Friday, December 26, 2008

GoW: New Members Not Welcome

So, I tried to join a discussion in #writers tonight. I was invited by Nadnerb a while ago so that I could listen to the discussion, mostly because I've been planning to start modeling in Blender for a while now, and I finally have some free time. He invited me about 24 hours before the discussion in that I will talk about.

I heard in CC that there was an argument going on, so I dropped into #writers to listen (or rather, I unlurked). *argue argue argue* Not being affiliated with the GoW, or any other writing groups, I had never heard in detail and/or paid attention to the politics. Within five minutes I could tell that BAD was in charge and held his rule with an iron fist, and that hoikas was BAD's little sidekick. I could also tell that Paradox was on the opposite side of BAD (ie: not GoW, but I had heard vague mentions of this beforehand). Zrax also made it pretty clear that he wasn't in total agreement with BAD. I couldn't tell where Kato stood.

*argue argue argue point fingers call names Paradox how dare you bring in your little toadies to this chatroom (as if RIUM and I would come because Paradox called and not of our free volition)* So, me, being one who always speaks her mind, decided to pipe up. Essentially, it went something like this (not quoted): "Guys, knock it off...this is the exact reason why I don't do anything more than chat in CC with this community...none of you guys get along, all of you guys argue. BAD, you're being an idiot, knock it off for one second. hoikas, please knock it off. paradox, you too, shush. Can you guys all step away from your computers for 10 minutes, take a deep breath, and calm down? And then we can talk rationally about this?"

How did BAD and hoikas respond? Hoikas muted the channel. Everyone was given voice. *EXCEPT ME*. BAD told me to stay out of it because none of this discussion was of my concern.

Wtf did I do to deserve this? I was trying to calm people down, listen to a (semi-)rational discussion... And the channel was muted on me.

And how do they know this is none of my concern? I am interested in possibly contributing to the GoW someday. Or at least, I was.

You can forget me ever joining the GoW. I will never support the GoW. If this is how they treat newcomers, no wonder they are such a niche, elitist group.

For those interested in reading the full transcript, it's posted on Paradox's blog here:

Friday, December 12, 2008

My New Blackberry Storm!

So I just got a new phone and it's a Blackberry Storm (give me a break, I would get an iPhone if I had AT&T, but I like Verizon too much). Anyways, I am playing around with it and I had the bright idea to try and write a blog post with it! This will totally be the shortest blog post ever. So far it is surprisingly easy to type on despite the fact that I am using my thumbs to do it. My only complaint so far is that the Blogspot text box doesn't resize for me to view on this little screen. Ah well. Anyways, I should probably get back to working on my MA thesis that's due in a week. I'll hopefully post more updates later!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Razorblade's Poetry

No, this isn't referring to cutting. That's the description someone put next to the song clip from Youtube that I'm about to talk about. I thought it was an interesting description of the song, although I'm sure they meant it in a different way than I mean reminds me of the aimless up and down picking of notes on the guitar.

I was thinking about life, and there's this one movie clip/song that reminds me of my life on a day-to-day basis. It's this clip from Pink Floyd's "The Wall". The song I'm talking about starts after the silence in the video when the boy stops running. It's called "Is There Anybody Out There?" You can start playing at 1:09 if you want to cut straight to the scene. At 2:18 the guitar starts playing two solitary notes, and at 2:29 it cuts to the scene from the movie that I always see in my head when I hear the song: a guy (whose name is Pink Floyd) is sitting on the floor of his hotel room obsessively arranging the broken pieces of his room into neat little piles and organizing the chaos into a weird pattern that would cause anyone on the outside looking in to think he's crazy. At 2:30 the guitar starts playing single notes from the A minor chord, first transforming it into an F major chord, and then an F# dim before going back to the F major chord, and finally the A minor chord where it strays for a little while, and then repeats. The scene ends at 3:31, but the song doesn't end until 3:52. You should at least listen until the end of the song.

Even though I know from watching the movie that the reason the guy is rearranging the room is because he just trashed it, and that the reason he just trashed it is because he's trying to feel something in the midst of his depression which eventually leads him to try committing suicide and thereby completing his butterfly-like transformation into an unfeeling shell of Hitlerian non-emotion, I don't quite see it that way. I see it as a lonely person coming home to a quiet house on an ordinary day, aimlessly tidying the place that no one but her will usually see, and generally organizing her life in pointless piles just for the sake of the pointless piles.

