MRI Results

I went to see Dr. Comic Book Guy yesterday to get the results of my MRI. They’re written in Doctorspeak:

Reason for Exam
Patient had an injury of his knee while playing soccer last fall. He reinjured his knee on April 6; now has pain and swelling.

MRI of the Right Knee
A large joint effusion is present. There is no evidence of a Baker cyst. A complex tear is present in the posterior horn of the medial meniscus. The anterior horn and mid portion are intact. There is no tear of the lateral meniscus. High signal intensity is present in the anterior cruciate ligament near its attachment on the lateral femoral condyle. The posterior cruciate and collateral ligaments are intact without abnormal signal intensity. There is no abnormality of the distal quadriceps or the patellar tendon. There are multiple areas of increased signal intensity within the bone marrow consistent with bone bruising. Small areas are present in the medial aspect of the medial tibial plateau. Larger areas of abnormal signal intensity are present in the lateral femoral condyle and in the lateral tibial plateau. No definite fracture line is identified. There is no evidence of chondromalacia.

Impression

  1. Large joint effusion.
  2. Complex tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus.
  3. There appears to be at least a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, although a complete tear cannot be excluded.
  4. Multiple areas of bone bruising. No definite discrete fracture line is seen.

So, basically, I need arthroscopic knee surgery.

I’ve got an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Friday morning, and I’ll know more then.


Toto has been uncharacteristically affectionate since recovering from her cold. In the two days since we returned from Bend, she’s been purring almost non-stop, smothering us with kitty kisses.

Yesterday afternoon she was sitting on the library table, looking out the window, cackling, cackling, cackling that little cat chatter that means “I see you, bird, and I’m going to get you.” Only she was much more excited than normal. I looked out the window to see eight little birds hopping across the lawn, pecking at tasty morsels. Toto wanted a tasty morsel of her own, but all she could do was crouch on the table and cackle, and remember past adventures:

Comments


On 30 April 2003 (01:28 PM),
mac said:

get that knee healthy



On 30 April 2003 (02:06 PM),
Paul said:

J.D.

I’ve been planning to take some pinhole pictures last Sunday for “Worldwide Pinhole Day”–didn’t happen. Lame. For anyone interested, check it out, go to pinholevision.com or pinholeresource.com for a link. There are over 900 pinhole photos from around the world from last years effort.



On 30 April 2003 (02:42 PM),
Dana said:

Well, I hope it goes well. What’s the prognosis? Is it only a looksee, or is it we’ve got to go in and fix that?

My translation of the doctor speak is — swollen, torn or pulled ligaments, torn meniscus, and bone bruises.

Sounds like they’ll have to at least repair or remove bits of the meniscus, which might lead to arthritis later. You know, you change the oil on your car religiously. Sounds like you don’t keep your body in as good a shape as your car. :/ (Not that I can talk, mind you.)

Hope it’s feeling better! Fill us in on the surgery!



On 30 April 2003 (02:55 PM),
Tammy said:

Yikes hope all goes well with that knee.

Ya know I hate cats and Toto is a good example of why.

They are bird killing evil creatures!

Down kitty kitty!

Fly away bird!



On 30 April 2003 (03:05 PM),
Tiffany said:

Hi Bro,
If you have any questions about the knee surgury, call cousin Liz. She has had this twice and looks to need another!
Porter talks so loud to our bids that people on the phone have asked “what is that noise?”



On 30 April 2003 (03:16 PM),
J.D. said:

Hm.

I’ll have to reseach posting images in comments. I suspect some of you technically savvy types might want to do this sometime.

Cats enjoy nice juicy birds now and then…



On 30 April 2003 (03:32 PM),
Drew said:

i hope your PT includes backpacking through an old growth forest.



On 30 April 2003 (03:49 PM),
J.D. said:

Dana, they need to go in and fix it. It hurts. And it’s fucked up. Fortuntately, nearly every person I’ve talked to who has experience with this surgery says that it’s only a minor inconvenience, that the pain relief is almost immediate, and that the recovery takes only a few days at the longest.

Awesome.

So, yes, Andrew, I still intend to go hiking. That’d be great physical therapy!

As for soccer: well, I want to return, but my better half, who is usually (read: always) right, is strongly opposed to this. I’ll speak with the doctor on Friday to see what he has to say.



On 30 April 2003 (06:10 PM),
Drew said:

JDuh,
Listen to your wife.
Duhrew



On 30 April 2003 (07:14 PM),
Tammy said:

Oh mercy, now where did hubby put that BB gun?

The iTunes Music Store

Napster and its progeny launched a music revolution, a revolution that is changing the fundamental distribution models for the music industry. The days in which the record companies could foist the latest manufactured pop star upon the music-buying public are waning (though they certainly have not vanished altogether). On-line file-sharing networks have allowed music consumers to sample a broader array of music, to explore artists that, due to poor record-company promotion, they might never have heard before.

The major labels insist that downloading mp3s from the file-sharing services is piracy. Strictly speaking, they are correct. When a user downloads an mp3 for which he has never purchased the corresponding CD, it’s theft. The major labels further claim, despite evidenced to the contrary, that this theft is driving their sales into a downward spiral.

While I believe the record companies are technically correct, they’re myopic and suicidal when they ignore the profusion of on-line file-sharing, and when they condemn it as evil. Kris and I have downloaded close to 5000 songs during the past two years. Most of these downloads have been of tracks for which we own the CDs but which we do not want to take the time to rip to mp3s ourselves; we’re taking advantage of the fact that somebody else has already done this work for us. Another large portion of these downloads have been exploratory: we’ll read about a new artist in Time or Entertainment Weekly, or we’ll hear a song in a movie, and one of us will go to the computer and download some samples to hear what all of the fuss is about.

