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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
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

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Real people??
Monday, December 4, 2017
Whoa. On my flight back home, I sat next to a guy and we actually had a conversation instead of just completely ignoring each other. He asked if I'd like to get coffee sometime and I gave him my number.

I'm honestly shocked. I've thought about this scenario happening tons of times but didn't think it ever would, what with people being glued to their smartphones. Anyway, I don't expect it to go anywhere, but it would be nice to make a new friend.

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Visiting Kyle
Sunday, December 3, 2017
I'm at Kyle's house right now, visiting for the weekend + Monday. Yesterday we did a whole bunch of stuff. My flight got in pretty early, so we went to get breakfast at this strange cafe that was located in a business center. The front of it was a vape shop, and it seemed like it had just been set up temporarily, but also kind of looked like a Chinese restaurant. The dishes they gave us our food on had a "grandma's china" feel to them, and were strangely ornate compared to everything else. Both of us got omelettes, and the omelettes were weird too. Not bad per se, but they looked like they had been prepared in a circular mold, and instead of being folded over like a normal omelette, they just... had all the ingredients kind of suspended in the middle of the egg patty. Mine looked like it was injected with cheese.

After that, Kyle took me to this awesome bird store nearby. It had parrots just sitting out in the store! Realizing now that I was so wrapped up in looking at the birds that I didn't take any pictures... The birds were friendly though, and you could pick them up. I held a Hahn's macaw and it climbed up my arm and bit my ear. >.> It also bit Kyle's ear, so... I guess it got both of us, haha. Despite the pain, it was a cute experience.

Met up with a friend from IRC in LA once we were done at the bird store. We visited the Museum of Death, which was... kind of weird. Very graphic and gory. It wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but it was still interesting. They had conjoined twin turtles! Honestly that was kind of cooler than seeing all the horrifying pictures of dead people. We also walked around Hollywood a little. Nothing too exciting there, but it was somewhat enjoyable.

On the way back from LA, he and I stopped at Chick-fil-a because I had never been there. As it turns out, they have almost nothing to eat for people who don't eat chicken, but we both got an order of waffle fries because we were hungry. That took the edge off the hunger until we got to the Indian place near his work that we'd been planning to try during my visit. For... whatever reason, in between chill electronic songs, the restaurant played the Ghostbusters theme song.

Kyle bought a smoker recently, and wanted to try smoking fish, so we bought some salmon and mackerel after dinner.

Surprisingly, I didn't pass out at any point. I barely got any sleep the night before, but I stayed awake all through the day (got kind of sleepy sometimes but not badly). Was even awake enough to watch The Matrix at his house together and go for a walk. It was Kyle's first time seeing The Matrix somehow, and it had been a long time since I saw it, so that was fun.

Today was more laid back than yesterday. We got some wood chips for the smoker and some cheese from Whole Foods to try smoking, then got pizza for lunch. Man, that pizza was really good. @.@ Hard to go wrong with spinach, garlic, and feta. After eating, we seasoned the smoker and played a game, then watched some movies. The first movie was really awful and cringey and had three separate scenes within 30 minutes where women surprised a guy by stripping to naked when he wasn't looking. After the third time it happened I'd had enough and we switched to a different movie. Ended up picking Grave of the Fireflies, which neither of us enjoyed. It just dragged on and on and one of the main characters was annoying... I'm starting to think I just don't like Studio Ghibli films. Kiki's Delivery Service was similarly boring and unenjoyable to me.

I guess we stayed in more today because we were smoking fish and had to stick around for it. The salmon turned out pretty good though! The mackerel... eh, not so much. It was too salty, I think. Shouldn't have put it in the same brine as the salmon for so long. It's okay though, it was a learning experience.

We walked again for longer tonight, and went to a playground nearby. All the equipment was slightly damp, which surprised me. Kyle said it's probably because we're closer to the ocean than where I live, which I guess makes sense. We wandered over to a shopping center after the playground, but barely anything was open, so we got Choco Tacos from a weirdly upscale gas station store because I'd never had one before. It was pretty good, but I think mine might have been defrosted and refrozen at some point, because the shell wasn't crunchy at all. It reminded me of Drumsticks I'd had that had that problem. While we were headed back to his house, we passed a big fenced off lot that had a former car dealership on it. Kyle mentioned that he'd thought about climbing the fence to go see if the building was open before, but had never done it because he didn't want to get in trouble for trespassing. I suggested we go in anyway (there was a huge gap under the fence we could have crawled through), but he was very reluctant. We ended up walking around the fence and finding that it was open in a certain spot, so we just walked right in and looked in the buildings, a couple of which turned out to have open doors. Given the trash and stuff we found, it seems safe to guess that someone had been in there not too long ago. There was mostly just debris and abandoned furniture inside, and we didn't have flashlights so we couldn't see everything anyway, but it was cool. He took a picture of me in the second building we went into, which smelled gross. It had that San Francisco/homeless person/old urine odor. Didn't stay in there long, though if I'd had a flashlight and it didn't smell disgusting, maybe I would have wanted to?

