Friday, October 27, 2017

There are weighted blankets for people with anxiety. As if I needed help staying in bed. I've used conceptually similar vests for dogs with anxiety. Supposedly the pressure helps them relax. It seems to work sometimes. Why, I don't know, and I can only suggest them as anecdotally effective, and they certainly don't seem to hurt.

Anxiety being a broad term, of course. There's no blanket for existential dread, or a weighted shawl that can snap the paralysis of indecision.

Colored birds flying in circles round the steeple.

What does a star feel like before it crushes itself into a black hole? Smaller and heavier, everything outside becoming inside.

Man you turkeys are bumming me out *stuffs mouth full of chips*

In Robot Uprising News, an robot has been made a citizen in Saudi Arabia. I haven't read beyond the headlines because from what I understand, women are barely citizens in Saudi Arabia and this is likely more of a "dick move" than a significant step in Robo-Human relations.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"I'm on a roll...this time. I feel my luck could change."
-Radiohead aka Classic Rock.

I have an MRI scheduled. It'll be my first. Just checking out my knee; the one that's been hurting since I ran the Whiskey Row Marathon a thousand years ago. Up to now I've been treating it by avoiding running. Mostly works.

The scheduler at the imaging office asked if I had any metals in my body. I told them no, but now I wonder. I guess I'll find out.

They also asked if I was claustrophobic. I am not. I'm regular-phobic of enclosed spaces in my mind. Wait, once I felt claustrophobic when I was putting on a new motorcycle helmet. I had tightened the wrong strap and suddenly I couldn't breathe. It took me a second to get my gloves off so I could loosen the strap, and after I did, I still felt that sense of panic and tore off my helmet. I remember that panic well.

Practicing while panicked is something I should do more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Listening to "Penelope" by Pinback. I'm in love with the bass line.

Last night, I listened to a reading of "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Melville was a big fan of Hawthorne. Me, not so much. The story isn't bad. Except the last line: "In trying to improve his lovely wife, he had failed to realize she had been perfect all along." It's particularly heavy-handed in an already lead-gloved story. Lugubrious overload.

Perhaps he just knocked it out and didn't give it a second glance. My previous post about baby names was written hastily, as it started as a Facebook comment and then grew out of control. I re-read it and I can see where I had set up some jokes and then failed to deliver a punchline. Ah well. I think I got my point across, even if it was done in a less entertaining fashion. I hear it's good to be stupid once in a while and just create. Too many good reasons not to attempt amazing things.

...I just turned on my Pandora station and it played "Penelope". I was previously listening to it on YouTube. They know too much...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hecka Baby Naming

How to decide what name to saddle a human being with for the rest of their lives or until they change it:

1. Do not name your children the same name as yourself. Seriously, that's the name your significant other shouts out during your passionate love-making/getting-it-on. Naming your kid that is weird. Also, it only contributes to your illusion of yourself. I'm okay with names popping up along generations, as long as there is little chance of being in the same room together when someone calls their name.

And really, it totally screws up stuff like insurance, medical records, all that bureaucratic stuff in which our lives are hopelessly mired. I've seen huge problems with health insurance especially, because a parent has the same name as the kid. It's a nightmare.

Don't do it.

2. Be aware that your imagination is simmering in a stew of cultural trends. To be blunt, the more we hear a name the more likely we are to think it's a good name. That's why you get these name explosions. It's nothing for or against using the name, just something to be aware of. To be blunt, your great idea for a name might not even be your idea.

3. Yelling the name. Can you yell the name? You're probably going to yell this name at some point. If you expect to do it a lot, practice the name by yelling it.

4. Avoid common sounds. Like the same-name thing, don't name the kid something that begins the same way as another family member. My niece is named Genevieve and her mother is named Jennifer. The beginning of their names sound the same, and their shortened forms sound the same too. Yell "JEN!" and see what happens. It's a good name for yelling though, in short form.

5. Cultural Bias. It exists. I use "William" on all my job applications. It works. Also, women with more gender-neutral or masculine names earn more money and attain higher leadership positions, it seems. Morgan, Madison, names like that. Fight the power.

6. Spelling. I am constantly spelling my name for people. It's annoying. And in a world of computer files (going back to that bureaucracy) a misspelled name also leads to problems. Paper check? But this name doesn't match your drivers license. RIIIIP.

7. Names that are also things. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, what have you. Again, good for a name if you want to be harder to search for on Google. Strange because whatever that word meant before, the child with that name will ironically never be able to hear it for its meaning, without identifying with it. That's why there are websites devoted to looking up the meaning of your name; so you can pick the website that gives you the meaning you like, and ignore the rest. It's harder to argue with literal dictionaries.

8. Nicknames and ease of pronunciation. Be aware of it, I guess. I have lots of nicknames because people can't spell/pronounce my name, and it's produced good ones, but mostly people default to "G", which is boring to me.

9. Common names are common. It's fine to have a common name. Best not to pair it with a common last name, because when there's a bunch of Davids, for example, we revert to adding the last name. Then you run into two dang Davids with the same last name and you have to just give up being friends with them altogether.

10. Middle names are a good place to go nuts. Don't waste it with another common name. That's a good place for your name, so when the kid gets yelled at and you have to use their full name, you also end up using your name, because you know whose fault this is.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Feeling a little distant. Observational? Sleep more, or maybe start drinking coffee again. Ooh, tea. Split the difference!

Probably just the internal struggle of curbing impulse buys. Can't keep running around pretending I need things. I do need to get my suit dry-cleaned. I'll do that today. Also gas. Maybe a blood-pressure cuff. That's it.

Halloween costume? Piece something together out of the bits I have. Uninspired.

After all this time I should have learned not to rely solely on chemical reactions.

A shroud, like the lead vest that's placed over you before you get an X-ray at the dentist.

On Sunday morning I went over to my mom's to get breakfast. I had slept in until noon on Saturday and felt lousy the rest of the day. At 8 am I sauntered over and grabbed some food. My niece was there, Genevieve, and we played for a bit. She found a pad of paper, and we drew imaginary pictures on the pages. We had no drawing tools at the moment, but she didn't let that stop her. I drew a whale with a top hat. I don't know what she drew.

My mom wondered aloud if my niece knew that she loved her. I told her I think so, yes.