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Location: toronto, ontario, Canada

Saturday, May 27, 2006


bow your heads and be sad a moment.

on my way home i reacted a second too slowly and i murdered a squirrel. murdered it so well that i heard it's bones crunch and it's body explode under my tires.

that's it i'm really sad and faintly ill. i didn't go back to see if it was all the way dead either, i couldn't bear the idea of having to run over it twice. it's a busy road, i think it's been extra squished now... i hope. i think.

oh yes


hello weekenders ... all six of you.

i still have the funny cough but it's starting to clear up a little. i should track pollen counts and compare. feels like a cold that's improving slowly though.

my upper lungs feel a little heavy so i am monitoring.

okay so, i took a gait workshop today and it was awesome.

we talked about the muscles of the leg and the lumbar spine and the thoracic spine and how it all relates back to watching people walk and we compared ourselves to each other and showed off our broken bits and generally learned a lot.

there was a bit of a personal funny because one of the ladies taking the class is also an actress who was a regular visitor on a show i watched for the duration of it's run. so i kept looking over and seeing her as she was when she was in the clothing appropriate to that show rather than seeing her fantastic orange top.

well it was more of a superimposition.

and probably every time that i've seen her on television i've related her back to that first role that i saw her in and i probably always will.

you know, like how whenever faith or willow are on tv it's faith or willow who have new careers as actresses rather than the original people in their new jobs. don't get me wrong, i'm okay with willow having a day job as an actress, i mean being a super witch is kind of hard and doesn't pay the bills.

and being an actress seems like a super wicked job.

but somehow people sort of are the first thing you see them as. even if you meet them wearing a costume and you're fully aware that they're wearing a costume.

like the guy i met at the wear what you wear to bed party. he was wearing a candy g string thingy. of course he's gay.

and everytime i see him now i actually imagine him in those candy underwear and i have to sort of shake my head and remember that he's also a really good climber and a nice man with wit [hee, who thinks that my ass is fabulous!] {dudes he's GAY and he likes my ASS so it must actually be fucking rockingly good... *dance of joy*}.

but there's this image in my head. with the candy and the thong.

and it's just living there.

and it makes you wonder a little about the people in your life, especially the ones you've known for a long time. are your perceptions of them accurate? do you know them at all?

do you have, rather, a set of impressions burned into your mind that sit in front of the person you're actually talking to?

how much of your advice to someone is actually based on your reactions to their past behaviour? at what point do you actually know someone rather than just holding a collection of impressions of them?

is that all knowing someone is? the collected impressions of tons of meetings? i mean i know that with othercat i can totally predict what he's going to say half the time and i'm sure that he can do the same with me.

this has occasionally gotten us in trouble ... but not too often.

see the thing is that even if we're wrong it's never by much. so we can legitimately be said to know each other.

but can we? is it more that we've just got so many ghosts in front of each other that we can sort of see all the possibilities now?

and is that the same thing?

this really only seems like a relevant question with people that leave strong impressions on you. i mean if you meet someone sort of generic they're going to get the sort of generic montage of light in front of them and you'll never really notice when they're different from your expectations.

except, i suppose, if they exceed them.

but if you meet someone and they're the life of the party in a thong made of candies then it's going to take a while to get past that and into the reality that is their self.

and can you ever really see it?

hrm this is funny, i was going to talk about my amazing gait workshop that i took today and instead i'm completely distracted by perception and expectation.

actually that's just what the discussion hinges around. is it funny that i call it a discussion when i'm discussing it with myself?

okay dictionary.
per·ceive Audio pronunciation of "perceive" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-sv)
tr.v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives

1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.
2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend. See Synonyms at see(1).

n 1: belief about (or mental picture of) the future [syn: outlook, prospect] 2: wishing with confidence of fulfillment [syn: anticipation] 3: the feeling that something is about to happen 4: the sum of the values of a random variable divided by the number of values [syn: arithmetic mean, first moment, expected value]

okay that pretty much sums it up really. if you perceive something you're looking at it. you're actually paying attention to the shape of it and the behaviour and smell and taste of it. you'll touch it to see what it feels like and put your ear against it to taste the sounds it makes.

you'll lick it or talk to it or eat it or sit on it. but you will experience it.

if you expect something you have decided prior to meeting it that you know what it will be like. you have already chosen your reaction and the reaction of the thing you are about to see. you are anticipating the future rather than waiting to see what it will bring.

you don't need to taste it or touch it or smell it or listen to it. you have predicted the outcome.

and that's just it. with people that you love and know well the perception and expectation are simultaneous. but with people that you know slightly? that you've met once or seen on tv?

or met at a costume party?

the perception seems to get a titch blinded by the expectation. funny that.


