Wednesday, February 6, 2013


We all wear masks. Each of us. You’re not quite the same person you are when you’re hanging with your old college friends that you are when you’re sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with your parents. We play roles.

Some of us are better at it than others. Some of us go further than others.

There’s a raging internal torment going on inside me. There might be one going on inside of you too. I don’t know. Why don’t I know? Because you hide it.




My masks are well defined. I’ve even given some of them names. I’ve taken this to an art form. As I arrive at work in the morning while my internal monologue is screaming at me about how pointless everything is, how empty and rancid my life has become, a friend texts me to ask how I’m doing. I look down at the screen and imagine replying

“I’m desolate. Hollow. Empty. Hopeless. I want nothing more than to die right the fuck now. How are you?”

I look over at Antonio and say “I think you had better take this.”

He says

“I’m wonderful, darling. How is my favorite beautiful princess this morning?”


Cheesy. Over the top. Flirting so obvious that it can’t possibly be taken seriously. That is Antonio. He comes in handy for certain people. The reply comes back “You’re in a good mood this morning!” No, I’m not. But I want you to believe I am, and I succeed.

I studied acting when I was younger. I was good at it. I think I was good at it for a reason. In method acting, you create a character in your mind. A living, breathing, thinking person that lives in your mind. This character is part your invention, and part you. You put it on like a costume, and you become the role. You don’t just say the lines in a convincing manner, you literally become the character you’re portraying. Their thoughts become your thoughts. Like an add-on module to yourself.

I have several of these characters. They don’t have lines in a play to read. They’re characters that I’ve created over the years to get me through day by day. People who can pretend to be normal for me so that nobody sees the empty pathetic shell behind the curtain, only the great and powerful Oz.

Heath Ledger died from this, by the way. He was so disturbed by the character of the Joker he had created that he overdosed while trying to cope with it.

Sometimes the masks come instinctively. I don’t even notice myself putting them on. I can’t help it sometimes. It’s like I can’t interact with any other humans without finding a role to play. Like my entire life is one long bizarre stage play with a multitude of roles all played by me.

But there’s one problem: sometimes, when nobody else is around and I have no role to play, when it’s just me, I wonder if there’s a real me under there, if any of these characters I play are in any way comprised of my real personality. If I have a real personality…

The answer: I don’t know.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I think your plan backfired…

Ok, I wasn’t necessarily going to write another blog post today, but I went to go look at my stats since I haven’t really been caring for the blog for a while, and I noticed something weird, the page hits were really high.

Even stranger, a lot of the hits seemed to come from here:

Um… That’s PZ Myers’s blog…. WTF is he doing linking to me? To, of all things, this blog post:

Well, as it turns out, the blog post was about booth babes at tech trade shows and a policy at the most recent Skepticon that discouraged booth babes. So I checked it out. I kind of stopped reading PZ a while ago, There’s a very negative vibe over at his blog and he seems to attract a very hateful crowd. I don’t give people a pass for being asshats just because they’re atheists. If you want to have a rational discussion with me, I’m game. But f your response to dissenting opinions is to be an asshat, I have better things to do with my time. That’s why I don’t spend any time reading PZ anymore. He and his readers seem to thrive on the very vitriol we insist to theists that we don’t spew. I want no part of that, so I choose not to participate. Don’t get me wrong, PZ is brilliant and I enjoy reading his explanations of science, but the vitriol gets old. It’s the same reason I decided not to participate in Atheism+ but rather dropped out of the atheist community. I have another blog post on that topic in the works, but the short version is Jenny McCreight came to Kansas City and changed my mind about Atheism+, but there’s still a lot of vitriol in that community, so while I agree with the virtues they espouse, I choose not to participate.

So back to the blog post: PZ didn’t link to me (ah damn). But one of the commenters did. Round about comment #140 a commenter with the unlikely handle of nightshadequeen posted a link to my post from five years ago about my trip to DevConnections and my experience with booth babes. The link read “*sigh*” and then she posted a large excerpt from the post without comment (without my permission, I might add. That content is technically copyrighted, but never mind that).

The interesting thing about this is that as far as I can tell nobody responded to her (I assume it’s a “her”), but quite a few people followed the link. That much I can tell from my blog stats.

My first thought is “how long did you scour Google looking for that? Couldn’t come up with something original on your own to say?”

My second thought is that she completely and totally entirely missed the point. Had she been inside a barn with a shotgun she would have missed the inside and blown her own foot off. I’m not condoning booth babes. Had she actually bothered to read the post instead of just copy/pasting it into a comment to get a little attention from the Pharyngula crowd, she might have gotten the point. She strikes me as somebody looking for a misogynist to fight. I suggest she contact my ex wife if she wants to pick a fight with somebody setting the women’s movement back by decades. Or centuries. Millennia, more accurately.

The point to the post was to chronicle my experience and my thoughts at the convention. I didn’t hire the booth babes, and they’re not why I went. It was an experience. I expounded on the fact that these vendors that do that sort of thing do so purposefully, and it works. It’s a normal biological reaction for a male to be attracted to an attractive woman of the variety that you normally only see on TV and to go butt-ass stupid around them, and they played me beautifully like a violin. It doesn’t help that I was married to a psycho bitch at the time and that I’m a geek who doesn’t normally attract attractive women. Honestly I wasn’t offering any opinion for or against booth babes, but I would be just as happy at a convention without them. The vendors, however, would not. It was also FIVE FUCKING YEARS AGO. My views have changed so dramatically since that post it’s not even funny. I didn’t even consider myself an atheist at the time.

So the total net result here is that my stats shot way up and I think I picked up a few new readers. Not, methinks, what nightshadequeen was aiming for. I find this kind of funny. It’s nice to have a few new visitors but the regulars at Pharyngula aren't necessarily the kind of readership I was looking for. I’m not entirely sure I want to get noticed by those people. I like the open comment policy I’ve had so far and would had to have to get my own “ban hammer” as they like to go on about over there.

O Hai! I haz a blog!

I’ve been mysteriously absent from my blog lately. Well, not so mysterious. Many of you know I fight depression. That’s pretty much the explanation in a nutshell. I’ve fought it for years. I was on medicine for it earlier that ironically made my mental state more unstable than I was without it. The rest of 2012 got kind of fucked up for me. I had my heart broken in a way I don’t think it ever has been, not even that girl from high school compares. I went in to kind of a downward spiral. I’m still at the bottom of that. I’d like to say I’m clawing my way back up, but I’m not. Not yet. I’ve driven nearly all of my real life friends away leaving me alone with my cats. Yep, I’m the crazy cat lady now.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Twitter, and I’ve found a few like minded people there. It’s strange getting support and encouragement from people I’ve never actually met when my real life friends all ran away. Welcome to the 21st century. Maybe this is better. When I was in high school there was no internet. We didn’t have cell phones. There was no mechanism for people having similar experiences to connect. Today there is. While I’m concerned that we seem to be spending less time actually connecting in person these days, I’m not so sure this is all bad. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. It is what it is.

I’m still having dreams about my ex girlfriend. It’s like I’m tapped in to some strange alternate reality where we never broke up and we’re happy together. Deliriously happy. I hate those dreams, because I wake up from them. They make real life seem like a nightmare. I wish I could stop having them. I have a few theories about why I’m still hung up on her, and why I fucked it up in the first place, but I’ll save those for another blog post. I intend to start writing here again some more. I apparently completely missed January.

Hello February. Fuck you, people who blew me off then expect me to write “Happy Birthday” on your Facebook page. You can suck it.