Once we'd returned to the house, we melted some of the cheese we bought on pretzels and ate them. I don't think either of us was particularly hungry, but he'd realized that he wasn't sure if he could smoke cheese in his smoker, and we wanted to try the cheese if we weren't saving it for smoking. The pretzels were good with the cheese (New Zealand white cheddar and three chili Gouda), but I'm not sure if I thought they were significantly better than microwave nachos.

I've been asking Kyle a lot of hypothetical questions while I've been here. Mostly "If they were otherwise perfect, would you date someone who ___?" format. That's been fun, haha. I used to love asking people hypothetical questions, but I toned it down a lot after high school... I think my favorite one this trip was "If they were otherwise perfect, would you date someone who had a badly done full back tattoo of your face and they only wanted you to do it with them from behind with the lights on?" He said he wasn't sure, but maybe. Somehow though, when I asked "If they were otherwise perfect, would you date someone who played Candy Crush for three hours a day?" he said no instantly, hahaha. Apparently he wouldn't be able to respect someone like that, which I can't blame him for. I don't want to date people I can't respect either. Anyway, I've had a good time visiting him, and I feel... pretty good in general.

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Friday, December 1, 2017
Talked to someone new for almost 8 straight hours, whew. It's fun though, I like it when conversation flows like that.

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Isolated memory
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
It's sad to have a really good memory that you can't share with anybody who would understand it. Sometimes I wish I could go back and relive certain moments. Reminiscing with others is like a small step in that direction, but when even that option is unavailable, I just end up feeling mildly wistful.

I can't remember the last time I couldn't stop laughing the way I was in the memory I'm thinking about. There were a few times like that, actually, a few years ago... but nothing's been like that since.


This doesn't really feel like a cohesive song as much as a poem that some music was added to...

"Dark Cold Magic" by The Blow.

I hang around and I'm down for whatever you're into
And the things that you said still rattle inside me
Like a broken off piece
I don't think you meant to break me

But what happens to the love that you take from me
Does it hang around your head like a cloud?
Does it dissipate with the hot winds that blow out of your mouth?

It's not that I would argue that you're a bad person
It seems your heart's too big for your chest
So you trim off all the edges
And attempt to love with whatever's left

It's a dark cold magic that could make you love me
I don't want to be the me I know you would want
It's a dark cold magic that could make you want me
I don't want to be the me I know you would love

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Blogging for the sake of blogging
Monday, November 27, 2017
Interview tomorrow. I don't feel particularly worried. People tend to like me if they get to know me. When problems do arise it's usually because I get invested/attached, but that won't be a risk with an interview. No issues when things are kept at arm's length.


Was reading about how friends we feel ambivalently about cause more stress than people we actively dislike. That seems pretty true to my experience. People whose friendship I question stress me out much more than people I just don't like altogether. Maybe that's why it's so much easier to just transfer people to the dislike pile when things go downhill. Ambiguity is a heart breaker.


Still not totally healthy, but went to the gym and did a little on the treadmill. Felt bad, but I didn't die.

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Friday, November 24, 2017
I helped with the suicide watch at the Golden Gate Bridge on Thanksgiving day. It was an interesting experience, and I would do it again. Felt better to volunteer than to celebrate, actually. I didn't see any would-be jumpers, but that's good. The bridge is apparently the second most popular place in the world to attempt suicide, with an average of 2-3 people a day going there for that purpose (that's what we were told by the coordinator of the event). Seems like they should have regular patrols, not just holiday ones. I guess that advertising it as a holiday thing gives people something to do if they don't have a celebration planned, though.

It was my first time walking on the Golden Gate, despite living here for almost my entire life. Apparently it's a little over two miles long! I wouldn't have guessed. We were all partnered up for the watch, so I had company for the walk (we didn't actually have to walk the entire bridge, but I wanted to). Wasn't like when I went for that 11 mile walk before and crossed that bridge that felt like it took forever to cross, yet was somehow only like 1.6 miles long. Having a companion changes qualitative experience so much...

