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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
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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More movie things
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Last night I saw VAN valami furcsa �s megmagyar�zhatatlan (For Some Inexplicable Reason) with my friend Alex. It's a Hungarian comedy about a 29-going-on-30 unemployed guy whose girlfriend recently-ish broke up with him. We both thought it was pretty good. The main character was pretty awkward and maybe kind of ineffectual too. He didn't seem to have any particularly defining qualities to him. Still, you got a sense that he was just having a really hard time dealing with the breakup and that was affecting him.

What I really liked about the film was that it didn't have the kind of storyline you'd expect from an American movie that had the theme "guy got broken up with recently." I feel like American movies, at least the more mainstream ones, almost always "solve" the dumped character's problems by having them find someone new. There's this implication that if you just pave over the past with a new relationship, you'll be happy and things will be fine. I don't think that's necessarily true, though, and I think if that's the only message people are presented with, it can mislead them.

In this movie, the main character does find a new girlfriend, but his feelings for her fade and he still thinks about his ex. He ends up leaving the new one, but he seems to get over his ex anyway, and he meets with his ex at a cafe or something just to chat and catch up a bit. There was no "happily ever after" type ending, and the character wasn't suddenly imbued with a passion for life. He still didn't have a great job, although he had developed a new hobby (which was briefly referenced a few times-- you don't actually see it too much). All in all though, he seemed like he was okay. It felt realistic, I guess.

While we were driving home, we talked about the movie a little. Since it was a Hungarian film we were trying to figure out if anything we saw was a specific cultural difference between Hungarian and American culture. I think the most prominent difference was how much people smiled. Expressiveness in general seemed like it was lower in this movie than the average American movie. There were also some different visual metaphors that gave the sense that the main character was rather detached from the rest of the world. He would often just walk away from people and situations, and nobody would follow him. I feel like this is sometimes used in American films I've seen, but the character often snaps back to reality and hasn't actually left, whereas it seems like the character in this film really did just leave and nobody minded or noticed. Little things like that gave the movie a slightly odd feel at times.

I forgot to set my clock back last night, which luckily didn't matter because I didn't have to get up for anything this morning, but I was kind of confused when I woke up and my tablet said 10 AM but my alarm clock said 9 AM. Guess I'll be extra sleep-deprived for a little while.

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The Life After
Thursday, March 5, 2015
So I saw La Vida Despu�s (The Life After) at the film festival with my friend Gwenny tonight. It was kind of a graphic/uncomfortable/sad film to watch, but it was interesting in its own ways. I don't know if I'd want to watch it again. After the movie we got to talk to the director, David Pablos, and ask him questions. There was a small group of seven of us standing outside the theatre discussing what various elements of the movie meant, and the director explained his intentions for different parts. He was very friendly and willing to talk to us, which was nice. I think the conversation kept him later than he wanted to be there though (the movie didn't get out until almost midnight, and we were standing out there probably past midnight), and after the group dispersed we watched him... not sprint exactly, but jog away kind of quickly. Gwenny and I held back because he said goodbye to us but was going in the same direction as where we parked, and we felt like it would be weird to go the same way.

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day for me, I think. I have work at the nursery, then in field with my client, then I might watch a movie with my Spanish friend. After that I possibly have a Craigslist gig scheduled (I thought it was today but things got mixed up) and Gwenny and I are planning to watch more stuff from the film festival around midnight. I hope I have enough energy for it all...

Oh and I've been playing a ridiculous amount of Mamono Sweeper. I haven't been able to beat the Huge level yet. :( It's hard because when you start out it's kind of just luck until you kill ten level 1 monsters, as you have to click around blindly on the board to find things. And then after you hit level 2 at 10 experience, you don't level up again until like, maybe 90 experience? Once you run out of squares to click that are clearly safe, you have to go back to blindly clicking in unexplored areas, and I keep accidentally clicking high level monsters that wipe out all my HP and end the game. D: It's so difficult but I really want to win...

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Quick post
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I've been playing Mamono Sweeper, which is described as a cross between Minesweeper and an RPG. It took me several tries, but I managed to win with full health! Just took a little to figure out the strategy. I feel like "strategy" is kind of a dirty word to me sometimes but when I actually get into little puzzle games like this I really enjoy it. This game is also free in the Google Play store, so of course I'm downloading it.

I volunteered at the crisis line Wednesday night. This one guy who's been marked as a sex caller kept calling, but I won. I got him to hang up on me! Sweet victory.

Have been reading articles about rationality and such again thanks to Max. It's nice to feel like I'm actually interested in something instead of just briefly entertained or something.

Stuff coming up:
Film festival!
School celebration
More film festival??
CL gig
My regular "consulting" work (my "client" refers to me as a consultant, which amuses me endlessly)

And... I dunno what else. It is 1 AM and I should probably go to sleep. I feel really tired but also really... energetic in a weird way.

