Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Previous post probably seemed overly heavy, yet again. This is what I get for saying I wanted to dig crap out in my life and study it. It sort of all gangs up on me at once for me the check out and deal with.

And I don't mean to be entirely down and out about the person who took up the majority of my thoughts. Honestly, we have had some truly awesome times together. I feel compelled to mention this time after I got back from Seattle... we were together and bored and I said hey, let's drive to this really cool graveyard in York.... and we did. It was 30 miles away, a cold night, and a TON of fun. Just randomly like that. In fact, we did that numerous times.

This is why I have trouble reconciling the two sides. There was the person I used to go see local bands with at bars, and now there is the person who is so very unhappy that all she can do is vent the unhappiness. You know, I've been in that space before. I'm sure I basted friends in its sour, sour juices, speaking constantly of one thing or another.

It's hard to see someone you know struggling even if you haven't talked with them for a long time. I'm not sure it's really my place to say anything anymore. She seems stuck without the ability to get out of it. I have tremendous empathy for that experience.

Dunno what to do. She knows how to fish herself out, and she's got a strong personality. I've seen it in the past. There's no way it's dead, but maybe it's down inside somewhere on a forced siesta while things get worked out.

I dunno what to do, so I I'll just sit on my hands and watch how it goes down. I fear an implosion of sorts on the horizon. :/

More Digging from the Past.

It's always been difficult for me to make and maintain friendships. I always tended to have one die-hard and singular friend, with several individuals that I liked on the sides but just didn't feel like I was actually friends with. I was also painfully aware at any given moment that I really just was not a smoothe operator socially. This seemed to be the source of the issue.

Inadvertently the people I was really close with would locate someone else they'd rather hang out with and drift off, and I would be left with a dwindling group of people to hang out with.

Somewhere in there I guess I convinced myself I wasn't capable of snagging new acquaintances and turning them in to friends. From there grew the idea that basically nobody would really give a damn to get to know me, since my attempts usually fell flat on their face. Moving twice in 3 years didn't really help, either, as I struggled to pick up the vibe of the next group of kids. Eventually I gave up and decided the path of the loner was pretty much what I would be relegated to.
Amusingly, this led people in middle school to believe I was stuck up, thinking I was better than them. I still remember the exchange:
Todd: "You know what? Fuck you. You think you're better than everybody, walking around with your mouth shut like you don't want to talk to any of us. You're a stuck up bitch."
Me: "You're an idiot. I'm not stuck up, I'm just really fucking shy."
/end scene

So, yes, things like that were VERY comforting and supporting in my search to find people with common ground. Eventually I decided there weren't any.
Recently I discovered facebook and thought that perhaps it would be a great chance to get in touch with all the people from college and high school that I'd lost touch with. They found me, sure enough. I tried to chat with them, get updates from them... and within about a week it was back to the way things were, where I occasionally commented on things by them, and they rarely interacted with me. I got despondent over it for a bit, then discarded it, realizing it was the same pattern as before.

There is, of course, only one common denominator in all of this, and that is me. Something in what I do or say means that every interaction eventually results in this... me wondering why people won't talk to me.

I was very good friends with one person for the better part of a decade. Even through moving out to Seattle and moving back, we remained friends despite my tendency to forget to call or email.

We had a falling out before she moved away with her new husband, over what I don't remember anymore. While she was there I saw her chat and interact constantly with friends she'd made elsewhere, and somewhere in the back of my mind decided that she was social enough, she didn't need input from me. So I left it alone. She'd grown increasingly negative over the years, so that the majority of our interaction was her complaining about her family, her husband, or people in general. Whenever she got together with my family or people she didn't know, she was quick to tell everybody about what she couldn't eat (which struck me as rather rude, but perhaps that's my sensibilities... the host offers you a roll, you just say no thank you, you don't tell them you have Celiac's and that it would cause you immense pain to ingest it.) and it got to the point that my family really didn't want her over anymore because she made such a big deal of it. I knew there was no way to break that news to her that wouldn't be incredibly cruel, so I tried to keep it to myself after attempting to tactfully broach it once.... either I wasn't as tactful as I thought or she didn't want to hear about it. I don't recall exactly. I just know that I was asked not to invite her over anymore.

From this there were a series of increasingly negative chats, until finally she disappeared to Chicago and I rarely heard from her anymore.

To be fair, she asked if I would come and visit her there when she moved. But the thought of taking the time to drive or ride a train there to hear her complain about anything and everything never seemed like a good idea. So I didn't. And I'm sure in her eyes, that made me a lousy friend. I just couldn't handle it. There were times when she would leave and I would go throw up from the negativity. My stomach twisted in to knots sometimes, or I felt dizzy or light headed when I would leave or she would finally leave.

Once I found out she was coming back and I drove up to meet her... only to discover that she had gone to dinner with people at the local sushi place, so I was left to wander around for two hours. I only found out she was at the sushi place by pulling in to the parking lot to grab some to eat while I waited for her to reply, then seeing her car there. She didn't inform me that it was going on. (And to be honest, I didn't ask if she had plans for dinner.) I managed to stay calm long enough to hang out with her for a few hours, but was seriously perturbed when I came home.
I'd mostly written this off as another friendship that was maintained only because of the time we'd known each other. I'd seen her do something similar with other people that irritated the hell out of her in high school, hanging out with them simply because she'd known them. I'd overheard her actively complain about me to other people, as well. In my mind, I was relegated to the pile of people she hung out with because they asked and she made time, but not because she was particularly excited about it.

I got a message about a week ago, maybe more, where she commented on a post she'd made many, many moons ago about me, and how it still applied. (It was a nice post, incredibly flattering, before all of the crud of life started rolling downhill). I'd interpreted this as an attempt to try and reconnect, and ever since then have been trying to chat with her, get her to talk, joke with her... and it seems to me that it is to the same ends. Things are worse now, she seems VERY unhappy, and advice on it would be unrequested and unheeded. And none of THIS matters, because despite this, I seem to get a lukewarm response. Maybe there's just too much crap in the way. Maybe I misinterpreted. Who knows. I just know that each time I get excited about getting to know somebody, or hanging out with old friends, I am rewarded with a stab to the heart in some fashion.

