“You see those two ladies I’ve got showing? Do they look scared?”

Dear Universe, I get it, damn.  I’ve officially quit caffeine.   I’ve been made aware of the foolishness of continuing to imbibe any substance that hurts me if I forget a dose.  What I’d like to know, is how long the withdrawal headache will stay until I’m forgiven for this oversight?  At first, I thought I should run it off, (my usual cure-all.)  Then I remembered dehydration would just make it worse.

I’m quite familiar with Motrin from the military.  “Sucking chest wound?  Here, take a Motrin.  In fact, take two.”  If one dose doesn’t end it, a second dose would only add hurling to the mix.  Sigh.  (My body hates pain remedies, which sucks because I hate pain.)  I haven’t slept in a few days, which probably isn’t helping.  I can’t help it, though!  I’m in the middle of a book¹ where falling asleep is considered a death wish!

I had a blast practicing my drums earlier.  I upgraded my hi-hat trigger and will use the old one as a splash or something.  Another perk of electronic drums.  I had to go against the instructions to install it, which irks me.  Yamaha 3-zone cymbal triggers vary depending on size, but the instructions are only for the smaller model.  I figured it out, but damn.  Would it kill them to add a paragraph to the manual?  (I’m cranky from a headache. 😂)

I played along with Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers until my hands were numb.  It’s my favorite song right now.  I’m also digging Attention by Charlie Puth.  (He’s the first male voice to impress me since Bruno Mars.  Before Bruno was Michael Jackson.  Okay, I’ll stop.  Deleted four more.  Heh.) American Girl always evokes memories of Silence of the Lambs.  I wish I could unwatch that movie.

It was like An American Werewolf in London for me.  My older siblings went on and on about how great it was, but wouldn’t tell me the story, (probably because I was the Queen of Nightmares.)  So of course, I sneak watched it, was horrified, then began seriously thinking about time travel for the first time in my life.  (So not the last.)  All of this could be prevented by a new law requiring all scary movies first be released as a novel.  Just saying.

I’m starting to miss some aspects of Twitter.  Mostly the hashtag gamers and my Resistance sisters.  I liked having at least one belly laugh over a tweet per day.  It’s changed my role in the Resistance, too.  Aside from my one-woman protests, the rest of my activity will consist of sending money to Democrats running for office.  I used my AI to determine which candidates will most benefit, so at least it’s fun.  Many of them are running for office for the first time.  That’s wicked cool.  I’m off to figure out that bass riff in Attention, by Charlie Puth.

¹Sleeping Beauties by Owen and Stephen King

 

“It’s like I’m Neil Armstrong. I turn around for a sip of Tang and you jump out first.”

I deleted my Twitter account a while ago.  It wasn’t a difficult decision.  The reasons for continuing got beat up by the reasons for not.  I may add a contact page to this blog as a bridge for those who wish to stay in touch.  To me, experiencing Twitter is almost the same as sitting (in the corner) in a huge room filled with people who are all talking at the same time.  It was easier than in person, but not by much.

I’m laughing at myself because I wouldn’t willingly spend so much time sitting in a huge room filled with people talking offline.  First of all, unless there is cake, forget it.  Secondly, it would be a rare event for a short duration, (as long as it takes me to eat the cake, duh.)  Unfortunately, it was like quitting an addiction.  Now that I’m clean, it’s clear it was a bad idea. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to shame everyone else into quitting Twitter and act like Tweeting around me is shortening my lifespan.)

 

M. went to see about a dog at the Humane Society.  (I wanted to accompany him, but Amelia Bedelia won’t allow me to have pets.)  Walking out of the Humane Society without a pet is cruel and unusual. Thus I can’t imagine him returning without a dog.  There are dogs there he can take home for a small fee, and he doesn’t have one. I’m so excited, knowing he could return at any moment.  It’s raining, or else I’d probably be outside waiting (like a person who doesn’t have a puppy.)

I caught up on my show, Better Things, earlier.  I’m still smiling.  I haven’t laughed so hard in some time.  This is a graduate level show (for me.)  Pamela Adlon is doing Tom Hanks level acting.  (This means a good part of the story is conveyed superbly without dialogue.)  There’s no laugh track, which is awesome.  I have to pay attention because while it’s only 28 minutes an episode, it requires about an hour of thinking (after watching).

It’s the first show where I long to have my mom beside me to answer my questions as we watch.  I’m sure some parts fly over my head, but I’m too delighted by how much I do get to be upset.  I want to adopt Frankie.  She’s the new Darlene, only funnier, which is no easy feat.  (She’s nothing like Darlene, aside from being hilarious and adorable.)  I missed some dialogue due to loud sounds outside, so I’m going to watch again on my iPad later.

It’s probably better I watch it alone.  As much as I miss my mom, I recognize the conversations the show evokes should remain in my head.  (Turns out, there are some things I’d rather not discuss with my mom, were it an option.)  I just heard my mom’s voice in my head say, “I’m not your friend, I’m your mom.”  I haven’t heard that one in ages.  😂😂  It used to play along with, “I’m the adult, you’re the child.”  Good times. 🙃

M. must have stopped by the pet store first, as he’s not back with my his our dog yet.  I feel empowered from watching Pamela Adlon’s character politely but firmly refuse to physically greet someone against her will.  I’ll be studying how she did it later.  She did all kinds of fantastic boundary enforcing already this season.  I’m blown away by how much useful information they manage to pack into 28 minutes.

I wish Hollywood would make more movies starring women between ages forty and eighty.  I want to write a letter, but I don’t know who I should address.  I need to see women my age, and older than me, coping with life.  I need to watch them interact with the world while dealing with things like menopause, hormonal imbalances, and relationships/breakups with a significant other.  I want to know how our bodies change during this time, by watching lots of different women aging normally.  I don’t want to see actresses who have personal trainers, a chef, and a plastic surgeon on staff to lie to me.

I want the truth.  I realize this is why I stopped watching TV and movies altogether for months now.  It’s so rarely worth my attention now.  Thank goodness for Better Things.  Take notes, Hollywood.  If you want to continue trading money for entertainment, start making movies that center on real women over forty.  Otherwise, I’ll see ya when the next installment of Star Wars is released. Hm.  Feels too subtle.  Dear Hollywood, mature women in movies = $$$.  Nailed it.  (Pumps fist.)

So what? Your genitals are still lined up.

I’m home from my mini-vacation, sans laptop.  I accidentally left it in security when a bag search interrupted me while on auto-pilot.  Fortunately, it was located in the lost and found and will be shipped back soon.  Whew!  I didn’t even notice it was gone until several minutes after we were in the air.  I used the remainder of the flight to freak out.  I was given sympathy and reassurance from the woman seated beside me.  She was so kind I almost started ugly crying.  The relief I’ll feel when it’s back in my hands will be worth every almost-tear.  Okay, I did bawl my head off when I got home, but it was in the shower, so it doesn’t count. 😛

I’m getting back into my rhythm with The Resistance.  I noticed a response thread about Bill Mahr using the N word.  Someone stated they didn’t mind his using it once in comparison to Snoop Dog using it several times a minute.  They first stated they were “Afro-American.”  It’s not a term I’ve heard in ages.  It gave me pause, but only because it was unusual terminology for today.  I didn’t draw any certainties from it.  I’m apparently the only one, out of the hundreds who jumped in to inform him they thought his choice of words proved he was white.  Initially, someone merely stated it’s an outdated term, and the use made them suspicious.  Then came the flood.

At first, it was hilarious.  Lots of memes and witty statements demonstrating a white person pretending to be a black person. It started getting ugly when the comments started coming from those who were taking a little too much pleasure in tearing someone down.  It wasn’t funny anymore.  It was an accusation.  People were literally stating he couldn’t be black based solely on his word choices.  Before long, I was also accused of pretending to be black by some Caucasian woman.   Blocked.  This is another symptom of institutional racism.  The belief one’s behavior dictates the pigmentation level of their skin is ridiculous and astonishingly ignorant.  It’s saying stereotypes have the same efficacy as DNA.

