Search This Blog

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Villains

I've written before about my fascination with villains. I sometimes root for them. Since I was little I found myself liking their songs more than the others'. Well, it's a coincidence, I'm sure, but EBF made an invitation to the debate of which is the best Disney villain's song of all. He suggested "Hellfire," from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.



Go figure. It would not have been the first song to come to mind, but that's mostly because I don't often think of Victor Hugo's work as something Disney would do. And yet they adapted Notre-Dame de Paris. Though the thought of LesMisGuy bothers me (I can't help but remember that it was him who first told me how Disneyfied this particular film is)I moved past it (sort of) and thought I'd maybe challenge EBF's choice. After considering "Be Prepared" (from The Lion King), "Gaston" and "The Mob Song" (from The Beauty and the Beast, obviously) and "Oogie Boogie Song" (from A Nightmare Before Christmas) I must say I agree with EBF's choice. It's not that the music on its own is better, it's rather that Frollo is a better villain than the others. And that's equal parts because of Victor Hugo's design of the character and in spite of Disney's adaptation.

I very much wish I'd gotten around to reading Les Misérables so I could promise myself I'll read Notre-Dame de Paris next. Barring that, I'd very much like to have someone to have this conversation with. The conversation about what makes a great villain great, never mind whether it's been adapted by Disney or not. I'm too much of a coward to venture a word to EBF and I've lost SmTn, though, so it's all I can do to write a blog post about it.

You're not wondering but I'm going to tell you anyway. The songs I remember from my childhood, that I went back to because I know I liked them so much I played one of them over and over again on a cassette (a cassette!) and waited for the other two eagerly in films that wasn't played very often are, respectively, "Be Prepared," "Money is Such a Beautiful Word," and "I'm looking out for me."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Relationship

I probably had more dreams last night, I know I'd had dreams when I woke up at various times before the alarm rang, but only one really stuck with me. 

You know that group presentation I had with two other people, one of which did pretty much nothing? Well, I had a dream, if not about him, about someone who reminded me a lot of him. In the dream, he fancied me. He didn't really know me, and I didn't really know him, but he had this very elaborate and very romantic display asking me to be his girlfriend. It was so much so that I couldn't refuse and said yes even though I regretted it almost immediately. I remember it being posted on Facebook and having told no one (even A) about it, but seeing 7-9 "likes" on it and feeling a bit stupid. I had no feelings for him. I didn't break up with him, however, because I didn't want to hurt his feelings and I kept telling myself I had to at least give him a chance. In waking life, it all seems deeply wrong. I suddenly started wondering today, during the group therapy meeting, if this person who looked a lot like my classmate was anything at all like SmTn. Well, not the person, I guess, the situation with him, rather. I don't have a good answer for that, except to point out that I actually grew to like SmTn/realised I liked him, and that SmTn didn't ask me to be his girlfriend. 

Can I just say, I am loving this colder weather. The air smells crisp, it's only just the right level of cold that it's nice to sit outside to eat lunch (which I did*) and the fresh air + cool temperatures combination is so much more delightful than being in a stuffy office/classroom/indoors place. 

*LEARN TO BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS, DAY BY DAY.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Busy bee

I've been working on the presentation for nanomedicine. Mostly because the others have been so very not helpful. I'm feeling like quite the over-achiever. 

Then again, that has more to do with the fact that I sat here and embedded videos into almost every one of the posts that mention songs. I even taught myself how to play only parts of videos. There were 117 of them. Posts, I mean. More videos than that, though. And I I manually altered the html code for each and every one of them because I don't want them to display "related videos" when they're over. 

It's funny, how I groom the blog even though I know no one's reading it. Just in case someone does, though, now roughly 1/14 posts has some kind of break from the sometimes seemingly endless text. I'll work on getting some images in some other time.

At any rate, I'm writing now because I'm in a "useful" mood and I thought I'd try to get around to a film review while I was awake. The film in question is Before Midnight.

The critics apparently loved it. I liked the style. I liked the still clever and deep but appropriately funny and sometimes random conversations. I actually really liked the soundtrack (which I won't link to right now because I don't feel like looking for it, frankly). However, I'm not a fan of the way the characters developed over time, though. What is this about how Céline got pregnant the one time they weren't using a condom? Wouldn't a character like her be taking birth control pills? What about Jesse cheating on her? How did Céline turn so tame that she'd just take Jesse back like that in the end? Why and how did Jesse turn into such a horrible person? Why did I somehow want to associate this to SmTn?

I guess it was a short review. While on the subject of SmTn, I must confess I devoted a bit too much time wondering if he saw the pictures mum posted of me (and family) on Facebook. I actually spent a few seconds wondering whether or not to use that title because it reminded me of SmTn. Bees do. Inside joke. *sigh*

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Maths and therapy

I deserve some time off to write. Even if I'm exhausted. Because I've been productive and I deserve it. Not nearly productive enough, I've still got quite a bit to do, but I've managed to finish the homework problems for Pf1 and Pf2, I finished my part of the presentation due in on Monday and... well, not much else, really. But, in my defence, I did go to university on Friday and used my time there to work, attend the other group therapy session (social skills) and the maths colloquium. 

I know. I know, I've quite a bit to catch up with. 

The group session wasn't awfully useful, and I (again) had to work extra-hard to try to make it work for the others. Though I'm afraid I sort of stole the spotlight a little bit. Little grasshopper's doing better, though. I attended, though, and that's the important part. They talked about being assertive and however unpleasant his methods to teach it, the therapist made very valid points. 

The other therapy session, the group I'll now be joining every Wednesday? Let's talk about that from the beginning, shall we? First, there was the "interview." Where I proved my therapist right by saying the right things and being offered a seat, and then the woman interviewing me kind of seemed like she was expecting me not to bother making a commitment. I did, though. I showed up. I even read the documents she gave me about how it works, what to say and what not to say, what to do and what not to do. I settled for observing and listening, at least at first. There were times when I wanted to give others advice. I knew I shouldn't so I didn't. I noticed that the better approach when you feel like giving advice is just to show empathy and relate a story of your own that is similar. The anxiety I felt just thinking of talking about EBF and SmTn was too much, though. So I managed not to say much until the guide asked me questions. And she asked some more questions. Next thing I know I'm crying (and trying hard to control myself). Not uncomfortable in the group, mind you. 

(I have an unpleasant hunch about someone there, who I fear is either prone to substance abuse/alcoholism or already a victim of it. Won't say a thing until the hunch is stronger or I get to talk about it with someone else, though. While we're on the subject of "information about those in the group" I will, to the best of my abilities, avoid writing any of it down. Does that mean I respect their privacy more than I do A's/AOB's/EBF's? Probably. I wouldn't think too much about it.) 

I reckon it's a very safe environment and I must confess I felt worse crying at the airport when my sister left. But that's not the point. My therapist is smart and I do try to follow her advice. Going to the group sessions is me trusting her judgement. 

