Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wisdom from BMX magazines

I remember sitting in Honda's lunchroom back when I read business books, but evidently not 'Never Eat Alone' by some networking douchebag, and occasionaly shy on reading material I would actually read one of the motorcycle magazines the motorcylce department left around for us.
These magazines are like the worst, ever. I assume their staff consist of a layout guy who literally copies and pastes press releases from the manufacturers. So really I didn't expect to find good reading in my BMX magazine that I bought along with the gay mag the other day.

But straight up the editorial hit home for me in an act of serendipity that reflected my 'getting used to being a loser post' except far more articulate and straight forward. I quote:

Hurry Up & Wait...

...Waiting in line in a supermarket behind two people. The lady paying wants a different bunch of bananas because she notices one has gone bad. The guy behind her, but in front of me lets out a huge sigh and looks at me with disgust towards the woman. Chill out man, it's going to take a minute to get some bananas and by the look of your torn shirt and flip-flops no one is in a hurry to hang out with your impatient ass.

I see the same hurry up and wait attitude going on all over the place, and I definitely see it affecting the BMX world. And it's no individuals fault; it's more to do with a society that shoves coffee and energy drinks down our throats each day. The constant need for something new, the latest and greatest, the next up and coming pro, the most innovative trick, chew up the input and spit it out before you get in the shower that day... often I feel like I've blinked and missed out on something important. That important something to me is the fact that I'm still on this bike after all these years, I'm riding, which is slower than driving (unless you're on an LA freeway), I'm out with my friends, I'm not rushing to go to work, I'm not worried about bills or stressing about daily life, I'm on this bike hoping that time will slow down and I can enjoy every second of it... the only thing I would have changed 10 years ago was not worrying about getting a sponsor, and trying to remember to live for the moment.

There's more, I snipped a bunch out, but left a bunch in. This reminds me when I broke up* with Claire but was still addicted to her I would find out that we would catch up on like say a Saturday, and I would find out on a Tuesday. Because at the time I was obsessed with getting back with her for the sweet sweet endorphins I would then just become obsessed with Saturday, and how to get there.
That was the most extreme case where, thankfully I was seeing a psychiatrist and new I had to consciously train myself to actually make sure I enjoyed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday AND Saturday, and all the days that followed.
Basically I learned then in a concrete way: don't look forward to anything. Not in a negative way, as in 'life's a bitch and then you die' but just don't miss your life looking ahead to a destination you may never reach.
We never got back together anyway, and eventually I got through the chemical addiction and 'got over' the break up. But the same could be said in a much more banal way of the 9-5 grind, if you are living for the weekend, quit your job and get on centrelink for a while till you figure out a way to go to work with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Do whatever it takes.

Anyway, editorial aside, was there any other gems to be offered up by my BMX mag?

Then in a stunning pictorial section of a bike trip to Nicaragua there's the article 'compare and contrast' which had this keen insight:

So when my crew lands in Managua and wants to go street riding, I'll tell them: "The people here, well, they are much different than we are. They are not bad people, but can you blame them for wanting to have the huge amount of wealth we flaunt. Watch your iPhones and your bikes. And when we meet up with the hospitable and friendly local riders, watch what you say... what you assume. We need to drink water a lot while riding in the blazing sun here, so, when are at the gas station every hour spending $3 on on snacks and beverages, realize they are outside, drinking out of a dirty hose because they can't afford to spread that $3 out over the next week. And when you are appalled by sketchy accomodation, by the lack of consistent water and electricity, by the the inconvenience of daily functioning... when you are ready to scream, remember they live like this on a daily basis. These people, some smiling and some staring, understand poverty and wealth in a way we have never experienced.

And I guess to be fair to the author 'these people' in this context isn't Nicaraguans per se, but people in object poverty. This is like some of the best travel advice I wish I could have been told before staying in Mexico, Cambodia, India etc. I tend not to complain much, so I don't think that was bad, because I love to avoid conflict but I was really wasteful, I never bothered to eat or stay close enough to the street to really help out the local scene and not some foreign investment or foreign bank backed eatery.

