I’ve Always Had a Soft Spot for Bruce Banner

  

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Libra – I Couldn’t Decide Whether to Write This

As per usual, the title of this blog post is tongue in cheek.

I’ve taken well over a year trying to get up the motivation to write this bad boy. Why, you ask? Because Libras are a pain in my ass.

Now, to clarify that term, I acknowledge that I am Aries, and Libra is my opposite. Counter intuitive to that statement, this results in Libras and I getting along very well. That having been said, they’re still one of the most hard to define of all the signs. Still gonna give it a go though! Here comes the trews!

Libra’s symbol is the sign of the scales, which may explain the first and foremost detail of all Libras I have ever known – They can’t make a decision to save their fucking lives. Seriously, Libras will hem and haw over any minute decision forever. They weigh the pros, cons, play out all possible outcomes, then rehash all of it several times, all in an effort to make sure they are choosing the best possible course of action.

Two Libras hanging out – “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

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Libra Woman – I’m feeling pressured to get married, so I’m going through with it, but then I will file for divorce within 77 hours.

They can literally take so long deciding, that the final step has to be made by someone else. As a result, Libras often end up in situations they don’t like simply because when it was time to decide, they couldn’t make up their mind and someone else stepped in to do it for them. This seems like the right thing to do, because otherwise, nothing will ever get done, right?

Wrong.

Libra will resent the shit out of you for strong arming them when they can’t make up their mind. If you want to help a Libra make a decision, there are steps.

You – “Where do you want to eat dinner tonight?”

Libra – (The sheer magnitude of options overwhelms them) “….Ummm…”

You (narrow it down) – “I was thinking Chipotle or Panera.”

Libra (relief mixed with suspicion) – “Really?”

You (Show you’re taking them into account) – “I know you love those ‘chewbacca’ tacos (whatever they’re called), but I know you also enjoy a heaping serving of Mac and Cheese. And you mentioned having a hankering for tacos the other day…”

Libra – “That’s true. I did.”

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Of course this quirky bastard is a Libra.

You – (If they’re still on the fence) “I have a wicked hankering for tacos, myself. Do you want to decide on the way/when we get there and make me stop at Panera on the way home if/when you change your mind and randomly pick a place I didn’t mention on a whim as we pass it?”

Libra (in jubilation) – “That sounds awesome!”

It is what it is. You get used to it. If you can’t handle someone who needs the patience of Job when it’s time for decision making, leave the Libra ALONE.

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No more intense man out there, I believe.

Libras can be Suspicious. And Intense.

A Libra is the most likely person to spend hours writing a query letter to an agent as they’re trying to get their book published then NOT send it because they’re afraid the agent is going to ‘steal their book idea.’ They are always weighing every side, sizing people up, preparing for the potential worst. They judge you on your ‘vibe,’ and if you feel off, that can be enough to a Libra to cease contact. It can make for some pessimism on their part, but try to get in their good graces and the suspicious wonder should die down.

The suspicion adds to that intensity, but part of the intense vibe they can give is just how focused they are on you. If you have their attention, you have ALL their attention. They want to read you, know you, figure you out, and give you center stage when you interact. You are being studied so as to be better understood. Oftentimes, it can be a little much for the average person. For others, it makes them feel like the center of the universe.

This trait is shared with Aries. We are both intense motherfuckers.

Libras can be some weird sons of bitches. Libras are interesting (if not downright fucking oddball) people. They are into all sorts of strange shit. Many are super spiritual, believing in higher selves, meditation, yoga, Mind over Matter, ghosts, Shamans and Past lives. If it isn’t spirituality, it’s body temple stuff. Care of mind, care of body; it all applies.

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Libra Woman – I have chosen a healthy lifestyle, so now I’m a lifestyle blogger telling others how to eat and live.

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Libra Woman – I have chosen a vegan lifestyle AND had a child, so I wrote a book telling others how to eat and raise their children.

This side of Libra can be really interesting and fun. Some of the deepest and most earnest conversations I’ve ever had about beliefs were with a Libra.

It can also be a bit daunting, because though Libra has trouble making up their mind when it comes to decision making, when it comes to that strange THING they’re into, they’re definitely an expert on it.

