Sunday, April 30this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper. so it's time to let anachronic go. it's served its purpose and i've decided that since i'm on the precipice of major life change (kidding, sort of), my blog should also change in scope and spirit. i'm also just ready for something new after four years and almost 1,000 posts.
i'm kind of out of thoughts, i'm kind of out of ideas, i'm kind of out of things in general. i also feel like i should be concentrating on writing things that might have a tangible end product.
of course i can never stop blogging but i thought that since i want to turn my attentions to documenting the more mundane aspects of my life and indulging myself in myself, i'd stop anachronic and begin anew elsewhere.
so yes, goodbye, anachronic. hello, diorama (email me if you want the address).
[ pen name | 10:58 PM | ]
Monday, April 24"i think of a man, and i take away reason and accountability." i was recently made aware of a phenomenon known in professional relationship circles as "emotional cheating." this is one of those terms that really requires no extra verbiage to describe. everyone who's anyone knows what emotional cheating is. maybe we're not sure exactly where the line is drawn but here to help us out is 32 (of 180) emotional signs that he's cheating. number three is hilarious.
"your mate's behavior is causing a gut feeling in you that something isn't right. if this happens, pay attention to your instincts. ignoring them means you want to blind yourself to the truth. you know your mate's habits, routines and attitudes better than anybody, so be suspicious when these things change."read some of the other "signs" of cheating from the site. i didn't realize that a relationship was the equivalent of inviting big brother into your life. oh wait, i did realize that. but c'mon now, we're supposed to go on our gut feelings about when our mates are cheating on us? aren't we past this by now? didn't that seminal tv program "cheaters" show us that it's best to have irrefutable visual proof (and an enthusiastic late night audience) before confrontation and accusation? if couples were to follow up on every hunch they had about their partner cheating on them we'd become a nation of paranoid freaks. oh wait.
studies have shown that 75% of women said that emotional cheating would leave them feeling more betrayed than sexual cheating. their point is pretty much that emotional cheating will inevitably (75%+) lead to actual cheating. nothing sends a woman into histrionics faster than the potential threat and promise of cheating. that's what this study tells me.
as a veteran of the emotional cheating circuit, i'm here to say to those who take the moral emotional high ground, in defense of all emotional cheaters out there: "emotional cheating happens; deal with it." it's impossible to go through a relationship without having some other object/person/thing be the source of your daily joy. maybe it's the emails you exchange with a co-worker, maybe it's your thursday night dinner with the guys, maybe it's march madness, maybe it's your record collection. all of these can be sources of emotional cheating can't they?
if emotional cheating is loosely defined as directing attention and attachment toward something, then anything could potentially be a source of emotional cheating. i'm here to say that our relationship experts are taking things too far. sure, we should be wary of who our partners are talking to and hanging out with but at the end of the day, it's still about trust right? coming up with new categories and finger pointing definitions of cheating just doesn't seem right in these troubled times. cut people some slack. give them a chance to live a little before you break out these newfangled ideas about physical/emotional/spiritual cheating. bottom line, if you doubt them, you probably shouldn't be with them anyway.
as one woman told me, "in my mind, an emotional affair is far more threatening than a sexual one, because to me the emotional part is really the foundation of everything you have. for me, the whole idea of marrying someone would signify that we were best friends, confidants, and the first person we each turned to when something great happens or when things aren't so great. the idea of him turning to someone else would break my heart."
[ pen name | 3:18 AM | ]
i used to make it a rule of thumb to tell prospective girlfriends that i had no intention of wanting, or making, them my new best friend. i already had best friends, who were my girlfriends to lay claim to a title and throne that they may soon choose to abdicate anyway (my relationships average about 1.5 happy months each)? i also made it clear that my emotional well being was in no way invested in them until further notice. i already had particular vessels for my emotions and i wasn't going to forgo those just because it "would be (emotional) cheating if you keep them around." rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a relationship. get in line, take a number, wait your turn.
you can imagine how well these sorts of in-relationship diatribes were received. for those budding don juans out there, telling your girlfriend that they are in no way going to be responsible for your happiness is probably not a good way to start things off. take it from me, relationship king.
