Monday, April 28, 2014

get this weight off my shoulders, i've carried it well

sometimes i will have procrastinated too many things for too long, taken on one too many responsibilities, bitten off just a bit more than i can chew, and at first it's perfectly fine. see, i am very good at balancing. i was an excellent block tower builder. i know how to stack everything just so. sure, it may wobble a bit, but then, what doesn't? as long as it doesn't go crashing down, everything is just fine. do you know what block towers go crashing down? those built with jenga blocks. and do you know why they fall? because you mess with them. you start pulling pieces out from here and then putting them back over there and sooner or later you've tried to move the wrong piece or you've moved the right piece too many times and then you find yourself with a pile of fallen blocks. i used to play jenga a lot.

maybe that's why i find myself completely paralyzed at the moment. i am incapable of doing anything. really, anything. from research to grading papers to watching the newest episode of new girl or replying to that birthday facebook message. i can't do any of it. because there is just too much for me to do. if i try to take one thing out from the tower of duties, it will all come crashing down.

but that's not the worst of it. i mean, if this tower was just sitting on the table then that would be fine. i could turn my back on it and let everything just sit there indefinitely. but it's not. it's sitting in the palm of my hand. which of course makes the whole wobbliness factor greater, but it also does something else. have you ever heard of that talk-giving lady who asked the audience how much a cup of water weighed and then went on to explain that the weight was relative: the longer she held it up, the heavier it got. she was talking about stress and stress-causing things in life, but the analogy can be applied here as well. (mainly because i am also talking about stress-causing things in life.) the longer i hold onto this tower, the heavier it gets. if i try to take off a few blocks, it will fall. if i don't take off any blocks, it will eventually fall anyway. i am stuck.

a normal person probably wouldn't have spent so long stacking the blocks. they might have dealt with a couple as they came along instead of just focusing on how best to add them to the tower. they may have stopped accepting more blocks when they realized that they had reached their limit. they might even now deal with the blocks instead of spending their time and energy making block tower analogies. they might ask for help or let it crash and then deal with the pieces or take the least amount of risk and pull out all of the center blocks first so as not to damage the foundation. me, though? i just keep adding to my tower and trying to keep my hand steady.

*Sweet Talk - The Killers

Saturday, April 26, 2014

deadlines and commitments every morning and in the evening, they can suck you in

i've been reading a little bit of harry potter fanfiction recently. a really little bit. they're more snippets and glimpses of the marauders than actual stories, but they have me so nostalgic. along with other things. i've been doing some serious life-changing thinking these days and that has nostalgia splattered all over it. (actually nights, because i've been making up my mind while i sleep because when i am awake i can remember that i am deathly afraid of any change, but especially life-changing changes, and my best tactic is to continue along the same path i am on while doing my best to ignore the fact that anything except what i want to do in this very minute (usually nothing) exists at all. and if you know anything about me, it should be that when i try my best at something i usually succeed. the problem is that i tend to not try my best at the things that i should probably be trying my best at.)

i feel like i maybe need to take a break from my life. sign myself up for a year long retreat or something. nothing but sandy beaches and not watching what i eat or feeling like i should exercise. reading books and binge-watching tv shows and not having to think about school at all because it will not exist. (so basically continue doing what i am already doing (or want to be doing) but without all of the guilt and self-shame that accompanies it at the moment.)

since the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim (and by that i obviously mean it's never going to happen), let me instead talk about the weirdness of saved urls. the other day i started to type in a url to get myself a belated birthday present (i usually wait until i have all my gifts before i buy myself something. it's a moot point this year because the money i was going to use for it went to something else yesterday and i am trying to be very budget-conscious and save my way into a house. oh well.) and a url popped up that i could not even remember visiting. huh, i though, i wonder what other weird urls i have stored on here. and so i went through the alphabet and saw the top saved url for each letter. of course i will share my findings with you.

q: N/A
v: N/A

at the end of this experiment, i found that most of my visited sites are only weird in how absolutely normal they are. (although i am a little surprised that google beat out goodreads as number one g.) too many are tumblrs. there are a few that i went to literally once but i guess i don't use that letter ever and so it stuck. there are also a few that i never went to at all but my brother did, and either i don't use that letter or he's on his sites more than i'm on mine. this was thrilling, i know.

also, this post is longer than i thought it would be and i think the title only fits if you're in my head.

