Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

On Saturday nights these days, nothing makes any sense.  §

I am keeping the kids company while they go to sleep.

Some things excerpted from a conversation with a NOBF (left as an obscure exercise to the reader) today.

— § —

The blog has been apocalyptic as of late. This can be laid at the feet of a lot of different things, so I’ll punt and not lay it at the feet of anything in particular. But I do recognize the tendency.

— § —

I do think that my perspective has not been particularly good lately. Whenever you allow yourself to descend into short-term and purely circumstantial thinking, things are going to take on an exaggerated tone.

This all gives lie to the idea that tattoos can impart—or improve—perspective.

Of course I never really thought that anyway, but it’s a good gag and reminder. Still, at times like this, it would be more helpful to be reminded of what good perspective is than to simply be reminded of the word.

Live and learn.

— § —

Is it bads:

  • Is it bad that I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed my dating life as much as I’ve enjoyed my single life? That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my dates (this intended in both possible ways), but merely that on balance, life was better on the whole before I knew about them.

  • Is it bad that every “happiest period” that I can think of in my life is a single period, running from about one year post-major-breakup to about two years post-major-breakup?

  • Is it bad that I think both that commitment and reciprocity are the only purposes for human relationships, yet also that they are largely mythological creatures never actually seen by man?

  • Is it bad that I don’t give a shit that I just said “by man” there instead of “by humankind?”

  • Is it bad that it feels like an affront to my ego to ever, ever admit that I fall ill, from any cause?

  • Is it bad that I don’t give a shit about the state of my yard, or what the neighbors think?

  • Is it bad that I remember Poe’s phrase “the imp of the perverse” so very often?

  • Is it bad that I buy amaretto coffee because I believe that I like it, but then never drink it, then buy it again and again and end up with multiple unopened bags?

  • Is it bad that I have another birthday coming up?

  • Is it bad that I am losing, day by day, my motivation to “play the game” any longer?

  • Is it bad to have mid-life conversions on all kinds of ideas, perspectives, and habits in the most stereotypical possible fashion?

  • Is it bad to secretly ridicule your former self?

— § —

Note to self: Research how the religious overtones and undercurrents in Northern Exposure came to be. Writers? Cultural advisors? Cast improv?

Find out. No particular reason.

— § —

In the ‘80s when we didn’t have flat capacative touch displays, voice control, AI, or inexpensive sensors yet, all of these things seemed impossibly utopian and awe-inspiring.

Now we know they are just less personable and senuous ways of buying laundry detergent, attending a concert, and beating someone up on the playground.

— § —

I knew someone once who was sure that people were all basically the same in the details, and different only in the fundamentals—good or evil.

She had it exactly backward; they’re all the same in the fundamentals—good and evil—and wildly different in the details.

— § —

Sometimes it gets me how strangely inflected our value calculations are. For example, if I was considering spending a hundred dollars on:

  • Groceries — Ugh, that’s a lot. What can we swap with no-name brands or substitutes to try to cut that in half?

  • Tires — I know that’s a good price, bug do I really need tires right now? I mean, can’t we go without for one more month?

  • Zoo Membership — Prrrrobably worth it… Will we come that many times over the coming year? If we buy a membership we will!

  • Fiber Internet — OMG necessity, do not count cost.

  • Clothing Item — WTF is wrong with the world Wal-Mart here we come.

  • Taekwondo Weapons — Good price, good price, weapons are cool—

  • Automatic Wristwatch — Wow, that’s nothing what a steal. Can I get something even better if I spend $200?

  • Trip to Lagoon — Such highway robbery. But you have to do it, so they have you over a barrel.

  • Movie, Popcorn, and Fast-Food Dinner — Family memories! So worth it!

  • Haute Cuisine — Anyone who pays $100 for a meal is a dunce. No, just no.

  • Bills or Medical Care — F*ck this sytem and the way it makes me spend, spend, spend.

  • Furniture Item — No way $100 it’ll be on classifieds for $10 without too many boogers just wait.

  • Household Tool or Repair Item — Good heavens, $100? How am I ever going to pay for this?

  • Vet Bill — It’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s fair and totally doable.

In short, the values that I attribute to things are completely irrational and mystifying and correspond in almost no way to price, to size, to duration, or to anything else.

Of course everyone knows that this is true. But when you sit down and look and your own life, and really stare at the irrationality, it’s pretty shocking.