Me solving all my roommates’ problems

Yesterday I made some exasperated comments to my roommates regarding the nature of their entertainment. It wasn’t, and isn’t, a very big deal, but this aspect of their group has been bothering me for some time. I think I’m getting close to an understanding, so I hope writing this will help me push through the conclusions that can be made, and the ambiguities that must be left unknown.
I have difficulty explaining the behavior in question, but I think it boils down to picking on things, and people. I know that sounds really lame, but let me try to explain.
In my interactions with my roommates, and a certain group of people they hang out with, it seems as though their primary activity is making fun of stuff, and the people associated with that stuff. Now, making fun of stuff, in the strictest sense, isn’t really a “good” activity, but I understand it’s appeal, and I obviously am not one who never criticizes for entertainment. So why does this bug me?
Reason #1: the quantity
I totally understand having a pet peeve, or getting into a mood and occasionally ranting about something. I’m kinda doing that right now. But it seems like the only pleasure my roommates can find is in gleeful proclamations of the “gayness” of everything around them. Part of my distaste of this particular situation is the ubiquity of the action.
In my pondering on the subject I’ve come to a few conclusions as to why things are not as bad as they seem. I think each of the individuals involved have lives outside of tearing down everything they see, but I’m not a part of that. Aaron has music, Kelsey has art and school and stuff, and Kim probably has Dancing with the Stars or something. Regardless, their constructive interests rarely overlap with mine, or each others. As a consequence, they unite around their destructive overlaps, which are sizeable. This effect is magnified by Aaron’s confrontational and obstinate assuredness on all things, and the unwillingness of normal people to fight about everything. So, since I am mostly only observing this crowd in groups of 2 or more, and usually Aaron is one of the 2, the odds of the discussion being about something everyone thinks is good, is pretty low.
Reason #2: forced enrollment
This issue is pretty inherent in the system, and there’s not too much my roommates can do about it. Basically, their group usually decides quickly, or has already decided in some previous meeting, that they hate something. Once they’ve decided, it means you are no longer allowed to enjoy, or attempt to enjoy, that thing. Of course, this is only in certain group situations. They don’t control what I do on my own, and don’t try to.
The quintessential example would be the group watching a movie. Often a movie is picked already with hating it in mind, just because it looks stupid, or because someone has already seen it and declared it stupid. In these cases, the ridiculing begins immediately, so someone who hasn’t decided to hate it cannot easily view the content to make a determination of its quality, since there is loud mockery going on over the dialog.
Like I said, there’s not much that can be done in these situations. It’s just a difference of opinion, and really two separate activities being tried in the same place. It would be like trying to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the actual film being shown, you’re just not doing it right. It does lead nicely to reason 3, though.
Reason 3: Seeking it out
I think humor is a good response to horrible things. It can turn something that upsets you into something that brings you joy, which is a great way to make your life suck less. However, this principle only makes sense if you it apply it to horrible things that you can’t avoid. Once you seek out horrible things for this purpose, the system breaks down.
Now, I think my roommates and their friends do seek out horrible things. They might disagree. I know Aaron says his Netflix queue is full of, “things that look interesting,” when I suggest he’s purposely putting stupid %$#@ in it. But I don’t think that’s true. He doesn’t treat them as such. He’s more likely to say, “Hey, come watch this gay documentary,” and then mock everything from opening to closing credits than he is to actually watch the movie and see if it was, in fact, interesting. And he doesn’t come up with very many diamonds in the rough, like I suspect he would, if he was actually sifting through the less popular products in life, looking for things of particular interest to his niche.
So, I could be wrong, and they might not be seeking out horrible things when they read the Craig’s List’s casual encounters or texts from last night, but so what if I’m not? Their life, they can do what they want. Which is true, I agree. If they really find more entertainment in ridiculing horrible things than in partaking in quality products, then that’s what they should do. I just am not in the same situation, and so rarely want to join in, or observe.
Which leads to reason #4: the quality
This whole issue wouldn’t be such a big deal if my roommates were better at making fun of things. I just don’t find the things they say humorous most of the time. I guess it’s hard to keep up originality given Reason #1.
I think some of you out there, when I describe picking a horrible movie, and then making fun of it instead of watching it, are thinking of some Mystery Science Theater 3000 type scenario, but that’s not how I perceive things. I like those scenarios, but they are about as difficult to come by as actually good movies. You can’t just make fun of any ol’ movie. The badness of the movie has to be of a specific type and at a specific level to make making fun of it really entertaining. If it’s not like that, then you end up getting what I was complaining about, which is repeats of what was said in a funny voice, or the replacement of random words with, any combination of dick, butt, poop, tit, etc. or just kinda stale jokes in general.
Now, obviously, much of this is taste and nobody really controls that, and also, of course, they’re not supposed to be doing a performance quality level of mockery for my benefit all the time, but come on. I mean, using “gay” as an insult is sometime humorous when mocking an individual who would do so seriously, but they’ve used it to the extent that they are now the people it would be funny to use it against. And immature “naughty” words like poopy head were kinda ironic at the age when our peers were all swearing like sailors, but they’ve been ironically immature for longer than they were really immature at this point.

