Because I’m single, I’m thin, and I’m neat.

The above Seinfeld quote cracks me up because I misinterpreted the intended meaning of “neat.”  I laugh anytime I hear someone refer to a personality as, neat.  The word, neato, if pronounced with the proper enthusiasm, can render me a quivering heap of giggles on the floor.  There are perks to having older siblings who were teenagers in the 70’s.  Flipping through photo albums showing them in their plaid bell bottoms on holidays is still a favorite.  I still don’t understand what the orange, avocado, and mustard yellow everything were about, though.  Did those colors look better in the 70’s?  Asking for my eyes.

My eyes are glazed over from reading news articles all day.  I can’t believe I have subscriptions to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.  I’m not complaining, just marveling at how much 45 has impacted my life.  I used to only read articles about artificial intelligence, computers, games, gadgets, etc.  I’ve cut back on some of my interests due to the state of emergency in American government.  I tend to do my best when I’m intensely focused on a small number of projects.  I can juggle three at a time, but two is better.  The extra one only when I’m not sleeping for a stretch, (but I suspect I waste as much time staring into space from being overtired as I gain from not sleeping, so it probably doesn’t count.)

The Resistance is my priority.  My other obsessive focus is on my drums.  I had to take a day off from practice to let my hands heal.  I’ve been playing along with Fleetwood Mac, Rumours.  It’s such a good album.  I understand now why drummers move in ways I used to find awkward to watch while they play.  It’s because it feels good.  I do it too and laugh at myself when I realize.  I used sticks dipped in rubber (on the grips) and no gloves.  Mistake.  I peeled a disturbing amount of skin off my hands today.  Then obsessed over the new skin for a bit.  I’ll be wearing gloves going forward.  I wasted at least 30 minutes messing with dead skin like I had nothing better to do.

I got my laptop back yesterday.  Everything looked like it should, but I still stayed up all night shortening the lifespan of my hard drive.  I appreciate TSA for getting it back to me so quickly and intact.  It’s clear lots of people leave stuff in security because they have an impressive Lost and Found department.  The process was as easy as typing, “I left my laptop in security” in a browser.  The first hit was TSA Lost and Found website with a phone number.  It had automated instructions informing me to give them 24 hours, then call and see if it was turned in.  I talked to them on Sunday, and my laptop was back in my hands on Monday afternoon.  That’ll do.

Apple got my attention with the iMac Pro.  I haven’t had an iMac since the G5.  It’s been Macbook Pros and mini’s since.  I’m just going to get the new 10.5″ iPad Pro with a 512 GB SSD.  I have an iPad Air 2 with a 64 GB SSD.  I use it mostly for making music.  There are some amazing apps for IOS, many of which let you download samples and instruments.  Faster and more space?  Yes, please.  My sister will appreciate the old one.  I have a one in, one out policy now.  I’ve progressed in my mission to get rid of my excess stuff.  I’m not done yet, however.  I need to purge my t-shirts.  I have an obscene number of them, mostly from sites like TeePublic, Woot Tshirt, Teefury, and DesignByHumans.

I was going to make some quilts with them, but I’ve since changed my mind.  Instead, I’m going to drive down to the state mental hospital with a box full.  It’s about an hour away.  It’s a surprisingly nice facility.  It was built by a former governor who I believe had a spouse with mental illness.  It has an Olympic size indoor pool, full-size indoor gym, music rehearsal room, and the wards are arranged around an indoor walking path that loops around.  I love such thoughtful architecture.  It’s one of the buildings I’m proud of in my state.  When you consider our laws regarding the mentally ill in South Dakota are embarrassing at best, it’s remarkable.

