Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dia Ultima

Well, it has been almost 5 months, several months since someone last left a comment here. If the point of starting this blog was to try to make contact with some the billions of people in cyberspace, I'd say the experiment proves that it's nearly impossible to do so. If the point was to have a place to express the thoughts that I can't say without offending someone, then I've certainly done that to a certain extent, but not really, seeing as I told someone that I was doing this, and thus added a self-censoring variable. If the point was to have a life kept secret from those who know me, then I've failed there, too, for the very same reason just mentioned.

With that in mind, I think it's time to shutter my online treehouse. Maybe I'll try this again some other time or some other place. Maybe I'll see you again then and there. God bless and thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 140

Contemporary societal wisdom tells me that I must first love myself before I can love others. That is to say, I must have enough love for myself in order for any excess to overflow to others. I would submit that without first loving others, I will never have enough love to satisfy my own needs. Think about it -- Christ said that the two greatest commandments in Scripture are to (1) love God and (2) love others as I love myself -- I am never actually told that I must love myself. In fact, the latter commandment is predicated on the idea that I already love myself, and therefore I am commanded to love my neighbor the same way I love myself. The truth is, if I try to love myself enough, I will never have enough -- human nature always wants more and we are never satisfied with the amount we have of whatever it is that we have. Thus if I focus on loving myself enough first, I will never have any excess to share with others because I will always need to hoard more for myself. And of course I can't ever give myself enough because of the aforementioned human nature, so I will try to get others to love me to supplement my need. However, if I demand love without giving any first, I will not receive any. So I say that I must first love others as I want to be loved. Spread that around enough, and enough will eventually come back to me from the people I have loved first.

Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It" #5: Why do we so often treat our greatest blessings as if they were our greatest burdens? I would like to think that the entities that bless us the most require effort to maintain, and that it’s the personal investment that we make in maintaining those entities that give them importance in our lives, which in turn gives them the potential to greatly bless us. But too often we focus only on the efforts required, losing sight of the blessings, realizing how much of a blessing they were only after we’ve already given up on them. I hope to never treat my blessings that way, yet I know I will. I don’t get it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 129

It's high time I welcomed our new visitor(s)! Welcome to the visitor(s) from Florida! Hope you enjoyed your stay here, and hope you're able to stay out of the humidity there in Florida -- I've heard it's rough.

Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It" #4: People who have yet to visit Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog! Free viewing only lasts a couple more days, so act quickly, dear readers. And having mentioned the Sing-Along Blog in each of my last 3 posts, you'd think I was being paid by Joss Whedon to do so... Sadly, I'm not. He probably doesn't even know I exist, though it would be fun if he did notice my little corner of cyberspace and leave a comment or something. But there are bloggers out there who have posted much more than I have regarding said Blog, and they deserve the props much more than I do. Yet even with such glowing praise from the farthest reaches of the WWW, there are still people who are painfully unaware of the brilliance that is only a few clicks away. I don't get it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 126

Soooo ... did you check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog yet ... ? Do it. Doooo iiit.


In other news, I bought a new car! Sadly I did not buy a Segway from Jackie Chan. Rather, I bought a Toyota Matrix from Raymond. Certainly there's an off chance that Raymond knows Jackie Chan, but I'm not holding out hope for that. At the very least I'm pretty sure that Raymond knows of Jackie Chan. That's probably as close as I'm getting to the aforementioned Mr. Chan during this whole vehicle purchasing process.

If nothing else, the whole car-buying experience has reminded me that I'm not very good at negotiating prices. The last time I had to negotiate any payment was when I was living in New Delhi, and I wasn't very good at it then either. Granted, I was only negotiating for rickshaw fares and the occasional souvenir, but still -- El Sucko. To my credit though, I did manage to get them to let me trade in my old truck, which seemed an insurmountable task, given that coolant was spraying out of a hose and the transmission warning light was coming on several times each day. In fact, I almost expected them to say, "Um, you're going to have to pay us extra if you want to leave this thing here..." So in light of that, not only am I happy that I have a new ride, I'm happy that someone other than me is dealing with selling my old ride...

I'm not through with you yet today...

Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It" #3: The cell phone that rings several times during the course of a single meeting. Sure, you forgot to turn off the ringer when you first walked in and the phone rang in the middle of the meeting -- it's distracting, but it's understandable. But did you think that the phone would somehow turn itself to silent mode after that? Did you not hear it the first time? You obviously did, seeing as you picked it up to see who was calling, so what's so difficult about switching to silent mode at that point? Did you think that it would be any less of a distraction the second time it rings? That's not only rude, that's unprofessional. I don't get it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 125

Wow, I've been here over 4 months...

But more importantly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog arrives TODAY! Click on the banner on the left of your screen ... Uh ... scroll down a little ... See Neil Patrick Harris there? Yeah, that's it. Seriously, it's right there -- you can't miss it. And whatever you do, don't miss it! Nathan Fillion is right there, too. As well as Felicia Day. Come on, what's not to love?!? It's only up until Sunday, so make sure you visit the site before then. Then make sure you download the videos and buy the DVD. Firefly Flans, show those studio big-wigs that you can recognize quality programming when you see it!

Yes, I'm being quite effusive, but it's for a worthy cause. Believe me. On second thought, don't take my word for it -- click on that banner and see for yourself.

Enjoy :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 118

Hope you all had a great 4th of July! I had a pretty good one myself, but then again any event that involves BBQs and fireworks is a pretty good event in my view. I mean, what can be more American than eating too much and blowing things up, right?

Try not to read too much meaning into that last statement...

Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It"
#2: People who smoke when it's over 100 degrees out. The last couple weeks have been scorching here in Southern California. We've had brief moments of relief in the past few days, but on the whole, it has seriously been hot outside. Crank-the-air- conditioner-in-the-car-even-though-it's-still-the-morning-commute hot. Yet there are people in my office building who stand out in the sun for long periods of time, during the hottest parts of the day, getting pummeled by the intense UV rays and the baking heat, all while sucking down the smoke from leaves that they have set aflame. I don't get it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 109

I think I saw Masi Oka, star of Heroes, while I was stopped at an intersection in Culver City. Assuming it actually was him, you'll be disappointed to know that he was driving a Scion tC, not a Nissan Versa...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 108

Exiting the 10 Freeway this morning, I drove past a rather nice looking boat parked on the street with a clever name emblazoned on the stern: Knot for Sail. Right above the bold moniker: a "for sale" sign.

I've decided to start a new list of observations that I'll call Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It." Be forewarned, there are probably a great many things that I don't get... That having been said, onward we go.

Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It" #1: People who wear their Bluetooth headsets in their ears despite the fact that they are not talking on the phone. It can't possibly be comfortable, it's not a very good fashion statement, and you certainly don't intend on answering your phone in the middle of your meeting, do you? Hands-Free Driving by July 1st may be the law, but truth be told, right now you look rather foolish. I don't get it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 107

Apparently The Jackie Chan Strategy for Increased Blog Viewership is not working so well...

I am unbelievably bored right now. So bored that I can't even think if anything interesting to write about. Nope. Just bored.


Wouldn't it be cool if Jackie Chan himself was so bored that he Googled himself to find out what people are saying about him and came across my blog? And wouldn't it be cooler if he left a comment? I would bronze my computer if that happened. Of course, that would make it difficult to continue blogging, and therefore impossible to get more visits and comments from Jackie Chan.

Indirectly relating to Jackie Chan and moreso related to his Kung Fu Panda co-star Ian McShane, I've noticed that several cast members of Deadwood have had guest appearances on Lost. Thus far, having seen only the first 2.5 seasons of Lost, Robin Weigart (Calamity Jane), Paula Malcolmson (Trixie), and Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) have played reoccuring characters. And I for one think that MC Gainey (Tom on Lost) should have had a role on Deadwood -- he seems perfect for western roles. I'm just waiting for Al Swearengen himself to show up on the island...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 100!

Whoever says that higher gasoline prices are resulting in fewer cars on the road is obviously not driving on the 10 Freeway.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 97

Look! A real Jackie Chan post!

I took my parents to see Kung Fu Panda yesterday as a ... um ... Father's Day activity... True, it was my mother who expressed the desire to see the movie, not my father, but I'm glad he came along because I think he enjoyed the movie more than my mother did (and that's a compliment to the movie, seeing as my mother really enjoyed it, too). My one word opinion of the movie: Awesomeness!

