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."
"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."
"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
Think about it
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!
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
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
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
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
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
Doing dishes makes me feel productive [4P]
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Over the Stile
Friday, June 23, 2017
I read a short story in Life's Little Oddities that I really liked today. Grabbed some screenshots of the ebook to post here.
The man described in the story, Ladbroke Black (what a strange name), seemed like something of a kindred spirit to me. If I weren't bogged down with anxiety and depression and shyness I feel like I might be more like him. Although, I must admit, he doesn't seem like he was a great editor if he was so indiscriminate with what he was willing to publish, haha.
Speaking of depression, my Facebook feed has lately been spammed with posts from this group I joined called "awful recipes: recipes for disaster" and it's getting to be a bit annoying. On some of the recent posts, people have been talking about the kind of stuff they eat when they're depressed. One of the posts was just a picture of a bag of brownie mix that a person was eating with a spoon. In the comments, people were sharing what their depressed meals are:
So, this is one of the parts of depression I don't really relate to a whole lot. I mean, yeah, I eat junk I guess, but not... like... that... This stuff always makes me wonder if my depression is just not as severe as other people's or if I am just less willing to let myself totally fall apart with it. Even if my whole body feels like concrete, I can't just skip obligations. As much as I've fantasized about it, I would never stay in bed all day doing nothing just because I'm depressed. It takes monumental effort to do anything, but I still do it. Fro said something awhile ago to the effect of being amazed that I could get out of bed when I'm depressed... but it's just never seemed like I was allowed to stay in bed. Worst case scenario, I get up later than normal, but I'm just not allowed to flake on my commitments. I don't like it when people say "I can't ___ because of my depression." It's just... not true? I mean, I don't mean to sound dismissive or trivialize anybody's experience... but even if you feel like you're literally made of lead, you can still move. My worst experience of depression was in winter 2009/2010, when my entire body felt so heavy that I could barely even type, and breathing felt like trying to lift hundreds of pounds with my chest. I still ended up going out with my mom that day, despite how incredibly difficult it was to move.
I dunno, like, I think people are more capable than they feel. I'm not trying to guilt trip anybody or say it's their fault if they're not functioning at a higher level, just... trying to say like, give yourself more credit, I guess. Like I think you can do more than you think you can. And I'm not gonna be disappointed or angry at people for not doing more, necessarily, but I'd like to encourage them, I guess. I don't feel like I'm just extraordinary in some regard, or that my depression has just been blessedly mild. I think it's more that my mindset is that as real as it feels, it's still just in my mind. There aren't literally blocks of concrete holding me down, as much as it feels like it. As long as I'm not physically bound, I can still move. Maybe this all stems from resolving to have some distance from myself and not take myself overly seriously when I was a teenager? I don't know. Radical freedom, haha.
Mm, I miss making silly philosophy jokes. Or just like... psych jokes? I'm not sure I even laugh at those a lot of the time, but I find them deeply satisfying for some reason.
I had a dream that felt rather symbolic, and I keep thinking about it, but I'm not sure what to say about it. It was pretty rich in detail and filled with fantastical mechanical contraptions and creature, but trying to describe all of it would be an exercise in futility, I think.
The main plot was that I was in some other world (kind of like Narnia) and I was an heir to the throne of the land. I had the choice to stay there and become queen, or go back home and live my normal life. If I stayed, I couldn't return home to Earth. There was also a guy from Earth there who was in a similar position, and if we stayed we had to get married and rule as king and queen. I was thinking about what my life on Earth was like and how I'd been feeling kind of purposeless and lost, and how I'd have direction and more of a reason to live if I became queen. It felt like my life on Earth was empty and meaningless and I'd have a better shot at doing something significant if I accepted the throne. I decided to tell the current queen, who was a slender sphinx, that I was leaning towards staying but I wasn't completely certain about it, and she basically took my talking about it at all as a sign that I was agreeing to stay. She arranged an appointment for me to ascend to the throne for 6pm the next day, much to my horror. I tried to tell her that I hadn't even talked to the guy I was supposed to marry about the decision, and I didn't want to force him to stay if it wasn't a mutual feeling, but she was... resolute. I also tried to say that I was nervous about staying because there wasn't electricity there, and I would severely miss my music if I didn't have electricity, but she told me that there actually was electricity (and we were meeting in a huge hall full of ancient machines that looked like they were made of bronze), so I would be fine. Feeling distraught, I went off to find the guy I had to marry to talk to him about staying. I wandered through empty red-carpeted hallways and past golden banisters and doors covered by red velvet drapes tied off with gold ropes. There didn't seem to be anybody in the palace or wherever I was. While I looked around, I thought about my future and getting married to that guy (I don't even know what his name was), and I figured I could be reasonably content with him for the rest of my life, although we didn't know each other very well at all. Finally, I found him outside, and he looked very different from what I remembered... it was 5:20pm, 40 minutes before we had our appointment with the sphinx queen, and I was feeling panicked. He was with a couple friends, and I looked at him and felt repulsed. Then I thought about how I wasn't going to be able to talk to any of my friends at home anymore because the world I was in didn't have internet or a way to contact them, and I realized I'd never see the guy I like (in real life) again and I felt regretful and dismayed. As far as I knew, there was no way to take back what I had said to the current queen, and I didn't want to stay there forever anymore if it meant I was going to lose everybody I cared about, but I didn't seem to have a choice.
