August 27th, 2004


Shower Epiphanies

I had a really nice surge of ideas in the shower this morning. I'm not sure that it was brilliant enough to count as a full-on epiphany, but it was good.

I know that this phenomenon (the shower epiphany) has been observed and commented on by other people before, but it always amazes me when it happens. Is it just that you notice an abrupt flood of ideas a lot better when you're in the shower and have nothing better to do? Or is there some combination of circumstances -- an environment with low amounts of information to process, plus just enough physical activity to occupy the brain's background CPU cycles, maybe in conjuction with rising blood sugar from breakfast, or the added sensory input of the water, or thought patterns still fresh and flexible from sleep -- that makes it particularly conducive to having interesting sequences of cognition?

When I first came out to myself (that is, when I first started identifying as queer*), it was during a shower epiphany. Collapse )

Labelling people is very tricky, because labels carry a lot of implicit information. "Homosexual" is a behavioral label (and is almost uselessly imprecise), while "gay" is a cultural one. I'm slightly uncomfortable applying the word "gay" to myself, because I feel like it implies association with a sub-culture that I really feel no attachment toward. My sub-culture is "geek", and I'm quite proud of my geek heritage.

The word "queer", on the other hand, is a mostly political label that means "I have non-default settings". I like that word a lot better, because it carries the implication that this is a complex subject that can't be easily summed-up in a single word.

Plus it starts with the letter Q, which is funny.

And it means "strange", which is also good.

So I may or may not be gay, but I'm definitely queer. (Though not A queer, since I'm also in the camp that says you should only apply labels to people adjectivally; to do otherwise implies that the categorization is the most important aspect of their identity, and that's rude.)

Okay, I was going to tell you all about the interesting set of ideas I had in the shower, but the preceding was too damn long, so now I have to do another entry.


Though I suppose if the goal of blogging is to write more, I'm probably succeeding.

Wit.Soul = Brevity;

While editing my posts (because I can't just write something and post it, I have to edit first), I have noticed that I tend to add lots of line breaks.

I'm starting to think that shorter paragraphs are inherently funnier.

But I'm not sure.

Is this funny?