Pain sucks, but I'm masochistic and I can't stand being mute (which is literally what it feels like - remember, irl, I can't lipread in groups, overhear conversations, understand lectures... so my ability to speak and respond in those situations is likewise limited. My computer is the place where I can listen and talk most freely.*)

*Yeah, I know how sad this statement can be made to sound - but don't read it that way! Being able to have an "easy" place to talk has made it easier for me to communicate irl as well - it motivates me to try harder in listening and talking through tougher, more frustrating situations now that I know how awesome all these things can be.

Life is happening! It's great! And I can't share it! Here was some of yesterday.

  • 6:55am - standing in my aunt's kitchen spitting mushy parts of an apple into the trash so I can eat the rest in the car.
  • 9:41am - East Boston, dancing around the living room mucking out my bookshelf, having borrowed Chris's speakers to blast jazz music.
  • Afternoon - spent on phone with brother. I love my brother. It appears he is going for architecture, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to share an apartment in Cambridge this summer if we both get the jobs we want.

One of my new favorite phrases, from Humph via Greg DeK: "The goal of teaching open source is to teach students to be productively lost."

Sacha's blog has been slowly convincing me I should budget out "tuition money" for trying virtual assistants (need to define a 1-2 month trial period) in a "Mel learns how to keep up a routine" thing. Also, I should go to Toronto and visit her and Mike and others when I have travel budget again. Sometimes she is impressively intimidating. Yeah, I'm still sure we're not related.

It may just be strong mental associations resurfacing, but when I'm in Glenview, I often feel like I'm shriveling into the timid lonely little beast I used to be. I'm here now for the weekend. Parents wanted me to visit. It coincided with Pycon, and I wanted to see people from there, and visit IMSA, so I figured 3 birds + 1 stone = not bad. I want to be whole and happy when I'm home, but I haven't figured out how to do it yet; this is a reality I can't yet bend. I can't choose who to be around as much, and it's hard for me to stay the person I want to be in the face of others thinking I'm somebody else. But what do I care what other people think?

Enough, it turns out. I'm not proud of how I handle it, but at least I know why I'm making those choices, and I'll live with being ashamed of myself on these things because I'd be more ashamed the other way. I'm learning how not to absorb all the blows I'm given. I don't yet counter well, in a controlled manner that limits damage. I hope that when I do learn how to not absorb things, and to strike back well and hard and accurately, that I will go back and choose not to use it - to go back to absorbing everything and dealing with shit so that other people won't have to. But it'll be clear to me that it's a choice, not something I do because I don't know any other way.

I'm sorry that my parents have to put up with me learning this now, and that most of what I contradict comes from them. And I still choose to learn it. It feels awkward to say this - it sounds like I'm proud of being something of a jerk. For some reason (and a lot of it is pride, I know) I feel like I have to be this way now, here. This is my problem, and solving it (or trying, anyway) is going to affect other people. Fine. I feel awful saying this. But fine.

(Have I been vague enough yet?)

Happier notes: Pycon people awesome. Andy, Matt, and Jeff at dinner - did not get to see TOPP folks (too short a notice, though I did pass Doug this morning on the way out) but I should be in NYC sometime anyway. Real Piano also awesome. Talking with cousin (Mark works at Medline now) is great. Food very good; this week is the most I have eaten out since getting back from NZ.

Have been (deliberately, once I recognized it) rubbing up against a lot of rawness in the hearing dept lately. Book by Michael Chorost, talking with aunt about speech therapy, segments of Children of a Lesser God have brought me close to tears. For me, that isn't very close at all - but it's the recognition that there's a nonzero chance that I'd be able to bring myself to cry (as opposed to the usual "sunny with no chance of rain" status I usually sport), that something's welled up that I've chosen to tap back down and decline to physically manifest. I don't hate my hearing loss; I do get frustrated at the way it's made the world respond to me (and I to it) at times.

There is so much more I want to say, much more I've wanted to write, and my right hand has clawed up enough for me to think I should stop now. (Don't worry, it's in the pre-pain stage. I'm actually being careful, and typing slowly, with breaks - this took me over a day to type, in short spurts.)