The animation was great, the story was fun, and the voice casting was very well done. I especially enjoyed the opening dream sequence, when Jackie Chan's character, Master Monkey, says to Po, "We should hang out." Good stuff. I really appreciated the way they honored Chinese heritage, used the Chinese language, and made different references to Chinese cultural symbols. My favorite moment, though, came not during the film, but during the credits, when my parents saw that Jackie Chan voiced Master Monkey, and they both exclaimed, "Jackie Chan?!?" That was precious.

We stayed and watched all of the end credits, which I don't recall my parents ever doing before -- that's how I know they really enjoyed the film, as well as the artwork shown during the credits. ... that and hearing my father laughing thoughout the movie ... An all around good time and hopefully a very happy Father's Day for him.

For all of you out there who have not yet seen Kung Fu Panda, go see it! Take your kids, take your parents, take your significant other (I plan on doing just that when I see it again). Also, stay and watch all of the credits -- the artwork is good and there is a short animated sequence after the credits are finished. And be adequately prepared for awesomeness.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 90

Indy 4: Not as good as Indy's 1-3, but pretty fun to watch in its own right. Best scene came late in the movie, when Indy, realizing impending doom says, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Yes, I realize my judgement thus veritably screams that I'm a nerd, but if you actually understand why I think this was the best scene in the movie, you're just as much of a nerd as I am... ;P

Obligatory Jackie Chan/Jet Li Mention: I did not see Kung Fu Panda this weekend, although I do intend to at some point. I mean, it's a fat animal doing kung fu, with Jackie Chan voicing a supporting character -- what's not to like? Ooh, and Ian McShane is voicing the villain. At the risk of corrupting the children in the audience (face it -- that should be the whole audience, seeing that this was a movie made expressly for children), I hope Ian McShane's character calls the fat panda a c********r at some point in the film.

I can already hear you getting you torches and pitchforks out for my saying so...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 87

In keeping with my goal to mention Jackie Chan more frequently in my blogging activities, today you shall be treated to a Jackie-themed entry!

Wait for it...

Waaaaaaait for iiiit...

Yesterday I discovered, to my unparalleled amusement, that the aforementioned Mr. Chan owns a chain of Segway Scooter dealerships in Hong Kong. He is also promoting Segway usage in Mainland China as a fuel-efficient alternative to conventional motorcars. Remember the images of metropolitan China from years ago, bicycles flooding the streets? Now imagine those masses on Segway Scooters!

As goofy as I think these contraptions look, if Jackie Chan tried to sell me one, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. I hope he rides one in his next movie...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 86

As I was walking to the store the other day to get lunch, I glanced up and saw a plane writing a smoke message in the sky. Now I should preface by stating that we Angelenos are not surprised by much, seeing as we live in a city that inhabits the entire spectrum of race, gender, status, worldview and economics – and media incessantly assaults every part of these spectrums somewhat equally. Still, writing messages in the (sometimes) (OK, rarely) clear blue is not common, so I continued to watch the earnest pilot as letters trailed after him/her/it ( I said, I live in L.A. ...):

“Welcome Home.”

Unsure as to whether or not this message was meant for anyone in particular or simply an ad for new real estate, I looked away to continue my lunch transaction. When I exited the store, I noticed that there were two names written at the end of the message, but the smoke had already dissipated such that I could not clearly read who the message’s recipients were. Perhaps they are soldiers just home from Iraq? Maybe children returning from college? Either way, I thought that it was a sweet thing for the message commissioner to do – a kind gesture made more poignant by the pilot’s futile efforts to quickly etch that last “M – E” in the sky before the first “W” dissolved completely. I imagined proud parents at a backyard party hugging their child, pointing at the heavens and saying to them, “Look what we did for you.” Enough to make the most cynical person smile.

Yesterday while walking to lunch, I noticed another plane flying lower in the sky, this one towing a banner with the same message I saw the day before. The words were much more legible on the banner, thus I clearly read the names of those being welcomed home and realized that it was an advertisement for a reality TV show…

Go ahead, be as cynical as you please.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 66

Apparently my strategy is not working...

Going to see Prince Caspian tonight. I'll let you know how that goes. Or maybe I won't. That ought to keep you on the edge of your seat right there, yep, yep, yep.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 64

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

And in other news, I've just now noticed that I've passed the 2-month mark for being here! Seems that the only thing other than familial ties drawing readers here is Jackie Chan and Jet Li... So perhaps if I were mention them more frequently, I would get more visitors? Makes sense to some degree, seeing as I make friends in real life through common interests, thus making friends online should be fairly similar.