They mean well. I mean, they really fucking do. Both women shown here come across as super pretentious to a lot of people, but in their heart, their desire isn’t to prove they’re better than anyone else. They HONESTLY believe they’ve found the answer to life and they want to share it. They WANT you to be happy. They just know better than you do how to make that happen. Libras are well meaning, but completely oblivious to how this behavior can come across.

Another tendency of Libra is that they disappear. When shit gets heavy, Libra is gone. It’s not that they don’t care for you, it’s not that they aren’t your friend, but Libra CANNOT handle drama. This is a trait of many air signs, but unlike with Gemini, who does not have fucking time for your bull shit, Libra will find themselves ‘weighed down by your energy’ and will just cut loose until they get their shit figured out. It might be because you are going through drama, but most of the time, when Libra disappears, it has nothing to do with you. It’s all them. It’s how they are ‘internalizing your struggle.’

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Tantric Sex, Yoga, and Soft Rock? Libra.

That friend of yours that has decided to up and move to an Ashram for the next six months? Probably a Libra.

The pal who randomly packed up a single suitcase and went to live on an island and work as a housekeeper? Also a good chance that’s your Libra, and he or she is trying to figure themselves out. They will come home with some profound answer, and they will share it, OR they’ll take off again until they find it.

Libras can be flighty as all get out. I mean, all get out. It’s the air sign thing, personified. I’m not saying they are airheads, but they often come across as ‘in the clouds.’

Also, Libras are enormously fond of all forms of art. Performance art, visual art, music, theater – they are wild eyed in the face of it, awe-struck by the profound and shocking. Many engage in the creation of art in some way or another, and if you are taking part in a drawing class at college, that naked model posing for you to draw them? Goooood fucking chance that’s a Libra.

Anything for art.

This previous video shows Leonardo Dicaprio (subtle and ENDLESS talent) slamming his hand into a glass, slicing his palm open, and CONTINUING THE SCENE AS THOUGH NOTHING HAPPENED!! That is the Libra response. Anything for art. And alongside him? Christoph Waltz, who probably SAW this and was riled up AS BALLS by the commitment. There’s nothing that does it for a Libra more than seeing someone fearlessly go for it. Hence their fondness for Aries.

They Love Fearless Action In Others.

One of my oldest friends and I went out to dinner after not hanging out for months. After supper, my strawberry shortcake arrived at the table, a pile of whipped cream ten inches deep on top.

My Libra Friend – “You should Smash -”

Me – *Smashes face into pile of whipped cream.*

My Libra friend – “I missed you so much!”

Action and bravery, fearlessness and a complete lack of concern for what other people think- these traits just SLAY the Libra. They love and respect a person who embodies these things, which I theorize is because of how cautious and slow they are when making any choice.

My baby brother is a Libra, and one of my favorite people in the world. When we were very young, I came across he and a friend from the neighborhood arguing over a Nightcrawler (an earthworm), daring each other to eat it, calling each other chicken. Both boys pushed and fought, teasing each other, but neither would eat the insect. I listened for a few minutes, then snapped, marching over to the two boys, snatching the worm out of my brother’s friend’s hand and tossed it in my mouth.

I ate a fucking worm, ladies and gentlemen. Why? Because others were afraid to do it. Hearing two boys argue over doing a gross thing became a dare to me. So I did it. (Clearly an Aries.)

Two seconds later, my brother ate his worm, too.

Libra Humor –

Honestly, this applies more to the males, but Libra males are amongst some of the most quick witted minds I have ever encountered. Their sarcasm, humor, timing, delivery – they are just made for slaughter. (I may be partial because I am an Aries. The Libra sarcasm is EXACTLY the kind of humor that slays an Aries.)

Ryan Reynolds is often confused with a Libra (due to his being born ON the mid point between Libra and Scorpio). The Ryan Reynolds humor is EXACTLY the Libran humor I am talking about. Zack Galifinakis, Chevy Chase, and Sacha Baron Cohen are also good examples of Libran humor.