Blogger Pyrhonik said...

Regarding gaits: #tib/Fib 1994 and I've had gait issues ever since. It was kinda neat to see someone else refer to it. Most people have no idea!

Perceptions and expectations. Darlin' you are having a conversation..........with everybody who is going to stop by and read any or all of this for the ever and ever that this blog will hang suspended in the fabric of cyberspace. And a great discussion it was too. I also think that we develop the cliche perceptions/expectations whether we want to or not.

5/28/2006 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger debambam said...

mmm poor squirrel. I guess the only consolation is that if it can't navigate a busy road then it was never going to make it in the 'wild' anyway, so you simply helped it along to it's inevitable destiny hey!

I always loved the line - and I can't for the bloody life of me remember from who or where - "We are but the sum of our memories" with this in mind I think that we absolutely base what we know about a person on our memories of that person, what else is their to base it on? Other people will always percieve them differently to us, and therefore their memories will be different...
Sorry I been a sucky reader love, life sucks you know!

5/28/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Oh sassy....I feel for you...my mum ran over a squirrel and she was in tears for days. It's just that the little creatures are really not that well versed in street crossing and just pick the worst times. And really someimes you jus can't avoid it because if you swerve, you might hit a car...and that is even worse. I am sorry you had to hear the bones and all that. I know it must be as sick a feeling as when I wached that stupid animal cruelty video and I just felt my stomach turn a billion times in a second.

I hope the rest of the weekend is better babes. And just know the squirrel doesn't blame you. Accidents happen.

*many huggles*


5/28/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger DZER said...

sorry to hear about the squirrel ...

and I'm usually a don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover kinda guy. I've met and known too many people who are totally different than what they appear to be outwardly, or how they come across on the first meeting:

• the brainiac who looked like a stoner loser

• the stripper with a master's in literature, working for three months on Guam to cover her first year of post-graduate school at UCLA

• the guy who seemed like a great buddy and everyone's friend who beat his girlfriend regularly

thanks for bringing up this topic ... it's a great one

5/28/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Casually Me said...

Poor squirrel. Did it taste like chicken? Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode..."we have no deal with squirrels." I try not to judge a book by it's cover, I do like to know whats inside. Looking at your pic, I would not guess your intelligence, your workout ethic and regimen, nor your great writing style. See how much I would have missed if I would have dismissed you as a young goth chick, and that's it? Most people look at me and say middle aged guy that thinks about sex way to much and is juvenile in all the bad ways, and they would be right...hold on...that was not a good analogy..haha..

5/28/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Brea said...

No bueno about the squirrel. I have had many near misses but have yet to slay any woodland creatures. I can imagine why it was so unsettling. I got the creeps just reading your description of the experience.

About the candy underwear, not sure I could erase that image either. In fact, I'd probablly make it a point to bring it up A LOT. Make it some sort of joke...

5/28/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

I ran over a squirrel once and it made me feel horrid. In the side mirror I saw itt it kinda spun back out of the wheel well and lannded in the road, then ran off missing some fur. I think some of them try to surf the tires. Sorry yours was a bad surfer.

I don't know about ghosts. It's a great analogy though. I look at it more like having expectations is writing a script for someone/thing. It may or may not go that way. And if you get it right does that mean you made it happen or are you just a good guesser? I don't know if you can really know someone - you can only learn what they're willing to let you. For some that's a lot and others it's not much. Someone can always come outta left feild with something and freak you out, whether you 'know' them or not.

And that's why I think you always end up wondering if you knew the person or just had these ideas, things you expected from them - that they blew out of the water. It's just so easy to want things tho. Like wanting to know what to call him when you talk about him to people, or wanting to know it'll be ok if you do a or b with her. It's so hard to figure out and even harder to ask.

5/28/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

pyrhonik: you broke them both? what were the consequences to your gait and low back? gait is an integral part of what i do because i teach pilates which is ALL about bringing balance to the body.

deb: yeah i felt bad for it. but maybe it was navigating and my touching the brakes rather than slamming fucked it up or something... you know... like when everyone tries to get out of everyone's way and then run into each other?

that is a great line, i'll google it later. hey well i've been a sucky reader too... shit happens right?

gotta go teach :)

5/28/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Princess Valium said...

