meorae: (Default)
Georgia looks over at me, throwing out a question that just came to her mind as she tends to do when she's bored: "What do you find beautiful?" I start to answer, but then have to stop and think about it. "Well, I find a lot of things beautiful. A tree reaching magnificently towards the blue sky. A cat dozing peacefully in the grass. A person's face lighting up as they laugh. A simple and elegent proof. An elaborate poem. Someone proud of an accomplishment. Confidence." I go on to tell her that there's a version of beauty held up as standard by magazines, tv shows, movies, but that everyone has their own vision of beauty and it doesn't have to do anything with being thin. Beauty can be found in nature, it can be found in art, it can be found in math, it can be found in people. Georgia, who is still bored, obviously didn't expect such an elaborate answer. We find something to do, but the conversation plays over in my head (like many of our conversations) for the rest of that day as well as randomly since.

I find beauty in people's happiness. I find confidence attractive. There are other personality traits that appeal to me, like intelligence and curiosity. But really I see beauty in happiness. Someone happy with themselves, passionate about their work, surrounded by people they love and who love them is beautiful. The wedding I went to this weekend was beautiful. Somewhat simple and small, but heartbreakingly beautiful to see two people so in love commit to each other in front of their closest friends and family on a small island in Boston harbor.

It's something I've been working on a bit this year and thinking about a lot. Bringing my life more in line with what I consider beautiful and valuable and worthwhile. Trying to live my life in a way that adds joy to the people I surround myself with and in that way add beauty to their lives and mine. There's a philosophy I've been aware of for awhile that I've started to try to integrate into my life over the past year. The philosophy revolves around the idea that I am responsible for my own happiness. It is my choices that determine the course of my life. There are any number of things that are completely out of my control, but by accepting those things and focusing only on the aspects of my life I do have control of, I can make conscious choices that make my life and the lives of people around me better. I may not always have control of the situations I find myself in, but I have control of how I respond to those situations. And I can choose to respond in ways that will make me happy. I can surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself and engage me intellectually and emotionally. And I can schedule my life in such a way that I have time for all of the things that matter to me and all of the people I matter to. It's still a process to make the right choices, to find the right balance, but the shift in thought is essential. And I find myself less stressed out so far this year, with more time to read and juggle and watch Doctor Who and spend time with the people who matter to me. And that is incredible.
meorae: (Default)
It's always interesting when I go home these days. It's amazing how in just slightly more than a year my feelings towards my childhood home have completely changed. And how quickly I've come to call Colby home (although that's not entirely true, it's not exactly home so much as where I happen to live at this moment). At some point this weekend, my mom and I were talking about coordinating the timing of everything that was going to happen yesterday (craziness of a wedding as well as getting two kids back to college) and I said something about 'my bus home leaves at 7:15' while talking about how I was getting back to Colby. It was sortof a slip of the tongue, but not really. Colby's where I live now. I've spent a weekend here and there at home in Arlington this past year. And a few weeks at the beginning and end of summer as well as the three weeks of winter break. But otherwise I've been at Colby. I live here now. It's not quite home yet, and I'm not sure if it'll ever really be (it's difficult for a place to be home, for there to be stability when you have to move to a new room every year plus move back "home" every summer). But every time I come back to Arlington now, it becomes less and less going home and more and more just visiting my parents and high school friends. The actual house and the actual location of Arlington are gradually becoming unimportant.
meorae: (Default)
It's amazing how much can be associated with a word, a facial expression, a song. "Don't Stop Believing" came on tonight at dinner and a flood of images and feelings from the end of Last Blast came rushing back to me. I'd heard the song maybe once before it was arbitrarily chosen as our class song. And now I associate it very strongly with my class and the last time I saw most of the people in it. It made me happy at dinner, but now listening to it in my room just makes me miss everyone a lot.
meorae: (Default)
Graduation was annoyingly hot and I forgot to wear sunscreen so got pretty badly sunburned. Last Blast was so much fun, though. We got Elisabeth in without any problems. It really hit me some time in the middle of the night that this was the last time I'd see most of these people. The people I care about, I'll stay in touch with by email, livejournal, facebook. But the rest of these people who I've interacted with (positively or negatively) throughout elementary school, middle school and high school have basically left my life forever. It's somewhat a relieving thought, but it's also a depressing one.