Anyway, I haven't finished reading it yet. I bought it mainly for the pictures. Maybe that's the difference. BMX is an artform, as James said to me last night 'BMX takes a good picture' looking at static images of peeps suspended in the air in some strange relation to their ride makes one wax a little philosophical, if not just ponder how they will stick the landing, since lets face it from the pictures perspective the landing ain't really necessary.
*she dumped my arse, technically.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Being Gay, and not Being Gay.

(I should say this post is possibly NOT SAFE FOR WORK)

So today I bought my first ever gay mag, no not porno, just gay, a magazine for gay peeps. Like man on man, the 'G' in 'GLBT'. That's what I mean. Contrary to my expectations the hardest part of the process wasn't the actual purchase, but the selecting the mag that was best value for money. I mean there isn't much downside risk, so I went with DNA the cheapest one. All these mags contain the same advertising material and advertising material makes up like 90% of the content, so it wasn't a hard decision. It's just the standing and flicking through and comparing in the section of Mag nation between the hetero hang outs of Sport and Tittie Mags was difficult. Well relatively difficult. All rationality aside, I felt self conscious and I don't know why, because all rationality has been put aside.

Such that I am reminded of Carson Kressley table of things that make you gay vs. things that don't make you gay, the punch line of which was that being attracted to and having sex with men makes you gay. Which I know rationally, still for some reason it's like I don't want peeps to think I am gay. What do I care? This is the question I cannot answer.

I'm not gay. Nor do I currently own a BMX, I also bought a BMX mag, and the cashier I could tell was giving me a look that said either 'this guy doesn't look gay...' or 'this guy isn't a BMX enthusiast...' It strikes me that I often buy odd combos, like Dolly Partons Greatest Hits and Cypress Hill's Los Grandos Exitos in Espaniol, is it a defence mechanism or do I really have eclectic taste?

I bought both for reference, and frankly I will admit few peeps would look at me and assume my purchase decisions are clear indicators that I am some kind of quasi-artist.

To be honest, the most embarrassing (and I mean burning with shame) purchase was when I bought this magazine:

I bought it in Japan, also ostensibly as reference, and also because it was soft-core porno. (I should point out that whenever I am in Japan I have an easy time of buying hard core porno that I give to my friends and relatives as gifts, Janice loved her christmas present.)
When you buy a magazine that has for it's cover the soft wet arse of a girl in bikini bottoms, it is hard to pretend you are not a pervert. This made me more uncomfortable than buying a gay mag because fact is I AM a PERVERT. Furthermore, I had to make the transaction with a Japanese female employee of Maruzen in Nagoya, well I didn't have to I could have dropped the magazine back on the rack and run away, I just knew that this girl was the perfect reference for my Wish graphic novel's protagonist (and yes, there are more than just close up pictures of her arse inside I'm not doing no girls arse comic), and that this magazine due to Japan's large pervert population would probably sell out, because all the other past issues featuring different girls (possibly for different perverts, possibly for the same ones) also sold out.

By contrast I know I'm not gay, I'm old enough to know that buying a gay mag doesn't send a report to NASA that is then sent around the world obliging me to suck a chode if asked. Even if the cashier ended up being a gay sexual predator I am still confident that this is yet another problem I can run away from.

Really my only concern is that I might be perceived as buying DNA magazine as some kind of joke, some jibe, some ironic diss of the gay community. Personally I think that finding out where the models get their underwear is justification enough for a straight guy to buy this mag.

Yeah, I could have just bought GQ, which has pretty much the same advertising material, and pretty much the same demographic and the occassional article on basketball or clint eastwood, but really I wanted unashamed reference material without it actually being gay porno.

In fact looking at DNA magazine's covers, overall if young straight guys were to look at these guys as their ideal it would probably be healthier than whatever they are looking at now. I know somewhere before I have written about how men's ideal body images are generally derived from sporting role models. Whose body image if not realistic is at the very least utilitarian, that is they can put their hard earned physiques to use in more ways than attracting some sexual partner to look after them. They can for example earn $120 million dollars per year playing for the LA Lakers, and look after both themselves, their wife and several mistresses.

By contrast women are made to feel ugly, by fashion models whose only use for their body ideal is to act as some walking coat-hanger and can aspire to one day having some wealthy old man come look after them, or their cocaine addiction, whichever comes first.