It’s a sore point for me in particular.  I’ve faced this abuse too often in the past by other blacks who deny my membership because of my language, clothing, and/or who I hang out with.  I speak proper Midwestern English, just like every other educated person who grew up here.  I’m aware of slang from hip-hop and rap culture, but don’t think it’s the cultural language of any race other than human.  There are people from everywhere who live the culture.  Their skin is irrelevant.  This isn’t rocket science.  I can imitate an inner-city accent, but not with a straight face while being phony.  I’m a black woman from the upper midwestern US.  This is called a fact.

I’ve traveled enough to notice language and cultural variations in different regions of the US.  I like diversity.  It’s fascinating.  I’m comfortable being myself and am mature enough to laugh at things like peer pressure and pettiness within my own race.  My own sister used to give me shit about being openly Midwestern.  All I heard was, “Hi, I’m a hypocrite so feel free to ignore me.”  Being raised in the Midwest would have sufficed, but on top of that, I was adopted by a Caucasian family.  Guess what?  It influenced my language and culture.  Of course, I don’t speak like someone who grew up in LA or NYC!  Please explain the thought process that led to this being surprising information, because I can’t find it.

I don’t filter my world by things so petty as variations in physical traits.  This is my life, and I intend to continue living the shit out of it.  I’ll continue doing my best to avoid stepping on others out of default decency.  I also won’t tolerate anyone stepping on me.  I’m too busy chasing fascination to waste time conforming to stereotypes.  I’m too free and happy for petty bullshit.  While I sincerely think many who joined in to be silly on Twitter over this had no malice behind their memes, the point that matters is this:  If you honestly believe language and culture can qualify or disqualify a person from a particular race, you believe a lie, which is ignorance defined.

So Puddy wears a man fur?

I’ve been listening to Carrie Fisher read her books via Audible.  Hearing her voice while she shares about her life is such a comfort.  I’m halfway through her latest book and need to set up rules for listening.  I tend to forget other people can see me and much of it is hilarious.  I got caught chuckling alone in the elevator earlier on my way upstairs.  Then again when almost to my door, when I was laughing about getting caught the first time.  I’m pretty sure I’m on my own if our building catches fire.

There was a catfish incident on Twitter, and although I don’t know what happened, I got the impression a lot of people got burned.  I’ve never been able to keep up with group gymnastics.  It eventually makes me feel vulnerable and dumb which is irrational.  An annoying circle of wasted time, that.  I think it’s a combination of conflict anxiety and recognizing it’s a situation where my autism is a disability.  I guess feeling vulnerable makes sense.

It’s weird that I still feel a bit like it’s playing with the neighborhood kids when I play hashtag games.  I suppose it’s because I’m not funny.  It’s not a requirement for playing, but it does make it a lot more interactive.  I just cracked myself up.  See?  I was funny one time, though.  Once in two years is a horrible record but it doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm.  The guy who first introduced me to the games unfollowed me.  I assume it has something to do with my recent political meltdowns.

The kids that grew up near me used to include me in ways that disturbed my mom.  I love repetitive tasks, especially if they’re productive.  When we played with Barbie dolls, my sister and the other kids were playing while I was arranging accessories and acting like a coat check girl.  At some point, my mom saw they were dumping out toys in piles around me for me to arrange while they played together.  All I remember is that I was having a blast.

I see it as child empathy.  Kids are empathetic, but their behaviors vary from those of adults because they have less information about the world.  They’re literal.  Figuring out what made me happy, then arranging it for me is incredibly empathetic.  It’s just not how many adults do it.  Neurotypical adults add rocket science level equations, keyless secret codes, and a dash of sarcasm to their words to insulate themselves from vulnerability automatically.  I think they remember life before they started doing that, though.  It’s fear, but it comes from being hurt.

I guess I’m sad that one person hurt so many and now people I find hilarious are probably going to be harder for me to connect with after having their realities fucked with.  It’s pretty selfish, but I can’t help it.  One of the main reasons I love Twitter is because of the funny people.  I’ve had moments when the Depression Monster had me in a headlock, and a corny joke flew by and freed me.  That’s a gift, and I’m quite attached.  Especially now with the ongoing political nightmare.

