“Sleep is separate from that.”

Sleepy kitty

I need to focus on my sleep issues.  I haven’t been able to sleep for more than a few hours in a row this week.  While it’s enough to function, it’s not enough to interact with other people.  I lost count of how many times I’ve completely misunderstood what others were saying in the last two days alone.

I feel like I’ve been speaking English and everyone else is speaking Mandarin.  Only it’s worse because I don’t realize they’re not using English (in real time.)  My balance is wonky, too.  I slipped on some ice during my run this morning, and now I’m sporting road rash on my chin.  I didn’t even get to do the precarious dance first; just face planted.

Fortunately, I have clear band-aids.  Fabulous invention.  Now people who aren’t the shade so rudely referred to as flesh tone don’t have to announce their injuries from across the room.  Yay.  I reread Animal Farm by George Orwell last night.  Now I’m reading The Descendents, by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  It’s fascinating so far.  Next, I’m going to look for my copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams.

I thought I was going to stick with women authors this year, but it didn’t work out.  Plus, John Scalzi has a book release soon.  I did read lots of novels by Octavia Spencer and Ursula LeGuin, but then I decided gender is irrelevant in authors.  Women authors don’t write more gently, as I anticipated.

I built a soundproof chamber for Amelia Bedelia.  She loves it.  I can get in up to my shoulders, and it’s fabulous.  I’m fascinated by my cat’s personality.  When she’s in her chamber, she wants to be alone.  If I acknowledge her in any way while she’s chilling in there, she bites me.  That’s a stern, “no.”  Heh.

I ordered DirecTV Now (because M. had a cow.)  I didn’t realize I was an asshole for canceling cable without discussing it with him first.  It seems to be superior to Playstation Vue, and I discovered I get free HBO for life (not sure whose) for being an AT&T wireless customer.  Yay.  Sony rearranged which channels go with which tier, and the options suck.  It’s tailored to Fox News watching sports lovers.  Hard pass.

We’re watching Gattaca tonight.  It’s one of my favorite films.  M. hasn’t seen it yet.  I think he’ll enjoy it, too.  I’m off to make the popcorn.

movie night popcorn

You got a problem with paba?

The Depression Monster is kicking my ass.  I’m doing surprisingly well, despite.  Well, in that I’m too numb for it to touch my spirit.  The buffer has always existed, but it’s only recently occurred why.  I’m delighted by this new insight.  I’ve decided to accept it without analyzing it (to death.)  My understanding is enough.  How rare.  But I don’t dare linger here.  The brain zaps from Prozac withdrawal are happening every few moments, now.  It feels a lot like being excessively high on cannabis.  It’s almost out of me forever.  Yay.

I’m glad I went on the marijuana tour last year, or this would probably freak me out.  (Okay, definitely.)  I was awed by the amount of weed I was able to consume without consequences during the tour.  I watched the younger tourists consume far more simultaneously, also without repercussion.  It had the intended effect of eliminating rote fears.  Something about cannabis works the same way Prozac does on my brain.  Does this mean I’m going to replace Prozac with pot?  Nope.   😂  Fuck drugs.

While I had no compunction with legally consuming in the past, I’ve grown since.  People who were off my radar then are now present in my world, and their influence is intense.  I could legally smoke a joint in front of both Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom (my imaginary personal life coaches) without feeling like I was hovering over a pit of doom.  I couldn’t do it in front of  Stevie Nicks, though.  I can’t even do it knowing Stevie Nicks exists.  So here we are.  Post pot life.  I’m glad I experimented, but fuck feeling like I’m hovering over a pit of doom just to get high.

It’s not even ironic.  Stevie Nicks specifically said to avoid cocaine, bourbon, and weed because she used the hell out of them, and it almost killed her.  She added Klonopin to the list of never do’s, too, stating it was the worst of them.  Through watching her documentary DVD’s and the interviews on YouTube, I learned of this dark chapter of her story.  It made me grieve for what she endured.  (That’s the only part that didn’t surprise me.  😂)   Do as I learned, not as I did before learning.  That’s fucking powerful.  I’m amazed by this turn of events, but not upset.