*Deadlines and Commitments - The Killers

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

and for a second there we'd won

but only for a second because life sucks and being "a child full of promise" weighs you down with an unending amount of pressure and an incapability to handle the crushing weight of failure and you can't even appreciate the good things and the deep breaths when your incompetence is screaming at the top of its lungs and never seems to need a breath of its own and i am so ready to just be ten years younger already and my constant whining may very well be driving me insane and run-on sentences make me angry but really what doesn't these days. ugh.

*Miss Atomic Bomb - The Killers

Friday, April 18, 2014

with one deep breath, and one big step, i move a little bit closer

as you may or may not know, today is (was?) my birthday. i mean, technically there are still a couple of hours left in the eighteenth, but it's not really the day anymore and i'll probably be heading to bed in an hour so i guess the day is over. or something. anyway. last year i turned twenty-five and that felt like a big birthday. i mean, a quarter of a century. that's big. this year i turned twenty-six (obviously) and despite the fact that the only noteworthy thing about this birthday is that it marks the start of a year-long countdown until the day i am an odd numbered age again, it's been hard. i think it might be the first really hard birthday i've had. like, ever.

i've had moments of "oh my god i am (insert age here) shouldn't i have accomplished (insert appropriate milestone or life goal here) by now?" but i have never felt such soul-crushing failure at the approach of a birthday as i did with this one. i was not ready to be twenty-six. because i am essentially stuck in the same place that i was on my birthday last year. only last year it felt like a step up. this feels a little more like having the rest of the ground rise up and leaving the one square i'm standing on right where it is. (i am not going to dwell on this fact any more than that. also, i started writing more than one piece dealing with this, and every image and metaphor i started sounded tired and hackneyed. the whole experience was kind of a metaphor of my life at the moment and that was just meta enough to piss me off.)

anyway. i always write a birthday post. always. whether it is a huge (or brief) recap of the past year or just a little note saying, "i was born on this day and here is what i did," something is written. but i was really thinking of not posting anything today. (fun fact: one of the main reasons there was a post a couple of days ago was so that i could post on my birthday without feeling like it had to be something big and worthwhile after a dry spell. i didn't want to give myself that excuse to not post. i still didn't want to post anything today.) this morning, feeling like i had to write something, i had a post that consisted entirely of one word: ugh. i later added, "let's just not this year." i didn't post it, though. acknowledging the fact that an entire year had passed without me even noticing felt like giving up. maybe if i didn't blog about it, i wouldn't be a year older.

i mentioned in one of my other birthday posts, though, that my birthday always reminds me of the wonderful people i have in my life. my family. my friends. my people that i sometimes forget exist but then come out of the woodwork offering me a smile. and this year was no different. i really am blessed with some amazing people. and by doing nothing but being themselves (and that includes throwing a bratty tantrum when i didn't play minecraft like i said i would) they have given me the (insert appropriate word here because i am tired and can't think of it) i needed to take a breath. to pause and look around. while i still have the taste of failure sitting strong and bitter at the back of my throat, and i still have the vague sense of panic churning in the pit of my stomach, there is also a small ray of hope. or faith. or something. all i know is that i will take a moment really soon and think through everything i have been shoving onto the proverbial back burner all year, and maybe that will help. maybe the thinking will be enough. maybe it will kickstart me into some forward movement. maybe. and at the moment, maybe feels like heaven.

twenty-six will be the year of deep breaths. i am ready.

