“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.

“She’s like an expensive car with one of those motion-sensor force field alarms.”

I’m still struggling to entirely free myself from the grip of the Depression Monster.  I’m doing better, thanks to our Stevie Nicks party.  When I think about what she’s taught me, it helps free me from my inner asshole.  I quit beating myself up for having depression and focus on forcing it back into remission.

I watched an interview on YouTube in which Stevie Nicks was royally pissed off.  I had to view it a few times to recognize she was angry, (this is one of my known bugs.)  When it clicked, I realized she gets pissed precisely the way I do.  We both talk a whole lot of shit to cover up how powerless and hurt we’re feeling.

I’m kinda glad there’s someone else on this planet who reacts this way besides me.  When I reach that point, I’m incredibly compelled to throw out unbelievable threats against whoever has me riled.  I know as it’s coming out of my mouth how ridiculous it sounds.  I just need to say it anyway.

As I age, I’ve improved slightly.  It’s been decades since I’ve threatened to hit someone with the Empire State Building.  It’s symbolic of my rage, not literal, (although, if I could, I might need a timeout to prevent it.)  To me, I’m merely stating exactly how pissed off I am.  Others usually choose to find it amusing, (which only makes me want to replace the Empire State Building with the moon.)

Before I acquired this um… Skill…  My only way of expressing rage was crying.  This is better.  Just so you know, the best way to react to someone losing it like this is to remain silent and avoid eye contact.  Perhaps no sudden movements, too.  Please, don’t laugh, it just makes it worse.

 

NVIDIA Titan Xp Star Wars Collector’s Edition

Tomorrow morning at 7AM PST, the pre-ordering begins.  Of course, there’s a dark side version as well.  It’s red instead of green.  I was in the process of researching my new gaming build, when this popped up and said, “Strong with the force, I am.”  Gamer’s who also prefer their machine to look like a brilliant, (damn near garish) alien artifact:  May the force be with you.  Always. 💜

I’m getting ready to watch comedians on Netflix.  Laughing until my face hurts is my way of going nuclear against the Depression Monster.  I keep it in reserve for this use.  I’m not pulling out my secret weapon just yet:  Wanda Sykes.  I do need to start watching Conan again, though.  He’s like America’s Prozac.  I love him.  Okay, I’m off to laugh like there’s a prize.

“I’ll tell you what your problem is: You brought your queen out too fast.”

I had fun hanging out with M. and throwing a Stevie Nicks party this afternoon.  We’re going to watch Stevie Nicks Live in Red Rocks, next.  M. has decided he’s also a fan.  I almost said, “Performing music is totally how she got all her fans,” but I caught myself.  Whew!

I even wrote a poem.  M. wrote one too.  He won’t let me share it, though.  (It’s excellent!)  Mine is far less impressive and perhaps a bit heavy on the Negative Nancy.  Saw that coming, did you?  Heh.  Ah, well.  Here it is:

 

“You’re no longer preoccupied with sex, so your mind is able to focus.”

Focus, by Unabashed Autist

M. won’t let me clean his apartment after he gets all his stuff out.  I’ve never lost a deposit in my life.  It’s pride…  I should probably work on that, but in the meantime, I’m a cleaning ninja.  I came by my skill in the Army, where I was given ample practice.  Heh.  M. said it would be weird to have his girlfriend clean his apartment.  Evolved is so sexy.  😍

I rewatched some Stevie Nicks interviews on YouTube earlier.  I can’t quit smiling.  In one of them, she mentioned how hard it is for her to stop an addiction.  She used overeating as an example, stating once you take a bite and realize it makes you feel great, you’re likely to continue until it’s gone.  The hard part is the stopping.

Naturally, I overthought it for a bit.  I consider myself addiction proof.  I don’t like most of the things people seem to get addicted to, for one thing.  Being weird has its perks.  If I find myself consuming something, then learn I shouldn’t continue, I stop.  I think because it’s logical, and I like logic.  But I think these are only minor reasons.

I think the biggest reason is that addiction may manifest differently in me.  I’m not literally addiction proof, I just do it wrong?  Or right, for me.  I don’t know if this is an autistic trait, but I think it may be related.  I tend to hyper-focus on what I’m doing when it’s something that interests me.  The way I write code is a good example.  I could write code through a thunderstorm if it began while I was hyper-focused.

Otherwise, I have to wear noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.  (Thunder is pretty close to torture for me.  It’s a cruel quirk for an adult, IMO.)  Sometimes, I think there was really no way I was going to get through this life without acquiring PTSD.  Oddly, that makes me feel better about it.  When Stevie Nicks mentioned trouble stopping, it clicked.

