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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
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Getting close to crunch time
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
"Maple Leaves" by Jens Lekman.

She said it was all make believe
But I thought she said maple leaves
And when she talked about a fall
I thought she talked about a season
I never understood at all


I felt sort of ambivalent about this song at first, but after listening to it a few times and paying more attention to the lyrics I like it a lot more.

Between the final projects I have (one 20 minute individual presentation, two 1 hour 20 minute presentations, two 10 page papers, one 8 page paper), final exams coming up, and the game jam I'm doing with some people, I feel pretty exhausted right now. My graduation is in a bit over two weeks, so everything is piling up. It'll be nice to be done though.

My boyfriend and I were talking last night and it was kind of distressing for me at some points, but he did a good job of explaining things and reassuring me and I feel much closer to him now.

I also talked to my friend and we cleared up some ambiguities regarding the nature of our friendship. He wasn't sure if I was interested in a more-than-friends way and had interpreted some of my statements to mean that I was suggesting we'd be a good match, but I told him that I didn't like him like that and it resolved things, which is a relief. He wanted to know why my opinion of him has been decreasing and I admitted that I felt uncomfortable telling him stuff because of some of the reactions I've gotten from him. He's fairly socially awkward and I mentioned that, and he said he was hoping I could help with it. Maybe I should just make a career out of helping socially awkward guys be less awkward, because it feels like I run into this situation surprisingly often.

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Anger and efficiency
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
So I was thinking about anger.

I try not to get angry much. I don't feel like it's the most productive emotion for me, although I know it can be very productive for other people. My therapist sometimes tells me I'm "too rational" though and thinks I should let myself get angry more easily. If I felt like it served more of a purpose than maybe I would. But I don't think I need to be angry to be assertive. And I don't think avoiding anger makes me a pushover or a doormat. I just think it's easier to resolve conflicts when I can think straight. That makes sense, doesn't it? I'd rather not have to try to think through the haze of like a murderous rage or something.

And anger is one of those things that seems really satisfying in the moment but doesn't really... contribute anything in the long run a lot of the time. I kind of feel like "it'll make me feel better" is a really stupid reason to do something that won't have longer term positive consequences.

Still, despite all this, I think it is important not to just suppress any instance of anger that may occur. If I do feel angry about something I try to examine the roots of it and see if my own perspectives are the problem. After all, they say anger comes from not getting what you want. I don't think that remaining free of anger is valuable in itself, anger just gets in the way of things I think matter more.

The only instances I can think of in which anger was useful to me were situations in which:
-I was angry at myself, which motivated me to change
-I was angry at someone else, so I wanted revenge

But as I think I may have mentioned before, I feel that the best revenge is to live a happy life, because it shows that whoever I'm angry at is inconsequential to my being able to thrive. It doesn't matter what happens to them, that's not my problem. If I were to hold a grudge and dwell upon whatever happened, that's just negative for me, so I'm perpetuating my own problem. No reason to do that.

---

Lately I've been running into a few problems. I feel like I'm getting to a point where I'm hitting the edges of what I feel "comfortable" developing. Lots of my self-development in the past has been driven by feelings of deficiency or a desire to be more effective. So it's stuff I want to do. But now I'm at a place where there isn't much I can really see that I want to improve. That doesn't mean there isn't anything I could work on, though. I think there's a whole lot I could work on. It's just going to be harder because I'm comfortable where I am.

For example, when I hate someone, I really hate them. I don't want to be around them, I don't want to breathe the same air as them, I don't want to acknowledge their existence. This is not something I've ever really felt like changing. I think I probably should try, though. There's someone I'm around on a fairly regular basis that I absolutely cannot stand and I've been wondering if I should try to break down that hatred for her. We're not friends and I don't think we need to be, but my attitude toward her could probably be better. It is hard, though. The challenge is good, at least. I think I've been fairly eager to make changes in the past and that has made it significantly easier. It's like a hobby, I guess. But to get really good at something maybe you have to do things you don't necessarily like.

I remember trying to go outside my comfort zone before, and maybe this is a good time to increase that. Being open to different people and experiences (with the exception of anything like drugs that could do long lasting damage) has been helpful to me in expanding myself, but maybe I've become too settled, too content, where I am now. I'm not really going outside my comfort zone anymore, I'm just pretending to by making behavioral adjustments within realms I already know.

