Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity

Being honest puts you in the distinct minority


This is an entry on dating, despite how it may come across.

George Orwell once said that In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Had a particularly bad night of insomnia the other night so I wrote and surfed the web.

Came across several people on my social network feed that posted the above image and read about how one kid’s brutally honest email was so jarringly unique that it’s appearing everywhere, including this blog.

It reminded me of an entry I wrote earlier titled What you think is true, what you hope is true, and what is actually true.

Can’t tell you how many people I’ve blocked on FB and elsewhere because of their steady stream of willful ignorance. The liberals are always so angry, the conservatives are always so outraged. And I’m so tired.

Not so much because what they say are so ridiculously stupid, rather, that they believe it so wholeheartedly.

Just today, a handful of my liberal friends are ranting that water should be free and my conservative friends are ranting that if everyone had a gun, the would would be safer.

When I was out and about, people always asked me my advice on dating – after all, I’m a clumsy, old, short, balding, Chinese dude, yet I never had any issues meeting people.

Her: (non·plussed) You meet people every weekend? I don’t believe that.
Me: (shrugging) It’s true.
Her: Who’d you meet this weekend?
Me: You.

The answer I gave was always this: be honest. Brutally honest – to yourself and those around you.

Girl at a bar: Guys are always hitting on me because of how I look.
Me: Well, it’s hard to see your personality from two feet away. Although at this distance, I’m still on the fence.

Because people crave the truth, even if they don’t like the truth.

That is, except for the sincerely ignorant and the conscientiously stupid.

On that note, in honor MLK day, I’ll end with a quote from him: Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

This was an entry on dating interpersonal relationships, despite how it may have come across.

And now back to work.

Mood: waking up
Music: I remember melodies of songs we used to sing.
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Digital to do / Insult me, beat me, make me write bad checks

Canal Street Subway

Mom: (leaning in, whispering) Act normal. I put two suitcases with your dad’s stuff into your trunk. Get rid of them.
Me: What? How?
Her: Shhh! I don’t know, don’t care. Just get rid of them. (turning to everyone, smiling) Who wants dessert?

I’ve somehow become a digital packrat in my life. My father, god love him, saves everything. Drives my mom mad. On more than one occasion, I’ll go home and find that she’s filled my trunk with random junk that my dad’s accumulated.

Suspect that if she were in the mafia, we’d have similar conversations.

Like me, she accumulates mosta her stuff in digitally. But I take after my dad in that I save everything.

Think it all started when I decided to get rid of all of my CDs years ago. Then I digitized all of my class notes from my school days. Just snowballed from there. The whole thing’d be fine it not for the fact that I didn’t organize it properly from the get-go. So now, as it gets bigger so does that sinking feeling that I gotta go back and re-edit a buncha stuff. So, to avoid procrastination, every time I get a few minutes, go back and start curating.

Amazed at how much stuff I’ve actually got.

On the topic of editing digital stuff, been reading a buncha my friends’ dating profiles for them. They’re terrible. The majority’re just bland and boring with lotsa guys putting up smiley faces every two sentences as if to say, I‘m just kidding, see how fun I am?

The worst are the ones that say, I’m just looking for someone nice. As if everyone else is saying, Insult me, beat me, make me write bad checks.

Figure there’s gotta be a cottage industry to help people not come off as weird or desperate online. Think I’ll have to write a post about writing a good profile onea these days soon.

And there’s another thing to add to my digital to do list.

Location: getting dressed in the front room
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Complacency, a vacancy, checks into your heart
YASYCTAI: Edit another folder of stuff. It’s never ending (a long time/1 pts)
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Watching the movie you paid for

View east from Penn Station

Yeah. The funny thing is – on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.
– Shawshank Redemption

Wild salmon costs significantly more than farmed salmon but few can taste the difference between the two.

There’s been a number of legal cases lately where lots of fishermen and restaurants are swapping one fish for another – not just with salmon but with all kinds of stuff.

At issue is really one of expectations; if you paid for wild salmon, you should get wild salmon. Whether or not y’can actually tell the difference between the two is irrelevant.

Let’s switch gears to dating.

I dated this girl once that I was certain was cheating on me. Yelled at her all the time for it until one day she actually did. Then when I caught her in the act, she said to me, I was already being punished for it, so I figured that I might as well do it.

