A black belt is a big aim in training for karate. I had worked damn hard for many years to get mine. Then things start to get a bit more internally focussed. You train for you, not the next belt. After ten years of belt chasing, this was a bit of a change in mind set and, in truth, I never adapted.
...seems it isn't confined to art or games, the problem of grasping how to do something for yourself, and not the next shiny Achievement.
Which makes me feel slightly bad about how marketing is really moving towards building Achievement systems into everything. But at the same time, it works. Alas!
Maybe the problem is that when it comes down to it, people tend to prefer the safety of following a path, or being led, to the responsibility that comes with freedom of choice.
This insight courtesy of ze handsome Oscar! And Little John!
- The Sandwich Guy can’t do much for you until you’re hungry enough to really want a sandwich.
- Once you’re hungry enough, you still have to pay money for the sandwich. This won’t not come up.
- Few people become “a good customer” without understanding both 1 and 2.
- Few companies become “a smart business” without understanding 1, 2, and 3.
- Basing his business on an understanding of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 doesn’t make The Sandwich Guy a dick; it makes him a smart business.
Ostensible Customer. That's a very good name.
We nuggets have a horror of filling in profiles. No one is allowed to know the contents of our Super Sekrit Ingredients List! The Divinity of our Delectable Deliciousness may not be revealed, for it would drive mere mortals mad... MAD!
...that, and I just hate filling out the darn things. So I don't.
For some reason evil OkCupid gave me the impression that a photo was mandatory though, so I uploaded a sample of my battery goodness. But barely filled in any profile details. *hides ingredients* And that was that!
Now, I hadn't realised it, but OkCupid spams you according to how often you log on - and I only started logging on again very recently. Which means - lots of random, brainless spam messages and chats from aliens popping out of the woodwork. I am - in case for some reason y'all hadn't realised it yet, a girlnugget. What else would I be after all - crispy golden battered breast and thigh forever! This makes random, brainless spam messages unsurprising - any decent looking chick who's ever put any photo of any kind up in a dating site will tell you so.
One of the reasons I recently got back into OkCupid was their very well-written blog. And so, in an attempt to ward off these Fake Meat Attacks, that did attempt to bury the real nutritional shiny goodness of a nugget, I gave in and put something in my profile. More specifically, I wrote this:
My Self Summary
I'm sure I saw an OKCupid blog post about how most messages on dating sites, to girls, with the words 'pretty' or other such adjectives in them go totally ignored. Make of that what you will. ;)
I also left my librarything booklist - you can find that under 'Nugget', if for some reason, you're interested.
Now, while this seems to have appreciably stopped most of the Fake Meat Attacks (for which I am very thankful), it's also given rise to a new kind of spam.
I've gotten some mails saying 'pretty' just to be silly about it - and making it very clear. In which case, we basically go, 'lol! cute! but we don't match, bai!' Which is all good.
And then there's the other sort.
In my inbox this morning I get, instead of a Fake Meat Attack, a Hostile Meat Attack. Without any preamble, this guy writes to me and demands to know 'why you presume men will find you attractive'.
[Edit: This is the actual message, or part of it, from my mailbox. I deleted it on OkCupid without opening the full thing, so it's lost to posterity. It's more hostile than I recalled... woot! I think.]
Why the assumption that men would greet you with the word pretty? Especially with just one low resolution [photo]...
Which kind of reveals the following assumptions:
- That I was writing about me
- That girlies might not/should not find juicy breast and thigh tasty (or maybe it's just that girls know better than to write such types of messages as detailed by OkCupid hmm)
- That I presume that men will find me tasty, which leads, (I think), to how
- I'm an arrogant bitch who needs a put-down
- Time is well spent spamming me with a Hostile Meat Attack rather than moving on
- That I couldn't possibly have any reason for putting that up there, certainly nothing like a desire to ward off Fake Meat Attacks
- Utter cluelessness about how much spam girls receive on these sorts of sites
Now here's the thing. I'm a decent-looking sort of nugget, but I'm no goddess. (Well, not unless I take my true, golden-battered scrumptulescent form, but most mortal eyes are incapable of comprehending such golden gloriousness. Ahem. Right.) No one's going to fall at my feet and give me a golden apple.
So this guy finds it necessary to go on the Interwebz, trawl through chicks on OkCupid, and then send one (or more! who knows!) of them a Hostile Meat Attack. Why, I have no idea, since logically speaking, he'd do better simply sending messages to those who might like him!
On the bright (shiny, golden, crispy) side, his message told me a lot more about him in a very, very few sentences, than most of the messages I've received from others! I suppose that counts for something! ~_o
On another day, I am walking past some stores. A man comes toward me and stops me. "Are you training that dog?" he asks. He seems concerned. Still, I feel he is prying, looking into my eyes. "No, she's already trained, she's guiding me," I say, walking on.
I go home and look at myself in the bathroom mirror, staring at my eyes, trying to see what others see. Outside, I put on my dark glasses, thinking they will protect me from people seeing my eyes, noticing that they move and seem to focus, and then asking me, "Are you training that dog?"
Later, I am standing in a drugstore at a counter when a man walks up and stands beside me. "Are you training that dog?" he asks. "She's working," I tell him. He walks away from me toward a display rack, then calls back and asks again, "Are you training that dog?"
"She's working," I call back.
"You didn't answer my question," he pursues it. "But are you training her?"
I don't quite believe what I am hearing. I am aware that I don't want to say to him directly that I am blind, so I speak of the dog and say, "She's working." I leave without answering his question to his satisfaction.
