Every day I get into my car for at least an hour a day and it terrifies me. I have the type of sensory-overload difficulties that accompany high-functioning autism, which means the noise of other vehicles revving their engines, the sensation of hurtling along at 45 miles an hour, and the trial-by-force of cautiously avoiding the mistakes of other drivers sends me into a state of anxious dread.
I recently visited a large chain store called Meijer, which is basically a clothing, small appliance, home decor, and household store with a super-deluxe grocery store inside it; a coffee shop, a pretzel shop, an optometrist, and the works. In America, these places crowd in donut formations around the areas where houses are, far away from old town centers where there is public transportation such as trains. In this chain store, I saw a decent cross-section of the average American. About 20 percent of them were so overweight, they could barely walk.
In order to understand the difference between black and white magic, we have to assume magic exists. I assume magic exists, though I would point out that just like gravity and evolution, magic exists whether we believe in it or not.
I am having one of those days where I am not sure if I am mentally and physically well enough to work. We all have them, but if you are one of the vast numbers of the lower middle class, you do not get to choose: you’re going to work.
I am not a fan of Christmas. Admittedly, there are a few good things about it: the pretty lights, a general spirit of giving, and peppermint lattes. As for the rest of it, I could just soon as do without, especially the one thing that makes Christmas, well, Christmas. That one thing is not holiday cheer, nor is it a sense of peace on Earth and good will towards mankind. It’s certainly not the birth of Christ, though that factors into things.
What Christmas means to me can be summed up in one word: GUILT.
The ancient Greeks had a concept called hubris. When a human got too full of herself, such as Icarus inventing mechanical wings and flying too near the sun or Arachne, spinning gorgeous fabrics and not crediting Athena, her admittedly-jealous God struck her down, sending the proudling’s human progeny down in a chrysalis of flame or turning the boastful weaver into a spider.
You know you've got #firstworldproblems when you have the luxury of complaining about the choices available at restaurants. I get it. I didn't wake up in Syria today. My life is wonderful and I take none of my privileges for granted.