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."
"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
Think about it
Kill that boredom!
Binder Paper Comics
Web Comics and Such
A Distant Soil (Some nudity)
The Adventures of Gyno-Star (Some explicit stuff)
Blue Milk Special
Cigarro & Cerveja
Cyanide and Happiness
dead winter (has some explicit stuff)
Devilbear: The Grimoires of Bearalzebub (PG-13?)
Eat That Toast!
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
The Intrepid Girlbot
The Last Halloween
Last Train to Old Town
The League of Evil Genius
Legend of Bill
Living With Insanity (some nudity)
Love Me Nice
Married to the Sea
The Moon Prince
Moth (Some nudity)
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
Political Cartoonists Index
Poorly Drawn Lines
The Property of Hate
Robbie and Bobby
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Scenes from a Multiverse
The Secret Knots
Stand Still. Stay Silent
Strong Female Protagonist
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
Yellow Peril (PG-13)
Infrequently/No Longer Updating Web Comics
The Abominable Charles Christopher
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
The Adventures of Ellie Connelly
Bag of Toast
Bear in Mind
The Book of Biff
Chain Bear (Some explicit stuff)
Daisy is Dead
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
Hello with Cheese
Kyle & Atticus
Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
Letters to a Wild Boar
Lovecraft is Missing
Meat and Plastic
The Nerds of Paradise
No Reason Comics
One Swoop Fell
Pictures for Sad Children
A Redtail's Dream
Roy's Boys (PG 13?)
Run Freak Run
The Super Gay Adventures of Ross Boston
YU + ME
Pure Flash Awesomeness
Die Anstalt : Toy Psychiatry
Clients from Hell
Creatures in My Head
Damn You Auto Correct!
Jhonen Vasquez's site
Overheard in New York
Passive Aggressive Notes
New jacket and friendthings [4P]
Monday, December 21, 2015
Saturday, December 19, 2015
I didn't make it to the gym before it closed today, so I didn't get to 10 hours this week. Boo. >:(
Maybe it's for the best, though... I talked to Sean about my shins feeling kinda weird (it feels like someone spent about ten minutes kicking them), and he thinks I have shin splints. So I guessssssssss I should probably rest or something... Ugh... I'm looking at compression calf sleeves on Amazon, hoping that will help.
Whatever, I'm going to do a spin class tomorrow morning. That probably won't hurt my shins. I'll just do things with less impact.
For some reason I really like punching the air while holding dumbbells. We did that in one of the classes I took, and it was fun. Maybe I should take kickboxing...
On the erm... mental(?) side of things, I've been reading this blog all day and I like it a lot. It's written in a kind of clickbait-y way, but the information seems pretty solid. Some of the articles are kind of like extremely condensed versions of things I learned in my classes.
Here's one article:
Top 10 FBI Behavioral Unit Techniques For Building Rapport With Anyone
Based on what I've been reading, it seems like I've more or less been on the right track with a lot of my goals/directions for self improvement, so that's nice to know. On the other hand, it's a little disappointing, because I'm not really getting new directions to go in... I guess I just have to keep working on getting better at the same things.
Things I want to work on at the moment:
-Being able to give anybody a sincere compliment (but also just complimenting more in general-- I have been doing this, at least)
-Giving people genuine smiles (the kind that say "I'm happy to see you!")
-Figuring out what questions to ask that will get people to talk more (this one is tough; I think I need to be able to read people better to do it)
-Finding a good boundary between giving to others and preserving myself
-Saying more positive things to other people to balance out the negative ones, or reframing negative things so they don't sound so bad (I'm realizing that I'm really not very good at this, which is kind of a bummer, but I just need to remind myself more and build up that habit, I think)
Recently I have been thinking about how my mind works. I think... a lot. As in, I think I have a high volume of thoughts. Of course, I can only guess that, since I don't know how many thoughts other people are having, but... based on my interactions with other people, I get the impression that they aren't thinking at the same volume as me. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, it's just... a thing.
