This was May 20th, the day that I missed the eclipse because it was raining, the day that I wore men's underwear and was delighted to find that it doesn't ride up on me, and also the day that I decided that the well-used, beaten-up pieces of whiteboard (which used to be my own single piece, the brutes!) was good enough to use for practice sessions.
You may already know that I am a freak, as Richard Dawkins has discovered, but it's now looking more like I am really more of an ass: You see, as some of my Facebook friends know, I barely bother checking in there, and rarely stay for more than ten minutes at a time, although whatever few posts I do happen catch on my News Feed, I often share.
Now, let's expand that habit.
Logging in frequently several times a day, and sharing several of many News Feed items, while 'Liking' others = big annoyance for some people.
But why would anyone do that?
Considering how many notices I have gotten in the past several months which are of great interest to me, (from a few amazing scientific articles to a shocking notice of someone's family member's death), and considering that I found these browsing through only about 2% of what I actually have been receiving per day, I wondered whether it would be better to spend more than two or three minutes a day on average to pick through them?
` Maybe I could actually keep better tabs on things that way? In fact, what if I could catch up with a lot of it just by going really far back, in partial compensation for not keeping up in the past?
Now, some people would post tons of stuff in their 'News Feed' -- which is mostly neither -- and so I could not get very far back in time without my computer slowing down to a crawl. So then, I wondered how far back I could go on individual friends' walls. At least then I could catch up on some people.
So, I was doing that to a few people, such as paleontologist Donald Prothero and a user called 'I fucking love science', but also the musician George Hrab, as I had barely been on his wall at all until Thursday, the day I started listening to his podcast, at which time I left him a couple of strange messages partially relating to this subject.
` I did a lot of 'Wall digging' over Friday and Saturday, mostly on Geo's wall, until getting so far down that my browser completely froze up and needed to be restarted. I (arbitrarily) decided that was a pretty good sign that such foolishness should stop and that something more constructive would be a better idea.
Having gone down two entire months on Geo's wall, and leaving (so I counted) a whopping 17 'likes' and comments there, I decided that at this point, catching up on my email was a much more important endeavor if I was to be spending long amounts of time in front of my computer.
` Seeing as just below my office, the substance-abusing housemate had, thought-disruptingly, begun to play his music (which isn't even any good), and being that I am now less willing to be driven out of my office because of it, I decided not to get to my email just yet (although I have been keeping up with it now), but instead did something that requires no thinking at all -- drawing on the white board with both hands at the same time.
` I also found that listening to George Hrab's Geologic Podcast was a decent way for me to keep my sanity during this time, as I could actually have something pleasant to listen to while scrawling away.
First of all, I drew some scrunchy-looking trees and mooses and cars, just to get a feeling for the technique, but wasn't terribly impressed. So then I thought that maybe a black and white photo would be a good thing to study.
` What photo should I use? Well, since I was listening to the podcast, Geo's face was invading my brain, so that seemed the most natural thing to start with. Both my hands jointly created a red-green-blue version of a photo that best fit the shape of my board, and as the result was coming out well, my knee joined in with the camera:
Does that make me treblidextrous?
After a while of this squiggling and pokering and jiggering, I finally had to stand back in order to let my arms cool down:
Aside from the permanent black streak going through MarkerGeo's eyebrow, this looks like a pretty good test of my black and white skills -- in RGB!
After rebooting Firefox and uploading the previous photos, I blithely went to Geo's facebook wall and, after a few minutes of screwing around, realized that he had un-friended me and that's why I couldn't comment. Just after that, I finally got around to my email and found that it was filled with Facebook alerts.
That was when I realized that my 17 items to Geo would have showed up in his inbox, and he was probably wondering when they were going to stop, not realizing that I was about to get back to not bugging him again as I had been before.
` In any case, I think that perhaps trying to catch up on FB posts wasn't such a great idea after all. I mean, who spends all their time on Facebook? I don't, so, who knows what I've missed that I wished I hadn't? It's like the beginning stages of internet addiction -- snapping is probably the next stage.
