Double major. Six years. Bitching on the ADP ml, but got the webpage and the other mailing list all fixed. Need to exercise some. Paper. Paper. Paper that's due 5 pm Wednesday, currently half done (eep). Tony, Mike, Mike, Kurtis, Warren, Luke, Richard, Ethan, Anton, Josh, Lon, Ben, Gabe, Brian, Roland, Scott, Wade, Brian, Mark, Jeff, Kyle. So very many friends. How strange it is, progression of life, how memories grow near and then recede, flowing in and out of reach like the tide. Dim mud flats of experiences falling into the horizon, until the water comes rushing back in to pummel the beach. Battle scars on my hand from a cat that fits on my palm, and I've ruined yet another shirt (stupid pen). I need to go shopping, badly. I hate buying clothes.
Guh. I'm tired. I spent the last two hours figuring out my schedule for the next two years instead of studying. Crap.
I looked around, puzzled. What the hell was that? It wasn't quite just a sound—it had echoed through my body and desk, jarring my teeth painfully. It felt sort of like an audible earthquake, but—
What the HELL?!?!? This time I'd felt it before I could really hear it, racing up through my bones, rattling my monitor. It had actually knocked some things off of my desk. Surely that couldn't be-
Holy shit. That was bass.
Screams of "SHUT UP!" began echoing down the hall, seemingly directed at a room nearly at the very other end from me. Honestly, I didn't BOOM mind it that much. Sure, it was annoying and inconsiderate as all hell, but rather BOOM amusing in its own fashion. I suppose if I'd just bought a sound system that was capable of that sound output, I might be tempted to, in a drunken moment (for be assured that they were), scientifically test its capabilites. It was still kind of a BOOM relief when they finally stopped. It'd begun giving me a headache.
On a completely different note, here are some people I work with, at the staff meeting tonight. A prize goes to anyone (not counting Richard, Ty, Jeff, Kyle, or anyone else who was there or who I've already told) who can come up with either A) an accurate guess as to what they're doing, or B) a really amusing inaccurate one.
I am covered in fucking little red dots. Not able to see a doctor until after 6:30 pm, I spent the day worrying about whether I was going to live that long or not. It turned out that in the several years since I last took any penicillin derivative, I apparently developed an allergy. The allergy could be much worse—I could actually have had my breathing go out of whack, and the doctor made me promise to call if I had a moment's hardship with my lungs in the next day or so while the drug is getting out of my system. I'm not certain if I'm just mildly allergic, or if I could still be in danger if I for some reason had a high enough dose. It's frightening being allergic to an antibiotic. An antibiotic is supposed to help me get better, not make me more ill. It all rather comes back to the increasing problem I'm having, as a chem major, being willing to take any medications at all. The knowledge that drugs are being refined by an imperfect human's algorithim worries me. Eating is one way of screwing with my body's chemistry that I don't particularly mind. But the idea that humans believe that we have "isolated" that which is "beneficial" seems impossibly conceited to me. When I pop a pill into my mouth and swallow, I am introducing into my system a super-concentrated dose of a substance that will react with whatever may already be flowing through my body, and who may predict what that could possibly be? Who's to say that that which is "beneficial" in one case will be "beneficial" no matter what the circumstances? And anti-depressants... I won't even go there. The idea that fucking around with my brain chemistry could alter my moods terrifies me. I like to cling to the illusion that I have some form of control over myself. Anyway, to return to what I originally spoke of, it's unsettling to now actually have a case that supports my distrust of medications. Before, I could theorize and mumble to myself all I wanted about not liking drugs; now, I am confronted with a tangible reality of a particular danger to self. Suck.
It's 1:58 am, and not only have I decided not to do my CSE homework until tomorrow before section, I am still woefully unprepared for my skit in Japanese tomorrow morning. Yet I know that staying up to try to work on either one will unfailingly result in my being a sleep-deprived wreck tomorrow. That won't be conducive to doing well on that presentation. (sigh) The choice between continued studying and sleep is always hard... Back when I hadn't had the hellish night at work that I happened to have, I was planning on coming home and rambling about my experience being around a devout Christian today. Perhaps another time, when I'm more coherently able to argue whatever it was I wanted to argue.
