Radical Selfish Expression
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Only one more day
I'm mostly over this cold and sinus infection I've had for two weeks. Just s little sneezing and stuff, which might in fact be allergies.
At this point though, I'm pretty much permanently weepy. I don't want to be. I try really hard. I work up a little energy by dancing or running or a few sun salutations, but I am LOW on endorphins. Running on fumes, as it were. It hurts to blink. I hate being depressed.
And to make it all better, I don't even want to open up to anyone in person because it seems that the local humans want to engage in both a)stupid assumption-making (of the everything-is-about-me variety), and b)rumor-mongering (of the blowing everything out of proportion and failing to mind your own stinking business variety). So asking anyone for anything just seems like dicey business, despite the fact that I'm usually too boring to make it to the gossip radar.
Well OK, I made it to the Top 10 once time, when Erik and I were dating. Apparently, he had me hooked on heroin and was beating me and stuff. Neither of these things was ever true. I suppose in a way, it's flattering that people assumed I would have to be drugged and beaten to stay in that situation, but sadly, no, I was completely sober, and he was smart enough to know how to manipulate my loyalties without using his fists.
Hmmm... I really ought to write about manipulativeness and power sometime. I really should... heh!
Anyway, with no endorphins, and lots of suspiciousness and rumor-mongering in the air, I kind of want to duck and cover, and kind of want to attack people with claw hammers. OK, I'm exaggerating. Maybe just Nerf bats. I want to make a point, not cause permanent damage. Not yet anyway.
And then I had what should have been a weird, uncomfortable, meetup with an old friend (or something, I'm not sure what kind of creature this is as of yet) last week. It was... unsettling and depressing. Considering the circumstances under which I last saw this person, I expected to feel nervous or something, but instead, it was just flat. It made me very sad. There were so many offhand remarks made, with regard to several different topics we discussed, that indicated such a total lack of concern for connecting with other people, or with having to really care about them in any practical way at all. I tell ya, people who don't want to invest anything, it's like talking to an eerie paper cutout. For some reason I take that kind of thing really hard when I encounter it. Took me a few days to get the cold off. Can't for the life of me figure out why he contacted me to begin with.
Geez, I'm rambling. So, to fill you in on the rest of everything, the job is the same, still a contractor, but secure for the moment. Still overemotional and given to reflecting to deeply on things
but how else am I supposed to be cultivate all this understanding when you come to me with your problems, loves? It takes time, and work!
still feeling mostly unappreciated, but there are bright spots of encouragement in some quarters for which I am more thankful than those benfactors know
and this is one of those times when the full knowledge that all this is just a mirage actually makes it feel more precious and beautiful for all that fragility.
I'm reading a book that's got a lot to do with honor. I'll have to give you the lowdown when I'm done. It's sch-weet!
damned Sagittarians and their damned honor...
Monday, September 18, 2006
Gava gava HEY!!
Blogging is weird.
I don't put the really personal stuff here, usually, though I suppose that did happen recently once...
Most of that kind of stuff probably belongs in a personal journal, where the less generous amoung you won't be sneering at it: "oh look at her begging for attention".
Well, you're right. I am. That's fine with me. Sometimes I want attention. So do you. You don't ask, you don't get. it's how it is. I pay attention to your shit.
But more importantly, what do we all think of each other when we read all the raw stuff about nightmares and pain and confusion? Most of us who use blogs to keep up with friends and family have written at least some stuff like that once upon a cold and lonely 3 AM. Sometimes that stuff seems clearer late at night, or right after a good cry, or during a fever. If there were people awake around you right then, you'd make in the flesh confessions the same way.
Sure you would. When you were 15, you probably did. You had a lot less invested in your facades back then.
But what are you to people after you've revealed all of that? What are you to yourself? And what are you REALLY? Well, I can't speak for you on that score. Nothing in this world more personal than that.
I've been needing to explain what Gavagirl is since I started this blog.
