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Though I'm originally from Germany (and hold citizenship there) I do consider myself an American.  Which is just as well because I have no idea what the equivalent of Independence Day is in Germany.

When I lived with my nuclear family we did the traditional fireworks and barbeque.  I was really excited when I got to start setting off fireworks of my own.  The first ones I got to light were in Germany when we were on base for a celebration.  My dad (Tony) let me hold the punk (incense stick looking thing used to light things) and light up an artillery shell.  It was really exciting.  As I grew up it was about blowing things up.  By the time we moved to Kansas I would start gathering together old toys I didn't play with anymore and go out with my friends and our firecrackers to try and blow them apart.  Usually it was Army men or something like that, a big favorite was kids' meal toys.  The toughest one was a Lion King character.  We ended up jokingly setting him up on a brick with a sparkler which we lit and then left to go swimming.  We came back and he was melted.  I'm not particularly proud of having done those destructive things, but they are what characterized my 4th of July holidays.  The food, barbeque stuff was just like most other barbeques, my parents cooked up hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, and had a good time with their alcohol while us kids drank way too many sodas and blew things up.  Once I was in my teens and we had moved to Tennessee my dad (Troy) showed me how to fire bottle rockets at each other.  That was more than a little dumb I'll admit.

Nowadays I'm perfectly happy enjoying the day off without fireworks and alcohol.  Today for example we stayed at home and lounged for pretty much the whole day.  CD (mother-in-law) has been out house sitting since this morning so it was just me and Byron and Sam (wife).  It was very relaxed.  We watched a couple movies and had some Frito Chili Pie style munchies with turkey dogs.  Byron was the only one who drank and it wasn't that much.  It's nice to have a more relaxing version.  Normally we would do something a little more (depending on whether it fell on a weekend or not) to combine it sort of with CD's birthday since it's so close to the Fourth.  A visit to the zoo or aquarium, maybe even a little trip to Bosque del Apache.  Fireworks-wise we obey the city limit of under 10 feet.  As I've grown a bit older (not a lot mind you) I've come to enjoy the fountains more than the booms, and it helps that our dogs are afraid of the louder noises anyway.  This year we didn't light any off because of a particularly dry dry season.  With all the fires in the state it didn't seem worth trying our luck, or spending the money.  Sam and I watered down our yard the last three nights to make sure that our plants and ground were well saturated, we didn't burn down.

Someone else who answered this post had posed the question about whether most Americans even know why we light off fireworks on Independence Day.  I don't think they do.  The reason is because it's to serve as a reminder of the war fought to ensure our freedom.  The fireworks represent gunfire, bombs, and artillery.  It's even in our National Anthem (Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that would become the Anthem while he was present during a battle for the Revolution.  "The bombs bursting in air," were literal.).  As time removes us from the event I think it gets easier to forget the reasons behind the traditions.  Another thing that came up in response to this question was the leaning attitude of the question itself, being posed on the 4th of July (instead of say, the 1st, which was Canada Day) and asking about "Independence Day," which is not what all countries call their holidays celebrating similar circumstances.  I suppose if you want to get picky it's alright to point out the flaws with the wording, but I don't see the point in making a big fuss about it.  If your country has a day celebrating national freedom, I would love to read about it, instead of reading your complaints.  

Having said all that stuff, Happy Independence Day to all those Americans out there, and happy freedom for those others who are lucky enough to enjoy it.  The worst thing we could do as citizens of a free nation, whatever the name, is take it for granted.
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I prefer "Road Warrior" to "Mad Max."  To be honest this is one of my failings.  I know I ought to be more open-minded about movies and all, but I let my preconceived ideas color it a lot.  The action from Road Warrior appealed a lot more to me, and it seemed to have more of those theatrics.  The fact that I wasn't aware of Mad Max at first didn't help a lot.  When I did get around to seeing it the differences in style seemed to be pretty big.  They probably weren't, but my mind was clouded.  The series got really goofy (even for it) after Road Warrior so I think it's also sort of a happy medium between a lot of brainless action and silliness. 

For the most part I prefer the first movie in a series, as they tend to get worse and more thrown together as they go along.  For a lot of the original ones there is a sense of adventure in that they put something out there that isn't so easy to predict public reaction for.  After that it seems like it's just about capitalizing on something that is already popular and will make money almost guaranteed.  That's not to say I think sequels are inherently bad, I just think they tend to be worse than the original.  I end up giving a lot of sequels to movies I liked (5 stars) 4 stars.  I like the sequel, just not as much as the original.  In all honesty I can't think of any more sequels I liked more than the original right off the top of my head.  I'm sure there are more, but I'm drawing a blank.

In another sphere of this whole thing is the fact that I haven't seen a lot of the Horror Movie series.  I haven't seen most of the "Friday the 13th" movies (saw the first one) and haven't seen any of the "Halloween" movies.  I also haven't seen any of the "Hellraiser" movies.  I've seen the original "Predator" and the original "Aliens" but none of the others (I have seen "AVP" but don't really count that as in their respective series).  In that way there is opportunity for me to enjoy sequels more than originals, especially since the horror genre tends to have sequels that don't necessarily tie back into previous iterations.  I try to be open-minded, I guess I'll think on this one a bit more...
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Ah, Netflix, you give me amusement, excitement, and new entertainment avenues to explore.  Sam has been pretty good about varying our queue as for what we get at home.  Most of our viewing has been done with Instant Watch but for those things not available there we order through the mail still.  We have an account for just Television shows.  Well a few shows from the BBC have been put into our queue and tonight me, Sam, and Byron watched two of them.  We watched "Peep Show" (not pornographic by the way) and "Being Human."

"Being Human" came first.  It's a drama about a vampire, werewolf, and ghost all living together in a flat.  Basically they try to go about their daily lives (except the ghost who so far seems bound to the house and isn't visible to everyone).  The vampire was turned during WWII and is battling with his urges to feed.  He has a bad habit of turning women who are interested in him.  His issue is only exasperated by a big event fellow vampires keep hinting at, our main character has chosen to be on the human side of things.  (keep in mind we've only seen the first episode so far, so don't know where any of this is going).  The werewolf was lucky enough not to be eviscerated because there was another man with him being chased that night.  He escaped with a scratch and a Curse.  There have been hints about a mysterious man getting involved with him (in the next episode it looks like) which look like his major story arc.  In addition he also has a lot of issues about accepting who he is now that he has this uncontrollable part of himself.  The ghost is living in the flat because that's where she died.  She is pining for her ex-fiance who has since moved on and is dating again.  She is easily excited when someone can see her and takes full advantage by being overly talkative, and active.  I suppose she's sort of a melancholy manic in that sense.