When I'm this tired, music is my connection to the actual world. The rest of my body fades away, my awareness-of-self reduced to the pressure of headphones against my ears, the space between filled with sound. My vision blurs and begins to cross spaces, limbs feeling only attached as a formality, capable of movement but incaring of that fact. I list to one side, realizing only halfway through the motion that I'm doing it. But the music is there, real, tangible. I feel that were I to reach up into the space my head nominally occupies, my questing fingers would be met with the resistance of a steel rod of music, the only solid object extant. No, I lie. The seat I rest upon is tactile and real. I have the vaguest sense that were it not there, there'd be some sort of problem. Even in spaced-out drifty-ness, gravity's effect on physical reality is felt...
Okay, I just looked at what I was writing, and it makes absolutely no sense. Bedtime, fuck homework.
I wonder if people sneer to themselves about my friends and me when they walk past. I wonder this because I caught myself sneering inwardly at a group of four people walking behind me today. They were laughing at something I hadn't heard, but the conversation following was so... mundane, that I couldn't help it. But it made me think about what people think when they overhear my friends' conversations. Do they think us geeks? Pathetic? Outright weird? Do they long to be part of what they consider higher conversation, or laugh at us for our nerdiness? I wonder if other people try to figure out how long I've known my friends, or wonder if I'll still be laughing with them in ten years. On another note, I realized today that if I'd been on a "normal" schedule, I would be graduating in just over a year. Now that's scary.
I found my thoughts today inescapably spiraling around a single topic. I'm taking seventeen credits this quarter: sixteen class hours a week, composed of five hours of Japanese, four hours of Japanese literature, four hours of programming, and three hours of differential equations. I work fifteen hours a week: two hours on Monday, four and a half on Tuesday, four on Wednesday, and four and a half on Thursday. I find myself, between those two activities, at a distinct lack of time. I spent this weekend goofing off, only to come to the realization that had I simply spent a few hours working one of the six things I should have done/studied, my overall mental state once the week began would have been much improved. Yet now, while all of those still face me, I find that all I wish to do is blow it off for one more day, and get a full night's sleep. People have warned me that I will burn out this quarter, and while I am steadfast in my resolve to prove them wrong, I won't deny that I think I'm going to come out of it just a tad wacky.
Pink Floyd evokes the strangest mishmash of memories in me. On one hand, I smell new car leather, watch snow falling against a dark sky outside a car window, and lean my head against the window, tapping my fingers softly on my leg. On the other, I sit in Brian's room, sipping tea with legs curled up on his bed, watching him do homework and listening to the passers-by outside. Both memories make me ineffably sad, which somehow fails to interfere with my enjoyment of the music.
I find myself relieved, however, when Future Sound of London supercedes Floyd's place in my ears. After such a soothing, laid-back, and generally happy weekend, I think that avoiding depressing stimuli, despite my simultaneous desire to overdose on it, would be a Good Thing.
I played Unreal Tournament for, all told, approximately 4 hours today. I'm not sure how to feel about this—it was fun, I died a lot, and it made me a little motion sick. Good times were had by... me, but do I really want to go back to the days of hours spent playing games online? Obsessively honing my aim, and knowing maps like the back of my hand? I have little enough time already; do I truly wish to sink more of it down the drain feeding an addiction I thought myself weaned of?
I suppose it is ironic that the day that I've been anticipating with dread for over a month should turn out to not only be not as bad as I had expected, but also turn out to be a better day than I've had in some time. The midterm I expected to fail? I think I probably got in the vicinity of 65%. Sure, that still sucks ass, but it's better than the 40-50% that I was predicting. The deposition went better than any of us could have expected—I think I did no harm, and may even have helped (Dad, I love you). The relief of getting that over just seeped into my spirit as we drove home, and while I still wasn't feeling social, and have spent the night quietly in my room, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Speaking to Mark on the phone today, he told me he could feel me smiling through phone lines, 3000 miles away; I feel more at ease with life than I've felt in months. It's funny—I wouldn't have gauged a week ago that I was as worried and stressed about it as I discover that I was. I knew that it was the biggest thing on my mind, and that it was very upsetting, but it's only in the absence of that tension that I can truly analyze how much it was affecting me. Rather like when I have someone crack my back, and it's only when the pain in my spine is gone that I really notice that it was there. I guess I just get accustomed to a level of stress or pain, and make it my new baseline of normality without realizing it.
