The Personal Effect (redeem free post coupons here)

Okay, I’m feeling arrogant enough tonight to start my own thread, and narcissistic enough to use myself as a springboard. Hey, talking about oneself comes easy, right?

I came to the realization, while walking my dogs (I tend to do that a lot; both dog-walking and realization-having-while-dog-walking) that I use a great number of my personal effects as a shield against other people, woven together into a Security Quilt of sorts.

I have a bomber jacket that I tend to wear rain or shine, come hell or high water. “+1 AC Impromptu,” I joke. But armor it is. Makes me feel more solid. I’m an ectomorph, so sometimes I feel like I’d blow away in a stiff wind. An acquaintance of mine who’s made a hobby of guessing people’s weights tells me it adds about five pounds to my apparent frame. Even when it’s hot I wear this jacket. It creates a certain front against people who intrude on me unannounced. They don’t rattle me as much when I am so girded. It comes off in specific situations, or when I’m made uncomfortable despite the extra security it provides.

In the left inside pocket of my jacket I keep my iPod, on most days. That’s another good shield; put in the earphones, even with no music piped in (save that battery life for when you need it), and you’re instantly less approachable. It’s a useful organ for regulating my moods, too. A few classical gems, lots of Goa Trance, a complete collection of Nightwish, assorted Iron Maiden and some crap Nu Metal for when I don’t want to think.

My parents don’t like it when I use it too much though. Think I should socialize more. They don’t get how draining it is, or my attempts to explain this to them.

That said, recently I’ve been feeling my lack of a girlfriend more keenly than in the past three years since I broke up with my first. I’m making an effort to pay attention to people around me, looking for someone who might like me. Wish me luck, eh?

In the right inside pocket I keep my Palm Pilot (a cheapie Zire 21, enough to run kMoria and/or Chess Tiger and/or Dokusha, my favorite <i>kanji</i> reader for handhelds).

I also stock that pocket with the pen I modified for spinning. Yep, I spin a modded Pentel RSVP like some bored asian highschooler. I also do footbag, juggling and Contact Juggling. I’m a nut for dexterity skills. Those are a buffer too. People sense that you’re taking up a little more space than usual if you’re freestyling, and they keep their distance. Downside is they stare.

I don’t take the pen out much anymore. I always end up threatening to stab DarkPower with it.

My hair could be said to be a defense mechanism too. I don’t, as a rule, get it cut, so I tend to save about $12-15 US per month doing so. Washing it regularly, I’m told, keeps it from growing too fast. At any rate, my bangs go down nigh to my chin nowadays. It’s like wearing blinkers. So long as I don’t get self-conscious about it, it keeps me from knowing if I’m being examined. I could also drag it down over my eyes to rib a particular spastic-emo friend when she comes around, which I plan to try next week.

On days when I come to school with the intent to hack (footbag, usually, but sometimes of the digital variety), I wear a hat to keep my hair out of my eyes. It’s a cap from the USS-Rentz, Fast Frigate 46. The legend on the coat-of-arms reads “DREAD NOUGHT.” I think that’s badass, especially for a class of ship that specializes in hunting unseen enemies. Their job is technical and intellectually challenging, which appeals to me.

I’m reluctant to say I have a rapier wit, but I make cutting statements all the time. I suppose it’s a measure of my insecurity, that I’m being defensive (funny how “being defensive” usually means going on the attack). It’s hardly a sword-and-buckler, more of a sword-and-dagger. Comes in handy around time of campus elections.

“Would you like to sign this petitition?”
“I’ll consult the Rotary Decision Maker. Call it, Matt.” flips coin
“And the RDM says…tails. Sorry, no signature for you.”

My final line of defense is my bedroom door. I keep it closed, but apparently some people don’t recognize it as the delineator of my personal space. I get in arguments with my father over this. He assumes that if I’m spending time in seclusion I must be doing something illicit, or I wouldn’t hide. He doesn’t say this about my hour long walks for each dog, but that’s a good thing.

When I’m at the park, with surreal strains of music massaging my temples, I can let my imaginatin play. Monsters cling to chain-link fences. Bats and Owls leave magnetic contrails from the night before. The trees tell me it’s too fucking hot out. I adjust my jacket and walk on.

My dogs are in great shape.

So, in order to avoid writing a conclusion to this little rant, and to make it something other than a generic LiveJournal post, I’m going to ask you to step back and take stock of yourself the same way. What do you use your personal effects for, in terms of your group of friends and the sector of society you find yourself in? Do you carry things for their funcional purpose, or do you, like me, carry a security blanket?

Sucks thumb and waits for a response


With the exception of the dogs and dog walking, it seems we use much the same things towards much the same ends.

And I have my CD player’s (haven’t gone up to Ipod yet) headphones in my ears all the time PRECISELY BECAUSE I find socializing draining and awkward and something to be avoided.

