Gotye – Somebody that I used to know

Gotye’s “Someone that I used to know” stayed at the top of charts for weeks.  I have to admit, I fell in love with it the first time I heard it.  Eventually, it placed 3rd on the 2012 WXRT Listener Poll.  I was listening to a few remixed version of it today on my way home from the office and the lyrics struck me.  It’s basically a song about betrayal and how much it hurts when the betrayal is by someone you thought you knew, but evidently didn’t.  Some of us have been betrayed by close friends, lovers, and family members.  IMHO, I can forgive being betrayed by a close friend, but when someone that is blood turns their back on you, EVEN IF YOUR ACTIONS MAY WARRANT IT, can never be forgiven.  Family is supposed to be willing to stick in their, even when it’s hard, and be willing to help the other to get through the bad times and to learn how to change their behavior so it doesn’t happen in the future.  When a family member turns their back on another family member, it says they really don’t care to invest the time.

A while back, I posted an article about how I blew my top and made a complete ass of myself.  I said I needed help and wanted to change.  But what I got was several people’s backs turned to me, saying I was not only beyond redemption, but not worth the time to even acknowledge.

That hurt!  And I don’t think I will ever get over it.  But I will move on in my life and find others, close friends, that will help, that will be willing to tell me when I l screw up and be there to help me change.  Of this, I am certain.


A portion of the lyrics below are from the song and speak to my heart:  (Click here to read the full lyrics)

But you didn’t have to cut me off, 
Make out like it never happened, 
And that now we’re nothing, 
And I don’t even need your love, 
But you treat me like a stranger, 
And that feels so rough, 
No you didn’t have to stoop so low, 
Have your friends collect your records, 
And then change your number, 
I guess that I don’t need that though, 
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know, 

Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?

Back in 1968, the Doors released a hit single with the name “Hello, I love you (won’t you tell me your name?)“.  It was about a guy that sees a beautiful girl and becomes infatuated with her and wants to become a part of her life.  But, what has always struck me is that “I love you” statement when he doesn’t know anything about her, not even her name.  Can we really have a deep emotional connection with someone that we have never taken time to know?  Is there really such a thing as love at first sight?

On the first day of my junior year in high school, I saw this cute little girl walk into the cafeteria.  Immediately, I knew I had to get to know her better, but lacked the social skills to successfully go about it.  Since she had long brown hair and big brown eyes, I decided that I would just call her “Brown Eyes”.  Every day I would go out of my way so she would have to walk past me.  And every time, I would catch her attention and say “Hello, Brown Eyes”.  Since that made her blush, I kept it up each chance I had. I wasn’t in love with her, I just thought she was a cute little freshmen.  (today they probably would call my behavior as stalking)

But after 6 months, I decided that I wanted to know her name.  I wanted to know more than the color of her hair and eyes.  So I asked another freshmen girl that I had actually talked to and considered a friend, if she would see if “Brown Eyes” would like to meet me.  That was the day, I really met my future wife, right there in the high school cafeteria, after more than 6 months of playing around.  That is when I started to get to know her, what she liked and didn’t like. What her family life was like and what she wanted to do when she got out of high school.  Eventually, I discovered that I loved her and never wanted to spend my life if she wasn’t in it.  After high school, she became a nurse, I went to college and turned into a software developer (I prefer Engineer since I did get a degree from the Engineering college).  We married, had 5 boys, and are still learning new things about each other that make us more in love after over 38 years of marriage.

So what does it mean when someone that has never sat down and had more than a 5 or 10 minute conversation with my Brown Eyed Girl, says they have a strong emotional feeling about her?  How can anyone say they love or hate someone, when they have never invested the time to get to know that person?  And what does it say about those people that form such deep opinions with little interaction with them?  I mean there are a lot of people that I have known for a very long time, but never really spent any real time that would be needed to say I love or hate them.  I may like or dislike being in their company, but probably cannot even say with honesty whether they are good or bad, much less worthy of worship (love) or damnation (hatred).  If you want to make pronouncements of love or hatred, you must first be willing to commit to give them the time to answer your questions before you can say “I love you” or “I hate you” – You MUST be willing to give them a chance to let you know more about them.  If you aren’t willing to even sit down to talk, then either you do not know what “love” and “hate” mean.


I have very little tolerance for these types of people because they are forming opinions without knowledge and that, to me, smacks of prejudice, bigotry, and even racism.


Et Cetera Relationships

Many years ago, when I was an active member of an Evangelical Christian church, we used to label those people who only showed up in church 3 times each year, as “Et Cetera” Christians.  ETC stood for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  No matter what type of church you grew up in, you know that on those three days, the church services were going to be crowded, and most churches took full advantage of it.  Most churches will put on extravegant pagants or concerts, just to draw crowds that feel obligated to show up in a church.

But how often do we treat our most intimate relationships with family members in that same way – Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Maybe an important birthday or anniversary might draw family members to get together.  And many of us sit back and wonder why our families are not close, don’t feel any connection with each other, when we aren’t willing to go out of our way, to take time out of our busy, busy lives to interact with those we should be closest to.

Or should we be close to family members?  Maybe I’m thinking that I didn’t have any say-so in who is in my family and who isn’t.  Maybe I feel that I can get greater compassion and companionship from casual friends that I might make through work or play situations.  Pretty pathetic, but it’s the truth.  Is it because our family knows who we are, who we have been, they know all the little dirty secrets so we can’t pull the wool over their eyes.

