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Drama and Unjust Accusations October 30, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary, rants.
3 comments

Sigh…

In an earlier post, “Cluelessness as the Key to Success,” I stated that I, essentially, am not good at staying angry at people. As a corollary, I think it can safely be assumed that I try to avoid drama at all costs.

This does not stop drama from occurring all around me, however, and it does not keep me from occasionally being drawn into the middle of it, despite my best efforts.

One thing I hate more than drama is injustice. An injustice done unto me I can disregard. An injustice done unto another I have a much, much harder time ignoring.

And it is more or less impossible to talk about the problems without naming names. So let me say this as quickly and as simply as possible.

FD, Princess did NOT offer to try to sell your products with profits for herself in mind. She offered to sell your products in an attempt to help you and to help you realize your self worth. Some of your products are too good to be kept to yourself. The Princess is good at marketing. She was offering to give floor space for your stuff, create advertising copy, take photos, upload textures, and in essence do all the work of selling your things for you. In return, she was asking for a mere 10% commission, partially to help offset upload and labor costs, and partly because she felt it was very fare considering the work she was offering to do. Any profits she got from the sales would be miniscule and not worth her efforts. She was doing it as an offer of friendship, and for no other reason.

FD, when Princess talked to you after your argument with our then mutual friend, YOU initiated the contact. The Princess talked to you for well over an hour, giving you her full attention, and genuinely trying to help as best she could. When she saw that the conversation was getting circular and she could see no way of resolving the conflict, she tried to break off the conversation easily. I can remember her RL self saying, “He said, ‘Sorry for wasting your time.” I didn’t say he was wasting my time at all!” She was flabbergasted and frustrated. She was trying to help someone whom she considered to be a good friend, and felt she was getting her hand bitten in the process.

As for her “ignoring” you, the Princess is painfully shy and likes to hide. It takes her a long time to warm up to many people. Many of the posts in her own blog talk about this very issue.

The reasons for the Princess’s anger are that she feels that she did everything she could to be a friend, and her gestures of friendship were publicly and unjustly twisted acts of greed and selfishness.

Yes, she is my wife. Yes, I am defending her. But I can fairly say that she had done nothing, NOTHING, to deserve what you accused her of, and nothing that indicated that she was anything but a friend to you. She was genuinely hurt when she felt you turned on her, and even more hurt when you took her off your friends list.

This is all I plan to say on the matter. What I’ve said is not the truth as I see it, but as I KNOW it to be. I’m not open to debate, and I will tolerate no drama in the comments to this post. I don’t know what your argument with our mutual friend was, and I only care in so far as the outcome has somehow caused an explosion in the midst of my little circle of friends, and I, for one, can do without the heartache.

Sigh…

Now I’ve got a RL funeral to worry about, and am still making a serious effort to try to lift myself from my own depression. I am desperately hoping that I won’t have to worry any more about all this bullshit.

Bartender, pour me another October 29, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary.
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I built the bar yesterday before Prairie Home Companion, and I built the shelves and the barstools today.

I originally was going to build a straightforward Renaissance bar, but finding photos of Renaissance liquor on the Internet is just about impossible. I did a thorough job of searching through texture stores until I finally found some perfect hooch. I made some modern bar chairs, added a sit script (which took me forever to get to line up right do to my own stupidity), and I’m quite satisfied with the results.

I still want to build an extender so the bar can be made longer at will. I’m debating making it available in different textures. Beyond that, the whole thing almost is ready for sale. I still need to research what price to charge (evil capitalist that I am, I won’t sell it for free except to friends, or maybe to people who ask real nice).

Maybe later on I’ll make a genuine Renaissance version, but I like this version quite a bit. It’ll do for now.

What would REALLY be cool is some kind of animation where a bartender can take a bottle, pour it over a glass (with animated liquid coming out of the bottle, of course), and fill the glass up, which would then be ready for anyone to pick up and drink. Maybe it’s been done, but I haven’t seen it, and it doesn’t SOUND too difficult.

Oh well. A project for another day or another year.

/me sighs contentedly

Another Use for Chemistry October 28, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary, humor.
3 comments

Not much to say tonight. Just forwarding on a link which I loved that was sent to me via e-mail with the following text.

This is a chemistry student’s explanation of Hell. A professor at the University of Washington put the question on a test as a joke for “extra credit.” Great!!!!! http://www1.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=294&mn=47759&pt=msg&mid=3323657

Okay, So Life Doesn’t Suck October 27, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary, reflections.
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It is so easy to get complacent about the miracles of our world.

