Spare Wheel

Aug. 1st, 2012 02:25 pm
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
I'm getting the itch to do more tabletop RPG right now, just as one member of my regular group is in the hospital helping his wife through labor, and another member is preparing to do the same in two weeks.

This is a little bit heightened by going over to my friend Laz's house. I was just there to pick up my headphones which I'd left the night before, but it turned out he was running his own game. Using "The Keep on the Borderlands on a "rules light" system. This turned out to be a fuzzy simulation system with some unusual implications during combat. It was a decent time playing, but it was disconcerting to go from a group dedicating to breaking down the rules of RPG systems in playtest to a DM with hidden information adding hidden bonuses to hidden rolls behind a screen (an unknown number of them fudged) who categorically refused to give details about the system or its implications. (If I write about that, I think I'll make it separate, since there's a lot of stuff I'm processing, much of which is not particularly groundbreaking.)

It did get me fired up about Dungeon World and World of Dungeons, the sparseness of the latter vaguely resembling Laz's simple game. It also got me thinking about Burning Wheel, which is a system I played once at con, but always wanted to learn more about. And I'd just come across my copy of the book, so I thought I'd actually read about how the system works.

Except that the book that I'd found was actually The Character Burner, one of the two books that describe the system. And the other one, the half that has most of the system rules, was missing. I searched on and off for a few days, becoming more forlorn. By the time I told Psyche about it, I was near certain that I'd left it somewhere foolish, like the DMV.

She found it in about seven minutes.
tablesaw: A black woman and a white man hold each other on a park bench. Text reads "2004-2010." (Ojouchan)
I've created a new access list for me to talk about my emotions during my breakup. By default, most people with general access to this blog are on this list, with the exception of [ profile] ojouchan and a few mutual friends that I would not feel comfortable venting to at all. You can visit the introductory post to see if you're on the filter.

This filter is not about "picking sides" in the breakup. It's mostly about keeping our emotional fallout sequestered from each other, so that we can move on healthily. But it's also about letting people decide how much they want to hear about that fallout.

In the process of creating the access list, I also renovated my friends lists on LJ and DW. There wasn't anything particularly drastic; most of the people who I removed were inactive journals. However, the undertaking was large enough that I very likely made mistakes.

If you want access (or want renewed access) to this blog or to the breakup filter, you can comment to this post. All responses are screened.

It's over.

Oct. 28th, 2010 08:17 pm
tablesaw: A black woman and a white man hold each other on a park bench. Text reads "2004-2010." (Ojouchan)
[ profile] ojouchan and I have broken up and ended our engagement.

You may or may not know that we've been having troubles and were taking a break. This is not a break; it's over. Please don't question the finality of the decision.

Our friendship remains essentially intact, but it's very difficult for each of us emotionally.

Comments are open, but I'm not entirely comfortable saying much about this publicly yet. I may reach out privately if I haven't already. I may set up a filter to process this.

Please also keep in mind that my family reads this journal and are finding this out too. Mom, Dad, I may not be ready to talk immediately.
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
I suppose it would happen that I lose internet access when I'm having an existential crisis. The internet is something I use to fend them off.

I've been making a fanmix for a Whedonland challenge, and that's meant digging deep into my music collection. And digging deep into my music collection has meant listening to music I haven't heard in a while. And listening to music I haven't heard in a while means feeling things I haven't felt in a while.

I've been flashing back to the feeling of the Tower Records at GW, the place where I browsed magazines and books, where I bought new music (that I still have), where I saw Suzanne Vega talk about meeting Lou Reed. just across the way there was an ice-cream place (was it a Coldstone's?) and an Au Bon Pain and a bar I never went to because I didn't turn 21 until I was at UCSB, and I remember it in flashes of how I felt that day, cold or wet or hot or tired or excited or scared or depressed or infatuated or proud.

Or I'll remember standing in the Albany airport, waiting for [ profile] isako to give me a ride to meet [ profile] ojouchan for the second time, or the same airport later, when my mom called to tell me that my grandmother had died while I was away.