Ok, so everything above that line I wrote like 2 weeks ago. I never published the post because I didn’t want to cause unnecessary strife in the home life, and because I wanted to tweak it and make it funnier. But, ya know, screw it.

That stuff up there really has no conclusion, and a good conclusion isn’t really springing instantly to mind here. I guess the conclusion should be that they can do what they want, including doing little but belittle their own choices in entertainment. I just wish they wouldn’t, so I wouldn’t be so bored/annoyed. But I can help the situation too by having books and stuff on hand I can retreat to. I suspect we’ll survive. Especially now that I monopolize the TV w/ Modern Warfare 2.


PAX and stuff

Tomorrow is PAX! Big times ahead. Pat’s coming down today, and tomorrow morning we’re gonna head over the mountains and enjoy the nerdfest. The show is completely sold out in all it’s forms, and they bought the whole convention center and increased hours this year, so it should be crazy. I’m probably most excited to see Jonathan Coulton and the CO-OP and TRS shows, plus all the demos of video games to come.

In preparation I’ve already purchased many snacks while at Costco last with my parents, so I’ve gotta figure out how I’m going to carry all of that w/o smashing/melting it. I got PuzzleQuest Galactrix so I’ll have something to play while I wait in lines. I also want to buy ear plugs, cause I’m not into hearing loss. I’ve gotta get our sleeping arrangement figured out a bit better still, too. And possibly see if I can meet up with the folks and get the GPS and stuff like that.

Now that I’ve written all of that down I’ll probably remember to do it. What else? Pat and I might camp after PAX w/ his folks for a day, although I don’t know the odds of that since I haven’t talked to Pat in a bit. He’s always sleeping, or working. He apparently doesn’t get chances to chat much at work. /shrug

K, so in work related news, all the other interns left last week, so for this whole week I’ve had the biggest office in the building. People are circling, though, so I think others might be moving in soon. I’ve been told I’ll be moved out at the beginning of October, though. I’m getting an office with a window, and an officemate, but just one. Her name’s Cara. She seems acceptable.

I got my picture taken to be put in the records. I’ll be up on the wall and in the memory game soon, apparently. I also have to write up goals for the next FY soon, as the current one is ending. Not sure how I like the non-coding aspects of work, but it seems like they’re unavoidable.

Last post I mentioned I didn’t think I’d get to see Lauren again before she left, but I did. Mother was kind enough to find and excuse to drive me over there for the weekend so I got a good couple days to say goodbye right before she left. It was all good. I think she’s got herself aligned properly and she’ll be fine over there.

Also saw my cousin’s new baby. Mother and Aunt took many pictures with it stuck in my arms like a prop, so they might show up on the internet soon. I’ll stick in a link maybe.