I’m probably going to have to put myself on another Twitter time-out.  I keep getting stuck on frenzied retweeting while in shock over what’s being proposed for our future.  Then I come up for air and more time has passed than I realized, and my TL has 10 tweets that say the same thing with different pictures.  I amuse myself by imagining one of my followers breaking through the door to my apartment and unplugging a large, symbolic cable to the internet with ferocity, then shouting, “You shall not connect!”

Was it a scratch, or a pick?

I witnessed a brilliant thread on Twitter today.  Well, I should say, half a thread.  It ended prematurely.  I was immediately intrigued, and read each tweet that followed.  When I do this, I visualize people having a conversation in a more physical sense.  I read slowly, which can make a Twitter flyby a bit frustrating.  I’m getting better at isolating a tweet before liking or retweeting it.  I used to click ‘like’ first, then ‘retweet’.  Big mistake.  Don’t try this at home.  If the tweet is not too offensive to show to the person you most admire, then it’s okay to retweet.  (If I can stomach showing it to Michelle Obama, then it’s okay to retweet.)  But always retweet first, that way if your timeline refreshes, you can easily locate it again at the top of your refreshed timeline.  You’re welcome.

So anyway, back from my tangent.  It was obvious to me that most of the people participating in the thread were on flybys, and not sitting at a computer, tweeting during an allotted time on their schedule.  One mentioned being mobile, and regretting not having easy access to information.  So in my visualization, most of them weren’t giving it their full attention.  They were reading, but not as if they knew they’d be tested on it later.  This, I believe, is how most people read Twitter.  While distracted.  Between scheduled activities.  I allude to making Twitter flybys, but in my case, it means I’m seated with the laptop I use for accessing the internet, trying to keep up.

I suspect it’s because I’m autistic.  I miss a lot.  When I first began, I felt obligated to read every tweet by everyone I followed.  That was easy initially, because I barely had any followers.  I suppose that’s why I assumed it was the rule, but as I gained more followers, and began participating as well as reading, this became too time consuming and emotionally draining.  I realized it was fine to only read the tweets that were in my timeline at the time I allotted for Twitter.  If someone wanted me to see something, they knew how to get my attention.  I was slow to catch on to a lot of social rules on Twitter, and probably have a way to go yet.  Fortunately, about 1500 people have decided to tolerate my learning curve for about a year now.  It’s fascinating.

When I say it’s because I’m autistic, I mean it literally.  I don’t mean it as an excuse for misbehavior of which I’m unwilling to own up.  I mean it as an acknowledgement that I’m aware of my differences in processing information.  I mean it as an explanation of why my behavior, which to me is completely within the range of acceptability when in the company of others, may seem unacceptable to someone else.  Today on Twitter, a friend mentioned being autistic when the brilliant conversation hit a wall of misunderstanding.  Prior to her admission, another participant mentioned that it was easy to misread people without the benefit of tone and emotion.  In my visualization of the conversation, I saw that person as empathetic.  However, as soon as autism was mentioned, the conversation ended.  Someone was offended, because they thought my friend was trying to weasel out of being “aggressive” by blaming it on autism.

In my visualization, I was seeing these brilliant people discussing an interesting topic, when suddenly everyone turned around and covered their ears.  I know there’s a lot of false information out there regarding autism.  It can be a volatile subject because it’s about humans.  Some people believe autism means a lack of empathy.  It’s a false stereotype.  There are movies, like Ben Affleck’s latest thriller with Anna Kendrick, that center their plot on false stereotypes about neurodiverse people.  I don’t hold any grudges against them for it, because that’s kind of what thrillers are.  They hold a false stereotype under a magnifying glass, and use it to scare the shit out of you, because wouldn’t it be horrible if autism, (schizophrenia, bipolar, dyslexia, etc.), really was like that?  Thrillers aren’t educational.

