Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sitting Positions

Recently, there was a feature in the Globe & Mail of renown cartoonist Kate Beaton in various reading poses.

Quite naturally, this reminded me of a similar comic I read with a similar outcome:

However, I can't quite categorize this as outright plagiarizaiton, since it's been over 20 years since it was published and likely to be forgotten, and Kate Beaton had the prominency to do a wide range of multiple poses within a free panel border.

I can identify with the shifting seating spots, since it doesn't take much to make me uncomfortable. I can't simply relax unless my stomach's pressing against the table, and my backrest is at a comfortable angle. Alternately, I feel relaxed when I lie flat down on the floor with a stack of papers to read. As long as I'm pressing firm against a solid object, I'm calm. Otherwise, I'm an emotional mess. I was thought of weird because I always carried my heavy backpack around with me in High School, never once bothering to put it down. The fact is, I liked feeling the pressure of the books along my spine. Carrying them gave me assurance that I had everything I needed and didn't have to double-back to my locker (which would've gotten broken in anyways) for supplies. I need to feel pressure on myself to put myself in a comfort zone. (The backpack also doubled as a shoulder rest while sitting on the bus)

For years, I thought the rough calluses on my knees were a natural phenomenon, until I was involved in a nasty fall and wound up scraping my knees as well as my front tooth. (to this day, my teeth are still slightly out of alignment, which drives me up the wall because I can no longer swallow food symmetrically) While I was peeling off the layers off my bloody joint, I was surprised when informed that knees were supposed to be smooth. Apparently my years of sitting on my knees for comfort wound up as a factor for my crusty skin covering. This was a hidden plus, since it meant that after the accident, I would have a clean knee, even if the other was still flaky.

Then a month or so later, my knees became rough again. My need to feel comfortable outweighed my need to look presentable. Go figure.

Likewise, I have some odd reading habits. For instance, I can only read certain books in certain areas. I prefer to read my comics in the bathroom where I can take my time and relieve myself at the same time. I've found that I can't pee properly unless I've got something handy to read on the toilet. Otherwise, I remain constipated. As for prose books, I save those for when I ride public transportation. I find the vibrations on the bus and train to be very soothing, and help me concentrate while focusing on the dull prose of the pages. When the vehicle stops, I'm in a state of agitation until it starts moving again. Traffic jams are a nightmare, since there's multiple starts and stops before I even get to my destination. Then there's the other danger - if I'm on a particularly comfortable seated spot in the shade, the rumblings can lull me to sleep. I've almost missed several stops that way.

This is why I don't want to apply for a driver's license. There's too many visual distractions along the way that demand my immediate attention, and there's a very real danger of road rage if I happen to miss my timing upon not catching the sweet spot of a consequentive run of green lights. Not to mention the constant trial of taking care of your car with cleaning it up, windshield wiper fluid, paying for gas, engine trouble, and any other dozens of repairs that'll eat up valuable traveling time. Better to leave all that undue stress to the bus driver who's more qualified to handle such distress.

Even so, I'm still annoyed that the fare hikes keep increasing every year. I'm aware that the transportation funds are still absymally low compared to other cities, but it's beginning to gnaw at me.

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