James Martini archive

Tag : anger (4)

Elves: A rant

Categories: Gaming
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Published on: October 18, 2011

I’ve always been annoyed by elves, particularly J.R.R. Tolkein’s elves. I never spent much time analyzing why they get under my skin the way they do but I had an epiphany this evening. I realized why I’d probably start punching elves in the face ten minutes if I ever found myself in one of their hauntingly beautiful cities.

Lets look at what they have going for them

  1. Beautiful – you never read about a homely elf, they’re all ethereal and beautiful
  2. Live practically forever – barring accident the either never die or live a ridiculously long time
  3. Good health – they’re usually immune to disease and the complaints of mere mortals. Seriously, when did you ever read about an elf complaining about their sciatica?
  4. Good at everything – I guess if you can spend twenty years perfecting the G chord on your mandolin you can’t help but be ridiculously good at whatever you set your mind to learning.

So what’s not to like? Well, lets take a look.

They’re vaguely racist . Elves pretty much reek of condescension. The lowest elf on the garland wrapped pole still knows that he’s going to outlive just about anyone else and in better health. Sure they’ll smile and be polite but it’s the politeness adults afford to the three year old who has wandered into the conversation.

They’re lazy. Orcs come in and burn down one of your mystic towers? Tree spirits forbid that you actually, oh I don’t know, rebuild it. No, a better use of your time is to spend the next fifty years writing a song about how beautiful it was. Which brings me to their mortal sin…

They’re emo hipsters. The thing that absolutely sets my teeth on edge about Tolkien’s elves is that they are irredeemably wrapped up in how things just aren’t as cool as they used to be.  You think the ruins of this vast decaying elf city deep in the heart of the forest are beautiful? You should have seen it back when humans were still inventing fire and cracking each other over the head with rocks. Nothing is as good as it was and so they spend their timeless, endless youth sighing about how cool things were before your civilization was even founded. That was my epiphany, they live in a constant state of nostalgia.

Barring accident or violence they live their functionally eternal lives, enjoying permanent youth, vigor and beauty complaining about how the sprinkles on their double chocolate sundae existence aren’t quite the right color and the sorrows of knowing that the fallen city of Cuiviénen had sprinkles of just the right shade.

How’s your oatmeal, human? Cold enough?

It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Categories: Buddhism, Family
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Published on: August 20, 2011

I’ve been an asshole today. It started out okay, I went out this morning and picked up donuts for my daughter and also surprised my sister-in-law and niece with some as well. There was some confusion regarding what Jyllian wanted and what I thought they were called so I picked her up a big cinnamon roll. Pickings were scarce and the bakery was like a combination mob scene and Running Man food riot.

Anyway, I was feeling all good about myself and puffed up with what a good Dad and all around great guy I was when I brought Jyllian coffee and the cinnamon roll. What I didn’t remember was that she’d gotten sick after eating a cinnamon roll a couple weeks before. She said “ugh” as her stomach rolled over and handed the plate to Emily which completely let all the air out of my inflated self esteem. I didn’t get the praise and accolades I was looking forward to. How dare she!

With my vanity wounded I barked out something that inadvertently hurt her feelings and went downstairs to nurse my bruised ego. I ended up working out in the yard; mowed the grass, cleaned up dead leaves, watered the plants and moved the woodpile to it’s new location, holding on to my anger and wounded pride the entire time. I finally had to come in as it was after noon, over a hundred degrees and I was flirting with heat stroke.

After a shower and some water I sat down in my office to finally have a cup of coffee and that cinnamon roll while I read only to find that Zak had vomited hair into the top air vent of my desktop computer. All the anger came rushing back and I spent the next hour cleaning my office and generally barking at anyone who came within twenty feet of me. I got my office clean but made my daughter cry and barked “I’m not angry!” at Jyllian which would have been funny at any other time.

The girls went out to go swimming while I continued to work on my office and clean up the house. With the quiet and lack of targets for me to blame for my assholery I had to admit that I was the one acting out and that my girls had been trying to find a way to help me feel better.

I’d love to say that I’ve learned and grown from this experience but to be honest this isn’t the first time I’ve just been a general ass to everyone around me simply because things weren’t going my way or I’d had my pride stepped on. Next time maybe I’ll pull my head out of my ass a little more quickly though.

I txted Jyllian an apology and spent some time hanging one of the strings of prayer flags she and Emily got me for Father’s Day which have been buried in the general chaos of my office. I also made space for another present that Jyllian got me, my Buddha Board, by putting my desktop machine under my desk where the cat can’t vomit on it as easily.

Tibetan prayer flagsI’ll hang the second string soon but have to trim the evil holly bush with the sharp leaves before I can get a clear run from the house to the tree. I’m sure there’s some lesson lurking in that statement but, to be honest, I’m a little too wiped out at the moment to try being profound.

Body fat

Categories: Journal
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Published on: December 1, 2010

So I measured my body fat percentage using a couple of different methods (not including the water displacement one) and came up with numbers between 33 and 38 percent. So, in short, I’m ridiculously overweight. I think I’m going to call it an even 35% at this point.

This number makes me feel incredibly depressed. Looking at a number on a scale is one thing and I could fool myself that it was bone and muscle but plugging my physical measurements into a calculator and having it spit out a number three time higher than it should be is like a kick in the groin.

I’m going to have to do this every week.

The bag of nails

Categories: Buddhism
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Published on: March 27, 2010

Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the first day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at  all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

“You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.”

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