31 December 2007

Social Objects

Hugh MacLeod's post on Social Objects is fantastic. It perfectly describes how human beings start conversations and getting to know, based on things (objects) we mutually cathect.

And speaking of Social Objects, it's no secret that one of my favorites is Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. In the Ender series, OSC posits that we're connected to other people and things in this universe by way of philotic twines: invisible yet tangible connections based on the mutual love we share for each other or for - dare I say it? - social objects. (Read more at Wikipedia under the heading "Philotic Web".)

Rachel Bellow's comment on Hugh's post really spoke to me:

". . . Social objects are the particular manifestation of shared meaning, right? So that suggests there's a drive underlying all these manifestations....that the social object is not, in itself, the drive. The need for meaning...specifically shared meaning...is a deep human impulse that will, invariably, manifest in some form or another. If not this social object, another. Social networks like Facebook are simply evidence of that quest. Aren't they simply forums where the quest for shared meaning can coalesce and result in manifestation (social objects)?

People tend to be conscious of the social object more than they are of the underlying impulse that led them to it. The search for meaning--a purpose that radiates beyond the limited confines of the self--lies at the center of all human interaction. It seems to me that identifying the nature of that impulse, what sort of meaning is in play at any given time, is really important....and helps us create brilliant social objects to express it, specifically. I imagine that what attracts you to Saul Bellow is the way he expresses his own constant, agonizing quest for meaning...a way of expressing that angst that is similar to your own, that allows you to join him, rather than simply watch with admiration. And so the woman who likes Bellow too must want to soak in that particular bath of meaning as well...which is what attracts you to her. It's the underlying taste for that particular form of meaning that being an SB fan indicates, and to which you respond. Henderson the Rain King isn't the point. Neither is Saul Bellow.

What is the point is that you and this woman share a taste for that particular worldview. That shared taste promises more social object creation between you two in the future. What I'm saying is that I think it's worth understanding at all times what form of meaning a social object is indicating....so that future social objects can can be created in its wake."

Summed up, as C.S. Lewis would put it: "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

Rock on, Hugh. Rock on, OSC. And rock on, Rachel. I grok yer concepts muchly.

P.S.: whitenoise? Your FAQ about why you're here and what mark you'll leave? For me, I think it centers around this social object thang. To find meaning and those who share it with you. What's more, to create a social object that resonates meaning with others.

From Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid.com

25 December 2007

Merry Ho Ho

If Happy Bunny says it with a holiday hat on, then it's officially a holiday greeting and not just a Cheek theme. k?

Merry Ho Ho to all y'all.

24 December 2007

Christmas Back Home

Am spending the week at Carolina Mom's, as is bro Buckwheat. May not be "home" in terms of where I grew up, but it's indeed one of my homes. As home(s) is(are) where the heart is.

From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com

The Human Condition: AirPlaneSeatReclineology

Can't believe I beat whitenoise to this:

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

Buckwheat featured in Dilbert today!

Ineffingcredible. My brother Buckwheat's likeness is featured in today's Dilbert strip. Go on. Tell me it doesn't look like him. I dare ya.

(He's the forehead guy, if there's any doubt.)

18 December 2007


From Toothpaste Before Dinner

I'm misplacing myself, these days. Looking forward to downtime next week.

17 December 2007

Bite Me, Part One

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

I have the *perfect* holiday t-shirt. Snap to follow soon. Spanks to Pid for drawing this comic jewel to my immediate attention.

12 December 2007

A** Muppet

Are you feeling the love, whitenoise?

From Partially Clips

06 December 2007

You're the Man

Spanks to MontanaMan for bringing this jewel to my attention. Posting it here is NOT an endorsement that this is the kind of man Cheek seeks.

04 December 2007

Love's Illusions

Well, whitenoise, here's what Hugh MacLeod's had to say on the subject: (From Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void)

03 December 2007

Be Patriotic. Do Your Part.

Wednesday is Repeal Day, people. Do your part. International participation welcome.

02 December 2007

Dating is hard in any season

Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

It's hard to ever feel sympathy for Rat, but this made me approximate it.

29 November 2007

Remember your holiday song, boys and girls

News from the midwest reports folks are dickering over "appropriate" holiday displays. Did we learn nothing from Southpark? Can't we all get along and simply sing "Kyle's Mom is a B*tch in D Minor?"

(The original vid was stripped off YouTube, but the one with other language translations is schweet too.)