Here, the police transport the mentally ill in handcuffs and leg shackles.  I’m. Not. Fucking. Kidding.  The last time I went down to see the building, I talked to a kid who was from Rapid City (western side of the state).  He was 14, and they brought him there on a prison bus with prisoners seated adjacent to the mentally ill patients being transported to the state hospital.  They had him in handcuffs and leg shackles for the entire 5-hour trip.  He told me the prisoners taunted him and the other patients, calling them derogatory terms for MI.  He was crying by the time he finished telling me.  It really shook him up.

I’m pretty sure it would have shaken me up, too.  I reported it to a local advocacy group.  They told me it would be wise for people with mental illness to move east because people are more understanding there, (practically a quote.)  It’s 1960 in South Dakota.  I felt ashamed to be an adult that day.  The building is nice, though.  Sigh.  I’m off to read.

 

 

 

Too bad you can’t do that for a living.

I ran into someone I used to coach in soccer today.  It brought back good memories of that time in my life.  I was sixteen when I coached boys aged 8-9.  I did it because my Mom said she didn’t think it was something I could do.  I remember how offended I was at the time, but it’s since occurred to me she did it on purpose.  (She used the Jedi Mom Trick on me more times than I’d like to admit.)  Soccer and Cross Country are the sports I don’t suck at.  I was assigned the position of the goalie when I was six and played it ever after.  The most challenging part at first was paying attention.

The first time someone scored on me, it was because I was chasing a butterfly behind the goal.  I wasn’t even in bounds.  My coach was great because I only remember him laughing at my mistake.  His daughter was my age, so I had him for several years.  He taught me how to play and how to practice.  He told me sports are all about math and the key to doing well is practicing.  (He totally got me.)  I went from team entertainment to a team member, and it did good things for my confidence.  When I first met my team of 8 and 9-year-old boys, I asked them which ones played the year before.  Everyone did.  I remember smiling, half because they were so adorable, and the rest because I realized it was going to be a cinch coaching them.

I coached the same boys for two seasons, then went into the Army.  We won first place both seasons.  They choose the teams by neighborhoods, so I held all our practices at a local park a block from home.  I always started out with stretching, then we’d run laps.  I got cones and balls from the city park system, and we’d practice dribbling and passing.  They were all different sizes, some far taller than others.  But they all had the same sense of humor, which used to crack me up.  Anything gross was golden.  My interactions with my older brothers were different.  It was my first time experiencing the incredible sweetness of little boys.

It surprised and delighted me to discover it.  Children are highly conscious of fairness at that age, as well.  I would ask them who should start?  They would select the boys who did well in practice and neglect those who skipped because it was only fair.  Everyone got to play in every game because that too was only fair.  They all got along so well and were bursting with energy.  I had no idea I would adore them so much when I agreed to coach them.  I’m so glad I did.  I don’t think I ever would have found out this beautiful secret about ages 8 and 9, otherwise.

What happens to them after that age, I don’t know.  I think a lot of damage is being done by telling children how to feel, act, play, etc.  It seems to me a lot of men on this planet had something beautiful beaten out of them when they were still forming.  Not all, thank goodness.  But it makes me sad.  I was happy to see one of my boys all grown up with children of his own.  He gave me a hug, which I’m thinking means he made it through childhood intact.  Whew!

So what? Your genitals are still lined up.

I’m home from my mini-vacation, sans laptop.  I accidentally left it in security when a bag search interrupted me while on auto-pilot.  Fortunately, it was located in the lost and found and will be shipped back soon.  Whew!  I didn’t even notice it was gone until several minutes after we were in the air.  I used the remainder of the flight to freak out.  I was given sympathy and reassurance from the woman seated beside me.  She was so kind I almost started ugly crying.  The relief I’ll feel when it’s back in my hands will be worth every almost-tear.  Okay, I did bawl my head off when I got home, but it was in the shower, so it doesn’t count. 😛

I’m getting back into my rhythm with The Resistance.  I noticed a response thread about Bill Mahr using the N word.  Someone stated they didn’t mind his using it once in comparison to Snoop Dog using it several times a minute.  They first stated they were “Afro-American.”  It’s not a term I’ve heard in ages.  It gave me pause, but only because it was unusual terminology for today.  I didn’t draw any certainties from it.  I’m apparently the only one, out of the hundreds who jumped in to inform him they thought his choice of words proved he was white.  Initially, someone merely stated it’s an outdated term, and the use made them suspicious.  Then came the flood.

