Not everybody knows what the crop circles are.

I’ve learned a bit about executive function since joining Autistic Twitter.  I just read my Pocket Sister’s blog describing her adventures with this challenging quirk.  It involves a phenomenon familiar to neurodiverse humans.  The executive function primarily entails the mental ability to manage time and focus.  Mine is spotty at best.  I find the most frustrating aspect to be losing words.  It nullifies my vocabulary acquired from spending so much time reading novels.  It complicates my ability to communicate with others.

Imagine trying to successfully express a complex concept using only the words contained in a nursery rhyme.  That’s as close as I can describe what it feels like to communicate with most other people.  The words I can consistently recall in real time when anxious are the words I had learned by rote before comprehension was a factor.  When I speak of being on auto-pilot, it could also be described as functioning by rote.  It’s my recovery mode.  It’s what happens automatically whenever I’m outside my home, and my anxiety gets triggered.  I suspect I spend more time on auto-pilot than not.

Anxiety is the bane of my social existence.  The worst part; it’s justified based on my history of socializing with others.  It’s absolutely the logical way to feel when attempting something I’ve failed at so many times.  I’m human, and we all need social contact with other people to some degree.  It’s a need I’ve tried to eradicate before, (always striving for efficiency.)  I couldn’t pull it off.  Instead, I just keep trying.  I stopped keeping track of how many times I’ve fucked it up.  It was discouraging.  I’m not seeking fame or popularity, (I couldn’t type that without laughing at the thought.)  I just need enough socialization to prevent my becoming too weird.

By too weird, I mean the way all humans change when isolated from other people.  We start talking to ourselves, and to inanimate objects (Wilson!!!).  When we do finally encounter another person, we tend to overshare overlong.  There’s more, but you get the picture.  I’m trying to socialize with other humans enough to prevent losing the ability.  It’s absolutely a Use it or Lose it skill.  So I put up with feeling anxious and inarticulate.  I’ve gotten used to needing a paragraph to express a sentence.  It’s hard because I value conciseness.  I find it easier to write than speak.  By quite a bit.  I just haven’t been able to convince those in my world to restrict their communications to text or email.

I’m working on a virtual presence device.  My first obstacle is designing one that won’t result in theft, vandalism, teasing, etc.  It’s a fun project, and I intend to use it often once completed.  As long as there is tech, I’ll find a way to fit my square peg in this round-holed planet, and I’ll have fun in the process.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

It actually started with George and his mother.

I had an off day.  It’s still positive, though.  I recently followed an autistic activist who has since blown my mind with helpful information.  I’ve seen their posts in the past, but sporadically.  I thought I was already following them, but after I messed around building an app to help manage my account, I’ve experienced some uh… unanticipated features.  On my lifelong quest to avoid being an asshole, I’ve met people who greatly contribute to my efforts.  I adore humans who help me be a better person through their example, information or both.

I got my notification postcard indicating I’m an official member of the Democratic party.  (I was an Independent before.)  I held it up while facing east and presenting finger to 45.  (It was a moral imperative.)  Did you see his budget proposal?  Are you fucking kidding me?  I don’t think it will pass.  I’d like to take a moment to gently remind Congress what humans do when they have nothing to lose:  They fight back like their lives depend on it.  People who aren’t directly affected by the proposed greed often fight beside them, or on their behalf.  Love wins, life wins.  Eugenics is the epitome of unethical concepts.

The GOP is going after the most vulnerable Americans because they’re vulnerable.  The Republican party wants to punish them for existing.  They want to damn the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly for being poor, sick, disabled, and elderly.  They don’t want to stop there.  They also want to increase the number of Americans who live in poverty.  The proposed budget documents the GOP’s callousness and greed.  They pretend to want smaller government, but in reality, they want the government to stop holding corporations accountable for breaking laws.  They want the laws removed so they can rape the planet without getting fined.  Fuck the Koch brothers and the rest of the small nations posing as citizens.  I hope they all die in a fire. (Agnostic atheist for go to hell.)

Fortunately, even if they don’t die in the manner I’ve suggested, they’ll still die.  They can’t buy a new body (yet).  In twenty years, most of these evil men will be dead.  Good riddance to anyone who values wealth over life.  Too bad we can’t vote them off the planet.  It would certainly be logical.

 

Cosmo Kramer. You ARE the Assman.

