Category: 2020 Solar Terms

大寒

Major cold.

a sunrise from some time ago

Also, it’s the 腊八 festival, which I don’t really know about either. Pretty much all festivals and more important terms are excuses to have big dinners and eat well, which is nice when you’re with family. …which I’m not, but that’s okay. This is the last solar term of 2020! How time passes! Not sure how I got here, to this point, but to be honest, I’m feeling pretty much the same as I did when I wrote the first one. Sleep-deprived, tired in all ways, not really paying too much attention to class, and surrounded by cold snow.

So school has started, and I’ve been having some amount of difficulty settling into a routine. I managed to catch a cold (or maybe just break something in my body) earlier this week, so I’m suffering the consequences now. In the realm of introspection, I’ve also been trying to work through some things, while also trying to balance out other things, and there’s just a lot of things. I feel a bit like a small planet that’s spinning really quickly but orbiting a larger star system in a much slower manner. I haven’t been able to sleep well recently either, and when I do, I have random weirdly vivid nonsensical dreams full of pictures that I note (in the dream) to remember for later so I can recreate them; or full of people that I see on my screen (some I know personally, some I know conceptually) everyday.

I don’t think I have anything else of substance to talk about. Since last post, I’ve watched 2 web-dramas in the 鬼吹灯 series. It was fun to watch, partially because I love history and action, and also partially because I like the main actor. I’m a simple man: if it looks interesting enough, and has enough actors I like, I’ll probably take a look. It was nice also because they were pretty short and I could finish them quickly if I really wanted to. Whenever my Chinese literacy goes up, I might read the original novels… but that’s probably going to take forever since I’m not really learning properly. Anyway, we’ll see. I still think it’s funny that about 2 years ago, I watched the first installment of the web-series for a different man… and now… I guess that really shows how simple I can be.

Also, since it’s the second week of classes, we’re getting right back into Things, and I’m reminded of how much I hate academia. Maybe someday I’ll write something about it (which seems kind of ironic), but for now, I’ll just look at my dark circles in the mirror and tell myself that it’s worth it. At the very least, I know now for certain I hate school.

That’s kind of a sad note to end the post, so I’ll try to think of something else… well, I’ve got nothing. I took 5 minutes away from the post to think but all I have is this playlist I made a while ago. Listen to it if you want. I’m off to nap.

小寒

Minor cold.

Class resumes in less than a week, and in the time in between I have been Not Sleeping Well, Not Eating Well, and generally not Faring Very Well. Reading the news from the relative safety of my bed (a soft, warm place) in a room in the back of an old house (somewhat stable, not owned by me) at 5pm is a kind of surreal experience nowadays. Am I reading fiction? What part of the last 12 months have felt like grounded reality to me? Of course, not much of my life as a whole has felt like reality. There were many times throughout my childhood that I felt as if everything was passing by too quickly, like I was on a train (which I’ve never been) going through the countryside and I was trying to count the cows or read the signs that we passed. There was never really a moment to pause and process anything, and maybe that’s what’s impeding upon my experience of existing.

Anyway, not much to talk about again. Still cold outside, a bit chaotic as usual, and full of anxiety about Everything. I’m dreading school, and I’m dreading having to dread things again, which is another big problem. When your biggest problems are yourself, you’d think it’d be easier. You’d also think that, having gone through some Shit at a younger age, I would be better equipped to deal with mental health issues, but unfortunately it’s quite the opposite. I’ve developed some pretty bad coping methods. I had a friend assume I’d be okay just because of that, which is laughable. It’s like when someone hurts their elbow and instead of seeing a doctor or anything, favours it and instead uses their shoulder and strains that instead. At some point they’re gonna have an entirely damaged arm, and then they can’t do anything anymore. It’s unsustainable. I’m unsustainable. (The metaphor was a reference, yes.)