And every flash is different. It impresses upon me that I never really know who I am, because I'm always changing. I don't know who I am right now.

In a lot of ways, I'm afraid of the past more than the future. The past can do as much damage as the future, but unlike the future, it can't be changed. And every year, there's just so much more of it: more pain, more joy, more laughter, more momentum, more power.

So I like to move forward, focusing on the short term, and leaving anything that's fallen out of my view deep in the past, because once I let it drop, it might not be something that's mine. It's something that belonged to a past me.

If I had the internet on right now, I'd go back and look at my posts. But I can tell, right now, that this is the kind of thing I'd be willing to post years ago, but haven't posted much recently. I'm only doing it now because I'm scared, and I can't sleep, and the only way I can reach out right now is with the phone and everyone I know is (or is probably) asleep. But then, back then, I was a lot more lonely, too, I guess. I've been feeling so many things, but haven't wanted to say them, or write them, and there's been so much to do with friends and family and work and all.

I don't know what's going to change. I do know that I'm more regularly social right now than I've been since college, with two gaming groups, one regular group TV-watching, a close friend at work, and dating with [ profile] ojouchan. And I know it's going to be a hard time sleeping tonight.

But even now, I'm feeling the relief this blog used to bring, easing the pressure of loneliness and melancholy.

Also, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow. That's not really much compared to the memories making me revaluate my concept of identity, but it's also not helping me get to sleep either.

(finished 2:12 a.m.)

Internet is back, the result of my modem and router being finicky about the order they got turned on. Off to the dentist now,and I'll look for and add the links I was thinking of when I get back.


Oct. 13th, 2003 10:32 am
tablesaw: Katsuhiko Jinnai, from El Hazard (Jinnai)
I've been trying to write a letter to Ex, but it's not happening. Well, something's happening, but it's not the letter I'm supposed to write. Ex got married last week, and I have yet to say anything about it. The problem is that every time I set down something, I start pouring out my own issues, which isn't the point. And trying to cut all of that out leaves me with something so stiff and impersonal that it's almost and insult. Not what I want to say at all.

(For those just joining us, here's some background for my relationship with Ex and my relationship with Ex after my relationship with Ex: 3/17/2002, 6/22/2002, 9/19/2002 and possibly some other entries I can't find.)

Ex and I became close friends in Washington, D.C, where we attended one year of college together. At the end of that year, we both moved to different colleges, but we kept in close contact, thanks largely to her weekend job as a secretary at a business with a liberal toll-free-phone-line policy. Eventually, on a visit to LA, we started dating, and tried to continue it long-distance off and on for a while.

Breaking up with Ex is directly tied in to my ultimate crash at the end of a very long slide into the depths of depression. I can clearly trace back my depression to my Sophomore year in high school, but I'd always managed, generally, to keep things more or less balanced. Leaving school cut me loose in many ways, and I just got very, very bad. Depression severely warped my perception of reality in the months after I graduated from college, and I alienated my friends and family until I was pinning a lot of my life on my relationship with Ex. That relationship was falling apart because, well, I was falling apart; but I couldn't see/accept it. Eventually, on a long-before-scheduled trip to her home town where she finally, actually, firmly broke up with me, I had a complete breakdown.

Since then, I've been able to put my mind back together to a certain extent, though it's still a journey. Anyway, I need to get back to Ex.

At the end of our "relationship," Ex started seeing someone, whom we will call Xi (because I like saying "Ksaie!"). Considering what I've told you above, and even guessing at my mental state at the time, you can imagine that my view of Xi wasn't very pretty, or very accurate. A lot of my residual rage from that time is directed at him.

If you've looked at my "research" posts, you'll know that Ex and I have been in touch with each other for about a year now, through web journals. I guess this may be a new and interesting use of the Internet, but it's been good for me. I've gotten used to Ex being in my thoughts in new situations, ones that don't involve me being a ranting madman. But with this wedding, I realize that I haven't quite gotten closure on that time in my life. I've moved on, but there's still a little bit open.

I feel like I need to see her again, to solidify the communication we've had since the break up, to know that it's real, to have something slightly more like what we had before things got strange, back when we were friends who could talk for hours about art, philosophy, anime, and anything else.

