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Memores acti prudentes futuri


She said it was all make believe
but I thought she said maple leaves
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!
Online Radio
Soma.fm

More Fun Shtuff
Newgrounds Audio Portal
Pandora
SoundClick
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
The Property of Hate
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
Games and excerpts
Saturday, September 30, 2017
I played games with friends today, which was nice. Woke up around 8:30ish AM and played Dungeon of the Endless with Kyle. We started a game last night and finished it this morning, then started another before he had to leave to have lunch with friends. I didn't really enjoy it much when I first got the game, because I really sucked on my own, but it's much more fun playing with him. Also nice to do something fun together. It's... been a really long time. Boy though, didn't sleep much last night! We saved our game at 2 AM and just took a few hours off to sleep before resuming, haha.

Also played To the Moon while sharing screens on Skype with my other friend so he could watch. There were some jokes in the game, but overall it left me in something of a serious, contemplative mood. It felt like there was a lot to unpack there, but we didn't really have the time to discuss it in depth. He commented that "Its like they never really met with each other emotionally on the same level" in regards to the characters who are the focus of the game, and it was a sad theme, but... I guess that also feels like a true statement about every relationship, to me. I only seem to see mismatches, never perfect fits. That could be an ingrained disillusionment with connection, though. Not the idea of it in itself-- just, the possibility of it seems slim at best. I try to be optimistic about it, but a lot of the time it feels like the feeling of connection is really just a congruent misunderstanding. Like you're never really getting what the other person is saying because you're filtering it through so much of yourself, but it's in such a way that you don't notice the discrepancies and can maintain a sense of harmony and happiness about it. As if you're colorblind and you never find out that what you see as 'red' isn't what other people see as 'red' at all. Not to disparage that feeling... You can still feel very close to people and be legitimately happy that way. I just find the disconnect inherently sad.

---

For maybe a few years now I've been occasionally thinking about a story I once read in an old science fiction lit magazine. I went and found it (thank goodness it wasn't in one of my dad's sci fi anthologies, or it would have taken me much longer), and I didn't reread the whole thing, but I found the part that stuck in my memory.

The story is "Undone" by James Patrick Kelly, and in it, a space traveler named Mada and her ship are wandering around and find a utopia with an interesting cultural quirk; they don't have currency as we know it, but they thrive on what are described as "comments"-- criticisms, basically. Mada goes to a restaurant and has some kind of fancy meal, which she praises and says is perfect, and the chef is distressed by her reaction. The waiter who served her then tells her that he considers himself a poet and shares a poem he wrote with her, and she also compliments it, to his unhappy surprise. She ends up going back in time a bit to remedy her mistake.
"They want criticism," said Mada. "They like to think of themselves as artists but they're insecure about what they've accomplished. They want their audience to engage with what they're doing, help them make it better-- the comments they both seem to expect."

Though I'd never describe myself as an artist (and definitely don't want to be called one by anybody), I found this relatable. It's a strange, sort of repugnant description of things, but... it fits with how I feel.

Some other quotes from the story that I liked...
When Mada asks the waiter who served her if he still thinks one of her features is unattractive (with the implication that he found her unattractive), he responds with:
"Just because you make a comment on some aspect doesn't mean you reject the work as a whole."


And later they are having a picnic together:
"I have a present for you," he said after they were stuffed. "I wrote you a poem." He did not stand; there were no large, flailing gestures. Instead he slid the picnic basket out of the way, leaned close, and whispered into her ear.

"Loving you is like catching rain on my tongue.
You bathe the leaves, soak indifferent ground;
Why then should I get so little of you?
Yet still, like a flower with a fool's face
I open myself to the sky."

I guess I don't really know what to say about this poem except that I found it rather beautiful, and rather wistful.

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Something nice
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
At work tonight, when the dad of one of the 2 year olds came to pick her up and she saw him, she threw her head back and screamed with delight, and it made me smile.

---

Otherwise I'm feeling kind of worn out and disheartened.

"Intro" by Jonathan Ian.

Music for the mood.

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1:33
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
It's really nice to have a friend who will notice something seems off without my saying anything, and then take the initiative to call me about it.

-->Reasons Fro is my best female friend

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Solidifying steps
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
I'm thinking again about the passage I posted a few entries back from Man's Search for Meaning. Specifically this part:
And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would,or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.

Frankl himself admits that he wasn't always able to be his best self under the difficult circumstances he faced, but it's clear that he did try. The effort matters.

