A brief history of status

Human beings are status seeking creatures.

It is an instinct as old as it is deep. In order to survive on the plains of the Serengeti, our tree-dwelling ancestors had to come down from the trees and leave the Eden that was the food-rich jungle.

In the jungle, food was everywhere. Fruit, berries, insects, roots, leaves, and even the occasional hunk of meat made up the diet of our arboreal ancestors, and all of it was available with very little work.

The rich, dense biome of the jungle was a never-ending feast for our ancestors. But then, the climate shifted and the jungles were replaced by wide grassy plains, and they who would one day be human had leave the way of the monkey and, at least in part, adopt the way of the wolf.

We became pack hunters. And the thing about hunting in packs is that it requires a very firm and clear hierarchy. In the jungle, leadership mattered little. But on the plains, it was a matter of life or death.

And where there is hierarchy, there is the need for status. It is this desire for status that provides the energy for the dynamism of the hierarchy. Without it, nobody would seek advancement over others and hence no leaders would emerge.

And so was born the need for both the alpha and the omega of the tribe, and all the rest of the tribe in between. Some seek status strongly, and become leaders. Others seek status at a moderate level, and rise to occupy a niche in the hierarchy. And others do not seek it at all, and they form the lowest ranks.

With the coming of language and specialization, the hierarchy could grow more sophisticated. People could hone their skills at specific jobs, and hunting parties could coordinate in powerful ways.

With the rise of civilization, our hierarchic nature rapidly became formalized. From small groups which only needed a chieftain and a priest, we advanced into world requiring kings and queens and princes and dukes and mayors and all the rest.

But then something odd happened. We invented freedom. The hierarchy pyramid had grown too stiff, unfair, inefficient, and above all, intolerable to the increasingly urban people who had enough education and enlightenment to start to believe that they had value and deserved safety, security, and dignity.

Once we were gathered together in sufficient numbers in cities and hence came into far closer and more frequent contact with our government every day than a peasant on a farm has in his entire life, the status difference and the arbitrariness of its method of determination (hereditary rule) became increasingly intolerable, especially to the newly emerging middle class.

To an educated middle class person, being stuck between royalty and peasant was a terrible situation because their superiority over the uneducated peasant made them very aware of status, and gave them an appetite for more. But under a monarchy, there was a hard limit to how high they could rise.

So the monarchy had to go. Most proletariat revolutions have been led by a disaffected member of the middle class. Via rabble-rousing, a low status member of the middle class could become a high status member of the working class, and use the weapons of the middle class like education and organizational skills to topple the royal class and create a world where the middle class is in charge.

Thus, we have revolution.

Fast forward to the modern era, and we modern homo sapiens live in arguably the least hierarchical era since the days of the chieftain. All the usual pyramids have been flattened considerably and we all share the privilege of being, in the eyes of the government, citizens, all equal, and all worthy.

Has this somehow banished hierarchy? Heavens no. Of course not. Instincts aside, hierarchy is quite simply how things get done. There will always be leaders and followers on every level because there will always need to be someone how decides what to do and others who do it. The body always needs a brain.

What we have achieved, however, is an enormous growth in the middle class. This has created a situation where you have the vast majority of the population with, from a historical perspective, all the exact same status.

Hence, the seemingly petty madness of the middle class need to keep up with the Joneses, or even better, bury them in the dirt. When you have a lot of status seeking naked beach apes all accorded the same status, the tiniest of differences in status get blown up into full blown crises.

That’s why, for instance, a group of neighbors will get upset at a neighbour who neglects their lawn. They will say it is about real estate values, but that’s a lie. It is really about status. That unmowed lawn makes the neighborhood seem lower status, and hence brings down the status of those who have invested some of their self-esteem capital in a particular version of their neighborhood.

But this does not end at the neighborhood level. Households have hierarchies too, and competition within them.

Hence, sibling rivalry.

