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Memores acti prudentes futuri


Can't you see what you've done to my heart and soul?
this is a wasteland now
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."
―D.H. Lawrence

"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."
―Seneca

"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."
―Daydream Nation

"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






TICoSME
Musicalities!
Kill that boredom!
Binder Paper Comics

Web Comics and Such
A Distant Soil (Some nudity)
The Adventures of Gyno-Star (Some explicit stuff)
Aquapunk
Axe Cop
Basic Instructions
Bear Nuts
Beeserker

Blue Milk Special
Bobbins
Broodhollow
Bug
Buttersafe
Camp Weedonwantcha
Chainsawsuit
ChannelATE
Cigarro & Cerveja
Conspiracy Friends!
Crunchy Bunches

Curia Regis
Cyanide and Happiness
dead winter (has some explicit stuff)
Devilbear: The Grimoires of Bearalzebub (PG-13?)
Diesel Sweeties
Distillum
DUBBLEBABY
Dumm Comics
Eat That Toast!
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
E-merl.com
The End
Evil Diva
Evil Inc.
Existential Comics
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Forming (Explicit)

Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
Mirror
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
Hollow Mountain
IDK Comics
Inscribing Ardi
The Intrepid Girlbot
JBabb Comics
The Last Halloween
Last Train to Old Town
L.A.W.L.S.
The League of Evil Genius

Legend of Bill
Living With Insanity (some nudity)
Love Me Nice
Married to the Sea
Meaty Yogurt
Medium Large
The Meek
Metacarpolis
Monsterhood
Monsterkind
The Moon Prince
Moon Town
Moth (Some nudity)
Mr. Lovenstein
Muddlers Beat

Natalie Dee
Nedroid
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
Optipess
Out There
Phuzzy Comics
P.I. Jane
Political Cartoonists Index
Poorly Drawn Lines
Powernap
Red Meat
Rice Boy
Robbie and Bobby
Rosscott, Inc.
Safely Endangered
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Savage Chickens
Scenes from a Multiverse
The Secret Knots
Serenity Rose
Stand Still. Stay Silent
Stinking Hellebore
Strong Female Protagonist
Subnormality
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
Mirror

Witchy
xkcd
Yellow Peril (PG-13)

Infrequently/No Longer Updating Web Comics
The Abominable Charles Christopher
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
The Adventures of Ellie Connelly
American Hell
Bag of Toast
Bear in Mind
Bobwhite
The Book of Biff
Brat-halla
Brightest
Bullfinch
Chain Bear (Some explicit stuff)
Daisy is Dead
Dream Life
Edemia
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
Floodmud
Freaks!

Green Wake
Gun Show
Hello with Cheese
Helpful Figures
Intragalactic
Kyle & Atticus
Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
Letters to a Wild Boar
Lovecraft is Missing

Manta-man
Meat and Plastic
Minimalism Sucks
Mis-
Moe
The Nerds of Paradise
Nimona
No Reason Comics
Odd-Fish
One Swoop Fell
Owen's Uncles
Patches
Pictures for Sad Children
Raymondo Person
A Redtail's Dream

Riotfish
Roy's Boys (PG 13?)
Run Freak Run
Saint's Way
Shortpacked!
Sin Titulo
Snowflakes
Split Lip
Spooky Doofus
SubCulture
Super Buzzkill
The Super Gay Adventures of Ross Boston
Thermohalia
Troubletown
Ugly Girl
YU + ME
2815 Monument

Pure Flash Awesomeness
Aardvardkbutter.com
Angry Alien
Die Anstalt : Toy Psychiatry
The Frown
Hoogerbrugge

Other
Bogleech
Clients from Hell
Brian Despain
Creatures in My Head
Damn You Auto Correct!
Jhonen Vasquez's site
Overheard in New York
Passive Aggressive Notes
Submarinechannel.com
Superdickery
UHpinions
Whirled
Looky here
free counters
The strangeness of coyotes
Saturday, April 23, 2016
My foot and neck still hurt. I hope I didn't do anything serious to my foot... Still don't know why my neck hurts. Painkillers help somewhat, at least.