I woke up feeling kind of bummed out.
Distasteful recycling [2P]
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Dust and mold
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
I'd like to write a short story, but I'm lacking inspiration at the moment. Sometimes it seems like I can only draw lasting inspiration from sad things. I can write little blips of poetry using happier feelings, but nothing longer. Sadness and suffering just seem to have more angles, more nooks and crannies and places to hide and lose yourself. You can unwind them like a skein of yarn and knit them into something else. Happiness isn't like that for me, I guess. Happiness is just... something pure and solid, that doesn't crumble into smaller pieces that get everywhere and lurk in the spaces underneath the bed, gathering dust and waiting for you to stumble upon them again.
Sadness is the dust you see swimming in a ray of light, the little particles that swirl around when you exhale. They build and they build if you don't take care to clean regularly, and then everything is coated with a layer of grey and you wonder how this happened and how things fell into such a state. You sweep and you vacuum and you spray and you scrub but it's always building up and you're never really done. And there are always places you miss, and when you finally find them, the dust bunnies have colonized those dark corners and it so catches you by surprise that you just have to stand there are stare for awhile.
But ah, as long as you just keep up some regular maintenance, it's okay, and it won't get to you too much. The places you frequent in the house will be clean, and the dust bunnies won't get to you unless you're digging around in the obscure areas behind the furniture and at the back of the closet.
It still feels like I'm getting over things. Like I've been staring into a mirror covered in black mold, breathing in the noxious air and slowly suffocating for a long time. Disgusted by my reflection, disgusted by where I am and that I let things get like this. I didn't put the mold there but I let it grow.
But, slowly, slowly, I've been opening windows, and there's fresh air coming in and sunlight and warmth, and the mold is dying back, and now it only covers a corner of my reflection and I'm starting to be able to breathe again without choking. That ugliness is still there on the mirror, and it's left fine little marks all over the glass, but it isn't obscuring things anymore, and I can see myself more clearly... I think? In a way, it doesn't really matter how clearly I can see my reflection, because it will always just be a reflection, a reversal of what I look like to others. Introspection is never enough in itself, because we're all blinded by our biases and flaws. We need feedback from other people.
I don't even know what I'm writing right now, it's almost 5 AM and I keep staying up this late because it's so hot during the day that I don't do anything. Night is the only time I can move around and think and get stuff done. This hot weather is turning me nocturnal.
SoundCloud autoplayed this for me.
"Is This Ready?" by Sleep Thieves.
Teaching things [DP]
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Slipped away earlier
Monday, June 19, 2017
"Sunshine" by Jonathan Coulton.
The color of a sky, the shape of a kiss
Everything I have and not what I miss
All this time the world was waiting for this
All the rest have slipped away
Just me and the wall
I won't last another day
And here where I fall
Marks the end of a great big beautiful thing
And who will see (such a short ride)
There's no one left who can remember me (down a steep slide)
But today is mine (on the outside)
Here in the sunshine
Me: I don't feel... much of anything
Me: Maybe slightly dissociated
RD: Ha, didnt think so..
Me: I get a feeling kind of a lot like I'm just not really here
RD: I wanna be there in whatever way i can for stuff like this but im so far...
RD: Yea youve mentioned this before
RD: Whos been in my head for so many weeks then
RD: Youre here
Me: At times like this I often scroll through my unnecessarily large collection of selfies in an attempt to connect with the pictures
Me: It's weird, haha
Me: As if I could stay in my body if I just memorized how it looked well enough
RD: Do you think people can usually connect with pics of themselves?