My once plain black canvas messenger bag that I sewed a l33t HL2 patch onto. Carry the thing to and from class everyday with my textbooks inside. The bag itself I like because it’s great to carry art suppies in, but the patch adds +1 coolness to it. ^^

I do the headphones for the same reason when I take the bus to school. In addition, by actually paying attention to the music, I can avoid a certain amount of boredom.

Recently, I’ve found that reading a textbook tends to keep people away, too. Who’s going to interrupt someone who is studying? This doesn’t work quite as well with novels, or other non-school assigned reading because for some reason over-extroverted nuisances see this as an excuse to ask, “What are you reading? What’s it about? Is it good? I was reading this one book blah blah blah blah blah…”

I wear a sweater or sweatshirt most of the time, because I’m always freezing. They also hide my figure fairly well, so creepy jerks don’t hit on me as frequently.

I have a total of 6 lip balms in my purse, all different flavors. Pretty much, I’m just addicted to the stuff. But I don’t eat it, like SOME people I know. >:O

Book, check.
iPod, check.

They keep people away. That reading and listening to music are great passtimes are a plus too. All is well!

Hmm, I’m remembering High-School, where I was quite similar to what you describe. It took seriously offending a close friend to cure my sarcastic wit. I also used to have a jacket I always wore, regardless of Florida’s 90+ wearher. Almost everybody has a few barriers used to delineate personal space. Some simply use more visible means than others. Good luck on the girlfriend part.

And P.S. I like the Rotary Decision Maker :slight_smile:

My friend is like that. Pen spinning, lighter tricks, juggling. He’s also the Massachusetts state champion for freestyle yoyoing. So I guess its not that odd.

If I seem more effusive than normal in this post, it’s because I’ve just come home and I’ve got a venti-sized Iced Café Mocha sitting in my otherwise-empty stomach.

Shin: Nice. I’ve got a few zippos form military bases I’ve visited, but I haven’t learned any tricks for it other than the basic snap open, snap light, snap closed, and a mutant variant of Agent of Prostitutes.

Thanks for the wellwishing, DK.

This sorta confirms the hypothesis I formulated after attending the Cali Meet and an informal one at Kero’s (I remember ClothHat, SG, Frame and Nick being there, among others; Jo the Mighty begged off by saying he didn’t want to drive that far–pansy. Anyway!), that people here at RPGC are more often loners than not (not to say without friends, but those who are selective about their company).

Of course, the <i>real</i> recluses are the ones who didn’t even post here…

I do the headphones thing sometimes. I have an MD, so it’s not as versatile as an iPod to carry around.

I don’t really care about how skinny I am so I don’t cover up.

My friend tried to get me to twirl my pen a certain way just because “everyone else is doing it”. I was , like, “what, you want to be part of the ‘cool crowd’ while studying?”

Also, how do you mod a pen anyway?

In this particular case you get one of those uber-common Pentel RSVPs, drill a hole in the end cap (where the but-end of the ink thingie goes) and turn the ink thingie around. Now, by putting the cap on the “wrong” end, as if it were actually in use, you can make the pen longer and spin it without covering yourself and all your belongings with slashes of blue/black/red/green ink. Furhter modifications to make the pen longer and add more weight at the ends (which respectively makes it easier to do long runs and spin slower for better control) require more stuff that I’m not willing to do at the moment. Someday, though. Someday… stares wistfully into the distance

iPod+Book+Gameboy=Wall of invisibility. Most of the time.

you can read and gameboy at the same time? awesome

twirls pen

Eh. I fail to see the interest. :boring:

<a href=“”>There’s </a><a href=“”>more </a><a href=“”>to it </a><a href=“”>than you know</a>

I love ninjalinking ^^

I have a foul odour and mad sleeping skillz as my only defenses against sozializing, on those rare occasions that I can be found outside my protective bubble.

While I suppose my everyday apparel and accompanying accessories could be looked at as security items, I have uses for a lot of them. My oversized boots, for instance, are handy in mosh pits, cause, well, loosing your shoes in moshpits isn’t that fun. My military tunic/jacket has plenty of pockets, which I like because I like carrying stuff with me. My cd player, because I like listening to music, my gameboy advance SP, because sometimes I need a little more than music to be entertained. I wouldn’t look at my long hair as a security blanket, because I just like the way it looks.
All in all, I don’t try to avoid people, infact I don’t mind talking to complete strangers even, but I’d just rather listen to music while riding the bus.

Yeah. It started just covering the gameboy with my book, so I could play at home without anyone knowing. It just developed.

My headphones and notebook containing various poems and songs I’ve written/writing/going to write. I almost always have a pen in my hands these days too. People look at me strange, but hey, fuck em.

unlike most people in my school I carry every thing in my back pack which macks it ridiculosly large and heavy. large and heavy back pack = the perfect melee weapon in a croaded hall. :moogle: