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i am the canary in the coal mine
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ancora Imparo's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009
5:38 pm
Well, things seemed all dour and stuff judging from the last post, but they're not REALLY dour! Like I have a job that is tolerable, and I have a roof over my head, and nice friends. Really really nice friends. On the whole, I'm very happy, but there is still a bunch of nettlesome junk.

Moods are strange. Like I was on this diet to reduce inflammation, and it was very restrictive. I did okay for a few months, but then gradually started to cheat and sneak and finally gave up trying because I SUCK at sticking to things. I had all this weird GI upset and I stopped losing weight and got really miserable and finally started eating more food to self-medicate and be defiant. Real mature.

Just in general, I suck at sticking to things, and I get overwhelmed easily. I failed out of cognitive behavioral therapy last month because I couldn't hack it and it made me extremely anxious. So my room is the messiest its ever been and I hate it, but I just cannot deal with it. I'd like to pare my stuff down but it's hard to even empty the recycling, and something about "routine" breaks my brain. So I get overwhelmed and I don't deal with the problems and the paper and mess pile up and I just don't care enough.

It's the fear of routine and inability to practice self-dicipline that causes me to remain chubby, unflexible, messy, musically unpracticed, way behind on all my projects, and secretly unhappy. So I'm unhappy about all this, but I don't complain too much because seriously, if I was really unhappy, I'd do something. And instead I choose not to do.

I wish more than anything that I could get to the bottom of this, and I sort of have some ideas, but the whole thing is really quite shameful to me. It's like I think there are more important things in life than cleaning, like having meaningful relationships and mind-enriching activities. But really that's just privilege talking, the luxury of being white and childless and living a life of relative convenience. Hence more shame.

The mess has the specific characteristic of being piles of "unfinished thoughts" and this idea of not wanting to disturb what's been started, and feeling controlled by stuff. I really, seriously have no mental concept of that ever changing. Dog forbid I ever had to move.

So I'm pissed about getting overwhelmed. I really hope I'm not the sort of person who needs constant supervision to get things done and live properly, but I can't seem to clear my head otherwise.

It's my bete noir.

What the fuck to do.

Current Mood: stupid
Monday, March 2nd, 2009
10:43 pm
gawd, it's been a long time...

For whatever reason, I stepped away, and I liked the idea of not writing but still having it. And now a bunch of shit continues to bother me, and Facebook just isn't the right venue.

So...the number one thing bugging me at the moment is math. I got an A in College Algebra with a shit-eating grin, but this Pre-Calculus is hard and while I've tried to keep a good attitude, it sure is hard.

Having the first three weeks of class without a book sure didn't help.

Now I'm in this old familiar place where doing homework is really utterly pointless. It feels like all I'm doing is taking a number and chewing on it for a while, then sticking it under the desk. Doing homework seems more harmful than helpful. I can read the book all I want and it's totally not familiar. Then I read my notes, and my notes made sense at the time, but not anymore. I sit down and I try to force myself through the homework and maybe I'll figure it out. All I get for my trouble is page after page of half-finished problems (maybe I'll go back to them later?) and an ever-tightening throat. This is not a good use of my time.

And what I really cannot get over is this recurring theme where the stuff I'm learning seems so counterintuitive. Algebra made a ton of sense. This is bullshit by comparison.

I could also go on about how my bank account isn't too healthy, and I can't keep track of which bills I paid and how much my roommates owe me, and how I forgot to submit my tuition reimbursement forms (and will have to eat $400, except I'll probably do so badly in this class that I'd have to pay the full price anyway), and how things with my gentleman friend aren't going so well, and my wrist hurts, and I'm fatter than ever, and WHINE WHINE WHINE.

But that's why Dog gave us Livejournal.

Current Mood: angry
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
9:45 am
I'm not dead. I've actually grown rather bored with the internets. I like the existance of my livejournal and I intend to keep it, but ignoring it is also fine with me. I surf the net at work, and try to do other things in the evening. I don't do this YouTube crap. Politics has worn me out long ago.

I've been playing outside all this time, you see. Actually talking to real peoples. It's nice.

