Reader Request Week 2014 #3: How I Stay Happy

I wish it were this simple… Maybe it is.

Whatever

Kate George asks:

You seem happy and well balanced. You have a great daughter and although I don’t know much about your wife you speak well of her. You are fairly consistent on your blog and don’t seem to have much angst about the times you can’t be here. How to you maintain your equilibrium, sense of humor and kindness when you must get really worn out with everything you do?

Well, one answer to that is that the reason I seem largely happy and well-balanced is that I intentionally choose to project an online persona that is largely happy and well balanced. I’ve always been pretty open about reminding people that the online John Scalzi is a tuned and mediated version of me — not a lie, but a presentation of who John Scalzi is that brings some elements to the front and moves other elements to the back.

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It’s not mine so who cares?

Why do people damage community property? No, I’m not talking about the playground swings that some fat idiot broke in a drunken neknomination. Neither am I talking about accidental damage that may have happened when Johnny borrowed the holiday resorts off-road trike and rolled it on the 18th green or when Mary dropped the plate in the mess-hall at the local boarding house.  I am talking about private ‘shared’ property that people knowingly use and abuse without any attempt to repair or replace the items after the fact.  These people are not strangers and have a vested interest in keeping things in working order.  So why do they behave like this? Perhaps I need to submit this to Dan Arielys blog and see if he will offer an answer as part of his journey into understanding irrational behaviours.

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Hyena piss with a hint of citris

and a polony after-taste that burps back on you…  Blergh!  Now, I am not saying that I have ever had the displeasure of drinking carnivore urine spiked with orange peel but the world of craft and other specialist beers can be a real hit and miss affair.  Thankfully, as it is with most things in life, there are very bad, ok, good and downright delicious examples of a cold one – that is, if you are willing to take a chance on things named Bonecrusher or Lumberjack or some other name you cannot pronounce sober.

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Bye Toutatis!

The year is 50 BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely … One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium…

So began countless hours of reading when I was a boy.  At first, I’d just look at the pictures and laugh when Unhygienix flings a ‘fresh’ fish at Fulliautomatix or  watch Vitalstatistix falling off his shield yet again. Later I would be fascinated at the weird Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and Gothic scripts or pirates swearing in fists, skulls and other symbols.  I’d wonder what Dogmatix would do with another tree falling over or how many boars Obelix would eat (still have to try boar one day) or what he really did with all his menhirs. As I grew older, I’d smile at the puns and other little cultural and political gems hidden in the names and dialogue and laugh at Obelixs infatuation with Panacea and finally understand the other more ‘grown up’ concepts that I never noticed before. Mansion of the Gods, The Great Divide and Asterix in Switzerland became favourites that got so worn the pages had to be re-attached with cello-tape every few years. Asterix & Obelix were childhood companions that I have never grown out of.

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