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Putting together a Spotify playlist for mornings because today I tried to play a local radio station and it was very annoying. I could tell music was not a top priority for them. I want at least 100 songs for this playlist so shuffle mode will rotate awesome variety. It's harder to select 100 tracks than it looked.

So far I have 12.

More than a third of the way through The Hundred-Foot Journey and I have to say that it is at least 80% description but it's well suited for audio because there will be this scene that meticulously describes food sold at a marketplace and then I will realize my mind wandered for a couple minutes but it's okay because the narration is probably still describing the marketplace. Trying to read this book would likely have bored me to tears. But it's perfect for literal storytelling.

I don't know how good at Hearthstone I want to get. How much time I want to spend on it.

Listening to the latest album from Pitbull and every single track, without exception, is either:
  • guest starring another musician, anyone from Chris Brown to Jennifer Lopez
  • from the Penguins of Madagascar soundtrack
It's like Pitbull has ceased to be a person and has become a promotion solutions source.

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Someone knocked on a door nearby- not on our door, just a door near enough for me to hear it- and it still made my heart drop, muscles stiffen, defensive chemicals rush.

My muscle memory is shot all to hell. Any knock on a door will have that effect- sometimes even hearing a door knock on TV can scare me. Even when I know there will be someone coming to the door the effect is there, dampened only by foreknowledge and preparing for the moment.

Add this to my more recent fear of sending/receiving mail and my waxing-waning aversion to interactions and I honestly don't know where the end of this will be. I don't know what to do.

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Listening to the new Faith No More album and I don't know what to say about this thing, so I'll just mention that it is 39 minutes long. I've noticed that a lot of albums are short these days, probably because of how music is sold these days. When we regularly bought CDs we tended to want a decent number of songs taking up space on the disc, since we knew a CD could hold at least an hour's worth of information. Now that we buy MP3s, it doesn't really matter. So albums today can be only half an hour long, or they can be 90 minutes. Especially since you can just pick and choose which individual tracks you want, eschewing the rest. This probably leads to a more thoughtful tempo in albums, since an artist won't need filler or can make the track list as long as it needs to be.

Thinking about hitting the gym again today, since I can and can easily (I have the key today), but I also am not sure I shouldn't take a rest day from cardio. At home I can do my usual walking thing and I can do a little lifting, and variety is good, so... yeah, I should probably not bother with the gym today.

First day playing priest class. My priest deck sucks. The first game I drew pretty much only spell cards and for the second, pretty much NO spell cards. Something tells me there is little to no balance in this deck. Priests can be ultra-powerful, I have been destroyed by priests, so I need to do better than this. Though of course it will be better after I have leveled up that class to the max and have all the basic cards.
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Today's exercise session was wonnnnnderful. Even if that older guy who also regularly exercises did show up to run on the treadmill at a crazy-high grade. That old man could clearly race circles around me. Oh well it isn't a competition. Kind of.

I ran 2 miles in a bit less than 29 minutes. Never thought I could do a thing like that. Today I found myself wondering just how fit I could get. At this age I can't reach the levels I could have ten years ago, but seriously, what can I pull off? That 5K is looking more and more realistic.

Today I read Woody Allen say that he "never knew what Amazon was" before the internet's answer to the Sears & Roebuck catalog begged him to make a show for their streaming service.

"When you said streaming service, it was the first time I’ve heard that term connected with the Amazon thing." - Woody Allen

Note to me: DO NOT GET THIS OLD. You have to age if you don't die, but don't get so out of touch as this. Seriously. Don't do it.

Last night when we spontaneously went to McDonald's, I bought a Big Mac because I've heard sales of this signature sandwich are down and I'm afraid McD's will one day remove it from the menu. I really, really like Big Macs, and dread the day when I discover I can never have another one. So even though I like some of their other items too- the basic quarter pounder is good stuff, McNuggets are always welcome- I can find myself afraid of not ordering the Big Mac. Must enjoy while I can.

Hearthstone, meanwhile, might squeeze money out of me yet, if I can find a spare $25 for Naxxramas. I should probably give any Hearthstone funds to Kellen, though, since he can do a lot more with the game than I can.

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This weekend was a couple of noteworthy cheat days so I'm skipping breakfast this morning. I mean, I'm not even hungry. The prevailing theory is that you must NEVER SKIP A MEAL but I've done it before and it's no big deal. So today should be a reasonable 1,550 calories, with exercise on top as I make today Laundry Day.

