johnstonmr: (Default)
Yes, there are times I'm more grumpy than is necessary, at times I'm really hard to read, and I need to work on being a little less grouchy sometimes, and I need to stop being so mean just because I'm in a bad mood, and I will do so.

On the other hand, my friends need to bend a little, too. Realise that I am not like you. I'm not really into useless small talk (by which I mean "the weather's nice" and stuff like that), and I'm not particularly enamored of the phone as an instrument of non-purposeful communication. No matter how happy I am, I will /never/ display that happiness as you do; I will never be like you. My sense of humor is not always the same as yours. Just because I don't think your joke is funny doesn't mean I don't like you. To be ultra geek for a moment and quote a B5 character: "I may sometimes look like you, but I am not you. Never forget that."

Yes, I am cynical. Yes, I'm a little bitter over my childhood. If you don't know why, then you've never heard the whole story. Yes, I'm moving on, but I still carry scars. Instead of trying to change that, learn to deal with it while I learn to mitigate it. I'm not some poor soul for you to save, I'm your friend. And if I'm your friend, you'll accept my idiosyncrasies as I accept yours.

And yes, I love my friends dearly.

And now, the part no one will like.

Sometimes I'm silent because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. As I've said before, if I told people what I /really/ think all the time, they'd probably be upset with me. One of my friends recently said he feels sometimes I'm just tolerating him, and I'm unimpressed with him. Well, sometimes I AM just tolerating people, because yes, sometimes I'm annoyed as hell with them.

Show me people who never get annoyed with each other and I'll show you someone who's hiding something. Real boats rock.

I've often wished my friends would focus less on my moods and more on what they might be doing to /cause/ those moods (just as I have to learn to focus not just on my mood but on how that mood might be affecting my friends), but that hasn't happened, so I'm forcing the issue. I've removed names because there's no sense in embarassing anyone. If you're angry, I'm sorry. I really am. But I need to say these things in this kind of forum, where hopefully it won't hurt as much as if I said it to your faces. Some of these are aimed at more than one person. If you ever want to talk about them, that's fine. If you'd rather not, that's fine, too.

EDIT: REMOVED THAT STUFF. BEST LEFT TO THE FUTURE AND ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATION, I THINK.
johnstonmr: (Default)
Ok, I'm more than a little pissed off. And while I fully realise I'm being a little hypersensitive, this kind of thing is coming up so often it's starting to wear on me.

Over the weekend I went to game with some friends. In the aftermath, as all were packing up, there was a discussion on christmas. Now, as I understand it, two of my friends think that there are only three reasons to celebrate christmas:

1) Commercialism
2) Religious
3) Tradition

We won't get into my thoughts on this (suffice to say I disagree), except to wonder why said people have a christmas tree in their house. But that's not the point. I went on to say I like Christmas, and was accused of liking it for the commercialism aspect. I replied that no, I consider it a celebration of giving a damn about people, to which she said "Oh, but fuck 'em the rest of the year." Another friend piped up that "yes, that's Michael's basic philosophy." Now, I laughed, but in case you didn't catch it, that was a fake laugh.

Do you people really believe that shit? If so, why in the Nine Hells are you my friends?

I'm equally angry and hurt that I'm reduced to such a characture of my personality by my own friends, especially considering the number of times I've gone out of my way to help people. Has my image changed so damned much? Am I really just an irritable grump to you people?
johnstonmr: (Default)
I'm tired of defending my geekiness.

Yes, I'm a geek. That's not an admission, it's a statement. I'm sick of people acting like my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and more, my love of the associated Fandom, is something to be ashamed of. To those who continually make fun of me for it, I say these things:

1) Fuck you! What the hell is wrong with you that you have to belittle me for something I enjoy? You don't like it? Great! Go away and leave those of us who do in peace. Think it's weird? Fine! Do you absolutely have to say so to me?

2) When you make fun of those who are in sci-fi clubs (and believe me, I know some of them are kinda out there), keep in mind that some of the people you're making fun of -- even those who are Out There -- are my friends. And I'm tired of pretending they're not so I don't get made fun of. I'm a member (well, not in good standing, I haven't paid this year's dues, but still!) of the U.S.S. Defiance fan club. Sure, it's a silly name. Sure, there are some people there I wish would get lives outside SF/F. But these are also, with a few exceptions, good, hardworking people with lives, emotions, and interests other than Science Fiction. Even the more annoyingly stuck-in-fiction members of Defiance have non-genre interests -- from ham radio to politics to literature.

Those people helped me through some very difficult years at one time, and I owe them a debt I can never repay -- even the ones I don't speak to much anymore mean something to me. And damn you to hell for making me feel bad about it. And damn ME to hell for letting you.

No one has to like all of someone else's friends. Some of my friends don't like another of them. I can count the number of people from Gregory and Elli's dojo I like on one hand -- and one of the people they like the most pisses me off so much I can't be in the room with him for very long. So what? Not their problem -- it's mine, and I don't burden them with it (In fact, this is likely the first inkling they have of it, unless they're much more perceptive than I thought).

Yes, some of the people in those groups are so completely divorced from reality they make even my skin crawl. But don't assume that ALL of the members are like that. In my ten years in fandom, I've met a lot of smart, attractive, successful people in those clubs -- just as many as the losers, in fact.

Sure, I mostly sit in the back with Sally, Penny, Sheryl, Lisa, and Tracy and heckle the crap out of the people who take it all too seriously. But I'm still one of them in the end, and I know it.

I'm one of them. End of story.
johnstonmr: (Default)
A lot of people seem to think I'm basically a bitter, joyless person. When I hear this, I just want to smack them. I don't, of course, because most of those who mention it are dear friends whom I treasure and don't want to hurt. And they mean well. But I think it is time they hear what it's like from my side of the relationship. None of this is excuse, it's explanation.

I know I sometimes appear to be brooding, upset, angry, etc. The annoying thing of it is, I'm usually not. When I'm thinking about something, or when I'm deep in a book, I tend to frown. I don't know why. People usually assume that means I'm upset about something. And so they usually ask what. Now here's where my character flaws come into play -- I get annoyed when people assume I'm upset about something. Especially when, after I tell them I'm not, they insist something must be wrong I just don't want to talk about.

Truth: I have no lack of people to talk to if I really am upset. I tend to choose the person I feel will be best able to understand, and go to that person. I have no intention of discussing everything with everyone.

I think people also make this assumption because they see when I'm (actually) angry or upset, but they rarely see me talk about joyous things. Well, I'm kind of selfish, I guess. I just don't see the need to share every moment of joy that I see. I take joy in some of the simplest things. They're not all that special, just... neat. So I don't really see any need to share them all. Frustrations, I need to share, or I'll really become a bitter and spiteful person.

I won't dispute that I'm not like other people. Some of the emotional responses others take for granted, I don't understand or possess. Some emotions show on my face, some don't. Anger is easily seen, but other emotions hide -- often people don't realise how amused I am, because unlike them it doesn't show on my face. I think that's one reason alien cultures in science fiction appeal to me more than anything else -- I find it easier to identify with the confusion a Minbari experiences when dealing with humans than anything else. Half-Joke: Maybe I just need to Ultra-Geek-Out and start the Church of Minbar.

Truth: That bothers me more than anything. You've no idea how confusing it is to watch people react to things and not know why they feel as they do. When things "go south" on me, I tend to just shrug and get on with dealing, despite the frustration (which I feel intently, but can't seem to express).

For those who don't know yet, I was adopted at the age of five years. For the next 8 years, my life was more the stuff of "Flowers in the Attic" than it was "Eight is Enough." My "mother" was a psychotic bitch who beat her children mercilessly for every infraction, no matter how minor. Everything from eating a cookie without permission to being "too loud" to "mouthing back" -- which could mean only that I laughed at something she didn't approve of -- resulted in a whipping with a leather belt chosen especially for the amount of pain it would give. And she gave the kind of attacks that you'd give a grown adult to kids barely old enough to read.

