The second type of person I dislike…

•July 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

I did say this was going to be a series, eh? I felt a little too sorry for the Limp Fish after writing out that post, so it never got published. Also, this post regards what is a male personality, in my experience. I’ll get to a female personality eventually. Don’t get too excited. For those of you new here, a link to the first post in the series.

Today’s Dislikeable Person is the (Self-)Sacrificial Goat. I want to say “Sacrificial Lamb,” but that implies a degree of naivete, as opposed to the actual ignorance that pervades this personality.

Now let me be clear–someone who fits the description of Sacrificial Goat may not always act this way. In fact, he may be an excellent person 95% of the time! He may be a whiz with South American history, make scrumptious omelettes, or never fail to tile your bathroom walls perfectly. The 5% where he acts like the Sacrificial Goat is enough, however, to make you forget any of his good qualities, and want to beat him black and blue with the nearest heavy object.

The Person in question morphs into a Sacrificial Goat as soon as he smells sadness or depression emanating from another individual. Not your ordinary “I’m bored” kind of smell, or “They didn’t have my favorite brand of chips at the store” kind of smell, nah, that doesn’t get him. But should you let slip “I failed an exam,” or “My close relative died,” or “I have an terminal illness,” suddenly he transforms, and it is in your best interests to run in the opposite direction.

See, Sacrificial Goat, like Pretentious Dickwad, has a bit of a hero complex. Sacrificial Goat has good and honorable intentions–he wants to help you forget about all of your worries. That’s not too bad, right? Except his weapon of choice isn’t a tall glass of beer, isn’t a good-quality joint, a classic movie and popcorn, a shopping spree, or doing body-shots off hookers until you both black out. His weapon of choice is himself. Specifically, he incites you to target him with your fury so you’ll forget about the original problem.

Let’s have an example… the unveiling of the Goat:

SG: Hey, what’s up?

You: I’m not having a very good day, to say the least.

SG: Aww. Wanna talk about it?

You: Well… my aunt passed away yesterday. We were really close, and I was too upset this morning to finish my exams.

SG: I’m sorry to hear that.

You: Yeah… some other things have gone wrong this week too. It just feels like the universe is working against me lately.

SG: No, no, the universe is working for you. All of this was meant to happen. Your aunt was meant to die, and you were meant to fail those tests, but…

He begins to say something that is supposed to be an uplifting sentiment, but the audacity of his previous statements prevents you from hearing it. He’s not even offering any solutions, only spouting off all these uncalled-for sentiments. Depending on the context, he is either pushing his religion at the wrong moment (replace “universe” with figure of your choice of religion), some kind of nutcase, or utterly tactless. Not that these options are mutually exclusive. This won’t end well.

You: Please don’t say things like that.

You point out some ways that this particular situation isn’t what he thinks, hoping that he’ll just give up and go away.

SG: But it’s true, and besides…

He begins to quibble over some minor details that would validate his views, if only you gave a flying fuck. You don’t.

At this point, other people may jump to your defense, not that having others on your side is any more effective than going solo against the Goat.

Third party: Look, I’m sure you mean well, but whatever you’re saying really isn’t helping.

And at this point, the Goat is fully revealed.

SG: Of course it is! It’s better for him/her to be angry with me than sad about his/her aunt dying or the exams!

Whatever happens afterwards is moot–the damage has been done. Now, I don’t advocate excessive violence anymore, but it takes a hell of a lot of self-restraint not to reach out and throttle this bastard. The ignorance and conceit presented here is unbelievable, not to mention the complete disregard for social tact and propriety. A strange set of beliefs indeed:

1. “The events that caused your sadness have already happened. Get over it.”

Well okay, I have no problem with this. I’m sure with a lot of people going through emotional turmoil just want to find a way to get over with it and move on with their lives. But it takes time, like all things, and simply saying “Get over it” is about as effectual on the healing process as “I’m sorry.” The difference is that one of those phrases makes you look like a bastard. Just shut up.

2. Thinking that forcing your unwanted ideas about the working world on another person is comforting.

Telling a non-[religious person] that it’s “[religious head figure]’s will” that the events occured is just not appropriate. There’s a time for religious debate, religious prayer, religious discussion. But pushing your personal beliefs here breeds resentment and reflects badly on you, no matter how well-intentioned you were. Choose something genuinely kind and comforting. Otherwise, shut up.

3. Putting yourself foremost into another person’s thoughts in a negative way will make them stop thinking about other negative things.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, you stupid fucktard. You’ve just made yourself another problem on that list. Are you really ignorant enough to think that the human mind is so simple? That it’s impossible to concentrate on more than one problem at a time? If everybody thought like you, we’d never get shit done. We’d fucking sit around all day pissed off at one person, rotting away because of our one-track minds.

And finally, when you leave the fucking scene, the person you’re “helping” is going to go right back to being sad. A-plus for a job well done. I applaud you, sir.