I was a passenger in a car that killed a bunny. A little bunny that just went hop-hopping across a country road and right in front of the big-assed minivan I was in. I yelped and felt a bit queasy and got bawled out by the driver for being dramatic. Me? That is so unlike me.

Thankfully the country road was in Tennessee so I presume the bunny's carcass was put to good use :)

5/28/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Madame X said...

I had something intelligent to say but then you mentioned Willow and Faith and my eyes got all kinds of misty...TV's just not the same since Buffy went off the air.
I gotta go watch my BVS DVDs now.

5/28/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

Sad stuff, seriously. Been there and done that. I hit a dog once that ran out in front of me in the middle of the night in the country...I've never gotten over it.

5/28/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger terry said...

oh, sass... so sorry about the squirrel. that's awful. and nat's right -- accidents happen.

i had a huge crisis re: perceptions when my marriage started to come apart. here was someone i thought i knew better than anyone...and it turned out i didn't know him at all.

years later, a friend of mine who has sometimes been more than a friend was filling out one of those silly little online quizzes about me, and the first words he could think of to describe me were "party girl." and i thought... DUDE... i'm so much MORE than that, how can you not know by now?

so it's a really interesting question you posed. and i'm not sure any of us will ever know the answer.

5/28/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrhonik said...

I chose the Ying/Yang symbol for many reasons (69 anyone) and balance is one of the biggies.

7 months in a cast then re-break, bone graft, and hardware, followed by another 6 months in a cast. My gait was completely fucked and after a LOT of physiotherapy (12 years and counting) I assess my gait weekly and make changes yada yada yada.

I do balance physio and strength exercises every other night. When my orthotics get worn I start having lower back, ankle, knee and hip issues.

Otherwise I'm tiptop!

5/28/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

nat: i am so sympathetic to your mother on this one that it isn't even funny. it isn't their faults you know, cars evolved a lot faster than their brains did but that doesn't make me feel any better.

it's just i was so casual... like lah dee dah a squirrel i should maybe oops it's dead. like my reaction time just did not turn itself on in time.

i would say it's a very similar sick feeling actually but i think the repercussions are a bit less severe because it was an accident whereas you saw deliberate cruelty.

thanks for huggles!

dzer: thanks.

i try very hard not to judge people on first impressions but somehow that shadow stays on them long after the reality of them has taken over. even though who they really are is also there in front of the face that i'm looking at.

i like your examples because they smack of reality :)

you're welcome.

cas: oh man... you're sort of evil. which is, of course, why i like you. that said, i've never seen that episode.

i try not to look at the covers of books at all ... but people are a little different and it's harder to avoid their faces.

my pic would have made you think i was a goth chick? and YOUNG? damm dude with the flattery...

but yeah i can see how my pic in no may implies brains or working out or anything... yours makes me think of a guy into body building more than a guy into sex...

5/28/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

brea i've hit a cat and a porcupine before but they both appear to have lived since they weren't there when i went looking.

it fucking sucked and i hope it never happens to you.

dude i've cracked jokes at him about that thong every single time i've seen him since then until basically this month and the party was in november. helps that he's a fantastic climber too :)

amber: wow i never thought that they might surf the tires, that's kind of cool. i'm glad yours lived but still sad for mine.

yeah yeah i like your script metaphor that totally nails it too. and i don't know if you make things happen or if they happen on their own and you watch. it's why when i think i know how a relationship will end i try not to tell the people in it what i see. though i may try to help them see it and fix it themselves... that rarely works though.

and yeah you're right, you really can only see what people will willingly let you see. i wrote a post about the left field thing a while back, about the friends you lose in a second when you see their true feelings or acts of cruelty or whatever.

and then you do wonder... did i know them at all? who were they all along? was i projecting? were they projecting?

now with your example... that's a tough one... it's so hard to know what to say about them and it's even harder when you don't want to ask. the asking and the guessing and the being psychic... it all sucks.

PV: you know i fucking hate when people make fun of you for having compassion for the animal kingdom. i almost barfed over my squirrel but i knew i would kill people if i let myself react. taht driver was an ass.


so true.

5/28/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Vella said...

That's the bitch of perception, that we by our very nature and almost by necessity put things into neat little boxes.

But as humans, we're capable of more than that. Neat little boxes are good for things that fit into them, like trees and other relatively predictable things. Also things that are dangerous to us like...lions and tigers and bears.