But even more so, hence a lot of the seemingly irrational behaviour of parents toward their children. Behaviour that seems at odds with their parental role.

The secret is that, unbeknownst to any of us, there is a secret deal made in every family household, and that deal is that no matter what their status is in the outside world, at home, the parents are the alphas. Period.

This is how the modern person solves the complex puzzle of status conflicts in a complex world never dreamed of by our primitive instincts. That is why they used to say “a man’s home is his castle”.

We all have high status in the tiny little hierarchy of our own homes. That is how it is before a couple has children (spouses are presumed equal) and that is how they try to keep it after they are born.

But kids have status instincts too, and thus there is conflict.

That is it for my brief history of status.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

What is authenticity?

And why do we seek it?

Throughout the modern world, consumers seek authenticity. They look for genuine experiences, authentic cuisine, handmade fashions, and organic food.

A deep sense of falseness runs through the collective unconscious of the modern world. We seem to think that our normal lives are somehow unreal and inauthentic, and that genuineness can only be found by introducing something external into our lives.

The signs of this are everywhere. Young people move into an ethnic neighborhood because it seems more “authentic”. Products are marketed as “organic” or “genuine”. Ethnic cuisine restaurants tout their “authentic” cuisine. [1]

But what is this mysterious “something” that we seek? What exactly are we looking for when we seek authenticity? And what is it that we lack in the first place?

One possible definition of authenticity is that it is a form of supra-normalcy. We are seeking something more normal than normal life. Normal life is quite stressful for us upright hominids. We seek the normalcy of a previous era.

Because if there is one thing we all know about authenticity, it is that it cannot be found in the future or the present. It can only be found in the past.

Another possible definition of authenticity is the “natural”. [2] Modern life alienates us from the forests, plains, and beaches of our ancestors, and this creates a deep sense of dislocation in people. Every animal must have a sense of where it belongs in order to keep it in the environment to which it is adapted.

And we homo sapiens have not lived in cities and towns nearly long enough to have adapted to them.

Hence, we need parks and gardens and wilderness preserves in order to maintain our sanity. Even the most dedicated urbanite who would never dream of going camping appreciates the soothing, friendly qualities of a tree-lined street.

Yet another potential definition of “authentic” is “simple”. In purely mathematical terms, the complexity of our world is increasing. People invent things that other people can use to invent things. The nodes of human consciousness that are our minds are increasingly interconnected. The technologies of five years ago already seem quaint and antique.

So we seek in authenticity a version of the world that seems simpler and more innocent than our own. We buy things not simply for their basic utility (what you actually use it for) but for the feelings they evoke in us due to the associations we have in our minds about them.

So when a person buys an antique chest of drawers, or travels across town to buy organic vegetables at a farmer’s market, or listens to legendary jazz performances on the original vinyl, they are activating a whole complex array of positive associations in their minds. These associations form a (probably not very realistic) picture of the past in their minds and it is connection with this picture that we seek when we seek authenticity.

There is a sense that when something is authentic, it is closer to its source and thus somehow cleaner and clearer and hence more “real” than something that comes from the vast interconnected web of industrialization and commerce.

Hence the appeal of farmer’s markets and “artisnal” products. The young people of today express their alienation from nature and distrust of corporate capitalism by buying products made by the person who is selling them to you, from ingredients that were still in the ground yesterday.

To them, this is a guarantee not just of quality, but of that elusive quality of authenticity. It is more real to them because it is knowable. You know where it grew, who grew it, what it was fed, and there are no frightening chemical names on the ingredient list.

Whether or not this makes the product actually better in any measurable way is beside the point. They buy this product because they trust it. That makes it seem “authentic” to them. And that connection to their ideal of authenticity is the true purpose of the product.

Another source of the feeling of inauthenticity is the modern disconnection from community and cultural heritage. At some point in their lives, most people will seek a source of identity outside their families and friends. Modern society is uniquely unqualified at providing it.

