woostering: (richard)
One of the things about going to a college that operates on trimesters, thus giving me the entire month of December off, is that I have a lot of time for reading lots of blog posts about asexuality and pretending I'm doing important things like not sitting around or cleaning my room. Thinking about these things and these words and these conversations, about what does and doesn't make sense for me, and mingsy own relationships (which I say like they're a thing). Finally I felt I wanted to complie some things for myself here.

I have to open with this, because it's awesome and I really like it.
And it (and a lot of the other links I've come across so far with the question of "WHAT ARE ANY OF THESE THINGS?!") really raises an important point, and how it's really hard to describe things you don't experience, or maybe experience but at least you know whatever you do or do not experience doesn't seem to match up with the way other people talk about theirs. And then for those people who do, it's really hard to talk about it in a way other than the language that already exists an references itself. I like thinking of these things in terms of language issues. I've seen people talk about some of it in terms of colors. If someone is colorblind, how do you convey the concept of a particular color? And so, as a side effect, it's interesting to read about romantic asexuals tackling romantic orientation and attraction, because in much the same way sexual people have trouble both seperating romantic and sexual attraction and describing what exactly it is to aces, the same problem occurs between romantic and aromantic aces about what the hell romantic attraction is. And aside from the frustration inherent in not being able to pin down much of this, it's a really cool thing to think about. (I need to stop using really so much)

There were a number that I'm not going to try to find now, but this is one, about the established pattern of relationships, how they seem to work or seem to be supposed to work, what many people attempt to follow. And I've been thinking about my own, being demi and highly romantic (as far as I can tell, toward guys). There was another questioning post on tumblr more recently about not being quite sure what demi meant, really, when compared to other sexualities, and I feel the nede to word vomit a bit to get my own thoughts out about how it works for me.
Read more... )
woostering: (phoenix)

I selected

a suitably interesting subject

One that needed more knowing about

The greatest, you might say

I read the background research

(thought I had it down)

—although background turns out to be

a factor minor to irrelevant—

Set out my hypothesis;

There was, I thought

Some system

Which others worked under

And so too would I,

Eventually.

There’s a flaw in my study

The data got all skewed

Perhaps irreparably.

All wrong

and nothing better than muddled

That’s what happens

When you examine fields

Not really your area.

Hypotheses were… reexamined?

Repeat the test

And repeat and repeat and repeat

That’s how it works

But this is not empirical,

never will be

case-by-case let’s see

how did they—

But there’s a flaw in my study

Though I must continue

For all its frayed words

I want to sing and

cannot

for though I plot them well enough

I cannot hit the notes

I want to know why the shifting of these points

to everyone sounds so grand

and live encased in meanings

that I do see and feel and understand

Because a flawed study still provides results

Just maybe not for the question

You were asking.

Optimism

Aug. 1st, 2011 02:45 pm
woostering: (Marian)

I am, and always have been, quite a bit of an optimist. Now, in this day and age it is incredibly hard to maintain such a positive outlook when there is so much crap going on in the world, and it is relatively easy to become aware of it. There's an awful lot of world suck, and sometimes it feels wrong to believe things Get Better when, for some, or for many, they may not. Yet I still hold that belief.

I had meant to write this earlier, about a week ago, but lj was down and things were happening so I'm just getting around to it. But I still wanted to get it out. Last week something happened, you see. One of those brilliant moments that us optimistic folk treasure because, every once in a while, we are proven right.

I suppose I should explain something of my views on the matter first.  I believe things happen that can be termed mircales. I do not believe in waiting for them. I believe in doing the best you can with what you have, and if you do that it will be enough. Maybe not great, but it will be enough to endure, to survive, and to my way of thinking that counts for a lot. My philosophy is that the universe will give us what we need. The trick, of course, is learning what those things are, and how to make the greatest use of them. You learn to live with the tools you have, that surviving and being able to pick one's head up every morning and not loose all of oneself to despair is actually quite a lot. One day I'll figure out how to word that better. But the key words are survive and endure, in the face of hardship, in the face of perhaps impossible odds. It is not the 'everything is all good and will only ever improve' kind of optimism, but rather the 'if you're willing to put some effort into living you will get what you need to live' kind. Maybe that shouldn't be called optimism. It's more an optimistic realism, I suppose. I don't claim things will always be wonderful. What I believe is that things will always be okay, and, sometimes, they can be good. Bad things get better, or at least tolerable.