I hung out with Alex again tonight. We watched Rick and Morty at his place and went to IHOP because Rick talks about pancakes in one of the episodes and it made us both really want pancakes. While we were there, a homeless guy walked in to use the bathroom, and Alex said that the guy had been around for years. I wondered aloud if he was hungry, but Alex cautioned me against giving him food, because then he might follow me around. We talked a bit about the sadness of people who are homeless, and how they're all individuals with unique personalities and needs (it's sad that we even have to remind ourselves of that fact), and he softened a bit on his stance, and said that if I wanted to buy the homeless guy a meal, he wouldn't try to stop me. I didn't end up doing it, but I got a takeout container for the pancakes I didn't finish, and we drove around the parking lot looking for the homeless guy in case he wanted them. He seemed to have left the area, though.

Earlier, I had a shift at the crisis line, and I was talking to Alex on Facebook during part of it. We had this little exchange:

It's comforting that at least some of my friends see me as a kind and caring person. I haven't felt like "myself" in that regard as of late. (But ah, even if I feel less motivated and it's more of a struggle, this is when digging up compassion from the corners of my heart matters most!) The person I'm talking about having sympathy for is... someone I had a falling out with, but maybe we could be friends again someday. Alex doesn't have a high opinion of the person because of what I've told him about what happened between us.

On the way to my house we talked about the strangeness of coyotes, and I joked that Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons were parables about the purgatory-like existence of a creature who never learns from its mistakes and is doomed to an endless cycle of failure because of inflexible goals and an unwillingness to change. I don't know how I would classify that sort of "joke", but it's perhaps one of my favorite types of humor.

Even though we pretty much always watch TV when we get together (and we need to find a new show...), I'm really glad when we get a chance to just talk. It's nice to talk about things like ethics and philosophy with him. When he dropped me off at my house after hanging out, he said he had a really nice time with me, and I felt the same way. I hope we still talk regularly after I move.

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No static
Friday, April 22, 2016
I went to the gym for two hours yesterday... Probably could have stayed for a third class, but it was Terrible TV Thursday with Alex, and I didn't want to get over there too late. Also, I fell off the Bosu Ball in my first class and I think I might have injured my foot, because it hurt a lot when I fell off, and the pain mostly went away, but walking on it certain ways kinda hurts...

Terrible TV Thursday lived up to its name in more ways than I expected. We watched the season finale of The Magicians, which ended on an obscenely huge cliffhanger, but the next season isn't coming out until NEXT YEAR. WTF SYFY, WTF! I am passionately disgruntled about it. I guess Rick and Morty did the same thing though, and I certainly got over that... -Sigh-

I've been reading articles from Paging Dr. Nerdlove tonight. I had a post about Nice Guys bookmarked for years because I liked it a lot, but hadn't really read anything else on the site until now. The guy talks a lot about self-improvement as a means to reaching your goals, which I guess is cool, if... I dunno, a bit hokey at times. I sort of hate the term "self-improvement" even though it's probably in like, my top five values. It just has this lingering stench of hippie dippy fluffy meaningless bullshit about it. Self-improvement as a means to an end just doesn't really... appeal to me, I suppose. I want to be a better person... to be a better person. Not so I'll be happier or more successful or whatever.

That little side rant wasn't why I mentioned this site, though. In one of the posts, the author talked about how certain people have this belief that they shouldn't have to change...
They make a virtue of not changing because they see standing steadfast to their beliefs and identity as being something noble and good… even when it’s those beliefs, attitudes and identity that’s been holding them back.

This quote reminded me of at least one of my exes. I know we get a lot of messages in popular culture, like "be proud of who you are," "don't let anybody tell you who to be," "accept yourself for who you are" etc., but sometimes there really are things you should legitimately change about yourself, instead of scrambling about in a panic, trying to defend yourself against criticism by saying other people just don't accept you and you're fine the way you are. Or, worse, guilt tripping those who might have criticisms by acting like they're being intolerant and uncaring.