This process has led us to some of our favorite new artists: Emiliana Torrini, Bebel Gilberto, Aimee Mann, Poe, Coldplay, and the A-Teens are all performers that we heard first via downloaded mp3 and then went out and bought the music.

Record-company executives feel that radio air play should serve as the vehicle whereby music consumers sample new songs and artists. (For some reason, the record companies don’t throw fits about consumers taping songs from the radio, though it’s essentially the same thing as downloading music. In high school, my friends and I exchanged mix tapes containing songs recorded from radio all of the time; how is this different from exchanging mixes made from downloaded music?) They ignore the fact that many of us hate listening to the radio, being bombarded by advertising and suffering through the inane chattering of the DJs.

While the rest of the world has been shifting toward an on-line distribution model for music, the record companies have done their best to thwart any progress in this direction. They killed Napster and then tried, unsuccessfully, to relaunch it as a for-pay service. Meanwhile, Aimee Mann and Natalie Merchant (and others) have struck out on their own, have decided to take advantage of the internet to distribute their music on their own.

Yesterday Apple Computer announced the iTunes Music Store, a legal on-line store for popular music. This venture, which has the support of the major record companies, is a first step toward an on-line distribution model for music. But how does it work? Since this is a Mac only service and most of you aren’t using Macs, I thought I’d describe my initial experiences with the iTunes Music Store.

Every new Macintosh ships with iTunes, a multi-use piece of software that serves as an mp3 jukebox, an internet radio receiver, a CD-burning utility, and an mp3 organizer. Apple also sells a portable mp3 player called the iPod. This device is the same size as a smallish Walkman, and fully integrates with iTunes (for Mac users — there’s also a PC-version of the iPod that integrates with a piece of similar PC software). This integration makes it easy for one to access a music collection consistently from iPod to iTunes and back again.

Then new iTunes Music Store integrates fully with both iTunes and iPod. In fact, the store is built into the latest version of iTunes. In the iTunes music source-list (where, typically, one finds play lists, etc.), there’s a “Music Store” item. When this is selected, iTunes connects to Apple’s iTunes Music Store servers.

There are two ways to view the contents of the iTunes Music Store. The available songs may be viewed via a web-style interface, filled with graphics and supplementary information about the songs and artists; or, the songs can be viewed via iTunes normal browse interface, which allows quick perusal of songs by breaking things down by genre, artist, album, and then song.

As you browse through the selection, you can preview any song at full-quality for thirty seconds. This is very similar to the Amazon music previews with which most of you are already familiar. This ability to preview tracks is vitally important to the success of this service, and it works well.

One of the first thing you notice about the music is that it’s not in mp3 format. It’s in the new AAC format, which produces smaller files but of similar quality. (I’m assuming that this file format also has built-in digital rights management features, too, but I could be wrong.) As I’ll explain later, these files can be converted to mp3 format quite easily.

You can choose to purchase music from the iTunes Music Store in one of two ways: to purchase songs one-at-a-time (the default), or to accumulate songs in shopping cart for bulk purchasing. Both methods work well, but the shopping cart method has one huge flaw. The user should not be required to purchase every song in the shopping cart; he should be allowed to designate songs for later purchase. Last night I placed several songs in my shopping cart that I didn’t care to purchase immediately, but which I wanted to remember for future consideration. However, I had to remove these songs when it came time to purchase the contents of the cart. This is poor design.

Each song costs ninety-nine cents. Albums can be purchased for $9.99 (though these may be only ten-track albums — I haven’t checked yet). When a song is purchased, it downloads into a “Purchased Music” play list in iTunes. You don’t have unlimited access to the songs you purchase, but you have reasonable access to them. According to Apple’s PR-machine: “you can play your music on up to three computers, enjoy unlimited synching with your iPods, burn unlimited CDs of individual songs, and burn unchanged play lists up to 10 times each.”

Once you burn the song to CD, it’s just like any other song and can be ripped to mp3 format.

Initially, the iTunes Music Store has 200,000 songs available for download. This is an impressive number, but what does it really mean? It means that most popular music from the past few decades is available to be purchased and downloaded. There are gaps, sure, especially among the more esoteric music. All of Iris Dement’s output is here, but there’s nothing from Emiliana Torrini. I’ve never seen so many ABBA songs in one place, but where’s the Helen Reddy? U2 have allowed their songs to be sold through the iTunes Music Store, but Madonna has not. There’s an impressive array of music available here.

Last night I found nineteen songs to download. I paid my $18.81 and downloaded the following:

  • ABBA – Andante, Andante
  • ABBA – Angel Eyes
  • Rickie Lee Jones – Danny’s All-Star Joint
  • The Alan Parsons Project – Old and Wise
  • Nanci Griffith (with Iris Dement) – Ten Degrees and Getting Colder
  • Cat Stevens – Morning Has Broken
  • Marianne Faithful – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
  • The Beautiful South – Everybody’s Talkin’
  • ABBA – On and On and on
  • Nanci Griffith (and friends) – Are You Tired of Me Darling
  • ABBA – Our Last Summer
  • Little River Band – Reminiscing
  • ABBA – The Piper
  • Little River Band – Cool Change
  • Billy Bragg and Wilco – Hesitating Beauty
  • Emmylou Harris – After the Gold Rush
  • Bob Dylan – Tangled Up in Blue
  • Basia – Time and Tide
  • The Innocence Mission – Bright as Yellow

It took twenty minutes to download these songs with my broadband connection. The sound-quality if outstanding.