Now, guys are adopting the heroin-chic look and to my old fashioned fashion values, I find the whole thing emasculating.

Of course, this post could easily be self defeating, I bought the magazine for reference, because I want to do a companion pin-up calendar to offset the chauvinistic 'Balifornia Girls' calendar I did, plus artists always strive to be original right? and it seems every comic book artist does girly pin-ups which are bought for some reason by girls as well as guys. So I thought I would do a set of guyly pin-ups. BUT, I'm aware I have revealed that I find toughness as some hetero-masculine ideal. Let me clarify that I don't lose too much sleep thinking about gender roles, or even how I feel about sexual orientation.

So if I wasn't an athiest I would hold that 'God would not create a love that wasn't beautiful' and possibly qualify that love with *consensual* which bestiality despite the 'Doctor Doolittle' defense cannot be. I honestly wished I lived in a world where sexual preference was a total non-issue, and that's how I act and feel about it most of the time. The only time I fret about sexual orientation is when I'm attracted to a girl and worry that she may be a lesbian, realising that if I were gay I would probably fret much more often that guys I liked were straight, for sheer statistical reasons, this is probably the only argument I have for enjoying being heterosexual. Being Bi would be least stressful of all, but I'm not and will just have to live with that.

As for gender roles, this I treat as even more of a non-issue in my day to day life. This is probably due to the largely negative reason that I get to enjoy all the privilege of being a straight-white-male in a world ruled by straight-white-males. Thus I don't get the booty end of the inequality stick. But vicariously, I do have to taste that shit stick occassionally. Like Misaki felt she was ugly despite being one of the most beautiful women in the world. Yet I lost two whole weeks in the time we were together just to the time she spent applying and removing make up every day. In that sad irony of it all, I actually preferred her spots which showed up when she wasn't wearing make-up, but I've come to learn that if a girl doesn't think she is beautiful, you can't tell her she is. This is largely I suspect due to the billions of dollars of advertising spent telling her she isn't you just can't compete with. If I had a billion dollars I would buy a golden pyramid and live in it on the moon, not put up 'my girlfriend is beautiful' billboards.

So what I mean to say is not that men should be tough and virile women rapers, just self-assured. I am opposed to the large amount of dollars made from companies that profit by making women, and increasingly men feel ugly and stimulate a need to bridge the ever growing gap between their reality and their ideal with products. I would like to see women advance, but I see men degenerating, that's all I see.

If the myth of masculinity is derived from some historical 'conquerer rapist' ideal, then that needs improvement too, but I'm not sure if the answer is to 'get in touch with your feminine side' but rather 'drop the rapist antics, drop the thug antics, just be some person who can stand up for themselves.'

Anyway sorry for the mixed messages, but being gay makes you gay not buying a gay magazine confusing as that is. If buying a magazine made you something, then I would be a rad BMX cyclist too as of yesterday.

The More I Study Finance and Economics...

the more I appreciate what Nicholas Nassim Taleb meant when he talked about the obsession to be 'wrong with infinite precision' rather than 'approximately right' I'm too tired to elaborate, but hopefully I will get my comprehensive bitch rant on education done soon...

good night now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Passing Strange...

Since learning of Shafika's death, I've experienced a grieving period so strange I'm not even sure if it's a grieving period.

The most noticeable thing is since tuesday it's like some sparkly ball of energy fueling me just switched off and I've felt tired with the exception of about an hour after I wake each day. But by the time I'm done walking the dog, I just want to sleep.

Because it isn't my daughter that has died, I still have to fulfill my obligations, when all I want to do is crash and burn in my bed. The 'highlight' of my week was dragging myself (almost literally) up 7 flights of stairs (I insist) to my Law tute where I collected my test results 18/20 and realised promptly that I'd been studying too hard and didn't need to be there, so I walked out.

I just can't be fucked doing anything, I have a strong desire to crawl into a small space and hibernate until someway somehow it's all over.

I just don't know what 'it' is, I sense that I also have some long overdue emotional breakdown pent up and waiting to come out. But try as I might I just can't release that valve. I thought it might happen today, when my body woke me up in the early hours of the morning to be alone with my thoughts.

