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Memores acti prudentes futuri

Trying to stay positive, not an easy way to live
laugh right through the pain
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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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.


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.


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...
-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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Please Say Something
Friday, May 15, 2015
"Please Say Something" by David O'Reilly.

I really loved this short film. Just found this guy's Youtube channel today. Didn't know he had other stuff than The Horse Raised by Spheres (which I think I linked before?). It's minimalist, but I felt like so much was conveyed by it.

Earlier... I think I was feeling... transcendent about something. I wish I could remember what it was. It just felt like everything made sense and things were right and my world was as I wished it to be.

My boyfriend and I played Divinity together tonight, which was nice. It wasn't for long, as we both have to be up early in the morning, but we finished a quest and got what ended up being kind of a crappy reward. Oh well.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015
"Just What I Needed" by The Cars.

I don't mind you comin' here
And wastin' all my time
'Cause when you're standin' oh so near
I kinda lose my mind

I've never considered this song one of my favorites, but it's very comforting to me for some reason. Some people say it's about sex but I've never interpreted it that way. It feels caring, but undramatic and uncomplicated. Like taking a nap with someone you love on a couch on a warm summer day, then waking up slowly and seeing them there and smiling at the simple pleasure of being close to them.

Sometimes that's all I really want in a given moment-- to be close to someone I love. I don't know that it even matters what we actually do.

"Close to You" from the Mirrormask soundtrack.

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

I think the Mirrormask version of this song is my favorite. It's slow and sleepy and has a slightly different vibe from most other versions.

Even though it feels good to be truly awake and in reality and feel things, there are times when I really enjoy being half asleep and comfortable and knowing there's nothing I have to do or get up for. Waking up and still being sleepy and knowing I can go back to sleep for however long I want is such a nice feeling.

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Cute things
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
So I saw this shirt over the weekend when I was with my boyfriend...

Bunny Love

It's so cute, gahhh. I already have a bunch of t-shirts but I kinda want this one. To some extent I feel like I should be trying to get more stylish clothes and accent pieces rather than more of what I already have like twenty of... -Sigh-

I was making plans with my friend tonight to go to Maker Faire this weekend. It's his first time, so hopefully it'll be lots of fun! I'm excited. :)

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Dreams and comfort
Monday, May 11, 2015
I dreamt that I was a guy by myself at some sort of science museum. The whole ceiling was like that of a planetarium's, with stars and celestial bodies cast onto it. In the dream I imagined that I was there with two others, a girl and another guy who was my friend. We were all close, but there were some unspoken romantic feelings between me and the girl. We wandered around the museum, enjoying the exhibits together, and the girl and I pointed to the ceiling and made up new constellations, which we named for each other. Periodically I would remember that my relationships with the two people were imaginary and I would find myself alone there. It was sort of like waking up from a dream into my dream, and it was a sad, lonely realization.

In the night my boyfriend woke me from that dream by reaching over to me and touching my arm. I wasn't sure what was happening at first. It was very dark, but I thought maybe it was time to wake up and he was just pulling me closer for morning snuggles (since that is usually how things go when I'm at his place). He said something about being scared though, so I moved closer and put my arms around him and told him everything was alright, even though I was still confused. At some point when I started waking up more I thought to ask why he was scared, and he said he thought he heard a noise come from my direction and was afraid someone was in the apartment. Later on in the day we decided he probably had a bad dream that woke him up. For some reason thinking about this makes me feel very affectionate towards him. I don't want him to feel scared or bad about things, but I like being able to comfort him, I guess. Being able to comfort people in general is kind of nice.

I wish I could sleep at his place more often. Maybe once school gets out...?

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Touch Pianist and bad timing
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Listening to the old classic(al)s again because of this game, Touch Pianist. It's interesting to see how people play some of the faster classical music on different instruments, like guitar.

I liked this rendition of Clair de Lune.

Playing through the Gymnopédie pieces in the game mildly made me want to try to learn the first one on piano. I haven't actually played the piano in years, and I remember pretty much nothing about reading music, so that could be hard. There are some... rather extensive tutorials on Youtube though, so maybe I could do it? I think a bigger obstacle would be keeping up the motivation to practice.

