Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion) (montecristo) wrote,
Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)

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Characteristics, values, virtues, idioms, predilections, idiosyncrasies, and foolish memes.

So when I find myself alone and unworthy,
I think about all of the things I learned,
From the fine, fine women with nothing but good intentions,
--Semisonic: "Chemistry"
Since the ex left, I've given a lot of thought to what really attracts me to someone -- what I would look for if I were going to take up with a partner again. I've seen a great deal, and learned a few valuable things. I know some very inspiring, thoughtful, and smart people. One of these days I hope to compile it all -- to draft out the cartography of my personal love-map -- and post it somewhere so that I can organize my thoughts and get my values clarified as it were. Until then, the insights come in disordered snippets of introspection. I think a lot about values and just what the hell is in my love map. What does it really mean, to value certain qualities? You can ask people what they find attractive, and invariably you end up with some sort of list of qualities. What does such a list mean though? You can jot down a virtue like "courage" but what does it mean to say that you value courage? Doesn't your list really comprise things that would make someone unattractive if they lacked that virtue? Does anyone value cowardice? If something is a virtue, doesn't that pretty much stand to reason that it is universally valued? In that case, what makes a person uniquely value someone else? This is an issue I have with Ayn Rand and the philosophy of Objectivism. People are more than just a summary list of values. If you fall in love with someone, you love them for more than just a bare list of values; you love them for a whole gamut of characteristics, a significant subset of which are universal values, but some of them are things like personal idioms, arbitrary likes, predilections, and fondnesses, physical features and abilities, and even idiosyncrasies. If you cherish someone and then were to meet someone else who was a superset of all your love's values and who had n+1 values, you'd not necessarily switch to loving that new person better. In Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, one of the more difficult things Rand had to sell to me, as a reader, was the idea that Dagny, the heroine, would throw-over well-developed characters like Hank Rearden, and especially Francisco D'Anconia, both of whom had significant and actual romantic involvements with her, and fall for John Galt, a man who had no prior interaction with her and remained pretty much an abstract list of hypothetical virtues for most of the novel.

Last week or so, I got to thinking about this idea of virtues, values, and characteristics when contemplating something I told two of my friends when they each were contemplating happy news on their respective pages: "There is nothing more inspiringly beautiful than the sight of a happy woman." It's true, at the very least it is truth in my personal book. It occurred to me that two characteristics in a woman's character/personality that I really value are: a capacity for joy and a sense of whimsy. It seems to me that those two things are not necessarily really universal virtues to everyone. After all, there are many staid and even downright dour people in the world, and they need love too, and frequently find it, so someone must not mind, or perhaps even enjoys or treasures, the women of serious mien or no-nonsense character, who approach life as more of a worthy job or a heroic struggle. I just know that's not me.

I think that capacity for joy and sense of whimsy could be two of the common denominators among all of the women to whom I have ever been attracted. Certainly, the ex had those two characteristics. For all of the anger and frustration I went through with her, and the scorn I had for her behavior, to give the devil her due, she did have those two virtues in her sense of life. She always wondered how I could come to the conclusions that I did about her, over some of the things she did, like the fact that she behaved deceitfully and was often self-absorbed, and yet still be attracted to her. I never was able to make her see that people are more complex than two-dimensional heroes and villains, and that most of the time, her virtues and other endearing characteristics carried more weight with me than her flaws. I suppose that this is still true, even though I have such trouble dealing with her directly anymore.

Pop Quiz: Name Five Idiosyncrasies That You Have
About a month ago, minstrel70 did a meme involving the identification of five personal idiosyncrasies. Actually, I was intrigued by the exercise, so I thought about it a bit, and then I realized that it is actually hard, at least for me, to come up with five idiosyncrasies right out of thin air like that. You don't think of your own foibles and ways of acting as being idiosyncrasies in the first place, at least, I don't. I wondered if this were difficult to do for other people. I took an informal poll of some of the people at work. I didn't want to put them on the spot about idiosyncrasies which were potentially embarrassing, so I asked them instead, how fast could they think of or identify five idiosyncrasies that they have. Most of them got three within about ten minutes and weren't shy about sharing them, as they were pretty harmless, but all of the people I asked needed more time than about fifteen minutes to come up with more than three. It took me about an hour to think up five things about me that could be considered idiosyncrasies.

