Pic of the day: Right now, I want to eat chocolate without my clothes on. (Because my clothes taste sort of dry, and don't mix well with chocolate.) (Actually, I just came from the shower.) And once I've tasted the chocolate, I'll likely be ...
Wanting more and more
A basic human need is to grow. It has been pointed out that grown humans are a bit like ape babies: Little hair, much head, and playful curiosity. Some scientists actually believe that most of the difference between us and the great apes is our continued childishness. (Some of us think that this varies a bit from person to person. Ahem.)
Be that as it may, for us humans growth is not just physical. Oh, a kid will often like to notice that he's growing taller. But already at that time, growth is something more: To get better and better at something (some favorite sport perhaps), to learn more, to get more respect from friends, and to collect something.
A strange habit it may seem, but I believe the need to collect stuff is a part of our need to grow. The things we collect, from stamps to Russian dolls, function as an extension of our body and mind. An extension of our selves. And so, naturally, we want more and more.
I am not a collector at heart. To me, growth has mainly been a mental thing: To gain more knowledge and more understanding. And lately, as I have mentioned, I seem to have stagnated. I feel grown up, and wish that I could just replay the good times over and over. For a while, at least. I am not sure I could actually keep it up. And at least my diary archive is still growing! (Yes, August is up, if you need it.)
Even so, I have a whole lot of stuff lying around. Some of it is old and broken and I simply have not found a cost effective way of getting rid of it. I even have an old, leaky washing machine standing around, not to mention various computer equipment that is well past its due date.
But there are "layers" of my old buying sprees. Dozens and dozens of music CDs. The last few years I have only bought ca one CD every 3 months, but this was not always so. The first years I had a CD player, I bought on average several CDs a month. (Of course, this was all long before I could legally download free music from the Internet, such as MP3.com.)
Then there are stacks and stacks of boxes with computer games, from my first years of owning a PC. Yes, there seems to be a pattern here ... I do have photo albums too, though I don't open them every year. Heh. Must ... resist ... must ... not ... buy scanner!
And the American comic books. I almost forgot those. I have cut out many titles last year (particularly from Marvel), but there is still a tricle of new books every month. But the winds of change are always blowing ...
Allow me to confess my current area of expansion. It is not a big thing, but you may already have noticed it. Online comic strips! It was rather moderate for a long while, I would occasionally stop by MSNBC Comics, home of some nice family-friendly humor strips such as FoxTrot and (until recently) Second Chances.
It was Al Schroeder of Nova Notes who pointed me to Sinfest, a free online comic about a man, a woman, a pig, God, the Devil, and a few guest stars. Despite its name the series is mostly tasteful and usually ironic. Also, it happens to be associated with a place called Keenspot, which specializes in hosting free online comic strips. Since then, I have gradually added more and more of them to my reading list. Currently, my favorite is Clan of the Cats, the fairly tasteful story of a young witch (much to her surprise) who also occasionally change into a panther (much against her will). It is on various occasions funny, romantic, thought-provoking, or dramatic. However, a new contender is sailing up ...
The Class Menagerie is another college series, but with a twist. Its characters are various animals, drawn as something inbetween human and animal. The style is distinct, not another Mickey Mouse or Pogo clone. This shines through in one story line, where the tentative main character (a bull) switches places with his counterpart in a parallell dimension populated with humans. We get to see the human counterpart of the animal characters, and the subtle similarity is highly impressive.
Now that I have read the entire archive, I must say that I am impressed. The quality of the drawing is high and stable. I must admit that some of the Keenspot comics suffer from one or another weakness: Some of them have clumsy, childlike drawings who sometimes vary over time. Some have characters who are hard to distinguish from one another in the black and white strips. Some lack storyline and are basically running gags. Some seem to be made up on the spot, lacking continuity. The Class Menagerie does not fail in any of these. Humor, story and quality drawing (both in color and B&W) permeate the series from day 1 till now. Highly recommended to anyone who likes comic strips.
I have also just the latest days started to tentatively post to the Keenspot message board, a community for the Keenspot readers (and artists). I guess I just want more and more ... after all.
Another gray day. :)
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.