Life in the For Science! House is most excellent, the punk scene is lively, my bass is my good friend. I have a different boything now. I will probably stay at my current job at the hospital. I mean to take my math placement exams at the community college...soon. I keep taking ballet, hoping for pointe shoes and stumbling over and over again. I've done some sewing.

Maybe in the future I'll write regularly. Maybe not. But I won't drop this thing.

Current Mood: working
Sunday, February 3rd, 2008
7:19 pm
My special friend just left to go home, and I'm feeling a bit low.

It's okay though. It's just how it is. It'll wear off.

This year, I have failed to move much on my plans for improvement, which included more ballet lessons and more progress on finishing sewing projects.

In the ballet world, I am stymied by schedules. Will try again this week. I have to get my metabolism higher and keep it higher. This is a short-term as well as long-term goal, because my metabolism will slow down the older I get...unless I do something about it. I must keep my metabolism at an all-time high all the time. I have no real responsibilities now, so there's no excuse.

In the sewing world, I am stymied by my winter coat. The pocket situation is stressing me out. I read the instructions for making a welted pocket. The instructions are not clear. I set them aside and panic about them, hoping I can figure them out eventually. Production stands still. Lather, rinse, repeat. All this due to angst. And somehow I'm afraid to start other projects until I finish the first ones, and in the end, very little gets done quickly. It's a very Catholic way of working, a self-denial, punishing, force-yourself kind of thing where I still allow myself to wiggle out of responsibilities.

Perhaps the real New Year's resolution should have been "reducing angst", because then the rest would fall into place?

I have not been at my best lately. I have been mis-speaking, saying the wrong words and looking silly, saying illogical things, being ditzy, thinking and speaking in mismatched ways. Sloppy. I hate that. I don't know how to stop it. It's one of those hindsight things, where you realize your mistake right when or right after you make it.

I need a little pocket planner. Yes, and some file folders, so I can Get Things Done.


And lastly, work bothers me. It bothers me because it's really fast-paced multitasking with lots of working with people, the exact kind of work my neurologists have told me not to do. The pay is good, so I have to stay. My boss and coworkers really want me to stay and they tell me so because they experienced a lot of turnover lately. They want me to succeed. If I work hard at this, maybe I could advance to something else in the hospital where I could be more behind the scenes. It bothers me that I don't totally like it, because I don't want to be a princess, where nothing is good enough for me.

I have the nagging feeling that this isn't what I want, and if I ignore this feeling, I will regret it.

Will I EVER get a job on my own resume power? Without having to be temp first?

I am sick and tired of stereotypical jobs where I simply keep everything running smoothly. I want to be the one making the "everything". I want to be the decision maker, the creative thinker, the one who shapes things and discovers things. I can't picture what this would look like, so it's really hard to know what to go after. I know I have to do gruntwork before I get there. But what if I think the grunt work won't lead me toward anything I want? Do I stay and suck it up, or do I leave and search for something better as soon as possible?

I need to network and I need to go back to college for science. Some weekend, I need to go to both Bunker Hill Community College and UMass Boston and find out what my options are. For science.

What I want is a job I can be proud of, a job where I'm not embarrassed to talk about what I do for a living because it sounds dumb. I know I belong in science. But if that doesn't work out, I have to find another place for myself in the world. They say that most people don't work within their original chosen fields, and most people just fall into their jobs by dumb luck, or they do a mishmash of things that make them happy without being clearly defined.

Until I find that, I have no choice but to work hard at my job, and stop mentally leaving work at work each day, and seeking out more work in the areas that interest me, and get to know people...try to catch someone's eye. And keep applying at places.

Five years of college, $400 worth of job counselling, and all I know is that I want to be a scientist, which may or may not be practical. What else is there for me? I need something NOW. I would not feel confident about starting a real adult life on this current career track, having a marriage and possibly a family and a house. I feel like if I don't really "make it" by the time I'm 30, I'm fucked.


Does high pressure keep you alive, or push you faster toward death?