Now, I admit this humor carries over into Scorpio as well, but that isn’t uncommon for close signs to share traits. Still, in the short stint I spent on OkCupid in my life, the funniest fellow I ever encountered in written word was a Libra. Libras can be funny in writing. That isn’t the easiest thing for most people.

will-smithYou Want Libra on Your Side.

Libras believe in you. I mean, they fucking believe in you. An Aries you want on your side because they’ll take a bullet for you, but a Libra will champion your dreams, assure you of your worth, push you onto your feet if you get knocked down, all with the reminder that YOU are worthwhile. They can’t make a decision for themselves, but when they see YOU wavering, they are ON YOU to make sure you know just how capable and destined for success you are. Look at Will Smith.

The man is a walking pep talk.

They are frustrating, intense, flighty, and free-spirited, but they’re cool as hell and up for just about anything. Find a Libra, make nice, and be interesting. Otherwise, what purpose do you serve?

Though any pairing will be lovely if you know what you’re dealing with and how to do so,

Libras are known to be most compatible with Leos, Gemini, Aquarius, and Sagittarius, though I would venture Aries as well, and they have a tendency to chafe around water and Earth signs, especially Virgo, Capricorn, and Cancer.

Recurring Dreams Have Me Married To…

Don’t know why. I’ve never even really had a crush on this bastard, but over the past fifteen years, I have had multiple dreams where I was married to – 

Topher Fucking Grace. 

In the first dream, we were at the altar and he suddenly bust out in a wookie impression. I knew then he was the one. 

Someone analyze that shit!

 

Last Week Tonight on Standardized Tests

If the subject didn’t already rile me up, this would have done it.

Watching a smart, exceptional, and motivated young girl grow weepy when describing how something as pointless and ineffective as a Standardized test resulted in her losing her place in an advanced class brought me to tears. Just got home from receiving the results of my daughters school evaluation, discovering that though I now have proof my baby is a genius, my baby also doesn’t do exceptionally well on tests.

I’m already a freakin bawl bag. These tests don’t properly assess the capacities of the children being tested, and they don’t benefit the curriculum. Forcing children to perform on meaningless tests as a means to gain funding is the worst educational endeavor since paddling.

Feast your eyes.

21 Random Things I Miss About Scotland

This list is not even going to scratch the surface, but here goes.

1. The Accent

Let’s start with the stupidly easy, shall we? Whether I’m being called ‘hen,’ ‘lassie,’ or hearing the word ‘Aye’ every few seconds, listening to the sound of a gaggle of Scots speak is one of the most soothing things in the world.

2. The Language

Yes, I know they speak English… but do they really?

Words on the lips of a properly literate Scotsman become poetry, even when he’s slinging the C-word at someone on the street. There is such interesting intonation and cadence to the way they speak, something that a fellow at the Pegasus Kebab Shop in Perth told me drove him nuts. “They cut off their words,” he said. Followed by assuring me my own accent was far cleaner – superior, and by far his favorite he’d ever heard. I disagreed.

3. The Land

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On the way to Glencoe from last year.

I believe it is referred to as Caledonia when the love of the land is the subject. There is no place on Earth more beautiful. I’ve set foot on Rannoch Moor twice in my life now. I have never felt more drawn to a place than I was when I stood there – one of the most barren and unforgiving moors in Scotland.

Not sure what that says about me, but moving on.

4. The Roads

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Were you to drive from Boston to Manchester, NH (a distance of 57 miles), it would clock you at about 52 minutes. If you’re going the speed limit, obviously. Were you to drive from Aberdeen to Dundee (a distance of 66 miles) it would take you seventeen days.

Alright, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but whatever! These roads were created by Romans and drunk Celts. They abide by a simple life rule I follow, “I’ll get there, but I’m in no hurry.” No seven lane highways, no tearing up the mountains and blasting through granite to build the straightaways and Route 95, just meanderings of concrete that enjoy exploring the scenery as much as you do.

5. The Humor

Unlike most parts of the world, when I walk into a pub in Scotland, there’s a 90% chance that I’m surrounded by a bunch of kindred jackasses. Though I did not bond endlessly with any ladies while I was there, I didn’t meet a single fellow that I couldn’t make laugh. Now, I’m not saying every Scotsman is hilarious. In truth, the ratio of funny to unfunny is the same there as it is anywhere. (Not every Scotsman can make ME laugh.) The clincher is that those that ARE funny are downright fucking LUDICROUS SPEED funny.

