Yeah, he’s dating a crayon.

I’m in Denver.  M. is babysitting Amelia Bedelia in my absence.  She thinks he’s a heated cushion that dispenses treats, too, so she’ll be okay.  I have a pet cam near her climbing tree thingy.  I can talk to her through it using my phone.  She usually comes over to see how I’m doing that, then knocks it to the floor.  She’s on a lifelong mission to make sure all surfaces are clear of objects (not nailed down.)  She’s totally winning.

S. (M.’s sister) and I have been blasting Stevie Nicks music and dancing around.  I got too hot, so I’m taking a cool down break.  My body sucks at regulating my temperature.  If I get too hot and continue doing whatever activity has me overheating, I barf…  I can juggle, too.  🙃  The TV is 75″, which sounded awesome at the time.  Now I find it overwhelming, and I’m tripping over people’s skin in 4k.  It’s not as perfect as it looked in 1080P.  The actors are so real.  I mean I knew they were real, but apparently, I used to think they had fake skin.  I like reality better.

 

I’m trying to distract myself from acknowledging my anxiety.  Between the news and being away from home, I’m a bit rattled.  So I should totally stop writing about it.  S. has been noticing weird shit about me out loud.  I hope it doesn’t mean I’m getting on her nerves.  It’s making me laugh because it’s shit I never noticed.  Like putting my plate up high while it cools, then forgetting about it, then remembering when I realize I’m still hungry and it’s less appealing.

I helped her get to the this is why I don’t cook part.  (Nature knew there were going to be people like me, so she made fruit and nuts.)  S. is an excellent cook.  I’m going to put forth extra effort to eat dinner at the table with her while it’s still warm.  I think I probably fucked up, but I need to think about it some more.  I put my food up high because I have a cat, but she’s not here.  Ah well, I’ll do better at dinner.  S. is a lot of fun to hang out with, and she’s funny.

There are going to be two new Harry Potter books!!!  I didn’t expect it, and I’m so happy.  There are so many books I’m looking forward to right now.  I collect things to look forward to in the future.  They’re my little arsenal of guided anti-depression missiles.  When the Depression Monster has me in an illegal hold, and I can’t muster the energy to hold my head up, I can still think about joyful things to come.  I have notes to myself in my hallway to remind me it’s there when I need it.  (I pace a lot when I’m anxious, so I figured two birds.)

I miss M. and my cat (and would very much like to return home immediately.)  Sigh.  I met two of the kids who will be attending the camp earlier.  They’re so cute I can barely stand it.  We mostly talked about their missing teeth (twin 7-year-olds.)  I’m excited for it to begin on Monday.  I have a sponsorship prospect meeting next week, (S. is going with me, yay.)  The camp is going to be free if I have to pay for it out of my own pocket, but that’s not likely.  Frankly, it would be worth it to me to pay kids to attend.  Fortunately, I’m not the only one who understands how to invest in the future.

The best part is they’ll graduate with tools that apply to all aspects of life.  You want to be a ballerina?  Perfect!  I’ll teach you how to map your course, and troubleshoot obstacles along the way.  Hacking is about finding solutions to questions with the means at hand.  It’s generally considered to be a method of subverting computer security, but that’s an outdated interpretation, in my opinion.  To me, hacking is about critical thinking, perspective shifting, puzzle solving, brainstorming, and MacGuyver’ing.  It’s about thinking differently and optimizing.  (I did a better job of explaining in the handout, but I can’t reach it from here.)

I recognize my autistic acquaintances and friends may be thinking, “So hacking is like being autistic (aspie) on purpose.”  Yep.  What we do on a daily basis to fit in as best we can.  (Except it’s optional.)  I suppose I’m kind of giving ladders to already tall people in some ways.  However, I want today’s children to (figuratively) be able to reach everything on the highest shelves (of life) when they’re ready.  Even those that don’t exist yet.  Perhaps especially.  I’m cold now, so I’m off to dance.

 

Three squares? You can’t spare three squares?!

I conveniently forgot some of my quirks typically eliminated by using Prozac.  I’m a bit surprised by how quickly they’ve returned, although I am pretty much sweating it out of my body as fast as I can.  Today it’s supposed to storm, but it’s sunny and humid right now.  The air feels too heavy to breathe.  Fortunately, I’m heading down to Denver with M.’s sister later.  She’s going to help beta test my Hacker Camp.  We have four little girls and two little boys this first time.  They’re all nieces and nephews of the people I used to work with.