The show was really interesting actually.  Some of the themes are a bit other than original but the way that the characters are presented and the way their interactions have been woven together make it intriguing.  I particularly like how they put a focus on the vampire and the ghost trying to help the werewolf come to grips with who he is.  (side note, I don't remember the characters' names, except for the werewolf, who is George I think... sorry).  When they refer to vampires turning others they refer to them as monsters and predators, which adds a little dimension I think given the obvious states that our main characters are in.  I think it's a little hard to get a lot of feel for a show just from one episode, but I really look forward to seeing more.  This disc has three episodes, so we'll see how far we get.

After that we watched two episodes of "Peep Show."  Honestly after the first episode I was feeling a bit weirded out, I didn't quite get it; but during the second episode I found myself chuckling throughout most of it.  The idea is that there are a couple of roommates.  One is stuffy and the other is out there.  Not an original concept really.  The part that made it so interesting was that most of the dialogue is from the characters' thoughts.  In that sense we see that the stuffy fellow is actually a lot like his roommate in what he wants to accomplish.  Of course his thoughts rarely materialize into actions, so he ends up sputtering horribly when talking to women and being afraid of neighborhood children (who call him a pedo..).  The other roommate is trying to break into the music business and that seems to be his main motivation, though like with his friend, women are also a main focus.  These episodes were shorter than "Being Human" and focused in a lot more on little story lines.  The first one was about the roomies competing for the sexual attention of a neighbor.  Neither won out, as is often the case, but the way in which each failed was pretty fun to watch.  The second episode was about stuffy (sorry, don't remember the names here either, awful about that) trying to get the would-be musician hired on at the company where he worked because he never paid his part of the rent.  The musician does not get the job, but does get interested in a pyramid scheme that is NOT a pyramid scheme.  The stuffy roommate makes an embarrassing phone call to his object of desire at work but things somehow seem to work out.

Like Sam said, this must be a guy show.  It has a dialed back over-the-top humor, if that even makes sense.  I think the fact that we aren't meant to hear thoughts that go with actions, but here we do, makes it so appealing.  It makes things these two characters do make so much more sense, but makes them more ridiculous at the same time.  Writing that I think about a scene in the first episode when the stuffy roommate chases after those neighborhood kids with a steel pipe out of frustration.  It's so easy to understand having heard everything he thought up until that point driving him to the act, but it's still so zany.  How would you react if you saw a middle-aged man chasing kids around with a pipe?  Of course that kind of masculine sense of humor (especially with their women issues) appeals here too.  I have a feeling that me and Byron are going to be watching these on our own if we keep getting more discs, but we have six more episodes to go on this one I think.  We both got a kick out of them though.  

There's a lot to be said about watching programs that are from other countries.  We watch foreign movies every now and then (watched "Bloody Mallorie" the other day, great French horror flick) but it feels different with TV shows.  I've seen some from the BBC that I have a hard time "getting," like "Keeping Up Appearances" which Sam and the others love.  Keeping that in mind it should make it really interesting when we start watching the "Doctor Who" shows.  There's also a Russian version of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" that I would like to see sometime.  There are just such different ideas and themes that can show up in different shows like that.  After a while the things that come up on TV here in the States starts looking the same.  There are so many crime shows it's hard to keep some of them apart.  The laugh-track shows start to get really predictable too.  I think with British television has enough cultural similarities that it allows for more understanding while still being different enough to offer fresh entertainment.  The sense of humor and the way emotions are conveyed are different enough that I really look forward to seeing more.
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This seems like the type of thing I would keep changing my mind on.  For this very moment though I think that the ability to always be on time would be really neat to have.  It's not so much because I'm late often, but when I'm out and about (especially on my own) I have this paranoia of being late.  I tend to get places way too early in order to compensate for that.  Though I've been getting better about it lately, who doesn't like a quick fix when it's offered no strings attached.  The idea, I think, would be that with having 100% assurance that I'm always going to be on time, I wouldn't feel a "need" to feed into this neurosis about possibly being late.  Like I said, more often than not I'm early, but that doesn't change the fact that I "might" be late.  That's what I would hope to get rid of with this Practically Amazing power.
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Ruling a country isn't easy.  I don't think I could rule a country all by myself.  I do happen to believe in a functional monarchy though (RE: "Does this job come with a crown?").  Any sort of leadership I think is about public awareness, at least if I'm in that position.  I don't usually talk about my political beliefs, but maybe this would be a good place.  For the sake of simplicity ("too late for that," I hear you say) I'll answer the question really quickly before blathering on:  the United States of America.

My idea is that there needs to be an overhaul of how the country is run.  Of course there is all of the corruption in the politics and the corporations with which they are so inextricably entwined.  I would look at eliminating that.  Find the people who make up the various communities and start at a ground level re-imagining.  Leave the greater government fluttering in the wind for a while.  I'm not even against the idea of shrinking things a bit.  The fact that America is so big doesn't help matters really.  The misuse of resources, the abuse of the citizenry, these things are exasperated by all of the land mass that the government is in charge of.  Maybe break into five (Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest) separate countries, loosely tied by the cultural association.  I can't break myself into five people, but then I don't think I'd make a great leader of a country and people at this point in time anyway.  Make the governments more people centered.  The role of government is protection that a small community cannot manage (standing army) and general outlines which are to be enforced (example: Bill of Rights).  Higher courts don't hurt a whole heck of a lot either, for extreme circumstances.  Otherwise it should be a localized system.

I don't see a problem with helping to spread ideas that can work for the greater good.  The monarchy comment above is based on the idea that power is more easily corrupted the more it's spread out.  Sure, if the monarch is corrupt we're screwed, but you put in an adequate (if not outstanding) king or queen who honestly cares about the people and you're all set.  With power spread throughout multiple bodies (and more accurately more individuals) it's a constant tug of war between those people who care about the nation and those people who care only for themselves.  In that case the folks who care for themselves tend to come out with at least a little something, while the nation suffers because those who fight for them require an all-or-nothing victory which they cannot attain.  I also believe in the power that people as a whole have.  If you do not have a satisfactory monarch, the people can remove him or her.  It's easier to replace a single leader than it is to overhaul a system tied down with red tape.  

I guess all in all I did little to answer the question, but the place was chosen at least, even if I didn't accept the job.


