“I have another complaint for Jim’s permanent file.”

decorative toys and stuffies

I had a fun Halloween.  I dressed up as a sloth and passed out candy very slowly to trick-or-treaters.  I suspect some of the kids didn’t recognize I was role-playing and thought I was just old.  Heh.  (A few got impatient and went to another apartment, then returned when I broke character after noticing it only amused me.)  The kids were loud, excited, and adorable.  I liked having their energy breeze through.

I couldn’t figure out how to take a selfie while masked.  🤪  M invited me to join him at a party, but the theme included the word haunted or horror.  We both started laughing after he asked.  I’ve never been wired to appreciate the thrill of being scared.  Epigenetics, yo.  I’m a wee bit jealous of the people who can participate in such things (without crying.) I have my Blu-rays of Us and Get Out that I won’t be watching, ever. (I bought them to support Jordan Peele.)

I haven’t even watched American Horror Story, and Stevie Nicks is in it. (!!!) (M said that alone proves it’s epigenetics.)  😂  My mind is running all over the place.  I’m officially a Lizzo fan.  I loved her immediately.  I find out about new-to-me artists from my favorite podcasts lately.  My introduction to American Griots, by Louis York, was terrific.  They performed a song on The Friend Zone podcast, and it was ear candy.  I preordered the album immediately after.  (It’s so good!)

neon sign stating, it was all a dream

XD, from Jade and XD, created a unisex fragrance, called, D’Leau.  I ordered some, and in the process, created two scents of my own.  Both M and I are in love with D’Leau.  It’s officially my favorite at this time.  However, the ones I created reek.  (It turns out; I suck at it.) Fortunately, I don’t care because I have D’Leau.  😆  I’ve had two people ask me about it so far (and you know I don’t get out much.)  😂

It’s World of Warcraft’s 15th anniversary.  I’ve been playing on and off for eleven years now.  I have no plans of quitting, although I did have an unfortunate incident the other day. I was soloing a dungeon from The Burning Crusade, and some toon assassin appeared from thin air behind me.  It scared the shit out of me, and I nearly had a panic attack.  I took a three-day break, then got right back in there and reran it, this time on the heroic setting.

It still startled me when I triggered the assassin again, but I didn’t panic.  I just stood there and let the bastard try to kill my toon until I got bored, then ended him with nonchalance.  (I’m a level 110 tank, and he was level 80 or something.)  I’m so glad Blizzard allows us to travel back to lower level areas to exact revenge.  I don’t do it often, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis I usually have a blast.  I’m going to upgrade because they’re releasing a new expansion next year.  It’ll probably take me that long to reach level 120.  Heh.  I’m off to play.  💜✌🏽

p.s.  Missy Elliot was on The Read TV show on Fuse!!!

“Did you know your ID says you’re a security threat?”

mural of two human heads

I need to get this out of my head (before I forget.)  Forgive me if what I’m about to share upsets.  I spent years of my life overcoming an irrational fear of men.  (It resulted from being raped by a male soldier while serving in the Army.) It also (weirdly) led to me becoming a super-soldier for a year.  Then reality caught up to me.  I’m still in awe of what I accomplished during that year.  (Even though being a human-robot is often synonymous with being an excellent soldier.) 🤭

Suddenly, all men became predators who would hurt me if I ever let my guard down.  I was too ready to burst into a tornado of violence or flee like the wind at the first hint of danger.  People who typically would have been like brothers made me tremble if they merely noticed me.  I could reason that my feelings were ridic intellectually, but it did not affect my fear.  Worse, I didn’t realize I was physically reacting to the men I encountered as if I was steeling myself for an inevitable attack.  Eventually, I figured out why men kept giving me the stink eye.  They were offended (and rightly so.)

