A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"
"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories — if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
―The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes
“The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road.”
― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Think about it
Kill that boredom!
Binder Paper Comics
Web Comics and Such
A Distant Soil (Some nudity)
The Adventures of Gyno-Star (Some explicit stuff)
Blue Milk Special
Cigarro & Cerveja
Cyanide and Happiness
dead winter (has some explicit stuff)
Devilbear: The Grimoires of Bearalzebub (PG-13?)
Eat That Toast!
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
The Intrepid Girlbot
The Last Halloween
Last Train to Old Town
The League of Evil Genius
Legend of Bill
Living With Insanity (some nudity)
Love Me Nice
Married to the Sea
The Moon Prince
Moth (Some nudity)
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
Political Cartoonists Index
Poorly Drawn Lines
The Property of Hate
Robbie and Bobby
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Scenes from a Multiverse
The Secret Knots
Stand Still. Stay Silent
Strong Female Protagonist
The Super Fogeys
Tales of Pylea
Three Word Phrase (some nudity)
Tiny Kitten Teeth
Toothpaste for Dinner
Trying Human (Some nudity)
Two Guys and Guy
Yellow Peril (PG-13)
Infrequently/No Longer Updating Web Comics
The Abominable Charles Christopher
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
The Adventures of Ellie Connelly
Bag of Toast
Bear in Mind
The Book of Biff
Chain Bear (Some explicit stuff)
Daisy is Dead
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
Hello with Cheese
Kyle & Atticus
Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
Letters to a Wild Boar
Lovecraft is Missing
Meat and Plastic
The Nerds of Paradise
No Reason Comics
One Swoop Fell
Pictures for Sad Children
A Redtail's Dream
Roy's Boys (PG 13?)
Run Freak Run
The Super Gay Adventures of Ross Boston
YU + ME
Pure Flash Awesomeness
Die Anstalt : Toy Psychiatry
Clients from Hell
Creatures in My Head
Damn You Auto Correct!
Jhonen Vasquez's site
Overheard in New York
Passive Aggressive Notes
You don't know
Thursday, February 2, 2017
I had this exchange with a friend awhile ago:
D: You ever ask someone something, and you don't want to hear the answer
D: And they tell you the answer and then some
D: And like, you learn things that kind of immediately burn themselves into you
D: 'Cause I do <_<
Me: [Relevant experience]
Me: I didn't really want to know.
Me: And I felt sick to the core of my soul when he told me.
D: Oh this goes into that same kind of thing and then like ten times more
The response I got to my story really bothered me. He doesn't know what it felt like for me. It seemed very insulting that he would immediately say his feeling was ten times worse than mine. I felt like my experience was trivialized. I really hate it when people tell me they "know exactly" how I feel, because it's never true. You hear a word you relate to, you latch onto it, you jump at the opportunity to tell your story, you don't listen for the nuances in my story that differentiate my experience from yours. I don't know how to characterize this behavior-- maybe an excited disrespect. An impatient self-centeredness in which the other person is treating your personal experience like some of kind of satellite revolving around yours. There's no connection there and no understanding. I'm not saying it's meant with any ill will on the other's part, but it happens too much.
Of course, this was nothing worth fighting over. He is going through a hard time, and he clearly wanted the conversation to be focused on him. This has never been a friendship where we can mutually discuss our problems, and I've always been aware of that. Sometimes it just bothers me more.
I'm starting to get really annoyed with conversations that go like this:
Me: I was eating ice cream one time and it started melting--
Other person: Oh man, I know exactly how that is. I just hate that! Isn't it the worst? I want my ice cream to be frozen, you know? Melted ice cream is just so pointless, like, it's just a dessert soup. I had this one ice cream cone and it got all melted because it was hot that day, and I was so disappointed.
And if the other person had actually given me a chance to finish it would have gone more like:
Me: I was eating ice cream one time and it started melting, and watching bits drip off of it reminded me of a a day when I was sitting inside watching the rain and talking to my friend about how much I loved how it smelled outside after it rained.
Last night I got to Skype briefly with Fro and Becka, and I was reminded of how much I value the fact that they actually let you finish what you're saying instead of cutting you off as soon as they pick up on a word or phrase that they want to talk about. That quality is terribly rare, even (to my great dismay) in this program I'm currently in...
Self in progress
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the goals I've set for myself and think about what else I want to work on.