[ pen name | 3:15 AM | ]
Friday, April 21look ma, no hands! well, apparently the cat's out of the bag. the cover's blown, literally. as many of you know, i've been writing a book and now it's ready to be distributed this upcoming fall. what is the book about you ask? well, it's about blogging. tada. the ranks of bloggers turned authors is about to swell by one. as you can see, the cover is now ready for your viewing pleasure, and the book is listed on amazon. with my name on the cover to boot. yes sir, i'm legit.
how did i come by this amazing gig you ask? well, the short story is that my friend lilly is a book agent. due to her persistence, ingenuity, and magician's nature, she somehow acquired a book deal for me from a major publishing house. so last september, i quit my video gaming job, started writing the book, and six months later, i'm about to have a book published. the original plan was to have a 35,000 word book ready by november 2005. instead, the project got expanded so i had until january 2006 to write 50,000+ words. i turned in the manuscript recently and after some edits, i believe my end of the process is over. all i have to do now is wait for the book to be finalized and printed.
i'm still in some disbelief that i will have a book published, so i'm withholding my excitement until i actually have copies in my hand. however, needless to say, i'm very anxious and bursting with fruit flavor. it's been quite an interesting process and i've certainly learned quite a bit about both the publishing and writing worlds. i've kind of kept the book on the low because it feels like a wonderful dream that i don't quite want to test the limits of. you know what i'm saying?
however, many people contacted me today after seeing the book listing on amazon (many thanks for spreading the news amit) so i'd thought that at this juncture, it would be safe to announce my upcoming book to the world. so here it is: i have a book coming out. make room on your bookshelf. start saving money. spread the word. i blog, you blog, we all blog.
a quick f.a.q. about the book:thank you to everyone who contacted me today and thanks to everyone for their support. and of course, thanks to lilly -- my agent, my life. more book related things to come in the near future.
[ pen name | 12:47 AM | ]
Wednesday, April 19a whole new world. i was reading about this guy who moved to the middle east and really loved it there. he found a great job, a great home, and a great girlfriend. he remarked on how refreshing it was that the men were expected to just hang out with the men and the women with the women. there were never any issues about if it was okay to "hang out with the boys." if anything, most social activities were traditionally segregated.
women were also likely to be very happy with their marriage as long as they were supported and taken care of. marriage wasn't seen as a match between two soul mates, but rather a marriage between two people who could help each other. the man provides a house, the woman provides a home. simple. this idea of waiting around for a soul mate can be very taxing (as many of you know) and ultimately, depressing. this young american man rather liked his new life. and i haven't even mentioned the issue of concubines.
the man also had this statement to make, "guys in the states treat their women with no dignity. it's so casual it's demeaning." kind of an interesting statement no? while many american women would surely balk at the traditional (oppressive) way that a woman might be treated in other cultures, this statement illuminated for me an issue that has been brought to my attention recently.
girls nowadays are very often left to fend for themselves. how many young men of our generation are there to open doors, doff coats/hats, rise out of chairs, walk home, and generally treat a woman with even common respect? from what i've heard, there are just as many young men not doing these simple cordial tasks as there are true gentlemen who do them automatically. it used to be standard for men to treat women with a sense of respect. however, as women have fought (and still fight) to be seen as equals, they (unwittingly?) lose their entitlement to the chivalry once afforded them. this is just a theory of course, to be explored further. but i think it rings true.
have women gained equality only to sacrifice the decorum that was once gifted upon them? and if women were to be given this choice consciously, which would they choose? to be treated gently and civilly by men everywhere; or to be treated absolutely equally, with no appeal made for gender, at the cost of a few lonely walks home and a door or two staying unopened?
of course, for any self respecting woman who craves independence and respect on her own terms, the obvious answer here is "equality." but when a girl gets dropped off at home, wouldn't it be nice if, for once, the car full of guys waits until she gets in the front door and signals her safe return before leaving?
