One thing that bothered me after I became an atheist was that it was so difficult to stop using habitual phrases/swears like “oh my god!” and “Jesus!”. Why should I be swearing by things I don’t believe in? I mean, it’s just a little thing. They’re just phrases; they’re not meant literally. They’re comfortable words to express surprise, anger, incredulity, and other emotions. It’s (mostly) not the words that carry meaning, but the way they’re said. But such phrases are specific to culture and do subtly reinforce certain world views. “Oh my god!”, for example, carries the implicit assumption that there is one god (as opposed to many or none), and that this is the normal, default view. And these assumptions are rarely, if ever, questioned by the people around me.
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So, after I finished lunch, I had half an hour or so to kill before my next class. Instead of pulling out a book to read as I usually do, I ended up just staring off into space and daydreaming.
Anyway, a guy approached me while I appeared to not be doing anything I would mind having interrupted (I would have minded, actually, except that I’ve been thinking that I really ought to try to make some friends who are nerds–none of my friends here are nerds, and I’ve never had this much trouble getting people to play video games with me). He mentioned something about having talked to me before. I didn’t remember him in the least, but apparently I told him my major, and given how much effort I devote to remembering people after chance encounters (that is to say, none), I’m sure he must have been right about us having met before.
It occurred to me that he might be hitting on me, except that I pass as a guy most of the time now, and oh shit, did he just call me a beautiful woman and ask me if I have a boyfriend? Apparently I didn’t pass that well whenever it was we met before. Anyway, I told him straight up that I was not looking for a boyfriend. He asked something about whether I might be looking for a boyfriend in the future, so I decided to tell him I was asexual, which he seemed to understand with very little explanation on my part, saying things like “so that means you aren’t physically attracted to anyone?”. Right in one.
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Trigger Warning- this post talks about some incidents of transphobia/cissexism and about invasive questions people ask asexuals and trans people
One thing I am very glad to have learned over the past year or so is that it is ok for me to refuse to answer invasive questions. When I came out to my new roommate as trans, she asked about whether I would have or had already had surgery, and I just said “That’s private medical information.” She immediately apologized and backed off. I thought about saying something to make her feel better or saying that it was ok, but I didn’t. It really isn’t ok for people to ask invasive questions like that, and I’m not going to pretend it is just to make people feel better. I did quite appreciate her response though; she made a genuine apology, backed off, and did not make a big deal out of it. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, either. I am quite proud of myself for standing up for myself, though.
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Well crap. I think I’m getting depressed again. Er, more depressed than I already was, I mean. Or maybe I just have some weird undiagnosed condition that makes me be tired all the time. Or both. *sigh*
I’ve been kind of worried about this for a while, I guess. I never got quite back to normal after my last depressive episode (last summer), and I was worrying about the fact that I seemed to be stuck at some level of functioning that, while significantly better than an actual depressive episode, was still quite noticeably lower than normal/healthy. I’ve also been wondering if whatever the hell this funk is could be something other than depression, like maybe it’s some other mental illness (dysthymia, perhaps, which is a chronic, mild form of depression, which is not mutually exclusive with major depressive episodes) or physical illness (like maybe a sleep disorder or some thing I’ve never heard of) or some combination of things. As ever, I am confused with the label going on the thing that seems to be wrong with me being ‘depression’ when I don’t feel sad.
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So, yesterday I said “I have a very odd idea of what comprises an awesome dream–the one yesterday was distinctly unpleasant, but it was also very interesting and unusual…” I think I’ll write about that dream, today.
As it turns out, you can actually feel pain in dreams. I’ve had a few dreams where I’ve experienced pain, but I could count the number of them on the fingers of one hand. The most interesting of these was the one I had the day before yesterday. It started out as a fairly normal variation on the (oddly common) dream theme of having one’s teeth rot/fall out. I broke my two front teeth, somehow, and I was left holding the little bits that had been knocked out. I was worrying about what I would do, and if the bits of teeth in my hand could be put back in, if I didn’t lose them (so of course the bits kept crumbling or otherwise being on the verge of being lost). It didn’t hurt at first, but the dream kept going on with me worrying about my teeth and wondering how to get this fixed and trying to find a dentist. When it did start to hurt, it was this throbbing, sharp pain shooting through my two broken front teeth. Later it was more of a throbbing, dull pain. At some point, I was thinking about something I saw on tv a long time ago about a guy who fell (like off a short cliff/dropoff) and hit the ground face first and broke most of his teeth, and he was in so much pain from his broken teeth.
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Ok, short post***. I should be sleeping, but this was just too good not to write (and I’ve been neglecting my blog more than I like, anyway).
I’ve been having some fairly awesome blog-worthy dreams the past couple of days, but there is one bit I want to mention now even if I don’t get around to all the rest, yet. Also, I have a very odd idea of what comprises an awesome dream–the one yesterday was distinctly unpleasant, but it was also very interesting and unusual…
But that’s not the snippet I talked myself into writing about before I go to sleep. This is.
I was in my room, and my door was open a little ways (normally I always have it closed, but hey, dreams). I saw Alice* out in the common area. I wondered if my other roommate (who is out on vacation in waking life and I don’t know when to expect her back because I didn’t ask) had come back and brought Alice with her. Alice looked at me, probably. I just closed the door. There was some pushing from the other side of the door, but I just kept pushing until it was shut. I didn’t care what she did once I got the door shut. I was just closing it and that was it, and it was staying closed even if Alice yelled at me and banged on the door. She didn’t, though. Nothing happened after I closed the door (well, the dream continued, and the rest of it was very interesting, too, and in fact I got lucid** a bit later, but I can write that in another post).
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