I think that paragraph had a point when I first started writing it, but it obviously lost it. Right now, there are roses in my room, Oreos on my desk, a distinct lack of roommate, and less on my mind than in a long while. It's bedtime (speaking of which, I've discovered that after I brought my teddy bear back to the dorms, I've been sleeping much better—go figure).
Tired... so tired. It's The Day tomorrow. I suppose I should get some sleep, or something. I'm told one is supposed to do that occasionally.
1977.31—who would have thought that I would spend an hour agonizing over what that stupid little number means. Argh. It is frustrating that all my ability to synthesize equations from a word problem seems to have disappeared in the last year. Turns out I have to get up earlier this Saturday than I normally do for school—stupid orientation nonsense that I could have gotten out of the way a quarter ago but no they had to hire me right after the other one so I've been running around unoriented for four months and doing just fine thank you very much even if my Mac knowledge could use a boost but who needs to know anything about Macs anyway and it certainly shouldn't be taught to me at nine fricking AM.
I shouldn't daze out at work. So tempting, though, to sit with headphones held to one ear, gazing at the huge shadows pacing themselves along the windows across from me, just... listening.
Yesterday, I got a better surprise than I've gotten since the first time Brian ever came up from Longview without telling me. John dropped off an assortment of random goodies for me—the first real care package I've ever gotten. My parents used to send me packages of books when I was at camp, but books and cookies just don't quite carry the same weight. I ransacked through it, a giggle rising into the air as I uncovered yet another treat. I can't accurately describe how delighted and special I felt, as I laid back on the floor and tossed a stuffed animal into the air. It was the best feeling in the world to know that a friend (whom I've never met) was concerned enough about my well-being to go to the trouble of putting something together to brighten my day. It really reinforced something I've learned over the years—the best compliments and presents are those that are completely unexpected.
Ah, an experience unparalleled—the eating of a melted Frango. I received for Christmas, from my younger brother, a box of mint Frangos. I have since been hoarding them, rationing out one a day to myself, in an ultimately doomed attempt to make them last longer. I'd already had one today, but as I sat sweating in this hell-hole that my roommate makes of a room, I realized that one good thing could be brought out of the situation—a chance to consume a melted Frango. The poor, defenseless box has sat atop my monitor, conveniently above the heat vents, and was sure to contain at least one wrapper completely filled with mint chocolate goo.
I reached in and the first object my fingers touched, squished. (This was a good sign.) Clasping it delicately, I lifted it out, and carefully peeled it open, making sure that the opening always faced up. The chocolate oozed before my eyes, spreading to cover the entire little square of plastic that it was so precariously supported by. I won't deny that I dove into it greedily, and must even shamefacedly admit that I somehow got chocolate on my nose.
But damn, it tasted good.
I spent roughly seven hours today working on differential equations. The actual span of time encompassing the activity was much longer, but that's approximately how much time I spent today, pencil in hand, with some significant portion of my brain devoted to mathematics. While I must admit that only about three hours out of those seven were actually useful towards advancing my understanding of differential equations, the experience as a whole helped solidify an opinion that had been skimming through my head for years.
I have discovered that, in some sick and demented way, I enjoy math.
"But, Jen!" someone cries out in dismay, "You hate math! You've spent hours today fairly crying in frustration over half-forgotten methods of integration, kicking the desk over dusty logarithmic properties, and snapping pencil leads as you angrily corrected arithmetic errors! You prefer to let electronic devices do your computations for you, and truly care not about deriving the correct equations for your titrations!"
True statements, one and all. I hate math, in its excruciating detail and nitpickiness. I see little use for it in my interests, as most everything I'm interested in uses computers rather than pencil and paper, these days (and if I ever get to the point where I need to use differential equations in something I want to program, that's the last programming I'll do... I'm not that interested in it).
