Friday, March 20, 2009

Party tonight

I just got invited to a party. While it isn't terribly convenient for me to go, this almost never happens, so I will anyway. The background is a lot of the stuff I hadn't filled in yet, so it may take a while to report properly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why couldn't our mouths be intelligently designed?

Due to sometimes being without dental insurance and other times disliking making appointments, I still have an upper set of wisdom teeth that should have been removed a decade ago. I actually had a dentist's appointment a few weeks ago where I planned to get an x-ray which was to be used to make an extraction plan. Apparently, they were too busy to do it. I have a killer headache. I had plenty of time to write tonight, but find myself lacking the concentration.

A few weeks ago, I finally got my front teeth fixed. When I say fixed, I mean not really. To my great disappointment, there has been no new fabulous dental technology that allows smalls parts of teeth to be replaced. I had broken most of the edge off one of my upper middle incisors and the corner off the other. This was "fixed" by just filing the ends off my teeth. Enough was missing that it couldn't really be made to look natural and I now just have blunt ends instead of the natural shearing edge. I think that was a lot of the problem though. My teeth were quite sharp, which meant they were thin on the end, which is why the broke. I also have noticed three cracks. Apparently, nothing can be done about this, but they are likely superficial.

The filing work means I can kiss women (or men, I suppose) without cutting their mouths. Also, I no longer having to live with a constantly lacerated lower lip, which is a relief because I enjoy spicy food.

I also got a long-standing cavity in a rear molar filled. It is now more temperature sensitive than it was with the cavity. It makes me reluctant to use the left side of my mouth much and I've always been afraid I would end up with a lopsided face by causing uneven development of my jaw muscles. Granted, I don't do much heavy chewing of things that are especially cold or hot.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I read

I haven't forgotten about the other stuff I intended to write about, but there's is only so much time per day. One of the things I want to do is highlight the other bloggers I read. First up is Ed Brayton at Dispatches From the Culture Wars. He goes first not because he's the best or anything, but because he wrote something I want to link to.

Media Focuses on Irrelevancies in GVSU Shooting

Here's the short version: Cops do a marijuana raid and apparently shoot an unarmed college student for no good reason, but won't talk about it. Presumably, if they had a good reason, they would talk about it. Rather than address the details of the warrant or what happened, police talk about how the victim was a druggie. News reports just quote the police and do no actual critical analysis of the situation. I think Ed summed it up well. This is, in a very real way, the equivalent of talking about what a rape victim was wearing. Unless we're shooting stoners now, none of this is relevant.

I've been hangign otu with hippies lately (more on this later) and many basically regard the police as armed criminals running an extortion racket. I can see the necessity of police and even understand that when you give anyone the power to shoot people if they have good reason, this will inevitably lead to them occasionally shooting people without good reason. However, this must be minimized and the first step to minimizing the problem is calling bullshit on this sort of thing. While it's important to understand that accidents will happen, it's even more important to understand that using this as an excuse leads to more accidents that get less accidental.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A New Beginning

I just moved here from Xanga. I took several years of abuse from it and eventually got sick of it. It can't do proper track-backs. The chances of losing a post are inversely proportional to how long it took to write. It's blocked from work for some reason, which is actually why I stopped writing in it. Let's hope Google's blogging software is as good as their other software. (As a side note, according to Google Maps, my house does not exist. I can see its roof, but no the address.) There are five basic areas to catch up on: career, academic, personal, political and general (mostly commentary). Today, I am focusing on personal.

Note to new readers: I am a twenty-eight-year-old whitish male. I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The house I own was in the flood zone last year. I work full time doing customer service in the utility field. I also attend University of Iowa, where I am majoring in American history. I plan to go to law school after I get my bachelor's degree in the summer of 2010. Today's post is mostly about Teddy, who I met while she was working at a local strip club. I was there as a customer.

I chose today to resume my blogging because I met Teddy four years ago to date. About a week ago, I logged into Facebook and noticed her last name had changed. I followed the link to her profile and found she had gotten married. I know she had her old last name a month ago, so it was fairly recently. I mention this for several reasons. I remember a few years ago she asked me what I was expecting out the friendship and I said I hoped we'd be invited to each other's weddings. We used to talk a lot about her life, but I've barely spoken with her in two years. I've messaged her a few times on Facebook. She accepted my friend request, but I haven't heard from her since. I've messaged her a few times, never the long things like I used to on MySpace, which I think were basically too demanding on her attention and freaked her out. I feel stupid. I never expected I'd be hanging out with her twice a week and talking basically daily like with Kitty, and I realize someone like her has probably a thousand people angling to be her best friend. I did hope for something beyond just being a Facebook friend, a new kind of social status that didn't even exist when I graduated high school or for several years after. I find myself wishing we really communicated on occasion.

An interesting wrinkle in this came a few months ago. One of her other friends told me that she had read my blog, discussed it with her friends and missed it when it was gone. This is the same sort of thing I was talking about with Facebook friends. I was born in 1980. I didn't grow up with all this web 2.0 like people her age did. I barely grew up with the Internet at all. I'm not sure I can get used to the idea that you don't really know who's connecting with you.

Speaking of Facebook, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's tremendously convenient. It lets me keep up with the lives of friends who I'm not close enough to to have regular conversations, gets me invites to plays they appear in, parties, talks, etc and lets me connect with classmates. On the other hand, I find its search features rather wanting. For instance, I'd like to add Sadie. I know her real first name, which isn't very common, and the city where she lives, which isn't very big, yet I can't seem to work the search. I also can't seem to generate a list of single women in a network filtered by some criteria. I used to be able to do this. And, I am constantly vexxed by technical problems. For instance, I just found profiles for Infinity, who I haven't spoken with in ages, and a co-worker of mine. I can't add either as friends because the damn thing just turns into a spinny cursor.

Besides these problems, apps are way out of hand. Basically, they are money makers. This means lots of them give you incentives to try to get your friends to join and I am constantly deluged with requests to add some game, sometimes followed with a message begging me to do so so someone can get some in-game bonus for recruitment. Also, lots of punk kids mess around and pretend to get married and confuse me, which I suppose isn't really the site's fault.

Oh, and my mom joined. Her profile is just her name and birth date, no pictures, description, or anything. This tells me she isn't interested in actually using the site, just keeping an eye on people. So far, I have ignored her request.

I've had trouble writing for school lately and became concerned I was out of practice. I hope to start blogging regularly again. I have enough to keep me busy for months. For instance, out of the hundreds, possibly thousands of people I met, why is it Teddy one of the five or so that most sticks in my mind? (I plan to write about the others at length soon.) She's not the best looking woman I've known, the smartest or even the nicest (though she comes fairly close on all three counts) and I've certainly connected more with plenty of people. I don't really chat with most of my high school friends on Facebook, either and I hung around with them four years. I know the answer, but it will take a long time to cover (and the story isn't really about her at all), so it will wait.