Gavagirl started as merely a pun on a "word" on a poster hanging from the door across the hall from my office in grad school. The poster was a flier for a performance at a local bar by a little experimental music project that Greg (currently Inca) and Jesse liked to play with. The word was the name of the project. The word was "Gavagai".
"Gavagai" came from a famous and very interesting article about the metaphysics and epistemology of linguistic reference titled "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", written by an old Harvard philosopher named Willard von Orman Quine. Quine loved writing about things like "whatness" (quiddity), if you want a sense of what he's like. He also liked set theory. Order, objects, categories. This is deep in the sea of creation, important stuff. Funny things to be found in there. You can die from the bends trying to get back.
So the problem is, what does it mean for a word or proposition or expression in one language to "translate" to an expression in another language? Is there some kind of... thing... out there that is the word, existing independently of people's minds, that is somehow hooked up to those things to which they refer? Are our minds hooked up to these things too? Are our minds hooked up to all of these things? Do we create these things along with the words? And when we are trying to translate from another language into our own, can we ever be sure we're referring to exactly the same thing with the words we think we are using to such a purpose?
Sorry, this is really philosophically sloppy, but I haven't had to be careful for awhile and it's late. I think this is mostly on point though
Anyway, Quine gives us the example of a linguist studying the language of some tribe in New Guinea. One of the natives utters the sound "gavagai" and seems to gesture toward something we usually call "rabbit".
But we don't know that he means "gavagai" like we mean "rabbit". Quine gives us a bunch of examples of other things he could mean. He could mean "hippity hop". He could mean "undetached rabbit parts". He could mean "temporal slice of rabbit" or "flies often found buzzing closely around rabbits".
So how DOES gavagai translate?
Can't be determined. That's his point. Translation is indeterminate. And there's a more detailed explanation here. It's got some interesting consequences to ponder if you're the kind of person who thinks there are little entities called "meanings" hopping around independently of anyone meaning them. And I know you think about that a lot, don't you.
Heh. You may be committed to believing they exist and not even realize it. No, really. How's THAT for fucked up?
So how does gavagirl translate? Again, currently indeterminate, for a lot of reasons.
For one, I'm not dead, therefore not finished. There are many more things I can and will be, but currently am not.
And a lot of things I have been, and am not anymore.
She who is sitting here typing this blog post.
The one who posted a nightmare last weekend in three different places, not believing for the moment that everything was OK.
The one getting over the cold. The one who was dancing on Saturday night. The one who used to sneak out in her car late at night and drive like a madwoman all over the prairies. Who believes everything everyone tells her, but still doesn't really trust anyone.
There's everything all of you know, and everything you don't. And I suspect there may be things some of you know about me that I don't, just as there are things I know about some of you that I don't think you know. There are things I remember, things I've forgotten, things I've told you about, things I've kept quiet about.
There's one eleven year long, weird romantic entanglement that is so much a part of who I am, that no matter how I'd like to forget about it, I keep having to pull it out for little show and tells, because I can't explain myself without it. Eleven years is a long time, especially when you're young. I don't want to be hung up, and I'm not hing up in the sense people usually seem to mean "hung up", but a lot of me is about that. You won't understand me without it. Though don't even start thinking you understand that eleven years because you understand what I am now. Simply ending that relationship changed me utterly, in a heartbeat, from what I was in those eleven years.
I also was a smoker. Not anymore. Or, will I count as a smoker forever, as part of my definition because I did smoke for awhile?
All the things I love are part of it too, like kitties, and rivers, and target shooting, and yoga, and meditation & prayer, and music. And all that I hate, like unkindness, and ugliness, and contempt, resentment, envy, spite, dishonesty, and most of all, COWARDICE. And green olives. Those fuckers are evil.
To me, there are all these splintered off possible selves that are still sort of me that broke off when I had to make big decisions and I still wonder "what if...?" You don't know any of her.
To you, there are a lot of Gavagirl. None of you see exactly the same one sitting here typing this, some of you see me laughing, dancing on Saturday night, sitting on your couch ranting about something, tickling you, kissing you, maybe bursting into tears and running away.
