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Te somnia nostra reducunt


Life presses on, you create little stories
to keep your heart alive
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






TICoSME
Musicalities!
Kill that boredom!
Binder Paper Comics

Web Comics and Such
A Distant Soil (Some nudity)
The Abominable Charles Christopher
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
The Adventures of Gyno-Star (Some explicit stuff)
Aquapunk
Axe Cop
Basic Instructions
Bear in Mind
Bear Nuts
Beeserker

Blue Milk Special
Bobbins
The Book of Biff
Brat-halla
Broodhollow
Bug
Buttersafe
Chainsawsuit
ChannelATE
Cigarro & Cerveja
Conspiracy Friends!
Crunchy Bunches

Curia Regis
Cyanide and Happiness
Daisy is Dead
dead winter (has some explicit stuff)
Devilbear: The Grimoires of Bearalzebub (PG-13?)
Diesel Sweeties
Distillum
DUBBLEBABY
Dumm Comics
Eat That Toast!
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
Edemia
E-merl.com
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
The End
Evil Diva
Evil Inc.
Existential Comics
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Forming (Explicit)
Freaks!

Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
Green Wake
Mirror
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
Hello with Cheese
IDK Comics
Inscribing Ardi
The Intrepid Girlbot
JBabb Comics
Kyle & Atticus
L.A.W.L.S.
The League of Evil Genius
Left-Handed Toons
Legend of Bill
Living With Insanity (some nudity)
Love Me Nice
Lovecraft is Missing

Manta-man
Married to the Sea
Meaty Yogurt
Medium Large
Metacarpolis
Moe
Monsterhood
Monsterkind
The Moon Prince
Moon Town
Moth (Some nudity)
Mr. Lovenstein
Muddlers Beat
Namesake
Natalie Dee
Nedroid
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
Optipess
Out There
Owen's Uncles
Phuzzy Comics
P.I. Jane
Political Cartoonists Index
Powernap
Red Meat
Rice Boy
Robbie and Bobby
Rosscott, Inc.
Run Freak Run
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Savage Chickens
Scenes from a Multiverse
The Secret Knots
Serenity Rose
Stand Still. Stay Silent
Stinking Hellebore
Strong Female Protagonist
Subnormality
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
Mirror
Widdershins
xkcd
Yellow Peril (PG-13)
2815 Monument

No Longer Updating Web Comics
The Adventures of Ellie Connelly
American Hell
Bag of Toast
Bobwhite
Brightest
Bullfinch
Chain Bear (Some explicit stuff)
Dream Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
Floodmud

Gun Show
Helpful Figures
Intragalactic
Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
Letters to a Wild Boar
Meat and Plastic
The Meek
Minimalism Sucks
Mis-
The Nerds of Paradise
Nimona
No Reason Comics
Odd-Fish
One Swoop Fell
Patches
Pictures for Sad Children
Raymondo Person


Riotfish
Roy's Boys (PG 13?)
Saint's Way
Shortpacked!
Sin Titulo
Snowflakes
Split Lip
Spooky Doofus
SubCulture
Super Buzzkill
The Super Gay Adventures of Ross Boston
Thermohalia
Troubletown
Ugly Girl
YU + ME

Pure Flash Awesomeness
Aardvardkbutter.com
Angry Alien
Die Anstalt : Toy Psychiatry
The Frown
Hoogerbrugge

Other
Bogleech
Clients from Hell
Brian Despain
Creatures in My Head
Damn You Auto Correct!
Eat Liver
Jhonen Vasquez's site
Overheard in New York
Passive Aggressive Notes
Submarinechannel.com
Superdickery
UHpinions
Whirled
Looky here
free counters
Foooooooooods
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Going out to lunch with a couple of my boyfriend's friends tomorrow.

I am stupidly excited about eating goat cheese mac and cheese.

Don't know what it is about goat cheese but man I am on the verge of obsessed with it. Goat cheese and olives. Nummmmmms.

Anyway, not much to write about. We're going to watch something before going to bed so I'll end the entry here.

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Patriotism and a life of glory
Thursday, January 22, 2015
[12:34:53 AM] Dan: Am I making you hungry
[12:36:03 AM] Me: I don't like trail mix, so no.
[12:36:33 AM] Dan: Whoa, I misread that as "I don't like America" and I almost threw my computer

{Talking about Breaking Bad}
[1:00:25 AM] Dan: My dad said he would never watch it because he thought it would glorify drug use
[1:00:51 AM] Dan: Same with my stepmom, but I was like oh dear god no it's the exact opposite
[1:00:55 AM] Me: I'm not sure I understand that argument.
[1:01:11 AM] Me: "It glorifies drug use and I don't want to be persuaded to use drugs"?
[1:01:14 AM] Dan: Hahhaha
[1:01:18 AM] Dan: I know, it's f****** stupid
[1:01:40 AM] Dan: "Hmm, you know what, I seem to have my life in line, but this show has convinced me that meth might be pretty cool"
[1:02:37 AM] Dan: I can imagine someone saying that and also being a big fan of action movies or something
[1:02:49 AM] Dan: Ones that actually glorify violence
[1:04:40 AM] Me: "My life is good, but wouldn't it be better with punches?"