Right now I feel like I want to do things. It's 2:30 AM, this is the worst time to want to do things. I feel like starting new projects but I need to go to sleep. I was tired all evening and my brain is only starting to wake up now. -__- Very inconvenient. Maybe I will think of some comic ideas though. I haven't drawn one in so long. Sometimes I think I'd really like to try doing a more serious comic, but I'm not entirely sure how far I could get with that.

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Other socializing
Monday, May 4, 2015
So, I didn't get to hang out with Kyle this weekend, but I did hang out with friends from school yesterday. We just hung out at my house and I made mac and cheese, then we chatted until like... 1 AM. It felt good.

Someone... I think it was Frosan... asked if we could all make a pact that we'd give each other constructive criticism when we noticed something, haha. Everyone was down for it. I'm happy that came up. It's great to have friends like that.

Unrelated to that, I found my book on emotional intelligence today! I'd been wondering where it was since we got new carpets last summer, and apparently it's been in my parents' room this whole time. I might go through it again when I have some time. It's looking a bit battered though, and I kind of wish I'd gotten a hardcover copy instead of just a paperback. Oh well. I guess if it starts falling apart I can always get a new one.


I was trying to find this piece of music I remember from high school that made me think of being eaten alive by rats in a dark cavern. From my memory I would describe the way it sounds as higher pitched and more dramatic/slightly echo-y nails on a chalkboard. With some frantic scurrying effects. I'm not sure if this is the right piece but this is the closest thing I could find to what I remember...

"Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" by K. Penderecki:

When I first heard the piece I was thinking about I remember thinking it was one of the most awful and disturbing things I'd ever heard and found it terrifying. I find it somewhat less terrifying now, possibly due in part to the fact that I have crappy speakers, but I'm also not sure if this is just the wrong piece or something...

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Attempts to improve
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I started reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl with my boyfriend. We are around halfway through now, I think. It's very short, less than two hundred pages, but it's very engaging and interesting.

There are a lot of excerpts I like, and I feel like I relate a lot to the themes in it, though I feel almost like I'm exaggerating my own experiences of suffering or demeaning Frankl's by making such a comparison-- after all, he went through the Holocaust, and well... nothing remotely similar has happened in my life. My boyfriend pointed out that external circumstances don't necessarily determine the intensity of the subjective experience of suffering. He has a point, I guess. I mean I still don't think anything in my life could compare to what happened to Frankl, but perhaps there is no point in comparing such things.

Anyway, this bit from pages 102-103 stood out to me:

"God knows, I was not in the mood to give psychological explanations or to preach any sermons - to offer my comrades a kind of medical care of their souls. I was cold and hungry, irritable and tired, but I had to make the effort and use this unique opportunity. Encouragement was now more necessary than ever."

It reminded me of something I've been trying to do in my own life-- have compassion and understanding for others even when I'm in a bad mood or I don't like them. I know people's intentions are often better than their actions show, and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. The key word here, of course, is try; I'm making an attempt, but I don't know how often I'm succeeding.

I described my thought process in carrying this out to my therapist, and he remarked that I was "generous"-- a more positive way to say "too nice" or "too forgiving" perhaps, haha. Being "too nice" is only a problem insofar as it prevents you from taking care of yourself though, and I don't think I'm doing that. I'm just trying to practice unconditional positive regard in my life... I don't know if I've felt it within my own life (outside of dreams), but I would like to be able to make other people feel it, if I can.

At the same time, I don't want to have these lofty goals and pat myself on the back for being "such a good person"-- if my behaviors have no visible positive effect, my intentions don't matter all that much. A passage from one of my textbooks made me think about this more.

If you don't want to read all that, the gist is this: we know our own intentions but know only others' actions, therefore we tend to judge ourselves more positively than we judge others. I'm trying (there it is again: "trying"!) to compensate for this tendency by finding out what people's intentions are before judging them for their actions, and by considering how my own actions come off when nobody can see what my intentions were. I can, I guess, be satisfied with myself for taking these measures, but I cannot expect that anybody else should acknowledge my efforts if they see no fruition, and I shouldn't exhibit overblown attitudes about myself.

I'm really confused about why this video is of a guy using a weedwhacker, but uh, here's "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers.

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