cptntiller: (Schnauzer)


March is question month: Ask Your Question Here.


QUESTION: Looking back, what was the significance of doing the H2B ride to you? And what would you say to someone who wants to do the ride, but is also truly scared of making that kind of physical effort?

Oof. Good and hard question. I'm going to answer that in reverse, because the second part is easy. Do it. I had never ridden more than 15 miles on a bike before I signed up for this ride. It was mildly terrifying. I remember as I signed up thinking "This is absurd. But how amazing would it be if I could actually finish this?" I mean, when did I sign up, June? Yikes. [start training before june.]

I don't know how your approach to things like this is, mentally. I have a weird brain, I was raised on stubbornness and determination, and once I have accepted a challenge it is near impossible for me to not complete it, even if I am the one who has extended the challenge to myself. So when I officially signed up, I was going to do it. I just started riding. Is it daunting? Hells yes. But if for some reason you're not able to make it to the end, there are plenty of places to stop and catch a ride. Just way desire and determination over exhaustion. Are you willing to put in the time to make it happen?

The signifigance is surprisingly complicated. A big part of it was taking this challenge that seemed impossible to me and overcoming it. I like overcoming things that seem impossible to me.

More significantly for me it was a sort of zen reflection. I intended for this ride to be something that would push me to the edge, and that would cause me both through training and the actual day to meditate and think. I've made a lot of life progress in the past couple years. A lot of changes and adjustments - one of the biggest is the way I interact and commune with the gay community. Over a year my percentage of friends who were gay went from 2 or 3 percent to at least 50. I have become more aware of issues related to it, and more aware of myself in that context. It was about really thinking about our foundations, about the AIDS and HIV community. About helping to raise money for an amazing cause. And about thinking about how I interact with that cause as well.

The significance in all realms comes down, I suppose to overcoming. Overcoming my fears, overcoming large distances, exploring and branching out, and overcoming my preconceptions. It's weird how much more mental this ride was than physical. [okay, scratch that, maybe. The physical portion was huge.]

I'm not even sure I can explain what it meant to me. And now it means more, because I did make it. And sweet jesus did it hurt. but I will always remember crossing that line soaking wet, and my knee feeling shredded and never feeling quite so proud of myself. So giddily ecstatic and in tears. That was a terrible wonderful day. But I'm crazy enough to be signing up to do it again.

Well, that was long and rambly and I have no clue if I even scratched the surface of your question. Did I? It's pretty complicated in my head. So it's possible I completely missed the point on paper.

Addendum: P.S. for those of you who don't know H2B is Harbor to the Bay - a 125 mile bike ride from Copley Square in Boston to Provincetown. It benefits local HIV and AIDS groups / research folks.

Questions

Mar. 1st, 2010 07:35 pm
cptntiller: (Schnauzer)


Alright, I'll bite.

You guys know the March is Question month meme, right?

I have some questions from last year to answer still - my life exploded last march, and I didn't finish them. I didn't forget about you.

So I'll use those as filler, but basically ask whatever you want. I'll answer many of them via a long-winded post with a photo. I say many because I may not feel comfortable answering some. I'll probably answer it to your question directly. All questions will be screened so no one but me can see them. Please make it clear if you'd like to remain anonymous in the post. By default I will be saying who asked.

and anonymous comments have always been asked.

This is kind've rare. I don't often write words, never mind words about me. So. Take advantage of it and such.

To see last years answered questions:
http://toddpage.livejournal.com/tag/questions

[I probably won't answer questions I've already answered unless the answer has changed significantly]

Oh. And you DON'T need to post this in your journal. Ask away. S'many as you want.

Also, photos from the trip are slowly but surely coming.
cptntiller: (365)
Day 145/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 22: What is it with "THP" anyway? What does that even mean?

Wait. Seriously? Dude. It's my initials.

Todd H. Page

[self-portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 144/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 21: How would you evaluate your overall experience at PC, given its social and academic climate?

Oh boy. It's interesting. I'm sure with years my bitterness towards the general student and faculty attitude at PC will fade. Right now that it is, perhaps undeservedly, high.

First let me say that I carefully summarized my PC experience, and my advice from within that, here: toddpage.livejournal.com/281672.html [NOT edited]

Now, onwards to the question. In terms of academics, I bare no fault against P.C. I feel that I got a top-notch education. A heavily biased education, no doubt, but a top-notch education, regardless. I don't bear issue with the fact that theology and philosophy courses were required of all students. It's a catholic school, that should be expected. Do I wish there had been a class on other faiths? Yes. After all, most of the students there went to some amount of years of catholic education and already have a pretty good grasp of Catholic Doctrine. I loved Civ. For those of you who don't know PC, there is a required 2 year program that has 4 teachers and meets 5 days a week. It covers History, Literature, Philosophy, and Theology through pretty much all time. It's an amazing amount of information, and if you do the work, to me, rewarding. I also think that Dr. Scanlan's suggested updates to the program are brilliant. The school should totally get on that. There also needs to be more diversity in other course areas, and some faculty need to be reminded that not all students are catholic, and that they have a right to believe otherwise that the schools non-discrimination statement protects. I had a professor tell me I should drop her class because I did not believe the Catholic beliefs, more specifically, her beliefs. So naturally I stayed in it. No one tells me that. There is alot of improvement to be made there. Luckily there is a group of students struggling to make those changes. *fist in the air*

Now the social climate. PC is, as it were, a school full of cookie cutters. That is to say, it is full of people who all think the same, and feel the same, and approach things the same. Alot of these people will not accept or listen to anything that is different from that. The social climate at PC is awful. I lucked out in that I made the right friends. I found the kids who think for themselves [and that does not mean all of them thought in ways differently from the norm. It simply means they evaluated what they think, and are open to people thinking differently from them] This helped in a huge way. I also made friends with the kids working to change PC, or at least willing to resist being a part of the attitude that all that is different is bad. The theatre kids are great in that way, and being a part of the Vagina Monologues helped with that too. The administration, for those of you who don't know, shut down the Vagina Monologues at PC after 4 years of it being performed. We were already not allowed to advertise, and we had to perform in a classroom, but when the new president came in, he said he could not allow it to be performed. [The president's letter] This is absurd. It was a student production, and regardless of it's language or topics, it's cause is noble. Not to mention, that spring the official production was My Sister In This House, a play about lesbian incest. I don't think he realized what a movement that little letter began.

Whoa, tangent. The point is, even though PC itself is lame. I will not be giving them money, and most people I know who have very individual personalities, I would not send there, I ended up having a good experience. God I was SO sick of all the bullshit there by the end. And it is full of bullshit. Tons of it. And people whose only goal in life is to get totally shit-faced, and people who will only listen to opinions that mirror theres, and commentaries in the newspaper comparing homosexuality to cancer, and stating that when women get raped it's their own fault. It is full of stupid ridiculous people. I find I remember my friends and memories with them fondly. My program as well, and the CS teachers. And as I move away, I remember less the stupid idiots, faculty, and presidents, and all the bullshit there-in. The gasps when anything of a gay nature came up, the people who used fag as a commonplace slang for idiot. It all still makes me angry. I'd rate the school low. It claims to be desiring diversity, but really it only wants statistics. Everything about that school resists diversity. It is filled with Racist, homophobic, people who are afraid of different and change. My experience, however, was pretty good, all things considered. I got a good education, and a strong group of friends. And that's different from the school itself.

So even though I had to deal with sooo much bullshit, and spent tons of time fighting the man, I would say my EXPERIENCE was good, because of the people I surrounded myself with. If I hadn't had them, it would have been miserable.

Wow. That was more positive than even I expected.

[self-portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 143/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 20: When, where or what brings you joy in this world? and how often do you find it?

Oh so many things. The little things mostly, I suppose. That moment where music feeds into you and you lose awareness of the outside world for a while. The feeling of accomplishment from making something work correctly. The feeling after a serious conversation when you realize that even at the hardest of times, things will get better, and will be okay, that no matter how much you fuck up, that person will still be there for you. Loving. Being loved, feeling it and knowing it's there for you. The feeling of warmth from a person you care about, and that mental warmth there-in. Both mentally and physically. That safe space in the person you loves arms, or the security from simply feeling their hand on your head. The sound of crisp fall leaves getting cah-runched as you step on them. Singing along with some song in the car with your friends like an idiot, and no-one caring whether or not you hit the pitch. Living that moment, and this one. The times when my thoughts don't get in the way of my life. The promise of the future. The fact that I still have such a good relationship with my family. Echo Lake, Maine; Anza Borrego, California. Memories of fond moments, and sincere flashbacks. Lying on the floor of our front hall in a sunbeam with Bob, or, at the time when she was around, Cassie and falling asleep [Bob and Cassie are dogs]. Lighting a fire in the backyard and sitting around it till 2 or 4 in the morning with friends discussing life and seeing what burns. The simplicity, full bond, and unquestioned support of my true friendships. Knowing that I can tell them anything and get support. Knowing that even at my most dick-like and crazy, they'll still help me. Driving around Sachem's Head. Walking into the water and staring at the moon. The first bite of cold as fall develops, and the last bite of cold as spring chimes in. Warm socks, just out of the dryer. The smell of photo-developer. The smell of sawdust! The satisfaction of proving to myself that I can do something I thought I couldn't. Waking up next to the person you love. Making others laugh, or smile. Realizing that someone knows how crazy I am and cares about me anyway. Dryer sheets! I don't even use them. But they smell so nice. Meeting a 7 year old named Lily on what is possibly the shittiest day in months, and having her say "Hi, what's your name? My name's Lily and I want to write the names of everyone exciting I meet today in my journal!" then she rolls around you on her scooter and says "Are you a photographer? I've never met a photographer before! How exciting!" Cuddling in bed with no agenda. Brunch! Noticing what happens back-stage. Realizing 3 hours have passed in a time I thought was 45 minutes. Being open and honest with my friends and family and everyone else and having that be natural. Making photographs. Capturing my world. Singing in the shower. Fighting the good fight. Feeling the wind press against me. Puppies jumping up on me. Not worrying about what people around me are thinking. Realizing you've made a difference in someone elses life.The amount of times I've changed POV in this. [I, You]. Looking at a set I built and going "I did that." Jumping off the dock in Maine and splashing into the water. The really minimal amount of entertainment my friends and I need because our idle chatter makes anything more interesting. Knowing that there are people I would gladly do ANYTHING for, and that they would reciprocate.

Many more things too.

I find them when I can, sometimes often. Sometimes not for days. Sometimes it lasts for 30 seconds, sometimes it lasts for 36 hours. But I enjoy it when I feel it.

[portrait]

[Photo is of State Radio. For rest of concert photos, please check: LINK]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 142/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 17: Who will make the World Series?

I hope you're not expecting an answer along the lines of the Red Sox, or the Yankees.

I hate both, quite equally.

I've just become used to people expecting me to support one or the other based on my location.

In reality, my two teams are the Texas Rangers, and the Chicago Cubs.

Neither really have a chance, per usual... but the Cubbies could come close. Who knows.

I have no clue who will make it this year. But I'm greatly looking forward to April 5th, to start watching the progress begin.

[open]


[PS: Given I don't think anyone checked Fantasy Ball after about a month last year, I'm not gonna start a league this year. However, if there is interest, express it here, and I'll consider it based on the numbers.]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 241/265 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [Comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 17: If your life were a video game, how would it play out? What would be the theme? Would it be an 8-bit old school game or a new fancy high tech game? And what would be the title?

