origin of love

Hello, world.

Oh! Hi, Livejournal.

I don't really post here anymore. (You probably figured that out.) It wasn't really an intentional decision that I made, to stop using this space. It just somehow stopped being what I did. But, looking back a little ways, and reading between my own lines, I can see how those dots connect. The person who I was, the person who posted on here a lot, turned into a different person. The open wounds that had me writing in here all the time healed up. Some of them healed seamlessly and others left nasty angry scars, and still others really didn't heal at all. But for the most part, I grew in a different direction. I still journal all the time...probably even more than I did when I was doing all my journaling on here! But I keep most of it to myself now. The part of me that needs to process everything in writing no longer needs other people to witness it.

Also, to be entirely honest, I needed to say goodbye to a few past selves in order to move forward with my life. There are a lot of ghost-me's in this journally place by whom I really, really can't go around being haunted. I tried, a couple years ago, to read my old posts from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007...and I actually couldn't do it. It was preventing me from doing my life now.

But I still really value the friendships I built here, and I would really like to stay connected with you. Any friend of any past-me is a friend of now-me. :) I can't promise that I'll keep up with your LJ posts, since I don't log in here very often, but if you'd like to reconnect with me and/or stay in better contact, please let me know so we can figure out the best way for us to do that. And who knows? Maybe I'll find I have something to say here again at some point.
origin of love

11 ways the world might end

(I'm just posting this here so I can share it with some people, instead of putting it on my blog. it's a response to this writing prompt from The Crapper: "Write a list of ways that you think the world will end.")