So in that vein, I will give you, the reader, this directive: Go see Ironman. I realize that neither Jackie Chan nor Jet Li are in it, but still, a comic book movie that can boast 4 Academy Award nominees (and one winner) as its 4 principal cast members deserves a gander. It also deserves a viewing. And I'm not suggesting that you throw fowl at the movie. Besides, the next major movie from either Jackie Chan or Jet Li looks to be The Mummy 4, which co-stars Jet Li and Brendan Fraser. 'Nuff said.

I'm serious about Ironman though -- it's pretty dang good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 62

Happy birthday to good Edward Lear
Who toasts his 196th year
Though his nonsense well read
Sadly now he is dead
Or else I would buy him a beer.

Apologies to Mr. Lear... Geek points to the first person who figures out what all this drivel means…

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 55

I had an interesting discussion with a friend during lunch yesterday about religion and politics (yes, things that we're not supposed to discuss during polite lunch conversation, I know), inspired by a book he read about the irrationality of common atheist dogmas. Somehow we related that to Constitutional Constructivism in the Supreme Court. Not really sure how that happened.

Me, on the other hand? I'm reading a memoir of a Princeton University student's attempt to become a Shaolin monk.

Hence why my friend is a lawyer and I'm not...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Day 52

Ladies and Gentlemen, building bookshelves is not rocket science, and finish carpenters are not idiots. My boss, however, seems to believe otherwise...

I've posted every day for a week now! I feel ever so slightly proud of myself.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 51

Yes, I am blogging while I am at work.
No, I am not blogging about work.
No, I do not have any work to do.
Ergo, I am blogging while I am at work.

I am bored.

And I'm still getting visits to my profile page without corresponding visits to the blog, so far as the ClustrMap shows. Unless I have readers who have ClustrStealth and can fly under the ClustrRadar. Or all my readers are from the same single spot on the ClustrMap... Which is a possibility...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 50

Being the tech-savvy hermit pig that I am, I have now added a Clustr Map on the left sidebar of this page so that my (very few...) faithful readers and I can find out where my (very few...) visitors are from! Credits to my tech-savvy sister (::snort::) ( wait, did I do that out loud? ;P) for opening up this whole new Clustr world to me (Read: blame her if you have a problem with it).

So beware; Big Brother is watching (very few of...) you! Mwahahaha...

Well... at least Big Sister is watching (very few of...) you. (Mwahahaha)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 49

Queek queek queek queek queek queek. Queek queek queek, queek queek queek queek queek. Queek queek queek.

Queek queek -- queek queek queek queek queek queek queek. Queek queek queek-queek queek. Queek queek queek queek; queek queek queek queek queek queek queek queek!

Queek queek...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 48

Someone commented on yesterday's post! After being online for 47 days, my presence has finally been acknowledged. Thank You to my anonymous commentor!

Now if you are still reading this blog and would be willing to indulge me further, can you let me know what part of the world you're in and how you came across this blog? Thanks in advance!

So..... Time for me to figure out the next steps for this experiment. Originally, I was only looking to see how long I'd have to be here before someone responed to me. Given that my commentor remained anonymous, I can't really say that my online alter ego really knows someone else, or is actually known by anyone. But perhaps this is an inherent flaw in my experiment -- I have purposely kept my own personal information (other than my location in the world) out of this forum, so it would be silly of me to expect that a commentor would divulge his/her own true identity (What, did you really think that I was actually a guinea pig or a hermit crab? Sorry to burst your bubble if I did. Kinda hard to type with that one oversized claw, you know... And if I was a guinea pig, my posts would be little more than "queek queek queek queek queek...") If my intention was to see how long it would take for someone to actually get to know me through nothing except this blog, I'd be here for quite a bit longer -- it takes a lifetime to get to know someone in person as is, so I can't expect that it would take any less time whilst only communicating through a mechanical box and an LCD screen.

