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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Layo's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
2:17 pm
There are many copies
Steve made pickles from scratch and they're delicious, unique, and truly amazing. I feel bad for being skeptical when he was buying the ingredients. Still not sure why allspice, but it came out great. Garlic cloves in the brine: hell yes. Hawaiian black salt: even heller yes. Fresh dill flowers: knocked it out of the park! There are also mustard seeds and coriander, maybe some spices I forgot. Oh, grape leaves instead of alum for the "crunch."

He legit fermented this in a giant crock while the weather was incredibly hot, and though a scary skin did form on top, the results are so good we're trying to figure out how to make enough to last until cucumbers are back in season. :o

We also made this huge batch of apple cider from even more free apples, plus honey. I added mulling spices and I might be regretting that. Hmm. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now I want to make yogurt from scratch. If a pickle can be this good when it's made the right way (most people who make them at home soak their cucumbers in vinegar instead of fermenting them in brine, it seems) then what else am I missing out on? Do you ever feel like the _real_ occult is food preparation, and everything else is bullshit? I guess I like things I can experience physically. It's one things to skry angels in their heavenly realms, it's another thing to put one in a pickle. Speaking of hiding pickles, if the great work isn't about putting the thing in the thing and making LIFE, count me out. This is where lateral thinking works better for me; literal offspring are not going to happen. Pickles, though, are, and did.

Did everyone look at the Mars-Saturn conjunction last night? Pretty cool. Saturn was directly *above* Mars. (Don't make me explain celestial latitude and longitude, I'm procrastinating finals and don't need another excuse. Anyway conjunctions are very rarely one planet right on top of another; not even Luna occults things very often and she's fricken huge from our perspective.)

Astrologically, it seems to be about endings. All the plants on the porch died in the heat. :( The last day of geology class was cancelled. Our grocery store went out of business and had their 50%-off clearance sale today. There is a stressful sadness going around, but it's almost over, yo. Mars square Neptune tomorrow (release the Kraken), and then we pop out of the maelstrom. Dude, I'd just be happy if I didn't have a smoker's hack. I've never even been a smoker! Good thing, apparently. Maybe I've been huffing radon and don't know it. That's the other way to fuck over your lungs. But no, I live on the third floor.

Man, I'll type anything to delay going back into the Math Zone, won't I?

OH SHIT, I forgot to tell everyone to watch Mr. Robot, Orphan Black, and The Expanse! The last is as close to old-school hard sci-fi as I've seen in awhile. Also Deadpool was cute.

But, don't see The Lobster. It exists to make you feel like shit (though there were some funny moments). I suppose it's a good window into what people who don't really "do" relationships think is going on. We must seem very strange to them. I guess I don't want to spend even two hours vicariously experiencing the fascism thing though. It gave me the exact same feel that I got when I read 1984. What the hell is going on in Britain? That's the same island that gave us Pink Floyd.



And Animal Farm. And Never Let Me Go. And Dolly the Sheep. (Well, OK, that was Scotland.)

You guys need a wheatgrass juice colonic and some Hot Yoga.
Friday, August 19th, 2016
12:25 pm
One more week of school left! So many things are due.

Saturday: a geology paper about floods, as well as risk and preparedness for floods in King County. So far I've read part of this: http://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/2013/kcr826-2013.pdf Dry? Ironically it is! I guess that's what the government was going for. ;)

Also Saturday: Answering questions from classmate in the online forum. I will do that today though.

Sunday: Geology quiz.

Monday: Math homework (it's graded).

Tuesday: Geology paper about natural disaster preparedness in King County in general (mudslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and flooding again).

Wednesday: Geology lab

Thursday: Finals in math and geology.

Then, I get a month off! Woo hoo!

Everything seems like it can be ground out through sheer willpower except for the math final. OMFG. There are so many formulae, and rules, and types of story problem to remember how to decode, and tricky things in general. I'm fairly solid on matrices, but those fucking parabolas will be back. Nooo. Nooooooo!!! But, I'm lucky Steve already took all this, and remembers it well enough to give me clues when I'm really stuck. This would be pretty miserable without someone around to listen to my swearing.

And I found my old TI-83 from 1996 in storage, and the batteries are still good! Nice to know I'll have a fallback after I return the loaner I've been using. Still not sure whether I'll have to take physics this year. Actually, I want to. The more you know about how things work, the less boring things seem in general. If my bio and chem credits transfer, though, I'll probably have to pay for it myself if I really want that knowledge dropped, since my grant is very specific about what it will fund: one shall be the number of the random science classes funded; one and not two, one and not zero. At least geology was on a separate list of required credits, but taking it meant I now can't take a class on wetland ecology for free. Damn! I need to know these things, though! I also feel sad because a legit meteorology class would help me out a lot, and I don't even see it offered. The things I do not know could fill a [clever physics reference I can't use because I've never taken physics].

Also, I've changed my mind about whether it's a good idea to go back to community college when you're in your mid-40's. It is good. I swear to fuck, I've gotten smarter. I make fewer and fewer stupid arithmetic errors is my evidence. If I keep going, I could possibly get back to where I'd been when I was 21 - but armed with real-life experience so I won't fall for the bullshit as much. I used to be really smart, but I'm from the ghettooooo so college didn't work out when I tried to go before: I was disciplined in the short term, but a quitter in general because everything citizen-like intimidated the shit out of me, and really I just wanted to travel and have adventures. So, I did. And it was just as great as I thought it would be. But I ended up with nothing to show for myself.

Oh, why being from the ghettooooo is relevant: us lower classes live for the now, for tomorrow we may be dead, in jail, or working at Walmart (worst of the three, from some perspectives). It is very hard to think ten years down the road when all your life, everything has been snatched away from you no matter how hard you tried to make things work. You realize money saved is money stolen, and blow it all on beer so at least you can enjoy it. I am not exaggerating to make excuses. Other people from this social class would kill you for a hat pin; you're always getting fucked over by family, friends, and especially with whomsoever you're in love. Love among descendants of alcoholics, hookers, strippers, pimps, dealers, convicts and drug addicts is BULLSHIT. Everyone's just in a power struggle to see who can exploit whom the most. I basically can't lie, so guess who got to be the victim until I wised up? Not that I was ever that great either. Short-term thinking often involves living for the next fix, in my case the next time I got laid.

But, that's all over now. Right? Right??
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
11:41 am
You know where this is going
I understand the draw of religion, but I had to sorrowfully conclude that it's for breeders, feelers, and in the elite inner circle, hardcore ascetics. If you're not raising a family and you're too old to have one (me), and you're not the type who feels validated and accepted by being of service to the group, gtfo.

There are weird magic cults where women are explicitly there to get the "priests" laid, but meh. Religion is always about controlling women's sexuality and peer-pressuring them into reproductive configurations of some kind, no matter what type of higher vision tries to lend some dignity to the proceedings. For men, it's about networking and power. Ultimately, since it's about power, religion is also about violence and coercion (while lying about that part).