I have trouble stopping, too.  In my case, it’s what I’m doing.  It’s so hard for me to quit reading and go to sleep.  (Often, I don’t.)  When I start a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, I have to keep in mind it’s entirely possible I’ll complete it without a break, (so go first!)  I love jigsaw puzzles and reading so much, I never want to stop.  I’ve come very close to wetting myself while hyper-focused on coding.

It’s a close call by the time I pay attention to whatever keeps trying to interrupt me, (nature calling.)  When a new World of Warcraft expansion comes out, it’s a given I’ll pull a leveling marathon until I max out again.  It’s baffling to me in hindsight.  I’m not a competitive player.  I spend more time flying around looking at the scenery than anything.  I explore in search of artifacts and easter eggs, too.

When I do stop, it’s very disorienting.  I have to anchor myself to the world all over again.  It’s an anxious process.  (Like falling.)  There are usually unpleasant consequences to doing things for too long.  I often walk like I just learned how, because I did something for too long without moving recently.  I’ll get absorbed while in the process of sitting down, and assume an awkward position.  Then stay like that until my cat gets my attention.  (M. sends Amelia Bedelia to interrupt me because she does it correctly, just not as consistently as he’d prefer.)

Despite these awful consequences, I still behave the same way.  It makes me feel great, and I don’t want to stop.  Sounds like an addiction to me, eh?  So I guess I’m addicted to completely immersing myself in what I’m doing, (when it’s something I enjoy.)  I see no reason to change.  Besides, if it kills me, it will probably be in an amusing manner, assuming you also have a twisted sense of humor.  Here lies Alison who died from wandering into traffic while imagining the clouds pairing off and dancing across the sky.  Or something.  At least I’d be happy to the end.  🙃

“So, maybe he’s got like a cheerful mental hold on you.”

My first movie.  (I know it wasn’t necessary to state this after allowing you to view it.  Humor me.)  I feel so naked, letting you see my happy place.  The lights are dimmable, and each dot you see is an individual (RGB) light I can control individually with my phone via Bluetooth.   Or I can make it all one color.

I used channels to diffuse and mount two 16.4′ strips.  I’ll provide a list of links to purchase a less nerdy solution I’ve tested working on both IOS and Android devices.  (Computer nerds don’t need links.)

RGB LED strip

Bluetooth controller

Power supply (up to 2 strips tested working.)

There are less expensive options, such as buying directly from China or using eBay.  The section where it’s dark is where I connected the strips.  Also, this is after my Star Wars memorabilia purge.  M. said he didn’t notice I gave any away.  (Sometimes I do get the hint.)  I’m going to start leaving vintage and current Star Wars figures in random places around town with little “Take me home” stickers on them.

I’m all about making everything fun, whenever possible.  My gift to people who pay attention to their surroundings, I guess.  Heh.  Fifteen days until the release of Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson.  This is even bigger than the new Star Wars film to me.  Novels reach me far more than movies.  (This is why I pronounce so many words wrong.)  I’m off to read.  🙃

(Edited to add crappy photos)

P.S.   I don’t know Stevie Nicks personally in this galaxy.  Only the one I imagined.

“If you think you can drug me and play with my toys, you’ve got another thing coming, buddy!”

Yesterday was eventful.  I’ll start with the good part.  I had a blast at Sky Zone.  I love trampolines.  I went alone and met some cool people.  They invited me to join them later at a bar, but I declined.  It felt nice to be asked, though.  I came home and set up my new bass pedal.  The difference is astonishing.  I’m a better drummer just from moving to a real bass pedal.  Who knew?

I played along with Stevie Nicks’ In Your Dreams album.  Ghosts Are Gone is a lot of fun to play.  Her music isn’t easy to play.  It forces me to focus keenly, which also makes me play better.  This is good, as I want to progress to playing Evanescence songs.  (I’m stalling because the other end of yesterday sucked.)  Last night, I was laying on the floor, reading.  It was after 1 AM when I heard an awful sound.

I went through stages of identifying the sound.  First, I thought someone accidentally turned up their speakers to full blast while watching porn.  That only lasted about a second, then I realized it wasn’t a recording, someone nearby was making those noises.  My heartbeat sped up, and I felt alarmed.  I went out on my balcony with my phone.  It was a woman wailing.

I dialed 911 and told them I thought someone was being hurt.  It was loud enough the operator could hear someone was in distress through the phone.  I said it sounded like a woman was in labor, or being harmed.  There was also a man’s voice, but much softer and only briefly.  I ended the call with the police and ran downstairs, still carrying my phone.

I was shaking and breathing hard from being freaked out.  I found the woman and a man in the parking lot, just out of view of my balcony.  She was on the ground, and he was leaning over her.  Something I hate about PTSD is my fight or flight mechanism is broken.  I don’t react the way I desire.  I don’t react at all in real time.  I freeze when I most need to act.