Current Mood: stressed
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
10:39 pm
HAY GUYS!!!!!1!!!
yeah kids, let's have ourselves an update, in classic bulleted list form:

-got highly-stressful but decent-paying job at the same hospital I was working at two years ago
-got a boy...thing. Yes, a boything. He's fun to play with, that's for sure.
-science knocks ever louder at my door, as in, going back to school
-am terrified...TERRIFIED...at the prospect of returning to school, but I feel I have no choice
-might return to ballet class again tomorrow
-hanging out with punks all the time, as life should be
-playing my bass all the time, as life should be
-failing at my New Year's Resolution to catch up on sewing
-fighting uphill battle to stop mentally checking out all the time
-mother trying to use me for therapy in a passive aggressive way
-life ending one minute at a time

School is the most troubling thing right now. I really, really like my freedom now. But I hate this feeling of rapidly going nowhere in my current "career", especially when all the job counselling points to science, and my future paycheck needs also point to science. Along with my happiness needs, and enjoy-your-job-and-excel needs. Not to mention my still-sort-of-fresh youth and relative lack of responsibilities right now. I may need to do the mature thing and put my immaturity to its best use.

*sigh* I could really use a sugar daddy right now.

Current Mood: tired
Monday, January 14th, 2008
12:31 am
in heaven, everything is fine
What does it mean when you watch Eraserhead and you feel the most pity for the poor beast on the table?

Current Mood: unexpected
Sunday, January 6th, 2008
7:56 pm
techniques of motivation
This boy I've been hanging out with says the best way to motivate himself is to put himself in an impossible situation, where he's backed against a wall and HAS to find a way to dig himself out or face certain destruction. Then he has the most success.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. That sort of situation makes my brain lock up, not open up. I guess I haven't really tried that too much, but every time I came close to such a situation, I started doing bad things to myself.

I kind of feel like a loser for not responding well to situations like that, but what are you gonna do?

In spite of my good 2007, I am still in a rut of sorts and tired of having jobs that I am ashamed to discuss. There's a certain job I'm hoping to get. I'm kind of scared. I'm mad at myself for being scared, and I wish I was better at being ambitious.

Current Mood: stressed
5:38 pm
resolutions, of course
2008 is beginning with me surrounded by musicians. This should hopefully be a good thing.

The essence of my resolution for this year is no more mentally checking out. This means I have to stop hiding and procrastinating and saying "what if..." and "why can't I..." and "not right now..." The best way to enforce this is to hang on to the idea like a jawbreaker in my mouth, and just work at it, bit by bit.

Also, 2008 should have:

-completed sewing projects
-books read
-good job experiences
-ballet lessons
-sexy underwear
-calling people back
-thank you notes
-musical experiences
-going on dates

-making messes
-sleeping too late
-focusing on my mortality

2007 was so damn good for me.
-I stopped being socially anxious
-I became capable of living with roommates
-I found a great apartment and moved to Boston
-I started playing bass
-I ripped almost every punk rock CD the library had to offer
-I went to shows
-I saw A Global Threat and The Unseen
-I went to PDX
-I learned new things and read thought-provoking books
-I made friends with bike messengers
-I had great sex
-I made a ton of new friends overall
-I went to good parties
-I sewed nice things
-I felt good more than I felt bad
Tuesday, December 25th, 2007
10:07 pm
get pissed
Must Be Something In The Water

Holiday goodies also spice up waterways
By Emily Anthes
Globe Correspondent / December 24, 2007

When the holidays end, all that gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and eggnog will leave behind a few souvenir pounds to remind us of the merrymaking. But we're not the only ones who will show evidence of our seasonal feasts. So, in all likelihood, will the Boston waterways.

During the holiday season, research shows, some coastal waters indicate noticeable spikes in their levels of cinnamon, vanilla, and other baking spices. These studies - along with similar research that has revealed significant levels of caffeine in Boston seawater - provide a dramatic illustration of how even the most trivial-seeming human behaviors can influence the marine environment.Read more...Collapse )

May you have a Joyous Agnostica or Happy Festivus or Merry Sparklemas or Jolly Good Giftmas or a Fuckin' A Christmahannukwanzikaa.

