Polyphasic Sleep and Better Thinking
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — aesthetica

Reminds me of taiji

Oh my god why isn't there more art like this?? I love this.  

The scrolling is just so…peaceful to me.  

Yes, yes, I have That History, of tinkering for hours and watching make scroll its deliciousness and feeling that rush of pseudopower, of moving through a dimension in which I'm barely an avatar.  But I think it stands as an awesome artistic element even without that — it just says so much, with so little, it reminds me of taiji.

February 25, 2014   No Comments

In honor of February, I made this….Enjoy!


February 14, 2014   No Comments

One happens from the outside; the other in 3-D

…from the mightily awesome Calvin & Muad'Dib tumblr.

September 24, 2013   No Comments

Thoughts on rewatching “The Karate Kid” (as a martial artist)

  • I'd forgotten, or never appreciated, how stone cold awesome Daniel-san's mom is.  She's supportive, doesn't stop trying to communicate, and doesn't freak out over things like going to a party or dating.  She also apologizes when she's wrong, and doesn't apologize for wanting to hug or kiss her son in front of people.
  • And speaking of hugging, I seriously want to hug whoever's responsible for Mr. Myogi's teaching style.  SO dead-on.  He also does Chinese massage pretty authentically, though the clapping-the-hands-together bit is a Hollywood affect (understandable though; you can't see it when a healer heats their hands IRL), and he would have almost certainly "fixed" Daniel-san's leg with accupuncture (which, they don't say he *didn't* I guess, but he certainly didn't have any gear with him to do so).  Though it's funny that before the experiences I've had with Chinese medicine, I thought the "Mr. Myogi fixes it and now he can sorta walk on it again right away!" thing was silly — but it's actually quite accurate.  Especially for muscular and soft-tissue injuries and overtraining, those needles are *magic* in the short-term.
  • Years ago when I rewatched this, it was for the fighting — because I have some experience with Shorin Ryu and crane-style kungfu, which is what Daniel-san is learning (yup, only the bad guys in the Karate Kid are actually using karate).  This time the teaching styles and the characters are both more interesting – maybe because those aren't the styles I'm actively studying anymore?
  • Although from any perspective, that crane-kick climax is still *amazing*.
  • The music, on the other hand…uuuuhhhh, nothing from the 80s really held up well, did it?
  • Kids and bullies, high-school boys and girls, and parents and old martial artists are all portrayed nigh perfectly here as their archetypes:  Simplified in the way movies do best, in service of a story, with real emotions and fake details; but the end result is that if you know the emotions, you can follow along flawlessly.   Though I'm sorry to say that BAD martial-arts teachers, while never as cartoonish in my experience as the dreaded Cobra Kai teacher, also get their souls writ large and clearly in this film.  I don't think I really have to say this, but…If any teacher reminds you of that guy, even for a split second, RUN.
  • When I was a small child I had this weird dream that I grew old and woke up and looked in the mirror and I was Mr. Myogi.  …::looks nervously over shoulder::…

September 19, 2013   3 Comments

Take a “Wow” Moment

Today's Good Find:  21 Historically Significant Photos.  

I'm pretty sure at least one will make your eyes go big.

This one was the first of several that did mine — it's Bruce Lee sparring with Ip Man, in 1955.  


August 22, 2013   No Comments

Haul it on over

So, I think it's time for an overhaul here.  

I created this site in something like 2006 or '7, mostly to provide a place for the polyphasic information I was amassing, but because I'm a compulsive writer anyway, I knew it would wind up serving as a spot for general bloggage, content, and Writing.  

And so it has, resulting in exactly the kind of mess you'd expect that to cause.  ;)

Well, the Second Edition is out, and future plans for polyphasic stuff are much more in-depth and really deserve a space of their Actual Own — things like talks, travel, and studies shouldn't be just tagged posts that sit amid the morass of my general effluvience.

Of course, said effluvience needs a spot.  

But Writing, actual fiction and experimentation and poetry and such, needs its own spot now too.  I'm finally starting to take it more seriously, and to improve my skills to the point where doing it as more than just One Big Constant Exercise And Worship makes sense.  

Oh yeah, and I also do other things and collect other links and whatnot that might be helpful — this is more properly Presence than Effluvience, but it means that having room for other sub-categories of content that doesn't involve tangling them all up in A Blog makes good sense.

