Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Random Bits from Facebook

May 1:
My brain is currently filling up with jokes involving the juxtaposition of Beltane and the distress call, "May day!" No, I won't share them; they are all tasteless. Go make up your own.

May 8:
"The possessor or a refined palate is one who has learned to differentiate among bad tastes and finds moral superiority therein."--Paul Haynie

May 8:
Posted to Nikki's timeline in response to a question.
Let's begin with a secret: My version of our first meeting precedes your version by six months and two conversations. It took me that long to make a lasting impression. That's OK, though; your version is a better story, and I have long since made up any "memorability" points I failed to score then.

You had completely missed a "My Favorite Vampire" panel, and Dementia and I were the only ones left in the room. I remember you as being tiny, pretty (Not beautiful, oddly; the evening when I spent 45 minutes in conversation with the most beautiful woman in the world, who happened to be you, was still 18 months in the future.), exhaustingly energetic, and unselfconsciously self-possessed in a way that only the very young can manage; four months later, at our next meeting, you were just as self-possessed, but by then it was at least as much discipline as innocence that made it work.

You often seem to be living in a personal follow-spot.

Maybe I am having trouble with this one because the Book of Nikki was quite slender when I first met you, and I have watched much of your story unfold in something close to real time (and you have always been willing to fill in the occasional gaps). I certainly see more than you present when I look at you, but the overlay is my own memory. And then I try to look past that and see who you are today.

I'm not sure I have answered the question, or, more importantly, given you an answer you needed to hear. But I offer two more things: I will tell you, again, that you are the daughter of my heart, and then leave you with a bit of transient eloquence that you may remember from a decade ago. It seems appropriate.


May 11:
Dredged from 2010:
A co-worker had established that he was listening to melancholy music. About an hour later, he sent me this message: "16 Parkside Lane". I immediately knew what song he was listening to. Yes or no: Does that address IMMEDIATELY bring a song to mind? (Don't give away the answer, please.)

The answer, posted the following day: Now that the thing has had some time to percolate, the "answer" to yesterday's post is that "16 Parkside Lane" is a reference to Harry Chapin's song, "Taxi." It's a song that tends to stay with you (most of Chapin's music is like that...)

May 11:
I recently stumbled into a discussion on the merits of the game, "Monopoly", and ended up writing the following, presented here for archival purposes.:

Facts about Monopoly:

1) It's old. The parent game was written in 1903; the current version has been available since 1935.

2) It's well known. Pretty much everyone in the English speaking world has played it at least once.

3) It's moderately complex. It is very hard for a new game with a six page rule set to become generally popular; Monopoly survives because, due to its longevity, most of the people in a prospective game have already played it, and one seldom has to deal with more than one or two neophytes at a time.

4) It's long; Wikipedia lists the playing time as one to four hours, and the rules suggest an alternate version if you want to finish in under 90 minutes.

5) The outcome is more dependent on luck than skill, though there is definitely some skill involved. (The rules run six pages, and I suspect that a "Complete Monopoly Strategy Guide" would take rather less than that.)

6) It's an elimination game (at least in its basic form). Players are forced out of the game over time, and the end game is always between only two players.

Now... Items one and two have nothing to do with the design of the game. Item three is anomalous; the game would be too complex for non-gamers to learn in a vacuum, but once learned, it is quite playable. Items four and five might be flaws, or might be advantages, depending on your personal tastes.

Item six, though, is generally regarded as a design flaw. It's fundamentally anti-social. Monopoly isn't a particularly interesting spectator game, so once you are out of the game, you are out in the cold. In the last 50 years or so, game designers have generally tried to eliminate this particular problem from new games, and I see this as a positive trend.

For myself, I don't mind SHORT highly random games. I am not terribly fond of games that last more than 90 minutes, and will avoid highly random games that last more than about half an hour. But item six is what will make me, personally, avoid Monopoly or any other such game. I don't like sending my friends off to the next room to amuse themselves, and I don't like being sent off to the next room myself, either.

May 11:
"People who fit in elevator speeches fit in elevator speeches, and if that's what you are looking for, I might as well leave right now. On the other hand, if you want to get off the elevator and join me for a cup of coffee, you might hear something worthwhile." --Paul Haynie (who has been playing with resumes and watching his already marginal sanity slip away in the process)

May 12:
Life in my household:
Dementia: "I got THAT reference. I may have failed the geography quiz, but I got the musical theater reference." (In response to Hyena's comment, "It's Puerto Rico. You know, where the Sharks come from?")

May 12:
A comment I made elsewhere, preserved here for archival purposes:
It is at least really difficult (as far as I know, impossible) to build a compelling ehtical structure without a supernatural enforcer, but if you DO have a supernatural enforcer, you're a slave.

It is usually pretty easy to figure out WHAT is the right thing to do. It is often much more difficult to figure out WHY you should do it.

"Because I want to live in a world where everyone behaves this way, and the only part of that I actually have control over is myself, so I am starting with that," is actually a damned good reason.

May 13:
Dredged from 2015:
The two girls were sitting at the table next to the McDonald's drink machine, eating and talking and giggling and generally being schoolgirls.

They heard a deep voice say, "Hello," and looked up to see a large, ugly, scruffy man in black. They weren't quite sure how to react.

"I just wanted to thank you," the man said, "For being decorative." They smiled; they were bewildered, but also amused. "I've had a REALLY bad day," the man said, "And pretty girls just make the world a better place." The girls smiled brightly and gave the man thanks he did NOT expect.

The man turned and walked away. In spite of his pain, and fatigue, and general unhappiness, he came VERY close to smiling.

May 14:
I would like to thank the churchy types of Waukegan for doing churchy things this morning, and thus leaving me free to talk to my city without human interference. There is something magical about standing at the side of Grand Avenue (a four lane artery) without being able to see or hear a single moving vehicle.

May 14:
In the spring of 1972, I decided that my ignorance of popular music was a part of my social dysfunction that I could address, so I bought a radio and started to listen. As it happens, this "discovery" of popular music corresponds almost exactly with the ascendance of "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by one hit wonder Looking Glass. My fondness for the song survives.

"Brandy" figures significantly in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2", so it has been around, lately. I have been reminded that some people detest the song, and I am inclined to address that...

Musically, the song is bubblegum, but the lyric is significantly and honestly melancholy, and addresses a legitiate, if fairly rare, issue. To whit: If you get involved with one of those rare individuals who actually has a passionate vocation, you need to get used to the idea that you will ALWAYS come in second to that vocation. That is what having a vocation MEANS.

It doesn't matter if the passion is for sailing or music or painting or sculpture or EOD (See "The Hurt Locker.") The passion will ALWAYS come before any specific human being. That's just the way things are. If you become involved with such a person, you need to either adapt, or leave. There is no third alternative.

May 15:
It's happened twice, now. Every time it does, I die a little bit.

The sweet young thing is wearing a name tag that says, "Jennifer." I ask her if she knows the meaning of the name, or its origins, and she says, "No." So I tell her that it means, "white ghost" or "white spirit", and that it is a Cornish variation of a much more famous Welsh name, Guenevere.

And absolutely nothing happens. No smile, no glimmer of recognition, NOTHING.

I conceal my growing horror (I have had some practice at this), and ask, "Does the name, 'King Arthur' mean anything to you?"

And she says, "No," and you can probably HEAR my heart breaking from across the room.

As I said, I die a little bit.
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