Their ages range from 7 to 13.  We’re just doing day camp, so they go home at the end of the day.  Two weeks with weekends off.  If it goes as well as I’m anticipating, I have an entire curriculum I designed over the winter that will involve an after school program.  One of my former co-workers is an art student (working part-time.)  She’s an amazing illustrator.  I hired her to do branding and to make my Hacker-in-Training manual look lovely.  I can’t wait to see what she’s made.

It’ll be fun checking in on my former co-workers.  They’re sophisticated Denverites, now.  I’m so proud of them.  I don’t fit there anymore, but I miss it sometimes.  I liked working exclusively with autistic people.  It still feels odd not to hear a periodic yip sound from D.  I didn’t realize how comforting it was until it was absent.  It must have been a subconscious anchor.  Neurotypical (NT) people don’t have tics, (visual or auditory.)  I can float completely away from them if I’m not vigilant.  The differences between working environments are most notable in cost to my energy level.  NT work environments take a lot more energy.

The brain zaps that indicate the Prozac is leaving my body have begun.  It’s a bizarre feeling.  It feels kind of like an electric shock originating in my brain, but it’s not at all painful.  The duration is so short it’s over before I notice.  I imagine tiny people reviving my brain cells in a little emergency room.  Clear!  Each zap brings me closer to The Muse.  I forgot about how much time I used to spend imagining, (before Prozac.)  It’s slowly returning.  I’m going to have to tighten up my daily schedule and use more whiteboards.  My hallway and bathroom walls are where I keep my visual cues.  I don’t even allow myself to think about not having them.  It’s too disturbing.

I’ve accepted I’ll always need a cue sheet in the shower.  I’ve wasted too much time trying to force myself to be neurotypical in ridic ways.  When democracy is restored in America, I’m going to retire.  I have lots of plans, and some are likely to work out.  My dream is to create a space designed for people like me, then maintain it.  Like me is deliberately vague because I’m still working on a definition.  I mean people who would enjoy it.  In my imagination, where it now resides, it’s a gentle place where you go for a stroll, or to sit while taking a rest from forcing your square peg into a round hole.  Where you can set down your masks and exhale.  Where having no shields doesn’t hurt.

So far, I have a vague image.  I have time for it to come more into focus.  It would be easy to say it’s for autistic people or it’s for neurodiverse people, but easy is too often wrong.  I’ve never met anyone who didn’t wear masks.  Fortunately, my imagination is about to make bail.  I’ll know when I write my first poem (in ages), things are as they should be.  Before Prozac, I wrote poetry often.  The Army was a favorable environment for poetry, and when I was a private, I had lots of time to write while being introduced to the Hurry Up and Wait lifestyle.

I’m taking my new iPad 10.5″ Pro instead of a laptop.  I’m hoping it entices me to do some artwork.  I saw a photo of Stevie Nicks I want to turn into a vector so I can blow it up and have it printed on vinyl.  She was probably in her twenties, and she’s oblivious to the camera.  It’ll take a long time, but will be so worth it.  It’s a strikingly beautiful picture.  Mostly because it captures her without any shields.  Photographers should be granted invisibility cloaks because most (neurotypical) adults are never unshielded near a camera.  Stevie Nicks drops her shields when she performs, and it’s as significant as her talent and energy.  The combination is like an irresistible magnetic pull.

I’m still brainstorming a way to see her sing live.  I noticed she’ll be performing in St. Paul next month.  It’s not an option, but knowing me, I’ll probably get excited about being in the same time zone as Stevie Nicks.  (I’m weird like that.)  Hopefully, they’ll release it for purchase in the future.  What I’d really like is for someone to film a Stevie Nicks concert in VR (virtual reality), so those of us who aren’t wired for big crowds can experience it too.  (Repeatedly.)  That would be so. fucking. awesome.  So yeah.  Someone get on that.  I’m off to finish packing.

Can’t stand ya… can’t stand ya…

Insomnia is kicking my ass.  It’s also fascinating me, which is annoying.  I’ve gotten new information recently that broke my resolve against hating Drumpf and his owner.  I know I’m dabbling in self-destruction, and that hating them will do nothing to deter their vile intentions.  It’s incredibly inefficient, too.  I’ll be channeling this otherwise wasted energy on delivering meals for Meals On Wheels.  I have a few other ideas for ways to recompense as well.

