* Something random I noticed. We have less custodial services right now ("no one wants to work".....for the wages we can offer) so things build up. There's a cobweb right now in a corner of the window of the ladies' loo. Because of how the room was retrofitted one stall is right up against the window. ( I doubt it was originally a restroom, or it may have been a men's room, back in the days when this was a USDA facility).
Anyway, from the facility you can see the cobweb. And in the morning, when the sunlight strikes it, it's all rainbow colored and interesting. But in the afternoon, when the sun has moved on, it's just a plain cobweb again.
There seems to be something metaphorical in that.
* I'm sort of tired and whoa can I feel like I'm emotionally sensitive today. Can't tell if a thread on twitter I saw is two of my mutuals actually fighting, or teasing-fighting. (At any rate: I don't like and can't do the teasing-fighting thing some people do. Teasing pretty much always feels hostile to me, probably because of my experience in school.)
I don't know. It's not how I interact with people at any rate. And I am sometimes bad at guessing "tone" in things, so I tend to "hear" things as more hostile than they are.
* Also still struggling with the masking thing, because more and more I feel like the weirdo freak when I walk into a store and I'm literally the only one who masks. And I've explained it to people but it seems like no one understands - it does make me feel freakish and weird and catapults me back to my grade-school days when I was a kid with the wrong-branded clothes, or who didn't know the in-jokes, or didn't belong to any clubs, and I feel weird and excluded and just....wrong. And I don't like that. And yes, I hear people elsewhere (someone I know on Ravelry) saying "I'm going to keep masking and if other people have a problem with that, that's THEIR problem" and good for that person but.....I still lose "HP" every time I walk into a store and am the only masked person and especially if someone looks at me kind of funny, which has happened.
I have always desperately wanted to fit in but realize that my fate in life is that I will NEVER fit in, I will always be that weirdo over in the corner, and no surprise no one wants to talk to me.
* Sometimes these days, I think because I'm alone a lot, random memories bubble up and I try to trace the thread of them. Like: I remember now one of the times I visited Hawaii, my mother and I went to a cemetery. It was one where some Japanese people were buried; I remember seeing small torii gates and Japanese script on the headstones. But now I don't know why we were there. And whether it was the time it was just me and my mom at meetings (so: we would have been in Waikiki and would not have had a vehicle) or if it was one of the times we were on the Big Island (and if so: why don't I remember my dad and brother being there; they would have been there too, unless they had gone off to pick up food or something). But I don't remember why, I just remember the terraced graves and I seem to remember it looked out over the ocean....
I could ask her but there's a chance she wouldn't remember it, I barely remember it and I've less life to remember than she has.
* Gotta find something to do this weekend. I dislike big crowds and want still to avoid them, there's an Oktoberfest in Muenster, Texas, which is maybe an hour and a half away. But it'll be crowded and going to crowded things ALONE doesn't appeal - if I had a friend to go with, or a group to go with, it would be okay, but one thing I've found now is going places alone where everyone else seems to be grouped up both make me feel vaguely unsafe but also uncomfortable in a way related to the masking thing I talked about above.
I suppose I could just go to the "bigger" grocery store in Sherman, that would be something.
They're banding monarch butterflies at Hackberry Flats (I did it once before, when they did it at Tishomingo, and would love to do it again) but Hackberry Flats is REALLY far (like 3-4 hours away far), and they may already be done doing it.
I dunno. It used to be I never had enough time to do things; now it seems like when there's time there's nothing to do. And like I said: Sherman and Denison even feel impossibly far away now, after a couple years of mostly not going there. I know there were times I used to even run down there in the afternoon after class let out but I can't imagine doing that now.
Maybe some of it is I've changed - become more of a hermit, perhaps a bit more fearful of driving. But I think also the world has changed and there just are fewer things to do right now. Maybe it'll come back. Maybe it won't. But I can't spend another weekend staring at the interior four walls of my house.
(I am also apprehensive we're going to have a *terrible* "winter wave" so I want to get out, and, like Frederick the little mouse in a children's book I read, store up memories for myself so I have something to keep me going when I'm stuck inside)
* Heh. "Frederick." I remember that book. I liked it as a small child because I liked the illustrations. As a slightly older child, it offended my sense of fairness: how dare Frederick not do work and just sit around and store up memories while his colleagues have to bring in the harvest? And now, as an old adult, I think of the story and wonder why the harvester-mice weren't better at trying to take some time to store up their own memories - because if something happened to Frederick, what would they do then?
I don't know. I think the author was maybe making a larger commentary about the value of the arts, but....maybe it wasn't as well-done as it might have been.
(OH and I forgot: the mice run out of food, and so the idea is Frederick "feeds" them with memories. Yikes. I hope it was close enough to spring they didn't starve. And yeah, maybe there's something to be learned in these times from it, I don't know. But also I know feeding on one's memories is a thin gruel to try to keep alive on)
* One other thing I find myself thinking about. Back around about 1988 or so, I took Systematic Botany (as an undergraduate). My professor was a fairly well-known systematist (well, at that time, and especially for ferns) named Warren H. Wagner. (He was even mentioned in the Walter Matthau-Elaine May movie "A New Leaf"). I talked with him on a few occasions - the class was small, I think at that point he was only teaching one a semester (he was very close to retirement then). My mom had had him as a professor when she was there 20+ years earlier, and he said he remembered her.
Anyway. He passed away around 2000 or so as I remember. But as I review floral formulas and different families, I wonder what he would think of me teaching systematic botany in 2023.
I mean, I did pretty well in the class, I think I earned an A. But learning something is different from teaching it, that's something I've learned over the years.
I also think, about many things, of the line from Lord of the Rings where Frodo comments that "I wish it need not have happened in my time" and I feel that, hard, about a lot of things these days.