Merry Xmas.

24 12 2010

I’m an emotionless robot and I don’t like Christmas. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like all that much. I gave up Christmas shopping years ago, with the exception of my son, because the experience makes me feel like an idiot. I worked in retail one year over Christmas, and the experience was awful. On the 23rd, there were people still in line for the registers an hour after we “closed”, and they were not happy. The next week was awful. Almost nobody came to the store to trade their little green rectangles for goods, but hordes came to do the opposite. The store was empty and dreary for the entire month of January. It seems it would be better for all if would just buy things that we need when we need them, instead of buying things for other people that they wouldn’t bother to part with their own money for at a certain time of year. Gift-giving makes sense when you’re buying gifts for people who can’t afford them (little kids), but not so much for people who would already own whatever you might give them if they really wanted one.

So there’s that, and then there’s the fact that I haven’t spent Christmas with my extended family in five years, and I actually like these people. In movies and TV shows, I’ve been subjected to the idea that spending time with family is what makes the holidays stressful and unpleasant, but staying away does the trick for me.

Today, I’m not an emotionless robot. Today, I’m a sad robot:





Ass Burgers

8 06 2010

When I was seven or eight years old I recognized that other people’s brains operated differently than mine. I knew I was unusually intelligent, but this was not just a difference of intelligence. It was a mechanical difference (difference in kind versus difference in degree). When I learned of Autism, I felt I was somehow connected. Years later, I learned about Asperger’s syndrome, a mild Autism spectrum disorder. I was married then; my wife read a list of symptoms and instantly concluded that I had it. The main symptoms are social difficulties, such as avoiding eye-contact, or not picking up on non-verbal communication. Others include fascination or obsession with complex topics, and often an above-average aptitude for mechanical and mathematical things. The symptoms are most pronounced in children and diminish into adulthood.

People with Asperger’s are said to lack empathy, but I don’t really agree with this. Sociopaths lack empathy, and aspies are not, as a rule, sociopaths. I think people with AS are more inside themselves and preoccupied with their own world than a typical person. Thus, they care less about what’s going on with other people. Lacking ability to pick up on non-verbal cues, they are often oblivious to other people’s feelings/emotions. However, when they do recognize suffering or realize that they’ve hurt someone they will certainly feel bad about it.

For men, this social inability creates extra difficulty in having relationships with women. I can’t say much about women with AS, because I don’t know of any. In the West, women have developed an expectation that men behave as women when it comes to showing emotion, sharing feelings, and reading minds. The stems from the erroneous belief that men and women are the same. A man with AS is even more different and un-woman-like in this way. In a sense, AS men might be viewed as being extra-masculine. They tend not to be the most successful with women, but social skills (game) can be learned. AS people are difficult to read, and can appear cold, robot-like, emotionally dead, creepy, or mysterious. They may be very shy, but they can also be overly outgoing.

Recently, someone on OKCupid’s Dating Advice forum explained that she had begun seeing an AS guy and was looking for advice. She did not identify any specific problem; she was just looking for general advice. The first person to reply said, “Have you really sunk so low you’re dating retards now?” Later in the thread some expressed skepticism about the disorder. To some, it’s a made up disorder that people use as an excuse for being assholes. Autism is real and appears to result from abnormal brain development. It is not difficult to imagine that this abnormality can vary greatly in severity. Autism is not disease like Down’s syndrome that one either has or doesn’t have.

Once again, I’ve never been diagnosed with AS, and I think it’s very likely that I would not be if I went to specialist. However, every time I read about the disorder, I identify with it. Many of the symptoms are effectively gone, as some of them were basically just delayed development, but I still feel different and have my AS moments. Whenever someone asks me how it’s going or how I’m doing, I want to answer them honestly, but I know I’m supposed to just say “good”, “well”, or respond with a greeting of my own. Still, if I’m in a shitty or normal mood, I feel uncomfortable lying about it. I also know that when I run into people I know, I’m supposed to be happy to see them, but I rarely ever am. People sometimes ask me what’s wrong when nothing is, and once someone asked what I was so happy about when I would swear that I wasn’t. I am normally in a normal mood, not good or bad. It takes a lot to get me excited.

About a week ago, I was sitting at the bar in a near empty place when bartender pointed to one of the TVs. He recognized some video of a motorcycle rider crashing and getting run over by a car. This video was apparently amazing to him and he wanted to share this amazing-ness with the nearest human, which happened to be me. I wasn’t amazed. I smiled, pretending to be impressed, but I’m sure I appeared emotion-less. I disappointed him. It’s a little thing, but these little things happen a lot, particularly with people who I don’t know/like and/or are of limited intelligence. Not laughing at jokes is common. I have a sense of humor, but a lot of shit just isn’t funny.

In the last few years, I’ve taken up drinking. Alcohol makes me feel human. It animates me. When I’m drunk, I actually do get excited to see the same boring people I always see, and people seem to find me much more interesting. Recently, I’ve developed a beer belly and weigh more than ever before. If anyone has any suggestions for a new drug, I’m all ears. Pot is out of the question. It just makes me tired.





Dad! We should get some beer!

5 06 2010

I was grocery shopping once with my 6 year-old son, walking through the beer aisle when he loudly pronounced, “dad! We should get some beer!”, as if we drink beer together. The kid won’t even drink anything carbonated.





Furbies

4 06 2010

Some time ago, I witnessed a conversation between two people I had classified as mentally retarded. These are two grown men with child-like minds. They are both difficult to communicate with because they often fail to understand what others are talking about. When I saw them talking to each other I thought, “Oh my God! It’s like two furbies talking to each other!” If you don’t know, the furby was the first mass-produced consumer-end robot toy. They speak Furbish and English and appear to engage humans, pets, or each other in conversation, but they lack speech recognition. They react to sound, light, and motion, and will wait for silence before responding. They don’t really communicate.