Hot damn! Okay, easiest first: you have to know it would be an old school 8-bit game. It just plain doesn't get any better than ▲ ▲ ▼ ▼ ◄ ► ◄ ► b a start. I love the old school games best, though there are alot of fun new ones. Sure, it's probably just nostalgia winning over, but regardless I'm going with the NES as my console. The theme song will be absurdly bitmapped, and upbeat. It will be something that will be stuck in your head, and that years later you will all of a sudden find yourself humming [no really. this happened with the following while I was driving from boston to providence a few weeks ago]. If you want an example from an existing game, hows this: Boulderdash Music [God I fucking love that game]

It would be a side scroller, with occasional puzzles. If I could have the perfect combo pack, it would be like a mixture of SMB with 7th Guest. That side scroller go through collect items then go forward. Tackle bad guys, but mostly get to the end alive and well. And then throw in some challenging puzzles and a mystery or two. There could be puzzles or challenges involving building sets, and a level where you have to negotiate Boston Traffic and one way streets. *Beep* Giving the finger Bonus! Obviously the hero would not be saving a princess, but rather a man. [Lets get real. A bear]

Oh and there totally needs to be some dinosaurs in this. Maybe as steeds in some levels?

The title. I think I'll use my staple title for things. THP. Just like that.

[open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 240/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 17: When was the first time you ate a Bic Mac?

Do you see those three images above?

That's the first time.

[self-portrait/short-writing]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 239/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a
comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 16: What is your favorite work of literature? Is there one
author you're drawn to more? Ditto with poetry.


Ooh. I love reading. Fun question. [As we've encountered, I almost
taught English]

You know, I've read The Giver 35 times? It's the book I usually list as my favorite book of all time. No, it's not a literary masterpiece. But I enjoy it, and reading it brings me back to the first time I read it. I think it's well written and interesting, and I love the concept. I think it's definetly my favorite utopian novel. [Fuck you, Anthem] However, I also consider A Confederacy Of Dunces to be on par with that. This book is amazing. I love it's style, it's well built characters, and the bold, fucked-up writing. I'm a sucker for Ignatius' antics, and the crazy world he inhabits... not to mention the complete lack of anything positive in the entire novel. Call me crazy.

I also love Don Quixote. I think it's a pretty awesome book, and I'm really glad I read it. Actually, ACOD is considered the American Don Quixote, so there is no surprise I have a high interest in both. And of course, because I comply to society, I love The Catcher In The Rye. I love how hatable the character is. Actually, I don't think he's hatable at all. I identify with him, which is probably not a good sign... What amuses me about everyone who reads The Catcher In The Rye, and often, those who claim to, or do, love it... is that they miss the most significant fact of the book. SPOILER ALERT: World: Holden Caulfield is crazy. He is writing the narration from a mental institution. This is the entire point. I don't know how so many people miss this... it's subtly mentioned in the first paragraph, but the entire last chapter is about his being there. Sorry, that's not really relevant, is it. I just had a rant there I needed to air. [And yes, I know it was involved in 3 assassinations/attempts] Oh, and my copy of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is being borrowed... but it should be in the front, too.

Authors I tend to follow? How do you define literature? I read anything and everything by Michael Connolly, I think he has great, great mysteries. I also read anything put out by David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. [Yeah, I'm gay. We covered that.] Ooh, ooh. Douglas Adams and Bill Watterson. Both are brilliant. I don't care if Bill Waterson's medium is sunday funnies. I count his collections as books. I'm also pretty drawn to Faulkner. And ... really... anything qualified as modern american literature. Oh, and Christopher Moore is hilarious. Always a good read. I'm going to end up thinking of, and adding, things all day long.

I don't read poetry in a deliberate manner very often. But I was especially intrigued by Siegfried Sassoon's War Poems. Which I accidentally did not place in this. I put Everyman's poetry... which is a collection I actually really dislike. I like Blake, and a few other poets. I have a collection called "Speaking fire at stones" that was given to me that I enjoyed. Most of the poetry I enjoy is modern, and less formatted. I think I'd probably read more if I took the time to collect more... er... collections. I like poetry, I just never go out of my way to find it. Oh, and Shel Silverstein rocks. No arguing.

Books above [Some of my favorites]:
Miguel Cervantes - Don Quixote
Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park
Michael Connolly - The Poet
Pietro Di Donato - Christ In Concrete
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
Victor Hugo - Les Miserables
David Hume - An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
John Knowles - A Separate Peace
Lois Lowry - The Giver
Cynthia Ozick - The Shawl
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
Siegfried Sassoon - The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon [I'm gonna pretend I put the right one in]
John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy Of Dunces
Gertrude Chandler Warner - The Boxcar Children
Bill Watterson - The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes
Virginia Woolfe - Mrs. Dalloway

[open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 238/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 15: what was a defining moment for you in photography? any particular projects you were super duper proud of?

I thought about this only briefly, and think my instinctive response is ultimately going to be the correct one, no matter how much I consider it. Working with film. The entire experience. Getting access to a darkroom was the best thing that happened to my photography, even though I look back at the first portfolio, and recognize it was really awful. I'm not horribly proud of it, with the exception of 5 or 6 shots. [link] My teacher didn't teach us much. We were kind've on our own. I didn't even learn about filters. For the most part I kinda taught myself my way around, except that I had the help of Brandon [[livejournal.com profile] neo999955, who walked me through alot, and taught me alot. I will always have alot of respect for his photographic [and writing] opinion. My second photo class had much much more impact, but that first class was the defining moment. Working with film changed my eye, and my approach.

Regardless. there is something about getting your hands dirty that brings it all to a much more real, much more direct level. God, I miss the dark room. Not to mention, with film there is not the ability to snap 700 shots of the same thing that comes with digital. You think more carefully, take more time. And you work hard in the dark room, because paper is fucking expensive. I still have the first film canister I cracked open. I can't even describe it. Digital work can never come close... photography becomes so much more than the initial capturing of the image.

As for projects I'm super duper proud of, that would be my project at the end of my second photo class. My second photo teacher was amazing, and gave us alot of free reign, and responsibilities. He taught, and expected alot... and while he never understood my project, he let me follow it anyway... when I presented it all-together at the end of the semester, he said he finally got it, and liked it alot. It was the first time I had thought out a full concept for a set of photos. I had really thought about an overarching vision I was persuing. It was the first time I had written a statement of my vision for a project, and had used that to guide me. I am still really really proud of this project, which you can witness here:

toddpage.livejournal.com/280414.html

I really want to get some interested artists together to split studio space and set up a dark room here. I miss film so much.