Back to a normal schedule, outside of breakfast. It's funny that by Friday I am so in need of a break from routine that I could riot but after the weekend, Monday is kind of welcome. Back to healthy eating, exercise, and wholesome work.

Speaking of work, I have to keep up on the weeds this week. I've already weeded twice this spring but they are popping up again. They are fast, so I'm glad I can take care of the yard now.

Right now I'm listening to a playlist built by Spotify, called "The Happy Hipster". It is 11 hours and 35 minutes long, with 194 songs. In other words I could listen to this thing all day long and not run out of new material. I'm not really sure why I'm noting this but it seems interesting. I mean, when I was a kid you'd turn on the radio and run out of new material before an hour was up.

Last night it crossed my mind that probably America's main involvement in the Rohingya crisis will be writing novels about it within the next fifteen years.

The Obama administration is urging Southeast Asian countries to take in the refugees but after the stunt we pulled regarding children escaping violence in South America, the United States has no room to tell anyone to play host.

"Practice hospitality" may be one of the hardest directives in the Bible. Even money is easier to share than home territory.

Okay, if you Google "how can i help the rohingya" you can see just how bad the situation is. No NGO that I have heard of came up on the first page. Apparently there is a reason for this: according to the New York Times, relief organizations were "kicked out of the Rohingya caps by Burmese authorities." Ah. Not even Doctors Without Borders can get to these people. No idea what's going on in Bangladesh.

And I suppose international waters isn't the place to go, even though the refugee boats are there; certain area nations might take personally a bunch of NGOs around their shores.

There is no way that this isn't a long, drawn-out genocide. No wonder Myanmar is so touchy about being blamed for this.

The Times came up with this list for those who want to help the Rohingya:

1: Read up on the situation. And travel. "Harness your social networks".
2. Pressure Washington to speak "forcefully" about it.
3: Support the cause (that is, donate money to organizations that can only help the few Rohingya who managed to get out of Myanmar).
4: Comment on the Times article.

Every time you read an opinion piece about the crisis, you rescue approximately 1/10th of a Rohingya child! These little things add up!

Oh well, Action Against Hunger does operate in countries where displaced Rohingya live, like Bangladesh. It's better than nothing, and they have an excellent rating on Charity Navigator. The lion's share of their funds come from government grants, though. Not sure how much they even need money from the plebs. Besides, on their home page they spoke of Nepal (earthquake) and Liberia (ebola virus). That's it. No idea how mobilized they are in support of the Rohingya. (I only mention Action Against Hunger because it was in the Times article.)

This is clearly a subject I need to keep an eye on, and I need to help where I can.

I read a piece on NPR called "Why No One Wants the Rohingya" but all it did was talk about how much the Southeast Asian countries don't want immigrants. It wouldn't surprise me if almost nobody outside of the region knows what anyone's problem is with the Rohingya.

Okay, regarding last night's question, it occurred to me that racists spend a lot of time insisting on things that simply aren't true.

Q: Why don't you like this ethnic group/religious group/country's population?
A: They are lazy/criminals/sex maniacs/insane/in control of our government.

(If you are dealing with a particularly honest racist, you may see them claim baffling stuff like "ugly" or "constantly pregnant")

But are these real beliefs that people hold or just things they say when they realize they're being looked at?






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I may not understand something, but that doesn't mean that millions and millions of others don't understand perfectly well.

This comes as a revelation to me for some reason. I just finished the first hour of The Hundred-Foot Journey, which means I got past the part in which Hindu nationalists burn down the main chara's family home and kill the mother. The motive? The family is Muslim.

tbh I did not know persecution of Muslims even went on in India. I am forced to compare this to the persecution of the Rohingya of Myanmar, a minority group that is right now so desperate to flee violence that they have taken to stuffing themselves in boats by the thousands and are being ping-ponged from one shore to the other as every country refuses to take them in. Everyone involved in this situation is Muslim- though perhaps the Rohingya are hated for their particular school of beliefs. I've never heard anything about that. I actually have no idea why anyone has made the Rohingya one of the most hated minority groups on the planet.

So there's what I don't understand. Why hate and attack an entire group of people. It's a childish question, but only because you're supposed to become too jaded to ask it by the time you've grown up. You can't expect an answer.

