Sleep eludes me (Probably just need more exercise)
Last update on .
Haven't really slept well all weekend. Today was just a write-off, didn't sleep well last night and couldn't stay up for more than an hour at a time all day. Still kinda knackered. Only work I did all day was confirming that the wrapper code for the ctypes rewrite of OpenGL can handle the common pointer versions of functions like glColor3fv. Didn't even get around to modifying the generator to produce wrappers for them. Wouldn't even be up now, but a friend called needing help with her computer. Couldn't help her recover the document, unfortunately. We did get her computer set to make backups so it shouldn't happen again. I'm sorely tempted to just crawl back into bed and try to sleep. Or maybe write some bad poetry. Speaking of which, just finished The Rubayyat... I'm sure it's wonderful, but honestly my ability to connect was limited; central theme is love (and living in the moment), central metaphor is wine. Love isn't really something I want to think about any more. Wine isn't something I've experienced. Regarding Love I seem to have moved to that point in life where the entire concept of love just seems pointless. We had a long discussion on Saturday night about whether to put on the trappings of wealth (cars, clothes, that kind of thing) in order to attract shallow women. Basically there were two camps, those of us on the "filtering" side, and those who didn't want to lose anyone from the pool. The filtering argument, for those unfamiliar with the idea, goes like this: if you want to find a woman who is detached from the things of this world, let the other men dangle their baubles and then look for the women not chasing them for it. The problem being, of course, that the animal side in all of us is attracted to the baubles, so there are darn few women who escape the net... and even they, it seems, will demand some baubles eventually. Maybe I'm becoming too cynical for love? Could be. I keep thinking of "I'm a Believer" by Smashmouth, hoping that some day I'll discover I really do believe again, but for now, "I think love is only True in fairy tales, meant for someone else, but not for me" (pardon the paraphrase). I made the mistake of watching a "romantic comedy" when I couldn't sleep Friday night. Depressing. I should just ban that schlock from my life on principle. Otherwise it's just too easy to start thinking "screw it if that's all there is" about everything "normal", whether it be love or family or career. Just accept that anything having to do with love is going to have that effect and pre-empt (sp?) the situation. Regarding Wine You know, I've just never had any particular urge to drink, other than a vague sort of anxiety about "missing out" on the off chance it's somehow path to a transcendental state of oneness with the universe. Most times I've been with people who were drinking heavily I've been disgusted at the results. I can't say I've ever been that impressed with the smell. The addiction problem and the idea of drinking the urine of microscopic creatures don't really add much to the attraction. I'm sure it must be satisfying in some way, but I don't really have much interest in exploring it. And so, The Rubayyat left me cold. Pleasant enough to read, but I didn't get fired up about it (as I'd hoped to, having known only that it's considered a classic when I started). Didn't feel any need to write poetry afterward. Still, may as well write it now, in reaction to not writing it earlier.
With which bad poetry I think I'll end the night's rambling.
Jilting, jeering pillow Which once I loved No more has my head Dreaming of it In tightly nested form For sleep refuses Hope from off its breast
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Anonymous on 05/31/2005 7:05 p.m. #
On baubles:<br />
You're selling all women short when you say this. Everyone needs things from this world including men. Food, clothing, and shelter. How do you get this? By working. Or by inheritance. Or winning the lottery. Unfortunately, most of us have to work for it. I need to provide myself with a comfortable life. What does this include? A car, an apartment, enough food for the week, some clothing, and enough relaxation time. To do any of this I need a car to get to work. My car is almost an eight year old car. It gets me from Point A to Point B. I need it since in the area I live in has no decent transportation system. Sure I could walk to work but that would take me approximately 1.5 days to do so. Why don't I live in an area with better transportation? Because it's more expensive and I can't afford it. Why would I look upon a guy who has something similar to my lifestyle? It means that he can support himself and possibly me. And possibly kids if it ever gets that far. Having children is a huge responsibility. They should have a decent education and enough in their life to strive for more. I lived a deprived childhood. I still remember it and it's not pleasant. That's why I would want my kids to have something better. They shouldn't be given everything but enough so they don't ever feel that way. Even if you don't want kids, having another person in your life is big. It's thinking about the other person more and not just yourself. It means making sacrifices on time and money that you would have normally saved for yourself. Besides, if your wife was pregnant, wouldn't you do anything to make her life easier? My friend is pregnant and she is immobile. She can't move since it causes her pain and she can barely sleep for 2 hours. If a recliner, or a car with a more comfortable seat would make her feel 10% better, wouldn't you get it for her? Or would you make her take the TTC? <br />
On alcohol:<br />
I believe in moderation. If a person drinks to excess each time they drink they are a binge drinker. That and the inappropriate behaviour that goes with it is excessive. Most of the time I see people who are social drinkers. I am one myself. I drink approximately 2 glasses of wine a month. All it does is make me feel a little warm and giggly. So not all alcohol is evil.