Which is not to say she's all that smart. Or well, her listening/reading comprehension could use some help. She brings up valid points, yes. She is reasonable and rational, yes. She's a psychology nerd and I admire that in her, yes. She probably got very good grades in school and has a natural talent for what she's doing, yes. But she's still quite inexperienced and she could make better use of the information I disclose than misremembering it and then misquoting it back at me. I realise depression lies. What she doesn't quite seem to grasp is that there are different kinds of lies and the smart lies are the hardest ones to fight because you can't quite tell they're lies all the time. More on that later, though. She said she thought we were finally getting at the core of my issues. Which is at least a little funny because we had the discussion we had on the first days all over again. I'm miserable leaving maths behind to live with the As and all for what? Money? To support other people who are not me? At my expense? Am I mental? No, I'm rational. But again, I'll talk about this later because she said I could write her a journal entry of what maths mean to me and I've got something in the works.

On the subject of maths, though, I can briefly tell you about the colloquium. I counted 38 people in the room, only 4 of us women. One of them a professor, one of them me. I must say I was rather disappointed by the appallingly small female student population in the colloquium. A lot of people looked like they had better things to do (though no one was shamelessly asleep, that I could tell), so I wonder if this was a representative sample of what it's like in the rest of the department. I may be wrong, and I'll correct myself later as soon as I have evidence to the contrary, but I didn't see anyone "integrally smart." I didn't see people who looked like they spoke more than two languages (for fun, rather than out of need), I didn't see anyone who looked like they read real literature, I didn't see anyone who looked like they might be into philosophy. I saw cartoons and I was a bit disappointed. Especially because some of these cartoons glanced my way a bit too often. But I'll try to chalk it up to me being the stranger in the room. The talk itself could have been more fun if the person in charge had had more time and aunt LM hadn't texted me halfway through it. I might have been able to understand a bit more. Honest truth is I didn't understand all that much, but it was exciting seeing words I was vaguely familiar with and feeling the excitement and satisfaction I feel when I read Les Misérables en français, or when I can make out parts of a dialogue in German. Other than that, I appreciated the speaker's analogies, examples and simple but to-the-point language.

Again, it will have to go into another piece of writing.

Oh, and social awkwardness, a couple of days in the life.

1. Walking to the office, I was about to open the door to the hallway when I heard someone clearing their throat. I could make out the shape of someone only. just. far away enough that I didn't know whether to hold the door for them or not because it was not clear if they were headed to this door in particular or if they'd be there soon enough for it to not be awkward. I walked through the door, without looking back or holding it, I took a few steps and heard it open again. So fail #1, he was coming my way. Fail #2? It was Pf1. And now I was mortified that I hadn't held the door for him. So I scurried away to my office without looking back again.

2. Walking to the office (what can we do? It's where I run into the people I see on a sort of regular basis) I was a bit distracted. Until ON walked past me and waved hello. I waved hello and may have greeted him (I don't remember). I don't remember because I was too busy worried about whether or not I blushed when I saw him. I can't explain this.

3. In the ladies' room closest to the office, I was already washing my hands when Ck walked in. She started talking to me and even said a few things after she got into a stall. By then I had already washed my hands and was ready to leave but I was uneasy. Was I supposed to stay there talking? Was I supposed to leave and give her some privacy? I opted for leaving because I was uncomfortable hearing her pee/talking to her while she was in the loo and just told her I'd be in my office.

4. When ON handed us copies of the collected data, during our Tuesday afternoon meeting, I couldn't help but notice a pube just lying on the table, on top of a sheet of paper. I wondered if it had been there all along. I wondered who it belonged to. I tried very hard not to look at it much or worry about it. I'm not sure I succeeded. What the fuck was a pube doing on that table?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

*can't think of a curse string long enough*

*Nazgûl shriek*

Aunt A says to close be careful about the motherfucking window. Like I didn't fucking already know it was her behind it. I want to fucking sleep. I know with a very high level of certainty that none of the nonsense she's thinking of as excuses are valid reasons to keep the window shut when I she can't allow any of my rational reasoning to stay cool at night and sleep. So fuck it. I'm tired and I'm too bloody angry about the fact that she even had to point it out. Fuck her. Fuck this. FUUUUCK. Why must it ever be so bloody hard to sleep? Why must it be her fucking mission in life to see to it that I don't sleep?

Now what is it?

She can't sleep if a window in the house is open. She can't sleep. Are you fucking kidding me??? 


What do you do with this anger?

What? WHAT?!


I was going to write about group therapy. I was going to write about social awkwardness. I was going to write about hunches and about shit I can't even fucking remember right now. 

Fuck this. Fuck this. Fuck this. Fuck her. Fuck them. Fuck the bloody situation that got me into this mess. Fuck it all.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Politics in daily life

Two things on my schedule today: watching the second Thor film and attending LC4's birthday party. Let me deal with the party first, as it will be shorter. 

Nothing much eventful happened at the party. It's the talk that took place in the car on our way back. It was aunt A, uncle C and aunt B talking... about the couple of mums. Not "a couple," "the couple." As in lesbian mums. I knew. I saw them and smiled. I saw a world where two lesbian mums can take their children to a birthday party and hold hands. It's the kind of world I want to be a part of. I thought it was so nice to see that not a single fuck was given (as far as I could tell), as it should be. Aunt A was all "Oh, they don't fool ME! I know what they are!!! Not that I care, what do I care...? But they CAN'T FOOL ME! I know they're different!!!" Aunt B's attempt at "class" was saying they were probably mother and daughter, no fucking way they were a lesbian couple, with a child (or children?), at a six year old's birthday party. Aunt A countered with the hand holding and how one of them put her hand on the other's leg. Uncle C half-jokingly said he'd seen mother-daughter interactions being very affectionate and it didn't disturb him in the least. I very much wanted to say something because it felt wrong not to say something, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what that something was.

On the one hand, aunt B was trying to be nice to this couple by "assuming the best." To out them (though they were sort of out in the open) would have seemed a bit wrong. On the other, to go out and say "Yes, they were lesbian mothers. What of it?" would have invited the damned discussion of what the poor child(ren) must have to live with, not having a father figure and all and that nonsense. And that's the problem. I wish I could have just stated the obvious and left it alone but I know these are not the kind of people who leave such subjects alone, because they have opinions and they must be voiced even when they're awful and cannot be backed by any kind of forward-thinking logic. This is the sort of crowd who thought it wrong for a three year old girl to want a sprayed-on tattoo of a snake. Because it should have been a bloody butterfly or something else girly. But no. She was so very happy to have a snake on her arm and I'm glad she got it but resent the fact that anyone thought she should have gotten anything other than what she wanted. She's fucking three and it was just a fake tattoo on her arm. She just so happens to think snakes are awesome. Why shouldn't she? (It's LC6, by the way.)

Again, I felt like I should have spoken up and said something. I worry that these children may grow to such ass-backwards teachings and that they will enforce the stupidity rather than help cure it. But I'm in the rather pointless position of being the quiet relative who can't really speak up her mind and tell their parents how to raise their children. Because it's sort of not my place. It's all I can do to play anything they want and do everything I can to make sure that I'm as neutral as I can be and don't invite any kind of prejudice. It just feels like it's not quite enough. Frankly, that couple today did more than I ever could just by showing up to the party. I applaud them and wish them all the best.