All I know how to do anymore is respond factually to peoples' issues. It seems like any depth or emotion has ebbed away and there's the bare facts of what is going on. Most people don't even want a resolution, they would just like to complain. The problem is that this, quite often, seems to be the bulk of what those around me do. Maybe the skin on my body is abnormally thin, that I can't handle what are otherwise normal exchanges for people.

I still ache occasionally when I think about the Halloween party we went all out for that nobody showed up for. When I log in to facebook and see my old college friends chatting back and forth animatedly but with not a word to say to me, the ache comes again. My first reaction is to just withdraw completely so I don't feel it... after all, from my viewpoint it doesn't seem like a lot of folks are too invested in my state of being, or in telling me about theirs. It would be nice to know what's going on in their heads, but most don't seem inclined to part with their thoughts that way, preferring assumptions about my motivations and actions. Sort of like I am about them right now. Asking, however, has always led to arguments and nastiness so I'm pretty much done with that avenue.

This has been an ongoing theme in my life, and one that probably won't disappear any time soon even if I tore it down to its smallest components and studied it mercilessly. It grows very old, and I'm tired of the rollercoaster of it. But at the same time, I don't want to become a hermit. I have Bob, and I know it upsets him that I get sad for not having a lot of friends beyond him, but... you know, people are all facets of the same jewel. It's how I learn about new things, new ideas and new viewpoints. It's fun. And it just doesn't happen a lot for me.

Fuck it. I'm done analyzing for now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Actual Conversation #44 - where partnered life is really comfortable in sharing about that special visitor.

(Scene: darkened bedroom after midnight. Two individuals getting ready for slumber.)
Bob: So did you need me to take care of anything for you?
Me: Well...not at this particular moment. No. That would not be good.
Bob: Alright then....???
Me: Sorry to be so, you know, decisive after asking earlier.
Bob:'re sure?
Me: Not unless you really want to look like a shotgun wound victim.
Bob: We're good, that's fine, another night...
Me: You know, maybe it's raspberry jam...
Bob: Goodnight, love you!

In other news, I remembered what I'd forgotten to mention. Turkish Delight! They were selling it in the international section at the store, which includes British food. Normally we get our biscuits and scones from there, but when I saw that, I HAD to try it.
Did you know they make it with rosewater? I had no idea. It wasn't that bad, really. Like biting in to a sweet rose-flavored jelly covered in chocolate. I probably won't ever have another one, but it's nice to have that mystery solved. The question of what exactly Turkish delight IS and what it tastes like has been bugging me since I first read about it in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Luddites should disperse now...

I'm officially in awe of the times we live in.
Prior to this I would see advancements in science, technology, culture... and I would sit there and think wow, that's really neat! But it wouldn't give me enormous pause.

This week I used Googlemaps to look at satellite imaging of Kyoto, Tokyo and Okinawa. For shits and grins, I even found my house and noted that the day they took the picture our neighbor was parked our driveway.
I then zoomed in and took a look at the streets around Shibuya, Tokyo, and Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto. I actually took a tour of the neighborhood around the hotels we'll be staying at and got to see what the front looked like. I got to see where the closest McDonald's was to Shinjuku station. And then for the hell of it, I zoomed in and checked out the shrine behind our hotel in Kyoto. Guess what? There's a graveyard. I could make out the gravestones and the torii from a few thousand miles overhead.

If that is not utterly awe inspiring, I have no freaking clue what is. Before I did all of that I even took a moment to check out Marrakesh. I've always wanted to go to Morocco, and while I may not ever get there, I totally got to see the layout of the town, and noted there are quite a few swimming pools there.

Now that I've seen where we'll be going, it's given me a bit more calm regarding the entire thing. There are some streets in Japan that are no more alien than some of the streets in New York. I'm beginning to think that while it might be a highly unusual experience, it might not be the stressful endeavor we both secretly worry about.
Of course, just accepting we're going to have one mental break down and yelling match over being completely lost in a foreign country where we can't read the signs, speak the language, or find help is going to make things a lot easier, so I've stashed that for when it goes down.

To add to the further sense of wonder at what we can do, I went so far as to dump the weather conditions for Okinawa, Tokyo and Kyoto on Vista's sidebar, as well as a currency converter. I can get an idea of what weather we'll be facing, and know daily what our finances will look like when we get there. That amount of information coming together all at once to give a picture of what's going on in another part of the world is just amazing.

Changing gears, electroplankton came on Friday, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. 10 different "types" of plankton to mess with, each by an entirely different means. Considering the totally awesome deal I got for it, I would say this is probably one of the best games I've ever managed to procure for my DS. Should my niece(s) show interest in gaming, I will absolutely work to get one for them.

Bob brought home Street Fighter IV and pretty much he's been on it whenever he's gotten time. I finally grabbed a controller today and confirmed that Guile, M. Bison and Chun Li are STILL overpowered in a fight, and that it's still hellacious fun to play. I think we played for perhaps half an hour before I got back to end-of-the class work for .html. (I really, really liked .html and I'm excited to be going in to .html II on Tuesday.)

An interesting side note... I've watched Metalocalypse for a long time, and just this evening Bob and I discovered that Mark Hamill actually does voice overs for two of the characters in it. That is actually fairly awesome, because he's done so well that we can't hear ~any~ of his normal speaking voice in those characters. Well done, sir.

There was more, but right now all i can think of is the fact i got a sock done this weekend and I managed to finish the gusset on another. I tried to do a bit of amigurumi but the needle was too big so the gaps looked horrendous. I tore it out and decided to try again another night.

Think I'll try getting to sleep before 2:30 this week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Actual Conversation #43, where illicit drugs are vaguely referenced.

me: I wanna watch Attack of the show
grudan: Okay, let us do that, and laugh and make mirth
me: We're out of sudafed.
So yesterday's post was probably a bit heavier than normal, and a lot of a downer.