I'm in this weird state between having an appetite and not having an appetite.

The past few days I didn't really have an appetite, and I didn't feel super hungry. Wednesday I felt hungry and wanted to eat but no food was appealing. I ate some things anyway just to feel less hungry but it was sort of a dissatisfying experience. I've been trying to think of foods I might want to eat but nothing is coming to mind. Even my favorite foods seem kind of unpleasant. Right now I'm fairly hungry and I can't think of a single thing that seems nice to eat. Hrm.

I'm glad I don't feel this way about my other needs.

[1:31:12 AM] Me: In 2009 I spent almost my whole Intro to Psych class just doing word searches on my laptop and every time I finished one I tweeted "Word search completed ___ minutes"
[1:31:43 AM] Dan: O_o
[1:31:46 AM] Me: Later I deleted all of those because I realized what a paragon of banality they were.
[1:31:58 AM] Dan: Paragon of banality...
[1:32:02 AM] Dan: Sounds like my life
[1:35:50 AM] Me: Sounds like an ironic hipster band.
[1:36:04 AM] Dan: Again, my life

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As in a dream [DP]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

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Something about this is really hilarious to me
Monday, January 19, 2015
Oh stock photos, you hold a special place in my heart.

"Young man proposing senior woman near swimming pool, side view"


"Young man with senior woman sitting in wheelchair near swimming pool"


"Man holding wheelchair looking at woman in swimming pool"


I just love how terse and straightforward the names of the images are. I mean, I guess I find terseness pretty amusing in general in these kinds of contexts, but yeah.

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On practice
Sunday, January 18, 2015
My friends say things about me, like I'm patient, or strong, or caring. They talk as if these qualities were some innate part of me. I tell them otherwise and they shrug it off as modesty.

But I really don't think that I naturally have many of these positive qualities I'm perceived to have. Most of the things I am now were developed through purposeful effort. It's no different than training for a sport, except that whatever progress I make is internal rather than external, and therefore hard for others to see.

I wanted to be someone patient, kind, caring, selfless, etc. and that's the kind of person I have worked toward becoming. I don't think I had any sort of natural affinity for those things, and it's not always been easy to pursue them as qualities. I guess if I had any sort of innate or at least strongly-rooted advantage it would be that if I truly want something I pretty much always find a way to get it. This aspect of me just doesn't come up that often because there aren't many things I truly want.

In a previous post I talked about the insignificance of the individual in the larger scale of the universe. The external world is absurd and unpredictable, unmoved by the self. The internal world is more controllable, though many people don't understand that. It seems to me only sensible to focus one's efforts on the parts of life that one can control-- the self. Of course there are ways to affect the external world, but it's much more difficult, I think, and much less flexible. We can't choose the system we're born into, but we can choose how we play our role within it. This thinking has factored heavily into how I plan to achieve my goals.

My goals, I think, are hard to explain though. I guess in a way I want to be a skeleton key that can open any door. I want to be in a position where I never have to worry about my options, rather than wanting a specific option. I think having money and a good education will help me get there, but money and education aren't ends in themselves... I don't want to know things for the sake of knowing them, I want to be able to flesh out my understanding of the world with the knowledge I gain.

I don't get depressed as often or as heavily as I used to, and I do think this is significantly related to my efforts to mentally restructure myself. Having friends helps a lot when I'm feeling down, but I wouldn't have as many friends if I hadn't put a lot of calculated effort into becoming more social and learning how to get past my shyness. Being outgoing used to be very forced for me but it's become much more natural with time. I still have a long ways to go though, I think. I'm always going to be in the process of becoming the person I want to be, but I don't think I'll ever be that person, in part at least because I think I will continue to find things I want to change.

Epictetus had some good things to say about how I feel.

"...None of these objects that men admire and set their hearts on is of any use to those who get them, though those who have never chanced to have them get the impression, that if only these things were theirs their cup of blessings would be full, and then, when they get them, the sun scorches them and the sea tosses them no less, and they feel the same boredom and the same desire for what they have not got. For freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire. To learn the truth of what I say, you must spend your pains on these new studies instead of your studies in the past: sit up late that you may acquire a judgement that makes you free: pay your attentions not to a rich old man, but to a philosopher, and be seen about his doors: to be so seen will not do you discredit: you will not depart empty or without profit, if you approach in the right spirit. If you doubt my word, do but try: there is no disgrace in trying."

"Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Someone who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself."

These late hours are not the best time to be pursuing Stoic ethics, but here's one last quote I should really keep in mind for my own sake:

"The will of nature may be learned from those things in which we don't distinguish from each other. For example, when our neighbor's boy breaks a cup, or the like, we are presently ready to say, 'These things will happen.' Be assured, then, that when your own cup likewise is broken, you ought to be affected just as when another's cup was broken. Apply this in like manner to greater things. Is the child or wife of another dead? There is no one who would not say, 'This is a human accident.' but if anyone's own child happens to die, it is presently, 'Alas how wretched am I!' But it should be remembered how we are affected in hearing the same thing concerning others."