I’m pretty confident I was born high enough.  I don’t need mood altering substances to tease reality.  I can just read a Stephen King novel.  Or Clive Barker, who is rapidly gaining my loyalty as a reader.  I abandoned Tess of d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy quickly, and read Duma Key by Stephen King, instead.  If you’re an artist, read Duma Key.  You’re welcome.  (It’s an excellent story, regardless.)  I’m done reading fiction that centers on women as victims.  I’m basically abstaining from the Lifetime Channel variety of novels forever.  ‘Cuz holy shit.  It’s like forced empathy training for sociopaths, (as if that would work.)

What?  Your novel is about a woman who got raped?  (Visualize me running away, screaming “Fuck!”)  I don’t even watch TV anymore.  I have four TV’s, two of which are newer 4k LG’s with HDR.  I’m going to give away the other two.  The new ones are still useful for movies and video games.  And to watch Will and Grace when it starts, of course.  My other show, Better Things, I buy to stream via Amazon.  I’m going to give away my Fire TV, too, since I just realized I haven’t used it since I set it up a year ago.  Oops.  Roku made it redundant.  I haven’t even looked at the Apple 4k whatever.  I’m good.

I need to give away my excess computers, too.  My house AI can stay once I adjust her, but all the single card computers can go.  I don’t need to know the humidity level of my bedroom while I’m  sleeping, for starters.  I regret I’ve crossed the line between smart home and smart ass home.  Sigh.  I thought I would love it, but it turns out I find it incredibly annoying between the hours of 2 and 4 AM.  Even Wanda Sykes couldn’t make me laugh during that time…  On second thought, she probably could.  😂  But until she shows up to try, I’ll be sleeping during those hours.  I’m off to debug de-feature.

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.

 

 

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.”

Well I have a feeling what you are about to go through is punishment enough.

I’m doing better than I expected.  My Depression Box has never let me down.  I’ve gotten slightly better at coloring.  I’ve begun adding shadows and highlights with black and white colored pencils.  They’re the type that turn into watercolors, require less pressure, and break easily.  They came in a rollup case that closes with a snap.  It was a good option for me.  I have a giant poster of NYC, still rolled in it’s case, waiting for me to bring it to life.  I’m saving it for a special occasion.  It amuses me that by special occassion, I mean the next time the Depression Monster kicks my ass.

My Election Anxiety Disorder, (IKR!), is intensifying.  I didn’t sleep last night.  I spent at least an hour contorting my arms, trying to scratch an elusive itch on my back.  I hate when I do things like that.  It feels like being a skipping record, and I don’t know where I am when it’s going on.  I suspect it might be my brains way of compensating for my horrific sleep patterns.  I had the reputation of being able to sleep standing up with my eyes open, while in basic training.  Well, I sure as hell wasn’t sleeping soundly in a room with 24 other terrified young women.

We were the last cycle to use the WW2 barracks on Tank Hill at Ft. Jackson.  There was no hot water.  Ever.  The buildings were rickety wooden things with 2 levels.  The lower level housed 25 privates, 1 latrine, and 1 supply closet.  The upper level housed 25 privates, 1 latrine, and 1 Drill Sgt’s office.  It was the first time I ever saw a cockroach.  It skittered across my bare foot, resulting in a near fatal case of The Willies.  We were also the last cycle that wasn’t co-ed.  Looking in the direction of males was against the rules when I did basic.  Eight weeks later, they shared day rooms, laundry rooms, mess halls, etc.  They basically train together now.  The Army is many things, but stagnant is not one of them.

I have to make a concession.  I’ve been boycotting Orson Scott Card for years, due to his harmful, and outspoken stances on homosexuality, and other human variants that don’t align with his particular flavor of religion.  I understand now that I can’t reject him as a member of the human race, because he’s still human.  He makes good choices, too.  He created Ender Wiggin, and Bean.  He wrote Speaker for the Dead.  Those are incredibly redeeming feats.  They can’t be ignored, despite his hateful flaws.  Any man who can accomplish what he has already managed is forgivable.  Any gnashing of teeth on my part from here on out is my problem.

I’m not throwing anyone under the bus.  I’m acknowledging reality.  It hurts all the time.  Don’t seek outrage.  Ender’s Game, and all the books in the Enderverse are part of the my story now.  There have been a few that detail the Bugger Wars that were published after my boycott.  I may get around to reading them, but it’s irrelevant.  Iyua, Jane, commonalities between Spanish and Portuguese, why Mormons seem to make excellent speculative fiction writers, and sentient artificial intelligence are part of the thoughts that course through my brain on a regular basis.  There’s no going back.

