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stephluent
27 February 2007 @ 11:47 pm
It's midnight. I have a lab report, prelab questions, and an essay due by 8am, after which I have classes straight from 8 to 4:30, then from 7-10. After which I have 2 essays, studying for a quiz, and then, oh yeah, starting to study for that PHYSICS PRELIM on thursday. So much to do. And yet I can't, though I badly need to. But oh, I need to do so much else.

Like sort out my life.

So, why choose livejournal as a medium to vent my depressive anger? Because I can keep the illusion of running to someone without facing the consequences involved with someone, you know, actually reading this. It's better than the alternative - being self-destructive (Besides, I already had my share of that 2 days ago). Rolls eyes, upturned mouth. Oh Steph, she's just doing that for attention, you say. Fuck you, go die, I reply. To my empty room, of course.

Lonely? I've analyzed my situation thoroughly enough to say that I can safely rule that one out. So why do I still feel like I've been deserted? Anytime you need to talk, please don't hesitate to call me. So many people who invest their emotions, you'd think it would mean something to me. And it does, superficially, the icing on my thoughts. But doesn't serve its purpose, to make me think someone cares. In fact, it only makes me feel worse, because I've wasted their concern. Which makes me feel worse, because they don't deserve to have their efforts regurgitated on their still-frowned faces.

So while we're at it, let's talk about why I'm so fucking selfish. I only care about how I feel, how other people impact my life, without any consideration of the reverse. I am a terrible person. I don't deserve to be trusted, don't deserve to be liked by anyone. My group of friends are almost solely males. I can try to justify that in any way I want, but the truth is that I'm threatened by other girls. Maybe it's because they're conniving and evil. Maybe it's because I fear the majority of them will stab me in the back, steal my stuff, and then steal my friends/men. If given the opportunity, of course, and therein lies the problem. (Note: those last 3 were 100% hypothetical.)

I firmly believe we are most critical of those in whom we see traits we despise in ourselves. Ergo, I'm terrified of what I might do if put in the situation above. Number 2 why I (think it's better to) try to avoid befriending females.

But being friends with guys is not terribly much better. Sure, there are the ones who have been good friends for a relatively long period of time. But for the most part, either I fall for them or they fall for me, in which case I either get rejected or feel like a horrible person for saddening those whom I love the most. But I must clarify the former: I've been in a few great relationships. Looking back, I regret everything I did that hurt them, one in particular who was the sweetest guy I've met to this day. Not a single bad intention. And yet, that didn't matter to that part of my brain controlling attraction. Funny, that.

Example C - I'm currently obsessed with a guy who I know will never like me and who I have zero chance with. (Extremely sorry/embarrassed for impending facebook reference-) The first time I saw him, I thought he was one of the most attractive people I've met. And interesting, too. Ooh, so intriguing, thought the me. Haha, don't even think you have a chance, said the Facebook. I don't know where that was going, but I'll stop now and try to do work so I can actually sleep tonight.

I used to be so idealistic... what happened?
 
 
stephluent
21 January 2007 @ 02:06 pm
Frats make me sad.

It's around that time - everyone seems to have a story about what funny object they peed on or who they fell on while completely wasted. Exaggerations? Crowd-pleasers? It's all the same. I can see why society encourages this kind of behavior - it does take some courage and/or confidence (albeit not intelligence) to drink like a fish until you pass out, sleep with a random chick, and wake up only to sneak carefully out carrying your clothes and newly self-stroked ego.

Don't get me wrong, I realize reveling in your self-badassity for months on end will inevitably make a (normal Cornell) person happy. And in a way, do whatever you want to do to make you happy. It's just sad when people conform to such an extent that they can't even see how untrue they're being to themselves. One of the friends I used to have became a huge partier as soon as she came to Cornell; one of the craziest I know. I can feel that she's not happy with her situation and probably doesn't feel close to the friends she gets trashed with every night. But it's a comfortable way of life, thinking (knowing, rather) you're getting positive attention through acting along with the dictations of society. What's sad is that here, that's one of the only ways you can.