But instead I managed to sink back into the fractured dream that involved waiting for a train and reading the blog of a father who was dying writing notes to his daughter and posting drawings of fingers intertwined that he drew with his son. I woke up and felt like something sad had happened but it was not the sadness I need or think I need right now.

I find myself thinking about Shafika and the family often, I suspect that try as I might to accept the reality it keeps cropping up because I haven't. I realise in hindsight why I dreaded calling Zaman every week to check up on him and Shafika in what feels like a whirlwind between everything is okay and now everything is over. When I first got the news from Zaman, he said they had found cancer in her liver. I then got a conflicting report that it was in her pancreas from another volunteer.

I never bothered to clarify, actually I deliberately avoided clarifying because I know pancreatic cancer is regarded as a death sentence and liver cancer can be fought and overcome with early detection. It makes me realise that we almost always hope for the best and really don't prepare for the worst. I think this form of denial from me is what has allowed me to keep it from overwhelming me till now.

But I'm not overwhelmed with grief, at risk of sounding melodramatic, I just feel dead inside. It's similar to when Misaki broke it off with me, because I'd been through everything with Claire before hand, I had nothing really to do or adjust. There's like nothing for my mind to come to terms with, so I just feel tired and run down. Hopefully I can cry this sadness out at some point, hopefully it will be somewhere queit and alone, not public with nowhere to retreat to.

My dog knows that all is not right in my world, yesterday she was particularly mopey, and yesterday was probably my worst day thus far. I just can't imagine anything making me feel better, more concerning perhaps is that I can't imagine anything making me feel worse.

Thus thusly, these are strange times for me and I see no escape.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I emerged with a coke from the shadows of QV food court into the bright spring sunlight. I don't know how I got this tired and was contemplating lying down on a couch or park bench to sleep. Somehow I manage to call Zaman I'm calling him early this week because his daughter has been in pretty bad shape.

I didn't realise till now, but just how reluctant I was to call him every week the past two months, I just emotionally and selfishly didn't want to deal with the plight of Shafika's fight with cancer. I didn't want to hear the worst.

Today I heard the worst, Zaman was not good, and then he told me 'my daughter is dead...' and I can't really remember the rest, but who cares nothing else matters. I told him I wanted to visit and he told me he was in emergency where his wife had collapsed exhausted from the physical toll watching her daughter fade away must have taken.

As I walked to the hospital I couldn't cry. Couldn't comprehend and strangely even though nothing like this has ever happened to me before I felt like it had happened thousands of times.

I hadn't seen Zaman since the day I visited him in hospital when the first discovered Shafika's cancer, when I bought a 'get well soon' rabbit and learned I should have bought a bigger one, though none can ever be big enough to cure cancer I guess.
He looks terrible, and we are little comfort for eachother, when I tell his wife I'm sorry she starts crying and father and son go to her. Everybody looks and feels terrible, I make what small talk I can desperate for answers to those questions 'were you there with her when she died? was she in pain?' and some I can ask like 'are the others okay? are you getting fed? is anybody looking after you?'

Shafika has been buried and I missed it, which is what I was afraid of, in just four short days and its killing me that I was too scared, too tired, too timid to call more often.

But alas, I am little comfort to the living, Zaman would gladly lose a 1000 of me to keep one daughter, and that's not malace just being a parent. But me they have, and Heather, and David and Florence and their friends and family and eachother and hundreds in the community.

When I leave the claustrophobic darkness of emergency the day is undeniably beautiful outside. It's all surreal and I still can't cry.

Here I have to confess, Shafika is in part stranger to me, in part family. Unlike Zaman's other children I saw little of her due to her ongoing health problems, but what little I saw was her smiling and laughing of her seeing her family recieve their Citizenship papers and when all seemed to finally be righting itself in the world for Zaman's family senseless meaningless cancer comes along and takes her life away.