Mike Fletcher on 06/01/2005 7:25 a.m. #
Our debate was actually over whether it's useful to buy a sports car, a mansion, or an armani suit, more than whether it's useful to have a home, food and clothing. All of those participating in the discussion are quite capable of providing the *requirements* of life, the question was about whether to play along with buying the trinkets and baubles of conspicuous consumption and make the sacrifices required to keep up on that treadmill.<br />
Ah, but the question of whether I'm selling women short, that is the real one. Maybe I am. But it still sounds about right; no matter how detached, the animal side still likes the displays of wealth. It's not a moral failing, it's part of the composition of human beings. Searching for the truly detached woman (by avoiding all displays of wealth) gets one nowhere, because such women are off in the rainforests saving tree sloths, or tending to the sick in a slum outside Mexico city. And in the end, I'm not myself truly detached, so such a woman wouldn't probably want me anyway.<br />
As for drinking, I don't *think* I mentioned *evil* anywhere in there ;) . Moderate drinking's not evil, just really low on my list of things to do... much like skydiving, or eating a haggis. Until I have another reason come up to recommend it I'm unlikely to get around to it.
foobar on 06/01/2005 12:05 p.m. #
I agree with the drinking bits. The smell is awful. And I haven't had pleasant experiences with people who are even just buzzed. Their personality changes and they're not very nice to interact with - that includes Mr. Anonymous who posted further up, you weren't very nice when I saw you just happy buzzed. Its enough that I remember the situation and don't want to be there again.
rose on 06/01/2005 3:50 p.m. #
Materialism: I am repulsed by such displays of wealth by men. One of the reasons I refused to meet a potential 'blind date' (whose mother insisted I meet him), was that he owned a sports car. And a recent date's interest in designer suits is troubling me. I find men who come from wealthy families to be very snobby. But then, when I decided to go for a guy who was as poor as a church mouse, thinking "I don't really need much to be happy, and he has a good heart and is very sweet to me," he ended up putting me through emotional hell. Lesson I learned: you can't generalize men, just like you can't generalize women.<br />
If the guy needs to boost up his self-esteem by buying things, then he's got serious issues and may be lacking in other parts of his personality. If he likes buying things for himself (not to attract women), then he *might* be ok. I would still question how he can justify spending so much on himself when he could use it for other causes. But not everyone sees the world as I do or has seen what I have.<br />
Man is the provider/hunter. And may be inclined to display his wealth. And don't tell me men aren't attracted to a pretty face in a crowd. Some men want the pretty face. And some women want wealth. I say that's a perfect match.<br />
A woman thinks of nesting/ future/ kids, etc. If she thinks a stable income will secure her family's needs, then there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn't make her oh so shallow. Unless she marries purely for money.<br />
Love: I have come to this realization, once again, that love is not enough. You need more for a marriage to work. We live in a real world and not a fairy tale. Emotional compatibility in a mate tops my list (for others it may be financial or intellectual compatibility). But they say that if you truly care about someone, you accept all their shortcomings and work around them or do almost anything for them. And if they care enough for you, they would do the same. And if for whatever reason you don't love them enough, you would make any small thing a big issue and give up on the relationship.<br />
Drinking: Have to agree with foobar.<br />
Anonymous on 06/01/2005 7:05 p.m. #
On baubles:<br />
What is wrong with buying a girl a piece of jewelry if that is what she cares for? Is it wrong? Isn't it equivalent to buying a gadget for a guy? <br />
What is a mansion really? Is it a three bedroom house in the suburbs or a 4 level 50 room house? If you're talking of the former than I don't equate that to a mansion. And how many people have that 4 level 50 room house? About 5% of people today? So most of the people who get married are only that 5%? I don't believe so. So how can most of the women be like that? Did they all settle then for a guy who has less?<br />
Besides, do you think all women want one? Personally, as long as I have something reasonable I don't really care. It's more important about who I'm partnered with than what wealth he displays. Some of the most important qualities I look for are educated, compassionate, giving, strong, practical, and able to take care of things when I can't. Where in this list is conspicuous consumption? Really, love should be about a partnership of two people, caring about each other through the easiest and most difficult of times. Keeping true to one self but blending gracefully. Thinking that only wealth attracts a woman is saying that we're all prostitues to wealth and women don't deserve that label.