But here's the thing: why can't I? Millions and millions of people must believe they have an answer. They have a rationale, they justify it to themselves. Why have I read and listened to so much yet still have not the merest inkling of why prejudice like this exists? Am I just not paying attention when racists talk or do they genuinely never express themselves on the matter, perhaps because they think it's all so self-evident?

They have to believe they have an answer. Humans are far too good at justifying themselves.

Of course it is hard to get a straight answer from them. They'll say they aren't racist when confronted, and white supremacists in particular will whine a lot about the preservation of the white race, blah blah, as if white people don't reproduce like fertile laying hens.

It would be one thing if I could say "the answer is idiotic." It's another thing entirely to realize that I straight up *don't understand*, by which I mean the very kernel of racist motives whooshes over my head. Who burns and hangs and stabs and rounds up complete strangers with blood in the eye? MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DO, and suddenly I feel quite alone.

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It occurred to me today that my approach to origami is all wrong.

In Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, monks encourage survivors of the 2011 tsunami to fold simple origami as therapy. Today at Sakura Mart I noted the packs of small sheets of paper offered for sale at the counter, nice thick stacks of colorful paper next to books of basic folding instructions.

In America, origami is about meeting challenges, making better and more expert models and hoping to impress others  with the skill. At least that's the impression I get. A lot of Americans seem intimidated by origami, and if you can make even starter models like boxes and flowers it comes across as noteworthy. Of course there are all these experienced artists on the net posting pics of their masterpieces, complicated designs of a million concise folds. That kind of thing has for a long time made me feel that I am an origami loser.

It feels good to fold when I don't think of all the things I can't make.

While Paint was being diagnosed I put together some origami with scrapbook paper and it kept me busy, distracted. Couldn't keep it up long. It feels like a waste of paper.

But today I looked at the paper being sold at Sakura Mart and wanted it. Clearly you're meant to just fold sheet after sheet into whatever you want. Want to make a hundred flapping birds? Have at it. It's not like it's expensive. Not a waste. Of time or paper.

So I think the Japanese don't see it as a skill in constant need of improvement. Not if it's a way to help people with PTSD. Not if it's something to do for the friends and relatives of an ill person, as they make 1,000 cranes and wish for good health. This is probably the first time I've understood that tradition. It's not a superstition or a cute story. It's a project and a sign of affection. See how we made 1,000 cranes for you!

Making origami did help me when I had to wait at home alone for news of Paint.

So I should make more of it for no other reason than because it's relaxing and beautiful. I don't have to stress over difficult models, or always try something new. I don't even have to keep what I make, as that would take up too much space after a while. Not a waste. Not everything has to be about productivity.

The Japanese approach to healing trauma in that book caught my attention. Here in America the idea is to get people over their issues as speedily and efficiently as possible so they can get back to normal living. Go back to constructive behavior, rejoin the workforce, become productive members of society again. We don't have the space or time for people who are still reliving a tsunami two years after the fact. In Japan the monks keep gathering with their communities, bringing tea and origami paper for those who need the help.

I need to get over the idea that everything I do requires a justification.

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Reading Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, combined with the usual internet trivia about Japan, is making me long for that country again. Just a little. I haven't really planned on seeing it in the real world for years- seriously, where would I get the money for such a trip, and even just going to Chicago spooked me into hiding in my hotel room- but the actual, three-dimensional Japan is just so appealing. Even just imagining seeing its nature, staying among the trees and mountains for the trip's duration, would be awfully satisfying.

Maybe I would like a pilgrimage. You can do that without leaving the country, though it takes some imagination. But focusing on nature and spiritual spots... that could be the ticket. Wonder if I could swing a pilgrimage in this city. Depends. What constitutes a pilgrimage?

I have the impression that the journey is part of it- maybe a huge part of it. Like, you're putting effort into meeting God or yourself or an emotional point, traveling to get right up to it in a way that you can't by staying at home. The location is also important. You can pray, meditate, or think anywhere, including your bedroom, but designating a particular spot special, a place that has special significance for a relevant reason, gives you something to aim for. You travel. To the spot. And then expect something. Results, of some kind, whether for yourself or for someone else or for your relationship with something spiritual.

Maybe all good vacations are pilgrimages? That way you aren't just wandering around and spending money.

Therefore, it could be done in Indianapolis. I just need to pick a spot for a reason,and it has to be somewhere not easily gotten to. Can't make it too nearby. Can't make it any old place. Hm.

