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Friday, 30 November 2012


So... cleaning lady was here yesterday and... well, she really didn't clean much. Microwave oven was still dirty after someone re-heated pasta with tuna and tomato sauce days ago. Blergh. Plus, the horrible tofurkey sausages uncle A eats, which have a peculiar smell of their own that seeps into the microwave's walls no matter how much I scrub or what I scrub it with. This morning, I woke up after a long night's sleep (I fell asleep rather early last night while aunt A and her friends played cards). First thing, I thought I'd make myself some breakfast. I though't I'd heat some of it in the microwave oven and was greeted by the dirt in it. The only thing left to do was to clean it. Might as well do it now, because it would otherwise go on being dirty until whichever other time I chose to clean it.

Aunt A walked in on me cleaning the microwave oven to ask about a slipper.

Here one might make a small parenthesis to wonder if aunt A took my cleaning as an insult to her housekeeping skills. All I have to say to that is that I don't have to eat anything that went into a filthy microwave oven if I have an alternative and rather than be mad at me she could at least not fucking put food in it without the cover.

She has quite a few of them, you see, and they were all apparently very dirty because she said she'd just washed a few (with the laundry... which didn't include any of my clothes, but we'll come back to that) and one of them was missing. I asked if she'd looked behind the washing and drying machines. She said she had. She started telling me about how the dog must have taken it to munch on. I offered it was unlikely, as she's too large to hide anywhere to munch on the slipper without us noticing her. Besides, I said, in the time I've been here I haven't found her stealing flip flops or slippers to gnaw on, and she would have had easy access to them in my room. Aunt A was outraged that I'd chosen to defend the dog. She prefers to be mad at her and I'm sure she'll yell at her mercilessly first chance she gets to get it out of her system. I know she doesn't like the dog. I know she resents the dog. It's still very unfair to give the dog such treatment. 

Aunt A goes without pouring her any water for days. She cleans the cat's dish, but not the dog's. She treats the dog as a garbage disposal giving her all food in the fridge that's about to go bad "because dogs won't eat anything that can harm them" (bullshit... I don't need to tell you, do I?). In general, she just crosses the line between not caring very much about the dog into downright animal cruelty because the dog should not be subject to such neglect and fits of rage. Both the cat and the dog need training. Aunt A's and uncle A's failure as trainers and petkeepers does not entitle them to yell at them and be furious when they find they've misbehaved. To be honest, I've seen the cat be  naughtier, scratching on furniture and littering out of the box, and she doesn't get such a bad reaction from aunt A. To the point, it's their fault they misbehave and if years of looking after dogs and cats haven't taught them good training skills they lose all right to yell at them, as I see it. 

I offer an alternative hiding place for the missing slipper: the drying machine. It wouldn't be the first time something slips aunt A's mind and it would only be a little poetic if it were a slipper that did. It bothers me that she jumps to blaming people when she knows full well it could have been her fault it's misplaced. I won't go to check until I go do my laundry.

And why should I go do my laundry? Well... because aunt A decided to leave mine out. You see the day before yesterday we went out with aunt B who bought some fabric softener. I decided to get some too so I could try to wash a rayon dress mum said I could try to wash at home (to avoid the dry clean bill that cost 10 times what aunt A thought it would). I explained that's what it was for. But aunt A decided it meant I wanted to put softener in my laundry and I'd have to do it on my own because softener gives you cancer/has chemicals (which must be about the same thing in her mind). When she asked me where the softener goes in the washing machine and I explained, I said (again) that I only intended to use the softener for the one dress. She called me silly. She called me silly! Like she'd gone ahead and done the laundry without including mine because I'd told her to! Even now, she's doing the laundry without asking if there's something I'd like to wash (like she hasn't noticed the pile of dirty laundry overflowing the basket). 

I'll venture a guess: she didn't want to do mine and jumped at the first excuse she could think of/misconstrue. I'll do my laundry later. Most likely tomorrow afternoon when she's away. Tonight, I'm afraid, aunt A is hosting a game and I can't clean as I'd like. If anything, I'll give the fridge a clean when we get back from the gym. If we go to the gym. She's fuming right now, slamming on every door she uses. Let her be mad. I'm doing nothing to appease her if she's being horrible. 

That leaves the subject of how on Earth I'm going to clean everything I want for AOB's arrival. I want to vacuum his room thoroughly and mop with a mop that's clean. Aunt A mopped the kitchen yesterday to lift a sticky spot and I think aunt B and I thought the same thing: "You're cleaning with that? I'm sure you're only making the floor dirtier." Tells you something about the cleaning skills of the lady who came here yesterday. I don't know which one it was, there's two of them, but they're neither very good. 

See? Aunt A is  now yelling at the dog. For barking. Didn't take long.

At any rate... I need a weekend to my own devices, to clean the house, to do my laundry, to give the dog a bath, to clean the fridge, to try and think of a way to clean the fire hazard looming over the stove, to organise the room AOB will be staying in. I'm not sure it can be done and it bothers me.

Among other things bothering me? Being broke. Aunt B was telling these stories about how her children always find ways to make money and get scholarships and move on in life. I commend them. It's not who I am. I'm far from being useless but I'm just not good at making money. I took offence when aunt B said that the soul of a teacher was something reproachable and something her son had to get over with because she didn't want her son growing up poor. I took offence at the implied "Why aren't you making any money?". Well, because I'm not getting paid to do the things that keep me busy. I don't get paid to clean the fridge. I don't get paid when I do the laundry. I don't get paid when I give the dog a bath. I don't get paid when I wash the dishes. I don't get paid for cooking. I don't  get paid when I clean the microwave oven (because it's as if I never did). 

The old man offered to send me an early Christmas present in the form of putting some money into  my account and I told him not to because I don't want him using up money he could need.

I couldn't ask for an allowance here, though uncle A mentioned I should be getting one. I don't dare ask for money to go out with friends (well, to go out with the one friend when he gets here... I don't know how we would have sorted this out earlier). Once when I went to an amusement park with BCM, aunt A said she'd pay for half of the ticket and BCM would pay for the other half. She gave me a little money to spend in the  park, too. She never paid BCM (from what I can gather). I ended up using the money she gave me in something else because BCM wouldn't take it. As it stands, I almost feel like aunt A will include even the groceries I've eaten into a bill I'll be charged with as soon as I make money. 

I'm afraid I'll have to take money out of the wallet where I keep what I owe BCN just to pay MrInteresting the money he lent me yesterday. It's not much, and it was spent on school supplies, but it falls on me to pay it back (if he lets me) and I've heard no offers. I haven't heard of any offers besides transportation to go out with AOB either. Aunt A offered I could take AOB to the fancy restaurant/cinema place but it's bloody expensive and I can't afford it. 

I would tell you about how social skills saved the day in the form of MrInteresting helping me pay for the lab goggles right before the chemistry lab final exam... but I don't feel like it. At the moment, I only feel like cleaning and even that will have to wait. For now I'll just change into gym clothes. Just in case aunt A decides to go later.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bad time to procrastinate (not that there's ever a good time)

I have two final exams tomorrow, biology and chemistry lab, and I can't for the life of me study for them. I finished reading the last chapter we were supposed to cover in biology last night. I thought maybe today I'd go over the reviews again, or I could work on getting more flashcards done. I finished half a flashcard and saw nothing of the reviews. I finished the lab report due in today but took no note of the other assignment we could turn in for extra credit and so I didn't do it either. I started looking at some of the old work from the labs, but I didn't look very thoroughly and I didn't do any of the work again. I just sort of looked at the first two or three and thought "I'll get this right, it's too easy" and then stopped.