[ pen name | 5:00 AM | ]
Monday, April 17such great heights. it's well documented. i hate roller coasters. sure, i've been on many of them. i've been to magic mountain twice, both times against my will. i've ridden most of the rides there and i hate them all. about the only thing i can handle is disneyland. and even there, some of the rides make me hesitate a little bit. see, i hate steep drops. so even splash mountain, as mundane of a ride as there is in this day and age, can give me the heebie-jeebies. when we were little, i would sit around on the bench with a consenting adult while george went on the ride. yeah, i was that kid. however, since then, i've conquered my fear(s) of disneyland. i can say with great confidence that any disneyland ride is okay with me. bring on the matterhorn, bring on pirates, bring on the teacups and bring on the singing menagerie at splash mountain, i can handle it all. plus i love space mountain, because i can handle rides where i can't see the track. it's weird, i know.
anyway, even though i've been on my fair share of roller coasters, i'm still not convinced they're fun. i go and try to get it over with but at no point am i like "wow, this is great, let's do it again!" i've developed a few defensive moves to counter my fear of rides. i suck air into my stomach to prevent the drop feeling from being worse. i grip the side of the car and refuse to put my arms above my head. i don't scream because i'm pushing air into my stomach. yeah, it's not very manly but hey, why pretend to be something you're not?
anything that corkscrews, swirls, leaves you hanging upside down, or offers immense drops i'm against. the worst ride ever? those superman rides where you slowly take an elevator up, building the anticipation, and then drop ten stories to the ground. i've been on that kind of ride once -- which was one time too many for my tastes. i almost pee-ed in my pants. heck, i probably did but i'm not going to admit to it publicly. those rides are the worst. how is this stuff fun?
i try to rationalize away any fear of roller coasters but in the end, why bother? i don't like them. they don't like me. they can be as safe as all get out but i'm not fond of heights, speed, or drops so why would i like roller coasters? why must i be ostracized by the adult community because of my dislike? it's not like i haven't done it before, or that i'm a big party pooper about it. i go on the damn ride when everyone else goes. see? i'm not a big baby alright? sheesh.
[ pen name | 4:42 AM | ]
Friday, April 14
"every time i've fallen for someone i can't tell them because i feel like that secret is what stands between me and feeling completely empty. now i like someone again, but guess what? i can't say anything because it just feels futile."fmk. there's these really popular online sites that allow anonymous posters to confess their deepest and darkest. while some of them can be amusing, the confessions get real boring after awhile. what do most of the confessions have to do with? someone they like, someone they want to fuck, someone they want killed. that's it. after reading twenty or so of these "confessions" you start to think that people should really have better things hidden inside.
i would really enjoy it if the purpose of these sites was to somehow ironically point out exactly how un-secret or shocking these types of emotions are. but i doubt that's what most people get out of the exercise. now, i'm a big fan of people confessing things, and am all for daily confessionals (journals) or having weekly sessions of therapy to talk things out, but if the thing that sticks in your crawl is some version of "fuck, marry, kill," doesn't that seem extremely boring?
then again, i'm no different. i mean, skeletons in the closet rarely take the form of anything other than love or hate. i'm not exactly sure why this is. maybe because we're trained to keep our more volatile emotions inside? i've often thought of how exciting it would be if everyone revealed all of their thoughts and desires to their closest friends (and by closest friends i mean, of course, me). man, what a gossip column that would make. heck, i've reasoned that i should lead the charge toward total disclosure. however, after additional reasoning, you kind of realize that it's not worth it. because quite frankly, showing 100% of yourself to the world leaves you with 0% for yourself. and that just doesn't add up.