*shrugs*  I usually interpret things in a way that no one else does.

As a side note, I think I finally figured out that my cat meows when she wants attention...not that she never gets attention; she's just the most needy cat in the world.

"Old School" by Tobias Wolff

I bought this book a while ago. It must have been at a used book store because someone wrote on the inside in one part: a date for when Robert Frost died. "Born 1874 Age 87 1961". I picked it up off the shelf last night because I was drawn to it for some reason. My cat had practically knocked it off the shelf and it was lying askew, begging to be set upright. And it had been like that for days, but I chose to stand it upright last night, and instead, pulled it off the shelf and read the back cover:

"The protagonist of Tobias Wolff's shrewdly--and at times devastatingly--observed first novel is a boy at an elite prep school in 1960. He is an outsider who has learned to mimic the negligent manner of his more privileged classmates. Like many of them, he wants more than anything on earth to become a writer. But to do that he must first learn to tell the truth about himself.

The climax of his quest becomes intimately entangled with the school literary contest, whose winner will be awarded an audience with the most legendary writer of his time. As the fever of competition infects the boy and his classmates, fraying alliances, exposing weaknesses, Old School explores the ensuing deceptions and betrayals with an unblinking eye and a bottomless store of empathy. The result is further evidence that Wolff is an authentic American master."

I was drawn to the book because of its promise to be about a bunch of guys competing for literary greatness. Right now, I am in the midst of struggling against my own literary apathy, my feeling that I am unworthy to be at the grad school I'm attending, and the feeling of failure I have that I'll ever even finish my Master's thesis. Not to mention, it's November, which means that many people are struggling to finish NaNoWriMo. So, in some ways, it seemed the perfect book to read right now. I couldn't have been more wrong in many ways.

What I saw inside the book, is not a bunch of boys childishly competing for the right to sit with one literary great, but three: Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway. And what promised to be a book about many boys, turned out to be the story of one boy as he watched the others around him. He is on scholarship to a school which prides itself on being Ivy League: only the best of the best come there, and the best of the best is determined by name only. But mostly, it seemed like the boy was his own undoing. The rest of the boys didn't really seem to care about his name or his background, and if he was competing for anything amongst his friends, it was the right to be considered a good poet or novelist, nothing more. But instead of letting his own writing come from the heart, he wrote about things that weren't his. And he assumed his own literary greatness before ever setting a word to the page.

All-in-all, it was an interesting story and well-worth reading. I will decline to comment on the rest of the book in case anyone reading this blog also wants to read this book, but I'd be curious to know if anyone else has read it, and if they got the same feeling from the book as I did: that the boy was not as serious about becoming a writer as the back cover claimed him to be, and that really this was a novel about a specific person's thoughts and feelings, not about the whole school in general. In some ways, it reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger more than anything else.

As an aside, it also made me want to reread The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, although I am not sure if this would be a mistake or not. Her characters are so depressingly angular in their feelings, motives, and lifestyles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When "no" means no...

So, I was standing at the bus stop (my non-typical stop since I was heading to Scoops for some ice cream - I had a scoop of chocolate almond and a scoop of peanut butter cinnamon btw), and for some reason people were really talkative at the bus stop. It was almost unnerving. o.O First I had this *really* gay guy talking to me. And I mean gay. Like, stereotypical everything gay, who just rambled on and on about the fact that he was late to this "hoity-toity" party and how much it cost to get to West Hollywood from Santa Monica and the fact that he was 40 years old (but didn't look more than 30) and that he was the oldest person in his family, but his mother thought that he acted the youngest. On and on and on. I should've followed him onto the city bus...I would've gotten where I was going a bit faster, and hell, he was fairly pleasant to talk to, if a bit of a fast-talker who made you think "omg take a breath o.o ".

But compared to the next guy...oh man, I'd take fifty gay guys like that guy any day over the next guy. He was this black dude...walked a bit rough, so to me it seemed like he was from the ghetto. But his shoes were those shoes that'll cost you $200 or $300 and he was wearing a diamond earring in either just one ear or both ears (I don't remember) and he was well-dressed, even though it was a bit hip-hop gangsta to me. So, this guy only started talking to me because I glanced over when I was rocking out to Porcupine Tree's "Trains" and he asked what I was listening to. So I said Porcupine Tree, which I knew he didn't know before I even asked if he knew who they were. Then there was the inevitable conversation about "well, what music do you like?" I told him mostly rock (60s/70s, progressive, psychedelic, etc.) and alternative. He (big surprise) listens to hip-hop. So, blah blah blah...we chat a bit. Then just before the bus comes, he has the audacity to ask for my number.