Home life stuff… Aaron mowed the lawn, which is nice. (I’ll mow the lawn if you guys keep it clear of dog feces, ffr roomies) He also bought an aerator for the faucet in the kitchen so it doesn’t spray water everywhere. Kim and Kelsey paid rent early, so that’s going well. We still haven’t gotten a utility bill, so that’s a bit concerning. I think I’ve done all I can to try and get things set up, except possibly the check-up nagging. I really don’t see how society developed to require such nonsense, though. Seems like we should try and evolve past the need to nag.

Oh, also last post I said the aquatic ape theory discussed on that TEDTalk was probably bogus and to let me do research. Well, I didn’t have to, cause the Skeptical Rogues did it for me. Here‘s the episode of interest. The specific chunk is from about 29:30 to 46:10, but you should listen to the whole thing. 😛

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Back home

CakecomplishmentLauren and Yusuke brought me back to Kennewick yesterday.  They went home today.  Goodbye new girlfriend.  *tear*  I will miss you.  Oh, and seeya later Yusuke.

Kim and Pat hung out with me most of today.  We chatted (I was interrogated) and had free food and then we had this brilliant idea to buy an ice cream cake to celebrate Kim’s 1 year of working at Value Village, as no one had yet celebrated it.  This is the cake.  We are quite pleased with ourselves.  I feel it is a great thing.  Perhaps you do not understand the subtle humor of the situation, but perhaps you do, so there it is.

There was video game playing later.  Coop FPS in the form of Resistance, which was fun.  I don’t FPS much but I did enjoy several moments and I don’t seem to suck too terribly.

Tomorrow (actually today) is the day all the Central people leave, except Yusuke.  So I hope you guys have good goodbyes, and, ya know, imagine I was there, too.  I hope you got the random facts, Sidney.  Also, I’m putting in a recommendation for Pat becoming random dude that comes to your house and eats food and stuff.

Hiro, have fun in Alaska.  Dan, have fun in on with Sidney.  I’ll see ya both on the interwebs.  Yusuke, try to be nice for a little bit.  It’s not the time for humor, the girls aren’t going to be in the mood.  And Lauren, good luck with your family.  Sorry for the hassle that I am.  Please let me help them understand how we need to visit each other all the time if I can.

Tomorrow (really tomorrow) is the day Pat leaves for Spokane for his new job, so to him I say, take me with you!

Yeah, I think that’s all the goodbyes for now.  Kinda abnormal for me to do direct messages in my blog like that, but variety is the spice of life, they say.  Seems like they should change up that cliche a bit.  The real important thing is, Happy 1 year at Value Villiage Kim.


Can’t blog, must consume internet media

The Central gang is coming back to visit in like 39 hours.  Yay!  We’ve set up Skype and webcams and stuff so I’m pretty sure I talk to them more now than before.  They’re being very nice to me.

Pat’s gonna DM a few of us TC locals.  We decided we’re rolling stats straight down.  I got good rolls.  The restrictive nature of the chosen character creation process has me leaning towards Bard.  I need to wait and see what Gar and Kim do, though, before I make any firm decisions.

Also, I had the idea that one could probably sell some sort of self help doctrine around the idea of harnessing one’s need to go to the bathroom as a source of motivation for success in the rest of one’s life.  Kinda like one of those self empowerment strategies and stuff wackos are always spending money on.  I know it sounds crazy, I just want to say I thought of it before it comes out for real so people will believe me when I say I thought of it first.

Tomorrow I am going to play some board games with Mom and Ms. Craig, my kindergarten – 2nd grade teacher.  And then Kim is gonna come over and work on her character, supposedly.  That’s the plan.


The tick tock of the clock is painful

Lauren and Sidney have both managed to post about the nothing they’re doing, so I guess I can, too.

Aaron and Kim visited yesterday, which is close to something.  Kim fell asleep pretty much immediately, but we watched Back to the Future II anyway.  That’s a pretty messed up movie.  I don’t think I’m really a fan of the series.

