Optimism

It embarasses me that I’m an optimist.

Because what this really means I don’t, on some level, believe the world is a bad place, a randomly brutal, horrific place where everyday people are going through the kind of pain and suffering I can barely imagine, where other people are commiting deeply unpleasant abuses.

I’m ashamed of how I seem to believe that the only bad things that happen to good people are things that will make them stronger.

I argue with myself. I say to myself, “It’s hard to know just how bad the world is and I don’t want to find out first hand. Sure, it’s not all sweetness and light, but is it as bad as, for example, Quentin Tarantino seems to think it is? Or various other creative figures whose works I find unpleasant and grim?” It’s certainly hard to tell, hard to see outside myself and the media but I don’t think trusting other people’s imaginations is the answer either.

I live in a very self-centered little universe, really, and it’s easy to interpret almost everything as how it applies to me. I don’t like that, and I don’t ever want that terrible shock and experience that comes when this kind of illusion is shattered, but I also don’t want to walk around pretending that horrible things never happen… But any time I try to lower that illusion, I feel like I must go insane, that there’s no point in living any longer. That nothing I can do will ever be good enough to balance out all that, that everywhere in the world, people are suffering and nobody is saving them, and it’s a terrible terrible disservice to simply dismiss it as background noise.

But I do. I look at things that are undoubtedly true, they happen, and they make me uncomfortable, because I can’t be confident only uncommonly bad people do them, and I say, “I can’t live in a world where these things happen,” and I put it out of my head and I blissfully go on with my life.

I don’t know how people stand it. How people can surround themselves with these things, whether fictional or real, and go on with their lives.

So, anyhow, I’m an optimist, I guess. It’s the only way I can keep on going. By being a poor deluded fool, because I guess in the end my self-interest outweighs anything else.

These thoughts brought to you by 2 large heads of garlic and Kill Bill.

Bone Update

So, I gave Hannah the bone again after getting home with Kevin. She sat with it between her paws looking around warily. Finally, I picked it up and pretended to gnaw on it, and then gave it back.

She immediately started gnawing on the bone herself.

You get to burning

I was doing dishes and had just put in some Chinese leftovers to reheat for a snack, around 6:30, when the power went out. It was pouring out, and it was sunset, which meant it was basically dark in the house (but not quite dark outside).

I was pretty sure Kevin had used up all available sources of fire in the house, but I wandered around for a while using my Clie as a flashlight to make sure. Nope, no fire. And now it was dark.

I could go to bed, or… I could hop in the jeep and drive to the 7-11 and buy some lighters!

So, I put the dog in the car (why? It seemed like a good idea at the time. She was getting growly at neighbors) and off we went.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the power outage was larger than just my neighborhood, but oh, it was. I got to the edge of the neighborhood and there I got to make a left turn in the rain with no traffic signals and lots of traffic!

I drove and drove. The Safeway’s power was out. The 7-11’s power was out. Finally I drove towards work and as I approached Redmond, there were lights on. Though driving in the rain with my glasses on (thus poor vision) was still difficult. Oh, I’m in shoes and my ‘used to be a dress’ nightgown, by the way, just to make this image complete.

I got to the 7-11, I went inside, I bought one, two, three lighters. I paid, I went to the car. Oh no! I’d left the car lights on! I rushed into the car, shoved the dog into the back seat again, and started the car.

On the way home, I tested one of the lighters. Maybe the power would be back on when I got home? But nope, it wasn’t. So, at the house, I parked, I opened the door, I grabbed the lighters. One, two… two lighters. Where is the third one? My best guess is that it vanished during the scuffle with Hannah, but who really knows?

In the house, I lit an oil lamp, and then shattered its hood. I lit the next oil lamp, didn’t break its hood and blew out the first oil lamp. Then I lit a candle. Then I wandered around the house, lighting more candles. Then I went back to check on the lamp. One lighter. Where’s the second one? My best guess is that I put it in my pocket, which has a hole in it, and it fell out during one of my brief sojourns to Mars. Or maybe gremlins stole it. I have no idea. My remaining lighter is a scary semi-functional blowtorch thing that I can barely light a piece of paper with.

When the power came back on, I did locate a set of fireplace matches (but no lighters). I carefully put the scary blowtorch lighter with the car keys on the kitchen table, blew out all the candles, but left the oil lamp burning. Tomorrow I’ll go buy more fire sources but for now, I’m playing it safe.

Whee

Movable Type is FUN.

Old entries can be tracked down here, if anybody is interested.

Why the switch?

Well, I’m using movable type over on my Dreamhosted sites, and I like it. And I want something consistent, and I want to use nifty bookqueue plugins, which aren’t available for b2, as far as I know.

Also, the RSS feed for this is dead easy to set up. Though I don’t think I’ll be propagating the RSS feed anytime soon; Livejournal intimidated me into silence once before and I’d like to actually develop some writing skills before I get intimidated into silence a second time.