“I’m the valet. You have to give me your car.”

person in bunny suit sitting on a bench

I’ve been reading (audio) books by actors of late.  It started with How to American:  An Immigrants Guide to Disappointing Your Parents, by Jimmy O. Yang.  It was so good I finished in two days.  (I laughed so hard, I don’t recommend listening in public.)  It made me fall in love with America all over again.  If you don’t read it, I feel sorry for you.  Next, I listened to The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, by Jenna Fischer.  I loved it.

I have no plans of becoming an actor, but she mentioned it on the Office Ladies podcast, and it sounded like useful information regardless.  It turned out to be fascinating.  I learned a lot, and it led to thoughts about defining success, how to recognize it, gather it, and how to continue growing despite it.  Since it means something different to each person, I think Jenna Fischer did a brilliant job of conveying her journey in a manner easily translated to alternate paths.

I loved hearing it in her voice, too.  The authors narrate these books, (and when the reader is an actor, it’s excellent.)  I mean.  Duh.  They’re professional storytellers.  Damn.  I just typed the obvious.  I laughed a lot with this book, too.  (I should probably make a rule about listening to podcasts and audiobooks by funny people in public.)  I’m currently more than halfway through reading The Bassoon King:  Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room, by Rainn Wilson.

making shadows

I like Rainn Wilson even more than Dwight Schrute.  I saw him on Mom recently playing a therapist.  He was great in that, too.  After reading about how these actors struggled when building their careers, I remember a moment of feeling retro alarmed.  In all three books, they emphasized the significance of seeking out opportunities in areas that correspond to your strengths.  I thought back to when I joined the Army, and how I chose my MOS (military occupational specialty.)

Before joining, everyone takes the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test.  It’s a tool you can use to help choose your job.  I scored well overall, so I picked a job that would help me improve in the area I scored lowest, not a job that required skills I already possessed.  To me, it was the most obvious thing in the world.  And I just found out it’s probably the opposite of what most would decide.  Whoops.

Fortunately, I got to learn some amazing stuff I had no idea even existed.  I also got to help pioneer a new job opened for women in the Army (my ego still appreciates that bit.)  Unfortunately, I loved the training and theory but felt no passion for the job, which mattered because it led to my getting into shenanigans with tearful consequences out of boredom.  So I went back to training and did it again.

cliche fake nose glasses

The second area entailed nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare training.  (sings, hated it.)  I decided if there’s ever a nuclear explosion, to run toward the flash.  I don’t even want to talk about the other two.  Guess what?  I went back and trained again.  They called me The Educated Soldier at one point because I was continually going on TDY for school.  It did help me figure out I was destined to be a chairborne warrior, though.  Anything with a computer was my eventual specialty.  Heh.

I don’t regret taking the scenic route. Skill-building does lovely things for my self-esteem.  I love being more capable than people expect.  I think one of the coolest things I learned is there are all sorts of ways to be intelligent, and most of them don’t include what they claimed in classrooms as kids.  I met soldiers who could talk to engines the way I talk to computers.  They awed me; (aside from that time, they sent me out to fill all the tires on the tracked vehicles.)  I’m off to continue my book.  💜✌🏽

“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.  💜✌🏽

” It has come to my attention that some people here think that the use of drugs is something to laugh about.”

This video is for a short story by Andy Weir (The Martian and Artemis.)  It’s been on my mind since I first viewed it.  It aligns with my beliefs but goes beyond where I stopped imagining.  (When I realized I couldn’t find out what happens after death without dying, my interest plummeted.)  Andy Weir has a fabulous imagination.

I have a more organized understanding of why I view others as I do, now.  My transition to full auntie has surprised me in some ways.  I thought I would suddenly become a little cranky and say shit like, get off my lawn, (even though I don’t have one.)  I was looking forward to having no more damns to give.  I was wrong.