Gotta go find some things that make me mentally uncomfortable and figure out why, then correct for it (unless the discomfort is natural and beneficial, anyway).

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Network it
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
"Private Life" by Oingo Boingo.

This song was on the radio earlier... it makes me think of my boyfriend, since he likes this band. I don't know if it's just the ones I've watched, but I feel like Danny Elfman is wearing a wife beater in every Oingo Boingo music video I've seen so far.

Yesterday night I went to some networking event. It was kind of awkward but there was free food, so that was cool. I was talking to my friend Becka's husband and these two guys came over and introduced themselves and said they were from HP, and asked what we did. Becka's husband and I ended up in separate one-on-one conversations, but his was clearly going better than mine. I don't know if it's just because the guy I was talking to was super awkward or what, but he didn't seem to have much to say after a bit, so it was just silent and he stared at me. I didn't know what to say, really. Maybe once he found out I was a student he didn't consider me a useful person to network with anymore, who knows. At the end of the event one of the people who organized it gave this speech that could basically be summed up as "networking doesn't have to be about using people for their connections, you can just be friends with them!"

Anyway, the networking thing was at this fancy hotel, and they had a room with ping pong tables off to the side (also, they had some damn swanky bathrooms), so my friend Ben and I and a couple juniors from our program just went and hit ping pong balls at each other. It was a little difficult because I was wearing a tight dress and heels, but it was fun. After that we all went and got ice cream and chatted about stuff.

And today... I got some sourdough crackers! Organic einkorn sourdough crackers, which are kinda fancy schmancy. I really like sourdough crackers but it seems to be hard to find them anywhere. :( Whole Foods used to have some awesome ones but they stopped carrying them... They're quite possibly my favorite cracker though. Even though I like various cheese crackers a lot, I think sourdough ones are better. The texture is just so much more satisfying, I guess.

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No mansion
Monday, May 25, 2015
We didn't end up going to the Winchester Mystery House after all. My friend took Caltrain and we didn't realize that it was on a different schedule today (because of Memorial Day), so we didn't have enough time to go. We just ate lunch at some Mediterranean place instead. They had a soda called Gazoz, which said "Turkish Sprite" in parentheses next to it. He got that, and I got a cherry juice, which was like a nicer version of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry, to be honest. My friend paid for the meal... I felt a bit bad about it, but he said it was fine, and it was still less than he'd expected to spend that day, since we weren't going to go to the House (He said he'd pay for my ticket since it's kind of expensive and I don't have much money).

So... after lunch we went back to my house, and Sean came over and we watched Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. It was about as bad as you would expect from the name, but in an enjoyable way. The sound effects were kind of over the top, and every actor sounded like they didn't know what emotions were. Unsurprisingly, it was written, directed, and produced by one guy. What does surprise me with these movies is that these guys somehow get other people to work with them. Either this guy was rich or he had something else going for him. Or I guess everybody who worked with him could've been stupid. That seems possible.

After watching stuff, we tried to go to Villa Montalvo, but it was closed, so we wandered around my school's campus a little instead...

To be honest I was kind of tired and didn't really feel like hanging out for the whole day (I remember thinking I'd rather just nap and play Twenty on my tablet), but it ended up being alright. Sean left to go home and eat dinner, so my friend and I went and got pizza, then drove back to the Caltrain station and chatted there until his train came. Sean didn't seem like he was in a good mood, and I felt worried about that, so after he left there was less tension and it was easier to just talk with my friend about random stuff. He said he had a good time, so that was a relief. I feel like hosting social events, even if they're small, puts me kind of on edge if people seem like they're bored or not feeling good. I always end up feeling responsible. Sometimes it happens even when I'm not hosting. I know it's not really my responsibility to make sure everyone is entertained and happy, but I still feel some pressure. It's especially hard since I'm mostly friends with people who are on the introverted side, so I end up feeling like I have to take on the extravert role and keep conversation going. It does drain me, even though I've sorta been doing that for years now. Socializing can be so exhausting. It's easier if I'm socializing to create a social network for/with a partner, but it's more tiring if I'm by myself and trying to keep everyone satisfied.

