Sunday, December 9, 2018

Just Some Thoughts

I wonder how much we know subconsciously. I was having a pretend conversation today, I think I do this automatically as some sort of rehearsal for any conversation I could possibly have. I can’t say it isn’t useful (although I engage in it too often, I think) but conversations cannot really be rehearsed. 
You don’t always know the conversation you will have or how it will turn even if you have an opening line you’ve practiced. Life isn’t scripted. 

But, more than important conversations I often have philosophical conversations. I guess I am having a conversation with myself or some version of myself or some person who is really a conglomeration of beliefs of various people I have met.

 Anyway, the person and I were talking about people and their stories. I wish I could write word for word what I thought, but in my journal I wrote: “Do we sometimes know part of a stranger’s story by reading their face? and by ‘knowing’ I don’t mean that we can express it exactly. There is the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ which is entirely the opposite of what I am talking about.” Like what if our hearts know something about someone. Their kindredness with us. I think we know our kindred spirits. and I think we know that we have some sort of kindreness with another even if we cannot pinpoint what we are responding to yet. And sometimes we see their eyes and we appreciate the story even if we don't know the whole thing.  

Recently, a Facebook friend posted a meme that said: “Audrey Hepburn was the granddaughter of a baron, the daughter of a Nazi sympathizer, spent her childhood and teens doing ballet to secretly raise money for the Dutch resistance against the Nazis, and spent her post film career as a goodwill ambassador of UNICEF, winning the presidential medal of freedom for her efforts…And history remembers her as pretty.” I’ve thought about stuff like that before. I think that with Audrey Hepburn and a lot of other women, people are subconsciously enamored by her beauty because she was a badass. Women, especially, are often lauded for their looks instead of accomplishments and it’s sad. But I think a lot of women that are called “beautiful” are one who have natural beauty that is enhanced by their (badass) strength, light and grace and it adds an inexplicable element to the person’s beauty that people can often only recognize and explain in superficial terms.

And as for beauty, there ARE beautiful things and people. We are only fooling ourselves if we say that our eyes are not aesthetically pleased.

So, I wonder about the subconscious and how much it knows and discerns. It is scoffed at along with emotion. Which is another subject I have pondered. 

I saw a quote that is attributed to Warren Buffet (but I am not entirely sure it is his) and it has been going around social media: “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.” There is some truth to this and I don’t know Warren Buffet’s life (or whoever really said this) but there is also a lot I disagree with. I agree that you will suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. But when it is said that true power is observing things with logic the idea seems to be that logic is more valuable. I don’t believe it is. Also, it depends on what kind of power we are talking about here. I don’t value power over others, control. Those who believe they know what is best for everyone and act to “lead” everyone (or those they “love”) to do what they think is best. 

I believe that a world devoid of emotion would be colorless and dreary and I don’t see the point of living in a world like that. I want to make my thoughts more clear on this subject but I also want to finish this blog. It is just that logic is way OVER valued. Without the balance of emotion, there is nothing worth valuing. I guess growing up I always heard that men were logical and women were emotional and that is why we needed men to lead. Emotion was NEVER valuable, it always led to chaos or destruction. So women=emotion=not valuable. Men=logic=valuable. If you were a logical women you were an anomaly. But who decided the basis, the determining factors for logic? I guess all of this led to me to re-evaluate logic and emotion. To sort of revolt? I wanted to be strong, logical, and whatever was considered “male” so that people would think I was valuable. But I increasingly grew uncomfortable with that mindset. Especially because I really didn’t check the boxes for those things listed as “female behavior” but I didn’t check the “male behavior” boxes either. I was just Emily. 

