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Blog Archives - Page 2 of 16 - Brainthoughts

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A robot screaming dramatically, "Everything is RUINED!!"

Anxiety-Bot

Recently1that’s a relative term, I wrote about the ways in which my brain betrays me, and questioned what a “normal” emotional experience was. Today, I’m going to continue talking about what it’s like in my head by sharing one way I disarm anxious thoughts–with the help of something I call Anxiety-Bot.

Please note: This post is most emphatically not advice. I’m not saying this is what anyone should do, because I’m not in a position to provide that sort of advice. All I’m doing here is sharing my own personal experience.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. that’s a relative term

Off

What do we mean when we say that everyone has off days?

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The infamous ambiguously-colored dress

The Dress

So, the internet’s been blowing up today because of this picture of a dress:

http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112166688660/bellasfault-swiked-katze-geht-meow

No one seems to be able to decide if it’s white and gold or black and blue. Well, okay, the resounding evidence is pointing one way, but it might not be the way you think, and that’s what’s tripping people up.

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#selfie

#selfie


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[Content note: This post mentions struggles with self-acceptance and self-sacrificial mindsets.]

i.

On my way out the door, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Something about it–maybe my outfit, maybe the way my hair is doing a thing–makes me smile. Before I step out, I pull out my phone, thrust out my arm, and–selfie.

Peak hipster selfieLast week, I finally got around to one of those tasks I’d been putting off and went through my cell phone photos from the last nine months. Most were quick snapshots that I freely discarded; the rest I tagged and categorized on my computer. In doing so, I confirmed what I’d been strongly suspecting: I’ve been taking a lot of selfies.

Oh, selfies, the phenomenon we love to hate. Scroll through the opinion section of any site frequented by readers over 35, and you’re guaranteed a column decrying selfies and the narcissistic, tech-addicted generation that takes them. Occasionally, when a researcher at the University of Everything’s Changing and I Don’t Like It or the What’s Wrong With the Youths Institute publishes a study confirming Millennials’ inflated egos with Science, you’ll even find selfies outside of Opinion.

“Selfies are for the selfish,” opines Kelly Iverson, senior at Kansas State. At Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan calls them “a cry for help,” arguing that “young women take selfies because they don’t derive their sense of worth from themselves, they rely on others to bestow their self-worth on them.” Gizmodo declares that the selfie stick–a monopod that allows you to take pictures of yourself from farther away than arm’s length–is an “enabling device that deserve[s] a permanent ban“.

In other words, smartphones and Millennials are ruining everything. Again. Pass the salt.

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Tag Aliases

Food for Thought: Tag Aliases

Know what feature I’d like to see in content management systems? Tag aliases.

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Out of Juice

Out of Juice


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I run on battery power.

There’s a well of energy inside me, and right now, it’s charging. I’m in a familiar place, doing something I enjoy. Sitting on my couch with my computer, my battery is humming contentedly as its indicator changes from a red sliver to a full green cell.

Charging batteryThere are a handful of circumstances that act as my charging stations. Visiting my parents and sitting at their kitchen table, for instance, or relaxing in their living room. Curling up in bed with R and watching Netflix. Staying with a close friend in Portland. Making a long car ride across the state by myself. Doing things I feel good at. In all of these situations, I plug into the cozy familiarity and let it fill my battery up.

I try to keep my battery as full as possible, because it’s a mess when I go into emergency shutdown mode.

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Six Things or Whatever from 2014

Alright, 2014 is practically over. Pondering that fact earlier this week, I knew I wanted to write something, but I couldn’t decide what. I considered writing a list of my 12 favorite (or least favorite) books I read this year, but writing a bunch of book reviews sounded too exhausting. The idea of simply writing “GOOD RIDDANCE” in bold, 128-point font struck me as appealing, but I eventually backed down, feeling I owed myself a slightly more substantial piece of writing.

This is what I ended up settling on: a list of six things, or whatever, from 2014. It’s not exactly six things that happened to me this year, nor is it six things I enjoyed. It’s just six things. Or whatever.

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The New Real World

The New Real World

My friend T lives in the Seattle area. He plays Magic and is quick to respond to bullshit with biting wit. Another friend, H, loves her whiskey, owns many guns, and has an adorable Lab named Annie Lou.

These two people are my friends. I’ve also never met them face-to-face, in what many would consider the “real world”. I know them–and have since I was in high school–thanks to Kingdom of Loathing, where we’re members of the same in-game social “clan”. We’ve never drunk beer together, sure1On numerous occasions, however, we’ve all happened to have been simultaneously enjoying glasses of bourbon, scattered across the country though we are., but I’ve typed a lot of words into clan chat over the years, and they have too. We know each other better than I know many in-person acquaintances.

Using the word “friend” to describe relationships that have never seen so much as a handshake might seem strange. Some might scoff at it, saying that my generation of technology-addicted Millennials is just fooling itself, and that we’re living in an increasingly isolated, asocial world. These criticisms are part of an even broader argument: that the internet and “real life” are two non-overlapping spheres, and that activities in the former are somehow less valuable, less meaningful, or less real than activities in the latter.

You know what? It’s almost 2015. It’s time to accept that the internet is real life.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. On numerous occasions, however, we’ve all happened to have been simultaneously enjoying glasses of bourbon, scattered across the country though we are.
Putting Lipstick on Pigs

Putting Lipstick on Pigs

Here’s what you need to know about me: I love putting lipstick on pigs.

It was about four years ago when I was first introduced to Tara Gilesbie’s My Immortal. If you’ve never heard of it, allow me to clue you in. My Immortal is widely considered the worst piece of fanfiction ever written. Ostensibly set in the Harry Potter universe, it follows Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, an anti-establishment vampire witch, as she adventures at Hogwarts and uncovers dark forces at work.  At least, that’s what the summary would sound like if the fanfiction were actually any good. A more honest synopsis is “she wears such gothic clothes and looks so hot and goes to a million My Chemical Romance concerts and has to seduce Voldemort and everyone loves her”.

It’s so bad. I thought I was ready for its level of badness when I began reading it, but I was wrong. I don’t think anyone can be prepared for its level of badness. My Immortal is an affront to decency. It’s abhorrent.

Which is why, as soon as I’d finished reading it, I wanted nothing more than to put it on my Kindle.

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Spencer wearing too-tight pants

Tight Pants


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Dear world:

I apologize for the tightness of my pants during my junior year of college.

It was a mistake.

Spencer wearing too-tight pantsPlease forgive me.

 Photo by Johanna Santana. Thanks, Joey!

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