The real question then can't really ever be answered though any measure of blogging and commenting -- that is, what do we need to know about a person and what do we need them to know about us before we consider them an acquaintance? What then would we need from a friend?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 47

Just watched The Forbidden Kingdom this afternoon, and I'll have to say I enjoyed it very much. Critics have said it's a watered down kung fu movie (more of a "wire-fu" movie, actually), but I don't think it lost anything by focussing less on the kung fu and more on the story (something that seems lacking in many big budget, mostly special effects-heavy movies these days). I particularly liked how several Chinese legends were referenced directly and indirectly, especially that of the Monkey King -- one of my favorite fairy tales as a child. Additionally, I was very impressed with both Jackie Chan and Jet Li -- even at the ages of 54 and 45 respectively, they can still bring it. After watching Rush Hour 3, I had thought that Jackie Chan was perhaps losing some of his speed and agility, given that his typical amazing feats of, shall we say, contortionist kung fu were absent for most of the movie, and that his character used firearms much more than I've ever seen in any prior movies (I will have to add though, that there is much more gunplay in his American movies than any of his Hong Kong movies). However, both Chan and Li (didn't he "retire" last year??) appeared to be in top form during a very entertaining fight sequence inside a temple.

My only complaint: A soda and popcorn cost me $10.75. Seriously, you've got to be kidding me...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 46

Doot doot de doot...

It's hot out here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 41

Random 1 (or 2) liners day!

If Stephen Colbert ran for president, I'm ashamed to say that I'd vote for him. Not that I really believe he would be a good president; just that I don't really believe any of the people running would be better presidents...

Why is it that the people who fear death the most are also the people most likely to engage in activities that will hasten its arrival?

"Eighth" is much easier to spell forwards than backwards. ...but not that much easier seeing as I misspelled it the first time I typed this post...

Hooray for homemade guacamole!

"Transformers" the movie: simultaneously better than I expected and worse than I expected. And Shia LaBeouf is rather annoying.

I haven't watched an episode of Lost in almost a week. That's some considerable restraint right there.

That is all. Good night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 37

Yeah, it’s been a while, but I can’t think of anything significant to say…

TV shows on DVD are great. You can watch a program without commercial interruption, and you have immediate access to the next episode should you need to find out what happens next right away. No waiting for next week or waiting for next season to see cliff-hanger conclusions like those poor people watching on TV.


OK, that still wasn’t significant, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 31

One month! So far, no acknowledgement. Maybe some views, but no direct contact from readers.

I should probably say something profound, but I can't think of anything right now...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 30


That aside, the highlight of my day today was going to Borders and finding a secret that someone had slipped inside a Post Secret book. I almost bought the book so that I could keep that reader-added secret. Actually the added secret was already the second secret placed into that particular book -- the person who wrote this secret stated her intent to mail the previous secret off to the actual Post Secret address, then added a secret of her own. I almost wrote a secret to hide in one of the books as well. I don't know how common it is for bookstore browsers to hide secrets in the books, but I find the gesture poignant.

All of us who follow the Post Secret phenomenon ( probably either ran across it unintentionally (I first noticed the first book a couple years back while browsing a since-closed bookstore) or were introduced to it by someone else who did. Certainly we are all different people, but I wonder what we have in common that makes the project speak to us. Maybe it's simply that we all recognize that we have secrets ourselves and wish that someone would ask us about them. More likely, we keep things secret that we wish were not so, but fear the repercussions of discovery, yet the still small voice of truth refuses to let us keep silent. Perhaps we don't really want these things to remain secret, but don't trust that anyone we know would understand them, so we reveal them to strangers in the hopes that someone out there will understand. I don't know.

I also don't know how mainstream the movement has become, though, since the books seem to sell pretty well. Maybe the only thing we really have in common is that we're all just nosey...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 27

Well, that's interesting... Apparently someone has visited my profile page, however someone has yet to comment on any of the posts. So that either means that people are reading this and not acknowledging that fact, or something inside Blogger is messing with the hit counts, or someone is only browsing the profiles and not reading the posts at all. Hmmm...

If you are reading, please comment and let me know when you first ran across my little corner of the institution.

