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
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
Busy busy bumbadum
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Wednesdays are shaping up to be my busiest days. Today I had my internship meeting, which to my great surprise/relief did not take as long as it usually does. After that I had a little downtime at home, but I went out to the store with my dad and we had lunch at a new pizza place. It's a chain I think, but it was pretty good and very reasonably priced. Would definitely eat there again. My dad got anchovies on his pizza and reminisced about the salt fish his family would occasionally eat with rice when he was growing up. I guess it was a treat or something, because he said they might have it once a month. He also told me a little about his grandparents and the different prices of meats when he was young. Shrimp was about 29 cents a pound and when they went fishing they would just buy a few shrimp and chop them up as bait.
My mom never tells stories about her past like my dad. I mentioned that to him and he told me a little about her. Her mom died when she was around my age, which he thinks influenced her family significantly, because my mom ended up staying around the area and going to community college so that she could be closer to her mom. After her mom died she went to UC Berkeley, though.
Once we finished lunch we did a little grocery shopping. I guess that 2PM on weekdays is when all the old people come out and buy large jugs of water, because there were tons of people in line in front of us who had that. It was... interesting.
Had my therapy appointment after that, and my therapist ended the session by saying he was impressed by how well I've handled some of the things in the past few years, especially considering that I didn't always have much, if any, help. He thinks I should "let my guard down" more and feel my emotions more strongly, though... I'm not sure what to think of that.
And now... in about an hour I have to do my shift at the crisis line. Gotta figure out what food I can bring to eat while I'm there... Since the shifts are several hours I'll probably need at least a little something to munch on, and I'd rather have something more substantial than the not-so-nutritious snacks provided for the volunteers.
Music from the radio today:
"Hold the Line" by Toto.
"Can't Break Me Down" by Billy Idol.
Man, every time I see what Billy Idol looks like I'm just reminded that he did not age well. His face looks like a monkey skull with spiked hair now. :(
Determining/addressing a problem
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
While conversing with my friend Dan, I started thinking about my problem-solving strategy. I think I do sort of have a general way of going about it, but there are some background details that feed into my approach that not everybody accepts.
I feel that my life now involves significantly less suffering/pain/unhappiness, but occasionally I do wonder if I've sacrificed any creativity alongside those things. I felt sort of artistically stagnant the past few years, but it seems to be trickling back in some small ways now. I'm just having to learn how to not draw my only inspiration from negativity.
Anyway, I guess there are a few questions I consider to determine if something is a problem. I could make a flowchart but that would be way more effort than I feel like putting into this.
-Effectiveness over personal comfort
-Understanding other perspectives before imposing my viewpoint
-Openness to possible solutions (versus dismissing something right off the bat)
-How does this make me feel? (This is such a simple question, but it can be really hard to answer sometimes)
-Does this cause me distress?
--->What is the level of distress?
------>Is the distress constructive? (Do I gain understanding etc. through experiencing it?)
-What do other people think of this issue?
--->If they think I should consider it a problem, why?
--->How credible are these people? (This is something I did not consider enough in the past, but I'm working on that)
If something does seem to be a problem:
-Where does the problem originate?
-How much control do I have over the external factors?
--->What options are available to me?
----->Can I use others as resources?
--->What can I change in my environment?
----->What barriers exist to changing my environment?
----->Even if I can change my environment, should I?
-How much control do I have over the internal factors? (Hint: A lot)
--->How does my perception influence my reaction to the problem?
----->Can I reframe the situation so that it doesn't bother me?
------->How might an outside party perceive the situation?
----->Do I have beliefs/values that are flexible in this area?
------->What values am I not willing to compromise? (Sometimes requires evaluation of my true goals)
Generally I try not to get too worked up over things these days. I feel it's a more productive use of my time to evaluate the situation as thoroughly as possible to see what the limits are and what I can do. Ruminating over things I have no control over (and things in the past that I could've done differently-- counterfactual thinking, in psych terms) increases distress without contributing too much useful information.
Man, I really like making lists of stuff.
And unrelated music:
"Quick!" by The Magnetic Fields (I'm iffy about some of their music, but they have such great lyrics for some songs).