I'm so bummed. I have this tendency to romanticize the extra-mundane and spiritual, as do many. I joined a cult and did the whole thing to the hilt, so when I quit I was done with the reality of what that was, but I wasn't done with the fantasy. Sadly, I am now.

I think a few things happened. While I was hanging out with the supposedly feminist local religion (starts with a W), I realized that not only are women categorized by their reproductive status, but that there is MASSIVE peer pressure among the women to be a mom by a certain age. Like, you get kicked out of Maiden's Circle once you're a bit long in the tooth, and there's only one way into Mother's Circle. That plus compulsory "polyamory" really put me off my feed, which was a thing even in the non-breeder-centric magical groups. If you have a vagina, that's what you're there for. Find a use for it in terms of serving the group, or gtfo. (Pagan polyamory: talk about sex as Pokemon. Gotta nail 'em all! When a new person arrives on the scene, a line starts forming.)

I was experiencing that at the same time that I was meeting members of a religion whose prophet be like:



Have you ever noticed that he looks like John Lithgow?



Is John Lithgow a black magician?



What are the odds? Black magic is the second most popular sport behind luge.

Well, I've gotten a bit off-topic here, but my point is that it's hard to find God when every possible way to look for him is lined with traps for the unwary vagina. Some might even call them booby traps, but that would be a bad pun. Celibacy is recommended to the seeker for a reason, I feel (even though in reality it's just an old-fashioned front for being massively committed to not having *heterosexual* sex).

Reason 1: sex hormones increase your delusion levels, I guarantee it. Mine cycle monthly, and I'm surprised I don't hallucinate. Getting involved with a lot of sexual politics and intrigue is going to give your reality tunnel certain otherwise-optional home furnishings, and you may not realize they're an artifact. So, you know, simplicity is best when you're trying to separate your inner la-la land from a clear vision of the eternal.

Reason 2: sex causes drama, which causes rancor and schisms. If you're going for a stable bedrock-of-society type ethical dispersement vehicle, religionwise, you've got to get people to calm the fuck down.

Reason 3: you'll never really face yourself when you're chasing what's outside of you. The unconscious mind will provide you with hilarious handpuppets to project your hopes and fears onto all day long, if that's what you ask of it. It just gets cheesier and cheesier if you don't get some self-control.

On the other hand, you can turn things around on the subconscious and use sex to communicate with it directly. Projection done well can allow you to experience the divine in your partner. But, there are still strange roads ahead. It's the left-hand path because you are dealing with the inner world via relationship with the outer world, and it's easy to get . . . confused by passing shadows, and forget that you're the person casting them.

That's why I think dedicated occultists should all go fuck themselves.
Monday, August 15th, 2016
11:57 am
We finally went to Mt. St. Helens!
Here she is:



This is the site of the largest landslide in recorded history. The surrounding countryside was obliterated. Now it's a national monument, a scientific study on how life returns to an area that has been basically sterilized for miles around. Could be handy information for terraforming other planets, or recovering from WWIII.

It turns out that the secret is: pocket gophers. Those little furry badasses can survive underground eating roots; then they pop up and start tilling the soil as they dig their burrows, preparing the ground for seeds. They didn't survive the actual landslide zone, but they were one of the few species that made it through the other events.

The mountain sent a wall of mud for 50 miles, and a 12-mile-high column of ash rained down and turned day into night split with lightning from the static electricity generated by the tiny bits of hot glass striking each other as the cloud roiled; trees were knocked sideways for 19 miles by a lateral blast going 300 MPH at a temperature of 660F while releasing 24 megatons of thermal energy, and pumice bombs were dropped for miles around as magma exploded and launched pieces of the mountain into distant hillsides; pyroclastic flows covered six square miles at a depth of 120 feet in places, and scooped up everything in their path, racing down the mountain so fast that it outraced the initial landslide; the blast material was 1300 degrees F, and turned everything it hit into even more pyroclastic debris (tree were simply blown into splinters); it instantly and violently flashed all water into steam, creating steam-blast explosions in Spirit Lake and the Toutle River that could be heard in fucking California.

Pocket gophers just rode it out. They were probably giving each other backrubs and yawning, high-fiving the surviving frogs, salamanders and crawfish when it was over.

Secret #2: prairie lupine. These tiny nitrogen-fixing flowers invented not giving a fuck. Cratered ash-covered surface of the moon? No fucks given: they show up and start growing anyway. When elk came back and started dropping dung full of seeds on the landscape, that's when the recovery began in earnest. Now the region is even more ecologically diverse than it was before the blast. Ehm, not that you can tell from this photo.



Here's a shot that reveals the lava dome that's been growing inside the crater:



It's recovered 7% of the mass it lost when it erupted. Not bad for only 36 years.

The feeling of being in her presence wasn't bad, considering she's the Mouth of Hell for Washington State. We lucked out and the Moon was bright above her as the sun set, so we got some cool shots as the Moon got fuller and the light got pinker (we were there for three days). We stayed until the stars came out and she was just a slate shadow against black. I feel that she feels that she has made her point. She isn't owned by Burlington Northern Railroad anymore, and no one is allowed to so much as take a piece of her pumice from the park. :) There was a huge herd of smug elk loafing about in the valley below the Johnston Observatory, safe as houses.

Seriously though, she looks like she was nuked. It was appropriate that I was hiking along a ridge with no shade in 90 degree heat when I did the guided tour. D:

I know I told y'all not to travel during the Mars-Saturn conjunction, but this was so . . . appropriate. I see this conjunction as carrying the energy of The Tower, and St. Helens IS The House of God.



But yes, some things about the trip were a pain in the ass. It was nice to go camping, though. No TV, no belongings, just what can fit in the trunk of the car and us. It reminded me of how we were when we first met: gypsies roaming about in a van, owning pretty much nothing, hanging out watching the sky from the top of a hill at night. (Those were good times, but after 9/11 everyone had a stick up their ass and it was dangerous not to be a "citizen" at that point. We were in a standard apartment by 2002. The dream of the 90's went down with the towers.) It was a rough adjustment at first, but by the third day I didn't want to go home. I really do find rootless freedom to be "real life," and this suburban existence to be somewhat of a holding tank that's only justified by ski trips.

Oh well. Everyone wants something they either can't have or can't keep. That's why TV is so popular.
Friday, August 12th, 2016
10:28 am
The Moon was besieged but didn't seem to be complaining
I saw the first quarter Moon conjunct Mars and Saturn last night! But what was even better was that it made a quadrangle with the fixed star Antares, which Saturn is conjunct (which when you see it for yourself usually means they're exactly lined up vertically, but can still be some distance away from each other; occultations are rare). Antares is red, and is the brightest star in Scorpio: the Scorpion's heart. As it got darker, Scorpio's beta star Akrab came out, which is conjunct Mars! Akrab is in the head of the Scorpion. Mars is still pretty bright, and Antares came out right after Saturn - quite a sight in a still-dimming sky.

Two planets and the Moon spooping about in the constellation Scorpio doesn't mean they're not in tropical Sagittarius. Oh, they are. Probably one of the most annoying things about astrology is that the constellations are full of lore, but they barely overlap the signs anymore. :( When Regulus precessed out of Leo, I felt like some of the magic was gone. It was like Aslan leaving Narnia. Or, uh, whatever. (._.)

I got so much work done yesterday (two quizzes, an interlocution and a short paper) and still had time to go swimming and take a walk. Nice one, me! We had to kill like six wasps, though. Yes, Scorpio may have slipped later into the Autumn, but his sting ain't gone.

Saturn conjunct Anteres is a big fucking deal. It only happens every 29 years (with that off-and-on thing Saturn does over a degree once he gets there). Antares is one of the four Royal Stars, the Watcher of the West. The combo with Saturn means religious hypocrisy (or let's just say, a highly unusual system of morality and judgment unrelated to "mercy"), but if I was to personify it as a fictional character I'd go with the reclusive billionaire from Person of Interest. Note all the watching. I'm telling you, surveillance is one way this mix can go. Antares is warlike, but Saturn is patient and cold. Evil? Not necessarily. People who don't get it will never really understand what it's like to see things other people can't because you are excluded from the system and they're experiencing hope mingled with psychological reinforcement designed to train them to act in certain ways while they keep hoping. They can't, and wouldn't want to if they could. Yo dawg, I heard you like disillusionment, so I put corruption in your arbitrary suffering so you can cry while you cry. Given the perspective that creates, some things seem reasonable and appropriate that just wouldn't occur to someone immersed in the day-to-day. Of course, 99% of everything Saturn produces in the human personality sucks, despite the gifts he gives of an astonishing potential to overcome attachment, instinct, and hypnosis. However. After everything weak has died in you, what's left is kinda . . . huh. Some become Nelson; most become Winnie.

So I was innocently watching the sky when yet another hot neighbor appeared. These things are like Pokemon. A wild hot guy appears! He was a Water Type. Here's what the pool looks like this year:



Don't tell them I said that; they're probably all retired SEALs. I heard, and I doubt you can dispute it, that ex-SEALs love nothing more than a burqini pool party.
Sunday, August 7th, 2016
9:44 am
Hell to the no
According to this Salon article, Millenials aren't shagging. Apparently that bothers some people.

I remember when my age group was hitting our early 20's, and Boomers were saying that we were much more sexually conservative than they were and are (and still are - STD rates are skyrocketing in nursing homes . . . I am not making this up). We were apparently so into taking responsibility for our own orgasms that sex toys and realdolls were big hits. Hmmm. Well, if you have to get fake tits installed to get laid, and wear red platform heels, and get your hair permed and bleached, AND get a talon manicure, and don't forget the fucking panty hose, then yes I'd rather stick to making love to my own hand. Luckily X-ers are a bit more open-minded about modest bosom allotments and a disregard for plasticky hooker outfits. That's a load off.

Then I found out just how out-there Boomers really can be, and I'm sure we did seem uptight compared to, say, pulling trains at parties, or taking a different person home every night - how did they have time to be workaholics, AND raise two or three litters of children from different marriages, while also spending all day stuffing things in other things? Didn't they get chafed? When did they sleep? On top of that, they all had to go into rehab. Sounds exhausting. Personally, I'm more of a romantic. If you can't do ANYTHING without immediately becoming addicted to it, what the fuck. I think they just hated being alone, ever, for any reason, so party party party. But it's hard to know. Maybe they're so good in bed that Tantric orgasms the likes of which I'll never experience are worth all the cooties and creepers and extreme personal grooming requirements.

I was wondering, though, how explicit porn all over the internet *would* affect the people who grew up with it. Apparently, they're jaded to the point that the considerable (legal, healthwise and emotional) risks involved with meatsex make it seem unappealing. Well, porn made me never want a man to touch me again, so I do relate. Bleah. Some things are way better when you're not staring at it happened to someone who's been waxed, bleached and surgically modified. It's too much pressure, man.

Then I found out how violent people's fantasies are now, and I was like, oooookay, never mind. Does this thing sew shut? Get the fuck away from me. Everything is now the exact opposite of whatever it is I might find tempting. Good to know I'm not alone.

Oh, plus you have to have an "identity," and get through eight layers of explicit negotiations before you even get warmed up. I'm 45 and I still don't know what my sexual preference is, other than "almost nobody." Imagine that at 20, though. Man, you'd have to be some kind of hardened pro. I also could not even. All this for dudes who learned their moves from porn, which is basically a depiction of a series of things I hope never happen to me. D: aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh
Saturday, August 6th, 2016
12:25 pm
Ooh
So you know how a total solar eclipse will cross the United States in 2017?

Did you know that a total solar eclipse crossed Washington State (among others) on February 26, 1979? (I didn't get to see it though, because my mother sucks.)

Guess when Mt. St. Helens erupted?

You know it. May 18, 1980. (I didn't get to see that either.)

No big deal:



Here's the path of the 2017 totality:



It goes right through Oregon, which has 19 volcanoes. Here's a picture of stratovolcano Mt. Hood:



I'm not saying DOOMSDAY IS IMMINENT, I just like to note these things. Whatever happens, I'll finally have eyes on it.
Friday, August 5th, 2016
12:50 pm
Burqini pool party at my place
I took the math midterm last night - I annoyed myself by getting one wrong because of a freaking typo. Maybe I'll get partial credit (we also have to show our work and scan it into a separate submission; extra points are possible). So far it's a 90%. It was hard, so I feel lucky. Did I miss a question about calculating interest? Yes. Edit: 94.5%!!

The transits were notably crappy, even though exalted Mercury was conjunct the waxing Moon, because Luna was carrying light from the recent Mars square back to Mercury, and then to the coming Saturn square. I studied during all that, which was crucial actually. From there, Luna moved to an opposition with Neptune; I couldn't wait any longer to start, so that was the situation. Mars and Saturn crossed the Midheaven while I was dealing with this stuff. Yep. I feel lucky that my computer cooperated, the neighbors were quiet, and the website didn't hit a glitch.

I mostly feel sorry for the other students. Based on the activity on the board where we post questions, I think there are nine of us, and had been 15. After the exam was done, the teacher sent out an email explaining that today will be the last day to withdraw from the class, how to do it, and by what time. :( This test is a fifth of the total grade (unless the final will be massively weighted). At any rate, it is hard to come back from fucking it up.

Hey guess what, today Venus enters Virgo, which also means that she's conjunct Regulus. All hail the queen! The crescent Moon is conjunct Jupiter, too - you might look for them after sunset. Some people will be able to see Mercury and Venus appear on the horizon as it gets dark. The Mars-Saturn conjunction will be spooping overhead (to the South, depending on how your local ecliptic is waggling). Planets! Planets everywhere!