Might have been a mistake to give the guy I was partnered with my number, because now he keeps texting me. Walking and talking with him was fine, but the texting is getting overwhelming because we're not really having a conversation, he's just... texting a lot of stuff at me. And he doesn't seem to be picking up on cues that I'm not super interested in what he's texting me... I don't dislike him, I just don't want to talk to him THIS much, I guess?


From reading The Righteous Mind, I'm starting to wonder if I might like dating someone a little more on the conservative side. I think I'm more morally conservative than most, if not all, of the people I've dated, and that's always bothered me, but I've more or less put up with it. This book is making me think I might be better off with a moderate conservative though (not an extremist, obviously). I met a guy a few months ago who was a bit more conservative in some of his viewpoints, and it was... REALLY refreshing, actually. He had well-thought out points and was informed about what he was saying, so he wasn't conservative out of ignorance or anything. I think that's important to me. I'm willing to hear people's opinions out as long as they've put a good amount of thought into them, which honestly, most people haven't.

We were keeping in touch via email for awhile, but he stopped responding a few months ago. :( Sometimes I think I'd like to date somebody like him (but not him specifically, because he's poly and in a relationship, and also he lives in Florida). I really liked being around him. I wonder how he's doing... Even though we didn't know each other very long, I miss talking to him.

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Mental conversations
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
I remember telling my old therapist, the one I used to see before I moved for school, that I imagined having a lot of conversations with people, and he looked surprised and told me that was something to be aware of. It seemed strange to me at the time, because I'd never questioned it before. As far as I knew, everybody had conversations in their heads like that. Isn't that why we have so many memes about people only thinking of good comebacks hours or weeks or even years later?

The tiniest bit of reflection makes it seem like a strange thing to assume everyone does, though. I spend a lot of my thoughts on thinking of what to say in a variety of situations, maybe as some form of social preparation... Socializing still isn't super intuitive for me, so I guess this is how I compensate.

My friend Mike asked me to take a character strengths test, which gave me some... interesting results. Like all self-report tests, it's pretty subject to error depending on how self-aware the respondent is (and most people are not good at knowing themselves). I tried to answer to the best of my abilities though, even though many of the questions were ambiguous and didn't account for context. Social intelligence was one of my lowest-ranked strengths, which according to the site doesn't mean it's a weakness, but rather that it doesn't come naturally to me and takes more effort. Mike was really surprised by that, because he thinks I carry on conversations well and am decent at understanding people, and at first I was surprised too. After reading the site's explanation of the ranking though, it made sense to me. Social stuff is really hard and I just happen to put a lot of conscious effort into it, I guess to the point where it might come off as natural to some people. Still, I'm continually shocked when people can't tell how nervous or uncomfortable I am sometimes. Maybe I don't show it as much as I feel. I don't feel it as much as I used to though, so I think things have gotten better over time.


The internet is once again flooded with calls to defend net neutrality... Everyone is saying to call your representative, make sure they know you're demanding that they support net neutrality. My representatives are already supporting it, so I wonder if I should still try calling them. I've sent a bunch of emails to various congresspeople already, so at least I haven't done nothing.

I feel put off by people who refuse to do anything and just adopt lazy fatalistic stances like "it doesn't matter anyway." Maybe some of it is learned helplessness, but that doesn't mean you're incapable of doing things. Some of the most frustrating people in my life have been the ones who wouldn't try. Then again, I suppose not everyone has my perspective. I had a big existential crisis almost ten years ago and I decided to embrace the absurdity of life and persist despite everything. I can't force that mindset into people. Makes me wonder if it's better to just stay away from them. I just don't have the energy anymore to let new people into my life if they're like that.

Speaking of new people though... I think I have something of a pen pal now? Nothing too interesting so far but it's kind of cool to message back and forth with a different person.

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Bird movie
Monday, November 20, 2017
I watched The Big Year tonight. It's about birding, and I felt inspired to watch it after going birding myself on Saturday. When it first came out I thought it sounded really dumb, but after actually watching it, I think it was a sweet movie. Pretty... wholesome. It also made me think it would be cute to have a partner to go birding with. I'm not hardcore into birding like the people in the movie, but it seems like a hobby I would enjoy on a casual basis.

Song from the film...

"I Like Birds" by Eels.

And a different song.

"What You Call Love" by Guster.

I caught a piece of the sunshine, burned a little hole in me
But after the flood raged, there's nothing really left to see
But I was not done or beat, the violence was a source of strength
Not everything is always just as it seems

What you call "love" is just urgency
What you call "love" is a place you turn in an emergency
Would you give up when it's not what you want it to be?
But that's not love, what you call "love"

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