11 Ways The World Might End
1. a flaming ball of space chemicals never before recognized by human beings comes flying into the planet, decimating it instantaneously
2. someone is born with a condition where throughout their life, they exude odorless undetectable poison from their body. everywhere they go, the poison is left behind. once the person dies, the poison is activated and everyone of any species who has been near it develops the same condition embedded in their genetic code, so within a few generations, everything and everyone are destroyed.
3. one day, everything just stops. nobody knows why, but nobody could possibly know why, because everything just stopped.
4. everyone forgets how to breathe. air stops circulating. the trees die, and with them dies the memory of how to be able to breathe, so now nobody can ever remember how to breathe again. the end.
5. god attempts a particularly ambitious yoga pose and gets stuck like that. in order to help god out of this yoga pose, a large spheroidal object must be applied to god’s hamstring and used to loosen the tension around god’s buttock so god can release the pose. the planet earth is the spheroidal object of choice. it does an excellent job of releasing god from the yoga pose, but in the process, the planet is destroyed, as no earthly being could withstand such proximity to god’s butthole.
6. the world already ended. we’re just a hallucination of our former selves.
7. as the rate of global warming increases, a fragrant aroma begins to waft off the earth into outer space. the finely tuned radar devices on Xopteron pick up a few blips of this scent and a few highly trained culinary experts are sent to determine its suitability for the Xopteronese palate. the report back is enthusiastic: this planet could be just the right flavorful replacement for our last condiment supply which ran out after we lost the Gukmulchivan War! the Xopteronese government approves the dispatching of condimentation devices for the saucy planet in the Widdershins sector and the Condimentator Squad takes off at once. within hours, the earth is freeze-dried, everything and everyone on it neatly preserved so as to ensure the unique combination of flavors will last as long as possible. the now lifeless and delicious planet is then pulverized by the Condimentator Squad, who gleefully capture every step of the process to be posted on XopTube later that evening. [three weeks later] an angsty adolescent Xopteronian named Vevox sits in zir room in front of zir magnascreen. ze munches sullenly on zir duneburger with extra Terra-sauce, smacking zir lips together as ze stuffs zir face. ze plays the latest Condimentator Squad video again in pieces, chopping up the track and mixing in sound effects and music that zir parents would have declared an “evil influence” if they stepped out of their bubbles long enough to even turn on a magnaudio, much less a magnascreen. the soundtrack Vevox creates is delicately calibrated to emphasize the pain and suffering that the inhabitants of this planet must have felt as the merciless Xopteronians condimentated it. but even the original magnafootage was taken from enough of a distance that it was impossible to actually discern what exactly these Terra-dwellers had experienced, or even if they’d felt anything at all. but to Vevox, this moment in Xopteronian time represented all that was wrong and evil about everything zir culture had created.
a bluish-green drip of Terra-sauce oozed out of the corner of Vevox’s mouth. absently, ze swiped at it with zir hand and licked zir finger to clean it before touching the magnascreen again. mmmm, salty, ze thought.
8. the sun grows jealous of the wild revels that the mostly-hairless two-legged Earth species engages in on the anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. “how dare they party it up without me?” the sun shouts. “i own every record ever released by the Jackson 5!” this is when the earthlings should have known something was up, as the temperature on earth began to increase rapidly with the sun’s shouting, but having already accounted for such abnormalities by the global warming explanation, the surprisingly hot day in mid-November barely registered any concern. but by the time they figured it out, it was too late. the sun had already made up its mind how it would celebrate. the parties raged on all through the night on June 25, 2013, and as the wee hours of the new day began to creep up on the drunken revelers, some wondered in between moonwalking and involuntarily liver detoxification how they would manage to get up for work the next morning. but they needn’t have worried. as the dawn began to unfold, the little insolent planet learned a whole new meaning of daybreak. the sun had become a giant strobe light. the end.
9. Once upon a time there was an evil sorcerer named Gwakamoli. The sorcerer had no idea that ze was evil, though. Zir family had gone out of their way to hide zir from ever knowing ze had any powers at all. After several generations, they had learned that eating oranges activated the evil powers so they made sure that Gwakamoli never ate any oranges and always told Gwakamoli that ze was deathly allergic to oranges so ze would never try to eat one. Gwakamoli was very attractive and intelligent, and once ze reached adulthood ze married the eldest of the Royal Planqton clan’s offspring, whose name was Mozi. Gwakamoli’s family made sure that Mozi Planqton knew that Gwakamoli could never eat oranges, telling Mozi that Gwakamoli would surely die if ze ate anything with orange in it. But, unbeknownst to Gwakamoli and zir family, Mozi was also an evil sorcerer, though not quite as powerful as Gwakamoli, and had been secretly waiting for just the right opportunity to unleash zir evil on the world. One night, Gwakamoli came home and found that Mozi had baked cookies. “How thoughtful!” said Gwakamoli, kissing zir spouse and then stuffing a few of the delicious cookies into zir mouth. Mozi grinned, knowing that the fateful orange extract ze had baked into those cookies would soon take effect. Their two children, Gunk and Ferosh, smelled the cookies too, and came running in to the kitchen to sample the sweets. Mozi stifled a cackle as they devoured one after another.
Later that night, Gwakamoli led Gunk and Ferosh upstairs for bedtime. Ze tucked the two sweet little children into their beds. “Would you like me to read you a story?” Gwakamoli asked, and with the chorus of “yes! yes!” that resounded, ze pulled a book off the shelf and began to read it to them. The children were enchanted by the adventures regaled in the story. As the tale drew to a close, Gwakamoli asked the children, “What do we say when we get to the last page of the book?” “THE END!!” they shouted. No sooner had they said this than a flash of lightning shook the sky, terrifying Gunk and sending Ferosh into peals of laughter. “The end the end the end the end the end!” hollered little Ferosh. With each word that left Ferosh’s lips, an explosion on the other side of the planet left a nation in ruins, but in their room in the Planqton Palace they had no idea. The lightning abated and an eerie silence settled over the palace. “Can we hear one more story?” Gunk pleaded. “It is too late for one more story!” said Gwakamoli. “The end the end the end!” shouted Ferosh again, setting off another string of enigmatic destruction about which ze had no way of knowing. “That’s right, Ferosh. The end!” said Gwakamoli, and when the powerful adult sorceror under the influence of the orange extract spoke, the oceans began to drain out all at once, flooding nearby villages before the universe slurped up all their liquid like a big salty root beer float, still without any of their knowledge.
Gwakamoli pulled the blankets around Gunk and Ferosh. Gunk had begun muttering the words into their pillow, as if possessed. The end the end the end. “Okay, we get it!” said Ferosh. “It’s the end! Go to sleep!” Gwakamoli felt an odd rushing sensation in zir chest. “Let’s all say it one last time together,” ze said, and as the three of them all yelled “THE END!!” at the top of their lungs, their powers combined and the world was destroyed.
10. “Dammit, Charlie, did you eat all the tacos?” Charlie didn’t answer, but a thick cloud of gas escaped from Charlie’s butt. “Shit! Charlie, you ate all the tacos and now you’re going to...” Gogo never finished that sentence. The smell was too intense. Ze fell down. Charlie thought this was hilarious, and lifted zir butt cheek a little higher to get more leverage before letting the next one rip. The next one was a doozy. It was such a doozy, in fact, that THE WORLD ENDED.
11. One day, the crocodiles and alligators decided it was time to unite around their common goal of quashing the humans. The platypi thought this was a great idea and joined in. The humans tried to resist, but they didn’t last very long. But the crocodiles and alligators soon realized that once they no longer had the humans to quash, they had little in common anymore, especially now that there were no longer even any humans around to affirm their commonalities by mixing them up with one another. As time went on, the post-revolutionary world became less and less appealing to these two very different creatures, and they began to fight with one another. Nobody suspected that the platypi would get so irate about this, as they had mostly kept to themselves after the great quashing, but one day a delegation of platypi marched into the field between the Crocodilian and Alligatrix Embassies and demanded an end to all this ridiculousness. the reptiles steadfastly refused. “You will rue this day,” said the platypi. “Perhaps you wish to reconsider?” It became clear that they had no intention of reconsidering, so the platypi stormed off. They then sent word to their kinfolk in their secret underground lair: IT IS TIME. With a push of a single button, the underground platypi military set off the Final Doomination bomb, which exploded the planet from the inside out, and that was the end of everything.
origin of love

