*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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Though I stated that I got myself a PayPal account set up so I could reliably obtain all these obscure songs I've been after for so long, I discovered a magnificent program that strips music from any kind of video file, in addition to performing every type of conversion and compression known to man for audio and video. It can also automatically record online video/audio streams.

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One thing that I'm always left frustrated with about this blog is how, when it gears up into its more popular stages, people have a tendency to treat it like some back-door news feed. When someone mentions that they read it on my blog and didn't hear it straight from me, there's usually some level of intended guilt trip involved. It's why I originally moved it, three months after its inception. Admittedly, that was just a lesson in understanding that the internet is not a private place and that blogs are not the place to bitch about your parents. But I don't think the situation here is quite the same. I'll get to that, though.

The point of this blog was, at one point, to make it easy for people that were interested in my life to keep up with it. It also served primarily as a hub for social connection between all of my friends, which is why it was once as active as it was, as it made it really easy to bring a lot of different people into one place. Especially when I was on my controversial topic kick, there was a lot of fun to be had in the commentary. I still get a warm feeling in my heart knowing that a forty-year old woman came trotting in with here three associate's degrees (or sommat) to try and trump us. Those were good times.

While I'm happy to see the blog become a point of interest for lots of people again, it needs to be clear what exactly this is for. The blog isn't where I come to talk about my day and provide regular updates about where I'm going and what I'm doing. I write about whatever interests me, and that has little to no correlation with the daily drama that life tends to engender, but is merely inspired and motivated by such. When I do invoke the details of day-to-day life, I do so in the hope that it makes my point clearer, not because I like to keep everybody on the same page of updates on my life.

There is no level of privilege to the information I share. Nobody deserves to hear or not hear anything I've said, it's a freaking blog. As such, I find myself a little violated when I'm subtly berated for sharing any important information through this medium, in an attempt to make a philosophical point more clear while simultaneously clearing up some misconceptions about my plans. There's also the simple fact that saying it here means I generally have to do it ten or fifteen times less than I would otherwise.

This is a personal blog, and I write with the intention of directing it towards you, my audience, and not any other. It's not impersonal to learn about me through whatever I write here, because it's exactly the same as what I would have told you in an email or in a conversation or over IM, but perhaps even more clear and precise due to the luxuries of time and proofreading. Hey, you've even got a means of public and private response. I find little weight in the idea that I'm required to share all personal information (what little of it I do share here) through seemingly private means.

On a practical level, I just hate it when the contents of my blog come up in serious conversation. This isn't a news article or an encyclopedia. It's a series of thoughts on life, not the de-facto place to know Tim and all that Tim's about. I'm not that easily unraveled. As such, you, my faithful readers, would do well to understand that this is the most controlled medium in existence (or close, anyways). I'm letting you read exactly what I want you to read, and that too much inference is unhealthy. I also expect some kind of communicative integrity. I don't like it when what I write here is transmitted to others without perfect clarity. It's the nature of communication for accuracy to degrade as it falls from the source, but come on, it's on the freaking internet, available for anyone to read. I don't need to deal with unnecessary miscommunication crap. Ultimately, I just want people to understand that the blog is for my enjoyment, not as an obligation to anyone else.

With that, I'm headed back to sleep.
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I never realized how much stuff I had until I started trying to move it all.

After throwing away lots of junk, I stuffed my life into approximately six boxes, which fit rather neatly in the back of my car. I feel accomplished.
I'm Watching You
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I finally gave in and got a PayPal account so I could actually get all these obscure trance songs.
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They weren't lying when they said tattoos are addictive.

I don't have the money to do this right now, but:

A pack of ravens in an olive tree.

Possibly as a sleeve, but it really depends on how it'll look and how big I'll want it.
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An addendum to my lower entry.

I was pondering why exactly "normal" is considered the opposite of unique. From my words yesterday, it's obvious that I don't think normalcy at all a negative thing. Yet if you know me, you know I take pride in being unique.

I decided that people confuse normalcy with being average. It's not a completely incorrect assumption; in many regards, what is average is what is normal, it's what can and should be expected. A test score, income, life expectancy. In some ways, we're forced into being average (which is when people are most prone to fight for identity). I'm a white middle-class male. Yet we wouldn't say that's normal, that's just common. If we apply the same logic to other aspects of life, it becomes easy to see that correlation is not causation - being average doesn't make you normal, they just happen to correlate with some matters.

