Saturday, March 06, 2010

Lately I think a lot about existentialism and feminism--particularly the Beauvoirian concept of Other, and immanence vs. transcendence. I wonder a lot about how to not be Other. Fashion, architecture, and cooking are interesting to me because they are inherently involved in immanence, but can become art--maybe, become projects of transcendence?

In dance they talk about something called spatial intent. It's used to describe a movement that really claims the space in which it takes place, where it's clear what the dancer's intentions are with regards to the place in which they are confined. I think life is the same way; maybe it's the passion we have as we approach the space we're confined to--even these inescapable projects of immanence--that makes everything worthwhile, or not.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I am tired.

I walked nine miles today. It's good to know I'm not lazy; I love exercise too much to accept that of myself. Whatever I'm avoiding when I put off work, it's not exertion.

Lately my treadmill keeps saving me. Sometime early in the day, I'll start having that caving-in feeling--like I've collapsed in on myself, and whatever remains at the center is emanating darkness. It's a bad mood to get stuck in, worse because once it properly sets, you feel guilty even talking to people--don't want to burden people, or contaminate them. My instincts are all pretty self-destructive at that point. I want to drip sweat in my sixty-degree living room, muse or propaghandi blaring at full volume, push my body till it breaks.

It never works that way, though; melodrama folds to reality. At first there's a sense of action, that at least I'm doing something about those desires--then a sense of accomplishment as the miles tally higher, I push my body harder--and finally, exhaustion takes the edge off of everything and I begin to lay plans for my day. There are papers to write, boys to kiss, classics to read and recipes to make. Maybe there's a revolution to fight. I have a garden to plan. There is today, and there is tomorrow.

Sometimes I wonder if I should leave Utah, or even just Utah county. I'm happier here than I've ever been--I pretty much assume places are places and people are people--but maybe somewhere else really could be different. Better. . . better for me, more likely to find people who could be good friends for a psycho like myself. It's quite possible that this was all about my abrasiveness, but I did somehow manage to loose all of my Mormon friends when I became communist. I'm really glad my family stuck around through it till they were able to see where I was coming from.

From an empirical standpoint, this state has some of the highest rates in the country for suicide, depression, rape, plastic surgery, and jello consumption. It makes me sad--I want to think better of Utahns.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

One of my new years resolutions was to spend less time planning and more time doing, so when I made a to-do list today, it was the first one in months. It was strikingly short--less than twenty items. Usually, my habit has been to have giant lists that I couldn't ever practically complete. That way I can feel overwhelmed and guilty about not getting anything done, but also justified in whatever I did spend my time on, because it was on the list. Without a list, I just have to focus on getting done what's most important.

It's a useful, forces me to simplify and live in the present. I exercise, watch films, write, do housekeeping (cooking, cleaning, repairs, gardening, etc.), keep up with one class at school, visit friends, and work--and that's all. I'm occasionally amazed at how little I feel like I've gotten done each day, but over all, but there's something peaceful about it. Sometimes time management is complicated; sometimes the trick is to accept that you're already doing what you should.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A long time ago, a friend of mine pointed out something really insightful; you don't want to be part of the noise. Noise is all of that stuff that was good enough to get published, yet isn't actually good--it's just more words. We have a lot of words. In fact, we have a lot of spectacular words that we're always claiming we don't have enough time to read, and few of us ever do. It makes sense to be worried about contributing to the over-all crappiness of the literary landscape.

I've been thinking a lot about the decision to go to every-day posts. It necessarily lowers the bar for content, and I'm sure looses a lot of my audience. However, the new approach is to write a lot about the things that are important to me--not the things I think ought to be important to me--and in the long run this is bound to pay out.

Don't get me wrong; I'd never want to see a book printed that wasn't worth the paper, and I place a high value on trees. However, to do anything well, you've got to do it badly. Sometimes progress is worth the noise.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I think it's time for some good old-timey emorific confessional. Also, I'll be returning to earlier allusions, which would give me some kind of literary dignity and structure if I weren't so half-hearted about it.


1) At the moment, I'm probably more of a feminist than a Marxist. Don't get me wrong; if I could choose to flip a magical switch and end gender oppression or end class oppression, I would end class oppression--hands down, no questions asked. . . but it would be like shooting myself in an artery. Possibly I just lack discipline, but I find it really hard to think about class struggle when a)I never feel safe, and b)I'm not sure that class struggle can resolve a lot of the sexist-oppression-related problems I see going on around me, and c) a lot of the guys involved in this treat me, and other women, poorly.

2) I have no idea how to modulate my responsiveness to the opinions of others. Witness the attention-whoring currently in progress.

3) As we speak, I am halfway through a volunteer task I'm undertaking for the dems in Utah county. . . yes, I know. The anarchists may now proceed to throw their tomatoes. You see, it's nice to interact with non-radicalized people who care enough to do something, and I'm interested in the campaign experience. Also, if they manage do accomplish anything about the local air quality, it will have been more than worth it.

Actually, I think I might be an anarchist. . but that's a story for another day.

You didn't think this new blog style meant I was going to avoid politics entirely, did you? How silly.

Monday, March 01, 2010

One challenge is that I'm all packed full of socially unacceptable emotions.

Real happiness, whatever you take that to mean, is obviously good fortune and arguably good skill, but people forget that sadness is also good luck. Not everyone can afford sadness. Like my friend isha-bear; tense and bitter and ironic and tired, and almost entirely focused on Now Lets Keep Surviving, have a little fun if and when we can. Worry about that emo shit later. Like never, that could be good.

When you can't handle the sadness, there's bitter, angry, and numb. I mostly shoot for numb; better than bitter or angry, right? Soma please. Excessive food, or no food, television, someone else's problems, elaborate plans for the future that I will never follow through with. Exercise used to be good--exhaustion is unreal happiness. Numb can be much more functional than sad.

Numb is more socially acceptable, too. Sad makes people horribly uncomfortable; you have to at least try to hide it, maintain the charade, or they'll feel like they ought to do something for you, like it's their job to fix it. It isn't--it really, really isn't, but for some reason almost no one will act like that, even if deep down they do believe it.

I wish we permitted honesty and company at once; I'm tired of numb.

Also of sad and lonely, but one step at a time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday night I went to the symphony and the waffle house with marx-beard,* and it was perfect. . . or, closer to it. I mustered courage to talk about something other than labor organizing, feminism, or philosophy. He told me about his negative-trait-blind parents, and I told him about my big new project to learn how not to scare people.

This is a goal, see; my quest is to travel into Mordor and obtain social skills. No more hiding in my room and eating gram-crackers to avoid roomates; no more running out of, or on, friends; no more mortally offending people and not being able to figure out why. Time to become socially self-sufficient.

So. . . honesty, kindness, and a certain degree of openness, and down the rabbit hole.

* notice how I'm now using clever satirical names for all my friends? It gets better. just wait.