Help with my Linguistics project!

In my eternal quest to become smarter without actually attending school, I've started doing independent studies of non-credit bearing university classes. I'm doing Intro to Linguistics currently and it's awesome! I can learn the material on my own time, nobody gives me a grade or sets arbitrary deadlines for me except for me...I know some people are into that sort of thing, but I learn better this way. ;-)

For my first assignment, I need to gather some data about native speakers of different languages. It's mainly just as a starting point for me to begin researching these languages; I'm not trying to draw any conclusions about a particular sample group or anything like that. I might make a blog post about the research as part of chronicling my adventures in DIY education, but I would not be trying to publish this or get academic credit or anything like that and I would have no reason to identify anyone's specific information. So if you want to participate, awesome; if not, no big deal. :)

Here are the questions for you to answer, if you'd like to participate. I have adapted them from the original assignment, which excluded speakers of certain languages and just wasn't as interesting as the assignment I've given myself. ;-)

What is your native language (or languages if you grew up multilingual)?
In what country/ies did you grow up speaking this language?
In what other language(s) are you fluent?
What other language(s) have you studied (but not to the point of fluency) and what is your level of competency in the other language(s)?
At what age did you begin learning the other language(s)?
In what country, and in what setting, did you learn/study the other language(s)?
If you could magically learn to speak any language RIGHT NOW, what language would you choose?
What is your age?
origin of love

what's up friday

Last Friday, my dad and I moved into our new apartment in West Norriton, PA.
Things I like:
-totally awesome kitchen!
-sweet balcony that I can plant stuff on
-my own room, with nice view of trees
-my own bathroom, with full shower and great acoustics
-I get the place to myself most of the time since my dad is hardly ever here

Things that are challenging:
-the enormous TV, on which my dad likes to watch Fox News every night
-hard to afford the food I want, to make full use of the kitchen
-inconveniently located; I have to drive quite a ways to get anywhere, and there's often a lot of obnoxious traffic
-bedroom and bathroom both have two doors (one which they share). rooms with two doors freak me out.