At any rate, Japan. It makes me a bit sad to know that its walls are so high that I could never come close really to it on an intimate level. The people there consider themselves too exceptional, too different, and are perpetually surprised at the sight of foreigners. They wouldn't know what to do with me and I am quite sure I wouldn't know what to do with them either, considering what I have read about them. It would be like walking around in a TV show. Look, touch, but never really interact. The show has its own thing going on. The charas are busy. You never stop being merely a part of the audience.

But I at least want to eat authentic ramen. Other than the instant kind.
 

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My Fitbit ran out of battery power today. So I guess I'll have to get some steps in without the sweet anesthetic of gamification. At this point I can live without it, probably. (Still want a new battery this weekend.)

This list has some reads for me, I bet. Already listening to the audio version of Delicious Foods, and I could check out She Weeps Each Time You're Born, Irritable Hearts, and The Country of Ice Cream Star (though that last title is likely the only "global pandemic slaughters the majority of the population" novels I will subject myself to for a while). Currently I'm reading another 2015 release, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, Marie Mutsuki Mockett's personal account of Japan's ongoing project to recover from 2011's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

It's good to read some newer books. While I still dislike the way so many things seem to be written these days with book clubs in mind, and the fact that too many synopses sound like writing prompts (chara is irrelevant, it's all about the BIG IDEA), it's nice to see what other people are thinking right now, rather than what they thought ten or fifteen years ago. Or even longer ago than that.

New books, new music, new anime and TV. My brain does feel less sluggish, and my mood has improved. This is probably a key way to not get old, at least to prevent aging prematurely.

Welp, I just read that Harry Shearer, the voice of over 100 charas in The Simpsons, is leaving the show. This after they announce the end of DVD season sets. Seriously, we have to let this show go. It has turned into a legacy product, like Blondie and Dagwood and Prince Valiant, which doggedly refuse to leave the comics pages of newspapers even though nobody would miss them. The Simpsons costs more to produce, though. Just think what Fox could do with that money. Probably they could try two or three new series, considering they were prepared to spend $14 million on Harry Shearer alone.
 


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The slow-cooked lemon-pepper chicken and potatoes are smelling so good with an hour remaining in the crock. It's a good thing I can have a pear to take the edge off my appetite. Haven't made this particular recipe in a while and I think I'll appreciate it tonight.

Finished Oryx and Crake and just about finished with the audio version of In the Sea There Are Crocodiles. Both interesting books in their own rights. I love having an ebook,an audio book, and a print book at hand at all times, heh. No matter what I am doing, I can fit a book in there (except while playing Hearthstone and such).

On the treadmill for 43 minutes today, much of it spent alternating between 3.3 and 5.0 mph. Ran 5 mph for a combined  total of 20 minutes. Tried doing 5.5 at first and I could feel myself running out of oxygen, like last time. So I should probably stick with 5 mph for a while, until it's not so much of an effort. Distance "traveled": 2.7 miles. I wish I could have gone for a full 5K, but this session genuinely wore me out so I'll have to work up to that.

Finally faced another mage player in Hearthstone and that battle took forever. I didn't win, but it was an educational experience. Dunno why so many players are salty about mages, when rogues keep straight-up assassinating every decent minion I put on the board. >:(

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Playing Hearthstone is kind of a timesuck, but what isn't?

Beat all the normal AI classes, won a couple times against real players in casual mode. My deck feels weak, and I clearly need more cards. But I didn't approach this with big ambitions. It's kind of nice to just do something with no real plans, and no need to succeed. There is no way I would dedicate so many hours to playing the game and studying it; I knew that from the start. So it's okay if I remain mediocre (or even worse). Mostly it's just about doing something fun. And something that makes my brain work.

When I checked out the official Hearthstone forum and saw this thread starter:

"Is this game only about playing legendaries to turn tables and win? its realy annoying that people go running to legendaries to bail them out. GROW SOME BALLS"

I found myself grateful that the game doesn't have an open chat feature.

Wonder why there are so many bad personalities rambling around game communities. I mean, there are unpleasant individuals everywhere, but the so-called spirit of competition really draws an unappealing crowd. Video games are taking heat for that these days but strictly speaking a lot of chess players are terrible while at the board, and everyone knows what it's like at sporting events (heck, even the spectators at the latter can be awful to each other). It's possible that many competitive people are only annoying while they are competing, and perfectly fine the rest of the time, but it doesn't matter much when what we see of them while playing is the bad side. Plus there are those who are clearly like that at other times coughgamergatecough.

