Thursday, October 27, 2005

441 Miles or 710 km

I'm sure we all wish 5M well on her trip to New York. It's a good long car ride. And New York is an intense place to be.

Am I the only one who is worried that if this trip goes well, we may have a far less interesting read ahead of us?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Could it be love? and How far can dogs swim?

The things I do for art...It is delightful to hear the Muse in her current state. "Entirely intoxicated"! Just what she needs for these cold, dark days.

I wish my old crew-mates were around to enjoy this delightful news. Which reminds me of something odd I discovered yesterday.

I was out looking for other bloggers interested in outer space, the solar system and planetary bodies when I came across this site called Singing Moon. It's my old friend Coyote. I'm sure of it. You can't tell from the photo, that could as easily be his evil twin Alvin. But the poems are as individual as a paw print. And the obsession with rabbits.

But how could it be he hasn't dropped by with some biscotti?

I have only two explanations:
  1. In whatever disaster that befell the Vendetta, he was conked on the head and is suffering amnesia. In which case, it might be deeply disturbing for him to have me show up and start bothering him.
  2. It wasn't a storm that took the Vendetta, but an inter-dimensional rift in the space-time continuum that took the ship and my other crewmates away and left a "Coyote" from another dimension here in our universe. This Coyote has all of our Coyote's traits, but somehow never hooked up with the Elgin Street Irregulars. Or perhaps in his universe, there was no Fifth Muse to have brought us all together.

I have to say that I'm hoping it's Amnesia. I'd hate to think there's another universe out there with no Fifth Muse.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The X-Factor

Ottawa, it's a small townOh, dear, it looks like R and the Dude have an X-factor.

Always an interesting situation that X-factor. There's the Seinfeld episode where Jerry finds out his new girlfriend used to date Newman. To Jerry, someone who could have dated Newman couldn't possibly be right for him.

That's not quite the situation 5M has. For her it's R used to date X, and X used to date the Dude. If X could like the Dude and X could like R, maybe R is not right for 5M.

But who in this town doesn't have an X-factor with the Dude?

I suppose it will all come down to who dumped who. If X dumped the Dude because she was too good for him, and R dumped X because he was too good for her, then R could be good enough for 5M.

But if the dumping direction went the other way it would be disturbing.

Of course, it's impossible to really know why someone dumps someone else. Some people really do dump their love interests because they need someone not so good. Maybe so they can manipulate them, or feel superior to them, or even just so that their imperfections will be seen in a more favourable context.

Now was the Dude scowling because R has info on the Dude that makes the Dude look bad or was it the opposite?

I know I'm not the only one curious about this.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Why don't they ask questions?

...I like talkin’ about you, you, you, you usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me!
Toby Keith, I Wanna Talk About Me lyrics Official site

For 5M this is a problem with men, for Toby Keith it's a problem with women. So why don't they ask questions. Here are some possible answers:

  1. They think they know all the answers anyway: In their mind, they've got you figured out already. You look and sound just like their fantasy of you.
  2. You're so hot: It really doesn't matter whether you grew up a Catholic or a Protestant or your parents died when you were young because all they care about they can already see.
  3. You make them so nervous their brain freezes: Either they clam up unless you ask questions or they just start babbling away.
  4. The major relationship crisis of our time?
  5. They're a narcissist: There are some excellent, highly detailed articles out there on NPD. Very detailed information from someone who lived with one here and an excellent 31-item list here. Interestingly, although Narcissists are only supposed to be 1% of the population, the authors of Help I'm in Love with a Narcissist say narcissism is the "major relationship issue of our times".
    4D's simple test: Wear mirror-shades [a narcissist won't ask you to take them off, Unless it's a bad hair day.]
  6. They have Attention Deficit Disorder: When you start talking the Deficit part kicks in. Lots out there on ADD (or ADHD, same thing). Interesting article on the communication difficulties of ADD kids and how to help them here.
    4D's Simple Test: Ask. [ADD people all seem to know they've got it and are happy to talk about it.]

What can we do about these non-questioning people?

There are a lot of websites out there that are ready to help an interested person become a better listener. Some are focussed on listening as a study skill, others for counselling or therapy and others for relationship-building. I didn't provide links to any, because we don't need those. We need a site that tells us how to make someone be a better listener.

I came across an English teaching site that had an article on using questions to carry on a mutual conversation. It raised these Points to Remember:

  1. In English, questions can be used to get specific information. They are also used to carry on a conversation.
  2. Sometimes a simple question can keep the conversation going and/or indicate an interest in continuing it.
  3. Both speakers should be prepared to ask each other questions. If one speaker has to ask all the questions, she or he may feel the other speaker is not interested in a conversation.
  4. Short answers to questions sometimes are perceived as an unwillingness on the part of the speaker to share information.

Possible solutions:

  1. If asked a question, don't give a short answer, instead give some detail, perhaps with a teaser. (Example: Q: How are you? A: Fine, now that I've finished dealing with the police. How are you?)
  2. Don't help them talk about themselves. Stop asking questions. Don't even nod or say uh, huh. See what happens.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How fast? Try Escape Velocity!

In space no one can hear you snoreRemember that unresolved issue I had? I've resolved it. I'm turning my back on the sea and setting my sights on the stars.

