Often when I reflect on my life, I criticize myself. I try to figure out a better way of solving the problem. But so many problems are context-specific; tied to a situation that will never repeat; tied to not knowing things that I know now.

I'll do better next time, I think.

Next time? The next time I'm a teenager? The next time I had a strange self-sheltered naiivite that I've now overcome?

Even if we suppose there's a life after this, it's like a written exam: you can take notes all you want, but you don't get to take them in with you.
Last night, a friend of mine dressed up as Raggedy Andy and attacked me with a boffer sword while I defended myself with a 40 cm wiffle bat while remaining attached by one hand to an overhead ring.

We stopped because while it was fun, striking a person who is both moving and unarmoured is not exactly safe. So he whacked me some more while I stayed still. And now I have a lot of bruises.

Who says kink is about sex? Or maybe I'm just missing something here.


Read more... )
I'm thinking of going for two years. I think I'll be back. I like Vancouver: after living here for six months, I figured I'd be here for the rest of my life. I doubt that will change.

I'll think about this for a week before making a final decision.

But since that final decision will still be "I'm going," I can say that:
- I am going to need to talk to people who have done this, and get their advice on how to do it well.

- I am going to get rid of half of my stuff. Let me know if you see something here that you want. Especially:
           - books
           - a dresser
           - ikea shelving
           - a looooong couch that is easily taken apart and moved and reconfigured into different shapes

- I am going to need to store the rest. Want to split a storage space? Or do you have some that I can give you something for?

- I am looking for electricians in: the Gulf Islands, Haida Gwaii, Tofino and Nelson who want a top-notch apprentice

- I am going to need some means of getting from A to B. Bus probably. Car possibly. Motorcycle romantically, but probably not. Bicycle definitely not.

- There will be a relatively cheap 2BR apartment up for grabs on The Drive in March or April or May. Possbily partially funished.

- Advice on an appropriate cellphone plan

This review of Greg Bear's sci-fi novel Legacy is juxtaposed to the next-to-sci-fi experience that is Transition because it is the neatest metaphor I have found to date.

It contains spoilers and probably errors.


This analogy occurs to me in reference to transition - A process I feel that I am now mostly on the other side of.

Stunned; I spent a lot of time in that other place, and it was killing me. I think. Was I actually there? It seems so distant. But I remember when I think about it, and it slips out in conversation.

"Here" is a strange place; not quite what I left  more than half a lifetime ago, but it's familiar. Both it and I are changed. I thought about here often, but thought I'd never get here.

So being here is good.

But it's even better to not be there

- - -
I was sure I was gonna die down there.

Is this real? Did this really happen? I suppose so.

Am I going to wake up tomorrow and have all this stripped from me?
I don't see how. And if that loomed, I would not let it.

But the threat seems real, just having lived with the alternative long enough.


I guess I get used to it, and learn how to live from here.

I mean, what else do you do?
Looking forward over the next months and years, I can see a lot of long-term endeavors that have structured my life coming to an end.

And then what?

Let's keep in mind that structure, purpose and meaning are a matter of perception.

I started asking myself this question just shy of two years ago. I stopped thinking of what I should do (whatever that means), and instead turned towards what I want. Or what makes me happy. Or whatever is worth it to me.
[I've made a little edit]

The renaming/rite/of-passage/initiation is a little less than two weeks off now and it is dawning on me that this is a pretty big deal.

With "Sasha" I let an experimental pragmatic name hang on me to see how it affected my balance, so to speak. With "Amy," I am not only taking on a new name; grafting it on rather than simply wearing it. I am not only divesting myself of "Sasha," returning it to the not-so-big pool of transitional names. I am also discarding "Graham" as a name from my extended adolescence, and shedding some of the things that go with it. Furthermore, this also doubles as an adulthood ritual (and my Archaeology assignment).

It's also a symbolic death, and judging by the countdown on my wall calendar, this particular variant of my identity has about twelve days left on this Earth.

On that note, here's what may be the most useful advice that I've picked up in the last twenty-six and some years....

                The hardest worthwhile things:

                        3rd        changing your life

                        2nd       being yourself

                        1st        trying the above, failing, then getting up and trying again
Formative moments in my sociopolitical/epistemological paradigm:

"Grade Three"

The Rule:
"You must mark each-other's papers with a red pencil-crayon.
If you do not have a red pencil-crayon, borrow one from the child in front of you."

I remember noticing:
(a)
the red pencil crayons were defective, as the lead often popped out the back when you pressed on them
(b) the functional ones were in demand and wearing down;
(c) we were allowed one extra set per year
(d) our class of thirty children was down to two functional red pencil crayons, and this caused considerable delays during markng

So I started using orange.

Other kids noticed and followed my lead.

This did not go over well.


I recall other, similar, failed attempts at management.

I respect leaders that demonstrate their relative expertise. Others I do not so much rebel against as ignore. This is happening in Biology, where I do the labs more or less in the way that I see fit, while correcting mistakes on the handouts. My marks are okay.

I make sense of it by concluding that all this BS was a useful experience, much as outlined in this thesis on educating gifted children.