I'm not very competitive. It's an unsuccessful combination of avoiding conflict, hating to lose, not getting enough of a rush from winning, and having other things to do with my time. As a result I'm more the type to complain about annoying players than simply be annoying myself. It's probably intellectually dishonest.

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WHAT THE HELL AM I LISTENING TO

Seriously, I've listened to experimental music before, and I am not sure at all what Tyondai Braxton is going for in this newly released album, HIVE1. The tracks strike me as formless at times, eschewing musical basics like "melody". At times they change direction so much it sounds like two tracks crashed together. You really need earbuds or something for this album, because otherwise you miss too many carefully chosen noises.

According to Wikipedia, Tyondai Braxton co-founded Battles. OOOOOOOhhh. I totally remember that group from a CD sampler included with a music magazine I bought back in 2007 or something. It was a great song, but I recall being disappointed when I looked up other tracks from the band. I also didn't know why they claimed to be a rock band. Whatever it was, it didn't sound like rock at all. This stuff I'm listening to right now is also supposed to be rock. Okay, apparently I don't know what rock is. (Then again, Margaret Atwood doesn't consider Oryx and Crake sci-fi, and JG Thirlwell hates it when anyone says his music is industrial. Categories are up for debate.)

"In 2015, Braxton released HIVE1, his first solo album is six years and his first on Nonesuch Records. Written and recorded throughout 2013 and 2014, the recording comprises eight pieces that were originally conceived for a performance work called HIVE that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2013."

Ah. The Guggenheim. So this isn't exactly music- it is ART, it is a "performance work", and now I think I am on solid footing as I listen to these ambient waves roaring in my ears as I type (track 7).

Isn't it interesting that there is an entire world of artistic output that is pretty much exclusive to a particular privileged sphere- if you come within a certain income bracket and live in a city like New York, then you have access to "performance works" at the Guggenheim. If you live in New York but have less money, then you don't. If you have money but live in Indianapolis, then you don't. The idea that special people get special art... idk, that's a bit odd. Then again, it's simply art adapting to a capitalist society. I don't judge it. I just wind up noting it.

At least the internet gives everyone else a sort of ground-floor access to a generalized version of the art world; you don't go to the Guggenheim but you hear the music in its final recorded form. You don't see paintings where they hang worldwide but you get to browse Google Art Project. Through YouTube and Spotify and whatnot you can see and hear most of what's available, even if it isn't all uploaded legally (I've heard even Spotify accused of streaming albums that they technically don't have the license to use). This on top of media we've had for a while, books and home video.

So complaining is probably a waste of time that could be better spent on experiencing some art. Whether or not there is even a benefit to seeing a performance work live at the Guggenheim is uncertain. Who knows how much of it is just placebo effect. Just that feeling of being privileged and a bit pampered.

Ramble ramble ramble.

How much of liberalism's beef with the wealthier classes is less about genuinely wanting what they have- the envy and jealousy that is so often pinned on the left- and more about the principle of the thing? It's not that we actually need to go to the Guggenheim so badly, it's more about the fact that there is such a thing as exclusivity in the first place.

Some want everything available to everybody. Others want nothing for anyone, a minimalist society where huge art museums in New York aren't a thing. Communist revolutions in the past tended to lean in the latter's direction (though not very well, since the revolutionary leaders quickly decided some exclusivity wouldn't hurt them). Not sure what modern liberalism/progressivism aims for. You can only declare everything "privileged" for so long before it becomes clear that you don't have a plan for fixing anything. You just get a thrill out of saying "privilege!" Too much of a thrill. It's an emotional outlet that is probably hampering serious efforts. Tackling income inequality could perhaps get further if we didn't get the anger out of our system so easily.

So wait- how do *I* feel about exclusive art?

I am forced to apply philosophy, a little bit of a Buddhist viewpoint, and my ACoA-induced ability to call myself out. Most people prefer top-40 radio. This city's art museum, huge and stuffed with valuable paintings and sculptures, had free admission until this year but didn't exactly have to fight off crowds. I have access to so much stuff already and rarely take advantage of it, preferring to read library books and watch anime. Whether exclusivity is wrong or not is one issue and whether the exclusive stuff is even desirable, much less needed by us plebs, or not, is quite another topic. I can't conflate the two. I have to be honest with myself if I suspect that I am just wanting something I can't have. It's a very human reaction to the sight of other people getting something that you are not. I also have to be honest with myself if I see myself applying ideology- it's the principle of the thing! I don't want to be an ideologue.