And Emily appreciates solid, balanced logic, balanced emotion, beauty and badassery.  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#tweetthoughts 1

I think Mister Rogers is the original therapist. I know I still watch him in between sessions.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Facebook Science

The internet is rife with misinformation and pseudo-information although it can also be a source of very useful information. However credible sources seem to be lacking when "science proves" blogs are posted on Facebook and shared. The ones that flow in this vein which I  find most interesting are the ones that state that you posses a certain quality because you have a particular taste in something else. They are much more prevalent than credible studies I have seen. I have come to the conclusion that the following equation for those blog posts is:

Positive quality I believe I have = proved because of a taste I have that I believe is superior

Example: Intelligence = proven because I appreciate dark humor (this is one I have actually seen)

                Independent = proven because I love bands that aren't well known (this is one I made up)

But we would laugh at a blog that said something like:

                Interesting = proven because I like rainbow ice cream

because ice cream choice doesn't seem superior. We might be more apt to believe it if it was "rainbow ice cream" was replaced with "Slow churned" or something else that seems elevated, but not as much as the previous examples. Our tastes in food, humor, literature, music, movies, podcasts, etc. seem to us what makes us interesting. We want to believe that it also indicates a quality that we believe we have, but maybe don't want to say outright. We don't have to say it outright if we say "A blog post  I read says it is proven that those who listen to classical music are skilled writers."

I find it interesting, that's all. If you love dark humor you might be intelligent but it isn't an indication that you are intelligent. What is? It is difficult to really measure, but I have found the prevalence of it an interesting indication of our own narcissistic tendencies.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


The idea of eternity scares me and I wonder if it is because I cannot wrap my head around it. Sometimes I wonder if those who are excited about it think of "forever" as the common meaning it has morphed into "a really long time." But it never ends. Even as something good it scares me. I feel guilty that I find it frightening, but I do all the same.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anybody's and Me

So, I am 34 now and I realize that some roles just aren't going to be offered to me. A wish to audition for a particular role might not even be granted. This was true for the role of  "Anybody's" in West Side Story.

Why did I want to audition for Anybody's? On some levels I really identify with her. Any really great character should have some sort of universal appeal-she wants to be accepted, "anybody" can identify with that. But I have other things in common with her. Therefore, she also has personal appeal.

     This is a picture of me 10 years old. (1991)

As a young girl, I loved baseball (still do), I collected Nolan Ryan memorabilia, I had a skateboard (now I have a longboard). I was always ready for action (side note that made me laugh: in West Side Story Anybody's has a crush on the character Action.) Did you want to play Wall Ball? Let's go. You want to start up a rag tag game of baseball? I'm there. You said I can't do WHAT because I'm a girl?! Believe me, that's the next thing I am doing...and better than you. I've broken a couple of windows  playing catch, I sprained my ankle swinging off rafters in an unfinished wing in my church. I would skin my knee, arm, elbow badly and jump up in case I missed something. Am I hurt? I don't know. Who cares and who scored? 
Mud? There. Flooded streets? I'm there. Push up contest? There. Oooh, a tree! A wall with chinks? I could totally climb that! Where's Emily? She's up in that tree.

All that was purely me. But I also had this idea that to be the best I had to be like a guy. Even though I liked dressing up, for a while I tried to convince myself and others that I didn't.  My mom had to remind me not to get grass stains on my dresses, but I did like it. I also thought that if someone said I did something as well as a guy it was a great compliment. 

That's the thing, Anybody's wants to be a guy because that is the best place she fits in and because when she hears praise from one of them, she thinks it is the ultimate compliment. Being a lady then and even now doesn't equal much glory. Unless you are pretty and you glory in being valued for that. 

