June 1st, 2001

running, bomb tech

Oh what a dream I had

wrapped in organdy

...insert the rest of the song. Simon and Garfunkel, For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her.

I've been dreaming a lot.

Someday I'll notice that it's time to wake up, and I will.

We are all dreams of the gods. What happens when we wake up?

....
.....

It's early, and I'm wide awake and drinking cranberry juice on my sister's orders. I'm pretty sure "Drink it. Now." meant the whole bottle. Big bottle. So I'm awake.

What is the fundamental difference between reality and dream? Am I going mad? I must be mad. Lunatic, rather than excessively angry. I don't get that angry much anymore, not now that I've learned to control it rather than have it control me.

I wish I could have learned how to do that little trick, the one where I fold my hands, focus my anger into them to the point that it's out of the rest of me, and then, saying "Go forth to someone who needs the energy, and harm none," I unfold my hands, and my anger leaves me, much sooner. It would have saved me a lot of grief later, because such rage is toxic.

I dream. Surely I dream as I type this, and I will awake in three and a half hours (according to my clock, but time in dreams is always warped) to find that it was but a dream, and never happened ....

...and as I cross the threshold, I step into another dream.

No, absolutely sober, why do you ask?
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running, bomb tech

.....fortunately....

Fortunately everything I have to do is within walking or bus distance. My sister is not so lucky.

This is not good.

We're laughing about it, because she and Alan just got through putting in the new fan motor, which took the vast majority of the evening.

I'm finishing this cranberry juice, and then I'm crashing.
running, bomb tech

Strangers In Paradise

OK, it's official.

I love David.

....Hee hee hee....

I can't fucking believe it. A *male* who reads Strangers in Paradise. ...I wonder if the guy I've been dreaming about reads it. Hmm..... only one way to find out.... bring the books to where he will be, and see....

Am I evil or what?
running, bomb tech

family crisis

having a morning. Showed up early as usual. Got chewed out a bit by my best friend for showing up so early when I didn't have class and my sister/roommate was in the midst of a crisis.

Seriously, I've got school, she's busy, and best friend the gentleman needs company too. I'd only be getting in the way of Sis's busy/crisis, she had Alan over helping out with everything (blessed be, Alan -- you so totally rock) and by the time she'd need me to be there for her, I'd be right in the middle of class. Before then, I'd be awkward and right in the way of the busiest part of her crisis.

Argh.

I'm losing some of my ability to coherently articulate things like this to him on a regular and instant basis. Starting to scare me a little. I can type/write it just fine, just ... not with my voice.

...perhaps it's because my voice betrays me.
running, bomb tech

...love...

Just standing quietly, watching my best friend get his butt kicked on some everlasting video game, cheering when he wins, making sarcastic comments with him about the other players ....

...it trips me back to high school, where I'd do the same thing with my best friend then. We'd hang out on the college campus and he'd play video games and I'd stand behind him and watch, and we were content to abide in silence together. ...My high school best friend never really let on that he even noticed me standing there, but when I left briefly to use the bathroom or something, he'd do a lot worse and be glad when I returned. I was his luck. I was his self-esteem. I was his cheering squad. I was his best friend. I was his right hand. He was my middle finger.

...My current best guyfriend isn't my middle finger. There's a lot more mutual respect. He still likes to play video games, though, and we can spend hours on the phone with him summarizing anime to me. Occasionally we talk about the big things. Most of the time we don't. We save that for the unspoken. When I come to him with panic in my eyes, shaking and stuttering, he asks me what's wrong, tells me that no matter what I'm saying, I'm still not OK, and that I can't get away with doing this to myself, and if I keep it up he's going to kick some butt. Then he cracks sick jokes at me until I crack and start giggling, and then he goes off on a tangent about a passion of his that I've got at least a semblance of an interest in.

...Sometimes I don't even listen, I just sit there, hearing the sound of his voice and knowing that it's all going to be OK. I have friends now, friends who I can talk to when they need me, friends who will sit with me and rehash inane plotlines and stupid jokes from cartoons I've never seen, and as long as we stick together we're going to be OK.

I love you, my friend. As Heinlein put it, there's philos, eros, and agape. Friends, lovers, and religiously-oriented stuff. Love involving the mind, love involving the body, and love involving the soul. I've had lots of philos and eros in my past, but precious few agape.

Eros is irrelevant.

