Sundries

by James Somers, March 9, 2010

Civilian criminals don’t ever seem to use grenades. Not even deranged ex-employees or gang members. Pipe bombs I’ve heard of, and automatic weapons, and even tanks. No grenades, though. Which is strange when you think about how compact and powerful they are. Lob one of those guys into a room somewhere and you’re pretty much guaranteed a mess.

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Whenever I see them out in public, I wonder if young pretty girls understand just how prized they are. Everyone wants one. They are universally appreciated and almost constantly ogled, even by people who see them all the time—it never gets old.

I also wonder if young pretty girls, and women generally, envy or admire men for being basically the torchbearers of history—the great generals, and kings, and authors and scientists. When they’re attracted to our masculinity, is this at all a part of it? I don’t mean to sweep historical women under the rug, by the way. I’m just wondering if narratives about “men of history” somehow trickle down into everyday life, so that part of what girls like about boys is their potential to command the world.

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The “steadily every day, with no exception, with no holiday” part of “a small part of it, steadily every day, with no exception, with no holiday” is a lot more important than the “it” part or the “small” part. It matters less what you’re doing or how much of it than the simple fact that you do it every day without a day off. Being able to stick with the tiniest something in this way does a great deal for your confidence, and it’s a good bet that no matter what that tiniest something is, the product of your daily effort will add up to something wonderful.

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I think I’m good at “typing” people, or putting them into one or another personality buckets. But I rarely test myself. For instance I don’t make predictions about these people. This is what I should do: “I think this person is a hipster. What movies do hipsters like? Fight Club? ‘Hey Caroline, how do you feel about “Fight Club”?’”

Facebook makes it easy to get practice typing people. When you meet someone, try to mentally fill out their Facebook profile. What sorts of things will they list as interests? How many photos will they have? It may turn out that you are good at this kind of bucketing, or it may turn out that this kind of bucketing isn’t very hard. But the only way to know is to experiment.