One of the greatest things about this distribution method is that the songs have all been converted to a digital format using uniform settings and, presumably, quality-checked. These songs don’t have digital artifacts, they all have the same normalized volume, they have a uniform naming structure. If you’ve ever worked with mp3s extensively, you’ll realize how valuable these three points really are.

These songs all transferred to my iPod with no fuss. I burned a CD without a problem. And I ripped the songs from the CD to mp3 just as normal.

My initial verdict?

The Apple iTunes Music Store is an outstanding service. If you believe on-line file-sharing is piracy, then the iTunes Music Store is for you. The prices seem a little high, but as Dana noted, they’re not so high that they’ll prevent me from downloading (which probably means the prices are actually just about right). The selection is good, and sure to grow. The file quality is unsurpassed.

The biggest drawback, of course, is that this is a Mac-only service. Will PC-users ever be able to access it? I don’t know. Will this service spur Macintosh sales? I don’t know, but it’s certainly possible. (I’m sure willing to demonstrate the iTunes Music Store to any of you who want to see it — just ask next time you’re over here.)

What do you think of the iTunes Music Store? Is it doomed to failure? Is it enough to make you consider purchasing a Macintosh? Or do you not even care?

Comments


On 29 April 2003 (09:32 AM),
Drew said:

You’re spot on, buddy. This is the next wave. Gone are the days of buying a CD for a single track, only to discover that the rest of the album is crap. iTunes will show sufficient profit that MS and others will scramble to offer similar services asap, IMHO.



On 29 April 2003 (10:51 AM),
Joelah said:

I think $.99 is too high. If you buy a CD’s worth of tracks you’re paying as much as if you schlepped down to Sam Goody. Shouldn’t they lower the prices to reflect the lack of transport/infrastructure/storage… etc. that is required to get the song from artist’s head to consumer’s ear?



On 29 April 2003 (02:03 PM),
Matt said:

$.99 per song is a good price to ask if 1) there were no dumb restrictions and 2) it was a high quality file with good documentation and no aural distortion. That’s about the same amount the majors charges for singles before those got phased out. Your post makes me want to try this out.



On 29 April 2003 (04:26 PM),
J.D. said:

I’ve been browsing the iTunes Music Store today, and I should note one very important thing. I mentioned that the service’s music selection has some gaps, and it does, but these gaps exist primarily in the more recent pop music catalog.

The selection of back-catalog material, however, is actually better than that found on most music-sharing services, especially if you’re looking for older jazz and blues recordings.

For example, I’ve been frustrated again and again when searching for old Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby songs on Kazaa. Everyone has the same dozen songs. Well. The iTunes Music Store has 230 Sinatra songs and 402 Crosby songs (though, admittedly, some of these are duplicates). Wow!

Other examples: Margaret Whiting, 42 songs; Peggy Lee, 202 songs; Mel Torme, 127 songs; Judy Garland, 73 songs; etc. Of course, this is only of interest if, like me, you’re interested in collecting obscure tracks from pop vocalists of yesteryear…



On 30 April 2003 (07:28 AM),
mac said:

Yesterday on Channel One News they had a story on the new Itunes store and music copyright infringement. It was bascially a warning to high school kids.

Bend Weekend 2003

We’re back from the annual MNF Bend Trip (2003 edition). Perhaps not as fun as last year, but quite good. I’m not up to a full report, but some highlights included:

  • meeting Eila and Sam for Indian food on Saturday afternoon,
  • playing a L-O-N-G game of Carcassonne with Jeremy and Jennifer (and Joel), and listening to them bicker,
  • playing nine-ball with Jeff and Sabino while listening to Kris play Carcassonne with Jeremy and Jennifer, and listening to them bicker,
  • my haircut at the Metropolitan barbershop (an annual event), performed by Jerry Servo, the man who cut my hair when I was a kid,
  • playing the Game of Life with Steph, Julie, Ron, and Kim, just like when we were kids,
  • teaching the group to play Wizard, which they took to immediately,
  • some damn fine flank steak from Jeremy for dinner Sunday night (I only wish there’d been more!),
  • and lots of general relaxation with good friends.

Kris and I look forward to this trip every year; we don’t have a lot in common with this group anymore (except with Jeremy and Jennifer), but we have a shared history that counts for an awful lot.

We get to plan the trip next year, and though I’ve been saying that I want us to go to Black Butte instead of Sunriver (in order to save an hour of travel time each way), the house we stayed in this year was quite nice. Assuming that the same fourteen people return next year (and I hope that’s exactly what happens), this house would probably be a good choice. (As long as we hide the war movies from Jeremy before he gets there!)

Comments


On 29 April 2003 (05:10 AM),
Susie said:

I have mixed feelings on the subject of religion and whether it is harmful to individuals and communities. I used to believe wholeheartedly that this was the case, but recently began to question it. While I don�t want to confuse the notion of organised religion with faith, I do believe that there are benefits to the community when individuals behave in a God-fearing way. Over the past 20+ years church attendance (being representative of levels of faith) has diminished along with respect for authority and parental responsibility. The corresponding increase in crime and antisocial behaviour during this time is likely to result from all three factors and more; however, I can�t help but think that a major cause could be a lack of awareness/fear of the consequences of such actions. Naturally the criminal justice system plays a large part in this, but surely a more prevalent fear of the hereafter would temper many individuals� actions. Obviously there are many exceptions to this rule (religious criminals being an obvious example); I was thinking more of the general effects on society. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?