I had a productive day.  I’ve been overwhelmed for the past week or so.  Obligations with flexible due dates taunt me with temptations of procrastinating.  Instead, I took care of some early.  I’m just waiting for the relief to kick in.  I’m getting excited about my upcoming vacation.  The hardest part for me is exiting the airport.  I’m bringing my noise canceling headphones, which will help.  It reminds me of the obstacle courses in basic training.  I feel the same urgency, hyper-alertness, and potential peril until I’m back outside.

I still have a few things to catch up with.  I’m talking myself through an incident earlier in which I accidentally dropped my Kindle Paperwhite from my balcony.  I was well into The Witching Hour by Ann Rice.  I can still read it on a computer or tablet, but it’s not the same.  Fortunately, I didn’t get the flagship Kindle model which is ridiculously overpriced.  I ordered another one, it’ll be here next week.  It’s not a devastating event.  I can go a few days without reading and not expire.  (My feelings are getting on my nerves.)

I don’t know why my hands stop working spontaneously at times.  I have a recurring nightmare where it happens in slow motion while I’m holding an infant.  I’ve always been this way.  It’s frustrating.  I compensate by using pockets, backpacks, and I have a wheeled cart I use for packages and groceries, etc.  I use the rubber bumper cases meant for children on my tablets and phones.  Otherwise, there would be no point in owning them.  Sadly, it wasn’t enough protection this time.  I think my brain forgot to continue holding it because I was so absorbed in the story.  Sigh.

Damn.  Now I have to do something I didn’t have planned.  I would very much like to continue describing how utterly stuck I am, but instead, I’m going for a run.  It’s my quickest reset button.

I think it moved.

Today was a good day.  I got so much done, but I’m having a hard time exiting hyper mode.  I’m rocking in my recliner as I type this, and it’s helping.  My new TV arrived from MassDrop two weeks earlier than estimated.  It’s amazing (now that I’ve calibrated it.)  I booked a 3-day hiking trip in Colorado for my vacation.  I can’t wait!  I love Colorado.  (I’m just not ready to move.)  I don’t stress over it anymore.  I know where I live doesn’t matter.  Only how I live.

I discovered I did a lousy job setting up my drum kit.  I’ve never owned an acoustic kit.  In fact, I only know one person who will even let me touch their setup.  He’s a rock star without a band.  He can sing, play drums, and play lead guitar.  He looks like a cross between John Cougar Mellencamp and Justin Beiber, (gorgeous).  He’s married with two kids, so he doesn’t get to jam very often.  I wrestled the rack until I got the boom arms out of the tubes and extended them like a drummer who knows what the fuck they’re doing.  It made positioning the cymbals and hi-hat so much easier.  This could all have been prevented by including instructions.  Just saying.

I don’t mind learning by trial and error, but I’m practically a walking bruise right now.  My arms and legs are covered in them.  I can’t remember the last time I had this many at the same time.  I’m sporting leopard skin this week.  I saw someone called out for misusing the word comfort on Twitter.  My stomach sank as I grasped how much of an asshole I am for using the same word and context in a previous post.  It was insensitive to people with chronic pain as well as other conditions.  I didn’t think it through sufficiently.  I regret it.  If I made anyone feel like shit, I’m so sorry.

I have to think about it more.  I don’t delete past posts where I make an utter fool of myself, put my foot in my mouth, or show off my ignorance.  My ego doesn’t like this policy, but I leave them because as much as it hurts to remember, it also reminds me I’m growing and becoming a better person than I was yesterday.  I’m off to continue reading The Witching Hour by Ann Rice.

The busboy’s coming!

I had a good day.  My shrink left me a message stating he sent me a 90-day refill of Prozac.  Yay!  I talked to my former section leader from my first permanent duty station in the Army.  She’s the first female leader I ever met.  My part of the conversation entailed explaining my decision to quit the VA.  The rest was her giving a brilliant lecture on common sense, followed by a few compliments to my intellect, chased further by utter disbelief in how one can be so smart and (ignorant) at the same time.

It made me sweat a little while Skyping.  I could easily stand before 45 and elaborately flip him the bird with a goofy grin on my face.  I couldn’t stand in front of my former SFC (Sergeant First Class) and do anything I knew was wrong, rude, or improper in any way.  I understand it, but not fully.  It’s based on respect, but it’s a particular type.  It’s bestowed with confidence, a bit of awe, and incredible loyalty.  Suffice to say, I’m not quitting the VA.  Instead, I’m going to make it safer for me to get care.  I purchased a handheld voice recorder.  I’ll bring it with me and use it when necessary.