Get me a drink of something quick between your outrageous remarks
Like the mating calls of sarcastic sharks
Quick, before you can't take that back
Just before it all goes black
Monday, February 2, 2015
An excerpt from my cultural psychology textbook:
"Dialectical thinking can be broadly defined as the tendency to accept what seems to be contradictions in thought or beliefs. This is contrast to positive logical determinism that characterizes much of American and Western European thinking. Dialectical thinking tries to find the way in which both sides of an apparent contradiction are correct, tolerates the contradiction, and tries to find mutual middle ground. Logical deterministic thinking tends to see contradictions as mutually exclusive categories, as either-or, yes-no, one-or-the-other types of categories.
Cross-cultural research of the past decade has produced interested cultural differences in dialectical thinking, demonstrating that East Asians tend to prefer dialectical thinking, whereas Americans tend to prefer logical deterministic thinking.
...Naive dialecticism is characterized by the doctrine of the mean, or the belief that the truth is always somewhere in the middle. Contrarily Western lay theories are dominated by the idea that something cannot be both true and false at the same time, and the belief that all propositions must be either true or false."
I think I'm definitely more of a dialectical thinker, based on the description given here. That seems to be annoying to some people, though, because I often don't take a very strong position on issues. It also makes it kind of hard to debate a lot of things, because I end up having to defend a position I don't feel super strongly about in the first place.
More than anything else I think I just want to try to remain flexible in my thinking right now.
Kind of in a punk mood.
"The Palestinians Are Not The Same Thing As The Rebel Alliance, Jackass" by Atom and His Package.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
I'm fairly certain I've posted "Solace for Pain" by The Gentle Waves before, but I'm really appreciating the lyrics right now.
Help me when I'm sad and lonely
I would never do you harm
But this life is unfamiliar
I don't mean to cause alarm
If I were to put the big light out
Surely there would be an end?
If I were to face a new day
Surely I would need a friend?
Sir you do possess such kind eyes
Many are so vacant where
Ought to be a patient tenderness
I would take my refuge there
I know I haven't posted "Falling From Grace" before...
You make me satisfied
You only want to ride
But that's alright by me
We happen to be free
And if we fall from grace
At least we had a taste
Of something more than this
Unresolved black abyss
I'm always looking for the sun
I'm always looking for the sun
I'm always looking for the sun
I'm only looking for the sun to shine
[11:00:15 PM] Prickly pear: What is a scrubby sponge?
[11:00:26 PM] Me: Just a sponge with a scrubby side
[11:00:33 PM] Prickly pear: Okay.
[11:00:36 PM] Me: I don't think they're actually called scrubby sponges, that's just what I named them
[11:00:49 PM] Prickly pear: You think you can just name things?
[11:00:57 PM] Me: Uh, yeah, obvi.
[11:00:58 PM] Prickly pear: What right do you have?
[11:01:19 PM] Me: We live in an inherently meaningless world. There is no such thing as a right.
[11:01:35 PM] Me: There is only freedom and chaos
[11:01:46 PM] Me: And the patterns we project onto reality in order to comfort ourselves
[11:02:01 PM] Me: tl;dr I can do whatever I want
[11:02:12 PM] Me: So it's a goddamn scrubby sponge
[11:02:31 PM] Prickly pear: :)
[11:02:34 PM] Prickly pear: That's my girlfriend.
[11:02:57 PM] Me: Yes, your weird absurdist/existentialist girlfriend who lives in a pineapple under the sea
[11:03:07 PM] Me: Or something like that
Fashion, whyyy [2P]
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Friday, January 30, 2015
I don't have writer's block, exactly. I feel like that implies that there's something solid up against you, like you can't think of anything. My problem right now is that I'm thinking of too many little things and I can't piece them together.
There are so many things I want to work on, that I started and never finished. A story about touch and a story about rain and a story about sadness. A piece about having loved and a piece about a loss no one remembers. Am I going to finish any of these things? Agh.
I got a new phone. It's a quick messaging phone because I am very averse to getting a smartphone. I feel like the odds of me breaking a smartphone are too high, and I want something that fits in my pocket. I don't really need a phone to do anything but text and call, and I guess let me customize my own ringtone/text tone (priorities!). I'll probably have to get a smartphone eventually, though. I highly doubt I can keep managing to evade it, considering that the phone I got was one of only two feature phones in the entire store, and everything else was a smartphone. I guess I'll put it off as long as possible, though. Putting off the inevitable is just a natural part of human existence, isn't it?
