Precious

>> Thursday, December 3, 2009

I think part of the reason I stopped writing so much...at least part...is the fact that my therapist thinks that that's what I should do with my life. I really disagree...mostly because am neither driven to do it nor particularly good at it. I was just reading Dahlia Lithwick's real-time novel...she has a gift for creating a scene in your mind, along with an immediate understanding of what a character is about. It's really impressive for what it is. In any case, I have no skill at that, and I feel like to a certain extent, writing is a craft...one which I watch people do everyday. I'm good at critiquing it and drawing upon other things to expand it. But that's different than doing it.

I watched the movie Precious today. I was in the grocery store and this Asian lady came in selling DVDs. I like to buy DVDs from those ladies...it meets my "multiple reasons for doing things" criterion. I hate having to use the word criterion correctly, but there it is. Buying DVDs from those ladies does three things: one, you get a dvd and you dont' have to spend money or go to a movie theater...two, you get to participate in an illegal market...and three, you get to help a person who's trying to make a living make a living. It's good for everyone involved. I really can't express how little it matters to me that DVDs get pirated...they serve different markets.

Anyway, I figured I had to see it because I had been reading about it and thought it would be difficult not to see it in terms of holiday parties and such. Like I've never seen Brokeback Mountain...or LA Confidential...or...Monsters Inc. It comes up enough to make me just want to see the movie.

I have to say, it wasn't that good. It was a movie, there was incest, blah blah. I mean...I didn't want to feel *nothing*...but everything I felt was cheap and orchestrated. It wasn't that I didn't want to cry, it was that I resented crying. So I didn't cry at all actually. It wasn't very cathartic. Is this because I don't identify with her plight? Is it too repulsive? I'm not sure. I don't think that's the primary issue.

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Cosmic love

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A falling star fell from your heart and landed in my eyes
I screamed aloud, as it tore through them, and now it’s left me blind

The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart

And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat I tried to find the sound
But then it stopped, and I was in the darkness, So darkness I became

I took the stars from our eyes, and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you

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Married sex

>> Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rather than plunging ahead into the waters of TMI I think I will just dip a little toe in by saying that there are both intangible and tangible benefits to getting engaged and getting married---at least, for me....so far.

The intangible ones are the things most people my age often scornfully question me about...like "why do you need a piece of paper or a rock on a metal band if you really love each other?" I'm not really sure...and maybe some people don't...but it turns out I do. Maybe I'm locked within the confines of a culturally expected institution, or maybe I'm just incredibly insecure. Maybe I fold and unfold the embossed piece of paper everyday, stroking its supple contours and congratulating myself on finally succeeding.

The truth is, something definitely changed between us once we got engaged. We started really listening to each other and trying to do our absolute best in every situation...not just use the other one to test out the boundaries of human patience vs. the human fear of being alone. And, being as marriage was infinitely more terrifying than being engaged, you would assume that there would be a respectively higher pay off. At least, this is the kind of fairness that I demand out of life.

After getting married, there was the initial period of shock and exhaustion in which all we could do was weakly smile at each other and sit tentatively close together as we quietly contemplated what we had just done with our lives. There was a deluge of new material that needed to be sorted and arranged within our brains--not the least of which was grappling with the reality that we had just made a sort of old school blood pact with one another.

Few things in my life are infused with that level of seriousness or finality. Perhaps it's by my own choosing that "nothing in my life means anything," and that most events pass by with a shrug and some blandishments about relativity. It is totally unnerving to take a real step forward in life, be it losing your virginity or getting married or whatever. It feels simultaneously easy and terrifying...like stepping off the train platform.

At the same time, it has somehow opened up a whole silent glimmering world that I didn't know existed...in which C and I are able to interact by micrometers, rather than as if we were pressed against the exigencies of a relationship of questionable longevity. We are able to make small improvements--the kind of thing you don't have the luxury of doing when you're wondering if you even want to bother spending another day with a person.

So there are intangible aspects to putting your relationship into the context of a lifetime. But getting back to the subject of this post, there are also tangible benefits that manifest themselves seemingly over night. One of these is sex; it's just better now that there's this background of commitment and trust. It seems obvious doesn't it? This is one of the things I'm betting on...that if you put rationality, thoughtfulness, and an honest desire to listen and provide for the other person...you will get something good in return. It's not the most scintillating thing I've ever said about sex, but I think it's a less frustrated, more peaceful one.

