Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Online Dating

With the Saga of Hipster Girl nearing its end, I am pondering a question that I have for a while.

Let's start this off with a story. Last Wednesday was the last day that I will be at my class with Hipster Girl that isn't a final*. I basically decided that morning that I would at least try to talk to her and possibly determine whether or not an asking out would be reasonable. I built up my courage with all the things one uses to imagine another as just a regular person. So, when break happened, I was going to do it.

She went out into the hall and I went out shortly after. I looked over at her and my mind was like, "nope, we're just gonna go to the bathroom." I kind of gave my self the ultimatum of that being the "last chance" and that still didn't motivate me enough to get over my shyness. There's still the day of the final, but I feel like trying to get a date during finals is probably a bad idea.

People really like to say things like, "the worst she can say is 'no.'" But to me the reply to that type of statement is, "exactly." Being told, "no" by someone you want to say, "yes" really sucks. However, being told neither is a n ambiguous existence in which the reality I desire and the reality I don't are both reasonably plausible. It is a place that is miserable in a lot of ways, but it certainly is comfy for the fear of rejection to just hang out and kill your confidence.

I like to fancy myself as a pretty secure person. I know what I look like and am okay with it. I trust the people for which I care. However, my refusal to try for the risk of being turned down is a certainly not showing any security. However, that isn't it simply. As I see it the reasons I bailed from even speaking to the girl I've pined over in order are these:

-Pathological Shyness
-Social Anxiety
-Fear of Rejection 

I've struggled with shyness and anxiety for quite a while now. It makes it hard to build relationships or get jobs. I now I am a good worker and I think I'm a perfectly nice person, but the stuff that it takes for me to get in a position to show people those traits is hard for me. My nature kind of forces me to avoid being nice to someone initially with someone. I'm pretty much never comfortable enough to make small talk or compliment or anything with a relative stranger. It's not that I don't want to; I really do. I just can't bring myself to do it and the best way I can describe my feeling is that I don't feel worthy.

I feel like the boy-asks-girl-out model is not gonna work for me. However that is the standard and I'm not particularly attractive nor do I talk much, so there's little reason for a girl to ask me out even if she were willing to break out of social constraints. So, my prospect for getting a girlfriend is quite limited at least in those confines.

For the past several months I have been considering trying online dating. I feel like it would make initial contact much easier. Being able to do all the preliminary shit virtually would allow me to actually do it, because it is easy to have confidence on teh interwebz.

I realize that this isn't a cure all for a lot of my social  problems. I still would have to actually meet a person. I would probably have to be able to control my nerves enough to eat around someone. If I'm honest, as I've said before, the prospect of an actual date terrifies even if I really want a girlfriend.

I just don't know if it would really be a positive move or just an act of desperation though. There are lots of things that I need to work on and perhaps I should try to work them out before dating at all.

Leave your thoughts on this in comments.

Thanks for reading and please comment


*I am skipping this Wednesday for reasons. Very important reasons.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gaming Tuesday- Minecraft Zombie

It's been nearly a week since Minecraft came out for the Xbox 360. I was really skeptical that a game like that would actually work on a console. It seemed like it was something too time intensive, without a plot and lacked the sort linear, exciting action one expects from consoles. However, I will happily admit that I was wrong. I'm enjoying Minecraft on the Xbox more than I did on PC.

The reason is quite simple. I am not a PC gamer. I am not used to having to use a keyboard and mouse as controls, so as fun as Minecraft was it always felt wrong. It's not like Minecraft is a game that requires a lot of buttons, so porting it over to a controller was surprisingly intuitive. I feel more competent playing Minecraft on a console and I've learned from the mistakes I made on the PC version of the game.

On the PC, I made to grand of a plan to ever actually follow through with. However, on 360 I am starting out small and expanding. As for the boring details. I built a house and surrounded it with a wall that was 10 blocks high. Separate from that I made a mine. I dug it out and flooded it so that a monster can't approach the wall without drowning. I connected the mine and the house by a tunnel, which is permanently on fire with netherstone. I also dug out a secondary defense and filled it with netherstone and set it on fire and on top of the wall I planted cactus.

I've built a temple around the portal to the nether world and monument to the Flying Spaghetti monster. I've also added a 2nd story to my house and two floors below ground. My current mission is to find a dungeon so that I can get a saddle to ride a pig.

That's really the thing with Minecraft. It is riveting for no reason and there's always more to do. No game is capable of eating up more time than it. It will it take 3 hours or more without me even noticing. It is like the most effective agent of addiction there is. I can't explain to you exactly why I like, but I know that I do.

That's why I'm calling myself a "Minecraft Zombie*." Minecraft is to a player as brains are to a zombie. You start thinking and even dreaming of things as blocks. You walk up to trees and punch. You use real life time to develop plans and strategies for your next Minecraft session.

Fortunately, I am certain that I will get tired of Minecraft on 360 as I did on the PC. It's fun and all, but eventually the appeal of it will tapper off and other things will seem like better uses of my time. As for now though, I will keep on mining and crafting.

Thanks for reading


*There are zombies in the game who are more worthy of that title.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Constitutional Argument

Everyone is very upset about the ban on gay marriage that was passed by a popular vote in North Carolina on Tuesday. I certainly disagree with the Amendment, but it doesn't raise my ire that much. In more states than not Same-sex marriage is banned by the state's constitution. I live in Ohio and we've had one on the books for nearly 8 years. In many states that don't have a constitutional ban, it is still illegal*.