There are rumours that I'm not the only ESI to have survived the disappearance of the Vendetta. (I'm not at all sure she sank.) Good news if true.

Musie has been busy with her re-focussing.

R was getting to be too good to be true, but now we've seen the tip of the iceberg with the cat allergy.

I love how M pretends he doesn't read 5M's blog.

Those kittens are cute. I hope Minty doesn't mind me saying that she took some excellent photos of them.

I'm not going to say anything about this Kyle fellow who gave a nice supportive comment except that his method for avoiding fornication doesn't appeal to me.

Finally, anyone who thinks 5M doesn't give us enough detail should be thankful that she doesn't give us more detail than we really want. Which I have to admit is what Green Colander gave me in a recent post in which she shared with the world her new Diva Cup. [Say Scout, would using a "keeper" be something that would qualify a woman for being a ghettosexual? It's certainly eco-friendly.]

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A hole in the sacral joint?

Dear me. If only Aggie and Conchie hadn't gone missing in the hurricane. They know all about these "alternative" therapies.

I've had excellent results with physiotherapy on my lower back, especially when I do the exercises they told me I should do. But physiotherapy is mostly evidence-based (I say mostly because I don't think there's a lot of support for those electro-vibrator suction cup things that are right out of an episode of KinK) and evidence-based medicine just can't give the answers that alternative medicine has.

Meanwhile, poor Musie seems to need one or all of:
- a Reiki master,
- colour therapy
- sexual healing, or
- something else to fill that hole.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Is she being meta-ironic?

Back on Thursday, 5M suggested that Nice Guys:

...never put themselves down, as though fishing for reassurance and putting you down at the same time,...

Saturday, she told us:

The Dwarf always seemed to see me as particularly dreary, whereas most people who know me in person seem to find me funny.
She also gave us a quote from Linda Hutcheon on the use of irony. (The quote uses expressions that I find dreary, like "discourse" and "dominant tradition".) It also seems to be saying that "saying one thing and meaning another" is a "simple sense" of irony.

In my world, "saying one thing and meaning another" is sarcasm. It's something I do so much that when I compliment someone they often look at me with narrowed eyes and I have to say, "no, no, I mean it! I really do think it's terrific." On the internet, I've wound up in bizarre fights because I've jokingly said something and the receiver took me seriously. (Ask me about my encounter with the Skipper of the Pirate School some day.)

So... I am about to say a series of things that are what I mean to say. Not sarcastic, ironic or facetious:

  • There have been a number of times that I thought 5M was speaking seriously when she was "joking". Notably, I didn't get it that she thought the Pool Guy was being funny when he told her she might catch a cold going out with wet hair on a hot day. I believe it's because her reply to him didn't play with his irony, but contradicted it. The rest of the ESIs had the same misconception as I did.
  • When someone puts themself down to seek reassurance, I think they should be encouraged to not put themself down. I also think they should be reassured. And if I'm in a relationship with them, I try to think about what I'm doing that they don't feel reassured enough. If they put me down while they're doing it, it's certainly something I'll note. Perhaps confront them on it.
  • I've never thought the 5M is dreary. I think the person described in her blog is unhappy more often than a person should be unhappy. The person she describes as an ideal partner is not realistic, but she's demonstrated that she'll spend time with someone who is far from ideal. And that she's open to new experiences.
  • How could you describe a woman who tells you about meeting a man and wanting to jump him as dreary?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Being Patient

Early this morning at 2AM, the Fifth Muse was asking herself many questions. I wonder if she's noticed this sign in front of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, just across the street practically from the Bridgehead.

And now here's the Chair, ready to wade into the "nice guy" issue with her.

It's interesting that neither Bob nor the Chair seem able to measure up to the standard that Musie has set for them. If I know any man who is a nice guy it is the Chair. And if Bob is not a nice guy, he is doing a remarkably consistent impersonation of one.

I, of course, am not a nice guy, and so won't even take her test. Besides I have something unresolved in my heart that I need to address.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sense and Insensitivity

Had some trouble parsing the Muse this morning.

I couldn't find yesterday's Ian Brown column in the Globe. I imagine it would have helped explain what she means.

how incommensurate to compare the visual consumption of women's naked bodies to that of unadulterated curiousity about difference.

incommensurate: adjective, (often followed by 'with') not corresponding in size or degree or extent; "a reward incommensurate with his effort"

visual consumption: I'm not getting anywhere with this. It seems to be about images being commodified, but it's not like food or energy consumption, the commodity doesn't get used up or turned into something else. Found an interesting article on 19th-Century dating that the Chair might want to look at.

unadulterated curiousity about difference: This must be the good way to be looking at women. When the viewing is not about sexual arousal or objectifying women.

It comes down to sensibility. Are there any men of sensibility?

sensibility: 1. sensitivity: (physiology) responsiveness to external stimuli; "sensitivity to pain" 2. In measurements, the smallest change that is reliably detectable. 3. refined sensitivity to pleasurable or painful impressions; "cruelty offended his sensibility" 4. Sensitive feeling, emotion. The term arose early in the eighteenth century to denote the tender undercurrent of feeling in the NEOCLASSICAL PERIOD and continued through Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility(Holman 425).

I think 5M is getting at definitions 3 and 4. But the question is, is it about how sensitive the men are? or about what they're sensitive to?