I was perhaps going to write something tonight. But then I found out that someone I know is running away to get married and moving to New York for a few years. As she said, some things just aren't predictable....
I am SO behind on rolling the page over. I'll admit that a lot of it has to do with not quite being comfortable with Emacs and all I want to do with it yet. The not quite being able to wrap my mind around dealing with keyboard-switching between buffers is really frustrating, and I think it's quite possible that that's the biggest mental block right now to my productivity. Go figure. I wonder if I got imwheel working correctly, if Emacs would scroll... I found a script to dump into .Xdefaults that forces Netscape to scroll (seeing as various versions of imwheel either made X stop recognizing my mouse or just didn't work at all), which is nice; that along with setting up things so that X is using my True Type fonts would make me feel pretty productive... if the Gimp weren't so slow and buggy (or perhaps it's just that it's not quite different enough from Photoshop, but enough so that things are screwball... anyway), and if my computer hadn't spontaneously decided that hdd doesn't exist, I'd be a damn happy camper. Sigh.
Sigh. Apparently the script that's making things scroll is a little tempermental... as in it doesn't work randomly. Grumble.
I was going to write about the "Holy shit, that's Noah!" moment, but I've been riding high on adrenaline for the last 6 hours or so, and I don't think I could do it justice in my current frame of mind.
A statement of the patently obvious : It really sucks to feel forgotten, unloved, unwanted by those you care about. I wonder if they feel that I'm doing that to them, and that's why this dreadfully intolerable situation is unfolding. I don't know how to fix things; should I be the one to reach out? I'm scared to, because I'm scared of being brushed off, because I'm scared of being angrily told it's my fault anyway, because I'm scared that even if I reach out and there is discussion, nothing will change regardless. Shoulders will still be turned, natural conversation or any affection shown will depend on the presence or absence of someone else, and things will generally suck. I hate this.
Is there a moment when you just know? An instant, an evening, whenever, when you feel that something is right? Sometimes, I suppose. Sometimes not. Sometimes you're driving home in a rainstorm, barely in control over the water-filled ruts, and you look to the right, and you know that the one night was when you knew. And sometimes things just don't work out that way... sometimes things ease together carefully, and sometimes they were wrong from the beginning. But sometimes, just sometimes, you know exactly when it was.
(heh) "So, what are you going to call it?" "I was thinking about calling it Bob." "Bob??? You can't call a planet BOB!!!" "Oh, so you're the boss now, huh? The king of Bob?"
Well, after taking a second look at my extreme profundity yesterday, I think I've come to the conclusion that eating an excess of extremely tasty food somehow addled my brains. I spent most of the day today (that I was awake, at least) studying. Some chemistry, some Japanese... I think my biggest problem with studying chemistry (other than the frustration that comes from trying to do complicated problems out of a book with either no or far-too-simplified examples) vs studying Japanese is that when doing chem homework, I don't suddenly find myself excited by learning that branching has a correctional effect on the chemical shift for alkyl carbons. On the other hand, learning what the characters are for "vampire" (sucking-blood-demon) is something that I get all fuzzy for. Especially as demon is such a nifty looking character. Much prettier than NMR spectra.
Food good. I think there are few holidays that I like as much as Thanksgiving. Food is very good.
Driving is an amazing outgrowth of a cooperative human society. That we've evolved in such a way that dozens of dangerous, immensely heavy machines can be piloted by humans in a close proximity with a relatively high degree of safety is absolutely incredible. Imagine if you showed a random monkey how to operate the controls of a car. It should be able to pick up the concepts of forward and reverse, and perhaps steering if given enough training. This isn't outside the realm of possibility. But put it on the road, and you're going to have a huge mess. Sure, there's many very bad or careless drivers out there, but the vast majority of people manage to operate these huge machines capable of dealing indiscriminate death on a daily basis, without hurting anyone. What is it in us that constrains us to actually stay in our lanes, or respect the other cars about us? Some of it, to be sure, is simple fear for our own lives. But that we can comprehend the danger we're in in that situation, and that we understand how to lessen that danger to ourselves (most of the time), and that we trust the other humans in the next car over to do the same (at least some of the time), is something to be said about us.