I've finally started to spin this into something I've wanted for a long time: being able to shrug off personal affronts. Someone can tell me off and I can address it, but in other cases, I can turn around and say "wow, that's... really weird - I guess that I'll igoner it." I think that some of this has to do with being in a supportive social environment; and some of it has to do with knowing that I can fix, ignore or complain as I see fit.

It's a good way to feel in a situation like this
(I am not asking for you to comment, let alone anonymously.).

Here, I am not just referring to the posts about me, or even the blog itself, so much as the "debate" surrounding the post-impeachment student society. The impeachment needed to happen, and it only succeeded because of the extended labour of about a hundred volunteers. Since then, I have heard many complaints. Perhaps a handful of people raise siginificant, thought-out qualms; others are simly deficient in information; but most of the objections make up for in vitriol what they lack in critical thought.

It's contstant and it's wearing. I can now ignore what pertains only to me (the gender comments confuse rather than offend), but when it touches on my social circle and the work we do, then I'm not sure how to deal with it. Guess that's the next thing I'm gonna learn.

Life: it never stops until it's over.
Many people, often including myself, are ashamed to feel bad. Perhaps we think that we have no righ to experience regret, remorse, anger, sorrow, resentment, or even discomfort.

This is not a good way of doing things.
If something is bothering me, then it really is bothering me. Shrugging it off, denying it, or chastising myself won't work. Nor will feeling bad accomplish anything for anyone. I may seem to have no right to feel as I do, or I may actually have no such right. Entitled or not, the feeling will remain.

First I admit to myself that I am upset. Then I try to establish exactly what is contributing to this - be it the source of discomfort itself, other related problems, or other stressors entirely (which would also merit being addressed). Then, if an ear is available, I bounce it off of someone else and they confirm that I am not crazy. Checking in is especially effective for resentment and I find that having a discussion (not a debate) with someone at whom I am annoyed does a world of good with few exceptions to date (even if it leads me to the conclusion that the other person really is just "non-mutual," just like Number 6). Having reached this point, I then try to draw up a goal series (as outlined in a previous post) to set my discomfort to rest, which often means fixing or ameliorating the problem.

This works. It leaves me happier and more functional as a member of society.

The only downside is the mountain of backlogged issues. Still, it's better than leaving it to grow.
Happy New Year all.

Nineday is the close of week zero and a good time for summaries and resoultions:
Thus... )

In other news: to date, four people have stated that "Sasha" doesn't sound, or simply isn't, an androgynous name. Two said it's a boy's name; two, a girl's.
Two years back, I felt inadequate because I was doing less than my share of the work: the other students were toiling harder and longer than I. I became a good student, but I forgot that that I'd done that and it was enough, so this semester I overcompensated by being a "good" full-time student and working one day a week and learning hapkido and volunteering and I'm still looking for a relationship of some stripe. Oops.

I realized this while I was disassocating in class. Disassociative introspection is just one of the interesting and amusing side-effects of your subconscious beating you on the head.

I was wondering what I should be doing with my life. My subconscious is telling me that I already know what I want to, or need to, or am here on this earth to, do with my life.I've been avoiding it because it's a intimidating and weird. More on this at some indefinite later point.
I've been a bit lost in the last little while: I imagine it could be chalked up to overcoming years of utopian social programming. 

I'm pleased to say that I'm now considering doing some kind of degree combining the new fields combining social "sciences" and physical sciences(!): the two will find they have statistics in common. In my case, first they will shake hands, then get to know each-other, then, in time, they may settle down and buy a house in the area bounded by population health and counselling/representing people with stigmatized psychological issues. This may be combined with, or at times usurped by, art, writing, politics or some intersection thereof.

The key issue here is that my eyes arent on the destination, but the journey: even the first step looks like a lot of fun, and there's lots of room for course-correction. I'm not completing step one of a twenty-year plan; I'm engaged in plan A, which may play into overarching but nebulous goal B.

Cheers.

(From Roger Rabbit)
DUM-DUM #l
(rubbing eyes)
Eddie... is that really you?

VALIANT
Uh-huh.

DUM-DUM #6
Where you been the last five years?

VALIANT
Drunk.

He opens the cylinder.

VALIANT
(continuing)
Feelin' frisky tonight, boys?

DUM-DUMS
Yeah!


This is what it feels like. Where the fuck have I been?
Following a smash campaign and high-intensity studhiying, I graduated in May of 2005 and there was a months-long slide into... not sliding at all. An election campaign that wasn't all it was cracked up to be. A move. Sitting around mostly. A very short job as a teacher. More waiting. Moving. A friend leaves for Victoria. Waiting. Trying to write in a vacuum. A play. A rewarding but short-lived internship. Living on my own. A relationship begins. Christmas. Moving again. A mixed experience with going back to school. Signs of relationship trouble. An early spring. Grandmother dies. School ends. Webcomic. Relationship begins to dissolve. Waiting to hear back from employers.
The webcomic stalls. I stop waiting. Career program. A business plan. An introduction to entrepreneuring. A part-time job. A new business course. The webcomic goes ahead. I sort out some important issues.

Am I back? A few months back, I said to myself, "I'm back again," but I was partially off somewhere else, waiting. I can be back, but it takes some pushing. Godot will not show, but I don't need that tardy fucker anyway.

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