Yesterday, Carol and Elisabeth came over and we spent 7 hours watching all of this season of Doctor Who. We're gonna have another marathon to see the final four episodes once those have aired. Oh Doctor Who, why are you so wonderful? I'm surprised I've come to like Donna as a companion. I hated her in the Christmas special, but she's grown on me. And Tennant is wonderful as always.

I leave for Florida tomorrow morning. I'll be back late on the 20th. It's annoying, because there's so much going on in the next week and I'd love to go to these graduation parties, to film Pamlet, to go to Relay for Life, etc but I have to say I can't come, I'll be in Florida. This week will probably be an amazing time with my cousins, but I just wish it wasn't happening right now.
meorae: (Default)
I'm not sure I've ever written about introversion or how it affects me, but it's something I've thought about over the past couple of years. I'm introverted. I prefer being alone to being in large groups of people. I do enjoy getting together with my friends, even if with the crew, that involves getting together with 15 people, but I need time to be by myself. For the most part, when I'm by myself, I don't have anything scheduled for specific times. If I feel like it, I can sit and stare at the wall for an hour, or I can read, or I can check my email. And for some reason I prioritize scheduled things - school, club meetings, doctor's appointments, babysitting, parties - higher than the time I need alone because the time alone isn't scheduled and it's "free time."

Over the summer, and during the school year as well, when one of my neighbors asks me to babysit, I have trouble saying no because I don't have anything else scheduled. I then can't say no when they ask me to stay an extra hour, because what would I be doing if I didn't stay? But I do need that time to be by myself. And when I don't have that time, I become irritable and exhausted. And yet, I consider time spent alone in my room as wasted no matter what I do, while a day spent just lazing outside with people is a day well spent. Which would be irrational even if I wasn't an introvert. I should judge how well I spend my time by what I accomplish, not by whether I'm with other people or not.

So I feel bad when I spend too much time alone, but I become irritable and tired when I don't spend enough time alone. And it's tough to strike the right balance between the two. Especially because it's really easy for me to go too far to either side. On the alone side (which I only fall into during vacations or an extended illness as school is forced socialization), I end up sleeping too much, eating either too little or too much and falling into a depressed, lonely state. When I snap out of it and spend some time with other people, I've noticed that that period of time alone becomes blurry in my memory. On the other side, spending too much time around other people makes me really tired and eventually I become overwhelmed and have to get away from everyone and everything.

The problem is I typically explain all of this away as mood swings or walking around too much or just being sick and so I don't modify my behavior. I just realize a week later, oh I was feeling depressed this week because I spent five days in front of my computer without talking to anyone, or oh I was really exhausted this week because I was hanging out with a bunch of people every day.

The other thing I've noticed is, my family has no effect on this. Being around my family for extended periods of time is as bad as being alone for extended periods of time. On the other hand, any house guests (who aren't my cats, brother or parents) have the same effect as spending too much time with other people, even if my interactions with them are minimal. Their presence in the house and at meals is enough to drain me of energy and make me irritable. I'm actually surprised that my weekend in Baltimore went fine even though I was around other people constantly. I'm not surprised that I'm feeling drained of energy and antisocial today, though. I've been spending all of my time with other people, plus we also have a house guest.

I still need to think about this more.
meorae: (Default)
Fucking hell... Rejected from Bowdoin as well. I was able to accept and relatively quickly move on from the other rejections because I didn't really expect to get into MIT, and I had an acceptance to go with the rejection from Amherst yesterday. But this, this one hurts.

