Friday, July 31, 2009


I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between self-criticism and plain self-deprecation. I have a habit of making self-deprecating jokes, and I think that's because I worry a lot that other people think I'm a snob (which, let's face it, I kind of am sometimes). It's useful to help other people feel comfortable around me, but if my self-deprecation seeps into my personal life, it can be hurtful - not just to myself, but other people who believe in me. If someone else thinks I'm well-read, but I say that I just have superficial knowledge, what am I saying about their ability to judge character?

I think another way this comes off badly is if someone wants to know more about me. At the beginning of one of my classes, our teacher asked us to write a little about ourselves, and I wrote a few things and then, "and you don't need to know anything else about me." I find talking about myself kind of difficult for some reason. I find bragging loathsome, and I think it's more interesting to gradually get to know someone, not to feel like you know someone just because you know a few random facts about him. I'm not sure if that's the impression I gave though - by wanting to allow others to truly get to know me, I also put up fences, because maybe I have a strange-looking yard and I only want people who really want to see it to take a look. Does that make sense?

I was looking back on my johari/nohari things today. Along with my cynicism, most people said I was smug and distant (but also insecure, embarrassed, and aloof). Maybe I became gradually aware of my smugness and tried self-deprecation as a tool to combat that. But when it comes right down to it, I'm arrogant. I think that most people have misconceptions about the world, and that I know more than them and have better sources. And, maybe I do, for some things, but I want to stop assuming that so that I can care about what they think, instead of just thinking that they're wrong.

In the classroom setting, there is plenty of time to hear other people talk. There's one girl who always talks about how smart she is - how she did well in high school, and how she often takes less time on tests than she's given. It annoyed me a little, along with the newlywed who starts every sentence with "my husband..." I think I felt annoyed because I feel like those are inappropriate conversation topics for acquaintances. I think that might explain my aloofness. I feel very uncomfortable discussing my private life with people I don't know very well. I feel uncomfortable discussing it even with people I do know pretty well. A married freshman year friend of mine visited, and we were talking about Crow, and she asked if we had talked about marriage, and I just gave a short answer and changed the subject. I do ask friends for advice every now and then, but I don't always follow it.

Well, I know this isn't the usual blurb-length blog post for me, but if I'm ever going to feel comfortable talking about myself, I have to start somewhere, even if it is a semi-anonymous website. Please feel free to share your ideas on how introverted intellectuals like me can seem less aloof or distant.

The Dead

In my trendy cynicism, it's rare that a piece of literature really touches me, but Joyce's The Dead does this.

"In one letter he had written to her then he had said: Why is it that words like these seem to me so dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?"

"One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and whither dismally with age. "

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gunning fog index distribution

Sorry, just wanted to upload this somewhere where I can keep track of it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

another cute actor

So, I've had my little celebrity crushes (Edward Norton and Timothy Omundson). Today I was watching Jeeves and Wooster, and this guy who plays Rockemetteller, a poet who has to go to New York to keep getting money from his aunt, is rather cute. Oh, and let's throw in another picture of Edward Norton while I'm here. That's all for today.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sodium intake

I was getting a little dehydrated or something this week, and it occurred to me (after not feeling thirsty at all, but not sweating at night) that I might not be getting enough salt in my diet. I'm supposed to get 2400 mg or so. Breakfast is plain cheerios with some honey, that's some 300-400 mg. Lunch is usually PB&J, an apple, and yogurt, which is like 350 mg from the bread and peanut butter, or today was a fried egg on toast and another piece of toast with jam (so... 400 mg?). Then dinner is spaghetti with tomato sauce, another 400 mg. That's... 1200 mg. Luckily for me, the UK recommendation is 1600 mg, so if I have two piece of garlic toast with dinner I am just about right. Who knew that I was so close to having a salt problem! And hooray for not eating processed food. I just wanted to warn you in case you might also have a sodium intake problem.

Monday, July 20, 2009

&eneral Mills

I just realized that the General Mills symbol is supposed to be a cursive G and not some crazy ampersand.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Video Games!

I can even be snobbish about video games! Last year or so I learned that there are "art" games. They are interesting to play and think about. One of these is La La Land 4. It's surreal and weird, and simply made. But it's like how Kafka would make a game - seriously! Just play it it will take like 10 minutes, and then you will feel surreal and nightmarish. Another less-scary art game is Gravitation. I've only played it twice, but it has some interesting things to say about death and leaving people to go do stuff, and what makes us happy in life. I've played this programmer's other games and they're worth a gander (I just looked at the new Primrose, and it's quite entertaining!). Anyhow, VIDEO GAMES.

quiz follow-up

The results are in and the question should post Monday! In case you can't see the results, the average is like 3.5, without our little outlier. Someone got in a vote after I wrote it all up, but it's basically the same. Most people break up 0-9 times in their dating lives at BYU. Interesting.

Edit: Here is the question.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Poll: How many times have you broken up?

I'm doing some research to answer the question of how many times the average BYU student has broken up. So, if you're a current BYU student, go ahead and answer the poll (RSS readers, please come to my site to vote). If you're an alumnus/a, count how many times you broke up before you graduated or got married, whichever came first. And... please be honest. This is for science, after all.

coldplay is this a homage?

Kraftwerk's "Computerliebe" (1:09) and Coldplay's "Talk" have identical melody lines in their refrains. Like, the notes and rhythm are identical. Rampant copying! Looks like someone on youtube noticed this like a month ago.

edit: Perhaps it's an instance of CRYPTOMNESIA??