I understand her. I also understand that when you get to a certain age, both guys and girls sort of reject you for being that way. Girls crinkle their noses and call you "An American tragedy" (-Graziella, West Side Story) Guys kind of start ignoring you if you try to get in on a game. I remember the first time that happened. We were all 12. It was a game of keep away in a pool. All the girls watched from the sideline. I tried to play and no one threw to me. I tried to call out to make sure they knew I was in, but they didn't even acknowledge me, expect for once when I got a look that basically said: "Beat it. Your're a girl, be a girl."(-Tony, West Side Story) To some extent, I still get looks and guffaws, sideways glances, or chuckles if I display some sort of quality that is too "masculine." When I throw a baseball, a lot of guys look on in admiration and say: "You don't throw like a girl." When I was young, that made me soar to highest heights. Now, I reply: "I know. I throw like a woman." I  learned as I grew older that "tomboy" was a compliment (and cute) when you were young and then it was unsuitable as you grew older. It's okay to say you WERE a tomboy but not that you are.  

 That brings me to the word "tomboy" which I loathe. I loathe it because it labels a person as something naturally different than they are and puts value on what they are not. "Boy" is at the end of that word, but the person being spoken of is female.When someone calls a girl a tomboy, they don't see her. I am Emily, I am not a tomboy. I don't like "boy things."

A few years ago, I was painting faces for a school event. One of the little girls wanted me to paint a spider on her face because she liked "boy things." Even when I said to her: "No, you like Lillian things!" she was insistent that she did like boy things and I could see me in her so clearly.  When I was called a tomboy as a young girl I wore it like a badge, it gave me the idea that "boy" was better.  Sure, there are differences between men and women. However, I think those differences are more difficult to pinpoint than some people's statements lead you to believe.  I think there is a lot of fluctuation.  Thank God, because life would be a bore otherwise.

I try so hard to shut my mouth when someone says: "The other day my kid did this or that...blah blah" and someone else says: "Oh, that's a boy for you." Way too many times I have countered with: "I guess. Except when I was a little girl..." Nobody really wants to hear it. They just want to divide and make things easier. 

For all you people who are anybody's. I understand. And, I'm sorry to break it to you, but people are going to laugh at you all your life. They are going to exclude you from things you would like to join. But be yourself, scabby knees and all. It's way better than not being yourself.

 Just make sure you are hanging out with the type of people who accept you and who also aren't doing stupid things like starting fights and planning rumbles. 

Me-Gangsta look 1982

Me-Gangsta  for a skit with my Youth Drama Team 1996

Me-1950's Gangsta Girlfriend 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Beauty of Age

I look at you sitting there
Beauty in the grayness of your hair
Deep roads of wisdom line your face
And carved, etched around your lips
Where words fall with grace.

In wonderment I sit
And watch your hands as they flit
In them I see meaning, accomplishment, peace
Resting now, no shifting
And the sweetness of release.

And hope in this cruel, grasping world
All that I have laid down
Will lead me to one day bask
In the splendor of age
And wear time like a crown.

-Emily Chumchal Andrews

© January 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

What I Wore- New Year's Day

So, this post is kind of late in coming seeing as it was New Year's Day that I took these and it is nearing the end of January, but whatever.

New Year's Eve we went to a beautiful wedding, dressed up, and danced all night. Because my parents had our boys that means that New Years Day we slept in, dressed down, and then went out for lunch.

We went to Barnaby's which is a cute cafe on West Gray and Taft here in Houston. 

I am a horrible selfie taker. 
By the way, spell check does not recognize "selfie."
It would like me to substitute "selfish" or self."
Husband takes picture and gets me mid "checking- my- teeth- before- picture- tongue- swipe." Battery on phone is low so no more takes.

   Gotta save the batteries for full length, outside of cafe photo.

Ski hat: I have no idea, it was probably my dad's. 
Flannel: Had it since I was 12 (which means it is 21 years old!)
Black Cami: Do you love it? I love it. I got it at Ross.
Red Jeans: Macy's, man.
Black boots: A cheap shoe store in a run down mall. 
Makeup: Whatever I couldn't wipe off from New Year's Eve. But if someone asked I could call it "Remnants" and make it sound better.

Hope your New Year is off to a great start. I intend to do some brainstorming and intentionally take some time to write some poetry or an essay next. Come back now, you hear?

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