Sunday, June 29, 2008

Judging by Covers

Immediately inside each of our rooms is a book. This is true of Kevin's room because it is aptly referred to as his "hovel" and there's essentially no open space on his floor anywhere. It's true of Adam's room because I was cleaning out the restroom and one aspect of my militant cleaning style involves haphazardly tossing peoples things into their rooms, and it's true of my room because I've found that bracing my door open with a book funnels the wind through our apartment in a pleasant way, which has become very important given that this is quickly shaping up to be the second 90 degree day I've faced in the air conditioning free city of Seattle. The books themselves are interesting glimpses into their respective owners.

"Secrets of Sarlona," the Ebberon Campaign setting source book is on Kevin's floor. It immediately identifies him as a gamer, but also as an escapist, but not a super abstract thinker. It takes several more steps of madness then the average crazy has to escape into the vast void and spin your own world, a campaign setting book shows that he wants to go somewhere else, but also would like that somewhere else to be there in a definitive way.

"The Communist Manifesto," is laying just inside Adam's door. You could read deeply into this, but I think it speaks more to his role as a deviant politico in a way that is much more valid then the painfully common self described "alternative thinkers" that clog Seattle's many bistros, feeding the capitalist system with their endless demand for needlessly complex lattes and places to speak ill about the capitalist system.

"Case Histories of Deviant Behaviors," is the book holding my door open. I'm a bit more wary then I once was about evaluating myself, but I can say with confidence that this shows that my life long interest in matters cerebral is finally taking on a more scholastic methodology. Social anthropologist, personality hacker, and mentalist were all terms that I wanted to use because they sound cool and are almost valid, but really this just shows that I've passed my teenage phase of asserting that I know people, and gotten around to getting some more valid data on my specimens. And yes I have asserted the entirety of humanity, myself included, as my specimens.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I've said several times that I'm going to start working out more, but recently this has been actually happening. I'd like to say it's something about force of will but I think it has a lot more to do with my $50 bet with James.

Now it's all well and good for me to be doing this, and once I get into the rhythm of it I'm sure things will go a lot more smoothly, but early on in the process, when your health is somewhere between "abysmal" and "post-mortum" actually exercising involves looking like an idiot. This applies most dramatically to my conditioning regimen regarding my bicycle.

The real problem here is that Seattle has a deeply entrenched bike culture, with all kinds of rules and nuances etc. They ride for much more significant reasons. Things like eco-politics, fighting big oil, carbon footprints etc. There's also a kind of bike scensterism that goes on around here. My firm belief that anyone riding a fixed gear bike without brakes is an idiot one step from being the next "doucebag on poorly designed bike gets creamed by truck" headline would make me a pariah in that culture if I was part of it. I'm not but those who are exist all around me, and they're people with bodies that are accustomed to riding uphill. I'm still not fully used to walking uphill. This leads to scenes of me pulled over drinking water and catching my breath while gaggles of people sail effortlessly up the hill that has completely thwarted me.

In time I'll develop the endurance necessary to conquer those hills, and when I do I can't promise that I won't take terrible vengeance upon those healthy people.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I enter the airport with a kind of attitude that lets me get things done a lot faster. It's not especially easy to quantify, but I feel it's fully expressed in the phrase

"Bitch please, I'm an elite."

When I travel by air I basically hae to go first class. The simple fact is that I don't fit in a coach seat. This is mostly a weight issue, but fully resolving this may involve filing off a few inches of hip bone. I'm not super opposed to that either, my child bearing hips are the most prominent expression of my femininity, and my testicles have some issues with that.

So, for the wrong reasons I fly with the one-pass elite, and I take on this mindset. The thing is, this mindset is closer to my true self then my normal one, and it shows. I get more done, I spent a lot less time with indecision, I don't bother retreating to hiding spots, and I don't hesitate to chat up interesting/attractive people around me.

That person, the person that I can only touch on in these moments of clarity, is who I really am. I just need this crutch to remind myself of my own power. None of that cam with the plane ticket, it's all just a side effect of being able to call myself "one-pass elite"

I have to wonder if it's really that simple. All I need is some flashy title to carry myself along. It seems like making up flashy titles should be something I'm good at, seeing as I've managed to give everything else a cryptic pseudonym, but nothing really comes to mind.

No matter, it's not line I'm obligated to put down my wine and perform anyway. After all, I'm elite.

A Militaristic Campaign

When I left for Houston my room was great, but the common area of the apartment was clearly in need of work. When I go back it was, as I expected, a complete wreck. My standards for home cleanliness have raised steadily over the past few months, and I've spent most of today raising the wreckage of our common room up to my standards, but being a communal area I have to accept that the less rigorous standards of my roommates will be brought to bear.

With that in mind I've changed a few policies.

My old policy was to keep things up to "presentable" sometimes slipping to "functional" and doing the majority of the work with an unwavering opposition to taking out the trash. At the time I saw it as a statement of defiance, but the key to defiance is that someone else has to be opposing you, and I'm the only one fighting this war. So I've changed my position from "I'll do X, as long as you guys do Y" to "I'm doing X, and stay the hell out of my way." This has gone from a practice, to a militant organizational campaign.


-I don't talk to my parents particularly often, and there's a fairly clear reason for this. I just don't have a lot to say. It's not that I'm on bad terms with either of them, I'm just an independent person. Going home is nice, I'm glad I got to see my family, but the problem is even more evident in person.

-A few nights ago I found myself awake, deep in the night unable to sleep in my room in Houston. I spent at least half of the nights between 15 and 18 in just this state, but I haven't been to that state in weeks. It was odd. The room wasn't as it once was, it wasn't me anymore. It was as though I was in a museum to my former existance. A monument to something that was, but no longer is.

-Insomnia without a computer is fantastically boring.

-I know what I meant by it, but somehow the phrase "Fantastically boring" feels wrong, even though it's what comes when I try to express this.

-My bed in Houston is indented from me sitting on the edge for long hours. I never really noticed it before, but so often I only slept once I'd passed the point of exhaustion, so I'm not entirely surprised.

-My most effective self motivational mantras tend to involve a lot of casual profanity.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I have nearly fourty pages of study guide that I've printed out over the last few days. It's very useful, but a bit irksome to think that in a few hours I'll have no need of it all. It seems like such a waste.


So first you must see the assertion made by my collegues over at XKCD on the nature of purity.

Now leaving out the whole debate on how they define purity, which means leaving out the key argument one can have about/with this piece a clear trend occurs. My area of focus over time is expressing a sharp decrease in purity.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Alternative Medicine

I had a kind of odd thought the other day. I've been yelling a lot more recently, and that's probably a sign that I'm getting better. Before you judge that statement listen to my explanation.

I've mentioned the idea of memory torment before, and my normal way of handling these episodes of seemingly random resurgent trauma has been to simply tough through it. My one definitively masculine trait is my staunch adherence to a dictum of pain tolerance. Somehow these events managed to slide into the part of me that believes in pain tolerance, and not the part that has the insight to know that emotions flow like a river, to fight them is pointless, and that one must simply allow them to flow, allow them to happen, and be done with them.

The screaming is a manifestation of the switch from simply brute force tolerating these things, to letting them happen. Rather then deadened and overcome the pain is released, hopefully leading to state where I won't have that pain any more.

Monday, June 02, 2008

False Accusations

There's a weird situation. I've been strung out a lot today, kind of tired, and I've been having an unusual rash of nosebleeds. There's no good explanation, but I've got a bad explanation that keeps coming up. Maybe I've been secretly doing coke behind my back.