Also on the topic of politics, we have today's film. It goes by the name of Thor: The Dark World. I couldn't watch it without thinking far too much about it. It's an action film. It does sort of leave you with quite a bit of time to ponder while you're busy not being entertained by the graphics. I'm afraid this will come out with very little order, because the things that bother me are not exactly connected.

First, there's Loki, and the cartoonishness of the dark elves. I saw all the techniques at work, dehumanising the bad guys so the audience felt it was right to kill them all without a moment's thought. They're the easy villains, the goons you need just to have an excuse to show fighting on screen. There's really nothing worse than a bad villain, and a good villain is the one that's human and might kind of have a point. Because real life is more like that. That's why I found myself rooting for Loki. Say what you want, geeks, but, the way they were portrayed in the films (yes, I watched the first one just now to verify a few things) Thor is the stupid one. In the films, Thor is all brawn and very little brain. Loki is all brain, so to compensate and make sure we don't root for him he's given a sickly appearance and made both smaller and physically weaker. Not so in the comics. In the comics, Loki is as badass as the rest of them. Loki's motives weren't fully explained in the films and I'm afraid that to do so would have made him a bit too likeable. All the audience needs to know is that he's the one that needs to be defeated. Yet, he's doing exactly what Odin did, in a way Odin and Thor could only wish to have been able to think of. He's clever enough to bypass Heimdall's watch over Asgard and his plan, get this, fucking works. So maybe he gets a little carried away with the whole "being jealous" thing, but I daresay that might be more a problem of the films (wanting to make him "wrong") than of the comics. Without having actually read the comics. I know. But I won't be reading the comics, and here's why: I'm afraid they're quite sexist and I refuse to feed that sort of industry.

What? But there's Sif! And Jane is an astrophysicist in the film! Sure, but see Sif in the comics as being very inconveniently half-naked for a warrior, with an unrealistic body figure, and kind of unreasonably helpless in the film, with her unrequited love for Thor and all. Jane is frankly a bit of a joke in that I absolutely adore Natalie Portman and I cannot help but detest how silly she looks playing an astrophysicist that talks utter nonsense (in real-life science terms), has been absolutely devastated by losing the man she fell infatuated with (I know, I know) for two bloody years, unable to make a name of herself in the scientific world in spite of all her degrees and merit (really? she can't even be a professor in some decent university?), and, worst of all, the way she was responsible for finally being able to win the battle against the dark elves was kind of brushed aside. It was all Thor and his mighty fucking hammer. Even though it was her technology and her brains to put it to the right use which actually helped give Thor an even chance to begin with. Had she been a man, and not a "love interest" for Thor, I'm pretty sure Odin would have called him up to be an honorary Asgardian or some other nonsense. Frigga was absolutely badass and classy, though. So there's that and the fact that they attempted to have multicultural characters (read: Heimdall was black and Hogun was asian, even though Asgardians are supposed to be Nordic-looking).

There's more to my issues with Jane, though. It's not the fact that she's smart but that's not really why Thor falls for her. It's not the fact that they made her pretty even though she doesn't really need to be (though those two are related). It's not even the fact that she fell infatuated with Thor.

I will make a small parenthesis for those of you worried that no one has ever been recorded to be "fallen infatuated" with anyone else. But it's my term for the midpoint between falling in love at first sight and being infatuated with someone. "Falling infatuated." 

It's the fact that it's  never to work out. In the comics, she fails to pass Odin's tests and so she has some other human person to fall back on. I can't tell from her biography on Wikipedia if there's any proper development of her feelings for Thor beyond "Thor needed someone to bone while he was on Earth and Jane Foster is it." Thor's girl and childhood sweetheart is Sif... except Thor wanted to get Jane into Asgard and marry her and make lots and lots of babies and was willing to throw away what he had with Sif for that. And then didn't (but only because Odin didn't deem Jane good enough). I appreciate that Sif was given the chance, in the comics, to explore relationships with other men. Why not? She's a strong woman and can do as she pleases. But then, this is not about her. It's about how I'm rooting for the Jane-Thor thing to work out in the films (where else?) because... it's going to sound stupid, everything does at this point when I bring him up: because it reminds me of SmTn. Childhood sweetheart/stable girlfriend? Check. Foreign stranger and him falling mutually infatuated? Double check. Simple language hinting at beautiful knowledge (as in "when Thor explains the workings of the universe to Jane," and not "when Thor acts somewhat stupidly/rashly/childishly which is pretty much always")? Check. Ensuing swooning? Check.

*sigh*


On to the subject of the maths seminar and colloquium I wanted to attend on Friday? The time we agreed upon to work on a project was smack in the middle of being able to attend either. It felt even worse because that meeting felt so utterly pointless. I could have decided exactly as much and sent them e-mails over the weekend. I'm afraid my two partners were not very enthusiastic (one a lot less enthusiastic than the other). 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Story in the making - The Girl who cried Wolf

Just a rough draft for now. It was just too vivid an image to let go.

Wolves are remarkable creatures. They are dangerous and savage and yet if you find the right one you will have found a loyal friend for life. You do it enough and they become reliable. Those are the ones we now call dogs. 

Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Most people read it as the fable that taught them it's a bad idea to lie because when you tell the truth people won't take you seriously but I'd like to think about it a bit more. Why did the boy cry wolf? To draw attention to himself? To warn about the possibility of wolves in the neighbouring area? To kill time? I don't care. Well, I don't care about the boy's particular reasons. I care about self-fulfilling prophecies and the sense of dread.

I daresay fear of threats not yet present was an evolutionary advantage. After all, those who half-expected tragedy before any signs of it being imminent may have been better prepared to run away from it. This kind of paranoia can make you cry wolf in vain. Heeding it so often when it's a false alarm that it renders you useless in case of a real emergency is detrimental and you don't 

I'm sorry. This sucks. It started a bit more essay-like and not a very good one at that. I'm too sleepy.

Cold

The weather is delightfully cold and I'm afraid it won't last long enough, but I'm enjoying every second of it. I missed being cold enough that my hands went cold and stayed cold for a bit. I missed the peculiar smell of a cold morning. I missed the comfort of a hot cup of tea when it's cold out.

I realised something today during class. Not a very important realisation, to be honest. It's actually a rather silly one but it seemed noteworthy. I like men who don't easily feel cold. It sounds stupid, but when it's cold enough to be uncomfortable outside I like the notion of having someone to hug who's not only not cold but quite comfortably warm. I told you it was silly.

In news today, it would appear I'll have a job next semester. *sigh of relief* Oh, and I scheduled an interview to see if I'm a good fit for a therapy group. The therapist suggested I look into it and I do trust her judgement so I'm following her instructions (except for the one where I'm supposed to have a reasonable conversation with the As about chores, that one requires that we all be grown ups).