Yesterday I rode a duck – two of them, actually. I started out on the back of the mama duck, and then I rode on the back of the black baby duck who was trailing after the yellow baby ducks.

It was an interesting experience. The ducks rode around in a tidy little circle while I rode on them, completely content to have me on their backs. While riding, I got a frog to sit on a lily pad.

And this is just an every day thing for me. I barely thought anything of it at the time. I was just, “the thing to do.” The only reason I remember it at all is because The Princess posted a picture of it on her website.

I also modded the script in my wedding ring so that I can turn the bling on and off at will, jumped at least a half dozen times from our sky platform to the ground some 600 meter below, sold more than L$1000 in merchandise, L$1 of which was from selling a glass of water, I being the only seller of water in a glass among all of the 8,000,000+ residents of Second Life. I also sold my first copy of Sauna 2.0, with the revolutionary “invisible steam ball”

The upshot of all this is that my life isn’t so bad. I’ve been wearing the same items of clothing for about a week now, doing hard work in them, and they still look as clean as ever, and I honestly can’t smell anything from them. I have a beautiful bride, who unfortunately right now seems to be suffering from leprosy but I am hopeful that his will clear itself up after Halloween. I have hair. I have good friends I can turn to if I am in need. And I have a place I can call home, which seems to be standing on firm ground. True, the house disappears from time to time, but at least the ground hasn’t vanished beneath my feet, sending me pummeling 700 meters to the ground. This was a frequent problem with many of my previous homes, thanks to the Princess’s tendency to experiment with new locations for our platforms without telling me about her experiments first.

My animator is very tired right now, and if there are any further points I planned to make, I honestly can’t remember them at the moment. Goodnight, everyone. See you tomorrow.

Cluelessness as the Key to Success October 26, 2007

Posted by Steve in reflections.
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My animator has (almost) always been an even-tempered individual.

I say almost, because he can remember a time, back when he was a child, when he used to whine and cry about everything. This behavior got him picked on by the other children, for there seems to be nothing that some children like more than to cause upset. He was easy pickings in this regard.

Sometime between 6th and 7th grade, this changed. Either something broke in him, or he learned a powerful lesson. Whichever it was, my animator suddenly became one of the calmest, most even-tempered individuals you’ve ever met. To this day, it takes a lot to rattle him, and even more to get him angry.

One of the things that makes it easier for my animator to stay even tempered is the fact that he is, for the most part, totally clueless. He doesn’t always know what’s going on, and it becomes very hard to become angry about a situation when he really doesn’t have a clue as to what the situation is. In addition, he is exceptionally forgetful. On those occasions when he did realize that he should probably get angry about something, the odds are very good that, the next time he runs into the person who caused the discontent, he will just fall back into old habits and treat him or her as my animator has all along – kind of with a nice balance of pleasantness and puzzlement. Even if he does realize he is supposed to be mad at the individual, he often can’t remember the full details as to why, and usually decides that it’s easier just to forgive the other person rather than risk getting into an argument about which he doesn’t know the issues.

I think I can say with some degree of certainty that this cluelessness has contributed to the success that my animator has had in life. Thanks to his brainlessly-derived forgiving nature, my animator has managed to make few enemies in life. He also has a gift for diplomacy when necessary, and another gift for cowering in fear for when he knows that diplomacy won’t work. These are major factors that make him successful at whatever it is he does at work. While his tendencies result from a far from stress free life, it is, for the most part, relatively free of conflict.

The connection between my animator and myself has given me many of these same tendencies, and I have, thus, experienced a corresponding level of success in Second Life. There are so many people around my animator and myself that experience emotions that are utterly beyond either of our comprehensions. I have few people who don’t like me, and I manage to accomplish most things with a reasonable level of non-incompetence. I have a hard time hating anyone. The few people that I have an active dislike for have made a very extra special, conscious effort to attain this position. If I don’t seem to respond to you in SL, it certainly isn’t because I don’t like you. It is my natural shyness compounded by my fear of exposing my cluelessness that makes me occasionally unresponsive. Do not worry that I don’t like you. Odds are very good that I would remember none of the reasons why I should dislike you, or even that have noticed that there may have been such reasons.

So, for those of you who wish to have a puzzled and sometimes happy and a mildly successful life, give cluelessness a try. If it works for me, it may work for you as well. If you wish lessons on how to appear clueless, simply watch me for a while. You can ask me for advice, but odds are likely that I will respond with a deer in the headlights pleasant expression. I’ll do my best, of course, but please don’t be surprised if my response makes no sense whatsoever. It works for me that way.