Also, I need to meet Xi again. No, not again. I don't really think that first time counted. I think I'm better off assuming that I never met Xi and that what I remember from meeting him was just an elaborate imagining from my brain which bears no resemblance to reality. Ex really only talks about Xi tangentially in her journal, so that doesn't really give me a whole lot to go on. I feel like I need some reality to counteract the nightmare of three years ago, so that I can actually see why my friend is marrying him.

Wow. Three years. It's been a long time. I haven't really caught up with that part of my life. It feels more like a year ago. So much wasted space.

I'm still iffy on the letter, so here it is. Any and all suggestions are appreciated before I send this out: Read more... )
tablesaw: -- (Default)
A while back, I stopped hearing from Wendy at all, and I got a little worried about her. I emailed her asking what was going on, and she eventually responded. But at the end of her message was a paragraph that is confusing me, and I'd like to know what other people think, whether it's just me.
In other news, it's really difficult for me to have normal conversations with you . . . ) Right now I'm just really uncomfortable having contact with you, and I will remain so unless there is some real communication -- AND REAL FRIENDSHIP-BUILDING -- between us.
Communication problems have plagued this relationship for a while, so when these things come up, I start to doubt my on reflections. To me, this just seems like a catch-22. She doesn't want to have casual conversations unless we start FRIENDSHIP BUILDING, but I don't know how that's supposed to happen without casual conversation. "Oh hello, Wendy! Don't ask how I'm doing, I need to tell you about my innermost fears right away." I don't know how I can make this process any faster, and I certainly can't do it if she doesn't want to talk to me. I also don't know how I'm supposed to address her feelings on this. It's not like I'm not hurt and sad about this. I miss her, and I miss talking to her.

I'm just at a loss for this, and I'm not certain that there's anything I can do right now. Any help and perspective would be appreciated.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
My last entry was written quickly, in a fury at LiveJournal for deleting my original post. I quite forgot that some of the information in the lost post was important. Like the fact that Wendy and I broke up last week.

I wrote all about the stuff leading up to it, but I don't feel like writing them again. I didn't feel like writing them in the first place, but knew that I had to do it anyway, to get it out of my head. Now, they're mostly out, and I don't want to repeat it all over again. But, in terms of the aftermath, Wendy's really depressed right now, was already, independent of the break-up. Like much of her depression, it's keyed into employment, or lack thereof. But now, she's also trying to deal with her first "amicable" break-up. One which doesn't leave one with the aid of deep loathing for the other person involved to get through things.

She woke up in tears, and cornered me on AIM asking why the relationship would be over if we're still fond of each other. Well, that's not prescisely true; she knew the reasons why. When we broke up, it was clear to us both that communication between us had a tendency to fall to pieces at a moments notice, so we were both mentally ready to go back to being friends, but now she's wracked with guilt that she may have screwed up something good.

I know we're still friends, but I don't really feel capable of being the main person in charge of helping her get over our relationship. I've got my own getting over of it to do. Beyond that, I'm also worried about her feeling depressed.

So, this is still very disjointed, but maybe that helps a little bit more.


Aug. 5th, 2003 06:35 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I was writing about my relationship with Wendy, was 80% of the way through, and the window disappeared. I don't know what happened.

I'm pissed. There's an emotional load on me from the relationship that I can't shake. She's really depressed right now, and I can't deal with it. I want to be friends, but I need some away time. I can't deal with every little thing.

Why doesn't she believe me when I say that she's dangerously depressed and needs help? Why can't she seal with this for a second without me.

This and more is what I'm channeling into Puzzle Pirates. Also why I'm not cleaning my pigsty of a room. [ profile] wjukknibs, want to go out for breakfast this week? Please?
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The other day, I had a sudden overwhelming urge to read "Judas Danced" by Brian Aldiss. I knew which book it was in, SF: Authors' Choice. After my fever for this chaotic tale was abated, I noticed something odd. Scribbled on the inside of the paperback cover, I found the following, in pencil and in my hand:
Don't do what I did . . .
You keep saying,
It's OK, I can live with that
It's OK, I can live with that
Then you go: "It's too much
I can't live with any of it
You have to change everything."
I haven't a clue what it means or why it's there. I don't even know if the words are mine or if I heard someone else say them. All I know is that it was when I had this book out, which was during the last two years of college? It's very likely that I copied this down during my "Race, Gender and Performance" class with Catherine Cole [Archive link, 10/26/10], since I used another story in the book, "Day Million" [dead link changed, 10/26/10] by Frederik Pohl as the source for my final project in that class. Does anyone recognize this fragment at all?

SatNYTX: 13:45. Very fast, but there was one crossing of words I didn't know.

(LJ note: The update page doesn't seem to allow me to select a userpic right now. Hope that gets fixed.) (Update: It's back.)


Jul. 19th, 2003 11:11 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
A while back, I started dating a girl. Then I stopped talking about it. The reason I stopped talking about it is because my offhand mention of it on my journal caused to psychos to stalk my journal because they thought I was dating someone they were obsessed with. One actually had guessed correctly. So I was a bit skittish about that.

Things aren't going so well, and I don't know what it is I want to say about it. It's all tangled up in a lot of messy things, and I'm convinced that this relationship is not doing either of us any good.

Bleh. I'm just going to try for some sleep.


Mar. 24th, 2003 12:02 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I've been threatening to clean for weeks now, but haven't done so. A lot of that has been the show eating up lots of my time. Further, it greatly diminished the time I spend at home three days a week, making it easier to deal with the mess. But for the past few weekends, I've had something keeping me at the computer. And her name is Wendy.

(Well, actually, it's not. But come on! This is a public web journal, I'm not going to give your her real name!)

Wendy lives a bit far away, but thankfully not far enough that we can't meet with a modicum of planning. In fact, we did so last week. And it was very wonderful. Before that, though, we would chat for hours, getting the courage do meet for real. And so I'd end up frittering away my days instead of cleaning.

Well, Wendy has a job that prevents her from IMing at three in the morning, which means that I have time to clean. Which I did today. Started, at least. After some lazy time, I cleaned up my entire living room; I'm going to deal with my bedroom tonight. It was important to do so because tonight I'm going to be getting an actual sofa! Now I have two soft pieces of furniture on which to lounge!

I'm not sure when [ profile] wjukknibs will be over, so I'd better get to bed early (which is to say, now). Good night.


Dec. 17th, 2002 01:54 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I wake up slightly to the sound of the river passing over my head, water that would cause flooding and gridlock and agony for the city while I slept. My body is wrapped in sheets and quilts, and my eyes flick between a grey cloudy light and black cloudy dark, and my mind drowns in the sound of rain, and my soul is disgorged like an overbloated corpse from the sea of dreams. A sudden splash of impetus twists my body like a rag, and my arm falls onto the empty side of the bed, resting on something other than mattress. And for a less than a moment I feel a warm body, peaceful, her oblivion to the tempest outside offering me a sweet, second-hand solace, a warmth to fold myself into. Soon enough, though, the form defines itself: cold, small, rigid. It was my dictionary, left at my side during a recent bout of insomniac solving.

Thank you, Life, for interrupting my dreams with a taunting metaphor. No, really, it made my day.

My life isn't empty. But it's not as full as it could be. And as long as there's an empty space next to me, it'll be filled by whatever's handy, usually from my bookcase. A book has many things to offer me, of course, but what have I to offer it?
tablesaw: -- (Default)
He and She, at a party, suddenly converge, shoeless, on the twister board while the other partygoers swirl around them and, maintaining laser-like eye contact suddenly reveal information about their families, punctuated by periods of mutual reflection/contemplation.
(Repeat three times for folkloric resonance.)

That's not really a "meet cute"; what is it?

Related quote: "He's pretty sarcastic for a guardian angel, but he's still a good guardian angel."
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I'm taking a break from putting things into boxes. Not only because I'm a bit tired and need a breather, but also because a little while ago, I took a few things out of boxes.