My point is that it's this distinction that allows one to be normal and yet outside the average, uncommon. Or, to modify the words of Mark Twain, "Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us would be average." It's a harsh reality that foolishness is the average for humanity, and I think we'd be hard pressed to find evidence otherwise.

That's how I came to believe that the extraordinary are truly just normal.

I have high expectations for humanity, I guess.
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Think about the word extraordinary.

1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established
2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable

It would be reasonable to say that most people in the world admire extraordinary people, they fantasize about extraordinary events, they pursue extraordinary things. There's a sense that being extraordinary is worthwhile, that it sets one apart from the crowd, that it demands one go above and beyond the norm, that if you're extraordinary, you've got something that everyone else wants, even if they aren't willing to do what it takes to get it.

Yet, the nature of the word belies what it truly means to be extraordinary. Taken literally, it looks as though it's simply the average plus a bit more, yet I doubt anyone would say "above average" is as good as "extraordinary". It's just plain more of the standard, the generic, the concept of normalcy taken seriously.

It's in the pursuit of normalcy that I'm intending to leave Ithaca (and if you're skilled at reading between the lines, you can see that I think highly of my path). I've mentioned it to some of you, but Colorado is my current destination. Whether I'll make it there depends on a very large number of variables, but I have no intention of doing this half-assed or going any less than balls-deep with this plan. It should be noted that I'm not just hopping into a college dorm and living the life of my peers, but I'll be working full-time for a year to attain residency, so I can start school up again, on my own steam.
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So I'm at a bar, discussing business with my brother, when an Indian man and an Asian man walk in with a rather awkward gait. They sit at the bar, and the Indian man proceeds to ask the bartender what she thinks the definition of a sociopath is, after ordering a Sprite, and his companion a shitty American beer. She says she doesn't know, and an awkward discussion between four others at the bar proceeds before I supply the actual definition, which upon doing, the Indian man gives me a very wide-eyed stare. I feign interest in the TV, but he keeps staring.

He then asks me if I'd be interested in a box of unopened condoms.

I turn from the TV and give him the blankest stare I can, trying to hide the growing fear that wells up inside my bowels. He explains that he's moving out and thinks it would be awkward to take them on the airplane with him. As politely as I can, I decline his generous offer, to which he responds with confusion, and a weak, fumbling explanation that he wasn't serious. An awkward silence ensues, and I turn to my brother for a moment, who's immersed in a discussion about meetings, but the Indian guy is still staring at me. I dig through the local bowl of Chex mix to find the remaining pretzels, and upon finding one, he asks me again.

"So, seriously, do you want the condoms? It's unopened, man."

This whole time his Asian comrade has been giving a stoney glare in front of him at nothing in particular, previously interrupted only by very slow sips at his beer. He now turns to this Indian man and blinks, twice. The Indian guy shifts uncomfortably on his stool and shrugs his shoulders, taking consolation in his tall glass of Sprite which he seems to find bravado in nursing. I attempt to find more pretzels in the bowl of Chex mix.

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A lot of people ask me why I'm holding off on sex until I'm married.

The first, most common assumption that many make is that I believe sex, especially sex outside marriage, is an affront to God. I'm a Christian, and it would be a fairly rational leap of logic if you didn't know better to conclude a lot of things about my beliefs. I'm not whatever you might assume, I'm Tim, and I have a pair of mostly functional eyes that I use to make observations for myself, and a supposedly working brain that I use to process those observations.

As such, I don't buy the bullshit that God put one wo/man out there for you somewhere and that you're going to make them very sad if you give your virginity to anybody else. I don't buy the bullshit that your virginity has a super magical attachment to it, and that we're forsaking God by forsaking that attachment. I don't buy the bullshit that sex is something to ever feel uncomfortable with, ashamed about, or afraid of. I do believe that sex is special. I think everything about our sexuality is special, and that the fact that we have so many ways to express our sexuality is a beautiful and awesome thing. Thusly, I think our sexuality is something to be taken seriously, and I think that means more than just attaching a time and place to certain portions of our sexuality. I believe that means maintaining a healthy sexuality, just as we should keep a fit body, an active mind, and well-balanced emotions. As with every other aspect of our being, this requires discipline, knowledge, and willpower. We've been given a body, and we're supposed to take care of it and make good use of it.

I came to the conclusion that I should examine what I want, before I could ever decide how to get there. We do the same thing with our bodies when we exercise, the same thing with our minds when we learn, and this is just the same thing. So, I started simple.