Seriously, wtf is up with that? Why do guys always think that they can ask for a girl's number after talking with her for five minutes? Hello? Do you realize that I'm not some kind of object for you to drool over? Guys' intentions are rarely admirable, and even less so at a bus stop. Maybe if I met some guy reading very intently at a coffee shop or a library...but not a bus stop. How unclassy.

So, I told him no, that I didn't want to give him my number. He gets on the bus, and I think that is that. (I couldn't get on that bus because I had my bike and the bike rack was full, gee, what a surprise at 7:30 pm on a Thursday night.)

So I stash my bike on the next bus (which is right behind the first one), and happily get out my book ("Island" by Aldous Huxley) and start reading. My goal was to finish this book by tonight...I had no excuses with only 45 pages to go. Then, about 5 minutes later, when I am happily reading and listening to music, out of nowhere, here comes this black guy again. He switched buses claiming that the first one was too "full". I mean, it was, but still, wtf. That's a total lie. Go away I'm busy reading.

But no, he sits down and starts talking, blah blah blah. Worst part is that he lives closer to me than to my school, so he was on the bus for fucking *forever* preventing me from reading. Talking about how he liked reading stuff about dating for interracial couples and whatnot. Total BS. About how he was 24 (I doubt he was less than 30), from Memphis, Tennessee (dude, where's the southern drawl? I bet you grew up in LA...), blah blah blah. It was starting to just get annoying as fuck.

And then again, right before his stop, the inevitable question. You sure I can't have your number? How about I give you my number instead? Jesus Christ. I said no, did you not hear me the first time? Plus, it's fucking creepy when you're offering your number and you still haven't asked me for my name or introduced yourself. How many times do I have to say it? No, no, no, and NO. I am NOT playing hard to get. I really mean it when I say that I won't give you my number and that if you give me your number, I won't call. Gah. Fucker thought I was playing hard to get. You know, sometimes a no, really just means no...

Btw, yes I did finish my book (over vegan food). I'll have to post about it later (the tone doesn't seem to fit with a post ranting about commonplace things such as guys at bus stops).

Random Drawing

So, a student accidentally stapled a blank piece of paper into their homework. After looking at it for a second, I decided to draw a picture. Here it is!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No on H8, Repeal Prop 8

So, tonight I went to one of the many protests that LA has been holding which are protesting the passage of Prop 8. It was a very peaceful protest. Lots of general goodwill. Surprisingly, we didn't see a counter-protest, despite the fact that we circled the block right in front of a children's hospital. In fact, almost everyone cheered us. Cars honked and cheered as they passed (which ended up being quite a few since we walked from several miles away to the protest and back again). Even the police seemed to be supporting us (they had siren noises going off intermittently during the protest for no apparent reason other than supporting us). We were even cheered after the protest when we walked into this nice pizza place to get some food after the protest, which was awesome.

In general, it was a very satisfying night. We made the news yet again (national and local!), so we are getting good publicity. The word of our cause is out there, and hopefully we'll see some change soon.

Finally, a few of the best slogans we saw on posters (at least, the ones I can remember):

When do I get to vote on your marriage?
Equality: No on Poop 8
Chickens: 1, Gays: 0 (something to this effect was carried by a guy dressed in a chicken suit)
I'm okay with straight people as long as they act gay. (btw, this sign was carried by a straight guy)

There were also bicyclists walking their bikes in protest of Prop 8. I'm thinking I need to make some signs for my bike to show my support for the repealment of Prop 8.

So remember!

Equality for All!
No on H8, repeal Prop 8!
Gay, straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Isolation and Aloneness

Funny words to say, but English doesn't really have a good equivalent to something that means both "isolation" and "aloneness". The Spanish equivalent is "soledad", unless I've misunderstood how it's been used. However, the related word in English "solitude", lends a feeling of tranquility, and not of isolation.

So, all of this came up as I was reading Aldous Huxley's "Island". It's a great book, and I highly recommend it. Evidently it is his last work, and the one in which he elaborates on most of his philosophy that he has developed through the course of his life. But in it, it contains this quote:

"In solitude, for of course nobody can help, nobody can ever be present. People may stand by while you're suffering and dying; but they're standing by in another world. In your world you're absolutely alone. Alone in your suffering and your dying, just as you're alone in love, alone even in the most completely shared pleasure."

This quote struck me because at once my mind is agreeing and disagreeing with it simultaneously. In the depths of my depression, this quote made absolute sense, although the reference to being alone in love while sharing yourself with someone...cuddling and caressing them while simultaneously feeling so absolutely separate from them, seems to me to be the saddest thing in the world.

You may feel alone while you're suffering and dying. This is completely plausible to me. No one can understand what it's like to feel what you're feeling when you're in the depths of depression and honestly wishing you had the courage to kill yourself. Only another currently depressed person can even remotely begin to appreciate what it is like to have your mind wish to be dead while at the same time trying to fight with itself to stay alive. Although I cannot fully understand what this is like, I also imagine that it is equally isolating to be diagnosed with a deadly disease or condition and know that you only have a few months to live.

In death, one is truly alone, and no one may follow you there. This was made extremely clear to me last February when my granddad (my mom's dad) was in the hospital because a leaky heart valve that hadn't been diagnosed for over six months finally burst, and he was essentially waiting in the hospital for his heart to finally give out and for him to die. Sadly, he also went into the hospital a few days before his birthday. I had already planned to come visit him that weekend for his birthday, but instead of visiting him just to celebrate his birthday, it was also to say goodbye. The hardest part about the whole thing was that he wasn't ready to die. If his leaky heart valve had been discovered six months earlier, then maybe he could have undergone surgery for it. But now, the likelihood of him dying on the operating table was extremely high. So we could only just stand there by him and watch as he struggled to breathe and as he stated that he wasn't ready to die and looked scared. Considering that I had only been feeling a bit better from my depression for a mere two months, I found it all extremely symbolic. It scared me that someone who was just turning 82 could be that scared to face death, and even more so that they had no choice in the matter. I couldn't even imagine what he was going through for those couple of days when he realized that the hospital could only do so much to support him, and that he was going to die whether he was ready for it or not. By the time he finally passed away, he was at least ready to face it, but I don't think he was necessarily ready for it.

That experience left me with a very non-peaceful view of death. Yes, maybe death could be peaceful in that if you are lucky, you will pass away in your bed while you are sleeping one day when you are extremely old. But I don't think it necessarily happens that way. And the knowledge of upcoming death is extremely scary and isolating. There is nothing that anyone can say or do to make it better. Things are not going to be okay. Nobody can follow you wherever you are going, whether it simply be the ground, heaven, or another life. Death is a stopping point at which the living must leave you be and only the other dead await you (at least, if you believe that there is a heaven and that you don't just get put into the ground to rot, or reincarnate as another person or animal).

So yes, death is a truly isolating experience. But love?

Love is the one thing which you can share with another person. So it is beyond me how Huxley can claim that love is an isolating experience which makes you realize how truly separate you are from other people. If anything, it should be the experience or act that makes you realize how truly inseparable you are from someone. In which all the world should suddenly align and just make sense. Or even if it doesn't make sense, at the very least everything should be at peace.

It makes me sad to think that someone should feel alone in love. If that is the case, I don't think that can be called love. Maybe a gross perversion of love in a world where there is so much hate and sorrow and too little kindness and generosity. But it is definitely not how love should be.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I joined NaNoWriMo!

Oh god don't ask me why. >.< It's not like I don't have another NaNoWriMo project in the works (ie: my 50-page master's thesis due this quarter?). Ah well...maybe it'll help keep me motivated to work on my MA...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fun Stuff from XKCD!

My linux cheat sheet shirt:

My regular expressions skirt:

My Sudo Make Me A Sandwich(TM) shirt:


Monday, October 6, 2008

Suicide, Depression and Other (Not-So-Fun) Things

This is a blog post I've been thinking of writing for a while, and since I was just talking with someone about this, I figured what better time to do it!

So, probably everyone who knows me in Cyan Chat (CC) knows that I was pretty much suicidally depressed last summer. *yay fun!* And I got put on anti-depressants and whatnot *not so fun :(*. And I'm doing a lot better now, but depression/suicide still kinda fascinates me (probably always will because it's one of those things that I just don't understand unless I am in that mood).

So, I had it fairly easy, but there's this guy in my department who was talking to me today, and he basically said that he envies people who are not depressed because there has never been a day in his life where he has not been depressed. He was talking on the phone to his sister one day, and he was excited to tell her that he had spent the past four days *not* wanting to kill himself. I can't even imagine. I mean, I had those days last year, but the really bad days only came on the first two weeks I was on anti-depressants (I had a rapid-cycling mood to extremes of emotion for about two weeks) and the week that I decided to admit myself into the hospital a couple of months later so I didn't hurt myself. It's just about a year later, and I am proud to say that it makes me shudder that I would even *think* about killing myself. And I haven't had those types of thoughts since at least November or December of last year. Now, that was the first time *I* hadn't thought about killing myself since about sophomore year of high school, but I wouldn't consider it a daily occurrence. I only thought about it when I was feeling depressed, and my depressed periods would only last for a couple of months at most. So I was never even remotely as bad as the guy in my department, and thankfully I managed to get through it all and I'm still here.

However, the experience of being completely and utterly suicidally depressed has left me with some interesting views on life. (1) I guess I appreciate the good days oh so much more now because I can actually smile and say on some days that I honestly feel happy (today is one of my happy days actually...go figure that I'm writing a blog post about depression). (2) I think I appreciate my friends around me that much more because I wouldn't have gotten through those times without them. They helped remind me that things weren't always going to be like this, and provided me with moral support when I needed to heavily lean on their shoulder just to convince myself that it was worth living through another day. And finally, (3) I do not believe that suicide is a selfish act, nor do I believe that someone has the right to prevent another person from committing suicide if they are absolutely determined to do so, nor do I believe that someone has the right to say that you cannot commit suicide. It's the last point that I want to talk about because I think I differ dramatically from most people on this standpoint.

(In the following, I am using "I" as a matter of convenience, and not because I am suicidally depressed, nor is this blog post a cry for help of any sort, but a discussion on what my views are, and why I think they are so odd. I am sorry if this offends or disturbs anyone in any way.)

First of all, suicide is not a selfish act. If I am suicidally depressed, don't automatically assume it is because of you (my friend, my relative, my mom or dad, whoever). It is within me, and there is nothing you can do to change that. Most people (my mom included) have this idea that suicide is a selfish act. How can you be so depressed that you would want to kill yourself? And what about your friends and family that you leave behind? At that moment, I am not thinking about the friends and family that I might leave behind. I am concerned with the fact that living is so painful that I don't want to go through another day. I do not want to live my life feeling like every day is so painful that I just want it to all be over. It is torture to feel that. The worst thing in the world. Would you like me to torture myself just so that you can feel better about yourself?

Second, do not belittle my depression by asking me if it is a chemical imbalance or something wrong in my life. It doesn't matter where the depression is coming from. It is there. Whether it is my fault or not, I can't do much about it other than try to live through today and hope that I make it through tomorrow and slowly start to try to fix whatever may be the underlying cause. Likewise, do not assume that I am automatically irrational just because I am talking about killing myself. You'd be surprised at the rationality that is behind my mind keeping me alive while you stand there thinking that I am off my rocker and unable to deal with myself. You need to trust me sometimes that I am not going to kill myself if I say I won't. But likewise, do not assume that I am automatically okay if I say I am. It is a very fine line to walk.

Third, it is not your fault if I commit suicide. Suicidal thoughts are a cage from which the mind cannot escape. You cannot show me the door or hand me the key and expect me to unlock it for you. I have to do that for myself. Remember, I am the one who is depressed, not you. You can only be my moral support in a hard time and be there for me when I need you to be there. If you know someone who is depressed, this is the best thing you can ever hope to do for them. Show them that you care by just being there, and listening with an open mind no matter how much it hurts to hear them say how much they would rather not be alive. They need to talk about it. Keeping it bottled up is the worst thing you can do to them because they are already bottling too much up if they are as depressed as that. Make them feel as if they can tell you anything because that is the only way you will maintain an open dialogue with someone who is depressed.

Fourth, most people do not actually want to commit suicide. A suicide attempt is very different from a completed suicide. A suicide attempt is most likely a call for help. So is a suicide threat (saying that "I'm going to commit suicide if..." or "I want to commit suicide"). I need your attention, and I cannot figure out how to get it, so I try to kill myself. Do not automatically assume that I actually want to die. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. If I am telling you about it beforehand, it means that I really don't want to kill myself and I just can't figure out how to get through the next couple of days to a week or more by myself. Likewise, if I tell you that I want to commit suicide, take me seriously. The worst thing you can do is assume that I am joking. Suicide is never a joke.

As a random aside, you may hear someone who is suicidally depressed talking about "succeeding" or "failing" at suicide (or other things in life for that matter). If you are depressed, success and failure is everything. Accidentally forgetting to turn the stove off and burning your food is a huge failure. Having a cat who decides that the screen in the window is fun to play with and having the cat tear it down is a failure. Being late because you slept in too late because of your medication is a failure. Being late because there was an accident on the freeway that is out of your control is a failure. Very little is a success. One thing that can make you feel successful is actually completing a suicide act. Still being alive at the end of it is a failure. My psychologist and the people at the hospital tried to correct this belief of mine that killing oneself is not a "success" if you are attempting suicide. Honestly, I fail to understand why this should be a "failure" to commit suicide if killing yourself is what you are determined to do and you actually end up doing it. Maybe someone else can enlighten me who sees things from a non-depressed/never-been-depressed standpoint.

Fifth, you do not have the right to prevent me from committing suicide if that is what I have decided. If I find that life is too painful to continue, who are you to tell me that I am wrong? Would you like to be me for a day and discover if you can keep yourself alive if your mind is constantly telling you that you are a failure, that life isn't worth living, nothing is fun or even mildly enjoyable or tolerable, you don't want to eat, you don't want to drink, and you very simply don't want to exist? If I ask for your help directly by telling you that I need help, or indirectly by telling you that I plan to commit suicide before I actually do it, then by all means, please try to stop me. I want you to, underneath it all. If I didn't, I wouldn't have told you. If I just go ahead and try to commit suicide and end up failing because you walk in and call the ambulance, you are being almost cruel. I mean, it's possible that I timed it so that you would come home at that exact moment and prevent me from killing myself, but you shouldn't count on that being my intention. Shit happens.

Sixth, you do not have the right to tell me that committing suicide is wrong. My morals are not your morals. Maybe your religion tells you that suicide is a sinful act, or maybe you just plain think that no one should have the right to kill themselves. Who are you to tell me any different? You are not God, my Savior, my belief system, whathaveyou. You are just another asshole trying to tell me that my beliefs are inferior to yours. It is possible that because of your disapproval and others like you that I can't handle this world anymore and want to kill myself. (When you are depressed, it is impossible to see the good in people, and only possible to focus on the bad. The more bad things that you see, the more depressed it may make you feel, and so the cycle continues.)

With that, I end my exposition of why I think it is wrong to prevent someone from committing suicide, and my general advice for other people who know a suicidally depressed person. The following notes are for those people who are suicidally depressed coming from my experience of being suicidally depressed and some of the only things that helped me get through it:

(1) Hold onto your friends and talk to them as much as possible. Just knowing that someone is there can be a tremendous help.
(2) Find one thing that you can live for, no matter how small it is, and hold onto it with as much force as you can. For me, it was the guitar. When I sat down to play the guitar, no matter how I was feeling, it would usually make me calmer. And it was one of the few things that I honestly enjoyed doing somewhat, even on my worst days. (Although, I must admit that even the guitar couldn't help me sometimes...that is why you need to have other people.)
(3) Make a list of things that you resolve to do before you commit suicide. Believe it or not, delaying the act can sometimes work just long enough to make you change your mind.
-Go out and get some tea or coffee.
-Go visit some place that you've always wanted to go to and never have been to (after all, once you're dead you won't be able to do this anyways, so you might as well do it while you can).
-Stay away from home and in a public place if that is what it takes. Cafes are awesome for this, plus, what better way to spend a suicidally depressed day than sipping hot chocolate and listening to live music or watching random people work around you. If  you're daring enough, you might even start up a conversation with someone to take your mind off of things.
-Try not to be alone. I know depression and suicide make you want to be by yourself, but it is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Yes, sometimes you honestly need some time to yourself, but having company is never a bad thing.
-Resolve to never commit suicide at night. That is usually when I am the most depressed, so I figured if I wanted to commit suicide at night, then it meant nothing. If I still felt like that in the morning however, then I was in trouble.
-Resolve to always ask someone's permission before you actually commit suicide. As stupid as it might sound, this actually worked for me and it's the reason I didn't actually attempt suicide on the day I checked into the hospital. As contradictory as it might sound from my previous statements, no one is ever going to *let* you commit suicide. I don't care how busy they are. If you say that you want to commit suicide, then they will come over right away. If they don't, then why are you friends with them?
-Make a list of the people who love and care about you. If nothing else, it'll make you cry and if you can still feel anything, then you will feel sadness at the thought that you might hurt someone else. As odd as that sounds, I didn't give a crap about myself when I was depressed, but I couldn't bear the thought of hurting someone else like that.
-Make a list of things you can live for, or a list of things that you used to live for. Try to do any one of them, and see if it helps. If it doesn't, don't worry; just keep trying. You can never fail if you just keep trying.
-Anything else that you can think of, please try that. Even the smallest things can help.
(4) Smoke some pot. It almost always puts you in a good mood. Or at the very least it makes you eat. If it doesn't do any of those things, then you should probably get some help.
(5) If you have a pet, as morbid as this sounds, you might want to consider what would happen to you if you committed suicide and left the pet without any food or water.  <.<  They might love you, but they don't love you that much if they're starving to death. If you're absolutely determined to do it, at least put the pet outside or give it to a friend or call a friend to come over and get your pet later (after you're done killing yourself) and leave the key outside the door so they can get in. (Heh, sadly, this was one of the other main thoughts that kept me from trying to commit suicide. Go figure. I have a really morbid mind.)
(6) Don't try to commit suicide unless you actually plan to kill yourself. I think the worst thing in the world would be to lose the mobility in my hand because I cut my wrists, but didn't cut deep enough to bleed out before someone found me. Or to lose the functionality of my liver because I took too much tylenol, but not enough to actually kill me.
(7) If you're going to commit suicide, look up the right way to do it. Believe it or not, a bottle of Advil won't kill you, but a bottle of Tylenol just might (after a very lengthy, painful hospital stay of about two weeks). If you want to prevent yourself from committing suicide, then don't find out how to do it properly. You will most likely fail just by not knowing how difficult it is to actually kill yourself. If you already know the way you would commit suicide, then try to rid your house of those objects: the gun in your closet, the knives in your kitchen, the scissors in your desk drawer, the pills in your bathroom, etc. Whatever it is, give it to a friend and tell them to keep it. Or throw them away. It's amazing how much depression and listlessness can do to prevent yourself from killing yourself. Having the right tools on hand to do it, makes the process seem a whole lot easier and more inviting. Also, keep in mind that it's not when you're the most depressed that you're the most dangerous to yourself. It is when you are fairly up and active after being severely depressed that is the most dangerous time to watch out for.
(8) Don't count on someone finding you right away. Please don't time your suicide attempt to coincide with someone coming home and calling the ambulance, thereby preventing you from actually dying. What if they're delayed at work? What if they meet up with a friend to have drinks? Then you die, and they come home, realize that you meant for them to find you before it was too late...and oops. It's too late. You can't take it back, and they will feel guilty for the rest of their lives that they didn't just come home when they usually did.
(9) Don't be an asshole and take other people out with you. If you want to die, just kill yourself and have done with it. Leave life to those people who want to live it.
(10) Suicide is permanent. You cannot take it back. One of the worst things that could happen (in my opinion), is you attempt to commit suicide and realize halfway through that "oh shit, I don't want to die". But at that point it is too late and you pass out and die anyways.
(11) Remember that life isn't going to always be like this. One day it will get better, and you need to be prepared for it when it comes. (Unfortunately this last statement may not apply to everyone, but I think it can help most people in the short term. It was one of the other things that got me through some days.)

Anyways, that is my thought on the subject. I am sorry for disturbing everyone, but this blog post needed to get written at some point.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Biking and whatnot

I just rode my bike for the first time. I biked ~1.5 miles to the nearest Starbucks and back (I didn't get a drink because I didn't feel like one/didn't bring any money). It was immensely tiring getting there because there was a minor grade going uphill, but going back was super fast and easy because it was a minor downhill grade. It was also awesome because a random guy on the street talked to me saying how awesome bikes were and congratulated me on recently getting a bike (I told him this was my first trial run on my new bike). He told me to watch out for crazy drivers.  : )

In other random news, my cat is sitting on my lap while I am typing up this blog post, so I have to lean forward because I can't put my laptop in my lap. However, she hasn't really been this cute and purring and loving recently, so it's awesome.  : )

And this morning was awesome. I woke up still kinda sleepy, and instead of falling back asleep I decided to get up and read. Reading is something I used to do a lot more when I was younger, and not so much now even though it's still one of my favorite activities. I find it's hard for me to concentrate on one thing for such a long time...there's the distraction of the computer and people on AIM and me wanting to talk to people in general, so very rarely do I shut everything down and go have some time to myself to go do my own thing without someone else's read. Well, this morning I did for about 4 or 5 hours or so (I was reading a book by P.G. Wodehouse called "The Code of the Woosters" that Nisan recommended to me). I don't think I was reading completely consistently because at some point I got up to make breakfast and do other things, but it was still awesome and it started off my day completely right. Afterwards was when I decided to go ride my bike around for a little bit less than an hour and now I'm sitting here sleepily wondering what I should cook and thinking I should work on my MA. Although the sleepiness is making me want to put it off.  *shrugs*

Anyways, my rambling means I don't have much else to say, so I should probably stop.

