“Under no circumstances is ink to be used in this office!”

I had to break down and buy something that probably makes money for the evil Koch brothers.  They own practically everything, it seems.  Nevertheless, I hope they get nada from today’s purchase.  I ordered prescription eyeglasses online again.  (I’ve given up on getting in at the VA.)  At least I’m a more informed buyer now.  I know they’re practically disposable in quality up front.  I’ve decided I’m okay with that.  🙃

I’m still waiting for prescription eye drops to replace my glasses.  I’m willing to settle for frames filled with a projected field.  In fact, I’d accept the same solution from me-powered false eyelashes.  (Perhaps a nano piezoelectric generator powered by blinks?)  Now get to inventing it, dear geniuses!    Please and thank-you!   💜  I picked some funky frames.  Partly because I refined my search until there weren’t many remaining to choose from.  Partly because I love colors.  I almost got some kelly green frog-eyes frames.  I chickened out.  I got these:

When I turn 50, I’m going to get rainbow glasses.  There’s this unwritten rule about surviving to age 50.  Once you get there, you get to throw off a lot of ridiculous crap you’ve carried around for no good reason.  I think it’s a fabulous prize.  I’m already making a list of things I’m not going to concern myself over from then on.  I. Can’t. Wait.  I’ve gotten the impression throwing off before age 50 results in people referring to you as eccentric.  (I can’t afford to double down since I already hold the title from autism*.  Therefore, I’ll wait.)

I’m pretty sure whatever lies beyond eccentric is too likely to involve involuntary commitment.  America is intolerant.  I still think we can collectively outgrow it.  I hope so.  I’m biracial, but one of them is African American. Therefore, I’m African American.  I’m autistic.  I’m a woman.  I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)  I’m a humanist.  I’m pro-artificial intelligence with ethical caveats.  I support LGBTQIA.  I believe your gender is what you tell me it is, (not what I’ve been trained to assume.)

The cool thing (to me) is even though I’m eccentric, so are a lot of other people I love.  I feel excited when I meet someone who matches me on something.  I feel equally happy when I meet someone who doesn’t.  It feels like discovering something awesome.  My little sister, Heather, was practically my opposite in many ways.  She was loud and outgoing.  She felt comfortable talking to strangers and didn’t take any crap from anyone.  Even though she was a year behind me, I looked up to her when we were growing up.

I now know she looked up to me when we became adults.  (I still feel remarkably good about that.)  Whenever I think of her, I smile all the way through.  I guess it means I’m no longer grieving her loss, but celebrating her memory.  Or something.  I connected with my (chosen) sister Laina Eartharcher earlier, and it got me thinking about sisters.  I have an older sister close in age with Stevie Nicks.  She was already a mom when I was born, so I didn’t grow up with her.

My parents sent me to stay with her family during school breaks, (too many bullies in our neighborhood.)  I did note some things she seems to have in common with Stevie Nicks.  They both interact in a paced manner.  They don’t rush to respond, they think first.  (I’m trying to learn how to do it automatically, too.)  I usually reply as if speed matters.  It’s because my mind is going faster than I can talk, and I’m tangent-prone.  It would be better if I automatically stop and think first, rather than throw out the first thing that fits, (so I can hurry up and get back to thinking about other stuff. )  🙃

I’d better go practice my drums before quiet time.  I haven’t gotten any complaints, but I use sound isolating headphones while playing.  I’m not sure if it’s loud enough to disturb anyone, but I’m not willing to risk it.  ✌🏽

 

*I’m okay with people referring to me as eccentric when I know they’re trying to avoid saying autistic, (for some reason.)  I speak only for myself in this regard.  Eccentric has a positive connotation to me, (but I prefer accuracy.)

It’s like my brain is facing my penis in a chess game.

I laughed when I chose today’s Seinfeld quote.  Mostly because I love referring to my (figurative) penis when going postal on a misogynist.  There are few groups I consider fair game for an all-out verbal attack.  Misogynists top the list.  I barely consider them human.  They’re contaminating the gene pool.  They cling to ignorance, and a false sense of superiority like their life depends on it.  It’s sad.  I’m happy to report they’re dying off.  In twenty years the word misogynist will only show up in novels and word games.  Glory days.  In the meantime, they usually insist on identifying themselves within minutes of contact, so at least they’re easy to avoid.

I’ve been enjoying the hell out of my electronic drum kit.  Unfortunately, I damaged the snare drum pad.  Now, It only plays softly no matter how hard I hit it.  Disclaimer:  I void warranties religiously.  I took it apart.  I could fix it for a few bucks, or I could build a better one.  I wasn’t about to fix a cheap rubber snare drum pad.  Clearly, they’re too easy to break.  Although, for a cheap entry kit, I’m astonished by what I got in a good way.  The rack and module alone are worth what I paid for the whole kit.  The drum pads and cymbals are temporary, and I’m in the process of replacing them.

I love the rack because it’s matte black everywhere, it’s compact and sturdy, and I can use standard hardware on it.  I ordered a 10″ rim, some 35mm piezo discs, foam tabs, a 1/4″ instrument input, cables, and a mesh head to make a better snare drum.  It’s now a dual trigger, shiny, mesh pad and is a joy to beat with sticks.  I can do rolls, and the velocity triggers beautifully, too.

I’m debating on how I want to address my hi-hat replacement, which is next.  Part of me thinks I’ll never want an acoustic kit, and shouldn’t limit my choices in that respect going forward.  I much prefer having the sounds from multiple super expensive kits recorded in high-end studios than whatever I could reproduce.  In that instance, I’d prefer using a mesh head pad for my hi-hat and cymbals, too.  It’s a quiet enough trigger that I can practice anytime I want, day or night.  How very attractive to this insomniac.  If I decide against the mesh cymbals, I’m just going to get acoustic cymbals because the rubber and plastic cymbal pads currently being sold are unbelievably shitty substitutes.

I have a tendency to read all night.  I’ve been doing it often since I learned how to read.  I was raised to believe laying still in bed while wearing pajamas counts as sleeping.  The laying still part really means being silent enough not to awaken others.  Laughing out loud at a book while reading is something I’ll admit to often doing.  In my head, I’m in another world where something funny just happened.  Not laughing would be weird.  Immediately after, I feel guilty for making noise.

The guilt part is just a habit at this point.  When Heather died, her diaries were given to me.  (All my siblings kept a journal growing up but only the girls continued in adulthood.)  She wrote about my late night giggles with fondness as an adult.  She wasn’t so fond of them at the time, I recall.  We shared a bedroom until I started 7th grade.  My Mom decorated it, but it looked like Holly Hobby threw up in there to me.  Yellow gingham fabric with lots of ruffles everywhere.

Starting in Junior High, I got to decorate my own room.  Heather was so worried about me having my own room.  She didn’t think I could handle it (Queen of Nightmares is my original title).  Thinking back now it makes me laugh.  She was really the big sister at times.  She was my self-appointed voice for much of my childhood.  At first, it was because I didn’t speak, but later because it amused me so much.  (Heather was always a bit of a loud talker who didn’t hesitate to demand being heard.)  We were opposites in so many ways, but we always had the same sense of humor.  On that nostalgic note, I’m off to continue reading Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving again.  It’s so fucking good.  (That’s my review.)

The sea was angry that day, my friends

Today was slow.  I had bad nightmares last night, and still remembered them when I awoke.  I hate when that happens.  The dreams involved family members who have passed away.  Only they were still alive in my nightmares and were rejecting me as a sibling/daughter.  I analyzed it, and have decided it means I feel betrayed by my family members who have died.  It’s proof that I’m still experiencing grief in my subconscious.  The only death that I experienced externally was that of my brother Steve.  When my Mom, sister, and Dad died, I didn’t react in a way I can identify.  Certainly not in the way I responded to losing Steve.  I fell apart completely when he died.  My entire life came to an abrupt halt, and I cried or was on the verge of tears for a whole year.

I remember wanting to hunt down the surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and kick his ass for letting my brother die.  When my Mom died, I felt numb for a long time.  When Heather died, I felt angry.  When my Dad died, I felt alone.  But I didn’t express those feelings.  They all died over a period of five years.  I still have other siblings, but my relationship with most of them is good but distant.  Most of them were grown up by the time I came along.  I was very close to Steve and Heather when growing up, and after becoming adults.  When I left for basic training, Heather was the only one still living at home.  She moved out on the day she graduated.  She was fed up with racism and didn’t want to spend another day putting up with it.  Her experience was different than mine in that regard, even though we were only a year apart.

Most of the racism we experienced was subtle.  This meant it went right over my head for the most part.  When we were the only ones not invited to a birthday party, or when we exchanged gifts at school, and Heather got a wrapped, empty box, it didn’t occur to me that it was because we were black.  In high school, a few black families moved to town, and Heather dumped all her white friends and hung out with the new black kids exclusively.  I remember feeling like she was mean and racist to do such a thing, but she vehemently disagreed.  She entered her first abusive relationship while in high school.  Her boyfriend was the first and last person I ever fought with the intention of killing.  He punched her, and she had hearing loss and TMJ as a result.  I saw red when she told me.  It was the angriest I had ever been in my life.  I took a baseball bat and went to his house.  I walked right in without knocking and proceeded to beat him with it.  I told him if he ever hit my sister again, I would kill him, and meant it.  It scared me how angry and violent I became.

When I was in the Army, stationed in Germany, Heather called me and told me her boyfriend beat her with his belt.  It took every ounce of discipline I possessed to refrain from getting on a plane, going there, and killing him for it.  It made me feel like I was going insane because I couldn’t protect my little sister.  As I was pacing and raging, it hit me.  Heather knew I couldn’t come there and protect her when she told me.  She told me because she needed to know I loved her enough to want to murder the fucker who beat her.  When I realized this, I was able to calm down.  I begged her not to let that fucker into her home ever again.  When she realized I was weeping, I think it registered with her that she was hurting me too by allowing psychopaths in her life who did nothing but rob and beat her.  It all felt very twisted, and beyond my ability to fully grasp at the time.  In hindsight, I don’t really understand it any better.  But I do remember the murderous rage I felt when someone hurt her.  I don’t ever want to feel that way again.

I began calling her more regularly and checking in on her.  When she would tell me about some cute guy, I would ask her if he had a job.  When she said no, I’d advise her not to bother with them.  It was a turning point in our relationship.  I was finally the big sister, and she valued my advice.  When she had a job that she didn’t like, she asked me if she should quit.  I asked her if they spelled her name wrong on her paycheck.  She said no, then we both laughed.  I told her that a job is a means of earning money, and nothing more.  Just do what you need to do to the best of your ability, and don’t expect it to be fulfilling.  I told her if she wanted a career instead of a job, she’d have to get more schooling.  So she started going to university part-time, and eventually got a degree and a position she loved.  She kept a journal that was given to me after she died.  In it, she talked about how she looked up to me.  I treasure it now.  Whenever I feel like I’m failing at life, I read it.

I miss the times when she’d visit, and we’d laugh until our faces hurt.  I miss being able to pick up the phone, dial her number, and say something like, “remember the dent?” Then hang up, knowing she would be on the floor laughing from just those 3 words.  I miss her picking out my clothes and making me look a lot cooler than I actually am.  I even miss her teasing me by telling me that I’m the whitest black person she knows.  I would give her a lecture on how culture and skin color don’t correlate, and why her statement was ridiculous, and she’d listen for a while and then burst out laughing.  I’d eventually laugh with her, and realize I was just as silly by taking it seriously.  I miss my Heather.

The Despicable Few

I just watched about half of Blackfish.  I couldn’t take anymore.  It was like watching Schindler’s List of the whales.  It was extremely upsetting.  Sea Worlds powers behind the curtain are despicable.  The humans who decided it was okay to capture these whales and keep them in captivity where their lifespans are cut to 1/4 of normal, and then lie about everything in order to get paid should be rotting in a cell.  How they are still allowed to operate says more about our nation than I care to ponder while depressed.

To all my brothers and sisters who follow Islam:  I’m so sorry that you are having to defend yourselves after the actions of perverse extremists.  Please note that the people who accuse all of Islam for the actions of the vile extremists are ignorant.  They haven’t yet recognized the fact that we are all brothers and sisters on this planet.  They are afraid, and hide behind hatred.  They have a lot of growing to do.  Until that happens, I send lots of hugs and love.  Know that some of us see humanity as a whole as one family.  Know that you are loved.