SO.  Here's my thinking so far:

-  I need a front page that sorta somewhat-accurately says "HI THIS IS ME, HERE ARE THE REASONS YOU MIGHT BE HERE".  This needs a descriptive, simple, sensical domain name. 

-  I need subpages with their own subdomains for polyphasic sleep, fiction and nonfiction writing, a blog, and potentially a lot of other things.  I like subdomains.

-  I need a dead simple and flexible design.  I like the theme I use here, but at the very least I need to unclutter it, and possibly replace it.  Wordpress I have no complaints with, and in all reality knowing how to use it probably saves me so much time versus learning something else that "upgrading" there likely isn't worth it.  (The best, and best-looking, "canned" websites are, I think, done in Twitter Bootstrap — it's what I often use for business clients.  But it's not anywhere near as easy to update as WP, and the built-in analytics and plugins are kinda worth their weight in gold.)

SO.  Apologies up front if any future changes cause annoyance for any future readers, AND OF COURSE I'm interested in any opinions or comments people have about the coming overhaul.



August 21, 2013   2 Comments

Nonmelodic laser bats

This has been out a little while, but I just got around to watching it, and HOLY CRAP MY FAVORITE MUSIC THING EVER.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


So, A) I'm in love with that girl.  Seriously.  If you know her, please deliver her fondly this piece of my ear.

B) I've studied music a ton, especially in the context of piano, and experimentality in the context of literature, and holy shit yes all of these things.  This makes me want to do SO MUCH.  (And wish that I had the skillz to turn them into videos, but I guess we can't all be so blessed.)



August 20, 2013   2 Comments

I Swear (Open-Minding Your Manners)

I'm so grateful to my father for teaching me to not only be polite, but to get more polite when confronted with rudeness.  

(Note:  I do this much more consistently in person than in writing.  When writing I love to inject color and a little lightning where I can; it's like enjoying spicy food I guess.  Personally and professionally, though, I'm the person who says "please" and "may I" consistently, who holds open doors for strangers and always excuses myself for interrupting.  I was taught well, but I've also expanded on it in later years by modifying some of my well-intentioned American tendencies to be more like my European and Australian friends, who tend to think of things I never would have learned about from my Midwestern family — things like saying "May I please have the…" when ordering food, rather than "I'll take a…" or "Give me a…", which is both normal in my experience and pretty annoyingly rude once you notice it.  But I digress.  Shockingly.)  

This habit my dad ingrained in me is a heck of a weapon, for a couple reasons:

1)  Rude people–or even average people who are trained to respond to the emotional stimulus of anger by turning rude–get flustered and stupid when confronted with quiet, professional mannerisms, giving me an instant edge in a blow-by-blow argument.

2)  Onlookers to an argument where I'm the one being composed and polite, even if I'm obviously angry or disagreeing, are predisposed to agree with or at least hear my point.  Corollary:  In a workplace or other professional or formal environment, I'm much less likely to break a rule that either loses me future credibility or lands me in trouble with some authority (i.e. HR).

3)  Mobs of dumb-ass dissenters, as one tends to get in, oh, say, the Midwest, are less likely to get nasty or violent towards someone who's being calm and "nice" (even if the content of my words is not "nice" at all).  Good manners are a sort of armor against unruly groups of 'Mericans; they can still be icky to deal with, but are generally hesitant to attack someone they perceive as being a "good sort", even if it's not "our" sort.

and my favorite, 4)  Being known as someone who generally stays gentle and sticks by the rules of decorum in most circumstances means that when I cut loose, it packs an extra whollop*.  And there are some circumstances that I firmly believe are best handled with loud swearing and an instantly aggressive demeanor — the biggest example being when confronting sexual harrassment, which I consider to be the far end of the Bell curve of rudeness — it's rudeness escalated to a form of psychological (or even physical) attack, really.  So I actually approve of anyone — of any gender** – responding to unwanted sexual attention or discrimination (against themselves or anyone else) with a loud WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?!   Those behaviors are, I would argue, too often treated as deserving of tolerance — Oh, you know, that's just how Bill is — and, like overt racism (another way-out-there form of rudeness), are best headed off with loud, forceful objection that both throws the unacceptability of their conduct directly in the offender's face, and also forces them and everyone else who witnesses it to take a stand one way or the other.  Don't get me wrong; there are times when it's better for that response to be served ice cold — if you've got everyone's attention already, a nice icy glare and a hissed, "What did you just say, boy?" or "Did you really just put your goddamned hands on me?" are awfully nice — but on the whole, I prefer volume and swearing because they get attention and don't allow people to easily gloss over or dismiss what's happened.  