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Right in the middle
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I took a Big Five personality test for fun. I got pretty much right in the middle for almost all the results, though I was in the 64th percentile for emotional stability, so... sort of higher than average for my age group, I guess. For balance, which was a component of emotional stability, I was in the 79th percentile, which means I supposedly am not easily upset and handle daily hassles better than most. That's kind of funny to think about when I consider how emotional I used to be.


I'm not sure how to feel about my results. The implication is that, in terms of universal personality traits at least, I'm just... really average? I guess to be fair though, I tend to not answer test questions in a way that would put me at either end of a bell curve. Most of my responses to questions that ask to what degree I agree/disagree with a statement are more or less "ehhh... I sorta feel this way." It's hard to give an answer that encompasses how I am across a variety of situations, so I usually end up averaging out how I behave.

I did get a somewhat higher score on the cognition component than average though, which is kind of nice but also kind of disappointing because the average was 7.4 out of 16 and I only got 10. I had fun with some of the cognition questions, but to be honest I really hate the ones where they give you eight shape things in a tic-tac-toe square and ask you to determine what the ninth one is. I don't know if those are the ones I got wrong but I always feel like I don't really know what I'm doing when I complete the pattern. Maybe it would help if I didn't tend to do these tests when I'm super tired.


In my Cross Cultural Psychology class today we discussed personality across cultures. There's research suggesting personality stabilizes around age 25. I'll be 24 this year, and I think if this is how I end up being for the rest of my life I am pretty good with that. I feel like I can honestly say this is the emotionally healthiest I've ever been in my life, although I don't know if it's the healthiest I'll ever be. Just have to wait and see I guess.

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Nothing much
Monday, March 2, 2015
Some selections from my oldest Pandora station.

"Why Did It Take You So Long" by Barbara Lewis.

"Bye Bye Baby Blue" by The Ravens.

I posted a Ze Frank video awhile ago about something he calls "The Sweetness" and I was thinking of something along those lines tonight. Craving, missing something you've never had. My parents participate in a fair number of social activities related to their church and it's something I reflect on occasionally. I don't know of any secular social groups that are similar to what you might find at a church. There's sort of a sense of obligation and perhaps purpose that keeps people going to a church, and it's... a dependable source of social contact. You know people will be there week after week, and you become familiar with them. My parents have a community group that meets every week too, and they get together with other couples their age and talk about some aspect of their faith. They're all generally aware of the goings on of each other's lives and support each other. I remember my mom making trays of food to bring to different people because something had happened-- maybe a tragedy in their family or something similar. It seems nice to have friends who would do that.

Although I think about this community aspect of church, I didn't really experience it myself when I was still going, or even when I still had faith. My brother always had a friend or two at church, but I never really did. There were other kids I was friendly with, but once I got to be about 10, the other people my age all knew each other better than I knew any of them and I just felt more and more alone until I stopped going to the services for kids my age and just sat with my parents in the main adult service. It was easier that way.

It's become less significantly difficult to socialize since I was younger, but there are still a lot of things I have yet to figure out.

A guy on OKC asked me what I look for in a friend. It's a simple enough question, I guess. The answer is a bit more complicated. I think I place a much heavier emphasis on time than average. One of the reasons I value my friendship with Kyle so much is because it's persisted, despite all the things that have happened over the years. We are different people now than we were when we first met, but we're still friends. This is a quality that I would ideally like to have in all my friendships-- persistence. It's also a quality I find very infrequently. People can change, and they do change. I don't mind that, though. It's only a problem if they stop trying to continue the friendship. A person cannot maintain a relationship alone.

I feel like persistence is one of the hardest things to find in my life. Because I lose interest in things relatively easily, I've developed a tendency to pick favorites based on what lasts over time. My favorite song is my favorite song not because it makes me feel strongly, but because I've never gotten tired of it. I don't have a favorite food because I don't think there's anything I could eat forever without getting sick of it.

When I was younger I used to think a lot about my house burning down, and what I would save if it did. For awhile I had some of my stuffed animals bundled up into a blanket just in case a fire started and I needed to grab it quickly and go. I don't have anything like that now, but I still think about what I would take if my house caught fire. In some ways it feels like I'm always thinking about potential disasters, and what I'll do if they happen. It seems important to have a plan.

One last song:
"Just a Memory" by The Paragons.

You're only a memory
Of what I used to know
You're someone who was dear to me
A long time ago

You're just a sentimental thing
That passed away with time
No matter what the future brings
You're no longer mine

Oh I can't help how I feel
My love for you is gone
I hope you find a love that's real
Then you'll have strength to carry on

And since you're just a memory
I pray that you will find
A love that will forever be
More to you than mine


Today's Cyanide and Happiness amused me.