Learning experiences:
-I'm getting into better habits about keeping things (especially the kitchen) tidy
-I have plenty of time for my writing and other creative projects; I just need to actually use the time that way
-Dad and I are doing pretty well at getting along and respecting each other's space as well as enjoying each other's company

Last weekend, I took part in a totally awesome performance art workshop called Our Weddings. It started out as a play that a group of people about my age were sharing, and I heard about it from a friend who was a member of the original cast. I'd been promising her I'd go see it for quite some time, and when I saw her post on Facebook that it was the last chance there would be to see the show, and that there would be a free workshop that whole weekend around the performance, I cleared my whole fucking calendar so I could join.

It was an AMAZING experience. I am so glad I made the time and space for it. It was a bit challenging to be the ONLY person-likely-to-be-identified-as-male in the room, especially as someone who doesn't actually identify as male, but I didn't feel like that significantly inhibited my engagement. We all stretched ourselves in a lot of ways. One thing that really stood out for me about the experience was that, even though most of us did not know most of the other people in the group, we all just really TRUSTED each other. We didn't articulate a lot of rules or expectations. We just showed up, trusted each other, and in a couple instances when people's needs were not met we communicated with each other about how to better meet those needs. I watched myself as well as others make choices both to push ourselves to try things that might have been somewhat uncomfortable and to say "no" when something was beyond what we could safely push ourselves to do. I made a lot of really awesome new friends. It felt very much like something I would want to do more, and I plan to be intentional about maintaining contact with many of the people that I met!

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. Dad and I went out for dinner on Monday. We learned that we have very different responses to heavy rain - I don't like to drive in it but it doesn't bother me to be outside and get wet; whereas he has no problem driving in it as long as he doesn't himself get wet. We had an interesting time navigating how to communicate with the waiter at the Chinese restaurant, who had trouble understanding the "vegetarian" concept, without offending him or other employees by criticizing his English capability. On Tuesday we resumed our ongoing activity of me trying to teach him to play Settlers of Catan without tripping his frustration switch too much. Wednesday, I went to a party at Kody and Shani's which was fun, though a little out of alignment with my expectations as I was thinking it would be a "board games party", but everyone got tired of board games long before I did, so we stopped the game we had started in the middle and had a long conversation which I could only describe as "geeking out about child development", a topic of interest to everyone in the room (all teachers and/or parents and/or regular caregivers for small children) except me (none of the above). It was nice to hang out with my friends, though.

Yesterday, Thursday...I didn't really feel like I did anything particularly notable. Our last session of the World Changing Writing Workshop was yesterday, and that was pretty awesome, although sad that it was the last session. My commitment to myself, upon completion of the course, is that I'm going to make time and space for both private and public writing EVERY DAY, and that I'm going to set up accountability systems for doing that. I'm working on exactly how those things are going to manifest, but that's what's going on as far as my writing, and this is my sort-of public statement about that. I'm posting on LJ right now because I haven't yet moved to a more permanent new space, but you can anticipate a move soon. (Whoever "you" are, since I don't really think there are that many of you who are really still following this LJ and aren't also following me on Facebook, which is where the majority of my life updates have been posted for quite some time now.)

This weekend, I'm excited to be heading back to Pendle Hill for a poetry workshop retreat. I saved up my pennies to be able to do this and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it goes!

11 things i’m grateful for today:
1. I have a place to live!
2. I can go to the poetry workshop!
3. I’m going to get a new Tarot deck, as soon as I decide on which one!
4. I have time and space for writing!
5. I got to do the World Changing Writing Workshop!
6. People helped me fix up my OKCupid profile last night!
7. I’ve made some cool new friends this week!
8. I got to hang out with some old friends too!
9. My dad and I are getting along pretty well!
10. Kale!
11. I’m not entirely broke!

origin of love

The Plan

So, here is the plan.

I had an impromptu emergency clearness committee meeting with two wise yesterday afternoon. It didn't look like any clearness committee you've ever seen. Really, it looked a lot more like: we played a game of Settles of Catan, then I bawled my eyes out, then I received hugs and reality checks, then we played another round of Settlers. After that, all the pain that had built up in the passages in my face had gone away, and I felt clear about what was going to happen next.