...well, not totally irrelevant. It's a definite possible undercurrent here, and it's definitely important otherwise; quite a bit of my friendship with David involves quite a lot of eros [soofgb/soofbb] ... but it's not the be-all and end-all, and it's something that I could choose to live without, though I might not like it so much. I could survive, though. I've got batteries and a damn good imagination ... and most precious of all, memories. Philos and agape ... I've lived for too long without them, and those ... lack of those is not survivable.

...My fiance was philos and eros, not agape. ...That just doesn't work in a long-term relationship. Not at all.

...

So, my dearest friend, I love you. Strictly hands-off. It's one of those things that rarely needs to be said, but possibly should be said more often.

It's a shame that the English language has so few accurate words describing the different types of love. "I love you" doesn't mean "I have sexual lust for you and want to marry you." Generally, when I feel philos and agape for someone, eros follows naturally if I happen to find that person at all sexually attractive. I'm probably polyamourous by nature. But if the philos and agape I feel is strong enough, it will crowd out the eros almost completely, making it just an afterthought, though occasionally a quite notable one.

I love you. But I respect you too much to ever say that to you in the foreseeable future.

I'm online. I'm semi-anonymous due to the fact that the link that existed from the one place no longer exists -- the chain was broken, the relationships window revised -- I'm safe. Sort of.

...For all I know, my friend reads this every day. I'm not sure whether I hope not or I hope so. If he reads it, does he know who he is? He ought to. I paint him clearly with every word. I'm a writer by choice, and a writer by nature. I'm hoping also that the him who I see and admire so very much is something close to the *reality* that *is* him. My perceptions, your perceptions. How does he perceive me? Do I really want to know?

...
running, bomb tech

From _Komarr_, by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is where my references to grasping hands and letting/not letting go come from.

...chapter 5...

"I think maybe I can reach it . . ." He swung over the railing past the sign admonishing Caution: Stay on the Trail and flung himself flat on the ground over the edge... ...But his blunt fingers swung short of the prize they sought.

She lay prone, and reached as he had. "It's all right, I think I can . . ." Her fingers too swung short of the packet, but only just. She inched forward, feeling the precarious pull of the undercut slope. She stretched . . .

The root-compacted soil of the edge sagged under her weight, and she began to slide precipitously forward. She yelped; pushing backward fragmented her support totally. One wildly back-grappling arm was caught suddenly in a viselike grip, but the rest of her body turned as the soil gave way beneath her, and she found herself dangling absurdly feet-down over the pond. Her other arm, swinging around, was caught, too, and she looked up into Vorkosigan's face above her. He was lying prone on the slope, one hand locked around each of her wrists. His teeth were clenched and grinning, his gray eyes alight.

"Let go, you idiot!" she cried.

The look on his face was weirdly, wildly exultant. "Never," he gasped, "again -"

His half-boots were locked around . . . nothing, she realized, as he began to slide inexorably over the edge after her. But his death-grip never slackened. The exalted look on his face melted to sudden horrified realization. The laws of physics took precedence over heroic intent for the next couple of seconds; dirt, pebbles, vegetation, and two Barrayaran bodies all hit the chilly water more or less simultaneously.

..."You aren't upset about the accident?" she inquired timorously as they regained the path, still hardly able to believe her good fortune in his admittedly odd reaction.

..."Madame Vorsoisson, trust me on this one. Needle grenades are accidents. That was just an amusing inconvenience." But then his smile slipped, his face stiffened, and his breath drew in sharply. He added in a rush, "I should mention, I've lately become subject to occasional seizures. I pass out and have convulsions. They last about five minutes, and then go away, and I wake up, no harm done. If one should occur, don't panic."

"Are you about to have one now?" she asked, panicked.

"I feel a little strange all of a sudden," he admitted.

....

"I'm sorry. I haven't done anything like that in quite a while, at least not in a waking state. Sorry."

"Was that a seizure?"

"No, no. False alarm entirely. Actually, it was a, um, combat flashback, actually. Unusually vivid. Sorry, I don't usually . . . I haven't done . . . I don't usually do things like this, really." His speech was scrambled and hesitant, entirely unlike himself, and failed signally to reassure her.

"Should I go for help?" She was sure she needed to get him somewhere warmer, as soon as possible. He looked like a man in shock.

