(no subject)

Good weekend. A little short on sleep, but that's often how that goes. Good talks. Good quiet gentle social time; good loud boisterous social time. I got to do little things that make my friends happy, and bigger things that make my friends happy, and be there for someone who needed it. My friends did little and bigger things that made me happy, and someone was there when I needed it. I got to spend a beautiful day out with my favorite people, consciously savoring the awareness of just how much each of us appreciated it. I got to spend evenings with each of them individually and savor some of the different reasons I love them. I rode my bike a lot, gradually getting faster. I sang. I danced. Plans got made and carried out and adapted as needed. I played a bunch of cards, won often, and lost graciously. I bought someone lunch; someone bought me dinner; I cooked a dinner. I met new people and liked them. I discussed grammar and language and sex and kink and friends.

As I said. Good weekend. I <3 you guys like you wouldn't believe. And now I am going to sleep.

Dug out of an old notebook.

One is for the caterpillars
Two is for the cheese
Three is four the fives and sixes
Seven's for the bees
Eight is for the darning needles
Nine is for the rest
Ten is for the poets, and so
ten, of course, is best.

...

"How am I?" asked the cat.
"You're splendid," I replied, "and how good of you to notice."

...

[The raccoon] peered at me over the top of its pince-nez reading glasses. "What ARE you doing?"

(no subject)

Reading a book about happiness makes me want to do this: Here is a list of things I have done right recently (defining "recently" as loosely as I feel like).

Learned to ride a bike.
Resumed looking for a job.
Continued to enjoy not having a job.
Made cookies (a lot).
Went out for french toast at midnight when I had work the next morning.
Tried out a role to which I am unaccustomed.
Noticed the link between hunger and my emotions ... and tried to do something about it before it made me snappy at people.
Noticed the link between my hormones and my emotions ... and got a new prescription so this might be lessened.
Decided to care about how happy and healthy I am instead of how fat I am.
Got screened for STIs (because saying "I have no reason to believe I have anything" is okay but "I'm clean" is better).
Squeezed the nose of a stuffed elephant.
Reorganized my room so there is more walking space and more storage space, and made a dent in the massive mess-which-isn't-mine-but-is-in-my-room-so-it's-my-problem.
Turned torn pants into neat skirts.
Painted my nails in neat ways.
Bought myself a few carefully chosen luxuries when I had the money to do so.
Met up with a random dude from OKCupid and his girlfriend after talking to him on IM for about an hour, if that.
Went to public dance classes (contra, and also the ones in Jack London Square).
Entered a Guitar Hero tournament.
Bought a button machine.
Sang.
Let people see me cry. Let them help, too.
Wrote this down and talked to people about doing it.

About that last one ... when I thought of writing this down there were three or four things I had in mind, but the list kept getting longer. I wanted to remind myself of good things instead of letting the world be sad and scary, and ended up delighted by remembering things I hadn't thought of. And talking to people about it made me think of more things as well as got them to share good (and bad) experiences of their own. I highly recommend it.

(no subject)

Thought I'd post some fun boyfriendy stuff, since I have been all doom and gloom in here of late. (Other good things have also happened, which will go in the main account presently.)

I made a batch of cookies last week which I mixed out of order and didn't blend well; the result was quite lumpy and uneven. He was over when I was making them, and tried one.

"How was it?" I asked.

He thought for a moment, and then said, "About as good as most peoples' homemade cookies. Which is to say, a little worse than your usual standard."

... now that is a backhanded insult. (Forehanded insult?)

I sent him home with the first sheet of them (as had been prearranged in exchange for him refilling my cookie supplies). Later, we were talking about them, and he said,

"I liked them because they were all different."

"Heh."

"No, really! It was like, 'Ooh, this one's more like a butter cookie!' and 'Ooh, this one's more like a sugar cookie!'"

And he sounded so earnest in his delight at getting all these different kinds of cookies that I had to giggle.

(no subject)

Oh, uh, and just to keep you posted--the one I was sleeping with is busy doing other things and people lately (although we mean to resume), the one I'm dating told me he loved me (and we've been sleeping together more), and the one who had told me he loved me has left.