I guess my coping strategies have always incorporated this in some way, but I don't think I was really aware of it until now? Like, I've never thought I could change the volume of my thoughts. It didn't seem like something entirely within my control. I can change the nature of those thoughts, but not necessarily the number. And what ends up happening is that I try to redirect that mental flow so it's not so focused on negative things. I mean, I could have a hundred thoughts about how much I dislike something, or I could have twenty thoughts about disliking that thing, and eighty thoughts about ways I might try being a better person.
"Don't think about it" has always seemed like some of the most useless advice imaginable to me because of this. It doesn't seem like a resolution, which is what I want. And I don't mean some sort of solved situation out in the external world, just an internal sense of understanding. A reorganizing of the pieces so that they fit together in a way that makes sense to me.
I think these things mainly apply when I'm alone, though. When I'm around certain people it's like my mind shuts off for a bit and I'm just there. This happens a lot when I hang out with Alex K., and he asks me what I'm thinking about. The only response I can give is "I'm not thinking about anything, I'm just being here." It is a tranquil feeling, but it doesn't make for very good conversation.
When it comes down to it, I think I'd rather have some conflict in my life and have things be interesting than be peaceful and boring. Well, if those were the only two options, anyway.
Probably unnecessarily long entry about the gym
Friday, December 18, 2015
Gym time this week: 9.5 hours
Did the Stairmaster for half an hour while holding weights tonight. I'm hoping it burned around 400 calories... I was following a workout plan that supposedly burns 500 calories (you hold weights in your hands while alternating speeds on the machine), and I had the machine set a couple levels higher than what the plan called for, but given my weight and the fact that I was holding weights a little lighter than I was supposed to (the 3 lb weights were missing, so I had to use 2 lb ones), I'm guessing that I probably didn't actually burn 500 calories. I'm not sure if 400 is a generous estimate or not, but the machine said I did about 330, so I'm hoping that it's a reasonable guess.
Did some triceps extensions after that, but I didn't feel like doing the weight machines, so I just went on the treadmill for uh... I guess it would've been about 40 minutes, if the cooldown period is included. I tried switching it up a bit by walking with 5 lb weights, then walking without weights at a faster speed, then running, then walking again. That was okay. I'll probably do it with weights again in the future. Also ran a mile, which was kind of boring because I was going at a sorta slow pace, but it was after everything else, so I guess I should maybe be happy that I had the energy to run the whole thing.
I used to not like the idea of going to the gym because I felt like it would be boring/a waste of money to do stuff like run indoors. Well, you know, I haven't really changed my mind about the running part. Running on a treadmill is really, really, really boring. At least music helps. According to the treadmill, which was probably wrong, I burned around 230 calories or something between the walking and running.
This was so unexpected, it made my night.
I should make that my workout song.
Also, this subreddit that was linked in the comments:
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
In my therapy session today, my therapist commented that I was much more animated than usual, and was using a lot of hand gestures to illustrate my points. I guess he was right. I'm usually much more physically reserved.
I talked to him about the difficulty of finding people to connect with. We use the analogy of fish in a pond. I often feel like a koi fish in a pond of goldfish, and I wish I could find other koi fish. There's nothing wrong with goldfish, they're just... not the same as me. And I've been feeling that difference a lot more lately.
My therapist suggested looking for people somewhere besides the internet, and I'm not opposed to that, but I have no idea where to even start. One of the biggest difficulties is that I have no interest in making new friends over shared activities or hobbies. I explained to him that even though environmentalism is a cause important to me, I don't identify as an environmentalist. I don't really identify as many nouns, to be honest. That sounds really dumb and pretentious, but I mean, I just don't feel like any of these things are an integral part of me. They're things I do, not things I am. I write, but I don't call myself "a writer." I collect webcomics, but I don't call myself "a collector."
The problem with this is that people tend to bond over these shared identities. People like to say "oh, you're this thing? I'm this thing too!" I just don't feel that way about the activities I engage in. I'm not attached to them like that.
How do people meet other people? These are the ways I can think of off the top of my head:
-Existing social connections (friends of friends)
-Clubs/activity groups (which tend to be interest-based)
-Internet (Social media, chatrooms, uhh... Craigslist?)
