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Let's Try Unconscious Mutterings Again

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:38

From Unconscious Mutterings:

I say … and you think … ?
  1. Confirmation :: Class
  2. Verse :: Shakespeare
  3. Authorize :: Starship Autodestruct
  4. Blog :: More
  5. Thirty :: A few years from now
  6. Heir :: Apparent
  7. What are you doing? :: Answering a meme.
  8. Complaint :: No word from A.G.
  9. Leave :: A message after the tone.
  10. Tune :: The Star's Song by Erin Bode

The Last Post

By Tim Butler | Posted at 20:18

Here is the last post of the year. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve. It has been an interesting year — not what I hoped, but not a bad year by any means. For what it is worth, my resolution for the new year is to improve my blogging frequency. :) What's yours?

Life and Stuff

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:50

It seems like this semester has been wild — inexplicably so — to the point that blogging just isn't happening. Which is a shame. I find I am far better off when I blog, since blogging is often a way to process things and get ideas. I need to make myself pick up the habit of writing a blog post a day, even if it is a short one. That sort of goal helps to make one pull stuff out and analyze it, rather than just wait for the “perfect post.”

Instead, it leads me to post posts like this one. Fancy that.

Wednesday Weirdness

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:25

From Wednesday Weirdness. Feel free to put your answers in the comments.

1.) Do you think you're approachable?

I think so. I hope so. I don't know, what do y'all think?

2.) Out of the two, would you rather be able to predict things before they happened or be able to read minds whenever you wanted to? Why?

I think I'd go with “predict things before they happened,” that would be really helpful. My suspicion is that reading minds could be relatively unpleasant. Although, I could think of a few times that it would have been useful and still would be. The two would work in tandem nicely.

3.) Have you ever kissed, fooled around or slept with an ex significant other AFTER you were already broken up?

No. Two wouldn't be appropriate even before a breakup unless we're talking marriage here, so certainly not after.

4.) Do you believe dreams are your imagination running wild as you sleep, your subconscious showing you what's really on your mind or something else entirely?

A little of each. I think it certainly is a chance for my imagination to run wild, but it also sometimes seems like dreams will remind me of things that may have been under the surface bothering me but I had not (recently) thought directly about. Freud did get some things right.

Dreams can sometimes be quite painful in that respect.

5.) How often do you use cuss words? Does your use of cuss words vary on your moods or situations?

I don't. I gained somewhat of an amusing reputation in the English program at LU because I would “adjust” certain words if I were reading a part in a play. It was a running joke, of sorts, of which my cohorts in the program would kid me about.

I made a clear distinction though concerning appropriate uses of words. For example, I had no problem with saying the word “damn” when used, say, in Doctor Faustus where the context of damnation. This drew some inquiries during those readings, since the fact that I proceeded with those uses stood out more than that which I omitted. That remains my policy, much as it was C.S. Lewis's, as he notes in a footnote in Mere Christianity (he had received complaints over his usage of the term). Some words, I really don't see any appropriate context for and I simply feel it best not to promote.

I'm really sounding puritanical tonight, aren't I? To be clear, I don't have a burden to suggest what language other people should use. Though I find most people ratchet down their use of expletives when the other does not reciprocate, I won't complain if a person chooses not to around me.

6.) Do you ever purposely lead people on so you can get what you want?

No, only to pull their legs. I enjoy giving people a hard time. :twisted:

7.) When was the last time you did something you told yourself you wouldn't do? What was it?

I told myself I wasn't going to watch On the Record tonight, but when Greta said she had an interview with Gov. Sarah Palin, I couldn't pass it up. I'm a total political news junkie on election years…

I even read the white papers released along side polling data. Yes, I'm a sad case.

8.) If you could​ meet one musician who is no longe​r alive​,​ who would​ it be?

Obviously not Elvis since Elvis lives, right? ;) Right now, I'm thinking Mozart. That's a tough question, though.

Ghosts of the Past

By Tim Butler | Posted at 22:30

Ed used that phrase in his reply haiku to my last post. There is quite some truth to that. For some reason some familiar ghosts of the past have haunted me more than I would expect the last few weeks. Actually, I think it isn't “some reason,” but rather the Olympics. Given that they only happen every so often, if anything happens near the Games, it is inevitably washed back up on the beaches of memory when the games return (and, of course, seeing the Games end is a sad sight by itself).

Perhaps I shall blog more on those beachings later in the week. But I find myself at an odd point; I would really like those ghosts to go away, and yet there is something comfortable, even desirable about them. I don't want them to go away.