But ah, I already am one. Looking up the Guggenheim in New York showed that it only costs $16 for a general adult to get in. I can't tell from here if exhibitions cost extra. Who knows whether it cost anything at all to see Tyondai Braxton's performance work. I made assumptions without even thinking about it- you had to have money and live in New York to see it! Well, you had to get to New York, and yeah you would need at least $16, which a lot of people don't have, but that is not what I pictured while rambling up there. In my case I think it was both envy AND a general dislike of exclusivity that led me to knee-jerk imagine a bunch of rich people in evening dresses sipping champagne while pretending to understand experimental rock music.

But even if that image were accurate, who cares? (That's the Buddhism talking.)
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Hey, you know, there are these 6-word stories.... They aren't even stories, really, as you can't have a beginning, middle, and end within such a constraint, not really. I'm still a little proud of my blasphemous creation "This is Heaven? God, You lied.", but let's be realistic, it sounds like a writing prompt.

A couple of days ago, anyway, I tried writing micro-mini stories, adding more words as I went:

6-Word Story

I found the mountain, and stayed.

10-Word-Story

I couldn't find anything else but I found the mountain.

25-Word Story

Could I say I found the mountain when I touched its base but only saw its peak? And that only because it was cloudless noon.


Each "story" expresses a different idea. Each one is also not a freakin' story. It makes me wonder what happens if we attempt to use even fewer words:

1-Word Story

Mountain

2-Word Story

I couldn't.

3-Word Story

Touch the base!


Yeah, let's be serious, it's like a psychological exercise to help you work out a theory on what a story is in the first place. I have heard of such minimalist poetry. Poetry has fallen out of the public's favor for a reason.

So if we require a beginning, middle, and an end, how few words can we get away with?

Beginning

I couldn't find anything else but I found the mountain.

Middle

Still, could I say I found the mountain, when I touched its base but only saw its peak?

End

I stayed there, at the base, because I didn't need to find the rest.


Guh, what a mess. But it is perhaps, technically, a story, pointless as it is. It's pointless because there is no chara, just a formless narrator wallowing in fatalism. The total lack of a chara is probably the biggest problem with miniature storylets. The people in stories are all too often the first to go when the writer has to ration priorities- and that's messed up.

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Day 2 of an experiment that involves staying the heck away from news, politics, and particularly aggressive social media (looking at you, Reddit). It can be a little hard to burn the free time if I'm not partaking of those things, but not only should I not be dependent upon stress-inducing noise, I also shouldn't be burning time anyway.

If there were anything I could do about the news and politics out there, then I could justify the stress it all gives me. Then again, it probably wouldn't stress me out as much. The helplessness, I think, has a lot to do with it.

Today I've been reading Oryx and Crake, which is a longer book than I thought it would be. Managed to get some reading in while on the elliptical, even. Did the laundry, did the dishes, took out the trash, fit the book in there. It wasn't hard. Have gone over 13,000 steps so far today (as of 5 PM), and should easily be able to get at least 5,000 more with the book on my phone.

Oryx and Crake
is so depressing; Atwood really lets the pessimism flow when she writes, doesn't she? At least it isn't terrifying, like The Handmaid's Tale was.

Checking out the indie music labels Polyvinyl and Monstercat. Good stuff, I haven't been involved enough in indie since New Music Monthly had trouble bringing out issues of its magazine after 9/11. That's a pretty long time.

I'm going to try writing here every day, even if I just type some pap and call it a day. I have to break myself out of this mess in my head. Messy walls. They are full of faults but very thick and high, like rocks piled around in a circle. They look easy to get past but they are heavy and kind of all over the place. So you just have to move a rock at a time. And go out there every day.

This morning I weighed in at 114.6 pounds. Finally letting go of my fear that I'll just gain weight again. Keeping an eye on the scale numbers and knowing that I can eat less/exercise more if I need to helps a lot. I am in control of this.

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For some reason I am finding comfort in posting to a blog nobody reads.

Tumblr is wearing me down. It's a weird little toxic circlejerk, though whether it's always been this bad or is getting worse I can't tell. Should probably unfollow a ton of users and start over.

