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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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Considering my luck
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I have frequent small moments throughout the week where I feel quite lucky. This is despite the overall theme of my life that seems rather unlucky in some respects (relationships, emotional experiences, etc.).

Today I took a shower and used a bit of styling paste in my hair while it was damp, then dried my hair. (Side note: the container of only 5 ounces, but at the rate I'm using it, it could take years to finish... The stylist at the salon told me it lasted a long time, but I had no idea how true that was when I bought it)

My shower was sometime before 10 AM. A couple hours later, I went downstairs and had some lunch while reading for class, and noticed that the clock said it was getting close to 12:30 PM when I was done. Went back upstairs to my room to do more reading before I had to leave for school. My lips were kind of dry, so I reached for the tub of CeraVe on my shelf next to the styling paste-- and realized that the lip to the styling paste was on top of the CeraVe. I'd forgotten to put the lid back on earlier. How lucky that I found it before leaving the house! I won't be back until late tonight, and my styling paste could have dried out in that time if it were left open.

Anyway, this sort of small lucky event seems to me to happen a lot. The earbuds that I use when I'm walking around have very loose covers that come off almost constantly, and I often realize I'm missing one and have to go look for it. To my great surprise (and appreciation), I have always been able to find the dislodged covers on the ground somewhere. It's really quite amazing.

Similarly, I have gotten into a habit of buying honeydew from the local Safeway because 1) I like honeydew and 2) it's easy to cut up and keep in the fridge as a source of fruit for a few days. Usually it's kind of pricey-- $5.99 for one, but yesterday morning I went grocery shopping and honeydew was on sale! So naturally I bought one, because I couldn't refuse luck like that.

It occurred to me shortly before starting this entry that most or all of these events would probably not seem particularly lucky to other people, and I acknowledge that there is a negative side to them. I could have felt unlucky that I forgot to cover my styling paste. I could also feel unlucky or annoyed that my earbud covers fall off so much and I have to retrieve them. Maybe I could even feel unlucky that a fruit I like to get is usually kind of expensive. If I had that point of view, I think I would be very unhappy with my life. As it is, I feel very grateful for these small favors that the universe seems to provide to me, and I really do feel a sense of pleasant astonishment at my luck.

I really think there is value in trying to find something you truly appreciate in any given situation. This is different than trying to force appreciation for something you just don't appreciate, though. That's fake and it becomes obvious that you're straining yourself for some false positivity. I would liken that to having a bowl of marbles and trying to declare that all the colors are your favorite, whereas searching for what you actually do appreciate would be like digging through the marbles to find the one that is naturally your favorite color. I believe in curating optimism, but not to the extent that it's inauthentic. If it's not coming from a genuine place then it's really pretty useless and defeats the purpose, I think.

Anyway, I feel that this process of searching for the silver lining is helpful to my mental state and general mood. I had to train myself to look for the good things at first (the process was definitely reinforced by Fro suggesting I explicitly record good things), but it often happens automatically now, which is nice.

Then again, maybe I'm just feeling better because the weather isn't as bad, haha.

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Odd things [2P]
Saturday, April 22, 2017
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Kind of lost my temper tonight...
Thursday, April 20, 2017
I can't remember the last time this really happened. I mean, I've definitely been mad plenty of times in the last few months, but I don't remember the last time I actually lost my temper. Generally, even if I'm pretty angry, I still manage to stay pretty composed.

My terrible housemate is still here, still leaving the bathroom a gross mess. He leaves dirty water all over the floor, pees on the toilet seat, somehow managed to soak the toilet paper on the holder... After three weeks of putting up with this, I snapped a bit.

I heard him go out to the bathroom, so I opened my door to check if he had left a mess after he finished. Of course, he had. No surprise there. Water ALL over the toilet seat. He ran back to his room and I went over and knocked on his door to tell him to clean it up. He opened the door just a crack and asked, in English, if I needed to use the toilet. I didn't know if I would understand me if I said "it's not about whether I need to use it right now, it's about you leaving a mess there, which is not acceptable." I repeated that he needed to clean it up and he closed the door. I waited a bit, because usually he isn't wearing pants and he'll put on pants and come out and wipe it up eventually, but I heard him start talking in his room... So I knocked again, and again he only opened the door a crack and then tried to close it. Now, it was pretty clear that he had no intention of doing it, so I stopped him from closing the door by putting my hand against it and told him to clean it up right now. He responded... by trying to force the door closed against me. Wasn't going to let him get away with that, so I kept the door handle turned so that he couldn't lock it. Tried to force open the door from my end, but hes bigger than me and I'm not as strong as I used to be, sadly. I think he just stayed pushing against the door for the new few moments, and I waited to see if he would move, but nope. At some point he did open the door again because I kept telling him to clean up the bathroom, but he just tried to take my hand off the door, presumably so he could close it and lock it. At this point my landlady came out of her room (we were all awake anyway, I wouldn't have done this if she was sleeping) and asked what was going on. I told her that I was trying to get him to clean up his mess, and she talked to him in Chinese, and then called his mom on the phone. I don't know what they said because it was all in Chinese, but he did go partially wipe up the toilet once my landlady asked him...