I'm not quite sure if that makes my life MORE complicated or less. I suppose it depends on whether I continue fooling around with someone I had been a bit in the past but got distracted from ...

I got a burst of energy tonight and completely cleared my bed--folded the clothes, put them away, and separated some stuff to sell or donate--and put new sheets and a new comforter on it. It feels amazing. I'm sorry that I can't share that with anyone tonight, but I don't completely mind having it all to myself, either. I have a freshly made cal king and plenty of time to get all the sleep I need and then do everything I need to do in the morning (shower, play with my hair a little, dress, and bring clothes to change into after work).

This is very peaceful.

The feeling of the river rock subsided as the conversation went on. I asked a hard question and the answer was startlingly satisfying. And then we chatted and giggled and I remembered, oh yeah, you're a friend, you're safe, I don't have to be scared of you. It felt good. But the earlier feeling was so distinct in its shape that I thought I'd describe it.

By the by, I think I'm going to add a couple people here; for those just joining us, this is effectively relsqui's "real" journal. The stuff that goes on in my head (and my bed) and my heart, not just the outside world.

How to listen to women, how to talk to men.

I've often referred to this article as being more or less spot-on when it comes to how I want to be dealt with in the situation he describes. (It's something zigdon is really good at, and as it warns towards the end, it's gotten him in trouble.) For me, this is something deeply intuitive, and it was eye-opening to realize that the reason people hadn't been doing it all this time was that it genuinely did not occur to them.

When I found that article initially, I did some commenting back and forth with the author, and at one point found myself speculating on what my side of the coin might be. Is there something just as obvious that would make my interactions with other people generally/men in particular that much easier? I didn't come up with anything at the time, but I think now I have. I'm going to continue using the gender roles as in the original, a shorthand for people who think and behave in the ways described (so chosen because of the large overlap between those groups and the two genders).

My theory is based on the idea that women read volumes more connotations into interpersonal interactions than men do, which is not in and of itself revolutionary. But when miscommunications inevitably occur as a result, I think the men get blamed more often than is fair. Women and others who interact as I describe, consider: you're in a better position to prevent this than he is. You can't create in his mind all the associations and implications in yours, but you CAN be conscious that he's not aware of them and adjust your expectations accordingly. Be direct. Say, don't imply. Use clear and simple language. By no means am I saying to be condescending or treat him like a neanderthal. You can do this politely and respectfully, or crassly but amiably if that's what's called for.

"Say what you mean" isn't a good way to put it. You always think you're saying what you mean--otherwise, why would you have said it that way? A better explanation is that you need to listen to the actual words you're using and consider whether they represent all of what you want to communicate. Obviously you can use some implications and references, or language would be impossible. But if you're trying to tell someone what you want, don't say something which you know you wouldn't say unless you wanted it. Just tell him what you want. It will not occur to him to interpret the other way that deeply.

Now the next interesting question is, why don't women already do this? It's not difficult, and it comes up often enough. I think this is a combination of two factors: first, as already mentioned, we have these connotations and layers of meaning in our heads already and it doesn't occur to us that anyone else wouldn't. Second, we use indirect language as a form of diplomacy--"I would like" is more polite than "I want," and so forth. With that so deeply ingrained, it feels rude to state things outright, especially when they relate to desires or dissatisfaction or other statements with potentially negative responses. Here's the great thing, though: this solution works on that phenomenon. The same guys who don't read everything you want them to into your indirect speech won't read rudeness into your direct speech.

In short, men hear and understand what women say, not what they mean. Naturally there is a mismatch between these two things, but there doesn't have to be. It just takes some thought and genuine attention to the words you're using to represent what you want to convey.

(no subject)

I feel popular. It's very odd, but not wholly unpleasant. I have a date on Saturday, was going to have one yesterday (with someone else) but had to reschedule, got two calls on the way south yesterday from people wanting to hang out, and have running dialogues with three (count 'em, three) more dudes I'd be interested in seeing.

And then I got up just now to grab my phone from the other room, had a missed call, returned it, and now have plans for the afternoon. *g*

On the whole, this has been excellent for my self-esteem. I didn't realize until a week or two how much of a boost that has gotten when I switched from spending most of my time around someone who doesn't respect me to someone who does.