Not much else to report. We’ll see how I feel when school starts. I really hope the 2nd semester is better but historically, no it won’t be. Again, I’d just love to pass my courses. Please and thank you.

冬至

Winter solstice.

a pretend sunset.

School is technically over, except I felt really burnt out so I got an extension and thus have not finished my work for that one class. I guess I’m kind of glad about it, because otherwise I’d be bored. I’ve been living in a timezone of my own for the past week or so, sleeping when my friends wake up and waking up a few hours later and then repeating this process. Does the sun rise? I never see it.

But I guess I’m not complaining so much as observing myself. Disassociation. Today’s winter solstice, which is associated with dumplings, so one of my housemates (who is Chinese) and I went out to get dumplings. They were very homemade and not as good as the ones my family makes, but I’ve been pretty spoiled by my parents food-wise. That’s good, of course, but also bad because now I am picky and also not into cooking. I am into desserts, though. Maybe I’ll just be the resident dessert maker and eater. Anyway, I had a beer and a few dumplings. After a stressful semester, even this was enough to make me feel alive again. That’s step one: eating properly and talking to people, taking walks, feeling the freezing cold wind, all that stuff that reminds me I am a person and not a personality plugged into the internet.

Anyway, I’ll probably get to trying to be better at taking care of myself once I’m actually with this absolutely cursed semester. I just want to sleep for 24 hours. I probably can’t do it, but the idea is so enticing. But for now, I’m going to take a shower and get back to writing.

大雪

Heavy snow.

It’s the end of classes! I am actually three days late, but whatever. I had (and still have) a lot of final projects due, so hopefully understandably I have not been able to do much writing outside of an academic context. Have some pity for me, please. It’s not that school is significantly harder but it’s just been so tedious this semester. I sincerely doubt the next one will be any easier, but hopefully things will be more streamlined? Maybe the profs and instructors will actually know how to use technology to its potential. Please.

Anyway, I need to sleep. Probably won’t be able to catch up on it, but maybe get a start. I’ll be back soon: we’re also nearing the end of the solar terms, so I have to think of the Logical Next Step. Until then.

 

小雪

Minor snow.

screenshot of a video I took to show my family it was snowing here…

And it did snow, right on November 22nd. School is still absolutely terrible and stressful. The break was absolutely necessary for my mental well-being, but of course it went back to shit the moment it hit Sunday night. It’s very overwhelming. I’m very tired.

Anyway, whatever. That’s how school always is. I recently found an artist I really like, so here’s a song that really makes me laugh: a funny story. It reminds me of the past (which sounds kind of edgy and terrifying if I refer to it like that, but I’m too lazy to go into further detail). The past. Time really has no meaning nowadays. Sure, I’ve got deadlines, and grocery shopping days, and days where I can sit in front of my computer for fifteen hours straight of brain-death, but other than that, I don’t have a sense of what’s going on. It’s absolutely wild. I feel like an experimental subject who’s been given the absolute bare minimum social contact and then left alone in a cold room. I named the spider in my shower and was sad when it disappeared (I’m deathly afraid of spiders). I hover above the names of friends and old friends and think whether this is worth it.

I feel kinda sad that all my writing energy is being spent on stupid reading responses and discussion posts. There’s no discussion happening, no responses to my responses… it’s all just for a 2% mark. It really is pointless. Then there’s all those papers. I don’t enjoy writing those. I don’t know if I even enjoy writing anymore. I went through this phase for drawing too… I guess I just don’t like doing anything when I’m being forced to churn it out constantly. The quality is bad, the quantity is Too Much, and I’m losing the willpower to do anything. What do I like to do must? Do I have any hobbies? Not really, not anymore. On the weekends I’m too tired to even do my personal projects so I sit there and zone out really hard. Watch videos on Youtube of people discussing random topics and being cute; listen to music and talk to my sister mindlessly; eat a lot of cookies and think about a life I’ll never have; not sleep… etc.