I have only watched one YouTube video. A make-up one. I spent some time looking for swatches of Chanel's Rouge Allure in Évanescente. Still not available anywhere I could buy it. Swatches look very different and it's pretty much impossible to correctly guess the right colour because most pictures were taken in artificial light. I locked myself up in the bathroom to play with the make-up I have to try and mix the lipstick shades available to me to match what I thought the Chanel one should look like. I achieved a lovely shade of peachy, nude pink which made me happy whether it matches the Évanescente or not. I couldn't stop myself there because I had already seen the catwalk pictures with the silver smoky eyes and I conveniently had just the right shade of silver. It didn't quite look right so I added some kohl eyeliner in black. I was wearing no foundation (and needed it, I'm quite pimply at the moment) but I was happy. As soon as I was done I wiped the whole thing off, brushed my teeth trying not to wipe the lipstick mix off and came back to my room.

At the next procrastinating opportunity I decided to go in to trim my brows. The time after that I plucked my eyebrows, because I might as well. It's still relatively early (9ish) and I completely gave up on working or studying. Instead I just left the biology textbook by my bag, in case I decide to look through it tomorrow (I won't). I might even forget to pack my carefully designed flashcards but I don't want to pack them right now because that would be useful and I don't want to do anything productive.

We went to the gym for a bit,  had lunch with uncle C and aunt B, went shopping for cleaning products with them and then aunt A left me here while they went to pick up LC4 from school. Before we left I showered and did nothing productive. After we got here I sat on the computer and did nothing productive. I considered doing the laundry and decided to put it off until at least tomorrow afternoon/night. I looked up ways to clean rayon fabric to decide whether or not I'll ruin a certain dress if I wash it by hand instead of sending it to the dry cleaner's. On Friday I'm planning to clean the fridge and the room AOB will be staying in. On Monday I'll give the dog a bath. Sometime in between I'll do my nails. I'm considering not studying for the next final exams. I don't feel like I need to, and I don't really want to.

I might convince aunt A to get her hoard of clothes out, that she may select whatever she wants to give away so I can make some room to organise things a bit. I suppose my plans to tidy up are at least a little bit in contradiction with the current state of clutter my room is in. At first, I made sure to keep it neat and tidy. I gave everything a place and kept it there. I had a system. I had discipline. I stopped keeping up and right now I quite prefer the mess. I prefer the undone bed I can jump back into at any moment. I prefer my shoes lying ready for me as I leave the room. I prefer the last clothes I used on the floor, ready to be used again if they're not yet too dirty. Room like brain.

Except for the Christmas gifts I haven't packed yet, there's nothing Christmas-y in my room and it's in the back of my head lately. Yesterday (or was it the day before...?) aunt A was looking at a shoe catalogue. She decided she needed new shoes exactly like a pair she already owns except in a different colour and this company is the only one that makes shoes that fit her, or so she says. When she showed me the catalogue she'd marked about a dozen pages. It struck me as a little scandalous. She said I had better get started on my Christmas list. I asked her to explain (though I know what she meant and what she was going to say). Uncle A looks at the lists of everyone and then decides what to buy for each. I might have nodded with an "Oh..." and left it at that. 

I don't need anything. If I were to ask for anything I could make good use of, it would be a bottle of foundation. If I were to ask for things I don't quite need just yet I would ask for some night cream (I have two small containers to run through first). If I were to ask for things I'd like but don't have any immediate use for, I'd ask for another nude pinkish lipstick, a gel eyeliner and black eyeshadow. I suppose one might cover these with a gift card to my preferred make-up store. Asking for clothes seems a bit silly (unless it's an xkcd T-shirt... which, given I'm on the path to losing my nerd side could backfire spectacularly). I noticed that a Mary Poppins musical is coming to town, but tickets are very expensive and I'd never ask for something like that. In the end, it occurs to me that I'd only ask for money to buy things for other people, money to go out with AOB, or things I could send home.

I can already guess what I'll get from my first two requests. Aunt A will try to dissuade me from buying foundation because the powers that be tell her it's only safe to apply the tinted sunblock she uses to one's face. I will be told to ask for something I don't need. I won't be able to think of anything that won't make me miserably guilty. I have nowhere to wear make-up out to! I bought a cheap (but absolutely perfect shade of) red lipstick I have nowhere to wear to. I can't reasonably buy pretty clothes I won't wear. I don't want to ask for books I won't read. I don't need to change the archaic phone I was given. It still works just fine. 

When I think about it a little too hard, the idea of luxury and Christmas makes me want to cry. Mum only ever asks for things she needs. A new pair of pants because the old ones are no good. A new cream to help lighten the pigmentation on her skin. An oven to bake turkeys and pastries she can sell this Christmas. The only luxurious and rather unnecessary item the old man got her once was a German cuticle cutter. Very expensive. She's had some old German nail clippers, cuticle cutters and nail files she was given when she was 15 and having such things was luxurious. The cuticle cutter was lost. Whether or not aunt A has it (here, I'm afraid, one must read "stole it") remains to be known. I have to admit I did on an impulse once went searching for it. I know I couldn't find the nail clipper aunt A has had for years, and I've heard her speak of "an old cuticle cutter" so I can only assume she keeps those someplace I didn't look. I wish I had the money to buy mum a whole set of fancy German nail utensils (?). I wish I could send her the perfume she asked for in full size. I wish I could send her a face primer, foundation that matches her skin and lipsticks meant to suit her (as opposed to aunt A's leftovers). That's what I want for Christmas. 

Mum grew up eating buttered bread when her school classmates had sandwiches with meat inside them! She's a bloody saint! It was all I could do to send her a marked down, fairly elegant-branded blouse. It is all I can do to send her dried cranberries with AOB so she can cook with them without paying the outrageous prices.

I want nothing for Christmas if it means I have to choose a luxury item. If I'm not to have a luxury item, it's all I can do to pick something I won't use so I can put it away until later, when I can give it away. I don't think I'll be allowed to ask for money and I don't dare ask for it. 

An idea haunts me: back home the old man would tell my sister and me that we had a limited amount of money and we could pick presents within the limit. Goes for Christmas and birthdays alike. Both he and mum worried that it wasn't enough and considered paying more than they had planned when my sister or I ran into an item that just made us smile so but exceeded the limit. 

Choosing a present was a special occasion. One of the few times in the year when we got to buy things for pleasure (though we usually went for things we needed). For a long time, until they decided my sister and I were too old for it, they made sure we always had surprise gifts for the morning after Christmas. Things we'd looked at or mentioned liking but didn't get the chance to buy. It feels a bit like writing this Christmas list thing restricts me an awful lot more than the budget ever did back home. 

After thinking hard and browsing the web for a bit, all I've settled on is a lipstick mum ran out of and I know is a great colour for everyday looks. Could I ask for a gift certificate? I would get my foundation and the lipstick to send home. Could I ask for more than one gift certificate? I could get clothes to keep, clothes to send my sister, a foundation and a lipstick to send mum. I'd need an allowance to save up for other presents. I'm afraid a gift for the old man would be harder to get. I'd need a gift certificate uncle A and aunt A knew nothing about. Or the chance to get great discounts they knew nothing about. What I want, I suppose, is the chance to buy presents that aren't for me. Period.

The message doesn't elude me: if I want that, I need a job and if I want one that pays handsomely I'd better do as everyone's saying. Can't help but have a nasty feeling towards the branch of engineering as a whole if that's the cycle. As it was pointed out to me today by uncle C and aunt B, you get a degree and try to look for a job, but won't find one unless you have experience. The only substitute for experience they'll take is someone's word that they know you. It's no less unethical said in so many words. It's just "the way of the world" and they were a bit nicer about saying it, in a not-so-imperative kind of way. They pushed the angle of "take it as a chance to meet people your age, with similar interests" and were very sweet about it. The idea still makes me want to cry. 

There's a pattern here. Any ideas on what it means?

