The Ceiling

-My craft is the death of me.-

Sandra lay in her bed staring intently into the darkness. She wanted to call him. The freckled boy from down the road…

When she first caught the wicked glint in his eye, she didn’t think much of it. Maybe it was just the way he looked at things. He seemed the type to always be scheming. And while that ordinarily would be off-putting and maybe even a little scary… She found it an incredibly charming shade on him and wouldn’t rather see him in any other color.

It was a surprise to her when she asked a friend to find him for her after that first night. They’d barely spoken three words or paid the other any real attention… But their eyes met a few times and that seemed to be enough…

It was a surprise when she cast him a coy, “…drinks?” and he responded by inviting her over to create a new kind of cocktail for a joint party they ought to throw on the weekend.

She didn’t think much of it, but suddenly they had an excuse to spend time each day for three days. She didn’t quite know it yet, but she thrilled at the prospect…

And as drinks led to her rambling on about social justice the first night, surely embarrassing herself and he had a date to attend the second night with his latest prospect, whom he professed to be truly interested in… It definitely didn’t come as a complete shock when during a quiet moment in hosting she yanked him away into the coatroom, for a few seconds of slap and tickle… And scratching. And she could still feel his nails drawing across her skin. And there was some bristling excitement left as she considered what were some of the most exciting kisses she’d shared with anyone in recent memory. But they didn’t end the night in the same bed.

And so there she lay, in her own bed. Staring. Confused.

“Do I call him?” she wondered? What should she say? Was there a right or wrong move? And was there a safe line to toe in such a situation…

Why, oh why had she sleep with his roommate?

She’d wanted to. And this perplexed her further.

Sandra wondered aloud to herself if she was allowed to want this. Her brother said yes, which startled her because she didn’t realize that he’d been reading below her in his bed, nor that she was talking out her predicament in short disconnected, but intelligible ramblings.

“But Michael, are you sure I’m not a slut?”
“No.”
“Oh that’s really helpful.”
“I don’t know you’re life. Well I do, but-…”
“But nothing. Is it bad that I want both roommates? They literally are both keeping me up at night…”
“Why do you want them? Don’t you have a boyfriend already?”
“Well, it’s a long way from here to Spain… And I love him, I really do… But David is fun and Sam is really freakin cute. Am I allowed to tell you they’re good in bed-…”
“No.”
“Too late, Or well I think David would be but I know Sam is.”
“So if you’re already doing this, what’s the problem?”
“I don’t know…”
“Then there isn’t a problem and I’m going to bed.” James rolled over in his bed and sighed.

“…The problem is that I did it but I want to keep doing it and don’t know how to do that! Also I didn’t tell Esteban the whole truth so now I’m keeping a secret… Which kind of makes me want to do it more, but makes me feel like a bad person even though it’s not against the rules unless I don’t tell him! So technically-…”
“You’re not a slut, you’re a floozy and I just want to sleep! Just tell Esteban and don’t worry about any of the room mates unless they try to sleep with you again? Ok? Ok. I’m going to bed Sandra.”
“But-..”
“BED!”
“…Hmph.”

Sandra lay in her bed staring intently into the darkness. She wanted to call him. The freckled boy from down the road…

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Indirect Language.

George Carlin had a great moment where he talked about “shell shock” in World War 1. He was upset with America and their use of euphemistic language. He found that surrounding the issue of mental illness in soldiers in euphemism was a great deal of bullshit. Shell shock was to the point.

It was direct and it told you basically everything you needed to know about the issue at the time. Your nervous system was stretched to it’s limits and it was at a point where it had or was about to snap.

Then in WW2 it became “battle-fatigue.” It was more syllables, much less direct, and didn’t sound like such a terrible condition to be suffering from. Perhaps you needed more naps.

Heading into and out of the Vietnam War the term became “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Not only did he find this incredibly long winded.. But it was a past tense sounding description of a present tense problem. While this may be more politically correct and applies to more people than soldiers, it still takes the urgency out of the issue. My friends have mild forms of PTSD from their childhoods.

There is a poetic and despicable irony in the way that our brains will associate these two groups of people and color our experiences of their suffering, in some cases trivializing or negating it.

The reason this even came up was because I was watching a brilliant Ted talk about “Leadership Training” over “Sensitivity Training.”

The speaker talked about a linguist who illustrated how the human mentality is naturally inclined towards victim blaming with 4 sentences.

1. John beat Mary.

2. Mary was beaten by John.

3. Mary was beaten.

4. Mary is a “battered woman.”

I like the first sentence. It’s direct, clear, and the perpetrator of the action Is the first thing you witnessed, followed by his actions, followed by his victim.

If you follow the order of nouns in the sentences and ask why this happened you may notice something interesting. In the first sentence. The question posed would look like this:

“Why did John beat Mary?”

In any of the subsequent cases, we start asking about the victim. Victims are not the ones who take the action that they are a victim of… So why do we shift the blame on to them. And why do we describe them in ways that divorce them from the actor’s will?

Melancholia

There was going to be an entire depressing post here about my insignificance and lack of purpose, but I deleted several drafts and decided to put this here instead.

You are valuable.
You can achieve something.
You can succeed at something.
And someone somewhere loves you.

The Essence of Style

Here is a fashion tip for those who think they have none.

Today, my friends… vanity is not a dirty word.

Actually…. To
day, It’s the keyword.

Today…
Vanity means you care about yourself.
Vanity means you love yourself and how you look.
Vanity means you want to feel confident when you walk out the door.