On 29 April 2003 (05:19 AM),
another J.D. said:

Sniff. I miss Central Oregon (home). Mentioning Sunriver and Black Butte in the same breath and I can almost smell the pine trees and see the sun slanting through them. I carry Black Butte with me on my head–I have a Black Butte Porter hat that has the logo on the front. You can see Black Butte from my parents deck (notice I say my parents deck, the house I grew up in, and not MY house like I would have 10+ years ago).

You might want to take a look at renting a cabin in Camp Sherman. It’s beautiful but not as manicured as a Sunriver or Black Butte. You should at least go through and look at the huge fish below the bridge for me next time you pass through.

Indian food in Bend?! My times have changed. That used to mean frybread and smoked salmon not curry!

J.D. I pack like you (night). I’m sorry for both of us.

Loverboy

I’m not going to claim that they were artists, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the group Loverboy. They were one of the first groups that Jeff and I really liked. We bought all of their albums, knew all of their songs, and, at one point, we even tried to dress like Mike Reno (and here).

Mike Reno

To this day, I feel a rush when a Loverboy song comes on the radio. Just the other day I cranked the radio to:

Turn Me Loose
by Loverboy

I was born to run,
I was born to dream,

The craziest boy you ever seen,
I gotta do It my way,
Or no way at all.

And I was here to please,
I’m even on knees
Makin love to whoever I please,
I gotta do it my way,
Or no way at all.

And then you came around,
Tried to tie me down,
I was such a clown,
You had to have it your way,
Or no way at all.

Well I’ve had all I can take,
I can’t take it no more,
I’m gonna pack my bags and fly……baby,

Or no way at all.

So why don’t you turn me lose,
Turn me loose,
Turn me loose,
I gotta do it my way,
Or no way at all.

Why don’t you turn me lose,
Turn me loose,

Turn me loose,
I gotta do it my way,
I wanna fly.

I’m here to please,
I’m even on my knees,
Makin love to whoever I please,
I gotta do it my way,
I gotta do it my way,

And when you came around,
You Tried to tie me down,
I was such a clown,
You had to have it your way,
Well I’m sayin no way,

So why don’t you turn me lose,
Turn me loose,
Turn me loose,

I gotta do it my way,
Or no way at all.

Why don’t you turn me loose,
Turn me loose,
Turn me loose,
I gotta do it my way,
I wanna fly.

Repeat

Turn me loose,

Repeat.

The grammar error in this song grates on my nerves like you wouldn’t believe. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. Didn’t somebody during the production of this record have the sense to pull out Strunk and White? (I should point out that I don’t mind the colloquial “craziest boy you ever seen” — that doesn’t bother me for some reason.)

Comments


On 25 April 2003 (07:43 AM),
jeff said:

Grammar errors usually bother me, but I didn’t even notice the whoever/whomever error (until JD pointed it out to me). The lose/loose error is what I noticed (which JD is now changing).

The Loverboy song reminds me of an even better song by another Canadian band from the ’80s:

On The Loose by Saga

One day you feel quite stable
The next you’re comin’ off the wall
But I think you should warn me
If you start heading for a fall

I see the problem start
I watch the tension grow
I see you keeping it to yourself
And then instead of reaching conclusions
I see you reaching for something else

No one can stop you now
Tonight you’re on the loose
No one to tell you how
Tonight you’re on the loose

I see no harm or danger in escaping

If the method suits the style
We put the mind on idle
And let the others take it for awhile
When the pace is too fast
And I think I won’t last
You know where I’ll be found

I’ll be standing here beside myself
Getting ready for the final round

No one can stop you now
Tonight you’re on the loose
No one to tell you how

Tonight you’re on the loose

The time we feel most stable
Is the time we’re comin’ off the wall
And there’s every indication
We may be heading for a fall

So let the problems start
And let the tension grow
We’ll be keeping it to ourselves
And while they’re busy reaching their conclusions
We’ll be reaching for something else

No one can stop you now
Tonight you’re on the loose
No one to tell you how
Tonight you’re on the loose



On 28 April 2003 (10:07 AM),
Paul said:

J.D.,

Re: Grammar. Haven’t you noticed that poor grammar is ok in popular music? It’s the one place where double negatives are the norm. I bet that if we could “correct” these things it would ruin the song(s). I can’t think of any good examples but there are oodles.



On 28 April 2003 (10:49 AM),
Drew said:

get this guy off the top page!

Social Personality

Proust provides much food for thought; twenty pages of Proust provides more discussion fodder than two hundred pages of most books.

Here’s a passage that I believe could inspire an entire evening’s discussion:

Even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is created by the thoughts of other people. Even the simple act which we describe as “seeing some one we know” is, to some extent, an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we have already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds those ideas have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope, so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognize and to which we listen.

How true.

It is both a great and terrible thing that the ideas we form of others — especially those first impressions which are constructed after mere moments of acquaintance — continue to dominate our relationships with them in the face of conflicting evidence. It’s a natural coping mechanism akin to the process of stereotyping, but applied to a single individual, and the real sin occurs when our formed image of a person is unyielding, stands fixed in the face of conflicting evidence.

