Saturday, June 23, 2012

Harnessing Creativity

When I was a young man, about eight years old, I got a report card with good grades (A's and B's) but, in the comment section my teacher noted that I had "difficulty with problem solving". And damn near twenty years later, I still do! A simple (and fictional) example of what I mean:

As a child, if you had asked me to put the Legos away I would have arrived at the conclusion that I couldn't do it. Follow the reasoning if you will. I would look at the little plastic blocks and get it in my head, that I could just dump them all in the bucket and put the bucket on the shelf... OR I could separate them by color and then stack them according to size on one of those flat green pieces you'd use for grass and put the slanted ones at the top and then place each stack on the shelf...but there's not enough space on the shelf...but if I moved the books somewhere... where can I move the books... there's no place to move the books, so there's no place to put my Lego stacks which means I can't do it... besides, it would take forever to make my color separated Lego stacks and it's story time and I don't want to miss the story, it's Clifford the Big Red Dog! So, I can't put the Legos away! All of that, when the course of action that was desired was to just dump all the damn Legos in the bucket and put the damn bucket on the damn shelf! 

Now, I'm sure it was just a bit more complicated when I got that report card, but the point is, I've always looked at even the simplest task and instead of taking the most straightforward path to accomplishing it, my mind went off on tangents of other ways to achieve my proposed goal. Sometimes I would rationalize this odd little idiosyncrasy by insisting that the proposed (unnecessarily difficult) method was more thorough, or neater, or would yield some unforeseen future benefit. Since then, I've gotten a little better. I still sometimes consider Rube Goldberg-ian solutions, but I have learned to redirect my mind to the simpler path for most tasks! The one place where I still haven't managed to apply that skill is in my writing. You see how long it's taken to get to this point! I've written before about my difficulty in choosing "first words"! But even more difficult, is figuring out WHEN to write.

Let us consider when I tweet most! Aside from live tweeting University of South Carolina athletics, it's usually in the middle of the night! On one hand, I'm having ideas that I deem worthy of being shared. In all fairness, I'm surprised those late night tweets don't consist primarily of gibberish, so their worth is a bit dubious. But setting that aside, I do tweet late at night. Even this is being written right around midnight! On the other hand, few if any of those tweets are ever read by human eyes. It's fair to assume that most of my twitter followers are living in America...although this blog has gotten some reads from Aussies and other interesting places around the world (for which I'm grateful) so it's possible somebody reads those tweets. (BTW! I always encourage you to look back through my twitter feed... you might be surprised by what you find there). The point is, I can't seem to tweet during the day! Writing anything at all in the light of day is difficult for me and I don't know why! So how do I go about replicating the psychological circumstances that lead to these little sprees of thought and thus allow myself to compose my thoughts in written form whenever I wish? 

Truth be told, I keep a list sitting on my desk of possible blog post topics. Now, they're not all gems, but there are about thirteen topics on the list right now! Some of those ideas are, "A Case For Eugenics", "The Politics of Nostalgia" and "Porn Star Moves". I usually have these ideas at work, or while I'm out somewhere and I think them out only to the point that I decide that I could write something of sufficient length and adequate content. Then I add the idea to the list and I don't actually get around to writing them out. Sometimes it's just as simple as sitting down at the keyboard and starting (such as this post). But, in general, I don't actually feel like writing. Well, that's not true! When I don't write, I feel like... well, I suppose I'd compare it to (mentally) wanting to masturbate...but due to laziness or some degree of exhaustion, not sitting down to find stroke worthy porn, and thus not masturbating. (I wonder, though I don't actually want you to tell me, if you can relate to that feeling). 

I have no clue about how to harness my creativity (and I realize I may be applying the term a bit loosely) but I am open to suggestions! Mostly I just wanted to write this to tell the Lego story illustrating what I perceive to be my most significant deficiency, and to compare my writing to masturbation...which it is! It's literary masturbation. It serves no productive function but, it makes me feel good and, I'm kinda kinky so I let you all watch!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

To My Future Wife

In the interest of saving us both some time and making sure that you don't one day become my future EX-wife, I wanted to write this for you, the woman who I will one day love. What follows is a quick guide to our as yet hypothetical relationship. A few insights into myself that may help you decipher my moods and motivations for the purposes of learning how to deal with me, some examples of what to expect in the long run, and maybe a few charming quirks or possibly even a couple of hints about what I may be know...sexually!

Now, I realize that you're possibly busy at the moment. Maybe you're a long-haired half Asian half Latina prodigy who got her PhD in linguistics from Oxford (or Cambridge...I'm not picky) at the age of 16. You're well respected in your field. You're fluent in eight (8) languages and conversant in an additional three (3). And, you've been published in scholarly journals on multiple occasions. It's also possible that you're a stripper, or a porn star (Hey Jynx Maze! How you doin' girl!? Lemme Holla at ya! HollaHollaHollaHollaHollaHollaHolla). Maybe you're that girl I had a crush on in High School! Whatever you do, whoever you are, it doesn't matter! What matters is that I will love you for exactly who you are! No judgments, no preconceived notions! All I ask, is that you remain open to the idea of love until we meet!

