Monthly Archives: February 2013

It’s been a while, hasn’t it…

Hi! I know I forgot to write some thing last Sunday, as is my custom, but I wasn’t feeling up to it. I actually wasn’t feeling up to it this morning, either, but you know? Today’s gone remarkably better than expected. I mean, it’s gone from me moping about the things I can’t change to right now, writing freely about whatever I want while listening to a bunch of calming acoustic guitar instrumentals. I am truly fortunate.

Didn’t do much out of the ordinary last week. Didn’t expect to be doing so much today, either, but thankfully that didn’t pan out as previously predicted. I mean, I woke up like usual, did my laundry as usual, went to Matsuri’s executive board meeting as usual and then, sighing, submitted myself to my fate and went to the United Cultural Council’s Spring Retreat. Honestly, I’m glad I did; there was this activity we did called “Feeling Families”. It helped me work out some of the issues that’ve been getting me down lately and you know what? I’m not the only one who’s scared by default or the only one who gets mad with a purpose. I mean, of course I’m not the only one; there are, what? Seven billion people on the planet or something, right? Odds are good that there’s at least one other person who shares my woes and joys. But I kind of forgot that and the reminder was nice. Again, it helped immensely.

Actually did my homework, which is nice. I dunno, when you get to college, you can be assigned homework, but I find that my professors aren’t really as strict about it. You should do it, of course, but it’s more of a way to check if you can go on sleeping or daydreaming in class. Then again, I’m probably not the best person to ask for advice regarding academic matters. I’m an okay student, but I find lectures tedious for the most part, favoring the more practical, hands-on approach of lab work to sitting in class, taking notes. It’s one of the reasons why I’m pretty sure that I’ll make for a successful research scientist.

Speaking of, it seems as though my advisor hasn’t yet given up on the notion of retaining someone who knows his lab inside and out yet and, truth be told, I’m glad. I might just be taking him up on the offer of enrolling in the master’s program, despite what I told him earlier. I dunno, it’s just that that leap from the end of my undergraduate studies to the beginning of graduate school looks so wide and scary. The fact that I’m pretty much on my own, something that I was well aware of for a few years now, has only just started to sink in and it’s only made an already terrifying prospect so much worse. I’m starting to warm to the idea of spending two more years here, in this comfortable academic cocoon. Besides, I’ll be able to see my friends graduate just as they’ll see me graduate this semester. It won’t be like every other time people leave, where I leave them behind or they leave me behind. Losing people, even if it’s to their own futures, their own hopes and dreams, never gets any easier for me.

That’s probably the biggest thing that’s been affecting me this week: one of my friends/person-that-I-have-this-embarassingly-huge-crush-on is currently in the middle of rushing for a certain Greek fraternity. Now, I’m no stranger to the Greeks; I know how they’re all about being a family and being together all the time, joined at the hip or what have you, but I consider myself to be generally anti-Greek. If you tell me that you belong to an organization with three letters and nothing else, I will assume that you are a pompous, self-righteous nitwit who is too weak to stand on your own two feet and have to rely on an organization to make a name for yourself. It’s this prejudice, reinforced by past experiences, that will steer me clear of ever joining any such organizations myself. However, when you go to a university as small as mine and have friends flung far and wide, you’re going to have a few Greeks. Some of them can at least remain civil, some of them stay just the same, and others completely block you out if you’re not one of them. It happens.

So why this person, aside from the obvious “Because I like their face!”? I guess it’s because I’m greedy, I’m needy, and I don’t like to share, at least when it comes to them. It’s strange how I never actually noticed them until another friend told me mentioned how they were remarkably attractive. At the time, I was trying to get over someone (ironically enough, it was the same friend who complimented the current object of my affections) so, while I had known them for a year, I had never really entertained the notion of hanging out in earnest. So, what? I guess I felt betrayed a bit when they seemed to blow me off for an organization that I’m sure can actually help them out later on. Or when they went to a mutual friend’s party and didn’t really mention it when they excused themselves from hanging out on a three day weekend. Our schedules are so hectic that it seems we’ll never have any time unless we make room and I want to make room, but I feel as though imposing my will on them is improper. Tell me, are we friends if I still think like this?

I may not feel like the situation is completely hopeless. Well, at least not anymore. But all I can do is change my own response to this situation, which is eerily parallel to one I encountered two years ago now. That one didn’t end happily, as I’m only an acquaintance to them, but I’m determined to try another approach, one of simple acceptance and a humble presence at their side, should they need it. It’s all I can do here, so I’m not going to push them away. Not again.

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This is why I love PACS 3…

[Okay, so I’ve got an assignment due in a few hours for PACS 3. I started off the prep sheet as usual, skimming the readings and the questions, no big deal. But then I started responding to the first question…and was “done” about an hour later. Holy shit, right? But this is why I love this class; I don’t get to write like this in my usual classes at all. So, in lieu of an actual post, here’s the first question and my response. You’ll find that it’s basically like any other post that I write on here; I think that keeping a blog where I just write things out for its own sake gives me a bit of an edge.]