We have severed ties with religion, extended family, even active democracy and the interplay of ideas. Humanity has never been more safe, prosperous, and prolific, but it has also never been so disconnected, disaffected, and depressed.

So much of modern life is virtual that it is no wonder that a sense of unreality pervades the modern zeitgeist. In the ideal of authenticity we seek some kind of reality, something solid and reliable in a sea of virtuality.

Whether we seek it in nature, ethnicity, or the past, we are seeking a connection to something greater than our self-oriented individualist consumer culture can provide. The quest for authenticity is, at its core, a quest for reality. Something that stands out from the cultural background noise of our daily lives and appeals not just to our civilized minds but to the deep longings of our primitive hearts.

Modern life is very good at meeting our basic needs.

Let’s hope that in the future, it can do more.

And I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. This is, of course, a lie. If they served us their real authentic cuisine, we would probably hate it. The palate of one region is quite unlike that of another. Thus, these restaurants have to make you think you are getting something genuine while feeding you food that is anything but. Luckily, most of us don’t know the difference, so all they really have to do is put “authentic” on the sign.
  2. That word is in quotes because while we speak of natural products and nature a great deal, we are not truly talking about nature. Everything that happens is natural. That’s the thing about the actual laws of nature. They can’t be broken. We humans with our technologies are just as natural as a beaver building a dam.

Last in line

(EDITOR’s NOTE : No video in this entry because I haven’t made one yet. What can I say, it’s been a weird day. )

Tonight, I am going to talk about what it’s like to be the youngest of four.

All my life, I have had a feeling of being fucked over by fate. There I was with three siblings who had come before me in a tight cluster, relationships already well formed, and then there was me, the straggler, who had nobody even close to his age to relate to and who had to compete with three older, smarter, and in their intellectual own way more aggressive siblings.

I never stood a chance.

They got new things. I got hand-me-downs. They got our parents’ attention (both positive and negative) and I got ignored. They got tons of pictures taken of them at all ages, and I barely existed in the family picture album.

In fact, if it wasn’t for school pictures and occasionally ending up in the local paper, there would be almost no record of my existence at all.

This lead to a lifelong pattern of feeling like I am just barely tolerated. Like I am not inherently acceptable or even permitted to exist. I was not even invited into this world.

I was unplanned. An accident.

So I have lived life feeling like I have to apologize for being alive. An unwelcome guest, an unloved pet one regrets acquiring, an unwanted competitor for parents attention to be squashed and held firmly down.

And then I had to go and turn out to be a little genius, and suddenly, innocently, I became a potential target for jealousy as well.

And so, in a million little ways, a dozen times a day, I was given the message that I did not count. My best course of action was to blend in with the wallpaper so that everybody could forget I exist. And be grateful for whatever I got, because I was lucky to get anything.

In a sense, I was the Ringo of the family. I was just happy to be there.

So I grew up pathetically eager to please. I developed a skill set entirely designed to extend those moments when someone was paying attention to me. Picture a neglected dog who wags like crazy any time someone comes near. I was desperate for some kind of validation.

I still am.

None of this was done with malice aforethought. Nobody planned it. My family never got together and decided to neglect me. Most of what they did was completely subconscious, at least to them.

But my siblings took their cues from my parents, and my parents treated me like they were embarrassed that I had even been born and that on the whole, they preferred to just forget I was around and not have to think about me, justifying this in their minds as teaching me self-reliance.

It did not work.

I mean, they made me do my own clothes shopping when I was still in elementary school. My own laundry too. I was more or less left to raise myself.

And children are simply not qualified to do that, especially us youngest types. We are never given responsibility so we never learn responsibility. People would rather just do it themselves every single time than take the time to teach me to do it. They would rather give me no responsibilities than let me make my own mistakes and learn from them, just like they had done when they were that age.

And then they wonder why I grew up irresponsible and incompetent. I don’t volunteer to do work and/or take on various chores because I honestly believe myself to be incapable of doing them, ergo volunteering can only lead to disaster.

