mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)

On the first day of hiatusmas, my true love gave to me: one email I (actually) had to send, and >60 unread taunting me until I broke down and read them all, then shut the laptop in guilt and buried my nose in a book. On the second day of hiatusmas, my true love gave to me: >60 taunting emails, reading page temptation, and a kick in the teeth for earworming you all with a Christmas song in June. Journal quote: "It no longer makes sense to call this an internet hiatus, I have decided. It is more of an internet-group-interaction and content-seeking hiatus." I'm a little disappointed with myself, but ultimately, I'm not surprised. I was letting myself do basically every step in checking my email/reading page except actually opening the mail client/browser tab, so I had few opportunities to resist those very ingrained habits. I could probably avoid the internet more successfully if I ignored my computer completely, but I'm not particularly willing to do that when my time is so unstructured and I spend so much of it alone.

Journal quote:

After some more guitar practice and transcription, I got the whole song figured out! Just need to write it down and bludgeon some software into cooperating so I can share. From then I was Very Bad and read a bunch of blog posts and reread a Phoenix Wright fanfic. (Phoenix/Edgeworth OTP. Don't fight me on this.)

While my hiatus was more internetty than I would have liked, I did a lot of reading (11 books/4,000 pages) and traipsing around outside. Meditating happened a few times; I'm going to keep working at it. I'm trying to continue acting as I did on hiatus as much as possible, but resume socializing. The specific things I'm trying not to do are checking things obsessively, going on wiki walks and archive binges, and reading argumentative content. I do not appreciate feeling compelled to form my beliefs in reaction to what I'm being told to believe. Over the past two days of not-hiatus, I've been doing more of those things than I would like. I think I'm going to try banning myself from internet before lunch, or some other stretch of time.

I am enjoying foraging in the yard. A little ways off, we have a totally ridiculous mulberry tree. I get a few good handfuls every couple days, which are delicious in my oatmeal. Some blackberries are trailing on the ground and should ripen sometime in July. Also, daylilies. We are covered in daylilies. I still want to make a salad with the flowers, and try the tubers sometime.

Journal quote:

A storm happened, and the front yard has been replaced by a lake. Le dad realized he neglected to bring home a vegetable for dinner tonight. I suggested I go pluck daylily buds, and did so - while the rain continued to hammer down. My feet were covered over with water while I snapped buds into a sieve.

I ducked inside, raindrops dripping from my hair, my leather sandals thoroughly muddied. I sat back down and continued reading, waiting to cook the buds until the rest of dinner was further along. I sauteed them in butter over low heat, with a good dash of salt, and had them next to salmon and rice. They were delicious, like if summer squash and asparagus had little flowery babies. Le Dad concurred.

As for the herb garden, my cilantro has tragically bolted. I'm hoping it'll reseed itself in time to produce a second crop, but I at least ought to get some coriander seeds out of it. The parsley and basil are looking fine, even if they're not as big as I might like. Meanwhile, the mint is sprawling. Good experience; I know for whenever I'm growing herbs again that I ought to plant a lot more.

I did indeed finish transcribing That One Song. Achievement Unlocked! I'm starting to really struggle with practicing, though. There are some problems I'm having that are related to not being able to use a metronome - I can't hear it while I'm playing, and even when I pump it to ridiculous levels, it doesn't really compute in my brain as a beat. It's hard for me to play along with it instead of after it with a variable time lag while I strain to hear it. I don't really know what to do about this. I'm also struggling to find songs to play. A preponderance of music I like is far too technical to even approach, but searching for "easy songs" brings up a bunch of mainstream junk I would never be motivated to polish, or worse still, easy versions of mainstream songs that sound terrible and have nothing for me to reference. Playing three chords with an extremely basic strumming pattern along with a song I dislike does not motivate me to hone my accuracy and articulation. Also ASCII tabs are terrible and has no explicit rhythm notation and are usually inaccurate as all get-out. I am resigned to transcribing for myself anything I want to play in Special Snowflake notation; I'm working on Cloud Cult's "Transistor Radio" now.

In other news, I'll be visiting family on Vancouver Island in early July (I am ambivalently looking forward to most of this, and terrified of one particular element of it.) I am playing lots of interactive fiction games, which you might hear more about soon. I have a functioning tablet pen again, which I have Plans for. I am now going to read a book (hiatusmas is a way of life)

mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)

So that last entry. Sounded kinda depressing, huh? I even tagged it "happier than my tone suggests".

I have been having a growing realization that while I do not struggle with experiencing happiness, I think, when my life is such that that's a reasonable way to be feeling about it, I am absolutely dreadful at remembering it, seeking it, and communicating it. This is far from the first time that I've written something, my global mood being pretty happy, maybe mentioning one or two less happy events - and come across as sad as hell, often not even recognizing it until someone points it out. More dramatically, Emily showed me a video she had taken of us during my last visit, and I could hardly remember being the person in it. I can reassemble what the experience must have been like, but watching it was like seeing someone else wearing my face and speaking with my voice.

How godawful would it be to have a happy life but only be able to remember the worst parts of it?

So I've started attempting to record the times when I'm happy, why I'm happy, and what that feels like. It's... hard. I keep putting in stylistic bullshit that turns my attempts at happy sentiment to bittersweetness, or making hilariously sad comments like "wow, this thing happened, and it so totally didn't replicate an anxiety-nightmare! My belief in my worthlessness was so unconfirmed!" Nice try, sad-brain, but we're aiming a little higher than that.

Today my brain had a hilarious little objection as I was examining my reasons for doing this. "Wait a minute," (it seemed to say) "I'm doing this to try to write happy things, but I don't actually like happy writing. As far as emotional content goes, I pretty much just like angst, or happiness-as-angst-counterpoint. I mean, I'll keep doing the journaling anyway, because I want to remember this stuff, but why should I have to write in a tone I don't even like? oh noes inauthenticity" I quickly realized that this sentiment is both absurd and false. Absurd, in that even if I don't want happiness to even be a thing in my tonal palette for creative writing, I of course want to be able to communicate my actual mood in my journalblogging in ways that sound sincere and descriptive. False, in that I very much value and enjoy reading my friends' description of their happiness. Writing is for communication and not just aesthetics, doncha know.

Other assorted things:

  • Guitar continues apace! Yesterday I watched a video of someone introduced as an "amazing musician", and realized the guitar part of the song was easy enough that I could probably play it without inaccuracies within a month. I quickly set about transcribing it - I'm pretty sure it's the same strumming pattern and three one- and two-finger chords the whole way through. It would probably be good for me to listen to less Leo Kottke and more regular people.
  • I am going to try to find myself a song that I really want to play that is well-outside my current abilities, but near enough that I can figure out how to approach it.
  • Herb garden continues to be an herb garden. The parsley and mint have been producing pretty well, though those are the ones I use the least of. The cilantro has just gotten over transplant shock, and is now exploding with feathery new leaves. The basil is the newest addition and seems to be in transplant shock still - which is odd, because it was in a biodegradable pot. Soon! Soon I shall nom all the tasty basil.
  • Started writing fanfiction that must never leave my hard drive. It's so reassuring, though, to be able to work on plot and prose without the pressure of original characters and worldbuilding. And if I do decide to post it (behind about fifty layers of security and obfuscation) I know I'm already above average just by having reasonable grammar most of the time. The certainty of non-ridicule is comforting, even if it stays private.
  • Burritos are delicious. Green habanero hot sauce is delicious. It is making me want to cook with hotter peppers than serranos. This is probably a bad idea.