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Thinking through the writing thing.

>> Monday, September 28, 2009

One of the reasons I probably stopped writing in general is because I have an immature idea of what the line between my private life and my public life is.

To explain a little: I had at one time a tendency to be secretive and overly private with my innermost thoughts. The thinking went that, essentially, since I had no idea whether my life was going to be a smug success story or a painful soul-crushing source of irony...I should do my best to not let people in on what my plans and life choices were. That way at least I would be the only person to know how my life turned out. In the end though, refusing to answer any sort of personal question with the truth turned out to be a ridiculous and cumbersome way to go about forming relationships: eventually, you just end up dating someone who you resent because they know nothing about you.

This kind of behavior was something I had to unlearn, and I chose to unlearn it by overextending my honesty past the limits of my own comfort. Hence the blog. Now that I share my life with someone, I have to make different decisions about what things I reveal and what things I keep to myself. It's just another situation in life where the "all or nothing" approach isn't really practical. Great.

As a result, I am more likely now, again, to stop myself from writing anything that I think might indirectly reveal to much about my new husband (can't get used to that...need substitute terminology....manstuff? other brain?). I feel like I'm violating the privacy of my significant other to acquaint everyone with faults that belong to me. Whereas before, I was trying to take the stance of "fuck that...I don't care what people think...this is the reality of who I am and we all have to accept it," now I am dragging an unwilling participant into that mire with me. It doesn't seem fair really. But then what will I write about? How will I stretch and pin down and expose my convoluted logical paths so that I can carefully examine and unravel them?

I think that it could be as simple as reframing the discussion in a more positive way---ie, keeping some things private is more of a "thoughtful filtering" rather than "purposeful obfuscation of the truth." To not reveal everything doesn't mean I'm compromising my identity or compounding my own hypocrisy. I think exposing my thoughts/behavior to the general public has been a really helpful exercise for me: for example, I am more okay with not being perfect today than I was five years ago and I am fairly comfortable with people rolling their eyes at me.

In all honesty, the "all honesty" boundary has been tested. It is over there, and we've been on either side of it. Not being comfortable with myself seems like less of a problem now that I've taken decisive action to become comfortable. I'm not there yet, but I've sketched out a rough pathway and am just going to stay on it. In any case I think I've figured out how to write again.

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Early stages of math anxiety




So, I've been wanting to start writing again lately, but as I am not consumed with emotional angst and indecision, I mostly just drift off into shopping for used furniture on craigslist or searching for humorous gif images on reddit. Also, I just began studying for the math portion of the GRE yesterday, so now I will have the opportunity to regularly castigate myself for not spending enough time on studying.

What is enough time to study for the GRE though? I have, for most of July and August, studied the vocabulary section intermittently. I am learning new words, like "coven" which was very helpful for me while reading Interview with the Vampire last week. I feel more comfortable writing incredibly rigid and uninspired prose in essay format than I did in June, but I have to admit there is a 50% chance that I will still choke once I get to the essay section. The joke's on me for cheating my way through middle/high school isn't it? Anyway, the vocab section is totally within my grasp when it comes down to it....it's the math part that I'm really questioning at this point.

I know that I was able to perform basic math for a lengthy period of time during my adolescence. I took calculus...I got a 3 on my AP test. Clearly, math is within my grasp. But where is all that math knowledge? Have I really replaced it with an encyclopedic knowledge of inexpensive yet refreshing microbrews? Or is it just buried somewhere along with other seemingly irrelevant and tiresome information such as "The key component of chlorophyll is magnesium," and "Actually, the new kid you have a crush on is pretty convinced you're a lesbian."

I'd like to think that with a reasonable amount of effort, I can make this happen. However there is the fact that after 20 minutes of attempting math problems on Sunday I completely passed out in a little ball on my bed, totally exhausted and unable to focus on the workbook pages in front of me. There was even that line of ink trailing thinner and more erratically down the page. It was like when I went to see the Little Mermaid when I was a kid, and when I got back all I wanted to do was sing and dance to Little Mermaid songs with my stuffed animals, but my mom made me pick up the toys in the basement. And so I cried and cried and eventually fell asleep on the cement floor in a similar little ball...a toy truck filled with spider eggs having pushed me past the limits of my sanity.