(Now, a lot of people who knew her try to blame her diabetes on her psychotic behavior. But that doesn't wash with me. She was no more cruel, vicious, or manipulative than her mother, who's quite healthy.)

I learned very early on to fear her. And I learned, almost as quickly, to hide my true feelings. It was the only way to get by, really. Along the way I developed a reputation as a "bookish, detached" kid. Few teachers looked beyond that. Those who did are cherished in my memory, for they saw me and not the image of me. Even they, however, didn't know what was going on in my house.

Look, I'm not looking for your sympathy. I just want people to understand -- in some ways I'm not like you. Sure, these things are kinda sad, but they happened. They're here. And frankly, as psychological damage goes, I think I got off easy.

And I'm not completely at the mercy of my past, of course. Certain behaviors just piss me off, and I realise how irrational I am about it, but I can't seem to just let it go:

People standing over me when I'm seated or lying down make me nervous -- I guess the associations with mom and step-father -- and I get angry at those who do so. (major)

The inability of some people I know to answer a question without resorting to ten minutes of unnecessary exposition. (major)

The inability to quickly reach a consensus on things like "where to go for dinner" (minor)

Calling me "Mike." Even when done as a joke, it really does anger me, and even though I know that's silly, I can't help the rush of irritation and bitchiness that comes from it.

This has probably done nothing to help. But it had to be said.
Oct. 29th, 2001 08:35 am

Eek.

johnstonmr: (Default)
Keeping in mind that this test is largely tongue-in-cheek, this was an eerily accurate result:

You cultivate indifference to your surroundings, and are capable of ignoring your own needs for far longer is healthy or good, which often leads you to be morose without knowing why. Your indifference is not the same as insensitivity -- you can see the beauty of the world, but you try not to respond to it for fear of the pain it will cause you in the end. You try to know all things equally well, and always do what is right, but often fail to account for your own needs in deciding the right thing to do. This lets others manipulate you, which is another thing that makes you morose without knowing why. You are capable of thoughtlessly denying your own needs, which makes people look at you funny. You write thin books about how awful everything is and how little it matters.
johnstonmr: (Default)
I'm not much for trendy places. And trendy places that are filled with bad jazz, cigarette smoke, and a preponderance of black clothing really put me off.

Nevertheless, I felt bad the other night. Gregory wanted to go there, and I think at least some of the others did, but the place gave me an odd feel. It's the kind of place I used to spend damn near every night a few years ago. But I left the Long Dark Tragic Tunnel, retired my paleface and the Blacks (my semi-pretentious, semi-joking name for my favorite all-black outfit that, truth be told, I miss being able to wear). I felt out of place. And the food didn't look all that wonderful to me. And the smoke was getting to me (odd, that... it didn't use to bother me). So I went outside to await the decision of the others. And, except for some (probably) well-intentioned ribbing, the others accepted this. There were other circumstances -- nowhere to sit, etc., that sent us off to Lyons. I think there HAS to have been some other place we could have gone -- not even Sacramento is so dull as to have only ONE late-night hangout besides Lyons -- but that's where we went.

Now, I realise the service wasn't the best. And the food is, let's face it, utilitarian. It does the job. But I don't have the hatred for the place (and it's cousins) that my friends seem to. And I wonder why they feel as they do. Is it some dislike of corporate culture? Gods, I hope not. I'm tired of people who bemoan things just because they're corporate-owned. It's stupid. But I don't think that's it -- these same people love Noah's Bagels, and Jamba Juice, and the like. So, guys -- what is it? Is it just the food? The Service? Is it THAT Lyons, or ALL of them?

Bah. It just occurred to me that I KNOW a place we could have gone. It's not what it used to be, but it's still a late-night place. Dangit.

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