September 9th, 2007

Books

On Vox: Thoughts on 'Why I don't go [back] to @places [alone]'? Part One

There was that Con thing, which managed to avoid without too much trouble.  I had the usual excuses of qw{ money never_been_before crowded } and to that one I added quietly that I wouldn't want to go alone. This kicked off a line of inquiry related to the forced socialization programme.

Hmmm.. Freshman year, at a very small school, I hit it off (that is the expression, yes?) with the entire collection of other weirdoes, generally collected around the Astronomy Club. We went to Huddle House almost every night and hung out there till decent hours of the morning, or would just bum around on the sectional furniture in the Stupid Center on campus. I cannot at the moment recall quite how I met any of them, although in at least one case I think it was because I was lounging in the Stupid Center..  A pattern quickly developed whereby we all clung together for support and protection, and we had goofy fun which mostly involved bad television and talking.

Sophmore year, there was a similar phenomenon. This time it was the anime geeks, and there were no young women in the core croup. (At YHC the group was primarily female, most of them upperclassmen).

After I moved back home and went to work, and then eventually to community college I didn't 'hang out' regularly with anyone until I met sophocles and we glommed onto each other. We then spent the next few years seeing each other once or twice a week with a mix of watching bad telly, playing billiards poorly, sparring and sitting for hours at Waffle House commiserating with each other and the other regulars.  The vast majority of the time was spent on that last bit.

Then, again without any useful literary transition, there was the Cyber Cafe of Rainbow Doom.  A larger venue, a much more varied group, and somehow I got in the habit of intentionally leaving home and driving there alone. And nearly always leaving in the same manner.

Current observations: I am reluctant to go out anywhere alone, even putting off mildly important errands on the chance of getting some one to go with me.  this not to say that I don't buy food or take the car in without a co-pilot, but that I have a strong preference not to do so. And this extends strongly (originated with) purely social functions. 

And thus we close Part One of N having introduced the question in some manner of fullness.

Originally posted on adric.vox.com

Books

On Vox: Thoughts on 'Why I don't go [back] to @places [alone]'? Part Two

The Con brought all that up, actually a few before it when everyone started asking me if I was going.  I've mulling on it since then and trying to find ways to characterize the behaviour. Many of the seem to begin with 'I don't' or 'I'm not the kind of sentient that' and these are constructions that I have been working to eliminate, at least in internal dialogue. So, I am in need of better explanations, or I shall have to try and alter the behaviour.

Con is probaly the largest and most terrifying such event/venue/opportunity.  The immediate example is last night, at Single Malt Who, wherein I went (with sotto_voce) and met many interesting and fun people who I definitely share some mental space with.  There were CS major jokes (Is polyamory in a closed group N-P complete? What the big O of your search algorithm) security dork jokes ( all Bruce Schneier joke should be written in three lines of Perl and delivered on a t-shirt to evade ITAR) and linguistics and grammar humour from several languagages. And we shared stories about international relations (I told mine about nearly failing to accidentally bribe a customs offical while simultaneous nearly missing my train out of Gar du Nord).  And I experienced Veggie Tales .. which I can't easily describe, but there were good arguments for it being a force for good, and not evil. And of course there was talk of Con and OKCupid.   Oh yes, and the there was Rowan Atkinson spoofing 1980s Dr Who. That was very funny indeed. And I got asked if I'd been to a Gathering1 and encouraged to go to one, which (the recommendation) has happened before but it has been some time... and I've not been.

So, in the thrilling escape from Stone Mountain (neither really, sorry) later I had already formed some ideas.  It really did seems like I had some common ground with those folk, and several of them were attractive on a least a couple levels. The coupling was pretty well established (married folk and the like), which I register as a discouragement.  And my other strong feeling was that those people were all way too successful for me to hang out with.  I mean they all seem to have finished school, or be in grad school, or be teaching school or otherwise have exciting work that may involve lots of travel.  I would like to go back, and will if I'm able.  Whether or not I'll be able to get myself back there ... completes the introduction to the question at hand.

1: I dunno. Perhaps because I mentioned in a discussion of OKCupid algorithms that it practically only showed me witchy poly people. I don't think I displayed any inclination towards pagani. I mean I am a weirdo2 and all... *shrug*

2: Bus Driver: "You girls be careful out in the park. There are weirdoes about." Witch: "Mister, we are the weirdoes!" -- The Craft

Originally posted on adric.vox.com