Mike Fletcher on 06/01/2005 10:57 p.m. #
Regarding conspicuous consumption:<br />
This was the particular question that sparked the whole discussion. A (young) friend was considering purchasing (another) sports car (to replace one that is now dead). He was arguing that without this, he'd be filtered "out of the running" for so many women (in his social circle) that he'd have no chance at a date. He's quite well off, incidentally, so it's not like he's reaching on this, he'd just be displaying what he actually has, and many of the women in his social circle (by his report) do seem to be concerned about vehicle type.<br />
What this sparked was a long debate; implicit in the debate was the idea that the ideal woman (or man, for that matter, there were plenty of women in the debate) would be one who is reasonably detached from desires for the trappings of wealth (the assumption is also there that such women exist, no one was arguing that they don't), focussed more on the relationship and the larger questions of life.<br />
The question that we didn't really resolve is that of his move, that is, the purchase of the sports car, and whether, in the end, it serves to increase or decrease his chance of finding "true love" (and somewhere in there, the question of "what is true love" obviously needs to be dealt with).<br />
The filterer's position is that you don't want to waste energy with people who are attracted to those kinds of things. The problem is, at some level (barring negative personal associations) we're pretty much all amenable to a comfortable life. So presented with two possible mates, otherwise identical, but one presenting the "desirable" characteristic, and the other not, human nature would seem to suggest that the one displaying the desirable characteristic would be chosen.<br />
Similarly, if some particular interest in a particular (neutral or positive) posession or attribute is such that a it attracts a desirable person to you, do you want to "toss out" that person simply because they like fast cars or are susceptible to a beautiful face? This is the problem whenever you set up a filter, and this was the gist of our young friend's argument: he didn't want to miss a chance at true love just because the particular people in his current social circle (those he normally dates) might be a little too focussed on cars (as understood by our social circle), for instance.<br />
Worse, this particular filter has an implied hypocritical bias. None of us are so saint-like as to be entirely detached from the world that we cannot claim to be aware of these things. If we set up these filters, are we not demanding something beyond what we ourselves can muster?<br />
Drawing the rambling to a close (the crowd cheers), these are filters of degree, and yes, it is probably best to merely ignore the question entirely and merely live your life, buying the car you like (taking into consideration all the environmental, social, etcetera issues), the house you like, and the clothes you like. But for most of us in our little crowd of friends, that has the same effect as the filtering (that is, by nature, we make rather... um... unpopular choices) our friend's question brought up the question, is being so idealistic in our choices making it impossible for anyone to be interested in us? (Gack, that's so maudlin... take it with a grain of salt, it's just me being depressed and cynical, nothing to do with reality).
rose on 06/03/2005 10:41 a.m. #
Some kind of filtering is inevitable. But I believe that Destiny plays a strong hand in who we meet and with whom we end up. Unless we totally shut out the world with too many filters. Even then, sometimes we can't escape our Destiny.