It upset me, because I wanted more information from these brilliant people, and instead, I witnessed them have their feelings hurt over a misunderstanding.  I felt protective of my autistic friend, who was trying to explain that she wasn’t being “aggressive”, that’s just how she talks, and the lack of tone and emotion allowed it to read differently than she said it.  She admitted being autistic, because she, too, saw them as brilliant people discussing an interesting topic, and felt safe sharing it with them, because they didn’t seem like the type of people who would attack someone for being autistic.  She was right.  They weren’t.  She wanted to explain that it takes her a bit longer to process and then respond to the thread.  I think she was going to add that it was why her language wasn’t being received as sent.  She was trying to connect, and was shut down.

I’m not worried about my friend, even though I feel protective of her.  She’s strong, brilliant, and capable.  She’s already moved on.  I’m bothered that someone left the conversation before my friend had a chance to express her thoughts.  I’m bothered, because that person likely has a warped view of my friend, and the likelihood of the connection being reconstructed is slim.  I guess it bothers me because I get a lot of enjoyment out of witnessing people connecting with each other, and it was about to happen, and then it didn’t.  I’m disappointed.  Ha! I found the word.  Clearly, my time spent with wordsmiths is paying off.  Muahahahaha!!!

Say Vandelay Industries

It’s been a good day.  Things went well at work today, and the guys were marvelling that after only 1 therapy session, things are “back to normal”.  I told them that it’s true we had a good day, but not to assume that it means 50 minutes of talking her ear off and listening to feedback was all that was needed to eliminate the issues with which I’ve struggled.  I said the can of worms is open, and now I have to keep fighting through symptoms until my subconscious catches up.  While I do that, she’ll teach me some new skills for coping so that the next time I’m struggling, I can work it out by myself.

Now that I’ve calmed down about opening up to her, I can comprehend her feedback better.  At one point she asked me for further details about what we were discussing.  I felt myself start to shut down.  It felt like I was being yanked back and up at a very high speed.  But before my body locked up, she said it was okay, I didn’t have to tell her.  It happened in an instant, and the timing was perfect.  A moment longer, and I wouldn’t have been able to understand that she retracted the request.  I would have had a meltdown in front of her.  I’m so glad that didn’t happen.  But it also made me recognize the fact that I’m afraid of that happening in front of her.  So I’m disarming that minefield.  It’s irrational, and I hate being irrational.

A few friends on Twitter helped me make a form to address sexual harassment in the workplace.  They read it, and agreed not to continue with the behavior.  The guys like to tell dirty jokes, and make sexual innuendos at work.  It’s uncomfortable to me because it doesn’t fit in the co-worker relationship category.  I ignored it for a long time.  Then I didn’t want to hear it anymore, so I just worked from home most of the time, and kept my office door closed when I went in.  My work performance hasn’t been where I want it, either.  Low level depression symptoms are easy to miss.  I took a depression assessment quiz the other day, and some of the answers I chose were inaccurate because I didn’t realize at that time some of the symptoms I’m experiencing.  It didn’t click that my new VR goggles and Alexa Dot gadgets, still sealed in their packaging, is an example of my interests waning.

Normally, when I get a shiny new gadget, I’m like teenager who just bought their first car.  I want to spend time with it, show it off a little, and figure out everything it can do.  I keep thinking about them, but still haven’t touched them.  A friend on Twitter figured it out when I mentioned this.  I need to put it on my schedule.  I have to push myself to do the things I normally love for now.  Eventually, the effort required will decrease, until it’s gone.  Then I’ll be able to experience the joy again.  For whatever reason, knowing this helps.  I always find comfort in knowing what I need to do.

Missing Heather

I miss my little sister.  She’s in my dreams a lot.  So are my Mom, and brother, Steve.  A shrink would probably tell me that ‘I have unresolved feelings regarding family members who have passed’.  Then I would ask for my money back, because duh.  But then, I wouldn’t tell a shrink something so personal.  I reserve my innermost thoughts and feelings for total strangers on the internet.  That’s a joke, in case it wasn’t obvious.  I’m usually the only one who gets my jokes.