So. Back to the story. A friend of mine (from tumblr, not that that's especially relevant) has been having a very rough time, for a number of reasons that pile up into one big mess. One of those reasons is that he is very independant and maybe a little bit proud. He doesn't identify with lions for nothing. But he's the kind of person who really needs to do things for himself, and part of why his current situation is very hard is that he's really not in a position to get things, the things he really needs, on his own. He's also the kind of person who needs to know he has support, and his blood-related family hasn't really done a whole lot for him. Last week, he did something incredibly hard, which was to ask for help. Now, I know we all can say there's nothing wrong with needing help, that there shouldn't be shame in asking for it, but there is and it's not easy, for anyone. And for some people, it just really isn't in their makeup, it's not who they are. My friend is one of those people, yet he gathered his courage and swallowed his pride and he did it.

The initial start was a bit slow, but then. Oh, but then. Within the course of 24 hours, he got what he needed, actually got more than he needed. 24 hours. Now, it's true, he is one person, and there are many that need help. But part of what made it so significant to me was, first that he's a friend and so I care, but the day before I had sent him a message that had a line like this: "I refuse to believe the universe is so badly designed as to let you down in this, this thing which is so crucial for you." And then, in a great show of the power of what friends can do, I was proven right. Within a day. I had meant it in the sense of 'It will take time, but hang in there because it will be okay', not this wonderful explosion of willingness to help. But for an optimist, maintaining a face of faith in the universe, in a world where things often go wrong, it feels good to be proven right sometimes.

Is everything suddenly fixed? No. But it was a step on that long road to making things okay, and it's these moments, these shining, warmly glowing threads of time that you can hold onto and look back at to make the next steps a little easier, that keep you moving forward. And that's what matters.

The Concert

Jul. 5th, 2011 03:04 pm
woostering: (goldy)
Pre-concert is all bustle and gossip. Getting into concert dress, fiddling with hair and makeup and tuning. Putting sheets of music in order, some crisp and new, some old and creased and faded. Checking that reeds aren't chipped and valves aren't stuck. Chattering to make the clock go faster.

Roughly twenty minutes before, and everyone is gathered. Ceremony, tradition, a superstition for good luck. A prayer, said together. The band is ready to play.

Walk to the stage, put the folder on the stand, wait for the nod from the director to sit. Rearrange the dress and the chair and the stand. Wipe off palms gone clammy with sweat. Play the Star Spangled Banner. Feel slightly calmer, as you know the ins and outs and the flick of the conductor's baton by heart. Carry out the wave of the last symbol crash, and sit, and breathe as the director turns to introduce the songs.

Wipe off hands again, wonder if sweaty palms are bad for the satin dress. Lick anxiously at the reed and tighten the ligature to make sure it's perfect-- a nervous habit. Raise the clarinet in sync with the baton, and everything fades away except the notes on the page and the anticipation of the upbeat telling you to go.

When the song starts, you become it-- the push, the pull, the slide of fingers over keys, by muscle memory now. You do not become a mistake that causes your physical body to flinch, even as your mind and heart and hands are living the next note. You do not become a sneeze in the audience or the creak of a chair. You become the song and the song becomes you. The pattern of the baton sliding through the air, the proud bray of the trumpets, the warmth of the trombones, the pulse and punctuation of percussion, the soft flutter of the flutes, the hum of the saxophones behind you. And then your own notes, sifting, playing, building between in the the spaces the composer left just for you. In that place between first and last breath, drawn through the clarinet by the conductor's hand, is the music, and therefore you. Each piece has its own nooks and crannies, its edges and gentle waves, familiar through practice but bright and crystalline now. One eye follows the ink on the page and the other the director. Lungs expand and contract by his hand. Fingers guide the sounds shaped by your clarinet and the song itself propels them out to wrap around the audience sitting at the edge of your consciousness. Each song feels different, moves differently through you, and the self you become is never quite the same. You are the song as it should be.

