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  1. I accidentally put something mildly political onto my "safe for everyone" Facebook. Nothing like the howling I do on the other 18 identities I maintain (or is it more? Or less? I'll never tell), but it was spotted by....

    ....my father, on one of his twice-annual visits to the page.

    My father and I aren't on the same page politically.

    We're not in the same chapter, nor the same book. Not even the same author. The libraries that carry his book wouldn't allow mine and vice versa.

    But we try to do a gentle dance around each other because after all, we are still son and father.

    It's one of the reasons I maintain that identity, to be able to pass the time with people whom I wouldn't otherwise voluntarily give the time of day.

    But he won't be back on for a few months at least.

    A series of minor quakes.

    It'll blow over.
  2. To look at things, all I have is a pile of burnt toast.

    And this isn't a writing or progress journal thing, so if you're hoping for that you can just move on.

    My classes are starting soon and I've got a lot of software to learn. And it isn't, in my opinion, particularly well-designed software. I've been using computers as long as most people my age and there are certain things that are pretty intuitive by now.

    Drag and drop.

    Copy and paste.

    Hit "CTRL" to select multiple items on a list.

    This stuff is... different from that. Not completely and utterly different, but enough to leave me scratching my head as to why the designers made the particular choices that they did.

    So I've just spent the entire morning figuring out how to do what should be a pretty simple copying operation.

    And I'm sure in time it will become a pretty simple copying operation.

    But it's a good thing I wasn't in charge of breakfast because I started in on this project three hours ago and so far all I've managed to do is create a pile of burnt toast and one single solitary slice that's nicely browned.

    On one side, and neither I nor my students take their toast English style.

    It doesn't look like it, but it is progress.
  3. So yesterday I awoke from this dream where I was in an East German prison, saw a moment when the guards accidentally left both gates of the sally port open, and simply slipped out and started running.

    The thing is, the production values were really bad and even though I was in a first-person mental POV, the camera angles and POVs kept changing.

    I ran into a nearby forest and up a hill, more of a small mountain really. It was nighttime, possibly rainy, but I was still trying to avoid groups of hikers and campers and I was aware (due to the shifting camera angles) that there were guards and police after me.

    I knew that I was dreaming, not in the lucid dreaming sense, but that I was reliving from a semi-first POV the experience of some famous escapee whom I'd seen on an educational channel documentary.

    I found a cave in the mountain that the guards missed, and according to the voiceover I was able to hide there for nearly two years, only coming out when I heard about the fall of the communist regime and the reunification of Germany.

    And then I woke up and toddled over to the computer to see who I was dreaming about. No one, apparently. Seems I made the whole incident including the poorly filmed dramatizations up in my head.

    Very odd.
  4. So I saw in the news that someone* did something* bad the other day and I could tell by their name that their grandmother didn't serve the same things for dinner that my grandmother did.

    Other.

    And I could make some guesses on what their grandmother might have served, based on that name, and the first thought that sprang to my mind was “Well, of course, what did you expect?”

    And the second thought that sprang to my mind was “Where the fuck did that come from?”

    But I know where it came from. It came from childhood, from home, where the only thing liked less than prejudiced people was others.

    And an other could be of any sort of other. It wasn't their fault, no, there are no racial differences amongst humans, and all religions have portions of the best way to live encompassed in them, and anything boys can do girls can do just as well but...

    “...but you just gotta face facts, y'know. It's a cultural thing, others aren't raised with the same values as we are. They view right and wrong differently, only really care about their own kind, and even that not the same way we do.

    “They're others, right?

    “Gotta have sympathy and give them the same respect as you would one of us, but, well, y'know... keep your expectations low.

    “They can't help it.”

    And the last two decades of being one a' them, an outsider (for that is the closest thing to a literal translation of gaijin), of rigorously self-policing has helped but I don't think I'm acknowledging the stress I might be feeling from this whole pandemic because it hasn't fundamentally affected my lifestyle or schedule yet but the frequency and strength of those thoughts breaching my mental hygiene makes me wonder what it must be like for someone in a worse situation, someone who has never really had their social primacy challenged in any serious way, someone who feels righteous when they tell themselves “It can't be helped, be sympathetic and respectful but, well, y'know...”

    Because that someone is different from me, you see.

    Other.



    *nope, not even going to hint
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