Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yay Blogging!

I am not fasting in any way, but I am existing in a dreamy, intuitive state the way I do on moderately long fasts (to me a 3-5 day fast feels pretty long, only a 1 or 2 day fast is very easy. And I mean liquid fasts not water fasts.). It's fun but weird. I think it is caused by all the work I am doing for my courses, especially Art (I need a B or better in 3 studio courses to declare the major and you only get 4 courses to accomplish that within). Also I have been eating only carbohydrates because that is what keeps longest so I had a lot of it around, and I am trying not to spend money. So for a week I have been eating potato dumplings, pasta, bread, and so on, and clearing out my pantry. I went to safeway for some lettuce but it did not look appealing so I bought a nectarine (No, I know, some people are too poor to buy a nectarine, and I am simply too poor to buy a nectarine except on credit.)(this all is not as bad as it sounds because I am moving home in 11 days and then will eat Mom and Dad's food and have my condo deposit back as well.) and then tortillas were hugely on sale, 2.50 for a stack of like 20 or so burrito size tortillas, so I bought them, and for the last 2 days I have been eating only microwaved tortillas with butter on, and coffee and tea. And I feel terrible. Just really terrible. (I mean also I have been really stressed and caffeinated; it is not just the tortillas.) So I decided that I would buy something from a plant, before I die, and so I did and I bought also turkey meat and strawberries. And when I got home I was too desirous of salad to make the Salad In a Bag into Salad on a Plate. I just stood there eating it from the bag like chips. I didn't even go to the dining table. So, basically, I need to eat salad or I will die. On the drive to the grocery store (it is around 4 miles) I saw McDonalds, and I was like "they have salad there! I should go there!" but I did not because McDonalds is a franchise and that one is gross, also I can't afford it. (Wow. I can't afford fast food. I should have crashed the African American Empowerment Barbecue that I walked past on the way back from Soc section, but I am not good at improvising like that.)

Anyway! I have been in a weird mood. I have been very cold, so I have been carrying a hot water bottle. Like, to class. And holding it in my lap. Wrapped in a scarf. I don't know why not everyone does this, actually, but I know they don't.

Also I have resumed using ALL of my sleep aids. I sleep so poorly if left to my own devices. (that is a very confusing phrase in this context because I am using it to mean "if left sans devices" but I can not think of another one. I am very tired.) That means the eyemask, earplugs, sleep tea, melatonin, sleeping socks and cardigan, hot water bottle, eye blindness gel, and my bottom retainer (it covers my teeth so I can't grind them.). Also my waking up devices, so that I can sleep soundly without waking up over and over again to see if it is morning. The best is my vibrating alarm watch, it is a very non alarming way to wake up. I also set my phone to go off two times because the display is very concrete and so it is very definitely set. I also have an old timey alarm clock with bells and hammer but I don't use it because of Ashley.

I had to explain my art in art class, and I was just in another headspace that I couldn't reconcile to the task of Explaining My Art. "This is the moon." I told my class. "This is a dissected emu." The teacher asked if I felt shy and I managed not to share the theory I have been trying not to develop, that I have gone through intellegence and come out the other side, and that the mind is a tool and doesn't have to be engaged full time. I just said I am not in a thinking mood this month, and so it is very hard to describe the whys of my art. (the art, um, it is not that good. I really like it but it is very mechanical and dull. It is about space, and monsters, and machines, in the gentlest most nursery wallpaper way possible) Our professor is very forgiving of this type of thing (she is a professor in the Art Department) so with prompting I managed to share how I was feeling when I created the art, and why I picked the subjects I did, and I talked briefly about my interest in Science Conceptual Illustration. And illustration is not really an art, as such. and I am taking an art course.

Oh! In Astro today our prof talked about the possibility of other sites of biology in the Universe and he showed a lot of concept art by a woman, Lynne or Lynette Cook, that illustrated a variety of possible permutations of small and large potentially water bearing planets. And some Aliens, like dragonflies and sentient Europan Carp and plankton. And while he was telling us about this artist, he said she was emotional, like artists tend to be (and I got angry. Ahem.) and therefore she goes through phases, like "painting volcanoes on moons, and stuff like that." FUN FACT: VOLCANO PAINTING IS NOT AN EMOTION.