Danger, Will Robinson.

But people, we also have a tendency - for good or ill - to put into pigeon holes.

But the fact of the matter is that we're all different, and even the most mundane of us have exceptional stories in there somewhere.

Living consciously, going above and beyond the pigeon holing (which by reading your blog I see you are striving to do) is something that requires WORK.

It's difficult to take on each new person and situation with a fresh set of eyes.

Some people get stuck...

...and some people keep the fresh set of eyes.

PS - re the squirrel - so not murder if you didn't intend to do it. Even more so that you feel bad about it. It's an accident.

5/28/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

madame: awwwwwwwwwww i know. i feel the exact same way. i've rewatched them all to the end of season three and it's sort of amazing how much MORE brilliant joss whedon is when you can actually see the foreshadowing and know what's coming.

oh man... i gotta start season four...

kathi: oh a dog is worse i think. and i doubt you ever will *hugs*

and just because you know it wasn't all your fault just somehow doesn't make you feel any better...

terry: thank you and yes she is.

oh yeah i can totally see that. here's someone you think you know better than you know yourself somehow and then bam there he is, someone who is else.

it's funny what a shag buddy will think of you though because they see you in a different light. if this friend was also a real friend it's extra weird that they would think that. i mean hell i only know you from your blog and i know that you're more than that.

i think life is about the questions don't you? the answers don't matter so much as the thinking about them.

well except for forty two *grin*

pyrhonik: balance is becoming the most important thing for me. anytime that i feel something physical or mental that's extreme i really wonder if it's healthy. and usually it isn't.

damm dude that is some fucked up brokenness. you spent more than a year in a cast which makes you (i think) the only person i "know" that i can say that about.

i assess my gait all the time and my movement because being hypermobile and having the kinds of permanent damage to my connective tissue that i have i have some very unhealthy tendencies and i have to spot them fast.

i'd like to watch you walk sometime and see the sort of exercises you do, i bet i could learn a lot.

you sound tiptop, the taking care of yourself is key...

5/28/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger snavy said...

Sorry & eeewwwww about the squirrel. I almost ran over a turtle yesterday but swirved to avoid hearng that crunch and having all the guilt that goes with.

LOL about Buffy. # 75 on my 101 list is: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's going off the air still upsets me.

5/29/2006 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger terry said...

you are soooo right, about the questions.
and it's kinda fun pondering all sorts of different answers without knowing which one might be "correct." because what one answer could be correct to us all, anyway?

5/29/2006 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrhonik said...

Balance. Easy word, easy concept, permanent struggle. I consider balance to be my religion. I've never taken the time to investigate if that is a legitimate religion or resembling an existing one. I do spend significant time identifying how far out of balance I am in many aspects of my life.

This is a long complex subject that I can see you have a distinct interest in. Watching me walk is an interesting idea (Whadja have in mind?). I can tell you already that I have a persistent cheat from knee to the heel as a result of walking in the cast for so long. It took a long time to re-train my brain to stop doing that most of the time and recognize that I'm doing it at all.

Suffice it to say that we share something in the pursuit of balance.

5/29/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Everything Nice said...

So, I come in here all hung-over like from my weekend and here your smiling face is relishing perception and expectation.

But see, its funny how I expected to take your deep words and feel the need to expand on my thoughts and how much I enjoyed yours.

Instead my perception was stuck on the gay gentleman in the candy thong and how fabulous your ass is.

BUT, you would expect me to get stuck on such a thing, no?

Okay so how do you know the squirrel was a good squirrel and not a bad squirrel just trying to steal everybody's nuts and begin a rabid squirrel colony somewhere in the Siskiyous?

hmmm, you perceived him to be cute and helpless... didn't you?

I expect he was up to no good. No worries love :)

you make me smile.

5/29/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Da Mute said...

"the perception seems to get a titch blinded by the expectation."

Absolutely true, but that's human nature, I think... And as long as you allow new perceptions to modify your current expectiations I don't see any issues. It's part of being a thinking/planning animal im(notso)ho.

EverythingNice: OMG! That must be it! That squirrel had it coming! Nasty little nut-thief! Was probably the squirrelyard bully too... :p

5/29/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

matt: i think you're right, and i'm sure it was a very useful survival mechanism back before food came in boxes. i mean in a lot of ways we're like the squirrel, not nearly as evolved as our toys have gotten. in another hundred years squirrels will know to look both ways before they cross the street...

