Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unofficial endorsement of Timex watch.

Unofficially, I have found my Timex watch, Expedition brand, to be a valuable and enduring tool across the board in a range of applications.

I was initially drawn to its wristband, which is neither plastic nor metal, but some kind of textile. This yielding material has proven to be resistant to all the strains to which I subject the watch, and I am a fairly demanding user. I had found plastic and metal bands to be too easily broken.

One feature I am waiting for clarification of is the leap year registration. The watch does not input the current year when you set the time. How does it know how many days to allot to February? Each year I will have to check to see what the watch does at midnight at the end of February 28. That will be tonight this year.

Once this puzzle is settled I will allow my endorsement to become official, provided the watch proves able to negotiate leap years correctly.

The tassle.

When students go through the ceremony of graduation from high school or college they traditionally wear a gown, and a cap with a tassel. I knew this tradition before I graduated from high school. However, it wasn't until about the time I graduated from college, from Yale--the first time I graduated from college, that I ever heard of the tradition that upon the very act of receiving your diploma, from an official of the school as you walk across whatever platform they have arranged for all the graduates to be seen one at a time getting their diplomas in front of the assembled public and guests, you are supposed to grasp the tassel and move it from one side of your cap's mortarboard, to the opposite side, and you are supposed to have had it on a particular side beforehand, I'm not sure whether it's the left or right, in the front of the cap.

In thinking about the part of the tradition of moving the tassel as one crosses the stage right at the moment of getting one's diploma, it has occurred to me only very recently that there is a connection between this tradition and what I have heard to be a fetish about the object called a tassel. A fetish, it is my understanding, is something that inexplicably arouses someone. If it arouses you explicably, namely, it is a member of the opposite sex (I don't think homosexuality is a legitimate explanation for arousal) then it's not a fetish. And it was my understanding that any specific fetish arouses only a subset of the population. Curly, of the Three Stooges, had a tassel fetish. I always thought this inexplicable because I had never experienced arousal at anything resembling a tassel.

But I realized recently, as I said, because of an event following my graduation from high school--Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn, Illinois--that tassels are very powerful agents of arousal for everyone who hasn't felt the arousal from them yet. The tradition of moving the tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other assures that upon the arrival of certainty that a person will have his diploma he will confront a sexual fetish through physical contact with the skin of his fingers, a confrontation which he by virtue of his graduation, and all that it represents, will be equipped to experience, and the sooner the better before other things distract him from whatever lesson is carried in this little act. Plus, it is a public statement that he has been in contact with a fetish, something that he must face to become a trusted, freely moving member of the public.

I wouldn't have given such an analysis credence at the time I learned of the tradition of the tassel, but I am forced to conclude it is accurate in light of what happened to me on the day I received my high school diploma, afterward at a party thrown by a friend. I was sitting with a girl who I knew had a crush on me because she had told me so, and we were idly chatting and glowing in having graduated from high school.

I happened to have my tassel in my hand--we were absent our robes, which were all rented, but we were allowed to keep the tassels--and quite unconsciously she started to toy with it as well, and we sat there for some time talking. For some inexplicable reason I became unable to resist starting to pet with her. We kissed and it was clear that we were then a couple for all to see. I had never been sexually attracted to her. However, we began to date regularly and during Christmas break of the next school year, which we both had spent at different colleges, we consummated our relationship by coitus interruptus.

It is entirely beyond reason that I would start to date a girl I wasn't attracted to at a time immediately antecedent to my entrance into life as a college student, where I was certain to be surrounded socially by many more girls of my own intellectual calibre than was the case in high school, even despite the fact that since Yale was coeducating for the very first time in my freshman year there it would only be admitting 250 freshman girls into a 1250-member freshman class, and 50 girls into the sophomore and junior years, each.

But if it was the fact that the tassel had the effect of bridging the gap between myself and this girl, because all it takes so to bridge a couple is sexual opposition and an enabler, or fetish, then the whole matter of this girl in my life as she came to be is not inexplicable, but is quite explicable, and serves to explain as well why there is this tradition of moving the tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other as one receives his diploma walking across the stage at the graduation ceremony. I certainly have seen my life thrown into disarray by the effect of the tassel. Yet the ultimate result is good, because I have learned a great deal about sexuality, without getting married to do it.