My landlady looked at me sympathetically and put her hand on my shoulder and said she was sorry about it. I just shook my head and laughed in exasperation and said I was frustrated.

I didn't yell at him or particularly raise my voice during the ordeal, although my tone was certainly a lot sharper than usual. Maybe it's not right to characterize this as losing my temper though... It was more like standing my ground and refusing to back down and let him continue his bad behavior. Still, it didn't feel like an "adult" thing for me to do, I guess... But I've been reminding this kid to clean up for weeks now, and he still won't do it unless I specifically ask. After more than three weeks, the escalation and use of force felt justified, but I don't know if it was. I didn't hit him or anything, but it was still an aggressive move on my part... I don't know. Ugh. My heart started racing when I realized he was blatantly ignoring me, and I could feel the anger rising in my chest.

I want to be able to handle this in a mature and responsible manner, but this kid (who is only an adult legally-- he's obviously a child from the way he acts) refuses to act in a remotely courteous way, and so I sort of feel like he doesn't get to be treated with any respect. I suppose that's how I generally feel about these things... people have my respect at first, but if they lose it, they tend to lose all of it at once and I see them as practically subhuman and not deserving of any courtesies whatsoever, not even acknowledgement as a person in some cases. Maybe this is something for me to think about... Although it does take awhile for me to lose my respect for someone, so I dunno. Does it need to be a more gradual descent? This is a rather grey area and I'm not sure if this is something I really feel contributes to or detracts from my growth as a person.

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Dating game woes
Monday, April 17, 2017
This made me laugh today:

Kyle: I should have put more effort into trying to go out with Cristina when she was single. Could probably be married now.
Me: You could still put more effort into the dating game in general if that's what you want.
Kyle: I could but all I can find are people who disgust me

Have been listening to "Coin-Operated Boy" by The Dresden Dolls for a sort of mixed-emotion blast to the past. I feel like I posted this sometime within the past few months, so I'm not going to embed the video again. I wish I could search within my password-protected posts to check, but ah well. These lyrics are sticking with me at the moment:
Can you extract me from my plastic fantasy?
I didn't think so, but I'm still convincable
Will you persist even after I bet you
A billion dollars that I'll never love you?
And will you persist even after I kiss you
Goodbye for the last time
Will you keep on trying
To prove that I'm dying
To lose it, I'm losing
My confidence

Also listening to "The Bidding" by Tally Hall.

I promise I'll be all you'll need
Ever need
You'll never have to shop around
(Don't shop around)
And I'll give you all you'll ever need
Ever need
Don't worry, I will never let you down
Let you down
Don't worry, I will never let you down

That part of the song makes me feel kind of sad, for whatever reason. I guess it just sounds like a lie to me, an empty promise made in desperation. Something you want to believe, but you know it isn't true.

Reading this Reddit thread about a guy's girlfriend crying all the time is making me wonder about what healthy relationships with nice people are like. Sometimes I feel like I'm not close enough to the middle of the bell curve to have one...

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Life's Little Oddities
Thursday, April 13, 2017
So I bought a book from Amazon called Life's Little Oddities (PDF available for free here). As far as I can tell, it's just a collection of short stories from everyday life during WWII. Very simple stuff, but I find it highly enjoyable to read. I wish I knew of more books like this! When I looked at the table of contents, the first story listed was "Getting One's Hair Cut", and I felt immensely pleased at the everydayness of it.

I feel like I've touched upon this before, but I used to think I hated history. As it turns out, I actually love history, I just find the big details of historical wars and politics to be some of the most mind-numbingly boring stuff possible. Anything to do with the way people actually lived is very interesting to me, though. I'm not really interested in autobiographies, because they tend to chronicle the major events of a person's life, but old journals and slice-of-life accounts can be cool to read.

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...Actually ugly [2P]
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
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Not actually ugly [2P]
Saturday, April 8, 2017
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Music from a past lifetime [DP]
Friday, April 7, 2017
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