However, I cannot deny that as I settled into the groove tonight, inscribing dark runes of integrals and parentheses, pencil flowing down the page inexorably, differentiating here, simplifying there, I moved into another space. A quiet, calm one, inside. Outside, I was joking with Ty (thanks again for the help, man), being outgoing and silly. The inner me stilled, enjoying the logical progression of symbols being transformed into other symbols by that abstract manipulation of ideas that we call mathematics.
It was the same space that I go into when practicing writing kanji, in a way. Then, the physical smoothing of the strokes onto the paper and the visual attractiveness of the output are what slowly pull me into the quiet place. It's an artistic sort of trance then, which is a funny thing for a very non-artistic person to say. This was more of a cognitive meditation, if that's a valid phrase.
I still got damn pissed off when I missed a minus sign, though. I was also going to talk about the other interesting event of the day, but that would take up more space and time than I feel up to devoting to this ramble today... so perhaps tomorrow.
I forgot to write anything yesterday. I'm still sick, I feel like crap, and I want some freaking orange juice. I'm going to bed. Anyone get the feeling it was in their best interests to not hang around me this weekend? I do.
I am tired. I feel sick. I'm going to bed.
There, wasn't that deep and inspiring?
I almost made it to bed before 2 am... oh well. I wonder if my toe is broken—it feels decidedly strange. I'm feeling down about myself. Bleh.
Looking back at that sentence, I realize that it could be construed as fishing for compliments. Screw fishing. If even one of my friends who reads this page sent me an email telling me something good about me, I'd be ecstatic. So draw straws or some shit and make the loser email me to make me feel better.
Several hours ago I had something to say. Now, I simply stare mentally at the specter of having to wake up at 8:00 am, and sigh. I should go to sleep. Have an unpleasant morning and a full day on campus to look forward to. Looks like Thursdays, in general, I will be on campus for somewhere between 10 and 14 hours. Oh, joy.
It was snowing a little bit, earlier. A pretty (soggy) way to end an overall very good day. It's truly amazing what a difference waking up in time for class does for me. Of course, having just realized that it's nearly 3 am, the feasibility of my waking up in time for class tomorrow, as well, is in some doubt. I'm not sure how to feel about my last several hours of work on club business. On one hand, I'm happy I got it all done, but on the other hand, I think, who notices or cares? As long as the showing schedule is up and Aleef's hours are on the webpage, no one notices anything. Sigh. I suppose if I didn't do it, someone would notice. Oh well... such is the way of things.
Material things that I got a random craving for at 3:04 am : Way of the Crane, Way of the Phoenix, Way of the Naga, that new Jade book, the copy Book of the Shadowlands that my brother is no longer using, and my copy of Winter Court back.
Non-material things that seem much more important at 3:09 am : a hug, reassurance that life will be alright, and value in other's eyes, however self-serving that may be.
I was late again today. For the third consecutive day of school, I overslept my snooze button. Waking up at 10:22 for a 10:30 class didn't set the day on a very good start, though I was amazingly alert with that extra hour and a half of sleep beyond that which I meant to get. I hate being late. There are few worse things I can do to my mental state in a normal day than to subject it to the stress I feel upon being late. Why I'm so vainly anal about it, I'll never know. My mother is the same way; one of the few things that I seem to have inherited from her. The adrenaline that rushes through my system upon realizing that I am late is overwhelming—often reducing me to jittering that completely interferes with my taking any sort of productive action. I've been known to stand in the middle of my room, shaking and swearing to myself, while numb fingers refuse to even conceive of lacing my boots and precious seconds slip by. I've never been late this many times in a row, ever. I'm not certain why the alarm that has faithfully woken me for over three years has suddenly ceased to trigger my awakening anymore, but I find it vaguely disturbing that, for instance, last Thursday I slept late by three and a half hours. That means that my alarm went off somewhere in the vicinity of ten to fifteen times... and that I slept through it every time. Yay for being insomniac at night and dead in the morning...