Anyway, I'm pretty sleepy. Maybe I'll go to bed before 2 AM...

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Talking about stuff to people
Sunday, May 24, 2015
"Glitter Girl" by Kidneythieves.

There are skies that don't have clouds like you
There are skies that don't rain down like you
There are skies with a silver cloud
There are skies that you're not around
There are skies that paint a bluer blue


So this song came up in Pandora. It was new, and (surprisingly!) not another remix of "Omen" by The Prodigy, which seems to come up a lot in this particular station. Wasn't sure if I liked it at first, but after another several listens, I think I do. It seems kind of like it would be in a dark action movie.

Planning to go to the Winchester Mystery house tomorrow with my friend! I don't remember the last time I went. It's possible I went with my ex, but if I did then I don't recall. I remember going with my first boyfriend, though, and with my uncle. When I went with my uncle the tour guide was some teenage-looking guy who seemed really depressed, and my uncle suggested that maybe his girlfriend had just broken up with him.

The latest Basic Instructions amused me, but I think it also makes a good point:

How to Discuss Something Unimportant That Bothers You

The cause may be unimportant, but the fact that it's troubling you is important


I feel like that's something a lot of people don't get. Like, when you vent about something, the focus shouldn't really be about the thing that bothers you half the time, it should be about the fact that you're bothered, I think. And not treating things that ways often results in people giving advice when it's unwanted or they really don't need to. Sometimes people just need to be listened to.

My friend Fro keeps having issues with her boyfriend's mom, and she talks about it sometimes. A lot of the times she mentions it she says something to the effect of "I'm not boring you am I?" or "I'm sorry, I talk about this so much." Every time she does that I feel a little sad, like she thinks I would be bored by her unhappiness or get annoyed with her for talking about something that really negatively impacts her life. Like, I'm her friend, and I care about her, so I have no problem listening to her vent. Her situation is very stressful for her and I want to do what little I can to make her feel better. Friends gotta have each other's backs!

---Edit---

So I was watching a bunch of "___ people taste ____ food" and after like ten different videos... this one came up...

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Aw, this is cute, and also something not cute at all
Friday, May 22, 2015
Chode

I like little games like this, even if they're a bit cheesy. If I could make games I might do something like this once in awhile. Probably with more interesting gameplay though. Wanna make that end message feel like a prize!

---

In other news, I decided to look at a sex offender registry to see if there were any in my area and welp, looks like there are. Interestingly enough, about half are white middle aged dudes. Not sure what to think of that. That's not very representative of the population here, in any case.

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Faces and accidental CBT
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
"Far Away, By My Side" by Peter, Bjorn & John.


I realized that I haven't been to an open mic in awhile. That seems like it would be a nice thing to do. Maybe I should see if any friends want to go. I think the last one I went to was with my not-yet-boyfriend, and one of my classmates was playing piano/singing. She was pretty good. Ever since then, any time I mention my boyfriend around her, she doesn't remember his name, but she remembers him having very good posture when we were sitting at the open mic.

Last night I went to my mom's friend's daughter's book debut at a book store. That wasn't particularly interesting, but I picked up One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn while I was there. Read the first few pages and it seems alright so far. It's very different than the type of stuff I normally read, which is good I guess.

For one of my classes I was reading a chapter about CBT and I felt like I related to a number of the techniques described there. It's odd. I guess I was using some CBT methods on myself before I even knew what CBT was. Basically just correcting for irrational/inaccurate thinking in myself. I think it started because of the very low self esteem I had as a teenager. I felt like I was so terrible I couldn't possibly be right about anything, so I sort of sectioned off a part of myself into a voice that disagreed with all my thoughts about things. And I guess that... got me to stabilize my thinking and bring it in line with reality more? It was a very aggressive, harsh voice, but it did the trick. I beat myself into feeling better about myself, haha. Actually going to a counselor at St. John's was definitely helpful, though. The therapist after that... not so much. I think I liked my counselor at St. John's more because he challenged me and didn't just let all my confused thoughts go unquestioned. Very straight forward, no nonsense. Occasionally I wonder what he's up to now. I'll probably never know, though. I wish I could remember his face better. I feel like I have a hard time visualizing people's faces, including my own, in my mind. Like a mild mental prosopagnosia. I like looking at people's faces close up and trying to remember all the details but it doesn't seem to help significantly. The pictures I take of myself, too, are kind of efforts to make it seem familiar. I take a fair number of them but mostly I don't share them. Just like to have them as a record-keeping type of thing.

