Random Shit I Appreciate

Plus some shit that impresses me

street murals — incl. this one — just for example

Recently two whole entire human beings told me I’m hard to please

All because I told one of them “people always think of Colorado as being ‘beautiful mountains,’ but actually most of it is flat and gray.” (which… is true. Source: I’m from there. I think maybe they visited (the mountains) once?) and I told the other one I didn’t have a strong opinion on office carpeting.

Frankly, there are probably many more examples, because I’ve heard the whole “hard to please” thing all my life. Those were just the most recent.

To be brief: They’re mostly right. I’m not That Girl. Sorry not sorry. On the upside, I am pleased to be the bearer of great news: there are plenty of Her (or Him!) out there for you if that’s what you need.

Maybe I could use some help in the “sparkle” department, and maybe I’m working on it, but maybe I’m also entitled to my own opinion. Maybe I’m not obligated to show excitement about things that don’t excite me.

Of course “faking it” isn’t the point. On the contrary, people who say this always want me to actually be excited.

They are that fumbling lover who wants you to melt in his hands just because “every other girl likes this.” (So, why don’t you? What’s wrong with you? “Impossible to impress” — that’s what it is!)

Being told I’m “too hard to please” is just one step beyond being told to “SMILE!!”, except these people are actually trying to elbow their way into my head like they stake claim to it. Which seems worse.

Another problem with conventionally “impressive” things is getting past how “desperate” they are. I don’t even have a chance to appreciate what’s happening because I’m so distracted and turned off by the obvious “validate me!” flailing that’s going on in my face.

But all of that aside !— :) — there are several things I’m into. And just to prove a point — because I’m like that — I’m even going to list some things I totally dig that most people don’t

Humidity

Man, I love humidity. I don’t just tolerate humidity — I love humidity.

Here everyone always wants to interject. “You’ve never experienced a southern summer” (yes, I have) or “you still prefer dry heat” (no, I don’t) or, most commonly, they go for the classic: “that’s just crazy” (k.)

Humility

Which is ironic perhaps, because it makes the whole “impressive” thing kinda hard… but that aside.

One of the rarest combination of traits is intelligence that’s not packaged with ego — caring more about a problem being solved in the best way than needing to be the one who did it. Hawt.

The Sheer Amount of Trees in The South

I die a little every single time I ride by these walls of green in the summer.

Cheap Coffee

No, I guess I’m not “impressed” by “great” coffee. But it’s me, not the coffee. I’m not “above” it — I just don’t need it in my life.

It’s not “pretentious,” which is the big, presumptuous word most people use, perhaps sympathizing and/or beating me to the punch. “Yeah, I know…” They interject, “it is pretentious.”

But I didn’t say that. That’s not my “issue.”

I have this little life motto that goes something like “don’t over-drink your palate” —i.e., don’t consume beyond what you can appreciate — and it applies to everything, coffee included. I have a terribly undefined palate, and to make matters worse: I don’t care.

I want simple coffee in the same way I want simple housing, simple clothing, a simple bike. I don’t want my coffee to be “experiential.” I don’t want to ruminate on the flora or fauna or whatever else. I just want a cup of coffee.

Which means I will happily drink day-old gas station coffee, or shit I badly measured and then left to burn.

It also means that, on the upside: what I most appreciate is just having a cup of coffee. Any cup will do. My bar for being “impressed” by coffee is exceedingly low.

That being said: the mocha from that one local “fancy” coffee place

I don’t even like mochas and I’m obsessed with theirs. That’s how good they are.

Good Sportsmanship

Man, nothing brings me to my knees quite like good sportsmanship. Today I saw a trucker let another trucker over last minute because we were all passing a third trucker pulled off on the shoulder. I nearly died with the feels.

My favorite colleague ever*

He was the tech lead on my project a few years back and effectively my right-hand man (or maybe I was his.) Pretty sure the guy could solve most anything out of cotton balls and loose change. He delivered on everything, even with “impossible” constraints.

*I also met my partner at work, so I should probably say he was my favorite colleague, but we were in high school and that’s totally different.**

**Fine. The tech lead was my second favorite “person at work.” All things considered.

Pretty much every other developer I’ve ever worked with

Not all of them, but most of them.

By now I’m convinced that everyone who’s ever held a management role in software has a natural bias towards either developers or designers (or, ew, other managers — those ones are worst of all.) My bias is developers. They are creme de la creme and I wouldn’t even have a job if it weren’t for them doing theirs.

And on that note, pretty much all engineers

By far The Best — better, in my opinion, than law, medicine or finance (all three being great examples of where people in my life get hung up on me “not being impressed,” totally missing the point.) But, of course, that’s just me.

Comedians and pretty much all other performers

They don’t even have to be good! I’m still impressed that they do this! I’m great at comedy clubs because, totally uncharacteristically, I absolutely love laughing at any attempt at live comedy.

Actually, literally anyone who’s good at what they do

You know what impresses me? People who are good at their jobs — even if their job is, I don’t know, scooping ice cream or something. Way more impressive than someone who half-asses a fancy title.

I have on several occasions listened to total strangers talk to me for like an hour about their job when they really like it — especially if it’s not conventionally “impressive.” It’s awesome to listen to someone who loves their work talk about it.

Well-Written Passages

Sometimes I trip onto a chunk of writing that’s so good I re-read it like 8 times, all but rolling around in it and shoving handfuls into my mouth like a frantic 3 year old at a birthday party. I never feel envious. I always feel delighted… indulged… seduced… impressed.

I’d say I’m impressed with “good writers” too, but a.) duh — that’s a given and b.) with a good writer the effect isn’t quite so intense as with a good passage. A good passage makes you die a little with sheer pleasure.

Street Murals

That much should be clear.

Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and Most Other Urban Ruins

Fascinating. Totally romanticized and from a position of pure privilege, but fascinating nonetheless. Detroit especially. “Impressive” is an obvious word to come by as you drive through the endless blocks upon blocks of ruins that once were the Packard Plant, just for instance.

Bonus!

Totally not the point — because the whole original complaint was really regarding my apathy — but here are some bonus things that most people hate that I don’t mind:

  • Traffic — tbh it’s kinda zen
  • Mornings and getting up early
  • The dentist —my dentist probably has “fangirl” in my file
  • Snoring — whatever. ear plugs.
  • Coming to the end of anything — a movie, a weekend, a year, a post

What really impresses me, though?

People who have the agency and self-awareness to own what actually and truly interests and impresses them most, regardless of “how often” or “what others think.”

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