For anyone out there who is self-diagnosing themselves as a Sacrificial Goat, there is hope for you. In troubling times, if you have no solution other than to open your big wobbly mouth, follow these steps:

1. Close your mouth. Breathe.

2. Things you can safely say:

i. “I’m sorry to hear that.” This won’t get you any points, but if you’re itching to talk, you might as well say this.

ii. “I hope you feel better soon.” Points depends on delivery.

iii. “If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.” Points for being thoughtful regarding the future.

3. Close your mouth.

4. Walk away.

By following these simple steps, you can preserve your well-being and your testicles (because maybe 95% of the time, you deserve them). And maybe next time, you won’t be reading about yourself on the Internet.

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“Are you shitting me?”

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

is a wonderfully constructed phrase. Firstly, it rhymes with “Are you kidding me?” Secondly, it rolls off the tongue much better than “Are you bullshitting me?” ever will, and in addition, opens up the nature of the remarks in question to more than just bovine feces.

Now, on to related, but less scatalogical and far more palatable topic: what have I consumed this week?

Last Sunday I made a pot of Spanish rice that was supposed to last only two or three days, but survived the whole fucking week. I also decided to get over that raw-meat-squeamishness by giving free handjobs to some Canadian kids on the Quad.

I jest. I bought a couple of Montreal-seasoned steaks and cooked them up. They looked kind of weird… probably would have been nicer with a red wine glaze : D

The leftovers went into the rice with some pineapple, and that combination was spectacular.

RES01850

Next up was the goddamn eggplant. I say goddamn eggplant because half of that purple bastard is still sitting in my refrigerator. The other half ended up in a stir-fry with the rice and too much soy sauce. That resulted in a rather off-color (haha?) comment on Twitter. I won’t link you.

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Went shopping on Saturday. Couldn’t sleep the previous night thinking about pears, of all things. French cookery too. These are the fruits (ha?) of that grocery trip… An awesome multigrain baguette, a couple links of abruzzo sausage (no more dick jokes, please), rosemary goat cheese, apples and pears.

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And presenting… this week’s piece de resistance:

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Baked pears, stuffed with a mix of the goat cheese, sausage, raisins, and sunflower seeds (in lieu of walnuts : < ). Served on greens with an apricot-cranberry sauce.

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Not doing too badly, eh? : D

I smell like weed. And coffee. And garlic.

•July 11, 2009 • 2 Comments

Mmmm… coconut coffee. Aside from caffeine, I’m 100% drug free, kids. Not my scene.

You know what’s been freaking me out this week? Realizing that in one and a half years, I’m going to be 20. Holy shit.

It’s not the aging that worries me, not wrinkles, saggy tits (not that I’ll never need to worry about that 9_9), or gray hair. I still feel like I’m 16… as a matter of fact (and this has been discussed in a previous post) moving along, I’ve always felt the same.

It doesn’t matter that I know in what ways I’ve changed. I suppose in this aspect, I’m like a baby fractal. At one point I had to begin to branch out with new freedoms and new experiences and new responsibilities. Each of these built upon previous branches, expanding or contracting accordingly, but in the relative picture, zooming in and out at will, they’re all the same, and all of the same magnitude.

Every once in a while it’ll seem like something is finally working out for me, something else comes along to disrupt the process completely. Fuck you, fractal equation. You can’t even be a goddamn sine function.

Even worse, I realized that I can go out and imbibe all the alcoholic beverages I can hold, then go off and fuck a dozen guys. That is seriously causing me something like cognitive dissonance’s kid brother.

I hear a party going on upstairs.

BBL.

“Heyyyyyy Good-Lookin…”

•July 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So… I’m cooking again… with a minimal degree of incompetence.

Since I am squeamish and unable to handle raw meat (insert dick joke), I’ve gone apeshit on the vegetables. Amazing isn’t it? I can prod and cut at a fetal pig or cat for a couple hours, but pulling a goddamn chicken breast out of a package nearly makes me want to hurl. Slimy, slimy, pink, ugh. It turned into a great chicken cordon bleu, but I’m not doing that again. >_<

Back to the vegetables. Necessity is the mother of necessity, I guess. I have gone through tomatoes, lettuce, spring mix greens, carrots, red bell peppers (green ones can go fuck themselves), baby portobellos, broccoli, red onions, potatoes… and there is an eggplant sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be had at. Some of these I won’t eat at home, but here, it’s just like “Okay, they’re not so bad…” It helps that they cook quickly and easily, and that nobody is making me to eat three times a normal portion of anything.

I don’t miss bok choy or asparagus at all, but I wish spices were sold in small enough containers that I could experiment more with those. Curried cauliflower sounds pretty good right now, alas.

By the way, if for some odd reason, you ever want to know what I’m having for dinner, you can always follow me on Twitter. : /

Onto other things, fruit for one. Blueberries, pineapple, apples, one whole bag of oranges, peaches, and a metric shit ton of strawberries. My ex-boss (yeah, I got laid off from the old job) took me strawberry picking on Saturday. That involved a drive through Etna, Freeville, and Dryden; getting the car stuck in a foot of mud; and the horror of seeing fuzzy gray strawberries shoot spores into the air. But I ended up with a six pounds of those bright little gems.