Different reflections of light scattering across panes of Plexiglass on the bus. Early afternoon, worry, warm light on one half of a fretful face, the other side smoothing into shadow. Late afternoon, not as fretful, watching trees outside... no reflections. Late night, too-harsh florescence washing my face, while Jim's bone structure peers out of the darkness. I'm not, though perhaps not definitively... it's better than a definitive yes. That would cause so many more shadows.
There's something incomparable about music and the night. Cloaking myself with mist and starlight and harmony, finding that perfect beat that matches my footsteps, I'm not listening to the music, I'm part of it, heartbeat whirling in counterpoint, moving in a soundscape of my own imagination, cars rushing by and lights blinking all merging into the same place as the wires falling, showering sparks and my shadow sweeping over the ground ahead of me as my heart races faster and my steps speed in response to the quickening in the surrounding music, oh, that music, lifting me away from myself and into a spinning otherness, undescribable.
And then I get home. Sigh.
And so the prophet my mother prophesied to me "Seattle Rep's The Oydessy shall be good," and lo, she was correct in all intimations of wonderfulness. But most woefully this night did an earlier admonition from those most wise lips fall out of my mind, and this was that "sleep is good and righteous for the soul." And lo, having not paid heed to those words until my fate was far past, I find myself most chilled and exhausted.
I'm wondering whether I should be concerned with the fact that they don't like me. I'm thinking, for one of the first times in my life, that I won't. For behind the hisses, laughs, and catcalls lies a group of people that I am willing to admit is so far below me so as to not be worth concerning myself with them, to not worry or care about what they think of me. It's patently obvious, after all, that they don't like me. I honestly rather hope that they decide they dislike me enough to avoid coming to showings any longer. I doubt that will happen, but a girl may have her dreams. In the meantime, I find myself miraculously willing to bitch them out roundly for being loud or knocking my trenchcoat to the floor again, to laugh at them when they hiss at me as I walk by, and to roll my eyes at every other one of their stupid little behaviors. It's refreshing to feel this way, to feel, for once, absolutely and utterly right in my disdain and disgust for a number of people X. I feel as if it's some sort of hurdle that I've overcome in my fight to not feel responsible for everyone and guilty for every thought that goes through my head.
My hands, clammy and cold, haunting music lilting around me... I think I may go surreptitiously install Riven on Jeff's computer (I'll remove it when I'm finished goofing around, of course, dear).
She looked so much like Katrina.
What the hell is going on? This is Seattle for God's sake; it's not supposed to be cold during "winter," and it certainly isn't supposed to be frosty in November! It's supposed to be raining! This is violating every expectation I've built up about Seattle weather for the last 21 + years. There's something fishy going on.
I've been spending a great deal of time looking into mirrors lately. It's not because I'm looking for beauty or something similar. It's simply that I've discovered an absolute fascination with watching my own facial expressions. Watching emotions flicker across someone else's face is one thing, but I've discovered that long stretches of time can be spent isolating what muscle causes that twitch above and to the right of my chin, and what emotion causes a particular shadow to cross my eyes. I realized tonight that the scars from the car accident are still there upon close inspection. Perhaps no one else would guess that those two particular faint lines are anything more than vague shadows or normal skin fissures, but I remember the impact, I remember the starspinning light, I remember dazedly finding myself on my back in the trunk space as my brother's face appeared over the back seat and I vaguely noticed that my father was trying to open the trunk with his bare hands. I still wonder how long I was unconscious.
