Archive for May, 2010


Not.

You know what I love hearing when I’m strapped to a table, having my face torn open by various metal implements?

"Never in my career have I had this problem before."

Oh gee whiz doc, that’s really great.

What was supposed to be a routine half-hour operation ended up being a two and a half hour marathon. I’ve had better evenings, to say the least. Hearing the sound of my cartilage being ripped apart wasn’t very pleasant, nor was the sensation of a steady stream of blood pouring down my cheek.

I’m alive, but I’m going to be fairly useless for the next little while. No sports for six weeks, meaning no road hockey, no golf, no running, no swimming. Normally the restriction on swimming wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m going to Florida with my family in about a month, so it’s an issue.

The good news is that the pain and discomfort aren’t nearly as severe as they were the first time I had this surgery back in March 2008. That was a shitty two weeks. The bad news is that the discomfort and swelling are worse than I expected them to be. I had hoped to be back to my normal routine by this weekend, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. At this rate, I’ll be good to go by Tuesday at the earliest.

That’s life, I guess. It could be better, but it could be a lot worse too. At least it’s over.

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Life Is Good

I hope I’m not offending anyone by claiming that life is good. I mean, I haven’t been alive for years now. What do I know about life?

Well, I’ve sat on both sides of the fence of mortality for some time now, and I can tell you from personal experience that being alive is a thousand times better than being dead.

Sure, life is hard. It’s full of disorder, suffering, chaos, and confusion. There is disease. Families are torn apart on a regular basis by divorce. In many parts of the world, people don’t know when or if their next meal is coming. Without a doubt, there are a lot of problems with the world.

In contrast, the afterlife is about as peaceful as it can get. Nothing ever disturbs me. Nothing ever changes here. No one ever leaves my world, and no one ever enters it. There’s no disease here, no suffering, and no death. The laws of physics no longer bind me. I can be anywhere I want to be at any time. I can fly through the clouds or walk on water. I can create life where once there was nothingness.

And in spite of all that, I would give up this existence in a heartbeat to have my life back.

It’s lonely here. I mean, really lonely. Sure, I have you to talk to, but it’s not the same. Please don’t be offended by that. I just mean that being up here and interacting with you isn’t the same as having other living, breathing people around me. But no one else knows that I still exist.

That’s the most frustrating thing. As far as everyone else is concerned, I ceased to exist the moment that car hit me. But I’m still here. I can feel, and think, and move, but no one else knows that. I can see them and hear them, but they can’t see or hear me. If I could just reach out to my old friends and family and let them know that I still exist, I’d be much happier, but I haven’t found a way to do that yet.

I think that maybe I should make solving this problem my first priority from now on. Maybe then I’ll be happy.

Oh F*ck Right Off

I just spent a solid hour typing out a blog on why life should be more like video games.

Then I thought to myself "Hold on. This sounds oddly familiar." So I check my archives, and there it is. October 14th, 2007. A blog about why life should be more like video games. This was shaping up to be a really great blog too, but I end up being
screwed over by something I wrote over two years ago.

It’s bound to happen sometimes. If my counting is correct, this is blog #418 on this space. With all those entries, I’m almost guaranteed to repeat myself occasionally. I just don’t like it when it happens.

But you know, I could probably get away with it. I could probably copy and paste a blog word for word from three years ago, and I’d be the only one aware of it. Such is the power of having a readership of three.

I could, but I won’t.

So now I’ve wasted about two hours on this. Shitty ending to the day. Whatever, tomorrow will be better.

Round Two

I begin working at my high school again tomorrow. I don’t know why, but I’m always nervous going back there. I feel like everyone is staring at me and whispering "Hey, he doesn’t go here anymore! He’s an outsider! Get him!"

It’s weird. I feel nervous every time I go there, and every time I wind up having an awesome time. Oh well, I’m sure it will pass eventually.

Caricatures

In art, a caricature is a portrait that exaggerates the prominent physical characteristics of a person to the point of ridiculousness, often for comedic purposes.

…At least that’s what Ms. Olivera’s sixth grade art class taught me. I could be completely wrong.

Anyhow, one thought that has been in my head for a while now is the idea of real-life caricatures. That is, people who purposely emphasize one aspect of their personality (as opposed to a physical characteristic) so much that it becomes their only identifiable characteristic.

That wasn’t a very well-written sentence. Forgive me, it’s summer break, and my brain has already begun to atrophy.

What I mean is: What would happen to a person who purposely made themselves one-dimensional? Would it benefit them or hurt them?

Your first reaction is probably the latter. There are a lot of problems with becoming a caricature, and it’s not unreasonable to suggest that these outweigh any positives that might exist. But the more I think about it, the more I think that becoming a caricature could work to a person’s benefit if done correctly.

There are a few stipulations, of course:

First of all, the characteristic you choose to emphasize has to be a charcteristic you already possess. To illustrate my point, I’ll use myself as an example. I couldn’t go out and become The Militant Vegan, because frankly I don’t give two shits about animal rights, and the cow I ate today was fucking delicious. Two things I could pull off are The Flames Fan and The Misogynist. Which brings me to my next point:

Your chosen characteristic needs to be something that’s either approved of by most people or else seen as neutral by most people. If I were to go out and do nothing but make sexist comments, I probably wouldn’t have too many fans, since sexism is generally frowned upon. Hockey, however, is something which is seen as neutral by many people and approved of by others. I wouldn’t lose or gain favour from those who don’t care about hockey, but I would gain favour with like-minded individuals.

There are an infinite number of caricatures that you could become. You could be known as The Clumsy One, or The One That Always Loses Her Keys, or The One That Trips Over Herself, or The One That Believes In Aliens, and so on.

The question is, does becoming a caricature help?

Well… I don’t know. I’ve never really tried it. I’ve emphasized my Flames-fandom in the past to the point where I was known to be a Flames fan by many, but I’ve never gone to the extreme of making my Flames-fandom my most obvious characteristic. Not too many people would hear my name and instantly think "Oh, the Flames fan!"

It seems to work reasonably well on the Internet. When people can’t see
you, they’re forced to identify you by personality characteristics. As a
result, they may view you as a caricature even when you don’t intend to
be one.

The problem with testing this idea in the real world is that it’s hard to find the perfect environment to do it in. It needs to be an environment where very few (if any) people know you, but where you’ll be spending a significant amount of time around the same people. But, the amount of time you’ll be around these people can’t be significant enough that you’ll screw up your life if the experiment goes pear shaped. Queen’s would have been a great place to try this out, but that ship has sailed.

The best I can do is hazard a guess as to how well caricatures work. I think that becoming a caricature can be incredibly useful in the early stages of a relationship. It makes you more memorable, and provided that you choose a good characteristic to emphasize, you’ll be remembered in a good way by people. Once you gain the trust of the people around you, you can begin to let other aspects of your personality show. According to my former psychology professor, people are less likely to judge you once they already know you well, so it’s safer to reveal your true self later on.

If I’m right (and psychology would suggest that I’m at least on the right track), it sort of speaks poorly of human nature, doesn’t it? The whole "Be yourself" mantra is bullshit. It should really be something like "Be yourself, but only after you’ve convinced people that you’re a good person by hiding all of your negative characteristics."

But whatever.