I have a box that I'm keeping for a friend. It's a box of evidence of a relationship. I've had it for years now, and I've never really looked at it, but today, while I was evaluating what, from my life, to keep and what to discard, I was drawn to the small cardboard box of mementos. I flipped through. All in all there wasn't much, but there was a large stack of communiques of various types, neatly stacked.

I didn't read the emails. I didn't want to or need to. I was already struck with how meticulously clean they were. They didn't seem to be folded or crumpled or to show any other marks of mishandling. They were pristine except for occasional stray notes, doodles, and periodic underlining of the text. It surprised me that my friends had been able to organize these aspects of his life so delicately, ultimately making it possible, then, to put it all into a single box to be given to someone else for an indefinite period of time.

I simply don't function like that. It's hard enough for me to keep my financial information in the same place where I could be expected to find it within five minutes. But I couldn't decide to be jealous of my friend's ability or glad that I lacked it. On the one hand, having that information organized, one can always refer back to something. On the other hand, always having the information at hand means, in a physical, or perhaps geographical, way, being unable to forget. There's always something there to remind you.

I have mementos from past relationships. A few are on display, like the only picture I have of a girl from Montana, but most are hidden behind, around, below, within the maze of information that is around me at all times. And it's times like this, when I'm moving or cleaning or otherwise sifting all of my possessions, that these physical memories, stored outside of my brain, come back through my fingertips and speak.

Somewhere in that room, or possibly in boxes somewhere that I packed months ago, there is a picture of an old ex-girlfriend, exer than Ex. She's in high school, getting ready for, I think, Homecoming, wearing a green dress and looking lovely despite an obvious weariness in her eyes with the process of having her parents photograph her before the dance. Attached to it is a photograph taken of the two of us in Georgetown on some night out with a group of friends. I'm wearing a winter coat and my insulated arms hold her close; her black leather (faux-leather?) jacket wraps around my arms as well, and the dark clothing with the night flash makes her clear face luminous beneath mine. And when I find it, as I always do, I'll hold it in my hand and remember when I held her in my arms, when I fell in love, when we studied together and I couldn't stop staring at her pale shoulder, off of which her shirt had slipped, when we first kissed, sitting on a bench on the Washington Mall, when I cried, when she embarrassed herself and my friend in front of me while drunk, when she lied to me. And when I find it, as I always do, I'll ask myself whether I should simply let it fall away from me, into a dustbin and out of my life. And when I find it, as I always do, I will place it carefully into whichever pile I've designated for things that I'm not sure what to do with, where it will be covered by stray notes, or postcards, or newspaper clippings until I find it again.


Sep. 19th, 2002 11:06 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
So, as I mentioned earlier, Ex has begun reading and commenting in my journal. I'm actually kind of glad. This may be a way to painlessly restart a friendship, from a distance.

She also directed me to her own webjournal. I don't feel comfortable giving the address even in this smaller area, but let me reprint a section I found early on.

I tried to work out (alone, in my head) a breakup that I had a long time ago... )

As you can imagine, this struck me pretty hard. But really, I don't have anything more to say, I think, than what I posted as a response:

So, yeah, I found you... )

I don't think there's much more to say, and I need to get to bed. Must wake up for Survivor Thailand, you know.
tablesaw: "Tablesaw Techniques" (Techniques)
I was invited to a party on Saturday, but I don't know when. Better get in touch with my friend, assuming she's back in town. It'll be a busy weekend overall. There's the party on Saturday and a baptism on Sunday, and before the baptism, I'm plan on walking from work over to the new Our Lady Queen of Angels Cathedral to attend its first Sunday Mass.

I've requested time off on October 1 and 2. This will be the time for me to move into my carriage house. I am so excited.

Feeling kind of lonely, right now. Part of this is psychical energy absorbed from a some friends' bad situation, but it's been a while since my last relationship. Sigh.

Later on the Kevin and Bean show, they played a clip of outtakes from Anna Nicole Smith's movie Skyscraper. Here's the director trying to cue Smith with her lines as a helicopter pilot.
Director: "I'm heading eastbound, leaving your airspace."
Smith: I'm east now, leading your hair space.
Also, I thought I'd mention this very special Harry Potter Quiz. Sorry, my results are secret.

