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Bakari
biodieselhau...
Male
Oakland, CA



 
Posted By Bakari

Now people who couldn't make it can vicariously experience 4 separate components of the party.

 

Full Contact Spoons - the only existing recording of the greatest full contact sport in the world.  There is only 1 min and 17 sec worth because we are all old and fat and lazy.


Super Smash Bros - I am playing 3 on one (everyone against me) on one TV while simultaneously coaching the people playing Mario Kart on a different TV.
There is also a handicap against me.
And I won.
Repeatedly.
:)



Dancing - 4 hours worth.  I only wore the shoes for a couple songs



Cake at midnight - my comment at the end refers to the fact that 3 different people made/brought cakes, and they all independently put my signature smiley face on them


 
Posted By Bakari

One of the things that happens when you get too old, you spend more time re-telling old stories than generating new ones.
I have a couple new ones now.

Everything went exactly as I had envisioned it, which I find remarkable considering how little planning and prep went into it.  Every portion was filled with participants, and all of you get the credit for that. All in all, not counting guests of guests, and the people who had to attend because it was in their house, about 35 people showed up, which is more people than I would have guessed I even know.

I want to extend a most enthusiastic thanks to everyone who came - however briefly - to my party, helping to make it an unmitigated success.
Most especially I wish to thank Greg for offering his house for the party, and Andy, Peter, Robin, Bret, Vern, and Vern's wife (who's name I don't remember since I met her then for the first time) for tolerating it.
Extra thanks to Peter and Jesse who helped me set up at the mansion and clean up again after, and Laura who helped me clear the field of poop, and to whoever found the 2nd N64.
Much thanks to Beth and Jessica who made 2 desserts each and my mom and Lois who brought one with candles - and all of them with my signature smiley face, "Banana Nose", my trademark since Jr. High.
A special thanks too, to Larry who came early and stayed 'till the end, and Sasha and Irina and Lois and Dajenya and Jesse who participated in each separate stage.
Thanks to Larry for the extensive documentation:

 

Al&I


Gregg&Diego


Jesse&I

park

 

birthday suit

 

 

mom&lois

larry&aileen


larry&brian



(I broke out the stilettos for the first time since prom for a few songs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmbhs76CnAo

(The very end)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kW34_om36g

I try not to be too narcissistic, but honestly, I'd have to say last Saturday was the most fun party I've ever been to.  Maybe I shouldn't wait 30 years to have the next one afterall...
(In the meantime, I will have other amtgard/spoons games.  Let me know if you'd like to be on the notification list for future games.)

And now on to other things, being mature and responsible and productive and all that sort of thing.


 
Posted By Bakari

So many people, when the subject of christmas lights come up, they acknowledge they are nice, but go on to add "but they are a waste of energy".

As someone who feels strongly that American's use of energy and resources is morally unacceptable, I would like to be very clear about this:
Christmas lights are NOT a waste of energy.

That 80% of car trips have only the driver or a driver and one passenger, yet seat from 5-7 people is a waste of energy.  That we live, on average, 20 miles from our jobs is a waste of energy.  Uninsulated attics and unweather stripped doors and windows in houses and power steering and air conditioning in cars, all electric kitchens, and cars that weigh 50% more than they did 20 years ago and have 200% more power are all enormous wastes of energy.
Buying enormous amounts of crap that no one really needs and that get shoved into a closet or thrown out after a few weeks wastes energy in manufacture and transport.

Not one of those things provides any significant increase in quality of life.  None of them make people happy to be alive.  At most they provide a tiny increase in convince.  At worst they do nothing but cost money.  None of them create joy.

In a land where profit is considered the only motivating factor for nearly everything in life, filled with people who don't know their neighbors, where 50% of people can't be bothered to take the effort to use their turn signals, for a few weeks a year people do something with no financial benefit, no increase in comfort or convenience, no direct personal benefit.
You don't even see them from inside the house.  Everyone else passing by sees them.
They turn an ordinary neighborhood into a magical place.
They create joy.
Which makes them one of the few valid uses of energy in this country.
Because ultimately, making it enjoyable is really the only point there is to life. 

So go ahead and enjoy those giant flashy displays and don't for a second feel guilty about it.
Put up your own even.

You can get a strip of LED lights for less than $10 that use less than 5 watts of power, (far less than a single florescent light bulb).
I even found a set for under $5 that runs for days on just (rechargeable) AA batteries.

But LED or no, the lights are worthwhile and good.

A world without christmas lights is not a world worth saving.


 
Posted By Bakari

The second arrow has been a recurring theme in conversations with many people for over a year at least.

You feel a certain way because of conditions or events in the external world, perhaps out of your control.
For whatever reason, you feel you shouldn't feel that way.
So then, in addition to feeling bad because of the real life problem, you also feel bad for feeling bad.

It is ok to show weakness. It is ok to be sad. Sometimes anger is appropriate.
It can never be wrong to feel a certain way. You feel how you feel.

It can never be immoral to feel a certain way. Your feeling alone can
not hurt anyone else. It is only your behavior, actual actions and
words, which can do harm, and feeling a certain way never forces you to
act out in a particular way.

Besides, from a purely practical stand-point, it is ineffective, in fact usually counter-productive.
Say, for example, you make a resolution to work-out more. And then you don't end up sticking with it. The real problem is the consequences to your physical body. But in addition you feel bad about yourself for your lack of discipline. Feeling bad about it doesn't make you more likely to actually do it. It just makes you feel bad.

No body is perfect, yourself included, and it is best to recognize and accept that fact. Never add insult to injury by measuring your self against imaginary ideals, telling yourself you aren't good "enough".

However...

Some people skew this concept, using self-acceptance as license to accept everything they feel, as if we had no control at all.

You should never feel bad for feeling a certain way - but that is
not the same as suggesting that every feeling needs to be validated.

It may be ok to be sad, angry, annoyed, disappointed, whatever, but
they are still things to be avoided. They aren't bad in the sense of being wrong, they are bad in the sense of being unpleasant. They feel bad. And that's reason enough to avoid them whenever possible.

And the thing is, it is possible.

Not all the time. If a loved one dies, there is no getting around the grief that will cause. But when someone cuts you off on the freeway, it isn't them that causes you to feel upset. Its you. No one can cut you off if you choose to slow down and let them in.

Its not always as simple as deciding what to feel, but we do have a lot more control than many of us choose to acknowledge.

Feelings don't just happen.
They are directly related to our perceptions and interpretations of the world around us. Being intelligent animals with an understanding of cause and effect, we have a lot of choice over our circumstances.

There are times when the things affecting us are outside of our control, but aside from the obvious steps of dealing with the specific problem, there are ways we can affect the feeling itself, independent of the circumstances causing it.

There is often a very fine line between repressing something and letting it go, but there is in fact a difference. Repressing is unhealthy, and it will only build up and come back later with a vengeance. But dwelling and wallowing as a way to avoid repression makes the bad feeling build up even faster.

 

[blog cont. here]