It turns out ending therapy was like blowing a thread.  Hindsight continues to beat me about the head and neck.  I got an offer on my property in Denver.  I wasn’t planning on selling, but the offer is good, and I know the buyer.  I’m going to take it.  I love Denver and will continue to visit often, but my next address will be a PO Box and forwarding service.  My former coworkers are settling in far better than I anticipated.  My doctor from Boston is there with her adult son helping iron out wrinkles in the transition.  I’ll be heading there soon to tie up loose ends in my unit.

My lease here is up in August, but I plan on signing another.  There are lots of new complexes springing up, but they’re on the outskirts of town, and most don’t allow pets.  Amelia Bedelia loves my insomnia.  She helped me assemble and configure some Raspberry Pi projects I’ve been building instead of sleeping.  Too bad I can’t teach a cat to code.  I set up some individually addressable LEDs a few nights ago.  I’ll probably keep it on the rainbow chasing setting I have now.

I still suck at photography, but you can see it well enough.  It doesn’t show the motion, but I’m not confident my video shooting skills are any better.  The Fisher Price Sesame Street has all the original pieces, but the handle broke when I was a kid, and the stickers are a bit faded.  I used to spend hours arranging the furniture and people.  Then I discovered Barbies.  My mom saved it for me, and now it’s a reason to smile when I see it.  The other building is the Lego Detective Office, and it’s what I did last week when I couldn’t sleep.

I hope I have better luck sleeping tonight.  I’m so tired it hurts.  I haven’t heard from the woman with whom I was going to collaborate on a blog entry.  I hope all is well with her.  I also hope I didn’t accidentally offend her or scare her off.  I’m sure I’ll spend time futilely calculating the probabilities later.  Instead of sleeping.  Because apparently I don’t do that anymore.  I feel like I’m stuck in an Edgar Allen Poe story.  Sleep for Alison, nevermore.  I just checked.  I still hate Drumpf and his bare-chested, horse riding demon.  And their evil court.

I’m drawing my line in the sand.  If you still support Drumpf after the FBI accepted the CIA conclusion that Russians hacked to help him win, which is treason, you’re dead to me.  My love is conditional.  So is my like, amicability, consideration, and tolerance.  I don’t tolerate evil.  I don’t tolerate those who pretend they don’t recognize evil when in reality, they just don’t care unless it effects them directly.  So dead.  So dead to Alison, (Monica).

I feel so much lighter now that I’ve taken my stance.  I’ve lost 9 lbs since I voted for Clinton from the shock.  Also, being this overtired messes with what little sense of time I have, and I end up eating 2 meals a day instead of 3.  Basically, I eat breakfast twice in 24 hours or so.  I’m not concerned.  My appetite will recover without effort on my part.  In the meantime, I’m cold unless I’m in the shower.  I thought I preferred being cold to being hot, but it turns out it’s only true when I’m hot.  I have another appointment with an endocrinologist next month.  It’s at 4:20, to my delight.  I’m off to read.

The tomato never really took off as a hand fruit.

I made it to Denver.  My flight was delayed from taking off because of storms.  We got there an hour late, so it wasn’t too bad.  I sat next to an older gay couple on the plane.  They were cool, and we discussed the weather, and where we were headed.  I had the window seat as usual.  I started to get anxious after we sat on the plane for an hour, but I tweeted it and a friend responded right off.  It made all the difference.  I got picked up by my nephew, and we went to a dispensary on our way to his house.

It was the same one I usually use, Terrapin Station in Aurora.  They have good security, prices, waiting room, and bud tenders.  Of course I’m a loyal customer.  I noticed they increased the amount a tourist is allowed to purchase.  By a lot.  We can get a whole um… I’m not sure.  I do remember it was an eighth last time I visited.  Denver is so awesome.  I love it almost as much as Sioux Falls, and I grew up there.  It’s just a fun place to be.  My blood pressure went down as soon as we landed.

They have talking trains in the airport.  Plus, moving sidewalks, and more stores and restaurants than our mall.  The airport architecture is brilliant, too.  The floating sails keep it in perpetual motion on the wind, even though it’s just an illusion.  So perfect for an airport.  I got dropped off at my hotel a bit ago, and have spent the entire time calling the front desk because the wifi wasn’t working.  It took 11 rings for them to pick up at the front desk.  That was strike one.