*waves hi to the MystBlogs people who are seeing her blog for the first time*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Climbing trees and other things

So, yesterday I got to visit a couple of friends of mine, and we decided to go spend the day wandering around doing whatever we felt like and wherever the day happened to take us, which was absolutely awesome. It's been a while since I've just hung out with people and wandered around all day like that. It started off with going to a bookstore and buying four books: two recommendations that one of my friends gave me ("The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, and some book by a guy named Wodehouse, or something like that), one replacement for a book I used to have ("Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel García Márquez, in Spanish of course), and a book of short stories called "Ficciones" by Jorge Luis Borges. The Borges book was something that I should have had in my book collection, but for whatever reason I didn't (I discovered this recently while organizing and alphabetizing my library for the first time), nevermind the fact that I read lots of his short stories in high school for the Spanish AP exam. So I'm very excited to have new books, although I know that I don't have any bookshelf room for them since 7.5 40" tall bookcases evidently is barely enough room to house my book collection.

After the bookstore, we picked up our other friend and wandered over to the coast and found a straw maze to wander around in, which was kinda fun. It wasn't incredibly hard, but we had fun screwing around in it anyways. There were a couple rooms in the middle that looked exactly like another room further towards the edge, so that was confusing unless you noticed that there were either more doors in the side or purple flowers in one room but not the other. We even discovered a rotating door! And we also kinda scared this little kid by sticking our hands through the hay bale really quickly from the other side.

Then we wandered down the coast, stopped on a beach and watched the parasailors and continued on towards a local college that had this climbing tree. It's this tree that someone tied a rope and a rope ladder to and so you climb up this rope ladder and keep on going up the tree until you reach the top, about 300 ft up. Only one of our group went past the rope ladder (my other friend and I are scaredycats :( ) and he ended up climbing all the way up to this natural chair formed from the trunk and 7 branches extending outwards like a spiderweb. I've decided that one of these days I need to get up the nerve to go up that tree because it sounds amazing, especially if you go up around sunset so you can see the sunset from above the trees while the forest gets increasingly shadowy below you. 

All-in-all it was an amazing day and it makes me miss living up here.  :(

In other news, I got an early Christmas present today! Mostly because I decided I couldn't wait until Christmas, so I decided to go buy it now. It's a bike! I asked my mom for one for Christmas, but we're going to be up at my parents' retirement home during Christmas and I'm flying up there because there's going to be snow on the ground and it's going to be too hard for me to drive up there. So my mom was just going to give me money for it, and I decided that I'd rather have a bike now so it'll make my commute to school easier. So whee!

Life is good and very exciting.  : )

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No one ever takes "vaaht" when I sign up for things...

Did you ever have a name that is never taken when you sign up for things? Well, I do. "Vaaht" is available on almost everything, unless I've signed up for it and forgotten the password (like on Skype). It's actually quite awesome, as a consider Vaaht as good as my real name.

Anyways, I have a blog! As if I didn't have one before...but I have a blog! And hopefully it's much cooler than my old Xanga blogs which I refuse to update anymore. Hopefully less whiny as well.

Anyways, I figure I should write a first post so something comes up when you click on my blog. I really don't have too much to say right now...

I've been working on my MA and generally off the computer lately, partly because I've been at home, and partly because I've been so busy. School starts this week, so that should be cool. I'm TAing Intro Linguistics (whee! students who don't care about linguistics, or in general give a shit about anything!). Ah well. I'm also taking a guitar class (this week is the third week of class), so that's awesome. I'm also currently in the market for a bike, and I think I found a cheap one at Target that I want to get. I also discovered that I have a new love for sewing clothes, so with any luck I will be wearing the dress that I made to school on Thursday. So things are going fairly well, and hopefully they stay that way. My apartment is all clean for school starting, my kitten is appropriately attached to me enough that she'll hate it when school starts because I won't pay much attention to her anymore, and I've just spent the past week having fun with some friends of mine and in general trying to relax. In short, life is good.  :)