tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I'm reading a book called Wishcraft by Barbara Sher. The book has lots of exercises in it; one of them is about trying to see yourself the way others see you. The premise is: we all have negative tapes playing in our heads; we're all self-critical. To quote her, "A direct statement about yourself is considered objective only if it is negative."

You can't stop the negative tapes just by saying you're going to stop thinking these self-critical thoughts -- rather, you have to replace them with something new. A positive tape. She suggests two ways of creating a positive tape; the first one is to sit down with a trusted friend and ask them to spend about 3 minutes talking about precisely what's good about you. Your job is to write it all down (and not argue with your friend!)

I didn't want to do this face-to-face with somebody, so I decided to do a distributed version instead, which I did in this post (and on Facebook, and in one person's case, email). Now that I have some responses, I'm going to try to compile them together into the equivalent of that 3-minute monologue from a friend (combining common themes together).

And then I will have a positive tape (written down, so I can always refresh my memory) that I can always replay when the negative ones are too loud. I don't think my self-esteem is especially low these days, but I still have plenty of self-critical thoughts and some residual impostor syndrome. Also, distinctly from actively thinking bad things about myself, there are plenty of good things about myself that I don't notice on my own.

So, thanks to everyone who commented! I probably won't post the summarized version publicly (too self-absorbed ;) but I appreciate everyone who provided me with raw material for it :) Also, this was a fun experiment and I would wholly recommend it to others.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Edit: Thank you for all the comments! I have now switched back to not allowing anonymous commenting. Also, I'm tracking IP addresses again for future comments, but IPs for comments on this post still won't be exposed to me. I can't disable comments on this post without hiding all the existing comments, so I won't, but I don't need any more for now :) Here's why I did this experiment.

I'm doing an experiment (and will reveal why after I've gotten some data). I've temporarily enabled anonymous commenting for this post (actually my entire journal since you can't do it post-by-post, shhh) and I'm temporarily not tracking IP addresses (eventually I will turn that back on, but Dreamwidth won't show me the IP addresses for comments posted in the interim). Anonymous comments will be screened, and as usual, I'll unscreen them unless you say "Don't unscreen this".

With that said: tell me what you like about me, or what you think is good about me. One or two sentences is okay; if you want to say more, that's okay too. It would help if you could be as precise as possible, but don't obsess too much. Just say what you would say if somebody called you up and said they're checking my background, and to just say whatever comes to mind about me. You have the choice of commenting as yourself, or anonymously.

I'm not intending for this to be a meme, but feel free to make it one. I didn't come up with the idea, though.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
You can still ask me to ask you questions if you want to, too!

1. Are role models a thing that work for you? If so, describe a role model relationship you've had, past or present.

Yes, they are very much a thing... but perhaps I should say "were". I've kind of formed this kind of relationship with every academic advisor I've had (and a few job supervisors), but "relationship" implies something where the role model is aware that they are a role model, and I doubt that was true every time. I don't want to talk about specifics in public, because some of these situations didn't end well and others just kind of make me sound like a gushy fanboy if I talk about them. (And there's overlap between those two.) Instead, though, I shall reflect on why I don't have role models anymore. It just gets more navel-gazey from here (plus, four more questions and answers) )

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (working)
0. How old were you when you first learned about sex (the relational kind, not the personal characteristic), and under what circumstances?

In your edit, you said you thought you asked me this before, but I don't think you ever did! Hence, bonus question.

Unsurprisingly, the answer may be a bit TMI )

1. Somehow despite also holding down a job, exercising, feeding and clothing yourself, etc., you find the energy to participate in online fora to an extent that would have made total sense to me 10 years ago but is unthinkable now. What keeps you coming back to all these different spaces? (FB, DW, G+, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Do you use each for different purposes, or do your social networking activities form a compact set mostly overlap under the banner of 'connecting with others'?

Well, first, exercising? Heh. The rest of this is not at all TMI, but I'm still cutting for length. )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
(aka "no, I really don't want it to be 2003 again except in the sense of having meaningful discussions on LiveJournal.") These from [personal profile] luinied, who happened to overlap (mostly) with stuff I've been thinking about anyway. Well-done :-D

  1. Of all the places you've lived, which has been the least soul-crushing in terms of general place-to-live factors? That is, excluding your job, who you knew in the area, etc.. (As though this is easy to untangle, I know.)

    I try to aspire to a higher standard than "not soul-crushing", you know :P That said, I found Cambridge, England to be very pleasant. It's well-nigh impossible for me to separate that experience from my job, the overall headspace I was in then, where I came from, where I went afterward, and so on, but the surroundings helped. I'm not sure I would move back there, even with a reason, since it was hard to find much of a queer scene there. (Maybe that's changed.)

  2. What is it like working at Mozilla on a day-to-day basis?

    Leaving out the recent political tensions there (because that's the other post I'm working on): Read more... )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I thought maybe I should post about something other than kyriarchy once in a while, so I bring you five questions asked by [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah, in a meme last seen sometime around 2005 or so.

1. Can we have a KITTEN PICTURE!!!!

I give you this one of the kittens locked in mortal combat on my bed this morning:
Two kittens doing a fight

2. The local transit agency has, surprisingly, adopted your sarcastic proposal for a new transit line. What's the technology - Soap-box racing? Bumper-cars? Bunny-drawn carriage? And where does it run?