And of course, it's just icing on the cake if I've spent the whole evening minding my manners before I scream obscenities and throw something at that jerk, really.***

Thanks so much, Dad!  



*I love words like this, which can kind of be spelled any way it suits you.  You can find this one as whallop, wollop, wolop, walop, whalop, etc. everywhere and they're all pretty much equally right.  Hm, I should write something in Middle English, yeah?  

**Gender or age — If anyone harrasses or threatens my daughter that way, I want them to be met with a loud, angry, FUCK YOU!  (from her, her friends, or anyone who witnesses it).  I think that's both likely to deter an attacker, and likely to draw the attention of bystanders, coming from a kid.  She's known that loud swearing (and if they put their hands on you, physical violence) is an appropriate response to threatening adults since she was about four — and yes, it does inadvertently make it sound a little exciting to have to defend herself, but I'm hoping that makes her more likely to react swiftly in such a situation.  Not that it's her responsibility to react swiftly to protect herself, but if it could make the difference between trauma and escape, I see no reason not to encourage it.

***Oh yes, in case you're wondering, I have done it.  I've also dropped my briefcase and straightened my suit-jacket before yelling things across the street that would make a sailor blush, and I've gotten right in the face of huge beligerent drunks and threatened to beat them senseless and send their remains home to their moms.  I comfort myself regarding the state of women's rights by vowing to, if things haven't improved, get louder and nastier about it the older I get.  I'm sure the effect when I'm grey-haired will be terriffic. 

August 5, 2013   2 Comments

Gluten-Free Summer Fun

I looooooove summertime, and it's finally here!  Today I wandered past my mirror, au naturel, and realized how very I-love-summer-y I looked, so I snapped a photo.  

After snapping it, I realized that it wasn't just stomach-muscles (well, some) and ridiculously comfy clothes, but that in fact the backdrop is entirely made of martial-arts weaponry and tools.  Accidental though that is, it officially made this tribute to summer too good to not post.  ;)


I also grabbed this pic for similar reasons to the last one, when I was making a dietary change and wanted a baseline to track any changes — though in this case, it's a bit different.  Multiple symptoms that can't be easily explained have plagued me lately, and my experiments with reducing certain foods has made me pretty certain that the cause of at least some of them (and more likely all of them, only some stop and start more quickly after exposure) is an allergy to wheat-gluten.  Furthermore, as seems to be the case with such things, the more I waffled (pretty good dual use of that term, I think!) and allowed myself a scone here, a sandwich there, the worse the symptoms got.  The other day I realized that I'm just going to have to admit that "bread and sugar isn't good for you" is more than a generality in my case, and go really Gluten Free For Serious, as the health consequences to doing otherwise are simply too dire to mess with.

By the way, one thing that really motivated me was the worsening of the symptoms and the knowledge that the sensitivity can ramp up and get nastier the more it's poked — and beer.  I love beer, especially since I've discovered craft beer, and beer is not entirely gluten-free.  It does have barely trace amounts of it compared to bread-related things (about 15ppm compared to 200,000, if my reading is generally accurate) — so you see where I'm going.  If I quit the bread and stuff now, hopefully my sensitivity doesn't get so serious that I can't drink beer.

Ah, motivation, you wear some funny clothes sometimes.  Then again, given the picture above, I suppose I can't talk.  ;)

Anyway, I've cleaned out my fridge and re-done the shopping, and stuffed everything with fresh produce, because the fillingness of raw veggies and the sweetness of fruit seems to be the only good substitute for the psychological lack of my favorite foods.  …And I'm sure that sounds healthy and everything, but it's risky too:  I do a lot of pretty calorie-intensive things, and I don't have a big appetite, and since I rarely cook I don't eat much meat.  I've got a pretty healthy level of body-fat now, and while losing a little of it wouldn't hurt me, I'm definitely not built to function with too little reserves.  Plus, I hate the feeling of being calorie-shy; if I get under by more than 500 calories on a given day, I feel like I've been squished by a steam-roller!  

So yeah, I bet I'll be thanking goodness for trail mix before too long!

But who cares, really?  It's summer!  


May 31, 2013   No Comments


This made my EVERYTHING:


…Sometimes culture is just the best, innit?  Layers and layers and layers…::shudderlove::

February 26, 2013   2 Comments