I am as guilty of this as any other person. Poor Jeremy Gingerich long was the victim of my notion of his nature, and it was only when I allowed myself to really perceive him, to view him in diverse surroundings and situations, without filtering his behavior through a filter of my own prejudice (based primarily on antiquated notions and opinions of Jeremy), that I was able to alter my opinion of him. It works in the opposite direction, too, of course; we place some people on pedestals, even in the first few moments of a friendship, and in them we seem unable to note even the grossest flaw. The ugliest, most vile person in the world might seem beautiful and good if our minds have been swayed to that opinion and we are unwilling to relinquish it.

Are we what others perceive us to be? Does our social personality exist outside our interpersonal interactions? I suppose, by definition, it cannot. Is our social personality fixed, or is it malleable? Does it change from one social environment to another? For myself, I believe that some people’s perception of J.D. more closely matches my own than other people’s perceptions. Some view me in a negative light, and are not swayed by evidence that might assuage this disdain. Others like and respect me despite my foul actions and ill humor. But who sees me most truly? Is there a group that has a more accurate image of who I am?

Paul Carlile and I have discussed, at length, another aspect of social personality: the masques we wear from group-to-group. Paul makes no secret that he alters his masque to the social environment in which he finds himself. With me, alone, he is thoughtful and reserved. In a small group of close friends, he is mischievous, challenging, looking to goad staid thought toward something new, always “stirring the pot”. When he’s in a new social environment, mixing primarily with strangers, Paul plays the clown, the buffoon, going for cheap laughs, disarming those around him so that he can better gauge their personalities while delaying their view of his own. Each of these masques is a part of Paul, and he’s fully cognizant of the roles he is playing.

I prefer to maintain, essentially, the same persona in nearly every social situation. I am not socially facile, cannot cope with juggling multiple masques. Sure, my behavior alters slightly from one social context to another, but only slightly (on a conscious level). Still, each person’s perception of who I am is different, based on the social climate in which they know me. My soccer teammates have seen one facet of me, my family has seen another, and my geek pals have seen yet another.

In order to have a full grasp of another person’s nature, one must have known him for an extended period of time, have observed him in a variety of situations, have viewed every facet of his personality. How many people, then, can we claim to know fully?

How well do you know me? How well do I know you?

See how it goes?

Proust inspires self-reflection, close meditation.

Lovely.

What do you think about social personality and self-perception?

Comments

On 24 April 2003 (09:17 AM),
Tammy said:

Ok I’ll try this one. Actually, I had thought about this when we all did that quiz thing you had on strength, intelligence. charisma, etc. Those scores were based on individual perceptions; how much charisma and intelligence we “thought’ we had.

I know that I put on different masks for different groups of people. Most definitely! I think my husband is the only one that truly knows me.(Even then sometimes I wonder!lOl)

I see myself as haveing a lot of charisma. I see myself as a very blunt ,outspoken person, yet not rude. I think my friends see me as rude sometimes.

I can be very loud and annoying, or very quiet and reflective. Unfortunately the quiet side is usually only seen at home.

Above all things, I hate it when people think I am a certain way and won’t let me be anything else. Two weeks ago I attended a Ladies Seminar and we all stayed at a motel overnight. A bunch of us met in the speakers room to gab into the night. Well our pastors wife spent most of the night regaling us with tales of missionaries she had entertained in her home.

I was feeling particularly tired that night and a little worried about my kids at home so I wasn’t the life of the party like I usually am. When we got back to the conference the following mornign, one lady said, ” Oh Tammy, I so wish I could have gone to the motel. I bet you just kept every one in stitches all night!” I looked at her and informed that I was really tired and hadn’t participated much.

Now heres what just burns me up!!!! Another lady was standing there and she starts shaking her head like I wasn’t being truthful. (she had been to the motel) Lady no.1 says, “Oh so I am right! I bet you didn’t shut your mouth all night!” Lady no.2 says through clenched teeth while rolling her eyes,”Uh huh!”

Well I had HAD IT! I said, “Linda, how can you say that! Vicki talked all night telling missionary stories! I want you to know I scarecly said a word!” Linda just shrugged and walked away.

Now there, JD, is a true case of someone having a preconcieved notion of ones social personality. And what irks me is that once people have formed an opionion of you it doesn’t seem to matter what you do after that . You just can’t change it!

I think I know what my social personality is. It’s funny,witty, charismatic, and intelligent. Sometimes a little too loud perhaps. I also know that everyone percieves me as a gossip, which I am not! Gossiping, in my book, is purposely setting out to destroy someones good name. I don’t do that!

To wind up this long narrative I must say that my social personality and my self perception are not the same!

PS. I may have revealed more about myself in the above writing but I must always remember my mother is reading this!lol (Altho I do say that seriously too!)

On 24 April 2003 (09:45 AM),
Jeremy said:

I deserve to be judged for my unwillingness to fit in with “acceptable” social behaviors. This is a weakness of mine – most of the time I just don’t care what others think. I learned early on that trying to fit in, or trying to MAKE others like me as a way of feeling better about myself, left me exhausted, both emotionally and physically. This is often a point of great distress for my wife – she is the polar opposite on this subject.

Ultimately, my point is this. I like you JD. I like almost everyone I know. The people I like least are those who can never just be themselves – who always need some kind of a front. But there is no need for a statement like “poor Jeremy Gingerich.” I’m ok with you not liking me – or liking me. Although as I enjoy your company I prefer the latter.

