Have you ever seen Elaine dance?

Ladies and gentleman, hold your devices tightly.  From here on out, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  The countdown has been reset to expire on June 30, 2017.  The catalyst is once again the threat to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act).  Unlike before, I’ve decided against a dramatic exit specifically designed to shame Paul Ryan.  It’s since come to my attention he’s soulless and impossible to shame.  It may be a prerequisite for a GOP leadership position.  (I’m not sure souls exist.)

It was a logistical nightmare, anyway.  Assuming I don’t die hilariously in the meantime, there will be no drama.  This pleases me.  I don’t have enough data to produce a significant probability regarding the vote.  I refuse to go black hat to acquire said data.  Fuck the dark side.  The Rule of Two (and Three) has been shattered beyond recognition.  The Sith have spent decades planning this coup.  It’s surprising how poorly it’s gone when you consider the time and money spent.  Fortunately, empires built on lies implode.

Oddly, I feel relieved and curious more than anything else.  In the meantime, I’m having a blast jumping and flapping to Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.  I spent at least 40 minutes doing it earlier.  I have a playlist with just that song, so I can repeatedly listen without interruption.  Rhiannon is like Chiquitita by ABBA; it’s a hug made of music.  I used to listen to Chiquitita on repeat when I needed to cry but couldn’t.  The song wept for me.

This weekend, I get to beat on an acoustic drum kit for two hours.  I’m bringing my noise canceling headphones.  I’m going to be louder than I’ve ever been in my life the whole time.  I’ll be in a soundproof practice room, so nobody will mind.  I’m so excited.  For someone who can’t tolerate thunder, I sure love playing the drums.  Probably because I can control the volume and there’s no suspense.  We had a thunderstorm this morning.  I wore my headphones, but I couldn’t find my cat for a while and started to panic.  She’s mostly black and quite tiny.  She was lying behind the sofa, curled into a ball.  I looked there a few times without seeing her before I used a flashlight.  Sigh.

It irks me to get upset over irrational things, but I love that little fur ball.  I’m still amazed by how sweet she is.  She winked at me the other day.  I wasn’t certain I’d seen it, so I looked again, and she repeated the performance.  Yep.  I awwed.  Even when she’s a little shit, she’s sweet about it.  She doesn’t just fling my remote off the coffee table.  She makes sure she has my attention first.  She gently pushes it to the edge, then stares at me.   I think this is her way of telling me she wants a treat in the next few seconds, or the remote gets it.

I didn’t sleep last night, but my body is telling me tonight will be different.  Before I sign off, I want to apologize to the bloggers I’ve been neglecting (especially my Pocket Sister!)  It’s not you, it’s me.  My daily schedule is out of whack, and I’m flailing.  (Just flailing, though, which is miraculous.)  I’ll be by soon to see what you’ve been up to.  I’m off to waste time laying still for a few hours, so I don’t hurl from sleep deprivation.

We chase down library delinquents.

I endured a week of appointments, including a biopsy of something in my jaw.  I started another round of antibiotics, because the first round didn’t finish the job.  I was given more hydrocodone, some 800 mg Motrin, and the disgusting antibiotic pills that are chalky, and begin disintegrating before I can wash them down with water, leaving a nasty aftertaste.  I have to take 8 of them a day, which feels ridic.  Unfortunately, I can’t run until they’re gone, so I’m complying.  The pain is history, but I’ve been running a low grade fever today.  I went to the new ER that’s just down the street.  It was full of shiny, and I felt like I was dreaming the whole time I was there.  I’m home now, and feeling a bit better.

Next week, I have more appointments.  I’m not as stressed out about it as I would have been in the past.  Therapy is helping.  I’m much better at taking a deep breath, and just getting things over with.  I don’t fear meltdowns so much anymore.  They don’t have much power over me anymore, because I’m pretty good at shutting them down before they ruin my day.  That’s awesome.  Here is a photo of my cat in the little fort I made her.  tuxedo cat under a blanket

The show is about nothing!

It’s 68 F here today.  It’s perfect.  Light breeze, sunny, low humidity.  I’ve been doing my chores while watching a Fixer Upper marathon on HGTV.  My sleep issues are bad enough now that I’m going to seriously put forth effort to eliminate them, starting tonight.  The only thing that’s really lacking from my sleep routine is closing my bedroom door with my cat on the outside.  She has several prime nap spots throughout my apartment, so she’ll adjust.  It’ll probably be harder on me than her.  If she cries, then I’ll let her in.  But other than crying, she’s kicked out from now on.  Sleep is just too necessary for my overall wellbeing.  I suspect that I’ll be less scatter-brained once I start sleeping regularly.

I have a pretty regular routine that’s otherwise working for me.  I think if I am asleep by 11PM and get up at 6AM, I’ll spend less time on obsessive behaviors that are overkill.  Such as when I wander about my apartment with a Swiffer duster, and dust everything.  It would be fine if I only did that once a day.  Or less.  But my mind disengages from the task to think about other things as I aimlessly dust.  It’s a step up from pacing, but not by much.  I do have allergies, so that’s probably good.  I think I might be craving mindfulness.  I didn’t see that coming.  Being efficient is important to me, so eliminating wasted time matters.  I did a 10 day forecast for Denver on a few sites, and one predicts light snow on Thursday and Friday.  While I love snow, it’s been so warm of late that I was planning to pack lightly and not bring a coat.  I think I’ll compromise and bring a hoodie.  I have my doubts about it snowing.  Probably because it’s so warm right now.

