July 6, 2007 11:11 PM

As much as I doubt myself, or am a terrible conversationalist, or as confused and entertained as I am about my own actions, I still relish my slogan-like understanding of Erving Goffman -- about how, in everyday social situations, you are constantly negotiating and reevaluating how you think of yourself. In other words, what you say and do sets up the character of the interaction, and shapes how others can express themselves; contrarily, how someone else reacts to your response allows and disallows you certain ways of expressing yourself. The social moment between people is also the creative moment of each self.*

In a big way, I aspire to act through Goffman's ideal. I think I managed to avoid developing a natural, if unknowing understanding of sociality most normal people have. For me, Goffman is instructional -- he describes a way to see how people set things up for themselves, and how you can work in their setups. It's incredibly clumsy, sure, but much more helpful than just being plain clumsy (I do that just fine, already). If anything, I'm realizing I'm too conservative of a conversationalist; I don't meet at the middle very well, and, because of this, I tend to disappear. I learned in elementary, middle, and even high school to not to risk much socially, and avoid ridicule, by not offering much. Unfortunately, this makes for an outwardly boring, personally underwhelming me. This also means I'm often disappointed when the other person doesn't meet me beyond the middle, and when the fault is entirely my own. So the first order of the summer is to allow myself to be my own champion. Talk about myself, and act like I actually care about myself, and my own ideas (because I do!). Nobody will know what I mean unless I make it obvious -- so I should, happily, and let it go where it may.

But shit, did I tell you that I experienced one of the finest musical events yesterday night? The Portland band/band of friends Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! tore through my eardrums in the most pleasant way, along with veteran improvisor Wally Shoup. I literally felt my eardrums tingling. It was brilliant and sweaty. I also played. I did alright; I was a bit nervous, and rushed, and unprepared. It can only get better from here, I think. I have some big plans for when I visit Hawaii; I hope I have enough determination to actually accomplish them.

So far, this has been an amazing summer -- undoubtedly one of the best. I hope the best for yours.

* Here's an interesting question: is this the sole point?