5/30/2005

5-30-05 - 1

5-30-05

Still in Pennsylvania with family.

The Robert Horry Factor.

My back is killing me from all the driving and crappy beds. I dream of doing things like the Peace Corps, but my body is such a wreck, I can't handle hard living. I think my youth of computer obsession has permanently crippled me. It's odd because I look so fit, but in reality I'm a mess, I have pinched disks, a bone spur on my spinal chord, locked hips, displaced vertebrae, bound facia, etc. etc.

For some reason I find highways numbering really interesting. As I drive around I try to predict what the next highway's number will be. Over the years I've guessed at the system, but I guess you could just look it up online. The even numbers go east-west, the odd numbers go north-south. The multiples of 10 are the major E-W interstates, and they start lowest in the south with the 10, highest in the north. The tens plus 5 (like 45) are the major N-S interstates, and they start in the west with the 5, end east with the 95. The other evens and odds below 100 are semi-major highways that fill in the gaps. The 100's are offshoots of the corresponding sub-100, so like the 110 is an offshoot of the 10, meaning it connects to it and runs roughly parallel. The 200's are transfers or connections, so like the 210 is a highway that takes you to the 10, connects to it, but is not equivalent. The 600's are local loops, again labelled by the sub-100 they connect with. I'm not sure what the other 100's are, the 300's, 400's and 500's. I know the 405 in LA is of course related to the 5, but I can't figure out what the 400 means; maybe it indicates an alternate route for a portion of the sub-100.

Cotton thread count is the new shaving razor blade-count. People blindly think larger numbers are better. 300 thread count used to be deluxe, now it's 400, 500 - I saw 650 the other day; I'm not even sure why higher thread count has any beneficial properties.

How arrogant of us to call ourselves "American". That's a label for the people from two entire *continents* and we take it to mean just us. That's sort of like using the word "human" to refer to whites, it's supremely disrespectful of all other people who should be included under that label.

The defining characteristic of separate species is that they don't (willingly) mate. For example, horses and donkeys are separate species because they will not willingly mate, even though they are capable of copulating and producing young. The many types of domestic cat are not separate species because they will eagerly mate. The many types of big cats are separate species because they will not mate, even though they could produce offspring. Based on this definition, I conclude that ugly people and hot people are different species.

One of the crappy things about getting older and dating older girls is that they have more sexual history, roughly proportional to their age, though there is a lot of variance. I have a very hard time being with girls with a big sexual history; I can't stop wondering about what they've done. It's sort of like in Amelie or "Jeux d'Enfants". I imagine I'm a person who can touch a thing and suddenly have images of the past of that thing.

I'd like to do a video study on how blind people dance. Not people who went blind, only people born blind - people who have no idea of what "proper" dancing looks like, people who just move naturally to the music, unselfconcious, unaware of other people looking at them.

I'm dating a girl I really love, but I still think about meeting girls. I always have, I guess I always will; it's not that I really want to, in life I'm perfectly faithful, it's just that the romantic dream of meeting is always there; I'm bombarded with meeting fantasies in pop culture - all romance is about the new thing, not the lovely old thing. I dream of going out and picking up chicks, but the whole point of that is to meet someone great, so why would you want it when you have someone great?

I used to think I needed to get better at relating to ordinary people and enjoying their company. Not so. Ordinary people are shit. I need to find the good people, and stick with them and be good to them and cultivate those relationship - they're rare and special and worth it.

The Bridge Bust is a fair on the bridge over the Susquehana between Wrightsville and Columbia, quaint small towns in Pennsylvania. They close down the whole bridge and set up booths with crafts and crap and people walk around. The original bridge was burnt by the Confederates when they retreated across it, and at the fair they recreate the burning. Some of the old country homes and farms around here are just amazing.

I've been reading Michael Crichton's book "Travels". It's not fiction, it's a collection of non-fiction essays about his many wild adventures. It's rather a strange reading experience, because it's quite interesting, but I absolutely despise him, and it's strange reading the words of someone you despise; a sarcastic voice in my head does running commentary along with his narrative, picking on him, and pointing out the gross errors in his prose. Mike is a whiny, rich, lucky, spoiled bastard, who drives around in a Porche and dates young starlets nearly half his age, a different one each week; he of course is not happy with his riches and fame and women, so he seeks fulfillment in new age spiritualism and exotic travel. He goes on wild exclusive jaunts, like trekking to Shangri-La (in the near-Himalayan mountains of Pakistan), or to see the wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda (similar to what that Gorillas in the mist lady did). His insights into people and life are incredibly shallow and self-serving, generally rationalizing his own childish behavior. He has one whole essay about how people love to fear wild animals even though they're not dangerous (eg. people are afraid of snakes and spiders but they are incredibly unlikely to hurt you - the real things to fear are cars, hamburgers, cigarettes, etc); he comes to various silly conclusions and completely misses the right answer - people love to be afraid of those things because they aren't really dangerous, and it distracts us from the real fears; we don't want to see horror movies that are realistic, that would be terrible, we can escape the really scary things by pretending to be afraid of silly thing. One positive thing I get from the book is just the idea of making treks for really specific wild purposes. Generally when I travel I just like to go some place and be there; I don't even like to plan to see the tourist sites or anything, I want to meet the people there, wander, explore, just be there. That's all well and good, but it can give you a sense of pointlessness, and it doesn't generally lead to good summaries of what you did. If instead you make some random specific purpose, like kayak down the Nile, you can go and "just live" for a while before your central activity, then "just live" a few days after, and you have this focal purpose to give the trip an anchor. I like that idea, I think I'll do it in the future. addendum - the book turns into a metaphysical load of new age shit in the end, please do not buy it.

Statistically, if you hook up with someone random, you're far more likely to hook up with someone who is extremely sexually active than someone who is not. The variance is extraordinary - there are people who have been with 100+ partners, and others who have been with 1-10. Those people have drastically different chances of hook up, perhaps 50% for one and 5% for the other.

The Republicans clearly should be happy that they are in power. However, if sensible Republicans would look down the road a bit, they should be very concerned. 1) they've cultivated the power of the religious right, which is A) increasing the power of fringe groups, and B) may create a backlash from mainstream America if it goes too far. 2) they've broken down any government based on truth, and made it all image and pitching and PR, which is good for them now since their PR machine is so much better than the Dems, but long term it means that you can't fight real bad actions, the judgement is all based on non-facts.

G Love ; I'm watching basketball! Screw John Tesh.

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old rants