[open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 237/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 14: "Question 3: Is there an afterlife? From my personal standpoint? Yes. That's the simple answer. I believe in some continuation of being after our own limited survival on this plane." Okay thanks for answering that question. I have a question from your answer though ... the "I believe" part ... may I? My question is simple ... why? [This is a response to Question 3]

Easy. I spent hours sizing up the various systems and methods of belief, from atheism to Baptist, to Hindu, to Buddhism, and challenged what I had been tought and what and told to believe. And discarded all my beliefs for a while. After carefully considering everything, I came to realize that I believe in an Aristotelian God-Figure.

I guess that is actually how, isn't it. Why? Because. That's what faith comes down to, isn't it? I think what you're trying to get at is someting like "You don't believe in ghosts, you don't believe in magic, why do you believe in this?" Because most atheists I know line them up on the same plane. I don't believe in ghosts or magic, no. I have my faith because I think there is logic behind it. [Unmoved mover, every effect has a cause, if you follow the effects back far enough, there must be something which was an initial cause.] It's all to easy to believe in something simply because you're told to [see 95% of Providence College's population.] I'm not like that. I've challenged my thinking, and others thinking, and come to this conclusion on my own. That's why.

I don't expect anyone else to do so, and I don't preach it as such. Everyone should believe, or not believe whatever the hell they want, as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone elses right to believe or not believe in whatever the hell they want.

[open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 236/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html or send me a flickr mail. [Or leave it here if anomynity is not of any importance - the lj post comments are screened so that only I can see them]

All questions: Here

Question 13:Where in the US would you choose to live providing you had the choice?

Hm. I'm surprisingly open-minded about this kind of thing. For one thing, it's mostly about the people. For example, the people I have in my life here in Boston, are great... and right now, I'm really happy I'm here. I enjoy the city, and the plethora of options it supplies... schools, museums, theatre companies, performances of all shapes and sizes. I can see myself living most places happily, but I'd prefer someplace that is city-like, but has easy access to nature. If I could morph the time space continuum, and have echo lake, maine exist just outside of a city without any of the negative drawbacks that would occur, I'd be all over that. I think it'd be cool to be in DC for a while, and I'm not closed off to the idea of living closer to my sister now that she's on the west coast... though I worry about how that would affect my parents, California is pretty neat. It was one of the places I was really looking at when I first started looking at jobs [my junior year] actually.

I feel certain that no matter where I end up in the years between, I will end up back in New England, and probably Mass for my later years. I'll follow where I'm lead in life, and where my life leads me to living. It'll be an adventure, and an experience to try some different places and communities, as I've only ever lived in New England. I will probably at some point live outside of new england, depending on what happens, and that will be fun. I was, for a while, really closed off to the idea of being outside of New England... and I am really happy here right now, but watching my sister move has helped me see the adventure there-in.

[open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 235/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 12:what drives you to photograph the world you see? I know its a form of self expression, a way to capture what you feel/think/want etc. But youre also a fairly musical person and yet you dont write 365 days of music lyrics...So simply put, why photo?

That's an interesting question. I often tie my love for music into my 365 project, by applying lyrics to photos in the text and alt-text. Usually I give a link to some form of listening when I do this, but sometimes I just leave the lyric, with no clue whether or not people will get the reference. Alot of times, they're inspired by music directly... I get the concept or mood from what I'm listening to.

But I think you mean why don't I write a song every day? Photography is my primary form of expression, and it ties in to my emotions better than anything I can or could write. I love writing, actually, but believe me, we're all thankful what I write is not poetry/lyrics. I have the last poem I wrote on LJ... but I think I'm too embarrassed of it to link to it. It's pretty awful. My personal music abilities are more of the practical nature. I can play trombone, guitar, trumpet, some piano, a little violin, and some accordion. I really want to learn the banjo. I suppose I could write a song a day, chord/rhythymwise... but I don't feel the same connection, creation-wise to writing or creating music that I do to photography.

My connection to music is absolutely huge. It affects my mood, my body language, the way I think at times... and I feel most songs, melodically, lyrically, or both, in a pretty intense way... but all of that is mostly as an audience, and not as a creator. I write as well, but Ifind when I try to write every day, I end up... not. I usually end up writing about once or twice a week, on good weeks. But I greatly enjoy the purge of writing as well. I also find I'm more reticent about sharing my writing with the world... either because it directly reveals more of me, or because I don't think it's of the right caliber.

I'm driven by what's inside me. Theres this little force that sees the way a shadow plays and wants to capture it. And then wants to capture it better. And then wants to capture it differently. A way of presenting what I'm thinking in an interpretable, but still symbolic to me, manner. Maybe others don't get the message I did in it... but I know its there. And I can remember entire days, believe it or not, by looking at that days 365, no matter how random it is - which is neat in itself. And I'm not saying every photo is a piece of art, or symbolic masterpiece. Sometimes a photo is just a photo. But I like to think there is more in there.

[Portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 234/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [Comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 11:As an amateur shutterbug, I've wondered, at times, if the appeal of photography is (in part) that sometimes it's easier (or more comfortable) to gaze outwards than to gaze within. Is that something that resonates at all for you?

Ah yes, the Mark complex! In this, I am referring to Mark, from RENT... to quote Roger, during Goodbye Love

"...but who Mark are you?
'Mark has got his work', they say
'Mark lives for his work
and Mark's in love with his work'
Mark Hides in his work.
...From facing your failure
Facing your loneliness
facing the fact you live a lie..
...You're always preaching not to be numb
When that's how you thrive
You pretend to create and observe
when you really detach from feeling alive..."

Okay, so that has me listening to a show I haven't in like 4 years. Whoa.

Moving right along!

