Yesterday: Had an elaborate deadpan fictionalised version of this, but decided it was too corny to do. Walked most of the way back to Paris666, took the bus the last bit of the way there, where I heard some neighbourhood kids beat-boxing/rapping in the back (they were quite good, and it was pleasant). I tried the *other* vegetarian crêpe, which was ... pretty bad. Not that the food quality was poor, but it was way too granola for my tastes - a nut salad with creme on top of a crepe, served with a side of the same salad. Bleh. Oh well.
Fictionalised version had me heading to an alternate universe version of the restaurant called the Philosophers Cafe, where people shared their ideas in exchange for their meals, and hijinks with silverware are common. Remembered phrase from much earlier in life, 「Your philosophy is going to get you in trouble someday」 - I'm sure that's true of many people who get involved with philosophy (imagined getting a nod from that).
Had a thing happen at T'd'O that I was reflecting on for part of the walk - was talking about Té Café closing with a person who works there, and he first confirmed that I didn't work at Té Café, and on hearing that, went into some harsh speculation as to why they closed it, knowing that I was disappointed/bummed about it. .. being me, I took the tone of the conversation and greatly softened it to what I thought were the actual reasonable reasons they were closing it, kind of derailing the (attempted) mutual grumbling session. This seemed to quickly turn back off that brief moment of inclusion I felt, as if I had destroyed a human-meaningful moment - body language shifted, less eye contact, etc etc. I was gentle in how I did it, I think it was that I did it at all. One of the things about people is that emotional resonance is precious. I know this - I've felt it, and the lack of any resonance with anyone for years as I've left all social circles has had a terrible effect on me. I still can't be comfortable with the kind of resonance that involves grumbling and making inaccurate guesses as to what things are and the way people think. So often, these things are like a ritualised break from reality - if someone feels hurt or bothered by somebody else's actions, they don't want to hear the reasonable chain of thoughts that probably actually did lead that person to do what they did, they likely want to demonise them a bit (making it all that much harder to realistically deal with things later on, unless there's a ritualised "oh I misunderstood" moment where they peel back the BS and become friends with the person again). Maybe this commitment to my notions of fairness and being well-grounded in reality (even though I realise that there are some specific areas where my biases lead to very heavy systemic distortions) is another thing that makes it hard to connect to people - it certainly did then. Another time I recall was with someone I used to know by the name of Patrick Quealy, where in a discussion on his blog, I hopped into a similar demoninsing-fest and cut down unreasonable statements - he didn't react well and we haven't spoken since. I've generally liked the idea of being very careful and fair, willing to go against "my own side". Maybe it's also pompous off-putting behaviour that makes it even easier for me to be alone.
Even feeling that momentary connection to someone and then seeing it fade stings. I'm so damned neurotic these days. Being alone *all* the time..
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Leaving on monday for a work-conference at Duke University. In preparing, I've found that Durham is an incredibly food-loving town, and that they suffer from uncreative street names. I generally find it irritating when some rich schmuck decides to "brand" something with their family name - it's ugly vanity. It's also irritating when someone is so popular (for whatever reason) that lots of stuff gets named after them. Looks like Durham suffers this in spades - there are many streets that hyphenate the names of a few people into their names, making it look rather confusing. It's just not classy to do that kind of thing - name streets after abstract concepts, or function, or similar. I'm not a big fan of DC (really more the surrounding areas - much of central DC is pretty nice for a place so far from nature) as a town, but one really nice thing about DC itself is that they have a nice logical street naming system that makes it easier to navigate.
Anyhow, indian restaurants: MAPPED
Hopefully I excised all treif-for-airports from my computer bag and will manage to sleep on the plane. Also hoping the poster makes it through the airport ok.