Life is so wierd. Learning to see from alternative perspectives surely takes you to some interesting places, and makes you smarter in the process. This is one of the many techniques I have used to bring myself to my curennt pinnacle of intellectual, moral and spiritual greatness. Also grammatical greatness, and Polemic greatness. Also greatness of vocabulary.
Well crap. It turns out that Polemic is actually a word. 3 minutes and a google search ago, when I wrote that word above, I had thought it was a nonsense word that I had just made up. Well by thunder, it turns out to have a meaning. Drain it! Drain it to Help! Well, I'll let it stand as written. Its not hurting anybody.
So the point is that this last year on my Birthday, and event occured that somewhat was one of those wierd 'ah-ha, so THATs what its like to be someone else!' moments. The other person that I was 'being' was my foxy wife. Foxy beyond the lot of mortals. Its 3am as I write this. Allowances will have to be made.
Seeing 'something' briefly from her point of view, by extension and extrapolation, allowed me to see the same 'something' from alot of other peoples eyes.
Now let me tell you what to do, if you ever have the experience of looking out of another person's eyes, because its pretty much the only time you can ever do this, so you want to be ready and take advantage of the opportunity if you ever have it: what you want to do, when you look out of someone else's eyesockets is (be like me) and immediately look at yourself. Its the only time you can ever see what you actually look like.
Gosh this is taking me a long time to explain.
I'll just cut to the chase. In my family, the hardest person to buy gifts for is my Dad. I think that's universally agreed apon by all educated persons, surely? But, irritatingly, the evidence over the last couple decades, has begun to amass that the second hardest person to buy for is Me. Bah. Hard to beleive isn't it? But it seems like it must be so. In fact, I can do an interpolative calibration here, and infer that since I don't LIKE the idea of being hard to shop for, that it must mean that probably the situation is even worse than I think, which logically must mean that I MAY VERY WELL BE even harder than my dad to buy for!!! Holy Crap. I'm a nightmare. I'm like a monster.
So this is the 'something' that I saw for the first time, from the sexy wife's perspective, over my birthday.
Now the thing is, WHY do I suck so much to buy for? Its because... oh schmee that's too deep a subject for 3 am. Its because I was warped at birth and hate all humanity. Lets just go with that assumption for now, it'll be simpler that way.
Now Liz is a type of person that Loves to give gifts. So being married to me has its drawbacks that way. So basically, although my internal nature has always felt abhorance for the making up of lists of things you would really like- (aside: the logic there goes something like: if I am going to basically Tell you what to buy me, and then have a cultural obligitory gift giving holiday, then how the crap is this a gift and not a stick up? I dont Want to stick up the people i love. I like them.) -I basically turned 39 and realized Liz hates hates hates not knowing what to get me. Schmee, probably alot of my clan feels the same way!
I love being married. Its so fun, and hilarious. It goes like this:
"Here's a present, I love you Happy Birthday!"
"Do you like it?"
"...? :( "
"I love you! Thanks for getting me a present!"
Anyhow. That's a long long long way to say, here's some stuff, a partial list that is, of things I like.
(Parenthetically I have to say that (its redundant to say parentheically in parenthesis isn't it!) clueless as this must sound to you all, that I just don't get how it is that I am so hard to give stuff to. I'm a simple guy!)
On with the freaking list, even though it goes against my whole nature to make this list. Its an act of love baby.
Books: I read some mindblowing landmark books this year that I would like to have around the house to reread at will over the course of my next chunk of life:
Guns Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond
The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins
The Art of War, By Sun Tzu
(and I seem to have misplaced my copy of Frederick Douglas's Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas, which is possibly the best thing I have ever read. I'll be getting myself a new copy when the chance arises, but who knows when that will be.)
I started, but failed to finish US Grant's memoirs. They seemed good though, but possibly a long term proposition.
Jim Butcher's Cold Days is coming out soon.
But what I REALLY can't find and it bugs me to no end is all of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden short storys that have come out in the last year or two since Side Jobs.
I don't have Clockwork Angels or Snakes and Arrows.
Here's a couple links for inspiration:
This is hardly an exhaustive list, and I hate the idea of taking fun and creativity out of this sort of thing, you know, so please, schnaaa...
I'll add to this list as time rolls on.