improperlyhuman: (Default)
Thought I'd be able to make it through the day without caffeine, but no dice. Thanks to me, the grocery store ran out of Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bars, so I ended up with a Red Bull from the gas station instead. I was afraid it wouldn't work, but it did the trick.

I finished We Too Are Drifting at the laundromat yesterday afternoon. It ended all of a sudden; I'm not even sure what happened. Seems like the protagonist let her young lover go off to college somewhere out of resignation, like she knew lesbians couldn't expect to stay together in a stable relationship. How sad :(
And what a strange, insubstantial book.

So, what shall I read next?

I sent off my enrollment form today. I'm gonna do that editing course.

From here it seems almost impossible that I'll earn enough money to cover my expenses and move away from here. I'm trying to psych myself up for a longish wait, a boring, empty summer and fall.

What if I open the bottle of Vit D3 and just chug a shitload of it at once instead of taking 1000 milliwhatever per day?? I wonder if that's safe. Shit, I'm gonna do it right now. I'm tired of being freakin tired.

Ok. Let's see how I feel tomorrow.

The author of Starting Strength said that weightlifting injuries are inevitable. What an unpleasant thing to read. Wasn't sure whether I was going to try to squat 140 tomorrow, but maybe I'll pass on that. How did I even get up this high? Seems like just yesterday I was barely squatting 100, and 100 still feels heavy.

Late this evening, I walked past a building that had a second-floor that suddenly reminded me of an episode of The X-Files. Such random connections I make. I started thinking about how, towards the end of the series, I really got tired of the mytharc and only wanted to watch the standalone episodes, especially the ones in which Mulder and Scully got close. I felt kind of dumb about it, I don't know why.

As I was walking, the reason for my preference suddenly hit me: the mytharc reflected something ugly about reality. The government screwing people over and trying to keep it hidden. As I increased my political consciousness, this theme became depressing. And OMG, Mulder and Scully spending like a decade of their adult lives alone? Sooo not right. Who does that? Ha.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
Squated one hundred and ten pounds this evening. I increased weight for all three of my exercises. I don't see how I'm going to squat much more than this because I'm putting an uncomfortable amount of pressure on my wrists to stabilize that weight, and I'm fairly sure my grip is proper. I got a copy of Starting Strength from the library. I have weak, puny wrists.

Saw therapist today and she surprised me a bit by focusing on breathing exercises that are supposed to help me sleep. I was quite worried about my ability to stick with these exercises because focusing on my body is so boring. The only way I can exercise for more than 5 minutes at a stretch is simultaneously watching videos or listening to music. I gots to start sleeping or my lifting will suffer.

Today was supposed to be grocery day, but I didn't want to reschedule my therapy appointment or go grocery shopping on a lifting day anyhow. I'm planning on going tomorrow though I know I won't have the energy for it. Haven't decided whether I'll take paratransit or not, but if I do, let's hope I remember to ask for a taxi driver that will not be playing the damned radio.

Right now I am downloading Tails, a security-based OS. It runs from a live USB and leaves no trace on the hard drive, so I can use it to access Google Docs and have secure conversations. There is a similar OS that is meant to be installed to hard drive. Can't remember the name at the moment. I want it on my other partition, but I'm afraid I'll install to the wrong partition again and overwrite Debian.
I'm going back to a highish carb diet. I don't feel satisfied eating all these damned legumes, and that just makes me eat more than I would otherwise. And cooking potfuls of beans and lentils is a pain in the ass anyhow. I miss the ease of putting a yam or baked potato in the oven. I'll eat tofu for protein, and I don't think I need 80-90 g of protein per day anyhow.

I've been reading a lesbian novel I bought before the fire. It's called We Too Are Drifting, and damn, is that title ever accurate. Very dry book, not much happening, and what is happening is only palely illustrated by the characters actions. Their actions: so much talking without saying anything and sitting around not doing anything, gives it a very bourgeosie flavor.