That’s the kind of people I need in my day to day life.

But then, there’s that weird side of their humor, as witnessed on Scottish television. The side that finds it hilarious when English men narrate over people falling down while making obscure references to D-List British celebrities. Do a search of ScottishVines and you’ll see the kind of bizarre shit I’m talking about. It’s not funny, it’s just feckin weird. They seem to get it though. SMH.

Bourniston, on the otherhand, is hilarious.

6. Their Passion

Though I didn’t cross paths with a man who could give me a run for my money, I did see the nature of each Scotsman change when mention of the now defunct Referendum came up. Each was ready to go to bat over the subject, riling themselves up just enough to realize they were getting uppity, then go right back to that stoic, “It’s the past now, nothing we can do about it,” tone. A moment later, when the ‘Patronizing Better Together Lady” was mentioned, it was a whole new uproar.

These kinds of outbursts take place at the mention of certain politics, certain laws, certain types of whisky being compared to another – hell, when you mention a preference for a different pub than they enjoy, it’s time to drop bombs. But only for a minute. Then they’re done, back to that stoic lie that they lay in wait behind.

7. Bagpipes


You might not have a love of Classical music as I do, but jump ahead to about the 12 minute mark, watch for thirty seconds, and if you don’t get riled up by 12:32, we clearly aren’t cut of the same cloth.
Bagpipes do something to me. And yes, if you’re roaming through the streets of Edinburgh for only a day, you WILL hear them. They will call you from the hills, and they will haunt you.

8. Kilts (and 8 1/2. Scott’s Porage Oats)

They appear. On the streets of Edinburgh, in the pub in Glasgow, at the airport on the way to Amsterdam. Everywhere. Clearly I belong there.

Now for the random things that can’t really be generalized.

9. Drinking Tap Water

As an American, I can’t even begin to explain what sheer joy it brought me to know I could stay hydrated without having to spend four dollars for a bottle of water. Scottish Tap Water tastes like Poland Spring in New England. That is a bloody miracle.

10. All Day Breakfast!

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There is nothing so amazing as eggs and back bacon on buttered toast, slathered in baked beans – at seven o’clock at night. Nope nope nope.

11. Men are Smelly Bastards

Scottish men like cologne. I’m not saying all of them do, but go to a public place – a shop, a pub, a club; the place smells like cologne and there is no escaping it. It’s funny, I’m NOT a fan of heavy cologne on a man. I prefer a man who smells of deodorant and laundry detergent, but I came to feel almost soothed by the smell when roaming in public. It meant I was somewhere in Edinburgh, Perth, or Dundee. It meant I was near home. Where ever that is.

b00b624b6d623becb950e04ed79f08b9 12. And Tight Pants

This is the WEIRDEST fashion choice, but it is universal of British fellows. They wear tight pants. Some more than others. Sure there are the fancier lads who wear Emo-caliber nut hugging jeggings. Those are a specific brand though, the other tight pant wearers are – everyone. Even the fellow I’d fallen madly in love with was guilty of the tight pants.

I mean, seriously. Get some flare up in there. Tight pants are bad for your sperm count, don’t you know?

It’s all the rage, au currant, and it just looks fecking atrocious!

13. They Don’t Tip the Bartender

This was one of the hardest things for me to wrap my mind around. Every single drink I ordered, I threw a pound on the bar. Every single time I did, one of my friends snatched it up and returned it to me.

“What are you on about?”

“You don’t tip the bartender, pouring your drink is his job! He already gets paid to do it.”

I could NOT handle this concept. I was trying to tip bartenders, pizza delivery guys, cab drivers, your mum – everybody! I was mocked openly until I felt as though tipping was almost an insult to the person on the receiving end.