Inside Out

I put my pants on one leg at a time. I take them off two legs at a time. In the laundry bin, one pants leg is inside out. Always.

An investigation has been launched into this years-long phenomenon previously reported by the Swede. Other witnesses are asked to contact 1.800.DORKSRUS.

28 November 2007


Would have been nifty to see this.

"yuan" - “the concept that certain people are meant to find each other.” - Hoopers, by Michael Schulman, New Yorker Magazine, November 2007

Not Politically Correct


Who's a Good Virus?

Geek humor. Hear it roar.

Randall Munroe's xkcd

27 November 2007

Think Twice Before Liberating Those Office Supplies

150,000 watch North Korean factory boss executed for 'making international calls'. Guess all y'all fantasy footballers and YouPorn watchers at work wouldn't stand an effing chance in North Korea. That is, if they didn't block those sites already.

Insubordination, and The Cool Kids

For Sheena, who upon occasion has resembled this remark. You catalyst, you!

Toothpaste for Dinner

And for whitenoise:

Tony Carillo's F Minus

26 November 2007


"It is not merely happiness we all seek. We seek some place where we belong. For the lucky few, we find it in childhood with our own families. But for most of us we spend our adult lives seeking that place or person or organization that makes us feel that we are important, that we matter, and that without us something would go undone and undoable. We all need to feel that we are irreplaceable." - Laurel K. Hamilton

Ain't dat da truf.

Mark Tonra's James

24 November 2007


From Tony Carillo's F Minus.

Things for which I am thankful, in random order:

1. Hostess Ho Hos. Was SOL after moving from NoVa to the land of no Ho Hos in Cocoa Beach as an urchin. So glad their distribution is more pervasive now!

2. Harmony. Especially minor harmony. Listening to the Indigo Girls and Jonatha Brooke bring back high school choir memories of "Great God Almighty".

3. SuperTarget and the many, many gifts it has given me. The baked brie with pear in phylo being the best.

4. Close peeps. Coyote, Otter & family, Boone & family, PJamaMama, Kimplicated, Pid, and Sheena have all had their praises sung previously. But there are others - you know who you are.

5. Potato chips. Charles' Chips. Utz. Archer Farms Sea Salt & Black Pepper.

6. A wee urchin's request to "do it again!" when they discover something they like.

7. Great fiction.

8. My rows to hoe. They're mine. They may occasionally suck, but others can be way, way worse.

9. Thong underwear. No more lines!

10. That I never had to wear the *original* thong underwear - belts for sanitary napkins. Ouch! Ew!

11. Good humor. Odd humor. Geek humor. Just not intolerant humor.

12. That I'm living in a digital world, and I'm a very digital girl.

13. Dairy Queen Dipped Cones.

14. That my Dad & stepMom unintentionally performed a diet intervention last summer and opened my taste buds up to many wonders.

15. Many great teachers who did not suck: Ms. Bertoci. Jill Rock. Milton Borens. Joyce Dillingham. Dr. David Kirby.

16. Wood burning fires on cold days.

17. Memory.

18. Family. They're mine. They may occasionally vex, but others can be way, way worse.

19. That I've never been touched in anger by a man. Or a woman, for that matter.

20. Forgiveness.

21. Walks on the beach, alone and with company.

22. Bacon.

23. The creatures, past and current, who've comforted and loved me: Peanuts. Sambo. Snoo Too. Boo. Sugar. Dinky. Pooter. Koko. Oscar. Stuey. The human ones too - you know who you are.

24. Becoming more and more comfortable with who I am. And who I ain't.

25. Science fiction.

26. Tubs of icing that do NOT have to be purchased with accompanying cake mix, thank you very much!

27. The odd. The geeky. The dorks. The doofuses. I am one. I am them.

28. That my second toe is longer than my big toe. It's mine. It may occasionally thwart a shoe purchase, but others can be way, way worse. Or freakishly strong. You know who you are.

29. That I can learn from mistakes.

30. That successes don't (usually) make me an a**hole.

31. The opportunities to see beyond my back yard into other parts of the world. Looking forward to more.

32. My grandfather's chocolate chip cookies. Best package received, EVER! (Alas, the last was freshmen year.)

33. That my grandfather never knew how much I didn't like his fruit cake cookies.

34. Those unusual sorts that actually like to cuddle when they nap/sleep.

35. French fries. Steak. Shoestring. Crinkle cut. Hashbrowns (they count). With salt only - have never acquired the taste for catsup, even with the food revolution. I live a relatively condiment free life. But dipping a french fry into a shake - goodness!