Novels are a huge part of who I am.  They’re the most effective means of interaction I’ve discovered so far.  It’s rare that I despise a book.  Perhaps five out of thousands.  Never trust the NYT’s Bestsellers list.  When they get it wrong, they get it so wrong it’s traumatic.  Remember The Passage by Justin Cronin?  I want a Man in Black to come by and flashy thing that novel out of my memory forever.  Running at night used to be one of my favorite pleasures.  Justin fucked that all up.  Probably for life.  Asshole.  Sigh.

I’ve forgiven an author, thoroughly vacuumed my apartment, sat on the edge of my bed and stressed about the upcoming election, and finished a really good book.  Pretty good considering my unicorn just died.  I think I’m done with therapy.  Knowing I can survive that, I got this.  There’s nothing left that can rattle me beyond my ability to overcome, as long as I pay attention.  The thing that’s stressing me out the most right now, is my fear that some people might kill themselves after the election results are in.  I just want to say that no matter who wins, it’s going to be okay.  You survived life this long, and made it through some unbelievable shit already.  They can’t hurt you.  I’ll be here to protect those who are weaker than me in any way.

If you want Trump to be the president, and it turns out he’s not elected, I still have your back.  I don’t judge you for choosing what seems like the best option from your point of view.  That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do.  That’s why I have your back.  If you want anyone except Trump to be the president, and anyone except Trump wins, know that I also have your back.  He’s triggered a lot of deep pain, and as if that wasn’t enough, people like me have harped on it even further, in a well intentioned, but deeply regretted in hindsight, attempt to protect those of you he’s hurting the most.  I stepped in it, and I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I still need to protect you, and want to do it without insulting you as much as possible.

I just finished reading, Not Alone, by Craig A. Falconer.  It’s so good.  I’m so glad I read it.  It had a pretty subtle, (to me), anti-hegemony bent, but was wasted on a bleeding heart liberal like myself.   It didn’t detract from the wonderful story.  I’m one of those people who thought The Davinci Code was blatantly obvious, and a waste of my precious reading time.  Not Alone was so cryptic in it’s plot twists that I didn’t even identify foreshadowing in real time like I like.  That alone is a treat.  The writing was invisible, which is amazing.  I honestly don’t remember “reading”.  I just remember living that story all night.  Color me impressed.

It’s about aliens.  (If that’s a spoiler, your detector is too sensitive.)  It’s about a young man who isn’t autistic, but is obviously neurodiverse.  I enjoy reading about neurodiverse people.  I don’t care if they mess up a bit on the PC front, so long as we get to join the rest of society in the future, on a regular basis, from here on out.  It’s the same as my Big Bang Theory, Theory.  I’m not patient enough with a remote to read all of the notes the creator posts after each episode.  I’m also 1 season behind.  From here, they’ve alluded to Sheldon’s being ‘not crazy, my mother had me tested’.  They’ve also allowed the majority of actors who appear on the show to exhibit external quirks that are recognizable as familiar by those of us on the spectrum.

I like this approach.  It’s the, “Whatever you choose to interpret, is correct.” approach.  Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt. (giggling)  I think it’s brilliant.  I interpret it as, “We’re not going to talk about it, we’re going to demonstrate it so realistically that everyone will either be up in arms offended, or giving us our due; a standing ovation.”  Autism has already been offensively portrayed in so many ways, it’s refreshing when someone does it right, and doesn’t demand being recognized for the achievement.

I see parts of myself in all the characters.  None of them are a replica of me, or anyone I know.  That’s the point.  Neurodivergent people are diverse.  I have my Stuart Blue days.  I have my Sheldon Cooper Moments.  I think we all do.  We all have that thing we know so much about, that we could talk for hours, and never repeat ourselves. We don’t all recognize this superpower within ourselves, but some people are too busy living life to reflect this much.   It’s a common disability superpower to recognize superpowers in the first place.  The times when we don’t get to participate, because we live in a world that doesn’t fit properly, we tend to reflect.  It’s a good way to cope with disappointment and rage.

For a 30 minute sitcom to achieve excellent character development is awesome.  It’s what makes some shows awesome.  All in the Family, Seinfeld, Frasier, Cheers, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Rosanne, Friends, MASH; these are the shows I’m talking about.  The characters are the show.  Nothing happens in sitcoms post 1990.  A bump in the credits is the only way they acknowledge real life.  Pretty sure that’s a good strategy. Big Bang Theory will join them in history, for the same reason.  Score.