A stand off of sorts. “My Immortal” fits well in some senses, if — perhaps — overdramatically.

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

—Ben Moody

Perhaps that is how pain often is. If something pains us, the pain is frequently the last thing we hold onto. If the pain is lost, so is the last remnant of the thing causing the pain. So, while ghosts of the past are undesirable, they are also highly desirable. I can think of more than one that has been a comfortable traveling companion over years past. The key, which I have not perfected in the least, is to find a way to at least objectify those ghosts — creating the objective correlative — if one can do that, one has completed a key step in transforming them into poetry.

And, that, after all, is one of my goals.

Shakespeare

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:06

I started a new book today, Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World, and the first forty pages or so were real page turners, and I have every reason to expect the rest will be too. Greenblatt is a writer who clearly enjoys lingering in language, remembering (unlike so many literary critics going before him) that there is little reason for literary analysis to be the dry antithesis of that which it purports to discuss.

While most autobiographical detail concerning Shakespeare is necessarily speculation, I'm enjoying the picture of Shakespeare's life that Greenblatt has thus far drawn. His observations concerning Shakespeare's influence by the mystery plays seems both intriguing and sensible.

I'll surely be writing more on this book as I read through it. The worst part is that I had a terrible time not setting down the book and running to grab the Bard's own words off my shelf, for Greenblatt kept referring to favorite scenes that I want to visit with again.

Curiosities of Anonymity, or Me and Dating

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:08

The good thing about being able to give anonymous feedback of any sort is an ability to be honest without fear (obviously). The bad thing, from a data analysis standpoint, is that any feedback given is only of questionably truthful value. Generally, given lack of reason to suspect otherwise, though, I will take anonymous polling as at least somewhat reliable, so long as the same people cannot vote multiple times and so on.

That is what is curious about the reports I get from the Facebook app, “Compare People.” Compare People shows you two of your Facebook friends and asks you a question. You pick the friend that fits best, or choose to skip the question if the answer is “none of the above” (or you do not feel like answering it). The curious thing is the results I keep getting from my 141 friends. For example, here are my current top ten ratings (e.g. those descriptors that I am in the tenth percentile or higher within the realm of my friends):

2nd in “Who is better at science”
3rd in “Who has prettier eyes”
3rd in “Who is sexier”
4th in “Who is nicer”
6th in “Who would I rather date”
7th in “Who is more tech-savvy”
7th in “Who is more confident”
7th in “Who is cuter”

Notably, according to a note it sent me today, I just moved up five places in the “sexiest” category and five in the “most datable” category. This makes me ask, “precisely who is voting in this thing?” Sexy is not usually a word that comes anywhere near me, and, for that matter, general trends do not suggest I am a popular pick for dating.

I'm not complaining or anything, it just makes me scratch my head… :)

Focus! Must focus!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 22:16

It's a nice, peaceful rainy night. I'd really like to be reading — indeed I was while the Internet was down earlier (courtesy of the storm, I suppose). The problem is that I have a bunch of exams to grade that are in an online testing program, and they need to be done by June 1. My mind does not want to focus on these short answer exams at all tonight, but I must keep trucking along.

A few more for tonight, at least. Otherwise tomorrow will be painful…

Back from the Ozarks

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:49

Well, I went down to the Ozarks with my family and we had really perfect weather, particularly as compared with today — a day which consisted of at least three different thunderstorms, two of which produced hail. The weather, as I said was great, and it was just delightful to be on Table Rock Lake again. I gave my camera a work out taking nearly 2,000 photos. I haven't been able to download them yet, however, because my hard drive is rather full and I don't want to push it to the max. So, I have taken to cleaning my drive at the moment. We'll see if I can scrounge up some space. :)

Answers to QOTW

By Tim Butler | Posted at 22:07

Well, I meant to reply to my own meme earlier, but… the best laid plans… Since I took so long, I thought I'd just use my answers for another blog post.

Q - What is your favorite part about the month of April? Reciting Chaucer, no doubt. :-) Actually, I'd probably say the nice spring air.

O - Is it raining right now? No, but it soon will be.

T - Do you have a memory of a favorite April? What was it? Yes, April 2005. I spent a lot of time with a particular friend I am no longer in contact with (sadly) having a series of delightful outdoor conversations while enjoying the aforementioned spring air. I miss those conversations.

W - Did anyone fool you on April Fool’s Day? Yes, several people did, in fact. sniff

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