It occurs to me that the progress of my blog looks rather uneven from the outside. I write a bunch about one thing, disappear for a few days, then come back fixated on something else. It's not quite like that on the inside. For me, once one particular stress-bucket is filled to the brim, it sloshes over to stain others. Moggie can tell you that I'm always on about something; the apparent gap and appearance of a sudden attention switch happens in my writing mainly because when I'm under enough pressure about one thing, however unrelated, all of the dials start creeping upwards in sympathy, including the one that's hypersensitive to signs that I'm boring the fuck out of people. A lack of feedback usually strikes me as meaning that I've succeeded in writing something that has not made people all stabby-angry. When I'm already worried about basically everything else, the same lack of backchat convinces me that no one wants to know what my brain coughs up on the grounds that it's so idiotic it's boring.

[It's pretty universal. When something is upsetting and out of my hands, I try to salvage my feeling of competence by being extra-precise about things that are in my control, like whether or not I've remembered to grab my keys. I try to keep it to useful things like washing dishes that have landed in the sink no matter whose they were, or things that have no real effect on other people either way, like doing a particularly meticulous job on my makeup. I figure it's an acceptable coping method, as long as I manage not to turn into an asshole or literally drive myself crazy doing it.]

The sudden interest in figure skating was a collision of quite a number of different things. One was the controversy over the Russian Federation's new anti-gay propaganda law. LGBT activism is one of the few world-events things I follow. I don't normally care about televised athletics of any sort, but during the Winter Olympics four years ago, both of the people I was sharing an apartment with independently cornered me to show me videos of Liberace on Ice Johnny Weir, so his name, and his sport, were familiar enough to catch my attention in the middle of the kerfuffle.

Another was the list of New Year's Resolutions, which I have not posted here, on the grounds that there's no point in failing at keeping them loudly in public when I could just as easily fail at them quietly in private without bothering anyone. Every year I tell myself I should probably get some exercise on purpose, and every year I rediscover that treadmills are boring as fuck, and quit before the month is up. This annoys me no end. I'm at the point where I just want to resolve the tug-of-war and don't care which side wins -- either I find some kind of fun exercise or I stop feeling like I'm bad at adulting because I can't make myself do something that's both unpleasant and unnecessary.

Every year I also tell myself I need to work on some of the known bugs in my brain, like the one referenced above, which erroneously assumes that I have to care whether anyone else is bored stupid by my own personal, free, completely non-compulsory blogging. It works better some years than others. I've had more success than usual since I've reclaimed all the processing cycles I used to spend defending myself from my family, but there are still things about me that irritate me, so I keep trying.

And every year I tell myself that I really have to quit arguing myself out of doing interesting things because I'm afraid someone will find out I like something. When I'm interested in something, as you have all now seen, I get all intellectual about it, and want to decompose it into its component molecules. "Over-analysis" is pretty much the ur-fandom in Cambridge where I hang out now, but I did spend the first thirty years of my life in a place where that shit got things thrown at my head at recess. It was adaptive when I was a kid and being a brain was dangerous, but it's maladaptive now that I live in a place where people would look at you in horror if you claimed that you hadn't read a book since you got out of high school. Nevertheless, it's difficult to shake.

So essentially, I ended up spending a couple of hours doing skating jumps on a dance floor because

  1. Seriously you are a grown-ass woman and you cannot manage to stick to an exercise program for more than three whole weeks what the hell is wrong with you;
  2. Seriously you have mad rehearsal time banked and you cannot figure out something to do with yourself in a free dance studio for a couple of hours what the hell is wrong with you;
  3. Seriously you live within spitting distance of more universities than you have phalanges and you are still nervous that everyone will think you're weird for analyzing things what the hell is wrong with you;
  4. Seriously you keep talking yourself out of conducting experiments which would be informative regardless of outcome just because you are worried you'll make yourself feel like a twit what the hell is wrong with you;
  5. Good grief but this Stéphane Lambiel person is pretty.

That last probably looks like I'm being a wiseass, but it's both true and relevant. It's maybe wise-half-assed. I'm as human as the rest of you, and I watch attractive, interesting things more intently than unattractive, uninteresting things. The more intently I watch something, the more difficult is is to not try to figure out how it works.

Figure skating is apparently considered a difficult thing. People biff their landings and fall down in the Olympics, for fuck's sake. They hope that won't happen, but nobody is surprised when it does. I expected to book a studio, spend a couple hours flailing around like an idiot, probably hurt myself somehow, and go home disappointed. The point was to prove to myself that there was nothing wrong with indulging my own curiosity, to realize that the world would not end if I dropped an activity that was not fun, and to fail with dignity.

Making actual headway at it was bewilderingly Fenwickian. I didn't bother to make any real plans for that contingency, because how the hell was I supposed to know that would happen?