I went over to that great bastion of international commerce,, and decided to see what passes for a Snoopy toy there these days.

It turns out that Amazon has my Snoopy, right down to the big sewn-on eyes.

It did my heart good to see that. Some kid out there is grubbing around in the dirt under a tree with her own Snoopy toy and having a blast.
Even a year ago I probably would've dove on this and gotten it to relive childhood memories. But just seeing it there, with the same proportions and same smile, made me happy.
Snoopy rocks and more kids should watch Charlie Brown before he becomes a lost cartoon.

Damn you, Nintendo...

A DSi??Why do you do this to me??

Comes out in April, with the ability to download and upgrade the OS (FINALLY it'll be something besides a dummy-box with virtually no options), a video camera, and the ability to play Music. Music and Video. Those were the main things the PSP had going on it that kept it from being anything besides a device you handed to your kid to shut them up on car trips or flights. But now with the inclusion of those things, it's probably going to blow the PSP out of the water and force them to make ~another~ newer model. Maybe something that can stay on for more than 2.5 hours max. That'd be swell.

While it's seriously exciting to see this and hear that they'll have things coming for it soon like downloadables (the PSP had demos and dl games going already, I've got to toss in here.) there's a few things I am noting that give me pause.

First off, there are two cameras in it now, but I'm not seeing where the built-in microphone ended up. How can I blow out the candles in Legend of Zelda without the microphone?? If they relegated that function to something only usable with a headset-and-mic deal, that's just cheap.
Secondly, I'm seeing there is no slot for GBA games. So how exactly do I play my Super Mario 3? Where do I plug in the attachment for my Guitar Hero: On Tour accessory? And the pedometer to measure my steps has nowhere to plug in on the new thing. Given that I've been using that a lot lately, that's a serious loss in functionality for me. I was planning on grabbing some Japan-only GBA titles while I was there to play on my DS Lite, so obviously having a new one when I head over would be a bad idea.

The final thing, and the most petty, has to do with its overall look. I like the matte finish a lot, it fights fingerprints and smudges that are blatantly obvious even on my lovely pink DS. But with that matte finish comes the removal of the two little cute squares on the top, the trademark sign of the DS. That, and the fact that there IS no pink DSi available, means that this is kind of a no-go for me. Until they fix the accessories issue and put this baby out in pink, I'm going to hold on to my $170. A price drop might not be bad, either. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Falling On My Face in the Middle of Memory Lane.

A long time ago, in the beginning half of my very first decade, I decided that I would have a sale of my stuff to make some money to go buy new toys for myself. Something new was out at the time, something like a She-Ra toy or a My Little Pony that I really desperately wanted.
I gathered up a lot of toys and took them outside and put price tags on them. Things that I thought were completely reasonable, but I was quickly told were too much. Like I was asking $10 for some of my stuffed animals, and at a garage sale like I was having they should be something like $2.
Except I didn't think they were worth $2, I liked these toys and wanted money equal to my love for them. But Mom changed hte price tags for me and we went outside.
I sold quite a few things and made something that seemed like a lot of money to me at the time, probably $5.
I have two distinct memories of this event. One was of an adult cheating and lying to me, and the other was of me not thinking ahead.
The adult that cheated on me was my friend's Mom. I was selling my Strawberry Shortcake pets -you know, the little crows and puppies and kitties that came along with the dolls- for 25 cents each. My friend's Mom called me down and handed me a quarter and held out her hand. I said that it was a quarter for each one, and that wasn't enough. She said she'd just paid for all of them and I owed her the toys. I was holding on to them fiercely while my good friend was dying in the front seat of the car waiting at the curb, embarrassed by what was going on.
Finally when I wouldn't give her the toys, insisting on my price, she literally scooped them out of my hands and drove off, leaving me there with only quarter in my pocket, buy 5 of those little pets in hers.
My mom looked on in surprise. When I told her what had happened, she looked at me and said "she must not have understood," and that was it.
Way to go letting me get ripped off by another adult. I just have to say that. I was pretty clear about the price (I think I originally wanted a dollar each for them, too, as was equal to my love of playing with them) and ended up losing some toys I was iffy on selling to begin with. Basically, 4 of them were outright stolen. And I got an "oh well, it wasn't clear."
I will probably get an email about this in a day or two, so perhaps i should state that this was my incredulous frame of mind at the time and now it is more a memory than an actual sensation or thought. It shocked me that adults behaved that way, and it was the first time I'd seen it. And let me tell you, I LOVED Strawberry Shortcake's puppy, and it had just walked off for 5 cents.

I went to play at that same friend's house a few days later and saw my toys all over the floor of her sister's room. Very disgraceful and uncaring of them, I thought. And since she had only paid for one, I went to her and asked which one she liked the best. She told me, and I promptly collected the rest up and put them in my pockets. Let me stress, once more, that this was because she didn't PAY FOR THEM. But her mother saw them in my pockets, forced me to leave them there, then sent me home. I believe she even called my mom and told her I wasn't welcome because I'd been stealing toys from her daughters.
Even now I feel a twinge at this. The extent to which adults will go to maintain a lie, to be ~right~, in the face of someone who is much, much smaller and weaker can seem disgusting. And the fact that I was yelled at for stealing as if I were a bad person just confused the hell out of my young mind. I certainly didn't think I was doing anything wrong, but I was treated as if I were someone horrible. I think my Mom didn't pursue it when she got the phone call after I explained why I'd thought it was okay, but really I don't remember the final outcome. I just knew that when I went out riding bikes and she ran in to the house to get sodas, those things were tantalizingly close and I was forbidden to enter because I might take them. Over a fucking dollar, y'all. A fucking dollar. Because she didn't want to admit she was wrong.
You know, some people find out adults lie by seeing that their parents are putting presents under the tree instead of Santa. Or they realize the dog didn't run away or go to a nice farm, it's dead. I got branded a liar and a thief by someone deep in the midst of the kettle-v-pot scenario who was supposed to be responsible. And as you can see, that has obviously affected me deeply since I still recall it over 20 years later. At my base I don't trust people to be true with themselves or their motivations for doing things, perhaps even just downright unaware of them. There have been many times when I've acted a certain way, left the situation, then sat there utterly baffled trying to decipher where behaviors came from that I don't normally exhibit. Maybe that happened with her and she was backed in to a corner. Who knows. But from this I drew that adults were human, and fallible. And somewhere in there I also decided that because I could see this, I was also smarter than them. This made for some problems later in elementary school.
On with the happy fest.
The other incident that I remember from this day was selling a snoopy doll. This snoopy doll had a string loose on his nose, and was a little bit smudged and dirt, but otherwise lovable. I later learned that my father had gotten him for my brother and I at a store on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, from a little store there. Basically, it was not something that could easily be replaced.
So I sold it. I sold it for that $2, I believe. To my neighbor across the street, one Richard Baker (but pronounced as if it had an "aw" in it, and boy did I tease him for that.) who put it on his shelf.
Later that evening I realized that I usually slept with or played with a lot of these toys I'd chosen to sell. Snoopy was my bed-buddy, and I usually curled up with him at night. And when I realized that my pattern was about to be interrupted and that something near and dear to me was gone, I became very upset.
My mom suggested I go around in the morning and offer to buy back those toys that I'd sold. And so I did, going around and getting most of the toys back that I'd sold, realizing having them around meant more than getting new ones, a mini-Magi moment if you will (and pardoning the alliteration).
It worked fantastically until I went to the door and talked to Richard Baker about buying back my snoopy.
And then Richard Baker... that unforgivably bastard... said NO.
My little mind couldn't wrap around how he could just say no and leave me with $2 while he kept my snoopy. I was giving him his money back, and the laws of decorum stated that the sacred beagle should be mine again.
When I appealed to my parents, and they assured me that since he'd bought it, he could, in fact, say no. And keep Snoopy. And ruin my life forever for not being understanding of the oversight that I'd accidentally sold something beloved unto me for some quick cash without really thinking. Nope. He just wanted it for his shelf.
I begged him once or twice more, until it became something he would taunt me with on occasion, reminding me that it was in his room and not mine. He was a good 2 years older than me, so really it was a tremendous dick maneuver on his part to do so. Especially when he seemed relatively calm and reserved the rest of the time, such sudden bolts of snark from the blue came as a real shock.
Richard Baker, if you're out there and my Snoopy isn't enshrined in Plexiglas or bronzed, I just want you to know that you're a complete dick. And saying "nuclear winter" as the punchline to every discussion you had did not make you cool, just a douche with a one-liner. (I'm not making that up in the midst of my vitriol, he did that once to everything anybody said.)

Usually these sorts of things are cathartic, are they not? Perhaps I'll feel it later. But when I look back on this, I think that perhaps here was the start of my hoarding habits. I lost something near and dear to me, and couldn't get it back. It was, in fact, used against me to hurt me later. So from that time on I was a jealous guardian of all of my possessions, being very hesitant to get rid of anything that had sentimental value, just in case I needed it one day. I also became obsessed with the idea that I could either have the things I had now, or I could have money for newer things and experiences, and this is something that I still see myself struggling with. Not a really healthy mindset.

I never tried to steal Snoopy, probably because I was never IN Richard Baker's house to see him. When I did it was over a year later, and by then I realized that I was sleeping without him, and I didn't have the money to trade back for it. So I left him there on the shelf and made plans to try and get a new one if I ever ended up on Fisherman's Wharf.

Yesterday at some point my ex's current wife tracked me down on yet another website and tried to friend me. This sort of prompted my delving back in to past memories, as seeing that there made me think on things I might be holding on to that it was time to work out.
I'm proud to say that really there was no massive upset. I was just annoyed, as i have no interest in having anything to do with that life now, and really I don't feel it's important for them to keep tabs on me. She got blocked, per usual. It's just weird that it KEEPS happening. Offhand, I do wonder if it's now just to poke at me, or test the waters, or whatever. The unknown is the most alluring about this event, but really... not that alluring. I'm getting on with things slowly but surely. Just occasionally stopping to stumble over nuggets like this that crop up. But then, I did make a concerted effort to clean up the mental space, so maybe this is the sort of dross that'll be cropping up. It'll be good to clean house. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Random Ponderations @ 1 AM

Figured out how to turn a heel. 3rd time's the charm! Hopefully in the future they'll be easier now.

LOVED Heroes. This is the show I originally sat down to be a fangrrl for, and it has returned. The new writers' stuff should be up in a few weeks, as Bob reminded me, and I am wondering what it'll do for the dynamic. Right now I like Sylar back as a psychotic badass, and I even like his little puppy-sidekick he's minding right now. I love the character of Tracy(i?), she's starting to show some of the uber-aggressiveness that was in her sister. Perhaps the super strength was due to the formula, but the bad ass nature was not. I like that. (Kinda miss Micah, though... although I'll bet he grew like nuts and that's why he's not back, same as with Molly)
I'm enjoying the back and forth between Hiro and Ando, and I suspect that Hiro's power will be back in a modified form in the near future. Being able to freeze time would be nice. Perhaps it can only happen for a few moments. Or perhaps just long enough for him to jump. But no back and forth through time to screw things up and completely negate the story line.
Might I also add that I loved the wholesale removal/slaughter of characters from the unfortunate 2nd season? Everybody but Second Flying Boy is accounted for. Doesn't matter, now they have Aquaman, and I've got this sneaking suspicion that he'll be back. That's just too useful and too helpful with evasion.
I'm wondering if we're bound for another creepy showdown between Sylar and his father the way Parkman and his father did. If so... what on earth could possibly be wrong with Sylar's father to spawn something like that? And are they really going to take the nature vs. nurture route on this? God I hope not. I hope they just make it something unexplainable, the way a dog will just snap some days and go after its owner for no discernible reason.
I was mildly stressed about the possibility of a run-in with a certain coworker, but it turned out to be completely moot. He's steered so far clear of me I didn't even know he was working today, and that suits me just fine. I'm holding in my head that something might come up before he leaves so I'm not caught off guard should it go down. But for now I'm far less tense about going to work.
it's February and it's 40+ degrees out. I remember when we used to be able to build snow forts that wouldn't melt for weeks. Sometimes I look at the wet, muddy ground and the buds that are starting on the trees too early and worry that already we're too late to undo our own damage. We're bound for a century of rebalancing even as we rush to counter what was done, while people are still screaming that nothing's wrong and the polar ice caps are disappearing. Red buds were never meant to flower the first week of march, and something inside me knows that. The blackbirds are here too soon. I'm just praying at this point we catch the tail end of what is left and work to preserve it. My grandchildren deserve a snow fort. Trees deserve to rest their growth and sap in the winter. Geese need to migrate. It's not happening anymore.
Such things to think up at 1 AM on a Tuesday morning... but then, I never did like "Level 1 Thinking" with its platitudes and concerns for trivial things.
I enjoy making socks. I enjoy drawing. I feel like I get something done when I finish amigurumi. But really I think perhaps there's just tooooo many hobbies going on in my life. I'm sitting here debating on working on socks, or doing the sketches for my Letterkeepers comic. At some point one will win and I'll sigh about the other one. But this is a constant decision I have to make and I'm going to go batty before too long.
Probably a good idea to stop here. My brain is starting to just do free association when I look at things. So I'll close my eyes and leave with a closing thought. Today I came up with a plot for a story that blew my own mind. I stared at the computer screen for about 5 minutes while I tried to wrap my head around what my brain had come up with.
it's a good story. it deserves to be born, so I wrote it down. We'll see what happens with it. In the meantime, i need to do a LOT more research with physics to pull the idea off. It never occured to me to take my love of science and the natural world and turn it in to fiction. I think I'll enjoy this.
Both cats tell me it's time to sleep. They're experts on the subject, so I'm following suit. G'night all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Winding the Skein

I always think about how much I'd like to write... but I never write.
i think about how I want to draw, or paint... and I never do.
Instead, with my time, I am knitting socks or small plush animals that the world is utterly inundated with right now. In my head I have plans for an entire graphic novel, just waiting to go, but never even set pen to paper for fear of failure or messing up. And this whole time I am sitting here pondering the loss of feeling in the fingertips of my left hand with a disconnected curiosity, brushing it off as a stiff shoulder and trapezius, which I've encountered before.
This entire life seems to be one in which I think about hundreds of creative things, but don't have the faith in myself to ever do. I've composed music and trembled in front of the instrument that was supposed to play it, completely stopped dead by my lack of skill in playing it. I've come up with worlds and never set them to paper, hesitating just long enough for the details to be lost, and then I throw it all to the side and swear at myself time and again for being so timid.
I don't know why this happens, but it does. Every day poems pop in to my head. I think of things to draw that I know I don't have the skill for yet, but that beg me to be put to paper. I send them away unsatisfied, instead, blaming my lack of practice for it all.
How the hell does one get better if not by risk and practice? Why have I been so averse to these things? I enjoy things when I sit down to work with them, when there's no risk and I'm simply doing it for fun. But when it has a purpose, suddenly there is so much more import on the even that I never pick up the pen, or the paintbrush. Or the instrument.
I suspect I might be really good at violin if I ever took lessons, but I'm too scared to do anything more than tune it up and swear at it when the pegs slip before I can play 2 bars. It's just this theme that keeps recurring in everything I do.
Bob has said that most times people don't bother to dwell on such things very deeply, being that they have children and a mortgage to worry about. They're doing what they need to to be sure that the kids are fed, clothed, and can afford football uniforms and clarinet reeds. Their minds are occupied with just living and don't have this crisis of confidence. Makes sense to me, really. Most people are so busy with the status quo that stepping outside is too much of a hassle and a risk. Here I am whining about it and how much I'd rather buck it.... and no kids.
I'm not saying I want kids. Boy do I really not want kids yet. "Not ready for child rearing" is a tattoo I could probably aptly get right now. So I can allow myself this conceit of pondering whether existence is going to continue to be me not making more.... stuff.
It's the act of creation that I tend to enjoy, when it happens and when it goes well. Then seeing others make use of it following on that act, that's what I enjoy a lot.
So... with all of this being spewed out on to the page, I have now vowed to live outside my comfort zone more often in the future. It's the only way to grow, and the only way to figure out exactly how much i can do and how well I might eventually do it. And if nothing else, I'll gain knowledge from the attempt. Aside from making myself really uncomfortable, I don't see a downside. This is my resolution for the time being.
On to the happy!
Valentine's Day was sweet. Flowers were delivered for me in the AM, a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses. Bob had told me previously that he was intending to take the money not lavished on me for THIS year's Valentine's Day and put it in the account for Japan. I am more than happy with this, because last year was total overkill in terms of what we did. It was wonderful, don't get me wrong. To have something that special happen just once is wonderful. But having it every year would ruin the specialness of it, I think. I'd rather have more fun on the upcoming epic journey than more sparkley things. The memories will be as sweet.
We went to lunch at the Blue Cafe, which has some wonderful sandwiches with unusual combinations. Then we wandered next door to the organic foods market to grab a few things, and when it turned out that they didn't have tapioca pearls, we scampered over to the asian market and found what are called "boba" pearls, the type you put in bubble teas. We brought home a pack, much to my excitement. We also brought home some different types of snack food to try out.
Then came our first shot at cooking pho noodle soup (which turned out AWESOME), and that was followed up with some of the bubble tea, thai iced tea style. Reeeeally good stuff, and very filling. All in all an enjoyable evening.
I finally got to post some pictures of what I've been doing to my ravelry profile, and uploaded a bunch of my projects to deviantArt, including my little Letterkeepers idea that's been bouncing around in my head. For some reason posting the image of them made it seem harder to back out of the idea... so going with the whole need to be outside my comfort zone, I did it.
The living room table is lousy with my craft projects.

What you can't see is the java coding book and the book on making sox off to the side, along with 2 other skeins of yarn, a cat brush, and the TV remote. Oh, and Xbox and PS3 controllers. It's amazing the woodgrain is still visible after the laptop gets set down. But I'm enjoying it. And for the record, 3 out of 4 of those projects are socks, the 4th is a little amigurumi Love Bug that just didn't get done in time for the 14th. Ahh well, we shall see what comes of it.
I'm so tired my eyes hurt. Going to go to bed now. I feel really accomplished right now. I haven't in a while, so this is a good feeling.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Cure for the Common Lupercalia.

Finally, a cause that I can totally get behind! Pardoning the horrible pun. And something worthwhile to do on Valentine's Day, to boot! Not that spending time with my honey wouldn't be worthwhile, but when it helps women in India by mailing pink underwear and drinking in a pub, I think it could be the next great holiday trend.

It turns out that India has been growing its own conservative Hindu movement, and that a group of these went in to a pub and assaulted some of the women there, presumably for not keeping with Hindu culture. There is a common practice of burning Valentine's Day cards in India because it's considered to be a lewd holiday. Considering this is the culture that gave us the Kama Sutra, the dichotomy is interesting, if nothing else. While I support a culture that holds its women in high esteem, forcing them to dress conservatively and look or act a certain way in public to maintain that culturally accepted understanding of womanhood is... well, unacceptable. This is a country that threw a shit fit when the cricket teams imported Western cheerleaders in short skirts because it impinged on women's moral character. Such a far cry from Italy, my friends.

In response to this unwarranted bit of violence, an internet campaign started up on February 5th - that's right, less than 10 days ago - to address the issue. The Pink Chaddi campaign, begun by the Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Forward Women (say that five times fast while sober) is asking women to send in pink underwear. Once collected, it's to be mailed to the leader of the group who's followers played rough with those women. Then they instruct women to go to a pub and raise a pint, or whatever they fancy, in a peaceful act of defiance.

Sadly, I found out about this movement too late to mail a pair myself from the US, but I think hitting the pub to participate in the second part is highly doable.

This is probably not what Gandhi had in mind with his peaceful protest movement, but I don't think he would've thumbed his nose at it, either. :)

In other news, I have rekindled a love of .html that I had in my early twenties when I created pages for the things I enjoyed. It feels good to get back in to something I enjoyed and realize I hadn't forgotten anything. Still trying to figure out how to set up the page for the trip to Japan, something I think I might do with my spare time in week 5 of the course coming up.

Also, in the category of "Sometimes Good things DO Happen", I won an eBay auction last night.
Oh yes. This is news, you say. eBay never has winners of auctions, you say, and that's why it's not a multi-million dollar business with millions of users browsing it every day. Good show.
To you I say... shaddup and let me finish here.
You see, I am a fan of quirky and unusual video games. A friend turned me on to Rez and I can't thank him enough for it, as it's one of the simplest, most fun games I have ever played.
There are others that I love that are just pure weirdness, like Loco Roco on the PSP, and fLow on the PS3 (spelling intentional). New and creative concepts tickle my fancy.
I had been drooling over an import game for the better part of six months called Electroplankton. Not the most compelling name, it does make one think more of cleaning out the tub than playing a game.
It was originally released in Japan for the DS, and the game is about poking plankton to get them to produce certain sounds as they interact with you, each other, and their environment. It's fascinating, and fits in with my second favorite genre of gaming, music!
Because of its import status and limited availability in the US, copies of it usually sell for $50+, with it being very common to see it priced out at $75 plus $15 shipping from such exotic locations as Hong Kong. I had all but given up hope of ever acquiring a copy in the English language (and had some nefarious plans to snag one used in Tokyo while we were there if it were possible) when I found it on eBay. For $19.00. AU. That's about, oh, $15 in US dollars? And shipping is a laugh! It may only be the cartridge, but I saw additional auctions for the box and guides, to be snagged later if necessary.
So. Yeah. I am freakin' excited. This was an awesome auction to win!!

I'm still working on the socks. I had to take a break and make some amigurumi to relieve stress, which is amusing. Knitting gets old, so I go pick up a crochet hook. My brain doesn't seem to care that it's just a variation on messing with yarn. But whatev. I have a cute white kitten with pink eyes and several fluffy valentine's day amigurumi to show for it. Now that those are finished, I can dive in to Bob's other sock, the fluffy alpaca socks I made that don't fit me, and the mystery socks for the mystery person.
Some day I will actually make socks for myself. But do not hold your breath. *chuckle* That and all those other projects I'm dying to do!

Bob found another reason to celebrate. It is 1234567890 day! Basically at 3:31 pm EST today the clocks that calculate out time for Unix will have ticked through that many seconds from the official inception of the program in 1970. I'd say that's a damned good reason to raise a glass, and I totally will later.

And, of course, it's Friday the 13th. So far the only truly major disaster was putting some clothing on inside out and not realizing it until I got to work. That's a function of getting dressed too fast in a dark room, and I've done it before. So I"m not blaming this poor arbitrary span of time-space continuum for my lack of observation skills. CH-ch-ch-ch.... KA-ka-ka-ka... WE should totally watch a scary movie tonight, though.

I was sneaky and bought Bob irises for Valentine's Day. I like being that quirky dame that gets flowers for her man. They only started blooming this morning. My god, such a gorgeous indigo... *happy sigh* I almost feel like trying to paint them.

Last thought-dump for the day. I played my DK last night in WoW, and when done finally made a journal entry for her. I felt like I'd gotten to know her motivations in that time, so I started.
Michael Crichton stayed in medical school so he could take notes for the books he was writing. I'm playing WoW to have something to write about in Kaetze and Krotze's journals. Hmmm....
I like the game, but with the old crew having totally dissipated, it feels like logging on in to nothing. Nobody's ever on and it's definitely just for the sake of playing the game and experiencing it on my own again. I think I'll just embrace the fact that I'm really just collecting fodder for my fanfics and get on with it. Either way... I'm kind of proud of what I've started.

I think that's it. Needed to just do a massive brain-dump and get everything out so I could think clearly without it whirling around noisily. Thanks for reading if you do, happy Friday the 13th (aka Arbitrary Scary Date Day) and everyone have yourselves a good Valentine's Day however you celebrate it where you are.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jabberwocky ~ Lewis Carrol

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

This needed storage somewhere for future reference.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Actual Conversation # 41-esque

Robert: I'm going to get serious about this history data collector and get it working. I wasn't serious yesterday. Honestly I was dizzy most of the day and goofed off. Today I will make progress.
me: Awesome. Grab it by the nads and twist, m'love.
Robert: Bah, I just typed chuckles into a Unix window. But yes, I shall! :-)
me: Well... what does that do in Unix?
Robert: bash: chuckles: command not found
me: Aw man
Robert: Lol
me: the chuckles command needs to do something.
Robert: It really does

Monday, February 9, 2009

Worth a Thousand Words.

When I got back 'round these parts a few years ago, my Mom discovered something rather strange. AT some point she'd reused a roll of film from my wedding to take pictures at her own, so several of the pictures transposed.
There was an image of myself and the ex-husband dancing on the dance floor. That was shot one direction. ON the other was a shot of myself and my previous bf. He looks thrilled to be having his picture taken. As I remember correctly, he was basically an asshole throughout the entire thing, doing his best to make it all about the fact he was begrudgingly going with me to be with my family during this happy moment.

It had been drifting around the house ever since it was initially found. Bob found it twice and moved it somewhere it should have been theoretically very easy for me to find. Even so, it took me until last night to locate it.

Now, most people are aware that a favorite method of mine for "cleansing" the past is to set things from darker periods of my life on fire.

This baby went up in a blaze of stinky, stinky photographic smoke in a matter of seconds. In a silly way, I'd wished I'd had more to throw in there, to dwell on the cleansing that was going on and feel it wash from my being and psyche. But, alas, really I only had one issue and that was iwth the photo in my hand. No deep catharsis, just a really stinky sweatshirt that had to come off once I got inside because it sucked up all that smoke like a 3-pack-a-day granny in Vegas. Ugh.

I'm happy to have that picture out of my life, but really there wasn't a lot of ceremony to it. I didn't properly reflect. I just thought "I've gotta burn this bitch" and it was the only thing in my mind. So that when I did..... well, that was it. Sort of missed the point. Or what I thought was the point. Maybe the entire reason I burned it was to show how pointless a maneuver the actual act of burning an object can be. Like Fahrenheit 451, burning the book doesn't destroy the thoughts, or the words, unless you have decided to also get rid of them.

I'm still angry at times at my ex and ex-bf for their stupidity. I'm not sure why I thought a messed-up Kodak moment had the witch-doctor's medicine to take that out of my life. Maybe I"m never happy concerning either of them. But the picture is gone so I don't have to remind myself of it anymore.

I will admit I'm disappointed in the strength of my voodoo with this. I really wanted that anger gone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All a-twitter... (and armed with bad puns)

You know, I was going to be clever and start twittering using only haikus.

Someone has beaten me to it.

Meh, it wasn't that original after all I guess. But... twittering only in hex or binary?? Now THERE is something to get behind.
Except it would take forever.
I wonder if Twitter has foreign alphabet support...? Hmmm....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When a Sleepy Person Starts To Dwell On Things.

... --- / .. / .--. --- -. -.. . .-. . -.. / -.. --- .. -. --. / .- -. / . -. - .. .-. . / .--- --- ..- .-. -. .- .-.. / . -. - .-. -.-- / .. -. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / ... .. -. -.-. . / .. - .----. ... / - .... . / ..--- ----- ----- - .... / . -. - .-. -.-- / .- -. -.. / ... ..- -.-. .... .-.-.-

But then I thought if I did the entire thing that way, it would be horribly pretentious. And since this doesn't support Cyrillic so hot, I guess I'll just do it in the normal Greco-Roman Alphabet.
Aaaand you know it's early when Greco gives you pause and makes you think you just typed out the name of an insurance company with a gecko mascot. Sweet.

It's a little over 3 months, one week until Japan and we're still researching where we want to go. I seriously doubt we could be bored even just wandering around and poking our heads down alleys, but it's nice to have some time planned out. I think we've accepted at this point that we want to do more than we have time for.
We've talked and agreed that the country deserves more exploring, especially since so many things we enjoy come from it. There's aleady talk of a 2011 trip where we spend a week on the train going north to south in Japan, taking stops at all the places we won't get a chance this time, like the ryokan and onsen, and Aokigihara. Take in some of the natural scenery of Japan instead of the cities, I suppose. I'd love to have that to look forward to as well, but it fights with the part of me that just wants to go in the spring and see if all the expense is worth it. My cynical side creeps out to protect my pocketbook and my hopes and dreams, I suppose?

I got a massive amount of sleep last night. For me, massive is 7.5 hours. I probably really got around 8, what with the impromptu nap I took in the middle of the evening right after dinner, but it was all for the better.
With all that sleep, I can't figure out why I'm still just as tired as I've always been sitting here. You ever get so tired your face hurts from your temples down to your cheekbones? Try it some time, it's an experience. There's no logical reason for your face to hurt there, yet it does. But I digress. I've had probably 8 hours of sleep, which should be plenty. I was wide awake when I got up. But when I came adnd sat down I immediately started fighting off the sleepiness. I'm wondering if I just have to catch up cumulatively and only by sleeping in 10 hour chunks will I catch up and be normal again.
As a demonstration, I actually nodded off there for a moment while typing this. Yay!
So more sleeps tonight for ME.
I think I'm done buying sock yarn. I have to be. It's ALL I HAVE right now. Like I haven't even tried to get yarn for other things. I just have enough for about 8 pairs of socks for myself, and 2 or 3 for Bob and other surprise folk. And for a ton of amigurumi toys and the other crappy handwarmer I knitted for myself the other day. But not much else. And with this over-abundance of sock yarn, I think I've doomed myself to just whipping them out over the next 6 months. Kinda boring. Now that I've been bitten, I want to try all sorts of things. I just don't really have the resources. And by resources, I mean I don't have the yarn. Unless it requires sock yarn. Then I'm golden.
I had me a little revelation the other day. All this time I have, for the most part, been irritated at the fact that I cannot identify the endgame in this existence. The final boss, the last puzzle, the final grand race that frees your Dad's farm from the evil bank's clutches... that just does not show up in day to day existence. But that didn't stop me from wanting it.
What's silly is that there really is only one endgame, and that's where your body stops functioning and they pronounce you to have carked it. (My spellchecker is trying to tell me I meant to say "caked" or "larked" on that. Nice.)
That's not a goal, that's just an event. Like eating. Or breathing. It just occurs. And there is no one particular goal or reason to continue to exist. It doesn't happen, and there is no answer out there. Unless you subscribe to the Hithchiker's view that it is "42", I suppose.
-Now, for any who think this is dipping in to the territory of the moody and emo, please wait and allow me to finish.-
This total lack of a point, or reason concerned me, but not so much as the idea that I didn't ~have~ one, while the rest of the populace seemed to, at least on some small level. Get job/married, have kids, grow old, retire, put in a good effort for all of these. And in my mind it seemed most folk knew what they wanted to do, what they wanted for a job, all of that. And I have been badly deluded, it would turn out.
Not everyone has a clue what's going on. Some of them just fell in to where they are, like myself. In fact, the more I come across folks, the more it seems like a LOT of us sort of kind of just ended up where we are, without any real plan about it.
So... in a bow to the existentialist philosophers that I thoroughly enjoyed reading growing up, I've decided that they are right. Life is only what you make of it, and if you want it to be a lot of hot women and fast cars, great. It's not like an assignment of Who You Are, it's just what you're doing. It's pretty much amoral in and of itself. You want to live in a monastery? A New York Penthouse? Go for it. It is so wide open and free that it would terrify most people, I feel. Because there is no one thing you're supposed to do or be. It's a string of things that you want to try out. Most people aren't really cool with that kind of personal power. You mean everything that is done or said is all because of my actions? OH MY GOD NO ONE TOLD ME I HAD THAT KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY! NOOOOOOO
So I was sitting here thinking since there is no external point, what, internally, did I want the point to be? And I realized that what I want more than anything is to create things. Things that people will read, or look at, or use, or listen to, and that they will enjoy. That's what I've always liked to do. And the cool thing about it is that goal can come in so many forms, there is no way I could become bored.
So that's my goal. To make things. Be it clothing, art, music, my webcomic (I'm thinking I"ll be returning to it once school is over...hopefully) toys I've made, things I've written... I'm going to make it the point of my existance to try out and create as much as possible, then turn it over to others to use. And I am very, very happy with this goal.
I can look back at any time and think "Alright, did I create something for people to enjoy today? Sweet. Moving on..." And I'll be on track.
I like it, I'm sticking with it. I may even write it on a note to keep with me, or create a bit o' calligraphy to hang on the wall for when I forget.
I'm also thinking shortly, once I leave work and get home, I shall create me a nap and partake of it promptly. Because I'm still sleeeeepy.
Oh, and knit socks. The perpetual socks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Of Mice and Bonfires

A weekend of firsts... first completed sock. First beer I drank -and FINISHED- before it got even remotely close to room temperature, and first time I watched the end of a Superbowl.
That's right. Yours truly has knitted a complete sock without major mishap or swearing, AND did it while drinking a cold beer. Or shortly before, anyway. The timeline's a bit hazy.
Also the first time I asked for help before the 4th week of class when I ran in to problems with the .html tutorials. Turns out it's mostly like I remember it, just with a few much cooler shortcuts so... not too worried.
We're supposed to be setting up web pages concerning a hobby we have, so of course mine is about gaming. It's really the only hobby I have that I consistently practice for entertainment, AND there is a lot to be written on it. I've already got it mocked up, just need to fill in the blanks and turn it in tonight. Not too tough. I'm really enjoying learning about all of it, too.

As an aside, I feel a bit adrift right now. I am accomplishing many small things, but with no one big goal. To the point that I googled "What is the meaning of my life?"
It's fascinating, I've got Sting lyrics, nihilism, existentialism, and Monty Python. In short... the internet, massive conglomeration that it is, as a collective consciousness can NOT tell me what my goals are or what the point is. Which is good, because the internet also tells people how to build things like shoebombs and mentos fountains.

My WoW guild officially stopped being a raiding guild, and everybody who originally trashed the place and stripped it down to its current condition packed up and left.
That's fine. I hate cliques and selfish people, and that little maneuver shows qualities of both. I just wish it hadn't taken so long. The death rattle was getting hard to bear in the lungs of my former peer group.

Some poor soul in Coatesville, some very sick person, has been setting fires there to the tune of 30+ in the last two months. There's a community drive to gather up clothing for all the people left homeless thanks to his handiwork. Bob and I will be working over the next few days to gather up things we don't need anymore and donate them. I do so quite happily, as I have some pairs of pants and a few shirts that can be better utilized elsewhere.
It's not even remotely funny how many people are without homes because of this arson. But at the same time, I can't help but feel deeply sad for the individual setting these. Something happened that flipped that switch, and they're going to need lots of help to find the person, and more to help them turn that switch back off. Maybe it's not politically correct to do so, but I am. I'm just as sad for the victims, who have had to deal with the outcome of this individual's issues with their belongings and their history. Enough people are angry about this, I'll strike the balance over here by myself.
I hope they find them. I hope they take them in to custody safely. I hope that individual recovers.

I hope I figure out where the door is to this cave. The fire's getting hot and I'm tired of the puppet show. I'd like to go outside. I'd like to ~let~ myself go outside, even. Enough whining about how existence has no point. The idea that it needs one at ~all~ should be fairly explored as well, but right now that's what I've got to work with.