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.

Serenity Now!

One of my stitches came out today.  It grossed me out, but I’m glad I didn’t swallow it.  The pain is tolerable without pain medication now.  The swelling has also gone down quite a bit.  I’m proud of my body for healing so well.  I feel like a healing ninja.  I’m re-reading the Stormlight Archive books in anticipation of a new installment being published.  But I found out that the next book by Brandon Sanderson will be in a different series.  Oh well, It’s another one I’ll enjoy reading in a week or so.  He does very well with releasing new novels.  Most of my other favorite authors have a much longer time scale between releases.  I’m fine with waiting.  I just hope they don’t die before they finish.  But even when that happened with the epic series by Robert Jordan, it was finished using his notes by Brandon Sanderson.  I really like the Wheel of Time series, so I’m glad it was completed.

I enjoyed re-reading The Pickwick Papers recently.  It’s one of my favorites by Dickens.  He was like the Bernie Sanders of that era through his novels.  I wish Ayn Rand would have studied Dickens’ books, not only for their messages, but also for a good example of how to deliver it without being painfully redundant.  I think she could have been a much better writer if she put as much effort into her story telling as she did into her propaganda.  I still read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged every so often.  Objectivism is exaggerated far beyond what reality can support, but it still has a few valid points.  I deeply regret that her emotional intelligence was overshadowed so much by her intellect.  That lack of balance held back her true potential.  When I see people living today who still regard Objectivism as a viable philosophy, I shake my head in sadness.  It’s become a magnet for insecure pseudo-intellectuals.  I always hope they outgrow it.

The characters in the Stormlight Archive challenge me in ways I haven’t clearly defined yet.  The child within me wants my hero to be clear and pure.  The older, more sophisticated part of me wants to have to think in order to recognize them.  To see through the layers of believable shortcomings and flaws, and discover the hero inside.  Brandon Sanderson presents neither.  His heroes are different.  They may seem flawed, but after more data and thought, I find myself adjusting my assumptions and definitions of what makes a hero.  It’s an enlightening process.  It’s probably why I love his novels so much.  They require a bit of personal growth in order to get from them all that you can.  I suspect this is part of why Charles Dickens was and is so beloved as a novelist.  It’s also where Ayn Rand failed.  I wanted John Galt to be a hero.  Instead, he turned out to be a prick.  Howard Roark was an asshole.  We admired their accomplishments and talents, but that’s not enough.  A hero has to be more.  A hero has to inspire us to be better human beings.  John Galt and Howard Roark inspired us to be self absorbed assholes.  Pseudo-intellectuals embrace this because it was intelligently presented, and they think it makes them elite, when in reality, it exposes them as pathetic.

I see it as a filter.  I don’t put forth effort in relating to people who are pro-objectivists.  It allows me to pay attention to those who aren’t driven by fear.  Life is too short to bother with converting assholes.  Plenty of fish, and all that.

Authors are my rock stars

When I finish reading a book or book series, I have a cathartic moment where I reflect on the story, the author, and what I imagine would happen next if the story continued.  The better the book, the longer this process lingers in the background of my thoughts.  Some authors evoke a strong feeling of gratitude for their work.  It’s intense.  I don’t think it’s hero worship.  More like admiration for what they have accomplished and shared, and my assumption that I’ve only seen a glimpse of their spirit.  I have no idea what struggles they are facing now, and have already conquered on their journey through life.  I don’t data mine personal information about people I admire.  It too often has no relevance to what the person has shared consensually.

I think it’s cathartic because when you consider what an author gives you, there isn’t really any way to return an equally enthralling gift.  You’re now permanently in their debt, but you don’t mind because the gift lasts a lifetime.  That’s pretty big.  I guess I think of all exchanges as optimally equal.  I think we readers got the best deal in life.  We can purchase an entire world for less than $200.  We can also purchase a tailored soundtrack to our own lives for about the same amount of money.  Free if you’re a pirate, matey!  But I think stealing from an artist is a karmic taboo of fantastical proportions.  For me, books and music are the art forms I favor the most.  I read a lot of books.  Some of them are entertaining while reading, and then quickly forgotten.  Some are exciting, interesting, and informative.  But a few are so powerful that they reach deep within us, and become part of our life story and soundtrack.  Movies don’t reach me in this way.  Too much of my attention is tied up in anxiety management to allow the story to sink in.

When reading a book, I let go of my own world almost immediately after entering the new world.  I’m still aware after a bit of prodding, but completely absorbed.  I think this is me doing my part as a reader in the reader/writer relationship.  It’s a fascinating relationship.  It’s imaginary, for one thing.  It’s the imaginary friendships for people of all ages.  The author shares some of their imaginings.  You add your own imaginings and mental imagery automatically as you read.  It’s a flat world that builds up gradually, and reveals itself across a journey.  You, as the reader, get to come along and experience it too.  We got the best deal ever.  I have gone through the, “I want to be a writer” stage of my life a few times.  Each time, I begin to imagine the world I’m about to create.  But I never get very far into this process before I’m off on a tangent based on something I read in someone else’s book.  I quickly come to the conclusion that I would have to cut back on reading in order to be a writer.  I’m not willing to make that sacrifice.  Therefore, I’m a reader. Not a writer.

I think J. K. Rowling is my favorite author of all time for now.  She bumped Charles Dickens.  No easy feat, that.  I laugh to myself when people claim the Harry Potter books are for children.  So close.  The Harry Potter books will make anyone who reads them become a child, regardless of their age.  And as you take the journey through the Potter world, you feel that part of you that will always be a child giggle with glee.  When you hear that sound, you’re instantly transported back in time to that happy period in your childhood when you last remember feeling completely care free.  It’s amazing how some books can trigger this.  For me, the Harry Potter books are among a few others that have reached me so intensely they’ve become part of my own story.