sometimes, i definitely think i am insane. last nite, i needed to resolve something in person with someone who lived 3.5 hours from where i was. so, i got off the plane, got in my car and started driving. told him to meet me part way and alas we were able to have a conversation without all the strenuousness hell that was occurring before. it was pretty ridiculous, but in all those good ways. in fact, it made me feel good because it was like some of my spontaneous crazines was back. i miss those sudden desires to do something that appears a little odd…
Monthly Archives: July 2001
arg. i am trying to be calm, trying to not be frustrated, failing miserably.
i had housing all sorted out for the fall in boston. it was one of the few things that genuinely excited me about moving back. moving into a co-op with rad queer people.
then an evil landlord hit and look what happens. he raised the rent $800 for the 5 of us to split and it was just near bearable before.. and now i have no housing
wah! shit. now what? this really makes me reconsider what i am doing… deadly, very deadly. i do not need more motivation to stay on the west coast.
somehow, in the last few years, i have started to take a lot of things way too seriously. i used to be able to laugh at jokes, and i was always sent at least 1 blonde joke a week and a whole slew of other things. somehow, i have lost that sense of humor through analyzing the way in which a joke works.
jokes are not powerful because they are untrue. they are powerful because they rely on stereotypes which are also not entirely inaccurate. they become a way of perpetuating stereotypes in a negative form. how many times are feminists told to lighten up and just deal? sexist jokes are so common and they hurt because the humor depends on everyone agreeing on social standards. i can laugh about it, but it really does sting in so many odd ways. i am not sure if i should “just get over it” because i don’t know how i feel about acquiring a sense of humor that relies on putting others down.. weird weird weird.
i have a whole series of weird morals that i have set in place for myself. and i genuinely believe in them. that doesn’t mean that i am 100% in control of them. i don’t really believe in buying from the Gap but i do so, and i self-justify it beyond what is actually true.
but lately, i have becoming more adament about some of them. and it’s not entirely healthy because i realize how often i judge others based on my moral code. in theory, i don’t have a problem with people doing what they need to get their shit together, to be happy. but i just can’t deal with certain things and i end up being disgusted by the person at hand.
for example, i really can’t deal with dishonesty. oh that is such a big one. big big big big. now, this doesn’t mean that i am always the most honest person. we all know i have fucked up, broken people’s trust and the like. but i got reminded of how much this infuriates me the other day when a friend told me that s/he was pursuing someone with a lover. and it just lit my fuse like none other. s/he said something to me along the lines of “who wears clothes like that to have dinner with a friend?” it hit that feminist button when you hear rapists justifying themselves through “she asked for it by the clothes she wore.” in my moral code, i have to take responsibility for myself. call me a girl that way or whatever, but i can’t deal with the “people asked for it” mentality because i think it is just so problematic.
so the biggest problem with all of this is how to separate my personal morals from my genuine desire to “just let people live their lives.” i mean, if everyone hated based on personal morals, people would just start killing people that disagreed with their philosophies… like, anti-abortion people would start killing abortion doctors.. oh wait..
not resolving, not resolving.
wow. another fun mind blowing evening. almost too literally.
so, as i am prone to any form of potential danger or trouble, case would be that i am rambling on the phone, walking to guerrero and 18th, finally meet my friend (an old ex).. trying to finish the conversation when !boom! the pay phone across the street explodes and shakes the whole ground. someone apparently put a bomb in the coin thingie. great. and i was on the phone with G who is convinced that evil spirits follow me around and put me into horrible situations, and this is only magnified by half the people in my world who tell me that they won’t talk to me if another disaster happens. hrmfpt.
so, i have a fabulous time talking with my friend, sitting in a bar (and the idea that we are drinking together is just about as shocking as the day that hell will freeze over). we talk through some of my shit (that i so desperately need to share with someone i have history with) and we talk about his new adventures and la la la.. somewhere along the line, we get political and theoretical, talking about everything from the gaming industry to the evils of catholicism to the WTO police issues, Hitler, Milgrim, passion, computer industry, corporate power and gender dynamics, blind faith, nature/culture.. you name it.. none of the topics are really that offbeat for us, but it has been a long time and i forgot how fabulous that conversation dynamic is, at least for me. sure, i babble and talk forever. but he lets me. and he’s always thinking. and when he interupts me, it is always to say something that makes me think really hard and allows me to really rethink things, check my stance, etc. oh, and i crave it..