This is how I'm selfish, and how to the same extent as everyone I'm just another ugly human being, but I am upset for Zaman, I wish this tragedy hadn't happened, in part because Shafika is just a child 19 and just free from the life of a refugee, Zaman's first born and somebody he would die for gladly if it would do any good but it doesn't and so he must watch her die in front of him. This is a large part of my grief, but then there is the ugly part, the part of me that needs Zaman, needs Zaman to be happy and smiling and calling everything beautiful like he did when I just taught him english and it made me feel good about myself. And now I'm no good at all, just useless, just somebody else who feels bad.

Within 3 minutes I am in the park of Atherton Gardens heading to that heart of mine, the sanctuary, the Fitzroy Learning Network where people know Zaman's story and Shafika's and will possibly have the answers to all my questions.
In the park children are laughing, comprised of refugees (relatively) safe and free to be children, and it can't help but warm your heart. I remember Claire remarking that parks are Utopic places, and it's true, if life is worth living it is worth living for days in the park like this. I remeber days in the park like this with Miki, who got angry when I joked about recycling her petname 'pretty cake' that she never forgave me for and her overreaction to seeing a dead magpie and wishing I could react that much now. But I'm subdued and unable to cry.

I walk into the FLN and knock on the door of the office which turns out to be empty. As a volunteer is asking me who I'm looking for Heather walks into the hallway and points at me as I point at her and we both say 'just the person I was looking for' Heather begins the hard task of telling me about Shafika's death and I can at least spare her some sorrow temporarily by informing her I know.

Then we get to sit in the sun of the courtyard and Heather who visited the family every day answers all the questions I can throw at her. Yes they were together, Zaman slept on a cot in Shafika's room every night she was never alone. She died on the saturday from an infection that took over because her immune system was shot, her lungs filling with fluid and her body just shutting down. Her pain was managed although the morphine gave her hallucinations that scared her so they switched to methodone, and then when the pain was too much, morphine again. The most pain was psychological knowing that she was going to die and leave her family behind. The family knew she would die the doctors had told them that the only question was if it would be a couple of months or a couple of years. She had kept that characteristic hospitality of the family making sure heather always had a pillow for her back, even though she was the one dying. The funeral was segregated with the men closest to the grave, but one of the men had words to the Imam and the women were allowed closer. The children were distraught to varying degrees. The community turned out in numbers. Because it was the end of Ramadan the grieving, stress and emotions were amplified by the physical toll of fasting.

She answered one question I didn't ask too, and the answer is that the world is still filled with beautiful people, more than you would ever guess.

I try to stay in the sunlight as I walk back to town. I still can't cry and then for some reason I think of the 'Sending our love down the well' episode of Simpsons, where Bart ends up trapped in the well and laments at all the things he'll never do like smoke a cigarette and shave a dirty word into the back of his head... words that move homer to a furious rage and he digs Bart out. And that gets me finally, except I have no furious rage and I don't know what I could do. Cure cancer? better folks than me are trying, single handedly bring peace to Afghanistan and the greater middle east? Maybe. I got nothing better to do with my life.
But the day is just too beautiful and the tears stop. The truth is, I'm not the bereaved one here. I don't even really understand whats going on. I can't regret meeting Shafika or her life even with all its heartbreak and suffering because she was a beautiful child that got to live and bring joy to her family. Zaman and his family need to grieve for as long as they need and they will never be whole again, they will be scarred but the scars are from healing, from getting better. Not whole, just better.

'Life goes on' is a cliche because it's true. Life is for the living, and it's another beautiful spring day in Melbourne, children are playing and lovers are strolling and dogs are sniffing things to their great intellectual stimulation. That too, I can do nothing about.

Friday, September 10, 2010

There's not enough philosophy on wikipedia

It occured to me shortly after writing the title of this post that I don't actually know what philosophy means, and so I went and looked it up on wikipedia:

"Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as mysticism, myth, or the arts) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom"."

so there you go, and there isn't enough on wikipedia. That is when you look up Zack De La Rocha you don't necessarily get a section that is a long rant on his reason for being. Albeit there is an apology for why he doesn't eat meat.

But this isn't just limited to the political figures of wikipedia if you look up George W Bush there's no reason for being section either and you can't get somebody less political than Dubya, whom I've become a huge fan of now he's safely out of the way. I may even read his book, since his reason for being isn't on Wikipedia.

