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more mememe things.

these questions came from laurel. i'm betting this will be the last one as i imagine that most people who wanted questions got them from me already and i doubt i'll get more questions from other people. oh, except that i still need to answer dan's last question about monogamy. that will probably be an easter weekend project.

anyway. questions were:

1. Why don't you like Facebook?
2. Is there a specific characteristic or behavior of yourself that you can identify as derived from your upbringing?
3. When was the last time you were in a strip club? Do you enjoy strip/ gentlemen's clubs?
4. When was the last time something made you gleefully, euphorically happy?
5. What's your favorite childhood memory (10 years or younger)?

1. Why don't you like Facebook?

it's not that i don't like facebook exactly. i just put more of my social networking energy into g+ over facebook. there are several reasons for this.

1. philosophically. I support google as a company much more than i support facebook.

2. practically. google plus has a feature called "volume control" which makes it much easier to control content flow on my stream, and it's all controlled by me as opposed to facebook making arbitrary decisions for me. those same controls make it easy to filter my own content so i have the option to be very intimate and personal with the right people. I haven't explored the full power of that yet because i don't have enough of my trusted friends on g+ for that to be practical, but i love that potential.

3. new and fresh people. My g+ feed has become very active and for the most part it's people that are completely different than the people i have friended on facebook or anyone i know on livejournal. So it's a new social crowd of very interactive and friendly people that i get to be enthusiastic about, with some that have easily turned from stranger to friend.

That's one big difference i see between fb and g+ - fb is set up mainly as a means to establish already made connections either in the real world or through mutual friends. strangers hardly connect to each other on facebook except through mutual friends. by contrast, g+ is all about discovering new friends and interactions from complete strangers or through the most casual of connections. a lot of the people i have circled on g+ are people that i don't know in real life, but some of them are becoming friends in a way more akin to how i was able to become friends with people through livejournal.

4. content. the content i see on g+ is simultaneously more global because of the international people i have circled and local because of the number of new orleans people that i have circled. The content is also a different flavor than that on facebook in a way that isn't necessarily better but can be and adds another level of variety to most of the stuff i see on facebook.

all of this said, i do know that i'm neglecting facebook because of g+ and in a way that i don't quite like. making new friends and discovering cool new content is nice on g+, but with the decline of livejournal, fb is now the main source of information flow for the people who are the most meaningful in my life that still prefer that over any other means of internet presence. therefore i end up missing a lot of potential life updates and other things that matter to them and therefore matter to me.

The problem is that so much of fb is polluted with white noise content that i don't care about and it's much harder for me to control and focus the content that i really want to see without reducing the number of friends i have on there by a significant amount or micromanaging the filtering aspects of fb which is much less intuitive and more time consuming than how it's possible on g+. there isn't nearly as much pollution content on g+ and what little there is is easier to control. given the fact that both sites are active enough for me that it takes a lot of daily energy to keep up with both individually, g+ ends up taking my priority.

i'm still trying to figure out how to balance it all properly, both as a reader and as a contributor. i think ultimately the nature of the various networking beasts is unfortunately "choose your battles", so g+ is where most of my energy will reside.

2. Is there a specific characteristic or behavior of yourself that you can identify as derived from your upbringing? (something you know you do/ enjoy because you've always been that way, or you do/ enjoy because your parents/ family were like that/ did that).

music. my mom got her degree in piano performance and she's been playing piano all of her life. My childhood is scattered with memories of her constant practicing. my dad wasn't a big music guy, but he sang (and still sings) in church choir and has done handbell choir stuff. my brother was playing both piano and violin ahead of me. I started piano lessons when i was very young; i had a love/hate relationship with lessons all the way through college, but playing piano, being in choir and band and drum corps starting in middle school and all the way through college was key to me being the person that i am.

i have a very specific memory of a time when i was super young and doing some piano practicing with my mom. we were both sitting at the piano working on stuff, and my mom and i used to do these exercises where i would turn around and face away from the piano. she would play notes, anywhere from 1 to about 15 to 20, and i would name all of the notes back to her. at the time, i had no idea that this was something that not everyone could do. it came to me in the same way that you identify color. once you see it, it gets a name associated with it, you can name it without thinking about it.

so yeah. my exposure to classical music as a listener and a performer and then a crafter started at a very early age, made me who i am today.

3. When was the last time you were in a strip club? Do you enjoy strip/ gentlemen's clubs?

the last time i was in a strip club was maybe 10 or so years ago. one of my friends at the time was a stripper; she used it mainly as an avenue to explore her dancing talent whilst making a good amount of money. i went to see her once or twice to support her. before that, i had been to a strip club maybe twice. there are aspects of the strip club that i enjoy, but the things that i don't like outweigh the things that i do like, so while i wouldn't mind going to one, i wouldn't go to one of my own volition or be the sort to suggest that as an activity.