It sounds as if I am a great deal like Tammy. I have been in many situations similar to the one desscribed as above (if you don’t believe me 🙂 just see JD’s entry from April 22, 2002. I read this two days ago and found it funny. My wife would cringe as she read it and remember and be extremely upset with herself for marrying such a social idiot.

At any rate – don’t feel sorry for poor Jeremy Gingerich.

🙂

On 24 April 2003 (10:34 AM),
Dana said:

Well, you’d better believe that I have an opinion on this 🙂

Nobody exists in a vacuum. Even those people who purposely go out of their way to wall themselves off from other people still have relationships with others — it’s just that those relationships are stilted and superficial, at least on the concious level. You can still read things about people around you, even without any councious interaction.

The thing about knowing someone else is that each interpersonal relationship is different. If both Able and Baker know Charlene, they know different Charlenes, because Able and Baker are themselves not the same person. Who they are colors their relationships with who Charlene is.

I think the most important parts of knowing another person are time and variety. Seeing them in many situations, over a long period of time.

Under those circumstances, you get to observe that person’s many masks, and how and when they employ them. You get the opportunity to learn what doesn’t change, despite the concious efforts of the person to adapt to his or her surroundings.

You also learn to read the person. You can tell their emotional state more readily, which allows you to pick up more subtle signals of how they are feeling and what they think about other people or situations.

I think others get to know us in spite of ourselves, not because of what we do. Because having someone else know you makes you vulnerable, and we are all careful to try and protect ourselves. And what is always amazing is when someone does get to know you, and sees through all those layers you put between yourself and the real world, and yet they still like and enjoy being around you.

That’s the basis for true friendship, and true love. At least, in my opinion. For most of us, it’s only our family that has the opportunity to get to know us this well. Our family, and our spouses.

If we’re lucky, we have a few friends who get there, too.

I think I know you pretty well, JD. I’ve known you for over a decade, and getting to know you in the Dorms at college gave me the opportunity to see you in lots of different contexts. Up until you started this blog, I think I’d probably read as much or more of your writing as anybody (because of our e-mail correspondences), and that reading has probably given me more insight into who (I think) you are than anything. You still surprise me, though, like with the kids at Clara’s BBQ. And I know that there are sides to you that I probably will never see.

Anyway, I do this sort of introspection all the time. I don’t need no stinkin’ Proust to trigger it — Heck, I go out of my way to pay people to listen to me do it 🙂

On 24 April 2003 (12:06 PM),
Joelah said:

So if these first impressions are so powerful and lingering, why do we make them? I’d argue that they do serve a purpose in our complicated social classfication system. They allow us to react and communicate more efficiently than we otherwise would. Imagine if everytime you encountered an acquaintance you had to sort of circle each other warily, testing out the roles you’d play socially. Each person would be reserved, reluctant to communicate, afraid of revealing too much. Because, after all, you never really know what someone else will do or say. You can get to know someone well enough to make very educated guesses, but there will always be uncertainty. I think our tendency to make and stick with first impressions allows us to overcome this first level of social inhibition.

On 24 April 2003 (12:13 PM),
J.D. said:

Ah, yes, I do agree that first-impressions, like stereotypes, serve a valuable psychological function in our ability to engage in social interaction.

The problem, comes, I believe, when one is unwilling to change a first impression or alter an existing stereotype based on evidence that contradicts the existing template. Often times we steadfastly refuse to change our perception of somebody (or some group) despite blatantly contradictory behavior. This phenomenon is more interesting to me.

Stereotypes and first-impressions aid in social interaction, but they should not be so rigid that we are unwilling to alter them in the face of new information.

On 24 April 2003 (12:57 PM),
Dana said:

If you buy my argument about time and variety, what you are describing is basically having the opportunity to get to know someone (ie, the opportunity to “circle each other warily, testing out the roles you’d play socially”), and yet not doing it for whatever reason.

Instead, you stick with a superficial impression of the person, and don’t take the effort to put the time and experiences you do have in common to learn more about that other person. You allow (either from laziness or, more likely, from indifference) the relationship to remain, at least from your point of view, superficial.

This isn’t necessarily bad. Lots of activities do not require deep interpersonal relationships (ie, playing Starcraft, soccer, or the like) and if you only did them with Close Personal Friends who know all about your Inner Soul, well, then you’d have pretty small teams and/or not get to participate in some enjoyable activities very often.

On the other hand, if you undertake one of these activities with a small group of people for, oh, 15 or 20 years and yet your relationship with them remains on a more superficial plane, well, I guess I’d wonder why. What else is going on? Why are you chosing to exclude those people, whom you’ve had ample opportunity to get to know well, from other areas of your life? There may be a good answer for it, but I would certainly wonder what that answer was.

(Note that this is all hypothetical rambling that I’m throwing out while I’m otherwise occupied at work. There Is No Subtext!)

On 24 April 2003 (08:00 PM),
Virginia said:

humm, this almost renders me speechless, however I do have a comment. When we moved to Idaho we met a family who viewed us from a distance (I know we look strange J.D. but they did too :o)
Anyhow we tried to be friendly and they were polite. This continued about 6 months. Then for some unknown reason we became their (They became our) best friends. They have confided in us, Taken us out for steak dinners (and paid the bill). Brought roses and pizza when we were sick, sent cards and the like.
Are first impressions always right? I don’t think so. Had you ask me about them a year ago I would have said they were nice, respectable people. Today I would say they are outgoing, friendly, and wonderful people.
About myself I would say I am mostly one to observe and watch other people. My voice is not often heard above the rest, (maybe because I married into a noisy family) However (if Tammy’s not around) and I am comfortable in the group I am in, I can be the life of the party. Like how do you be the life of the party when Tammy is there and tells an old school friend in the group, who is at least 4 years older than I am , “You look a lot younger than mom”… enough said.
About you J.D. Steve was his own person, You are your own person. I like that kind of person.
Different but likeable. You don’t seem to be afraid to do what you like and want to do. Also polite and respectable. And very interesting to talk to.
I have a feeling I’d better quit. I’m sure Tammy is checking my spelling and english and I don;t get a very good grade when she does.