And the thing is, science backs me up on this. There is now hard scientific data establishing that the further down you are in the birth order of your family, the less parental investment you get, both in terms of positive attention and actual financial investment in your care.

Example : our family dentist told my parents straight out, in my presence, that I needed braces. They said “Oh, we can’t afford that!”

So I just… never got them.

When my sisters needed braces, they got them. But not me. Because I came last, I was lowest priority, and therefore my needs came last. There was never any question in my parents’ minds about whether they were willing to take money out of something else in order to pay for my medically necessary braces.

That would suggest I actually had a non-zero priority. That there was something in this universe that I am more important than. That I was somehow valuable enough to spend actual family money on.

That was clearly unthinkable.

So I grew up with low self-esteem. Both my school life and my home life told me what an embarrassing burden I was. My teachers never really liked me but that didn’t stop me from being desperately dependent on their approval. My fellow students put me at the bottom of the totem pole and then stomped on my to make sure I stayed there, or just for fun.

Even at school, as bright as I was, I was a zero priority person. Nobody knew what to do with a bag of awkwardness and ability like me, so they didn’t do much. I got tested up the ying-yang (not literally) when I was in grade 1, but they must not have known what to do with my results because nothing ever came of it.

So they gave up on me, just like everyone else.

So that is what it is like to be last in line. Older siblings always think the youngest has it easy, but I would trade the childhood I had for one where I had responsibility and parental attention any day.

And if any of my siblings read this, please know that I do not intend this as an attack on anybody. I am just getting all this negative stuff out of my system.

That’s all for tonight, folks. I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

On being Canadian

Got this very funny list of uniquely Canadian problems off Facebook and I thought it would make a nice change from my usual angst to post some of my reactions to it.

4. When I Travel Abroad, Locals Think I’m American.

I can top that, because I have lived abroad. Technically. I’ve lived in the USA for a cumulative total of around three years, and so I got presumed to be a citizen of the USA a lot. After all, to an American, the differences are very subtle, and Americans just do not do subtle. They do loud.

Of course, to a Canadian, the differences are anything but subtle. To a Canadian, every American comes across like a crazy ranting homeless person wearing a neon green jumpsuit.

But then again, the mouse in bed with the elephant always knows a lot more about the elephant than vice versa.

7. Uses Canadian Spelling… Gets Corrected By U.S. Spell-Checker.

So very THIS. I am constantly adding more Canadian spellings to the Windows default dictionary. I used to think that eventually I would have entered them all and it would stop being a problem. But somehow, there is always more.

And personally, I think the way we spell things like colour is perfectly representative of the rounder vowels we use when pronouncing them. So I stubbornly insist on correcting the computer rather than just using the American spellings.

Of course, the American spellings are still technically correct in Canada.

Why? Because we’re a nation of compromise.

But I will defend our textual sovereignty to the bitter end!

10. Shipping with the US: free. Shipping internationally: 3 BILLION DOLLARS.

Ayup. I learned to accept things like that when I was a kid, because before the Fixed Link, everything became mysteriously more expensive when it crossed the Northumberland Strait on its way to Prince Edward Island.

Same for things you ordered from Away[1]. First you had to convince them Prince Edward Island exists and they should look up shipping charges for it. Then you found out they added another three bucks just for PEI, presumably for the ferry.

So the fact that crossing the border somehow makes things cost more makes perfect sense to me, or at least, as much sense as anything else.

12. Just Got Netflix… U.S. Selection Is WAY Better.

Oh gods, yes. I have had Netflix for years now, but when I first got it, that was a harsh surprise indeed. I have learned to just filter out what Americans say about what they watched on Netflix recently. Odds are, if it’s something big like a hit TV series or a big budget Hollywood movie, Canadian Netflix either will never have it or will get it a year and a half later than its American counterpart.

There are IP masking services out there specifically designed to allow Canadians to watch American Netflix. I have considered it. But somehow, that seems wrong to me.