I'm going to go for serious here: high-speed rail from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA with stops in Seattle, Portland, Arcata (making it easier for me to go to that cool place with the hot tubs), San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Travel time between SF and LA should be less than 3 hours with the entire route taking less than 10. It can happen. (Maybe that's not local. Whatevs!)

3. You have entered the world topiary championships, and the smart money is on you to win. Describe your prize-winning planty masterpiece. Also let's pretend "planty" is a real word.

It would be a tree satisfying the red-black tree properties. ("I see a red node and I want it to turn black...")

4. What novel have you read the most times?

_The World According to Garp_ by John Irving (I've read it about five times), but I'm not that sure I would like it if I read it again. I think I've read _The Rebel Angels_ by Robertson Davies and _Infinite Jest_ by David Foster Wallace three times each. I haven't read much fiction in a while... I keep feeling like there's so much I don't know that any time I spend reading fiction takes away time I could be spending reading nonfiction.

5. You're on a desert island, and you can only bring five albums. This is clearly unreasonable; you file a grievance with the desert-island ombudsman, and in the settlement you receive a lifetime supply of a tropical fruit of your choosing. Which one?

Durian, because it's DELICIOUS. I don't get the people who don't like the smell.

I believe this is where you're supposed to ask me to give you five questions. If you ask, I'll try my best!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
If you want me to ask you five questions, you still can :-D

1. What are your Superbowl picks for this season?

I'm going to go listen to some Bach on that day. It's going to be awesome.

2. Team Edward or Team Jacob?

I had to google this to figure out what you were talking about. And having googled it, I think I would have preferred to remain unencumbered by that knowledge ;-)

3. Ben Bernanke for Person of the Year? What were they thinking? Whom would you have picked instead?

I still think the best thing ever written about Ben Bernanke was [personal profile] tgies's answer to a poll question I posted once asking "what's a common object found in an office that you can use instead of scissors, if you don't have scissors?", which was, "your teeth. Or Ben Bernanke's teeth if you're gross."

Anyway, I don't really know what they were thinking, but I'm even more curious about what Obama was thinking when he appointed Geithner and Summers.

I would, of course, pick Al Franken.

4. What's the worst restaurant meal you've ever eaten?

There's probably a worse one, but the worst that comes to mind is a "family Mexican restaurant" in Lompoc, California that David and I ate at during our SF-to-LA bike trip. Lompoc is a horrible place. The "family Mexican food" is worse. In a tragic case of analysis-paralysis, we spent so much time looking for a restaurant that we found inspiring that by the time we finally gave up and sat down to eat, almost everything was closed. Which just made the meal all the more disappointing.

5. If you could have saved one business that's folded during the past year, which would it be?

Ooh, great question. I would save either Buddha's Delight in Boston (which got bought out, as far as I can tell, by some other, much less good restaurant that now occupies the same space) or Cafe Lucha, the vegan coffee shop across the street from me that I'm not sure is actually out of business, but they never seem to be open even during their supposed operating hours.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Blah blah comment if you want me to ask you questions blah blah.

1. So, beard. Discuss!

There's not that much to discuss, really. Here's a current picture, for clarity. When I came back from Edinburgh in September I decided to do an experiment to see what happened if I grew a beard. I'm still not sure if I really like the results, but it does save me some explanation sometimes. I never really used to like beards on other people. At some point I'll probably start over.

2. Would you move back to the bay area if you could? Why? Why not?

I don't really miss the Bay Area a lot, aside from missing individual people. I always had a sense that I was at least twenty years too late (possibly more than that) to get what I really wanted. That was kind of maddening, as if (somehow) if I just tried hard enough, I could actually go work at Apple in 1985 or whatever.

A lot of the same things that are wrong with the Bay Area are also wrong with Portland, but I don't plan on staying in Portland after I graduate (in, I hope, 2-3 years), either.

So no, I don't think I would move back anytime soon, in the absence of a really compelling job that couldn't be replicated elsewhere. At this point in my life I feel like if I moved back to someplace I'd lived before, I would never leave. I still have more places I want to live, and I'd rather live in New York or possibly even (heresy!) LA than the Bay Area.

3. Do you want to stay in academia indefinitely, or eventually go Real Job?

I definitely don't want to go back to working in the software industry, so if that's what you mean by Real Job, then no, do not want. I want to have a job with a lot of flexibility and freedom where I can connect with people on an individual basis and hopefully make a positive difference in their lives, so given my skills, that probably means teaching.

4. The stuff about senators being members of a shady pseudochristian hate group is very worrying. What's your reaction to that? And, dude, Hilary Clinton! Did we ever dodge a bullet there.

I didn't know about this until [personal profile] compilerbitch passed me a link, but really, given the American political tradition, it's not surprising. I don't really know what to say beyond that. I think black-and-white moralism is a serious hindrance to ever having a mature political and ethical dialogue in the US, but I don't think changing that would be as easy as loosening the grip of right-wing Christianity.

5. My favourite iPhone app actually isn't the Cat Piano, but it's pretty funny all the same. What's your favourite mobile device application, and why?

I'm still a dinosaur who has a cell phone that's only capable of making calls, sending text messages, and taking grainy photos. Next! :-)


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

December 2018

2345 678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags