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
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
Crack your soul
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
I had Hermeneutics for the first time today. The prof is very clear and passionate about the subject, and I have a good feeling about the class. He covered a lot in the first session, but wasn't all scatterbrained about it, so it was easy to follow.
Some of the things he mentioned overlapped with past material, but he actually knew how to phrase them in sensible ways. Plain English! I've sorely missed it.
A few of the basic ideas he mentioned in class were that we are never static beings, and we are always moving towards or directed towards the future/our potential in some way. We are never fully who we are, never nouns, so to speak. Because there's no fixed state to our being, we can never completely know ourselves.
In addition, he talked about how Dasein (the decentered self that's engaged in living) discloses itself, which is to say, how it manifests and becomes visible to itself and others. One of the most important themes in E-P psych is that being (or Being, since they just love capitalizing that word...) is not the Cartesian concept of self, the mind housed in a physical shell (essentially isolated consciousness). Context is very important in this philosophical tradition. Being is in relation to others and the world; you are not who you are outside of the context in which you exist. Your existence as yourself depends on how you relate to your world. That seems pretty obvious when I say it, but the point is that it's different from Descartes's idea that mind and body are these separate entities, and the "real" self is just this internal thing that isn't in direct contact with the outside world.
Moving along in that vein, we can't rely on self-reflection to illuminate existence. The prof kept describing that as "Narcissus looking in a mirror." Without drawing on other people/perspectives, we end up distorting existence by filtering it through our biases.
Something that they like to say a lot in my program is "let the things show themselves"-- which is to say, don't orchestrate their showing, but move aside (as best you can) your own biases and preconceptions about things so that the true nature of the things can be seen. I suppose that a very simplistic/reductive way to say it would be "stay open minded and be aware of the automatic judgements you make so that you don't let them overshadow the thing."
Hopefully I've got that right. I think the idea is that you can't really help but judge, because we all have certain ways that we see the world, but what matters is not whether or not you judge, but how seriously you take those judgements. My program emphasizes having a very loose grip on them.
One of the things that I've been a little confused about implementing is maintaining vulnerability while also heeding intuition. As therapists, we are not supposed to let ourselves fall into this mindset of "I am the one who knows"; we don't want to assume the position of authority or mastery, because that only engenders rigidity of thought and habit. We have some tools the clients don't, sure, but the idea is that we are there to help the clients see for themselves what's going on. This doesn't happen because we tell them what we think so much as because we act as a source of... hmm... feedback, maybe?
I'm afraid I could be phrasing all these things in misleading or inaccurate ways, so to some extent I'm hesitant to write too much about it. Another thing that the prof talked about in class today was how explaining and understanding are not the same thing. He used the example of poetry. You don't read poetry to explain things the way a textbook would, you read poetry to understand things. In this case, I feel like I understand it but am at a bit of a loss as to how to explain it sometimes.
But it's also like 1:30 AM and I'm not sure how lucid I am at the moment.
One last thing I want to add: Prof said that the biggest barrier to not understanding others is not understanding ourselves, because we have so many things that get in the way of our understanding others (e.g. biases, preconceived notions, structures of thought), and ignorance of these obstacles within ourselves blinds us to the other.
Okay I think that one came out alright, at least. Phew.
I've been listening to some songs by this band tonight. I like this one a lot, it's... hypnotic.
"Up Past The Nursery" by Suuns.
You can't get quick
You can't commit
You can't control her
But I remember bodies on a Sunday getting colder
All representatives are still busy
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
I've been on hold
for over 100 minutes
and I don't even remember
quite what I'm supposed to say
once someone answers
I set up an appointment
with a therapist
and called my health insurance
to talk about coverage
but they said my account wasn't active
and told me to call this number
here we are, I guess
I remember now why I had such a hard time getting around to finding a therapist last quarter.
Last quarter was terrible in so many ways.
I heavily suspect that I was getting migraines and possibly mood problems from the medication that I was taking. I stopped taking it over break, and I feel more normal again. Then again, I also had a few weeks away from a very stressful atmosphere, and that could be why I'm feeling better too. After cutting my hair, I noticed that I had several hairs that were white from the tip to halfway to the root, so I think my hair was going white from stress.