My original aim was to be the kind of person I want to have in my life. This includes:
-Being a good listener
-Being a loyal friend
-Keeping in touch with the people close to me
-Expressing my appreciation for said people
-Being supportive of my friends (in a way that encourages them to be better and doesn't enable them to stagnate)
-Being accessible (open and available) to my friends when they need me/want to talk
-Being charitable and giving people the benefit of the doubt; looking for the intention behind the action instead of just judging what I see based on its consequence
These are all other-oriented; that is to say, they revolve around what I can do for other people and don't relate to me in myself.
So, some self (as separate from others) goals:
-Stay informed about the world/politics on at least a minimal level (need to find more/better news sources)
-Take better care of my body (exercise/diet; not to lose weight but just to stay in reasonable shape and be healthy)
-Take better care of my skin
-Pay attention to the details of the world so I don't get bored with it and subsequently jaded (this is going well so far)
-Look cute (I am slowly developing more of a personal style, and I just feel better when I look good)
-Learn more about investing/finances (I am highly risk-averse and just sold some of my stocks today because the market seems so unstable, but I don't have a good sense of how to strategize)
-Don't be afraid to admit I don't know things (I have been pretty good about this one lately, especially since I basically UNDERSTAND NOTHING in one of my classes)
-Be less self-conscious about my social skills and whether I'll be judged for a faux pas (I guess this could fall under the larger umbrella of having self-confidence)
-Read more books of my own (this one has been hard because I'm so tired of having to read stuff for class, but I am slowly making my way through one of my own books, at least)
-Find the balance between trusting my intuition and being open to other perspectives (right now I think I am too heavily inclined toward the latter)
-Do the right thing even if it's difficult, unpleasant, uncomfortable, etc. (e.g. I really hate my grad program and don't like living here, but I'm trying to stick with it because I feel like this is the right thing to do)
-Be open to constructive criticism, or even just criticism if it has a valid basis
I think these lists are incomplete, as they always will be, just wanted to explicitly lay out some of my thoughts on these matters. I haven't specifically listed things out in awhile, and I didn't want them to get lost.
All the socializing
Friday, January 27, 2017
I hung out with my new friend B. four days this week. o.o It's enjoyable, and I feel energized when we hang out, but then afterwards I feel so tired and drained. I'm not exactly sure what this is. An introversion thing? My energy levels don't seem depleted at all until after I leave.
In any case, it's been fun. He took me to the Museum of Pop Culture today because he has a membership and could get me in for free, so we looked through that a bit, and then got some food from Whole Foods and went back to his apartment and watched Dirk Gently. It was the first time watching the series for both of us, and we got through three episodes. It's a good show! Gonna hang out again on Sunday and maybe watch more of it. :)
Also going to hang out with new friend A. tomorrow afternoon. This will be our second time hanging out, but we've been texting a fair amount. Looking forward to that!
I have therapy again tomorrow, for the second real time, I think. We're still kind of in the "getting to know each other" stage, so I don't feel like I can just talk about whatever comes up for me. I feel sort of obligated to give context and background information about myself and my history before I can really dive into a lot of stuff. But... I think I want to talk about the Ex. Not just any ex, but the one who was a big deal and impacted my life in ways no others did. When I really think about it, I wonder to some extent if this is really one of the biggest unresolved issues for me. It feels like a lot of things go back to that. I've cautiously been exploring my feelings about things, but I think it could be helpful to do it in therapy and have someone to talk to about it. So... yeah... that's the plan for tomorrow, I suppose!
Two types of guilt
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
From A Psychology of Nothingness.
Sadly, I don't have the full book that this is from. I only have a few pages of PDF which were emailed out by one of my professors.
Still, I thought it was interesting. Maybe someday I'll get myself a copy and read the whole thing. Haha... ha... yeah... probably not going to happen. It's so hard to read these days.
Yesterday I hung out with my new friend for a few hours, which was fun. We fed the crows in front of his favorite cafe, then went to an adult storytime at the library. Also went to his apartment and looked at the concept art for a TV show he's working on, which was really cool. He also has a fancy smart scale, so I got to try it out. My bodyfat percentage is apparently 21%... According to this chart I looked up on Google, that's not horrible, but from looking at those pictures, I feel like I'd rather be in the 15-17% range. Too bad I'm not very motivated to lose weight.
Was going to get lunch with the new friend today (which would have made three days of hanging out in a row! Wow!) but then I realized that I had an appointment at 1pm, so we moved it to tomorrow instead. It's nice to hang out with someone who doesn't cut it off after an hour or two, like the other people I've met up here. I think we're going to the MoPOP this weekend, too, which I'm excited about. He has a membership, so I can get in for free, which is awesome.
