About

I paused for a long while to consider what I thought was the most important thing for you to know about me, and I thought in the context of this blog—which is a good slice of me but not all of me, so some other thing might very well be more important for some other relationship that we may be seeking—but anyway for somebody who is reading this blog, it is this:

Language is both incomplete and replete. To me.

ETA: No wait, the most important thing for you to know about me is that I do know the difference between who and whom and lie and lay, I just don't like the way whom and lie sound in a sentence.

This actually is also a useful thing to know about me for most other relationships that we may be seeking, being that language is one of the primary substrates for relationships.

But being that language is our only substrate on a blog—well also pictures, but pictures also are both incomplete and replete—I feel like incomplete-and-replete is beyond useful, but essential to know. About me. Incomplete-and-replete is why I don't do Twitter, even though I understand that you can use more than 140 characters now. I just watched that part of Cosmos where Carl Sagan is talking about Flatland, Twitter is like Flatland to me. It's not just my verbosity either, but it's related to my verbosity.

You might think that my verbosity represents an effort to make language complete, but not really. That is not my goal. That's sort of horrifying, this many words and no intention to get to the point? What, I like words.

Okay, the point. A point:

Incomplete means a piece of language—a sentence—never contains all the things that it represents.

Replete means a piece of language always contains more things than it represents.

An example:

The other day, A-Bomb posted Smitten Kitchen's twinkie bundt cake to my timeline, saying "This seems like something you'd like." So right off the bat, I never explain who is A-Bomb and why is her name A-Bomb—incomplete. I could try, but I just don't. Two sentences wouldn't add anything essential to the story at hand, and twenty sentences wouldn't even come close to who she essentially is to me, so here's your two words, A and Bomb, that's all you need to move on, just mark the rest of it off as unknown, unless you do know it, and you can fill it in yourself. Just like if you're curious about twinkie bundt cake, you can google "smitten kitchen twinkie bundt cake" yourself.

As it happens, Smitten Kitchen is in my feedly and I did see that recipe and click through to read the recipe and turn down to drool a bit. Because there was a time in my life when I liked Twinkies a lot, like two Twinkies every afternoon at 4pm a lot. What, they come in packages of two, you know how I feel about whole foods—incomplete, you probably don't. Okay fine, it's that I can't stand half-opened packages or half-used foods like half an onion in the refrigerator ::shudder:: just saying though, if you already know the explanation, it's funnier without the explanation. Of course if you don't know the explanation, it's not funny at all or really open to misinterpretation. Which is the game I play with all my jokes, which is why half of them don't fly. The ones that fly though, fly high, and that's what it's all about for me.

I decided though not to post the twinkie bundt cake to my timeline, because reasons, but here it was. So I commented back to A-Bomb:

i did at one time really like twinkies. but these days i do not eat flour!

567 words to get to the one sentence that I wanted to use as an example of incomplete and replete.

I already explained the part about at one time really liking twinkies, so let's focus on these days I do not eat flour.

These days I do not eat flour. That is a really tightly packed sentence, right off the bat containing at least half a dozen instances of flour that I can think of off the top of my head that I do eat these days, let's see: bagels, der schweetum's spaghetti, tortilla pizzas, potstickers and fortune cookies, tacos, and there's bread crumbs in my egg bites recipe.

Well Poppy, maybe that is a tightly packed sentence and maybe that is just a flat-out lie. Or maybe this could be solved with better writing.

Well, I agree that life is better if you try to tell the truth. I do try, this is me trying. That was me trying, as a matter of fact. At the heart of it though, I really deeply accept—maybe this is the most important thing that I think you should know about me—that the truth is impossible to tell. So that takes it out of the moral realm into the ethical for me, and at this point it should come as no surprise to you that I have particular ideas about morals vs ethics that I am not going to explain. Haha! But e.g., there is no perfect truth that I can tell, therefore I try to choose the best true statement that I can think of. So out of all the options I can think of, the best true statement:

best represents the truth, and
best functions as a statement
So for example, I think "I don't eat flour" better represents the truth than "I can't eat flour," the latter really being untrue, and also the former functions better than the latter because I for one want to keep the arena of what I can as large as possible, because there are plenty of things that I legitimately can't do. Like flying, or shrinking people an inch every time they don't get out of the way of people trying to get off the train (quarter-inches could be earned back for good behavior.)

And overall, "These days I don't eat flour" functions better as a statement as a comment on facebook than I generally don't eat flour but here are all the exceptions and here's my unified theory of nutrition and nutrition psychology, it's only a thousand words. Which really isn't going to fly for most blog posts either: come for the egg bite recipes, run awayyy from the unified theory of language for the love of god.

It's really kind of ridiculous for an About page, too. It's important to me, though. And if not here, where.

If you're reading this blog, this is what I thought you should know. This is here, lurking behind everything.

This is my little blog about how I do. I try to write as little in the second person imperative as possible. I don't know you, how am I going to tell you what to do? There are slippages of course, language is slippery, particularly the further one goes back in the wayback machine. Before this idea was a twinkle in my eye, it's something that's developed over the years. If I'm your trainer, I listen to you and we take it from there. One size fits one is how I do. It's madness to me to try to write one size fits all, and usually a recipe for writer's block for me. I also think it's a kind of madness to read all sizes fit me? There's a lot of stuff out there, all of it doesn't fit me. I try things on, see if they fit, think if I can alter them to fit—really not unlike shopping for clothes, except that I really suck at shopping for clothes. Maybe if I went shopping with "it's just like trying out self-help" in my mind, I would be less surprised every time the exact article that I have envisioned does not exist in stores at this exact moment.

So this is me trying things on, seeing if they fit me. In public. Ish.

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