The Day after Labor Day, 2005

A couple days of mental anguish were rightfully and subsequently followed by a beguiling physical tormentor I'd rather not get into, but is keeping me home from work. This I don't mind. I welcome any excuse to not go to work these days. I'm busy enough on my own that all I do is play catch up with my "extra time". Recent activities have included updating this website finally, and there's still much to be done. I just finished uprooting all the files from the old website off the San Diego server so I can redesign them and make this site less labyrinthine. New images are up, and more will be put up by the time I'm through, which might be a while still. I also haven't been in the mood for much activity, so I've rediscovered my joy in reading.

Yesterday, or was it 400 years ago? I was at the Renaissance Faire, just north of the Illinois border into Wisconsin. Quite a scene of the unordinary. And, no, I didn't pay for this distraction. I did find a nice, old and rusted "Slow Children" sign while searching for an alternate entrance, which now dons our entranceway as a clue to guests as to what they might expect to find upon crossing the threshold, and as a little foreshadowing as to what we might come across after entering the festival. Slow Children, not necessarily in areas of accelleration or locomotion, even though most of the attendees were obviously not fans of gym class, but of the socially slow, low-ranking members of society... nerds if you will. If you know me, you know that I have a soft spot for nerds, at times even self-identifying as one. Why have they been so cursed with a large capacity for information with no practical implementations of things learned? I was ever so delighted when I happened to catch that rarest of moments, a nerd's attempt to mack it up. It happened right in front of me. The opening line was equivalent to "come here often?" and this dragged on for upwards of about five minutes. You can feel the awkwardness, while both laughing and cheering him on, offering silent support, all the while hoping, and knowing, that he will undoubtedly fail in his attempts at courtship. If he were to succeed, what I thought I knew about him, and therefor all strangers, was to be proven wrong. Not only that, but I will have been successfully shown up, having never had a positive macking experience myself. And I am still in denial about my nerd status, believing myself to be at least slightly more competent in the social sphere and in the practical use of knowledge and experience. I like these nerd conventions because they do fill me with at least the delusion of grandeur, which in this case would be a relative one. I know, or at least pretend to recognize, a deeper self-confidence when in the company of those I consider my inferior. Is that why I love nerds so? Because they make me feel good about myself? More confident? Better looking? More physically capable? I would hope, and have it in good faith, that this isn't the sole reason. I love nerds because, for the most part, they're good people with good intentions, and not pretending to be anything more than what they are.... except when they're in each others' company. How can a nerd be the most real person you'd encounter on the street, in the mall (if one were to enter the mall, and you happened to catch him in his determined stride between the parking lot and the gaming store), at school, or at work, but when you're in their territory, they don't even exist in this world? Some of the more sane ones live in a world that used to exist, when chivalry was the code of behavior, and men acted as gentlemen (or in alternate fantasies, boarish oafs, usually whatever is most distant from the actual personality of the nerd). This did not decrease the number of elves and fairies in attendance, nor other creatures and characters of olden myth. There was plenty of that to go around. Oddly enough, I felt a strange kinship with these people, though being in the minority of plain-clothed folk. Their transgressions are once again, open honesty, an outward representation of their innermost desires and personality. Even when it was blatant compensation (the image of a very feeble man in 70 lbs. of armor is culled to mind), it was nonetheless an honest portrayal of this man's true character. He couldn't help being born in the body he was in, or having a meak persona, but his character and morality were iron-clad no doubt. I would never expect him to so much as speak foully in a woman's presence, that wouldn't be very chivalrous. So even with the seemingly fantastical and role-playing aspect of these nerds' costumery, they're still only capable of playing the one and only character that they truly know, themselves. This is where I feel most connected with my fellow nerd, for I may don a number of hats, and dress in socially appropriate attire at times (no really, I do... not often, but I can play the part), I never pretend to be something I'm not. These kids aren't pretending, they're just expressing, and I love 'em for it. Sure, I make my jokes, because in all honesty, some of them are ridiculous looking, but they are not ashamed. Not the case when some dolled-up trixie is brought to the attention of an uneven eyebrow, you've never seen such embarrassment.

This topic is sort of on a par with a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks back. We were on the subject of enemies, or people that we hate. Each of us only had one dignified person who held this post in our life. Each of us also had very good reasons to hold such negative feelings towards our respective enemies. But she was able to sum it up rather succintly and beautifully, and I'm about to butcher her reasoning. She said something like this;
I don't hate her, I hate that she makes me feel this way
After considerable contemplation, I was able to translate that into a reasonable description of why we like or dislike anybody at all. It's not about them, it's about us. I will like you if you make me feel happy, or if you make me like myself. I will dislike you if you make me dislike myself or feel negative emotions. It was simple, really, but astonishingly accurate. I don't hate my enemy because he's evil or manipulative or even because he attacked my character, I hate him because of all the negative feelings that well up whenever I think of him, and I don't like feeling like that. It's not so much about him anymore, but about me. Granted, he did cause the original feelings, and with malintent, but he never did anything unforgivable or that caused permanent damage. And even though I don't think he's very good at being human, that's my own biased opinion. So my point was I like nerds because they make me feel good about myself, but my relationship with them isn't solely egoistic like it is with some people, but also due to a general respect I have for them as people who have nothing to hide. I should stop now that I'm just rambling. And by the way, all the updating thus far has taken place in the art section, I still haven't touched my music page in months. Be well.