I’m fairly sure once it’s seen the grapevine will spread the word, and I won’t need it any longer.  The vast majority of people who work there are not racists.  I only know of one and suspect another.  It pisses me off how just a few ignorant fucks can cause me so much grief.  My SFC reminded me of the POC wearing the uniform right now.  I don’t want any of them to have to put up with this shit when they return, especially if I can do something about it.  So I will.  I’m quite pleased about the refill.  I’d love to have my creativity restored, but avoiding severe episodes of depression is better.  No contest.

You have nothing better to do at 3 o’clock in the afternoon?

If everyone always agreed with me, I would be horrified silently.

I don’t believe in imaginary friends, like Safety and Security.

I won’t stand on your shoulders, but beside you in unity.

We must observe and witness carefully.

There’s a demon on an evil spree.

It’s going after the vulnerable, and free.

What will come will come, and be what be,

it will all be remembered in history.

 

Do you know how hard it’s getting to tell people I know you?

I’m having a decent day.  I made a big decision.  I’ve decided not to seek medical care in the future.  As a service connected, disabled veteran, I’m entitled to health care at the VA Medical Center.  I’m also still on the health plan for my software company. (I no longer work there, but I still own 50%.)  I’ve never used it.  In the past, I’ve gotten all my care at the VA.  I’m no longer willing to put myself through the experience.  I’m hoping this will make the nightmares stop.  At least the VA nightmares.  I’m confident it will work as I usually have them the night before an appointment, or if I’m having an episode of depression.

When depressed, my mind recalls every terrifying or soul crushing experience from my life and plays them back like a really fucked up movie.  Good times.  All my life I’ve bent over backward to avoid stepping on others.  It’s my default, and so it shall remain.  I know I’m naive.  I don’t see it changing at this point.  I acquire more information, but my mind still processes thoughts from a compassionate viewpoint.  I value life.  It hurts to care.  But pain is the only negative consequence I’ve discovered.

Seeking medical care is a nightmare for me, every single time.  It’s illogical to subject myself to trauma when I have a choice.  I’m tired of the astonishing ignorance of some medical professionals, who in 2017, still believe African Americans don’t experience pain as strongly as Caucasians.  It taught me how to cope with physical pain intense enough to render me semi-conscious.  It taught me to be wary.  It taught me never to rely on medication I can’t purchase at a convenience store.  It proved my military service doesn’t count because I have a vagina and brown skin.  I’m no longer willing to enter such a hostile environment.

I realize I’m shortening my lifespan by this decision.  I have a week of medication remaining, both for depression and hypertension.  Eight days, to be exact.  Prozac has a long half-life.  It will stay in my system for a while, but as my body transitions, I’ll have the random brain zaps from quitting cold turkey.  Honestly, when I consider how long I’ve taken it, that’s getting off incredibly easy.  I know you’re not supposed to quit a beta blocker cold turkey, but oh well.  My body can handle it.  I’ve had hypertension since I was a child.  I sincerely believe it’s a physiological reaction to my environment.  It’s like White Coat Syndrome on steroids.  When I’m running, my blood pressure is lower than when I’m walking into the VA.  I eventually refused to have my blood pressure checked at the VA.  It’s like checking for a fever while in a sauna.

The positive changes will include a return to writing poetry and songs.  Prozac stifles creativity in a noticeable way.  It’s probably why a lot of famous artists and writers die from suicide.  The tortured artist is such an accurate term.  Creativity has a cost and usually exacts its toll in tears.  I entered a poetry contest when I was a Private (PFC) in the Army.  It was the first and last contest I entered.  I won first prize, and it deeply disappointed me.  It wasn’t my best poem, just my latest when I entered.  It wasn’t very good.  For it to get first place depressed the shit out of me.  My Commander was excited I won, and I was in The Army Times, and the newspaper at home.  I didn’t go to the ceremony in D.C.  I stopped writing altogether for a few years.

While on Prozac, it’s rare I’m inspired to write a poem.  I’m looking forward to being a tortured artist again.  At least it’s the type of torture I can endure.  I’m getting ready to go on vacation.  I’m in the planning stage (which usually lasts as long as the vacation.)  I probably enjoy the planning more than the vacation most times, but I’m aiming to have a lot of fun this time.  Off to the whiteboard.

So he’s Bizarro Jerry.

I took some photos of my drum kit (and more.)  This is the visual reference for my previous post.  I decorate my home with things that inspire me, amuse me, and make me feel comfortable being myself.  Aside from family and maintenance, very few people are invited into my space.  But you can see lousy photos instead!  Yay!  I’ve been purging my excess possessions in phases, but the following images will prove I need to keep working on it.  It’s probably odd I feel sharing photos of my home is an intimate glimpse into my me-ness.  Think of it as a hug.