---

In the IRC channel I sometimes go to, there's this overly "supportive" attitude where it's... sort of frowned upon to be frank about not liking certain characteristics or people. Too much head-bobbing and pacifying cooing. Oh, you're sad? Ah, well clearly the world has wronged you. How terrible other people are, to have treated you in such a way that it forced you to be sad! Yes, there was certainly no responsibility on your part to do anything differently. It's so disabling... disempowering...

On the other hand, sometimes things legitimately aren't a person's fault, and things really did happen to them, and they couldn't have done much at all differently. I also recognize that if someone is feeling bad, it's not necessarily a good time to shove in their face that they have agency and can affect how they react to things. Immediately interrogating the person about what their part was in something without regard for their feelings is a pretty standard Dick Move.

I guess I just wish there was a little wiggle room in more of the contexts I find myself in.

Situations I don't like:
A: I'm sad.
B: Why?
A: I failed my test.
B: omg no u poor bby, cry ur precious bby tears on my shoulder, shhh, shh, it's ok, it's ok. omg ur teacher is a demon, they def have it out for u.
C: Did you study that much?
B: GO AWAY YOU HEARTLESS CRETIN, BBY IS SAD.

D: I'm sad.
E: Why?
D: Someone punched me in the face and I don't know why.
E: Maybe you made them angry. Probably shouldn't have done that. Also, you should have ducked.

Obviously both of these are somewhat exaggerated, but... I feel like the general idea is conveyed.

Better situation:
F: I'm sad.
G: Why?
F: -Gives details of situation-
G: -Tries to understand as best as possible before deciding whether F had some responsibility (within the bounds of what you can reasonably expect from a person)-
G: -Acknowledges F's feelings, sympathizes, but still gently points out responsibility if applicable-

I don't always manage to follow this formula 100% perfectly, but wow, some people are just absolute rubbish at it. I guess it's easier to be at the extreme ends than somewhere in the ambiguous grey zone of the middle, but man, there are just too many coddlers and dicks out there.

Wasn't really intending to rant so much in this post, oops.

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Present thoughts
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Gym time today: 1 hour.
Total this week: 5 hours.

I made it out to a cycle class this evening, but I'm really sore from yesterday, and I doubt tonight helped anything.

Didn't end up hanging out with that guy, because he had to reschedule. We'll see how it goes next week.

Through some series of links, I started reading Brain Pickings again. I've had it bookmarked for a long time, but hadn't really been looking at it... Lately I've just been in the mood to read though, I guess. It's nice. In a way I feel like I did when I was 18, bored with the classes at St. John's that offered me no challenge, and eager to learn something on my own. I guess that learning is just something I need to do, in the way that I used to feel like writing was something I needed to do, or even drawing. It's so natural that I don't even think about it as an activity I'm engaging in, but all this thinking I'm doing all the time is part of that... Trying to learn something, internally, if not externally too. I guess since I'm not taking in new information from outside sources, I don't always recognize it as a learning process, but you can logic your way through things and learn from them, of course.

Anyway, I was reading this thing about Kierkegaard and busyness, which led me back to Brain Pickings. I think it has some interesting points, mainly that busyness is a sort of mental laziness in which people avoid or ignore developing a strong sense of self and purpose in life. This wasn't something I had ever deeply considered before, as I have rarely been so busy that I wasn't thinking. I kind of like doing detail-oriented busywork, as it gives me something to occupy my shallower thoughts so they don't distract me from whatever deeper things I might want to mull over. It's relaxing to not have so much fluff in the way.

I want to read more of Kierkegaard... Maybe once I'm done with Second Foundation I'll see if I can get Either/Or: A Fragment of Life from the library next.

Tomorrow I have therapy... Last week I talked to my therapist about that feeling of integration with, or at least indistinctness from, my world, but I think I might want to talk to him about Kierkegaard's ideas on busyness. I don't really like the idea of some kind of... tranquil state without thought. Thinking isn't bad per se... you just have to figure out how to think in the right way.

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Nightmares and kindness in the fringes
Monday, April 18, 2016
Gym time today: 3 hours.
Total this week: 4 hours.

I made it through three classes today... Mat Pilates, Cycle Fusion, and CSI (which had a sub, so it was maybe less intense?). I didn't push myself too hard in the cycle class, but it was generally okay.

