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June 5th, 2003

turn and face the strange

"Marlene watches from the wall
Her mocking smile says it all
As she records the rise and fall
Of every man who's been here

But the only one here now is me
I'm fighting things I cannot see
I think it's called my destiny
That I am changing"--Suzanne Vega

How much does one change over time? I think that the best gauge in some ways is how one behaves in relationships. So many changes in my life recently seem to be in the bifocal and lessened memory skills categories--changes that make me think about more capable days in the past. But I think back this morning on relationships and friendships past, and perhaps I have changed after all.

At Seventeen, I did not learn the truthCollapse )
"I am absolutely uncomfortable with confinement of any kind, social, domestic, cultural, mental, spiritual or physical. In this sense I could be seen as an unreliable companion, a fickle, changeable friend. I'm not. Loyalty is, I hope and pray, one of the qualities I offer to my real friends. It's just that the constant suffering that life presents us with, the inexhaustible variety of objects hurled in our path, makes me more and more determined not to submit to the inevitability of orthodoxy, the dull, mindless pressure to join the mob. I choose to resist the bulling of fate, even if I'm bound to be beaten to a pulp by the mediocrity that encroaches on our daily existence and all the terrible and awesome forces that mortality hurls at us through out our muddled lives".--Bill Nelson

Let's celebrate the sheer absurdity of friendship, and of the ways in which we relate on-line. Let's not point out that "friends list" and "friend" are not synonyms. Let's analyze less, therapize none at all, and regale ourselves with our private stories, for mass consumption. Let's poll, let's roll, and let's find our inner soul--and then retail it, for free, on-line:

Poll #142409 My Favorite Absurdities--Synthesia and Asynchrony in LJ

LiveJournal seems to me to be:

An endless song, sung by a thousand voices, some off key.
21(51.2%)
A swirl of colors painted across the skyways of my mind
9(22.0%)
a place where I emote in private before the whole world
9(22.0%)
the scent of brownies baking all over the world (pure brownies! no THC!)
1(2.4%)
the sensation of soft, glowing fingers lighting the corner of my mind
1(2.4%)

I have done each of the following:

heard in my mind the voice of an LJ friend I've never heard in real life.
4(8.7%)
imagined the look of an LJ friend I've never seen.
0(0.0%)
conducted an imaginary debate off line with an on line friend.
1(2.2%)
drawn a picture of what my LJ friend should look like.
0(0.0%)
day-dreamed of travelling to visit my LJ friends
5(10.9%)

In a LiveJournal Heaven,

the damned site would always respond when the hyperlink is clicked
13(28.9%)
angels would sing "The Shower Meme"
3(6.7%)
I would be as cool as my weblog friends think I am
7(15.6%)
everyone would have a permanent account for free
9(20.0%)
I'd meet with my LJ friends constantly
13(28.9%)

Which of your LJ friends is mostly closely your doppelganger (~so much your twin that he or she could just take over your life) (no sidejournals or other "it's really you anyway" answers, please!)

LJ friends constitute what percentage of your total friends?

Mean: 39.30 Median: 30 Std. Dev 24.34
10
11(25.6%)
20
4(9.3%)
30
7(16.3%)
40
1(2.3%)
50
8(18.6%)
60
3(7.0%)
70
7(16.3%)
80
0(0.0%)
90
2(4.7%)
100
0(0.0%)

The thing most incredible to you about LJ is:

I'm a much better moderator of my own LJ than any commercial moderator ever could be.
3(6.5%)
I make friends "out of the blue", among total strangers, and the friendships become strong
13(28.3%)
it's so wonderful to be able to correspond with adults who are not just trying to make a love match
23(50.0%)
those Finnish alphabets! Random rules!
1(2.2%)
the incredible focus on serious matters I read in journals
6(13.0%)

You find yourself from time to time doing the following:

keeping a "friend" on my list though I'm deeply dishearted by something she or he said
11(25.6%)
defriending people I really like
0(0.0%)
feeling relieved when someone defriends me
1(2.3%)
feeling odd that anyone would ever friend me
6(14.0%)
worried that I shouldn't take the "which side of the brain" poll
2(4.7%)

Which LJ friend that you enjoy reading is utterly the least like you are?

If my LJ friends' list were a color, they would be:

chartreuse, with a passion!
2(4.4%)
burning crimson red
5(11.1%)
the most sky-like blue
16(35.6%)
purple and gold
18(40.0%)
mellow yellow
4(8.9%)

If your LJ friends were collectively a sound, they'd be:

really hip industrial music piece
9(20.9%)
a song from the musical "Grease"
3(7.0%)
a Hall and Oates song
2(4.7%)
minimalist ambience
12(27.9%)
the Portsmouth Sinfonia, playing the William Tell Overture
7(16.3%)
why, "Free Bird", of course!
3(7.0%)
an Earth, Wind and Fire dance track
7(16.3%)
something angry, hip-hoppy and forgotten in 6 months
0(0.0%)

If you were forced to trade your LJ for something material,which would you pick?

a sheep farm in New Zealand
10(22.7%)
a tavern in Scotland
16(36.4%)
a temple in India
4(9.1%)
the town of Black Oak, Arkansas
2(4.5%)
a pyramid in Central America
5(11.4%)
An animal preserve in Central Africa
7(15.9%)
the entire nation of Yakutsk
0(0.0%)

If you could tell the world one thing you wish you could tell an LJ friend (other than Gurdonark), who and what would it be? Example: To user x, I'd say "insert words here"

Today I worked extremely hard, which made me feel good. Tonight my wife made us delicious stir fry. I revelled in people's kindness for filling out my poll, but when we returned from a brief walk in the neighborhood, LJ seemed to crash a lot. People seem to love to launch attacks at LJ. There's something about 14 year olds and DDOS attacks, I suppose.

I went to ebay.com, and wrote the silliest ad copy I could think of on the spur of the moment for my friend scottm's roots pop/rock CD, "Meet....the Scott M Experience". I've been so gratified by the (few) people who've enjoyed my own CD (and the many people who have not complained), that I thought I'd apply my kitschy marketing skills to a CD of real music. I expect it will take me 5 or 6 ads to figure out a marketing hook (i.e., write something silly enough to actually sell a CD), but it will be fun to try.

I had a lot of fun at the cdbaby.com site, playing with the idea of setting up cheap 'net distribution for "vibrating electric fields".
I also noticed that my wife got us sheet after sheet of Ogden Nash stamps. I feel that life depends on things like Ogden Nash stamps sometimes.

I'm still plugging away at Ian McIntyre's Robert Burns biography. What a curious, hearty rascal of a poet!