Classes start again today. :|
Someone answered after almost two hours, and then immediately transferred me, so I'm on hold again. :(
Three hours. I gave up.
I don't want to be back here
Sunday, January 1, 2017
I don't know what to say. Here are a couple songs I was listening to earlier on Spotify.
"Take A Walk" by Passion Pit.
But see I am no criminal
I'm down on both bad knees
I'm just too much a coward
To admit when I'm in need
"Living Zoo" by Built To Spill.
We know where we wanna go
But we can't tell
On our own how to navigate
Our way through hell
Sometimes when you wake up
(Sometimes wake up lonely)
You feel alone
Somehow we get over it
(Somehow keep it going)
And you go on
The dim light that filters through
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Last night I hung out with Sean, and we walked around the neighborhood commenting on people's holiday yard decorations. It was a lot of fun, though my foot hurt a bit afterwards, since we walked for like a couple hours (or more?). The air was cold outside, but walking warmed me up to the point where it was comfortable, at least until we stopped outside a house with an obscene number of inflatable decorations and the standing made me cold again.
On the way back to my house, we stopped in Safeway so he could use the bathroom, and the empty deli section was playing club music for some reason. I feel like if we'd started dancing to it, we could have been part of a scene from some indie movie.
I'm really going to miss seeing my friends.
Tonight, I've been doing a jigsaw puzzle with my mom in the living room. My dad was helping at first, but then he decided to put on a kung fu movie instead. It's been... a very low key New Year's Eve. We also got pizza at the place near my house, at my request. Passed it with Sean yesterday night and got a craving, so I asked if we could go there for dinner tonight. I guess that counts as a nice thing for the day.
"Chinese House Flowers" by The Mountain Goats.
Friday, December 30, 2016
The toddler I used to babysit came over with her dad this morning, and my parents were playing with her in the living room. I went out to see her, and she didn't recognize me because of my hair, and was too shy to interact with me much. :( She was very talkative and playful otherwise, though, and it was cute to watch her playing with the stuffed frogs we had lying around.
In other news, I was sort of productive today and did laundry, packed most of my suitcase, and called my HMO about counseling. They gave me a few different numbers of providers to check out, so I contacted those folks and left them messages. I guess I'll see how that goes. I'm supposed to call the HMO again on Tuesday once I've set up an appointment with someone, so they can sort out the cost. It's really inconvenient to try to find therapists when I don't have a car, since most of them are kind of far from me.
I've been writing in my happiness journal for the past few days. Not sure yet what I want to write today... but I can almost always scrounge something up, even if it's something like "I didn't gain any weight today." Sometimes the best you can do is a thing that was not terrible, at least. I wonder if I'll be able to keep this up for five years.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Talking to someone I have a cautious acquaintanceship with, and he was being obnoxious and offensive. Ugh.
An old song murmuring in the room
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I listened to "Nine Black Poppies" by The Mountain Goats a lot today after I woke up. I didn't feel like getting up, so I just lay in bed and listened to the song on repeat.
On a whim, I decided to get my hair cut, so I went to the beauty school to see about a walk in appointment, but they didn't have any until a couple hours later, so I reserved that and walked around the mall for awhile. There was a store that had really good discounts on jackets, so I got two-- one long raincoat and a shorter one. I was pretty happy about that. I've needed a real raincoat for awhile, and I got one for like $30! It's cute, too, but I need to fix one of the buttons. They gave me an extra 10% off for the button... and that was on top of the 70% discount + 40% discount they were already doing. I got a $200+ coat for $30!
I was going to walk home after my haircut, but it was cold, and my mom texted me asking if I wanted a ride home, so I said yeah and waited in this... uhh... beauty/drug store nearby. She came by and we shopped a bit, and I got some new face moisturizer and cleanser, then she took me home.
Esther picked me up a bit after that, and we got dinner at a Greek place I like, then went to her apartment and she experimented with styling my hair while we watched some standup. I got to hold her budgie briefly, which was nice, although he doesn't let people pet his tummy, sadly. He's still really cute though, and he likes to fly and sit on her head.
