Archive for May, 2006

pragmatism and cold blood

May 17th, 2006

Yes, that's what I think my social strategy needs, if not requires. I tend to be fairly focused in my social interactions - when I meet a new person, it doesn't take me very long to classify this potential new relationship into one of two categories. Yes, this looks promising. Or, no, I don't care about this at all. The second type I think we all have a lot of the time... people who put us off with a bad sense of humor, who have radically different opinions on things important to us, who carry themselves in a way we don't approve of, who don't seem to get us - in short, people we don't really like. That's quite simple, unless we are made to spend time with them, we can just cross them off the list immediately.

But the former kind of people, those who seem to have a lot of potential, are very tricky to pursue often. Even if a person does seem interesting and appealing, there are still many obstacles in the way of friendship. This is where circumstances can completely ruin the chances of this going anywhere. For instance, you may not have time to pursue this relationship, or even though you're fairly certain that this has potential the other person may not be, or they are not looking for any new friends right now, or well you get the idea. So there's a fairly big step going from just meeting someone and thinking they are worth pursuing, to getting to a point where both of you agree that you want this, to actually going anywhere with it. Now, sometimes you will get to "stage two" of that cycle and it will just never materialize, not for a lack of good will, but because of circumstances. This is very frustrating. By that time I will have invested myself emotionally into this and when it fails to go anywhere, I get quite disappointed. Miistake. This is where some cold blood could help.

Even though I have this binary classification system, it doesn't really reflect reality. I have a lot of relationships which are neither the zero nor the one, neither hopeless nor solid friendships. They are just in between, mostly promising relationships that stagnated at some point, or good relationships that faded, but not completely, just to a point where they are still useful. And so I'm starting to think that my approach is wrong. Instead of trying hard and getting disappointed when it doesn't work out, I should probably consider relationships more like a stock broker would handle stock. With a robotic disregard for individuals and just trying to maximize on investment at any given moment. Pursue any relationship of interest to the extent that the present situation allows, and at the same time accept loss with cold blood. Instead of making it a tick in the "loss" column and letting out a big sigh, I shouldn't even care, just move on to the next one. And maybe a week later try to revive the one that wasn't going well and see if it does better. No building, no long term concerns, just short term strategy.

give us grapefruit juice

May 15th, 2006

In Norway, in the juice section of the supermarkets they use to sell these 1l cartons of grapefruit juice in a green container. That was good stuff. Then they switched the juice that was made from yellow grapefruits to the red grapefruit variety, and that was a really bad move. Juice from yellow grapefruits just tastes better, you can't just suddenly pretend otherwise. At least they could have introduced the red grapefruit juice alongside the existing one, but no, they just replaced it.

But here I am now and so far in the Netherlands I've yet to see yellow grapefruit juice. I bought a carton of red today and it's not bad, but I miss the yellow stuff..

anyone here a life mentor?

May 9th, 2006

Here we are again, this is familiar ground. Much too familiar, in fact. An escape from the strange country up north, where everything is on its head, sort of. Here I am, in the heart of Europe, in a cozy little town where the people are nice and the weather is currently making me feel like I'm on vacation. But in this strange and funny country, where I don't speak the language (yet slowly begin to understand), there is no escape, no escape from one self, even here. There was always a great hope in my heart that I would make this move and my life would change into everything I've wanted it to be. Well, maybe that hope was a little less idealistic than I just described it, nevertheless it was big. In some ways it is different here, some things have changed for the better (in fact I keep pondering blogging that sometime). But some things are the same.

It's not easy to blog with a heavy heart. I usually find it comfortable to blog when my head is clear and all I have in mind is some trivial thought which I try to spin in a way that makes it funny. But when I undertake a heavy thought, I often scrape the blog before I get halfway, too often it goes nowhere and the main idea gets completely lost. This may be one of these times, although I've taken a stand to finish this one, I feel the need to put it together.

I'm sure we all feel inadequate in many ways, but the biggest source of my lack of self esteem is not fulfilling my professional/academic obligations. So far in life I haven't worked much, so it revolves around school. I wish I knew why and how it all fits together, I've been over it enough times trying to figure it out. But I suppose it starts at some point with a feeling of enthusiasm about undertaking some piece of work. A thought of "oh this is interesting, I look forward to it". Then a time comes when the enthusiasm wanes, or rather some distraction comes into the foreground and the thought of working at the material is left for "later". I'm rather good at making time go by, I seem to find a way. Tv, movies, internet, where there's a will there's a way. Sometimes it's a feeling of accomplishment and "I got this under control" that triggers distraction mode. But the longer it goes on, the longer work pries on my mind, the more guilty I feel about not working, the less I want to get started. In everything I do I sort of intend to work but never get started. Days go by and I keep feeling bad about it. By now enthusiasm is a distant memory, I just feel a heavy burden. Once I hit distraction mode, there seems to be a treshold, past which point if it goes on for that long, I can keep it up indefinitely. How do I spend the time? It doesn't really matter, it's time wasted. It can go on for weeks sometimes, doing pretty much nothing at all. I usually have an idea of what my commitments are, when my deadlines are, I'm not completely disconnected from the world. But in these periods I gradually feel worse about myself, once I go into them I don't check my deadlines anymore, I don't want to think about it. My self esteem falls, I don't enjoy being around people. I don't want to face anyone, I feel inadequate and I feel vulnerable. In those times I usually fail to show up for a lot of things, I neglect people. Not that a lot of people depend on me, but if they did I would let them down. At some point I either recover, cut my losses and do some damage control or I just flat out fail, miss deadlines, fail exams, get really depressed.

It's been about 2 weeks since I did any work, I have deadlines coming up and here I am again.

"my bad"

May 9th, 2006

Do you say "my bad"? I do, not that often but on occasion, sure. Here's a story about where it might have come from.

the post-gunfight scene

May 8th, 2006

I would have made this comment a long time ago, but I'm not a big fan of guns and death. Still, on tv it's all fictional, so I don't care how many people die on screen. Meanwhile, it becomes unbearable to watch how many times you see the same thing happen. So here goes, after many years of watching annoyed, just for the sake of making movie scripts a little more believable.

See, a gun, as opposed to a knife, is a long range weapon. And the perfect range is probably a few meters away from the hostage. At this range, you are less likely to miss, while you're still at a safe distance from any hand combat attacks. Moving closer to the victim does not improve your position, it compromises it. Why, because once you come close enough to the victim for them to reach you, they can disarm you before you can say 'bastard, you killed my father'. It's mostly newbies doing this, apparently we as the public are supposed to believe that they are so dumb as to think 'this bad guy will get more freaked out if I put the gun to his head, oooh cold metal'. And then what happens? The bad guy takes the gun away.

Could they possibly make it any more predictable?