As for my story? I've been glancing at the beginnings of my story born backwards. Most of it is a story I wanted to tell anyway and I find that, though baroque, I did manage to find quite a few images/phrases I'm fond of. So I might use them. Or perhaps not. I don't know yet. The story I want to write now hasn't completely taken form in my mind. Oh, but thinking about it did bring forth another song: "Unicornio Azul," as Mercedes Sosa used to sing it (I love that woman's voice... SmTn is right, it does make you feel nostalgic).

It may have to wait. I think I need to finish the story I wanted to tell when I first started writing the old one. There's two stories there to be told. 


Yes, non-gas-fueled-reader. It's about EBF.

Monday, 11 November 2013

I was, too, going to just watch V for Vendetta and maybe work on my story

But the crazy kicked in and I've got a shouty brain right now that won't let me focus on anything.

It would appear the window I'd been carefully oiling and opening to keep cool has been sealed shut. How so? Well, I can't open it. Even though I'd been carefully making it easier to open and close it without making too much noise. I can open the one next to it, which proves that it's not just the temperature making the metal contract in such a way that it's too tight to be moved. I've tried applying quite a bit of force to no avail. And it could be that I shut it a bit too tightly this morning. Well, it must be. Because either I actually shut it too tightly to be opened again or I shut it so tightly that it was audible and it prompted the crazies to seal the bloody window shut. Either way, the level of craziness is a bit too high because if it's not the resident crazy persons making life impossible by not allowing the very vital "sleeping" part of my life, it's the resident crazy persons making me so crazy that I'm willing to believe they sealed the window shut in whatever time it took me to shower this morning or some other time today when I wasn't looking. The end result is that I'm seriously considering leaving and not coming back and it's so much so that I don't care all that much if I don't have a bright future to turn to. I've tried telling myself to put it in perspective and "What are uncomfortably warm nights next to other situations?" but the truth is that it's what they mean. It's the implications on the resident levels of crazy I'm living with and the way instead of choosing a chopped off broomstick to hold over the open window so it can't be opened more than 20cm or so it was sealed shut and the way it doesn't matter if I have to sleep because: THE BLOODY STATUS QUO MUST NOT BE ALTERED!!!

Add that to the unbearable negativity and the sheer idiocy that comes out of their mouths and, you know what? It really doesn't sound so unreasonable to leave and not come back. It's money lost, I know. It's an opportunity to be "successful" lost. It's not having where to turn, or who to go to, or where to find a job. It's not knowing what will become of my education. But, damn it, I at least get to sleep without waking up two or three times. I don't have to hide to recycle. I don't have to "do the right thing" behind anyone's back.

I've considered e-mailing the therapist and telling her I'm upset and I need someone to talk to. I want to tell her I haven't been able to tell her about half the things on my mind lately. I want to tell her I'm not happy with our bi-weekly arrangement because shit builds up too quickly. I worry that she's got people with worse issues who need the time more than I do. I realise they're all working at full capacity and there's not much in terms of spare time for her to realistically take me in any time before our next appointment. It's just... shit. I wish I had someone to talk to and right now even talking to my parents and aunt MT is annoying. They ask about how I'm getting myself to the airport to leave and the answer is "I don't know." The As' word isn't worth much. I bought myself the long trip ticket for my return but not a word has been spoken about how I'm getting myself out of here. If push comes to shove I'll just rent a car. No one's happy with that idea and I'm sure they'll raise hell over it around here because how fucking dare I be independent and do something they do not approve of? Well, if I can't trust them to make the arrangements they bloody promised they'd make, I have to trust myself and it just turns out it's so much cheaper to rent a car. I can follow instructions. I can move a car. Worst case scenario, I'll have to drive a bit longer than should be absolutely necessary, but it's nothing I can't plan for.

What's a reasonable person to do?

What's a reasonable person to do?

The other Mary

I was thinking of Sonya and I can't shake the feeling that she wasn't the only one. I know there were other prostitutes in literature who reminded me of Mary and I can't remember them. It's a theme.

A quick search online tells me I may or may not have gotten another one from Notes from Underground, a novel I remember being mentioned in the Russian literature class, but I can't quite remember reading (though I may have and it could just be my brain being a bitch). I've made up my mind to read it. 

Oh! Wait! Fantine! Fantine! Her too! Fantine...

All the more reason to try to finish Les Misérables, wouldn't you say? Perhaps after I'm done with Dostoievski... there's just something about him (and the fact that Notes from Underground is a short novel, and I'm a bit too lazy to read anything much longer). 

All of this thinking about prostitutes has a purpose, you know. The main character in the story I want to write? It's not a cosplayer or a dream character on demand, it's a prostitute. I'm still trying to wrap my head around making it as gender-neutral and non-heteronormative as possible. It sort of rules out giving them names and I think I can't reasonably choose any narrator other than first person (again) for the same reason. 

"Sorriest thanks." 

Some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, wouldn't you say?


The PC crowd is going to have to excuse me. I don't think my story is well-suited to a masculine lead. Which is not to say it has to be a biological woman. She needs not even be straight. It's just that, while fathers do, of course, exist, the nurturing figure who can be right there, smack in the middle of a Madonna-whore complex, is a feminine one.


Song of the moment: "Puedes Contar Conmigo." Don't really need to tell you it's by La Oreja de Van Gogh, do I?



Saturday, 9 November 2013

If I could be born again...

I woke up to a very odd dream on Thursday morning. In my dream I'd somehow cut off/otherwise removed my right thumb. It had been re-attached on my right arm, some 20cm or so away from my pinkie. Except I remember later having six fingers on my right hand, with just the awkward extra thumb just sticking out where I just mentioned. That wasn't all, though. I'd somehow hurt myself and I had this big of sagging skin around my elbow where a little fluid had collected. When I felt around this flap of skin I could feel solid bits, what I imagined were bits of broken bone. Upon realising my arm was broken I asked for my sister's assistance helping me bandage it to immobilise it. When I first called for her help she was busy and my call upset her. She still came to me and we duct taped my arm as best we could (which was not very well). I remember trying very hard not to move my arm much, but forgetting about it and then stretching it anyway. When I woke up, my parents, my sister and I were in a dark room, on the bed with Jenny, Victor and three cats (female, in my dream). I was petting one of them. It's odd then I should have found a solid bit of I know not what on my right arm on Thursday morning. It's some 12-15cm away from my wrist, on the side closest to the visible veins. Touching it reveals it's some kind of growth, less than 5mm wide) attached to the muscle, as I can easily pull my skin over it but can't get it to move. I'll have to get it checked out.

I hopefully didn't do too badly on the exam I had on Thursday. Which I shamelessly crammed for because I only realised the exam was on Thursday when the professor's late night e-mail arrived on Wednesday. This one's a bit worse than before because I wrote it down in my notebook. I had the right date jotted down. I'd written the date for the exam on the same page I was looking at to do the project I turned in on Tuesday. Against my stubbornness, I might have to follow the therapist's advice and buy (and try to use with some degree of discipline) a planner.