The protagonist, Jan, seems to have a lover she doesn't much care about and is just passively going along with the relationship. Jaded and can't focus on her art. 84 pages in, Jan has had tea with someone she is interested in and is still not being forthright with the lover. Lots of ambiguous looks and lighting cigarettes and sipping brandy throughout the story. Who are these people who drink hard alcohol every day.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I don't buy sweet chili sauce because I can never tell if it's vegan. I've now made my own: a mixture of spicy chili paste, the unsweetened ketchup that is too nasty to use as ketchup, and the coconut aminos that is too sweet to replace soy sauce.

I've noticed that I'm more comfortable being with my thoughts, less worried that I'll think myself into something upsetting. I used to love reading e-books while cycling in the morning, but now I'm ok with just the cycling (or cycling and music, sometimes), and the thoughts I have don't bother me much. Even when they do bother me, moving on from them is easier. I've also unconsciously increased the exercise intensity, so there's not as much of me available to concentrate on reading, especially reading poorly written tech books!

What is it with the writing skills of people in software development?! Or is it the broader computer tech community? 

I don't read for the whole two hours of sunbathing. I just sit and do nothing for some of the time.

I'm reading the science fiction novel Heavy Planet by Hal Clement. It isn't the old school science fiction I like most, but it's close: adventure-based, not too much dialogue. When I read about fictionalized societies, I'm struck by how similar they are to Earthly societies in very particular ways. Alien or human, the main characters are typically male. Unnecessary violence threatens to break out between the various societies or sects; they are never peaceful, not even when such violence is not central to the plot.

What really surprises me (especially when the authors seem to be female) are the fantasy novels full of kingdoms and peasants and such, and all the complicated and oppressive social hierarchy that goes along with that. Part of my enjoyment of fiction stems from escaping from the man-made sociocultural horrors of the real world, past and present, so it's difficult for me to understand authors who willingly immerse themselves in these depressingly limiting social structures.

Stories based on present sociocultural conditions are much more undestandable because the authors (and their readers) still have to deal with those; but I really have trouble understanding why someone would write a story that's all about how horrible it was to be a slave, a serf, a womon at various points in history. Like aren't there enough horrible situations a human can be in without revisiting old ones and creating whole new versions of such situations?

When I think about writing fiction, it's always mainly about positive things happening. That's why I can't ever really write anything; I rarely come up with much of a plot. No conflict, no plot.

Anyways. Heavy Planet is quite an imaginative book, as far as science goes; it's about human scientists directing a group of sailors of a race of insect-like natives on an exploratory journey across the latter's planet Mesklin, which varies in gravity from 3 to hundreds of times Earth's gravity.

This evening, I finally bought Science-Fiction: The Early Years, which is a catalogue of science fiction written before 1930 (the kind I prefer). It cost about sixty bucks and, according to the Amazon description, lists many books that would probably be difficult to find; nevertheless, considering how I've agonized over my inability to find any suitable fiction, and the boundless joy my favorite novels (The Time Machine and Out of The Silent Planet) have given me, I felt that the expense was worth it. Book-hunting is fun anyhow.

This fasted weightlifting is a killer, much more difficult than fasted cardio. Not sure I'm gonna stick with it.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I finished Carol while sunbathing this afternoon. The ending seemed slightly rushed and confusing, but at least it was hopeful, if not happy.

Now I need a new novel to read. The quest begins anew.

I struggled with my workout this evening, and it occurred to me that losing weight will prevent me from lifting as much as I've been lifting :( But maybe it was just low protein again.

I decided that I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of blue jeans once I get the thighs I want. There are some online stores that sell U.S.-manufactured jeans. Or there used to be, at least. The jeans are expensive, but they aren't made by exploited Asian children, and that's what's important. I don't need a million pairs anyhow.

A womon I gave some money for a bus ride came by to see me this afternoon. She gave me nearly twice as much as I'd given her. And a hug. Platonic hugs are weird.