And I'm going to stop this post right here, because dwelling on it will just make me depressed and irrational. It doesn't mean anything about me as a person. And if I keep telling myself that, I might begin to believe it...
meorae: (Life Goes On Desmond)
Donald broke up with me last night. And I'm surprised that I'm okay with it. I think I wanted the experience of a relationship more than a relationship with him specifically. I mean, I like being around him, talking to him, hanging out with him, and I did have a crush on him in eighth grade that never really faded, so I thought I'd enjoy a relationship with him. And I did enjoy it, and he enjoyed it as well, but it wasn't right. He broke up with me, but it is mutual. We don't work as a couple. We work as friends. And I hope I can salvage our friendship from this. Because that would be the biggest loss - the friendship we forged over the past year.
meorae: (Default)
A couple of months ago, I came across this excellent entry about privacy. It's something we all should be aware of. "Protecting your privacy, and the privacy of loved ones, in the 21st Century is not something you can do only part time. It has to be a purposeful intent that is integrated into every post you make, every profile you fill out, every event roster you sign, every cause you support, every review you write and every reply you make on a public blog, e-mail list or forum."

I got a facebook a month and a half ago and it, as well as that entry, has made me think about my privacy. I started out with a link to my livejournal in my facebook profile but removed it after more people started friending me, thinking that I didn't really want to connect my real life identity with my online identity and in many ways my private thoughts. I also started out comfortable with the privacy settings I chose, but I haven't changed them even though I've friended many more people, including two of my teachers, and joined the Boston network. I can easily change the privacy settings so I feel comfortable with the amount of information I'm sharing with my friends and everyone in my networks, but it just made me think about my level of privacy online.

I google meorae and my real name regularly to see what shows up. I also google my phone numbers, home address and email addresses. Nothing ever comes up for the phone numbers/email addresses/addresses and nothing comes up of me for my real name. There are plenty of hits for meorae, mainly because half of you allow indexing of your journals, so your profiles and a few entries I've commented on come up. And I'm perfectly fine with all of that. Whenever I remember to, I also check the different blog search engines to see if any of my livejournal entries are cached and I've only come across two that a couple of search engines cached before I turned the robot thing off.

But then looking at my public entries and profile, I've revealed my age/birthday, my grade, the names of most of my teachers/classes, my location, my school and my first name to anyone who reads my entries. On my profile, I also show all of my schools and my email address, although those are shown only to people I've friended. That's more information than I would think I reveal, but I just found all of that in about five of my previous public entries. And I don't know how I feel about that. That's enough information to know who I am. It's not enough information for a random stalker to easily contact/find me, but it wouldn't be too hard. I try to be careful by not posting my full name/phone numbers/address, f-locking photos and keeping track of what google could reveal about me. But a lot of smaller things get by and I'm glad I looked. I don't think I'll delete the information or f-lock any of the entries that contain it, but I'm aware of it now and I need to work out my boundaries for privacy.
meorae: (Default)
I was thinking of getting a permanent account. I have the money sitting around in my bank account (and for that matter in my wallet as well), I've been here for three years and will most likely stick around through college and grad school (and 7.5 years of paid time is equivalent in money spent to a permanent account) and for the most part, I like livejournal.

Livejournal is my home on the web. It's where I'm connected to my friends in real life (although now that is facebook as well), where I have access to interesting discussions and information in random communities, ljs and rss feeds, and where I have access to fandom. I used to lurk in fandom through archives and forums, but now when I read fanfic it's either on lj or linked to from someone's lj and all the discussions I read are in communities or livejournals.

But then I think about it and this is completely a marketing scheme to make money by creating interest due to the time window (much like facebook gifts). Plus, I have to think, do I really want to invest that much money in a service that sees nothing wrong with suspending journals for listing certain interests until fandom gets up in arms about it? And then there's the fact that it would just be weird. Looking at the page for gifting paid time, I'm the only one of you that I know in real life with a paid account.

I don't know who I'll be in two years, much less seven. And I don't actually know how I'll spend my time. Is it worth it when I haven't really taken advantage of my paid account? The answer is no. If I still like livejournal, I might get a permanent account during the next sale, but not during this one.
meorae: (Default)
I got my first debit card yesterday and my dad finished taking down the climbing structure this afternoon. There goes my childhood. It's weird to think about. I mean, I've been ignoring the age warnings on sites for the past four or five years and now I don't even think about it when I click the "yes I am 18 years or older" buttons. I expect my parents to treat me as a responsible person if not an adult by discussing things with me, not ordering me around. I think nothing of 'R' rated movies even though I can't legally see them on my own. I don't think of age at all when Pam mentions wanting to backpack Europe next summer, even though none of us will be over eighteen.

