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[Jun. 26th, 2004|12:10 am]
Went to the beeler-house party. Stepped out after a couple hours to get out of the hot stuffiness, decided that I didn't really feel like going back.

But I feel good in a way going to parties, even those such as this one where I feel, in some sense, intensely awful and out of place much of the time. There were definitely people there that I had fine conversations with, but... there's that mental quicksand of sitting around being the wallflower, and then being aware of it, and then being made even more aware of it by others asking me if I am bored, etc etc. It happens to me so often at parties, and even in less organized social things. I think -- besides being perhaps a little reluctant, though not totally unwilling, to initiate conversation -- there's something about my facial expression when I'm just thinking or looking around that seems negative, unpleasant, upset. I don't find it easy to reflexively smile if I'm in a neutral mood.

But it was interesting for a while being so out of it, out of the loop, off to the side, just sitting and soaking it up, just watching people tell their jokes and dance around. At no point do I feel like I could do the same, though. It's close to a contradiction, what with my feeling so confident that I could learn so many other things. I'm left with a gut-level belief that I just can't learn to be normally social; sure, I can be social, I can get along fine with people I know well enough, or people that I don't know but are sufficiently into some discipline that I can get them excited and talking about it, but I just can't muster the patience to let my mind just... spin down, out of gear.

Is that all it takes? Is it just that I don't hardly ever fatigue of thinking, and so think that I should be doing it all the fucking time? (Do joggers find it unbearable to stand in place? I wouldn't think so...)

On the other hand, what is it that people do with their lives? I feel so content and alive and good as long as I'm reading or writing or solving things, building little machines out of math and code, arguing philosophy, arguing politics, arguing lingustics, hearing about other people's discoveries, working, playing, creating. Cramming ideas in and spitting them out, wrestling with them. This is just what I do. I feel more myself, I feel more at home the more I do it. Whatever I lack in intelligence I make up in brilliance, and I mean less to be arrogant than to simply hew close to the literal side of the metaphor. I mean to be brilliant, to burn hot and bright, to fuck things up now and then, fine, to get wrong, to misunderstand, to struggle, but to do, to think, to have ambition.

I know I tear my hair out when things aren't working, and I whine about how my research is doomed and broken now and then, but that's not the real shape of things. That's the details.

I have the same little revelation in different words, again and again. I worry that I can never successfully know what I want out of people, because to want is a prediction of what will make you happy. But I think I do know, really. I know well enough. I know it when I see it. Not intelligence necessarily, but... akompanulinon en tiu sopiro al vero, al kompreno, al beleco, al tiu brileco, that brilliance, that potent, quiet inner fire. Sed kie, en kiu ĝin trovi?

From: rdore
2004-06-25 10:53 pm (UTC)
being the wallflower, and then being aware of it, and then being made even more aware of it by others asking me if I am bored, etc etc.

definitely know that feeling. especially because in such a situation i usually dont want to respond, i just want to disappear more. but i dont want to be an ass either at someone whom is so clearly well meaning.
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[User Picture]From: szaltax
2004-06-26 02:19 am (UTC)
I was just about to go talk to you when you left. I know that sounds like a lie, but it really isn't. Any other time I actually made eye contact with you you were already talking with someone else, except for when I initially met you. Initially when I met you I was a little uncomfortable because Rachael was like IT'S JCREED, YOU MEET HIM NOW and that sort of thing makes me uncomfortable, it makes me feel like I am being thrown at someone and I hate that because it makes me feel like I have to fulfill expectations. I'm really bad at parties though, which is why I attach myself to Lauren at the hip and hide in a corner while my head tries to make sense of the myriad conversations going around me at once.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2004-06-26 05:49 am (UTC)
It's cool, I believe you. I was just kind of like "oh, shit, do I actually have anything to talk about?" at first anyway, and realized I didn't. Parties to kind of shut me up that way. And talk of video games.
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[User Picture]From: szaltax
2004-06-26 12:48 pm (UTC)
I don't actually have conversations at parties, I'm just an intermittent quip machine.

I liked your hair. Most of the y-chromosomes there had 80s metal hair.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2004-06-26 01:22 pm (UTC)
thanks. Yours was pretty cool too.

Actually maybe that it's something to do with that I still instinctively/prejudiciously tend to read faces (or clothes, or whatever gestalt stuff like that) like yours (and styger's for that matter) as those belonging to people that are going to, by dint of being worlds cooler, REJECT ME AND EVERYTHING I STAND FOR to steal a phrase from... someone or another. Maybe a conversation with the selfsame girl that cut my hair.

And not that you aren't entitled to make quips about OH LOOK IT'S THE INTERNET FRIEND, but that's the same sort of thing that made me think that you didn't want to talk to me.
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[User Picture]From: keithlard
2004-06-26 02:41 am (UTC)
I could have written that really, except for the beautiful Esperanto. But yeah, I'm hearing you on FM. Perhaps having a few more years (and certainly a few more pounds) under my belt means I'm a bit more relaxed about the way I am. I actually think I'm kind of neat now. Probably those people I envy are wishing they were a bit more like me. Probably.

I think being happy in your own skin is the trick to it. After all, you're unlikely to get another one, unless you lure attractive girls into some kind of cellar and... no, that analogy isn't going anywhere I want to be.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2004-06-26 10:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, I mostly am.

But when I meet someone and they say they study, like, just for a random example, spanish and russian language and lit, I actually would actually want them to tell me everything they know about it and then some. I try to say so, but parties seem to inhibit that, what with the loud music and the drunkenness.

I want, like, 18th century salons to make a comeback, consarnit.
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From: creidieki
2004-06-27 12:17 am (UTC)
Yeahh, I think in an ideal world that party might've had more places to go off and chat in smaller groups. Then again, I'm not sure that the party would have been long enough to support such a thing and still have had "a party" going on in the center. Confusing.
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[User Picture]From: chamois
2004-06-27 01:48 pm (UTC)

Being more of a party person, ...

but I just can't muster the patience to let my mind just... spin down, out of gear.

I actually find that keeping myself entertained at a party takes a lot of thought: coming up with a stimulating conversation, determining how to politely leave or enter a conversation, remembering who everyone is, etc. I tend to view parties as a game where I am trying to possitively interact with as many people as possible. Admittedly I do seem to strategise a bit much compared to other people, but I find it fun.

Mind, the type of parties I have been going to here are a bit different (and in my opinion better) than those I experienced in undergrad. The ones in undergrad were of the loud music and dark corners to hide in type. The ones here involve people standing/sitting around and talking with occasional food and alcohol as the only props. (ok the later end of the parties do get a bit wilder)

hopefully that made sense.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-06-28 07:29 am (UTC)
I think I know precisely this feeling, Jason.

.. tom7radar
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