These posts really are a roller-coaster ride to be honest. It started off kind of numb but vaguely optimistic. It seems that now we’ve gone full on disillusioned poor young person complaining about everything, but incoherently. The future looks grim, and all I ever do is look inward. I don’t know. I think everyday that I wake up is a thing that is amazing enough.

See you later.

立冬

Beginning of winter.

More sunset photos, with embellishments that don’t really add to the quality of the picture.

Finally! It is reading break, which mean I’m going to do absolutely nothing for a few days while mentally agonizing over what I will have to do in the upcoming few weeks before classes end. Again, not much to report on this time as well: just the abundance of deadlines and deadly feelings and maybe some general dissatisfaction with the way life’s been going (on a micro scale, of course). I wrote last time that I wasn’t sure if I’d make it here mentally intact. I’m happy to report that technically, I’ve never really been fully mentally … whole, and I’m not any more so than last time. The usual.

I reread Pluto (by Naoki Urasawa) yesterday, as a sort of celebration for making it this far into the school semester. The same parts made me cry as when I read it for the first time over seven years ago. Doesn’t sound like much, but I was freshly entering high school and I was thirteen and very unhappy. I would sit alone in the library and read, engrossed and also groggy because it was 8am, and the bell would ring and I wouldn’t notice until the librarians yelled at me. Anyway, I digress. I reread it yesterday and I was still emotional and I still love it, very much, and wholeheartedly would recommend it to everyone I know with a reading comprehension level above that of a sheltered nine year old who has never browsed Wikipedia for fun. Ideally I’d suggest reading through some psychology pages or maybe the world politics of 1990s-2000s but I mean… it’s not necessary. You’re going to get it either way, but having the background knowledge sure is fun. That’s the main difference between my first read and this last reread: I know some More Stuff now. Anyway, no spoilers, but please read it… it’s really good…

What else? I don’t know! It’s winter, technically, so that’s going to be wild as usual here. Soon we’ll be up to a year of these posts, so I guess I should be figuring something out for that. That’s it for now.

霜降

Descent of frost.

a little collage

A bit late again, but it’s fine. I was listening to this a second ago: [slow/oriental]

For a bit of a change, I’m feeling quite negatively about school. There’s problems I have with institutions as whole, with the way society (every time I write this word, it seems like it should have quotation marks around it) views post-secondary education, the pointlessness of my getting a degree, the lack of knowledge and skills or anything to prove that I did go to university other than a piece of paper I’m projected to receive in about a year and a half; the disillusionment has been growing ever since the beginning of this semester. It’s no thanks to a particular instructor I have this semester for 2/5 classes. I’ve actually never heard rumours about this man (despite him saying so himself that he has a reputation for being difficult or something), but I’m not going to lie: they don’t seem unfounded. He regularly misinterprets not only the things I say, but written words. He’s (perhaps unintentionally) condescending, and every critique feels like a one-sided defense battle where I have to be careful of what I say or don’t say, and how I do that, and what does it mean? How do I define that? Is this the right term? Let me try again. Wait, no, never mind… that’s not what I meant. God, I can’t understand you.

Anyway, I’ve been second-guessing whether I do want to be a Creative Person after all. Seems like the odds are stacked up against me, and I’m nothing special. Just a little neurotic and long-winded, very petty, and I have no real social skills. I emulate the successful people I have in my life, I watch television and tone down what I see from there. Perform it for everyone. I wonder where’s the line between being having a Personality, versus being an outcast with no chance of being socialized. Maybe there’s no line (I can hear my instructor’s voice right now), but I like to draw boundaries, so let me do that. Let me try to figure out how to sort and quantify every tiny thing I see, analyze and over-analyze everything so I can make peace with everything in my brain. I don’t think I have the skills or the heart to be Creative. I don’t have the interest, the passion, the background and connections. I’m all I got, I guess, and there really isn’t much here.