Game Talk

Jun. 12th, 2011 11:04 pm
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Today Sam and I did some more working on our game.  Sam's vision hasn't been the greatest over the last handful of days because of her migraines, but it's gotten better a bit at a time.  With that in mind we went ahead and signed ourselves up for some Battlelords.  It's the weekend and Byron's home, so it only made sense.  So after we went shopping we kicked on the PC and started playing.  Since Battlelords is nice and turn-based, we were able to do some more work.  Sam worked on reworking some of the equations for the game while I remade the templates for the character sheets.  We are going to restart the current campaign.  A little reminder from a previous post, this campaign (which is paper and pencil) will serve to test the equations and such while simultaneously creating a back story for what will become our starter town when the game hits the web.  We had talked about it and decided that we wanted to tweak some things.  With that it made sense to go ahead and restart the campaign to implement these changes, especially since we hadn't actually gone that far into it.  

Some of the changes we made were adding in origin modifiers (whether the character came from mountains, woodlands, etc.) as well as size modifiers.  When we decided to add races into the game instead of making everyone be human we also hadn't yet added race modifiers to our characters.  So we are adding that in as well.  Sam did a great job of coming up with the list for those, so now it's down to us implementing those into the characters we have for this campaign to see how it all works out.  That means re-doing the stats and skills we put together for them earlier.  It'll be a little work, but no big deal really; especially since it should end up working more into the favor of the players.  Besides that Sam also developed some formulas using the stats we are using to help spice up the game choices a bit.  That gives extra meaning to the stats besides the conspicuous points that players will see.  

Working on the game made me think a bit about how we're really looking at things all around.  For one thing, we've come a long way from our first few ideas for a game.  I think neither of us would deny that we're gamers, though perhaps of a slightly different variety than is often publicized.  We met through a friend (on a game) and since the beginning have been able to spend hours talking about how we would alter or tweak this game or that game, or what we would do if we were making our own game.  With the structure of role-playing games it makes it easy to "create" a personalized game.  We have the parts of the DNA that we need to create a full creature.  Being able to code it and put it online where it will be more accessible and likely to reach a large audience also makes it work.  There are big steps between talking about other games and actually creating our own though.

It makes me think about how my own point of view has changed throughout the process.  I think it's exceedingly easy to come up with disjointed ideas about how something could be improved.  The games that we played made it even easier because generally they were based on templates (at least the PBBG ones, that's, Persistent Browser Based Games).  The first time I saw the templates really messed around with was with Torn City.  After that it became more personalized with Kingdom of Riches.  Sam on the other hand had a history of pencil and paper role playing.  Besides that she also played web-based games that were more along those lines as well.  Her major involvement was with a client-based role playing game called Materia Magica which is basically an electronic D&D as well as Cantr, which is a text-based character development RPG.  In a lot of ways those games are major inspirations for out own endeavor.  In addition, talking about how these games could improve (except maybe Cantr, it's already pretty spot on) helped us formulate ideas that we would later decide to use in our own game.

The major place where my point of view changed is when we actually got to some of the application of all of these ideas.  We weren't just talking about what would be cool in a game anymore.  Sam was making usable mathematical stat-based formulas.  I was making spreadsheets for how weapons would figure in and starting on making dialogue for the NPCs (Non-Playable Characters).  The way I'm using the word "was" makes it sound like we're so far beyond those steps, and we're not, but things are actually happening.  The game is working right now in the form of pencil and paper.  We're tweaking as we go along and we have a lot more content to add, but the bare bones are taking shape right in front of our eyes.  The excitement has shifted.  Seeing things come together and be utilized has a wholly different high than just talking about ideas (not to take anything away from that).  I'm really excited about all this, and I'm really lucky that Sam has a persistent enough personality to keep us on track.

Mytheries

Jun. 9th, 2011 02:32 pm
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After the previous post I got to thinking just a little bit more about the Mythology group I've hosted and gotten started (in large part with Sam's help and participation).  There had been a lot of work done with what I thought people would be interested in and my own interest in the classics.  Most of the focus was on Greek and Roman type myths, while incorporating some modern mythologies as well.  As time went on we tried to make it a lot more varied.  There would be a topic (like Artifacts or Food) and then try to find several examples, each from a different world culture and not confined by time periods.  We found some Afrikan myths, some South American myths, of course plenty of European myths, and so on and so forth.  What I've been thinking about a lot lately (meaning the last few weeks) in reference to the mythology though has been interest in the mythology surrounding my home here in New Mexico and the Great American Southwest.  I've heard a few stories about the Anasazi, trading with South American tribes, astrological ideas and innovations; but all in all I don't think I've really gotten to learn a lot about stories.  When I look things up online I get quite a bit about Avanyu, a local serpent who is in various ways connected to water in the area.  The stories span at least a handful of Pueblos.  

What I would like to do is get some more information about our local mythologies.  It's difficult to get some of the older stuff.  There are a lot of stories based around the Spanish beliefs when they came and conquered the land.  That's where a lot of the talked about "superstitions" come from, at least here in town.  La llorona is a great example of that I think.  She is said to be a mother who lost her child to rushing flash floods and thus wanders around arroyos (ditches) waiting for children playing to close so she can snatch them.  I think the general idea behind that story is that we don't want our kids playing in arroyos because flash floods are known to occur without a cloud in the sky (we get a lot of water from higher ground that can rush without warning).  In Anglo terms she has been referred to as the "Ditch Witch." Thinking about the older legends that are even more native to the area brings up the difficulties.  For the most part the Pueblos are quite secretive about their stories and beliefs.  They are more than just a little hesitant to share them with outsiders.  

I could always head to UNM and see what they've dug up, scour their archives and interviews.  The reason it seems a little bit more important for extra information too is that Sam brought up a good point.  Since the group is ordinarily held at First UU, a lot of our people could be quite knowledgeable about it already.  Most of the church has a pretty extensive academic background.  Members are not afraid to flaunt their MAs and Ph.Ds.  The biggest concern would be not keeping them interested by only giving them information they already know.  At least that's what I think the biggest concern would be.  It might be different with hosting the groups elsewhere, but since there would be a lot of local "experts" (or at least people who are knowledgeable already) it would be good to do a bit more personal and in-depth research first.  

I would like to go back to looking into mythologies of the world, but focus at first at home.  As I write the entry the idea of a new venue is sounding nicer and nicer too.  I'll look into it more I think. *nods*

Barbeque

Jun. 2nd, 2011 11:24 pm
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Today we had a little barbeque.  I call it little because it wasn't a whole family affair where we all sat outside and enjoyed mutual activities while we waited for our food to cook.  CD had picked up some steak on the cheap yesterday and Byron got off work at 3:00 today.  I went ahead and started grilling around 1:40 or so anticipating dinner time after he got home.  Between preparation time and getting together the sides we were able to sit down around 4:30.  It's nice when the timing works out that well.  I did them up mostly as is, but I made Sam her pepper steaks and a few no-salt-seasoned ones just for good measure.  I had some of mine with some Coyote Canyon (or is it Creek?) hot sauce that's not so much hot as it is nicely flavorful.  Sam cooked us up some green beans with her butter garlic sauce and CD stopped off at the store for some potato salad, noodle salad, and apple pie for desert (for which we didn't have room).  It was a really great dinner, I think we all enjoyed it a whole heck of a lot.  On top of that it didn't really start getting windy until after I was done grilling outside, and none of that smoke had made it into town yet from Arizona.  All in all I couldn't have asked for a better barbeque experience.