Thursday during class I finished solving the problem of the month I found in the maths club website. When I was done solving it I felt a bit silly for taking so long but I felt accomplished (it's been a long time since the last time that happened). As is usual in me, if you know me, I started a very complicated and long-winded attempt that led nowhere first, even though I'd sort of contemplated the solution I ended up using... it's just that it didn't "feel" like it was the right answer and I didn't follow through with it. The problem at hand is this:

Prove that the following equation has no solution in the set of positive integers.

x² + y² + z² + w² = 2xyzw

Admittedly, the original formulation of the problem used u instead of w but, as I remember it, we usually went for w as a fourth variable, leaving u and v to denote vectors. Maybe it's just me. I nevertheless finished out my sketch of the proof on an index card and felt very pleased with myself as I walked over to my appointment. That night I actually went as far as typing up the solution in LaTeX, polishing my rusty LaTeX coding skills and downloading both an editor and the libraries on the new computer (I hadn't bothered until then). All so I could send my solution. Not that I expect to win the prize. I sent my solution a full week into the month, time by which I imagine anyone else more clever than me would have come up with a solution a lot sooner. I also don't think highly enough of myself to even allow thoughts that my solution might be the best one (which, according to the website, is the one that gets the prize.)


SPOILER ALERT (I'm about to hint at the solution): I initially thought that since we were dealing with integers and the number on the right is even I could just toy with what the numbers on the left could be. Then I noticed that the left hand side looked a lot like a norm squared and I wasted quite a bit of time going over inequalities (Cauchy-Schwarz, triangle, what have you) trying to find upper and lower limits that cut the 2xyzw somewhere before and/or after the nearest integer (proving that the answer then couldn't be an integer). One late night when I thought of giving it another shot I thought I had it, with inequalities where I could cancel out terms so that the numbers didn't quite work out to be integers and called it a night thinking I'd solved it at last. It didn't work out very well. Turns out I forgot to square one side. Then I went back to the whole even numbers formulation, split it up into cases, and it worked out very nicely. Though I reckon I should have had it a bit earlier. I can't help but wonder if there's a nicer, direct, proof that doesn't rely on contradiction.


You know what my first thoughts were when I solved it? I wished I could tell SmTn. I made up my mind then and there. I won't give up on maths completely, occasionally indulging in solving such problems and attending seminars and colloquia when possible: to make him proud. Not that he'd care much, with me not telling him about it and all, but I like to imagine, like I imagine he's keeping me company when he's online, that he'd be proud of me if he knew I took time out of my days to work on real maths problems and went to maths related events. I had every intention to go to the maths club seminar on Friday at 2pm (it was supposed to be centred around mystical mathematicians, if we can call them that) but the work that was supposed to start at 9am actually started at 10:30am and then we weren't done until 3pm. It's quite all right though. It was all the push I needed to find out if there aren't other seminars or colloquia and it turns out there are, so I'm attending those whenever I can. I can get an excuse to go to university on Fridays (I may not even need one). 

List of things to do before next semester:

 - Figure out which classes I need to register for
 - Figure out if I have a job for next semester
 - Sort out the health insurance issues
 - Ask for permission to go on vacation
 - Find out which maths classes I'd be interested in auditing

Hopefully, I'll be able to make myself busy that way. I don't know how much of a hassle it will be to register for another three credit hours. I'll sort that out when I know if I have a job or not. *sigh* These are all things I don't look forward to doing. It feels like a chore. Kind of like bioelectricity, except that working with the professor who teaches it has given me a new kind of respect for him that makes me feel awful about not being a good enough student. 

Can we talk about chores? Let me talk about chores here. Thursday's session could have been about anything, but I ended up venting about passive aggressive aunt A, not being able to sleep and I-need-to-get-the-fuck-out-of-here-...-FUCK. I'm a little annoyed she suggested I approach the unspoken subject of expectations and say I'll compromise to chores (doing the dishes, laundry, etc.) every so often on certain days and then stick to it. I can see numerous ways for it to not work out because aunt A can always be counted on to find lies to suit her whims. While I appreciate the therapist's efforts and can't even say her idea is a bad one, or that it's certain to fail, I don't think she appreciated how fed up I am with the situation and who unwilling it makes me to try and solve it through rational means when the people I live with are far from reasonable. That probably set the pace for what followed. I mentioned I'd been to group therapy and she asked how it had been. I maybe overemphasised the cartoonish nature of it all and called psychology a sham.

Let me explain. I don't know the first thing about psychology. Not real psychology, at any rate. The way I understand it (and I reckon I'm not too far off the mark), psychology studies behaviour, good and bad. Then, having broken them down into steps/bite-size pieces, bad behaviour is corrected by recognising its pieces and replacing them, as well as can be managed, by their counterparts in good behaviour. If I'm absolutely horrible at hearing people tell me about their troubles, I can correct "rolling my eyes," "offering advice no one asked for" and "not giving a flying fuck" by first realising what I'm doing, stopping myself short of doing it and replacing those actions for "listening and pretending to care," "finding a kernel of truth I can agree with and show empathy for" and "say reassuring/comforting things." Something like that, if not that exactly. When you're indulging in a behaviour that's harmful/counter-productive, you're supposed to realise that it starts with a thought that leads to a feeling and it's the feeling that leads to actions. Different actions have different outcomes, and seeing how the thoughts and feelings are mostly all in your head (and nowhere else, like when you bring yourself down telling yourself the things you imagine people saying behind your back), you're supposed to decide what the best outcome is, choose the right action that leads to it and realise that the automatic thoughts and feelings are kind of invalid. Doesn't it all sound very reasonable? It actually is. It's just so hard to actually tell yourself what to feel and do.

As I see it, feelings are automatic processes. They're natural and irrational. It just so happens some feel good and others not so much. While I can see why it makes sense to rationalise them, it seems wrong to do so. I'm all too aware of the fact that I'm trying to emulate what comes naturally to others by breaking it down into artificial steps. Key word: artificial. Sure, I could practise saying gracious "Thank you"s to every compliment I get, but I would be aware of how I was trying extra-hard to be nice and any feelings generated through this phony process would feel less legitimate than the automatic ones. It's basically me being unwilling to change operating systems and being stubborn about it. I should probably apologise to the therapist and explain that the whole reason I'm in therapy is because I realise talking to someone who can offer a fresh perspective is important. 

She told me about a book she's passionate about (she didn't say it, but I could see her copy was well-loved and well-read). It's Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. I made a point out of reading it even though I disagreed with its premise as it was explained to me by the therapist. She brought up the book in the context of ... I actually have no idea. My brain doesn't work the way it once did. The point is that she said I could be as smart as I wanted to be and even train myself to be some kind of genius if I just put enough time into it. She debated anyone's innate ability to do anything as something that can be explained by their background and upbringing. I pointed out that, to me, there's a big difference between someone who's just practised playing the piano a lot and a true virtuoso. She argued that you can get good at anything if you just do it enough and mentioned the book.

I hate to say it in so many words but I don't think she understood the book. Or maybe I'm a bit too sceptical/cynical. You see, the book centres on successful people and how they got where they are. Successful people, as is assumed by the author, are almost invariably rich, in a job that feels fulfilling, and in a higher tier of society. Doctors, lawyers, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, successful sports players, you know the ones. The whole book could be summarised by that quote mentioned in that Brittany Murphy film (if you don't mind, I'll paraphrase because I don't feel like looking it up) "Good luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Sheer dumb luck is useless. Wait, let me actually look it up. I can't remember if it's "good luck" or "success" and I realise now it's kind of important. It seems I got it right. It's "Luck." 