I think there is certainly some appeal in that. It's certainly easier to look out and capture others lives and struggles... and at times it can certainly be a distraction and avoidance of your own. I think it'd be really interesting to see what my answer would've been, to this, before my first year of the 365 project. For those of you new to my little, crazy, world... A: Hello! B: My first year of 365's was an entire year of self portraits. Every day I got in front of the camera. This meant that on the shittiest days I took an image. I think before then, it was definetly easier for it to be simply a way to gaze outwards. I tended to do alot of street shots in my first year of actually taking pictures all the time... alot of hip shots and candids of people around me, doing there thing. I think alot of that was just noticing others and not paying attention to my own thoughts. At the same time, I feel very confident I put alot of myself into every image. I may not often use words to tell people about myself, but I think that more often than not, my images show me. And especially at times when I'm going through something difficult, there is alot of .. within-gazing in my self-portraits, and other shots. I can remember very specific weeks and time periods where the combination of pose, lighting, and lyrics in my shots, to me, explained everything I was thinking and feeling to the world. Everything inside of me. EG: Ex1, Ex2, Ex3. I mean, there are times when there is moody lighting and the like because it's a concept and lighting I liked... maybe that happens more often, and I guess I'm the only person who WOULD be able to recognize when its one or the other. Interestingly enough, alot of these are also my favorites.

I guess that says that my favorites are the ones I really go out and pursue because I have a very specific emotion that I need to get out... and I do that via my photos. Which in turn says, to me, that, at least with my self-portraits, there is often gazing within done via them. I think it's certainly easier to look outwards... but I do believe that taking the time to focus inwards and concentrate on the things is important... and I like to think I do that.

Did I answer this? Call me out on it if I somehow missed the point in my blathering on.

[self-portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 233/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 10:What is your tattoo of and what is it's signifigance? Do you plan on getting more?

My tattoo is of a fox. Technically it's a fox's head over a fox's pawprint. The design was made by [livejournal.com profile] viech.



The basic and simple explanation is my name. Todd, in olde english [the e is for aesthetic appeal, please pronounce it.] means fox. That's right. My name, means fox. The best part of this is that this means, by extension, that my name, in Spanish... is Zorro. Hells yes.

But thats not all.

I hold a lot in animal symbolism, especially that of the native americans, along the lines of the totem. And I want my tattoos to not only describe parts of me, but to reflect things I want to form in myself. To the native americans, beside it's symbol of wit and cunning, which we'll ignore the negative aspects of, thanks, it's a sign of using your presence to fully understand what is occuring around you and trying to grasp everything. It is also a symbol of self-transformation... in mythical circles, the fox is considered a shape-shifter. In Japan it describes longevity and protection from harm.

I have a few designs enqueue. Besides a band I want to get around my upper right arm, of 35mm film, there are a few designs. One which was designed with a basic concept from me by my friend Juli, uses a symbol I made out of binary for 365, and fills one of the zero's with a fox pawprint, and the other with a bear pawprint. I am still deciding what to fill the middle zero with, and can always fill that in later.



Additionally, there is a potential bears head over a bear pawprint, almost exactly along the lines of my fox tattoo.

Interesting factoid that will surprise almost everyone, I think... the bear tattoos and symbols got nothing to do with the bear community. I knew I'd be getting this before I knew what that was, really. I mean, there is an additional, fun, tie-in now... but it honestly has nothing to do with that. The bear is a symbol of healing and personal bravery, in addition to personal strength. I strive to reflect these things in my actions, personal strength and bravery especially, though being an agent of healing, and indeed healing for myself are important to me as well. To the sioux it is a symbol of wisdom: something I have none of, but which I hope to achieve through life. It is also, to the Sioux, a sign of grounding and interrelationship between a person and their environment, connecting them to all of creation, and the truth that runs throughout all of it. It is supposed to help you know when to stand up for your rights, and when to walk away from a battle. This is a struggle I face often, on both sides, being overzealous, and underzealous. Lastly, to the chippewa it is a sign of introspection and personal discovery, as well as a maternal, protective nature. I don't know if I'm maternal... but I'm definetly protective.

Another animal symbol I feel very connected to is the Otter, for a bunch of reasons that will just make this longer, and that I'm probably the only one interested in. That will probably end up being the filler of the third circle.

[self-portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 232/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 9: What made you choose the career you're in? Do you like it? If no, what else would you rather be doing?

This is kind've a fun question because it's beginning makes people go "whu-huh?"

I started college as a Secondary English Education major. I wanted to teach American Literature. Very specifically: I wanted to teach American Literature to the juniors at Notre Dame High School. Not that I was specific or anything. I love Am-Lit. Alot. I still pursue and re-read it [and my notes on it] often. But our program at PC was very Brit-Lit focused. By this I mean there was only one Am-Lit course in the very large and filled criterion.

Nothing against Brit-lit, it's just not for me. I like alot of it, but I have no interest in teaching it. I want to teach the novels that I like best. I scheduled a meeting with the head of the department, and was informed that, no, they would not consider subbing some am-lit courses in for the brit-lit courses. So, I decided it was time to consider a change. I thought about it, and the fact that I had always wanted to go into Law Enforcement. Specifically, I had been interested in being a detective, but at this time I focused on the FBI. It seemed something I was capable of, and I KNEW it was something I was interested in. So I threw myself into that interest full force and found out everything I could about it, and how to get into it.

Turns out the FBI, CIA, and all the other higher-level government agencies are crying out for one skillset in particular: Comp-Sci majors. I've always gotten along well with computers. I built my box I brought to school, My parents had a dos machine that I learned to master better than them. I used to pick up old machines and figure out how they worked, inside and out... then try to hack them. I'd figured my way around telnet, and had a very good grasp on the internet and most computer functionings. I had always wanted to learn how to code, but had never had the time and/or materials.

So, I became a CS major! And boy, while I never would've saw it coming, I really am glad that I did. I loved my major and my department. I missed writing papers, but coding is so much fun. Me and Jeff talk about this often. It's like solving puzzles all day long! You start to think differently, you start to break everything down into little baby steps. It really does adjust your worldview. Homework was sitting in the lab with friends and making things happen. I'd figure out a puzzle, essentially a challenge of logic, and colors, lines, figures would occur. And though it would drive me crazy to figure out how to make it happen... when it did I'd DONE that, and I'd succeeded. It's very rewarding to be able to see the rewards of your work as soon as you finish it.