There's something really incredible about cooking, and honestly it's a wonder I don't do it more often.  When Sam and I have collaborated on dinners there's something so fulfilling about getting it on the table and seeing people enjoy it.  Tonight I became aware of myself asking people how the food was (I probably asked more than I needed to).  I think I've been getting a taste of what a homemaker sort of feels, at least stereotypically.  Often I've seen (usually) wives portrayed as bothering the husband about what he thinks about dinner, and then inevitably the husband mumbles something about it's good, leaving any kind of feedback for the wife to decipher via ESP.  At this stage I realize that I'm lucky to be able to tell that the folks here enjoyed dinner tonight, and most other times me and Sam cook.  I do want to note though that Sam cooks more often than I do by far and is amazing in the kitchen, regardless of what she likes to tell people.  Keeping that in mind I think it helps form a sort of link of understanding between us and the importance of having those family meals.

Family meals is more than just cooking food.  It's cooking food in such a way that people can tell you put genuine love and feeling into it.  In addition it certainly helps to actually have the whole family present (both in mind and body).  That means no TV, no distractions, just a nice sit-down dinner.  It's all part of the environment and helps enhance the feeling.  Even unspoken appreciation can be felt.  In my mind it helps to pull together a sense of unity between four people (in this case) who don't usually show much of a connection.  So often I take for granted where the food actually comes from and what goes into it.  I know as a kid I didn't think much of it when my mom cooked for us, or why it might have happened less and less as the years wore on.  It went beyond cooking our favorite dish on our birthdays, but it extended to pulling together anything when it was just me, her and Lisa; it extended to cooking dishes later on when we were with Tony and helping Troy out with marinating his steaks and making side dishes.  There isn't a lot that I really appreciate about my mom, we have our differences, but this is one thing I think I'm coming around on a bit more.

Putting emotion into cooking is really important.  There is a difference between putting yourself into a meal and just getting something together so you can say you cooked.  You don't just absent-mindedly grab this and that from the fridge, you don't take short cuts or the easiest route.  You do things in such a way that even if they're not aware of it, you're family can feel something more than just a full stomach.  I like putting that into my cooking, and I feel energized thinking about it.  I also have more of an appreciation for the work that goes into it.  It's not so much that it's always sweat inducing labor (often though, what with the heat and all) but that it takes a lot of energy to really make something come out the way you want it to, taste-wise and energy-wise.  I feel really great after cooking today, and I feel closer to Sam for having helped me out with it and contributing her good feelings to the experience.  Further than that I feel wonderful knowing that the others appreciated it.  With every bite I feel more connected to my family.
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Sam and I went out briefly today.  A tentative plan was to go to Arby's for some Jamocha shakes and then maybe stop by the grocery store.  We ended up stopping off at the mall after Arby's instead (it's practically across the street on Menaul) and then overheated and just went home afterward.  It felt hotter in the mall than outside, which is saying something... what with the desert and all.  We're not really "mall people."  We don't go very often, especially not when we're supposed to, like Christmas time.  This time around we thought it would be fun to do some window shopping, and it's nice because we tend to stop off at Auntie Anne's for a pretzel (I LOVE soft pretzels).  We did today by the way. *grin* I learned something today though, or at least became more aware of it.  

It was funny in a way.  I was dressed like I was sixteen.  I was the same shell holding a different person in a familiar place.  I have this Death Cab for Cutie shirt that I've had since I was sixteen.  In addition to that shirt I was wearing my blue jeans and some white sneakers I got at K-Mart (I think).  My DCFC shirt is ripped around the collar and has some small holes in the front.  It's a wear-and-tear shirt.  At this point it'll be a rag, I don't plan on wearing it again.  I did at the mall though.  We wandered into Hot Topic and it felt really strange.  On a surface level there was this hypocrisy thing I was thinking about.  Here at the household we tend to snub people who go there, in our own way.  Taking it deeper it's really about the value folks put into having bought their shirts and piercings there instead of someplace else.  If you're going to buy a band shirt, but it direct and make sure all the money goes to them.  Why bother supporting a middle man too?  Then there's that attitude of superiority involved with going there, just like there are with a lot of other stores.  All too often it's not even about quality, it really is just the name attached to the place you bought it.  In any case, I was under that spell when I was in high school.  I paid fifteen to twenty bucks for the DCFC shirt, as well as for some GnR shirts and so on.  When asked about it, yeah, it did matter to me that I got them at Hot Topic.  Those same feelings and thoughts apply to Spencer's Gifts.  We went there too.  Sam explained to me when I told her about my discomfort about how the major issue with those places is how many of their clientele behave, not so much the place itself.  Made sense to me anyway.

Something I noticed though was that my own interests and priorities were changing.  The stores I would have visited before were no longer interesting.  I avoided the cap stores (hats) the sport stores, and didn't feel comfortable in Hot Topic, etc.  Instead I had a good time going through places like Coach House and Hallmark checking out the little trinkets and so forth.  That was another weird thing because I'm not sure exactly how to make that mesh with myself.  I understand that I've changed quite a bit over the last five years, but it's something else to see it happen quite so suddenly.  That's not to say that I haven't been to the mall all this time, I have, but I guess I just haven't paid attention.  I don't mean to make more of something than there really is to it.  It's not like I'm having an epic identity crisis or anything.  I guess it's just that these things seem more important when I'm actually making an effort to change.  I'm not proud of who I've been over the last few years and before hand, but I hadn't made a point to be different.  Now I can feel like I am.

Baby Steps

May. 30th, 2011 05:38 pm
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Over the long weekend I got a Costco membership.  That sparked a pretty interesting feeling in me that I hadn't counted on.  The household had been talking about it for a while, as Byron and CD were the only ones with membership.  CD is usually out and about with her friends during the days and of course Byron's at work all day.  That had limited us to going to Costco only on weekends, which clashes with us being able to have more family time, and it's usually busier too.  With me being part of a membership (Byron and I share the account) Sam and I can go do the grocery shopping during the week while others are out or unavailable.  Just recently we brought it out as a possibility to do any time soon, and when we went this weekend we decided to go for it.  The accounts were up for renewal in June anyway.