Not sure if it was related to all the Rusty Lake games, but I had a lot of nightmares last night. I don't remember that much detail from them, though. I thought about recording them when I woke up, but wasn't sure I really wanted to note them down... In one, I went with someone to visit someone who was studying a parasite or virus or something... they were using a bald man with some kind of furry thing wrapped around his head as a test subject, and my companion assured me that it was safe and contained, but when we got there, the parasite/virus thing got free, and it attacked all of us, and I watched it eat the flesh out from under the skin of my companion's face while he screamed in agony. It left his eyes, but his skin turned grey, and he just kept screaming and screaming, and I was screaming and crying, and there was no way to escape, because the exits were blocked by the infected people. We were just in a small enclosure made of chain link fences and cluttered with cardboard boxes, and I couldn't get past my companion without being attacked the way he had.

There was another dream in which I was in some kind of school for people with special abilities, and they were going to try to dampen some sort of... telekinetic ability I was exhibiting, but I found out that I could kill people with very little effort, and then tons of soldiers appeared in the school and started a battle. I killed some of them, but I kept thinking, "why are there so many warriors clustered in the school?" It seemed very important, but I didn't figure it out before I woke up... Too busy trying to escape the school so they wouldn't kill me.

Not sure if this was part of the same dream, or a different one, but there was some part where I was with a group of people, but there were bad people looking for me, and I tried to climb up a tree to hide from them, but they were just killing things randomly, claiming that they could be "infected" and that it was for safety reasons... it wasn't exactly "killing" as much as... "sucking the life out of" things, though. They started draining the tree I was in of life and I knew I couldn't hide there much longer, because they would find me...

I guess I'm meeting up with someone tomorrow night. I... don't have a lot of feelings about it, so I guess I just hope it's not awkward or anything.

---

So, I'm chatting with someone on IRC about alien abductions, and he showed me this website that claims that autism originates from aliens' incompetent science. It's fun to read, even if I don't take it seriously. What strikes me most about this, though, is that it's so... well, altruistic, I guess. This guy put together a website and spends his money and time making "thought screen helmets" to protect other people from aliens, without charging anything or trying to sell anything. I'm kind of astounded by how much effort he's put into this. There are plenty of people who are much more "sane" by mainstream definitions who aren't nearly as good-hearted as this one man. Even if I don't believe the alien stuff at all, I find him to be a really admirable person. It's amazing... he's so dedicated to his cause, and, if the testimonials on his other website are to be believed, he's made a difference in some people's lives. It's very touching to read. I have so much respect for him.

“Thank you, thank you, for your work in this area. Your efforts to protect those of us who have been victims of this living nightmare are most appreciated.”

I hope I can make an impact like this on people's lives.

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I don't want to have bronchitis
Sunday, April 17, 2016
I was too tired to go to my gym classes in the morning, so I slept instead... And then played through pretty much the entire Rusty Lake series.

But... I did make it out to the gym for an hour. Ran on the treadmill (1 mile at a 7:30 minute mile pace, then walked one). Running was... a pretty bad experience. My chest starting hurting halfway through, and it was the kind of pain where you can't take deep breaths. So, I was breathing very shallowly, just trying to finish out the mile so I could walk. I was watching SciShow on the treadmill screen, which barely helped distract me, but yeah... I'm still not well. :\ I told my mom, and she asked if I might have bronchitis again.

I'm so tired of getting bronchitis. Really, really just fed up with it.

After I finished on the treadmill I went through and did some upper body stuff, and then used this thing called an Ab Coaster for awhile. I... felt like it was a lot of exertion, but I didn't feel like my abs were sore at all afterwards, so I have no idea if I was doing it right or if it was that helpful. Oh well. It was... kind of fun, I guess? So there's that.

I was thinking of this song earlier, so I figured I'd post it here.

"Another Suitcase In Another Hall" from Evita. The main song starts at 1:52.

I don't expect my love affairs to last for long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to trouble I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it - wouldn't you?

