Friday, April 16, 2010

A Contradiction in Pants

This is a blog I wrote last November but never published. To be completely honest I didn't find it that interesting. Now it is for you to decide.


I have no right to judge another but I will wonder. I am here at work working late with not much to do and I have nothing but that to keep my attention. I have nothing against those that are happily overweight but I must note that fact so you know my description is just that, a description.

I walk back at a leisurely pace from the restroom and every time I do I glance at the people in the cubicles I pass. Each cubicle has its own “limited” style that really says a lot about the individuals that reside in them. Mine for example is an absolute mess. I have at least 5 computers running at once, extra cables and connectors all over the place, multiple calendars, tutorials I am finalizing, floor maps on the walls and stacks of new computers. Your typical assortment of pens, markers and usual office “tools” also resides in my cubicle. At first glance it may screams “haphazard” but if you look closely, there is an order to the chaos. Items are placed perpendicular to each other, ordered and labeled by date and/or placed specifically by order of necessity. You could call it hectic. Busy and anal at the same time. Yep. That pretty much summarizes a part of me.

So lately I have noticed one particular individual. There is this overweight guy who barely fits into his cubicle. The cubicle is not that small, I’d estimate about 10’ X 10’. He’s just a big guy. The first time I noticed him I walked by really fast and he was staring into his Windows Media Player screen saver. If you don’t know what that is, it is a hypnotic LSD inspired barrage of colors that given the right motivation or history could induce seizures or at least flashbacks.

Anyway, I thought it was curious. I didn’t do anything about it since it wasn’t my place to do anything about it. (This time.) A few days later I walked by and caught him sniffing his finger. That’s never anything pleasant.

So as I walked by with a half disgusted but still smiling expression on my face I played back the images of the past few days and got to thinking that this man was quite the contradiction. He is not rare, in fact there are many like him but I’ve never given them much thought.

His cubicle is spotless as is his attire. His shirts in the few times I have notice have always been bright white colored suits, pressed with no creases. Papers have been stacked neatly on his desk and even the dry erase board had a grid drawn on it so the items he added were kept in order. This man was clean. He had hairy arms but his face was always clean shaven and his hair has always been cut trim. Very clean cut. How was he a contradiction?

Well men like him seem odd to me. They are overweight, heavily overweight and they still care about little details and appearance. No I don’t think all overweight people should be slobs or anything but this guy took it to the extreme. He was more annoying about organization than I was and cared so much about his appearance, but not his health. I don’t understand that. I really do believe some people react differently to different foods but to a point. You can get chunky with different metabolisms but not overweight like this man. I remember as a child knowing that men like this existed. My neighbor was one of them. Huge happy jolly belly that overlapped his belt but he was always well dressed and clean.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are the e-mo’s. They are skinny, young and pay a LOT of attention to their looks but instead make themselves look like dirty slobs.

Strange days.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm NOT "Back"

I am proud of the success this blog has had. When I first pictured myself working with it, I had imagined it as an open, public journal. Exactly what I thought "blogs" web-logs were designed to be. I know there is a need and demand for blogs that promote products or people. Little mini-resume's for would be actors and comediennes. That's great. I'm glad they exist.

My little podium here was meant to be haven for public discourse. I didn't set out to become famous, popular or earn any revenue. I slowly found myself though dedicating so much time to it that guilt started setting in. I was spending time here where I should be elsewhere, doing things that will actually benefit my life at work or at home. It was with that intention that I added advertisements as a tiny little incentive for justification.

That didn’t quite pan out since I refused to add anything obtrusive to the site. I did NOT want to cross that line. Now I am here with ideas slowly escaping me and no real time to jot them down. I can no longer do the essay length 2 or 3 blogs a day I was doing some time ago. I will post a few now and again but I’m afraid the days of a constant barrage of nonsense are over.

At least until I hit the lottery or retire. Or both!

For now, I shall continue to post occasionally and respond as soon as possible as always.

(Oh and I apologize about the new comment system, I had no choice. I was getting spammed and I didn't want my readers to be exposed to it in the comment section with fraudulent and dangerous links.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Online Acquaintances

We live in an electronic era. Occupations and lifestyles change nearly as fast as new technology can accommodate it. Just the other day I was discussing the odd nature of the taboo subject of online relationships with my wife.

I don’t mean “sexual” relationships though I am not excluding them specifically either. I was watching a documentary about a group of guys who play World of Warcraft together. Most of them didn’t know each other personally until they met through the game. They were not exactly young either. From appearance alone I could safely say that they were all in their mid to late 30’s.

Watching it was a little painful. Each one of these guys showed traits that seem downright stereotypical of the older, video game player. It was an honest documentary and will not be the solitary focus of this blog but merely an introduction to the concept of online friends.

Occasionally they expressed concerns over admitted the fact that they met online, there was a hint of embarrassment. Admittedly, I felt a little embarrassed on their behalf as well. This really made me pause. Why? I thought. Why in this day and age do we still feel that meeting someone online is a stigma?

I propose the following arguments.
  • You meet people online by evaluating them first by the way they present themselves, contextually. (As opposed to physically at a bar or club were you or they are most likely inebriated.)
  • You share more of your personal life with them then you would because of the ease of the inherent media sharing capabilities of the internet. (You wouldn’t open your wallet while dancing to show them pictures of your children at a club would you?)
  • You spend MUCH more time conversing with them. (You have access to them every hour of every day through social networks, cell phones, e-mail or even Twitter messages.)

If you introduce someone to your friends and tell them that you met them online, there is always the little bit of suspicion. They must be a weirdo or murderer of some type ignoring the fact that they also spend ridiculous amount of time online. It’s hypocrisy.

If you lose a friend online and feel sad about it, you feel guilty and people don’t really show you sympathy because after all, they weren’t “real” to begin with. Yet if you lose the address of a pen pal you had written to once a year for 20 years then people will cry with you.

Is it because it is new technology that is understood but not yet fully accepted? Is it a concern that some day we will choose it over actual social interaction? Eventually that may be our only alternative to reduce the spread of disease in the distant future but is that what keeps us wary? I don’t know for sure. I imagine that the situation is different for every individual.

One thing I do know is that the best friends I have are online. Some I have never nor will I ever meet in person. What if they are being insincere and are not truthfully representing themselves? Does that really matter? Aren’t friends you have in person just as deceitful as those you meet online or even more so because they do it to your face? Even now, I feel programmed to refer to the offline friends as “real” friends.

It will definitely be a quirk we all need to work on. It will take time but I have faith that this electronic medium will be the first great step towards breaking the imaginary boundaries supported for generations by the Babel concept.

Here we all speak the same language. Currently, we argue and bicker but as time goes on I believe we will begin to notice how similar we all truly are.