 

My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.

I feel like I could go back to bed and sleep for hours.  I did sleep last night, but it wasn’t good sleep.  I lay down unusually early (around midnight).  I awoke at 3:42 AM, to see how much time I had before my cat got hungry.  I decided it wasn’t enough time to bother going back to sleep.  Soon after, Amelia Bedelia came tearing into the room at top speed.  She has a new trick where she stands beside me, leans over, and without bending her legs, plops on top of me like I’m her personal ball pit.  Upon impact, she makes a high pitched little grunt sound, then looks at me.  It cracks me up every time.

My new Yamaha 12″ textured silicon snare arrived yesterday.  It feels huge to me as my toms are 3 x 8″ and the 10″ pad I constructed.  I’m so in love with my drum kit now. (I know! I should totally marry it!)  I put the new snare on a PDP chrome snare stand I got from Musicians Friend.  It was the cheapest one from a familiar brand.  It’s too high, but I just raised my throne.  It pinched my fingers when I set it up.  It hurt so badly I couldn’t even swear at first, but it was just a flesh wound.  😂  The Yamaha DTX 502 drum module has training tools and built-in songs of various music genres.  The first time I tested my timing, I got a 62 out of 100.  Naturally, I continued testing until I got a 97, (ego sufficiently stroked.)

My issue is my hi-hat.  I’m having trouble positioning it correctly.   (I should suck it up and buy the proper hi-hat/pedal.)  I love the look and shape of the curved tubes, but adjusting them is difficult.  I put just my hi-hat and module on the left arm.  I’m researching a laptop mount.  My crash and ride are posts-mounted.  I should have gotten bigger cymbals.  I got all 10″ 3-zone cymbals.  They’ll do.  The rim trigger is spotty, though.  Fortunately, at my skill level, this matters not.  I still haven’t RTFM for the module.  Several reviews claimed you had to read it to set up non-Yamaha triggers.  (False.)

I did notice a few who said it was too complex and they returned it.  My Alesis dual trigger 8″ mesh toms were plug and play.  The mesh pad I constructed was plug and play as a single trigger pad.  I ordered a splitter to make it dual.  Yamaha is brilliant for selling this module at such an incredibly low price ($269).  The comparable Roland module costs double.  Both Yamaha and Roland use proprietary equipment, which irks me, but they also both justify it with excellence.  I discovered I can jump up to the next level Yamaha module for $599 (if I ever find it necessary, which is hard to imagine now.)

The price for the same American module (warranty) is $799.  If I buy it directly from Japan (no warranty), it’s $599.  I can’t read Japanese, but I don’t see myself reading the fucking manual anyway.  So 1980’s.  I just type my question into a browser and find all sorts of people who wondered the same thing on forums.  Some of whom RTFM.  Some individuals enjoy sharing this information online, and others enjoy reading it.  A good time for all and fewer dead trees.  (I know, but it sounds good.)

I sold my big ass TV on Craigslist.  It’s one of the perks of living in South Dakota.  Craigslist works better than eBay in smallish towns.  (You’re far less likely to get ripped off by someone when you can take umbrage in person, I suppose.)  I loved the TV; I just didn’t think ahead when I bought it four years ago.  I don’t like owning things I can’t move.  It was too big (55″).  I ordered a smaller (49″) replacement through MassDrop.  It’s a crowdsourcing site, which means I got a good deal, but it won’t arrive anytime soon.  They estimate shipping on May 29th.  Having ordered lots of quilting and mechanical keyboard supplies in the past, I estimate mid-June.  I propped a canvas of my artwork on the TV stand in the meantime.

I have a hard time watching movies on giant screens.  It’s overstimulating.  My 5.1 surround sound has triggered more than one panic attack, as well.  Hearing shit going on behind me when I’m home alone is not cool.  It’s rare I can tolerate things with suspense.  It bothers me how much media I have to avoid.  I love movies like Minority Report and The Matrix.  I would like to watch Gattaca right now.  I love so many films I rarely have the stamina to watch.  At least I’m okay with comedies and animation.  I think I’m going to watch My Neighbor Totoro.  I’ve been helping a friend unload her Uhaul and it’s hot outside.  I need to be still for a while so my body can figure out I’m not doing heavy labor anymore (before I start hurling.)  I’ll try photographing my kit later.  Just a reminder:  I suck at photography.  (Didn’t RTFM.)