I had to train myself to stop, and it took time.  It was horrible to be terrified of nearly half the world while knowing it was due to the actions of one.  I hate being irrational against my will.  Thank you, dear universe, for gay men (who were immune.)  It helped tremendously to spend time with them and allow myself space to reclaim my sense of safety.  Eventually, I stopped behaving like I was anticipating ambush all the time.  (It was exhausting.)

eerie person running from the light in the woods

Also, thinking that way made me incredibly paranoid.  At one point, I had to pause life and figure out how to stop negotiating the world like a win-or-die game of chess (that only I was playing.)  I even created a crappy video game to encourage myself, instead, to anticipate joy whenever I entered a room or went around a corner.  The graphics were so poor they were funny.  (Parody is a fabulous copyright loophole when creating while depressed.  Especially for people ((like me)) who love comedy but lack the gift.) 🤫

I was seriously worried I was losing my grip on reality, though.  Then I realized I was imagining the worst-case scenario and behaving as if it were the reality (like there was a prize), followed by wondering why I was sofa king anxious.  🤪  Eminem had a positive influence on my reclaiming safety among men.  So did Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter.  From there, I was able to pinpoint what about them was helping me heal.  It turned out to be their willingness to be vulnerable publicly as a man.

The more instances of witnessing men sharing their feelings and perspective, the more I healed.  (Hello, Will Smith obsession.) 🥰  But the man who had the most significant healing effect by far is Chaz Bono.  The documentary, Becoming Chaz, helped me to understand important distinctions between men and women from both perspectives. It helped that it was from a source I valued since childhood (when allowed to watch Sonny and Cher only when their kids were on.)  The information presented in the doc is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Hopefully, what I learned can help provide a healing shortcut for others who struggle with something similar.  💜✌🏽

“City so nice, they named it twice. The other name is Manhattan.”

laughing child

I’ve noticed comedians keep me from becoming too extreme in my views.  They generally do it by making me laugh at myself and recognize I can’t even see the middle from there.  I don’t suffer public shame as a result and can grow promptly.  Thanks, comedically adept people of earth.  Laughter is one of the best gifts in the world.  It’s up there with life.  💜

I’m officially an audiobook only person, now.  Dear authors, if you want me to read your books, make sure they’re available on Audible.  Otherwise, I won’t be reading them.  Audiobook listening is more intense than reading written words.  I get far more from the story in a much shorter amount of time.  I’m auditory oriented, so I’m extra excited about this.  Listening to a story reaches me more effectively because I’m not using part of my brain to translate symbols.

I’ve been processing information auditorily since birth.  Reading came later, and it takes me longer because I’m controlling the pace, and I pause to think about unrelated shit to distraction.  It’s natural for me to remain focused when listening to a story because I’ve been training for this my whole life.  I love that I can do it anywhere, (and now my Echo is more than a sleep noise generator and listening post for Alexa.  ((I’m too non-verbal to worry about training it beyond what’s already out there.))

laughing adult

Whew!  I almost got off on an AI tangent guaranteed to make your eyes glaze over.  My new favorite saying is, read the room.  I think I first heard it on Grace and Frankie.  I was unaware such a concept existed before hearing it, so imagine my level of obsession.  (It reminds me of stretching my superpower to encompass and protect a group of allies like in The Twilight Saga.)  I like long epic sagas, and I read several annually.  I’m going to save years by only using Audible.  I’m so thrilled I don’t care that Amazon isn’t paying me to gush over Audible.

The only must-read book I’m not going to reread as an audiobook is Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  That book put me in the head of someone else on a level so visceral it left a scar.  I would not like to experience a more intense version.  Heh.  I ordered some new coloring books so M and I can color while we listen together.  We’re going to listen to the Harry Potter series this winter.  (He’ll pick next.)