After I got the card made up and everything, I noted it to Sam later.  In an odd way this had felt sort of like another rite of passage into adulthood.  There are a lot of ideas floating around that (here in America especially) there are little if any real rites of passage into the various phases of growing up.  A 6th grade graduation, high school graduation, puberty, drivers' license, legal drinking age, those are recognized by a lot of people; but even I agree that there ought to be more of a showing for things like that.  With that thought in mind I surprised myself when I looked at my membership card and had that hard-to-describe feeling of, "I'm not a kid anymore."  Considering all the things that I've gone through on my own, with the household, and in spite of the household, there are apparently still enough little inklings of childhood left that I'm caught off guard occasionally.  

My reasoning behind getting that feeling with this particular event is that I have correlated it with a parental role.  It's the parents ("old people") who go out and do the grocery shopping.  Of course when I was younger I bought things at Albertson's and Wal-Mart in Clarksville (I remember all too well, I confused cucumbers for zucchini and couldn't find the corn because it was still wrapped in it's husk).  I bought things for our household there occasionally, but mostly for myself in the form of snacks and such.  When I moved here to Albuquerque I went out grocery shopping more and more.  I had become a part of the process instead of a bystander.  I was asked what I wanted/ needed and people listened.  We were a household after all.  Sometimes it would be just me and Sam or me and Byron, or even just me.  I'm on my way home from school (or work) and need to stop off at the grocery store to grab milk and eggs from Smith's.  That's fine.  I did have a better sense of autonomy that way, meaning I felt more like I was "on my own" in a not-dependent-on-parents sort of way, but that wasn't the same as this feeling at Costco.

I think that what the significance of that was, was that it seemed a little more official.  I could touch and feel and see this physical memento.  I had the Costco card to look at.  That sense of official-ness really stuck to it.  There wasn't any denying it now, I was a person who goes out and gathers groceries for a household, I'm not just the recipient anymore, and this card is PROOF.  I'm not completely sure if that makes me materialistic or what have you, but it makes me think of other cultures.  When girls become women a dowry is set up and they have those "things" as a constant reminder that they are now women and eligible for marriage.  In some cultures men might have a purposeful scar to look at and remind them, their PROOF that they had undergone an important physical and social change.  I think the reason that wasn't there for me with the drivers' license was because I used it for fun.  It was still childish.  I went to the movies, I went to work (which provided funding for movies, not for rent), I went to friends' homes, I visited girlfriends, and so on.  There wasn't a sense of obligation or real meaning to it.  In that sense, this Costco card is different.  It's purposeful for the sake of not just myself, but others who rely on me for it (not to make too much of it or anything).

Because the transition into college (even though it was a little more rocky for me) was so smooth from high school, this matters a bit more.  The life I've been living the last four years has been the life of an adult, in the sense that that's what was accepted.  While I talked to Sam about it she brought up that when I got here she and the household accepted me here as an adult (even at seventeen).  They weren't adopting a kid (or teen even).  That last sentence is my words, not hers.  Despite all that, though, I've basically still been devoted to going to school.  I could have had more of an adult feel to my last four years if I had upheld my wedding vows like a responsible and honest adult would have, but that wasn't the case.  I had still been acting toward that same mindset I had in Clarksville before I came.  With the exception of actually using the opportunity to grow, there hadn't been much of a difference in my eyes.  That's not to say I didn't recognize the obvious difference of age and legal rights.  

Thinking about the title for this entry, I feel like at this point in my life, and in this society, those measures of adulthood are measured in baby steps.  It's getting a membership to a bulk shopping store.  It's not being petty for the first time in a fight with your wife or girlfriend, it's suddenly caring about fiscal conservatism ( :P ), all those little things for which there is no fanfare.  No tribal rituals or ceremonies or trumpets, but at least it's something I can respect and be aware of.
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Today there was quite a bit of talk in our household about family, though in an indirect way.  Sam has been working tirelessly on our family tree.  It is a large tree, we just need to find the leaves to put on it.  The way it's being done is that all relations are being counted.  We're not just going back by a paternal or maternal lineage on one or two sides.  We are counting all in-laws and so on.  We have quite a list of last names already going now because of taking this route.  I like it though because it's more complete.  Just because families diverge doesn't make them less related, just a bit more distant in some technical senses. 

It's been sort of strange that she's put so much energy into it (especially "my" side of the tree) considering the relations we've had with my family.  After talking to her about it for quite a while, because I'm thick-skulled, I realize that it's not necessarily about being close to our family now or in the future.  It's about giving our descendants opportunities which we may not have ourselves.  Tonight Sam asked us some basic questions about our lives and philosophies toward things.  One question was who was most influential when you were eight years old and younger.  Another was when did you become aware of world events.  The idea is that even with short answers it gives people reading them later (perhaps generations down the line) a chance to get to know their ancestors better, and even get a more personal view of the time period.  While I feel people might not be interested in what I have to say about certain things or care about what I went through as an adolescent, some might.  Sam put it to me this way.  If I could know what my grandparents or great-grandparents would have answered these same questions with, would I be interested?  I would definitely be interested.  So who's to say that my great-grandchildren or great-grand-nieces and nephews won't be interested in what Old Chris had to say.

Another aspect of those questions that I really like is that it made me think a bit more about the family of today.  At least one of my answers reflected favorably on my mom, with whom I have a strained relationship at best.  It makes me think more about how things are not one-sided.  No family that I have differences with right now has ever been only negative to me or with me.  I've had good experiences with all of them.  It's important to learn from the burns, but foolish to dwell on them.  I like that aspect of it.  I feel a lot more centered about my family.
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Ha, this is a tricky one.  When I was really getting into girls I was pretty confused, so I'm not exactly sure who my first love was.  I remember my first crush, except for her name. :P It'd be hard to communicate though because she's German and I don't speak my native language that well anymore.  Besides that I doubt I would recognize her since I haven't seen her since second grade.  If it was Sam, well, no problem, we're married.  Harley, well I'd probably invite her in and ask if something was wrong.  Luckily we're pretty good friends with her now so there wouldn't be that weirdness.  The only weird thing would be what in the heck she was doing way out here in New Mexico.  Photo shoot I guess?  I've been interested in quite a few girls who could lead to awkward encounters if they suddenly showed up (in person no less!) but I'm pretty sure that if it was those two it would be alright.  Make for a pretty interesting day if nothing else. :)

Traveler

Apr. 7th, 2011 10:44 am
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I tend to be pretty bad about noticing things.  I feel like a lot of the time the universe has to bash me upside the head for me to understand something it's trying to tell me.  Travel is everywhere right now.  Changing of seasons and the literal.  Sam and I have a couple of trips at the very least tentatively planned.  Probably next week we will be going back to Kansas City to clean out Dad's apartment.  Another train ride, which I'm excited about.  I realize I really like riding the train.  Hopefully this summer we'll be able to make that trip we wanted.  Intended stops were Kansas City (for leisure this time), Michigan to meet up with some family, and then Georgia to spend some time with good friends of ours. (more trains, yay!).  Now for the hitting upside the head bit. :P

Last night we watched "Crash" (2005) as part of an extra credit assignment for my cultural studies class.  In the movie a main character hijacks cars with his friend.  Every vehicle they jack he puts a little suction statue of St. Christopher (the patron saint of travelers).  This morning I wake up and have some breakfast while reading my book.  Thomas had his brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law over.  The relatives were leaving to Seattle today.  They're taking Amtrak. 