I had a dream last night where D and I were together. Had been for a while, too, because it felt like we'd gotten comfortable. It was odd, though, because neither felt too strongly about the other. D had, however, learned to kiss (supposedly) and he kissed me slowly and sweetly, except it didn't feel sweet or loving. It felt cold and boring. The technique was there but the feeling wasn't. That's how I see it now, at any rate. If sweet and slow kisses felt cold and boring for other reasons, the only one I can think of is that I'd become jaded and that's a horrible thought. 

Now, it's fairly odd that I've been remembering my dreams quite so often all of a sudden. I'd had little to write for quite a long time and suddenly every other day I'm dreaming about men. More specifically, I'm dreaming about having sex, kissing, wanting and being wanted by men. It's probably worth noting that SmTn is nowhere to be found in these dreams. The dreams are all fucked up and SmTn doesn't seem to fit with the disturbing mood. It could also mean I've finally left him in the folder of platonic friends and can finally be trusted not to think such silly thoughts again. I might have to eat my hat tomorrow if I end up dreaming about him in a fucked up way.

Let's talk about the dreams, then. As they go, I've been experimenting with many ideas I wouldn't consider normally in waking life. Bigamy, threesomes, sleeping with strangers, making a sex tape, being wanted and lusted for... Except for the dream where I was hoping to get LesMisGuy to want to be with me, I don't think my feelings are at all considered in all this. This is not about the men I want to be with: I slept with strangers, even rather gruesome ones, and didn't think twice about it. I wasn't even enjoying myself. In my dreams, I used D to get something. I'm not sure what, but it seems to me now that he was only a tool in the greater scheme of things. I didn't particularly long to be with him. I think that it boils down to exploring sex in a "safe" environment, the only one I know.

What do you make of all this?

One "obvious" explanation is that my lack of a sex life or a relationship prospect are taking a toll on me. Dream dictionaries online suggest that having sex with strangers in my dreams indicates my uncertainty about the future. Check. I can't think of other explanations. A psychiatrist might say I'm trying to tell myself something but I can't figure out what that is.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Let me tell you

You're stuck reading the whole post now. Sorry. 

Let me tell you about a newfound form of hell I just encountered. Being told what to do was a pain in the behind. Being told what is right as someone's idea of what worked for them starts to get on my nerves. Being told to incur in unethical behaviour to get anywhere in life is mortifying. I can't think of a word to describe what it is like to be told to lever myself up to getting a well-paying job by uncle A as he stuffed food into his mouth just so he could continue talking. All after taking me through a procedure for idiots tour rather than admitting he fucked up telling me about one of the steps in the damned procedure.

If you were to custom design hell for me you'd be hard pressed to make it worse than that.

Aunt A could tell I was uncomfortable. I assure she wouldn't understand how much. It was all she could do to hide her face and try to intercede for me, bless her.

I fucking know shit needs to be done. I can use a friendly reminder. Spare me the bloody lectures and unethical life lessons. I want nothing to do with them.

That, mother, is why I don't like talking to uncle A. It's not just that he thinks I owe him something. I do. It's that the price is too steep.

You know, we were at LC4's school today to celebrate his birthday. Aunt A and I were on time (which ended up meaning "early") and one of the teachers decided the perfect way to get the kids out of the way and to calm down so we could prepare the tables with tablecloths, party plates and cake was to read to them. Since he was the birthday boy, LC4 got to pick the book to be read. So far, so good. A woman in her sixties (my guess) sat down on a chair in front of them and started to read. I thought it was horrible. The idea of getting them to sit down to read was a good one. This teacher's reading was awful. Not that she couldn't read, of course she could. She just shouldn't read out loud to children. She faked what should have been funny voices, but that's not what bothered me the most. When the children read along with her and asked questions she shut them up. She shut them up! It's outrageous! They're only 4 and 5 but they're already being told that their ideas are worth nothing and are being told to shut up rather than share their thoughts and let them evolve. Isn't it the saddest thing? 

I understand that if one is to read out loud to children one must read out loud to children and not let them take over but I most certainly think that their observations were perfectly valid and an open invitation to what could have been a nice discussion. Why not let them play out the onomatopoeias? Why not let them ask questions, no matter how silly? Why not let them enjoy reading instead of just sitting there and being read to? Isn't it all too similar to the average telly show experience? Except, even children's shows ask children to participate! Outrageous, I tell you. 

I don't plan to have children, but I'd hate them to be under the care of people like her. It rubbed me the wrong way when aunt A said she really liked this teacher and thought she was so nice. (Just like when she speaks about how good a young man my most recently married cousin's husband is...) My point is that I'd never raise children the way uncle A intends to "raise" me. I'm quite happy with the way I turned out. Quite happy with my hippie parents. Quite happy that my parents agree fabulousness should be respected (and respect it, for the most part) and that my sister celebrates difference and fabulousness. The fact that both my sister and I have grown into capable, ethical, smart and mature young adults means to me that we were raised right. I won't have someone try to write all over it. That would be vandalism.

I plan to have a dog. Not dogs, just a dog will be fine. And I'll be very sad if anyone treats her the way the dog here is treated. Yelled at for barking, often neglected, not nicely apprehended, cast away because they won't try to teach her to be gentle. Same goes to the cat, really. I've seen her get yelled at for entering rooms. She just hasn't been taught properly. I'm afraid I have no experience with cats and no knowledge of them to take on the task. It's all I can do to gladly keep them both company. I don't know if it's worth anything to them that they choose to rest around my room, but it certainly means a little to me to have the only non-mad members of this house near me.

Rebellion for now starts with buying lipsticks I don't need, doing my make-up just before I wash my face at night, writing essays and doing maths when I'm supposed to be studying something else.

I wanted to talk to someone. I needed to talk to someone. EBF seemed like an obvious choice. He pointed out the obvious: I need the money. He couldn't say anything else. I couldn't have expected him to. Had he wished to tell me differently, he wouldn't be responsible for getting me off the road to reasonable money. Maybe he didn't even consider it. My intellectual self dies a little inside when maths are like porn and my dream of a career can only hope to become a hobby. I just wanted some sympathy, is all. I could have settled for him wanting to hear about my dissertations, as I have no one else to share them with. I'm selling my values, my ideals and my ethics. He points out I need to. I understand I have to. That doesn't make it any more bearable! I know I'm no genius! I know I'm only at the boundary of average meets smart! That doesn't mean I'm comfortable choosing average! 

I feel like a teenage boy who's just ran across the concept of anarchy and found it fascinating. People around him will tell him what to do. He will be told to change his hair, to change his clothes, to make something more useful of himself. And he'll grow into another Joe.

It's more than that. In the film Baby Geniuses babies hold universal knowledge until they grow up enough that they learn to talk. EBF is telling me to grow up. I can already see he's grown up. He's been growing more quickly then I do for a while now. It's just that there came a point where we stopped using the same language. I don't presume to hold universal knowledge, that film was shit. But I do like the metaphor that after a while we all give up on its equivalent to be stuck learning only some things. From scratch. And, at least in the universe that makes this possible, evolution made it this way. In this convoluted lot of nonsense, I'm the baby that hasn't learned to speak. I'm Paul Auster. That's exactly who I am. I'm fucking. Paul. Auster.

After such a heavy blow of being told what to do, let me tell you one thing: I'm hating it.

On promises

Let's suppose you want x. Let's suppose you expect x, whether you deserve it or not. For the sake of argument, let's assume you were promised x. Does that change anything? Are you any more entitled to get x, even if you don't deserve it, just because it was promised?

There are a lot of variables at hand, of course. The obvious answer to the last paragraph should go along the lines of "it depends" and I can already hear you complaining about my line of reasoning because the idea just jumps at you and sits there inconveniently, not letting you follow me. Let's consider it, then. On what does it depend?