I can't decide whether to cry or scream. I have no control over it, and shouldn't even bother worrying about it, but I do nonetheless. I fret and fret, though it does no good—pointless worrying's poster-child am I. It's amazing how much one's mood can shift simply by dint of listening to music. I was tired, and annoyed with talking to be sure, when I left Odegaard... but in relatively good spirits. Walking home in the dark listening to October Rust echoing outside my head, feeling like there was all sorts of empty space to be filled in my mind, I started to think to myself. Ever the bad idea, that is. Once I start talking to myself, I start worrying. It never matters exactly what it is, but it always ends up making me depressed or just generally upset. Perhaps if I'd been listening to something poppy... something happy, something which bounced around in a merely internal cacophony, I wouldn't have started thinking. But something about the hollow echoing of Type O Negative created this external space, one that I felt was mine, my consciousness, but rather larger and blanker than normal. As is instinctive to most, I filled it, filled that terrible gaping hole in my mind. The question only remains whether I would have been better off not thinking tonight. Probably. And failing that, I would have been best served by keeping my mouth shut. Fostering resentment does no good, I know, but I couldn't help it. How am I to reconcile my own feelings with that which is proper to the world and how others go about their own business? I try so hard and ultimately fail, every time. It all comes back to thinking, and the doing of it too much. I'd feel a lot less pain if I didn't inflict it on myself by thinking, whether directly by thinking about something hurtful or negative, or by acting on something I thought in a way that hurts or negatively impacts someone else. I think I'm going to opt for the former option.
I should roll the page over. Naw. Another day. I'm not sure if I have anything profound to impart about the day. I woke up, I studied, I got (semi?)reamed on a chemistry exam, I started feeling sick, only sort of paid attention during Philosophy, and was in active pain all evening until I finally decided that going to work tonight just wasn't worth it. So I came home and had dinner and watched TV with Jim (Death Devices on the History Channel's Modern Marvels—it was pretty twisted... but before that was a late-80s skater movie, which was only arguably less so) and am heading to bed early. All in all, there wasn't a whole lot of reflecting done today. What a typical Monday. Sigh.
Well, I gave it another shot tonight. I'd avoided it for a few years, after the last experience. Unfortunately, time proved not my salve. Heathen that I be, I don't like eggnog. I know, I know, blasphemy and such. I don't know what it is—I'm not sure if it's the taste or the richness or what. I tried cutting it down with milk tonight—no luck. I suppose I'm just meant to raise my nose in disdain at a staple of American winter culture. Perhaps I'd like it more if it were mixed with rum... except wait a minute, I don't like rum either. Never mind. I think eggnog is one of those things that is better in concept (and for that matter, smell) than in actuality. That and apple cider. It sounds good and smells frapping wonderful, but damned if I can't quite stand the taste of the stuff. Oh well. The less I drink, the more there is in the world for others to. That and olives and mushrooms. Eat up world, so I don't have to.
I have the vague feeling that I had something I was intending to speak of tonight, but it escapes me at the moment. The TV snuck a feeler into my brain and removed any capability I had of forming rational thought. Two hours into staring at the flickering light, I find myself impressed that my neck hasn't stiffened into some sort of irrevocably damaging state (it hurts enough, though). So I actually studied today. I finished several homework problems, re-familiarized myself with most of the IR analysis techniques, and stared uncomprehendingly at several pages of UV/vis spectroscopy discussion, including ORD and CD, whatever those are. Realizing that a combination of A) sense-making material spontaneously morphing into utter gobbledygook, and B) my brain summarily deciding that 3.5 hours of studying was well enough for it, was going to turn the rest of any so-called studying of chemistry into a studying of the passerby on the Ave, I decided to eat. Sounded like a plan. Of course, the fact that preparable food seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the apartment put something of a damper on things. So I had dinner out with Joel (the guys had abandoned me in favor of pizza and beer... sniffle) and came home to rot my brain. Ahhh, what a life.
I woke today at approximately 2:45 pm, feeling vaguely ill and having slept for around 15 hours. It's nearly four in the morning now, and I still feel vaguely ill, I got my Philosophy homework done but none of my Japanese or Chemistry studying done, and I've restarted Alpha Centauri many times. Oh, the wonders of a holiday.