1.    What would you do with the Gyges ring?  Are you good at resisting temptations?
        While I’ll admit that the first thought that entered into my head was “Get an iPod touch from Best Buy for the wonderful price of free”, I now find myself with something altogether different in mind for the Ring of Gyges. It helps that, nowadays, the things worth stealing (an entirely subjective worth, mind you) have a bunch of other security measures that would thwart mere invisibility like magnetic tags. What would be the point of going invisible if that stupid thing at the door would beep were you to pass by with the item in question. And even before then, I’d have to do a full battery of obligatory preliminary tests to see the ring’s power for myself. Can I still wear clothes while invisible? I’m sure I still make sounds while I’m invisible, so just how close would I have to be for someone to hear me breathe and be tipped off to my presence? What is the average reaction to a door opening by itself in this day and age? No, I could not be a master thief with the Ring of Gyges; too much thinking is involved in circumventing it’s inherent weaknesses and an iPod touch is not even worth it when I can just buy it used from Amazon.
        No, I’d probably peoplewatch instead. Or use it to travel safely in the dead of night; you can’t mug what you can’t see, right? Unless you can see their shadow; I’m assuming that, because you don’t become immaterial when you turn it on, the Ring can’t stop your matter from casting a shadow. But nobody looks down, anyway, so I should be safe.
        Eavesdropping is good too, provided the conversation is actually worth listening to. Would I be the best anonymous journalistic source ever? Hell yes; I could probably be able to sneak into meetings at corporations and blow the whistle on them. I dunno, I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. Spy on them, spy on committee meetings in D.C.; someone’s gotta keep them accountable. Though I’m probably going to need money anyway, just to have a home to return to at the end of the day and somewhere to shower. Ugh, I’m probably going to have to be all sorts of careful picking out body wash, aren’t I? Can’t pick something that smells too nice, otherwise people’d know that someone is there and be on their guard. That’s easily enough solved; just pick something close to what they’re wearing.
        As for money, perhaps the occasional blackmail? Something so secret that they would rather die than go to the cops or blab about it to their friends (or “friends”; I’m counting on them to be big enough jerks that they’re the kind of people who think everyone’s out to get them), making them more amenable to fulfilling my request of basically paying my rent (plus utilities) with just a bit left over for basic foodstuffs. Invisible or not, I’m fairly cheap.
        …Damn, now I want this ring to be an actual thing. I mean, sure, I could spend my life in the pursuit of a cure to cancer, which I think doesn’t exist. I mean, curing cancer would be neat, but now that I know more about the disease, I can’t think of it as a “disease”. It seems to be a condition inherent to organisms outliving their natural lifespans; people just aren’t meant to live that long. I can understand why we still fight. Living is nice. I rather like being alive. So, rather than funneling funding towards something that is inherently pointless, let’s use it to enrich people’s lives instead. “This Ring could basically be my day job instead of searching for the cure to a disease whose essence is too integral to humanity” is the point I’m trying to get across. Might as well do something productive for the world while I still breathe.
        Now for the other half of the question: am I good at resisting temptations? Simply put, no. Again, if the Ring of Gyges actually did exist and wasn‘t just for an overly thought out experiment in morality, I would go off and do exactly as I’ve said vis-à-vis the whole do-gooder spy thing. I would make the degree I’ve been working on for four years now utterly pointless in a heartbeat. If that’s not the very definition of an impulse, I don’t know what is honestly.
        Then again, I do happen to ignore other so-called “temptations”. Drinking in general doesn’t interest me, though I do appreciate a dark ale. I’m too cheap to gamble (it’s so wasteful!); smoking’s a straight-up “no” because my grandmother fell to lung cancer and it’s just gross. Would I date a smoker? Hell no and I’ll sit upwind of them for good measure. Sex seems rather boring, one of the few factors that I find accounts for my chastity remaining intact. It’s not for the lack of people I’d like to get it on with, I just don’t appreciate them clinging. All we did was sleep together, geez.
        Maybe I am good at resisting temptations of a conventional sort, if only because I can rationalize them away into nothing. Just not temptations like skipping out on studying for an exam to go see a choir recital for someone that I like very much or staying up until 2:30 in the morning to see a rather boring show in order to appease my friends. Friends, then, are the source of many a temptation that I just can’t make go away. Peer pressure is dreadful.

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“Tax season” is now in my vernacular…

Not that it matters or anything, seeing as how my status as a student prevents me from claiming my scholarship credits, much to my chagrin. Or maybe I’m doing it wrong; the claim last year was that, because I could still be claimed as someone’s dependent, I couldn’t get that extra $1000 (which could’ve helped me out in school, by the way) so I was stuck with whatever I got from the state from working. It wasn’t much, for those who were wondering.

But yeah, I’ve got to get on that, filing taxes and other time-sensitive things. I just feels like time’s running away from me, but maybe that’s because, again, I graduate in a few months. Still kind of shocked, though I seem to be handling it well enough. My biggest worry after graduation though is just what on Earth am I supposed to do? Where am I going? How do I get there? Will I have a stable job and living space before November, when the creditors start knocking on my door, wanting a return on four years’ worth of loans? The answers that I have collected thus far are as follows: get a job ASAP; anywhere but here, as the job market’s pretty shit; no clue, seeing as I can’t drive anywhere; and let’s hope so, lest you have to move in with the rest of your clan ’cause that shit ain’t happening.

I love my folks. Really, I do. But, boy, they have issues. It seems as though my older sister is intent on making herself out to be the worst financial role model ever, my younger sister is already in trouble (again), and my mother is resolute on reestablishing her iron-fisted matriarchy, ’cause that didn’t totally collapse when I went off to college. Already, they’re sniffing around me, like sharks chasing chum, and it’s that reflexive instinct to pull everyone back to one place and live under one roof again like we used to at work here. But here’s the thing: I’ve already tasted independence. I know that, if I must, I can and will take care of myself, spoil myself even. So, while I do miss my mother at times, I don’t want to go back. My sister’s abode is little more than a vacuum where the concept of autonomy ceases to exist. Not to mention that, already, I’m flying under the radar; to go back would relegate me to Narnia, as far as closets go, for at least one more decade. Am I ever going to tell my mother? Probably, but not now. Though, really, what is there to disown? I’m already by myself, for the most part.

I dunno. I’ll make it work. For now, there’s two exams to prepare for, though I’ve only the vaguest sense of what I’m doing. Cheers!

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