I had to call 3 times.  The second time, 2 rings.  Huge improvement.  Reduced to .5 strike.  Then I saw a sign that alluded to the existence of an iron.  I looked around, but no iron.  Oops.  Not a strike, because I don’t need it.  The picture on the TV is not HD, although the TV is.  480P can never again be considered worthy of charging money.  720P is the minimum resolution for a hotel of this level.  Strike 1.5.

I love the decor.  The room is small, but the floor plan is so good it doesn’t matter.  The fridge was cold.  Yay.  The room was 72 degrees F.  Perfect.  Lots of outlets for my gadgets.  Check.  Cleanliness…  Houston, we have a white liquid stain on the wall, dangerously close to the desk chair.  Then I noticed the trash can directly below the stain.  Probably milk.  Barfarama averted.  Strike 2.

There are no instructions for things like, aloha desk means front desk on the phone.  No phone book or Gideon’s Bible.  “No problem there”, said the tree.  I found the iron and a full size ironing board inside the headboard, facing the wall.  I was looking for instructions.  It actually looks cool, and is a smart use of space.  Still doesn’t matter to me, as I would rather have instructions.  I don’t know when breakfast is served, and it’s not complimentary.  The elevators are almost hospital grade.  Nice.

Finally, I have to say it’s quieter than my usual hotel, Woolley’s Classic Suites, which had no more rooms when I booked this trip.  They have a beautiful, loud waterfall in the center, open to all levels.  Here, at Aloft, the fridge is not inside a wooden cabinet, so it’s louder than necessary.  Annoying, but I’ll live.  But the room smells like smoke, even though it’s a smoke free facility.  There’s a sign in the hall that says, “No butts about it.  Aloft is smoke free.”  I beg to differ.

That was strike three.  I won’t stay here again, or recommend it.  The worst thing is that I can see Woolley’s from my porch.  Kidding.  From my window.  It’s where I’d rather be.  Far less modern and hip, but Aloft blew it.  If I ran this hotel, there would be instructions written in a humorous way, letting guests know where everything is located, how to reach the front desk, when breakfast is served, and the like.  There would be 1080P resolution on well calibrated HDTVs.  Hip and modern can’t get away with old tech.  It’s an oxymoron.

When I complained about no wifi, he first offered to allow me to come down to the front desk to use it there because, “we have problems with it reaching the upper levels.”  I’m on the second floor.  Oh, really.  So it’s been a known issue long enough for you to rattle that off unbidden.  I see.  I didn’t say that, of course.  I thought of it later.  I tried to make my voice sound annoyed, but I don’t think I pulled it off, as evidenced by his response.  Then the wifi worked.  It’s an unsecured network.  Of course.

If I ran it, this would be rectified immediately.  They make us check a usage agreement to log in, and they time it, so I can’t delete that cookie without repeating this nightmare.  So yeah… More like Astonishingly Confusing, But Cool Looking.  Pathetic.  I hate it when a business has a great idea but don’t  make it a reality, and still have the audacity to run with the half assed, or committee approved version.  There’s no way the minds that created this building were in on the epic fails described above.  Creative people don’t settle for mediocre easily.  They know the cost to their soul is too high.

Fortunately, I’m leaving tomorrow.  My nose and eyes are burning, and I can feel a sinus headache coming on.  I’m off to read.

 

Not that there’s anything wrong with it!

Today seemed to fly by.  I’m flying to Denver tomorrow for an interview and to sign some paperwork.  My therapist gave me a quick pep talk in email, reminding me that I’ll do fine.  She’s really good about that.  I did have a lot of anxiety earlier, and came close to a panic attack, but didn’t have one.  I did the grounding and breathing exercises she taught me and warded it off.  Now I’m merely a tiny bit nervous.  I think that’s acceptable.  I’ll be back Saturday night or Sunday morning, so it’ll be a cinch.  I won’t even have time to miss my cat.  Much.

I think I got anxious because I was going to try and pack tonight.  I decided instead to make a packing list tonight, and pack tomorrow.  I’m not nervous for the interview because I’ve had lots of training for that.  I’m WYSIWYG, (what you see is what you get).  I’m not self conscious, even though I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how to change that.  I’m starting to think it’s not something you can acquire through sheer effort.  I just don’t know how to divide my attention into so many facets in real time.  But I can roll my tongue, so I guess it’s fair.

It’s getting ready to storm.  I just went and looked on my balcony, and there’s lots of lightning everywhere I can see, but not directly above yet.  My cat lets me know in advance because she won’t leave the kitchen when it’s storming or about to start.  I tried to pick her up and move her to my bedroom once.  I have a scar on my arm to remind me never to do that again.  She clawed me hard enough to draw blood, then scolded me.  It was hilarious, but I got the message.  I figure it’s the most use my kitchen gets, so there’s that.  I’m off to read.

 

So that’s one tuck, and one no tuck.

I’m getting excited about moving, again.  One thing that I won’t miss about South Dakota is the humidity.  There’s a hay field adjacent to my apartment complex.  When the hay is plowed, baled, and taken away, there is a noticeable drop in humidity, just from that.  If I were surrounded by corn fields, I would never go outside.  Corn is the worst at holding humidity at ground level.  Not to mention the horror movie references to add a creepiness factor.  In Denver, humidity isn’t an issue.  I suppose it’s due to the high altitude.  I’m also taking note of things I’m missing by not being there.  My birthday is also a holiday called, Juneteenth.  It represents Black Independence Day.  It’s celebrated in Denver every year.

I’m almost structuring my transition as if I was in the military and preparing to PCS (permanent change of station).  I’ve created an outline that I’ll add to as things occur to me.  Things like submitting an address change with the post office.  Once I have a pretty good outline, I’ll make some checklists to work through as the time to move gets closer.  I figure if I allow myself to obsess about preparation, I’ll be too busy to get anxious about moving.  And sooner than I’ll realize, it’ll be time to go.  I’m going to hire a company that cleans apartments between tenants to clean my unit after I move everything out.  I’ve always gotten my deposit back, and this company guarantees it.  Otherwise, it would take me a few days to properly clean it.  I’m a slow cleaner because I get distracted so easily.

I like cleaning, but then I like pretty much all mind-numbing, repetitive motion.  Especially if it serves a purpose.  I sorted through a lot of things I want to give away tonight.  It’ll be so nice to own far less when I move.  I like photos of things more than the actual things quite often.  Unless it’s a tool of some sort, like my violin, or computers.  I want to do a hall wall that’s floor to ceiling photos of stuff I like but don’t want the burden of owning.  That’ll be fun.  I’m off to read.

 

Because I have to return the socks and get different ones.

It’s been an interesting week.  I made it to Denver on Monday, and returned on Wednesday.  It was a productive trip in terms of getting things ready for my move.  I even went on a short run with a representative from a local running club.  I felt the difference when running in a higher altitude.  It’ll take some time to adjust once I move.  I ended up getting dehydrated from the trip.  The combination of flying, running, and not hydrating enough for the circumstances landed me in the ER twice since I’ve been home.  The first time, they gave me IV fluids and something for altitude sickness.  The second time, more IV fluids, a brain scan, and a potassium drip.  The potassium burns going in, so that sucked.

I felt much better afterward, and the burning stopped when the drip stopped.  I learned that the hybrid weed strain continues to eliminate my anxiety.  I also learned that aside from highly stressful events, I probably won’t be using it on a regular basis.  At least not initially.  This is due to the fact that it lowers inhibitions.  My therapist agrees that it makes me more vulnerable, and although she could see a positive difference when we did a video chat online, I don’t think she felt the benefits outweighed the potential dangers I could face when using it alone.  So now I’ll only use weed when I’m around someone I trust well enough to tell me off if I start making poor decisions.

While I didn’t put myself in a compromising situation, I did do silly things that I doubt I would have done otherwise.  Like ordering room service, taking a photo of the food, then forgetting to eat it.  It was so odd to have food sitting on the table with me across the room, not guarding it from my furry little predator.  It made me laugh to think how I must look at home, constantly scanning for a flying furball coming in low for a dash-n-grab off my plate.  My cat is slightly less coordinated than most cats.  So her dash-n-grabs almost always result in the entire plate crashing to the floor.  But she looks so focused and determined that it’s impossible to do anything but laugh.

Sometimes, I’ll catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, and I know she’s scouting.  I start laughing then, which probably encourages her, but I just can’t help it.  It’s so funny to watch her little butt wiggle back and forth while she does kitty physics in her head before springing.  I’m feeling a lot better now, but I’m a bit sore from dragging my R2D2 suitcase around the Denver airport.  I’m mixed race, which is almost never an issue.  I’m African American.  It’s obvious to anyone who doesn’t work for TSA, apparently.  They seemingly choose to see the slight resemblance to a woman of Middle Eastern descent.  I don’t wear a burka.  I wear jeans and a t-shirt like it’s a uniform.  I almost always wear headphones and sunglasses.  I walk like a soldier, and I probably act like one, always taking in the details.  Okay, I’m starting to see why TSA profiles me.  Nevermind.

So anyway, the first time I went through TSA security, I forgot to retrieve my laptop from the tray.  I left security, got on the train, and then walked the remaining distance to my gate.  I sat down, and pulled out my iPad.  I started playing a puzzle game, and then I remembered I have this game on my laptop.  I reach for it, and OMG, it’s not there!!  I begin to panic, and collect my things.  I walk over to the nearest TSA official, and tell her I forgot my laptop in security.  She asks me what time my plane leaves, and I inform her.  She sends me back to security to see if it was turned in.  I drag R2D2 back to security, only moving more quickly this time.  I should note that I arrived at the airport 3 hours before my flight was due to leave, as requested by my airline.

I finally get back to security, and am informed that I have to go through security again.  Huge eyeroll as the lines are much longer than when I went through before.  As I’m slowly walking through the maze of lines, I finally reach the front, and an adorable puppy on a leash comes by, sniffing all the suitcases.  It couldn’t have been more than 6 months old!  A chocolate labrador, probably mixed with something.  It took everything I had to refrain from laying down next to that dog and convincing it that playing with me is far more fun than sniffing for um… Bombs…  (Because that’s what TSA is doing in Denver, wink wink).

Then when R2D2 slides through the machine, the guy watching the scanner scrutinizes me… Oops, I mean my bag.  I looked right at him, and rolled my eyes.  He pulled R2D2 out and slid him down the WRONG lane.  I sighed audibly.  He was flagging me for a search and grope.  Fucker.  So some really cute black dude went through my stuff, including wiping down my drivers’ license to check for some sort of residue.  But that was nothing compared to the pat down I got from the TSA woman.  She used the backs of her hands against me, but that didn’t make it any less invasive.  I kind of feel like I should call her.

I did finally get my laptop back.  I was so grateful, and the TSA official who handed it to me laughed at my happy dance.  I had already begun preparing myself not to cry in case they couldn’t find it so I was ecstatic.  I made it back to my gate in plenty of time to board my plane home.  And to think I bitched and moaned about having to show up 3 hours early to clear TSA.  But yeah… It sucks being profiled.  I suspect being Autistic makes me appear a bit shady to security types, too.  If I didn’t get carsick so easily, I’d probably still fly because I love the taking off part, and it’s so much quicker than driving.

I missed my cat while I was away.  She was in her new hiding spot when I got back.  She squeaked at me for the first hour.  Then she glued herself to me for a bit.  But I must have done something loud, because she retreated back to her hiding spot for several hours.  I finally coaxed her out and carried her around for a while, cooing at her.  She hugs back when you carry her over your shoulder.  It’s so adorable.  She forgave me after that, but it really tugged at my heart.  I wanted to tell her I’d never do this again, but I will be doing this as much as monthly until I move.  I’m starting to think I’ll move out of sheer exasperation over travelling back and forth.  But nah, I know me.  I’ll turn my focus to becoming the Ultimate Packing Ninja, and figure out how to pack for a week’s stay in a single backpack.  Challenge accepted.

The water was cold and the chewing warms me up.

I’m having an anxious day so far.  I got up way too early again.  It was my fault this time.  I got out my carryon suitcase to pack last night, and my cat immediately climbed in.  Apparently she’s decided that this time, she’s coming with me.  Eventually, I had to move her so I could pack.  She wasn’t happy about it, and got her revenge at 4:27 AM.  She’s probably on a different schedule now, because of my feeding her so early yesterday.  I took my time getting up to feed her.  I stripped my bed, then fed her.  She acted like she was starving, even though there is food in her bowl.  She eats directly in the middle of the bowl, leaving food around the edges of the bowl, then acts like it’s empty.  It’s adorable.

