12/30/2004 03:57:00 PM   [ link ]

part II: powerlessness.

It's so much easier to say "there's nothing I can do about that" than it is to actually do something about it. Why do I always want to take the easy way out? While trying to write this entry, I actually started thinking to myself "I don't know what to write for this one. I can't write about that."


New Year's Resolution #2: STOP BEING LIKE THIS.

12/29/2004 03:17:00 PM   [ link ]

part I: condescension.

Mike calls it the "WashU Syndrome". I explained to him that everyone at WashU grew up being told that they were extraordinarily smart. They were the high school overachievers, the valedictorians, the high scorers on SATs and ACTs. They are accustomed to having everyone around them expect that they will know the answers to things.

So what happens when you throw such a person in with a thousand others with the same credentials? A lot of people have trouble dealing with it. It's easy to feel insecure when you no longer stand out. It's easy to forget that the people around you are smart, probably smarter than you, and if you give them a long-winded explanation of something they will become annoyed and feel like you're talking down to them. And when you're on the flip side of that situation, and someone is giving a long-winded explanation to you, it's easy to become irrationally angry and defensive about it. "This person must think I'm totally stupid!" you think. "I KNOW that already," you snap at them.

By "you" in the previous paragraph, I really mean "me". I've been aware of this phenomenon for a long time, but for the majority of that time I could only see the problem in other people and not in myself.

New Year's Resolution #1: STOP BEING LIKE THIS.

12/28/2004 11:14:00 PM   [ link ]

ahh, family


(while making and decorating sugar cookies)
Mom: This one has a club foot!
Me (to Mom): YOU have a club foot!
Sister (to me): Your MOM has a club foot!

(following varying inciting statements from Mom, the scenario repeats itself several times)

Mom: You guys, what is with all these "your mom" jokes?
Sister: Oh come on, don't pretend like you've never heard "your mom" jokes before!
Me: And don't pretend like they aren't a million times funnier when one sister tells them to another sister!


(We are eating celery, and I find a stalk that has strange offshoots that look like upraised arms. I decide that the celery looks like it is trying to scare someone.)

Me (waving celery at my sister): woooOOOOOooooo!
Sister: (unimpresssed silence)
Me (waving celery at my mom): woooOOOOOooooo!
Mom: (unimpresssed silence)

(I pick up a paperclip and gouge eye and mouth holes in the celery.)

Me (waving celery at my mom):
Mom: Oh oh OH! It looks like one of those..... TREE THINGS from Lord of the Rings!!
Me (sighing): They're called ENTS, Mom.

12/28/2004 04:50:00 PM   [ link ]


You know what I hate? Using the word "accessible" to describe music. It's so ludicrously pretentious and condescending that I cringe every time I see it.

"I have a deep understanding of music, but you (the proletariat) are incapable of comprehending any music that is above a certain complexity. Therefore, in my reviews of music that I like, I shall be careful to label everything as either 'accessible' or not, so that you (the ignorant, unwashed masses) know whether you ought to even attempt listening to it. Also, I am better than you."


12/22/2004 04:21:00 PM   [ link ]

time for something new.

My 18+ months of playing with lasers will be over in May. In May I will be finished with my master's degree, and the funding that currently pays me to play with lasers will run out. I had always thought that the funding might continue a bit longer, and that I could put off joining the real world indefinitely.

So when I heard last week that more funding was something I "shouldn't count on," naturally I was terrified. "I might have to live on the streets in May!!" I thought, "Or worse, get a REAL job!"

So, I went to talk to one of my favorite professors and see if she had any funding for me. I was awfully intimidated. I had done well in her class, but had I done well enough to stand out? Had I done well enough to justify walking up to her and saying "will you please give me money to cover my tuition, rent, food, and all other expenses for the next 3-4 years?"

Apparently, I am good enough. In fact, it was much easier than I thought. All I did was mention my interest in the doctoral program, and she immediately talked at length about her research and stacked my bag full of papers to read. So, it seems like pretty much a done deal, barring some red tape and paperwork.

I'm gonna be a doctor! A doctor of computer graphics! And I don't have to worry about living on the streets anymore!

12/17/2004 10:19:00 AM   [ link ]

I will build a better one.

For the longest time, I was ashamed.

When I started this website, I was sad, but I felt justified about being sad. It felt normal, and I knew that I only needed time and cathartic writing and late night conversations in order to get past the sadness.

Later on, I was heartbroken again, only this time it didn't seem normal or justified at all. I felt stupid for caring in the first place, and I felt ashamed for still caring even after months had gone by. I stopped writing. It doesn't help to write about feelings that you are ashamed of. I wanted to hide my feelings from the world and pretend like everything was ok. Sometimes I did a good job of pretending, but mostly not.

So I kept my secret, but most of all I wanted to keep it away from him. Somehow, I felt like if he knew how much he hurt me, that would be the ultimate humiliation. But secrets are no good, and I've got to come clean.

You hurt me. How could you have pretended not to notice that I was falling for you? How could you in good conscience have waited so long to tell me that you weren't actually serious about me? How could you have been so cruel as to leave me with the hope that someday, when your life was a little less crazy, maybe then you'd want to be with me? You know, I always wanted to ask you "Is it that you don't want a serious relationship right now, or is it that you don't want a serious relationship with me?" But I never asked, because I already knew the answer and I didn't want to hear it.

I'm still embarassed about all of this. Part of me secretly hopes that he will never read it. God, how crazy and unstable must I sound? But it doesn't matter, because the only way to stop being ashamed about how I felt for so long is to come clean.

I decided a year ago that I wanted to be happy again. 8 months ago, something clicked and it actually started working. 5 months ago I fell in love. All that's left now is a lingering shame that once, a long time ago, I gave my heart away foolishly, and it took me far too long to prevail against my heartbreak. It's time for this old dusty skeleton to be banished; I don't want it poking its bony finger into the happiness I've built for myself. I'm not gonna let it fuck things up.