Very well, then. As Gladwell explained, it takes quite a bit to be successful: you have to be among the smarter people, be hard-working, have happened to be born in the right time period and the right culture and the planets themselves have to align so that you get your golden opportunity at a time when you can grasp it. It's not enough with being talented/hard-working/smart: you need to have been born at the right time for the arbitrary deadlines to work in your favour, you need to have been practising for thousands of hours to have become good at what you want to do, you need the kind of cultural background that puts you in the right mindset and have exactly the abilities that are in demand a given time. In the book, a man with an IQ of 195 who never managed to get a college degree because life sucks when you're poor and your family isn't the most supportive/helpful is a bloody failure. Especially next to the man who attempted to poison his tutor and then went on to come up with the atomic bomb. Because Oppenheimer had people skills, apparently. Being the smartest of the smart, as Gladwell tries to prove, is pointless because once you're smart enough (above some threshold) everyone does equally well (i.e. they get about the same pay). I don't have a mind for such a definition of success or for how he dismisses clearly intelligent people as not worth his attention just because they couldn't use their high IQs to get the right kind of job and recognition. His message, pretty much, was "You don't need to be like them, just work hard and work smart, it's all the same." If you will, he's just saying that it's not worth it being smarter, because you won't be more successful. So you can even lie and make it mean you can be just like a genius if you just work hard enough. You won't be genius-smart, but society will never know the difference.

I'm sorry. Whether he'd ever admit to it or not, there's a difference. I think all he said in the book that even remotely hints at evidence for true innate talent is the fact that after 10,000 hours of working at something everyone's "good enough" there's no way to account for why some people get more out of their hours. I don't need an explanation for it. I know it exists and I don't like such talent being looked down on. The fact that Chris Langan can't get anyone respectable to referee or publish his work doesn't make it any less good. For all I know, he could be making breakthroughs and I don't have a mind for the kind of society that deems a college degree so important that not having one can make you dismiss the likely clever writings of a clearly intelligent man. I don't think it's bad that he's living the simple life. I think it's bad that the world failed to see his genius and I'll be damned if I ever try to blame his lack of "success" on not having the right people skills or family background. The man is most likely brilliant and deserves my respect and awe. It sucks that I'm not as brilliant as him or others, but I won't delude myself into thinking that if I just clock in enough hours I'll get there. I most certainly won't try to tell myself I can "succeed more" than the rest of them smarter folks if I just follow some set of steps they didn't think to follow. It's the difference between Julie Andrews and virtually any other theatre singer/actress ever: no amount of practice can make up for such levels of raw talent.

In the case of maths, you may get good at high school maths and even linear algebra and calculus through practise, but you cannot clock in enough hours to make you the kind of person who can come up with elegant solutions to problems. That kind of insight is something you can't train for. Some people have it built into them and some don't. The fact that it's rare makes it precious and beautiful. Kind of like SmTn's way to talk. I may have been writing in this blog for a long time now, clocking in quite a lot of hours, but I assure you it doesn't make me good enough to be truly worth reading. It still won't be worth reading ten years from now. Not unless you like what I have to say or the way I say things. Those won't be changing all that much in whatever time I've got left. 

I can sort of see the therapist's point, don't get me wrong. I'm not completely obtuse. I can see my circumstances keeping me from reaching full potential and I've wondered it aloud myself. Perhaps even in this blog. I do wonder if I wouldn't perhaps do better if I could dedicate less brain function to worrying about money and being unhappy living with crazies. The thing is... I can't see very far ahead into how to overcome this. The book doesn't shed much light on it either. To the right person and seemingly-right-but-not-quite circumstances the author offered no advice. It was just bad luck he was born in the wrong time, to the wrong parents, in the wrong country. What do you do then, besides act as a stepping stone for your children who will undoubtedly be successful?


Because the thought is in my head anyway and I can't chase it off, I'll write it down: if I could choose when and where to be born, to what parents, if I could choose the "right" circumstances.... I have wondered if I wouldn't have made it so that I'd met SmTn before he met his girlfriend/wife. Maybe all it would have taken was going to summer school two years earlier. I don't know.



I'm still in a La Oreja de Van Gogh mood: "La Playa" is the song I most often turn to. 

I can't help but find it odd, you know. I don't think I'd listened to so many songs in Spanish since I was... what, 15?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Of social awkwardness and wanting to talk

Is it ever okay to answer a "See ya!" farewell with a "Good luck!"? Does it make a difference if it was ON going off to class and we'd very briefly talked about how he was tired and didn't really want to go? You don't wish tired people good luck, you bid them farewell like any other person. Do you ever wish people good luck for anything that doesn't involve an important outcome? I'm good enough at reading people that I realised ON wanted to talk a little, but I'm too stunted and I couldn't take the conversation past the strictly academic. I didn't ask why he was tired (it's likely none of my business, right?). I only pointed out I remembered he was just taking the one class. And then I asked for his advice on choosing a project for bioelectricity as a way to "continue the conversation," except that was short-lived. *sigh* The social awkwardness...

Add that to today's meeting with the girl introducing me to the multicultural events on campus. I didn't quite know what to say. I don't know what I expected from the meeting but I didn't know what to volunteer for, exactly, and I didn't know what I could do. To this moment, I don't really know. I just know I want to help out. If they want me selling or buying tickets, handing out fliers, talking in public, organising events or even just need someone to be furiously happy that gay marriage has been legalised in a new country or state, I'm up for it. I didn't quite say so in so many words to this girl, but she was friendly and looked clever and I liked her tomboyish looks. Is tomboy the right word? It doesn't appear to be a derogatory one, but now I'm wondering if I should have said "butch" (except maybe not, because that one sounds harsh and does tend to bring to mind ugly stereotypes... tomboyish it is). All things said, however, I think I managed to give her a good idea or two and I'll be able to volunteer for a couple of events, if not now, next semester. I feel good about that. I'll help a cause I'm passionate about: be who you are and love who you love. So there's that to look forward to: finding like-minded people and reasons to be happy and (hopefully) make others happy.

Be that as it may, the first thing I noticed when I went to the restroom after this meeting was that I had the most embarrassingly massive patches of sweat under my arms. As in "half each boob was covered by it." So then I felt self-conscious about it and wanted to hide, but all I managed to do was pat it dry as best I could before coming to the office.

In both meetings today I know that a more full conversation was in order but I didn't quite know how to have it. Yesterday I know I half-wanted to talk to mum and she will probably want to talk today, but I don't quite have the heart to. Today I was relieved and happy to find SmTn online. From Skype, if it makes a difference (it doesn't, unless I get paranoid and silly). It's just nice seeing him there and remembering he's "there." He exists and he is lovely. It took me a while to realise he's "just like the others" in the sense that he also went a little overboard with suddenly having strong feelings for me (see: borrowing the same books as me in the library and making paintings based on my dreams). He just happens to be the next nice guy after I realised I'd been absolutely horrible to the others and managed to reach out to (im)properly. Intimidated as I was by everything he did and said initially, I just knew I wanted to talk to him. I didn't know why or what about, just that I wanted to talk to him and stay in touch (*sigh*). 