I just don't think of myself as young or consider my age until someone brings it up. It sometimes occurs to me when I'm reading a discussion that everyone is more than twice my age or that they all have kids or something else that makes me aware of my age, but I normally don't consider it.

It's also that I was such a naive and innocent child so I really don't identify with my younger self. I can remember being in elementary school, but I'm just not that person anymore. And yet, it was only eight years ago that my dad was first putting the play structure up and now it's come down.

But then Twinkie gets onto the roof of the house again and I stop thinking.
meorae: (Dread Pirate Desmond)
I remember editing a friend's short story in seventh grade. We were supposed to write descriptive stories about the present and then modify them so they were about the future. She originally wrote hers about going to a bookstore and then changed it by imagining what bookstores would be like in the future. In the story, books were mainly read electronically, and if I remember correctly, were forbidden to be read in paper form, which made normal books rare. At the time, I owned my laptop and was getting sucked into the world of fanfiction and the internet. However, the majority of my free time I still spent reading books, the paper kind, so I didn't really get the story. To me, it was an interesting take on the future, but then I promptly forgot about it and picked up whichever book I was reading at the time.

But coming across two links recently got me thinking about the story and the present. This week, an article was published in Scientific American about the ability to record everything of your daily life in a personal digital archive. The article discusses the work of a Microsoft researcher, Gordon Bell, who has switched from paper to electronic data in his life and created his own personal digital archive. The archive includes every website he visits, every email he sends or receives, every phone conversation he has and pictures of everywhere he goes taken by a really interesting camera that snaps pictures whenever the light level changes or a new person comes within view. The article predicts that it isn't long before digital archives are common. I'm wary of the idea mainly because of privacy issues, which the article does cover, but it got me thinking.

More and more of our lives are becoming electronic, as shown by the millions of new features cell phones and iPods have, the popularity of so many online things like youtube, and the fact that many of my teachers have blogs/websites, rely on email to send announcements or receive homework, and use youtube videos (although not now that it's been banned...) or Google videos to supplement their lectures, which compared to last year is a huge change. The Economist writes this week of electronic money and how cell phones in Japan and other countries are used as debit cards, storing and transferring money. For the past however many years, there have been reports on how online news services are taking away the audience of traditional news services. Everyone knows about myspace, youtube and wikipedia, plus Second Life is showing up all over the place in the news, and in many places, so is fanfiction. It isn't too much of a leap for everyone to have a personal digital archive or for paper things to become rare. There will probably always be an audience for paper things and I don't believe our society would ever decline far enough to ban paper books, but right now really is an electronic age.

And then today, I came across this site, which allows you to subscribe and have four pages of whichever book you want emailed to you either three, five, or seven days a week. It mostly has classics and older works because of copyright, but I've subscribed because I don't read books anymore and many of the books on dailylit are books I've been meaning to read, but never have. Although I'm not reading fanfiction anymore, I haven't been able to get back into reading books that aren't for school; I've only been reading short articles, essays, blog posts and wikipedia entries. I have tried ebooks in the past because it seemed that they would be a compromise between fanfiction and real books in that they would be real books on my computer, but I have never gotten far with them. Dailylit seems like it will work better for me, though, because it's a short email every day rather than a huge pdf file or whatever that I would have to find every time I want to continue reading it. But it's interesting that all of four years ago, I had trouble imagining an electronic future and went everywhere with a book, while today, I'm signing up to get pieces of a book emailed to me each day.
meorae: (Sawyer's LJ)
This time tomorrow, I won't have braces anymore. It's been a little under three years, and two oral surgeries and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I could feel worried, or happy, or thankful or any number of things, and right now, it's a vague mixture of everything that essentially makes me apathetic about it.

But I do basically only have one class tomorrow. As the AMC math test thing is the first two and a half shortened periods, and I'm getting dismissed at around 11:30, which means I'll have half of history and then computer programming and that's it.