this desire to say things to people, even if it's anonymous, is just so weird. does keeping a secret inside just tear you up? are we somehow just all evolutionarily predisposed to be loudmouths if we can get away with it? is the telling connected with a desire for being discovered?
once, a friend of mine wrote me a very personal email that she ended up emailing directly to the worst person she could have sent it to. freudian slip? or just a simple address error (we didn't have any letters in our name in common mind you)? how do these things happen?
ps - what's even crazier is that a few of these sites have had their contents transcribed into popular books. why are people buying books of this stuff? it's available for free online. then again, why did i just write a book about blogging? blogging is designed to be easy and accessible for all, yet there exist (much to my chagrin) dozens of books on how to blog. but why shoot a gift horse in the mouth right?
[ pen name | 1:14 AM | ]
Thursday, April 13
"there are certain codes that guys live by. i've mentioned many of them in this space over the years -- stuff like "if you're sharing a bed with someone in vegas, make sure you remain at least two feet apart at all times," and "if your buddy's team loses an especially tough game, you can't call him to make fun of him under any circumstances." but there are three codes that supercede all others. here they are:the first season of "friends" was the closest anyone ever came to capturing generation x on tv. the characters discussed misunderstandings from "three's company," made jokes about "joanie loves chachi," even hummed the theme from "the odd couple." they were constantly fending off nitpicking parents and nosy neighbors. they busted each other's chops, made constant wisecracks, ripped each other's latest boyfriends and girlfriends. some of them had a little money, others were pretty much broke, and there was always tension between the haves and the have-nots. and they were always happiest just sitting around and doing nothing.
the first sign of trouble happened at the start of season two, when rachel realized that ross was in love with her, planned on reciprocating...and he came back from china with an astonishingly average-looking new girlfriend.
-bill simmons, talking about "friends"-
[ pen name | 2:46 AM | ]
Tuesday, April 11
(writing about people who wait for epiphanies to direct them towards their next occupational goal)
[ pen name | 4:20 AM | ]
Sunday, April 9cognitive dissonance. the recent discovery of a fossil fish that is the missing link in the evolutionary chain (something that christians love to point out) and the newly discovered "gospels of judas" revealing that jesus and judas were best homies and co-conspirators, will certainly make bible studies very interesting -- for those of you whom you know, attend bible study.
could either, or both, of these revelations prove to be a major blow for christians (and catholics, etc) across the world? probably not. i've come to terms with that idea that that most important f-word having to do with religion is not "facts" but "faith." regardless of new findings, (ir)refutable evidence, and best selling books, those who believe will steadfastly believe, and those who do not, will not. short of god himself coming down from the heavens and declaring his will and intent to us in a way we can understand, nobody on either side will be swayed by a few bones or old scraps of paper.
actually, god himself did come down to earth about two thousand years ago to speak to us but most people at the time didn't believe him. he was supported by a very small minority of followers and eventually ended up being tortured and hung on a cross. maybe you know of him.
as excited as i am to see these religious "breakthroughs" dominating the headlines, it's more food for thought than actual thought for change. i mean, is anyone really going to undo their entire spiritual make-up just because of a few scientific discoveries? highly doubtful.
i try to remember that the thing that's always interested me about religion is not actually any one particular religion, but more what people do with their beliefs. i'm more interested in how a religion shapes and upkeeps who people are, as opposed to what a religion has to actually say. but of course, to gain any insight into what people do with religion, you have to know what a religion does, or stands for. so, in maintaining an active interest in religion over the past few years, i've become more disenchanted with certain schools of thought and more attracted to others. and now i'm starting to think "who cares" while at the same time looking for ways to start talking/thinking about it again.