I'm also reminded of something that Joël mentioned while I was visiting Becka and him in Australia. When he was preparing to interview at Google, he spent some number of months (six, I think?) learning about Google and its culture and doing research on how to ace an interview there. He read one book that talked about how Google wants people to be very ambitious, and so they expect people to meet something like 75% of their goals. Now, 75% seems kind of low, but the idea is that if you're meeting your goals 100%, your goals are not ambitious enough. When I think about things from this perspective, I feel... somewhat better about not getting every single thing right. I'm ambitious in this regard, and that's not a bad thing, so long as I don't beat myself up over every failure. Failures are just learning opportunities, after all.

So anyway, I'm asking myself, "how can I be my best self across as many situations as possible?" and trying to give myself some basic directions to simplify things. Thinking through this, I come to the conclusion that I have to be aware of myself first and foremost. If I don't realize how I'm being in any given moment, how can I be my best self? Sort of an obvious starting point, but it is tricky. I don't think people, myself included, are often aware of the ways they're being influenced by external situations. This is a big part of why I have a checklist to run through if I notice my mood seems pretty negative. I keep it in a task tab in Gmail for quick access.


When I was younger and my mom and brother and I would fight, my dad often suggested we eat something, and I thought it was a dumb way to address the problem, but he had a point-- when you're hungry you tend to be more irritable and less charitable. Same goes for the other things on that checklist for me personally. If I'm lacking any of those then my mood can take a hit.

It's helpful to me to be aware of those influences so that I can correct for them. Otherwise it's easy to just rationalize away bad behavior. It's especially easy to feel justified in acting badly if you've been through a lot of stress. We see this commonly when people take out their anger on others (the defense mechanism known as displacement).

Frankl gives an example of this kind of behavior in his description of one of the ways some of the concentration camp prisoners reacted to being freed:
During this psychological phase one observed that people with natures of a more primitive kind could not escape the influences of the brutality which had surrounded them in camp life. Now, being free, they thought they could use their freedom "licentiously and ruthlessly. The only thing that had changed for them was that they were now the oppressors instead of the oppressed. They became instigators, not objects, of willful force and injustice. They justified their behavior by their own terrible experiences. This was often revealed in apparently insignificant events. A friend was walking across a field with me toward the camp when suddenly we came to a field of green crops. Automatically, I avoided it. but he drew his arm through mine and dragged me through it. I stammered something about not treading down the young crops. He became annoyed, gave me an angry look and shouted, "You don't say! And hasn't enough been taken from us? My wife and child have been gassed not to mention everything else - and you would forbid me to tread on a few stalks of oats!"

Only slowly could these men be guided back to the commonplace truth that no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them. We had to strive to lead them back to this truth, or the consequences would have been much worse than the loss of a few thousand stalks of oats. I can still see the prisoner who rolled up his shirt sleeves, thrust his right hand under my nose and shouted, "May this hand be cut off if I don't stain it with blood on the day when I get home!" I want to emphasize that the man who said these words was not a bad fellow. He had been the best of comrades in camp and afterwards.

I know I just shared this clip a few days ago, but it felt relevant again because of this one line:

"Well, I'm sorry that things have been so hard for you, but that doesn't give you the right to be shitty to me."

I feel like this is one of those things that seems obscenely obvious when you hear it said, but until that point it isn't necessarily. Or at least, it wasn't for me. I had to learn that it wasn't okay to take things out on other people because I felt bad, and that it wasn't okay for them to do that to me either.

There's a constant stream of choices to make about how to behave and how to view what happens to me, and for awhile I've been feeling like it's a burden to always have to choose the "right" path, but I'm reframing things now. When a difficult situation is presented to me it is a challenge and a test of my commitment to my goals. It's an opportunity to prove to myself that I can do the things that are important to me, and that's ultimately good.

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Nothing here
Monday, September 25, 2017
Ran 2 miles (not continuously), walked 0.7. Went to CSI afterwards.

Mood was pretty low beforehand, slowly got a bit better afterwards.

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Vision issues
Monday, September 25, 2017
I keep feeling like something is wrong with my vision... It feels weird... not exactly blurriness, but like a fog I can't locate. It's like I can't focus...

Hard to describe, because I think I can see things clearly, I just can't seem to process them clearly. Oddly enough I don't have the issue if I'm very close to my mirror and looking at the reflections of things... but trying to look at the things themselves is giving me trouble...

Feels like I'm slipping into a haze, but it's different than the one I'm used to...

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I want to ask why I'm so tired but it's probably not really a mystery [2P]
Monday, September 25, 2017
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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The third time [4P]
Friday, September 22, 2017
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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