April 8, 2016ramble

"Today's 22/23/24 if you didn't know."
--http://twitter.com/geekygirlsarah
The Price is Right Theme 800% Slower:

"Slowed down 800%, this song becomes an ambient, lush and soothing experience"
My slow plan of self-improvement continues. (Sometimes I try to remember if I engaged in similar plans in my 20s and 30s. I should check my old blog rambles and see.)

Recently I started embracing "Amor Fati", love of ones fate, embracing the circumstance because - regardless if you can dig up a silver-lining for it or not - it IS The Current Circumstance, there is no other. This is painful for us to believe, because or imaginative brains are SO GOOD at thinking up hypothetical alternate realities-- realities much like this one, but a bit nicer: without this badly designed redlight holding us back, without this T pass lost, without this toe stubbed. Those other realities simply don't exist, and we must learn to love what actually does, because it does. ("People don't think it be like it is, but it do.")

In practice, though, it's not always easy to dredge up that feeling of "Amor" fast enough, so I've been exploring supplementary models. My current favorite has to do with an illformed memory of a friend describing someone else: "he's just like, you know, 'super chill'?" Some how I find that phrasing weirdly evocative, despite its lack of detail. I can think of various tropes and characters from literature that exemplify that.

I doubt that "Super chill" is a phrase that most friends would use to describe me, but I still, I would like to be more unflappable, taking things more little pitfalls in stride. In theory I have enough existential philosophy to back that...("in theory, Communism works. In theory.") But mostly it's a model I can quickly apply - I feel a flash of anger or fear, I think "what would this like, super-chill guy do?" and try to be that. There's still that flash of negative emotion of course, but maybe in time that can be quelled a bit, much like my libido seems to have to get pre-approval before it can make me even 'feel' anything...

When I think about self-improvement like this, I always have a note of caution. There's the thought that being uptight and anxious may have served me well over the years, given me a backbone to not give into more of my baser instincts; maybe my ingrained, apocalyptic fear of eternal hellfire has done me a service, keeping a bit closer to the straight-n-narrow. But now, at 42, I think I'll be ok. And there's always the hope that I might be even better, that if I can shake my flinchy fear about "well what if this next technical bit doesn't work out and I don't know how to fix it???" I can achieve more and more interesting things.

Also, I wouldn't want "super chill" to swamp my general happiness and enthusiasm for things I like... I don't think they're incompatible, though there's some creative tension there.
TIL (reading an Updike novel) that, shortly before the assassination, JFK and Jackie had a son, but who died after 2 days after being born premature.

I'm not sure what feels weirder to me; not having heads of this or just the idea of having a child while being president.