Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When You're Poor For a Long Time --

-- you learn to really stretch a buck. Which is good, it's a good skill to have, buck-stretching. But then recently I became less poor, and sometimes I've been stretching the dollar unnecessarily. Without thinking about it, by instinct. For example, for several years, my home had a completely unnecessary lack of flyswatters, because I had attained the level of wealth where buying a flyswatter would not break my budget, but it continued not to occur to me to buy one.

But those several years too had a big and unexpected upside. After several years of swatting flies with rolled-up newspapers, and with towels, and with books, and whatever other less-than-ideally-suited object was at hand, after I finally smacked myself on the forehead and went out and bought that flyswatter, I found that my skills had been honed to a very fine edge. With the proper instrument, now I am deadly. An anti-fly ninja. Fugettaboutit. I see a fly, it's dead, like in the time it takes me to walk over there. Doesn't matter how old and wily the sucker is. It's history, and it's easy.

The glass is half-full. Always. Whether you can see it or not. It just is.


  1. Now you might want to get screen for the windows.

    There's a teevee show called "Big Bang Theory", and one of the characters has many symptoms of Aspergers. For some reason, I don't see that you have any of these difficulties.

  2. The windows have screens. I've only had 3 or 4 flies to deal with since I got the swatter.

    Sheldon (I assume that's who you mean) on "The Big Bang Theory" is numbers-oriented. Fascinated by numbers. I've never been able to get myself very interested in math. And I've tried. I'm word-oriented. This accounts for some of the differences between myself and autistics like Sheldon.

    For some reason, the makers of TV shows don't seem to want to officially acknowledge that some of their characters are autistic. The only exception I know of is Emily's Deschanel's title character on "Bones." One of the creators admitted that they had an Asperger in mind when they created the character. But even he said they're careful not to mention it on the show itself.

    (I just checked on Wikipedia. The producers of "The Big bang Theory" deny that Sheldon is Asperger. Par for the course. But Jim Parsons, the actors who plays Sheldon, says he totally is. Of course he is.)

    1. If "numbers" is a factor that's interesting. The Sheldon character is very science oriented, seemingly not into literature or languages. However, he has the social difficulties that make Aspergers volken seem "spaced out", and unadapted. The few times I've seen actor Parsons, e.g. late nite teevee, he seems quite adapted and witty.

      Yeah, writers have a reputation for odd social problems. What will literature become if or when they are "cured"?

    2. Hello jay!

      "[Sheldon] has the social difficulties that make Aspergers volken seem 'spaced out', and unadapted"

      I have a lot of the same difficulties. I've been working on them in therapy for years. Sheldon doesn't see that he has social problems, which of course compounds those problems.

      Most writers aren't autistic. (Some are. James Joyce ma have been.) however, most writers spend all of their work time completely alone, which can severely hamper a person's social skills.

      As far as autism being "cured," I would say, don't worry about that, it's not gonna happen. I think instead it will be better understood, to the point where people understand that it doesn't need to be "cured." If I'm right about the future of autism, better understanding definitely will help us autistics very much with our social skills.

    3. A friend of many, many years died several years ago, a drowning accident. It has been more recent that I heard about Aspergers and realized he had many of those characteristic quirks. He had many friends, and always had some interesting project, Mayan study or astronomy, etc. and I enjoyed his visits. If you are close to the Library of Congress or the Getty Museum, let me know and I'll find the LOC number for a book I worked on with some of his essays, drawings and journals.

      As an artist for 30 years, I've worked alone for long periods - and except for two or three gatherings a year, I don't seem to get with party scene very much. As for "curing" writers, that was meant to be like a "thought" game.

      Thanks for your informative and witty blog.

  3. I avoided "Bones" assuming they had ruined the books. Checking what you write, I find they are intentionally dissimilar. I will have to give it a look. Tah.
    Regarding glasses, I find they are half empty. Always.
    Your Strabo index review post made me smile, but why would you expect the Germans and French to spell his name differently? And why revive Latin? If you emailed all those particular journals in English they would all reply in the same. Likewise journals in Asia. It follows and surely makes more sense that everyone publish in English. Reading David Chrystal that would seem inevitable and would achieve what you are harking back ro with a wider audience.
    Finally, whence the name of your blog and what do you mean by an evolution rather than a disorder?
    Cheers, Steve Watson.

  4. Hello, Steve Watson!

    "why would you expect the Germans and French to spell [Strabo's] name differently?"

    Because there's a wide variety in the modern spellings of ancient Greek and Latin names. The French and the German both spell it Strabon. The orator we call Cicero is Cicero is German and Ciceron in French. The poet we call Ovid is Ovid in German and Ovide in French. The poet we call Horace is Horace in French and Horaz in German. We say Marcus Aurelius, the Germans say Mark Aurel. And so forth. (And that's just spelling, pronunciation introduces still greater variation.)

    "It follows and surely makes more sense that everyone publish in English."

    But they don't. To stay current in classical Studies, besides Latin and Greek you have to be able to read English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, at least. This produces lots of polyglots, which is fun, but for the purposes of studying Latin and Greek it's not more efficient. It's also unfair to people from places like Scandanavia and the Slavic countries and the Middle East and East Asia, each of which is home to many Classical scholars.

    There's a post here from March 2012 entitled "The REAL Story About Why I'm the Wrong Monkey."

    As far as autism possibly being an evolution -- some autistics have extraordinary abilities, BECAUSE they're autistic, and not in spite of it. There's no getting around that. Albert Einstein and James Joyce and Ludwig Wittgenstein may have been autistic, and may have had their famous abilities because of their autism. If so, does it make sense to call it a disorder? At the very least, referring to autism as a disorder is an over-simplification.