When I was changing my linens, my cat helped.  She was running around on my mattress while I was putting on the fitted sheet, and she went beneath it.  I put on 3 corners and then watched her chase my hand under the sheet.  It was so funny because she’s so vocal, and she was squeaking.  When she found her way out, I finished making my bed and she lay on my quilt and it looked so much like she was smiling.  I melted.  My cute little Purrminator.  She’s asleep on her tower of bad quilts right now, snoring.  My nephew is coming to visit, which is ridic considering I’m going there Friday, but I don’t mind.  He’ll be flying with me this time.  I can fly by myself easily, but he had something to do in Minneapolis, so he wanted to hang out and go with me.  He’s been working on some plans for my bed.  It’s going to be queen sized.  I prefer to feel enclosed when I sleep, so he’s doing a padded headboard that wraps around the sides a bit.  Then the footboard will also wrap around a bit, but will connect to the headboard above in a rounded arch.  It’ll all be upholstered in leather.  He said to imagine 2 Chesterfield sofas facing each other with a bed in the middle, and the backs of each sofa connecting in an arch above.

I can sort of visualize this.  I’ll probably float it in the middle of the room so that I can put my head at either end.  He’ll make a miniature version for my cat.  I’m leaning toward a cream colored leather with charcoal stitching.  The walls will be a light, pale pink.  I have to pick a rug and lamps.  I’m going to do a mural on the ceiling.  Surreal clouds.  Then I’ll choose a comfy reading chair and that’ll be it for my bedroom.  My closet was originally going to feature a swing in the middle.  That’s been scrapped, and instead I’m getting built ins for shoes, dressers, a bench, and big mirror.  I have an obscene number of t-shirts that I’ll be purging before I move.  But I use a flip-n-fold, and store them in baskets by color, so I’ll have cubbies for that.  Then drawers and hanging space.  He rendered it for me in 3D, so I have a good visual of how it’ll look.  I have to decide if I want to use wallpaper, paint, or leave exposed concrete and wood.

My floors are polished concrete in a light grey color.  I chose a high gloss.  I’m sure it will all come together later this summer.  My half bath has been finished for a while, and it’s bold and geeky-graphic.  I love it so much.  The toilet and pedestal sink are black, and there is black subway tile.  The ceiling is high gloss magenta.  It looks awesome.  The chandelier is cool, too. The mirror is oversized, and sculptural.  I have to find some hand towels for it, and am leaning toward getting black and white striped.  It’s Graphic-Geek-Whimsical in full effect.  It’s the first room I ever designed.  Here is the mural and similar products to get an idea:

halfbath

The toilet and sink are the same high gloss black as the subway tile, and the floor is the same polished concrete as the rest of my place.  It’s the boldest room by far, but I haven’t done my playroom yet.  I’ll be getting in touch with my inner geeky, artistic collector in that room.  But for now, I only have to focus on paint colors and kitchen cabinets.  It’s nice having builders in the family.

“Nothing’s finer than being in your diner”?

Today has been good.  I’m catching everything the Depression Monster slings at me, and slaying it.  At this time next week, I’ll be in Denver.  I’m excited to go this time.  It’s odd, because I have a lot scheduled for a weekend trip.  Normally, I would feel anxious about having so much to do, but not this time.  I’m going on a Cannabis Tour that includes a visit to a grow warehouse, and lunch at a restaurant that specializes in curing the munchies.  Rice Krispie treats are an option for dessert, which is genius.  I haven’t gotten the munchies before, but I’ve also never turned down a Rice Krispie treat.  It’s a 4 hour tour, so there’s other stuff too.  There will be strangers, so it’ll be a good test to see if cannabis helps an Autistic person socialize more easily.

I’m going to base my results on whether or not I interact with anyone else on the tour, as well as how well I’m able to be among strangers for 4 hours.  Right now, it seems about 3 hours and 45 minutes too long.  Not terribly scientific, but it’ll at least determine if I should bother designing a more scientific test in the future.  If I remain with the group for the entire tour, I’ll call it a success.  If I remain for over 2 hours, it’ll merit a more scientific study in the future.  I know that right now, cannabis free, I would last about 20 minutes, and then get an Uber back to my hotel.  I would do this because it would shorten the length of time it will take for me to recover afterward.  If I succeed, it’ll take time to recover.  This is just how life with Autism is.  Social interactions with strangers are exhausting.

When I recover, I isolate as much as possible.  Then I hyperfocus on an activity until my cat or body object.  Rinse and repeat for however long it takes to feel recovered.  I don’t have data on how long it takes to recover because I refuse to measure the negatives.  I didn’t sleep last night.  I lay in bed and sang quietly while under my weighted blanket for a while.  I started to fall asleep, but Amelia Bedelia was batting her ball with a bell in it up and down the hallway at top speed.  It’s so cute how she really gets into it.  Her little butt wiggling just before she takes off is hilarious.  After hearing her do this a few times, I got up to play with her.  I’m powerless over her adorability.  Here she is on her “throne”.

It’s a pile of all my beginner quilts. They all have mistakes I made as I was learning.  I’m still learning, and still a beginner, but I’ve managed to overcome some of my past errors.  I got some new material through MassDrop for my next quilt.  I haven’t researched paper piecing yet.  I’ve been practicing my crocheting a bit.  I still suck at it.  It’s easier for me than knitting, though.  I’ve given up on knitting for now.  I don’t have enough hands, or something.