[ pen name | 3:51 AM | ]
Saturday, April 8revise, revise, revise. for book club this month we're reading "lies my teacher told me." in a tone similar to popular psuedo-academic books like "guns, germs, and steel," james loewen presents the case for the craptastic american history (and any history) education that we've received. he gives us thrilling new facts and perspectives on historical figures and events from columbus to the civil war. i think everyone should read this book. if you can't get through all of it, at least read some of it, it should be required reading for seniors in high school. while i'm still undecided on whether or not my history education was lacking or unexciting, i do think much of what loewen says is spot on and pertinent to the situation in our classrooms.
"our situation is this: american history is full of fantastic and important stories. these stories have the power to spellbind audiences, even audiences of difficult seventh graders. these same stories show what america has been about and have direct relevance to our present society. american audiences, even young ones, need and want to know about their national past. yet they sleep through the classes that present it.what's funny about reading these books however -- stuff like freakonomics; blank slate; the aforementioned guns, germs, and steel -- is that as interesting as they are to read, they really have no real world value to the average person. sure, i now have an inkling of the five major reasons why europe came to domination, but how useful is this information? do people feel smarter, more well read, more aware after reading these books? what do these books do to people short of being a nice semi-intelligent diversion? then again, it's better to read them than not read them right? at least you try to know something to talk about at dinner, instead of sitting there babbling about nothing. then again, you'd really be just sitting around regurgitating ideas you just read about while eating; so really, the best solution is to just read and eat, while avoiding conversation altogether.
[ pen name | 4:02 AM | ]
Monday, April 3one shining moment. i tried to ask my friend if she'd had any magic moments with this particular (platonic) guy friend of hers. the conversation devolved into defining what exactly a "magic moment" was. to me, a magic moment is a combination of coincidence and connection. like when you are sitting around with a friend and you both break out with the exact same line of an obscure song that both of you had treasured since middle school -- and you felt like nobody else knew that song. and then you look at each other and wonder how you did that. and then you think to yourself "wow, that could not have happened with anyone else, or at any other time, except now." that's the rough definition of a magic moment.
note that a magic moment differs from a memorable moment. many things are memorable, but not everything is magic. and the thing about magic moments is that there is no recipe or way of anticipating them. some people seem to think that all of their magic moments happen in the company of their significant others. while this could certainly be very likely, for me personally, the bulk of my magic moments occur with friends, not girlfriends. this could say more about me than magic moments, but i digress. strangely, having a high number of magic moments with someone is not necessarily an indicator of a close or treasured friendship. i've never experienced a magic moment with most of my best friends while i've had maybe two or three with a friend that i wouldn't necessarily have on my speed dial. magic moments are completely random. part of the reason why they're so great.
magic moments aren't even particularly memorable sometimes. like if you reference a trip to europe with a friend, you might remember the memorable moments more than any magic moments. but during a magic moment, the world stops, and both of you realize that something fantastic just happened -- even if that feeling flys away in the next eye blink.
i've also realized that in trying to get my friends to speak about their magic moments that most magic moments can't be shared or explained. the magical part is hard to explain and often the stories conclude with the listeners going "oh, that was it? that was your magic moment?" so treasure your magic moments, because nobody but you and him/her/they will get it.
[ pen name | 3:04 AM | ]
Sunday, April 2keep it simple stupid. i know many of you already know about this website, but it bears mentioning again. the million dollar website is now completely sold out and the young entrepreneur who created the webpage is not only rich, but also a mini-celebrity. not bad for an idea spawned in twenty minutes eh? i know my friends and i have often sat around wondering how to get rich quick and to think that one person did it by coming up with an idea as stupidly simple as selling pixels on a website is mind-numbing. in the history of get rich schemes, this has got to be one of the best. low overhead, low risk, instant millionaire. this story really asks the question if one successful idea gives you the title of "entrepreneur" and if one great idea makes you a "genius." in this case, i'd say the answer to both questions is "yes."
my brilliant idea of web squatting gmail addresses was quickly busted when god@gmail and other gems were already gone. can you believe somebody already had mikewazowski@gmail? yeah, i couldn't either.
[ pen name | 3:50 AM | ]