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These babies went into a sauteed broccoli and strawberries. That was not the best idea. The berries are too acidic to go decently with cruciferous vegetables.

RES01842At least it looked colorful.

RES01843Cranberry juice in a wine glass. Classy?

Strawberry and black pepper tarts… on a cinnamon-sugar puff pastry. This is before they go into the oven… note the messiness of the baking sheet.

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And after…

RES01845Well shit.

The smoke detector didn’t go off, and nothing actually caught fire… so only having to scrub burned sugar off the pan is a good thing. Also, these are quite delicious.

For the curious, recipe is here (I omitted the thyme, and used the pepper very liberally).

And now I’m going back to work.

I’ll Keep on Spinning…

•July 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

…until I find myself again…
-Delta Goodrem, Disorientated

I’m sure it’s been said by somebody of celebrity wit, but years ago, I came to the conclusion on my own: all the talent in the world means nothing if you haven’t the passion.

Of course, back then I was simply spouting off observed naive wisdoms. Naive not in untruth, but in that I had no idea how it really applied to myself.

Eight years of classical piano training went nowhere. My fingers can fly over the length of the piano, pounding out the chromatic scale; I can improvise an hour of simple, harmoniously blending chords and melodies; I can sight-read comfortably; and muscle memory takes over when I sit down to favorite sonatinas—it’s exhilarating.

“You’re very technically-skilled,” I was told in art classes. Clearly defined lines and colors, realism, pen-and-ink stylization–great. I have a closetful of sketchbooks, with unfinished ideas on nearly every page. I don’t know if it was burn-out, if it was that directionless feeling, or what. Within minutes to a day of generating an idea, I simply lost interest.

I only produced for a grade, and all the work was shit. For any number of reasons: time, space, lack of adequate materials, the final product was always really unworthy of being called finished, or being thought of as truly mine. “Oh I’m not done with it yet,” I would say, as if that actually excused a shitty piece of work that I had to carry around in the morning before class.

“Play with more feeling!” my piano teachers (six total) began to tell me as I got older. “What do you think this section of the piece feels like?” In one of my books, Schumann’s Wild Rider has places with BLACK and RED penciled in. My parents even tried to force me to play as if emotion could be methodically evoked—(“—raise your hands off the keys here—now put them down—”)—as if they fucking knew better than I did. Needless to say, I quit playing after a couple of months, and didn’t touch another piano for a whole year.

They made me take up the violin at one point. My teacher, the venerable Mr. Q (who always reminded me of a Chinese Rowan Atkinson) said in halting English, “Do you think a robot could play a violin?” I replied that yes, it probably could play. He simply sighed and shook his head. Well certainly a robot could play the violin. Just not very well.

So that lasted a few years. I suppose you could say I never figured out how to play an entire piece without a terrible squeak emanating from the strings, yet I doubt that if I had regularly practiced, it would have actually made a difference. I didn’t practice regularly, because regularly practicing was something I was supposed to do. Because I was lazy, because I had no passion for the instrument. I suppose if I had as much passion as a certain comrade of mine, you wouldn’t be able to keep me away from it. Perhaps if I had wanted to learn it in the first place, not been shepherded towards it in an attempt to “well-round” my knowledge… perhaps if there had been more interesting songs to play than predetermined lesson books with ugly illustrations or heavy Russian marches. Perhaps if there had been more sonatinas, and if I had actually finished playing the Sonata Pathetique after my teacher moved…

Maybe I should make that a goal for the upcoming semester. Maybe I should dust off those talents and try it again. What else are they good for?


Bored this week. Hadn’t picked up the pencil in a year. Spent about half an hour with each. That’s a bottle of vitamins, by the way.

Only So

•June 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In this life, I have walked through a hundred churches
Amongst a thousand temples laid end to end.

I have imbibed a thousand wines of song and incense
They pour like rains from a thousand holy clouds.

I have prayed a thousand prayers with every footfall
Each soft echo flowing and coursing a pale river.

I have caressed a thousand golden statues and
Laid sweet oranges at their tarnished feet.

I have lit a thousand candles with a single spark
Fed a thousand beggars with one loaf.

I have thrown light into a thousand panes of glass,
And yet, a hundred churches.

RIP, Jacko.

•June 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Eating pasta alfredo again, this time with broccoli and chicken. Got my game idea approved by the Professor, wrote a brief design document while trapped in the law library.

Yes, trapped. As I was about to step outside, I saw that it was just a torrent of water coming down, heard some thunder, and didn’t have an umbrella. I finally left the building around 7 PM. It closes at 5.

I am noticing that the above paragraphs sound like a combination of my Twitter posts and the FMLs I read. Twitter is… eh, micro-blogging is so overhyped in the media (CNN, I’m looking at you), and there simply is not too much that I want to share with the world. It’s just there now. Nothing to rant about. And by the way, you can follow me here. : P