Does it depend on what x is? If x is something immoral (by any given society's standards), should you be allowed to get it because it was promised? Should Adolf Hitler himself promise you a world of white domination, supposing that sort of thing tickled your fancy, are you right to want it and to expect it and to feel entitled to this white world because it was promised? (There are, of course, more down-to-Earth examples, but I don't want to deal with murky ethics right now). If x stands for everything right in this world, does that entitle you to get it? If God himself were to promise world peace (like so many of his followers do), should you feel cheated if the war goes on? I'm exaggerating only a little with my examples, as far as their scope goes, but you should get the idea. What if x is something seemingly unimportant, in the big scheme of things? What if you had come to expect a piece of candy offered on a silly bet between friends? 

"Well, you get upset on different levels" seems to be the answer. Of course you do. You wouldn't get as upset at your friend for forgetting the bet as you would at your Führer if he couldn't give you a world of sunlight-challenged people. Or perhaps you would. I really wouldn't know. You should probably bear with me and agree that there's a difference if you're going to keep reading.

Does it depend on who promises x? Of course you can't get mad at God if we don't get world peace, it's people who can't follow His teachings that make a mess of everything! You get at least a little mad at your friend because he/she should have remembered, damn it! Isn't it true that we take some promises more seriously than others? No one takes a politician's promises seriously anymore. Some people have the gall to get mad at them because it's their right, but most just wait it out. For the most part, this works out just fine and it has for decades (centuries, even). How about promises you've made? Do you not feel bound to a social contract to keep your word? If you offered x and fail to give it, no matter who's there to check, shouldn't you feel a little bad for not keeping your promise? And I don't think it matters an awful lot whether you promised x to yourself or to others. 

My point is that there is something to live up to. Namely, x. Moral or not, big or small scale, for many or few, there's a promise in the air and someone should do something to make it happen or the whole idea of making a promise falls apart. I feel it's rude to say "I'll call you" if you don't mean to. Why say you'll do something if you don't intend to? No one's asking you to promise. I don't say "I'll call" or "Let's meet!" if I don't mean to. Some might think it's rude of me not to go through with the nicety but I think it's pointless to. In a more abstract way, I think this stands true even when no words are spoken.

What happens when no one makes the promise? "Someone must be making a promise," I can hear you say. Well, consider social contracts and implied promises.  We make promises more often than you'd think. We've all signed a contract (metaphorically, if this is the right word) not to bash someone's head into a wall just because they upset us. There are implied promises of proper conduct when we sit down to eat and choose not to stab the person across the table with any of the sharp objects within grasp. It's rude to eat without offering to share when you're with someone. At least, I was always brought up believing that's the way it should be. If I'm very unwilling to share, I will choose to wait until I'm alone because I feel like eating in front of someone else offers the promise that they can have some too and I hate the thought of not living up to it. It's my unspoken word and I'm a woman of my word, however silent. I will go to many lengths to avoid making promises I don't intend to keep.

My stance depends upon me not wanting others to think ill of me if I fail to deliver. However, these contracts, silent or not, are not necessarily acknowledged by all parties. Who's in the wrong? Me for bothering with something clearly useless in modern day society? Or them, for ignoring basic courtesy? How basic is it? One must assume they weren't raised by my parents (in fact, we know they weren't) and the question arises: why did my parents teach me all this?

One of the most superfluous of contracts I was taught relates to table manners. As a grown woman, I become easily exasperated by people who talk with their mouths full, people who chew with their mouths open, people who dig for food between their teeth with their fingers, people who bite on their silverware, people who chew too loudly, people who blow their nose at the table, people who discuss unsavoury subjects during a meal... The list could go on. I deliberately avoid eating crunchy food unless I'm on my own or there's enough background noise to make the sound of my chewing more tolerable to others. When in company, I very much prefer to eat to the sound of music. I can't help but wonder if I wouldn't have more pleasant meals had I never been taught such things. 

Do you suppose I'd be easier on myself if I didn't take promises less seriously? What is the value of a promise? If all people involved in the making and keeping of a promise don't care about it equally, what is the point? If I make a promise and keep it, there's no certainty that whomever I made it to will care. If someone makes a promise to me, how would they know that I'll be upset if they don't keep it? Are promises worth anything?

It depends on what is promised, I believe. Good table manners make the dining experience more pleasant, or less gruesome (as the case may be). Offering to share your food when eating near someone shows a generosity quite unique to the teamwork that kept a whole group from starving to death when a select few could have pigged out leaving the rest to die. Calling when you say you will shows interest and paves the road to making you trustworthy. This reasoning can be extended further: when someone makes wild promises we know they can't keep, we lose trust in them. Promises made between people are aimed at making life in society less insufferable. The rules you choose to commit to seem to dictate how "fit" you are to live with others. 

What about promises you've made to yourself? What kind of promises are these? Mostly, they're related to self-improvement and I don't think I'm over-generalising. Failing to keep your promises to yourself impacts your life directly. You'll have no one to blame but yourself if you get lung cancer from smoking too much, if you get a heart attack because you couldn't stay away from bacon, if you end up a bum because you refused to get an education. What's at stake? It's a battle between temporary pleasure and long term content. It's not a black and white sort of wrong. To many people, the immediate results weigh more than an uncertain future. Why starve myself to look good in a dress if for all I know tomorrow I could get hit by a bus and make the thought of wearing a dress superfluous? If I get struck by lightning in a few hours, what does it matter if I have one more beer now?

There may be no clearly defined right or wrong when it comes to promises in society. The truth remains that in the bigger scheme of things the idea that it's "every man for himself" is not ridiculous. By these standards, there's no such thing as rude, only competent. "You worry about your own hurt feelings. You never deserved anything I promised and I've got myself to care about." Go back and read that last sentence. It sounds horrible, but think about it. After a while, it begs the question: does anyone ever deserve anything?

The word "deserve" doesn't mean much on its own. It implies that, laws of thermodynamics be damned, what you do in this universe must have a very specific response from the universe to you. I can hear your eyes rolling: "It's too abstract a definition! We're in the context of life in society!" and fine: then so be it. The idea of deserving implies that your actions must have a very specific response from the people around you. Well, why should they? Do they owe you anything? While there is a host of other words, one of them "virtue," one can link to "deserve," I think it all boils down to "trade:"

Doing a must get b in return.

From there, one could take a stab at it from a (very naïve) game theoretic point of view: how much am I willing to give to get c in return? If c is worth very little to me, then next to nothing. Problems come when the same thing isn't worth as much to everyone (or even to one given person at different times). 

Whatever a promise means to make, it means as much to keep and to be made. No one ever deserves anything unless it's written in stone and has been agreed upon by everyone involved (which can be a bit paradoxical, come to think of it...). A promise is merely a rough draft of this setting in stone and it's subject to changes, no matter what it looked like the last time you looked. 

Suppose you deserve x. Suppose you don't. A promise doesn't change what you deserve, or even what you're getting. It only gives you something to look forward to. You're only screwed if you look too often.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Let me make my own choices!

I'm interrupting a rather nice post I had going on in essay form to bring a ranting message. It really upsets me that aunt A is so judgey. She judges everything. She judges fat women for wearing short shorts. I tell her it's just as hot outside for them as it is for other people and they should be allowed to wear little clothing if it makes their life easier. People shouldn't design their wardrobe to avoid hurting her eyes. She can choose not to look. If she absolutely must, why can't she go without saying anything?

I found Burberry perfumes in the form of 5 perfumes for $40, which sounds very reasonable because after the tax was included it means I got 10 presents for about $8.56 each, which is very reasonable indeed. I knew they were small containers. I hoped they would be bigger but I won't look a bought horse in the tooth. The purchase has been made. I found them online in a store and made up my mind to buy them. Aunt A gave me a look when I asked her to stop with me at the store to buy them because I know she though "It's too much money. You can't afford it. Don't buy them." Well, last year's late Christmas presents were also a lot of money and I couldn't afford them but I bought them anyway. I have a gift philosophy going on. I have to give back because everyone here has done so much for me. Once I start, it's hard to leave anyone out. I might as well make the gifts as cheap as I can get them. 

I was talking with my parents through Skype and I showed them my purchase. I told them about the other purchases I've made and the ones I'm planning to make. They agreed that my ideas were very thoughtful. I intend to buy everything I need to make a necklace for aunt A, paint T-shirts for cousin S, BCM and her husband, and get something for LC4. Cousin S's T-shirt will be a replica of the "Science: it works, bitches." xkcd shirt, BCM's and her husband's will be hand drawn by LC4 first and drawn over by me. I got uncle A the Blu-Ray discs of the series he saw the trailer for at the cinema and I got SmTn the xkcd book (which I intend to make notes in). They're kick-ass presents and present ideas. Even the "silly" perfumes are pretty neat, being Burberry and all, no matter how not-so-thoughtful.

But, and there's a "but," of course, if I'm ranting, mum asked to speak to aunt A and aunt A noticed the opened packages of the perfumes. She decided it would have been better to buy them at her favourite department store. She thinks they would have been cheaper. They wouldn't. I checked. Maybe with a discount by her friend, but that's not the point. The gifts are mine to give. I'm paying for them with my money. I also know the money I could have saved with her friend's discount couldn't buy the gift I can get from the other store with the points I'm making. I don't need her judging over how much money I can spend or not. I've otherwise spent next to nothing since I got here. I know she means well and wants me to make good use of my money but that's not what I have in mind when I go shopping for gifts. I've already planned out how I'm going to spend the money the old man's sent my way. Some of it is going to pay for a ticket to visit BCN, some of it goes away in gifts, some of it is going to pay for cookies and means of sending them, the rest stays put (unless I become crazed and absolutely can't help buying a pair of cheap lipsticks). I'm managing my money. 

I'm not even counting on the little money BCM owes me for babysitting, or the money I "lent" (gave) aunt MT and she promised to pay (but I don't expect nor want her to). I'm not even counting on getting money for Christmas presents. The old man says he'll send some but I'll try to manage without (unless I absolutely must when I go out with AOB). I haven't thought of Christmas presents for myself. If I ask for anything at all it will be a bottle of foundation. If I can pull it off, I'll try to make that a M.A.C face and body foundation because I know it's good value for money if it sits well on my oily face. That. Is. It. 

I need a job. I know that. I'm hoping to talk to someone tomorrow and see what can be done about that. Once I get a job I can offer to pay for my tuition so I don't feel like I owe uncle A and aunt A quite so much. Once I get a job I can start to think of getting myself a car. Once I get a job I can think of sending some home and saving some so my sister can study abroad wherever she chooses. In the mean time, I have a little money I'm not using on myself and want to spend on gifts. I should be allowed to use it however I want without being judged for it. 

I won't deny aunt A has an eye for bargains. But bargains are worthless if you buy things you don't need. She also can't shouldn't deny that she's impossibly annoying when she tries to coax me into doing things her way. She told me to choose jewellery to give as gifts for mum and my sister. I chose a couple of things. One of them was a necklace for my mum she decided was too short, too ordinary and not of a brand she liked. Fine, it's her money, she can spend it on whatever she likes and I won't push the subject. But she told me to choose something. Does my opinion not count at all on what my sister and mum might like? Why did she jump on to say that all jewellery but the one she deems the finest goes bad immediately? I don't care! I chose something nice and have to assume that quality standards are about the same for all things!

Why does she care that I eat organic cereal or pastries? Why can't I be allowed the simple joys of eating food children enjoy, just because it's nice and sugary? Same goes for cheese. Same goes for jam. Same goes for shampoo. Same goes for sunscreen. She uses an SPF40 tinted sunblock, I use an SPF25 moisturiser and then layer a little foundation. She thinks the foundation will clog my pores and the SPF is too low because whatever she's using is the only acceptable level of coverage. Never mind the fact that upwards of SPF30 you're getting about the same protection no matter how high the number. Never mind that I don't spend an awful lot of time out in the sun (at most an hour, maybe an hour and a half, when we're in the car every day). Never mind that she doesn't need the coverage of a full-fledged foundation like I do. Never mind that high SPFs are associated to clogging pores. She's got one way of doing things and that absolutely must be the right way. 

I won't even go into the Coffee Cream debate again. She's not the one eating it. She has no good (scientific) reason to think it will harm me. I particularly hate the double standards behind every one of those statements. "Don't eat Coffee Cream"? Why use so much powdered milk in your diet (not just in coffee, I've noticed the jar runs out far too quickly). "Don't eat non-organic food, don't use chemicals"? Why eat chemicals every day in the form of pills and sugar-free food, not to mention eating lots of unhealthy (organic or not) food? "Take vitamins"? Why take so many useless pills and forsake modern medicine and the science that says it's not a bloody problem? Nonsense!

All that said, I'm thankful to her (and uncle A). She offered me to look for something for myself and I got some new clothes today. She didn't even wince at the price of the denims (I genuinely thought she would). On the one hand, she probably did it because she'd bought so many things for herself so she'd have gifts to give (come now, I know I saw her looking for things she likes, in her size, under the pretence of "I don't know what I'll wear on Christmas!"). On the other, she could have gone without offering and I would have never asked for anything. It's fair to say it was a nice gesture, and I'm thankful. I'm just sorry I couldn't enjoy it for what it was without breaking into a fit. Something about the rebel teenager in me resisting others' opinions on what's right for me completely ignoring the fact that I'm quite smart enough to have a decent idea on my own and learn from whatever mistakes I make along the way. 

What a strange series of dreams...

I had these odd dreams last night where I  was pursued by two men. One of them reminded me of M1, from kindergarten. I don't know if it was supposed to be him. Another was a lot like Santa, except now I can't remember if he was after me quite as clearly as I remember the guy like M1. I didn't like either of the two. I wasn't interested. I particularly remember M1. N1 had set me up with him, sort of, and he'd gotten his hopes up. He talked to me a lot and thought he was being very discreet when he asked me to define friendships with men. I remember being quiet during this conversation, wanting him to shut up, feeling cornered. I remember thinking "Oh, that's just great. He's one of the blokes who thinks women belong to them, that they deserve women, that women can't ever be platonic friends with men." It felt like that. Because we'd been talking he thought I was interested and genuinely thought he deserved to be with me. I was just very uncomfortable.

In another dream, there was a very big production of a play wher BCM and her parents and LC1 and others were putting together their Christmas tree(s) (there might have been more than one, one for each group of pepole, and they had agreed to meet on the stage at a certain time). This is where the Santa Claus guy comes in. He was quiet, gentle and kind. Someone was trying to talk him into understanding he wasn't all that bad and that surely women would find him attractive.

In another dream Stacy and Clinton from What not to wear kept following someone around, hiding in odd places, bickering among themselves.

In another dream, I was in the islands, in the bigger house my cousins' grandfather used to own, looking out at the sea. I can no longer remember much of this dream.

In another dream there was a fairly big reunion. I was escaping from some bloke or other (again, intrested in me) and I remember these tiny little red candles that floated. There was a very simple minded young man who'd slept with a school teacher and she'd thought it was just a fling but wanted more. He'd always thought it was more. Someone was trying to convince the teacher to give him a chance. Elsewhere in this dream there was something about a woman sleeping iwth a porn star and both of them getting together to cook.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Motion sickness over, on to the review

Quite a lot of reviews lately, eh?

Cousin S and his girlfriend invited us to the cinema today. It was a bistro cinema, where you can order fancy gourmet meals to eat during the previews. It's the idea of a TV dinner taken to a whole new level (and price range). It was nice. I won't even complain about the 3D all that much because it was less bad than I expected and I was only a little tipsy coming out of the theatre. 

As for the film itself... It was... nice... in an "I-don't-want-to-admit-it" kind of way because it was a deliberate tear jerker and I don't appreciate such conniving intentions in a film. The story was fairly good, the acting was good, the making felt a little overdone. Gérard Depardieu's brief appearance was rather disappointing. 