At first, it was hilarious.  Lots of memes and witty statements demonstrating a white person pretending to be a black person. It started getting ugly when the comments started coming from those who were taking a little too much pleasure in tearing someone down.  It wasn’t funny anymore.  It was an accusation.  People were literally stating he couldn’t be black based solely on his word choices.  Before long, I was also accused of pretending to be black by some Caucasian woman.   Blocked.  This is another symptom of institutional racism.  The belief one’s behavior dictates the pigmentation level of their skin is ridiculous and astonishingly ignorant.  It’s saying stereotypes have the same efficacy as DNA.

It’s a sore point for me in particular.  I’ve faced this abuse too often in the past by other blacks who deny my membership because of my language, clothing, and/or who I hang out with.  I speak proper Midwestern English, just like every other educated person who grew up here.  I’m aware of slang from hip-hop and rap culture, but don’t think it’s the cultural language of any race other than human.  There are people from everywhere who live the culture.  Their skin is irrelevant.  This isn’t rocket science.  I can imitate an inner-city accent, but not with a straight face while being phony.  I’m a black woman from the upper midwestern US.  This is called a fact.

I’ve traveled enough to notice language and cultural variations in different regions of the US.  I like diversity.  It’s fascinating.  I’m comfortable being myself and am mature enough to laugh at things like peer pressure and pettiness within my own race.  My own sister used to give me shit about being openly Midwestern.  All I heard was, “Hi, I’m a hypocrite so feel free to ignore me.”  Being raised in the Midwest would have sufficed, but on top of that, I was adopted by a Caucasian family.  Guess what?  It influenced my language and culture.  Of course, I don’t speak like someone who grew up in LA or NYC!  Please explain the thought process that led to this being surprising information, because I can’t find it.

I don’t filter my world by things so petty as variations in physical traits.  This is my life, and I intend to continue living the shit out of it.  I’ll continue doing my best to avoid stepping on others out of default decency.  I also won’t tolerate anyone stepping on me.  I’m too busy chasing fascination to waste time conforming to stereotypes.  I’m too free and happy for petty bullshit.  While I sincerely think many who joined in to be silly on Twitter over this had no malice behind their memes, the point that matters is this:  If you honestly believe language and culture can qualify or disqualify a person from a particular race, you believe a lie, which is ignorance defined.

Thanks for mutton.

I had a strange dream last night.  It was like being trapped in a novel.  Everything centered around a young child who told lies.  The kid continued to tell lies regardless of the actions taken by adults in an attempt to correct the behavior.  Despite the pattern of misery this created, the child kept lying into early adulthood, unconvinced their behavior had consequences.  While studying at university, the liar becomes more aware of their government.  Soon, it’s obvious the government has been lying to its citizens for years.  The pain of being deceived becomes a teacher, and an effective reminder to always tell the truth.

It’s possible I need to take a break from reading Dickens novels for a while.  (My first hint an interest has passed over to obsession is weird and intense dreams.)  At least it wasn’t another World of Warcraft dream.  Those are so surreal because they’re almost identical to playing the game, except for the pop-up messages from Blizzard during login.  For some reason, Blizzard is like an old philosopher-poet who might be a bit lonely in my weird dreams.  When awake, the pop-up messages offer in-game tips and suggest you go outside once in a while, (in kinder terms).    In my dreams, they question my loyalty to the Alliance and make me feel guilty for abandoning my farms when Warlords of Draenor came out.  And doing the same with my garrisons when Legion came out.

It totally stresses me out because for some reason, when I’m asleep, all of my adulting skills vanish.  It’s not like I have a vast amount, to begin with.  The only good part about WoW nightmares is when I awaken and recognize there are perks to being an adult, after all.  I’m addicted to the ability to reason with myself when my inner 5-year-old is threatening mutiny.  Of course, I’m loyal to the Alliance.  But it’s a game meant for enjoyment in my spare time, not a job.  Why I can’t recall that obvious fact when I’m caught in a nightmare, I don’t know.  It does feel a bit like I’m aging from toddler to adulthood every morning during my walk from my bed to the bathroom.  (I start out with shitty balance and legs that aren’t sure they can support me.)  Shit.  I’m getting old.

 

I made this whole meal in there.

I’ve run out of rage.  At least the desire to express it.  It’s too expensive to my body.  I suck at holding grudges, too.  I guess I’m just not wired for it.  The worst part is my mind won’t cooperate with visualizing anything my heart rejects.  I tried for four minutes to no avail.  It’s a long time when you’re trying to imagine something unsuccessfully.  It felt more like a concentration exercise.  So I laughed at myself and changed my mind.

I know people, myself included, who are traumatized by what 45 is doing to our country.  I know individuals who aren’t even American who are traumatized by him, too.  His existence is a trigger because he’s loudly vile and proud of it.  It’s a difficult time to be a woman, a POC, disabled, LGBTQIA, elderly, ill, evolved beyond tribalism, logical, or someone fucking concerned about the survival of our planet and species.  Seriously, fuck anyone who isn’t.

I saw Angie Tribeca for the first time tonight.  I love it.  I’m going to buy the seasons and do a marathon this weekend.  (After Firefly got canceled, I take my fangirl responsibilities more seriously.)  I needed to add something new to my viewing habits and cut back on the shows where I’ve memorized the dialogue:  Seinfeld, Friends, and The Big Bang Theory.  Turns out, others find it annoying when you say the lines during the show.  It’s a disappointment because it’s such a fun thing to do.  If I only do it when I watch alone, it’s incredibly hard to refrain from also doing it when I’m not.

I can’t wait to go see Wonder Woman.  I keep noticing the startling contrasts between progress we’ve made and oppressions proposed.  It’s weird when they occur simultaneously.  I feel like I’m living in 1929, 1945, and 1980.  I’m relieved much of Europe is residing in the present.  I like knowing there are still civilized nations.  I haven’t slept in a while.  My tolerance for being still is lower than usual.  My cat enjoys my wee hour pacing, at least.  I finished DeadZone by Stephen King.  It’s excellent.

In One Person by John Irving is, too.  It expanded my awareness and understanding of humans to an astonishing degree for a single novel.  I highly recommend it.  I don’t think I could possibly be privy to a more intimate view of the main characters, were they close friends.  The story covers decades and is historically accurate in its portrayal of the AIDS crisis during the 80’s and beyond.  It’s full of information on variations of sexual identity, and gender identity.   There’s a trigger warning for (the depiction of) the murder of a transgender woman.  It triggered me, but I’m still glad I read it.

I love reading novels.  I’m loyal to my favorite authors and buy everything they write within days of release.  But there’s one thing I wish all fiction writers would stop doing.  Please, whenever you’re tempted to add a rape scene to your story, talk yourself out of it.  It’s enough already.  It’s not edgy.  There are other ways to depict the past.  It’s unimaginative to an exasperating degree.  If it didn’t happen to the author, I don’t want to fucking read it.  Okay?  Glad we had this talk.

 

 

You’re not a little anything, Newman.

My mom taught me a trick when I was a young girl to help build up my confidence.  It involved visualizing what I want to change.  It helped with team sports.  (I still sucked, but I sucked confidently.)  I’ve decided to employ this technique with 45 and the complicit GOP members.  I plan on making a graphic a day to help visualize 45 going away.  Please feel free to play along.  I just pictured 45 in an orange prison jumpsuit.