My dad and I are going to get an apartment together. This was his idea. He currently lives in a 1 bedroom apartment in West Norriton, PA about 30 minutes west of Philly and 30 minutes north of Pendle Hill. We will move into a 2 bedroom apartment in the same development. He spends half the week in the apartment and half the week back with my mom in NY, so basically half the week he'll be at work and I'll see him in the evenings, and half the week I'll have the place to myself. We will go out and get furniture this week. He's on a special diet - don't ask, it's complicated, but he basically only eats really specific prepared foods and virtually none of them are vegan, but basically what that means for ME is that he never cooks and so I get the kitchen all to myself. He uses very few fragranced products and has agreed to switch all of them to fragrance-free products.

We are of a mutual understanding that this is not a permanent arrangement, and that eventually I will find a job to support myself and move out. But for now, it gives me some time and space to focus on the things I feel most called to do right now, without being in a constant state of panic about where I'm going to live.

For the sake of my own clarity and accountability, these are what those things are.
-getting my massage certification valid in PA
-joining an actual Quaker meeting
-staying involved at Pendle Hill
-developing my performance art projects
-actively building my relationship with my dad
-traveling to visit friends
-rehabilitating my ankle, so that I can use it properly again
-actively maintaining/improving good mental health

So, that's the plan.
origin of love

(no subject)

Shit hit the fan. My backup plans fell through. All my shit and my car are in NJ and I still have to get back there to get them. I tried to get back today, but of course, the one day in my entire life when I am five minutes late for a bus instead of 45 minutes early just happens to be the one day in the history of ever that a Megabus leaves at the scheduled time. The attendant tells me to get in line for the next bus, due to arrive in an hour. It arrives 45 minutes late. The new attendant tells me, oh, oops, sorry, you can't get on this bus, you were scheduled for the other bus. You were supposed to get in the stand-by line. Well, it would have been nice if the first attendant told me that. I get in the stand-by line. I will not make it in time to get picked up on the NJ end.

I call my dad. I am about to burst into tears in the middle of 9th Avenue. I am about to get out of the line and go find a bench at Penn Station and spend the night on the fucking bench. My dad says, please don't do that. You can get on a train and go to mom's house, and then come back and get on a different bus tomorrow. Or, you can stay in the line, get on the next bus you can, and I'll pick you up in Philly. And you can sleep on my couch.

I look around at the scenery. I never want to see this fucking street corner again. Honestly, I never want to see fucking New York ever again. I never did like New York City. Getting the hell out of there as rapidly as possible seems like the best idea.

The bus ride sucked ass. It was supposed to have wifi, but I couldn't get the computer to connect, and I also couldn't get the overhead light to turn on, so I couldn't even read my book. I worked on a new song. It's about someone (me) who gets in the subway for what should have been a 45 minute ride but actually takes 2 1/2 hours due to "planned service changes" (true story, happened on Sunday). I played solitaire. I sent miserable text messages to my dad. He, to his credit, went out and found a Whole Foods, and bought me sandwich fixings and noodles and vegetables.

When I got to his apartment, it became clear that this was a very important thing to have done. This is a list of the foods in my dad's apartment: chocolate soda (an entire shelf). Jello (also has its own shelf). eggs. butter. canned tuna. cheese.

I made a sandwich. We sat and chatted for a bit.

And now I am going to sleep. On my dad's couch. With a towel over me, since there are no extra blankets.
origin of love

(no subject)

I can't stay at the place in South Jersey anymore.

I'm in Brooklyn now for a little bit. My stuff is all still in South Jersey.

I'm hungry. I'm freaking out. I'm exhausted.

Yeah, it's going to work out, I know, I know, but I'm not convinced that it's going to work out well.
origin of love

(no subject)

Thanks everybody.

I'm a lot better now. I'm staying with friends in South Jersey. They are vegans, they have a sweet cat with non-funky sawdust-only cat litter, my basic needs are all met, and I can stay here as needed. I won't stay forever, but this will be nice for a while.

I felt better as soon as I started driving away from New Bedford. The energy was all wrong there. I feel a lot more hopeful now.

Today I will do a whole bunch of writing.