What is there to say...? I wish the film had left me with a lot to think about but it didn't. I wish there were a strong underlying message to the whole thing, but beyond "there's a God, chill" I can't seem to find one. Was it enjoyable? Sure. Would I watch it again? Not very enthusiastically. In fact, I'd rather not. I don't feel that the film has more to offer. Perhaps the book would, with better descriptions of the animals or the struggles... I don't know. I'm not particularly moved to read the book either.

On a somewhat surprising note, Les Misérables is coming out. I didn't know it's a musical. I didn't know Hugh Jackman was in it (the idea of Hugh Jackman in a musical is exciting since I saw his performance at the Tony awards (?)). The preview made me teary eyed. I hated the thought of watching anything related before I got a chance to read the book but... I sort of already watched most of the film starring Liam Neeson and this one's a musical and... it felt exciting. I want to watch it. I'll read the book later. 

Review over. I'm pretty much out of words.

Oh. I might as well tell you: the film we watched is Life of Pi.

EBF was right, it seems... But now I can't make sense of myself

Mind the label. I won't be too graphic, but still.

I want to get this down before I forget it completely. EBF said I was having very horny dreams when I told him about flirting with strangers. I know exactly what he'd say about this one.

In one dream I was in a rather bizarre room. It was an old abandoned-looking apartment. It was fairly dark (no lights on), it had huge windows letting in a grey light, and there was a swimming pool in one end of it. Well, not exactly a swimming pool so much as a fairly large body of water, overflooded, in a corner. I know it was cold because in some of the edges the water was starting to freeze and form small caps. 

My business in that room was that there was this young man, kind of handsome but not particularly exciting-looking, likely enough European (British?) I'd agreed to have sex with. So had some other girl. It was some sort of weird threesome which had to take place in the pool for reasons unknown to me at the moment. While the other girl got ready/thought about it, I jumped in the pool having decided I might as well get started. I was willing, in an "I don't really care" sort of way. I believe all I thought about was I wouldn't mind kissing a sort of handsome stranger and getting some out of it. I started by kissing him. He was a terrible kisser. Sloppy, cold, hard and hurried. He was in some sort of hurry to get it going without any proper foreplay. I'm not 100% sure now, but I think I went along with it. I didn't enjoy it, but I didn't feel particularly bad after it either. 

In another dream I was in a tropical/Caribbean island setting. There was a polygamous society in place there of half arab half black looking people. There were several princes among them (none of them handsome, if you thought you'd ask). Being married to any of them meant you had to sleep with all of them, each hanging out by a small bay (the beach was made of several u-shaped bays, one next to the other). Rather than being "very pregnant" (that's how it worked out in my dream" the women then turned into some kind of animal, sparing them the trouble of having so many babies. I somewhat begrudgingly agreed to do it. I went through with it with the first prince and decided I wanted nothing to do with the following ones. Again, it was a rather bland experience. I wasn't upset about it. I just hadn't enjoyed myself and didn't feel like wasting my time. 

I don't know why I feel like I have to point out that I didn't particularly care for the taste and smell of either man. (Don't be so alarmed, I mean the kind you'd smell and taste by kissing. This isn't such a graphic post.)

I woke up knowing I had to write this down because it feels significant. I woke up thinking that for all I did in the dreams, for all I've experienced in waking life, the sexiest experiences I can think of are LesMisGuy's kisses and D's (D's, in this case, are limited to that time on my fifteenth birthday party). 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Stop, mother!

Mum called. Apart from the usual chitchat and my sister breaking down over losing work done in her computer because goodness knows where she's saving her files to and why she doesn't plug the computer to a power source rather than hoping it won't unexpectedly run out of battery even though it totally has several times in the past, there was a tid bit in the end that really upset me.

Mum asked about college and whether or not I'm set up for next semester. I told her it's being worked on. She asked how much it will cost. I don't know. I haven't checked. I'm sure it's bloody expensive. I gave her an educated guess of the lower boundary for the semester's worth and she asked if uncle A was here. I told her he is. She asked why I don't sit down and talk to him. I don't feel like it.

Out of instinct and habit, I often enough sat at the table with him while I ate. I quickly changed my mind and I know avoid him as much as aunt A around the house. For one, there's the constant clicking noises he makes, which annoy me to no end. If he's eating, there's the bad table manners. Suppose I don't mind that all that much. Well, even when I did sit down with him, he more often than not didn't talk. At all. I felt like I was a nuisance and I was keeping him from whatever he was reading and listening to. When he does talk, I quickly want out of the conversation, for different reasons (depending on the conversation).

Sometimes he's bringing up fun facts in the form of "shit he just read/found" and I'm not a fan of the things he points out. Just yesterday, for instance, it was all about how Troy was really in England and Homer knew all about it. I'm pretty sure the timing doesn't add up for that one... If not, he complains about some conspiracy or other. Again, not a fan. Then, there's the conversations not unlike some of the conversations aunt A starts when he tries to tell me to do things. While I understand it's all well-intended and in good spirits, I don't take well to these conversations. He tells me to learn how to drive and get my driver's license as soon as possible. I want to put it off even more because he's said it. He asks if I haven't read the book intended to help me get into college or something. I haven't, and I all the more want to forget the book even exists.

Mum says I owe it to him. I owe it to him to be polite and say hello when I see him. I owe it to him to be a good student and houseguest. I am. I owe it to him to get him a nice, thoughtful, Christmas present. I'm planning to (I found the show he saw the preview for and I intend to get him the Blu-Rays). I owe it to him (in a weird way) to look after aunt A and help around the house (however house-elf my approach). I try to make it up to him by cooking things he likes every so often. I don't feel it's fair to demand that I try to make conversation with him. We talk... enough (if not plenty) when we go out for lunch on the weekends. If it came down to that, I just might explode saying my old university was cheaper and higher ranked than the one they've set me up to attend (yes, higher ranked... A posted a link to QS and I happened to look). 

A review on whimsicality, on a whim

I set out to study and decided to paint my nails instead. As long as I was painting them, I decided I might as well watch a film.

The film in question is Le Havre, a film SmTn recommended. I recognised Kati Outinen almost immediately (her accent gave her away), but didn't stop to check until the film was over. I didn't think much of it until I checked to see if inspector Monet was the same as the one from Victor Victoria, but it turns out Le Havre is directed by Aki Kaurismäki. You wouldn't recognise him on his own, just from reading the blog, because I didn't know it myself until I found out he directed Kauas pilvet karkaavat. In case the name doesn't ring a bell, it most likely doesn't, that's the film I sat through and didn't like one minute of. I'm not going to check, but I'm pretty sure I said I couldn't stop watching it in spite of how horrible it was. 

I can't say if it was the French that made it different (no, it didn't... but French people certainly seem warmer), the fact that this story was about a rather adorable old man (nope), or the fact that SmTn suggested it (this might actually have influenced me) but I didn't hate it. Moreover, I quite liked it. 

I still don't like the first film, mind you.

The charm of Le Havre is in the underlying comedy and lack of complete seriousness. While it's still, to a great extent, a very serious film about very real and very serious problems, it's a nicer introduction than most. Where Kauas pilvet karkaavat made me cringe knowing things couldn't possibly work out well, Le Havre surprised me showing me things could go better than I expected (only just pushing the boundaries of what is credible). 

Though the 1980s setting put me off a tiny bit, I understood it's intended to be set in such a time for some artistic reason and I went with it. 

The simplicity and minimality of the film quite opened my mind a little. Whereas I might have found it dry and a little boring, I gained some perspective. This is entirely on SmTn. He's far from being a boring bloke, no matter how much he worries about boring me with his stories about fishing and setting up a sound system. Like an onion (thanks, Shrek!), it's all about the layers. I need not go on and on about how wonderfully complex he is, that's not where these paragraphs are going. We will, for now, focus on his way of communicating. 