I haven't been thinking too much about travel even though it's been around for so long in my mind as far as how things are going nowadays and also how I've modeled things in the past.  Moving has always been a bit part of my life.  Mom had a running away thing and then when we had military fathers we moved around a lot as a part of their job.  Travel was everywhere.  That was also the route I took to get away from what wasn't working for me, running away to New Mexico.  That was also the option I was going to use when I had my depression spin-out this past winter (I almost left to Portland/ Seattle).  Something I am sure of at this point though, I love the desert too much to leave permanently.  Jokes about green chile aside (though I would totally import it or make hours-long road trips to get a green chile cheeseburger if I had to) I am too wrapped up in what it is to be out here.  My trips are leisure vacations.  I couldn't see myself living in Germany again.  I couldn't see myself living in Tennessee again.  Short of an unbeatable deal on some land I couldn't see myself out of the state.  I feel at home in Silver City, Datil, Reserve, as I do here in Albuquerque, and I've never felt as at home anywhere else.  This is where I belong.

Having said all that, I'm really looking forward to train trips and road trips. :D Seeing new things is exciting, being a tourist is fun.  Meeting friends is a great time and a spiritual growth.  I don't want to live anywhere else, but I do want to go to other places.  Hopefully St. Christopher will be kind. :)
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The Camdens from Seventh Heaven.  I'm not a follower of Christianity really, but I really like the way they modeled a healthy lifestyle for their kids.  There was a lot of communication, even if it had to be forced sometimes.  They weren't perfect at all (even with Eric being clergy) and didn't try to act like they were.  The parents had just as many short-comings as their children and used them to be there for each other as a family.  The problems they ran into themselves and that their kids were exposed to were real problems which apply today as well, not just who is going to ask them to the prom or what will the neighbor think about this burnt pie I'm entering into the competition.  One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was when Eric's sister showed up and the family took them in for her to detox from alcohol abuse.  It was really hard on everybody but they managed to get through it.  I think that a lot of that attitude comes from being brought up with good morals and values and the gumption to actually put them into action.
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Over the last handful of days my schedule seems to have been shifting around a bit.  I feel more energized into the later hours and wake up just slightly later (this morning I woke up at 8:45 without an alarm).  Last night I stayed up past midnight and while I did get tired when I went to bed it was still weird for me to be coherent even at that time of night.  Admittedly I did take a nap earlier in the day (10:30am to 2pm) but naps don't usually make for me staying up too much later.  Sam and I walked Zia until midnight and when we came back put on a movie.  Afterward is when I went to sleep.  I think Sam stayed up a little bit longer.  It's strange to me to think about my schedule shifting clockwise, but Sam said something that made sense.  Since it's been getting a lot warmer during the day maybe that's why I'm getting a little bit more toward a night schedule.  I am a day person, that's for sure, but not a heat person.  It'll work out well anyway since I prefer to take Zia for walks later at night during the summer so we don't have to worry about other people being at the park.  Makes it easier to let her off-leash.

Odd thing I hadn't thought about before a lot, but our room is suddenly an aviary (with a guinea pig).  A while ago we adopted three cockatiels and a parrot from Tina and Junior while they were staying in a place that didn't allow pets.  Well, since then they've come to an arrangement and taken back the parrot and one of the cockatiels.  We were left with two of them (Rio and Roxy).  Of course in addition to those two, we also have Paige, who is our pigeon that we tried to patch up after a cat attack left her unable to fly (by the way, we know she's a girl because she lays eggs regularly).  Well a little while ago Roxy passed away.  Tina had gotten them from a rescue shelter with the knowledge that not only were they already seniors, but also abused seniors.  It didn't come as much surprise when Roxy needed to move on.  Since cockatiels are highly social birds (they go manic if they are alone until they tire themselves out and pass out) we thought about getting Rio a friend.  Well, cockatiels are insanely expensive and we have the problem of Rio passing first and then needing to get another friend for the new friend.  It would be a cycle.  So instead we decided on a different route.  Recently we got a couple of parakeets (from Petsmart) to liven things up a bit for Rio.  Little did we know that they were going to liven things up for all of us.  After spending quite a while chasing them flapping crazily around the room, we got to hear them make a fuss in their cage for quite a while.  I think it's an adjustment period (Rio has even tried talking to them, or at least at them) but boy howdy birds are noisy!  Between Rio's high-pitched squawks, and the parakeet's (yet to be named) low-pitched scritches, and Paige's soothing but persistent cooing there is hardly ever quiet in our room.  Through it all our guinea pig Sherlock doesn't seem to mind at all.  He's more open than he's ever been (even being calm and receptive to a toe nail clipping) and has no problem hanging out in the open and napping through all of the ruckus. 

With all the complaining up there I am still pleased about how things are going.  Paige is so much more affectionate than she used to be.  She's trying to become a house bird.  More and more she's been wanting to wander around the house.  We keep her in a bird cage too, but let her out for exercise now and again.  She's hopped around our room and pecked around the backyard (though she has a habit of heading straight inside if the backdoor is open) but lately she's wanted to follow me and Sam where ever we go.  She even laid an egg on Sam, which was as hilarious as it was surprising.  I feel like everyone will adjust to the new arrangement, and our little parakeet friends will get along with Rio and give him the company he needs.  
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I don't really consider myself a peace nut or anything like that.  I'm not big on foreign intervention though.

I've been hearing a lot about this Libya situation lately and it was interesting when I heard that the people had decided to revolt.  This morning though Byron comes into the room and watches CBS Sunday Morning and I find out that America has decided to send in airstrikes to help the Libyans.  While I'm sure the rebels appreciate the help at the moment, it tends to come with other obligations.  There are already talks at the UN of Libya having to make a Democracy shift.  At no point have I heard about the Libyans really wanting democracy, just not wanting to be under a despotic rule anymore.  Sam has a habit of letting me know some of the better ways to look at things like this from different views, so I thought I'd do a little snooping through Libyan news sites instead of just looking at what AP and Reuters have to say.