I had a really good time tonight. Yesterday I had dinner with Alice, and hopefully I can hang out with her again before I leave. Maybe Friday...
Also, hopefully I can see Sean before I go. He's having a small New Year's Eve get together, so that's probably the best time. So far it's not looking like anybody else can go to it, though. :S Could be just the two of us! That can be nice in its own way, though. It's a lot more intimate.
I kind of wish that the happiness journal Fro gave me was bigger. I wrote in it today and yesterday, but I feel like I have more to say than will fit in the tiny little section for the day. Then again, I suppose I always have my normal journal, haha. Somehow that seems like more of a chore than the happiness journal, though. Ah well. I'll figure it out.
Yesterday and today I was reflecting on how things felt a couple years ago. That feeling of being enveloped in warm amber, and not feeling hungry or sleepy because of how excited I was. I remember getting so cold when it was only in the 70s because I was barely eating, but I had no appetite, and I was so happy when my weight dropped down to 110 lbs. There was a night when we were lying on the grass in the park, looking at the stars, and I felt so good about everything, so confident about myself and the future. Things felt like they were right, and like my life was only going to get better from that point on. I had this indescribable sense of certainty that I had met someone who was made of the same stuff as me-- someone with the same kind of essence, I guess. It made me feel like I wasn't alone anymore. At that point, I had friends already, but there was still a slight feeling of separation, of distance from them. The feeling was scarce that summer, replaced with this sense of "finally, finally, finally." Finally, what I'd been too scared to hope for seemed like it was happening. I had so often smothered my own hopes before, because it hurt less to do that than to hope for something I thought would never come. But that summer... I let myself hope, and I let myself be confident, and I let myself be wide open, and I let myself fully embrace the wonderful thing I thought was happening.
And it backfired that fall, and it broke me down slowly over the next year, and for the year after that, even though it had ended.
I felt myself disintegrating for months, like I was nothing but a dried up leaf, curling in upon itself and crumbling away. I kept myself busy, and I felt good sometimes, but the sense of erosion always lingered underneath.
In the times when I wasn't angry about what had happened, I cried. I cried about the loss, and for the branch of the future that I would never reach. It felt like I had staked my life's savings on a bad bet. I wondered so much about what I could have done differently, what would have changed the course of things. I wished that I had died in the car accident in March, because there was nothing left of me to live. Just this personless body unrecognized by the only observer who mattered.
At my old gym, one of the instructors was fond of telling us to push harder, scrape the bottom of the barrel, burn the last bit in the tank. I feel like I've been doing that for the past year and a half.
I told Alice about how I had moved away from home, and she gave me a brief lecture about how she thought I would've known better by now than to do something like that to myself.
Catching up with everyone
Sunday, December 25, 2016
I've been chatting with a lot of people I didn't keep up with during the quarter, and it's really nice. I feel like I was too socially cut off during school and it was making me depressed. I'm enjoying talking to different people and hearing what's going on in their lives.
Have been talking to Kyle a lot more, and I'm even catching up with SD Mike (we don't really talk unless I initiate it, so I almost never talked to him in the past few months). Also getting back into IRC.
I feel so much better now than I have for awhile. I don't think my body can handle extended bouts of sitting as well as it used to, but I feel like it's good for my mental health to keep in touch with a good number of friends. I felt really suffocated up in Seattle when I was mainly focusing my social energies on one person. Felt kinda trapped in the obligation.
But! Things are better. Hopefully they don't suck again as soon as I get back to Seattle. I want to try to see my friends as much as I can before I go back. Maybe I'll see about meeting some new people once I'm up there, too. I haven't decided yet. There seem to be a number of options.
Now that I have comfy water-repellent shoes, I feel more motivated to go out. Maybe I will do things in the morning! Like go to the gym??
I wish that I had brought the happiness journal that Fro gave me up to Tahoe with me. I feel pretty good at the moment.
Christmas has been nice. Got to relax, hang around my family, eat food, chat with my online friends. Ahh. ^__^
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