Ten minutes later and farther down the street, Teela and I approach a bench in front of a bagel store where a young woman is sitting holding the leash of a puppy. Teela wants to nose forward and play with the puppy, but I won't let her. "Are you training that dog?" the woman asks. I am startled because I am now wearing my dark glasses to mask my eyes. "She's working," I say of Teela. The woman gathers up her puppy and pauses. "But are you training her for a blind person?" she asks.
It's the start of another day. I am walking down a residential street near my home, following Teela briskly along the sidewalk, trying to keep up with her fast pace. I begin to pass two men sitting on the top stairs of a house. One mumbles something in my direction. I can almost feel it coming. "Are you training that dog?" he calls out to me.
"What do you see?" I call back at him.
"I can see. I know what you're doing," he yells out. "You're training that dog!" His words follow me as I walk on not breaking stride, feeling proud of myself for talking back to him, and struck by the point that he does not see me.
Returning from an errand on another afternoon, I am walking along a quiet sidewalk. A woman coming towards me begins to cross the street in front of me. She seems to have two small dogs on leashes running around near her ankles. I begin to think about how I will keep Teela close to me when I pass her. The woman starts to cross the street, and from the middle of it calls out to me, "Are you t-"
I sense the words about to come. So I look straight ahead and focus my gaze in a fixed stare so that my eyes won't move. I am determined to "act blind," to seem unresponsive to her presence, as if I don't know she is there, which I hope will make her think I don't see her. I put my foot out and feel for the curb in front of me, exaggerating the motion, almost taking a misstep.
"Oh," the woman says as she nears me, pulling her dogs over to the side to let me pass. I feel not entirely comfortable with my charade, but I am relieved not to have the training question completed.
Traveling Blind, Susan Krieger
Halfway through this book, mostly feeling bored (Krieger's writing style doesn't appeal to me), I was struck by this passage. For the first time since I started reading the book, the author had my full attention.
You see, while I'm not blind, and I don't travel with a lovely guide doggy, I do have a question that total strangers / acquaintances seem to love to ask me - 'Are you local?' I can walk into any random shop and before I even open my mouth, out pops the question. And when I do speak, it becomes even more likely that said question will pop out. Taxi drivers, foodstall owners, shoe sellers, colleagues, taichi classmates. -_- You name it.
I apparently have a rather strange accent - from talking with people (both in person, and using apps like Ventrilo and Teamspeak), I've deduced that:
To Americans, I sound British
To Australians, I sound Australian
To Brits, I sound... unidentifiable with a hint of 'Asian', whatever that means
To my fellow countryfolk, I sound anything but local.
Accent alone doesn't explain it though, since, as I've mentioned, I sometimes get the question before I even open my mouth. Plus, I've had various people look at me and declare to me that, "You are Japanese! You are Korean! You are... well anything but local..." -_-
What struck me about that passage I quoted above though, was the last bit where Krieger pretends to be more blind than she is, just so she won't have to hear the question, "Are you training that dog?" I've been fielding the question, "Are you local?" for so many years, that by now, if the person doing the asking can't/is highly unlikely to be able to check up on me (i.e. not an employer or any professionally-related person of interest), half the time, I lie. I either say, "No, I'm not," and leave it at that, or I say, "Yes, but I only just got back." (Which is also a lie, by the way. I did not 'just get back' from anywhere.) They're happy because they were ever so observant and managed to pick out the Strange Foreign Nugget, and I'm happy because I managed to evade hearing the damn question again. And yes, like Krieger, I sometimes do pretend to be even more "foreign" than I am, because it's just easier than saying, "Yes, I'm local, and I sound the way I sound, and I look the way I look, and it's none of your damn business why I am the way I am so could you please stop freaking staring at me."
Oh and for those of you who hadn't guessed... last week's NuggetSketch was the Human Guise this nugget adopts when walking around, so as not to cause fits of spontaneous mass adoration of my golden batteredness amongst humans. And yes, I live in Asia.
So... why do people keep asking me that silly question? Beats me.
Sooo I had a rather interesting conversation with an old friend, whom for the purposes of this exchange, I dub Mr Reasonable.
Nugget: I dun get it. With the ability to poing from one Multiversal moment to another at will, why do you even bother with linear time? I mean, it's gotta be like having an infinite undo button for life right? Make a mistake? Undo! Wooties!
Mr Reasonable: *laughing* You're assuming that I make mistakes.
Mr Reasonable: Mm well. Those little sketches you've been doing lately - they're a good thing, by the way... Haven't you found that if you restrain yourself from repeating one particular stroke over and over, until you get it 'just right', that the flaws - if you must call them that - add up to a stronger, livelier piece?
Nugget: Um. Sort of. *Guilty face* I still undo a bit...
Mr Reasonable: I've noticed. *grins* But consider - you only started this lately, and you are, indeed, hitting that Undo button less often. And the pieces are certainly improving for it.
Now - apply that to life in linear time, if you will. For one thing, it's rather difficult to pinpoint that dramatic moment where everything goes to Hell. People certainly claim they can, but when you're able to pick a moment - a locus in an infinite number of outward points, it becomes much harder to see which one, precisely, was the source of the disaster. Not to mention, each fragmentary path starts so close to its kin that there's hardly a noticeable difference until you follow said path a rather long way. With each point along that path being the centre of yet another infinity of other paths, and so on.
What then, if having gone far enough along the diverging path you've picked, you find it isn't quite right in one, or even multiple aspects? Ah, well, you could slip back to that particular point you had in mind in the first place, and pick another path... and another... and another. All of them almost identical at their point of origin. And truly, the idea of ceaselessly repeating a near identical infinity of moments in the hope of undoing something unpleasant sounds like an exercise in utter boredom.
Power isn't omniscience, sweetness. It's simply a widening of possibilities.
And besides, I'm allergic to boredom.
Nugget: OMMMMM. XD