Along with the fear of aneurysms comes the fear of reduced mental function. This is something that's plagued me since I learned that brain mass doesn't increase beyond 13 years of age (It's a really complicated formula to determine when we have our strongest mental faculties and it varies by individual of course, but there's something interesting about the fact that our brains stop growing before the majroity of us have even started to use them on a regular basis.) I've always been smart, really smart. Other people have accused me of genius (and more than a few times idiocy) but I don't like to think of it in those terms. Comparing people's intellects is always a difficult and in some ways an impossible task. All I know is that I've always been satisfied with my mental function, and I've rarely, if ever, felt inferior to someone when dealing with a subject where I've had any experience or made an effort to have competence. This has defined my life in a lot of ways, from where I've gone to school to who my friends have been (to a degree; I don't eschew relationships with people I don't consider bright, but I don't like spending time with people with wildly different and non-convergent interests, which is fairly normal.) It's my stongest positive attribute. Naturally I'm constantly worrying that it will leave me, like women who obsessively check the mirror for wrinkles or athletes who bristle whenever it's implied that their current poor statistics are the result of increased age rather than a normal slump. fumoffu has frequently said that I was funnier and smarter in high school than I am now. That's not true, he just has a preference for immature humor and as I've aged and become more knowledgeable I've developed a tendency to make slightly more esoteric or abstract jokes (For those who've read my script, you'll recall John Glennamoto.) It still angers me when he says it though. I think accusations of declining faculties are always hurtful, even moreso when the person being accused is young and hasn't done anything with his talent yet. That's one of the reasons I'm so driven to at least start my career in my mid-twenties (the early twenties are in my rearview mirror at this point, and I've come to accept that.) I don't trust that I'll be capable in my thirties, even though that's really when most people hit their intellectual peak (sometimes this peak can last for decades, but it's unusual for someone to be terrible at something in their thirties and become great later on, unless they didn't put in any effort when they were younger.)
My life is full of these bleak and black thoughts, surging into my head at inopportune moments. Yesterday I got up in the wee hours of the morning to drain the lizard and get a glass of H20 (I think of it as maintaining the body's natural filtration system.) As I was going back to bed a disturbing mental picture flashed through my head. I saw myself lying in bed, with my eyes shut, and next to me lay a horrible creature. It was female (that alone is enough to send chills down anyone's spine) and slimy, like some sort of humanoid fish creature. It was coal black and had long silver claws. Its mouth was like that of Geiger's Alien and it was distinctly smiling, in preparation for the kill. Needless to say it took me about half an hour to calm down and get to sleep, and even then it was less restful than it could have been. I don't know why my mind does these things. It's something I like to chalk up to my creative nature, but at times that feels like a cop out. Yes, Terminator was inspired by a bad dream that James Cameron had, but there are millions of people who have nightmares and hallucinations that don't fuel anything at all except for sleeping pill sales.
sable_twilight recently accused me of not thinking of women as people. I found it quite amusing, because when talking to my male friends I'm often the one who points out that women aren't merely agents of our mental and emotional destruction. They're also like real people with uhh feelings and stuff too. It's something that's easy to lose track of when they're lying to your face, yanking your still beating heart out of your chest, throwing it on the ground, trampling on it, and spitting acid on to the bloody, pulpy, remains of the organ that used to be the powerplant of your circulatory system. Ha ha, I'm just kidding. They spit acid before they stomp, that way they can grind it in with their heels. Anyway, women are definitely people too, what with the 46 chromosomes and opposable thumbs. The thing is, it's become something of a taboo among certain segments of our population to make fun of them, and we can't be having that, now can we? Man-bashing is a time-honored art among females, you can even major in it in college (where they call it womyn's studies because having the letters m a and n consecutively in writing is a symptom of patriarchal control, plus it's easier to get a grant when you don't explicitly state that it's so you can try and find a legal loophole that would allow you to castrate young boys without going to jail for it.) Woman bashing is just as fun, and as long as it's not done with too large a club I see no reason why it should be restricted. There's this curious claim that many 'minorities' make that seems to say "We are competent, relevant, intelligent, strong people who are the equal, if not the better, of anyone else. Also, if you say anything negative about us we will wilt like the delicate daisies we are and collapse in the corner crying, so don't because we can't take it when you call us weak." I don't subscribe to it. I think that putting any group out of bounds for mocking is condescending towards them. There's a large difference between denying gays equal rights and jobs and making fun of them (on the other hand I don't like, or even recognize, the use of the term "gay" to mean "bad." I think that's a lot more detrimental than any skit about a super-swishy hitler could ever be.) Jokes like "What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?" "Nothing, you already told her twice." may be crude, but they're also funny, and funny trumps crude in my book. I wouldn't tell them at a rape survivor meeting though. At least not if I was there to pick up chicks.
fakingsincerity called me from the road telling me he was going to drop in on his ex-girlfriend unannounced. He asked me to talk him out of it, with full knowledge that there was not a chance he would listen to reason. This is one of the worst decisions in the history of mankind, up there with "Oh, it's just an iceberg, I'm sure we can just plow through it" "Why SHOULDN'T we assassinate the Archduke? Got nothing better to do." and "I'm sorry Adolph, you're not good enough for architecture school. You're going to have to find some other vocation." Not only will he have a horrible time OR fall back in love with the girl who breaks his heart so often she could teach a course in it, but he's gleefully sacrificing the moral high ground by going to her when she made it pretty clear she wasn't overly interested in seeing him. It's also costing him money he doesn't have, which makes it sort of the triple threat of poor decision making. If he could only figure out a way to get arrested for it even the East German judge would give him a 10.
I was talking about the mayfly like life-span of the modern marriage recently, and as if to illustrate my point Ricky Williams has called it quits from football. It seems unlikely that the Dolphins will give him the Stadium, but he might get visitation rights with the mascot. If you don't get this joke then you haven't been paying attention to ESPN the Magazine (Can't believe nobody called me on the Sports Illustrated gaffe) and you have sources of humor besides my journal that you probably should be relying on. Like math, or the stars.