And because of this I want you to look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see when you look? Do you like it? If the answer to the second question is yes, congratulations.

But if the answer is no…

Then why don’t you fix it? Why don’t you find something to wear that says something about you? Why don’t you make a statement?

Because that’s what style is. Saying what you want to say on your own terms.

Don’t be ashamed to love the way you look.

Only you can be you. So own it.

Balance it out.

Every so often I have this feeling. My friend’s mother likes to call it “existential angst.”

I’m sad for no reason and there seems like there isn’t anything I can do about it.. The world is a shitty place, full of shitty people and there’s no reason to do anything.

Every so often I have this other feeling. I’m pretty sure it’s mania.

Like if the full force of my potential was released I would conquer the world in fifty seconds flat and solve every problem mankind ever had.

 

Both perspectives in my opinion are sort naïve. No one is so inconsequential that they can’t do anything. And no one human is so powerful that they can do everything.

I think the issue though, is that everyone can do something. But because of their perspective on reality at any given point chose to do whatever makes the most “sense” in their opinion. I think it’s time to change our world views.

the philosophical definition of “reality” is:

a. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
b. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive.”

 

Nothing actually exists independently of ideas relating to it, because ideas and facts are derived relative to the experience of it.

 

Not So daily Posts: Banished to Elo Hell(or League Hell for Season 3) League of Legends.

What does this have to do with Zexton’s self improvement? A lot. I’ll tell you how with an explanation of a game I love and the problem that I had. Quick things…

1. What is Elo Hell? 2. Why does it matter?

1. It is a perceived space in which players believe they are stuck. they think it is impossible to progress forward in ranking because every game, someone on their team fails them.

2. It matters, because no sane people should play games that they deem a personal hell.

For those of you who have no idea, League of Legends is and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena(MOBA) game. What happens is you grab 5 friends or non-friends(usually the latter in most situations) and you play capture the flag*

*We should here replace tagging and jail with death at the hands of your opponents and laser firing obelisks, and capturing the flag with burning down your enemy’s house*

Most players start the game sucking horribly. And we know this. We do things like miss abilities and actually save our enemies. Then after turning the tide in our enemies favor get killed trying to escape…  Many don’t even realize how bad they are. It’s not your intentions that win, it’s the results. See 40 second video below for an example:

One day, after 5 hrs of play, some of us start figure out the basics of the game. We know how to earn gold to buy items and kill things. Maybe even learn the importance of objectives. We understand the mechanics of our characters and maybe someday with that same champion we’ll start doing things like this:

But after they learn to play one champion and have that first game where they just stomp the enemy, all bets are off.

The problem however is that once people have the skill to intentionally defeat an opponent, they quickly forget about the importance of their behavior to the rest of their team. It’s a team game… and you are at a distinct disadvantage if you don’t have the team skills to win. And while some individuals enjoy team play and will band together to achieve victory and help each other win. It is often much easier for them to blame someone else for the team failing.

Golden Rule of LoL: Never die in the process of killing things, unless the value of your actions in that moment is worth more for you and your team than what the enemy gets for killing you.

Understanding that principle can take you very far.

Where people should be getting objectives, they are chasing enemies and getting killed by the opposing team who is working together to bring them down. Where people should be playing safely and acquiring gold until they can get the assistance they need to kill their opponent, they are getting desperate and aggressive trying to prove to themselves they can do it alone. They blame their allies for not helping them, their allies blame them for playing poorly, and they all lose together anyway.

Instead of trying to help their less able teammates to play better, they find a scapegoat to blame for the loss and proceed to act as though they are above their team because they weren’t first to fuck up. Where they should be searching the enemy’s weaknesses and crippling the enemy’s strongest players, they are exposing their own weaknesses in cross team chat saying “GG Fail Nid.” Now everyone on the enemy team knows that your Nidalee is persona non gratis and you guys aren’t going to help her. In fact you’re probably going to deny her help and resources and make it easier for them to punish her failings. You’re going to let them win by exploiting your team’s weakness and they will capitalize on her failings while you make her feel worse and play worse, possibly to the point where she hurts the team intentionally. “Fail jungle” same thing. We’re not going to help him if you invade. We’re not going to follow up when he comes to make a play.

Another thing that is terrible about playing for ranking is when people refuse to fill a role on the team because they simply want to play something else. If you have nothing to bring to the team, why are you on it? Instead of picking something that can clearly help your team succeed in the circumstances that it is in, you chose to pick something that hurts the chances of your allies success. It’s childish.

I know you want to have fun, we all do. But there are game modes for fun. When you’re there to raise your ranking, you’re there to play in a way that will actually increase your team’s chance of winning whether or not it’s the most fun you’ve had.

Your ability to actually carry your team to victory with intelligent play is what you are supposed to demonstrate when you play a ranked game. It’s not to show off how many kills you can get, it’s to demonstrate how often your skill can lead to YOUR TEAM being victorious regardless of who is on it. If you don’t truly know you can play well enough to determine your own victory against odds, then why do you deserve a better rating than the one you have?

TLDR

Learn to be strong enough that you can carry others to victory. The act of carrying others requires supporting them when they are not strong enough, bringing out their strengths, and leading them, even if from behind and/or God forbid(sarcasm) by example

.Image

Here’s a link to try the game.

http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/?ref=51c40b9fb11ff005603438

My Summoner Name is humpingbunnies on the NA server. Friend me, we’ll play

http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/?ref=520e2164c9118044659515

if you’re on EU West, I’m kidtitan and the link above is for you 🙂