I hope they can find one to fit his rapidly expanding girth.  (Stress eating is a bitch.)  Now I see him floating around like in the movie, Dune, as Baron “45” Harkkonen, since he’s also not a walker.  Interestingly, they share a personality, too.

Okay, now feel free to picture Sting coming out of the steamer.

I know, right?  (Snapping gum.)  Where was I?  Right.  At this point, my inclination is to visualize Putin dying in a fire.  (Thanks, Pussy Riot!)

I remember a time when I would have been hesitant to wish ill on anyone.  Not in this case.  As I’ve repeatedly stated in this blog, I’m a protector.  I despise those who live to destroy, murder, and terrorize.  Putin is a danger to the living.  He’s expendable.  All fascists are expendable.  Die in a fire, you fucking Hitler wannabe.  You’re evil and pathetic.

45 is probably unwell.  However, he’s still accountable for his actions.  The GOP is complicit.  All my representatives are complicit members of the GOP, which clearly stands for Groupies of Putin.  Or Gluttons of Power.  Disgusting.  Naturally, they haven’t commented on the latest White Terrorist attack.  They’re complicit in the increased racist violence, too.  45’s normalization and participation in white supremacy are complicit.  The people who continue to support him are complicit.  They’re normalizing his disastrous reign and cheering him on.  Some of them are incapable of recognizing their error.  Others are just evil.  Some don’t care and enjoy being deplorable.  Every one of them who shares their support on the internet will be remembered for their treachery, although, the vast majority believe they’re not accountable for what they say when (they think) they’re anonymous.

Nobody is anonymous on the internet.  Just like there’s no such thing as hacker-proof software.  The footprints made on the web today will be easily retraced tomorrow, with faster and more powerful hardware.  So go ahead and be a troll.  Just don’t cry when it comes back to bite you in the ass.  I’ll be the one pointing and laughing.  Karma’s a bitch, too.  Off to visualize.

I can hear you.

I finished reading The Witching Hour by Ann Rice.  I took a few days to think about it afterward.  I liked the poetic writing style.  It reminded me a bit of Pat Conroy.  I disliked the story.  I’m not sure if it was merely the first installment of a series.  It certainly left much unsettled at the end.  However, I’m not interested in reading more.  Aside from references to architecture, and history, the story had nothing to offer of interest to me.  I haven’t disliked a book this much since The Passage by Justin Cronin.

I suppose I want more from a novel.  Especially one so thick.  I doubt I’ll read this author again.  I may have chosen the wrong book to audition, but my book list is too long to mess around with a writer who couldn’t convince me to believe in their story after so many words.  (One Atlas Shrugged was too much.)  I think it held my attention as long as it did because I’m an optimist.

After that disappointment, I decided it was time for a Stephen King novel.  I picked The Dead Zone.  I’m at least a quarter in and riveted.  It’s amazing what Stephen King can convince me to believe in.  He fascinates me.  He’s a total smartass in many of his novels, so of course, I love him.  I started reading him when I was a teenager.  I can handle scary books more easily than films.  I can only watch scary movies with the volume off, and often not even then.  I’m not entertained by horror.  There has to be a story that arouses my curiosity so much I’m willing to risk nightmares.

I bet Stephen King is an ace at playing the People Watching game.  I’ve been playing since I was five.  My Mom taught me to help cope with crowds.  You pick a person, then tell a story about them.  It’s imagined, of course.  It’s lots of fun.  My brother, Steve, used to add a sentence at the end to make it funny.  Such as, “And he’s not only a Hair Club member, he’s also the president!”

It’s a good thing I had him for my brother.  I’m pretty confident I would be way too serious, otherwise.  He used to make me laugh so hard I would get excused from the table during dinner.  I spent many nights eating dinner out back on the picnic table or in the garage if the weather was poor.  My Mom was a stickler for manners. (Laughing hard with a mouth full of food was one of her pet peeves.)  It also taught me about behavior accountability.  I tried to convince my Mom it was Steve’s fault for making me laugh.  I remember what she said like it was yesterday: “Nobody can make you do anything.  Only you decide how you behave.”

