greybeta: (D2 - Silver and Gold)

I have changed the name of my LJ. It used to be "Guarder of Guardians", with the subtitle of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?. But now people will think I'm making a Watchmen reference instead of Plato's Republic. Instead, I have chosen to use the title of my Facebook Fan Club.

The story is that the boyfriend of a girl I knew in college had heard of my quick wit and intellect challenged me to guess his middle name. If he lost, he had to create a fan club for me. Here's how it went down on Facebook:

C: Actually, I've heard a lot about you. People speak highly of the enigma known only as D2. P.S. Has anyone ever added an R2 onto that name?

D2: My theory of nicknames says to avoid the obvious. In your position, you have to think, would D2 himself add the R2 in front of his name?

C: No I don't think D2 would add the R2, but I figured some up-and-coming, intelligent student of knowledge had said something like that before. If not, I'll gladly be the first to call you R2D2. He was one of my favorite characters.

D2: You may refer to me as such if you wish, but if you do I'll have to come up with an equally suitable nickname for you.

C: Ehhh I do want a nickname, but I would prefer that you give it to me out of goodwill, not spite. Ergo, I shall abstain from calling you R2D2. If you think [name redacted]'s funny, you should hear my middle name.

D2: I'm now afraid to ask what your middle name is...but what is it? It can't be as bad as your first name, can it?

C: You should feel privileged that I'm telling you my middle name, because all but 4 of my high school classmates didn't know until they announced my name at graduation. Actually... let's put your intelligence and quick wit to the test. The clues? It starts with D, there are 5 letters (two of them are vowels), and it's one syllable. Good luck. Major props and a cookie if you get it.

D2: Not only do I feel privileged to find out your middle name, I feel honored to try to solve it in riddle form. From your clues and perusing through, I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say "Doyle". Seriously, I may need another hint or two.

C: No one has ever been that close in one guess. I'll give you one more clue: you're only one letter off.

D2: So I need to figure out if I have the vowels or consonants right. Probability theory says that I have a 50% chance of getting that right. Unfortunately, probability theory also says that I only have a (1/4)^2 * (1/20)^2 chance of getting the actual letter right. Okay, I've racked my brains long enough and I'm not going to get any further so I'm going to go for "Doyce" for no other reason than it sounds dorky.

C: Wow. I didn't think you'd figure it out. Your intellect was not blown out of proportion, after all. Doyce is indeed my middle name, though I am not proud nor glad to have it.

D2: You're not going to believe this but "Doyce" was actually my first guess, but I didn't have the confidence to go with such a wacky name since I wanted to confirm I was at least in the ballpark. Also, once you put all the clues together it's not hard to figure out.

I knew it was a five letter name that started with D, was one letter off Doyle, had two vowels, pronounced as one syllable, and sounded awkward. Using simple probability theory, I can surmise that I most likely have the correct vowels as there are less vowels than consonants. So I'm at either Doy_e or Do_le. I eliminated Do_le as I didn't see any consonants that would make it one syllable and still make sense. After scanning the keys on my laptop, the most obvious choice for Doy_e is "c", and it sounded weird enough, so I went with that. Not so magical after all, eh? The magic in things is not knowing how they are done.
greybeta: (D2 Academic All Star)
My counselor may have slightly exaggerated my abilities.

greybeta: (FFIV Piano Bard)
A friend of mine once asked me why I made music. I really didn’t have an answer then, but a recent conversation with [ profile] purplkat made me re-examine why I make music.

In a previous post, I addressed why I loved the piano. But the reason why you love something and the reason you love to make something can be two very different things.

So now I must address why I play the piano. Um, why do I play the piano…why do I make music?

It’s not because I’m good at it. Well, “good” for me is being able to play off both sheet music and chords only, being able to both play formal pieces and improv.

I can’t do that because all I’m really good at is memorizing finger positions and chords and playing it from rote memory. I could train a monkey to do that.

So it must be a reason other than excellence that I play the piano. Let me suggest that I play the piano because it functions as a mirror for me, a mad method to reflect on my emotional state.

To digress a bit, allow me to say that there’s no doubt in my mind that the good Lord gave me one of the finest eidetic memories in the world. But the good Lord must have a good sense of humor because he forgot to give me some sense and sensibility.

Well, I possess a vast storehouse of knowledge yet I am often unaware of how people feel around you. I come across as an arrogant prick even if I am actually a fairly humble person.

For some reason or the other, I remember from a very young age that I should learn to guard my true thoughts. I became so adept at hiding my thoughts that I was eventually was able to hide my feelings—even from myself.

My thoughts and feelings are more connected than I would like to admit. If I cannot access my sincere thoughts at any given time, then I would have quite a bit of trouble assessing my genuine emotional state.

Invariably, I need a way to measure what I am thinking and feeling. For that, I have taught myself to become attentive to the manner in which I play the piano.

When I am happy, the music flows naturally from my brain to my fingers to the keys on the piano. When I am not, the music is disrupted in a variety of ways.

Confidence closes my eyes and allows me to measure what I am thinking and feeling. Suddenly, I lose myself in the music as I forget about all the emotional barriers that I have erected against the world.

Gladness noticeably speeds up my playing. I get excited when I am happy, and the piano reflects my more active mind state.

Nervousness causes me to stumble on songs that I am normally able to play from memory. I smile to cover my embarrassment but the notes betray the train wreck inside of me.

Sadness significantly slows down the pace at which I play. I guess subconsciously I am trying to give myself more time to meditate on what troubles me.