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Time and time again I've said that I don't care
That I'm immune to gloom, that I'm hard through and through
But every time it matters all my words desert me
So anyone can hurt me - and they do

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Call in three months time and I'll be fine I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I'll survive anyhow
I won't recall the names and places of this sad occasion
But that's no consolation - here and now

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?
(Don't ask anymore)

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A small moment from last week
Saturday, April 16, 2016
"I stayed kind of late at his place last time because we ended up talking for a long time about ethics," I said.

She looked me straight in the eye and asked, very seriously, "Are you in love?"

I couldn't help but laugh. What a silly question.

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The trip to LA
Saturday, April 16, 2016
"She used to tell me to marry Chinese, because she didn't want any half-breeds in the family. Later on she softened and changed it to 'Christian only, but no blacks.'"

There was an open casket viewing the evening before the memorial service. It was on the second floor of the Rose Hills mortuary, room 209. We signed our names in the guestbook before entering the room, which held a handful of people, silent, heads bowed. As we walked toward the front, we could see that what we initially took for postures of reverence was actually just everyone looking down at their phones. I recognized almost no one. There were expensive looking fresh flower wreaths on stands propped up against the walls, with big ribbons declaring who they were from. The one that stood out to me most was an arrangement whose ribbon was dedicated to "BELOVED NIECE", from "UNCLE PAK-KI". Auntie Daphne was in her 90s. How could she have an uncle who was still alive?

My parents and I stood before the casket for a moment, looking at the body. It was the first time I could remember not feeling afraid of my great aunt. My most vivid memory of her was from when I was a child, and we visited her at her big house in the hills of Monterey Park. She served me and my brother little Jell-O molds with mandarin oranges inside, and I didn't want to eat mine. My refusal made her very angry, and she yelled at me.

Whoever prepared the body had done a decent job, although the makeup on her face didn't quite cover up all her liver spots. She had lipstick on. I couldn't remember if she had worn much lipstick while she was alive. She looked strangely small, even young, in a way, lying there, even though her hair was completely white. I had never seen her with white hair before. She used to dye it a reddish black color, and it had never occurred to me that she might have white hair underneath the dye.

After the viewing, we drove to visit another great aunt's grave. My parents had described the size of the cemetery to me on the drive down south, but I hadn't been sure how to imagine it. Rose Hills is the biggest cemetery in the world, I am told. It has a big white sign of its name perched on a hill, reminiscent of the Hollywood sign. You can see the grounds from a distance, because the open, sprawling lawns covering the hills are so green and empty compared to everything else in the area. There are enough people buried there to form their own city.

My mom placed some flowers in the vase at my other great aunt's grave, and my dad remarked on the veracity of the inscription of her grave marker: She gave so much, and asked for so little. I didn't know Auntie Jane well either, but she had always seemed much kinder than Auntie Daphne, even if I was still slightly frightened by her because of her age. Auntie Jane didn't have much money, but she used to send my brother and me gift cards of small amounts for Christmas. I never had much use for a $10 gift card to McDonald's, but it was a thoughtful gesture.

At the memorial service the next day, the pastor who spoke for the majority of the service invited anyone who wanted to say a few words to come up and speak. Nobody moved. Eventually the pastor asked one of Aunt Daphne's nephews, who had agreed prior to the service to speak, to come up. It seemed they had expected more people to want to say something. After the nephew had given his speech, the pastor went over more of his memories of Aunt Daphne, but one of my mom's cousin's stepped up and asked if he could still speak. He started with "Aunt Daphne loved us, but she didn't always show it in the best way..." My brother later remarked that that was the most truthful speech given during the service.

Aunt Daphne didn't have any children of her own, and one of my mom's cousins told us that Aunt Daphne had never wanted any. She was married two times; the first time, her husband went to Hong Kong and didn't come back, so she went to find out what had happened. When she confronted him, he disowned her in front of the family and said that she had only married him for his money, but had never loved him. He had found someone younger, who did love him, and he told Aunt Daphne that she could keep the money, but they were through.

Years later, she married again, but her second husband left her too. Cousin Grace told us that Aunt Daphne had been very candid about why, and had said that she simply wasn't a good wife. Her husband was an affectionate man, and she didn't provide a loving, caring environment for him, nor was she particularly supportive or nurturing. After he left, she was single for the next forty or fifty years.