As a writer, I’m even more excited.  I already know who I want to read my books.  (They’re all podcasters.)  It’s made writing more fun.  It’s allowing me to read the room as I write, because I can hear the words in my mind, now.  Or something.  I hope all the people with Dyslexia and other issues that make reading less than fun have access to this medium because it’s fabulous.  It’s a sweet spot for me because movies so easily overwhelm; (my mind also uses a different operating system than typical.) Yay.  💜✌🏽

“Pam, I’m public speaking. Stop public interrupting me.”

new magnet

I had a good week.  I don’t think I cried the whole time.  (Probably a record.)  I did smash my fingers in the sliding doors, but I’m fine now.  I’ve been cautious about closing it ever since.  Before this, I cleaned the track and put WD-40 on it, but my muscle memory didn’t get the memo.  It was crawling around on the floor, making up new swear words, painful, but it didn’t leave a mark the next day.  (Based on the pain, it seems like a finger should have fallen off or something, but I’m not complaining.)

I got a new vacuum cleaner, recently.  It’s so much better than the last one I killed; I enjoy using it.  (Shark Navigator DLX.)  I think it might survive at least a year, which is impressive for a home with a cat.  Amelia B is a fur factory.  I didn’t know I was a cat person until I got one.  (In fact, I was quite convinced I was not a cat person.) I’ve decided it’s because my cat thinks she’s a dog.  (She’s great at fetch except for bringing it ba  nm.)

I loved listening to Loren Bouchard on 3 Questions with Andy Richter podcast this week.  I’m even more a fan now that I’ve heard him share his passion for his craft.  He’s fascinating and did an excellent job of answering the questions and expounding on them.  I watched the first few episodes of Home Movies again recently on the Adult Swim app.  I also love Bob’s Burgers, and Lucy, Daughter of the Devil.

Solange and new Funkos

For a long time, I could only watch animation or anime TV shows.  Anything with suspense, graphic violence, sirens, etc. was too triggering, but I was okay with shows like King of the Hill, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Boondocks, etc.  Adult Swim and The Cartoon Network helped me get through some tough times and lots of insomnia.  Loren Bouchard mentioned it’s because cartoons enter our brains differently than live-action.

It explains why I can play World of Warcraft, but don’t enjoy hyper-realistic, violent games.  I love Blizzard for creating a playful world where I can feel powerful without harming others, or go fishing or fly around looking at the scenery.  When I struggle in an area of the game, I go back when I’m several levels higher and lay waste like Daenerys Targaryan over King’s Landing.  (Harmless retribution feels fabulous when the monsters that used to kill your toon die from a single blow.)

I discovered listening to audiobooks is perfect for me.  I cleaned my apartment yesterday while listening to a new novel, and realized it was even more satisfying than reading.  I don’t have to worry about staying in a weird position for too long while engrossed anymore.  Yay.  (It will also be useful when depression overwhelms, and I can’t hold my head up long enough to read.)

Funkos

I figured out the camera flash, this time.  🤭 I followed The Office Ladies podcast, of course.  I love podcasts that talk about TV shows with which I’m obsessed (InsecuriTea podcast for insecure and Jade and XD for several shows.)  I’m thrilled I’m able to watch live-action TV shows again, but more so when I can listen to people also invested in the story discuss what took place.  (Geekster paradise.)  I’m off to wind down for the day.  ✌🏽💜

 

Conference Room, five minutes.

computer workstation

So, the Fall lasted a week.  The Littlest Blizzard* is melting, and it’s warmed up to 39 F.  I wasn’t ready for winter.  I think everyone has Seasonal Affective Disorder, (making its status as a disorder questionable.)  They make up shit to sell more drugs.

Conditioning advert:  Are the cold, dark, dreary days making you depressed?

Everyone alive:  Duh!

CA:  You need more drugs.

I’ve been busy setting up my apartment in preparation for the inevitable depression hibernation season.  I’m better at recognizing the earliest signs of depression seeping in.  Irritability over silly shit?  Check.  Also, my body is continuously sliding back into survival mode for no apparent reason.  (I’m more conscious of my physical self these days.)  I have (full length) mirrored closet doors in my apartment.  I glance at myself sometimes, and I look like I’m making random gang signs while walking on an uneven surface after someone poured ice down my back.  Fat-the-whuck?