As much as I hate being awakened too early, she always makes me laugh.  The longer I have her, the better we are at understanding each other.  It’s hard to believe she was timid when I first got her.  I set out water bowls in strategic places, (where I’m not likely to trip).  She walks around the apartment and inspects each water bowl, then climbs on the bathroom counter for me to turn the water on.  I can’t blame her for wanting it as fresh as possible, but when I got her a fountain, she used it to store her toys.  I have no idea what that meant, so I don’t bother with it now.  I leave the faucet on a trickle when I go out of town, and when I return, all her bowls of water are much lower than when I left.  It’s not long enough for it to have evaporated, so I figure she’s just weird.

At least she doesn’t stay in front of the door for most of the time I’m gone anymore.  There would be a fur nest making it obvious she spent a lot of time there.  I hope not calling for me.  My neighbors haven’t said anything, so probably not.  Even if I could take her with me, I wouldn’t.  I’ll be busy shopping for furniture.  I always get nervous before travelling by myself.  Then I go, and it’s fine, and I wonder what I was so uptight about.  I’m going swimming since it’s 80° F already.  That should distract me.

I’m Cosmo!

That was the best vacation, ever.  It was very short, but in all the right ways.  My arrival time was perfect, in that it allowed me enough time to settle in my hotel room, then have dinner and hang out with my new aide.  Her place is cool, and she has a piano.  We walked her dog, which was a comfortable way to socialize for me.  I had a small dose of the hybrid before we met up.  It lasted the entire time, and I slept well that night, (Friday).  Maddie is the kind of person who looks in your eyes when she talks to you, if possible.  I don’t mind this, but I worry about my inability to reciprocate.

I didn’t get overwhelmingly anxious during this time.  When I felt a twinge of anxiety, it didn’t escalate further.  It was manageable, even when I psyched myself out by focusing directly on my anxiety levels, before catching myself.  It would seem that cannabis is impervious to my thought glitches.  Bonus.  It didn’t help with missing my cat, though.  It seemed like every commercial had a cat in it for a bit.  I really should schedule an appointment with my shrink to get started with making her a service animal.  Or whatever status allows me to keep her with me when I’m so far outside my comfort zone.

I think the most important factor of my using cannabis is the fact that it effectively takes the edge off anxiety, to the degree that I’m able to socialize without the constant interference.  I kept track of amount, intake method, strain, and THC%.  I also noted my diet and sleep patterns.  It was all good news.  The next day, all science was tossed out the window.  I had an astonishing amount of weed via second hand, some bong hits, and a non-stop puff, puff, pass for 4 hours.  I drank water throughout the tour.  I noticed several of us initiating a conversation, only to forget the topic halfway through.  It was hilarious to me.  The woman from Atlanta looked like she had something quite profound to share with us, but didn’t make it past the build up.  We all laughed when she came up short, and she laughed too.

I initiated the conversation with the ex-googler.  I had reached a point where I didn’t really care what his response would be, let alone my own ability to stay on topic.  I was able to process and retain his response, and we had the “google isn’t for everyone” talk.  I noticed while riding around to our various stops, that there closer to downtown Denver, the more dispensaries you pass.  There’s not a shortage of dispensaries in Denver.  I did catch a story about people doing illegal growing, and then taking the weed across state lines.  Apparently a few non-legal states were bitching to the supreme court that Colorado is making it harder to police weed in their state.  Legalize it, dumbasses.  Stop throwing money at what isn’t a problem, and have your cops spend that wasted time in race sensitivity training.

I’ve concluded that it’s a lot of fun to get really, really stoned.  However, it’s not something I’d want to do every day.  When I move, I’ll use cannabis as a tool 99% of the time.  But when I want to really relax and have fun doing something I never thought I could manage, I’ll try that again.  Fun, safe, and no consequences.  I discovered a new-to-me TV show that had me laughing so hard.  It’s called, “Last Man Standing”.  It’s my new favorite show.  I can tell there is some ad libbing going on, which I love.  I loved noticing it’s set in Denver, since that’s where I was watching it.  It’s on Netflix, so I’m going to binge on that later.  I’m technically “off” work for this week.  I’m still feeling more relaxed than usual, which is a nice effect.  It snowed/rained last night, so it’s cooled off.  It snowed in Denver while I was there, too, but not enough to get excited about.

I’m glad to be home, but I’m still smiling from the fun I had.  I’ve been playing my violin a lot since I got home.  I play when I’m happy.