I can't quite explain it either, but I thought of using ALS (a.k.a. what keeps Stephen Hawking from speaking natural-sounding phrases and standing up) to use for this week's homework problems. I wasn't 100% sure that was the disease I had in mind, but it was and I started reading a bit about it and was reminded of how rare it is for Sir Stephen Hawking to have lived for so long. I also happened upon his support for assisted suicide and it gave me a sense of dread I haven't been able to shake off. He could die soon. He's lived a long life already, but it will be sad, nevertheless, when a man as great as he passes. And you can probably guess who I'd like to be able to talk about it with but it won't happen. I'll just be online and hope he's online and pretend to have a silent conversation about it.


Still going over La Oreja de Van Gogh. They have the loveliest lyrics and most catchy songs. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I just want to be able to fucking sleep at night

Uncle A picked me up from the bus stop. I stayed behind extra late because aunt A made a point of how both BCM and uncle A had offered to pick me up (i.e. she didn't want to pick me up). He couldn't help but point out that by opening the window in my attempts to stay cool and sleep well at night I am doing something wrong. First he said that the air conditioning works extra hard to make up for my open window (which I find hard to believe is very true considering the temperature outside hasn't been much exceeding the temperature inside and that not much air gets in when the blinds are closed... which they pretty much always are). Then he said that it's just not safe. And I have the feeling that he's just relaying aunt A's craziness as it appealed to his own, it doesn't matter if he tried to sound reasonable. He didn't. All I know for sure is that it makes me miserable because now my last resort at keeping cool and the only reason I was finally glad to have the colder months ahead is gone. Now it doesn't fucking matter. I'm staying in a fucking warm room no matter what I do. NO, it won't help to put that rusty old excuse for a fan inside my room. No fan will lower the actual temperature inside the room, you are supposed to be a man of science (however dubious) and we already fucking had this bloody conversation. Oh, and my solution where I'd have to pay quite a bit of money to get a portable air conditioner? That may not be safe either and we'll have to run it by the handyman who's never fucking handy. What it all means is that I'll get to sleep well absolutely fucking never until I get a night out of this house because my big bottle to freeze water in completely gave out and no attempts of mine at patching up the cracks were useful in the long run (and it's not like it's completely amazing sleeping in a soggy bed, it's just nice to sleep in a cool one). 

I broke down. I didn't eat anything for dinner (even though lunch wasn't exactly amazing) and I haven't left my room since I went to the bathroom and broke down crying. Mum had been insistently calling and when she called my mobile to see why I wasn't picking up (I'd closed Skype on my computer) I was upset and I was kind of mean to her saying "Here! I'm online! Happy now?!" I know I was because she then didn't call. And I've no one to tell this all to, dear blog. I've locked myself up with the cat (who's just been here for whatever reason) because I said I'd take her out when I go to sleep and I might not be able to until well past fucking midnight. 

I intended to do some laundry because I've hardly any clean clothes anymore but I honestly didn't want to see anyone's fucking face after I got off the car. I have't so much as gone out for water and I won't until all lights are out. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Cuídate

You learn something new every day. Turns out I've been misspelling "ti" in Spanish pretty much forever.* How embarrassing.

Shall we give him a name? MysT (what on Earth is Cq?). Last week, and I didn't write about it on Wednesday, I wore a dress. I felt like wearing a dress just like I felt like wearing a skirt today. It's just one of those days. I would have written an essay-like post about the meaning (to me) of wearing a dress or otherwise trying to look pretty, but it's both complicated and simple. I try to look pretty for two reasons, mainly: to say "I don't care if I'm not pretty enough to pull off this look, I'm wearing it!" and to make myself pretty. Which is sort of the same as saying "I don't care how I look today, so I'm going to care enough to look pretty for me." It makes sense in my head, trust me. On days when I dress fugly on purpose, the reasons are "I feel ugly, so I'm going to try to be invisible," which is really just "I care enough about how I look to feel ugly, so I don't care how I look today." Wednesday, like I was saying, was a dress day. I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope to get MysT's attention that day, so I now have to tell you I felt bad when he made a point out of not looking my way. I was trying to look good that day and that day I notice him trying hard not to look at me. He always glances away anyway, what do I care? It's the silliest thing, really. I don't like him all that much. I shouldn't care if he looks my way or not but I find myself playing this stupid game with myself where I sometimes wish I could get his attention. I don't know what it is about him or even where I'd hope to get with him. Today was a skirt day. Just because, I guess. And today I didn't care much if he looked my way or not... and he did. And then glanced away quickly. He might have blushed slightly. Maybe. I don't know. When do I ever know?

Side note: I don't like being in the spotlight. You already knew that, didn't you? I hate participating during class because of this. If someone says what I was thinking of saying, I congratulate myself for thinking like them. The one time I speak my mind out loud it's the wrong answer and I mortify myself for it, not to mention the unreasonable tachycardia attacks I get at the mere thought of talking loud enough for all the class to hear. *sigh* I'm sure this is related to why I don't like to be seen or be complimented. 

The song I've been playing in my head since today's class (maybe before, actually) is "Cuídate," by La Oreja de Van Gogh. I looked into it and it's about two people who were once in a relationship meeting again when it's too late to make things work. I got lost in a very involved daydream about it during the bus trip back from campus. I would call it a fantasy but I frankly felt like more time had gone by and I can't even remember looking out the window when I thought about all this. The scene was set out as Christmas Eve, when SmTn arrived out of the blue. After asking a lot of silly questions ("What are you doing here?," "Have you got a place to stay?." "How long have you been here?") I just say "Wait, don't answer those. Can I give you a hug?" and then we hug and it's wonderful. Before we have time for much we're off in a hurry to some Christmas celebration, most likely at my uncle's, and SmTn takes a plunge head-first into the family reunion. I even realised we wouldn't fit in my parents' car and would have to ask aunt MT to pick us up. In my mind, everyone's cool about it and they're nice to him (which they would be, I reckon). I would ask my sister to pack something up in secret to make sure SmTn had a present too. I'd most likely make my special recipe mulled wine and SmTn would be there with me in the kitchen to help me make it. We'd be together all the time without really talking about what had brought him there. And we'd get around to talking on our own sometime later. His hands would shake a little, but not from the cold and his eyes would show signs of having cried a bit. 


I haven't seen him online yet. I'm starting to worry that I maybe won't see him online again.




*It never has an accent. Single syllable words don't use an accent unless they need it and they only need it if there's another word exactly like it that means something different. Nothing of the sort happens for "ti." Now you know.

REM is a sign of exhaustion, I think

Waking up at 6am was a big fail. Instead of reading through the rest of the paper I saw it was all mostly graphs and maths and skipped through to the conclusions to go to sleep again. I kept waking up, wondering if it was about time for aunt A to want to go to the gym yet. I woke up because the dog barked, because I could hear the toilet going off, because uncle A was making himself breakfast. And yet I had a couple of dreams. I remember two of them half-well.