As for me! You'll find that when we meet, I will have, quite recently as a matter of fact, discovered my purpose. I imagine I'll be some sort of genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist.... yeah, just like Teddy Rist. (or Tony Stark, if you're not a fan of deep cut obscure references which are actually quite a bit more accurate). Or maybe I'll be a childlike but ruggedly handsome author like Richard Castle. Although I will be considerably less fictional. At any rate, I will be busy. Combined with you're being busy writing scholarly articles about fascinatingly obscure dialects... or bangin' dudes on camera... or whatever it is you do, I trust that you'll understand that the time I make to be with you, or the sacrifices I make to be supportive of you and your career are a big deal. All that I ask in return is that I be allowed to go (or come back) and attend some home football games of my beloved Alma Mater, The University of South Carolina. Ideally, I imagine that you would join me, but like I said, I don't want to interfere with your goals.

One thing that should be made absolutely clear is that I will be completely and unwaveringly faithful to you. It's not in me to cheat on you. ... If your job happens to be bangin' dudes though, please understand that we're never gonna get married until you retire. I mean, I suppose you could "work" exclusively with me... but I'm not that thrilled about being on camera, and quite honestly, I don't really measure up to your likely co-workers and I'd hate to be that guy who everybody sitting at home on their computers is mad at for keeping you from putting on a good show for them. The point is, I won't stray. Don't get me wrong, I'll watch porn (with or without you), and I may from time look at a nice ass or a great rack while we walk down the street. But you'll be the only one to whom I'll be "givin' the business". But if you cheat on me... well, I've been known to hold a grudge. And having moved around as much as I did when I was a kid, I find it pretty easy to just kind of... cut people out of my life. To that end, there will be a prenup! Not because I think our relationship will fail, but because it'll take a load of my mind to know that IF something goes wrong, you won't financially rape me for the rest of my life! And if I don't have to be paranoid about that, I can promise you that I'll be so much nicer.

 But I don't think either of us will have much reason to "step out on" the other. I mean, as long as we both continue to put forth a little effort, I figure we'll have a very satisfying sex life. By the way, you shouldn't be afraid to initiate whenever you feel like... which really is just as simple as letting me know you're not wearing any underwear. Might I also suggest, cooking in nothing but an apron...or simply walking around the house in the buff... or just getting my attention and biting your bottom lip and smiling while looking at me seductively. Flash me on the beach and we're headed straight for the water and it's on you if you lose your bikini in the surf! On the flip side, I trust that when I begin to grope and fondle you in the middle of the night or while you wash dishes, you won't complain of a headache or argue that the pots and pans really need to be scrubbed right at that moment. Spontaneity is the name of the game! Oh! And lest I forget... kinky is fine by me... just let me know, I'll play!  "What about simple PDA!?" you ask? Well, you know what they say, "Discretion is the better part of valor!" I admit, I'm not all together sure that applies, but you get the point. It plays into my next point. I don't want our friends to be put off by how kissy and cutesy and grab-assy we are. Don't get it twisted, I have every intention of being kissy and cutesy and grab-assy... but there is a time and place for that. For every other time and place...I think I can manage to be a bit more subtle!

Now that we've covered physical intimacy, a few things you should know about me. I'm not going to say "I love you" over and over again. If I've said it once...well, I'll let you know if I change my mind! I say that half jokingly. But really, don't read into it too much if I'm a bit taciturn. I'm naturally quiet and reserved. Also, if you ask me what I'm thinking about and I say "nothing"... I'm really not thinking of anything in particular. I mean, you can't honestly want to know every time I'm thinking about switching to a straight razor instead of the disposables, or when to go get the beer and brats for tailgating or if I've got any clean underwear left or whether I'm going to mow the lawn this weekend or trying to remember when the last time I had jelly beans was. If you really do want to know, that's fine too. Just don't hold it against me if I'm not immediately forthcoming with the trivial minutia. More importantly, don't hold it against me if I'm not enthralled by your trivial minutia. You don't have to tell me what you think of the new Venus razor you bought! Just know that I appreciate that your legs are silky smooth and tantalizingly touchable.  Also, "That's/It's fine." is an acceptable answer to any question that includes the words, "do you like". I was raised to believe that there is no need for twenty-five words when two will do just fine. If you absolutely insist on more, let me know and I'll make an effort, I swear I will. But if you don't tell me, I won't know! I think we'd benefit a great deal from a frank conversation early on in our relationship regarding hints and passive aggressive requests e.g. "I wish somebody would..."! Also, I want one son! He will be named after my grandfather, just as I was! Beyond that, everything else is negotiable!

I consider myself to be pretty open-minded and cultured. If you want to go to a concert or a museum or dancing, I'm totally willing to go with you! Likewise, If you've never seen Firefly or Farscape or The West Wing... well, I expect you to sit down and watch one or all of them with me! Call it balancing the scales for...well, any reality show you might want me to watch with you. Relationships are, as they say, a two way street. I think it's good to share some interests from the beginning! But, it's just as good, if not better, to develop some shared interests as we go along. So, being willing to try new things is kind of a big deal! In the same vein of sharing... I am willing to share the radio station presets in my car with you! Also, you may adorn my couch with a few (by which I mean, "no more than three") throw pillows. Of course, that doesn't come until after you've got space in the medicine cabinet and at least one drawer in my dresser. Ultimately though, when WE have OUR'll naturally get free reign. All I ask for at that point is for a man-cave and possibly a "super classy" study/office/library, with dark wood, and high backed arm chairs, and floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with leather bound volumes and one of those Old World globes that hides a decanter of scotch and a couple glasses.... maybe a cigar humidor...Yeah....!

Anyway! I think that just about covers it! Like I said, I doubt you'll come across this before we meet! But now, it's here for whenever we do! I look forward to the day when this will no longer be a huge waste of time!