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Grades came in quickly
Monday, March 2, 2015
So I got a 285/300 on my presentation. Missed the maximum number of points I could've while still getting an A. That was a relief. I wasn't 100% sure I would get the grade I wanted on this. Should be smooth sailing for the rest of the quarter though!

The weekend with my boyfriend was nice, although he wasn't in the greatest mood yesterday when we went out. I ended up feeling really exhausted even though we were only out for a few hours. It was a sort of fatigue right behind my eyes, like there was a heavy cloud hanging there. The tiredness made things feel less real, so I was experiencing various levels of detachment while we were walking around.

I tried to describe it in terms of a building. Level 1 reality would be the ground floor, where everything feels pretty real and clear. Level 2 is further off the ground, so things are more distant and the details are harder to make out. I don't know how many levels there are, but it continues on in that fashion. I don't experience reality in a quadrant fashion so much anymore. Why that is, I don't know. Maybe I just haven't been derealized enough for it to manifest that way.

On Saturday we went to Staples and got a new chair for his desk. The one he already had is just a cheap folding chair from target that was too low for his comfort, so the new one is hopefully a little better. After coming back home we pretty much just... played Divinity: Original Sin the rest of the day, haha. It takes a long time to do things, but we've gotten decently good at it! And I'm still enjoying crafting various things. I wish we got more attribute points for leveling up, though. You only get one per level (sometimes not even one?) but there are like six different things you can put it into. I need a lot of dexterity because I use ranged weapons, though I didn't do a good job of building my character for that when we started... whoops. Neither of us really had any clue what we were doing when we built our characters though. It's taken us a while to put points in the things we need to be effective fighters, but I think we're definitely on the right track now.

Anyway, I've been cleaning the apartment while he's at work, as I usually do on the Mondays I'm here. He doesn't ask me to do it, but I guess I kind of like to regardless? I'm definitely not a neat freak, and my room is fairly messy, but he doesn't have much stuff in the apartment, so it seems very easy to just take care of it. There's too much stuff in my house, so it always seems like such a hassle to clean.

Back to school tomorrow... This quarter is going by very quickly. I think it's already week nine? Yikes.

I feel a sort of pulling inside me. It's similar to things I've felt in the past. Kind of like my inner self is a balloon and there's a heavy blanket covering it, pushing it down. I slept a lot today but I feel kind of tired now.


Thinking a bit more about what it means to be strong vs. weak and things that "build character" when people experience them. Can you be strong without ever having faced anything that tested your strength?

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Presentation over!
Friday, February 27, 2015
Aaaahh I'm so happy! Gonna do stuff with my boyfriend tonight, spend a bunch of time with him over the weekend... fun things.

My presentation ended up being about half an hour, when it was supposed to be 35-45 minutes long, but hopefully that was okay... I really hope they don't give me less than an A on this. I'm sure it's fine though! They said it was good...

So busy today! Barely any time to be at home. It's all good though!

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Maybe I should be more stressed
Thursday, February 26, 2015
I have to do a forty minute presentation on Friday, but I don't feel like it's a big deal. Totally not even thinking about it, haha. I have all my slides done and I know what I'm going to say. Haven't really practiced, but I never do for presentations. I feel like that just makes me more nervous.

My therapist said I looked happy today. I guess I am happy! Today was a pretty good day. I made myself a green smoothie and played Divinity: Original Sin with my boyfriend for... several hours. Whoops. I meant to not play so long so I could work on other stuff too, but it was fun. It's a turn-based RPG and you can cook in it! Cooking was pretty much my favorite part of Runescape, so I'm excited that this game has that. Unfortunately(?) there's also loads of random stuff you can pick up in the game, so my character has become a total hoarder. I picked up like, every shell, every branch, everything possible. Gonna sell all the things I don't need, I think. We were in a battle and my character wouldn't move and my boyfriend said something about the game saying I was so loaded with stuff that I couldn't walk. Oopsie daisy.

Anyway the cooking mechanic is kind of funny. It's pretty simple, although it took some experimenting to figure out at first. You do things like hit a tomato with a hammer to make tomato sauce. And for some reason, cooking a fish doesn't give you a cooked fish, it gives you a food item named Dinner. Apparently when you cook a fish in the game, a plate and garnishes magically manifest to go along with it.

I've been feeling pretty happy lately on average. It's nice. It's not like how I used to think happiness would be, though. Before I ever really felt happy I thought that happiness would distract me from bettering myself as a person, but surprisingly I've still been thinking a lot about that. I guess my motivation to improve just isn't based on hating myself anymore, so that's... good. I'm excited for this weekend! Gonna hang out with my boyfriend and stuffs. :)

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