I remember this day.  I had a red tricycle.  This was our front courtyard and we would ride in circles around the tree in the center.  She was so adorable.  Her nickname was, “Smiley”.  Sigh.

This is me and Heather playing with the neighbor kids.  Heather’s little belly sticking out.  So cute.  Clearly, I was never into fashion.

This is the most recent photo before she died.  Someone on Twitter mistook a sarcastic comment I made earlier while playing a hashtag game, and stated I was to blame for the gun problem in America.  It hit me hard.  I lashed out and told him to fuck off.  I have since apologized.  I’ve since been crying, and I can’t stop.  I miss Heather so much.  I hate guns.  I hate that their main purpose is to kill.  Their second most used purpose is for practicing in order to kill more efficiently.  I know too well what it feels like to have someone you love suddenly ripped from your world.  I wish it had been me.

Time Travel

It’s still summer in Denver too. Global warming is ruining outside for me.  My flight was superb.   I slept the whole time, and even drooled a little.  I like the flat I’m staying in.  It’s a rental unit owned by my family, but of the 2 units, only 1 is rented out presently.  I have a feeling this one will be permanently occupied by my nephew.  I crashed on the couch for a bit, then awoke to realize he was streaming Bob’s Burgers while sitting near me, eating Chinese food.

He ordered me some shrimp fried rice and crab rangoon.  He’s my favorite nephew.  I’ve been half watching that, and half paying attention to Twitter.  People on Twitter are so funny.  Every day I laugh really hard multiple times at some of the tweets by people I follow.  I really think comedian should be the highest paying profession in the world.  No other job contributes as much joy to the world.  That should be rewarded handsomely, and Louis C.K. should be way richer than Bill Gates.  Windows is nice, but it never made me laugh so hard I peed a little.  It’s made me cry, though.

This world is so hard to understand.  I made a friend on twitter today, as we shared similar views on the refugee issues and general displeasure with the status quo of American politics.  Then she posted that America is Neo Fascist.  I couldn’t let that go because it’s an ignorant lie.  Clearly, she doesn’t understand what fascism entails.  So I pointed this out, and followed up with reminding her that if America was truly fascist, she would be killed immediately for voicing her opinions on Twitter.  Then I added that if America is truly fascist, the Million Man March going on today led by Native Americans, and followed by people of color who are loudly chanting ‘Down, Down USA’ would result in a government led massacre of all involved.  She blocked me.  I’m fine with that.  It’s not the first time I’ve offended someone by insisting on truth and accuracy.  Not even close.  It’s an Aspie thing, I’ve been told.  Personally, I think it’s a good trait. Reality only exists if the majority agree to acknowledge it.  I don’t like it when people exaggerate to the point of being offensive in an effort to spread their message.  It ruins their credibility, and defeats the purpose.

I also found a group in Denver who also support Bernie Sanders for president.  They congratulated me on my upcoming move, offered to help me find a local ‘Feel the Bern’ party, and gave me links to resources so I can catch him live at another time.  I’m going to love living here.  Sioux Falls is nice, but there are things about it that suck. Mainly that it’s located in South Dakota.  Yep.  That about sums it up.

The cool thing is that when I move I’ll be moving through space and time simultaneously.  Those who claim time travel is a myth have never been to South Dakota.  Where every minute is a fucking eternity locked in the ’60’s.  Sioux Falls is progressive, liberal, and surrounded by hell.  Every weekend, it’s infiltrated with farmers from out of town whose normal idea of traffic is a cow in the road.  They ignore lanes, drive super slowly, and cause accidents in a 1 mile radius around the mall.  I was delighted to watch it disappear through my plane window.

My nephew is enjoying Twitter too.  He’s making suggestions of things to type and generally cracking me up.  He’s made me promise 3 times so far that I won’t let my sister see it.  She’s religious, and would be appalled.  While that would be amusing, it wouldn’t be for long.  I get stressed out when she’s upset with me, so it’s not worth it.  She travels a lot so it’s rarely a concern.  We’re supposed to be looking through catalogs for light fixtures and faucets.  I just can’t make myself care about it today.  Back to Bob’s Burgers and Twitter.