I'm mildly surprised that my mom hasn't called me lately.

I keep picturing myself in Oregon. In my new blue jeans. But I keep putting off a call to the womyn's land. I need to know if they have Internet access there. I'm gonna have to wait until this new client gives me a break to take a trip. Then again, it would be better to go in winter so that I can tell whether or not the cold is bearable.

My mood is so much lighter since I let up on myself.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I am making bank with my new client.

I am nearing the point of not needing to actively seek out new things to learn about editing. I am becoming An Editor.

I am still struggling with aggravating mechanical workflow problems, namely fitting my keyboard, mouse, and mousepad on the keyboard tray. I'm not even really using my standalone numeric keypad; there's no space for it.

Editing with text editing applications is too slow. I am now more motivated than ever to learn vim, but it is going to be a pain with the Colemak keyboard layout.

Last night I had a very disturbing nightmare about my sister. In the dream, I woke up and found some guy she knew at my house, along with a child of hers that was different (younger, and maybe a girl) than her actual child. I don't know what he was doing, but he was looking through my stuff and I was angry. Then he decided to leave the child with me!

The scene changed in that senseless way that scenes change in dreams, and then I was with said sister and our third sister in their home. I confronted the former about sending her boyfriend or whatever to my place, and she was irritated, tried to brush me off, wouldn't explain herself. Then she was about to leave and I began to question her more aggressively. She kicked me in my stomach and walked off! To be suddenly confronted with the fact that she would do such a thing (she is a very peaceful person) hurt at least as much as the kick.

So then our mom appeared in the kitchen and I was talking to her about the attack. She said something about my sister having been picked up, interrogated, and tortured for some information pertaining the guy who'd been at my house. She told me to look at my sister's hands, and I noticed with horror that several of her fingernails had been pried off. I awoke shortly thereafter.

The dream affected me so much, I considered calling my sister to ask if she was ok, even though I knew that it was just a dream and had nothing to do with what's happening in her life. Still in bed, I thought about the piece of trash that impregnated her and was very angry. I thought about all of the womyn who end up pregnant by men who care nothing about them and soon leave them. Yet if I tell any of the former to stop trusting men or at least stop engaging in ONE SPECIFIC ACT with men, I'm the bad guy. ("Bad guy" is one of the few sexed idioms that I don't change to a feminine form. It's an accurate phrase because the "bad" person usually is a guy, considering the worst forms of "badness.")

Sometimes I think it meet that idiots so stubbornly wedded to patriarchy suffer for their self-destructiveness. Maybe the suffering will snap them out of it, I think. But I know that patriarchy brainwashes females into self-destructive behavior, so I try to quash such thoughts. Merely a symptom of anger and frustration, they are not at all helpful. Gotta keep my eyes on the prize.

The novel Carol was beginning to irritate me because the protagonist was really becoming clingy and jealous. In the chapter I read today, the title character's husband is revealed to have put a private investigator on the trail of his wife and her new young...I hate the word "lover," it seems really seedy. I think it rubs me that way because I learned it in the context of a novel about an extra-marital affair.

Anyways, the book is set, I believe, in the 50s, and I don't think that I can stomach lesbian persecution (fictionalized, even) at this point in my life, especially not that old time lesbian persecution from which there was little or no escape.

Last week I downloaded a free Kindle book that catalogues old school lesbian-themed fiction. I suppose that I should have known how many depressing story lines were in store. All the plots consisted of some combination of nymphomania, murder, suicide, domination, womyn's prisons, and child abuse. Horrifying.

This morning, I also thought about "curing" some of my resentment by simply telling my mother that I feel uncomfortable with talking to her because I resent her poor parenting.

I read e-books during my morning cycle and I love the routine. I continue to steadily lose weight: 5 lbs. as of this morning. Give or take a pound, I've lost half of what I gained. It's so easy this time.