And obviously, I'm going to sleep early so as to do a good job on the AMC and have finished my english speech project and emailed it to Kitsis... Of course. But the whose line videos were more important and so was looking into the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's son, which we talked a bit about in history today. Of course those were more important.
meorae: (Default)
It's strange getting back into things. My sleep schedule has been completely thrown off and there really is a complete difference from just plain survival and living by the clock. I think today would have been fine except for the fact that I had to take a midyear exam in math, another test in history and a vocab quiz after school, none of which I was actually prepared for. I think I did fine on the vocab quiz and history test and decent on the midyear by anyone else's standards, but I wish I had reviewed more than I did for all of them. And I could have, but no I had to watch Castaway with my mom last night and then I had to take a hot bath and then I had to go to bed at 8:30 because I was insanely tired. Eh, whatever. Now if only I could research and write a five page Chem paper in like five minutes before I fall asleep in this chair...
meorae: (Default)
After spending almost every second I'm awake and at home on my computer for almost the past three weeks, I've decided to try something. I haven't been doing my homework and I haven't been spending my time doing anything worthwhile and it's gotten to the point where it's just stupid. So, for the next week, I'm going to do as much as possible not to use my laptop and I'm posting this just so I actually do so. I'm not going to check livejournal and my email. I'm not going to watch whose line clips nonstop on youtube. I'm not going to do anything on my computer unless it's necessary for school. I'm cutting myself off from my computer because there are so many other things to do that I've stopped doing and thinking about. I can play piano, I can juggle, I can read, I can play ddr, I can actually learn the chemistry and math we're working on right now, which I know I would have been interested in a month ago, I can get used to using my knife and just prepare myself for solo, as it's in two weeks. I need a break, so I'm going to force myself to take one. I'll be back online in a week, hopefully caught up on my work and refreshed and less likely to lose track of every second of every day.
meorae: (Life Goes On Desmond)
I love math and computer programming. I pick it up so easily and understand it even though I'm still sick, even though I missed three classes of both of them. And this year more than any other, especially with computer programming, it's not that I already know the stuff, it's that I can understand it so quickly and easily and tie it into my previous knowledge. I spent all of half an hour catching up last night on computer programming, and then spent less than an hour today doing the three homeworks I missed in math. I've solved the math POW and the only problem in my life is the english make-up work and paper (which kitsis has kindly given me until thursday to finish and receive full credit on). I feel better than I have for the past week, although I really want to just go to sleep right now, but I'll see if I can get some of the english stuff done.
meorae: (Sawyer's LJ)
I'm only a third of the way through my history project, haven't started my english paper, have no idea what my topic for my chem paper will be, haven't done my english homework yet and am feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stupid and blah. I'm bad with large projects and having multiple big projects at the same exact time makes me fail and hate myself for procrastinating too much or whatever.

I've realized I seem to update my livejournal with four or so types of posts. There's the updates about my life which I post so I can remember them and because I like hearing what other people do even if I never comment on those posts. Then there's the ranting about stress of whatever kind, generally tying into updates on my life, which I post because they make me feel better (like the beginning of this post). I also post memes, quizzes and links to things I want to share. And finally, I post my thoughts, whether that's trying to unravel my feelings on something, sharing something I've figured out, or just writing down my opinion on something. I think I might start using tags to make it easier to find the posts with my thoughts in them, because those are the posts I come back to reread. I also sometimes sift through my entries for links I remember posting but never bookmarked, so maybe I'll tag those entries too.

