Four Aspects

Four aspects of a romantic relationship or friendship between two people. It might work for other configurations, but I doubt it. But I mean, I don’t know.

So! Four aspects. What are they? Keep reading.

This is how much you, well, love the person. I’m not going to try to explain what love is, because I don’t need to. Anybody who doesn’t already know, you can’t explain it to them anyway. Minds far greater than mine have tried to explain it; go read their shit.

Trust is basically when you think someone won’t kill you and eat you. Or otherwise fuck you over. This is a game-changer. If you firmly believe that the person isn’t going to eat you, that really opens up the potential for meaningful connection.

This is when you are glad the person is in the world, and you care about what they think, their opinions.

This is how much you wish to be physical with the person. Horndog doesn’t necessarily mean sex. It mostly does, sure, but it also covers physical affection of any kind. It’s when you like touching the person in any capacity. Or, if you haven’t touched the person, it can measure your desire to touch the person.

Great, four aspects. So what? So rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, of course! The rating doesn’t rate the relationship. It rates how strongly you feel that aspect. So each person will fill out their own rubric. If you want it to be worth a shit, plan on not showing it to your partner.

Here’s a list of what the levels mean.

1. Nope
2. Low
3. Medium
4. High
5. OMG OMG OMG holy shit

Once you’ve filled it out, look for any 1’s and 5’s. Those are a problem. Sometimes. A 1 in Horndog describes many friendships. But otherwise, a 1 is a problem that is not easy to fix. As for 5, settle down; you’re totally disregulated. Deep breaths. Consider therapy. The middle three values don’t really matter; it’s just, you have the info now; you’ve thought about it.

Why do all this? I don’t know. I just thought of it. And here it is.

Diary Talk

Today, I became aware of an article in the Atlantic about diaries and their preservation. Not the diaries of famous people, but the diaries of the mundanes, the normal people, the nobodies. This is a topic of some interest to me, as I am a diarist myself. And a nobody. I mean, I got friends and family and shit, but I have little to no historical notoriety. I’ve been keeping a diary since October 2010; got about 3.5 million words. I’m absurdly proud of this fact. I try not to be insufferable about it. But how many people do you know who have written 3.5 million words in their entire lives? I did it in 12 years. And I’m still going.

Of course, I’m no Robert Shields. He’s the diarist who recorded 25 years of his life (1972-1997) in five-minute intervals. It’s estimated to be 37.5 million words. It takes me a few years to get a million. He was doing more than a million a year for 25 years. Unfortunately, his diary is evenly interspersed with somewhat revolting descriptions of peeing and pooping. ‘Cause he recorded everything. How do I know this? A few of the pages have become public. The rest of the diary is sealed until 50 years after Shields’s death. That’s 2057; I knew you’d be curious, so I looked it up.

He was married. His wife was named Grace. I’m wondering if he talked about sex the way he talked about peeing and pooping. Nothing like that in any of the pages I’ve seen. Maybe he didn’t have sex. Whatever. The man fascinates me. What would make a man wanna do that kinda thing? And he fucking committed to the bit for 25 years. Five-minute intervals. Now, obviously he didn’t sit down every five minutes and type out what was going on. He slept and stuff, and did stuff. He had a life. He had three kids. But he recorded his activities down to five-minute intervals.

Why did he stop? It wasn’t because he died, although he did die later. He had a stroke and couldn’t record the diary himself. So the plan was for his wife Grace to do the recording, and him to tell her what to record. This did not last, as Grace was like, “Fuck this.” Mind you, I don’t know how it went down. This is just my take based on what I’ve read online about the guy, which isn’t all that much.

Let’s bring it back around to me. I talk about mundane shit in my diary too. In a way, you could refer to me as “Shields Lite”. I record a lotta stuff, but I leave out the toilet trips, and it’s not every five minutes.

I consider my diary and related files to be extremely valuable. So the idea of sending it somewhere to be preserved is very appealing to me. And the article’s interesting too. It talks about the intrinsic value in these exceedingly personal objects. Although my diary isn’t in physical form, because fuck longhand. It’s all digital. That means it fits on a thumb drive, and is super easy to store. But maybe it lacks something that the handwritten stuff has to offer. I don’t know. Anyway, I hope they’ll take a thumb drive when the time comes to donate it. Whatever organization it ends up being. I had heard of the Great Diary Project, a UK organization mentioned in the article, and the article talks about Stateside institutions possibly being established.

Anyway, yeah. There’s some diary talk for you.

Ten and Two

When I was learning to drive, they always told us to put our hands on the wheel at 10 and 2. Like, if the steering wheel is a clock, you put your left hand where the 10 is, and your right hand where the 2 is. This is the way I drive most often; I find it extremely comfortable.

But the other day I learned that this standard rule is no longer supported by driving organizations. Reason being, it can be problematic placement of your hands if the airbag deploys. Basically, the airbag deploys, and pushes your hands violently at your face. Most authorities suggest 9 and 3 as an alternative, safer placement. Then your hands will just fly out to the sides, which would presumably be less hazardous.

So what’s the deal with teaching me 10 and 2? Well, airbags weren’t in most cars when I learned to drive. They didn’t become mandatory on all vehicles until 1998. I learned to drive in 1991. 9 and 3 was offered as an alternative, and they’d let you do that. But I always gravitated to 10 and 2. I just find it so amazingly comfortable.

But yeah, now I’m training myself not to do it, since my steering column obviously has an airbag. 9 and 3’s alright. But I feel a bit wistful. 10 and 2 and I were so good together.