"lions and tigers and bears oh my!"

you're right too regarding the mundane folks. no one i've ever met remains mundane for long. i may deem them boring or not worth my time but someone finds their tales fascinating... and i always wonder what i've missed by not pursuing that person more or getting to know them more. but then i think that i probably only keep the ones with some kind of spark and that's okay. otherwise there would be far too many people in my life...

re ps... you know according to buddhism it isn't the intent it's the act. and yeah i know it was an accident but i still feel like i murdered it...

snav: good job missing the squirrel, you were right that it would have bugged you for a while. and sometimes i think the people that say we do nice things to feel good about ourselves are right... but i don't care and do nice things anyway.

it still upsets me too... even though i sort of feel the tale was told. and yet still, i want more. why can't they do a spinoff at watcher school or a thousand slayers at once school?

terry: yeah it totally is. and really the older i get the more it becomes about the journey rather than the finish line. like me patience lesson... it seems the universe will NEVER stop teaching me that one :)

5/29/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

pyrhonik: fucking right. it's right up there with patience. i hadn't thought of balance as a religion although i have been told on several occasions that i should be a taoist because of the way i think. so i read the tao and they're right... but it's still my head :)

you might like reading the tao de ching if your quest is balance, i certainly enjoyed it and wish to read it agian.

well i am a pilates instructor... if you show me what you do for your gait and your regular gaits i may have useful things you can add to your repertoire, it seems like a good trade to me.

coolest thing i learned this weekend? full dorsi and plantar flexion of the foot is what fuels the veinous return to the heart... so if your calf muscles are too short you might end up with heart trouble. how fucked up weird cool is that?

for me the hardest thing is to notice when i'm leaning on my right hip. i do that a lot.

i see that we share quests it is true.

bubbles: your weekend sounds awesome. awesome. it's debauched by the way :)

it's funny that y'all just expect me to be deep. sometimes i think that i could post my grocery list and y'all would find meaning in it *giggles*

dude i cannot get past the thong, i can't do it. i know he's gay and still i wanted to nibble on it!

and yes, i fully expect you to get stuck on a tall girl's ass rather than on perception and expectation. one of them is a lot more fun...

but does it matter if it was a good squirrel or a bad squirrel? i mean maybe it was a bad squirrel that was one missed death away from redemption? :)

i of COURSE perceived him to be cute and helpless. i have three tons of car :)

you make me smile too.... and giggle :)

mute: it probably is human nature. so the quest is only to keep trying to keep your eyes open. it doesn't actually matter if you always manage it or not. or something.

omg *snerk* the squirrelyard bully!

5/29/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger othercat said...

I have had the misfortune of squishing a few animals with my vehicle. I think the worst occasion was the porcupine crossing the sixth line of Collingwood Township. It was the middle of the night, and there was nobody else on the road except me, and the porcupine. Wasn't pretty. I felt pretty bad for the poor guy, because porcupine are pretty harmless, and they don't move very quickly. Fortunately, the population is stable, and they're not endangered (except by Honda Civics driven by yours truly).

Perceptions and Expectation are another subject entirely. If I remember my first encounter with you, I perceived you to be a very friendly and outgoing sort. I expected almost anything to come out of your mouth too. Sometimes first impressions are correct. Fortunately, my first impression of you was correct, and has held up over the many years we've been friends. It's not always a bad thing to rely on first impressions. Most of the time, first impressions are wrong because you've got to work hard to make contact with people, but in your case, you were my friend instantly.

But, like you say in your post, we filter our perceptions and it is easy to see that there are expectations that we have of each other. Forunately, we both know that there is depth to our personalities, so there is lots to find out even after many years of hanging out and listening to the same old crap.

What other reason would there be to continue friendships? If we bored each other, it wouldn't last too long.

5/29/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

othercat: oh i hit a porcupine once... well i thought i did but it wasn't there when i went looking for it and my car wasn't damaged. weird huh?

you're right, at least i didn't hit a trillium.

heh... we were friends the second we met... i mean hell i invaded your computer to give you my icq number even. and you know you haven't ever really changed in my estimation from that moment although you have filled out significantly.

i think for sure you and i tend to expect things from each other but because we pay attention and we talk we usually fix that shit pretty fast.

hey we bore the shit out of each other... but it's only 5% of the time *grin*

5/29/2006 10:59:00 PM  
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