For the rest of my time I’ve mostly been trying to catch up on all the media I have gotten behind on.  Pretty much all caught up on Southpark, watched all of Sanctuary (they changed things from the web version), and caught up on Heroes today.  Heroes is silly.  The fast chick can go back in time because she can move so fast when super charged by Ando, sure, makes total sense, but how does she go forward in time?  /shakes head  Whatever.

I’ve still got tons of podcasts to listen to and watch, and I have some shows downloaded already that I haven’t even started… so I guess I’m going to give the whole downloading thing a rest for a while.  Feels wrong.

Pat’s not been online today.  He was supposedly going to wake up at 4 am and take off, barring some change in the weather.  I stayed up until like 5:30 and he was still idle, so I dunno when he actually did leave, but theoretically he’s getting closer and will be chilling before too long.

Besides all that my family, and pieces of it, have been playing that dice game, Farkle, some more.  I’ve actually won twice, I think, now.  Martha’s officially the unluckiest.

Martha made some cookies.  I get to eat the deformed ones.  And open the stuck bottle tops.

Other than that I’ve been doing a fair bit of chatting.  Chat chat.


Time… is marching on

I made it home.  Not eventful.

Kim and Aaron showed up last night.  We played Farkle with mom, except Aaron quit like a baby because it was too complicated or something.  I won that game.  Mom beat me handily twice before.  There’s a lot of luck involved.

Other than that, not much has happened.  Couple inches of snow on the ground outside, which doesn’t affect me since I don’t leave the love-seat.  Football is on, dad’s doing.  Football is silly.

Martha didn’t make it home yesterday, got stuck in Salt Lake.  She’ll be here soon, though.


It snowed

So I went outside with nothing but my shorts on and flexed and roared and looked primal.  Nobody was around to take pictures, though.

I’m pretty alone in Anderson tonight.  The girls fled for fear of weather.  They all made it home fine, except Megan who apparently had an incident.  I think those things have to be self fulfilling or something.  She’s fine though, just slid around a bit or something.

The main Asians are still here.  They made me dinner and I made them dessert.  They’re all leaving early tomorrow to go on a grand vacation adventure.

Mom’s coming to get me tomorrow and take me home.  Just Aaron and Kim for the first few days, but Pat’s coming back, and Donny, and Sidney may even visit.  Should be fun times.

Donny was up visiting but he ran away, too.  He’s got this cool work setup where he has to drive back to Portland every weekend.  Neato, huh?

I got an A in 480, that’s the capstone class.  I got A-‘s in Boris’s classes, which is good, considering.  I somehow only got a B in Physics, even though it was probably the easiest class.  I think most of the blame falls on having a final at 8 am.  I don’t do well at 8 am.  It’s ok, though, was taking it just for fun and all.  Grades were up really fast this quarter.

I should sleep so I can wake up when or before mom get’s here.  Sidney actually updated her blog.  There are videos featuring my voice from when we went to Lauren’s house last weekend.  That’s all for now.


Since I’ve been gone

I’ve been fairly absent for like a week, so now you get treated to the quick update post.

Thanksgiving break happened. Yusuke came home with me and the dinner was just the parents and us. I think Yusuke fed himself better this year. The dinner was good. I like turkey.

Other than eating I hung out with Kim and Aaron a bit and watched a bunch of podcasts and TV shows. I watched all of Undergrads under recommendation from fairly trusted sources but didn’t like it. I don’t think I really loled once except on the episode I watched with Kim and Aaron, and that was mostly because of our jokes, not the show’s. /shrug

Since I’ve been back at school I’ve been working long hours on a Software Engineering presentation I gave today. We were the first group. I think our group did the best, and I did as well as can be expected for my part. Now we have this ridiculous design document due Friday we’ve got to work on. Once that’s done, and I finish up some crappy mundane assignments for Algorithms, all I have left is finals. Can go home on Thursday.

The other big news is photographed below. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and to those who don’t, please enjoy this arbitrary gift I give you.

this is what I looked like for a day
up to the minute facial hair status
proof of pants

All pictures taken by Aki. Miho would have gotten some up here, but she deleted hers. tsk tsk.