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Topics - Cainad (dec.)

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31
Literate Chaotic / Thoughts on Reading
« on: July 31, 2010, 04:47:41 pm »
I've noticed a fair few people, myself included, express a frustration with their reading habits.

"I used to read a lot, but I jut don't seem to enjoy it as much anymore."

If you're anything like me, you likely lost your reading habits because you started doing other stuff. School or work started taking up loads of time and mental energy. Or maybe you just started to fill your free hours with something else, like video games, tv, or internet. Whatever happened, you suddenly found yourself putting books down partway through and not picking them back up. Reading became a chore.

This thread is about ways to deal with this problem.


I've had some success with the "brute force" method. If I find that I'm not reading for pleasure anymore, I read anyway. Force it down until you've re-acquired your taste for it.

Read stuff that's relatively easy. Pick a guilty pleasure sort of book or something that you read back when you still enjoyed reading. Harlequin romance, dorky sci-fi, cookie-cutter fantasy novels, mysteries, whatever. I know that for a while I was on a non-fiction binge, which eventually killed my ability to enjoy reading until I rediscovered the joys of Terry Pratchett and the like.

Don't try to choke down some really dense classic if you're picking up reading for pleasure up again after a long break. You want something that will give your brain lots of cheap and easy rewards, so that your brain develops a "reading = fun" connection in place of a "reading = work" connection.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

32
The little gear bit that goes on the turning peg thingy:



One on this guitar is missing. What is called, so I may acquire a new one? Or do I have to buy a whole new thingamabobber 'cause you can't get new whatsits for this kind of doohicky?

Please help. It's the only way to alleviate the 12-inch Horrorstache that's suddenly sprouted on my face.

33
Fruit is fucking awesome. It's all growing on trees and shrubs and shit, and you can totally just leave a fruit-bearing plant in your backyard, never do any work (except the initial planting if you don't already have one), and BAM it'll give you a bunch of awesome fruit FOR FREE.

HOW COOL IS THAT?

If you're really hardcore, you can grow shit like cantaloupes and watermelon in a garden but that's work so screw that.



MANGOES FUCK YEAH

Eat these sweet bitches straight (gotta slice 'em up though 'cause the skin and seed are some nasty shit) or make a delicious-as-fuck mango chutney to smear all over your boring-ass chicken, and possibly you or your significant other's tits if you're into that.

34
Or Kill Me / Someone turn down the damn noise
« on: June 17, 2010, 04:19:35 pm »
I can't do it. I can't bloody do it.

Maybe I'm too dumb, too illiterate, or both. Maybe I should have taken the full-semester course rather than the short summer course. Maybe I would do better if we were reading the novels; The Stranger and The Seducer's Diary and whatnot.

All I know for sure is that trying to read Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Camus fills me with a deep, unrelenting loathing that makes me feel nauseous and makes me want to hurl the book across the room, preferably into a fire. And based on this I'm pretty sure Sartre and Hiedegger will make me feel the same way.

The study drug doesn't help. All it does is give me the ability to peruse multiple pages of nonsense before giving up in disgust, rather than a single paragraph. Even the lectures, which used to be my only way of understanding anything, are failing to penetrate my thick skull. All I see is page after page of shit, horrible bullshit that means nothing to me and is worth even less. It's so much fucking noise, and only Nietzsche comes close to being tolerable because at least he seemed to have a notion of what a joke the whole venture is.

What truly burns me though is the knowledge that by taking this class and paying tuition, I am supporting an institution which exists for precisely one purpose. That purpose is allowing airheaded rhetoriticians to make a living by writing 200-page treatises on subjcts of exponentially increaing irrelevance using poorly defined terms and inexcusably vague generalities, and babble on with other such airheads on these subjects in a neverending game of trying to prove to each other how clever they are while drinking coffee in the morning, liquor in the afternoon, and smoking cigarettes.

Like I said: probably just too stupid or too unprepared for the class.

35
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRbcl4zG3LQ

I make a vow, right here, right now, that I will watch the next ten videos posted ITT all the way through (one video per poster!).

Your fucking worst. Do it.

36
Or Kill Me / Gone Dull
« on: May 29, 2010, 10:26:40 am »
I've lost my edge. I used to have a knack for writing, and now it's gone. Words would just flow from my fingertips onto the screen; neat little ideas spun into verbal abstractions that other people could pick up and experience if they liked. And not to brag, but they did like, even if I never thought they were worth much. I've had friends and teachers who mistakenly thought I would pursue a career as a writer. Even though I never cared for what I wrote, I'd give a lot to be able to do it again.

It all disappeared when I stopped taking brain pills. Adderall, the awful stuff. On it, I was an efficient, angry, and productive machine. Ideas crystallized rapidly and beautifully inside my head, and I had to let them out lest they crack my skull from the inside. I almost never had to draft, and barely even had to proofread. The thoughts would form with such clarity and precision that no real process came between my brain and the blank page except for that of my fingers moving to touch the keys or move the pen. Some of my best crap took less than an hour to write.

I was angry, intense, and someone very close to me didn't care for it. After a while, neither did I. Everything could be going perfectly well, and I'd still be angry. I'd force a smile to put others at ease and try to remind myself that everything was just peachy (because it usually was), but within a few moments I'd return to a scowl and terse language. Adderall put a sharp, clear focus on everything–too sharp. I started taking it less and less for the sake of, ironically, my mental health.

Now it's all gone, no more. Everything's all soft and muddy, and sometimes I'm even able to reach a state one might call "calm" on a semi-regular basis. Ideas and thoughts in my head are softer and squishier than they were, and have a habit of oozing out on their own without needing me to write them out of my head. But I can't write anymore, and soon I will be in a situation where I'll be surrounded by very few friends and I will have need of a sharp mind that is efficient to the point of viciousness. Looks like the Old Me might be making a comeback to PD.

37
http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=269571&town=Southampton&n=STONY%20BROOK%20UNIVERSITY%20WILL%20ANNOUNCE%20DRASTIC%20CUTS%20TO%20STONY%20BROOK%20SOUTHAMPTON

 :lulz: :lulz:

STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY WILL ANNOUNCE DRASTIC CUTS TO STONY BROOK SOUTHAMPTON
Quote
Stony Brook University officials are proposing to slash spending on Stony Brook Southampton, effectively reducing operations at the 81-acre Shinnecock Hills campus to two buildings and pulling the plug on most of the programs offered there, in order to save money, according to local politicians.

The proposal comes just four years after Stony Brook University purchased the campus for $35 million from Long Island University, and invested tens of millions of dollars in an effort to transform it into a center for sustainability and environmental studies.

In a closed meeting at the Stony Brook University’s main campus on Tuesday afternoon, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. discussed the proposal with New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, according to Mr. Thiele and Mr. LaValle.

Mr. Thiele, who along with Mr. LaValle was instrumental in convincing the state to provide the money to acquire the college, described Stony Brook University’s expected announcement as a “breach of faith.” In the same press release issued Tuesday evening, Mr. Thiele said Stony Book University officials “are taking the substantial goodwill created by Stony Brook on the East End in the last five years and flushing it down the toilet.”

As per the proposal, the Shinnecock Hills campus will remain open, but will no longer house students starting this fall, and the academic programs offered there would be reduced to marine sciences and a graduate degree in writing, according to Mr. Thiele. The campus currently offers nine undergraduate majors, along with the graduate degree in writing.

The 500 students who currently attend the satellite campus, which is operated as a quasi-seperate entity from the main campus, would probably be absorbed into the main campus, according to Mr. Thiele.

Mr, Thiele also said that most of the facilities at the campus, including the library, student center and dormitories, would be shuttered under the current plan.

Immediately after the meeting, Mr. Thiele said he expected Stony Brook University officials to announce that their decision is final within the next 24 to 48 hours.

“I was left with no indication that they intended to consider other alternatives,” Mr. Thiele said.

Representatives from Stony Brook University, as well as Mary Pearl, the dean and administrative vice president of Stony Brook Southampton, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Stony Brook University underwent a change of leadership this summer, when Dr. Stanley, formerly the vice chancellor for research and a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis, took the reins from Shirley Strum Kenny, who retired after 15 years of service. Stony Brook Southampton was purchased under Dr. Kenny’s leadership.

In the last 18 months, New York State has handed down more than $500 million in cuts to the State University of New York System, $33 million of which have been passed on to Stony Brook University, according to Mr. LaValle, who also spoke out against the proposal to make drastic cuts at Stony Brook Southampton.

Mr. Thiele said that Stony Brook University estimates it will save $6 million per year by cutting back programs offered at Stony Brook Southampton.

Five years ago, Long Island University, the original owners of the campus, were proposing to close the college and sell the land to developers. An outcry from the community, and the help of local politicians, thwarted that sale and set the stage for Stony Brook’s acquisition of the campus.


38
Or Kill Me / Very short rant about America, its wars, and its kids
« on: April 06, 2010, 02:42:30 am »
They told us we needed to save American lives. They told us there were people in that place over there who did bad things to us and we needed to go over there and punish them, and it was true, for the most part.

But the Bad People weren't enough, so they told us about more bad people being over in that other place. It wasn't really true but it was for the good of the Empire, so it was worth it. Now they've spent all the money on fighting those wars, spent all the soldiers too. So they made it up to all the kids by giving them an extra weekend day as a way of saying "Sorry we ruined your future."

So now these kids can grow up learning about the Great American Freedom Campaign in that part of the world that they can't find on a map because they cut Fridays and lopped off the 12th grade so they could get out and join the party sooner.

39
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk2vR8w2sjc


I've seen worse things on the internet. Far, far worse.

But this is pretty damn bad. Watch all the way to the end; they saved the absolute best part for last.

40
Discordians, especially PD.com-flavored Discordians, are notorious for disagreeing with each other about pretty much everything, up to and including the details of the pseudoreligion that they are nominally all members of (in some sense). Whether Discordians should stick apart or organize for greater hilarity, whether or not Eris should be thought of as an actual deity, or whether or not to pray to Her, and all sorts of things that the PD itself likes to be ambiguous about (and even when it's not ambiguous, a Discordian is supposedly forbidden from believing what he reads, so...); all this and more are up for grabs in a theoLOLgical Discordian discussion.


But one thing that I have never seen challenged in my time here is the notion that Everything (capital "E") is Chaos (capital "C"), and that Order and Disorder are illusions created by our own pattern-seeking minds.

When I first read the PD, this seemed self-evident. But I am no longer in that headspace, and now I wonder why we never argue this point. It's often used to back up another argument, and frequently used to clear up ambiguity about when something should be described as "chaos" or as "disorder," since the two are often used interchangeably among people who don't share our fucked-up worldview.

Not sure where I was going with this, but it's something that's been squatting in my brain for a while and it won't go away. I guess I'm just not comfortable knowing that there's something Discordians have yet to argue about; gotta poke it with a stick, you know?

41
Relevant posts from the Today I Learned thread (starting with this post):

Today I learned

Or re-learned

That I am very tired of being a novelty.

How are you a novelty?

- "look guys what a funny novel friend I made last week, she's small cute looks a bit like an angry eskimo and has a nose ring"
- "OOOOOOOOOOoooooooooO000Ooo can I feed her?"
- "well ... okay, but NEVER feed her kalamara olives after midnight!"

:?

I think that may be closer to the mark than you think, if I understand Nigel correctly. Sometimes people who act like they want to be your friend are secretly Normals with a desire to spend a little bit of time with a novelty Weirdo before going back to what's "safe."

Yeah. That's how a lot of my dating life used to go, when I still bothered with the damn thing.

"Oh hey, she's cute. And really different from what I'm used to. That's fun! And hey, she's comfortable with her sexuality. That's really neat! Oh man, she's exposing me to all these weird new experiences and ideas! She's so quirky and unique!" But then after a little while, they get bored of quirky and unique and new experiences and want to settle back down into normal. Except that this IS normal. They want THEIR idea of normal. So then you end up getting ditched. It goes from REALLY HOT (newness exciting shiny etc) to fleeing pretty quickly, sometimes.

I would hypothesize that is what Nigel means, and if so, she probably has it to a greater extent than I do, because I think she's more quirky and unique and artistic and whatnot than I am, so she probably gets it more intensely.

It's like the cliche in all those indie films about the Manic Sexy Pixie Savior thing whatever. Where some "crazy" girl comes in and saves the introspective, emotionally fragile male main character and brings life back into his, well, life (usually through sex and all her CRAAAAAAAAAAZY antics!) but then their relationship is doomed and she dies or leaves him or turns out to be a psychotic or something, and he moves on with his normal life, but feels re-energized thanks to her quirky ways. He is now a more interesting person, whereas she is a discarded freak, an objet d'art from the extreme of the spectrum, who has no place in his nice normal world. She was a learning experience, if you will.

This sounds so much angrier and more bitter than I intend for it to. I'm honestly just amused by that trope, not angry about it, so apologies if this comes off the wrong way.

That said... Nigel, anyone who sees you as a novelty should be punched in the face with a railroad spike.

Today I learned

Or re-learned

That I am very tired of being a novelty.

How are you a novelty?

- "look guys what a funny novel friend I made last week, she's small cute looks a bit like an angry eskimo and has a nose ring"
- "OOOOOOOOOOoooooooooO000Ooo can I feed her?"
- "well ... okay, but NEVER feed her kalamara olives after midnight!"

:?

Basically something like that. Straight guys or girls like my ex, who think they're "edgy" or "alternative" because they wear funny clothes and/or like the art/music scene and/or open relationships and/or dick meet me and think "oooh, cute eccentric girl! Look how funny she is, with her quirks and cones and lard and her thing about some obscure Greek goddess! This will make my life fun and exotic and cool." But they don't actually GET anything, and since actually at the end of the day they want to go home to Tami with an i and not really be challenged and gradually start to realize that it's 24/7 and not just a new kind of hipster, I start to grate on them. Because I'm still awake making something that's not even serious in Photoshop, and I am seriously going to leave those fucking cones on my roof FOREVER. And maybe, just maybe, I really am going to wear a moustache to a party, and fuck, how embarrassing is that? Plus the weird shit on my walls. It's funny at first, but it's so cluttery, and am I really going to leave that up for the dinner party?

They're like TGRR's perverts... just because they're perverts doesn't make them freaks. They just think freaks are so cool, you know, so they want a pocket one to take to parties. For a while. Or, sometimes, they have a whole STABLE of them they rotate through and invite to parties. You gotta check this chick out, man; she's such a trip.

But I'm starting to recognize it in advance, and learning how to cut it off at the pass. I will not be collected. Like a goddamn Beanie Baby.

For the record, neither Pinecone nor Mario ever treated me like a novelty. Because they are both also freaks. They get it. You get it. I just need to stick to my people. I'm lucky to have some.


This seems to be a common theme in the lives of several of us, and I put it here in Or Kill Me because I think it's something worth ranting about.

We like to talk, and complain, about the Normals, the Machine, the cabbages, and the Greyfaces... but honestly, true Greyfaces are rare in my experience. Even the dullest twerp I've met needs at least a little tiny bit of the weird and novel in his or her life. Just enough to keep them alive and feeling like a warm body. That's what we're here for, at least in their estimation. Weirdos are for keeping in neat little boxes, to be taken out and played with for a little while and do tricks before going back in the box so we don't dirty up the nice new couch.

Or so they think.

The Weird do not take well to being contained. The Normals, the cabbages think they can have us piecemeal because we are easily ignored. This is untrue; we just tend to leave them alone because they bore the everloving shit out of us most of the time. They take us for granted, and when they find out the hard way that we don't have an "Off" switch, they freak out. It bothers them and makes them uncomfortable to know that we don't ever STOP being so weird, that our tricks and quirks and funny little ways of doing things are not just for amusing people at parties, but rather that we actually live that way, and we like it.

This is why I love the friends I have, and don't bother with people who flake. I'm friends with people who give me a run for my money when it comes to weirdness, people who see reality in such bizarre and shifting ways I can't help but be enchanted by them and call them my kin. Where the Normals laugh nervously and pull back, I tear up with joy and seek to embrace the weirdness in front of me. And it's only going to get stranger as the years go by, I'm sure of it.

42
...and I thought I'd share a brief version of one of the stories she relayed to us from there:

Quick background: My mom is a medical doctor in the US Army

She was invited to spend a day at a girl's orphanage by the director/doctor of the orphanage, since it is much easier for a female doctor to give a proper examination and treatment to girls and young women in their culture. She went wearing a white headscarf and without a weapon, since firearms frighten the children.

She realized that in addition to the gender issue, the real reason the director of the orphanage wanted my mom there was to show "his girls" what a woman can grow up to be in this day and age. It's a great concern, especially for the older girls, whether or not higher education made one unfit for marriage and motherhood; my mom was there to show them it didn't as much as she was there to treat them. She showed them that she had two sons who were both "this tall," and they laughed; "taller even than you, Doctoress?"

As she left, she was told that at least three of the girls were eagerly talking about becoming "doctoresses" or nurses.


I really, really enjoy being related to the people in my family.

43
Or Kill Me / The Worms and Their Little Blue Pills
« on: November 08, 2009, 08:09:03 pm »
There are worms in my brain. I don't know when exactly they got in there, but they've been there for quite some time now. My thoughts flow through the tunnels the worms have burrowed through my gray matter, and they themselves sometimes carry my thoughts around. But these worms are not very efficient for my purposes, partly because they squirm around randomly and partly because they have no goal in mind towards which to work efficiently.

Of course they have nothing in mind, they're worms, damn it! They are what's in my mind; pay attention to the metaphor!

Anyway, the workings of the worms are not conducive to getting things done. Trying to direct them so that my thoughts flow smoothly and directly towards a certain goal is like, well, it's like trying to herd a bunch of damn worms. They don't pay attention to anything but wriggling and burrowing. But that's what the pills are for, these little blue pills.

The pills do something I've never been able to do: they force the worms to line up in neat little rows and march in time to the tune of whatever goals I set. How worms can be made to march without feet I don't know, but they're marching all right. In spit-shined jackboots, no less. With the pills controlling the worms, I become a machine. A powerful, efficient machine that runs smoothly as a dream on lubricated bearings. The pounding march of the worms makes sure the trains of my thought all run on time, and the jackboots stamp out errant or unwanted thoughts with hardly a sound. For a few hours, everything runs better than ever before, better than it should. For a few hours, I am effective. Then the pills wear off.

When the pills start to wear off, I can't keep the worms in line anymore. But the damning thing is that they keep on marching around in jackboots. With no more rhyme or reason guiding them they stomp all around my brain, trampling everything and my trains of thought go flying off the tracks. I become the machine with half of its bearings taken out, rattling and screeching, performing its tasks with grinding, noisy hesitancy. Everything inside and outside my head becomes a disordered mess and I know that at any moment I might truly begin to laugh and laugh and laugh until I realize I'm screaming.

Finally, the jackbooted feet the worms never had in the first place wear off and they go back to wriggling and burrowing. I am no longer the machine, and I can rest until I need to be effective again.

44
Or Kill Me / Missing: One Child Prophet and a Wise Tiger
« on: October 31, 2009, 12:59:45 am »
You know who I miss the most? Calvin. I grew up with Calvin; he was always six years old but he was always older than me. He was a child sage, and I didn't always understand him but we had lots of fun together, Calvin, Hobbes, and I. He knew from the very beginning that school was there to beat his mind into shape, and he rebelled not only by outright refusal to be contained, but by shaping parts of his mind before those parts could be squeezed into public school molds. He knew, like all children know, what it means to have a good time, but he knew it consciously at such a young age. What's more, he laughed in the face of anyone who tried to tell him differently, right before dropping a water balloon on their head. Calvin knew the TV was there to satisfy the sweet tooth of the mind, and he let it work its glittering magic on him every once in a while, but it never really got to him. Partly, this was because he knew what exactly it was doing, and partly because of Hobbes.

I miss Hobbes too. Hobbes knew what fun was just as well as Calvin did; sometimes he knew it better. He was a voice of reason, but never too much reason. Just enough to keep Calvin from riding that wagon over too high of a cliff, just enough to make sure that chucking water balloons and snowballs was always more fun than the TV. Hobbes was there to put a jolt of Life back into Calvin's existence at the end of the daily public school slog.

But Calvin's gone now. I don't know where he went or what he does now, but I think he may have grown up. He probably didn't mean for it to happen; it probably snuck up on him when he wasn't looking. Once he grew up, he stopped really being Calvin, you know? And the worst part is, growing up was the only thing Hobbes couldn't save him from. Without the real Calvin, Hobbes is just a stuffed tiger, and without the real Hobbes, Calvin can't be the real Calvin we all knew. It took both of them to survive in this world, and if we had them here today they'd know how to deal with the ever-growing weirdness and sickness of our society and they'd show us all how it's done.

But one cannot exist without the other, and now they're both gone. Maybe if we could find them they'd tell us how to find Curly.

I sure do miss them.

45
Last night, my friend decided that my dozing off on the common area couch was not acceptable, seeing as the night was still very young. She retreated into her room and returned with a small chocolate-coated candy that contained the same amount of caffeine as two normal cups of coffee. Now, normally I'm not dumb enough to let my self-destructive impulses direct me to consume caffeine in the evening when I have class the next morning, but something about this friend brings out the worst in me.

Within fifteen minutes, I had bolted out of the building and climbed into a tree, jittering in quiet reflection of what an incredibly bad idea it was to eat that stupid candy. When they finally found me, she directed me to eat not one, not two, but THREE more of these infernal caffeine bombs. I don't recall a time when I have ever consumed more than four cups of coffee in a day, and now I've just had twice that much in the span of half an hour.

I spend the next hour or so jumping about the common area, providing entertainment as the drugged chimpanzee for my awful friends. After climbing on the pipes that line the ceiling ceased to be sufficient distraction, I attempted to hide in my armoire, insisting that there were leprechauns out there who wanted to eat my spleen. Of course I didn't really think that, so much as I was trying to convince them that I was in no fit state to interact with my fellow humans and should be allowed to twitch in peace. I was dragged out against my will and told to go bother a friend of mine across the hall who was trying to do a project for his biology class. I attempted to resist, but repeated insistence overcame what paltry defense I had against bad ideas. Also, it seemed like a funny thing to do at the time.

Now, my friend across the hall very quickly picked up on the fact that I was in a bad way, and placated me for a full five mintues by playing "The Sinister Minister" on YouTube on his computer while he spoke with my caffeine-pushing friend about what the fuck she had done to me. Once these five mintutes had passed, something snapped. I removed my shirt, took off my shoes and put them on my hands. I then burst out of the room into the common area, my bare torso and arms covered in bright red welts from the previous day's paintball antics, screaming "WHERE IS YOUR RELIGION NOW?! I AM YOUR GOD, AND THE WORLD IS MY CHURCH!" I graced their sinful, filthy beings with the cleansing touch of my divinely imbued hand-shoes before curling up in the fetal position on the floor, contented with my work.

When I finally was able to rise and walk about again, the friend I had come to disturb from his work said to the caffiene pusher, "Now is an appropriate time." The caffeine pusher nodded, looked me in the face, and she told me there was no caffeine in those candies.

I have never been so happy in my entire life.

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