* I do want to have sex. No shit.
* I do want sex to be awesome. Another no-brainer.
* I do want sex to be special. It starts to get complicated. What could happen to make sex less special, for [i][u]me[/u][/i] (not you)?

* I don't want sex to be a means to an end - it should be an expression of love, and shouldn't be exploited for any other means.
* I don't want sex to be an end - my goal should be knowing and enjoying who she is, not knowing and enjoying her vagina. The same should apply for her. I want her to want more than sex.
* I don't want sex to be a necessity - I don't want my life or my image to revolve around whether I'm having sex or not.

Ensuring all of this is no small task. Realistically, how can I have sex with someone that I'm not sure I'll be with for the rest of my life, and guarantee that I'll be living up to all of these standards? For me, I don't think that's possible. I can't say the same is true for anybody else - no one is exactly like another. These are hopes and desires that not every person shares. Some people really just don't care, and that's their right. Let them experience sex however they want - this is how I want to experience sex.

Ultimately, I don't want sex to come before a relationship in my priorities. I feel like the best way to know that I'm focused on being there emotionally is by not giving myself the chance to lose focus on the part of the relationship that has to last, no matter what. Does that really mean I need to wait until I'm married? Not necessarily, but the only reason I would let the boundary back any closer would be to satisfy my own lust. I'm not going to sacrifice anything for short-term pleasure, even if it's a pleasure as awesome as sex. And believe me, I've had plenty of people tell me how awesome sex is. Ignorance is not bliss, in this regard.

Am I setting myself up for failure by trying to resist a force as powerful as my own raging sexuality? Who knows. I know I'm not perfect, and I sure as hell don't plan on getting caught off-guard. But just as surely, I'll do everything I can to follow through with my plans.
Dramatization of Romance
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The past few days have kept an intense theme, for me. I have a giant post half-written about why I'm staying abstinent until I'm married, sparked by some forum discussions. I've had half a dozen conversations with my dad, both of my brothers, and two friends of my brothers, all about relationships, mostly involving me listening to what's going on in their lives and how they're handling it. The trend continues.

Because he isn't brave enough to say it to anyone else, I'll do it for him.

(I should note that this is somewhat obscure for a reason. If you don't know who this is, you probably don't need to.)

* okay, but keep in mind, anywhere you want to go... i've already been there
salandarin: i can't believe you actually had the ovaries to go there
* the sperm bank?
salandarin: it was never a competition or a comparison, not even now
salandarin: i'd drive up there to kick you in the balls, but you don't have any
* of course it's not competition, timothy
* it's simple linear progression
* i was first, you are second
salandarin: you used and abused, i didn't
salandarin: i suppose you're right
salandarin: you manipulated and lied, i didn't
salandarin: you're right!
* one of us is obviously better suited for today's society
salandarin: don't think yourself avante garde, your tactics are as old as humanity
salandarin: you missed out on something amazing, and with that path, you'll never catch even a glimpse of it
salandarin: if you want happiness, you won't find it in yourself
salandarin: i'm willing to take a fair bet that one of us is happy, and one of us isn't
salandarin: and i'll let you in on the secret that i'm happy
* slashdefensive
salandarin: you're the one who's insecurity pushes him to scoff at anything he doesn't understand
salandarin: it's not the first time you pull shit like this, i suppose i'm not really surprised at all
* you're the one whose ignorance pushes him to scoff at anything that challenges his indoctrination
* and no, i am a manipulative sociopath, but i'm not sure what you're referring to
salandarin: i suppose i'm only left wondering if i've aided you in your manipulation, or if i can continue to rest easy in taking the path of honor
salandarin: but that's not a question you can answer
* well, i certainly hope you weren't complicit in whatever it was, cause that wouldn't go over well with deity of the day
salandarin: funny how you fancy yourself on the new, current wave, and yet you accuse me of doing the same thing.
salandarin: everything's the same, in the end, there's nothing new under the sun, including all the world's assholes
salandarin: you could be so much more, and it honestly saddens me that you let yourself come here.
salandarin: whatever; see you around
* okay!

I've spent a while trying to think of what to say to this. I thought about a long analysis of the concept of manliness. I considered a small essay about the pursuit of happiness. I was tempted to list off all the ways you've wronged every person around you. None of it seemed fitting. This does, however.

ROFL, fagwagon, i pwned your n00b ass