life in the duamuteffe household

A Little Help, Please?

This is Fred.

Fred, aside from being incredibly handsome and debonair, is also a loving companion to his human friends, a tireless watchman who keeps tabs on the neighborhood from every window, and a caring older brother and playfellow to Victor, our other kitty. It’s a lot of hats to wear for a rescue cat, but he manages them impeccably.

This is Fred’s left eye.

We don’t know what happened to it; he had it when we got him, after he was dumped as a kitten. His vision from it is minimal at best; for a while we thought he might be able to track movement with it, but it’s gotten cloudier lately and you can no longer see the pupil move.  He has to work hard to close it all the way now. The vet says it’s likely he’s been completely blind in it for some time. She’s kept tabs on it though the year we’ve had him, and she says that it’s getting larger now than she’s comfortable with and she’d like him to have it removed. She’s worried that it might be causing him pain (cats are notorious for hiding pain) and she also feels that it may at some point (please skip to the next paragraph if you’re squeamish) burst on its own.

We would very much like to avoid that scenario, and we can’t stand the thought that it might be causing him distress that he’s toughing out and not showing us, so we are going to follow the vet’s advice and have his eye removed. But eye surgery isn’t cheap; we got a quote yesterday and it starts at nearly five hundred dollars, and it can go up from there depending on how long the surgery takes and whether we want it biopsied. The low estimate is 449 and the high is 740. So yeah, that’s a fair amount of dosh. (If anyone would like to see the estimate I would be happy to take a photo of it.)

We’re at a rough spot right now and don’t actually have this much spare, but we did apply for and get accepted by Care Credit, which is a credit card for veterinary expenses. Our vets take it, and we got enough of a limit to cover the cost. But paying it off is going to be difficult and I’d like to offset it as much as possible, so this seems like a good time to point out that I have an Etsy shop. I sell jewelry and hand-made plush animals and puppets. If you don’t see anything you like, drop me a line and I might be able to do something custom for you. Please have a look and know that anything you buy will be going to the Pay Off Freddie’s Eye Surgery Fund and you will be helping a kitty live a happier, healthier life.

Thanks for reading.

So I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff on my dash today about people’s estimation of their own attractiveness and I remembered a thing that helped me a lot when I was in a self-loathing phase. At one point I had a minor epiphany - just because I didn’t find myself attractive didn’t mean I was actually unattractive unless (and this was the big one) my and only my values for attractiveness mattered and were the only value set valid for the entire human race. And even at my most self-involved I wasn’t able to believe that. Basically, you might not fall under your own definition of attractive, but that definition of attractive is not universal throughout the human race - others can and will find you attractive because they have different definitions than yours. So not finding oneself attractive is a completely different issue from thinking no one will find you attractive, and it’s only the self-loathing that makes one think they’re a linked issue.

Just something to ponder.

I’ve been seeing a lot of negative self-image stuff on my dash from all quarters lately, so I feel it’s time to bring up this thought experiment again.

Every time you think of reblogging one of those things, every time you think something nasty and unpleasant (and decidedly untrue; you want to call yourself worthless, talk to me when you’ve abused a child or stomped an animal to death or masterminded genocide) about yourself, ask yourself - what or who benefits from this expression of negativity?  What does it accomplish? Do I benefit from this expression? Does it support me in any way? Does it support what I want from my life? Do others benefit from this expression? Does it alleviate suffering in others or myself or otherwise help towards useful goals for myself or others? Does it, in fact, accomplish anything useful or positive at all?

If it doesn’t, in fact, accomplish anything other than reinforcing negative thought patterns, I suggest to you that it’s pretty much a time-waster.

Hey look! It's time for this again!

As Dr. Leonard Orr has noted, the human mind behaves as if it were divided into two parts, the Thinker and the Prover.
The Thinker can think about virtually anything. History shows that it can think the earth is suspended on the backs of infinite turtles or that the Earth is hollow, or that the Earth is floating in space, comparative religion and philosophy show
that the Thinker can regard itself as mortal, as immortal, as both mortal and immortal (the reincarnation model) or even as nonexistent (Buddhism). It can think itself into living in a Christian universe, a Marxist universe, a scientific-relativistic universe, or a Nazi universe—among many possibilities.
As psychiatrists and psychologists have often observed (much to the chagrin of their medical colleagues), the Thinker can think itself sick, and can even think itself well again.
The Prover is a much simpler mechanism. It operates on one law only: Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.
If the Thinker thinks that the sun moves around the earth, the Prover will obligingly organize all perceptions to fit that thought; if the Thinker changes its mind and decides the earth moves around the sun, the Prover will reorganize the evidence.
If the Thinker thinks “holy water” from Lourdes will cure its lumbago, the Prover will skillfully orchestrate all signals from the glands, muscles, organs etc. until they have organized themselves into good health again.
Of course, it is fairly easy to see that other people’s minds operate this way; it is comparatively much harder to become aware that one’s own mind is working that way also.

- Robert Anton Wilson, “Prometheus Rising”


See, here’s the thing. If you want to believe you’re awful or useless or whatever negative thing you have fixed in your mind right now, your Prover will prove it to you. But to you only. It is not a relative judgement, it is not an outside fact, it is simply an arrangement of the events of your life edited, codified, and handled just as carefully as a “reality” TV segment to deliver to you the vision that you have handed your Prover. It will ignore facts and events to give you the version you’ve programmed it to have.  The vision is not anything like the world we see, or the person we see when we look at you. It is simply an edited version of reality made to support what was fed to the Thinker.