A few different things
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I heard this on the radio today. I feel like the more I listen to it, the more I like it.
"I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams" by Weezer.
So, here are a couple of pictures from when I was walking around the area Seattle University is in...
This sign amused me. If you can't read it, it says "Solar power works in Seattle."
I mean, I'm sure it's true that it works, but I highly doubt it works that well.
There was also an outdoor ping pong table in this nice little urban park there.
I honestly have no idea why this exists or if people even use it, but it was interesting to see.
I've been feeling kind of fatigued the past few days, but on the plus side, the acne problems I'd been having for awhile seem to be going away. It's not actually particularly severe, just worse than what's normal for me. Surprisingly it doesn't seem to be scarring much, if at all, so I'm happy about that.
My friend in Spain and I are planning to watch a movie together on Friday. It's a bit hard to manage with the timezone difference, but he's on break right now so he's been staying up late. I'm not sure what we're going to watch, or how we'll watch it exactly... he was talking about sharing his screen. He's kind of a film buff, and he's been recommending a lot of movies to me (I have yet to watch most of them, but I thought the ones I've seen have been decent). I'm definitely not as into movies as he is, but it's kind of interesting to talk about as an art form. He wants to make his own film someday too, and I guess he and a friend were going to try to make something, but his friend lost interest. It's too bad, because I would've liked to see what they made. Maybe in the future, though.
Nature vs. effort
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I've had an internal debate going for a number of years now about what makes a person good. Sometimes I've felt like I'm not "really" a good person because it's not necessarily my instinct to be as kind as I can possibly be, or to be as considerate and thoughtful as another person might be.
There are times when I'm tempted to be mean to people, or not make an effort to care (though this has become less and less of a problem over time). I don't give in to these urges much, if ever, but the fact that they pop up occasionally bothers me sometimes. I've had this idea of a "good person" who's... hm, I guess for lack of a better term, totally pure. Someone who would never even think of hurting someone else, and to whom consideration and care come without thought, without effort. Someone who doesn't ever face the temptation to do other things. I suspect this idea came from the fairy tales I read as a child.
In more recent times (within the past couple years, maybe) I guess I've been moving away from this sort of "naturally good" ideal. It made me feel guilty about myself, and sort of like a fake. I guess now I conceptualize it from more of a relative/strength perspective rather than an absolute/inborn perspective.
(I'm very tired, so I hope this is coming out coherently)
Constantly resisting the temptation to be bad connotes strength and motivation. To know that there are alternatives and that you are capable of carrying them out, but to choose to behave kindly and considerately and compassionately anyway, to put in the effort to deviate from your nature/instinct, all that's a sign of dedication, isn't it? A commitment to be good.
The "naturally good" person, by contrast, does not face these temptations, maybe has no concept of a different behavior, does not have to consciously be anything. That's not a bad thing, but it just requires no effort on their part. The same amount of work can be easy for a person who's naturally gifted and difficult for someone who isn't. I wonder, though, if the "naturally good" person (if they even exist-- this is of course an ideal that could be totally unrealistic) is motivated to improve, to be better than they already are.
I have often been motivated to improve myself because I feel deficient in some way, but now I feel that I'm at a point where I'm not significantly deficient. I'm not perfect at all, but I guess I'm content with where I'm at. Still, I think I could do better. Well, be better. A lot of things have become much easier with practice. It's strange to think I sort of started doing this years ago, when I was a teenager. Back when my self esteem was so low I felt like the only way I could redeem myself was to put all my energy into being the best person I could, to cancel out the innate terribleness of my being. I made that decision when I was 16, I think, and I'm 23 now, so it's been seven years. Seven years of ups and downs, but slowly treading towards healthiness and happiness.
At my last counseling session, my counselor remarked that he thought I was too young to be stoic. I thought that was sort of funny for some reason. I'm not really sure what I'm "supposed" to be at this age. Full of passion, energetic, unstable, dramatic? Swayed by fancies? I feel much calmer and more peaceful than I used to, and it seems nice enough.
This is so good.
It's not a game exactly, but it's an interactive experience. I recommend full screen. NSFW though, just to warn you.
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