I feel small. I feel pitiful. I feel angry that he thinks so little of my home. I feel angry that I can't come up with a single argument for it that he wouldn't laugh at and blow away in an instant. So I have no excuses; so I have no real verbalizable reason to love it here so much. But I was born here and it's my home. And it rips me apart to hear it discussed that way. "It should be its own state." "The rest of the state gets screwed by all the liberal legislation." "Seattlites are ignorant about what's best for the populace of Washington." "I'd never want to live my life here." All those sentiments and more; about my home that I love and vowed never to leave. So I'll end up here with all the ignorant liberal savages... for that's what we are. Or at least I am. I know nothing about politics, I understand nothing about how the more sizable part of the state goes about its business, I'm just as prone as the next Seattlite to indulge in John's hated game of no eye-contact... and so I continue on in my stupid little isolated tower, unable to defend my view and unwilling to take another.
So, why didn't I vote yesterday? It was a combination of a few things, really. I mean, how should I explain the fact that I didn't, even after Dad called me and offered to drive me to go do it? Well, that is maybe more explainable than the rest, after all. It was some sort of instinctive refusal to do anything that he wants me to do, I think. That and the fact that it was much easier to just tell him I wasn't planning on voting than to admit to him that one of the biggest reasons that I didn't vote was because I wasn't sure how to do it. Yeah, go on, laugh. It's not one of those things that I'm proud admitting. I wasn't sure where I could vote, or even if I am actually registered. I think the lady at the DMV coerced me into it when I renewed my license, but then again, perhaps I imagined that. And I didn't really want to admit to anyone that I didn't know, or take the initiative to figure it out myself... which brings up the question, "why am I admitting it now?" Ummm... I don't know. Perhaps I just feel the need to publicly embarrass myself to atone for having not voted. I certainly feel guilty enough about it to have that be a viable possibility. Hrm, I lost track of what I was saying... oh yes. Not voting, and why. The other reason was a silly one. I felt bad about the fact that I couldn't actually justify to anyone why I would have voted for one person over another; I didn't feel good about the fact that had I voted, it would have been something from the hip. I haven't paid much attention to politics, ever... Jim will attest that my understanding of and participation in my government and country is weak at best and nonexistent at worst. I somehow managed to come out of what, from what I can tell, was a rather politically void household, with a vague perception that Republicans are bad because they're pro-life and overly religious and anti-gay, and that's about it. Go me. Anyway, the upshot of all this was that when Jim pleaded with me to, if I voted, to "make it an informed decision, please..." something inside of me shriveled up. I felt like I was trapped into a situation where I'd vote for someone, and it wouldn't be someone I liked (seeing as I don't find myself particularly enthralled by Gore, dislike Bush on grounds of my Republican-politician bias, and don't/didn't know enough about Nader to really have an opinion), and it was guaranteed to be someone that at least one of the people whose opinions matter most to me would disagree with... a situation that I didn't like one bit. So I chose not to vote. Of course, now I deal with the assumed guilt of that—I feel, after the fact, as I watch the recount in Florida, that I have failed in my existence as an American citizen, what little that may be. I feel like I should be ignoring everything that happens in the elections, to be consistent with the fact that I couldn't be bothered enough to figure out who I agreed with and vote for them. Fair-weather fans of sports bother me... my own habit of only going to church when Mom's singing and only thinking about God (existence or non-existence) when it's convenient to me bothers me, and the fact that I've only started to think about politics (too) late in a presidental election year bothers me.
Well. There are a lot of words above this, with very little point. Not that I really had one, other than the fact that I simultaneously feel guilty for not voting and feel annoyed with myself for caring at all how it turns out. I suppose I just hope that I'll learn from this and start to pay more attention to the world around me from now on, so that when next elections come up for state or country or what have you, I can either feel like I'm not voting for a good reason, or go out and support someone who I hope will do some good for me. I think I'd prefer to not feel like I feel now more often than I have to.
I was going to write tonight about the fact that I didn't vote, and why, and how my dad called me at 7:30 pm about it and how I felt about that. But that was before I got in a really stupid fight and started feeling guilty about things. So instead I'd rather crawl under a rock and die.