In other words, she already got the punishment, why not do the crime itself? Rephrasing it yet again, got what I paid for.

Learned something profound at that moment, which’s that life’s as you see it in your head.

So I met up with my buddy and another friend for drinks Monday night; he’s back with his girl. The reason why I’m guessing it’ll end badly, just as it did for our other friend that kept clinging, is that she paid for a drama not a romantic comedy.

And whether he realizes it or not, he’s going to give her a drama, regardless of the script he has planned.

Him: What makes you so sure?
Me: I could be wrong. In fact, i hope I am. I’d like nuthin more than for you guys to come back and say, “See, I told you it’d fine.” Cause you’re my friend and that’s what I hope for you. And there’s a chance it’ll work out, but only if something’s different this time.

Location: my room, looking for a lightweight suit
Mood: dreading the heat
Music: It’s not so easy to believe in someone else, Till you do
YASYCTAI: Realize that people want what they paid for, irrespective of whether or not they can tell the difference. (1 min/1 pt)
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How to get the person you want most of all

Downtown NYC

Don’t have any comment on the Casey Anthony trial. It shocks me a bit how nothing shocks me anymore. Although, it does provide the useful lesson that, if you’re gonna commit a heinous crime, try to be pretty(ish), young, and white. Or a celebrity. Pick one.

———-

This monk named Thomas Merton once said that, The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little. Think that’s totally true.

Got three friends, all of whom wanted to get good at dating. But they just stopped after a few months because they all just ended up with people that were good enough.

One of them told me that his girl didn’t want a guy that treats dating like an occupation. Which’s yet another onea those things that sounds good on a superficial level but doesn’t make any real sense.

I treated it like an occupation – more a hobby, really, but I’m going for parallelism here – started meeting people in September of 2006 and continued to be single until September of 2008. Two years and some 150+ dates later.

And it sucked. It makes you weary. And you have to be coldly dispassionate. The constant hellos and goodbyes.

But If it’s important, and valuable, it doesn’t come easy. Nuthin worth anything comes easy.

Early on, when I started dating, kept repeating favourite quote: With increased intelligence, comes increased capacity for pain. If you’re smart enough, you learn to push all that doubt to the side of your mouth. You get up, go out, and take your chances. S/he’s not going to just show up knocking. Most of all, you deal with the pain.

Bookmarks Lounge bar on top of the Library Hotel in Midtown NYC

Him: How do you know we’re gonna end badly?
Me: I don’t know. But I figure it will Cause I saw the first movie. In this sequel, all of the characters’re the same. You’re still you, she’s still her. Everything’s the same. Why would it be different this time around unless onea you were radically different? You were both single for just 35 days. How different could either of you be? You went back cause it hurt too much, and I understand that. But you deal with the pain to give her, and you, time to be different. 35 days’s not enough time. You should have waited and met more people.
Him: You met all those people, what’d that really get you?
Me: (shrugging) The girl I wanted most of all.

Location: desk, trying to not be insanely hot
Mood: insanely hot
Music: we brave bee stings and all And we don’t dive, we cannonball
YASYCTAI: Don’t make Casey Anthony a millionaire. Don’t buy her book, listen to her interviews, etc. Don’t reward evil. (20 years/0.5 pts)
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Staying home and wallowing’s never a good idea.

Mussels and hard cider in the LES, NYC

Him: I should get back.
Me: Why? So you can go home and wallow?

Went out with two buddies the other night. It’s funny how life works.

  1. Met this woman named Jane years ago, she introduced me to her ex, Gio.
  2. Gio and I became friends and he introduced me to WM.
  3. WM and I were out late one night and he introduced me to Heartgirl.

The moral of that story is: don’t be a jerk and you might meet someone nice.

Anywho – Gio, WM and I of us grabbed some wings, mussels and beers down on the LES last week. Afterward WM and I hopped into his whip while Gio took his bike over to a karaoke joint at St. Marks. Gio beat us there by several minutes. They both belted out some tunes while I just listened. Not much of a singer, me.

Man riding bike in NYC

The fellas are both dealing with breakups. Told them both that it’s time to clean their maps; one’s trying and the other’s not. Like with most things, y’get better when you’re not thinking about getting better.