Some of my idiosyncrasies:

id • i • o • syn • cra • sy -- noun
pl. -- id • i • o • syn • cra • sies

  1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
  2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
  3. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.
List five of your own idiosyncrasies and tag five friends to do the same.

Tagged by: minstrel70

  1. I'm an Neo-Objectivist-leaning, atheistic, anarcho-capitalist. I'm for free markets and decriminalized drugs, against empire, mercantilism, welfare, and gun control. I'm not quite sure if one's political beliefs can be classed as "idiosyncrasies" but I have to admit that mine are unusual and besides, minstrel70 got away with claiming something similar when he did this meme.
  2. I don't mind ear-worms -- those songs or fragments of music that seem to get stuck in people's heads. In fact, I appreciate them. I have an "Internal DJ," and when I'm not listening to music, she often "spins tunes" for me in my head. Unlike many people, I don't get annoyed at being drawn into some piece of music and have it running repeatedly through my mind. I figure if it's in my head, it's there for some reason cooked up by my psyche (in the guise of my internal DJ), even if I fail to consciously identify that reason.
  3. I had kinky desires long years before I ever even knew what kink or sex even was. It's nothing completely outrageous and it's not like an obsession or anything, but apparently, it didn't follow the average sexual development. I was precocious. I'm not one of those people who make "a lifestyle" out of their sexuality, and I can't understand the need to be an exhibitionist or make public art of it, although once upon a time I thought about what that would be like to get totally into a "kinked" lifestyle. Of course, life is more than sex. Nevertheless, every once in awhile, I get a hankering for some spicy kinks I tend to fancy.
  4. I'm a natural lucid dreamer, but my lucid dreams occur only sporadically, and I have previously lacked the discipline to develop the talent. Before I went to college, I just assumed that everyone had the ability to know when they were dreaming and the power to manipulate the stuff of their dreams. I have some interesting dream skills, but it's by far not an impressive catalog.
  5. I have a strong, perverse contrary streak. I love thinking outside of the box, and I very much dislike and resist being bamboozled, pushed, imposed upon, threatened, blackmailed, rushed, intimidated, or subjected to "a hard sell." When I feel subjected to those tactics I can be freakishly inventive at warping the outcome to derail the intent of anyone who tries them.
I tag:

What have you done, lately?
I also got tagged on another meme... I saw this one cross fearsclave's page, and he tagged prolixfootle, so I knew that I would be next, so I started working on this one. It is yet another of those memes where you bold the items that apply to you. There are not as many surprising items on this one, compared with the last one I did.

The Rules:

  1. Bold the following that apply to you.
  2. Italicize things you wish applied to you
  3. Add something(s) that apply to you. Phrase the item(s) in the first person, and phrase them generally, so that they could conceivably apply to anyone or at least any member of one sex or group. Don't use conditionals or list things that are only desired -- if it is only the case that you wish the item applied to you, list the item as if it did apply, but then use italics, i.e. I have been in a food fight. I own a humvee. etc.
  4. Tag five more people.

I was tagged by: prolixfootle (as expected, when fearsclave tagged him).

I tag: Nobody. Come on, I wouldn't saddle anyone with this monster. Play if you feel like it!

  • I have been vaccinated against rabies.
  • I've skydived solo.
  • I miss somebody right now.
  • I don’t watch much TV these days.
  • I love olives. (only mostly the black ones) (only on pizza)
  • I own lots of books.
  • I wear glasses or contact lenses.
  • I love to play video games.
  • I’ve tried marijuana.
  • I’ve watched porn movies.
  • I have been in a threesome.
  • I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.
  • I believe honesty is usually the best policy.
  • I curse sometimes.
  • I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.
  • I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
  • I’m TOTALLY smart. (and not very humble)
  • I’ve broken someone’s bones.
  • I have a secret that I am ashamed to reveal.
  • I hate the rain.
  • I’m paranoid at times.
  • I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
  • I need money right now.
  • I love sushi.
  • I talk really, really fast.
  • I have fresh breath in the morning.
  • I have long hair.
  • I have lost money in Las Vegas. (not much -- it was a tourist thing)
  • I have at least one sibling.
  • I was born in a country outside of the U.S.
  • I have worn fake hair/fingernails/eyelashes in the past.
  • I couldn’t survive without Caller I.D.
  • I like the way that I look.
  • I have lied to a good friend in the last 6 months.
  • I know how to cornrow.
  • I am usually pessimistic.
  • I have a lot of mood swings.
  • I think prostitution should be legalized.
  • I think Britney Spears is pretty.
  • I slept with a Suitemate.
  • I have a hidden talent.
  • I’m always hyper no matter how much sugar I have.
  • I have a lot of friends.
  • I am currently single.
  • I have pecked someone of the same sex.
  • I enjoy talking on the phone.
  • I practically live in sweatpants or PJ pants.
  • I love to shop.
  • I enjoy window shopping.
  • I would rather shop than eat.
  • I would classify myself as ghetto.
  • I’m bourgie and have worn a sweater tied around my shoulders.
  • I’m obsessed with my Xanga or Livejournal. (Eh? Define "obsessed". It's debatable.)
  • I don’t hate anyone. I dislike them.
  • I’m a pretty good dancer.
  • I've seen someone die in person.
  • I’m completely embarrassed to be seen with my mother.
  • I have a cell phone.
  • I believe in a god(s).
  • I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months.
  • I’ve rejected someone before.
  • I currently like someone.
  • I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.
  • I have children. (Been there, done that, could do it again. Fun, fun, fun!)
  • I have changed a diaper before.
  • I’ve called the cops on a friend before.
  • I am a member of the Tom Green fan club.
  • I’m not allergic to anything.
  • I have a lot to learn.
  • I have been with someone at least 10 years older or younger.
  • I am shy around the opposite sex.
  • I’m online 24/7, even as an away message.
  • I have at least 5 away messages saved.
  • I have tried alcohol or drugs before.
  • I have made a move on a friend’s significant other or crush in the past.
  • I own the "South Park" movie.
  • I have avoided assignments at work/school to be on Xanga or Livejournal.
  • I played "the birds and the bees" with a neighbor or chum when I was a kid.
  • I enjoy some country music. (Damned little of it, but some.)
  • I would die for my best friends. (Definitely depends upon the circumstances though.)
  • I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza.
  • I watch soap operas whenever I can.
  • I’m obsessive, and often a perfectionist.
  • I have used my sexuality to advance my career.
  • I love Michael Jackson, scandals and all.
  • I know all the words to Slick Rick’s "Children’s Story".
  • I believe Halloween is awesome because you get free candy.
  • I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it.
  • I have dated a close friend’s ex.
  • I like surveys/memes. (Sometimes)
  • I am happy at this moment.
  • I’m obsessed with guys.
  • I am a Democrat.
  • I am a Conservative Republican.
  • I am a registered independent voter.
  • I am a Libertarian.
  • I am an Anarcho-capitalist.
  • I am punk rockish.
  • I am preppy.
  • I go for older guys/girls, not younger.
  • I study for tests most of the time. (I haven't taken any for years, but...)
  • I tie my shoelaces differently from anyone I’ve ever met.
  • I can work on a car. (When I have to do so)
  • I love my job.
  • I am comfortable with who I am right now.
  • I have more than just my ears pierced.
  • I walk barefoot wherever I can. (Heh. Sounds like my ex-wife)
  • I have jumped off a bridge.
  • I love sea turtles.
  • I spend ridiculous amounts of money on makeup.
  • I believe in prophetic dreams
  • I plan on achieving a major goal/dream.
  • I am proficient on a musical instrument. (I used to be proficient.)
