Things seem less deranged than they were the last time I wrote here, though still a bit uneasy. What's been occupying my mind lately is how “real” or not my experiences are. This is a bit hard to describe, but in some of my experiences I seem to be much more present, involved with what is going on, alert, to make better decisions, and to feel sensations and emotions more intensely. It's essentially the same as what I've called “intensity” in the past. As seems to be normal when I'm thinking about these issues, things have been more intense/real lately than they had been, though sometimes disturbingly unreal—I seem to have some control over this by selecting my environment (both the things around me and those inside my body), but little ability to affect it in the moment.
Concordant with this, I've had several very productive days at work in the past couple of weeks, and a very productive Saturday yesterday. I wrote some letters I'd been meaning to and mailed them, picked up my dry cleaning, went shopping, did my taxes, watched Sin City (would have been hard to be better at doing what it did) and IMd a bit, and had two adequate meals.
One of the places I shopped was Nordstrom, both because I could use some more work clothes and to “kick the tires” since I recently bought Nordstrom stock. I saw some evidence of their fanaticism, but only a little, perhaps since I'm comparing them to the Men's Wearhouse, and men's clothes are expensive enough (and probably have a high enough margin) for very good service to be common. I was surprised how much of the store was taken up by women's clothing, though in retrospect women shop so much more than men (especially for clothes) that it's not that odd. Ken also pointed out that they may be one of the companies to suffer more in a recession. I bought the stock when it had just plunged, but not at the very bottom—it seems to be extremely difficult to time the market perfectly (of course, I'm not trying to time it perfectly, just better than not at all). So I'm a little skeptical about them now—they're definitely a good company, but they may have gone as far as they can go in their segment. But I'll probably at least hold the stock until December, and then if it's down I can sell it and get a tax write-off.
I just re-watched The Prestige, which my sister gave me for my birthday. In lieu of ruining it, if you haven't seen it, do so. It's an easy five stars. (Unrelatedly, I finally subscribed to Netflix, and it's pretty much everything I hoped for. I have a queue of almost 100 movies, and I've only added 3 DVDs of TV shows so far—there are a lot more of those I can come up with.)
Next weekend my dad is visiting. The weekend after that I'm visiting Laura. Wait a month and a half and I'm going to my sister's graduation, then staying in upstate NY for the rest of the week. The weekend after that, I'm going to North Carolina for the high school graduation of one of my cousins, and to see a bunch of relatives I haven't seen in a long time. So the theme of the next while looks to be “travel”.