*For Reasons Unknown - The Killers

Monday, April 14, 2014

i had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor

i have been feeling not the best lately. hence the break from blogging. (although there are some hastily jotted down thoughts in drafts, like "why are audiobooks so freaking expensive?" and something about books to movie adaptations this year. it's a good year for those, if you like that sort of thing. also, a rant about the phrase "the only thing to fear is fear itself" which you can now read in all its unedited glory:

you know what i never understood? the phrase "the only thing to fear is fear itself." and how that supposedly makes you some super awesome above everyone else human being. but... and maybe i'm understanding this wrong, but wouldn't that really just make you really, really weak? like, if you are afraid of being afraid then doesn't that make you afraid of everything? "people are afraid of spiders. hmm i wonder if i'm afraid of spiders. ahhh me being afraid. i must never see a spider because then i may be afraid of it." and like, you are only brave when you do things in the face of your fears. if you are not afraid of dragons then petting one does not make you brave, it makes you a good pet owner. if you are afraid of fear, how are you even supposed to overcome that? do you get scared? because doesn't that defeat your whole endeavor?)

and the fact that this post has taken me literally over half an hour to write so far (and the majority of it was copy-pasted from a draft) makes me want to take an even longer break.

anyway, the point of this post is to have a post. and also to record for the future that i was alive. that my parents were in CT with my grandma for a while, and that now they're back. that they took a break from CT to spend ten days here with my grandma before going back up. that they brought back boxes of family history that i've been going through, looking at old pictures and marriage certificates and diplomas and phone messages and notes on napkins and craving the stories that go along with them. that's the problem with being a voracious reader who blurs the line between books and reality just a bit too often. you start to need the stories. all of them. i want to be the omniscient narrator that sees everything, from every time, and knows what everyone is thinking, always. i  see a picture of friends on a beach with "junior prom picnic" scribbled on the back and i want to read an entire book about it. i want to know what they were talking about, who took the picture, what day of the week it was. i want to know what they ate, who went to the prom with whom, and what the decorations were like. i want to watch a movie of their lives. i want the stories.

i'm one of those people that could look at old pictures for days without getting bored and listen to my grandmother tell stories for years without getting sick of them, so i'm kind of in my element right now.

if nostalgia was a drug, i'd probably overdose on it.

and really, though, why are audiobooks so expensive? (please don't comment with something about how the voice actors need to be paid now too instead of just the writers and publishers and whoever else which obviously means the price needs to be jacked up because i know that.)

*Photograph - Nickelback 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ask me your questions

okay so i dunno what goes on in other majors, but in computer forensics - especially on the intelligence side -we are taught over and over again about the different sources of information. (like, really. over and over and over again. i cannot stress enough the number of times i have learned about where to look for information.) anyway, one of these sources is scholars and academics. it seems obvious enough. if you think that a terrorist is planning a stegosaurus attack on the white house and there is a person that has spent nearly his or her entire life studying stegosauruses (stegosauri? why are neither of those giving me a red squiggle?), well you'd obviously go talk to that person. i mean, duh.

i always thought that the whole "spent nearly his or her entire life studying" part was pretty important. i mean, you'd want to go with the tried and true experts, right? apparently that is not always the case. apparently you can use a paper that a student wrote for an independent study as a reference and talk to said student about the finer points slash clarifications slash whatever.

if you are not seeing what i am getting at, here's the short version: the fbi (yes, that fbi) called me today (well, an agent of the fbi obviously. not the whole organization.) to ask me a few questions about things i wrote about in my independent study paper. (cue dropped jaws. i know, right?)

earlier today, this was my thought process:
god i should really write another blog post.
i could write about the crazy weather.
oh my god no one cares about the weather. you write about the weather way too much. get a life.
yeah, but rain and hail and snow one day followed by gorgeous sun the next? crazy.
no. one. cares.
oh man i hope the clay in my trunk didn't freeze like last week.
at least i'm at home so i don't have to wear rain boots when there's not a single puddle on the ground like an idiot.
ooh sunny weather means flip flops.
ugh, but flip flops mean lyme disease.
it would suck if i got lyme disease again. those antibiotics were the worst.
talking about potentially getting lyme disease is just as bad as talking about the weather.
i'll give myself to the end of the day. and then i will blog about the weather. again. gah.

and then the fbi called and i didn't have to write about the weather anymore. but i did anyway.

*The Scientist - Coldplay