June 4th, 2001

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Multiple Richard Garnish alert!

I just did a search for "Richard Garnish" on www.192.com, and discovered that there is another Richard Garnish who is patently not mine (due to the presence of a different middle initial) who lives in New Malden. That's roughly 4 minutes away from us on the train, 10 minutes by car or 15 minutes by bus.

When I've tried Google searches for him, I haven't found very many Richard Garnishes who aren't mine (probably because mine's a coder and has contributed source to various sites). It's clearly not a very common name. So to find someone else with the same name living so close is really rather odd.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
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deconstructing my life...

Bah, Netscape crashed just as I was trying to post this entry, so I'll have to cut and paste it in from the temporary file that I made. Bloody Netscape. We desperately need a newer version, one that doesn't have quite as many bugs as this one (4.7, copyright 1999, apparently).

Tim and Peter did come round on Thursday night. I had gone out shopping, so they rang my mobile when they arrived, and we met in Starbucks [1], where I tried to confuse the staff with my order (look, if I didn't want a grande-sized cold skimmed milk with chocolate and vanilla syrup poured over ice, I wouldn't ask for one, would I?). Then we went home, had dinner, and played Unreal Tournament and Wild Wild Racing (ye gods, that's a scary picture on the WWR site). They went home relatively early because they needed to get up early to sort out things for their holiday, and I got on with cleaning the house.

I started to tidy up and clean our flat the day before Richard's mum's funeral (Tues 22nd May). Since then, I've spent something like 5 or 6 whole days sorting through all of the stuff that we have here - dusting and tidying up shelves, putting things into order (chronological, alphabetical or both), emptying boxes and sorting the contents into "stuff to keep", "stuff to recycle" and "rubbish", repacking things into nicer boxes, taking old magazines to the recycling bins, and suchlike. It's been worthwhile, but it's rather strange, as some of the boxes I've been going through are ones that haven't been touched in 4 or 5 years. Sorting out old letters from people I'd forgotten I'd ever known is particularly indusive of weird introspective moods - I used to be a very prolific letter-writer when I was younger, and I'm wondering just what happened to some of these people. The oddest thing was finding a whole series of letters from someone called Darren, and not even being able to remember how I knew him - I'm sure he wasn't a ZZ9 member, or from the Mensa Rock Special Interest Group, and I don't think he was an Acorn computer person, and from what he said in the letters he didn't have net access - so how the hell did I know him? I'm tempted to write to the last address given (which was a house that he'd actually bought) and ask who he is. I might do a 192 search for some of my old friends and see if they still want to know me. Hmmm.

Shifting through seemingly-stratified layers of accumulated junk is like deconstructing my life - taking who/where I am now as a starting point and moving backwards through time. It's all very odd, and I'm lacking the right words to describe it in more detail. In myself, I feel as though I'm the same person that I've always been - as I've changed with time, I've become more me - and yet, to an outside observer, I might look like a completely different person now than the person I was when perhaps they knew me. That dichotomy between change/no change isn't somewhere that I've ever tried to explore before: I mean, until very recently I had in my signature file the quote "What's the name of the word for things not being the same always? You know... the thing that lets you know time is happening?" from The Sandman book "Brief Lives". More about this when I know what to say.

Good things that have come out of this obsessive burst of house-cleaning are that our flat is much more comfortable to live in, and actually feels like "home" now rather than just a place where we sleep. Also, we're richer by the tune of £105, as that's the amount I've found in gift vouchers that people had given us that we'd never got round to spending. Bad things are that sorting through my old stuff has triggered a very strange mood in me that it's hard to talk about. Yesterday I was so depressed that I couldn't get to sleep even though I was exhausted, so I woke Richard and asked him to hold me, but couldn't stop sobbing for long enough to tell him what was wrong, so we ended up having a massive row. We never stay angry at each other for more than a couple of minutes at a time, so we made up easily enough once we felt better, but I don't like having my emotions all stirred up into that utterly bleak type of depression when I feel as though I'm never going to be able to be a normal person again. Interestingly, I only ever get suicidal when I have PMT. Go figure.

On another note, I had a phone call from college on Friday (in the middle of the afternoon. It woke me up.). They were hinting that I should be getting on with work again soon. Right now, I don't feel up to it at all, but I can't keep putting things off forever... *sigh*

[1] I was going to include a link to the Starbucks web site, but decided not to as www.starbucks.com is patently crap and doesn't seem to acknowledge the existence of the UK , and www.starbucks.co.uk is, er, not actually owned by Starbucks the coffee company.
  • Current Mood
    weird weird
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Editing the past (part 2 of "deconstructing my life").