Of course, I’m not making this a pity session where I divulge all my insecurities, childhood traumas, and regular traumas, this is just… well… evidence, I guess. Okay, it’s sort of a “woe is me” paragraph. I’m only a kid. You gotta let me whine once in a while. I just think maybe I’m not quite cut-out to participate in the art world. But I also don’t want tonor can I afford toattend more school. I guess I have a tentative plan right now for the foreseeable 3 years. I’m kidding, I don’t. I’m just gonna say, though: after 2020, I’m pretty sure I’m just fucking done with school for the time being.

What else do I talk about here… the weather? It sure is cold again. A couple of days ago, it reached 20 degrees, but then there was a thunderstorm. What an anomaly. I’ll include the pentads for this term below as a closing. My reading break is in two weeks. Whether I’ll still be mentally sane (or at least my current state) or not is up to fate, so… guess we’ll see.

豺乃祭獸
草木黃落
蟄蟲咸俯

 

寒露

Cold dew.

I have quite a few issues with the way some of my online classes are running, but for the most part they’ve been okay. Passable. Hopefully I pass those classes, too. Let’s see… it’s been a month now, and things are settling (microscopically), but the world seems as chaotic as always. Didn’t expect that to change, so I guess it’s fine. It’s alright.

I got my hair cut really short again, mostly because I was getting lazy with washing it and just having it in general. I went to the museum once, to a few bookstores, met some new people, ate some good food, went to the dentist, met some more new people, bought some shirts, and generally just tried to chill. It’s definitely quite hard to stay sane when you’re literally going insane… but I guess we have to try.

Well, the weather’s getting colder too. I don’t know what’s coming up, but I’m definitely not super optimistic today (because I didn’t sleep as much as I’d like, and I have a lot of midterms coming up this next week, and also because it is quite late already). By the way, the photo is from … around the Mid-Autumn festival day. I had a single moon pic, but it wasn’t really visible and I haven’t edited it yet. Working on it.

秋分

Autumnal Equinox.

doesn’t this kind of look mysterious

School has started, and despite not going there physically, I’m still feeling extremely stressed. There’s so much work… it almost feels like high school again, except this time I have to do my homework. It’s for marks.

Anyway, I noticed that recently I’ve been pretty much exclusively watching things that are crime-related. I wonder why that is… is it because they go case-by-case, which always introduces new fun events and characters? Is it because we get to see the main cast go through many different trials and tribulations, growing and furthering their relationships with each other? Is it because I have a short attention span and like things with Action and Suspense and some amounts of Violence and Gore? Is it because I like to guess who the real perpetrator is? Is it because I empathize with the troubled characters? Is it because I find the actors cute?

Yesterday I figured out the perfect amount of miso to put into one cup of rice. This may seem like a bland and kind of lazy way to make food, but at this point this is Chemistry. I’m experimenting. How much can I get out of one fairly cheap rice cooker? We’ll find out. I’m working on figuring out the best time to put in frozen things, as well.

There’s so much I want to do, and I’m going to have to organize my time better. Alternatively, I try to organize my mind better. Maybe get some diagnoses and stuff like that. It’s something I’ve been curious about since I was a kid.

Also! It’s autumn, which means it is getting colder, and which means it’s getting to the later part of the year. I really don’t know how to assess this year, but we’ll see how my mood is by then, I suppose. Funnily enough, the spring equinox post was the last one I wrote in Toronto during my second year. Not sure if that means time is slow or fast, but it sure is going. I should also be going…

…to bed.

See you later, then.

白露

White dew.

Self-explanatory. I went back to school (it’s online, but here I am). Hopefully everything will slowly reset and I won’t feel like I’ve made a massive mistake. Maybe it’s something I just have to wait out, which sucks because I hate waiting and I hate time. Sure, it heals all, but can it just do it a little bit faster. Can we skip forwards again?

Anyway, just going to leave up as a landmark. Hopefully next time is better.