I'd kinda forgotten the FBI thing in my excitement, and anyway, you need 3 years full time job experience before you can apply, so I started applying to random jobs last January. Anything CS related, but specifically I wanted to do some flash stuff. I'd taken one course in it, but had enjoyed it. So I tried to focus on that. Everyone looks for people with 5 years experience, but I sent my resume out anyway. One company that wanted 3 years responded, and I got an interview. I thought I'd done AWFUL. Literally, horribly. I did very well at the logic puzzles, but they asked me to do some C++ stuff, and I was a little rusty in that.

Apparently not, they offered me a job! Thats how I ended up here. And I mean, c'mon, I write flash games for an online casino. All gambling not being cool shit aside, that's pretty slick. And I really do love it here. My work is [usually] stimulating and challenging. I still get to solve puzzles everyday, and my coworkers are really great people. There are few people here I dislike, and most of them are downright cool. How often do you get to have nerf battles at work? Plus, I have time on the side to shoot, do theatre, and get together with friends and other folks. I can wear street clothes, and come and leave when I want [as long as I get my work done].

Having spent alot of time hating my job... this is a gloriously nice change. I'm very happy here. Do I think it's what I'll be doing for the rest of my life? I'm not sure. I like it, but I still have pipe dreams of some other fields... I'd like to do some more proffesional Technical Direction [theatre] work, I'd like to learn how to do lighting design and see if I like that as much I think I would... and I'd like to do some more master carpentry stuff. And there's the photographer bit... but I strongly feel I can pursue that in addition to my work. Simply a matter of scheduling. Honestly there is far too much I'm interested in.

But for now, and I imagine, for a while, I'm very happy where I am, in this job and in this field. I think it's really interesting and alot of fun. Truth be told, I'm almost surprised by how much I enjoy it.

[Apparently I'm pretty loquacious]

[Oh, and the business card with writing on it? I listen to music all day long... when a lyric stands out to me, I write it on that card. It's fun.]

[Open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 231/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 8: What's the most $$ you would pay for sneakers?

Honestly? Probably about $40 bucks? I usually get my sneakers at Kohls or something similar.

I get cross-overs, I wear them for everything that isn't a dress occasion, so they need ankle support for hiking, but they also need to be able to function as general walking shoes with an easy off and on. They also need to have good grip, for parkour usage.

My current pair of sneakers I've been wearing for about a year and a half... and they're ready to be replaced.

I actually looked at some nicer sneakers while at REI recently, that approached $90... but I honestly don't see the point when I can get the same support and use from something for so much less, without the label.

[Self-Portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 230/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Today, one answer that fits two questions.

Question 6: Who do you want to be?

Question 7:I really can appreciate the honesty of your answer, but there's something about the fear you mentioned on your profile [link] that says more... [this is a response to Question 4]

Busted! For those who have not seen, the sole line of text there, excepting my name, is the all-too-telling "My greatest fear is that I won't be everything I can be."

This is surprisingly complicated, and having deleted a 5 paragraph answer, I find it can be related more directly, and possibly more understandably.

I want to be better tomorrow than I was today. I over-analyze my world and life, and note things that I dislike in my actions or instincts. Or things that I don't find are balanced. The perfect example, though it doesn't extend into the emotional and social realm, is my month of veggies. I noticed a lack of balance in my eating habits, so I challenged that. In doing that I also challenged the hundreds of times I had claimed I could never go vegetarian. I now know that if I wanted to, I am totally capable. I also, as a result tend to actually look at menus before ordering, and don't just order a hamburger. It's these little things that I want to be better at. I want to stop closing my mind to things that strike me as not for me, and at least consider them fully before I reject them. I'm stubborn... and pushing against that pig-headed-ness can only help me in the long run. I want to focus on others more and me less. I want to be the best me I can be, and through all of that I want to be me. The best son, brother, grandson, boyfriend, photographer, writer, carpenter, citizen, king, anything that I am or will be.

So who do I want to be? Me. I want to be a continuously evolving me, not trapped by my stubbornness and the world around me.

[Open]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 229/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [Comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 5:What was it like, first realizing that you might be gay? When did you first wonder, when did you accept it, when did you act on it? How did you feel about it all?

The first time I realized I was gay I was 12 years old, taking a shower. I was not thinking about anything in particular, and out of nowhere, as I leaned to turn the water off, I realized: "Shit. I'm gay." I had never really lined things up. I knew I tended to try to help certain people at the store more than others. I'd never considered the fact that the ones I made efforts to help were men, had chest and facial hair, and were usually of a slightly larger build. [Yeah, even then I pursued the "bear" type.] All of a sudden things clicked into place. I was terrified. I hated it. I decided right then and there, that I would not be. I would not be gay. I would control it. Stop it. I could make this not be true, and like girls. I would find a woman, make her my wife, have kids and a dog, and live the straight life. There was nothing to say I couldn't fix this. And like that, I turned a switch in my mind off, and began some pretty hardcore denial. I still tended to help certain customers, and, suffice to say, I was not immune to knowledge of the internet. But somehow I managed to convince myself that despite the fact that I still gazed at men, I was straight. I wasn't aware of it even. I did denial extremely well, and forgot my discovery [until I was ready to deal with it.] It wasn't terribly difficult, honestly. Few people in my school interested me... in that way... and it would've been extremely complicated to be out at my all-boys catholic high school as it is. Either way, I ignored it. I went on one, awkward, date with my best female friend from high school. [Our theatre program did shows with the sister school's girls.]

My freshman year of college, I sunk further in, which led to my second realization. I dated a girl from my school who is a wonderful person, and very pretty, for about 2 weeks. Maybe 3. We'd hold hands, and cuddle when the group of us watched movies, and we went to dinner and a movie once. Every night, I'd walk her home to her dorm, and give her a hug, then walk to my dorm. Something missing from this situation? Ah, yes, at this point, we perhaps should have kissed. Something about it, the idea in itself, held me back. And the last evening... 2.5 weeks in, when it could be put off no longer, as she was my girlfriend at this point... I realized that I needed to kiss her good night. And as I leaned in to do so, it hit me again, in this order. "Oh, man... I really don't want to do this. FUCK. I'm gay." As I'm leaning in, I maneuver into what is clearly the worlds most awkward hug, and uncomfortably tell her "Good night"

Some history of me at this point. I am a pius, naive, freshman at a very conservative catholic college. I have never touched alcohol, and at this point still believe I will not do so until I am 21. I go to church every sunday, and I go to "Prayer and Praise" every wednesday evening. As a general rule, I stop by the Harkins Hall chapel once every day or so because it is small, quiet, and I can pray there. I do all my homework in the chapel basement. I have hidden myself in this. I believe what I am told, but there is no strong faith behind it. It is a place I can fit in, where I know the rules and what is expected of me. At the same time I fight anyone who says that being gay is evil. [I HATE the word homosexual and homosexuality. It's so clerical.]