Reflecting on sad stories
Sunday, January 22, 2017
"Living The Life ABA Therapy Version" by Art Department.
Design the future, design the past
Design the letters, make it last
Design the kind and we will see
Divinity, it's out of you, and it's out of me
I am digging this song so much right now. And a few other Art Department songs in general.
My meetup today went really well. We're hanging out again tomorrow! I should probably go to bed pretty soon, because we're getting together for breakfast, and it's like midnight now...
I had a dream that Levinas was living in a cross section of a large concrete pipe in the woods, which he had converted into a shelter. Teenage runaways brought him food in exchange for his philosophical teachings. After their exchange, they would climb up to the top of his dwelling and sleep, using big pom pom-shaped mossy plants for blankets. I went there when nobody was around and touched the mosses, marveling at how soft and warm they were.
After talking to my new friend today, and someone else online, I have a deep sense of sadness about the general tragedies that take place in the world. The painful injustices people are struggling with, through no fault of their own. These two people were both given terrible circumstances to deal with and are doing the best they can to improve their lives and attain a better standard of life. There is something very sobering about it all, and also very... mm... I don't know a word that means "causing one to reflect upon one's own circumstances and feel a sadness over the disparity between one's life and others', but also feel a quiet sense of appreciation for one's luck relative to other people." It is a mixed feeling.
I think one of the things that impacts me about the stories I heard today was that the people who told them to me did not minimize their situations, they acknowledged the horrible realities they'd lived through (or are living through) and discussed how that contributed to who they are as people, and what, specifically, they've learned from their experiences. They haven't let their unusual histories isolate them from others, and have... for lack of a better term, kept open hearts, I suppose. It's a hard thing to do, and I respect it. I get the sense that they might have a deeper appreciation for the "normal" life that so many people take for granted.
On a personal level
Friday, January 20, 2017
Well, today was a terrible day for America, but I personally had a nice day.
I had a career advising appointment, so I went and talked to someone about my resume and cover letter writing strategies. Gonna need this stuff when I apply for internships.
After that, I walked around a bit and got a few groceries, then came back to my room and chatted with a friend while watching a couple episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It's not a great show, and some parts of it have been pretty frustrating, but I keep wanting to see what happens next.
Went and got dinner... mailed out a couple of things to friends... felt pretty energized and went to the gym! I didn't do a whole lot, just ran a mile and did some strength exercises, but it was something, at least. I can definitely feel that I'm not as in shape as I was at this time last year. :(
Lately I've been feeling the urge to talk about how much my friends mean to me and show my appreciation for them. It feels good to do it, and I want them to know that I care about them and that they mean something to me. Have mailed a few things to different people. Just little things, mostly cards. I'm really enjoying it, though!
Around 8-ish, I Skyped with Fro, Becka, and Alex, and Vicky messaged us a few times in the chat. We were on the call for almost two hours, and it was so much fun. It's been awhile since I laughed that hard. Gosh, but I love these people.
Tomorrow, I have therapy in the morning, and I'm meeting up with someone downtown in the afternoon! Curious to see how that turns out.
AND I JUST AGREED TO MEET UP WITH SOMEONE ELSE?? I DON'T EVEN KNOW THIS DUDE AT ALL BUT I AM IN SUCH A GOOD MOOD THAT I DISREGARDED IT AND SAID SURE WHEN HE ASKED. Whoops I hope this wasn't a terrible mistake! If I never come back I might have gotten murdered just FYI.
Potentially risky decision aside, I feel really happy right now! ^__^
Pictures and more on friends
Monday, January 16, 2017
I went for a walk again today. This poem stanza was stuck in my head for part of it.
I felt like it resonated with me.
Here are some pictures from my walks the past few days.
Ice on a fountain.
A seagull on an alley wall.
I don't know what this is, but it's a tiny little thing on the sidewalk that I have passed a number of times on my route from downtown back to my room, and I always imagine that it is a landmine that will blow up my legs if I step on it.
How I feel about the weather here.
I'm hopefully going to be having dinner with my friend after class on Wednesday. He said he was worried that my walking was a sign of something not being okay. I told him that the walking helped make me feel better, though (which is true). I guess that walking alone makes him feel.... well, lonely, or down, maybe, but I don't think it has that effect on me. Walking alone is nice. Being able to do it is a reminder that I'm not as shy as I used to be, and I can be out in public by myself without feeling extremely self-conscious and fearful. At the same time, I sometimes... sort of forget that people can see me, so that probably helps. It's not that I literally think I'm invisible... I'm just so used to going unnoticed that it feels about the same. Especially in cities, it feels easy to be invisible. Maybe that's why I like crowds. Nobody notices the individual in a crowd.