Don’t think about the nose.

CW:  Ranty and sweary

 

 

 

 

I saw some alarming footage of 45 while overseas.  It’s not the first incident I’ve noticed.  I’ve been able to shrug it off before, but it’s adding up to a potentially horrible situation.  I think 45 is unwell.  (I’m a doctor, but not the type who can diagnose illness.)  I think something is seriously wrong with him.  I’m by no means a fan. However, he’s a human being who appears to be suffering.  I’m surprised by how much it’s upset me.

Any POTUS is subject to harsh criticism from opposing views.  Americans value this freedom.  It allows us to feel less powerless in a loosely representational democracy.  When a POTUS is clearly unwell, it’s different.  It’s like striking after your opponent is down.  It’s unpalatable.  He’s fucking up on a daily basis, but I seriously don’t think he’s himself at this point.

After watching the footage of him looking lost and confused, I have to admit I felt sorry for him.  He looked genuinely distressed, and I don’t think he has anyone in his inner circle who is looking out for him.  They seem to be rushing as fast as possible to enforce their agendas like they’re racing against time.  I’m starting to think that’s exactly what’s up.

With the ongoing investigation into ties with Russia, I doubt it will be long before the backstabbing begins.  I don’t think there’s any loyalty thick enough to keep loose lips from sinking more ships.  I knew things were going to get ugly, but when the person in the center of it all is clearly sick, it’s even worse.

I feel angry at the GOP leadership.  What the fuck?  They put party over country religiously, but there’s no unity within the fucking party.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s like they want him to humiliate himself in public, so they sent him overseas in this fragile condition.  They think about who wins when he fails, not how to prevent failure.  It’s despicable.  I had no idea there were so many short-sighted assholes on this planet.  It’s mind-boggling.

Tribalism doesn’t work with 7 billion tribes.  Fuck.  We have to come together and work this out, or we all lose.  We cannot exist together on this planet and behave like there aren’t 6.9 billion other humans doing the same fucking thing!  We have to evolve and mature enough to stop being barbarians who kill for something shiny.  We have a long way to go.

It’s a mindset that has to change, or homo sapiens will be a short, disturbing whimper in time.  I’m not talking about radically changing the government and introducing some bullshit utopia.  I’m talking about how we think, privately, within our minds.  We need to embrace the entire human race as part of Team Survival.  All this ignorant shit about skin color, eye shape, hair texture, etc. is holding us back and distracting us from our potential.

We’re an incredible species.  You know it, I know it.  We all imagine improbable human innovations throughout our lives.  We’re dreamers.  We’ve all secretly been a little disappointed we don’t have flying cars yet because we know it’s within our capabilities as a species.  A huge reason I like science fiction is it so often includes details about marvelous gadgets and technology created by humans.  I always believe we can totally pull it off if we focus and work together toward the goal.

I don’t even need to mention NASA’s history or the cosmonauts. We’ve gotten sidetracked by unbelievably immature wars and terrorism.  We still figuratively play Tic-Tac-Toe as a species, and it’s fucking embarrassing.  It’s pointless every single time, yet we keep doing it.  Most of the planet’s resources are used, wasted, and destroyed to secure access to more resources.  IT. IS. SO. FUCKING. FRUSTRATING.

It reminds me of when I was a little kid.  My older brother used to trade me a shiny penny for my dirty, crumpled up dollar bill.  He thought I was a sucker.  I figured he was a sucker.  In reality, we’re all suckers.  We traded a beautiful, lush planet that could sustain us in vast numbers for thousands of years, for fossil fuels, even though there were alternatives that would allow us to have our cake and eat it too.  FUCK.

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.