Source Article

A Valuable Lesson

Everyone wants to be cool all the time. Nobody is cool all the time. So nobody gets what everybody wants. What a waste of fucking time. I want to be nice all the time. I want to say nice things that make people happy, that make people feel seen, so that the world can become a better place. Love will increase. Suffering will decrease. Not linearly, sadly. But over the long haul, the trend is upwards. I want to contribute what I can.

But again, nobody can be cool all the time. So there will be times when you think you’re saying something nice, but it isn’t perceived that way. Love does not increase, and suffering does not decrease. This only happens sometimes. But I don’t like it when it happens. It makes me feel all crawly. And then I feel like I’ve made somebody’s day worse, not better, and that’s a fucking terrible outcome. So then I get in a tizzy, and start trying to do “damage control”. Sending messages and shit, sometimes faster than the replies come, so they stack up, and I keep thinking of really important things to say, and by the time they get back to it, there’s like five longish messages waiting. Now they really are annoyed.

So instead, you have to try to be cool all the time, even though you will definitely fail some of the time. So, say there’s been a mishap of some kind. An unfortunate misunderstanding, perhaps. So you just hafta play it cool. Don’t spam them. Chances are, whoever it is will get over it quickly without your intervention. Let it be. Sometimes not doing a thing is the best thing you can do. If it continues to be a problem, then you can maybe say something about it. But you’ll be saying it from a position of deeper understanding of the issue, than if you’d said something immediately.

I hope we can all learn a valuable lesson here.

Cookie Question

Generally speaking, would you rather have an even number of cookies or an odd number of cookies? Let’s assume that the number of cookies you have is a number that is, to you, a satisfactory number of cookies to have. Would you rather the number were even or odd? Explain your answer.

Thermal Vents

On the deep ocean floor, the water is not hospitable to life. But sometimes there are vents that are connected to the volcanic activity of the interior of the planet, and these thermal vents make the water warmer and I think also add nutrients to the water, such that they become oases of life in the desert of the ocean floor. Organisms live in and around these thermal vents that can’t live anywhere else on the planet.

So here’s the thing: what if stars in our universe are just thermal vents of some entirely other system? Whether they are or not, they serve exactly the same function as a thermal vent does to those microbes and whatnot that call its proximity home.

I just thought that was interesting.


In the kitchen, I was putting away my water bottle and keys and stuff, when it hit me: nothing is perfect, and never will be. And I got to thinking, so what’s the fucking point? If it can’t be perfect, why even bother? There will always be injustice, there will always be suffering, some people have it better than others for no reason and that’s always going to be the case and it’s totally not fair so why do we even fucking put up with it? Worldwide suicide. We’re not good enough, and we never will be.

There’s gotta be something wrong with this line of thinking. There’s a quote. “Perfect is the enemy of the good.” I think that’s what’s at work here. In focusing on the perfect, you minimize all in the world that is good and just, and there are some of those things. You should boost the good, not castigate it for being imperfect. Perfect is never a thing, literally can’t be. It’s just an idea that poisons and rots and cheapens everything. Everything. Yeah, I gotta get outta this shit. I think I just wrote myself out of it, so that’s kinda cool. Writing as therapy. Wouldn’t be the first time.

It’s Another Sign

I decided a couple weeks ago that my room needed another sign. (You’ll recall the other one I got recently.) For this one, instead of a gag, I decided to do one of my favorite old sayings.

This was on a sticker that Steph got me years ago when she was away somewhere. She handed me the sticker, and I looked at it, and it hit me just right, the way things sometimes do. I laughed so hard that I made no sound, my vision dimmed, and I felt like my head was going to implode. It was one of the best laughs of my life, in spite of the fact that it made me concerned that I might die or pass out or something.

I kept the sticker for a long time and then finally stuck it on something, but it’s not exactly on display. The new sign will feature the message prominently and instill delight in me whenever I notice it. So that’s nice.


I mixed up my 3×3. I was trying to do a trick, you know, where you move the centers around so that each face is a ring of one color with a different color in the middle. I got it into that configuration, but I got lost trying to get it back out. Realizing it was a time of destiny, I went ahead and really mixed it. There’s just one acceptable method for this thing to get solved again, and that’s for me to put it through its turns.

I’ll get to it. At the moment I’m more interested in playing with the 2×2 that I ordered to tide me over until the 3×3 got here. They both arrived yesterday. That wasn’t a fail; the ordering of the 2×2, not the delivery, is what was tiding me over. Having them arrive at the same time was a big win.

I’ve mixed the 2×2 and solved it once, and I wanna do it a couple more times, get comfortable with it, and try to get familiar with the concepts on an exponentially simpler cube. Plus it’s totally cute, this 2×2. I’m not ready to abandon it yet.


I got a bug up my ass. I decided to buy a Rubik’s Cube and learn how to solve it. Technically it’s not a Rubik’s Cube. It’s a Gan 356 M stickerless magnetic speed cube. I didn’t go as high end as I could have. I coulda spent twice as much as I did. I spent $32.01. The cube is getting here on Sunday.

Why did I do this? Why did this bug come to my anus for shelter? Cubes always mystified me. I couldn’t imagine any way to even begin to approach solving one. Best I ever did was two colors. 42 years the cube’s been out. It’s almost as old as I am. And I’ve been in awe of it that entire time. And now I’m gonna solve the motherfucker. And then I’ll have this really fucking nice fidget toy on my desk that I can fuck with whenever I want.

I want you to see the cube I got. Go look at it if you want. Maybe I’ll do a followup post when it gets here and when I solve it and that kind of thing. I don’t know. I’m excited.