Writing words is easier for me now that my elevated level of physical activity keeps my mild/moderate depression from soaking me through. (Though recently I've been walking around with some hopelessness and a bit of self-loathing; it's like I stepped in a puddle of despair and my socks are wet.) But writing stories is another thing entirely. There's some fear there. Easier to craft an incomplete scene or picture my characters in my mind than actually risk creating a story from beginning to end. There's fear, there's not knowing where to start or where to go.

My comfort zone is tiny. This April the plan is to force myself to take a set of swim classes at the YMCA, which I will easily be able to afford and get to by foot but will almost certainly terrify me. It's bad enough that water is scary. It will also be a class, something I have, uh, no experience with outside of that so-called "art" class I took in 2013. You could sketch out the picture before painting it but that would be cheating? Seriously, what a mess. And it wasn't a class, it was just a place to hang out and play with paint. The women who brought wine had the best time of it. This thing at the Y will be a real class that means to teach people how to begin swimming. Talk about something I have no experience with. Besides, it's a social thing and I'm going to feel like an awkward kid who should be left alone, see if I don't.

Ok, see how tiny my comfort zone is. That's primarily why I'm taking this class. Watching the episode of My 600-Pound Life wherein Penny didn't believe she could get out of bed and wanted to give up the minute things got difficult made me look at where ACOA traits can take a person. Life itself shouldn't be allowed to remain so frightening.

Neither should writing.

One thing to remember is that nobody reads this blog. So if I post bad poetry or stupid drabbles who's gonna know?



jojothemodern: (Default)
At this point I've got to accept that I am not writing because it is no longer imperative that I do so. It is not even especially important. I no longer have any faith that I will be published or read. I no longer believe that I have any big idea worth sharing. I must not feel that my characters should live through my writing. They would probably be better off living in someone else's head.

Young Me would be horrified and angry. Young Me had a lot of ideals.

Current Me, most likely, does not even believe that writing matters at all.
jojothemodern: (Default)
I would really like to make an interactive story using the Twine application. Even a short one. Something to share, mostly.

Of course, there is still the interactive-story Tumblr idea. Using images from Flickr I could do a lot with that. It doesn't have to be a great work of literature, just a good experience for readers/players.

I would probably make it a bit meta. Using my idea of being a minor chara in someone's novel, that is. The reader/player could choose to insert themselves into the main chara's plot, create their own story, or revolt by starting an anti-author cult.

But if I try too hard, this may fall by the wayside like everything else has. So let's keep it light, eh?

It seems harmless enough. Complicated storylines and mass quantities of details are not desirable in interactive fiction, so there is that.
jojothemodern: (Default)
My sinuses hurt, bleh. Again I want to sketch out one of my ideas for a fantasy creature and again I feel too tired for it. And my sinuses hurt too much.

Can't think of anything else to make myself write right now.
jojothemodern: (Default)
Started reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby's personal account of living with locked-in syndrome. It's a brief little book, written over ten months as Bauby blinked his left eyelid- one of the last parts of him that he could move- and dictated to someone who penned one letter at a time.

There were days, early on in his paralyzed condition, when he believed that he would recover.

"Indeed, my roving mind was busy with a thousand projects: a novel, travel, a play, marketing a fruit cocktail of my own invention. (Don't ask for the recipe; I have forgotten it.)
"

Day by day I feel my wasted time threading past me. Few things make me aware of that quite like this book.

I'm a little ashamed to even feel grateful for what I have, considering how I spend it all.

Then I remind myself- it isn't like I don't try to write, draw, create anything by any means. Everything feels so tiring and heavy. And pointless. Pretty much no matter what I am doing I sense the tug to do something more important. (Unless i am doing dishes or laundry. Those things are important, because they are useful.)

Trying to create feels like a waste of time itself. Just staring at the laptop screen and telling myself to reach for my sketchbook. Telling myself to open Evernote. Try. Try. Telling myself to try. That takes time too.

If I could not create, if the opportunity to even try dropped away from me, I'd want to do nothing more than write and write and write and draw.

jojothemodern: (Default)
This is my writer's block blog. I needed somewhere to post freely about the block and its effects on my emotional health.

It is a safe space for me and anyone who suffers from artistic blocks. I am completely exhausted by those who claim writer's block does not exist, whether they are judgmental or perky about it.

You don't have to know why it started. You don't have to predict when it will end. You don't have to beat yourself up over it. You don't have to let others tell you that you are just lazy. You know how much work you put into trying to write. You know how much you wish you could create again.
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