All of those are me, too. A lot of what I do I try for the first time because I see that possibility for myself in the eyes of someone else. So much I do wouldn't occur to me without that.
And sometimes I've given up and dropped something I wanted to be me because I saw the door closing in someone else.
That is what it is.
So our boundaries, metaphysically anyway, are kind of permeable. We fade in and out of each other, if you catch my drift. And we're a lot of things, but really there's very little there to hang a meaning on at all. So there's nothing to be worried about. Though we all have our feelings anyway, and they beaustiful while we're here, and we need to take care of them, and each other. Or so I'd hope.
There's something that seems to pull this all together into one thing, but... well, we'll talk about the ineffable another day, shall we? For now, we'll call it three pounds of flax. Or mu.
Good night, lovies. Sweet dreams.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I had a horrible nightmare about being attacked by dogs last night. I woke up looking for the chunks gnawed out of my arms and legs. It was very bad.
Not long ago, I told a friend I had nightmares occasionally. He said unstable, crazy people had nighmares past childhood. He's an ignorant fucker. I don't really consider him as much of a friend because he said that. People who come to dumb conclusions about other people's psychology because of stuff like that ought to be slapped.
I hate sleeping alone, because if something like that wakes me up, there isn't anyone who's supposed to be there so I can say "geez, I had this terrible dream, it really scared me". I hate that I have to wake up in the morning and put up some pathetic stupid LJ post about it so that at least my friends know there's something I'm sore about, and it isn't them, and they really can't do anything about it. I hate that I can't keep even a simple relationship together with anyone long enough that this isn't an issue. That's what adult humans do. But even asking for something small like "please stay with me every once in awhile so I don't have to wake up by myself" turns out to be too much to ask, too often.
I wish I was one of those people who could be unsure enough of who or what she wanted that I could settle for someone I really don't want for long enough to feel better for a little while. But... nah, if I don't want him, I don't want him, and that's the end of it. Sure sometimes I'm a little unsure of what I DO want, but I'm never really unsure of what I DON'T, and if I don't, I don't get anywhere near giving the gentleman in question any reason to think there's the slightest chance. Keep pushing me on it (but he's really nice!) is likely to just make me mad, and maybe make me resent the poor guy's presence.
I don't want somebody hanging around on my couch or or more days a week, telling me how I really ought to be doing stuff, picking at me about how one or another thing I'm talking about means I'm "crazy" or "manipulative" or "too negative" or "one of those kind of people" or too much or not enough of somehnig. This is what "relationships" are to me, really. A bunch of bullshit melodrama nitpicking and people trying to blackmail each other into getting everything on their own terms.
Bitter? OK, sure, whatever. That's bitter. Talk about how bitter and negative and awful I am behind my back and sneer all you want. I'm just venting, and I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about it anyway. I'm not even going to try to fight that judgment anymore. It's a feeling, just like all the other feelings, and I'm not drowning in it 24 hours a day, and I'm actually usually pretty happy and I like people, or I am dutifully blaming myself for not being able to have a decent stable relationship like a good little girlcow is supposed to. I don't hate other people for not providing all of that for me.
You don't believe that? OK, fine. Don't. That's your prerogative. I don't need to discuss it with you though, so please let me know that you think this about me next time we see each other so I don't make the mistake of trying to open up to you. I don't need your "help".
What I really hate is that I don't want to discuss this with anyone who's more understanding, either. I'm not really anyone's first priority, nor do I think I really, rightfully ought to be the first priority of anyone I know that I can think of off the top of my head. Somehow, the thought of anyone trying to talk to me or offer insight in this particular area only reminds of the fact that I don't really come first with anyone and makes it hurt more. So no, I don't want a little mini-counseling session. I just think it's good, fair warning to explain my weird moodiness to people I care about so they don't think it's their fault.