 14. Public Restrooms

This is the WEIRDEST thing to miss, but all bathrooms have the same kind of locking mechanism, and NO bathroom has paper towels. None. It’s either a blow drier or nothing at all. You are shit out of luck if you’ve read that unfortunate article about hand driers being breeding grounds for germs (I read it, too) so just wipe your hands on the ass of your jeans and move on!

15. Candy

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A Dairy Milk Caramel can be blamed for every pound I have gained in the past three years. Sweet mother of God, I only like a few of the candies you can get when in the shops, but the ones I love, I love to an unhealthy degree. Still, the nostalgia isn’t just for the taste of the things, but simply the access. Hell, I went into a British novelty shop this past week, saw Jaffa Cakes (which I LOATHE with burning passion) and almost teared up.

16. Deep. Fried. Mars. Bar.

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There are no words for the mystery and majesty of this confection. I’m unsure whether it can be procured outside Edinburgh, but every day that I am in my beloved city, I stop in at the Clam Shell on the Royal Mile and order one, feasting on its innards as I head back down the cobblestone streets to points beyond. Molten hot, face melting, death orgasm.

I’ll take two.

17. Kebab Shops

A5FB9526-54AE-4FD6-8AC7-C835522487C1-7545-000002ABC41EA7DAI deliberately found the most DIRTY picture of a Chicken Doner Kebab that I could find. Order this at one in the morning, slathered in the garlic sauce AND the Chili sauce (Have to do both! BOTH!!!), and learn you some manna from heaven. These cannot be found in the US. I live north of Boston and in the entirety of New England, found one single, solitary Kebab shop. It is two blocks from Quincy Market in Beantown, and though it is NOT as good as in Perth or Dundee, Scotland, it will have to do.

Disclaimer: This is not a Gyro. This is hot sex in your damn mouth.

18. ‘Crisps’

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Hot Dog ‘flavoured’ chips? What are these people thinking?

They’re called potato chips, but don’t tell these assholes! I will admit that Salt and Malt Vinegar potato chips are amongst the most amazing things I’ve ever had the privilege of putting in my mouth. That having been said, I will not be venturing toward a bag of Cheesy Beans on Toast flavored chips any time soon.

19. Are You American? (And 19 1/2, Eyebrow Game)

I’ve never felt quite so cool as I did walking through the streets of Perth with my friend Scott, rambling utter nonsense at my stoic and often quiet companion only to suddenly hear, “Are you AMERICAN?!” from behind me. I turned to find a woman (whose makeup was pristine, like all women in Scotland. Jealousy. They all have the most perfect eyebrows. None of them are real.) beaming at me. I assured her, yes, only to have a second uproar when I said I was from Boston. Apparently, Boston precedes itself. Having been told that Scottish women are highly inclined to get into fist fights in the rowdier clubs, my immediate response was, “Sounds like Boston. I think I’ve found my people.”

20. The Stories

There isn’t a place or a person in Scotland that doesn’t have some magnificent tale to tell. And even the ones that don’t are still damn well going to tell you one. I found people enormously eager to lend an ear when my random factoid tendency reared its ugly head, spewing obscure historical events, or unknown details of why Slate Gravestones were a good retirement gift in 1770. No one gave me the side eye. Apparently, they enjoy hearing them as well.

Which brings me to –

21. They Rejoice in Their Writers

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From the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, to Burn’s Night, Scotland is one of those places where their poets and story tellers are praised and celebrated. There wasn’t a single place I went where Rabbie Burns didn’t come up. In fact, Rabbie Burns – a writer from Scotland – is the person with the third highest amount of statues made in his likeness. A writer, who died before his fortieth birthday; more statues than Napoleon.

I was born in Concord, Massachusetts, starting point of the American Revolution, a place known as the Home of Authors – if you’re from Concord. No one outside my hometown knows what Author’s Ridge is (burial place of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Alcott. Yes, all in one place. That’s worthy of note, damn it!) or that Walden happened a mile away from Little Women. Yet, all of feckin Scotland knows what a Burns Night is.

An excuse to get drunk? Correct.

And so we conclude with the tiniest fraction of why I miss Scotland, why I get teary eyed at the sound of Bagpipes, or why I am currently researching Masters Programs in writing from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Give me a year, Alba. I’ll be back, and it will be for good.