So you know the dreaded solar eclipse whose path will be over Africa soon? Yeah, they already have a yellow fever epidemic. :/ And WHO is reportedly screwing the pooch again. All they have to do is get vaccines to people in actual outbreak areas, plus a method of administration, all without breaking the cold chain or getting the vaccines stolen.

Oh, and the news from Rio continues to get more ridiculous. The Mars-Saturn conjunction (square Neptune) doesn't even perfect until the 24th, and it's already this absurd? You've got your fires and robberies for Mars. You've got deaths, and locking the gate and losing the key, for Saturn. You've got your contaminated water for Neptune. And then the Zika virus. Lots of unsold tickets, I read.

Speaking of Mars, Venus in Virgo is square Mars in Sag is tomorrow (the Virgin and the Hunter, what could go wrong?), all while Mercury is square Saturn and opposite Neptune. Don't get drunk in public, especially if you're a girl. Don't get altered whatsoever and then drive. I'll leave it to your own best judgment whether you stick to a burqini in the pool.

Speaking of all THAT, guess who had to do a two-and-half hour mandatory training about date rape for school? First they explained how alcohol and drugs work for an hour and a half. Did you know that abstinence is in fact a valid choice for a college student, and that you don't have to participate in hook-up culture to be "cool"? Also, those red party cups hold 16 ounces, which is _more_ than a 12-ounce serving of beer! You might think you've consumed three alcohol units when it's really four. Personally, if I drank three pints of the kind of beer *I* drink I'd be pushing tolerances myself. Then they went on and on about college house parties. I am older than dirt, and I have never in my life been to even _one_ college house party. Looks like I missed out on a crucial formative experience. Well, I'm sure I more than made up for it.

It was nicely done, but they could have exempted the older-than-dirt contingent. Though, now I know how to tuck someone's body correctly so they're less likely to aspirate vomit while they're passed out. Party 101. The stuff about consent was interesting. Whining and begging is considered coercion. Huh. Well, I'll bear that in mind if I'm ever closer than two yards away from a dude again. I'll just be like, hold up guy, I know I'm wearing a burqini but you've got to stop sniveling about how you're conquered by my beauty in the moonlight and how love is a cold and lonely hallelujiah. Anyway, you don't really care for music, do ya.

Taser 101 is the class they should be teaching though. A little knife fighting, a little gun safety, some target practice and disarming techniques and I think we might be ready. But, none of these things are a good mix with alcohol. They COULD be set to music though.
Thursday, August 4th, 2016
11:34 am
Really?
I'm very polite to people at school, yet I always dread the days I have to go in to class in person (most of this term has been online). This was even more the case yesterday, because a woman in our assigned class group seemed not to like me very much. I know what I did: I'm a know-it-all. I can't not answer a question. I try to just sit there, but if no one else says anything I finally pop. But, I'm not bossy or anything. I don't talk to people like they're stupid, or hold forth for half an hour, or roll my eyes, or interrupt. The problem is that the younger generation is so silent that they make me seem like an extravert. It's freaking me out. It's like 30 cats staring at you from underneath a couch.

So imagine my surprise when she not only wasn't there, but was also gone from the list of students in the online roster. The group project went much more quickly without her, I must say. Still, it would have been nice to know she wasn't going to do a piece of the final project. I wonder why the instructor didn't tell us she'd dropped.

It's odd that when someone irrationally dislikes me these days, it's always an extremely good-looking woman. Everyone else just ignores me. Which is only fair since I don't remember any of their names (so embarrassing). I really only want to deal with the topic at hand, which I think is very interesting. I loathe the way this school dumps us in a sack and expects us to bond; that never happens. Three more weeks and I'll never have to see any of them again, which, though they're fine, will be a relief.

Still, it's good to find out that Steve's loudness isn't the only thing that turns people off - he's been in all my other classes, and it's weird to be associated with Can't Shut Up Dude. Our fame preceded us such that the geology teacher actually asked me where he is on my first day in class. Yeah, that's great. I just want to get through this, not be That Couple every fucking where I go. I highly doubt he's going to keep taking classes there, so as long as I'm still welcome in the program (despite him dropping) this dymanic won't matter going forward.

I also corrected the math teacher on the online discussion board. Now she probably hates me too. :(
Sunday, July 31st, 2016
12:55 pm
A really big wave wouldn't even solve my problems: I'm too far inland
Math is ruining my summer. Srsly. I crushed it last week, but future values of annuities can kiss my ass. It's grueling story problems with extremely tedious arithmetic, so it's both annoying to think about and easy to fat-finger. I thought maybe being a CPA would be the answer to my careerlessness, and now I know they earn their money; I'm pretty good at fiddly painstaking things, but learning the inner secrets of financial instruments makes my temper overflow. Especially when I can't get the earned interest right on an ambiguous fucking question argh ARGH HULK SMASH I do this shit for 4-6 hours and then drink too much, truly.

At least some of the usual annoyances have receded. On the other hand, we have concrete proof that our rent is higher than everyone else's because we have the printouts of everyone's rate, email address and, get this, password. Do they not have a paper shredder? My guess is, they want us to move out because Steve's a hoarder. Naturally. (I hope that when Pluto is off his Saturn he'll calm down a little.) But, there are benefits. So far he has found *two* swords in the trash! One is a fruity fantasy sword suitable for holding up and summoning eldritch lightning bolts, but one is the realest of reals. I am psyched about the new acquisition, and I probably won't use it on the fatass office chicks. Probably.

So you know how Germany fought in WWI? And you know how they had rifles with bayonets? Have you ever held a bayonet that's been in a war? Holy shit, the Mars energy! This sucker has killed someone, and it's pretty happy about it. Smug iron. It has a great feeling in the hand, and it's the perfect length for drawing pentagrams in the air. You know what: if you banished with this fellow, there'd be a quarter-mile de-spirited perimeter around your working area. My feel is yes to that. I want to start doing the LBRP again just to do it with a bayonet. This bayonet measures 19 11/16" overall, and the blade measures 14 7/16. It's called a "butcher blade." The date stamped '17' is for 1917, and it's maker-marked by "Waffenfabrik Mauser AG Oberndorf a.N." eBay says it's worth $245. Here's what it looks like with its iron scabbard:



Why would someone put such a handsome fellow in the trash?

Whatever, it's mine now!

New topic: Mercury entered Virgo yesterday, and the first thing it did was conjoin the royal star Regulus. Sounds good, right? My results were not-so. For one thing, our tags expire tomorrow, and the state never sent the new one we paid for two weeks ago. I can't drive to Mt. St. Helens with expired tags. That sucks. Also, just everything mental was like swimming upstream while sailfish kept jumping out and landing on my face. I had a nice swim in the evening despite the fishslapping, and worked on a calcination project a bit now that the weather has cooled down a little. It's taken a long time to get these grapeskins done. It hit 91 a few days ago, and I did not want to deal with any more joules.

We also started a batch of apple cider because someone was giving away a big ol' box of gnarly treefall, probably from their yard. They were too questionable to eat, as fresh fruit, due to the bruising - well, they're cider now. I'm going to add more apples and top it off with honey. Scary experiment but the apples weren't wasted.

Ooh, if you like disaster movies as much as I do, you should see "The Wave." It's about a megatsunami that actually could happen if an unstable mountain face collapses into a fjord. The setting is FUCKING GORGEOUS, and it's all real (other than the CGI tsunami). You know you want to see a bunch of people acting like morons while certain death bears down upon them: scarily accurate I fear. A geologist action hero saves the day. That's right: the nerd who ~everyone rolled their eyes at~ knew the truth all along! But it will make you wonder whether Norwegians are born without adrenal glands. If I was in that situation I would move a fuck of a lot faster.

The term is half-over, and I've taken one of my mid-term exams. Four weeks to go. I'm just grinding this out. I hope I figure out how annuities work before I have to take the math mid-term. {:/ Take precalculus for business majors, I decided. It will be fun, I speculated. Oh god why
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
12:20 pm
Step 1: Hail Hydra
I know I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I FINALLY realized why authoritarian types seem so hypocritical to me.

Okay, you know that thing where you reason out your ethics based on what would logically be an awesome code of conduct if everyone stuck to it? Like, never lie or rip people off, because a world without trust is a pain the ass? That kind of thing? It's why I finally decided that monogamy is logical, even though it's against my nature in some ways: loyalty makes life suck less. The legal code is for dumbasses who can't handle the basics of civilized behavior unless a gun is pointed at them, if you ask me. We all know that fraud, reckless negligence, exploitation of people with less power, and messing up the things we all share are dick moves. I mean, no one doesn't get mad if someone behaves unethically towards *them*, so they can obviously tell that acting like that sucks. So, if someone is at the point psychologically that 1) they realize other people exist as separate entities and not objects, 2) and care, then most ethical problems are non-problems. Heaven and hell: not needed. Prison is for the emotionally disabled, if the justice system isn't corrupt.

But that's how you think if you see other people as equal to you. There's another kind of ethics that's only applied to people you deem worthy; usually that means they're on your team, they look like you, have matching 'nads, whatever. In this version, some people aren't people. In my version, even animals and trees are people; you can see the social disconnect. But, even this lesser version of ethics is rational, it just classes fewer humans as human and more humans as a resource, or chattel.

But there's another version of ethics much different than either of these, where logic has nothing to do with it. In this one, there's a hierarchy, and ethics is nothing more complicated than obedience to people higher than you, and enforcing obedience from people lower than you. The rules are arbitrary, and even whimsical. The point in this system is to climb the hierarchy, get power, and enforce compliance not just to your will but to the will of whatever's at the top of the heap. If God is the highest authority, then you consult the word of God and apply it as literally as possible, while requiring the same of everyone around you. Doesn't make sense? Doesn't matter. We're authoritarians. Obedience actually does work well for building empires, so the proof is in the pudding. We all get more if we work together, do we not? More than the poor suckers our armies steamroll, I can tell you that.

I had quite the odd moment yesterday when I realized that for people who take authority to be basically a sacred institution, "because I said so" really is all the intellectual justification they require when they're outranked. Whoa dude. I can't even imagine being like that. One bad leader could fuck over millions of people, and they're cool with that possibility? Holy crap. These people are clearly aliens. Or am I the alien.



. . . and yet think of what you could accomplish if people had to do whatever you decided was the best course of action. You're smart. You deserve power like that. Not like these other idiots. It's for their own good, really. I can see the efficiency of it, in the right hands. Ah, but those pesky autocrat selection methods and their roots in conspiracy and obscene quantities of weapons and wealth . . . it will never be you, because *you're* broke and can't keep a secret.

I guess where I really part ways with the whole thing is that I believe in God, but I don't see this being as a despot, and I DON'T think he she or it wrote a book in Hebrew, Aramaic or Arabic.

Aliens did.



Naw but check it: magical thinking applied to authority has this one cool benefit, which is that miracles are possible, and they could happen to you. Logic? Just and reasonable proportion between causes and effects? These things are of no importance to us. You could win a lottery, get discovered, marry a millionaire, or even more magnificent benefits if you curry the favor of the powerful and believe in random allotments of fate! What does that do? That's right: it beats working.

We're not so different, you and I.

Current Mood: Step 3: Profit
Friday, July 22nd, 2016
11:49 am
They're not rocks unless they're non-cystalline amorphous solids!
Things suck less at home and I feel a lot better. Steve hauled stuff out of the living room and vacuumed. It's back, but it's less filthy and hideous in there now. I am staying on beta blockers: this is working. Chill pills that aren't benzos - they're even good for math tests, and you should see how nervous I get. I finished the last quiz with 2 seconds to spare, and was all shaky and whatnot.

Change of lifestyle wigs me out it seems: it takes three weeks to get used to the start of a new quarter, and this time I had to wipe my laptop and install windows 10 so my software was up-to-date. Eight years of my stuff is on a thumb drive now. Getting jerked around about money didn't help either. My financial aid got reduced, get this, by $800 because I'm not going full-time this term. I was counting on that money, you know? Even a free dinner I got invited to resulted in the runs . . . everything has a barb in its tail. Spontaneously waking up at 4 AM every day is just the last perfect touch.

I like geology though. They're minerals, Marie.



So I'm sitting here like, you guys all saw that Mercury-Venus conjunction going on in Leo earlier this week right? Why did it suck such a bag of dicks? Was in because they were trine Saturn with bad receptions (Saturn hates Leo, Mercury hates Sag)? Was it the full moon? I don't know, but it was so much worse than Moon square Mars last night. We spent that at an Apple store getting someone's old airbook and iPhone wiped, so now we have new electronics.

This airbook, though: someone gave a little kid a $1000 computer, who covered it in stickers and ruined the keyboard. We plugged a USB keyboard in it, and then bought it a charger. Done. Almost good as new. It was in the dumpster! Some woman was throwing all her man's stuff away. All his paperwork from buying a house was in there too. She even threw away his microwave. I guess breaking up was in the air. I hope she didn't throw away his minerals.



The weather has been glorious recently, and now that I have a day off it's raining. Well, you know. I'll do moar math then.

The coming transits are these:

The Sun is now in Leo. The Sun is strong in his home sign; we get a boost in the honor and glory department every spring and summer when Sol hits the fire signs. Nice. The New Moon in Leo is on August 2, and it's trine Saturn. Work stress and fear never hurt anyone right? Accomplishments or despondency.

Next week, Mercury is up to some things. Wednesday, Mercury is trine Uranus, which leads to shocking revelations, abrupt actions, and fascinating insights. Intuitives will intuit like frenzied intuitive things. Good news is likely, but it will be weird.

