For tonight's tasteless commentary...

The song in my head today:

Seven days and not a return / Seven lives and not a thing learned
Take a lover on the highway / Do you know…

'Cause I am sleeping on a time bomb / And I am waiting for the light to come
You and I could get away now / Do you know…

'Cause I don't know how / I don't know where
We are… We are…
And I don't know why / I don't know if
We are… We are…
[ Vertical Horizon ]

…and now for my nightly tasteless commentary. In the lack of anything substantive to post, tonight is a shameless plug for a friend of mine.Introducing the bradcam directory [ed. - since has been taken down, sorry!]. You've heard about him—yep, he's the original Eye-Candy Canadian, and he needs a good, loving home (preferably with a single female who's got an appreciation for normalized databases and who doesn't mind a male that cooks). These are the cream of the crop of the bradcam, updated every thirty seconds. Since he spends as much time in front of his computer as I do, it's an interesting little window into his life.

I've asked myself why I'll leave the cam window open on my desktop while I'm doing other things. A lot of the time I ignore it, but sometimes it's fun to watch while I'm pondering a particularly tricky point of a project. It's like being allowed to peek into someone's life, knowing that they don't particularly mind if you do.

These are interesting questions for me, because I put a webcam on my desk about a month ago. I was bemused to see the rather large number of hits the webcam got; I had trouble understanding why people would want to watch what I looked like while I stared into my computer screen. But…then again…maybe I understand after all.

Are humans voyeurs at heart? I think we are. I think we enjoy getting to see how other people live and work, even though their lives are really no more interesting than our own. Given an absence of context, we spend time wondering what a smirk or a laugh meant, or why someone looks tired or amused. There's something about having a window into their world and watching their emotions play across their faces that is endlessly fascinating.

The world we live in practically requires us to wear masks to get through our daily lives. As a result, we find it endlessly fascinating when someone deliberately drops theirs and says, "Come take a look. I don't mind."

When this person is a friend of yours anyway, it's all the more interesting.

So…I'll refresh the link to the cam directory whenever I find something new and worthy of posting.

Other news—last night I took a deep breath and wrote a couple of friends I'd been neglecting to write for a while. How painful it is to have to write the words "Please don't misinterpret my lack of writing to mean that I don't think about you or wonder how you're doing." These were people I thought about on a daily basis, but every time I tried to write something to them, I found myself unsure of where to start. Yesterday I finally just stopped worrying about where to start, and just started somewhere.

I suppose, as Dickinson said, "This is my Letter to the World…"

It's not that the world doesn't write to me, though. Often I think it quite the opposite—it reaches in for my mind, heart, and soul—constantly, shrilly. I try my best to tune a lot of it out, to make my opinions my own, my thoughts not those that an advertiser or merchant wants to plant in my head. I wonder how those people who watch television all the time manage to drown out the multitude of voices and opinions and facts that are constantly being thrown at them.

I always managed to think better when surrounded by a little peace and quiet. The problem is that sometimes the cocoon draws a little too tightly, and I find it difficult to reach past it to communicate with those few people whose thoughts and opinions I truly desire to hear. I know that isn't in my best interest, but it's hard to fight it.

I would rather have the singing of one solitary voice that I wanted to hear, than an entire chorus of beautiful, uninvited voices.

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

      Emily Dickinson