Current Mood: well-spiced
Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
8:37 pm
All in all, I'm in love with the world. My world.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to cut through my sewing project pile, some of it getting to be three and four years old, and both fatten up my wardrobe with the pretty things I dreamed up, AND clear my headspace for other wonderful things. Because there's a lot of wonderful to be had and dreamed and planned and done. A lot of good things are cooking in my brain, and eventually I'll tell you about all of them, but for now, I'll just hang on to them like hard candy in my mouth. Sweet, indeed.

And may you have Joyous Agnostica this holiday season, with lots of cookies, snuggles, and cheerful drug abuse!

Current Mood: joyful
Friday, December 21st, 2007
11:13 pm
makin' it
Condoms and Play-Doh.

I was really sad that the pharmacist was unimpressed, and now I have a party pack of multicolored play-doh cups on my desk.

Current Mood: silly
Saturday, December 15th, 2007
2:54 am
steam heat
Delightfully predictable. I'm a simple girl, really. Three chords and I'm plenty happy.

Which Ramones Song Are YOU?

Current Mood: tired
Friday, December 14th, 2007
1:18 am

Could you just, um, calm the fuck down? Please? I can't bear to read the news or hear about anything anymore. Just....augh, go have some cocoa or something and make the most of your existence.

Thank you and good night.

Or no good night, not yet.

I am stuck in this stupid thing lately where I cannot sleep easily. I go to bed, finally, at like one or two AM, whereupon I toss and turn for a few hours, whereupon I sleep in to 11:30 because I am too inebriated by slumber to be useful.

Current Mood: stressed
Thursday, December 13th, 2007
2:24 pm
the annual abuse of the pancreas
Giftmas (and the following January) is the only time of year when I allow myself to just eat cookies at will. I kind of hate myself for it, but they're tasty. The things I like best about this time of year are giving presents, strings of lights, and cookies.

If you or your family celebrates Giftmas, what kinds of cookies do you make? What cookies do you remember from childhood? Post recipes too!

In my life, we made:

-shaped sugar cookies
-raspberry crumble bars
-thumbprint cookies
-chocolate chip congo bars
-seven-layer bars
-lemon bars

Both dogoncouch's mom and m00n's mom make mean Russian Teacakes, and I want to try those this year if I get around to it.

I'd post recipes, but they all came from my mother's late 70s Betty Crocker book and various things cut from magazines. Seven-layer bars have the wonderful simplicity of simply opening packages and dumping them, in order, into the baking pan.

However, I really like these lemon bars:

Super Lemony Lemon Squares
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004
Read more...Collapse )

It's snowing pretty hard out there. It's pretty, and I'm glad I have no car to dig out.

Current Mood: hungry
Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
12:42 am
more trouble
And now I just got into trouble in feminist for being sexist for the first time ever.

What the hell is wrong with me.

All I said was that women can be vicious and mean and competitive, and anyone who denies that is willfully blind. And that women often find ways to obstruct clear communication.

To wit:

Yeah, see, I can relate to this. Anyone who says that women are not aggressive or not vicious or not competitive is totally, willfully blind. I prefer the company of men and likeminded women. Men are easier to deal with because I feel I have an easier time being blunt with them and telling them where they've fucked up. Women, on the other hand, have some kind of inexplicable danger about them that makes you want to back away. Women are impossible to read, always bobbing and weaving and lying.

I am taking a pretty huge swipe at the idea that says "If women ruled the world, we'd have world peace." Um, NO. That is a patronizing thing to say and believe. Read more...Collapse )

Current Mood: bitchy
Thursday, November 29th, 2007
1:19 pm
burning down your house
I read this: Emo: Where The Girls Aren't.

Sometimes I think punk rock as an entity has more to offer than its human inhabitants can realize. The potential is there. The courage and creative thinking it demands is huge. It's part of the paradox of being forever young: you think you know everything, but you may or may not be able to really look between the lines. Youth permits serious coloring outside the lines, a mind unfettered by the rituals of maturity. Or you can look really hard and just never see it until you're old enough to be creative again.