Friday, Mercury squares Mars just before he changes signs to his best sign, Virgo. This is verbally vicious, argumentative, and requires cautious driving - as well as extra effort not to be offensive, since we'll be more likely to arrogantly notice that everyone is stupid but us. Much ego, very bombast. But on Saturday, everyone gets smarter and more logical. They won't intuit leaderly visions, but they'll notice and cope with flaws and inefficiencies; the detail work is meditative; the patience for research is impressive; concrete improvements win out over passionate rhetoric. It's about damn time. I need that upgrade NOW. I don't have to tell you that Virgo is way better for story problems and mineral analysis than just about any other sign.

But I think the big news is that Mars finally leaves Scorpio, after having resided there for like what, seven months? That's been quite a stretch. Am I afraid of the competent, conspiratorial, grudge-holding violence of Mars in Scorpio? Sure, though it's great for athletic exertions. Gainz without juicing, yo. Nevertheless, it's kind of great that Mars is entering Sagittarius, who, though violent, has a mercifully short attention span and a generally positive attitude. Hunters stalk prey, yes, but they don't hate prey; they think it's fun to hit the target, not torture the victim. Sounds like an upgrade from the usual vengeance theme. Bad news: Mars does get wroth over religion/philosophy/politics when in Sag. And he will be walking over to Saturn, forming a conjunction that happens about every two years in successive signs. Since this conjunction is in Sagittarius, The Tower that falls is a temple, a university, a courthouse, an arena, or some other traditional bastion of civilization. It's not great news for airliners or trains, either (long-distance modes of conveyance). This is still a ways off, but that's coming up on August 24.

So here is my advice. Do not travel long distances that week. The solar eclipse the week after that is square Saturn and Mars. Why not stay home for a *few* weeks? Mercury is even going to retrograde on August 30. What a great time to not go anywhere! Yep. And don't attend sporting events or houses of worship or schools if you can avoid it.

It's an annular eclipse whose path crosses Africa: namely Gabon, Congo, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Last time a solar eclipse conjunct Saturn hit Gabon, it kicked off the ebola epidemic. Just saying. Meanwhile, enjoy this flag art:

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
10:54 am
Phteven
For fun, on our birthdays I calculate our Solar Return charts. I just did Steve's for this year. (That's where you look at the chart for any given year, set so that the sun is at the exact degree it was when you were born, and make a forecast for yourself for that year.)

Well, oh no. I was wondering why he's acting like he's drunk all the time. (Sure, we drink - but you don't go full retard after two glasses of wine when you're 56 and weigh more than 200 lbs.) ("Full retard" is a movie reference, so if you're offended I'll post the clip so we can all enjoy Iron Man in blackface giving advice about playing a handicapped person. I about go into labor and deliver my own uterus laughing every time I see it.)

Anyway, holy fucking shit, this solar return you guys. Neptune is EXACTLY on the Ascendant. He's going to be a flaky slob of a loser who gets in bum fights and destroys smartphones by wearing them into hot tubs all year??? nooooooooo If he was actually a drug enthusiast, I'd really be worried. As it is, if he was my teenager - which it feels like he is - I'd be googling web pages about how to talk to your kid about bath salts. Hoping he doesn't actually chew anyone's face off at this point. He's a different person than he was when I married him, but the exact same person he was when we lived in a van down by the river. :/ I am too old for this blithering hippie crap, I swear to god. The ADHD is back - and meds don't work, they just make him a lunatic who loons more efficiently.

Look, the only guy I could find who had a brain, and looks, and a libido, and wasn't as mean as a pissed-off snake on a vendetta, turned out to be a loon lad. I am a loon lady, so at first I didn't really notice. (I do not know what's wrong with me. I keep asking professionals, and get nothing. It seems like Borderline to me.) But now we're old, and it's getting unsettling.

Actually, we didn't get along when we first got together because he never shuts up, and will stand and talk to literally anyone about the stupidest shit for hours just because he loves to talk so much. And he is always blatantly perving on girls. It's been a battle to make this work. He also keeps all his stuff in giant piles of boxes, of which he has two garages and one living room full, much of which is fished out of a dumpster. After we'd been together about four years, I realized I could never have kids with a hoarding lunatic and started shopping around. Big mistake. The only other guys who responded to inquiries were retired military who freelance as enhanced interrogators, or some fucking thing. I can't have kids with black bag engineers, either. So I didn't have kids.

He's still kind-hearted, good-looking, horny and smart. It's not all bad. But he might be unemployable. I might also be unemployable. I'm not sure why exactly; we're good at things. I think people take it badly if you're not dead inside. Never growing up isn't all bad: we're still flexible and "present" in a way that life can beat out of you if you're not careful. Simply put, he's quite lovable, but he's the worst roommate ever and currently sits around all day in between raving up and down the streets having dramas. And I normally don't talk shit about him, but I am pretty fucking fed up. I'm not sure we will stay together. Then again, relationships are just the worst. But, I'm so antisocial I spend ALL my time alone if I'm not in one. I'm trying to picture 40 more years of this and it's depressing, though.

So back to the solar return. If it's just one year of way-more-looney-than-usual looney tuning, maybe I can handle it. Oh, Mars conjunct Luna in Scorpio. That's quite energetic in a seething sort of way. Speaking of which: why, evolutionarily, would humans have developed the propensity for sick obsessions? What is with the whole perverted fantasy thing? Anyone? They seem to be a bigger problem when testosterone levels are high, if my former acne had been any barometer. Just wondering. I'm over it now, and what a judgment-warping energy suck it had been. And I didn't even act on them. I just have Moon in Scorpio, so, you know: "dark." We mostly listened to industrial music and wrote angstful crap and thought we were artists when I was young enough to turn my problems into an outward persona. Well, Henry Miller had Mars conjunct Moon in Scorpio and "being creative" worked for him. (Both were sextile his Mercury in Capricorn, which sealed the deal: writer instead of criminal.)

AND back to the topic. The Moon-Mars conjunction is trine the Sun, so it's pretty important. And it's in the 8th house, which certainly sucks. A year of debt and crisis; violent moods/crowds/women are possible. Also, Uranus is closely square the Sun, which as a transit will last all year anyway. Uranus is also conjunct his natal Moon by transit. Uranus is QUITE wacky and unstable, leading to sudden reversals of motivation, and true mania with delusions in some cases. Whoopsie. Huge losses are not unheard-of, but then again anything abrupt would fit whether good or bad. Uranus rules divorce. :(

Oh well, at least it isn't the usual endless parade of Saturn and Pluto transits. Pluto will be conjunct his Saturn one last time in September and then finally moves on. When Pluto eventually opposes his natal Sun and simultaneously squares his Moon in 2020, he will have such a rough time that this will seem like a vacation. I guess I'll treat it like one.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
11:17 am
You'll remember you don't believe in any of this mumbo jumbo
Even if your ego is focused 100% on practicalities rather than fame and beauty, I suppose it's still the ego talking. Kind of an animal-primal version of it rather than the social level, but it's still about seeing the individuality as an isolated, disconnected thing that can perish. It would be funny if ego is just your fear, caused by an error in perception that makes you forget (you're really the whole world). Saturn when he's playing gatekeeper makes you think you're isolated, rejected, powerless, humiliated, and then he brings out the poverty hand-puppets, boogity boogity. We are destroying the planet and tormenting each other because we're not getting a grip on this shit. Fear makes you mean.