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Maker Faire pictures (and other thoughts)
Monday, May 18, 2015
Welp, I found out there's a budgie tag on Vine today. Time to never be productive again, I guess.

This makes me so happy.


I like this one too.


So, Maker Faire was fun! Some of the exhibits/shows I was hoping to see weren't there this year, but there were some other new things that were cool.

Flamethrowing rhino car.

(The flames came out of its horn)

The Two Penny bike.


A... gorillabot?


This guy's hat had a track that you could roll ping pong balls around!

He had some glasses that you could roll marbles down too but I didn't get a picture of that.

Legoscape.


A sword swallower! This one was new to me.

There was also a fire eater in the act, and a crappy sorta-burlesque thing.

My friends and I volunteered so we'd get free tickets, and our job was to help Tapigami pack up their exhibit. This was what it looked like during the faire...


And afterward when we were cleaning up.


Tapigami makes sculptures with tape, so it was pretty sticky. I ended up wearing some gloves I had stashed in my bag from the last Maker Faire. I was really glad to have them, because some of that tape was pretty nasty.

Anyway... That was Sunday for me.

Today I'm just doing reading for school and playing Twenty (aka procrastinating).

---

My friend Alex drove me home from the Maker Faire, and on the way we were talking about relationships and stuff. I mentioned some of the things I do for my boyfriend, and he asked me what I get back. I wasn't entirely sure what to say. All I could think to respond with was "I just feel happy when I'm with him." That got an "awwwww" from him, haha. Even though it's not like, super energetic and bouncy happiness anymore, I guess there's something... nice about being together. Or doing things for him. I don't think about it in terms of what I "get back" really. I dunno. I love him and I think that's all the reason I need to want to do anything I do for him.

---Edit---

I was thinking earlier about being right vs. being effective. I guess in some situations you could also describe it as tact. For instance, if someone is feeling really down, you can't tell them that their emotional state is in their mind and they can just change it. First of all, nobody wants to hear that, so it comes off as insensitive and not understanding. Even though it is true, pretty much, that you have control over your emotions, it's not an on/off switch you just need to be told about, and it's a skill that you have to develop. I've been encountering some people who don't have a good grasp on how to effectively react to other people's problems in the recent past, so it's something I've been considering.

Maybe it has to do with timing more than anything else. If someone comes to you and says they were the victim of a crime, it's generally inappropriate to say something along the lines of "well, yeah, but what about the perpetrator's side?" I think most people would understand and agree with that. When I was in high school I thought it was good to be bluntly honest, but I've been realizing more and more since then that being up front in that way can be really ineffective, especially since people may react by getting defensive and digging their heels in if you say something they disagree with/don't like. If you must correct people or assert your views, it seems best to wait until they're in a frame of mind to accept what you say with more tolerance.

So I guess that what I'm trying to do looks roughly like this?

Other: I have a problem.
Self: What is it?
-Listen, ask questions to increase understanding and clarify, find out how the person feels about the subject, refrain from inserting too many personal opinions unless they ask...
-Sympathize
-Find out what person wants to do or is doing about the problem (if anything; if they're doing nothing, do they actually want to do something? If they don't, it's not up to me to make them solve it)
-After it has been discussed to an extent satisfactory to the other party-
-Very gentle questions about possible dissonance in thought, if any at all (No grammar corrections; terminology clarification is okay if something is not clear though, I think)

My opinion at the moment is that it's better to phrase these questions as "I don't understand" statements rather than "I think you're wrong" statements. It can be tricky to do that at times, though. Sometimes people will say "I don't understand" in a way that implies they think you're crazy or wrong. You probably know what I mean.

So yeah, I'm still working on my approach to these things, of course. I'm sure I'll spend the rest of my life refining it.

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