Look at the typical sorority girl. Does she feel popular? Cool? Better than everyone else? when she plasters herself with makeup and pours cheap beer down her throat until she throws up? Does she feel fulfilled when laughing with her frat boyfriends about how she/random party friend just got JAd for the 5th time? Maybe she does, in which case, this isn't an issue. Or maybe she'll read this and think she does, when really, she only feels fulfilled by playing the part so encouraged by society, by feeling respected by her peers. Maybe she acts bitchy and sarcastic to a non-drinker just because she doesn't know any other way to act while not facing certain social doom. In that way, it's not her fault; she's just been brainwashed. Her only decisions are subjective ones, and those can never be too wise. But I don't blame her - Cornell doesn't seem to be the kind of environment too accepting of polite and classy girls. The more passouts the better! Yah!

Sorry, frat boy/sorority girl reading this. I'm sure you're not the kind I'm referring to. Or maybe you are and just don't realize how your lifestyle is not really you. It's ok - everyone goes through it, says the upperclassmen. Bah, I say. Go ahead, look down on me for being a loser, nerd, whatever. I'd like to think I've seen past some level of superficiality and am skipping the regret I'll have post graduation. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'll feel out the other lifestyle and risk being sucked in by society before making conclusions. A truly objective decision? I'll drink to that.
 
 
stephluent
28 March 2006 @ 12:32 am
But what an amusing illustration of [me] + [loose-guidelined analysis assignment] + [lots of painkillers]. I was basically analyzing Maurice Blanchot's "Orpheus's Gaze," which is itself an analysis of the Greek Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. And yes, I did actually hand this in:

The first two paragraphs of Orpheus’s Gaze talk about the essence of night, the other night, and how this direction affects the direction of Orpheus’ work in relation to Eurydice. While I’m sure there can be many different interpretations of this depending on what one considers “the other night”, let me start by saying that I’m defining it as “the forever hidden hint of objects never able to be directly perceived but are innately perceived by everybody in the unknown depths of the mind (or subconscious, if you will). Blanchot says that Eurydice is the instant when night approaches the other night, and she is “the profoundly obscure point toward which art and desire, death and night, seem to tend.” I think this means that Eurydice is a real shadow in the night (literally, because she’s a dead soul in hell) until Orpheus tries to perceive her. At this point, she becomes the “other night” and will only exist in Orpheus’ memory and art, making her an imaginary object not able to be directly perceived by him or anybody else. But then Blanchot says that Orpheus’s work (his songs) are not directed from light into the depths but rather from the depths up to the light, something of which Orpheus is not conscious. This is supported by the myth because his songs are not fabrications of his world meant for Eurydice, but instead, fabrications of Eurydice meant for the world (evident both in convincing the guards to let him through and singing to the trees in the end.) But Orpheus can never know which direction he sings because he isn’t aware of the fact that Eurydice belongs to the “other night.” Blanchot then provides a quite delicious insight - he says that Orpheus can only approach or descend and draw the night up to the world by turning away from the night. By turning to face Eurydice, he “forgets the work he is to achieve, and he forgets it necessarily.” This is true in our lives, too. Let’s say you’re a rockstar who sings about love’s rejection as a way to win over the ladies. Pretty much the only way to really master the ‘art’ of successful lyrics is by experiencing rejection. So really, if you want to keep the ability to write accurately about rejection, you can never achieve your original goal in doing so (to get the girls in your bed). A bit of a crude example, perhaps, but certainly every bit as good an illustration as a representation with a sniff of tact.

Next, Blanchot discusses the measurement of one’s work - that work only endures if it is not pursued for it’s own sake. To unnecessarily pursue the previous exemplification further, the singer’s lyrics would not be nearly rockin’ enough if written with only his imminent bling in mind. That aside, let’s turn back to Blanchot’s next argument. Orpheus turns towards Eurydice, and “the essence of night is revealed as the inessential.” Therefore, Orpheus betrays his work, Eurydice, and the night. But if he didn’t look back, he would have also betrayed those same parties. The former case needs clarifying; my interpretation is that, pre-turning, Orpheus thinks that his work depends upon his need for Eurydice. After turning around, Orpheus knows Eurydice is gone forever, but he then thinks that his work depends upon him physically having her, not upon his inspirational lust. Thus, he thinks his work is forever ruined, and by resigning from the pleasure he used to take in his songs, betrays his work by refusing them from his lifestyle, betrays Eurydice by thinking her memory unworthy of inspiration, and betrays the night by perceiving its essence incorrectly. The latter case is just silly. Actually, it’s not, but it didn’t happen, so we’re not going there. So yeah, Blanchot says that this anomaly is the sole reason Orpheus came to seek the Underworld and sacrifices his happiness to see the “other night.” I felt that this was Blanchot’s only weak argument, since he said earlier that Orpheus does not see the anomaly, unless “that alone is what Orpheus came [to the Underworld] to seek” does not place Orpheus as the active subject. The rest of this section basically consists of Blanchot talking about Day (personified as the pleasures and certainty in life) and how Orpheus’s trip to see Eurydice is foolish to begin with, since Orpheus’s only destiny is within the hymn - his only relationship with Eurydice cast in lyrical stone.