If you want to have a relationship with someone, please commit to investing heavily in getting to know that person, to find out everything you can, find out how long they hold a grudge, what does it take for them to call it quits on people that fail, and above all, how long does it take for them to forgive and do they really forget?

I’m lucky, I married my best friend.  Sometimes events or people have gotten in the way and we have drifted apart.  But in the end, we are committed to each other.  Family, friends, even children may hurt us, but we will stand together and skip hand in hand into the future.

When it it OK to lose your temper?

First, let me admit that I have a problem managing my anger. There are times when I just lose it and cannot control myself.  But I am taking steps to devlope techniques to recognize when I am faced with a situation that I normally would blow my stack, and instead try to remain calm and deal with it in a reasonable and rational manner.  This really is harder than it looks, but I know I have to do this or one day, not only will I blow my stack, but I might blow an artery or have a stroke.

But what happens when you know that certain people automatically trigger an emotional reaction?  When you are forced into a social situation where you cannot avoid some type of interaction that just might lead to confrontation?  One thing I know I do is come to the rescue of my wife.  She reacts very emtionally to situations and is an easy target for people to bully and cause her to breakdown in tears.  As any good husband, I refuse to just stand by and let anyone do that.  This happened the other night at my Dad’s 85th birthday party.  Words were said and accusations made that sparked this guy to attack and belittle my wife.  Regardless of who was originally at fault, I stepped in to divert the attack. I told this guy that he pokes and pokes and pokes my wife, until she reacts to being poked, and then is accused of being emotional.  He immediately turned to me and said “Get the fuck out of here”, but in much more emotion than that line in type conveys. I lost it.  While I think I held my tongue (somewhat), I did give him a double 1 finger salute and told him to fuck himself.

Anyone else in this world I can treat rationally and dispassionately, but with this guy, no matter what he says or does, I know I am going to be hard pressed to hold my tongue.

When is it OK to just lose your temper?  My guess is never if you cannot express that anger in a constructive and positive way.  So I have a long way to go.

Life: Is it a sprint or marathon?

Two recent posts came to me and got me thinking about the question I posed in the title.

The first post was about going fast:

If you’re not trying to run as fast as possible at something ask yourself what are you doing and where are you going.  Looking back at what you’ve done is kind of like looking back in slow motion, where you can experience all of it again in greater detail…”

“If you want something bad enough it’s not going to come to you so don’t wait for it. Go get it and don’t waste time. Slowing down is for vacations.” (emphasis mine)

The second post was about a cinematographer that put together a short video that showed the changing of the scenery over the course of 6 months.  Very well put together, but it could not have been accomplished if he was running as fast as possible – whatever this guy did, the days were not going to go any faster

While I may not have gotten the intent behind these two posts, it did make me think about the dicodomy they presented, thus this post from me:

I hear/read people debate whether life is a marathon or a sprint.  But in my humble opinion, life is not a race.  The goal of a race is to make it to the end, because everyone will attain that goal in life.  And I hope it’s not about being faster at getting to the end than everyone else!  If that is the case, I want to set a world’s record for being the last person to cross that finish line.

But in my humble opinion, life is a journey, not a race.

When I go on a journey, I take time to enjoy the scenery, to stop and visit those wacky road-side ‘museums’, to take pictures to remember the trip.  When I watch a good movie, the goal isn’t to just get to the end, but to enjoy the acting, directing, music, camera work, etc.  Same goes for listening to music – I never want a good song to end, I play it over and over, and when I hear that last note fading out, I feel a little sad that the song is over.  But unlike music, I cannot go back and relive those years I was running too fast to even remember.  Looking back after the fact is a poor substitute for enjoying the moments as they happened.

I do admit that there are times when we need to run to catch what we need – food, train, love, jobs and opportunities.  But there are so many more moments in between that we can savor like a very expensive scotch, smelling it, swirling it, and sipping it – all so we can enjoy it.  And if it wasn’t so early in the morning, I would be doing that right now.  Instead, I’m going to have another cup of coffee and enjoy the taste.

Welcome to my blog!

Thanks for finding my blog site and hopefully, reading my first serious blog.

So, why do I think I have anything to say that anyone would want to actually read?

I can definitely say I am not taking an ego trip and have not recently discovered the answers to life’s eternal questions.  As a matter of fact, I may be doing this to realign my ego and to just ask more questions about life, although none will be timeless or stump the great philosophers (or anyone with more than a functioning brainstem)!

I have found that I want to think more about how I am living my life.  And the more I think, the more I discover that I have wasted so many years just racing through life.  I look back at my life and ask “Where did all the time go?”  It went past so fast that I have to struggle to conjure up memories (good or bad) about significant events.  Maybe I was just too busy doing what I thought I should be doing and missed taking the time to enjoy the moment and file away the memories for later enjoyment.

The other half of this is the question of what do I plan on posting in the future that would be of any interest to anyone to follow me?  I can only say that I will be trying to keep things positive in tone (unlike many of my posts on Facebook).  I hope to use this as a way to inspire me to be a better person, to learn to enjoy life and friends, and to take a journey of discovery and experiments in my life lab (hence the name “Phil’s Zen Experiment”

While I will welcome any replies and comments, I will not be using this as a forum for debate and/or arguments.  I will provide a link on Facebook to my posts, and you are welcome to debate or argue with me there.

If you decide to follow this journey, be active!

  • Let me know when I am not staying true to my purpose.
  • Give suggestions for how to do a better job of writing.
  • Share your tricks and tips for living a ‘zen’ existence.
  • Tell me about topics you would like to see more of.
  • Tell me about topics you want me to stay away from