Some are intense, engaging the mind so completely nothing exists outside the collective vibrations of air at any given time. Some are gentle, some are sad, or happy of playful or fierce. Some shout a victory, demanding the audience hears the melody and counterpoint. Some sing a sighing breeze the pulls mournful ocean waves from the shore. Some direct themselves toward one person, some to the whole crowd, the building, the world.

The last note holds the charge in the air longer the it can physically be heard. The baton lowers and the band collectively exhales as the audience applauds, reorienting your consciousness and awareness in your body and not somewhere just above it. There are breaks through the night, announcements, acknowledgments, explanations, shuffling of music and seats. And at the end, the last chord of the last song, finally released into air and memory, you hear the clapping and you don't let go. Like a child clutching a jewel to their chest, you don't quite leave that state of being where you conscious self hovers an inch or two above you head even as instinct takes hold and you stand and bow and exit to pack up and put away before finding family and friend. Voices ring in your ears and the lights bleed through your eyes because in your head, you are still the song.
woostering: (picasso)
So, imagine you were me yesterday and had a horrid headache. It was the kind you wake up with, starts to go away, and comes back around dinnertime with a vengeance. However, after taking some tylenol (seeing as the aspirin earlier didn't do much good) and drinking about three glasses of water and my dad had done this wonderful massage-y thing to my scalp I was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the headache to go away. I could tell it was. I was sitting clamly, focusing on my breathing because anything else would make it owrse and not better. And, since this process is kind of like meditation, my mind decided to narrate what it was noticing. I found the results somewhat fascinating.

I noticed that my glass of water, my glasses, and the tylenol bottle were all in this nice diagonal line. It's what artists refer to as an alignment, and that's what I called it because I had taken drawing first semester and learned all about them. The line from these three things then met up with one of the candleholders in the advent wreath. I couldn't tell whether or not it lined up with the corner of a stack of paper, because my glasses were off and I wasn't up to really trying to draw lines just yet. My head still hurt a bit.

I followed the alignment back and forth a while, appreciated how my glasses made a nice square shape because the part that goes over the  ears wasn't folded in. The diagonal line cut through the square not perfectly centered, but basically from the left lense to the right tip on the other side. Then I focused on the stack of paper which may or may not line up with this, and it bothered me because I'm an artistic person and my head hurt. It didn't really look like it lined up from where I was sitting, with my head in my hands, but I wasn't aout to move. Then I looked more closely (rather, as closely as I could at the moment) at the papers. They weren't stacked straight and one of the corners was bent, so I figured depending on where you were one of those corners would line up with something else on the table. I didn't try to imagine it, but I theorized that if I moved, maybe stood up and looked over the table, the corner that was bothering me might line up.

And then, because this kind of lucid thinking always comes with a revelation, I had a revelation. Alignments in real life are completely arbitrary. (No duh, you say. They're imaginary lines in the first place. Remeber I had a nasty headache at the time, okay?) An alignment could cease to exist in real life if I moved and look at the room from a different perspective. Movement removes alignments and reveals new ones. Alignments only really exist in pictures, because you can't change perspective in a picture. Sure, you could imagine quite clearly how things might look, but it'd be a completely different picture, and the alignments that held it together before would be gone.

By this point my headache was clearing and my need for semi-meditative breathing was much less, which meant that my train of thought was going to switch back to normal soon. For some reason I made a brief detour and thought a bit about the shape of out vision. I believe it's an oval. I've actually wondered about it before, because we see things within that oval of our vision but we so often put boxes around things that, by necessity, cut off part of that oval. I'm sure there's something art and psychology can or have pulled out of that.