Spending the night is optional!

I lay down for over an hour, but sleep eludes me.  I’m too hot, but it’s not hot enough to justify turning on the AC.  I’m not old enough for this to be hot flashes related to menopause.  I’m just hot blooded, and I can’t sleep when I’m hot unless I’m exhausted.  My new phone arrives tomorrow.  I ordered the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  My last Android phone was the Note 2, so it’s been a while.  My iPhone’s battery life is horrible of late.  I think I’m going to download an app to find out what’s eating it up so quickly.  It’s also feeling hot, so I removed it from the case.  I’ll put it in a different case tomorrow.  I’m too clumsy to use it unprotected.

I’m using my much neglected Chromebook.  I’ll like it better when I can log into it with my phone.  I do hate that there is no way to adjust the keyboard settings.  I’ll probably get used to it with more use.  For what it cost, it’s really a decent machine.  It’s the Toshiba version with 1080p IPS screen.  It’s a blatant copy of Apple’s macbook design, but I’m okay with that.  I’m still in a fuck Apple kind of mood.  Although, I’m pro encryption with no back doors for the government.  You want to think that nothing you do is of interest to any law enforcement agencies, but you know there’s always some asshole who abuses the privilege of access to people’s private information.  Last I checked, that asshole was an entire agency.

Most people with the ability to create something worth keeping private will also have the ability to keep it private.  I have a hard time finding sympathy for those who don’t even try.  With the internet, there aren’t really any more excuses for not learning.  At least not for those with access.  Lose your entire thesis because your system crashed and you didn’t save several times during creation?  Sucks being you.  Get hacked because your password was 1234?  Or password?  Or your street number, birthday, part of your phone number or SSN, or any other pathetic attempt at security?  Good.  Hopefully it will have convinced you to stop being a dumb ass.  Yeah.  No sympathy from me.

I’m looking forward to visiting Denver in a few weeks.  It’ll be a short visit, but I’ll manage to accomplish what I need to in that time.  I’ll be spending time with my new aide, and deciding on some finishes.  I’m anxious about spending time with her.  I’ve met her, and we’ve texted, but still anxious.  At least she has a dog.  That will help.  My cat has been cracking me up today.  She’s a lap kitty, and she doesn’t care if I get up constantly.  She’ll sit where I was and wait for me to return, then climb back into my lap.  When I’m hot, I have a tendency to set her down.  But she’s not having it.  Right back into my lap the second I let go.  So I’m just dealing with it.  It’s funny.

I suspect she would love it if I got a kitten, but I don’t know if I’m up for it.  Amelia Bedelia is really good about leaving things alone.  She doesn’t chew cords, or anything.  She will knock everything off every surface, but usually to get my attention.  Kittens require paying attention more than I do now.  I doubt I’ll do it.  I spend enough time with her, and play with her often.  It’s the wee hours when I actually sleep that I worry she’s lonely.  But she spends most of the night sleeping with me, so maybe I’m just overthinking it.

My mind is uncomfortable right now.  I feel the need to do some artwork, but there are so many other things I’d rather do instead.  I know that putting it off means that nagging feeling will remain, but I’m so scattered right now that it’s hard for me to focus on a new task.  I think I’m in pre-meltdown.  I’m probably too tired to narrow down what I need to do to stop it.  It’s weird.  I don’t feel sleepy, but I’m very tired.  I can barely focus enough to make sense while writing this.  I have some OTC sleep aids, but they don’t always work.  Often they just give me vertigo and nausea, but don’t help me sleep.  This is one thing that I won’t have to deal with after I move.  Indica lets me sleep so easily.  It’s the perfect off switch for me.

I just realized the only thing running doesn’t help with:  Sleeping.  Sigh.  I guess I’ll read some more.  I just finished The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham.  I’m a few pages into book 2.  It’s my first time reading this author.  His style is different.  It’s too soon to pinpoint what about his writing is different.  So far it seems like he’s writing from farther back than others.  Not farther back in time.  Like he’s more detached from the story.  After I’ve read a few more of his books, I’ll be able to articulate it better.  I’m enjoying it, though.

 

Wakefulness

I’ve had a busy few days.  I set up my new guitar, and had a blast playing the shit out of it.  One thing they don’t mention about women who play string instruments;  we keep our hands moisturized, so the calluses from playing don’t get as tough as say, a lead guitarist in a touring rock band.  For me, it’s habit.  I would have dry skin if I wasn’t an avid user of moisturizers.  It’s been part of my routine since I was a child.  It would be less painful to play for hours at a time if I allowed my fingertips to become hardened by permanent calluses.  But that won’t be happening.  Just typing this has resulted in my getting up to moisturize my hands.  Back with soft hands.

My cat has decided she’d like to help with the rest of this post.  As soon as she gets done knocking everything off my desk.  Ooh, she left the mouse alone.  Okay, she’s settled in my lap.  The Cable Guy is on.  This is such an underrated movie.  I love it.  It’s dark humor, well acted.  Jim Carrey really commits.  It’s not Big, but it’s still good.  Almost Groundhog Day good.  I’ve been wanting to watch some anime today.  Not the Studio Ghibli stuff.  Maybe Keano’s Journey, or Mushi-Shi.  Then perhaps I’ll work on a new song.  I’ve slept well for 2 consecutive nights.  It’s nice.  I didn’t have to start over a single time in the shower.  So this is awake… I quite like it.

I have a friend on Twitter who’s cool about answering some questions that have been floating around in my mind.  I was so relieved.  I didn’t think it through fully, however.  I asked a few questions, and she answered both well.  Her answers also answered questions I hadn’t asked.  Bonus.  I pondered the new information.  Again, relieved.  There are so many things I’ve heard or read that I don’t understand as fully as one would expect, based on the amount of knowledge I’ve collected.  It’s not that I don’t pay attention.  I do.  I just store unknowns until I can do some research.  The problem is that when I do my research, I get sidetracked.  The internet is as great a tool as it is a distraction.  So some things, usually the ones I’ve read but never heard, get low priority in triage.

Therefore, there are words I’ve read, that I don’t know how to pronounce, and sometimes have nothing more than a clue about it’s meaning.  An example that shows up in my nightmares often is when an MP asked me if I was forcibly sodomized.  I understood forcibly.  I had read the word sodomy before.  In the bible.  But bible didn’t define it.  I got from the bible a negative connotation.  That was the only time it ever came up.  I melted because I couldn’t answer the question, had wicked jet-lag, and just wanted my Mom.  I was having my second worst life experience, the first being when I visited Dachau.  It was when I first realized how vulnerable I am.  I want to say, was.  But typing about it has made my mind begin to go numb.

I have more questions for my friend.  I’ll ask later or tomorrow.  Depending on if the sleep streak continues.  My phone will be here soon.  My former phone was located in my nephews sofa, between the cushions.  I told him to hang on to it.  I’ll remove it from my present contract.  I’ll use it when I move.  I’ll have to find out which company is good in Denver.  I’m looking forward to having more options.  I’m going to go run before all the resolutionists show up and hog the treadmills.

Napping Causes Rambling

I had a good nap today.  It’s rare for me to nap, but I needed it.  Prior to laying down, I was sitting on my sofa, rocking, and my cat came and sat on my lap.  My immediate reaction was to tell her, ‘Get down’.  Then she meowed back at me like, ‘We’ve been over this!  When you’re seated, I sit in your lap.  It’s been 3 years now.  What’s wrong with you?’.  She’s very vocal, and I always imagine what she means, and then respond accordingly.  So I apologized, and pulled her into my lap.  She started purring loudly, and I called her My Little Purrminator.  It was a cat intervention.  I was cranky from lack of sleep, and needed a nap.

So I grabbed a quilt and my pillow, and turned on Everybody Loves Raymond with low volume.  Sleeping with the TV on is less restful, but it prevents nightmares if I pick a cartoon or sitcom.  I had the window cracked open because it’s been in the upper 30’s F, and I’m usually hot.  The good thing is that I very rarely turn on my heat.  Being on the top floor probably has a lot to do with it.  I keep the inside temperature at least at 63 F, but if it rises above 65, I crack a window.  My winter comfort zone.  My bed is alongside the window wall, so it’s perfect to sleep with the window cracked.  Well, except for the fact that I have a Temperpedic mattress.  The cold turns it into a rock that gradually conforms to my body as I heat it up.  So when I first lay down, I have on pajamas and socks.  Then I gradually strip down to just a tshirt as I get too hot.  My weighted blanket has glass beads in it, and they stay cold so I put it on top of my comforter.

My cat has her own weighted blanket, which is my old one.  She’s possessive, which is something I didn’t know animals did.  She also has a Hello Kitty pink fleece blanket that she drags around.  When Miles tried to use it to sleep with when they were spending the night, she got loud about it.  I told him to give her back her blanket, and gave him a quilt instead.  We all laughed at how she reacted.  Miles’ Mom has 2 cats, both male.  I have a scar on my arm from the younger of her cats.  He’s aggressive because she plays with him with her hands rather than using a toy.  He got too excited and bit me and it bled.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I told her never to play with a cat unless you have a toy or they will bite and scratch, thinking it’s playfulness.  Her other cat is like mine, only bigger and older.  I liked both of them, but I preferred him because he never bit me.

The thing is, he’s a tuxedo cat, which means long hair that needs to be brushed often.  Her’s looked like he’d never been brushed.  When I asked her if I could brush him, she said she didn’t have a cat brush.  It bugged me, because when I held him, he would leave behind enough fur to make another cat.  Her house had a strange layout to me.  A twin home where it’s broken into 3 floors.  Basement, main, and upstairs.  Two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, one bedroom and a bath in the basement.  Miles stayed in the basement, and his mom upstairs.  But their entire house and garage were completely covered in toys.

There’s levels of neatness.  Neat freak, in which it’s so clean you can’t believe anyone lives there. Neat livable, in which you can tell it’s cleaned on a regular basis, but not everything is where it belongs due to recent usage.  Neat enough, where there are lots of things used on a daily basis in various places of convenience, but a vacuum has been used, and the dust is only in out of the way places.  Then there is sloppy but not embarrassing, in which you can tell the kids have recently been playing in the living room, and haven’t put anything away.  That’s followed by just plain sloppy, in which you can tell just by looking that the family is too busy, or doesn’t care that their living space has stuff strewn everywhere.

Miles’ house was the next level, which is pre-hoarder.  You could still walk around, but it required doing a coordinated dance of avoidance to prevent stepping on toys.  The part that baffled me, was the fact that they had a cleaning woman who came twice a week.  I have seen every room in the house, and I’m certain this woman only cleans the bathrooms.  While that’s indeed important, the clutter was mind boggling to me.  Miles is in Middle School.  I think it’s time to get rid of the tricycle.  And the stroller.  And every toy he has ever received in his life, that are randomly strewn about.  I offered to help her organize, and she took me up on the offer immediately.  However, it never happened.  She opted to do other things and kept putting it off until our friendship deteriorated.

I’ll admit I’m odd in that I love to organize stuff.  I blame my Mom.  Growing up being the 9th out of 10 kids didn’t hurt.  We had a large house, but my Mom loved to change things up.  I had 4 different rooms as my bedroom throughout my childhood.  Mind you, we lived in the same house for my entire childhood.  I shared with my sister, Heather, in 2 of the rooms.  I remember our matching yellow floral bedspreads and matching twin beds in that room.  I hated those beds because they had sharp edges and I would constantly bash my toes or clip my knee on them.  I’ve broken every toe and finger at some point, mostly from being clumsy.  Steve broke 3 of my fingers after I made the volleyball team in Jr. High.  It was his way of protesting my decision to play, rather than hang out with him after school.  He had stubby fingers, but his grip was monstrous.

When I announced to my Mom one summer that I was bored, she showed me the mess in our garage.  Bikes, skates, balls, bats, racquets, tools, and boxes thrown about.  She told me that since I was bored, I had volunteered to organize and clean the garage.  At first, it was overwhelming.  All I could see was stuff that needed to be put somewhere.  Then I sat down with my notebook and started drawing ideas of where things should go.  I decided to group things by type, leaving the bikes in a row nearest the side door.  That way we could get them in and out without scratching  cars.  I put all the painting, and mechanical tools in the little room at the back.  They were off limits to us kids, so I felt timid handling them, even with permission.

I put the rakes and shovels against the far wall so that my brother could install the hanging system that was still in the original box it came in.  I put everything on the driveway and then thoroughly swept the floor.  It was a dusty, sneezy part of the job.  Then I cleaned the windows on the inside and outside.  This allowed more light in.  I got my brother to clear away all the cobwebs in the corners.  Then I used sand to get up the oil stains.  Finally, I poured dishwashing soap in long lines up and down the floor.  I got the hose and sprayed the floor, and then scrubbed with the pushing brush.  My brother helped.  I used way too much soap, so it turned into a bubbly mess for a while.  We rinsed several times, but I suspect if I went to that garage right now and poured a glass of water on the floor, I could still get suds.

We got a power strip and as many fans as we could round up in the neighborhood to help dry the floor.  While this was going on, I sorted the sports equipment in the driveway, giving each sibling a crate for their stuff.  My brother, Kevin, mounted the crates about 2 feet off the ground on the back wall.  All that was left were storage boxes, mostly full of baby clothing and the like.  We stacked them up in the loft.  Well, we passed them to Kevin, who stood on a ladder and placed them in the loft.  By the time the floor dried, we had eaten lunch, and were recharged enough to clean both cars and the bikes.  We also had a water fight.  I didn’t know at that time that we had to pay for water, so I feel a little bit guilty retroactively when I remember that we had the hose on for several hours.

Finally, everything was clean and put in it’s new designated place.  We were wet and filthy from our labors, and my mom hosed us down before we could come inside.  I felt so good when she complimented us on a job well done.  She raved about it, and even invited a few neighbors over to see what we’d accomplished.  That was all it took.  From then on, anytime something needed to be organized, I volunteered enthusiastically.  I can’t begin to describe the feeling you get when you conquer a mess and transform it into a well organized space that functions in a manner that encourages others to keep it that way.  It’s my super power.

My little sister, Heather, was a hoarder.  It never became apparent when I was still living at home, because my Mom couldn’t stand clutter, so she was forced to deal with it.  But when she moved to Des Moines, it came out in a big way.  She saved everything.  When I visited her while on leave from the Army, I stayed with her, and discovered she had saved all my belongings from before I joined.  I had forgotten about them.  My yearbooks, old report cards, photo albums, and even clothing!  I went through a phase where I was enamored with Swatch watches.  I would wear 4 at a time, and all of them with multiple colors and patterns.  She had them all.

It was weird to look at my old stuff, but when I asked if I could keep one of my old shirts, she got upset and said no.  These were her things now.  I abandoned them when I left for the Army.  It was an awkward moment.  I didn’t push it.  I had long ago learned not to butt heads with Heather.  She was the most stubborn person who ever walked the face of the earth.  And she used disproportionate retaliation tactics.  That alone meant nobody messed with her more than a few times.  I pushed her in the pool once.  She retaliated by pushing me off the roof of our garage.  I broke my arm and had a mild concussion.  Me and Steve avoided her as much as possible when we were preteens.  We were a naughty team of troublemakers who got in trouble on a regular basis.  So when we would tell my Mom that Heather was a bully, she didn’t believe us.

Heather was the baby.  She was incredibly cute, and smiled a lot.  She knew how to play adults so that they thought she was sweet and perfect.  Steve and I were the devils spawn in comparison.  So we didn’t bother telling on her and avoided her instead.  We would leave early in the morning and come back when the church bells rang at 6PM.  It was a different time back then.  We went wherever we wanted during summer.  We used to stop by various elementary school playgrounds and play basketball, go to McKennan Park and do crafts with the recreation workers, etc.  We had a range that seemed huge at the time, but in hindsight was basically a 1 mile radius of our house.

That feeling of ultimate freedom was nice as a child.  I honestly believed I could do whatever I wanted, and so did Steve.  Fortunately, the worst thing we thought of to do was smoke cigarettes.  We didn’t know about drugs or other dangers.  We didn’t even know how to inhale.  We thought we were total badasses.  Heather was certainly impressed.  But she hated that we didn’t include her, and didn’t understand that it was because we thought she was evil.  She was Damien to us.  Interacting with her led to broken bones for me.  She pushed Steve out of our fort that my Dad built us, and he landed with a rusty nail in his knee.  It slid in below his kneecap, and my Dad yanked it out and took him to the ER.

The way we told it, though, was that Heather deliberately pushed him onto a rusty nail.  In hindsight, I doubt the nail was even rusty, as my Dad had just built the fort there.  We went over the grass in the area to see if there were any more before my Dad mowed the lawn for obvious reasons.  We found 2 more.  And you can bet that in the minds of me and Steve, they were put there deliberately by Heather.  The only other incident that stands out in regard to this attitude was when we ditched her at the mall.  She must have been about 8, which made me 9, and Steve 11 at the time.  We did this on purpose.  We invited her to go with us to the mall, and then ran away from her and went home without her.

When we got home, we got the beating of our lives for it.  My Dad was furious that we left poor, sweet, helpless little Heather at the mall.  She got a ride home from a teacher while we were getting spanked.  Steve and I totally blamed her for the spankings.  Cause and effect is kind of an hilarious concept when filtered through the minds of children.  It’s funny to me now.  I had the conversation with Heather as an adult.  She asked me to hug her, and when I refused, she asked me why.  I told her for about an hour, during which time we both cried, laughed, apologized, and agreed that what happened as children didn’t matter now.  I hugged her after that.  I’m glad I did.  I never hated her, and always felt tremendously protective of her, even though I didn’t want to hang out with her as a kid.

She was the first instance in my life where I loved someone I didn’t like.  She was protective of me too, in many ways.  Like when my Mom would announce that I was moving to a different bedroom, and Heather would loudly object, and tell my Mom she was breaking me.  I’m glad my Mom did that, though.  It was painful at the time, but it also taught me how to make a new space my own.  It’s a powerful redirect of a meltdown.  Skip the meltdown and go into decorating mode.  Solve the problem of how to turn this new space into one that feels safe and comforting.  That skill was super important when I was in the Army.  The only two times I had a rough time moving was when I moved to Saudi Arabia, and when I moved to Germany.  Those were hard because my first thought was always, “I don’t know anyone on that continent”.  Self sabotage.

Fortunately, I always found a few people who got me, and the Army is built on tradition and sameness.  You can’t really tell one barracks from another unless you look for differences.  Also, being in a foreign country while on a military base is very insular.  You have to put forth effort to experience the new culture and sights.  In Germany, I started competing in knowledge bowls and winning every time.  It probably wasn’t fair, because I memorized the manuals, and the only challenge for me was knocking loudly before entering, and answering loudly enough for the board to hear me.  I won trips all over Europe where I only had to pay for my lunch.  I went skiing in the Alps.  I played hide and seek in the Louvre.  I ate authentic Italian food in Italy.  That sort.

I know my experiences growing up have always helped me find success as an adult.  I earned awards in the Army, while attending university, and even at the gym where I worked out while going to school.  I got aerobics member of the month.  It was a pleasant surprise.  I think they were impressed by how much I improved from my first class, where I accidentally kicked the step across the room during step class.  I was always going the wrong way, and a few seconds behind everyone else until I finally caught on.  When I put in ear plugs, it became a lot easier.  I just copied the instructor, and before long, I could tell what step was coming next by memorizing the routines.  I loved it.

Then spinning became popular.  I just run now.  I need to find something to supplement it though.  My back is weaker than I’d like.  My arms are so weak it’s embarrassing.  I think maybe some Wii tennis and baseball will help.  It has to be something I do daily or I lose the muscle tone super fast.  I hate the lay on the floor on my stomach and lift my leg and arm and hold exercise, but it’s the only one I know for my lower back.  When I do a long run, it’s so frustrating when my lower back and feet get tired too soon.  I know intellectually that running alone is not enough.  It’s just the only exercise I like.  Probably because it’s a stim.  Sigh.  I’ll pretend I’m playing Wii tennis with the Williams sisters.  That should motivate me.  I know if I imitate the grunts Serena makes it’ll crack me up.  We’ll see.  I hate using the weights at the gym in the main building.  People don’t wipe their sweat off.  It’s just so gross.

No

I’m so shaky today.  It’s raining/snowing really hard, and wind is blowing so hard it sounds like thunder.  Okay, this is probably why I’m shaky.  Loud noises that I can’t predict mess me up.  I didn’t sleep at all last night.  I lay in bed and listened to Evanescence, The Open Door on repeat for 3 hours.  I love every LP by Evanescence, and they get better with every release.  But something about The Open Door really reaches me.

I don’t have the words to explain it.  I just know that sometimes, I have to listen to it in a pitch black room with my best (Grado) headphones on full volume.  I don’t dance to it.  I stim to it.  My cat lays across my lap as I rock back and forth to the music.  Slowly, the tension I didn’t realize I was holding loosens.  I stop clenching my jaw.  And tears start to fall.  The tears that I held in all day as I forced myself to exist in this world.  I cry because I miss my family members who have passed.  My parents, my brother, and my little sister.  I know I’m capable of surviving without them, but it’s hard sometimes.