When I speak to you on whatever grounds, I tell you the truth. I daresay any of the Famblr would say likewise. If you disbelieve it when I say you are not awful, it does not make me incorrect- the version of life you’re looking at has been edited to show otherwise. And I can say for a fact that if you are reading this and you do not deliberately harm children, torment the innocent, take freedom from others, or anything of that nature, you’re not bad or awful or terrible or anything of that nature. You just fuck up sometimes. Like all of us.

#hugs#

I’ve been seeing the phrase “S/he could do better than me” on my dash a lot and I really feel like it needs some attention.

The thing is, if you are interested in dating someone you don’t get to choose whether you’re “not good enough” for them. They do. Trying to decide that for them is presumptuous - it’s their life. It negates their choice to think how they want. Deciding whether a person is worth dating is hard enough without deciding one can sit in judgement on what another person is allowed to be interested in.

“You can’t see me again because I am not interested in dating you” is completely and utterly fine.

“I would really like to date you but I won’t because I have decided that I am not good enough (and thus your view of me is overruled and doesn’t matter)” isn’t. It’s self-sabotage.

I’ve been seeing a lot of negative self-image stuff on my dash from all quarters lately, so I feel it’s time to bring up this thought experiment again.

Every time you think of reblogging one of those things, every time you think something nasty and unpleasant (and decidedly untrue; you want to call yourself worthless, talk to me when you’ve abused a child or stomped an animal to death or masterminded genocide) about yourself, ask yourself - what or who benefits from this expression of negativity?  What does it accomplish? Do I benefit from this expression? Does it support me in any way? Does it support what I want from my life? Do others benefit from this expression? Does it alleviate suffering in others or myself or otherwise help towards useful goals for myself or others? Does it, in fact, accomplish anything useful or positive at all?

If it doesn’t, in fact, accomplish anything other than reinforcing negative thought patterns, I suggest to you that it’s pretty much a time-waster.

2

Hey look, it’s us! And a Bio! And many, many amazing shinies!

Today was a very fun day, spent ramming around the museum.  I think this may be the first time we managed to get through both halves in the same day. 

I would really love to do an in-depth writeup, but we’ve more or less just gotten in and settled and we’re exhausted.  Another day.

So Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’ve seen a few posts about people lonely because they haven’t got “someone."  And frankly, that word choice worries me, because if you think about it, "someone” is practically “anyone, ” and “anyone” is a terrible idea when it comes to a relationship.  Western culture as a whole seems to have this emphasis on holidays of this nature to encourage the use of that phrase- “I don’t have someone, ” and it’s dangerous, because unconsciously it’s about a half step away from “Oh no oh no find me anyone anyone ANYONE sweet Jesus just grab that one from the bus stop-” and that is about as unhealthy a concept as I can think of offhand for what is supposed to be a nice holiday. (It’s a commercial crass holiday, but still, it’s technically supposed to be a nice one.) 

Look, just because society may be unconsciously pushing you towards being in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to have one to be a good/complete/or otherwise successful person.  This is not “keeping up with the Joneses.” Being in a relationship with someone solely to patch up a perceived lack of something necessary in your life is about as effective as treating a gunshot wound with a bandaid- the problem is far bigger and internal and won’t be solved with a simple application of John or Jane Doe. 

If you’re lonely, sure it’s just fine to want to find a partner.  It’s normal, it’s great- go have a look!  The trick is looking for a person you like, who complements your strengths and weaknesses, who you are attracted to, and with whom you have much in common.  You should never approach a relationship solely for the purpose of having a relationship- it never goes well.  Being in a great relationship is absolutely amazing, but being in a bad one or a mediocre one just to avoid being by yourself feels unbelievably awful.  Hold out for a good one- hell, hold out for a great one!- and know that even though you may be lonely, you are avoiding the serial monogamist pitfall of “The only thing worse than being with someone is being alone, but the only thing worse than being alone is being with someone” that comes with just dating someone for the sake of being with someone.  Don’t be with a someone- go out, look around, talk to people, and make a choice to be with ______ because they’re awesome and they think you’re awesome.

4

So this is my current Minecraft project- I built a fortified town in the middle of a desert and have been reclaiming villager zombies to populate it. I had been reclaiming villager zombies at the town closest to my base but it’s pretty open and they’re very stupid and even with a golem it’s hard to save them from themselves. I decided to see if I could make a completely safe town, and here it is - the only entrance involves a series of gates and corrals and there’s a moat around the rest of the town to nullify Creeper explosions. Basically the zombie follows me into the first corral, I shut it in, it follows me into the processing building, I shut it in there, and apply the weakness potion and golden apple and wait in the second corral. When the transformation is complete I open the gate between the second and third corral and wait for the villager to go in. I shut the villager in there and they go through the door on the left, which is a one-way path into the town - t has a two-square drop with a ramp to another door that leads in. (This is also handy when I’m trying to go out and they mob the gate - even if they slip by there’s nowhere for them to go but through the door and back up into the town.) It’s working well so far; I’ve reclaimed six villagers and they’ve bred seven more, so they have a golem now, even though nothing can get in.

I'm sorry that many of you seem to be having a tough night.

I wish you guys were all here.  I would make you all cinnamon rolls.  I make a damned fine cinnamon roll, if I do say so myself- yeast based, with two rises and the Saigon cinnamon I picked up from the Spice House and now will never be without- and you could all pile on the couch with me and Doc and watch “Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell”

Someday, guys; we’ll make it happen.