After getting back from the gym, I found a tiny bottle to sit down in front of at a tiny table (both thanks to my crazy roommate, ironically) and started drinking.
When I walked back into my office, the drawing looked somehow... accusing. It had to go.
From within a protective wall of science-oriented books, I started hitting those tiny little bottles, hard.
Determined to get back to drawing, I picked up the dinosaur book and saw a picture of a Velociraptor. This would go nicely on the board, I thought, but then the colors I was using ran out, and all the rest of the pens weren't quite the same hues as the first ones, so it all just started to look like crap.
I paused to take a swig out of the tiny bottle before erasing this monstrosity.
Then I went on to do a Hesperornis drawing because it might work with both color and black pen (thus covering up the permanent black streak), when the rest of the color pens failed. Yes, all of them. At once.
` I went back and looked at Geo's announcements of gigs, podcast episodes, and non-sequitur puns, I was struck by my longest and most off-topic comment (by far) because it displays an obvious fear of bugging Geo. I mean, who opens their comments with an apology, and then launches into a run-on sentence that uses the word 'Folgers' no fewer than four times?
I'll get onto the next, slightly less boring 'unfriending' in a moment, but would first like to convey some interesting news that happened on the 22nd, when the substance-abusing housemate who normally plays his music under my office was discovered not to be home for the evening -- because it was so amazingly quiet!
` That, and there was no six pack in the fridge.
` Lou Ryan and Brianade made a bet that he was in jail, although I bet that he had died. In the morning, it was revealed that I had been closest to right -- not dead, but in the hospital being treated for a 2 1/2-foot clot in his leg.
` Two and a half feet! That's... 30 inches! HOLY SHIT!! See, kids? This is what happens when you don't have any ambitions... and smoke meth!
Now, who is the other person who has de-friended me? It was my other intolerable, soon-to-be ex-housemate, the crazy anti-science guy! And why? Because, says he, that he would have to wade through ten science posts from me each day (lately, and at some times in the past), and he just couldn't take it (or unsubscribe from my News Feed posts, evidently).
` Really, I am SO glad now that I won't have to un-friend him and his anti-intellectual bullshit. Most recently, he posted on FB the words, "God is GOOD. No exceptions."
` Immediately what popped into my mind was our previous and long-running discussion where he thought that God telling Moses to slaughter the men of other cultures and rape the women were righteous acts, and therefore good, because if they weren't, then God wouldn't have commanded them.
Yes, rape and genocide are 'good' in this case, according to him. So, I pointed out on his post that believing that 'God is Just Good And That's It' would explain how his view can interpret rape and genocide as good things, and he replied:
Genocide and the other assorted human tragedies are simply proof that man is not good. They do not reflect on the Creator, who still allows us to live and breathe and have our being day after day.So, he believes that rape and genocide don't reflect on the one who supposedly mandated these things? Perhaps he just meant that despite this fact, their existence is 'merely proof that man is not good' -- what compartmentalizing bullshit!
` I would have kept the thread going, but by then he had un-friended me, so I brought this up on my email group, Skeptalk, and got some amused replies. I like what John Ellis said:
Since there is no god, I translate that as "Nothing is GOOD. No exceptions." How pessimistic and totally nihilistic - no wonder he unbefriendcircleplussliked you.Ha! After being disconnected to this guy on the Facebooks (and soon to be free of him in real life), I immediately went back to barely posting anything in my news feed -- no longer any need to annoy him either, right?
Funny how my reaction to my first two un-friendings could not be any more different, huh?
Since that, I've bought some more dry erase markers, but all my drawings have come out looking mediocre. By the time I got to Dougal Dixon's Falanxes chasing the Rabbuck, I realized that the problem is because these drawings have too much of the same tone rather than marked contrasts -- another reason why my drawing of Geo had turned out looking especially good.
EDIT: Hours later, without even informing Geo of my plight, he HAS NOW FRIENDED ME AGAIN ON THE FACEBOOKS. All is well in the Multiverse.