It is 2 am on a friday night, in late november, and I am now re-realizing I am gay. I am realizing that this may not be something for me to control. I am still very much hateful of the fact. This turns inward. I hate myself, and loath every part of me that makes me feel this way. I am already an outcast from most social situations, and awkward, the last thing I needed was this extra load. People would hate me. All of them. I'm sure of it. All my friends will leave me and hate me. I'll have to start enjoying shopping, and I'll probably have to listen to Madonna instead of punk rock. But no. Maybe this is still fixable. I had convinced myself that with great prayer, God could take this away. I started being more vigilant, praying daily, fixating myself on anything I could that would help me push away from this. I told the girl that something was up, and I needed to figure it out. She respected that, and I think knew EXACTLY what was up. I would cry in church, praying so hard that I shook, hoping and calling to God to let me find women attractive. Or at least to stop finding men attractive. Anything. Anything to avoid dealing with or accepting it, me. Somehow, this didn't work. Surprising, I know.

So, I had to deal with it. I had to start accepting me. That this was an uncontrollable aspect of who and what I was. It was a piece of me. It was something that had been created in me, like the color of my eyes, or the color of my hair. I turned to the internet. Looking at forums, and still looking for loopholes. I joined a forum for the young and gay and talked it through with people there. I talked with some people who had experience, [Bruin, creator of Bear With Me gave me an excellent X-Men analogy, that I remember specifically.] All of this occurred over the length of the second semester.

No one else knew at this point. I had come to a sort of shaky acceptance with it... but it was very weak. I wasn't confident in it, and I still hated it. I still didn't want it to be true, but I was at least aware that it was something outside of my control. Which, to be fair, is a big step in it's own. I was carrying it by myself though. Till a cast party. It was the second cast party for Brigadoon. There was a particularly homophobic person in the cast, who had written a letter in The Cowl the week before comparing homosexuality to cancer. As a joke, we had discussed one of the guys drunkenly kissing him. [We we're freshman, give us a break] This was the second time I had ever had alcohol, and I still hadn't learned how to drink, or how to control when I drink. My friend, Joe, suggests I do it, and I blurt out "No. Not until I come out."

And then I realize what I'd done, and leave. Joe follows me, and confronts me... I tell him it was a joke, and he rolls his eyes. It's the next day and we're having dinner when he asks me about it. And I slowly tell him that I thought it was true. I didn't know where on the kinsey scale I was [I'd recently discovered it, and I thought it was fancy] but I had a hunch it was true. At some point in the next month, the girl I'd dated asked me what had happened and I'd told her too. That was two people. And I had told them I was still not sure. Come graduation week. I was really the only person in my group of friends on campus for the week, and I read books the entire time. I read Augusten Burrough's 'Running with Scissors', then Dry, then David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day" Believe it or not, these were the first books I'd read about or by gay people - at least to my knowledge. I was still looking for loopholes but I was recognizing that other people were like this, and they managed to survive life. I started gaining a little bit of confidence. I went home for the summer and, very shyly, got the 2 books on gay subjects out of my library, and read through them, looking for understanding. Looking for some kind of knowledge about who and what I was. I tend to read about things before I go into them. Alot.

Somehow, I decided I was ready to come out to my parents. I don't know if I decided I was ready, or if I decided it was the right thing to do. This was a horrible decision at this time, because my confidence levels were still extremely low. I nervously and carefully sat them down at the dinner table, feeling my heart in my chest. Terrified. The second or third most awful feeling I've ever felt. And I told them "I think I'm gay." I had prepared for various responses, based on my books, but life, surprisingly [sarcasm], doesn't run like books. They did not express hate, or anger, and told me that they would never love me any less... but that they did not think I was gay. That perhaps it was a phase. That everyone questioned it at some point or another, and that I needed more time to know for sure. Essentially, that the conclusion I had clawed my way too, was wrong. I didn't know how to respond, and instead of standing my ground, conceded that it was possible. We made dinner and watched Shrek. [My parents, by the way, are amazingly supportive people, who I have put through a lot, and who love and accept me for who I am, through everything I've done. They take the details of my life quite well. I don't want anyone thinking less of the two wonderful people who brought my life. This is something that for them, as for me, would take some adjusting to. And they have adjusted to it, now, and support me fully]

Nothing further was said. The response I'd received had shaken the confidence. I still knew I was attracted to guys, but what happened from there? I told another friend, a close female friend from PC, and her response was amazing. She told me she was proud of me for coming to terms with it, and that she was so happy for me. She was so... supportive. The people I'd told so far had expressed acceptance... but this was the first time support in it had come. It was surprising, and my confidence in myself and my ability to cope with it grew. I went back to school and started talking a little less furtively. And on October 10th, I got an IM from Joe: "So... tomorrows national coming out day... you gonna tell everyone?" I had never even thought about telling the rest of my friends. "I guess so. Might as well now, gonna have to do it eventually, right?" "Yup." I then sent the girlfriend an IM telling her my plan.

So, yeah. I came out on National Coming Out Day. Not because of the holiday, but because the holiday had kind've reminded me that it was something I should do. All my friends were in the cafe, eating lunch, and before some left for class, I said "I have to say something." *silence* "I'm queer."