A beat pounds into my ears; the same song repeating over and over, piano soaring over and around the bits of electronica noise. Hypnotically rhythmic, the beat intensifies, sounds building upon others, eleven minutes of a wave moving towards its crest. The piano dives below, barely heard for a time, but ultimately and exultantly breaks out, foaming sounds of wind rushing behind it. The music drowns out all thought, all worry; a bottle of rootbeer is forgotten until nearly knocked over. Headphones wrap my ears, muffling the whir of computer fan and the clicking of computer keys. The sound dies for a few instants, allowing moments of rationality, but the piano rises a last time, beat pressing it farther and farther, until finally it can go no further, and the song is allowed to pass, unwelcome thought surfacing. Would I that I could turn my brain off so easily and more often.
B'z songs still make me sad. It's almost too bad that I like them so much, which is a rather strange thing to say, I suppose.
Doushiyokana... Bleh. Time well spent and enjoyed, but to what purpose? Confused, indecisive, wishy-washy am I. And who do I hurt in the process?
I can tell I'm feeling lonely tonight—the first thing I did when I got home was stare numbly at my computer screen and blindly reach for some chocolate. I listen to music faintly, barely engaging in the melodies. I half-heartedly work on my homework, distracted by the momentary pleasure of reading through EtherLife (turns out it's done by a guy at the UW, who lives with my new co-worker Brock), but I can't even get enough into it to feel... alive. Kanji. Comics. More kanji. A little chocolate.
Kanji rumination (haha, someone knew one'd show up again) :
The three parts in the kanji for "parent" are the following... "stand, tate" "tree, ki" and "watch/look, mi." The tate is positioned over the ki, with the mi positioned to the right. The overall mnemonic effect: "What stands over the tree, watching it (grow)."
I spent the last nine hours enjoying myself, and the last two of that engaged in entertaining and interesting conversation. Kick ass.
Things I figured out on the way home: 1) It was because of you. 2) When I am depressed and randomly something occurs to me that it might relieve my depression were it to happen, that is the best way to ensure that karma deletes that event from possibly happening to me. 3) All lights look like Christmas lights when viewed through tears and without glasses. 4) Bleach is capable of randomly adding itself to a load, and only affecting my favorite old flannel, and then only in spots. 5) My desire to intentionally crash my car increases exponentially when I am depressed at night. 6) There are notable exceptions to my experience of dogs sensing moods and respecting them.
Just as inexplicably as I was in a bad mood a couple days ago, I am inexplicably in a good one tonight. Indian food, a dog nuzzling my knee, and good root beer... Kick butt, even if I have to go to school tomorrow. Almost BECAUSE I have to go tomorrow. I had an awesome time today (even, sort of, in differential equations) and tomorrow should be keeno too. I had something profound to talk about that I thought of on the drive over here, but I forget it and even if I didn't, the lag on this modem is driving me batty.
I got an honest-to-god TOY for Christmas. That's awesome. It's been a long time since I got something with no practical value that wasn't meant to just decorate space. It's so kickass! I was in a tense mood earlier, because I had to stop by to drop my computer and stereo off at the dorm, and Melissa was already moved in. As soon as I walked in, the muscles along my back went tight, and by the time I left, I knew that I wouldn't be forgetting tomorrow to double-check on my status on the single wait-list, and that I was glad that I told Richard to start looking for two-bedroom apartments. Another six months with that girl will turn my hair grey.
And Brian, glad you liked them! I was pretty sure you would, so thanks for proving my instincts right. ;)
A day well spent, watching movies, reading, and eating well. One might even think that I felt a little rested. Still, I feel a little inexplicably down. The things in life that I have no control over seem so close now, and my energy for dealing with what they deal me, low.
There is something she has to do, a month or so from now. She doesn't want to do it. The terror that the thought of it brings coursing through her veins settles in her chest and she can do nothing but howl in anguish, tears running down her face in those spare moments before she falls asleep, when her mind unguards itself and all the shit seeps in. There is nothing she can do to get out of it. All her pleas can be met all too easily with reasons. The fact that she's terrified to do it will be talked down by those with personalities stronger than hers. "It's not that frightening. There will be other people there," someone will say, or, "We'll prepare you for it." She doesn't care if other people will be there, and there's no way that she could ever be prepared enough for it. Not doing it will be letting him down, though, and that is the only reason she'll do it despite the fear, despite the lost nights of sleep, despite the fact that if her part in events doesn't sway their course, she'll carry the guilt-burden of failure with her forever. She prays that her loyalty and love is worth it.