Blog: Social Niceities and Other Selves

Social Niceities and Other Selves
Social Niceities and Other Selves
Date: 2019-Mar-25 03:19:14 EST

Been having a very tough time healthwise recently, to the point where it's hard to figure out what to say with the usual coworkers-asking-each-other-how-their-weekends-are thing. Sometimes people give details, some people mostly say it was good. This weekend has been, from Saturday morning until Sunday evening, a nonstop migraine where I've barely left bed, having made a brief excusion Saturday night when the pain wasn't so bad to drop off laundry, and a brief excursion earlier today (Sunday) to pick up a shower stool so I can sit down while in the shower (helps with migraine, got the idea from my grandparents on my mom's side who probably had them for other reasons) and to get the laundry. Really hoping it disappears tonight in time for me to get some decent sleep, although at least it's not so bad right now. I've been mostly going with my honest default of "not so great, migraines", but I worry that that frequently being my answer is gonna bum people out. Pain is bearable right now so I want to blog a bit and do some chores until it gets bad again.

Over the years I've occasionally thought about the different states of mind I find myself in and their behavioural tendencies. On my old blog I think I noted once that my online self is fairly different than my in-person self; in retrospect I've come to think that's tied to a lot of the social cues and emotions that come from interacting in-person not being there, with that also meaning lower stress. I find it easier to think when nobody's around. And more recently I've noted that when I need to do things in a migraine, what I call a "maintence mode" self is there - it's a lot simpler because usually I don't have the maelstrom of thoughts happening because thinking hurts, it has a short temper, but also is more prone to small acts of kindness (or at least so I've felt when reflecting on memories of those times). The selves we find ourselves in during dreams are probably different yet, although without clear memories of those times we can only have fleeting snippets for analysis.

Been thinking about an MMO I used to play, ages ago, called Dofus. I played it for several years, having first seen people play it on the cluster at CMU (it started as a Flash game), keeping at it, and eventually making social ties I cared about online. It was also a satisfying game for the most part. The issues that led me to stop playing started when they revised the character class I primarily played (eliminating its strong bonus), and worsened as they made a number of successive changes in pursuit of an ideal I didn't see the appeal of - they wanted to get rid of most of the randomness in the game, making it more like a really complicated chess. I wonder now if they were foreseeing e-sports as a phenomenon, where the skill and other reasonably foreseeable features of a match are meant to dominate results. I don't really approve of that for gaming, and think randomness is enjoyable as a major factor (among others, like player skill and planning) rather than a minor one. I can see why they went that way though.

Recently had a bizarre nightmare which I'm calling "65 degrees", where I was at work having a normal day, and then suddenly everyone in the office went silent, stood or sat still, opened their eyes cartoonishly wide, their mouth in an excessive grin, and tilted their head 65 degrees to the side, and stares at me. And that's it. No other motion. I move from room to room on my floor and everyone is like that. I wonder if they will ever move or begin to chase me, or maybe remain still and eventually starve. For now I see nothing in them. I am weirded out at the stillness and the stares. I run panicked from the office and am horrified to see the street is the same. Cars crashed, people standing still on the street, all staring at me as I half-run through the streets. I am terrified. I eventually make it home, afraid in my apartment building that a neighbour in this state will be in the stairs, but thankfully the usual is the case and nobody's out. I make it to my apartment, c an enter, my hands and legs both shaking enough that turning the key is hard, even getting it lined up, but I do. And then I am horrified to see that my cats are the same. Mouth wide, eyes wide, 65 degrees.

Anyhow, the pain is starting to return. I should try to get to other chores while I still have the ability to focus. And maybe get some food, as I have eaten almost nothing this weekend and am getting weak.