I miss having people in my world who I could trust to care about my existence without my having to do anything for them, or give anything to them, or be anything other than who I am.  I miss being protective of my little sister, and doing anything I could to make sure she was safe and happy.  I never realized how important that was to me before she died.  It was when I could assert the fact that I was 13 months older than her, and felt a deep sense of responsibility for her.  In so many other ways, she was the big sister.  She was my opposite.  She was so outgoing, comfortable to the point of being flirtatious with strangers, loud, and flamboyant.

When I was in fifth grade and she was in fourth, she saw me standing in a corner of the school building facing the wall during recess.  I was crying, because the teacher I had that year hated me, and I was aware of it.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her my teacher hates me.  She marched into the building, dragging me by my hand behind her, and went into my classroom.  She went up to my teacher, and told her off, loudly.  I was shocked.  I froze.  Heather told my teacher that she had to like me because I was her student.  She said it like it was a well known law.  She was furious, and threatened to tell our mom if she didn’t start liking me.

My teacher just stared at us.  I can’t imagine what she was thinking.  We went back outside until recess was over.  I remember thinking that Heather was going to get in trouble.  She didn’t.  We never talked about it until the next year when she got the same teacher.  She pre-hated her on my behalf, and I loved her for it.  Elementary school was the closest thing to torture that I’ve ever experienced.  I didn’t have any skills to cope with it at the time, and it still to this day can cause me to wake up in tears from a nightmare.

I hate how things that happened in the past can still haunt my present.  I hate that they haunt my sleep, when I’m most vulnerable.  I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming, but I’m not yet to the point where I can completely prevent nightmares.  I’ve had some success though.  I’m absolutely getting more sleep.  That makes a big difference, especially when working.  I think I need to figure out a way to stop working on coding projects before they are completed, and continue the next day.  It’s good to be able to complete them so much faster than my peers, but I think it’s taking a toll on me.  Marathon coding sessions broken up by Twitter flyby’s and bathroom breaks are taking their toll on me.

I’ve always struggled with not having a natural off switch.  I’ll continue doing a task until my body demands I stop,  I’m interrupted, or it’s completed.  I’ve completed 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles in one sitting on more occasions than I’d like to admit.  My cat has gotten really good at interrupting me.  I hate to say that it was probably necessary for her survival.  I get so focused on what I’m doing that I ignore everything else.  She’ll jump up on my desk and lay across my arms while meowing loudly.  I always go through a quick second of rage at the interruption, and then I look down at her, and she’s so beautiful and sweet that it dissipates immediately.  I pick her up and cuddle her while I get her the treat she wanted, or refill her water dishes.

In the morning at around 4:30-5:00, she’ll literally lead me to the kitchen to fill her food bowl.  I have poor coordination when I first wake up, but I manage to follow her down the hall to the kitchen.  I give her a scoop of dry food and a spoonful of wet food.  It’s funny, because she’ll stand in front of her food container, then her bowl, then the fridge, then her bowl, then she starts eating.  She purrs loudly while she does this which is so cute.  After she eats, she goes back to bed until afternoon.  She starts by getting under the blanket on my bed.  Then when I make the bed, she gets into her cat bed underneath my bed.

She’s slightly better at keeping track of time than I am.  I suspect it’s because of her metabolism.  I’ve had her for 3 years now.  I’m worried about moving her to Denver.  She’s only ridden in a car when I brought her home initially.  Her veterinarian is down the street, and it’s easier to put her in the soft carrier and walk there than cope with her crying in the car.  I don’t know if it would be better to take my time and drive her there in increments, or to fly and just get it over with.  Either way, she’s going to cry, I just know it.

I know I should be practicing with her in the car, but there’s no way I’m going to do something that I know will upset her just to get her used to being upset.  I think I’m going to get my nephew to drive us while I hold her.  If we divide the drive into 2 days, I think she’d manage.  I could put a litter in my trunk and lower one seat so she had access to it.  I’ll do some research and see what others have done when it’s closer to that time.  If she doesn’t go, I don’t go.  It’s not negotiable.

Things have changed yet again with plans.  I lost a friend who was going to occupy one of the units in the building with her family.  At first, I was upset about it.  But now, I can see that it’s for the best.  It wasn’t a good idea in the first place.  Once I recognized that, I’ve been able to muster a little excitement for the future.  I’m mostly excited that I’ll have a home that is tailored to me and my needs.  I won’t be as independent, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’d rather have help from someone who understands, than struggle all the time.  I’m so tired of struggling.

I’m going to  take a vacation from work effective immediately.  I’m not going to let this state of overwhelmed sadness spiral into anything worse.  I’m going to take this time to do the things that make me feel joy.  I’m going to go back to making music and art.  I’m going to create things purely for the sake of creating.  I’m going to express feelings I don’t know how to put into words in order to release them into the universe and outside of myself.  I’m going to banish mean people from my world.  I’m going to stop forcing myself to pass as a neurotypical person.  I’m autistic.  It’s not something I’m willing to suffocate in an effort to make others feel more comfortable any longer.  I’m done with that.