I’m starting to shake again, just relaying this.  I’m pausing to get it together.  Okay.  Whew.  Better now.  Cut to me sprinting up to some random guy leaning over a wailing woman.  I should have laid on the ground and calmed myself at that point.  There was a moment when this occurred, and I ignored it.  My bad.  (Blatant foreshadowing FTW.)

So many things were running through my mind at warp speed.  I consciously decided to push some random guy as hard as I could because I was terrified he was hurting some random woman.  The sound was so awful.  An actress in child labor is the most accurate reference I have.  The man saw me coming but didn’t move.  He fell back and landed hard.

Then he sprung up and punched me in my left cheek so hard.  So hard.  Keep a few things in mind; I divorced a man who beat me up twice, and I have five older brothers.  I’ve been punched in the face before.  It sucks.  Getting hit in the face hurts like hell, is very disorienting, and it hurts for a long time.

It turns out, the woman was okayish.  I asked her if she was alright, and she said yes.  Then she apologized for frightening me and whimpered for a bit.  In my experience, her behavior last night could indicate severe underlying issues.  I’m not qualified to determine what the hell was up with her.  Then the cops showed up.  They basically stared at us from their vehicle for a while, then drove away after making sure everyone was okay, and nobody wanted to press charges.

The man also has PTSD.  The thing that blows me away is I wondered this just before I pushed him.  The way he reacted was off.  He froze.  Then he responded in a delayed manner while in full panic mode, (exactly as I do.)  Do nothing, then overreact as if you’re about to die when you’re clearly not.  Good times.  Sigh.  He’s pretty upset, of course.  I feel like crap.

I told him we have to blame this on PTSD if anything, at least until we’re calmed down enough to trust our rationality.  Having five older brothers also taught me how intensely it can hurt a man to accidentally harm a woman.  Most men don’t beat women.  (To do something you abhor against your will is torture.)  He agreed, and I can tell we’re allies now.  He’s also an Army veteran, but he served in Afghanistan.

He was an officer, though.  (It’s a different world as far as I know.)  I’m pretty sure it makes it worse for him, though.  The differences between enlisted and officers are similar to (idealized) blue collar and white collar civilians, respectively.  I got the impression officers are held to a stricter standard of military bearing.  So we’re both in a lot of pain today.  I suspect the woman was under the influence of something and had a bad trip.

I’ve spent the day in my closet, having a delayed reaction to a scenario I feared but didn’t take place.  I barely comprehend it, and am irked I have to go through it despite reality.  And my face hurts like hell.  I’m still a little dazed.  I’m texting my new ally every two hours to make sure he’s hanging in there.

I asked him if he had any drugs or guns while thinking to myself how weird it is I knew to ask.  His hunting rifle is in the trunk of his car, and I have both sets of his car keys for now.  He’s been drinking all day, but I don’t know enough about alcohol to do more than babysitting.  (Neither of us is willing to go to the VA.)

He’s in a program for dual diagnosis of PTSD and drug abuse.  It’s sad how normal that is to me.  I don’t know very many veterans who aren’t in that program.  It makes me feel weird sometimes because I don’t abuse drugs.  Then I remember it’s mostly because I’m not outgoing enough to meet a drug dealer since I got out.  Odd how that works in my favor, but I’ll take it.

I can’t think about drugs without thinking about Stevie Nicks.  I wonder if her other fans are affected this way.  It’s fascinating to me.  Reading Chrissie Hynde’s book reinforced my stance.  She’s clean now, too.  She also paid a high price for her past use.  Her journey is different than that of Stevie Nicks, but they reached the same conclusion.  “Drugs are bad, m’kay?” (Southpark reference.  Sorry.)

I’m a bit surprised how much better I’m feeling now than when I began writing this post.  I’m not shaking at all, and have laughed a few times.  Thinking about Stevie Nicks always cheers me up.  That only used to work with comedians.  Bonus.  Okay, I’ve rambled long enough and got it outside of me.

I’m off to check in on my new ally.  Neither of us knows who the woman is, by the way.  Our training compelled us to respond to her wails.  Nobody else in the complex did more than look out the window.  That’s strange and disturbing to me, but I don’t know anyone else’s story.

“Jerry , she looks exactly like you.”

I didn’t like the last design, so I changed it.  (Sorry for not giving advanced warning.)  I’m also working on an additional blog, but it’s nowhere near ready for sharing.  I’ve decided to focus more on my journey with autism on this blog, and the other will center on my creative interests.  I’ll share the URL when I finish adding a bit of content.  The new blog will include sharing what I’ve learned from my favorite authors, musicians, and artists.  Stevie Nicks, J.K. Rowling, John Irving, Stephen King, and Brandon Sanderson, for example.

With M. gone, I caught myself gravitating back to coding marathons.  I’ve spent enough of my life writing code in my free time.  I’m ready to move on.  I’m happier when I’m creating.  While coding is creating, it’s a solitary endeavor that mainly takes place inside my head.  Instead, I’d rather create music, art, and poetry with my hands, too.  I also want to tell a story, but not as a written novel.  (I’m too palilalia prone.)  I want to engage as many senses as possible to make the telling of my story accurate to my imagining.

Stevie Nicks taught me the desire to create is something to embrace and build my life around.  It doesn’t need to support me financially to be worthy of the center of my focus.  Stevie Nicks stated more than once if she were a waitress or cleaning woman, she’d still be writing songs.  There’s a connection between creativity and joy.  (I very much want to confer with my AI and figure out a way to define it, but I’m going to practice my guitar later instead.)

I did try to figure out the killer bass riff in Charlie Puth’s song, Attention.  Mission not accomplished.  Yet.  I like the song so much I keep enjoying it (singing it) instead of isolating the bass.  Plus, it’s complex.  When I do finally isolate it, my version will be simplified.  I’ll be glad when I’m skilled enough to move up to a fretless 5 string electric bass.  For now, I’m just amused at my audacity, considering my current skill level.  I’m big on aiming high but keeping it real.  It’ll definitely be previously owned.

Tomorrow I’m going to fill two big boxes with stuff I don’t want anymore.  Then I’m going to take them to my underground parking space.  Two boxes a day until I stop feeling overwhelmed by stuff.  I’m going to put a sign on the boxes informing my neighbors they’re welcome to take what they want.  I’ll leave it for a week, then whatever remains is going to the dump.  The small business that comes to haul it away also sorts through for things that can be donated before dumping.  Yay.  I was their first customer and like their service.

I’m parting with most of my Star Wars memorabilia in this purge.  It’s weird, but I’m not the least bit upset to see it go.  I guess I’m done with Star Wars stuff.  Heh.  (If someone told me five years ago I would be throwing away most of my Star Wars stuff, I’d think they were being ridic.)  I’m going to photograph it before I toss it, though.  I’ve decided owning digital photos of stuff I like and storing them in the cloud is ideal.  It turned out to be a fantastic move as I now possess photos of wicked cool cars I’ll never buy, maintain, store, drive or ride in.  Perfect.  🙃  I’m off to practice.

Honey… Aren’t we going to the Poconos next Friday?

Today flew by.  We have a new code monkey at work.  My boss took my advice and hired a disabled veteran.  I helped her get oriented this morning.  I’ve seen her at the VA a few times and am glad to have another woman at work.  I hate being the token anything, but if I had to pick, I’d rather be the token black person than the token woman.

Someone said something ridiculous about Taylor Swift today.  She’s never been on my radar, but I’ve seen her perform on TV.  I forget which awards, but she brought it.  I remember thinking she was so young, and would probably have a long career.

The comment kinda pissed me off, so I asked the commenter if Taylor Swift didn’t return his text message.  He looked at me like *I* was the one being ridic.  So I asked again, stating we should get to the bottom of what Taylor Swift did to him to make him say such a thing.

Turns out, she didn’t do shit to him, (he’s never even met her.)  I leaned over and Googled her on his terminal.  Her latest video popped up, and I clicked play.  It’s a song titled, Look What You Made Me Do.  Before long, everyone was gathered around watching.  (Music videos and car accidents, eh?)

When it finished, I told him she doesn’t need me to defend her.  I don’t even try to interpret music videos, but I think Taylor Swift pulled an 8-Mile move:  Self-deprecation, wit, and fierceness.  (Plus, it has a nice beat, and you can dance to it.)  I bought the song and will get the album when it comes out.  She’s on my radar now.

I haven’t bought music by someone so young in ages.  Oh, wait.  I forgot about Justin Beiber.  I like his voice.  Come at me.  😂  I saw an interview of Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) and Stevie Nicks on Youtube earlier.  (It’s from an Austrailian station, I think.)  They’re touring together!  People who take pictures and video at concerts:  Please upload to YouTube.  Thank you!

There’s a part of the interview that mentions Chrissie Hynde’s book.  She’s a survivor.  Some survivors who read her biography were upset by how she told her story.  She said, “They can go fuck themselves.”  It made me cheer for her.  I’m so glad she didn’t let them invalidate her.

Someone did that to me once, but I was too stunned to respond.  I just sat there and felt the tears roll down my cheeks.  It was one of those upsets that sticks around long after the tears are dry.  When Chrissie Hynde said that, I stood up and said, “Yeah!”  Guess what?  It no longer bothers me.  I just needed to see another woman take back her power.  I’m glad it was such a cool lady.