It's not that his language is simple because English isn't his first language. He uses simple words because he doesn't need more. He is a particularly refreshing and sincere kind of eloquent. From where he stands, he has a rather clear view of things and a unique way to look at them. That's how he can come up with lovely, and very to-the-point, analogies. 

Well, it occurs to me that Aki Kaurismäki has a similar way of telling his stories. He doesn't use complicated settings, dialogues, soundtracks or stories because he doesn't need to. He knows exactly what he sees in the world and how he wants to represent it. 

Des plaintes

En français, cette fois.

Quelque chose triste, ennuyante. Hier soir sont les amies de ma tante venues avec mon cousin S et sa petite amie pour la fête du jour d'action de grâce. Je me suis levée un petit peu en retard, à 10h. En retard parce que tante A était déjà en train de nettoyer la maison. Ça va, on peut dire. Elle ne nettoyait trop car la femme qui nous aide venait au jour d'hui. Ça va. Mais, je suis sortie à la cuisine, pour le petit déjeuner, et j'ai perçu un mauvais odeur: l'odeur d'un balais à franges sale. Après laver le garage, quand je croyais que tante A était dans la douche, j'ai pris le balais à franges pour laver la maison encore une autre fois. Il faudrait que je le lave, nous avions des invités. Mais, tante A est sortie et surprise de me voire en laver la maison. Elle m'a demandé si je ne l'avais pas vu en lavent la maison. J'ai lui dit que j'ai lui vu seulement à la cuisine et j'avais cru que le reste manquait encore. Elle m'a regardé avec un visage qui voulait dire "Me crois tu stupide?". J'ai de lui caché ma face de "Tu ne laves pas bien, tante A. T'est sale. La maison est sale. On n'est jamais finie de le laver quand tu et oncle A la salissent. Laisse-moi laver. Elle sent mauvaise, la maison." J'ai tout de même arrêté, car elle m'avait demandé d'épousseter. Après n'avais pas je du temps. 

À midi j'ai preparé une salade pour le déjeuner avec des oeufs durs. Tante A a décidé que le mauvais sent venait des oeufs. Pendent le dîner j'ai découvert que le mauvais odeur était à cause de la chatte: plus précise, à cause des fèces de la chatte. Elle ne l'a perçu. Pas hier soir, pas hier nuit quand j'ai nettoyé la saleté pendent qu'elle se préparait pour dormir. 

Encore au jour d'hui elle se plaint à tout le monde de ses maladies. Nos ne sons pas allées au gym. Elle se plaint! Voulez-vous savoir ce qu'elle a mangé pour le déjeuner? Poulet frite! Je ne sais pas si elle a mangé aussi des pommes de terre, ou un autre hydrate de carbone... elle dira que sa diabète ne lui permet d'arrêter de les manger... mais, pour le dessert? Elle a mangé glace avec caramel. Caramel de sucre. De saccharose. J'accuse! 

Je n'ai pas de la patience pour elle. 

Quelque chose ainsi joyeuse? C'est posible que à mon pays, parmi des fous, à cause des fous, le mariage entre persones du même sexe est un projet de loi. De plus, il semble que le vote sera "Oui. Les couples du même sexe peuvent se marier." Mon coeur sourit. :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Freudian dream followed by ranting

Remember how yesterday I spent some time looking at make-up? Well, I had a dream about the nude lipstick I'm obsessed about, in case it wasn't clear I'm obsessing. In the dream I was at the store with BCM who bought other things and I passed them through the cashier holding the lipstick in my hand, waiting to put it through. Except I forgot and realised I'd gone without paying only when it was too late. I stopped to wonder if the police wouldn't come after me but then dream-me remembered thieves are only prosecuted when they steal more than a certain amount of money's worth in products. Obsession indeed.

Shall I rant about aunt A's attitude towards the gym trainer? I will anyway because it's overdue and I just know it will come up again later. 

Aunt A thinks she knows better than anyone what's wrong with her and what's good for her. Which is why she eats food she's not supposed to even though she's trying to lose weight, for example. She said her doctor told her not to put too much strain on her back because it might hurt her bones. Reasonable. She said her doctor told her to work out. Reasonable. She told the trainer to lower her weights to whatever felt easy because anything hard to raise with her arms was hurting her back. Mind you, the trainer is a grandmother. No matter how young a grandmother, I can bet she's worked for a very long time as a trainer. She's most likely worked with lots of people like aunt A with similar problems. I'm more than sure she designed the exercise in a way that aunt A would be using her arms and wouldn't have to worry about her back. That's why they make exercises targeting certain muscles. She didn't explain any of this. She knew to shut her mouth and let aunt A do whatever she wanted instead of pushing the subject and making her mad. (Aunt A would have surely snapped and barked at the nice trainer). 

In the car, aunt A started complaining to me about the trainer. She said the trainer shouldn't make her work out so much or think she was being lazy for not lifting the weights. I told her it was supposed to be difficult. She started with "It's supposed to be difficult for you, you're young and I'm old and I'm sick and tired and shouldn't be forced to work out." I told her she was right and shut up because it was pointless. Aunt A said nothing more in the 20-30min ride to the house. 

The fact that a certain exercise is challenging doesn't mean it's hurting her. It means her body (like mine) has gotten used to the inactivity and refuses to let go of the fat storage. This is good, because it means you're having to use up the fat you want to get rid of. To be effective, exercise shouldn't be easy. You have to step it up, keep it challenging. Otherwise your body gets used to it and makes a minimal effort, burning minimum calories and showing minimum results for whatever workout regimen you've chosen. There's a very clear difference between exercise being hard and exercise being hard on you. Exercise should be a little hard. That doesn't make it hard on you as long as you do it correctly and that's the bloody point of having a trainer show you how to do it. Far be it from me to have to explain this to aunt A. 

Since I said nothing to her, she bursted into complaints to uncle A elaborating on her argument. By then she'd decided her doctor told her to stick to walking. Well, if he did, why the hell does she go for the weights? The whole reason she wanted a trainer was to get someone teach her how to use the weights. If she's not supposed to use them in the first place, according to her doctor, why insist so much that you'd pay a pretty penny and make a six month commitment to use them? Unreasonable.

She thinks it's mean of me to think she can do better, she can do more, she can get better. I think it's mean of me not to. She can sulk all she wants, I'm not changing my mind. At times she does complain too much and her complaints make weak excuses. This is compounded by the fact that her actions worsen the ailments she complains about.

She'll be saying the whole gym contract for six months was a waste and a stupid way to use money she would have spent in make-up or skincare. She'll resent the trainer. She'll decide the only reason we got a trainer in the first place was somehow related to me. Let it go on record that it was her bloody idea. I'll take advantage of the trainer, as much as I can, because it's paid for and it would be a waste if we didn't use it. 

On a different note, aunt A asked over the weekend if I'd like to get a haircut. She said she needed to get an appointment to dye her hair this week and mentioned she could get one for me. I thought about it and since I got my last haircut in August and it's been about 3 months it's about time. I can go longer (I was cutting my hair twice a year for years and it was going fine). It started out being very thoughtful of her. She's currently out at the first opening the salon could make for her. I haven't gone to make lunch for myself because uncle A is here sleeping. I didn't go earlier because he was here, eating. And I can't bear him eating. I can't even stand him burping so loudly in the kitchen that I can hear it from my room. It's mortifying. I'll go when he's done. While I'm at it, there's quite a bit of laundry to fold (aunt A started doing the laundry, but left pretty much all of it half-done, with a big load in the dryer and another one in the washing machine, only a few of my uncle's shirts ready to be folded). 

Today's completely unrelated note is about LesMisGuy. I may have read somewhere that one of the reasons a man will not ask you out is he's decided you're crazy. I might be. That might be the reason LesMisGuy decided he wanted nothing to do with me. I'm the fucking creep. For all I complained of the men after me, that's what LesMisGuy must have thought of me. How horrid!