The worst part is, I strongly suspect I’ve been walking around like this for years.  It feels too natural to be a once in a while thing.  Why does my body think I’m a west coast gang member cringe-walking during an earthquake?  Do I do this in public?  I’m going with no because nobody has said anything.  I mean.  If I saw someone walking like that in Sioux Falls, would I say something?  Damn.  (I’m probably on YouTube against my will.)  Sigh.  I’m going to add music to my relaxation routine.  I’ll play F.U.B.U., by Solange, while I breathe in my Embodiment Oil.  And use the massager to force my body to stop (doing shit that can get me killed in California.)

Gaming station
(Sorry for the crappy photos without a flash or turning on a lamp.)

Hopefully, it’ll take this time.  Maybe I should watch the screen saver on my AppleTV 4k, too.  May as well hit all the senses while I’m at it.  With the latest update, the screen saver got a lot better.  (I’m still debating whether it’s live footage shot at a low frame rate or CGI.)  Either way, I enjoy it.  I pause The Office whenever I get up to do something, which is every few minutes.  I should add hyperactivity to my list of warning signs.  And insomnia.  (You wouldn’t believe the shit I thought up to worry about last night.  Alien related.)

I’ve set up all my abandoned monitors and HDTVs as computer workstations or console gaming stations.  (I don’t have Craigslist energy.) Between gaming, TV, and synthesizers, I don’t anticipate needing the heat much.  Last week kicked my ass.  My apartment complex was doing winter preparations, such as having the carpets cleaned in the common areas of all the buildings.  Unfortunately, this meant the insanely loud droning of the carpet cleaner truck for 3-5 hours every morning starting at 8.

It was inescapable.  My noise-canceling headphones didn’t help much.  On top of that, the driveway leading to underground parking was under construction.  At first, they said to remove our cars by Wednesday morning if we wanted to use them during construction.  Then we got an email on Tuesday morning, informing us we had an hour to move them, or too bad.  I was in the shower, preparing for my dental appointment.  When I emerged and saw the email, time was up.  And the droning of the carpet cleaning truck was still wailing and echoing off the other buildings.

Gaming station 2

I managed to text a friend before melting, but barely.  (The power of a friend acknowledging your situation sucks ass is surprisingly helpful in coping.)  Just as I was beginning to visualize strangling the (innocently by-standing) carpet cleaner, the droning ceased.  I messaged the dental clinic to let them know I was trapped.  Then I committed to winning surviving this epic battle against berating myself for missing the appointment again.  Sigh.  I lost a leg in an ambush this morning, but it’ll grow back.  (Mental limbs heal faster with/post-therapy.)

I’m leaning heavily on comedians at this time.  The Office is streaming now.  I watched The Read Late Night on Fuse (via app) three times so far.  My face hurt from laughing.  (The sign-off had me on the floor.)  I love everything about it.  I listened to Dana Carvey on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast.  Dana Carvey and Conan are now, The Comedians Who Made Me Pull an Abdominal Muscle From Laughing.  (It just occurred to me my comedy titles might not be as flattering as intended.)

I wrote the names of all the comedians who have made me belly laugh on my whiteboard.  I keep adding more while gangsta-crawking (it’s a word now) past.  Each name evokes happy memories from different periods of my life.  I still remember the awe at being allowed to watch a rated R movie (The Jerk) and understanding the humor.  I used to randomly call my sister, Heather, and say, I was born a poor black chile, then hang up to the sound of her laughing.  We scream-laughed when we first heard Steve Martin say it.

I haven’t been able to read much of late because I’m too hyper, and my mind won’t cooperate.  It alarms me as reading is fundamental.  Heh.  I’m going to switch to audiobooks and see if it helps.  Oofda, it’s going to be a long winter.  At least I have everything I can control tilted in my favor.  I’m going to get through this winter without being the Depression Monsters bitch.  I got this.  I’m off to watch Deon Cole’s Cole Hearted on Netflix.  (I love him.)  ✌🏽💜

 

*Thanks, Narcoleptic Aspie.