After coitus with this girl I soon woke up to the fact that my options for partners were vastly superior in college, and I broke up with her over the phone after we were back at school. This ending served to prove the awareness benefits of coitus.

I don't mean to offend the girl here. She was a good intellectual comrade, and I never told her I wasn't attracted to her. But in fact, I was unable to get aroused by her when we were naked together so I imagined myself enacting what was the only way I knew would bring me to climax, which was another fetish--cross-dressing. This way I appeared to be her partner and she apparently was satisfied with me. The toward effect of the relationship was that I maintained a legitimate heterosexual partnership in public for a duration of about a year. This was a very different toward effect than that of feeling aroused by girls I really was attracted to. The issue for me was not so much who was my intellectual peer, something I regularly was able to learn about, but who was my erotic peer, and what magic would be able, ultimately, to bridge the gap between me and such a girl. The girl I did date proved I could bridge the gap and maintain it naturally for some time. But it was a weak eros. During college, both times, I learned much more than this about not only making a connection, but doing so with an erotic peer.

Crystal is an erotic peer of mine. Her morality is superior. This outweighs the deficit of her having no high school diploma. If she accepts me as her partner in marriage I can be sure our offspring will benefit from this as they cannot from me. Even I can benefit from her example, and I believe I am already doing so.

That, however, is a separate issue.

This issue is the reason resident in the tradition of moving the tassel from one side of the cap to the other on the graduation stage, when one grasps for the first time a token of public passage, his diploma.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The decision of the department of astronomy at Yale to admit me to their Ph.D. program starting in 1980 was a validation of my decision-making in something of a general way.

As such, it forces critics to look at outside reasons for my mental collapse in 1974. I was disregarded then by Ralph Montgomery and Bob Turner, who both held the position of Associate in the firm The Architects Collaborative where I was working as an apprentice, as a serious candidate for promotion as a seeker of the position of architect. Whether it was because I engaged in banter as a peer in the office, and in so doing left myself open to private judgments which may have been uncomplimentary because of the feeling of architects that as an apprentice I ought to not radiate my humanity so much because to them it was looked upon as superiority because they were not able to do it themselves to such a degree, that speculation is certainly relevant to any assessment of the events then as being either explanatory, or not, of the collapse. When the course of my employment had gone so far as to cement in everyone's eyes just what kind of an architect I looked to becoming, it was then time to watch what was made of it, and it so happens that just about nothing was made of it. In particular, no private gestures were made. Professions work by such gestures. Without them nothing evolves. And receiving none myself, it became tacitly obvious to me I was not going anywhere in that firm on the merits of my personal radiance. However, it was my feeling then, as it is now, that my humanity was uncommonly good and occupied a higher class of considerations than mere craft. Seeing no private gestures, I could come to only one conclusion--the firm that I had attributed good judgment to, as among the best in the profession from my vantage point, was unresponsive to my better nature, something I had come to appreciate as readily getting a positive response from friends at Yale as an undergraduate, people who had no need to see it as acting superior because they had no deficits themselves in terms of human radiance, each in his own way.

Because the firm did not warm to me professionally, and it was apparent that its judgment was equivalent to that of the whole profession, my entire dedication to the profession was dealt a serious blow. I could not sustain the exploration of all avenues of personal development as an architect. But it was a logical negative factor, being an across the board effect of equal volume everywhere, devaluing all my accumulated efforts, rather than a sharp effect on any single stand I had taken. No alternative reaction to what I actually did do was possible, and any fishing for such alternatives must begin with a rejection of one or other of my most innate qualities and long-established patterns of behavior.