Of course the websites of the state and "The Leader" are pretty biased, but I think it's interesting a lot of the terminology they use.  AL Gathafi ("The Brother Leader" as he's called on his site) tends to stray from talking about the situation much on his personal site.  He is quite the hobby philosopher though as it turns out.  The state site tends to use a lot of specific language.  I was taken aback by how often the words "colonialism" and "crusader" were used.  Again, they have a lot to gain from showing America in a negative light, but I think it says a lot that words like that still have so much power in an age when that shouldn't be an issue anymore.  The Crusades were a horrible black mark in the history of the Western world and the effects are still being felt.  Colonialism has been all but outlawed, though it is still practiced in more muted degrees even by the developed world.  They are inflammatory words and I guess that's what the point was.

Looking at it from my point of view I don't take kindly to America's involvement in foreign affairs which don't impact it so directly.  The a tiny degree I could see intervention in the middle east but purely for the sake of protecting oil investments.  I don't think that's morally right, but I can make logical sense of it.  The oil in Libya goes mostly to France and Italy.  We get hardly any from it.  If anything it would make more sense for those European countries to be going in and doing airstrikes, not us.  Besides that I don't need to include a list of the countless quotes out there from founding fathers like John Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin saying how they don't approve of America sticking her nose into the affairs of others.  There are things which need to be taken care of here.  Being so involved in international, not politics, but wars, creates international resentment.  Our military is spread too thin as it is.  It is an obvious problem when we have to hire private mercenaries to supplement that.  Heck, I don't even support US military bases in ally countries like Germany and Korea, let alone military action in countries where we don't belong.  

There is a huge battle cry for gearing back on dependance on foreign oil and going with substitutes to gasoline and petroleum.  We have that technology already in many respects, it's a matter of tightening our belts while we integrate them.  America has many natural resources.  Out here in New Mexico there are people who could make a living by taking what the desert provided.  There are thousand year old ruins of those civilizations standing today.  With the bounty of a properly managed country like this we don't have to worry about importing a lot, especially things for which we must go to war (official or not). 

I also don't agree with the spread of democracy.  If a country, a group of people, wish to go that route, more power to them.  It shouldn't be forced though.  It is not the best or even most fair form of government for all people.  Some would do better under a form of communism, socialism, or even monarchy.  People make their own fates, and I wouldn't appreciate it if someone came and told my family how to live because they thought it was best.  I doubt anyone likes being forced into an ideology with which they don't agree.  In some senses it is a modern Crusade to convert the world to democracy (instead of Christianity). 

In any case, I don't like what's happening in Libya with foreign intervention.  I'm all for the rebels getting what they want, but it's important that it stays in their hands and that others don't feel a need (really a want) to get involved.  It's their revolution, let them ask for help if they like, but then don't press anything on them which they don't want or didn't agree to.

Libya Online: http://www.libyaonline.com/
Al Gathafi Official Site: http://www.algathafi.org/html-english/index.htm
Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation: en.ljbc.net/home.php
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I've been playing a game (inFamous) where the main character can make Good or Evil decisions.  It's pretty clear cut stuff: do you give this food to everyone to eat or do you thin the herd so there's more for you?  Sharing = Good ...... Murder = Evil.  I've been playing the game with the intent to be as good as I can be.  The upside to being good is that people like you and you get a special selection of powers (though you get separate powers for being evil).  Today when I played I started a new game where I would try to be evil (since the game theoretically plays out a little differently based on choices you make) because I didn't feel like getting frustrated over the difficulty of the point I had reached in my other file but still wanted to play the game.  The system is pretty interesting in games, and I've played others where it was similar, but it makes me wonder something.  Could it be a bad influence to portray morality to young people (though let's be honest, children play M rated games too) in such a two-face way?  

The reason I think about it is because that's been a problem of mine.  I have had an all or nothing mentality where if I make one mistake it takes away all of the progress I had made, and balked when me having a good day didn't make enough of a difference compared to the awful week I gave people earlier.  Most of the time in my relationship with Sam (and family/ friends) I've noticed that black/ white...good/ evil isn't the way it works.  There are things I've done that would seem obviously bad which have had good repercussions as well.  There were things I thought were good that had some bad consequences which I didn't keep in mind.  Saying and doing is what makes up a relationship and both have their place.  Both are also governed by a rainbow (or grayscale) of differences and not just a 1 or a 10.  In fact it seems to me like it's been far more harmful than anything to try and see the world in black and white.  

Thinking about the game, if the main character (Cole) decides the horde the food for himself and his family, who's to say that isn't in fact the best decision?  The whole city is scrambling to get to that food, how do we know that it's not mostly a bunch of ruthless folks who fought/ killed others just to get there in the first place?  If there is a food shortage, we can't be sure that some people won't take more than their share if no one looks over the food.  On a base level it's an obvious decision, but when we look further into it there are other factors.  It's easy to accidentally make a bad decision while we're thinking about how awesome of a job we just did.  I guess that's where the saying "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions," comes from.

Something that I've thought about for quite sometime now is also how difficult it is to look at something from multiple angles (probably also a programming nightmare, hence the simple dichotomy coding in the game).  Sam has this chaos theorist side to her which comes out quite often.  It's frightening to hear her vocalize every aspect of her thought process, especially when it comes to planning something.  She's talked about having back up plans for her back up plans (I've heard others do the same) but describing it doesn't quite do justice for all the angles of an event she's looking at to make it happen.  She thinks of things most folks would never dream could happen to put a damper on something.  Of course those impossible moments have happened to our family and then we get bailed out by one of Sam's plans.  It's crazy she could have figured so many aspects in.  But she doesn't look at just the black and white.  She doesn't look at "this is how the picnic should go" and "but let's do this if it rains."  It's so much more than that.  Having that trait is something I would like to work on more, even though it's hard to do because it requires so much conscious effort and attention.  It's almost like writing a book, look at all the scenarios.  Before you give that homeless man a dollar, think about it.  Before you bad talk someone behind their back, think about it.  And then think about it some more.  

These aren't decisions that can be made in a split second like a do or don't decision, but sometimes they have to be.  That's when it gets tricky, and that's something to practice toward.  But maybe I'll start by doing that with more long-term plans (like trips or shopping next week).

Surveys

Feb. 27th, 2011 08:52 pm
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A couple of surveys Sam did on her page.... here's my results:

Your result for Awakening the Hero Within: Hero Archetype Test...

You are the Magician.

