Words that confuse the fuck out of me – elision

A word that I never use, but fairly often encounter in programming documents and guides, is elide (as a verb) or elision as a noun.

The reason it confuses me is that it has two different, and almost opposite meanings:

  1. To omit sounds or syllables. For example, “I’m never going to understand this” can be rephrased as “I’m never gonna understand this”.
  2. To conflate. For example, “I’m never going to understand this” can be rephrased as “I’m never gonna understand this”.

Yes, I used the same example on purpose. “Going to” was elided by omitting those two words. But “gonna” also combined the two words. Hence the same example both omitted and combined. The word elide also seems to also have gained a more general, and less literal meaning: To merge, combine or conflate. This wiki has a decent example of the more general usage that seems to be a synonym for conflate. (Actually I wonder if the person who came up with that was simply confused like me, and took the literal combining of words during contraction to indicate incorrectly that elide means to merge.)

What confuses me is that to omit and to merge feels like two opposite things. And in an ironic twist that I forgot while starting to write this, knowing the difference between confuse and conflate was the previous word definition I struggled for years with.

Anyway, now you know. I hope I might have confused you in this post too.

Incidentally, in programming parlance, elision always refers to omission… At least as far as I know. Please don’t tell me otherwise.

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Posted in Language | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I’m happy

As you might have noticed, Megan (my ex) and Aishah (her daughter and Josh’s half sister) are back. I don’t know for how long. I’m not sure what’s going to happen or if she will get her own place with the help of her family, but I’m not worrying about that.

It’s a little crazy. It’s not sensible financially, of course. With neither her nor my mother working, suddenly I am feeding and housing three adults and two children, instead of two adults and one child, but I’ll make it work somehow. Maybe Megan can get a job…

The most important thing right now is, for the first time in three years I can honestly say I am happy. Josh has sensed my unhappiness in the time up to now, and regularly asks, “Are you happy?”. Each time I have lied. I didn’t want to burden him, leave him wondering, as I have, why I am not happy when I have every reason to be. I mean, my life is back on track, I have my son back, and I should be happy. But I haven’t been.

As much as I love my son, he is a difficult child, with mood swings that my mother can’t help me to deal with. He’s fine when I’m home, but out of control often otherwise. Somehow having his sister around makes everything easier. She is a delight, a joy to be around, she appreciates everything, and is always happy. I do feel guilty for being unhappy before, which is also why I tried to hide it, or at least deny it to Josh. I didn’t want him to blame himself.

Anyway, of course I have gone against everybody’s advice taking them back… again. But I don’t care. Being happy makes everything easier… it spreads to everything I touch and everything I do. Even my work – tasks that might have seemed too challenging before don’t worry me now. When I’m happy, I’m more confident, and when I’m more confident, I’m positive about everything.

I hope this lasts.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Recovery, Relationships | 6 Comments

Josh and Aishah yesterday (21 June 2018)

Megan and Aishah are with us again. I can’t say if they are visiting or if this is more permanent, because reasons… As far as Josh knows, this is a visit, but let’s see how things work out. They arrived at 2PM yesterday afternoon, which was in time for Megan to attend the school’s parent/teacher meeting for this term with me. And Josh passed the term.

My phone is a piece of shit, so these photos are bad quality, but it’s all I have so far…

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Recovery, Relationships | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Facebook jail is all too common now.

Again, I don’t have much to write. But there is one thing that I keep seeing… Friends returning after a stint in “Facebook jail”.

In almost every case, it is the same: They didn’t post anything that could be contrived to be hate speech, or nudity, or whatever they were reported for, not by any stretch of the imagination. Normally it’s activists who have pointed out hate speech or injustice or some other kind of abuse.

People like conservative Christian homophobic queen and child beater, the activist mommy, get to continue posting their vile hatred with impunity. It’s baffling.

Yet people who point out the hatred, as well as rape culture, fragile masculinity, racism, and misogyny, get reported and banned. Facebook’s algorithms to determine when to take reporting seriously seems to work best when their reporting features are manipulated by exactly those whose views should be shut down. Whether or not anyone’s views should be shut down is a matter of opinion, of course, but in any case, if any should be punished, it is those people who are doing the reporting.

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged | 6 Comments

A silly lie that’s caught up with me so I’m forced to repeat it.