There are three aspects of strip clubs that i like. first, i love women's bodies. naked, clothed, partially clothed, ordinary, out of the ordinary, i love looking at women, period. second, despite what issues people might have about the industry, strippers who really know what they're doing are amazing visual performing artists. i enjoy seeing what a woman can do on stage, what sort of expectations they can fulfill vs delay or completely break, and how they can manipulate the more primal instincts of their audience. third, i like observing and analyzing the audience of a strip club. there's a stereotype associated with it that certainly exists, but the few times that i've been in one there have been other non-stereotypes that i've seen too that have struck me as odd, such as the old couple that were there to both watch the show and to eat, or maybe just tolerate the show to get a good deal on a steak. Things like that fascinate me.

The main negative aspect of strip clubs that make me shy away from comes from how the paradigm makes it difficult for me to get the most of the experience. strippers maximize profit not by the talent of what they can do but by selling a non-genuine personality and a false sense of ego to their clients. the non-genuine personality is a also a byproduct of their very understandable need to be protective of their actual identity which in an environment like that can be very vulnerable. because the potential return for a stripper is pretty high regardless of the actual talent they could have a potential performer (you can make a lot of money even if you suck), i'd have to wade through a lot of amateur and/or talentless ones to find one that i could truly appreciate for her craft and art.

since i have no need to have my ego stroked through false pretenses either from a personality or sexual standpoint, strip clubs don't offer me much return for the amount of expense i would have to put into it. I can appreciate female bodies anywhere. I can appreciate visual performing arts and dancing in other ways that are much cheaper, and i get enough people-observing candy from walking through the mall or the airport. The only thing that would interest me specifically in a strip club would be trying to break through the non-genuine personality of a stripper to the real one, and any smart stripper isn't going to let that happen, so it's a waste of time.

that said, i'd go to one again if the circumstances were right. what comes to mind is a) to support someone who i knew was in the industry, b) as a tag-along for a crowd so sure, why not, or c) if i had a romantic or sexual partner who was into that sort of thing intellectually or as a turn-on. going to a strip club could be a very well-orchestrated seduction slowplay/foreplay if all the variables were in the right place.

4. When was the last time something made you gleefully, euphorically happy?

a couple of weeks ago, my friend Jenni shared with me an MP3 recording of one of her choir rehearsals where they read through my piece. It was the first time i had heard that music with live performers vs. the computer recording from the score i had given her months before. The whole time i was listening to it, i couldn't stop smiling or laughing. it's so gratifying to hear how music in my head gets translated into real life.

5. What's your favorite childhood memory (10 years or younger)?

that's really hard to say because my memory is very poor.

when i was in third grade, i had a teacher named Mr. Tennessen. He was a very inspiring teacher because of how much he encouraged us to be ourselves, to create, to think outside the box. one of the characteristics of his classroom was that every day or every week or something, he'd draw some sort of brain teaser from a large group of brain teasers in a book he had on his front chalkboard. the brain teasers were pictures in which you were supposed to figure out what that picture was representing, kind of like these, but sometimes it was more pictoral. you put your guess on a piece of paper and submitted it to some sort of box that was in the front of the class. he'd give the answer at the end of the time period and then post up a new one.

i always looked forward to seeing a new one and trying to puzzle out the answer. i don't remember at all if i was any good at it at the time, but it didn't matter. he always had fun things like that, things that weren't so "academic", but contributed to analytical and inspiring thinking. he was my favorite elementary school teacher; i went back and tried to see him every now and again while i was in middle school and high school to let him know how important he was to me until he died.

--

i did that sleep-through-dinner-so-now-my-options-are-limited thing again. i would kill for a salad right now, but i hate fast food salads. them's the breaks.

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Comments

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shazamaramack
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
I support google as a company much more than i support facebook.

Why is that?

she would play notes, anywhere from 1 to about 15 to 20, and i would name all of the notes back to her.

That's awesome. Do you think that's a skill anyone can learn or something that needs to begin at a young age or something you're born with?
lifeofmendel
Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
google is inspiring in a way that facebook is not, and google as a corporation is one of the healthier corporate environments to work in. the first is something that i've felt for a long time even before fb existed. The second is something i got inklings of when colleagues of mine worked there but i now have a much stronger feeling about now that my brother works there. it's hard to explain without going into a long diatribe, and it's also difficult because i'm only getting it second hand so my understanding is very incomplete. But Google as a brand gets my continual support and trust for what they do and the reasons why they do it.

Perfect pitch is not something that anyone can learn. It's not even a skill by my standards, it's something i was born with, a genetic trait that nurtured and flourished from a rich musical environment. People can learn how to have relative pitch, which while not as comprehensive as perfect pitch is more amazing to me because i would have no idea how to do it. ask a color blind person to recognize green. how do they do it? How does someone memorize a pitch if they don't have the inherent genetics to do it? it baffles me.
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