January 2nd, 2008

These people are rich

9115 - Wednesday - 2008, day 2.

It's Danny's B-day! My internal schedule set in the 90s tells me that Kat and Pam's aren't too far off. I still picture all of them about a decade ago in my mind, even though I've only seen Danny with any frequency. (Kat once in person and in rare photos, Pam - not at all.)

Only a month until my own Birthday. I'm not feeling too bummed about it being the last year I start with a 3. (at least until I turn 300, I guess!) 39 seems a lot older to me than it feels. Maybe it's due to me being creaky and having back problems going back decades... but I'm not really feeling my age. I see lines around my eyes here and there... I look in the mirror when I brush my teeth and shave, but I don't see an old guy looking back at me. However... I don't see a kid, either. I certainly look a lot older now than when I started this journal in 2000. (and certainly more than in 1996, about 11 years ago here and my face squished against a scanner in '96, too, for that matter. ) Heck, if I have to rewind much more, I may as well link to a non-bearded pic of me from circa 1994, for that matter. Added bonus, Doug Wu and a clean-shaven Danny. Speaking of which - I've started growing a full beard out again, and it stuns me how much salt and pepper is in what was once a brownish-red jaw. I kind of dig it, not from a vanity perspective, but it feels right at this time of year to be a bit more furry.

When is a mid-life crisis supposed to hit? Ah, got it. 46, or thereabouts. Things are really quite good for me these days... Hopefully I won't suffer the same sort of psychological shakeup that some folks have at that time. On the agenda for this year is a more serious focus on health.

Of course, Newton has aged the most since I've started my LJ - First day I had him, back in the day... October of '99 , and About the same time in 07. He's still terribly dapper, and can put on a kitten-face easily when he wants.

BHK and Pye both are babyfaces across the board. I think BHK will be carded for booze when she turns 73.

I would love to make or just have this Beast (Henry McCoy) Sock Monkey. Very Keen!

Of the millions of webcomics out there, I've really only found about 3 that are funny, interesting, or well-drawn. Short of some clever stick figures and more well-rounded stick figures, not much about them thrill me.

I'm wondering when that cottage industry will have a culling period? I suspect never, and that's pretty great. Something for everyone, even if it's just the creator. Something that many critics forget is that they can choose not to read something that they find to be distasteful - or worse, boring. Same goes for podcasts, videos and journals, for that matter.

I didn't do the polar bear swim this year... just didn't seem like much of an event, given how unseasonably warm it was. Of course, today, it's snow weather... Perversely, I'd have done it if the weather was like this yesterday.

Time for a Meme, already? sure, why not? I got 23 out of 37 possible.

The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

According to the creators, this is an activity "designed to help the participants gain awareness of the vast range of social class that exists within themselves and others". It was originally done with college students but I think it makes for a very interesting tool that helps me put my own experiences into perspective.

If you post this in your journal, please leave a comment on this post. To participate in this blog game, copy and paste the above list into your blog, and bold the items that are true for you. If you don't have a blog, feel free to post your responses in the comments.

When you were in college:

If your father went to college, take a step forward.
If your father finished college
If your mother went to college
If your mother finished college
If you have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
If you were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
If you had a computer at home
If you had your own computer at home
If you had more than 50 books at home
If you had more than 500 books at home
If were read children's books by a parent
If you ever had lessons of any kind
If you had more than two kinds of lessons
If the people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
If you had a credit card with your name on it
If you have less than $5000 in student loans
If you have no student loans
If you went to a private high school
If you went to summer camp
If you had a private tutor
If you have been to Europe
If your family vacations involved staying at hotels
If all of your clothing has been new and bought at the mall
If your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
If there was original art in your house
If you had a phone in your room
If you lived in a single family house
If your parent own their own house or apartment
If you had your own room
If you participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
If you had your own cell phone in High School
If you had your own TV in your room in High School
If you opened a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
If you have ever flown anywhere on a commercial airline
If you ever went on a cruise with your family
If your parents took you to museums and art galleries
If you were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.

Here is what folks did in a live version, stepping forward for each bolded item :

Now everyone recognize that you are at the same place academically.
Everyone turn around.
Everyone has permission to talk.
No one has permission to accuse any one or any group of anything.
Everyone must use “I” statements.
Note that the people on one end of the room had to work harder to be here today than the people at the other end of the room. Some of you had lives of more privilege than others. There is no one to blame, it is just the way it is. Some have privilege and some don’t.
(this can be said now or later, I don’t know where it will be appropriate)

What were the feelings that you had during this experience? Who was angry?
(Anger will be a primary emotion at this point.)
What, specifically, makes you angry?
Who are you angry at?

Who was happy?

Summary Statement
This experience was about creating awareness of privilege. What it is, what it does, and what it means. Having privilege does not mean that you worked less hard. All it means is that you had a head start, so maybe it does mean you didn’t have to work as hard . . . .

During the next week notice how your high school years helped or didn’t help your experience in school/at work . . . .

Explanations and Notes:
All of the step taking was about things not requiring effort on the students’ part, that were things done by others.

1 year ago - polar bear swim review, polar bears in general

2 years ago - prisoner commentary on my lack of things to say, linkies to cams, mugshots, thumbs up, tiny & affordable computers, ultimate showdown, windows security hole psa

3 years ago - Mel's Gram moves in, Dan doesn't meet her, on call, A&E, smallware, a resolution I fairly succeeded at, curry on the brain

4 years ago - dropload, shoot around corners, I first hear about how capital punishment is a far more expensive system than one whose maximum penalty is life in prison, Urban Exploration Florida

5 years ago - bro/taxi trouble, conquer the world, smoking gun mug shots

6 years ago - Random Name Generator, gunplay dream, family channel, Scotto's head,2001 review, Japanese space shuttle, Afghan sports, pee color

7 years ago - words within words, I disagree with Georgia O'Keeffe, LJ bumpyGeotarget