Speakinga getting better I’m sick again. Aren’t summer colds the worst? So HG and I just stayed home and saw happythankyoumoreplease with music from Jaymay. More on that when I’m not feeling like hot death.

Him: (the next day) Good hanging out and thanks for the advice…By the way, I stopped by Whiskey Tavern afterward, met a cute girl and got her digits.
Me: Of course you did.

Karaoke bar downtown NYC

Location: desk, trying to not be sick
Mood: sick
Music: it’s too early to say goodnight (goodnight)
YASYCTAI: See some indie films. (100 mins/0.5 pts)
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Just because it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

Madison Park in Summer, NYC

Me: Suppose you’re hiding $1,000 in your shoe. You know it’s there, no one else knows it’s there. Now, how would you – knowing this information – treat that shoe? Now how would I? Just cause it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
Him: Ah, that makes sense now.

So my presentation went pretty well; they asked me to come on again, which is always a good sign. Been thinking about doing more public speaking at some point soon – just need to find more topics to talk about. You’ll be kept in the loop, as always.

In other news, finally caught up on sleep. It’s been good lately in the sense that when I do have my bouts of insomnia, they’re relatively short – 2-3 days versus 3-8 days. Still, it’s unfun. Would prefer that portion of my life to be gone with entirely.

My newly single buddy dropped by for a spell last night. He’s been out and about as he’s dealing with his awful things. He’s meeting people just randomly and some of them have significant others, who are decidedly not happy about it all.

On this point, he’s not interested in these women and doesn’t understand why these guys’re getting so upset. Told him that the way he saw the world’s really only just his opinion of the world.

———-

Been getting into a lot of arguments with people lately. Find it interesting that there are some people that will continually hammer at the issue at hand; that’s fine – feel I’ve learned a lot from these exchanges and I value knowledge above all else.

There’re others that immediately launch into explicative-filled, ad hominem attacks (“you @#$@$ @#$@#$!”), which only closes me off to their arguments.

Worse, long after they’ve forgotten it, I remember it. That’ll never lead to a good thing.

Speaking of arguments, there’s an accountant for a business I work with that argues with me constantly over everything. She called me and asked me for help. Found this odd cause we’re always yelling at each other. She’s taking the bar exam this summer – she had gone to law school years ago and this was the year. She thought she couldn’t pass it so here I am with this woman that’s caused me nuthin but misery for the past two years. For a second, wanted to tell her that she’d never pass and to go to hell. But that whole grace and mercy thing popped into my head and I took a seat.

Me: (taking a deep breath) OK, here’s what I did to take the bar…

Location: desk, trying to clear the cobwebs
Mood: tired
Music: My peace and quiet was stolen from me When I was looking with calm affection
YASYCTAI: Try arguing the issues rather than attacking the person. (10 mins/1 pt)
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Having a date night with the wife

Logan Lo

HG and I have a habit of going to local NYC hotels for a quick night or two away from the house. It’s amazing what the word “deluxe” means inside city limits and what it means everywhere else in the world.

Which is not to say we had a bad time. We had dinner at a new restaurant called Tenpenny, where we had great service and some pretty impressive food as well. It’s nice having a date night with the wife. Afterward, we walked back to our hotel and sat at this very old school bar. I actually had an Old Fashioned instead of rum, just to shake things up a bit.

Made it back in time to wrestle for a bit and practice some fencing. My old injuries are bugging me like mad. Have to schedule another appointment with the doc. Growing old sucks but, to paraphrase Maurice Chevalier, it beats the alternative.

 

Logan Lo

Sunday was church where I spoke to this young lady; she’s dipping her toe back into the dating world.

Her: It’s hard finding the time to date.
Me: Well, you go to work five days a week right? That’s to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate. Finding someone to spend the resta your life deserves at least as much consideration as that, dontcha think?

Speakinga work, client just killed a project I was working on but it’s just as well, this is a busy month.

Trying to stay on topa things’s a lot like playing Whack-A-Mole, yeah?

 

Location: home, listening to the rain outside
Mood: injured
Music: til the day I die I run more game
YASYCTAI: Have some fish today. (15 mins/0.5 pts)
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It’s the same old thing as yesterday

Couple fighting in Lincoln Center, NYC

Was taking a quick break from work this week and someone told me they saw an ex being interviewed on TV so I watched the vid. She looked good and it sounds like her job’s going well. I’m glad. Hard to believe it was over four years ago.