Frustration and trash and the realization that I don't have a single picture of anyone in my family anywhere in my apartment. Blah.
I'd be a little happier sitting here playing with html if either my computer was able to tell what .css and .shtml things should be doing off of the hard drive (rather than just sitting there and not displaying things—er, heh, never mind, the .css stuff does show up, I'm just a dumbass), or if the ftp client that I was trying to use would not crash every third time I upload something. Stupid gFTP. And NCFTP won't even open. And command line ftp is a joke pain in the ass. Bleh. On a different note, I'm worried about them. I try so hard to take care of them without screwing myself up, but I worry about them nonetheless.
AUGH. My body and mind betray me. I'd thought that that particular psychological problem was gone, but no, it's returned to torture me. And the more I think about it, the worse it gets. Would that I could turn off my brain...
So, what does Jen do on a chilly Saturday night in November when Jim's out of town and she's not wanting to go to bed? Hey, it's only midnight! That means it's HTML editing time!
Perhaps more normally I'd last longer... but for some reason, my ability to deal with the fact that I can't figure out how to keyboard switch between buffers in emacs seems to be interfering with my tolerance to staying awake when secretly I'm deathly tired. So at approximately 2:30, I call it quits with just this comment—regular expression search-and-replace is so yummy I can barely contain myself.
Did you know that a very young and very red-haired Harvey Keitel played Judas in The Last Temptation of Christ? I didn't until after Richard discovered tonight that we miraculously have cable and I joyously learned that said cable includes Bravo. It's been a nice end to a long day.
The bastards cancelled my registration today. It's all fixed now, but I'm still pretty pissed. On a completely different note, there's a very nice, calm feeling to sitting in a quiet, dim, candle-lit room, folding laundry and feeling like you've done something with your evening. Of course, it'd be nicer with MUSIC, but the headphones don't stretch to my bed. Hopefully the stereo situation will be remedied this weekend.
I thought today.
I saw someone who looked like Alison Goodwin, and I thought about her and wonder if she remembers me (I doubt it). Thinking about her, I thought about actual friends from high school—Luke, Jake, Adam, either Ben... do they remember me? Do Noah or Tom? I see Armin, Anna, Raven on campus occasionally; Raven even waves sometimes. I chat with John and Huy every now and then—I wish I had more to say to them. I work with Ray, an unexpected but not unwelcome coincidence. But the others... I didn't enjoy high school very much, and didn't like most of my many classmates, but it seems vaguely unfair of life to have taken away those few I would have most liked to keep in touch with.
I saw someone (again) who looked like Brian. Why there are so many Japanese guys on campus this year with his height, general facial features, and taste in clothes and hairstyle, I just don't know. I know he's very unlikely to show up in the labs, but that doesn't stop the heart-beat skip when I think I see him sitting there.
I thought also about Mark. A lot. Joel sneered slightly at me when I said that Mark and I hadn't been dating, and something about the way he did it forced me to really think, for the first time, why I was and am so adamant about that issue. Walking to school today, the reason occurred to me (it was even a plausible hypothesis). Mark and I knew that he was going to be leaving, and both of us dealt with our relationship under that shadow in our own separate ways. For my part, Brian had, not a month or two before, broken my heart by leaving me. I was determined to not get too attached to Mark—I was desperate to avoid any sort of repeat of that gut-wrenching hurt from when Brian left my life. If there was no official relationship, my subconscious reasoned, there was no official tie in my mind to be shredded painfully apart when Mark left. Never mind that I became nearly as emotionally involved as I would have otherwise, that I was additionally saddled with guilt for deliberately withholding part of myself, or that I ended up missing him dreadfully anyway. I convinced myself that there was nothing really between us in an (ultimately vain) effort to prevent myself from being hurt, and it seems that no amount of admitting that to myself allows my belief gremlin to let go of the idea. Of course, I don't think that any amount of admitting anything to myself has ever induced the belief gremlin into letting go of anything, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, and perhaps I should just give up on futile self-analysis altogether.