I've stopped eating in the evening, but night sweats are not as intense, just a damp neck is what I get. I can't even remember some nights because I'm sleeping so much better.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I went to what was supposed to be my six-month dental checkup today. The receptionist called my health insurance company and found out that bi-annual checkups are only covered for clients under the age of 21. Wut.

So the entire day was wasted for nothing. Every time I go out for the day, I hope that it'll be the one time I somehow manage to avoid the exhaustion that always comes at the end of days away from home. I'm always disappointed. Since I've arrived home, I've managed to do little besides play Mah Jong.

At the moment I'm listening to a Chopin (a piano concerto, I think), a CD I got as a teenager. Striking is the difference in the moods occasioned by the music then and now. As a teenager, I found it somewhat gloomy, partially because it seemed so long. I had only been into classical music for a few years, and I was still working out how to develop a taste for the longer works.

I remember finding the CD in Kmart and feeling nervous about asking my dad to buy it for me. I knew that he knew nothing about classical music and wouldn't understand, wouldn't even recognize the name Chopin, and I was accustomed to being scrutinized for interests that were too "white." His "girlfriend" at the time looked at the track list and laughed when she read the "Death March." Such memories I have.

Hearing the music now, after all these years, is much more pleasant. The variety of classical works I've listened to in my 23 years as a fan seems to have put the concerto's tone in a non-gloomy context. I no longer dread listening until the end. There's a bit of...I don't know what to call it, nostalgia, maybe. No, more like tenderness and understanding towards my teenaged self.

I have since devised a way to enjoy new musical works that are long: I put them on in the background several times over the course of days or weeks, allowing myself to merely hear, without committing myself to the burden of focused listening. After a while, I recognize enough of the song such that conscious listening isn't so taxing. Coping technique for undiagnosed auditory processing deficit, I'll bet.

I finished a Udemy course on anger management today. About three days ago, I chose the course as part of Udemy's early review program, then decided to complete it for my own benefit rather than simply scanning through the videos for the review.

It was very helpful! The course was made of up very short videos, totaling just one hour of content, and I was disappointed that it ended so soon. I made sure to work through all of the reflective assignments, and they were quite instructive. The instructor was engaging (of course, I mean my type of engaging, not feely/charismatic engaging) and made the course very comfortable despite the subject matter.

To put it simply: I don't feel angry anymore. It seems almost foolish to type that; to say that something that's been bedeviling me for...years? now is gone in a matter of days. I'm almost afraid that I'm wrong and it's still here with me, just masked by today's exhaustion. Then again, it doesn't seem quite so sudden considering that it had begun to fade before I'd started the course, back when I figured out that I was mainly angry with myself.

A lot of things came together for me as I finished the course this afternoon, and I think being overwhelmed by the mental work and the sudden clarity and release of...whatever I released, contributed to the exhaustion, which came on shortly after I'd finished watching the last videos.

The layer underneath the anger is made up of resentment, so that's what I have to deal with next. I think that'll be a lot harder to "fix." I wanted so badly for the anger management instructor to have provided a course on resentment as well. I looked for some books and other online courses, but I didn't find anything promising.

I noticed that a lot of the material on this topic revolves around forgiveness and close relationships. Neither of those applies to me. Forgiveness is doesn't compute. It has no meaning to me and does not seem relevant to me. As stupid as it feels to type it now, most of my anger issues revolved around situations with strangers. I'm not dealing with betrayals by trusted loved ones or anything seriously intimate like that (which is probably part of the reason why forgiveness is irrelevant).

This post is long!

After more than one hundred and fifty pages, finally some lesbian action today in my current love interest, the novel Carol. The protagonist, Therese, was joyous, and I was happy with and for her. That made me think of something I'd read about schizoids: that they enjoy relationships in their heads more than relationships in the flesh. I know that I would feel terribly anxious in Therese's place, anxious to the point of avoidance. I think that I've not quite yet reached the point at which I'd rather read about it than live it, although I'm certainly close.

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