[11:00pm edit]
Let it go on record that it's been a year and a week (I checked) since LesMisGuy and I kissed and I still can't stop obsessing about it. Crazy indeed.

Another type of procrastination

Today's biology lab was cancelled. It was the last lab of the semester and the only class I had to attend today. It means that I essentially had the day off. 

I'll leave ranting about aunt A's complaints of the gym trainer for another time. Right now I want to focus on why I managed to get sod all accomplished today.

I didn't fall asleep. I spent a considerable amount of time browsing through make-up online. That's a very guilty plea, considering I bought a nude lipstick this weekend. It was sheer, and I'm still in love with the shade of another one not available here so I'm obsessed with the closest match I've been able to find. It doesn't help to know they're so cheap, too. I just might fetch it next chance I get to walk by a make-up aisle.

All right, what about the rest of my day? Did I read articles all afternoon? No. There weren't many interesting-looking ones and one of was just appalling (products marketed for men which are really meant for women? I thought the website was above such bigotry). Did I read comics? No. I haven't even looked at today's cyanide and happiness comic. Did I do work around the house? Again, no. I considered it, but decided against it. Aunt A was doing the laundry and separated clothes a bit differently, so I didn't dare disrupt whatever new order she came up with beyond putting some clothes in the dryer. I did the dishes after dinner, for whatever that's worth. 

I didn't even sit down for dinner with aunt A and uncle A. I didn't help much with LC4. I didn't venture out of the room. 

Want to know what I was up to? CtW went online. She told me she had a logic homework/exam due in tomorrow that she hadn't even started. 9 problems total. I offered to help, see what I could remember. I can't say I was a lot of help, but help I did. Granted, she probably had to work a bit more on my solutions, but I'm quite confident I managed to solve 3 problems. While it was a nice thing to do for CtW and I owe her for having her boyfriend deliver a gift for SmTn, that's not quite why I did it. I was obsessed with maths. I wanted to work out a maths problem. I wanted to be able to do it. The fact that the stress wasn't on me worked wonders for my enthusiasm.

I'm now determined to continue happy mathsy thoughts. Through ViHart, helping CtW out with homework, the lovely SmTn or ideas of my own. It's exciting that when I told SmTn of a problem I've been toying with lately, placing n equidistant points on a sphere, he thought it was a nice problem. It's nice that when he told me of an idea he's toying with, namely going back in time, it reminded me of a not-so-silly-now-is-it? idea I had a long time ago. You see, he wants to figure out initial configurations of energy given a distribution at a given time. It's an interesting problem because whatever the configurations, thermodynamics principles state that they'll all lead to about the same end result. It's the equivalent of wanting to figure out where exactly you first placed a bag of tea in a cup of brewed, uniform, tea. My childish idea had to do with being able to read the wind and re-trace its trajectory to figure out past events. I usually thought of it as a wind film of the past. You could even hear dinosaurs with my made up technology. It's an entertaining thought. I'll keep going back to it.

In an unrelated, but rather exciting, note, I've been admitted in university for next semester. The nature of my studies there leave something to be desired, but I'm sure it will be a lovely change. While the community college wasn't such a horrid place in itself, you have to admit it's a bit too creepy with it being such a small place and all. 

In unrelated, not so exciting, news I haven't heard back from AOB. I worry he's not actually coming anymore. I worry he might still be coming. I don't know what we'r going to do when he gets here. I don't know what I'm going to do if he doesn't come. Logistics are a bitch.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Of smiles

This is more of a stub, really. 

I received an e-mail from SmTn today. As soon as I finished reading it I realised he was online. I went online and soon enough he started talking to me. I smiled so much, you know? I smiled at the thought of him sending a picture of Arnold Schwarzeneger (which would have fitted my talk of the gym trainer if it had gotten that far). I smiled at his mention of American Beauty, because I'd thought of watching it over the last few weeks and forgotten to. I smiled at his cooking. I smiled because he'd written me an e-mail, quite plain and simple.

I was chatting with him when mum called to tell me they had people over and wanted to Skype and say hi. I mentioned I was chatting with someone but agreed to go online anyway. We spoke while I chatted and it was soon enough evident that I was having much more fun chatting than I was talking to them. They pointed out I didn't smile at them like I did at the other computer. I smiled when he said I could ask for happy (pot-spiced) meals at the Thai restaurant. I smiled at his mention of maths. I smile at him laughing at me (in a nice way, he points out). I smile because I'm talking to him quite plain and simple.

The thing is that I smile with him like I rarely do at all these days. And that's not something I can smile about.

I have to be fucking kidding me [sic]

Let me tell you about this dream I had last night. Well, they're technically dreams, so I'll just get one of them out of the way.

One of the dreams was about some sort of agency. Not unlike a spy agency, as one of the members had trained many of the others, who looked up to him, in the use of weapons. The weapons included machine guns and the  members included mostly children and teenagers. So far so good, until this leader turned on them. I was one of the others, and I remember holding a heavy glass door so he couldn't come into the room the others were in. When I taunted him "what are you going to do?" he came out with a machine gun and I had to move away. A girl, about 13, with long black hair, fairly tan, a round face and rather sweet demeanour, came out. She'd apparently fucked up being brave once before, she'd failed to use a machine gun like the leader had taught her to. She stepped forward and decided she'd get him herself with another machine gun. She started setting herself up and aiming when he started shooting. Having at least 4-5 bullets in her chest, rather than going down she propped herself up and made her mind up to get him. She walked to him and shot him at close range, in the head, repeatedly (of course, because it was a bloody machine gun). A rather gruesome dream, if you ask me.

Mind the labels. First and last warning. You can't unread this shit.

Now, for the other dream. In my mind I came up with a fucked up idea to make LesMisGuy see how broken D had left me and how not-that-much-of-a-prude I could be. The solution to both problems came in the form of getting together with D, letting him film a sex tape and post it online for the world to see. You know it's fucked up. You knew it's fucked up even before you read it because I told you. The fact that I went through with the whole thing doesn't make matters any better. I went through with it. I fucking went through with it.

Incidentally, since all the memories I can retrieve of having sex actually reduce to giving D blow jobs, that's what I did. I'd sort of forgotten my way around it. I was a bit clumsy but, to be fair, his dream penis was considerably longer (read: twice as long as) than his real one (not that short to begin with). I'd somehow made up my mind that I had to deep throat him, and I dared myself to take him in as far as I could (which ended up being pretty damn far, actually, because dream-me lacked a proper gag reflex). I don't know what dream D would have said, but as far as I was concerned I was giving him the blow job of a lifetime. When he came he was far inside me, but I could still taste him. And I somehow remembered his taste. I can't remember it now, but I remembered it in dreams. What a memory to keep, me.

The video must have gone online. You couldn't otherwise explain why LesMisGuy blushed visibly next time we talked. I remember thinking "Oh, you've seen the video. Don't worry, I know you watch porn and I'm all right with it." I don't think we talked about it at all, though. It did come to this: we stood next to each other, gazing out a window, leaning against some sort of waist-high structure in what reminded me of a classroom when I asked him "what are you doing Friday night?". Though it wasn't quite as straightforward as asking him out directly, it was as terrifying as asking him out and it took a lot of courage to get the words out of my mouth. His answer? "I'm hanging out with a cousin."

Dream me could see how stupid the whole thing was and came up with a reasonable ending. and really, what else could you expect? LesMisGuy sees me blowing another guy and decides he wants that for himself? Because he's just seen me blow someone else? Was he supposed to think D was being abusive posting the video online after I'd agreed to being filmed (and in secret had planned it to be that way)? Could he possibly understand how broken and afraid of being used I was from the whole thing after I deliberately set myself up to be used for sex?

What the fuck, dream me?