It’s the opposite.  It’s no longer possible for people younger than me to irk me.  When they make mistakes, my reaction varies from an inner chuckle over the memory of when I made the same mistake, to me cheering for them for taking a risk and making that mistake.  It’s weird and fun.

sky gazing

Just the other day, I saw a young person make a mistake, and I remember thinking they must be creative.  Heh.  Full auntie rocks.  Also, I have more awe for (good) active parents.  I still feel wrapped in the mesmerizing vibe of Fleetwood Mac from the concert in February.  I hope it never goes away.

I got a concert BluRay of Evanescences’ Synthesis Live a while ago.  The formerly scary (to me) audience has transformed into one where I’ll probably be the weirdest present when I go.  Yay.  (Even though I know, I’m going to bawl the whole time, just like at the Beyoncè show.)  I don’t care.  I’ll bring tissues.

If you heard someone shouting, yes, repeatedly, yesterday, it was probably me.  Or some other Gettin’ Grown listener.  Chef Jade and Dr. Keia are back.  😆  I missed them and am proud of them for demonstrating excellent self-care.  (Tell me, show me, sing about it, they all help me grow.)

I read I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying, by Bassey Ikpi recently.  (Recommended by both The Read and The Friend Zone podcasts.)  It’s essays that describe the experiences of someone coming to terms with mental illness.  It’s as intimate as thought and highly relatable in a manner that allows you to feel safe enough to observe up close.  When it ended, I wanted it to keep going.

It reminded me we’re as much alike as different, and left me feeling hopeful.  Definitely worth reading.  I hope it becomes mandatory reading for mental health professionals.  I’m off to get ready for date night.  I’m dressing up for the first time in ages, so this should be interesting.  Heh.  ✌🏽💜

p.s.  I’m obsessed with The Office now.  Until further notice, titles going forward will be quotes from that show.

“And the heat! My god, the heat!”

feet standing on ON sign

It’s ridic humid and hot here.  Menopause is forcing me to make some lifestyle decisions.  Since I am not able to power my home with excess body heat, there’s no point in risking spontaneous combustion.  From my perspective, it seems menopause is a built-in get-your-shit-together-or-burn stage of life.  I found a supplement on Amazon that works well for me, called Breeze.

After the first bottle, I was hot flash free and thought that meant they were over.  I was mistaken, (and winter tricked me.)  Next, I tried a soy isolate supplement, and it didn’t help at all.  So I went back to using Breeze.  After only a few days, the hot flashes disappeared again, (and I internally kicked myself for playing.)  My electric bill doubled in May from running the central air at 68° F all that time.  🤭🤫

Now, I’m a fan placement ninja.  I have it set at 70° F, and am comfortable.  I’m able to sleep until my cat wakes me at 4:30-ish AM.  Then I return to bed for a few hours after feeding her.  I’m feeling tired earlier in the night, now.  I felt sleepy and went to bed before 11 PM last night (without being ill.)  I haven’t done that since Jr. High.  In the Army, they told us we only needed 4 hours per night, and I believed it without question.  🤪  My side hustle was ironing uniforms and polishing boots while the smart soldiers were sleeping.  (And you know I thought I was the smart one.  🤣)

workout gear

I had an orange and royal blue sweatsuit and matching sneakers I wore after hours while ironing and shining.  I thought I looked so cute until someone asked me if I worked at Dominos.  😂 (I kept wearing it because funny is even better IMO.)  I bought an RX7 and later a BMW 525 SI IIRC (both used), so the extra fundage served me well during my car-caring phase.  Driving a late model BMW while a glorified private still cracks me up.  (Even though it was a flashing neon sign saying, I’m new and have no concept of tomorrow.)

I’m devouring all the junk food in my house this weekend.  After that, I’m adopting the Keto diet.  One of my autistic besties made the change recently, and it’s eliminated issues we share.  The headache upon awakening and lots of other minor inflammation and pains I didn’t notice when not in my body are being addressed.  Also, my new belly.  At first, I was going to keep it, but then I realized it’s bullying my wardrobe options.  Plus, spandex looks hot.  Hard pass.  The belly has to go (do crunches.)