"Ha. No. Worlds too late. No, really, I'll be all right in a couple of minutes. I just need to think about this for a minute." He looked sideways at her. "I was just stunned by an insight, for which I thank you."

She clenched her hands in her lap. "Either stop talking gibberish, or stop talking at all," she said sharply.

His chin jerked up, and his smile grew a shade more genuine. "Yes, you deserve an explanation. If you want it. I warn you, it's a bit ugly."

She was so rattled and exasperated by now, she'd have cheerfully choked explanations out of his cryptic little throat. She took refuge in the mockery of formality which had extracted them so nobly from the pond. "If you please, my lord!"

..."It was an evacuation under fire. It was an unholy mess. Shuttles lifting with people crammed aboard. The details don't matter now, except for one. There was this woman, Sergeant Beatrice. Taller than you. We had trouble with our shuttle's hatch ramp, it wouldn't retract. We couldn't dog the hatch and lift above the atmosphere till we'd jettisoned it. We were airborne, I don't know how high, there was thick cloud cover. We got the damaged ramp loosened, but she fell after it. I grabbed for her. Touched her hand, even, but I missed."

"Did . . . was she killed?"

"Oh, yes." His smile now was utterly peculiar. "It was a long way down by then. But you see . . . something I didn't see until about five minutes ago. I've spent five, six years walking around with this picture in my head. Not all the time, you understand, just when I chanced to be reminded. If only I'd been a little quicker, grabbed a little harder, hadn't lost my grip, I might have pulled her in. Instant replay on an endless repeat. In all those years, I never once pictured what would really have happened if I'd made my grab good. She was almost twice my weight."

"She'd have pulled you out," said Ekaterin. For all the simplicity of his words, the images they evoked were intense and immediate. She rubbed at the deep red marks aching now on her wrists. Because you would not have let go.
running, bomb tech

Rage Honing by Birthday and (warning: education rant!) Math Class (archived)

I'm turning 21 Monday. Dead broke, ill, no working vehicle... probably failing a class...

...but I'm so incredibly kicking that punk math teacher's butt into the next eternity!

...Hopefully w/o harming him, though. Harm none, yadda yadda yadda.

But seriously, it so incredibly hones my rage to have a teacher who refuses to teach, and then dumbs down the math test (there are 4 tests throughout his year -- all your grades are belong to those tests) to haul up the GPA of the 15 students who remain in his class out of the 60 that started it. I'm one of the approximately 5 students with a grade anywhere C or over, of the 15 remaining in his class. I'm also the one who reads the Necronomicon pointedly during class, occasionally glancing up at the teacher thoughtfully.

...Which is to say that it's severely messed up that so many people are failing this class, which is *not* challenging course material. These are *not* stupid students. I honestly believe that my success in this course is due to my skipping the class whenever possible and blatently ignoring the teacher during class. It got to a point about a month ago when my roommate and best friend departed this classroom in tears every day, because while I'd been carefully teaching her that she was smart and could do math, she could not understand a single word out of this guy's mouth.

Several students have complained to the deans already, and said teacher will be taking next semester off. Word of my standing up during class, saying "This class sucks" and stomping out has apparently filtered back to the Powers that Be. If one of the class geniuses is saying this, then what must the rest of the students be going through?

He just turned a quarter of our class into a 31-question test that I breezed through in 10-15 minutes (much time was taken up by laughing at one of the silly questions: given that a certain card is a 7, what is the probability that it is a face card? ...face card having been previously defined as king, queen, or jack.) Problems that would normally have been covered in 2-3 questions were stretched out to take up 8. I had actually paid attention in class for two sessions of it on this unit, had either skipped or read through the rest of the classes, and I still breezed through the test like that? I'd never previously covered those particular topics, either.

Something is not kosher in that class, and I don't mean the teacher hamming it up to get laughs.

--JL, Darth Absolute Academic Honesty
running, bomb tech

work

Shrimpy didn't recognize me today. I haven't seen him for several days, nor he me, though we've both been at the same school at the same times.

He almost didn't recognize me today when he saw me, though I look the same as I always have. He had to look twice.

Maybe it's the self-confidence and stuff like that, eh?
running, bomb tech

MAKE THE PIE HIGHER

by George Bush, Jr.


I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize Society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!


--compiled by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson from actual quotes from America's one and only current president, posted to Sithacademy-talk@yahoogroups.com in honor of National Poetry Month