I am a proud Canadian, and I refuse to let even my computer pretend to be American, regardless of the potential benefit.

15. Wearing heavy-duty winter boots to school and looking like a hoser all day.

Oh gods yes. I did this for years. One year I even got heavy duty work boots because… because I’m an idiot, apparently. So those not only looked incongruously and hilariously working class on my fat middle class self, they bit into the backs of my ankles because I didn’t know you had to wear heavy socks with them, and they made a lot of noise on the concrete floors of my high school.

Then one day, I saw someone change out of their winter boots and into a pair of sneakers they kept in their locker, and I was like… duh!

24. Fahrenheit is a confusing and impenetrable mystery.

Totally. I lived in the USA for many years without really getting a grip on it, other than a vague sense that anything over 80 is “hot” and anything over 100 was “holy shit it’s fucking hot. ”

Come to think of it, both places I lived in the US, namely Portland, Oregon and Silicon Valley, were places without what I would call “real winter”. So I never learned the other end of the scale.

25. Need to fake an American zip code because there isn’t a postal code box.

Totally been there. I always use 90210. I figure, the worst thing that can happen is that some stupid badly programmed US website thinks I live in Beverly Hills.

If I need an entire American address, I use 1313 Buena Vista Avenue, Anaheim, California, which is the address for Disneyland.

Hey, who wouldn’t want to live in the happiest place on Earth?

26. “And remember class, it must be by a Canadian.”

Never encountered this one, but if I did, I would have not one but two aces up my sleeve in order to avoid all the depressing shit associated with what the Powers That Be consider Canadian literature. [2]

One ace : Theodore Sturgeon. Wrote great science fiction, totally Canadian. And he was fairly prolific, so you could use him more than once.

But if your teacher is a cretin who simply will not accept science fiction as a legitimate form of fiction (probably because they are afraid it will require them to know some science), you can always go for Stephen Leacock, who, against all the traditions of Canadian literary humour, is actually funny.

And finally, this one :

27. The air hurts my face. Why am I living where the air hurts my face.

I can’t say I ever asked myself why I live where the air can get so cold that just walking out your front door can make you feel like someone hit you in the face with a brick made of ice, but I have wondered why any of us naked beach apes do.

Then again, other places have shit like hurricanes and tornadoes, and people still live there, so apparently we naked beach apes are a stubborn bunch.

That’s all from me for today, folks. I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Oh, and there’s no video link in this blog entry because I haven’t made one yet.

[[2]] I will never forgive them for making me read More Joy In Heaven. NEVER.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. In Prince Edward Island terms, Away means “everywhere that is not Prince Edward Island”. So basically, the entire world.

About the new place

First, the video portion of this blog entry :

I love the screenshot YouTube picked to represent that video. I look like I am rolling my eyes in outrageous disdain.

I picture myself saying “Oh please. As if. ” in a really snotty way.

Anyhow, as the big vid says, we checked the place out last night. I like the place. It makes me feel more modern and hip to imagine living there in this neat apartment in the middle of the heart of Richmond.

It’s a little smaller than our current digs, I think. I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to judge these things. For one thing, our current apartment is fairly rectangular and the new place is pretty square. So it’s hard to guesstimate the difference. I think it amounts to roughly the same amount of space.

The kitchen is fairly compact. I rather like that, to be honest. Normally I like lots of room everywhere if I can get it, but with kitchens, I want to be able to reach everything from a single home position.

I see these huge kitchens in fancy houses on TV, and all I can think of is how many miles you would walk trying to cook anything.

One thing I definitely like is that it has a double sink with a built in hose. That will make whatever dish washing we do by hand so much more efficient. Being able to have a wash sink and a rinse sink makes the dishes so much cleaner because there is no chance of any leftover soapy residue.

And it has two full bathrooms, which, as I explain in the video, is kind of necessary. I don’t blame people for not wanting to use my bathroom because, well, I never clean the damned thing.