In one, I was with AOB. He had a very odd phone that looked like a cross between a calculator and a ceiling fan remote control. He wanted to get together with one of the twins but got hung up on, so I made the call for him. Then I got left on hold. 

In another, I was with LesMisGuy. I must say I was half mad at him. Why did you lose all interest after we kissed?! That sort of thing. But only half mad, because I still ended up kissing him. I don't know what led up to the kiss exactly, other than he said something and (not necessarily because of what he said, because I remember being hesitant about it being the right choice) I just leaned in and kissed him. He kissed me back, so I knew it wasn't just me. Next thing I know things are getting sexual and I'm literally dripping wet (which is mostly just a so very strange thing). Couldn't tell you if we actually had sex in the dream. I don't think we did because I remember waking up from that one.

There's a third one where I got away from direct danger, the kind a policeman might get into in a raid, to see a "doctor." There was conflict between two parts and there was a very smart man (having nothing to do with the conflict) that one part had chosen to kept hidden. He was mentoring a little girl. He was in a room full of old filing cabinets, or maybe an overfilled library and I had to squeeze between a wall and a heavy object to get to him in his little table. He was supposedly tending to a wound of mine on my hand, or that was the excuse I used to go to him (well, technically I just looked at my hand and my superior told me to go see him). 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Active waiting and some forms of procrastination: a hypothesis

You can see I'm obviously not done with the assignment. I'm only in page two of twenty three to be read. In my defence, I've been taking notes and I can probably use some of it in the project. Problem? I can't quite focus. I think I know what active waiting is actually waiting for. It's my brain's equivalent of "processing," "buffering," or "working..." What it's actually working on is one of those things that makes me label a post "epiphany." Some times they're dumber than others. Every time, however, they feel like a breakthrough. I naïvely thought it was life that was about to happen and if I just refreshed a page often enough or waited for the right amount of time or sang the right songs in the correct order or followed through on whatever stupid ritual, I could get it to happen. Kind of like unlocking an achievement in a videogame by pressing a sequence of buttons in a very specific way. Well, I'm just now offering a different hypothesis because I know such thoughts don't get me anywhere. I've also realised that active waiting feels a bit more like watching a flower bloom or a train crash (in slow motion, this last one): you know something's about to happen and you just want to see it through to the end. (Which, incidentally, is the thing that doesn't happen to more pressing things, like homework assignments due in on Tuesday.)

I stopped a while ago to Google something I know I'd looked for before but couldn't find. It has to do with my comment in that GuySpeak thread. I told this girl that "the one" is a media-marketed idea that doesn't translate very well to real life. And it's true. I agree with that statement. I know I first read about it somewhere, it's not an original thought, so I browsed a bit and found both the original source (as I remember it) and an essay on exactly the same subject which actually got me thinking (more... or less, if you will). The thing is that I actually phrased my comment very carefully. I almost wrote down that "the one" doesn't exist and that's how I initially looked for the source where I got the idea. However, I don't agree with that statement and it's not how it was originally written either. 

The original source says 
The idea of “the one” is romantic, but not practical. It’s based in fantasy.
How about that? 

The essay I found on the subject reads
There shouldn’t be a “perfect” image of anything that we’re chasing after in life, as it’s so clear to all of us how very un-perfect life often proves to be. 
Shout out to Chelsea here.
They're both right. They are, really. But the essay also says
Perhaps “settling” in some way is an essential part of falling in love — as that person equally “settles” for you, knowing that no one is perfect but that this particular person is someone for whom you want to try to be better.

And then there's no right thought process immediately after that because they all go through "... That... that's pretty much what SmTn said..."

Also in my internet wanderings today was cosplay and found a post about the objectification of women in cosplay, pointing out
But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on.
And here's to Mandy. Cheers!
Oh, dear. It's late. It's midnight and I'm on page fucking two and won't sleep at all tomorrow, will I? I'd better set up an alarm for 6am. I'd make it 5am but I've still got some post writing to do before I can leave this alone.

This is all going into my story, you know, when I actually write it. It may be Demo-inspired, but with a twist. Or it may be what I had in mind about telling the story of cast dream characters. I don't know just yet. I need the idea to take form in my head before I commit to it in words.

Back to my point. SmTn is my fantasy, the closest I've ever been to meeting "the one." Duh. Have you not been reading my previous posts? I think it's fair to state SmTn fantasised about me too. The nature of the fantasy is not something I'd dare put into words, but he did mention a very special connection he'd only felt once before. And not. with. his. girlfriend. (You're going to ask, aren't you? *sigh* He said the last time it had happened it had ended in heartbreak. It had ended. In heartbreak. Ergo not the woman he's currently with.) Maybe that doesn't make me literally "the one" but it kind of hints at a similar idea, doesn't it? NOT THE POINT. It's all fantasy. It's a mutual fantasy, but a fantasy nevertheless and the fact that it's a shared delusion doesn't make it any less true that it's not a practical thing to bring to life.

Moreover, mind that cosplay quote up there. I have no right to drool over how perfect SmTn is because the fact that he embodies a fantasy of mine doesn't mean he has to do what I'd expect fantasy SmTn to do (like leave the girlfriend/wife/partner-person and run off to wherever I am and teach maths and live with me happily ever after). It also has implications on SmTn's mention of dark red lipstick and further proves I did the right thing (however painful) stepping down/away. 

Though that mention of the person who makes you want to be a better you does sound reminiscent of "the one" and makes me want to write a whole post about "What if he does exist? What if there is such a person as 'the one' and you've actually met him/her?" Well, if you did, you're most likely not asking yourself such silly questions because you're happy in love in a relationship that does not require the mental work that goes behind wondering if the kind of perfection you live in is even possible. Don't shove your happiness in other people's faces. We don't take kindly to it. The point being that if there is such a person as "the one" for you, and you're not with him/her, there's a reason for it. It's not fucking practical. Sure, sure, "not practical" doesn't mean it's not ideal. Of course it is. But you shouldn't let yourself compare anything in real life to that ideal because it's not fair to real life. The media-fueled hope in the back of my mind is that if it's meant to be, things will sort themselves out so that SmTn and I can be together. Rational me (usually) knows better. 

It's actually stronger than that. You know how you're supposed to decide what you want in a relationship before you get yourself into one? You know how I said I don't have to settle for people like D because I've met someone who embodies "the one" and now I know I don't have to settle for less? I may have to tone that statement down a notch. Only one, though. I'm not getting myself involved with people like D. Or even LesMisGuy, for that matter (even though I still like him more than I'd care to admit). I can't compare future men to SmTn because, as real as our exchanges were, they were all part of a fantasy. 

I sometimes wonder if he's reached a similar conclusion regarding me but then I have to remember his thought process may be completely different to mine because there's no indication he had gotten himself as involved with me as I was with him. Something about eggs and baskets. 

I wish you the best, darling SmTn. I really do.