36. The Swede, and that he's still the kindest person I know.

37. That I live where I can experience all four seasons. Only one climate? Schmimate.

38. My stoopidly curly hair. It's mine. It may suck, often vex, and frequently thwart, but others can be way, way worse.

39. The clever. The cheeky. The witty. The smarta**es.

40. DVR and the remote control - on demand, baby.

41. Fantastic conversations that employ heart, wit, authenticity, and words with more than three syllables.

42. That I'm learning, albeit slowly, to hold on to what's important, and let the rest go.

Mark Tonra's James

14 November 2007

13 November 2007

The Point of Life (for Men)

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

Was there ever any doubt? And yes, Pid. You're welcome. I know you're all validated 'n' stuff.

11 November 2007

Check It Out

Have been catching up on stuff since returning home from the bidness trips that never ended. One such catch up was Showtime's Californication. If you've not seen it, you should.

"You're tragically, flawed . . . but you have a good heart." Ain't DAT da truf.

And is it just me, or does the show's Becca (Madeleine Martin) look like a young Julie Murphy Wells of Eddie From Ohio fame? You decide.

Madeleine Martin
Julie Murphy Wells

Too Effing Funny!

From Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy

Gimme more!

09 November 2007

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

Rat is stealing Cheek's lines!

08 November 2007

Wishing It Wasn't So, Part Two

From Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void

Kimplicated, my thoughts are with you as you wing your way to celebrate your grandma's life. It may be cold in Wisconsin, but it's warm in my heart.

From Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void

Wishing It Wasn't So, Part One

From Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy

Hoping you feel better soon, Sheena. Having had the creeping crud for 3 weeks and only now almost over it, I don't wish it on anyone. Looking forward to being in my own zip code for a change!

07 November 2007

05 November 2007

Falling Back

Mark Tonra's James

Had a brief visit at home between bidness trips, and the presence of Autumn can no longer be denied. The evenings are getting nippley, and the mornings cool enough to warrant slippers and the guilty pleasure of hot cocoa. The orange soup heralded in Cheek passim is on tap.

I'll be enjoying the leaves a bit less this year. Partly because their color is dimmed from the Georgia drought, but mostly because their view is curtailed out my back windows. The emptied neighborhood has been torn down, and the grammar school construction removed trees and their color potential.

The dogwoods are red, though. I'm looking forward to my wood fairies re-stocking me for the season, and to returning home and making the season's first fire.

02 November 2007

Papers In Order

A shout out, to the Georgia Peach:

The Old Ceremony, Papers In Order

May just have to catch them when they next come to town!

01 November 2007

Coyote: Bright As Yellow

Coyote is my hero.


She supports me, calls me on my crap, loves me, cheers me on, stands at the ready to kick arse on my behalf, and expects nothing less from me. Dunno who I'd be without her gift of friendship and sisterhood in my life - I'm her biggest fan.

Coyote is Bright As Yellow:

"And you live your life
with your arms
stretched out.
Eye to eye when speaking.
Enter rooms with great joy shouts,
happy to be meeting."

High School Musical

Heading tonight to catch Nougat in her high school musical. Hoping for great snaps to post later.

Coincidence that Darby Conley is referencing musicals this week?

From Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy

As previously described, Cheek loves her some Ikea!

31 October 2007

October, and Scorpio Horrorscope

So a Cheek ritual on the first and last days in the month of October is to sing U2's song of the same name:

And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care

And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on...and on...

U2's October, Live from Red Rocks

The tune starts mournfully, but picks up energy. Hope, even. It's the perfect welcoming musical salewt to Autumn.

The Scorpio Horrorscope is late, but just in before October's end. Urchins celebrating include Cheyenne, MacRae, and Adira. Order peeps include SeattleTroy and my stepmom cusper. Happy horse's arse day to each of you!


There are some freaky Delta folks in costumes here at ORD. The most I could manage was what I came with: my Halloween-blinged nails and toes.

Won't be home in time for trick-or-treating - dang.

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

From Tony Carillo's F Minus

I wonder if Pid will be dressing up, Nacho Libre style, as he did during a recent Atlanta visit. Inquiring minds want to know.