March 16, 2015ramble

I do like Japanese infinite toys. I remember bringing a bunch of the bubble wrap back from Japan. shameless pandering for people to go to youtube and Thumbs Up this video I have a cameo in! A friend is campaigning to be a playtester for Exploding Kittens, a new game tied in with The Oatmeal...
Follow up to yesterday's note on "expecting to be annoyed"... on FB David H said the attitude might be called a form of "realist optimism" and Tim K wrote:
t could also be seen as a sort of Zen-like acceptance. Truthfully, I think the real wisdom of not allowing oneself to be stressed by or overly focused on things outside one's ability to control or influence is an element of just about any philosophical branch. It's sort of one of those universal truths, that is expressed differently in different contexts, but boils down to the same thing in the end.

My response was
Tim you're right that it's a fairly common sentiment, but some of the nuance is important. For instance I dig neo-stoicism (see ) over Zen because of how it doesn't discourage embracing of the pleasant (unlike Zen's encouragement to detach from positive and negative-- and usual disclaimers about my understanding of Zen apply)

In this case, it's the setting of expectations that is useful for my temperament, in a way mere acceptance in real time doesn't. Lower parts of my intellect get flustered and worried when things go wrong, and I become so aware of "THIS COULD BE OTHERWISE AND THAT WOULD BE BETTER FOR ME" that I'm prone to immature outbursts of anger. (Homer Simpson's stuck-in-traffic "Lousy Minor Setback! THIS WORLD SUCKS!" sums it up pretty well.)

With "mere acceptance", I can quickly quell the outburst, but it's more effective to have prepped the landscape with the expectation that things will utterly fail to live up to my self-centered ideal for them.

Just like Homer Simpson provides a good model for the rage, Garry Gergich from Parks & Recreation is a good model for calm acceptance of terrible and stupid things happening to one. (To borrow TV Trope's term, he's the Butt Monkey of the show, but then the writers make it up to the character by giving him an amazing wife and family situation.)

So we got the record for snow (funny, I remember 92-93, my freshman year, a bit more strongly than the 95-96 previous record holder, even though 92-93 is only like 7th on the list now) but the more amazing bit was how much of that was in one month. But of course, Capracotta Italy is making us look like rookies.

We're going to be amazed at how calm and gentle our environment was for us, in retrospect.
"I think dead is really a thing just like alive except you have less choices to make."
--Yvonne "Batgirl" Craig, in this interview