“It’s not like you’re launching missiles from a submarine and you both have to turn your keys.”

I had a good weekend.  I’m in a band, now.  I accepted without asking any of the obvious questions.  Such as, what’s the name of the group?  I’ve made a note to find out this weekend.  (Among other things.  Heh.)  I was just so happy to be invited, it didn’t cross my mind.

Today has been slippery.  Most of the day got away from me.  I had a meeting this morning and a violin lesson after lunch.  I didn’t have any further demands for the rest of the day.  At first, I felt anxious about it.  It feels like driving without a seatbelt when I don’t have anything to do.  It’s too loose and uncomfortable.

I got dangerously close to panicking.  When I saw my window of escape was quickly shrinking, I jumped through in the nick of time.  I sat down and thought about Stevie Nicks.  It totally worked.  I ended up watching the first three episodes of Grace and Frankie.  (Stevie Nicks likes watching TV.)

gracefrankie

I know Stevie Nicks is a big fan of Game of Thrones, but I can’t handle the TV show.  So I wondered what she’d watch on Netflix.  Heh.  (I’m such a doof.)  Grace and Frankie looked promising.  One of my oldest TV memories is of Lily Tomlin in a rocking chair that made her look like a little girl.   (I’ve loved her ever since.)

Grace and Frankie is fabulous.  I kept telling myself to keep my expectations in check, it’s just TV, and they keep blowing my freaking mind.  No wonder Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are raising their rates.  (They’re showing network TV why so many of us abandoned them altogether in favor of amateur podcasts and access to all the music.)

I was so engrossed in the show when I looked up again, it was dinner time.  We had a blizzard today, and it’s still windy.  The sound of howling wind reminds me of Patrick Rothfuss.  I’m off to start rereading his novel; The Name of the Wind.  Peace.

“Elaine, do you think I would go willy-nilly into a situation so obviously fraught with potential complications?”

The Depression Monster is sitting on my head.  I’m ignoring him out of spite.  It makes me feel powerful (because I’m winning.)  Unfortunately, I’m still moving slowly and taking (really) long pauses to overthink.  It’s messing up my schedule.  I also got an invoice from the legal office negotiating the partnership at work.  I cried a little (because it’s fair despite feeling like robbery.)

I was raised by Great Depression-era parents in the 80’s.  (Everything about money makes me anxious.)  It’s irrational because they also taught me to be generous which means I’ll likely never suffer from lack of resources to survive.  I’m still fascinated by how well it works.  All the religions I know of teach it.  Giving things to other people is painless for me, but it’s been tainted by suggestions I’ve been taken advantage of a few times by relatives.

I’ve learned being used is bearable.  It can change the dynamics of a relationship, though.  So there is sometimes loss involved, but it’s subtle.   Some political news penetrated my defenses and set off this round, I’m guessing.  I really hate having to shield myself from reality in any way.  It makes me feel like a child.  I do it anyway because it’s necessary for me to survive.

I’m stronger now that I know about Stevie Nicks.  She’s a wise guide who is open, honest, and hella famous.  It’s as if she knew all along part of her journey was to help others.  When you study her interviews, it’s clear even from when she first became famous, she’s cognizant of her influence.  She probably knew she would be famous long before it happened.  I’m guessing her mom talked to her at some point about this aspect of fame.  It’s entirely something my mom would have done.

My anti-depression toolkit is super useful, now.  I’ve been teaching M. how to have fun.  He thought playing is just for children.  Now he knows play evolves as we age, but should never be forsaken.  He’s making his first game for IOS.  He’s also coloring on a daily basis.  It’s breaking his addiction to TV, (which is good because I canceled all channels except Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.)

I watched the first episode of Atypical.  I recognize I’m not its target audience.  It’s a show for neurotypical people to better understand autistics.  Therefore, it’s speaking in their language.  I still enjoyed it.  I’m pleased the show exists.  When they use FX to demonstrate how it feels to be the autistic main character, it’s jarring and nearly unbearable to me.  I walked away and came back when that part was over.  I recognize the actors playing the parents, but everyone else is new to me.

My immediate thought was to wonder why the hell the lead actor wasn’t masking.  It’s uncomfortable to watch.  It feels like watching someone walk on a highwire with no net to me.  I cringe when I see him actually say or do the things I spend a lot of energy suppressing.  But again, it’s because the show is not only for entertainment, but it’s teaching.   Also, masking is a skill, and trial and error are how it’s acquired.  (It’s a cruel, mean school.)  He’s young and just discovering how masking can make life less painful.

We age and develop at different rates, and grow based on different experiences.  There will always be a broad spectrum of traits and behaviors associated with autism.  When I was in high school, I didn’t mask well and my energy and time management skills were non-existent.  The difference between then and now is shocking to non-autists.  This is why no one should put limits on our potential.  Especially not where we can come across or overhear them.  (That’s abuse.)  I’m off to beat my drums.

“I’m exhausted. I’ve been on this street a thousand times. It’s never looked so strange.”

I’m so tired.  I’ve been acting as if I have infinite energy, (again.)  My body usually plays along with this delusion until I crash.  Good times.  At least I can hold my head up without too much effort.  I’m overwhelmed, but it’s a result of too much awesome in a short period of time.  I’ve been trying to piece together what happened, and devise a plan to calm down.  It started when Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson was released.  (Authorized Oathbringer artwork by Michael Whelan.)

I knew the overexcitement would level me if I didn’t pace myself.  Nevertheless, I didn’t.  I couldn’t read for comprehension because my mind was breakdancing.  Then I got a notice from one of those design-your-own-stuff websites.  It informed me the item I created infringed on Brandon Sanderson’s property, and therefore, was no longer available.  Oops.  I barely remember making it.  Someone bought it, and I owe Brandon Sanderson thirty-three cents. (I think it was a mousepad or something.)

It was kind of like seeing Obi Wan’s illuminated ghost in the sky, reminding me to use The Force.  So I set the novel aside to regain my focus.  It’s difficult to explain how significant the story is to me.  It’s helping me exist happily in my two worlds.  There have been a few times in my life where I’ve been broken to the degree I knew I could let go of one (or both) of my worlds.  (I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice.)

Autism feels like being stuck in extremes, and longing for middle ground, to me.  I suspect it’s why I find myself drawn to those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  I’m probably not complicated to anyone, but especially not to them, it seems.  I wonder if it played a factor in my attraction to my ex-husband, (he’s schizophrenic, but wasn’t diagnosed when we married.)  Being engaged makes me think about him lots lately.  More good times.

I read Artemis, by Andy Weir.  I loved it even more than The Martian.  It’s often hilarious.  Andy Weir is fabulous.  I still wasn’t settled enough to read Oathbringer.  So I returned to witches and vampires.  I’m reading the second in a series by Deborah Harkness, titled Shadow of Night.  I’m able to focus and am enjoying the series immensely.  I love reading about these creatures, and the fascinatingly different ways people write of them.

Fortunately, I’ll be ready to devour Oathbringer when I get home.  I’m enjoying our time in Denver, despite crashing today.  I’m going to watch more footage of Stevie Nicks on her latest tour next.  The one I saw earlier began my journey back to calmness.  She told the audience to go after our dreams, after pointing out how long she worked to make hers a reality.  She gave specific examples of things we should do, (which floored me.)  I know this sounds literally fantastic, but she told me to write the book.  So I’m going to do just that.  💜

“Next thing you know you’re saying they should have their own schools!”

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I feel like I’ve gotten a second wind.  (It probably just means I’ve recovered homeostasis.)  Before I forget, any geniuses who want me to link their blog, I’m happy to oblige.  You don’t have to be autistic.  I’d love to add links to our allies;  people who support actually autistic people as a self-advocating group endeavoring to improve our access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I enjoy celebrating and encouraging others who are driven to be their best self.  If that’s you, dear genius, just let me know in the comments section below.  🙃  I know I go on and on about how amazing humans are as a species, but in my line of work (AI dev), this is reiterated on a daily basis.

One of the blogs I follow is Editing AdvantageEA just graduated with a bachelors degree in English.  (You know Ms. Grammatically Challenged is wicked impressed.)  I hope you all take a moment to congratulate her.  I’m definitely going to hire her the next time I need to write an investment prospectus.

I’m heading to Denver tomorrow to meet with a new client.  I’m excited as I’ll be designing a custom musical instrument for a musician with a recent spinal chord injury.  I discussed my latest project of creating an electronic drum kit for a drummer with cerebral palsy (my bro) to a former client.  They were intrigued and mentioned me to the new client.  It led to a long FaceTime chat and a new project.  Yay.

My boss said go for it, as long as I don’t quit.  I have mixed feelings about that conversation, but it’ll keep for now.  M. is supportive of my plan to pay back Stevie Nicks, (Amy Lee, Beyoncè, Sheryl Crow, Eminem, etc.) for all they’ve given me through their words and music by paying it forward.  (He agrees it’s a better idea than trying to figure out how to send them more shit that will likely confuse them at best, from someone they were previously unaware existed.)  😂

Back to Hogwarts to learn more wisdom.  Peace.

 

 

“He’s obsessed with breasts.”

Audio file of this post (improved, but still needs work.  Sorry, I’m learning): 

OP-1 by Teenage Engineering

 

I didn’t run on Tuesday or Wednesday. Long story short, I triggered myself and was unable to eat for a few days. (No big deal for healthy, first world Alison.)  I didn’t run because I have an irrational fear of falling and freezing to death on a winter run. It’s barely irrational (in South Dakota), which is why I’m not even working on overcoming it.

It wore off, and I was able to eat a light breakfast this morning before heading out for my run. It was 9° F, according to my phone. I was warmed up and excited. My playlist includes Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncè. It’s every third song between Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault. (It’s as if Stevie Nicks created the song.)

I was utterly lost in the music, my body a vague avatar on auto-pilot when I fell. I was almost home. I could see my building across the river. I got up and reoriented myself with my body. Then I slowly counted to ten before assessing the damage. Nothing hurt, and the music was still playing.

OP-Z by Teenage Engineering

Aside from an anxiety rush, all systems go. Yay. (Flashback to when I fell and dropped my portable CD player, and it shattered on impact without harming the CD. Panasonic.) I finished my route feeling like my world is right again. Then I got to the stairs, and my hip started whining. Anytime I feel any degree of pain in my hip; my imagination announces I’ve broken it, and it’s all downhill from here.

After I stretched and showered, it was no longer an issue. I just hope I don’t find a bunch of bruises tomorrow. I have my annual doctor’s appointment next week. That tiny bit of potential awkwardness is enough to psych me out of going. I’d better disarm it before it gets me. I’m incredibly distracted of late due to my introduction to synthesizers. Typically, I avoid Virtual Black Holes. Maps, cryptography, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, biochemistry, etc.

FMPlayer by AudioKit

These are points of interest so intense it’s not likely I’ll ever return to whatever I used to give my attention. Usually, I recognize them quickly and run. It’s like saying no to drugs. It’s not that I don’t want to indulge, it’s because I don’t want to trade my legal adult status for an incredibly lonely, narrowly focused, otherwise joyful existence.  It bothers me because I couldn’t tell you why.  I’m off to practice my drums (and think about synthesizers.)

I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m a US postal worker, and my mail truck was just ambushed by a band of backwoods mail-hating survivalists.

Today is a good day.  I got invited to jam with a local band this afternoon.  I didn’t want to go, but my reason sucked, so I went anyway.  I was pretty anxious on the way and for the first few minutes.  Then I asked if I can play too.  They asked me what I play, and I said I’d love anything with sticks or strings.

When anxiety turns into excitement like that, it’s a weird feeling.  It almost feels impossible to contain.  Everything in me demanded I jump up and down or I would burst into a gazillion broken pieces.  I hopped a few times to prevent it, then stopped and hoped nobody noticed.  The man who plays lead guitar (saw and) said he hoped my enthusiasm was contagious.  (I decided I love him.)

I went for the bass because nobody else did.  I told them I’ve only been playing it for a short time, so don’t expect any solos.  They all laughed, and I had another one of those moments where I wonder if they know I mean literally, then agonize over whether to ask.  I didn’t ask.  (Thank you, Stevie Nicks, for being the one person on this planet who finally managed to convince me to always think before speaking, and take my time.)

Tangent:  It took a long time for me to fully concede it’s sometimes better to say nothing, (even if it’s incredibly hilarious.)   It’s a semi-painful concession.  Part of me would rather live in a world where anything is okay to say, so long as it’s wicked funny.  Then I remember there’s absolutely no way that wouldn’t end in (rivers of) tears (for me.)  Damn.  I guess Stevie Nicks got me to (finally) grow up.  Um…  Ow.  😂😂😂😂😂

I had so much fun playing my face still hurts from smiling.  M. complimented me and seemed surprised how well I hung in there.  Then I ruined it by telling him it’s because I practice with the same songs, and therefore suggested them (Jackson 5.)   Jermaine Jackson is the bar I set for my bass playing endeavor.  (If you knew how many notes I currently have to drop to stay in time with the song, you’d be laughing with me.)  It still sounds pretty good, though.  I’m a rhythm bass player.  Heh.

I brought my violin, but as expected, they just looked at it, then looked at me, then looked away.  Did everyone in South Dakota get together and decide on this reaction?  I bet there was cake.  😒  I’m probably still a little bit over excited.  It’s hard to calm down after having a great time.  M. wants to go sit in the hot tub.  It would probably help, but it just seems so unsanitary.  Maybe I’ll just put my legs in.  Apparently, my germaphobia ends with my knees.  💜

“I mean, only a sick twisted mind could be that rude and ignorant.”

I’m having so much fun getting to know Evanescence all over again.  I geeked out about it on my new creativity blog.  It’s still too sparse for sharing, but it’s getting there.  I’ve discovered synthesizers are fascinating.  I’ve only played with one of the pocket operators so far:  Robot.

I only meant to fiddle with it for a few minutes.  It turned into over two hours, somehow.  It’s slightly larger than a deck of cards.  I got the cases, despite being offended by how they’re marketed.  Just charge more for the complete product.  Don’t compromise after creating such an excellent tool.

I’m kinda mad at Teenage Engineering for marketing this product like they have low self-esteem.  They’re an innovative company creating awesome stuff for creative people.  If I were in charge, they would come with a better case, and each would cost $99.

I wouldn’t give the customer the option of passing on a case that will very likely prevent them from breaking it within a week.  That’s just silly.  They would be installed before shipping.

I sure do love the product anyway, though.  So much.  Now I want a base station where I can position three connected Pocket Operators optimally for playing them live.  It needs to secure them, and angle them for access.  It should have some weight to it.

It should have some sort of LED lighting, and an OLED screen.  And provide power to all three Pocket Operators.  Rechargeable, with at least six hours of battery life.  And a nice case.  I’ll stop before I talk myself into building a fugly prototype.

I guess I assume the minds who can create such a fascinating tool could also recognize these things as a logical addition. Fortunately, there are 3D printers.  I’m going to go look for more footage of Stevie Nicks on her current tour.  She’s finishing up in New Zealand.

I watched one yesterday where some people in the audience at the concert were talking while Stevie Nicks was singing.  That’s really rude (on earth.)  I actually read the comments on YouTube, it was so disturbing.  There was one, and it said exactly that.  I clicked whatever icon signifies my support and approval.  Dammit.

“Jerry, Newman and I are engaged in a epic struggle for world domination.”

It’s been a fantastic week. I’m still listening to Synthesis by Evanescence several times a day. It will be a while before I’m ready to listen to anything else. (This always happens with unicorns.) M. is overtly studying my behavior.

I don’t mind, of course. I just thought of four ways to elaborate on that, and they all made me laugh out loud. M. asked me if I’m “over Stevie Nicks” now that Evanescence just rocked my world. (I walked away without saying a word. See Alison adult, then feel smug about it.)

I think he was just teasing me. Especially since I insisted he watch some Stevie Nicks interviews with me on YouTube yesterday, (to get a different perspective.) I’ll ask later because now it’s going to bother me. I’m still pretty timid about assuming what I interpret is in the same universe as that of others. (For good reason.)

I’m astonished how little anxiety I’ve experienced this week. My ears are a bit raw from wearing uncomfortable headphones for hours. I’ll be ecstatic when wireless headphones improve. At least enough to completely replace wired cans for music. They’re podcast ready at this point IMHO.

I’m researching a new pair of critical listening over-ear headphones. It’s probably a good thing Evanescence doesn’t release albums too often, as this happened last time. The mastering is superb in Synthesis. I haven’t watched the making of videos yet, but when I do, I’ll be hoping to see which headphones they used, (then praying I can afford them.)

I’ll never own a pair of Beats. That’s my precise level of an audiophile. Heh.

Dear Pharell Williams, please (all over) design some Audio Technica Limited Edition ATH-MX50’s with built-in Bluetooth 4.2, Amp/DAC, memory foam/breathable pads, and a dope hard case. Love, me. I’d pay $499 (with minimal whining.) Please. 🙃

I’m reading Oathbringer, presently. It’s an uber-epic novel in a series within the Cosmere (universe.) It’s going to take me a while to finish my first read, and I’ll re-read it several times. It’s part of my journey. Brandon Sanderson earned a lot of influence in my life. (Right up there with Stevie Nicks, and just as gently.)

I had a shower cry over Al Franken’s outing as a predator. He came from Hollywood, which made it less shocking. But it still hurts a lot.

Dear predators, predatory behavior makes loving you painful at best. Please grow forward. Love, Evolved humanity.

My inner 5-year-old just called me a hippie and suggested I move to California, so I’m off to beat my drums.

“You know, between you and me, I always thought Kramer was a bit of a doofus, but he believed in me.”

I’ve been working on identifying my expectations of those I admire.  Training artificial intelligence most of my life has taught me a lot about humans.  The more progress I make, the more I recognize how amazing we are as a species.  I’ve learned humans are individuals in every sense of the word.  We all make mistakes.  How we recover matters.

I ignored famous people while growing up.  I had favorite authors but knew minimal if anything about them unless they were dead.  I started noticing influential people who didn’t live in my world as an adult.  I’m pretty sure Lisa Bloom is the first famous person I gave my attention.  She worked for Court TV when I discovered her.  She would share her thoughts and weigh in on high profile trials.

She’s since taught me a lot about ethics and behavior.  It’s easy to draw tenuous conclusions about famous people based solely on what they choose to share with the public.  I think the arrangement is suitable.  Boundaries exist, and it’s super easy to adhere.  I tend to admire leaders and artists; (performers, poets, writers, musicians, comedians, etc.)

I’m disappointed when people I respect mess up.  It hurts in a manner I don’t know how to describe.  (I think a parent might know.)  This year has been trying so far in this regard.  People seem to enjoy telling me which celebrities I appreciate voted for 45.  I don’t understand the motivation, (mostly because I’m so annoyed by the behavior.)  It feels like their saying, “Your ability to judge the character of people you’ve never met is lacking.”

Louis C.K.’s crimes made me cry.  I honestly believed he was above that shit.  The main reason I admire him in the first place is his excellent ability to use laughter to make me think.   His recently revealed actions still have this result, but it’s not funny in this case.  It’s pathetic.  I haven’t read his apology because the gist was all I needed.  He’s adult enough to admit his crimes.

Now what?  This is where we all decide for ourselves how we want to move forward.  I say this because I’m pretty sure there isn’t a right or wrong way to cope.  Perhaps just right or wrong for each individual.  I forgive Louis C.K. for being a predator in the past, on the condition he doesn’t do it again.  If he lives the rest of his life without stealing another’s free will, I’ll be pleased.

I don’t expect perfection.  I’m not perfect.  Duh.  Nobody’s perfect.  (If someone ever was, we killed them.)  The people who survived his disgusting behavior will decide for themselves where to go from here.  It’s not my business and feelings are never wrong.  I’m so proud of them for having the courage to come forward (in the second worst behaved (misogyny on steroids) industry on earth.   The military holds first place.)

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time.  Famous or not, we’re all people.  I just had to ask myself why I care in the first place.  Then I realize they’re still the same person;  my perception was off.   Mistakes aren’t the end.  They’re a new beginning during which time the flaw is faced down and corrected.  Or not.  It’s up to the individual at fault.  What one does after enduring the consequences of their errors matters.

Every single person I admire makes mistakes.  Stevie Nicks makes mistakes.  Lisa Bloom, Michelle Obama, and J.K. Rowling have all made mistakes.  Hillary Clinton made mistakes, identified them, adjusted, and grew publicly.  She wrote a book about it.  She could have blamed her mistakes on so many people and things, but she was interested in where she messed up because that’s what she can fix.

I want everyone to be as awesome as possible.  I want you to be the best you ever.  I want everyone to learn and grow into someone even more remarkable after recovering from a mistake.  It can be an opportunity to improve, or an excuse to fail.  Nobody can decide but the person who messed up, (which is everyone at some point.)  I love Louis C.K.  I recognized this before I knew he was a predator.

I don’t know how to unlove someone, and I’m not convinced it’s possible.  I know Louis C.K. is capable of outgrowing his primitive mindset.  He’s brilliant and thoughtful in some respects, despite everything.  It’s up to him, now.  I’m hoping he follows up his apology with fervent action to correct how he thinks and behaves.  I hope he grows forward.  It’s up to him.  I’m rooting for him to evolve.