The next two parts, “Inspiration” and “The Gift and the Sacrifice,” had a few interesting points, but mostly reiterated the major ideas stated above. There was lots of talk of desire, impatience, and insouciance, but as this is already ridiculously long, and the talk interested me little, I’ll skip to the last part, “The Leap.” I thought Blanchot did a poor job here. It seemed that he was speaking more to leave the reader with a palatable conclusion than to say something profound (compared to his beginning insights). Maybe it was the first sentence that disturbed me: “Writing begins with Orpheus’s gaze.” While I understand this may justify his cleaver title, this seemed much too monumental a generalization for such little support. A Leap, indeed.
 
 
stephluent
22 February 2006 @ 11:02 pm
...I'll leave you all (read: Andrew) with:

I definitely saw the email with the subject line, "Your ------- sent you ---- nudge." And I thought it was facebook. And got really excited. And started mentally compiling a list of people with whom I was going to share my e-nudging process. But I was let down. Damn you, Andrew! :)
 
 
stephluent
28 January 2006 @ 05:39 pm
I just realized that I would love to play solo Bach forever. And by that, I mean I would be perfectly euphoric literally playing nonstop for the rest of my life (if I didn't need sleep). Maybe I should be a music major, so I can do so while still maintaining a reasonable GPA?

Though I think playing 5 hours relatively non-stop may be a little too short of time on which to base that decision, no?
 
 
 
stephluent
26 January 2006 @ 08:35 pm
So. Greg relayed another spamail per his happening and my request. Only this time, I decided to take my translation in a bit of a different direction...

"appearance letters disappoint. filled whom beautiful speaking. arms rich
motor drew appearance. miserable suddenly shining rich, companion
companion yours anything rich mentioned, light promised use. explain
promised reference prison teach. already reference disappoint wrong
shining? taught a few. black pride companion happened across. commit hard
friends already studied."

Dear ma homies,

I be frontin' if dis letter be disappoin'n ma bro and yo hos. But I jus
got dat need to write ya. Last night I carjacked some rich muthafucka. Den
I found out thurr was the cops comin to bust me; they fuckin shined their
fuckin flashlights right in ma muthafuckin eyeballz, mang, and tol' me
they be usin' it as long as i be bein' an uncooperative black muthafucka.
dey be tellin me i be sent right to yo fuckin' joint. wut could i be doin
when the light be trippin' out ma pot-reddened eyeballz? but then dey
socked me a few. i don' care, mang, i got ma pride for ma niggaz. dat why
i be writin you, ma brutha, cause we always be homies.

Best regards,
Da sickest muthafugga in da ghetto

PS. dat actually made sense, MANG!!!
 
 
stephluent
25 January 2006 @ 11:02 pm
In a recent email, Greg expressed amusement at one of the rare (he has gmail) spam emails he recieved. It read:

"across rich suddenly human evening bought. happened nothing whom happened? commit did explain. thus studied anything respect? thus servants added very leader. happened beautiful music sugar young? light again tying taught out filled. speaking commit somewhere promised. servants speaking hard bought. anything make off. drew not commit anybody reply,"

I was bored, and some of it had poetic potential, so I decided to chance at an appropriate translation:

In the dim light of evening, a human stole quietly over the rich foliage. Why was he there, and who would suspect his presence? Only he knew his dreams. Perhaps he seeked a fuller life; one of meaning and purpose?
Commonfolk had always showed utmost reverance. Perhaps, then, he seeked the sweet music of youth? The sun was rising - trying fiercly to pierce the thick blanket of trees. It had made an ancient promise to nourish
those desperate shoots trampled by the human's feet. Somewhere in the human's head, the voices of his followers slowly screamed - louder and louder, until they resounded in an unbearable roar. The human was suddenly flung from his reverie and let out a blaring shriek. But there was no audience; no echos; no rustling of birds; only silence.