It should be interesting to see how my writing changes based on the knowledge that someone has been here, and that someone is possibly reading this right now. Since the experiment was to see how long it would take before someone acknowledged my presence, it's hard to say whether or not this is actually an event of note. But at least I know I've been noticed by someone over the weekend. Hmmm indeed...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Day 24

I watched the movie "Seraphim Falls" today, since I was at home sick again. It's like if Jim Jarmusch remade "The Outlaw Josie Wales." Seriously.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 20

Laundry. It's never finished. It's a constant in life. You wash a load, feeling a sense of accomplishment. For a few days, you feel safe. Then inevitably, the thought creeps in, "I should probably do the dark load now." But that dark load is always bigger than it looks, and invariably you have to split it into two loads. But the second load is not big enough to justify another trip to the communal laundering facilities at your apartment. So you wait. Finally the day arrives when you decide that you have enough darks to fill a load, only to discover that you are now out of whites (i.e. undergarments...) and thus the whites take priority. Meanwhile the darks continue to accumulate, and before you know it, once you've finally gotten around to washing them, you've once again amassed more than will fit in one load. And so the cycle begins anew.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 15

Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! Umm… and at the moment I’m seriously devoid of the creativity required to come up with one… Not that I have any problem with the holidays that already exist today – today, after all, is also Legal Assistants Day, Robert Frost’s birthday (OK, so that’s not really a holiday. Except maybe for Robert Frost.), and Independence Day in Bangladesh. In other words, there’s plenty reason to celebrate already. I should just forgo coming up with my own holiday and just find a Bangladeshi legal assistant to read a Robert Frost poem to. Of course, it’s also Tennessee William’s birthday, so maybe I need to read the Frost poem to the Bangladeshi legal assistant’s cat whilst standing on a hot tin roof instead. Hmmm. Given the difficulty of getting all these pieces of the puzzle in one place at one time, I can understand why somebody decided to just make today’s holiday up for grabs. I mean, what good is a holiday that we can’t celebrate, right? Still, I feel like we’d be wasting today’s actual holidays if we were to just make something new up. Seems more sustainable, more green if you will, to use what’s already there. So with that spirit in mind, get out there and have yourselves a Happy Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 14

Enough of this contemplative nonsense, I say! Today I offer you an appreciation of things culinary. Namely things culinary which are equal parts Japanese and chocolate covered. Things like Yan-Yan, and chocolate mushrooms and chocolate bamboo shoots. No, they are not real bamboo shoots, nor real mushrooms, nor probably real Yans. Yet they are a delectable balance of cookie and chocolate, of light crispy-ness and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Ahhhhhhh. I’ll enjoy some for you right now. Cheers :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 13

What do you do when someone asks for forgiveness for something small they’ve done, but never recognizes the greater misdeed they’ve committed?

I ask because a friend has recently asked for forgiveness for dragging me into a conflict she was having with another mutual friend. While I am certainly ready to forgive her for dragging me into it, I’m not ready to forgive her for the hurt she caused to my other friend. The gracious thing for me to do is just to tell her I forgive her for the wrong she has committed towards me. After all, it’s not even my place to forgive or not forgive for wrings she committed towards another. However, she has yet to acknowledge that she did something very wrong to our other friend, and has yet to apologize to that friend for what she had done. On the contrary, the last time she spoke to our other friend regarding the situation, she spent more time accusing my other friend of wronging her without ever admitting her own fault in the situation.

Now I truly believe that she is at greater fault in the conflict, and is too selfish and stubborn to admit that, and I believe that she is apologizing to me so she can feel better about herself, so that she can feel clean about the situation. I want to tell her that she doesn’t need to apologize to me for this little thing that I’ve already moved past; rather she needs to apologize to my other friend for the bigger infraction. But in truth, I have little faith in her. How can one be so concerned about small matters, meanwhile glossing over much more important ones? We’ve all heard that we need to be more concerned about removing the planks in our eyes before we concern ourselves with removing the splinters in others’ eyes, but how can one be so aware of the splinter in one of their own eyes while completely and willfully disregarding the plank in the other eye? How can she carry on, self-righteously accusing my other friend of wronging her when she has a proven pattern of relational destruction, a pattern that has been pointed out to her on several occasions by several different people? What good could I possible accomplish by telling her I forgive her for this minor thing when I truly believe she is only trying to distract herself from confronting the major thing?

