Friday, October 18, 2002

I don't know what to tell you...

I seem to have developed a pattern of blogging every other day. I guess that's okay, it's nice to have patterns (so long as you don't try to mix them indiscriminately... no matter what Vogue tells you, plaid and polka-dots cannot exist in proximity). On the other hand, predictability is often considered a bad trait. I guess the key to being seen as spontaneaous rather than predictable is to surround oneself with people who are endlessly surprised by the same thing (like my Grandmother, and Caroline). It works on the same principle as hanging around obese people in order to look thinner, or surrounding yourself with elderly people in order to look younger.

I've often pondered the trait that several people I know display... the trait of surrounding oneself with fuckups and morons in order to feel or appear more together and smart. Now, in some people this trait is peculiarly advanced, to the extent that the person is so surrounded by idiots that he or she has no idea that s/he is an idiot as well, being merely the least idiotic of a large circle of idiots but a complete and utter idiot nonetheless. In these extremes, one practically creates a new subculture, in which one becomes the King of the Idiots (wait, that's a quote I remember..."In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"... who said it?)

But in a lesser sense, there are those who take comfort in the fact that they are not nearly as screwed-up as other people — people, for example, like Jerry Springer's guests. This is in fact the key demographic of Jerry Springer's audience: people who draw comfort from the fact that, as screwed up as their own lives are, at least their husbands aren't leaving them for transsexual hookers. This is a form of schadenfreude, taking delight in the misfortunes of others, but is also the indicator of a rather arrogant worldview that leads one to ignore one's own faults and shortcomings, allowing them to fester and grow. If you cried because you had no shoes, but then saw a man who had no feet, should you then feel happy that you still have no shoes?

Chalk another one up to "Things That Marlene Just Doesn't Get," but I never understood this drive to be on top of anything, even a pile of crap, settling for being the Biggest Crap instead of being the Smallest (what's the opposite of crap? Gold? Chocolate?)

I've always preferred to surround myself with people who I see as superior, from whom I can learn and with whose help I can improve myself. But even among these, I try only to see them as superior in one particular way or another. Some of my friends are more kind than I, more literate, more attractive (personally attractive, that is, rather than but not exclusive of physically attractive), more outgoing, more adventurous, more imaginitive, et cetera and so on. I, in turn, offer them the things in which I excel that perhaps they do not. It's a symbiosis of learning, rather than a hierarchy in which one person is superior and another is inferior. The very description of "superior vs inferior" is completely arrogant and not conducive to growth and progress. It assumes static roles in the universe, and we all know that nothing in this universe is ever really static.

On the other hand, even though I do not consciously surround myself with people I see as "inferior" to myself, I am naturally arrogant and must always strive to remind myself that I am not "superior" to certain or various other people. Yes, I may be more intelligent than many people, more stylish, more thoughtful, whatever (and also, there are people who outshine me in these things)... but I have to remember that even the meanest creature on this planet has its purpose and uses, facets that shine and facets that do not shine — just like me. That even if one fails at everything one does, one can still provide an example to others (if only a negative example... for one thing, I've learned by scientific observation of The Jerry Springer Show to never involve myself with women who have bulbous foreheads, tight lips, and too much eyeliner on the lower lids, because they always lead to trouble).

And the reason I feel it necessary to always remind myself of my own lack of superiority is because I tend, as do many people, to prefer pointing out the splinter in my neighbor's eye while ignoring the plank in my own (that's a Biblical reference, kids). It's ever so much easier to inventory other people's window-displays than to laboriously sort through the dusty old stock in one's own back-room. But if we give in to this impulse, this laziness of feeling superior because other people are supposedly inferior, we miss the opportunity to grow and become a better person... not a superior person, because that is not the goal, but a good person, the best person one is capable of being.

So there's the sermon for today. In other news, I have started the transfer of files from my work computer to my new home computer via Winzip file compression and 100-MG Zip disks (how did zip become such a common phoneme in Computerese?) I had no idea how many porn jpegs I had stored on this thing! I just went through the photo-porn (as opposed to the cartoon-porn or video-porn) files, deleting things I didn't really like and moving things that had been filed there by accident, and ended up with 58 megs of porn! Enough, I imagine, to start my own porn site!

I also went through my Word directory and discovered that I have about 180 megs of documents stored, everything from my own writing to copies of letters and emails and instant-message sessions. And then, I can't decide quite what to do with the innumerable megs of beefcake photos... I've uploaded so many to my FTP space already, but I didn't make any notation of which pictures went up and which ones didn't. That's going to take a lot of shuffling-through and directory-comparing. That's going to take a while to get through.

I'm such a pack-rat, though! I had no idea how many files I had stored, of how many different types, in how many subdirectories, until I started to move them! On the other hand, I did buy a six-pack of Zip disks, and can make several trips back and forth, so maybe I don't really have to sort them out, after all. I should, but it's nice to think that I don't have to.

I also just bought the new Sims Deluxe Edition at Best Buy (where I went to get sufficient phone cord to connect the modem in my bedroom to the phone jack in the guest room at the other end of the house, as well as a few other things), and have been enjoying the hell out of it. This version comes with Livin' Large included and several more objects than both original games... and there are five separate (but identical) neighborhoods, so I have quite a bit more real estate to build up and have fun with. I had decided to start fresh with this edition and leave my old families on the work and kitchen computers where they are, but with five neighborhoods, I have room to move them all. I'll have to see about how to do that. Any input, fellow Sims Addicts?

I just had a terrible scare... I was eating a bagel with cream cheese, and thought I broke the temporary filling out of my freshly root-canaled back tooth! BLIND UTTER PANIC!!!! But it turned out to be a seed from one of the other bagels that was in the same bag. Phew! But that reminds me that I had better get hopping on having that crown installed. Next time it might not be a seed.

Plus, I'm really tired of not being able to eat candy. I mean, on the one hand it's easier to diet when I can't eat a pound of taffy or an entire box of See's or a big bag of pastel mint nonpareils, but I love those things so! And I'm not losing much weight, either, since I still can (and do) eat cookies and cake and what-have-you. And now that the weather is turning, I won't have as much opportunity for my preferred form of exercise (walking). I'll have to see about joining that gym I was talking about. Or just stop worrying about it... it's not like anybody besides me has to look at my doughy waist.

Well, I guess I've babbled on long enough. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I'm sure you could get more that that from this one:

Did you ever have one of those writing assignments where you have to make up a story about a single frame of photography? Give this one a shot!

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