i have been so mentally stimulated recently, and it feels soooo refreshing. particularly because it hasn’t just been about personal emotional turmultuous shit. a lot of it has been genuine thinking about worldviews, politics, philosophy. i can’t survive on just thinking about myself and my emotions. there is so much of me embedded in thinking about the world around me. this also makes me wonder the gender dynamics of my own world (but that is a whole separate dialogue that i just can’t get into right now).
the other fun resolve for me about talking with my friend was the realization that what works for him is not necessarily what works for me. just like i thought i might be happy giving it all up and being an at-home mother, i realize that i couldn’t have a separate work and personal life so successfully. because i like to do things at 150%, doing two things at 75% would just not fulfill me. i don’t think i can have a day job. it’s weird knowing someone for so long and so intimately.. i realized that i started to think that the same things would work for both of us, as though we had melded into one entity, when i always knew that that was just not us.
oh thrills of happiness.
for my own notes, i am going to respond to a comment as part of my journal.. the question was why am i so bothered by people striving to have wealthy places to live…
because the ideas are being sold, being commercialized, not really for real or attainable. it’s what creates genuine class division in the us, what magnifies it.. those who are striving to be a part of the elite, and therefore the elite becomes accepted, acknowledged and not questioned for the in appropriateness of its existance or its actions.
for example, thinking about all of the $300/$500/$600 cashback shit that everyone is getting right now. the poorest communities receive nothing through this taxback. they don’t pay enough taxes to get a cashback; the services that are targeted at them are being cutback because there is not enough money in the federal reserve to pay for it and the rich are getting enough money to buy another pair of shoes. the result of political payoffs is socially devastating. and yet, the public impression is that this is all good because it’s our tax money anyhow and it’s great that the gov’t is giving it back. the republicans have succeeded in screwing the people systemically for political advertising and it is so painful to watch.
likewise, corporate america has created a set of desires that ultimately harm the people who are paying the $12 to imagine it. the goal becomes wealth, not happiness, because happiness cannot be purchased in a $2 million house with all the trimmings and outdoor speakers. people overlook why it is that corporations are selling them this image of success. sure, there are some great artistic questioning of this, even in the mainstream (see traffic for a great example of rich != happiness). but these actions only magnify those beliefs, and reduce our understanding of why class is a (very undiscussed) problem in the US.
and it just makes me wimper and cry and feel aweful to think that people have bought into the american dream at their own expense. people want to work 70 hours a week with only 2 weeks vacation a year in order to pursue an unreachable dream. they seek long-term happiness without realizing that this cannot be actualized because the system has put proper barriers in the way. it makes me angry at the producers of such ideas and depressed at the reaction of the people.
i started crying at work today. not out of frustration for coding or anything that would be normal. no, it was not that simple. for a “field trip”, we went to the street of dreams in portland. it’s this fancy schmantzy housing exhibit to show you the american dream version of a house. sure, they use a lot of cultural imperialism (an entire house decorated in buddhist religious art, including rock gardens, and rivers and whatnot). and there were a lot of other assumptions. boys rooms had computers; girls rooms did not. and sure, these were multi-million dollar houses with 5 showerheads in each shower and 2 floor closets in the master bedroom. and all decorated for show, complete with entertainment rooms with two floor (balcony) movie setups. and tvs in every room and whatnot.
but it wasn’t the ritziness that broke me. no, it was the way people were talking about the houses. there were two types of people – the oh wow’s and the buyers. the buyers, rich by nature, didn’t think this was that big of a deal and so they critiqued the practicalities of a room (this isn’t big enough, or the jacuzzi only fits 3 and we have 4 people or..). the wowsers were looking to be told what the american dream is and how what they should strive to consume like. oh and that was so painful, so very painful. i mean, it costs $12 a head to see this display of absurdity and people paid it in order to buy into the american dream. and i just cried.
what do i have against time? i have like 12 different clocks in my house and they are set at all different times. some of them, i know exactly how fast they are set. my car is set 6 minutes fast. my computer is set 9 minutes fast. my cell phone has no option (damn sprint). my two alarm clocks are constantly variable in their fastness (thanks to that super fast button, i get to the number on my cell phone and then push the fast button a few times). what does this say about me?
erg.. must stop myself from projecting ahead at all points. reality says that i am a really really bad algorithm because obviously, i cannot project 1 year from now with the knowledge i currently have, and yet i do it all the time. even basic ODEs should tell me that i am being stupid. yet, i do it anyways..