Anyway, my final tohugh on alignments was that I much prefer and notice diagonal alignments, like the edge of the christmas tree on our fridge. Horizontal and vertical lines, and even things that are diagonal because of perspective that would be straight if you looked at them head-on don't interest me as much. I use them, and I suppose I like things that have them, but I'm drawn to lines that inherently aren't straight.

Then my headache was gone, and this bit of madness ended. I should finish cleaning my room. I should eat dinner soon too.
woostering: (Hatter O_O)

So. My emotions have been running rather haywire lately. A few days ago I went to a friend's house, to FINALLY drop off some thin mints he'd ordered MONTHS ago. Well, anyway. I finally got the nerve to say, 'hey, I have cookies for you. When can I drop them off. Sometime this week, preferably.' And it did require getting up some nerve, because I've liked the poor guy for, oh, nearly two years now. Being me, the withdrawn, socially awkward self, I never knew how to approach this and never said a word. After all, he's one of those insanely awesome people who everybody loves, and we were kinda friends, so I wasn't about to point out I liked him. And, when I realized I did, he had a girlfriend.

Anyway, now we cut to this summer. I had spent many nights of my senior year thinking about him and sorting out my feelings and berating myself for not knowing what to do. Or something like that. But thinking. My friend Hayley was here for a while. At the beginning of summer I had gone to Yellowstone. I found my glass pen and wanted to figure out how to use it. I got the brilliant idea to write a letter. Because, you see, after all this thinking I realized (rather early on, actually) that I valued his friendship immensely, and I wanted that as much as anything else. But, seeing as college was fast approaching, I figured I could tell him I liked him. I had hardly talked to him over senior year, as he's a year older than me and he was busy with college (pre-med, dontcha know. /bragging). I thought, I'd give him the cookies, leave some letter in there and then I could leave that behind and look to college. If he wanted to talk to me he could. If he wanted to ignore me he could do that too, because, hello, college. If that's not a distraction then I don't know what is.

After some more thinking (i'm cutting out all the thinking. I can't remember what i though when anyway), I wrote out the letter. Damn thing was a full two pages long. I told him I liked him, but also that I really wanted to be friends. After all, with college, being anything more than friends is tempting fate and kind of silly. Okay, I didn't SAY that, but it was hopefully implied. But... I'm beginning to think I may not have implied it well enough. I'm freaking out right now that I completely screwed this up.

I was just going to drop off the cookies, fairly quick, nothing special. I was there for, like, an hour. We had tea. Good tea. I found out figured out how interested he is in astrology. His mom came in at some point and we all talked for a while, all nice and perfect. Once I relaxed a bit, I realized I was possibly the most comfortable there in a house I'd never been in before I'd ever been around other people. I wasn't worried about saying something stupid like I normally am around him. No, I wasn't providing scintillating conversation, but I was talking. And I left that damned letter.

I've realized that I don't care how much I like him. I don't care whether or not he likes me. I want to be friends with him. I could care less whether he likes me as more than a friend. We think in similar ways. What more could I ask for? I then realized that maybe I just wanted someone who I knew would understand me, someone I could call up and just talk to for a bit. And I think I might have scared him off. Or something. I don't know. I haven't talked to him since. But he gave me a hug when I got there, and he gave me one as I left, and it was the most comforting thing in the world. I just want a hug, dammit XD. Oh. I just want to be able to keep getting hugs from him, y'know? Alright, I shouldn't say 'y'know', but... Ah. Nevermind.

I fear I might have been a bit... not forceful, but overdramatic in that stupid letter. Not calm and, oh-by-the-way-I-like-you-can't-help-it-you're-fucking-amazing, but more -oh-I'm-pining-for-you-and-will-always-be. She-ite. And I thought about taking the letter out, too. But I thought to myself, no, I'm gonna leave it in. I bothered to write it out, and all fancy, and dammit I'm gonna tell him. I won't have to see him again. I'll be fine.