And now back to that history project due tomorrow. Just 1,000 more words and then formatting everything into a newspaper before I can print it out and go to sleep. And then wake up and burn down Menotomy tomorrow ^^. I mean... We're creating fires tomorrow in survival, although they'll be controlled and Bob'll have a fire extinguisher, so Menotomy won't actually burn.
meorae: (Default)
I feel like doing so many things right now, and I have for the past month or so. At first, I felt like I've felt since the end of summer: "I actually want to do things now ^_^" but this week it's more like my thoughts are cluttered, disorganized and basically worthless because I want to do too many things. My mind's being pulled in a million different directions which doesn't allow my thoughts to go anywhere or me to get anything done. I guess it's better than being completely unmotivated and not wanting to do anything, but the end result is the same, I get nothing done. Elisabeth seems to be feeling close to what I am right now, that our minds are cluttered and yet empty. And I don't want to go back to that bleak state of feeling there must be something better than this and needing to blame something for my lack of motivation but I also dislike having the motivation to do things but not being able to accomplish anything due to a lack of a direction, a focus. I have the motivation, I have the time, I could accomplish the things I've wanted to, but I can't focus, I can't concentrate.
meorae: (Hugh Jackman in the Fountain)
It's something I've wondered about. As I post my entries publically at least 95% of the time, I try to use usernames or nicknames instead of real names of people as often as I remember. I've caught myself a number of times about to write out someone's name and then I switch it to their username. And yet, even on public posts, I see a lot of other people (not random people, people on my flist) who comment or post with actual names. And that's not to even get into the people who flock their journals and leave one post open where you're supposed to comment if you want to be added and 50% of the time, someone comments with "hey realnameofpersonwithflockedjournal, it's realnameofcommenter." And I dunno. When I first got my lj, these comments and posts helped me figure out who was who, but now I try not to post any revealing information of anyone publically, whether that's full names, real first names in connection to a username, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or whatever else. And I just wonder what other people feel. So go hence and discuss privacy on the internet and using real names on public posts or in comments of public posts. Or don't, your choice...
meorae: (Math)
I enjoy having two classes that I like going to, and where I'm actually learning things, but I've started basically counting down the minutes until I have computer programming and on the days I have survival, counting down to that too... Oh well. Survival and computer programming are awesome. And then I like my english class and teacher, but it's been sortof boring, although that will probably get better. On the other hand, chem is utterly boring due to Magill (and will probably continue to be), and we've had a lab like every day for the past couple days which means lab write-ups every night. He said he'd cut down on the labs, as we complained, but still. And then history and math are sortof interesting, and sortof boring. And that's my life.

I've been hanging after school with the caf crew, and although it's better than I thought it would be without the ex-seniors, I miss them. I want my [livejournal.com profile] penguinutopia to flop down on, and [livejournal.com profile] napoleonofnerds so I can listen to interesting debates, [livejournal.com profile] l33tspike to slash with other people and to make it so the house isn't completely dark and quiet (except for my room) at 9pm as it's been, and [livejournal.com profile] sana_gale to make me laugh, and [livejournal.com profile] arrowwhiskers to talk to, and I'm really not describing this well or completely, but I miss the ex-seniors. I want the caf crew of last year back. Plus, we haven't coerced any froshies to join us, so it seems like there aren't enough people.

I seem to have joined the math team, just cause [livejournal.com profile] acern forced me to, ok told me to go to the first meeting and I obeyed. First meeting was fun, and it seems like it will be enjoyable, just I really need to organize myself so I have enough time to procrastinate do my homework, go to club meetings, stay after with the crew and do other things like spanish chats, practicing piano, babysitting and doing the million things online that I do each day. Cause I know I have enough time to do everything I want to, I just don't pay attention to time, so waste time before realizing that oh crap it's dinnertime and I have an hour of homework from each of my classes to do. So maybe I'll make a schedule like crazy!bookston suggested to my math class in that off-topic rant a week ago.

Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] acern, I thought that you'd like this article titled 'NY men call themselves straight but have sex with men.'

And omg DPS/House crossover love.

edit: fuck homework. I'm watching dead poets' society again.
meorae: (Labyrinth)
I don't know why, but for some reason I've been in a really good mood lately. And, I feel like reading books again. And springing from either one or both of those, my motivation to learn, to experience things, to write my thoughts down, to get things done seems to have come back after three years of floating along wishing I had the motivation not only to get school work done, but also to do things in my free time. So this makes me happy ^_^ and I actually managed to go through my bookmarks and delete the links I'll never use again and organize the rest. I also cleaned my desk. And tomorrow I plan to go through my clothes and maybe go out and rent TV shows or maybe just download them.

My mom's also decided that she's going to repaint my walls and buy me new sheets, as she feels bad that my room and sheets are a color I dislike. We painted my room a light pink three or so years ago because I had pink sheets (which my mom had bought for me in elementary school) and my mom said no other color would really go with the sheets. And I didn't protest too much, because she seemed to be right and the paint chip seemed to be pale enough that I thought my walls would be close enough to white that I wouldn't mind. But my walls are still pink... So yay for repainting.

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