First Life First October 24, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary, reflections.
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First life first.

It is an expression I’ve heard more than one person use of late, the idea being that whatever takes place in first life takes precedence over whatever may be happening in second life. Which means, of summary, that my animator’s life is more important than mine is.

It is a concept I have difficulty with. I have tried to live my animator’s life and found myself bogged down by tedium. Clothes to wash, beds to make, dishes to be cleaned, cat litter to be scooped, paperwork to be filled out. So on etc. ad-nausum.

For me, in general, even my work is play. I frankly don’t know how he puts up with it.

And yet, put up with he must. And so must, therefore, I. Despite the prim boxes and giant-penised noobie avatars, SL is much, much cleaner than RL, and much, much easier to keep that way.

And when my animator lives in a chaotic environment, his thoughts get muddy. And, such is our connection, when his thoughts get muddy, so do mine. I felt sharp for the renewal ceremony to my beautiful Princess because HE felt sharp for it. When he feels numb, so do I. Such is the cycle. And when he feels tired, it is, truly, my eyes that close. Our connection is that intimate.

So, somehow, it is my responsibility as a somewhat saner (?) version of himself to try to keep him on task, for my OWN good.

And I can help, although I admit I have something to learn about his world. WANTING to help is another matter. I find the business every bit as tedious as he does, if not more so. Let us be honest here. My life is much more glamorous than his.

So it is not just he that must find balance, it is that he should learn that tat balance lies in his own world, not so much in mind. I still serve a purpose…a training ground…whatever. But it is he that must find a way to cope in his own world without looking toward mine as a way of hiding. And I must encourage him to do this if I am to help him, even if in the process it diminishes my own existence.

And now the best thing I can encourage my animator to is to go to sleep.

Goodnight all.

I can see clearer now, it started drizzling. October 15, 2007

Posted by Steve in reflections.
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[rl]Greetings, all.

The fog in my head has lightened somewhat since my last post, and so my thoughts seem clearer. This leads to hopefulness, and this leads to me making promises to myself and to others. Later, the fog will return, and those promises will be forgotten on left unmet. I say this not out of hopelessness, but out of pattern observation. This has been the rhythm of my life for some 30+ years, and it would unrealistic for me to expect it to change on this occasion.

The trick is to somehow break this pattern. I don’t expect to be floating in blissful joy throughout my life, but I would like this constant seesaw between hope and despair to stop bouncing so hard.

The things that work best for improving my mood are straightening my workspace, eating properly, and exercise. Straightening my workspace in this case means cleaning my house, which is starting to get a bit unmanageable. Eating properly means…well…not eating the way I’ve been eating. I know what the right foods are. That is part of the problem. For some reason, the more I know about good nutrition, the more my mind seems to seek out the bad stuff. I’ve pulled out the old weight watchers calculator again. I’ve got about 30 lbs to lose. Last time, I lost this much weight in about 4 or 5 months. It ainna gonna happen this time unless I throw in some exercise.

So, exercise. Yeah…

20 minutes of aerobic activity every other day will probably be enough to encourage weight loss. More would be better of course. Everyday would be better yet. The problem with every other day type programs is that the other day always seems to be another day away. Everyday would work better for that reason alone. I won’t DO it everyday, but so long as I feel I’m supposed to, well, that may get enough in.

I’ve been here before. I can’t count the number of times. What is becoming different is the frustration…the feeling of why bother, it won’t last.

And maybe it won’t last, but a little exercise…a little weight loss, a temporary mood gain, is all better than slothfulness, weight gain, and sinking into a depressive pit. One day at a time.

Oh well. I have a meeting to get too about a statue. Be well.

An Undeniable State of Mind October 12, 2007

Posted by Steve in reflections.
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[RL] It has long been my practice in these blog posts not to dwell on the negative, but rather to accentuate the positive. While not all of my posts could be described as happy and joyful, the ones that have not been still I would not describe as negative. They have been somber observations, and, in a few cases, stern lectures on propriety.

The few posts that could be called negative have been works of poetry, and these, more than anything else, show the workings of a subconscious that I have unwilling to face. More exactly, it is a subconscious that I have been trying to deny, for I have been trying to accuse if of trying to lead me in a direction of self-pity and woeful wallowings.