There was no information about Aunt Daphne's life in the pamphlets we received for the memorial service, and few details of her past were shared. My maternal grandmother's side of the family has numerous stories of scandal and drama, and my own mom very rarely talks about anything regarding them. She almost never says anything regarding her own past, either, although she will if prompted. In contrast, my dad tells stories about his and his family's lives all the time.

After the service, we went to visit the grave of my mom's cousin. He committed suicide when I was 10, and I don't think I ever met him. His brother led us to the site and pointed out the inscription on the wall, then showed us an empty space nearby and said, proudly, "And that's me, there." He talked about how all the spaces on the wall had been sold out for at least 15 to 20 years. My mom inquired as to how much the spot had cost, but he brushed past the question and said that he had tried to get a deal on a nicer plot somewhere else, but Rose Hills hadn't been willing to accommodate his request. "So I just have to be buried next to Ophelia" he said, with a trace of disdain in his voice. I guess he found something distasteful about having his remains placed in a wall next to a stranger's. He made a few more jokes about having to be next to the strange woman before driving off.

In the car ride on the way home, my parents talked a little about my mom's side of the family. My dad said that he felt like "the dark side of the family" had contributed a lot to who Aunt Daphne was, and who my mom is. My mom talked about how at family gatherings, her parents would get into huge arguments with Aunt Daphne, but it seemed normal to my mom and her sisters, and they would just go watch TV in another room. She listed some of the programs they watched with an air of nostalgia.

The more I learn about that side of the family, the more I realize how dysfunctional they are, and the only reason I never thought of them that way before was because nobody talked about it. But well, maybe that's why they don't talk about the past...

---Edit---

Man, this guy is awesome. I want to learn all the things from him.

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Pushing forward
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Went to Piloxing today. Didn't go back for an evening class, though... maybe next week? I think I've gotten in four hours at the gym this week so far. Trying to just take it easy.

In therapy today I attempted to describe to my therapist how I feel sometimes, but unfortunately I probably did a pretty poor job of it, because the only language I know isn't well suited to describing the feeling. I was trying to explain how sometimes I don't feel like I have any physical presence anymore, and I'm just existing in the moment, observing things without being a separate entity. Except... there's no "I" really, there's no subject observing. It would be closer to say "there is observation," except that that way of phrasing it is nonsensical to most people, since we assume there has to be a subject to do any observing.

At the end of the session I tried to put it a different way, and said that it's like my atoms just mingle with the atoms of everything else, and they're indistinguishable from my surroundings, but some things will snap me back to awareness and my atoms will once again form this semblance of a distinct entity. That's also wrong though, because the distinct entity is just an illusion wrought by distance.

I have no idea how to talk about this without sounding like some kind of new age-y hippie stoner, so I'm just gonna... not.

Going down to LA tomorrow for my great aunt's memorial service on Friday... She died um... last week? Maybe? I don't know. I wasn't close to her at all and had vaguely negative feelings towards her (a step up from the stronger negative feelings I had as a child). But yeah... driving down south... I think we're driving back home on Friday after the service. I hope we don't leave Saturday, because I have a crisis line shift then and I really don't want to have to cancel it.

Lately some things have felt difficult (like getting back into the swing of things at the gym), but I feel like that's the most important time to do them. Like... it's not the easy times that are the ones that matter, when it comes to my goals. If I want to be a more calm and reasonable person, then yeah, it's still good to practice in small situations, like not getting angry over being cut off in traffic, but it matters more when it's something big and I don't want to get over it. Getting over the desires is the challenge, and everything else is just fluff. This is where the hard work comes in. I keep thinking, "it's crunch time," even though that's not quite right. It's more just... "this is the important part, this is where the blood and tears and hard labor come into play, this is where you have to push, no matter how much you don't want to. This is what you need to do to get where you want."

Can't settle. Can't get locked into habits. Gotta stay flexible, adaptable. Always something to be done. Have to keep finding the uncomfortable things and mastering them.

"Big Wild" by Aftergold.

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