FriNYTX: 26.
tablesaw: A young Shawn Spencer learns proper saw technique from his dad. (Cartoon)
It occurs to me, today, that I have spent far too little of my lifetime living, and far too much of it thinking. This occurs to me so suddenly, because last night I had a very clear example of what life is like without the brain getting in the way.

A possible relationship with a friend did not move to a more intimate level (for reasons which may or may not be discussed at a later date). But my experience was very unusual in that I didn't feel the same acute anxiety over the occurrence as I have had in other relationship beginnings and non-beginnings. I attribute this to the fact that I was, for the first time, actually aware of what was happening, instead of worried about what might happen.

This gets long... )
tablesaw: -- (Default)
While dictionary browsing, I found this:

sex kitten n (1958): a young woman with conspicuous sex appeal

I want a sex kitten.

Now let me unpack that a bit. I don't want in the sense of ownership. Nor do I want an actual kitten to have sex with (thank you very much gutter-minded ones). But I would like to date some one with conspicuous sex appeal.

I found it interesting that, even as I let my lizard brain do the thinking, I didn't want to go out and find someone solely on the basis of their perceived "sexiness," instead I wanted to find someone brilliant and beautiful and then be lucky enough for her to be a sex kitten as well. It's almost the inverse of [ profile] swisscheesed's "Well, it's nice that you have a brain," where it's the brain that's the pleasant afterthought.

Back to life... )

A change.

Jun. 22nd, 2002 08:59 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Recently, somthing happened that made me question the way that I run my journal. I made a brief post about my Ex on a very trivial matter. Within hours, I received an email from Ex saying that a "mutual acquaintance" had mentioned my concern over the email and proceeded to explain what had happened. She also mentioned that said person did seem to ahve talked to me in person. Which makes sense because after I posted the entry, I proceeded to forget the entire thing, until I got the second email. I certainly didn't mention it to anyone who, to my knowledge, knows Ex.

So someone who reads my journal, practically immediately contacted Ex about it. Ex admonished me saying that if I had felt slighted I should have just written her. Well, I wasn't going to write her and ask her about it because I knew that by doing so I'd just look silly. I know I can become paranoid at times, but I also know that it's usually for no reason. So while the email unsettled me enough to make me put up an entry expressing my confusion, in no way was I demanding or expecting an answer. But somebody has taken that confusion out of context and thrown it to Ex without my permission.

It had been my assumption that anyone reading my journal would have the sense to keep a certain sense of privacy about it. Instead, someone seems to be using it as grist for a gossip mill. And I'm pissed off.

I don't believe that Ex knew about my journal until I told her. If she did, there really was no reason for her not to tell me. I do have a short list of who I think it is and to what extent their actions may have been malicious.

I'm not upset that Ex may know things about my journal. In fact, I've given her the URL. I'm not even upset someone reading my journal would be someone I may not like or someone who may be in contact with Ex or both. I'm upset most greatly by the speed with which this gossip traveled. There was not a long period of time for someone to read the journal and inform Ex and then for Ex to email me, which makes me wonder if these types of updates have been occurring for quite a while. I am upset that whoever was sharing things I wrote in my journal with Ex didn't tell me. And I'm angry at the way I was taken out of context. I do not want to censor myself any more than I logically have to. If this means that future posts regarding Ex will be friends-locked, so be it, but I'm not going to spend the rest of my journal wondering what whispers it's fostering.

So long as I suspect that the information in my journal is going to be bounced around be people I know or used to know in ways that will come back to hurt me, I am forced to limit access to my posts. It is my intention that, after this matter is resolved, I'll revise these posts and remove the security restrictions on them. But this journal has become a part of my life, just like a more private journal, and I don't want to let one jerkoff completely shut-off an outlet for my writing.

If any of you now on this list know both Ex and me, let me know, now. I need closure on this.

FriLATX: 6:15. SatNYTX: 18. I'm having trouble with the crossing of 40D and 44A. SatLATX: 9:30.


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