I don't advocate for being resigned to everything one encounters in life, but to figure out which things can be controlled and to control them in a way advantageous to the self, I guess. No bad faith...

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HCAMT, NIAE [4P]
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

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Stories of loss
Friday, January 16, 2015
I'm pretty sure I've posted this song before, but I heard it on the radio a couple days ago and was sort of swept up in nostalgia.


I can say the most wonderful words you just don’t understand
I can show you the way but I know that you’ll never be there
All the time, all the shine of your eyes, I will never forget
All I know, there’s no time, there’s no life, there is no turning back
There is no turning back
There is no turning back


---

I was talking to Sean about love and came across this article about a study done at Yale about selfless love. The gist of it is that romantic love activates the same reward areas of the brain as cocaine, while selfless love (defined as "a deep and genuine wish for the happiness of others without expectation of reward") turns off those areas. You can love someone without having a craving for them necessarily.

This came up because I told him about a man I met whose wife of many years was leaving him to become a Buddhist nun. When I first heard his story I was shocked. It seemed incredibly tragic to me, to commit your life to someone only to have them decide they didn't want you anymore. The man seemed unfazed, though. Perhaps it had been a long time coming and he'd become desensitized to the fear of losing her. Or perhaps he'd always known she might do that, and he'd accepted that risk before they married. I don't know. In any case I feel like I can empathize with him much more now. His wife wasn't becoming a nun to escape him, it was just what she wanted to do. And he didn't want to stand in the way of her wish. At least by the time I talked to him, he had accepted it.

Anyway, I told this to Sean, with the explanation that I think, if I were in the same situation, I would probably be the same way. To marry someone I think I would have to truly love them, and if I truly loved the person I would not stand in the way of their true desire... because even if I could make them stay, I don't think it could ever be meaningful if being with me was not what they really wanted.

After I said all that, Sean said he thought I'm "one of the most mature and logical people I've met in my life." I don't know if I necessarily agree with that assessment, though. I feel it's to a great extent a matter of the values I have (although I guess you could argue that the values one holds are related to one's maturity). I value authenticity and agency and selfless love. How could I be happy if I was willfully preventing a person I loved from following their authentic wishes? I think it's better to be alone than to call repression love.

One of my favorite books when I was younger was I Am Morgan le Fay by Nancy Springer. I've forgotten most of the story by now, but I've thought about one part of the story somewhat frequently over the years.

Morgan le Fay gives forth a sending for Thomas, a magical summoning he cannot resist. They haven't seen each other for years, but she wants to be reunited. She tells her servants to make Caer Morgana, her domain, a paradise for Thomas, and that she wants it to be a stronghold within which he will always be safe from harm. She says "I love him truly; I have loved him since I was a child. And this one love of my life I will keep forever safe from harm." Thomas does come to her, wounded from battle and weary, and she heals him, and for awhile they're happy together, until one day he tries to go for a walk on the moor and finds out that she's constructed invisible walls all around her land to keep intruders out and protect him. She tells him that if he ever wants to go out all he needs to do is ask her, and she'll accompany him through the walls, but he feels disturbed by this lack of freedom. One day he asks her to let him go out and ride alone along the sea, but she refuses his request because she is afraid of him leaving her. More and more he feels like a prisoner, and he begs her to let him leave the safety of Caer Morgana. When she was a child, her father left for battle and was killed, and she fears Thomas may never return if he goes, so she tells him that she can't let him go. He is, of course, incredibly distraught, and he ends up tricking her and removing the ring which channels her power. As soon as he does so, Caer Morgana disintegrates, and some enemy knights who were riding nearby charge toward Thomas and kill him.

I read this book when I was in elementary school and that part hasn't left me in the more than ten years since. To me I guess it's sort of a horror story about the worst possible consequences of loving selfishly and detracting from someone's agency as a person. This theme is present in a lot of other stories, I think. Trying to hold onto someone too tightly may drive them away, especially if your goal to keep them conflicts with their ability to follow their authentic desires.

The real difficulty, I think, once you get past selfishness, is knowing what someone's authentic desire is. I don't agree with being completely fine with everything someone does and chalking that up to letting them be authentic, so being able to distinguish between authentic and inauthentic behavior is important. People are not static, so it's very hard to know what is authentic, but I feel like relative constancy matters. Desires often change with mood, but if you have a desire that persists regardless of your current mood, I think it has more weight as an authentic desire. This isn't something that I've completely fleshed out as an idea though, so it's possible there are loads of flaws in my thinking here that I'm not addressing.

I feel like I always start thinking about these things late at night when I have stuff to do in the morning of the next day... -Sigh-

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"Like a ton of bricks" [4P]
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

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