63% Innocent, 33% Orphan, 58% Warrior, 54% Caregiver, 54% Seeker, 79% Lover, 83% Destroyer, 67% Creator, 92% Magician, 58% Ruler, 58% Sage and 58% Fool!


Goal: Transformation


Fear: Evil sorcery


Response to Dragon/Problem: Transform it


Task: Align self with cosmos


Gift: Personal power


Addictions: Power, hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs


Magicians are intuitive to the point that they know things that they did not know they could know. The Magician sees the sacred as something immanent in us, nature, society, the earth, and the cosmos. Thus the Magician provides as sense of connectedness wit the whole and an understanding that what within us contains all that is outside ourselves. Magicians can align the body, mind and soul around a commitment to really let go of a pattern. In healing the self, the Magician learns how to heal others.



Shadow Magician:


If a Magician internalizes either’s voices and listen to the abusive voices in our own heads, we become subject to the Shadow Magician. By denying the power to heal and transform, a Shadow Magician is born. A Shadow Magician tends to act out in hostile and harmful ways, judging people harshly and making people feel like less than they are.


Shadow Magicians use their charisma to control others. A Shadow Magician, though able to see and understand so much, chooses to deny the truth and avoid dealing with the matter before and in him/her.


Shadow Magicians depend on Shadow Orphans as targets.



Take Awakening the Hero Within: Hero Archetype Test at HelloQuizzy



Your result for The Fantasy RPG Class Test...

The Healer

17% Strength, 13% Bloodlust, 20% Intelligence, 33% Spirit, 32% Vitality and 18% Agility!

Oh my goodness! Your magic is eating away at my flesh! That's not supposed to happen!


You are the Healer, a warrior who is attempting to master healing and support magic but sadly ends up harming the people you try to heal :( Although you are currently not well versed in the art of light magic, you are well on your way to becoming a powerful Sage! Yay!


This is a low class. If you want a higher class, try focusing your choices more on light, healing, and defensive magic.


Below is a list of some of the higher classes the Healer can reach:


The Holy Sage


The Arch Druid


The Dark Shaman


The Grand Bishop


The Silver Hand


The Sound Weaver


cloudy_one: (Default)
Why are you so full of yourself?

I'm not, I've just been through a lot okay?  I'm not looking for accolades or even attention or anything here.  I just want this to be over with already.

Get the hell over yourself! You're the main character in this story, you wouldn't be if you didn't want the attention.  You know that you don't really matter, right?

I don't see what that has to do with anything..

It has everything to do with this particular situation.  For some reason you think you matter, otherwise you wouldn't be playing the role you're playing.  The point of this is for people to be entertained, people are entertained by giving their attention to a central figure or group of people.  That's you right now.  Don't you feel important?  I'm willing to bet that you do when you would in fact be mistaken.

I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't answer your own questions on my behalf.

Well you're not going to answer them, are you?  At least not honestly, that's not something you're very capable of I don't think.  At least that's what your actions have shown.  

I've been trying to make up for it!

Stop acting like this is your play already!  You haven't been, if you were there would be no reason for me to be here now would there?  I'm my own proof of the argument.  You're an idiot, an egotistical idiot.  

I don't see how insulting me is going to clear anything up.

Listen.. you know that you are the main attraction to these people right now, right?  This movie, this book, this story is about you.  Like that one guy likes to say, you're the star of your own autobiography.  Tell me how that couldn't grow your ego.

Well I....

Don't talk yet, I'm not done.  It must feel good getting all that attention.  The cutting, the arguments, the sulky look you like to try and pull off, while not trying to do anything, right?  All those things are you seeking attention, you're even willing to go far enough to elaborately deny it and create side stories to avoid people noticing.  Which is kind of ironic now that I think about it.  

Everyone likes attention.

But not everyone needs attention all the time like you seem to think.

They want to pay attention to me, they paid their money to find out about my life and what it means.  Maybe they'll even get something out of it to help themselves.

First of all, nothing from you life is going to help anyone.  Second of all, they paid for entertainment, nothing more.  If this is on DVD or something a lot of folks probably didn't even pay.  Heck, book stores and libraries give away books all the time.  People just want to waste their time with you.  But hey, let's give you the benefit of the doubt.  Say they are interested in YOU.  How interested are they really?  They'll spend two hours on a movie, a few days on your book; after that they forget about you and move on to the next story which will inspire them until they forget immediately afterward and move on again.  

I don't see how any of that matters to be honest with you.

You're stupid.  You are being a pretentious piece of shit, acting like you have any kind of value beyond that roach in the corner. 

Why do you care anyway?!  If anything I matter more than I thought because you're willing to go through so much work and thought to disprove me!

Well that only makes sense doesn't it?  I don't think you're ever going to really figure it out, are you? 

There's nothing to figure out, now leave me alone. 

You're not that lucky friend.  But hey, you could always pop in a movie or something and give your mind a rest.  Never know, it might work out for you.  Idiot.

Everything

Dec. 7th, 2010 01:04 pm
cloudy_one: (Default)
As I type these words they lose power and meaning. If I were to write them down the same would happen. If I were to speak them aloud, again. What I find is that as I look back at my journal entries, they come off as pretentious and I don't particular enjoy reading them. I'm embarrassed to have written them. I am dramatic, perhaps even "emo." I almost want to get angry when I look at the crud I've written. I realize, however, that while I'm writing them, this entry included, my words are as real to me as the meaning behind them. There is nothing that matters more than the emotion and the thoughts that go into my writing. When someone is going through a rough patch in their life and others see it as petty or ridiculous ("my boyfriend broke up with me again!") it is real enough to them for them to put their lives on it. It provokes tears, it provokes shakes, it provokes powerful emotion. Maybe no one else is intended to understand. As with dreams, rarely do people care what you dreamed about, even if that dream "changed your life forever." That doesn't alter the fact that your life has been profoundly changed. In that way I suppose this sort of self-expression is a way to release things, because they don't stay in the words, at least not to me. I don't feel the same things when I re-read. Likely, you don't feel the same things I do, if anything at all, when reading my wordy entries.

With those same thoughts I was reminded of a passage from The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury). In it, it is explained that life only seems to question itself when in the midst of being unsure, in a bad situation. During war, during depression, during uncertainty we question what the meaning of life is. When we're at the movies, in bed with our lover, camping in the middle of no place, these questions don't come up. Life is it's own answer; living is the meaning of life. I wish things were more concrete. 42 maybe? But I don't think it is. If I die after writing this, it is the greatest tragedy for someone; but for many it doesn't matter a bit. Does that make living pointless, no, but it doesn't make dying pointless either. It's all part of the same process. *end existential crisis*

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cloudy_one

December 2012

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