On 24 April 2003 (10:15 PM),
Tammy said:

My mother strongly contends that the Roths are a quiet, intelligent bunch of people who would never think of being noisy and outspoken like the Swartendrubers.(her husbands side of the family)

Well she may be right. But once again that may just be a first impression. After all, according to all that has been written, only those who actually live with the Roths will ever really know! (spooky) And….. I have lived with a Roth!

Yet I will never tell!

Water

This week’s subject for Photo Friday is water. Fortunately, I’ve already created an image that will work: I still like this photograph of the South Falls at Silver Creek Falls State Park.

[Long, tall photograph of South Falls in which the falls is white against a black background]

This photograph was made with my 20mm wide-angle lens. The mist from the falls had coated the lens (explaining the blotchy effect in the upper-right of the image), and I was very panicky about taking the photo from my tripod. I snapped the image and then yanked off the camera and tucked it in my sweatshirt to dry.

Warren hates the light spot in the upper-right. He says it detracts from the impact, pulling the viewer’s eye from the subject, and he’s probably right. Does it lead your eye away from the waterfall? Personally, I like the effect. It gives the photograph an almost sacred tone.

Comments


On 21 April 2003 (12:04 PM),
J.D. said:

Oh yeah — the other key feature of this photograph is that it is underexposed. The meter read the light from the sky and from the waterfall and stopped down the aperature (I had the camera on autoexposure at the time). I feel this works better than if I had made a “correct” exposure in the first place, revealing the detail in the ferns and trees and trails on the other side of the falls.

Where the Shadows Lie

Kris complains that we don’t get enough sleep. We are usually in bed at a decent hour, but I generally read for a while (i.e. up to two hours) before actually falling asleep. Especially lately, I haven’t been well-rested in the morning.

Last night’s sleep was awesome. I fell asleep at about ten, and I didn’t get up until six. Yes, I awoke at several times during the night (I always do), but only briefly. And each time I grogged awake, the clock said something magical like 1:15 or 2:03 or 3:23, fantastic times that promised several more hours of sleep before morning. Usually when I grog awake and look at the clock, it says something ominous like 5:30, meaning the alarm is nearly ready to go off. It’s a wonderful feeling to look at the clock in the middle of the night and realize that you’re not even half way through your slumber, but it’s dismal to see that you only have a few moments of rest remaining.

Besides, I had great dreams last night, and I was able to remember them this morning.


Roger and Kristin have moved into their new house. It’s in the middle of a dense woods in a small valley hidden in the middle of Portland.

Ian loves the house. Roger and Kristin allow him to traipse around outside without supervision, and the woods are his playground. He climbs trees and digs holes and plays with the animals.

One day his Grandpa Ken comes over and Ian takes him out into the woods. They don’t return for dinner, and then they don’t return for supper, and they don’t return for bedtime. In the morning, Roger and Kristin summon all their friends — which, for some reason, includes the group from my Saturday morning photography class — and we fan out, searching the woods.

A group of us comes up with a clever idea: we’ll start at the back end of the woods and work our way toward the main group. The best way to reach the back end of the woods is through some nearby caves.

We drive to the top of a hill in the middle of Portland and we take an elevator down to the caves. We have our cameras with us. We’re surrounded by the typical tourists who always come to see these caves on Sunday morning. “Out of our way — we’re photographers,” we say, and people step aside.

We make our way through the caves and out to the woods. Only a few hundred yards from the exit, we encounter a large black bear and its cubs. We’re frightened that the bear may have eaten Ian and Ken, and that it may be hungry for us next, but the beast retreats when it sees our cameras.

To our relief, we find the lost hikers a few minutes later. They’re not really lost, though. They’ve built a full-fledged log-cabin and are preparing a breakfast of sausage and eggs and they invite us in to join them.


I’m a hobbit, bedded down at an inn for the night. Only the inn is very much like the main lodge at Drift Creek Camp, and I’m boarded upstairs, by myself, in a room filled with several bunkbeds. I’ve been assigned to the top bunk of the bed closest to the door.

I’m sprawled on the bed, maps and papers strewn all around me, and I’m copying important information into my personal journal:

  • Trees of Mirkwood seem alive. May be Ents!
  • Secret door visible at the last light of the setting sun, when the thrush knocks.
  • Gandalf’s birthday October 11th. New hat?

The maps and papers from which I’m copying are all old, tattered role-playing supplements.

I’m supposed to be meeting with Gandalf, but he hasn’t shown. He’s always late. I hope that nothing has detained him, because evil seems to be pressing from all sides. Plus, the sooner we meet the better, because after we’re through with our business, I’m going to play ping-pong with Mac and Joel (also hobbits).

As I’m working, a dirty little gnome — he looks like Dobby the House Elf — creeps through the room, trying to look nonchalant. That’s difficult, though, since I’m the only other person in this bunkbed-filled room.

Butterbur calls me down for supper, but I’m reluctant to leave my work. I know Sauron’s spies want to steal these maps and papers from me. I take my journal, at least.