And while in general I'm averse to the expectation that peeps should have to apologise for their existence and generally hold that peeps and all creatures don't have to explain themselves to have a right to exist and just be. I like philosophies, and like inspiring philosophies that's what I like to see.

I guess if wikipedia also contained peeps philosophies then there would be no need to waste hours watching Youtube interviews with peoples.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Little Spoons

Bryce thinks I should suck a cock. That once I take that cock out of my mouth I will stop being so scared, appreciate new meaning in my life and all of my problems will be solved. Bryce and I go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back and he perhaps more than anyone knows how to exploit my insecurities and confound my reason such that I can accept such a plan as a good idea.

Accept I can't, to embark on such an endeavor requires an answer to the question 'how?' as in how will sucking a cock solve all my problems? It's a real Stage 3: Profits! type solution to my real or imagined problems.

Rowan though sees an indie film and possible book deal in the 'diary of a straight guy, sucking a cock to solve all his problems' market and thus votes yes. Again with a profit motive perhaps.

Fortunately there is Ann, who votes no, don't suck a cock tohm. And if life tells me anything it is to listen to Ann.

Don't get me wrong, Bryce played a crucial role in getting me to ask out my first real girlfriend and subsequent first kiss. He also played a crucial role in setting me up with my worst ever kiss. I take full responsibility of course, I don't blame him. I'm just saying following his advice and recommendations has sort of cancelled eachother out in terms of risks vs. benefits n shit. I guess I should thank him though, before hooking up with 'J' I thought 'being a good kisser' was a completely vacuous complement applicable to everyone. Apparantly not.

By contrast Ann takes home the trophy for getting me with Miki and also having frequently dispensed excellent advice when it comes to my core incompetence in life: women. Again don't get me wrong, I hope Bryce never stops coming up with advice such as taking a dump on the ground and telling a girl I like 'this is how you make me feel' I'd rather hear these pearls of wisdom than miss out.

I wasn't going to write this post because it felt indulgent and narcissistic and quite possibly hurtful, but I ran into the butcher and talked about most of what follows with him and we could relate so well to eachothers situations that I thought, I will, I will write this post and maybe you too dear reader can relate as well. But I apologise in advance for any narcissism, self-indulgence, misogeny or whatever worst aspects of my Id show up, because this is a facebook invite to the contents of my mind and you just don't know which douchebags will show up.

My 'Search' for a little spoon.

You see there's two kinds of peeps in this world, in a very specific kind of way. There's those that bet dollars and win cents, and those that bet cents and win dollars (but more often, lose cents) I have come to the conclusion that i am the latter. But like lefty's vs. righty's the former is far more prevelant - at least from where I'm standing.

The analogy was originally in an investment context, but I'm going to talk relationships. Various peeps are flatteringly concerned about my persistent singleness for a variaty of reasons and motivations. Mother dearest for example is concerned, for reasons I don't wish to know.

A lot of peeps urge me to 'just have fun' which I was under the impression I was already doing, what these peeps often mean is 'lower your ridiculous standards tohm and just date anybody! somebody! get a fucking girl' (or suck a cock, from some quarters). Which for a lot of peeps is probably good advice, but perhaps not for me (though I always have my doubts).

See this is the kind of person I am, and perhaps you are or aren't like me. I can't walk away, I can't leave. I just can't do it. I've tried to 'have fun' and pick up somebody at a party, or have a short time fling, one night stands etc. I can't do it. I can't take it. I call up Mr. Burns to see if he'll still give us that drink.
I end up in a relationship and many would argue that I A) either have commitment issues. or B) Isn't that what you want?

Well let's steer back towards the 'standards' topic. Standards feels very judgemental, 'what I like' or 'look for' seems too specific. Specifications is what I'd refer to when I throw in the towell and just build myself a girlfriend I call the 'Lovetron 3000' a robot so fine it needs courting. So I'll stick to standards/stuff I like okay I'm not sticking to anything at all...

Let's talk Venn diagrams, nerdy, cold, inappropriate I know and that's why I'm not going to draw one but basically you got two circles. (Yes I mean you, because I'm fairly confident this applies to just about everyone) These circles are 'peeps I like' and 'peeps that like me' and then all the white space around these circles is the vast majority of peeps we are indifferent to and whom are indifferent to us.

