t believe their good fortune. It’s not the kind of true happiness that’s a result of a long boozy lunch with a bunch of reprobate friends or eating a whole bag of cheese doodles watching Dr. Strangelove. Sure they’re all going to live to be 100, still running marathons when they’re 80, then spend the rest of their overly long lives in a nursing home, surrounded by droolers, due to the hip they broke at the finish line. I want to drop dead at a cocktail party.

 

i’m #1

I'm #1

Do you ever wonder where your life has gone? What have you accomplished in your short time on earth, done for your fellow man or given back to society? I don’t. Really, that’s heartbreak on a hot plate. And if you have devoted your life to the service of others, that’s great, but in all honesty, keep it to yourself. The rest of us just don’t want to hear it. I am willfully ignorant of as much of the bible as possible, but I do like the bit about “God helps them that helps themselves.” or something like that, If it’s good enough for Jesus or Abraham or whoever penned that bon mot, high five on that. Think about it, do you seriously believe anyone else on this planet cares as much about you as you do? Let’s cut this thought experiment short, the answer is no. So just like in the airplane safety lecture “Put your own oxygen mask on first…” and extrapolate that to everything else.

welcome to my madhouse

 

Just to clarify from the outset, this is really all about me. I suppose that is pretty evident when your blog platform is @narcicissm.com. However, I do plan to cover a broader range of topics other than myself, but do remember, I am the overarching theme.

Just to start, perhaps a bit of biographical background might be helpful. However, that’s sort of a problem, even if I change the names to protect the innocent. That said, as far as I am concerned there aren’t too damned many innocents lying around.

I was born in New Orleans into a household whose cast of characters even Tennessee Williams couldn’t conjure up. Six mismatched siblings under one roof ostensibly under the care of their parents whose interests, for the most part, did not involve child rearing. Cliché alert! The household retainers did the heavy lifting.

I am going to stop before I launch into a re-write of the Help, which frankly I couldn’t even read and gave it to my daughter in law for Christmas. It now has a place of pride along side their other two books, “What a Dog” a biography of UGA, the University of Georgia mascot, and a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus.

But I digress. Things were smooth for a while in our little lunatic asylum, relatively speaking. There was the time my father’s collection of snakes escaped from the cage in the backyard, which caused a stir, and when the neighbors’ gibbon brachiated onto a power line and knocked out the lights for almost a whole day. And of course, my older brothers’ proclivity for public drunkedness and subsequent incarceration was an ongoing irritant. But don’t these things happen in every family if you look closely enough.

Now I inhabit my on madhouse, come on in.