I am older now though, and I want to pass this test for my own reasons...not because I'm being told to do it. Surely that extra modicum of free will can assist me in blocking out what has become a progressively more unproductive and irrelevant inner monologue. After all, what is the point of rolling your eyes and scornfully declaring something to be "a gross oversimplification of the meaning of pernicious?" The conversation between myself and the editors of the GRE is not ever going to transpire, so it's time to just man up and help Edward get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.

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Soft open

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

So, I stopped posting on this back in May because I could only obsessively think about a couple of things (1) the wedding (2) how much I dislike my job (3) how I don't know what I want to do for a living (4) the fact that my mom hates me.

I thought it was getting sort of unproductive, ie, writing was no longer helping my synthesize my thoughts, but just lodging them deeper and deeper into the same rut that they had been in since ..... well for a while.

I don't exactly know what I'm going to write about now, but I'm pretty sure I would like to start again, if only b/c serious business has moved out of the city again and I feel like I shouldn't be freeloading off her blog without offering up something for her to read.

The things I'm thinking about really haven't changed though. I am currently thinking about (1) Whether or not what I'm doing is cliched for married people (2) If I would rather quit my job and get a new one or go back to school or both. So that at least is a little different. Should I be reformatting this blog? I'm tired of blog formats honestly. Why does everything have to go down the middle in an impotent column, wasting the vast inches of white space on either side?

In any case, I am going to sneakily background post this, and then see where the next few weeks take me.

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New ventures

>> Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Colleague (3:42:50 PM): we're getting the payscale speech right now
Keetens (3:42:56 PM): let me break it down for you: no raises, bitch!
C (3:42:59 PM): yeah
C (3:43:19 PM): so what's the incentive to do anything more than the bare minimum?
K (3:43:27 PM): what has it ever been?
K (3:43:41 PM): though honestly, there is a hiring freeze, so they really can't fire you
C (3:44:19 PM): at least i used to aim for a good rating. but i can get an EE or a DNE and it wouldn't matter
K (3:45:04 PM): i've never been employed during a recession before, but i have to say it is truly demotivational all around
C (3:45:38 PM): true. it's the mentality of we can screw you now because you can't go anywhere, forgetting that things will get better and we will be able to go somewhere.
C (3:45:44 PM): it's a good way to lose your best people
K (3:46:35 PM): so we're starting our own video game magazine then after all?
C (3:46:54 PM): video game/dating advice magazine
C (3:47:03 PM): because [[Pakistani friend who has to marry a Pakistani Muslim]] has no idea what she is doing
K (3:47:06 PM): ha. wait---lets just set up Pdate.com
K (3:47:08 PM): and make a bundle
C (3:47:11 PM): done
C (3:47:19 PM): there has to be something like that
K (3:47:37 PM): http://pakistanilounge.com/
C (3:47:47 PM): http://salaamlove.com/
C (3:48:01 PM): yours is better
C (3:48:04 PM): why isn't she on that
K (3:48:31 PM): she probably thinks online dating is [insert youthful put down here]
K (3:48:50 PM): corny?
C (3:48:57 PM): ha. i dunno. she meets guys on subways and stuff. i'd think her dating standards would be low
C (3:49:26 PM): essentially the guy has to be pakistani and a muslim. other than that i don't think there are any requirements.
C (3:49:46 PM): he could be brain damaged and a pooper scooper and that would be fine
K (3:49:49 PM): haha
K (3:49:53 PM): that DOES fit the requirements
C (3:50:11 PM): i'll send to her and see what she says
C is away at 3:58:26 PM.
C returned at 4:02:17 PM.
C (4:04:46 PM): she said you are sweet for finding that
C (4:04:54 PM): see, she's getting desperate
K (4:05:04 PM): ha
K (4:05:24 PM): the process of getting married has made me forget why anyone would ever make that a priority
K (4:05:34 PM): but for her… "moving out of parents house" ....there’s a priority
C (4:05:46 PM): yeah, that would make me cry everyday

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