It's just that I had a really bad dream last night, and there wasn't anyone there, and there isn't anyone I can call and say "hey, come over, I had a bad dream and I don't want to wake up by myself in the morning because it makes me feel like shit". Oh, I suppose I can think of numbers I could dial in such a situation, but I know I'd have to turn on the waterworks to get enough sympathy, and pity is just a repellent sentiment to get from anyone. I mean, it would get me something, I suppose, but it wouldn't be real.
Oh, to be a shallow and manipulative girlcow, content with baubles and cheap plastic substitutes. Who had the bright idea that I should be taught to read, and think deeply about things? I'm just terribly ruined now.
Distractions are welcome. I need to feel better so I can so some more hardcore yoga. I might finally get off my butt and go look for some climbing shoes, too. A trip to the rock gym might be strenuous enough to keep me from moping about things.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
This weekend, a crew of us ventured to Houston to see Bodyworlds. Showing had been selling out for weeks, so we purchased 3:15 AM tickets. It was STILL packed. i don't know if it was scientific or artistic value I was more impressed with. The work was beautiful. I was very glad I had quit smoking a month before I saw all of the smoker's ling specimins. This particular preservation method gives a nastier, more graphic look at the damage caused by cigarettes than anything else I'd seen. Really awful.
Other vices weren't neglected. There was a nice, rubbery cirrhotic liver (and a fine discussion from Brian on the horrors ensuing from severe alcoholism). There was a cutaway section from the torso of a 300+ lbs. man, that showed rather clearly how the fat collected inside his body cavity had strangled his internal organs. Only thing missing was a nasal section of a coke/meth addict. Maybe next exhibit.
Outside of the vices, there were lots of other nice examples of diseased tissue too, including a stomach with a big perforated ulcer, a few nice tumor-infested livers, a spinal column horrifically twisted by some genetic disorder, etc.
The healthy specimins were beautiful, however. But I was struck by how small they all seemed. Granted, a certain amount of size is going to be lost with body fluids, but even all of the bones and such seemed tiny and fragile. I've noticed that when people are very ill and hospitalized, or when I've viewed bodies at open-casket funerals and such, they've seemed tiny to me as well, relative to how they normally appear. Odd.
Overall, the whole thing was lovely, not to mention moving. If the Bodyworlds collection tours near you, go, go, GO!!
We took a nice stroll through the geology section of the museum before heading back to Austin, too. Beautiful collection. Good for cleansing the mental palate after all those.
And I want a Foucault pendulum.
And another trip to Houston, please. There's other museums and stuff to see.
Monday, August 28, 2006
So our friend Brian won Best Pepper Sauce at the Hot Sauce Festival yesterday. Tears of Joy "August in Austin", we salute you
I'm very glad I don't have to beat anyone with a bat. Good job on the voting, kids.
Now go buy stuff from him. It's all tasty. If you don't like HOT hot sauce, then get the tequila lime. Yum.
In other news, quitting smoking and stuff have wreaked havoc on my thyroid. And it only took me a week or two to pick up on that! Hmm... wonder why my throat's been feeling all lumpy and raspy, why I've been moody, sad, unreasonable, people-hating, mean (at least on the interior, you'll have to tell me how much has leaked out), and stupid.
I hate that I have this problem. It makes me feel unreliable and crazy. I zoned out quite a bit of yesterday, and I think bits of the day before. I have lost bits and pieces of time here and there. It's really getting me down.
If I've been hard to deal with the last several days, or I've treated anyone unfairly, I'm really sorry. I'm glad most of my readers here are in OKC/Norman where they don't have to deal with my crap.
I want a nap now.
Friday, August 25, 2006
If you are in Austin, or can be in Austin this weekend, come out to the Hot Sauce Festival at Waterloo Park (on Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!!!) and partake of much peppery goodness.
Then VOTE for the best hot sauce, the maker of which will receive much fame, notoriety, and admiration from highly-desirable members of the opposite sex.
You will of course vote for Tears of Joy hot sauce because you are people of taste and intelligence who know good capsaicin-based foodstuffs when you taste them, and who don't want your kneecaps busted or a pair of cement shoes.
Yeah, you kids are all right. See ya out there.