Oh, no, I'm not fine, Rebecca you genius. You fool. You think too much and worry too much and YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IF HE READ IT WHY ARE YOU FREAKING OUT. Ahahahaha god. I have no social skills. I am HOPELESS LOL. I'm swearing an awful lot in my head. I may have ruined a perfect friendship. I may have done nothing. I just may have screwed up a really awesome friendship because I selfishly needed to expose feelings no longer relevant. I NEED T GET A GRIP, yeah? Yeah.


Oh, college in... three days? Leaving friday because move-in is saturday and Galesburg is too far to drive to that morning. I have until we leave friday evening to finish my gold project. Gorram. Or something. Trolling Tumblr for Jeremy Brett instead of sleeping. Because I feel alright then. I cannot express how much I'm in love with this man. Well, how much I love looking at him and listening to him and watching what he's done, because he's done it beautifully.



AHAHA and what happens after i post this? He asks for my college adress so he can write back :D Oh, why do I worry about these things? Silly Rebecca is silly.
woostering: (Default)

Y'know, sometimes I wonder how I can have such a highly developed sense of logic and such deep running emotions at the same time. Usualy they work well together, but every so often there's a glitch and the two try to fix all the problems of the other. This is a short perambulation (note to self: stop reading so much Holmes, vocabulary being affected) through what I realized last night, though by no means all of it. But I tried to capture as closely as I could this part of my nightly musings.

 

________________________________________________________

It's that feeling you get  at night when you're trying to fall asleep and your brain won't--no, no, it's your heart--your heart won't shut off and you just lie there in bed and feel so... alone. Just one little mind in one empty room. And you want to reach out, to feel the presence of another human being, and the solidity of it, but you can't, because no one's there, and it's just you, lying alone.

 

It's that you want to stop being made of steel and glass and granite, stop holding yourself in, let your awarness fizzle out and feel other people. And it's not that you think you don't have friends; you know they'd be there if you really needed them. You don't doubt that. But you don't really need them then. You just want them, to fill the empty space of an over-active heart. You want to be with someone who understands this feeling, who gets in this moment you just need to feel, in a way beyond words. That other things are solid so you don't have to be so much. And that's what it is, to just sit next to someone who understands, for them to be there by you so you can feel.

----------

It's not like this all the time. Only every so often, to balance out the nights of deep contemplation, the nights the brain is what won't turn off. These nights aren't even as bad, because it's not a sadness, just a deep, ingrained yearning. The nights of thinking are worse, because that's when I try to make sense of that shining inner light from the nights of the heart and try to fit it into the steel and the rock, and I call myself weak because I cannot. I have plenty of words for those nights, and harsh ones at that. But these nights can't be put down so well, for the heart does not deal in words.


woostering: (Stand on your head)
Cerebral Personality Test Results
74% Cerebral
Scoring highly suggests you are likely to be very inquisitive, exploring, scientific, contemplative, self-examining, and philosophical. Low scorers, will generally tend towards the opposite of the above. They will tend to be more conventional, less curious and analytical, less focused on the big picture / global variables, and more comfortable identifying as part of maintream culture.
Take Free Cerebral Personality Test
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Career Inventory Test Results

Extroversion |||||| 13%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Orderliness |||||||||||| 33%
Altruism ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Inquisitiveness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 76%

You are an Idealist, possible professions include - information-graphics designer, college professor, researcher, legal mediator, social worker, holistic health practitioner, occupational therapist, diversity manager, human resource development specialist, employment development specialist, minister/priest/rabbi, missionary, psychologist, writer
Take Free Career Test
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Cattell's 16 Factor Test Results
Warmth ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Intellect |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Aggressiveness ||||||||| 22%
Liveliness |||||||||||| 34%
Dutifulness ||||||||||||||| 46%
Social Assertiveness ||||||||| 22%
Sensitivity ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 34%
Abstractness |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Introversion |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Anxiety ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Openmindedness |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Independence |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Perfectionism ||||||||||||||| 50%
Tension ||||||||| 22%
Take Cattell 16 Factor Test (similar to 16pf)
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