Oh, how I regret saying "I'm queer". I had chosen it carefully, it was an umbrella term, and it allowed me retreat, should things turn a direction that I didn't favor. 3 or 4 raised their eyebrows in shock, 2 laughed. [Kaitlin told me later her exact reaction was "Well, yeah."] Only 1 person in my group of friends reacted poorly... and she kind've cast herself away. I still don't talk to her. It was kind've amazing. I could start talking about all the shit I had bottled up openly, and I didn't have to fit any mold. I was, amusingly, now requested by friends to do things like go to the mall, or go dancing. I think this was hilarious. I had not been hiding any desires or actions... so upon coming out I still hated shopping, and still, for the most part, was not interested in an evening of dancing. Still my confidence grew, and I got to be really okay with it. I started having recognizable crushes, and though I was still uncomfortable with some aspects, I made progress.

That covers all of the acceptance bit. It's still a process for me in some ways. I notice I have this instinct within me to push against anything stereotypical. I refused to listen to Madonna, or Cher... would not even give them a try, and I still respond to some "gay" things with a negative attitude. I'm working on this. I recently listened to Madonna, to give it a chance. I still don't really like it, but at least now I've given it a chance. I mean, the girl has some definite pipes... and Like a Prayer is hella fun, but it's just not something I'd listen to for the hell of it. I'm teaching myself to recognize that doing things that are stereotypical aren't bad, as long as you aren't doing them to fit the stereotype. And not doing them to avoid the stereotype is just another way of letting the stereotype control you.

When I first acted on it is a tricky business. There had been some minor flirting, back and forth, with a freshman named ... gah, we'll say Alex. Alex was bearish, and cute, but personality-wise, not at all a match for me. As has been discussed, this is important. I was not really interested, and had tried to express that in nice ways... or avoid it anyway. We did crew together for a show called My Sister In This House, and at the second cast party, I had a lot of beer. Like, A-LOT. This was probably my 7th time ever drinking [ a year later ] and I was pretty hammered. Okay, very hammered. I was blurrily aware of the goings-ons, it was very late, and few people we're left at the gathering. I was warm, and I came to realize it was because Alex was standing behind me, with his arms around me. It felt nice, and I was hammered, so I let it occur. Then he started to pull me into the room where no one else was. A little something triggered in my brain, and I resisted. But another tug and I followed. We were standing in the room when this exchange happened:
Alex: "You're beautiful."
Me: *pause* "You smell like soap."
Alex: "Is that a good thing?"
Me: *long pause* "Yes."
At this point, he licked the back of my neck, which felt nice, but weird, but didn't have much [drunk] time to recognize it, as he leaned in and put his tongue straight in my mouth.

This woke me up pretty quickly. I'm pretty glad, too, had it been a subtle kiss first, I might have a story I'd regret. Who knows though. I told him "No." and he asked me if that meant just now, or ever. I said I didn't know.

He didn't talk to me for a year. I'm not entirely sure I blame him. I'm not sure if that counts as acting on it, as I was barely aware, and didn't really act except for to realize I was not comfortable with it. But it was my first kiss, regardless. My first real acting on it was a year later. February of my junior year of college, and began with a meeting for coffee, then a kiss in a Chili's parking lot. It moved forward from there into my first relationship.

To sum up: Ages 12 and 18 never really wondered, it just HIT me, 19 and 20, and I hated it. Alot. I don't anymore though. I'm really actually comfortable with it now. I like that it's a part of me, and I no longer feel any desire to change it. I don't believe in gay pride, because I think it's something embedded within me, just like I wouldn't be proud of having blue eyes, I wouldn't be proud of being gay... but I do embrace it as a part of me, and support it. I am comfortable with who I am, finally, at 22, and it feels glorious. I've gotten beyond accepting it, and I support it in myself. Whenever you read about people's coming outs, they always refer to coming out to themself first. I think we can add a step and that is supporting themself in that. I am finally there. Not without my share of work left to accomplish further, but I have made great progress, and I feel certain I will make more in times to come.

[This photo was taken in my actual closet, PS... it was supposed to be a photo reflecting the "in the closet" thing - also, I don't take the time to edit any of these. [the text, that is]]

[self-portrait]
cptntiller: (365)
Day 228/365 [Year 2]

March is apparently question month. To ask me a question, post a comment here: toddpage.livejournal.com/370916.html [comments are screened]

All questions: Here

Question 4: What is your biggest fear?

First things first, I'm not in love with this photo. But my camera was out of battery, and my mothers wouldn't expose correctly... and as I was LITERALLY lying in the ocean in dress clothes on a day below freezing, I didn't really take the time to get the shot exactly the way I wanted. So, my apologies there. And you know damn well after all that, I was GOING to use it.

Moving on.

My biggest fear. Well, in the format that people usually mean that, EG: Spiders, heights, etc... my answer is usually pretty standard because it is something that terrifies me. I have had vivid nightmares about it, and they always scare me shit-less. And that is: drowning. I'm not sure where this fear comes from. I'm an excellent swimmer, and I love both swimming and the water. I'm not especially afraid of it, and I'm not even usually conscious of the fear when I'm near water. Last summer I jumped 30 feet into a quarry... so really I'm pretty fearless about it... but when I do focus on it, it freezes me up. Something about the concept of dying in that manner just makes me want to curl up into a ball and rock back and forth. Thinking about V-Wolfe walking into the water slowly and just purposely... you know... just... wow. Makes me very actually shiver. Mind you, that could also be related to other issues in my world, but the thought of drowning just terrifies me. And its not the death portion, either. Death doesn't scare me. Which sounds morbid.. but its really the opposite. I mean, I avoid it, and will carefully do so... it just doesn't lock me up in fear.

In the other sense? Probably losing control of my mind and body. I don't like that. I will never use drugs for this reason. I quit caffeine because I felt too dependent on it. It makes me very uncomfortable. Years of being forced to take Ritalin made me hate being reliant on medicine more and more, and I now only take it if I am feeling completely intolerable pain. I like to know that I can handle things, and that I can take charge of my life and mind when and if I need to. Probably to the point of being stupid and stubborn. [I know, imagine that, me, stubborn] I occasionally have more than a few beers, but I have never drank to the point of passing out or forgetting what I've done. And I hope to keep it that way. I also have a fear of not being everything I want to be. It manifests itself in many ways... but thats sometimes helpful.

[self-portrait]

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