I am not so maddened by the result in North Carolina or anywhere else, because I know that it is coming whether it is popular or not. The overturning of Prop 8 in California will undoubtedly bring this issue to the Supreme Court. The Court would have to break precedent to uphold these bans.

Let's talk about the 14th Amendment. This is probably the most important amendment outside of the Bill of Rights. The immediate effect of this amendment was to stop the Southern States from doing anything to deny citizenship or rights to freed-slaves. It basically takes the Bill of Rights, particularly the Due-process Clause and applies it to the states. A citizen of the United States cannot be denied citizenship to the state in which he or she resides. A state has to give due process and equal protection under the law to all United State's citizens who reside there.

One can also look at the 14th Amendment as the final shot of the Civil War. The Union had many aims in it's fight, but ultimately what the war proved was what the Federal Government says goes. States can't nullify laws. States can't ignore court orders. If the Feds tell a state to do something, it had better do it or Sherman will march to the sea again on its ass.

The Equal Protection Clause is the most important part of the 14th Amendment for us too look at when considering bans on Gay Marriage. Here's Section One, which is really the only section that still holds any bearing on Today**:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

Equal protection (quite obviously) means that laws cannot be applied to one group and not another. Banning Gay Marriage certainly does that and the Courts won't allow it stand for much longer. Anyone who is a proponent of these bans will have to find an argument that proves these bans not be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and there isn't a reasonable one.

One can always make an argument against an Equal Protection claim. In this case it would be, "The ban applies to everyone. No one is allowed to marry anyone else of the same sex." That is effectively saying, "A law banning abortion applies to everyone, because men can't get abortions either.***" Perhaps in a vacuum those arguments would hold merit. Fortunately, the Court doesn't live in a vacuum and they can interpret and understand these laws for their actual intent and application, which is to treat homosexuals unequally.

The case that is most looked at on this issue is the 2003 decision in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. This ruled a ban on Sodomy in Texas, and therefore every other state with a similar law, unconstitutional. The Majority Opinion written by Justice Kennedy, who will likely be the swing vote if Same-sex marriage gets to the court soon, states that the 14th Amendment's Due Process clause protects the right of consenting adults to engage in whatever kind of sex they want to in private.

Lawrence v. Texas wasn't purely an Equal Protection case as the Same-sex marriage one will be. The decision was based on Due Process, because the men who brought the case had been arrested. However, the decision could as easily have been on the Equal Protection Clause as it was part of the oral argument for Lawrence. It basically would've been the same decision, if Kennedy had gone with the Equal Protection Clause.

So, I suspect when the day comes that the Supreme makes a decision about this, it'll be a 5-4 decision to overturn the bans on Gay marriage. Going back on Equal Protection precedent would catastrophic for all the advances this country has seen in Civil Rights. The Courts make up could change in the meantime, but as of now or if President Obama gets a second term****, I feel pretty confident same-sex couples will be marrying in this country before too terribly long.

Thanks for reading and please comment

*It was illegal in North Carolina as well, so the amendment was just a way to stick it to a group of people. 
**Section Two basically overturns the 3/5ths compromise, which still counts today, but it isn't the subject of any controversy.
***To be clear, Equal Protection isn't the first route you go when making a pro-choice constitutional argument. It works, but Due Process and the Implied Right of Privacy are better choices.
*I feel confident that he will.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Meant to Include This Story on the Last Post

This story goes between falling asleep drunk last Saturday night and waking up on Sunday. And I figure given the off-putting nature of my last dream post, why not do another one? So, now we go to drunk Michael sleeping on Pat's couch.

You know how sometimes when you';re dreaming something in that dream's reality is established fact and you don't really know how it came to be that way? Well, this dream has one of those things. In this dream, I was dying. I think from cancer, but the main point is that I am dying.

I'm laying in a hospital bed and there are three people in the room with me. They are my best friends Nick and Pat and Pat's girlfriend Sarita. It's pretty somber as one might expect. I had decided to be euthanized. Or maybe I hadn't decided, but it was what was going to happen.

So a nurse walks in with a syringe, jams it into the left side of my chest. She leaves and I've gotten this shot that is going to kill me. I don't feel like I'm dying though. My chest hurts and I'm a little drowsy, but that's it. I kept waiting for it finally set it. My friends were being nice to me as if trying to be make things normal on my behalf.

Eventually they all leave though, because they had something else to do. It seemed legitimate enough to me. I didn't feel like I was being ditched. However, my chest hurt like hell and I wasn't dead. Eventually, I get out of bed and walk out into the hallway.

I find the nurse and question why I'm not dead and she tells me that the hospital is running low on the stuff they use to kill people. Instead they had used a lot of codeine on me and that another shot would probably be necessary for me. At that point, I wanted to get out of it. I wanted to be euthanized by the proper stuff. She said that the tissue and muscles in my chest were already dead from the drug so that I wasn't really allowed to leave even if I wanted to. 

Then I wake up and it's like a quarter til six in the morning and I stagger to go take a piss and then back to the couch to fall asleep again.

Anyone wanna play Dr. Frued on this one? This one pretty well baffles me. I still find that last one I wrote about weirder and more memorable though.

Thanks for reading