I’ve learned an important lesson in the last few months.  Just because another person is autistic, doesn’t mean they are a good person.  Or that I should go out of my way to be kind to them, when it’s not reciprocated.  Or go out of my way to support them, when they ignore me.  I don’t deserve to be pushed aside.  I don’t deserve to be treated unkindly.  I don’t deserve to be disregarded and ignored.  I don’t owe anyone anything.  I will no longer tolerate it from anyone.  It’s wrong to treat a human being as if they are an annoyance, or invisible.  I don’t do this to people, and I won’t allow others to do it to me, and remain in my life.  Being disabled is not a free pass to treat other people like shit.

I was taught to respect everyone, and treat everyone just as I would like to be treated.  Well, I tried that, and I’m rejecting it.  From now on, I’m going to continue to treat people well, but I’m also going to observe how they treat me back.  If they mistreat me, I will cease to acknowledge their existence.  I’m done being nice to assholes.  Life is too long to put up with bullshit.  Life is too short to pretend it doesn’t hurt when someone mistreats me.  Life is too real to live it without fighting for my right to experience joy.   I don’t show it, but I’m a fighter to my core.  I will fight for my rights with a fierceness that will make my enemies flee in terror.  I’ve been fighting to exist for my entire life, and I’m really fucking good at it.

Kaisai

Today has been awesome.  I got 3 hours of continuous sleep.  Yay!  No nightmares.  Shoutout to estrella1982 for suggesting I look into lucid dreaming.  It’s fascinating, and I’ll absolutely be utilizing the technique.  I started my dosage change today.  Prozac has a long half life, so it’ll be about a month before the change takes effect.  It helps that I run because it requires me to remain well hydrated, and helps flush toxins out of my body faster.

I followed a woman on Twitter recently, and have discovered that I struck pure gold.  She’s beautiful, kind, and makes Vines that encourage people to be loving and accepting.  Plus she’s a cat lady.  Gold.  I got my responses back from Twitter regarding the racist harassment I endured a few days ago.  They basically praised their own concern for preventing harassment on the site for the first half of the email, and then told me that they didn’t find anything they consider harassment in the screen shots I sent in my reports.  I have since perused their rules regarding harassment, and discovered that unless someone directly threatens to kill you, or commit suicide, they don’t care.  So I wasn’t surprised by their email.

I accept that this is their stance on the topic.  I’ve decided to continue utilizing the site with my more thorough understanding of the role they’re willing to take in keeping the site safe in their view.  Logic is easy to accept.  I’ll utilize the block feature more readily in the future, should I encounter such hatefulness and racism.  It’s the perfect tool to assist me in protecting myself.  For some reason, in the instance I reported, I had to block the person twice before it took effect.  It could be that I double clicked the option rather than a single click.  I’ve done that with favoriting before.

I would like a more tactile option.  Like a huge red button mounted on the wall that I could whack with a purpose when encountering such unpleasantness.  But instead, I’ll just visualize it.  I’m not playing in the hashtag games today.  They are tags that encourage gore and violence.  Not my thing.  I know it’s not literal, but it’s still disturbing.  Heroes Reborn is on tonight.  I hope I can pay attention.  I missed The Big Bang Theory on Monday because I was having sensory overload issues.  Heroes Reborn is one of those shows that is right at the limit of what I can handle as far as violence and suspense.  I wish I could read it first.  Same with Minority Report.  

I’m presently reading, The Cycle of Arawn trilogy, by Edward W. Robertson.  It’s a fantasy series.  I’m liking it so far.  After that I have a new book by Amanda Palmer titled, The Art of Asking.  It was recommended by a friend on Twitter who’s awesome.  Every day she shares links to fascinating stuff.  Whenever I’m waiting for code to compile or content to render, I pop over to check my feed.  A few times, I’ve gotten absorbed in the hashtag games and spent more time than I should have goofing off.

I make up for it on the weekends, when I allow myself to hyper focus on my projects.  Allowing 2 days per week to let myself become completely absorbed in what I’m doing has been the best way to avoid meltdowns that I’ve discovered so far.  Aside from my cat, no interruptions are heeded.  I live for weekends.  I’ve been so much more social now that I’m paying attention to Twitter.  It’s hard.  Even though it’s mostly reading, it still can overwhelm me.  Today, someone I follow changed their avatar.  It really threw me.  I took a moment to stim and collect myself, and then forced myself to respond to it in the most positive manner I could muster.  She acknowledged my response, and mentioned she may put it back how it was in the future.  I felt relief at the prospect.

I’ve unfollowed a few people who change their avatar like most people change their undergarments.  I don’t understand why someone would do that.  It’s like changing your face.  It’s really upsetting.  But I’ve learned not to expect people to understand this.  Sassafrantz is the only one that doesn’t rattle me when she does this.  It’s not often, and she keeps tweets the photo of her new avatar when she changes it, and keeps the former one in her photo timeline.  That helps.

I can tell I’m still a little loopy from sleep deprivation.  My mind is all over the place hahaha.  My cat was so funny this morning.  I was laying on the floor beside her after my run.  I started to sit up to do my stretching, and she got so offended.  She made a loud, very long meow sound, and then hit me on the arm with her paw.  I don’t know what I did wrong that offended her, but it made me laugh really hard.  I guess she wasn’t ready for me to start moving again.  I apologized to her and then praised her for a bit while stroking her cheeks.  She settled, and I carried on.  So funny!  I think my cat is autistic too.  Here she is falling asleep on her Flintstones/Jetsons quilt I made her.