so todays’ panic is about what i do after i graduate with my master’s. assuming that i stay in boston for the year (a good assumption) and assuming that i don’t want to stay at the ML immediately for a PhD (a good assumption), i will be on my own. now, if i was a normal person, i would be psyched to have emptiness to look forward to – the ability to make new decisions, go wild, travel, etc. i kinda assumed that i would be traveling (the idealist in me), but that assumption is getting practicalized by the reality that if i travel, i won’t have health insurance and that is just 100% unreasonable. ok.. so then i started thinking about what i need to do in order to maintain health insurance. really, there are a limited number of choices. stay in school so that i can stay on mum’s insurance until 25. find gainful employment in a place that will give me health insurance that will even cover me (i.e. not really small places). break all of my moral codes and get married to someone who is gainfully employed or living in a country with reasonable national healthcare (maybe martijn would be able to marry both a boy and a girl so that each of us could gain access to the netherlands…) still plotting on other ways of finagling health insurance…
ok.. so health insurance is not really the biggest issue in the world, yet i am still panicking in projection. and, as figurs, i am still thinking i should be in school so i am panicking to find schools that i should consider. these are the times when i just wish i could relax and let things happen, but no matter how hard i try, i really just can’t avoid that eek feeling in my stomach. erg.
having a moment of self-doubt that needs to be expressed.
first, why in the past few years have i been so focused on myself, my emotions and whatnot? sure, it came with the begining formations of self-doubt because while i was overly confident and cocky for a long time, i didn’t really address myself in my thoughts. it’s peculiar because i am constantly being reminded of the femininity of self-observation and am irritated that i managed to develop this femininity after being emotionally devastated by external factors. it’s what makes me realize how effective the boys were in eliminating me from being “just one of the boys.” erg..
back to mode of self-doubt.
why is it that i have no functional memory? this makes quite a bit of things genuinely tricky. sure, i never did remember a book after i finished it. and in school, memorization had to be hell on earth. let’s remember the multiplication tables->american history. but i was always quite functional and capable of doing things because i was so damn good at analysis. i could sift through math concepts and bring together ideas that made so much sense to me and impress the hell out of everyone.. like how i figured out trig while taking the SATs in the 7th grade. or when i dumbfounded my calculus teacher with my approach to a problem that was apparently quite unique (although i still didn’t get the right answer due to a stupid arithmetic error). in later years, i have been able to determine how much lack of memory is a really stumbling block. analysis of theoretical texts requires storage of large amounts of information and remembering the details of previous concepts and their references since i can’t store everything together. sure, my databases are sometimes useful, because goddess only knows i never remember a name or article title or exact quote.
i thought that my memory was deteriorating. and it probably is. but more realistically, it’s being overwritten because it’s in such short supply (isn’t it supposed to be 2020 when computational memory will far surpass neuron-potential memory? grrreat..) synthesizing is becoming more difficult because i can’t keep it all in my head. hell, i can’t keep a full academic journal article in my head because they constantly refer to a million other articles that proceeded it with one-liners and a reference and i am supposed to be able to pull up all of those ideas along with the current article of reference, or at least stack together all of the ideas mentioned in this current article, which includes past articles and analyze everything together and damn does my brain hurt.
and what about vocabulary? i definitely reached my maximum potential of words that will stay in my head and the pointers are getting all fouled up. which is why the same word often refers to 2/3 different definitions, or a definition gets lost for no good reason (or because it is too complicated to remember). like today at work we had a conversation about the following verbs: gell, congeal and coagulate. and honestly, i couldn’t differentiate the three of them to save my life.. somehow, they all ended up in the same bit of memory. bastards.
i keep trying to tell myself that this is just part of who i am, how i am different and that it makes me a more unique individual. goddess do i love compensation through self-reassurance. “i am beautiful and brilliant and god damn it i am great.” but reality says it is starting to tear at me. i really just want to retain a few things that go on in my head for later use. it would just be nice. but somehow, not just actions, but also ideas form impressions that stay without content. like, i know that i was angry with bush for china.. but right now, i can’t remember why. that’s irritating. and why does everything end up in an emotional bin, usually in the form of “like” and “dislike”.. no wonder i end up creating my own deadly stereotypes… i can’t remember the root of anything to save my life.
and aside from my frustration, i really do worry that this will make me a far less functional, far less effective person and that bugs the shit out of me. and yes, g’damn it.. success on multiple fronts is way too important to me right now, primarily because i feel so useless and confused about everything from the personal sphere to the professional sphere.
these are the moments when i wonder why i shouldn’t just figure out how to settle down and follow the appropriate socially conditioned role of being an at-home mother. but i really do feel as though i will end up being a failure and that makes me wanna stop trying. hmm.. although that is ironic, because it assumes that i could not fail at being an at-home mother, which i would as well, based on my love of children, cooking and cleaning, combined with my natural patience. and this spirals into the moment when i just wonder what’s the point??