It’s funny, that guy that loved her so I don’t even know any more.

Douglas Adams once said, I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

We all think we’re the king of pain at one point or another. The sane people realize that we have no idea what we’re talking about.

Watched it for another minute before I flicked it off and went back to work.

———-

HG’s brother’s staying over as the first member of her family in our pad. This is cool cause, first of all, he’s a nice fella. Second of all, it forces me to get things done to free up my evening; dunno the last time I had a free evening.

Finally, we get to go out for sushi. Win/win/(win) for all concerned.

If you’re looking for me, look for the grown man in the corner stuffing his cheeks like a chipmunk with raw fish and seaweed.

Location: in fronta my desk, under a deadline
Mood: rushed
Music: I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
YASYCTAI: Get those projects done! (Four days/1 pt)
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Need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

Clock in midtown, NYC

Got a number of nice comments from friends that read my last Technorati entry as to Why Wednesday is the Best Night for a First Date. Tell me what you think.

———-

Was running around the city again last week when a client called me and asked me to come over. His dad passed away and he wanted my help addressing a few things. Told him I would, so that kills any free time mighta had this month and maybe next.

It’s a terrible thing to think but if the father had to pass, 2010 is the best year for a rich person to do so cause there’s no estate tax.

Course, that’s on a purely pragmatic basis; on a personal level it’s always too early for a loved one to go, yeah?

Been thinking a lot about life and death these days. Maybe it’s the weather.

Saw my aunt and cousin for lunch Saturday – also work related. My aunt told me that when she first came here at 21, she stayed, along with three other people, in my parent’s two-bedroom. That made seven people in a one-bedroom. She said she never forgot my family’s kindness. Felt pretty good about that.

Told them about my family’s name, Luo. It turns out that China just forced another of my “relatives” to have a abortion at eight months. Reason #2,234,645,549 why I hate China.

As for me, came home and filled out the life insurance paperwork that’s been sitting on my desk for a month. Kept putting it off. I’m not that old and I don’t need 50 year old male life insurance, but I figure better safe than sorry and to have a policy of some sort. Afterward, called my pop.

Me: …so then she said that there were seven of us in the apartment.
Him: (laughing) Were there? I don’t remember. Oh, we were poor back then.
Me: Yeah. It was a long time ago.

Wish I had more time to write.

Then again, when I had time to write, wished I had more scratch.

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock
These days my life, I feel it has no purpose
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface

Location: my newly cleaned room
Mood: run down
Music: I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
YASYCTAI: Prepare lunch. (10 mins/1 pt)
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Love is… or Why you should be dating online

Online dating versus offline or regular dating

Statue in Tribeca NYC

Went out the other night with my buddy to some local watering holes – the first time in a while. We’re having a mild disagreement about online dating.

The way I look at it, it’s like having a relative named, for example, Aunt eMatch that says, “I’ve got a girl I think you might like.” In fact, it’s better; it’s like Aunt eMatch saying, “I’ve got a girl I think you might like – and here’s her resume, a buncha pics, and a writing sample.”

My buddy says that interpersonal vetting’s the best way to meet someone; can’t disagree with that BUT he also feels that’s why online dating seems to fail – because of the lack of connection, meaning a common friend. But the connection isn’t a person, rather, the stuff you’ve got in common.

When you’re a kid, you think love’s looking at someone and going, You’re so awesome, and she looks back at you and says the same thing. Adults are different.

Adults don’t stand facing one another but side-by-side. It’s why I always say that you want someone on your side.

That, in turn, is from that French dude that wrote The Little Prince: Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction, which translates to To love is not to look at one another: it is to look, together, in the same direction.

Love’s when you’re both looking at stuff y’love – like a Firefly episode you love, how you want to raise your kids, or your plant Harold -and you go, Do you see what I see? and she goes, Man, I *totally* see what you see.

That’s love. How you get it – online/offline – depends on how God puts it in front of you, but it’s always the same thing.

 

Location: going to New Rochelle
Mood: insanely busy
Music: look into their eyes, and you suddenly know
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