  • I worked at McDonald’s restaurant.
  • I hate office jobs.
  • I like sci-fi movies.
  • I think water rules.
  • I went to college out of state.
  • I am adopted.
  • I like sausage.
  • I am a pyro. (Well, not quite, but I really like fire.)
  • I love the Red Sox.
  • I have thrown up from crying too much.
  • I have been intentionally hurt by people that I loved.
  • I love kisses. (There are those who don't?)
  • I fall for the worst people and have been hurt every time.
  • I adore bright colors.
  • I love Dear Abby.
  • I can’t live without black eyeliner.
  • I think school is awesome.
  • I think pigtails serve a purpose.
  • I don’t know why the hell I just did this stupid thing.
  • I usually like covers better than originals.
  • I don’t like multi-textured ice cream.
  • I think John Cusack is adorable.
  • I fucking hate chain theme restaurants like Applebees and TGIFridays
  • I watch Food Network way too much.
  • I love coaching youth sports.
  • I can pick up things with my toes. (This is very handy in the shower.) (Obviously, this is not a hidden talent.)
  • I can’t whistle.
  • I can move my tongue in waves, much like a snakes’ slither. (This is not a hidden talent, either.)
  • I have ridden/owned a horse.
  • I still have every journal I’ve ever written in.
  • I can’t stick to a diet. (...but my diet frequently sticks to me?)
  • I talk in my sleep. (It's rare, but someone once told me that I did.)
  • I’ve often thought that I was born in the wrong century.
  • I try to forget things by drowning them out with loads of distractions.
  • Climbing trees is a brilliant past-time. (It has its attractions)
  • I have jazz in my blood. (Not sure what this means, but I like it, a lot.)
  • I would not be friends if they weren’t family.
  • I wear a toe ring.
  • I have a tattoo.
  • I can't stand at LEAST one person that I work with.
  • I am a caffeine junkie. (Recovered!)
  • I know who Santos L. Halper is.
  • I read trashy romance novels and I am ashamed.
  • I love wrestling.
  • I am completely tree-huggy spiritual, and I'm not ashamed at all.
  • If I knew I would get away with it, I would commit at least one murder.
  • I cosplayed or know what cosplaying is. (Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.)
  • I'm kinky.
  • I have a fetish
  • I'm gay.
  • I have been to over 15 conventions.
  • I will collect anything, and the more nonsensical, the better.
  • I enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner.
  • I'm an artist.
  • I have a goal to collect every Johnny Depp movie ever made.
  • I am ambidextrous.
  • I sleep with so many stuffed animals, I can hardly fit on my bed.
  • My computer has a name. (Yes, to identify it to the network.)
  • If it weren't for having to see other people naked, I'd live in a nudist colony.
  • I have terrible teeth.
  • I hate my toes. (I hate my feet completely--well, I like that they get me places, but beyond that...)
  • I did this Meme even though I wasn't tagged by the person who took it before me.
  • I have more friends on the internet than in real life.
  • I have lived in either three different states or countries.
  • I am extremely flexible.
  • I love hugs more than kisses.
  • I want to own my own business.
  • I smoke or tried cigarettes.
  • I have met a star from ABC's LOST.
  • I spend way too much time on the computer than on anything else.
  • I've never been described as normal.
  • Sad movies, songs, games, fics and the like can cause a trickle of tear every now and then. (Shit happens)
  • I am proficient in the use of one or more types firearms or combat weapons.
  • I like the way women look in stylized men's suits.
  • I don't like it when people are unpleased or seem unpleased with me.
  • I have been described as a dreamer or likely to have my head up in the cloud
  • I have played tennis with my non dominant hand before
  • I have played strip poker with someone else before (Yawn)
  • I read the labels on food, shampoo, and other things just because.
  • I have emotional problems for which I have sought professional help.
  • I believe I am in love with a Japanese rock star.
  • I prefer cold and dry climates.
  • I'm in love with someone right now
  • I don't plan to stay in my present city for more than two years more
  • I feel that I know what my true calling is
  • I'm still looking to the stars for that ride back home.
  • I'm not ashamed to be blunt
  • My boobs hurt right now. (Why do women frequently feel a need to announce this? Do they want them rubbed or something?)
  • I have never experienced the runner's high and believe it is a myth.
  • I have or had a pet cat.
  • I have or had a pet dog.

Tags: humor, introspection, love, memes, values, who i am

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