I have a jolly supper, but sure enough: when I return to my room, all of the maps and papers are gone.

Just then Gandalf arrives, all storm and fury. I explain that the maps and papers have just been stolen and he calls me a fool. I hate it when he calls me a fool, so I begin to stomp around in my little hobbit-sized storm and fury.

I march downstairs, call Butterbur “Butterball”, and demand that he find the lost maps and papers. I ask about the dirty gnome that I saw earlier. Butterbur is distraught. He doesn’t know anything about a dirty gnome.

I hear a noise in the closet.

And then I wake up, because there really is a noise in the closet. Toto is banging around among Kris’ clothes, digging at the carpet, hopping on the closet organizer. What makes cats do this kind of stuff at five in the morning?


Maybe I should go to bed early every night.

Comments


On 14 April 2003 (03:15 PM),
Drew said:

i dreamed that i went to work (OGI) in a dress. i blame Dana for this.



On 14 April 2003 (04:54 PM),
Amy Jo said:

Kris and I have more in common than I originally thought. Both our partners have interesting and diverse hobbies, which take them away from home, a lot.

And sleep, well, I have this annoying quirk. I can’t fall asleep unless Paul is in bed with me (this is not a marriage-related situation, I used to do this when I was growing up and my parents stayed up later than I did). I require more sleep than Paul (I thrive on 8-9 hours) and because I’m up at 5-5:30 a.m. and at work by 7, that means I need to go to bed early. Paul, on the other hand, likes to read, play on the Internet, browse the TV . . .all normal, unwinding activities. I usually go to bed before him.

Then there’s my second sleep quirk. If I go to bed and don’t fall asleep right away (which is what happens when Paul joins me later), I can’t fall asleep at all. I have a short window, maybe 15 minutes, in which if I don’t fall asleep, I won’t be sleeping anytime soon. Thus, I may go to bed hours before Paul, but I don’t actually get to sleep until hours after he comes to bed.



On 14 April 2003 (08:14 PM),
Dana said:

Heh 🙂 Just trying to help, Andrew!

If you ever have a dream where you’re giving birth, well, then give me a call, because we’ll really have something to talk about 🙂

Sunday Painful Sunday

I’m standing in the daffodil beds at Wooden Shoe, making photographs, when a family meanders by: a mom, a dad, a four-year-old girl and a two-year-old girl. The two-year-old is leading a German Shepherd by a line. The four-year-old loves the flowers. Everyone is happy.

It’s crowded among the daffodil beds, and the dog knocks over the two-year-old. She falls in the wet sawdust. It’s an accident, and the kid’s not hurt, but she begins to wail.

“He knocked me over! He knocked over!”

I look up from my viewfinder and smile at the mother, who kneels down to comfort the girl. “It’s okay. He didn’t mean to knock you over. You’re not hurt.”

I look back in my viewfinder and then I hear a thunk. The dog yelps. I look up to see the dog whimpering and cowering. The father has kicked the dog.

I want to say something, but I didn’t actually see anything. Still: I now hate this man. He’s a fucking asshole. At this moment, every ounce of ire and ill-will in my being is focused on this bearded fuck who kicked a helpless dog. I want my glare to eat through his skull. I want him to die tomorrow. Painfully. Gnawed to pieces by a pack of German Shepherds.

What a fucking asshole.

The family walks away and the dog slinks after them, limping.


Though it’s been raining all morning, the sun has come out just in time for soccer practice. It’s good to see everyone again: Amy and Rich and Sarah and Jonathan and Laus and Kwame and Brett and Debbie (and Mac and Joel, of course). The mood is light and pleasant, and we’re excited to be playing together again.

Some softball players come up, looking for their team. “Are you with the Wonder Broads?” they ask. No, we’re not with the Wonder Broads. We’re with the Saints. We’re a bunch of losers!

We pump up the soccer balls, stretch our legs, and then take to the field, passing back and forth. Mac and Joel take a few shots on me. “How do you feel?” they ask, wary that I may not have recovered from my series of injuries last season. I feel great. My knee’s fine. I’m going to take it easy this season, going to stay healthy the whole time, going to have fun.

We split up into two six-player teams for scrimmage. I’m playing defense with Cassie, a new team-member.

Things go well for the first few minutes. Then, I plant my write foot and twist and my knee goes crunch and I collapse in a pile of curses and agony.

Not again!

I drag myself from the field and wait for the pain to subside. The knee’s a little sore, a little tender, but I put myself back in the game. I’m very ginger with the knee. Then I go for a ball and plant my foot and twist and my knee goes crunch and I collapse in a pile of curses and agony.

I’d looked forward to playing soccer this season. It’s not going to happen.

The bright side is I’ll have more free time�


On the way home, I stop at Excalibur Comics to see if they have the third issue of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They don’t (they’ve already sold the only copy they ordered), but Debbie takes it upon herself to call around to her competitors until she finds somebody who does have a copy and she asks them to hold it for me. Yet another reason I’m completely loyal to Excalibur, the best comic book shop in Portland.

Comments


On 06 April 2003 (09:34 PM),
drew said:

nurse that write knee back to health so we can go backpacking! i think hiking is less stressful than soccer, so long as you leave the goats alone.

nice time at dinner last night btw 🙂



On 06 April 2003 (10:32 PM),
Rich said:

hang in there, j.d. sorry to hear that you are done for the year, but you are still a part of our team and are most welcome at every game, practice, event, etc.