But let's talk about the ways out.

Back to the sphere analogy, let's say you're a sphere intersecting with a plane. You know yourself as the circle of intersection, and forget that the rest of the sphere is also you. But relationships remind you that the rest of you is there, because when two spheres approach each other as they intersect a plane, look where they intersect each other - they make a circle that extends above and below the plane. Intersecting with people reminds you of all that you really have inside yourself: your other dimensions are concretely apparent. Hook up just right and new little spheres are drawn down into your plane of existence. ;) But I get ahead of myself: going into and out of the planar intersection entirely is Pluto's department.

Now that we have an abstract justification for intimacy squared away, let's look at Saturn the physical planet. Hey guys, he's a sphere intersecting a plane (his rings)! Huh. God really is cute about the way he gives hints. So seeing yourself as the ring upon the sphere - your ego if I may - is Saturn's influence.

Then look at the belt of the zodiac. All the planets but Pluto travel around it - a flat plane against a specific belt of stars - and all but Uranus rotate on a reasonably perpendicular axis to it. So this sphere we are, it spins on its axis. Your daily routine is this spinning. Hence the perception of motion and time, but in a highly cyclical manner.

Here's where it gets weird, and you can start to play with both identity and time's continuity: the planets beyond Saturn represent options - options that are very difficult to access except in times of crisis, but options nonetheless. Let's look at Uranus. He still has rings, but he appears to roll around the Sun on his side rather than upright. Typically he is associated with revolutions, reversals of polarity, technological innovations, scientific discoveries, aerospace, the internet, and a vision of a future free from toil and aging (in case we forgot what our civilization started trying to achieve). He knocks you out of your standard rotation and tips you a bit. That one circle you experience over and over? Now you can spin sideways and experience the rest of you. But, of course, it's dangerous. It's a lot easier to take off than it is to land. Your life may experience a lot of crashing while you're learning to fly. Uranus is all about destabilization. But you're not trapped anymore . . .

Now let's look at Neptune, the planet of drugs and dreams. When you go down this rabbit hole, you feel yourself become very large and very small - why? Could it be because your sphere is moving up and down through the plane of consciousness, resulting in not just circles that bisect it on different axes, but circles of completely different sizes? Here you experience the spirit world, heavens and hells, hallucinations of all kinds. You're not stuck on the zodiac belt any longer: you experience the whole sky. Things become mythical, full of gods and goddesses, made of stories, and everything was so very long ago or so very far in the future that things are made of energy, of standing waves, of thoughts. Also when you intersect with someone else's sphere, you can overlap it entirely and merge for awhile.

And then you get to Pluto, whose orbit is inclined to the plane of the solar system, eccentric (moving inside and outside the orbit of Neptune), and so generally weird and obnoxious that he got kicked out of the planet club. This is where your sphere leaves the plane rather than just changes the circle of intersection. Maybe it comes back. Maybe not. But whether you consciously experience the complete cessation of thought and identity and then reboot, or just die to our experience of the world, you will never be the same. Some people have this experience more often than others; but when everything shrinks to a pinprick of light, and the only thing you can think about is trying to take another breath, there you go. That moment of blankness right after impact - maybe you're hovering over your body. This is where you get abilities like astral travel, not just astral perception. That circle was your body all along, and when you can move your sphere in and out of it at will, that's Pluto for you. Is it a liberated experience of your entire self at once? I wouldn't know. I've never been. They could show you, but you'd have to die.
Sunday, July 17th, 2016
11:53 am
Friday, July 15th, 2016
6:36 pm
What my subconscious thinks about love
I got an A on my first math test! Well it's a 90% - I could have done a little better if I'd taken my time, but meh. So glad it's over.

I had bad dreams the night before. I dreamed I was this helpful, friendly little baby who toddled over to someone in a friendly way. They stabbed me in the back with a scalpel, and rolled me into a trash can while I was dying. Then in my next dream I was an adult woman in a big house with a lot of people, getting ready to paint a room. Some guy came up behind me and sodomized me through my jeans, material shoved up in there and everything. But it felt pretty good, so I just went with it.

I've been feeling pretty stressed out. Financial aid got reduced for this term because I'm taking ten credits instead of 15, buf it's only a seven-week term and the study load is extremely heavy. I have to spend about five hours a day on this stuff.

Today is Steve's birthday and his present is a $20 beer. And corn on the cob and fresh salmon, I suppose. Same thing we do every day, though. If I wasn't learning how to graph a parabola and use quadratic equations with endless fucking story problems, this summer would be pretty heavenly - perfect weather every day.
12:59 pm
Climate change and violence
Don't think I'm heartless. I'm just one of those people who's awkward when something really horrible happens: the first thing I do is look at the clock and say what time it is.

Nice Attack
July 14, 2016 10:45 PM -1:00 7E17 45N40

Luna and Mars are exactly conjunct in Scorpio. This is certainly harsh, especially with Mars so strong by sign, and Luna fallen: someone wielding great violent power against a very disadvantaged populace; Luna rules crowds, "the people". But, this conjunction happens once a month, and hopefully something like this does not. (Though lately it almost seems like it's weekly, so I don't know; I'd have to research that. Is it just me, or do dozens of people get wiped out in mass death events a lot more often these days?)

They are, oddly, very closely *trine* the Pisces ascendant. (Usually people call trines "harmonious.") They are in the 8th house of death, exactly quincunx Uranus in Aries, which is explosive and revolutionary. Scorpio is the sign of violence and revenge, among other things; his passions are slow-burning and sometimes meticulously planned, whereas Aries is abrupt. Even more oddly, this is a Grand Water Trine with Sol in Cancer, and all within a few degrees - Sol is in the 5th house, which signifies things like children and parties. Jupiter (religion, law) is conjunct the Descendant.

I'm guessing that the mundane charts for France is where the real action is happening, considering the timing (Bastille Day) and how many times France has been targeted lately. Here is the chart for the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Right away the Grand Trine in the event chart shows an echo: the degree of the Ascendant in yesterday's attack is the same as the degree of Saturn in the original Bastille chart, which had been closely trine Sol and exactly trine retrograde Mercury in Cancer on that day. Saturn represents the Bastille itself, in that Saturn rules prisons and fortresses (anything with hard boundaries preventing things from getting in or out). In the original Bastille chart, I thought I should look at Uranus, the planet of revolution, and I see that it's exactly conjunct Venus at 4 Leo and closely conjunct Jupiter at 6 Leo as well, all at the Midheaven. Yesterday, Venus had nearly returned to this degree, and was at 3 Leo. Venus conjunct Jupiter in Leo signifies wealth, luxury and royalty; Uranus overturns things. The Bastille had been a symbol of the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs, as it had gone from being a fortress meant to protect France from English invasions to becoming a state prison where people were imprisoned without trial; storming it signaled the beginning of the French Revolution. A note about Saturn being in Pisces: the Bastille was surrounded by a moat! Scorpio is rising in this chart, Luna is in Aries. Once again Mars is in the 8th house.