The more loving thing to do, it would appear, would be to point out that she need not apologize to me, but to my other friend. Trouble is, she will argue this point, insisting upon her own hurt being justification that it was really my other friend who wronged her, even when all logic and all facts point otherwise. In other words, that conversation would be pointless, and would only reopen wounds we are all trying to heal. My other friend, despite her own hurt and despite never receiving the apology due her, is trying to move on. I’d rather not make things harder on her by stirring up this conflict again.

So that still leaves me with this dilemma, needing to give some sort of a response, all the while knowing that anything I say will be inadequate to provide closure. Oog…

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 10

Yesterday, I revealed to my sister the existence of this blog and the purpose of my experiment. I don’t really remember why I felt the need to do so; it just came up in the course of our conversation (it seemed only fair, seeing that it’s her guinea pig enjoying his greens over there on the left). At this point, given that I did not tell her the url of this page but did tell her not to look for it, I’m not sure if and how it will affect what I write here. To some degree, I am more willing to write openly when I know nobody is reading. Yet eventually I do hope to be discovered by somebody out there in the great WWW. While I don’t believe that her knowledge of this page spoils the experiment – the experiment, more specifically, was to see how long it took for someone to acknowledge my presence here online, not to simply notice, and if she never visits the blog, she will never really acknowlede it in a measureable way (i.e., leave a comment) – I do fear that I’ve added a variable that dilutes the purity of the results and conclusions that may otherwise have been gathered from my dastardly little plot (meaning that the little plot is dastardly, and that the plot is dastardly little. Yes, I am both clever and mysterious) (Moving right along then…).

Unless he specifically intends otherwise, a person walking into a room full of people will always be noticed by some of those people merely on account of his physical presence – he will make noise, he will displace air, his motion will be sensed by those nearest to him. This seems, from my non-scientific perspective, to be simple biology and physics (unless he’s a ninja or something, which I believe then falls under the category of “specifically intends otherwise”). It is another thing altogether to be acknowledged by others in that room. That is, there is a difference between simply being known of and truly being known. We humans need more than just to be in the proximity of others; we need to be recognized by those others, valued by those others. Even the most introverted people in the world, those who believe they are completely independent from their society, even those most capable of self-sustenance need some level of validation from their peers. We are a body, very literally as Scripture asserts, only capable of functioning when others make up for what we ourselves lack.

Understanding that basic human need for validation, it was only inevitable that I would eventually tell somebody of my new online presence. I just figured that I would be able to endure complete anonymity for longer than 9 days…

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 8

Seeing that I've already broken the promise of only posting fluff, what difference does it make that I break the promise of posting every day, right? Actually, it has been a fairly busy week and weekend, one which reminded me once again why I never started a blog before... That is, aside from the fact that I really don't have anything significant to say... Anyways, I'm feeling better emotionally than evident in my previous post, although I am actually physically down for the count and home from work with a stomachache. Yes, more information than you ever needed, but hey, nobody's reading this anyways, so I can say anything I want...

That having been said, I decided to Google myself (ok, really, it's not that funny) today to see how someone might run across this drivel. Unfortunately, even an advanced Google search for "stark raving blog" did not find me. I did, however, discover that there are quite a few stark raving people of various degrees out there online. And here I thought I was being terribly clever in my titling of this blog.

Oh well...

I might post more today to make up for my lack of posting in the previous week, but given my unhealthy disposition, I wouldn't count on it. Unless of course you really want to hear about ... nevermind...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 2

So far, no verifiable visitors... But it's been less than 48 hours, so I wasn't really expecting anything yet.

Contrary to the senseless nonsense promised (yes, I realize that I'm breaking my promise after only one post, but it's my blog, so I can do what I want to. After all, I POWER BLOGGER! I do. It says so on the left sidebar <--- Besides, nobody is going to see this anyways...), I'm going to get serious for a moment:

Have you ever been in a situation where you made a decision contrary to your personal wishes because you believed that it was the right thing to do? I should clarify that I don't mean that the desire is incorrect, unwise, or immoral -- only that you set aside a preference for something you would have really liked because you believed that the other option was best for another person or would please God. In any case, after you made that decision, did you feel good about it? You should feel good when you've made a morally correct and Godly decision, right? Because that's supposed to please God, right? After all, choosing the right thing is supposed to be a reward in and of itself according to some worldviews.

Quite frankly then, why don't I feel better for making the "right" choice?

