Afternoon InquisitionReligion

AI: Aw, Isn’t That Special!

There has been a lot of discussion about the Pope and his douchebaggery-hide-a pedophile antics as of late. It seems instead of hiding eggs this Easter he would just continue to stash away child rapists and it’s up to the rest of the world to find them and place them in a basket. If you aren’t caught up I do suggest you read Rebecca’s post on the subject that should clear things up for you. Although, if you aren’t caught up you might be living in a box and if so you might first want to poke a few holes to let in some air. Maybe add a few plants too because you are probably lonely and you might need a little oxygen and sunlight and maybe a friend or two.

There were a string of comments in Rebecca’s post that really got me thinking. Okay, so we know the guy thinks he has a direct line to god with some sort of unlimited long distance calling plan so he can talk all he wants to the almighty but when he is sitting around after a long day of chatting, twiddling tadpoles and playing hide the fish what really does make a pope feel special? Is it the hat?
pope hat convo

You know what? I bet it is the hat and that sharp little cross necklace and dress combo, that and maybe his bulletproof Mercedes-terrarium-popemobile! Does he still ride around in that sweet ride? Wait a sec, what is that you say? Maybe it’s the pope who needs to get out of his box, or at least let a little oxygen in? Perhaps you are right.
Frog Pope

For me it is my artwork, artistic accomplishments and work here at Skepchick that makes me feel special. But what about you dear readers? What do you own or what do you do that helps you stand out from the crowd or simply makes you feel good about yourself? What makes you feel special?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. Gotta say, I love that pendant (or whatever the necklace-looking-thing is, I’m not exactly with it on jewelry names).

    I work in a world full of guys (and a light sprinkling of girls) who all go home, watch TV, and fall asleep. I play in bands and book fairly large local music events. But the thing that makes me feel special is being able to play my upright bass with a bow. I am still fairly new at it, but every time I’m on stage and that rumbling, mournful sound comes pouring out, I feel happy. Like really genuinely happy.

  2. @Gabrielbrawley: I have that problem too. It made living in Japan and Korea a bit more interesting too.

    Did you know that Japanese doors are exactly 6 feet tall? This is where Klingons come from: Tall expatriates living in Japan wake up and blearily stumble to the door, only to smack their foreheads as hard as they can, leading to head ridges, cursing, and generally foul temperament.

    As to what makes me feel special? That’s a damn good question. Let me get back to you on that.

  3. @Zapski: Ouch.
    I almost knocked myself out in high school once. I was the first guy on the baskeball team who was supposed to run through the door out onto the court. The school we were at was really old and the door was about a half inch shorter than current code. I hit it with my head at full speed and knocked myself to my knees. So I know your pain.

  4. I like to think that, in some small way, I have a positive impact on the world. But it’s rare that I can point to any tangible results. That’s why this incident made me smile…

    A couple months ago, I posted a snarky Valentine card on my site (the biochemistry one). A few days later, I got a lovely thank-you email from someone who said it was the perfect card for her “best beloved”. She told me, “I appreciate being able to give him a card that expresses how he makes my brain bubble and
    fizz.” Awww!

  5. My independence and ability to adapt to pretty much any situation thrown my way. I can be a total chameleon. This has resulted in my working some iiiinteresting jobs over the years.

  6. I like to think my artwork sets me apart. But what makes me feel great is that I can use my artwork to help. Setting up auctions for a particular cause, or using it to try to educate, is a big part of what art can do. I’m also unfailingly optimistic and happy-go-lucky.
    @Steve: I gave that one to my wife on V-day. She loved it.

  7. @Gabrielbrawley: I also ran full tilt into a door frame once. It was in college, and I was chasing two young women, one of whom I was dating at the time, and the other (20+ years later) I’m dating now. They ran down the stairwell in our dorm, and I decided to follow by shouldering through the door, Hollywood style. I hit the frame Klutz style and ended up in the hospital for a bit, Loser style.

    Luckily, since I’m totally bald now, I got away without any scarring on my scalp. There’s a hospital story that goes with this, but it can wait for another thread.

  8. I would have been able to answer this more confidently a few years ago. I don’t really know anymore, which is not to sound all emo, it’s just the result of having my identity altered by disability.

  9. Definitely my ability to understand things very easily, especially on science. It felt weird to breeze through chemistry very easily while watcing everyone else struggle in it as if they were walking through quicksand. I don’t get it.

  10. Hmmmm, special I’m not; interesting to some and good at some things but not special. And I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone all that special, unless special is when you make the most of an opportunity. I’ve met people who work really hard who are called talented but I reject most notions of talent because I think in reality it’s about determination and hard work. I like interesting people and I think most people can make themselves interesting by becoming informed and being willing to learn. Certainly some people have brain traits that predispose them for success in different areas, but in the end I think its all about what interests you and what you invest your time in. And I really don’t think much about what would or would not make me feel good about my self as opposed to what just makes me feel good. I’m going to have to think about this one for a while.

  11. My leet cooking skillz. I always feel special when I’m standing at the checkout line with nothing but raw ingredients, and the people in front of and behind me have nothing but frozen pizzas and kraft mac n cheese.

  12. My family and friends mostly. I’m surrounded by great people I mostly agree with, I must be doing something right.

    I’ve been fortunate to have had a wide range of experiences that most don’t seem to have had but that doesn’t make me special, just me.