The presence or absence of all girl punk bands is a perfect example of this. I think the serious lack of girl punk bands (and no, female-fronted is not enough) just hangs onto the idea of women as photographers, merch table-ers, girlfriends, and groupies. As consumers rather than producers. As helpless and indecisive and incapable of creating anything that anyone takes seriously. The girls at the shows never see anyone like them onstage, and for whatever reason, this reinforces the idea that This Is How It Is Supposed To Be. Not that anything is stopping them, or that these girls are not smart or are lazy.

But there is MUCH to be said for seeing people like yourself represented in public, in the media, in ubiquity. People of color especially have to deal with this, where they are almost never seen in the media, or are just tokens. This is called symbolic assassination. When you're a white guy, you see yourself everywhere, and this tells stories about what you are like and how you might define yourself. When you only see yourself as a token or only acting out a particular role over and over again, that also tells a story about what you are like and how you are seen.

So I went on a long, winding, fractalizing rant about gender and dominance...

Read more...Collapse )

What we need to do is throw away the labels altogether, stop genderizing activities and behaviors and traits, and be true to ourselves. True to ourselves as whatever gender we want to be and whatever WE are. It takes such courage and security in ourselves to do this, and a certain amount of freedom from fear of repercussion (although that very fear breeds some interesting cultural manifestations that I still love). Just because studies say that more women or more men respond in particular ways, it doesn't mean that that is how we were meant to be, or that we fit into those roles anyway. It's terribly scary to go there, to throw away things that might have benefits and privileges, or to run afoul of silent rules. But I think it's pretty punk rock to do just that, and we HAVE to do it. Punks have always been canaries in coal mines, and we ignore a lot of those ideas at our peril.

"True to ourselves" is such a cute little catchphrase with absolutely terrifying depth and complication when you really look at it. We might go our whole lives before we are able to do it.

Current Mood: ponderous
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
7:39 pm
lawsonia rules
Once there was a macabre girl who was tired of her black hair turning pure white, due to the melanocytes just giving up and leaving. Having never dyed her hair before, she was at a loss until she discovered Henna For Hair, which perfectly appealed to her neverending desire to do stuff differently than the norm.

So she went on a hair adventureCollapse )

Current Mood: thrilled
Sunday, November 25th, 2007
1:24 am
for the hell of it
I hate suddenly discovering myself locked into a pissing contest. You basically have to leave your dignity behind.

Current Mood: frustrated
Friday, November 23rd, 2007
1:18 pm
dreams and screams
I had a weird dream where I was pregnant, and all I could think was, "I REALLY don't want to be pregnant now. No no no." I was not excited. My life was just flashing before my eyes, my heart sinking fast. Everyone else was excited and I was doing a bad job of pretending to be excited. Also, "Who's the dad? I'm four months along...who?...I didn't have any sex four months ago...right???"

So glad to wake up.

Nonetheless, the baby was a boy and I named him Ethan, just like I'd always planned to name my first boy child. First girl child will be Allegra Grace.

I also keep thinking about how much I'd like to be married someday in my late twenties, and I feel odd wanting this. But it makes sense for me, as I like to have a long, steady situation with someone, and I love him in many different yet synergistic ways. One of my problems with the pregnancy dream is that I do NOT want to have any babies until I am really sure that my partner is there and in for the longest possible haul. I figure if I'm going to marry him, I'm pretty sure about keeping him and I like him a lot and ideally he agrees. I wouldn't want to have any children in a situation outside of that. Way too much risk.

Nonetheless, until I am married, I am only committed to enjoying my singledom to the hilt. No regrets down the line, no thank you.

And yet, whenever I see a boy who is really cute, a part of my brain flickers to "what if he's my man?" I hate myself for this, but honestly, you never know. You just never know. Obviously, cute doesn't guarantee that he isn't a crybaby or an asshole or abusive or a metalhead or a conservative. Or even boyfriend material. Or should the opportunity arise, I can see myself suddenly not wanting him permanently, just as a source of good cock as I need it.

But I can't ignore the fact that you never know.

Current Mood: pensive
Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
10:05 pm
what have we learned?
Grappa tastes exactly like poison. Or something you'd use to kill tumors. Or perhaps use as a pesticide. You know, poison.

My dad loves the stuff. 'Splains a hell of a lot.

Current Mood: unproductive
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