The circle of 'peeps I like' and it's relative size mayhaps reflect your and my standards, small means you got real 'high' standards or as I prefer 'specific' and large means as one of my highschool buddies put it standards that are close to 'has two legs and isn't {insert your local moron's name here}'.

But maybe the size doesn't matter really of your 'peeps I like circle' because as much as I hate Tim minchin, his song 'If I didn't have you' I totally agree with which is to say, even if your likes are very specific there's still probably more women out there you do like than you could ever date in your entire life-time. So really both circles without being narcissistic as regards anyone are potentially infinitely large.

But my growing concern is that the circle containing the peeps that like me (which I cannot really prove exists at all, though I do have my suspicions) and the circle 'peeps I like' don't overlap by much, if at all. That is to say A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PEEPS I LIKE ARE THE SAME PEEPS THAT LIKE ME. Really if there is any commentary on how high or low your standards are, it's by how much the two circles overlap. This indeed is the dilemma or issue that causes everybody on earth to stress about relationships and invest in colognes called Sex Panther, or get bogan blonde streaks put in your hair.

Now, here is where Butcher and my conversating got interesting at least to us, I can't gauruntee this blog will get interesting ever.

A couple of weeks ago I started having recurring dreams about hooking up with, going on dates and having sex with girls I suspected that liked me (I can't prove anything).

Now as pleasant as the 'having fun' stage of the dream was, I woke up feeling terrible because I could remember that the majority of the dream was me feeling guilty about the fact that I realised the varying cast of these dreams then expected me to be in a relationship with them and that I had to break up with them and then they would call me a cad or worse for simply using them or stringing them along.

This is me, this is why I can't simply 'have fun' I feel terrible, I sit at home having an emotional breakdown that that girl expects me to call them and ask them out for a second date. I don't mind being used for fun myself per se, but I personally am just like 'what's the point?' I'm not sure if this is how all introverts feel, given the amount of energy it takes to socialise I don't see why I would ever invest the time and energy to pick someone up just to throw them away.

I said something to butcher, or Rowan or somebody that I can't repeat here but you can probably guess. Hopefully though you can't.

And here's the real trap, requiring sadly that I narcissisticly talk about me some more - for me you can be attractive, intelligent, fit, kind and generous and not be in my 'peeps I like circle' which sounds like incredibly high standards. Here me out though, You can be dumb, borderline average, super un-fit, kind and lazy and be in my 'peeps I like circle'. Because there are things that are deal-breakers for me and things that aint.

I can't describe it but for me the most attractive quality in a woman (or indeed man, though I don't swing that way) is that they 'speak the language' which no, is not Japanese, it is an ability to conversate in such a way as to be constantly surprising and entertaining. If peeps can speak 'the' language to me it is immediately apparant even though I couldn't define it here. I can't really say what it is because it's surprising in nature and therefore, if I could predict what it sounds like, I wouldn't be surprised.

For example, I fell in love with E almost instantly when we were setting up our first date and I asked her where she wanted to go for lunch. She said 'The Pancake Parlour' this was back in the day of landlines, and I had to walk around the corner and hide so I could silently make joyous undignified dance movements, wrapped in a phone cord.

Now, if you are curious, if you think that you should ask me out on a date to the Pancake Parlour and I will fall in love with you - you clearly don't speak the language. Much in the same way as if you've ever been sitting in a bar with a group of mates and one of them said something incredibly witty and insightful and everyone burst out laughing and you instructed them to repeat the joke for Matt who was off buying a drink at the time then once again you clearly don't speak the language.

The language makes up 50% of my piechart of love because I like to be with peeps that I actually enjoy spending time with, since I know once I'm in a relationship I'll basically stay there till I'm ditched.

After that it's probably kindness, even though I'm naturally inclined to be a cunt, I fight it as much as I can and I don't really like bitter vindictiveness in other peeps and hey, who does. Then attractiveness, intelligence, blah blah blah whatever. The first twix are the only real dealbreakers.