On the other hand, it might just be because I like to impress people by showing off how much music I can play without the sheet music in front of me. More likely, I am simply so narcissistic that I love hearing myself play the piano.
greybeta: (D2 South Park Avatar)

Top Commenters on [ profile] greybeta's LiveJournal
(Of users in friends list)
11-82 ) Jacob-kohai and Lana-chan moved up to numbers six and seven in a short amount of time. They must like to read what D2-sempai says. Or be really really bored. ^_^
1[ profile] culculhen146 146
2[ profile] kimmaline108 108
3[ profile] wldntulk2knwwho94 94
4[ profile] visgoth91 91
5[ profile] fub85 85
6[ profile] odclay76 76
7[ profile] stella_x3x367 67
8[ profile] happydog65 65
9[ profile] purplkat64 64
10[ profile] renough56 56
greybeta: (Default)
So I heard [ profile] theferrett was providing concepts for a new webcomic, Home on the Strange, with [ profile] roniliquidity attempting to put those concepts into comic form. The party has only started for a month or so, so join in while it's new! I'd post a comic, but they kind of need everyone to click on the actual website for advertising purposes (the startup costs on these things are tremendous, from what I hear from other webcomic makers).

I was VERY surprised to see my LJ name mentioned in the second panel of one of the comics. For reference, look in the first column, fifth name down and you'll see "Greybeta", my handle.

Piqued, I looked at the lefthand column at Ferrett-sensei's rant for an explanation.
2) If I were a really sleazy Web comic author who was whoring for PR, I might do something silly to try to attract LiveJournal’s attention – like, say, picking the bloggers I thought had a really good connection with their audiences in a blatant attempt to get them to mention the strip. Fortunately, I would never ever do such a thing.

Wait a minute, since when do I have a "really good connection" with my audience???
greybeta: (D2 South Park Avatar)
Please fill this out for the positive pessimist in me. Be honest with me, I won't hate ya. ^_^

Fill out the Nohari thing first (you only get to choose six, I'm afraid).

Window of D2's weaknesses
greybeta: (MTG Brainstorm)
I'm approaching eleven straight hours working on layout and it looks like I'm going for the full twelve. I'm taking a short break to repost (with permission) a response [ profile] sundancetango wrote about me. She asked me what I thought of her once...and I told her straight up. Of course it was ridiculous what I came up with because I hardly knew her. And yet I haven't alienated her yet...

A promise is a promise, and I like to keep my promises. That’s why I’m doing this. Not because I have so much time on my hands (I don’t), and not because you demanded that I do it, taking it upon yourself to presume that I had nothing more important to do over my Christmas break. It’s a busy life that we all lead, and things slip our minds, or we mean to do things right then but a houseful of demands takes precedence and we push things to later, always later. Regardless, the prompt was to tell you what I think of you.

I’m not going to tell you what your dreams are—your dearest aspirations. You either know or you don’t know, and nothing a stranger tells you is going to change that. I’m not some boardwalk gypsy all decked out in her gaudy cheap metal earrings and swap-meet polyester prints. I’m not here to tell you what you want to hear or what you already know about yourself. I’m just here to tell you what I think about you—just my impression of your character.

I don’t claim to know you at all. One lengthy AIM conversation, some brief LJ exchanges, one short AIM conversation where yeah, you ticked me off just a little and I might have returned the favor. That’s all I have to go on. That, and your own journal—but you can’t judge a person by his/her journal. Not really. It’s all filtered. If you’re being honest, then at best it’s only the small part of you that you’re willing to expose. So in all, we don’t know each other. Everything I tell you will be the honest truth from my perspective, and not all of it is pretty and aglow with the light of a thousand faeries. The uglier parts, you might think are unfair or just plain wrong. But that’s how it goes when you ask near-perfect strangers for their naked opinions. Have I dodged the question for long enough? Here I go.

My first contact with you consisted of a brief comment left in my journal. It was flattering because hey, everyone likes to make new friends and it’s nice when people think well enough of your writing to read you regularly. So I checked your user info page.

You kind of threw me with your LJ etiquette section. Everyone has one, but very few people get downright contractual. You’re more demanding/blunt than most people I know, but at least you seem to be aware of it. I get the feeling you’ve been told this in the past, and you don’t care to change the way you deal with people regardless of who you offend. There are other ways of getting your points across just as effectively as the brutally harsh approach (not that you’ve been that way with me, but I wouldn’t be shocked it you were in the future—plus you’ve referred to this on LJ). The fact that you prefer to be so direct tells me you’d like people to think that you’re confident. And hey, maybe you are. Reading your entries, just having an IM conversation with you, there were times when I perceived you as somewhat arrogant and condescending. You seem to have this need to prove yourself to the new folks in your life. So why the song and dance if you really are so confident? Am I completely off? Maybe I misread the tone of your IMs. Perhaps I’m projecting my own insecurities. It’s all quite possible.

Despite all that, I do like you. Your honesty is refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to cut through the restraints of social niceties and say exactly what you’re thinking (that’s the whole point of this whole exercise, after all). Other things--while you are obviously conservative, I like that you are, at the very least, open to hearing opposing views. That’s all I ask of anyone. You do have this tendency to make snap assumptions based on just a few details and then stick to your guns for as long as possible before considering defeat, but again, at least you’ll hear/tolerate the other side. Why else would you have friended me despite the clear warning label on my journal? California liberal, D. As a further addendum, I also appreciate that you are also familiar with what having Asian parents entails. I know lots of kids who treat their families horribly and don’t seem to appreciate their cultures and their responsibilities. With your respect, you honor your family, and that speaks volumes about your character (no, really not trying to lay it on thick).

So there you have it. You asked for honesty and I gave it my best. I’ll talk to you later, unless I’ve managed to offend and alienate you.

July 2009

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