-Going up to strangers and striking up conversation (which is what my client does, but I am not going to do this)
I'm not in school anymore, and my work/volunteering is very solitary, so I can't meet people through those. I don't want to go clubbing to try to meet people, and anyway, I don't think the kind of people I want to meet would be at clubs. My friends don't seem to know people they think would match well with me. And activity/interest-based groups... Ehh... My experiences with that in the past have been largely disappointed. If there was a "meet up and just talk about anything" group, maybe that would work, but then, why not just go on a chatroom?
And you could try to make the argument that I'm just "not trying" these things, except that I have tried all these things. I go to every party I'm invited to if I can, I've gone out clubbing with friends, I've chatted up strangers. So far I've only really had any success with relatively lasting connections that have come from online.
When we talk about grad school, my therapist likes to suggest that I might find my koi fish there, but I'm afraid to hope for anything. Maybe grad school will have people like me, or maybe it will have people who are goldfish.
Probably the worst part of this is that I was perfectly fine with being a koi fish in a goldfish pond until relatively recently. It's like a hunger that's been reawakened. If you're hungry and you just don't eat, the feeling tends to dissipate after awhile, so you don't notice it anymore, but then if you eat something, it suddenly comes back full force. That's what this feels like.
I guess on the plus side, if I never find another koi fish, I'll eventually get used to it and forget what it was ever like to know one, and I won't feel the longing anymore.
Went to the gym for an hour tonight. That makes 6.5 hours this week, I think. I'm going to go again tomorrow if I can.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Gym again for an hour today. That makes 5.5 hours so far this week.
I did a bootcamp class tonight after babysitting and visiting a hospice patient. My legs weren't too sore today, so I thought it would be okay. I got very tired during the class, though. It was a lot of squats and lower body exercises, and I hadn't gotten all my energy back yet from yesterday. I think it was also worse because I wasn't hydrated enough before starting, but once I had some water I started to feel a bit better.
If I'm not too sore tomorrow though, I'm going back. Or maybe I'll go back anyway and just do upper body. My inner thighs are already pretty sore right now, so I anticipate them being worse in the morning. At least I don't have to do too much tomorrow.
So tired after the gym tonight. I've been on the verge of passing out for hours now, but had a call with my client and some other conversations that delayed going to bed.
I really liked this page of Gunnerkrigg Court:
"My attention is focused toward it, forcing me to see the world in its context"
Also, this post that somebody shared on Facebook awhile back:
The Tail End
If I lived to 90 and continued seeing in Kyle in person as often as I have been, which has been every four years (though we've only been friends for seven years), I might hang out with him fewer than twenty times in the rest of my life. Strange to think about.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Went to the gym for 3.5 hours today. My gym buddy needed to work on something for school, so I had more flexibility. I tried out a pilates class, which was surprisingly difficult. I'm not sure if I really like it, but I might go again. After that I went on the Stairmaster (only 15 minutes, versus the 35 that left me sore last time) and a stationary bike for maybe 10 minutes... That was just to kill time before the cardio/strength class I was waiting for, though. Did a dance class after the cardio/strength one... I was feeling fine, so I figured, eh, why not.
Even though I wouldn't say I really "enjoy" the dance class, because I'm pretty uncoordinated and erm, physically inhibited I guess, it's a really good distraction, because I get so caught up trying to follow along that I can't think about anything else. The routine we did was the same one as the last time I went to that class, though, so I kind of vaguely remembered how to do some of the moves. I think the instructor used the exact same music, too... >.>
The dance class wasn't very intense at all, so I considered staying even longer at the gym than I did, but I didn't want to push it. I have to babysit tomorrow and I don't want to be super sore if I can help it. I might start going to the gym on my own, for longer periods of time, more once I stop getting so much muscle soreness, though. Lately I've been trying to eat more protein to help with it, since lack of protein might have been a factor in the soreness.
I went to bed last night around 8:30 pm and ended up waking up around 5 am. Didn't want to be up that early, though, so I just lay there until I fell back asleep. I had two dreams that I remembered, but one of them made me really sad, and I've forgotten the other one now. The emotions from the dream kind of hung around me all day except for when I was at the gym. Now that I'm home, I feel kind of sad again.
There's a lot of work to be done in my head. Reorganizing and reframing and reconsidering. And recuperating.
