The Nine Faces of Dave
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2003-10-05 06:49:58 (UTC)

pinball wizardry and you

So here it is, Saturday night, and I'm writing in this. It
wasn't actually too bad a night, though.

Today consisted of working out, eating, laundry, some linear
algebra homework, and an assload of pinball at our on-campus
arcade. I've set a couple of goals for myself: before this
term is up, I want to score a free game on the Twilight Zone
machine, and before I leave the U, I want to get my name on
the high score list. While I was playing a round, I met one
of the people on the high score list. He gave me some tips
on how to score massive points, and I managed to put them to
use straight away. Right now I'm a little more than halfway
to the free game score, and just under an eighth of the way
to the top score (which is over 1 billion points). So these
goals may well be reachable.

The strange thing is that this pinball thing is basically my
only well-defined goal that isn't related to academics or my
exercise. I have some things I'd like to read, and a couple
of projects that would be worthwhile, but those are pretty
much academic in nature (assuming reading all of Irvine
Welsh's novels can be considered academic). Outside of that
sort of thing, hitting the high-score list is pretty much
all I have going on.

I've talked a lot in the past about social goals and trying
to improve my life in that way, but in all honesty, I don't
have the slightest fucking idea what I'm doing to that end.
It's one thing to say "I'm single and seeking a girlfriend,"
and it's something else entirely to fully define what I want
in a woman, and how I intend to make it happen. Similarly,
it's easy to wish I had more friends, but I have no clue how
to achieve that, especially since I can't really define what
happened in the creation of my current circle of friends.

My pinball goal also fits better into my schedule. I spend
a fair amount of time at the arcade anyway, usually playing
Dance Dance Revolution. But I don't really feel I'm making
any progress right now with that, so I can simply divert my
time and money into pinball. And as a side benefit, I won't
get all sweaty in my decent clothes.

By contrast, I don't even know if I can handle a new social
life. It all depends on my degree of freedom. For example,
suppose tomorrow I meet some girl, we hit it off, and during
the course of the next few weeks we end up getting together
(I didn't say this would be a realistic example). Then what
happens? Are my weekends suddenly tied up? What about the
rest of the week?

Now I realize it would vary greatly from one individual to
another. The point is, because I have no experience in this
respect, I have no idea what to expect. I'm not really sure
I want something that's going to eat up the vast majority of
my free time; conversely, it could be interesting, and then
I'd probably not have any problems with boredom.

And that's why I've decided to stop focusing so much on the
social/relationship front, and just start letting it happen
to me. I'll be proactive where I need to be (academics and
employment), and for things like this, I'll just keep an eye
out for opportunity. It seems to work for a lot of guys, so
maybe it can work for me. Then again, they're thin, and not
CS majors. But I've proven that I can outrun skinny people.

Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll meet some girl who's also an
aspiring pinball wizard. Though in my experience the arcade
hasn't been the best place to meet women.

This is Dave, signing off.