  13. I was going to say being mildly crap at pretty much everything but then I realised I have an exceptional talent for being gloomy and nihilistic. Have a nice day!

  14. @Sunioc: Yes! I love that as well. The only time it bites me in the ass is when I seriously don’t feel like cooking, can’t afford take out and only have raw ingredients to eat. But then that also gets me off my lazy bum to do something about it, so it’s still a positive.

  15. @Chelsea: I have that problem a lot too. I’ve become a master sandwich maker as a result. As long as I make sure to make plenty of bread when I’m not feeling lazy, I survive.

  16. @marilove: The older I get the more obvious it seems that we all over inflate the perceptions we have of our own skills and abilities. I think people with average skills and abilities can become special when they take advantage of opportunities and are willing to sacrifice and work hard to achieve a goal. And as far as being humble, I’m as full of myself as anyone and more than many, but thanks anyway!

  17. The webcomic used to make me feel pretty good about myself, it was always nice looking over my page views and the great emails and comments I got from readers…

    … but I’m secretly hoping that with the “new” webcomic I’ll have the balls to just come out and say all the things I used to just swallow because I was afraid someone might take offense. THAT will make me feel special. It’s likely I’ll have less readers and more hate mail, but at least I’ll be proud of what I’m doing.

  18. Two words: Pink Hair. It will be three years at the end of June that I have had this color hair ( About a year ago I considered changing the color to something more “normal” and a friend of mine sat me down and explained that this color had become iconic. It was a part of my identity. So I’ve kept it for that reason and because SO many women tell me that they wished they had my kind of courage.
    I want to be an example of what it means to be an individual: to forge your OWN path and not follow the crowd because it’s safe.
    Be daring! Be bold! But most importantly my dears; be yourself.

  19. Nothing really that I can think of makes me special. But getting out and doing a 12 mile Sunday run, or completing a Half marathon in 1:44:28 or just running in general makes me feel pretty damn good.

  20. I spent most of my teens and twenties trying to find what I should do with my life. Even though I liked science and was good at taking care of animals, I didn’t even consider becoming a veterinarian until I was in my late 20s. So now I’m a vet and I’m good at it. Best of all I work for a charity hospital so I don’t have to turn pets away because their owners don’t have enough money… and that makes me special even among vets!

  21. @Glow-Orb: Oh what hospital? I occasionally donate to animal charities with my Surly money. It’s not much but I do what I can. I just raised 150 for a no kill animal shelter in Las Vegas. I guess that sorta makes me feel special. ;)

  22. A few other things. And dang. This is lengthy. I guess I like talking about myself!

    ~My people skillz. It’s always been an asset of mine, in every job I’ve held (including my 5 month stint as a detention officer when I was 18!). I make friends very, very easily, and meet people wherever I go. It can actually get a bit overwhelming at times, because I need a plenty of alone time to recharge, and sometimes I’m not good at balancing everything.

    I’m really, really good at networking, and apparently managing people, which I didn’t realize until recently. I can blend easily into a crowd when I need or want to, but when I’m in My Element — surrounded by my minions* — I definitely stand out.

    *This is what I lovingly call my volunteers. :)

    I’m particularly proud of this because I didn’t have the best school experience growing up. I basically had no friends during my k thru 8th grade years (in the same crappy, tiny school), and I’m not exaggerating. It was horrid. I was heavily bullied, and very much a loner.

    Somehow, I turned that all around, and I’m really proud of myself for that.

    ~My fearlessness, and my resourcefulness. When I was offered my first volunteer coordinator position, I had been volunteering with them for less than two weeks. I had never done anything remotely like it. But my mentor saw something in me, and asked if I wanted to try a new challenge. So I said yes. And I fucking rocked it. I collected, scheduled, and managed over 50 volunteers for our huge alcohol booth set-up at Phoenix Pride last year. We sold over ten THOUSAND drinks on Saturday alone. It was freakin’ insane. Yet I pulled it off. I have never been so exhausted in my entire life, but it was way worth it.

    I’m actually coordinating the volunteers for an event in less than two weeks, not at all related to the LGBQT community. It will be interesting. I am super nervous because it’s a totally different non-profit sector…but of course I’ll rock.

    ~I’m also getting paid to write, now, thanks to my mad networking skills. It’s AWESOME. There was a definite high when I got paid for my first completed assignment, not to mention the glowing review, and the continued encouragement from my “boss” (an old friend with his own biz). I’m converting food science research material (and doing some of my own research) into reading material and handouts for high school students. We’re starting slow, but I’m catching on quickly. It’s REALLY fun AND I’m getting paid for it. I’ve never done writing like this before. This is why I am always willing to try something new!

    I even e-mailed my dad the assignment when i was done with it along with the glowing review from the editor, heh. :)

    I should really go to sleep now. I even already took a sleeping pill, so please excuse the rambling or any grammatical errors. :P

  23. @FledgelingSkeptic:

    I wasn’t able to access your link, but I love the idea. I’d like purple hair, but I’m too lazy to put the time into it. So I’m afraid it’s just clip-ins for me.

    And a big YAY to Glow-Orb.

    I think what makes me special is that I’m a good teacher. The great thing about teaching is that I can see the difference I’m making (well, not always, but enough to keep me happy).

    And I’m good working with people (paperwork, not so much)–I can be extremely diplomatic.

    And I’ve got great hair.

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