The force of this subconscious has more and more been overtaking my conscious of late, and the fact that I am depressed is becoming more and more apparent to those around me. I hesitate to say it, if only because I don’t wish to add to the burdens of my little circle of friends. What, after all, are my excuses for being depressed, compared to the valid sufferings of those around me. I have a steady job and I earn decent money, both in real life and in second life. I have a solid, warm, suburban house around me, and good health. My standard of living, modest though it seems to me, is vastly superior to that of perhaps 9/10s of the world’s population.

Nevertheless, such is my state of mind, and such has been my state of mind, on and off, since early childhood. And I won’t deny that this state of mind acts as something of a source of shame to me. I know that shame is not appropriate. I know that my feelings are just as valid as the next persons. I know that my condition is partially chemical, and that, “pulling myself up by my own bootstraps,” and just, “getting over it,” are not helpful expressions or indeed in anyway possible. Nonetheless, there is some part of my that is screaming that I don’t have the right to be depressed. And perhaps the time has come for me to acknowledge that this screaming part, rather than being my champion, may indeed be part of the problem, and that part of the reason that there are times that I don’t seem to have feelings if because I am so vigorously denying the ones closest to the surface.

So where I go with this next I am not sure. Perhaps the reason for this public confession is a kind of apology to my friends, for I feel undependable, and not there when they need me. This undeniable state of mind that I have been so vigorously denying has caused me to fail to keep commitments, and to wander aimlessly from project to project. Even now, with this confession I have a part of me screaming that I am just making excuses for my bad behavior, that I am whining, that I am just looking for sympathy from my friends, some of whom are suffering from ailments far worse than mine. Well, I honestly don’t know what the reason for this confession is. It may indeed be all of the former.

And now I fear a feedback loop. I have said I am depressed, so therefore I must act depressed in order to justify the fact that I have said I am depressed. I am afraid to act happy, for to do so may be denying my underlying feelings. Self reflection does not always seem to be such a wonderful thing. It leaves one confused as to how to act…how to be.

Oh well. The time has come for me to stop writing and to go to work. I must leave early in a desperate attempt to prepare at the last minute for a meeting that I have not had time to prepare for because of the stresses of the week.

And yes, Mykyl, I will look for the joy. I may even find it. I must confess, however, that I do not expect to remember it for any length of time.

Emerging from the Silent Abyss October 11, 2007

Posted by Steve in diary.
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[RL] Well, as my numerous fans may have noticed, I haven’t had a lot to say for a while.

I’m not altogether sure as to why this has been. An inability to concentrate? A lack of inspiration? Just a general case of the blues?

In any event, I’m here, making my first tentative presses on the keys of my keyboard, not really having a clue as to what I’m going to say, but mildly determined to say something.

So…

My keyboard is a black Compaq. It has an annoying “sleep” button that has the shape of a crescent moon. When I press it accidentally, bad things happen. I just haven’t had the energy to find a way to disable it. The keyboard also has volume controls, which I always forget about. I think that they’d be quite useful, if only to prevent me from over exerting myself by reaching for the volume control on my speakers.

My desktop has the top of a Slurpee cup, two neckties rolled up into neat little balls, a palm pilot, an empty Arby’s wrapper, an empty box for eye drops, and about seven dollars in change, five of which are made up the new golden dollar coins. It also has The Book of Mormon, which I can’t for the life of me remember how it got there. It is sitting on top of some papers that I used to calculate trajectories on my Cataporter and various other semi-useful and/or useless pieces of paper.

I’m still mostly dressed in my work clothes, my black wool pants now covered in cat hair as a result of a rare, affectionate visit from the household cat. We are talking about Cracker Barrel for dinner, which is food that tastes great and is even better at hardening the arteries.

I have, at long last, came up with a solid new concept for my book. The trouble is, it means that I have to throw away 9/10ths of what I have already written. That’s more than 70,000 words. Would it be worth it? Yes. But to do it would require not only rewriting every word, it would require dedication and research, and hope. And I’m a bit afraid to hope right now. Can I pull it off? Do I have the energy to do it? I just don’t know.

I remember starting and not finishing my first book in sixth grade – that would be when I was 10 or 11 years old. I’ve not finished about four or five books since then, and I’ve finished and not sold maybe 15 or 20 short stories. This particular book I started maybe three or four years ago. I submitted to two publishers before I decided that there was something seriously wrong with it.

I could probably tear off bits of the book that I’ve already written into maybe two or three other books. There are some good sound bites in there. But that is for the distant future. I have another book to work on, or not work on, which is the one I want to complete or not complete first.

And, I guess I’ve just completed this post. That means something in itself. We’ll see what happens next.