Now you could say, "well, he didn't get promoted and became depressed." But this leaves out the fact that I was deeply involved in office life, and had a stake in everyone's own lives. I didn't know how important it was to look for private gestures. I thought my public stance would naturally lead me up the ladder of public promotion. It was my youth and lack of appreciation for minute interactions because I had never had a fulfilling romance, one that would slow me down and speed me up where those had natural rewards, respectively. All my romantic efforts to that date had been wild guesses, because my family life trailed behind my personal life, for better or worse, and this left me in a major struggle to find satisfaction in love. So when I felt great, I radiated it. At Yale, it was apparent where I was coming from because they had some idea of the kind of problems faced by people who outdistance their families. In architecture, it's more of a public world, and there are rough seas. People rely on private gestures because the public ones are so dangerous. I lived dangerous that way, living as a public person, because I sensed somehow I had a problem of rarity, one that only a rare confidante could comment to in any way, and in the mean time, life beckoned so I had to put my business out in public and play those risks as the only way to present myself fully. Well, bam, it went awry and I became mentally ill. But eventually I did meet the rare confidante. And pursuing that meeting, I was admitted to Yale's Ph.D. program in astronomy, a proof of good decision-making. But as a way to meet the rare confidante it was still dubious. I chose to go off medication, in order to confront the problems of love over developing the tools of craft. I travel this world not as a functional intelligence, but as a lack of a lover, until I find one. Hopefully Crystal Newell is the one. Yale's acceptance proved I had the makings of craft. In my position, really known only by me, this was a signal to look for love in a certain way, different from how I had looked before then. It was something I had needed ever since grade school, and all the romantic deprivation I had suffered then and afterwards was put into perspective by that acceptance, and assured me in a specific way that what I felt intuitively about my worth for love had actual proofs in the real world. It was time for a general release of conformity with expectations. It was time for walking into the world at large, perhaps no different a time than birth. It was time to risk, and ultimately to embrace, homelessness.

And in that decision to go off medication, there was enough sense and wisdom to lead me ultimately to be tapped by the Chicago elite society as a first. Same person, making the same decisions, to the same end. Part of recovering from mental illness is satisfying everyone that the decisions you made going into it were good ones. I have tried here to do that. Judge for yourself.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Day with Crystal

For Valentine's Day I took Crystal across the street to Zanzibar's for ice cream. I'm going to post about them on Yelp, forthwith. Here is the link.

fully endowed courtship capacity

The inception of a fully endowed courtship capacity in me, at the age of 59, is completely unanticipated.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the emergence of a better logistic for a species

Homosexuality is in my view a consequence of humanity's use of tools. Tools are a disengage. They produce bother upon bother. It is within this miasma, brought about originally because tools were seen as a boon without downside, that the confusion of homosexuality, and other confusions like it, came about.

Tools evolve a society of inequalities, injustices, and secrets, because of the elaborate involvement with keeping tools maintained in contrast to keeping the species up to date in the moment with all its powers applied to the biosphere directly. It is a society of eddies, where individuals fare vastly different fates for relatively insignificant reasons, and the elements that comprise the real species identity are never known. Scholars toy with all these most important of issues in familiar terms, content with fashion, tradition, and consensus, in the face of these inequalities that produce suffering, continuously at every moment.

We are living out the inertia of an earlier protean act by our species originator, accepting inequality as normal. An intelligent species origin will set its course in terms of elements of interaction, or logistics of sheer science and rigorous quantitative relationships between individuals descending from that origin and the natural universe they encounter.

First the tools must be circumscribed with a deeper logistical base, so that they lose their advantage to sheer science. A toolless science will better command tools than the science that breeds them. This will not have to be a matter of victories in every contest. Strategy will determine which victories to seek.

A population recipient to these ideas will produce a mating pool more ready to move in this direction. In mating itself, and in the creation of domestic structure, the rigorous quantitative relationships will take form. Management is a concept steeped in tools. A better logistic will triumph over it, in finance, commerce, and health, and lead to clearer military success, whether or not that means winning wars and subjugating peoples, which are of dubious value anyway. A more rigorous logistic will let people not ready to apply it reach their own inherent potential, strife being more a risk of delay and distraction than a field of competition and survival. The rigorous logistic will begin from a standpoint of balance, and move into areas of reduced uncertainty in larger contexts while allowing uncertainty to emerge in smaller ones.

This is a concept essentially sensible, having to do with the senses as the initial and final site of intelligence.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two of my drawings put up for auction on ebay.

I have put two of my colored pencil drawings up for auction on ebay. They are pictured above, and links to their ebay listings are here: top image. bottom image.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Romance with Crystal is heating up.

Tonight when I was seated in the second floor dayroom of my nursing home Crystal came in looking for something and briefly spoke to someone before leaving the room.

I was overwhelmed by her bearing and radiance.

Two days ago I realized that my accumulated idea of what it takes to win a girl is with Crystal absolutely inadequate. Her morality, combined with her bearing, which I had seen once before at the heroic level, are an order higher than anyone I have had a chance to pursue before.

While I had seen her heroic bearing before, this was the first time I have ever seen her so radiant.

This romance is heating up.