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!