I feel so tired...
Neuf heures du bébé
Thursday, December 10, 2015
So, I babysat for nine hours today. That was an ordeal.
The baby is sick right now, so she spent the first five hours I was there crying and drifting off to sleep on my shoulder (as long as I held her in a very specific position that was uncomfortable for me). Kept wanting me to open the door to the garage, I'm assuming because she wanted her mom to be there.
[Spoiler: Her mom wasn't there.]
Before she left at 9 AM, her mom told me that the baby would probably want some food soon. Well, the baby refused to eat anything until around 1:30, when I decided to put her in her highchair so my arms could rest. I started eating a banana I'd brought for lunch, and suddenly bananas looked delicious and appetizing and the baby wanted some too. (Prior to that, I had offered her a banana no less than three times)
Eating some food did cheer her up... As did watching multiple hours of Sesame Street, which I'm not sure I should really have let her do, but it was the only thing that made her stop crying up until she ate. She finally wanted to play after I cleaned up her lunch, and then I took her out in her stroller and we walked around a local shopping center and the neighborhood for a little while.
Got back to the house. Instant crying again. Welp. Sesame Street didn't work that time, so I ended up just putting on the white noise app on my tablet (set to 'waves on the beach') and pushing her around in the dark in the garage for an hour. She fell asleep halfway through, and I tried to take her inside, but she woke up as soon as the light hit her, so I had to push her around until she dozed off again. Sneaked into the house, turned off the lights, carefully carried the stroller in, and waited in the dark for her parents to come home at 6 PM.
But, you know, I have to admit that as unpleasant as all that was to deal with for me, it was probably worse for the baby. She's pretty helpless and can only barely communicate verbally. She cries because that's her main way of getting her needs fulfilled. I imagine it sucks a lot to not really be able to do anything for yourself and have extreme difficulty communicating with the people who can help you. It's even worse that your primary method of communication in this situation is extremely unpleasant to others and can make them angry or upset with you.
Being sick and without her mother is probably one of the worst things the baby has experienced, too. It doesn't seem like much to me or the people reading this (I'm assuming, at least), but the baby doesn't have anything to compare it to. She doesn't understand yet that the bad feelings will pass, that they're not really all that horrible in relation to other things.
I'm lucky, though. I got to go home after those nine hours. Her parents get a break when they go to work, but they've had to deal with her being sick for well over a week now.
When I'm feeling uncharitable or unsympathetic towards crisis line callers I think about that a lot. Even if it gets frustrating to hear the same person's story over and over, and know they're not changing or getting better, it has to be worse to be them. I get to leave after my four hour shift. These people can't just leave their lives. Maybe it's tiring for me to hear about some guy's hypochondria and anxiety again and again, but he has to live that, and he doesn't get a break.
I am very appreciative that I have the option to go somewhere else and not be miserable all the time, and I try to express that by being more patient and compassionate with my callers/babysitting charges/hospice patients. What I feel is not as important as how I express it.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I went to a cookie exchange tonight with my mom. It was three hours of middle aged women laughing and making jokes about wine. And complimenting each other. So... not exactly my scene.
There was a woman there who talked to me a bit about her children. I didn't tell her that I remembered her son, because it seemed a bit awkward. I only ever really had one interaction with him, and it was very brief, over a decade ago.
A decade ago... jeez... how can anything be that long ago?
It was actually at a party at the same house. I think I might have been twelve or thirteen, still in middle school. Some of the other children at the party were playing in the garage (the adults were taking up most of the space in the house), but I went to sit by myself in the backyard. After awhile, a boy came out and asked what I was up to and talked to me.
I'm sure he doesn't remember that, and it seems like such a trivial thing, but it felt like such a kindness at the time. I was very shy and anxious about talking to people my age, and the fact that he approached me made it a lot easier. Sometimes I wish I could talk to him and thank him for talking to me for a few minutes, but it seems like it would be really weird or awkward to do so.
I think that I've rarely ever really wanted to be alone, but for most of my life, I've had a hard time talking to people. It means a lot to me when people reach out to me, and I'm trying to do the same for others, when I can. Feeling included makes so much of a difference...
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