Also he said >7% of stars have potentially water bearing planets, because we have surveyed 320 in our area and our sun and one other have potentially waterbearing planets. 2/320/=7%, but there was something about how we can't detect loads of planets because of view angles of tilt for their doppler shift.

Then he showed us a list titled Top Ten Questions For Aliens, which of course was a list of 7 questions he would like to ask aliens. He told us we could think of the other three ourselves. He told us that because our civilization is quite young, and our earth of course, sentient life we encounter will likely be older and more advanced than us.

I don't know if I want there to be aliens. I think no. I want not to be in a war with aliens, and I think it is perfectly likely that whatever they were like we would fight them, even if they looked like kittens made of snowflakes and were incapable of creative thought, we would get mad or threatened and fight them. I also want not to be alone. The elegant solution here is for us to locate habitable worlds and go inhabit them, and over time their biology will splinter in exciting ways, like giraffes. Not giraffes, we have those, but exciting developments like them. Like... I don't know... oh, yes, A TINY TINY PANDA! And when different species get sentient, some of the species can go to a new habitable world, not to exclude them but so that none of the sentient life is dependant on a single star for species survival.

You know what is beyond scary, scarier than The Nightmare Room, is if I accidentally went to the sentient shark world. Or got exiled there. Oh, man, it would just have bare landmasses, with no terrestrial plants, just plankton fed on by oceanic sheep (because I am sure seals and such will go sentient prior to sharks' doing so) and giant clever sharks. And I would just starve on a barren rock. I don't know why it is scarier doing that on Sentient Shark World than in New Mexico. But it is a LOT scarier.

See, with it all developing we can encounter things gradually, as they emerge, and develop thinking and ethics and such. Whereas the snowflake kittens would just be an insane adjustment and we would kill them to make them gone so everything could be ordinary again.

Did you know there are Ring Worlds? They face their sun like the moon faces us, and so one side is always in darkness (too cold for water) and one always in light (too hot) and so there is a little band, where maybe in a canyon on their Prime Meridian it might be the right temperature for life. How weird it would be to be able to travel all the way around your strip of the planet with no climate variation and the rest was uninhabitable. What mythology might you develop with the Hot Land and the Cold Land? I suppose our earth is similar with the equator's climates and our uninhabitable poles, but it feels different. Because your world would be 50km (I do not know the real estimate.) from side to side, and massive! in the other direction. Also I think there would be no night. I suppose there could be no day instead. (one of saturn's moons spewed water while Galileo (the satellite) was photographing it because the tidal forces from saturn liquefy the ice because of the pressure, so I suppose the night side might be warmed a little by the forces and more habitable than the slightly warmed + irradiated already day side? I do not know.)

Today I got a midterm back in Soc section, and I did not recognize the essay. Not the topic, not anything. I read through it to see if I remembered anything of writing it, and the quotes looked familiar but I did not remember writing it.

I can not essay at all. I wrote an essay about it. Yes, I really did, in Sociology today during the review session. You see, we were told that we must prepare outlines for essays on the following 4 topics, one of which we will essay about, and they must be 5 paragraph essays. One girl raised her hand and asked if we were very confident of our ability to write a more academic essay did we have to stick to the format. The professor said you can write a very sophisticated essay within the general format, and that if you'd like to do a different form it's up to you but it must be high quality. And I felt annoyed by the girl. Because I can write reasonably good 5 paragraph essays because it is not really writing. You look at the words, you think of the answer, you recall the supports, and then instead of making a coherant, quick list or diagram, you drag it all over so that the grader has to skim to get the points rather than just have them leap into their eyes. I love diagrams and flowcharts. But right, what I meant is you can do it on autopilot, you aren't like, "is this truly compelling?".

My TA really doesn't like my essays. Obviously they are not memorable, or anything, but I know words and I know facts, so you know. Essay! Bang! Sparkles! -->22/30. Nice.

My right arm is tingly and cold, but I heard you are only dying if it your left arm.

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