Now, I often have this reaction to other people’s conversations. People discuss the merits of ideas which they don’t quite understand. They argue when they actually agree or think they agree when they don’t. It’s bizarre. Sometimes, I’m in the circle, but I’m not involved because there’s just nowhere to put myself. To enter the conversation, I must first explain the idea as if they had never heard of it. I must clear a path before I can proceed. It’s usually not worth it. I just spectate. I took the name Unfrozen Caveman form the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, a SNL skit performed by the late and great Phil Hartman. “Your world frightens and confuses me” is a quote from that skit, but it’s also a reference to how the furbies make me feel like alien.





Beautiful Women

8 03 2010

Recently, I saw the most beautiful woman I know in real life. She is perfectly proportioned, with a back that’s always a bit more arched than it probably should be. Her ass is wonderful and her perky medium-sized breasts are great, but it’s the way that it all flows together that really does it for me. Her hair is long and dark brown. Her eyes are wide and deep brown. She is probably partly Latin, Greek, or Persian. Her nose is perfect, not unlike Evangeline Lilly‘s. She’s about 5’2″ or 3″, which is ideal to me. Whatever her body fat percentage is, it’s what everyone else’s should be. One might describe her as thin, but she doesn’t appear to need a sandwich (like a runway model). If I had a type, it would be her. Her manner is delicate and feminine, and interactions with her are always pleasant. Every word that describes feminine beauty fits her. She is pretty, hot, sexy, cute, gorgeous, and, of course, beautiful. When she is present, I find her appearance distracting. She catches my eye whenever she’s visible. I cannot think of any famous woman who is more attractive. I have heard that she has an ugly side, but as long as I don’t get to know her any better than I do, I’ll probably never see it.

I did ask her out once. She said her boyfriend wouldn’t like that. That’s probably for the best. For now I can simply admire her beauty as something I like about the world.  I can’t see how she or anyone else could actually live up to the image I have of her.

Because they can get away with it, very attractive women are very often horrible people. They often fail to mature socially the way most women and almost all men have to. I think this failure to mature can even help explain the phenomenon of hot chicks with douchebags, as more socially evolved women flat-out roll their eyes at the excesses of douchebaggery. There definitely are exceptions, but I think it’s a good rule of thumb (for me, at least) to ignore those who are (or carry themselves as if the were) the most physically attractive. When Adam Carolla was on Loveline, any time a girl would speak as if her words were more valuable than his own and Dr. Drew’s, he would accuse her of being hot. I think he was right, and they never said he was wrong. Hot girls are used to people paying attention to them and are accustomed to others paying attention to what they say, regardless of its importance. This is not simply an issue of men consciously trying to sleep with them; it’s that people who are aesthetically pleasing to others subconsciously garner more sympathy/empathy, and an adorable little girl can get away with anything. I remember how when my younger sister was very young, both of my parents had difficulty in scolding her because her cute smile would have them both gushing. Ugly children might not have it so easy, but at least they learn that bad behavior has negative consequences.

While I really want women to understand how important their own physical beauty is when it comes to being attractive to men, I also don’t want them to think perfection is necessary or even desirable. The most recent woman I fell for is quite attractive, but she has some significant imperfections. As I got to know her, these became insignificant. Actually, they pretty much vanished. Occasionally, I still run into her, and I still see that person I got to know. I see more than just what shows.  As I get to know people, they tend to look either better or worse. I think this can even get to the point that it doesn’t matter at all what someone looks like (like maybe after a few decades of a good happy marriage). I suspect this happens with everyone, but people don’t talk about it much.





What’s a Machinist?

2 02 2010

From a computer that clearly has internet access, Snark asked me what a machinist is.

Wikipedia says,

machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts, a process known as machining. This is accomplished by using machine tools to cut away excess material much as a woodcarver cuts away excess wood to produce his work. In addition to metal, the parts may be made of many other kinds of materials, such as plastic or wood products. The goal of these cutting operations is to produce a part that conforms to a set of specifications, usually in the form of engineering drawings commonly known as blueprints.

If you follow the machine tools link, you’ll see a list of the machines that a machinist might operate. The big two are the Lathe and the Milling Machine (or simply mill). On a lathe, the part spins while the cutting tool does not. On a mill, the opposite occurs. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are controlled by computers running programs. Mostly, these computer controllers run programs written in “G-code”, which I believe is derived from the language used to program the old NC machines, which didn’t have computer controllers. Don’t ask me how they work; I’ve never seen one. CNC lathes are officially known as turning centers and CNC mills are calling milling centers.

There are hybrid and specialized machines and there are other machines that use the same language, such as laser cutters, electron beam welders, and routers. I primarily run a CNC lathe, making aircraft parts.

If you ask “yeah, but what do you do?” I’ll fucking stab you.

Okay, mostly I do crossword puzzles, but sometimes I have to fix program errors introduced by operators who are bad at math. For whatever reason machine shops are often not afraid to put morons in front of there machines. Sometimes, I have to use trigonometry. I liked the movie “The Machinist”, but my workplace doesn’t resemble what you see in that movie at all.

Machinist porn:





What Do You Do?

10 01 2010

I hate this question. I’m a machinist, and it seems that most people have little to no idea what that is. I tell them this, and if they think they have a clue what a machinist is they ask where I work. I say Tempe. Then, they want to know the name of the place where I work. It’s very small. Nobody’s ever heard of it, so if give the name, I have to repeat myself and insist that it’s okay if they don’t know what I’m talking about. If they don’t know what a machinist is, they want me to tell them.

I’m going to start telling people that I’m a bathroom attendant. Everyone knows what that is.