Sentence for sentence! I think it turned out pretty good.
 
 
stephluent
14 January 2006 @ 01:58 pm
On to the third book of the week since Wednesday. I'm finally reading "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek", Annie Dillard, as per suggestion of half the scholarly world and the frequent obsessings of one Mr. Anderson.

I should add that all of you need to read "The Night Country" by the sexiest man ever, aka Loren Eiseley. Lots of profound ideas. This phrase struck me as particularly interesting and eerily reflective of my nightly habits:

"I used to lie for hours staring into the dark of the sleeping house, feeling the loneliness that only the sleepless know when the queer feeling comes that it is the sleeping who are alive and those awake are disembodied ghosts.

There are parts of the nighttime world, men say to me, that it is just as well I do not know. Go home and sleep, man. Others will keep your giddy world together.

The advice is good, but in the city or the country small things important to our lives have no reporter except as he who does not sleep may observe them... Only he must see, though what he sees may come from the night side of the planet that no man knows well. For even in the early dawn, while men lie unstirringly in their sleep or stumble sleep-eyed to work, some single episode may turn the whole world for a moment into the place of marvel that it is, but that we grow too day-worn to accept."

Sexiness.
 
 
stephluent
09 January 2006 @ 02:00 pm
I’m afraid to say it: I am but 3 days away from being 17.

I’d like to think my mental innocence is still unscathed, but as of late, I’ve been noticing many changes in my thinking mind as I know it. More to the point, I seem to be drifting away from Hotaru - the one guiding light in my life and my single stable anchor when I lose touch. I fear if this connection goes to nil, my life will be doomed for inevitable failure.

It is a natural progression in life for fantasy to war reality and yield, I think. But I know Hotaru is much more than a tragic fairy tale. I know the energy that makes me happy to be alive; the thrill and pulsation I feel every time I play. Well, I knew.

So it seems that the rational portion of my brain claims patriarchy over those inspiring, often life-saving, ideals of youth. But let us skip to the real question: What is the explanation for this change of heart, and what can be done towards its reversal?

Perhaps this is what maturity is all about - realizing the impossibility of silly fabrications. Or perhaps this can all be explained by the simple factor of the winter blues and a temporary lull in inspiration. I sincerely hope it is the latter. What can be done? Though many more moments in the near future will be dedicated to this conjecture, as of now I can only hope for the best. And pray. And rouse my ritualistic self to action.
 
 
Current Music: Franck Sonata - 4th mov.
 
 
stephluent
21 December 2005 @ 08:04 pm
In life, I've noticed, there is the all too common discrepancy between appearance and reality. No, I'm not talking about those hallucinogenic drugs you scammed off of your sketchy 40-year-old cousin last weekend. I'm talking about people and relationships.

I have a serious case of assuming too much about a person based on appearances. By this, I don't mean that I judge people negatively based on shoddy looks - on the contrary, I only assume things about attractive (or at least seemingly innocent) people. Just recently I befriended someone who I thought was warm, considerate, and modest - assumptions founded solely on his appearance. Only after I became emotionally attached in my subconscious did I realize just how arrogant of an ass he was. It's not that he isn't nice or lacks interest in me, (the quandary lies in just the opposite, in fact); the problem lies in me being unable to break off the relationship I so want to disappear.

I guess what frustrates me the most is that I've seen this problem in others as well, especially when someone more attractive than me is favored regardless of personality. In my childhood, this happened on a more-or-less daily basis, and I vowed early on never to do the same.

Then the question is, is this favoritism justified? Models get payed much more than the average physicist donned with multiple PhDs. It would seem that any niche with fair market would be game for profit. Maybe it's natural to feel a kind of vitriolic jealousy for people undeserving of their honors. And maybe it's natural, in my idealistic youth, to strive to change the injustices in the world. But I guess these biases will always exist.

I hate being this helpless.
 
 
Current Music: The Decemberists - Here I dreamt I was an architect