And because they are dealbreakers I can't lower my standards, what I can do is date somebody nice, intelligent, kind and healthy or whatever except... except that's a trap, and I'm supposed to learn from experience. Plenty of people myself included fail to do so. Hence hencely people have such a common habit of marrying people that are just like the people they recently divorced (according to Dan Gilbert) anyway, and sometimes your 'type' is not good for you.

I hope to learn from past experience and not just date people because they like me and I can. This decision ain't for everyone. I'm sure Ann who voted 'no' don't lower your standards and whom I listen to I'm assuming wouldn't advise all her friends to do the same.

It works for me because I bet cents to win dollars, that's the plan at least. My life, and this the butcher related to (I think), is not so unpleasant that I can't stand the loneliness. Infact my life is good, I do too much exercise, too much socialising, too much creating and too much giving to feel bad for any prolonged period. (Recently I've actually been having trouble feeling bad when I feel I'm supposed to). Which is a good problem to have. I can handle being single for long stretches (waaay long stretches) not just because of what I said to Rowan or butcher that I can't repeat here but because like Harlen Elson astutely pointed out there's a difference between being Alone and being lonely.

For the right lady I'd make time, but not for the wrong one. I'd rather work on the other things in my life that give me euphoric satisfaction.

The thing though about betting cents to win dollars, is that your numbers come up far less often than when you are betting dollars to win cents. They may tis true never come up at all. So most of the time you lose cents, which is fine because you can afford to do so. But the fact is that for most of the time you look (and subsequently feel) like a loser, this doesn't just apply to relationships, but pretty much anything be it trying to become an artist or musician of note or making a scientific breakthrough or inventing the next sliced bread.

It takes a certain somebody to be able to hold out amongst the others living on the other side of the fence that most of the time look like they are doing pretty well for themselves and occasionally lose big. (humiliating and expensive divorce and what not).

For me I know from experience that playing it safe career wise and relationship wise don't work for me. I wake up feeling a deep sense of malaise, misdirect my anger and find myself jealous of friends going to clown college and counting their pocket change to see if they can afford a hotdog.

Maybe you can relate, maybe you can't.

This is disjointed but Butcher made the point that where those circles overlap (peeps who both like us AND we like) we are confounded by our own terror. I realised this isn't true, I'm terrified of everybody in the 'peeps I like circle' humiliatingly terrified, which has lead to my ungraceful and unpatented 'burn the ships of retreat' tactic to force myself to approach these peeps. But it's true and concerning for me in particular because I should add that relationships ain't about what we can take, but are equally about what we actually have to offer.

Where I relate to my friends that tell me to 'have fun' is that it does seem like a waste when I have (not much) but something to offer somebody but instead I'm all alone. At the very least there's my body warmth on a cold winters night, that's just a scientific fact. But yes, I murder my own confidence over the question of what I actually have to offer and it's partly why I entertain the theory that perhaps the two circles don't overlap at all.

Most tragically for me is that my fear of peeps I like actually hampers my ability to speak the language myself (or at the very least say the things that keep the conversation conversating) I used to overcome this with negativity and vindictiveness, but since Claire dumped my arse (thanks again Claire) I've gradually been trying to be less of a cunt each day and I don't have this defence anymore, which means I just end up a plain old retard.

Thus thusly, there are many obstacles to finding a little spoon for me. Not least of which is how rare women who speak the language are, and how unpredictable they are to find/meet. Sadly men much more commonly speak the language, like 1/10 vs 3/50 for females and this is the sort of observation that makes Bryce's cock sucking reciprocal arrangement (not I should state with Bryce) semi-appealing, until I realise that all the guys that speak the language are also tragically straight, so yeah I'm going to roll with Ann on this one, not lower my standards, and keep the cock out of my mouth.

I've had some amazing women in my life, and the experiences can't be taken away. But I do have regrets and most of them were when I 'just had fun' and missed out on opportunites (that may or may not have been real) that haunt me to this day. I boasted with uncharacteristic bravado once that 'i'd rather be rejected by her, than hook up with all the others' or something like that, and though it doesn't reveal my true terror or ineptitude with women, nor just how unpleasent getting rejected is, it's still true.

But Bryce does make a hypnotically persuasive argument and as Black Sheep said 'I never say never because I know I just might.'