I’m reading, The Three Body Problem, by Cixin Liu, (translated by Ken Liu, who wrote the Good Hunting episode on Love, Death, and Robots on Netflix.)  I love it so far.  Before this, I read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, and Exhalation by Ted Chiang.  I’m enjoying all three authors tremendously.  I watched the new season of Black Mirror.  Suddenly, I love Miley Cyrus.  I want her to cover more NIN songs, then move to Nirvana, Green Day, and keep going with alternative rock.  It fits her like a glove.  Also, Netflix, please release the Ashley O songs for downloading and streaming.  (That shit on Spotify?  Really?)  Thanks!

Striking Vipers - Black Mirror - Netflix

Striking Vipers was brilliant.  The actors likely made Charlie Brooker dance with joy.  They gave his characters believable dimension and relatability, allowing him to tell a story about us, whose subject was previously denied, causing unnecessary hardship.  (Keep throwing money at him, please, Netflix. 💜)  Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, starring Ellen Page was fabulous.  I’m watching Pose, now, (thanks to The Read podcast.)  More love.  TV rocks, now.  I’m off to stare at it while depleting my fruit roll-up stash.   💜✌🏾

“A coffee table book about coffee tables!”

good dog

I discovered a new (to me) author, recently.  Michael Chabon.  I just began reading, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  I’m on part three in the novel, and already I’ve decided to devour everything Michael Chabon publishes.  He’s a descriptive genius.  I can’t go more than a few pages without marveling over how precisely he managed to describe something.  I’m also a bit floored by how quickly I got to part three.

The story has the potential to trigger me regarding the Holocaust.  (Visiting the Dachau concentration camp memorial remains my deepest soul scar.)  I’m not willing to test whether I can travel there in my mind without weeping yet.  (I’m not big on voluntary snot fests or picking at intangible scars.)  I’m not letting this fear prevent me from continuing, though.  If I need a break, I’ll take it.  So far, I’m super engrossed in the story.

The fickle weather of late is messing with me.  Yesterday it was warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt.  Today, it’s equally pleasant but windy.  Tomorrow and Wednesday, thunderstorms are likely.  Thursday and Friday, perhaps snow. I just cleaned my winter coats for storage.  Heh.  I think I’ll put them away, and run on those days instead of dressing for the weather.  And then hopefully fail to mention it if I catch a Pokèmon cold as a result.  (Equally likely scenarios.) 😁

masked person

I found Amelia Bedelia doing something disgusting, earlier.  My gorge hasn’t settled enough to elaborate.  Suffice to say; I will not be kissing her on the mouth again.  I was going to say ever, but it’s more like until I forget what I witnessed.  (I just wished my attention span longer.)  I can feel an epic belly laugh building, so I’ll probably spend a good while laughing about it soon.  Someone funny should do a short on YouTube about the things pet lovers don’t talk about in polite company.  Just saying.

I had an interesting conversation with the Dr. who diagnosed my Asperger’s Syndrome.  It was about how I consider Seinfeld a goldmine of information on social behavior.  When at one point, I read how Jerry Seinfeld believes he’s also on the autism spectrum, it clicked.  It’s no surprise to me he’s fascinated by social interaction and relationships to the degree of making his show about nothing center on this theme.

The intense focus on what neurotypical minds usually consider irrelevant detail is a component of Seinfeld’s humor.  Part of why so many love his comedy is the inclusion of that internal flash of joy when you first notice something you’ve seen a thousand times.  He relates to people in ways they didn’t know they had in common.  Humor is his ticket into the social world.  I’m proud of him.  I’m also grateful for all the laughs and social skills I’ve gleaned from watching his show.  I’m off to band practice.  💜✌🏽