Hard times are only the other side of good times
but if you ever wished hard times were gone
you know what it's like to wish good times would come
And don't it seem like a long time
--- Rod Stewart, "Seems Like a Long Time"
Went to dinner at 74 and Zaftig's house. We talked about old times, new computers, getting older. 74 expressed amazement at his situation. He works for Very Well Known Software Company, makes a lot of money, and regularly gets sent to work conferences in places like Hawaii courtesy of his employer. He's reached that early stage of real material success, where one doesn't really believe it or understand how such a thing could happen, but actually deserves it after a decade or more of less rewarded toil. Most of my peers are in that stage of life. I'm still on the bottom rung, myself, but I suppose it feels sweet.
I'm listening to The Call Of the Wild on CD in my car now. I talked to 74 about how reading the classics is wasted on high schoolers and maybe even college kids. "For one thing," I said, "few high schoolers understand that this book, for example, is not really about things that happen to a bunch of dogs, but is an extended metaphor for Jack London's atavistic philosophy. Another thing high schoolers don't often pick up on is that Call Of the Wild sucks ass. That's the kind of fine discrimination of taste that only comes with later intellectual maturity."
But seriously, what makes an adult reader? Not being force-fed classics which are above your level of understanding --- or does it? What's the alternative? Not reading, or just reading junk, probably doesn't later develop into interest in reading serious material.
Here's another topic of our far-ranging and erudite conversation: do you like ice cream with stuff in it, or plain ice cream? Most people have a strong preference for one or the other, we thought. I myself like my ice cream to be packed with extraneous goodies: I don't eat a lot of the stuff at all, but on the rare occasions I do, I like rocky road, cookie dough, and Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.
Gunner, the friend's sister I mentioned a few days ago, let this drop in an e-mail to me: "Remind me to tell you about the time I was playing softball with [famous actress] and [household name] knocked me into a bush." Gunner is practically half my age. I tell ya, being a Pretty Young Fun-Loving Celebrity Hound is the life, apparently.
A co-worker, whom I've mentioned before as someone who's been flirting with me, made it very clear she wanted to go out with me. I (gracefully, I hope), said it was a total impossibility due to her age (much younger than me). When I later relayed this to Friar, his only response was, "Well, is she cute?" And that's the real crux, of course, though I'd be loath to hurt anyone's feelings. I, though a twisted ugly troll, rebuffed her because I don't find her attractive. This is like ray-eeeeee-ayn on your wedding day.
Survey: Money More Important Than Looks In a Man
In other breaking news, guys dig boobs.
I was all set tonight to write about how Ram was certainly out of my life, that I deleted all her information from my phone (not for the first time, but --- I thought --- certainly for the last), and that I wouldn't ever subject myself to hanging out with her again, since all she seems to want to do is ask me for academic help and rebuff me. Much to my surprise, however, she texted me today while I was at work, asking, "So I guess we don't speak to each other anymore?" Which was kind of weird, since it had only been a week, and we've gone months without a single communication before. But I guess the "your loss" exchange had the same note of finality to her as it did me, and, amazingly, she appears to have been to at least a tiny degree uncomfortable with that. I replied that I would love to hang out with her any time, but that she was extremely busy. Which is true.