Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Kittens, Brains, and Burned-Out Political Activists

You people are so completely fantastic. On the spur of the moment I dash off a two-sentence LiveJournal entry that's not even two full lines long, and you deluge me with two pages full of some 75 comments. Okay, so a good 25 or so of those comments were my own, but the rest weren't. I will never, never, never lack for literarily inclined company with you people around. Nothing but book lovers as far as the eye can see.

As a meager attempt at thanking you, I offer you a hyperlink which a great many of you, like me, will feel a need for: Dealing with or Preventing Activist Burnout. It was passed on to me by ethosgurl.

I had a dream last night that I adopted a tiny grey kitten, perhaps 10 weeks old - or more accurately, it adopted me. I saw its picture in the newspaper first, and fell in love with it, but tried to talk myself out of calling the phone number to request to adopt it since I've never owned a cat while living on my own before and I don't know whether I'm up to the responsibility - but then I decided to call the number specifically to force myself to stop wanting it so badly, since I figured the odds were strongly in favor of a hundred other newspaper readers already having called to try to adopt it. So I called, but the lady on the other end of the phone said that actually the kitten had escaped somehow and run away so they couldn't give it to anyone at all. And at that moment the kitten showed up on my doorstep, mewing to be let in, and curled up on my bed and demanded to be allowed to stay. Then a bunch of my family members and coworkers and some random Star Trek characters and pretty much everybody you could ever think of started crowding into my apartment for no reason that was ever very clearly explained, and I was trying to hide the kitten because I wasn't ready to publicly commit myself to deciding to own a kitten just yet, but I also didn't want to put it outside and risk losing it forever, and it was a typical cheerful active playful kitten that would never stay hidden wherever I tried to hide it, so people kept discovering it and the word was slowly getting around.

And then there was a funeral for someone, I think it was for Jean-Luc Picard's grandmother, and we all had to attend the funeral and it was raining and we all had to stand around in the rain looking down at the coffin from some foldable steps like those ascending aluminum benches they always put out for the audiences at amateur baseball games, and Picard was standing on one of the steps next to me speaking very very sadly. And then we all went back to my apartment, but suddenly there was a gunshot and everyone grabbed rifles and started prowling around looking scared to death trying to figure out who had fired on us, and it turned out that war had just been declared and we all had to make a run for it to try to escape the city.

But then I went back to my bedroom (which was now somehow my childhood bedroom instead of my apartment bedroom) to find the grey kitten, and the grey kitten was right outside my window playing with a spider and it was adorable and there was no more war, there was just this idyllic scene of an adorable grey kitten playing with a spider. Only, then I looked closer and realized it was a black widow spider, and the kitten grabbed it between its front paws and the spider bit the kitten and the kitten flinched and dropped the spider, and I ran screaming for my mother to ask whether there was any chance for the kitten to survive this at all (in real life we had a lot of black widow spiders in the house where I grew up and they killed some of our cats by biting them). But my mother said there was an antidote, so since I had seen the kitten get bitten, all I had to do was go get the kitten and rush it to the vet and get the antidote administered before the kitten died.

And then I woke up. I don't know what all that was about, but it sure did leave me wanting a kitten.

Two weeks ago my parents' fifteen-year-old golden retriever finally died, not unexpectedly, and a few days thereafter they replaced her with a humongous 91-pound black labrador retriever/German shepherd/various-other-things mix, whom they have named Nike. Yes, Nike - after the notoriously exploitative running shoe corporation. I told them I'm appalled by their lack of political consideration, but it did no good. At least if I got a kitten I'd give it a decent name. I want a kitten. Maybe I should get a kitten. I don't know, I can't decide. And some cats have so very much better personalities than other cats; how can I ever trust myself to pick out a nice one instead of a monster?

And then there's this weird Brain Usage Profile thing.

Your Brain Usage Profile:
Auditory : 44%
Visual : 55%
Left : 60%
Right : 40%

The plain numbers seem reasonable enough, but their more detailed profile doesn't really sound particularly like me at all.
Gayle, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.

Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to "catch up" with yourself.

Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can "size up" situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to "lose touch" with the immediacy of the problem.

Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you "learn from experience" and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.

You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the "larger whole."

With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can "see where you want to go" and even be able to "tell yourself," but find that you are "fighting yourself" at the darndest times.
Sorry, no, I don't think that I live my life in "an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation" or "suffer a feeling of continually trying to 'catch up' with [my]self" or "find that [I am] 'fighting [my]self' at the darnedest times" to any greater extent than the average person does.

Except in regard to kitten acquisition, of course.
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