Me: I don't know
Me: Nobody really talks about it to me
Me: I don't know what it's like for other people when they look in mirrors
RD: I dont think i do
RD: Do you try to connect with your reflection too?
Me: I just look at it a lot
RD: Is it a feeling of missing something?
Me: A... lack of familiarity?
RD: Does this feel like clarity?
Me: Does what feel like clarity
RD: How you feel
RD: Like youve been swept up in the fiction
RD: And suddey you jolt back to clarity
Me: This is like floating inside a cloud where I can't really see anything
Me: But not having a body
Me: I'm looking at my hands and they're typing to you but they seem so far away
RD: Im trying to get that feel too
RD: Now im... a little somber
Me: I don't think I'm much fun tonight, haha
RD: I dont mind if youre not 'fun'
RD: This is part of you
RD: And i want to experie ce it
Me: Yeah I just... sometimes I kind of float away and I need to anchor myself to my body
RD: It sounds like you get yanked into a kind of ethereal state.
Me: It's a sort of being-out-of-the-world
I briefly felt dissociated earlier tonight, but I did some stuff to ground myself and I ended up feeling better. Focused on how my body was feeling in the present moment and danced around to music and took my vitamins and drank some water and watched some videos of my friend that made me smile. I'm not sure, but I think it only lasted for an hour and a half or so.
Being like that, it was like the color drained out of everything and I was tired and nothing was funny or pleasant anymore and I wasn't there, I wasn't anywhere, there wasn't a me. Just some slowly spreading silent cloud of static eating everything around me. I could see my arms and my legs and my body but it wasn't really my body, it was just a body and it was there, and whatever it was doing was just incidental and had nothing to do with me, because there was no me. Just observing without existing. I managed to snap myself out of it very quickly this time, though. Sometimes it's harder.
Sometimes I get that way and I don't have the motivation to try to get out of it. And then I don't feel anything for people and I just kind of operate in accordance with the values that I've stacked up for myself over the years, even though they don't mean anything to me in that state. Just going through the motions of trying to be a good person. And nothing matters, but I do it anyway because the alternative would be doing nothing or doing something bad and I guess I do have some slight feeling of obligation to the future self who's going to come into this body and is going to feel things and want things again at some point. We really do feel like different people. The nothing self is just a steward for the body, waiting for the self with substance to come back and do things and make things work.
It's all about the waiting and the maintenance in the meantime. Can't let things fall into disrepair. I'm lucky that I have a solid autopilot setting. This state is the state I can't trust my instincts in, because everything I feel is whispering the worst things to me about how people are going to turn on me and betray me and nobody actually cares about me and Bad Things Are Going To Happen, Just You Wait. I have to repeat what I know factually, technically, back to myself, and it doesn't feel real but I know I have to take it seriously, more seriously than those malicious feelings. And even though there's the problem of induction and I can't really know for certain that things in the future will follow the patterns of the past, I have to remind myself that the people I know have never shown any indicators of doing the things I'm suddenly afraid of them doing, and that the fears don't have much to stand on. I have to force myself to stop conflating "they're capable of this" with "they will do this." For this situation I hesitantly place my faith in the uniformity of nature, if you can call it that.
I have a silly habit of taking concepts from natural sciences and applying them to social sciences. People aren't atoms bound to certain behaviors and patterns. We do fall into habits and routines, but they're flexible. There's always some degree of choice in what we do. I guess importing these concepts just helps me organize the framework of my understanding. Not everything translates perfectly, but nothing is ever perfectly analogous anyway. I definitely disregard the uniformity concept when it's convenient, such as when I'm pushing myself to try despite past failures. I frequently have feelings of "I'm never going to have a healthy relationship, all my past relationships were bad and it's only going to stay that way or get worse, and I'll probably end up with someone who beats me to death." That train of thought is always there, but I keep trying and keep pushing forward anyway because I don't want to close off my heart to protect myself from getting hurt. Need to be vulnerable and open to connect with people, and at least for now, I still care more about connecting than I do about getting hurt. I'm sure I've written about his before, but I don't know when the last post was.
It's hard, but I'm really trying to just keep my world from closing in on itself. I don't want to live within a maze of self-imposed limitations. Always trying to keep things open and expand my opportunities in the future. (Not in the sense that I'd have one foot out the door in a relationship, though... just trying to maintain options to be a better self)
I started doing laundry halfway through this entry and I never write an outline for any of these, I just write whatever comes to mind and don't edit and then post it, so I don't remember if I was originally trying to make a point here. Maybe I just wanted to talk about what was going on and then conclude it with something more productive and determined. That seems about right.
Swimming and sadness [2P]
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Technically it's not Saturday but oh well
Saturday, June 17, 2017
It's that quiet time of night when I end up thinking a lot because nobody else is up. Just me and my thoughts. This is the time of night when I'm most likely to get depressed, but I don't feel particularly down tonight.
I feel like it might be about time to make the rounds and ask my various friends and people who know me for feedback on how I'm doing and what they think I could be doing better. It's tricky though, since I haven't had much contact with people here since I haven't been home for awhile... Maybe I should wait a bit? I feel really like, settled and stable and grounded and like I'm moving in a positive direction, but that doesn't mean I should stop trying to be better... Where I'm at is good, but I still want to move in a constructive direction. Can always improve.
Trying to organize things within the urgent/important priority framework. I'm not sure if I've talked about that on my blog before, but I learned it in the Understanding and Managing Stress class I took in my first quarter of community college. Man, that class taught me a lot. When I registered for it I was honestly just picking things kinda at random based on the title and time, but that was one of the luckiest things I ended up in. Anyway, it's pretty simple; you just have urgent/not urgent on one axis and important/unimportant on the other. You end up with four squares: urgent and important, urgent but unimportant, important but not urgent, and not urgent nor important. I feel like they're fairly self-explanatory categories. Maybe not always self-evident prior to explication, though. Learning this framework made me realize that my mom doesn't differentiate between urgent and important, and that her scheme of prioritization increases her stress level (and as a byproduct, the stress levels of those around her).
Anyway, regarding what I think are probably flaws/things to work on within myself, there are some I've kind of left on the back burner because they don't seem particularly urgent or important. Insecurity is one of them. I'm still kind of insecure, yeah, but not to the point where it's detrimental to my life, I think. It got really bad in my fourth relationship for various reasons, but I've been slowly recovering from that. Ironically, part of what I think is becoming less insecure has been loosening my obsessive grip on that drive for self-improvement. Like... not in the sense of not trying as hard, but like... deciding it's okay to leave some things alone. (At least, I hope it's that, and not just laziness) The first example that comes to mind is jealousy. I've honestly had a jealousy issue as far back as I can remember. Not sure where it came from, but as a kid I was really clingy and worried about other people stealing my friends. While I've definitely relaxed about that a lot, I still feel it here and there. My fourth ex seemed to have a real problem with my getting jealous, and he didn't engage in the relationship maintenance tactics I implicitly expected... I remember sending this excerpt from one of my textbooks to him...
I loved this textbook so much for putting things into words for me. Derogation of tempting alternatives was something I was used to doing (frequently) for my third ex, though I wasn't explicitly aware of that. Just had that mindset of "he's worried about the competition, gotta make sure he knows that they're not appealing for specific reasons." I guess I assumed that I would receive a similar course of action from my fourth ex. No dice, though.
[Haaaaaaaa, it's so late/early now that f.lux switched off for the sunrise. >_>]
It's possible that I was just thinking of jealousy because I got jealous recently of a friend of the guy I like, and we ended up talking about it a little.
Maybe this falls under the header of "reframing something I thought was negative about myself as an acceptable or even positive thing"?
Some of the other things I've considered trying to improve but haven't really bothered with...
-Eating healthier (this just fluctuates, but I definitely am not as good about it as I was when I was younger, oops)
-Taking better care of my skin (e.g. wearing sunscreen, using facial masks, etc.... not having acne makes me feel better about myself, but having an extensive facial care routine is really tiring)
-Figuring out how to dress nicer/style myself better
-Setting specific fitness goals to work towards (try as I might, I just can't seem to care about this one that much)
-Working on creative skills (e.g. getting back into making comics, writing more)
-Developing hobbies I can actually share with people more easily
-Being more physically graceful (how does one even go about this???)
I dunno why I wrote out this list of things. It's almost 6 AM now and I just felt like writing another blog entry because I'm awake for some ungodly reason.
Here's another Magnetic Fields song for the heck of it.
"You and Me and the Moon" by The Magnetic Fields.
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