Now I'm certain that there are many out there who don't share the same worldview, and therefore don't believe in the existence of a God, much less a good God. But let's set that aside from now, since there are too many reasons for me to explain at the moment why I have a deep-seated conviction regarding the existence of the God of the Bible (feel free to ask me later if you'd like), and arguments to the contrary don't really help my present dilemma. Besides, since I'm not writing this to any audience in particular, I am in essence writing this to question God Himself. Point being, I had a preference, set aside that preference because I believed that the other option was the one that would please You, God, the most. Yet I'm regretting that decision because now not only do I not get my preference, I'm not happier knowing the "right" thing happened. Don't I at least deserve the latter because I did it for the right reasons? (And don't respond by saying "we only deserve death" because, again, that is fruitless for solving the problem at hand).

So that begs the question, why can't I be happy about doing the right thing? And why can't I do the right thing and still get what I want? The logical answer is that I do not desire the right things, thus when I choose the right thing, I am not happy because the right thing is not what I really desired. But what if there was nothing inherently wrong with what I wanted, what I preferred. Can't I get something euphoric to reinforce the moral patterns in my thinking when I choose against my preferences in deference to another? Because, honestly, if sacrificing what I desire in order to do what's right means I can't be happy, then I'd rather not do what's right. I know I can make it happen; I know I have the ability to direct situations in my favor. I'm not saying this to brag, I just know that we can all make things happen like we want them to, provided we do not consider the "right" or the other people involved (and their preferences). So why choose the right thing at all? Why can't I be selfish when being unselfish doesn't benefit me either? The simple answer is that I still believe that God is in charge, and that to force my preferences is to set myself opposite to Him on the playing field. Given the odds of winning that game, I'm better off choosing the right thing. Sure, it's not the definition of "fear of God" mentioned in the Bible, but it does make sense to me. Also, one could argue that being unselfish means that I do things for the benefit of others, not myself, and to bring my benefit into the equation is actually being selfish. That would logically mean that whenever someone else is involved, I will never get my way -- you'll never find even one person who willingly fits this description. Even Christ had his own desires in mind when He was crucified -- to cleanse a people for His own possession. It just so happened that what He most desired happened to be what was best for us, not the other way around -- you'll never find even one Biblical theologian who would dispute that God makes decisions unilaterally based on His own desires first and foremost. He's God; that's His prerogative, and I do not challenge Him on that.

So that leaves me with nothing. Not happy, not having what I want, meanwhile still making it possible for everyone else to get what they want, only reinforcing in my mind the notion that God's love, just like every other human being's love, is indeed conditional.

This is not fair. If this is really all I can hope for, I don't want to play anymore.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dia Primera

Welcome to the blog-o-sphere!
Why, thank you kindly.
What brings you to these parts?
Well, boredom mostly. Did you hear that report on NPR today about how we come up with our greatest ideas when we're bored?
... Um, sorry, but this isn't one of those...

I see... But it's nice to see you anyways.
Want to hear me recite the Greek alphabet forward and backward?
Um, I have to go now, and do some, you know, stuff that I told someone I'd do...
But wait...! Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon ...

Uh, ok, sure. I really have to go now. See you around.
Zeta, eta, theta, iota ...

In the interests of full disclosure, so as not to falsely advertise, the exchange above will probably be as sophisticated as we get here. After all, I did promise in the title that it probably wouldn't make sense. So in that regard, I've actually advertised rather truthfully. I mean, did you really expect something from a guy who says he's a hermit crab, yet whose profile picture is a guinea pig eating broccoli to make logical sense? Didn't think so...

The occasion is no less momentous, however, since this is my FIRST BLOG POST EVER! Call it a social experiment if you will. I'll try to post something each day, and wait to see how many days elapse before I get a comment denoting that someone has actually visited this page. Recently published studies claim that my fellow Gen-Y'ers prefer cyberspace over real space, so it will be interesting to see how long one must wander the desolate shores of the internet before being noticed my another. Although I'm actually one of those who prefers "real space" to cyberspace, I will not be advertising this blog to any "real" acquaintances, nor will I be linking this from any other pages. Just waving my little flag over here and seeing how long it takes before someone waves back (and getting a little writing practice in the process).

Feel free to comment, especially if you're the first person here. Thus we shall declare the (not so) grand experiment BEGUN.

Until we meet, then!
Let the (not so) grand experiment begin!