Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Real Me

On the blog of loyal reader Henry, I recently mused about the meaning of blogging, and my general unclarity about my own motivation for doing it. Henry said he likes the idea of seeing a more "personal" side of me (as opposed, I assume, to the disconnected smartass persona I usually adopt here). One problem with that is that, for various reasons, I'd rather not have my identity discovered. It's hard, I'm finding, to be really personal but totally anonymous. Nevertheless, it is probably possible to reduce the smartness of my ass and share a little more about who I am. Since I shared one odd fetish in my last entry, let me offer up a few more of my peccadilloes and obsessions. These may sound smartassed but, honest, it's not intentional.

1.  Cars.  I can't help it.  I didn't own a car between the ages of 18 and 30.  When I hit 30, coming up on three years ago, whatever gland produces teenage car-obsession awoke from dormancy and caused me to subscribe to no fewer than four car magazines.  I've let a couple of those subscriptions lapse, since we bought a new car and my wife made me commit to a minimum five-year delay before getting another.  (Three years, ten months to go!)  But I still get a -- sit down -- weekly car magazine, which I read as soon as it comes through the mail slot.

2.  Electronic gadgetry.  Every day, I read websites dedicated to Palms, Macs, and gadgetry in general.  Multiple times a day.  For instance, I regularly read The Gadgeteer, a website devoted to the principle that our free will should be subjugated to the facsimile of free will that is generated by integrated circuits.  The Gadgeteer even gives out "Gadgeteer of the Month" awards.  The main criteria for winning this award appear to be a supremely dorky demeanor and a gadget collection that would stock a Radio Shack.  I was going to post a direct link to one or two of these award-winners, but I started to feel bad.  So go find them on your own and reach your own conclusions. (You won't find me among the winners. Bastard judges.)

The world of Mac users is particularly full of gadget freaks.  The Mac world is, to give a prime and recent example, a world in which the mere rumor that Apple may release a mouse with two buttons instead of just one is enough to incite an orgy of comments currently numbering over 500.  Ah, my dearly beloved brethren.

Please don't think I'm a nerd, even though I may, technically, be one.

3.  Shoes.  This may not rise to actual fetishdom, but I have more shoes than my wife.  By a substantial margin.  They're not expensive shoes -- most come from outlets and discount stores.  The real reason I have so many shoes is not because I love them but because I do stupid things relating to shoes.  If a pair of dress shoes gets really scuffed, I don't polish them.  I say, "Guess I need a new pair of dress shoes!"  Also, I sometimes order shoes online, get them, realize they don't fit me, and then stuff them in my closet forever. Other times, some passing shoe fad grabs my attention for a moment and I give in to the urge to buy, for instance, a pair of bowling shoe-like things. After the stupor passes, I realize I'm not half as stylish as I would need to be to wear those shoes. So they sit in my closet.

4.  Arcane and unpublicized rules of personal behavior, the breach of which will cause me to hate you.  I have a lot of rules in my head.  You break them at your own peril.  I will not tell you what they all are, however, because I am shy and avoidant.  That will not prevent me from hating you if you break them though.  Here are a few: (1) DO NOT take an elevator one or two floors when a perfectly good stairwell is available to you; (2) DO NOT circle a parking lot for fifteen minutes in order to save three minutes of walking; (3) DO NOT walk on the left side of the sidewalk; (4) DO NOT pass me on the right when an open passing lane on the left exists (this holds while driving, walking, or pushing a grocery cart); and (5) DO NOT advance to the front of any fast food line without considering (a) what you want to order off the giant, icon-driven menu that is designed to be comprehensible to the functionally illiterate, and (b) where in your unreasonably large tote bag full of crap you will be able to find your money.

There are others, and if you break them, I will simply seethe and behave in a very passive-aggressive way toward you.  If you then ask me what is wrong, I will say, "Nothing," and deem you as having violated Rule No. (6): DO NOT ask me what is wrong with me.



Blogger Joseph K said...

Since we are opening up here, let me share a little about myself. believe in the soul. The cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are overindulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe that there oughta be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

Wait, that was Crash Davis from "Bull Durham." No matter what I do here, I cannot avoid being a detached smartass...

12:06 PM  
Blogger Magazine Man said...

After reading #4, I figured out who you are: You're me. I subscribe to all those rules. In fact, I subscribe to the premium channels of all those rules.

Fun stuff. WAY better than my 23 Things...

8:19 PM  
Blogger Henry Baum said...

JK, Oswald acted alone? Are you nuts??? I like the DH. Spiral, embrace your nerdish leanings. It’ll increase your hit points.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous post. I especially like number 4. I re-read it whenever I need something geninuely amusing to read.

3:18 PM  

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