Just thought that was interesting. In a way, we in the West have met Marie Antoinette, and it is us. I am not in any way saying we deserve terrorism, but we *are* rich and frivolous in some important ways. Meanwhile, some developing nations are experiencing food shortages, especially when the Middle East experiences drought (the attacker was from Tunisia, a drought-prone place) - and every year has been hotter than average for awhile now, it seems. I'm just saying. Don't feel guilty, just realize how you look to other people. Is it possible that this is what has been killing so many people:



And some of us are all like:

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
3:37 pm
Aging rant
Warning: this is a real weenie-shrinker.

I got in a fight with Steve about how he loudly pervs on our neighbors under 22, and I had to explain my point of view.

Getting older as a woman is like if a man lost one inch of dick length for every decade over 25, and 2 inches for every decade over 55, etc.

Graph the parabola. If your dick is 8 inches at age 20, how long will your dick be at age 76?
Monday, July 11th, 2016
11:49 am
Fifth world problems.
I watched a video lilchiva posted about tribalism, global community, violence, and loss of identity in the digital age; and though the main point of it isn't what I'm going to talk about, it got me thinking about how I tell myself who I am. Of course I already talked about that a lot. You know who you are by where you live, the language you speak, who's in your family, what you own, and what media you consume, and then there are friends and hobbies, le blah, le blah, your mileage may vary.

But my felt sense of myself is actually all those things I disapprove of but can't get rid of. It's the gap between who I want to be and what I'm still stuck with. I actually sense myself as being composed of my failures. Which, if you're me, is a rich and nuanced self with many layers; but hey. Am I comparing myself unfavorably with others? I'm past that - I mean, that was several failures ago. It's more that my mind is most preoccupied with the problems it is trying to solve, and so what's on the screen the most - those intractable issues - is what I see when I look in the mental mirror.

But who I wish I was is a function of my values, which is a function of all the rest of my experiences and general interpretation of the context I navigate. I think I *should* be like other people, clearly, or where would I have gotten ideas like "failure" in the first place? So it's like . . . who I am is who I'm not, and who I'm not is the result of my inadequacies.

Like if I take a test, who I am isn't the answers I got right; I'm the answers I couldn't figure out.

I don't know whether I should work on this or not. Maybe who I am is the person who couldn't successfully download the self-esteem patch. ;)

Seriously though, I think we're supposed to see our identity within a social context and criticize ourselves for not contributing meaningfully. They give us things as children so we'll pull our weight later. If we were doing so, supposedly we'd be rewarded with money and status.

But we also know that who's allowed to win is largely predetermined, waaay before the game begins. You all know if you're not on the list. Society has bouncers.

Coming up with amusing little side quests for ourselves that we can still accomplish can be diverting and fills the day up. Or you can try to be ~more evolved~ than the tribal types, and win on a level they can't perceive. (Classic loser reasoning, but do you have a better option if you're not willing to change the game by force? Which is also an interesting thought. If you're not on the guest list, do you attack the club?)

Speaking of evolving though, can you stand the real thing? If you can endure the lack of identity - which is of course a touted risk, challenge and feature of going for that extra dimension - you go blank for a bit, then reorient. In a world of circles, a sphere can be any of infinite circles depending on where it intersects the plane. Well, if you can control the intersection. You could instead become any random circle that environmental forces shift you into manifesting; I suppose there's always that possibility (total madness). You're "more," but as a force of chaos. Well, we're all "more," but some of us are stable in our intersecting diameter (which is still an infinity if you think about it, because the sphere can rotate through the plane without changing the circle's size). It's hard to learn how to be productive as "more" if you're not sure what your abilities will be from one day to the next. Some of your options are now quite base, and there's always the possibility you might stabilize as something you consider a downgrade if you're not careful - even forgetting who you used to be. Like sleep. Or birth. Wake up to forget your former greatness (or less-mediocre-ness).

Also, I've noticed that nothing that I really have to say (the things I personally enjoy talking about) makes sense to people anymore. You're never quite sure whether you've become an idiot, or whether people can't follow along when you ad-lib your lines. I mean, you've seen the script, right? They say a thing, the predictable responses follow, sides are taken, respect is given or withdrawn, alignments shift, it's the second down, 20th yard line with 50 seconds on the clock, and we watch because we all want to see someone who shouldn't be able to accomplish something win, we all want to see someone who's guaranteed to beat everyone fall on their face, we all want to think that our lot in life isn't predetermined and that willpower + reason (some prefer compassion) will set us free; BUT, we all don't want to think that if we become a sphere we'll actually be everyone; that maybe there's just one sphere, and identity is the very thing that keeps you from experiencing yourself as it in its entirety. You don't become someone else, or multiply yourselves, you become everyone else. Maybe disoriented and unable to steer. Unstuck - from time, from space, blithering under a bridge. Could be fun, but probably sucks.

According to my internal logic, you have to be good at _everything_ to escape from experiencing yourself as just a slice of the whole if your identity is derived from those things you're still bad at. But that's impossible. Some say you have to love everything: okay, can do. Those assholes out there aren't what's keeping me in this holding pattern. But what if you have to be able to _do_ anything? Tougher proposition.

I'm saying all this to procrastinate. I have to get out my graphing calculator now, and reboot my junior year of high school again. :( The more you obsess over having novel experiences and thus run off without finishing things, ironically the more repetitive things get. >:[ I wish these circles of Hell were labeled for my convenience; this must be mathabaddon.
Saturday, July 9th, 2016
12:00 am
I've been trying to get back in shape, so when no one was looking I actually tried wind sprints. My version is to walk a ways, run flat out until I can hardly breathe, walk a ways, repeat. I'm not sure I can bring myself to do it when anyone's around, though. When you are slightly round and jiggly the whole procedure feels like being a wobbly, panting kinetic sculpture. I recommend the song Rose by A Perfect Circle for it, though.

Today I swam a mile without stopping. It took an hour, but no one else was in the pool so I couldn't resist. Perhaps you're sensing a theme. Yes it's true, I like to be alone when I'm getting my cardio on.

Also I found out to my horror that I couldn't even do one pushup, so I'm working on that. I can do ten on a foam pad, but just two bad ones on the hard floor. :/ You guessed it: I was not in public for that.

Oh, also, I found out something else was due yesterday and I missed the deadline! But I got an extension and did it today. I told the teacher I was sorry I lost track, but my other class is brutal: I feel like I accidentally signed up for math BUD/s. I sensed that he was amused.
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