Scrolling down past my older journal entries to see if there are any comments, I feel acutely embarrassed by the ones that I made whilst significantly anguished - particularly the one about my mum and dad. Having to read that every time isn't pleasant at all. But I feel that it would be Wrong to delete it. So far, the only editing I've done of journal entries has been if they've been formatted incorrectly or if I've found typos - I haven't actually changed any content more than a few minutes after the entry's first been posted.

If I took that entry out, it would be editing the past - changing it to be more aesthetically-pleasing. That's what my mum does every day of her life - that's how come she's still living with my dad. If she truly remembered the horrors, she wouldn't stick around for the good times. Someone needs to remember, if only because of a vague sense of justice.

I used to wonder if people would believe my stories about my parents' relationship. My parents do something that we call "playing Happy Families". If they need to meet someone important (like Richard's parents), they'll dress up in smart clothes, put on fake upper-middle-class accents and present a show of togetherness. Even when my mother's got a black eye where my father hit her. I can see straight through the act, and at least one of my ex-boyfriends was able to. But most people can't, and so when I tell them what things are really like, they don't believe me. However, one day my father hit the roof while I was still living with my mum and had friends round. Tim and Peter actually witnessed one of his explosions, and it wasn't pretty. I feel sorry for them that they had to see that, but in another way I feel grateful that someone outside of my immediate family saw - that there is someone to back me up when I say what's going on.

Most people edit their pasts all the time. Most people want to appear to be somehow more special than they actually are. But there's a line that I draw between the kind of thing that's Okay and the kind of thing that's Not Okay, and taking out something just because it's embarrassing to read later doesn't seem right. It might be different if someone else was being hurt by it, but so far no one else is.
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too much to say!

This morning is the first time I've been online since Thursday: hence I have lots of things to say.

I've just added a load of new friends: ajva, chrismoose, djm4, elynne and kitty_goth. I'm getting a distinctly weird feeling about this, as friends from different places all get muddled up. I've got people I met at college reading the diaries of people I met online, people I've known for years reading the diaries of people I haven't known very long, alt.poly people mixing with London bisexuals... it's all very odd.

I'm wondering whether to add friends of friends to my friends list. It's a pain having to remember to check other people's journals, and it's so much easier just to go to my friends page and read that - even if I have to scroll back 3 pages to get everything that everyone's said since I last checked it :) Do I want to meet more people, or just concentrate on getting to know the people I care about better? Hmmm.

And to think, the only reason I came here was in pursuit of Rose.
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    contemplative contemplative
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Quote of the day.

I found this in a freebie gay magazine called G News which I've only actually ever seen one issue of, dated 20th April 2001. In the Editor's comment, Nick Stellmacher writes:
So why should a member of the Windsor family not be gay? Are they not human, then? And who would really care anyway?

He's talking about the Royal family, but it applies so well to my family... and we share the same surname.
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the insomniac's dilemma.

Should I go to sleep now, or stay up until this evening?

The problem with going to sleep now is that if I sleep now, I won't wake up until 10pm or later tonight. I find it really damned hard to take a nap of a couple of hours and sleep "properly" later. I might be able to manage it if I'm really motivated, but it's hard.

The problem with not waking up until 10pm or later is that we rented Crazy Taxi from Blockbuster and should really take it back tonight, but I haven't really had a chance to play it yet and I'd like to have a fiddle before it goes back. However, I'm way too tired to play a fast-moving video game like that now. Ideally, what I want to do is sleep for a couple of hours (say until 7pm), then get up, play Crazy Taxi, eat dinner, read some news and go back to bed about midnight. But I know from my bloody twisted sleep cycles that that's going to be impossible. And unfortunately, I need to go to the doctor tomorrow at 10.30am, and I'll have to be on some sort of normal time if I'm going to try doing the PhD again.

Erk. I have huge amounts of news to read.

  • 2261 unread messages in alt.polyamory
  • 522 unread messages in uk.transport.london
  • 696 unread messages in uk.people.gothic
  • 161 unread messages in uk.games.video.playstation
  • 896 unread messages in soc.bi

plus hundreds of unread messages in the newsgroups that I just skim.

What to do?

The added complication is that my hair is at the stage where it doesn't just look dirty, it actually feels dirty. If I don't wash my hair for a couple of weeks, it goes all greasy around the roots, and then my scalp itches, and it's generally quite unpleasant. I need to sort that out before I do anything in public, but I simply don't have the energy to shower now. My options are, effectively: stay up, read news, and hope that I get a "second wind", or go to bed now, and hope that setting alarms and suchlike actually gets me out of bed. I'm leaning towards sleep, now, but knowing my luck, I'll get into bed and suddenly think of something I want to post here, and then not be able to sleep because my brain is whirring too hard...
  • Current Mood
    too tired to make decisions