Still suffering my writer’s block here, and the more serious post that I have in mind will take a lot of effort, so I’ll leave you with this instead…

Back when I cleaned up, I knew somehow that sobriety was for keeps, but felt embarrassed admitting that I’d only just cleaned up. So to make things easier, I lied. Instead of saying “I’m three days clean” or “two months” or whatever, I said “I am one year clean”, even from day one. I figured (and quite rightly so) that people would have more confidence in me if I tacked some time on, because people tend to be skeptical of addicts in early recovery. (Quite rightly so too, generally. Me knowing that sobriety would “stick” meant nothing to anyone whose trust I had lost. So the solution was to tell a lie. No irony here… move along.) I also didn’t want to hear all the inevitable platitudes of positivity, like, “You can do it”, “Stay strong” and so on. And it worked!

Then, when I really reached one year clean, I simply switched to telling the truth. Something like, “By the way, I’m not really two years clean. It’s actually only one year now because I lied a year ago.”

Nobody cared about the lie and everything worked out. I must admit though, I was hesitant to admit the lie. I thought that people might wonder about my then current sobriety when I admitted to lying for a whole year. But nobody did.

Yet there is one strange way the lie caught up with me. At about one or two months clean, I took out an insurance policy. But I told the lie about my clean time to my financial adviser. (That was when we met.) I have since revealed the truth to him. However, since I chose to be truthful about having a drug history, it not only resulted in loaded premiums, it also meant that the date I stopped using was recorded on my policy, but the false date as per my lie at the time. So now every time I take out a new policy, I have to repeat the lie. I opened a new policy in the last few days, because the one I already have is seeded to the bank for my home loan and that won’t do my son any good if anything happens to me. But even though the adviser knows the truth, he still insists that the date I write on the application is 2012. So according to my insurance policies, I am six years clean. It’s weird. (They just have the year, as 2012. Actual date is September 2013, so I’ll be five years clean in September.)


Aside… This also reminds me that a good indicator that an addict is lying about being clean is when they can’t give you a clear date for their clean-up. For example, putting it down to the year alone sounds dodgy.

I don’t actually remember the exact date that I cleaned up, because I was terribly wasted the day I stopped using. I know it was a Thursday, either near the end of August or the beginning of September. And I know that it was the day Megan (my ex) came back with her daughter who was three months old. Looking at calendars for 2013, it was most probably August 29th, but I choose to use September 1st because of my uncertainty. It’s close enough anyway, and it’s probably better to err a few days late than a few early. Celebrating my clean time at the start of a new month works well for me.

Posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery | 2 Comments

Gateway drugs may not be a thing, but gateway messages are!

Seriously, this must be one of my most popular statuses ever.
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Really though, from now on everybody who sends me a “hello” or “hi” or “hii” gets blocked immediately. I have never received such a message on Facebook that wasn’t from a scammer or bot who I added by mistake. Actual friends and even people who hardly know me at least add some sort of context to the message.

And if anyone is interested, the twat who messaged me this morning was a man whose profile indicates he claims to run an orphanage in Uganda. Just like the other ten people last year who messaged me asking for money for orphanages in Uganda. (None of those orphanages actually exist, and some of them even use the same photos on their Facebook profiles.)

Edit… I see this status, also from today, is doing even better. I’m on a roll…
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Posted in Humour | Tagged | 2 Comments

What would you like me to write about?

Commenter James suggested on the About page comments that while I might know more about meth, I am holding back. He might have a point.

I write about whatever is on my mind, and lately, the subject of meth and addiction just isn’t there. It’s not like I’ve forgotten, but those memories aren’t fresh any more. The reality of living with addiction every day is something I have to concentrate to remember. In some ways, it seems unreal now. I suppose that is to be expected, because in just under three months time, I’ll hit my five years clean milestone.

The last couple of times I wrote about meth and addiction were inspired by my looking through the search strings that brought readers here. Of course many of them will thus relate to already written posts, such as… that post about meth voices and how they start which will never go away, and the comment section there has taken on a life of its own. But sometimes the search strings do ask interesting questions that trigger memories for me.

So, if there is anything about meth and addiction, or living with addiction, that you’d like to know, feel free to suggest it in the comments, and I’ll try my best address whatever it might be.

Actually I’m going through something of a writer’s block at the moment too… I have this draft that’s been hanging around since last week, that just doesn’t feel finished. Not about meth or addiction or even skepticism, but about race… A friend asked on a popular local atheists group if other (black people because she is black) prefer being called a person of colour, or black, and she hates being called a POC. So I thought I’d tackle the issue of race. Race, racism, class distinctions which are often still attached to race, and white privilege are complex issues here in South Africa, and I’m unhappy with the post as written. Don’t know if I’ll ever publish it. But regardless, feel free to suggest what you’d like to read from me and I’ll try to get it done.

Posted in General, Writing | Tagged | 6 Comments