That is unacceptably irresponsible of me, I know. I guess I figure if I am the only one who suffers, who cares? But even here, sometimes there is multi-person bathroom demand and having a second bathroom acceptable to others would be real handy.

So I resolve to break myself of this slothful nonsense and learn to keep my bathroom clean. Maybe get in the habit of cleaning it once a week. Probably on Saturday because it’s my quietest day of the week.

It’s not like it is hard. You just Windex and wipe all the surfaces, and take the toilet brush and some toilet product to the toilet.

So I have no excuses. Once a week, clean the damned thing.

In general, I am going to try to keep things more organized. As in, giving them any degree of organization whatsoever. I have been living au natural in a “let the chips fall where they may” way for a long long time now.

And frankly, it’s beginning to depress me. And I am slowly working my way up to the energy level required to make it a policy to change all things which make me sad into things that makes me happy.

My current policy is when looking at something makes me sad, I make a mental note to avoid looking at it in the future. This is easy for me as I pay very little attention to physical reality anyhow.

But it occurs to me that it would be a lot easier on my brain in the long run if I invested the energy to change the thing and thus leave more of my brain space and perceptual matrix free to actually like…. engage with reality.

Might help make the world seem a tad more real to me. Just a thought.

What else… I know it must seem nuts for me to be so excited about the garbage chute. Truth me told, I am not exactly sure why it delights me so much either. I suspect that there is some Freudian stuff going on in the sub-basements of my mind.

After all, what is a garbage chute but an apartment building’s poop chute?

I just know that when we first move in properly, I am going to be using that thing ten times a day. Anything not recyclable will go right down the chute. No need to keep garbage around for long at ALL.

Oh, and we saw the in-suite washer and dryer. Glee! No more having to pay Julian to do my laundry because I get dizzy going down stairs and I need a hand free in order to steady myself.

Now, I can do my own laundry in the comfort of my own apartment. Heck, I could even do my laundry naked if I felt like it.

Don’t laugh. It’s the only way to get all your clothes clean at the same time!

At first I thought I would end up doing laundry every day, but that is silly. Every washing take a little bit of life from the lifespan of a piece of clothing. Washing them all the time would just make them wear out faster.

I may end up washing my sheet and pillowcase every day though. I very much love the feeling of slipping between clean sheets, especially if I have just showered.

Clean body into clean sheets is awesome.

I brought one box of books with me when we went over. I carried it fairly easily. It went a lot better than I expected, actually. The strain on my body was perfectly acceptable, and carrying the box down the stairs was not the nightmare of dizziness and potential death I thought it would be.

Turns out, with sufficient motivation, I can carry a fairly heavy box in one hand for the duration of a flight of stairs.

So I am no longer as worried that I will end up being a nonparticipant in the move. It would hurt me a lot to not be able to do at least the majority of a share of the labour. Having to rely on others really saps my self-worth.

I hate being a burden so goddamned much.

That’s all from me for tonight. I will talk to you nice people later.

This is the day!

This is the day, folks. The day the new apartment becomes officially ours. The process of changing residence has begone. A new era has dawned.

Well it’s a big deal to me.

I am quite excited about it. I can’t say I am without reservation on the whole thing. Part of me is still scared that it will be too small and end up all cramped and claustrophobic, even though Joe assures me it’s huge.

And that voice will not be quieted until I actually set foot in the place and take a look around, and will not go completely silent until we have moved in.

I already have my keys. Well, a key and one of those electronic entry fobs. You know, the thing you wave at some sort of sensor so it will unlock a door for you.

Those seem to be all the rage these days. I suppose it is mildly more convenient than actually turning a key in a lock. It would certainly be a boon to people who sometimes come drunk enough that putting a key in a lock suddenly becomes a problem of four dimensional trigonometry.

I think the main function, however, is to make the build seem impressively modern.

Oh no no, we don’t use keys any more, says the building airily. Those are SO last millennium. We just wave bits of plastic in the air.

Still need a key for your apartment door, though. The future only goes so far. I think waving a bit of plastic to get into your apartment would feel very weird. Like your home is suspicious of you and needs proof that you belong in it.

That is pretty much the polar opposite of that warm, homey feeling.

We are going to begin moving in tonight. Nothing major, just a carload or two of boxes, if that. The idea is to go there and meet the place, so to speak. Go there, take a look around, get a feel for the place, maybe get some preliminary ideas as to where various things go.

We will also have to work out whose room belongs to whom. That can be some tricky politics. I have a somewhat high minimum space requirement because I have that big king sized bed.

It is only when moving that said bed goes from merely absurdly large to full blow white elephant. I would gladly ditch it for something smaller. Something that is, basically, half the size, seeing as I only use half of it.

I would even do an even swap with someone with a good sturdy bed of reasonable size. My king for your… what. Prince?

I am worried about the whole issue of moving the furniture. I was naively thinking that the $350 we are getting to move would be enough, but according to my investigations so far, a more reasonable sum for our kind of move would be $1000.

A whole thou. Ouch. That would mean a bill of $650 over the $350 we are getting to move. That breaks down to $217 each, and obviously, I don’t have that kind of dosh. I would have to pay Joe back over time. Preferably a really long time.

What I am hoping is that we can cut that down to something more reasonable by having it be exclusively furniture involved in the move. Everything that can be put in a box, we will move ourselves.

And we can probably haul some of the smaller bits of furniture over ourselves. We just need movers for the big stuff like couches and tables and some of the bigger and heavier bookshelves.

Boy, have we got bookshelves. We’re bookish people. And besides books we have tons and tons of videos, both VHS and DVD. So while that stuff is easily boxable, some of the bookshelves are decidedly… not.

Then again, we got them in here somehow!

Speaking of books, I began sorting mine. The idea to take this opportunity to cull my book collection and get rid of the books I don’t want was a stroke of genius. Not onl;y is that just a sensible idea on the face of it (why move books you don’t even want any more), it turns boxing the books, which is boring, into a sorting exercise, and I love those!

What can I say, I love sorting things. I find it inherently pleasurable. It’s the sort of thing one does not go around bragging about because it makes you sound like the dullest person around.

But I love to sort, and to put the sorted things where they belong. Add that to my lifelong love of books, and it’s a wonder I didn’t end up as a librarian.

Just didn’t occur to me, I guess. Man I wish I could go back in time and give myself some firm but loving career counseling.

I started the sorting this afternoon, but I only managed to get one “keep” box and one “bye bye” box done before I was hit with a fairly severe irritable bowel attack, possibly triggered by the dust.

The idea would be that the dust triggered my allergies, the allergies triggered their signature body wide inflammatory respond, and that made my bowels all irritable and grumpy.

Hence, cramping, headache, and the general feeling that if I moved, I’d explode.

Sp I had to lay down for a while, and when I felt better (these things pass) it was time to get to work on a video and then this blog.

Still, I will get back to it when I am done here. For me, it’s actually fun. Not only to I get to sort things, I get to look at all my books, one by one, and realize just how many of them I haven’t read and barely even recognize.

How the heck does THAT happen?

The new place will be more expensive. Not only is the rent $66 a month per person more, but we will have to pay for our own hydro as it’s not included in the rent in the new place like it is here.

And so this will be a blow to my finances. But luckily, my finances have a built-in crumple zone to soften the blow. Namely, the $100 per month I have been putting on my credit card for online shopping.

Boom goes that, and my painless money available for rent goes up to $500. What I am hoping is that the $34 difference between the new rent and my rent money will be enough to pay my share of the bills.

I doubt it, though. So I am probably going to have to take at least a $20/month hit to my spendable cash.

Somehow, I will survive.

That’s it from me for tonight, folks. Next time I talk to you, I will know more about the new pad.

I will talk to you nice people tomorrow!