And... my good thing for the day... I'm planning to meet up with what I hope will be a new friend in the near future. We haven't confirmed anything yet.
In all honesty, it is pretty lonely living here, and I miss my friends like crazy. Trying to make new friends is hard when I just want to be near my old friends again. I had the friendships I wanted, and I didn't feel like I needed more than that. I don't just want people in my life, I want those people. During our Skype call on Friday, I related these feelings to Becka, and I felt like she really understood what I meant. She doesn't feel that motivated to make new friends where she is, either, because she misses us. While I'm sad for both of us, it also is a huge relief to not be alone in that feeling. I'm so tired of people talking as if friends are just like... parts in a car's engine or something. Parts that you need to keep things running smoothly, but which are ultimately replaceable. Nobody close to me is replaceable. Maybe I can find new people who will connect to me on some level and with whom I have a good dynamic, but they can't take the place of Kyle, or Fro, or Becka. The loss of a friendship feels exactly like that-- a loss. These people mean so much to me, and I feel offended when my feelings about that are dismissed or trivialized. A lot of people do just have shallow friendships and are not that invested in their friends' lives, but that's not what I want, and that's not how I feel about my friendships. I want to be friends for the rest of our lives.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
I was reading this Brain Pickings article about the intensely loving friendship between Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman.
There have been a number of times when I've wondered if I really need or want a romantic relationship, or if I just want a level of closeness and intimacy that is most readily found in the context of romantic relationships, but is not exclusive to them. I feel like healthy platonic love is easier to achieve (assuming you can find a person who reciprocates) because the expectations are different. The things I want from a friend are much less restrictive than what I want from a romantic partner. Being friends is more about who a person is as a person, and our connection on that level. A romantic relationship has more practical necessities for me. Suddenly, the resources the other person brings to the relationship are of dire importance. Education matters. Career matters. Physical appearance matters. Any opinions that affect the course of a shared future matter. I can be friends with someone who doesn't want kids. I don't think I could date someone like that. I could, in theory (although it's not particularly likely) be friends with someone who had dropped out of high school and was working as a janitor at McDonald's. That would be unacceptable in a dating partner.
I feel that I am being reasonable with these expectations. I'm not obligated to open up my dating preferences to include anybody, regardless of the level of friendship we may have. I think that a flaw in my dating decisions has been to accommodate for things that I am not really okay with, because of this idea that personality should take priority over all else. That's an ideal I don't want to strive for anymore. It conflicts with the other things in life that are important to me. Trying to force myself to disregard other factors for the sake of putting personality first has only caused me to suffer. I have been fighting for the other by fighting myself, and it's not worth it. It's never worth it.
This isn't to say that I don't think compromise and even concession don't have a place in relationships, but there is a limit to what you can compromise, and I need to try harder to enforce my boundaries in that regard.
The past couple days I have been walking around a lot, to take advantage of the weather. It's nice to explore the city. I finally checked out the library downtown, and it's quite a pretty space, although it was also full of what looked like homeless people, judging by the amount of luggage/trash bags they had with them and the smell. I also saw a guy unwrap a block of cheese and just start eating chunks of it.
Yesterday I had my first appointment with a therapist that one of my profs recommended to me. The therapist's office is in this big beautiful historic building downtown, although her actual office is quite small. I'm going to start seeing her weekly. Hopefully it helps with things.
I'm never sure how much of my stuff is resolved and how much I still need to actually work on. Then again, that sort of thing is never static. Things get better and things get worse. Most issues are not items on a checklist that you can be done with and never have to revisit. At best, I think you can get to a level where things are generally manageable, but that's on average. Nobody is ever "cured", which is an uncomfortable thing to hear, but it's true. I've met too many people who insisted they were completely over their problems, but invariably that turned out not to be true. What matters more than being "done" with things is having an open/receptive mindset about your potential problem areas and understanding that you don't know everything and never will, although nobody else does either. We all just have pieces of the world, and I think the most we can do is share those pieces with each other to try to form a more complete (though never fully complete) picture.
I guess my program has been influencing me, though I'm also not sure how different these ideas are from how I already felt. That whole idea that we are always moving towards being more than we are but will never be complete resonates with me, though. It's kind of like how people say it's about the journey, not the destination, except that there isn't ever a destination, only a general direction.
"Knights" by Crystal Castles.
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