February 1st, 2006

grin & duck -- friends, grin & duck

Biology is not destiny.

Discussion going on elsejournal seeded off an article: Men are intimidated by strong active wit in a woman. (Well, hmf. Article text disappeared into pay-only archive. Suck. But the summary covers it nicely.)

The journal-based discussion went into laughter as a fear/startle/intimidation reaction, and the male handing out the jokes and the woman giggling is a classic "Hi! I am going to be the dominant partner in this relationship!" setup. (Aside: does this mean that my active quips in class, rather than my straight lines, were related to the urge I felt to take over the class when I felt the teacher wasn't teaching effectively? Because I tend to only hand out straight lines if the teacher had a certain level of control over the class.)

And evidently there's this socio-biological female response to male thing, where the female exposes the underside of her wrist to the male she fancies. For a while I was watching my body language around a certain bondmate, and noticing what the different bits meant. Crossing the wrists together with the undersides touching was a danger signal, self-protectiveness. Exposing same undersides to said bondmate meant submission, in the highly sexual way that a hen's crouch-and-wing-brace means submission.

And the distinct suite of memories from that era welled up. He would gently poke me with words every morning until I was startled into a giggle or a smile. It was a calculated attempt each time, a systematic search for the right combination. After I'm not quite sure how long, I noticed it. Then I began playing off it, withholding the smile or the snicker to see if he'd keep searching. And he would. Once I did smile, his grin flashed across his face big and brilliant: he had done it. He had gotten that smile out of me. And I'd smile wider: yes, he certainly had.

No wonder I was going so nuts back then over the communication disconnect. I was getting a lot of the right socio/biological responses. There was distinct chemistry. But ... things were not psychologically lining up.
running, bomb tech

Class Clown

The way for a socially-submissive person to be hilariously funny without breaking out of the submissive role is to throw out straight lines for the socially-dominant person to use. Most humor does seem to be an attack; whether the humor is overtly violent or insulting depends on whether the target of the humor is attackable or not. (Comedy of manners is an attack on the status quo. Puns are an attack on the language. The absurd is an attack on consensus reality.)

I managed to be class clown in most of my classes. I'd ask some of the most absurd questions, or throw in side comments in the sort of class that welcomed that. Some classes it was clear: you don't upstage the teacher. Ever. But a good straight line lets the teacher be the one who actually cracks the joke, while leaving the impression that the class clown is still humorous.

It seems to me that I did a higher amount of cracking active jokes in the classes where I was itching to get up on the podium and deliver the lesson myself. I knew the material well enough from previous experience and general study in some of the classes that instead of the usual Lunatic half-trance of unrelated daydream in a class that doesn't fully engage the attention, I was daydreaming about the lesson plan I'd use if I were teaching the class.

I had a passive-aggressive way of getting my version of the lesson into the teacher's lesson. I'd ask a question for clarification when I already knew the point, but I knew that some of the people around me didn't. I mostly did it with analogies, ostensibly to check my own understanding of the material, but primarily for the benefit of those around me. "So if you try to stuff a string into a number data type, you get as much of a mess as if you'd tried to measure oil in a sieve? And if you put a number in a string data type, the string may be confused, but it'll take it, like pouring hot spaghetti into a measuring cup?" And then I'd see the click on the face of my severely ADHD classmate and know that while the teacher hadn't gotten through, I had. And I'd sit back, satisfied, as the teacher went on with the lesson.
twilight, Fairbanks to Phoenix, two worlds

Sushi

There seems to be something called the Phoenix Roll already. There's already an Arizona Roll. The sushi I want to try hasn't a name, yet, but it has a taste.

In the imagination of my head and my tastebuds, I see a roll of rice wrapped around chicken, avocado, and something either subtly or brilliantly spicy. Perhaps jalapeño. Perhaps a red pepper of some significant spice. But something definitely hot.

There should be varieties detailing the crossover that happens when you take the Japanese presentation and have it collide with that staple of the little Mexican restaurant, the burrito. Rice and chicken with all sorts of interesting variations on the side flavor. What does pico de gallo taste like with sushi dressing? Does it overwhelm? Red bean paste or refried beans? Is it really that much different having a toasted seaweed burrito?
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